Sunday, December 12, 2010

What I have learned

S/O to Carlos for inspiring this and reminding me to start blogging again

I still remember, I used to cut out quotes that I liked and push-pin them to my wall. Mostly Motivation quotes, I did this at a very young age, not sure why.
I remember when I was about 16 - Nas had just dropped ‘I AM’……I will never forget, I was leaving Best Buy, just grabbed the album, I was in my mom’s Acura Vigor driving down Greenbrier Blvd in Chesapeake VA. I popped in the album, and like any Nas fan, I was immediately hooked. But the song that grabbed me the most was the collabo with him and DMX. The hook was simple

Life is what you make it…I’ma make it…not matter what it takes…we gon take it.

Was this a defining moment in my life. Probably not, but has this simple quote shaped my view on life and success, definitely. Because it was not riddled in metaphor it was not complex it was simply - life is what you make it. I’ma make it.
I have learned a lot of things since that day, and I am still learning with every breath I take. I know that life is about choices, that there is always a choice to be made. You have one shot, a collection of moments, you won’t get it right all of the time but you always have to try.

I have learned that people are mostly good, and you should always expect the best out of people. But guard your heart because hurt people - hurt people. Most of our wounds are in fact, self-inflicted. I have learned that people will only treat you how you allow them to.

I know that creativity is the one thing that is intrinsically yours. It is something that no one can take away from you, but something that has to be cultivated to the point where it overcomes your fear, to quote one of my favorite poets (Andrea Gibson) “We have to create, it’s the only thing louder than destruction”.

I know that there will always be average people. It’s the only way some of us can be extraordinary. I have surmised that the defining line that separates these ordinary people from the extraordinary are three things - courage, creativity and faith.
I know for a fact – It’s not how good you are its how good you want to be. I have found that the most wisdom in this world comes from simple quotes and clichés. The things you read on bumper stickers, or in tweets by rev run, and right off as nonsense; things like. The early bird gets the worm. Or if you always do what you have always done you will always get what you always got.

I have learned that there ain’t no such thing as half-way crooks.

I have learned that hypocrisy runs ramped, and being real is a dying skill. I have learned that being an individual is the greatest gift that you can give to yourself. Listen, we all want acceptance, the people who tell you they don’t care what other people think, normally care the most about what other people think. But the thing about being an individual is it allows you to no longer need validation from your peers. And when you no longer need validation you are able to operate wholly as yourself. One that makes decision not based on the reaction of the people around him or her but on the true intent on the decision itself.

I have learned that everyone is insecure about something, and that these insecurities can cloud our judgment and hinder our progress. What you have to do is first be honest about them, and second deal with the flaw. I have become friends with my insecurities, I know them intimately, and by doing this I can squash them when they try to hold me back, when they turn the fuel of a good idea into a myriad of excuses on why it won’t work. When they tell me that I am not smart enough, or talented enough, you have to be able to quiet them, this is crucial to your development as a person, this is Imperative work.

I have learned that the touch from the woman you love can shed away the worst of days. I have learned that a hug can masquerade as salvation. I have learned that love is undeniably part of the human experience, and if you deny yourself of it you are not really living.

I have realized that music feeds your soul like nothing else on this planet can. There is no feeling like the perfect lyrics, coupled with the perfect melody, the perfect bass line, and the perfect guitar riff hitting you at the perfect time.
I have learned that there are no winners in war.

What I know of wisdom is that it is ever changing, and ever evolving, so truly continuously seeking wisdom is always a wise thing to do.
If you had to cut out some quotes that defined your life at this moment what would they say?

What would you want them to say? Mine would sound like the quiet wisdom of a kid from queens, mixed with the intense screams of a kid from Yonkers…Saying
“ Life is what you make it…I’ma make it”

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Rich Neho

So I had a chance to kick it with a poet named miles the other day, miles runs the Australian poetry Nationals, does alot of dope things with spoken word and is an all around good guy, we hung out on Thursday and, decided to get up again today to shoot the breeze and talk business...I will go into all that later as this is not the topic of this post.

So steph and I met up with him at the central station on our way to annendale (sp) and we bump into another talented singer, luckily this time I got my mans info, he seemed like a real cool dude, we exchanged numbers hopefully you will see a “mike simms-rich neho” colabo pretty soon.

Until then check out this quick clip.

Def sound

I thought this video was creative and hella fresh

Official Def Sound feat Novena Video from Def Sound on Vimeo.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rough Morning

You are never really ready for an encounter with a large spider, you know they are out there, you also know that there is always a possibility that said spider can find their way into your house, or car, or office etc.

Have you ever thought about what you would do?
Do you know what your post spider sighting reaction would be?

Would you calmly grab a shoe and kill it, or would you run into the next room, grab your phone, hop on the couch and call anyone you can think of that might be able to come take care of the arachnid for you…Just the word arachnid creeps me out.

Maybe you would take a more humanitarian approach…perhaps grabbing a duster, or swifter jet vac, or whatever, and gently encourage this overgrown Spawn of Satan out of the window, and back to its rightful home. The answer to this question has been playing in my subconscious all morning since “the Incident” ok let me back up.

I woke up this morning at 7:23; I always set my alarm clock to an odd time, never 7:00 o’clock or 7:30...more like 7:13 or 7:27 not sure why I do this, I always feel like my body wakes up better at an odd time, as if the time is sharper or something. I know that does not make any sense, it also has not consequence to the story I am telling you, but I thought you might like to know :)

So it’s 7:23 and I am woken up by the alarm on my iphone, I get up and drag myself to the bathroom, I remember the floor still being wet from the shower I took the night before, I did not go to sleep until about 2am so I was really really groggy, as I looked in the mirror, I remember how stuffy it felt in the bathroom. It felt damp, like a pile of clothes that you did not fully dry, but there was no foreshadowing of what was about to happen, no broken door handles or windows magically opened that you know you closed, it was a regular morning, or so i thought...

It smelled like a typical morning in our little box studio, but I still contemplated opening the window to get some fresh air in, and to air out the bathroom so that some of the moisture could go out...I used the bathroom, flushed the toilet, turned around and saw it...fixed in between the door and the wall, right in the corner, who at this point I am sure has been watching me this entire time, like in the movies, when the predator is watching its prey. I imagine him looking at me with a grey screen like glance, watching my every movement thinking "the bigger they are the harder they fall" Thinking "make one false move and i will kill you in your tracks"

Right there in the bathroom of this tiny studio apartment, in the eastern suburbs of Sydney Australia, I saw the biggest spider I have ever seen in my natural born life!!

This spider was huge, like little baby jesus, football, you belong in a zoo huge
Like damn that's a big ass spider huge!

Ok well it was not that big, but it was about 10 times larger than any spider I have ever seen with my own eyes.

So let’s revert back to the question...the question is, how do you think you would react if you saw a huge spider? Well me, I froze right there in the bathroom trying hard not to actually look at this intruder, for like 20 seconds I just froze. The thing is (in my defence) I was still groggy, still had crust in my eyes and still was not seeing straight, so my first thought was that I was dreaming, I had to be, that 20 seconds was spent convincing myself that all of this was actually real. So after I gathered my thoughts and my courage I slipped out of the bathroom door and gently closed it.

So there you are...decision time, you know the spider has to die, you know you have to be the one to kill it, but every bone in your body does not want to go back in the bathroom. I looked over at Stephanie knocked out sleeping, glad that she did not go in the bathroom first this morning, because you, wherever in the world you were in that moment, would have heard the scream of a distressed American in Sydney. And that is just if I was at home, if I was not home at the time you might have seen a Gotham City like alert in the sky, a streaming light breaking the clouds in the shape of a slightly overweight African crusader with a beard!

Ok I’m whiling…back to the story.

So I am just sitting in the living room, pumping myself up like Eminem in 8 mile, rolling my shoulders, pumping my fist and shaking out my legs like the beginning of a championship heavyweight fight.

"you cant let that spider smell you fear I told myself"

"that spider will be afraid", I say.

That spider has to DIE!

Then like Uma Thurman in Kill bill, I slide into the bathroom, broom in hand like an official Hanzō blade, and get in position, I am eyeing my assailant careful not to make any sudden moves, sizing him up as if to say

"Surprise Bitch" I'm back with my Hanzo Sword. You did not even know they still made these huh..HA!

And then in a very AL pachino in Carlitos way....HERE COMES THE PAIN written all over my face way, I, with way more force than necessary, thrust my blade at the spider and land a direct hit. Just like that the threat was neutralized.


So at that moment I hear something from the bedroom, a faint voice saying “is everything all right” and like any courageous boyfriend not wanting his damsel to worry I say “yup”

Now granted, I am standing in this bathroom literally shaking from all of the adrenaline, pumped up like a roman warrior celebrating his conquest, but all I could muster was a yup! lol…

The thing is, I don’t want her (and her active imagination to start going crazy) if I leave it to her, her brain will have her thinking that we are under attack like the spiders are soldiers and they are going to start invading the studio like the Germans invasion of Normandy, so as any caring mate would do I minimized the entire encounter.

Starting to wake up she says “what was that loud noise” at this point I was standing in the bedroom, broom in hand I said “oh nothing just a little spider I had to kill” she goes “oh” sits up and looks at me with the WTF face, looks me over from head to toe, and then with the wisdom of an old Indonesian medicine woman, she says as she drifts back to sleep,

"sometimes you have to put some drawls on your face and go in for the kill"

Crazy right…what’s that?….oh you want to know why I had drawls on my

wellllll remember back when I was talking about going into the bathroom, while I was pumping myself up I starting thinking, what if this spider has moved? What if the spider has like super human strength or worse what if the spider can jump?

Remember I had just woken up, so at this point, all I had on was some basketball shorts. So I did what any sane solider does before he goes into battle, I put on my armor, my thought was if the spider moves I can stay in the game but if somehow it jumps on me or gets on my skin it’s a wrap for me.

So I put on some Sweat pants, a jacket and my hard bottoms (in case I had to step on this giant) even after adorning all of this, I still did not feel protected, I thought “I need to cover my face”...thing is we are not fully unpacked, and finding a scarf or a bandanna before this son of Lucifer had time to make any dangerous moves, or procreate, or morph into harry potter, or anything like that I had to kill it, and finding the correct head gear was not likely, but I did have some white briefs sitting on the couch that had just been laundered two days before. So I put them on my head...the part where my legs would go is covering my face from my nose down. I looked like a chemist with a ghetto hazmat suit on about to disarm a nuclear now that my battle gear was complete...

I could step into my destiny as an American Spider Slayer in Sydney.

(I should have taken a picture)

All this may be comical now, but in the moment,

In the moment this was a very real, very troublesome, and very serious matter!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

your hearts a mess

This song is exactly where it needs to be right dope...the video is a bit weird, The artist is Gotye, born in belgium and raised in Australia, check it out and leave a comment if you like it

Monday, September 27, 2010

This is Strange

So i got an Iphone4 a week or so back the dopest thing, well one of them, is the super sharp and clear HD camera/video camera...i was able to catch this today while i was out at lunch

It was just as strange for me then, as it was for you just

American Nights

So the idea was to have a somewhat American night, to do this we would find an American restaurant, and do other American things, it did not quite go as we had planned.

So we goggled American restaurants, and the only thing we found that was in a near proximity was Tony Roma’s…we were thinking great!...go get some ribs, and a cheeseburger, and some Cheese Sticks...basically food that our palettes were more used to. So after a frustrating trek to Tony Roma’s (thing is, no one you ask knows how to get anywhere in Sydney, and Google maps is the devil) So we sit down, so ready for the feast that we were about to train wreck into in order to indulge our carnal American desires. What ended up happening though is we sat down and ate an overpriced, undercooked, whack meal pretty much, steph's fries were cold, her sampler plate was just…mehh…my burger was just okay, It was just all around average.

A bit bummed out about our dinner spirits lowering, we decide to go to the Star casino to play the slot machines or a bit of poker, and have some fun. We get there already not really in the best of sprits, completely sober, and surrounded by drunken people having fun. (you ever been somewhere and the people having drunk fun get on your nerves cause your sober, but really your just hating cause you wish you were having drunk fun too, it was one of those situations)

Social settings (as I found out later) are a bit hard for Stephanie at the moment. The fact that alluded me, (I tend to be able to disconnect from people pretty easily) is that she does not have a social group, friends to go out with; some girls to get dressed up and done up and hit the town with.

This is relevant because we are in this huge casino, watching all of these people drunk with their friends having the time of their life, and it’s not that she wanted to be with a group of her friends, and not me...It was a little depressing because she did not have the option. I knew it was tough for her because for the first time since we have been here i actually kind of felt it too.

So both of us already in a it-is-what-it-is mood, we started playing some slots, I of course, since I have a magic stroke, won 50 dollars on a 5 cent slot machine, so we left on top, maybe about 40 dollars richer than when we came:)

Although we had only been there for about 30 minutes, we decided to leave, it just was not the same, last time we were in a casino was in Jan of this year for step’s B-day, we were in Vegas, with some of her best friends, this time we were just kind of there. So instead of getting a cab, which cost a bunch of money that we already spent to get there we decided to walk to a train station, we walk from Pyrmont to Central station, and before we get to the train we ran into this guy…at the platform signing his heart out to a red hot chilli pepper song 'otherside'.

We stayed and listened for a while, drunk groups of kids kept walking by, and signing with him, jumping in as if he was signing an Australian anthem...and it was at that point our moods shifted, besides some deeper rooted things which I touched on earlier, the night was somewhat of a bust because of how excited we were to have an American night in OZ, to do things that we were familiar with...

But as we stood there all of a sudden In the middle of Australia, in the middle of Sydney, in the middle of the central train station we were strangely ok with having an Australian night, our purist of familiar, was replaced with simply a pursuit of enjoyment…enjoying the night and enjoying the company.

The video cannot explain the moment, and the moment cannot explain the feeling.

Anyway the central train was not going to be running for the rest of the night and we ended up walking all the way home so from star casino, to Potts Point...After we got home we had some good conversation about how we were adjusting and yadda yadda, I got a better sense of how Stephanie was feeling we got some ice cream (I think) and watched TV till we went to sleep.

Our American night was a bust…but our night, our night was pretty ok.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Random Aussie Fact

They have a brand of cheese called Coon...



And yes, this is some tasty coon, or connery, what ever you want to call

about that blog

So in corporate america they do this thing where they have meetings to talk about having meetings. So i am writing a blog about writing a blog

I have a bunch of new stuff i am going to be blogging about in the next couple of days so make sure you keep checking back topics include

-my first time playing socccer (not as easy as it looks on TV)

-A fortune teller that i ran into

-An attempt to have an american night out

So please keep checking back i promise i will update!

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Brooklyn Theory

Ok so I think Bluz is the originator of this idea, or theory rather, but it is called the Brooklyn Theory

The first thing you must know is that this is not made up…what you need to understand is that this is a tried and true hypothesis that has formulated itself into an actual theory. We, the members of Rockstars on standby, (will explain later) have been testing this theory out for over 2 years and it has always yielded the same results.

The theory goes like this: No matter where in the world you are, if you get enough people in a room, someone there will be from Brooklyn.

That’s it, that’s the theory, and it is TRUE!!

This is how we began to test the theory, whenever we went on the road to gig, we would always at some point in our show, say something like “where Brooklyn at” or who in here is from Brooklyn” and every time without fail there would be someone in the building from Brooklyn.

I have done this in Miami, Detroit, LA, San Fran, Texas, Orlando, and the list goes on. I know what you’re thinking go to any major city and someone is bound to be from NY, big deal, but I have also done this in Knoxville, Modesto, Richmond, Jacksonville, Chesapeake, and a city that is so obscure I cannot even remember the name right now, it does not matter where you are someone there will be from Brooklyn, I honestly think there is someone from BK right now creating a business plan for a corner store on the moon…

So in April of 2009, we conducted one of the most important tests to date of the BK theory, we took the Brooklyn Theory international.

I was doing a show in London, I thought to myself, ok I am about to disprove the Brooklyn theory, surely no one in this small poetry club, in the basement of a bar, on the eastside of London, on a Sunday night is from Brooklyn…So I say

Anyone one here from Brooklyn, a moment of silence, I thought...I finally broke the theory, I was already trying to figure out how to break the news to Bluz, when out of nowhere, all the way from the kitchen this dude went…Buk!, Buk!...

At that moment all of the tireless nights of research, all the data gathering and analysis, all of the scientific journals, and academic criticisms…. it was all worth it, I had proven the Brooklyn theory in an entirely different country.

I was like YO…what are you doing in London?…

He shrugged his shoulders, and said simply “I’m Cooking son!”

And there you have it; the Brooklyn theory.

Bluz can go into more of the granular details but the general hypothesis is based on several factors

1. There are an inordinate amount of people in Brooklyn

2. Because just as many people hate it, there are also an inordinate amount of people that have left Brooklyn

3. Because it is somewhat of an iconic place, if you’re from anywhere in the vicinity it is popular to falsely represent….everyone knows the guy from say, Albany, who did like a two month youth program in BK when he was 12 ,and now he claims Brooklyn when he is around people that don’t know any better.

4. Because people from NY are from all over the place, so naturally people all over the place are from NY, and, because of number 3 more of those non-natives will claim Brooklyn as oppose to, say queens or Long Island.

There are some more nuisances but I will stop here.

So there you have it folks the Brooklyn theory, the reason I am writing this now is because….drum roll…you guessed it, the theory proves to be true here as well…

So here I am in Sydney, and the other day I was thinking I probably won’t be able to get any good soul food here, because of the lack of black culture. BUT after asking someone I met,

“Hey are there any soul food restaurants in Sydney” I was told these words exactly…

“Yeah there is a soul food spot here, it’s called south, the guy who runs it is from Brooklyn”

I’m thinking Get the f**k outta here, can’t be…but a quick Google search later I found it.

The restaurant is called “South” here are some items off the menu…

Blackened Fish of the Day – Crab Cakes - Smothered Chicken –Hot Wings – Ribs - Gumbo – Buktown Shrimp – Shrimp Creole – corn bread…..

Leave it to a dude from Brooklyn to move to Sydney, and open a restaurant called South! SMDH

I plan to go here real soon :)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I whip it.

Soo umm yeah i think this song is hella fresh...Willow smith (will smiths daughter) apparently signed to Roc Nation (Jay-z's Label) which makes this even craizer....This is her first single...oh yeah and she is nine

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My New City

Here are a couple pictures from places we have visited since we have been here, there are so many interesting areas in Sydney and we have not even begun to explore all of them....I will post some more, ummm, non-dope candid pictures when i get a chance.

Sails - this is the sydney opera house during the festival of lights, kinda dope

The Rocks Tunnel

This is a piece of, i guess living art, this is near the dance studio where steph takes clases


Bondi Beach - bondi is like the South beach of Sydney, expensinve shops, etc

Kings Cross - this is the area we are staying temporarily it is a bit dodgy, so we are trying to get out of here

Photo credits via flickr

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I want to do Bad things to you

Watched the entire Second season of this show last week....

***Spoiler Alert - however if you as late as I am, you might as well just let me spoil it****

A few thoughts

- Lafayette, may be my favourite character on TV, hands down, period.

- It’s a damn shame what they did to that dog!! (Coming to America)

- not sure if it was the writing, but Eggs acting was kind of bad opposite of Tara, he was kind of whack in my opinion, once again it might be the writing, they had him to emotional too often, and it felt unnatural. He still should not have gotten capped at the end though.

-Jason Stackhouse is do I put it...he is the best stupid actor on TV, like if you take all of the actors where their character is supposed to be the ditz...Jason Stackhouse will rise to the top of the list...

Week 1 - Weekend

We are still looking for a place, we went to Rushcutters Bay to see a two bedroom apartment that was 950 a week….It was just okay, not what I would expect for 950 a week. That was the only place we looked at, as we had a meeting with the actor’s pulse, an acting school that Stephanie and I were keen on taking some classes with.

The school was nice, we were a couple minutes late, one because we never know where we are going, and no one in this freakin city knows where anything is, and two because I got into an argument with a bum on the way there.

Stephanie was kind of upset because we were late, but he was trying to bass on me in front of everyone on the street, because I bumped into his Bum girlfriend that was not watching where she was going. It was stupid but funny at the same time…

We went to see Despicable me in 3D Saturday night, we rode the train to Bondi Junction, and went to the movie theatre in the mall, ok so remember when I said it was expensive here. The tickets were 24 dollars EACH…so it was 48 dollars for the movie, and then we spent another 16 dollars on food….movie night in Sydney (if you add the train fare) = 72 dollars…Crazy…

IF you have seen the movie, best line hands down was when the minion said “Whhhhaaaattttttt”…hella funny.

So, my mom’s best friend's, son, used to live here, and he still has friends here who we got connected with. I think that’s how it worked out….anyway after communicating back and forth through e-mail she let me know that a couple of people were getting together on Sunday at centennial park café.

After a rough start, we get there and are met by about eight other people. This is Stephanie and I’s first resemblance of social interaction since we arrived, and it was WAY overdue. The individuals there (I can’t remember all of the names) were all crazy cool, we were the newest couple to have made this move, so we talked for a couple hours about getting adjusted to Sydney, and where to live and what to do, and more importantly where to shop!

We were certain that there had to be places in Sydney that were not that expensive, this unfortunately is not true but there are a couple of discount areas that we found out about. A bunch of the people there said that when they travel to the states they pack an empty suit case and fill it up when they get there. So when you see me ballin out when I come back to charlotte, I am not showing off I am making smart financial decisions :)

One couple that was the closest to our age met at VA tech, her being from Newport news, and him a foreign exchange student from Sydney, they met in school and have been together ever since. She moved here in 2005. They were hella cool….and just like that it looks like we have our first set of friends, the girls exchange numbers and make plans to go shopping on Tuesday…

So the people around the table were of mixed races, but manly black, and of course race relations came up, I don’t mean to talk so much about race on this blog, but it is very relevant, based on my past life experiences ,and my current experiences. There is such a deconstruction of the things I believed to be truism’s my global view is being expanded with each passing day.

So one of the guys at the table is a Lawyer for a firm on wall street, when we were talking about race relations, his wife told a story about when they first got to Sydney. One of the partners wife’s wanted to me her, (this was already bizarre to her because she had never experienced this in NY)

So they are planning to meet, make plans etc…on the day they were going to meet the Partners wife, was asking her questions like, so what will you have on? How will I know it’s you? Etc… After answering a couple of the questions the Harlem came out of her as she said “You know I’m black”

Her thinking was, (it does not matter what I am wearing, or where I will be standing I should not be hard to miss, I am quite sure I will be the only black person there) The Partners wife told her that her husband never mentioned what her race was, just that they were the new couple from NY. These kind of example are what I mean by race relations are different here, in the states I would bet a year’s pay that would have came up, not in a bad way or a raciest way, just as a point of reference, it seems it’s important to us in the states, it is one of the most relevant things in social interaction, it’s just not like that here…anyways I like I am boring you all with these tangents.

So we decided to check out an Asian fusion restaurant that night, we were told that Sydney does Asian fusion very well, so we went to this Malaysian fusion restaurant, and had quite possibly the best plate of Asian food we have ever had in our lives, so good in fact we went back the next day and ordered the same thing….

That was pretty much the week…umm what else, we went to a poetry slam on Tuesday, which was torture (will blog about it later) we watched the entire 2nd season of true Blood (crazy) and re-watched American Beauty, which we both decided that we could not even begin to appreciate that movie when we watched it in our teenage years. We were very right, that movie is dope on so many levels…anyway that’s it…

Thanks for reading!

Week 1 - with a side of tangent

Ok so I know I was supposed to blog my first day at work, but things are kinda busy here, so I will blog my first week, I started last Monday, My manager is an older guy, from Denmark…He has been here for 20 years so he still has somewhat of an aussie accent but you can hear his thick Danish accent as well, to my right is a Chinese guy named Peter, and to my left is a Pilipino girl named Ada, who is still in Uni, but works three days a week, Both Peter and Ada are very smart, and very helpful as I begin to get adjusted. Also behind me is the most senior guy on my team, Chris….Chris is an aussie, young guy, super smart, I can tell I will learn the majority of the things I need to succeed in this role from him. Macquarie is a very fast paced company they have a very aggressive appetite for risk and expect excellence from all of its employees; in return they compensate through the roof and award you for your hard work

First day fly’s by, mixed with introductions and orientations, I had a brief meeting with my manager where he basically said, “I want you to observe where we are, and take us to the next level”…uhh no pressure…lol.

Fast forward to Wednesday, we happened to be having a town hall meeting (where the entire division meets) as I am sitting in the auditorium I notice I am the only black person in there… the only one, in my entire division. So unless someone called out sick, or had another meeting, it looks like I am the only black person in my org, structure.

I bring this up as a prelude to something I have decided that I want to dedicate part of my philanthropic efforts on. This mission, along with other things, will be to expose African Americans to life outside of what we are generally exposed to. The fact that I am the only black person in my division has nothing to do with racism, as this is not a raciest place. It’s not like we are interviewing and not getting the job, or getting passed up, or blah blah blah. You can’t “blame it on the man” here…

I am Mike the American, The guy from Wachovia…for the first time in my life I am not first defined by race, and then by other relevant criteria, I will give an example later with an amusing story from brunch on Sunday. Anywho, in the week I have been here I have already been involved with screening CV’s (resumes) for other people that are looking to join our team, and I have yet to even get a resume from a black person, it’s as if we are not competing in the global work place like our peers. I have received resumes from Indian, Asian, Caucasian, American, Dutch, Chinese, Korean, Danish, French, Arabic, British; you name it every ethnic make-up is represented except for us.

So the pressing question is why? The only theory I have at this point is exposure, (I am very open to hearing your thoughts as well) If I grow up in a house, where we travel, we take vacations, I have had my passport since I was 5, my father travelled on business, my mother spent time in other countries etc…I am more apt to have a global view of the world. I am more apt to think of working abroad as a tangible goal, and not a lofty dream.

This is at least my theory, so I am sitting in the auditorium listening to a presentation on how we plan to enter the Asian markets, and how we would like to structure our business, and I can’t help but to think these things.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

First day

So i am in Sydney for a job opportunity....tomorrow the rubber meets the road, its my first day i will let you know how it goes...

I am not suited for this...

So everything here is expensive, like “you said how much” type of expensive. To put some perspective
Movie ticket – 21 dollars (yes 21 dollars)
Rent for a studio – 500 a week (Yes a week, I have friends with garages this size)
Socks – 10 dollars for a pair (yes I said pair)
Boxers - 2 for 34 dollars

I could go on and on…so after talking to the HR department for my new company I asked what the corporate culture was like as far as dress code, I’m thinking either slacks and a button up or polo’s and some khakis. She responds and said everyone here wears suits…yikes….i own one suit, and this one suit has become to be known as the “interview suit”

I have been wearing this one suit for about 5 years, every time I have an interview; it's worn and somewhat cheap…so I decide to go buy a suit.

Ok remember when I said things were expensive…the cheapest suit I could find was 599 dollars...Yea dollars….I was not ready for this at all, I went to about three different stores and the results were the same, and this is just the Honda of suit’s the entry level.

The company I am working for is the number one investment banking firm in Australia and, in the top tier in the world, and apparently from the people that I spoke to they take their suit game very serious.

So after passing on the suits that are the price of a small village I settle on two 600 dollar suits. I am pissed that I had to drop that much money on a suit but blessed at the same time that I can.
I plan to sleep in this thing

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Isle 10 Seat D

Please dont clap
when the plane lands
As if you did not
expect it to do so,
I dont need all that
negative energy in the air
with me

-just saying

Isle 10 Seat D

Staying is easier....
Tastes better
goes better with
Bread and Wine...
And Fear

Porcelain Thoughts

I wait to open the door to the stall until I hear
the people at the sink leave the bathroom
Then I Spring out, as if I was Clark Kent
and did not want anyone to know my identity
As if there is a problem with taking a shit
once you get to the sink it does not matter
who walks in and sees you, cause you can play it off
Like you are just as offended by the Horrific
Smell seeping from the stalls behind you.

As I noticed myself doing this I wondered
Am I the only one…

Ticking noise

I think this is hella funny, for those that dont know me welcome to my sense of humor, you kinda have to know something about harry potter for it to be Super funny but its good either way, to me at least

Monday, August 30, 2010

Day 4

We found a place! Well we found a temporary place to live, the housing market in Sydney is very different than that in the states, For one it is a seller’s market there are more buyers than properties which making finding prime real estate a hard thing to do it also drives up cost, so here is how it works here, there really is no such thing as an “apartment complex” where you walk into a leasing office they show you the floor plans and you decide on one of the many available units, pretty much every property here is rented through a real estate agency, and you can only see the property during inspection times, which are normally on Saturday in 15 minute increments, so if you were to like a property in two different areas chances are you will not get to see that property. If you wait until the next week to see the one you missed you will more than likely miss out on both. So you pretty much have to narrow down the place you want in the area you want and be there for the inspection so that you can be ready to put in an application.

Speaking of which everything is sooo expensive in this city for example our price range or rather the most we are willing to pay is 800 a week (yes I said week) for rent, that should get us a nice place, mind you not penthouse overlooking the ocean or, terrace overlooking the harbor, just a nice place. So most places charge a Bond or what we refer to as a deposit, this bond is normally 4 weeks rent so in our example if I went to go see a house and wanted to get it that day. I would have to bring 1st month’s rent plus a Bond, which in this case would be 6,400 to move in. which to me is crazy, but when in rome!

So since our last day at the hotel is tomorrow and we had not had time to look at all the areas we decide to go into a two month short term lease with a landlord that was advertising his place on Gumtree (their craigslist equivalent)…It’s a very nice studio apartment in the potts point area, not the end game, but it will do for now. Lets see what else has happened, um Stephanie is still, STILL on US time she falls asleep every day around 5-6pm which is like she stayed up to 4am US time. She has not been able to sleep thru the night yet it is 1am on Monday morning as I am typing this and I am sure she will wake up in able an hour, with nothing to do.

Still no iphone, we were told that we could not get a plan until we had an address, so now that we have one we are going to go to the bank tomorrow, change our address, try to find a vodaphone location that has the iphone4 and hopefully get hooked up.
Now that all of the business is taken care of, next week you should see some Pictures and videos of our travels, as I will finally have the time to take some!

Day 1 in Sydney

So day one is over, well I guess it is, it is really hard to determine what day it is. So we left charlotte on a 6:10 PM flight to LA (approx 5 hours). We then had a layover in LA for about 2 hours, we switched airlines to Air New Zealand, and took a 12 hour flight to New Zealand, a hour or so layover there we then took the three hour flight to Sydney. At last! We were here, the flight although 26 hours of travelling were not that bad, I would arguably say that the longest flight the one from LA to NZ was the best, we were on a huge, I mean Double Decker huge 747. We had a flat screen TV right in front of the seat a endless number of selections of movies television music and games, and enough leg room to make yao ming smile, well maybe not that much. But it was comfortable for me! First thing we do after picking up our massive amounts of luggage is stop by vodaphone to figure out our mobile phone situation. It seems like, we might be able to get an unlimited plan with international calling and a free iphone4 (say it aint so) for 79 dollars a line, that is less than what I was paying in the states for a less beefy plan so I was super sold, especially once he said it came with the iPhone 4 (what what) we were not able to do this at this kiosk however, cause they were not on stock so we got a prepaid sim in order to call home and figured we would stop by the larger store to try to get the new iphone. So here we are. Sydney is only kind of how I expected it. I felt it would have a British feel which, it does if you did not know any better the area around the airport looks the same as south London. But I also expected a very distinct metropolitan feel, a city feel which it may have, I just have not ventured out to explore yet. We check into the hotel and I am pumped ready to hit the ground running, but my poor travel teammate was POOPED. for a while we tried to come up with words that were even stronger than that to accurately describe how she felt.
I convinced her to go get some food, we walked down the street stopped at the first fast food we saw, the goal was to eat light so that we could have dinner later. After a quick bite we found a Vodaphone, walked in and they had 2 iphone4’s in stock (angelic voice thing happens) this was too good to be true and of course it was. In order to get a phone we had to have a residence, so we will not be able to sign up for a plan until we get a place, figures. We go from there to my bank that I set up before I left the states, so that I can pick up my debit card and my credit card (I got perfect credit here son!!) It was not ready, but I will be able to pick it up first thing in the morning, so after strike out number two Stephanie was ready to lay it down. We go back to the hotel, I lay down she lays on my chest and we both pass out…lol
Part 2,
I love being a black man, there is a freedom that comes with it, I will explain in a bit. I woke back up around 10 PM, after trying to wake Stephanie up who was not budging, I did what I always do when I get to a new city or country…I just walked around. I did not go far in either direction of the hotel, the night air was pretty cool but the wind made it feel like how I remember fall in Va beach. There was nothing much to see, we are not really in a “hoping part of town. The entertainment district of kings cross is near, I did not really venture that way though I was moreso walking around down town because I was trying to get a head start on our goal for day two. Find a place to live! The one thing that I did want to comment on was what I alluded to earlier, it is a dope feeling to walk around a completely foreign place and feel safe. I am not saying that I am superman or above getting mugged or worse. I am just saying I am not an easy or a likely target. And the dope thing about Sydney so far is that I can walk around trying to look poseudo hard and gansta, but I don’t have to worry about people fearing me at the same time, ok I feel like I am loosing you. Its like this, when I was walking around, no old ladys moved to the other side of the street or grabbed their pocketbooks, I am not seen as a threat or a suspect. I did not get followed around the store when I went to buy something. For one of the first times in my travel experiences I did not feel racially pre-judged. I also felt safe, not only because it is a safe place but because of my size and demeanor…as I re read this I don’t know if it makes since but it is my blog so it stays!.

Anyway I am back at the hotel writing this to you… it is around 11pm. I was really only gone for about 30 minutes or so, I don’t want to be worn out in the morning while a perfectly rested Stephanie is bouncing off the walls. Goodnight, day too starts in about 7 hours we talked about working out (ha) we will probably go to the breakfast buffet that was included in our reservation and then the goal of day two FIND A PLACE TO LIVE.
-log out-


Thank you, Thank you, Thank you....youre far to kind!

So welcome to my blog, as i travel the world i will do my best to keep you guys posted. What you can expect from this blog.
1. me to promise to keep it updated and never do so
2. horrible spelling
3. I never really grasped the whole grammer thing so sometimes i put punctaion where it should not be; i am work,ing on this. :)
3. some jokes, some poetry, pictures, and the occasional post were i go way to deep about something.
4. I try not to take myself to seriously and you should not either (but know i spit wisdome son!)

So here we go, my blog will not really go cronological. It might skip around a bit, pulling stuff from my past, the moment i am transitioning form Charlotte Sydney Australia.

Please if you read these blogs leave a post or two so I know somebody is ready my brain dumps.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I Go Away

So uh, I had my going away party at work today, like they normally do this thing where your manager picks a bar, sends out an e-mail and everyone comes out to wish you a farewell. I did not really want to do one, ok honestly, I was super against it. I dont really hang out with these folks on the regular, and i am not one of those 'fake it till you make it' corporate dudes.

If i am not felling you, you are going to know that I am not feeling you. However i thought it would be pretenious, and rude to turn down the opportunity for my manager to plan a going away. I am trying to embrace celebration, I normally dont want anyone to do anything for me, like throw parties, get-togethers etc. But i feel like if people WANT to celebrate you than you should let them.

Fast Foward to 5pm when my little shin-dig was supposed to start, I got to the bar right on time, my thinking was...I should be the first person there so that when people got there i could speak and thank them for coming out...

Fast foward to 5:20 me and Blair, a girl i met at the bar, where about 10 minutes into a conversation, she was in town on business and happend to be at the bar for a drink, I was trying to read between the lines, as the stories she was serving did not sit right with me. But it was just her and i sitting there as i kept doing the look-over-at-the-door-everytime-it-opens-thing. So i am half listening to this girl at the bar, when finally my manager walks in, we had some akward conversation, my girl shows up about 10 minutes later which was cool, and that was no one else showed up. So 35 more akward minutes of Blair, Steph, Damon and I, talking about Sydney and then everyone left.

Blair was cool though and somehow actually brought some normalcy to the entire situation. Since she was not aware of the akwardness, she was just kind of in the moment, bought us a drink and even made plans to go to a strip club later...

anyways i am blogging about this because i think it is introspectively relevent. normally i would be embarrased that no one showed up, that was not the case this time. I felt a sense of relief, as if it was a push in the right direction. No one supported me, which let me know even stonger that i am making the right move. I am following a plan, crossing my t' dotting my I's...I am on target, loaded...with god on my sholder, love in my heart, and the world in my palm. I cannot be stopped, because I said so.