Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Getting the hang of things

I just spent the last three hours playing graphic designer...a job I am not licensed to do.
Yet, I was inspired by the creativity of all my fellow bloggers and decided to design myself a "Customized Header" (See above. You like?). New to graphics, yet creative enough to get by, I used my skills in Photoshop and designed the new header.
That was the easy part.
The complicated part was trying to discover HOW to upload the damn image! I literally went through 6 different "Blog for Dummies" sites (which were not too 'Dummie' friendly) before I found a site that had clear, concise and up to date instructions I could follow. The other jargon-heavy "advice blogs" for lack of a better term of description, poorly give me instructions that led me to a brick wall more times than once.
Though, like a crackhead on a mission, I pressed on; stumbling many times. Now, here I am at 1:49 am, I have overcome the beast called "Customized Header." Not to mention, I was supposed to have help from a friend, who I later discovered fell asleep on me, left me to fend for myself.
But it is okay. We all struggle at some point in our life so we can learn lessons. Today's lesson: Hire a web designer!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Bosco: The new Jazz songbird

I just want you all to listen to this voice. Powerful, sultry and hauntingly beautiful. I must admit, I slept on Bosco for quite awhile. I always got an email or event info about her performances and never paid them any attention. Finally, while cleaning out my email, I came across this video and it shut me up. Her voice is great. I guess I have found a new artist to watch.
Her debut album; Spectrum is available for free Download

Bosco: blues for blue/Black & White

The Veronicas: Untouched

There is something strangely familiar and catchy about this song. I first heard it in Charlotte Russe last year. I had no idea who it was by, I just knew it was something I wanted to listen to again. Like the handy-dandy chick that I am, I quickly whipped out my celly, went to my Shazaam application that reads music in an instant, and before I knew it, I had a name and title of the song. I downloaded it later on that night and I have been listening to it ever since.

Alas; the Veronica's-Untouched Video

Live Music: My Poison

One thing I can say about my taste in music is: No matter the genre, No matter if I like it or not, If you sound good live...I will enjoy it.

Still reveling off of my high of live music, I managed to collect all the thoughts and ideas I have and experiences I wanted to share after I sat through a OneRepublic concert. You know...OneRepublic. The newest Alternative/Rock group? Two years ago they came out with their hit debut single; Apologize...Timbaland did the remix?...ringing any bells? Well, anyways..(follow the link if you must) WOW! Great group! I mean, I already liked them before I saw them in I REALLY like them.

Now if you are asking how did I stumble across this opportunity,'s the story. I got an email last week from a mutual associate of mine asking around via email if anyone wanted to volunteer at the OneRepublic concert. Me of course, always looking for something new and interesting to do, I signed on. To make a long story short, met up with the event planner for the Montgomery Riverfront Facilities, was assigned my job duties (by the way, I was the legal ID checker for the Booze) and made my way in; All Access badge on, camera in hand.

A group called A Rocket Summer opened for OneRepublic. They were a good little band too.

But back to OneRepublic. Man, that lead singer of theirs, Ryan Tedder can sing his ASS off !(excuse my language) His sound is very soulful, powerful and melodic. He carries the beat well, adding his own style, flavor and this sexy type of crooner-esque bellow that leaves the crowd SCREAMING for more. He could sing to me any day...he's just that good.

But wait...there are more equally talented musicians there. The drummer.SICK, all the band members play guitar which is cool because each song they switched instruments. There's Cello and Violin's in just about every other song, adding a string quartet sound to their live shows; not to mention Tedder jumping between his Piano, the Tamborine and an Acoustic guitar.

Talented is an understatement for the band members. They truly embody all the characteristics of a successful LIVE group of musicians. They juxtaposed comedy, music and storytelling into their show with Tedder jumping into the audience every now and then.

Nonetheless, I very much enjoyed myself. If they come back to Montgomery I will be sure to go. From beginning to end I couldnt help but nod my head and yell the words to the songs I did know, a sure sign that OneRepublic gets the "Jovani Seal of Approval"

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Lenten Update: Week Three!

Greetings...from the land of No Social Networks!

LOL..but seriously, as promised, I wanted to update you all on my Lenten Sacrifice...No Social Networking.
So far I have been doing well. As much as I want to get on Facebook and Twitter and Text Message...I have surprisingly stayed away from my personal evils. This goes to show that I really do have some discipline left in my body that is functional. Quite frankly, I was not exactly sure how well I was going to do, but I must not forget Lent is nowhere near being over. Its only the second week in March. I have until the Easter Sunday (April 3rd) until it is all over.

But seriously, with every bit of honesty I have in my body, I feel I am not really missing much. I have found ways to occupy my time, without aimlessly screwing my time up with useless twitter updates or talking to people I dont care to talk to on Facebook chat. Though, there are days when I am out and about that I really want to tweet something dumb I just saw, I quickly turn my attention to something else.

I have started back reading books in my spare time! A double plus for me because I love reading. I love writing and reading other people's styles of writing so getting back into reading (anything and everything) is putting me back into a place I havent been in a long time. I started talking to people on the phone! Can you believe that? I hate the phone, but I love having a phone. Weird...but true for a lot of people. Nobody has conversations anymore, we text; and its messing alot of my friends up because they will say..."when is Easter so you can text. We havent talked in a while!"...or "I started to text you but I remembered you ain't texting anyone anymore." like picking up the phone is so hard to do. 

Because of this, I am making an official apology to all my friends whom I have said those same things to as well. (Boy, what a tangled web we weave) With that, I have come to my first realization that verbal conversation is the sure-fire way of conversing. It just took me this long to figure it out.

My book has become another priority again. Started gathering ideas and getting some thoughts together as far as illustration and content. You will be amazed at how much you can get accomplished and discovered when you take something that encompassed you life so much out of the picture entirely. The proverbial Shackles have come off. I am no longer a slave to my internet habits.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Stop Looking for a Handout!

I CANNOT STAND PEOPLE WHO ARE ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A HANDOUT! That is exactly how I am going to approach this blog today!

In my line of work, I see a lot of people and hear a lot of Off-Brand request from some of my customers, always looking for the easy way out. Always wanting quality work, but for minimum quality price. The Math just isn't working out right.

It is evident and I am completely aware of the economy. Its no secret that money is sort of hard to come by, but in retrospect, I need to get paid also.

This goes back to a conversation I had with a lady yesterday about our people, meaning African-Americans, in the rural South, being complacent. When you are asking for a handout, you are asking someone to sacrifice their livelihood to help you out. I am all for helping out when I can, especially if its something small that wouldn't be missed, but you want me to give you a deal on something that is a couple hundred dollars..for the low low?? I have bills, I need gas money to get back and forth to work, but you want me to give you a damn near 100% discount?

Henry "Buddy" Thomas, my prolific co-worker says it best when he throws his hands up and says..."People are the worst folk in the world. Did you know that?" Yep Mr. Buddy..I do know.

Not only does it bug me that people want a handout, it bugs me that the people who always want the handout have two main characteristics: 1.) They are repeat "Handout" offenders and 2.) They're the ones with the most money.

Leave the handouts to those who really are struggling and cannot afford to run articles in my newspaper and are running low in their business advertising budget. Leave it for the little old ladies that come in and ask for help with their church announcements for their small, country, homegrown churches. Those are the people I am willing to help. Those are the people I feel the most joy in helping. Not the conglomerate business man.

I will help those who are trying to help themselves. Not help give them more profit or for free publicity and bragging rights. I leave that up to the politicians.

It is completely hilarious and sad in the same breath. How can any one entity profit when a community of movers and shakers continuously try to rob you blind. Nobody is going to rob me or my employees blind..not on my watch!