Thursday, September 11, 2014
I was in school on Broome Street - not too far from the WTC. Unity High School, an "alternative" school for us "misfit" kids, LOL. We didn't know what was going on, we just knew something was up because the teachers weren't giving us any work to do. Ms. Balstad came in the room and said a plane had crashed into the Twin Towers. There was no concept of this being a "terrrorist" attack then. Ms. Balstad tried to claim it was the Russians attacking us after we started watching the news. Then the 2nd plane hit and we knew it wasn't right.
My homie Nael Daniel was late to school (as usual) and on his way in the 2nd plane flew right over him, a vision I shudder to even think about. We were told we would be on "lockdown" and we would have to wait until our parents were notified until we could leave. Some stayed put, most didn't. The ones that didn't found their escape through the bathroom windows by jumping down to a lower ledge and leaving the school. Me and Nael (Danny) weren't trying to stick around and wait, so we bounced too. The minute we got outside it was the eeriest and haunting feeling in the air. Dust everywhere. Silence aside from the sirens in the distance. We walked the streets seeing men in suits covered with soot and ash. Anyone talking outside was talking about what had happened. All stores were closed. West 4th Street - SHUT DOWN. 14th Street - SHUT DOWN. 34th street - SHUT DOWN. 42nd Street - SHUT DOWN. Cell phone lines were down, roads were closed. No entry in or out of the city. We walked from Broome Street to East 105th St where Danny lived. My mom was bugging out because she hadn't heard from me that day and my grandmother wanted me to come home. When I got home is when it got worse.
Images of people jumping from the Twin Towers haunted my sleep. The constant replay of the moment of the plane's impact was something you couldn't turn away from. A TRL broadcast of a post-9/11 world only served as a band-aid to a city's mortal wound. I remember feeling helpless when the Red Cross was on the news asking for volunteers to give blood. What could I do? I was only a teenager then. The subways were shut down, so I couldn't leave the hood if I wanted to. We spent a week locked in as a city, stuck with the loop of what happened to us. Only to then be thrown into a war as a country - angry, confused and determined to destroy those that did this to us.
Back then, I wasn't as aware as I am now. As much as I will always remember today for what happened 13 years ago, as much as I mourn the victims and those who lost their lives that day, as much as I honor the troops that gave their lives to fight for our country, I can't help but look at this day and feel only halfway somber about the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Knowing that I live in a nation where we would sacrifice THOUSANDS of lives just for the economic power that war begets brings a sickening feeling to my stomach. I'm not a "9/11 Truther" or even that big of a "Conspiracy Theorist" but I've had more than enough time to review the evidence. While I have respect for those lost and I admire our resolve as a country, I am appalled by our government's actions as well as the use of this tragedy as a means to limit our rights and force us into a police state and ultimately a new world order.
I was here that day. There that day. I felt the pain of my city, as well as my nation.
I will NEVER FORGET...and as much as I'll never forget, I will NEVER FORGIVE either.
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Tired of mid-nights where we lie within lies. Weekends where little sparks of our love are seen yet our flames are doused. Coping with disappointment. A constant reminder of how we still aren't where we should be. Days littered with silence and eerie space. Nights drenched in alcohol where the party starts and ends about as quickly as it started.
Her love affair with YouTube videos and Facebook games.
My use of video games and Facebook as self-defense mechanisms.
Her late night love affairs with digital acquaintances.
My thoughts of her roof after reading those conversations.
I hate to envision my own death, but I've been fascinated with that roof - especially as of late. That would sting. I wouldn't go out like that though, because then I'd feel like (for some corny reason) not only would I be biting this dude but - then i'd feel the insignificant guy would somehow win. Kind of a lose-lose situation. I could see him now trying to "comfort" my Queen afterwards.
My ghost wouldn't allow him the chance.
The other guy is a speculative fantasy built out of her defense that came from my infidelity. This is more personal to me because it's a somewhat obtainable fantasy. She respects his level of responsibility when it comes to reality and adores the mystery of his personality. She speaks more highly of him and there's more of a longing, yearning tone when she speaks to him. The reality of him doesn't effect me as much as her adoration of his mystery. An adoration that she would love to become reality. It's almost like watching the one you love get wrapped up in a romance novel and having no clue what is written on the pages. She doesn't pick up the book too often, but every once in awhile - she'll go right back to where she left her bookmark. Flirtatious banter that I would normally shrug at, turns into poison-tipped darts. The more he denies her advances, the more she wants to. My mind delves into a world of jealous thoughts and made-up scenarios - and I shut down, consumed by thoughts of inadequacy and infidelity.
It's my fault. No one to blame for this but myself.
I can take a hint. At least one or two of them. I would have usually solved the puzzle by this point. Yet, something tells me I can't win the game with the cards I've been dealt. At least with this hand. Her/Our game is one of the heart; a game she'll win every time as that is my biggest weakness. She's got all the cards to trump me with, most of which I have unknowingly given her. Her Jacks and Deuces sit right next my Hearts and Spades, as if her taunting smirk wasn't enough. She smiles because now she has the power to hurt. I awakened that power when I hurt her. Sometimes she doesn't even intend to be hurtful. She's just trying to cope and my jealousy makes more of it than I need to. I look at her, feeling guilty and shamed - all the while knowing, that salacious smile she wears is masking a broken heart.
I wish I could go back a few turns. Similar to life (and love) however, once the cards have been played - you can't go back. The game is now affected by your actions and it must continue, or it ends. My biggest fear is this game ending soon, yet this is what it has become. A game. The feeling of Love is when you're winning that game. High on the ecstasy of always being with the one your heart belongs to. Laughing at the smallest things, loving and holding onto the smallest moments. That very feeling should be enough to carry you through a path of tribulations, a forest of temptations and a lifetime of burden.
Somewhere along the line, I tripped in the forest.
We had been racing side by side for a long while and I had already stumbled twice before, but then I tripped and fell...
...and the fall is what hurt her the most.
To her, I wasn't supposed to fall - for I had already fallen for her. I had failed her by falling because what we had running together was special. People would see us running together and they would know what love is. We both ran excitedly together, challenging each other and also enjoying the wonders of life together. I wasn't supposed to fall. Even when things got bad with her mom and she was cast out, I wasn't there to catch her like I should. To stumble with her and keep her steady. I used the situation as an excuse to run down a different road. A road that led to a dead end. Broken that I had veered off course, she stopped running. I turned away from the dead end and started walking back to her. She walked back to me and picked me up after I came to my senses. She could have left me to lay there - dazed and confused by my own hallucinations and she would've been right to. I hurt her by falling. I wasn't supposed to fall. Yet - she came back to me, nursed my wounds and gave me great comfort.
I stood up and it was a while before we could race side by side again. She charged on with new-found strength and once we learned we would have an additional partner to race with, she kicked everything into in high gear. I was easily distracted and couldn't see the finish line. I stopped along the way and when I did, she would backpedal and pick me back up. She assured me that we were meant to cross the finish line together and my heart believed her. I jogged for a while, barely keeping up with her - and at times, we would go in separate directions. However, when our partner joined the race - she made sure to bring us back together and back where we needed to be.
We were now running with great speed and everything was fantastic. It almost felt as carefree and blissful as it did when we first started racing. It wasn't easy - she had to run by herself in the beginning, doing everything she could to build our partner's strength. I was merely the guy on the side who would give her water from time to time. I would help with our partner as well, but we still weren't running side by side. She never looked at me quite the same, but somehow we kept running. Running for what we believed in from the start. Time helped get us back to where we were running at the same pace and I had finally caught up to seeing her smile again.
We had came to a rest stop and were able to celebrate for a nice long while. That's when the "traps" started showing up. Me falling into potholes she would create in attempts to justify the dirt on my shirt from when I first fell. She started to slow down to a jog and I couldn't stop running. It was easier to slow down or take a rest when we didn't have another partner to run for. We could just stop for awhile and gaze at the stars. Think about why we were even running in this race together. Now, I run with her for a few paces and we stop to rest. We have a great run for awhile, I start feeling joyous and happy - and then I fall into one of her traps again. Time passes, we reset. Back on the road.
I just want the race to run smoothly again. My heart can't take much more of the potholes, bumps, cracks and traps that have appeared on our otherwise flawless road of love.
I look forward to every weekend I spend with her. Every moment I spend with her. I feel so inadequate because I haven't been able to provide for my family for TWO MONTHS.
I wanna fucking die right now but I can't because I got shit to do. I haven't been depressed much since my first real bout with depression, but times like this really get me back in that place. My family is the only thing that really keeps me happy. This work situation is really on some work/slave shit and it's trying to break my spirit. It's like waking up every day being on some paid-intern shit where I'm waiting for a bullshit stipend - except I have a kid that's going to school, a wife that is furthering her education so we can grow as a family and a mother-in-law who is holding everything down while feeding you and giving you shelter - FREE for two months. I'm so grateful for all of the blessings they bestow upon me, but as a man I feel real fucked up right now that I have NOTHING to bring to the table. I know this time will pass and things will be good again soon, but damn it yo...can you blame your girl for having options especially when you're not even putting food on the table? When you can't even satisfy her? When you've been trying to sell her the same dream of moving out for 7 years? How you both haven't had a "real" anniversary in years? How you didn't get her anything for her birthday? C'mon Josh, can you blame her? The truth is, I can't.
I look in her eyes and I know she loves me. I know she's stressed out too with all that's going on. Annaiya finally going to school, her returning to school...and having to do all of this with NO MONEY. Stressed to not have her own. Stressed that we're stuck in the same predicament as before. All I could hope is that she still believes in me the way she always has. When the world ends, I'll be holding her hand, kissing her lips and looking into her eyes. That is my idea of paradise. Though our love in this life my not have been perfect, I will love her infinitely and eternally. I can't erase my mistakes, but I will do everything I can while I'm alive to makes sure she knows how special she is to me. I adore her. I worship her. She is a Queen that makes me feel worthy enough to even be called King. She is the one being that made me into a man and helped me understand what true love is. She is who I've been waiting for my entire life.
I love her with all of my everything.
When we're good, we're the best.
I wish I never hurt her...because the fear of her leaving me hurts me to the core.
I need her. She's the only one in the world that I want to be with.
All the time.
We're supposed to cross the finish line together.
Yet, I know that to her, deep down inside her soul and as much as she loves me..no matter how good I get at running, keeping up with her and even crossing the finish line with her as a man - I'll always be that boy who tripped in the forest.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Feel free to make your own if you feel like I missed out on someone important.
1. Carl Brutananadilewski (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
I know what you're thinking. Really, H? Really? Number ONE is CARL?! Yes. Yes he is. I can comfortably say Carl is my favorite cartoon character of ALL time. Carl is your average middle-aged male from New Jersey (his accent is HILARIOUS), shrewdly placed in the ATHF universe. As a neighbor to the most unforgiving and appalling neighbors ever, Carl is subjected to everything that the ATHF gang has to deal with. Carl is a simple man with no goals (or a future) who is stuck in the 1980's hair band wave amongst other old-school traditions. Cheap and easily pleased with sports and internet porn, Carl somehow always manages to get caught in the mix with whats going on with the Aqua Teens (which usually ends up in his demise). Crude, rude and obnoxious all around - Carl is the perfect man's man...and my favorite cartoon character.
2. Stewie Griffin (Family Guy)
Everyone's favorite diabolical and maniacal baby has secured the #2 spot on my list. Why? Simply put - you have NEVER met a baby like Stewie before. Stewie combines all of the innocence and joy of being a baby with the cynical and stereotypical judgments of an adult, making for a hilarious and classic cartoon character. I honestly didn't like Stewie when I first started watching Family Guy, because I thought his character was monotonous and bland - however, when they brought back the show from cancellation - it was if a new Stewie had emerged. A Stewie with more attitude who was in the spotlight more often - and that made me grow to love him.
3. Goku (DragonBall Z)
Goku is EVERYONE'S favorite hero. He's your favorite hero's favorite hero. As honorable and as noble as they come, Goku's story is as unique as it is impressive. One can say that part of the joy of believing in a cartoon character is knowing that character is fictional in nature - however, Goku is one of those rare characters you could believe actually exists. Goku (aka Kakarot) is the epitome of everything pure and valiant in a hero, while remaining as human and as above-human as possible. Goku has a knack of overcoming unfathomable odds all the while remaining cool and calm under pressure. Passive in nature, Goku is not one to look for conflict - but would rather scoff at it in hopes of a joke. Willing to put anything on the line (including his life - on several occasions) to protect his family and friends, Goku is that selfless and determined hero you can always depend on.
4. Eric Cartman (South Park)
Eric Cartman is that kid you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy. Offensive in all forms of the word, overtly racist and sexist - Cartman has evolved from a mere troublesome child to a flat-out terrorist on everything sacred. His mother is a hermaphrodite who has been around the block a few times and his father is unknown to him - causing him to be bitter. Spoiled and a glutton, Cartman prides himself in getting what he wants and will often be greedy - taking more than he deserves. Obsessed with money, snacks and authority - Cartman's only weakness is that he still longs for the innocence of being a child. Besides that, Eric Cartman is the All-American Nightmare.
5. Bart Simpson (The Simpsons)
As a boy growing up in the 90's, I needed a child-like animated character to identify with and the first one I can remember is Bart. Bart was your typical bad-boy with no respect for the rules, who was always one step ahead of the game by being so cool and smooth. Being the popular daredevil (me all the way) who has a nerd (Milhouse) as a best friend, Bart cant as much as step out of the bed without doing it in a cool way. Even when he has to look the part of an angel, one can still see the devil in him itching to escape - ready to mark the streets with an "El Barto" tag and a skateboard.
6. Peter Griffin (Family Guy)
This was a hard one because I was torn between Peter and Homer Simpson for this slot, but after analyzing all of the pros and cons - Peter was declared the winner. (that and the fact that I have a plethora of Simpsons characters throughout this list) Peter Griffin is quite possibly the dumbest, rudest, and most thoughtless character you could ever come across - but it's those very factors that makes him lovable. The thing you can always appreciate about Peter is that he keeps it real. Maybe a little TOO real at times, but the REALEST.
7. Master Shake (Aqua Teen Hunger Force)
If you haven't watched ATHF (for whatever dumb reason you haven't) you are missing out on one of the best characters ever created in cartoon history. Master Shake is no regular cup with a face. No way. Shake will take something perfect and beautiful and find complete fault and distaste in it. He destroys almost everything he comes in contact with and demands to be respected at all times - even when he's wrong, which is almost all if not all of the time. If you can deal with someone who has no regard for your feelings and will most likely get you into trouble without knowing (then refusing to admit it was he that got you in said trouble) you might be able to handle Shake.
8. Coach McGuirk (Home Movies)
Never has a cartoon character been so unforgiving and unapologetic as John McGuirk. As the coach of a 4th Grade soccer team, McGuirk is a smart-mouthed oaf who couldn't take his job any less seriously. Apathetic in nature and a belligerent drunk who's had a number of run-ins with the law, McGuirk is the bad-boy of Home Movies with very few friends - forcing himself to impose upon parties where he's not welcome. Even though he can't score a date (or a friend for that matter) he still finds a way to be helpful and beneficial to the kids in their films and adventures.
9. Wolverine (X-Men: The Animated Series)
Wolverine by himself makes up for a good 90% of the cool factor for the X-Men, and he knows it. He's the main reason I watched X-Men growing up as a kid and was my favorite X-Man. (it's kind of been tied between him and Gambit, actually) Loaded with an adamantium skeleton and claws, a bad-ass attitude that could only be compared to the toughness of a wolverine and a dark past that only the best of the best could soldier through - Wolverine is easily one of the most complex and inspiring heroes of all time.
10. Zorak (Space Ghost / Space Ghost: Coast To Coast)
Another one of my favorite villians, Zorak is slept on by most. Not only is Zorak a hilarious co-host to the dimwitted Space Ghost and the most rigid of the Cartoon Planet gang, he is a dutiful father and a clever foe. He has an AWESOME evil laugh too, BTW.
11. Daria (Daria / Beavis & Butthead)
Making her first appearance in B&B, Daria is that girl that everybody knows (or is) who just doesn't care about you, what you have to say, or much of anything for that matter. Smart and considered to most as a "nerd", Daria prides herself in her knowledge as well as her ability to cut down her peers with her witty remarks. Her family is dysfunctional, causing her to seek refuge with her equally nonchalant friend Jane - who is the sister of her crush, Trent. I love Daria and I'm glad that it was her character MTV chose to spin-off into a series with. (AND I'm glad they've finally released all of the seasons on DVD!)
12. Iago (Aladdin)
This dude. Funniest parrot character EVER. Many parrots have tried and failed, but Iago owns the crown for best animated parrot. Voiced by Gilbert Gottfried, (who is for some reason HILARIOUS to me) this lil' dude had me laughing for hours on end. I used to run back Aladdin all the time and when the series came out, it was so dope that Gilbert Gottfried kept doing his voice! Iago could be a bit of a sneak and could be grimey when the situation involved jewels or gold - but he had a good heart at the end and always remained loyal to his friends.
13. Moe Szyslak (The Simpsons)
If anybody's got it bad, it's Moe. (i was gonna put Gil Gunderson instead, but Moe is more amusing of a character) Moe is unattractive, crude and about two steps away from a suicidal meltdown, but his established position as the guy who who doesn't take any crap keeps him alive and stable. From his short-tempered cheapskate manners to his hilarious phone hi-jinks with Bart, Moe makes up a decent percentage of the comic relief The Simpsons has to offer.
14. Bender (Futurama)
Bender is a
15. Piccolo (DragonBall Z)
I had a hard time picking Goku over Piccolo, only because Piccolo was the first character from DBZ I really liked. Cooler than the other side of the pillow, Piccolo was actually a villain who reformed over time to become one of the good guys. (same with Vegeta - which was why I liked DBZ) Piccolo had originally been training to defeat Goku and winded up joining forces with him and his friends to protect the earth from the Saiyans. After Goku's death, (the first one) Piccolo became a mentor to Goku's son Gohan, helping to toughen him up and raise him in a true warrior's fashion. After fusing with Kame, Piccolo calmed in nature and took position as the owner of Kame's Tower - eventually leaving the fighting to the younger DBZ warriors.
16. Toxie (The Toxic Crusaders)
I don't remember too much about The Toxic Crusaders, but I do remember Toxie and how cool he was. Toxie was the coolest mutant on the block - actually cleaning up the bad guys and doing it with style. Early 90's cartoons were big on pollution control, and this was another great example at artists lending their hands to a good cause. I would later meet a friend of mine who worked for Troma (the people who produced the Toxie movies) and I got to meet Toxie when I was a teenager! Thanks, Guillermo!
17. Nelson Muntz (The Simpsons)
If there was such a thing as a good bully, Nelson is the best bully there could be. Equipped with a hilarious catchphrase (it's hard not to be a Simpsons character and NOT have a catchphrase) Nelson is the result of your typical American broken home, but he doesn't let that get him down. Nelson is an astute learner, a wonderful singer and actually has a heart of gold when captivated by pure emotion. Count on Nelson to get you out of a jam if he likes you, or to get you in one if he doesn't.
18. Spike (Cowboy Bebop)
Being a "bad-ass" takes a lot of work, but the main thing about being a bad-ass is making all that work look EFFORTLESS. Spike is a PERFECT example of this kind of character, in which he operates carefree and effortlessly. If his laid back semi-drunken fighting style isn't enough to catch you off guard, he's nonchalant approach towards life and the safety of those around him certainly will. Spike makes it look cool to be a bad-ass, succeeding in an area where most heroes fail.
19. Dexter (Dexter's Laboratory)
Dexter, Boy GENIUS! C'mon, dude...you ALWAYS wanted your own lab. You wanted to build all of the cool things Dexter built, and in secrecy you envied his knack for inventing cool things. While Dexter may appear small in stature and tends to look the part of your average "nerd", Dexter is the coolest of the cool. With a suave attitude as well as a solution for almost every situation, Dexter always comes out of any conflict the victor.
20. Buttercup (The Powerpuff Girls)
I'm kind of mad at myself for putting cute little Buttercup so low on the list, but she is the ONLY Powerpuff Girl who made it on this list - so, oh well. Buttercup is the most level-headed and tough superhero you would want to have on your team...and she's a GIRL who KICKS ASS!!
21. Aisha Clanclan (Outlaw Star)
If I could have an anime crush (and I can - don't judge me, I know some of you have them!), it would be Aisha Clanclan. Cute as a kitty (LOL - she's from a race of CATS), strong as an OX and courageous with a Double D rack to boot (the kind that would make that chick from Slayers blush), Aisha stole my heart and made Outlaw Star worth watching for me.
22. Beavis & Butthead (Beavis & Butthead)
Aahhh...Beavis & Butthead. Many a night has been spent watching back-to-back episodes of B&B - back in the days when MTV actually offered quality television programming (and videos). B&B was the brainchild of a simple animator who struck gold with the misadventures of two misguided adolescents. Coupled with hilarious music video commentary, B&B quickly became a hit amongst American teens - so much so, it was banned. B&B was brought back, but forced to air at a later time on the network because of the result of a few teens in reality trying to mimic what they saw on the show. Butthead is my fave, BTW.
23. T-Bone (SWAT Kats)
When I used to watch SWAT Kats, I would always wait until T-Bone showed up to start getting amped. The other dude was cool, but he didn't have the "bad-assery" that T-Bone had. Great show (DOPE animation for it's time) that should have had a longer shelf life than it did.
24. The Red Guy (Cow & Chicken)
This guy is bad and he knows it. Out of all of the "villans" or "bad guys" in cartoon history, nobody else can make being bad look so good. A "jack of all trades", this devilish fella dons various styles and names (usually referring to his butt or lack of pants - ie: Lance Sackless, Ivan Panced) and lives to scam people and make life miserable for others. With his flamboyant, yet aggressive behavior - The Red Guy makes for a lot of laughs and can even be compassionate when the situation permits.
25. Leon Kompowsky (The Simpsons)
Not a lot of people mention this character, but this was quite possibly one of the most classic characters in the history of The Simpsons. Voiced by Michael Jackson (credited as John Jay Jones) - Michael did all of the speaking parts for this character - a mental patient who links up with Homer after he lands in the looney bin. After leaving the hospital and staying with The Simpsons, Leon teams up with Bart to write a beautiful song for Lisa as the perfect birthday present.
Hope you liked my list and I encourage you to make your own!
The first time I saw demons, I was about 9 years old. My friend Ian McLeod had invited me over to his house which was a den of everything fun, out of my age range and tempting. We had bought baby mice to feed to his pet snake, ate pizza and watched the movie Friday. I was in HEAVEN. Ian wanted to show me this computer game and I wanted to keep watching Friday, but we were pressed for time. When your a kid on a "playdate" you want to do as much as you possibly can with the 3-4 hrs you are spending with your friend. You have the whole week in school to use your imagination and play with toys - now was the time to go BIG.
Ian booted up his mom's computer and started up Doom 2. The graphics were advanced for me at the time (the only games i had at the time were 8-16 bit console games) and I watched him blow through some of the beginning levels, entering cheats and blowing the monsters away without a scratch. Then it was my turn. I sprinted ahead and killed my first Zombieman with a shotgun blast. I felt ALIVE. I ran through the level, shooting and killing monster after monster - becoming more fulfilled with myself with each kill. I knew nothing of "First-Person Shooters" but I knew as long as the game played like Doom 2 did, I would like it.
I left Ian's house with an obsession to play Doom, not knowing at first that it was a game that I shouldn't have been allowed to play. When I got home I couldn't stop talking about it - and my mom wasn't liking what she was hearing...especially the fact that I wanted to play the game. My obsession to play the game only grew and soon enough, my mom called Ian's mom and requested that I not be allowed to play Doom when I would visit Ian. We ALWAYS broke that rule and I just vowed to keep quiet about it. Ian's mom didn't see the harm in us blowing away these 2d pixel based creatures, but my mom was scared I was becoming a kid more violent in nature.
When we moved to Texas, my best friend Daniel had Doom on his computer as well. His dad would play it all of the time and would let us play when we came home from school. It even got to the point to where my dad actually had a copy in our house, and during the summer when he would sneak to work - I would install a copy of Doom 2 on the computer, play it and then DELETE it before he came home. It wasn't until I moved back to NYC in my teenage years that I was able to score a copy of the game for myself.
The reality of the game hadn't settled in yet until I heard about the Columbine shootings and how the shooters had used Doom as an influence behind their murderous motives. I was puzzled to why this game was coming under fire behind the shootings and soon learned that they had built actual MAPS (Doom levels) that mimicked the school. Placing myself in that world and also being influenced by a lot of gothic, dark and sometimes satanic atmospheric disturbances - I delved into the world of Doom and had been stuck there for years.
Doom had become a reality to me - I turned off the cheat codes and tried my hand at the first level, met with failure because I had set the difficulty too high. The demons and zombies of that world were spilling into my own becoming that much more difficult to destroy. Images of pentagrams and demons filled my head as well as the pages of my junior high school notebook. I felt like the lone warrior faced to fight these hellions around me and became swallowed in this world...a world I wouldn't escape until years later.
I've always had a theory that Hell would be just like Doom. Having to fight my way out of hordes of Imps without dying and taking on unbelievable odds only to have to start all over again on the next level. Well, guess what Hell? I just beat you. It took me damn near 10-12 years to do it, but I finally did it. I completed Doom and Doom 2 this year - and it makes me feel like I accomplished something. Like I could actually fight my way out of hell if forced to. It's bittersweet in a way because now it's over, but I feel like any soldier who's won a war they've been fighting forever...accomplished.
Kudos to Doom 2 for being one of the best (and most difficult) games I've EVER played in my entire life.
Thursday, November 18, 2010
First off, I'd like to apologize for being such a neglectful parent to this blog. I feel like I have to blow the dust off of this blog every time I make a new post, but when I do it's usually something crucial to the development of the character known as Halo.
This time, I would like to elaborate my "sudden change" on my moniker as well as who I am musically, artistically and spiritually.
Lovechild Zelda was born through my own personal struggle with identity and how I fit within this world that I populate. As the years have gone by, I've gone from asking myself "How will my music flourish in a world that is so blind?" to "How will I survive in an industry that is being taken over by soulless monsters?" and the sobering truth is, my music wasn't meant for this age. Being "ahead of my time" is an understatement in the fullest respect. I now realize that the goals I wished to achieve as DjH2 can be better understood through the guise of Lovechild Zelda.
In an "last-ditch" effort to preserve my position within the world of instrumental art, I've decided to shelve "AerosolHeart" (a DjH2 project) in order for me to fully focus on releasing the all original, all organic material that is Lovechild Zelda. DjH2 has actually returned to doing what he does best - DJing. I am proud to say that I am now a resident DJ at 999 (or NoCo Bar) spinning every Friday and Saturday. My weekly income isn't substantial enough for me to branch out on my own yet, but I'm saving as much as I can for the much anticipated arrival of my daughter. (LOL - yeah that's right...I have a baby girl on the way due to arrive in March 2011. The last post I made here was in May, so I had to catch yall up.)
999 is a great atmosphere and a wonderful place to work, even more-so when the charismatic Mel is bar-tending. The area itself is full of questionable weirdos, but the regulars have great hearts and personalities and it makes DJing there that much more enjoyable. I honestly couldn't ask for a better job. The management is cool and the vibe is always chill because of the diversity of the crowd there...we get a few rumbles here and there, but what could you expect from a place called 999...I play a lot of hip-hop / Top 40 material for the younger crowds and parties, some Salsa for the Latin folk and some Old-School 80's and 90's for the older heads...it's usually around 3:30 in the morning when I start getting experimental and playing whatever feels right. I'm damn proud of myself for making the effort every week to push my cart with my computer and monitor in it (working on getting a laptop before the year is out - *crosses fingers for Dell XPS M1730 Intel Core Duo Laptop*) so that I can get paid doing what I love. Making others happy through the power of music.
As far as my music is concerned, I don't really drop any of it at 999. Maybe later into the night when things start mellowing out. Lovechild Zelda would be too much for anyone in that crowd to handle, so I'll leave that to the people who seek that sound. Even as I listen to some of the songs from the LP, I wonder to myself who will truly understand the energy and meaning behind this project. People expecting to hear a classic H2 sample chopped over some syncopated drums will be disappointed. This is a venture into sounds that put the heart at ease and makes the soul jump out of your body. I really am excited about this project because it has such value to me. I can feel the joy, excitement and love I have for my daughter all throughout this music. Lovechild Zelda is the perfect aural embodiment of the person I've blossomed into over the past few months.
Spiritually, I would like to say that I am currently "omni-religious". This is to say I find faith in the ideals, tales and beliefs of various religions. After learning the tale of Heru (aka Horus) as well as viewing the theological essay entitled "Zeitgeist", my views on religion as well as our whole establishment as a nation has been flipped upside down. I believe in the energy of the sun as most of our universe revolves around this every entity, however - I also believe that a being of great power created the sun and it is that very being that we call God. We are all god's of our own destiny and will, however a force greater than we can possibly comprehend moves us and aligns us with certain people, experiences and lessons so that we may grow in the manner that God sees fit for us.
Well, I'll explain more in the future. For now...be on the lookout for Lovechild Zelda...a sound that may change the way you look at music as well as everything in general.
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Watched the series finale of LOST on Sunday and was amazed.
Not so much at the finale as a whole (or the series), but at the ending.
Best way to end a series - EVER.
It just made so much sense...and it makes you look at the other side (the afterlife) in a whole different way. Sure, skeptics will hop on the "ohh, they went all Christian and played the died and went to heaven card" boat, but they showed a stained-glass window containing all of these religious symbols, as to say the place they were now had no religion - no class - none of those earthly constraints, conflicts and contradictions matter when it's all over.
The idea that the people in your life will always remain with you even after you are gone was amazing...that was even further extended into something greater by explaining that there was no "then" or "now" in the afterlife. This time-line that we all follow was now irrelevant because we all will die and be united infinitely - no matter what time our death takes place .
People that hadn't even died yet were still able to be there for you because you've always been a part of their lives. They are a part of you just as equally as you are a part of them. People who you loved, fought with, cried and laughed with, and just overall have experienced life with - would be there for you, because they wouldn't be who they are if it wasn't for their experiences with you. To know that a television show could touch upon that and bring that vision into reality was amazing (and therapeutic) to watch.
Of course, the LOST yuppies and fan freaks are all 'up in arms' about it - but I could care less. Why? Probably because I didn't care about the show in the 1st place, but I got the message it had presented at the end. The phrase 'The End' in itself is an open-ended mystery, because who has the power to say when something is truly over? I've been seeing this phrase more and more during these darker times, almost as an early warning to some impending apocalypse or judgment...but I'm not going to get all pessimistic on yall, tho.
Let's just say - this was a nice way to get a glimpse into ourselves and the "real big picture" without getting too Disney on us. They pulled our heartstrings just the way ABC would and did it in a far-less gay fashion then Grey's Anatomy (ugh - cue sappy song montage).
Great job, LOST. Now i just need to watch all the other episodes when I get a week to myself.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Funny, but I've always made my best beats while being deathly sick and snotty.
Also funny, is how this is the prime opportunity for everybody in the world to show up at my house, ready to work on a project or some beats.
Let me get something straight with you folks. I am almost 25 and I still live in the projects with my grandmother. We share a TV (which is in my room) and I don't complain about it because I don't pay rent (or any other bills, for that matter). For more than 4-5 years, my grandmother has been okay with me hopping from job to job (and sometimes not having a job for close to a year) and that's because I help out a lot, I'm dedicated to my music (which she takes seriously when she sees something flourish from it - ie: the Pepsi:Refresh commercial) and I keep things neutral around here. That gravy train is on it's last stop tho, so within the next year - I'm going to have to find a way to support myself - out on my own.
Sooooo, when I have people showing up randomly at my house (that goes for you too, Kesed) - it disturbs the tranquility of my home, resulting in my grandmother being upset, or me being knocked out of my comfort zone. It sucks to be resting in your bed, (in what seemed like a reasonable time to be asleep - 6:50am) in your boxers with your junk rattlin' around, only to be awaken by (not a hot-chick or Publisher's Clearing House saying I won $1,000,000) but the most random of characters. Nah, son. Give me at LEAST 9am to be coherent enough to understand and appreciate your presence. I respect your privacy, I would only hope you do the same.
Charles Hamilton is hitting me up on Facebook saying he's blocks away and I'm ignoring him. Ignorance is bliss. I've pretty much got the world (except for a few people in my close knit of friends) on MUTE. I'm trying to prevent myself from going Super Saiyan 2. Super Saiyan 2 H2 = Complete ASSHOLE, and I don't want to burn any bridges - even though I can't stop playing with the lighter. So, yeah - I've been on my "duck and dodge" shit. Look to the stars to find a Halo. Space is the place and that's where you'll find me.
For all you "starchasers" reading and following my blog in hopes for me to say something about Charles Hamilton - you know what? Fuck it. This is the last time I'll have anything to say on the dude, unless we work together in the future. What can I say that you don't already know? I don't enjoy "airing-out" people I know personally, but I'm getting tired of holding myself back - and that's in all areas of life. Guess I'm finally growing up a bit.
I was watching Illdoctrine's vid "Operation Ignore Charles Hamilton" and I forgot how hilarious yet, insanely on point it was. It's all true (everything from the ridiculous J Dilla claims as well as the thievery of beats on behalf of Black Spade - i remember how crushed I was to hear that "Boy Who Cried Wolf" -my fave CH song - wasn't produced by him, but at least he told me that) and I was well in contact with CH while it all was going down.
I was theoretically in the Demevolist "circle" (lol @ their rumors of me being gay...LOL, sooooo not true - but maybe you should look a bit closer within your group and it's founders), but I never put myself down with that because I'm my own artist. I've always been about that, which is why I only put about 25% of my efforts in producing for other artists. I don't wanna ride the curt-tails of anyone's success; I want to rest in the comfort of knowing I earned everything I have, so this way I'm not subjected to uncomfortably sleeping on the floor of anyone's studio.
Now, don't get it twisted - I'm not ungrateful. Far from it. I'm thankful for all of the positivity that came from being affiliated with Charles Hamilton. CH's blog as well as Dope2Go gave my name a bit of a push - right before the Demev ship took a nose-dive - so I was glad to have been a part of that. We had plenty of chill times in that spooky house in Westchester, (i was convinced that place made me feel like my aura was being drained, until I learned that certain people around you can do that) we smoked maaaaad bud, drank booze and ate pizza until our hearts content. We ran up CH's credit-card something crazy between the cab rides back and forth to the city, but I definitely was no HchO (LOL). We even got into a little bit of beat making up there (the jumping point for Dope2Go) and that was cool. However, one particular incident stood out for me and made me change the way I viewed Charles as a person - forever.
We had to go to the store to pick up a few things, so we left the house - just me and CH, leaving the ladies (he was with Briana at the time) in the house. Mind you, walking to a store in Westchester is like walking to a gas station in Texas, so we had plenty of time to rap about some shit...yet, somehow we both were silent. You know, that uncomfortable silence. In an attempt to break the silence, I said to Charles: "So, what's really going on in the world of Charles Hamilton?"
In which he replies, "Nothing really...I just think it's funny how people have to find something to talk about when no one's talking."
Oh, word? Here I am trying to make an honest attempt in figuring out the state of mind this dude's in (because that's an anomaly in itself - yet somehow I cared enough to want to know) as well as attempting to establish a link with him (because we never really understood each other completely, there was always weirdness there - and it still is at times) and this dude is on his pedestal shit. Okay, cool. You don't have to tell me twice in order for me to get the hint. From then on, I had made a silent vow to myself to always keep Charles at an arm's length.
I knew from then on that I had to do me. Sad, because here I am thinking we're friends - only to find out we're "friendly-associates". I knew dude was a bit conceited, but I chose to ignore that about him. I thought that was part of his "rap-persona", not who he was for real. Maybe that's why I have a bit of a "chip on my shoulder" when it comes to everything he's involved in.
I still find myself curious to know of his endeavors (as any fan of an artist they admire would), but not to the point in which I'm willing to sacrifice my own comfort and image behind it. Even throughout all of his career fiasco's, I always tried to put in a good word on his behalf, as well as extend my advice to him - because that's what I do with everyone. My name is Halo for that very reason: (check the definition - mainly Section B)
A : a circle of light appearing to surround the sun or moon and resulting from refraction or reflection of light by ice particles in the atmosphere.
B : the aura of glory, veneration, or sentiment surrounding an idealized person or thing; an indication of radiant light drawn around the head of a saint.
I've always prided myself in my ability to help others, and I will continue to do so. Whether it's through music, money, advice or whatever - as long as you are genuine in your approach, I'll be willing to help you. I can no longer try and advise Charles, because he is beyond advisement.
Every time I would try and say something meaningful to this kid, it would be like talking to a child - in one ear and out the other. He tunes you out when he feels like you're attacking his character or his beliefs (even more-so when you're right about it), almost as if you were scolding him - when in actuality, you're just trying to help him. It requires a certain level of humility to be able to absorb and accept advisement - a level I don't think he'll ever reach. He's one of those rare individuals who will convince themselves something is the truth (even though it's been proven time and time again to be false) to the point where he believes his opinion is fact and will remain solid and immobile within his opinion.
Charles Hamilton has made a name for himself by being forthright and honest, however that has bit him in the ass on plenty occasions. That's why Briana snuffed him. Only someone close to him can knock some sense into him by humiliating him and putting him in his place, so I commend Briana for "the punch heard round the world". They both were going through some personal shit at the time - so just because a camera is in your face, that doesn't mean something personal becomes the public's business because you are a public figure. Briana was right in what she did, and I called her the minute after I saw the video and told her so. (LOL - I remember laughing with Briana and hearing Charles in the background saying, "Aww - you fucked up for that one, H...") What do you want me to do? It was funny. I'm just glad he didn't hit her back. That woulda ended him right then and there.
Now, this is where things started getting shaky.
I don't know if it was just him really believing himself again or just sheer insanity, but he does the unthinkable and lists J Dilla as his Executive Producer in the album credits for "This Perfect Life". Nope. Wrong move. I can understand if he was being "over-zealous " or trying to honor the spirit of Dilla within his music, but there are plenty of other ways he could have paid homage to Dilla that are feasible (and are a lot less legally conflicting - damn, am I repeating myself?). As quickly as he made his entrance to the industry, he was just as quickly beginning to sink. He never told me himself that Interscope had planned to drop him as an artist, but I knew. The minute I found out "This Perfect Life" was going to be a free download, I knew.
The fans and the haters alike were beginning to connect the dots of his pathological lies and were given an ultimatum: Either rock with Charles during his decent into obscurity, in hopes for an eventual ascension - or just jump off the boat completely. I chose the former over the latter, but I see myself now leaning in the other direction .
Hence, where we are now. Fast-Forward past all of the drama - past him getting jawwed by Briana, past the Dilla fiasco. Now, we're faced with a Charles Hamilton that is picking up the pieces of a broken career and he's having very little help.
I know I can't help him.
I can't even smoke weed with this dude anymore and enjoy myself, because when he gets high he goes on tangents that rival the patterns of a Spirograph. One of his best-friends/associates in the Demev circle, Sha-liek, hit me up on Facebook and spoke about that very issue.
"Yo, Halo - do not smoke with this dude Charles. He gets crazy when he's high - mad spacey and out of it..."
I'm not going to go into further detail about what Sha-leik said within the rest of the conversation, but it did open my eyes to a lot of shit that Charles does. Even my homie Sciryl (the dude who introduced us to each other) advised me not to smoke with this dude. Why should I? I'm only hindering his growth by perpetuating his downfall. He's not only made me feel uncomfortable on more than a few occasions, but he's made other people around me that don't even know him view me in a different way. I was excited to tell people I was working with Charles in the beginning. They'd be like, "Werd? You know Charles Hamilton? That's DOPE!" and now it's more like, "Charles Hamilton? Isn't that the kid who got dropped before his album came out? What's he doing with himself?"
It's bad enough I've had to borderline kick him out of my house because of him passing out on my bed.
It's bad when I see him dip to the bathroom a good 3-4 times in a 2-3hr span of time, not knowing what the hell he's doing in there.
It's bad when you wear out your welcome and don't know when to leave.
It's just overall bad, and I'm doing too good right now to be affected by all of this negativity around me.
So, for now...MUTE.