Sassy

Is this real life???


Bienvenue, my fellow droogies. It’s been a minute (as always) that I’ve posted, so I figured I’d break the silence with a few random topics.

Donald Trump

Yes, The Donald as he’s known, has been in the news a lot lately. He is, once again, running for President and to much chagrin, is considered the most liked candidate in recent polls. This is an embarrassment to our country that we can’t do any better than this. It’s not even about political parties (which is out of control btw) but not a good reflection on our seriousness of ourselves. We have let deciding the future of our country turn into a meaningless reality show..sad

Freedom of Speech

Yes. I believe you should be able to express yourself, but on the same hand, be held responsible for your words. We can sit here and bullshit each other into a froth, but that doesn’t change the simple fact that words have consequences. I blame internet anonymity for a lot of the things that people say these days. The inconsequence of being a raging dick to someone gets some people off. I say we do away with it entirely. If you want to be free to say anything, you should be adult enough to put your name to it. Fair is fair.

Bill Cosby

People that are defending him at this point are useless to me. There is nothing in the recent disclosures that can even remotely be considered ok. Getting off on taking advantage of a woman when she is incapacitated is sick. Start there. Yes or No doesn’t even matter at that point. You have crossed a line and should be held accountable. People want to treat him special because he fostered the positive image of black folks. Well it’s not an image. it’s a reality and we should be asking ourselves why it took a fake tv show for it to be recognized. That reality has and will exist without Bill Cosby. As a society we cannot allow this image to blind us from the truth.

Caitlyn Jenner

People are upset that Caitlyn Jenner won the Arthur Ashe award for bravery. It’s not about the award. It’s just people being shitty because they can’t sign on to what it took for him to come out the way he did. I suspect there’s some homophobia blended in there as well. Secondly, its a fucking award. It doesn’t mean that one form of bravery supercedes the other. It’s kinda shitty to set up such a scenario in the first place.

Life in the Universe

I was watching Through the Wormhole the other day. The topic was the search for life. There’s a scientist that is trying to prove that alien life is already here and has been for a long time. He’s done experiments to capture lifeforms in the upper stratosphere that are unlike any other we have seen. It makes way too much sense that life is all over the universe and gets seeded on different planets and moons. Its just a reflection of what we already know is happening right here. Our arrogance and the lies that we have been told are standing in our way of seeing the truth. Let’s hope we don’t exterminate ourselves before we come to that realization.

Okay so I owe you some photos and some music. I’ve been somewhat busy but I have some stuff to share.

This track is a departure for me. Well maybe not a departure because each song is an exploration..so lets call it a movement into the trap dub step genre, which is something I’ve been itching to put my spin on. There’s a story and a message behind it..as always.

Special shout out to Sassy Pandez (the gorgeous woman a the top of the page). This woman is special..

Pics to come soon..

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)

I’ve got a special wonton soup for you


Bill freaking Cosby..wow. Like who would have thunk it? I defended him, mocked Angie Dickinson for her story and was totally convinced this was some plot to discredit the positive black man. First I’d like to take back everything I said about Angie. It was mean and insensitive. Being a sex assault victim myself, I should have never even gone there. No one probably read it and no one cares, but I want to take it back because I don’t want that out there in the universe. You’re probably wondering what changed my mind. Well, it was Beverly Johnson. This is someone I have met a long time ago. People change, but I think I know her personality and she would not put herself out there if it wasn’t true. On the surface it may seem like a racial thing for me not to have accepted this until now. I did really ask myself that but no, that’s all there is to it. I feel convinced he’s an habitual rapist because this is someone I feel would not lie.

The bad thing about rape is, the victim is always made to have to bear the burden of proof amidst immediate skepticism. There’s shame, fear, vulnerability and a host of emotions one has to overcome to speak out on these heinous life altering attacks. It is as much mental as it is physical, with scars that run deep and remain hidden for a lifetime.

There’s a part of this story that bears discussion. A lot of people don’t understand the impact this has on a lot of people in the black community. This guy single-handedly changed the image of the black family for an America that could not accept the holistically positive aspect of black family life. He was also one of the pioneers in tv of the cool contemporary black male. Yes, it’s TV but it had major social significance to the black community. So there’s a sense of disbelief and a sense of loss for at least 2 generations.

I’ve been wondering why there is such a disparity from the image of him that myself and many others held, and what is turning out to be a dark reality. On the surface one can say that it is the published media image that has been created for him that is totally inaccurate, but when you zoom out and look at the broader picture, there is something very significant happening to our society.
Up until very recently the media factions, tv, movies, and news, owned the control of information. This information is carefully processed by producers, media consultants, editors and so on. When the information becomes damaging, they protect their own interests. If the content is too controversial, it is pasteurized. But now, all of that goes out the window. With the increase of access to the internet, everyday people have ways of communicating unfiltered to the whole world. What we are seeing today is the result of that change. It has affected every aspect of our culture and media communication.
This is not something that has gone unnoticed. People of influence and power want to retain that status so they are trying to get in front of it, infiltrating your social media activities, trying to penetrate all levels of communication that are available. Gathering detailed information about each of us to find a way to manipulate your behavior. Just look at Facebook. Why do they need to know the things they want to? It’s not because it impedes you from using the product. It’s to build a portfolio of you and identify the things that are most likely to influence your behavior. Every time you hit that like button, you fine tune that portfolio. This is the golden egg that the people who want to maintain control want to get their hands on.

I know I drifted off from Bill Cosby, but it helps to see the whole picture to understand the dynamics of whats at play here. In a way, the crumbling of Bill Cosby can be seen as iconic in the way our society continues to evolve.

Alexis, where are you?


One of my Twitter followers, Alexis Murphy, disappeared last year and is presumed dead. They never found her body.

I have a lot of followers, even more at the time, but I remember her face because when she’d followed me, i looked at her profile and was surprised at how young she was. She didn’t look like a teenager to me. I thought to myself that it was weird that someone that age liked my music. i thought nothing more of it and at one point I unfollowed her because it just felt inappropriate somehow. When her face was on the news, I immediately recognized her. Even though we never spoke or anything, I felt connected and saddened and hoped for her safe return. It brought back memories of someone that i’d met long ago that was interested in me but was murdered by her ex-bf. i think I posted that story..anyway, it gets deeper as now they are wondering if this guy that kidnapped and murdered the girl from UVA, Heather Graham, was involved in that case. It gives me chills

A Lesson Learned


So, yesterday I went to South River Walk Park, one of my favorite places, to do some shooting. It was a particularly cloudy which can make for awesome sunsets. I took a few shots of my surroundings, as I always do, and proceeded to get in the car. I was approached by this young Hispanic kid. He was tapping on the window, so I rolled it down a bit to see what he wanted. He asked me what I was filming and why was I taking pictures of him. So I told him I wasn’t, just taking landscape shots and that I never take pictures of peoples faces unless I ask. He was insistent that I had taken his picture. As we talked, his friend came over. I didn’t feel particularly threatened but cautious. This kid didn’t look like he could take a punch and seemed to be obsessed over having his photo taken. He walked to the front and started taking pictures of my plates saying he was gonna call the cops. So I got annoyed and got out of the car to show him the pictures, which I did. He wasn’t satisfied that I hadn’t switched cards and at this point I was done being nice. I realized that I had turned my back on the other guy and I turned around to see where he was. He was nowhere to be seen. So I get in the car and I realized that my phone was gone. I corned the other guy with the car and asked him where his friend was. He of course claimed he didn’t know anything. At this point I sized up the situation. I don’t know where his friend is..I could beat him to a pulp but he doesn’t have anything. I could grab him but I had no phone to call for help, so I went to the next corner and flagged down a guy to use his phone. Mind you, on the way there, I passed 3 patrol vans right around the corner, so says I, they shouldn’t take long to get here. WRONG. I stood there for another 30 mins then it started raining, so I get in the car. A police van, went right past me so I tried flashing them but they kept going. So, I left.

This park is in Trenton at the edge of a cemetery and a few modern condos BUT up the block, the neighborhood changes character. It’s the hood. Very dilapidated..lot’s of poverty and crime, so you can’t just Sally around. And here I am driving the jag as the sun sets like come take it. So my plan was to go home, switch cars, get my iPad to locate it and take my equalizer with me..along with a hammer. During all this, I made phone calls to ATT and a buddy of mine, by accident actually, but it was a good thing. He talked me down. I went this morning to the last known location and sitting there made me realize that this was an act of futility. I went to the police station to file a claim (tried that last night but they never called back).

So what did I learn?
The police are pathetic. When I was at the station the desk officer didn’t even have a form to file the complaint. She tore a sheet of paper to get my info. Let that soak in..a piece of ripped paper.

That part of Trenton is wow. If I didn’t grow up in the hood, there’s no way I would even get out of my car around there.

It’s not worth it. I could have killed either of them, or been killed over a phone.

A hammer is the weapon of choice for people that go after phone thieves. (I discovered this in my Google search of these incidents)

I’ve gotten better with my temper.

Trying to use a Blackberry as a navigator is not the move if you’re driving through really bad neighborhoods

Get insurance..(I thought I had but no)

Photography can be hazardous

You’ve got to start somewhere


I was having a conversation with a friend of mine about the crazy stuff that happens to me in my life. I said to her one day that I should write a book but I never seem to get started. She asked me why don’t you? I told her that is just so much and I wouldn’t know where to begin. She said don’t worry about that, just do it. Start anywhere, just get it written down. So this is an attempt to do just that.

Vicky
Some years ago, I worked for an insurance company on Wall Street. I worked in their computer room. My job at the time was to transmit and receive data from several offices throughout the country. Whenever I was ready to start the transmission, I would have to call that location and speak to the operator on the other end. Over a period of time, I got familiar with a few of them. There was this one girl in the Tennessee office that I spoke to several times a day. Her name was Vicky. I would look forward to our conversations and I could tell the feeling was mutual. She admitted to me once that my voice “made her all tingly”. One day my company told me that they wanted me to go to Manchester New Hampshire for training with other operators. It was a three-day course. So I went and to my surprise, Vicky was there too. It was weird seeing someone who you talk to almost every day for the first time face-to-face after talking to them for almost a year. It’s like you know them but you don’t. It’s a very awkward experience. She was a very attractive voluptuous redhead. A country girl to the bone. A bit naïve but a very sweet person. I say naïve because of a particular incident that happened one night after we had dinner together as a group. We were all staying at the same hotel and she came to my room. We would just sitting there talking and she mentioned that her it was cold in her room and she was trying to figure out how to turn off the air conditioning. She said that she couldn’t understand why the air-conditioning controls were so high up on the wall and she couldn’t reach it. I was a little confused because the control panels were on the side of the air conditioning unit behind a little sliding door. When I showed it to her, she said oh that’s where it is, but what is this? pointing to the wall. She was pointing to the smoke detector. I couldn’t help with bust out laughing, and I explain to her what it was. We had a good laugh and I could tell that she liked me and if I made a move, she would go for it, but at the time I was seeing someone.It was very hard but I didn’t do anything. We said good night and that was that. On the flight back she sat next to me and started telling me all about her life. She had been seeing some guy that she had broken up with, but he was very jealous and wouldn’t leave her alone. She kept mentioning how she wished she could move to New York. I didn’t think much of it at the time but that would soon change. This flight was a two-legged flight for her, stopping in New York so I agreed to sit with her and wait until her connecting flight took off then I would go home. While we sat at the airport things took a very dramatic turn. She started crying because she didn’t want to go back home. She literally begged me to take her home with me. I explained to her that I couldn’t do that. She said that she was willing to live anywhere as long as she didn’t have to go back home. She was very afraid of this guy because he’d been stalking her and threatening her. She was very unhappy with her life. If I were unattached, I would have jumped at the chance but this was impossible and very complicated. I told her that I would stay in touch with her and that may be things would work out for her. I walked her to her plane with tears in her eyes. She pleaded with me until the very last second. I felt like shit. The following Monday, I decided to call her to see how she was doing. I called her desk and one of her coworkers answered the phone. She said that she had stepped away from her desk, but she would be back soon apparently because she had left her purse. So I told her to have her call me when she gets back. In our past and I didn’t get any response. I called back again. Her coworker answered again and said that she hadn’t come back and she was a little worried because it wasn’t like her just to leave without saying where she was going. I told her coworker to call me the moment that she gets back. I didn’t hear anything from her for the remainder of that day. In my mind I thought maybe she was upset with me and possibly avoiding me. The following day I called again and her coworker answered the phone. She said that something terrible had happened. The guy that Vicky had mentioned had shown up to the job and had apparently called her outside because he wanted to speak to her. She, not wanting to cause a scene, stepped out just to get him to go away. When she went out he grabbed her and forced her into his truck and took off. No one knew where she was. A couple of days later I got a call from the coworker. She was sobbing and her voice was trembling. She said that they found her body. She had been strangled by her ex. They found him a few states away and he was in custody. He’d confessed to the whole thing. I was devastated and overcome with a terrible sense of guilt. Why hadn’t I let her stay? I felt like I had to do was bring her home and she would’ve been alive. That guilt has followed me to this very day and is one reason why it’s hard for me not to get involved if someone asks for my help.