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.