Monday, November 25, 2013

Today's Top 10... and yes, that's Judi Dench.

Today’s Top 10

  1. There are very few black gay artists who want to talk about their artistic process from a place of truth.  I’ve seen several fakers, who are really only fakers because they lack the knowledge to converse about much beyond riffs, vocal “bestiality”, and that Beyonce Knowles-Carter person.  I cannot dumb-it-down to talk about art.  I will not.  For this reason, I will always support black gay artists who speak the truth.  [Learn about my friend Michael R. Jackson]

  1. Burping up Wendy’s is one of my favorite emotions.

  1. I used to hear “I won’t be able to make it to your party if Larry is coming” from many dear friends.  Recently, I think I’ve done quite well at getting my name put on just the right people’s lips.  Long Live 2013!!  I’m going to miss her when she’s gone.  (The year, not the poverty)

  1. An unanswered email shows no home training.  An unanswered text is actually seen by the person you are ignoring in most cases.  As is the unanswered Facebook message.  My ability not to call you out by first and last name when all I’m trying to do is schedule dinner for two supposed old friends to catch up, is called restraint.  #AlmaCheckYourInBox

  1. A few years ago, I met and worked with a woman named Raena White, who looked me and a fellow cast mate in the eye and said “I don’t believe in gay.  I mean, you must know that what you’re doing is wrong, right?”  We ceased speaking for the remainder of the contract.  We ceased speaking for the remainder of our unfortunately shared time on this planet.  Currently, she is a “singer” about town with a huge gay following, who has no idea she doesn’t actually believe in them (like we are Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy).  Sometimes I feel like I am the only one who’s stood his ground and denounced her any time her name has come up.

  1. If you have to call it ArtPop, it’s neither.

  1. I’m learning a great deal about Fleetwood Mac over the last day or so.  That was a band.  A team.  Creating that much art in such close proximity to that much emotion, and having it truly stand the test of time as some of the best music of the last 40 years, is truly a testament.  I couldn’t imagine what would come out of me each day at work, if that much emotionally scarred paperwork were left in the conference room.

  1. I talk about both of them enough, but I don’t know if you know this.  The things I’ve learned in this life from Geraldine and Big James have made me who I am today. 

    1. Geraldine taught me, and continues to teach me, how to cook.  Like a science.  She is the reason I wanted to learn how to play that weird box with the 88 keys that made a noise called music. 

    1. Big James taught me that we were going to change one of the traditional meanings of our name.  One of the meanings of “James”, I believe in some sort of religious setting, was “one who follows” (albeit with a capital “F”).  He taught me at a very young age that it was going to be very important for me to “Lead”.  I think of that every day.  He taught/teaches me to be the best at whatever it is that I want to do.  And not best meaning “better than someone else”.  Best meaning, be the best that you can be…for you…with what you have.  If you think it’s the best, then it is.  He taught me that it’s more important what I think about it, than what anyone else does.  I think that’s cool.  And I get it now.

  1. Shonda Rhimes talks too fast.

  1. I’ve been spending Sunday in the exact way that I’ve wanted to spend Sunday over the last few months.   There have been naps, and food, and music history, and foliage, and Greek food, and naps, and my cell phone has died (re: DNR), and drives, and mix tapes, and naps, and discussing what you want out of where you are heading, and where you’re heading because of what you want, and cooking, and a dog, and cats, and advice, and art.  And it is for me.  It may not be for you.  If you hear about it and you don’t run away, I thank you.  I love hearing what is for you just as much.  Tell me about your Sunday.


  1. When you get a text or an email or a phone call from Elliot Roth saying “You need to listen to this –“, You stop what you are doing and follow the directions of whatever is on the other side of that hyphen. 
Also, I am thrilled to take the end of the year and dedicate it to work, reflecting, and getting back to my OWN (both the channel and me).  But here's two little things.... 

(1) Hey Boston, what if I came to you in February?  We're working that out.  Would you come?  

And y'all... This thing that happened below changes me every time I get to sing it.  If you don't follow her, you're rude.  She'll be doing a show of her own at Joe's Pub in early February.  And She and I are working on something together for March.  Stay tuned, NYC.  

(2) Would you come to "The Gospel of Joni"?  

Sidebar....I'm making lotions for Christmas presents.  Get into it!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Today's Top 10... We're back, kids!

I had to take a minute...  But I'm back.  We took the last two weeks off to address some minor issues.  Do forgive.  There's a lot to discuss.  Hirings, firings, run-ins, and worn out welcomes.  Let's get started.

Today’s Top 10

Think of just how powerful we could be if we supported each other even 1/8th as much as we thought we were in the lead.  If professionalism were the race, art were goal, and ego wasn’t allowed to compete, what would we do with all those extra blue ribbons?

  1. I want to walk slower and mean it.  I’ve been practicing over the last few days.  It’s difficult.

  1. I recently reprimanded what I believe was a 9 year old, who I overheard saying “Shawty got booty” in reference, I believe, to his substitute teacher.  I am a firm believer that his mother is probably 13 years older than him and has, subsequently, taught him no better.

  1. It bothers me that we are discussing the box office numbers of “The Best Man Holiday” and the film’s apparent race issues instead of furthering the discussion on “12 Years A Slave”, which has left me far more effected than anything Morris Chestnut has ever provided.

  1. I had “Free-Sample” lunch while passing through the mall yesterday.

    1. Also, I stood in line the other night with approximately 12 homeless people on the corner of 38th and Broadway waiting for free pizza from a shop that was closing at 11PM.  I had two free slices.  And I’m not mad.

  1. A clean desk is a dirty mind, which is a terrible thing to waste, like spilled milk, unless you’re crying.

  1. Last month, I worked for free (and on my birthday).  This month, I tried to work with some people I thought were a few things; friends, professional, advanced-in-their-careers, not coke heads who used to beat their lovers.  I wonder what next month will bring.  Ooh, Christmas.

    1. Recently, a performer/previous guest/surface-friend let me know two things about herself;  1.)  She hides under her bed when her landlord comes looking for the rent.  And 2.)  That she’d have to work tonight.

  1. I’m not big on fishing, but if I were to catch a Thursday, I wouldn’t throw it back.

  1. Does it bother anyone else that the West Side Highway has traffic lights and FDR Drive is more of a highway?

  1. Does anyone know how to remove people who have no business following anything you do from the subscriptions section just to the right of this blog?  I seem to have a hard time finding Google’s “Block This Person For Being Insignificant” button.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Every time I go crazy, spinning off into a sea of mental anguish and self-loathing, which I’ve learned to swim in during every past attempt at getting to know someone, he does something very simple that seems to calm my self-generated stormy sea.  He knows how important music is to me. Makes me want to sing just as much as he makes me smile.


I need more than the measly 30 days the month of November has given me to be Thankful for things.  Luckily, I am more thankful in this life than I am pissed at the stupidity of these ridiculous Facebook statuses.  I'm not taking 1/12 of 365 days just to tell you what I'm thankful for.  It seems like it would be cooler to say thank you every day.  So, that's what I'm doing...and not on facebook, and sometimes not even typewritten.  I'm saying things out loud.  I want you to see it in my face.  This morning, I've got two.  I'm thankful for breakfast.  And for you.