Archive for the ‘Need a Home’ Category


[Important Note: If you're of the conservative or sensitive type and still haven't heard the song (good for you!), I wouldn't suggest you watch the video at the end of this post.]

Rihanna and Chris Brown concert. Brisbane Ente...

Rihanna in Concert (Image via Wikipedia)

One day after Rihanna took her Twitter to announce that she would collaborate with non-other than pop princess,  Britney Spears, a remix of RiRi’s international hit S&M popped up on YouTube, and I’m sure many people’s fantasies just came true (especially considering how Spears has perfected the art of moaning through most of her songs).

The tune, an ode to everything sadomasochism, is not for the faint-hearted or the conservative. The original version has been playing on the radio for a while, even though in the UK the title had to be changed to the refrain “Come On” to make it less shocking.

Though named as a “remix,” there isn’t much change in this edition. The opening beats and synths are slightly changed and the the “na na na come on”s are stronger and more forceful because there’s two voices getting them out there. The alternation of which performer sings what part is definitely very-well thought out and just adds to the intensity of the whole thing.

The second verse of the song though gets the most significant update as the lyrics are changed to “just one night full of sin, feel the pain on your skin, to promise me mercy, it’s your turn to hurt me. If I’m bad, tie my down, shut me up, [...] cause the pain is my pleasure, nothing comes better.” This is most probably because Britney does the singing here and her vocals are not as high as Rihanna, or they just felt like changing things for this new release.

I am not going to comment on the overall lyrics and message because I don’t find this song to be representative of what music should be nor do I like Rihanna, especially after she went all pixie-cut and transformed her R&B style to pure club-pop. It’s a pure exploration of fantasies but should not be as commercially spread as it is right now because it caters to a small population. Plus, imagine your little sister singing that song while she doesn’t understand the lyrics!

But do I like Britney and Rihanna duetting?

Of course I do!

It’s a match made in pop music heaven!  Spears is certainly a hot commodity right now with two new singles and an album, Femme Fattale, topping the charts and receiving much critical acclaim. Rihanna, on the other hand, has been riding out the success of 2010’s smash collaboration with Eminem, though her album Loud has not been up to par.

So this music fan right here is hoping that the two get together really soon and make something from scratch because if they were individually able to take the music world by storm, there’s no end to what they could do together!


Tom and I started TnT in June 2010 to find a mutual space to vent out everything we were feeling and experiencing as two 20-somethings living and studying in Beirut.

Vista de la ciudad de Beirut, Líbano.

Beirut, We love you. But our blog was not doing you any justice. (Image via Wikipedia)

We loved posting almost everyday, especially because there’s so much going on and so much space to talk. We also brought our passions into the picture and ended up with TnT: A Blog About Life and Everything in Between.

Our initial approach to the blog sometimes felt off, especially that the Lebanese blogosphere has so many incredible people putting their thoughts together, so eloquently if I must add. To be honest, we felt that we could’t compete with the attention that all the others could get because maybe our approach wasn’t as authentic as it should be.

There was one thing, however, that seemed to be working perfectly for us: talking about the things we love. For me, that love has always been music, and for Tom, it’s always been basketball.

We stopped blogging for a while because we got so caught up in finishing our undergraduate studies. What happened during that hiatus really surprised us. Though we had stopped publishing anything new, we were still averaging a lot of views per day, and most of those views were coming to the articles we had written about music and sports.

So Tom and I sat and discussed everything. Initially, I resisted because I was trying to establish a separate blog with more flexibility than WordPress. The more I thought about it, though, I realized that even if we got zero visitors, I’d still be happy because I was getting my opinion there and sharing a blog with someone I deeply respect and admire. Tom agreed and we set upon reviving the blog, shortening the name to TnT: Tom and Tal and adding a whole new tag line.  We also changed the design and add bios-(Mine can be found here)

We’re still 20-somethings living and studying in Beirut, but this time around, we’re focusing on the things we know and love-and we’re sure others do too.

And even if we don’t end up being a nationally renowned blog, all that matters is that we’re having fun writing and sharing.


This video was created by a Cleveland filmmaker yesterday.

LeBron said that “they could do better.”

What do you think?


In the Washington Wizards’ hope opener last night, John Wall did the Dougie dance in the introductions. The Wizards beat the Philadelphia 76ers for the first win 116-115 in OT. Wall had 29 points, 13 assists and 9 steals in the win.

And here’s the Dougie dance:


I saw this Nike ad that LeBron James made recently. I got to admit, Nike are working really hard on making LeBron James look good again, since he did damage his “brand” after that horrible ESPN special he had in July. You do not ditch your hometown team on national TV and expect to get away with it. Tiger Woods might be wondering why didn’t Nike call him instead.

This is one of the first ads that I actually found interesting, and I feel that a lot of people can connect to it, not just LeBron James or any basketball player. Any person can ask himself or other people this question. In this case, LeBron is asking what should he do; should he admit what he did was wrong, should he remind us he did it before, should he believe he ruined his legacy, or should he take the role of the villain?

In this ad, LeBron just seems to be answering the critics by asking meaningful questions. Questions that people have been asking all summer long. Why did LeBron do this? Why did LeBron leave Cleveland? Is it because of the money? I don’t think so, because Cleveland could offer him more. Is it because of the rings? I think so, but isn’t that going to tarnish his legacy? He’ll never be mentioned in the same breath as his idol Michael Jordan. Hell, I don’t think he should be compared to Kobe even.

I personally think he made the wrong decision, and I wanted him to stay with Cleveland. But again, maybe we wanted James to be loyal. Maybe we wanted him to be the Superman of his team, not Robin to Dwayne Wade’s Batman. Maybe we thought he could be better than Mike, and all be witnesses to the greatest.

He doesn’t seem to be or think so. He doesn’t want to be who we want him to be.

He wants to be who he wants to be.

And he wants more thing:

A question to be answered:

What should I do?


After seven years, the Cleveland Cavaliers are playing their first game without LeBron James.

And they got their first one.

Playing back in the Q, the Cleveland Cavaliers got their first win in as many tries and delivered the first loss to the Boston Celtics, who defeated LeBron James and the Miami Heat one night ago.

With a packed arena that had the atmosphere of an NBA Finals Game 7, JJ Hickson led the Cavs with 21 points to their first victory, giving possibly a lot of hope to the fans of Cleveland that life may be good after all without LeBron.

Cleveland fans were grateful for Boston, since the Celtics beat LeBron one night earlier, and then lost to the Cavs. With this win, I don't expect to see much of these.

The game was a tight one for three and a half quarters, where no team was able to hold on to a good lead.

Until the last half of the 4th quarter, where Anthony Parker broke a tie at 86 with a three pointer shot at the last second of the 24 second shot clock. And it was all Cleveland from there, where Daniel Gibson, scoring all of his 16 points in the second half, scored 4 crucial free throws in the final seconds to clinch the first LeBron-less win 95-87.

Meanwhile, Rajon Rondo was in charge for Boston, scoring 18 points and having 9 assists and 3 steals. Paul Pierce had 13 points and Ray Allen added 12 points while Kevin Garnett collected 15 rebounds in the Celtics’ first loss.

Meanwhile, the Miami Heat scored their first victory of the season in their second road game, beating the Philadelphia 76ers 97-87. Dwayne Wade had 30 points, LeBron scored 16 points, had 7 rebounds, 6 assists but turned the ball over 9 times. Chris Bosh finished with 15 points, but the real savior of the Heat was bench player James Jones, who scored 20 points, including six 3-pointers.


For all those interested, I found the video for the Los Angeles Lakers’ ring ceremony that took place last night. It was something for all Lakers’ fans, as they managed to raise their 16th banner and collect the 2010 championship rings, which were made out of 2010 NBA Finals Game 7 ball’s leather that crowned the Lakers champs.

What’s special about this ring ceremony is how the Lakers’ players all introduced one another after receiving their rings, which made them look more of a family rather than a team (and it also brought back the attention to the champs, not the wannabe champs).

Interesting points I noticed:

  • If you pay attention when they are introducing the team staff, you’d notice that Tanter (the announcer) skips over an assistant coach and jumps off to Kareem Abdul Jabbar. That guy’s name is Rashard Hazzard and he happens to be another special assistant coach (He got to thank the announcer, Hazzard is now like 100 times famous because of that and is being searched over the Internet. Like they say, any publicity is good publicity).
  • Adam Morrison getting booed when Phil Jackson said his name (Well, after all, the guy literally did NOTHING in the Finals).
  • At first, it sounded like Luke Walton was getting booed for some reason when coach Jackson introduced him. Turned out the crowd yelled “Luuuuuuuuuuuuuuke”. Makes sense.
  • They showed Khloe Kardashian when Lamar Odom received his ring, but it seems Maria Sharapova wasn’t there to witness her fiancee Sasha Vujacic’s second ring ceremony. It looks like the relationship is not TMZ material just yet.
  • Andrew Bynum introduced Pau Gasol as the “greatest all around big” in the game (Bye bye Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki), Shannon Brown introduced Derek Fisher as “El Presidento”, Derek Fisher introduced Kobe Bryant as the “greatest basketball player in the world” (Take that LeBron!) and Kobe Bryant introduced Dr. Jerry Buss as the “greatest owner in team sports history”.
  • Ron Artest is giving out his ring in a raffle to raise metal health awareness (like the cause, but seriously dude, the ring?).
  • Gotta love those that are called as “Special Assistant coaches”. Just say what they do!

As you all know, less than 24 hours ago marked the beginning of the 2010/2011 NBA season where the opening day featured three games: the new look Miami Heat losing to the Eastern champs Boston Celtics, the Portland Trailblazers defeated the Phoenix Suns, and the defending champs Los Angeles Lakers rallying from a 15 point deficit to knock out the Houston Rockets.

Miami's center Joel Anthony and their lack of frontcourt made Shaquille look like he was 27

In the most watched regular season game EVER on cable, the Boston Celtics hosted the Miami Heat in the first game of the season. Everybody was waiting to see the Miami Heat in action, rather the presence of MVP LeBron James and Chris Bosh alongside to Dwayne Wade. As usual, the TD Garden’s crowd was merciless, shouting overrated everytime the Heat had the ball and booing LeBron James upon possesion. The Heat had one of the most sluggish and rusty first quarters in their history, scoring only 9 points in the first 12 minutes to trail the Celtics by 7. The second quarter started and the turnover party of the Miami Thrice, well basically James and Wade, kept on going on eventually helping the Celtics to gain a lead as much as 19 points and making Shaquille O’Neal looking younger than ever and Marquis Daniels play like a superstar, eventually ending the first half leading 45-30.

James started to make more of his shots, and slowly, he and Carlos Arroyo brought the Miami Heat back into the game, making the most anticipated game as interesting as it should be, with James scoring 15 of his 31 points in this quarter, with the Heat only trailing by six by the end of 3 quarters. However, Paul Pierce wouldn’t let his Celtics fall, and made one of the biggest statements in the game by standing in James’ way as he was running on the fast break, committing a blocking foul and making sure that the East champs are not ready to surrender their Eastern title yet. Pierce sat out a bit and came back in, knocked down two straight three pointers and drew a foul off a three point shot to kill the Heat, who were shooting abysmally throughout the game, starting with a miserable 23% in the first half and eventually only 37%, leaving the Celtics to hold off a late Heat charge and win the game 88-80. LeBron James had 31 points, yet 8 turnovers for the Heat, in addition to Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh having miserable games, with Wade’s 13 points off 4 for 16 shooting  and 6 turnovers and Chris Bosh scoring a measly 8 points. Ray Allen led the way for the Celtics with 20 points, getting help from Pierce (19 points, 9 rebounds) and an astonishing performance from Rajon Rondo (17 assists, most ever in an opening game). The Celtics fly to Cleveland to play the Cavaliers, while the Heat finish their first back-to-back in Philadelphia against their 76ers.

The opening night continued with another rematch of last year’s playoffs, this time in Portland with the Phoenix Suns visiting the Trailblazers. As expected, the game started as a really close one, with no team being able to get in control, despite the fact that the Phoenix Suns were playing their first official game without Amare Stoudemire since losing him to the New York Knicks in free agency. The Blazers led by 2 at the end of the first quarter, and finished the first half up by 4 behind the good play of Brandon Roy and newcomer Wesley Matthews. The Phoenix Suns started the third quarter strong, behind Jason Richardson’s excellent play, giving the Suns a ten point advantage in the third quarter and end up by 6. Pprtland came back from the dead in mid fourth, ending the game on an 18-1 run to win it all 106-92 behind Roy’s 24 points, Nicholas Batum’s 19 points and 11 rebounds, and Matthews’ 13 points off the bench. Steve Nash had 26 points, 6 assists, but 9 turnovers for the Suns as well as 22 points from Richardson.

The night ended with a ring ceremony where the Los Angeles Lakers received their 2009-2010 championship rings and started their title defense with a tough game against the Houston Rockets, who were playing their first game with Yao Ming, who eventually played 23 minutes as planned, after an absence over a year. The Rockets started out strong in the first half, leading by as much as 11 by halftime (62-51). Then the Lakers stormed back, behind a collaborative performance, starting with Kobe Bryant ( 7 assists, 27 points, 11 on free throws) and Pau Gasol (29 points and 11 rebounds) and eventually Shannon Brown going off like a loose cannon after the Lakers trailed by as much as 15, scoring 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, and eventually Lakers new acquistion Steve Blake putting the icing on the cake, scoring three 3 pointers, including the go ahead, to win the game 112-110. Houston Rockets were led by Kevin Martin’s 26 points and Aaron Brooks’ 24 points, while Yao Ming had 9 points and 11 rebounds.

Kobe Bryant kissing his fifth ring - hopefully not last.

TnT’s Excellence of the Night: Paul Pierce (BOS, 17 points, 9 rebounds), Nicholas Batum (POR, 19 points, 11 rebounds), Shannon Brown (LAL, 16 points).

TnT’s Must-NOT-See Players of the Night: Miami’s bench, Dwayne Wade & Chris Bosh (44points on 15 for 49, 9 TOs)

TnT’s Leaders of the Night: LeBron James (MIA, 31 points), Luis Scola (HOU, 16 rebounds), Rajon Rondo (BOS, 17 assists)



As you all know, at 2:30 AM Beirut time, the 64th NBA season kicks off with a rematch of one of last year’s first round playoff series with NBA East Champs Boston Celtics hosting the new look Miami Heat. Well, the Boston Celtics also had made a lot of adjustments, including adding the two O’Neals (Shaquille and Jermaine) to boost their frontcourt and former Cavalier Delonte West, now that starting center Kendrick Perkins is out until January due to an injury sustained in last season’s NBA Finals Game 7 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.

Miami's new Big Three vs Boston's not so new Big Three

The bigger story of the game however, is going to be the debut of the Miami Thrice, that includes Dwayne Wade in addition to Miami’s two new signings, 2 time reigning MVP LeBron James and former Toronto Raptor Chris Bosh. As you all know, LeBron James received a lot of backlash after his infamous ESPN special “The Decision”, where he decided to screw over the entire city of Cleveland by declaring that he is taking his talents to South Beach (the Miami Heat) rather than playing for his hometown Cavaliers.

This may be one of the most anticipated openers ever, due to having a lot of other storylines, including:

  • Shaquille O’Neal playing against his former Miami Heat after delivering a championship there in 2006 with D-Wade’s help. Shaq will also be facing Chris Bosh, who he called the NBA’s RuPaul.
  • Delonte West and LeBron James, both former Cavs, will be also playing each other, after rumors surfaced the internet that had something to do with Delonte West sleeping with LeBron James’s mom, which made many people think was the main reason LeBron turned away from Cleveland and “quitting” in the last 4 games of the East conference semis vs. Boston.
  • How well can the Miami Thrice function together? In the preseason, they only got 197 seconds of playtime together before Dwayne Wade injured himself against Detroit.
  • Could this finally be the year LeBron James gets to win his first title? If he does, will he be playing as many expected Robin to Dwayne Wade’s Batman?
  • This could be the last chance for the Boston Celtics to win it all, with their Big Three all hitting the twilight of their careers and may not get another crack at it in a while.

I am expecting it to be a historical opener, and think that Miami will beat the Celtics tonight.

The night continues with another rematch of last year’s first round series, this time from the Western conference though. Western conference finalists Phoenix Suns, playing their first season with Amare Stoudemire, will be visiting the Portland Trailblazers, who were hacked all year by their stars dealing with injuries.

Who will Nash find this time now that Amare is gone?

Despite reaching the Western conference finals last year, the Phoenix Suns have a very dim chance of repeating so, after losing Stoudemire in free agency to the New York Knicks, killing the Suns’ run-and-gun fast paced offense. Instead, they acquired Hedo Turkuglo from the Toronto Raptors and brought back Josh Childress from Europe. Meanwhile, the Blazers had a bit of dilemma with Rudy Fernandez during the summer, who was asking to be traded and even threatened to leave the NBA to play back in Spain. Yet all seemed to work out on both sides, with Fernandez showing up to training camp and everything back to normal. Portland also traded Jerryd Bayless to New Orleans for a future draft pick and signed Fabricio Oberto.

This should also play out to be an interesting game, and I pretty much expect the Blazers to win the game tonight.

The final game of the night will be the first game of the champions’ title defense. The Los Angeles Lakers will be seeking their third straight title this season by starting off their season hosting the Houston Rockets. Also, many storylines come into play with this matchup, making it also a very interesting one:

  • The Los Angeles Lakers have had a not-so-good preseason, including losing both games in Europe to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Euroleague champions FC Barcelona. I know, Kobe was injured and was having a couple of lousy shooting games and didn’t play much, and that is what worries all Lakers fans. Kobe Bryant says he is ready to play, but as he hits 32, one can only wonder if he is still as good as he was at 30 and even 31. I still have faith in Kobe, as he has built motivation off LeBron James joining his Super Friends in Miami and all the critics who are saying Kobe doesn’t have it in him anymore.
  • Houston Rockets center Yao Ming will be making his return after missing out a full year due to an injury sustained against the Lakers in the 2009 playoffs. According to the Rockets’ management, Ming will have a cap of playing no more than 24 minutes per game and will be monitored by team doctors. His playing time may increase, but all depends.
  • I am personally expecting the Houston Rockets to surprise the NBA with their great lineup. Aaron Brooks, Kevin Martin, Shane Battier, Luis Scola, and Yao Ming. They have a great team on paper, which makes the Western conference interesting, although I don’t see any team threatening the Lakers in the West, which brings us to
  • The Lakers have improved their team and according the team owner Dr. Jerry Buss said back in August that this may be the “greatest Lakers team fielded ever” since he owned the team. And no, Buss didn’t own the team five years ago, he actually has been in charge for over 30 years, in other words, the Showtime Lakers were on his watch and he still thinks that this team is better. I mean, they are returning 9 players from the team that won last season, and they added an amazing point guard in Steve Blake, another tough-minded defensive player in Matt Barnes, and a veteran back-up center in Theo Ratliff. With those three additions, their bench is all toughed up, in addition to the rookies drafted, Devin Ebanks and Derrick Caracter, who will be seeing some playtime this year according to 11 time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson, which leads us to our next point:
  • Will this be Phil Jackson’s last season? The only thing that seems to stop Jackson from coming back next year will be his health. After all, he’s collecting a very decent salary and is dating Buss’s daughter Jeanie. I think Jackson, like Bryant, is now more motivated than ever to coach this season in order to trump the masterpiece Pat Riley has created in Miami by adding James and Bosh.
  • One final point: Will Andrew Bynum be just a role player, or will he able to return a full time player? After suffering injuries in the past 3 years, many, including Jackson, are wondering if Bynum will be able to go through a full NBA season and play full minutes like any other NBA center and deliver performances as he did before hitting the injury bug. I hope he can, after all, he has a lot of potential and I hope him and Blazers’ Greg Oden get to finally get back on track and play amazing basketball without getting hurt.

    Are we going to see this for the third straight year? I think so

  • On an unrelated note, the Lakers will be receiving their rings for winning their 16th NBA championship, but not all of the players are keeping their rings. Why? Ron Artest decided to give away his ring, first in an auction but recently in a raffle (lottery), to promote the cause of metal health awareness and according to him it will serve as motivation to strive for another ring. Tickets for the raffle cost $2 and you can a buy a minimum of 5 at http://www.ronartest.com .

I expect the Lakers to start their title defense with a win despite the strength of this year’s Rockets.

I am really excited about this season, as David Stern said earlier this summer, this season we might be experiencing the “greatest basketball ever”. All 30 NBA teams are loaded, with teams being better than others of course. Every NBA team has at least one superstar and most have former or current All-Stars, which makes this season more tempting than ever. I advise everyone to watch the three games tonight, and if not all, at least the Heat-Celtics and Rockets-Lakers games.

NBA…Where Amazing (and a bunch of other cool stuff) Happens


I don’t know if you heard about this incident, as it stirred some debate back in the States, but here’s some background:

A few weeks ago, NFL’s  Dallas Cowboys ‘ rookie Dez Bryant refused to to go through the NFL’s rites of passage by carrying his veteran teammate Roy Williams’ shoulder pads during training camp. As you may not know, some of these things do not go unpunished.

How was Bryant punished? Let’s say he had to take his teammates out to Pappas Bros. Steakhouse for dinner. Well that is a huge team, with all the quarterbacks, recievers, etc…, so you are expecting Bryant to pay a huge bill. Well I don’t know what ‘huge’ is in your dictionaries, but I’d say $54,896 is a huge number, especially for a rookie NFL player. So what if he signed an $8.3 million dollar contract? That is still a lot of money.

That dinner tab sparked some debate on national news, and a few weeks later, Dez Bryant said that he found it funny. “It was always funny” said Bryant in his first public comments since the incident.

Reporters tried to stir some conflict by pinning Williams taking revenge from the rookie for not carrying his pads, but he denied so and claims to have a good relationship with Bryant.