In My Write Mind
1.31.2005


Living Strong: A Brand New Day
Posted by Hello

scribbled by Will at 1/31/2005 08:50:00 AM
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1.30.2005

LIVING STRONG...



That's what the bracelet that adorns my right wrist says. It has served as many things since I purchased it a few months ago: a conversation starter, for one. A silent curiosity. An ensemble color-clasher. lol Almost everyday, someone on the train will ask me what the bracelet is all about. Before I got it, I was one of those people who were ignorant to its meaning, just thinking it was the latest fad or a variation of the WWJD bands that were circulating.

And truthfully, it's been all of those things and so much more. Because it means more than the color yellow. It means more than a lot of the cliches we hear everyday. What makes it mean more is that it's more than a cliche--it's two words that should be instilled within every human being upon birth. It should be the second most important thing, after potty training, that a parent should train his child.

That's why I wear the band--as a constant reminder, as a constant command--to LIVE STRONG.

Living strong isn't a stern inner directive to lift weights; nor is it an order to be abrasive or irritating. It's more a mindset, an approach, a way of life. Living strong is a way to clear mental and physical hurdles from our paths, extending ourselves past our comfort zones, following our dreams until we've caught them, or at least until we've exhausted every means in the attempt to acheive them.

I used to think living strong was difficult. I spent most of my life doing just enough to get by, not wanting to "put myself out there" or draw any undue attention to anything positive I'd done. I'd host a show, people would appreciate my abilities, and I'd deflect attention from what I did and praise the performers. People would say something positive about things I'd written and I'd sheepishly acknowledge the kudos. Not.living.strong. At.all.

It would be easy to say that something I saw on television or read about or heard about third person is the reason why I've decided to all of a sudden live strong. But I can't say that. I've grown up surrounded by examples of athletes, family members, acquaintances and friends who have gone above and beyond; people who have made the most out of their abilities and positively affected the lives of others.

In fact, the bracelet itself is a testament to the determination of Lance Armstrong, six-time winner of the Tour De France, a skills competition for the extreme athlete that includes riding bicycles through the mountains. Armstrong overcame testicular cancer midway through this six-peat and started a research foundation, thus ensuring that others diagnosed with cancer would have every opportunity to overcome as well. Inspiring, right? It truly is. And it would be easy to say that his determination, the difference he's made for thousands, is the reason I wear the band.

It's not.

You see, living strong isn't something you can do just because someone else does it. It's not something that can be copied like BLOG ENTRIES (WTH) or a math test or house keys. Nope. Living strong is something you must steel yourself to do, something that comes from the inside and hopefully shows itself on the outside, shows itself in what you do with your life. It's tackling your dreams head on, not putting them to the side because "the time isn't right." It's helping your situation in order to make the pursuance of the dream possible. It's not reveling in Sunday mornings, which are easy; it's taking on the Monday mornings, which aren't.

It's something I'm determined to do this year and from now on. I've been working on my book for a while now; it's time to finish and see that work pay off. I've been saying I want to change jobs and avail myself to all opportunities that come my way; what better time than the present to do just that. If I plan on moving, now's the time to stop waffling and do it. I could go on and on (lol). The point is, there is definitely something greater out there for Will Dawson. Something greater than the Urban League, greater than the sports magazine, greater than a 9-to-5 with benefits and a pension plan. It seems that for years, everyone I've come in contact with has tried to convince me of that. Living un-strong prevented me from convincing myself.

Not anymore.

This is usually where I'd say something like "it's what my dad would've wanted for me." Don't get me wrong. He did want the best for me and passed away before I was able to reach my full potential. So that statement is true. I'm just not going to say that anymore. Because now, finally, at long last--it's what I want! What I deserve. It was in me all along, stubbornly refusing to do its job like that one barbecue coal that finally ignites after several douses of lighter fluid.

To think, this all started with a bracelet. And the next time someone asks me what it is, I will tell them without hesitation that, to me, it's a way of life. My way of life. I'm living strong and won't allow anything to stop me. Not even my current job, which, for the record, I won't quit all willy-nilly.

The bracelet on my wrist says LIVESTRONG, not live stupid. LOL



scribbled by Will at 1/30/2005 03:30:00 PM
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1.28.2005

A Song (Meme) For You...

Singing better be glad I like her AND my music. Or else...I wouldn't have done this. LOL

Here we go...

First, List your Random:

I Can't Tell You Why, Brownstone
I Like The Way (The Kissing Game), Hi Five
Have A Little Faith In Me, Chaka Khan
Start Turning Me On, New Edition
Someday We'll All Be Free, Donny Hathaway
Heaven Knows, Lalah Hathaway
Free Yourself, Fantasia
Throwback, Usher
Whatever You Want, Tony! Toni! Tone!
Cold, Cold World, Carl Thomas

What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

I have no clue. My PC may crash at any moment, with all the music I have stored on it. Lawd.

The last CD you bought is:

Songs About Jane, Maroon 5

What is the song you last listened to before this message?

I Wanna Be Your Man, Roger

Write down five songs you often listen to:

1. Me and You, Tony! Toni! Tone!
2. I Like, Guy
3. I Feel Good All Over, Stephanie Mills
4. With You, Tony Terry
5. Anytime, Brian McKnight


Who are you gonna pass this stick to (three persons and why)?

Diggem--because she's my new friend and friends share...LOL
X--Lawd help me if I shared with new friends and not my cyber-fiancee...LOL
Brown Sugar--only because I know that she'll NEVER, EVER get to it. So this is a challenge to her. hehehe

scribbled by Will at 1/28/2005 09:17:00 AM
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Take A Trip With Me...

Check out the newest entry in THE UNDERGROUND.


scribbled by Will at 1/28/2005 08:58:00 AM
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Knickahs

**Soundtrack--Orange Moon, Erykah Badu, Mama's Gun**

It's Friday and all is well. Looking forward to a weekend without snow for a change, maybe catch up on my Oscar-nominated films. And noooooo work. This has been a rough week. Wanna know how tired I've been? I fell asleep...at a Knicks game. And I know they're horrible, but it was good game. The Phoenix Suns were in town. Amare n dem. There were 251 points scored. And you know what? Throughout the first half, I snoozed. Probably snored. In the world's most famous arena. THAT's how tired I was this week.

Wanna know what woke me up? Nope. Not the Knicks City Dancers. Once they start pop-lockin and doing the Worm, I'll pay attention. All that gyrating to J.Lo songs does nothing for me. LOL Wasn't them. Was it the dude and his girl who informed me that I was sitting in their seats? Nah. Minor annoyance. I moved. LOL

What woke me up was the couple sitting behind me in my correct section. I moved during a timeout (from the game, not my nap...lol) and when I arrived there was only the girlfriend, or, as I called her, Loud Knick-ah. She was raucously cheering on the Knicks, calling out plays that probably only work in her mind, screaming frantically in order to distract the Suns players during free throws.

A mess. But dammit I was awake now. lol

*lemme see, ginzu knifes, the rotisserie chicken crank, the salt shakers, the oversized pancake turner all for one price...oh yeah, that's what I forgot!*

*in my informercial announcer voice* BUT WAIT! THERE'S MORE!!!

Not five minutes later, her boyfriend comes back from the concession stand. His powder blue skull cap was all I could see because of all the damn junk food he brought back with him. I swear he probably had some damn ginzu knifes nestled in his bosom somewhere. What I did see were the three beers he was balancing as he navigated the steps. And he made it all the way to his seat. And asked L.K. to grab some of the stuff.

Big...mistake.

Either she didn't hear him or Jamal Crawford must've been looking for her to call in a play, because she didn't grab anything. And one of the beers...in an open plastic mug...came down on my back like a sudsy waterfall. All over my winter coat. All over my shirt.

Yup...I was awake now.

Once he got settled, he apologized profusely and even offered me one of the other beers. I kindly refused as I wrung out my shirt, saying that I'd had enough, thanks. LOL And you know what L.K. did while this was going on? Berated him openly for spilling the drink and daring to ask her to grab something from his hands. Here's the gist of what she said:

Listen, it may be your birthday but I came here to see the game. Not to be helping you hold your food. So don't try and blame me for all that. You better be glad I'm here with you. Because I won't be around much longer. You don't need to be eating all that stuff anyway. You're already fat. But go ahead and eat it all. See who'll be witcha. Because it won't be me. Stop lookin at me like that. Then she got up and left and said she wouldn't be back soon.

Deep down...I'm thinking he...probably...didn't...mind...that much. Call it a hunch.

I felt so bad I was about to offer to buy HIM a drink. lol She was something else. Her rant went on longer than a Knicks scoring drought. The Knicks WISH they could shoot as straight as she did from her hip. Lawd, she went on and on. Let out so much hot air my jacket dried! LOL Poor guy. And the Knicks lost, too. I can only imagine her attitude in the car on the way home. A mess.

Ummm...Dude...happy birthday.

And yes, as you can surely tell by now...it was a black couple. Sigh.

Knickahs.



scribbled by Will at 1/28/2005 08:07:00 AM
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1.27.2005

A Love Supreme

Note: For the past few days, I've been 'blogcotting,' purposely staying away from Blogger after they made a post about my favorite soundtracks from the past 14 years go *POOF* into the night. I was pissed, to say the least. But that probably had more to do with the fact that I had less than three hours sleep the night before I posted and less to do with the fact that I know that shit happens. So yes, I was blogcotting for the past few days. But that's not the moral of the story. The moral, as always, is that I'm an idiot for not saving my work. Past that, it's been said that writers must write, so below is my latest entry.

Thank You. Management.

**Soundtrack--Let Me Be Your Angel, Stacy Lattisaw, Let Me Be Your Angel**

It would be love at first sight. In fact, it would be more like love at foresight, the kind of love that you see before it happens, using your mind's eye. It would be a love that seems unscripted yet familiar, a romance novel in the making, a type-O kind of love, one that goes with everything and lets nothing stand in its way. That's the kind of love it would be, the kind I have in my heart right now and hope to share one day.

The kind that would be...a love supreme.

It would be that every-song-ever-written-about-love kind of love: a Musiq-Soulchild-love-song-about-love kind of love; a Stevie-Wonder-I-can't-believe-what-God-has-done kind of love; a Spinners-could-it-be-I'm-falling-in-love kind of love; an India.Arie-ready-for-love kind of love; a Hi-Five-unconditional-love kind of love...

Yes, a love supreme.

I've seen this kind of love almost every day of my life. Seen it on trains, planes and automobiles, in different states and countries, in the streets in the middle of the day, in restaurants and at friends' homes, in movie theaters and even at Carnegie Hall. I've seen the smiles that accompany such love, the love in the eyes and heart that represent such love, the plans that are made due to that love, the precautions that are taken to protect such a love. That supreme love.

I've had dreams about that kind of love. Almost had it, but not quite. Gave a name to it, but never had the chance to call it. I look forward to that love with all that I have, will be ready for that love when it comes, and am not afraid to talk about it or think about it any time of the day. It's a nurturing, spoiling, protective, teaching, lead-by-example, disciplinary, sho-u-right, not-until-I'm-married kind of love. A just-right kind.

Supreme indeed.

This kind of love is not only supreme, but special. The kind that inspired Fats Waller to write Honeysuckle Rose and sing "when you're passin' by....flowers drop and sigh and I know the reason why." The kind that inspired Betty Mahmoody to pen the tome Not Without My Daughter. The kind that inspires fathers to be fathers, not just baby-daddies. The kind that makes me proud to be a man.

"Hello? Yes, one supreme, please. Hold the drama. How soon can it get here?"

Not soon enough. And while that love isn't yet here in the physical, mentally, it's been here for a while. Ready to share. Ready to show itself. Ready to be born. Ready for the world. The kind I think about but don't obsess over. The kind that, like a crush or a fine wine, will all reveal in time.

And when and if I'm fortunate enough to have my first daughter, that's the kind of love she will receive. A John Coltrane 1964 masterpiece circa [insert date here] Will Dawson declaration.

Indeed, a Love Supreme.


(Hello, Russell? Yes, I'd like to know when the auditions for Def Poetry are...I think I've got one for you...LOL)

scribbled by Will at 1/27/2005 07:34:00 AM
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1.24.2005


This is Monday Geeky Will...no snickers. LOL
Posted by Hello

scribbled by Will at 1/24/2005 01:19:00 PM
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EAGLE UP!

In honor of yesterday's victory over the Atlanta Falcons and a berth into Super Bowl XXXIX, here's an article I did on Donovan McNabb last month that will appear in the January 2005 issue of Black Sports The Magazine.

Enjoy...

SOAR SPOT
After six years in the NFL and three straight championship game appearances, Donovan McNabb knows the time is now for the Eagles to fly higher

By William I. Dawson

The Philadelphia Eagles are on a collision course for the NFL playoffs, and the main reason now, as it has been for the past six seasons, is clear. Terrell Owens has helped Philly to their best regular season in the franchises' history. A healthy Brian Westbrook in the backfield and the menacing presences of Jevon Kearse and Jeremiah Trotter on defense has diversified the Eagle attack.

However, just like it has been for the past six seasons--five of which saw the Eagles making the playoffs—whether they soar or are denied once again attainment of a Super Bowl ring is literally in the hands of quarterback Donovan McNabb.

And clearly, he'd have it no other way.

Of course he appreciates the help this season, the way guys have stepped up, the difference having Owens and others has made. It's made it easier for the 28 year old. It's made the game of football more fun.

But now Owens is out for the foreseeable future. And people are already foreseeing the demise of the best team in the NFC this season.

Not Donovan. "It's unfortunate that people are pretty much turning their backs on us because we lost T.O.," McNabb said recently. "I'm still the captain of this ship and this ship is going to move. I'll take this team as far as we need to go with the guys that we have."

Typical Donovan. Even way back when he was on the south side of Chicago, starring at both football and basketball at Mount Carmel High School, he had a strong work ethic and a sense of purpose. He knew he would be successful. He knew that he would reach greater heights. According to McNabb, he lives "to be the best" and is "never satisfied." That drive, that determination was what led Syracuse University to recruit him, was what made him one of the most beloved athletes in their history, where he was a four-year starting quarterback and a key reserve on the nationally ranked basketball team.

At 6 foot 2, which is a great height for the NFL and not so much for the NBA, McNabb's quest to be the best forced him to give up basketball so that he could concentrate solely on football. It proved to be a wise decision. Check out his college resume.

Was named the Big East Conference's offensive player of the decade (1990's)
Named Big East offensive player of the year an unprecedented three times from 1996-98
Named Big East 1st-team all-conference QB in each of his four seasons
Set the Syracuse and Big East career records for TD passes (77), TDs responsible for (96), passing yards (8,389), total offensive yards (9,950) and total offensive plays (1,403).
Set the school's all-time records for total yards per game (221.1), passing efficiency (155.1) and yards per attempt (9.1).
Finished his career ranked 2nd in school history with 8,389 yards passing, 548 completions, 938 attempts and a 58.4 completion pct.
Started every game during his career, compiling a 33-12 record
As a senior, led SU to an Orange Bowl berth vs. Florida as he completed 157 of 251 passes (62.5%) for 2,134 yards

He took that team where they needed to go. Just like he promised. He opened the eyes of many NFL scouts with his athletic prowess and canon of an arm. And on NFL draft day in 1999, McNabb was selected as the second overall pick by the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming the highest drafted black quarterback in the history of the league. His being drafted took many off guard, including Eagle fans, who desperately wanted the franchise to select running back Ricky Williams of Texas with the #2 pick. They openly booed McNabb when his name was called and lambasted the choice all the way through to training camp.

Brotherly love, indeed.

McNabb, unfazed by his critics, used that negativity as motivation. As a rookie, he started in six of the final seven games of the season, winning his first start. The 2000 season saw the fans come around as Donovan caught fire, passing for an astounding 3,365 yards, rushing for 629 more and scoring 27 touchdowns. He led them to their first playoff victory in five years and was runner-up in the MVP voting.

2001 saw the Eagles go 11-5, winning the NFC East, only to lose to the eventual Super Bowl-champion St. Louis Rams in the NFC championship game. The next two years brought about similar results, with Philly losing in the penultimate game in both 2002 and 2003 to Tampa Bay and Carolina, respectively.

His career statistics, which include 115 passing touchdowns (against only 54 interceptions), 2,422 yards rushing with 20 rushing touchdowns, his career quarterback rating of 84.2, five Pro Bowls--all of those numbers that would define most careers, let alone just one’s first six seasons--still are not enough. Not to the man with a purpose, the man who’s never satisfied.

Which brings us to this year and the team facing yet another quest toward the Super Bowl without McNabb’s favorite target, the outspoken and flamboyant Owens. Is he concerned? No. In fact, he says, No T.O., no problem. "We sign T.O. and we turn into the world's greatest football team. We lose T.O. and we get buried in the dirt," McNabb said. "This team has been through a lot. We know what we need to do in order to get us where we need to go. If we continue to do what we've been doing, things will work out well."

In the game where Owens was hurt, the Eagles won, beating the Dallas Cowboys, 12-7. They won it on the strength of Donovan’s legs and his arm. They found a way. And if they are to win it all--six years after McNabb was the second overall pick, five years after the franchise began its string of playoff appearances, this year after compiling a 13-2 record through December--it rests once again on the shoulders of #5 from Chicago’s south side, and upstate New York, and the city of brotherly love.

Once again, Donovan Jamal McNabb will have his chance to be the best, to take his team to the last game played on a Sunday evening in February in Jacksonville, Florida.

What happens during the next month, during the playoffs, will determine whether this will be yet another "sore spot" or a "soar spot" for the Eagles.

For McNabb, it's time to fly.




scribbled by Will at 1/24/2005 01:15:00 PM
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1.19.2005

Q & A---The "Write Mind" Way...Part Two

Christen from Maryland asked:

1. Where is your favorite hangout in NYC?

I love frequenting a spot called Virgil's in midtown. The best banana pudding I've tasted in a longggg time. And there's a new bar/lounge very close to where I live called Harlem Grill. They serve seafood there, the music is great, and they show old Pam Grier movies on the flat screen TVs. I think...I'm gonna like it there. So if you're ever in Harlem, in the infamous words of Jay-Z from that song with Beyonce, "Look for me!!!"

2. If you could spend a day with any blogger who would it be? And what would you all do during your day of hanging out?

Christen is paying back since I put her on the spot when she did her questions post. LOL Nice. Well, after thinking long and hard about it, I think I would hang out with Siddity. Since she's new to New York City, she seems to always be going to spots I'd never think of going to and relaying stories about restaurants and places I've never even heard of. I'd like to rediscover the city where I grew up through her fresh and curious eyes.

What would we do during our day? Whatever she wanted. I would let her pick the restaurants, the museums, the cafes. I'd just be along for the adventure. I'm sure there would be trips to shoe stores, which would allow me ample time to go somewhere and check my emails...lol. There'd probably also be some picketing of FreshDirect headquarters, but I'm game. I can pull my "No Roger, No Rerun, No Rent" signs out of storage. I think it would definitely be a fun day. Hell, I might even bring a camera like I'm a tourist. LOL This is alllll provided she would allow me to hang around, of course.

3. What's a talent that you don't have but wish you did?

I wish I could sing. I cannot. I mean, I don't sound like a broken vibrator like Toni Braxton's cousin...LOL But still, I can't sing. At all.

4. What is your favorite cd/casette/8 track/record ?

Guy's debut CD. It captures every mood. Wanna party? Groove Me. Spend the Night. Teddy's Jam. Wanna mack on a girl? Piece of My Love. I Like. You Can Call Me Crazy. Wanna break up? Goodbye Love. It was the perfect CD for my teenage years. And beyond.

My homie Yolie from Gawja was curious about:

1. If you were given 24 hours to live starting now, and you were told you can accomplish anything you desire in those 24 hours, what would it be? And it can only be one thing.

I know this is gonna sound like a beauty pageant answer, but seriously, I would bring about peace worldwide. Sure, I'd be gone tomorrow and wouldn't see the effects, I would do it for my niece and nephew so they wouldn't have to be fearful growing up. I would do it for the kids who are way too jaded at an early age from seeing hate manifest itself on television and on the streets. What a legacy that would be for my life. Here lies Will Dawson...The Real Peacemaker. Bitches. LOL

2. What does love, in terms of a life partner, mean to you?

It means everything to me. It's what I grew up knowing, that love. My parents stayed together for almost 60 years. That...is the meaning of life partner. I hope to have that love one day, to experience what they experienced and to love the way they loved. I witnessed the trusting, the caring, the caring for, the big things like gifts and trips, the little things that were just as big like flowers, kisses and pizza. It was fixing my dad's favorite meal when he had a rough day at work. It was taking my mother shopping on a Saturday after she had a rough week with the kids. It was taking care of foster kids because my mom loved children; it was taking care of my dad--every day--when he fell ill. I want that kind of life partner love. If I get even a portion of it, I'll be good. I'd love it.

3. What part of you are you most afraid to share?

My insecurities.

4. Do you see writing as a hobby or the essence of you, and why?

Writing is the essence of me (or Jet, depending which magazine you read...hehehe). It's much more than a hobby. I could write for days and days about anything. I need to write about something everyday. Thoughts come to me and I have to put them down on paper. If there were a way for me to put Writer after my last name in hyphen form, I would. It's not so much what I do as much as it is who I am.

Put it this way: Last night, on American Idol, a young lady had to make a choice as to whether to follow her dream. She ran out of money and had to pawn an item. It was either her karaoke machine and CDs...or her wedding ring. Mind you, her husband was traveling with her. Her choice? The wedding ring. For a measly $200. And you know what? I'd do the same thing if faced with the choice of either writing or doing anything else. Goodbye, wedding ring. LOL You could always get another ring as a gift. But to lose the gift of writing...Don't even wanna think about that.

Brown Shuga from the Gawja Crew wondered:

1. What is your philosophy of life?

I was brought up under the Golden Rule, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." I still believe in that. However, it seems that too many people have thrown that rule to the side. Too much killing, hatred and unrest in the world. So my new philosophy in life is "Live Strong." Yup. Just like the bracelet from the Lance Armstrong Foundation and Nike. Isn't Nike genius? The world needs its marketers. Seriously. They go from Just Do It to Live Strong. God Bless Em. And Live Strong is what I plan on doing from here on out.

2. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?

Damn Suga, what, did you go to the Question Book for these? LOL I think I would be friends with me. People say I'm a good listener and that I don't judge them and I can always make them smile. And knowing me as I do, I would need those qualities in a friend. And people also have said that I'm non-threatening. So I would be my wingman when I go out, so I could get the girls while the other "me" backs me up. (Wait...I'm starting to get confused...it's late. LOL)

3. How do you release anger?

Through the keyboard. Whenever I get upset, I tend to go directly to a computer and try and channel that energy into something productive. It doesn't always work, though. Sometimes I have to go to the gym. I take my frustrations out on the machines. But I don't get angry that often. It takes a lot to get me really riled up.

For New Year's, after that trick did what she did, I was ready to go to her place and fuck her car up. I had to get talked out of that one. I had car keys in hand. LOL That was the angriest I've been in a long damn time. Shit, now I'm remembering why I was angry with her.

Fuck that...where's those car keys? I'll be back!

*Wooooooo-sahhhhhhh! Wooooooo-sahhhhhhhh!*

OK. I'm back.

Sid from New York City chimed in:

1. Any relation to Rosario, LOL?

I'd love to have relations with...oh wait. That wasn't your question. Sorry. No. Not related. :)

2.If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I think San Diego would be my spot. Think about it...barring a revolt from Mexico, a monsoon and/or a major quake, it's the perfect city. A military town. Sunshine. Never too hot. Never cold. Sign me up. I would've chosen somewhere outside of the U.S., but since almost everybody hates us, I'd always be looking over my shoulder. LOL Sad, but true.

3. Would you ever adopt internationally?

If I were in a financial position to do so, definitely. It's so rewarding, being able to give a child love and stability. When I met Victoria Rowell at a past Urban League conference, we talked about that extensively. Foster children all over have it so rough. Giving them what they've been missing, no matter where they came from...priceless.

4. What did you have for dinner last night?

PastaRoni and baked chicken. That butter and garlic concoction is the best!

Suezette from Gawja wanted to know:

1. Do you eat swine?

Not nearly as much as I used to. I will have the occasional sausage, and maybe some bacon bits in a salad, but otherwise I try to stay away.

2. What's your favorite spot to hang out at when you come to Atlanta?

I don't know the name of the strip club...LOL No, seriously, I won't necessarily say this is my favorite spot, but I somehow always end up at Gladys & Ron's Chicken and Waffles. Last time I was there in October, I ran into Michael Baisden. Another time I went, I walked there from my hotel and it started pouring en route. So I get there, and I'm soaked to the bone. Damn down souf rain! I go sit down with my peoples, trying to wring out my shirt. The waitress comes over and asks if I want a t-shirt to put on. I was like, Hellus Yes! Thank you very much. She came back with the shirt, I rocked it, ate, praised the establishment for looking out for its patrons...and then the bill came. She charged me for the shirt!!! LOL I wasn't that upset, but what I did say is that if you were gonna charge me, at least I could've picked a shirt that I actually wanted!!!!

The lesson, as always...Down Souf weather sucks. Period.

3. What virtue do you think is most important?

Wow. Two, actually. Honesty and Love.

4. Philly or Falcons?

Ahhh...this is probably the toughest question of all. LOL There are so many ways to break down this game. It's gonna be a good one this weekend. If you start with the quarterbacks, who do you choose? McNabb, the stud from Syracuse who's been to this game three times before and lost; or Vick, the stud from Virginia Tech who makes plays up on the fly and has one of the best arms I've ever seen? I think McNabb's experience wins out here, but I can't put all my chips on him because his experience being in this game has been horrible. He's lost THREE CONSECUTIVE TIMES!!! To teams with quarterbacks not as good as Vick. So that's a toss up to me. It's just gonna be great to see a black quarterback in the Super Bowl.

What about the offenses? Without Terrell Owens, Philly was great last week against a putrid Minnesota Vikings team. Everybody damn near scored against that defense. I think I saw my uncle catch a few passes. Lawd. It won't be that easy this week against the ATL. This might be the week McNabb misses his favorite target. The Falcs come into this game on the heels of one of the greatest team rushing performances in franchise history. Vick alone had 119 yards! Do NOT expect the same type of running game this week against Jeremiah Trotter and the Eagles defense. Hellus.nous. Adjustments will have to be made by both offenses. It won't be as easy for either as they made it seem last week. Toss up, anyone?

Defenses? Both strong. Philly against the run, Atlanta versus the pass. Another toss up.

So it comes down to the coaching. Jim Mora, Jr. is a rookie head coach whose rookie mistakes were not exposed by St. Louis last week. All I'm gonna point out is...if my team is up by 20-something in the 4th quarter, with under 6 minutes remaining...why in da hell is my best player still on the field?!?!? One wrong tackle and your season comes to a screeching halt. Get him outta there. Rookie mistake.

Andy Reid is solid. Except when it comes to this game every year. Some of the worst coaching ever when his team is playing for a spot in the Bowl. Unacceptable. This year, though, I think Philly has a chip on their shoulders. I think they're out to prove to the world that losing T.O. doesn't mean a damn thing. I think they're on a mission. Throw in the fact that the Falcons are a dome team...playing in what could possibly be a snow storm on Sunday...and I think Philly--because of their defense against the run--has the edge.

So all that to say that I'm going with Philly based on my gut. Of course, I'm the same guy who thought there was no way the Yankees could blow a three-game lead, too. So...don't.listen.to.me. Ever. LOL

Thanks for the questions! I had fun responding. But, on the real...I will never, ever do this again. I'm beat.




scribbled by Will at 1/19/2005 07:40:00 PM
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Q & A---The "Write Mind" Way...Part One

Here we go...the answers.

Edwige from DC wrote in:

I have a friend who recently discovered his birth family. Although this may be very, very personal, have you tried finding other members of your birth family and if you have, and succeeded, was it all you hoped for?

Well, I must say that I did have contact with my birth family up until my 5th birthday. That's when it was time for my birth father to basically shit or get off the pot. We had supervised visits where I got to meet with my brothers and sisters (5) and played for a few hours every three weeks. My birth father never showed up when it was time for him to take me, when I turned 5. So I got to know them as a toddler. LOL
Until recently, on the surface anyway, I didn't really have a desire to meet my family. I figured I was blessed, growing up with the Dawsons and turning out OK. But it started hitting me right around the time of Antwone Fisher, that maybe I wanted to at least see them and meet them--for no other reason than to ensure that I don't end up marrying my sister. Also, even though my life has been great to this point, deep down, I think I've harbored resentment over the fact that he didn't want the responsibility of taking care of me. Sure he was in the military, but he saw fit to care for my other siblings. Hell, maybe he knew that I'd be better off with the Dawsons. Maybe I know that too. They are the only family I've known my entire life. But experiencing that rejection, even at 5 years old, kinda sticks with you through adulthood.

So I envision meeting him and having a face-to-face a la Antwone, showing him that I don't hate him, but that I'm doing very well...you know, in case he was wondering. I've always wondered what happened to my siblings: how they've turned out, how life has treated them. Maybe this year will be the time for me to find out. Edwige, I haven't done it yet. But this year...maybe.

Mia from Gawja wondered:

Have you ever loved someone who didn't love you back, or rather, have you ever given 100% to someone only to receive 30% from them?

Sure have. I was once in love with a young lady who accepted my affections, but didn't really reciprocate. I was doing the whole "flowers and candy" thing, buying her things for special occasions, continuously telling her how much I cared for her, only to be given curt answers in response. SHe never went out of her way for me, never did the little things that I did for her. But that was fine. I loved her and she was with me, so I just KNEW she loved me back. Well...not so much.

But I was too blind to see that she wasn't feeling me on the same level. Enter my best friend, who is female. She told me on more than one occasion that my "girl" just wasn't feeling me like I was feeling her. At first, of course, I scoffed at that notion. I mean, I'm Will Dawson, Bitches!!! LOL What opened my eyes wide was the time we made plans to celebrate our 6-month anniversary (I made dinner reservations. I know I was corny, but damn. I lubbed her!!!). And she showed up late. An hour late. No excuse. No apologies. She just sauntered in and sat down. That made me take a step back and realize that "she just wasn't that into me." It was sad. She gave less than 30% and I couldn't see it. Didn't want to see it. I was pathetic.

My As-long-as-her-muscular-husband-doesn't-read-the-blog-or-else-I'll-claim-I-never-knew-her-Cyber Love Thang X wanted to know:

1. Are you originally from NY?

Yes. I was born by a river (Harlem) in a little hospital (Harlem) and raised in St. Albans, Queens. I've also lived in Brooklyn and now am back in Harlem.

2. If you could think of the perfect day - whether it's possible right now, or not... how would it go, from start to finish? =)

Hmmm...I've actually given this some thought before. I would wake up at 8am to my mother's breakfast; all my favorite morning foods which would include CEREAL, and I could eat it because, on a perfect day, I wouldn't be lactose intolerant. hehehe

After the wonderful breakfast, around 10am, I would drive with my dad out to Freeport to go fishing, casting our lines as far as the eye could see and catching more fish than we'd know what to do with. Porgies, flounder, bass...we'd catch it all. All the while he'd be singing his favorite songs as the sun shined brilliantly and the wind swirled playfully around us. Never tilting our boat or breaking our groove...just a peaceful, perfect swirl. After returning home, around 4pm, I'd get back to writing a few chapters in the perfect book, one that everyone couldn't wait to get their hands on, one that told the perfect story.

The words would flow that day, the perfect day, as I typed with a force and a vision that I've never had before. I would do that for a few hours, until the perfect story was stored away on my hard drive, and then drive over to the perfect italian restaurant, where I'd dine with my best friends and have the perfect meal. That would be my day. I'm a simple man. I'd just love the day to be peaceful. And spent with those that I love. That...would be perfect.

3. What is attractive to you about a woman?

Where do I begin? LOL I love women. Can't say I rightly understand them, but then...that's another blog. There are so many things that are attractive to me. Too many. There are the primary things, which I think I've mentioned before. Her smile, her hands, her eyes. Sometimes it can be a crooked smile, one that creases on just one side, that can be cute as hell. Smooth hands (no man hands!!!) turn me on. A beautiful pair of eyes drive me crazy. It's not so much the color but the shape that could have me climbing walls. LOL

And then there's the other, secondary things. Like her walk, her shape, her laugh, her voice. Is there anyone alive that doesn't admire a black woman's walk? I find a great sense of humor attractive, one who stimulates my mind with her mind is attractive. I think I'm gonna stop there. LOL

(***THIS JUST IN: For the sake of saving room
for more answers, all questions about the blog crush have been sequestered until
further notice. Thank you. Management.***)


4. What is your biggest fear?

Wow. Good one, X. I truly believe my biggest fear is not failure, as many would answer. Nope. My biggest fear is...succeeding. Yup. I believe that it is that fear that has held me back from accomplishing so much more in my life.

I mean, sure I do what I love for a living, but imagine if I had that innate drive to succeed as, say, Michael Jordan? I mean, that cat was ruthless in his quest to be the best. He would do whatever he deemed necessary to be holding a trophy at the end of the year. And that's what I'm missing, what I need to build up within myself. That drive. I need to get rid of the fear of success. If I had even a portion of that drive, I could be a Pulitzer Prize winner by now. The Antwone Fisher story would've been mine to tell. I have a story to tell. And I'm procrastinating in the telling of it. I'm my own worst critic.I truly feel I hold myself back from achieving. Sigh.

The rest of the answers will be posted in Part Two...this is getting tooooo long. LOL

scribbled by Will at 1/19/2005 03:01:00 PM
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1.18.2005

Answer Man, Vol. 2

Now that I'm back from my tour of the Freedom Center in Atlanta, I will open up the Question Bag once again and allow for more probing and prodding. If you missed out on the first volume, or if you have follow-up questions to the previous responses, feel free to leave the questions in my comment area.

Answers will be posted on Wednesday.

Hope everyone had a great weekend.

scribbled by Will at 1/18/2005 11:29:00 AM
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1.14.2005

5 Things for Friday...

**Soundtrack: Start Turning Me On, New Edition, One Love**

It's a long weekend. I need this. And I plan on enjoying it to the fullest. So whatever you all do, be safe and be happy. And please...vote for your er, favorite, on Tickle's blog. It's the People's Choice!!! LOL

Now on to the Things...

1. OK. So I FINALLY got to see the Surreal Life last night. Holy crap!!! This...will be the greatest season ever. In the first episode alone I saw more blurry screens than on BET: UnCut shows in a month. TWO ditzy models, a female pro wrestler, a former rock star (well, almost. I'm sorry, but the only thing I remember about the Go-Go's is the Wham! song where George Michael told somebody to wake him up before they go-go...no.clue.), DA BRAT?!?!?!?!?, one former BRADY and last and, in height, definitely least...Mini Me. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

I swear, whichever VH1 employee convinced Verne Troyer's agent to have him appear on this season not only deserves a raise, they should be given the run of the network. Stroke of genius. Sure, they got lucky last year with the whole Flavor Flav-Brigette Nielsen craziness, but if you think about it, they REALLY got lucky. Imagine if that situation went in the entirely opposite direction. I mean, what if Flavor wasn't enamored with the blond amazon? What if he actually paid more attention to the fact that his roommates hated him and in turn, tried to kill them? It would've been the start of another prison sentence for the troubled rapper, thus changing the name of that season from "The Surreal Life" to "The Very Real 25 to Life". The end of the show. And somebody would've gotten fired for putting him on there.

But as it turns out, everything worked out peachy. Flav and Brig have their own spinoff series (from a REALITY SHOW!!!! funny stuff), the employee that hired Flav is most likely responsible for Troyer's hiring, and the Surreal franchise is in rarified air. At its absolute zenith right now. Seriously, what they got wrong with a pudgy, brooding Emmanuel Lewis in Season 2, they got totally right this season.

See Verne ride his scooter at all times. See Verne pass out at the pool after ONE CAN OF BEER! See Verne pee. While riding the scooter into a wall. BUCKET NEKKED!!!!

Awww man, I'm cryin over here. This is the funniest TV since Fox gave Magic a talk show. Trust me on this. Unintentional comedy will ensue week after week as long as MiniMe is involved. I cannot wait.

2. I'm reading a book entitled The Known World by Edward P. Jones. I will let you all know how that goes. I have A LOT of travel coming up and will be reading it on flights to and fro.

3. After reading what I wrote in Thing #1 about the Surreal Life, I got to realizing that where I work is just like that show...we attract B-level celebs. LOL I think back to our major fundraising event last year, and who in da hell was on the stage? A potential Surreal cast, that's who. Here is the list of "stars" we trotted out: Cheryl "Salt" James, ChristopHer "Play" Martin, A.C. (the A.C. stands for A'm Celibate...lol) Green, and Raz B. (FREAKIN RAZ B!!!!!! OF B2K!!!!). Sure, Patti was there as well, and S. Epatha Merkerson of Law & Order. But man oh man...we were one Brady away from poplulating a house in Southern California. With this cast of characters, how are we supposed to raise any money? We had to PAY THEM to come. Lawd, we were lucky to appear in Jet magazine. We gotta do better. Sigh.

4. A few people have inquired about who my crush is. As far as the blog crush goes, I ain't telling. But I will tell you who I've had a crush on since the first day I laid eyes on her--Tweet. Good LAWDDDD!!! Put some Tweet on and I will do anything you want. She is the standard for sexy, as far as I'm concerned. I caught her new video yesterday (Turn Da Lights Off), and once again, she brought it.

Quick story: A few years ago, I was hanging out at Justin's here in NYC and my boy said, there's one more place we have to go before we leave the city. I was down; didn't have any other plans. So we go to this club a few blocks down from Justin's, head inside and WTF?!?!?! We were at TWEET'S BIRTHDAY PARTY!!! I damn near peed my pants. Missy was there, her dancers, and a gang of people that you would know if you saw them. All of them were upstairs in V.I.P. looking down on the rest of us while dancing wildly. I spotted Tweet and her sexy ass. Could I meet her? I'm Will Dawson, Bitch! Which, when translated means...probably not. LOL

I grew up with Missy's dancers in St. Albans. So when I saw them, of course I asked for the hook up to V.I.P. Since they'd been there and got a head start on the alcohol, they gave me the boozed-induced "you must be jokin'" face. LOL "Even WE can't go up there right now. Too many heads." So there went MeetTweet Plan A.

MTPlan B (always gotta have a back-up) was to wait til they were leaving the club and get one of the dancers to introduce me. So then it happened. We all went outside, me with the dancers, Missy and Tweet and their security ahead of us. I pick up my pace, meet Tweet at her car, and my friend introduces me. I said hello, happy birthday, and then, all I could do was smile. No questions, no comments...just me cheesin in front of the birthday girl. The rest is a blur. But I do remember this: Her slanted, deep, dark eyes, her cocoa complexion, her broad smile and perfect lips--simply beautiful.

So if you wanna know who my crush is, there ya go. It's Tweet. Hands down. Thanks for coming. Tip your blog-waitress!!! LOL

5. I'm headed to the ATL this weekend. Gonna kick back and relax a little bit, take in the sights on MLK weekend. The next time I come out that way, I propose we have an ATL Blogger Meet n' Greet. Somewhere cool. My ATL bloggers, let's make this happen. LOL

And in the words of the ensemble who got together for the MLK tribute song, Holiday:

"We thank him for teaching us that we all have the strength to love. Here's to the prince of non-violence for showing us the way. Dr. King tried to love somebody...do you wanna love somebody? And for his sake, on the holiday, take a day...take a day to love somebody. Don't play on the holiday, work to find a better way...everybody love somebody. Everybody sing...for Martin Luther King. Let freedom ring...for Martin Luther King!"

Ahhh, the Fat Boys, pre-Bobby Whitney, Kurtis Blow, Teena Marie, Stephanie Mills and Stacy Lattisaw...those were the days.

Enjoy your weekend!!!




scribbled by Will at 1/14/2005 03:30:00 PM
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1.13.2005

And the Winner Is...

Whether it's 55 degrees outside (like today) or 25 (which it will probably be tomorrow), it won't matter to me. Nope. Sure I'll probably have pnuemonia by the time March comes due to the drastic changes in temperature. But I'll still be OK. Well, at least for now. Because this, January, is MY time of year. I love it. And not because Kajuana's and Martin Luther the King's birthdays are coming soon, either. LOL

Nope. The reason I love January is because it's Golden Globe (TM) and Oscar (TM) time. And the contenders for year's best are out NOW, saturating theaters like olive oil on italian bread, like ranch dressing on a cucumber salad, like meat sauce on pasta, like...oh, sorry. It's lunch time. Got carried away. hehe

Anyway, 'tis the season for great movies, with the list of nominees being as strong as ever: from the usual suspects, like Johnny Depp, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman and Clint Eastwood, to great but underappreciated actors like Kevin Bacon, Uma Thurman and Don Cheadle, to actors making "the leap" like Jamie Foxx, Paul Giamatti and Hilary Swank...this January has got it all. Oh, if I were ever a certified member of the Academy, I would use my votes on the films and actors that moved me, that made me believe that they WERE those characters...that affected me.

And I've started already. Of course I've seen Ray and Kill Bill, Volume 2. Last weekend, I checked out two more films that will be heavily considered for Best Picture (Drama): Hotel Rwanda starring Cheadle and Million Dollar Baby featuring Eastwood, Swank and Morgan Freeman.

Hotel Rwanda (2004)
Terry George, Director



Here's the review of the film from the IMBD web site:

"Hotel Rwanda starred Don Cheadle and was directed by Terry George. It's based on a true event, about Paul Rusesabagina, a Hutu who worked at four star hotel in Kigali. When the war broke out he thought of only saving his immediate family but as he saw what was happening he opened the hotel to Tutsi and Hutus seeking refuge from the killing. He used all the favours he had stored as manager of the hotel and basically saved over a thousand lives. This will be the next Schindler's list. When the film was over, there was a standing ovation. Don Cheadle was excellent as an ordinary man forced to do extra-ordinary things."

Here's my review:

If his turns as Mouse in A Devil in a Blue Dress and as Sammy Davis, Jr. in The Rat Pack got him star recognition, his turn as Paul Rusesabagina should give Don Cheadle star power. It was said that the movie studios wanted everyone BUT Cheadle for this role, including the always reliable Denzel Washington, borderline actor Wesley Snipes and the ridiculous choice of Mekhi Phifer (?!?!?!?). Director Terry George had Cheadle in mind from the project's genesis, and after watching the film, there is NO ONE better for the role. Cheadle plays an everyman, an upstanding family man and hotel manager. But when the Hutus and the Tutsis begin a war, Cheadle can't win. You see, he's a Hutu (translation: darker skinned black) and his wife is a Tutsi (light-skinned). So when the Hutu rebels come looking to kill all things Tutsi, his family is in danger. I swear it was like watching School Daze with machetes. While all of the performances were credible, Cheadle's was outstanding. His solemnness, his ability to capture his situation through facial expressions, his perfect accent--spells Oscar contender to me. The violence was a bit much at times, especially when you realize that all of this really happened ten years ago. This movie had more twists and turns than Russell Simmons in yoga class. Seriously, TNT don't know shiiit. THIS...was drama!!!

Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Clint Eastwood, Director



Again, here's a review from the IMDB site:

"Million Dollar Baby is a movie about boxing like Braveheart is a movie about men in kilts riding horses. What it is is a movie to experience if you find yourself ever entertaining thoughts about loyalty, determination, talent, no talent, age, youth, courage, fear, fate, and the pain and joy of both living and dying.

I read reviews of Million Dollar Baby and expected to like it. Roger Ebert can be soft on movies because he is plainly a big fan, but even he does not lightly toss around the M-word, masterpiece. Yet he drops it on MDB, and justly so. The story is simple and searing. A gal (Hilary Swank) with much heart and no experience aspires to be the champion of the world. She is Rocky in a sports bra. A grizzled fight trainer-manager/gym owner (Clint Eastwood) reluctantly takes her on. His best pal and wise-man assistant (Morgan Freemna) stands alongside them, as the plot unwinds steadily, seamlessly, picking up speed, scene by scene, act after act. Eastwood and Freeman are artists at the top of their profession and they, along with the brilliant Swank, present you the very worthy lives of three people you will care about and remember. The arena is boxing, but it might as well have been boating or baking. It is a story about values and truths that far exceed sports and movies."


Seriously, I can't even add anymore. This was right on point. Go.see.this.film.

For the next eight weeks, into March when the Oscars winners are announced, I plan on seeing as many of the nominated movies as possible, making my own personal checklist as to the good, the better and the outstanding.
Next up are Sideways, Aviator and House of Flying Daggers.
No one can lose here. Most of all me, because I will be in my own personal nirvana, seeing the best of the best. Yeah, this is my favorite time of year.

scribbled by Will at 1/13/2005 01:01:00 PM
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1.12.2005

The Answers, Man!!!

Whew! Questions. Thank you all for not leaving me looking more foolish than a Eddie Griffin movie...LOL

Thanks for your questions. And without further ado, I, the Answer Man, will respond!

Kajuana from DC writes:

1. Do you take more than the prescribed dosage of medicine?

LOL...whaaaat? Actually, no. I don't take any type of medicine outside of the occasional DayQuil for cold and flu symptoms or Tylenol for headaches.

2. Ever shaved/waxed a woman's bikini line?

Yes, I have. She was my significant other and she trusted me implicitly. I got skills. LOL

3. Ever swallowed your own vomit and under what circumstance?

You know what? I really haven't. And that's probably because I can count on one hand the number of times I've thrown up in my life. Two times it was after rocky roller coaster rides. The other time...well, let's just say I don't order in from restaurants in Harlem too much anymore. Yeesh.

My homie Singing from New Yawwwwwwk writes:

1. Who is your favorite writer and why?

Steven Ivory. He's a columnist for EURWeb.com and the author of the book Fool In Love. Just a smart writer that will make you laugh--and learn. He talks about things we can all identify with, even if you're not from his generation. It's the everyday stuff that intrigues me. Anyone can be a expert on a certain topic; it takes a special mind to be able to riff fluently on the mundane. If you get a chance, check him out.

2. What do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?

I work for the National Urban League. It's been around for 95 years and throughout its history, many black people have contributed to the cause of empowering communities and changing lives. One of the instruments used for this is a magazine called Opportunity Journal. It prides itself on "telling the stories about black people that haven't been told." A who's who of black authors have written for the Journal. And so have I. Being in the company (Hell, in the same index) of those writers, continuing the tradition of telling those stories...has to be my biggest accomplishment thus far in life. Of course, once I have my first child, this will quickly move down to #2 on my list. :-)

3. What is your favorite movie?

There's a scene in my favorite movie, an intense court scene, where the dialogue flows fast and strong, forceful and melodic. The actors are top shelf, no question. They carry out the dialogue convincingly, as if it were their own. You BELIEVE them when they utter those phrases. And you know what? I don't want to be the actors. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson are larger than life. But you know what else? It's those words that grant them that honor. I want to be the writer who put together those sentences, who created the tension, who knotted the stomachs of moviegoers the world over. I want to be the man who made it his business to give Jack that monologue where he spouts his military credentials in staccato. That's what I think about every time I see that film. That's what makes A Few Good Men my favorite.

4. What is the first thing that attracts you to a woman?

I get asked this question all the time. And I always respond the same way--her smile. There is nothing, and I mean nothing that can beat a pretty smile. You can have pretty eyes, pretty feet, a bangin' rear or a bodacious chest...but when it comes down to it for me, it's all about the smile. And if I can make you smile?!?!? Lawd. Plus, plus, plus!!!

J from Elmont writes:

1. What are your goals and aspirations in life?

I want to affect people through my words. So my goal is to get my thoughts and writings in people's hands. My goal for the near future is to have a syndicated column which talks about topical issues, as well as my own radio talk show. I've been told I have the perfect face for radio. LOL I aspire to be a great father, since I have such a wonderful example to follow, a great son and a great friend. And as long as I continue to aspire, I will be alllllright. :-)

2. Love Jones! Have you ever received some serious lovin that made you get up, make breakfast, and serve her in bed?

Yessssssssss! I can be a cooking fool if you love me right. Breakfast, pasta, chicken marsala...LOL I'll make it all under the right circumstances. There have been certain people who have gotten the Love Jones treatment from me. Eggs, toast, two types of potatoes...Lawd. Had me open like a 24-hour liquor store. Those were the days...

3. If you can resurrect three people, who would they be and why?

Well, I guess, since I talk about him a lot, people would guess that my dad would make this list. And he would. Only if he didn't have to suffer like he did while he was alive. I would never bring him back just to have him go through those final years in pain all over again. That would be cruel.
  • I would definitely bring back my friend Greg, who died due to complications from a motorcycle accident back in 2001. He had his whole life in front of him; was about to be engaged and was the pillar of strength for his family after his father died two years before. I'd bring him back for his nephew, for his girlfriend, for his mother and for his friends. Just a great guy.
  • I would bring back my birth mother, who died soon after I was born, just to find out more about her and the reasons why drugs played such a prominent part in her life. I would want to see the reasons behind her pain, what made her get with my birth dad, if she had any more children with other men, thus giving me brothers or sisters that I never got to know, and if she would do anything differently with her life. It would be fascinating, to say the least.
  • There's a woman that I know who lost all three of her sons to street violence in the span of 14 months. She lost her husband soon thereafter. And throughout the years that have followed, she's continued to lose various family members to death. If I had the power, I would bring back at least one of her sons, or her husband--whomever she chose. She deserves the choice. She deserves to be happy again.

The New New Yorker Siddity writes:

1. Slap or tickle?

I slap asses and tickle feet.

2. What's your favorite flower?

Not really a flower man. Give me a plant any day. Right now I have two bamboo plants that I'm caring for. Watching this one at my job grow over the past year has been great.

3. Least favorite male action star?

This one was easy. Of course there are many candidates to choose from; "actors" who just can't cut it when it comes to walking and chewing gum, who can't formulate sentences because their minds are on firing their weapons. We've seen them all, and with greater regularity recently. And I've tried to cut them some slack, give them the benefit of the doubt. But you know what? I shouldn't have to. Horrible acting is just plain horrible acting--action film or not. So, for every role he's ever done, from The Fast and the Furious to xXx and beyond...Vin Deisel wins my vote as Least Favorite Male Action Star. And think about it...he beat out Sly Stallone and Wesley Snipes for this award. LOL

4. Most admired political figure?

Wow, that's a tough one. Working for the Urban League, I get to meet A LOT of politicians throughout the course of a year. But the one I've most admired, I think, is Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Ca.). I met her at my first Urban League Conference, 1999 in Houston. I was assigned to shadow her and her husband for the day (pick her up from the airport, escort them around the convention center, etc.). I was nervous. Here I am, a wet-behind-the-ears Urban League rookie, given the task of showing a member of the U.S. Congress around. What if I slipped and called her Maxie? What if I tripped over my shoe lace, or worse, a display in the exhibit hall? What if I caught her husband pinching another woman's ass? (that didn't happen, by the way...lol) Could I do this? I was nervous as hell.

In the car coming back from the airport, I tried in vain to make small talk. I asked about their flight, the weather in California, told her that I had just moved back from Cali in 1998, the early-morning heat in Houston...blah blah blah. And then, it happened. Her cell phone rang. She answered. On the other end? Bill Cosby. Bill FREAKIN Cosby. WTF?!?!?! They carried on for a few minutes before she hung up the phone. As I looked on with a glazed expression, she looked back at me and smiled. She told me that Mr. Cosby was coming out to do a fundraiser for her in DC that September and needed information. Then she asked about me, what I did at the League, what I wanted to ultimately do. She put me at ease, and made me feel as important as Mr. Cosby. She was sincere. She was funny. And for the rest of the day, not once did I ever slip and call her Maxie.

I admire strong black women. Congresswoman Waters is definitely one of them. I admire her for all that she's done, but more importantly, for the person that she is.

5.Favorite smell?

Sunday morning breakfast at my mom's house. Heaven on Earth.

My future wifey Suezette from the ATL writes:

1. What is your favorite female article of clothing?

Hmmmm...toss up. It's between the fitted skirt and the bra. Good times, both!

2. Boxers or briefs?

Definitely boxers.

3. If you could star in a blaxplotation film...which one would it be and what role would you play?

I would play the role of pillow in any Pam Grier movie where she's naked. LOL

Meka from Deleware writes:

What is sexy to you?

Sexy to me is a smile at the right time, a kiss on the cheek, a confident walk, a twist of the hair, a blush, a sincere laugh...

What does borborygmus mean?

Not a clue.

What are your vices?

Banana pudding, pretty women, television, books, sports. Not necessarily in that order.

What is one thing you would change about yourself?

My shyness. People don't believe that I am, but really, I am. And if people think I'm outgoing now, imagine if I didn't give a flyin' fugg about being rejected. I'd be ruling the world by now. Or at least further along with my goals by now. Sigh.

What's your favorite poem?

Dreams by Langston Hughes.

Donyell from Detroit writes:

Why do you blog?

Blogging, to me, is a way for me to release thoughts. I have soooo much in my brain that needs to be shared and blogging is a way to let it ooze out. I'm a writer. A blog just seems natural.

The Great Elle from Baltimore writes:

1. What is the first memory of childhood you can recall?

Wow. Good one. That's why you're Great! I'm trying to think back, and the first memory I can recall was visit days with my birth father and my brothers and sisters. We would gather at a rec center and play and visit. It's weird, being that I was only 3, but I remember it clearly. And those visits are where my memory begins. Go figure.

2. If you had the opportunity to write a biography of any person, living or dead, who would it be?

Somebody beat me to it, of course, but I'd love to do the biography of Jackie Robinson. To be the first "anything" must be a trip. To be the first "everything" for a generation of blacks who struggled for so long to "get in where they fit in" was no doubt tumultuous, thrilling and scary all at once. To be able to go along for that ride with Mr. Robinson, and to document it step by step...that's the story I'd like to write.

3. Who would you want to write the foreword to your greatest work?

I would want either Alice Walker or Langston Hughes to write the foreward to my greatest book. Them just lending their names to the work would give me all the credibility I'd need. Them lending their words to the work...priceless.

------------------------------------------------------------

Whew! That was a lot of work. LOL Thank you so much for your questions. I look forward to doing a Volume 2 sometime soon.

Respect...


scribbled by Will at 1/12/2005 11:26:00 AM
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1.11.2005

The Answer Man, Vol. 1

OK, I've been bustin my ass today here at work and don't have time to blog about the movies I've seen recently. Those reviews will appear later this week. However, I've found that I gotta blog. It's an addiction. LOL

With that said, I've decided to go into my alter ego: ANSWER MAN!! LOL Give me 2 or 3 questions about myself and I will gladly oblige with the answers. You know the drill; leave them in my comments section and the answers will appear in tomorrow's blog.

It's all on you. Be creative. Be crazy. And be careful--any questions regarding my "blog crush" may be "accidentally deleted". I'm just sayin...depends on the mood I'm in. hehehe

(As I told Elle earlier, it would be HILARIOUS if I got absolutely no questions. I would ROFL for real.)

scribbled by Will at 1/11/2005 04:43:00 PM
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1.10.2005

Check out the UNDERGROUND...

No subway stories over there today, but I did dig up something from last summer...hope you enjoy. Happy Monday.

scribbled by Will at 1/10/2005 04:45:00 PM
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1.08.2005

Once Upon A Time When We Were Collard...

**Soundtrack: "(Nite Time Is) The Right Time," Ray Charles, Ray Original Motion Picture Soundtrack**

On Thursday evening, I traveled downtown to East 4th Street, the Kraine Theater, to catch my friend Tamela perform in a new limited-performance play. I was excited to check her out, since she'd finished her previous play just before we met. The play was entitled The Collard Green: Contributions by Cornbread Divas.

Yes, I know. The Collard what?!?!? That was my initial reaction when told about the three-woman play. So naturally, when I heard collard greens and cornbread, I figured I'd be going to a Anthony Hamil.ton concert, getting a helping of Cornbread, Fish and Collard Greens. Not seeing where she'd fit in, I asked her, "Whatchutalkinbout, Tamela?"

She assured me that all titles, while similar, were purely coincidental and that the diminuitive R&B singer wouldn't be in the building. She tried to describe the play as a channeling of power for black women. That made no sense to me. So I went to the website for a more apt description. LOL Here's how it's described by the producers:

"[The Collard Green]--as process and product--is a testament to the urgency and
provocative beauty of the voices of black women. The piece has been
reworked to embrace the diverse and complex voices of black women in the 21st
century."

See? They do a much better job. LOL The show featured the works of Sonia Sanchez, Alice Walker, Zora Neale Hurston, J. Nozipo Maraire, Winnie Mandela, Mariama Ba, Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor. The Collard Green was the vision of the late Ernie McClintock, who started the small ensemble of black women back in the mid 80s. Throughout the years, the ensemble performed in the South, but never in New York, the ultimate stage. He passed away in 2003, before his vision was fully realized. These women, on Thursday evening, followed through with his vision, and finally, it was time for its New York debut.

OK, so now that we know some history, let me set the scene. The small theater with stadium style seating held approximately 150 people. There were about 80 of us for the show's opening night, all ready to hear the three performers recite poetry and monologues from artists from the past. We might've been ready for that...but we got much more.

They entered stage left and dominated it until they left. From the first syllable, the sistas killed it. They WERE those women. They embodied them, channeled them, hijacked their souls...they were doin' it well like an LL Cool J song. I sat there, in awe, for the entire 90 minute performance. No intermission? No problem. All three women took turns with the monologues, playing off of one another, depending on one another, vibing off of one another. It was a sight to see.

The first monologue, Sanchez' Shake Loose My Skin, placed the trio in the early 21st century, when women were not only uncomfortable in their skin, but not sure of their roles. Walker's The Temple of My Familiar and Hurston's I Love Myself When I Am Laughing saw them evolve, one by one, word by word. Never before had those words, which I'd read many times before, held such power. Never had I appreciated them the way I did that night.

It was a perfect marriage between written and spoken word. The struggles, triumphs, concerns, loves, tears, anger and laughter of black women were all addressed, all finely portrayed.

The Cornbread Divas, comprised of my friend Tamela Aldridge (damn right she's my friend now that she's the bomb actress...lol), Dr. Indira Etwaroo and Tamera Xavier. I wasn't going to print their names, but the more I thought about it, the more I think they deserve their proper respect. You could tell by their passion that this project was close to their hearts. All of this...and there was brief nudity, too. Wooo Hooo!!!

The highlight of the evening for me (yes, besides the nudity) was the portion taken from the Mandela memior, Part of My Soul Went With Him. This was Tamela's finest moment. From accent to body language, her performance was dead-on. You believed without hesitation that she was Winnie, telling of her trials inside a jail cell. Just powerful stuff.

Can you tell I liked the play? LOL And one day, when I'm running HBO21, The Collard Green will reach the broadest audience possible. Until then, just take my word for it--it was incredible. After the show there was a Q & A session. Not.a.soul.moved. Well, except for me. I had to go. I didn't want to sit and talk about what I'd just seen. Instead, I walked away letting it all soak in, while at the same time trying to figure out how to ask Tamela to be her agent.

I mean, sure, we got the Collard, but hell...with her talent, there's definitely a lot more Green where that came from.




scribbled by Will at 1/08/2005 11:14:00 AM
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1.05.2005

Letter Rip...

Well, since my main blog squeeze Xquizzyt1 and my homie Cocoa saw fit to do it, who am I not to follow suit?!?!? I mean, I know this time I'm not following behind Singing, but still...it's official. LOL

So here, without any further delay, are my confessions (like a broke ass Usher): 13 letters that speak to my write mind.

1. I must admit, you almost had me. I was falling harder than Michelle did on BET, starting to care for you in "that kind of way." All the while slipping and sliding through your pool of lies from Day 1. You said your ex wasn't a factor, but Lauryn Hill told me that exes are ALWAYS a factor. I didn't listen. Sorry, Lauryn. You told me at first that you didn't smoke, right after I told you how much I abhor smokers. A week later, you came clean with your dirty secret...and begged me not to leave you. I didn't. But from that point on, I leaned back. Waiting for the next lie. It was weird. I was hanging around, knowing that I wasn't going to be in it for the long haul. I'm angry at myself for seeing the forest, but chillin' with the girl who smoked trees anyway. New Year's was the ultimate. You know what you did. So do I. I came to realize--albeit a little late, but thankfully not too late--that nothing solid can built on a foundation of lies. One day, maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day, some guy you try to lie to will leave you lying face down somewhere. I would never be that guy. I care too much. And that's what makes me the most angry. No lie.

2. Wow. Has it been almost four years?!?!?! It seems like yesterday we were travelling to Oakland to see Joanna and her family, or to Los Angeles getting into all sorts of trouble. You were my road dawg, my ace. You were that rare person that EVERYBODY liked. Even the dudes whose girls you stole away ended up being cool with you. You were like The One in THE MATRIX!!! LOL I miss you. When I found out that you'd died from injuries stemming from your motorcycle accident, I couldn't believe it. You were only 29 years old, missing 30 by a month. Unbelievable. Going to your funeral was tough. I tried to be a soldier, standing by your casket with a hardened expression, bending but not breaking. And then I saw my mother and all facades of decorum quickly crumbled. I cried. Because I was sad. And because all I could think about is how you would come over and spend Sundays with my parents, even when I wasn't there. All I could think about is how much my parents appreciated that, referring to you as one of their own children. People thought we were brothers, we hung so tough. That's walked with me everyday since you've been gone. All that you were to everyone else, you were a great friend to me. Rest in peace, my friend.

3. You're my boy. Have been since you were a little kid. I was best friends with your sister, but we always kicked it, even when you weren't legal. You remember the times we used to talk your way into the booty bars? The fake ID that almost got you arrested in the redneck part of town? And now, all these years later, you are still my true friend. We can swap stories about women and laugh about them, talk one another out of smashing windshields and pouring sugar into gas tanks...for that, I say thank you. Whatever you need, you know I got your back. I never was blessed to have a little brother. Wait, yes I am. He's you. One Love.

4. You never say "I told you so," which by the way are the four most cringe-inducing words in the English language when put together. I know I've made a lot of mistakes along the way, but you've never judged me. We were friends right out of the womb. Our birthdays are two days apart. We're both writers. We have so much in common...always have. That one time when we were 5, and our family tried to make us boyfriend and girlfriend (lol), they were trippin. Over the years, we knew we would do them one better and be best friends. My family is your family. Til this day. Remember all of the significant others who were jealous over our friendship? Remember all the times we finally introduced one another to people we were dealing with and they felt like they already knew us due to our bragging about one another's accomplishments? Yeah, me too. I know we don't talk like we used to. You're married...with children. I'm single...with issues. LOL But no one will ever break our bond. No one will ever be as close as you and I are. Happy New Year to you. I love you.

5. I just don't get you. Maybe it's because you're young. But I still can't figure you out. What do you want out of life? What do you want from me? I ask you this all the time, and I swear if I hear the words "I don't know" one more time, I will throw my hands up like a Spike Lee character and be done with you. I want to get to know you, but then again, maybe I shouldn't. You.may.very.well.be.crazy. LOL Ummm, never mind. **whistlin and moonwalking away**

6. You make me smile every single day. I look forward to reading your words, your silly compositions on this thing called life. You're whimsical, witty, comical and crazy. I feel like I know you. Or at least what you want me to know of you. And you know what? I'm fine with that. Alas, I thinks me gots a crush on you like an old Jets song. What do I do about it? I mean, I know that the written word is powerful, but is it like THAT? LOL It's still not time to reveal my crush. One day. Hopefully, soon. But know this: in the indomitable words of Jill Scott, You got me. Sigh.

7. You disappoint me. How could you let what other people say come between our friendship? Whatever issue you had with me, we could've discussed it like men. But you chose to go the punk rout, talking behind my back like a beyotch and then smiling in my face. What kind of man are you? If anything, I should be the one upset. You knew I was talking to that girl. But you stalked her and finally got her. Not that I blame you alone. But still...I didn't expect anything from her. I expected more of you. I cannot wait for October 31 to get here. Funny that's the day on the calendar when it will be over, since you masked your true self from me all this time. I am counting the days. You disappoint me. Bitch.

8. You are such a cutie pie. You make me smile when you smile with no teeth in your mouth. I look at you and see so many possibilities, so much potential. You're always on the honor roll and are wise beyond your six years. Keep up the good work. Keep striving. And above all, keep smiling.

9. I know. I know you're hurting inside. I mean, you must be. Your outbursts and silent rage tell the outer story. I just wish I could see inside, see what the cause of your pain is...because there's definitely something. Is it the fact that your little sister gets so much attention? If so, talk to me. I know from growing up around women. Is it that you find the work at school difficult? Talk to me. I will help you. Is it something that happened to you when you were a little boy? Let somebody know, even if it has to be a professional. The point is, I want to be able to help you. But you have to want the help. You have to communicate it to me. I will always be in your corner. You're my nephew. I love you.

10. What's up with you? Lately, you've been doing some really fucked up things. Mom told me what you did to her. Lawd. I don't hear from you unless you need something. I call you and always get your voicemail. Everything is not OK. Sometimes, I want to come and visit you, just to say hello. But when I've done that in the past, I've been greeted with a scowl and a horrible attitude. I know it's not something I did, because you would've been quick to set me straight. So, whatever it is--whether it's job related or one of your boyfriends or your daughter--please make things right so I can get my loving sister back. Who you are now...I just don't know you. What's up?

11. I know it's not easy being you. I know of the sacrifices you made to be a wife and a mother. I know that you wish you could be in a better position right now, not folding clothes at a retail store. And I also know that you're doing this because it is necessary. Your kids need to eat and to go to school. I often wish that you'd never moved to California those years ago, setting up house with a man without the benefit of marriage. I know now that you wished you'd stayed here in New York, went to college and pursued your dreams. I know you have a few regrets. Your kids are not two of them. I will continue to help you in any way I can. You know you can depend on me. Stay strong.

12. We argue over stupid things. We can't help it. We're both stubborn. It's so bad that when we do say things that usually get a rise out of one another, and they don't respond, we ask if there's something wrong. LOL That's our relationship in a nutshell. Of course we love one another. That's clear. What's also clear is that I love you. With all my heart. And I know that he's not around anymore, but I'm here. To help you. To be your friend, your antagonist, your support, your son.

13. I miss you. Everyday. You know this. I hope that you are finally able to rest without pain. Please...rest in peace.

scribbled by Will at 1/05/2005 04:02:00 PM
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In My Write MIND CONTROL...

Let the record show that exactly one week after I typed THIS, THIS was released on DVD.

Talk about results?!?!?! In My Write MIND is a powerful thing.

Ya'll betta recognize!!!! LOL

scribbled by Will at 1/05/2005 07:34:00 AM
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1.03.2005

Title Change

It was an oddity this holiday season, one that saw most of us home or with loved ones, unwrapping gifts while simultaneously wrapping our minds around the natural disaster that took place on the other side of the world. The natural disaster that didn't seem that natural at all.

As many of you know by now, the death toll has reached an alarming, an unfathomable 150,000 and growing, if you count those who are missing. And we've heard the stories--the miraculous survival stories told firsthand by people who never knew what was coming; people who will forever be affected by this unnatural occurrence.

People like my co-worker, who went to India to take a well-deserved month-long vacation after a year of hard work raising money for the League through grant writing. She's pretty important to what we do.

Hard to get along with? Yes. Her years of being one of a handful of caucasians in a Movement full of African Americans hasn't hardened her skin enough when it comes to criticism. Defensive is an understatement. At times it can be downright unnatural.

Hard to work with? Sure. There's been many a meeting where her opinions seem to supercede anyone else's.

Hard to replace? Definitely. Her knowledge is vast and her talents are immeasurable.

And that's important.

Her title here at the League is senior policy director. It turns out that she was in Sri Lanka only days before the waves hit, there as a tourist. She left and headed back to the Bali Islands for a day. Then back to India. Barely missing the waves, earning a new title. A title that hundreds of thousands of people can never have.

She got back to the states today, made contact with the job on New Year's Day. But not before returning to Sri Lanka to help in the relief and recovery work, almost assuredly remembering places she had seen just days ago...no longer being there. Affected. But alive.

And she made it back home, something so many weren't able to do. She went back to help, not acting like certain tourists who reportedly had the audacity to bask on ravaged beaches enjoying sun while so many grieved around them.

When my co-worker returns to work, whenever that is, I will remind her of our last encounter, me saying be safe and she, thankfully--by the grace of God and location--doing just that. We'll talk about all that she saw--the devastation, the miracles, the waves. We'll undoubtedly discuss her narrow escape, where she was when it all took place, how much warning she did or didn't have. I will try to wrap my mind around it all.

And down the line, we will surely talk about grants, which is what she does so well. And she'll be once again hard to deal with, and work with...and replace. Which is important, but not the most important thing.

It's been an odd holiday season for so many. Unnatural. One that saw so many lost and so many gone. And my co-worker is one of the few who made it back. This just in, though. As of December 29th, her title has changed. No longer will she go by senior policy director. Sure, that will still be on her business cards. But on her heart, she will be promoted to something much more important. Something that IS the most important thing. Survivor.

Hopefully, after some time, after being affected and happy to be alive, she'll be able to wrap her mind around that.

scribbled by Will at 1/03/2005 03:23:00 PM
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DIshing It Out...(2004)

Dish duty. Two words that are usually curse words to a teenager. Especially one like me, who was as allergic to housework as I was to pollen, one who would rather be watching TV or playing outside than have anything to do with "busting suds." And those dinner dishes were the worst.

Indeed, the ritual of removing remnants of rice or ravioli was about as riveting as being rendered a root canal. It was that bad.

On New Year’s Day, my family gathered for our first meal of the year, a routine dinner that included the usual ingredients--equal parts good food and good conversation. Indeed, during the dining session, we reminisced over the past 365 days, talked about what we wanted to accomplish over the next 365 and promised to call each other more and argue with one another less.

During the first course, while stabbing our salads, we chuckled as we heard about my nephew’s being reprimanded in school, with him swearing up and down that he didn’t "do anything" to deserve the discipline, recalling those many times when we sat at the very same table saying the very same thing.

Course Two had us passing the peas (like we used to do) while my six year-old niece struggled through a slurred grill while munching on grilled chicken, to relate the story of how her front tooth fell out while on a Jet Blue flight two days earlier. A dessert of apple pie prompted conversation of deserting our old ways of thinking, to come up with fresh ideas for the new year, making goals and following through.

With full bellies, most of the family scattered throughout the house, with my nieces and nephew retreating in front of the television while my father and sister carried on a spirited debate about who should receive more legal leeway, Kobe or Michael Jackson.

That left my mom and me with a table full of dishes--and nowhere to go but the kitchen sink. I felt like a trapped rat and immediately started having 'Nam-like flashbacks to that arduous adolescent act, those curse words...dish duty.

Reluctantly, I carried the pile to the sink and began to roll up my sleeves as my mother looked on with a sinister smile on her face. At least it seemed a bit smug to me. Little did I know what she had in store as I began to scour the soiled saucepans. As I turned away to scrape the last plate, my mother disappeared into another room, leaving me to a torture I'd lived over and over growing up. Those dishes, the hot water, the Palmolive...it all brought me back to the days of junior high and not being able to go to bed until the dishes were done. I think I actually began to break out in a cold sweat, when, all of a sudden, I was jerked back to the present by a tap on the shoulder.

As I spun away from the suds, shaking like a Polaroid, I realized that my mother was not alone. My nephew and niece, lips poked out were by her side. And that’s when the cold sweat broke, the blood came rushing back to my extremities…and a smile came across my face.

For today, a new tradition was to begin. My nephew and niece--or 'Buster' and 'Sudsy', as I will hereby refer to them--were introduced to their own private purgatory, one that, if they were like me, would no doubt be much worse than any school discipline or missing tooth could ever be.

And I was free. Free to watch a college football Bowl game on television or to irk my sister by joining my father's side of the still ongoing debate. Dish duty would never come my way again as long as there was a next generation to carry the load.

As the year Two Thousand and More arrived, my mother taught me a valuable lesson that I couldn’t have learned until that day--how to dish out responsibility to those next in line.

Happy New Year to me!

scribbled by Will at 1/03/2005 10:45:00 AM
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Mind Droppings

I write entirely to find out what I'm thinking, what I'm looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear. (Joan Didion)



The Write One


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.
More About Will
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