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Wednesday, 2 March 2005
while she was out...
Now Playing: Squarepusher - "Ultravisitor"

although i'm quite happy that the month of March is upon us, the Men's Conference at church was a wonderful way to close out February. God met us all right where we were and took up residence in the sanctuary from Wednesday to Sunday. creative, convicting and life-changing words filled the atmosphere. it was beautiful. and yeah, the Men's Chorus wasn't too shabby, either. while somewhat annoyed that i was arm-twisted into being a struggling second tenor, i managed to pull it off somewhat. Lord, in case i forgot to tell you, thank you for masking my imperfections with your glory. of course, there's always one person who says, "you know, you really should consider joining the Men's Chorus." SLOW DOWN. i think it's obvious that the 2nd tenor position had me in a headlock. i can carry a tune in a bag from point a to point b, but that's about it. it's not a gift area, and i'm not going to fool myself or be fooled by the pew of positive thinkers and entertain such a curious fantasy.

my mind's still recovering from the work day. it was one of those days that undoubtedly proved that, in many ways, this gig mirrors the one i left. you try to deny it to yourself, focus on the positives, tell yourself that it was the right move and all that, but it's looking right back at you and saying, "bet you thought this was gonna be different, didn't you?" one of my favorite preachers was in town tonight, but i didn't make it out to Bible study. after wrestling with customer requests and struggling to understand certain information about the job, i just didn't feel like getting "deep" tonight. my brain desperately needed some downtime. meanwhile, my wife's up in Buffalo for job training until Friday. we just got through speaking on the phone. tried to get the cat to say something, but i think he's upset with her for leaving. so i clean his litter box, make sure he has enough chow, scratch his ear and attempt to convince him that all will be right with the world soon enough.

while the overabundance of "me" time at home is nice, her presence adds to the oasis our apartment has become. yeah, i miss her. i like watching her sleep. or getting up in the morning when the alarm goes off and hitting the snooze button and going back to sleep, which happens no less than four times every morning. the cat will lie on her chest when she gets into bed at night. he's only done that to me once. he's tried a number of times and each time he looks as if he should rethink his position. it's not like i haven't tried to coax him over either, especially now that Beth's in Buffalo. i figure, he hasn't got a choice now, right? he's gotta pick me. nope. still unsure. he'll bug me for everything else, but he won't do that. that's strictly saved for the wifey.

absence makes the heart grow fonder. damn, they ain't ever lied...

Posted by macedonia at 12:14 AM EST
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won't someone PLEASE think of the children?!?
Now Playing: Squarepusher - "Ultravisitor"
Topic: articles

more reasons to show love for my man Dr. Mark Anthony Neal. it's observations like this that make me feel so fortunate that i had a class with him when he taught at SUNY Albany. dem chilluns at Duke best recognize greatness when they see it...

Posted by macedonia at 12:13 AM EST
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Monday, 28 February 2005
because black life doesn't expire come march 1st...
Now Playing: Downtown Soulsville w/Mr. Fine Wine (wfmu.org)
Topic: articles

As Black History Month comes to a close, just wanted to post a few links to some interesting articles i've read. topics include blogging while black, an art exhibit examining feminine images within hip-hop, a new album from legendary poetess Sonia Sanchez, the Rosa Parks vs. Outkast case, and William Jelani Cobb dares to ask: What Would Malcolm Do?

Posted by macedonia at 11:55 AM EST
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Friday, 25 February 2005
velvet Jesus
Now Playing: Fishbone - The Reality of My Surroundings

yep, it's official. hot chocolate is to me what coffee is to others. another friday at the salt mine and i've got Fishbone on crunk (or as loud as it can be on a portable handheld cassette recorder, anyway). while i'm thankful for the weekend on the horizon, they're jam packed with places to be and things to do and not much downtime. hopefully, i can squeeze in a little cuddle time with the wifey - she leaves for buffalo on sunday for a week of job training. she gets back home next friday night. so it's just me and the cat for a while. oh yeah, he's thrilled.

the new work site has its own brand of insanity, no doubt, but nothing will top some of the things i've seen at my last gig. it was probably two weeks into the job - i remember it like it was yesterday. a huge box arrived for the president of the company. one of the admin cats at the front desk opened it up only to find a three-foot statue of Jesus - draped from head to toe in velvet. that was biZarre enough. five minutes later, we discovered a slit in the top of the statue...just big enough to put your loose change in.

a three-foot velvet Jesus bank. sent to a man that i'm pretty sure is of the Jewish faith. supposedly, it was sent by a friend of his, so it's probably an in-joke that i can't even begin to comprehend.

i've only been working at my new job a little over a month, but these folks are crazy. granted, you need to be a little insane to endure the customer service racket. at the same time, you've gotta go the extra mile to beat a velvet Jesus arriving at your office.

Posted by macedonia at 12:22 PM EST
Updated: Friday, 25 February 2005 12:27 PM EST
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Thursday, 24 February 2005
Now Playing: Men's Chorus rehearsal tape
Topic: the Christian walk

yesterday as i was leaving work, i saw five deer run across the entrance to the office complex. totally caught me off guard...to the point where i found myself staring at them in awe for a few seconds. a train ride into Mount Vernon later, the moon hung low and full in the sky. stopped into a McDonald's to grab a little something to tide me over until a late dinner. i was heading to church for the first night of our 2nd annual Men's Conference. light attendance, but that's likely to change once word gets out about how last night went. it was electric. GOD met us right where we were. there's nowhere to go but up from here. tonight i'm singing with the Men's Chorus. should be interesting since i was moved from a comfortable baritone to a barely making it 2nd tenor three days ago. so i'm sitting at work listening to rehearsal tapes and picking out the 2nd tenor parts, which is made all the more difficult since i mostly concentrated on the baritone section.

Lord, i know you're up there. you know i was comfortably well off as a baritone. i was able to pay my vocal bills just fine until forces beyond my control have moved me to a higher tax bracket. now it seems like my ends don't even want to introduce themselves to each other. i also know you're big enough to fill in the gaps and give me the push i need to reach those higher notes. you wouldn't put this challenge before me and not equip me with what i need to meet the challenge. it is where i am weak that your strength shines through and reminds me that it was all your doing. decrease me so that you may increase. be with the brothers tonight; let us all be on the same page with no other motive than to sing of your power and greatness, that your name will receive every ounce of the honor that you so rightly deserve.

in Christ Jesus' name i pray...Amen.

Posted by macedonia at 10:23 AM EST
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Wednesday, 16 February 2005
quote of the month
Now Playing: Freestyle Fellowship - Innercity Griots

?I don't really think Jesus cares if he gets shine on [Hot] 9-7??
MC Hired Gun (ESP, 3rd Party), regarding Kanye West's "Jesus Walks."

How happy he must've been when Ray Charles came back from the dead to sweep the Grammys and remind a big-headed college dropout why Genius Loves Company.

everybody sing it together: "KANYE, WHAT'D I SAY?!?"

Posted by macedonia at 4:50 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 24 February 2005 10:19 AM EST
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Monday, 7 February 2005
holed up in harrison
Now Playing: Thomas Dolby - "May The Cube Be With You"

Super Bowl Sunday taught me an important lesson: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. usually, i spend a quiet evening in with the wifey and watch the game and have some tasty eats. this year i attended a Super Bowl Fellowship at my church. the Men's Ministry hosts it every year; last night marked their sixth time doing it, i think. very successful - lots of brothers came through. fed some kids from two group homes. a few even gave their lives to Christ. while i was definitely doing the right thing, i can't say that i totally enjoyed myself. too many people, too loud, too much. i live a relatively quiet existence. plus i had some memos on my mind that i had to deliver to one of the ministers (i agreed to be their secretary - why the HELL did i do that?), so i was thinking about that the whole time and ended up working on one of them while i was there. no good deed goes unpunished: i should know this by now. all i'll say is this...after last night, i was actually looking forward to monday morning.

enter Mitsubishi Imaging - my new location to bring home the bacon from. still customer service, still surrounded by purchase orders and phones ringing, but a much shorter commute in the other direction and i get to ride the Metro-North train. doesn't even take me 20 minutes to get to work and the gym's along the train route as well. the learning curve is a beast, but i gotta take it one day at a time and act like i know this isn't supposed to be mastered overnight. everybody's been quite helpful in showing me the ropes and all that. this one cat that's been training me's pretty cool, laid back cat. it's weird, though: he kinda looks like Darshan from Metro Area. i keep wanting to say to him, you shouldn't be here. shouldn't you and Morgan be rocking some party in Europe somewhere? and when's the next single coming out?

for the most part, i work with some good people. they have their perverted moments, but it's not like GOD isn't still in the process of fire bombing the porn shops that still occupy the far corners of my mind, so i really shouldn't talk about other people's shortcomings. but i do have to wonder about the natural tendency of co-workers to gossip. somehow or another, part of my training has involved learning tidbits about various team members - stuff that obviously isn't necessary to know, stuff that i never asked to learn, stuff that i know won't be on the test, but i know it anyway. this one is irresponsible with paperwork. this one freaks out when people are out of the office because they know they'll have more work to do. this one silently passes gas at their desk. after a while, i just didn't want to know any more secrets.

my next door neighbor in the office is a lovely woman. perky, talks fast (and loud), kinda reminds me of someone i knew in college. her voice is sort of a cross between Fran Drescher and the sound of a cheese grater across your face, but i mean that in the best way possible. between her CD collection and her internet radio habits, i'm held captive to selections from Heart, Def Leppard, Mariah Carey, Bryan Adams...mostly lite-fm '80s style, with the occasional shake-up of new Gwen Stefani or other stuff (when she plays Sade, it's all good, though). and me with no WFMU - it's like dying a slow death. at the moment, i have a small cassette player with a speaker on the back acting as a mini boombox to give me relief. it does the job. but as soon as i get a pair of speakers to hook up to my computer, it's ON.

so yeah, the team's chock full of good eggs, but it didn't take long for me to notice the scabs that cover the scars. one minute two members are talking, the next moment one of them's talking about the other that just left the room. it happens so often that it's hard not to wonder when your number's gonna come up. it's only a matter of time before i'm the subject of somebody's bitch session. big whoop - i care not for the trivial. but the trivial seems to be a regularly served side dish around here. knowing this, it's best for me to crank the music a little louder, dive deeper into my work, and remember that as a child of GOD, i ultimately work for Him and not for man. keeping that in perspective becomes challenging at times, of course...

p.s. one of our members walked away with a slight cough. another jumped up, huffing and puffing about not wanting to catch stomach flu, then borrowed another's can of Lysol and began spraying everything that wasn't nailed down. in hindsight, it would have been the perfect time to ask her if she ordered a hyperbaric chamber for the office (like the kind Michael Jackson sleeps in). i've worked at three different office locations - one in Greenwich, CT, one in NYC, and now Harrison, NY - and it's always the same: show any common cold symptoms and you're liable to get treated like a war criminal by your co-workers. ah, smell that team spirit...

Posted by macedonia at 5:03 PM EST
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Thursday, 27 January 2005
do you know what today is?
Now Playing: the sound of being quietly proud...and overly tired...

it's the one-year blogniversary of holy war in the mental. can't believe that i've kept this going for a whole year now. haven't made 100 posts yet, but i'm closing in on that number. for anybody that cares to know how it all started, click here to read the very first blog entry. even threw in the second for kicks.

(psst...that's your cue. i'm giving you permission to be nosy. i suggest you take me up on it. trust me, such an offer doesn't happen everyday...)

Posted by macedonia at 10:59 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 27 January 2005 10:56 PM EST
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Wednesday, 26 January 2005
45 fixation (and an apparently deeper revelation)
Now Playing: TV On The Radio - "Staring At The Sun"
Topic: the Christian walk

it was earlier this month that i noticed something was missing. i was in the midst of picking records for the gig @ 85A when i said to myself, "i really should bring that 'Funky Nassau' 45 with me." about that time, i got a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. my mind flashed back a couple of months to spinning at a friend's birthday party. i remembered wondering why i forgot to bring that same record with me. i discovered a few weeks ago that i didn't actually forget - i just didn't see it while picking records. there's a good reason for that...it turned up missing.

"Funky Nassau" by The Beginning of The End is one of those funk 45s i took pride in owning. i bought it during my SUNY Albany days for next to nothing (probably at Last Vestige, one of the best crate digging spots in the Capital District) and it was in pretty good shape. i couldn't imagine losing it, even though such a possibility could happen. however, i am a man who believes in being organized, and i'm usually pretty good at keeping up with my wax wherever i spin. needless to say, this upset me. things got worse a few days later when a thought popped up in my brain:

"you know what i haven't seen in a while? 'Bang! Bang!' by the Joe Cuba Sextet."

no, not that one, too. after searching through my collection, yet another 45 had turned up missing. this definitely isn't like me. either one of two things happened: a) i lost them, or b) someone stole them. i tried to remember the last gig i would've played them. the first one that came to mind was almost a year ago: Squeeshee up in Poughkeepsie. as horrible as the thought is that somebody would have stolen them, i thought that maybe it occurred at a birthday party i spun last may. but that isn't the case, either. otherwise, i wouldn't have been able to place "Bang! Bang!" on my last mix CD. Back to the Party was recorded last summer.

after discussing it with Beth, we concluded that it could've happened during a wedding reception that i spun for all of 20 minutes at. i brought some 45s, but never played them. things ended up moving from its original location to a spot down the street (due to less-than-hospitable treatment by the management and waiting staff). i'm thinking those two seven-inches probably got pilfered at some point during that night. again, the thought of it kills me because i associate that night with friends and their acquaintances. but a lot was happening that night and not everyone i came into contact with between the original locale and the relocation was a friend or acquaintance of the bride and groom. and it's not as if i can rule out those that were, if in fact they were stolen. i'm not sure what happened, but i can't fathom losing two 45s in one night, particularly not those two. and i was away from my records for quite some time at the second locale, which is something i never do.

it's halfway made me paranoid and almost prompted me not to bring any 45s to the gig i spun with Redlox earlier this month, but i brought them anyway. The Beginning of The End is easy to replace; the entire album got repressed last year and i really need to cop the whole thing. The Joe Cuba 45, though...i dunno. i'm willing to be patient and search for that one. having that one swiped really upset me, seeing as how it was part of my relatives' collection before my own. i used to think to myself that it's better if i don't know who did it; if i ever found out, i'm not sure if i could hold back a gut reaction. it halfway sickens me to think that i'm fixating over a pair of 45s. in the grand scheme of things, they're miniscule. but i love music and i'm a collector and i can't deny the fact anymore that i'm a music geek. i give myself away almost immediately the moment i start talking about it.

it's not like there's a blessed thing i can do about it now except suck it up and take comfort in the fact that (as far as i can tell) that's all that was taken. someone could've made off with a lot more than that. there are more 45s in my crib where those from, some of which haven't even been listened to yet because they still need to be cleaned. i have records that i either bought or were given to me last January that i STILL haven't listened to in their entirety. and now the digital files are growing by the week. the hardcore vinyl addict would tell you that there is no such thing as enough; i'm beginning to rethink that stance. it's not like i can take any of this with me when i die. and i don't want one 45, one full-length, one MP3 to stand between me and a more intimate relationship with GOD. all of the music in the world isn't worth me missing out on revelation knowledge that can only come from Christ Jesus. i really dig music, but i love the Messiah more. it might sound strange to some, but that's where i am in my life right now. i have to give honor to the one that gave the gift of music and gave me the gift of hearing in the first place before raving about the recorded sounds that are all around me in various formats.

damn, i MUST be maturing in some way, shape, or form. whoever has those 45s now, i hope they're enjoying them. and that it turns them on to some other great sounds. if i believe in sharing music with people half as much as i say i do, then nothing in my entire collection is really mine to begin with. dying with the most wax will profit me nothing. this is no time to be bitter about 45s lost. it doesn't mean that i won't get excited about music - i still do. constantly. ASK MY WIFE. all i'm saying is...there are much more important things to be concerned about in both the secular and the spiritual sides of life.

Posted by macedonia at 12:31 AM EST
Updated: Wednesday, 26 January 2005 12:45 AM EST
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Saturday, 22 January 2005
last day and first three
Now Playing: dj frodo & mr. fitz - "silver cycles"

tuesday marked my last day at Rosen Publishing. kind of a weird day, but a good day. things ended on a friendly note, no bad blood. i could remember the place and the people in a nice way. i would be getting together with some of those heads tomorrow, but New York's in the middle of a snow storm right now. a 40th birthday party for a former co-worker would've been tomorrow, but it's been cancelled. not only because of the weather here, but the birthday boy is currently stranded in the Midwest. meanwhile, another former co-worker celebrates his birthday (i think it's his 23rd) today. he's a bit of a wild one and i'm wondering if the snow will actually put a damper on his celebratory shenanigans. i'm guessing probably not.

now i'm working at Mitsubishi Imaging, a couple of towns north of my house. very convenient to get to and i travel against rush hour traffic. the company's housed in this gorgeous blue glass building - cafeteria downstairs and a fitness center, too. still doing the customer service thing, but this will have a different feel to it. a lot to learn and a lot to remember, which is a fit frustrating right now since i'm new, but it'll pass. the environment feels a lot like my old job in Greenwich, CT - that whole corporate casual vibe. nice people, pleasant atmosphere, but it's always a bit weird when you get introduced to the team that you're working with and as days go by, you see who gets on whose nerves and stuff like that. it's only been three days and already i'm able to notice that kind of thing.

there's a break room i frequent during lunch time with daily newspapers and magazines, along with a big screen cable TV. i remember flipping past the Cartoon Network and wanting to stop, but decided against it because i thought it was too early to let my silly side out. give it about a month or so. i make sure to bring something to read if i'm not reading the Times, otherwise i'm subjected to soap operas or the latest rump-shaking single of the month on BET. granted, that all depends on who else is in the room. possibly worse is the glut of "celebreality" shows on VH1 (that *Strange Love* joint with Brigitte Nielsen and Flavor Flav just looks TOO scary) or their look back at the '90s with all of these actors and comedians being overly sarcastic about movies, music, and fashion trends that those smug mofos probably liked at the time. it's amazing how much i'm not missing by forgoing cable in the home. all i want is a high-speed Internet connection: the time some spend in front of the tube would be the time i spend listening to online radio shows and downloading mp3s while reading music articles.

that's one thing i really miss about Rosen: being able to listen to WFMU on the regular. that station got me through the work week, as well as the Giant Step audio player and various mixes on d-i-r-t-y.com. i've gotta get some music in my cubicle. the past three days have been filled with Def Leppard, Bryan Adams, Mariah Carey, and a bunch of others that i can't bring myself to remember at the moment (and that's probably a good thing). i also miss bagel breakfasts on Wednesdays in the office. other things will come to me, but it's still good that i got out of there. NYC is supposed to be fun for me and it wasn't anymore, not with the rush hour commute on the subway and all. so work is work, the city is fun, and life is life. and the snow threatens to keep us all holed up inside...no complaints outta me...i've missed my wife...

Posted by macedonia at 7:56 PM EST
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