Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Final Installment)

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Final Installment)
Girls, Girls, Girls: Girly Songs, Girly Lips, Girly TV Shows, Crazy Girls, and Girls with Mustaches

In this final installment of the Best of 2009, I'm not really going to check for grammatical or spelling errors because I have worked on it far too long. But I hope you get a kick out of a few stories. Remember, each story is to the best of my knowledge and is as accurate as I can remember.

Best Cheap Ride:
Light Rail

Other than using your friends to take you everywhere, the Metro Light Rail proved to be a worthy mode of transportation for me this year. Since its inaugural run in January, I was finally able to get on the train and take it from Mesa all the way to 19th Ave. and Indian School. Why? Why not! In fact, I liked the idea that I didn't have to hunt for parking when I went to a baseball game or find a cab to take me from the ballpark to Camelback and Central. As for price was concerned, I believe a day pass cost about $2.00, but I have heard prices have gone up and I haven't ridden the rail since I read that some homeless man shit inside one of the cars and smeared the walls with himself. So, if the threat of a shit-smearing homeless man scares you, don't take the rail. If you could care less, the Light Rail is now open on the weekends until 2AM (I beleive) and you can drown your troubles away with all the bars along the route from Downtown Phoenix to Downtown Tempe without !

Most Practiced Song on the Guitar:
"She Is Love" - Parachute

After U-Fest 09, I met a new friend that many people saw in the Summer of '09. I know her as Jackie, but you know her as JRC from the Twitpic photos I took of her. Still lost? When that horrible pile of fuck movie--Transformers 2--was released in the summer, a lot of my friends were so infatuated with Jackie because she looked a little like Megan Fox. Was I hanging out with Jackie because she looked like Megan Fox? No, but it was pretty cool to look at Jackie and think that Megan was hanging out with me! Jackie is much cooler.

What does Jackie have to do with the Most Practiced Song on the Guitar of '09? Given that my friendship with Jackie blossomed pretty quickly, I soon came to find out that Jackie and I had a lot of the same tastes in music. The summer allowed us to trade music back and forth via CDs and MySpace pages, but when I saw that she had posted Parachute's "She Is Love" on her profile page, I was drawn to the song instantly because of its simplicity: and acoustic guitar and a vocalist. That's it. Would I listen to the band.

In a year where I had been hashing out acoustic Alice in Chains songs on the guitar, "She Is Love" was a song that was completely out of character for me and I was willing to learn the song on my own. What would people think if I learned a song that wasn't a driving and distorted mess? I really could have cared less when it came to learning a love song. I had always been brought up to try something once before determining its future. I would soon buy the song on iTunes and start figuring out how to play the song on my own. After a few days of practicing, I had given up due to whatever was happening in my life at the time. But, one thing was for certain: that song would not be out of my life for the remainder of the year.

Earlier in the year, my sister announced that she would be getting married on Halloween. She had asked me if I could play a song during the ceremony and I had agreed. Her first suggestion was the Beatles' song "Here Comes the Sun" which is a good song, but I felt that "She Is Love" was a far better fit for a wedding. It wasn't that I didn't want to learn her suggested song, but the overall feel of "She Is Love" would fit a wedding ceremony than the one she suggested.

As a the true procrastinator that I am, I figured I wouldn't practice the song until late Septemeber or Mid-October. Each month leading up to the wedding, my sister continuously asked, "Have you been practicing your song?" My only reply would be "No." Why lie? I think she thought I was joke, but I really hadn't been practicing shit as the summer days had me in a funk (see Best of 2009--Part 2--Album of the Year). Nevertheless, October approached and was finally staring in front of me. For 3 weeks straight, I sat in my home office hashing out "She Is Love" and developed the most awesome calloused fingers since I was 16 years old.

Halloween would approach and I would be more nervous to perform this song in front of a very small group of my sister and brother-in-law's friends. I have stood in front of thousands of fans of Slipknot, Disturbed, Machine Head, Five Finger Death Punch, Alice in Chains, and Ozzy and each one of those experiences don't even come close to the amount of fear I had for performing this song in front of my family and my sister's friends. To say the least, all those times standing on stage to introduce a band paid off because even though I messed up in one part of the song, no one noticed and I found it strange that compliments surrounded what I had played and sang. In all honesty, I thought it was OK and I broke a leg for my good 'ol sis.

When all was said and done, someone asked me if I had one of my CDs for sale. WTF?

Best Rockstars to Meet:
Ivan Moody - Five Finger Death Punch
Corey Taylor - Slipknot/Stone Sour
Spider Zombie - Powerman 5000
Otep Shamaya - Otep
Benji - Skindred

Best Friend to Pick Up Where We Left Off:
Mullet(less) Mike

Mike returned back into my life in the earlier part of 2009--in the middle of my own personal hell. For whatever the reason, Mike entered back into my life to be that ear to bend when things were the toughest for me. I should just call him the Friend of the Year because while I was going through my own bullshit, Mike was dealing with looking for a new job for a good part of the year. How could I be depressed when my poor friend was jobless and listening to this poor sap lay out his laundry every night over the phone or at the George and Dragon? The cool thing about Mike is that no matter how tough the situation is, he makes light of it and doesn't sweat a lot.

After all the non-metal moments with Mike, we were able to reconnect and find a hobby to participate in other than anal fisting--BRET VESELY MOVIES! The initial idea for these Bret Vesely videos came from the genius minds of Dino Demilio and Russ Cundiff of the Divide Social Club, so it was my goal to get Mike on board with the idea. For a good part of the summer, Mike and I worked on different videos about Bret and even shared creative ideas with each other on how we could turn bret into something spectacular.

Well, as life worked out for Mike, he finally found a job and it was the end of movie-making business with him. Even though our rekindled friendship was short-lived, I must give credit to Mike for keeping me occupied and working toward branching out creatively. You'll be happy to know that Mike's new job is paying him millions of dollars a day and he's found a special someone in his life who makes him happy--other than me. The great thing about this is that when I reconnect with him in the future, it will be like we never stopped the conversation.

Best Trend that Never Caught On:
Fake Mustache Friday aka FSF

"I think we should do a thing where people take pictures of themselves wearing fake mustaches and they post the picture to Twitter and Facebook!" exclaimed Dream Palace Jimmy. "In fact, I'm ordering a box full of them right now and you can sell them for a buck!"

"Yeah that's great," thinking that Jimmy's tone was more snarky than serious.

"OK, they're ordered and I'll have them in three days! I'm going to give them to you, OK?"

"You were serious about that?"

After Jimmy was getting the handle of the trends of #musicmonday and #followfriday on Twitter, I would have to say that Jimmy buying a box of 300 fake mustaches and putting them in my hands to sell would be the single funniest moment of 2009 for me. Jimmy sold me on the idea and soon Fake Stache Friday would be born! What became a conversation became a trend for about a month (with the help of our favorite schmoozer, Corbin) spawned some pretty great pictures from people in Oregon, California, and Northern Arizona. It's my goal in 2010 to get a handle on this trend and make it a regular tradition!

Best Landing of the Year:
Outside the Apartment

If you thought The Sullenberger plane landing was pretty sweet into the Hudson, I have one even better...

Right after Homeless for the Holidays, I was unloading my trunk with all the equipment I used when playing at the Tempe Marketplace. My arms were filled with music stands, guitar cases, lyric notebooks, etc. Imagine me walking up to my apartment and taking the first step from the parking lot to the sidewalk--and missing the sidewalk entirely! An array of every piece of equipment fell from my limbs and made for the the most awesome faceplant onto the sidewalk known to man. I'm not lying, I really did fall on my face. This fall hurt like a motherfucker, but the sad part is that there was no one around to witness it. After I brushed myself off, I had only wished I had a camera filming the entire thing because I would have probably laughed at myself for hours.

Best TV Show to Watch on a Saturday Night:
Lone Butte: Lucky Break on Channel 5

Saturday nights were usually the time when I would troll with Corbin to a few bars around town, but it soon ended when I was introduced to Lone Butte: Lucky Break by John Holmberg. I really didn't understand why Holmberg enjoyed watching the show, but after watching a wannabe hybrid of American Idol and really shitty bar singing, I couldn't pass up staying in on Saturday night to watch some of the most horrific singers the Valley has to offer.

The mechanics of this show mirrors a lot of what American Idol gives people except these people are local. Shitty singing, shitty judges, and on occasion you can find Cell Block 3 from Florence Correctional Facility sitting in the audience. But it's not the mechanics of the show that has interested the group of people that watch this show with Holmberg on Saturday nights. You can make fun of just about everything on the show and the goal is to see who (me, Holmberg, Vesely, Dick Toledo, etc) can send a text message zinger faster than the other person. Everyone on that show is fair game to be ripped apart by the 98 KUPD staff via text message from the rotund English bitch to Stifler's Mom Look-alikes! So if you happen to catch the show, please know that there are about 10 people all text messaging each other back and forth some of the best cut-downs you will never hear on the radio.

Best Tonsil Swap:
Laurissa and Brianna

2009 was GOOD TO ME when it came to making out with chicks. I can't quite remember how many chicks I slutted my lips to, but I am certainly not complaining considering I didn't have to answer to anyone other than my work wife, Bret Vesely. However, there were two REALLY GOOD kissers this year that deserve some serious notoriety.

**Please note that the names used in this section have been changed to protect the anonymity of the participants**

1.) Laurissa:
What can I say about Laurissa other than the fact that she was hot, blonde, great body, and willing? I had met her at U-Fest back in April and all day we had been eye-fucking each other HEAVILY. It wouldn't be soon after I was finished broadcasting that I would get plenty of beer in my body to dominantly reel her in backstage just make out with her without saying a word to her about WHAT we were going to do. I'm pretty sure we made out during the entire Drowning Pool set and part of Chevelle. As far as making out goes, things got so incredibly hot and heavy that the guys from Skindred saw what I was doing and they all cheered for both of us to go further! Hah! At some point I had to sober up in case I had to drive somewhere to seal the deal, but you have to figure that I had so many Blue Moons that day I couldn't remember why I was at The Farm and I completely forgot about her at the end of the night. I really didn't consider it a loss for me because I had other fish to fry that night. I think the the best part of all of that making out with Laurissa was that I didn't have to hear from her again! I'm still a homo for not sealing the deal though...

2.) Brianna
I'd have to say that the kiss with Brianna was, by far, the most romantic I had ever had. Brianna was about 5'5", brunette, had a great body that was in shape, cat-like eyes, and very luscious lips. She and I had reconnected--after about two years of losing each other--back in the earlier part of the summer at some bar in Downtown Phoenix. Things between us really started out as friends who could go out and have a few beers and just talk the night away. I really enjoyed her company and she made me want to hang out with her more. The only tough part was that getting her to commit to a schedule with me. That was the most difficult part as she was the busiest person I had learned know.

Just as I enjoyed her company, she seemed to enjoy mine just as much, but there was something strange that was between us. I couldn't explain it, but it was as if she couldn't figure out if she wanted to like me more or if she should just step away. So, I didn't want to push anything harder. I gave her the space she needed, but was still willing to try and make an effort to have a great time with her whenever she would be willing to give me the time. Summertime would pass and the frequency of our visits would dwindle and I'm pretty sure that I was getting blown off by her. Whether she had met someone else or just didn't want to talk with me, I was hoping she would just tell me something instead of leaving me in the dark. But as they say, when you start feeling left in the dark, it should be your first sign indicator that there is no interest.

Not conceding to the fact she was losing interest in me, I sent her a text on a Saturday night in the early part of autumn that read, "What is it going to take to hang out with you again?" Thinking that I wouldn't get a response back, I got an response back nearly 30 seconds later that read, "Nothing! How about now!?" Of course I was going to jump at this opportunity and would make the trip to whichever bar she was hanging out at.

Upon arriving to the bar, I could tell that she was already a little buzzed from the wine she was drinking, but still sober enough to hold a decent conversation with me. Like clockwork, we started laughing, toasting to inane things, and eventually found ourselves a little buzzed. She told me she wanted to go home and relax out on her deck so that she could pass out quickly. I was cool with this, but she extended the invitation off to me and wanted me to drive her car back to her place--which was only 3 minutes from the bar. Why not? We'd make a quick pit stop to the grocery store for some Stella and then head off to her house.

By the time we go to her house, she was ready to just relax and I had no complaints about this. Besides, if I was going to drink anymore than what already had, I would have to slow it down and just enjoy the good company. We made our way to her deck that overlooked the entire city of Phoenix and started listening to music from the iTunes deck on the table--completely content and laughing about whatever came to mind. Soon I would find myself far from buzzed and had enough liquid courage in my system to start interrogating her on why she had been avoiding me amongst other courageous questions. Since we were both pretty drunk, she started giving the dirt about how she thought I was great and how her friends and family think that we would be a great couple. When I asked her why she was holding back, she couldn't give me the answer. Of course, in my drunken state, I couldn't decipher body language or the deliverance of her connotations, but I just let it roll off my back.

The time frame of talking to her about "us" seemed to last an eternity, but was really only a few minutes because I can remember that the same song was playing when the conversation ended. Once that conversation DID end, I had realized that she had her legs kicked up onto my lap, and I was leaned toward her holding her hands and arms. I stared at her for a brief moment and before I knew it, we were kissing. The kiss lasted for quite some time and in true romantic style, Brianna graduated quickly to THE BEST KISS of ALL TIME. Sure, the situation lent itself to the ultimate romantic kiss--city lights, perfect song, perfect evening weather--but the kiss was like nothing I had ever had before. This chick KNEW what she was doing and KNEW how to kiss. Everything from how to tilt her head, to the soft nibbles of the lips, to holding the kiss for the perfect amount of time--Brianna had it down. For the first time in my life I was able to really say, "How the fuck does this happen?" I was in complete and utter awe.

When the kiss finished, we looked at each other, held each other for a minute or two and that's where this part of the story ends.

I haven't heard from Brianna much since that night as I think I scared her and she had found interest in someone else. It was cool because for the 2 hours I spent with her, I will remember the one kiss that shook my world. It was the one kiss that will always be remembered as "The Deck Incident".

Best Text Message Conversation:

About a month after "The Deck Incident", I was sitting at John Holmberg's back patio watching football with the boys. Like any other typical Sunday, text messages were not coming to my phone because everyone I did text with was sitting in front of me. By late afternoon I had received a text from a girl I had been wanting to get with for a few months. When I read the message, she was giving me full-opportunity to see her newly pierced nipples--which I was completely game for checking out.

Before the story progresses, you must get a little bit of background on this chick:

1. She had been trying to hook up with me for nearly 3 years, but would never come out an say it until the latter part of the summer.
2. She had recently gotten a tit job and kept telling me, "I want you to be the first to test drive these out of the lot."
3. She had a knack for always text messaging mundane and immature things to me that didn't require a response.
4. When I DID TEXT message her, I wouldn't get a response for another 4 hours or the next day.
5. The weekend I was at Holmberg's I told her to meet me at my place by 8PM and wanted to make sure it was cool with her.
6. Minutes after I had sent her that text to meet me at my place, more minutes blew by and I found out she was hanging out with another guy because she sent an update out on Twitter.
7. Sunday passed and I didn't hear from her until Wednesday of the next week.

As a lot of you know, I have no tolerance for stupidity and I surely wasn't going to give her the time of my day to foolishly waste on lying to me. What you are about to see is the text message exchange on that Wednesday night after she blew me off.

Mary: Mmmm. Tool.. You're awesome... :-)

Me: Hah.
Mary: Right when I turned my car on, it was the first thing playing... :-)
Me: I'm still not happy with you...
Mary: What? Why?
Me: You don't remember ditching me on Sunday, evidently

Mary:Oh I'm sorry...I didn't know we had for sure plans..I thought you were just throwing out ideas..Don't be mad at me for that...that's a lame reason...You know I want to hang with you again..

Me:I still have the text conversation. I asked you for 8PM and you never responded. It's cool...
Don't pull that with me

Mary: Are you seriously going to be like that??????
Mary: Don't pull what with you???? I'm not pulling shit..

(Nearly 3 minutes pass)

Mary: an have no right or reason to be pissed for something as stupid as that...but if you really need a reason to not talk to me-even though you're good enough at it already-then go for seem really good at pushing people away anyways, so fuck it..Send me a text when you're done being stupid, until then, fuck off...>:o

Me: Fuck this. When you admit to ignoring me on Sunday then things can go back to normal. Your last text just sealed your fate. In the Meantime, best of luck.

Mary: Sealed my fate?? Who the fuck are you???? Ya I'll admit I didn't liek the idea of Sunday, I'm not just going to be fuckint fit into somebody's schedule whenever it's fucking convenient for them..I like you Shannon, I always have..A lot..You're a good person and I care for you, butI don't deserve you being an asshole to me. i've made it clear that I like you, but you obviously are too blind to realize when someone is being real...I always was, I just don't want to play stupid I'm sorry you're mad, but seriously, don't be a jerk to's not you...or fuck, maybe it is which I guess is better for me to know now rather then later. So no Shannon, fuck your best of luck to me, and I wish best of luck to yourself instead.......

Mary: "Things can go back to normal.." Hah. Fuck you..Ya, I really like things the way they were...Random text messages to each other...sooooo exciting!!!

I'm so happy to have invited you into my life of crazy chicks who do this to me on a consistent basis. You would think I have learned my lesson, but the lesson is: There isn't a chick out there that ISN'T crazy. A lot of my friends know that I can tolerate a lot of things, but when it comes to someone lying to me, I have no toleration and move on.

Oh and if you're wondering, Mary sent me a text two weeks ago that said, "A Perfect Circle...mmm..." I never responded.

So that's my list of Best of 2009. It was tough to whittle down the events that went on in my life, but these were some of the more significant events of my life that mattered to me. I hope you enjoyed it and I'll see you in 2010! Just make sure you don't go batshit loco on me via text message. I keep all of that stuff!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Part 2)

The Darker Side of the Year with Lars Ulrich, Tom Scholz, Snails, Porn Stars and Rock Band

Those who work the night shifts certainly understand what type of life you have outside of that domain. Like directions to maintaining your favorite Sea Monkey for longer-lasting fun, your life is maintained a certain way. Why would my life have any difference other than working on the air? Depending on what events are transpiring in my life at the time, life is pretty average for me. It's not all sex, drugs, and rock and roll--maybe rock n' roll, but I'm certainly not drowning in my own puddle of vomit in some Tempe bar. Life for me is pretty simplified and desolate for me. Let's see...

I wake up around noon just about every day, surf the internet, read the news, read magazines, cook meals, watch TV, and play Playstation games until I have to go to work around 6:15 P.M. Wash, rinse, repeat... I have to say that the video game portion of my day is my favorite and that's where we'll kick off the Best Of 2009 list...

Best Gaming Partner of the Year:
Bret Vesely, 98 KUPD Overnight Sensation

Should anyone really question this selection? After all, Bretsky is about the only one who really understands me and he makes for a hilarious gaming partner in Call of Duty and Rock Band. I don't think I have ever laughed harder when it comes to talking shit to 14 year olds in Call of Duty. Upon finding out that Bret and I have gotten annihilated by some pre-pubescent pricks fromAnn Arbor, MI, somewhere in the conversation Bret has blurted out things like, "At least I'm getting laid tonight..." OK, so not that funny, but you really have to be there in the moment when the shit-talking is taking place. Other than that, comments included cannot be read here in this forum, but when it's just the two of us playing Call of Duty, think of the Clerks 2 Racial Slur scene. While it's not racially charged, it's in the same taste.

Not only does Bret have a sharp tongue, his text messages at 4:30 everyday saying, "Are you ready, Lars?" usually had me excited to rap on the Rock Band drums for a good two hours. Bret and I even made ourselves a band with no name--it was just us two. Of course, I was Lars Ulrich--Bret and I would play "And Justice for All" as one of our openers when starting the game--and Bret was Tom Scholz of Boston. We got so serious with playing Rock Band in March and April that we would text each other in the middle of the day asking if the other person had a "meet and greet" or was "stuck in catering with the radio station promotions director" before hitting the stage on TV.

However, if you're the neighbors downstairs you can only imagine the annoyance I was for the first 4 months of the year for two hours a day. On the other end of the screen Bret would be playing the flying colors of Boston's "Foreplay" with a 95% accuracy and I'd be tapping the yellow drum pad on the Expert level to keep the crowd roaring. Once the song would be finished, each player had about 30 seconds to text the other person some smart-ass comment just before the next song started. "Way to go Flea!" or "Robert Trujillio wouldn't have missed those notes. Metallica should fire me."

All in all, Bretsky never fails to let me down when it comes to playing video games.

Best Game of the Year:
Guitar Hero: Metallica

Up until this point, I think a lot of people would have thought that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 would have been my Game of the Year for 2009, but I really had to take into consideration games that I liked as opposed to what everyone thought I should like. I don't think I can justify CoD:MW2 as being a great game until I have at least hit level 70 and I'm only at level 30. Don't get me wrong, I love to play video games, but I think my love for music will always come first before anything else--especially if that video game allows me to translate those skills over to the real deal. This is why I have chosen Guitar Hero: Metallica.

Ever since I was a teenager, I was always enamored by the complexity of Metallica's guitar riffs, but more fascinated by how Lars Ulrich was able to play the drums. While he's not the best drummer in the world, I have always been drawn to the intricacies of the beats in "...And Justice For All" and "Disposable Heroes". After buying the game, I realize now that playing those songs on Expert is nothing more than having the endurance and speed to keep up with Lars--I managed to do this with the latest installment. In fact, an electric drum kit that I have (not a Rock Band or GH drum kit--a REAL KIT)--the one that was collecting dust for a few years--has gotten quite a bit of use due to my new-found love for playing Guitar Hero drums. In fact, when the game was given to me on the day of the release, I took it home and made sure to unlock all of the songs as soon as possible just so I could learn "Blackened" on Expert--to most, finishing this song would seem impossible. For me, pure enjoyment!

Refined Imperfection from Shan Man on Vimeo.

Word of the Year:
Chortle (noun): a snorting, joyful laugh or chuckle.

This word came up more than a dozen times this year for me and it just sounds funny.

Urban Word of the Year:
Snail: An attractive girl who is interested in having sex at any given time. A hot version of a skank.
Reason: Girls get wet and leave snail trails... ie: they are "snails."
"jonny you need to get to this party asap, it's crawling with snails" (courtesy of

The first time I heard this word it was out of a woman's mouth. It has to be, quite possibly, the funniest urban word I have ever heard.

Upcoming Artist of the Year:
The Veer Union

I think a lot of people thought I was joking when I said I really liked the band The Veer Union. It's true. For reasons I can't explain, I was really drawn to their disc Against the Grain. I think part of this had to do with the fact that I tend to correlate songs that mirror what is going on in my life. A couple of songs really hit home with me based on lyrical content alone. In fact, their first single "Seasons" reminded me that we all go through ups and downs. Each metaphor made light of changes I happened to be going through from April to September. I was really stoked when I got to meet the band at the End of Summer Scorcher '09. They happened to be the nicest guys around and I wish I would have been able to hang out with them more that day!

Album of the Year:
Alice in Chains - Black Gives Way to Blue

I anticipated this album since I saw the band play at the inaugural End of Summer Scorcher in '08. I had read the music websites about the return of Alice in Chains with William DuVall fronting the band and I wasn't scared one bit about the band not having the Layne Staley sound. In fact, since first hearing William perform--with Jerry--a few years back at the Cajun House (Venue of Scottsdale), William was doing the backup vocals (Layne's part) for the Alice in Chains songs. It was no question in my mind that an album from Alice in Chains with William singing would be one of my favorites of all time.

Each hand-crafted song on this album has the signature AIC/Jerry Cantrell sound and continues to maintain the heavily cryptic metaphors within the lyrics. I will go so far as to say that this Alice in Chains album is band's way of saying "goodbye" to Layne for the first time since his passing (Jerry attempted this a few years back with his solo album, Degradation Trip, but it failed to translate to Alice in Chains fans). The track "Black Gives Way to Blue" clearly is about the loss of Layne and Jerry has said in recent interviews that it was the song that was the hardest to record because of the heaviness of circumstance.

But this album had a greater magnitude on me as a person. I'd have to say that this album was a strong closure point for me in--what seemed to be--a devastating time in my life; each dark lyric struck a chord within me in a time where I felt I was a complete failure and utterly imperfect; I had lost all belief in who I was as a person all due to one thing: a woman. Given that my relationship with my ex-girlfriend had ended months prior, I had known that I hadn't moved on from where I felt I had failed. I had wondered many days within the year where I was falling short when it came to being appreciated. When you are stretched beyond the limits of wondering why there is loss and loneliness, my friends in Alice in Chains were there to teach me that it's cool to be a little gun shy when it comes to moving on. They also showed me that whatever healing process you are going through doesn't have to have a time limit.

I needn't wallow and stare out the window only to drone to "Private Hell":

"Give away a love
And then remove another too
Painted words adorn the walls
Echoing untrue

I feel cold...uh huh

Lately I'm beside myself
Pretending, unconcerned
Standing on a corner
Where I threw you on a turn

I'll move on...uh huh

I excuse myself,
I'm used to my little cell
I amuse myself,
In my very own private hell

Or lie in bed for hours on end with "Acid Bubble" attempting to get out of bed, but falling short each time. Imagine the opening guitar riff as the motivation to only get up and use the bathroom if I absolutely needed--feeling closed off from a world that doesn't understand:

"And you never paid attention to all the lines I crossed
Forgive this imperfection it shows and know
I am the child that lives and cries in a corner
Dies in a corner

Alone inside your mind"

Conceding to something that was to be "no more," suddenly became OK. Singing harmonies at the top of my lungs for hours after being told that I was the worst possible individual to ever enter into someone else's life; being told that you made someone else's life miserable because of who you are; being told that I was too rigid and closed-minded to ever bend for anyone else; feeling each word told as a hot dagger to the chest multiple times; fearing the future and what it would hold without the other person; finally accepting defeat and tired of trying. Having "Black Give Way to Blue" for the only ten minutes this year the unexplainable happened--tears of happiness eked from my eyes. Being free from a control that couldn't be controlled :

"I don't wanna feel no more
It's easier to keep falling
Imitations are pale
Emptiness all tomorrows
Haunted by your ghost

Lay down, black gives way to blue
Lay down, I'll remember you

Fading out by design
Consciously avoiding changes
Curtains drawn now it's done
Silencing all tomorrows
Forcing a goodbye"

Where I thought I had lost someone important turned into finding someone who meant more than anything else: me. I had found someone I had lost 2 years ago and more excited than ever to be reintroduced to myself. Every fiber of my being was released and I could face the world again without shame or guilt. "All Secrets Known" reigned triumph on the hardest year of my life. I couldn't hide from myself or anyone else any longer:

A new beginning
Time to start living
Like just before we died

There's no going back
To the place we started from

Falling through fingers
Trust in the feeling
There's something left inside

There's no going back
To the place we started from

All secrets known...

All wounds are healing
Truth is worth saving
I want to feel alive

There's no going back
To the place we started from

All secrets known..."

Through all the nights of being on the air in 2009, only a select few could hear the anguish in my voice as I was putting myself through flames of confusion. For a night person, the days were far longer for the person writing these words. Does this "Best of" section show vulnerability as a man or even the voice on the other end of your speakers? Of course. I'm human just like every other person. Any man who says he has never been through a traumatic experience with a woman or loss of friend can be labeled a beguiler. This chapter of the year was, by far, the longest and the most difficult for me. The smoke that has cleared from the destructive force of 8 months of personal agony only to know that I WAS THE ONE who turned out better.

I owe Alice in Chains more than anyone could ever imagine and this is why they get Album of the Year.

Best Bar To Break Up In:
O'Kelly's in Mesa, AZ

While we're on the topic, the beginning of the end had happened long before the break-up was to occur with my ex. The morning of Super Bowl Sunday was a huge blowout over where to watch the football game. I'm not going to place blame on either side, but let's just say that we ended up watching the game together at the bar--unhappily. Since the fight was the worst one to date, the company was finding it difficult to be in a good mood when we arrived at the bar. 40 minutes to the Super Bowl and I was asked to tell her a joke because she wasn't in a good mood. For whatever reason, I knew that her question foreshadowed what was to happen a few days later. If I couldn't make her laugh with a joke, then it probably was going to be over. I don't think anything would have made her laugh because of her disdain toward me for the fight earlier.

At that moment, the relationship should have ended right there in the bar. Why make this the Best Bar to Break Up In? I'm not quite sure, but considering the Cardinals lost that day, it seems like a great place to determine your fate because we all know now what happened--in the game.

Best Strip Club to Frequent:
Dream Palace in Scottsdale, AZ

After I had started to use Twitter more often in conjunction with the radio station, an old friend had come back into my life: The Dream Palace and their Twitter page. When I saw that their page started following me, I had wondered who was actually running their page.

Years ago, a talented fellow, named Jimmy, worked the overnight shift at 98 KUPD and had another job at the Dream Palace. Surely Jimmy had moved on from working at the Dream Palace! Surely he isn't the person running the Dream Palace Twitter page! Surely Jimmy has moved out of state and pursued a career in comedy or computers!

With my interest piqued, I sent a Direct Message to the page website asking who was running it. Sure as hog shit, Jimmy was running the page and was excited to hear from me! What do I say? I had looked up to Jimmy YEARS ago when he was working overnights at KUPD. I could only wish to have his cunning humor and wit on the radio! To me, Jimmy was more of a rockstar than any rockstar that came through the station. To me, Jimmy was a legend.

It turned out that Jimmy invited me over to the DP a few times and I found it in myself to take him up on that invitation. Sweet! A hook-up at the Dream Palace! Jimmy could find me a stripper and I could just go to town for weeks on end! Right?

Wrong. Heading to the Dream Palace in the Summer of 09 was about seeing my friend, Jimmy. Did I go in to check out all the wiggling asses and huge tits? Fuck no! I went in to catch up with Jimmy. After 4 or 5 visits, the girls realized that I was just Jimmy's friend and treated me just like any other person. Dream Palace 2009 proved to me that I could go into a strip club and not spend any money because...any money that was spent was for Jack in the Box for Jimmy.

Coolest Porn Star of the Year:
Abby Rode

Why lie? I've seen her pornos and I'm a fan! But I became more of a fan when she responded to one of my Facebook posts during the National League Championship. I told people to pray for the Phillies against the Dodgers and I never expected a porn star to respond back to anything that I ever wrote on my Facebook page. All I can remember was that she responded a few times and made me laugh. She gets my vote for being one cool piece of ass with killer "good luck" tofu fajitas that led the Phillies to the World Series!

Porn Site of the Year:

Again, why lie? Of course I've watched porn this year. But why pay for it when you can watch THOUSANDS of free videos to your computer or iPhone. I was introduced to this site by one of our promotions assistants who said, "I know a great place where you can watch porn from your phone and all the videos are free." I didn't want to believe him, but it was true when he pulled up the website on my laptop. I mean, if it's not free, it's not for me. So, after being introduced, I said "JACKPOT!!" The great thing about this website is that I've seen some of Abby's other videos on here. I have also found the most tasteless and disgusting videos to torture my co-workers with on a weekly basis. You should try it sometime! :-)

Porn Star to Most Likely Make Me Laugh Multiple Times This Year:
Bree Olson or @breeolson on Twitter

I don't watch any of her pornos, but when Bret Vesely told me that Bree had some of the funniest tweets known to the Twitterverse, I had to subscribe to her page. How can you go wrong with tweets like:

"I allowed several of the crew on my last movie shoot to fuck me 1 of the crew even came inside me right before one of my scenes."
Just passed a super 8 on the highway. Tempted to turn around, check in, and call some men to come fuck me."
Got a hot creamy load dumped in my pussy last night. Come see me tonight at the pink pony gentlemens club in Atlanta Georgia!"
Any men in fort Wayne wanna get me drunk and take advantage of me? That sounds so hot right now."
I have serious sexual issues. I spent over 4 hours just in masturbating today. Not including the 2 times I had sex."

Who says this shit? Bree does!

So I'm shopping in the grocery store and standing in the checkout line... HEY there are new tweets!
@breeolson: "
I am so horny. Time to vibrate. I played beatles rockband most of the day"

Bree is pure comedy gold when you're least expecting it!

The bonus is that Bree Olson was Bret Vesely's first radio interview EVER!

Best Hot Chick Website to Make My Mouth Water:

I have no words for how hot this chick is. Check it out for yourself.

Best Song to Have Playing in the Background While Having Sex:
"A Looking in View" - Alice in Chains

So we all know that I have an affinity for the latest album from Alice in Chains, but when they released this song for the first time for free on their website, I heard its grittiness and thought, "Wow, that song is just a 'fuck' song!" In my mind, it ranks right up there with every female's favorite NIN song, "Closer". I don't know what it is about that AIC song, but it's still waiting to be broken in, so I think I'll save it for a special occasion in 2010.

From gaming, music, to my perverted mind, I have to say that each experience in Part 2 of the Best of list made for a successful year for me! Stay tuned for tomorrow's final installment of Shan Man's Best Of 2009 as you will get to read "The Best Text Message Conversation", "Best TV Show", "Best Chick to Make Out With", and much more!

Thanks for reading!


Monday, December 28, 2009

Shan Man's Best of 2009 (Part 1)

Part 1: Venti Phones, shattered websites, Stella High Life and Dino

Have you ever tried to recount one full year in your mind of all the significant events that took place in your life? It's difficult. I found myself really straining to remember those moments for past 300+ days and this is what I can really remember from the past year.

This list doesn't go in any particular order...

Best Website of the Year:

The Best Article Everyday --

I was drawn to this site early in the year while doing a Google search for "best spices to use on a roast." While I didn't get any fantastic results from the search, I found this site to have a plethora of lists that ranged from the the "Top Firefox Extensions" to finding God's Facebook page. Ever since I found God's Facebook page through this website, I have added The Best Article Everyday to my Google aggregator. Sometimes the articles are a little too campy for me, but for the most part there are some great finds on this website and plenty of pictures for those who are too retarded to read.

Phone of the Year:
Google G1 from T-Mobile

This year proved to be a volatile year for any phone that I owned. Let's see...

1. I threw a phone at the floor because the call kept disconnecting during conversations. That phone shattered into a billion pieces.

2. I received the Nokia Music XPress phone that was smaller than a graham cracker. Pretty cool phone other than the fact that the screen started to streak with a palette of colors each time I turned it on to see the picture of my ex-girlfriend's rack. After I got the replacement phone, I was pleased until the skin started to fall apart into a million pieces each time I touched it--no abuse to this phone.

3. After nearly 2 months with the replacement Nokia Music Xpress, I called T-mobile up to get another replacement phone and they gave me an upgrade to the Google G1 phone. Did I need a high-powered phone? No. But I was starting to use Twitter and Facebook a lot more to focus on keeping in contact with a lot of listeners, so I thought it would be a great investment--oh and it was an investment that was well worth the purchase.

I think I can do everything on the Google G1 phone from using the handy Gmail capabilities to regularly using the accurate Google GPS Navigation application. In fact the phone does so much that I can even drop it in a water fountain at the car wash just so I have to buy the same phone again! If we did the official count of how many phones I have gone through this year, I'm up to 6 phones. I have had nearly 6 cell phones THIS DECADE compared to the TOTAL I went through this year.

Coffee Shop of the Year:
Dunkin Donuts

I have always felt that the concept of going to Starbucks and not being able to order a SMALL, MEDIUM or LARGE cup of coffee was asinine. Furthermore, I never caught on to the craze about ordering your coffee in a different language. Not that I'm completely against drinking anything from Starbucks, but I just didn't like the elitist feeling I got when walking into a Starbucks. Furthermore, I didn't like feeling that I shouldn't be in there because I wasn't smart enough. I felt there was a lack of grassroots coffee shops in the United States until...

The earlier part of the summer in 2009, my friend Dino called me up to meet with him for a visit. Let's face it, he suggested Dunkin Donuts and I was game. All I cared about was getting a quick visit in from my buddy and thought to ditch the coffee. After meeting with Dino a Dunkin Donuts in Scottsdale, I had always thought that Dunkin Donuts ONLY SERVED donuts. In fact, in the years prior to this one, all I could remember were Dunkin Donuts shops around town as a desolate breeding ground for white trash. I was completely wrong after going to multiple shops after my initial visit with Dino. In fact, after being able to simply order a Medium coffee with cream and sugar, I was more than pleased to know that a place exists where you can order your coffee without having to look up directions on how to order your coffee.

Since that visit, I have continued to go back to Dunkin at least 2 times a week, but I have now become of a fan of making their coffee at home. In fact, the good people at Dunkin Donuts caught wind that I loved their coffee and sent me my own Dunkin Donuts coffee cup so I can get the 99 cent refills! Dunkin wins this year!

Wisest Man of Year:
Dino DeMilio of the Tom Leykis Show and of Divide Pictures

The beginning of 2009 kicked off very tough for me mainly because I was going through a ton of relationship issues with a girlfriend at the time. When the official break-up came to a head (on Super Bowl Sunday), I had a few weeks to really sit in my apartment, mull around, take plenty of aspirin, eat Twinkies and be a sore loser like Tom (500 Days of Summer). Just when I thought no one person could give me any perspective of why I failed at a relationship, Dino had found his way back into my life after nearly 10 years of not hanging out for any extended period of time. The last time Dino and I had really hung out was at a promotion when he and I worked together at 93.3 KDKB. Nearly nine years past and there were different circumstances in which we were hanging out. In short, for what felt like the most devastating time of life turned out to be some of the most memorable times of 2009 for me. We hung out at The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen, The Martini Ranch, nearly every Sunday for close to a month and half (Stay tuned for The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen).

Dino didn't necessarily spend these couple of months with me to console me, but to gave me the tools to gain some perspective of who I really was again after I had lost who I was two years prior. Those few months with Dino led to...

The Best Tour of the Year:
The Bagdad Tour

Dino had always been fascinated by the fact that I grew up in Bagdad, Arizona. About 2.5 hours from Phoenix, Dino and I took the extended route to my hometown:

We first passed through Wickenburg where we stopped at a Woody's convenience store to pick up snacks for the drive up to Bagdad. Just as we were walking out of the store, a girl had recognized Dino as being a part of the Divide Social Club. I had never experienced being around someone with such star power as I had with Dino. This woman would have given her child and the booster seat just to have a picture taken with Dino. As Dino would put it: INCREDIBLE.

Our next stop was in the heart of the Joshua Tree Forest. Dino is the biggest U2 fan that I know and is an even bigger fan of the album The Joshua Tree. This was a must stop for a few photos in front of a Joshua Tree--just for the archives.

45 minutes would pass and we would arrive Bagdad, AZ. Stops included: the "Welcome" sign just before you hit town, the town park; the 1 bar (so we could eat lunch); the 1 grocery store; my old houses in the town; the 1 little league field because a tee ball game was the ONLY THING happening in town at the time; and a trip to the BAX (Bagdad Airport) where it was the only place we got reception on our cell phones and the only place you never saw a plane take off.

The Best Bar of the Year for Crazy Shit to Happen:
The Martini Ranch

In the year that I have made my resurgence to The Martini Ranch, I have to give this bar major thumbs up for the good times. Not only has the staff been very good to me there, I have made quite a few friends at this bar and will make it THE ONLY BAR I will enjoy in Scottsdale. The Ranch has always treated me good ever since I met Anna Faris (Dino can confirm this event) the year prior. 2009 good times include:

1. Posting up at the outside bar with Dino and Corbin
2. Counting douchebags with Affliction and Ed Hardy t-shirts
3. Hugging my hot bartender friend, Lauren, and staring for hours
4. Taking shots with Mullet Mike, Adan, Corbin and Bret Vesely for my birthday (Corbin faked he took a shot of Patron and drank a sugar line glass with water)
5. Thinking that I made out with a married woman who was just as drunk as I was
6. Watching a woman take her shirt off to show her boobs at the outside bar
7. Two Mexican dudes fighting over some fat chick only to get kicked out minutes later
8. Carrying my brother to his hotel after being annihilated off a few shots and beers--oh and puking along the way.
9. Meeting Vinnie Paul again
10. Watching a Scottsdale douchebag hit on a he/she
11. Participate in the Dino/Anthony College Reunion
12. Participating in the Knowing Anthony Through His Remarkably Hot and Large-breasted Friend, Sunny (who didn't believe I worked at KUPD), Reunion
13. Tweeting my every move at the Ranch for the Twitter administrator for the Dream Palace in Scottsdale
14. Being a dick to every woman who walked up to me just to tell me how much they liked my hair

I know this list doesn't seem so out of control and like the party lifestyle, but I can't possibly give you all the details! Experience it for yourself...

Posted up outside at the Martini Ranch with Dino (Summer 09)

Coolest Phone Interview of the Year:
Milo Ventimiglia

Later in the year, I happened to be giving out the last season of Heroes on DVD. Heroes star, Milo Ventimiglia, caught wind of what I was giving away and decided to give me a call from California just so he could help me promote the release of the DVD set that was being given away. It was quite the shock and honor to have him call me up and I hope to meet this guy someday. One nice mofo.

Chill Song of the Year:
"Soft Tempest" - Symbian Project

Not all the time am I listening to Slipknot, Sepultura, 98 KUPD or rock of any type! I have a Pandora account where I have a Massive Attack radio station created and this song came up this year for me to where I liked listening to it to chill out. I'm like an onion.

Beers of the Year:
Miller High Life and Stella Artois

Miller High Life tall boys were the drink of choice for Bret Vesely and myself at the End of Summer Scorcher 2009. This was Vesely's best idea of the year!

Livin' the High Life with Vesely at Scorcher '09

Vesely got to meet the Miller High Life guy, Wendell, this year!

Stella Artois is the beer of choice when Bret Vesely and I hang out at the Famous Sams in Gilbert.

98 KUPD Fan of the Year:
Nic the Mershbag Marsh

I have no idea who Nic is, but he sure as hell bought me and The Vesely plenty of drinks one night. This guy couldn't believe he was partying with us.

Drug of the Year:
Ibuprofren from Costco

Aided in many days when I was nursing a hangover.

Playstation Network Handle Name of the Year:

I'm always amused by the array of names that people think up when they play games online. Because I'm not as original as some of the gamers online, I keep my online handle name pretty simple. But there is ONE DEFINITE NAME that wins my vote for the Handle Name of the Year--but please don't think that I'm a racist or predjudice because I have added the person to my friend list. I have added him because I want to compile as many politically incorrect and derogatory names as possible just for fun. I would be lying if I didn't tell you that each time I log into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, I somehow get matched up with IKillBlackBabies. I don't think I laughed harder any other time that I did that day because I couldn't believe that the Playstation Network let that name pass. That name is the ultimate WIN for 2009 Playstation names. Oh, and the Runner-up is: IKilled2Pac. Why is it so funny to me? Both of the people who own the names are black. WTF?

Stay tuned for tomorrow's continuation of the Shan Man Best Of 2009...


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