Lynne d Johnson



« May 2002 | Diary | July 2002 »

06.28.02 01:37 AM

friday five

I've decided to be a conventional blogger and try out the friday five.

When was the last time you...

1. ...sent a handwritten letter?

Wow! A handwritten letter, by snail mail? It has been quite awhile. I've snail mailed a keyboard written letter. That doesn't count, does it? Handwritten? I'd say the closest thing was a journal I gave my ex back in December. We both exchanged journals and considered them daily letters to one another.

2. ...baked something from scratch or made something by hand?

When I was a teenager, I was always trying to impress my paternal grandmother. She was an extremely talented baker, and back then I thought I wanted to be just like her. So I would bake cakes, pies, and even cookies from my own recipes. Of course what I wanted was her approval. I can't even remember the last time that I considered baking since. As for making something by hand, well... I have never really thought of myself as an artisan or craftsperson, but I am in the process of creating a multimedia art piece based on the FCC's Seven Dirty Words and performance poet Sarah Jones' current legal battle with the FCC to clear her name. They banned her DJ Vadim produced, anti-misogynist poem/song, "Your Revolution," from the radio and labeled it indecent. The art work will show at an exhibit in my MBA in Media Management Program at Audrey Cohen College in New York. So far, I don't plan on using any computer generated materials for this piece, other than a JPEG image that Sarah Jones' people sent to me.

3. ...camped in a tent?

One summer, during my pre-teen years, my parents decided to send me to sleepaway. While most of the time was spent double bunking in cabins, one day we did go hiking, fishing, pitch a tent, and heat up smores over a toasty open campfire. I had forgotten all about that until now.

4. ...volunteered your time to church, school, or community?

I spent half of my life volunteering at church, since my family was deeply involved in our congregation. I have also worked with nonprofits, and while they were paid gigs, for the miniscule wages they paid me you might as well call it volunteer work. In that regard, I spent two years as a fostercare/adoption caseworker. And more recently, I taught basic computer skills to adult learners and also worked with a technology project that works with educators in community centers and settlement houses.

5. ...helped a stranger?

I suppose I do this one all the time. I am constantly giving strangers directions. And a couple of weeks ago, I helped a nanny, who had a cane, carry a stroller up the stairs. Also, since there are many homeless people around the neighborhood in which I live, I am often giving money away, purchasing something for someone, or giving them food to eat. Sometimes I am reluctant to help strangers though, because long ago I tried to help someone who ended up pickpocketing me.

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06.26.02 08:36 PM

stranger things have happened on the way to the asylum

I found this to be quite comical, yet sad at the same time. In this week's issue of The New Yorker, in an article about Lenox Lewis titled, " The Moralist," David Remnick writes:

And on it went. In the absence of a comedian like Muhammad Ali or a wizened don like Archie Moore, Tyson is what passes in the fight game for "colorful." We are asked to understand that he represents a certain racial and hip-hop generational "feeling," yet he rarely betrays a rapper's pleasure in the perquisites he has allowed himself: the fleet of cars, the houses, the racing pigeons, the pet tigers. As the fight approached, loathing and self-loathing defined Tyson's entire sentimental range. "I wish that you guys had children, so I could kick them in the fucking head or stomp on their testicles so you could feel my pain," he said.

freestyle AIM cipha'

Lately, hardcore has inpired the lyricist within me. I think today was one of our best days thus far.

Ambiv The Sinful: i soul search and find/ no finished text just a rough outline/ as time tics and tocs, i watch it through my optics/ the Hobit, with Fubu pockets/ guru logic/ beacoup topics/ why knock it, you can't stop it/ the strife, the struggle is life/ i juggle the idea of a wife/ but usually i drop it/ i'm fake, acting like i'm happy when i ain't/ i'm ghetto in my heart, and bougie in the bank/ i'm dope, that's a fact but watch how i act up/ i inject the smack/ step back and watch you crack up/ we black but, i'm way too much for your black butt/ hut!/ i drop the bomb and bodies stack up

lynneluvah: u bring the heat/ i'm a block it/ take any rhythm/ and i uprock it/ somersaults and spins/ backflips and come again/ i spew the wisdom/ platinum coat it/ 'cuz to the knowldege/ deeply devoted

lynneluvah: well it's the pee to the piper/ i come decipher/ metaphors/ from hardcore/ pick him up in my ford explorer/ lock the doors/ and spit sick on this track/ till the night sky turns black/ like a trick sucking crack/ my verbal attack

lynneluvah: your turn to burn/ so get ready/ rock steady

Ambiv The Sinful: click iTunes/lick MY wounds/flow typhoons/bic pen pens/i croon/me the guy groom?

lynneluvah: i spit mental scriptures/ like pictures/ beaming thru/ cathode ray tube/ from me to you/

lynneluvah to hardcore/ like 1 to the 2 to the 3 to the 4/ are you ready for more?

lynneluvah: on my path to attack/ take a tit for a tat/ knock sucka mcs on their back/ and follow the path of backpacks/ like my man black/ the philly mack/ from the roots track/ flipped the script and spat it back

Ambiv The Sinful: lost souls/draped in gold/labeled by old/white male designers/they lifers/caught in a cipher/of mindless/thoughtless/existence/my 6th sense/sees the difference/so i/ boycott new millenium cotton/and the massas/who enslave and label the masses/my life my record and i own the masters

lynneluvah: those who get misguided/ leave their fam/ no more united/ follow path from street to cell/ simply divided/ never listened to mom dukes/ and now they're fighting/ life on the inside/ no soft game/ but it's the same 'ol same/ if you tribe to vibe with the gang/ get you stuck in the game/ maybe even drive you insane/ with pain/ shoot a shell in your membrane/ then leave you chalked on the block/ with blood pouring from your veins

Ambiv The Sinful: i sit up/a thousand times/and push up/out the rut/never be a couch potato slut/most suck/like Now N' Laters/what/so later for that lazy type behavior/and fuck a skypager/i'm low tech/like chuck T'z/making grip like Chuck Cheese/tuck no techs/or 9/7 in my essence/a child destined to shine

lynneluvah: when you eat beef/ takes three days to digest/ day one/ its stuck in your chest/ like a bullet to your vest/ hits hard through your system/ taking long to get to the rectum/ cuz when they dissect them/ they find worms and junk/ leave your bowels stuck/ with massive packs of fecal matter/ so in the toilet you splitter splatter/ your gut gets fatter/ and you think it doesn't matter/ but your colon gets bent and ill/ leaving you no life thrills/ cuz truth is/ cancer kills

Ambiv The Sinful: on the mic til i'm off for the day/stay outta my day/hardcore/ak/mr. thought 4 the day/father of light/youngest seed/named sun ray/he got a sister named moon/brotha named Sunday/never got time for games/unless you mean gun play/we're born then we die/life's a street/oneway/i hope one day/i'll live to see a Big Pun day/ a B.I.G. week/and a 2Pac play/my turds stay/on the tip of my tongue/so when i spit/cats be wilding out like/hardCore talks shit

lynneluvah: from the day i was born/ i was put on/ to rock the mic/ and bless/ never half step/ cuz i got skillz with depth/ the power to resurrect/ and i can't ever neglect/ to the forefathers much respect/ back in the day/ used to watch cold crush/ and kool moe dee was my idol/ little me sitting still like some yup at a violin recital/ but when that cat took the title/ busy b was hung/ his mic career done/ finished/ kool moe dee diminished/ now i carry the torch/ and in my words you might get lost/ i run circles round your rhymes/ get stick up kids to steal your lines/ but i'll make them sound better/ that's right the go getter/ fit you tight like a sweater in cold weather

lynneluvah: ambiv got sins/ and abraham had many sons/ when i spit the gift of gab/ i spray from my lungs/ start speaking in tongues

Ambiv The Sinful: my IM's/are restless writings/verbal Vikings/try biting n' my dictations/will have you dying/eye yoke frying/chest wheezing/been this way/since real life/had my heart freezing/now it's frigid/i'm never timid/quit witted/very inginit/healthy/but sick wit it

Ambiv The Sinful: f*ck humanity/i cause catastrophes with computer keys/tidal waves/ruthless like a Ruger squeezed/militant like Black P'z/never Panther or the agencies/will hack your phone line/and leave you phone tap/listen to you taking naps/snaps shots of you giving dap/i know cats that been through that/so i/speak/through coded language/i call it slanguage/i rip it/verbally the sound of hieroglyphics

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06.25.02 12:13 AM


I am torn about my feelings for the ex. Not in the same way as before, but now mainly in the manner of whether I should allow ex's new life with the new lover to affect me at all. I get emotional sometimes, b/c they are doing things in which I often feel like, "It should've been me." But again, as I stated once long ago in this diary, I was no angel in this. I somehow severed the link that forced ex's hand. But damn... I still feel, deeply. Don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed. And my life has taken new directions in its own right, just wondering sometimes had we still been together, where would we be now. Would we be on the same path that ex is on with new lover? Or would we be somewhere else? Sometimes though, you just gotta' let ish go. I need to remind myself of that every now and again.

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06.24.02 10:10 PM


Thanks to Trayc, I found out a way to meet other Brooklyn bloggers. Oh yeah, you can sign up too, it isn't just for Brooklyn folks, there is an international blogger day.


George was interested in seeing more folks' political compass. I seem to fall somewhere in the area of Ghandi. Here are my results:
Economic Left/Right: -5.50
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -4.46

Interesting review on Alternet about the latest It book, "The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life," by Richard Florida, a professor of regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. This book is much in line with my politcal compass. I think I might have to pick it up.

Don Hazen writes:
This is a smart and interesting book that takes a well-known cultural phenomenon—the critical massing of technology and creative workers of talent in certain cities—and mixes in some new elements about why they cohere.

The result is the emergence of a regional economic theory built around diversity. Florida cautions that if American cities and towns don't support a local culture in which gays and ethnically diverse populations, as well as quirky creative talents, can flourish, they will lose out in the economic struggle for investment resources, growth of new cutting edge industries and university expansion.

What makes Florida's argument particularly provocative is that it makes an economic case for tolerance, civil rights and a broadly defined cultural experience (including a vibrant nightlife), while scoffing at the American corporate model as a dinosaur on the road to extinction.

And excerpts of an interview, conducted by Christopher Dreher with Florida on Salon.

How does your definition of the creative class—which includes 30 percent of the working population, a large class—differ from the findings of others who have noted the emergence of new types of knowledge and technological workers?

The fundamental thing that's different from many people before me—such as Daniel Bell talking about the rise of the postindustrial society in the information age and the service class, or Peter Drucker talking about knowledge workers, or others talking about the professional-technical class—what I'm talking about is the fact that it isn't just knowledge workers, it isn't just scientists and engineers, it isn't just technology people. It's that creativity is multidimensional. Certainly there are scientists and engineers and professional-technical people, but there are people in other fields and other walks of life who use their creativity—in particular , artists, entertainers, musicians and cultural producers.

My argument is that in order to harness creativity for economic ends, you need to harness creativity in all its forms. You can't just generate a tech economy or information economy or knowledge economy; you have to harness the multidimensional aspects of creativity. So the book says that there are three types of creativity: technological creativity, which is innovation, new products and ideas and technologies; economic creativity, which includes entrepreneurship, turning those things into new businesses and new industries; and cultural and artistic creativity, the ability to invent new ways of thinking about things, new art forms, new designs, new photos, new concepts. Those three things have to come together to spur economic growth.

I think I actually define the classes pretty narrowly. The creative class is composed of two dimensions. There is the supercreative core, which are scientists, engineers, tech people, artists, entertainers, musicians— so-called bohemians that are about 12 percent of the workforce, up from well less than 5 percent at the turn of the century. And subsequent analysis by Robert Cushing suggests that the supercreative core is really the driving force in economic growth. In addition to the supercreative core, I include creative professionals and managers, lawyers, financial people, healthcare people, technicians, who also use their ideas and knowledge and creativity in their work. I don't include people in service or manufacturing industries who use creativity in their work.

My sense is that this creative class will grow and grow and grow over time.

Explain the indices.

My theory uses the three T's: technology, talent and tolerance. You need to have a strong technology base, such as a research university and investment in technology. That alone is a necessary but not in itself sufficient condition. Second, you need to be a place that attracts and retains talent, that has the lifestyle options, the excitement, the energy, the stimulation, that talented, creative people need. And thirdly, you need to be tolerant of diversity so you can attract all sorts of people—foreign-born people, immigrants, woman as well as men, gays as well as straights, people who look different and have different appearances.

My indicators try to catch elements of those three things. We have two indicators of technology—the innovation index, which is a measure of patents in an area of population, and the high-tech index, which we just adapted from the Milken Institute, which is in California and invented this great index of high-tech company concentrations. We use our creative-class index—percent creative class and percent supercreatives—as our talent measure. On tolerance we have the melting-pot index, which is immigrants, and the gay index, which takes people living in households where partners in the household were of the same sex.

Gays are the canaries of the creative economy. Where gays are will be a community—a city or a region—that has the underlying preconditions that attract the creative class of people. Gays tend to gravitate toward the types of places that will be attractive to many members of the creative class. That said, a high score on the gay index, for example, New Orleans or Miami, does not translate into being a creative center, unless you couple that with technology assets. It's not that gays predict high-tech growth, it's that gays signal an environment that would attract creative-class people from a variety of backgrounds.

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06.23.02 11:22 PM

family reunion

Family at Play

I'm probably going to get it for posting this picture on the Web, but I had to. For some reason it was the only one I took at my family reunion yesterday. The festivities were put together by my moms and her niece's ex-mother-in-law. I understand my moms' need to do this. As she gets older, she wants to be surrounded by family and make sure that everyone is involved in one another's lives. I keep telling her though, that she will outlive us all so she has no need to worry about that.

I have no idea where my brother was when I took this photo, but let me give you the rundown on who's who in the pic. Let's take it from left to right, going around the table. First we have my half sister (father's child), then my full sister's running partner, behind her is my niece hiding, then we have my sister (from both my moms and dad), then my sister's god sister (who is now also my cousin since her mother, one of my mother's childhood friends, married my father's brother), then we have another half sister (father's child and full sister of the other half sister), and finally my niece (who is the daughter of my half sister sitting next to her).

Since I have my moms' genes, body type wise, I don't quite look like most of the women in my family. All of my sisters take after my dad's side of the family. My brother too, actually. The one thing I did get from my father's side though, was the gray hair. See the man sitting way in the back with the yellow shirt and white hair? Well that's my father's brother, and the story is that he started graying at age 9. His mother also had a full head of silver hair. Most of you who have been reading this blog for awhile, already know how I have gone on-and-on about how much my gray strands have increased in the past year. Funny thing about it though is that people don't even really notice it until I call attention to it. And even then, it causes no alarm for them. I guess although I act as if I have no problems with it, beneath the surface it must be an issue for me. Why would I talk about it so much? But I don't dye it or anything, I simply let it live. I don't even think it makes me look like I'm aging. So it doesn't even really make sense that I take issue. The thing I do have an issue with is when teenage boys and men in their early 20s approach me and try to get a rap. Sometimes it makes me curious about how young I look (and we won't even get into the other infinite reasons I wish they would't approach me). But often, I wonder whether it is the way I dress, the way I carry myself. What? And then I think perhaps there is something I should be doing differently—to look my age. Whatever that means. I think that is why I pay so much attention to the gray strands. I wonder cannot these young men see that I am far beyond their years?

Anyway, I had a really good time at the family reunion yesterday. All we really did was talk and eat, and play catch up. But it was pleasurable all the same. Family has always been really important to me, and I do really hate only seeing some of the family members only once a year, or only at baby showers, weddings, and funerals. I believe it is important that families stick together. At the end of the day, that is all we really have—our family. And even when you don't get along, you have to realize just how important it is to have those connections. Who wants to get old without their family around to comfort them? I suppose this is my mother's journey right now.

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06.20.02 09:25 PM

Y'all want mo' fiyah! QT

Y'all want mo' fiyah!
QT clip of Missy Elliott's "4 My People," as remixed by Basement Jaxx. It's a banger.

Real love, True love
Have you heard Slum Village's "Tainted?" I am really feeling this track. That ATCQ passed the baton to these cats is no mistake, especially with the addition of rapper Elzhi. He definitely helped T3 and Baatin step up their lyrical skills. Karieem Riggins breathed soul into this track very much in the same way that Vikter Duplaix gave De La's "Copa," and Bahamadia's "Philadelphia," new life. IMHO this is how hip-hop is supposed to sound. Funky, fluid, and melancholy with skillful lyrics bouncing off the beat.

hip-hop dead?
Speaking of hip-hop, the media pundits are at it again. Geoff Boucher wrote in the LA Times

Consumer surveys show that the majority of rap album buyers are suburban white males in their teens. And a significant chunk of that base has turned in the past few years to guitar-driven bands that tap into hip-hop beats and rap-style vocals, often with an aggressive sonic presence. Rage Against the Machine may have made the template for the sound, but Limp Bizkit and Korn were the bands that made it an MTV-friendly music sensation.

Hip-hop is no afterthought, of course. The Recording Industry Assn. of America's survey of 2001 sales showed that rap and hip-hop accounted for 11.4% of all U.S. music releases shipped by the industry in 2001, its second-highest percentage in a decade and trailing only rock releases (24.4% of all shipments) and pop (12.1%).

No one expects rap or hip-hop to disappear, but is it in danger of losing the vibrancy that has made it the most exciting real estate on the pop music landscape in the past 20 years? The sharp first-quarter sales decline might be explained away by a lack of high-profile releases, but some observers say the genre may also have a drought of true superstars.

Eminem has ascended to a stratum of his own, Jay-Z remains a powerhouse (the disappointing sales of his recent "Best of Both Worlds" seem due to the controversy surrounding his collaborator on the album, R&B singer R. Kelly) and OutKast has been able to meld critical acclaim with platinum sales, but after that there are questions about the longevity and heft of the genre's other young artists.

A Google search for hip-hop is dead turns up an article on the Pacific News site from February 2001. The article, "Rap And Hip Hop Is Dead — Long Live Funk," by Kevin Weston, editor of the San Francisco Bay View and co-editor of YO! Youth Outlook, points to entirely different reasons for hip-hop's demise:

In 2001, the premier vocalists on the music scene don't rap. They sing, they soul, they funk, they tell stories, they write great songs, they do spoken word poetry. If the soul died when Marvin Gaye was gunned down by his father, then it was reborn in this generation of young hip hop-influenced musicians and vocalists.

As we move forward, we are rediscovering our past -- soul/funk/jazz. Hip hop, once anti-pop and now just a style of popular music, has been wack for a while now. The tightest young vocalists in our musical world are not MC's. DeAngelo, Badu, Musiq Soulchild (also from Philly), and Angie Stone have a retro feel that, infused with hip hop and funk, comes off as new.

Hip hop used to be funky, but the funk is leaking out of the form. Pop can never truly be funky, because it's an imitation of the soul/funk. Black urban artists are doing the new thing that happens to be old, while destroying the dominant vocal styles and giving the movement of African-American music new life.

I'm more inclined to go with the words of KRS-ONE, "Hip-Hop Rules."

Me say hip-hop rule, hip-hop rule
And these other industries out here cannot take it, come again!
Hip-hop rule, hip-hop rule
And these other industries out here cannot take it, we want!
Rap music, we want the rap music, bo!
Rap music, we want the rap music, come again!
Rap music, we want the rap music, bo!
Rap music, we want the rap music
Way back in the days, 1979
Fatback Band made a record usin rhyme
In the same year come the Sugarhill Gang
with the pow pow boogie, and the big bang bang
R&B, Disco, Pop Country Jazz
all thought Hip-Hop, was just a little fad
But here comes Grandmaster Flash nonstop
And right after Flash, Run-D.M.C. dropped
Now, they had to pay attention to the scale
Where other music failed, hip-hop prevailed
See rap music has gone platinum from the start
So now in eighty-nine we gettin present as an art
Me ask, is it because, we've got the eighty-nine vision?
Whoa whoa whoa!
Or is it because, it's a unanimous decision
Hey hey hey hey

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06.19.02 09:03 PM

freak daddy

Listen to Mos Def's Freak Daddy. Real Player necessary. Hmm...somebody thinks they're Foxy Brown. Speaking of freaks, I'm turning into a real link slut lately.

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06.19.02 08:03 PM

highs and lows

Once, I went to see Black Eyed Peas, Common, and Macy Gray in concert and there was something that Macy said that resonated with me in such a way that it made me laugh, deeply, inside. She was discussing how everyone is always talking about her being high. She then said, "Who wants to be low?" You may not be laughing now, but if you ever heard the way Macy talks, you would know it sounded comical. Not only because of how she said it, but for what it's worth, what she said is very true. Who wants to be low? I know I don't. But the question is, what is your source of heightened awareness? Not just a giddy high, but a real, true high off of life type of high. And, is there even such a thing?

I contemplate this now, because in the past few weeks I've been able to ascend to my highest high and then slowly tumble to my lowest of lows. My mood varies from hot to cold in a matter of milliseconds, and for the most part I seem to be unaware of the source of these up-and-down mood swings. There are days that I wake up smiling, and it carries throughout the day. I must radiate, for often on these days I receive a lot more attention when I am walking down the street. There I am bubbling with a constant unmoved and unchanging smile. There is a bounce in my stride. My cell phone rings, and the person on the other end says, " Wow, you sound really jovial today. What's up?" My response, "Nothing, life has just been good." Then, a few hours later, the cell phone rings again. The caller asks, "Why do you sound like that? What's wrong with you?" My response, "Nah, nothing, I'm just tired."

I don't want to be low, ever. But in being human I realize this is an absurd way to think. With all that is going on in the world, and in my personal life, how could I walk around with a smile permanently etched on my face? It is not possible. Or is it? Is there some road to Nirvana that I just haven't happened upon yet? Is there some way not to get bogged down in the complexities of the goings on in my life? Is there some way to get enough sleep, excercise, sex, and love that I am always fulfilled and at calm? Is the answer meditation? Is it yoga? Is there even an answer? Perhaps it is totally impossible and unhealthy to be happy all the time.

There are days when I am totally lost within my own thoughts, neither sad nor happy, just in a state of contemplation. Those days I am always accosted by some dude with, "Why don't you put a smile on that pretty face?" Or, "You're too pretty to have that long face." On my good days, I will smile or say, "Hey, I'm just tired." And on my bad, they'll get the middle finger. What I'm wondering is which is the mentally healthy route. Is it to be so in touch with your feelings that you just let them take you over and control your being? Or is to rechannel your energies, always, into some positive form of light?

I don't expect you to have an answer for me, but maybe you can think about the answer for yourself. Does the theory of cause and effect have such a profound effect on every atom and molecular structure of energy so that for every action there is truly a reaction? Or, do humans have a way of controlling these forces of nature, so that we are in a state of high, 24-7, 365? Maybe I'm just babbling here, but I'd be curious to know what you think.

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06.18.02 08:48 PM

we live in Brooklyn baby

Missed NYC blogapalooza on Friday, but didn't even know about it until I saw Ronn's post. I was wondering what the organizers of this event did to promote it, since most of the NYC bloggers I know (most of them black folks) didn't know about it until the last minute. Was it an event for a specific group of blogging friends? And why wasn't it promoted through NYC Bloggers? When I hooked up with Trayc for brunch and drinks in Ft. Greene on Sunday we discussed this and other random topics. Funny how the virtual world can bring folks who live practically across the street from one another together. Although we did a lot of sharing about our exes, we took some time to brainstorm about doing a possible Web project together. You better keep your eyes peeled, because if it pops off it'll be something hot brilliant.

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06.17.02 08:20 PM

ride or die chick

Ford Ranger

A couple of weekends ago, when I helped Mel move from Harlem to BK, instead of renting a Uhaul like normal folks we rented a nice, sleek, black Ford Ranger. I think I like driving trucks even better than SUVs. I felt so powerful, sitting high in the cab, looking down on everyone, rolling through the New York streets with Slum Village crunked up to optimum levels. You see, it isn't only men who can appreciate such things. It reminded me of some things I'd promised myself I'd do in my life, but still haven't done yet. My girl Sheva down in DC emailed me to say she got her motorcycle license. That is something I've always wanted to do, ever since I first rode a dirt bike in Jamaica. And then last summer this dude I know took me for a dip on his bike, and I said to myself, "I'm going to get one of these one day." Motorcycles, hmm...all that horse power reving between your legs. I've always been told that there's something sexy about a girl who knows how to ride drive.

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06.15.02 11:16 PM

kick's obsession

I have a sneaker fetish. It probably began in the 70s when my parents bought me my first pair of Pro Keds. They let me pick out my own pair, and for some reason I chose purple. You see, prior to the Keds, I was wearing rejects and sneakers of the Thom McCann variety, so I wanted my sneakers to be special. To stand out in some way. Ever since then, it seems I've been trying to do the same thing. Now mind you, I prefer to wear heels. At least I used to. A bit of a Napolean complex to blame for that.

I remember that after the purple Pro Keds, I got a royal blue suede pair of 69ers. Those were like super Pro Keds. Can't remember many other sneakers until my teen years, because around that time I was also allowed to start wearing pumps. And trust, I got a pair in almost every color imaginable. But this session is about sneakers, so let me stop digressing. Hmm...the next pair of interesting sneakers I remember were a pair of light gray suede pumas with a green swoosh. Yeah, I know swooshes are for Nikes. I think everyone else was rocking the green suede Pumas with the white form stripe then. I also remember in the 80s when everyone else was buying the shell toe Adidas, I instead got a soft toe white pair with a white suede tip at the toe and white suede stripes. I then got into Stan Smiths after that (the back of the shoe and lettering were green then), and at the time they really weren't cool shoes in the 'hood. Why would they be, they're tennis shoes.

The thing that was interesting about shopping for sneakers in the Bronx during my teen years was that we used to take the train all the way from the tip of the North East section of the Bronx to Simpson St. and Freeman St. in the South Bronx. That was where you could buy your sneakers, and Jordache and Sassoon Jeans. Now let me get to the interesting part. We used to call every store in that section, or at least two of them, Jew Man. Now this is meant as no offense to anyone, but I suppose the proprietors were Jewish. But the thing was if something cost $35 and you only had $30, you could do what we call in New York, Jew them down, to $30. Again, no offense meant. It was cool to come back to the block and ask someone what they paid for their gear and to boast that you got the same thing for a lower price.

My Kicks
The Lynne d United Sneaker Collection

A few other pair of sneakers that I'll never forget were a pair of blue suede Spauldings, deep blue nylon Nike running shoes with a white swoosh, the original all white leather K Swiss, light gray leather high top Chuck Taylors, white nylon Adidas Samoa running shoes with red stripes, a pair of black adidas boxing shoes with white stripes (think Janet Jackson "Pleasure Principle" video), a pair of original all white Converse Dr. J hi-tops, and then of course the New Balance I bought to run track with in both high school and college. I've owned lots of sneakers in my days, so many that I can't even remember them all. Most of my adult life, I've had a boot fetish, so the sneakers kind of took a backseat. At least that was until recently. It seems I am revisiting my childhood need to find sneakers that stand out from the rest. In essence, I've become somewhat of a sneaker collector.

Currently I own two pair of Pumas, a pair of Nikes, a pair of Reeboks, a pair of Merrells, and one pair of Adidas. When I think of Adidas, I again am reminded of my youth. The letters that spell Adidas became an acronym for All Day I Dream About Sex. What won't kids think of? Like we were really thinking about sex then. I know I wasn't, but then today what has become a love jones for owning distinctive sneakers in my life could be likened to that ultimate quest for the overarching climax.

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06.14.02 10:26 PM

what the fluff?

I just went to visit my BP page, and this really made me ROF&LMAO. You see, on BP in the games section, we had a battle rhymes game. I forget the exact name of it. Right before I was downsized, I was responsible for populating that area of the site and setting up new battle themes. So, I hadn't written a rhyme in a couple of years. Poetry and spoken word pieces, yes, but actual rhymes, nah, ugh. N-E-Wayz, I guess doing that little project had some influence on me, 'cuz I ended up writing my own battle rhyme off the top and put it on my BP Page. When I read it now, it makes me chuckle. But it is kind of befitting to this moment in time too.

u mad counterfeit/ i'm about to dollar get/ i display/ my forte/ for getting paid/ it didn't use to be this way/ i remember back in the day/ when i used to stay up late/ fretting my fate/ cuz the rent wasn't met/ hungry all the time/ with my belly swole/ i was mad happy/ just to get a tootsie roll/ but that shyt's old/ the story has been too many times told/ now i'm dipping into bank rolls/ my allowance exponentially folds

hee-hee :-)

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06.13.02 08:14 PM

the next michael jackson

On IM yesterday, G. and I were discussing how Usher has appropriated Michael Jackson-like qualities within a hip-hop context. The dance moves, the leather jacket, even the glove. Yet, Usher is more accessible than MJ because he is not viewed as a freak. Whenever you saw MJ dancing with his dancers, you never felt he was one of them. With Usher, you get one of the homeboys. Usher is the new international pop icon and he has the ego to go along with it. Why just in the New York Daily News the other day, the artist was boasting about his artistic abilities.

"This is my time for domination," he says of the upcoming decade. "Ages 23 through 33 will be my prime. So, beware."
"I was born to be a headliner," the singer says, savoring his role as the main attraction. "Headlining is a piece of cake."

Lola Ogunnaike, Daily News Feature Writer wrote:

Usher, 23, has become one of the best-selling acts in R&B, as well as an international heartthrob. And these facts are not at all lost on the cocky young star, who was barely a blip on music's radar screen not too long ago.

In a business that has been dominated by white boy bands and blonds baring more midriff than a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, Usher speaks to an underserved group: black teenage girls.

Since MJ hasn't been pulling his weight over at Sony, the label plans to release 2 greatest hits records that will finish out his contract. Wacko Jacko, of course, wants to enlist Cochran to wrestle with the suits in that arena. Either way it doesn't matter, it looks like there's definitely a new King of pop.

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06.12.02 02:17 AM

blahzay blahzah

Why can't they get my name right?

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06.11.02 02:01 AM

infinite possibilities

Amel Larrieux Pic 1
Amel Larrieux performing at SOBs 6.09.02

Amel Larrieux - Infinite Possibilities
He's got infinite possibilities
I can see them now
It's the unbroken chains of his past by which he's bound
He's got infinite possibilities
I can feel them now
If he chooses well, then nothing can tear him down

Amel Larrieux Pic 2
Photos taken by cocotaso

Sunday night 'dege and I went to check out Amel at SOBs. I still can't quite comprehend why non-singers like Ashanti sell truckloads and truckloads of CDs and someone like Amel doesn't even have enough loot in her budget to maintain her touring ensemble. It really disgusts me. This woman pushes from her diaphragm like nobody's business. She's not Rachelle Ferrel mind you. That is, she is not exactly a powerhouse vocalist, but her CDs do her absolutely no justice. This is my second time seeing her perform live, and her range, volume, and ability to riff have all improved immensely. She even pulled an Ella and held a scat duel with her instrumentalists. And on that song Glitches from the Red Star Sounds CD, she blew Black Thoughts lyrics like they were the A train. It was a fluid movement, spiced with hums, moans, groans —damn, at this late hour I don't even have the words to describe what I heard. I have a newfound respect for her and can't wait for her next project. I'm glad I attended with someone who not only dug Amel, but who knew how to use my Coolpix also. *smiles*

As for the chorus to infinte possibilities, I can certainly appreciate and understand the lyrics. For those of you who were here when I first started this blog nearly a year ago, well, you know I've been through some things. Like the man in Amel's song, if you know the rest of the lyrics, I'd rather be standing in the sun too. I think I'm bouncing back and on my way there slowly but surely. For one, today was the first real day of my new FT gig as online editor of Vibe. Much work to be done there, no doubt. There is also great clarity unfolding in other areas of my life. Now all I have to do is figure out how to shine at a new gig, while still maintaining an above 3.0 GPA in a FT MBA program. I've got infinite possibilities, I can feel them now.

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06.09.02 04:51 PM

another thing about my trip to france

How could I forget? At the airport, coming back, they searched my bags in Nice. Only about two other members of my traveling group received the same treatment. I did notice that as soon as I said I had electronic equipment, they appeared concerned. So they pull me over to the side and begin a search through my bags. It really wasn't that bad. I didn't feel violated or anything like that. The most interesting thing about it was that they made me take the disc and batteries out of my digital camera and I had to do the same with my Gameboy. Once I was cleared, they put a stamp on my bags. Going through the metal detectors was also a little interesting, we had to remove our shoes and put them on the conveyor belt with our bags. Funny, I hadn't thought about this incident the whole time since I've been back. Perhaps because I'm watching the original movie "The Jackal," on A&E my memory was prompted.

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06.09.02 11:21 AM

cannes photo essay 2

Cannes Pic

When we arrived at the airport in Nice it was07:00:00 aM on May 18. I was feeling quite sleepy. We took a bus from the airport to the hotel in Mandelieu. On the bus, I was listening to Meshell on my CD portable and looking out the window. (BTW, j. brotherlove has the most awesome review of Meshell's disc on his blog.) I observed out the bus window that the hatchback was the car of choice. It was extremely overcast our first day there. I wasn't happy with that, because I feared my photos would turn out like crap. That first day was a terribly strange day. The overcast skies soon turned to rain, dulling any sense of excitement that I had when I first arrived. My dean spent a lot of time doling out mini vans. It seemed everyone who was a driver wanted to drive, but it turned out you had to be over 25 and able to drive a standard automobile. I, owner of a '91 Mazda MX6 5 Speed, of course ended up being a designated driver. Finally, we went into Cannes, after showering, lunch, and a long drawn out review of our itinerary. The rain began to come down—hard. Whatever good spirits that had been within me, were all too soon washed away by the downpour and all of the disorganization of the day. This was our first day when we arrived at the Festival. I'm the chick in the red hat, skirt, and red Pumas.

I drank lots of wine in France and ate a lot of cheese. I even drank lots of coffee, although that is something I hardly ever do stateside. I realize that the coffee we have here in America tastes like crap. I also drank a lot of Red Bull to keep me up. I spent very little time sleeping, as I was often out with the folks from the other class, riding around in the Benzes they had rented and going to parties. I began to remember a smattering of French and used it quite infrequently. You see, my French sounds like Spanish. I was glad I had saved my tax return, and some other monies for this trip. I was able to live it up quite a bit. I received a really expensive pedicure at the Nogo Hilton. The reason I mention this is because something that made my stomach turn happened during the pedicure. The women at the salon had a dog, and he munched on the shavings from my feet that had fallen to the floor as I waited for my toenails to dry. Yuck!!!

The Smart Car

This smart car is a vehicle being introduced slowly and surely into the European automobile market. It saves a lot of money on gas. But then it looks like there's no car pooling to be had here. At least it looks a little cool. The future is now.

Saint Tropez Chilling

I didn't really get any good photos of myself on my own camera, because I seemed to be unable to teach anyone how to use my Nikon Coolpix 950. The camera seems pretty simple to me, but hey, you never know. This was me in Saint Tropez. It was another overcast day. I was with the Mercedes Benz crew, chilling out by the waterside. It was beautiful there. We did quite a bit of shopping and of course we had to stop and have some crepes. Chez Magnifique. As if I even know what that means. Check my LL inspired one leg up, one leg down styleee. It's a NYC hip-hop thang if you don't understand.

Tropez Sign

It was funny to me that the French seem to have so much disdain for Americans, especially after seeing this symbol of gratitude toward American Marines. I can't begin to tell you how many times we heard the statement, "No, it is not possible." If you can say it with a French accent, trust me it sounds better. We heard this when we tried to get into parties, when we tried to bargain for merchandise we were purchasing, when we tried to order something off the menu a little differently from how the menu read. I did have a good time though. And I did meet many nice French folks, who didn't mind that I was botching up their language. They worked with me. It seemed that in Cannes, things were a little harder than in other places. There is this backlash because America dominates the film market. Other countries really want a chance at international success with their movies. So I suppose I understand all the attitude that we sometimes received in Cannes. I did get to attend at least one of those VIP parties, and the first night there we crashed a party at the UniFrance Tent. Being a New Yorker, it wasn't such a big deal to me. I see celebrities walking down Broadway and in Soho all the time. Besides, in my profession, I am not in a position to get excited over them. So I don't.

I do have more photos. Some scenery shots that I might use later. There were jaunts to Monaco, Saint Tropez, Nice for shopping, and Saint Paul D'Vance. I really have some nice shots from this medieval castle we went to. As for now, this is all I have to show and tell about Cannes. I'm still a little burnt out. To see Cannes Photo Essay 1, go here.

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06.04.02 07:59 PM

it ain't over

Actually, it's not that I'm bored. It's just that I have been doing so much writing in both my school and professional lives that I am a little burnt out. It's getting harder and harder to convey my thoughts in the written word. Even harder to flip a metaphor, or to juxtapose some totally unrelated ideas. I'm kind of in a cocoon stage, waiting to be resuscitated. It may take a new site design to bring me out, and it may not.

As a matter of fact, a slew of ideas did a ticker tape dance across the right side of my brain computer today. So maybe there is hope that a burst of creativity will burrow its way through and out onto this Web page. As for now, everything is muddled and murky. I have had to push out so much content in the past couple of months, that it simply sapped all the originality out of me. In its place is left some mediocre banality. But I'm channeling the ancients, living in the moment, and meditating.

There is so much to be said about my trip to Cannes. So much to be said about what is going on at school. So much to say about Brooklyn. So much to say about my new job. So much to say about India and Pakistan. So much to say about the Lakers and the Nets. So much to say about the books and articles I'm reading and the music I'm listening to. So much to say, but there is often so little time to say it all. I guess I just have to relearn how to freak my hieroglyphs as text. Perhaps I'll post some more photos until then. But for now, as we used to say back in the 'hood, I'm Audi.

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06.01.02 09:14 PM


sittin' back 08:43:00 PM
sittin' back
in the cut
looking fine
look at that
nigga' what
this shit is mine
Res — Sittin' Back (Chorus)

I'm either bored with blogging, bored with the Web, bored with my site, or simply overwhelmed by my life. I think I'll call nadege and ask her to make a new splash page image for me and to take new photos of me for the interior of the site, so I can make a new design. She designed the image that is on the home page now when I was working with her at It also appears on my BP page, which I really haven't updated since I was downsized last year although in February I did finally go in there and take off my title that I held at BP and put that date as my last update to the page. BTW, got a new full time gig, but more on that later. I want to wait until I get in there and really start doing something before I start talking about it. I think I still have a touch of jet lag. After school this evening, I came home and just zonked out. It has been a terribly strenuous week for me. Lots of finalizing of paper work at my internship and PT gig. This semester is really going to kick my ass, and with a new FT gig and all I hope I can keep it up. I've also been busy helping my girl Mel move back to BK from Harlem. She really hated it up there.

I still have to post more photos and thoughts from Cannes, but like I said I'm either bored or tired right now, so it will take a little while.

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