Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dana Gilmore; Wife, Woman, Friend

Part I and II of my favorite piece from one of my favorite spoken word artists. Shout out to the most recent dodged bullet to catch the vapors. #YouTriedIt #BoyBye





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Searching For Neverland

Ok so everyone knows I live and breathe Michael Jackson, and when it comes to “the commentary” you can usually expect me to be the biggest critic. Talk of another movie being made almost literally made my blood boil, like….. leave this man the fuck alone! Why is another movie necessary? WTF else need be said? How much more blood do you need from this stone???

Sigh.

But I watched.

About a half hour into "Searching for Neverland," I jumped onto Facebook to gauge people’s initial reactions and the few people who were commenting were not at all happy with what they were seeing. A couple of people said they couldn’t deal and turned the channel. But see, the rub with this stuff is that you kinda have to give it a chance. The mature fan understands nobody is ever going to BE Michael. That being said, in my opinion, Navi was about as close as anyone can expect to get. There were quite a few moments when I heard Michael, despite the Trini-British accent, and even more moments when I SAW Michael. I admit I was reluctant at first too, picking out every single thing I could come up with to discredit his portrayal, but once I got outta my feelings, it was fucken scary how much this dude gave me MJ. SCARY.

I had heard the movie was based on the book MJ’s bodyguards had written about the last 3 years of his life, but color me surprised when it was actually about the last 3 years of his life LOL. I mean, who didn’t think it was gonna be about the circumstances surrounding how he died and inside knowledge of some kinda of cover-up or conspiracy? In fact, they introduced Dr. Conrad Murray just once and his name was never even mentioned again until the end when detectives asked whether they believe he had killed Michael Jackson. The story really focused on what was going on in MJ’s life at the time; his financial situation, his being without a home, friends and family’s abandonment of him, and his struggle to strip away the “King of Pop” and just be a normal family man. It was sad to see some of these situations and how he eventually all but lost complete control of his life.

If you believe the bodyguards, you also thank God for them; that Michael had them during the time that he did when everyone else has turned their backs on him. You feel their pain and loss with his death. You feel the regret resulting from wishing they could have been there…. Done more. You also feel their relief in Mike finally being free of the prison his life had become. I appreciate that the movie detracted from his death and focused on his life – or at least the life he was trying so desperately to live, with his children. It was a little convenient that Bill got one of, if not the last phone call from Mike the night leading into his death – I wasn’t sure if that’s actually been documented or if it was done for effect – but that’s the stuff movies are made of. It worked.

So contrary to what even I would have thought my reaction to be, I liked the movie. I respect the casting, I appreciate the perspective and it left me feeling something other than any other MJ commentary I’ve seen. Can’t quite put my finger on a word for that feeling, but I think I might still be processing……

Saturday, May 13, 2017

When Breath Becomes Air


#1 New York Times Bestseller When Breath Becomes Air is the true story of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon on a quest to find the meaning of life through literature and experiences with his patients. That search accelerates when he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 36. This book really pulls you into that situation, and more importantly, will make you ask yourself if I had only a year left to live, would I spend it doing the things I'm doing today? What would be important to me then?

This is the first book in YEARS that I've underscored passages from; literally took my pen and underlined shit, y'all, because one, y'all know I love all things existential. But two, there were things I need to remember for myself; things I want to relay to others in those crucial moments when you need more from me than just to listen. He simplified so many things - literally to the cellular level - that I stopped several times to just think about what he said. I mean, I gained so much perspective and honestly, it made me think a LOT about my mom.

Thankfully, my mother is not battling anything terminal - or at least to my knowledge - but she has been very sick over the years and for the last 2, it's just been like... non-stop. Thing after thing, and I've felt like she has been real preoccupied with her own mortality. Just shit she'll say, like how she is preparing to go on to glory and always positioning herself as being in her last years and I'm like DUDE. You about to be 64 this year, and yes, some people do leave us that young but it's not like you 92 on a ventilator. And maybe that's youngest child denial speaking - her health condition does complicate things - but whatever, I don't wanna hear that.

Now we on this whole retirement situation. She went from retiring January 2018 to retiring June 29, 2017 and out of the blue on Thursday, she like fuck it and put her two weeks in. WTF??? She's had enough of struggling through the pain to go to work and be at work all day and fighting to be paid properly when she has to be out and all kinda shit - I totally get that. But accelerating these timelines with no warning like that got me like WHOA! Like wait a minute, let's talk about this LOL.

I want my mom to do whatever it is she feels she needs to do in order to take care of herself, but honestly, she has me a little scared right now, like.... I feel rushed. You know what I mean? Is that crazy? She might be ready but yo, I am not trying to deal with any of that shit before I absolutely have to. The reality of the situation is with most of her close friends already being gone and me being who I am in this family, I am the one she talks to about these things and being there means steeling up to it but in my mind, the whole time, I'm plugging my ears and "la la la la la la" out the room LOL. Reading this book helped me in so, so many ways though and I think it could help her too, IF she was in the mindset to really receive it. I just don't know if she is. Religion, I think, might interfere with her ability to really get from it what I did because, you know, religion doesn't really allow for cellular-level simplicity. I also don't want it to backfire and have her thinking even more about dying. So I don't know, I'm torn. Maybe I will just mention the book in passing and see if she shows any interest.

Moving book though, brought me to tears. I definitely recommend it but I will caution you non-intellectual types - I read it in a day but it's a hard read. A lot of $50 vocabulary and hardcore literary references but even if you don't get them, it won't take away from the experience. Even if it doesn't motivate you to get up and do anything different, if it gets you to stop for just a moment to examine your life, it was worth the recommendation.

Monday, May 8, 2017

If I Could Turn Back Time

Sitting here watching the New Edition Story for the 50-11th time and having spent the whole weekend - AGAIN - watching all associated videos on Youtube, my mind has drifted back through time, taking inventory of ... all the years. I fantasized about being able to go back 20 years, knowing everything I know now. But oddly enough, i didn't have a long list of things I would do differently. I mean there was a list, but it definitely wasn't long.

20 years ago today, I would be about a week away from the breakup that would forever change me. It was the ending of my first real grown-up relationship; the first one that made me think about forever. I'd also be just a couple of weeks away from reuniting with the person who would turn out to be the love of my life and father of my children. It's so crazy to think about now. I wouldn't change either of those situations. I might do some things differently, but I wouldn't change them. I would not want to have children with anyone other than the man I had them with - he is a great father and co-parent - and I needed the experience before that to help me appreciate that.

20 years ago, I was also still hooping hard and one thing I do regret is stopping. There were several reasons for it but none that justified giving up the one thing that, even before writing, had always been there for me. But doing so put me in need of another outlet, which brought me back to this.

Actually, there are only 2 things I would change in 20 years and they both fall under the same umbrella. I would be a little more selfish with how much of myself I shared. Not so much in telling people stuff, but in trying to include them in some things that may have lasted longer if I had kept them for myself. Not all worlds should be merged. Lesson learned.

All things considered, I think I have done pretty well for myself. Yes, there are things and people that I COULD have done without but they are not such big factors as to call them regrets. Of those, I don't have many and I plan to live the rest of my life in a similar manner. But it's good to sit back sometimes and just think over your experiences in preparation for the next phase of your life.

I am so ready.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Multiple Choice




Which of these is true about me?


a) I've sold drugs.

b) I've done coke.

c) I've had an abortion.

d) I've stabbed someone.

e) All of the above

f) None of the above


Half the people who follow this blog don't know me in real life - you guys will likely hazard a guess based on things I've posted here - but 99.5% of those who know me BEST couldn't answer this question either.

The actual answer is irrelevant, I'm just illustrating a point: you not knowing about something, doesn't mean it didn't happen. What you know about somebody is limited to what they've chosen to tell and show YOU. So watch yourself, being so quick to assume the best OR worst about people who might only be selectively sharing chapters of their story with you.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Doubt

I just want it to be right.

It doesn't feel "done" yet.

This isn't the story I want to tell.

I'm in a different head space now.

I can't relate 12 years later.

I should start over.


These are all the things I say to myself about dragging my feet on publishing. Every single one of these statements is true, but that doesn't mean they're not also excuses. At the end of the day, I don't have to publish THIS particular work. I have plenty of shit near enough to completion
that I could run with. Hell, if nothing else, I have an entire blog with 8 years of material (damn, 8 years???? wow!). So I had to sit down and ask myself, what's really going on here, Dig? My response both surprised and terrified me....


What if it's just not good enough?