Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ColorQ World

: interracial relations between non-Europeans


New York City Chinatown > Newspaper Articles

New York School for Chinese Is a Magnet for Black Pupils

A Journey Through Chinatown


<< more news articles

New York School for Chinese Is a Magnet for Black Pupils

November 2, 2002. New York Times, pg. A1

[more articles about Shuang Wen Academy]

Paul and Denise Gamble have never been to China, and they were never particularly interested in its language or culture. Yet their two school-age children attend Shuang Wen Academy, a public school on the Lower East Side where much of the day is spent learning Mandarin.

Their children are part of an unexpected phenomenon at the four-year-old school: while most are children of Chinese immigrants, almost 10 percent of the students are black, and many of them come from the outer reaches of the city, enduring long trips for the chance to attend a school that has developed a reputation for excellence.

''When I tell my friends that my children are in a bilingual school learning Mandarin, some are shocked,'' Ms. Gamble said. ''Some think I'm crazy. Some ask, 'Why would you do that?' Well, I just want my children to have a good education.''

Shuang Wen is one of more than 150 small public schools established in the late 1990's as an alternative to larger, impersonal public schools. The school, whose name means dual language in Chinese, has many teachers who believe in dual-language education, and its goal is to teach students Mandarin and Chinese culture.

Although only two of the school's first class of 45 students were not of Chinese descent, Shuang Wen gradually gained a reputation among some of the city's black middle-class parents for being nurturing yet rigorous. In last spring's citywide third-grade math and English tests, Shuang Wen ranked third in math and 23rd in English among the city's almost 1,000 elementary schools.

Now, before the start of every school year, more and more black parents arrive at the office of the principal, Ling-Ling Chou, seeking admission for their children to the prekindergarten class -- which is based on interviews with prospective students and their parents. They are undeterred by the fact that their children will be among the few non-Asians in the school, or that Mandarin is famously difficult to master. Chinese instruction runs from 3 to 5:30 p.m. daily. All subjects, however, are taught in both languages.

Shuang Wen is housed in a corner space in Public School 134, at East Broadway and Grand Street, and blacks are not the only non-Chinese among its 245 students. But the 23 black students are by far the largest non-Chinese group, outnumbering the 11 whites and 8 Hispanics.

As an alternative school, Shuang Wen admits students from all five boroughs, and many of the black children live an hour or more away. There are no school buses serving them, and parents have to drop off and pick up their children.

For Ms. Gamble, a supervisor for the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs, the trip from her family's brick house in Cambria Heights, Queens, starts at 6:45 a.m. Often, her car is stuck in traffic jams.

To the Gambles and other black parents, the sacrifice -- long days for the children and a difficult trip for the adults -- is worth it.

''The long hours and the challenging curriculum are good preparation for the future,'' Mr. Gamble said, ''when they go to college, when they go to graduate school.''

But not all the black parents' friends agree.

''People would ask me, 'Why Chinese? Why not French? Why not Spanish?' '' said Bridgitte Fouche-Channer, another black parent whose daughter is in second grade and whose son is in kindergarten at Shuang Wen. ''I would ask them, 'Why not Chinese?' ''

Sometimes, friends would even accuse the parents of betraying their heritage. Ms. Gamble had a ready answer.

''My children know their heritage,'' she said. ''They know they are African-Americans of West Indian descent. They are not Chinese, nor are they pretending to be Chinese.

''Call me a snob. Call me what you want. I just want my children to have a good, solid education.''

Ruth Smith, a lawyer who had considered sending her daughter to private school, remarked, ''If I had sent my child to a private school, she would be in the minority anyway, since that school would be mostly white.''

The Gambles have decided to send their third child, Patrick, 2, who can already sing ''Happy Birthday'' in Mandarin, to Shuang Wen in two years.

Like many of the black parents of Shuang Wen students, Ms. Gamble, Ms. Fouche-Channer and Ms. Smith are from the West Indies, and that is not a coincidence, they said.

''Shuang Wen reminded us of the kind of schools we know from home,'' said Ms. Fouche-Channer, explaining that schools in Trinidad, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are often strict and orderly, like Shuang Wen is.

The Chinese parents are generally enthusiastic about the school's ethnic mix.

''The black kids are really nice, and they showed my kids the way when they were new at the school,'' Christine Chuah, who has two children at Shuang Wen, said in Chinese. ''They are seriously interested in learning Chinese, and we like that.''

The teachers, mostly Chinese-Americans or recent immigrants from Taiwan and China, have embraced the non-Asian children as well, offering them extra help with Mandarin.

When Paul Michael, 8, the oldest Gamble child, started at Shuang Wen in second grade last fall, his parents and the school's teachers worried about whether he could catch up with his classmates, who had studied Chinese for two years. But his teacher, Li Ron Wu, had faith in him.

''Ms. Wu said, 'You can do it, Paul Michael. You can do it, Paul Michael. You will do it, Paul Michael.' '' Ms. Gamble said. ''And he did it.'' Now, his Chinese is on par with his classmates.

Mrs. Smith, whose daughter, Iliana, 5, is in kindergarten, said that every day, as soon as she gets home, she asks to do her homework. Ms. Gamble said her children even ask to go to school on days when they are sick. Ms. Fouche-Channer said her daughter, Addis, a second grader, reads beyond her bedtime frequently.

''They love their school,'' said Ms. Fouche-Channer, whose younger child, Makonnen, is in kindergarten at Shuang Wen. ''That's the only way to describe it.''

With its academic success, Shuang Wen has become a desirable alternative not only to neighborhood public schools, but also, for some parents, to the city's elite private schools.

Lydell Carter, a senior program officer with New Visions for Public Schools, an organization that has financed some of the city's alternative schools, including Shuang Wen, is a firm believer in early bilingual education. He transferred his son, Jelani, into the school's fourth grade from Friends Seminary, a well-known private school.

Non-Asian children who started at Shuang Wen in the early grades appear to speak Mandarin as well as children of Chinese descent do, frequently without any trace of an American accent. And in classrooms, in the dining hall and on the playground, the non-Asian students and their immigrant classmates mingle easily, holding hands, arguing with and teasing one another, seemingly unaware of their racial difference.

And a few black and Chinese families have become close. Joshua Foote, a black third grader, regularly calls Jennifer Shyue and her parents for help with Chinese homework, and the families sent the two children to a Chinese camp in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., last summer.

Occasionally, however, some Chinese children will flaunt their higher marks in Mandarin tests to their non-Asian peers. Some black parents have also complained that the school did not take note of Black History Month.

But Gabrielle Gamble, a first grader, sees all the children at the school as her friends, regardless of their ethnic backgrounds.

At school one day, her teacher assigned her to be a buddy and guide for Linda Lin, a shy new classmate from Fujian Province in China.

In the lunchroom, Gabrielle tried to shield Linda from the rambunctious boys while keeping her company.

''What do you like to do?'' Gabrielle asked, earnestly, in Mandarin.

Linda, who was blushing, shook her head.

''Do you like food? Do you like toys?'' Gabrielle asked, again, in Mandarin.

Again, Linda simply stared at her.

Gabrielle looked away, sighed, and concluded, in English, ''She doesn't like talking. But I will keep talking to her.''

By the end of the day, Linda still wasn't talking. But, at least, she was smiling back at Gabrielle.


Copyright 2002 The New York Times Company


Is This Young Kenyan Chinese?

BEIJING, July 11 -- Nearly 600 years ago, 20 Chinese sailors swam ashore an island off Kenya's east coast, having escaped from a shipwreck.

They went on to marry local women and convert to Islam.

Now a 19-year-old girl who claims to be one of their descendants has come to China to study, having been given a scholarship by the Chinese Government.

Mwamaka Sharifu, from Lamu island in Kenya, will begin her studies in September.

She says she is a descendant of sailors travelling with Chinese explorer Zheng He (1371-1435) in the Ming Dynasty.

Sharifu's story has attracted a lot of attention, as this year is the 600th anniversary of Zheng's first major voyage around the Indian Ocean. Some scholars believe Zheng is the first man to travel a direct sea route linking the Indian Ocean with the West.

Countless exhibitions, books and documentaries began coming out in China about his adventures. Sharifu was invited to China and arrived on July 1.

"I feel proud and happy to be part of it," she said. "I am looking forward to studying in China."

Sharifu said she admires Zheng's courage and adventurous spirit. "I was born as brave as my ancestors," she said. "It is rare for girls in my Muslim village to go so far to study, to such a big and different country."

"My mum and dad were worried about me. But I told them I will be fine in my home country."

Born to a poor family, Sharifu's father, Sharifu Lali, a fisherman, 55, and her mother Baraka Badi Shee, a housewife, 53, couldn't support her university education.

"The scholarship will change my life and the lives of the rest of my family," she said. "I believe that through hard work - a characteristic of the Chinese - I can make a better living."

Having already been to Shanghai, Taicang and Nanjing in Jiangsu Province, Sharifu appeared quiet when arriving in Beijing on Friday, where she will tour the Great Wall, the Forbidden City and Tian'anmen Square.

"China is far better than I thought. It is so beautiful and well-planned," she said.

"Beijing is a big city," Sharifu added. "But Taicang city will always be a special place for me as it is said it is where my ancestors came from."

Located in East China's Jiangsu Province, Taicang is where Zheng set sail from.

Legend in Lamu Island says two of the Chinese ships struck rocks off the eastern coast of Kenya and 20 sailors swam ashore. However, local tribes said they could only stay if they could kill a big python in the village.

One sailor - a master swordsman - lured the python out of the cave and killed it. The Chinese sailors stayed, married local women and converted to Islam.

The heritage of Chinese descendants in the African village has been passed on from generation to generation, not by written records but by oral tradition.

"My grandma said some Chinese sailors came to Kenya by way of the Indian Ocean. Most of them died after a storm at sea but some survived," Sharifu recalled.

Now, only six people on the island of 7,500 people are known as Chinese descendants. They are Sharifu, her mother, her two sisters and two younger brothers. However, despite Chinese porcelain being unearthed on the island and the existence of Chinese folklore there, it is not known if the group really are descendants of Zheng's sailors.

Sharifu said that in 2002 some Chinese experts came to her home and cut some of her mother's hair for DNA tests in China. Later, she said, they told her mother that she was a Chinese descendant.

The teenager was calm when being questioned about her Chinese blood, saying that people have a right to doubt her. "Asking questions will help people know more about me. And I am convinced that I am a true Chinese descendant."

Sharifu's story was put under the spotlight after she wrote a letter to the Chinese Embassy in Kenya last year, expressing her wish to pursue a higher education in China.

"I want to learn traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) so that I can treat my people in Kenya after graduation," she explained.

The Muslim girl wore a grey silk scarf around her neck.

"When I was in Kenya, I used to wear the scarf on my head. But now I keep it lower, because I think people here like to see me."

(Source: China Daily)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Have I mention

how quaint Flight of the Conchords is?




She needs a pen pal, can you help her?

"Hello. Please do not be surprised this message is not spam mailing. You probably will be very surprised that I write you a letter. But yesterday, I was surprised, too, when my e-mail address, came a letter, which said about love, about the feelings among people. The main motto of this letter was the phrase «Looking for love and you      
will be happy». I liked the letter. In the list of e-mail address, I saw your e-mail and decided to write to you. Perhaps you are looking for love? Maybe this letter - the fate? I do not know how the man who sent me the letter, hear my personal e-mail. But I think it is not important. The most important thing is that now I can write you a letter. You know, I want you to learn more. But first, I want to tell a little about me. My name is Sona. I'm from Armenia. I am 27 years old. I have never been married and have no children. I am pretty, quiet, kind and sociable girl. I would be interested to talk with you and know you closer. I compose their communication with the primary objective - creating serious relationships. Relations without
deception, without any games. I want to find this man who can love and respect me. I hope that you just want to find their love? I believe in romantic relationships, appearance and age is not the most important thing. The most important thing is that people know how to love and respect on this! I have different hobbies and interests, among them - sports, cooking, reading, music. Of particular interest to me a matter
of housekeeping, cleaning the house. I like to experiment in the kitchen. I love animals. I am leading a healthy lifestyle. I do not smoke nor drink alcohol. My new friend, can you tell me about you? I want you to learn more. The following letters, I will tell you about me, in more detail.

I give you my e-mail address: sonshabig@gmail.com

Of course, I will send you a lot of my photos, of whom you know my
life. In my photo showing all the moments of my life - joy, muse, and
even in some sad moments. I eagerly await your response will be. I
really want you to learn more. Please do not forget about me. Your new
friend from Armenia, Sona."

Sent to me from an address from a person named Jarrett LAY. Apparently the spammers have figured out not everyone responds to "male enhancement" and general porno spam.

Friday, December 26, 2008

"If you don't go when you want to go...

...when you do go, you'll find you've gone."

Name the quote, win a cookie.

Scent of a Woman

Currently watching Scent of a Woman. From I can tell, this is the only movie I know of wherein* he's not annoyed me. I can't sit through Scarface.

More and more I'm experiencing what everybody else has and understanding the hype.

*this is the second time I've used this in the past hour. Seems like there must be a limit.

Extra: During a promotional job, I went to the Labyrinth Theatre with someone and Philip S. Hoffman walked into a rehearsal room behind me.

More extra: The gentleman that plays the skycap who greets The Colonel and Charles at the airport on their way to New York directed a piece in the last show I worked on.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I'm, like, famous.

Geek famous.


This just in:

You don't have to be gay to have a better-than-average eye for transvestites.

But having so many women trying so damn hard is starting to make things harder.

Useless chatter....ole'!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last night

a NYC actor told me I remind him of J. Wright.

About 40 mins earlier, the founder of a 40-yr-old theater company told me that I'd just performed "10 times better" in a reading that I had in a full production at said theater company a few weeks ago.


Take it all for what you will.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Earlier, I dreamed I was in a 32-bit, first-person 3D adventured game.

That is all.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Homer Smith

Just turned it to Lilies of the Field.

It never before occurred to me that Schmidt is the Germanic equivalent to Smith.

TV One
wins again.

Sunday, December 07, 2008


If you use Firefox,
and type "alek wek" into the search bar next to the address bar,

you will see that the third suggestion that comes up

(which more/less means that it means it is the third most common phrase searched on google using the terms you've entered)

is "alek wek ugly".


Friday, December 05, 2008

Alan Keyes & 'nem (eyeroll)

(from Chicago Tribune)

Suit contesting Barack Obama's citizenship heads to U.S. Supreme Court today

Justices will decide whether to consider the case

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider today whether to take up a lawsuit challenging President-elect Barack Obama's U.S. citizenship, a continuation of a New Jersey case embraced by some opponents of Obama's election.

The meeting of justices will coincide with a vigil by the filer's supporters in Washington on the steps of the nation's highest court.

The suit originally sought to stay the election, and was filed on behalf of Leo Donofrio against New Jersey Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells.

Legal experts say the appeal has little chance of succeeding, despite appearing on the court's schedule. Legal records show it is only the tip of an iceberg of nationwide efforts seeking to derail Obama's election over accusations that he either wasn't born a U.S. citizen or that he later renounced his citizenship in Indonesia.

The Obama campaign has maintained that he was born in Hawaii, has an authentic birth certificate, and is a "natural-born" U.S. citizen. Hawaiian officials agree.

Among those filing lawsuits is Alan Keyes, who lost to Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race. Keyes' suit seeks to halt certification of votes in California. Another suit by a Kentucky man seeks to have a federal judge review Obama's original birth certificate, which Hawaiian officials say is locked in a state vault.

Other suits have been filed by Andy Martin, whose case was dismissed in Hawaii, and by an Ohio man whose case also was dismissed. Five more suits, all later dismissed, were filed in Hawaii by a person who is currently suing the "Peoples Association of Human, Animals Conceived God/s and Religions, John McCain [and] USA Govt." The plaintiff previously sought to sue Wikipedia and "All News Media."

The most famous case questioning Obama's citizenship was filed in Pennsylvania in August on behalf of Philip J. Berg and sought to enjoin the Democratic National Committee from nominating Obama. The U.S. Supreme Court denied an application for an injunction and hasn't scheduled a conference on other aspects of the case. Earlier, a federal judge rejected it for "lack of standing"—ruling that Berg had no legal right to sue. In cases like this, judges sometimes believe the matter is best left to political institutions, such as the Electoral College or Congress, said legal scholar Eugene Volokh of the University of California at Los Angeles.

The remaining case with the highest profile is Donofrio vs. Wells. Because it was referred by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas to other justices for conference, it gained undue importance for people unschooled in how the court works, Volokh said.

Many petitioners seeking stays of pending events have their cases distributed to the full court, he said. Of those, Volokh found that 782 were denied in the last eight years while just 60 were heard—and not all of those ultimately were successful.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The flag

a post from the Houston Chronicle website by poster "Rider" about the seeming rise in criminal hate activity:

" bullwhip wrote:
"Rebel flag...stands for pride of heriatage only. "
Not even that. It is a loser flag, and I say that as the great grandson of two CSA veterans. There is no heritage in the Civil War or the CSA to point to with pride, it's the story of hundreds of thousands of poor white people getting screwed by the rich elite power structure. Most of the men who fought that war had ZERO stake in its outcome, in secession, or in the preservation of slavery. Slavery was what kept southern white people poorer than the average northener. The war was "a rich man's war, and a poor man's fight." Two out of every three Civil War deaths were the result of disease, diseases made worse by poverty and malnutrition. Amputation rates were tremendous due to the mini ball rifle. Rich planters could get out of serving by paying for someone to go in their place. One son was exempt for every twenty slaves the family owned, due to breakdown of discipline on the plantations. Desertions (at pain of execution) by poor whites whose families were starving and eating clay and boiled vines was in the tens of thousands by the end of the war. The whole thing was a colossal screw job on poor white folks like my ancestors. I'm proud they served what they saw as their duty, but I am saddened they and thousands like them were so terribly exploited by a handful of rich whites who looked down on them if truth be known. How could this possibly be any kind of heritage to be proud of? There's a misunderstanding, all right. What you are talking about, the stars and bars, is the banner of The Great Bamboozlement. And I am not even talking about race, if you notice. This is purely from a white perspective and from the perspective of a Confederate family. Boy were we stupid."

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Lil Wayne on PacMayne


I don't think the Pacman Jones situation is sad at all. I do not think Pacman Jones should be in the NFL. If I was the commissioner, I'd kick him out. They keep giving him chances and he keeps messing up. You got guys like Hines Ward out there getting fined for making plays on the field on one hand, and then on the other hand you got guys in situations where people are getting shot. Come on. You have to be smart about the company you keep. I should know. But sometimes it's not just friends—it's family members who are into bad stuff who bring you down. And how can you get rid of family? You can't. That's why I think, in his situation, there is no way he's turning it around. I mean, come on. He's a grown man. They don't give these huge contracts to kids. His main job is to stay out of trouble and he can't do that, so I'd kick him out of the league.

From here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

For Tension Headaches,

I prescribe black + green tea with ginseng*, steeped for at least 10 mins.

Don't forget to STOP doing what caused the tension. If being prone is not an option, sit upright - no slouching/leaning allowed**. If at a computer, get away from turning the the head out of line from the body. Get forehead should orienting the same direction as the knees.

BREATHE. Deep breaths - none of that chest heaved, flex-necked, bug-eyed madness. Long, relaxed inhalations.

* I find Twinnings Earl Grey works for me, waiting for it to cool enough to gulp.

test at one's leisure.

Friday, November 07, 2008

BET Loves Real Negroes

"Are you that African-American female or male, early to late 20's to 70's who is funny, articulate, loveable and outspoken who speaks from both the heart and from the streets? Are you up on game in the world of music, television, movies, sports, news or whatever is current! Well, this is your chance...BET is looking for everyday people for a totally unique new show that is up on what's hot in our world and let's real people go off on what we want to talk about. Experience in voicing your opinion. We prefer for you to live in LA or it's surrounding area! If not, you must submit your audition to us asap!

You should email your audition and upload it on youtube or a link! Be unique with your audition. Please email your audition to: info4pam@gmail.com. Thank you!


(ed: have fun with that)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I have the unique and wonderful predicament of having a fickle attention span as well as a generally one track mind.

I can't multi-task for sh*t.

I am currently in a show that runs Wednesday to Sunday. Given the above, while I'm in a show, I am completely useless with regard to anything other than completing my performance duties on the day of a show. This is the case despite the fact that it is a series of one acts, of which I am in the first and can leave the thee-ay-tah after my roughly 15 minute performance is over.

So, that leaves me with two days of the week that I have to overcome my regular, non-arteestically weighted laziness to get anything done. Thus it was that this past Tuesday became the day I dedicated to getting my absentee ballots completed for the November 4th elections.

Given that I was voting in my home state and have not kept with the goings on of my home state, I was roughly clueless regarding all the voting issues other than the presidential election. Now, if it were anybody else, I'd take the position that one shouldn't be voting on issues of which one does not have a working knowledge. Since I NEVER take my own advice, I had to vote on them anyway. There's also the suspicion I have that not voting on everything would make my presidential ballot void...(political superstition). This is one of the many occasions that I consult the wisdom of the great-and-powerful Maternal Unit. The maternal unit was at work that day, however. I had to turn to my other bosom confidant - the internet.

So, I bared down and, in between (insert random distractions here) and having to flake on a movie, I managed to make my decisions on the various issues. Before I sealed my ballots with the glue of certainty*, I called the Matron herself to see what she had to say about the Senate candidates, as I had no patience to look through voting records and there were two independent knuckleheads on the ballot I couldn't find anything about.

Or that I was just too damned tired to find anything on.

She ran through the people and I settled on easy answer (a).

I can't remember what it was, but she asked me about something...and it was one of those things I rant on ad nauseum (long list that list of things is). As I was yammering, out of nowhere she asks,

When are you going to take a break for a while, and come down here and get a job somewhere, and help me with (my nephew)?

It caught me off guard. As I was about to ask why - or just tried to figure out something to say, she dismissed the question. It was a dismissal, though, that was mired in the sincerity of the previous.

But she let me off the hook. I took the opportunity to go completely to another topic. I yammered. She vented a little about my neph. She said she'd be sending something via e-mail and we got off the phone.

It seems like it must have been a year ago that I said to her that I was thinking of coming back home for a while to do what she had asked about - get a job and help with the kid. I guess it is because I'd made up my mind to that I was going to stay in NYC that her question seemed to come so much out of the blue.


I miss her. I miss them. When I was in grad school, I was thinking that I was missing an important part of his life. Lately, I've been thinking about how much I'm missing of my parents. In the way she asked the question, I can't help but think that she's thinking the same thing.

In four years, my mother will be the age her mother was when she died.

It is a stupid, insane sacrifice that some of us make to be up here doing this.

And right when it seemed I'd made up my mind about it...

I haven't booked a commercial of any kind since before I left to go home during the summer.

Maybe it's just time to go home.

So, I'm tired, but I can't go to sleep. If I sit anywhere that's quiet for any length of time, this is what I think about. Maybe this is what all of us from far away think about all the time. Maybe it's just me.

And, so, that's where the 2-3 tons you see me wearing comes from.


Such is life.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Chef Jeff Project

is my new *ish.

Pretty real, certainly for "reality tv".

There is some sap, but acceptable. Well, acceptable enough.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I just talked to KRS-1 on his celly bout coming to our show!!!!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Just in Case You Were Wondering

Mrs. Obama is taller than Jay Leno WITHOUT the (barely there) heels.

This makes her even hotter.

Nerd girlz r hot.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008



I figured a bunch of other people would've got in before me!


ok. I', through.

(it's going back, tho. android does seem headed for brilliance. much potential.)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Mr. Powell on Mr. McCain & Mr. Obama

From "Meet the Press"

Interesting not only for the endorsement, but that he also makes several criticisms that some wanted Obama & Biden to address in the debates.

Some might consider this an act of retribution for having been made the fall guy for the missing WMD's.

I believe, were that to happen, it would come in a much more direct manner - though, given what I've seen of Mr. Powell, we'd necessarily know of his direct connection.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Cottonmouth (um, wow)

It is absolutely perfunctory you follow these instructions to the letter, read them all before starting:

1) (already have earphones in/speakers turned up)

2) Go here.

3) before page loads, turn off monitor, turn away from screen (should you have a laptop, close lid enough for you to not see w/o sending said lappie into sleep/hibernate)

4) listen - song is 3:41, listen to the whole thing

5) after it ends, turn back on, turn around, open and replay.


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Random *ish #(whatever)

Cupple weeks ago, while working the Ad Week event, a female attendee told me asked me if I was a rapper. Upon my inquiry as to why, she told me I just looked like somebody who spoke to rhythm. Well, I think that was the way it happened...regardless - this is not the first time this has happened. (Durn shame my piano teacher had to have bypass, thus ending my music career so near it's semination).


While staying up all night to so I could get to an audition early enough to actually claim a spot, I realized that the picture I have of my mother as a girl* is the only thing I have that my grandmother gave to me before she died. I'm sure there's a toy I could find - I actually think I saw one this summer when I went home. The picture us different, though. She gave it to me during a two week period that I stayed with her the summer before I left for college. For me it was an attempt at seeing what life away from home.

It also just happened to be much closer to my girlfriend at the time.

I've since felt guilty that I didn't try harder to get to know her then. I seem to remember an intent...even a slight attempt, which may be what resulted in the picture. Whenever I think about it now, I wish that it'd occurred to ask her about the paternal half of my mother's chromosomes. I was never really close to my great grandmother, so, even though she outlived her daughter by a decade, I never got brave enough to ask her once I did come to the conclusion that my biological grandfather was of anthropology other than what would be commonly referred to as my own. My mother had tried to find out about him from her, but that didn't result in much.
Wait, ok, now I remember. I was looking through My grandmothers photo albums, and found a picture of my mother's 6th grade graduation photo. I can't remember how the question of me having it came up, but she said I couldn't have that one because it was her only one. She gave me the one I have now, which is a regular school photo. I think it's from the year before.
The point to all this...was that I realized in the we hours of yesterday that it was the last physical gift I'd gotten from my mother's-mother. I used to keep it in my wallet. If I'd ever lost my wallet then, or if I go back to keeping it there and lose it...the loss of that picture will be why I'm pissed off for the remainder of the day(month,year,epoch).

*hair haphazardly pulled back, collar askew. Completely un-affected smile. Utterly perfect.


Yesterday, while walking to an audition, my hand got singed by another pedestrian's cigarette. He apologized. I responded with the standard "no problem".

Which is a lie. It is very much a problem. People shouldn't walk and smoke because
  • walking, though it may not seem like a strenuous activity, is still aerobic exercise and will cause one to breath deeper, thereby increasing the volume/potential for smoke inhalation and lung damage
So, in addition to the increased respiratory risk, we also add the potential burn danger to the second hand smoking experience. Great.

I love this graphic

The Tonya Morgan blog at Okayplayer

Esther Phiri

lawd, them cheeks!

(story contains video)

Palin a Bigot?

(aren't we all...)

Alaskans Speak (In A Frightened Whisper): Palin Is “Racist, Sexist, Vindictive, And Mean”

September 5, 2008

By Charley James

“So Sambo beat the bitch!”

This is how Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin described Barack Obama’s win over Hillary Clinton to political colleagues in a restaurant a few days after Obama locked up the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

According to Lucille, the waitress serving her table at the time and who asked that her last name not be used, Gov. Palin was eating lunch with five or six people when the subject of the Democrat’s primary battle came up. The governor, seemingly not caring that people at nearby tables would likely hear her, uttered the slur and then laughed loudly as her meal mates joined in appreciatively.

“It was kind of disgusting,” Lucille, who is part Aboriginal, said in a phone interview after admitting that she is frightened of being discovered telling folks in the “lower 48” about life near the North Pole.

Then, almost with a sigh, she added, “But that’s just Alaska.”

Racial and ethnic slurs may be “just Alaska” and, clearly, they are common, everyday chatter for Palin.

Besides insulting Obama with a Step-N’-Fetch-It, “darkie musical” swipe, people who know her say she refers regularly to Alaska’s Aboriginal people as “Arctic Arabs” – how efficient, lumping two apparently undesirable groups into one ugly description – as well as the more colourful “mukluks” along with the totally unimaginative “f**king Eskimo’s,” according to a number of Alaskans and Wasillians interviewed for this article.

But being openly racist is only the tip of the Palin iceberg. According to Alaskans interviewed for this article, she is also vindictive and mean. We’re talking Rove mean and Nixon vindictive.

No wonder the vast sea of white, cheering faces at the Republican Convention went wild for Sarah: They adore the type, it’s in their genetic code. So much for McCain’s pledge of a “high road” campaign; Palin is incapable of being part of one.

Tough Getting People Who Know Her to Talk
It’s not easy getting people in the 49th state to speak critically about Palin – especially people in Wasilla, where she was mayor. For one thing, with every journalist in the world calling, phone lines into Alaska have been mostly jammed since Friday; as often as not, a recording told me that “all circuits are busy” or numbers just wouldn’t ring. I should think a state that’s been made richer than God by oil could afford telephone lines and cell towers for everyone.

On a more practical level, many people in Alaska, and particularly Wasilla, are reluctant to speak or be quoted by name because they’re afraid of her as well as the state Republican Party machine. Apparently, the power elite are as mean as the winters.

“The GOP is kind of like organized crime up here,” an insurance agent in Anchorage who knows the Palin family, explained. “It’s corrupt and arrogant. They’re all rich because they do private sweetheart deals with the oil companies, and they can destroy anyone. And they will, if they have to.”

“Once Palin became mayor,” he continued, “She became part of that inner circle.”

Like most other people interviewed, he didn’t want his name used out of fear of retribution. Maybe it’s the long winter nights where you don’t see the sun for months that makes people feel as if they’re under constant danger from “the authorities.” As I interviewed residents it began sounding as if living in Alaska controlled by the state Republican Party is like living in the old Soviet Union: See nothing that’s happening, say nothing offensive, and the political commissars leave you alone. But speak out and you get disappeared into a gulag north of the Arctic Circle for who-knows-how-long.

Alright, that’s an exaggeration brought on by my getting too little sleep and building too much anger as I worked this article. But there’s ample evidence of Palin’s vindictive willingness to destroy people she sees as opponents. Just ask the Wasilla town administrator she hired before firing him because he rebelled against the way Palin demanded he do his job, or the town librarian who refused to hold the book burning Walpurgisnach Mayor Palin demanded.

Ironically, Palin was pushed into hiring the administrator by the party poobahs who helped get her elected after she got herself into trouble over a number of precipitous firings which gave rise to a recall campaign.

“People who fought her attempt to oust the librarian are on her enemies list to this day,” states Anne Kilkenny, a Wasilla resident and one of the few Alaskans willing to speak on-the-record, for attribution, about Palin. In fact, Kilkenny actually circulated an e-mail letter about Palin that was verified and printed by The Nation.

For good measure, Palin booted the Wasilla police chief from office because, she told a local newspaper, he “intimidated” her.

Running on Extreme Fringe Evangelical Views
Sarah Palin drew early attention from state GOP apparatchiks when, during her first mayoral campaign, she ran on an anti-abortion platform. Normally, political parties do not get involved in Alaskan municipal elections because they are nonpartisan. But once word of her extreme fringe evangelical views made its way to Juneau, the state capitol, state Republicans tossed some money behind her campaign.

Once in office, Palin set out to build a machine that chewed up anyone who got in her way. The good, Godly Christian turns out to be anything but.

“She’s doesn’t like different opinions and she refuses to compromise,” Kilkenny notes. “When she was mayor, she fought ideas that weren’t hers. Worse, ideas weren’t evaluated on their merits but on the basis of who proposed them.”

Sound familiar? Palin may well be Dick Cheney’s reincarnate.

Something else has a familiar Republican ring to it: Her tax policies, and a “refund surpluses but borrow for the future” attitude.

According to Kilkenny and others in Wasilla as well as Juneau, Palin reduced progressive property taxes for businesses while mayor and increased a regressive sales tax which even hits necessities such as food. The tax cuts she promoted in her St. Paul speech actually benefited large corporate property owners far more than they benefited residents. Indeed, Kilkenny insists that many Wasilla home owners actually saw their tax bill skyrocket to make up for the shortfall. Two other Wasillian’s with whom I spoke said property taxes on their modest, three bedroom homes rose during the Palin regime.

To an outsider, it would seem hard to do, but an oil-rich town with zero debt on the day she was inaugurated mayor was left saddled with $22 million of debt by the time she moved away to become governor – especially since nothing was spent on things such as improving the city’s infrastructure or building a much-needed sewage treatment plant. So what did Mayor Palin spend the taxpayer’s money on, if not fixing streets and scrubbing sewage?

For starters, she remodelled her office. Several times over, as a matter of fact.

Then Palin spent $1 million on an unnecessary, new park that no one other than the contractors and Palin seemed to want. Next, Sarah doled out more than $15 million of taxpayer money for a sports complex that she shoved through even though the city did not own clear title to the land; now, seven years later, the matter is still in litigation and lawyer fees are said to be close to at least half of the original estimated price of the facility.

She also worked hard to get voters approval of a $5.5 million bond proposal for roads that could have been built without borrowing. Anchorage may not be the center of the financial universe but, like good Republicans everywhere, Sarah Palin knows how to please Alaskan bankers and bond dealers.

For good measure, she turned Wasilla into a wasteland of big box stores and disconnected parking lots.

Sarah Barracuda
En route to the governor’s igloo, Palin managed to land what Anne Kilkenny says is the plumb political appointment in the state: Chair of Alaska’s Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (OGCC), a $122,400 per year patronage slot with no real authority to do anything other than hold meetings. She took the job despite having no background in energy issues and, as it turned out, not liking the work.

“She hated the job,” an OGCC staff member who is not authorized to speak with the news media told me. “She hated the hours and she hated what little work there was to do. But she couldn’t figure out a way to get out of the thing without offending Gov. Murkowski” and the state Republican Party regulars, some of whom were pissed off they didn’t get appointed.

But ever the opportunist, Palin quickly concocted a way. First, she waged a campaign with the local news media claiming that the position was overpaid and should be abolished – despite the fact that she lobbied Murkowski hard to get it. Then, mounting what she saw as a white horse, Palin raised a cloud of dust by resigning from the OGCC and riding away with an undeserved reputation as a “reformer.”

But when a local reporter dared to suggest that the reformer Empress has no clothes, Palin tried to get her fired.

“She came at me like I was trying to steal her kids,” said the targeted reporter, who now works for an oil company in Anchorage. “I heard she had a wild temper and vicious mean streak but it’s nothing like you can imagine until she turns it on you.”

Not surprising since some of her high school classmates still openly call her “Sarah Barracuda,” Kilkenny insists.

Still, as a Republican Party hack Palin managed to get herself elected running under the false flag of a “reformer.”

And what did she bring to the job? No legislative experience other than a city council of a village of 5,000 people, which is smaller than some high schools in Chicago. Little hands-on supervisory or managerial experience; after all, she needed to hire a city administrator to run Wasilla. No executive experience, except for almost being recalled as mayor. A philosophy of setting public policy based on one word: No.

And what has she done since winning the job?

According to Kilkenny, nothing. Well, nothing other than suggesting the state’s multi-multi-million dollar, oil-generated surplus be distributed to residents and finance future state needs by borrowing money. Gee, doesn’t that sound precisely what George Bush did with the surplus he inherited from Bill Clinton in 2001 and we all know in what great shape Bush’s economic policies left the nation.

It may explain why, when asked by reporters, including me, what she thought about Palin being picked to be McCain’s running mate, her mother-in-law replied with a sardonic, “What has Sarah done to qualify her to be vice president?” Of course, when the woman – said by many I spoke with to be well-respected in Wasilla – was running to succeed Palin as mayor, Sarah refused to endorse her, so that may explain the family tension.

As Governor, Palin gave the legislature no direction and budget guidelines, according to the chair of a legislative committee. But then she staged a huge grandstand play of line-item vetoing countless projects, calling them pork. “They were restored because of public outcry and legislative action,” the aide said. “She vetoed them mostly because she had no idea what they were or why they were important.”

But it was enough to get the McCain, who is mostly unobservant of the world around him anyway, to think Palin has a reputation as being “anti-pork”.

In fact, Juneau observers note that Palin kept her hand stuck out as far as anyone for pork ladled out by indicted Sen. Ted Stevens. She only opposed the “bridge to nowhere” after it became clear that it would be politically unwise to keep supporting it, these same insiders assert. Then, Palin fell back on her old habits and publicly humiliated him for pork-barrel politics.

As for being “ready on day one” to be commander in chief, despite the repeated public claims she’s made, the Alaska National Guard commander said that, “she has made no command decisions, other than sending some troops to help fight a few brush fires and march in parades at county fairs.”

“Sambo Beat the Bitch”
“Palin is a conniving, manipulative, a**hole,” someone who thinks these are positive traits in a governor told me, summing up Palin’s tenure in Alaska state and local politics.

“She’s a bigot, a racist, and a liar,” is the more blunt assessment of Arnold Gerstheimer who lived in Alaska until two years ago and is now a businessman in Idaho.

charley-james.jpg“Juneau is a small town; everybody knows everyone else,” he adds. “These stories about what she calls blacks and Eskimos, well, anyone not white and good looking actually, were around long before she became a glint in John McCain’s rheumy eyes. Why do I know they’re true? Because everyone who isn’t aboriginal or Indian in Alaska talks that way.”

“Sambo beat the bitch” may be everyday language up in the bush. Whether it – and the outlook, politics and worldview Palin reflects when she says such things in public – should be part of a presidential campaign is another thing altogether. The comment says as much about McCain as it does about Palin, and it says a lot of things about Americans who overlook such statements (as well as her record) and vote anyway for McCain.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


I firmly believe in dancing. in your living room or around the world. through smiles or tears. until you no longer can. dance."

(the mumbai dance, in particular, is that mickifickin' fiyah)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

If You Use Human Milk, Is It Still Dairy

Swiss restaurant switching people milk, PETA wants B&J ice cream to follow suit.



And you don't consider drinking a substance produced by an animal that poops in the same place it eats and is, well, a completely different animal somewhat strange?

Not saying I'll be first in line;

But if I have to do baby food, it would seem that HUMAN baby food would be better.

(assume the author is NOT a bovine)

Friday, September 19, 2008

I just saw a commercial

with Venus & Serena Williams practicing,

and a giant DoubleStuffed


comes running out to get a dead ball.




Friday, September 12, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I feel bad for pugs.

It's bad enough that their breathing and sinus problems are the results of fashion breeding,

then people make dumb@$$ blogs where they pretend like the dogs can type/talk.

I mean the dog is cute and all, but come on.

I want to know what pugs would look like if they had snouts.

88 Keys - "Wastin' My Minutes"

lang warning

Because we've all been there

to some extent

at least, once.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


A lifetime of saturated fat will make your heart look like a ham.

(Narrow shoes+high heels) x having to walk = bad feet.

Yes, I'm still bringing up old sh!t.

{and since I know you need to hear "him" say it to believe it)


The boom is over, the boom over

(buk, buk)

Cindy McCain Drifts



Saturday, September 06, 2008


Faked, though, it seems.

I don't suppose that quite looks like a mid-40s mother of 5 body.
Although...that's a generalization,
Something I'm sure you'd never see in a political race.

Friday, September 05, 2008

In case you were wondering what

a modern videogame v/o script looks like:

In this scene, the gang members observe a white guy in their neighborhood.


What you staring at, white boy?

Can't you see we busy here?


Somebody in the wroooong part of


When the white guy gets closer, the gangsters get really angry:


You deaf? This here's our turf and

you not welcome. Vamoose, greaseball.


Yeah, keep messin' with us, and you'll

have to deal with the Bombers.

If the guy doesn’t leave, they'll attack him.


OK, now you done it, muthafucka.


Now we gonna whoop yo ass, boy.

In this scene, the gang members witness someone trying to break into their car.



Motherfucka! That nigga's stealin'

my car! You believe this shit?


Get the fuck away from my ride!


Crazy white boy done broke my window!


Hey! Whatchoo doin' muthafucka!!!


You done gone and messed with the

wrong niggas now, boy.



Now we gonna beat yo lily white ass.

I just turned down

a video game audition because

"n****r" (or the cute respelling n***a, as they had it)

in yet another game about
yet more Italians
with yet more guns.

I'm sure I'm the sucker...I'm sorry, sucka.

Poverty check:


yep. still poor.

Thursday, September 04, 2008




Sen. Lindsey Graham

Ladies and gentleman, I give you what may be the worst orator in Congress.

Or maybe he just didn't believe what he was saying.


Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav Can Kiss My....

Almost on the anniversary of Katrina, Gustav, at Cat 5, is passing over Cuba.

In remembrance of that event, and to bring some context to this one, a houston chronicle citizen-blogger reposts this from a last year.

As to reiterate my view of the subject,
don't pop sh!t about what should've been done,
what you would've done,

until you've actually faced having to do it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Because I need it

and because today's the day:



How far women's athetics have come

From the 2000 Sydney-lympics

(video, one expletive - low vol/earphone rules apply)

'tis a shame that I've had to wait 8 years to come to know this guy.

Ever-mounting are the travesties of existence...



I remember back when I used to think Kool-Aid(tm) tasted


(that was then)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

maybe I'm not ok...

am I allowed to still dig the roots, but remain unconcerned with the Sol-angel?

I can tell it's been ten years, 'cuz the chillun's taste is definitely taking over.

alas, the good ol days..

Me and Raw Oysters

My response to somebody trying to convince me that I should try these extra special oysters that are going to be at said person's extra special party.

"It's a dead water snail in a rock."

I find that hilarious.

I think it flows better w/o "water", but I like specificity.

(no the flow/water thing wasn't intentional)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tyra's Cranium

I often reference the undue and possibly extra-terrestrial nature of the size of Ms. Banks' forehead. I just want to take this opportunity to say how wrong I've been to do so.

Without proof.

(let the suspense build, or skip ahead to about 1:15)

My apologies.

{you're right. that's not her voice. cookie for you}

Friday, August 22, 2008

More proof

that I must be getting old (qualitative):

not only did I just sit through a Brak episode that wasn't this one,

I found it funny.


Vivien Thomas

It seems I neglected to mention him.

Of particular interest because he was born near part of my ancestral geography.

(peculiar for me that where he was born was so remote as to be referred to as "near" LP)

There is a movie based around some of his work, Something the Lord Made.

I find at least a hair overwrought in tone, though not oppressive by any means.

(I really liked much of what Mos Def was doing in it)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Do it. Now.

Flying Dream

earlier today,

I was flying small jet that looked like a miniature F-22 (with 2+2 seating),

couldn't figure out how to control speed,

couldn't land


Certainly it couldn't had anything to do with watching this.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carnal desires

I have a powerful hankerin' for some beef ribs.

Dang shame I po'.

Did I mention I'm po'?

No, I mean more than the usual.

Paid rent w/cc,

though the plan is to pay that back once my promo check comes.

Cellphone? Insurance? Next month's CC?

No clue.

I desperately hope something regular develops soon.

But I digress.



I might have to make that happen.

I wonder how many you get for meat theft in New York State......(?)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

And while I'm again not sleeping

Radiohead - All I Need

Chopp - School Is In (outside VPND#25, I have no idea where to get this)

Gordon Gartrell Radio

I've not listened to a lick of it yet.

I recommend strictly on the name alone.

And, Phonte 'nem be on'nere.

And because it is in general keeping with my general policy of legally dl'ing all my new music for free.

I'm broke. No joke. Eating's going to be an adventure for a while.



Friday, August 08, 2008

Somebody please tell Bob Costas

that Carmelo has cornrows, not (modified dreadlocks).

If, I'm wrong, please englighten.

With proof.

P.S.: the US team uni's are blah. I hate the caps.

(another note to Bob and Matt: try Kangol or button cap, not a beret. They were all just being cute wearing it slightly to the side)

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wednesday, August 06, 2008



AND very, very not good.

so much so that it apparently cost us the Tony Clifton Story.

60's Soul, 10 years Removed

and British

whatever happened to that former army dude that all the morning news shows were trying their damndest to make the next Sam Cooke?

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