Friday, December 13, 2013

You Can Spell It With A Y All Day...

I normally try to not comment or even concern myself with the discussions of race. For one, I think my opinions on the matter are pretty self-evident in that I'm for the freedom and liberty of all people and I sometimes mess up but I would like to believe that even when I do make these errors in actions/speech, I'm a decent enough human being to apologize and correct myself. Secondly, as a black man in this country who happened to spend time in the South for family visits and went to predominantly white schools from around the age of 12, I've encountered my fair share of overt racism and it's gets exhausting dealing with it or trying to explain the reason something can be offensive. I know that my very existence can be viewed as a political stance but, seriously, it's 2013 and I've been on this planet for 30+ years and I'm tired of speaking on it.

There is so much going on with issues of race/sex/class/power constantly that sometimes I'm like "Someone else is going to talk on this and I'm not going to say anything new and I'm preaching to the choir anyway." I just shut up and concern myself with geeky issues instead.* It usually serves me well in keeping me sane.

Plus, it's kinda smarmy to just comment on stuff when I know for a fact I'm not going to put on pants and take to the streets about something.


I'm really not taking back my city today. I'm gonna clear my DVR instead.

I don't want to give up. I don't want to not fight for equality and justice and education in basic levels of respect but sometimes people irritate me to the point where I want to grab my ball and go home.

Then, there are times where I get so irritated that I have to at least comment.

Such is the case with this bullshite response to this article.



Now, I'm not here to argue what Santa or Jesus looked like (I'm like Kanye in that way). I frankly don't give a shite and that's up to you. You can use facts or whatever you want these guys to look like to motivate your opinions. I can care less if you think either of these figures were real or not too. That's on you and you have the right to believe anything you want to believe in regards to that or how you choose to portray these two figures in your church or house. Whatever. 

My issue is with this line- 
"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change."- Megyn Kelly

What?

Jon Stewart probably described that best last night with "I think that's the official slogan of oppression."  I think that's it's also the slogan for the opposite of progress.

Things change. That's the nature of the universe. It's universal law. And, most of the time, it's for the betterment of mankind.  Very rarely do you find people fighting to keep things the same or "traditional" to end up on the correct side of history.


Jackasses, all.
And before you say it, I don't believe Megyn Kelly is as bad as the above asshattery. I've actually agreed with her before. Once. She is also on an inflammatory network that, for all that jazz about "fair and balanced", is really just an outlet to speak in a highly conservative slant. I also don't believe that she is an out and out racist. She may in fact be a racist but I don't get that feel from her and would need a definitive statement to say she is. Racist undertone to her comment? Yes. Intentionally racist? Ehh...

I DO think she is suffering from the same strain of disease that a lot of people with privilege and power suffer from and I'm not talking about affluenza. It's ignorance of how things are, why they are the way they are and a lack of empathy for others.




They have this belief that everyone is like them and thinks like them. This is pretty common in all or most members of humanity. The problem with their thinking like this is that they have privilege gained from power from their ancestors in past years that directs how the world actually works. This is why the standards of beauty and the way we think about things are the way they are. The white male viewpoint is the unfortunate default setting and any thinking outside of this causes an uproar and a feeling of "I'm being attacked" or "we're losing" in this group.** Any changes to how they conceive the world should be is answered with an immediate argument and being aghast that you would even suggest something so outlandish.

"Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn't mean it has to change."- Megyn Kelly ***

The privileged thought process is simple- "It doesn't have to change if it's in support of those in power AKA me. If you complain about it, something is wrong with you and you are being an uppity minority/woman/LGBT person. Tradition is tradition because it's great, for me. You aren't a slave/live in America/have "equal opportunity"*** and if you complain and want things to be more fair, well, then you are attacking my freedom and I can't allow that because I can't lose. My ancestors have never lost and I won't give up any power to help you at the least feel decent about yourself. Stop bringing up old stuff because it's in the past and I don't want to think about it and it hasn't affected me in a truly negative way so who cares?"

I care. 

Minorities care. Women care. The oppressed care. And if you really give a damn about humanity, you SHOULD care. It's not losing when someone else wins or gets a little more freedom. We all win. And that should be our ultimate goal in everything. 

We all win and we are better humans because of it.

Stop being an arse. Be a good human.



*This industry has its own issues with race, sexual orientation and gender representation.
**Which is INSANE since white dudes haven't lost since the year 982 when Native Americans whupped up on some Vikings. White dudes are in fact the Harlem Globetrotters of history.
***'Fuck out of here...
****Bullshit.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A New York Magic Moment

There are rare moments when you are reminded that people can be alright and not stressful and can make you feel good to enjoy their company for a time. I find these moments occur a lot but usually when you aren't looking for them. Strangers can come into your existence for a second and be your pal for that moment and it's great. Single serving pals can be wonderful. Here is the story of my train ride with cool, tired people.

I had just left the ATCQ/Yeezus concert and hiked to the A train. My plan was to catch the F train at the next stop uptown and ride that all the way to the bus home. For some reason, the F was acting funky and only got me a little into Manhattan before I had enough and said "Screw it. I'll take my chances with the J."

I go to the J platform expecting to deal with more MTA late night shenanigans but surprisingly the train arrives pretty quickly. I get on and grab an empty seat by some young, Latino woman with a nose ring. I'm tired but amped from the activities I just left and figure that the ride home will be pretty much about me being alone in my thoughts with no interactions with others. This is generally how I like it but this lady beside me had other ideas.

"Where are you coming from?" she asked me. I could tell by the drawl of her voice that she had also had a few drinks in her system for the night.

"Brooklyn. The Kanye concert. It was cool," I replied.

"Really? That's cool. Where are you going now?" she asked.

"Home, to sleep," I answered. "Last stop."

"Well," she said, putting her hand on my arm. " Do you mind if I take a nap on your shoulder? I'm getting off at the Junction and I'm tired from dancing all night. I'm a stripper."

(At this point I was gonna let her sleep on my shoulder anyway because frak it, she wasn't gonna bug me by doing so and although, I want to think I'm noble like this fine fellow* I realize I'm shallow enough that I'll let an attractive woman use me as a pillow. Anyway...)

"Cool," I said.

"No, I really am," she said. At this point I look across the way at this older black lady, her friend and this woman who was closer in age to me. They all looked at me and smiled, particularly the latter woman.

My seat buddy digs into her bag and pulls out here shoes a bit so I could see the clear heels.

"See? I'm a stripper," she said again.

"Aight," I replied because really what else was I supposed to say?

So, she put her shoes back in her bag and closed it up. Then she wrapped her arm through my arm and proceeded to doze off on my shoulder. She woke up every couple of stops to remind me that she was getting off at the Junction and I just told her to go back to sleep, I'd make sure she got off at the right stop.
The entire time the three people across from us were just smiling and laughing at this entire scene.

At one point she got up and said something about how her mother was going to be pissed with her because although she was just eating dinner after her shift, her mother would probably think something else since she was getting home so late. Why she told me this, I had no clue but I just told her to be honest and she had nothing to worry about.

I actually enjoyed the comfort of her being there with her arm wrapped around mine. It was a very non-sexual moment with someone whose work was wrapped up intricately in the world of sex, or at least the fantasy of sex. It was just nice to have the human contact and with nothing implied or wanted or anything awkward in the moment. For that short train ride we were just two buddies enjoying the comfort of being at ease. And judging by the smiles of the folks around us, it was contagious.

There are a few moments when you realize how awesome NYC is. Sure the people here can be brusque and maybe even rude and the transit system and the weather can suck. But at the heart of all that rushing, fast-paced, tough people existence the people of this city can just be calm and cool and helpful. We can all vibe off our energy and enjoy the crazy life trip we are all partners in, at least for awhile.

I nudge my stripper friend awake at Chauncey street, the stop before the Junction. She smirks and says "Good. I'm almost home and awake, no thanks to you."

"Yeah, whatever, girl," I say back. "Just get home safe and rest."

"Will do," she replies as we roll into her stop. "Thanks for the shoulder. Night."

"Night."

The train rolls on. The old lady and her friend (actually it was friends) ride with me to the last stop. The Latino woman about my age across for me has really enjoyed watching me interact with my dancing pal. When she finally gets to her stop, she smiles and says "You're nice. Have a good night."

 "Take care," I say back, realizing that if I didn't sit next to that chick and she didn't ask for the use of my brawny man shoulders then we wouldn't have exchanged any words.

Wow.

Strippers can be magical.

So can this damn city.

I liked you for a brief moment, humanity. Thanks.

Please and thank you.

* I actually DID think about this guy when she asked me so I guess I'm a little better than I think of myself at times.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Strange

Before I start, my dad is out the hospital after like 50 + days and I've taken baby steps to reconnect with an old friend/weird relationship lady friend. So most of this is good or at least moving forward.

Started back to tutoring last week. Only working one day during the week at my friend's place right now but it's cool and I'm still looking for other gigs as usual. The normal shite.

So, this week I went in as usual and held the elevator for this woman with a cane because I'm an awesome dude like that.

Good advice. Be like me.


I had a weird moment of staring and smiling with her as we watched the numbers on the panel light up. She ended up getting off on the same floor as me. Okay. She was a fellow tutor, who has apparently been working with the same group for the past 4 years but we've never met.

We were both early. I said hi to my friend and other people I knew but somehow we (me and the elevator chick) just dropped into conversation about random stuff with each other REALLY easily. It was strange.

It was weird that we had that moment (or at least I had that moment with her) and the ease of talking with a stranger was unusual for me. I'm very charming, false modesty be damned, and can talk to pretty much anyway I meet but this was different.

I have no idea what it means or if it means anything. I have a horrible habit of reading into things which I blame entirely on being a pop culture victim, with rom-coms, sci-fi and comic books being the usual suspects.

I've had times where I have talked with folks and during the course of a conversation had my brain tell me "You and this person will be real cool." I've had times where I've thought "Wow. That person is really attractive. I want make out with them" in public. This wasn't any of that.*

Is there a thing as "friendship at first sight"? We'll see where this goes.

PS- Totally unrelated note but I've learned that more of my friends, particularly the female ones, are more geeky than I knew. This shouldn't be a surprise to me, "birds of a feather" and the such, but it was.**

UPDATE- Never mind.

*Not saying she wasn't attractive. She was but I wouldn't say she was "my type."*** Anyway...
**I reread that and it's a bit sexist of me to not think they would be. I'm working on that patriarchal thinking instilled in my brain.
***Do I even have a type? Hmmm...

Bullshite/Just Do It

I've come to a realization.

No, not a realization but something obvious that I already knew but have a tough time applying to the reality because, well, I'm me.

I need to write and there is no valid excuse not to be writing pretty much whenever I get a free moment.

I mean, I already kinda do but those writing jags come in bursts and I have full ideas for stories that I've either a) have completed only in my head b) should be stopped/put off for later because I don't have a really good ending or c) have not uploaded/shared.

A lot of the time I invent excuses for not writing and the big one is always access to the necessary equipment, ie a computer.

This is bullshit.

People were writing before these magical boxes were created. Hell, I was writing before this thing. I still write with pen and paper mostly now anyway. The only thing about not having constant access to a computer is a valid excuse for is the quantity of content put on the internet by me. I can update my Tumblr and Pinterest pretty regularly so there should be no reason for me not to do the same with these blogs.

So, time to stop the bs and just do it. Throw up (good) work and get this noise in my head out into the world on a consistent basis as opposed to those nights where I'm in the zone.

Keep me honest, Russians and Latvians.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Idiom Series Seventeen

I got nothing. Anything, Sir Rick James?

"Hate To Say It..."

C'mon, son. You LOVE the chance to say it. If you didn't, you probably wouldn't even be thinking it, much less letting those words come to your lips.

I find that people who say this generally are the same people who must have the last word in anything. They have to express their opinions and that's cool most of the time. But sometimes they become arseholes and just want to say things to irritate or prove that they are correct, even if they aren't. Victory is vital for this special brand of human.

If you really hated to say it, guess what you could have done?

That's right because this is going on in my head whenever you speak anyway.


Grindin'

This is my nephew.

He's a senior in high school.

He's taller and cooler than me.

I'm old.


Sunday, August 25, 2013

so...

Will really update whenever I get home later today but what's going on with me?

Well...

-Dad is back in the hospital. Been there pretty much all week but I wasn't informed until 2 AM on Thursday morning. They are unsure of what exactly is wrong this time and are still running tests. He is in isolation and so I have to wear a mask and gloves when I see him.

I totally got sidelined while I searched for this by THIS. I'm simple.

This type of activity has been going on for awhile and doesn't get easier. This is particularly true because outside of his wife I'm the one that sees him and so he shares all the melancholy with me that he won't tell anyone else. It gets kinda heavy especially as his health doesn't improve; it just becomes bearable.

-Airing out my room since the plumbing in my house decided to crap out and back all the pipes up yesterday. Me and my uncle figured out what the problem was so no plumber was necessary (which was good) but since all the pipes are connected in the grand scheme of things, I had to clean some interesting stuff out my shower (which was HORRIBLE).


So my morning was just this. Fail.

-Still trying to get my personal statement perfect. You know, for someone who shares pretty freely on this thing, writing that is tougher than I expected.

-Cleaned out the shed with my brother yesterday. That came about because while I was dealing with the plumbing I was looking for a wet-vac out there. I found two of them. With no hoses. Pissed me off so I finally went through the place with my brother and organized my family's hoarder stash. Massive job.

Yes, I just called my aunt Smaug. What of it?

-Still having to force myself from e-mailing/texting my friend I "broke up" with. My timing is always impeccable and the person I would discuss all of the above with is the person I can't/shouldn't talk with. Plus, I only am in steady communication with only two of my friends right now so that makes things even better. I'm a winner like that.

They are no amused by my whining or my sarcasm.

I appreciate my one friend who reads this (one of the aforementioned "two") and all the random Latvians and Russians who stumble onto my page but it's not the same.* I miss her although it was the right call to make, hopefully.

So, that's a quick rundown of some of what's been up with me recently. Not happy about it all but I've gotten some good advice recently...

I can do this all day, sucka.


How have y'all been? I'm looking at you, Vlad in Moscow.


*But I do like saying I'm a big deal in Latvia nowadays because it makes me sound like Dr. Doom a bit.**
**"I will always be your better, Richards. You cannot hope to defeat DOOM!!!!"



Friday, August 9, 2013

Vision

As I've gotten older, I've learned to want more stuff. I used to not care about stuff and I still don't think about it as much as other people I know. I've been told I live a spartan lifestyle and I embrace it, both by choice and circumstance. But, I also like cool stuff* and things that "speak to me", as cliche as that sounds.

I've also have had a vision of myself in the near future (5-10 years from now currently) running in my head at various times since about 2006. I think people do this a lot, specifically when you imagine a lottery win or something. Elements vary but for the last few months the vision has sorta solidified in my head.

The following is a list of my daydream/hope to make real life stuff I want-

#small house near a beach (I need water and I hear Southern Cali calling)
#art on walls (This is a throwback list)
#nice, small backyard with covered deck, something I can work on
#shed for tools necessary to work on stuff, also maybe a cool hidden spy wall
#writing room with illustrated wall, corkboard, whiteboard
#jeep wrangler or similar (reminds me, I NEED to get a new license)
#comfy clothes
#nice bank account (I don't need to ball out of control but check to check is wack sauce)
#books written, done and working on new projects
#comfy couch
#cool bedroom
#nice extra bedroom
#punching bag and weights
#baseball caps that look good on me

Stuff in my pocket of jeans below the faded Superman t-shirt I'm wearing
#slim wallet
#keys to something just for me
#decent, sturdy phone (maybe a G'Zone)
#multitool with knife
#headphones
#gum
#watch (I need to start wearing watches)
#dog tags
#rubberbands
#pen
#paper
#lighter

That's it for right now. This list will change but this is pretty close to the image in my head right now of Future Sean.


*Just a heads up, if you want to see this kinda represented in visual form because I don't feel like cutting and pasting images right now go to http://pinterest.com/kalthrace/boards/ and check out my interests. This stuff is mostly inspired or inspires the board called Cool Stuff.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

No One Wants To Be A Red Shirt*

*that title makes no sense and really doesn't even relate to this post but whatever, I haven't slept yet

It's early and I'm usually up around this time since I walk my mom to the bus pretty much daily. I should be going back to sleep or trying to get some since I have work today and sleep is just good for you. I had planned on sleeping but thinking about a current situation made me get up and I wasn't able to get back to sleep. So, here we are and I just drunk a Red Bull Blue Edition which has no effect on me except making me want to pee but I enjoy the taste so let's see what I can get down before my body knocks me out. It may be more rambling than usual so I apologize in advance. This is pretty stream of consciousness right now.

Meek Mill's yelling will have to do the job these won't.
I've been thinking about a lot of my relationships recently, including the one that made me leave the comfort of my bed. I've also been on a personal hiatus from dealing with people. This is a result of a few factors- needing a human break, figuring out how much effort others would put into our relationship when I stopped doing most of the heavy lifting*, recommitting myself to my New Year's goal of being more selfish and generally trying to get my shite together.

My New Year's goal has been going pretty piss poor. I HAVE been doing better than previous years, especially in these last 2 or 3 months but I have still been overextending myself for the people I care about and even a few who I'm "ehhhh" about. I blame it mostly on my upbringing. Although my younger years had craziness, I was raised by people who taught me to generally not be an asshole and look out for people. I've found that people I know are mostly good and it's kind of hard to break my habit of being there for others, even at my own expense.

But frak all of that! I'm going to still look out for people but I'm keeping the balance better and I come before anyone else, except my mom who is awesome.

So, selfishness is back in full motherfuckin' effect! Wait. It can't be back since it wasn't really here to begin with. I mean, selfishness is going down! (basement)

In addition to that, I have to admit something. I've been reading biographies and self-help books for awhile now. Like TWO YEARS "awhile." I think it comes from me trying to figure out me and find a solution for problems I encounter in life. I've never done this before because I've been more of a "free spirit"** and since I've been less flighty I've been trying to find my center.

Only kids and childish movie viewers like me will get this.
I've been looking for words of wisdom, good advice from successful people, bad advice from screw-ups,*** ideas on finding peace/"the way"/happiness. Hell, I even did a tarot reading and I REALLY don't believe in that voodoo shite. But, we all gotta pay "stupid tax" from time to time. It's why the lottery still exists.****


Anyway, I came to two conclusions from all of this motivational introspection and heavy reading-
1) There is some good universal advice. Universal truths do exist about certain things.
2) Everyone finds their own way to happiness. 

The first conclusion has helped me adjust some things in how approach people and situations. I have even started to compile the wisdom most helpful to me in a little leather book to get me through. It's my bible for remaining calm and finding the proper path for me.

No, really. I really did do this. Ask to see it if you see me.

The second conclusion is even more important. We all have different goals and have to get there in our own ways. And I know what you are thinking because I thought it as soon as I typed that sentence- "Duh. No shit, Sherlock." The thing is I know this and you know this but during those dark moments when we doubt ourselves or those horrible instances where we are envious of someone else's success/contentment, we often forget that simple fact. We can't live others' lives, we wouldn't want to if we knew what bullshit they had to deal with in their heads and very rarely is someone else's idea of happiness the same as ours. 

And with knowing and relearning both these facts you gotta sometimes make hard calls. It may be changing your focus or choosing a new path. It may be extricating yourself from a relationship or situation that's not beneficial to you. It may be reaffirming your commitment to a project/relationship/plan even when others doubt you. It may be making yourself less available to others and becoming more selfish. It may be being alone. It may be looking for a new tribe to hang with. It may be doing nothing because you are already happy on your current path.*****

Ultimately, you have to choose what's best for you and what's going to bring you your particular brand of happiness. The world turns whether you are content or not but the merry-go-round is less bumpy when you have joy in your soul.

Okay. My babbling in this post is done. I'm actually feeling better about everything and I think this post wasn't TOO terrible but I haven't reread it. Hold on.

Yeah.

Whatever. It is what it is.

Be happy, folks.






*answer-not a lot
**my pal once called me a "hippie", another called me a "man-whore." Both were valid calls, ref
***which is overlooked but is HIGHLY educational
****I'm highly pissed I loss last night's PowerBall and can't travel the world training like Bruce Wayne
*****fuck you. no, seriously, go to hell, you lucky bastard (joking...mostly)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

So, I Have About Ten Post Done....

...or pretty much done. Or at least done to the level that if I take another 5-10 minutes with them I would be cool with posting them on here and here and here.

But I haven't posted anything really lately.

And it's not that I'm afraid or even being lazy (shocker) about it or even falling into the internet wormhole of random searching. Or at least not too much of the last one.

I don't really know exactly why I haven't put up anything. I don't really censor myself much here, particularly not when I'm the one to be potentially embarrassed. It's just been about a month or so of being shocked by different news events, questioning myself and, specifically, most of my relationships with other human beings. Things like how I interact with folks, how people interact with me, what I accept, what's my boundary line, how much effort I'm going to put into people and things... It goes on and on and I sometimes think I should share this with someone but those I would normally share this kind of thinking with are the ones who are in these thoughts. It's crazy.

So, I've dedicated myself to figuring out what is going on and resolving these issues. It's not going to be fun and I'm probably going to be more upset, mostly with myself, but this is the way to move forward and not totally become that dude that lives alone in the mountains growing a beard.*

While I work on all that I'm going to do my best to post those blogs, complete some good stories and basically get my shite back together.

Gotta boost brand ME and make that the priority. Everything else falls into place after that.


*that ACTUALLY sounds alright, as long as I have a pet and reliable internet.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I Still Don't Understand Women

Yeah. The title pretty much says it.

That's all.

Well, you can make that "don't understand PEOPLE" to be truly accurate but I'm just talking about women right now.

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Star Shine

I just saw a news report about this place- Star Shine.
I'm not really the guy who needs a shoe shine but I got kinda excited about this.



Not for the cleavage view of the women but for the idea of drinking at a new venue.
Growth or a problem with booze?
You decide.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Most Interesting Man In The World*

*or the closest thing to it in the group of dudes I know

"Let's say that there's an event and people around me get invited and I'm not invited. Some part of me will feel like a failure. How can you not? The real me knows that it's just an event, but doubt enters my mind about why I'm not there. Is it because I'm not good enough?"
- Questlove, Mo' Meta Blues

I have a friend from high school who is living the life. Actually, I have a few friends from high school who are living the life but this guy is perhaps the closest in what people that are single would consider "the life." He travels a great deal, always is up for a good time, gets me involved in shenanigans so noteworthy I have to scroll through photos on my phone from the night before to gain an accurate view of what happened, Memento style*, and he is never without a pretty and/or cool lady around.

So, this guy but younger and blacker.
What always amazes me is the fact that he always contacts me to hang out when we are in the same town. I mean I used to be a real barrel of monkeys and can still be pretty chill but I'm DEFINITELY am a Triple-A player compared to his Yankees level party abilities. So, I think about it and what it means because, really, what better way to enjoy time with someone than to WAY over-think it and question yourself being in that moment? Or am I the only one?

Then I look at my other friends and see similar effects. If there is an event involving alcohol and music, then I get the call. It's like I'm the catalyst to up the ante or continue the party or break out "the shark fin."** Or be "the black guy at the party."


The flip side to this and what I have been noticing more recently is that I'm very rarely invited to just chill events or sometimes I don't even hear from my friends unless something is needed or a party is going down. This is due to a lot of factors I think, including but not limited to my friends getting married, having kids, working on life dream moves.... basically, a lot of things I think the world believes I should be doing at my age.*** And I understand. I totally get it. I understand if I'm not invited to the couples outing or people getting busy working on something that they don't just holler out of the blue.

It doesn't mean it's not frustrating or disheartening. I would like the random "wassup with you?" text, especially if you are just asking what is going on with me with no other reason behind it. For the most part, I'll probably respond and then ask you the same and you can complain/brag all you want afterwards anyway. I like to hear about people's lives, if they aren't boring as shite. Hell, I even like random e-mails that are funny; it at least tells me this person was thinking about something interesting/funny and thought about me.

I actually looked at my e-mails for the last week or so and after I cut out spam, e-mail blasts (do people still call them that?) and e-mail threads I started, I think I had maybe 2 e-mails from someone not wanting me to do something for them and just saying "hey" or "look at this."

This is reading as whiny to me but I do feel sort of forgotten at times and even if that isn't reality, the feelings still remain. I honestly don't mind being alone and sometimes appreciate but I also feel lonely during those moments when I think about my pals and how I don't hear from them in the same volume. People change and grow and evolve and live their lives. I get it. It just sucks a bit when you feel and fear that those people you care about are outgrowing you.


Okay. That was depressing and more sad at the end than I really feel. I don't age like Hancock but I'm sure someone would pick me up from a hospital. Preferably Charlize Theron. But that feeling of being a part of the world but separate and lonely at times? I get that.

Anyway, that's my sad sack moment for the night. I'm sure once I get busier and back on course about some things, I'll feel better. Don't cry for me, Internet. Just recognize that sometimes a friend just needs another friend to give them a shout for no reason. It makes them feel better and will probably do the same for you.


*I seriously only kind of remember the 2008 Election Night in LV and only pieced that together from phone pics.
**Inside joke; sorry, I'll try not to do that again. It's too much to explain; well, not really but I'm just lazy about it right now.
***I actually am trying on these fronts, trust me...except for the kid thing. Wrap it up, kids!

Physical Current Contents of a Life

-socks
-3 pair of sneakers (one pair needs a thorough cleaning)
-underwear and t-shirts
-t-shirts with stuff on 'em
-khakis, lots of khakis
-4 or 5 pairs of jeans (but only like 2 I like to wear)
-2 nice shorts
-couple of b-ball shorts
-one pair of swimming trunks
-some dressy slacks, I think
-a giant pic of a drunken me that a friend took for one of his art projects
-3 or 4 USB flash drives
-non-working laptop with 2 (2!) working laptop cases
-books, a lot of books
-comic books, too many comic books
-a nice painting from a my best friend and his wife
-Kindle, again a gift from same friend (remind me to get him something nice when "I make it")
-lots of notebooks of various sizes with various things in them
-ripped wallet with business cards, MetroCards and not much cash
-beat up passport (which I REALLY need to renew)
-duffel bag
-2 pair of boots
-2 or 3 pair of shoes
-2 suit jackets (which might be too big or too small)
-4 or 5 hoodies
-3 or 4 jackets/coats
-sweaters, particularly a nice Mister Rogers-esque one which was a gift from a student
-4 or 5 sketchbooks
-2 or 3 bookbags
-little used weights (clarification- they aren't little in size, they are just not used as much as they should be)
-BlackBerry
-iRiver, which was very helpful during Sandy's landfall
-non-functioning camera (I really need a new one
-VAULTZ lockbox and contents (pics, dogtags, seashells, tickets stubs, etc.)
-slippers/sandals
-some DVDs (that I have to get back before this woman leaves town)
-Snuggie, blue, bright blue
-random little items (plastic gundam figure, little Buddha, sunglasses, RealD 3D glasses)
-baseball caps I don't wear (I still suck at pulling off that look)
-fancy hats, like 2
-pocket knife
-toothbrush
-electronic razor
-glasses because I am blind
- nail clipper with a Puerto Rican flag on it (???)
-2 or 3 bandanas
-random junk I can probably toss (papers with outdated/bad ideas, stolen memorabilia, stupid things I'll never use, old certificates, disks, etc.)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Future Shock

Anyone who knows me knows that I love watching HGTV and DIY Network. I'm an addict about those networks programming almost to the state that I'm an addict about sci-fi geekery. I love building stuff and seeing cool ideas come together and those two stations (do people still say "stations"?) are perfect for that.*

With that being said, there are certain shows I don't watch on HGTV ever. I avoid House Hunters, My First Place and House Hunters International, which is just HH for REALLY rich people. It's not that these aren't good shows and I have seen an episode or two when my mother was watching where I am interested in what is going on. But if I'm alone, I will switch the channel.

I often wondered why I did this. At first I thought it was boredom because no one was building a deck or knocking down a wall or putting in a big screen TV behind a mirror. I have needs and these are some of them when watching other people do stuff to their places of residence.

But, then, it hit me.

I don't watch these shows because it's about a future with owning stuff and family and being "locked in" with your life.



I have a fear about having a mundane existence and a weird inability to follow the rules of how I "should" mature and be living. This is funny because I know in my heart that I DO want to be a home owning guy with a backyard, a wife, a kid or a few, maybe a dog. But when I see these people on TV, I just go into Sean Shutdown mode. Either that or I turn into Dave Chappelle in these moments...


I don't know why it happens. Maybe it comes from some weird trauma I had or is my old teen self speaking up in my head, telling me dumb shite about "humanity is horrible" and "don't have a family" and "you'll just screw it up." I don't know. I couldn't tell you.

I'm going to think on it some more.

Anyway, I need to post something to get the typing fingers working and also this just popped in my head because I saw a commercial for HGTV. I got some stuff going/not going on (yeah, I'm still vague) but I will be putting up stuff on this and my Thracian Drive blog. I got all the ideas and most of it down; just got to make myself upload it. That's always the tough part for me.

I'm a weirdo. But y'all knew that. Why else are you here?



*btw, check out Diresta's channel on YouTube. He does awesome work there and on the MAKE Magazine channel.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Connected Guy, No More*

* well, at least for this weekend

Taking a break from as much of humanity as I can for at least the weekend.

Maybe until Tuesday.

Very hard. You forget how much you rely on the internet and your phone. Even posting this is taking all of my restraint not to go to another random website or fall into the Wikipedia hole.

Hopefully this time off will allow me to think and straighten out some life stuff and some emotional stuff. Also, maybe I can really get to work on things I have begun and just haven't completed/uploaded.

Plus, I still got a lot to clear out on my DVR. I have NO IDEA what is going on with Once Upon A Time at this point. Maybe I can fix that. This is low priority though.


UPDATE: I'm back on the net. I have a problem and it's unfortunately no longer this.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Idiom Series Sixteen

Not so Sweet Sixteen. BLAM! I got my mojo back!

"Now, I'm just playing devil's advocate here but..."

Just shut the frak up! Really. You saying this doesn't take away from the fact that you are about to say some REAL offensive shite.
It's almost as bad as when someone says "Not to sound racist/sexist/homophobic." Guess what? Whatever is coming out of your mouth is sure to be racist/sexist/homophobic. I'm pretty sure I have never encountered a situation when that hasn't happened.

And, come on, does the Devil really need an advocate? He/She/It does fine all by him/her/itself. I don't think the Devil is looking for you for backup. Been working alone for millenniums; the Devil is fine.

So, if you feel this statement creeping up in your throat, shut your mouth and don't say whatever is going around in your pea-brain.

Thanks, The World. And, I'm guessing, the Devil too.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

New Readers- FYI

Just so you know, this blog is encapsulated in the following gif:




That is all.

Respect of Self

I was going to put up another few posts (I will tonight) but I came across this selection from Joan Didion called "On Self-Respect." It's pretty good and, if you get a second, check out the whole thing here. I thought the last bit was very good and so I'm sharing it with you right now. It helped me decide what to do, or at least gave me pause in my decision making process about some stuff-


"To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference. If we do not respect ourselves, we are the one hand forced to despise those who have so few resources as to consort with us, so little perception as to remain blind to our fatal weaknesses. On the other, we are peculiarly in thrall to everyone we see, curiously determined to live out – since our self-image is untenable – their false notion of us. We flatter ourselves by thinking this compulsion to please others an attractive trait: a gist for imaginative empathy, evidence of our willingness to give. Of course I will play Francesca to your Paolo, Helen Keller to anyone’s Annie Sullivan; no expectation is too misplaced, no role too ludicrous. At the mercy of those we cannot but hold in contempt, we play roles doomed to failure before they are begun, each defeat generating fresh despair at the urgency of divining and meeting the next demand made upon us.

It is the phenomenon sometimes called “alienation from self.” In its advanced stages, we no longer answer the telephone, because someone might want something; that we could say no without drowning in self-reproach is an idea alien to this game. Every encounter demands too much, tears the nerves, drains the will, and the specter of something as small as an unanswered letter arouses such disproportionate guilt that answering it becomes out of the question. To assign unanswered letters their proper weight, to free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, the singular power of self-respect. Without it, one eventually discovers the final turn of the screw: one runs away to find oneself, and finds no one at home."

Good stuff.

Also, I'm still g'd up even when thinking about this stuff. Don't forget, cuz.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Ramblin' Rundown

Here is list of roles I've been put in or adopted for myself at any given time in my life, good or bad.

Son
Brother
Half-Brother
Older Brother
Younger Brother
Step-Brother
Middle Child
Blerd*
Geek
Comic Book Geek
Gold Medalist**
National Merit Scholar
Juror***
Human IMDB
Drunk Pal
Uncle
Drunkle
Responsible Uncle
Cousin
Grandson
"The Black Kid"
"The Black Guy"****
Procrastinator
Friend
Best Friend
Dude I Know Through Friend
Non-Gay Gay Best Friend
Kinda Boyfriend
F-Buddy
F-Buddy Confidante
Tutor
Supervisor
Boss
Walker*****
Rom-Com Lover
Sci-Fi Geek
Reader
Blogger
Writer
Wingman
BBQer
Party Animal
Dancer

The Black Brad Pitt#
Flusher##

Poet
Coward
BSer
Lucky Bastard
Bastard
Pub Regular
Superman/Mr. Dependable
Jackass
Encyclopedia Brown###
Dude I Make Out With At The Club####

I'm sure there are more but this list is pretty long as is. Okay. Enough procrastination.


*Black Nerd
**It was for a Kodak/The NY Daily New Math competition when I was like 8. I still consider myself on par with Olympian Gold medalist like Gabby Douglas or Oscar Pistorius...okay, NOT Pistorius.
***Unfortunately not a Rural Juror.
****Just the older version of "The Black Kid." Like Pokemon evolution, you reach this state with training, experience points and hanging with white dudes in baseball caps.
*****Just a dude that walks; not a zombie.
#FACT- I invented this term in 1998. I got witnesses. I also did "tuxedos for no reason." Look, I'm just saying there is a lot of coincidences going down, man. Way too many.
##People told me I used to look like Usher hence the charming handle coined by one of my friends. They're the best.
###Not actually named after the popular character. I got this moniker from reading encycolpedias and being brown. (SEE BLERD ABOVE)
####I had a good run for some years. Been awhile.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

RSI/Residual Self Image-Part 2

I stumbled onto Jackthreads.com yesterday while I was responding to a message from a friend on Facebook. Just to get us on the same page, Jackthreads is a site with clothes for guys. I don't like all the gear on there but they sometimes have good specials and some of the stuff gives me good ideas for design for how folks dress in my writing. I was on there because they had some sort of 40% off sale and as I was perusing the offerings I thought to myself two things- 1)This is an exercise in futility because I'm too broke to really get this stuff and 2)I actually am really wanting stuff nowadays.

The first thought is an ongoing process to dig myself out of this personal life hole I dug for myself.

Deshi (Deshi!) Basara (Basara!)...
The second thought was sort of a shock and not only because the stuff I was looking at wasn't particularly that bad ass but because I actually had the thought "I WANT THAT" flash in my head and it wasn't a geeky item/a winning PowerBall ticket/a giant mythical wolf to do my bidding. 

I've never been a "wanter" or even a "needer." Blame it on being a middle child or being the oldest cousin looking out for the others or being the son of two stubborn people who always did things themselves if they could do it. My father is horrible about getting what is needed and my mother was always the type of person that'll power through anything and didn't ask anyone for help. This combo of different things has greatly contributed to my view and actions to many things in my own life.

This is obviously not healthy.

I've been trying to do better. I have looked back and observed how this long cultivated attitude has messed me up with getting things done faster and even relationships with people. I'm trying to do better but I often switch back into "I don't need that/you" mode which can easily trick my brain into "I don't really want that/that is just greed and materialism talking" mode. This is why that moment yesterday shocked me.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

I have a recurring movie in my head. It's not particularly long. It's me sitting at a table with my brother. I'm wearing jeans, Converses and a Superman shirt usually. I'm not sure what my brother has on, probably something ridiculous but fashionable. We are talking about something ridiculous as I wait for an interviewer to show up. She/He appears and I explain my brother is visiting me here in California/somewhere in the South and I hope it isn't a problem. The interviewer says no and then proceeds to asks me questions about my second or third book, how my life is different compared to ten years ago, how I feel about being engaged/married/dating someone supportive and awesome. It's a fun time and eventually the movie just fades to black with me looking stronger, older and happier than I am right now.

I bring this up only to illustrate that I know that somewhere in my subconscious is a guy who wants more. He's in there scratching at the back of my skull. Maybe he's that hopeful 9-year-old me or just pissed off 33-year-old current me. It doesn't matter. Not really. What is important is that I embrace him and focus on getting to that moment.

Maybe it won't occur like that. Maybe I'll still be single or my brother won't be there or I have on a Captain Marvel t-shirt instead. What won't change is that I'll be there, older and happier and more fulfilled and successful.

I want that moment. I want that.


Friday, March 8, 2013

RSI/Residual Self Image-Part 1


People see the me they wanna see.– Matt Damon, House Of Lies
They only see you how they wanna see you/'Til you make them see you in some other way.- Childish Gambino, Hold You Down


Before I get to it, let's play a quick little game. It's called spot the goofy jackass. You have 10 seconds. GO!
Found him?

We'll come back to this....

When I was little, I used to tell my great aunts and pretty much anyone else Down South that my name was Sam. My grandmother used to call me Ripley, after Ripley's Believe It Or Not for some odd reason. People in my neighborhood used to call me Lil Will because a) I looked like my dad b) there were other Seans on the street or c) they forgot my name, yet remembered my siblings' far more complicated ones. I tell you all of this boring stuff to just begin with just so we have a base for an idea of identity.

In my limited/long time on this planet, I've realized that I'm not one person. No one is one person. We are all generally an amalgamation of the perception of the people around us, and to an even greater extent, the world's view of us.

For example, if you asked people that knew me at different points in my life who I was, I'm reasonably sure you would get a different answer from each group for each time period and a slight variation from the folks in those groups. At the same time, the me of those time points would tell you I was a different person, probably based on what I thought I was (when I was little), what others thought I was (pre-teen to early teen years) or what I thought others thought I was (pretty much all of other times).



I was full of myself at one point in my life.

From geeky blerd (black nerd) to slacker pal of someone's kid to guy who would put in the most effort at the office, I wore a lot of hats. The problem was that none of these hats were picked out by me. As I got older, like a lot of people do, I just tried to become the person people believed me to be or wanted me to be. This is foolish but it's part of the growing process and "finding yourself." You have to try different roles if you aren't one of those rare lucky individuals who know who you are at a relatively young age. But, still, it's a bit stupid.

But you know what's stupider? Doing the opposite of what people expect of you just because. Not because you want to necessarily try something different or have an idea that this "you" is not the "real you." I did/do the opposite because I was just being difficult and also think following "what the world wants of me" is stifling to my freedom.


FUCK YOU, WORLD...and yellow polos.

Which brings us back to the above picture. Did you find who I was asking about? Here's the answer.

It's the guy to the right of the Sundance winner and above the reality TV star. Seriously.
This goofy jackass came to this event with his two buddies. They all drank and 2 out of 3 of them smoked that day. Yet, he is the only one who looks like that. Why? Because a) he drank because this was/is how he is perceived to be and b) he smoked because he had become the non-smoker by this time. He didn't have his shit together. Not that day. But it's alright. He'll have this picture to remind him of the next points I'm going to make.

There is nothing wrong with bucking against the world perception of you and there is also nothing wrong with slipping into the role that people present to you as what they think you are. The key is finding out who you really are at your core. We all take time to get to that point and we slip up at times. Just look at that picture again. I feel it has taken me longer than most, or at least my pals, and that we all continue to evolve as we grow but I'm feeling better daily about who I am and am getting more comfortable with who I am.

I'm not perfect. I fuck up. I'm better at a lot of things than others. I'm way worse at other things than some. But I believe in myself and my own personal level of awesome.



Thursday, March 7, 2013

Like The Man In The Stall Said To The Man Waiting...

"Give me time, baby."- Al Bundy, Shoe Dick

I promise an update (maybe 3!) today. Been busy trying to work on something big that could be the start of actually being a real writer. Also, trying to nail down certain things in my life and figure out where I stand.

In the meantime in between time, check out these two links. The first is an awesome series of cartoon that I probably mentioned before.* The second is this writer on Cracked.com and I enjoy most of his articles on life. They speak to the screw-up in me. Enjoy.

http://www.viruscomix.com/subnormality.html

http://www.cracked.com/members/John%2BCheese/

*Plus I want that "SHIrT" shirt. Someone get on that for me. Thanks.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Carry On, My Wayward Son....

Well, it's about to be March (or it is March depending on how fast I can get this written and uploaded).

I didn't do as much as I would like to have done in February. I'm not happy about that. I was far less selfish during the beginning of the month. (By the way this is my Year of Selfishness; I didn't tell you? My bad) That's totally on me. I still have to finish my goals that I set for the end of March.

There is lots of craziness till occurring and things to deal with. I'm still not where I need to be but I feel oddly positive that I will do what is necessary for me to be happy and fulfilled and successful. I get these moments and I have to bottle all the emotion and drive associated with them. They can be fleeting and usually only happen when I have forgotten about or, at least, pushed my life, my folks and the world to the background into a static noise state. Helpful hint- Listening to this Gorillaz song helps immensely with this.

So, I'm gonna push to get the books (PLURAL!!!) done, make my blogs readable, attend to and clean up my personal life/affairs, work out harder and keep making myself more awesome. The Year of Selfishness and Also Awesomeness marches on. (see what I did there?)

But that's tomorrow.

I'm tired right now. Gonna watch Community, maybe a bit of Drive because that Gosling fella is so violently dreamy, try to FINALLY finish The Gone-Away World ** and sleep.

See you all on the 'morrow.

*I did it! Yay, me!

**It's one of those books that I always start that I never get through. I've pretty much given up on finishing Cloud Atlas. Maybe I'll give it another shot in the summer. ***

***Damn, summer isn't that far away.

Random Beatdowns

Me and a friend were discussing this crazy story that happened in the Bronx yesterday about this guy chopping up his mom and then putting her in random garbage outside. We both agreed this was sick and despicable but, like many of my friends, this friend asked me if I would ever help a friend do that to someone.

I didn't hesitate.

"Kill and chop up your mom? HELL NO! Take someone else out? Depends on the friend who is asking."



I have a lot of friendships that are a decade long or better, which is one of the few benefits of getting old. I love them all and would do a lot for them if I could. But there are some I have immense trust for. So much so that if the above scene happened, it would probably play out like that without the questions at the end. I could rely on them to not get me involved in something without a valid reason behind it. Most of my friends wouldn't ask me to even do something along these lines. They are mostly mature and, at most, only involve me in dust-ups when we have been boozing. It'll probably never, ever get to this point.

But I think it makes them sleep better knowing I got a sledgehammer and a hockey mask ready for action.

And isn't that all we can ask from a friend at the end of the day?

Friday, February 22, 2013

Lone Wolf

I was going to post something today and I probably will late tonight/early tomorrow after work. Instead life occurred. In the meantime, peruse this astrological description of me. I really don't believe in horoscopes, although some are eerily accurate. This is one of them in my opinion. I had this book and it was fun to ask my friend's their birthdays and then compare the description to them. Is mine on point? I thought it was at least close. Let me know and check your own if you want.

November 28th- The Day of The Lone Wolf-

Descriptive words- natural, contradictory, profound, emotionally sensitive, confused, dogmatic


Personality of The Day of the Lone Wolf-
        The highly intense individuals born on November 28 must pursue their own course. Living paradoxes, those born on this day are complex individuals who never cease to amaze their family and friends with their unique combination of aggression and sensitivity. Their ideology is extremely important to them, but it can change in a bewildering fashion, its twists and turns leading through a maze of irony and high seriousness. For example, it may be difficult to determine whether a November 28 individual is conservative or radical, right- or left-wing, an upholder of the social order or anarchic rebel. Ultimately such terms have little meaning in reference to November 28 thought patterns, which must be understood on their own terms.

     Although November 28 people appear to others as physical types, the primary thrust of their day is mental, even intellectual. No matter what their walk of life or profession, they can often be found arguing their case, refusing to submit to any ready-made dogmas or belief systems. They are basically self-taught thinkers, and for many, school is at best an annoyance and at worst an imprisonment. They have a strong penchant to take the opposing point of view due to their resistance to absolute statements and generalizations of all types.

     November 28 people enjoy pointed humor, and will use wit and irony as powerful weapons against their opponents and also as a means to clarify and give shape to their own views. Most often, however, they make an impression of forthright seriousness. Emotionally, November 28 people are usually caught up in their own personal maelstrom. Romantic relationships may surface with frequency, but those born on this day have enormous difficulties in maintaining stability in this area.

     Their friendships, on the other hand, are usually rock-solid, and highly meaningful. Those who are involved with them will never forget the experience—difficult, maddening, recalcitrant and paradoxical, they go their own way and do their own thing. For example, they can be among the most generous of individuals and yet at other times the most selfish. Often their goodness and true nature is more easily understood by animals and small children, on a purely intuitive level, than by a critical, analytical adult mind. A love of nature and of the animal world is in fact sacred to them, being their one constant refuge from disappointing and uncertain human experiences.

     Perhaps the greatest problem for November 28 people is coming to understand themselves, and being able to straighten out their complex, difficult personalities. Usually it is seething emotions which keep them from viewing themselves in a more objective light. Many born on this day use their work as an escape from what seems an excessive self-involvement. Concerning the four major faculties of perception—intellect, emotion, intuition, sensation—a titanic effort must be made by November 28 people to bring these into balance. Only then can they progress in their personal development and come to terms with the society around them.

VALID?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

I stole this from Jonathan Hickman....

because it was good and it hits so very close to home. You probably don't even need this because you got your shite together but I like this reminder.

RESISTANCE-


It was October 2nd, 2004. I was sitting alone, bawling my eyes out, in a little Greek restaurant about half a block from the hotel where I was attending a Robert McKee seminar. I was reading Steven Pressfield's book, THE WAR OF ART.

It's a book about overcoming obstacles that stand in the way of creative undertakings. It's about realizing the only thing preventing you from succeeding is yourself. It's about becoming the person you are meant to be.

Here's an excerpt- 
"We don't even know what hit us. I never did. From age twenty-four to thirty-two, Resistance kicked my ass from East Coast to West Coast and back thirteen times and I never knew it existed. I looked everywhere for the enemy and failed to see it right in front of my face."

From twenty-four to thirty-two... I WAS THAT GUY.

Pressfield uses the word resistance to identify that thing within every creative person that keeps us from actually creating: Doubt, procrastination, fear, etc.

YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

A couple months earlier I'd decided to try and make a go of making comics, but it was that night I stopped being a dabbler and became a creator. I went back to my hotel, sat down and wrote myself a reminder. Now, I read it everyday before I start work:

I am my own Enemy,
RESISTANCE is my Nature.

I am aware of RESISTANCE
And it prevents me from achieving the life I am Meant To Have.

RESISTANCE is Self-Generated, Self-Perpetuated.
It Lies and Seduces. Its goal is my Utter Destruction.
Every day is a battle for my soul.

This Moment, This Day,
I change my life.

Help me to defeat myself,
And realize fate.

Now, is all of this a little too spiritual? Is it too much new age, feel good, self-actualization?

Maybe, but am I committed?

ABSOLUTELY.