Connections


It’s been a minute. Did you miss me?

A lot is going on as always. Work continues to suck. People continue to suck. Politics definitely sucks..so we won’t be talking about any of those things.

I cheated on my diet. It was a combination of working all day and not shopping then being hungry and having nothing in the house. When it’s late and you’re tired and just want something to chow down on and crash, your options can be limited. Alright..if you’re lazy and hungry you might find yourself making poor choices. It wasn’t like I didn’t try. If you call sitting in the car muttering to yourself trying. That’s what I did. I convinced myself that I would pick the lesser of many evils and get a fish sandwich…Ok maybe a combo, but my intentions were not to eat any meat so i figured the bulk of the meal was not flesh and I needed to take a shower and sleep. I will say this. It was horrible. Not only did it taste like crap, I was consumed by guilt. I thought to myself, maybe I should gag myself and puke it back up as punishment. Then I said, no, that’s crazy..that’s how bulimia starts, don’t even go there. side note: I dated someone that had this issue. It wasn’t pretty.

So as with all relapses, this started becoming a habit. And with each instance, the excuses became more and more acceptable until I’d reach a point of regression. I went to Popeye’s and got this frigging 10 piece special. As I was eating it, I felt like a savage. I could literally see the chicken being mindlessly butchered. I thought about the moment of it’s death..that moment when the chicken realized that it was over. I felt unhinged. Mentally disturbed. I’d fallen back into the trappings of industrialized death we call fast food. I knew I was better than this. I swore I would be.

It took a little longer than I expected. The pounds came rushing back. My skin was breaking out. I was bloated, miserable, headachey and yet for a few weeks I kept it up until one day my older sister called me. We hadn’t spoke for almost 2 years with the exception of my uncle’s funeral. She called to bury the hatchet (long story). During that conversation, my brother got on the phone. I hadn’t spoken to him in as long. I asked how he was doing and he started rattling off a list of afflictions. High blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis…It was then it hit me. This is where I was headed if I didn’t get my shit back together.

It’s a vicious cycle. One that is entirely preventable with proper eating and exercise. We live in a society that is geared towards profit. Big pharma is in it for the money., If the medical industry really wanted to prevent disease, they would actively campaign against the wholesale distribution of foods that are hazardous to your health. When you think of the sugar industry in the same light as the oil industry, you will see the similarities. We are fed lies about their impact on our lives and other companies make money on that lie. Big pharma would rather sell you a pill than ban the shit that got you in that condition. I know this sounds conspiratorial; it is.  Once you accept that fact and zoom out to see the bigger picture, you will see what I mean. When you go to the doctor they will tell you, don’t drink, don’t smoke but you will do it anyway. Knowing this, they prescribe pills. This is what big pharma is gambling on.

Anyway, I shook myself out of the coma and decided to reign in my bad eating habits to regain the momentum I had before. This is where I am now. My body is not letting me off the hook easy but i have no one to blame but myself.

So. I have a birthday coming on Monday. I don’t have to work that day but it looks like it’s going to be cold as hell. This is what happens when you’re a winter baby. Your birthday can suck. If you plan parties, you have to choose wisely because nobody like coming out in the cold. Well if you live in the Northeast like me.

I’ve been working on some new music. This is what keeps me sane when I don’t go out shooting as much as I should. It’s just that at the end of a work day it’s frigging dark and cold and all I want to do is chill.  Long story short, (kinda late for that right?) I have a few shares for you. I hope you enjoy them..

 

When real life is too awesome


I had to blog this..

This video caught my eye. It’s a story of an Orangutan that kissed a pregnant woman’s stomach. Immediately people are like wow, apes know about pregnancy? duh..anyway. It demonstrates that kindness and compassion are universal

http://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2015/07/28/orangutan-kisses-pregnant-mothers-stomach-moos-dnt-erin.cnn/video/playlists/wacky-world-of-jeanne-moos/

Except…

When you are Donald Trump…this man has just demonstrated that he’s got less class than an ape..Do I even need to go there???

 

http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/politics/donald-trump-interview-dana-bash/index.html

 

The price of lemonade..for a black man


So, yesterday I had this urge for chick peas like really bad, so I decided to shoot by Wegmans to see if they had some ready made salads. Their offering was meager..shoulda went to Whole foods, but I found something. I grabbed a couple of these Hubert’s Lemonades (I’m name dropping because they were rather good) and headed back to my car.

It was a gorgeous day. A bit muggy, but the sky was fabulous. So I decided to find a good vantage point and take a few shots. I pull over into the parking lot and find a spot that was free and clear with the best view. I take a couple of shots, then decided to have a sip of that cool refreshing drink (Eddie Murphy reference..you had to be there). Anyway..maybe 5 mins pass as I’m standing there taking in the moment musing to myself what I should do for the rest of the day when up behind me pulls a patrol car.  Out steps the officer who approached me in a polite manner and asks me “What’s going on?”. I reply, “Nothing, just taking in the view”.  He replies, “Someone called and said you’re making them nervous”.  Pause. At this very moment, that high I felt evaporated and was now replaced with anger and apprehension. “This is how it starts” I said to myself. “Nervous? why? I’m not doing anything to make anyone nervous. It’s a beautiful day don’t you think?” I said, trying to disarm what I could see was now becoming a potentially deadly situation. What frosted me was that I picked that spot specifically to avoid being near anyone so as not to make them uncomfortable about me taking pictures. I wasn’t there 10 mins, how on earth was I a threat, real or imagined to anyone? The lunacy of that statement starting my blood to boil. In my mind I’m calling bullshit. I took a quick scan. Had I parked near someone?? There was no one there. The closest human being was the person in the Zales department store, which was roughly…600 feet from me. “You just bought a camera?”, he asks as he steps closer, one hand on his gun. “No” I replied..what the fuck kinda question was that? I’m thinking to myself.  I realized now we’re in stupidland. Anything I say can be used against me to set him off and find a reason to mess with me..be calm..keep your hands visible..no sudden moves… “Can I see some ID?” he asks. In my head I’m saying “what the fuck for?” I haven’t done a damn thing. I know any attempt to rebut will only be used as “resistance”, so I capitulate. My wallet..where is it?..don’t go in your pockets..pat yourself down..hands visible..It’s not on me..it’s on the center console..I point to it and say “My wallet is right there, do you mind?” He nods ok. I make sure to keep my other hand visible..pick up the wallet..At this point, I know my life could end, but I’m in a no win situation…my heart is pounding. Be calm..be calm..I get my license and hand it to him. He takes it, reads my address and says “E##### Road..you’re from here in Hamilton?”..”Yes” I reply. Inside, I’m raging..yes motherfucker, I pay your salary. He’s eyeing my car..I can see it in his eyes..what’s a black man doing with such a nice car? There’s gotta be something wrong here. He’s calling it in..I’m getting angrier and it’s getting hard to hide it now. I haven’t done anything illegal or even odd…what the fuck….this is some racial bullshit..I’m clean..yeah motherfucker..what now? He comes back with a clipboard, scribbling down my info..I know what this move is..his way of saying, I’m keeping an eye on you..you have been subjugated to my authority. He gives me back my license and walks back to his vehicle. I stand there..I know what he’s expecting..I should run away now..but no..fuck you..I put my wallet inside the car and take another shot..it doesn’t feel the same..its not where I was coming from originally..the beauty is lost..it’s a sign of defiance..I will do what I have a right to do..My mood is ruined..Fuck it, I’m going..but at my own pace and at the time of my choosing…I take a swig of my lemonade..the happy face on the bottle now mocks me..You thought you were just like everyone else?..surprise motherfucker..

(the featured image is that last shot)

A man grows in Brooklyn..


When I was in junior high, there was this kid in my class, Robert Cobbs. Robert was a soft spoken nerdy guy who always dressed like a preppy. In the hood, that alone would make you a target and at that age, the other kids were merciless. To top it off, Robert’s mom would bring him and pick him up from school. So you can imagine the harassment that would ensue. Being in the top class, a lot of us were nerds under the cover, but we knew that our survival depended on fitting in. We had our cliques..young boys pretending to be macho, wannabe jocks. We’d hang out in the park playing basketball for the most part after school.

One day, Robert showed up on the court during a shoot around. It was an unwritten rule that if you stepped on the court, you were allowed to hang. So the ball was passed to Robert. He dropped it. He then awkwardly ran after it looking like an uncoordinated newborn calf. The harassment ensued. It wasn’t mean spirited, but intense. He’d attempt to shoot and miss the entire rim. After a few of those, we’d take the time out to try to teach him how to shoot. He was determined to get it right. We all saw a little bit of ourselves in him, but no one would admit it out loud. Eventually we got a game going and picked Rob on our side. Whenever he’d get the ball we’d cheer him on to hit the shot. When he did it was comical, until he hit the next one, and the next one. The kid gloves came off and the other team would challenge him with some real defense. At the height of the game, his mom showed up, standing off in the corner with a watchful eye. No one had noticed her and as customary during the game, the profanity, and insults, which included the “this is for your mama shots” flew unfiltered. Robert! she said in that voice that you knew meant business, ‘it’s time to go’. Stunned as we became aware of her presence and embarrassed at some of the things that had been said, the game came to an awkward pause. He would plead his case to stay, all sweaty in his now dirty buttoned down shirt, to no avail. Dejectedly he relented to her summoning and bid us farewell, making his rounds through the guys, each one giving him a version of a soul brother handshake. It was for him a single moment of triumph. He’d come to use as the awkward fawn and left as one of the guys.

Fast forward to the late 80’s. I’d moved away from home, gotten a job on Wall St., living with my high school girlfriend in downtown Brooklyn in the stylish yuppie section of Fort Greene. I’d come out of the house, headphones on, oblivious to the world on my way to the store. I stepped out on to the sidewalk and was almost immediately hit by someone on a bike, He jerkily stopped and turned to offer an apology and to my amazement it was Robert. I was totally shocked. He was the absolute last person I’d expected to see and by the look on his face the feeling was mutual. We greeted and talked for a bit. He lived in the neighborhood. Small world we agreed and after a few moments, he started to ride off. He was having a very difficult time trying to get his balance. More than one would expect from a grown man. So I quipped to him, A little rusty? To which he replied, nah..it’s this damn MS. It’s kinda hard for me to keep it steady these days. I’ve had it since I was a child but it’s gotten really bad but I’m dealing with it. I’ll catch you later..and with that he rode off, struggling heavily to keep the bike straight. I was hollow. I did not know how to feel as the realization of what he’d just said to me soaked in. It explained everything..why he was so awkward, why his mom was so protective..it hit me like a wave and I stood there almost in tears, humbled at his bravery and overwhelmed with guilt by the way we treated him as a kid, but comforted in the fact that he considered me as a friend..

The stalker


Going back a few posts, I did mention that this blog would be an attempt to share some of the unusual things that have happened to me. I was going through some old pictures I found in a folder online and I came across this one. The story behind it is insane. 

Sometime ago I was dating a woman who is a well known model. I will not give her name. At the time she lived in London. She had a guy who was stalking her. Actually there were quite a few but this one in particular was insane. 

We created a fake Facebook account so that she could interact with me online and get to know things about me and my family without anyone knowing who she really was. Apparently this guy had gotten someone to hack that account. One day we were having a conversation on the phone and I noticed that she was online at the same time. I mentioned this to her and she thought I was crazy. So I sent her an instant message saying something smart like this is me who are you? The person replied, It’s me. So as I’m talking to her on the phone I’m saying to her why are you playing games? She insisted that she was not online, in fact she was not even near a computer. Once it became aware to me that she wasn’t lying I suddenly realized that she had been hacked. So I asked the person again who is this? And the person gave me his real name. I asked him why was he doing this? He said that he wanted to find out “who she was fucking”. She immediately panicked and told me to stop talking to him. He was someone that had been stalking her to a point where she had to get an order of protection. (It’s called something else in the UK but I can’t remember the name of it right now). I ended the conversation after threatening him and then I told her that she should log on as soon as she could and change her password. The only upside was the fact that we used this account just for us, so I was the only person on her friend list. She changed the password and was very upset over what happened. I thought that this would be the end, but it was just the beginning. A couple of days later she texted me a message saying thank you for the gift. I was confused because I hadn’t bought her anything. She thought I was playing games with her and insisted that I stop playing around. I was like, what are you talking about? Apparently she received a gift delivered to her apartment that said it was from me, complete with a card and a receipt that had my name on it. If you look at the picture carefully you will see my name on the bottom of that receipt. This caused me to freak out because then I started wondering if this guy had hacked my account. I spent the next couple of weeks on edge wondering what the fuck would happen next.



Man crushed


I was laying on the couch listening to some old Stevie Wonder songs and today being Monday, a lot of folks participate in this social media theme #MCM or Man Crush Monday. (No luck on that front this way haha) But the combination had me reflecting back asking myself who were my crushes? My mind took me back to an incident that I totally buried until today that I will share.
When I was in high school, there was this girl named Crystal. She was in the music department. I believe she played the clarinet. Anyway, Crystal wasn’t the girl you’d notice at first glance, She wasn’t doe-eyed exotic or voluptuous..the types I’d usually pine for at that age, but she was average I’d say. As a matter of fact, we talked for a while before one day we were having a convo and I took the time to really check her out. She had the most perfect complexion I’d ever seen..milk chocolaty and buttery smooth. There was something about her full lips that just drew me in. I could literally hear myself saying to myself, ah man she’s beautiful. I realized that I was staring and so did she, to the point where she said, Why are you looking at me like that? Is something wrong? To which I replied, no there’s nothing wrong. I just like what I see. Mind you..this was way bold for me. I didn’t even have the time to check myself before the words just came out of my mouth. She just looked at me with this look of incredulity, like are you serious?

A little background is needed here. I was very popular in high school, but exceptionally insecure. I would joke around a lot as a means of deflection and to channel my anxiety at being the center of attention. A lot of girls found me attractive but I hated myself because of negative images put in my head about the typical black man’s features over the years. Whenever anyone would compliment me or say anything about my looks, I would get totally fucked up awkward. I convinced myself they were just saying that out of pity. So that’s why for me to say something like that to someone’s face was way way out of character. She laughed it off but her friend, Evelyn (yes, I’m calling you out too) was like, you go girl! So now we were both miserably embarrassed and changed the subject. It wouldn’t end there though.
Not too much longer after that, one day Crystal comes to tell me that she’s leaving PA (Performing Arts) and going to another school. I was fucking crushed. It was like my heart beat one big thump and then my soul left my body. I can remember us standing there in mutual disbelief of the power of that moment looking at each other in the hallway. I felt betrayed in some way. We weren’t dating or anything but it felt to me like abandonment. I struggled with those feelings for a bit and then I finally got the nerve to ask for her phone number. You see, I could tell that she liked me but was unsure how far to let it go. There were many rumors about me with girls, a lot was just talk. I had admirers but at that time, but nothing was happening with anyone else.
I can’t recall how long it was after that this situation I’m about to describe occurred. It was summer like.
I’d called and made arrangements to come by her house. I remember begging because she was very reluctant to have me over. She was fighting the feeling, I said to myself, and that’s not going to stand in my way. So off I went.
She lived in Harlem, in a housing development. I remember being intimidated that I was heading into another hood that I’d heard so many bad things about. It turned out to be nothing but hype. When I got to her place, I was greeted by her father. He was a huge individual. When he shook my hand, his hand covered my whole hand and part of my wrist. I was like wow, there is NO way I’m gonna go ANYTHING to piss this guy off. I bet if he slapped me, my sneakers would’ve come off. He was on his way to work, so we just exchanged pleasantries and he went out. Her mother was there doing something..not sure, but she was in the kitchen. Crystal was in the process of doing something with her hair. I think they were going out somewhere later, but she her hair was wet and she had a towel covering her head. She invited me into her room to talk, which I was very nervous about but went anyway. She excused herself and then came back in a tee shirt with that towel on her head. She might as well have been an Egyptian goddess. She was talking to me and I got caught again. She said, Darrell what? I’m like what what? She’s said, Why are you staring at me like that? Are you staring at my boobs? Which by the way were extremely visible and her nipples were like doorbell buttons waiting to be rung. At first I tried to restrain my mouth but I was again, caught up in the moment and just said I find you to be irresistible. She was like, stop being so damn cute and came to hug me. Then it happened. We looked at each other and I went in for the kill. I don’t know how long it was but I was completely taken away by how good this kiss felt. I’d never kissed anyone with lips as full as mine but it was incredible. She was enjoying it too. So much so that neither of us heard her mother open the door. All I heard was, Crystal..when you’re done, I want to speak with you, and she closed the door. We were like OMG! OMG! OMG! I immediately started apologizing. I was in a panic. How could I fuck this up so bad on the first move?? Her father is going to destroy me. I have to move to Canada.
It wasn’t over just yet.
She walked out, closing me in her room to confront her mother. I was sitting on her bed in total shock. I could hear them arguing. All I could make out was, get him out of my house. Needing no cue, I got myself together and started to head out. I stepped out, said to her mother, I apologize. I was wrong. I’ve disrespected your home. it was all me. I meant no harm but I will go. Crystal then did the totally unexpected. She said, No..you’re my company. You leave when I say it’s ok to leave. I’m like no no she didn’t..no she did not just nuke her mom in front of me. Realizing that a save was seriously needed in that awkward moment that followed, I said, no..You’re mother is right. I have to go and I headed towards the door, with as much intention as to end this disaster and to save my own life. Crystal then grabs me and says, “You’re not leaving without me”. I felt like I was in a bad dream that would eventually end with me getting shot at this point. Her mother roared back, “You’re not going anywhere”. To which Crystal replied, “Watch me” and proceeded to get her keys and a jacket. I was dumbfounded at this point. I’d never ever ever seen a black girl speak to her mother like that and live. She got her stuff and walked me back to the train station. We talked for a bit. I was so concerned about what was going to happen to Crystal that I would have done anything to make it better. She assured me she’d deal and thanked me for coming. I then said the magic words..I love you. She grabbed my mouth and said, “Don’t say that! Just don’t! Ok??” I was completely lost. She just kissed me and walked away. I called her later and she said she would explain. She agreed to have me come to her new school. There was a show that she was in. So I went.
It was there as we sat in the auditorium that she told me she had a boyfriend, but she liked me as a friend. No sooner than the words came out of her mouth did he show up asking her Is everything ok? She dismissively introduced me as her friend from the other school and he went on. That train ride home was one of the longest of my life..

Barack, the man of my dreams


I am going to preface this post with a disclaimer that I already know I need some kind of psychiatric evaluation.

For some reason, I keep having dreams with Barack Obama in them. In each dream, we are close friends, but the surrounding scenarios are always insane.

The White Snake
Last night I had a dream that I was going to the park to play basketball. It was a very warm and sunny summer day. I was dribbling the ball as I walked down the street. I don’t know where I was, but it had the feel of somewhere in Brooklyn. As I approached a corner, there was Barack walking up the adjacent street. He looks at me and says, You know what to do with that thing? (he’s typically a wise-ass in my dreams as well). So I’m like, do I have to school you? He looks at me and gives me that half chuckle that we’ve seen many times as if to say, Yeah right.
He was dressed in slacks and a white collared shirt with his sleeves rolled up. So he says, Come with me, I got a few things to do first, then I’ll play you for beers. So I accept and we start walking together. He starts telling me he’s got “Some Presidential shit” to take care of first but it shouldn’t take long. All the while walking, he’s wise cracking on me, saying stuff like, I’ll play you in my shoes so it will be fair..Do you have any face insurance?..I’ll try to keep the media out of it so you won’t be too embarrassed to go home, we wouldn’t want your family to disown you.
We came to these steps that lead to an underpass, kinda like a subway station and he says, Hold up, I’ll be right back. Don’t punk out and run. Then he jaunts down the steps in the manner that we are so familiar with. He had something like a walkie-talkie on his belt that was connected to the Secret Service. I could hear the static from it fade as he got further away, then suddenly it stopped. I stood there expecting to see him come up the other side but he didnt surface. Worried, I went down after him to see what happened. It was dimly lit and dank, much like some of the lesser maintained subway stations you’d find in NY. I called out to him a few times and all I could hear was the echo of my own voice. Off to my left, there was an opening in the wall. I saw his shoes slightly sticking out. I slowly approached it, calling his name. Suddenly I heard movement coming from further back in the opening. It was dark and water was seeping through cracks in the wall. I yell out, Yo man, this ain’t funny. Again..no answer.
Something was moving and I stepped slowly closer to see what it was. At first it looked like he was laying on the ground covered in something white and leathery. Then it moved and I was face to face with a huge white Anaconda, it’s eyes gleaming at me like a dog when you take it’s picture. I turned and started running, the snake chasing me. I could hear the massiveness of its body as it slid down this wet and dungeon like corridor. I reached the stairs and was met my a low hovering helicopter with Secret Service agents in it. I was out of breath and struggled to tell them what I’d just seen and I woke up..
I lay in bed, my heart pounding so hard I thought my head would explode, asking myself what the fuck is wrong with me?
This disturbed me so much that I started Googling dream interpretations.
I came across this info. Scroll to the section about a person being eaten. Read it for yourself..It’s pretty deep