Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dear Obama...From Dr. Cornel West

Dr. Cornel West is still a living hero of mine. A man I highly admire, agree with, and had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing on more than one occasion. The brother is potent.
Enjoy. Thanks for the post Billy, and as I have said to friends as of recently...
I see Obama as a relative I am in an argument with at the moment.
I love him, but I don't like him right now.


a song for the times...

This song was relevant in the era it was created...just as it is now.

In listening, I wonder...with so many great passing, who do we have to take their place? I cannot listen to songs like this, from my parent's generation and find the parallel in my own.
I and my friends who appreciate good music yearn for those talented enough to make life-long music.

Ya dig?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

race relations...

Powerful conversation on race relations.
Including a panel of Tom Joyner, Chris Matthews, and others...Definitely worth a peek.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Haiti, Japan identifies...

This week is not only the mark of the destruction, in Haiti, but also the anniversary of one of Japan's biggest earthquakes to date.
Japan identifies, and pitches in during Haiti's time of need.

"People who lost their parents in the Great Hanshin Earthquake ran a fundraising drive in Kobe on Sunday to help those affected by Tuesday's powerful earthquake in Haiti."

Kobe marks anniversary of deadly 1995 quake | The Japan Times Online

Friday, January 15, 2010

a traveling education...yes or no?

Yesterday, I was working at one of my favorite schools. A place that I am going to be broken hearted to leave when my contract ends in nine (9) weeks. Yes, nine weeks. Of my year in Japan that is all that remains left to it.

We were speaking about a friend of mine who cancelled his contract early, and went home. She was introduced to the new replacement and the school told her the reasoning for my friend leaving was so he could attend school back in America. This is what the company said in order to show face to the school board. It is a half truth.

She continued on saying, "Many people who travel, like you, love school and go back." The slight language barrier (as her English is great) initially had me feeling a little defensive. I took it as meaning that instead of working we run to school.

She clarified and said, "No it's good. People your age, like you, who travel, like school." She's right.
A few weeks ago, I pondered on whether or not there is a correlation between how much someone travels and how important higher education is to them.

For instance, my best friend, who (hands down) has travelled more than anyone I know has been a doctor since her mid-twenties. A bonafide (pardon the pun, B. lol) genius in my eyes.

My friend Daniel, who I boast having an international friendship with. For we have only met three times in real life, and it's only been in major international cities. He's another one whose gaps in traveling were only filled with obtaining a master's degree in Salt Lake City (and snowboarding, of course).

For many of the new friends I have made in Japan, continuing through higher education is on their radar, as much as continuing travels are.

And many of you know I got accepted into the University of London, Goldsmiths College this fall, and am due to begin my masters in Sept of this year.

Is there a correlation between heavy travelers and this need for higher education?

I'd venture to say yes.

When you travel the world, your mind is opened in ways unimaginable. You are tested. Sponge-like, you soak everything in and you are educated through life. This theory is not un-like the same one I proposed during my Commencement speech, in Madison Square Garden, on behalf of Iona College's undergraduates, in June 2006.

As I said then, we got the textbook education, now don't waste it by faulting on acquiring the life experience education.
I personally feel you cannot fully benefit from one without the other.

Travel is an addiction for those who do it a lot. Travel is also a type of learning. Learning that some people simply cannot do without.
Sadly, a rendition of learning that some people are too scared to attempt.
There is less fear in opening a textbook, than getting on a plane to a place that may shake up your comfort zone and your beliefs.

In the wake of the earthquake in Haiti, I had a dear friend (who has family there) tell me that this disaster woke him up to what has been going on in the world. You hear about tsunamis, mudslides, earthquakes, etc...happening all over the world. Because it isn't in your immediate area, you don't feel the affliction. Now that is has happened somewhere that he has a personal connection to, it has become more real, more tangible.

Sadly, this initial complacency is true until it hits home.

When you travel, you never forget. It becomes difficult to be complacent because you KNOW, FEEL, OVERstand, and in some cases have SEEN what these people are actually going through. That is the education of travel.

For me, travel is too important not to.

I hated History/Social Studies in school because I felt I couldn't relate to it. Now, if I was to take those classes again, it would be a whole other story.

My future goal, with my future family, is to be able to have my kids travel during summer vacation to the places they are learning about in History books during the school year. I want them to have both facets of learning, as soon as possible in life.

With that, I would like to say....this India visa is looking real sexy in my passport right now. ;)

Olbermann pulls no punches on Limbaugh and Robertson...

The first video is the blasphemy of Robertson's words...and to the sista sitting beside him, I throw a side-eye to you as well.

The second video is Keith Olbermann's LIVE reaction to the comments. This is why I watch Olbermann, even still in Japan. If I can't get him, then I turn to Rachel Maddow. MSNBC has true heavy hitters that will dig in you if need be.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


This is going to be short, clear, and concise.

This situation in Haiti is truly tugging my heart strings tonight.
Donate to Wyclef's
I've been in touch with his New Media Manager, Nate Erickson.
Contact him at, or @NateErickson on, if you want to help!

I will be getting information on how to donate clothes...
It's night in Japan. I am going to bed very uneasy tonight.

My sister Sarafina was just in Haiti working with this impoverished nation within the last year. It is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. We CANNOT just sit back. Whatever information I get on donations of clothes and supplies, I will post ASAP.


Monday, January 4, 2010

2009 Top 3s

3 Proudest Moments:
1. The look on these kids faces, knowing I am affecting them for the rest of their lives
2. Interviewing Nelson George for J'Adore Magazine
3. Truly understanding/overstanding my personal growth

3 Best Artistic Goals:
1. Memoir
2. Nomadness
3. Finding the niche I can fill

3 Greatest Additions to my life this year:
1. The Japanese GAP crew (Miwa, Mami, Suguro, formerly Kotoyo)
2. The Company crew (Megan, George, Mariana, Aisling)
3. Mieko, her family, and her psychic

3 Biggest Accomplishments:
1. Getting on that plane to Japan
2. Getting accepted to Goldsmiths for my masters
3. Booking my trip to India

3 Biggest Heartbreaks:
2. Saying 'I love you' and not hearing it back
3. Barack sending more troops to Afghanistan

Top 3 books:
1. The Places That Scare You
2. Delaying the Real World
3. 20 Something/20 Everything

Top 3 People:
1. Dad
2. Grandma
3. Jason

3 Most Random Moments:
1. Seeing a group of Japanese Santa Clauses on motor bikes, post a winter storm in Japan
2. The guy openly jerking off on the Tokyo metro
3. Kotoyo and Loni busting down a guardrail in the elementary school in order to park in the parking lot for free (ghetto Japanese ish)

3 Mottos to help me get through the year:
1. "Being realistic is the most commonly travelled road to mediocrity." Will Smith
2. "The tendinous part of the mind, so to speak, is more developed in the winter; the fleshy, in the summer.I should say winter had given the bone and sinew to literature, summer the tissue and the blood." -John Burroughs
3. When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters. One represents danger and the other represents opportunity.
-John F. Kennedy

3 Words I over-used (same as last year)
1. Insane
2. Crazy
3. Dope

3 Words I over-used (Japanese edition)
1. Nani? (What?)
2. Gomene (Sorry)
3. Shogonai (it is what it is!)

Here is to 2010!