Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The Power of the Hustle

2 more days till freedom! In 2 days, I will have completed my first year of graduate school....WHAT!!! WHAT!!! As much as I like to complain about how much energy is sucked from my body due to school, I gotta admit that I've enjoyed most of it thus far.

Going to school at this level has taught me many lessons, but one always finds it way to the surface....The Art of HUSTLING. No i don't mean THAT kind of hustling :)...i mean the kind where you really put your back into your work and go for yours. Throughout this year, i've had to sacrifice my social and romantic life, but now I see why I did it. I kicked ass in my courses, won 4 scholarships (so far), landed 2 jobs that I LOVE, and set myself up in a public health training program that will provide PAID internship/research experience, PAID travel to conferences, and MONEY and support for my research project and application fees. Now all I gotta do over the summer is work my internship, train a few clients here and there, and KICK IT. Hard work DOES pay off.

I'm telling you, if you have a goal or vision, and are serious about accomplishment, be prepared to get your hands dirty and DO THE DAMN THANG. It all works out in the end.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Summer Wish List

After a much needed mini-vacation to San Diego, summer is now in full swing! I've been looking forward to this summer since the start of my graduate career. I started brainstorming about what I want to accomplish this summer a few weeks back, and I now have a nice lil' wish listgoing on. I wrote this as if I was talking to myself, so don't get confused....i thought you knew, this blog is all about ME! LOL just kidding you know I love to share. Tell me what you think.

*****LONG POST WARNING***WAIT, u know what? To hell with a long post warning. All my posts are probably going to be lengthy, so get used to it. I'm not a man of few words, and I'm cool with that. So here goes....

Summer 2006: Work Hard, then act a Fool!!

1. Work it (at work)!

- Research internship at the dayam thang. Get as much experience and training as possible. Make Dr. Yancey my #1 public health ally. Network like a mofo.
- Personal at community center 10 hrs/week, private training on weekends.
- NO MORE THAN 45 hrs/week of work. no exceptions

2. Research Project
- write the tightest literature review ever.
- see as much African dance as possible....must be a pro.
- network! Pick the brains of the dance and dance fitness experts.
- get healthy and healed so I can resume my dance training. start VERY slow, but be consistent

3. Preserve the sexy :)
- Make MY fitness more of a priority (thus practicing what I preach)
- CONTROL THE DIET! Fast food is from here on EVICTED from my belly.
- Pick it back up in the saves $ and ensures nutrition.
- Do not slouch on the physical sucks, but it's working.
- Cardio is my friend...shoot for at least 1200-1500 yards in the pool, 4 miles on the treadmill. 30 minutes is the minimum! ugh....
- Decide what you want more...improved conditioning, or bigger muscles? Weight lift accordingly.

4. Revive my social life
- Take a clubbing hiatus. Realize that it is virtually impossible to meet anybody of substance at a nightclub, and expand your horizons.
- Stop being so damn shy! Sometimes u gotta let it all hang out. Hold the Scorpio back though....I don't think the world is ready for that yet :)
- Be assertive! When you see somebody that sparks your interest (or something else :)), don't punk out. Be a man and spit game. You can't read minds or pickup on subtle flirtations, so don't expect others to do so. Flirting is fun and oh so hot, but there comes a point when you must let your intentions be known.
- Have plenty of hot, delicious, pulse-popping sex!! (when the right person comes along). If you don't get some action soon, either 'Scorpio' will emerge or yo' azz is gonna self combust! self combustion is not all.

***Side Note***. I've referred to 'Scorpio' several times but i haven't really explained what that all is about. For those reading that haven't figured it out, i was born under the astrological sign Scorpio. Scorpios are thought of as silently intense, brooding, and manipulative beings. We also have a reputation of being extremely sexual in nature. I definitely have a Scorpio side but i keep it under wraps because I don't quite know how to handle all that sexual energy yet. I'm actually a little afraid of it. I'll make a many of you have seen X-Men 3? You know how Jean turns into Phoenix when Logan tries to kiss her? That's what 'Scorpio' is like, except he's not violent...just extremely horny. OK back to the wish list... :)

- Get the hell out of L.A. every once in a awhile. San Diego, Santa Barbara, Catalina Island, even the Bay Area...all within traveling distance. Make it happen.

5. Travel plans

San Diego - Memorial day weekend (DONE!)
Davis/Sacramento/Bay Area/Stockton - June 16-19th
Seattle, WA - ????
Back to NY - Late summer????

6. Find a place to live/people to live with. Figure out how much you can afford, and get to looking! How many roommates? Living away from the crazy ass family....YAY!!! Living in Orange County.....BOOO!!!! Take the good with the bad i guess.

7. Family matters: Prepare to be the rock of the family. Mom is not doing so well, and you know you're next in line, so get ready. Be the strong one, but allow yourself to be weak and hurting as well. Be strong, not hard. Coordinate all the bros and can't do this shit alone, and you shouldn't have to. Try to spend more time with the little ones (nephews and nieces)....they grow so fast.

8. Random ish: do something with the bedroom. Go to the beach at least 3 more times. kick yourself for buying a bootleg digital camera, then buy all the peripherals that should have came with the camera so you can actually use it this summer. Think about having a professional photoshoot...that would be hot. Figure out something to do for volunteer work. Reconnect with your mentor. Take straight friends to a gay club/bar and watch them squirm muahaha!! Put a heavy dent in the reading list. Pray and read the Word more often. Have another NSBE/UC Davis black folks/random bay area peeps reunion and tear up another club...WHAT IS IT!!!??
Have "the talk" with Mom and's about time the know the real deal.

That's all I have...for now. Let the (good) madness begin!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

New York and DC: The Finish

Okay, I'm getting a little long winded with this New York story, so I'll finish it off with some highlights. I've got so much current stuff in the mix, I can't spend time dwelling on the past. Here goes.........

Loved it/the hotness:
Central Park was the bomb! So beautiful in the morning. not as many weirdos as I expected.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre/The Ailey School: I had SO MUCH FUN exploring that place. It felt like home, really. That African Dance class i took kicked my ass; however, it re-lit my dedication to my research and made me stay focused on getting back to dancing.

Djoniba Mouflet African Dance School: I was given so much support for my research project, and the folks there were just mad chill. Can't wait to train for my certification there.

Entertainment in the subway: Man they should have been charging admission (well, they kinda do :)) for all the stuff I got to see/hear at the train stations. Breakdancers, musicians, crackhead comedians (a HOT mess), fanatical religious people...good fun for $2!

Having stores on EVERY corner: Fresh fruit and quality eats pretty much everywhere. A definite plus for my health nut during the week-but eats catfish and BBQ on the weekends ass.

H & M!!!!!!!: I'm not much of a shopper, but I acted a damn foo up in this place. And it was right next to a Foot Locker....I had no control. My only complaint were the tight assed pants with no booty-room. Anybody know of a decently priced, junk-friendly jeans manufacturer?

All the ethnic folks: Puerto Ricans, Haitians, West Africans, East Africans, Dominicans, Brazilians, Italian (like from Italy), Jamaicans, White folks, Asians, Black folks...all together and making it work. It's diverse here in LA, but NY has more of it and people actually interact with one another. I also like how the ethnic folks valued being "ethnic". Holding on to one's culture while succeeding in the dominant society is a beautiful thing.

Clubbing till 4 AM!: I love how at 3 am, the DJ is still doin the damn thang on the turntables.
Parking lot/club exit pimping at 4 am...priceless.

Howard University (in DC): So uplifting and inspiring seeing my upwardly mobile brethren thriving. The eye candy was nice as well....woof.

Seeing my long-lost friends: Chillin with Reg was definitely a highlight, as was getting to see my fraternity bro Jeff and friend Ms. Drea from undergrad. I found out a gang of folks I know live in NY/DC, so my next trip is going to be soo ridiculous!

Hated it!/BOO-HISS:

Crazy ass taxi drivers: I almost died 3 TIMES messin' with transportation via taxicab. I'll take my chances with the subway, thank you!

JFK airport: Why does this damn airport gotta be so damn far away from errythang?? Damn it!

The wave cap as a fashion accessory: I'm talking about non-black hair textured folks donning wave caps, as if wearing one will give them more "thug" credibility. The wave cap is a functional grooming item people...if you don't have any waves developing or cornrows to protect, PLEASE leave the cap at home.

High ass prices: New York City and State must have fallen and bumped their heads if they expect anybody to pay 20 bucks just to park on the street. Boo-to-da-hiss.

The Empire State Building: From the outside, I was mesmerized by the magnitude of this building. On the inside, I got my feelings hurt. I totally felt cheated when i found out you can't go all the way to the top without paying extra. And the telescope thingis were hella broke the day i went. Let's work on that please.

The Village: Okay i know I'm probably going to catch fire and brimstone for bad talking "The Village". But from what I saw, I wasn't too thrilled. Maybe it was hyped up too much for me....maybe things weren't crackin on the night that i visited. Anywho, i'll have to go and chill in the Village on a Saturday to see what it's really all about.

Overall Impression:

I bought one of those corny "I-HEART-NY" shirts and rocked it on my way back I must be fond of NY. There's a lot more to see and do in the city. I hardly touched any of the other borroughs, so I definitely need to spend some time away from Manhattan next time. Until then, I'll enjoy my memories and these ridiculous video clips i recorded. When I get a chance, i'll have to post some of them.