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From time to time I feel the need to write something semi-poetic. Read the results below.
Knowing right and doing right, is two sides of a coin.
Choices made with inner thoughts, from a heart that’s been scorned.
You knew the path but chose, to take the road that was worn.
You knew the math and rose, to make decisions you would morn.
Self-righteously proclaimed, then outwardly-maintained.
Truth is you’re inwardly-defamed, and secretly-sustained.
Obviously something is there, so sensitive and raw.
I realized it wasn’t me, but the many horrors that you saw.
As a child, or maybe just your mental composition.
Took a while to discover, your deranged disposition.
Arguably, lack of love, filled with fleeting adoration.
So when my love came along, you set a course for deportation.
Painted me as the problem, then put my love on a shelf.
If being frank is the goal, it was a reflection of yourself.
Your inner mind’s eye was wrong, credibility gone.
Can you verify the source, of the visions you were shown?
But I’m not here to judge, but I stand here accused,
Insurmountable frustration, from the lies you exude.
So, my brother Kary Brown is a singer / songwriter / musician. He loves Halo. So it was just a matter of time before the two met in some musical cluster of awesomeness. Check the embed below to listen to what is to become part of an original Halo hip-hopera. Also be sure to check his website for his full discography.
Back in 2007 my slightly older cousin and a high school friend, along with myself planned a trip to Vegas. Of course I was exited about the sights and sounds, hustle and bustle that I would see on the trip, but deep in the back of my mind, the geek in me was saying, “Yes, I finally get to see Star Trek: The Experience”. Yeah, weird I know, but I was excited none-the-less.
In the midst all the casinos and shops, slot machines and shows, I finally made time to partake of the experience, which was a short tram ride from the Grand, which is where we were staying. Not surprisingly, my invitation for the fellas to join me was met with a polite letdown. Not deterred one bit, I was one my way.
After making my way to the Las Vegas Hilton and purchasing my ticket, I was on my way for the first of the two experiences. The walk to the actual entrance to the experiences was awesome in its own right, which included museum like displays of Start Trek memorabilia. These displays contained everything from uniforms and phasers, to full scale replicas and props. The following few pictures are from said walk. Enjoy.
So, up until late last year, I didn’t really even know who Ben Folds was. Being an African-American male, that’s not too difficult to believe.
At the time I was an avid listener of the Nerdist Podcast. Episode 132 of the Nerdist Podcast featured the musical –and very comical– talents of Ben Folds. That episode was epic. Without knowing anything about Ben Folds, I got a great mix of details about his background, his music, the industry, his group, and his solo endeavors. After that podcast I was sold, and immediately hit up Spotify to find more of his music.
I’ve always have been drawn to music from people who possess the musician/singer/songwriter combination. It’s something about being able to write and deliver your music with just your instrument and a microphone. I also have a great appreciation for the talents of anyone who can master a particular instrument.
All this being said, I am by no means a music expert. I, like most people, tend to fall within the musical sub-culture that is built around my particular race. But with a father, brother, and uncle whom are accomplished musicians, as well as a family full of talented singers, I have a very deep appreciation for the art of music.
But, back to Ben Folds, I simply love his music. A master pianist and accomplished vocalist, his music can cater to almost any situation in life. Not really a whole lot more I can say without you listening to his music. Check my Spotify playlist and let me know what you think.
Benjamin Scott “Ben” Folds (born September 12, 1966) is an American singer-songwriter and record producer. From 1995-2000, Folds was the frontman and pianist of the alternative rock band Ben Folds Five. Since the group disbanded, Folds has performed as a solo artist and has toured all over the world. He has also collaborated with musicians such as William Shatner, Regina Spektor and “Weird Al” Yankovic and undertaken experimental songwriting projects with authors such as Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman. In addition to contributing music to the soundtracks of the animated films Over the Hedge, and Hoodwinked!, Folds produced Amanda Palmer’s first solo album and has been a judge on the NBC a cappella singing contest The Sing-Off since 2009.
As a kid, you are often subject to a lot of things you would rather not be doing. Things like, going to make groceries, riding along as your parent go pay bills, or even having to visit some cousins you don’t particularly like. But none is greater than having to do the all-day garage sale thing. Most family’s are looking to find a deal, and mine was no exception.
Now, don’t me wrong, there are plenty of good things to be had on the cheap from others whom have lost usefulness for them, but the proverbial grind of some Saturday mornings would leave even the most hopeful child tired and ready to go home.
But then again, there is that one glimmer of light to be had on the off chance that you will find a diamond among the ruff. That one item that you can’t believe that someone was trying to get rid of. Well, one day I found such in the form of a vinyl record of all things, a Spider-Man record.
Of course like any male child between the ages of six to ten, I loved Spider-Man. And I was gleaming from ear to ear to have found my gem in a haystack. Yes, this truly made all the agonizing hours of waiting and going from sale to sale that morning truly worth it.
To be more specific, the record I found was Power Records: The Amazing Spider-Man Vol II, a dramatization of about five Spider-Man stories. Unbeknownst to me, the record actually was release in 1974, much earlier then when I found it in the late-80′s. The front cover featured some artwork of the featured story, Invasion of the Dragon Men, while the back included very short panels of each of the stories.
To say this is the only record I’ve ever owned feels kind of weird though. When I was getting to the age that I’d actually want to own music, records were fading out of popularity, cassette tapes where just easier and everywhere, and compact discs where just becoming popular. Even so, I played the crap out of this record, even eventually getting it put on a tape somehow.
In hindsight, the story dramatizations are not great at all, but for an aspiring superhero, that was pretty much all I needed.
As the years has passed, I no longer have that record. Hopefully I passed it on to someone else to spark their imagination. Fast-forward to today, my three year old son is a huge fan of Spider-Man. I’ve been able to track down mp3 recordings of this record online and think I’ll surprise him the next time we take a ride in my truck. I’m sure he will enjoy them as much as I did twenty something years ago.
As a child at the tender age of ten, we had a Nintendo Entertainment System. The year was 1989, and like any kid at that time, I loved my Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES. I can distinctly remember that prior fall, when we were getting it for Christmas, my sneaky brother peeked through the bag while my parents weren’t looking, revealing it to the both of us.
Be that as it may, we didn’t have the Nintendo for long, you see, not long after getting the Nintendo, our house burned down. Yep, we returned from my grandmothers house to nothing more than a collapsed roof over what use to be our home. And although we eventually got another Nintendo when our new home was built, this story is more about the summer that we didn’t have the NES. Not to mention a Nintendo was the least of our worries.
Soon after we moved into our other grandparents house that lived across the street. Since we didn’t have a Nintendo or a television at the time, my parents somehow found money among all the other obvious expenses, to get us kids some hand held games. Although the Nintendo Game Boy was fresh off the presses, we didn’t get one nor did I expect it. Instead we got two of those highly popular Acclaim handheld games, Knight Rider and ironically the Bart Simpson’s Cupcake Crisis. What was so ironic about having a Simpson’s hand held was the fact that we could not even watch the show. Probably rightly so, but the Simpsons were highly popular at that time.
Needless to say, we played these games for a lot, Knight Rider being my favorite. The technology in these games are laughable at best by today’s standards. The closest thing that I can think of that may be available like it today are those cheap hand held poker games. In the Knight Rider game, you basically moved from side to side shooting cars and avoiding traffic, much like a very simplified Galaga. As for the Simpsons game, I can’t really remember anything about how it played.
With the excessive amount of sensory overload these days, I find it hard for a kid of any age to find enjoyment in these type of games. The Nintendo DS consoles that my nephews have had for years now are much more powerful than my Nintendo ever was. Not to mention the power of smartphone games, in comparison to even today’s big boy consoles.
Simpler games for simpler times I guess. Certainly a summer without Nintendo, but still, plenty of fun to be had.
For some weird reason, I woke up today with a very famous Langston Hughes poem on my mind. Now I am certainly not the poetic type (although my wife may wish I was sometimes), nor am I one who is constantly consumed by the perceived american pursuit of happiness, but there is something profound about dreams and the pursuit thereof. Mr. Hughes put it best:
Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.
Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.
- Langston Hughes
I was first introduced to this poem while attending Upward Bound back in the mid-1990’s. For some reason this poem has stuck with my over the years: short, sweet, and concise.
First, a brief look back on my resolutions from last year and what I managed to get done.
All in all, I believe I made good progress in 2011, as far as resolutions go. So what could I accomplish in 2012?
Great look at the sound behind “The Rise of the Planet of the Apes”! Boy do I love this movie.
Acting as a foundation with an origin story for a new film series, Director Rupert Wyatt takes the audience on the science fiction summer hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The stunning visual effects produced by Weta Digital for the apes are complimented by the wide range of sounds recorded and edited for the film.
Leading the sound team is supervising sound editor and sound designer Chuck Michael and co-supervisor John Larsen with the talents of first assistant sound editor Smokey Cloud and sound re-recording mixers Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett.
Admittedly, I am rather new to the whole energy drink craze. Lately I have been trying a few here and there, just to test the waters until I find one that sticks with me. Today I strolled into my local Wal-Mart, itching to try something new. After looking at serveral, I wound up getting Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt energy drink. It is served in a huge can (16 oz), and it’s also pretty cheap ($1.00).