Moody’s Mood

As I sat in the amphitheater listening to Joe Williams’ baritone voice, I longed to talk to my dad. I find myself walking to another section in the amphitheater and sitting on my dad’s lap. Laying my head on his shoulder, I tell him how much I miss him. He responds be telling me how great Joe Williams’ voice is and how I just missed his performance with Joe Sample. The rest of the conversation is a blur but it was more about some great musicians.

This happened last night. It was all a dream. My father’s been deceased 17 years.

I went to bed last night feeling some kind of way about my current life situation and I longed to talk to my dad. It’s been 17 years but I still miss him. The older I get, the more I miss him.

FramptonLiveI could engage my dad in hours-long conversations just about anything but talking about music made the man glow. GLOW! I remember being 9 or 10 years old standing in the driveway of our home to view the lunar eclipse when he opened the trunk of his car to retrieve a pair of binoculars when I saw an album with a white man on the cover. I asked, rather incredulously, why he had that album.  “Baby, that’s Peter Frampton!” He goes on to tell me how awesome the LP was (Framptom Comes Alive). I can’t recall the details of the conversation only how my dad’s face glowed when he talked about it. He was in his sweet spot.

My dad had a vast music collection. An impressive collection of vinyl of which he was very protective and forbade my sister and I from playing without his “assistance”. That assistance was him taking the album from the sleeve and putting it on the turntable himself. He didn’t want his vinyl scratched son!! I did eventually earn his trust and was allowed to use the stereo and handle his collection without his supervision.

Through my dad, I learned to love music, all music, as much as he did although I’ve never amassed a music collection as he did. But I do remember the very first album I purchased though. Al Jarreau’s “Breakin’ Away”. Daddy was so proud that his 13 year old daughter’s first purchase was mister scat himself and not, say, New Edition or Stacey Lattisaw.

As I sit here listening to George Benson and remembering last night’s dream, I’m thinking of my dad. Still missing him but feeling a little closer through the music.

There I go, there I go, there I go, there I go
Pretty baby you are the soul that snaps my control
Such a funny thing but every time I’m near you, I never can behave
You give me a smile and I’m wrapped up in your magic
Music all around me. Crazy music.
Music that keeps calling me so very close to you.

White Rage, the Hunger Games, and the Lack of Justice for Eric Garner

chocl8t:

“You can torture or bomb us, blast our district to the grounds. But do you see that? Fire is catching…If we burn, you burn with us!” – Katniss Everdeen “The Hunger Games”

Originally posted on Olivia A. Cole:

eric garner

Today, like too many days, I am angry. Today a grand jury voted not to bring criminal charges against the white officer who killed Eric Garner, father of six, with a chokehold. The killing is on video, which many people hoped would mean an indictment and, eventually, a conviction. Not so. Today, America tells us once again that the value it places in black life is nil, insubstantial, nonexistent.

The protests have already begun in New York, and I’m thinking about anger, rage. I’m thinking about things that burn. When the grand jury in St. Louis County announced that it would not be indicting Darren Wilson in the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown, Ferguson burned. Over the weekend, I saw the latest Hunger Games film—Mockingjay—and in it, the Capitol executes unarmed civilians, their deaths broadcasted for millions of eyes. I couldn’t stop thinking about Eric…

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Jump!!!

I keep replaying that moment over and over again in my head and also the video, minute marker 2:10 to be exact. That moment I jumped, no, glided out of the plane  at 14,000 feet in the air, 2.7 miles, on my very first tandem skydive.

After sharing the pictures and video with friends and family via social media, I was met with feedback that was overwhelmingly positive and replete with admiration.

AWESOME! Kick Ass!! You Rock!!

So many have also responded that they’re too afraid to do something like that. Ironic because this jump was to serve as an impetus for letting go of emotional baggage, expectations, and putting an end to my desire to control things in my life as well as facing my fears. The fear of heights, failure, and yes, success. The past two years has been a long continuous lesson on letting go of material possessions, relationships, expectations, negative thought patterns, behaviors and habits. This skydive was the final exam of sorts.

In that moment when I jumped, I felt more alive than ever before. It was such a freeing experience and I never want to forget that feeling which is why I keep replaying it over and over again.

The goal now is to fill my life with those types of “moments”.

This life is to be lived without boundaries and without fear. I plan to do exactly that from here on out.

Self Promotion

self-promotionSelling my skills and talents has never been my forte so when it came time to re-vamp my resume eight years ago, I hired a resume writing service. When I started this blog and created the “About Chocl8t” page, the text was brief – short and sweet and did not embellish on my talents, skills, nor personal attributes.

I contribute this to a confluence of over abundant humility and a tinge of uncertainty with my self confidence. I never want to appear boastful or arrogant nor do I want to sell myself short by being afraid to shine.

However, I am finding that self-promotion is a key element in advancing to the next level and since I am all about growth, I must forge forward.

The following now appears on my “About Chocl8t” page.

Chocl8t is a Technical Writer by day and personal blogger by night. Idealistic, sensitive, big-hearted, with an open mind who gravitates to the brainiac oddballs, nerds, and underdogs of the world.

Behind the megawatt smiles and shy facade is an avid reader with a wicked sense of humor, although mostly self-deprecating, and razor sharp wit.

An advocate of self improvement, truth, and growth with a passion for travel, books, music, photography, food, family, friends, and of course writing.

If my postings make you laugh, cry, or piss you off, please let me know by leaving a comment. Lively discourse is welcomed but if you disagree with anything written by me or other commenters, formulate an intelligent rebuttal as opposed to resorting to that catch phrase “you’re hating” – it’s just so…so…trite. (About Chocl8t)

There it is…my effort at self-promotion, mini bio, et cetera, et cetera.

5 Things No One Is Actually Saying About Ani DiFranco or Plantations

chocl8t:

Are You Blinded by Privilege?

Originally posted on Scott Woods Makes Lists:

The Great Ani DiFranco Plantation Kerfuffle of 2013 has been something of a boon to people who debate and study race in America. In DiFranco, anyone who’s ever cared about race or Birkenstocks has had a light cast on the perception of just how far race matters have really progressed, which is to say, not as far as we thought. DiFranco is progressive and hip and down for the cause…and, as it turns out, completely full of white privilege. She rolled with booking a plantation for a retreat, then faux-apologized (poorly) for that decision, then a couple of other notable friends defended her abysmally, and finally she issued what most people consider a more genuine – if late – apology with all the appropriate feels (and 80% less foot in mouth). So while she isn’t Michael Fassbender from 12 Years a Slave, it turns out she might be kicking…

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