Archive for the ‘journal’ Category

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

The funny thing about this whole FVF thing is that it’s kind of like public nudity. There’s always the risk of you seeing more than you want to. There’s the guarantee that I’ll be self-conscious of every nook and cranny.

Actually, I guess that’s a lot like everyday, since I like to keep the outright lying to a minimum.

But on Fridays, it’s like the spotlights are a little brighter. And so I’m probably breaking one of the top 5 stage rules — Patrick? Any verification on stage decorum? — by admitting that for the last few weeks, including today, I’ve written new stuff but I simply can’t say any of it out loud yet. I imagine you’re not allowed to take the stage and say “never mind” but that’s sort of what’s going on today.

Wow. Great lead-in, me.

Anyway, there are still a few things in store for today.

First up, what are you listening to right now? Yes, right now. If it’s silence, or your boss screaming at someone in the background, or even some band not called The Noisettes you should start listening to The Noisettes right now.

Start with this (which Universal won’t let me embed).

And then listen to this:

Second, actual FVF.  Since today is officially the first day of my second lease with this domain — best 10$ ever — I figured I’d dig through the archives from the past year.  Below is the first full song I ever put in a post.

Happy Friday.

” señorita “

it’s a saunter
when she steps on the floor
she can feel all the stares.

they all want her
just one look in their eyes,
you knew somebody would dare.

one by one, she refused them
sat ’em down, brokenhearted
pushed their egos aside.

had no time for amusement
none of them knew the music
she was crying inside.

oh… senorita
what lies beneath you
is haunting me
it’s the song I wrote for you
it’s you I sing

it’s a whisper
but she shakes when she breathes it
like she’s screaming aloud.

blink and miss her
she moves in secret ways
under the gaze of the crowd.

she’s confused them
cloaked in red
seems a shout for romance.

but for her it’s acoustic
private, reclusive
a plea for a chance.

oh… senorita
what lies beneath you
is haunting me
it’s the song I wrote for you
it’s you I sing


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Allegedly, I’m there.

You know, there, right?  That place on the American life’s timeline where engagements and real estate purchases make their appearances; the one where your parents do a stellar job of “subtly” remarking on the preciousness of grandchildren; the place where you either start watching Rogaine commercials more closely or start waxing your upper lip (you know, depending on whether you were born a bird or a bee)¹.

Allegedly, I’m there.  I’ll be 27 in less than two months and while that is still, in my opinion at least, really young, it’s also an age ripe for fielding expectations disguised as questions, like

What do you do?  Is she/he The One?  Where do you live?  Do they have good schools there?

Of course they’re fair questions; of course.  But if the questions are asked in rapid-fire succession or their answers are awaited by 24 curious eyes, it’s enough to make anyone other than the most secure with what’s to come unsure about what to say.

After I write this, we’re headed out to say goodbye to some friends who are moving because they are embracing being already there.  And, I admit, it’s pretty vain of me to be so consumed with what their leaving means for my timeline.  Not every object should be held up as a mirror.  It’s probably a lot like checking my reflection in the window of a car I walk past.

But, maybe, since these questions are all everyone seems concerned with lately, maybe it’s cool if all I can do is think about the answers.


¹Still have no idea what an interspecies analogy has to do with the sexes.

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Greetings.  Salutations.

So… there may be two posts in your reader from me today.  Sorry about that.  The first was a lie.  Er, maybe not a lie.  I never lie.  But it is still FVF!

Gimme an F: “F!”
That’s right an R and then two E’s.
I need a Verse: “Verse!”
Just soul clap and sing with me:
“We want it Fri, day! ‘Cuz Friday the Verse is Free!”
Welcome back, ya’ll, to the Change I Wish to See.

So today’s FVF is a little different.  It’s more like a workshop.

On the way home yesterday, I had an idea; complete with light bulb and mental-image cloud above my head and everything.  I got home, and after about an hour with my guitar, two chords, a muted strum and a pocket full of keys, this is what I came up with.

Obviously, it’s raw.  But it was fun.  So I’m sharing it, even though it’s the definition of “unfinished.”  I have no idea whether I’ll keep the melody and change the rhythm, keep the rhythm and change the melody, or scrap the entire thing by the end of the weekend.  But whatever: no take-backs.

The “video” is below.  But just in case flash is outlawed at your office, the lyrics:

i got
miles and miles
but just one
cross to bear;
i got
so far to go
and yet i
go nowhere.

i got
reasons for reasons
to be
oh so scared;
and i
convince myself
that i’m just
being prepared.

maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way,
maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way;
but will i be
will i ever be
my own redemption
my own redemption.

i got
one big dream
i’ve built
stories high;
i got
passion for days
and yet these
lonely nights.

maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way,
maybe i’ll find a way
maybe i’ll find a way;
but will i be
will i ever be
my own redemption
my own redemption.

Happy Friday.  Go make some bad decisions tonight.

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This post marks the third year of this blog. It’s my blogoversary.

Next year will be my tenth year in DC — a city known for transience. I have seen many people come with lofty local aspirations but go and others insist the grass is greener elsewhere but stay (*ahem* myself *ahem*).

I have never felt more at home than now.

I started this blog, back in August 2006 on Opera, because I thought I had something to say. I needed a way to remain expressive during law school which succeeds brilliantly at stifling you. Over the next two years, I moved to Blogger and on rare occasions I’d write some words no one would read.

That all changed last November. I learned that I’d failed the NY bar exam, after years of convincing myself I was destined to be the first lawyer in a black family whose patriarch was not allowed to go past the fifth grade. When I picked myself up off the floor, I found each of you.

It shouldn’t be a secret: I write in this space because you read it. Everyday, I try to find something to say that you’ll want to hear. I don’t get it right all of the time, obviously. Sometimes I post things that are so bad they embarrass me. But I hope that by the time this space goes still, whenever that is, that something here mattered to you. For me, it’s not exaggeration to say that this place has been life-changing. It’s an understatement. I have always hoped this blog would help me find people and I have found great ones.

I know this probably has a more reserved tone than it should. Where are the confetti, the dancing girls and poo-flinging monkeys? I don’t know; maybe on Monday. I’ve got the monkeys on lease from the National Zoo and they do have to go back next week, whether they’ve flung poo or not, so I might as well get my money’s worth… or at least not return 4 constipated monkeys.

But celebrating me isn’t really my style. So I’m celebrating you. And I’m doing a giveaway; the first I’ve ever done.

Anyone who comments today gets her/his name placed in a drawing (so if you normally lurk behind the curtain, today’s the day to say “hello”). And because you know I love Disney animated movies like a fat kid loves cake or a black kid loves orange drink (not juice; DRINK) and red Kool-Aid, the drawing is for an animated Disney DVD of your choice. That’s right: of your choice. This is a “name your prize” giveaway.

Anyway… It’s Friday and since this post has taken longer to get through than a stutterer reading an unabridged dictionary aloud,¹ I’ll wrap.

Happy Friday. And, as always, thanks for stopping by.

¹What? I can be reflective and inappropriate.

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“Space may be the final frontier, but it’s made in a Hollywood basement.”

When Californication came up on shuffle yesterday, I was just so sure Anthony Kiedis was right — that a lot of things we believe really just have a production quality high enough to convince us they’re real.

And maybe he’s right.  I’ve never been to space.  I really only have seen it reproduced on screen.  And I guess almost 40 years ago that even Stevie once thought something really similar — that when you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.; that we have to be careful about to whom (and what) we pledge steadfast allegiance.

But sometimes we should believe carelessly in things we don’t understand.  Not recklessly; not irresponsibly.¹  But without concern for whether it fits someone else’s idea of mature or good for you or well-grounded…

So, here are nine things — some as farfetched as space is wide — I have “no right” to believe but believe anyway.²

I believe something was — existed, happened… — before the big bang, but no one has captured it or written about it accurately yet.

I believe I could win a songwriter Grammy.

I believe that passion is like salt: it makes everything better.

I believe that there is more than one person (romantically) for everyone, but that the trick may be meeting only one of these people in your lifetime.

I believe that laughter conquers all.

I believe that yesterday makes us yearn for a better tomorrow, that the fear of tomorrow makes us retreat to the comfort of yesterday and that today is too often lost in the shuffle.

I believe that Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was an insult to my able-to-dress-self-like-big-boy intelligence.

I believe that Casablanca is wildly overrated.

I believe that there are sexual relationships and there is the law and that — absent abuse or the serious potential for it — never the two should meet.

¹If all the evidence and your gut say “No,” ignoring it all is dangerous.
²If you’ve got any space on your blog, I’d love to hear yours.

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I need another project.  Got anything for me?  Just a little to get me through.  Not much; just enough to get from now to tomorrow.

I gotta stay one jump ahead of the breadline; one swing ahead of the sword.

I am so the guy who wants to be keyed in most of the time.  Probably would make a pretty good project manager, as long as juggling is part of the duties.

Got a task?  I’ve got a hankering for completing it.

Too busy?  I will make time.  Don’t worry.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  When the day gives you 24 hours, make 36.

There’s the job, and the blog, and the soon-to-be-new, additional blog, and running new media for an up and coming organization…

The weird thing?  I kinda like it.  And I trust myself enough to know that I’ll take a step back before I make the mistake Jesse Spano did.  I always have.¹

But there must be something wrong in my brain.  Being pushed to the limit is just a chance to find a new gadget or app to manage it all.  (Can’t wait for Google Wave’s launch later this year.)

Don’t get me wrong: it has definitely been a challenge, and one that I’m still working at getting right; step by step, inch by inch.²

But I’ll tell you a secret.  *leans in and whispers*  I get… bored.

Pretty quickly, actually.  I need stimulation.  I need new.  If today is exactly like yesterday, something has gone dreadfully wrong.

So if I notice things have gotten stale, I add something different; something that pushes me; something that forces me to get off my ass and be something better than I was the day before.

And I don’t always get it right.  I don’t.  But I just don’t want to face what not trying to get it right would feel like.

It’s not that I’m afraid of what has already happened or been.  It’s just that I know “yesterday” and “today” are different words for a reason.  So I’m trying my hardest to make sure I treat them that way.

¹Example: I’ve read a few less blogs the last couple of weeks than I’ve wanted to.

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so we meet again

Two familiar characters — Brain and Soul — have been arguing.  Let’s eavesdrop.

s: … you promised!

b: I would never have done that.

s: you said if i just kept swimming… i’d be at the other side by now

b: I said no such thing.

s: you DID!  but i’m not there yet…  and i feel like i’m not really swimming… i’m just staying afloat in open water

b: It is a marathon, not a sprint.

s: it’s a life… not a cliché

b: The average human life expectancy is 77 years.  Do you know what that means?  That means it takes the average human 77 years to figure it all out.

s: that is bullshit, horseshit, goatshit and any other mammal’s shit you can think of…  you’re an indulgent bastard…  you hold more secrets than you’ll ever tell

b: Some would call that the mark of a good friend.

s: i would call that the skidmark of an asshole

b: Look, if I acted on what you feel I know…  If I told you what I think awaits us, we’d do one of two things: we’d either change to ensure the future or change to alter it, and either of those would make my whole prediction useless anyway.



s: i just wanna put the world on stop…  i want to be a Hiro…  i need the rat race to slow to a crawl…  no…  i need us not to be rats at all…  any of us…  i want to be something more majestic…  like an emu…  and i need time to wait for me

b: Well, it won’t.  And being the brain of an emu would be a huge downgrade for me, so no dice.

s: you really know how to deflate m–  did you just say “no dice?”

b: Weak?

s: weak…  and i’m still not convinced i like you, by the way

b: I am.

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