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I am a Podcaster now! #BlackComicsChat

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Before we all die I just want to say…

Yo, I have updates on this dusty ass blog and I know it’s been awhile. I kinda gave up on trying to write about current events in this world because I simply don’t have time to talk about all the bullshit. So, I will just say one thing before I move on to what I want to say: Men are Trash.

Now that I’ve said this, let’s get to the main topic. I am now a podcaster!

I’ve joined the team at Black Comics Chat and we officially form like Voltron (I’m the Red Lion). So what does this mean for me? What does this mean for this blog?

Well, I would like to think that I will post more. I want to make a subtle shift to more nerdier content and yet stay relevant. I’m still writing but I’m taking my time with book three. I don’t feel the need to rush something that I’ve created. With that being said, they’re are some big things coming and I am excited about all of it.

I hope to get more involved within comics than just interviewing creators. I would like to make a mark on this industry by pointing out things like the lack of representation of Latinos within comics. I would also like to announce that I am currently writing a script for a comic book. It is mad early and developmental (coded language for “I have no idea what the fuck I’m doing).

If you didn’t know, I was at this year’s New York Comic Con last month in a panel discussion that was all about representation and the lack their of. It was called The Invisible Latinx. You can check the #InvisibleLatinx hashtag on twitter to get a peak at that. All thanks and love go out to LatinxGeeks for putting that together.

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Below is the my first hosting appearance of Black Comics Chat. Enjoy and there is more to come.

Frustrations

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Before we all die I just want to say…

I haven’t been able to put a full blog post together since my last vague statement. It’s been hard to write largely because I feel a little lost. When there is too much to say it feels like it’s all babble and then key points get missed which makes it feel like I have nothing to say.

I would love to tell you that my lack of writing is a protest of some sort, like I’m taking a knee at the computer but you know what? There is a part of me that thinks that much of this shit we saw on television this weekend is just crap and I don’t even watch football. I feel like we are getting played because taking a knee is now viral thing and the message is now lost. Look, I’m all for pissing off 45 but I’m not here for making a mockery of the original message about police brutality and inequality. (I needed to get that out of the way)

Puerto Rico is suffering and it feels like no one really cares. Yea, I know people care but where is the round the clock coverage of the “Hurricane Maria Aftermath”? The media could not wait to break out all the graphics and experts for Harvey and Irma. They had people on the ground getting blown by terrifying winds. Maria walked right in and destroyed Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and they are just now paying attention to this? Fuck outta here. But I guess colonies don’t get the media attention that might negatively impact tourism.

Where is the governmental response? Please, don’t sit there reading this and expect some last minute miracle because I gotta tell you, Puerto Rico has always been seen as the runt of the litter when it come the U.S. colonies. You can go back to the early 20th Century and comb through tons of articles in the New York Times and read how politicians viewed this island and the natives. Puerto Rico has always been a chip on the board and notch in the belt of American Imperialism. Of course, the island is in debt so perhaps had they paid Wall Street this would be different? Disaster Relief has it’s cost.

Sure, 45 is releasing funds to help with relief but after how many days? Did you know that Puerto Rico cannot receive foreign aid because of the Jones Act? This Merchant Maritime law of 1920 (aka The Jones Act) basically states that cargo from another country cannot be dropped off in Puerto Rico and has to be shipped to the mainland in order to be shipped to the island. This is the dumbest thing ever and you want to know why this happened? Puerto Rico is a territory owned and regulated by the Unites States where it forever remains a colony to exploit.

Yes, a colony as in Colonization…as in the island is free to not be free. Remember that when you see the tiny bit of coverage about Puerto Rico. Just know that at one point in time they tried to sterilize women because they felt we needed population control. All of a sudden we expect help even though there are 3 million American citizens on that island?

Ugh! I get so frustrated every time we have to remind people that Puerto Ricans are American citizens. I, now, feel that I need to take this break to remind all of you that Flint, Michigan still does not have clean drinking water. So even the reminder about the rights of certain American citizens hits deaf ears.

Puerto Ricans will get through this, I know we will.  It will be the hardest thing our people will have to face in recent history. I encourage everyone to give time, money, supplies, or all of the above. I know it’s hard because I feel helpless. Everyone has a charity or an idea and it is a bit overwhelming so you’re going to have to some research and go with the best answer (no… The American Red Cross is not that answer) you can.

The point is we need to do something. Waiting is not an option.

I Made a Promise to be Vague

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Is this thing on?

I have to be vague and still convey what I need to. The difficulty is because I want to just blurt out everything without caring for other people’s feelings. But, that’s the thing isn’t it? I care for people. I care for those who I love and those who love me and I even care for those I kinda hate and those that kinda hate me. Why? Because deep down I know we are all connected intrinsically, cosmically.

When I turned 40 I shouted, “life begins at 40!” I believe that. I think that I’ve reached this magical age of near enlightenment where I can apply all the lessons of the past to try to be a truly good person. I recognize mistakes were made along the way. I know that I’m not perfect, but I try my best to be a better person. Yet, while my life “began at 40”, I’m not sure who’s going to be around to see me at 50.

It’s painful to admit that the older people in my life are getting older and more susceptible to things that may cause them to leave this existence. In the past four years, I’ve lost two aunts so I understand how this works. I understand that the curse of being one of the youngest in the family means you see everyone fade.

Within the wake of all of this comes regret. I could’ve been a better nephew, cousin, or son. Maybe I could’ve worked harder to spend more time. Maybe I could have gone that extra mile to do things the right way. Maybe, I should’ve worked harder to have children at a younger age. All this sounds crazy but when your heart cries your head makes excuses.

Family is important… even if they’re assholes. That doesn’t mean I have to trust them. It doesn’t mean I have to lend them money. What it does mean is that they are a part of me in ways that I may not like or admit. I watch and observe the incredibly stupid behavior of certain people and know that had people spent less time in their feelings and more time actually talking about problems… then I wouldn’t have to be so vague about any of this.

This is not a game anymore. I will not play this social media game where I try to out do the next person in life achievements and then fabricate happiness. Facebook is a farce; a real life version of The Sims. I’m surprised that Zuck hasn’t tried to sell us expansion packs that feature new looks and outfits to cover our shitty little lives, or maybe he has. I can only say that I know who my real friends are. I know who I’m cool with. I’m done pretending that everything is going to be okay because it may not be.

I made a promise. I swore to be vague about something because, “people are fake.” I get that. People hold grudges or say some rude shit one day and then send you a Facebook invite the next day. These same people will talk mad shit but then cry at the funeral. These same people will pretend to be your friend but never visits you in the hospital (I’m not bitter at all).

There’s a lack of understanding that looms over like a cloud where some people only see things from one point of view without considering that perhaps… they might be wrong. One person sees a number and declares it a 9 and no one can tell this person anything. Another person sees that exact same number from a different angle and calls it a 6 and you can’t tell that person any differently. This describes the world we live in. This describes my family.

I made a promise to be vague and I will keep that.

43

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Before we all die I just want to say…

Normally, I would write this long blog post about how another year has passed and how I need to focus on goals and all this other crap. Eff that. When did I become this serious goal monster that needs to keep pushing the envelope? I ask this question to myself because I begin to wonder if I’ve stopped to enjoy life in this incredibly fucked up world.

I’m leaning toward no.

Sure, I live in one of the greatest cities in the world which gives me access to do just about anything I want to do and yet, I shy away from doing what everybody else does. Some of that is because I’m a homebody. There are times I would rather just be home and catch up on shows, or read, or write. Another reason is because I’m not a fucking follower (as I’ve been recently accused of — yes, I’m bitter). Other reasons for not going out is that I don’t want to spend the money. I want to be clear, I do not consider myself cheap but I do question the value of things and if my time and money can be spent somewhere else.

Look, I will be honest, my life is not a grand spectacle and I don’t try to pretend that it is on social media. I work a lot and I am really good at what I do. Outside of work though… I feel everyone (mostly family) wants or needs me for something and like a pendejo (look it up) I tend to not say no. Inherently, this is not a bad thing because I’m a decent human being and there was a point in my life where I didn’t want to be near family. But, now I’m older and more responsible and I feel that family is important… especially if I happen to have kids (pause).

Yet, I can’t help but think that I should be doing more for myself. I’m dying to go to Cuba and to be honest, this is where I begin to evaluate my life and I begin to question everything. Let’s push aside what 45 has done to limit travel and focus on when it was easier to go. The question I ask myself is why didn’t I go to Cuba when I had the chance? What was I waiting for? Here is my answer, I take my current (and now past) responsibilities so seriously when it comes to family that I push my own shit back. So I watched when family and friends (…did my friends go or was it Facebook ‘friends’…? shrug) post pics and think.. that could’ve me but I was fucking around.

So what does 43 mean to me? It means that I may need to pull back and think more about me (and her too). I need to start being more me-centric. I hate the word selfish because it gives the assumption that I don’t care about anyone else. I do want to focus more on myself and not just travel and vacations. I look at the calendar and I realized I have not seen a doctor in years. That fact scares me because I don’t want to be that dude that never sees the doctor considering I’m at that age range where tubes and needles go into places that I’m not prepared for them to go.

I’m comforted that I do have people in my life that do love and care about me and (for as long as we are alive before the world ends) I will have their back just as much as they have mine. Right now, it’s time for me to stop talking about shit and just doing it.

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