Saturday, November 21, 2009

Love by Nhojj....

This song like the artist, Nhojj is so beautiful...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



A co-worker got a pen stuck inside our printer. He started to try and remove the pen, but I told him we don't have time for that now, just put a note on the printer telling folks not to use it and then report it to the Help Desk. So he grabbed a piece of paper and scribbled on it. I left before he finished the note.
About 20 minutes later, one of my techs comes in laughing and says he was just in the lobby, saw a piece of paper on a printer and went to investigate.

Attached is what he found. Sometimes things don't always come out the way you want them to...

Now that you've smiled at least once, it's your turn to spread the stupidity and send this to someone you want to bring a smile to (maybe even a chuckle) other words, send it to everyone. We all need to smile every once in a while.

Precious: Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire...

I read the novel, "Push" by Sapphire years ago when it first came out. I never thought of it as a movie. I always loved the book but after I read it I let it go as a product of it's time. It's such a book of the late 80's because of the style and focus of the book.

Sapphire is a talented writer and poet and I'd heard she resisted it being made into a movie until she'd seen Lee Daniels' "Shadowboxer". After seeing that she knew he was a director who had the vision to pull off the material in PUSH without it being made into something that explotied the subject matter.

I'm so glad Lee Daniels did this movie. It's one of my favorite of the year and destined to be one of my all time favorites. I can not wait until it released on dvd so I can have it in my pesonal collection.

Much has been said about the performances in this movie and they are incredible. Mo'Nique, Mariah Carey, Paula Patton, Sherri Sheppard, and Lenny Kravitz are all perfectly cast and their portrayals are something to behold. The standout is newcomer Gabourey 'Gabby' Sidibe who for me gives a performance that seeps into your bone marrow.

The entire movie is extremely well paced with highlights interspersed with the heaviness of the material. There were audible gasps a few times as well as laughter in very human moments.

I am planning on seeing this movie again really soon just to take in what I might've missed. I will probably be viewing this movie for a long long time...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

If I Had A Nickel For Every Time I've Been Propositioned In A Public Restroom...(And Other Random Thoughts)

If I Had A Nickel For Every Time I've Been Propositioned In A Public Restroom...(And Other Random Thoughts)

Watching the episode of, “The Cosby Show” when they sing Ray Charles', “Night and Day” for the grandparents' anniversary still makes me smile and laugh...

If I Had A Nickel For Every Time I've Been Propositioned In A Public Restroom, I'd Have 35 cents...

Reading Is Still The Best Form Of Escapism If I Need To Get Away...

I Lived Many Years Without A Cell Phone, Now I've Become Dependent On Them...

I've Studied And Read Many Faith Traditions And Religious Views, But There Is
Something About The Black Church Traditions And Gospel Music That Has A Profound Effect On Me...

Rain Makes Me Horny...

I've tried my best but I don't know how else to explain to a friend that I just don't see much of a future with someone who uses the screen name, "Take My Taco" on a gay chat site...

Every Time I Hear About How Much Money A Tyler Perry Movies Makes On An Opening Weekend I Think, “Really?”...

Who Are The People Who Sit In The Audience On The Maury Povich Show And Boo The Guests? And Why Are They So Involved In The Paternity Of A Stranger's Child?...

Um Is Not An Answer...

Who Knew One Of The Stars Of The Movie, “Booty Call” Would One Day Win An Academy Award?...

If I Never Heard Another Story About Paris Hilton, Perez Hilton, or John And Kate...I'd Be Fine...

I Can't Wait To See The Movie, “Precious”...

Phylica Rashad Is One Of The Most Beautiful Women I Have Ever Seen. She Is Also One Of The Most Talented Actresses Of Our Time...

I Use Eating Salad As An Excuse To Have Ranch Dressing...

Mustard Is My Favorite Condiment

I've Never Really Wanted A Gun, But If I Had One I Would Take A Shot At The Person Who Stops In Front Of My Building At 2-3 In The Morning With The Bass Heavy Stereo Turned Up To The Max...

I Love Text Messaging And My Mother's Peach Cobbler. Not Necessarily In That Order...

I No Longer Feel Guilty About Liking The TV Show, “Family Guy”...

I Have Flashbacks Of Learning In Obsessive Detail The Choreography Of Janet Jackson's, “Rhythm Nation” and “If”...

Nancy Wilson Is One Of The Most Unheralded Singers Of All Time...

I Have A Better Understanding Of Why Whitney Stayed With Bobby So Long...

Watching Paris Jackson Talk About Michael At His Memorial Made Me Cry Harder And Longer Than I have In A Long Long Time...

I Secretly Dance To Alvin Ailey's, “Revelations” When I'm Alone In My Apartment...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Michael Jackson's "This Is It"

I saw Michael Jackson's, "This Is It" this past Sunday. I am not one who usually goes to movie theaters unless it's for a film festival or an independent film. Most movies I wait until it comes out on dvd.

I couldn't do that for this movie. I wouldn't call myself an over the top Michael Jackson fan but I've always enjoyed his music and I can see there are certain points in my life where his music was definitely a soundtrack for what was happening at specific times.

Hearing certain songs of his conjures up many memories and images.

I didn't have any expectations when going to see this movie. Or course I'd heard so much about it but I went with an open mind of just experiencing it.

I hadn't realized how far they were into the process of putting this show together. There are some production sequences that are ready to go as we speak.

I also realized that Michael Jackson was in great voice. One thing I have said over the years is that Michael was an entertainer, not necessarily a singer but he hit some notes during, "Human Nature" that were beautiful. I don't think he was using his full voice at the advice of his vocal coach.

The dancers, band, background singers, and production team were all top notch and looking forward to being part of the event. Things were coming together extremely well. I can see where this show would be historic.

I'm so happy we have this record to maintain the memory of his genius.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Pictures From The B/GLAM Reunion Poetry Reading...

It was a wonderful night of poetry and Brotherhood. It's been too long and I hope we get together again soon.

I left the batteries for my camera at home so these pictures are courtesy of Dazie Grego, Rotsam Bibi, Seaneric Simpson...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

B/GLAM: A Family Reunion Read

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

B/GLAM: A Family Reunion Read

Antoine Crowder
Derek Lassiter
Stewart Shaw
Jair Trice
Dazie' Grego
Juba Kalamka
Thandiwe Thomas De Shazor
Byron Mason
Cedric Brown
Louie Butler
Robert Quintana Hopkins
James Knox
Ramekon O'Arwisters
Alan Miller
Anthony J. Williams
Michael Ross

6:00pm - 7:45pm

Main Library, Lower Level

100 Larkin Street

San Francisco, CA

(415) 557-4400

Celebrate the coming-back-together of the Bay Area’s best black gay literary voices. This "Family" reunion reading is an opportunity for this collective of community based writers to report back in on their comings and goings, their ups and downs and their short falls and ultimately their triumphs. This reading brings to the table and ultimately to the mic all of the stories that these writers have gone out and gathered. Join founders Cedric Brown and Marvin K. White as they read with Ramekon O'Arwisters, Byron Mason, Antoine Crowder, Louie Butler, Dazie Grego, Stewart Shaw, Derek Lassiter, Jair Trice, Juba Kalamka, Thandiwe Thomas De Shazor, Robert Quintana Hopkins, James Knox, Anthony J. Williams, Michael Ross, and Alan Miller. Historical and hysterical are the main ingredients for this reading! Co-Sponsored by the Hormel Gay and Lesbian Center and the African-American Center.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Gay Man Missing: Search on for Keving Britt Jr of Hyattsville, Md.

Gay Man Missing
Search on for Kevin Britt Jr. of Hyattsville
by Will O'Bryan
Published on September 22, 2009

The Prince George's County Police Department is looking for Kevin Britt Jr., a 23-year-old resident of Hyattsville, Md., reported missing by his partner, Elias Fishburne.

Fishburne says he last saw Britt Sunday morning at approximately 11 a.m., as Britt left their home to attend to some paperwork at his place of work. Britt, originally from Talbot County, Md., on the Eastern Shore, works as a coordinating supervisor at Psychotherapeutic Services Inc. in Landover, Md., a provider of mental-health services for Prince George's County residents.

Anyone with any information about Britt's whereabouts is asked to call Officer E. Lindeman of the P.G. County Police at 301-772-4900.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Bench & Bar Oakland, Ca


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September 18, 2009
CONTACT: William Sullivan

Oakland CA - When event promoter Joe Hawkins first approached bar manager Keith Hobbs over fifteen years ago about starting a new Saturday night weekly party for the gay community that would include a hip hop, r&b, top 40 and house music format, Keith was all ears. “From the first night it was a hit!“ Keith said “I knew that there was a market back then and there is a bigger market today” said Hobbs.

But after a successful eight year run, clubrimshot left the bench-and-bar after the club became a victim of local redevelopment efforts and was forced to move from its original location to 2111 Franklin. “Many people thought that I had a beef with the owners of the bench-and-bar, but that was never the case. We all remained friends and my decision was strictly a business decision. During that time, the bench and bar was restricted to an abbreviated operating schedule by the city, as a result, I was unable to make money, so I left.” Hawkins said.

Although the details of the new partnership have not been disclosed, the owner Charles Bisbee, expressed satisfaction with the new arrangement. “Joe is family to us” said Bisbee. “I have been waiting for an opportunity to partner in a more meaningful way with clubrimshot in Oakland again, so we approached Joe about coming on board as a partner to help with our expansion and we are very excited to have him back under the Bench & Bar umbrella.” he said.

The timing for the opening of a new gay club in Oakland could not have been better, particularly after the recent closure of the VIBE lounge, which opened in June of 2008 but suddenly closed its doors in August of this year. “The Vibe’s closure was unfortunate” Hawkins said “Clubrimshot hosted the VIBE’s final party and it was one of the largest parties held there. I hope that the LGBTQ community in the East Bay will recognize that we can’t just support Grand Openings and Grand Closings. Gay clubs in Oakland need regular community support if they are to survive.” Hawkins said.

According the bench and bar owner, the former Bench and Bar located at 2111 Franklin Street is being renamed Club 21. The new sign at the new Bench & Bar, located at 510 17th Street is already in place waiting to greet party goers from all ove the Bay Area. The Club 21 sign will also be going up soon.

“The initial plan was for clubrimshot to move to club 21, but we all agreed that the 17th street address just fits clubrimshot better." Joe said. "We finally have two amazing LGBTQ club options in the new Uptown District and a home for clubrimshot every Saturday at an urban and upscale venue that rivals or exceeds any of the clubs (gay or straight) in San Francisco or in Northern California for that matter. The new Bench and Bar and Club 21 are social options that the gay community and our friends throughout the Bay Area can appreciate.“ Hawkins said.

According to owner Charles Bisbee, the new Bench and Bar is expected open any day now and will have a soft opening with a Grand Opening planned for a later date.

Hawkins went on to state, “Life is funny, I remember when the venue that the bench and bar is moving to on 17th street first opened. I was invited by the previous owner to come check out the club. I decided to invite the owner of the bench and bar over to see the space but when he arrived, security would not let him in because he and his team were not 'dressed properly,' they were wearing jeans and shirts without collars. I had to go to the door to vouch for them so that they could get in. Now look who owns the club...and it is gay...WOW!”

Programming for the new Bench & Bar will include happy hour from 4pm-9pm daily. The Thursday night promotion "Babylon" will feature house music and will be free all night. Fridays will be dedicated to the wildly successful longtime favorite "Latin Explosion", Saturdays will be Club Rimshot and Sundays will include a mashup of party promotions.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Maintaining A Blog...

A few years ago I totally streamlined my on-line presence. I stopped using Yahoo 360,, msn, and a few other spaces.

I was so involved with these spaces I was neglecting real time interactions. I spent so much time on line whether maintaining those spaces or writing for other websites I got wore out. It's for this reason I haven't singed up for facebook although numerous friends in real time and on-line have asked me to do so. This and MySpace are the only places I have been maintaining since that time, and I don't post here like I used to in other spaces.

It got to the point where I thought it was my duty to do those things but I realized a blog is really only someone's opinion. It's a great way to spread information and the some of the best maintained blogs are great for communication but at the end of the day it's really someone's opinion, take, outlook, or perspective on something. That's not necessarily a bad thing but in the long run my choices and decisions will be informed by the information I make on my own. Others can enhance but it's not the ultimate decider.

Anyway, I am just sharing some thoughts and also wanted to share this picture because it's my new favorite image. I wish I knew who the photographer was...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hey L.A...Have You Missed Having Your Vocabulary Manipulated??

Come check me out this Sunday Sept 6 @Indigo Lounge for their ALL FEATURE show.

I've never performed here before, but some of my poetry brothas and sistas have, I am looking forward to it.

Haven't been home for a couple of months so come out and let me see ya!!

No Cover Charge (2 drink minimum)
The flier has the date as August 30, but this show is for Sunday Sept 6. The time and place are correct!!

Indigo Lounge
366 E 2nd Street
Los Angeles, Ca 90012
9:00 PM

Hope to see you there...

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hot New Play Comes To Oakland From Los Angeles!



The Oakland Dinner Club (ODC) presents
a benefit perfomance of Stanley Bennett Clay's
"Armstrong Kid" September 18-20 at SMAAC
Youth Center, 1608 Webster Street,in Downtown

This drama tells the story of a sex offender who is faced
by his accuser 14 years later. Don't miss this powerful drama starring Award winning director and author Stanley Bennett Clay and Tory Scroggins.

Purchase your tickets at:
brownpapertickets or call 1-800-838-3006 or
stop by SMAAC Youth Center.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Fire & Ink III: Cotillion Early


October 8-11, 2009
Hilton Austin, Austin, TX

Register now - $125 early bird rate ends Aug. 31!
(Remember, registration ends Oct. 1, 2009,

Your most frequently asked questions, answered!

Q: Is it too late to register for the early bird rate of $125?
A: No, it's not too late! The early bird registration deadline is extended until Aug. 31, 2009. Early bird registration is $125; regular registration rate is $175 until Oct. 1. There is no registration after Oct. 1, and no on-site registration.

Q: What does my registration fee cover?
A: Registration for Cotillion includes access to all daytime activities: writing workshops, panel and roundtable discussions, open mics, keynote address and evening performances. Breakfast and lunch is included on Friday and Saturday; dinner is on your own. Registration does not include a ticketed event on Friday night, nor the Cotillion dance on Saturday night, but those tickets will be $15 and under.

Q: Where is the Cotillion writers festival being held? Is it far from the hotel?
A: All daytime Cotillion activities will be at the Hilton Austin, 500 East 4th St., Austin, TX.

Q: Is Cotillion only open to black LGBTQ writers? Do you have to be of African descent to attend? Do you have to be a writer to attend?
A: No! Cotillion is open to anyone who's interested in black LGBTQ writing. This means any ethnicity, nationality, sexual preference, gender identity... you get the picture. This also means that Cotillion is open to writers--beginning, intermediate, established--and readers, and librarians, and academics, and book club members, and students, and media professionals, and curators ... anyone who is interested in black LGBTQ writing.

Q: Is it too late to be a presenter?
A: Yes. Proposals for the Cotillion program schedule were solicited late last year; we spent a good deal of time whittling down a great number of proposals in the spring, and made final decisions in May 2009.

Q: Will there be help for students?
A: Yes. We are currently funding 20 student scholarships, and will post that information on the Cotillion web site by the end of August.

Q: The hotel price seems high. What's up with that?
A: We did our best in negotiating the hotel price; there is a University of Texas football game that weekend, and football is really big in Texas. The hotel rate--$179 a night--is good for up to triple occupancy, so we are encouraging everyone to find a roommate--a friend, a writing buddy, a literature lover--and double or triple up. Our presenters will be doubled up, so understand that we're all in this together when it comes to the hotel.

Q: Can you help me find a roommate? I don't know anyone else going.
A: Yes. We will have roommate matching information on the Cotillion web site shortly.

Q: I really wish I could make it this year, but I can't. May I donate my registration?
A: Yes, you can! Contact us at after you register and let us know you'd like to donate a registration for a student or an unemployed person, and we will make sure your registration goes to a deserving applicant.

Q: Is it too late to get an ad in the Cotillion program book?
A: We still have a bit of room; contact us ASAP at if you'd like to place an ad. All ads and payment must be processed before Aug. 31, 2009 in order to get the book to the printer on time.

Q: Will there be space for vendors, and what is the fee?
A: Yes, we will have a limited number of vendor spaces available. All vendors must register for Cotillion as attendees; additionally, vendor fees are $25 per day, two-day minimum. Vendor information will be available on the web site shortly; e-mail us at if you'd like to vend.

Q: How can I be a sponsor for Cotillion?
A: To become a Cotillion sponsor, check out our sponsor rates here. You should contact us at as soon as possible if you plan to be a sponsor.

Q: When is the next writers festival?
A: Not until 2013. So make plans to come now. You won't want to miss this!

Register now - $125 early bird rate
ends Aug. 31!
(Remember, registration ends Oct. 1, 2009,

Join Our Mailing List!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lakers Championship DVD

I just got my copy of the Laker Championship DVD yesterday and I was going to watch it in parts so I could savor it but I couldn't, I just couldn't. I watched the entire thing and then watched certain parts again.

I've been a Laker fan since I was very young. My entire family are Laker fans. I grew up in Inglewood, California and used to go see them at the "Fabulous Forum". It was less than a mile from my house so me and my neighborhood friends saw many things there. Sports, Concerts, Circus, etc.

It was easy to be a Laker fan in the "Showtime" era but I was one before that. When they traded for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar I remember people remarking, "what are they going to do with that old man?" He went on to help them win 5 Championships in the 80's.

It was not easy to live through the down years but if you're a die hard fan, you go with your team no matter what!

Well this new DVD is great. It has clips from the regular season, playoffs, and highlights and the special features are OUTRAGEOUS. There's a roundtable with players from the 80's (I hope I don't leave anyone out), Bob McAdoo, Jamaal Wilkes, Byron Scott, Magic Johnson, Kurt Rambis, James Worthy, Mitch Kupchak, Jerry West (the architect of the team), Bill Bertka (asst coach), and A.C Green.

It brought back so many memories...

There are other extras with reports on current Lakers, Lamar Odom, Derek Fisher, Kobe's 81 point game, and recently traded Trevor Ariza.

Even though I watched the games and know the outcomes, it's still exciting to watch everything unfold.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Remembering The Times: Magic Johnson Turns 50!

Remembering The Times: Magic Johson Turns 50

As a kid growing up in Inglewood, Ca the official of the Forum and the Lakers I was a Laker fan by default. It was easy especially in the 80's during the Showtime era. At that time we kids could walk to the Forum buy $10.00 tickets with seats high up in the arena and then sneak down to better seats once people started trickling out. We stayed until the end to lean over the railing and slap hands with the players.

There was no way we couldn't love Magic Johnson. Even on his worst game night he always spoke to kids and usually even smiled. I was grown when he announced he had HIV and had heard about the disease. Mostly through church and singing in community choirs. At that point we thought Magic was a goner....Today he turns 50 and I'm so glad he's still around!!

Fri Aug 14, 2009 2:13 am EDT
Magic at 50: The ultimate playmaker

By Roy S. Johnson / Roy S. Johnson Blog
I never thought I'd see this celebration. You probably didn't either.
At least not on the day that shook us to our core nearly 18 years ago - yes, 18 years! - when Earvin (Magic) Johnson told us he was HIV positive.
On Nov. 7, 1991, America thought it was looking at a dead man holding a news conference.
Instead, Magic turns 50 today.
Where were you when you heard?
I remember as if it happened this afternoon. Actually, I heard before you. I was an editor at Sports Illustrated and about three hours before the nationally televised announcement, a source close to Magic informed me the three-time MVP "has AIDS." (He was wrong, of course, but it shows we were still learning the language of HIV and AIDS.)
Because we were still in the media dark ages -- before Twitter and websites -- I couldn't break the story. Heck I couldn't even tell anyone at SI because everyone was out to lunch. When my editor returned we both sat in his office stunned.
Then we watched, and while no one said it aloud, almost everyone thought Magic would soon be dead.
Of course we now know that being HIV positive is not a death sentence, and that's in part because of Magic.
In fact, he stands as one of the most significant figures in the evolution of HIV/AIDS. His contracting the virus took the disease out of the closet and put it smack in the middle of the kitchen table.
Suddenly, we were talking to our friends about HIV/AIDS.
We were talking to our neighbors and co-workers about HIV/AIDS.
We were talking to our kids about HIV/AIDS.
But Magic's most vital impact on HIV/AIDS isn't because he contracted the virus, but because he lived with it.
He lived as he always did -- with his head high and with that smile.
He made myriad public appearances in an effort to educate us about HIV/AIDS, as did his wife, Cookie (pictured with him, above, on "Oprah").
And he continued to win. In fact, his success with the multifaceted Magic Johnson Enterprises has made him one of the few recent pro athletes who's made more money in retirement than he did as a player.
He's alive today because of advances in HIV treatment, a disciplined diet and undoubtedly his own positive attitude.
He's been a model for many infected by HIV and an inspiration.
Today, as Magic celebrates, it's appropriate to consider where he stands among the most influential athletes ever.
Not whether he's the best point guard ever (duh) or the best player (many whisper yes). But where he ranks among those athletes who not only were among the best in their sports but who also moved the needle beyond the field or court or ring or rink.
Here are my Top 5:
1) Muhammad Ali
2) Jackie Robinson
3) Billie Jean King
4) Earvin (Magic) Johnson
5) Babe Ruth
Each of the top four had an impact beyond the playing field. They changed us, often at some personal risk or cost. Babe made baseball big time.
My next five:
6) Pele
7) Joe Louis
8) Wayne Gretzky
9) Bill Russell
10) Tiger Woods
Happy 5-0, Magic. Not just because you're here, but because you helped us grow, in ways we never thought we'd see.
Photo courtesy the Oprah Winfrey Show
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Protests: What Is It Good For?

I'll be honest. I am a member of the Green Party so early on I was not an Obama supporter. I was moved by his speech at the Democratic convention in 2004 and by his story. He and his wife inspire me deeply but as a somewhat cynic to the two party system I was not one who came out in favor of him early. As an African American and someone who at one point wanted to be a politician I definitely kept an eye on him, his message, and what people had to say about his campaign.

I followed most closely the news and reports on the McNeil Newshour on PBS. It seemed to be the most fair and balanced. It also delved deeper into the story than most networks (including cable) were willing to do.

Technically I couldn't vote for Obama in the primary election in California because I was not registered in the Demoractic party so no decision was needed from me at that time.

By the time the November election rolled around I was sold. For the first time in many years I was going to vote for a President from one of the major two parties. It was not an easy step for me but one I took gladly in support of what I hoped would be a new direction for the country. I knew it would not come fast or easy but I prayed for just a different way to approach things and even though Obama was part of a traditional party I felt he in some ways in what he exhibited in his personal life reflected that. I didn't agree with him on everything or course but like he says, I too am a believer in being able to disagree on things but still work with someone.

This is a big lead into what this post is all about but I just wanted to give some background. Currently there are alot of protests about healthcare in this country. I don't know all the proposals out there and to be honest since I am covered through my job I probably haven't paid as much attention as I should be doing.

I do think it's time we as a nation have affordable and available healthcare for everyone. I also think it's healthy for there to be debate about how that is accomplished. What has surprised me is the vitriolic reaction I am seeing by people at town hall meetings and in protests.

I saw one news report where a lady said, "I'm 68 and I've never protested a President". I also saw a sign that said, "Voters Remorse" with the symbol that Obama used during the Presidential Campaign.

Again I am not upset that these people are protesting. I think it's healthy. I am not even swayed by the motivations of the conservative bloggers, talk radio, and organizations that are behind it.

What has surprised me is vitriol with which these people have protested. I think back to the run up to the war and I kept wanting people to protest the war and the lies that were used to support it. There was a wave a patriotism and it didn't happen and those who did protest were labeled as left wing extremists and non supportive of our troops. Even as lies have been exposed there has not been a groundswell of support against the war.

The amount of money that has been spent, loss of lives, and the lack of positive gain from these wars is costly beyond our imaginations yet people turn a blind eye. But when it comes to something that could actually benefit people there is name calling, half truths, and political game play.

So it makes me think...

Protests: What Is It Good For?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Hold Your Life In Kindness: Practicing Gratitude With Larry

Hold Your Life in Kindness
Practicing Gratitude with Larry Yang

Saturday, Sept. 19th
9:30 am to 4:30 pm
East Bay Meditation Center
2147 Broadway at 22nd St
in downtown Oakland
(near 19th Street BART)

About this Retreat
As we expand our meditation practices of Mindfulness and Lovingkindness...
As we meet our present moments and lived experiences for what they are
As we meet everything with the gentleness of our simple awareness
As we no longer take our lives for granted --
a kindness begins to arise that is the energy of Gratitude --
the openness and wonder of what the moment really is like --
the "WOW!"of truly living -- not a thought, or dream, or wish...
but our precious life.

Please join us to explore -- experiment -- enjoy -- everything

Registration is required & Space is Limited!
Please click here to register. If that doesn't work, copy and paste the link below into your browser.

If you still cannot access the online registration link, please send an email with your full name, and "Gratitude" in the subject line to or call (510) 268-0696.

Dana, or Generous Giving
There is no registration fee for attending this event, nor most EBMC events.
However, EBMC is not independently funded.
The center and the teachers will be sustained only by your voluntary donations (the practice of generous giving, or "dana"). Please donate generously, in proportion to your ability:

* Either online (you will be offered an opportunity at the end of the online registration process)
* Or at the event, where dana will be collected for the center and for the teachers.

Thank you for your generosity. Giving together, our unique, diverse Center will grow and thrive!

About the Teacher
Larry YangLarry Yang teaches meditation retreats nationally and has a special interest in creating access to the Dharma for diverse multicultural communities. Larry has practiced extensively in Myanmar and Thailand, with a six month period of ordination as a Buddhist monk under the guidance of meditation master Ajahn Tong.

Larry is one of the core teachers and leaders of the East Bay Meditation Center. His web page is

In order to protect the health of community members with environmental illness, please do not wear fragranced products (including "natural" fragrances) or clothes laundered in fragranced products to EBMC. A list of fragrance free products is posted on the EBMC website, at

Access Symbol
East Bay Meditation Center is wheelchair accessible.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Oakland Art & Soul Festival (New Dates!)

Shawn Colvin, The Bodeans, Will Downing, Bobby Caldwell, Mo’fone, Ramana Vieira Walter Hawkins And More

9th Annual Art & Soul Features a Packed Two-Day Schedule of Top Flight Entertainment

Oakland, CA - The City of Oakland announced headliners and featured performers for this year’s 9th Annual Art & Soul Oakland. Thanks to guaranteed stellar lineups, abundant parking, easy BART access and the bargain price of just $10 per day, Art & Soul Oakland has been named the Bay Area’s “best annual cultural event” by Oakland Magazine and Best Festival by East Bay Express. The SF Weekly added, “Art & Soul is dialed in to practically everything that makes Oakland great.” Held in beautiful, re-energized downtown Oakland three weeks earlier on Saturday August 15,and Sunday, August 16, 2009, the festival delivers four concert stages offering simultaneous talent and diversity featuring an eclectic all-star lineup of 40 national recording artists and hot Bay Area bands sure to please every musical taste. While stage lineups are still being finalized, the acts continue the diverse and wonderful variety that has made Art & Soul the region’s most popular music festival.

Saturday is anchored by headliner and multiple Grammy winner Shawn Colvin on the Art & Soul Main Stage (in association with KFOG 104.5 FM/97.7 FM) Colvin’s tender, crystal clear voice sings of poignantly vivid images of relationships and life with great insight. Her performances are all at once astonishing and haunting, provocative and seductive. Sharing the stage are the BoDeans, the danceable, lean and scrappy folk/rock band once named best new band by Rolling Stone magazine. Now, 20 years later, their romantic sensibility and passionate harmonies linked to simple but potent guitar based rock and roll still excite.

The new Yoshi’s Jazz Stage is newsworthy in and of itself. The lineup was selected through collaboration with the booking agents for both the Oakland and San Francisco Yoshi’s Jazz Club. Headlining on Saturday are the funky brass sounds of Mo’Fone. Jazz Weekly says Mo’Fone, “Snaps and crackles like James Brown’s Famous Flames with a New Orleans second line.” Jazziz sums it up with, “Mo’Fone brings the grease.” The Oakland Public Conservatory of Music under the direction of famed jazz trombonist Angela Wellman opens the day at 12:30 P.M. The smoky saxophone sound of Dayna Stevens follows and then the cool Latin/Soul of Sepia leads into the roaring Mo’Fone close.

Headlining the Plaza Stage’s Local Voices programming on Saturday is world renowned Fado singer Ramana Vieira. Called “A rising star in World Music,” by the San Francisco Examiner, Ramana has solidified her place as an artist who understands the tradition of Fado singing, but constantly combines new musical textures and original compositions. Berkeley-based Indie Rock singer/songwriter Jesse Strickland (aka Dear Indugu) brings an intensely passionate presence and personal lyrics to open the segment, followed by the Afro-Venezuelan sounds of Oakland’s Rosa los Santos.

Abby and the Pipsqueaks and Jump Street open the Plaza Stage with humorous children’s music and family entertainment.

In addition, Saturday features the wildly popular Gospel Stage with Edwin Hawkins and Bishop Walter L. Hawkins and the Community in Praise Mass Choir. An entire afternoon of uplifting, roof-raising Gospel music will abound including Terence Kelly & Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir, the Love Center Choir, Kevin Moore, Carl Wheeler & Men of Endurance and Derrick Hall & Company.

The indomitable Will Downing tops Sunday’s Main Stage line-up (in association with KBLX 102.9 FM) In late 2006, Downing was diagnosed with polymyositis, a disorder causing weakness in joints and muscles. As a result, Downing recorded the majority of his vocals for 2008's After Tonight from a wheelchair. Buoyed by fan support, Downing continued to struggle against the disease and released the soulful Classique in 2009. His gorgeous, smooth, deeply personal delivery connects emotionally with the listener, his song choices are excellent, and his arrangements are extremely sophisticated. Also on the Main Stage is blue-eyed soul singer Bobby Caldwell. Best known for his What You Won’t Do for Love, Caldwell provides a genuine mix of R&B and jazz signatures with his bittersweet, buttery vocal tones that make him equally adept at his own originals or classic standards.

A perennial favorite, the Oakland R&B Reunion Stage is loaded with great acts. Zakiya ******, daughter of the legendary John Lee ******, brings her jazzy, sassy, soul blues to the stage. Freddie Hughes, who had R&B hits all the way back in the 60s, will pump out a set of Southern Soul blues. Derick Hughes adds his powerful, moody blues voice and crack band to what should be a great day of blues. The Caravan of Allstars featuring some of Oakland's finest blues musicians and singers are next. Their shows are very funky, filled with some of Oakland's greatest legends performing in front of the Allstars roaring rhythm section and horn section. Rounding out a great Blues afternoon is Frankie Lee, a legendary, underrated blues singer with more than 45 years experience. Known for his incredible live shows, Frankie says, “Whether it’s one or 1,000, me and my band are gonna put on a show.”

Expect people to be up and dancing at the Latin Stage on Sunday. Chino Espinoza y Los Dueños Del Son headline. Their high energy, infectious music is perfect for the dance club and has made them the most popular Salsa orchestra on the West Coast. Building up to Chino’s show we have Ba-Tu-Ke with their heady mixture of Cumbia, Son, Merengue and Samba mixed with Brazilian and African percussion and sweet vocal harmonies. Sandy Perez y Su Lade offer Afro-Cuban folkloric music with a strong percussion base, and Fito Reinoso returns to Art & Soul Oakland with his stunning Salsa Cubana.

On Sunday, the Plaza Stage is dedicated to World Dance. The stage opens highlighting the youth and adult classes of Bay Area dance studios. That will be followed by a steady stream of Bay Area hip-hop dance crews. The highlight of the afternoon is sure to be Tribute to Michael Jackson presented by Bay Area hip-hop dance companies and featuring dancers from the hit TV series So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew.

Art & Soul Oakland has great music but that’s not all. A family paradise, the festival boasts the largest Family Fun Zone of any festival in the Bay Area, complete with kiddie rides, children’s entertainment and free festival admission for ages 12 and under. The ever-expanding Family Fun Zone is jam-packed with interactive activities for children of all ages, as well as kid-friendly carnival games, inflatable bouncers and hands-on activities to create their own art to take home. Every year, Art & Soul Oakland features hundreds of artisan and vendor booths as well as a mouth-watering array of food reflecting the rich cultural diversity found in Oakland—the most diverse city in America.

The 9th Annual Art & Soul Oakland is Northern California’s most accessible festival offering direct service from BART (12th Street - Oakland City Center Station) and free parking for thousands of cars. Last year more than 60,000 people enjoyed sensational music, food, fun, dance and art in beautiful downtown Oakland. “Downtown Oakland is hot,” says Samee Roberts, City of Oakland Marketing Director. “Scores of new restaurants, clubs, galleries and the renovated Fox Theater are drawing people from all over the region in droves. It all started with Art & Soul -- a multicultural mecca of music, art and food with the most wonderfully fun, diverse festival crowd you will find anywhere.”

The 9th Annual Art & Soul Oakland takes place in downtown Oakland on Saturday, August 15 and Sunday, August 16, 2009 from Noon–6 PM. The festival is centered in Frank Ogawa Plaza and City Center, encompassing 10 strollable city blocks. Admission is $10.00 per day at the door; $5 for seniors, disabled and youth 13 to 17, with 12 and under free.

For more information on the 9th Annual Art & Soul Oakland, visit or call (510) 444-CITY.

Date: Saturday August 15,and Sunday, August 16, 2009

BET In Search of Black Homophobic Church Goers

BET is doing an in depth look at homophobia in the Black Church. The producer is looking for someone willing to discuss it. Privacy will be of most importance. Here's her note below. Plz tell folks to contact her if they are willing to talk. Plz send out to everyone you know!

Contact: Karen C Saunders-
BET News,
Senior Producer IN DEPTH
212 975 1595
Or e-mail -

--BET is revamping the network and launching several new shows in the fall. IN-DEPTH is a series of quarterly specials that will examine issues/ social phenomena that affect all of America but we will take a look at how those issues manifest/affect the black community.

Our first hour will focus on homophobia in the black community examining the myth that blacks are more homophobic than other groups we'll discover ways homophobia simply manifest homophobia differently than other groups.

We'll hear poignant stories from the grass roots (the gay choir director and/or church member with a homophobic minister) to the "rarely heard emotional stories" from celebrities like Felicia Snoop Pearson.

We're searching for that church member, someone who on the verge of leaving their home church because of the anti-gay messages from the pulpit. We'd like to interview them for the show.

We hope to capture the unique dynamic that is prevalent in some black churches and throughout many black communities- - a "don't ask-don't tell" philosophy in regards to gays in the church and their families.

It is my sincere hope to capture the pain and the paradox by hearing from someone actually going through the torture of attending a church whose' minister/congregati on has condemned them.

Please have any interested people contact me via email or at the phone number.

Thanks so very much!!