Randomly Accessed Memory

Randomly Accessed Memory
this journal entry posted on December.13.2012

    I was cooking eggs with my daughter the other night and I had a strong recollection of the scene in Kramer vs. Kramer where Dustin Hoffman is making "crunchy" french toast for his son, Billy.

    In 1979 I was 8 years old. My mom's best friend was talking about Kramer vs. Kramer and what an amazingly good movie it was and my mother was very interested in seeing it. I became interested in seeing it as well. But the adults informed me that it was an adult movie about adult things and assured me that children would not find it at all interesting.

    I think I recall having to do a lot of promising to behave no matter what my opinion of the film was and needing to do a bunch of all-around-convincing. There was no such rating as PG-13 back then there were G, PG and R (and beyond R). There were no movies on cable, there was no cable. Seeing a movie that was PG rated and not Star Wars or Grease was a bit of a right of passage back then.

    I can remember feeling very adult. Sitting in the theater with my mother watching an adult film about adult things. Being so relieved when I could understand the humor and comprehend the gritty drama. I can recall the feeling of privilege as I summarized the movie for my friends who had no chance in hell of being taken to see it (and probably not much interest either).

    Yeah, I remember all that.



this journal entry posted on November.25.2012

    About seven years ago I wrote a gratitude journal entry. About four years ago I went missing from my blogging/journaling. This is the time of year when gratitude is supposed to come back into focus. So, let's combine tasks and have another gratitude post while filling in some of the blanks from the missing years.

    First let me step back a bit to the year 2007. In 2007 I joined the band called BloodThirsty Vegans and the first gig that we played out was an annual party called the Lizzard Ball which I've mentioned in many years past. The Lizzard Ball had evolved into an annual fund raiser for the local Green Party.

    In 2008 the local Green Party was unable to sustain enough volunteer energy to host the Lizzard Ball. In unrelated news 2008 was also the year that BloodThirsty Vegans switched all around and new band members joined in the summer of 2008. So time out just to say extreme gratitude to all of the BloodThirsty Vegans who have played music with me over the years.

    In 2009 there was, again, no Lizzard Ball. It was in serious danger of becoming a series of memories rather than an annual awesomeness. So the Peace Education fund asked the Green Party if we could take over the hosting duties and just like that we inherited an awesome annual shin-dig to begin in 2010.

    Around this time my number of relationships would fluctuate between one and zero, often stopping to spend long stretches on zero. My feelings about the state of the world and the overall direction of humanity were not especially positive. I was in serious need of putting some joy back into my life as soon as humanly possible. And so the capacity for joy was high atop my priorities list as I began to compile lists of compelling attributes in all of the people for whom I had attractions.

    One such person, for whom I had always felt a strong attraction but who had always been in a category called 'unavailable' was my Ice9 Performance Poetry sister Sophia. There can be no denying that she has a world-class capacity for joy and laughter. As fate would have it she sent me an email asking her to be in an Infringement Festival show with her so I responded with a counter offer of a date. As keen as we both were to go on said date, our busy schedules made picking a time nearly impossible. Finally we discovered an opportunity to be at the same place at the same time in the aforementioned Lizzard Ball--a fine, fine venue for a first date.

    As a BloodThirsty Vegan I had had the opportunity to be in the presence of truly great music. Our music is not to shabby and among the many bands we've shared stages with there has been a lot of exceptional talent. We have made friends with many bands and several of my favorites were on hand to play the Lizzard Ball that evening. Also my friends Jason and Kirk from the MAP open mic nights came back to host the evening. Surrounded by good friends and awesome music Sophia and I danced our way into each others lives. And the BloodThirsty Vegans were gracious enough to let me slip away without packing up so that Sophia and I could wander off and gaze into one another as we caught up on one another's lives.

    Sophia is a wonderful wonderfilled woman with an easy and intense laugh who moves with simultaneous grace and ferocity. Over the ensueing months as we prepared to perform together in her Infringement show, danced together to countless old music videos on youTube, shared stories and laughs into the morning light, we were falling fast in love and folding our lives into each other's. Eternal gratitude for our love.

    At age 39 the possibility of having a child some day was still at the very top of my list of unfulfilled desires. And it had not been lost on me that Sophia embodied all of the qualities I would hope for in a person to co-parent a child with me. But I was at the age where I was finally coming to the sobering, lamentable realization that I might never become a parent. It was around that time, some eight months on as the calendar had recently turned to page 2011, that we discovered that Sophia was with child. The child that is currently toddling around as my daughter Aya.

    Aya has Sophia's same capacity for joy. She has an intense curiousity about absolutely everything. She has compassion for cats and is a fun companion for daily adventures. She has patience and confidence that permit her to pick up talents easily despite her young age. Endless gratitude for our wonderful daughter.

    Sophia and I recieve a lot of compliments about all of her fine qualities. I feel like a lot of the credit is due to my mother. I see a lot of my mother and my grandparents in my daughter. I feel like I learned so, so incredibly much about how to be a loving parent from getting to spend three decades observing how my mother did it. She was forever setting me up to succeed and surrounding me with opportunities to learn about the important things in life. For her guidance and that of the other formative women in my life: Mrs. Huey, Kathy, Ms. Tartiglino, Heather K, and the list goes on, just infinite gratitude.

    I am so grateful to be standing here where I am.



Musicwatch 2012

this journal entry posted on November.10.2012

So... shortly after the 2008 election I wrote a blog post with some songs and artists to watch out for and check out for inspiration. Since that time I have been immersed in music and I figured I'd post a quick update with some of my latest favorites. To any and all interested parties, for your listening pleasure, here are four artists that you might really like:

1. Dizraeli and the Small Gods - Hailing from Bristol in the U.K. this massive awesome band combines elements of Hip Hop, folk and the kitchen sink. The band is built around the charming storyteller/MC Dizraeli. They have an excellent turntablist in DJ Downlow. And in addition to the rhythm section elements you might expect from a hip hop centered band, they have many folky elements like viola, accoustic guitar and stand up bass. Definitely worth a good checking out.

2. Solillaquists of Sound - (often shortened to Solilla) an American hip-hop quartet based in Orlando, Florida. Its line up currently consist of MCs Alexandrah and Swamburger, poet Tanya Combs and producer/composer Divinci. Solillaquists utilize elements of melody and harmony in their vocals. The two lead vocalists also frequently employ a style of delivering many punctuated syllables in rapid succession sometimes in tight synchronicity. Most of their song lyrics feature socially conscious content based on life-affirming, justice oriented views held by the group. They have attracted a dedicated following in underground Hip Hop for their sophisticated musical compositions as well as their unique vocal delivery and politically aware lyrics.

(ps: yes I did lift that synopsis from Wikipedia, but that's totally okay because I wrote their wikipedia entry)

3. MC Xander - MC Xander is a London Cat. He is a one man wall of sound. With loop stations and effects rigs this fellow starts with the raw material of his own voice, he constructs an irresistable sound tapestry, and then as you are picking your jaw up off the floor he blasts you with amazing intelligent Dance Hall/Hip Hop vocals. Just check out this video, you'll see.

4. The Reminders - The reminders first came to my attention when they shot a video for their collaboration with another favorite of mine, Rebel Diaz. They then came back to my attention when they landed on tour with Brother Ali. Who is this husband and wife duo that keeps kicking out awesome music with all of these well respected emcees? I started digging through their music to find out. I'm glad I did. You should do the same.




this journal entry posted on October.29.2012

 As you might well imagine... a good deal has happened to me in the three years since I was last able to blog regularly. So the super quick synopsis is this.

 In April of 2010 my friend --and fellow Ice9er-- Sophia, embarked on a love adventure of epic proportions with me. A little more than a year and a half later I realized a life-long dream of mine when I became a father to our outrageously special daughter, Aya(pictured with me). They are the lights of my life and Aya is the greatest adventuring partner one could ever hope for.

 For the past year and change I have been a stay at home dad. My days are presently filled with learning and napping and various other 1-year-old type things. Trying to concentrate on coding and design work and creative endeavors in general has become very difficult, but lately I have begun to get a little bit of traction.

 Well, I hate to reappear and run but my daughter just woke up from her nap.

good to be back,