Monday, May 31, 2010

Music Monday | The Civil Wars

This is gorgeous.

"Poison & Wine is a musical snapshot about the dichotomy of love - that while it can be the thing that destroys you, it can also be the very same thing that beckons and builds you. JP and I are both married have been for several years now - and we got to talking one day about what a tug and pull our individual relationships can be. The longer you know someone - and the longer you allow someone to know you - the more the light and shadows inside each person become more vivid. This song was our attempt at being as brutally honest about the dangerous and beautiful process of knowing and being known."
-Joy Williams, The Civil Wars

You can get a their live album free on Noisetrade.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


Coolio's had a rough couple years. From the Personal Life section of his Wikipedia entry:

On the television program Celebrity Big Brother 2009 (UK) [10] 2009 Coolio talked about his 6 children by four different relationships, including a daughter born on January 21, 1987.

Coolio and jazz saxophonist Jarez were enlisted in July 2008 as spokespersons by the group Environmental Justice and Climate Change to educate students at historically black colleges and universities about global warming.[14]

During February 2009 Coolio did a stage dive at a college show in England in Stoke-On-Trent. Nobody caught him. As he lay on the ground people stole his chains and his clothes. As James Fielden describes, "He nearly flattened one poor girl. Then all the students decided to launch on him. They grabbed whatever they could, including his trainers, watch, chains and glasses. He was pulled back on stage by the bouncers. They got his shoes back for him." [15]

During March 2009 he was detained at the Los Angeles airport for possession of crack cocaine.[16]

Italics = The first 3,962 people they asked to be the spokespersons declined.
BOLD = I'm not sure I should think this section is as funny as I do.

Don't ask me how I ended up on Coolio's Wikipedia entry.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Face Plant

One chilly Tuesday morning in High School, I was running late for 1st period. I whipped into the parking lot in my white ’88 Accord with the dope spoiler, moon roof and 16-inch alloy rims. DC Talk was bumpin’ on my jury rigged 12-inch sub-woofer. I screeched into one of the last available parking spaces, grabbed my Jansport and took off sprinting toward the building in my un-tied New Balance 992s. I was thirty yards from the building when I ditched the sidewalk and cut across the icy, snow-covered grass. Heading down a small hill, I slipped on the ice, stepped out of one shoe, and went careening down the hill face first. My loaded backpack flung over my head and, boom, slammed my face into the concrete around a rainwater drain. My head bounced. Stunned, I popped up and wiggled my face to feel the damage. It didn’t seem that bad. I brushed off and hurried into the building.

Knowing I had to walk in the door, in the front of the classroom, after the bell had rung, I composed myself with a five second pep talk. Play it cool. Be confident and respectful. Hold your shoulders tall and smile. Open the door quietly. Take the most efficient route to an open desk and sit down. If the teacher says anything, apologize genuinely with “I’m sorry I’m late” and leave it at that. No excuses.

Now cool, calm, and collected, I quietly opened the door. Immediately, my whole pep talk went to… My classmates’ faces showed a mix of shock, concern, and amusement. The teacher said, “Run to the bathroom. You’re bleeding.” I touched my face and felt, then saw, gobs of blood. I walked casually to the bathroom. In the mirror I saw HUGE, bright red wounds on my face along with several other scratches. Then, I saw two wet, muddy spots on my Abercrombie and Fitch cargo pants. My palms were also cut up quite a bit. I guess the combo of adrenaline and endorphins had made me temporarily oblivious to the pain I had put my body in. The face wounds were the kind where portions of my face were actually left on the concrete slab. I didn’t even want to touch them to wash them. I wet some stinky paper towels and dabbed the wounds, but there wasn’t much I could do. I cleaned up as best I could and made the shameful walk back to class, headache in full force.

The whole day and for several days after I had to answer the same question, “What happened?” I kept it fresh and created several epic scenarios as explanations, eventually telling them I slipped on ice while running to class. The following Friday night was Backwards Homecoming - the night where guys, not gals, are selected to walk awkwardly on a basketball court during halftime of a game as some sort of honor. I was on the Backwards Homecoming Court, face strawberries and all. Halftime rolls around, we line up, they call our names and we walk out in front of 1500 people while they clap and cheer (Wow, it's even more bizarre than I thought at the time). It's your moment in the little spotlight. You wear your best clothes, shave, wash your face and practice the perfect smile. And here I am with some giant strawberries on my face. Luckily, I had a pretty little lady on my left arm to distract from the way I looked. She went by the name Ashley Rose.

That was over 10 years ago and I still have that same pretty little lady on my left arm, and our son in my right.

Happy 6th, Angel. You're really good at being my wife. And now, a mommy too.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Eagle Scout

Russ is an Eagle!

Eagle Scout is the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts. My brother-in-law, Russel Benedict Rose III, has attained that rank. I don't know much about scouting, but apparently he had to do a lot to achieve it. Thus, there was a presentation ceremony for him Saturday. His future college roommate also attained Eagle Scout and was part of the same ceremony.

Each Eagle Scout honors a "Mentor" during the ceremony, someone who has made a difference in their life and helped them earn the distinction. It came time for Russ to announce the Mentor he had chosen to honor. Russ stepped forward and said, "I don't know if people usually do this, but for my mentor I've chosen my Dad." He grinned and then Papa Rose's lachrymal glands started doing work. Russ pinned the Mentor pin on Papa Rose's collar and then there was the should-we-shake-hands-should-we-hug? moment. It didn't matter what they did. Everyone knew there was a great amount of respect both ways.

Congratulations to Russ for morphing from a regular human to a majestic winged vertebrate!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NIcknames For Kessler

I love to know the back story to things, so here's a little history lesson in odd/useless knowledge:
The term "nickname" originated as an Anglo-Saxon word: ekename. In the Anglo-Saxon tongue, "eke" meant "also" or "added." The term seemed just a bit awkward to pronounce; so, it became slurred, converting ekename to nekename and finally to become nickname.

The idea of a nickname didn't come from English origins, though. They were originally common in ancient Greece and Rome, especially when used as terms of affection, which the Greeks called hupokorisma, meaning "calling by an endearing name."

Nicknames are powerful. When you call someone by a nickname, you immediately feel closer to them. They come from one's personality and can't be fabricated. Nicknames just need to sort of happen, though they're most likely to stick through ease of pronunciation, accuracy, familiarity and repetition.

A new human I'm very close to made my acquaintance a little over 5 months ago and I had a clean canvas to paint with my nickname brush. But so far, I've mainly just called him by his first given name, Kessler.

Here, though, are some other nicknames he's been called since his arrival:
  • K-State
  • Kess
  • K-Money
  • K-Weezy
  • K-Love
  • Booboo bear
  • Punkin
  • Cute to boot
  • Little guy
  • Little man
  • The boy
  • Little boy
  • KSH
  • Drool Buckets
  • Saliva Factory
  • Marshmallow
  • Bean
  • Beaner
  • Snorty Snorterson
  • Sweet Cheeks
  • Cheeks
  • Pumpkin Pie
  • K
  • Bubby
  • Booboo
  • sweet boy.
  • Baby Keser
  • Baby boy
  • Schloz
  • Kessler man
  • Buddy
  • Doodle
  • Baby
  • Son

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Oball®

If you know me, you know I love balls (get your mind out of the gutter). I first started keeping a bouncy ball in my right pocket my freshman year of college and kept one in my pocket almost everyday for the next nine years. It's the always-ready toy. It's portable. It bounces. It can have spin put on it. It's fun. For me, it's the perfect toy.

When we first found out we were having a boy, a lifetime worth of visions rushed through my mind's eye. A large portion of those visions involved me, my son, and a ball.

So it's only fitting the first, and really only, toy that Kessler has fallen in love with is the Oball®. For him, it works like a charm. It's colorful. He can easily grab it. He can easily pick it up and move it around. He can put some of it in his mouth, but can't suck on it too much. He can see through it and see the shapes inside it. He love's it. For him, it's the perfect toy.

No, he does not have a braces rubber band around his right wrist.

Friday, May 07, 2010

"Knock Knock" Daniel Beaty

Uh, if I watch something seven times and get chills all seven times, it qualifies as bloggable.

"Shave in one direction with strong, deliberate strokes to avoid irritation. Dribble the page with the brilliance of your ballpoint pen. Walk like a god and your goddess will come to you."

As a boy I shared a game with my father.
Played it every morning 'til I was 3.
He would knock knock on my door,
and I'd pretend to be asleep 'til he got right next to the bed
Then I would get up and jump into his arms.
"Good morning, Papa."
And my papa he would tell me that he loved me.
We shared a game.
Knock Knock
Until that day when the knock never came
and my momma takes me on a ride past corn fields
on this never ending highway 'til we reach a place of high rusty gates.
A confused little boy, I entered the building carried in my mama's arms.
Knock Knock
We reach a room of windows and brown faces
behind one of the windows sits my father.
I jump out of my mama's arms
and run joyously towards my papa
Only to be confronted by this window.
I knock knock trying to break through the glass,
trying to get to my father.
I knock knock as my mama pulls me away
before my papa even says a word.
And for years he has never said a word.

And so twenty-five years later, I write these words
for the little boy in me who still awaits his papa's knock.
Papa, come home 'cause I miss you.
I miss you waking me up in the morning and telling me you love me.
Papa, come home,
'cause there's things I don't know,
and I thought maybe you could teach me:
How to shave;
how to dribble a ball;
how to talk to a lady;
how to walk like a man.
Papa, come home
because I decided a while back
I wanted to be just like you.
but I'm forgetting who you are.
And twenty-five years later a little boy cries,
and so I write these words and try to heal
and try to father myself
and I dream up a father who says the words my father did not.

Dear Son,

I'm sorry I never came home.
For every lesson I failed to teach, hear these words:
Shave in one direction in strong deliberate strokes to avoid irritation
Dribble the page with the brilliance of your ballpoint pen.
Walk like a god and your goddess will come to you.
No longer will I be there to knock on your door,
So you must learn to knock for yourself.
Knock knock down doors of racism and poverty that I could not.
Knock knock down doors of opportunity
for the lost brilliance of the black men who crowd these cells.
Knock knock with diligence for the sake of your children.
Knock knock for me for as long as you are free,
these prison gates cannot contain my spirit.
The best of me still lives in you.
Knock knock with the knowledge that you are my son,
but you are not my choices.
Yes, we are our fathers' sons and daughters,
But we are not their choices.
For despite their absences we are still here.
Still alive,
still breathing
With the power to change this world,
One little boy and girl at a time.
Knock knock
Who's there?
We are.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Google Reader Shared Items

Almost 4 years ago I started a blog called Blake's (Semi) Daily Links where I would post some interesting links I had come across. I kept it going early on, posting several links a day several times a week. Then, it became Blake's (Semi) Monthly Links. Then, it became Blake's (Semi) Yearly Links. Now, it's more like Blake's (Semi) Decadely Links.

RSS Feeds started getting easier to find. Then, Twitter moved to prevalence. Then, Shared Items from Google Reader became easy to use. All of the sudden, my process for sharing links was even more antiquated and inefficient.

As of today, on the left side of the blog you can see my Shared Items from Google Reader along with my tweets. I come across a lot of quality content. Periodically, if something strikes me, I'll share it. It doesn't mean I necessarily agree, it just means I found it interesting and worth sharing.

P.S. If you don't already use a feed reader, start. I recommend Google Reader. It's the perfect way to keep up with blogs that are updated occassionally. If you use that, you can subscribe to our blog by clicking here.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

From The Bowels Of My Brain V

Oh Bowels Of My Brain, it's been too long my friend.

I'm about to get nostalgic

>> Those pizza rectangles from the school cafeteria, those were good. They gave lots of Middle Schoolers the squirts, but they were good.

>> When I was 9, I couldn't wait for my arm to be long enough to sit in a car with the window down and have my elbow resting and my hand able to reach all the way up to the top of the car.

>> "Backbeat the word is on the street..."

>> It's hard to believe those braided leather belts ever looked good.

>> Yes, I tight rolled. I also had the "Lazy Man's Tight Roll" jeans - elastic at the ankles. I was the bomb.

>> I still can't believe I spent $6 and 2 hours of my life on Hope Floats.

>> "Don't let the days go by. Glycerine."

>> Proud to say I never wanted or wore a Hypercolor t-shirt. I did, however, have a bowl cut and it was PHat.

>> Ladies, what I'm about to say may be painful, but it's true. No guys ever thought it was attractive when a girl had her cartilage pierced.

>> Honest question: What is a bigger drain on the economy, commemorative coins or trophies?

>> Another question: Do people still give each other titty-twisters?

>> Last question: Why in the H E double hockey sticks did we ever learn cursive?

Yo Holmes, smell ya later.