Sunday, June 27, 2004

Happy Summer Memories, Today and Yesterday

"Watchout for that Anaconda, V!"

Those words came from a dear friend of mine with a beautiful southern accent. She'd usually say that just before I'd go on one of my special trips to Texas. This time my trip will take me to party central in Nawlins!! (smile)

But before I get ahead of myself, I wanted to share my feelings about this past week. It was wonderful... I'm long past that funk known as "getting over her" syndrome and have moved on to the hysterical moments of "get over yourself" behavior! (laugh) I don't do nothing crazy, mind you. I just have fun and live in the moment. I embrace my weekends with excitement. I throw on one of my jerseys and play in the fun. I hangout at my favorite Starbucks, make my long distant calls and chat over a grande, white chocolate mocha. Yesterday I got a frappucino. I guess I was feeling bold or maybe it was the hot sun... Or just maybe... Nah, "get over yourself!" Can you hear it? (smile)

I made one phone call that just lifted my spirits like winning a million dollars!! Yep, I got a friend who I cherish more than any amount of money on the planet! That's right, JLD. I could talk to this friend for hours and never get tired. Me talk for hours? Now that's a rarity!! But blessed moments do great things for your spirit...

So, after I left Starbucks I went to the mall and spent some money. I spent too much. Uh huh, yes I did but I deserve it... uh huh, I do. Then I got this idea to treat my stomach to something rare. I bought a couple fine cuts of filet mignon to grill. Whew.. I worked my magic and seasoned it to perfection aka how I like it! Then I placed it on the Weber grill, got it sizzling, flipped it, sizzle, flip, sizzle... you get the picture. The aroma with a combination of natural sauce and flavors lifted itself from the grill and seeped inside my brain! I couldn't wait to get busy devouring it. I did and it was lovely...

Summer dayz... I look back and leave you with this. Many moons ago I spent my July 4th in Texas with my parents on my grandparents farm. It was one of the last moments when all of us were together. My mother, father, grandmother and grandfather. I was maybe ten or eleven years old. Not sure, but I was pretty young. This year on the 4th of July will mark only the second time I've been in Texas on that day. Wow.. so many years in between. But the reason I remember that first time is because of my mother. In her effort to celebrate, she lit a firecracker but forgot the most important thing to do. She forgot to throw it. Can you say, ouch! (smile) She was okay. No lasting marks. She may not even remember this but I do and when I revisit that same moment in time, many many years later, I smile. Life is quite the journey...

Happy Summer Dayz!

Summer dayz! Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 20, 2004

A question I've been asked...

Virgil Anthony Rivers III Posted by Hello

What makes you able to write from the female perspective?
I was raised by a woman. Family defines a whole history of incredible women with great strength and I know they reside somewhere in my spirit. I come from two beautiful grandmother's. I've loved passionately in my life and received the boot in return. Kicked to the curb. Heart a woman. I've cried and watched a woman feel nothing on the other side of my tears, yet when I see a woman cry, it rips at my heart.

Women always show, teach, and reveal my life to me through the reflection of the most telling window in the world. A woman's eyes... I believe I'm okay. Even those that caused pain know this to be true. And those that light my future path, remind me to stay focused. Change if the change means growth. No matter the moments where I dip emotionally or in any other way, foundation always brings me back to the right path because if you can't find your way back, you sadly disappear or go crazy at best...(smile) My life reflects that I be able to relate to a woman's perspective and when I don't, it's only because I'm being a fool and not listening to my gift.

Community Of A Heart

Echoes and images Posted by Hello

Today was one of those days where my creative spirit and entire soul filled to capacity with experience and inspiration. Words, thoughts, feelings, dreams, fears, love, hope, disapointment, wanting, missing, happiness, sadness, flirtation, celebration, appreciation, teaching, learning, demonstrating, absorbing...looking from within and looking around...

I traveled around my sometimes small weekend world, otherwise known as Los Angeles. Went to a few of my hangout spots. I visited with one of my father's bestfriends from childhood in an attempt to collect old memories. Sometimes folks dont always cooperate. It was a cool visit but I think he was more into complaining about a recent trip he took rather than feeling blessed about something that not everyone can do... Things like the weather and gas prices are beyond my control so it's a rare day that you'll find me complaining about that stuff.

So, I sat back and listened for a couple hours. Whenever I'd speak up, most things that came out of my mouth only sounded like a disagreement. I caught myself a few times. I even sat on my hands so that I'd prevent myself from making that universal hand gesture that translates to "you don't know what the hell you talkin bout!"

I enjoyed the visit despite coming up short on the purpose that I'd hope to explore. Then again, all I needed to do was look inward as I did most of the day, remembering my father. I drove to my next destination, answering a call from deep within. That call came from my stomach because I was hungry! I debated on what I wanted. I peeked my head inside this Fatburger but for some reason I didn't go for it. I didn't order a turkey burger like I'd planned. Instead, I went to the Starbucks next door and got myself a white chocolate mocha and a slice of lemon bundt cake. Not a healthy choice but it cured the hunger.

I sat outside and absorbed my surroundings. I did as a friend told me she does. Listen... Allow words to find you. Be they from nearby conversations or your own personal thoughts. I did that. I overheard the word "community." Someone was talking about black folks in the neighborhood and how no matter how different anyone might be, they should all support each other. This person looked around for acceptance of his statement. He seemed to be hoping for an amen or positive nods of the head from others. I returned to my lemon bundt cake before thinking about a community inside myself. Like a gathering of emotions inside my heart based upon what I may have been through in my life. In a perfect world that has yet to embrace me, I should probably have three kids and a lovely wife by now. I should be getting a giftwrapped tie in the morning and being taken out to dinner for Father's Day by now... But, none of that is the case and depending on those stars in the sky that affect a brotha emotionally and change his mind, right now I'm cool with "not having" those things.

A community of a heart is forever changing, growing, losing, hurting, celebrating... It's a burden and a gift. It's sort of like what Afeni said to Tupac about sensitivity. It's a "blessing and a burden." I feel that constantly as I look back and forward. It's a blessing because it keeps me humble and open.. It's a burden because it causes reaction to pain from previous experiences aka makes you cautious... But no matter how I look at myself, I'd like to think that the imprint is that of a good guy... That which I will remain and with passion too! (smile)

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Happy Father's Day

Virgil "Sonny" Rivers II Posted by Hello

Happy Father's Day to my dad, no longer with us but always a part of my soul. I wish I could be in Texas right now to mark this weekend with flowers on his grave but I'll do that soon as I can. For now I will celebrate him in thought and with a lifetime of memories...

I love going back to the time when my father proudly ran his record stores all around Houston, Texas. They were called Budget Soul Records. This time period was during the late seventies when soul music rang supreme. I remember my father telling me to grab a couple records that I like from his store. He left me alone and I went to town! I picked up albums like The Big Payback by James Brown and anything else I could find by Parliament-Funkadelic, Bootsy Collins, Earth Wind & Fire, Rufus & Chaka Khan, etc etc...There was just TOO MUCH good music at that time! When my father came back in the front of the store he seen this HUGE stack of records and was like "umm..son, I said just a couple records.." (smile) It was funny now that I look back on it but then I was pretty serious about taking all those albums. My feelings were hurt that day but I celebrate the moment in memory, now.

Another cool time was when my father had been awarded a golden key to the city of Houston by the mayor for being the number one black business man in town. They sent a news crew over to the main store on Alameda Rd. My father did the interview and I stood by looking all proud. Then rather than go home that evening to watch the report on television, my dad took me to the Velvet Turtle restaurant. We ate good that night... Lobster, steak, bake potato... whew!

I hope my father is smiling down upon me. I believe I'm doing okay and I'm always trying to do better. I wish I had my dad's knack for hustling/selling, but I know I have his determination to always work hard and put in a good day's work. Thanks Dad... I hope I make you proud..Love you.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

A Woman's Worth

Fabulous book by Tracy Price-Thompson! Posted by Hello

This book is amazing to me!! It's a literary journey that leaves you wanting more... Leaves you wanting to spend a lifetime with these characters. I would love to see this story on the BIG screen! I've read this book twice already and will probably revisit it again. Do yourself a favor and experience this journey... read it, listen to it, soak it in and marvel at some incredible story-telling... love it!!

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Trippin' as usual...:-)

Tree in Louisiana Posted by Hello

A few years back when I went to Louisiana for the first time, I found this gorgeous tree on the side of the road. The moss hanging from it was amazing to me. I pulled over and took pictures. I grabbed some of the moss and felt it in my hands. The dryness of it and the texture was unreal to me. I was blown away. I searched for more trees like this. I followed a trail of them and found myself deep inside Louisiana, loving it and fearing it at the same time.

The history of the state is inspiring for me as a writer and yet, it's also very scary. There I am, deep in the backwoods, traveling in areas I'd never been before. But that fear never made me feel vulnerable. Instead, it made me more appreciative and more aware of the natural beauty I'd discover. I was blessed with great weather during my first visit. I took a small road off the main highway. It was like driving head first into serenity. It was beautiful. I found one lone crane standing by the side of the road. Every time I got close, it flew away. And then I found a bunch of very young horses and I just sat there for about thirty minutes, watching them play. I got a feeling they knew I was watching so they put on a show for me; running in circles and edging closer to where I stood each time. They were beautiful and one day soon I hope to revisit them just to see how much they've grown since I saw them back then.

Young horses... Posted by Hello

In the meantime... warm blessings...

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Take a moment to celebrate friends... Posted by Hello

Recognize gifts when they're close. Feel blessed that someone takes time... Be thankful for kindness... Appreciate a hello or any other so-called simple gesture of kindness. Thank you's always feel great but what's even better is when you give back or when you rush to give before a kind gesture is given to you... I do this all the time.. There's even a few in my lifetime that perhaps should not have received what I'd given to them but giving also weeds out the pretenders. Sadly, you will give for a while before recognizing this fact. I know I have... But no matter because the good always outweighs the bad.. I know this to be true because I've been blessed with friends who shine constantly as "good folks." I'll recognize them here as time and inspiration permits. One such person I'd like to hold up in the mirror and give a sincere shoutout as a very dear friend, CFW aka Blue... (smile)Keep shining your light and never give up on making "P" a reality. Aight?

Friday, June 11, 2004

Many faces of me... Posted by Hello

Time rests for no one...

It's a real trip how fast time flies by. It amazes me how many memories I carry inside of me now. I knew I'd be able to one day look back on many things but you never truly know what that feels like until you're right here, standing in a place that feels more powerful than deja vu.

I can hear a song and feel an emotion from a time gone by. I can smell the air, remember a face, hear a voice and feel as though loved ones no longer here are just a phone call away. But they're not because time has taken them away.

Time breeds excitement and sadness. I feel like I have a lot to look forward to but in the midst of all that as I reach for dreams, time gets in the way. Sometimes you get a wake up call and realize that certain people wont be around to see you achieve what you dream. So we then hold strong to the belief that they're watching over us and they see us from heaven, reaching our goals and finding happiness. I believe that to be true. I can hear my grandmother saying to my father,"let that boy have some money" and my father would reply "nah, that kid need to work harder and then we'll see..." I'm sure my grandfather just smiles all the time and probably still smokes his pipe in heaven except with a special brand of tobacco. (smile)

Time is truly amazing and as it goes, so goes me... I need to keep reaching until I can no longer reach.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Just a thought... Posted by Hello

Energy shouldn't be wasted on selfish people but true givers always end up doing it anyway...

--V. Anthony Rivers

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Nice to meet you, Ashe

Southern Girl Posted by Hello

You know, sometimes I get an unexpected glance, followed by a smile...inspiration. Sometimes a hello greets me after I've taken a risk with my own gentle nod...more inspiration. And sometimes something I've said, done or written ignites someone else's curiosity. That someone could be my imagination or it could be real. It could be my fascination or a light, no longer concealed. Either way, she came to me. She took a chance that I might be ready for her. Ready to listen and open to hearing without excluding a word or thought she may express.

They call me by my real name, though most assume another pronounciation before they hear me say it. It's Ashe, like ash. Not ash-shay, not ash-tray, but ash. I don't know why I'm telling you this but I thought I'd introduce myself and then tell you why. I'm even a little nervous about this. Writing you is strange. Maybe you don't even have time to read this but I guess I shouldn't doubt you right off the bat!

Your writing intrigues me mostly because you express such honest feelings through female characters. How can that be? You're a man! There I go doubting you again, huh? Have you ever been to Mississippi? I'm not sure I want to tell you where I live now just yet but I will say that I'm originally from Renova, which is pretty close to Cleveland, Mississippi. You probably never heard of either one, huh? Funny thing, I met this guy passing through Renova while I was visiting my family. He's from the westcoast. I believe you are too, right?

I was amazed that he'd traveled such a long way and he was just looking at me like he never seen a woman before. I think what was really on his mind was that he'd found a good looking black woman in a small southern town. He had that look. You know how you men are. He had me feeling like I was some dessert on the menu one minute and then the next minute I found myself wanting to follow him down the highway after we'd said our goodbyes.

Funny thing about that guy, he was so sure of himself that he slipped me his card. He said he didn't want to seem too forward but he figured he'd never get another chance. He's probably right. I'm not sure about calling him but his email address is on his card and then again, his address is too. I'm thinking of sending him a handwritten letter. Seems like that would be more personal. Sort of like a real piece of me and if he writes me back the same way, my curiosity might go a little further. What do you think? I hope you're still reading this. I'm thinking that because you seem to value friendships between a man and a woman so much, you might be able to give me some feedback or something. It's worth a try. I really did enjoy your book. Was that guy in the story you or did you make him up? (smile)


I read her words over and over again. I wasn't sure what to say, initially but I thanked her for entrusting me with what could develop into something very special. I told her I wanted to know how things workout for her. I dont expect her to give me intimate details but I wouldn't betray any sort of trust she'd place before me either. Thank you Ashe for saying hello and whenever you feel the need, holla anytime. Peace...

Monday, June 07, 2004

Flirtation... Is it a blessing or a curse?

Flirtation keeps the heart thumping! Posted by Hello

Something positively wicked this way comes when you least expect it. A moment in time where a smile pulls up next to you while you're deep in thought. And then you awaken when it's too late to have all of your good sense speak for you. What should I say? She's smiling at me... The light turns green and her smile flashes just as brightly. Aww wow, she's in the left turn lane and I'm driving straight. Should I make a U-turn and then a quick right? By the time I said yes, that beautiful smile transforms into a race car driver 'cause she's gone! And so it goes, another near miss but that's aight because a couple seconds of heaven I can take with me as a lovely memory...until the next time. Thanks, whoever you were... (smile)

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Peace is a beautiful thang!

Lastnight I stepped into a marvelous and very comfortable space. It was very open, it was loud, it was filled with folks that were about to party their heads off and yet to me, it was very peaceful. It brought back memories of yester-year... It brought back that great feeling I used to have back in the day when I would hang with my father in and around Houston. One of the things my father did was promote concerts and with that, you'd quite often find me enjoying all those great acts from Earth, Wind & Fire to Lakeside to Rufus with Chaka Khan to The Brother's Johnson to Parliament/Funkadelic and the list goes on and on... Back then my dad and I could always be found at either the Summit Arena as it was known then or the Sam Houston Auditorium. Whew.. those were the days!

Lastnight, "those days" came back to me for about three hours spent inside the Staples Center watching Prince. And to my surprise he had Morris Day & The Time open the show. Wow! They rocked the house and had you wondering "what year is this?" While my feet are planted firmly in today's soil, I feel so blessed to have memories which take me back and feel so good! As I sat there watching this amazing show going on, I felt so at peace. I marveled at Prince and how he's truly become the amazing performer/person that he is now. He seemed at peace on stage. It was an electrifying performance as well as an emotional one. He connected with the audience, especially while performing a solo set with just him and his acoustic guitar. He lifted every voice in the stadium to sing along with him. It was again, electrifying but again, it was peaceful...

I felt incredible lastnight, sitting there with a good friend of mine. I was so blessed to have her there with me. My friend Angela. It was her first time seeing Prince live and I'm so thankful she shared that experience with me. And for a moment I thought to myself how "F'd" up this experience would've been if I had reached back into my past and taken a certain person whose motivation is purely selfish and couldn't see the light if someone parked a ten foot tall billboard in front of her window with the word L-I-G-H-T staring right at her. (laughing) Nah, I choose to move forward and feel what I feel now; excitement and peace. It's a beautiful combination to feel. It's like sitting next to a black woman whose got it together. You feel blessed just knowing you can soak in her spirit and listen to her talk about life. And she's a friend. A "true" unselfish friend. And maybe I'll meet her man one day so I can tell him "you need to take care of this lady, celebrate her unselfishly and keep reminding her what love is all about." Thanks Angela...

Thanks Prince for an incredible show! No one compares to this man. Phenominal talent. God truly blessed this man. As I said at the top, peace is a beautiful thang and I'm so thankful to be reminded. And this kind of peace is found no matter what's going on around you. Even if you're at a concert with thousands of other people, rocking the house, and tearing the roof off, you can still feel at peace. (smile) Or if you're in a city that's not always kind with folks constantly on the move and on the go....peace can be found. Or if you feel frustrated at times because you can't always get what you want, when you want it, peace can be found. I'm about to enjoy some more of it as I stand over a grill and smile at the fact that I am brilliant when it comes to making some delicious turkey burgers!! WarmBlessings to all eyes and open hearts that have read this... :-)

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Where I love to be. Thanks grandpa (smile) Posted by Hello

A writer on a journey Posted by Hello

Seems like a blessed day to get this started...

This whole idea of a blog is really intriguing to me. I've always been fascinated by thought based on individual experiences and inspiration. Sort of like opening lost diaries and discovering someone's journey. I hope to share a little bit of my journey here; present, past and future....

I'm excited about today as I will enjoy what I'm sure will be a fabulous Prince concert. I saw that genius a week before last and was amazed by his talent. I always say that if God made that brotha tall, we'd never get to experience such an incredible gift. Prince would probably have taken another route and become a basketball player. So we must thank God for that and thank Prince for listening...

And speaking of being thankful..(smile) I am thankful for many things. I wont list them all but instead, over time I hope that what I share reflects what I'm thankful for. Right now the first thing that comes to mind are the friendships I've been blessed with and family as well. I'm thankful for my mother always being there. She always worries. She's watched me in silence after my heart has taken a beating(yeah, recently). She sees me both as a man my father never became and as a man with my father's determination. She's seen me struggle and soar; fail and succeed. I know she's proud though she's never really vocal about it. That's aight 'cause I can see it. (smile)

But anyways, I want to bring this first post to a close by thanking those friendships which have helped me through everything, good and bad. Help is a fabulous thing, despite what a certain assistant agent expressed to me recently.(I may speak more on that another time) Help is always appreciated, cherished and definitely given back... I'm so thankful for Cherryl, a constant source of light; for Shelia, a woman blessed with strength and a daily reminder of what's right. Angela, always keeping me smiling and laughing at myself; and Jamise, a friend who feels like family... I believe it was a year ago today that we hung out for the first time at the BEA conference. It still amazes me how when we bumped into each other it felt so normal like I was just hanging with my sister... That was so cool.

I got other special friends that would probably punch me if I dont mention them and they have definitely lifted me beyond better days. Folks like Missy aka Darrien and April aka JDaniels... The "aka" sistahs! (smile) They are so cool and special and more reasons why the down times never last too long. As Gladys would say "I guess you could say, that I've been lucky." And to all my true friends...."TRUE" friends... "you're the best thing that ever happened to me." And I would add, as long as you don't ask me to buy you a new car, you aight with me!!! (smile) God bless and always persevere to simply be you. Thanks for checking me out....