Friday, May 28, 2010

Why the greatest racer in the country isn't in the Indy 500

The two most dominant drivers in the country won’t be racing in the Indianapolis 500 tomorrow. They might not even be in attendance. Race fans will debate over who will take the checkered flag this year. Will Helio repeat? Or how about Danica? Scott Dixon maybe? While hundreds of thousands will gather in Indy to witness speed at its greatest on its biggest stage the future of racing lies in two kids who are years from being able to drive legally.

Who are these whippersnappers, you ask? Meet Santino Ferruci, an 11 year-old from Woodbury, Connecticut with the racing smarts of a seasoned veteran and swagger to back up every one of his towering trophies, and Jack Miller Jr., a confident and fearless six year-old from Westfield, Indiana who’s been racing since age four and has never been beaten.

So who’s the better driver? Let’s take a look.

Santino Ferrucci – “The most dominant young racer in America.” –GQ

Featured in: GQ magazine, May issue (by Josh Dean)

Record: Hasn’t lost in over 2 years in the U.S. Northeast Region

Weight: 60 pounds

Toughness: Has flipped on 5 occasions. No injuries.

Pedigree: Supportive father

Racing Idols: Michael Shumacher, Lewis Hamilton

Beats kids older than him: Yes

Home track: Oakland Valley Race Park in Cuddeback, NY

Swagger: Nickname "Smooth" has nothing to do with racing. From GQ: One night Santino dined with his dad at a Florida Hooters when Santino wandered off and was spotted chatting up a gaggle of waitresses. A good while later, he came back and said, “Dad, I’m going to the movies with them at nine. Don’t worry – it’s right across the street.”

Legend: Wins all of his races with blurry vision. He’s getting glasses soon. He says he wins because he has great “hand talent” which he says means “knowing when to turn.”

Jack Miller Jr. – “The winner of the 2025 Indianapolis 500.” –Indianapolis Monthly

Featured in: Indianapolis Monthly magazine, May issue (by Daniel S. Comiskey)

Record: Unbeaten

Weight: 40 pounds

Toughness: Watched video of his dad’s career ending fiery crash in 2001 and earned his own trip to the hospital by flipping his kart. None of it scares him.

Pedigree: His dad, Jack Miller Sr., raced in the Indianapolis 500 from 1997-1999

Racing Idol: His dad

Beats kids older than him: Yes

Home track: The one in his back yard built by his dad.

Winning quote: “I want to win every race. It will be easy. I’m going to lap the entire field. They try to beat me, but they never will.”

Swagger: While I was talking to his dad over the phone, Jack Jr. yelled from the background, “There’s just no competition!”

Legend: Decided to start a race in last even though he had won the pole (which would enable him to start first) because races were too easy. He still won.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Music Videos That Move You...Or Make You Move

Music videos are one of my favorite art forms besides the music itself. I feel videos are in a really good place right now, especially with summer upon us. The storylines are unique and/or haven’t been seen in a while, particularly in hip-hop and R&B. Even the ones that aren’t so creative have elements of excitement in them. I’ve decided to feature six of my current favorites from Drake, Alicia Keys, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Diddy, and Ciara along with my thoughts afterwords. Listen to them, let them move you, or make you move… even if you can’t quite move like Ciara. And ladies, I know you’re going to go home and try. Enjoy.

Drake – “Find Your Love”

First of all, “Find Your Love” is quite a risk for Drake. Why? Well, it’s produced by Kanye West (not a risk), but it has more of a somber 808’s and Heartbreak feel more than raw hip-hop like his previous single “Over”. Nevertheless, Drake hits this one out the park, meaning the risk was worth it.

As for the video itself, I think the idea and storyline is great. I saw a very funny tweet on Twitter the other day about this video. It read, “Let Drake’s ‘Find Your Love’ be a lesson to you all. Don’t ever chase a girl to Jamaica and dutty wine with her in the club. She will kill you.”


Alicia Keys - “Un-thinkable (I’m Ready)”

Beautiful song. The video is emotional and touches on a subject that absurdly still bothers some today: Interracial love. I love how the settings switch back and forth between point of views times and the emotion of the actors feels real. Great song, even better video.

Mary J. Blige f/ Trey Songz – “We Got Hood Love”

The queen of R&B is sharper than ever. This song is classic Mary, yet the tune is so modern and new. I really like the plot of the video, it touches on the one thing that will make or break a relationship: trust. Waiting on their men to come home, wondering if he’s out doing dirt, is a feeling many women everywhere are all too familiar with. This video shows it well. If you’ve got that “hood love” you’ll withstand anything.

Usher f/ – “OMG”

Autotune is not dead (sorry Jigga) and neither are drop-crotch pants (I wish they were). Usher rocked this produced track and showed out in the video with his signature dance moves and smooth R&B look. I can’t say there’s much creativity in this video, but I like the song and I enjoy watching Usher dance… and peep the red pocket square with the white blazer. I will be stealing that look.

Diddy: Dirty Money f/ Rick Ross & T.I. – “Hello Good Morning”

Nothing creative or new about this video. Everything is done on a large scale just how Diddy likes, I can dig it. I like Dirty Money’s look and the song makes me wanna dance.

Ciara f/ Ludacris – “Ride”

Uh…ummm… er… Go Braves!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Jay-Z Performances on SNL

Saturday night I stayed in and took in some SNL. I haven't been keeping up with the show lately but I decided to take interest this weekend because Betty White was hosting and Jay-Z performed. It was probably the best non-election SNL I've ever seen. All of the skits were great and Betty White was hilarious. while I'm not posting any skits, below I've posted Jay-Z's performances. The Roc was definitely in the building!

I bet you're wondering who the girl was singing with Jay-Z on "Empire State of Mind". Her name is Bridget Kelly (or B.K.). She may look like an Alicia Keys stunt double, but B.K. is a true force to be reckoned with. The 22-year-old NYC native was recently signed to Jay's Roc Nation label. Many won't like this, but I like her voice on the song better than I do Alicia Keys. I actually heard her live at a Jay-Z concert in Indy in March. Kelly is also easy on the eyes (I think I'm in love). Follow her on Twitter and search for her videos on Youtube. She's a budding star and is bound to capture the hearts many outside the Empire State, too.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New York Observations Part II

I'm back in good 'ol Indiana but I still have more observations to spill.

Men in New York are always popping their collars - even on their suit jackets! I was somewhat surprised by this, but I did like it. On my last day in the city I decided to pop mine as well. Although, I was wearing a Nautica shirt where underneath the collar were the words "Nautica". Therefore, it needed to be shown.

Walking on Broadway in Soho is like attending a fashion show - or 20 of them. I saw so many different styles there. It was amazing. Big shades, bold leggings, jagged hemlines, cropped pants, crazy hairdo's, bold tank tops, sequins, feathers, big handbags, boots of all kinds, suits, ties, flannels, etc. I could go on and on. As my style continues to evolve, I'll fit right in.

'The Espy II" at ESPN Zone on 4 Times Square is the best alcoholic drink I've ever tasted. Although, it was $10 a glass.

The Subway system seems intimidating if you've never used it. I know I was worried about it. But once I actually got over my worry and fear, I found it to be quite easy. Now, I did get lost trying to get to Soho and somehow ended up in Brooklyn ( I really liked BK, too), but I recovered and by the end of the week I was good. If you're ever in New York and you're not sure how to get around just go to It's the mapquest for the subways/buses.

With that being said, I can see why same people are willing to pay more in order to live in the city, closer to work instead of going cheaper by living on the outskirts. I'd consider doing the same.

Times Square is all that you see on TV and more. Billboards are HUGE and everything is just on a grand scale. It's almost ridiculous, but I love it.

Nothing is weird in New York. I mean nothing. You an be you no matter how weird you think you may be and people will appreciate it.

The only grass I saw in the city was at Bryant Park. And it's beautiful. I'd get married in that park.