Saturday, October 13, 2018


My mom is in the hospital and I can't sleep.

My mom is in the hospital and I should sleep.

My mom is in the hospital and I need to think positive thoughts. I've had a very adult child conversation with my sister and brother on the phone that took me to a very sad and, because it's me, angry place. I shouldn't be thinking these thoughts and I'm trying to. I'm trying to so hard that it's making me not sleep. So, I'm going to do one of the things I do when I can't do what I want to do and just spill words out.

This is about my mother. Actually, this is about me but I'm part of my mother and we have become so much alike in adulthood that even the things that aren't her can be described in opposition to her character.

I've been having dark thoughts even before this evening when I got that call from my brother. He, my mother and my uncle traveled down to DC to surprise my sister and brother-in-law for their birthdays. They were aided in this scheme by smart niece. This is already after we had all spent a long weekend together with family members and the shenanigans that included. We got back Monday and I went back to work and the dark thoughts crept back in. They are always there on the periphery and often come up when I'm around family and friends. The thoughts are like a dark mirror that shows me how I've screwed up or continuing to screw up almost every aspect of my life. This week those thoughts went into overdrive. I think it was because I was alone and had all this time to myself to think about me in comparison with others. It's not healthy but I do it and I'm sure others do as well.

I recounted all the mistakes I've made, the foolhardy choices I picked for myself and the sheer laziness and sometimes lack of motivation that has made me arrive at this moment in my soon to be 39 year lifespan. It's not even that I feel bad for myself it's that I know or at least feel my choices have had the ripple effect of touching the lives of those close to me, particularly my family.

This is why this is about my mother.

Those negative thoughts come from my mother. Stop. I'm not saying she is a negative person or would ever put that burden on me. What I'm saying is that those burdens I imagine are probably the same ones she imagines. My mother is the savior of my family. When there is something to be done, she does it. She figures out solutions and is tough and will protect and care for the people around her. To the detriment of herself at times. My mother is the woman that can't relax. Even in retirement she is go-Go-GO. She doesn't ask for help and will power through anything. I've seen her go to work after slipping on ice and busting up her leg. She helped run this past reunion weekend with a bad back and woke up to make breakfast for others daily while doing it. She does all this even when other people say that they can help out and she SHOULD listen and relax.

That is why this is about my mother. That is why this is about me.

I possess the same stubborn and weird Superman complex. I don't necessarily worry too much about myself but if someone needs help (family, friend, student, etc.) I'll break my neck to do it. I'm the guy who will stay and prepare stuff for the next day. I'm the friend you can call to help you move or talk about your problems with at pretty much anytime. I'm the guy who tries to keep group projects working even when I know I could be doing something to benefit me, I need a break and/or it's a bit of a losing battle. These are all aspects of me that I get from my mother. These are also the things that invite in those dark thoughts. Am I doing enough? Can I pass on this so someone else can get it? Why am I asking someone else for help when I can figure out a way to do this on my own?

Combine those thoughts with an adult who is pretty much only doing well in the job section of his life (and even that is iffy) and you get a person who is living with dark moments. A lot.

Which brings me back to the beginning...

My mom is in the hospital and I can't sleep.

The dark thoughts are competing with themselves right now. On one hand, I'm thinking the worst but on the other hand I'm also thinking that I have to keep my shit together for everyone else in case the worst happens. And something brilliant is happening. The latter thoughts are gaining power and I remember how stubborn my mother is. How much of a damn fighter she could be. I've seen her chase grown men with shovels and drag men who have been shot in the face into the safety of our house. I fear very little thanks to being around this brave heroine my whole life. She was the one that is dependable and strong and will do anything to support and stand by us. I can do the same. I'm here because she was tough when I came into this world and it wasn't looking good for me. She gave me that power to fight and I can give her that energy right back in return. We are both folks that beat the odds. She'll do it again.

So, yeah, my mom is in the hospital, I can't sleep but I'm going to let being positive and hopeful be the reason I remain awake.

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


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 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.