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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.

 

…I just want to say

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Before we all die I just want to say…

There are so many things happening all at the same time that I hope you’ve had a chance to pop your head up and say, “wait, this is really happening.” I wont be one of those bloggers that will go into a large list of reason why we are all severely fucked, but I will not deny that life is about to get that much harder.

I’ve spend weeks since Election Day trying to figure out how I’m gonna write as many blog posts as I want to and still be some what positive (or at the very least interesting). The problem I run into is that (not so) deep down, I’m angry. Of course being angry is nothing new because there’s always been a certain level of rage that has been inside of me. I just think that I’m not emotionally prepared for these next 4-8 years.

I can argue that these next few years will be pivotal for me. I could conceivable get married again. I could conceivably have a child. Those two sentences alone just fuck me up because how long does whatever personal happiness last in a world like this?

Look, I was child toward the end of the Cold War. I used to be frightened about the possibility that a nuclear missile would rip though the New York City skyline and kill us all. As a child, I never understood the nature of that threat. I just understood that adults were assholes and that they could destroy all of us because they can. My mother used to tell me that no one was stupid enough to blow the world…

As an adult, I now understand the nature of this threat. I understand how someone could start WW3 by simply thinking their dick is bigger than everyone else. This scares the hell out of me. I don’t have the irrational fear that I once did but I have the educated fear which in many ways is much worse. I do think that there are people in power who are stupid enough to pull that button or at the very least dumb enough to provoke.

So, before we all die, I just want to say that in the course of American history there have always been several events that happen within a century that change us forever and most of them end up being bad. We may have reached that point.

I miss the Obamas already.

2017 Goals

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As much as I would love to stab 2016 in the eye, I should be happy to say goodbye to such a horrid year. I actually went to a Thesaurus to look up synonyms for horrible so I don’t have to say the word so much in describing 2016.

Anyway…

I’ve barely had time to go over goals for 2017 but I’m satisfied with what I came up with. You may know that I don’t do resolutions so I create goals instead. I set 10 goals that are totally achievable and while some objectives are harder than others, these are promises that I make to myself and thus I have to hold myself accountable.

As per usual, I looked back at the past year to see how well I did. I noticed that I’ve achieved less than half of the goals that I set last year. The more important goals surrounding The Book of Isabel were achieved but I fell short on my overall targeted intentions in 2016. This a first for me so that might explain why I have been so somber over the last few months. I need to do better and hopefully these 10 goals will set me straight.

While I don’t put these goals in numerical order, finishing book three is at the top of this list. I feel like I slacked in overall writing this year and the only way to bounce back is to hit the keyboard hard next year. Chapter One is almost done and from there it should be smooth sailing until I’m done with the first draft. The only problem is that I don’t know how long this book will be.

This makes me think about the my failings in blogging this year. Not one Huffington Post article and I failed in posting 50 posts on this site. I usually put out something on the Huff but I just haven’t been feeling the whole part of blogging for another platform and not getting paid for it. In any case, I need to blog more on my page. Sure, I revamped my webpage but I lacked the commitment to give my readers more material. I would like to change that.

Since I’m talking about my failings in writing, I really need to get on my short story game. I’m my worst critic and with all the stories I wrote, I’ve released three of them on Wattpad. I was not ready. I still think my writings and my stories are amateurish at best. I need to believe in myself more. If I can do that, I can feel more comfortable in marketing myself more. Both things need to happen.

Although, the one thing I absolutely did in 2016 was read. In fact, I read more books in 2016 since college (when I was assigned reading). I loved most of the books and that only means I want to continue to read more. More importantly, I want to get back into comic books. I feel like I took 2016 off but I want to get back in the saddle. Thankfully I have Comixology for that.

 

This one is a long shot but… I think I want to get into Podcasting. I love listening to Black Girl Nerds, Black Comics Chat, Fan Bros, and Nerds of Prey. I think I can offer something to the conversation when it comes to Latinxs and comics. I will look into this one. It might be time for this.

Of course, no list is complete without mentioning that I need to move. Yes, this is like the 3rd move in three years but hopefully, this will be my last one. I need a new apartment that is hopefully close to work that will also allow me to get back to my running routine. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been establishing routines and running was definitely something that was broken when I moved to Mount Vernon (I know, I never wrote about it). However, my current residence has allowed me to reduce a bit of my debt and that is something that will always be a goal.

 

 

That’s it. This is my last post of 2016. I can tell this year to go fuck itself for taking 90% of my childhood.

Happy New Year everyone. Be safe out there.

Happy New Year?

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2016, What the F–k.

This has probably been one of the worst years in the new Millennium. Sure we can talk about celebrity deaths because there have been quite a few of them. But yet I feel like we’ve been on a collective journey through this shit storm.

Maybe, it was the election that makes me feel this way. Perhaps it was the fact that I wrote last year that I was not looking forward to 2016  due to the fact the Black Lives still Don’t Matter. The news in general has not been good overall.

Kinda reminds me of Rouge One.

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It was a dope movie. An impossible mission to stop an impossible creation. So many deaths.

While so many of us have survived this year the question is, what will 2017 have in store for us? Even better, do I still wish everyone a Happy New Year?

I know, personally, that I have no idea what is going to happen to any of us. I want to be the hopeful person that thinks the next 4 to 8 years will be amazing, but I can’t. I can only think about how we are in serious trouble.

I will still write. I will still share my opinions. I will still support my peoples. I just wonder, what it will all be for? Yeah, it sounds like all doom and gloom but we’ve seen the rise in populism before. In fact, great stories are created with great villain with crazy ideals. This is a ride I’m not ready for but will take anyway.

So.. Happy New Year?

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(p.s. all these scenes were cut from the movie due to reshoots. Ironic somehow.)

The Mirror Box

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Next year will be a pretty big year for me.  I plan to devote quite a bit of time writing the third book. I’ve been working on Chapter One for a few weeks now and it’s coming along slower than expected but I believe that the promise of a new year will bring better tidings.

I’ve always planned for this book to come out sometime in 2018 and from the looks of it, I may just make all my intended deadlines. If I finish in the way I want to then I’m probably looking at winter 2018.

This will be the last book in this series.

I feel I need to say this. The self publishing game is a tough one and I think the time is fast approaching in which I have my writing of this to another level. The thing about all this is that no matter what I’ve done, I will feel inadequate as a writer. There will always be questions in my head about how much of an author I truly am. It’s not lost on me that many authors I follow and aspire to be all have  publishing deals and truth be told, I never tried to get one.

So the future plan for me is to finish The Mirror Box (which is a title change from The Glass House). I will explore the final path of Louis that started in 2014 with Hanging Upside Down and then continued in The Book Of Isabel. When I’m done with all those obligations, I will dust off an old unfinished story and make it into a manuscript. Then we will see what happens.

I’m sure that it will fail spectacularly because it will be my first attempt to try something totally out of my comfort zone.