In My Write Mind
10.27.2004

Off to ATL...

***Soundtrack: Time's A Wastin, Erykah Badu, Mama's Gun***

Off to Atlanta for work for the rest of the week. My job is convening a town hall meeting next month, gathering young black men as well as all in the community to discuss the obstacles facing the black male. We hope to put together a Commission on the Black Male early next year. The town hall meeting will take place November 17th on the Morehouse campus. This visit will raise awareness as well as drum up support for the event. I love Atlanta.

Also, take note that this weekend is Howard's AND Morehouse's homecoming, the opening of the much-anticipated film, Ray, and the the end of daylight savings time (FALL BACK!!!).

I will be back with details from the trip, which will have me in as many as twenty meetings over Thursday and Friday. It should be an interesting adventure. And thank goodness for blogging, as I most certainly won't have any voice left after selling the event for 48 hours. LOL

Until Monday...


scribbled by Will at 10/27/2004 06:13:00 PM
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10.26.2004

The Valley, Inc.
Presents
A Night of Spoken Word

And We Need You!!!

The Valley, Inc., a New York City-based non-profit organization created to empower the next generation of leaders through innovative programming, is looking for-up-and-coming spoken word artists to take part in a contest. There will be prizes awarded to First, Second and Third place winners.


When: December 15, 2004
Doors open at 7:00 pm, Program begins at 8:00 pm

Where: Synod Hall
The Cathedral Church of St. John Divine
1047 Amsterdam Avenue/ At 110th street
New York, New York 10025

Please include your contact information and send your submissions, on audiotape, VHS or DVD/CD ROM, to:

Carol Jones
The Valley, Inc.
1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025
cjones@valleynyc.org

Deadline Submission is November 12,2004.
Finalists will be contacted by phone

For more information about The Valley, visit www.valleynyc.org,
No phone calls please.




1047 Amsterdam Avenue
New York, NY 10025

scribbled by Will at 10/26/2004 02:16:00 PM
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Thoughts...

5 songs in my head this morning...

Keep Ya Head Up, 2Pac
Body & Soul, Anita Baker
I Try, Talib Kweli
Didn't Cha Know, Erykah Badu
I Need You, Jilly

Damn...all of those songs have a positive message. I guess that's the mood I'm in today--slow, yet optimistic. Nice.

Quote of the Day:

"Everything's changed in New York. When I was younger, if you threw rocks at pigeons, they would scatter. These days, they catch the rocks with their beaks while giving you the middle feather."


Last week, I picked up Season Two of IN LIVING COLOR and after watching over the weekend, I have only one question: WIDHHTL? Translated, that comes out to What In Da Hell Happened To Lisa? You remember her, the Flyy Girl almost every heterosexual male lusted after during the show's run. Where is she? What is she doing? Is she married? Kids?
Does anybody know? If so, please do share. If not, we need to investigate. Seriously...

If you haven't yet, try to watch a quarter or two of NFL Football on either CBS or Fox one Sunday. Not for the game necessarily, but for the NEXTEL commercial with the three guys in the office jamming with the boombox. I was home Sunday (which is shocking in itself) and caught it. Hilarious. Trust me.

WEEKLY BIG WILLIES

And speaking of being home Sunday, is there a better night for television than Sunday? If so, let me know. I find myself actually flipping channels trying to keep up with all the action: On CBS, there's 60 Minutes (for current events and solid journalism); on HBO, there's The Wire (Avon's home, dawg!!! Watch ya back, Stringer!), ABC's Desperate Housewives (great
new quirky show) and Boston Legal (Denny Crain!), VH1's Surreal Life (two words--Flavor Flav) and whichever Law & Order cousin is on NBC. Add to that the Fox lineup of Malcolm, The Simpsons and Arrested Development (which will premiere after the World Series), and you've got THE strongest night on television since the NBC glory days of The Cosby Show-Different World-Cheers-Night Court-LA Law! Hell, even that Extreme Makeover show will have me watching as long as they keep renovating black people's homes.

So, the first ever IMWM Weekly BIG WILLIE goes to Sunday nights. It's not just TV...it's BIG WILLIE TV now. :-)


scribbled by Will at 10/26/2004 08:05:00 AM
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10.25.2004

Till Justice Is Served...



Sick. That's what I was when I saw it. Even though it wasn't the first time. Last night, forty of their "60 Minutes" was devoted to the investigation and re-opening of the 50 year old case against the state of Mississippi regarding the murder of Emmett Till. Due in large part to 31-year old filmmaker Kevin Beauchamp, who did years of research on the case and pleaded with Congress to persuade the Department of Justice to re-examine and re-try those still alive and responsible for the senseless murder.

In an interview with Ed Bradley, Beauchamp, who grew up in Louisiana, said he first heard about the case while reading the infamous Jet magazine which published the photo of Emmett's disfigured face at his funeral, and was saddened when he realized that the murderers had gone free. He has been obsessed with the case ever since, spending the last six years filming and tracking down witnesses.

"In the minds of many Mississippians in 1955, a black man could justifiably be lynched even for looking at a white woman. Emmett was tortured and killed for allegedly "wolf whistling" at Mr. Bryant's wife, Carolyn, a storekeeper in Money, Miss. One of the tragedies of this case is that the so-called "wolf whistle" was probably a misunderstanding. Emmett had a speech impediment. When he got stuck on a word, he would stop speaking and abruptly whistle, as a way of untangling his tongue."

The two men, Roy Bryant and his brother-in-law J.W. Milam, who admitted to abducting the boy, were acquitted of his murder. Despite riots over the incident, no one was ever held accountable. While those men have since died, there is evidence, gathered by Beauchamp, supporting the fact that others worked in concert with the killers, including black men who were most likely field workers at the time.

Personally, I applaud those who stood up at the first trial, as well as Beauchamp, the Department of Justice, Senator Charles Schumer of New York State, who is head of the Senate Judiciary Committee and championed the cause to the DOJ, and 60 Minutes for doing all they can to bring the family of Emmett some sort of justice.

While the details may make them--like me--sick to their stomachs having to re-live it, the closure that convictions would bring might make it well worth it. Hopefully, no one will rest till justice is served...



scribbled by Will at 10/25/2004 11:52:00 AM
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10.22.2004

Signed, In Love

It was bound to happen, as much as I doth protest. For almost 33 years, I’ve laughed in its face. But recently, the laugh track was put on mute, the boxing gloves have been removed, the Cupid-proof vest has been unfastened. To quote the great Martin Payne, “I don’t wanna fight no mo’.”

Yes, folks, after almost four decades of clawing and scratching, hundreds of cups of denial and many rounds of delaying the inevitable…I, William Irvin Dawson, have fallen in love.

It’s true, I’m off the market. And it’s about time everybody knows it.

Let me tell you about my girl.
From the moment I was in her presence, I knew there was something special,
something different about her.
Our first meeting was what some might consider innocent; a brief encounter one hot week in August some years ago. It seemed like much more, though. Let me put it this way: I would put it right up there with a first introduction to butter pecan ice cream or foot massages. Yup, it was THAT good. This fulfilled little lady opened my eyes to a whole new world. During that short stay, I fell in love. And it wasn’t so much what she did that made me fall for her. It was her dominant presence, her raw and natural beauty that got me open like a 24 hour liquor store.

Years passed by with me hearing little things about her, each time my mind flashing back with excitement to that first time we met, with my lips curling up almost on cue just from the mention of her name. I would see her once in a while, like when I’d stop by her Cousin Apollo’s house or visit her aunt Sylvia.

I would see her, but could never be with her. I guess it wasn’t time.

That all changed about a year ago, when I had the opportunity to see my baby once again; both of us staring at one another with a look that said we were ready to take one another on for the foreseeable future. We immediately moved in together and have been inseparable ever since.

Don’t get me wrong; all is not wine and roses. We’ve had the usual ups and downs that go with the “new couple” territory. In fact, soon after we got together, I had to break the news to my love about past relationships I had with her less beautiful sisters, Brook and Queen. Let’s just say she wasn’t too thrilled about that. While she yelled, to her credit she didn’t kick me out; instead, she chose to forgive and forget. That’s my baby! And indeed, as raw and real as we keep it, as much as we may fly off the handle, our conversations are always anchored by respect and love.

I adore everything about my girl--her smell, her aura, her toughness, her style. Even her penchant for being loud and sometimes overbearing is sexy. And she’s a fixture in the community, my girl—in fact, you can say she IS the community; always so outgoing and selfless, often welcoming all types of individuals with open arms. Her willingness to give of herself daily, even when people constantly walk all over her, is the epitome of strength in my eyes.

During the summers, we take long walks together, basking in her rhythms, blues and salsa. Oh, that’s right--my baby’s got some Spanish in her, too. She’s cultural (you can always find a museum or library nearby); open to different religions and political views, welcoming all to express themselves freely (she’s given shelter to everyone from Malcolm X to Bill Clinton). My love is also on top of the fashion trends and always offers discounts to those with tight budgets, even going as low as 99 cents for some products. And forget Carvel; my baby offers the best “shake” this side of the Hudson River. She shows movies that are simply “magical.”

People have written songs and poems in her honor, taken photos of her constantly, lauding her welcoming ways.

And she’s all mine. I can’t see us ever breaking up, not after far too many years of separation. I’m in this for the long haul.

And I promise to bring my “A” game as well, doing whatever it takes to keep her happy. It’s truly the least I could do to repay her for all that she gives me. Maybe our story could wind up in the hands of some Hollywood producer, a manuscript chockfull of love stories and anecdotes, rhymes and reasons about a love that was once unrequited, but is now fulfilled. It would describe our first meeting and our past year of bliss. In fact, it would probably have to be a mini-series, or a “Lord of the Rings”-type trilogy, since no mere 90 minutes could cover this masterpiece.

I’ve bandied about some names of what the production would be called, throwing out titles such as “Thatbutterpecanfootmassagekindalove Love” and “The Truth About Love.” However, now, I think I’ve come up with the perfect title. So with a nod to the wonderful folks over at CBS, tell me what you think:
“Everybody Loves Harlem.”

scribbled by Will at 10/22/2004 09:01:00 AM
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10.20.2004

SEVEN HELP ME!!!

Have you ever been to the car wash where they soap the wheels and windshields before putting it through the long tube that soaps the car up even more, then the spinning brushes that buff the sides, and the sprays and even more soap and finally you get to the magic dryers that swoop down and suck all the soap and water and then, you think you're done and BOOM! there's two more guys, standing at either side of the car ready to wipe it down with not-so-clean rags? Have you? Maybe it's just a Queens thing.

But my point is, I feel like the car right now after watching these baseball games. I've been through it all, six games of Yankee-Red Sox ups and downs, sprays and brushes, almost-perfect games and walk-off home runs, extra innings, bloody ankles and blown saves, gone from Who's Your Daddy to Who's Your Dealer, soap and water and even the magic dryers. And just when I think I'm done...BOOM! There's this Game 7 tonight that stands there like the two guys ready to take me out of my misery. Except, I'm not so sure how I'll be after the experience.

Does that make sense? If not, welcome to my hell. Being a Yankee fan when the team has suspect pitching and is forced to play a deciding game when the series should've been wrapped up three days ago will make you use car wash analogies the morning after another wild game.

Sigh. I live for this.


scribbled by Will at 10/20/2004 08:18:00 AM
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10.18.2004

99 Problems...

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Copy this whole list into your journal.

2. Bold the things that are true about you.

3. Whatever you don't bold is false.


01. When I was younger, I made some bad decisions

02. I don't watch much TV these days

03. I love olives

04. I love sleeping

05. I own lots of books

06. I wear glasses or contact lenses

07. I love to play video games

08. I've tried marijuana (back in my party days)

09. I've watched porn movies

10. I have been in a threesome

11. I have been the psycho-ex in a past relationship

12. I believe honesty is usually the best policy

13. I have acne free skin (usually)

14. I like and respect Al Sharpton (?)


15. I curse frequently

16. I have changed a lot mentally over the last year

17. I have hobbies

18. I've been told I: (women) have an applebottom, (men) am packing.

19. I carry my knife/razor everywhere with me

20. I'm really, really smart

21. I've never broken someone's bones

22. I have a secret that I am ashamed to reveal

23. I hate the rain

24. I'm paranoid at times

25. I would get plastic surgery if it were 100% safe, free of cost, and scar-free

26. I need money right now

27. I love Sushi

28. I talk really, really fast


29. I have fresh breath in the morning

30. I have semi-long hair (used to, I cut it, now it's growing back)

31. I have lost money in Las Vegas

32. I have at least one brother and/or one sister

33. I was born in a country outside of the U.S.

34. I shave my legs (females) or face (males) on a regular basis

35. I have a twin

36. I have worn fake hair/fingernails/eyes in the past

37. I couldn't survive without Caller I.D.

38. I like the way that I look (usually)

39. I have lied to a good friend in the last 6 months

40. I know how to cornrow

41. I am usually pessimistic

42. I have a lot of mood swings


43. I think prostitution should be legalized

44. I think Britney Spears is hot

45. I have cheated on a Sig. O. in the past

46. I have a hidden talent (wouldn’t u like 2 know what it is…*laughs evil*)

47. I'm always hyper no matter how much sugar I have

48. I think that I'm popular

49. I am currently single

50. I have kissed someone of the same sex

51. I enjoy talking on the phone

52. I practically live in sweatpants (yes because I’m always at the gym)

53. I love to shop

54. I would rather shop than eat

55. I would classify myself as ghetto

56. I'm bourgie and have worn a sweater tied around my shoulders


57. I'm obsessed with my Diaryland.

58. I don't hate anyone. I dislike them.

59. I'm a pretty good dancer

60. I don't think Mike Tyson raped Desiree Washington

61. I'm completely embarrassed to be seen with my mother

62. I have a cell phone

63. I believe in God

64. I watch MTV on a daily basis

65. I have passed out drunk in the past 6 months

66. I love drama

67. I have never been in a real relationship before

68. I've rejected someone before

69. I currently have a crush on someone (did but have a short attn span *sigh*)

70. I have no idea what I want to do for the rest of my life



71. I want to have children in the future

72. I have changed a diaper before

73. I've called the cops on a friend before

74. I bite my nails **Disclaimer--Only when the Yankees play**

75. I am a member of the Tom Green fan club

76. I'm not allergic to anything

77. I have a lot to learn

78. I have dated someone at least 10 years older or younger

79. I plan on seeing Ice Cube's newest "Friday" movie (wait...there's another one? Lawd.)

80. I am very shy around the opposite sex (most of the time, if I'm attracted to him/her)

81. I'm online 24/7, even as an away message

82. I have at least 5 away messages saved

83. I have tried alcohol or drugs at a party

84. I have made a move on a friend's Sig. O. in the past


85. I own the "South Park" movie

86. I have avoided assignments at work to be online

87. When I was a kid I played "the birds and the bees" with a neighbor or chum

88. I enjoy country music

89. I would die for my best friends

90. I think that Pizza Hut has the best pizza

91. I watch soap operas whenever I can ( Y & R, Bold & the Beautiful, ATWT, Guiding Light )

92. I'm obsessive, anal retentive, and often a perfectionist

93. I have used my sexuality to advance my career


94. I love Michael Jackson, scandals and all (his music)

95. I know all the words to Slick Rick's "Children's Story"

96. Halloween is awesome because you get free candy

97. I watch Spongebob Squarepants and I like it

98. I have dated a close friend's ex

99. I'm happy as of this moment

scribbled by Will at 10/18/2004 11:59:00 AM
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A TRUTH "EXPERIENCE"

**Posted By Request**


A commentary/review of Experience: Jill Scott 826+ (from 2002)
Her voice burned the tips of my ears, shading them red just like they do each time I’m feeling excited or overwhelmed. But this was a good type of excitement, maybe even contentment. Let me put it this way: listening to her sing is like listening to a baby laugh—you just want it to go on forever.
That was my first experience with her. It was at S.O.B.’s in New York City, the winter of 1999. A little-known spoken-word artist from Philadelphia was performing with the band The Roots that night. They called her “Jilly from Philly.” I called her “The Truth”, as in no gimmicks, no lies. Hell, I’d call her my wife if she’d let me, but that’s another story altogether.
Yes, Hidden Beach recording artist Jill Scott has been burning the ears of many with melodies and spoken word for a long time. It was, however, with her debut project Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Volume 1 (which hit stores in July 2000) that she garnered the attention and recognition she so richly deserved.
Her collection of songs takes people back to a time when rhythm and blues wasn’t so manufactured, so plastic. It’s “pure butta soul”, ala D’Angelo and Erykah Badu. Yet she’s also different from those artists, serving up songs such as the soothing “A Long Walk”, the defiant “Getting In the Way” and the sultry and captivating “He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat)”.
Her words make you feel like you’re living out the situations or at least that you’re with her while she is. The songs burn honest and real. They’re true.
Who is Jill Scott… was definitely an experience.
The fact that the CD has gone platinum provides evidence that aside from the paper towels, Jill is the most popular Scott in many households. Her sold-out Words and Sounds tour was an experience “plus”--with the self-described “African American woman writer artist representing love” telling you her truth while re-evaluating what love is, what it means to be in love and the way in which you love.
The clamor for more from the Philly native shows that people are ready for that “Jilly.” And Ms. Scott (or if you want to get technical, the recently married Mrs. Scott-Williams) said, in the words of comedian D.L. Hughley, “Go on and keep the party going!”
The recent release of Experience: Jill Scott 826+ does just that, putting you right in an orchestra seat at one of the greatest shows on Earth. You might call it the “Jill-harmonic.” The double CD features a live concert that was recorded August 26 in Washington, DC as well as eight new studio tracks (thus the title) by the humble yet straightforward artist.
Along with her band Fatback Taffy as well as Carol Riddick, Vivian Green and Monique Harcum, whom Jill describes as singers who “sing the heavens into background vocals”, Ms. Scott puts it down live. The DC audience, like all of her audiences, scream out the words to familiar songs, even joining in on the extended “Do You Remember”. Jill shows off her gift for poetry on the penetrating “Love Rain” and also on the sobering live track “Thickness”, which describes the travails of a young girl who does the wrong things to gain acceptance.
“When I get in front of the mic, all I want is to tell my truth,” says Jill, who this year alone has shared the stage with music legends Sting and Stevie Wonder. “I always believed I could sing, but didn’t want my voice to just be easy on the ears. I wanted my voice to shape pictures whether I had words to say or not. I wanted my sound to come from my soul.”

If you were privileged enough to attend one of her concert dates, you already know the sounds and should relive as well as re-love it.
For those who are just finding out who Jill Scott is, after one listen, you just may hear babies laugh, your ears will burn and you will know “the truth.”

Try it. No gimmicks, no lies. You’ll be better for the Experience.


scribbled by Will at 10/18/2004 08:02:00 AM
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10.15.2004

God Willing...

...Soundtrack: Have A Little Faith in Me, Chaka Khan (Disappearing Acts)...

I can't wait until the weekend, for some reason. While I haven't completed my assignment or even decided where my next meal will come from, it's still the weekend...so it's all good. Today, after work is drinks with Robyn and her crew, followed by the twisting, stomach-knotting torture better known as Yankees-Red Sox, Game Three.

Yes, I will bite nails down to disfigured nubs, probably intake entirely too much cold cereal during the first inning (and most likely, if the Yankees get a lead, will lather, rinse & repeat the cereal ritual), call my mom in the middle of the fifth to make sure she got to my sister's house, put my phone on mute while still checking periodically to see if a pretty young lady calls (hey, it IS Friday), map out my Saturday once the game ends (planning everything around Game 4, of course), think about how I still didn't finish my assignment, get over it, check out all the shows I TiVoed throughout the week, see what rapper or R&B singer Jimmy Kimmel is featuring tonight, fall asleep while waiting to see said rapper/R&B singer, wake up Saturday (God willing), head to Brooklyn to see my fam, do some CD (Talib & Def have new joints) & DVD shopping (I think the third season of Punky Brewster just came out Tuesday), come into work, fake like I'm concentrating on my assignment when I'm actually chatting on Yahoo! all day and completing the Daily News Saturday crossword, leave work, flip a coin to see who's house I'm going over Saturday night, go to the coin-winner's abode, sans food or drink, proceed to feast on their vittles, sneak in their bedrooms or rec rooms to catch some of Game 4, stay sequestered in there until they drag me out, get kicked out while explaining that IT'S GAME FOUR, for Christ sakes!!!!, head to the local bar in the neighborhood and stand for the next two hours as people never leave the bar, 659 pitching changes are made, I order an appetizer that takes 789 minutes to be prepared, nurse a beer other than Red Stripe (my beer of choice, but hey, I can't be choosy, I just got kicked out of someone's house), leave the bar after the Yankees hopefully win, wander aimlessly around the neighborhood with my Yankees cap and a nasty beer headache, stumble home and to my TV, where I will watch replays of said win over and over until my eyes begin to leak Yankee pinstripes, then wake up Sunday (God willing) and get the paper to read more about it, make last minute brunch plans with Tee or Brandi or Robyn or whomever will see me at this late hour, head to Queens before the football games start, fall asleep on my mom's porch while watching Jets-Niners or whatever CBS is showing, wake up halfway through and realize that I ate too much at brunch, spend some quality time with a magazine in the upstairs "office" in "flush-ing" (hehehe), go see the second half of the games, make sure I'm still having dinner with my friend Tomeca, who's moving to Virginia next week, beg her to take me home to Harlem, say goodbye, set up my TiVo for the following week, lay there while waiting for Desperate Housewives (pretty good thus far) and The Wire (ding-dong! Avon calling) to come on, think about that assignment that I have to finish on Monday, get over it, catch Boston Legal (Denny Crain!) while TiVoing The Surreal Life (two words--Flavor Flav), keep checking the muted phone for pretty young lady calls, fall asleep and wake up early Monday (God willing) and head into work and face...that damn assignment.

Next week, I'll get it done. God Willing, of course...


scribbled by Will at 10/15/2004 01:24:00 PM
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10.14.2004

When They Were Kings--A Hip Hop Story

There they were, all gathered in one huge room. So much talent, so many years of sharing it all with all of us. Almost thirty years of word-smithing, spitting, rocking, swaying and controlling the crowds around the globe. It's the fad that refused to fade into the background. And almost thirty years later, a few black eyes and wounded limbs later, it's still front-and-center, ever present. And although it's still King, it will never be like it was. Not for me, anyway.

And that's what made me think about it. I was watching VH-1's Hip Hop Honors, a stirring tribute to the pioneers of the art form. The Sugar Hill Gang, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Public Enemy, KRS-One, Run & DMC, MC Lyte. Everyone I grew up listening to and being influenced by. The real and true "kings" of Hip Hop. I half expected Father MC and Special Ed to show up for cameos. LL, Eric B. & Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, Latifah, Naughty by Nature, Kool G Rap...they were what Hip Hop was, what it meant to me in the 80s and 90s. I remember being in the Hollis parks while Run DMC and LL rocked the mic, taking turns to show who was the baddest. To a kid growing up in Queens, that was everything. Seriously.

To quote Sydney Shaw of "Brown Sugar" fame, "I was Hip Hop and Hip Hop was me."

And that's my point. I'm not Hip Hop anymore. In fact, it seems that as the genre has carefully taken over the world, made its way from the parks of New York to trailer parks in Idaho, from the Bronx to Beijing, from playgrounds to the ponderosa, it's left me behind. I don't identify with today's stars, whether it's Nelly or Fat Joe. I'm stuck on 2Pac and Biggie, early Nas and Ice Cube, twenty-something Snoop and Dre.

Don't get me wrong--I do peek at the videos every now and again to admire the er, moves of today's "background dancers." But other than that, I'm done. I'm drawn more to R&B these days (some would argue that the line between the two is so blurred it's the same thing). Gimme some India.Arie over Lil Flip any day. Listening to Jilly from Philly is definitely more golden than Chingy for my taste. The only time I find myself ready to "lean back" these days is to turn from the rap "noise" on the radio station.

Back in the day, it seemed like the music meant more. Getting the latest LL tape (yes, I said tape, as in cassette) was like an event. You couldn't wait to pick up the new PE. With those albums (another foreign word, I know), you could listen to the entire thing without fast-forwarding.

Those were the days.

In fact, after watching Nas pay tribute to Tupac by blessing his song, "Keep Your Head Up," it made me miss Hip Hop even more. It wasn't so much his rendition of the song as it was what the song meant at the time of its release; who Pac was trying to reach with that message. You hardly EVER hear conscious songs like that anymore. That, more than anything else, has lost me.

So now, after watching the best of the old school gather and honor themselves for all that they've done throughout the past two plus decades, I'd like to pay a tribute of my own, re-anointing that crop of artists and poets what they always were and, in my mind, always will be--the KINGS.

It's like that. And that's the way it is...


scribbled by Will at 10/14/2004 02:49:00 PM
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10.11.2004

Chapter and Versus

Eleven days into the tenth month of the year, and its looking like any other October I've known for the past decade.

The air is crisp, Columbus Day gives me a chance to relax and recharge, the Breast Cancer Awareness walk is a week away...and the Yankees are in the playoffs.

It seems that every October, every year since the mid-90s, the Yankees have been the team to beat, the team to love or the team to love to hate. All of that has filled the past ten Octobers--the '95 loss to Seattle on the Edgar hit and Griffey slide, the upset of ATL in '96, the loss to the Tribe on the Alomar HR that set everything up for the dominating 125-win '98 team, the rematch and routing of the Braves in '99, the sweet subway stabbing of the Metros in 2000, the unbelievable Fall of post-9/11 2001, the loss to the Halos in '02, getting fried by the Fish in '03. Every year, another chapter of a crisp, autumn book, ten strong. I've been through it all.

With my dad.

Sadly, this year, just before the next chapter wrote itself, ten years after all the madness began, ten years of us bonding during the tenth month of the year, my dad didn't make it to this postseason. He didn't get to see A-Rod finally "become a Yankee" during the Twins series, didn't get to see Jeter being Jeter with a Game 2 HR to the black, didn't get to witness Torre being the best once again, making the right move by leaving an over-swinging Ruben Sierra in the game to smack the game-tying three-run HR in the biggest game of the season so far.

He won't get to see Yankees-Red Sox, only the biggest and best rivalry in all of sports, no matter how one-sided its been. Won't get to see if Mussina can outduel Schilling or if Kevin Brown can punch out hitters instead of clubhouse walls. He'll miss Pedro pitching high and tight, Matsui growing his legend with clutch hits, Manny trying to beat the Yankees by himself.

He'll miss all of that and more, I'm sure. What I'm also sure of is that I'll miss him more.

I'll miss talking to him about every sport, not just baseball, from Roy Jones, Jr. getting knocked out to Trinidad's comeback, what the Shaq-less Lakers and the talent-less Knicks might do this season, how Venus and Serena's dynasty went wrong, how Tiger turned to Tigger over some "kitty." We won't catch the Giants or Jets anymore, even as they enjoy their finest combined seasons since WW2.

From now on, every sport I watch, every Yankees or football win, every bit of false hope the Knicks provide during the preseason, every Don-King promoted boxing match--I dedicate this tenth month, and every one hereafter, to him.

October sports probably won't be the same for me anymore. No, in fact, I think it will probably mean more than it ever has, as it will now not only provide the usual excitement, heroics and heartache, but also a playing field full of memories of me and my dad that will keep the chapters writing themselves for years to come.




scribbled by Will at 10/11/2004 10:59:00 AM
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Mind Droppings

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Will. Lefty. Since Summer 1971.
Over the next six months, I'll be saying some hellos, some goodbyes. Living, laughing, growing. Don't.miss.a.word.
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