Category Archives: Philosophy

All Beered Out

Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com

Rapp Brewery Flights, Pinellas County, Florida rappbrewing.com

Seeing how August turned out, it’s no surprise I went a tad overboard celebrating life via libations. After all, wasn’t it Benny Franks from Philly who said, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”? Welp, I was happy to get out of the hospital, and BF was more than happy to school me on craft beers.

Jeepers I’m so bloated! Tried on a pair of jeans at my favorite thrift store yesterday and oh no…no bueno.

I gotta take a break from beer. This is where you can help; be my substitution?

Now I’m not a reviewer nor am I being paid to promote these places, I just find their beer suitable to my palate, so I expect you’ll be impressed too. All these places are within Pinellas County, and they meet my Beer of Rights, which are:

  1. There’s gotta be food – not on certain days; every day! I’ve visited some craft breweries which only offer suds. No, no my friend, if you want my patronage, you better have some comida!
  2. There’s gotta be diversity. There’s a place BF wants to visit but I won’t visit because their menu is entirely India Pale Ales. I don’t care for IPAs. Beer should be for the people, not a select population!
  3. There’s gotta be happiness. I’ve visited some breweries where it’s clearly a ‘see and be seen’ type of crowd. That kind of thing goes against my goal of community building. I wanna see everyone relaxed, laughing it up, having a positive moment in life, ya know? In short, if I have to put makeup on and figure out an outfit in order to hang out there, that ain’t my kind of scene. Beer = happiness = peace on Earth people; let’s make that a thing!

So you have my requirements, here’s where I need you to sub in whilst I work down this bloat (not ranked in any order, all meet my approval):

Dunedin Brewery – made me fall in love with apricots, menu pairs well with all their beers. Also, live music pretty much every night to amp the ambiance.

Sea Dog Brewery – $3 beers! Three dollars! THREE! Plus they have a Hemingway Saison that’s a meal in and of itself. They have a generous menu, but if you want full dining, they’re connected to Cody’s steak house. Or just toast to Il Papa for three doll hairs.

Rapp Brewery – that’s me and the BF’s Cheers. The manager knows his name, can pretty much make out what we plan to order by the time we get to the counter. I highly super recommend Taco Tuesday for Out of The Pot’s amazing selections.

Thanks for accepting this mission. I’ll get back into a proper 8 and you’ll have a good time drinking.

Slante! Prost! Salud!

Wordless Wednesday

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The Most Dangerous Blog In The World

I have always been in love with O’Shea Jackson. The way he carried himself, that street-borne braggadocio mixed with literary genteel, a marred Dionysus not outdone by our screwed up society. The crushing weight of discrimination, heavy to bear, yet O’Shea kept his shoulders up, his head high, never quite frowning. Bothered, but not broken. His Jehri curl, perfect.

*swoon*

Ahh me.

Cradled face on twin bed as my heart sighed towards the telly, ankles crossed, marking the beat for Straight Outta Compton. The rest of the clan: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Yella, MC Ren, they were alright, but not the focus of my tween attention. Ice Cube was bad, but not bad meaning bad…well, you know the rest.

Of course I went and watched the documentary this past weekend, of COURSE I did! And please, whatever is causing you to be scared to go, don’t believe the hype. It’s just like Coal Miner’s Daughter. A story of struggle against the status quo, of artistic starvation, of personal definition. The moment Loretta Lynn decides to write and perform a song about birth control, wanting to take back womens’ right to be a human being and not society’s brooding sow, she is forever marred. Instead of being recognized for her bravery in speaking out for the oppressed, she is demonized; her music, considered dangerous.

The struggle is real, and so is the talent.

As I pass the movie lobby poster making note of ‘the most dangerous group in the world’ or whatever, I smirk at the thought of, who labeled N.W.A. as such? They certainly didn’t. What they did with Fuck The Police was utilize momentum to take back the right to be acknowledged as human beings and not society’s kicked down domesticated dogs. There was a scene that was so agitating for me I squeezed my man’s hand really hard, then realized he was angrily squeezing mine back. Damn right, fuck the police, we both expressed in pissed-off embrace.

I knew I was going to cry once E got sick. His voice, his crowd command despite his tiny build, reminds me of my monster days. I let the tears flow then broke a selfish smile at the thought: “I bet you would’ve liked I Blew Up Juarez, E.”

Straight Outta Compton the documentary did everything right. Honored Eazy and Dre; made me smile as I learned more about my tweenage boyfriend’s skills as a writer.

I had my demigod Oprah’s ‘a ha!’ moment at an early age, listening to West Coast rap albums, following Ice Cube’s skyrocketing career, putting into practice what Cube was extolling: people are out to placate, not celebrate, dark individuality. My a ha was realizing everything is not unicorns and rainbows, and I’d be lying to myself if I even attempt to write prose or poetry without darkness. After all, that’s the point of “gangsta” rap: tell the ugly truth, expose the pretty lies.

Great documentary; I will likely own it once it’s out on Blu-Ray.

Send Me An Angel Revision #3

[This was performed on June 25th at Oral Fixation’s LBGT Open Mic Night hosted by Sawgrass Tiki Bar in St. Petersburg’s Grand Central District. The next day, Supreme Court ruling finds same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states of the U.S.! Just sayin…]

We’re at the Center of The Universe!

The festival, that is, although the diazepam-psilocybin-cannabinoid cocktail coursing through my body makes me feel as if I’m standing…on the sun. Arms swinging, feet bee-bopping as my team travels towards the main stage, I am feeling rather…superior!

AWOL Nation awaits but, from the corner of my eye I spy a herd of blue boxes. I stop walking to proclaim, Necesito mear!” which means, I need to pee. The foxy phalanx marches on, whilst I experience the rare joy of no line for the port-o-potties!

I exit the pee terminal, and locate the wash stand. Now this is cool; a foot pump to deliver the water, a touch-less soap dispenser, ahhhh hands-free technology! Fulfilled by this first world wonder, I then open my backpack to search for hand lotion; the bag’s darkness, mixed with intoxication, fills me with desperation. Face in the bag, frustrated by the sounds of laughter and play, I feel…apprehension wrap like a steel trap.

Someone is uninvited.

You’re just digging away in that bag!” some festival-goer comments merrily. My head snakes as I hiss, “Go ahead and try me buddy, I’m fucking Wonder Woman right now!”

The jovial stranger, unperturbed, lowers his shoulders so we’re face to face. In a contented voice he says, “I want to give you something.” His hands flutter to his temple to remove blue eyeglasses, without lenses, then waves them towards me. I smile and refuse politely; in turn, he’s sweetly adamant.

I shake my head as I take him in: Ash Williams chin, wide smile, wearing a fitted ball cap to match his dark blue eyes. His body, immaculately sculpted, makes my chin drop!  Madre de Dios…

Focus up, Wonder Woman!

Sweetie, I don’t want your glasses,” I insist.

He gestures towards me, “Take them!”

But I already have glasses.”

You’ll look great in them…”

But I need glasses to see,” I explain, “there’s no lenses; how am I gonna see?” I smile smugly, then squeeze my eyes shut, remembering to hydrate my contact lenses.

I flutter them back open, and he’s wearing the saddest look of dejection! I kick myself internally; aww dammit, I did that thing again where I say something that makes sense to me, but comes off dickish to them!

Puppy eyed, tail tucked, he backsteps towards his friends. “Come here,” I sigh, widening demonic wings to encourage him back and deliver an apologetic hug, “Come, come,” I insist.

His smile beams to the moon and back. His huge arms wrap around my tiny torso, then I feel, undeniably, the purest form of authentic happiness pierce my cynical skin and invade my corroded heart. Time splinters in fractals, gravity is no more, our bodies rock in synergy. His divine embrace makes me feel…humbled.

I can’t tell you who let go first, but I can tell you it took forever.

Tears fall like cleansing waters as we pull apart, but he’s not done with me yet!

Touch hands!” he insists.

I extend my hand to flatten against his.

Now stick out your thumb,” he instructs.

I flex my thumb outwards. He does the same.

Now bring it in…”

I wrap my thumb around his hand. He does the same.

…and SQUEEEEEEZE! Hand hug!” We laugh like old friends.

But he’s not done with me yet!

Wearing the most serious of expressions, using a voice of angelic clarity, he makes a request.

You HAVE

to pay

it forward.”

So… Who wants a hand hug?

Send Me An Angel (rev2)

My friends and I believe I met an angel in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Here’s the story…

We’re at the Center of The Universe! The festival, that is, although the psilocybin and cannabinoids and diazapam coursing through my body makes me feel as if I’m standing on the sun. Arms swinging gaily, feet bee-bopping as my team travels towards the main stage, I am feeling rather…superior.

Riding the wave of musical enlightenment, I spy from the corner of my eye a herd of blue boxes. I stop walking and proclaim, Necesito mear!” which means, I need to pee. My girls round the bend and lean against a poster-bedecked wall while I experience the rare joy of no line for the port-o-potties!

I exit the pee terminal and locate the wash stand. Now this is cool; a foot pump to deliver the water, a touch-less soap dispenser, ahh hands-free technology! Fulfilled by this first world wonder, I then open my backpack to search for hand lotion. The bag’s darkness mixed with my intoxication fills me with desperation. As the harried search continues, I notice a group of festival-goers carrying on in laughter and play. Without looking up, I feel one of them drifting over.

You’re just digging away in that bag!” he comments merrily. I offer an apprehensive look. His hands are behind his back.

Suspicious, I declare in my head space, “Go ahead and try me buddy, I’m fucking Wonder Woman right now!”

The jovial stranger, taller than I, lowers his shoulders so we’re face to face. In a contented voice he says, “I want to give you something.” His hands flutter from behind his back to his temple, removes blue eyeglasses without lenses, then waves them towards me.

I smile and refuse politely; in turn, he’s sweetly adamant. I shake my head as I take him in: wide smile, dark blue fitted ball cap matching his eyes, endowed with a Bruce Campbell chin. His body is immaculately sculpted.  Madre de Dios…this dude is HAWT!

Inside I feel a wash of achievement: it’s now natural for me to notice a person’s energy before I notice his facade.

Sweetie, I don’t want your glasses,” I insist.

He gestures towards me, “Take them!”

But I already have glasses.”

You’ll look great in them…”

But I need glasses to see,” I explain, “there’s no lenses; how am I gonna see?” I smile smugly, then squeeze my eyes shut, remembering to hydrate my contact lenses.

Courtesy: Kaytara

Courtesy: Kaytara

When I flutter them back open, he’s wearing the saddest look of dejection! I kick myself internally: aww dammit, I did that thing again where I say something that makes sense to me, but comes off dickish to them! Puppy eyed, tail tucked, he starts back-stepping towards his friends. “Come here,” I sigh, widening my harpy wings to encourage him back so I that can deliver an apologetic hug. “Come, come,” I insist.

His smile beams to the moon and back. His huge arms wrap around my tiny torso, then I feel, undeniably, the purest form of authentic happiness pierce my cynical skin and invade my corroded heart. Time splinters in fractals, gravity is no more, our bodies rock in synergy. I tighten my hold as if we’ve known each other for lifetimes.

Forever returns to right now. We pull apart.

I’m relieved to find my demonstration of loving kindness has restored his playfulness. He reaches out his hand. “High five!”

I extend my hand to flatten against his.

Now stick out your thumb,” he instructs.

I flex my thumb outwards. He does the same.

Now bring it in…”

I wrap my thumb around his hand. He does the same.

His face touches mine. “Hand hug!”

I smile. He smiles. Tears fall like cleansing waters.

Pay it forward,” he instructs.

I will!”


Wordless Wednesday

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Instead of “Why Me?” Can We Do “What If?”

My mind is so bored. I wish to be inspired. Help me!

I’m having a hard time working through contemporary fiction novels as of late. Once the story gets going, I feel less involved and more talked down. Once the story reaches it’s epoch, I feel a, ‘yeah, so?’ instead of an investment. Endings leave me thinking, ‘and so…now what?’

These modern day stories are yawns. Where’s the wisdom? Why so much celebration of ‘why me’? Have we completely eradicated the fundamental purpose of storytelling, that is, to impart wisdom among our community then carry forward as knowledge-empowered people? It feels like that to me.

I won’t divulge which authors I have been reading nor titles, because that wanders into the role of “book reviewer.” I respect you are a person of intellect, capable of free will and imagination who can make decisions (such as whether a book is good or not) on your own. I will let you know these books are all modern setting (20th century to now), modern language, modern places, fictional stories, and have either received international acclaim or blockbuster movie status.

I feel it undeserved.

In every contemporary fiction work I’ve read lately, each author has demonstrated a promotion of the Why Me, and some successfully demonstrate some movement beyond the Why Me. To those writers I ask, could you teach us how to move beyond the Why Me? Just because you can voice it through character and exposition doesn’t mean you’ve provided a resolution. For me, I feel nothing is out there which is helping us move beyond the fears of our ancestors. Some writers attempt to move us forward but only within the afterward or in book release interviews. Never in the work!

When I digest a contemporary modern day fiction novel, I frame the question, “what does this author want me to know?” The award-winning, movie rights selling authors I just read want me to know:

  1. White people are scared of Black people
  2. Black people hate other Black people
  3. Women rather keep silent
  4. Men are afraid no one likes them
  5. Americans know there is a struggle and I have the right to say, “Oh yeah, I feel that way about that issue too!”
  6. Other nations hate Americans

The authors I despise most are those who write deeply on the cruelties of racism, as opposed to writing deeply on rising above racism. Within more than a few novels, I sensed the writer was at a pivotal arc during composition, leaned back in his/her writing chair, vigorously tapping the tip of a pen to his/her tightened mouth, plotting: “If we actually solve racism, then there can’t be any money made on racism, now can it? Why solve it when I can get rich exacerbating racism? Huzzah!” Then he/she takes off rabidly composing the next New York Times Bestseller. To me, if all you write about is racist activities, novel to novel to novel, then you must LOVE racism and want to keep it going! If you’re not a racist, can you demonstrate for the racist rest of us how to grow beyond it in modern times? No? Then stop writing about it. You’re not helping.

Okay, that was a slight rant.

Storytellers, I challenge you to promote the What If? If you wish to demonstrate strife, give us an experiential aspect, not your dream world aspect. I would like to experience writing in which the author has actually taken the time to do leg work, meaning, put yourself in the shit you want to write about. It’s clear with many of these contemporary works the writer did no more than conduct a few interviews and watched some classic movies. Get in there! Wanna write about prison life? Go to prison. Seriously. Go to prison. Don’t want to do that? Don’t write about it.

I guess my complaint is…I’m reading fiction suited for people who would rather live active lies then push beyond, excel and make better their surroundings, their community and the cultures they associate with. I’m reading works where I’ve been intentionally excluded as a member of the audience. Here is where I enter a plea for help. Help me locate contemporary/modern era novels which offer clear examples of how one can move past common hurdles and function in society. And please, oh sweet Venus please, leave the racism-celebrating volumes out. They bore me.

In the original picture, I'm posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.

In the original picture, I’m posing with the #amreading novel. In protest of its content, I cropped it out. Unfortunately I appear more chipper than disgusted. Ah well.

Today’s Writing Motivator

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From Authors Publish Magazine

Playing With Shadows: Roser Park, St. Petersburg

Timed Writing Prompt: “There’s A Shirtlessness To This Guy…”

Credit: funnyjunk.com

Credit: funnyjunk.com

What an accomplishment! Three miles on the treadmill and a half mile in the pool! I bike eight miles to Five Guys for my double cheeseburger reward.

The mass of moo-ey goodness is sweating liquid fat and spices, cheese, dripping off the sides with a come-hither shine, the grilled ‘shrooms and onions resting like Tiffany diamonds upon a New Money bust. “Here we go!” I proclaim as I mash the delectable lady to my face. Why I’ve anthropomorphized my food into a female is inexplicable, yet feels right. I sigh as I swallow then tilt my head back, eyes all aflutter, hearing the calories I just burned off pile back on with every gregarious lip smack.

Screw a napkin. I wipe her essence – spread over my nose, cheeks, mouth and chin – against my sweaty sleeve. As I drag lips towards my shoulder I catch a whiff of healthy odour. Hoooo weeee!

Right then, out the window, I catch a view of a couple sitting in their parked vehicle in the lot across from my table. She’s narrow-eyed and flitty-handed in the passenger seat, while he wears a glum, defeated face. She points with a pink talon towards my hallowed restaurant; in response he opens his door, exits the truck, and strolls into the Guys.

He fascinates me: spine and shoulders so straight despite his bent smile. His eyes are hidden under a ball cap, offering an air of sweet mystery. Sculpted calves and tanned thighs indicate Mr. Fuckable’s an athlete, maybe even, a model. Yes, there’s a shirtlessness to this guy. Perhaps a footballer or volleyballer…something having to do with big balls.

My soppy girl slips out my hands as I hear him order in practiced English with a Portuguese accent. I’m destined to see him naked, I am sure! I glare back to my competition, the expensive hamburger patty in the passenger seat duck-lipping several selfies, adjusting her pneumatic boobs after every angle. As if the gods so declared it, he sits next to me to wait on his meal. At that moment I wince knowing my cumragged arm faces him. My true love has to meet his queen in such form? Fiddlesticks!Ī

He smears an agitated hand from chin to forehead, tipping back his cap, revealing natural blonde hair and soft brown eyes. He. Is. Beautiful. A distinct plume of sandalwood escapes his cap as he fans it over his face before returning it home. Mmm, I smile to myself, letting the smell of our sex pheromones intertwine.

“Is it good?”

Yes, I exhale as we switch positions, now me on top.

“Is it…delicious…is the word?”

Our hips mash rhythmically, “Yasss!” I moan towards the ceiling.

“Is this the wrong word, ‘delicious’?”

Oh shit. So busy fucking pretend cock I ignore Real Cock talking to me!

His caramel body is facing mine, his shiny eyes are facing mine, his blonde wisps spike my way. The best I can manage is a “hermmuhhmyeahhh.”

The Guys call his order, he waves as he rises, grabs his bag then leaves.

I look down at my whore, all asplay against the table, laughing at me.

“Fiddlesticks!!!”

ĪWe were writing at Parkside Cafe. The booth behind us was full of Midwesterners trying to remember a restaurant’s name by CONSTANTLY repeating it to each other in question form: “Is it Fiddlesticks?” “Fiddlesticks maybe?” “It can’t be Fiddlesticks…is it?” Oh if only I had my mace…

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