Paranoia Agent

There is a show on Adult Swim (wink @ ShawnQT) called Paranoia Agent. It came on after my normal AS lineup but the theme song used to wake me up every morning. For some strange reason, I have really grown to like the intro and had to make it a point to see the show. I was intrigued when saw how contrary to the look and feel of the intro is from the show. Paranoia Agent is an anime series about people who have been backed into a mental corner and can't escape until a bat weilding, roller skating boy, dubbed Lil' Slugger by the media, sets them free from their own endless void by whacking them back into reality. But is this boy real or just a lie to relieve stress from these people's lives? Two detectives set out to find the truth, but only one person knows the truth. Although the show's leitmotiv is a little comical, a lot of the subject matter of the characters is thought provoking.

Viewing some of the episodes had me thinking about my own life and whether or not I'm a bit paranoid. The definition of paranoia is "a mental disorder characterized by systematized delusions and the projection of personal conflicts, which are ascribed to the supposed hostility of others, sometimes progressing to disturbances of consciousness and aggressive acts believed to be performed in self-defense or as a mission." according to dictionary dot com. And according to that definition I will have to say that I have a bit of paranoia and just like the show, need someone to come whack me in the head. A prime example is in one of my last posts. I talked about how I felt on the topic of insecurities and gave an example or two. When you confront a lover/bf with suspicions of flirting/cheating it is usually because you have had a previous bad experience with that and are internally wrestling with the issue. In other words, you are projecting your personal conflict and assign it to the supposed violator with the state of mind of protecting self. Sometimes what was seen as flirting or cheating are delusions. I need to do some more self evaluation on this topic. Do I have the same issues with selecting friends, who I date, etc? What are your paranoias?


Click on the image below to see the trailer


Here is the intro with the song I like:

My Life Last Week

I will post about some other issues going on in my life shortly but for now just know that I celebrated my freedom, myself, and the unloading of the unneeded stress in my life this last week. It started on last Monday hanging out with some friends after work. I never stay out that late and not normally with that crowd but I thoroghly enjoyed myself.

Tuesday, I went to Salsa lessons and it was fun as usual. Met a few more friends there and walked around town afterwards.

Then on Thursday, my friend T bought me a ticket to a concert with my girl Joanna Newsom. It was out at McCarren Park Pool in Brooklyn. That pool is huge. The whole crowd was in the pool with plenty of room for the state, sound board and vendors with room left over. Joanna was awesome singing some of her old stuff, however, the new stuff seemed...... very long. One song was over 15 minutes.


Attended JC Pride and ran into soooo many of my friends. I planned on only staying a couple of hours but wound up closing it down. It was a totally different vibe the NYC Pride. It was mad cool. People actually took the time to meet and greet and it wasn't all about who you can hook up with today. There was a homeless lady there that everyone made feel at home. At one point in time they had put her in her shopping cart and began pushing it with a conga line behind it. She loved it, she started vogueing with some of the gurls and was hilarious. I also ran into a young friend and was brought to tears. At 16 years old, he has already been bashed physically beyond recognition and emotionally by people. Some others and myself have had to come to his aid on several occasions but for that day he was actually living his life free and uninhibited. Having the time of his life. I mean, I actually teared up. I am glad that I was able to see that. It was a good day, although I still don't understand the statue at Exchange Place.


Here are some pics from the dance party.


A friend of mine told me about the Annual Latex Ball. I had heard so much about the balls and had only slightly experienced the "goings on" at Escuelita. We arrived there at 8 p.m. and was there until after 4 a.m. I really had a good time. Especially since Janet Jackson was there. Yes, the diva herself. Sorry that the pics didn't show up too well but some did come out kind of cool. And no, I couldn't get a pic of Janet, she was too far away.


Finally, my girl Cathy had a house warming party at her place. A small group of us met at her joint and had some wonderful cooking by Cathy and great conversation. We laughed our azzes off. Did you guys know that Cathy can booty bounce?!? Jordan (AKA KnightWriter) is funny as hell, she needs her own show. My boy Jared rode out there with me and was his normal enchanting self.

For Your Weekend Pleasure


I met Osiris (Chris Annibell) back during the winter at one of Afrokinetic's events that he hosts every Saturday night. I loved the whole vibe of the joint. He and the other DJ's have created a spot that is about mad love and the music is hot. There are live percussionists that play with the music and anyone can join in. The music brings you the best in rock, soul, classic hiphop + world rhythms.

Here is a sample of the music that is played.
Click here

For those who are interested, there is an event on tomorrow.
Every Saturday
CARMINA SOUL
Brooklyn's Garden Party
@ 718 Brooklyn Diner

DJ Chris Annibell in the mix + Amon on percussion every Saturday night, outdoors in Brooklyn, rain or shine...

8.26.06 special guest DJ OP (nu-ish)

Event Information:
Every Saturday
11:00 PM – 4:00 AM
id required, 21+
cover: $10

Venue Information:
718 Brooklyn Diner (formerly Miss Williamsburg), BKLYN
206 Kent Ave bet. N3 and Metropolitan
trains: L to Bedford, JMZ to Marcy, G to Metropolitan

Here are some images from the site.







Hope This Doesn't Sound Preachy

Watching this week's episode of Noah's Arc triggered something that I have been pondering for a little while. For those who haven't seen it, I won't go into great detail about the whole episode but talk about the scenario. This week, Alex realizes that he still has issues with Trey (his bf) hanging so closely with Guy (the "straight" friend). When Alex decides to "check up" on them one night he says that he has issues with his insecurities.

Before I go on, I must say that the following is a generalization and doesn't apply to everyone and are of my feelings. This statement of being insecure bothers me for a couple of reasons. From talking with a few people the connotation of insecure changed. It has developed into saying that the one feeling insecure doesn't feel adequate enough to keep their lover. Therefore, feels the need to "check up" on their lover frequently in order keep the best thing that they have going for them. With that being said, this mentality seems a little warped to me. WE ALL KNOW that in this lifestyle that you can get laid and/or be in an awful relationship regardless of how you look. You can be fat, thin, what some consider ugly, to drop dead gorgeous and it doesn't matter. Unfortunately, all that matters to some is that you are willing to lay down long enough. Now, that is not to say that some have it easier than others. So if someone in this case is "checking up" on their lover isn't really about trying to keep their lover as the only thing they can get but to protect something greater. They are trying to protect their investmet. Yes, I said investment. They have invested their time, money, and most importantly their heart into the relationship and are trying to protect themselves. In other words, it is not about the lover. Afterall, you can trust people with material things like cars, money, clothes, etc because if they take it you can replace it with same thing or something greater. It isn't the same with your heart. If they take it, you are never really quite the same.

Second of all, the denotation of the word is "The state of feeling insecure; uncertainty; want of confidence". If this is the case, then I feel the lover should WANT to change whatever behaviour that is causing this lack of confidence within reason. For example, if your lover comes to you and expresses that they feel uncomfortable because lately you have been spending a lot of time with a specific person. You can handle it one of two ways. You can tell them that they are over-reacting, call them insecure and tell them that they need to trust you and just end the conversation. Or, you can try to find a way that will appease your lover while keeping your friend. Some ideas would be to not hang around that friend alone until you lover feels comfortable. Invite your lover with you when hanging with that friend. In other words, compromise.

I believe the greatest problem with black and latino relationships is the lack of healthy communication. Meaning, instead of always joking around, talk about some of the issues in the back of your head. When someone is talking to you, make an effort to listen and not just hear what they are saying. Quit relying on cliches to side-step the conversation because it makes you feel uncomfortable. These things lead to one person feeling insecure (denotation) about the relationship. And you can't have a healthy relationship if one has unresolved issues.

I'm Too Butch For You

Last night I received a call from this guy that I met through a friend. We have hung out together previously, mostly movies and going out to eat but always in a group. He had obtained my phone number from our mutual friend and has called on various occasions but last night we talked about going out without the mutual friend.

I need to describe him to you. He is a very nice guy. An always endearing, middle-aged, white man that I admire for being so open with his sexuality. He has women tops and necklaces and closets full of long gowns that he wears 24/7 with pride. I'm talking about the type of stuff the Laura Bennett from Project Runway would design.

Well, we meet up at this club that I had never been to before. It was awesome, nice music, huge dance floor, hot go-go boys, and crowded as hell. I will have to say that it is definitely one of those Chelsea clubs. Meaning that there were so many interracial couples in there that it caused me to think of Clay's post. LOL I mean even to the point that at our table, EVERY couple was black/white. But back to my story, we hung out for most of the night and then out of nowhere he asked "so how do you kiss someone that you are interested in?" I was like what kind of question is that?!? Then he precedes to tell me to show him. Later that night, he tried to pull me in one of the many dark corners of that place. I was so blown, I wasn't expecting that at all. I didn't kiss him or go into the back ho-corners with him because he is a little too fem for me. But that has left me wondering; am I being hypocritical by counting him out from dating soley for the very reason that I admire him?

OMG

I loved this group back in the day. Lately been thinking about the CD "Good 4 We" and how I wish I still had it. Found this on-line. Does anyone remember them?



Then I came across this one. How I miss Phyllis Hyman.

Video Post

Sorry but I had to post this. These are two of my favorite singers (Kathleen Battle and Jessye Norman) and I love this song. Never knew there was a video for it. Hope you enjoy





Anyone who knows me knows that I am somewhat of a fan of Yanni. That's right, Yanni. He is an amazing composer and lately he has had some amazing black and latino talent featured. He has an amazing violinist (Karen) and two backup singers featured primarily on the Tribute CD that I love (Vann and Alfreda). Alfreda can sing anything from opera to squawling. Here is her singing an aria.





I am looking for one of the clips with Alfreda squawling but in the meantime, found this one also.





Here is Vann being featured in this piece. She is not only beautiful but has a set of lungs. It is a little long but worth it. To get to the main part of the song, fast forward to 5 minutes.





This one shows most of them in action. Karen (viola), Vann (thinner singer) and Alfreda.





Here is another one of Karen in action. I love all of the solos in this one. Listen to the drummers, they are awesome during their solos. And of course, Karen.... If it is too long for you to watch, just fast forward to the 5 minute mark and watch her and the conductor battle it out.


CC6 Submission/CC7 Theme

This is what I have so far for CC6's submissions. A couple of people told me that theirs is on the way so check back for theirs. This challenge's theme was "Building".

Here are my submissions. Click on image to see larger version:










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CC7 Theme: "Dream"

Again, anything dealing with your perception of dream. Feel free to stretch your imagination. It can be a poem, pictures that you have taken, graphic design, motion design, programming, writing, etc The deadline for this one is 8/30.

Congratulations delaleuverses (Cathy)

The lovely, vivacious and always enchanting Cathy (delaluuverses) read some of her poetry Monday night at the 13 Club. These poets come together every Monday night at the 13 bar around 7:30 p.m. They have formed a group and compete nationally and believe me when I say, it shows. There are a lot of wonderful poets that show up there each week creating and sharing their work. They also have a sign-up list as they foster up-and-coming poets in an atmosphere of mad love and a spirit of fun. Plus the buy-one, get-one free drink special doesn't hurt. I will post more details on later but I just wanted to post and tell Cathy congratulations for her reading on Monday night. She said that she was nervous but I couldn't tell. Do your thang!!!

Here are some of the pics:


If you enjoy poetry and are mad that you missed Cathy's event, don't, you can catch an event sponsored by Stehen Earley Jordan (Bougie Black Boy):

Stained Tongues III: An Artistic Experience

Host: Stephen Earley Jordan
Location: Stain Bar
766 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY View Map
When: Friday, August 11, 9:00pm
Phone: 718/387-7840
Come join us at Stainbar, for the 3rd STAINED TONGUES: An Artistic Experience with a night of spoken word with a diverse crew of Poets, hosted by Jorge Abreu and Stephen Earley Jordan II (author of Beyond Bougie). Stained Tongues is a monthly event, taking place every 2nd Friday of the month.

Enjoy the great music, great drinks, and of course great Spoken Word artists.

L-train at Union Square to Brooklyn (Grand Street) --ONLY 15 minutes.

Near Speechless


As some of you may remember, I posted about a panel discussion that took place on Friday night called "No Jimmies Allowed". I went expecting to hear and discuss the phenomena of unsafe sex parties. When I left, I have to admit, I was very disturbed.

The panel included Lidell Jackson (Founder/Host Jacks of Color), Don Kao (Director, Project Reach) and M. Tokes Osubu (Executive Directory GMAD - Gay Men of African Descent). The discussion started off with introductions from each one of them and then quickly turned to an event that you may have heard about. Evidently there was a unsafe sex party planned a few months ago in which the flyer stated that no jimmies would be allowed. On top of that, anyone caught using one or trying to practice safe sex would be asked to leave WITHOUT a refund. Upon receiving this unsolicited email, Osubu quickly brought it to the public's attention that this type of behavior is still going on. He even picketed outside the location of the party on the day of. After this was stated, the backlash was unreal. Every comment and the overall consensus were against Osubu's actions.

Some stated that it was not his right to publicize the "going's on" at the party by picketing outside. That if anyone was attending that party, then they were part of the consenting adults who chose to attend. People are well informed about the spread of HIV/AIDS and can decide for themselves whether or not to engage. Osubu is acting in the manner of religion today by wanting to scare everyone into safe sex. That the organizers were just trying to provide a place, for people who engage in this type of behaviour behind close doors, to meet and experience other like-minded individuals.

Granted, I agree with them in saying that consenting adults should be allowed to make their own decisions and live their lives. If someone didn't agree with my sexual behaviour, I wouldn't want for them to go to that extreme to stop me. After all, it was printed on the flyer what was going on. However, my head was filled with concerns about that mentality.

When I was 18, maybe even older, I was considered grown but due to my immaturity I engaged in some unsafe behaviours. Primarily because I was naive enough to think that if people who are older than I are doing it, it must be ok. Thank God that I matured and began taking responsibility before too late. With that said, are young, trusting, naive people going to this parties never to be the same again? Paying for that one mistake for the rest of their life. Are they checking ID at these parties to ensure that the attendees are of proper age? Are they explaining to people the risk that they are taking before entering? Why are they not only banning safe sex but penalizing you for it also? What about those who are mid-aged but mentally (for whatever reason) are not capable of understanding the risk that they are taking? Should African-American and Latinos be more concerned with the spread of HIV/AIDS since we are more disproportionately infected? Should we have more extreme measures for prevention? Should we allow this to go on unchallenged?

I guess that most disturbing part of all this is that the panel and everyone who commented mentioned that they are HIV+. What do you think?

KnowHIVAIDS: website *** pamphlet

Time To Vote

ShawnQT advised me a weblog contest that he is entering. You can check out Shawn's post here. Cast your vote for the various categories in the 2006 Black Weblog Awards. Click here for the site.

Rules

* The Black Weblog Awards are for weblogs for, by and/or about Black people. If you've got a question on what a Black weblog is, feel free to browse any of last year's winners.

* Only one ballot can be submitted per person. You can only enter one website in each field in the nomination form. If you feel a website can qualify for more than one category, feel free to submit it for several categories. However, you can only submit one website for each field. Think of it like a presidential election...except with no hanging chads or faulty Diebold machines.

* You must have a valid e-mail address to submit a ballot. Your information will not be used in any other way except for ballot tabulation, but fake and "anti-spam" addresses will not be accepted. Actually, the form will take them, but those ballots will be deleted.

* For nomination and finalist forms, the following rules apply:
o URLs are required for each nominated site. Please make sure it's the correct URL before submitting, spelling and all.
o Nominees must fit the category for which they are submitted. This is mostly up to the discretion of the BWAs; if we can't tell that the submitted site fits in the category nominated, then that vote will not be counted.
o You can not nominate your own blog. However, feel free to persuade your readers to nominate you. This also applies to finalists; you cannot vote for your own blog.
o No mailbots or spammers!


Nomination and Voting Procedure

Nominations will be open from August 1 - August 15 in each of the categories. On August 16, the top three nominated sites from each of the categories will be posted and open voting for the finalists will open from August 16 - August 31.

Voting will close at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on August 31.

Winners will be announced on September 3.

Poll

If you are involved in a relationship with someone and you have a secret that you haven't told anyone, if/when is it appropriate to tell your lover? Under what circumstances?

CC5 Submission(s)/CC6 Theme

Ok, I extended the deadline for this one and at the time of this post I don't have any submissions other than mine. Shawn, don't make me cut you. lol.

I wrote a short story that inspired this piece but then an old song by Anita Baker came on and is exactly what I was feeling. Although it isn't finished I decided to post the lyrics of the song with the pic.


"I can remember stories, those things my mother said. She told me fairy tales, before I went to bed. She spoke of happy endings, then tucked me in real tight. She turned my night light on, and kissed my face good night. My mind would fill with visions, of perfect paradise. She told me everything, she said he'd be so nice. He'd ride up on his horse and, take me away one night. I'd be so happy with him, we'd ride clean out of sight.

She never said that we would, curse, cry and scream and lie. She never said that maybe, someday he'd say goodbye. The story ends, as stories do, reality steps into view. No longer living life in paradise.

She spoke about happy endings, of stories not like this. She said he'd slay all dragons, defeat the evil prince. She said he'd come to save me, swim through the stormy seas. I'd understand the story, it would be good for me. You never came to save me, you let me stand alone. Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold. My story ends, as stories do, reality steps into view. No longer living life in paradise or fairy tales.

I don't look for pie up in the sky, baby. Need reality, now. Said I don't feel the need to be pacified, don't you try. Honey, I know you lied. You never came to save me, you let me stand alone. Out in the wilderness, alone in the cold. I found no magic potion, no horse with wings to fly. I found the poison apple. My destiny to die. No royal kiss could save me, no magic spell to spin. My fantasy is over, my life must now begin. My story ends, as stories do, reality steps into view. No longer living life in paradise or fairy tales." - Anita Baker

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Here is ShawnQt's submission. Click on the image to enlarge



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CC6's Theme: Building

This theme has been submitted by Dapper. Simple, right?!? Anything to do with a building. The deadline for this one is 8/15.

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