★★★★★★★ ☯ ★★★★★★★
I have had a whirlwind of a last few weeks. Since, acquiring my basketball league, which has transformed me in to a person that wants to take responsibility for my actions, a person that needs to think twice before making decisions, a more responsible individual, all in all a better person. We’re only beginning our second season and since adopting the basketball league, I have never felt better. I finally understand people who say they like their pet or their kid. I must take care of, value, listen to, compromise, instruct, direct yet allow freedom, nurture, and respect my league so it can grow in to something beautiful. An auspicious endeavor to be sure.
I haven’t been as fortunate in my search to acquire an apartment that meets my requirements. These days it seems as though we have to accept so many follies in order to finagle some type of acceptable or ideal situation/outcome. The funny part of trying to find somewhere to live after you were left hanging at the last minute is all the exceptions you start to make. For Ex:
“$750/mth BEAUTIFUL PRIVATE ROOM IN 2BDRM LUXURY CONDO NESTLED BETWEEN THE HOLLYWOOD/WEHO AREA TO BE SHARED WITH RABID MISUNDERSTOOD CANNIBAL”
The toughest part isn’t even the moving part, but accruing the requisite amount of funds in order to move in. First month, deposit, securing a moving van, first month’s rent, and so much more. Who decided that was the way to go about living in an apartment? Who just has three grand laying around?
Not many people these days are having ease balancing life with… well anything. This is where the idea that more money will make things simpler, how do you get more money? Work more. Do less of what you enjoy. Doesn’t this exacerbate your current level of despondence inhibiting you from ascertaining the joys you find fulfilling thus creating internal and external dissonance? Basically, you’re stressed, depressed, and distressed to no end and there’s seldom a quick fix, that doesn’t involve medicating.
My advice, everyday do something that you enjoy no matter how small or intricate. Have that piece of candy/chocolate, take the scenic route home, watch that extra episode of your guilty pleasure. Indulge in something small or you’ll end up burying yourself under a mountain of repression and regret. Budget your money, say no to that friend that always needs and never gives, take public transportation to save on gas or carpool, buy drinks from the store instead going to that lonely expensive bar, spruce up your old jeans to that whole “vintage chic” look, which is totally in right now, make people come to you and make it BYOB, take an hour or so to do what you want as long as you benefit from it, and for once… leave the credit card at home… no seriously, leave it. Check out Credit Card Insider for more info regarding credit cards.
No, it won’t make your bank miraculously triple in amount, nor will your love life or career life become more auspicious immediately, but you will begin to change little by little. The positivity will become what changes you’re perception to creating a confidence in you that you will prevail and so much of the fight is won with happiness and belief within yourself and conquering those Goliath sized problems with your sling of positivity won’t seem so inundating or impossible after all.
This last week was one for the books, hell for the whole damn library! It was a situation where everything would work out, but I didn’t know how, when, at what cost, and to what extent.
Accomplishing an insurmountable task while simultaneously enduring the duress of swallowing a heap of my pride and having to go at it alone, possible outcome being no longer having a place to call home.
It’s not like I was 100% tackling my untimely plight alone, at the last moment some people offered their assistance while others added only their negativity, depravity, and animosity with a few that just laughed. Most did nothing at all.
It was certainly enlightening. A tremendous learning experience. When you can’t rely on family, can’t turn to society, and the people who express their “adulation” only to their benefit don’t help you… to whom do you seek reassurance? There is only one…
One person who knows how lonely, afraid, and helpless you feel. One individual that needs you to rise up over the external and embrace the internal. One mind, one body, one soul, one heart truly invested in prevailing when staring in an abyss of uncertainty, while maintaining a cool, calm, collected demeanor exuding confidence.
Issues, will always arise. Situations, like friends, come and go. Obstacles, will continue to hinder.
Accountability, falls on you and you alone. It’s always going to be tough until it’s not. Equip yourself with knowledge. Prepare yourself with resilience and flexibility. Acquire, more than one favorable outcome while still focusing on achieving the main goal. Tackle, the biggest fear before the smallest worries distract and deplete. Attempt, with vigor and gusto. Approach, everything with the mentality of a warrior and greatness will embrace you.
Don’t listen to, don’t get dissuaded by, don’t rely on, and don’t revel in concerns of the vile impostors expending time & energy on justifying why they fail. Instead, of exulting on their success.
Don’t listen to them. You’re on a level many will never advance nor comprehend. You must conduct yourself independently from the foibles, follies, and falsehoods that will be used to ensnare, obfuscate, & delineate you from your desires.
When demons speak, close your ears. When demons distract, focus on your path. When demons block your vision, find another way. When demons watch as you rise, be weary of their sycophantic claims of loyalty. And be clear about your intentions with them…
That’s right! All that in the titular statement is truth! I now run a basketball league in HOLLYWOOD (http://www.kickball.com/basketball) Who would have ever thought!? my two dreams come together… basketball and alcohol, it even kind of rhymes!
What: WAKA (www.kickball.com) is a company that is more about fun than anything. Seriously, I did WAKAPALOOZA in Vegas this past Oct 2015 and I will never forget the amazingness it was! (I need to do a blog about that! Because YAAASSSS!!!)
Who: You! It’s Co-Ed! Guys & girls we all get to have the fun! 21 & up only! (sorry youngins) ALL SKILL LEVELS! This is more about the social than anything else! Come meet, greet, and release some steam! Not to mention many industry professionals play in these leagues so it’s a GREAT way to meet & network.
When: For this particular league (Basketball) it’s Wednesdays in Hollywood, starting March 16, but registration is open NOW http://www.kickball.com/basketball!!
Where: Salvation Army on Hollywood Blvd & after the bball games we hit Outpost Hollywood where players and fans have WAKA drink & food specials for more fun & games! I mean who doesn’t want to have fun!
Why: Why in the EFF not?!
Basically, we sweat a bit, laugh a lot, and take some shots… both on the court and at the bar! I never heard of anything better! No, I really haven’t because I read a lot and you can’t really hear when you read in your head…
My sister is #winning… Thank sis xoxo
The year was 2010. The city was Manhattan. The rules were simple, explain why you deserve to be at O Magazine’s 10 year celebration.
It started as a random retweet on my timeline. I only clicked because Christina Aguilera was said to be there and I absolutely love her. It took me to a website that instructed me to explain why I deserved to go, but I didn’t follow the rules. I decided to write about why my little sister, who was 13 at the time except she was 18, you’ll understand momentarily.
I’d moved to NYC a year previous and was having daily celebrations of my own. One year later my mother thought it would be a good idea for my sister and I to move into an apartment while my little sister attended fashion school. I’ve always had a strained relationship with my sister because she annoyed me with her slow thought process and all her immature rhetoric, but I agreed to live with her anyway.
For years I’d chastised her actions, teased her for not being like me, express frustration with her incessantly annoying proclivities, and all the while doing it with no regard for her feelings nor her predicament. Turned out my sister suffered from autism and if that wasn’t enough also scoliosis. All these years I was treating her so awful. Granted, I didn’t know of her perilous plights, but I should’ve. I felt so ashamed of myself for the way I acted and I explained this in the plea for tickets. I divulged my reprehensible behavior, explained her situation and my chagrin for abandoning her when she needed her older sister the most, especially when her parents are over 500 miles away and I’m her only family, her only touchstone in a large, filthy, raucous, dangerous city (don’t get me wrong I love NYC). I wrote how the only thing my sister and I would connect on was our adoration for Christina Aguilera.
When my mother told me my sister felt lonely and wanted to return Michigan, where we’re from. I was mortified, I began to weep out of distress and embarrassment. My friends and my drunken blackouts were more important to me than accommodating my inundated little sister? That moment changed me for life. Dealing with someone with autism was going to be a true test of will and strength, but one that I was up for. It meant being a bit more patient with her, listening to her, allowing her to find sanctuary on her own terms and most of all letting her know that no matter what I will love her always and forever. My sister is such a beautiful and important person who is a musical prodigy and has the potential to be a world renowned fashion icon. I never once acknowledged those precious traits she possessed.
I went on to tell this story in the email for the tickets to the show and how I wanted to be better for her, stronger for her, there for her. I owed her memories of me that would make her smile when she saw me not cower and avoid me when I’m around. I told them how we bonded over the vocal prowess of Christina Aguilera and that was the single line of hope that kept us tethered to each other. How I would enjoy nothing more in the world than to watch her exuberance as she got to see Christina perform. Especially, since my sister had never been to a concert before, heck I don’t think she’d ever been to a performance of any sort at that point.
2 days later, I got an email saying that we were picked for tickets. When I told my sister the news she jumped up and down and hugged me, it was the first hug I could remember her initiating in years. It’s those moments when love becomes tangible yet immeasurable. We’d spent the days leading up to the celebration bonding over fashion, music, Oprah, everything. I found it highly unfortunate for me to have missed the possibilities to have built these memories for the last 18 years. On the day of the show she couldn’t stop buzzing with anticipation. We saw Oprah, got to see Christina interview and perform. My sister had never been happier in her life and that is all I could ever want for her.
From then on I didn’t think of my sister as having a disability of any sort, from then on she was my sister whom I love with all my soul and finally recognized that for years I was the one with the disability… I was suffering from the inability to see the magic within and all around her. She was never a burden, she was a gift and I was blessed enough to enjoy her presence.
Taco Bell is great! I wish I could live in a Taco Bell and eat until my heart’s content, but then I’d probably be sick of Taco Bell, so I will admire it from a distance and indulge only so much so the love remains always and never diminishes
I love you,
My friends and I are too much. Just the right amount of too much though.
If these words weren’t words, they could easily be the name of a black girl
— Challenge (Shuh-lunj-jay)
Teacher: Is there a Challenge Jones here?
Challenge: Umm, excuse me it’s pronounced Shuh-lunj-jay
Parent: I know you is not tryin’ to sneak out this house Antiquity!
My name is Tenacity Patrice Jones Watkins and I do not answer to no man!
Announcer: Next in our female circuit is Ms. Whimsy Jackson, daughter of Tyrell Darnell Jackson.
Manager: I’m sorry Napkins but we cannot give you a raise because your nails, and I quote, “need to done be did and on fleek errday”
Mother: Panorama if you do not get up them stairs and change them clothes you won’t see yo’ cell phone for a week!
Cousin: Prowess! Bring yo’self back here before I tell yo daddy where you ACTUALLY was on Friday night!
Oh (clap) you (clap) did (clap) not (clap) just (clap) dis (clap) respect (clap) me! I (am) Consistency Alexis Mercedes Jones and that is not how I roll!
Friend: Oh hellllll nawwwww Aureola! Girl you better get on with yo bad self! I see you!
— Kerosene (Kuh-raw-senay)
Teacher: Is there a… umm Kerosene present?
Kerosene: Excuse me? It’s Kuh-raw-senay, thank you!
Student: Insomnia! Girl, do you ever sleep? Damn.
— Day (Dee-aye)
Nurse: Is there a Day Jenkins here?
Day- It’s pronounce Dee-ay and I’m right here all up in yo’ face
Boyfriend: Baby, you know I love you Tawdry. None them other thots mean nothin’ you my only boo
My name is Barette James and I don’t play no games! Okay!
Receptionist: Opulence, girl I’m gonna need you to fill these papers out so we can get you that child support, that man ain’t spending’ his money on nobody but you and that baby.
Judge Judy: Now, Blessing, I know your name, but I don’t know your game
Friend: Chlorine, girl you better watch out who you is datin’ sleep with a dog you wake up with shit in the bed
Aunt: Facilities don’t make me get yo’ uncle over here, we ain’t afraid to spank you. Now, put them pants on your grandmother gave you! Out here lookin’ like a hoochi!
— Omniscience (Umm-nee-shay-cee)
Teacher: … uhh… Omniscience? Is there an Omniscience here?
Omniscience: It is pronounced Umm-nee-shay-cee, thank you! Or Shay for short.
Uncle: You trying to do too much, Sorcery, wait until yo’ auntie find out what you is out here doin!
Father: Malaria, you is makin me sick girl! Now get back in this house!
Sister: How come you is always stealing my clothes Emotion!
Maury: The results are in and Randell is not the father of your baby Camouflage!
Brother: Yo, Marinara! Stop datin’ my homies tho!
— Blonde (Bee-lon-day)
Blonde: Do I look like a Blonde to you? The name is Bee-lon-day, okay! Get it right!
Oh she think she can just take my man and get away with it? Then she never met Ribbon Randalls and after today she will never forget!
Mom: Rotisserie, girl! Get yo self back downstairs and eat this dinner. I didn’t spend all my time and all yo daddy money so you could look at it!
— Attire (Atuhree)
Teacher: …. -_- … Attire
Attire: I though you was a teacher, but you can’t read? The name is At-tuh-ree
Teacher: *gulp* Entendre….??
Manager: Dysplasia, you can’t keep taking sick days because your and I quote “weave ain’t actin right”
Friend: Is Hallucinate ready to go? That girl be thinkin she got all the time in the world and I’m like a sister tryin to get to the club before 11 o’clock and that entry fee kick in
Cousin: You so stupid Sciatica, that’s why you be buyin them knockoff Coogi pants, that Coochi brand
— Crochet (Crow-shay)
Crochet: Yeah, but why you gotta say it with attitude?
Girl: Divinity you is the worse ouctchea!
Husband: Now Almond you already know that one ain’t my son!
Girl: You know Camera be out here thinking she all that and she ain’t nothin’ but a hot mess!
Friend: ohhhhh child, you done messed up now Moment! You better get that weave out before it get teared out!
Grandma- Fallacy, girl you know your momma ain’t raise you like that
Neighbor: Here go them shoes you was asking about, don’t let Edema be wearin’ though… her feet is big.
Auntie: Rotisserie, you betta shut yo mouth before I shut it for you!
Girl: Ohhhh you done messed up!! Now Soliloquy!!! Whooooo!! Child!!! I’m bout to beat yo weave-wearin, make up needin, teeth needin, tow-up from the flow-up ass!! Hold m nails Hypochondria! This bitch bout to be finished!
Teacher: Vedetta Darnell? Is there a Vendetta here?
Vendetta: Do I look missin’?
Besides, the mantra of “try not to shit yourself”….
Coming back from a family vacation in Costa Rica for Christmas, our flight ran into a bit of weather and nearly plummeted from the sky. During what was about a 7 second free fall from 10,000ft these are the things that went through my mind. It’s probably not what you would think, or maybe it is, I don’t know you.
Will it Hurt?
To be honest, the idea of dying in a plane crash wasn’t so much about the pain of death, but the fear of getting to that point. There’s the entire experience of falling out of the sky and there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it. Gravity is a funny little bugger because gravity is really in control of everything. Nothing can avoid falling. Also, all your senses kind of go away, I don’t know about you, but I’m not some kind of military trained badass and I don’t become more aware of my surroundings in such a situation. I pretty much lost all sense of every feeling except terror, I felt a lot of terror.
I Will Never Get To Experience _____
Most people say (mostly in film in TV) their lives flash before their eyes. For me, it was a life that I didn’t get to experience that seemingly flashed before my eyes or in essence went through my mind. I thought of all the people I wouldn’t be able to see again, or that I would never achieve my goal to do a TED talk, that I would never get to feel the feeling of the person I love in my arms again etc…
I don’t know about you, but there are many many times where I could have been killed or died, but I managed to skate by unscathed. I’m being serious, I’ve almost been hit by cars, been in serious car accidents, jumped on to the metro tracks to retrieve a fallen flip flop, I’ve almost drowned, etc… so why now? I don’t know the answer, except I’m here today so now wasn’t then.
How Will it Effect My Friends and Family?
Will they cry? Who will be most upset? Will there be a surprise turn out at my funeral? Will I even have a funeral? Everybody kind of wonders about those things at some point in their lives. I mostly thought about how I don’t have a will and testament but I also don’t have any assets, except I have a California King TempurPedic mattress… I would like that to go to someone deserving.
How Can I Survive?
If you’re like me you’re inherently you’re a survivor, we all have that aspect it’s called the Fight or Flight (no pun intended) Response. It determines how you react in a situation of extreme circumstances and under duress caused by a harming experience.
How Close Are We to the Ground?
I mean you’re in the plane, but logically you have a better chance of survival from 10,000ft than 30,000ft… right? That makes sense, but when you can look out the window and see lights it’s way more comforting than seeing only clouds. Once I looked out the window, I tried to think if I could survive, but people fall out of 3 story buildings and don’t survive. Not sure why I would think I could survive from essentially what would be akin to falling off a mountain.
It’s like that movie!
Yes. That was a thought. It zipped through my mind. I have no idea what movie I was thinking of during the thought, but it was like that movie.
Oh, Captain my God!
Who is this guy? Aren’t pilots notorious drinkers? Oh my God who is in control of this giant falling spectacle?! When it comes down to it, the Captain is the only one who can save you. His hands hold in them the continued existence of everyone on that plane. By the time I concluded all these thoughts.. in that 7 seconds the plane was level again and no longer a nose-diving death machine.
It’s true you do. We should all have a friend or friends of various cultures.
In case you slip up and say the N word they can have your back
Let’s face it, the “N” word is one of the few words in the American lexicon that is essentially forbidden or at least frowned upon if it is used by any culture other than the African-American culture. If you say it and you’re not black (and some of you know you have) and an unforgiving person overhears you uttering the word, hopefully you have a black friend with you that can play it off so you don’t end up getting an earful or a face full.
You can get the approval to say “Fam”
‘Fam’, is more of a committed term to those around you and unlike the ’N’ word it’s acceptable to say, but only with permission of someone who uses fam. It’s not a term to be tossed around like “dude”. Fam is for those you hold close to your heart, less than your family, but closer than a homie…. your fam is your good friend and your very good friends.
Learn how to laugh
I don’t know what it is about we black folks, but we laugh from the depths of our beings! in fact I wouldn’t even call it a laugh… it’s more like mirthful guffaws of the soul. We don’t care where or what time, but we will get our whole body involved in that laugh. Whether it’s a dance accompanying it, a scream, or a jump or a faux faint, it’s something and it’s great!
New cultural experience
Clothes, foods, viewpoints, knowledge, information, there’s an entire wealth of experience you have yet to experience if you don’t have someone of different descent in your life. It’s like adding extra patches to the quilt of your life.
Two words: soul food
Get some now! I’m serious! Get off your device and get to the nearest soul food restaurant! I don’t care if 200 miles away! Road trip! Green beans, macaroni and cheese, corn bread, oh sweet sweet corn bread, corn, sweet potato pie, fried catfish, fried okra, gumbo, collard greens, fried chicken… PLEASE leave now and get some this goodness in you.
Learn the difference between, cuz, cuz and cuz
Cuz- This is likened to your homie. Basically, someone you have an acquaintance type connection with.
Cuz or ‘cause – This is the short hand of “because” for example: Just ‘cause you forgot to pull it out don’t make it okay
Cuz or Cousin – This is a family member related to you by some type of familial connection.
How do you know which is being used? It’s all in the context and inflection
Experience life from a different viewpoint
It’s no secret the history of African-Americans is rife with struggle and as a result certain lifestyle views have been adapted as coping mechanisms. Plus, black families have some of the most exciting family debating styles I have ever come to witness. You want a good laugh… please come with my to my auntie house and we’ll have some soul food and laugh from our souls.
Change up the style influence
It’s widely know that you begin to absorb the proclivities of those you surround yourself with. It’s well known that a lot of black people are cool and smooth. Who wouldn’t want to add this to their repertoire?
Becoming comfortable with new people
There are all types of people on this Earth and pretty soon on Mars. A great way to open yourself up to new people and new life experiences is by doing just that. Open yourself up to one experience then you will be more comfortable to do it again and that’s how the best life experiences occur.
It’s always time for a dance party
Black people dance at every opportunity. Mostly because it’s fun and a great way to express all the energy we have built up in us any moment
You will most likely win any dance battle and/or fight
Yes, there’s a good chance if you’re friend is black they know how to dance. Not that no other culture can kill it on the dance floor, but there’s a very good chance a black person won’t only kill it on the floor, they will do it so smoothly the opposing team will cheer. As for fighting… DO NOT EVEN GET IN TO A VERBAL ARGUMENT WITH A BLACK PERSON! They will make you bring up things that you did not even do and make YOU feel not only like you did it, but actually feel bad for doing it. Sometimes there’s even clapping and that’s when it gets real, real. Only when nails start being removed along with earrings do you really need to start worrying. Sometimes we even clap, I don’t know why, but it’s really effective.
Cultivate new connections, literally
Being friends with someone not of your culture, much like taking a different route to work or the grocery store everyday will actually improve your cognitive function by cultivating new neuronal connections in your brain. Which aid in better understanding and comprehension. Like comprehending that if a black person starts clapping…. then you better start stopping whatever it is you are doing to cause this.
Teaches you tolerance & acceptance
If being black has taught me anything about black people is that we rarely miss an opportunity to express the tribulations we endure daily. It’s a sad acknowledgment that even today all these years later we’re still seen as second rate citizens. There’s nothing easy about attaining respect in a society that doesn’t respect us because of our skin color. Having a friend in this situation will most certainly change your prospective hopefully in a positive way an open your eyes to the injustice that is festering just under our noses.
Makes the world beautiful
If you have eyes you have seen how beautiful mixed humans are. If it don’t need to be fixed then why stop the mix? Not only are cross-culturally mixed children usually more attractive, but they’re also genetically superior when it comes to fighting off diseases, procreating resilient offspring, and so much more… I mean just imagine the family get together’s and all the different dishes to ingest. Mmmmm foooooodddd! I think I just might be hungry, I’m still thinking of the soul food.
There’s no reason not be
Think about it now… why wouldn’t you want to be friends with a person that can enrich your life with such excitement while simultaneously creating new pathways in your mind, laughing from the soul, and cooling you up!? That’s what I thought! Now, please GO GET SOME SOUL FOOD RIGHT NOW! GET SOME DAT DAMN SOUL FOOD!
The adventures of two dogs from opposite sides of the kennel. Buttons is a lone wolf out of the forest who found himself captured into a shelter. Sprinkles is a pure breed pedigree that is used to the finer things in life. Together they are forced to share a space and put up with their negligent owner.
Created and Written by Steve Miranda
Starring Paul LeSchofs and Steve Miranda
Directed by Annique Arredondo
Cinematgraphy by Guillermo Caraballo
Assistant Directed by JP Morgan
Production Assistant QXQX
Sound Mixing by Tom Hopper
Edited by Steve Miranda