Posts Tagged ‘christmas’

November 2016 Wrap-Up

November 30th, 2016

November was a very active month for me, considering I barely left the house. This is the twenty-sixth post that I will publish this month. I never considered writing this month, but the political ramifications threw me into overdrive. You can understand.


At some point, I also have to record some music. I have written songs for publishing demos. The idea is to record in December. Just some basic demos so producers can go “hey, I can use that for this project” and BOOM, I get myself a placement on a album. Money, money, hell yeah.


Did you know that we have refugees here in Kentucky? We certainly do. And with this holiday season it would be a good time to welcome your local refugee with a nice letter welcoming them to the USA. That’s what I did. Today I mailed a letter to Americana Community Center so they can give them to the refugees who are kinda bewildered in a new country.



ATTN: Clare Ruiz

4801 Southside Drive

Louisville, Ky. 40214


They don’t have to be long, wordy letters. Some of the refugees may not be too good at English or may be children. Feel free to draw pictures, too. I wrote small sentences like “I’m glad you’re here” and “Welcome to the USA” and “You are my friend” and I drew some trees and I tried to draw a peace sign but I did it badly. But I played it off but saying “I am trying to draw a peace sign but I made a mistake. Sometimes it takes a few tries to get it right.”


Some books I confess to wanting to read:

No Half Steppin‘ by Claude “Paradise” Gray and Giuseppe “” Pipitone. No Half Steppin’ is as the subtitle suggests, An Oral and Pictorial History of New York City Club the Latin Quarter and the Birth of Hip-hop’s Golden Era. This book features oral history from a lot of people who were there in New York hip-hop in the mid-to-late 1980s, A Tribe Called Quest, Stetsasonic, Public Enemy, KRS-One, MC Shan, Eric B, and many more. Gray was the co-founder of classic rap group X-Clan and entertainment manager at the Latin Quarters back in the 80s while all this was going on. His archive of photos is tapped for what is sure to be a great book, tracing the steps from when hip-hop was a local phenomenon before it became a permanent part of popular culture.


Somebody To Love by Matt Richards and Mark Langhorne. A book about the life, death and legacy of Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury. It’s a biography of the legendary singer juxtaposed with the history of HIV. Some people be thought of without thinking of AIDS or HIV. Freddie is one, Magic Johnson is the other. Freddie’s history is linked to linked to AIDS being the first major rock star to die from the disease. And yet his death was the birth of the legend that continues even to this day, a ROCK GOD in meme form. The things you learn about him are staggering. That he downed a bottle of vodka in order to cut the vocals for “The Show Must Go On” in the last year of his life and sang the whole track in one take.

It Takes So Little

January 14th, 2016

It takes so little to put me into a deep funk.


For Christmas I was gifted a Wal-Mart gift card for what I thought was $125. What I thought was $125. I thought it was $125.


I thought I had a gift card with $125 on it. From Wal-Mart. A gift card. With one-hundred and twenty five US dollars on it. That I could spend at Wal-Mart. Using the card. The gift card. The gift card I was given on Christmas. By my grandmother.


Now all of a sudden I can budget ahead for January. An extra $125 goes a long way in my world. I can get an oil change for my car. I’ve been needing one for a few weeks. I’m sure my oil is low. I’ll also be able to use the card for groceries. The gift card. The Wal-Mart gift card. It had $125 on it. An oil change is what, twenty dollars? I can go to the store and get groceries. I’ll have $105 or so left over. On the gift card. The Wal-Mart gift card. I got it for Christmas.


So I went and got the oil change. Which cost twenty bucks and change. That was last week. This week I went back to get some groceries. I got about $20 worth of stuff. Which would leave me with about $85 on the card. The Wal-Mart gift card that had $125 on it. You get the idea.


But nay! I swiped the gift card and the checkout counter man said “that will be $16 and. . .” blah blah. I owed him that. I owed him extra after I used the gift card. My $125 gift card that was going to get me through January.


He checked the balance on the card for me. Zero. Zero dollars. Zero sense. I owed him sixteen and change after the difference.


After I sorted all that out, I came home and tried to figure out where everything went wrong. I went online. I went to Wal-Mart’s website. I typed the card number in. It said zero dollars. I had spent the entirely of the card. All $25 on the card.


Why did I think it had $125 on it, then? I looked at the little envelope the card came in. The one my granny gave me and it said $125 on it. She wrote it down. My granny. My 77-year-old grandmother. My sweet, kind granny who gave me a $25 gift card. A $25 gift card.


A $25 gift card.


I have included an artist’s rendering of the envelope my granny wrote the amount down on. See if you can guess what happened.



Granny tried to make a dollar sign with two strikes through the “S”. Two vertical lines through the “S”. You can draw a dollar sign with one vertical line or two. Either is common. But my granny. My nice, arthritic 77-year-old granny went wide right with the second strike and. . . I had a $25 gift card.


Now I know this sounds ungrateful on my part. But I’m not mad at Granny for messing that up. I’m mad at myself. I’m mad at my own dumb luck. You think you’ve got something figured out and you’ve planned it out accordingly. I’ve got this much to spend this month. Oh, I’ve got a little extra thanks to my $125 gift card. This will allow me to breathe easier in January before I finally move out. It’s supposed to be February. Maybe by Valentine’s Day. We were originally gonna get me moved out before Thanksgiving.


Nope. Just forget it. Forget everything you know. You didn’t have what you think you had, Mike. You got an oil change out of it. It’s fine. Really, it’s fine. Are you gonna let a misunderstanding and a difference of $100 get you in a funk today?




It takes so little to put me in a funk. Every now and then I get a few feet away from a deep funk. Just when I get out, I get pulled back in. It doesn’t take a lot. It’s the big things. It’s the little things. It’s everything.


It’s everything.

Christmas Visit

December 25th, 2014

We have to stop meeting like this.


This is the only place we ever get to meet. We can’t switch it up?


Furthermore, I end up doing all the talking. What’s the fun in that? There’s nothing to say on your end, is there?


I have to talk myself into coming to see you. But I couldn’t let it go. It’s Christmas day. I had to pay you a visit. Even if only for a moment. I have other people to see. People to hug and cry with and swap presents with and tell stories to. People to love and break bread with.


They would all rather you be there. In person, to touch and see. But that’s not how it is, is it?


It’s better this way. . . for you. Just not for us. I’m told it will get easier over time. But first we have to get over this first one. I know I certainly must. I can’t be a rock for anybody right now.


You were my rock. You were my role model. Because I want to be there for people. I want to be the rock for others. The one that can be talked to, who will listen and understand or try to.


There’s so much to tell. I wish I could get a reaction from you.