Apr 18, 2012

A Hiccup In The Matrix...Sorta.

twilight zoneOkay, so the 1940 Census is available online for anyone to search. Click here for access.

I was curious and wanted to find family members on it, however, you can't search by name.

The search engine requires that you look up folks by state, town and house address. I am working on getting that information.

So, I became curious about who lived in my childhood home in Brooklyn, and who lived in my house here in Hamden. What I found was very intriguing.

It turns out that in the exact apartment where I grew up, there lived a family that had two daughters, Jennie and Tina.

Now gag on this, my sister is named Jenny and her best friend growing up was Tina.

My sister Jenny and Tina grew up together in that apartment playing with dolls, listening to music, gossiping and getting dressed for a night out. We lived there till we were in our late teens.

Now, in the house where I live, there was a family that had a 3 year old son named Stuart Allan. Yes, his middle name is or was Allan and it is spelled the same way I spell mine.

What are the odds of this type of coincidence? What does this mean? What do you guys think?

Apr 17, 2012

Calling All Tech Savvy Bloggers

I am so frustrated right about now. I copy the code for Steampad, so that I can share mp3 files. I placed the mp3 file into the post, it didn't work. Then I placed a link to the file, but it is not running the mp3! Can someone please tell a bitch what he is doing wrong. Help!

Apr 13, 2012

Oprah Needs To Breakout Plan B

So, Oprah's OWN network has lost 150 million dollars, and her O magazine had a drop of 25.1% in ad sales. She has recently said that if she knew it was going to be this hard, she would have done something else. I am sure she will get the opportunity to do something else real soon.

I knew OWN wasn't going to fly when she launched shows featuring Ryan and Tatum O'Neil, as well as,  Sarah Ferguson aka Fergie, complaining about their lives, while regular folk are struggling to make ends meet. Moreover, who is checking for these people?

My advice is milk that Be-the-best-you-change-your-life tour thingy for what it is worth. You'll get to do what you do best. Sit and pontificate to a large gathering of folks. As for the magazine, move it to an online experience. Your soccer moms are Facebooking like crazy and tending to their online lives.

Apr 7, 2012

Am I Not Trayvon?

Just now, on my way to the store, a police officer in a squad car stopped me twice. I had flashbacks to my days as a B-Boy.

My former life as a B-Boy totally influences my reaction to being stopped by a cop. I'll share more on that experience later.

The police officer asked me if my name was Howard. I said, "No, my name is Allan." He then drove away. I was on the phone with my mother. I kept walking.

A few steps later, the cop actually pulled along side me and asked to see my ID. I gave it to him, he looked it over, gave it back and drove away.

I felt angry, concerned, and frustrated all at the same time.

Was he really looking for a Howard? If there is a Howard, do I fit his description? Or, was I being profiled?

What if he was profiling me and found me suspicious, what would have happened next? Once I got home my mind went to Trayvon Martin. 

I am not Trayvon.  I was not stopped by a vigilante with a concealed weapon. I reached the age of 44 and made my way back home. So, why does Trayvon come to my mind?

During the early 80s in Bushwick, Brooklyn, I was a b-boy. I was down with the crew Brooklyn Vandalizing Dudes aka BVD. I looked a lot like the homeboy with the red turtleneck.

I always had my Adidas laced up to match the Le Tigre shirt I was wearing that day. This was the look that adults said made you look like a titere, a hoodlum.

I would laugh at that impression. I knew I wasn't a hoodlum. I just had to rock a look that made me fit in. I liked my clothes and how I looked.

The older folks were whack and didn't get it. The titere look presented to the outside world, back then, was about fitting in with my peers and survival. It was there hang-up, not mine. 

The rules for young homeboys like myself were you always walked around not looking like a punk. You also knew what blocks you had to avoid because other crews "ran" that block.

You never showed fear, and even faked the funk to give the impression you were hard. It was required you had some sorta swagger. 

Another important rule is when the cops pulled you over, because you always "fit the description" of someone they were looking for, you kept it cool. In those days the 83rd Precinct  was corrupt and would play rough.

So, when I would get stopped, by the cops,  a cold feeling would wash over me. I knew to take my hands out my coat pocket, stand straight, and answer all questions. Once the encounter was all over I felt powerless and insulted.

I was a good kid, despite my 40s and blunts. I would promise myself that next time, I would give the cops a hard time. Yet, I never acted on that desire, and just submitted to the experience.

I was wise enough to know by prolonging the encounter, it would lead to some heavy experience. I made peace with submitting because it meant survival.

I wonder if Trayvon was pissed that here was a non-cop harassing him, when he encountered Zimmerman. I wonder if he thought, Shit! Now,  I have to take this bullshit from someone that isn't a cop.

I wonder if Zimmerman's fear was met by Trayvon's frustration. I would of had the same reaction of being messed with that Trayvon experienced. I would have been totally in the right to feel that way. 

Fuck you Zimmerman! You are not  a cop. And, the real authorities told you don't follow Trayvon. 

I would love to ask Trayvon if he shared my experiences. I would love to ask Trayvon if he ever felt angry, concerned, and frustrated all at the same time, as he moved among his world. I would love to hear what he would say, and how us grown folks can learn from him.

Sadly, we won't get those lessons from his mouth. He was stopped by a vigilante with a concealed weapon. A vigilante that worked from fear and a sense of powerlessness that made him want to give, what he considered suspicious looking, people a hard time.

It is still possible for Trayvon to speak to us, and for us to learn some lessons. I write this in the hope that Trayvon's short-cut-life gives us lessons that will keep us moving forward to a humanity that works for solutions of what ails us, based on love, rather than fear and prejudice.