Friday, November 28, 2008
This thanksgiving was a moment to remember. Usually I tend to not look forward to spending quality time with the family, however this thanksgiving was a change.
Last year at this time my family was on the verge of eviction. It seemed as if trouble was kin to us. One thing after another and with no signs of peril ever ending. But like they say, "This too shall pass..."
So although my family is still struggling, the situation is improving. With food and shelter plus a few other amenities, there is nothing that I nor my family should waste our time bitching about. Plus I have the most adorable neice that a uncle could ever ask for....I'm gonna spoil that little gurl rotten....LOL!!!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
As I was making my way to my seats last night I noticed a face. I inadvertently asked, "What's your name?" The woman answered, "Devorah." I rushed over and said, "You signed a book for me before." Devorah Major is a former San Francisco Poet Laureate. I heard her speak at a past poetry reading at the San Francisco Palace of the Arts. She was amazing...I should have spoke on it but at the time I just said hi and did it moving....
My seats were all the way in the back row. I hate back row seats but I didn't mind, I was still able to see Miss Toni Morrison, just not as good as I would have liked. She spoke on Obama and the energy it takes in which to write a nobel peace prize winning book. She mentioned that she never writes from what critics may mention about her. Although my friend was not as enthused about being there, she stayed awake, for some of the program. I bought a autographed copy of here new book "A mercy". I can't wait to see if she still has the skills tho pay the bills.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
10 months later and she finally did it, I am so proud of Naomi. It feels good to be able to function, as a supportive black man in my family's life. Not to the extent that I would love to be, but be there and be capable to do what I can when I am around. My niece Akira, had to be pulled outof my sista's womb, wasn't no pushin' her big self thru my sista's thighs... had to perform a c-section and pull Akira out. I watched the video, it was crazy, looked like they pulled a midget from my sista's belly....LOL. I love my sista and her baby.....Life can be so good at times!!!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Not to say that the children of tomorrow are stupid, because I know for a fact that they are far from that. They are just ignorant and inconsiderate. I was on the back of the bus one day when a group of teens just let a four or five letter word fall from the bottom of their lip like rain from a lovesick sky. A black woman, whom was a tenant at the previous apartment complex which I worked had to actually say, "Hay could you please watch yo' mouth I have my 4 year old daughter here."
They tried to maintain themselves, for a little while but couldn't. What surprised me was that the female of the crowd was the one who began cursing again with no regard to the child right behind her. What's up with that? Did she lose her intuitive motherly instinct to be thoughtful, courteous and caring to the cold world of being badd-ass and bling bling?
I really don't know sometime. I do know that my co workers Dave and Reggie are two wild and crazy guys. Just the other day Dave, (the white guy) just began throwing up uncontrollably during work. He said it wasn't the booze it was the sushi he ate. But I looked at his vomit and there wasn't anything there, but his vile liquid. If you ask me it was Smirnoff, not the sushi. My boy Reggie, aka the Icon Chief of the State, he insists that he is the hottest rapper to touch the mic. I told him his rapps aint too hot, but I offered him a hit for him to use, right on the spot today. I said "Bump- bundah". Then he laughed at me. I said, "Bump-bundah...Take ya shirt off." I said, "There ya go, a hit for the summa-tyme." Take ya shirt off!!!
People I make hits, but keep that on the downlow, like R.Kelly. Well, one good thing that did happen today for me is I got another credit card. Cha-ching. Lately I have been doing a lot of shopping. At the clearance rack, but shopping non-the-less. Peace Wordsongs
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Seeing Erykah Badu naked would have been the only way I could have made my evening with her that much more pleasurable. She is definately a class act.
The night started with The Roots coming out on time...and although I am not one of their biggest fans, I have a lot more admiration for them after seeing them perform live. They say that they are one of the most hardest working bands to date, playing like 271 days out of the year. From observing them, they have their craft down to a science. Qwestlove played his drums ferociously as Black Thought ran down his lyrics like a seasoned veteran. Professionally stepping to the side from time to time to allow his other bandmates the opportunity to "get their shine on", and shine they did. My favorite Roots song is "You got me", which features Erykah Badu. I was quite surprised when she didn't join them to perform it, instead they had their guitarist(seen in hyperlink) sing the hook while playing in a Hindrix style fashion. The Roots did a excellent job with filling in the gaps by playing various hits by other artists, I thought that to be ingenious way to open up...and give me monies worth. As they left the stage, Black Thought announced, "The show is only getting started!"
Well, he was almost right, because Erykah was atleast 45-60 minutes late, the only downside to the evening. Then finally the curtains opened. The stage was poorly lit, allowing members of her band to make their entrances. The crowd went wild when a woman appeared from out the shadows, but then another entered, followed by another and then the last. These were her back up singers, they were decked out in some classic 70's attire. Tight short dresses, head bands pulling back their afro's in puffs, knee high boots and bodies that jus' refused to quit. From the jump I knew this was going to be a helluva show. After about 5 minutes of anticipation and the back ups singers moaning to the first track on her new album, that soul systa finally appeared sporting a red plaid suit and and a afro that was bigger than the continent of Africa and 1/3 of the Middle East. The crowd went BANANAS!
Miss Badu sang the first few tracks off her latest LP "New Amerykah" and boogied down with her back up singers at the same time, with her funky self. She nor the back up singers missed a step. With the economy being very hard up right now I can see why some people chose not to purchase tickets, but at this point I was satisfied with my choice of forking over the $100.00 to see my baby in action and would do it again at the drop of a dime. Because I absolutely love her work, I was unable to hear all of my favorites, but I heard a majority of them. Since she started late, I was running out of time to see the whole show and still make it back home on public transportation. I had a nice fill, but I was and I am quite sure a the rest of the audience was waiting to hear "Bag Lady". I left my seat to inquire about the last BART train home. I was informed that it closed at 12 p.m. o'clock. It was 11:15 and still no Bag Lady. I decided I would give her till 11:30 then I would have to split. Finally my song came on, a proper end to a wonderful night of well dressed women and mind-blowing music. The only other slight annoyance of the evening was the fact that although the Paramount had seats, people couldn't help but stand and dance to the music. My favorite episode of this was during intermission when the d.j. played E.U.'s "Doin the Butt", need I say more?
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sometimes, I struggle with being a artist. When it comes to art, one must be able to discern when to give of themselves, honestly and wholeheartedly, as well as know when not to do either. For me its like letting the monsta inside of me loose upon the world. Speaking my truth, whether Tom, Dick or Sherry likes it, cause it's my truth. I spoke once before about my affinity for the good brotha Tupac Shakur, because he was a strong black man, who at one moment could have an uncontrollable passion for his fellow brethren and with a swift shake of a machete he could sing a of song of sin, croonin' his thug passion to the females inquiring, "How do you want it...?
So for me, this has always been my dilemma, do I give it to 'em raw or should I put some cut on it. I step back and say to myself, I want to give my reader some emotion, I want my reader to feel me where I am comin' from, if they not feelin' nothing good nor bad...I am not doing my job to bring the conviction which I am striving as a artist/poet for. In this process I must remain true to myself, first. Then I think about my audience...and I ask in a soft suddle voice, "How do you want it...?"
Theme music- Fleetwood Mac "Dreams"
Monday, May 12, 2008
I guess they thought I was servin' spam instead of spaghetti!!! I told 'em, it may have taken me a extra 5 months to get the job done, but I did it. So yes, you can say that Lannie Ross, 1 year later from being released from San Quentin State Prison, after doing 8 years, stepped out from that cage, enrolled in a computer tech school and got certified. Something can't nobody take away from you is a education...so they say. Hang that on yo' wall, you haters!
Now I went in to take my test, with a friend of mine who had started the class in S. F. with me. He was there early and started his exam. I came in about 10 minutes after. I left about 15 minutes before he finished. Nothing unusual, throughout our course I have always finished before him, sometimes placing higher, sometimes placing lower. Today I smashed and got a 880 and walked out, way before he finished. (Thats 880 out of a 900, the questions were weighted so you figure I missed 1-2 questions.) Well 15 minutes later his results came, he got a 885. I wasn't mad...I was happy. I wanted to get a higher score but I really wasn't tripping, the thing of it is although he passed, got certified and all that, his demeanor seemed to be on a haterist mode. Why, because I came with a fat ass diamond in my ear and I was dressed up...but I usually am if I am not at work. It's funny how some cats can pump each other up and others can just do the opposite. Yeah I looked good, but he scored higher, has all the opportunity to get a good job, find a good woman and have some kids someday, just like me, but no....he wants to focus on the here and now. I guess it's like my big brah Carl always tells me, sometimes I am just too real, and you know what they did to Malcolm and Martin....for being too real!
So I am going to continue to work at becoming humble. If not, my "Friends" are gonna KILL me.
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
I visited a friend this weekend and ended up helping her and her family paint their kitchen. I like visiting and find it a good escape from my normal life out in the city. Due to the fact that most of their fathers' are basically absent, I look forward in spending quality time with them. Not as a father figure, but more as a positive male role model. It is a shame how hard it is on single women now a days. Can't get a man to help change a light bulb let alone...buy a carton of milk. The whole family structure has deteriorated so low that it is much needed breath of fresh air when a man steps in, even if it is for only a weekend. I am not sure on how the impact of my actions truly effect her or her family, but all I can try to do is my best, to be a stand up brotha...can you dig it?
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I try to mind my own bidness, but when I seen that girl get smacked up side her head, I had to get my voyeurism on. Me and my co-worker Carl were minding our own business, painting some old rusted doors in the "Outta Control" projects. Me being as observant as I am, I began to notice a group of girls congregating by a car. Nothing out of the normal, so me and Carl continued to paint and shoot the breeze. Then all of a sudden I began to feel that same tension I use to get on the yard when something was about to go down. The female wolfpack was creeping towards the neighborhood hang out. I watched intently. Voices began to rise like the tide at Stinson Beach. Hands started to stray from their sides, eyebrows arched, top lips scratched the corner of noses, oh it was getting ready to go down. I knew one of the ladies from back in the days "Rosy". She was one of my potnahs girlfriend. But what was she doing out here, with these youngstas actin' hyphy for? Wouldn't you know it, when the sixteen year old girl turned to the right, Rosy hit her hard with a right. The police began to come down Larch alleyway, people scattered, the sixteen year old girl began to cry, pout, see she is on the Queen Latifah side, (kinda chunky for a sixteen year old) and usually she is the one who does the beating up, I guess today she got a taste of her own medicine...but from a 40 year old.
As me and Carl continued painting I received a call from John my boss, said he needed me to help Clay with moving some furniture. First of all, Clay is a lazy bum. He tries to fake the role of being a good guy, but I know better. He aint all that bad, but he aint all that good either. But now who is...anyway we are taking a table into the commu nity room and then there is a boom-boom!
I barely hear it and it doesn't sound too out of the ordinary, maybe its some construction going on down the street. Then I turn around and see one of the residents running with her hands in the air, "They shootin', they shootin'!"
Clay isn't moving, I look to him as he stands in the doorway, I inquire as to why he aint movin' his fat ass in the community room. He replies that, "You got your table leg caught on that chair and I can't move." I said, "If you don't move your fat ass out the way." I push the leg and basically scoot Clay inside. We wait a minute, see if the coast is clear and then I began to head for the office. Good ole Clay does what, heads straight towards the gunfire.
Although all the shooting had stopped, it just showed me the differences in culture that black folks have that other cultures don't. The biggest thing which I wish we could unadapt is the killing one another. Wake up brothaman/systagurl and stop the violence.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
I was nervous as hell as I sat at the computer. My hand wasn't metaphorically shaking like a leaf, it was physically "SHAKING LIKE AN EPILEPTIC"! Since I am epileptic, I can say that. But seriously, as I was taking my A+ exam, I didn't know if I was coming or going. Yeah, I knew a majority of the answers, still and all...my hand fumbling with that mouse as i clicked in my answers. Then as it said exit, I clicked and everything disapeered, I hopped up fled to door distraught about what I had just done, I wasn't quite sure if I barely passed or slipped thru the cracks. I called the attendant, (for lack of better words) to rush to my aid. He must have knew something that I didn't because he sort of smirked, hit a key on the keyboard and said relax, its just a survey you need to take next. He didn't seem enthused so I took it as I was on the way home a failure. I sped thru the survey, not answering all of the questions, still too nervous...then I finally reached my destination..."CONGRATULATIONS LANNIE ROSS"! It felt soooo good to finally get that monkey off my back. I wasn't filled with glee but I was more than willing to exhale. So I did, wooooooooooooo!
I went home checked my emails and saw a ticket alert from ticketmaster. It said Ms. Badu's tickets were on sale. I verified it and it was true. I placed a order as quickly as I could. The best seats left were in the M row, right in the middle. For $175 I would have paid for one ticket in row G, now I am four rows back for face value. I am so happy I can see that gurl do her thang, I am not a big Roots fan, but I am sure they will be alright anyway. I also got a aquarium off of freecycle, a organization dedicated to helping recycle whatever you don't need. I have been trying to locate pieces to put together a nice aquarium for a anole I saw at Petco. Now all I need to do is finish paying off my bills, hmmm...funny how that works.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
rockin' my stunna shades
about where my life is headed
only holdin' on
to what's fo' certain
and dyin' dat way
sometimes I feel like...
he do, so fill in the blank
on the floor get on
you know, that Michael Jackson song
I sing it
when the water is spilling
thru the pipes
Sunday, March 30, 2008
I called my mother to inform her that they took the lock off for the moment, and that she should try to stay current with keeping up her bills. If she doesn't she and the rest of my sisters and brothers will lose all that they can't carry by hand. She agreed, but she and I know better, it's only a matter time until the situation arises again. I don't fault her for keeping a roof over her and her children's head, however my brother who is mentally disabled has his own hotel room while the rest of the family (5 at the moment) share a room upstairs. Not only is that not cost efficient, it's just plain unfair to treat him as if he is some sort of king, when he is partly responsible for the eviction in the first place. I tried my best to offer suggestions and intervene, however it was to no avail, and it seemed as if it was beginning to birth a rift between my mother and I, so I retreated. If they like it, I love it...I guess? The thing is, I now that they don't.
On the upside, my mother won a Ipod Touch, which she was trying to sell for $250 to keep their rooms for the next two days. I offered her $200 and bought it. That, plus the storage fee, rent, phone bill, internet service, food... I guess you get my drift... I am trying to hang on, but shit-I just did 8 years in San Quentin, I know tomorrow's not promised, so let's do the damn thang!
Sunday, March 23, 2008
This was absolutely a most amazing night of militant minds and masterful mouths. Today I was able to witness my first "Youth Speaks" poetry slam. It was basically...OFF THE HOOK!"
From the youngest member (13), to the oldest(19). They all showed the characteristics of a polished performer. With topics ranging from the war in Iraq, to the lack of love that a father has for his son who chooses to pick up his pen instead of his fists for fighting, no area was left untouched, except the usual topic of "gettin' yo' groove on", which to me was very surprising, yet refreshing. Let the old foggies worry about sexin' it up, youngstas got more important issues to worry about, and that's saving the world.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
see he's organized
and he's on the ball
never miss a day of school
and he's an underdog
wanna learn more and more
pa and mama taught him good
He's about to change the face
of yo ghetto neighborhood
walking to school today
saw a brother on the streets
seem like errthang was cool
said the brother's packing heat
then everything changed
cuz he saw his own wings
and his mother was sad
they will last
time will past
Lately I have been listening to Sistah Erykah Badu's new album "New Amerykah". This is my favorite cut on the album. I was listening to it today as I went shopping for a few items. I purchased a new camera, since my old one some how happened to stop functioning. It's a HP, it came as a package with a printer as well. It's funny how all my equipment happens to be manufactured by Hewlett Packard, I like their products, so it's all good.
But as I was saying I went shopping to grab a few items to start my t-shirt venture off again. I have to hustle, it's in my blood. I just hope that the creative process enters into what I plan to do, so not only do I make a profitable investment in myself, but I get to do something which I enjoy as well. I tried to hurry up because tonight was the "Youth Speaks" semi-finals. I was supposed to meet up with my new friend Lynn and my potnah Audrey. Well Lynn got caught up in Oakland so she was unable to make it, so me and little brah, advanced to 151 3rd street. As i walked past people who stayed in their fancy hotel suites, I thought to myself, maybe one day I will be steppin' out of a jazzy hotel like that. But till then I am quite happy with my living arrangement so far. Audrey and I conversed about how our computer training will hopefully pay off soon, because we both now that procrastination leads to no occupation!
Once we got there we were informed that the remaining 25 tickets that they held were already sold. People were waiting in line with hopes that once intermission came, they would be able to grab a seat from a attendee that left. Me and Audrey, "jus' left". It's all goood though, because I will grab us some tickets online for the finals next weekend. Well I gotta study, when it comes to Street Tech, I am the underdog! Peace Lannie
Sunday, March 9, 2008
Few things are more nerve-racking for a woman than doing it in front of a camera for the first time. Luckily, Los Angeles bombshell Maliah Michel (pronounced me-shell) isn’t clothes minded. “I got naked,” recalls the giggly 23-year-old about her debut photo op. While Maliah, who makes scene-stealing appearances in videos like Twista’s “Girl Tonite” and Game’s “Put You on the Game,” appears to be sold on the less-is-more ideal, there are some obsequious characteristics within that jaw-dropping 36-26-45 frame of hers.
“I can be the girl in every man’s fantasy,” Maliah whispers.
It seems like forever since I last posted a entry. A lot has happended since. I aged another year, and made a transition from the B.A.S.N. transitional house. I moved to another program, called Phatt Chance. It's a lovely 4 story house with about a dozen men, including myself sharing rooms. I currently don't have a room. I am located in the basement, with 3 other gentlemen. I don't do too much mingling, so I only know the guys that i am around most of the time, and we don't talk that much either. I don't have the time to socialize, life is study and work-and at the same time I am working on studying life.
It's Sunday so I am trying to be more organized by handling my weeks work in advance, not waiting for the last minute. I have all my appointments logged into my Ipod "Nano". As I was logging my contacts in I noticed my friend from the penitentiary's number. I heard from his wife that he got back at it, and got caught up about 6 months back. I always mean to call, but today I finally did, with hopes that my good friend was finally back out. Sad to say he wasn't. It seems as if the ole boy from L.A., really got himself into this time. The bad part is that he basically did it for this female who most of the urban hip hop crowd knows as Maliah Michel, but I know of her as Nicole the stripper from Pasadena. While we were in the joint, he use to show me pictures of the cars he bought her, of her partying in New Orleans, and how he use to take her to the mall and just blow boo-koo dollars on her expensive tastes. I won't go into details, but he was getting milked and when she sent him the dear John letter, you would have thought that he would have seen it for what it was, but no, he was intent on gettin' back in the game and gettin' that goldigga with all his heart. From what I heard he did give her some more money but he got wrapped up by the Fedz, in midst of playing "Captain." The cold part of the whole thing is, is that he has a beautiful wife and a son who is truly probably on his way to the N.F.L at the age of 15. What can a man be thinking after doing 3 years, to want to jeopardize his own freedom, let alone remove himself from the lives of his real family?
I guess it's really like my boy TPain says, "I'm in luv wit' a stripper." As for Miss Maliah, I really can't hate, 'cause I guess if you see a fool, you use a fool, or in her words," “I can be the girl in every man’s fantasy!”
Sunday, March 2, 2008
live, laugh, and love
all that surrounds you
anything that succumbs to you.
the last time...
was many moons ago
so at any moments notice
i am ready
to love, live and laugh
smile, care, and cry.
be here with you in heart
as a black man.
for the "Shining Serpent"
Black hero one minute...black villian
a walking contradiction
a panther with conviction
bending against the wind of 'izm
i am him
and he was me
rappin', actin', fightin', recitin'
"Dear mama" please "Keep ya head up"
we will "Ride on our enemies"
and "If I die 2nite"
don't "Pour out a little liquor"
because this life
has given me "So many tears"
jus' continue to give me
'cause "Life goes on"
and this is the "Ballad of a dead Soulja"
this world will never know
anotha "Soldier like me"
in all my splendor
i will cycle towards the heavens
wings blazing crimson
with "All eyez on me"
wondering to myself...
"Does heaven have a ghetto?"
until that moment
i will laughlivelove
smilecare and cry
be here with you in heart
Monday, January 21, 2008
I haven't been too much blogging lately because I started a part-time job, thanks to my "big brah" from the program which I stay. He moved out but right before he left he hooked me up with one of his gigs because he knew how much my family and I have been strugglin'. It really came in handy because my bank account was runnin' on empty.
I am working at the notorious "The O.C. Projects" on Eddy Street. It's a housing project which is directly across the street from where my family was evicted three weeks prior. When I walk by I get that sense of deja vu, that this is home-but it's not. Once I reach my destination it only reiterates the reasons my mother was trying her hardest to move her family out of this neighborhood. I have witnessed women who were old enough to be my grandmother squat between parked cars and defecate without shame. Although the exterior of the homes are to say the least adequate, the honor in which the residents have for their community is worse than what a Tennessee hog would have for his sty. Needless to say, I understand that after years of living in squalor, these folks have no idea of what "pride" in your community is. Honestly the state in which they choose to tolerate is the least of my worries, I try to do my job and watch out for the gunshots.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
It took a full 4-5 days for me to recuperate somewhat, I went for a few bike rides and took some pictures. I was unable to study and right now thats all that should truly be on my mind. I am almost at the end of my time at this program so I have slight worries in my mind about being homeless myself. With so much on my plate it would easy to say, "fuck this" and rob someone or do something which would put me in harms way, with the justification that I could use the money and if nothing else...my mama needs it!!! Sad to say, thats enough for me to make me make some awful decisions. But on the flip side after doing eight years in prison, I know that, that is not in the equation...you feel me?
Well tomorrow it's back to business, got to go to school. Peace
Friday, January 4, 2008
move her daughter
plus 4 sons
her lemon sweet
& tupac poster
comcast box with the internet bonus switch
the internets out-the internets out
so are we-so are we
them tears wit' no watyr
& I was glad
'cause I aint won't her to die
over a sea of me
don't worry bout me no mo' mama,
jus' keep eatin' crackers
on top of cream cheese,
& pepsi on the rocks,
don't worry 'bout me
eating you outta house and home
if anything mama
i will be the one sleepin' in a cardboard box...