Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Total Piece of Junk

Hmmm, ok, I, I, I just don't know what else to say about this map I found on google images. This is really funny. I especially love how they outlined the entire state of a majority the states but for Michigan they just covered Detroit, Kalamazoo, areas around Lake Eerie and then on up to Flint, which I feel is an accurate representation of Michigan the upper peninsula being completely disregarded as usual. Got to hand it to the map maker. Total piece of junk, funny.

Whats hot, whats not

I really don't like these v-neck t-shirts that all the hipsters and asians are wearing for men, the are gay.com.

And as I was walking to class this morning, a young fly mammy passed in front of me on the right and I'd be lyin' if I said I wasn't checkin out that swagger. And then as she was walking up the steps to the area in front of the fine arts building where the huge naked fountain is, she busted her self. Just tripped over her flares and flip-flops.

white girls stay losing.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's Always Sunny in Bloomington

Walking to school today I notice that the morning air was cool and a light breeze refreshed my every step. Eventually this breeze would have become a chill hadn't it been for the sun lending its warmth. It was such a pleasant balance that it caused me to take special notice and to think about the meaning of those small moments when you recognize those kinds of things. Later in the day as I was walking back home I notice the weather again. By this time the sun was high in the sky and had taken over the cool wind. Now I found myself uncomfortably warm and yet the very gentle breeze would come along to whisper calm coolness over my body. And such was my day.

My critique didn't go so well. I just finished my first ever stop animation video and was really proud of the way it was turning out. I thought for sure that it would be a pleasant experience for my classmates and teacher; but of course it wasn't so. Some had a hard time following the story, some thought it was self explanatory and so they didn't talk about the story and instead just focused on the quality of the stop motion. It was some what of a blow, but I started to think about what things I would have like them to talk about and why they didn't. My first thoughts were that the video isn't really intended for an adult audience and maybe they thought that the story line was a little too basic and then started searching for a hidden meaning or symbol but either didn't think that it was a strong one or just thought that there wasn't one. I guess I'm not torn up about what people thought, I'm just a little frustrated about what wasn't brought up or what wasn't interesting to talk about in class.

The theme of the video was friendship or fellowship. A few little critters are playing and then a little panda comes up and sees them playing but is really hesitant about joining in on the group, but then the little dudes go over to him and invite him in. The panda doesn't understand some of the things, he gets a little scared by a dog that ends up being friendly and then they introduce him to their leader which is a large version of them, somewhat of a buddha if you will. The idea of the tall figure being a deity is important because the story then becomes a representation of my conversion to religion.
My conversion really did follow this story as I recall it. I remember being such a timid and unsure underclassmen. I had absolutely no friends and was so worried about going up to this particular group in my school who seemed to have some special quality about them that I wanted to be apart of. I distinctly remember being in the cafeteria as a freshmen and getting my food and not knowing where to sit and so I would just go outside to a pay phone and call my mom and talk to her for a while. One day as I was getting my food I sort of walked and waded by this one table where all the kids that I wanted to get to know were sitting and then this girl that was in my spanish class nodded me over and I sat down. There were things in their conversations that I didn't really understand but was somewhat eager to understand them. Throughout the next couple of years they began introducing me to new things and explaining their religion to me. And much like the little figures in my video trip sometimes, sometimes my friends would stumble, either in their explanation or in their following of the things they professed, but they were redeemable.
I'm not alone I think when it comes to having a hard time with happiness during high school, but being introduced to God and being befriended really helped me find happiness and that is what the large figure represents in my video. He says in it, "The key to happiness is choosing to be so." Sometimes happiness is harder than just making a choice to be happy, but sometimes I think we fool ourselves into thinking that it doesn't involve choice and is left to chance. There are things in life that make us unhappy and choosing to avoid those things brings happiness and vice versa, the things that do make us happy are things that we should choose to do.
Its funny, I showed the video to a couple of people that go to church with me and the first thing they thought of was the missionary and fellowship aspect of it. And thats the breeze that comes when the sun gets too hot. Knowing that your friends support you and appreciate the things you do. Critiques are a dime a dozen and they are normally harsher than they need to be and they normally miss the meaning of what your trying to get after, but I don't think my work is supposed to be scrutinized. I don't mind that it is, that's fine, it makes me better. But sometimes I think I just want to hear whether someone likes it or if they don't. Its like being liked. You just want to be liked and you know you wont be liked by everybody, that's why you're friends with those that like you.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

When I was a kid my grandma would get very creative with the cakes that she would bake me for my birthday. One year it was a baseball diamond with little baseball guys on it. Another year it was race cars and one year it was dinosaurs. I really liked dinosaurs like most boys do. She also used to embroider and she made a picture of these different dinosaurs and each one was a different color and underneath the dinosaurs were the words: Tory's Room. Tory was my nickname that everybody called me until around the fifth grade, almost all of my extended family still calls me that including my grandma. My grandma also used to make my halloween costumes. She made me a really good red power ranger costume and also a gargoyle. Most of my costumes were centered around my favorite tv show at the time. Hands down, the most favorite costume she ever made was a ninja turtle costume. The shell was amaizing. I think I fell asleep with gum in my mouth and got gum on the green pajamas though. Its ok now because I don't fit them anymore, but at the time it was kind of a bummer.


The other day I woke up and looked in the mirror and thought, "yikes, I look like I should be in a commercial". I think my early morning thoughts were a little premature to be thinking of doing a commercial as a low brow work, because if I had the opportunity I would think that its the coolest thing on earth. But truth be told I kind of have that commercial guy thing going on. You know the guy that needed milk for his cereal and then tried to milk a bull or some ish like that. If you can't catch that reference, I was lookin like a black wookie.I've been gearin' up for the fall getting back to my Michigan Lumberjack roots, that reminds me, I need to buy flap jack mix. That self same day which was monday I had to bring in objects for my drawing class and I forgot so I started collecting whatever I could find on my half hour sojourn to class. I felt like that crazy homeless guy that carries a briefcase and wears a suit always trying to start up a business proposition with someone. Later on that day I saw a bike accident. Two cyclists collided and bent they handle bars crooked. It was a little weird because you don't normally see that kind of thing, but its like, campus is so busy you'd think it would happen more often.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Things that happened at the end of the night.

This is why I pay such good attention in my children and the media class and why I did so well in spanish my sophomore year.
(to clarify, that's the teacher)

Also as I was walking home I saw a thin construction worker wearing underarmour as a t-shirt
I saw a black dude that looked like Al Roker and he gave me the forward head nod
and I think I saw one of bro. tibbs' pigeons lying dead on the sidewalk.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Bannekids...

The Bannekids are different from other kids. I'll just say that. You really have to treat them different. Not different as in bad, but just different. For example, if a young white boy has a bowl cut and glasses, you know that you probly need to be really nice, kinda corny, and patient when he can't catch a single ball you through at him. And I'm not generalizing because there are plenty of children who happen to be white that are really good at sports, in fact I remember when I lived out in Portage, MI there was a particular white kid named Michael Stangle who was the best at sports, now when we got to highschool norrix still beat portage northern twice (see picture) But Stangy as we called him was live at sports and he had the bowl cut, which was popular in '95 but he didn't have the glasses combo, and all I'm sayin, is that when you got the glasses, bowl cut combo, sports aren't for you, take my good friend Jim Amos for example, not live at sports. But if you have a hair cut like this (see picture) do I really have to say anymore? I mean if you got a landscape, a mountain landscape, and you can't see it but there is a sweet lookin star as well shining down on what appears to be the beautiful Lake Tahoe, if you got all that, you are live at sports end of story. And quick shout out, that is Kyrese and we're gonna try and get him on our team this year and get that Kyrese and Myles winning combo, and of course his mama Shalon hooked him up on the fade, girl's an artist.

So I had that picture in my phone for a couple of days and been meanin to get it up, but today! Oh my goodness today! was some for real madness. And this involves a kid by the name of Raequon, who is the inspiration for a character in my comic book (see picture)that I'm workin on with my boy sean, a.k.a. dixon McGlintok, not to be confused with Michael "Dixroid" Dixon or Michael "Bigalow" Dixon.
So Raequon came to Banneker today and there was an activity. The activity was designed by the Health Chick Daniella and was about the food groups and what you had to do was Trace the body of your partner like so: ok, simple task, that was an example made by me and my co-worker nick, alright. So all the kids did this and then they had to identify certain foods of the food group and draw pictures as to which food item helped which part of the body. And here in lies the mistake, allowing the Bannekids to take part in this activity.

So without further ado, here is Raequon's body:

Yeah, its times like this that I really love my job. He should have gotten in huge trouble but I could not stop laughing, I fell on the ground and then one of my co-workers sent the picture to another co-worker that was at home and she responded, "who the hell did that? It looks like a DICK!" To Raequon's credit, he said it was a piece of chicken, but yeah right, that boy knew what he was drawing.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Bannekids Stay Winning!

Remember when we were kids and we were forever makin up games? We didn't know the real rules of a game so we'd just make somethin else up? Remember Curb Ball? The one where you had to throw the football across the street and try to hit the curb?

Black people know what I'm talkin bout.

Well the Bannekids were at it again, reinventing all the white folks games as usual.

Are you ready for this?

Imagine eight kids, four on a team, divided by a half court line, one goalie for each team, a setter, and too wing attackers...all with.....wait for it........tennis rackets in their hands! Thats right its TEAM TENNIS!! (see figure1.0)

figure 1.0
"G" stand for Goalie and "B" stands for Bannekid.

Now, say what you will, but this was a sweet game, I mean, with the exception of Arthur Ash, Venus and Serena and Kit Ramsey, black people don't really play tennis, which is why we had to invent our own game. It started like this, earlier in the day Smoochie, a.k.a. Jaquan found a tennis racket and a ball, but couldn't find another racket, to his dismay he was not able to play tennis with anyone. but later in the day we found another racket, in fact we found eight rackets. One was a racket ball racket, but Kyrese was workin' it anyway. And we had two balls, not enough for four games to be happening at the same time. So we decided to make teams. And in our gym there are these gymnastic mats that are mounted to the walls on either side of the court behind the basketball rims. These pads serve as a safety preventative for about 95% of the time, but for the other 5% of the time, they are goals. Soccer, team hand ball, they look like goals to me. And so once again they became goals, and you had to hit the tennis ball on the mat, and the goalie and other players on the court had to stop it from happening. Now we didn't have a net in the middle, but that doesn't mean you couldn't have one, but it was understood that you could not cross the half court line. We just knew for some reason that that was against the rules. You have to understand that this was a functioning game, with a set of rules that were just known, and not predetermined. That's why black people are tight, our natures are so pre-calculated that we don't really need to coordinate, because in a weird way, we already have...It's a black thang. Now here is an interesting thing, and this was a rule that happened to be less set in stone but some of us were doing it. If the ball goes dead, the goalie can pick it up and serve it, but if it goes out of bounce a player has to set it to another player and the other player hits it into play. Also when the ball is in play you can set it to other players and it doesn't matter how many times the ball bounces on your side. You also rotate as in a game like volleyball, so every player will become a server and goalie, wing man etc. So there are a few volley ball influences in it too, but unlike volley ball, you can hit it more than once in a row.

This night really captured to me what its like to be a kid and being creative and inventive. And how kids are sometimes into involving more people if they think that it would be fun or if they like each other, if they don't like somebody they will probly exclude them, like Preston was excluded from our football game. Poor little white boy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

To America, the people, the five people who read my blog and Aziz Ansari

Tonight John McCain just spoke to his acceptance of the republican nomination. Was it a good speech? Yes. Was it personal and genuine? Yes. But he's not my candidate.

I feel like in my last post in attempts to say that its annoying when people don't give real reasons for not liking someone, I feel like I actually did that myself. So allow me to deliberate.

First off, while politicians promise changes, there are certain things in america that wont change within the period of a very long time. One thing is people. A person tends to change but people tend not to change. And so keeping this in mind, lets go over the issues at stake and I will offer my opinion.

The power of oration is being down played by the opposing party. The great leaders of ancient Rome were often sent by their families to Greece to study under the great masters in preparation to being a political leader, as was the case of Julius Caesar. A powerful speaker holds the power of communication, which carries with it the ability to persuade, appease and inspire. With the office of the president, we look to him to tell us how to be, he is an example, not only to us but for us to the rest of the world. Communicating to us the desires of the rest of the world and country in a way that we can agree to it unifies the thoughts and opinions of the people. We speak to each other to connect ourselves to each other. Persuading us to follow the cause of America provokes action. Persuading the leaders of the world to get on board must first come through diplomacy, which begins with communication and persuasion. Barack Obama has the power to inspire people to do good. No one disagrees with his ability to speak, yet the opposing party dismisses this gift as a viable way to lead a country. Think for a minute. When hiring a teacher or professor, when looking for a spokesman for any committee or organization, these people are necessary to represent the institution to which they are appointed. As a literary reference, Moses appointed Aaron to speak to the people as Moses himself was slow of speech. We believe in a democracy in which the people are at the helm, we need a spokesman to convey perfectly, that which the American people decide. The people decide in a democracy. Tonight the republicans at the convention applauded and gave 27 standing ovations to John McCain, sometimes being moved to do so, but more often than not only to attempt to match the uncontrolled fervor of the DNC.

The Hail Mary. Sarah Palin is the Hail Mary and it is clear that the republicans are up to their usual smugness in bluffing their support. Sarah Palin was mayor of her home town of less than 9,000 and current Governor of Alaska (the closest state to Russia) She's been Governor for 20 months. Which is not a convincing argument for executive experience. I was a mission leader for nearly that much time in my mission, and I was not anymore prepared then than I am now to become a mission president. As far as I'm concerned, the question of experience is nullified by the lack of "executive" experience of all four. The real question is of course judgment. Sarah Palin's judgment can be assessed by her acceptance of the vp nod. She has a Bachelor's in communication/journalism which having left the pursuit of a communication degree I can tell you that its the kind of degree that is supposed to teach you how to figure out how to do any job that requires a four year degree. Kind of like anthropology or sociology. Its interesting but there really is no field for it. She did minor in political science from University of Idaho. Sarah Palin audaciously put herself on the same pedestal that Hillary Clinton supports put Hillary. The difference here is that Hillary may have deserved it, while the snide obliviousness of what a vice president does and listening to Ron Paul enough to actually say that you agree with some what of the things that come out of his mouth, sarah palin was an unknown person riding on the coat tails of, not Hillary Clinton, but of the weakest of nitwit followers who stopped caring about politics after Barack won the primaries. Its ok women, mormons did the same thing when Mit didn't make it. I will say this. The republicans freaked out so much about McCain's long bomb that they couldn't do anything else but to knee jerk react to any criticism of Gov. Palin and then say well she has done this. Its as if they are making her out to be some savior of the republican party, I guess they wanted one too. This is Sarah Palin's progression, PTA, City Councel, Mayor, Governor. Not an education in political science from Columbia, not a Harvard law degree, not dedicated service in a city that is plagued with poverty, gang violence and drugs. Not four years in the Senate. Sarah Palin's speech really wasn't as impressive as people were making it out to be. Sure she looked nice and she was able to come within one million viewers to Sen. Obama, but it really wasn't that great. All she did was take cheap shots at Barack's Acceptance speech. She was a hater. She was a real hater. And again, right wing radicals are doing everything they can to act like they don't cringe at her acceptance.

Sarah Palin is against abortion and for the second amendment. This is why a majority of republicans vote, for those two reasons, and I'm sorry to those republicans who are reading which are one maybe zero, but while you justly feel that you care about more than those two things, the rest of your people don't. Being a democrat in a severe republican culture I know that those are the two most common things that come up. That and gay marriage. But here is the the problem. Republicans believe that major decisions should be left to the private sector and local governments. And not on the federal level. So while Sarah Palin says no abortion in any condition, not even in cases of rape, incest or health and life of the woman, she also believes that its up to the states to decide on that thing. Same as Bush, which is why nothing has changed. Second amendment, well its part of the constitution, and that is not going anywhere. The difference is if you want to hunt with an ak47 you might have to wait for proper precautions to be made to make sure that you are not a gang member or some kid with severe social and mental problems. Otherwise, if you go about it the right way, much like mexicans have to go about the right way of getting into our country, you'll be able to pepper your wild turkey's and pheasants with bullets of the semi-automatic variety of course. ahh, I'll never forget about the week in high school when we all had to get our bags searched before going to school because an assault rifle was found in a car parked on the road right next to the school parking lot, all of the prayer circles around the flag, boys and girls crying to their maker that they could go to school without being afraid for their life. In the end, abortion is still around, second amendment is still around and states are deciding about the whole gay marriage thing. States choosing just as the republicans wish. The problem with letting the private sector deal with their issues is that it has not worked in 100 years. That is a plan for the rich to get richer and for the poor to get poorer and more violent.

John McCain says that Barack Obama's plan is to raise taxes. But he leaves out the part about Barack cutting taxes for everyone who makes less than $250,000 a year, which amount of money makes the "middle-class" range a big range. If you ask me if you are anywhere from 90,000 and up, you're rich enough. You see a company is going to perform at maximum efficiency. If I need ten employees to produce enough product, I have to pay for ten, I can try to get away with nine but production won't be high enough. Now say that I lose some of my personal income tax break, do I fire somebody so that I can still get that amount of money I don't need and then force my employees to work harder than they want to so they quit? Do I raise prices? Or do I keep production up and my employees bring more of their cash home and so does everybody else and so more people buy my product which makes me increase production and make more money and of course increase production means lower prices. hmmm. Yeah, that's why I'm a democrat. The opposite is, I'm a business owner, I get a nice tax break which I buy my daughter a smart car with, and I use the same amount of employees as I need. I have no incentive to give them more money because the economy is so bad that they wont be able to find a better job, and I don't need to increase my production because everybody who would buy from me is in debt and broke. Yup, that's why I'm not a republican.

So I've read both educations plans from McCain and Obama, and this is my understanding, feel free to correct me in my comment box. McCain plans to make schools competitive by helping good teachers to do...um by making it so that good teachers...uh...So that they... by helping bad teachers to find a new job. Thats it, don't help them to be better teachers, just let them go. Here are some other things he says he'll do to incentivize better teachers. Schools he says, should be able to compete for the best teachers and be rewarded for being good, k and if the school isn't good enough then the parents can chose to change schools. aggghhh, in the words of Barack, its not that he doesn't care, he just doesn't get it. I said earlier that people have a real hard time changing, and I hate to say it so bluntly but, black people are some of the hardest to change. In select cases like my parents, the parents will get involved enough to make sacrifices for their children's education, but they are the exception. Fairview Elementary School here in Bloomington, IN was dangerously close to being closed this year. And not, surprisingly enough because of NCLB testing incentives. Attendance was the problem. In the school district there is an 11 absence limit. If a child misses school 11 times or more they have to repeat the grade. Bloomington only being five hours away is close enough to chicago for a drive but far enough that you have to make the trip worth while and these kids go up to chicago all the time to "see family" the parents take them out of school cause they have no one to watch the kids and don't bring them back for a week. If the poorest and yet most fruitful communities within cities are following these trends, they will only increase and the parents who are the problem are not going to simply chose to bring their kids every morning to a different school. But like I said there are exceptions, I work with two women who have gone out of their way to move to a zone where the school is a better environment, its very difficult for them, but they do it. There is no indication that McCain feels NCLB failed, in fact he feels like it served as a good research tool for elementary schools. Research showed, that NCLB doesn't work. The current state of schools he, no doubt, blames on the teachers unions. Now I don't agree with teachers unions, I think they are stupid, but much like abortion and guns, they ain't goin' no where. Teachers are largely democratic and they believe in their unions. I remember being in school during a teacher's strike, they still taught, but they were on strike still, I didn't quite get it. But the point is they aren't going anywhere and so the question is do you fight against it or do you work with what you got. Well Barack has a plan. First off, quality of schools is dependent upon the education of the teachers. Unfortunately, becoming a teacher is a plan B in america. Teaching doesn't pay enough, so you go to school to become a lawyer, but when you can't pass the LSAT, you teach government, thank you Ms. Kemp. The people who actually are smart enough to be lawyers actually become them even if they would prefer to teach. Barack plans to recruit a new army of teachers by helping aspiring teachers first, to pay for college and then by helping them to afford being a teacher. This is how you increase competition, by making the competitors more competitive. Also to help the schools is an added emphasis on early and pre- education and head start programs. Providing funding for college preparation programs like upward bound. And of course by inspiring parents to invest in the education of their own children. And believe me when I say that the weakest link of our educational society will believe Barack Obama.

Well I've covered a lot tonight, and yet I only scratched the service. I mean, I really only scratched the aura of the service. But I think my main point of this evening was to provide details and specifics and examples of why Obama is the way to go. And the funny thing is, that most if not all of the people who read my blog are fellow democrats because there are five of you and you are all democrats and that includes Aziz Ansari, who wants to destroy me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

we are in the first week of classes and of course filling out several different personality sheets. If I were a teacher I would not use them because then the students have to fill out one million of them or at least four to six of them. Today I fill one out that asked me "what got me interested in drawing?" and I thought, man, I don't know!, what makes a baby interested in walking, just got to. Got to like Mugatu. Thats all I'm sayin.

Here's another thing. I hate saying what year I am in school, because i don't think it accurately describes me. I feel like class rank can be a little too defining of a persons character. Its like, ok, what year are you, sophomore, technically. But sabes que, I'm 23!!!! And I'm with it. My peers are not undergrads either. I mean, I'm ok with my stance, I'm just not ok with the general implications behind that title, like I said, I'm with it. But the other day I was kickin it with some grad students, I should have lied but I was like yeah I'm a sophomore, and then later on one was like "I don't like when undergrads are late to class, they act like their time is more important than mine and its not." Now look, I understand that many undergrads do not understand or fully value the institution, I get that, but its bold to say that one person's time is more valuable than another. Especially when that time doesn't necessarily have strong implications on the lives of others. Like the president's time is more valuable than mine, the missionaries' time is more valuable than mine, God's time is probably more valuable than mine, if He even does operate in this man equated thing called time. But if you are another student, regardless of rank, what you are doing is for you and some would argue for whoever your education will affect in the future. Its the same importance though. Now this person, I liked this person, I felt this was a good person, I have no problems with this person, I even had a reasonably good time with this person, however, however, I'll give it the "obama" however....... oh nevermind.

Final thought. I can with confidence say that I know me. I was walking down the street, thinking about what other people could be thinking about. I do that sometimes, and I do believe that the outside reflects what's on the inside. And I think that what we think about attests to our level of comfort that we have in living with ourselves. Think of the phrase, "how do you live with yourself?" How do you live with yourself? Me, I have a pretty good time with myself, I feel like I can entertain myself in my own mind, or with one of my various hobbies. I am interested in the things that interest me. All in all I'm a pretty cool dude.

After thought. I try to follow the politics. I have been following this stuff since the 2000 election. I was 15 then so I think that's either around when people start thinking about it, if they're with it. Maybe its a little early for the average teen, cause I remember thinking about my friends like, why is this not interesting to you? Anyways, I hate when democrats and republicans bring up points that are irrelevant. Like, hunting and being old or eloquence not being enough. Look, figure it out. And don't bring up dumb points. I really don't have time to pontificate on this idea, but its like this. I have been hearing a lot of people saying, well I just don't like either of the candidates. Argg! Don't say that, because you shouldn't not like somebody when you don't know them. I don't know john mccain, If I was sitting down with the guy, I'm sure he's kinda like a grandpa and how could you not like a grandpa, but he's not my candidate. And if you don't like Obama, then you simply don't pay attention. Its very clear that you watch more of either vh1 or disney channel, all the time.