Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas List 2012

Its that time of year again where I'm being asked what I want for Christmas. While this may seem early (because it is), I think that with the number of sales happening and my mind wandering to small things that I may want for myself. I do this for purely selfish reasons because I know there are people out there that are hurting in a bad way. This has always been a list that I never expect anyone to get me, but rather things I would like to acquire as I enjoy my own success.

This is not exactly the same list I gave to my girlfriend since some of these seem kinda extreme to me. But hey, sometimes you have to live in a fantasy world. I am not one for too many material things because I do beleive that in the end it is all just stuff. If I am lucky enough, I will get a few things that are truly sentimental over my lifetime.

Alright let's get to it:

I love to read!
Is it me of have books made a huge come back over the last few years? There is always something coming out that has to do with reading books digitally. I mean, I read comic books online as it is, so it would make sense that everything else would just be that way in this day and age. I already have the first gen Nook from Barnes & Noble and sadly (it is not broken) its time to replace it. I very much want the Nook HD. Perhaps this is just a thing of vain, but I will say that having an E-Reader has made me read a lot more than I did before. With this upgrade, I will be able to read in the dark (it is back lit).

This next item is a no-brainer for me. My contract with AT&T is up and I want to upgrade to an iPhone 5. Unlike most people, I do not care about all the bells and whistles. I just like what it does for me. What I have come to realize after owning this phone is that one will never uses all the features. It gets tiring to try to use EVERYTHING after day 3 of owning it, however, I like the features that I do use. With a better camera, the ability to read Comics, watch movies, do my fantasy sports, and face-time with family (all just a few examples), I am happy with what an upgrade will do for me.

He has a eye-wear line??
At the moment, I write this blog wearing some serious antiquated glasses. The problem is I lost my glasses off the coast of Fire Island a few months back. This means, I am in dire need of some glasses. I wore out my only pair of contacts (which is another thing I need) in the process of waiting to get paid. But never fret or fear, I will get new glasses this year (always the poet). I will have 2 goals in mind for a brand new pair: a) Glare Resistant and b) something that does not slide off my face easy.

One Ring...bitches
There are many things that I lost in the divorce. Many of these things were just divided amongst the both of us and there were things that I fought to try to keep and other things I just let go. Of the many things that I did let go, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (extended edition) was a definite treasure for me. Rarely do movies such as these come out, I knew that I would have to repurchase them. My thought was that if I left go of the DVDs, I will just require them as Blu-Ray discs.

My last 2 items are a bit far fetched and to be honest, I wanted to put something on this list that was border line absurd. First, It has been a LONG time since I have gone after anything remotely related to Darth Maul or Star Wars. In fact, I purposely took the Star Wars Saga Blu-Ray off this list because of this lovely statue right here. I haven't really decided if i am going to go back to collect on a grand scale only because all this stuff accumulates quickly and if I move more than once in my life time... it will be too often.

Ready for walkers!
On the other hand, there is this thought about how much I love the Walking Dead. When I did this list in 2010, I told myself I would venture down this road with the books and since then I have never looked back. But the other day I asked myself how much would a Katana run me? Needless to say that if I wanted something to kill Zombies with (besides my wit) I could easily spend less than $100 on this beauty.

I hope that everyone has a great time holiday shopping.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


I suppose it is a bit cliche to list the things to be thankful for but I just find myself reflecting on what seems to be a very good year for me. This year was the tipping point for me and I knew that coming into it. I felt it was a make or break year for both my career and my personal life. I am so very grateful for those people in my life that helped me achieve the goals that I set.

Much thanks goes the my buddy for buying the house. I think that everything after that was just a domino effect. I wasn't entirely sure that I was going to be able to pull it off but I did. I am certainly glad that I took the risks that I did, but it was the encouragement and the willingness to understand how hard things were that made selling the house to a good friend worth it all.

I am thankful for Syracuse University. Even though my employment has ended there, I can still feel the people that I used to work with and their words to me. If it wasn't for SU I wouldn't be where I am right now. I am good at my job because I was good there first and I was given the room to fail while still learning.

I am also so very thankful to Barnard College for the recent employment opportunity. They clearly saw things in me that other institutions decided to pass on. In the few short months there, I have learned so much about how small schools work. I am thankful for the lack of red tape that I have grown so accustomed to. More importantly, I'm glad that I am able to be back in New York because of them.

Being back home has made me realize how much I have missed family. I know that being home means I get to see them more often depending on work schedule. Now that the holidays are here, there will probably be a plethora of visits being made and a number of times that my presence is being requested. I am very grateful for that because not many people can have a big family.

I am also grateful for my dad who was like my own personal council. He may not have agreed with all the decisions that I have made this year but we can both agree that the outcome has been a long time coming. I am thankful for his presence in my life.

Right now, my life would not be anywhere near as complete if it wasn't for my girlfriend. I am thankful that despite everything that we have been through, fate chose this particular time for us to be together. I am very doubtful that I would have been able to deal with the move and the lack of any finances if it wasn't for her. Everyday I am thankful for her in my life.

Finally, I want to thank those of you faithfully read this blog. I am glad I am able share my experiences with you. I hope, in some way, you have been able to come with me on this journey of mine. I wish all you all a great Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Michonne: The Ultimate Black Heroine?

Let me tell you what I am grateful for. The woman called Michonne. Even if you do not watch The Walking Dead, you should recognize what is going on here. We are seeing the birth of the most unorthodox and most unlikely of heroines on Cable Television. A sword wielding Black Woman that kicks ass and takes names.

We live in a time where we see plenty of White women play a that hero role which breaks all kinds of barriers and gender roles. I can name countless movies like Aliens, Prometheus, The Hunger Games, and the Underworld movies just to name a few, yet can you name a real movie when that same person was a Black Woman? While my thoughts go to Pam Greer in Foxy Brown back in the seventies...  most roles for African American women, in particular, are usually neatly carved out as maids, hoes, and single parent mothers trying to make it (and that is just in Tyler Perry films).

But, seemingly, out of now where comes this dark skinned woman in a world where you "fight the dead, and fear the living." Most people seemed to taken by surprise how good this all looks. Can you imagine if a Black Woman was allowed to take out her "post racial" frustration on the living dead? What would that look like? I can tell you that reading the comic book, she is a survivor that takes no chances and trusts few people and that translation has worked well on screen down to her long dreads.

Which brings me to my next point. She is in a comic book! Can anyone tell me the last time a black woman was a major character in a comic book (that is not Storm from X-Men)? I immediately think about Captain Marvel from the Avengers books in the 1980s. But perhaps Milestone Comics had the most recent Black woman character with "Rocket" from the Icon series which came out in the nineties. I will just just answer my own question and just say that Amanda Waller in DC comics Suicide Squad is the only other MAJOR character in a comic book that I know of currently.

This raises a lot of questions for me. Is there some sort of thought that perhaps Black Woman are not seen as the hero types? I know plenty of strong Black Women that do not need a sword or the power of the Gods to fight crime. This is why seeing Michonne on The Walking Dead is refreshing. I knew about her for a long time by just reading the book (in which she is still alive). Her recent fame is only the tip of the ice berg when it come to her character and over all development in the psyche of the United States when it come to Black Women. She is a well developed character that is no laughing matter unlike Hally Berry's Catwoman that might have set back African American woman back a few decades.

I challenge anyone who can find me an African American comic/movie/television hero that may have a stronger impact than Michonne. I think anyone will have trouble finding this fictitious person. Please do not include Storm in your searches because she is African. I wish you good luck and read The Walking Dead.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Yes, 4 More Years

You know, I started this blog in 2009 — two days after Barak Obama was inaugurated. I felt so much hope for the country, for my students, and for my own life (which was in turmoil at that time). So I like to think that this blog lives on during his presidency in some small way. It also made me think that I needed to get back to who I am…which is a writer.

That hope that I have for myself and my continuing journey has seen a lot of hardship along the way. I have doubted myself and many times almost succumbed to fear. Yet, I have turned on the television and see the leader of the free world and know that I have to keep working at it. I need to continue to believe in myself. Even more importantly, I think about how many young boys and girls are going to grow up knowing a Black man will be president for 8 years of their life. That stark reality is amazing to me.

Of course, the fact that Obama is getting another 4 years does not excite everyone. This is a deeply divided country, in which, he did win the popular vote but that is just by a little more than 1% more than poor Mitt Romney. While the GOP is reeling, there are tons of unhappy conservatives who are making it known that they do not want a nigger in the White House. These are things that I simply cannot make up and while most of these people may be ignorant, these were the people that also came out in full force against Obama (and not necessarily for Mittens). That is why I had a bad feeling but I suppose I was just being overly cautious.

The truth of the matter is that I said it all along, this is a race issue. When the networks were analyzing the data they came up with some staggering numbers about the white vote. While I may be off in my numbers, the percentage of white votes dropped about 8% from 2008 white Latino voters increased about 10%. When we are talking about millions of people…that is a huge amount. There is no secret that people of color came out in full force. The funny thing is that this is no longer a voting trend. This is a fact that people of color are becoming more dominant in this country and in the political landscape. That is something that the GOP will have to figure out before 2016 because the extreme ideas about immigration and women's right will not fly anymore and that is not even considering gay marriage.

Times are changing because Latinos will eventually force states like Texas to turn from a red state to a blue state. Gay Marriage is upon us faster than anyone anticipated and I am all for it. There is now even legalized Marijuana in Colorado and while I am against that particular issue, the fact of the matter is that this is what people voted for. These are things I never thought I would see in my life time and that also included the proposition of Puerto Rico to become a the 51st State. I can be very vocal on this issue of Puerto Rico, but I will save it for another time.

All of this makes me think about where I will be in 4 years. While I have pretty much done what I said I was going to do this year, there are still more goals that I have to reach. There are still some plateaus that need to crossed. I know that I can do anything I set my mind to…and when I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders, all I have to do like that our President and realize that he has accomplished his goals…so that means I can accomplish mine.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

An Electoral Bad Feeling

There is something not right going on that I cannot put my finger on, but I have a bad feeling about the outcome of this election. There are too many variables as always but this just all seems too familiar to me. I almost feels like Gore vs Bush again and we learned how a person or a party can really steal an election. I feel that we are in for something oddly familiar with President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

I just can't escape this feeling that one of two things will occur (and to be honest I hope they don't), either Romney steals this election via some kind of recount situation or Obama loses narrowly loses the popular vote but still wins the electoral college. Unfortunately, ever since Tim Russert died, I cannot trust real news coverage on the election. The real problem for me is that I see things ending badly because as a whole, people do not want a black man for president (cue the eye rolling conservatives - do they even read this blog?).

Before someone comments about how this issue is not about race, I will say that the amount of disrespect that people can have for one person (who is in the highest office in this country) is unreal. I think a large majority of people hated Bush, but there was never a call to assassinate this man. So to say that color is not an issue in "post racial" American only proves one's ignorance and/or privilege. However, I do not believe it is all about race. I think this is also about class. This seems to be about the have and have nots.

Republicans in general do not want big government. They want people to take care of their own with no handouts because this country was founded on the idea of our founding fathers (and on the backs of their slaves). But, when a hurricane hits a coastal city or a tornado wipes out a few flat land states...then FEMA (big government backed) is the greatest thing in the world. Then it is not so bad to have something like this to give "hand outs" to people who have lost everything.

What I really have a bad feeling about is how a candidate like Mittens can have no plan and no real answer for anything can be leading in the polls. This is the same man that was called out as a liar (see below) by his own affiliated party (Newt Gingrich to be exact). I am not saying Barack Obama is perfect because he is most certainly not, but let's give this man credit for being consistent considering that Mitt Romney is not. New York City Mayor Bloomberg (who I do not care for) can be considered the leader of the independent vote, wanted to endorse Romney (thus endorsing Obama) if not for the fact that Mittens has reversed every known position he has ever had. Why are people still willing to vote for this man? Then it makes me wonder how much of these polls I'm willing to believe.

The thing that really startled me is the rumor that Romney's son owns voting machines in swing states through H.I.G. Capitol. Whether this is true or false, the fact is that this is possible. Before I start asking exactly how, I think about the haves and the have nots. There is no way someone like me or person who makes my pay grade can just buy voting machines or invest in a company who has them...and further more, why would I? Very simply, when you are rich, you can do just about anything you want! Don't believe me? Ask Donald Trump. This the man now wants Obama to show every transcript and every fiber of evidence that he either went to school or is a US citizen. Now if I say that this is racist are the conservatives who do not read this blog gonna roll their eyes again?

Yet, it remains a close race because all of these people are unhappy. Never mind that a Republican Congress did its best to counter every move the President has made so this has nothing to do with actual politics. This has to do with what our country is going to look like in the years to come and who will represent us. The far right or the far left? There is no middle anymore.

No matter what happens, I have an ever growing bad feeling that come tuesday this country will be turned upside down.


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