Category Archives: Say What?

Random Things That Catch My Attention

Stay with Me: In the Style of Lorraine Ellison

My Beautiful Blog, How I Have Neglected Thee…

It’s been over a month since I’ve posted anything, and this was not at all my intention. I haven’t been too busy, so that’s not a valid excuse, I just kept putting off writing a post to the next day and the next day and the next day…until over a month had passed.

But in my defense, I have been finding it difficult to write lately. This one short story I’m working on just won’t come together on the page the way the scenes look in my head. Hate when that happens.

In the meantime, all I ask is that you “Staaaaaayyy With Me Baaaabyyyy!! Pleeeeassee Staaaaaayyy With Me Baaaabyyyy!!” ;)

Lorraine Ellison – Stay with Me

I discovered “Stay with Me” by Lorraine Ellison recently and I’ve been listening to it non-stop. It breaks my heart every time.

There are other versions by many different singers (The Walker Brothers, Bette Midler, Duffy, Ruby Turner, Sam Brown, Kiki Dee, Terry Reid, Karise Eden from The Voice: Australia, Mary J. Blige weaved a part of the song into her Grammy performance in 2007, Melissa Etheridge sang a live version for the iheartRadio Live Series…etc. I’m sure there’s plenty more versions out there), but for me, the original by Lorraine Ellison is the best!

And while the lyrics are nice, I’d bet it’s her arrangement and gut-wrenching performance that inspired the other singers to perform the song in the first place.

It’s powerful, as hearing/seeing/witnessing someone bear their soul usually is.

I’m not sure if begging for someone’s love or trying to convince them to stay is an indication of deep, all-consuming love or an unhealthy obsession (are they different?), but to witness it is beautiful.

True and honest raw emotion is always beautiful, especially when it’s pain.

People hold back their feelings so often that watching someone else go all-in on a lost bet makes them look like they’ve won the jackpot, even though they’re too damned hurt to celebrate.

So, readers, just in case you’ve questioned my love, I’m not too embarrassed to plead for yours.

If you loved me here once, how could I not beg you to stay?

~MS

Liebster Blog Award—Thank You!

Dear Readers,

I’ve been nominated for the Liebster Blog Award! Thank You Manu Kurup!

 

Had no idea what this meant, so I did a little research. The origins are a little sketchy, but I found that the award is dedicated to up and coming bloggers with less than either 200 or 3000 followers, and Liebster means “dearest” or “favorite.”

I appreciate all my readers, and I nominate all of the up and coming blogs I follow. I don’t mean to minimize the meaning of the award by not nominating a specific few, but anyone who has started a blog deserves this award for making WordPress a charmingly diverse site for all of us to enjoy. I’ve read and shared some great blog entries on this site, and I’m happy to be a part of the WordPress community.

Congrats to us all!

Thank You

~ MS

“And like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.” #TRUTH

“And like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.” — Toni Morrison (@MsToniMorrison) #Truth

This is one of my favorite Toni Morrison quotes, found in Sula. Here is the entire passage it’s found in:

“In a way, her strangeness, her naivete, her craving for the other half of her equation was the consequence of an idle imagination. Had she paints, or clay or knew the discipline of the dance, or strings: had she anything to engage her tremendous curiosity and her gift for metaphor, she might have exchanged the restlessness and preoccupation with whim for an activity that provided her with all she yearned for. And like any artist with no art form, she became dangerous.”

As artists, (I believe we all are in some way, as we mold and shape our lives with every action that we take) we must eventually expel our energy somehow. If we don’t we will explode, and an explosion is always dangerous, unpredictable, uncontrollable, and something that is not born out of the nature of our peaceful and loving selves. Yet sometimes, we don’t explode, but continuously ooze negative energy, which, as we know, can be a slow poison that infects us and everyone around us.

We all yearn to be fulfilled, so we must find a way to express ourselves daily through creative expression, journaling, helping, loving, living, thinking happy thoughts, coloring, thanking, praying, giving, painting, writing, cooking, gardening, making music, making babies, teaching, or whatever it is that your particular self does, in order to prevent all of our stored energy from manifesting itself as destruction, mayhem, negativity, or pure evil. It’s worth a try.

Happy Sunday!

-MS

Versatile Blogger Award!!!

This is in my “Say What?” Category, but for real, Say Whaaaaaat? Lol

I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award!

I feel honored that people read my blog, super honored that people actually enjoy it, and super duper honored that someone felt it was award worthy!

And that person is Manu Kurup!!! Thank you so very much, your support is much appreciated!

I hope I continue to write posts that people enjoy on a consistent basis, no matter what I said in yesterday’s post ( When I was younger I Used to Apologize to my Diary…)!! I won’t call it pressure, but I feel encouraged by this sweet little award!

So, I will pass this forward, and these are the rules!

1. Thank the person (People) who nominated you and link back to their blog(s).

2. List seven random things about yourself.

3.  Nominate fifteen other blogs.

4.  Notify the fifteen nominees.

5.  Put the award logo on your blog.

_________________________________

1. Again, Thank you Manu Kurup! I’m glad you enjoy reading my ramblings here!

2. This is interesting because I’ve listed 25 random things about myself in my About Me section, but I’m sure I can scrounge up 7 more:

A) I’ve been saying forever that I want to go to the movie theater alone (there will probably be a post about this), But I am still apprehensive. I know this is not the case, but it’s ingrained it in my head that I will look like an ugly lonely loser! <~~What’s really ugly are those thoughts.

B) I’ve recently become addicted to True Blood and spent an embarrassing amount of time catching up on old episodes! (Like 10 hours embarrassing, in one day!)

C) I google everything. If I’m on the phone and having a conversation with someone, I’ll google half the things we talk about.  Subsequently I find it strange when people ask me how to spell something or any other information that can be found in any computer or smartphone, app, or website. And mostly anything can be found somewhere on the internet.

D) Occasionally I cook from recipes and the meals usually come out great, sometimes with some necessary tweaking. BUT, I recently had a wild craving for falafel and I made some, and was seriously underwhelmed. I think it was a bad recipe because they were, for the most part, flavorless and half of them disintegrated in the oil…not fun!

E) I’m visiting a new dentist tomorrow and I hope I don’t have a Little Shop of Horrors experience!

F) I really wish I could draw (perhaps that’s why I like to color), but I just don’t seem to have the hand/eye for it.

G) I love Autumn/Winter and the clothes that come with those two seasons (colors, scarves, hats , boots, coats, etc.!

3) Blog Nominations (In no particular order). Please visit them:

5thingstodotoday

Brice Maiurro

StacyMichelle

Vincent Mars

Humorous Dispassionate

Teenage Chatterings

Miss Sylvee

Gen Y Girl

Offdadome

Cristian Mihai

The Writer’s Village

MarriageCoach1

Coco J. Ginger

Renard Moreau Presents

Writing Waffle

 

-Thanks,

MS

When I Was Younger I Used To Apologize to My Diary…

I  used to always try to keep a diary when I was a tween/teenager/young adult.  I would write in it consistently for about a week and then never touch it again for weeks/months/years!

And I wanted to keep a diary because all the girls in the movies had diaries, of course.

Yet, I also  believe, now, as an adult,  that I needed my own space to be private, to feel like I had a secret life no one else knew about, which ultimately made me feel special. And doesn’t every young girl deserve to feel special!!

As a young person there was never really much space for me to be alone with my thoughts. I don’t trust easily, so I didn’t tell my friends my deepest darkest secrets, shit, I didn’t even tell my diary. I wrote many things in code, but my point is that this was MY space and I made myself feel guilty for neglecting it!

I knew then that I wanted to write things down for posterity. Perhaps I also knew that I would have a horrible memory and would thoroughly enjoy reading those sporadic crazy little entries:

I judged and hated my friends in there

Decapitated my enemies,

Crushed on my Crushes

Did a whoooooole lot of complaining, mainly about life not being fair

Complained about whatever retail job I was working at

And just ,in general, complained about how consistently miserable I was

If you read these early diaries, you would think I never had a good day in my life! 

Which is untrue! I know now that my life then was Easy Peasy! But a teenager will be a teenager! The world wasn’t revolving around me and I didn’t like it!

So, not only was I miserable, but I felt guilty for not documenting my misery daily. Points to me for the combo attack!

What I picked up on when I read years later, is that almost every entry began with:

Dear Diary,

I’m sorry I haven’t written in a while…

I’m really gonna try and write more often…

I know I said I was gonna write more often…

I’m so sorry! I’m gonna write more often…

My apologies for not writing in so long…

… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … …

And I just thought this is ridiculous! Why the hell was I consistently apologizing for not writing in MY diary. No one will see it, but me! And there it was: my young self didn’t want to disappoint my older self. How considerate of young me!


But I do find, now, that it is quite a silly thing to apologize to your own Diary or Journal! But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to apologize to this here Blog all the damned time! Grrrrrr!! I guess not much has changed. While before, I was apologizing to myself, now I apologize to my readers. Even though I’m pretty sure no one is angry, upset, or disappointed with me, at all!

A lot of times when I decide to do something, no matter how much fun it should be, I end up feeling obligated to do it and that just sucks the life out of it completely. This is one of those times/one of those things.

SO, I WILL APOLOGIZE TO YOU ONCE AND ONCE ONLY, MY LOVELY JOURNAL (DEAR READERS): 

I am truly sorry I don’t update my blog as much as I would like to. Sometimes I’m dry and nothing interests me enough to want to write it down. Sometimes (okay, most times) I’m lazy, sometimes I’m busy, and sometimes one specific event/idea/person that is too personal to share on the internet consumes me and I can’t block those thoughts  long enough to allow my creativity to be productive (I’m working on controlling myself). I extend my most sincerest apologies. I hope you accept my apology and enjoy my entries as they come because I’m going to do what the fuck I want to do, when I want to do it!

Blogger’s Guilt is Not For Me!

Now, I’ve explained myself and apologized. My guilt shouldn’t bother me from here on out. I’ve made amends, I’ll do what I can, story done, that’s a wrap!

And I’m never doing this shit again! :)

-MS

Anthony Robbins’ Six Human Needs

Oprah!

I never got into Oprah until about the beginning of last year, when I became addicted to Oprah’s Life Class. Great Show. The first season was amazing. Things got busy after that and I didn’t watch continuously, but I know she completed Oprah’s Lifeclass: The Tour with some amazing guest speakers: Bishop T.D. Jakes, Tony Robbins, Deepak Chopra, and Iyanla Vanzant.

In the 1st season I was introduced to Ekhart Tolle and his book, A New Earth and it is basically my bible! MUST READ!

( And if you’d like a “syllabus,” go here: http://www.oprah.com/oprahsbookclub/A-New-Earth-Syllabus)

ANYWAY:

I heard Tony Robbins speak about the Six Human Needs, on Oprah’s Next Chapter, and I found his theory extremely interesting. So I’m just going to list them, explain them briefly and ask you to complete the task he asked of us.

Put these basic human needs in order according to what you think is most important for you to fulfill in order to be happy.

First think of specific things that make you happy, then categorize them. If you can think of nothing that fulfills certain needs, you may want to try making some changes in your behavior to meet these needs and see if you feel any more fulfilled. You can also assign a number on a scale of 1-5 to indicate the level to which certain needs are being met, if you can’t provide a black and white answer. You may feel partially fulfilled by certain behaviors and some of your needs may be filled in a negative way and may also require changes toward positivity.

Six Human Needs

1. Certainty / Comfort

2. Variety / Uncertainty

3. Significance

4. Connection / Love

5. Growth

6. Contribution

1. Certainty/Comfort: We feel a sense of certainty when we believe we have a strong foundation and the ground we stand on is solid.  This need can be fulfilled by a steady job, a faithful partner, good friends, a comfortable home, control, a developed skill, avoiding pain, etc., all the things that would shake us to our core if we lost them, even if we do sometimes need a little uncertainty.

2. Variety/Uncertainty: As it often happens with us, once we feel comfortable, we then begin to feel bored, and certainty itself becomes uncomfortable and all too familiar. Everyone has felt the need to shake things up. Some people feel most comfortable when feeling uncertain and are natural adventurers. The rest of us just need a little spice in our honey to make it even sweeter. Surprise.

3. Significance: The need to feel important, as if our presence on the earth matters. We like the attention and the feelings we feel when we fulfill a significant role in the lives of others. Special. Unique. And as a result of this need, people seek attention in a plethora of ways, both positive and negative: a high salary, advanced degrees, tattoos, piercings, violence. Some people strive to be the hero, others strive to be the villain. Some don’t strive for anything and convince themselves they are significant, and others never feel significant enough and become depressed, making their own issues so significant that they are consumed by them.

4. Connection/Love: 

“We all want it, most people settle for connection

because love’s too scary.” – Tony Robbins 

The difference between love and connection is that love requires you to give precedence to someone or something outside of yourself. And that is difficult for many people. Love may evolve from connection, but connection is much more easily accessible. We can form a connection to people who share similar hobbies, work interests, any club or organization, family, friends, partners, spirituality. Without a feeling of connection or love we tend to feel untethered, like we’re floating in space alone. I personally believe this is the strongest human need of all, and all the rest fall in a sort of sub-category of love (my personal opinion).

These four needs are the Needs of the Personality: Certainty, Uncertainty, Significance, Connection.

And according to Robbins, if three of these needs are met through one source, we become addicted!

For instance, I think the easiest example is drug addiction. You know for certain that your mental state will be altered, you feel a connection to others you are indulging with, a connection to self, or a higher power. You also feel uncertain of where the high will take you.

People can be addictive, relationships, behaviors, thought patterns, etc. So this may be something we want to be aware of, even if it is a healthy addiction.

The next two needs are the Needs of the Spirit: Growth, Contribution

As are ego always finds a way to fulfill the needs of the personality, the needs of the spirit are often left unfulfilled if we do not put conscious effort into fulfilling them. They are also the two needs that have the propensity for maximum fulfillment and happiness.

5. Growth: In order to feel happy and fulfilled, we need to grow, excel, become better people by improving ourselves. In order to grow we have to go through changes that are often painful and scary. This pain is a reason people often do not seek to grow; they know the process or are fearful of the future. People who are unwilling to grow often feel stuck, bored, depressed, and refuse to deal with the problems/hurdles that they must face in life, which is unfortunate because we have to grow to be able to give!

6. Contribution: 

“The secret to living is giving.” – Tony Robbins

Tony Robbins says that we are most fulfilled when we contribute, when we help/serve others and try to give something of ourselves that is valuable to the rest of the world. And once we become excited by contribution– by having experienced it– and not just talked about it, we begin to feel true happiness. In order to fulfill all six needs in a positive way we should first fulfill the needs of the spirit (growth and contribution) because it takes the focus off of us and our own pain and pleasure, and draws our attention beyond ourselves to a space that acknowledges the importance of contribution.

Those are all six needs!

Now put these in order, and realize that your lead system tilts you in the direction your life will take.

Cheers to conscious living!

-MS

P.S. Still working on these  myself.  I’m no expert, just believe in the philosophy!

Tribute to The Black Arts Movement (BAM)

Clean out the world for virtue and love,

Let there be no love poems written

until love can exist freely and

cleanly…

-Amiri Baraka

I’m unsure how well known the Black Arts Movement is, because it is so controversial, but it is a movement I have learned to truly respect!

I DO NOT agree with all of their views, but I believe this group of artists has produced some of the most powerful poetry I have ever read. A lot of BAM works come from an extremely angry place, and anger is a fierce emotion. Some would say it’s an emotion that does not have a place in poetry, simply because it’s harsh, based on fear, and often considered base, but that doesn’t make BAM poetry any less beautiful to me. It is very honest, and most like confessional poetry.

You can find a decent amount of info about the movement on Wikipedia and much more if you do a little research, but the Black Arts Movement is the artistic side of the Black Power Movement. It came to existence in the 1960’s in the wake of the Malcolm X’s assassination. Amidst a tumultuous atmosphere of political and social unrest,  Amiri Baraka began BAM in Harlem, with his seminal poem “Black Art.” It’s an ars poetica  that lays the foundation for his ideas and the Black Arts Movement, in general. “Black Art” easily lends itself to being the authoritative text of the movement and serves as a manifesto, as it is undoubtedly, the Black poem—and the blueprint for all Black Art of the movement. It is militant, boisterous, angry, proud, demanding, and no holds-barred. There is cursing, violence, blasphemy against God, poetry, and poet, pure unadulterated hate, and also love. Needless to say, his writing receives a significant amount of negative attention as it is typical of his works to express hateful, racist, classist, sexist, anti-Semitic, anti-establishment, anti-African American, anti-peace until we can all have peace ideas, making his work exclusionary to almost all, except those who agree with his ideas of what it means to be Black.

Yet, when reading this poem, I do believe it’s important to question what it truly means to be Black and what it means to be White. I don’t think he is referring to races at all, but using Black and White as concepts, modes of thinking, and ways of being. BAM may appear as a counter culture, but I do think BAM writers were intent on establishing a new culture with new meanings for the terms Black and White.

Black is typically associated with negativity: darkness, danger, evil, and death. White is typically associated with positivity: goodness, clarity, safety, and life. Baraka completely reverses these meanings in his work and associates White (not the white man), with negativity, and Black to be the innate being of man, a man who fights openly and aggressively for the rights of the marginalized and does not turn a cowardice blind eye to universal struggle. Baraka insists that people should be willing, not to die, but to kill for the independence of all. He takes a “you’re either with us or against us” approach and that extends to all races of people.

The Black Arts Movement was innovative and emerged during a frightening time in American history. While, the violence that is promoted can be quite graphic and overbearing, I think it is representative of what was happening in the 1960s, and I understand Baraka’s intention to rile people up and ready them for battle. Yet, violence is a difficult thing to promote, especially in a culture where violence is associated with being a brute. If one can reach past the violence and see the movement and the material of the movement through a broader lens, it has the capacity and possibility of establishing itself as a national and international movement of the oppressed who are ready to fight and kill for their rights and no longer willing to wait to die or accept someone else’s definition of how they should live.

Also, I think it’s important to note that the violence that is present is rhetorical violence and we see worse on TV nowadays. I think the simple fact that his poems are so difficult to digest is testament to the power of the written word, and that means a lot to me.

And a complete positive of the Black Arts Movement is the widespread change in academic literature that arose after the movement waned in the mid-seventies. American literature was no longer to be dominated by white authors. Not only did African-Americans gain a voice, but Latinos, Native Americans, Asian-Americans, members of the LGBT community and other minority groups who were voiceless.

I don’t agree with violence in any way (except in my writing), or hating people based on race or any other stereotype,  but I think the whole movement is interesting. I don’t know what it was like to live during the time of Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, I don’t have first-hand experience of blatant racism and constant disrespect, so I cannot judge the reactions of people living during those times, and I won’t. I will say that being a product of your time and representing your life experience in your work is something I admire because it represents a very honest truth.

I grew up (am growing up) in the era of rap & spoken word and both of these art forms remind me of the Black Arts Movement. When you are surrounded by negativity and violence, you shouldn’t have to shut off your experiences to make art, but infuse all of it into your writing in order to tell your story, that deserves to be told. Yes, sometimes it is gratuitous and sometimes it is glorified, but good rappers and good poets paint pictures and tell stories, and I definitely respect that.

BAM writers I enjoy:  Amiri Baraka, Mya Angelou, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Etheridge Knight, Gwendolyn Brooks…

A poem by Etheridge Knight that I Love:

Cop-Out Session

I done shot dope, been to jail, swilled

wine, ripped off sisters, passed bad checks,

changed my name, howled at the moon,

wrote poems, turned

backover flips, flipped over backwards

(in other words)

I been confused, fucked up, scared, phony

and jive

to a whole / lot of people…

Haven’t you?

In one way or another?

Enybody else wanna cop-out?

-MS

50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School By Charles J. Sykes

50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School

-By Charles J. Sykes

I think these are sooooo interesting, and for the most part true. Although I still live somewhat idealistically, and that’s okay with me! Despite what anyone says (#36), I AM IMMORTAL!!! ;)

THE Rules!

 1. Life is not fair. Get used to it.

2. The real world won’t care as much as your school does about your self-esteem. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.

3. Sorry, you won’t make sixty thousand dollars a year right out of high school. And you won’t be a vice president or have a company car. You may even have to wear a uniform that doesn’t have a designer label.

4. You are not entitled…

5. No matter what your daddy says, you are not a princess…

6. No, you cannot be everything you dream…

7. If you think your teacher is tough, wait until you get a boss. He won’t have tenure, so he’ll tend to be a bit edgier. When you screw up, he’s not going to ask you how you FEEL about it.

8. Your navel is not that interesting. Don’t spend your life gazing at it.

9. Your school may have done away with winners and losers. Life hasn’t.

10. Life is actually more like dodgeball than your gym teacher thinks.

11. After you graduate, you won’t be competing against rivals who were raised to be wimps on the playground.

12. Humiliation is a part of life. Deal with it.

13. You’re not going to the NBA, so hold off on the bling and spare us the attitude.

14. Looking like a slut does not empower you.

15. Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping. They called it opportunity.

16. Your parents and your little brother are not as embarrassing as you think. What’s embarrassing is ingratitude, rudeness, and sulkiness.

17. Your parents weren’t as boring before as they are now. They got that way paying your bills, driving you around, saving for your education, cleaning up your room, and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are.

18. Life is not divided into semesters. And you don’t get summer off.

19. It’s not your parents’ fault. If you screw up, you are responsible.

20. Smoking does not make you look cool….It makes you look moronic.

21. You’re offended? So what? No, really. So what?

22. You are not a victim. So stop whining.

23. Someday you will have to grow up and actually move out of your parents’ house.

24. Batman’s girlfriend is right: “It’s not who you are underneath, but what you do that defines you.”

25. Pi does not care what you think.

26. A moral compass does not come as standard equipment.

27. Your sexual organs were not meant to engage in higher-order thinking or decision making.

28. Somebody may be watching…

29. Learn to deal with hypocrisy.

30. Zero tolerance = zero common sense.

31. Naked people look different in real life.

32. Television is not real life.

33. Be nice to nerds. You may end up working for them. We all could.

34. Winners have a philosophy of life. So do losers.

35. If your butt has its own zip code, it’s not because McDonald’s forced you to eat all those Big Macs. If you smoke, it’s not Joe Camel’s fault.

36. You are not immortal.

37. Being connected does not mean you aren’t clueless.

38. Look people in the eye when you meet them…

39. People in black-and-white movies were in color in real life. And no, the world did not begin when you were born.

40. Despite the billion-dollar campaign to turn your brain into tapioca pudding, try to learn to think clearly and logically.

41. You are not the first and you are not the only one who has gone through what you are going through.

42. Change the oil.

43. Don’t let the successes of others depress you.

44. Your colleagues are not necessarily your friends, and your friends aren’t your family.

45. Grown-ups forget how scary it is to be your age. Just remember: this too shall pass.

46. Check on the guinea pig in the basement.

47. You are not perfect, and you don’t have to be.

48. Tell yourself the story of your life. Have a point.

49. Don’t forget to say thank you.

50. Enjoy this while you can.

 Good Stuff!

-MS

Good Rules to Live By: Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership

Paradoxical Commandments of Leadership


1. People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.

Love them anyway.

2. If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.

Do good anyway.

3. If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies.

Succeed anyway.

4. The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.

Do good anyway.

5. Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.

Be honest and frank anyway.

6. The biggest men with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men with the smallest minds.

Think big anyway.

7. People favor underdogs, but follow only top dogs.

Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

8. What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway.

9. People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.

Help people anyway.

10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.

Give the world the best you have anyway.

–Dr. Kent M. Keith

I think this is important to share.  It is often so difficult to do what we know is right.  I will be referring back to these lines when I feel  I am in in need of  solid unbiased advice.  Simple & plain.

-MS

P.S. I found these words on the blog of  Marriagecoach1, at http://marriagecoach1.com/. He shares  excellent advice on marriage, relationships and sexuality. It’s honest, to the point, no holds barred & fantastic!