Can Men And Women Really Be “Just Friends”?….. F**k Yeah!

August 10, 2011 at 6:16 PM (Journaling, Opinions) (, , , , , , , )

Okay so, in a few of my other posts, primarily under the category “Crazy Stuff That Happens To Me”, I’ve mentioned my best friend, DaQuan aka Deacon (long story about his nickname). Now, this dude and i have been besties for about 4 years now, not including a brief hiatus back in September of last year. We are totally buds; we love partying, buggin’ out, and just chillin’ with one another. We have an intangible bond, almost to the point of a brother-sister type of relationship. It didn’t happen right away, but we’ve kinda grown on each other and I look at him as a part of my family.

But, there is one problem: DaQuan has an annoying girlfriend with an IQ of about -70 and lower self-esteem than a spineless amoeba.

For some unimaginable reason, the girl–whom I don’t care to name–has always felt threatened by me and my friendship with DaQuan. She worries that I will, summoning all my succubus-inspired, man-stealing powers, take him from her and keep him all to myself. There are two major flaws in her theory, however. Number one: I am not attracted to DaQuan in that way; and two: I have never, do not, and will never want him! Not in a romantic way, at least. Deacon and I have gotten into every kind of trouble imaginable here in NYC and he knows way too much about the real me–there would be absolutely no where for the relationship to go. And, most especially, I am not attracted to him sexually. Once I begin to look at someone as family, there is no going back.

But there is no convincing this chick. I mean seriously, is her self-esteem so low that she can’t realize that, after all this time, I’ve never laid a hand of anything other than friendship on him? Is she pissed that I am everything she aspires to be: confident, intelligent, pretty, and, not to mention, fun? She’s probably pissed that I don’t have to play on pity to get people to talk to me the way she does. And also, she hates on the fact that I have an awesome relationship with my dad and she does not. I feel for her in that respect. It sucks that her father doesn’t want anything to do with her. But, one shouldn’t hate on another because the other person has what one desires most wholeheartedly.

And her lame excuse for not liking DaQuan’s and my relationship is because we are of the opposite sex. Umm, I don’t know if homegirl realizes it yet, but this is the year 2011. And if you still believe that a man and a woman cannot just be friends, then you need to get your fucking head examined ASAP.

Bottom line, 97% of my friends have penises, and I can honestly say that I’ve only ever been sexual with a few of them (mostly because we started out as more than friends but later decided to be plutonic). So DaQuan’s girlfriend can either shut the hell up and learn from the master (me, of course), or she can go jump off of the Verrazano Bridge. Either way is fine with me. :-)

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The Weirdest Places To Make Love

July 21, 2011 at 10:14 PM (Crazy Stuff That Happens To Me, Fun Stuff, Journaling, Musings) (, , , , , )

I’ve heard of some pretty crazy stuff in my day, but I’ve been getting tons of emails from guys (and girls) asking me things about my love/sex life. That doesnt freak me out, but it is kind of odd to ask someone to tell you the different places they’ve had sex. I started not to respond to any of these questions.

But then I decided what the hell; there’s no shame in my game. Before I decided to kinda settle down with Sergio a bit, I was a wild girl. Truthfully, I delighted in wild, dangerous escapades. Since 99% of my readers are over 18, I find no fault with recapping some of my favorite places to make whoopie!

The Most Exciting/Dangerous/Weird places I’ve Ever had Sex

Well, that’s all I can remember right now. Hmm, this list makes me look trashy. But whatever, I’m a hot-blooded 21-year-old; what can I say?

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My Top 25 Favorite Books of All Time

July 21, 2011 at 9:10 AM (Fun Stuff, Top 25) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Here I go again with the Top 25 :-)

  1. The Catcher in the Rye, by JD Salinger:  Holden Caufield is an iconic character that had transcended generations. Every angst-ridden teen can relate to his awkwardness and his almost existentialist views on life and the world around him.
  2. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee: Atticus Finch was my hero, an Scout reminds me of myself as a young child, growing up with silent and not-to-silent racism.
  3. Cry, the Beloved Country, by Alan Paton: This for me was the African historical drama to end all historical dramas. Very powerful and moving.
  4. Things Fall Apart, by Chinua Achebe: This novel painted a harsh picture of colonization in Africa and shows what happens when a tribe is stripped of its traditions, customs, and beliefs, and left with nothing–chaos ensues.
  5. The Stranger, by Albert Camus: This book showed a glimpse into the life and death of a detached existentialist Frenchman with alarming fluidity. The book seemed boring when I’d first read it in 7th grade. But when I was a 10th-grader, I reread and found a deeper meaning–which goes completely against the central theme of Camus’ work ;-P
  6. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy: Hands down one of the longest novels I’ve read willingly. But a splendid read nonetheless; I love a tragic romance.
  7. Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte: Heathclif was my secret obsession for a while. His capacity for love and vengeance has enthralled me for years.
  8. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte: I became a feminist after reading this novel. Burned my bras and everything…. Of course i had to buy new ones the next day though :-(
  9. Inferno, by Dante: Probably one of the most sinister books I’ve read to date; it made me want to be a good Christian afterwards. Beautifully written.
  10. Locas, by Yxta Maya Murray: Ever want to know what it’s like to be Latina and unwittingly thrown into Thug Life? —Nope, you probably haven’t, but this books illustrates it anyway. Good read.
  11. Hamlet, by Shakespeare: “Oh, frailty thy name is woman!” — one of my favorite lines. I love Hamlet’s commitment to avenging his father’s death. That’s love.
  12. Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, by Tennessee Williams: I love Mr. William’s plays. Maggie was a spitfire and Brick was exactly what his name denotes. This play was written superbly and I got to play the role of Maggie in a school play in 9th grade :-)
  13. A Streetcar Named Desire, by Tennessee Williams: I love Stanley because he is such a brute of a man. This play was phenomenal and Marlon Brando played the hell out of the role back in the 50s.
  14. Interview With A Vampire, by Anne Rice: Vampires, Paris, and old Colonial America all wrapped up into one hell of a story.
  15. Of Mice & Men, by John Steinbeck: One of the saddest and most touching novels I’ve ever read. Lenny & George are unforgettable characters and I totally broke down by the close of the book. This story made me want a pet rabbit.
  16. The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne: I think I identify with Hester a little too much :-/
  17. Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban: I love Harry Potter. But in this particular book, Professor Lupin and Sirius Black steal the show. Their characters were so diverse and yet they meshed together well and helped the story along very well. And plus, Lupin and Sirius sounded totally hot.
  18. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Need I say more?
  19. Julius Cesar, by Shakespeare: Et tu, Brute? I love that line. I cannot recall how many time I’ve used it
  20. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens: Who doesn’t love the French? Who doesn’t love a good revolution?
  21. Beowulf: Gotta love me some Beowulf. That name was so gangsta.
  22. Antigone, by Sophocles: I love the strength of a determined woman! Determined to give her disgraced brother a proper burial, Antigone defies her uncle’s decree and tells him to shove his iron fist up his ass. Brilliant play, highly recommended.
  23. The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams: Poor Laura… Poor Tom. It’s not possible to go to the movies every single night… is it?
  24. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert.: Loved this novel. All 6 million pages of it. Geesh, its long.
  25. Metamorphasis, by Franz Kafka: I would’ve shit myself if I awoke one morning and found out that I was a big ass roach! Wouldnt you?

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Respecting My Elders… or Not. Whatever

July 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM (Crazy Stuff That Happens To Me, Journaling, Opinions) (, , , , , , , , )

This morning got off to a bad start.

Okay, so at around 6:45 am, Sergio and I were making our way back home; the two of us had been at our friends, Jayden’s and Giancarlo’s, house party. I was not-so-secretly envious of how two gay guys could throw a nice party sans all the fighting, arguing, and people messing up their home–I’ve never been blessed with that good luck when it comes to my house parties… But anyway, Serg and I were walking and talking down Edgecombe Avenue, toward our building when Serg spotted an older woman struggling to carry her bags out of her car.

“We should probably help her,” I suggested, trying to be a good Samaritan. “She looks like she needs help.”

“You think so?” he wondered, peering over his shoulder at the tiny, silver-haired woman. I nodded, following his gaze. “But how did she get all of those bags in her car to begin with?”

“No le importa,” I told him. “Let’s just go ask her if she needs help.”

Sergio looked at me then with an odd expression on his cherubic face. “Who are you and what have you done with my girlfriend?”

I frowned. “What’dya mean?”

“My Bam-Bam is never this nice to people,” he said frankly. “What’s going on?”

I rolled my eyes at him and folded my arms over my chest. “Whatever, douche,” I muttered as I stalked over to where the old woman was standing beside her 1994 Nissan Maxima. The car was old and rusty and looked like it was just salvaged from the junk yard. When I was close enough to her, the woman and her car both smelled like rust, vitamins and pee. But I still wanted to help her. Not so much because I’m such an angel of a person–Lord knows that just isn’t true. But i thought it would grant me some good karma to do a good deed. Basically, I was seeking some curry favor with Jesus.

“G’morning, ma’am,” I greeted her brightly, unintentionally feighning a southern accent. I gave her my best smile and even tucked my hair behind my ear for good measure. “Would you like some help with your bags?”

The woman looked up at me and then up at Sergio. She seemed bewildered by my kind gesture, which I didn’t understand at first. But then I remembered the area in which we lived and I figured that she should be skeptical.

“I left my shopping cart at home,” she told us unnecessarily after a charged moment of silence. “I live right there.” She pointed to the building directly across the street from where we stood. Now, to be clear, Edgecombe Ave is a peculiar block. It sits below St. Nicholas Ave, down a hill. So, the lady would’ve had to climb a kinda long flight of stairs to reach her building’s entrance,which was on St. Nick.

“I can carry these bags up those stairs for you,” Sergio offered. Then he turned and spoke directly to me. “Your doctor said you shouldn’t be carrying anything heavy,” he reminded me. “You’re gonna hurt yourself.”

“Oh, I almost forgot,” I admitted (Okay, whatever, I totally forgot). “I’m sorry miss. But my boyfriend will help you. Okay?”

“I’m not a damsel in distress,” the lady murmured rudely, shoving her paper-thin hand onto her probably recently replaced hip. “I can carry my own bags. Even if I have to make two or three trips!”

That took me by surprise and I was momentarily at a loss for words–a rarity for me. But within an instant I was immediately on the defensive. “No one is trying to say that you’re in distress,” I gritted out, trying to hold off on the aggression–she was just a little old lady, after all. “We just wanted to help you.”

“Why would I want a floosy helping me with my bags? Why don’t you and this boy go and get pregnant, do drugs, or something, and stop trying to politely rob old people at 7 in the morning!” She rolled her beady black eyes at me, and in that moment all respect flew out the window…. Flew out the window, landing on the freeway, and got ran over by a truck. A MAC truck.

“Well to hell with you, you old, wrinkled piece of shit!” I shouted at her. My voice was so startlingly loud that Sergio jumped and in my peripheral I spotted some squirrels running up a nearby tree. “We were just trying to help you out. We dont need your goddamned money. What, do you think every black or hispanic person is out to rob you? Get the f–”

Sergio threw his hand over my mouth to try and shut me up. “Baby, c’mon, let’s just go home. She isn’t worth all of that,” he whispered urgently into my ear. “This old bitch aint worth you getting yourself sick.”

“But she’s mad rude, yo!” I bellowed, my English accent rising to the summit of my throat. “How dare she be that old and ungrateful! She’s bloody mad. Mad, I tell you!”

“Let’s go!” Sergio grabbed my hand and tried to yank me back.

But the lady wasn’t finished talking smack. “You kids today have no respect. No morals, not couth.” She looked at me and shook her head back and forth. “And you’re dressed like a hooker and you talk like a filthy sailor, young lady. How old are you 18? 19? You need to act your age and show some respect to your elders.”

“I was trying to show some respect, but f**k it now. And I’m almost 22 and I am acting my age. I would tell you to act your age, but you’d probably drop dead if I did, you old bag!”

With that the lady dropped her car keys and her wrinkled white hand flew to her chest. “Well, I’ve never–”

“Well now you have,” I interrupted. I turned to Sergio then and he was shaking his head. “I’m ready to go home now,” I announced. “I’m too cool for this shit.”

And with that, we started walking again, leaving the old lady standing there in the street, mouth ajar, keys on the ground….

Listen up, people. Respect is due to a dog. You have to earn it. I don’t care how old someone is or what position they hold above you. If someone doesn’t show you the respect you try to show them, then to hell with them! Life is too short to go around taking shit from people. ANyone who disrespects me is gonna get a full blast of how disrespectful I can be. The more mature thing to do is ignore people, just walk away. But that’s not me. Maybe Ghandi and Jesus could deal with that ignorance, but I’m not them. So…. Whatever.

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And Then There Was Just Emptiness

July 20, 2011 at 12:14 AM (Crazy Stuff That Happens To Me, Journaling) (, , , , , , , , )

The Summertime is supposed to be a fun, glorious, carefree time of year. And it is–apparently for everyone else, except me. Summer has always been a trying time of year for me. The ironic thing is that my birthday [August 3rd] is smack in the middle of the season. And yet, I still find myself dreading the sun, loathing the sticky heat of the east coast, and rejecting any source of vitamin D that isn’t in pill form (as prescribed by my doctor, of course). Bottom line: I have never enjoyed summer.

But this year, I’d decided that it was about time that I changed. I, in light of recent events, had made a choice to face my fear of the sun head-on and try to get more daylight in my life. I’m not a vampire, after all. And there is no reason I should continue to come outside after 8pm, when the Sun begins to make its decent. Sweating is natural, and I shouldn’t detest it like an illness–if you are alive, you sweat. With all this in mind,  and with the fact that I need to exercise more regularly, I decided the other morning to get up at 6am and go for a nice walk.

This proved to be a potentially fatal mistake.

Okay, so I woke up that morning at 5:45am. The sun was already ascending steadily, taking its place among the blue-grey clouds in the sky. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, grabbed my water bottle out of the freezer, and made my way out in to the heat. By the time my feet hit the sidewalk, I could already feel the moisture that hung low in the air like a bad smell. I took a deep pull on my asthma pump for good measure, because I knew that the humidity would make the actual heat even more unbearable for me.

And with that, I trudged on forth toward the Forbidden trail.

The infamous Forbidden Trail

But when i arrived at the trail, the tress looked even more dense than they had even the day before, making vision a bit more limited. Now, I consider myself a brave person, but I am not stupid enough to walk along a dark trail that just happens to border on a rocky cliff side. At least, not by myself. Who knows what weirdos would be waiting to start some crap this morning? So, instead of putting myself in unnecessary danger, I decided to take the highroad–literally–and walk on the street like everybody else.

I found myself listening to Janis Joplin, Nirvana, The Carpenters, and or course, Queen, on my iPhone during my walk. This proved to help me concentrate more on walking and less on the fact that i felt like  my skin was burning a peeling off. As the sun rose higher and higher, so did my body temperature and my exhaustion level. But with songs like “Piece of My Heart” and “Radio Ga-Ga” blaring in my ears, it was all-t0o-easy to get ahead of myself. But the time my bf called me, it was 7:45 and I’d totally walked way farther than I’d intended.

startled into a state of awareness, my eyes darted toward the street sign which read W207 & Broadway. Now that’s 60+ blocks away from my house; so, as one can imagine, I was really surprised. I answered my phone in a dead voice, still shocked by my surroundings. “Uhh, hello?” i murmured.

“Bam?!” Sergio shouted into the receiver. He’s recently took to resurrecting my back-in-the-day nickname, Bam-Bam; I’ve no idea why exactly. “Where the hell are you?”

His normally deep voice was now shrill and marred with anxiety–it managed to startle me back to the present. “Um, I’m uptown,” I told him truthfully.

“Uptown where?” he queried.

Uptown Manhattan,” I sassed. I don’t like to be quizzed; even though I know he was just concerned for my well-being, his tone of voice put me on edge.

“Hey, don’t get smart with me, Bam,” he warned. “I’m just looking out for you. You know that you shouldn’t be out in this heat. It’s s’possed to go up to 95 degrees today.”

I was fully aware of that. “Yeah, that’s why I wanted to get out early before it got that hot.” But, to be honest, it was already too hot outside. At least, it was way too hot for me. I had sticky perspiration dewing on the back of my neck, my forehead was covered in a thin sheen of sweat, and the front of my shirt felt a bit damp.

But worst of all, I was starting to feel dizzy. I needed to head home. Quickly. Or else I knew that it was only a very short matter of time before something bad happened to me.

After listening to Sergio lecture me on my health, I’d decided to head back home to my bed and my air conditioner. I’d made it all the way to the forbidden Trail when I started to feel very loopy. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew that I should’ve stayed on the street, in the public, in case something happened. But my feet, of their own volition, steered me onto the trail. I was tripping over stray rocks and damp foliage, I was ducking from birds, and I’m about 99% sure that I was singing along to “About A Girl” by Nirvana. I was delirious, exhausted and fresh out of water in my sports bottle.

Washington Heights, NYC

The Forbidden Trail, pt 2

I kept feeling like there was someone following, but I was too out of it to care. But when the footsteps began to get closer and closer, i had enough sense to reach into the waistband of my basketball shorts and pull out my protection. [I do not, under any circumstances, promote violence or the illegal use of weapons.] I stopped walking and i veered off a little to one side, to let whoever was behind me pass. But when I stopped, so did the footsteps. With a renewed sense of urgency my survival skills kicked in on overdrive. I turned around quickly, weapon drawn, ready to fight for my life if need be.

There was a raggedy-looking man standing behind me. His wife-beater was torn and dirty, his hair was a mess, and he smelled like hot, day-old trash. He didn’t look at me because he was too busy with his hands in the air and his eyes staring down a barrel. So when i finally shook of my lightheadedness enough to speak, my voice boomed and startled him.

“What the f**K are you doing?” I demanded. The harshness of my voice made him cringe visibly, but I pretended not to notice. “You tryna get yourself killed?”

“Please don’t shoot,” the man begged, still avoiding eye-contact with me. “I wasnt going to do anything to you.”

“You damn right, you aren’t,” I hissed. “Because if you tried you be full of holes right now.”

“I’m sorry for scaring you,” he said with a trembling voice. “I just wanted to know if you were gonna throw away that bottle you have.”

I frowned at the dirty man who looked like he never stepped foot in a shower before. “What does that have to do with….” I let my retort trail off when I peered over the guy’s shoulder and spotted a very large, clear garbage bag full of plastic bottles and cans. The man was collecting bottles so that he could trade them in for coins. So needless to say, I felt like shit at that point.

I didn’t have the strength to apologize to the man and looking back, I really don’t think that i owe him one. I was scared and needed to defend myself. In the end, I let the man go and I gave up my bottle–it was empty anyway and therefore it was totally useless to me.

Fast forward 15 minutes.

I arrived at my apartment sweaty, wheezing, and beyond dizzy. My mother, nervous and concerned about my well-being helped me get undressed and into the bath to take a cool shower. My skin was on fire, I couldn’t feel my tongue, and my vision was dimming rapidly. My mom said that the cold water would shock my system back into gear and so I followed her instructions like a woman desperate to live–I seriously thought I was gonna die that morning. I felt like shit, i looked like shit, and I was absently talking shit.

I got in the shower and for a very brief moment, the cold water shocked me a little, like my mum said. But then, all of a sudden, I couldn’t hear anything. It was as if someone had put everything on mute. And then I began to sway on my feet. The water and soap made the floor of my tub ultra slippery and I felt myself about to fall, and so I called out to my mother as loud and I possibly could.

And then there was just emptiness.

I startled awake to the splashing of ice-water on my face and Sergio’s frantic screaming. My head was pounding and it hurt to open my eyes. But i knew that there were other eyes on me–I could feel them. When I heard my mum’s anxious voice I got panicky. I didn’t remember what had happened and when I finally squinted to see what was going on, I saw Sergio, mum, my brother Malcolm, and two EMTs surrounding the couch in my living room. And that’s when it dawned on me: I had totally passed out.

“Can you hear me, pretty girl?” the dark-skinned EMT asked me as he checked for a pulse in my wrist.

I heard Sergio snort on the other side of me. “Um, how many damn times are you gonna keep touching her like that?” he growled at the EMT.

“Sergio,” my mother said in her warning voice. “Let the nice man do his job.”

“Does his job require inappropriate touching?” he demanded.

“I’m just checking her pulse,” the EMT told him. “And it is a part of my job. So please, just let me do my job.”

“Yo, who’ are you gettin’ tough with?” Sergio puffed.

“Alright, that’s enough,” my mom interjected. “Sergio, go fix Bam one of those protein shakes she likes, please. She needs something in her stomach.”

“Fine,” he grumbled as I heard his footfalls become increasingly far away.

After some more questions from the EMTs and a protein shake that I didn’t enjoy at all, the EMT’s left and Sergio reluctantly left for work. My mum told me what an airhead I was for going that far and not bring enough fluids and that i need to stay off of the trail. And after she left and i was alone in my room, I flopped back down onto my bed and turned my head toward my window. As expected, the Sun was just outside, staring at me in that condescending way it always does. Using all of my bit of strength, I got up, closed the blinds and put my AC on. And I slept until 8pm that night and then got up to start my evening. Summer days are not for me, obviously, so I’m just gonna stick with the night-time. I like vampires anyway.

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My Top 25 Favorite Artists of All Time

July 8, 2011 at 8:10 PM (Fun Stuff, Journaling, Musings, Opinions, Top 25) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

For some reason I like make top 25 lists :-D.

My Top 25: Favorite Recording Artists of All Time

  1. Freddie Mercury– He was, is, and will always be a God in my book. The would will never have another voice like his.
  2. David Bowie– There really is no need for an explanation; it’s David F**kin’ Bowie, dude!
  3. The Notorious B.I.G.– He is still the number one rapper in the world to me. He spoke of the ‘hood’ and real stuff that I can relate to. Once again, the hood will never hear another voice like his.
  4. Janis Joplin– Her voice was incredible. So much soul, so much verve. Unfortunately, she joined the 27 Club with a few more of my favorite artists.
  5. Celia Cruz– She was awesome, for lack of better words. She gave a voice to Latinas and held her ground as one of the greatest Latin artists of all time. Viva Celia pa’ siempre!
  6. Bob Marley– This man helped to put the Caribbean on the map for the entire world to see. He spoke of real issues and fearlessly voiced his opinions to the world. #Respect
  7. Kurt Cobain– Another member of the ill-fated 27 Club, Kurt’s voice was raspy and ornery but it resonated like a howling wind in my ears. I have no choice but to play Nirvana hits all day long.
  8. Joan Jett– She was and still is such a badass. You’ve gotta love her and her rhythm guitar.
  9. Jim Morrison– This man was controversial and he knew it. But, what i love is that he wasn’t afraid to be who he was and say what he had to say. #FuckWhatPeopleSay
  10. Dr. Dre– I’ve been listening to Dre since I was younger and my mom told me not to listen to him. He might be from the west coast but his style and his beats are universal and light up any party. And who doesn’t like #Chronic?
  11. Gregory Isaacs– With songs like “Night Nurse” and “Substitute Lover”, Greg Isaacs and his laid back, sexy style will forever be etched into my brain and my heart.
  12. Nas– This man speaks the truth and that’s that. He’s arguably one of the best rappers of all time–second only to B.I.G.
  13. Jimmy Page– He totally founded one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Gotta love Led Zeppelin.
  14. Richard Carpenter– Are you kidding? The Carpenters friggen rocked, you’ve gotta love a brother/sister duo. And who doesnt love quaaludes?
  15. Ozzy Osbourne– With a heavy metal career spanning over 40 years, Ozzy is definitely on my list. The dude bit the head off of a live bat, for Christ’s sake. How could I not adore him?
  16. Alice Cooper– He is the only artist on this list that has managed to scare the shit out of me while pleasuring my eardrums. Love him!
  17. Lil’ Kim– This New York chick will forever be a fave of mine because she spits lightning and she shits thunder. One of the greatest female rappers of all time.
  18. Stevie Wonder– He’s the person responsible for me learning to play piano–i wanted to play like Stevie
  19. Michael Jackson– im not a big Pop fan, but he was the best at what he did and he’ll be sorely missed.
  20. Patti Smith– First of all, Horses was one of the greatest albums of all time, in my opinion. Who wouldn’t love the God-Mother of Punk?
  21. Johnny Rotten– He was very instrumental in the punk movement of the 70′s and is one of the loudest, most ornery singers everrrrrr.
  22. Pat Benatar– I totally adore her mezzo-alto vocal range. She’s got longevity and a timeless voice.
  23. Aretha Franklin– Need I say more?
  24. Lauren Hill– I loved her in the Fugees and i loved her even more solo. She stuck close to her Afro-caribbean roots and sang from the depths of her soul. Music today needs more like her.
  25. Erykah Badu– Ms. Badu is a bad mamajama. With songs like “Call Tyrone” and “On and On” she manages to make me laugh and think…

Runner-ups: Jay-Z, Raekwon, Jacob Miller, Karen Carpenter, Robert Plant, Whitney Houston, Sade, Beyonce Knowles

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Fear: Just When I Thought I Was Brave :-/

July 7, 2011 at 2:15 PM (Journaling, Musings, Opinions) (, , , , , , , , )

Fear is a very peculiar thing for me. I have always thought of myself as a particularly brave person, living life with no fear. I am not scared of heights, I love the dark, and I frequently walk through neighborhoods that have only recently been gentrified–yeah, I think I’m pretty brave. But, as I am quickly learning about the world and myself, fear is not always something tangible. It is very possible to genuinely fear something that you cannot see, feel, hear, or smell (although why someone would fear a smell is beyond me).  I hadn’t come to this realization until very recently when I was faced with the possibility of my mortality.

When I was a child, maybe ages 8-13, I was a pretty rambunctious kid, into any and everything. I threw so much caution to the wind that I wouldn’t have known a potentially deadly situation if it smacked the shit outta me. By the time I was an adolescent, I had already been through a horde of scary ordeals that had managed to leave me callous and emotionally cut off from the rest of the world. My brother and I were taken from my mother, I watched my favorite cousin get killed in front of my face, my childhood bff was killed in a car accident, and I had already been in more fights than an Ultimate Fighter. All of these things, coupled with a kinda shitty home life, shaped me into a hard, fearless, and very foolish child. I guess I’d figured, ‘hey, I’ve lived through all types hell–what more can happen?’

I’d trained myself not to feel anything, not to fear anything. Nothing bothered me because I was too ignorant to notice when I was in true danger. This was not just foolish of me, it was downright selfish; putting myself in harm’s way not only affected me adversely, it destroyed my parents’ peace of mind and trust in me. My mom and dad feared for my life. With the way i was headed, they didn’t think that I’d  make it to the age of 21. My lack of fear for my safety and well being, coupled with my lack of respect for those around me had me on a nowhere road of turmoil and destruction–and I was speeding like there was no tomorrow.

And then I was smacked in the face with the possibility of death.

I underwent major surgery on 28 June 2011 and for the first time in my adulthood I feared for my life. Of course the doctors, nurses, my family and friends all tried to convince me that everything would turn out okay, and that the possibility of death was 0.01% of something crazy like that.  But I remained obstinately unconvinced. And I wasn’t scared of the physical dying part–I was more fearful of the repercussions of my death. How would my parents’ deal with the loss of their child? How would my siblings deal? Who would take care of my father when he got older? Who would continue to teach my little sister about the awesomeness of 70′s and 80′s rock? What would become of my puppy and my cat? And above all, would I burn for eternity?

I was all-of-a-sudden plagued with guilt, shame for my past indiscretions, and fear, emotions that I haven’t felt since my mom took my pacifier away when I was five…. okay, whatever, I was seven. I was immediately repentant; I prayed to God for forgiveness, I prayed to Buddah, Allah, Yahweh, Tom Cruise, Oprah, the Dalai Lama, and everyone else who I could think of.

I was terrified of the possibilities of what would happen after the event of my death. I was afraid of what people would think of me, what they would say after I was gone. I wasn’t afraid of the pain of surgery or whether death would be easy of hard. All of my fear was perceived and totally intangible; but I felt the sting just as potently as I would if I’d kicked a hornets’ nest.

And now that I’m done with surgery and I’m recuperating nicely, I reflect on how scared I was of all that I couldn’t see, feel, or smell, and I thank God that I am alive and given another chance to right some of my wrongs and change my path to a more acceptable and more meaningful one. Instead of letting my fear hinder and cripple me, I am going to let it drive me forward. I am learning to embrace it and let it steer me down a road of greatness…

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