Archive for the ‘Entertainment’ Category

Well, I haven’t spoken with Chuck Spears in a minute. I know he recently found a new job, has been working at his comic book art and rekindling his love for spittin’ rhymes. I have not been around here for I have been working hard at building a platform and home base for my book.

Maybe this means that it’s time for this blog needs to go on hiatus – for a while. It’s not a sad thing, because in the process of the both of us contributing here, we have been able to discover or reconnect with our passions. Chuck has always been an artist kind of guy, so I’m happy he’s gotten back in that groove. Me? Well, I’ve already told you about my current venture.

This blog has been important to the both of us throughout the past twelve months. Its been a place to vent and voice our opinions and frustrations on the bullshit that life throws our way. It also gave us an avenue to exercise our minds creatively. I know Chuck has been messing with the blogging world longer than I have, but managing this blog has given me good practice for running the blogsite for my book. Writing on here was also good for knocking the rust off;  I had not touched my book’s manuscript for over a year before Chuck and I founded this blog. When the spark came back to me to pick up working the book again, I was already in some sort of writing shape… kind of.

The biggest thing for me though is that I finally know that I have an answer, a solution to “stop being played”.  This blog was born from me and Chuck’s frustrations with our lives being stuck in a standstill, wondering if things would ever get better due to the career paths we pursued.

Let’s just say over the course of the year, I’ve undergone an attitude adjustment.

“If it is to be, it starts with me.”

While I was attending Morgan State, the chair of the Communication Studies department had us recite that line in one of my classes. I used to think that was corny motivational ploy he was using, but ultimately he’s right. If you feel life is playing you, do something about it. Take some time to analyze yourself and your current life standing. Be honest about your strengths, your weaknesses, and your habits, both good and bad. Understand what truly motivates you, what you are passionate about. Begin to build on that, brick by brick, step by step, regardless if you are single, married or have kids. There are many books and classes that can teach you how to turn your passions into business ventures. But most importantly, before you learn how, you need to first look at yourself. Robert Kiyosaki teaches you how to change your view of money. Dave Ramsey teaches you how to look yourself in the mirror and hold yourself accountable for your actions and your budget. Tim Ferriss implores you to conquer your fears one step at a time as well as how to view time and productivity differently. Susan Orman illustrates how your first childhood interaction with money helps to shape how you view money as an adult. Ramit Sethi, among other things,  specializes in how to position yourself in the best light for various negotiation situations. All of the above named understand that your mind’s thought processes must be changes first before you get to the how.

So then… Off I go to continue on my “how”. I refuse to be played anymore – I will learn to turn the tables in my favor.

***

UPDATE: Chuck hit me via text and agrees that a hiatus likely is in order, but has asked me to periodically post on my progress with the book. I will do that, but in the meantime, if you want to check in on our progress, by all means:

BoobieTrapped.com – The video blog for my upcoming book

UngowaSoulPower – Chuck Spears’ blog for his comic book work and rhymin’

Thank you for following our blog for over the past year. We appreciate all the comments, Facebook Likes and page hits!

(even if half of those hits came from me and Chuck, lol)

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Has it really been almost a month since I wrote here?

I should feel apologetic, but my lack of action here has not been due to lack of motivation or laziness. In fact, I’ve been very motivated, and rather active.

Pimping a book is hard work. And as you go along the process, you realize that writing the darn thing is barely half the battle. I’ve read on different author resource sites that many writers don’t want to get involved in the business aspect of putting their book out and selling it. The task is daunting, very involved, multifaceted and somewhat complex. Just looking for a quality editor took over three weeks. But I’m happy: the editor understood where I was coming from and combed through every word and sentence. I did not have any concerns over her quality of work because she had the experience.  I knew what kind of qualifications to look for because I had expert advice. Even if my book doesn’t make a dime, I can trust that manuscript will be in top shape.

Like I said, the process is multifaceted – I am approaching this as a business and brand, not a mere hobby.  Here’s the current stages and steps I have mapped out so far.

LLC

My LLC will be in the form of a self-publishing company. Why am I creating a company just to publish a book? Because there are costs: I need a cover designer, interior designer and marketing manager – the latter of the three the most expensive.  From my research, 5K seems to be what’s figured for startup costs. I don’t have 5K, nor do I see myself with the ability to save five-grand before the year is out. Funny thing is, the leader of the RichDadNYC group whose monthly meetings I attend says he didn’t have $5,000 either for the marketing of his book, and he owns more than a handful of rental properties and businesses throughout the country. So he had to get the money somewhere, and he’s a big believer of OPM (Other People’s Money). A business credit line is looking like a good idea.

Manuscript

Last Saturday, I submitted my manuscript to the Library of Congress for copyrighting. Next step is to find a proofreader to make sure my script is pristine. After that, I need to find a cover design and interior designer. Once those are done, then I will look at self-publishing options.

Blog

THE BLOG IS LIVE! THE BLOG IS LIVE!

It is my online home base for operations. The meat of the blog is the video entries, which I will do one per week. I also have a written blog section to talk about the progress of moving from manuscript to paperback/e-book.  It is also my beginning baby steps into the book’s marketing via building up a following.

***

I was prepared to say that due to my book venture, and Chuck Spears pursuing his comic book blog, that this blog will take a hiatus. But Chuck Spears came through with a great Father’s Day post, so instead I’ll talk to him about whether to keep things going.

Til next time…

I know I know; I was supposed to be blogging every day from Chicago with a summary of the day’s events – my utmost apologies.  A few things got in my way of such a lofty goal:

  1. My sister’s camera was not as fully charged as she claimed.  This was made worse because:
  2. She gave me neither the charger for her camera battery nor her USB connection to upload pictures off the dag-gone camera to my laptop, which led to…
  3. I had to use my phone to take pictures, GPS, take notes and make calls.  With a Samsung Epic, that means your battery gets sucked dry faster than blood to a vampire.
  4. I had my backup external battery with me when I walked around town Saturday.  That got sucked up to.
  5. I don’t think I fully charged my phone or backup battery at any point during the trip.
  6. Remember that horny MILF I told you about back in January?  Well…

Here’s a day-by-day summary of my trip:

Friday, April 6th: Flight landed around 6pm CST, a half-hour ahead of schedule.  Had to wait 45 minutes for my ride because she got stuck at work due to a no-call no-show (typical Murphy’s Law rearing his head).  Settled in at the hotel, then went out for dinner.

Saturday, April 7th: My friend had to work during the day, so I tabled this day to venture to downtown Chicago via mass transit.  And by the way: you know you’re a veteran transit rider when you can spot someone “slow” boarding the bus and you’re the one out of town.  Something about this slow chick having 50-something CTA fare-cards, but not one of them had full fare on them. The bus driver had to relent and tell dizzy to take a seat.  And she’s one of those loud cellphone talkers, smh.  Either she’s slow or coked up – and she almost spilled Pepsi on my new Nikes.
Any-whoo… took the bus to the subway (yeah yeah they call it the “L” here but yanno).  My first stop was the United Center to pay the statue of Michael Jordan a visit:

Here's what I think of your six rings, buddy!
NYK4LIFE!!

After that, I ventured over to Union Station.  The outside looks a bit like the post office on 34th Street in Manhattan.  The inside is kind of a cross between Grand Central and a smaller Penn Station:

Okay, back outside:

This is the river I saw in all those segue shots on Family Matters

How you know you're not in Manhattan: Elevated "subways" running through downtown.

Waiting for the "L". The platforms are very old-school.

A shot of downtown from the "L" (it's still a damn subway, lol)

One of the entry/exit points of The Loop. Looks like a four-way intersection, but of tracks.

Hopped off the Orange Line at State & Lake to walk down and transfer to the Red Line northbound.  Destination: Wrigley Field.

From the "L": the staircases leading up to the rooftop seats outside Wrigley.

Historic Wrigley Field.

The back of Wrigley. As you can see, it's game day.

Rooftop seating view from the front.

There were a lot of people outside given the game was in the 8th inning. Then again, the Nationals had taken a 7 - 4 lead.

After a full day of walking the streets of Chicago, it was time to head back to the hotel to meet my friend after she was done with work.

Waiting for the Blue Line train at Addison. The train actually travels in between the median of I-190.

I made it back to the hotel around 5:30pm.  Wasn’t a moment too soon, for all of my electronic devices were D-E-A-D.  Great day – and I was proud of myself because my studying of the area rail and bus schedules before my trip paid off.  Go me!

P.S.: Leftover Mexican food should definitely be refrigerated.

Click here for Days Three to Five.

I condensed the last three days of my trip into one post because, well, I’m lazy.  It’ll work though… trust me:

Easter Sunday, April 8th: My friend’s daughter had a play date scheduled for noon – seriously, who the hell dumps their kid off on Easter??  Nevertheless, we spent the day at her house.  She cooked dinner, and later we watched movies while her son played on the computer and her daughter entertained her friend.  And let me say that I was thoroughly amused by the daughter’s analysis of why she’s lazy and doesn’t believe she should work for money.  I remember when my youngest sister had similar disillusions about money; she’s just now getting over such thoughts, and she’s 18.

Monday, April 9th: I scored some discount tix to some rides and attractions at Navy Pier off of LivingSocial.com.  My friend had never been miniature golfing (perish the thought!), so I had to take her.

My friend looking out the subway car window as we pass Addison/Wrigley Field

Bubba Gump seafood restaurant

Entrance to Navy Pier

Southern view from the Pier

We ate here...

After lunch, we ventured inside the mall/exhibit area and found a “museum” of stained glass:

I like the pic a lot. My friend as a silhouette against the glass as the outside light comes in.

Next stop: upstairs to hit the mini-links:

Me getting my putt-putt on.

My turn again - I was rusty.

Freakin' beginner's luck - she had not one, but TWO hole-in-ones. Oh, she beat me.

Time for the ferris-wheel.  I took some pics through the plexiglass…

They had a Build-A-Bear Workshop there too…

She's looking for a new stuffed friend.

After she “birthed” the bear, she took him home and dressed him.

ta-dah... Chef Winny.

Back to the Pier: final stop was the indoor garden:

Her outfit blends perfectly with the scenery, like a more attractive, far less scary Poison Ivy... lol.

From the Pier, we walked 40 minutes to Harold’s Chicken Shack – one of the two food spots my other friend D told me I “must” visit.

Tuesday, April 10th: It’s time to say goodbye (aww) and head back home to the Big Apple.  But not before having a late breakfast: eggs, country fried steak and hash browns for me; Belgium bacon waffles for her.  Healthy portions too – so healthy that I stated, “I don’t know if I can finish all of this”.  Well, somebody interpreted that statement to mean, “he’s not going to eat all of that”: my dear friend reached over and stole swiped commandeered my damn pancakes.  I’m over it now… promise.

As you can see, I definitely enjoyed myself.  And as I posted on my Facebook update a few days ago, I’mma need to run it back in the not-too-distant future.  Sorry it took so long for the post… escaping out of Chicago 15-pounds heavier due to forest cake and cheesecake wasn’t easy.

Caution, Brief rant by an angry black man.

Not to knock Octavia Spencer for her efforts and all. I know being a black actor in Hollywood is like being Black in any other industry in America, you take the jobs you can get. But for real? According to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the best supporting actress of all the films that were released in 2011 is a sassy black maid. Again?

Hattie McDaniel did that 72 years ago  in her role as Mammy in Gone With The Wind.

I thought we were passed that as a people. On one hand I want to complain, on the other the Academy Awards has been at least recognizing that black actors are delivering outstanding performances. In the last ten years I think a black woman won the best actress  in a supporting role three times. Hell, one even won the best actress. But look at the roles they played.

Best Actress 2001: Halle Berry for her role as Leticia Musgrove in the film Monster’s Ball, where she plays a negligent mother and wife of a convict. She’s also naked getting the Sh!t F**ked out of her by Billy Bob Thornton,the corrections officer that executed her convicted husband.

Best Supporting Actress 2006: Jennifer Hudson for her role as Effi White in the film Dreamgirls, where she plays a sassy back up singer who was dumped for the fairer skinned lead singer played by Beyonce. She damn near hits rock bottom and is struggling to survive although she was the superior talent in the singing group. Just constantly shat upon in the film.

Best Supporting Actress 2010: Mo’Nique  for her role as Mary Lee Johnston, in the film Precious, where she plays a negligent mother that allows her husband to rape her underage daughter, multiple times and grows jealous of that relationship to the point the she throws a TV down the stairs at her pregnant daughter who is HIV positive.

And this years “honor” goes to Octavia Spencer for her role as Minnie Jackson in the film The Help, where she plays  a sassy black maid that takes a dump in her bosses bathroom and gets fired for doing so.

I don’t know if Hollywood and the powers that be are trying to send a message, that dark skinned black women have to be overweight and miserable in order to be recognized. That black women have to be either demonized or over sexualized to be recognized, or in the case of Halle in Monster’s Ball, both. I just don’t know if I’m over thinking this or if most people are just under thinking it. I do know it disturbs me. It disturbs me that Angela Bassett was only ever nominated for being an abused woman  as Tina Turner in the film What’s Love Got To Do With It? in 1993. I mean it was a great role and performance, but we always seem to have to go through hell to be seen as worthy. I guess what I’m really saying is…

We’re Still Maids in America, oh, sweet Baby Jesus…ooh, ooh,ooh, hoooo, Oh, sweet Baby Jesus.We’re Still Slaves in America.