I Can’t Sleep…What’s New

It’s odd to be back, but I return to my blog after an almost fourteen week absence. Writing is good for me and I am elated to push the black and white keys that spell the words that are my thoughts. Writing is necessary for me. Throughout my time away, I constantly thought about foreverizing certain moments in a blog, but repeatedly failed to do so. I did do some writing here, here, and here. While writing about music is enjoyable and I will continue, it was not the same as being here, home, at Betweentheworldandme.

Most people that know me beyond lit computer screens and incessant social media (and even those that know me only within those realms) know that I have poor sleeping patterns. It’s true, I do, and even detailed its history in this post. What I did not share, however, is what I do when the world seemingly sleeps and I’m wide awake. The overwhelming majority of the time I listen to my mind pace (but not limited to), constructing analytical dissections of a relationship to formulating potential initiatives for my work community to worrying about life and all the what-ifs of the future. *Sidenote: For those that wonder what I do the other times not included in the overwhelming majority: I work out, try to go back to sleep, read, work on my clothing company, check instagram, watch “Orange is the new black,” which I recently completed and loved (most of it). I do the things most people do throughout the day, but I happen to do them around 3am.*

Most of the time, I wake to a stream of words that often form the opening line(s) to a poem, paper, or prose. *Sidenote: While in college, I often woke up to my thesis sentence spilling from my mind and from there was able to craft my argument and eventually write my paper.* Though energized from the few hours of rest, I often resist moving from my bed to quickly jot them down. As a result, hours later, when I try to grasp them, they avert my grip like grabbing at free flowing water. Because I have had a strong yearning to write and empty myself again, I decided to get up this morning and write those words:

He didn’t say sorry. He had no problem forming the three-syllable phrase and forcibly uttering the words. Throughout his life he has said sorry numerous times when he didn’t mean it. Not tonight. He did not want to accept blame for his mistakes because he stubbornly believed that she was the only one at fault. So, he sat there, looking into her pleadingly eyes and said nothing. A mere apologetic whisper would have bridged the growing gap in the conversation and salvaged the quickly eroding relationship. The overdue pregnant pause, with each new second adding to the deafening shrill, could not budge him. No, he was intently perched on his rock of “asshole” “not my fault” and had no intention of moving for her, for reconciliation, or for himself anytime soon. So he sat there, determined, but he struggled to look in her eyes long enough without feeling guilt for his refusal. He could see her hurt and knew unequivocally he was the reason for it. Suddenly fiddling with his hands, a feeble attempt to break eye contact, he readjusts his position atop his ego. And she waited uncomfortably, tears forming in her eyes, damned by her eyelids or pride or both, as she watched her now ex-boyfriend noticeably squirm in his seat like a child, exhibiting the same uneasiness of an eight year old learning accountability. Disgusted and frustrated with her inability to lock eyes with him again, she begrudgingly asked, “Now what, huh?”

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Dear Facebook…I Apologize

The other day, while coming home from a theme park with my family, I heard “Fu-Gee-La,” one of the many standout tracks from the outrageously dope Fugees’ album, “The Score.” While listening to Lauryn Hill rhyme and sing, I uttered, “I miss the old Lauryn Hill.”

What the heck does that mean though, I thought to myself. After sometime, I realized that my seemingly simple statement denied the following facts:

  • It’s not the mid 90’s, which was almost twenty years ago. However to my nostalgic, time warped mind, the 90’s were less than a decade ago.
  • Lauryn Hill is not at the same point in her life. When she crafted her timeless masterpiece, “The Miseducation of Lauyrn Hill,” she was pregnant with her first child, battling internal issues with The Fugees, amongst whatever other issues she had going on at that time.
  • Her current life undoubtedly results in different feelings, emotions, and sounds.
  • Lauryn Hill is still Lauryn Hill, regardless of how I feel about her music or lack thereof.

Time waits for no one.

I do not use Facebook much anymore. I occasionally post motivational quotes, write “Happy Birthday” on ever growing distant friends’ walls, and like status updates that tickle my fancy.

However, back in 2004…dude, you couldn’t get me off of Facebook. It was opening page whenever I clicked on Internet Explorer’s “E” icon. It was exclusive, at the time. It connected me to friends at other elite universities, primarily on the East coast.

Then it expanded to the West coast universities, followed by Mid-Western and Southern schools. Before long, seemingly all of higher education was on the same dope network. I was able to connect with other college-aged students who were all experiencing “college life,” the best four (or five) years of one’s life.

Then, everyone was invited to the party. The extreme, booming growth was also by facilitated the massive exodus from MySpace (and many people brought those MySpace habits and trends to Facebook; my least favorite: the elongated middle name. For example, Jennifer ‘TheseHoesBeHatingOnMeCauseTheyWantToBeMe’ Jenkins). And I was angered and frustrated by the seemingly rapid changes (sidenote: and I still don’t get this new timeline thing, but whatever).

But like Lauryn Hill, my initial response to the new Facebook denied the growth of the company and its social reach. It’s no longer 2004. I am no longer a rising senior at the best university in the country.

Time waits for no one.

Therefore, I owe Facebook an apology; continue to do you, Facebook; compute your life in whatever way you want. No further judgement.

 

 

That’s Dope and That’s Not

This week, I decided to boogie board on another bloggers’ wave (read: I am copying another bloggers’ style) with That’s Dope and That’s Not. I will highlight what’s dope and not dope over the last week. Enjoy!

That’s Dope

  1. NBA TV’s documentary, “The Dream Team.”
  2. The NBA Finals (Lebron vs. Durant is living up to the high expectations).
  3. French Montana got a summer time club hit on his hand with this one.
  4. Getting a free MacBook for work.
  5. Nas’ listening party.
  6. Euro Cup 2012
Not Dope 
  1. Drake and Chris Brown fight in WIP (update: Drake apparently sent Chris Brown a note stating, ” I am [bedding] the love of your life.”)
  2. The narrator from the documentary, “The Dream Team.”
  3. Christian Laettner as the lone collegiate on The Dream Team (Random fact: Shaq was eligible for the team and not chosen).
  4. Rick Ross’ MMG listening party at a strip club (seems contradictory to type that sentence in this section…it is what it is).
  5. Not hearing Dj Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” at a summer party.
  6. Having a broken kitchen faucet

Diddy Invented the Remix, So No Surprise He Had The Hottest Verse!

Let him tell it, and Diddy will holler that he invented the remix. As I think about that statement, 112’s “Only You” and Total’s “Can’t You See” blare in my mind’s stereo. Actually, the more that phrase ruminates, I realize he may be right; clearly, he did not invent the remix, but he’s hands down the best to do it since the mid 90’s.

“Can’t stop, won’t stop” *Diddy bops in the judgement free zone*

Last night, Diddy took his obnoxious, braggadocios talk (editor’s note: Diddy is the best sh!t talker ever known in hip hop history…no debate!) to one of this year’s mandatory ATL summer smashes, Future’s “Same Damn Time.”

Here are a couple of the highlights with my comments written in my best instigating voice:

  • 0:00-0:15–Talk that talk Diddy; these motherhumpers want to take your kindness for weakness. Nah, son! Blow their face off!
  • 0:30-0:36–You half-breeds better get your pedigree up *snatches mic out of your reach*
  • 0:40–MULTITASK. You. Can’t. Do. It. *evil villain laugh*
  • 0:42-46–Factual! Diddy is thee greatest sh!t talker since…since…he invented the remix. (Diddy-1, Competition- 0)
  • 0:50-0:55–Don’t worry about living your life. For damn sure, don’t worry about living Diddy’s life. He got this! He could live his life and your life. AT. THE. SAME. DAMN. TIME. (Point, Diddy)
  • 1:05-1:09–I know y’all read that Forbes article, rihgt? Oh, you didn’t! Well please click the link and see that Diddy is worth 550Ms. Ms=Millions for you, sucker MCs.
  • 1:12-1:16–How do you buy your white tees? Is it that Fruit of the Loom three pack or the single oversized ones from a couple years ago…it doesn’t matter! You have to do it regularly…likewise, Diddy cops Maybachs with the same frequency. What’s your life about?!
  • 1:30–Words of advice from King Combs: Don’t be mad, be motivated!

And just like that, in 1:35 seconds, Diddy dropped the hottest, filled-to-the-brim-with-brag verse since…well…since his last guest verse on a hot ATL track courtesy of Waka Flocka’s “Oh Let’s Do It.”

Somehow, Diddy was able to disrespectfully humiliate all those with meager bank accounts. Unless Jay Z is reading this blog, that’s all of us! After hearing this song, I will forever look at my ATM receipt differently.

Oh and remember, if your partner doesn’t get mad at you for not responding to their text messages, they’re Bobby Browning

 

Movie Review–Hunger Games


Over the last three or so years, I have had many middle school students share with me their love and admiration of The Hunger Games. I was not moved to read the first book in the trilogy until my youngest brother raved about the novel to me. In the past, he was a reluctant reader, but over the course of the last few years, aided by the Percy Jackson series, among other books, he is developing into an avid reader. So if he was feeling this book, then I had to check it out. I cannot lie though, I was also swayed by the release of the movie as well.

I read the novel in a couple of days; it is a lightning fast read. The author, Suzanne Collins, ends each chapter with a slight cliff hanger, which results in a page turning fest. One night, I told myself that I would read for thirty minutes before completing other work, and before I knew it two hours had melted off of the clock and I was enthralled, reluctant to put down the novel, wanting to continue my indulgence.

This weekend, I treated myself to see the movie and here are my observations:

  • I thought I would have missed the initial hype surrounding the movie, and was pleasantly surprised that the theater was packed on a Sunday afternoon. The movie was released about a month ago, yet it is still raking in the millions.
  • Interestingly, there were very few children in the audience. Instead, the theater was teeming with (mostly male) adults older than the perceived teeny bop demographic that has financially fueled the movie. This fact accounts for the ridiculous amounts of money that this movie has made thus far; there is an appeal to male adults, which Twilight, the previous best-seller turned multimillion franchise, did not have. Action+Blood+Death = Testosterone. That’s the right equation, right?   
  • Like most books to movies, the director takes artistic liberties with the storyline, changing a few things around that readers of the book will notice, but the average moviegoer would not have known.
  • Katniss, the female protagonist, is much sexier than I imagined in my mind. Not surprised though because sex sells well.
  • There are very few black characters in the movie. Noticeably, the part when black people are prominent on the screen is doing a riot scene, which is not mentioned in the novel. The contrast between the protestors dark skin and the whiteness of the peacekeepers, with their bleached white uniforms, is very pronounced. I understand the logic behind adding that scene as a way to prepare the social discord that the other two novels discuss. Yet, why at this moment? In the novel, this district, home to all the black people it seems,  actually sends Katniss a gift to show their support for her after she buried Rue. Staging a violent reaction to Rue’s death changes the emotional tenor of that scene. More importantly, it changes the way that the audience, many of whom have not read the book, understands that district. Aggressive+Violent = Black. That’s the right equation, right?   
  • Likewise, there has been all kind of backlash over two prominent, loveable characters, Rue and Cinna, being cast as black. The blatantly racist overtones (captured in a blog) scream white supremacy, especially the nasty comments concerning Rue, who saves Katniss a couple of times. There was an outcry over Rue being black even though it is explicitly stated in the novel that she has dark skin. Even one of my colleagues mentioned that she thought Rue had an olive skin complexion. Why couldn’t Rue be black in the minds of millions? Being a loveable hero is not possible if black. Damn you, white supremacy. Similarly, Cinna, the supportive stylist, whose race or color is not stated, is played by Lenny Kravitz. His character also receives some harsh comments from “disappointed racist fans.”
  • The cinematography is well done. The early quick pace cameras disorient the audience, while highlighting the poverty and famine from which Katniss arises. The opening scenes are dark, even though they are well lit. The sullen faces marked with the coal soot adds an eerie uncomfortableness that pushes the film through this impoverished portion. Contrastingly, the bright, flashy colors illustrate the overindulgent opulence of the Capitol, the true culprit behind the senseless and degrading murders of the teenagers from across the country.
  • Lastly, the absence of music during the beginning of the movie illustrates the barrenness of the poor district. While in the Capitol, music is heard at every turn and whim, which distractingly adds to the extravagance, which ultimately and purposefully tunes the attention away from the corrupted, flawed system.

Overall, the movie served its purpose: I now need want to read the rest of the novels to figure out what happens, while patiently awaiting the upcoming movies.

Oh, never be fooled; money and consumption drives this educational entertainment system. And like all other systems in this country, it works…well.