Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Where's Waldo? - Here's Hassan

Where have I been you ask? No place, to be honest. I've been at work on the highways and by-ways hauling freight driving my truck and spending time with friends, family and my other half like any normal cat would, but that's the thing...

When you have family and make the shift to start your own, you realize that the time you once had for other things has been replaced with a new sense of purpose. Not that the old haunts aren't meant for you anymore, it's just that you shift focus on what's important. Right now that is the health and safety of my family, and I ain't talking about Moms and Pops (although that is just as important. Consider them consultants from this point forward).

Becoming a husband and a father requires trust and time spent learning how to intertwine the differences that separate people to make the family unit stronger. I am glad my brothers and sister as well as my mother are in my life to teach me the finer points of being a man of faith and family. I am the last in the family to make the effort to jump the broom and make some babies and I need all the help I can get because I owe it to my beloved and the universe to put forth the absolute best effort to lead, provide and grow my seeds in the proper, most respectful manner in the eyes of the creator. Without help, I will mess this up.

I'm also thankful for re-kindling my relationship with my mother... My relationship with my other half only exists because of this. I shouldn't have to explain this, huh? Some things cannot be created, maintained or can exist without mom, nuff said.

The politics that revolve around American holidays no longer exist for me. I know that I'll get this time of year off of work and so will those I hold dear to me, so I do my best to visit and catch up. Good thing, most of these folks I won't see for a long time so I hustled my ass off to be places where they would be given the time off we had, and boy I'm glad I did...

Hanging out with good friends in old haunts...

I spent a little time getting to know the niece I don't get a chance to see...

My other half and I also attended fellow blogger and artist extraordinaire Namelia Anderson's (pictured below) 1st gallery showing.
This piece is called 'A Piece Of Peace' (the artist, standing next to her work) and will bless our home

My sister surprised us with a holiday visit. It was cool to sit and break bread and see my niece and nephew after damn near a year.

What was funny was that my other half took my sister's place in the sister circle in helping prep Thanksgiving dinner. I was the only one that knew that my sister and her eating machine of a husband was coming in and had to prompt folks to purchase more food without letting the cat out of the bag because the table placing grew exponentially with her family's visit. My mom actually came and scooped my other half up from the spot early in the darkness last Thursday morning while I was sleep and they really put their foot into the meal. She also kidnapped her on other occasions, she fits so well into the family muddle... Now if moms can just give me back my woman (their birthday, as well as my niece's birthday are all on the same day talk about commonality... go figure) I enjoyed every moment I got a chance to spend with everyone near and dear to me. This was most special to me because now that I have my own family memories like that define our legacy with our own children.

After all was said and done the end result was this... Happy parental units. That's all that matters.

That and love from a good woman. More on that later.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Waiting Rooms, Sales Pitches and A Short Story In Between... All While Hanging Out With Mom

I'm hanging out with Moms today. She has an appointment with her primary care doc and I am her chauffeur this afternoon. Getting this chance to hang out with Moms is good stuff. She misses my sister and lil bruh just closed on his home. That dude is busier than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest but is happier than a sissy with a bag of... Okay too much. Got that from Bernie Mac. Sorry.

We dropped dad off at the job, got a nibble to eat and now It's just me, LilBlakMac (that's the laptop's nickname) and my wireless card hanging out in the waiting area, scoping the pretty faces, trading convo with the pharmaceutical sales rep and writing this thingee. In order to get back into the swing of things, my muse suggested that I just write stuff and I came up with this one right after the sales rep left after an futile attempt to recruit me to sell drugs. Legally that is... Man, I drive a truck. Enough about me, check this short, it's kinda cool cause' I'm making it up as I go along here in the waiting room. Tell me if I should make something out of this one:

He had never felt as lost as he was in this moment. Indeed, he was the new kid and he felt out of place as he stood on his stoop. The neighborhood kids played just a distance away and they kept an eye on each other, them wondering when he would come out to the sidewalk to address and he wondering if one or all of them would run over to the bottom step and invite him to partake in their fodder.

This was only different in the fact that he never thought that he would ever end up here. His parents worked to the point of him not seeing them during the week, also knowing that he was one of the few kids at school that actually lived in a house. Families in the big city were apartment dwellers. The only other family he knew that lived in a home as big as his was his cousin.

There were good memories had from the summer he spent at his aunt and uncle’s house. Times have changed and so has his family’s status after his father died in an accident at the auto plant a few months ago. He barely saw his mother anymore. When she wasn’t crying alone in her bedroom she was working one of her three jobs, studying for night school or sleeping. He was basically on his own these days and this was the first summer living in the brownstone apartment he now called home. No more summers with his cousin, no more as his dad called it ‘country adventures’.

He never thought his situation would change like this. Remembering going over to grandma’s house and driving through these neighborhoods. He was an outgoing kid, not afraid to address a stranger and not scared to explore new places, but this was too surreal to wrap his brain around:

Older boys hanging on the corner
Lawns with no grass growing in them
Stores with speakers on the outside of the front door, music blaring
Random kids running amok
Vacant lots and run down buildings blending in with neighbors next door watering non-existing plants
Fire hydrants open, kids and auto traffic merging with little to no effort
Women dressed like they’re going swimming with their church shoes on walking the dark places of the back streets
Weird-looking churches right on the same street as the liquor store
So many liquor stores… And the activity around them

He thought it was the story he saw on the TV each night on the news. He thought he would never be a part of it so he casually ignored it. Some of his father’s co-workers lived in these areas be he never knew which one. A few of the kids came to the repast and funeral with their parents and he remembered being in the room separated as the grown folks bantered about and recalls how loud these kids were. They seemed to be more open and loose with their expression that he remembered being taught so he remained quiet. And now he stood on the stoop of his new home carefully observing this same kids wondering if they would ever make contact.

They remained observers of each other until one kid walked over to the bottom step of the brownstone and addressed the neighborhood’s new edition:

“Hey, what’s up?”
“I’m David, what’s your name, man?”
“I’m Kevin.”
“You got any brothers or sister man, or is it just you over here?”
“Nah, it’s just me.”
“That’s cool. I got a little brother. He messes up everything. You wanna go walking around?”
“Go walking where? I don’t know a whole lot about around here.”
“Don’t worry man, it’s the hood, ain’t much to know unless somebody starts fighting or the man comes through.”
“The man?”
“Yeah, you know. The cops, the fuzz, mister Charlie and em’.”
“The police?”
“Yea man. They always messing with folks around here. My dad calls em’ get stoppo.”
“You mean Gestapo – the German killer police?”
“Yeah, just like them dudes from history class. Sometimes they go around killing folks for no good reason, but that’s just the dudes that got dope though. Them Gestapo dudes popped my daddy’s brother three years ago. What you know about some German history anyway?”
“That’s all we ever learn about in history at my school anyway is about the war and how that holocaust changed how we do things. My pops used to tell me that there was some sort of a black holocaust but…”
“He ain’t around no more”
“Shoot, my daddy ain’t either. He split too?”
“Naw, was in an accident.”
“And y’all moved here? Dang man. But don’t worry though, ain’t too many kids here ever seen their daddy, the just be hanging out.”

They talked on the stoop for about an hour and then they started to walk around, David showing Kevin the neighborhood. As Kevin toured what was his new hangout and home, he wondered what would become of him amid the madness and noise, sirens and loud music. He studied this kid and wondered what made him of all people endear himself to a total stranger and wondered aloud sometimes why he was so open when all the other kids just looked and never spoke.

As they walked and explored, he imagined himself as just one of the boys hanging out on the corners looking as if her was protective of all the abandoned buildings and vacant lots. He knew that he would have to make everything he took in familiar, this was his new home and he had to know it like the back of his hand. The one thing he never knew is how much he’ll need the knowledge of the lay of that land… Kevin’s world would indeed change as much as he would become a product of this new environment.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Friday Musings











I jotted down these words in an effort to see if I could come up with something out of them. I tell you that I haven't neglected this space, it's just that my hands are so full and I am giddy like a schoolgirl in the enjoyment of my abundance of people, things and places that make my life so complete in this moment.

Some times we are riddled with stress and strife, death, taxes and loss of freedom and in some fashion I have had my hands full dealing with these things in the past week and some change. I tell you right now that the sister that has my life placed at her feet and the family I've gained to include my family has me at a point where nothing can rattle me or take me off of my square.

There are a lot of things going on in my life right now. Folks aren't as healthy as they should be, others don't quite know what their health status really is and time will tell. Someone's job is on the line. There has been death, taxes depression and family squabbles as well as incarceration that overtook the week before Thanksgiving in my family. I have all the confidence in the world that we will be breaking bread, chasing babies to make them eat and snapping on how big somebody's head is next Thursday evening all up and thru my momma's house.

I'm waiting to get full. Tick-like, fo sho.

I live, work and do all things to make the hopes of a healthy, successful family a reality. That's real. I can't recall no other time in my life where going to work felt so damn good. I know that all I do is to grow my family and it's also to have the things we want. We already have the thing we need in vast abundance.

I was talking to a friend out west and she was telling me how in an instant after she met this man that she knew this was her husband. We traded stories on how everything we did from brushing our teeth to arranging dinner was done for the sole purpose of satisfying our new partners which satiated something deep in our souls. Their overall happiness meant that we're happy as well. We also lamented over how things that happened brought us to this moment. I questioned mine because I felt that I never deserved anything like this, she told me not to question anything and just ride the wave. I questioned and doubted my position months ago because it was so surreal. I took my big homies advice then and have been on this incredible trip of realness based on love, trust and the hopes for the future. Riding the wave, indeed.

Well dammit, the water is indeed warm and I hope all of y'all get a chance to skinny dip just once. Damn, I really hope that. This kind of thang changes lives and gives many a sense of purpose so strong that nothing can break it or diminish its luster.

My PURPOSE in this existence is to celebrate
I revel in the reality that is you
Our toasts are to events that not yet have happened
but have more meaning that I could have ever over stood
because in our union we work to cultivate life.
I am a foreman of FIDELITY,
focused in my actions to construct our foundation
and build our forever only with you
The you that is inspires the blueprint
Our house is built on the TRUST shared between us,
all waters are calm and our minds are sure because
we cosign to each other's VISION.
Continue to back me the way you have and my
FOCUS grows stronger and my since of purpose will
never wane because our responsibilities will grow.
My LOVE can never fail,
From the first time our eyes met the sounds of my
father and grandfather's call for RESPECT echoed
through my head.
The HOPE of a healthy FAMILY lies within our hands and
the continuation of our actions. My confidence grows
by the moment, we got a GROOVE going on.
Let's keep that rhythm, it's easy to step to.

Let's hope I stay in that groove...

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Wasting Time

Peace and blessings in the name of the Most High...

It has not been hectic for me, I haven't been that busy and I've had time and opportunity to blog, I just haven't. I'm having too much of a good time just doing regular stuff and enjoying being in the moment.

I was watching the high definition bootleg of American Gangster the other day and I realized that Bumpy Johnson died at the same age my grandfather did. He was only 62.

Now I say only 62 because I find that to be uncharacteristically young even for a black man. Now that I approach 40 it does not register in my mind that I could die at 62. That would mean that I have lived more of my life than I have left if the Creator has decided to call me home at that time. It led me to think about all that I have gone through and all that I have experienced and it also made me look at my life so far and all of the things I want to but have not yet accomplished.

Not that seeing that movie made me immediately think of making change... I reminded myself that out of all that I have done that I have basically wasted my time.

Now I've been a few places and met a few folk that would stay with me forever, but in the grand scheme of things, I've done nothing to accomplish my goals in life besides writing and making music half-assed, and losing my inspiration and motivation to create earlier this year had to be the most debilitating thing that has ever happened to me in my life.

For me to know in this moment that I have most likely lived more than half my life (understanding that I am overweight, have diabetes and don't eat right most of the time - makes me think of how much time I really have left) and it's high time that I do the things that I am supposed to do to complete myself. This is why I am currently chilling in the cut right now in the Pacific Northwest making moves and doing all things necessary in starting my family because I know that I'm supposed to be at this point in my life.

Not that everything in my life has been a waste of time but sometimes one is prep eared for the now by learning that he or she didn't have to go thru the BS of the past. More about all of that and how it applies to me later. Now, it's off to brunch somewhere near Napa Valley.

And some football.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Well Hello There...

You ever have a moment in life where things are so great that it keeps you from 'regular' stuff (like blogging)?

Well, I'm in that moment. I am in the process of detailing things, it's just taking more time than I thought.

Did you participate in the blackout last Friday? I did. Do you realize the power we have and can have by making this a regular occurance?

Are you coming with me to Washington DC on the 16th? Think about the timing of the march and the appointment of the new attorney general. What type of infuuence can we have on the sitting AG when it comes to justice for young black men, the hanging of nooses around America and interpretation of the law in our neighborhoods?

It might be time for the the so-called war on drugs comes to an end. Way too many non-weapon offenders are serving time when all they need is rehab and a P.O.

This AG will be already seated when whomever gets elected president...

We gotta have more cowbell...

Enough about our responsibilities and more about my pending mortgage and child care expenses in a moment.