Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tuesday TMI Tag

Trying to recapture some steam and I find doing something that requires little thinking and just getting the fingers and muscles moving helps sometimes. With that in mind I decide to answer one of these TMI things. I found this one on Hannah Harto's YouTube Channel and after changing a few questions that don't apply to me, I answered 50 questions. Enjoy.


What are you wearing?- It's hot today in NYC but I'm rocking a light hoodie, jeans, and boots because I really don't plan on going outside or far for the remainder of this day. Maybe after the sun sets. So I'm wearing my "Spring Usual."
Have you ever been in love?- I think so. If not, pretty damn close.
Have you ever had a terrible breakup?- Not on my part. Okay. That sounds dickish but I really don't think so. I also don't think it has been terrible on the other person's side either, although one was probably more pissed at me then the others.
How tall are you?- 6' or 182.88 cm, if you don't live in this crazy country.
How much do you weigh?- I'm floating around 192 lbs/87 kilos nowadays.
Do you have any tattoos?- 6. All on my upper arms/shoulders. I might get a few more to complete a half sleeve on one arm and to cover up one but nothing more than that.
Any piercings?- No. Never had any in my life. I'm not a real big piercing dude which is weird because I don't mind needles but I've just never been a fan, even on others that much.
OTP?- One True Pairing. Hmm. Dunno. I guess I'll stick with comic books for this one like I normally do and say Kate Bishop/Hawkeye and Eli Bradley/Patriot. Think those crazy kids could have worked it out.
What's your favorite television show?- Of all time is probably Married With Children. I can still quote most episodes. Currently it's Orphan Black.
What is your favorite band?- I listen to a lot of hip-hop and R& B but I'll say the band that I probably enjoy the most is Foster The People.
What is something you miss?- My good knees. Joking. I don't know. I miss people but something... Maybe my boundless optimism.
What is your favorite song?- Currently it's Alright by Kendrick Lamar but the combo of Run To The Sun/Stay Together by NERD is definitely an all-time contender.
How old are you?- 35 years young.
What's your Zodiac sign?- Sagittarius
What quality do you look for in a partner?- I'm gonna assume this means qualities, plural, and give my basics- honesty, intelligence, humor, loyalty, compassion and passion. And curves.
What is your favorite quote?- "What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have."- Marina Keegan This was written for 22 year olds graduating college but I think it's important to always remember this. She lost her life in a car crash five days after saying this but she definitely was going at life correctly.
Who is your favorite actor?- Tough call. My go to is usually Brad Pitt but he always plays the same roles and isn't the best. My current top three are Denzel Washington, Tatiana Maslany and Charlize Theron.
What is your favorite color?- Blue.
Do you prefer loud music or soft music?- Weird question. I'm going to go generally with soft unless I'm outside at an event. Yeah, totally depends on venue and company or lack thereof.
Where do you go when you are sad?- On walks. No particular place lately but it used to be the beach.
How long does it take you to shower?- About 8 minutes but this varies.
How long does it take you to get ready?- 25 minutes about. Depends on preparation.
Ever been involved in a physical fight?- Yup. Nothing at all recent and the later ones were just me intervening for someone.
Turn on?- Brains. Do with that what you will.
Turn off?- Lack of brains.
How many siblings do you have?- Time to break out the abacus. Frak it. Just gonna keep it as simple as possible. 6. I'm gonna go with 6.
Fears?- That I won't succeed and will disappoint folks. Or, conversely, I'll change my life to satisfy others at my own emotional distress.
The last thing that made you cry?- Don't remember what made me outright weep but watching The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete made me misty.
When was the last time you said you love someone?- This morning. Texts count right?
Where is your favorite place to relax?- This can be almost anywhere and it depends on the company or if I want to be alone. The benches on the boardwalk near Beach 20th St. in Far Rockaway can still work I believe. Even when it is drizzling. Maybe it's the familiarity.
What was the last book you read?- Three Parts Dead by Max Gladstone. It's a book about magic and gods and deathless kings and the law. So, oobviously, right up my alley.
What book are you currently reading?- West Of Jesus by Steven Kotler, It's about spirituality and the brain and the quest for a shared story. Or, as it says on the cover, "Surfing, Science and the Origins of Belief." That's more accurate than my description I guess. Good so far. Very good.
What was the last show you watched?- Broad City season finale. I'm going through my ridiculously full DVR. I should be WAY more productive with the amount of shows I don't watch.
Who was the last person you talked to?- My grandmother because we are in the same area, both on computers.
What is the relationship with the last person you texted?- Complicated? No. Actually, it's pretty simple; I think we just make it more complicated than it needs to be and distance is definitely a factor in that. Think people generally overcomplicate the important things when those should be the simplest at their core.
What is your favorite food?- Burgers or salmon.
Where is a place that you would want to visit?- New Zealand or Brazil.
Where was the last place you were?- Library. No, the bodega. Need to go to the laundry though.
Do you have a crush?- See the text question about 4 questions back,
When was your last kiss?- Geez. Been awhile for a non-platonic or non-familial one. If we are talking about the platonic/familial variety, then Sunday and my grandniece.
When was the last time you were insulted?- Don't even remember. Sure my friends have jokingly dissed me but I can't think of a serious insult.
What is your favorite flavor of sweets?- Chocolate anything
What instruments do you play?- None. Wait. Beatbox. Horrible beatbox.
Who is your favorite fictional character?- Wow. This is hard. I'll just go with the first person that popped into my head- Kara "Starbuck" Thrace from the newest version of BSG. This will probably change if I think about it but I'm going to stick with that answer.
What was the last sport you played?- Maybe basketball. I need to get active, cuz.
What was the last song I sang?- What I Do by Young Jeezy.
Are you religious?- I would say that I'm not. I definitely don't adhere to The Big Three out here and don't think that a higher power is looking out for me or has "a plan" for me. I do see the pluses of Buddhism and don't want to be an atheist. I would like to believe in some entity that is smarter than us or at least an universe that has some long run purpose even if I'll or anyone will ever know what it is. I DO believe in the good underpinnings of religion and the idea of community and The Golden Rule which seems to be the central pillar of all things good about the religious path. Wish more people believed in that core tenet. The world would be cooler, dude.
What superpower would you choose?- I used to go with superstrength or flight when I was little and then either superspeed or telekinesis lately. Truthfully, it would be chronokinesis or time-travel. I would try to see the creation of the universe and change some choices I made, maybe give advice to a younger me or go to the future. And, yeah, I'd probably kill Hitler and hope that doesn't make everything worse.
When was the last time you hung out with anyone?- Anyone? Niece and her kid on Sunday. Party status was Saturday for a celebration of my newly(ish) wedded friends at a cocktail party that I did not hate at all which is unusual for me. It was probably because it was laid-back, good food, non-fake conversations and Queen Majesty and DJ Evil Dee spinning for the night. Also at my usual spot to hang out at.
Who should answer these questions next?- YOU! Let me know your answers. Hit me up.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

VDAY

Oops. Wrong Heart.
This is not going to be a post in support or against the holiday of Valentine's Day. I like it some years and I don't on other years. This isn't dependent on my relationship status but just how I feel on the day of. I'm not going to talk about whether or not it is just a corporate construction supported by the gift card makers/Lindt chocolateers/military-prison-industrial complex to appease the masses and boost the economy, if for only one day. I'm sure it probably has elements of this and elements from the original concept of love and dating and romance. *

No, I'm not going to talk about any of that in this post.

What I'm going to talk about is my favorite couple I like to see on this day.

Married couples are cool and you can always spot the married couples with kids by that slightly weary look on their faces. There are the elderly couples which are inspiring on any and every day. The dating folks in their twenties and thirties can be fun to watch but my FAVORITE...my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE?

Teens in love.

I love the awkwardness in the face of the guys and the joy and pride with the girls holding their flowers or their silly, large bears. Teens always walk that border between extreme cockiness and shyness and they turn it up to eleven on this day.

I love it.

I think part of what I like about these pairings is that it reminds me of my own past history of awkward fumbling towards love. As you grow older, the opportunities for first experiences grow smaller. First kisses, first loves, first heartbreak- you'll never get those again. These are important milestones and they are beautiful. I'm both envious of the young for their wide-eyed initial moments of romance and SO GLAD that I don't have to deal with those confusing emotions. Love is lovely and it is sweet when it is first enjoyed, Enjoy it.

And, kids? It gets better as you get older.

That's the proper heart.




*Plus, we all KNOW that the Illuminati are behind all our holidays anyway. STAY WOKE!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

February Sweeps

I decided to take off February. I was working less this month and the preceding months (and years) have been other people heavy. Even when I am out having fun it was usually the result of meeting up for someone else's event/benefit/thing.* I also have been doing extra work looking after people or just picking up the slack because I feed into that "if I don't do it..." mentality a lot of the time which is stupid. It's the way I have been built.

Like a sexy Terminator with a Marty McFly fashion sense.


So I decided to make this February the Month Of Me. I would focus on starting to adopt habits that would make me a better person- emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually. I would try to become a better adult and work hard at moving from the back of the pack. I would also focus less on others. The only exceptions would be for my mother, those who can't care for themselves (babies, kids and animals I encounter) and anything I had already agreed to before this month began. No new promises. No new agenda.

Also, I would catch up on my DVR shows.

Oh, how I miss you...

Have I've been successful? Moderately. A lot of the time it has involved putting my phone on Do Not Disturb or turning it off completely, fighting my urge to respond to things immediately that aren't work/money related and generally ignoring non-Sean stuff. It's hard and I backslide at times. When you care about folks it's hard to turn it all off, particularly when those folks are screw-ups and/or extremely anxious. But it's necessary.

This is not to say that I'm not thinking about others. My friends are definitely a source of determination and dedication and my family is a source of strength.** I'm inspired by what they have accomplished and their focus. They're amazing and I plan to become as amazing one day soon.

I'm happy with how I'm proceeding but I need to go harder. I have to get back in shape** and meditate more and just push forward without trying to have dreams about what might be. I think it will all come together but I gotta keep up the work. Keep my head down and go forward.




*This is only partially true. When I'm hanging with my friends, it's because I love them and enjoy their company. But I also many times feel like I'm out because they want to be there and not me.
**The non-crazy ones.
***Some would say not back BUT finally in shape.

The Doppler Effect*

The other day I ran into a doppelganger of my younger brother a few blocks from my home. Logically I knew it couldn't be him as soon as I saw him. My brother was at work and in a totally different borough. But this guy walked exactly like him. They were about the same height and coloring. They possessed the same gait. The outfit this guy had on looked similar to something that my brother would wear, if a tad bit baggier than his usual taste. He was even loudly singing along to rap music.

Basically a taller, lighter version of Tyrese in 1994.
Like I said I knew it wasn't my brother but as I passed this guy a thought passed through my head- "Wow. Another one."

You see, this wasn't the first person I encountered in my travel that possessed more than a passing resemblance to someone I know. I've seen versions of my friends walking in Midtown, hustling to places in the cold weather of the Northeast, riding on the J train and waiting with me at bus stops. I've known it wasn't them because we didn't acknowledge each other as familiar and most of the time the person they looked like was out of town so it couldn't be them.

The scariest is when I see old black men nowadays. Not all black men but certain older black men instantly make me think of my late father. The familiar smile at an inner joke, the crazy eyebrows, that familiar older black male stance of "I'm old, youngin', but I'll give you a lesson if you need it, son."

AKA The Morgan Freeman.
I think this might be a symptom of missing dude or maybe the universe is telling me I should listen to the voice of others that lives inside of me that tries to illuminate a correct course of action. Or maybe it's life telling me to not allow things to pass me by as an outside observer. That life is short and people move on and do what they love and grow and  expand and sometimes pass on and if I don't start doing the same I'm not doing what I should do. If you're not living up to your potential and just standing there as things flow around you, what does that make you?
Uatu- RIP
Or maybe all the people I know just look like a lot of other people. I know I have been told that I looked like pretty much every black male of a certain age ** and that was how I got the unfortunate nickname of Flusher in high school.*** Are we all Cylons secretly? Are we just variations on a few types of people, just moderately changed through time and genetic drift?

They have a plan...


This whole doppelganger thing is spooky, yo.



*I know the Doppler effect and doppelganger are two unrelated terms but it sounds good and this piece is also talking about things approaching and receding from a subject- me. So, there.
**Only sometimes said in a racist manner.
***You're smart. You can figure that one out. Use context clues.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

blackfriday*

Turning 35. Wow. That means I'm about to reach that border land age on surveys before it turns over into people kinda but not really caring what you think about products unless it's for your kids. Whoa.

Anyway....

There is a belief that every seven years the human body goes through a cycle of rebirth. That every cell in our bodies becomes brand new and we pretty much have a whole, new form.** This brings me to the old thought experiment of the Ship of Theseus or the Theseus Paradox.

"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."
—Plutarch, Theseus

Essentially, the experiment asks if you replace the pieces of a ship piece by piece but assembled in exactly the same way, it it the same ship or a totally new vessel?

I'm not sure about the ship. I don't know if it is now truly different but I can answer that question for me. 


And yes. Very much yes.

No, because I'm still the same person at my core that I have always been. I still have hope that the world can be better than it is. I still trust people more than I should sometimes. I believe that science has the potential to allow us to do anything. I'm still boyishly handsome. *** I still like geeky things and am always excited for what the next thing I've never read before is going to be.

Yes, because the things at the top of my priorities lists are still there but they have shifted around. Some of the things I would argue for or against have committed a complete 180. My faith in humanity has declined and risen and declined again.

35 years of dealing with humans can do that.

I appreciate the things that are the same about me and the differences that have arisen over the years. Sean at 7, 14, 21 and 28 are different dudes with the same inner being. 28 year old Sean was definitely a VERY different guy in that crowd. 

He was also, apparently, a ninja from Shaolin. Not the temple but Staten Island.

As I approach this personal liminal time of year for me, I often look back on what has led me to this new year of being, as I imagine a lot of people do. That often turns into an intense dissection of my life choices swiftly moving into personal judgments of my shortcomings shifting down into wondering if my choices have negatively affected the bad choices of some of my family and comparisons to my friends and age-specific peers.
Me and this dude are the same age and he is married to Lisa Bonet. Are we even the same species?

This all, ultimately, spirals down into me being depressed about where I am, how I look, what I haven't done and a wish to return to 9th grade so I could make myself do crunches, stay in, write, not listen to what people wanted/expected to me to be and stop pining over random girls who won't be interested in me and look at the ones that were actually interested. 

But not this year. This hasn't been my best year but I think it has definitely been one of the years with the most inner growth. I have done all the stuff that I just listed and I have definitely traveled down a dark road or two with the line of thought described above. You can ask a few friends I have been drunk with about those moments. But I've also, and this is fairly recent, come to appreciate the better qualities I possess. Sure, I make stupid decisions sometimes but they are mine to make and maybe they aren't stupid but just silly seeming now. Maybe my subconscious is guiding me more than I thought.

My path is not the same as my friends or family or even what people think it should be. I have to live for myself. I got stuff to work on and improve but so does everyone. There are things I want and things I have learned that I want and I know I have to change and/or adjust my thought processes to attain them. I'm committed to that, with a little of the old "Sean sucks" mentality.**** I have potential and can do amazing things. Just gotta do 'em.

I think this next year can be great for me. No. Will be great. I have to embrace aspects of the new/potential me (completing things, communicating better) and definitely have to tap into the good stuff from the past versions of me (hope, confidence bordering on cockiness). If I get all this together, I foresee a great adult. Gotta get that balance. It's about time.

Happy Birthday, dude!

I'm gonna make the rest of my life as good as I possibly can. 

Watch.



*I went back and forth over that title. It was a tossup which included Adultish, 35 Years Young and Gray Hair, Don't Care.

**Some people also say it's ten and science calls "bullshit" because our bodies are in a constant state of cell death and/or birth. Neither of these works with my post so I'm sticking to seven years. Suck it, science.

***These are just facts, people.

****I'm not going to say none because a)I know myself and b)I also use some of those darker moments as fuel to do stuff.