Monday, December 25, 2006

The Dawning of the Superficial


Rat-mo said that most blogs are self-centered and self grandizing, so he doesn't read them.

Well good for him.

But, the last couple of post have been that, on my blog for sure.

I will have to get back to serious stuff in 2007.

And, I will read my blog again to see what is up,

Maybe the self needs to be tempered in this experiment.

I seem to have nothing to say about anything but me . . .

And the pictures in my head . . .

Which I enjoy.

Ciao, ciao.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead -- A Bullet Point Life


I have been listening to Ding Dong the Witch is Dead by Kermit Ruffins which is playing on my myspace page . . . unbeachedwhale (cut and paste if you will).

I am still in the middle of the secret project. Tired, muscle aches from lifting an oven, and commuter fatigue. But I march on, though this Xmas Eve is hard. I want to celebrate with everyone else, but I have to finish this stuff. It is like I am a kid with the mumps, watching everyone play from my window.

So, bullet point life:

1. Meet a girl. Trinidadian. Very nice. Will ask her if she wants to go to the opera. I gotta find some opera money first. I can't turn down the Magic Flute.

2. Boys bore me now. No idea why. It is like when I ate a lot of candy corn when I was about eight-years-old from the Sears Department store on Lafayette in Nashville, Tennessee. Now I can barely touch the stuff. Must be the porn, quick sex and lack of conversation.

I need some conversation.

3. Received a book on Jazz that the German musicologist edited and compiled. Makes me miss Germany and the types of projects that are going on there.

4. BBC and Euronews are the bomb . . .who knew half the shit that is going on is going on? I am stuck in capitalist consumer land and Jersey Turnpike purgatory, so no information what so ever.

5. Merry Xmas . . . if I don't speak to you.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Interventionist Thoughts

I got a psychic message the other day about my current job. Today I got confirmation that I should take it.

Anyway, there were several things that got my mind working besides the slight altercation that had my blood raging for a full hour at work.

Things are OK, the cold Chicago brick house food artist, who I wanted to slap in the face with a poisonous jelly fish, and I are going out for a beer later. . . some time very later. I am still looking into some anger management type stuff. I get so worked up, it is like I am ready to fight entirely too much.


Interventionist Thoughts.

-- I saw a woman so pale that when she walked straight through moving traffic on 58th street tonight her skin and light hair reflected the beams radiating off the head lights of oncoming traffic. It was at about 10 o'clock pm and she was in a total daze, passing through the traffic without flinching, like a Shaolin monk in deep contemplation, wearing a black ankle length coat with a hood. But death was on her walk, she was almost hit.

-- I saw a Christmas tree near Bloomingdale's that I wish my grandmother could have seen. It was beautiful. I just realized that I have received a good amount of my aesthetic sensibility from her enjoyment in observation.

-- When I lived in Germany I sang in a gospel choir with Izora Armstead Rhodes from the Weather Girls. She was in my section, the tenor section, because she was a contralto. Amazingly we had 3 contraltos in the choir that were women. In the short time I knew her I learned a lot about music, and I also learned somethings about church that I did not expect. Izora was not one to change her behavior in a church or out of a church because God watches always. She also said in very direct language that discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation is simply not fair. I miss her in no uncertain terms and wish I could have sung more with her. I just thought of her this moment while writing this post.

There was another singer named Harriet who was the lead alto with Izora's daughter Dee, and mother of the choir. She is wonderful and still tours, but I will never forget when she was talking to me about her first coming to Germany from Philly and not knowing how to act. The world was so open and free to her that she walked the streets taking fruit from the fruit stands thinking it was free.

I don't know why that image visited me so strongly today. Harriet walking down the street, with her long long weave flowing through the air, in a shawl or cape, kept bouncing through my mind. I see her smiling with her bright glossy teeth and speaking to people, touching apples and quinces with her long finger nails, picking her fruit half heartedly because all of Germany is so sweet to her.

Friday, December 08, 2006



I am beat up. Seriously. Running around in NYC is tiring me out. Plus work is hard now too, so I will have to take a pause from the blogophone to take a nap and catch up on the world. The Baker report looks promising, but also more like the beginning of the true fiasco rather than its logical conclusion.

Need I explain.

Think not.

Gone to fishin'.

I am thinking about this blog differently too. I think it has to do with the job and PU. We will see.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

A Thought

What the hell? The Russians are busy spraying radiation all around public places to kill this one guy who has some shit on somebody. Now, if they are doing that, with all their nuclear stock piles and clandestine puffs of smoke, what else have they been doing? Selling uranium to other players?

Meanwhile, my tax dollars are going into Iraq! Please. And Rumsfeld admits that the Iraqi offensive is not working. Can someone give me a double "please" to the wigger in the middle. Man!

We need to call somebody to help get Russia into line. I mean, screw Iran and North Korea! Condi needs and invisible jet and a lasso of truth to figure this one out.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Sexy List for the Future

I am nervous to say what is on my mind. I started this entry and cannot complete it.

Don't know why?

Let's leave it with brioche in the morning, made by me, and some great music. Sun Ra prefered.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Benediction

Have you felt like you discarded an old idea about yourself or the world but you can't remember where you lost it? Kind of like a scarf forgotten on a transit train, but whether it was the A or the 1, it is of little consequence. You are now standing cold, without protection, experiencing the new world for the first time now that the old swaddling clothes have scattered onto an electrified track; or, maybe you are lighter and faster from the tattered fabric's unnoticed departure. Sometimes the baggage is not so heavy; it is the tediousness and tenacity it takes to keep up with bits of cloth or yarn that wear us out.

That is the best way to call my feelings this afternoon after a crazy day at work. I was forgetful with my personal belongings, forgetting a check book in the company bathroom after changing this afternoon and getting caught behind the eight ball in terms of time management. I also almost forgot the book I was reading on the bus, an out of print gem of a book. Maybe it is sleep deprivation? Maybe it is the bird flu I got? Maybe it is a love jones that is faintly starting today after a conversation with a chef? Maybe it is the office politics I am trying to rise above?

The death of a young 23-year-old on the eve of his wedding in a fury of bullets has put me on edge I guess. Today my delivery guy was harassed by a cop if you ask me, and I can feel a certain level of self-editing happening in these situations. I don't like it. So, rather than loosening my tongues, I feel some part of my outer armour falling away -- where I was once all clad, I am now becoming uncovered -- naked and exposed one limb at a time. I don't want to live like this, always having a part of my person pre-occupied by a ghastly race deed of injustice, just to pretend that things are OK, when they really aren't.

So with that goes a benediction of self in a way. And I thought of DMJ today and his concepts of "things". I like this concept.

I bought some new pants at the Gap for 20 things. I noticed that everything at H&M is 40 things. I got some lotion, shampoo, Odor Eaters and Noxema from Duane Reade for 27 things and that was my day.

Came home. Waited for Blogger to comeback to life, and surfed the net after 2 days of non-stop action and work with Rat-mo.

Peace out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Another Battle With Flu

Maybe I have bird flu. I feel like crap. I also realize that I need an editor, or that my sleep deficit is affecting my verb tenses.


MEME from my friend angryblackbitch.

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought? Do I have a clean shirt?

2. How much cash do you have on you? $47

3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?” S'more!

4. Favorite planet? Neptune

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone. Rat-mo.

6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone? I don't have one. And I don't know the name of the one I have now.

7. What shirt are you wearing? A 10-year-old dark gray Banana Republic long sleeve knit with a whole in the bottom front left hand part.

8. Do you “label” yourself? Not really. I shop on the sales rack.

9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re current
ly wearing? Adidas

9.5. Bright or Dark Room? Bright.

10. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? She is slick, tight on the blogophone and right on time.

11. What does your watch look like? No watch.

12. What were you doing at midnight last night? Typing, organizing, analyzing, planning, eating potato chips and listening to Maroon 5.

13. What did your last text message you received on your cell say? Minutes Remaining . . .

14. Where is your nearest 7-11? Like what the hell is that about? Probably Pennsylvania. I work and commute on all points of the Jersey Turnpike cousin.

15. What's a word that you say a lot? It's bananas.

16. Who told you he/she loved you last? My cousin Stanton Allen.

17. Last furry thing you touched? Dust ball in the storage room at work.

18. How many drugs have you done in the last three days? 2 Rolling Rocks, 3 glasses of Chardonnay

19. How many rolls of film do you need developed? None, I ain't got one of those old contraptions.

20. Your worst enemy? Those closest to my person who don't see the true me, yet I still look to them for validation for some odd reason. I guess I am complicit in the conspiracy too.

20.5. Favorite age so far? I would say 29.

21. What is your current desktop picture? A black bird looking into a window from outside, tens of stories high, in NYC.

22. What was the last thing you said to someone? Have a good trip.

23. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be? I need the money.

24. Do you like someone? No. Still getting over a possibility that just wouldn't happen no matter how hard I tried, prayed, pleaded to the ancestors, etc . . . Finally, accepted that this mofo is just crazy, as in Beautiful Mind crazy . . . and I ain't a long haired brunette of a white woman. Time to float on. I am obviously being saved from something.

25. The last song you listened to? Bjork "It's Not Up to You"

26. What time of day were you born? 11:53 pm

27. What’s your favorite number? I have more than one. I like 8 and 13.

28. Where did you live in 1987? Nashville, Tennessee.

29. Are you jealous of anyone? Yes, a little.

30. Is anyone jealous of you? Don't know.

31 Where were you when 9/11 happened? On a train to Stuttgart.

32. What do you do when vending machines steal your money? Start kicking, cursing and shaking the machine violently (I am ashamed of my behavior, but it is true).

33. Do you consider yourself kind? I am kind but, I curse a lot.

34. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be? I have three and working on others.

35. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be? Japanese

36. Would you move for the person you loved? I don't know.

37. Are you touchy feely? Always

38. What’s your motto? For now. Keep it moving.

39. Name three things that you have on you at all times? My cellphone, insulin, a wristband from Bahia.

40. What’s your favourite town/city? Don't know anymore. It depends so much on who is living there at that moment.

41. What was the last thing you paid for with cash? 2 egg whites, bacon, and cheese on whole wheat toast and a small coffee.

42. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it? Application to a Foundation in Belgium for work.

43. Can you change the oil on a car? No. And if I ask now, people think I am a fag (I think there are other reasons to think that) cause I am so old. I will just have to ask another fag.

44. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her? She has a 3-year-old.

45. How far back do you know about your ancestry? 1807 for my mother -- for my father legend has it, our family started with a mother and daughter named Mariah and Mirandi. They traveled on the same slave ship.

46. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy? Interviewed at law firm. Blue shirt, yellow tie, brown khakis, brown shoes.

47. Does anything hurt on your body right now? No.

48. Have you been burned by love? Burned? Not since 1994. Heartbroken, yes.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Turkey Day

I woke up this morning and started to watch the Age of Innocence with Daniel Day Lewis, Winona Ryder and Michelle Pfeiffer. It was pretty good. I had to stop so I could do some of my dad's business this morning. I was too tired to do it last night. I had seen the entire Masterpiece Theater version of Edith Wharton's The Buccaneers a couple of years ago. It was like 6 hours and featured Mira Sorvino smoking in a tree. It was nice.

I guess my Thanksgiving revelation is that I should not be so scared of Edith Wharton, she is more foreign than difficult, but somehow in my mind she is viewed as such. It could possibly be that anything that smacks to hard of an isolated high minded society or has worn a whole into the mighty sarcophagus of American letters should be held at hands distance and declared irrelevant by so many in my academic camp, Faulkner excluded. But I like Edith on film, so I must read her now, she writes about a world that I have had to deal with in so many ways, working publishing houses.

Otherwise Thanksgiving dinner was nice. I slept most of the day. I needed it. My father, stepmother, sister, grandmother and I ate together around 4:30. We cooked half and ordered the other half. The dressing was pretty chemically laded. But everything else was good. We will be eating this stuff for days.

I tried to start The Pilgrim at Home by Gonzalez Eschevarria but my family won't let me. My mother called, interesting conversation. Lots of talk about the family reunion. It is interesting because I had a dream where both sides of my family and I were eating at a table in Switzerland. All of a sudden, one half of my family got up and left the table, while the other half stayed. I think I know what that means and I am subconsciously waiting for it to play out.

I am starting to feel overwhelmed by this application to Presbyterian University. I have other things that I need to do for my survival and I am not really sure how to balance all of this. I think I am delving into Brass Band music as a natural alleviator of stress. Rebirth and Kermit Ruffin (thanks Catherine) have been my on heavy rotation, a sort of penicillin for this feeling that I am drowning in mediocrity and spicelessness as far as my future intellectual world is considered (more the PU visit than anything, not my friends), not to mention clubbing, drinking, eating and just enjoying life. Life in NYC feels like a long chore where there is no time to do anything but commute because friends blow you off and reschedule at a drop of a hat. That is the NYC way I think. So, big brass bands will be it for a while. It all makes me feel much better.

Happy Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is black Friday. Good Luck for you lucky shopaholics.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The New York Review of Books, The November 30th Issue (A Work in Progress, Draft III)

I am really exhausted. I worked for several days straight after being attacked by a stomach virus that made it impossible for me to climb the stairs at Grand Central Station a couple of days ago. It felt like I had a tank of helium nestled between my solar plexus and diaphragm. Damn!

Then I went to the Ivory Tower, and let me tell you all, it is a walk through Oz. I missed the bonfire at this Presbyterian institution, all of my fellow coloureds didn't have a stomache for them, but I find beer and frat boys interesting. I never really experienced that world, but it did remind me of Tuebingen in a strange way.

And yesterday I picked up The New York Review of Books (November 30th, vol. LII, no. 19). I wanted to write a whole essay on this distinguished journal and the life it reminds me of, but with the onset of a graduate school application and the other things going on in my life, I don't have time to read the entire thing and write an essay that is tailored to my heart. So, I will write about what I have read so far.

I wonder if the Portuguese word saudade goes for terrible experiences as well as good ones. I think I am fascinated and in love with a struggle I have learned to recognize as part of New York. I know the Gotham Bookmart, Edward Gorey's work, the cultural effects of Balanchine's brand of bulimia, in verse the strange tight rope of the Dance Theater of Harlem, and the bestially antiquated Edwardians that inhabit East Coast liberalism. And there is a part of me that misses that awkwardness. It is interesting; their influence is waning as they wrestle with the passing of Susan Sontag, the Kennedy's Democratic Party, and Saul Bellows literary presence. Reading The New York Review of Books brings back many memories about being outside that community but nestled in it.

The review brings up that terrible symbiotic dysfunctional relationship of white folk and black folk -- that terrible assumption, which turns quickly into a need to help the Negro and my complicity in feigning helplessness. I was always thanked very graciously by the institutes that I roamed, re-shelved, interned at and performed minor tasks of maintenance on many a rainy Sunday afternoon in exchange for a piece of pauper’s bread and a place to sleep.

I look back at the mid to late nineties as part of a longer love affair with New York that never really balanced out correctly. In the mist of dusty Edwardian pre-war buildings was where I found refuge after a little rejection by the hip-hop community in 1994, just before the string of high profile murders started. I found a safe place at a British publishing company and a Caribbean cultural institute by 1997, as many of my writer friends fled to other publications, graduate schools and video hits channels. I was “the one” that found himself in the company of the tweed jacketed and dust bunnies prancing on hard cherry wood floors. So imagine my surprise when I picked up the latest issue of the review to find it emaciated, lighter, of different paper quality and with a much smaller classified ad space than 7 years ago. It was the same reaction I had seeing the new Time Warner Building, it is a sense of Darwinist progress that such real estate ventures bestow on America’s Brazilified reduction of the very rich and the very poor. New Yorkers are expecting to see several more of these palaces dedicated to the societied before the end of the decade.

The New York Review of Books of 2006 is a denatured landscape where not only its landmarks have been re-invented by fewer pagers, but its very components have changed like alchemical algebra. It has turned water into Italian soda – yes, it is a fountain in neoclassical style, but in a Willy Wonka land of intellectual proportions instead of a true reflection of the world we inhabit. It is Old Europe colored funny, not New Europe in shocking realism. Its perspective is ornate and wonderful to read, but its reach is not as curly and wavy as I once thought. It is just stubble unable to grow into a full beard. Europe of everyday use is far different than this little American intellectual miracle.

The two articles I read dealt with two of my favorite subjects, Marie Antoinette and Gore Vidal.

Daniel Mendelsohn's "Lost Versailles" deals with Sofia Coppola's Marie Antoinette. Its opening is absolutely perfect making me remember why I loved the journal in the first place. I found Daniel Mendelsohn's observations to be pretty good, and he confirmed what I suspected about the movie.

As a pre -pubescent historian, I have wandered far away from Hollywood renditions of the past Can we really know what influence great men and women have had on any of us in two hours? I understand the artistic exercise in rendering the decomposed bodies of our exalted in the cinematic flesh, but to condense true life into plot sequences, or combine real life people into composite characters, always hurts me as a historian, even if I understand that narrative and voice can override such literal interpretations. So, to know that this was a meditation on how Maria Antonia became Marie Antoinette devoid of the complete political and social context outside of Versailles bothers me, but like a teenage girl, I am still dying to see the movie. I am dying because I love this period of history first and foremost (Haitian Revolution and all), and also because Marie Antoinette's biography was something I read in high school. I probably read several versions to satisfy my anima's need for watching a woman imprisoned in am age of decadence and my animus's need to see the guillotine's blade, the heads on spikes and the God anointed stripped to naked human forms.

Mendelsohn pours over Coppala's three films with a fine tooth comb. He lays out the ways of Coppala's lost women and ultimately he gives the good points and the bad points in unequal measure to Marie Antoinette. Coppala seems to focus on showing what life may have really been like for a girl plucked from Vienna to rule on the French throne at a time when all pomp was Parisian and all of Paris had an eye on Versailles. Antonia/Antoinette must master a new language, a court culture that was very different from the Hapsburg's and the quirks and intrigues of a family that was much different than her own. The thing that is not explored in detail is how this woman's very presence was meant to solidify an alliance between France and Austria and how her frivolous nature and lack of political cunning turned against her family.

I will say no more about Mendelsohn's review, but I will say this about the premise of the movie though I have not seen it (I know not a good thing). As a historian I think there is a problem in assuming that just because Marie Antoinette was a 14-year-old Austrian girl figuring out 18th century French politics that somehow her story holds resonance with the 21st century. I am not sure if this is a feminist project of re-imagining, but the leanings of Coppala's project are revisionist none-the-less upon the premise that it must have been extremely difficult for Marie-Antoinette in ways that would have been recognized by us. First that is not true, the idea of a teenager is a 20th century notion, and the ways of European royalty are an extreme experience that made people not owners of their own person but both the embodiment of the state power and subject to all the restraints that the role of governance require. In other words, she was probably expected to do what we would consider very adult things by the age of 14, and the strata she inhabited included re-occuring themes of fratricide and impersonal invasions of private life that are not kin to our world today, even for the most followed rock star.

I think Coppala addresses these issues, but I wonder if her interpretation of Antonia/Antoinette measures up to the past, I know that she wants it to be part of our present. I am probably better off reading Antonia Fraser's Marie Antoinette from which Coppala gets her rendition of the famous/infamous queen to answer these questions. But in the end, Marie Antoinette was not very bright. Even her tutor used to write her lessons on trace paper so she could print them out on clean sheets of paper to show to her mother the Empress Marie Theresa. Did she possess the most basic intellect to know the social crisises in that moment of history, or to take heed of her mother and brother’s caution? Is this shown in the film? I will have to wait and see, since I have taken on the task of reviewing the film before seeing it. Stay tuned.

Bits of Gore Vidal are expected in every New York Review of Books. He is the great pontiff of American letters who, with age, is moving in what seems like measured steps; or, maybe it is simply my own ex-patriot experience that has cloistered him from my view. It seems as if all of New York literary society is smitten by his eternal good looks, his bisexuality, his adventure, his politics and his pedigree. I love Gore also, but there are times, just as when I read Tennessee Williams, where I realize the very American and peculiarly institutionalized paradigm of race raising its ugly head from Vidal's hallowed skull like a cobra lifting a toupee from the rim of a woven basket, only to settle back into the cranium nestled and docile in its position, but striking out at random unbeknownst to the well mannered speaker. In those circles black folk are something to be commented on, not engaged with in real terms nor taken as part of the whole.

Larry McMurty's introduction smacks of those lofty questions that only those in Vidal's caste can ask. Who cares if you had only one tomb to pick as your constant companion on a desert isle? Vidal's complete opus is McMurtry's obvious pick and from there we are transported to Vidal's latest installment and sequal to style="font-weight: bold;">Palimpsest, Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964 to 2006. In this review we learn of Vidal's great loves, their deaths, and his life now that is spreading out like the fingers of the Mississippi, tracing the ending of real lives and the people who are now memories in our American epoch. The great literary world of the last mid-century is a society that exist no more, today writing is a profession of isolated rites. We will not see that collective picture in real time ever again, there is no Johnny Carson or Dinah Shore to help nurse a neat scotch and tight molars expousing sexual conquests with Jack Kerouac or nights listening to jazz records with friends of Dorothy .

But I am getting too poetic.

There is much less to say about Gore Vidal than the Marie Antoinette project, his mere presence in this journal is enough to summon up the picture of our contemporary court culture. Vidal is a well adorned mascot, beautiful in many ways, sensational in most other, larger than life, charming, astute and half American in his gleaming observation from the class of people that have always looked at America from their summer villa in Capri where the weather and temperament of the locals envelopes their bruised soles and blistered hearts from a spring and summer pounding the pavements of New York.

So, I am seeing this part of New York dying a weird death if not an isolated one. Where literature and the literary world lie in this miasma is beyond me. New York seems more Republican to me than before, as I sit at lunch with my new co-workers and they talk about a world that I do not recognize. No free love. No weed. No dancing with the socialist devil in the clear moonlight. Most of the older New York liberals that I knew who were either young socialist or acolytes to Jackie O.'s Manhattan have died or are displaced in a city where their neighbors are younger and more affluent. Looking back in my “saudade”, these modernist hangers on in this post-post-modern juke joint also seemed in their discussions of the e-book and the role of the Internet in the historical trajectory of the bound word. These off beat Edwardians were running like monks trying to save ancient texts from an imaginary fire in the nineties; however, the true hordes at the gates are white, middle class, from Middle America and hungry for money. The inclusion of other people and world views into their velvety chambers of brass dotted upholstered seats is of minor consequence. Look at this government. Look at this war. Look at this situation. Look at our foreign policy. Look at the administration's cultural illiteracy in decision making.

In the same issues, Max Rodenbeck's piece "How Terrible Is It?" exclaims that the rest of the world was skeptical of our accusations directed to Mesopotamia and its environs, but the American people were not. With that statement we are left with what the New York Review of Books sales itself as, a rarefied course for those on a Eurocentric diet; yet, this menu is as antiquated as brandy soaked duck fetuses in aspic. I am not sure if the point-of-view that is exposed is more a glance and longing for an intellectual tradition to which we as Americans will always feel inadequately matched, linguistically inferior and shall always overtly covet; or, is it another case of “saudade”. The American Empire ruled with an emphatic assurance and a feeling of inheritance to the West because we saved Europe from itself several times over through war and Edwardian aged New York marriages. Are East Coast liberal minds glancing over the pond like a Portuguese countess peering over the boat on her way to Brazil escaping Napoleon's army? Was there a miscalculation on which road the hordes gathered and will it be fatal to a jovial and lively intellectual New York elite?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Bullet Point Life

1. I don't know where to go with the Harlem Baker? I can't give the attention he would like and I feel guilty. We talked about how our relationship would go as long as it lasted. We will just have to wait and see. That is in the back of my mind, how much access do I give lovers in my life.

2. I have a meeting with some folk at a famous institution about my future tomorrow and I am tripping about it. This is big, but somehow I am not suppose to sweat it. It is kind of like the white people in Pride and Prejudice -- you are suppose to be cool about wanting Mr. Darcy, and it is considered to be in bad taste to express your desire too heavily. Anglophile Americans kill me.

3. I gotta haircut. I have not had a haircut since my stay with the Harlem Baker sometime in September.

4. I have been in the mist of a discussion on Clay Cane's blog concerning the now infamous "Bishop Incident".

5. Discussions about the Black Church and Gay Folk has revealed a lot to me about how people think on the other side of the fence.

6. There are a lot of papers coming out concerning New Orleans. Not sure how I feel about all this contemplation. There is a part of me that just wants to say that it is not that deep. Coloureds were drowning, America watched and demonized Black Folk for trying to stay above water in the Super Dome, whole towns are gone, nobody is going to get the insurance. The other part of me simply wonders if the steeple of my grandmother's church in Picayune, Mississippi was ever picked up.

7. Skip Gates needs more entries for his tome. 100 dollars a pop. If I write ten that is a thousand dollars.

8. Who am I kidding, I ain't writing shit.

9. Need to call Auntie who works in Slidel to see if she can get me some fresh file, I refuse to buy that vile pixie dust that has been sitting on the shelf for 3 years at Zabar's.

10. Time to look at the Police's Syncronicity concert on DVD in the morning.

11. My youngest sister and I have the same taste in music. I am starting to think that I am a total fag, or she is growing up to be a total fag hag. We need to figure this out quick.

12. My job is fun. Not taking it serious at all. Trying that for a change. If it works out it works, if not, then on to the next thing . . . I am already looking.

Monday, November 13, 2006

War Of Time by Alejo Carpentier

War of Time by Alejo Carpenteir, is the first book in months that I have finished. In the meantime I have been getting fat, looking for a new job, dealing with complicated doctor's instructions, arguing with my father about politics and beginning several chapters of my epic dealing with an African Goddess. I will tell no more.

I loved War of Time. It is a collection of short story that plays with time and narrative underneath the cover of larger epics such as Ulysses, Noah's Arch, pilgrimages and voyages to the New World. As usual, soldiers, saints and sailors litter the stories with minutia that Homer, Virgil or the chroniclers of Columbus simply forgot. Carpentier is the master of creating endearing reflections of the everyday making specific points in time exotic instead of places. I liked the love scene of Penelope best and thought that the short story "Journey to the Source" was just a simple exercise, a beautifully one at that, but the unconsummated love of Ulysses and Penelope in "Like the Night" triumphed, in my opinion, what many consider to be his best work in Journey. Night's reasons, its truthfulness of a man and woman bare in bed, the failure of making love because of drink, a visit to a whorehourse or inner inertia combined into an embarrassing honesty that I don't normally read. Man-honest-truth is something that I like and wish I could read more of as I get older. While studying in undergrad and grad school, most of my professors were women and they just took for granted that I was reading or had read the male centered cannon. If I admit that I read Norman Mailer or Philip Roth back then I was usually stoned by the politically correct warriors. But that is old salt in an old wound. I am not so much upset about it, as I am always amazed when I read about the relationship between a man and a woman from a male perspective in literature and can identify with that failure. Miscommunication of the body is worse than words.

So in that vein, D.H. Lawrence is next on my list of completions. I am reading Women in Love. I started Lady Chatterley's Lover in the German translation but that book is not with me.


I woke up this morning thinking about my friend Moa. He sent me a letter asking when I am coming back to Cologne. I miss Moa, we sung together in the tenor section of the Brazilian choir. I miss singing in the gospel choir too. But there is more to that and Moa and the gospel choir. He sent me the letter on the first day of carnival, November 11th. Hmmmmmmm.

I mention it because I have been sitting through the madness of a certain hip-hop magazine's reshuffling wondering about my writing and getting it on the page. But, I guess I am done with it. All the promises that many in my generation thought we were going to have fulfilled has not been and will not be. We are a decade out, the legacy is now established and what is done is done.

I also woke up hearing the groundbreaking of the King Memorial. Well, he should be deified. Oprah and Obama (they should run in 2006) were speaking, and Andrew Young was crying. While riding in the car with my father to the bank on on to the pharmacy to pick up my insulin, I sawthat we are more a like than I thought. He doesn't feel like he belongs with the party's march or procession of people claiming that a certain emancipation is done and fixed. He wants to play the game, even if he is a Democratic voting Black Republican this time around. I am the same. I am not really following the party lines, I got pushed out the game for being different too, I just prefer to play down on the Lower Eastside for now, and across the pond later. But, there is something I have to figure out in my hand about the pary line that lines up with Harlem, Black Studies departments and the destruction of New Orleans and the family and friends I have there.

I am rambling, I know. But I will flesh it out somehow.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld and the Rest of The World

Ain't this a bitch. The Republicans ain't been out of the House of Representatives for 24 hours and Don had to clean out his desk in 20 minutes and be escorted by security to the door . . . well, voluntarily of course. So be it. Donnie knows that if he stayed the Democrats would haul his ass into the House once a week and wear dat ass out like they were the running the Salem Witch Trials and his name was Tituba!

We just have to wait for Virginia. I can't believe there was so much support for Allen. So, be it again.

I am crying over Tennessee and the senatorial loss of Harold Ford and the support for a marriage amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as that between a man and a woman. So for the record, I don't care if Nashville is popping right now economically and socially, I am still not feeling it. New Jersey is doing just fine by me. . . for now. Civil Unions could still come to pass in the land of Dixie, but I am not so sure.

That's all for now.

More later.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Blogging Blaaaahs

I am taking a break. There are some things I need to take care of in my everyday life and in my head (which is a constant for me -- I think too much); therefore, there seems to be very little creative broth flowing towards my blog.

I think it is a combination of the following:

1. This freakin' election on Tuesday. CNN has had some interesting coverage on it, but there is a level of over kill. I enjoy the anatomy of a airline disaster feel to it, but honestly, why weren't people so discerning 3 years ago . . . or in 99 during the Gore/Bush campaign cycle?

2. Worried about my home state of Tennessee and Harold Ford.

3. Dealing with my conservative family that has lived in that state (one parent is religiously conservative and the other politically).

4. Father issues -- He is a black Republican -- I forgot how much of a big deal that is for people. And it is increasingly becoming a problem for me . . . there is more to that, cause he is not really going for the stuff that the Republicans are doing now, but certain fundamentals about being a Republican at heart puts us at odds in life.

5. The Ass Hungry Meth Addict of a Christian Fundamentalist Scandal.

6. Depression over sex and sexuality being such a central force in our public discourse. Can't the pastor just have wanted the dick. You can want "the dick" and be against "the gay marriage". That should not shock people.

It is a sign of immaturity, all these lines in the sand about desire and politicizing desire to such an extent. That is just my opinion. I need medical insurance for a chronic disease and I insulted that I have to endure this public spectacle concerning ass play instead of a true discourse on universal health care. There are thousands like me that watch the political landscape turn and boil with no solution in site. Medical problems are hypothetical to the ruling class. It is not hypothetical to me.

7. Depression over the use of New Jersey's gay marriage decision by our president as a "wedge issue". And greater depression over the American anti-intellectual slant that has John Kerry speaking in tongues, and the religious right spurring inaccurate information concerning the place of marriage in Western civilization to a mind numbed public.

8. Perplexity over Saddam Hussein's death sentence early this morning. The timing is so off (or on, depending on how you look at it) . . . just before this election? . . . come on.

9. I am in the middle of reading some Alejo Carpentier and staring at D.H. Lawrence when I should have been finished with Saussure a month of Sundays ago. But come on, admit it, Saussure is interesting, but kind of like calculus . . . and who relaxes with calculus?

10. New chick at my job has caught my interest. She doesn't like to party. I do. So, that leaves me wondering should we get started. Should I play where I work? I normally don't. Especially if there are a ton of women in the office, which there are, it is New York, there are always a million intelligent women everywhere.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Day of the Dead and Maryspotting

I do like this holiday, it is kind of like a personal reckoning for me because I start to think about the year that just past and what I want in the future. It is also about ancestors, friends that have passed and respect which I dig.

Today I have to get moving. I need a haircut, I have not had one for months and I have another little interview today. I also have to take some of my writing downtown for submission.


I have been wanting to link this up cause George Michael is a trip. I don't know what this old queen is turning into, but it sure is damn interesting. He is caught on TV smoking a dooby while this other chick beats face. Fabo!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Travelling by Land

I don't really have much to report. I wish I did, but the truth of the situation is that I wish this election year would hurry up and be over. The evening news terrifies me, partly due to the war, partly due to the Tennessee senatorial race, and partly due to domestic affairs here in the states. Minimum wage has not been increased in about a decade, people work without security of health insurance or retirement, and from what I can tell, few people question it. There is an inner belief that hard work will solve everything and we can all be like the rich guys.

I commute about 3 to 5 days a week to the city, and the thing that is fascinating about the morning commute is the number of people that sleep on the bus. Add to that the fact that there is a certain etiquette that I have not really been able to pick up on, due to the intimate nature of sleep, and I think I have stumbled upon an American cultural trait that is pretty interesting.

I guess I should describe the last two commutes and my sleeping neighbors. First and foremost, when I get on the bus it is already three quarters full, so I have to walk to the back of the bus to sit. On last Thursday there was a guy that smiled at me and said good morning, then he promptly went off to sleep. It was as if we were skydiving, and his nod was an act of kindredness and security in our journey to earth. He slept on the right side of the bus, and I sat in the middle next to a small career woman that looked like she ate and pooped numbers all day. Her wardrobe was completely black, while me and the other guy were more casual.

When we woke up, he did the exact same non-verbal signals, then a set of stretches probably designed to decrease the probability of a blood clot, and we got off the bus.

Then, on Monday I was in the back again. I had noticed this really tall athletic looking guy who must have been in his mid to late fifties. He had a young face, but this weird haircut that either garnished a crappy toupee, or was in need of more off the top. His hair almost looked nappy, but not quiet, just thick and swollen and possibly dyed with some thick agent which made the style look coagulated and lumpy.

I sat to the right this time, and he in the middle. He was professionally dressed and rambled through the morning paper's sport section with such speed and vigor I could hardly do anything but notice. I was busy reading a short story by Alejo Carpentier, as he fidgeted more, folding the paper, adjusting his briefcase and finally sleeping while sitting on his hands. There was something weird about his sleep, as I finally put my book away, it was as if he was awake, staring forward, or meditating. Maybe he was one of those over achievers, soaking up every moment with purpose and focus.

As the bus pulled up through Port Authority, he awoke with an arched back, rubbing his eyes, expressing a limberness of a child and not a middle aged man. It was as if he was ready to go kayaking or rock climbing.

When he was fully awake, he grabbed both hand grips mounted on each chair on either side and pulled himself up in one swing like a muscle man from 1950's Atlantic City, and dashed off the bus.

I started my long walk to work thinking about the moment and thinking about New York. The thing I have become most unaccustomed too is being so close to people and not being involved. I am not sure I can sit on a bus and sleep next to anyone anymore because I don't want to be in total control of my mind and body during that time. I did fall asleep on the bus both Monday and Thursday, but completely aware that some stranger was sleeping not very far from me. I don't want to be seen nor see anyone else doing what I think to be pretty innocent. There is something indecent about it, just like when passing by people with tongues down each other's throats (well, that is not exactly innocent) or smelling a meatloaf sandwich being devoured by a fellow subway rider. Sleeping side by side as I snore, or burp, or fart should be reserved for my significant other. I wonder, is the mundane body for everyone?

I also feel like a voyeur when I notice people so closely, especially during sleep. It seems so impossible to sleep next to someone and not share something . . . even if it is for 45 minutes . . . on your way to work . . . right after daylight savings time . . . noticing the sunrise for the first time in a month of Sundays.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Love Jones for Henry Rollins

I am going to write a love letter to Henry Rollins. His torso, his music, his politics and his gorgeous face pretty much sum up what I am looking for in a man. I do believe that he is still single, and we can get married in New Jersey so maybe we stand a chance. He has a show on IFC (The Independent Film Channel) that I ran across channel surfing late last night. I watched in amazement as it brought back memories of walking through New Brunswick reading the Aquarian newspaper every week.

It is a rainy day, I can afford to dream a little.

I have been so slow to write anything as of late. I can't really start any long post because I have started back up the slow road of making a living and dealing with the man, which saddens me in a sense. I miss Bohemia and all its delusions.

For the first time yesterday I thought about abandoning working in the university for the shear fact that working with 20-somethings is far less stressful than teaching them. There is always that feeling that I have to put on airs and act like an authority. At my little mini-job I meet a lot of interesting 20-somethings that make me remember how open 20-somethings can be. One guy is from Coney Island, another young lady is from South Carolina and has been in NYC for only 4 months, then there is a really cute guy who speaks about 4 languages. We spoke a couple of words of Portuguese yesterday.

I have been doing some non-blog writing, and that has changed my energy and perspective. It is not a bad one, it is just that I am receiving more responses from my creative stuff, and feedback for me is everything. It helps me feel like a writer and I kind of need that since my current living situation and work don't give me that directly.

Well, I have to work a bit tomorrow. There is a big event coming up with a celebrity I won't mention. She has a new book coming out and we have to prepare for the signing. I am sure her books are where they need to be (I am back in inventory management for now), but we will just receive more calls. I missed the Michelen event. It would have been nice to see the intellectual snobbery of chefs. I like acts of intellectual snobbery, and if you add the sensory element of French cooking, then baby you can cut the cord, I 'm birthed.

I have a craving for File Gumbo, and I would like to try and make Turtle Soup. I will make File Gumbo for Kwanza for sure, and maybe for my father's birthday in late November, and maybe before then if I get my hands on 40 to 50 bucks. Turtles for soup can be obtained in Chinatown, alive. How do you kill them, does anyone know?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Madonna and Child


I am sorry. I have been beat up after the last couple of days of work. Waking up at 4:30 am to commute to NYC has has been a bit taxing. Especially since I seem to get up early so I can do my father's work first, then catch the 6:00 am bus to do my own job. Commuting back was hell today, it took 2 hours and 15 minutes due to traffic. I hate commuting. I hate sleeping next to someone I don't know. I sleep hard and I snore, it must be terrible for the other person.

It is very, very weird. But maybe this is something we Americans don't mind seeing. After all people have moved all the way to Pennsylvania to have affordable housing and a yard for their children.


Today, let's have a moment to ponder Madonna and child. I have only one thing to say: "I am afraid that the trial concerning this "illegal" adoption may have more to do with the patriarchal and patronizing views of some humanitarian organizations towards Africa as much as with anything else."

I am not saying that Madonna is right or wrong, but why is it so hard to adopt in some African countries? And, as heart breaking as this is, what is the exact benefit of living in Malawi for 18 months? Ultimately it is to establish residency, and I am sure that it is part and parcel of any naturalization law.

The Malawian government has broken its own law . . . I see that, but I am not so sure about how this situation is going to turn out, or who is right and who is wrong. Is this law really functional, and what is its exact function? Is it cultural? China pumps out children for adoption like Willie Wonka bars.

So be it . . .

The only other aspect to this that I find problematic is the African American community's response concerning adopted black children as accessories. OK, I hear the argument. But how many of us African-Americans understand abject poverty? And, why does our race solidarity kick in during spats of racial objectification/alignment and not economic inequality here at home and abroad?

No more soap box now. Gone to watch the movie The Island.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Lost in the Motion

I had two emergencies in the last 24 hours that have left me in NJ. I missed Ayana's thing. I am sorry, Ayana but I am pretty beat up. But without revealing all but over looking nothing, let's give some numerical points.

1. One of my emergencies was diabetic related, so as far as the Michael J. Fox/Rush Limbald controversy I just want to say how could Rush every know what a chronic disease means for people's everyday lives and especially in this system. There is something really wrong about what he said and it puts a focus on how people belittle and emasculate those with physical health problems. It is not really about being politically correct, it is far more vicious and our competitive out dated social Darwinist views on life are feeding it.

2. Tuesday, first full day of work at nondescript, but very posh place on a posh street . . .well, all but the thing about the elevator not working, so I had to help empty a UPS truck with about 600 items on it. Some not too light. But it was nice. Great view of New York from the back of a stationary truck, never seen it before.

3. When the Michelen guides arrived we received one whole pallet for a special event that happened yesterday. The trucker jumped out, and then this older lady from maybe the Philippines of Korea jumped out too. Maybe his wife? It was interesting. She wore a blue jean jacket, a blue jean skirt and she sucked on a lime green glow in the dark orb that could have been some Everlast brand of electric candy for all I knew. I thought nasty thoughts, and I think she knew I thought nasty thoughts.

4. I have a myspace page with a picture on it. I look like an actor. Funny. And the my picture doesn't go with the backdop, but I think that is just me anyway. I am far different than I seem.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Me Friend

This is Ayana Soyini, I am working on her marketing materials and helping to promote her stuff in the Nashville, Washington D.C. and New Haven arenas. She is having her listening party at Negril in the Village on Wednesday from 7pm til 11pm. There is no cover charge.

Ayana's eclectic groove pulls from several different genres which places her in the realm of DJ, performing artist and talented produce.

Come get you some if you can.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Boiler Maker and 3 Shots of Whiskey

I will have to blog again later today. It is 3:00 am and I have just gotten back from the city. The meeting I had went well, there are somethings I might finally get published, plus an interview with a filmmaker that I want to do for an art journal. So that is good.

I talked to Lenny before the meeting for a couple of hours. We had coffee (I had one coffee with a shot of espresso before that) and shared a dessert at a cafe on 36th street between 5th and 6th avenues. Lenny is working with Elite and some other agencies. He is going to try and pull me in on any deals that he gets, and I am going to do the same. He is a photographer. I am a writer. So there has to be something we can do together. Lenny gave his rants on American society and politics and talked about himself for a while; then, he proclaimed that the places where I want to work are not his style because people talk to much about themselves.

That is Lenny. He isn't selfish though, he is just hyper aware and extremely independent and anti-establishment.

After that I was off to the East Village. It was very interesting. I just talked about the end of a the punk world. The East Village is the end of a certain world. So few people stay there for long, it is a place fore people with itchy feet, but I know some die hards. Interestingly enough my mentor at NYU is down there.

Today after the shots of whiskey and the meeting I realised that Harlem is not where my support has come (lived), it has always been downtown. I just have not embraced it before. Harlem is different. I also realized that 10 years ago my life looked a lot like the two young women that were in the gallery. One was doing the artsy thing after getting fired from her job, the other was doing the graduate school thing. It is funny how we all end up on the other side, looking back in on what we used to be.

Old giants can become as small and redundant as a slinky after half a score.
I got more comments on the Foley-Priest thing. I will look into them later. But I must say I was just waiting for relationships between men and boys to take a more stark and explicit flight in description. I can do without the lewdness, and thank heavens we have been spared that. I have to see what the pundits will say, maybe tomorrow.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Three Blind Mice

First, my blind item.

What infamous congressman released the name of the priest that molested him to the proper authorities, though the name of that priest is not being televised. And what is the subtext of this conversation? Is it, "I am gay because I was molested as a child otherwise I would be normal."? Or is it, "I am going through treatment for my alcoholism and irreversible homosexuality because I was molested."? Or is it, "I am gay because I like dick."?

Who is to say what anyone is or is not. I am not really into that labeling stuff and I think it brings up a lot of fascist behavior on both the radical liberal side and the fanatical right. It is like splitting hairs after while. I mean how many dicks do you have to suck to be a gay male? Is it like the one drop rule. That can be taken literally when it comes to mouth and penis. But seriously, I find Foley's motives and timing concerning not only his identity as a dick lover interesting, but how it fits (or conflicts) with his identity as a Republican. We are all being forced to ask ourselves just what is a Republican?

Second, North Korea.
What can Condoleeza Rice & Peas (I love me some Paul Mooney)really do about this situation. I hope she can do something and win the Nobel Prize next year cause Kim Jong-il seems to be ready to flip out regardless. No one wants any of this, but what can one really do?

Third, my weekend.

I heard that there is a threat of dirty bomb activity at different stadiums around the country this Sunday. And, this warning came from CNN not a viral e-mail, or my cousin in Anniston, AL. But, don't worry, we are not suppose to worry about this one.

I can't believe we are having conversations like these.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A Line in the Sand

I am going to take a break from the blog today to simply clean out some stuff upstairs. I got up this morning and did a walk around the block. It was before dawn. I bumped into a jogger and a couple of cars.

Last night I ran up on this BET interview with Patti Labelle where she received roses from Phyllis Hyman. It seems like ancient history somehow. There is something spiritually resonant about that moment too. I spent the night looking at her videos and searching for bits on LaBelle. I do miss Phyllis and this clip makes me feel like there is something epic about the best song birds.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


There is not much to report here. I was busy trying to read Groove, Bang and Jump Around by Steve Cannon, but I am having trouble getting through it. I read it about 7 years ago, but I am in a totally different space. I will hopefully meet with him on this Thursday, just to chill out for a bit. I am getting a bit antsy here in New Jersey. My stepmother just confessed to me that she doesn't like fiction. My father doesn't read it either. The irony of my life.

I finally got a survival job. I will keep it at that. I will have cash to get some stuff done in NYC. I still look at NYC as being a great place to sale my wares (writing) and not much else. It is too expensive to actually live there unless I look at the Bronx, but something is about swing in terms of living and real estate. The stock market is going up because people are rushing to put all of their money in the market since real estate is diving. So, again, we have empty numbers. It is sad, but in true "don't hate the player hate the game" fashion it is time to manipulate the situation.

I have been listening to everything from Skunk Anansie, Pattie Labelle (I have been listening to several versions of "You are my Friend" on YouTube), and Daft Punk for the last 3 days. I am in meditative heaven.

I have been trying to read all this deep stuff like Saussure, Foucault, Husserl and Levi-Strauss. It will take all winter.

And I will do some nude modeling at Sylvia's studio. We have been talking about it for a while, and I am going to do some painting with her (she is the master, I am the little grasshopper). I want to work in charcoal, we will have to talk. But that is still a bit off. We both have a lot on our plates family wise.

Dying New York Rebirth

CBGB is gone. I read an article in the New York Times describing the last concert with Patti Smith. I have been lamenting it hard because I have noticed this big whole in my artistic and spiritual world due to a lack of connectedness and information about the whole punk music movement, and all that Andy Warhol stuff I mentioned earlier. So for me it felt like a double loss of sorts.

I went to CBGB once with a friend of mine from Vibe back in 1994 or 1995. We were interns together at the notrious magazine. D-Man had graduated from a college in Boston, and lived in the area. He followed the whole music scene, had his own band in the East Village and cried when Frank Zappa died. I did not really feel any of it at the time, I was still in black university jubilee choir mode from my early twenties. I did not have a sense of exploration, or rather it was in a different direction, more like Brazilian Bossa Nova and Musica Popular Brasil. For my day job, I was courting hip-hop hard, but little did I know, there wasn't really anything underneath . . . at least after a certain point (Snoop Dog's inauguration into the game on the first cover of Vibe comes to mind, that was when the horror started to descend).

I never got a chance to see what was underneath Patti Smith and the punk world. I only saw her one time in person on the street with her long bone straight salt and pepper hair, chiseled jawline, and walking with a speed that was astonishing. A young girl was trailing behind her like a gothic red riding hood in a plain cotton spun button down dress and non-descript jacket. With an agility of mind and body, the little girl stayed alert to everything that Pattie did, like a baby dolphin or killer whale tucked underneath her mother's flipper. And, in a flash, I was descending the staircase to the subway below, and Patti Smith marched north, up The Avenue of the Americas. It was such a dark night. The streets were crowded. I would have missed her if she was not glowing.

They say punk music has not died, and it has not, it just experienced a little death.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Breaking Bread Together, Or The Last Days of Flava Flav

I was invited by Keith + Mendi to the Schomburg in Harlem but could not make it. I believe Mendi was reading. I have to conserve my cash, movement is only for job interviews or meetings that will lead to some freelance work. So, I stayed in today. I have been feeling funny, not too good.

My father made red beans and rice -- New Orleans style (or maybe I should just say our family recipe). It was delicious. He showed me a bit of how to make them today. He just lifted the lid and I saw the beans and smoked hocks bubbling. He has great pots, I am jealous of some of the cookware. I grew up in a family where eating is very important -- like, to a point, people judge your character by how well you can cook -- well, almost.

So today, Flava Flav won out over uptown high culture and ancestral continuity in Harlem (sorry, I missed you J). In the end I watched the Flava of Love 2 marathon. I was interrupted by life as usual. I typed a memo for my father. I have become his on call typist for a little extra money, today I did my work for a pack of Gillette Fusion razor refills. So, I missed the first episode where one chick shitted on the floor and got into a fight. That is one crazy chick. How can you just shit on a floor? Then I fell a sleep during the very last part of the episode where the porn queen was outed! That episode was a bit too drawn out and I woke up early yesterday morning. I needed to catch up. Then I kind of roamed around the house during the episodes I saw. Did stuff like taking my medicine, eating dinner (I had too much of the rice and beans), talked to my ex-girlfriend in the Bronx, a good friend from Nashville (let's call her Nashville Mamma), caught a bit of the Duke rape case coverage on 60 minutes (I didn't see all of it so I won't comment, but what I did see was riveting and very telling about Southern politics and the shift in demographics and political tools used by the black community), blah, blah, blah. In the mist of all that life, running around me, I missed the third-to-the-last-episode which I had never seen.

By 9:00 pm I endured New York's mother's visit to get to the anti-climactic finale at 10pm. Flav picked Deelishis in the end because New York was acting too much like her crazy mother during the final date. So, her face was cracked twice. Check VH1 for the details.

I talked to Nashville Momma, these were her observations.

1. Flava Flav looks like a burnt iguana over an open spit with olive oil spread all over his body.
2. Flava has a big dick.
3. Some people are so ugly they are beautiful (I still have a crush on Tricky that no one understands, and another friend has a secret crush on Shabba Ranks).
4. Flav loves New York.
5. Some cast members are actors (maybe most).
6. The show is degrading to Black people, since for most peopletelevision is all they see of the wider world regardless of race, money, or neighborhood.

I empathized with New York to a certain extent in some weird cosmic way. I have waited for a person. But I am a man, so I just eat the shit and keep pushing, maybe that person doesn't even know.

But as for Flav's choices, I think just about all the chicks had these unbelievable bodies, especially Bootz and Buckeey. My repressed heterosexual self, who I will name Sam, wants a threesome with those two.

On the homosexual side of the stream Michael J. Sandy was taken off life support on Friday October 13th, after being hit by oncoming traffic while fighting off and fleeing from his assailants. Keith Boykin and Blabbendo have posted blogs about the crime. Moving back to the NYC area is piquing my perceptions of danger, and it sometimes seems as if parts of Brooklyn/Queens are disjointed bones of a Southern county locked into the 5 borroughs. There are random attacks and lynchings there. It makes you wonder about education, people's contact with the outside world, and how people will face the re-working of New York by outside forces.

Michael J. Sandy was black and bi/gay(?).
Brighton Beach.
Howard Beach.
Crown Heights.
"1989 the number another summer (get down)/Sound of the funky drummer"
Public Enemy.
Me, 17-years-old, riding shot gun in August of 1989 from DC to New Jersey in my stepmother's Maverick. We hear the song "Fear of a Black Planet" on the radio. We hear about a boy getting killed. This was exactly 1/2 my life ago. I wonder what star I am living under? I am going to track it and navigate by it, cause this is no coincidence. Nothing is a coincidence.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

A Herculean Day, Several Petty Hours Of It, A Synopsis Of A Non-Event

5:59 am (on a Saturday!)
-- I woke up this morning thinking. The German Musicologist said I think too much. He is probably right.

-- I thought about how many academics I know live with their parents. I suspect a high number. My favorite professor at Hampton lived with her mom. I remember a lady in gender studies at my first conference in Africa said that most people do not understand what this profession takes when referring to borrowing money from her mother to get to Africa. The head of the program I taught in in Germany in 2004 and the visiting professor both lived at home. The visiting American professor was old and retiring. He was just newly married for the first time and had a mint of money. Hmmmmmm?

-- Made coffee. Turned on the computer.

Damn! I thought again.
I just thought this computer is making me fatter.

7:28 am
-- Finished organizing my 'favorites list' which includes research on possible interview guests, journals, university sites, photos, freelancer's union website for NYC, contact lists and the Bloodhound Gang.

-- Watched Pattie LaBelle on YouTube and saved 99 Red Balloons in German and English in a new play list called Deutsche Popstars (along with Die Arzte, Rammstein has their own list). I guess I am turning into a German fairy. Nein! Du kanst nicht meinen Schokoschwanz haben!, as my friend DMJ used to say.

9:43 am
-- Working through applications at Austere University, Goliath State University (it is the size of a small city), and Simon LeGre of the Right Pedigree University in the mid-south. Just finished 2 online applications at Austere University for administration. The one I finished weeks ago is under review, I am pretty happy about that. After Austere, I will look at Goliath State. I never thought that being sick would have knocked me out of the game for so long.

11:49 am
There is an invader. It sounds like one of my stepmother's girlfriends dropping something off. I am a bit nervous about who it is since I am in my pajama bottoms. I walk up the stairs to find a copy of the Watchtower on the table.

-- Just laid down after talking to my family. My father walked in during lunch from Puerto Rico with briefcase and suitcase in hand. My stepmother had made sandwiches for her and Bonnie and was fatigued from her walk without the cane. It was the first bit of exercise since double hip replacement surgery. The talk was about my diabetes, insurance cost and student loans which are really effecting the quality of my life. My father was in the dark about a lot of things concerning both my physical and financial condition, and has generally been out of touch for a long time. He does not want to admit that. Life is suppose to be a stroll in the park for me because his life has been a real struggle.

When I told him I was getting fat from being so close to home, he said that it was aristocratic and very middle class to complain about such things.

Stop. Reverse. Rewind. Edit.

When I was 17 my father yelled and screamed for at least 27 minutes straight on US-1, north bound, between Franklin Park and East Brunswick -- Tower Center. The subject was how capitalism is the greatest system in the world, and that communism and socialism are utter failures.

I had declared that I was a socialist just two nanoseconds before he started to scream at me like some old black coachman pissed that his page has screwed up massa's pants legs with mud.

Now, probably 17 years to the day since that conversation, my father is using words like aristocratic and middle class like he never raised us to be little John Henry old school black power/race pride spitting blue blooded hell hounds thrashing through the halls and throats of pampered Anglo-Saxon bastions of intellect and culture. It was not his mission for the collective economic liberation of all coloureds to happen through these efforts, but for the singular economic liberation of the most talented, so there are more black folks in the club and at the party. Elitism. This ensures that other Blacks that can compete, will compete, and win! Maybe he is softening after seeing the world a bit more since 1989.

In the background my 11-year-old sister, who is a cross between Moesha and Molly Ringwald, is flipping through channels, and blasting us with MTV2 until she finally settles on the musical Rent. I like the part where the black girl sings about three hundred thousand . . . something . . . something . . . something . . . "minutes". Then, after that, I usually change the channel. But not today, cause Mollyesha is going through a binge of consumerism and suburban girl tantrums. The volume kept going up and down between Nellie's grills and a Broadway libretto. Today she mentioned Manolo Blahnicks at the lunch table (I stopped breathing). I hope she learns some coping skills (a down home and around the way form of theory) to accompany her choice in shoes. I gotta talk to my father.

7:10 pm
-- Seeing that I only had 4 hours sleep and I am stressed over my life in every aspect, I caught up on the other4 hours sleep. Woke up to hear the UN sanctions debate. The North Koreans were talking about wiping out entire cities. What the fuck? The tripped out part of it is that it did sound like fighting words, cause in effect, they said that if anyone else increases the embargo that has been placed on North Korea by the United States' "gansta" (and yes, he said it just that way, I wish I had TIVO) acts of persuasion it will be seen as a declaration of war. Now, let's get hood for a second and think. The talking heads say that it is impossible for N. Korea to harm us with a missile, but this is the same group of people that said that Iraqis would welcome us with open arms. I don't care how big that test nuke was, I am a bit nervous. We have a track record of underestimating foreign coloured folk here in America, but they have brains just like us, and it seems to be that they work just as good as anybody else's.

Great. Now the pundits will really be talking tomorrow morning during the political talk shows, followed by the Flavor of Love 2 marathon, followed by the finale. I have only seen 2 episodes of this skank ass form of Americana and I love it.

But, to swing back a minute, what are these blue boys and red heads going to really do about this tiny bomb making nemesis, anti-matter flinging, maniac. He could blow some shit up, and them red and blue boys would just talk, while the rest of us have to live our lives. This is bogus.

But I digress . . .

We are having Chinese food tonight (I wish someone would take out that MSG reheating death trap of a Schzuan buffet I went to that gave me food poisoning 3 years ago). I am going to miss a friend's birthday party, but it is OK, I have something else that I need to do anyway concerning my trip to Austere University next week. Plus, I have one unfinished application for Goliath University to do. It is the most challenging job of them all.

12:16 am

-- I wonder how long I will sleep tonight. I just am a bit tired. I have watched the Pagan Poetry video a million times (an all time favorite) and several others by Bjork. Very nice. Tomorrow a trip to Harlem, possibly. It seems my whole life is being reconstructed there by some divine design, like a most high spirit sent my stuff their in advance. Or it could be that Harlem attracts people like honey. Or it couple be that we all have to confront our monsters again in order to see how small they really were. I had a few of those monsters there, and they seem the size of teddy bears now.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

1849 Syndrome and the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature


There is a correlation between being ahistorical and our current spate of continual hysterics. They both cause and magnify a failure to self-reflect. If we were to self-reflect then maybe we could discuss problems of wealth, access to fresh food and our sexual being out loud and without shame. This is just a thought because I have noticed a couple of things about myself and my surroundings of late. OK, I am back to pontificating today. . .

Violence is the other thing that is off the chain; as well as the quiet desperation of the poor and those on the fast track to becoming impoverished. Just yesterday I saw a mass of people riot in Orange, New Jersey trying to get their hands on housing vouchers. And I have also heard a couple of media whores talking about the number of public servants from Congress who are jumping ship to become lobbyist. Their reasoning was that many of these former aides, advisers, lawyers and speech writers wanted to put their kids through college. Can anybody really blame them? It means that their pay is not allowing them to push their children through the same system that placed them in their current class positioning.

To the manor born.

But all this rambling and running is making our society into the greatest saloon of them all. Everyone is out for themselves. We all sit and wait to hear where gold has been found next, so we can start the dishwasher, wash a load of clothes and figure out how to get the money. Hell, I know I am.
Orhan Pamuk

Orhan Pamuk has received the Nobel Prize for Literature. I have not read any of his works but I used to hang out with these Turkish photographers. We used to party and chain smoke some wickedly European cigarettes and drink until we fell down (those were some great days and nights). And during one of these discussions I talked to a cat about Pamuk. I had read about him in one of the brainy rags I followed like a teenage girl. I believe it was the New York Review of Books. I also used to see him on television in Europe now and then. I am sure this will bring some great discussions in the German papers. I will have to start reading Die Zeit to hear more.

Scared of Dry Land

Last night was pretty cool. I did some drawings, which I have not done in forever and a day. I think all this "questioning" from friends who are writers, painters, and media artists about me being an artist (or returning to it) is clearing some things out of my head. Ms. Portugal could see much clearer than Das Experiment, that is for certain. I just never imagined that the world could be so unforgiving to creative types, especially by those who are scientist, engineers and accounts. But this burst of creative energy from friends and colleagues has taken a good toll. Kind of a knife that is cutting through all this other pandemonium that seems to be increasing each passing day in my inner world and the one outside.

I drew this picture among a couple of others last night. I might start back working with pastels. It helps me stress wise more than anything else. I think I am going to call this drawing "Le Bois". I made two La Sirens. One I called "La Siren Dimanche" and the other "La Siren Samedi". I think they are going to end up being a prototype to something larger -- when I have time.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Man Bukkake

Today was another normal day. Last bits of the Washington project are coming together for delivery. The revamping of this blog makes me feel like it is moving more smoothly. It is starting to rain now so it is very quiet. They are talking about freezing weather this weekend

So, in order not to loose my mind over Iraqi death statistics, Foleygate and El Nino I do what most Americans must be prone to doing with increased working hours and mortgages that are approaching the stratosphere, I watched VH-1. Video Hits One is so vapid in its programing, and flavorful in its celebrity (celebreality) message that one cannot resist becoming a convert for a spell or two. First there was Vern and Da Brat; then, Omarosa, Janice, Jose and Pepper. Then I took a break. A long break.

Today I caught All Access Hollywood Anorexia or something like that, and an episode of Flavor of Love 2, which makes all the middle class black folk in my mostly white and East Indian community cringe with some indescribable fear. It is as if the minstrel show is riding every Sunday night, crucifying any and all aspirations to assimilate. What can you do? We watch it anyway.

The thing I liked about the anorexia special was the fact that I learned a new word -- Manorexia. It is such a perfect word. It is so much more clinical and precise than metrosexual, defying all those that wish to make it a fashion statement or trend because it is actually a physical condition. Carson Daly, Daniel Day-Lewis and Orlando Bloom all suffer from its clutches, though they admit that Bloom is not really a victim, he just dropped the weight from his crusader movie Kingdom of Heaven, which was not that bad. I liked the Leper King Baldwin IV, something sexy about a mask and a British accent -- always.

Anyway, I am simply a maniac over manorexia. There is something terribly American about it like "issues", "Bennifer" and "bling factor". Sadly, up to one million men may suffer from the disease in this country. But I just can't resist the etymological charm of this portmanteau.

It reminds me of an article I read in one of my favorite magazines Butt. There was an interview with Mark Simpson, the writer who coined the word "metrosexual". In the Q & A he talks about his term originially describing the phenomena of men becoming things to be desired, not its tranformed meaning concerning men's vanity as a target for cosmetic companies. So, in this light, the manorexia condition plays into our inner Ponce de Leon quest for an ingestible (regurgitable in this case) form of Adonis like blitz. And, if that Spanish explorer was running through Florida looking for the Fountain of Youth in1513, what makes us think that this condition of masculine vanity is arising from this particular moment in the rise of the metropole?

Diving Deeper

I made some cosmetic changes and expanded my links. Easy enough. I have one more picture to try and get into the box above and then I will be cooking with gas.

It took long enough to do all that I have already done.

Added Andrew Sullivan to my lists of links because he made the observation that it is impossible for the religious right and the pro-gay-rights-Republican-gays to be in the same party. Reminds me of basic physics. Two things cannot occupy the same space at the same time. Though there is probably a theory I have missed from the past 60 years that may say otherwise. Something about bisexuals and two-spirited folk. I am very sure of that.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

A Stranger Rings Twice -- A Disjointed Love Letter

OK. It is Das Experiment again. Not sure what I am suppose to do. He called while I was trying to fill out a xxx application that I could not bring myself to do. Not that I am above the xxx, but this job is 2 buses and 2 hours away. It is already going to be a cold weekend and something tells me it will be even colder this coming up winter. The other thing about this stupid job is that Xxxxx Xxxx Xxxx is where I worked before xxxxx xxxx xx Xxxx Xxxxxx and in a way it was a great experience and in others it was not.

Anyway, Das Experiment called to tell me he was going to go to New Zealand as soon as he got his money straight for the degree. He is going to get a MBA, he just finished his PhD about 2 years ago. This need for constant education is a whole different story.

I guess the thing that bothers me is that I am in the middle of trying to get some interviews, find some Christmas work, contemplating a move to Augusta, Georgia, eyeing what is going on in the Black Academic world (X xxxxxx xx xxx xxxx xx xx xxxxx xxx my heart, xxxxx xx xxxxxxxxx xxxxx, xx xxxx xxxx xxx xxx xxxx xxxx xx, but my mother told me not to say anthing if it ain't nice), and filling out applications. I don't have time to deal with Das Experiment and his world. He asked me once to go to New Zealand with him, but what am I going to do in New Zealand? He asked if I wanted to go to Morocco with him and his son if I come during Christmas. I am will be lucky to get money to cross the pond, how am I going to be able to get to North Africa?

I am rambling, I know. As a female friend once told another female friend after some really questionable grossed out sex with a guy who had a pierced penis -- "This is my life, Xxxxxxxx."

Last night I started to think of a poem about Das Experiment. It is about sleeping alone, looking over into the other spot and not seeing that person there, but you feel their presence. From one lover X xxxx xxxx xxx xxxxxxx, and from another I never got my xxxx xxxxxxxx in terms of longevity. Now, I am xxxxxxx sombody else and we are doing it well.

Talking to him it felt like I was talking to someone else. He wanted to know what was going on in my life. I couldn't bring myself to tell him the whole thing, everything. It is not really about the job it is about all the things in terms of family -- xx xxxxxxxxxxxx xxxxxx xx xxxxx, X xxxx x xxx, xx xxxxxx xx x xxxxxxxx xxxxx -- and introspection that we all refuse to put forward to those that are not thought of the best intimates. Das Experiment was my best mate. I guess I just did not feel like telling him what is really going on. He is really far away and is moving farther. I am here in the muck of the life after us.

Oi! In such beer indulged hyper-masculine hiking and swimming romances who turns out to be the bitch. Is it me because I am writing this letter or him for calling?

He said he would call tomorrow.

I told him sure.

I might be in a better mood.