30 January 2014

Apollonia 6

B E / basement elevation

Just sayin'

Though I respect a persons right to be tenacious, I also reserve the right to say,"No," without explanation when asked to do something. To ask,"Why," means the person felt entitled to a,"Yes," in advance of asking for your input/participation/assistance, which is really arrogant. I don't feel the need to make up stories or give a dissertation when my time,energy,or means are being requested. My ,"...No," doesn't make me parsimonious or cruel either. What it does indicate is,at this moment in time that I am declining your request, and the reasoning, (unless I choose to disclose it)is really none of your business. I firmly believe that some people #need to hear,"No." "I respectfully decline." "Not at this time." Or as Alice Walker taught the world to say with Sofia as the vessel," #HELL_NO!"The comedy of this coin, is that when a request is made of you,and your answer in the affirmative, people rarely ask,"But why?" Mmmmmm hmmmmm!

Double Identity

“Sometimes it feels like shedding your skin while you’re still inside of it. Like you have not fully developed the new skin underneath the old one, and you have to live in an in-between state for a period of time. A mask that wants to come off, a face that is ready to show its true self, yet is still lingering within the now and then. But when though?” --Alexander Mc Queen

29 January 2014

Meanwhile, in Saudi Arabia

It feels good to be free.
On the way to work this morning I read the following article and it made me sick to my stomach:

 Saudi Arabia defended a controversial verdict sentencing a 19-year-old gang rape victim to 200 lashes and six months in jail. The Shi’ite Muslim woman had initially been sentenced to 90 lashes after being convicted of violating Saudi Arabia’s rigid Islamic Sharia law on segregation of the sexes. The decision handed down by the Saudi General Court more than doubled her sentence last week. The court also roughly doubled the prison sentences for the seven men convicted of raping her, Saudi media said. The upholding of a decision to punish the victim triggered international outcry. Canada said it would complain to Saudi authorities about the sentence, described as “barbaric”’ by Jose Verger, the Canadian minister responsible for the status of women. The New York based Human Rights Watch said the verdict “not only sends victims of sexual violence the message that they should not press charges, but in effect offers protection and impunity to the perpetrators.” While not directly criticizing the Saudi Arabia’s judiciary, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said, “I think when you look at the crime and the fact that now the victim is punished, I think that causes a fair degree of surprise and astonishment. It is within the power of the Saudi government to take a look at the verdict and change it.” However, the Saudi judiciary stood by its decision. “The Ministry of Justice welcomes constructive criticism, away from emotions,” it said in a statement. The statement also said that the “charges were proven” against the woman for having been in a car with a strange male, and repeated criticism of her lawyer for talking “defiantly” about the judicial system, saying “it has shown ignorance.” The woman’s lawyer, Abdul Rahman al-Lahem, reached out to the media. The court has since banned him from further defending the woman, confiscating his license and summoning him to a disciplinary hearing later this month. The justice ministry implied the victim’s sentence was increased because she had spoken out to the press. “For whoever has an objection on verdicts issued, the system allows to appeal without resorting to the media,” said the statement carried on the official Saudi Press Agency. The rape took place in 2006. The victim said it occurred as she tried to retrieve her picture from a male high school student she used to know. While in a car with the student, two men got into the vehicle and drove them to a secluded area. She said she was raped there by seven men, three of whom also attacked her friend. The case was referred back to the General Court by an appeals court last summer, after the woman’s lawyer contested the initial verdict, saying it was too lenient for the rapists and unjust for the victim.

A Saudi Arabian woman must be accompanied by a male guardian — typically relative — at all times in public. The rape victim violated this law by meeting a friend to retrieve a picture.

Editorial Footnote:  It was just brought to my attention that the male friend of the female in this occurrence was also raped and he received the same punishment as she did.

courtesy, http://shariaunveiled.wordpress.com

It feels so good to be an American. To be free. Why any woman would chose to live in such a barbaric country as Saudi Arabia is beyond me. And why any man who had a wife or daughters or sisters or mother or grandmother or aunts or nieces in their lives would chose to have them live there with him is beyond me.
I see this article and I feel like crying, for real.

It feels to good to be an American.

28 January 2014

Long story short,

This morning, someone on facebook asked the question "If you could write a note to your younger self in exactly 5 words, what would it say?" My response would be a paragraph.  I'll post my response to the question here on my blog instead.

It would be a note telling myself that when my sister and I were in Memphis for the summer, when my grandmother's neighbor asked my Aunt Lee if I was the boy Jean (my mom) adopted -and Aunt Lee saw that my sister (5 yrs old) and I ( 8 yrs old) were listening, and she said "Ssssh!" to the woman, and when my sister and I went running back to our grandmother's house to call my mom to ask her about it, and she said "That woman don't know what the hell she's talking about. We've been enemies since we were kids and she's still stirring up mess. It's a lie, it's a lie!" And I believed her.
 Knowing what I know now- and only because my nephew asked me have I ever met my real mother, and I found out I was adopted when I asked my mother what my nephew was talking about-

Long story short- I wish I didn't believe my mother when she lied to me. I wish I had pressed for more information, or insisted that Aunt Lee or Aunt Evon ( my mom's two younger sisters) or my grandparents or any of the Caseys ( my father's people- none of which treated me like I was flesh and blood) would tell me the truth, instead of my finding out when I was 44 yrs old.  Everyone knew, but me. All the Browns (moms' people) and the Caseys (sister's dads' people).  From my nephew, who was 11. It had been a source of contention between my mom and my sister for years. My sister wanted me to know, and my sister wanted to take the secret to the grave.

When I asked why there were no baby pictures of me, or any pictures of myself under than 2, my mother said that they got lost in the move. We did move a few times when we were younger, so I believed her.    

Now, I don't believe anything anyone tells me. Especially from people who love me.


25 January 2014

The Art of Noise

Good morning

I asked for strength and God gave me difficulties to make me strong.
 I asked for wisdom and God gave me problems to solve.
 I asked for prosperity and God gave me brawn and brains to work.
 I asked for courage and God gave me dangers to overcome.
 I asked for patience and God placed me in situations where I was forced to wait. 
 I asked for love and God gave me troubled people to help.
 I asked for favors and God gave me opportunities.
 I asked for everything so I could enjoy life.
 He gave me life so I could enjoy everything.
 I received nothing I wanted, I received everything I needed.

 - Unknown

23 January 2014

Note to Self

Worrying is like praying for what you don't want.

35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?

 Mark 4:35-41

           I repeat this note to myself:
                                    Worrying is like praying for what you don't want.

That awkward moment

When someone speaks the truth and everyone present would rather stick with a lie.

21 January 2014


Keeping up with the Joneses means that you're striving towards the goals of others instead of your own.

19 January 2014

- I S M

I would rather not know if someone is a Christian because the more I get to know them, the more I prefer to hang with Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and Athiests- they tend to be more like Christ then some of the Christians I know. Recently I have witnessed and have heard of some horrible behavior by people who attend church every sunday and can recite Bible verses to fit any situation. It makes me sick to my stomach. I hate hypocrites and people who talk about doing right but constantly act wrong.

That was one of my holdouts when looking for love-  I was not flexible in that regard. Because I want to be able to attend church with my wife and kids I always said that she would need to be a Christian.   As of today, on my Match.com profile I decided she could be of any religion.
As long as  her character, her behaviour was similar to someone who was striving to be like Jesus Christ.


sometimes the ones that won't fight you with their fist will instead, fight you with their heart...

18 January 2014

-Little Dragon

Was it the blue night
Gone fragile
Was it both men
In wonder steady gone under
Was it the light ways
So frightening
Was it two wills
One mirror holding us dearer now

16 January 2014

Question of the day

                                                                                    Can you hang onto tradition and yet have it all?

15 January 2014

That awkward moment

When you realize someone's interpretation of a person's behavior is different from your interpretation of that same person's behavior-and you both witnessed the behavior. 

i wonder.

almost everyone i know, who is in a relationship, is miserable most of the time. either they always seem near divorce or a breakup. it seems like- for every 5 minutes of happiness, they have 10 hours of anger, frustration and resentment, and here i am, fantasizing about a happily ever after. seeing them makes me wonder if I should just be happy alone.

just listen. and observe


believe it.

when the words don't match the actions, believe the actions.

10 January 2014

R I P Amiri Baraka

If Elvis Presley is the King, then is James Brown God? 
-Amiri Baraka 

>Born Everett LeRoi Jones, formerly known as LeRoi Jones and Imamu Amear Baraka, was an African-American writer of poetry, drama, fiction, essays and music criticism.Thanks to my friend Craig Schiffert, In the late 1980s, I was able to meet him, shake his hand, and have my Amiri Baraka Reader signed by him Most of my poetry is inspired by him. I'm really saddened by his loss.

07 January 2014

Note to self

Don't let people pull you into their storm. Pull them into your peace. 
                                                                      -Necoles Stephens

05 January 2014


I'm already having difficulty keeping one of my New Years resolutions, and that's because I don't have a selfish bone in my body. Every bone is thoughtful and the dreaded 'n' word; Nice.