Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The House I Want (Part Four)

Planning for the Future Post #4

Don't just rest...relax.
The bedroom is not the heart of the house, but it's the place you rest when you're sick, lounge when you're lazy, entertain when you're serious and rest your head at night. The one I have now has a brown polo pain pain job (I never did the moldings in the darker brown I was supposed to) and I've got a leather bed. Not bad work if you can get it. It's a queen not a king, because I believe you shouldn't be able to retreat across the bed from your partner, that the intimacy bred by the proximity is something to treasure. But I digress.

For my bedroom, I want THAT bedroom. With the dark brown walls, but the slightly darker trim. Some art on the walls. Photos that I took. Dark wooden shades and the walk-in closet the size of a complete other room (but that's a whole other post). I want it both spacious and cozy, which I know is quite a trick, with enough room for a couch and a mini-kitchenette, a small space to heat up something in case I don't want to walk down to the kitchen. Maybe a balcony overlooking the fabulous deck I want? Oh the possibilities.

I guess mostly though I want a space where I can close the door and get a good rest.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Straight Outta....well, maybe next time.

Ramblings Post #295
I've had a lot of free time on my hands lately. Too much really. Because when I have too much free time I try to do too many things. I'm still working on my book. (Yes, same book, surprise!) But I'm also starting to think up a new series of characters for a new series of books that would act as a prequel to the book I stopped writing to write this book....which I haven't forgotten, but also working on some songs since I got this app, and also reading a whole lot, and game strategy, and....as I said, too much. 

Straight of Compton
I'm probably not going to see Straight Out of Compton. At least not out. Not out of protest, not because people who didn't make it are mad it didn't include the parts they wanted (see Dee Barnes), not because it somehow "glorifies misogyny", but because the last movie I remember seeing in at the movies was Skyfall, and the next one will probably be Spectre. That AND,  since I was there the first time, actually purchased the albums and listened to the gossip, seeing it all chromed out and cleaned up really has no thrill for me. It's like watching Will Smith play Ali when I could actually watch the documentary and see Ali be himself.

No thrill.

Further, I'm not happy with how the premiere was framed by the media. The implication that there would be violence because of the film was just plain crazy. The audience for this film, NWA fans, are at this point are in their forties and fifties, with careers, mortgages and kids in college. They're not riding up on twenty eights with the choppa in trunk and bum rushing the Regal. They've bought their tickets online at the place with surround sound and stadium seating that serves dinner and dessert, because this is their one night out a week and they need to get home before they piss off the babysitter.  This is folks reliving an admiration of their anti-heros from a hazily remembered youth that wasn't even real the first time around. Think college homecoming in the alumni section more than club full of gangbangers. And yet the media is stunned their was no violence.

I understand the film did well, and hopefully it will open the doors for more films telling the black stories that have black people in them. Hollywood finds every excuse to not tell the black tale unless it's filtered through some other's lens, but here the outlaws were in charge. Well corporate outlaws living off a twenty five year old legend, but outlaws just the same. They did it their way. So maybe a another door opens somewhere. Maybe, just maybe. But I'll be waiting for HBO.

Barkeep, I need me a little gin with some juice. Yeah, I know it's a throw back. But make Tanqueray and the juice a mix of Mango and Pineapple. Fresh juice, now. We're not savages here.
 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Odd Quotes

I unfortunately don't remember who to attribute this to. If you know, I'll add it.
"Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself."
~ Bianca Sparacino

Monday, August 10, 2015

A Quick Book Review - Slumberland

I'm reading a lot of books my brother has suggested, and honestly it's been hit or miss. To read his latest suggestion I actually had to activate the Kindle app on my tablet. This is something I had avoided doing for a long time, because I have an issue with Kindle, or Nook, or one of them. Whatever. In any case, my issue is that you don't actually own the books, but read them through a licensing agreement. Which sounds great until you realize it gives them the power to take the books back at any time, without your knowledge. I would say or consent, but we all know its somewhere in the 57-page agreement nobody reads, so whatever. But as a person who re-reads books all the time, sometimes three or four times, the idea of waking up one day and my books are gone just doesn't even feel right.

But I digress.

Slumberland. I wish I could find what the author was on when he wrote it, because the book reads like less like a story and more like the muttered recollections of someone fresh off a three day bender. At 7am and they are still half alseep and still half in the bag. While you putter around somebody's kitchen on a Thursday morning (Do the math.) While trying to conceive of a breakfast that includes chili powder, leftover dip, and pasta. While also trying to remember A)who these other four people are and B) whose house this is and C) whose underwear you have on. Meanwhile everyone is laughing and knows your name. The book feels like that.

What? That exact thing has never happened to you? Um, never-mind. Let's just say it's an odd book.

The hero, um, narrator, um...there's this guy, in a tanning salon. He's black, but he's in a tanning salon. He explains why eventually, but it's not important. Well, maybe it kinda is. Anyway he's produced what he and his sound collective guesses is the perfect piece of music, or so they think. So he, um, goes to...no, tricks these...er, he goes to Berlin, right, just trust me, and he's searching for this guy, this musician he had decided is the singular authority to validate his music. Only he's never met the guy, has no pictures and has no idea what he looks like. It's that kinda music. 

Beatty, the author,  falls into what I'm seeing as the new style....finding a single concept and drilling down to it's very bottom, then creating a story around it, as if to celebrate it. With Ready Player One, it was the 80's video games. With this it's music.

So, this guy ends up working at the Slumberland bar, this spot where German women pick up black guys as the guy who sets the musical tone for the place. He meets some interesting characters on his quest to find this musical guru, and is black in Germany. Seriously, that's a theme, being black. Look, the book flirts with a broad range of stuff, although it makes love to the author's diverse musical tastes, and covers things like bits of philosophy, a take on California, the government, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the modern record industry, pornography, fill in the blank here, something else, etc. It's hard to explain, without telling the whole story, or giving away the bits of the story that make the read interesting. 

Now, be aware, there is not a lot a story, something I only realized after a good bit of reading. It's mostly thoughts and extremely colorful description. Honestly, I could boil the actual story part down to three good paragraphs for Wikipedia. But Beatty takes what he has and tells it well, and as I said, he is so very, very descriptive. There are ramblings and tangents, asides and impressions and a host of other things that aren't really story, but give the story flavor. And a story without a flavor is just text.

This was a good read. Brisk, and occasionally a little convoluted, but good. Maybe you pick it up. Maybe I get another ice cream sandwich.  

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Odd Quotes



You know what’s really, powerfully sexy? A sense of humor. A taste for adventure. A healthy glow. Hips to grab on to. Openness. Confidence. Humility. Appetite. Intuition. Smart-ass comebacks. Presence. A quick wit. Dirty jokes told by an innocent-looking lady. A storyteller. A genius.  A woman who realizes how beautiful she is, but isn't arrogant about it.
~ The internet

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Quick Book Review - Loving Day

As I've said, I've been catching up on my reading. A few things I've read before, to refresh my memory and perhaps take away a different perspective on the material, a few new items to expand my focus of the world around me. To that end, I, um...got some books from brother. One of them was called Loving Day, in part derived from the Loving v. Virigina case that ended the prohibition on interracial marriage. It was okay, which for a book my brother gave me is a pretty damn good review.

As I've mentioned before, my brother and I have different tastes in literature. In his readings he's looking for subtext and nuance and metaphor. In the stuff I read, I actually like for things to happen. I'll admit that a lot of the books I read are HeroWorks - i.e., there is a hero, this is him and you know he's going to win. The creativity comes in the how. This differs from Literature in which we start with the PTS - Person Telling the Story. They may or may not win, let's just see how this goes. This book was kind of a hybrid, a little of this and little of that. There were long passages extolling the protagonist's thoughts, interpretations and concepts, telling HIS story,  but things also actually happened, people went places and did things. Contrary to popular belief, I don't need explosions, gun battles or a chase scene to occur, but I tend to need more than talking heads.

This story, Loving Day, revolves around Warren Duffy, the product of a interracial marriage, who has just gotten out of an interracial marriage coming home to Philadelphia to his dead father's final property renovation project. A hop, skip and jump later he also finds out he's a father, the product of an interracial tryst in his youth that has produced an interracial child. You may or may not have gotten the idea that "interracial" is an ongoing theme for the book. It's subtle, but it's there. 

Using that as a backdrop, the story quickly becomes, well, almost a little to true to life, sliding from issues of sudden fatherhood, dating, the need for acceptance, love in the modern era with sides of class issues, teenage angst, unfulfilled life expectations and even a little art critique thrown in. And ghosts. It's funny, it's thoughtful, and at times even a little poignant. Everything in the story seems to come at you at once, none of it fitting together quite right which makes it all the more readable. But, although the story touches some real world in its themes, it lives in an insulated little reality of its own. 

Don't get me wrong, some of it was predictable. A few things, at least to me, popped out as obvious future occurrences and so it just became a matter of waiting for them to happen. A few others came out of left, just like life. But he also went places, talked to people and tried to accomplish things. So he told a story, but it was an interesting story. A few of the supporting characters seemed less than fleshed out, almost stand ins to project the protagonist's feelings onto. A few others a little too mystical, seemingly unaffected by the world around them. Although these maybe products of the limited scope chosen by the author to convey the tale. Ah, stylistic choices.

I found it a good read. It did not end up where I thought it would, but it got to where it probably needed to be. Worth the few hours I took to digest it, and certainly worth the pages it was printed on.