So it’s been quite a long time since I finished a new poem in the collection I’ve been working on for about 2 years now. This one has actually been in progress for some time and I just wasn’t inspired to finish it. I discovered recently that the reason was most if not all of my poems are in some way autobiographical as well as therapeutically cathartic. As such, I often need to close the book on the situation, issue, person or event that serves as the inspiration for the poem in order to finish it. I only recently arrived at that place and - right on schedule - I was compelled to finish this piece. Like most of my work it has a pretty common theme and is laced with the requisite amount of esoteric references. Enjoy!
I’d take forty lashes - if but one could come from you
Haphazard with my feelings, I have been, that is true
But there are many forces and - I must release my dove
So I can be the falcon swooping down from up above
If no love’s lost, then venture’s nil and I repeat the pattern
Of all the stars and all the moons I envy only Saturn
Some speak of joy, you speak of pain, but I believe in blood
When mine flows free, then flows no more will you then feel my love?
Eradicate my passion or open up my hearts desire
Of words with petty actions I bore quickly and I tire
The light that used to be is the light that flickers still
I try to shut it down, but can’t seem - to break my will
As we see the future, but without our crystal ball
Perception always differs, but in the end, does darkness fall
I will be your god, for you are - my Agnes
Everything immaculate, even as we both are savage
It’s true, that what burns bright and hot, also dissipates
But ours will be enshrined and glow each time I contemplate
Unlock the mysterious secrets of The Midnight Grindshowâ¢ in this epic dark-fantasy, role-playing game.
Co-worker’s kick-starter campaign I’m sure he’d love your support. By way of endorsement, he is extremely passionate about this company/game. If the adage about finding your passion and figuring out how to get some one to pay for it is an indicator of future success, he and his partner have got the first part down. You can help him with the second part.
The game is definitely “out there” from a creative look and feel standpoint but from what I’ve been privy to it manages to stay firmly within the wheelhouse of first person experiences so it’s not like they’re asking gamers to do something completely foreign and hope it catches on. They’re trying to create something with experiential richness but also that will resonate from a game play and story line perspective as well.
There is certainly shock value and a reason to take a look and pay attention which is necessary in the marketplace they wish to enter.
Like I said, check it out and support as you wish, he’s a good guy (the one on the left, I don’t know his partner but he’s probably a decent dude too) and I believe he (they) know(s) what he’s(they’re) doing.
The NCAA doesn’t track athletes by age, but anyone with eligibility remaining can play. This has produced a 59-year-old linebacker and a 73-year-old junior-college basketball player. Now, the Southern Maine Huskies’ co-captain is a grandpa.
I went to high school with this guys coach. It is a phenomenally inspiring story. As someone who went back to school in my 30s I found his story particularly inspiring (although I had no athletic aspirations). This guy is amazing and I encourage you to read his story and share it. The Wall Street Journal found it compelling enough to feature.
Jared Leto scored his first Oscar on Sunday night, taking home Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Dallas Buyers Club” as Rayon, an HIV-positive transgender woman living in Texas in the 1980s. Many in the transgender community are questi…
At least it’s nice to know that the black community isn’t the only minority willing to cut off it’s nose to spite its face. This is crazy. I didn’t see the movie, but I’m about to order it on demand tonight. I would not have done that if he hadn’t won and I heard his acceptance speech. And the movie wouldn’t have gotten the buzz it got had he and Matt M not starred in it.
From all accounts, he gave a respectful and moving portrayal of the character and moved a decidedly not mainstream topic into the mainstream conversation. There is nothing about that that isn’t good for the trans community. Heckling him or disparaging him for the role is asinine and short sighted and fuels the other side that much more.
That doesn’t mean that the attitude should be, you got an oscar end of discussion. Of course, the idea of a trans person playing roles on TV and in movies should be a goal. But you gotta start somewhere. Using this moment to build upon, not tear it down, would be prudent.
And he did thank the community in his speech. In fact, he was more inclusive in what he said because the fact of the matter is that trans person’s story is relevant to more than just other trans people. And, while important, the trans community is very very small by comparison so alignment with other groups is again in their best interest. Their issues are not all that different even as they have unique challenges that only they face.
I felt that was the message he sent.
So I’m confused by the point of - and I admit I posted one about the best man holiday - the memes showing the black actors who have had success in hollywood who are in relationships with women who aren’t black. The suggestion being their white significant others are the key to their success.
There are so many things wrong with this idea. First, lets level the field and look at white men. Does anyone give a damn who they’re married to/sleeping with come awards season? Does DiNero owe his success to his black wife? Is Speilberg n debt to Cate Capshaw for his success? Maybe it’s actually Calista Flockhart - or his first wife - that caused Harrison Ford to be the icon he is.
It makes no sense. On the one hand, women are the underdogs in hollywood. They can’t sell movies, they only get cast as bimbos etc etc. But then, magically, if they are in a relationship with a black man they have the power of Zeus in the hollywood community. Give me a break. Perhaps, if you were married to a Weinstein, or a Speilberg or a Lucas or a Cameron, it might hold some sway in hollywood. It might get you a role or even an award you didn’t otherwise earn. Maybe. But being the white chic on the arm of Steve McQueen certainly is not the black card of Oscar commerce.
Beyond that, when are we going to get past the idea that there are types of people you’re “supposed” to love. This is not 1983. It is possible for a black person to like, nay love, a white person and it not be a commentary on how low of esteem black love is held in. Are there self-loathing black men who only date white women or latin women because they feel it makes them look better? Of course there are. But who cares? Do we really want men like that dating and marrying our black women??????
A white woman who is ok being with a man who wants her only because she’s white has her own issues to worry about. But I’m not going to impute that kind of baggage on someones relationship. Not in an age where we want to say it’s ok to love (and marry) whoever you want to.
To reduce these brother’s success down to their chosen relationships is to set ourselves back a hundred years. Dating a white woman didn’t make them any less black in that audition. It doesn’t make them any less black in public and it doesn’t make their award won by any less of a black man. Nor does it make them less of a positive image of success.
Even when we win, we can’t be happy for ourselves. Who do you think that benefits?
I don’t even know how I know of this number. Only that I know it, and my friends know it, and my mom knows it. Somehow, somewhere along the road, I was taught that if I want to have a flat stomach and tight tushy, I need to limit my calories to 1,200…
First, I like this bloggers writing voice. She’s entertaining, informed, passionate and kind of funny. That’s what I want in a blog entry.
But I don’t entirely agree with her. She makes tons of good points. Women should gain muscle but it’s a reality that most men don’t want a woman with muscles that rival theirs. Overly muscly women just aren’t as sexy - to most men, not all. And at the end of the day if you’re interested in having sex with me, you want to look sexy to them. And vice versa. But men also don’t like stick figures either so there’s that.
She doesn’t like the idea that men and women get different fitness and nutrition advice. But men and women - even as we are the same carbon-based organic life forms - are different. My body and my sister’s body perform differently, even as we generally get our excersize from the same activity and share common genetics.
My body is larger and more capable than hers when it comes to physical exertion of an athletic nature. It is also a more efficient muscle-building, and therefore fat burning machine than hers.
If my sister ate and drank the way I did (and trust me, she ain’t starving, she eats a lot for a tiny girl;) she’d be enormous. Actually, if most men ate the way I eat they might be too but that’s another story entirely.
Point is that double X and the related hormones and physicality that come with it require a different type of care than an XY configuration does. So I don’t buy her idea about men and women being the same and getting the same info. I don’t think a woman would be all that successful (unless she was some sort of athlete) using Men’s Health as a guide (hell, most men can’t follow that rag!)
Then there’s her issue with calories. The fact of the matter is the only way to loose weight is to create a caloric deficit. Either by eating fewer of them, burning more off than you eat or some combonation thereof. For someone like me, calories and weight are the only things I worry about.
I don’t actually count calories but I have a sense for the days or span of days when I’m consuming more than I’m eating and I have a pretty good sense for how much I weigh - even though I don’t own a scale - at any given point. I use my clothes as my guide. I know that if my clothes are requiring a belt at the third ring, I’m a normal 175 and I can run a race without issue.
If however, I don’t need a belt I’m closer to 185 and I’m going to have to work hard to run a race and won’t have a great finishing time.
If my belt is pulled farther than the third ring and/or my pants still sag, I’m closer to 168-170 and I need some Popeyes in my life stat. A race will be harder for me to run and my time won’t be good because I don’t have enough glycogen stores to rely on for anything over a 10k.
I care about calories and weight because I run. The lighter you are, the easier running is and the faster you can go. The more calories you eat, however, the more energy your body can store for those runs. So I give myself a 20-25lbs swing from lightest to heaviest I’m allowed to be. That way, I never have to spend much time thinking about what I eat (although I am always eating or trying something new to eat or eliminating something I choose not to eat, that’s just a me quirk). And I don’t have to give a hoot about lifting weights or going inside a gym. And I’ve got a fairly muscular frame - I’m not winning Mr. Universe any time soon but I do ok.
I think the real problem with nutrition is what she’s talking about - just focusing on one thing is not good. But it’s more than that. It should be about each person getting in touch with what’s important to them, what they want to look and feel like and what their particular body is capable of and responds well too.
In my case, I was not interested in ever needing a gym membership again. I was not interested in being fat. I was not interested in giving up things like chips and second helpings of bacon and brunch!
I was interested in fitting into leather pants, tailored suits and slim fit pants and being able to take my shirt off at the beach whenever I damn well pleased and not having my belly stick out. I was also interested in running races in the warm weather months and was willing to train in the cold-weather months to do that if it kept me out of a gym.
I think women, and men, should look at fitness and health that way. Instead of what works for women or what works for me, what works for me!
And I love Special K chocolate delights I don’t care what she says. It’s the only cereal I eat. With chocolate soy milk and ground flax seed.
So, maybe because I was off today, I’ve been thinking about things. This whole Boy Scouts banning gay adults (and Disney - perhaps the gayest place on earth - making an awesome move in response) makes me wonder why no one can see how insane the rationale is.
I remember when I was first interested in volunteering after I stopped working. I was really unsure about what I wanted to do so I just investigated a bunch of things. I looked at a mental health facility, an old folks home and the Big Brother/Big Sister program. Ultimately, I opted not to move forward with the latter because they had, as part of their screening, questions about sexuality. I asked why and the guy told me that they would have trouble placing someone what was gay. I found the logic, in addition to being invasive, to be fundamentally flawed and opted not to pursue being involved with them. I ended up with the Smithsonian so it’s all good.
I could not abide by the idea that an organization who’s mission was to find positive role models willing to make a significant and personal time commitment to work with a child who’s life was in disarray enough that they needed the benefit of an “at risk youth” program would discriminate based on anything as irrelevant as a person’s bedroom preferences.
I mean, other than my teachers who were married, I didn’t have very much awareness of the personal dating lives of the adults who were responsible for shaping my childhood learning experiences. I never once thought - other than in Jr. High with one teacher who did it in the classroom with another teacher - about my teachers sex lives or preferences. Until maybe high school when I made the off comment about how my poor grade must be a result of said teacher “not getting any.” And even then, I certainly didn’t care about their sex life. Nor did it ever come up in any conversation I had with them - even the married ones.
It’s just not appropriate for an adult to be discussing their sex life with a juvenile in their charge. An adult - regardless of preference - who is qualified to work with kids would abide by that. The idea that a gay person would not be able to control themselves around kids suggests that they are pedophiles. Which we all know is not accurate. It also, if taken to it’s logical conclusion, suggests that straight adults cannot teach or mentor children of a gender opposite to theirs.
Are they suggesting that a straight adult discussing their sex life with a kid is somehow ok?
Anyway, this whole thing is dumb. kids don’t care about this and most adults don’t either. The sooner we move past peoples bedroom antics the sooner we can focus on things that are actual threats to our well being and the well being of our kids.
“There is something beautiful about a disarmed stranger. We usually only get to witness that kind of vulnerability with friends or family, when something — sympathy or apology — is expected of us. Public criers ask nothing; they don’t need anyone to take care of them.”—
Reminded of Brené Brown with this great reflection in the Times’ Opinionator blog.
So, I did manage to accomplish three of last years resolutions but not all of them (I usually set more than I really can tackle in hopes I’ll at least get 3 done). Still, I can’t help but feel this year has not been as fulfilling as I had hoped.
This year, I’m going to roll some over. My list is as follows:
1. Become proficient (as opposed to fluent) in Spanish 2. Take a trip outside the country 3. Limit my sneaker purchases to only 4 (1 per quarter) for the whole year. 4. Make career move 5. Get rid of student loans (closely tied to number 4!) 6. Save more money (closely tied to number 3!) 7. Finish my current writing project 8. Finish my current tattoo project 9. Work hard at becoming more optimistic 10. Learn to be OK with me as a person
We’ll see how I do. Ten is a long list but I find setting more helps insure I’ll actually get somethings accomplished. I have to play mental tricks with myself! I’m most concerned with numbers 1, 2, 4, 9 & 10 though. I think they are all related in some way.
So yesterday I went to the #GlobalCitizensFestival on the Great Lawn in Central Park. It’s a socio-political event mainly designed to bring attention to a variety of issues. This year was about ending poverty; addressing the plight of women and girls relative to economic equality, reproductive rights and family planning, political voice and education; as well as something called Ekocycle which is basically about recycling and wearing sustainably made clothes.
I have to say, I was aware of the festival peripehrally but didn’t really know what all it entailed outside of the music. The event needs some work. First off, from a messaging standpoint they’re all over the place - Women, poor people, Africa, Water, Recycling, political empowerment, family planning. I mean all important issues but not necessarily the easiest to connect together. And that made it feel disjointed and the messages go lost.
Also, there were way too many speeches. The star power of people like Soledad O’Brien, a few super models, Hugh Jackman’s wife, Gerard Butler, Bono and Will I. Am were not enough to overcome the dry nature of what they were talking about and all of the CEOs of obscure charities and companies no one had ever heard of who came up to speak and pat themselves on the back.
The one award they gave out to a young guy from Africa who is doing some amazing things with education in Uganda they buried towards the end of a dozen other speakers and it felt like an after thought - it should have been a feature. Then there’s the issue of the viability of the mission and some rather contradictory concepts they spouted. For example, when introducing the president of Liberia, they remarked that after years of men running the country into war and shambles it took a woman president to come in and make progress.
To me, that is antithetical to the argument that gender is a neutral and women should be on equal standing to men. That the previous regime was a mess is a reflection of their in ability to lead, corruption, greed and lack of character. Not lack of an additional X chromosome. If women are equal, then things aren’t bad because men are in power things are bad because the wrong PEOPLE are in power - regardless of their gender. The way they presented her makes the logical conclusion that their is a “better” gender for leadership. Also, as soon as a women fails, then it’s “women” failed not that particular leader failed. Equality is about removing evaluations based on incidental attributes like race, or gender - just like hair color or eye color or height. I think they missed the mark there.
Now for the real point of the event:
The festival - and the reason I attended - featured performances by Kings Of Leon, Elvis Costello - who was a special unannounced guess who I could have seriously done without (he was not in good voice and felt way out of place), Janell Monet - also a surprise (this one pleasant. She KILLED a rendition of Smile!), Alicia Keys, John Mayer, Bono, Maxwell and Stevie Wonder.
I’ll start with the Kings since they opened. First, I was not thrilled that they opened because the opening act usually plays the shortest set and since I was on line finding my way in I missed the first song. Second, the ROCKED! They did the obvious Use Somebody and Sex on Fire but the highlight for me was Family Tree and my personal favorite Beautiful War which was one of the first times they’ve ever played it live. Love them, love the album, loved the set other than its length.
Then came Elvis. I am not particularly familiar with his music but I know he’s a popular act and who he is. What I didn’t know as how bad he’d sound and how boring he’d be. In fact, Bridget Moyniham introducing him was far more interesting than his performance.
Janell Monet - introduced by supermodel Karoulina Karkovia (sp?) - absolutely slayed in the one song she did. At first I was like “eh” because it’s hard to hear the classics done by newbies. But she sang it in a completely different arrangement and her voice hit octaves I didn’t know she had and I didn’t think would resonate in an outdoor amphitheater setting but really did. Great. Later in the show she came on stage and sang along side Stevie Wonder. Literally, along side him as something was wrong with her mic and she had to share his. She was absolutely amazing singing classic Stevie with Stevie! And she is a really pretty girl!
Alicia Keys, where do I begin? Well, I’ll start with the good stuff. She looked drop dead gorgeous! She has a pompadour style hair cut that really looks good on her and she’s been in the gym because her midriff bearing side cut out dress was sexy but not slutty and she worked it out. She also managed to belt out two songs in good voice, on key and without straining - Like you’ll never see me again and If I Ain’t Got You. Other than that, she performed really well from a stage presence stand point and charm stand point and her messages about empowerment were well stated. However, she was not in good voice as has been her MO Lately. The majority of the time she was underneath the notes, off key or straining. She ruined Fallen. Also, I don’t know what this obsession she has with west Indian influences in her music but it does not work with her voice or style - over it. I don’t know what happened but something changed after she made the switch to life with Swizz Beats. Maybe she has a vocal issue she’s not made public or maybe she’s feeling herself and her life and motherhood and being a wife and her new sexiness so she’s not working on her vocal instrument now that she’s made it. I don’t know but it’s disappointing. She is one of the best musicians and song writers of our generation and she was one of the best vocal talents as well. It’s hard to stay on top from a hit song stand point over the course of a long career and it can be hard to deal with vocal changes as you get older but this is not right. Really too bad.
Of the acts I was aware of, John Mayer was who I was least interested in. In fact, I could really name any but two of his songs. I figured his claim to fame was one good hit song and banning lots of actresses and pop stars. Boy was I wrong! That dude is talented. His first few songs were light on vocals but he picked it up and his voice is actually quite good and he has a surprising range. I did not know he had a falsetto. He did some Marvin Gaye, some Greatful Dead everything. He got things turned up! I have a new found respect for him to be sure.
Then came Bono. He wasn’t a scheduled performer and he didn’t do a set. All he did was deliver one of the best introductions I’ve ever seen. He intro’d Stevie Wonder in sort of a singing/storytelling voice that talked about his career, achievements, history everything! He took the audience to CHURCH! It was very entertaining and definitely was the right amount of hype, pomp and circumstance for such a big act.
Then of course there was the true headliner and originator of the festival - Stevie Wonder! He did two songs, brought the president of the UN on stage for a couple mins, went back to his set, stopped and delivered a short (like 1.5 mins) speech on his views on gun control/Trayvon Martin, went back to his set and brought in not one but two special guests, sent them on their way and extended his set beyond the end of the show!
This man did everything. We were singing, dancing shouting grooving. I mean 16000 people all just having a great time in the dark in central park was amazing. He sounded terrific, did all the standards and his rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine (which he used to highlight his point on gun control) had everyone near tears it was so beautiful. He also did an audience participation bit where he had us sing “We are global cit-i-zens, and we’re gonna change the world!” Took a while for people to get it right but he demanded we do it and of course we did! He then brought Maxwell (the second of his two guests) on stage to show us how to sing it! He looked and sounded good too (a lot better than the slightly drunken mess Sansarae Dean and I saw at the Versace show earlier this year)
I know they streamed live and it was on TV but I can’t imagine it captured what it was like to be there. He was doing things on that stage musically and vocally that most acts in his generation let alone this one can only dream about. I have never seen him live before and I was so happy I did. It was a real moment. And it was one of those “music unites people” moments. I talked to strangers I would never look at in real life, everyone was smiling and even the police officers were clapping their hands and singing!
You know, I’ve been working for most of my life. I started with a job in tenth grade and didn’t look back. I used to think I was the kind of person who had to have a demanding career. After working in litigation consulting for a decade I was worried about what was next. Then I made the best decision ever, I exercised an option in my employment contract to leave. That was five years ago.
In that time, I’ve battled a serious illness and recovered just fine. Done a lot of soul-searching about what’s important to me. Repaired some familial relationships and strengthened others (most notably my parents by living with them for the better part of this time). Relaxed and done things my former career didn’t allow me the time or energy to do like volunteer, get back in to writing, earn my four-year degree, read books about neuroscience, present shock and other random-a$$ subjects that are really of no use other than satisfying my inner nerd.
I was very leery about going back to work. In fact, I finished school sooner than I planned (last August) but didn’t start to look for a job until a couple of months ago. I had a lot of anxiety about the process but mostly about deciding what exactly I wanted the next phase of my career to look like. I didn’t want my next job to ignore my past successes or to be unrelated to the degree I worked hard to earn.
I was also not convinced I even wanted a job. I actually contemplated getting a job at Starbucks and continuing school and living like a pauper just so I could continue to indulge my more bohemian endeavors. But alas, I like to wear Jordan’s, eat out a lot and buy my jeans at Bergdorf’s (none of which I’ve done much of lately). So, not being independently wealthy, I set about looking for a job. I figure free time isn’t much fun if you can’t afford to enjoy it - especially in Manhattan!
I ended up interviewing at one company and after two more rounds decided it was where I wanted to be. Thankfully, they agreed. I just finished my first week at JWT - which is a global marketing and advertising agency - as part of the project management team. I’m assigned to a very large and demanding account but that’s what I like! It is worlds away from my former career and while challenging significantly less arduous. Especially from the perspective of having a life.
I am well on my way to completing my list of new year’s resolutions and this next phase of life, while not challenge-free, is going in the right direction.
So Rick Ross issued an apology for his rape lyrics (he basically claimed to use ruthies to bed chics which, frankly, is a questionable thing to brag about if you’re supposed to be a player. You shouldn’t need to drug a girl.)
The apology was really well written (obviously by his crisis management team and not him personally). It sounds sincere and makes really good points. Unfortunately, it’s hard to imagine it’s how he really feels or that he even cares one way or the other about how it makes him look.
In the first place, he is an excellent example of the lack of authenticity that permeates so-called hip-hop today. He claims the lyrics don’t reflect his actual beliefs. In other words, “I made up that lyric because I thought it sounded cool and would make me look like a bad-ass but I’ve never actually done that.” I believe that’s probably true. Problem is a rapper is supposed to be rapping about their life and experiences. Hip-hop has long been a musical reality show. This just shows that Ricky Rosay and others of his ilk aren’t really about that life (however questionable). They’re merely faking the funk for dollars (and exaggerated amounts of those to boot - does anyone really think Rick is a billionare?)
Rick Ross’ album - which I purchased when it came out - was garbage from the perspective of hip-hop realness and MC ability. It was good from a watered-down, in the club with a drink and a shorty perspective. It’s good hood music for the times when a little ratchetness is in order (like on your way to the club - not that I do a whole lot of that anymore). But the reality is, he has very little if anything to say, the beats are not of his making and his songs are repetitive in rhythm, subject matter and even individual lyrics. There is no imagination - except when he’s making up activities he later denies engaging in.
The real funny part of the whole story is that Reebok dropped him. Which he, admirably, is taking in stride and seems to understand and not be bitter about. The fact that at 300+ lbs he was the celebrity face of any sneaker brand - let alone Reebok which hasn’t been hot in quite some time - is laughable on its face. I mean, this is a dude that clearly is not using athletic shoes for anything other than walking up to the buffet. The fact that his ads were about “creating a classic” - which is a nice play on words - is even funnier because there is nothing classic or enduring about Rick Ross’ music or style. He will be forgotten shortly after his brand of music falls out of favor.
Still, he needed to apologize. He did, and it was well done - even if a bit disingenuous - and hopefully we can all stop talking about this dude.