Friday, December 31, 2010

Last Decade until the Next...

Last of 2010 and I have been thinking about my life all day. I made a very brief trip to Harvard yesterday with my cousin because she had some errands to do. Neither one of us wanted her to drive alone so I went along for a nice ride. I have to admit that I do like Harvard. I didn't see as much of it as I should have but, that will be another reason to go and see her again in the future. Maybe it will be one of my first trips of 2011.

I wasn't going to write anything tonight but I decided to because I am somewhat disappointed in myself. I wanted to finish the year with 150 blogs and clearly that will not be happening. I wanted to at least do one more entry before the year ends so, as usual, I am writing from the heart.

I haven't really thought about any resolutions, which is odd for me. I have been on survival mode for such a long time that there is narrow view of where I want to go. I don't want to think that the difference between this year and last year was 50+ blogs because I think there were many posts in 2009 that were straight up trash in my opinion. However, I think that since I am always in a constant state of thought, it now takes me longer to figure what I am going to write about without repeating myself.

I am also disappointed in myself because my bio for Sara Lawrence College is killing me.  I am up to my third draft because the other two versions sound like short story. So I have decided to make mine sound like I have an entry in Wikipedia. Once I started doing this I realized how much I hate writing this way. Plus, I am 36 years old and I have a lot of story to tell! I have to squeeze everything into a 1000 words.

What also has not escaped my attention is the fact that one decade has ended. I think about my last 10 years and I can barely fathom the fact that I have known people who have been born and other people who have died. I have witnessed many tragedies and lived through one. But me being married and divorced within this decade, I am not sure I would have ever foreseen that a decade ago.

Then I think about where my heart has been over that same amout of time. I think about my maturity level. I am a totally different person. I have learned so much that I have trouble keeping it all straight. So not only do I not have a resolution for this New Years...but I am looking into the next decade with no exceptions. I have a literal clean slate that I can do anything with and it is kinda scary.

The only think I can so do is just try my best to be a better version of myself. I think I would like to start hoping more and dreaming less. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Can I get a Wu-Tang?

Today is the Wu-Tang Concert that I am going to. I have made this event pretty well known on Twitter and on my personal Facebook page. I am very excited to go because this is the first time I am attending a concert outside of Syracuse in a very long time.

I do not express my love for hip hop nearly as much as I should on this blog. I consider myself a fan of older hip hop than of it's current version. But, there are some individuals and groups that I would pay to see over and over again. Clearly, Wu-Tang Clan falls into this category. I find it funny because I love their music but I do not look like the typical hip hop fan in my opinion. People joke and call me professor (especially with my new glasses) but I quickly remind people that I grew up in the Bronx, where hip hop started.

I will always say that I feel privileged enough to be around when a culture was born. Even though I was really young when this whole thing started, I still saw how the world of  music change around me. I make fun of my brother because he is seven years my elder and I can remember the funky clothes he used to wear while carrying that boom box he got on his 15th birthday. The hip hop culture is something that was always a  subject that the both of use could relate to, even when things were not going well.

I feel that Wu-Tang Clan represents everything I wanted in Hip Hop at the time. The beats were crazy and the lyrics were sick. Since I used to watch Kung Fu flicks when I was in a kid, it only made the entire experience more enjoyable. I can remember back in my college days that my roommate and I would go back in fourth blasting CDs. He would blast The Notorious B.I.G (before his CD came out...) and I would pump Wu-Tang's first album. It never got old and we loved every minute of it. This is also a time when you can buy an album and love the majority of songs on it. I find that to rare these days in any genre.

There was something about this group back in the 90's, when I was in college, that represented a sense of freedom to me. I was away from my parents and I was loving life in the best way I could. Now, almost twenty years later, I can say that I almost feel the same way. I can go to this concert as my last act of freedom in 2010 and to usher in 2011 as a free single man that can do whatever he pleases.

The one thing I will try not to do is to not be too critical of the venue or the show in the technical aspect. The worst part about being an event planner and working so may concerts is that someone like myself be can critical of the staff. I will try my best to just enjoy the show!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Poetry: My Top 5 of 2010

These 5 are a combination of the what spoke to me as well as feedback that I received. It is very strange to actually go back and read these. Because I know where my mind was when I wrote them. If I had a choice I would start with these in any shows I may do in the future. Mind you, I sorted these out from 15 poems I felt were good...

My Love Affair

I am in love with you again
we used to see each other
all the time
but, I had to break it off
make a clean cut
you were violated
and I hated
that I could not deal
your appearance is forever
altered and it took me
such a long time
to even like you again
so I left you
with a goal to never
to go back to you
we had to move on
I had to follow my goals
the problem is
I never forgot
all the great days
all the train rides
all the baseball games
all the trips I took to see
you in all your glory
I would only visit on holidays
I liked the way you looked
in all your special ways
you flirted
to get my attention
and yes, I must mention
I liked it
but i tried
to push that aside
because you don’t need me
but lately
It is I, that needs you
it has been so hard
reading about you online
seeing you on tv
hearing about you on the radio
I even look at that old photo
It is clear
we are meant to be together
I cannot keep this lie with me
being in you is my destiny
each visit with you
has been a secret affair
that I can barely contain
my attraction to you,
I can barely explain
but I have no expectations
of what we have become
I may beg to to be
with you, so please no pity
I love you because you are beyond pretty
I love you because your style is so gritty
Most of all,
I love you because you are New York City

My Butterfly (English Version)

My beautiful butterfly
how I yearn
to see your wings
I am in love
with your flight
you live within
the flowers
that grow
from my heart
the flutter of
your wings
match the beat
of my heart
My butterfly
you are beautiful
in every way
your shape
your form
I want to
fly with you
and share the sky
until the sun sets
and share the
until your wings tire
my beautiful butterfly
nothing comes close
as watching you
spread your wings
I may not be able
to keep you
but I will always
love you

Alternate persona
I show you
what I want you to see
my secret identity
is hidden behind
my refined mask
of sarcasm and wit
I grow tired of giving a shit
for the callous
and the self absorbed
those who live in glass houses
and repeatedly judge
my mask is for
your protection
not mine
a hardening muscle
that can turn to stone
beating in my chest
its use is practical
no one needs to see
underneath the mask
the outer shell
has it’s own story to tell
emotions release
with ease
the sleeve
is dirty from
the wear and tear
people assume they
know me
because I have
no pokerface
they do not know
we are not even
playing the same game
I am playing
truth or dare
without the latter
no need to dare me
about the truth
it wont matter
I am past the lies
that men tell
I am past the games
women play
I am past the past
so I need
to wear this mask
and an invisible cape
to help me escape
the revelation
that you are not
on my level

Playing games
is what you do
playing hearts
while disguising the truth
pretending to be aloof
when it was all you
pulling the strings
to this puppet show
a manipulator
in this
marionette opera
with songs being sung
of “whoa is me”
with a tissue
in one hand
and a machete
in the other
using your curves
and your words
to pursue your motives
both ulterior
and interior
but on the exterior
your game fools
only but a few
I can see the
strings and where
they go
every move and twitch
made by your puppet
hides the truth
that you are a bitch
that plays hearts
in a game of spades
operating on your
own set of rules
to obtain an audience
your affinity for drama
makes you a
puppet master
that gets the
reaction you want
with the puppet you flaunt
while never taking heed
that even
a master can bleed
the strings you hold
so tight
will one day bite
and when the show is over
and the curtain falls
your puppet
will see your flaws
a false Gapedo
nothing but ghetto
it will be your nose
that grows
with every lie that flows
from a mouth
that you use
to eat your puppet’s soul
and swallow another man’s pole
a manipulator!
I see your strings
and how they
to a now wooden toy
who used to be a real boy
pray this opera
never ends
and he never gets a clue
because the curtain
will fall on you

like a well oiled
you do not need
a quarter to ride me
you just need
the hips
lights out
above the blankets
dancing the dance
entering your doorway
of blissful
dripping with sweat
heaven is meant
to be just
lets die like this
seal it with a kiss
send it with a bite
pull away
to capture a moment
of closeness
you will ever be
to being one being
and you try not to flinch
when you feel every inch
of passion
that makes every
hair on your body
stand up
back arching
muscle tightening
that will make
you remember that
there is a God.
Perfection is
met when
two people
cum together
for that
one moment
of intense
that is only achieved
by a heavenly body
open your eyes
to your surprise
heaven can be
real hard
to gain
but not tonight
take one more bite
of this Intensity

Monday, December 27, 2010

Reflections of 2010

It is funny that I find myself here again reflecting on the past year. I stated last year that I felt the year went by slowly and feel the same way again this year. I am not sure why that is. Perhaps I have been able to take note of what is going on in my life via this blog or perhaps I am trying to stop and smell the roses along my journey.

One thing is for certain, 2010 was definitely better than 2009. I think about all the things that I have been through and all the personal victories that I can claim. while this was the year my divorce process started and was completed, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would have been when the year started. There is no personal vendetta in this equation and it works. However, I am amused that other people harbor negative feelings about the end of our marriage as if it had anything to do with them.

I set out to explore more of my poetic side this year and I am so very glad to find that I am better at poetry than I thought.  I think I must have written close to 50 poems this past year. I have not counted how many but I think I am so what close that number. During the process of the the 30 for 30 poems, I think I really found something creative within that is making look onward to 2011. It has not escaped me that I haven't written many poems over the last few months and couple that with the fact that my poems are generally in a different site all together, I am going to put my top 5 poems that I wrote this year on this blog.

I also spent a lot of time on the cultural side of things. I dedicated the month of February to Afro Latinos. I enjoyed doing that so much but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I felt that my lack of knowledge of this subject really showed and I was not proud of that fact. However, I also feel that I taught myself so much when it come to Afro Latinos that it all balanced out in the end. What I did like very much was when I did the 30 Day Latino Blog Challenge. This was an undertaking that provided me with attention that I did not expect. This was another challenge I put upon myself that I took seriously. In the end, it provided me with a glimpse of what I want to do in the future.

My speech at Utica College showed me that I can do two things: speak publicly about anything without seeming like a fool and read my own poetry without seeming like a fool. This made me very happy. Not only did I get paid for something that I love to do, but they audience actually listened to me and responded. I am not sure that it will always be like that but I do want to find out. Because of this experience it has made me realize that I really need to go back to school. Which is why I am currently working hard on my application to Sarah Lawrence College. I would love to be professor and help cultivate the art of writing for those who love it as much as I do.

I also cannot forget my trip to the Dominican Republic. This was something that I will never forget, not just because of the wedding, but because of the timing. I needed to escape all my issues and just be in a place where nothing matters. I was with family and friends and they all related to me. I can remember the times I looked out into the ocean and thought about how beautiful it was and how fortunate I was to be there to see it.

All and all, I think I had a very good year. I think I explored myself the most during this year. 2009 highlighted the pain of my journey and I would like to think that 2010 highlighted the hope of my continuing journey. I continue to check off things from my list of goals, like getting roommates, and I will continue to do for me. I think the fact that I added a facebook profile to this page also helps me interact to those who read this blog. I am very grateful and I look forward to carving out what 2011 means to my journey.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Winter Solstice Eclipse

Red Moon Rising...this was amazing to watch.
There are very few times in which one can get to watch something truly amazing. Science is usually one of those fields that is heavily based on theories and hypotheses. Astronomy has always been a favorite of mine and I had often thought how cool it would be to be an astronomer. Of course, to be one I would have to have the required math skills to at least get through calculus and that never happened. But, I know what a lunar eclipse was and how special it is to witness one...especially when it coincides with the Winter Solstice.

The last time something like this happened was in 1638 and it will not happen again until 2094. Now unless they cure old age, I am doubting that I will make the next one. This almost like the fuss people made over Haley's Comet in 1986...which is something I never got to see and since the next appearance is not until 2061, I will probably miss that one too.

One thing is for certain is that a lunar eclipse is a wonderful sight to see. A red moon is very scary to look at without knowing why it is that way of course. The earth's shadow combined with sun rays bent through the atmosphere give the moon a dark reddish appearance that will make it appear that we are in for some rough times ahead. Yet, it makes us realize that even the moon, as high as it is above us must also hide behind shadows once in a while.

As I stared in the sky on this cold night, I thought about all the people who have walked this planet who may have witnessed what I am witnessing. I am sure that older cultures thought that the red moon represented death or that perhaps God was angry. There is also talk about a blood moon in the book of revelations as well. So the thought of the moon being anything other than white was considered a bad thing (go figure). I also thought about all the people who were missing this. I then thought about all the people who were watching it. This was a shared event on a global scale...well at least this for the part of the globe that can see the moon.

The nature of the moon and the stars above are indeed heavenly. It makes me think how much of a fool I am to stress over the things in life that are just so minuscule compared the vastness of the universe. I worry about money and what I am doing with my life. I stress over love and the lack of it or the simple fact I may never truly achieve everything I want to in my life. All this is so small compare to the billions upon billions of stars in the sky.

I am sure right now...somewhere in this galaxy or the next, a star...a real star in being born. A remnant of the big bang that created the universe so long ago. With that star are other planets that require this new star to provide warmth, light, and life to the various surfaces and landmasses that are on these heavenly spheres that will eventually surround and orbit this brand new star. On the flip side, I am sure right now...somewhere in this galaxy or the next, a star is dying and will go supernova. With that supernova there are planets that will die as well. The end of the their world as we know it. So, who am I to worry about if some chick is going to text me when I should be glad that I am alive and can contribute to the universe.

This lunar eclipse is a reminder that we cannot take for granted the things around us. Life is precious and nature is beautiful, humanity has a way of destroying everything it touches, including ourselves. Yet, we think it is more important to waste our lives on the trivial without taking into consideration that we are every bit apart of every star that has been born in this universe. The universe gives back to us what we give to it. Some people call it Karma. Others call it the work of God. In either case, we are children of the universe and I think it is about time we start acting like it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Simple Men

I feel like I have been doing research on this topic for about a month now. Much of it has been contemplation and another part has been observation. With the new year not too far away, I know I need to seriously look at myself and this brand new path that has been put in front of me. Being single is only a title; a social construct to state a purpose that I no longer have a wife. Truth be told, the day she left, I considered myself single. However, once it become official in the state of New York, I still felt different. I am just not sure how.

I do feel that I have been given the ability to understand 3 worlds all at once. The married life, the divorced life, and the single life. It is at this point that one can begin to see that when you know someone who lives solely in any of these 3 worlds, they have no idea what they are talking about when it comes to relationships. People will swear that they know how it is to be a certain situation but as never been through the fire of a bad break nor a divorce. However, I tend to be understanding to those people who have issues with their partner.

Let's be real here. I do not have many male friends and out of the ones that I do have, none of them confide in me about their relationship issues. I have had very few male students come and talk to me about their girlfriends...yet they want to know who I am hooking up with. Most of my friends are women and they tell me their issues about men and in some cases, boys, all the time. This allows me to learn from the dumb shit that some of these guys do while giving out advice that is usually on point but hardly listened to.

I have touched upon this before. Men and women think differently. Women think too much and men do not think enough which leads into generalizations by all. I have no problem saying that men are dumb. We are because we don't think the same way. We think in a straight line and will always be concerned with what is in front of us. What that means is that we let go of shit much quicker because women think more circularly. They consider everything and are often times 2-3 steps ahead of us.

Which brings me to my point. Men are simple. We love what we like and we hate what we don't like. The only thing a woman needs to do is figure out the ego. If he is an asshole, do not expect change. If is an nice guy, do not expect change. The only thing that changes in this equation is the ego. A fragile ego is the worse thing that can happen to any man. He likes the ego stroked but not patronized. If at any point a woman has emasculated him, he might be a problem for a long time. Most men are every bit as insecure as women are.  I consider men to be like a 2000 piece puzzle that can be solved bit by bit and as long as you find the end pieces will solve the puzzle.

Women are complicated. We all know this and I love them for it. I consider women to be the 3D puzzles that takes forever to put together (and has like a 2-3 missing pieces). A brilliant woman is the only woman I can see myself with. I have come to the conclusion that I am done trying to figure them out. I will just take things as them come. However, I know that even I have had the comments that I am complicated and unpredictable. I really do not think I am. What I have noticed from the some of the women I have had the privilege to meet is that many women over think certain things.

I just think all of us need to be careful in not generalizing one gender or another. Often times I put up questions on the latinegro facebook page that has to do with men and women and I see that some people feel strongly about how complicated men are. Some feel that generalizing is the way to go. All I will say is that if you set the expectation that all men/women lie then this is what you get...liars. It is like a self fulfilling prophecy. No woman who believes all men are bad will be able to tell the good from the bad because the dial on the expectation meter is always set to fail.

Men are simple. The younger we are the dumber we are. The older we are the more mature we appear. But, if you are the type of woman who thinks that men are shit and women do no will be in for a very lonely existence...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas List 2010

'Tis the season to look at what is on sale. I still have no idea what I am going to get certain people in my life. I have already bought one gift and I know what I am getting my nephew, but that is about it. I am struggling trying to figure what to get my dad and I may have to get my mother something (I don't know).  But, as I see all the things on sale and think about all the holiday parties I am going to this week (with all the gift giving), I think about what it is I would love to get.

I did this last year, I listed 5 things that I would love to get that I expect no one to get but me. This is sort of a goal I set for myself on things I will get in the following year. The funny thing is that 3 of my items last year I did end up getting as gifts, which I did not expect.

So, below are 5 things I will work on getting for 2011. This is my first Christmas in 8 years, in which I am officially single and it should be very interesting:

I am not trying to get a gold
The first on this list was the very first thing on my list last year: A Macbook. As you can see this is something I did not end up getting this year. There were other things that took precedence like food and mortgage. Interestingly enough, these computers are still very expensive and I really thought about getting a small one, but after talking to someone who has a Macbook, it is better if i get the more expensive one because of the memory. I am still using my old Dell laptop but I really have to get something else. However, as much as I can say that I may need this, the truth is...this is not a necessity. I will still work hard on getting it though.

Kindle or Nook???
Number two on the list is the same as last year as well but, there is a bit of a difference. I listed a Kindle from Amazon last year because I thought it was really cool. However, there is this thing called the Nook by Barnes & Noble that is just as good. I need to figure out which one is better, but since I love Barnes & Noble, I am feeling a pull toward the Nook. Of course, It does not help that I know someone who has a Nook. I am informed on a semi regular basis how awesome it truly is. It may just help me in this new Book Club venture that I am a part of.

This look so sexy!
This next item is just something that I have had before. I often joke that I lost this in the settlement to my ex wife in the divorce.  The third on my list is a Nintendo Wii. I just happen to be out and about on Black Friday when I saw the Black Wii on sale at Best Buy. I really had to walk away. I have games for Wii that are just collecting dust. The Wii was something that I bought for her years ago, so when she left, she clearly took it with her. I have no games systems newer than the PS2 and I havent really been craving to play games until I went out on Black Friday. So, now I have an urge to just play.

Last year, the fourth item on my list was dress shoes and I ended up getting two pairs. Now, I want to stick with that theme and say that I need to get a new pair of running shoes. I have worn my old pair out and I need to get back to what worked for me. I have stopped running and I need to get back into that old habit. Much of that has to do with my business. I mean, I have gone to the gym to get my workouts in, but I know that I need to get back to running. I am not sure what kind of pair I want, I just know that I need a good pair.

Last, but least. I would like to get into some good graphic novels. Since I am have stopped getting comic books on a regular basis, I can still read them in graphic novel form. "The Walking Dead" is something I want to get into. There are several graphic novels under this title and I want to get them all. "Y: The Last Man" is something I borrowed a few years ago. It was a very good series and I would like to get back into that. They are a good way to keep me into comic books without actually collecting them week to week. Even if I do not get those particular titles, I know there will be others to fall into my lap at some point.

This list was not as hard to come up as the last one was. I think I have come to the realization that I have indeed made some sacrifices that I have affected my livelihood. Material things may not make me happy...but they help.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A New Chapter

If I had to tell a tale of my 30's , it would be a tale of struggle, new experiences, opportunities gained, opportunities lost, and a road to a new chapter. My dear friends, my divorce is now final. My ex wife made the phone call to me this evening as I was dozing off. She told me that she received the letter today in the mail. I was in that sleepy shock.

There was a moment in which we were both silent over the phone. I think that was the moment in which we reflected on the last 8 years of marriage and 10 years of knowing each other. I am always amazed about how overwhelming finality can be. We all seem to underestimate how it feels to actually end anything. Is it no wonder that when athletes end their career it often times, ends in tears. While there were no tears for this I think there was mutual feeling that we finally ended something in our own terms and not in the way most people wanted.

Thus it is a start of a new chapter for me. I was 26 the last time I was truly single. I feel that with all this experience I have, I can write this new chapter of my life with very few issues. Which, in terms of writing, comes at a very good time considering that I do have to write an autobiography in about 1500 words for Sarah Lawrence College. I am more confident in the things that I want to do. I feel like I take care of myself better. The best part is that I don't feel like I need a girlfriend. The possibility of me being alone is no longer a fear for me.

I feel that I have recognized all the things that I have done wrong and have done everything in my power to correct... me. What is funny to me is that the finalizing of this divorce comes at a time in which I normally reflect on the past year. Instead, I reflect on the past decade as I venture into the next one.

People have taken the time to congratulate me on this and while I am on my fifth glass of wine I can say, I am not sure that this is inappropriate.  I do not think that people are celebrating a failure of a marriage but a creation a new journey for me. It is like have a celebration for a phoenix, a life cycle that is turbulent and ends in flames but then is reborn from the ashes...

Monday, December 6, 2010

Child Discipline or Abuse

This was my picture on Facebook to support child abuse.
Before I even begin I want to give a shout out to Brooke, who started this thought process for me on this topic. She wrote a very good blog post earlier today that made me think about a few things.

I really didn't talk much about Thanksgiving this year. I did not talk about that week at all outside of Sarah Lawrence. I was in my own world doing my own thing and I know that it appears to some that I may have blown people off, but it is simply not that simple. But, if I can cut a small piece of that week out for all to view, it will be spending the holiday with my mother and that side of the family.

It is always interesting times to go over there. My aunt lives in Riverdale, which is a very upscale part of the Bronx. This was one of the few places in the Bronx where I spent some time living because Riverdale was spot number 2 that we moved to once my mom left my dad. It is really not a bad area, however, this was the first place I was called a nigger by a white kid and I have been thinking about my identity ever since (a story for another time).

The issue for that day was who was I going to go with. Was I going to go with mom or my brother? I ended up driving myself because at the end of the day, I would rather have the option of leaving when I wanted. Plus, I had another stop to make (benefits of having a big family...options and other places for food!). There is always a bit of trepidation when I am going to family gatherings because you never know. My history with that side of the family is an extension of my relationship with my mother. So, I had to be cautiously optimistic.

Dinner started as soon as I got there because I was the last one. It was not my fault it took me almost an hour to find parking in Riverdale. The food was good. We laughed and ate, things were merry. In fact, I ate so much that I was about to pass out. I wanted to sleep so bad! I decided to walk around and play with my smaller cousins and nephew.

Then desert came and we started this discussion. The kids were a little rowdy, but I know I have seen worse. One of older my cousins, who has no children, starts talking about how people need to discipline their children more otherwise these kids will run rampant. I knew what she was saying. The adults want to be adults and the kids need to be curbed. Somehow we got on this conversation about some kids need to get a beat down but the laws are so strict that kids these days like to threaten their own parents with calling child services. The running joke was of course, the kid would be like "I am going to call the police" and the parent would respond something like "Go Ahead...they can keep you" or "You wont make it to the phone" (all of this was me)

Let me just say that I know I wasn't the best kid in the world. I used to get hit to and for the most part I deserved it. My grades sucked, I broke stuff, I would not listen, and I just could not get my shit together. So there was no surprise to me that my mother chimes in at some point and talks about how she used to beat me. We laughed as she told the story about how she chased me around the house and finally caught me in my bedroom. I started screaming for my dog, Bosco (which was this big wolf like dog). He comes running in and jumps on my mother! Then he realizes who it was he just tackles and runs out the room in a hurry. I remember this and it was very hysterical.

Then there were more stories and I started thinking... I can remember getting hit more by her than her hugging me. Now, I am not saying I was abused. I would argue that I was not. But, it forces me to think about all my relationships with women. One of my aunts told me that my mother had no patience with me many times and her anger would come out easily. I realize that I strive so hard for the approval of women and I take a lot of "abuse" when I don't have to.

I bring this up because over the past week there have been many people changing their Facebook profile pictures to cartoon characters of their youth to promote child abuse awareness. The premise is to relive happy memories of our younger days. While some people have said that this is silly because it wont stop the abuse of children, I am for it because child abuse is wrong. Giving money wont stop child abuse either, but at least more people will be aware that some kids are born to some really bad parents.

Back to me. I am not saying that my mother was this abusive woman, but I was once for hitting kids when they were unruly. I am not so sure anymore. People do not seem to realize how fragile a relationship with a child is. The foundation of all relationships are laid when are children. If there are issues with this foundation, it will be something that kids will be dealing with for the rest of their lives.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Anxious About Spending?

We are entering the Christmas season and I have no idea what I am going to do. I am finally catching up on those bills and the extra money is making me anxious. It is not that I want to spent it frivolously, it is because there is so much I have not gotten myself, outside of the essentials, over the past year. I am afraid to actually get something for me that I may enjoy.

I am concerned that I will regret getting a Nook or a Wii because what if I may need the money for something else? I would love to get a new Macbook but there is something in the back of my mind that is stopping me from pulling that trigger. Don't get me wrong, I need clothes too and chances are that I will be more comfortable with getting a new suit, or boots, or maybe even a new pair of gloves rather than a flat screen TV. It is horrible to think that the chance of finally upgrading to an iPhone 4 (which will cost me about $200) has arrived and I do is get anxious about it.

Then it gets me wondering, do I really need video games? Most likely not, but I know that I do not have any new consoles. This is something that I am not complaining about but, I know that video games was something that once entertained me immensely. When I was in BestBuy this past Friday, I saw the Wii Black on sale for like $140. I almost died thinking about how easy it would be for me to purchase it right there and then. Either way, I am glad I didn't do that because I do have the desire to get some gifts for people in my life for Christmas.

There is the thought, of course, that perhaps I do deserve to splurge just a little since I have been hard on myself. However, I have purchased books and I go out to drink every so often. Yet, there is this thought that I need to save as much as I can just in case something else goes wrong.

So I have a lot of thinking to do before the year is over on what I should do. I have another trip to NYC to make for another holiday and I will once again be looking to have fun so I may just save the money until then.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Dark and Twisted Fantasy

Original Art for "My Dark and Twisted Fantasy"
"have you lost your mind tell me what you think, we've crossed the line..."

It is funny how music can dictate a person's mood and actions. One of the things that really gets me excited about my trips to NYC is the music. I am not saying that I never get to hear new music in Syracuse, but it is just not the same. The radio stations are not up to par. I wont even mention the lack of a Latino Station here. Sure, you can look it up and see that Syracuse does have one, but it is 3 days a week with limited hours. Not to offend those who work hard to keep Nosotros Radio Inc up and running, but that is not enough.

My expectations on how things should be are consistently not met while living here. I think that there is a level of complacency, apathy, and pure mediocrity that fosters the type of thinking that people of color are simply satisfied with the status quo that is Syracuse living. It is sad that Rochester has a better handle on the Latino culture considering that Syracuse is a place you will likely hear more about in the national media.

" more drugs for me pussy and religion is all I need..."

So just think about how a person like me can even find any type  of comfort when it comes to new music. I am fortunate that these college students usually have their fingers on the pulse of the entertainment industry so when there is a dance party or anything related to that, I will hear the music I may be missing. But, lets be real, I am not going to hear everything and sometimes I need to lose myself in music.

This is where Kanye West comes in. It is rare to hear an album like My Dark and Twisted Fantasy. Too many times there are artists (if you can call them that) that drop albums that are just rushed or the production is lackluster. You can hear 1or 2 songs that are radio worthy and then the rest ends up buried behind the rest of the song on the iTunes playlist. Yeezy's latest gave me that escape that I needed. I feel like he kicked open what this Winter's music will be like.

It just so happened that listening to My Dark and Twisted Fantasy coincided with my Thanksgiving trip. Those hours driving to see family was spent listening to what Kanye has to offer. I feel that this is a more mature artist we are dealing with. I was already a fan of his single "Runaway"; I even considered that to be my anthem actually. Then I loved the short film as well, which pretty much has all the music you will hear on this album....but it still does not prepare you for the sheer artistry of it all.

"...grab my hand, baby we'll live a hell of a life!"

Let us take away songs like, Runaway, Power, and Monster, since they have all been out before this album dropped. In fact, let's just say those three songs may not even be the best songs on this album. I would submit to you that Hell of a Life, Gorgeous, Devil in a New Dress, So Appalled, and Blame Game could all be playing right now as his latest single. I remember thinking that nothing could really compare to Nas: Illamtic or Wu-Tang Clan: Enter the Wu Tang (36 Chambers), but this may have matched those classics.

Look, I do not write about an album if I really wasn't feeling it. I know that some people view Kanye as the asshole who did something very wrong to Taylor Swift (and if you ask me, I think should thank him for giving her a boost in record sales) or they view him as the man who offended George W. Bush by saying he doesn't like white people. In either case, he is an artist who has taken his craft to another level...again.

This is why I need to continue to do what I do with all the honesty and brash that makes me who I am. I find a certain amount of freedom in this incarnation of his music that I am able to focus on what I want to do...

"cause the same people that tried to black ball me forgot about 2 things, my black balls"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Motivation Rising

This week went by way too fast. I feel like such a Gemini in times like these because I have two competing feelings right now. I feel like I have done so much in a short amount of time here in NYC, but at the same time I feel like I have not done nearly enough. It all seems so duplicitous without the negative indication.

I have had to remind myself several times that this is my time off and that I cannot worry about work or anything else that may ultimately stress me out. However, I know that I have come down here to get several things done, as well as, accomplish some goals that I have set. I can say that I have completed most of those goals, but now I am beginning to see that my time in NYC is coming to an end (at least until next month).

Between the music, family, and a few others, I feel like I have a new motivation to get where I need to go while still doing the same things. I have also come to the realization that I have sacrificed many things this year on this path to self redemption (which I am still on, by the way). Things that I thought made me happy or perhaps I felt made me happier, when in reality...somethings I did in my life were just a way to masquerade the fact that I wasn't living up to my full potential. I think we all realize, at some point, that either we are or we are not living up to a potential that was set for us a long time ago. The question is, what do we do with that information once it become apparent to us?

So, in basic terms, I am not happy with myself. I can be doing so much better than I am now. This goes back to what I was saying earlier in the year about self worth. I am worth way more than what I am getting now. The problem is I have allowed this to happen to me. Don't get me wrong, shit happens sometimes and we all have to take our lumps. However, we do not have to become complacent in doing so. Believe it or not, I have had many of conversation with people who have come to the same conclusion that I have: Syracuse has a way of just keeping you.

There is not secret that I feel more alive when I am down here to visit. The vibe is different. The way of life is completely conducive to the way I think, I feel, I dress...the way I want to live! What I find equally funny is how I have been told that I am so mean to people because I never really thought I was. Well, I realize that may I am a bit mean to people and that will not change, however, being in this city has made realize that I am so used to brash people that I tend to be that way without really noticing. So I guess you can take the boy out of the Bronx, but you cannot take the Bronx out of the boy.

I will spend my last full day in New York City tying up some loose ends before I head back tomorrow to a place that I am almost certain has snow in it. I have acquired a few more things to think about in terms of my future that I do need to work on.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be Thankful

I feel like as I grow older I get more sentimental about life. I wonder if that is just the nature of getting older. Is it that, at this point in my life, I have things to look back on and wonder if I could have done things better? Perhaps I should be thankful that things are not as bad as they could be. But, seeing how the holiday season has arrived, my thoughts are always focused toward reflection.

This week has been so very interesting in both breadth and scope. I have often talked about me being on the precipice of something great but I have not been able to take that leap of faith. There always seems to be that one thing that keeps popping up that I need to take care of before I can continue on my journey. That thing is never the same thing, it is always that one thing that blocks my path; another obstacle that stands in the way.

However, it is those obstacles that keep me humble in who I am as a man. I am thankful for all those people in my life that I never seem to say thank you to. The people who constantly check up on me to make sure that I am doing ok or that I am even still alive. I know that there are many people in this world that are not blessed with the amount of people who seem to care.

I am so thankful for being able to get through this particular year with roommates that have been able to pay rent and while that may sound a little funny, I have had to use that money to repair many things around the house that seemed to malfunctioned or just straight broken down. I think someone in heaven is looking out for me because had I not had those people living with me, I am not sure I would have been able to survive last month alone.

As I sit here and type this I can say that right now I am generally scared. I am not sure what to do at this point in my life. Well, that is not entirely true, I do know what to do, I am just afraid that I will fail. Sarah Lawrence College has such a beautiful campus. I was so amazed about how there are so many places within that college that would enable me to get my work done. It just makes think about what will happen if I get in...but then what if I don't. Either way, I have to just be thankful that I even have that opportunity to apply.

Somewhere through this I have been listening to Kanye West's Album all week, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and I have become so addicted to it. The beats, the lyrics, the vibe, has been so trance like for me that, during this time of reflection, it make me think about my goals and more importantly, the fact that the only person who is going to take care of me is me.

"Lost in the World" - Kanye West
Then there is my love life, a subject I rarely talk about because it is a complicated as...well as complicated as women. I guess I should be grateful for what is and what is not happening in this portion of my life. I do feel that everything happens for a reason. I know that there are people in this world who are utterly alone with no sign of comfort or human touch. I am thankful that I have not gotten to the point of bitterness toward the world. I have come to notice that unhappy people in this world tend to be people who have no one to love them. It is at this point that I want to say that I am very thankful for my dog, Rocky, for showing me what unconditional love means (I thank my dad too...but I talk about him all the

I also want to be thankful for those people who wish me to fail and not succeed. Those people who think I am worthless and those who have held me back over the years. They have provided endless amounts of motivation for me. I do know my shortcomings, but I also know that I can do anything I put my mind to. It is these people in my life that end up feeding into my fears as well adding fuel to my fire. People who will anonymously comment on a certain blog post to bring up a long dead issue from the past that will ultimately give me more motivation to be a better man. Thank you.

Thanksgiving to me is not just about the food or the family, it is about reflection. It is about all things that I should be thinking about before Christmas. I remember going through this last year, in which it seemed that just about every post I did in December was one of reflection. I have to chuckle because I am not sure I have just limited that reflection to just the winter time.

Most of all, I want to thank all of you for reading this blog. I was never sure where I was going with this sight. I wanted it to be solely about about my soul. I think you have seen me at my highest and at my lowest. While I have been on the straight and narrow with my writings, I know that there is a side of this Gemini heart that you have not seen. Perhaps I am not comfortable in sharing it with the world because quite frankly some of the things that I write scare me. In either case, I am grateful for the comments I get on my Facebook page. It is good to interact. I do not call anyone a fan, I would rather call you a reader. Thank you.

In the end...I want to thank that one person who manages to make me smile everyday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Reading is the Truth

When things started to go south for me and I started seeking out roommates, I began to cut expenses. I had to stop buying things that were not essential to life. So what that really meant was I needed to stop buying comic books. The funny thing was that I had every intention on continuing with this expensive hobby because it was the only hobby I had. I could enjoy reading whatever story was going on and still feel in many ways, like a little kid. At this point I had already stopped buying video games.

The choice to stop buying comic books was not entirely my own. I had been going faithfully to this shop over in the Carousel Mall. I personally called it CBS (comic book store) because the real name was just way too long. I was a regular customer to the point in which they would pull out weekly comic titles for me every week. I would come in when I can and buy what was saved for me. It was a pretty sweet deal actually. I rarely missed any titles and it worked out well.

As it came closer for me to go to the Dominican Republic, I went less and less to CBS because I had to save money. I rarely bought everything they saved for me all at once. I would buy what I could then put the rest back on reservation. Apparently they started a policy that if customers did not pick up books within a certain time period, the comics would go back on the shelf for anyone to buy. The exception to this rule was that if you informed them that you planned to pick the books by a certain time then they would save them.

I informed the people at the store that I was going away and once I return I will clear the box. So when I returned from the Dominican Republic, I went over to CBS (on my birthday) and asked for my reservations. I was told that they were gone. I was shocked. I told the guy, that I normally speak to, that I did in fact inform the store that I was out of the country. Then he informed me that the store owner made a new policy, that was not known to me, that 30 days was the limit and there were no exceptions. I stood there shocked. He told me that I can start another subscription service, perhaps have them mailed to me (which is unacceptable because sometimes the mail looks like shit on a rainy day).

So, my reaction? I walked out. I simply left. I felt like a huge weight was lifted. Something in the back of my head told me that this was a blessing. I haven't stepped into that store since then...

...but recently, I have missed that feeling of escape that comic books provided me. I have not had the urge nor the desire to buy comics at all. I mean, I have been buying a lot of DVD movies based on comic books, but that is different and cost me much less. I started thinking about reading books more, but I did not know where to start. I did join Goodreads, but that was to catalog what I have already read and see what other people were saying about books they have read.

Then, as if the thought were in the back of my mind but yet verbalized by another person, I was asked if I wanted a part in creating a book club with some friends. The thought of that was so very exciting me. I will admit that I would be the first to make fun of anyone to join a book club by saying that either they are old or have no life, but the thought was appealing because I missed reading so much. I have to admit that being in a book club has been one of the better decisions I have made in a long time. To think that I can shut the TV off and just lose myself in a good book in this day and age is awesome. I will tell you that my twitter account has suffered because of it and I am ok with that.

At this point we are on our second book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it has been a thrill ride for me. This book is almost 600 pages and I have read so much that I cannot imagine me stopping anytime soon. This book is so much better than the first book we started with, I Never Promised You A Rose Garden. However, I think that I will be able to step out of my comfort zone and read things that I never thought I would have before.

I will also say, the best way to really learn is to look up words that appear in novels that you have never heard before. Best way to beat anyone in

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Walking Dead

Television is certainly not what it used to be. There was a time when the scariest any show got was when someone died on St. Elsewhere or when the A-Team got caught. Times have changed and we get watch shows that feature spirits, vampires, and now zombies. To be honest, I love it.

AMC launched the Walking Dead on Halloween and it has been a thrill ride so far. What makes this show good is the human element of people trying to survive in the most dire of situations. I am always one to believe that someone's true nature is shown at a time of great peril. While anyone may think that this is just another gore fest genre type of show, know this: in the first 2 episodes, we have not seen anyone devoured yet. As a matter of fact, there seems to be more gore in True Blood.

The Walking Dead is adaptation of a comic book that still exists. It about a man named Rick Grimes who is a cop that wakes up from a coma and realizes the zombies have taken over. His current goal is to find his family. I have been very unfortunate to not be one of those who had picked up the early issues, my intention is to grab some graphic novels instead. One thing I do know about this series, is to not get too used to any one character because no one is safe.

Like most things that seem to become really popular, zombies seem to appear just about every where these days. Vampires being something a little bit more marketable because at least they are the type of undead that has sex. I would not be surprised if there are movies or shows that try to combine the two, vampires and zombies...not zombies and (remember I said this).

I have never been one to be a fan of zombies because as a kid because these were one of the things that scared the shit out of me. Vampires and werewolves never really did. I knew they did not exist. However, when we talk about demons, spirits, or the devil...then we are talking about a different level for me. I consider those to be biblical in nature. Zombies maybe not be biblical in nature, but I almost considered them to demons in human form. This is why sleeping as a kid was so hard (that and watching Dawn of the Dead).

So, why write about this? Is this show that good? Well yes it, but there was situation that happened in the show that I really hit home for me. First, I love Postmodernist theory. I think that shows like this really critique humanity and what our true nature is. There has always been a thought that the only way to truly bring humanity together is a cataclysmic event. Much like the book (and not the movie), The Watchemen displays the world can be on the verge of complete hell but will come together under great tragedy that threatens our existence.

Which brings me to my point of The Walking Dead. The second episode, we are introduced to Merle Dixon who is a big Southern white man that spews racial slurs to another character, T-Dog (an African American) before beating his ass on a roof top. In the the context of this action, the building is surrounded by zombies waiting to eat anyone. Grimes subdues Dixon and tells him..."There are no more niggers. There are no more dumb ignorant white trash either. There's only white meat and dark meat." I consider this to be the highlight of the night and thus proving my point that in times of great peril we may come to realize that we are one one race...and that is the human race.

The Walking Dead comes on Sundays at 10pm on AMC.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why Don't You Have a Girlfriend?

I wasnt sure that I wanted to write about this but it is something that has just been on my mind. The other day, a student asked me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend?" I did laugh when I heard this question. I havent really thought about it all that much. I know that I am single, but I never thought about posing that question to myself.

The funny thing is that I never answered the question. She just looked at me as I was just laughing. I told her that I did not have an answer and she said..."because you think women are crazy." More hilarity in my opinion because that is something that I had said before. In most cases, the women I tell this to, all agree with me. However, this question did make me think about my solidarity.

I do not toot my own horn because I have made it very clear on this blog that I am not perfect. I have made mistakes that I am still paying for (perhaps this plays into why I do not have a woman). It was pointed out to me that I am a funny guy who is caring and can be sweet, so I guess there is a lack of understanding as to how I remain single. Of course, I can be an asshole too, but so can any guy I suppose. I just know that I am sarcastic when I have to be and yet things I point out can make anyone, I am not bad looking either! :)

Again, thinking about how humorous this conversation was, not because of the question itself - which was a small snippet of a larger conversation, I decided just to tweet this question. Well, it turns out that there are other people wondering the same thing. "Why don't you have a girlfriend?" I can almost hear it coming out of a random person as if it was another way of saying, "What is wrong with you?" haha

Well, only a few people know me well enough to figure out the answer to this question. I can say that right now, I am not sure I am where I want to be in my life. I get some of the best advice in life from my father, who tells me to just sit and observe. So that is what I am doing, watching women and how they react to me and to certain situations. I should not have to feel that I am in a rush to find someone but, I will say that after the havoc I have caused in my own life, I do not need more drama in my existing life.

I love women and I respect them. But, if do go out there and start looking, it has to be on my own terms and I gotta tell you, I have plenty of terms. To be quite honest, I have to really know what I want. Do not get me wrong, I am not looking for wife number 2 either, but I am gun shy and very cautious about things. I wont say it is due to lack of trust, just that uneasiness of not knowing.

However, there are negative things that also pop into my mind when it come to my future. I find myself being very happy for those who find love, especially those who I hold in high regard. I think everyone needs a shot at it. I just cringe when I see those, all too happy, pictures on Facebook with all smiles because it makes me wonder if I will ever get there. Sometimes I am not so sure. Life has a way of throwing curve balls that look really good, but then just drop out of sight without warning.

I think I have also graduated from the point of getting a jumpoff or having a random fling. While I will admit that this has occurred in the past, it is not who I am. My father comments on the amazing amount of restrain and patience that I have, but I think much of it is that I know that meaningless flings are a way of covering up a fear that resides in all single men. The fear of being alone is something that is very real amongst men that only gets worse as we get older. Some of us have it worse than others. Some of us have it bad enough that it will force us to settle.

Bottom line is that I choose to not have a girlfriend. Quite honestly, getting one is not as easy as people make it seem anyway, but that choice is all mine. I wont say that I do not have people in my life that I am not willing to date because I do, but right now fate seems to be against me.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

I Love It When I Get Profiled

Last night was a pretty good night. I spent my evening at the Mu Sigma Upsilon R.A.C.E. banquet. I had some pretty decent food. I laughed with some students. Spent time with a few people I haven't seen in quite a while. Saw Bobby Gonzalez speak. He has a great message which was, know your history and understand your culture. That, along with the theme of the banquet, was simply promoting racial harmony. All was going great. I decided to call it a night because I wasn't sure I wanted to really go out.

I drove some of my favorite students to a party and I went home. One of my roommates, was walking out as I pulled up and he started telling me that he is about to get picked by a mutual colleague to have some drinks. Well, I am already dressed and I thought about it for a minute. Sure, I will go since I was asked for the second time that night.

To be quite honest, Syracuse is a very small city. So, the chances of running into my ex-wife with her date this night was highly likely. She was at the same banquet I was at, so I thought her going out for drinks was a good possibility. However, I followed my instinct and decided to hang out with some friends.

We hit Al's Wine & Whiskey Lounge. This place is not bad at all. Drinks are priced correctly and the atmosphere is comfortable. The funny thing is that there are four of us. All professional men of color. We originally wanted to try this new place called Bittersweet Wine Bar & Desserts that just opened up. We joke about that there is no place in Syracuse for people like us. So when we get to Bittersweet, we don't even walk in...all white people when we looked inside. We laughed about it when we get to Al's, but understandably, the atmosphere was not what we were looking for. All of us would stick out like four sore thumbs. At least Al's had other black people in there.

Three rounds later and we decided to just go. The night was not what we expected, although all the jokes we told were hysterical, we headed toward Nick'e Tomato Pie. This place is always the best place to end a night of drinking. Good Pizza and enough space to sit down, talk, and people watch.

This is what we did: People Watch. We joked and watched a group of drunk white women who were there celebrating a bachlorette party ( I assumed that they needed pizza to soak up the liquor). How crazy and funny they were, talking about large penises and all the things they would like to do. The word of the night was "lumberjacking". We just had to look this up on urban dictionary. It seems those women knew what that word was and when they left one of them made sure to tell us they were all very good looking.

I would say we spent a good amount of time there having a great time. Then, it happened, a police officer walked in. Let's keep this fair, there were a good amount of people in this place; mostly white people. We sat at a table. Just the four of us. There is nothing hood or ghetto fabulous about our look. So imagine how annoyed we were when the this officer walks in and just goes to our table. He asks, "Any one of you named, Mike?" After our response, which was "no", he walked away. That was it. He did not ask anyone else....or any white people. So the question of the night was... "How many degrees do we need to have?"

Yes, it was just a question. But clearly he was looking for something to only ask us. We are the best dressed guys in the entire place. We look like we are not paying attention to anyone but ourselves...but I guess we still look like "Mike". I guess whomever he was looking for only has a description of a black male that may or may not have glasses and can be any shade of darkness. It does not matter that we all work for Syracuse University since we must have the genetic make up that allows us to be suspects in whatever way they may be looking for. So, no, it does not matter if we have a bachelor's, master's or doctorate degree.

But, I forgot. We have a black president, so that means that we defeated Racism. We are above all of that. The jokes about how we cannot find a place in Syracuse for us to feel comfortable was made all too real when a man with a badge and a gun can make four educated black men seem like they are nothing but suspects.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Votes do count!

I think it is funny. People are angry. They are mad that this government does not work. Many people will say that it has not worked for some time. So we all got to together and elected Obama and after that, many people thought that we would dance in the sunset as the credits roll. But, guess what? The Empire Struck Back.

Why are we upset by this? This is the way we, as Americans, are. We all know that one political party cannot run all the branches of government. When that happens it never works because one political view of this country does not feel right. We need the conflict. We need those people in Washington to hold each other accountable.

Look, in New York, we are looking at so much change because those idiots in Albany cannot get it right. So it is time for a change. If the team is not winning, you get a new General Manager and Coach (Hello NY Mets). People are just tired of not having jobs and those who do are barely surviving. It is crazy and those who are holding those seats need to understand that we do have power.

I do not get why people do not vote or say that our votes do not count because they certainly do. It counted 2 years ago. It counted last year. It counts this year. There are just many angry Americans that are tired of barely making it. It works both ways. We may not like the Tea Party, but they have the passion we had when it came time for Obama to be elected.

I am almost willing to bet that with the new look of this government, things may actually get done.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Passionate Dreamer

At this moment, I do not want to get to a point where I have nothing to talk about so I will just write about what is currently on my mind and see where it takes me. To be honest, this blog is titled "Inside My Head" and it would be nice if I actually did that from time to time.

I am such an emotional person that sometimes, it is hard to focus on certain subjects. Right now, I feel a certain way about the type of work I do. I am passionate about students and that is one reason why I have stayed where I am. The passion for this runs so deep that I find myself getting infuriated by those who do not share a certain amount of passion for the education of students. While I am not on the academic side yet, I do feel that student affairs provides students with education outside the classroom.

I feel that this type of work is very rewarding and I feel that I have sacrificed large amounts of my life for students. It comes with the territory and that does not bother me. However, I believe a great deal of that sacrifice was part of ending my marriage. It becomes difficult to work with people who forget why we work at a University.

I have also been struggling with several poems that I have swirling in my head right now. I have written five unfinished poems that are just staring at me from my notebook. They are all about love, of course. Although, one of them seems to be about the absence of love.

I am trying to figure out why I am struggling with this. I know that there are things that I am dealing with personally that I will equate to a chess game. Each move I make is to set up the next move and it must be planned with such precision that the wrong move could lead to the wrong kind of checkmate. The funny thing about this is that I am not all that great at chess, although I do know how to play.

I also have this growing fear in the back of my heart.  I am trying to do so many things that failing is becoming less of an option. The job market is so bad that I have been turned off by it. I have to fight myself just to apply for a job. Which is why school is looking so good to me. I am not afraid of school nor the work. I have a small fear that I may not get in, but I think jitters like that are normal. I am just thinking about the next move.

Leaving Syracuse will be harder than leaving NYC because I will be leaving a career that I have enjoyed but, I think that now it is the time to chase a dream. I will have to, once again, go out on a limb and do this. I have learned so much this year about myself and what I will do to make myself happy, which also means taking risks. So, with the end of this year coming I will be taking one of possibly many leaps of faith in hopes that I will be rewarded in the end.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Future

I need to use this blog as a sounding board. I know that I have talked about what my future career goals in the past and I have always said that I wanted to get a Master's degree. When thinking about this in the past I have though about what made sense.

I first thought, years ago, that the best route for me was a Master's in Business Administration. At the time it made sense. I wanted to pave the way for me being a VP of some college and I felt that this route would round me out as a professional. I would be able to understand the world from a business sense. I went so far as to take a graduate level Economics course. Through this class, I realized once again how much I hate the corporate world and math. It was a hard class that I took with my busy work schedule and I still passed with a hard earned B+.

I knew this was something that I did not want to do. So I had to rethink my strategy and think about what it is I really want to do. That is when I started thinking about Higher Education. I know from experience that this particular field does not have many people of color. I am one of few Latinos in any capacity in administration at Syracuse University.

There is a particular area of study that SU has that is very similar to Higher Education called Cultural Foundations of Education. I find this area to be very enlightening. I loved the two course that I took so much that I was able to get A's in both. I opened myself to a new world in which lead me to create this blog in the first place. However, I felt like there was something was missing. I knew that there was this feeling growing inside of me that makes me not want to stay here, particular after the break up of my marriage.

I knew then, as I know now, that I am done with the Syracuse point of view on things. I know that I need to move on to other places in order to truly be rounded out. So, I have been on this job search for more than a year without any real bites. To be honest, most places are looking for a Master's degree and I not willing to stay here and pursue that. So that leaves me with finding a job and then go to grad school part time or just cash in all my chips and go back to school full time.

During my job search, I came across a small school in Bronxville, NY called Sarah Lawrence. I have had a few people tell me how awesome this school is because they have Master's courses in Writing. I applied for a job that I did not hear back from and I just kept this school in the back of my mind...until about 3 weeks ago when I was walking through a graduate school fair that I was working. A lady from Sarah Lawrence College was there and we started talking.

She talked about how great the school was and how I really need to think about attending an open house to see the campus. I filled out a card and took some paperwork on the school. I read it when I got home and really started to ponder if this was something that not only could I do, but is this what I really wanted. I have to admit I feel that my writing is missing something that I cannot quite put my finger on. Maybe, I needed formal training from people who have done what I aspire to do.

I put this thought on the back burner because I had a LBC Challenge to write, I had Homecoming at SU to work, and I had a speech to give. Friday, I finally get the official Sarah Lawrence packet in the mail. I opened it with such excitement. There was a letter addressed to me and all this information on how to apply. More importantly, the open house is November 11th. Ugh, it is a Thursday, which is going to be an issue. So I put it down because I figured that I will just get back to it eventually.

This weekend was when all thoughts came into my head that I just need to write down because I do not want to forget this. A Masters in Writing could mean that I can still be in Higher Education. I could teach a writing courses, perhaps at another university or college! I had even thought about how I could teach Blog Writing and have classes just on how to communicate one's feelings and put them on a blank slate. Perhaps I could teach a course on Cultural Writing on how one can express culture through writing...

I thought about this and I had to just stop and look around. What if this is what I was meant to do? What if this what I have been looking for? It just feels so right to me. I would still do the public speaking thing, the blog writing, the poetry, and the short stories, but to totally submerge myself into writing and help students realize that this is something that they could do is just priceless.

I just need to apply. Now.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On the Cusp

Someone told me that they can imagine me not writing another blog for awhile since the LBC Challenge. I have to admit she was right in the sense that I needed to take some days off from writing. Now that those days are now behind me, I have to just write some reflections.

First let me say that nothing makes a month go by slower than to count each day. When I was writing each entry of the LBC Challenge, I felt like each day was going by slower than the last. I loved writing like that every day, it showed me that I can layout subjects in advance, no matter how difficult, and still accomplish the task at hand. I really wish I had this type of motivation in college.

I really enjoyed my time in Utica, even though it was only for a few hours. I am so glad I had decided to write that speech instead of just "winging it". The speech was supposed to for twenty minutes and I will be completely surprised if I was up there for that long. I didn't want to drag and be boring to a bunch of college kids that ultimately just want to eat and dance.

I am glad that I injected some humor into it. The audience laughed when they needed to, which is always a good sign that they are following what is being said. I started to feel that while, I wrote this speech before hand, I was more talking to them rather than talking at them. The feeling is so very empowering when you begin to realize that people are really listening to something that you created.

Which brings me to my poetry. There was a reason why I added a poem to the ending of my speech. I wanted to see if I could do it. If i can read my poem in the way in was intended to be heard. I wanted to absolutely be sure that if I go down this road of public speaking, I need to be confident in all facets of my writing. Once I was done, a wave of confidence came over me as I walked back to my seat. I knew then that I could go on the road with my own creations and spit them out, because after all, they are my poems and I cannot worry if people will think they are good or not.

I think about the type of month that I have had up to this point. Several things have happened that has challenged me, my thought process, and my faith. First, my mother sent me a letter with a prayer card and a religious medal. I thought about how crazy it was to get it especially before my blog post on religion. No, she didn't not know about my blog or anything I write, so I was just taken back by this. I wont even mention the amount of dreams I have had during this past month that has made me think about the journey that I am currently on.

Then there is the fact that I feel that I have been hustling so much to get extra money to get myself in a good position to make the move I want to make. However, every time I get to that place where I feel so very comfortable...something breaks. The furnace broke in the beginning of the month and the refrigerator broke last week. These are the things that frustrate me because it does not help in my goal to get ahead. However, I am getting a third roommate. So this will indeed help my cause. (yes, I got both things fixed)

I haven't even mentioned that I still wrote this challenge during the busiest time of my life with SU Homecoming  being so busy. In fact, I had been working since 8:30am the day of the speech. I had to run home after a reception at 4:30pm, take the quickest shower of my life, shave, iron my shirt, get dressed, leave the house, get gas, and then get cash before I can finally hit the road. The event was at 7pm. I was on the road by 5:45pm and the drive was an hour. Talk about cutting it

I am motivated. I am really getting tired of being here. I need to break out. I actually took the time to talk to someone from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, NY. They were up here for a graduate school fair last month. I am thinking about a Masters Degree in Writing. I have also had an offer from a good friend to be my agent so he can help me get more speaking gigs. I just need a head shot and write a Bio.

I am on the cusp of living my dream. I just need to get there.


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