A Pale Shade of Green {Poem}

They say we
are one with the universe
we live in a country
that is diverse
and being brown is a curse
being black is worse
yet I speak this verse
wondering what it’s worth

I see a future
that is not about you and me
that is not about black or white
but a color we can’t afford
a pale shade of green
is the only color line
that will exist

Imagine crossing that color barrier
with the yellow police tape
that will surround the ghettos
and the non existent
middle class because
this is a disaster area
but FEMA isn’t coming for us

We will be the migrant workers
picking the silicon fruits
to make the new i-Human
because even we become less valuable
like the almighty dollar that turns
black when it burns
they chose to burn the economy
when the president became black

400 and something years
and the economy built on African tears
finally falls in the future that I see
and you may laugh when I say
we’re STILL in a state of slavery
just look at the west sides
just look at the east sides
you will see that pale shade of green
become a dark shade of red

We the people
will eat each other
and then get taxed on that food
before the rich eat us
and get a tax break

this pale shade of green
people worship the symbol it means
in god we trust became
in banks we distrust
with its mighty white pillars
and CEO preachers who 
tell us to believe
but as far as I can tell
green is the new shade of hell
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Side Hustle

A few years ago a good friend of mine told me that everyone has to have a side hustle.  We were talking about the simple fact that sometimes, one job is not enough. This was advice and a warning that if I were to come back to NYC that having a side hustle would be in my best interest. As I continue my quest to survive in such a horrible economy I realized that one job is just not enough anymore.

I have had 2 jobs in the past. That was before I had a career. I figured that once I got a steady job that all I would need is just one job. This way I can enjoy my days off and live a “normal” life. But, things changed when dealing with debt brought on from a marriage that does not exist anymore. When one income now has to replace two. Sure, I have two roommates to help with the cost of living in a house I no longer want to own, but when I would like to do things like date a woman, times get even harder. So, I had to go out and get a side hustle.

I do some work for the staging union in Syracuse. I get called in to help load in and/or load out show and concerts. The pay is good enough for me to come back when they call. I have done this work before and it is closely related to what I do now as an event planner. I have done this before when I first got out of college. It helped pay the bills then and it is helping me pay the bills now. The best part about starting this now is because the New York State Fair has been going on for a few weeks. In fact, today is the last day. I have been lucky enough to help load out shows for Journey, Lady Antebellum, and Selena Gomez.

This week I have learned that my friend was indeed correct, everyone does have a side hustle. During my brief stint at the fair, I cannot tell you how many people I have seen working some sort of second job. Yes the money is good, but I am beginning to feel that having a second gig is not just something to gain extra money, it something that has to be done in order to survive. I think it is becoming the normal thing to do something extra just to live a non luxurious lifestyle.

I am not saying that everyone has to have a second job per say, but I am sure there are those things that  most people do to cut corners in order to live. Some have speaking gigs every few weeks, some live with their parents instead of paying full rent (or any rent), some have roommates or tenants, or some sell stuff on E-Bay. In the end it doesn’t really matter because it is all a side hustle. Gone are the days when you can live off of one income and be comfortable…at least for me.

Legalize it?

Today I was watching an episode of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher (guest starring Mos Def). As every show, this was a pretty good one. I could pick out some of the more important issues talked on this show, there was one thing tha stuck a chord with me.

Some time in the past week President Obama had a town hall meeting shown via the Internet. There was a question about the possibility of legalizing Marijuana as a remedy to help with the economy. Clearly, Obama said no and joked about how ridiculous this was. I am not surprised at all about that. But, my question is… is that question really out of the ordinary?

Let me preface this by saying that I am not a weed smoker, nor do I have the desire to smoke. However, I know a lot of people who do. It is one of those things where it seems like everyone is doing it. Not to say that this makes it right, but Marijuana does not have the effects that tobacco smoking has.

Lets say it is legalized. Lets look at the positives. The police do not have to do all that work to find pot dealers. They can put their energy into other crimes or drugs. Just imagine the manpower taking just to stop the weed trafficking in this country. Has that stopped anyone from smoking? Don’t think that smoking weed is just something that Black & Latinos do, because White people smoke a lot more. In fact, I heard they get the better shit.

Think about how much money the economy would get if you can buy weed through distributers. How many jobs that would create? Do not think for a second that weed sales have dropped due to the economy. Marijuana is recession proof, just like alcohol. People want to either get drunk or get high, or sometimes both.

Legalizing Marijuana would cripple the economy of those nations smuggling this into our country. This is an import that the United States make no money on! Stop the smuggling and grow this in our country. Agriculture would go up the roof! Central and South America (yes, fucking Latinos)makes tons of cash just on weed.

What bothers me more than anything else when it come to politicians and the people who run this country is that there is this flakiness that suggests that they are all pure. We are all human! People in congress get just as horny and the next person, which is why so many of them get caught in scandals revolving sex. I am also very sure that they have kids who are hitting bongs on the campuses of Yale and Harvard (they are certainly doing it at Syracuse). Does that make people evil? Not at all.

Legalize the shit. How many black kids get arrested just trying to make paper? It helps with chemo-therapy and glaucoma. Legalize it so that the economy can get high…like the rest of America.

Money

March is almost over. I am so very surprised by this. It has been a pretty long month. Usually, these months fly right by, but since I have blogged everyday, it makes me actually stop and look around. Otherwise, I might just say how fast this year is going.

The economy is still bad. Which makes me wonder how long it will before we start thinking this is the norm. One of the things I use to say in my old blogs was that the ghetto is expanding. While I meant it in the way of the Hip Hop culture taking over, I feel that now with more and more rich people being broke, well the ghetto is starting to expand.

What will the rich white people do? The ones who gained all that wealth on the backs of others? The ones who never worked a hard day, what will they do? I know they wont be picking grapes. They will be cleaning rooms in hotels. So what are they going to do? Perhaps they will make tent in a middle of big state park and call it Tent City.

Money is the root of all evil and we know this. While, it is unfair to point out every person who has lost jobs and money, you have to consider that for most people who live paycheck to paycheck and have riding the poverty line, not much has changed. Their economy has always sucked and life goes on.

I have been fortunate to still have my job and I know that. I hated working for corporate America and I may just add to the archives the blogs I wrote on how bad it was. While money can be good and used for good things, in corporate America, if you are not about making money then you are not valuable.

We are all valuable! Each and everyone has value. We are a part of the consumer market. So we have value. But the problem is that only a certain percentage of us have the power to control who puts value on us.

Bailout…

I need to get an HDTV! It has gotten to the point where too many people I know have one of these things, like my brother pictured above. We have talked about getting one but have always pulled back because of the prices. Now, with the economic downturn, I see these prices dropping rapidly. So, really it is just about what brand I want to pick.

Now, with all that being said. I still do not want to pull the trigger. I do not want to part with the money because I am always thinking about what if I may need this money later. The last thing I want to do is end up regretting making this type of purchase.

Buying stuff like this is not a show of success for me. If I want something I usually just get it, but this type of purchase just doesn’t sit well sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to play the wii on this thing. I would so much enjoy watching sports or movies on screen that is wide and crystal clear. Then, I think about what else I could use that money for.

Thinking about this sparks another thought, “Just what could I use my money for?” Well, besides the fact that I am going to Florida in July, I am not sure there is another purchase outside of bills and food that I absolutely need the money for. I do have hobbies, like comic books and music. Then there are clothes that I like to buy. So, I don’t really know.

The other problem I have is the need for me to use my money for Christmas shopping. Sure, it is along way out, but it happens to me every year. I will be hurting for money by the time Christmas comes around and then I will be dying to get my tax check. I need to reverse this trend.

I need a bailout!

It is just one of those things…


This economy is absolutely nuts. I had a conversation with a former student last night and she told me she was laid off on Tuesday. I am like…damn. How are they gonna lay you off on Inauguration day? It made me think that perhaps we do not do enough for our alumni. I can say this because as an alum (of color), I don’t feel like I get the royal treatment.

Anyway, I feel somewhat bad about how people are losing their jobs and homes. On one hand, I look at the (formally) wealthy people and think about how many people they needed to step on and over to get all that money. The ridiculous mansions that they live in, that are cleaned by people that look like my grandmother. They lose there jobs and homes and I am supposed to feel bad? I am not so sure. I view it at as the economy balancing the wealth. The rich becoming poor? I am not sure Jesus would feel bad…lol.

On the other hand, I look at the people who are effected by the housing crisis. Those people who got caught up in some housing scheme, in which their rate went from 5% to 15% in a matter of months. I feel bad for those people because I know how excited I was to buy my home. It doesn’t help that gas prices went up or the fact that food is rising in prices. Have you seen the price of rice???? Arroz con Pollo is like mad expensive to make now!

Well, enough of that. Clearly I am happy Obama is the president. I spent most of the morning trying to find the right background image for my work computer (Alicia Keys is on my laptop…sorry Mr. President). I came up with this one . Surprisingly, it was hard to find pictures of the many inaugural balls, but then maybe I really wasn’t look good enough.

Well, this is my first blog in a very long time. I used to blog when I lived in NYC in 2000 and 2001. I have a few blogs on Myspace, but I don’t really do the “myspace thing” anymore. But, I have been looking at some bloggers that have made me think about writing again. So, with that I want to thank Brook for her blog. I will try to update my page in general (like when I am not working…shhh).