The Art & the Life

Monday, December 15, 2014

Have you ever sat down and tried to analyze and rationalize a purchase?  Lately, I find myself doing just that.  Perhaps, it's the protests in the air.  The sense that I am making a statement with my dollars is stronger than ever.  

Saturday night after an evening wedding I attended with my sister, we drove around looking for an open independent coffee shop just for a chai tea latte.  None were open, unfortunately.  

The Starbucks in my neighborhood used to be 24 hours.  Now it only stays open until 11pm.  Did I mention it has a drive-thru?  Convenience does not begin to describe how great that is.  Who wants to step out of the warmth of the car and into the cold for a coffee fix?  What am I a smoker?  All addictions being equal, I still try to maintain some level of control even if it is just the heat knobs in the car.

We settled for Starbucks.  I decided to order a short ristretto, soy, no foam, no whip, caramel brûlée latte.  They didn't get all of my money.

I do this thing now, where commercial/corporate purchases are balanced by independent ones.  It is not a dollar for dollar match.  It works for now until I can make a complete spending shift to local, independent, small businesses and/or projects I find particularly inspiring. 

For example, after I purchased the short latte from Starbucks, the next day I had lunch at a local spot and pre-ordered THAT GUY THE MOVIE from Black and Sexy TV.  I have been watching their channel on YouTube for years and supported one of their earlier campaigns.  This is their first movie and I am so proud of the crew!  Black and Sexy TV provides a ton of free content and shifting my dollars to support other creatives is my idea of economic utopia.  Additionally, a society where creatives have the financial ability to support other creatives is the truth by all accounts.  Check 'em out!

In spending solidarity,



Thursday, December 11, 2014

The lights have been going in and out over here due to the storm. It's hella scary.  I thought about making a run to Trader Joe's for some dark chocolate covered almonds but got punked by the sound of the wind.

Not having adequate storm snacks sucks.  All I have is some beet hummus with no rice crackers because I ate those earlier, Indian pizza that requires an oven or skillet, stuff for tropical smoothies and orange flavored mineral water.  How am I supposed to make it through the storm with that??

I was hoping to just sleep through it since I really don't feel well but I am wide awake.  The good news is that my ipod is fully charged.  So no need to cancel my personal dance party.  My phone is guaranteed to die tonight if the lights go out again though.

If only I was better prepared for this storm.  The wind is so loud.  It sounds pissed off at everybody.  I'm low key scared to go outside, lol.

Let's just hope this mess dies down before the game on Sunday.  Actually, it would be best if things settled down by tomorrow.  I have a law seminar tomorrow followed by a youth and police forum in the evening.

I am looking forward to what our teens say to the police about what has been going on in the city.  In TEENERGY, we just had a discussion on excessive force.  The teens were shocked to learn that there is no real definition and it is primarily based on the officer's perspective.

The storm is the perfect metaphor for what's happening on the social justice front.  It's an even better one for excessive force and/or police brutality.  Think about it.  Both are unpredictable, seem to express anger for no reason, can be unnecessarily violent, and the aftermath is usually disasterous.

They say a storm does not last forever but justice is the only thing capable of predicting sunny days in the future.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


had just picked up our college liaison and was a few blocks from picking up our other team member for our Wednesday TEENERGY session in West Seattle when I had the scare of my 2014 life.    

It was pouring down rain.  Traffic was average.  Casual conversation on various topics was taking place.  All of a sudden I spotted a short slender stack of pink out of the corner of my eye.  My first reaction was to quickly swerve into the left lane to avoid colliding with the flash of pink that just jutted out from behind a large white truck. 

The pink mass was a little girl who obviously did not understand the concept and logic of safety or crosswalks.  If she did, she would have never chanced crossing the street the way that she did.  I mean who just hides behind a truck and runs into the middle of the street with the intention of making it to the other side alive?!  Apparently, this little girl had this exact plan in mind when she ran into the street all willy nilly without looking from left to right and left again to be sure no cars were coming.   

After swerving into the left lane to avoid clipping the pink jacketed girl, I pulled over.  I jumped out of the car and started running after her.  She couldn't have been more than seven or eight.  I just had to make sure she was okay and that she never did something like that again.  

I yelled, "Hey!"  She stopped running and sheepishly walked back towards me.  She had tears in her eyes and so did I.  My heart was pounding out of my chest.  All I could think was this little girl almost lost her limbs and/or life.  Before I could even get a word out, she said:

Next time I will use the crosswalk!
I asked her if she was okay and told her how badly she scared me.  We were both pretty shook up about the near brush with death.  I wanted to ask her where her parents were and what made her think that kind of behavior was okay.  I didn't.  I just crouched down, looked her in her eyes and told her to never, ever, ever run into the middle of the street like that again.  She shook her head and told me again how next time, she would use the crosswalk.  

If any circumstances would have been different, I mean anything...this little girl would have been a goner.  I was all jacked up after that.  It took me a minute to gather myself.  It was not my ninja sharp reflexes alone.  Angels were watching over her.  I hope she goes on to do something amazing.     

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Introducing our brand spanking new logo for TEENERGY Social Justice Art Program hot off the press!  You all are the first to see the beautiful creative genius of my artist friend and TEENERGY Co-Leader, 
+Hiawatha D!

Don't you just love the vibrant colors?!  This will be the logo on our hoodies we will be getting soon.  Yes, we will be rocking our "suspicious" hoodies with no apologies.   

Our swag cannot be criminalized.

This logo and the brand brewing within is only the beginning.  Stay tuned.  The revolution will not be televised.

Monday, December 8, 2014

lanning a social justice intensive day for teens can be just as intense as participating.  My teenage sister always reminds me that it must be fun.

How does one make such serious topics fun??  I am for real struggling with this aspect of the program.  My teens have said they are having fun.  But even that makes me think that I must not be digging deep enough.

I know I am giving my 99.9% every day to my teens but keeping that .01% for myself.  Why?  I think it's because I need it.  I mean really need it like on some survival type levels.

That .01% is comprised of pain, tears and "I can't believe how f-ck-d up things are in this country."    It's the .01% that allows me to press forward.  It's the part where forgiveness for foolishness lives.  It's the part that consoles.  It's the part where compassion for their reckless behavior is stored.  It's the part that I feel like I need just to scroll through my social media timelines without completely losing it.

I mean damn.  How much more must we take?  How many more brothers and sisters gotta be brutalized before it stops??

When things become a little less f-ck-d up and police "stop killing us," that is when I won't have to lean so heavily on that .01%.  At least I hope so.

Trust levels of "authority" remain undetected and in untraceable amounts.  I'm turning into a cynic.

You know that image of the twelve year old boy, giving free hugs and  photographed hugging a police officer?  My first thought wasn't a warm and fuzzy feeling that change was near.

No.  My first thought was concerning the little boy and just how easy it would be for that officer to plant some drugs on him.  I know.  Horrible, right?

Well, that's what happens when you've read too many tweets and seen too many bodies in the streets...

That .01%, is strong enough to stand in the belief that change is still possible.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

ustice called and it wants some art from artists who have something to contribute to the narrative that Black Lives Matter.  

Have you peeped the poetry on cardboard that are the signs of our times?  I find myself moved everyday by the powerful statements on some of these protest signs. It's either that or shaking my head but agreeing at the same time.   

I am wondering about what my fellow artists are creating in their studios to capture this defining moment in history.  So much so, that I am putting out this call for art.  Submit your best social justice artwork on police brutality, gentrification, protesting, resistance, the wealth gap, equity and any other theme dealing with social change.  

Submissions will be collected until we have 31 pieces or artists to display in our virtual art gallery.  We will talk about what artists can do creatively to bring about change on an upcoming live broadcast in January.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I had every intention of live blogging from my mama's jazz performance but instead witnessed a friend launch her dream business in the travel industry.

From my informal poll of the crowd, mama did an outstanding job.  I love hearing her express her creative side through song.  I try to make it to all of her performances so missing tonight's sucked but I am glad I saw my friend thrive.

I try to make it a point to be there in the early stages of when someone puts themselves out there in the direction of their vision.

My reasons are selfish though.  I get so much joy from just being in the mix.  It also motivates me to continue pursuing my own dreams.  The people in the room are excited and the energy is always on a creative level with thinking of whom to connect with whom to further one's business.  I am still floating and feel really pumped to create.  But what to create???

All this creative energy needs something constructive to do.  I still get to come up with something to create for the evening/tomorrow.  I have no clue what that will be.  Please give me some ideas!! 


Contact Form


Email *

Message *


2014 © 31AT31