Saturday, August 14, 2010

Caaa li for ni aaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Days 2-5

[Current date is 4/12/11. I began this chronicle quite some time ago as you can see on the post date. I decided not to change it. A reminder to myself to keep up with this blog. Thanks for bearing with me. On to it...]

For those just checking in, this is an entry of part of my trip to California 7/28-8/5. No it wasn't my first trip out there. I used to live there years ago and still have friends and family out there. Here is the first part of the trip. Now we will continue:

So, Kristof warns me right before we crash that he's got several alarms that will go off and he doesn't always hear them right away, so don't kill him. ;-) Okay. So, we go to sleep and the next thing I know I am awoken to some really strange foreign language music. I crane my neck around and see that he is not waking up. Okay. I carefully extract myself from this freakin' hammock, step over to the bed, and tap his foot. He wakes. Hey. Hey. He turns off that machine, I carefully crawl back into the hammock. Slowly drifting back into la-la land then suddenly, more music! I turn and look but this time his eyes pop open and he stops that one. Drift away. I slowly drift back into reality to the beat of what seems like techno house music but is actually the sound of a real annoying alarm clock. The BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP kind. I turn and crane again. He ain't wakin' up this time. Quick contemplation: I get up I ain't gettin' back in this damn hammock. I'm already comfortable, I don't want to move. Wait...He still ain't movin'! Shit! I proceed to extricate my long form out of the hammock once again, I turn his super fan away from the bed, then I crawl into the other side while simultaneously shoving him awake. Hmmm, thanks man. You're welcome. He turns off the the offending machine, we drift again. The next one goes off. He woke up finally with that one. I vaguely acknowledge that he is actually up and moving around, getting ready for work. He asks me something and we converse for a few then I drift off and he goes to work. When I wake up a few hours later I think, What a hell of a morning.

I get up and get a beer out the 'fridge and park myself at the desk to check facebook. A few beers, cigarettes, a tea, a coconut water, some links, articles and blog checks later Chris calls me around noon. I think. Might have been a bit later. But not by much. Don't stay on the phone for long because, you know, I'm in Cali already, so I get the new address and get ready to hit the road. Don't remember if I mentioned this yet, but, I really really like my new iPhone4! Between that and Kristof's computer I mapped a route to Chris' house. He made mention that I might find the area familiar and he was so right! It is the same exact exit I used to take to get to the hospital that Veronica used to always go to, except in the opposite direction. He was back in the I.E., that's the Inland Empire for you non-Californians. I called Kristof and let him know that I was on my way back to the IE to see Chris. I left the address on the desk so he could come out, too. I pack my stuff up, grab some drinks out the 'fridge, no beer of course, and go get Bumblebee. Traffic in Cali is still as fucked up as it was when I used to live there, if not worse. Here is where I discover that the map app on my iPhone has a built in GPS. Reeeeeally?! I was so stoked about this and still driving that I didn't have time to fully figure out how to work it but I was really happy. Driving on 91 I see there are quite a lot of new buildings and developed areas along the freeway and it just drives home how long I've been gone. Doesn't take me that long to get to Chris', pretty much a straight shot on 91, so, I pulled into his driveway in no time. Chris comes out of the house as I get out of the car. I don't even think we said hi, we just hugged each other. Ever hugged someone and had a complete conversation within the hug? Yeah, one of those. Pulled away looked at each other grinning big and hugged again. Yup, we're friends in the truest sense of that word.

Continued in next post...

Caaa li for ni aaaaaaaaa!!!!!! Day 1

[Current date is 4/11/11. I began this chronicle quite some time ago as you can see on the post date. I decided not to change it. A reminder to myself to keep up with this blog. Thanks for bearing with me. On to it...]

So, the last week of July into the first week of August I went back to California. The reason for the trip was to see friends and family not seen for some years. Except for V's Mom I haven't seen my Cali peeps in 3 years. Long overdue trip. (I was thinking 5 cause that was a fun time. 3 years I go I went for a quick trip 'cause V died. I don't think I've written about that yet.) SO, needless to say this was a fun trip. [I'm sure I've forgotten some details but not a lot.] So let's do this from beginning to end.

A while ago I decided I needed to go back to Cali. I missed my
friends. And I needed a break from NY. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE NY! NY is HOME! But I'm a bit older now (just a bit) and I've, actually, been around the world, so I don't really want to live in NY anymore. It's just convenient for now. Anyways, I call Kristof and let him know I'm comin'. "Cool,' he says, "just call me right before you come so I'm ready." Not ready in preparation just that he's busy and he forgets so I literally called him the day before to remind him. No problem. I flew on JetBlue 'cause 5 years ago, when David and Lisa got married, they flew Jetblue and David said it was a nice flight. Ever since wanted to try 'em. So I did. Nice flight, too. In the airport I wound up buying some noise-cancelling headphones after consulting with David. He'd bought some for his recent trip around the Mediterranean and had nothing but great things to say. Right again. If you travel and have the means I highly suggest you get some. Wonderful! And they were compatible with the plane system so I didn't have to buy the cheap airline headphones for $7. They actually had satellite cable and xm radio on the plane. One of the first times I stayed awake for a whole flight. I was watching Natl.Geo. and Anim.Pla., and VH1. I actually watched the Behind the Music for Courtney Love. It wasn't that bad. Flight went well. Took a lot of pictures in flight for those who've never flew or flew cross country before. Interesting and big country we live in. Most people just don't know.

So, I land in LAX and call Kristof from the plane and he's basically already waiting for me at the curb when I come out of the terminal. Love that dude. We find our way to Hertz for my rental car. I had registered online for a Pontiac G6. I like those. They drive really nice. Got a ticket in one once. But while waiting in line I see they are advertising they have the brand new 2011 Chevrolet Camaro for rent. Uhhhhhh yeah. I think I might upgrade ;-)! But the damn line was so long that by the time I got to the counter I forgot about it, I just wanted to get my car and go. The Customer service rep. asked if I wanted to try out the Camaro. Oh yeah, I said, I meant to ask about that. We have red she says. Nah, what else you got. She clicks some keyboard keys, Yellow. Hmmmm, me in a yellow car? She laughs. I can see that, I say. But any other colors. I was hoping for a nice charcoal grey. I really like that colour on cars. Alas there were no others. Yellow it is. At this time the big robot didn't occur to me. (If you don't get that, you will soon.) I get my paperwork and proceed to leave. Oh wait, she says, I forgot to tell you I gave you the satellite radio for free, and she tells me how to access it. Cool bonus! It pays to be nice and smile with people who are helping you. I been on the other side of that counter, good customers so make a difference. Out to THE CAR. It is SO beautiful in the warm bright southern California sun. I immediately whipped out my new iPhone and began taking pics. And sending them out. My Big Bro was the first to send me a response reminding me of what this car is (remember I mentioned a big robot?): BUMBLEBEE!!!!!!!!!!

I was going to be driving Bumblebee around for a week! SWEEEEEET!!!!! Couldn't believe I forgot that. However, I was very excited to see my friends so I may be forgiven my lapse of geekiness. In a very controlled manner I drive to the exit and pull up next to Kristof. He grins big. Sweet!, he says. Oh yeah. So we stop at a Bk down the block for a bite to eat. When we come out an actual bee is on the car. By the time I get my damn phone out to take a pic it flew away. I really mention this little detail because it happened several times during my week in Cali. Several! Not once did I get the pic of the bumblebee on Bumblebee. That would have been so cool! Ah well, I have the memories and my mind is sharp. Onwards, I follow Kristof to his apartment. Familiarly comfortable. I have stayed there every time I have visited since I left. [He really needs to buy a house, but he is super picky. But so am I ;-)] I like that little aparment, though. Kris has to go back to work, so he gives me the key and he's gone. I walk across the street to the equivalent of a NYC bodega. It's a liquor store as well so even better. I buy a bunch of stuff I figure I need for a few days of crashing: a bunch of teas, coconut water, chips, ramen soup bowls, a six pack of Dos Equis Dark and a 375ml JW Black Label. Always wanted to try it and figured the pint would be too small for a week. I drinks :-). Didn't really do much but lounge around and unwind. Now here is where the uncanny luck of my charmed life begins to kick in. I didn't really prepare and plan this trip out. I didn't have an itinerary. I just came out and wanted to see my friends. My nimrod ass didn't actually call anyone prior to arriving except Kristof. Oh and Oui on facebook. But that's it. SO, later that afternoon I decide to call Chris. No answer. I leave a message hoping that it is still his number. I then proceed to send an email, again, hoping it is still active and used. [Been a few years, remember?] Much later, he calls back and I'm ecstatically bouncing around Kristof's tiny apartment. He's out with the family and on vacation this week. He will call me back the next morning. No problem! I am a happy dude at this point. How lucky am I that not only is the number still good but he happens to be on VACATION the very week I show up out of the blue?

Anyways, Kristof is working late, which has become a habit of his I find out for the last few years, and a reason for him telling me to thank god I don't work in Acctng. and Finance any more. Done. So, Beersingh calls me up. His name is Chris too, but when speaking about him he is referred to by his last name. One, there are just too many Chris' in the crew, and two, it's a cool name. And easily used to humorous effect. [He's a New Yorker, like me, though, so I wouldn't suggest that last unless you really know him. ;-)] Beersingh comes to pick me up. He wants to show me his new house. It is nice. And he still keeps his protections close at hand, also like me. We chill and talk. His brother starts playing a game but quickly turns it off and we flip some channels until we settle on The Best of the Best 2. Cheesy movie but I like it. Some decent fights in it. (The first one is classic.) Eventually Kristof shows up. He chills a bit but he is tired so we leave not long after he arrives. Back at Kris' we talk while drinking a few beers and smoking cigarettes. And eventually crash for the night. Now Kris used to have a futon but now he has this indoor hammock contraption. Once you situate yourself properly on it it's actually not too bad to sleep on.

That's day 1 of being back in Cali. I was going to write the whole trip in one blog but my visit with Chris and his family truly deserves it's own post. So take a break, then on to the next one.

More Bumblebee!!! And ME!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Starshine - In the Beginning

Some know the tale of The Starshine and many do not. I've regaled many an enraptured listener of how I came to be the human companion to The Starshine but never set the tale down in written form...until now.

I was called to The Starshine from afar. I was stationed in Arizona and had received orders to report to California. I was in the Air Force. It was 1997. My good friend Kim F. and her fiance were stationed in California as well. I had expressed the desire for a pet. They had retrievers and were familiar with the places in which to acquire a pet. I had been in Cali for about three months at this time. At that time I would have preferred a dog but I knew I would not have the space or time to devote to a dog. Not the kind of dog I'd be happy with. [A bit of background: My childhood years, there were dogs. I liked them and they liked me. Never really liked cats. The first cat I ever knew was my Nannie's cat, Biafra, a jet black cat. An EVIL fucking cat. Biafra like NO ONE. Except my Nannie. Never stopped me from trying to make friends though. I was a baby really and they're all stubborn as shit. Dummys. So, yeah, all my following cat experiences weren't all that good either, until I met my Spirit-Brother David. David had a cat at his house named Tiger. For a house cat, he was a tiger. I affectionately called him a house lion because he was solid muscle. Not many house cats are built like that. And Tiger liked me. Tiger is the reason I felt comfortable deciding on getting a cat instead of a dog. Now back to the tale of The Starshine.] SO, I decided since I couldn't get a real dog because I only had a one bedroom apartment, and didn't want to leave a dog in said apartment all day, day after day, I'd get a cat instead. Kim and her fiance, Tim, took me to a local animal shelter. I already knew if I was going to save a kitty from a shelter I was going to get a new one, not an older one that may have damage I wasn't ready or willing to deal with. All the kittens were kept in a small room all to themselves. No older big cats. So into the kitten room I went. I am instantly barraged with a cloud of mews and almost meows. I am assaulted by a multicolored moving carpet armed with needles. I kneel down and play with the separate components of this moving carpet to see who I see and who sees me. Well, as I kneel among these needle-armed furballs a race begins. A race of ultimate endurance and strength and perseverance. Quite possibly a race of life and death. A few of these needle clawed puffballs decided it was a good idea to climb this new obstacle, toy, scratch post that was me. In the lead was a white and gray not-so-puffy ball of fur and lagging behind in second place was a determined tiny, tiny, multicolored ball of fluff and then a few kids who just really wanted to play with no determination to win. Now I'm laughing and wincing at the same time: laughing 'cause a whole room full of kittens is just fun, wincing 'cause these little fuckers literally have needles for claws. And I am fascinatingly amused and enthralled at the herculean efforts made by these two kittens to climb the Everest that is me. The ghost puff is on my left side and the rainbow puff is on my right side. The ghost on my left reaches my shoulder but kind of slides off to the front. I grit my teeth 'cause in the effort to catch himself the needles come out fully and slip right through the flimsy fabric of my shirt and right into the flesh of my shoulder. That slight set back gives the tiny rainbow puff the advantage she needs to crest my right shoulder and carefully begin her climb to the top of my head. What is still to this day amazing to me is that in that final leg of the climb, though she did use her claws, she didn't scratch my head at all. Not a single nip to my face, ear, or head. And that little rainbow puff did make it to the very top of my head. So I brought her home.

How The Starshine came by her name is a much shorter tale. The aforementioned David was in college learning the mysteries of the Chinese language, Mandarin. He gifted me with a name, part of which the english translation was, you got it, Starshine. Though he told me the more literal translation would be more like Star Glow. So, anyway, I figured since this little calico kitty and I had formed a bond I might as well name her after myself, kinda sorta. And there you have the tale of how The Starshine and I came to be companions and she got her name.

I'll stop the tale here but more will be coming. Next will be The Starshine's early adventures in her new home.

This is the oldest pic I can find of The Starshine.


Monday, July 26, 2010

Belief is not religion.

This is not a touchy subject. Religion can be but belief is not. They are two different things, belief and religion. Belief is having faith or trust in something that you cannot prove exists. Religion is a system of rules created to control through exploitation of belief. With those explanations, I have know problem with belief but have serious problems with religion. ALL OF 'EM!

Belief is easy to understand. It comes from a need to understand. What Humanity couldn't understand it created a belief for until we evolved and grew enough to understand certain things. Our ancient ancestors' beliefs primarily dealt with the natural world. Some of those beliefs still exist today, which I think is still cool, given how much we know about the world now and how things work. But that was/is a very cool thing about beliefs which I like that religion takes away, the connection to the natural world. So called 'primitive' beliefs were directly connected to the world in which we lived, meaning we were A PART of nature and the world. And ultimately the universe. I like that. Another thing I really like about belief is even the things we have physical understanding of now in nature it doesn't supplant the old beliefs. The old beliefs just gives one a deeper meaning to these physical things we now know about. For instance, the mystery of lightning and thunder is not taken away because we understand how and why they happen.That is so cool.

The modern most popular religions separated Humanity from nature. Told us we were masters of the world and it is ours to do with as we see fit. Use it as we see fit. Already sounds like a power trip to me. Then you have 'leaders'. Those who interpret your beliefs for you to make you 'feel' safe about your place in this world and the next. Did you get that? "Interpret YOUR beliefs FOR you." Yeah. Didn't God, Yahweh, Jehovah, Allah give you a brain to think for yourself? Don't you read the same*book* as your so-called religious 'leader'? So WHY exactly do you need to have the information interpreted for you? Then these same 'leaders' demand money from you for listening to them interpret for you. This 'tithe' or 'donation' is for what exactly? Good blessings? A guaranteed path to 'Heaven'? A 'sacrifice' now for future blessings later? No. You are blessing them, those 'leaders', now for their future later and you are just out of your hard earned money. And that is the ultimate irony of religion. You have now transferred your belief from whatever Higher Power you followed to his/her/it's human intermediary, your religious 'leader'. Who appointed them to such a position? What makes them more special than you? They are in the same boat you are. Grow up on the same planet and read the same 'Word'. Also, the Big 3, Judaism-Christianity-Islam, all come from the same place. How are their modern followers SO different? Even within each faction there are a bunch of splinter factions, especially Chris (That's the one I'm most familiar with). Politics and power moves, that's why. Religions have nothing to do with belief and everything to do with control. Land grabs, wars, oppression-either by ethnicity and/or gender, politics, fund raising, or just plain rabble rousing: all products of religion.

I'm not some new-agey super spiritual energy weirdo or anything but I have my own beliefs. I have gathered together some things that I've experienced and learned throughout my life and made my own. I was raised to think for myself. Interpret information I receive no matter the medium through which I receive it. I don't need some other human filtering my beliefs for their financial gain. I am highly skeptical of anyone claiming they have special knowledge of ANY higher power and can help me gain that knowledge, too. Didn't you get it from a book? Well so can I. I don't understand how you can't see the level of arrogance it takes to tell someone you can help them with their belief in their god/higher power. And I, as a grown up and adult, had truly tried the Christian route, twice, and both times was severely disappointed at the 'leadership'. I keep my own counsel now. I need no intermediary between me an my Higher Power. I don't look down upon those that do, though. Being an individual and actually thinking for oneself isn't for everyone. Most people, it seems, need to be led. But we are in the 21st century, it's time for people to start waking up. What really baffles me about the power of religion is I know, either personally or by reputation, many who I consider to be intelligent people who do follow, very devoutly, some form of religion. That truly baffles me. My thing is, when you get to where you're supposed to get to when this part of your life is over (for many that place is 'Heaven'), you're supposed to be judged in some way before you get in, right? When you are there, you are there alone. If you are asked any questions about your life and/or your beliefs, you can't say, "Well, 'insert religious 'leaders' title and name here', said that..." Oh, no no no. YOU were asked, YOU must answer. But how are you gonna answer if all you were was a follower who had your beliefs interpreted FOR you? I'm just sayin'. Personally I think religion is childish and immature and cool for when you are young to keep you on some kind of decent path. The heart of religion is belief so there is good there but once you get yourself steady on your life path and, hopefully, start to think for yourself, you need to let religion go and be confident and strong in your own beliefs.

I was moved to write this post because I saw this evil ignorance and had to say something. What really gets me about this is the followers sitting there listening to this and basically agreeing with it. I'm sorry but that's how my and most of their ancestors were enslaved. (Using the same religion which is just one more problem I have with it, but I digress.) Not to mention it's just PURE EVIL. God judges not man. He needs to really read his bible. But see, that's the thing. I know he knows it and he uses it to get exactly what he needs. Control over his followers and their money. Suckers. I mean, really, C'MON SON!!!!! his name is DOLLAR! And that's what he wants and gets, dollars. And these dudes have arena sized churches full of people blindly following and giving. I'm keeping my earthly weapons close.

Look, I know some people just like the inclusiveness of religion: helps with the fear of the unknown, fear of dying and what's on the other side, fear of being alone, etc. And that's why it's so powerful and deceitful because it preys on your fear through belief. But I really have to question your intelligence if you follow ANY of these people with the mega supersize churches and are always on television spreading their word. Click on that link and watch that clip. I bet you plenty money THAT wasn't a televised 'sermon' Creflo DOLLAR was giving that day.

Wake up, people. Please.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

It is Father's Day

For those of you out there who really celebrate this day as well as all the other manufactured 'holidays' you may not want to keep reading. I'm not going to rant and rave or anything but I don't go in for most of the so called holiday's. And, because of what today is supposed to be, ironically that's because of my Dad. Pop (that's what I call my Father) was never into holidays. So, there were never any Father's Day cards or stupid ties or other gifts. To this day. (At a very early age he stopped doing christmas. I'm pretty sure he only did it in our apartment the first year I came to live with him. For a few years during my childhood he was into Kwanzaa and that was really cool. I don't think he really strictly adheres to Kwanzaa anymore either but I am sure he still believes in or at the least supports the Nguzo Saba, the seven principles which Kwanzaa stands for. I ain't listing them here. I do know them but if you want to know look 'em up here. I still believe in them, too. At least I know the origin of Kwanzaa and it's purpose. There's nothing ambiguous in it's beginnings and it's not overly commercial like x-mas. It doesn't pretend to be a religious holiday. Whoops, I'm drifting. Back to point.) Pop taught my brother and I to be proud of ourselves and to know our history and, most importantly, to THINK! It is amazing to me how so few people are capable of real thought. So, if I were to thank my Father for anything it is the strong sense of self he instilled in my brother and I and for cultivating the ability to take in information, process that information, and come to our OWN conclusions. Thanks Pop.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Travel to The Other Lands, David Anthony Durham

First, I must say David Anthony Durham is DA MAN! His first SF Fantasy novel Acacia: The War With The Mein was impressive. Hugely impressive. He took the standard rules of fantasy stories and lifted them above his head like a pro wrestler and brought them down across his knee in a super back breaker! His world building is on par with the best, ie. Tolkien and GRRM. (Now it is well known that the standard rules for fantasy were set by Tolkien. Not deliberately, I think, but simply because he broke the rules of writing himself and it worked. Ever since just about every writer of fantasy has used his work as a template. Well, not David. And I must say I couldn't be happier. That's not to say Mr. Durham just broke all rules and wrote with reckless abandon but he didn't adhere to what was laid before like a robot.) He took the time to flesh out each character and the rules of the society and cultures within the world he built. Certain story arcs zigged when the normal rules say they should have zagged and I loved the spontaneity and surprise of it all.

Well, Mr. Durham has done it again in The Other Lands, the second book in the Acacia trilogy. He continues the story not far from where the first one ends. A few things have changed and characters and places hinted at and only talked about are visited in this book as well as the continuing story arcs of the Akarans from the first book. And boy talk about a story zigging where it normally would have zagged. I was surprised several times on the journey of this book. David is all for breaking the old rules and tropes of fantasy writing. And I know it's not consciously done. He's writing from a place that cannot believe in the 'fantasy' of fantasy stories. He innately strives for a sense and level of realism within his fantastical tale that I've not seen done by most writers of Speculative Fiction. (I'll delve deeper into what I mean by this in another post.) There are very few relatively new writers in the field of SF that have generated this much excitement for me and David Anthony Durham is one of them. I cannot wait for the third book!


I loves when my Mommie comes to NY for whatever reason. I may have mentioned this on the blog before but I really really like hanging out with my Mommie. We don't even have to go anywhere and do anything, just sit back talk, watch tv or a movie, drink and smoke cigarettes. :-) My Mommie is the nicest person I know. Just don't cross her. Anyways, she's back in NY for various reasons and she brought my niece, Naziya, and my sister, Kiara, 'Ziya's mommie. The morning they got here, Tuesday, the whole family went to breakfast: Nannie, Mommie, Kiara, Naziya, Uncle Tanja, Cousin TT, my sister's boyfriend Cornelius, Marty, and me. We went to IHOP. That was really cool. Got pictures. Have 'em up over on facebook soon. Drank a bunch that night and slept it off on Wednesday. My Nannie wanted to go to Empire City up in Yonkers so we went Thursday night. Nannie, Mommie, Roxy, and Me. All they have there is slot machines. That's not a real casino. If you don't have gambling tables, ie. Roulette, Craps, Blackjack, Poker and such it's not a real casino. But they make money so whatever. I'm not big on gambling and especially not slot machines but I had fun. Mostly 'cause I was there with Mommie and Nannie and Roxy. They actually have a decent food court there. They actually had Franks Red Hot hot sauce in to go packets like ketchup. That kind of raised the venue's status for me. I love Franks Red Hot. (You know I took two handfuls, right? Now I can have some Franks when I travel.) So, they had Mommies favorite slot machine, Jackpot Party, I think it's called. It's actually a pretty decent and fun game, for a slot machine. I showed it to Nannie and she fell for it, too. We were there for a few hours. Had a good time. Couldn't find parking when we got back home. It was 3 in the morning but still, it was ridiculous. We dropped Nannie and Roxy off and me and Mommie drove around for about an hour before we finally decided on this way far away freaking spot. I walk Mommie to my uncle's house and he's like he's been waiting for us so he can take the car. Jackass. We could've been home! I had to show him where the car was. Then I got home. Mommie called to make sure I got home safe, which was why I walked her to my uncle's house. It was kinda fun driving around though 'cause me and Mommie were complaining about all the damn fire hydrants and no parking zones. Then Friday afternoon Mommie and I went down to Hustle USA (125th St) for some shopping. That all for now.

I always take mad pictures of Naziya when I see her. Byproduct of not having very many pictures of myself as a baby. I took a massive amount of pictures of my sister, too, as she was growing up.

The Fam. Some, not all.

Oh yeah. Mommie bought this t-shirt for me. I was not there when she did. See why my Mommie is so cool? I likes this for obvious reasons.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I am in another depressive state. Don't really feel like expressing the exact details of why that is here but just the consequences. I have no real desire to do anything. Especially the things I NEED to do or things I WANT to do. Classic symptoms of depression, no? For instance, I like my classes in school. I like the instructors and class conversations. However, I have been insanely shirking the required work for each and every one of my classes. Most of which is writing. Which is something I happen to like doing and am particularly good at. I actually did the required research, reading and/or thought processes needed for each assignment, I just haven't sat down and written anything. I mean, I KNOW I'm a procrastinator, but this is ridiculously pathological or something. I have these moments, like everyone else I'm sure, but they don't usually last this long. And I am literally running out of time. The semester is almost over. How the hell did it get to the end of April so fast?! I just celebrated my Bornday on April 1! So, I'm sitting here at my easy ass night job STILL avoiding having to do my assignments! How retarded am I?! I've had fun for the last couple of weeks but the serious stuff I've been avoiding. Some of the stuff floating around in my head (that I'm not going into) I thought I came to terms with. I now realize I have not and unfortunately it is affecting other endeavors, i.e. school, and that is just not acceptable. April is always a good month for me, it IS my birth month, and I usually have fun the whole month. That just might be a part of my problem. I don't like to do anything I don't want to do in this month. It's mine. (It's an old habit.) However, that has not usually affected school. I'm trying to remember if I had the same problem this time last year. My memory is not reliable and I haven't been keeping up with my journal, so I really have know idea.

Another byproduct of my depressive states is that I do not eat. I don't starve myself in the extreme sense of the word but I don't eat nearly enough to properly nourish my body. Which leaves me with not a lot of energy which means I really do not want to DO stuff! Stupid vicious cycles and shit.

I need to do my work for my classes and I want to go back to aikido, so, I have to find a way out of this really really really soon. Done ranting for now.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

My main man, Tennyson Hardwick

I must say I am very happy. No. I am ecstatic! I was one of a fortunate few to be able to get an advanced copy of the new Tennyson Hardwick novel, From Cape Town With Love, written by Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes in collaboration with Blair Underwood. This happens to be the third Tennyson Hardwick novel and I must say it is every bit as excellent as the previous two, if not more so. The growth of Tennyson is a very carefully crafted and wonderfully written example of character development. Few authors take this much care with their characters as Tananarive and Steven do. And I'm talking about all of their published works. The fact that this wife and husband writing team can bring their considerable experience and craft together to create not one but a series of novels focused on a close cast of characters, with Tennyson being the foci the others are attached to, is a testament to hard work and love of what one does. In this case: Storytelling. I'll do a small review and try my best to leave out any spoilers.

In this installment of the whirlwind life of Tennyson Hardwick we go international. South Africa, to be exact. All of Tennyson's journeys so far had a personal element to them and so does this one. The previous two dealt with Ten investigating the death of people Ten knew, but this one deals with saving the life of a child, so the personal aspect is still there. The intricate weaving together of independent story lines and intricate details is just wonderful. Tennyson's journey towards himself is furthered along masterfully. We get to see more and more of the man underneath struggling to emerge. His relationship with his father took a giant leap forward in the last book and it continues right along in this one. And the same goes for his relationship with his adopted daughter Chela, which is a particularly favorite storyline of mine in the series. Ten is still working out his women issues but I think he is making progress. But he is as freaky and bad ass as ever, which is always a good thing. I'm not certain I liked the way the book ends but I love the way the main storyline ends.

What I love most is the masterful use of language! And also the wonderfully expressed points of view on various issues and topics. And done within the context of the story, no preaching. For example, "Suddenly, the answer to the question Why do celebrities adopt these children was obvious. Because the children need them. Because they can." There you go. Now, normally I don't like marking in books at all but I realized I was going to have to: 1. Because this was an ARC and I knew I needed to do a review, 2. Because there were just too many literary gems throughout the entire book. I had to use a highlighter. I'd list one of my favorites but don't want to deprive anyone of the poignant hilarity of the thought Ten had about his new client. Makes me smile just thinking about it. All I'll say is 'pixie dust'. Damn.

Also another favorite aspect of the Tennyson novels I love is the fight sequences. You can just see the gleefulness Steve must have when writing these down. He brings all of his very considerable martial arts and fight experience and knowledge to the fore. I love the description of the art he made up to scare the crap out of Ten. I could just see it in action in my minds eye. Furniture-fu indeed! I'd add in a few techniques of Running-away-Gun-fu if I ever saw someone coming at me with that! Like films, in books you know the people who have real experience with fighting by the way they write the fight scenes and Steve is a fighter. I love that he brought in a character based on his real life Guru. As a long time fan of Steve's and avid follower of his blog I recognized the character immediately.

I think that is vague enough to not spoil the story but keep the interest there. I've been an admirer of Tananarive and Steven for a long time now, and I have to say I'm an avid fan and supporter of the Tennyson novels. Also, as a writer myself, I'd just like to say to all those writers and aspiring writers out there, especially those who write 'street lit' stories: If you want to learn how to properly tell a story read every single Tennyson Hardwick novel. Casanegra, In The Night of the Heat, and now From Cape Town With Love are a Masters Class in how to weave a tale in written form. That means write/tell a story.

I am greatly impressed and immensely pleased with this novel and can't wait to read it again when it gets it's public release. Oh yes, I WILL be buying this book when it hits the stores. I strongly suggest you do the same. And get the previous two if you haven't read them yet. Each book can stand on it's own, but why should you deprive yourself?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

So what's your answer?

I always liked the show "Inside The Actor's Studio." I'm just really curious about people, even the people most other people are way too interested in, ie. actors and other film people. I'm a huge admirer of films and movies so I have a real interest in how they think and do things. Well usually at the end of every show the host asks the guest the following ten questions. My spirit-brother David answered them on his blog so I figured why not follow suit. Here goes:

01. What is your favorite word?
Defenestrate. Sounds nothing like what it means. I love that.

02. What is your least favorite word?

03. What turns you on?
A beautiful smile with a beautiful mind behind it.

04. What turns you off?
Rigid minded people

05. What sound or noise do you love?
A well played guitar or piano

06. What sound or noise do you hate?
Fake crying or whining

07. What is your favorite curse word?
Fuck in all its variable forms

08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Musician, particularly a Rock Star

09. What profession would you not like to do?
Nothing that has me going underground.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
Either, "Ready to go again?" or "See, what had happened was..."

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Just playing around.

I was playing around with my various technological gadgets and figured I'd let ya'll know about it. A little while ago I was trying out the web browser on my Playstation 3. I am not really that impressed with it. However, I realized it's really cool to read blogs on. You know, because it's on my big ass tv screen? But for surfing and checking stuff out, not so much. Even with my wireless keyboard. Which I'm using right now. Pretty cool. Also, I'm still using my big ass tv as a moniter because I plugged it into my laptop. I am sitting on my bed typing, and using my bluetooth mouse, while my computer is on the other side of the room. I'm being a lazy ass web surfer today. ;-) I took a picture with my camera but I don't feel like getting up. You know, 'cause you gotta either plug the camera into the computer or switch the memory card from one to the other. Oh, I can take a pic with my phone and send the pic via bluetooth to the laptop. I am such a lazy genius. Oh yeah, almost forgot to mention, I am still using my Playstation 3. It is now being used as a stereo. I plugged my external HD, that has all my music on it, and am playing music that way, since my PS3 sound is routed through my home theater system. This is just so cool. Oh, and I'm eating too. I am the ultimate!!!!!

Here's the big ass tv with my blogpage up.

Here's the wireless keyboard and bluetooth mouse. And right in the bottom left corner you will see the end of my spoon sticking it's butt in my picture.

And I haven't moved an inch. ;-) I'm gonna move in about ten minutes to put my God of War game disk into the PS3 and then hit the bed again and kill shit. Gotta kill Ares. All for now. LAter.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Sooooo...she's from Virginia, then?

Is it still like 'BIG NEWS' if Miss America is Black anymore? I mean really, I thought that one was done to death all ready. Why can't it be just a 22yo college student, from Virginia won? Anyone with eyes, and actually pays attention and/or gives a shit, is going to SEE she ain't white! She kinda light skinneded, but she does have a bit more cocoa to her skin than I would have expected. Congratulations to Caressa Cameron, a pretty young woman from Virginia who is on hiatus from Virginia Commonwealth University to BE Miss America 2010.

On a side note, aren't beauty contests about unnecessary by now? I know all about the charity work and things these young women do once they WIN, and I'm sure some of them do a bunch of that before hand, but really, do you NEED to be a "beauty queen" to volunteer, help, and make a difference? I don't think so. For there are thousands of people that do it everyday without a "crown" and get little to no public recognition for their efforts. Power to all the volunteers out there helping without a "crown".

The above is not meant to be a swipe or attack at Miss Caressa Cameron. I'm just glad that a beautiful woman with a nice body and pretty face is Miss America. At least we can be pretty sure Miss America has a nice ass this year.

Again, Congratulations to Caressa Cameron, Miss America 2010!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Some slight catching up

Well, once again, it has been a while. I've been in a really lazy mood. For a while. So, in my efforts to combat my laziness, I decided to compromise with myself and do some video logs. :-) So, I write a little then you get to see my handsome face and hear my totally pleasing and soothing voice. ;-)

So let's get to it:

First up is Christmas 2009.

I don't think I need to type anything extra for this one.

Next, my sister Jocelyn and her husband Jay's Wedding Reception:

As I mentioned in the vid I had a great time and it was great seeing everyone again. I'll have pics on my fb page later. I'll link 'em.

And Finally Two cool nights back to back! The second night being THE COOLEST NIGHT EVAR!!!!!

First The KGB Bar and David Anthony Durham:

Fun Night. Pics over on fb.

And the finale, Imani Coppola!!!!!!!!!!!:

About the fourth time recording this! Kept talking too long. Couldn't help it, it was such a cool night! Thanks Imani and friends!!!!!

Two sexy people!: Imani Coppola and I: Click the link and buy some great music.