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Wonder Woman (Spoiler Review)

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Before we all die I just want to say…

Let’s talk about Wonder Woman!

There are going to be a lot of spoiler free reviews and I will admit to you that this is not one of them.

I consider myself a bit of a comic book movie connoisseur of sorts. I generally tend to watch what new comic book movie come out with a few exceptions. I knew, just like most people, that Wonder Woman would be one of the most anticipated movies in a long time. I’m sure someone will correct me if I’m wrong but I think is this the first woman lead superhero movie since Elektra in 2005, which means there was a need for this type of movie.

So right to it, Wonder Woman is the best movie DC has produced since The Dark Knight. I have this ranked #3 on my Comic Book movie list on IMDB right under Captain America: Winter Soldier.

Why so high? Here a few reasons why: Storyline makes sense, cinematography was incredible, casting was great (with one flaw), the fight scenes were awesome (her lasso though!), there was an emotional connection to the characters, and there is a high re-watchability factor.

The fact that this takes place mainly during WW1 is practically a new concept considering most golden age heroes all debuted during WW2. What makes sense is that the first world war was genuinely considered to be the war to end all wars. It was a horrible war with unspeakable horrors which makes it a perfect stomping ground for the God of War, Ares. (Spoiler time) What I enjoyed was the fact that they combined two of Wonder Woman’s origins in the end to explain who she really is. Hippolyta creating Diana from clay was an old story that (in the movie) we knew was lie since it was stated Zeus died from fighting Ares. I was happy to know that movie stuck to the origin of her being the actual daughter of Zeus which opens so many possibilities and makes her scenes in Batman v Superman even more legit.

I enjoyed the historical format. It’s a similar film to Captain America: The First Avenger with less fanfare and no Tesseract. She wasn’t fighting high tech solders but she was resisting patriarchy at every turn. As a nerd, I loved the depiction of trench warfare that made WW1 so horrible. Wonder Woman was able to bust through all enemy lines until she met Ares.

Let me stop here for a moment to also point out that what makes this movie better than the previous DC movies is the fact that there were light hearted scenes with Diana and Steve Trevor. Those moments provide the audience with a emotional connection that becomes important later in the movie. I think it’s also important that they let Diana be a woman with emotion and reason. She wasn’t just about kicking ass, she was about caring for the world around her.

I mentioned earlier that there was one casting flaw. Keep in mind that there are people of color in the movie (I loved Sameer and The Chief) including black Amazons. While some people wished that Nubia was in the film, I would like to think that there will be in opportunity to see her down the road. Anyway, so Ares (in my opinion) could have been casted better because I feel like he looked too much like Mike Mclintock (Veep) but I did love the fact that the God of War took the form of a politician. I think that is both poignant and ingenious.

This a must see film that I believe drops socially conscious hints through out the entire film. This does not mean I have new hope for The Justice League but at least we know there is now a gold standard with Wonder Woman.

World Building

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Before we all die I just want to say…

The dust of graduations have now settled and I can finally look at this blog and admit to myself that it’s been more than a month since I’ve made an entry.  Of course, this hasn’t been an accident. While I cannot say that it has been by design, I’ve maintained a certain amount of “radio silence” because there’s just too much happening in the world. There is also too much happening in my life.

Not that this has been a viable excuse but the writer in me has been search for meaning. I have been trying to find it within myself to continue to do what I do. So it has taken me more that a month to reconcile this. Perhaps this is called a writer’s block of sorts but I’m not so sure.

I have been writing but just not to the degree that I want to. What I have been doing is thinking, contemplating, and assessing. The world we know right now is in chaos and I don’t want to be one of those bloggers that will complain about everything because it’s too much. There are no quick fixes and my words are not enough. Instead, I’m refocusing my energies in world building.

Let me explain.

So, my third novel is not flowing out of me the way it should and I refuse to force it out because then it feels less authentic to me. What I’ve been doing is trying to think my way around this problem. I will write dialogue or perhaps start a chapter from a different spot in the story. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. For the times it doesn’t work, I’ve been reading. Granted, my time for doing shit that is just about me is limited these days so I will not pretend that when I say I’ve been reading and writing it means that I have a plethora of time. All these “creative breakthroughs” happen when I get time to be creative, which is not much at the moment.

World building has taken up much of time and not just for the 3rd book. I was struck with an idea that I don’t want to share much of but only to say that I haven’t decided if this will be a YA novel or a comic book. I’m leaning toward the latter which will mean several things if I get there. I want to make sure that, if I do indeed pursuing this, I have all the points to this story fleshed out. I won’t even go into how I have no clue how to write a comic book (so I will have to Google that) and how I will need an artist to design my thoughts and characters.

Again, this is just preliminary shit. Focusing on the 3rd novel is still a priority but I will be honest, the process is becoming a little monotonous. There are times where I want to just leave the story where it is (with that cliff hanger) and there are times where I know exactly what I want to do.

Hopefully I can world build my way out of this.

90 Minutes

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Before we all die I just want to say…

There always comes a point where I have to self reflect on what I’m doing. My last post was about my professional career and how I’m willing to do I need to do in order to be successful. Yet, I struggle with my creative world… or rather,  I feel like I’m struggling.

I’m willing to admit that most of what’s happening is in my head. Perhaps I have higher expectations of what I can actually commit my time to. Why shouldn’t I expect to have a certain amount of success? Yet, I cannot define what that actually means and if I cannot get a definition then what the fuck am I doing? Why am I doing any of this?

I do it for me. But is that enough?

Everyday I follow my calendar. I have meetings upon meetings. I take notes and fulfill tasks based on those meetings and notes. Then I work events and if I’m lucky I get to have a meal at some point. I don’t complain because I love what I do and I follow the script that I set out for myself every day when I’m at work. But what happens when I get home?

Since I live with my mother (until such time as when the house is sold), it turns out that I don’t do nearly as much as I should be doing for me. Sure, I will get home, eat dinner, do chores, and then watch television. My television viewing habits mostly consist of political shows that depict how fucked we are right now. Of course, it’s April now so I can spread out that time watching baseball. So for the most part, my nights are unconstructed space.

Why is this important? Why is this the problem?

Unconstructed space is dangerous for me. As I’ve gotten older, I know that if I plan out my day at work, I will simply get more done. So is there no wonder that I feel like I’m in a perpetual state of nothingness when it comes to writing? I need to start planning out my time when I’m outside of work as much as I do when I’m at work. The reason I didn’t want to do this before is because it seems so tiring. What if I don’t want to do a damn thing? Sometime times I would rather spend my god given, American rite (for now) of doing absolutely nothing when I get home from work.

I can’t afford to do that. Not anymore.

It’s not just about the lack of writing. Sure, I could benefit from writing more blog entries because it fits the need to write everyday. Sure, I could benefit from adding to a third book that I’m supposed to be writing. It also has a lot to do with my volunteer life as a member of ACUI. There are things I need to do for that. I also need to think about ways to be better at marketing myself. So, no, it’s not just entirely about the writing but the majority of it is. Which leads me to the main question, what do I do about this?

90 minutes of writing, 6 days a week.

This is something that I needed to schedule a long time ago. A part of me has let my after work laziness get to me. I made excuses of not living in Harlem any more as a reason for why I stopped writing so much or running as much. The best way for me to get on track with my life is to follow my calendar. This isn’t a declaration that everyone has to do this. As a matter of fact, I wouldn’t have thought that this was a very good a idea for me 2 years ago.

The point is that every so often I change and evolve; and thus I need to adjust my habits. Now if I ever question my decision on whether this will work for me, I will just look at this particular blog post since I wrote 706 words in less than 30 minutes of my 90 minute time.

Time for me to write something else before my time is up.

Focused

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I’ve been working a lot. There’s no other way I can put it. I’ve had to scale back on social media because I need to curb the distractions. This does not mean that I’m less fun, but it does mean I’m focused.

Laser focused on my career.

I have some goals that I need to beat up and when that happens, sacrifices need to made. Of course, this is April and this has always been the busiest of all months. I would know because I’ve been in Higher Education for more than 15 years and it has never gotten dull.

At the moment, I barely look at my Facebook. I’ve gotten a little tired of the same shit and if you know me, I don’t do monotony well. I get bored so easy that I annoy myself. So all the same talk about the same shit has left me wondering why I should even distract myself with this. Although, I cannot say the same for Twitter because… well, Twitter is lit. To be honest, since I’ve gotten that little blue check I’ve felt the need to continue tweeting even if it just a few times a day. After all, I do have books to sell. <— I laugh at this because no one is buying them. lol

Look, what remains is that I don’t take myself too seriously but I take my goals pretty seriously. I feel like things have opened up in my mind and I finally know what I want to do in my professional career. Writing will always be there and I will not stop and I’m not suggesting I will. I believe I can do both as well as I have been, but I’m also realistic.

The self pub thing is a grind. It is an island with a dormant volcano that may or may not erupt. Doing this alone is hard. Doing this with 4-5 people helping is hard. The end result is something that I will always have to justify. Do I take the satisfaction of  writing my own shit in my own way and be told that I’m a great writer but only to see a small amount of financial support? Yes. I am okay with that.

However, I’m not about to be that same way at my day job. My career means a lot because helping student is the prime goal. I think it’s time for me to dive into the deep end of the pool and start challenging myself and my role as a student affairs administrator.

Get Out – The mad late review.

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I saw Get Out the weekend it came out. I posted my review on Facebook and I figured I should put my reaction to this movie on here with a few additional remarks. I think it’s amazing that this movie is doing so well at the box office and while it’s not a perfect movie (very few movies are), it perfectly illustrates a feeling that many people of color have when navigating white spaces.

Light spoilers ahead.

Racism is scary. Bottom line, I learned early in my career I needed to be careful of who I can trust. I remember being at work receptions at Syracuse University where it was me and a few brown folk and we would look relieved to see each other.

Sure it wasn’t a look of… “did they get you yet?” but more of, “you still here?”

There’s a certain familiarity I took from this movie, particularly the way Chris was able to call his friend which allowed him code switch from one reality to another. This allowed him to stay true to himself and it quite possibly saved his life. Which leads me to think about my friends or lack there of. I may need to friend someone who works for TSA. That’s not awkward right? To ask a someone to hang out after they patted you down at the airport? lol

When someone asked me why I felt the need to become a Latino representative at SU,  it was because I didn’t want to lose myself. I didn’t want to fall down that rabbit hole (see what I did there?) of not remembering where I came from. As a young person of color working at PWI, there were so many things going on that it was hard to maintain myself worth and my self identity. Sure, I had self esteem issues, but who doesn’t? The point is that my identity became real important really quickly and that is what lead me to connect with so many students.

I often relate these experience to my time in Syracuse because New York City is different. The racism is still there but it gets hidden in the lights. To be honest, most of us are so busy just trying to pay rent that searching out passive racism is not the top of our lists. However, NYPD choking out a black man on the street for selling loose cigarettes will remind us the type of world we live in.

Syracuse snuggly fits right into Central New York and if you ever take a trip there you wouldn’t notice much is out of place. But, travel to near by Cooperstown (as I did last year) by way of the small roads you will see that America Trump is talking to. Yet, Get Out represents the progressive, almost color-blind, liberals who say they want to create change but want to be in the front of that line when change happens. They are the ones ordering $6 coffees and $8 chopped cheese sandwiches.

This isn’t just a movie about how scary passive racism is, this is about losing our identity to American assimilation of black and brown bodies and gentrification of our cultures and spirits.

Trust me I feel more comfortable in the South Bronx than I do in Skaneateles, NY.

So when someone asks if I will ever move back there…

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The Definition of Lying

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I thought about all the craziness going on in the government and how everything these days is being called “fake news” by President Trump. I thought it would be fitting to list the all the definitions of the word, lie.

I think it’s important to point out that we all know he’s a liar. This is not a false statement. He has told untruths while weaving a web of campaign promises that he has consistently tried to uphold. What makes me laugh/cringe is that even his followers never thought he would do half the things he promised…why? Because he is a liar.

So with that said, you are entitled your opinion but not your own facts.

Lie
noun
1. a false statement made with deliberate intent to deceive; an intentional untruth; a falsehood.
2. something intended or serving to convey a false impression;imposture:
3. an inaccurate or false statement; a falsehood.
4. the charge or accusation of telling a lie:

verb (used without object), lied, lying.
5. to speak falsely or utter untruth knowingly, as with intent to deceive.
6. to express what is false; convey a false impression.

verb (used with object), lied, lying.

7. to bring about or affect by lying (often used reflexively):

Idioms

8. give the lie to,

  1. to accuse of lying; contradict.
  2. to prove or imply the falsity of; belie:
    His poor work gives the lie to his claims of experience.
9. lie in one’s throat /teeth, to lie grossly or maliciously

Various Synonyms

aspersion•calumniation•calumny•deceit•deception•defamation•detraction•dishonesty•
disinformation•distortion•duplicity•evasion•fable•fabrication•falsehood•fib•fiction•
forgery•fraudulence•guile•hyperbole•inaccuracy•invention•libel•mendacity•
misrepresentation•misstatement•myth•obloquy•perjury•prevarication•revilement•
slander•subterfuge•tale•treachery•treason•untruth•vilification•whopper•

lie. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved February 27, 2017 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com/browse/lie

Staying on Track

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                                    New Bio on HuffPo

Before we all die I just want to say…

I like to give background information on some of things that I’m doing. It puts me a space where I can share my thoughts while keeping myself on task. I’m taking my renewed interest in posting for The Huffington Post seriously. I truly believe we all have a role to play in all this. My article last week came from a place of deep contemplation.

I wanted to make sure that my return to that platform was, at the very least, interesting. I know that there tons of people blogging and writing about the exact same things that I want to so I have to put in more work on my posts then I commonly do for this blog. There is always the chance that anything written on the HuffPo can become viral and I want to make sure that my best writing is on display.

When I finally hit submit on my last post I realized that 2016 went by and I didn’t write anything for the Huffington Post. Before this I had a feeling it had been awhile I just didn’t think it was THAT long. Perhaps I silenced myself thinking that my voice was as important anymore or maybe I just simply got lazy. Whatever it was I was smoking in 2016 (in terms of this excuse), I was delusional.

I’m now at a point where I will write how I feel about 45. My goal is not to try to convince his supports (because I don’t give a shit about them), it’s more about pointing out shit that is so amazingly clear to me but perhaps not so much clear to others. This will be my continuing contribution to the resistance.

Now is the time to Write

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Before we all die I just want to say…

It’s a snow day! Time to write!

I’m slowly getting back into the groove for this next book. I finally finished Chapter One and it was tough. I still want to tell an interesting story. I want to end this novel in a very satisfying way. In order to do that, I will have to take my time and really concentrate on what it is I want to get out of all this.

I have also made a decision to take another stab at applying to the VONA writing workshops. I believe in professional development. In my time working in Student Affairs I’ve come to recognize that, though attending conferences, my value as increased from the input of others. If I want to continue doing this writing thing, then I should attempt to do professional development. So applying to this is something I feel I should do. Of course, I should also investigate other workshops.

Since we are talking about writing, I’m also in the process of updating my Huffington Post page. I need to get back in that realm. I just looked and my last article was in 2015. That is unacceptable to me, so it is time to update everything and start writing.

What does all this mean? I think that there are different forms of resistance. While I cannot march all the time, I can write and express my opinions. I think that we’ve had 8 years to be comfortable and now the world is changing. Despite how bad these times can be, it is opportune time to be an artist of any kind.

So, right now I’m gearing up to a lot of writing and I hope it all works out.

8 Blog Years

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I almost failed to mention that this blog turned 8 last week. Normally I try not to forget about this “milestone” because it does mean a lot, but this week has been so crazy. What is striking to me is that I started this blog the year Obama started his first term.

Eight Years ago was such a different time. There was hope in the air and there a general feeling that we could get past the Bush years. I never once attributed the creation of this blog to the fact that Obama was the president but I’m sure that him being POTUS was part of an underlying feeling. One of my posts from 8 years ago is entitled Tired of Excuses because at that time I was telling students of color that I advised that there was simply no more excuses for them to not achieve.

I read that post and after realizing how dumb I sounded at the very end of it, I noticed that 8 years ago I was telling students something I should’ve been telling myself. At that time, I had yet reveal to myself that my marriage was failing. I had not yet realized that I could be so much more. The whole way I look at world has changed over the last 8 years because I decided to stop talking about what I want to do and did it.

I also think about all the people who have passed on in my life, friends that I lost, relationships destroyed, and bridges burned and before I can even think about going down a dark road of self doubt and despair, I think about the hope in my life. I think about the my current life, my love, my family, my friends, and the books I’ve written and I can’t help but be grateful that I did accomplish a lot in the last 8 years.

The world is different now.

This current climate does present a lot of material for writing but it will be darker. It will grittier and angrier. This was once a space where I can really get into my feelings of love and life and it has slowly morphed into a place where I express my rage at the world. I’m not sure what the next 8 years will bring, shit I’m not even sure we will be here next year (I don’t even kid you when I say that). What I do know is that I will not stop.

There was a time I thought about quitting this whole thing, but I cannot do that now. There is too much at stake.

Why I March

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I loved the Women’s March. I loved marching in it. I loved doing this because of what it represents. I marched with my woman and I marched for her. In fact, I marched for my mother, my step mom, all my aunts, my cousins, my nieces, my god daughter, my sisters in law, my students (former and current), my co-workers, and my friends.

I feel that much of my life has been about women. I have such a profound respect for women and I learn everyday from them. I recognize my privilege through education, experience, and the numerous mistakes that I try to atone for. It is important that I take all that into account when I’m marching or protesting for a cause because I know how important women are to me.

Without getting too much into the intersectionality of Feminism, I wanted to say that the one thing that surprised the shit out of me was the Black Lives Matter chants. I was more than thrilled to hear and chant those in this march in New York City. It is important that this movement include all of us. It is important that we never forget Black women and Latinas. We cannot forget Asian women and Muslim women. All these parts of what women are make a difference in the overall ideals of women.

Note: Favorite chant of the day…
Women: My Body, My Choice!
Men: Her Body, Her Choice!

There is also room for the Transgender community as well. They also have a seat at this table and when people complain about how men want to control the inside of a woman, we need to be mindful on how we attempt to control body choices of Transgendered community.

Yet, despite how hopeful these marches were and how good it felt to participate in them, I cannot help but feel angry everyday. I cannot help but feel our hope slip away as facts get thrown out the window and replaced with “alternative facts”. Lie after lie after lie puts me in a foul mood and this is just the first week in a long four years.

How many marches are we going to have? I know this is what democracy looks like but this is not what democracy feels like.

Sigh. I do see hope in the eyes of my God daughter. I do see hope in the eyes of my girlfriend. I don’t know what I will do if and when I ever see their hope fade.

That is why I march.