Wednesday, January 1, 2014

May You Have Good Health and Fortune in the Upcoming Year: Vibing to "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band and Pondering a "What if?" Time Travel Scenario for New Year's Eve 2013-2014

I would like to wish all of you a happy new year. It is 2014 here in Chicago, I am sitting in my apartment, drinking a beer, watching Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, and pondering if I will venture out. It is not Echo base on Hoth snowy. But, it is "do I really want to go out in that mess to see folks at the local pub?" snowy.

That image may seem sad to some, me, a beautiful beast of a man home alone on New Year's. I am pretty content. I just got off an airplane. I had a nice and needed visit home. I recharged my batteries. I am feeling even and balanced. No real complaints.

As a follow up to my reflections on home and traveling for the holidays, I will be posting an obligatory essay on New Year's resolutions, my own personal inventory and self-evaluation for 2013, and some questions about how best to grow up as the years slip past while still remaining a child at heart. Public policy, politics, racism chasing, and other such matters can wait a few days. I really like sharing and chatting with the good folks who frequent We Are Respectable Negroes. I especially enjoy having a nice relaxed conversational salon during the end of the year and holiday times.

Two thoughts.

First, for those of you who are home, out at the bar/club and bored, or just chilling, medicated, and enjoying your own company or those of intimates, friends, and family however defined, what are some of your New Year's Eve songs for 2013-14? As I throw back a few Sapporo beers, my pick three consists of John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band's "On the Dark Side", Marvin Hamlisch and Barbara Streisand's "The Way We Were", and James Darron's (Deep Space Nine's Vic Fontaine) "The Best is Yet to Come".

If you were making a personal soundtrack for 2013 looking forward to 2014, what songs would it contain?

And for the ghetto nerds and others so inclined, I offer the following Twilight Zone-inspired What if? counter factual scenario to consider.

If you had the option of traveling back in time to the first day of 2013, and redoing the last year with what you know now, would you take the option? Alternatively, would you rather make peace with the year 2013--and all of its happenings, personal challenges, growth, and experiences--and just move forward to 2014? Thus leaving the past in the past?


Learning Is Eternal said...

That's a hard one to go back to the top of '13 w/acquired knowledge. For now, I can deal w/'13.

I'm currently @work 'till morning. I'm listening to anthologies/discographies of Nina Simone & (Carlos) Santana.

Friends will call 'tryna' make me jealous about how crazy last night was but I was one the 1st to post on WARN in 2014.

Take dat suckaz.

chauncey devega said...

Much love to you. I appreciate your support and comments. What do want/wish/hope for the site in 2014?

Bryan Ortez said...

I'm moving forward thank you. No need to go back and experience 2013 again.
I have muscular atrophy in my low back muscles from a failed back surgery I had in 2006. I haven't worked for two years and I still have a lot of recovery to do.
Yoga is saving my life. It's more affordable than physical therapy and more healing and practical.

Learning Is Eternal said...

You have my, amongst your own support system in making a full recovery that meets your standards but I hope is well beyond expectation.

Learning Is Eternal said...

Of course, you know, the shirt(s) thing. I know how you feel against the backdrop of going "corporate." That is not my intention in my suggestion.
I just would be proud to represent the site. Plus I feel WARN in all caps on anything in various degrees (caps, shirts, sizes, etc.) would make a bold statement while also complimenting your work here.
I've just found FSTV on my network. So keep the updates coming w/your guest appearances.

Bryan Ortez said...

thank you, that means a lot to me. I feel closer to my goal of more mobility and less pain, but every time I feel that way it rears its ugly head again. I've learned to carefully enjoy my pain free moments and not get my hopes up. All I have is hope that a pain free existence is a possibility. I could probably write a lot about my experiences, but I'll save that for my own space.

kokanee said...

I feel your pain although my back issues are in no way comparable to yours. I woke up on Sunday and couldn't get out of bed. 3 days later only limited mobility and still lots of pain. Yoga you say?

I never look back. That could involve regrets that I have no way of changing. My general philosophy is, "No regrets. Don't look back. Stay eternal young."

Be well. All the best in 2014.

Bryan Ortez said...

thank you. yes, yoga.

If you do feel it to be a good idea for you I have a little advice. Take a class and tell your teacher about any pains or injuries you have. Don't be hard on yourself and compare yourself to others. The point in the poses in yoga is to find your comfort spot in any pose. Don't strain yourself, you are liable to make any of your pains worse.

Even my very experienced instructors injure themselves now and then, but I guarantee if you stay with it you will definitely enjoy it. It can be your only routine or it can add to any other exercise that you do.

There are yoga instructors who have remained flexible and strong into their nineties and even hundreds:

Arthur Boorman is a huge inspiration for me:

Best wishes.

Black Sci-Fi said...

There are no escapes from the reality of the common thread of decency that runs through all of us no matter where we try to escape. I found myself attracted to the same class of people in Hawaii that I share color, if not values, with there. Morality isn't really a moving target. Selfishness, indeed the lack of the love of a mother and the basic human instinct we derive from women to protect the weak and helpless cannot long endure beyond our basic nature. To wit, to unlove is to be inhuman. I believe in a God that does not answer prayers. The answers are built into our DNA by the God that created us all. Our only job as humans, beyond reproduction and SHARED prosperity, is to look out at the universe and understand what is not to truly appreciate that which is and praise that which built it and us to appreciate. The unique nature of our existence, in a universe that is being defined more and more every day as a creation of our "Earth-necessary" senses, is really no more complex than our ability to share in the reality of living for a few years (universal time) and dying with praise for that which made our rise from the unknowing matter and abundant star-stuff possible.
Happy New Year. Take some time to look out into the universe (I'm a big fan of the Orion Nebula) and be captivated by the wonder of our unique place as a sentient creation. Perspective is also a unique gift from God to humankind.

chauncey devega said...

That is real talk. We must appreciate our parents, friends, loved ones and others when they are here, living, and breathing. There are no do overs. I lost someone who for all intents and purposes what like a brother to me when I was 22. He met death from cancer with grace and honor and taught us, those with him, a great lesson in doing so. I was with him as he passed on. I saw him in a vision a few days later. This is not the end but the beginning. One does not have to be religious--as I am not--to believe that energy conserves itself--consciousness especially.

Sounds like your pops too. When we have someone who can teach us as they face the big what if of eternity it is we who had best inhale that moment.

After reading your sharing, I think I am going to call a few friends and relatives that I have neglected or had a falling out with for reasons we both know but have not talked about. Hopefully a few of us will do that today and then share what the results were.

chauncey devega said...

Consciousness and sentience are common in the universe. I am trying to connect with our shared energy and consciousness through directed types of meditation this year. A bit New Agey for some. Real for me. I wish you the best in the new year.

chauncey devega said...

I wish you the best in the new year, health wise and in all other ways. What other resources do you have for yoga to share? I have some back issues that are only going to get worst with age--one of my promises is to go to the gym for real this year, do stretching exercises and the Muller system routine more consistently.

chauncey devega said...

I have a list of things for the site. Every year we increase the readership. It is weird. Traffic wise WARN is midtier for a "black blog"--whatever that means as that is not my nitch despite the name of the site. But, the exposure and invites and requests I get are out of scale to the metrics.

So yes, t-shirts and hats are on the table and should have been done already. I passed on a book deal and few other things before. Now, I will move forward with that and need to get a proper agent/rep to help along with seeing if that is viable.

I am also thinking about doing a softcover coffee table like book akin to the Egotrip series. I need to talk to some folks about that, developing exclusive content, and expanding material already here on the site. I would do a Kickstarter for that.

The question on all these matters is a basic one--will enough folks buy them and does WARN have the following yet to sustain it?

Bryan Ortez said...

I'm not qualified to give much information on yoga. I can say the practice is designed to help people sit in lotus posture, one of the yoga poses, for long periods of time. If you are doing meditation and start experiencing pain, yoga might be a good place to get into your low back and probably your hips. They say the hips are one of our naturally weak points and that is where many low back issues actually originate.

Get to a class and don't get discouraged when you see little old ladies rockin out handstands. Another thing I have read about low back pain is strengthening legs and stretching hamstrings can do wonders. One person said he accidentally cured his back pain after taking Tae Kwon Do classes for a few months. He was already pretty athletic though.

For me its finding a fine balance between the financial resources and the time required to get the most out of the work I am doing. I am in a much better place today than I was a year ago as far as pain and mobility go. I always have concern that I might hurt myself again, so you always have to be careful.

If you do start going to the gym, I would avoid the weight lifting machines and go with running on the treadmill, leg stretches and free weights. Squats are good too, but it is all about having the right posture. Best of luck to you. I look forward to a new year of WARN. So far it's been great.

DanF said...

Anyone with back issues has my sympathy. Coughing, sleeping, eating ... name it and the pain takes away a lot of joy to be had in day to day living.

Not that it will help muscular atrophy but I've switched my work desk to one that goes up and down. If I stand half the the day I find I have no back issues. If I sit all day, every day, my back will go out and I'm down for several days.

The Sanity Inspector said...

I had a good 2013, so there's not much I would change. As for me, I don't think a do-over would accomplish much. I'm a finished piece of work at my age, and if better were within, better would come out.