Wednesday, August 31, 2011

...Sometimes the Calm Comes *After* the Storm...

Beautiful video that happens to be set to (quiet as it’s kept) my absolute all time, forevermore favorite song, Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.

This is especially interesting to me because I’ve been doing a lot of cloud watching lately. The weather’s been so odd and there have been so many amazing formations. Plus, it’s one of the few things that regularly helps to keep me calm since a slight injury forced me to reduce the workouts.

The good people over at the BBC Ice Cream blog have shared with us Shadi’s video, Calm after Irene. My cloud shots are after the jump.

“There was a beautiful sunset today after a gloomy weekend. I ran to my roof as fast as i could and filmed it. The music you hear was in my head as i watched the clouds speed by. I hope you enjoy watching”

Calm after Irene from SHADInyc.com on Vimeo.

Now Play the Cloud Game!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

...(I) "Don't Play No Game...

...That I Can't Win"

I used to do some pretty elaborate things with my Barbies when I was a kid, but never came up with anything quite like this.
(Beastie Boys "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" f/ Santigold)


~~ Friends on the east coast, please be safe and know that you are in our thoughts

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

...We Honor Nick Ashford...

Obviously I don’t have any expectations that people should live forever.

We get older, or we get sick. Accidents happen. Doesn’t make it any easier when someone leaves your life in the physical sense of things. Certain things are just what they are.

Odds are if you were a black kid growing up in the 80s (or if you were the white kid that hung out with us), you heard a lot of Ashford and Simpson. You just did. That’s how it was.

You have some story about something that happened that you never forgot. It still makes you laugh, cry, cringe or smirk to think about. If the right song is playing, you can’t go four words past the phrase “Remember that one time…” without at least one other person chiming in before you’re done speaking. The memory remains connected to the song:


Remember that time Em came over and Mom offered him a hot dog right off the grill? And she told him to let it cool off first? And he didn’t?


Yes I remember. I remember I never saw a chunk of hot dog fly so far directly from someone's mouth. And I remember what song was playing , too.

I suppose the best thing about being as great of an artist and songwriter as Nick Ashford is that you never really go away. While the body may lie down to rest, the spirit always rises.

We celebrate and we honor that spirit.

My favorite song ever written by Ashford and Simpson
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell – You’re All I Need to Get By (their favorite too )


My other favorite song ever written by Ashford and Simpson
Chaka Khan – I’m Every Woman (her favorite too )


Seriously funny story attached to this one, but it’s all visual, so I guess you had to be there.
Ashford & Simpson - Street Corner

Ashford & Simpson - Street Corner by klmbaby

And because you can’t salute him without it…Solid
I promise you somewhere in the world right now this is being played at a wedding anniversary party, and/or family reunion.

Ashford & Simpson ~Solid~ by LibertedExpression

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

...They *Do* Exist...

I feel – surprisingly- okay.

Surprising maybe because I passed two car accidents and a house fire on my way to work this morning. By the time I pulled into the parking lot at work I was so shaky all over I had to wait a minute before I got out the car. And when I finally got out my legs were still wobbly underneath me.

S’okay.

I accept that it might be like this for awhile while I’m trying to re-settle myself after everything, but I’m trying to practice an extreme attitude of gratitude in order to force my focus on to something that will actually benefit me.

I still believe that there’s a learning experience in everything, but I want to make sure I’m learning something valuable. I feel like I’ve learned that kindness, generosity, concern, and assistance are wasted emotions and activities, but that’s not valuable, so I’m trying to learn something else.

As part of this “experiment” I’m supposed to look for the miracle in things. For example, it is a miracle that I survived the last few months without doing something that would lead to jail time, a straitjacket, or both.

So one thing or thought leads to another, and I realize that it’s not that difficult to come up with at least three occasions in the last 30 days where I’ve crossed paths with kindness in one form or another.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

...My Dad Would Enjoy This...

Tomorrow is Dad's birthday~

You know how it is… you hear or see something that reminds you of something else. But it occurred to me one day as much as my father claimed to not like hip hop or what was then “modern” R&B, there was always some video that would make him stop what he was doing and pay attention every time it came on.

If it was funny, had a message, or had pretty girls, it pretty much had him hooked. Blame “The Box” and “Video Soul”… it was hard to not get addicted.

Wrecx-n-Effect – New Jack Swing


Rumpshaker (of course.) This video used to make me gag because of that one scene. “Ladies,” please try to keep your tongue in your mouth when you dance. It’s not cute.



What you really look like dancing with your tongue out

Diamond D – Sally Got a One Track Mind.


Heavy D and the Boyz – Nuttin but Love (Count the cameos, including Kim Porter mouthing the words, “What’s yours is mine” around the 4 minute mark. No surprise.)


Black Sheep – Strobelite Honey


Gangstarr - Just to Get Rep (notice there are no actual guns in this video)


3rd Bass- Gas Face


A Tribe Called Quest – Bonita Applebum. Her bum wasn’t all that, but this song was/is/will always be awesome.


And something Dad would most certainly not approve of. One wonders why a Minister and Deacon are carrying knives and tasers in the first place.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

...Seriously...

One is brilliant, he just needs to talk less.
The other still has one of the best smiles ever.
The song is freaking amazing. And I think I might have had a physical reaction to this video.

Kanye West & Jay-Z "Otis"





Wednesday, August 10, 2011

...Hindsight is 20/20...

I was once interviewed by the FBI years ago after a co-worker at a major bank I worked for was caught embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I was a CSR-I (a “customer service representative-level 1, which was just a fancy word for “bank teller”). The co-worker in question was a CSR-II. CSR-IIs were responsible for opening accounts and giving special attention to high level clients. So when “Deena” opened an account for “Mr. Jones” with a starting balance of about $180,000, no one was suspicious. Mr. Jones had made some wise business decisions overseas and was also apparently very lucky at gambling. Within weeks there were additional deposits in the tens of thousands each time.

Deena’s job was to open accounts and bring in wealthy clients so it was all in a day’s work to find Mr. Jones and make him a customer. She was also one of the newer and less experienced CSR-IIs, and presumably felt the pressure to compete with the others, especially “Rasheed” who was known for bringing in crazy large business accounts. I’m talking opening balances of tens of millions and in some cases hundreds of millions. (This was a major bank.)

One day for no reason in particular the teller line ended up in a discussion about the mysterious Mr. Jones. Everyone had performed at least one transaction for Deena related to his account- all withdrawals exceeding $30,000. You needed approval for a withdrawal that large but we often went to different supervisors for the approval, so there was never anyone to connect the dots right away.

The lead supervisor was standing nearby listening to us and investigated with the bank manager. It turns out that in Deena’s haste or greed she had overdrawn the Jones account.

At this time, it was assumed that Mr. Jones was being taken advantage of, except for one small problem: there was no Mr. Jones.

And the money never existed.

 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

...You Spin Me Round, Round...

Tommy Lee is still hot and can still get it.

I don't care how many times I see him do it, I always want to see it again.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

...It's Me, Again...

Well it’s nearly out of my system.


I still feel pretty sick and hurt by everything that’s happened. I never would have imagined myself here. Not ever and especially not with all the involved parties or under the specific circumstances. At one point in absolute desperation to resolve the issue, I asked Predator what exactly it was about me that was causing them to be the way they were with me. The answer? “Because I don’t think you deserve more happiness than I do.”

We went around in circles on that for a minute. It sounds ridiculous but it was a serious argument, and they were really mad and meant every word and I was just confused.

Me: Are you seriously telling me that you’re mad at me because I seem like I’m content with my life?
Them: Yep. You think you’re f---ing perfect.
Me: No, I don’t and I’ve never said that, you keep saying that. You keep making the “perfect” comments. That’s not how I feel, that’s how you feel.
Them: You’re not better than me. You could be me. You would be me if you ever got out and lived your life.

I still don’t understand that. I don’t even know what that means. I do get out; I do live my life. I’m just not living their life, and it feels like they hate me for it. Plus, by their definition “getting out” and “living my life” means I will turn into deluded, angry, brainless person who turns on everyone that’s ever been kind or helpful to me and then blames them for all of my problems. Makes no sense to me.

In the end, acknowledging that the other person involved was a complete fruit basket has been helpful, but I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t examine my role in the whole scenario. It’s the only way I’ll learn, not for next time, but in being sure there is no next time.

I came up with five things I should have done differently, and three things to keep in mind to make sure I never do the five things again.