a cork board

fighting the good fight
PMpFri, 23 Apr 2010 19:04:36 +000004Friday 1, 2010, 7:04 pm
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yesterday I was driving nice and casual with my wife and son in the back seat. then this red minivan comes and cuts me off. I won’t get into details about who was driving because then I’ll be racially profiling, just like the police. okay, so then he proceeds to slow down to 40kmh and completely stops on a green light so he can look down the street and read a sign. I’ve seen so much inconsiderate drivers on the road this spring, but that’s not even what I wanna talk about today. I honked my horn and drove around him.  at the next light he pulls up beside me waving his middle finger at me and cursing hard with his windows up. I was so mad. I was begging for him to give me a reason to step out of the car and whoop his ass. I could actually envision my fist pounding the side of his face until he fell unconscious. I’ve been feeling like I’m about to burst lately. not at people I love, but at perfect strangers.

growing up I always avoided fighting. I was pudgy (fat, if you will) and knew that I would only end up with my ass handed to me. plus I always had big brothers to both defend me and put me in my place. so I never fought. I was afraid. I was afraid of losing,afraid of being embarrassed and afraid of breaking something. as I grew a little older I started wanting to fight, and I did once or twice. but I never finished a fight.

people always told me to “walk away and be the bigger person.” and then I found myself not wanting to fight for a different reason. fighting always seemed pretty pointless to me, sure it would feel good. but in the end you’ve allowed a complete jackass the power to push you into a situation where you would never put yourself in unless your hand was forced. you allowed them to make you compromise something about yoyrself. to stoop to their level. people who want to fight provoke the shit out of you until you fall down to their level. and when you do, whether you win or lose the war, you’ve lost the battle. so I chose not to fight.

but now. I’m itching for somebody to fight me. I have these ballads of violence playing off in my head and I can see blood and pummeling and sheer vengeance. but I hold my tongue, I hold my fists, and I choose to be the bigger person every time. but sometimes (more lately) I have grown tired of being the bigger person. my wife says she knows I’m going to pop one day. and when I do, she doesn’t fear for me. she fears for the person I explode onto. because I don’t know if I’ll be able to stop.

so I keep trying to fight the good fight. I’m trying to listen to the voices of reason and “be the bigger person.” one of my best friend’s Josh told me once “a true warrior knows which battles to fight and which ones to walk away from.” I guess I haven’t found one worth fighting. I haven’t found a battle where I wouldn’t feel like I would  be compromising my character. but I have to remind myself of these morals a lot lately. because I really have been wanting to kick some serious tail. but I’m trying to keep fighting the good fight and live like Jason Marz’s song ‘Live High.’


our weekend, again
PMpMon, 19 Apr 2010 15:04:51 +000004Monday 1, 2010, 3:04 pm
Filed under: the ether, the sweetst thing, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

it was another wonderful weekend. I tell you, on Saturday night it actually felt like it should have been Sunday night. the weekend just felt long. and as is becoming a custom, it was all about Keshav.

we went to a brunch on Saturday in Milton with some great friends and Keshav was the life of the party, lol. he was rollin’ around on the wooden floor, laughing with everyone, sitting on sofas and chairs and just making friends the only way he can, lol. he tried some grapes courtesy of his Momma and he loved them. she would squeeze out some grape juice and liquefy the pulp and give him some and he just kept reaching for more and smacking his lips…it was great. then we stopped in by my aunt’s house and saw some cousins and our uncle. by that time Mr. Popularity was tired and edgy, but me managed to be in utter wonderment at everyone there too!

sunday was no different. we went to see our cousins and aunt & uncle’s across town again. we had a barbeque this time and the food was off the chain. and I gotta say, it feels spectacular that he’s actually getting to know them! I think he’s recognizing their faces and smiles and he’s a lot more playful now. it’s such a great pay-off to invest time into family! and another thing happened on sunday too…Keshav’s first tooth came out! it’s just barely peaking out of his little gums, but it’s there. it’s sharp and it’s the lone ranger right now. I’ve heard parents from all over the world say it for years, but that kid is growing so fast. he’ll be crawling and walking all over the place before we know it.

and I gotta say…I never thought I’d be so concerned about bowel movements. it’s such a major topic of concern and conversation now…Keshav’s bowel movements. if he doesn’t have any for a day it’s almost the first thing I ask when I talk to my wife on the phone. now, I won’t get into all of the gooey details but let’s just say he had a much-needed and very good BM yesterday. I think me & Kavita actually high-fived each other, haha. an awesome way to cap off the weekend 🙂

c.r. avery & baton rouge
PMpFri, 16 Apr 2010 12:49:26 +000049Friday 1, 2010, 12:49 pm
Filed under: events, music, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

the background hum of the office is ever-the-same. light key-punching and muted conversations humming like public transit. I drift like Magic Hour Sailor Songs and dwindle down the Mississippi River back to Baton Rouge. I miss those muddy waters. I used to glaze them over with my eyes from the window of a courthouse in the city. I saw C.R. Avery last night at the Burlington Slam Project. the man is a beast. the man is the wheels on busses and bicycles and coincidence. it was the first time I saw him perform without a mic. his harmonica-beatboxing persona was not lost in the quiet room at The Black Bull. the crowd fell to a hush when he began performing. the waitresses lined the outskirts of the room and there was not even the sound of glass clinking from the bar. C.R. was brilliantly simple without one of his three bands and only two of his family of instruments. there were no electronics, but it worked. the bass from his throat shook our ear drums and we ate it up. I finally got to see him do his “Boxer” piece and the beat was bouncing off of the wood. like I said, the man is a beast. the highways and road-maps he’s travelled are etched on his face; his clothes are weather-worn wonderfully extended from his self-proclaimed hobo caricature; his voice is worn and weary and woefully whimsical in its eloquent story-telling mannerism; and his smile is as genuine as Pierre Elliot Trudeau’s handshake. I beat-box his songs into sleep, into work and throughout the day. and today…the background hum of keyboards and head-set-held customer service phone-calls takes a backseat to C.R.’s greyhound shenanigans. the hobo has me horribly hooked and I am blessed to call this man my friend. everytime I hear him play…I miss Baton Rouge. last night he asked me “have you been back since Katrina?” and all I could say was “not since ’97.” now I’m thinking about The Great Canadian Novel and Magnolia Trees and Pelicans and gumbo and crawfish…over the background hum of keyboards and phone calls and generic office ramblings. it starts to sound the same after a while…so tune out and tune in and “take a bus to Baton Rouge.”

get in where you fit in
AMpTue, 13 Apr 2010 11:56:44 +000056Tuesday 1, 2010, 11:56 am
Filed under: the ether, the mirror, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

no, I’m not referring to the Too Short song or album of the same name. although that is what immediately comes to mind when I hear that phrase (bumpin’ Too Short in our old 1991 Pontiac Firebird with my big brothers Davin behind the wheel and Raj in the passenger seat, summer of 1995).

I’m just talking about fitting in somewhere, period. I never felt like I have ideally fit into  anything. there are always these little traits to my character that disassociates myself from groups. one way or another, I usually end up alienated. I know a lot of it is my own twisted imagination, but I have always had a rotating circle of friends. that’s partly due to me moving a lot, but I think it also has something to do with who I am. I end up getting real close to someone, or some people, and then differences start popping out like pimples. I can’t help but to see them, which in turn I can’t help but to think about them. differences of opinion, differences of preference , differences of beliefs, etc. whatever the difference is, I wonder if I’m the only one who notices it. and they usually end up annoying me, pestering my thoughts to the point where this elephant in the room materializes and cannot be ignored. I think I’ve lost some friends this way. I’ve fallen in and out of cliques because of this too.  

I also think it’s because I’m addicted to being Mr. Nice Guy. I’ve always been king of avoiding conflict. I’m so agreeable I can agree to disagree to an incredible degree. so if something is bothering me in a friendship, I usually don’t say anything. I just let it fester…and believe me, it festers. it starts to be the only thing that I can see when I’m with that person. and I try to say it must be me and just change myself. but I’m tired to trying to accommodate and change who I am. of course I need to grow as a person and my ideas will change with that in time, but I want to uncompromisingly be myself….and realize that (shit) I don’t need to fit in anywhere. I can cut a new mold.

because in the end, I’m just lying if I’m withholding my opinions. and what is a friend if you can’t be honest with each other? If you can’t be then maybe you’re not really friends? we need to be more open to hear things we might not want to hear (I’m guilty of that too). I don’t know…this whole topic has lead me into another topic (as usual), which I will write very soon. But in the end, I think fitting in is overrated. Cuz we ain’t ice-cubes or Christmas cookies…there’s no reason for us all to be shaped the same.

losing loyalty
PMpMon, 12 Apr 2010 12:29:42 +000029Monday 1, 2010, 12:29 pm
Filed under: music, the ether, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

I got to thinking about loyalty this morning. A co-worker and I came to the consensus that loyalty is one of the things that’s lacking in the modern world and modern living. What got us talking was that we learned that DMX’s wife is writing a tell-all book now that they are separated. I’ve read a bit further into it and it seems she is going to take an “inspirational” tone to it. But I mean, they’ve known each other since she was 11 and been together since she was 18. That’s a long time. And we all know X-Man has been through his share of darkness and crimes and drugs. He’s the real deal and he is not afraid of how he looks in the eyes of the unforgiving public. The man does whatever he does and you gotta respect him for that. But the fact also remains that he has a history of smoking crack and committing serious crimes and loads of other sketchy happenings (like the time he impersonated a FBI agent at JFK to carjack someone). But the last thing he needs is more incriminating stories about him out there, from who he loves and loves him. How many people have had tell-alls written about them. Baseball brothers Jay & Mark McGwire are not even on speaking terms because of a tell-all book where Jay decided to detail steroid-use and other things a brother thought a brother could keep to himself.

I think the reason for this is the opportunistic mind-set people have developed. one of my old trainers used to call it the W.I.I.F.M. (What’s In It For Me?) mentality. Everybody wants to get ahead, not matter the cost or what it takes. Everybody wants to take something from an imaginary pot. So…loyalty goes right out the window. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve heard talk about opportunities, and the topic comes up about other people being affected and in the end it doesn’t matter. it’s self-serving.

I also wanna say that I’m all for self-progression. I’ve been trying to disassociate myself away from negative people for a couple of years now. I think they can be leaches and continuously pull you down in life. What I’m talking about is the close circle of people who you have to be loyal to. That’s immediate family, close family, best friends or anyone else that you just would not cross in the name of a dollar.

I just think that knowing where your loyalties lye is very necessary in life. And the fact that people are consistently willing to sail their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, best friends, or anyone else that matters (dead or alive) down river is very saddening. It comes from wanting to make a quick buck. It takes very little to realize that money can be made, that people want to read scandal, and then you begin sorting out sordid details of your loved one’s life. People also want celebrity more than anything. But it sounds to me like this whole loyalty conversation is leading into may a’new topics…so I will end it here. I think whoever is reading catches my drift. Be loyal to the ones who mean the most to you, what you get back will be worth more than a dollar ever can be. People just need to understand this age-old value…the shit is priceless.

visiting family
AMpMon, 12 Apr 2010 11:31:33 +000031Monday 1, 2010, 11:31 am
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so the weekend was great. I started the year wanting to be more in touch with my family and I love the fact that I have actually been re-connecting with them. I’ve always wanted to make more of an effort to do that, and since Keshav was born I’ve actually been making it happen. I phoned almost all of my brothers this weekend. I mean, we can’t talk to everyone, sometimes we have to talk to their voicemail, but we try, haha. I talked to my brothers in New York, in Boston and in Florida. my nephews and nieces are getting big and all the kids are growing. I can’t wait for Keshav to meet his cousins. he’s the youngest in the family for now, there are bound to be other babies kicking around. but I went and spent time with my Uncle and Cousins and it was awesome. like I said before, family is all we got…so we gotta make the best out of it.

ladies. ladies. ladies
PMpThu, 08 Apr 2010 12:58:16 +000058Thursday 1, 2010, 12:58 pm
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Ladies. just because a guy is nice to you, doesn’t mean he wants to sleep with you.

I was raised by a single mother in the good ole southern city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. down there it’s all old time curtsies, square-dancing, door-holding, pleases, thank you’s, yes ma’ams and good days. so I was raised with this southern gentleman-type hospitality. I treat women with courtesy. and because of my awesome Puerto Rican mother, I was taught to treat women as equals.

what I’m getting at is that I treat women with this genuine concern. I smile and I laugh and will always do things like hold the door, let women go first or offer to help with things. it’s not because I don’t think women are capable…it’s out of respect for everything that women give the world. because let’s face it, without women…what would the world be like? there’s a nurturing nature that most men do not have; the men that do have it have learned it from their mothers most likely.

Ladies. if I’m being nice…I’m being nice. please accept this as respect and concern and not come-ons.

now, time and time again my niceties are misconstrued as advances. what can I say? when I see a woman not smiling, I tend to try to make her smile. it’s completely innocent. my wife has told me countless times that not everyone will accept my pleasantries as innocent. some can and usually do take it as a come-on. what often happens is I get these snotty attitudes or I get this really awkward vibe, either way it’s because they think I want to get into their pants. which I don’t.

I want to say that there are quite a few exceptions to this rule. I have a lot of female friends who are just cool like that, they get it. and we have an even exchange of respect and hat-tipping and door-holding. but a lot of the time, I get this self-centered, pig-headed reaction. I can only assume that she is full of herself if she automatically thinks that me (a very happily married man and new father) is trying to swap sweat and fluids with her.

Ladies. I respect you as life-givers, nurturers and keepers of humanity. in essence, I hold you in the highest of regards. so I re-iterate, I’m not hitting on you if I’m being very nice …I’m treating the way you should be. as a Woman.