right on q

“we get the rap we deserve-if people don’t like the rap of today, chances are-they just don’t like today”

“growing up, i wanted to be a wrestler”

“i’m a musical humanist”

“nothing says ‘i miss you’ like profiting off of your death….. just kidding.”

“you’re gonna have to get in here”

there’s something about losing track of how many times you’re moved by live music before 10am-it’s a magical thing. i’ve worked a few more in a row than i usually do, but when i got the text at 9:30 on sunday night offering me tickets to the first taping of the new q, i just couldn’t say no. when i made it in on a picture of the barcode on my phone and ran right into the homie that i never have to call, because invariably we’ll turn up at the same stuff, i knew it was the right decision. the show that unveiled further proved everything that i love about canadian arts and culture, and having ready access to the cbc.

tanya tagaq, chilly gonzales with a freaking string quartet, bahamas and shane koyzan-what a spectrum of canadian talent, across genre, at least. i guess there are certain things that we’ll (still) have to settle for, or accept and make the best of. i bristled at the end when shad so charitably obliged the middle-aged white lady’s request to “rap”, and couldn’t help but think about mos def‘s comment on that at the 92nd street y talk he did a few years ago when people run into him on the street and are all, “rap-you good!” i mean, are we really not past the point where folks can see that demanding that people perform and entertain at the drop of a dime is disrespect-full and demeaning? even with the best intentions? (sigh). it’s not like anyone would ever ask taylor swift to ‘sing a little ditty’ if they run into her at target. just sayin’.

dear people-i can only hope that you’ll stop being wack. i got babies on the come-up and i want them to have a different life.

but hey, now i can say that i was interviewed for the national with jael richardson, whom i just met a few moments before and i got to reconnect for the first time with another cbc enthusiast and bask in its glory (i covet your sweater, sarah).

big thanks to cj and sarah for the tix.

reg is playing: robert glasper and brandy

rubby is playing: the eq at segafredo, jonathan emile, biggie, badu, jarvis church, teodros, prince

duolingo status: 2914 lingots, 100 day streak, french translation level 14, portuguese level 15, translating articles about shonda rhimes, the knicks, and ho chi minh

awkward double-book of the evening: hooked at tpm and game 2 in jurassic park (oops)

feeding myself:honeyed ginger jasmine tea and smoked trout breakfast sandwich

re/mix: taylor swift-all too well vs. robert hayden-those winter sundays

another writing sunday, this one with a cap because i took a shift at work. but i’m feeling pretty good, considering how surprised i was discovering the sources of these two sets of lyrics. this is the final product of three edits. bigup dave bester once again for curating my random:

sundays too cold and home somehow through the door with you

cracked hands left that ached even now

the weekday weather made disposition’s gaze

falling down like pieces splintering that no one lost going upstate

call-the chronic anger’s gone and polished well

indifference is not fine at all

i ran the red and was there

lonely in love’s austere

church of metrotextual-the weeknd update

first, thank you to shad k and zaki ibrahim a thousand times over for the amazing show at massey hall. when i bought the tickets in august, i never in my wildest dreams thought that this double bill was in store. not bad, for some immigrants.

next, i need to acknowledge my baby catching cross-city amazing human friend vivi for this past year of processing in public places, and shout her out for showing up to writing sunday that week. (this is hella late, but i saw it in my drafts and decided to finish it).

i met angela for the green living show, which was not at the direct energy centre, and we found out on the way there. it was at the convention centre instead, and as i walked up john street, i got a feeling that i would run into strombo, as this was my weekly walk to the cbc studios to watch his show taping. sure enough, as i got up the escalator, i ran right into him.

we also bumped into samurai bambi, her brother and her mama, and andrea. it was a strange show, more of a sale than a trade show, but we found lots of good stuff, tried electric scooters and shiatsu belts, and walked away with the best natural deodorant i’ve ever tried (though it’s a cream, so application is a bit unorthodox) and my spring jewelry pieces thanks to unikati & co, a duo that i was great-full to meet, as i’m sure they will come in handy for a lot of my gift-giving needs.

after the show, i was on the streetcar home and ran into gwen, a photographer that i met my first year in toronto, and she was telling me about how she’d just seen asiansploitation, and no joke-their card has probably been on my desk and my list of things to do for almost that long. if that wasn’t enough synchronicity, i just intending to go home, hang with the cat and watch six feet under (i’m watching the last season and can definitely say that i liked the first ones better) when i got a text from vivi that malika was in town and that i should meet them in kensington market.

i did, and after meeting nidia (another blessing), we all hung out until it was time to find some food before the queen caught her flight to the banff centre, and it was the perfect opportunity to try the treetop african cafe, which was the exact right decision, once again confirmed by the fact that they stayed open for us, made fresh fufu, and it turns out that vivi delivered the proprietor’s baby.

it was truly a blessed weekend, and i love toronto for coming through when i need it-even when it leans on montrill to do so.

we can all be friends, it’s just better when we also do the work.

re/mix-pablo neruda’s one hundred love sonnets xvii vs. public enemy’s fight the power

spring has sprung and clearing out the apartment to make room for a cat whose sleep schedule is the exact opposite from mine has revealed the new/old projects that bring me joy.

this one is one that i will finish over the next few weeks. it came out of writer’s bootcamp and is a poetry mashup exercise. the titles are all folded over, so i’m just grabbing two at a time (yes, i took them all at the end) and seeing who wrote them afterwards. this morning’s surprise begat this re/mix (after three edits):

love obscures things hittin’ your heart

problems and pride live dimly in the dark

so close to an arrow of carnations

reactions speak louder than words so don’t be afraid to

listen if you’re missin’ sweaty imaginations

love the tight aroma

of another summer sound

that doesn’t bloom but carries

forms a closed hand on my dreams

i love you like this because

it seems that i don’t know

i don’t love you.

i’m developing some structure to my writing sundays, and today i discovered just how effective two hours of mining can be, and that’s just what i’m committing to doing.


teaching moment

“how fast can you grow, before you crash?”

“rest in peace, that’s for the dead”

“pop a wheelie on the zeitgeist”

so, i found out yesterday that i have some new and unexpected viewers on this blog-welcome! i’m glad for the reminder that my words have weight, and if anything, it was confirmation that no matter how busy life gets, or how overwhelmed i am in other areas, this one cannot be neglected. perhaps i can provide some knowledge to someone who is lost and bored and searching on someone else’s dime-imagine this blog as a gateway to a newfound interest in basketball? or kanye? or the lives of people with real adversity? or not living life caring more what other people think about you, rather taking a look in the mirror and seeing your own trifling actions and choosing to make a change rather than blaming others? that would be amazing, i would be so proud.

but really, it’s just a wee blog. a blog that i’ve had for over half a decade and in more than 10,000 posts, i’ve blown off steam a few times, but mostly i marvel about books. i wonder if beyonce cried when she read what my verbal shanking of her looking bored courtside at the game last playoffs-probably not because beyonce doesn’t have time to waste caring what i think. (i later retracted, btw, when it was revealed that it was around the same time as her sister when ham on her husband in an elevator…but still! COURTSIDE AT THE PLAYOFFS.) anyways.

it turns out that the way not to have flakes in your life is really not to be a flake. i don’t know why i need to keep learning this, but i never regret it when i do. i kind of wanted to stay home and clean my apartment and love my howling, owly, old lady cat, and watch the 12 nba games through the phone with my love, but i promised that i would go see meghan morrison perform at her showcase, and i’m glad i did. the bus detour caused me to get out and walk, but that was probably good for my brain too, and reg (thank you chiddys) was curating some excellent tunes. i didn’t have to sit through that many acts before i got to see my girl rock, and though it’s not music that i would normally gravitate towards, i love it when i see artists in their element-and just being around live music lifted my mood so completely that i made an appearance at the other party i was slated to go to, the one that i had made the deal with myself to cut from the itinerary to leave the house in the first place.

i’m glad i got to love up riri’s cuzzo, and celebrate her birth. then i wandered through the market and ended up at one of my favourite greasy chopsticks-kom jeung. my fortune cookie (i can’t even start on how wrong, racist, and ridiculous the cookie is and never eat it, but i can’t resist fortunes) read:

be yourself. no one else is qualified.

and, boom.

red hook’d*

on the way back from picking up our car for the weekend, hobo ken, we went to the red hook ikea, and i will now recommend this to anyone coming to new york who wants to see the statue of liberty. there’s an excellent view from the restaurant and the food offerings in the restaurant and the supermarket are much more extensive-cheese and salmon and spinach lasagna in addition to the scrimps! also, to further kick our ikea’s ass, all the light fixtures i wanted were under $20 (though too awkward for me to take home on the plane) and there was a whole stationary section (again, rolls of wrapping paper just didn’t make sense) though i wanted all the ribbons and the bday place-settings and flags and the gift tags-but hey, i made up for it later on with the materials that i jacked from the brooklyn museum, which blows the AGO out of the water, btw. who knew that i would wake up on saturday morning to see tombs and mummies and ancient egyptian rock formations in the same building as basquait’s unknown notebooks? not me.

but before that, we stopped in the oft-described, never entered (to/by me) fairway foods and i was ecstatic to discover that vita coco cafe also comes in mocha and the merchandising defied what i’d previously thought was possibly shopable.

and we capped this food-shopping trifecta with our return to trader joe’s. (sigh).

my mind is blown, and i’m inspired by all that is simple and beauty-full. and yes, i am ever an easily amused only child.

*in no way is this appreciation pro-carmelo. or that horrible spike lee movie.

library tour-do or die

“please don’t die”

i have to get a driver’s license at some point, but i must acknowledge all the places my feet have gotten me in my better part of four decades. sometimes, it takes walking a place, or past it, seventeen times before i really see it. like the 4052nd time (sometimes in a row) that i listen to a song. i had a moment like this today when i passed a graphic of a flamingo wearing a headdress and wanted to take a picture of it, but didn’t because my instinct was that it was appropriative. a culturally entitled tropical bird, yikes.

today was the first time that i’ve really walked brooklyn. i haven’t spent that much time here over the years, and while that will obviously change over the next little bit, today was the first time that i was alone to explore while mister was at work.

my first stop, obviously, was dough. i admit that i’ve caught the donut fever as of late, and even though i enjoyed the hospitality of a free donut for not being in a rush, i have to say that glory hole is winning so far. i look forward to this judging this ongoing competition as long as i don’t have diabetes.

i got my steps in as i visited four libraries today in the area-first was the bedford branch, and i even resisted popping into the popeye’s for their fine iced tea. next up was the brower park branch, which was sadly closed-whomp whomp. the marcy library has beauty-full blue stained glass windows, and i like the open concepts that i’ve seen so far. the clinton hill library followed in this vein, and also featured a nice children’s area, but it had a smell of adolescent male (you know, that sweaty smell with the tinge of pee) and a young boy was repeatedly singing the hook to a song that i’m sure is popular, but i don’t know it and didn’t want to learn it so i had to bounce.

it was a beauty-full walk home (to the apartment that is also missing a stepladder) and i put on my writing outfit and flashed back to when i would do this for a living-to succeed at about the same rate-two blog posts, lots of duolingo translation, and beating three levels of candy crush. what is life if not to revisit the past, celebrate that in some ways we’ll never go back, and growing into all the things about you that will never change.