welcome to camp lo-fi...
« March 2005 »
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31
Entries by Topic
All topics  «
2002 reviews (Jul.-Sep.)
2003 reviews (Apr.-Jun.)
2004 reviews (jul.-sep.)
2004 reviews (oct.-dec.)
2005 reviews
2006 reviews
2008 reviews
2009 reviews
chloe's rants
event reports
music appreciation
my podcasts
other people's podcasts
OTV1999-01 (Jan,)
rants de macedonia
spinna steez
the Christian walk
Blog Tools
Edit your Blog
Build a Blog
RSS Feed
View Profile
You are not logged in. Log in
Monday, 28 March 2005
squirrelly wrath...
Now Playing: Roots Manuva - "Colossal Insight"

i'm not sure what made me think of this. ah yes...every now and again Beth checks in on the misadventures of Foamy, a foul-mouthed squirrel with a tendency to rant and rave about everything and everyone. the website introduced a new character that is apparently a black squirrel complete with afro pick in its tail. wifey wasn't impressed, though. not sure if i'm ready for that, either...

my mind was taken back in time to 4th grade in Traphagen Elementary, Mount Vernon, NY. i was daydreaming in class, staring out the window. my eyes focused in on a tree - a black squirrel was chasing a grey squirrel around and down the tree. the black squirrel took a swipe at the other and caught the grey squirrel across the back. it went tumbling down to earth. the black squirrel then jumped off the tree and did a freefall pounce - Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka style. it was a long way down. i'm not sure what happened after that.

squirrels are always good for adding a surreal edge to your day. i can remember a time in college that i was walking to my class when i heard this weird screeching. i looked up and i saw an upside down squirrel against the pillar of one of the campus buildings, screaming its head off. it appeared to be stuck to the side of the building. seeing as how just about anything can happen in college (and generally does), i wouldn't put such a prank past one of the local fraternaties in the area. what made it even more unsettling was that nobody else seemed to care. everybody else just kept walking. and i'm thinking to myself...

how can they not hear that??

"silly rabbit, Trix are made for kids, you know that? you without me like corn flake without the MILK. it's my world, you're just a squirrel tryna get a NUT. now, get on outta here - DAAH! don't...touch...that...COAT!!!
-Oran "Juice" Jones, "The Rain"

Posted by macedonia at 5:19 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
"one step at a time."
Now Playing: Hood - "The Negatives" [Domino]
Topic: the Christian walk

every other morning when i step out the door, i see an elderly man walking to or from the corner store on my way to work. his movement is limited and he takes amazingly small steps - baby steps. what would take a healthy and fit human being about five minutes probably takes him at least twenty. every time i see him, he greets me with a smile and a hearty "good morning." almost every time we see each other, he says, "one step at a time." i never see him at any other time of the day...only in the a.m. i don't believe in accidents: GOD placed that man in my path for a reason. his perspective is simple yet profound, and one that i seriously need to immerse my mind and spirit within in order to make it through the work day.

Holy Week seemed like anything but for me. to be frank, i've felt like less than a child of GOD for most of the Lenten season. i've let life just sort of walk all over me. i think it has a lot to do with the new job. the old one was a cake walk compared to this one. the number of obscenities that have crossed my lips has increased considerably since i've started. tuesday was horrible. issues piled up quickly, one after the other. seemed like every order that had a problem with it was one of mine. i felt like i was sinking rapidly and no one around me cared if i drowned. i left my cubicle and went down to the fitness room because i felt the need to punch something and i didn't want it to be my computer screen or a co-worker. but there were no punching bags around and my hands wouldn't ball up into fists. looking back on it, i think it was God's way of saying, "why ball up your fists when you could throw up your hands in surrender to the one who sustains you? turn away from violence and turn toward Me."

although the week got better, i still had a terrible attitude toward work. actually, it's one of conflicting emotions. i was jaded, sarcastic, bitter, classic customer service rep. but i'm not the type of person that gets to the point of not caring. i may say it, but i never completely get there. i'll occasionally get numb for a while, but i'm not programmed to just stop caring. while the team i work with is helpful, there are other people outside of the office that we depend on to get things done and quite often they blow it. BIG TIME. i've never done well with incompetence, especially in the workplace and particularly if it makes me look bad. so i mutter four-letter words to myself and envision violent interstate confrontations with whoever's on the other end of the phone line. and whenever the co-workers are too loud, too obnoxious, too offensive, too much, i retreat further into myself, never saying too much because they're already saying what doesn't need to be said. the courteous me is being eaten away and the sad sack takes residence, who just can't believe that this is their lot in life. i had made up in my mind that this was going to be the very thing that broke me. i was telling myself that i needed to do everything in my power to make sure that my future children never have to suffer this fate, that they will be able to actually like what they do for a living and don't have to spend 20 years of their life paying off student loans in order to get there.

while i won't say that i hate myself, i've lived with myself long enough to know that there are some horrible things in me: selfishness, anger, resentment, thoughts that dance with the predatory and perverse... it's bad enough when you don't know God for yourself and you possess all of these qualities, but it's even worse when you know that the fruit of God's spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, longsuffering, self-control, and that it's your job to bear this fruit in your own life, yet the opposite keeps rising to the surface. the idea that i'm allowed to wake up every morning even when the Lord is aware that i'm likely to blow it is difficult for me to fathom. that's what's called unconditional love. i hope i can love people like that someday.

there is a man named Brian Nichols that recently went on a killing spree. he found himself holding a church member hostage in her own home. she was able to calm him down by reading a paragraph from a book called The Purpose-Driven Life by Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church. he stopped her in the middle of reading and asked her to read it again, which she did. he would later surrender to the police. supposedly, that church member has regular talks with him. she saw beyond the killer into a heart of a man whom she shared some similar issues with. she spoke to his pain simply by treating him like a human being at the time that he needed it most. i read through that book two years ago while i was going through a rough time in my life. i recently started reading it again. negativity never has a problem showing up where it's not wanted; i need to be able to counteract it with something positive and saturate myself. otherwise, i end up getting swallowed whole by chaos and disorder. God is not the author of confusion; God is a God of purpose. nothing that i go through is by happenstance, nor is it just for me. sometimes you need to be reminded that life is a test.

i recently got through a two-day session of prayer and fasting this past weekend. i believe that God spoke to me quite clearly in regards to keeping the flesh subject to the spirit. i have a wonderful wife who also happens to be a wonderful cook, so i never have problems saying yes to my stomach. still, i figured if Jesus could go for forty days in the desert without food while being tempted by the devil, i should be able to fast for at least two. but i know i didn't get through it on my own. God had to show me that He could work through my weaknesses and make me strong. there are still many problem areas, however, that need serious work.

"one step at a time."

seeing as how God is a God of purpose, i've been eager to learn what mine is. whatever it is, it'll be revealed in His time. God's timetable is totally different from mine, and i've never been a patient person. maybe that's why i keep seeing the man on the street before work.

"one step at a time."

his attitude resembles that unshakable faith, that patience and peace that surpasses human understanding. the phrase may sound simple, but at the end of the day, it's the basic instructions that always trip me up.

Posted by macedonia at 12:54 AM EST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 20 March 2005
the customer is always right
Now Playing: Lyn Collins - "Put It On The Line"

...especially when they aren't.

Posted by macedonia at 9:47 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
Sunday, 13 March 2005
(daily) grindin'
Now Playing: The New Birth - "Honeybee"

"one day...like any other / you do what you want...but you want something better..."
-APB, "One Day."

with a belly full of dinner and pale ale, i'm mentally preparing for another manic monday. the work week in general, really. i work through the weekdays to get to the weekend. it's truly amazing what so many of us are willing to put up or get ourselves into just to get a paycheck. we work at jobs we're not interested in, surrounded by people we don't like, working for bosses whose heads would look better on a stick...okay, so my current gig isn't that hellish, but it's customer service and that's far from heaven. i liken my time on the phones to a tour of duty for a soldier in Iraq: while it makes total sense for me to be riding around in an armored car, i'll be damned if i can find any scrap metal. basically, i need to learn how to put the shrapnel i'm hit with to good use. being on the front lines, you're gonna get shot at. the days range from bloody awful to ai'ight to surprisingly good, but that's life. the monitor at my desk now has mini-tower speakers for ears, providing the necessary soundtrack to get me through the day, or at least through the next phone call. radio broadcasts from WFMU, the Giant Step jukebox, and random dj sets from Percussion Lab make up a good bulk of the rotation.

the frustrations of the work day are frighteningly similar between my wife and i. she's in an insurance agency now, wearing several different hats at once and performing tasks she was never told she had to, i'm sure. we both do too much at once. she now totally understands my aversion to the phone when i get home. after answering one all day, the last thing you want to do is pick it up at home. that started happening to her last week - she would visibly shudder when the phone rang in our apartment. i can't begin to tell you how ecstatic i was about that. not about her frustration, but the fact that we know exactly what the other goes through during the daily grind. makes it that much nicer when we get home and see each other. "yeah, i know. my day sucked, too. you don't know how happy i am to see you." then we kiss, feed the cat, and prepare dinner.

i will admit, though...in their own special way, my co-workers remind me not to take my 9-to-5 plight so seriously. they don't even know they're doing it half the time. i mean, it's cool when questions need to be answered and they're able to help me out, but in a way, it's even better when they make me laugh during the day. they can be a silly bunch - outright stupid some days. i think it was last tuesday that we were getting socked with snow. perhaps the feeling of cabin fever made us all slap happy, but it was a mental ward on my side of the office that day. we ended up getting more snow than was expected and traveling during rush hour wasn't going to be fun for anybody. beth called me up because she was getting out early and wanted to know if we were as well. i said, "baby, around these parts 'getting out early' means leaving here ON TIME." we did finally receive a notice from management that they were closing up shop at 5 p.m. "so that everybody could get home while it was still light out." the notice arrived in our email at 5:02 p.m. the day was already silly enough, but that just took it to the next level. beyond that, the sky was overcast the entire day and got worse while it started to snow harder, so technically, it was never "light out" to begin with.

it has been my experience that jobs were never meant to be enjoyed; rather, they are to be endured. anybody that's blessed enough to have a job where they actually like what they do ought to thank GOD daily for their situation. not one f**king complaint out of any of you, seriously. and let's not get it twisted: if that's your situation, you're BLESSED - luck has absolutely nothing to do with it. so i work for the weekend. i work to get home and be with my wife. i work so that the bills can be paid, so that we can have a date night once a month, so that future plans can be laid and our future seed can have things a bit easier (while still teaching them the value of a dollar and not being afraid of hard labor). the routine is the routine and i do it so that the enjoyable areas of my life can still be enjoyed. so i work where i work, but it's not who i am. it has nothing to do with my purpose in life (whatever that is - God knows but He ain't talkin' yet). it's not a passion. it's not even an area of interest. it's just a means to an end. and it makes me no different from the millions of other wage slaves on the same ship, some of whom would much rather throw themselves overboard than spend one more day on the rough seas.

Posted by macedonia at 11:11 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 March 2005 11:15 PM EST
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
cereal killer
Now Playing: Isaac Hayes - "Breakthrough"

my wife came home the other day from grocery shopping squealing over the fact that she got Boo Berry cereal and some rice milk. "i haven't had Boo Berry since i was a kid," she beamed. i couldn't imagine her mother actually buying that stuff, but apparently that was before she got on a health kick. somewhere along the way, a bran flakes poltergeist jumped into my future mother-in-law's body and things just haven't been the same around the Nutter household.

Count Chocula got no love from both of us, it seems. i was a Franken Berry fan from back in the day. it was like i got to have my strawberry Quik after i ate my cereal, so that was like a bonus for me. i was probably one in 24 kids in Westchester County that actually preferred strawberry Quik to the chocolate.

"guess what i'm having for breakfast tomorrow, honey?"

"what are you having for breakfast tomorrow, dear?"


honestly, it's a cereal that turns the milk purple. i ain't celebratin' that. now, you wanna make me happy? find me a buy one/get one free deal on Peanut Butter Crunch. Cap'n put it down with that one. you can have your Crunch Berries, but i will smack somebody in the head with a 2x4 over some Peanut Butter Crunch. it really may as well be crack, it's that bad with me.

and while we're on this subject, somebody needs to bring back the vanilla wafer version of Cookie Crisp.

okay, i think i've regressed enough for one night...

Posted by macedonia at 11:09 PM EST
Updated: Sunday, 13 March 2005 11:15 PM EST
Post Comment | View Comments (1) | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post
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
Post Comment | Permalink | Share This Post

Newer | Latest | Older