Monday, June 26, 2006
Today was the end of a beautiful weekend, especially with respect to what's going on with the literary career aka "book stuff" as I affectionately love to call it.. *smile* I had a beautiful time chatting with the PWOC Bookclub. A special wink and a smile goes out to Nellie and Toni B. for allowing me to speak with them via my publicist Marlive Harris' new fangle conference call system.. Ha haa.. It was a blast... A beautiful time... And then after all that was done, I decided to get out of the house!! Whew.. Despite the fun with the book stuff, I do love to be outside soaking up experience after experience. Its been much too hot to be couped up inside... So, as I always do, I hit the streets! I didn't have much time to enjoy the sun. Maybe an hour and a half left of sunlight that quickly faded into LA darkness. That time when a whole nother vibe comes upon the city and everything looks and feels...different..
One thing that I noticed tonight more than anything else was the amount of people on the streets and in cafe patio areas trying to get something. Trying to get paid, I suppose.. Hustlers were out and about like crazy.. One street had so much prostitute action you'd think they were giving away some kind of buy one and we'll let you have another nut on the house, so to speak. Ladies lined up on the corner and traffic at a stand still as car after car blocked the street trying to get at these ladies.. Took about fifteen minutes to get through that block which would normally take a blink of an eye to drive past on a normal night. And around the corner there was a police officer writing a traffic ticket that made me say, hmmm... Then I took a left headed down Slauson, all the way until I got to La Brea. Took another left and headed to the infamous Ladera Center to treat myself to a delicious white chocolate mocha; my favorite hot Starbucks drink that I haven't had in a couple weeks now. As I'm sitting in the cafe area, a young child no more than five or six years old walked up to me with a box of butterfingers asking if I wanted to buy one for a dollar. Mind you, she didn't look like she was selling it for her school and she appeared to be alone although I figure her parent was somewhere in the vicinity waiting for her to bring back whatever money she made. This is a little past 10:30 at night and a little kid is out selling candy to grown folks? Something wasn't right about that but on this night like I said, everybody was out trying to get something; trying to get paid.
I didn't stay out that late. I wanted to get back home and write down a few thoughts and situations for future characters to explore. I stopped by the gas station before heading home and was approached by several that wanted money. One guy looked so messed up and could barely speak but he knew how to squeeze out what sounded like "can you spare change?" Another guy approached wanting to pump my gas for some change in return. Another guy had CD's for sale. Them CD selling dudes be showing up everywhere these days.. I've encountered them at the mall, at the movie theater, the gas station, the liquor store, the stripclub, in traffic trailing behind the incense seller, the muslim selling bean pies, and the young revolutionaries dressed in fatigues asking for donations. Everybody's hustling, selling, and begging.. Nothing is for free, huh? Well, I saw this young lady waiting on the bus. I turned down my music and said "hey, I wanna give you this book, you mind?" She asked if she had to pay me for it and I told her, no. I said, "if you love it, tell somebody about it..." Her face lit up as she said "wow, are you serious? Thank you.." I drove off with a smile that matched hers. It was a great feeling to be responsible for giving somebody something good to feel about. Wasn't no hustling involved in that. Just pure sincerity though I definitely understand and feel for those who must hustle every second just to get by. This town is a shining example of hustle mania gone wild...
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Happy Father's Day to all and especially my own father who's no longer with us but no doubt enjoying himself in heaven, hopefully chillin with grandma and grandpa.. I pay tribute to dad as I pipe the blues all through the house, especially some of his favorite songs by Muddy Waters, Lightnin Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, and that beautiful song by Etta James singing about a "sunday kind of love..." I grilled some incredible BBQ and spent most of the day working on my weekend project of removing wallpaper... It's been tough but it's been fun too. My father would be proud because he loved doing anything that had to do with remodeling and fixing up a house.. Happy Father's Day....dad..
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
My blogging homegirl, Bloop left me with some old memories after I read her latest entry... It was kind of funny because it totally slipped my mind why I have a natural tendency to turn the dial whenever a song by Kem comes on. I mean, even a couple months ago as I stood waiting for my white chocolate mocha at Starbucks and that very same song that Bloop mentioned(I Can't Stop Loving You) came on, a frown came over my face and I just wanted the person behind the counter to hurry up and make my damn drink. Even she commented by saying "you know it's okay to smile?" I didn't smile. I was probably doing my best Ice Cube imitation with the kind of look I had on my face. As soon as the young lady placed my drink on the counter, I scooped it up and headed out the door... Yep, I cringe whenever that song comes on... When I made it outside and could no longer hear that song, I started to laugh at myself. I remembered an old episode of Jerry Seinfeld when Kramer would always go into convulsions everytime he heard that lady's voice from Entertainment Tonight(Mary Hart). I'm not that bad but- pretty close! *smile*
Why does this happen to me? Because it reminds me of someone I USED to be with, loved, etc etc... Kem's music reminds me of her selfishness and I hate to put that on the brotha's creativity but it is what it is- to me... I'm reminded of long trips with no compromise. Times when in order to avoid seeing the ugly frown that she was always too good at displaying on her forehead and in her eyes, I would let her have her way. She'd take over the CD player and put in Kem. Then she would need to hear the entire CD again... and again... The only break I'd get would be when she'd put in Jaheim.. I like Jaheim but after a while, I got tired of him too... She didn't care that I'd spent extra money to have a rental car with satelite radio in it so that we could enjoy some kind of variety with the music as we traveled. Nah, I compromised... Never got to listen to the variety that I love..Hip Hop, Neosoul, Old School, and everything in between... Thing is, it was a good example of how life would be with her.. Non compromising, never changing, no growth, stifling, trifling, and silly... Yes, we had good times and the love was there but when things weren't going 100% her way, 24-7, with me fixing all issues that she brought to the table from her life before me, there was no more oxygen left in the relationship and thankfully she ended it. I wish I had walked away sooner but I was holding on, hoping it would get better, and believing that the beautiful times we shared during the first four months would return. My apologies to Kem but yo dude, I just can NOT listen to you!
Monday, June 12, 2006
Thursday of last week I woke up anxious and excited. I hadn't traveled in quite a while. Over six months since going somewhere out of state is a long time for me and I was truly missing being on the road. This time I had a special reason and mission to accomplish. I had to get a headstone for my grandmother; something that was long overdue. I took my mother along with me on this journey. I wanted to show her this special place that I go to whenever I head south. I mention it often as my special piece of heaven on earth called Natchitoches, Louisiana. Not only is the town really cool but a few miles away in what is known as the Cane River Plantation area you will find some of the most beautiful country and people who never hesitate to wave hello as you pass them by on the country road. It's a far cry from my day to day life in and around LA(Los Angeles) where hands typically raise up with that middle social finger in full view for you to ponder. I also got a chance to introduce my mother to the delicious delicacy known as a meat pie at the infamous Lasyone's restaurant. You haven't lived until you ate their meat pie. If you try one at the local gas stations that also sell them, you'll be extremely disappointed but if you go to Lasyone's? Whew.... you'll want to come back sooner than later just for the meat pies alone...
It was a great trip, riding through parts of east Texas where my family is from, purchasing the headstone for my grandmother in Mt. Pleasant, Texas and eventually making my way to Natchitoches as the entire time I was able to show my mother the beauty of life in the country. I could tell she enjoyed herself completely. She even got a thrill out of the cool music they were playing on the radio as we traveled the backroads between Jefferson and Mt. Pleasant, Texas. There's a station broadcasting from Texarkana that plays the blues everyday from noon until 2pm. They were playing a lot of BB King songs, a song by someone who sang "I've got three women in my life. My mama, the other woman and my wife..." and a song called Willie Mae Don't Play. All the songs seemed to be about relationships from one extreme to the other but it was all good... Now I'm back home in the city of extremes where peace can be a struggle and fun can blind you but its home so let the craziness begin. *smile*
Friday, June 02, 2006
What's up to Bloopty Bloop! I stole these question from her blog(http://bliggidybloop.blogspot.com) and couldn't resist putting myself to the test... Always interesting to put your thought process to someone else's inquiry of the mind, if you will... Here it goes..
1. If you could be doing what you really want to be doing for a living, what would it be?
I've answered this question before and my dream thang still remains a photojournalist. Just let me have my Canon Rebel Digital and a cool Sony Vaio laptop and its on! I would love to hop in the ride and travel from coast to coast snapping shots, learning and telling stories about the experience along the way.. That would be amazing... Second dream job would be to write for television and/or movies..
2. If you could slap the shit out of any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?
hard to think of anyone famous that I would want to slap because I dont really trip off of so-called celebrities too much. My blogging friend Bloopty Bloop mentioned the President in her responses so I'll just add to that by saying Dick Cheney because he seems like someone who has needed to be slapped but no one ever did and that's why he grew up to be the in denial, power hungry, constantly lying to cover up his dirt, asshole that he is today...
3. What's the dumbest decision you've made in the past 5 years?
Taking an ex with me on a trip a couple years ago though actually it wasn't dumb because it revealed to me that her decision to kick me to the curb two years prior to that was better than somebody stuffing a million dollars in my pocket! Life has been filled with blessings ever since.... So, it was dumb that I spent the money on the trip but that dumb decision had a positive result...
4. Give up one for a year: (good) sex or (good) music.
I'm probably in the minority but I would actually give up the "good sex." The music I listen to is like the soundtrack for my life. I've been blessed to hear some incredible stuff and have a connection through my father to various musical eras that still blow me away from the late 60's up to the present... I frown at anyone who puts down today's music in an effort to elevate what they listened to in the past... I'm here to tell you, you can fit it all in your musical listening pallette... Every generation and musical era has whack stuff as well as the incredible stuff..
Giving up sex for a year is actually very easy for me to do... I'm a man who can make a hug feel like the most incredible lovemaking experience you ever been a part of in your life... The actual sex is like an extended remix with a super funky beat! Ahhh haa!
5. Dudes, would you rather have a big dick or a great sense of humor?Ladies, nice tits & azz or common sense?
Ummm...that one is a toss up...lol.. First I'd investigate as to whether or not those tube things make your ish bigger and longer.. And if they do? Then this question is a no brainer.. I'll go for the sense of humor and then buy one of those enlarger thangs and make my stuff looooong and big! Ha!
6. So you've been invited to an all expense paid Blogger Prom in The Bahamas. You're sitting at the bar on the beach. Which blogger do you want to join you for hours of good convo?
I'd have to give the nod to the young lady that does the Young, Black and Fabulous blog because I think she'd have me laughing so hard that I'd be making funny noises.
7. Which blogger would you most like to cuddle with on the beach?
I'd have to give the nod to Bloopty Bloop since I stole these questions from her and because she seems like she'd be a lot of fun to cuddle with...
8. You're going on a 5 hour road trip...which 5 CDs do you bring?
1. Sign O' The Times- Prince
2. The Dogg Pound's first CD
3. Tennessee Slim Is The Bomb- Joi
4. A whole bunch of downloaded itunes songs mixed with 70's music and neosoul from today.
5. A podcast from my favorite, Honeysoul.com
9. Would you rather bury your children young or have your children bury you young?
I'm not blessed with any children but I'd rather have them bury me young. And before I'd go? I'd make an impact on them that will keep my spirit alive within them for the rest of their lives, similar to how my grandfather did with me... It aint the amount of years, it's all about what you do with each second, each minute, each day..........
10. What's your biggest insecurity?
Ummm.... I dunno... *smile*
11.What's the first blog you read every day...or however often you read them?
Bloopty Bloop, Slish, Young Black & Fabulous...
12. When's the last time you peed your pants?
Can't really remember because its been a while and me being a man, I just whip it out and take a leak pretty much anywhere and everywhere... ahhhh haaa!
13. Which was better, your first kiss or your first pay check?
First paycheck because my first kiss felt nasty! Well, I will say this.. My first REAL kiss with all that tongue business was nasty but when I was a little boy I had a kiss from a little girl and that was real quick, no big deal.. But later on when I had to kiss somebody for real, I hated it. I went home, drank a gallon of grape koolaid, brushed my teeth, ate a couple of chilli dogs, drank another gallon of koolaid and then tried to forget about the kiss... Nothing worked but I wore out the carpet walking back and forth to the bathroom all night... Ahhhh haaa!
14. Do you have kids? Want kids?
Would love to have kids but wont be disappointed if I dont... Always dreamed of having a daughter. I think I'd be an amazing dad to some young lady.. That's sort of the main inspiration for my first book, Daughter By Spirit. I wanted to do a story where a woman would raise her daughter into believing that good men still do exist in this world and she used as the example her bestfriend(male). Of course when this young lady grew up and discovered that the man she thought was her father actually wasn't it devastated her but that concept of making an impact on someone's life to the point where they'd want their own to search for someone just like you? Whew... That's powerful and just imagine if you can actually be that kind of father to a young lady or even a young man.. Someone to look up to and be proud of...
15. You get dropped off at home after the office holiday party by your bitch azz boss that you can't effing stand...you exit the car and he peels out, runs a red light at your corner and rolls up on an unsuspecting midget. The next day the midget watch groups are on TV outraged at the heartless hit and run, and are calling for any witnesses to please come fwd...that half dead midget has a family at home waiting on C-mas presents. Would you take $1000 hush money? $500? $100? A six pack?Six pack of what, Corona Lights??
After I stop laughing at this question and try to decipher it, ummm.. I'd probably get rid of the boss..
16. Live the rest of your life without your eyebrows or your fingernails?
I'd say no fingernails so I wouldn't have to keep cutting them like I do... Men without eyebrows looks kind of strange...
17. What makes you angry?
People who stare without saying anything.. Women who look away or go out of their way to prevent you from saying hello to them in passing.. The mean spirited-ness you find in and around LA. Black people who dont recognize the beauty and strength of supporting and loving each other.. Take away the macho shield, the jealousy, and uplift each other with a simple but sincere greeting...
18. What makes you horny?
Long embraces mixed with beautiful conversation...
19. What makes you nervous?
20. What makes you smile?
A woman with a cool ass walk and confidence to match...
Halle was in a store yesterday, searching for my book... And when she found it? Whew.. she just couldn't resist! She had to read it right there! Her fingers kept at a steady pace, her eyes remained glued to each fabulous page. She was oblivious to the world around her. She didn't care about the paparazzi or about being seen without make up on. It didn't matter because she's still beautiful anyway but with my book in her hand? Her beauty was elevated to new heights! lol... ahh yessss.... aint life cool? *smile*
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Caught while driving black on a Saturday night, I heard this song coming from the speakers of another car. It was an interesting moment because between myself and the car playing this powerful Bob Marley song was a policeman. He creeped up slowly, no doubt he punched my license plate into his computer. Probably disappointed that he came up with nothing and when he pulled beside me, he gave me one of those cold hearted stares that read, stay out of trouble... Trouble aint my ambition in life, it just comes with the territory being alive. The dude rockin that Bob Marley song turned it up louder, taking away the policeman's focus... That music sounded good and that song definitely needs to be heard.
Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war
That until there are no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war
That until the basic human rights are equally
Guaranteed to all, without regard to race
Dis a war
"Sweet memories take me back to you..."
There's a magnetic force out there that can sometimes return you to the exact same spot where you once found happiness. I could very easily close my eyes, imagine and return there but it wouldn't feel the same. It's a trip that gets me every time... That unspeakable magic when no matter how long its been, no time in between could ever dampen what you feel. Your heart is like a fortress, camouflaged by the world's most beautiful flowers. Each one representing her; the real true rationale for your smile. For her happiness, sacrifice is a blessing. Her laughter is necessary. I was never once blinded by the obvious, her movement so mesmerizing... It was her touch, her conversation and when I held her still in my arms, I'd wish for the minutes to change to hours as the silent rhythm boasts the declaration, it's ALWAYS nice seeing you and the next time? As God is a witness to everything going down on this planet...next time will mean the world to me, too...