Sobering news about AIDS: ... for black gay and bisexual men.
The new research, released yesterday, relies on a newer blood test to identify people who have been infected only recently. The researchers found that in the six cities, black gay men ages 23 to 29 had a 14.7 percent annual rate of new infection compared with 2.5 percent among white gay men and 3.5 percent among Hispanic gay men of the same age. For the age group overall, the new infection rate was 4.4 percent.

The findings mean that for every 100 young black gay men who were not infected at the beginning of the year, nearly 15 would be infected by the end of the year.
While I was looking elsewhere: ... life continued apace.
  • James recounts sixteen ways of looking at a black woman.
  • Some of my bud Stephen Stout's paintings will be on display in "Transformations II," a show at m, the exhibition division of Francis Mill Gallery, 555 Sutter St., Suite 401, S.F., Calif., 94102, sponsored by S.F. nonprofit Liquid SPACES from Thursday, June 7th to Saturday, June 9th from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. (A reception will happen Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m.; contact director Bry Levine at 415-439-2249 for questions)
  • Delia Nakayama has the proper definition of "hapa" on her mind after reading its mention in an article on Eurasian beauty that Cecily forwarded to me yesterday.
    Anil Dash: ... is reborn, and explains the whole Prince thing for those of you who haven't been following along at home.


    A moment of silence for nuance: *sigh*
    Quote of the day: ... "We are the fattest, most overweight country in the world ... So it's logical that we'd be home to contests where people brag about who can eat the most."
    Fighting words: Adrienne, Ms. million-watts-of-A.C.-power herself, has 4 out of 7 right.
  • Dogs are better pets than cats Now, I'm a dog man. Lived in a house with a cat for a few weeks. It was OK, but you won't catch me turning into Joe Pennant (who liked him a cat he lived with up until a month ago)
  • Marvin Gaye is a sexier vocal stylist than Al Green That's a gimme. Gaye made some fine music while he thought he had a shot at being Sinatra or a neo-Nat King Cole, but took it to the next level when he went pop (as we all know by now). Green, in comparison, hasn't ever felt compelled to try to stretch beyond his best efforts ("Still In Love With You" edging out "Let's Stay Together"). The lovely covers Green does from time to time are excluded from consideration in this.
  • Broiling beats frying Nope. Two words: Fried chicken.
  • Only 4 gospels comprise Christian theology Let's see, do I really feel like putting up a fight about Essene stuff or the Aquarian gospels? Nah. Maybe another day.
  • Whitman's poetry is better than Sandberg's Well, OK.
  • Southerners are stupid You can kill that noise rightaboutnow.
  • All blacks have natural rhythm ... even if it's only the "white-boy shuffle" -- right, Ms. Paul Beatty fan?
    Carijama: ... James went. So did Starmama. Damn, the wife and I should've gone.


    Grenadine: ... After reading this story by Hanne Blank, let's just say I'm in the mood for a pomegranate. *adds Hanne's latest book to wish list*
    Rubyfruit Online: ... I like what Shannon's done with the place.
    Pictures from Saturday: ... at Berkeley's Himalayan Fair in Live Oak Park, watching a lovely rendition of an Indian dance about Lord Krishna, a particularly tall 'do that momentarily blocked my view of the stage (before its owner decided to sit down), a note about a prisoner of conscience and a booth where people were urged to write letters of support on his behalf, a brief glance upward at prayer flags strung above the grounds, a flyer at a booth for a local store, a portrait of the photographer as captured in a mirror, a bit of script, a Berkeley, Calif., cop sprinting toward a bannered gate (karma police?), another mirror shot examining my hairline receding (my vain darling), a glance to make me wonder "have I stayed too long at the fair?", more prayer flags in the May breeze, a shot of a signifier of some in the crowd's political sympathies, a glance at the two women I hung out with and one I used to work with at ANG, a shot of what I may make into a 404 page, and some shots of Ankita overcoming apathy -- and while I'm sure this street sign has been shot before, its image rather captures the spirit of the day for me.


    A vow of silence: ... A woman who lives on the same floor in our building has taken one. She's a Buddhist, so maybe it's Vipassana-related. According to a sign she's posted on her door, she'll end it June 21, the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere (as well as an eclipse -- I'm feeling Ankita's desire to stay home rightaboutthen). I'm reminded of occasions in my life when people were unable to express what was being felt through mere words, as well as the disturbances in the Force that have led to recent pauses and rests in the blogging community. (via A.D.) elly's entry offers a nice snapshot of her motivation to take a two-day speech fast.
    A Spanish proverb: ... "I don't want the cheese, I just want to get out of the trap." (found in "Working Less, Just for the Health of It," a chapter in Ernie J. Zelinski's "The Joy of Not Working" -- among other books browsed like "Simple Loving," by Janet Luhrs and "Diet for a New America" by John Robbins)
    Three from Follow Me Here: ... or the trio of links I'd highlight from Eliot Gelwan's productive day of weblogging.
  • Further discussion about aliteracy (also kindly recounted by Imelge in her May 22 blog entry)
  • Miles Davis' 75th birthday
  • President B---'s attack on environmental regulations ('cause I'm loving how he hips readers to Red Rock Eater's curse-word reference to our 43rd "president.")
    Nude Canucks -- no clothes? Aw shucks!: ... "Once everyone was naked, it didn't really matter that everyone was naked, because everyone was naked."
    Photographer Spencer Tunick: "I use the body as a shape ... It's very hard to look at a mass of bodies, at least in my work, and get aroused. It's using the body as an art object, not a sex object.

    "The shape is the message ... It's an abstraction that seeps into and onto the pavement, that creates a sense of vulnerability for the body juxtaposed (against) a harsh outside world with many things coming against you... This is where the body tries to overpower the street.

    "People just listened, they cared about my work and wanted to be a part of something original.

    "I'm just so appreciative for Canada being above us and not Iran or Singapore."

    (CBC RealVideo link)


    San Jose mayor's new toy: ... Ex-co-worker Christine Lias (whose virtue on the subject is unimpeachable) thinks Ron Gonzales's personal choice to drive an SUV speaks for itself.


    Fremont, California: ... After Ankita and I got married at the Alameda County courthouse in September of 1999, John and Kate took us out to eat at the Oakland Grill. Then my blushing bride and I got in our car, drove down 880 to this town (leaving the highway and getting pretty lost -- resorting to our Thomas Brothers mapbook to set us straight) and watched "Hello Brother" (reviews: Planet Bollywood, Rediff, Bollywood Premiere and TeenStation) at the Naz 8.
    "At a public meeting, someone got up and said, 'I can't pronounce Gurdwara.' Then a Sikh stands up and says, 'I can't pronounce Paseo Padre.' "
    Tulsa, Oklahoma: ... your darkest hour wasn't 80 years ago, but just the other day -- three months after the state riot commission's final report made its case for reparations to survivors.
    I want to defy the logic of all sex laws: ... because according to's inner rock star quiz, I'm a full-grown man, but I'm not afraid to cry.

    But what about my inner Randy Travis, Sting, Chris Isaac (sic), Lenny Kravitz, Tommy Lee, Ricky Martin or Eminem? (To say nothing of my inner Sade, Britney Spears, Madonna, Macy Gray, Courtney Love, Bjork, Faith Hill or Celine Dion ...)
    Yeah baby, the rock star part of you is all Beck. Women are enthralled by your seductive energy, a perfect mix of intrigue and poetry. You and Beck have got it all together because you're unafraid to say exactly what's on your mind, and let everyone in on your quirky point of view. Intellectual and sexy, you continually dodge conventional stereotypes with your eclectic personal style. But when you really break it down, it's just your great sense of humor and easygoing talent that makes the crowds go wild. Throw a fiesta, and inspire your inner Beck.


    S.F.: ... Oh, I love to shoot the skyline from near and afar, but sometimes I feel this way, too. (via calamondin)
    Vive: ... La Resistance Detroit! (via the Bay Guardian)


    Tea, teeth and cavities: ... Elise is right. Black tea's yummy, especially the way Ankita makes it. But if the study's true, what's up with British choppers? (Not that I should generalize, for real.)
    With apologies: ... to fans of this song.
    cecily1968 (02:22 PM): *sigh*
    cecily1968 (02:28 PM):
    cecily1968 (02:29 PM): Bob's calling out his own.
    cecily1968 (02:29 PM): *whoops*
    allaboutgeorge (02:29 PM): So it's true, then. Bob's one of us?
    cecily1968 (02:30 PM): I think if you shake that family tree hard enough...
    allaboutgeorge (02:30 PM): Bob's our uncle.
    cecily1968 (02:32 PM): Ooh.
    cecily1968 (02:32 PM): I could have fun with a site like this.
    allaboutgeorge (02:32 PM): What if Bob was one of us?
    allaboutgeorge (02:32 PM): Negro blood, like most of us
    allaboutgeorge (02:33 PM): Just a dad-gummed passing cuss
    cecily1968 (02:33 PM): Hee!
    allaboutgeorge (02:33 PM): Tryin' to make his way home
    allaboutgeorge (02:33 PM): < / joanosborne >
    cecily1968 (02:33 PM): Your freestyle is hilarious.
    cecily1968 (02:33 PM): I think you should do one freestyle per day on your blog.
    allaboutgeorge (02:34 PM): *mulls*
    cecily1968 (02:34 PM): Try it for a week.


    Mama's baby: ... Papa's? Maybe.
    Reason enough: ... that you should give me your dollar dollar bill, y'all. 'Cause it's all about gettin' that cash (money).
    Smooth move, Toyota: ... Way to woo African-American consumers!
    $2.4 million: ... *sigh*


    Happy birthday to me: ... after a fashion. Bought this domain name a year ago. 'Course, it took me a week to figure out how to FTP the first pages I'd cobbled together -- including the first one, something intended to honor Duke Ellington's centennial but clumsily and accidentally erased, and my blog. The lousy service I got from my first hosting service didn't help matters.

    But it's been loads of fun. What did I do before the Web?


    Be selfish: ... and forgive somebody right now.
    Anger is not just about destructiveness. Through anger we voice our protests. And without protests, there is just silence and grudge. The trick is to have your passions -- which are often quite murderous -- and yet hold onto this other idea, that this person to whom I'm attributing the worst deeds and motives is someone I care about.

    "So while I'm telling him how much I wanted to strangle him, I'm also going to try to remember that there's probably more to the story than meets my rageful eye. Maybe I played a part in this, maybe I'm reading it wrong. That's what it means to be able to tolerate ambiguity and ambivalence, which is one of the hallmarks of maturity and of the capacity for forgiveness."
    Hip-hop and history: ... "Just because I grew up black doesn't mean I know black history ... Just because I wear my hat backwards and sagging pants (doesn't mean that's) all there is to hip hop. The classroom setting is a place to understand the rich history and the connection between musical genres and the social situations that gave rise to hip hop.

    "So, they get a deeper understanding of what it means living a hip hop lifestyle."
    Freestyle: ... for Kaylie, endured by Jenn via AIM after she showed me this.
    allaboutgeorge (02:38 PM): Best believe/skepticism is a must
    allaboutgeorge (02:38 PM): On the world wide Web, babe/Who can you trust?
    allaboutgeorge (02:39 PM): Forget the "X-Files"/Ain't no truth out there
    allaboutgeorge (02:39 PM): When you can spin a tale and make millions care
    allaboutgeorge (02:41 PM): When you can rake the loot in like taking Deludin
    allaboutgeorge (02:42 PM): or maybe the red pill to leave everybody feudin'
    allaboutgeorge (02:43 PM): It's like a hall of mirrors/cold shattered into shards
    allaboutgeorge (02:45 PM): It's like playing 52 pickup with holographic cards
    allaboutgeorge (02:48 PM): My head's like ringin'/I'm hearing mourning bells
    allaboutgeorge (02:48 PM): as if that kid Thom E. Yorke was fillin' me up with wails
    allaboutgeorge (02:50 PM): Game don't even peep game/so keep a grip on your cabbage
    allaboutgeorge (02:51 PM): or your salary-celery could wind up sliced and ravaged.
    Quote of the day: ... "How do you do this right? ... Well, basically, I think you just communicate until your knuckles bleed."
    Faces and people: ... Just before 9 o'clock this morning, I saw almost a hundred people practicing tai chi outside of the Lake Merritt BART station, around the 9th Street exit that lets you out on the west side of Oak Street. Their swaying to this thin, high, mercury sound -- this flute and voice threnody drifting out of a possessed boombox beside an old man -- turned everyone into 4-, 5- and 6-foot-tall trees become human, like forest spirits. (For some reason, I thought of the stalking dance that Michael Jackson and the other zombies do in the video for "Thriller.") Some wore jeans; others T-shirts and floppy hats. Most were Chinese-American, though I think I saw a white guy or two. I walked right past the lone brother in the crowd, who was concentrated and focused to the point of sweat coating his face and chest in drops. I smiled at him as I passed; I don't think he saw me.


    Savoy Media Watch: ... may turn out to be worth paying an occasional visit if they keep hipping me to folks like this Columbia, Md., judge and the skinny on the mystery of the 364th Army Regiment.
    X marks the spot: ... where slaves worshipped in a Brooklyn, N.Y., farmhouse. (via my wife, thumbing mags at ye olde chaine bookstore as she is wont to do from time to time)
    Two descendants, Catherine Lott-Divis and Carol Lott McNamara, who did not know each other as children, grew up hearing stories about a second-floor room in the main section of the house with a door leading to a small storage space in the eaves of a gambrel roof. The space is accessible only through a bedroom closet. Catherine and Carol separately recalled a family legend that the room was used as part of the Underground Railroad in the 1840s. It is known that the Underground Railroad did run through Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx to circumvent Manhattan, where strong economic and social ties to the South made it less hospitable to runaway slaves.


    George hears a Whoo: ... 'cause Cecily gets down like that (with ruminations and such), and I'll do my best to pitch in when I can. Oh, almost forgot -- you're invited, too.
    Now, see!: ... this is what I was talking about earlier.
    "You have to realize that in any movie about Pearl Harbor, the Japanese aren't going to come out the heroes ... In the end, we have to remember, these are stories that are being told and all we can do is hope the storyteller gets it right.''


    I'm a lucky man: ... because if my laptop was as small and light as, say, a new iBook (with "only half the mass of the original iBook design -- 137.6 cubic inches for the new version, 281 for the old one, according to calculations Mac nerds began posting online within hours of the new product's announcement May 1"), things like what happened to Ev would surely happen to me more often.
    There's hope: ... for straight people.


    Days like today: ... in spite of it all, are good days.
    A show you'll never see on Fox: ... "When Prudence Attacks"
    Quote of the day: ... "This makes me laugh ... Are they saying that India isn't on the continent of Asia?''
    Yes, I know: ... but please bear with me. With James and the smart set long since headed for Audiogalaxy and other clients, where'd I go the last two days to download music? With a slew of current and impending examples of how to well and truly run CSS, where'd I go but back to tables?

    If I had a good reason, I'd tell you why. If it was just about Netscape's CSS issues and the approximately 15 percent of my visitors who still use it, I'd say so. If I change my mind again tomorrow, you'll be the first to know about it.


    While I'm filling up today's entries with multimedia links: ... I might as well throw in "Separated at Birth," a 2-minute sound collage about George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
    Joining the pantheon of great musical questions: ... via a snazzy slice-of-life Apple iBook ad. (QuickTime, 11.3 MB; courtesy MacNN) Ah, takes me right back to those thrilling days of yesteryear: Who did, indeed, let the dogs out?
    Today's MP3 listening: ... courtesy of Amazon.
  • "Sophisticated Lady," Amel Larrieux (with Clark Terry) (3.6 MB)
  • "Money Jungle," Black Star (with Ron Carter & John Patton) (5.4 MB)
  • "Come Sunday," Les Nubians (4.3 MB)
  • "Dreamworld: Marco de Canaveses," David Byrne (with Caetano Veloso) (4.6 MB)
    Nice turn of phrase: ... "It's the poison that in measures brings illuminating vision/It's the knowing with a wink that we expect in Southern women."
    Mom's birthday: ... is today, and always falls near Mother's Day (which, as I told my copy chief Cary Tennis, cuts down significantly on paperwork). I did call on Sunday, lest you think me a bad seed. The flowers I sent -- she just called me to say -- are very yellow and pink, and came in a nice basket. (Thanks to Gemeny's on Georgia Avenue, via these guys.)
    Virtual light: ... shines bright at the William Gibson aleph. (via Phancy)


    Monkeyfist flexes a kung-fu grip: ... for seven days straight, covering the U.S., the UN and Sudan, Quebec City's A20 throwndown via a photo essay and P2P and the Web. It's the sort of week that almost demands recompense, response, remuneration of some kind. Hm. But how?
    Better late than never: ... on stories about paan (a treat I saw in Bangalore at age 9, but didn't have the nerve -- or permission -- to try), David Byrne (why hasn't some jaded irony-poor crooner covered Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" before now?) and "edutainment," (or what "some in the industry" are calling it, KRS-One notwithstanding)


    Celebrity death triumvirate: ... Jonno nails it. I want to think I first became aware of the Rule of Threes when Richard Nixon and Kurt Cobain shuffled off the mortal coil. (Ralph Ellison makes it a trio, in my book -- Kurt on the 8th, Ralph on the 17th and Dick on the 22nd -- see also Hunter Thompson's sendoff to Nixon; Courtney Love's and unexpectedly, John Updike's elegies for Cobain)
    Playlist du semaine: ... or the 15 songs (encompassing 1 hour, 21 minutes and 13 seconds of listening time and 83.4 MB) that have been selected for swooniness, sleekness, savoir faire and swivel-hip(pi)ness as part of my regular rotation from my iTunes lineup. It just works out that listing my selections alphabetically keeps two songs from the same artist/album from playing together. *grin* And yes, that last song was in my other playlist. There are some songs you never get tired of hearing. You don't need me to tell you; you already know this. But the way the synthesizer sine-wave oscillates, merging jazz guitar fancy fretwork into two-chord keyboard fugue; the scat-a-tat-tat served up on a platter; those rhythms ... Some days, I literally do need to hear it said: "You can do it, baby." And that tune's not failed me yet.
  • "All I Need," 4:28, Air, Moon Safari, New Age
  • "Come On, Let's Go" 3:17, Broadcast, The Noise Made By People, Pop
  • "Faces And People," 7:00, Sam Prekop, Sam Prekop, Indie
  • "I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (4 Hero Remix)," 5:32, Nuyorican Soul, INCredible Sound of Gilles Peterson, Dance
  • "I'll Do It For You (feat. Vikter Duplaix)," 5:08, King Brit presents Sylk 130, Re-Members Only, Jazz
  • "In Sarah, Mencken, Christ and Beethoven There Were Women and Men," 7:30, Tortoise, TNT, Instrumental Rock
  • "Nightvision," 1:44, Daft Punk, Discovery, Electronic
  • "Romeo's Fate (feat. Mark Bell)," 4:22, King Brit presents Sylk 130, Re-Members Only, Jazz
  • "Rose Rouge," 7:02, St Germain, Tourist, Dance
  • "Seemingly," 4:46, The Sea And Cake, Oui, Rock
  • "Skipping Tones (feat. Alison Moyet)," 5:27, King Brit presents Sylk 130, Re-Members Only, Jazz
  • "Something About Us," 3:51, Daft Punk, Discovery, Electronic
  • "The Shadow," 4:48, Sam Prekop, Sam Prekop, Indie
  • "TNT," 7:34, Tortoise, TNT, Instrumental Rock
  • "You Can Do It Baby," 8:44, George Benson, Nuyorican Soul, Dance

  • 2001/05/13

    Saturday: ... Thanks to a timely heads-up from Mr. Anderson, (and I don't think I'll ever speak or hear the name "Mr. Anderson" again without thinking of Keanu Reeves in "The Matrix": "My ... name ... is ... Neo!")

    I wound up dragging my poor, tolerant, understanding wife into The City through midday thickets of cars at the toll plaza, off the Bay Bridge at Fifth Street, up up up and across Market, hanging a left on Ellis and threading into the Tenderloin, up some street to the heights of California, down down down past the Masonic Center and then left, and somehow (finally) at the foot of Columbus.

    We left the car there, wandering down Montgomery to the appointed building, went in past the security guard and took an eerily silent elevator up nine floors to a room in Christie's S.F. office to lay eyes on The Scroll (soon to sell for millions).

    A $15 acupuncture appointment at an ACTCM facility on Fillmore (just above Ellis) appears to have substantially alleviated my back pain -- a few needles at the base of my spine, and three or four in my ears. Oh: I took many pictures at a Mr. and Ms. UTOPIA beauty pageant. They'll be up in a day or so.
    Ernie's got a brand-new blog!: ... insert guitar lick *here*
    Testimonials are for late-night Popeil products and Ab-Rollers. Props are for actors and rappers. So this is neither testimonial nor prop, but a straightforward statement: is for you, whether you know it or not. Every syllable, sentence and statement Ernie Shih-Hih Hsiung types is the smack of a wet fish freshly seized, swung by its tailfin and smiggedy-smacked upside your dumbfounded, uncomprehending face. Recognize!


    Cue the Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock: ... 'cause it takes 50 to make a continent white (and not hundreds, as previously suspected), it takes 50 to in-breed out of sight!


    National Black Out Day: ... alone? Ain't gonna cut it. So says he, and so say I. But the author has a couple of good ideas just the same.
    All about los Benjamins: ... says the Dallas Morning News' Ruben Navarrette Jr.
    Those who feel threatened by immigration decree the lingua franca of their bunkers to be English, while those who feel enterprising court a $452 billion-a-year U.S. Hispanic market by proclaiming: Se habla espanol.
    Listened to, thought of, linked about: ... One song is "essentially a soul number - and simply beautiful, Prekop's voice layered to usher in his own backing singers on the chorus, whilst Claridge's bass gently brings it on home," has "the glossy lilt of a Barry White smooch-fest, dressed up in velvety "quiet storm" strings and Eric Claridge's smoothly assertive bass," and with "a sound that reminds one of Air, the song rolls along at the gentle prodding of the lazy beat" and "catches the Tortoise affiliates at their most serene as scampering xylophone and staccato guitar vie with sonic moog scoring. This is outta-step pop that should sound highly sinister, but doesn't. Envision a less wilfully obtuse Stereolab and you're part of the way there. Picture the perfect soundtrack to Moomin valley and you're even closer. A blissed-out mini-wonder. Believe."


    What in the Sam Cooke ... : ... is this great profile doing over here? (site in links list at East West)
    "Pearl Harbor": ... Den Beste articulates some of the things I feel when I walk out of my building, go along Madison Street and turn left at 9th to go toward the BART station and walk under a huge billboard advertising the movie. What marketing wizard put it there, I wonder, on the edge of Oakland's Chinatown? (Not that most of the Chinese-American folks in the neighborhood are going to be rooting for the Japanese, y'understand.) Makes me wonder if there are similar ads in S.F.'s Japantown or L.A.'s Koreatown or other West Coast majority-Asian or historically Asian districts like Seattle's International District or the Chinatowns in Portland, Ore., or Vancouver, B.C.
    My "baby" playlist: ... or rather, the 14 songs (encompassing 1 hour and 12 minutes of listening time and 76.1 MB) that come up when I type the word into iTunes' text space to browse for David Gray's "Babylon" after reading Gary Graff's interview with him and venting about how radio programmers' need to make good songs "better" for radio inevitably makes them worse ...
  • "I See You Baby," 4:41, Groove Armada, Vertigo, Dance
  • "Busenfreund (Baby Mammoth Version 3)," 7:05, Tosca, Suzuki In Dub, Trip-Hop
  • "What's Baby Singin'," 5:41, Himiko Kikuchi, Glucklich IV, Dance
  • "I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim Remix)," 5:43, Groove Armada, Vertigo, Dance
  • "Baby Come To Me," 3:36, Patti Austin (w/James Ingram), Every Home Should Have One, 80s
  • "Babylon," 4:25, David Gray, White Ladder, Alternative
  • "The Rockafella Skank," 6:53, Fatboy Slim, You've Come A Long Way, Baby, Dance
  • "You Can Do It Baby," 8:44, George Benson, Nuyorican Soul, Dance
  • "Baby Girl," 3:48, Nelly Furtado, Whoa, Nelly!, Pop
  • "Baby Come Back," 3:37, Player, 70s
  • "Babylon Sisters," 5:52, Steely Dan, Gaucho, Rock
  • "(Hit Me Baby) One More Time," 3:31, Travis, Alternative
  • "One," 4:36, U2, Achtung Baby, U2
  • "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," 3:52, Van Morrison, Oldies
  • 2001/05/07

    My kingdom for a breath of cool air: ... since the fans fifteen feet over our heads at Cafe Colucci on Shattuck Avenue tonight weren't doing their job. Oh, yeah, sure, they spun. Rocked a little in their housings to "You Should Be Mine," the Brian McKnight tune that played over the house speakers; circulated cooking scents and grill aromas; made the thin green leaves on the potted plants against the far wall cast shuddery shadows against the brightly lit walls painted in pale yellow with goldenrod trim. But it didn't make an odd frond of reeds bend in the breeze on either of the two baskets suspended over the glass case full of pastries next to our table. And it didn't cool us off. We made do with lemonade and water, with last Friday's Chronicle and today's Berkeley Daily Planet and with sitting still and waiting for food, for the check, for time to go back to our building where every apartment with a window opening inward to the atrium is open, loosing barks (though we thought pets weren't allowed), stray snippets of the 10-o'-clock news, coughs and glimpses of people lying flat on beds like pats of butter and jam on slices of bread.
    Quote of the day: ... P. Diddy in June's Vanity Fair
    ''... I'm Frank, you know what I'm saying? ... Frank's gonna always love Ava and Ava's gonna always love Frank and everybody's just gotta deal with it. ... She'll always be someone that I love. All she's gotta do is think - she doesn't even need to pick up the phone - and I'll be able to feel her ... Even in her darkest hour, if she's in a building and there's a fire and somebody's gotta run in and there's a 99 percent, 100 percent chance that they'll die, I'll run in there after her.''
    NYTimes doesn't butcher Baker: ... who's not a candlestick maker, but glows with light just the same.


    Size does matter: ... and in making that case, my fellow ex-ANG copy desk colleague Pati Poblete cracks me up.
    And here I thought those A's in school would make me a success someday. All I ever needed was a couple of C's.
    They'll fly away: ... "Black people in East Oakland or West Oakland say folks wanting to buy their homes have shown up at their doorsteps with cash or checks, $50,000 or $80,000 ... It's more money than they have seen at one time and it's made some people think about selling and moving (out of Oakland)."
    I knew there was a reason: ... A. and I wanted to move to Portland, Ore., or Seattle. Well, there's also Sacramento, two areas of Southern California that aren't L.A. and an arc of cities from Norfolk (always did have a soft spot for the Hampton Roads area) to Jacksonville, Fla. Hm.
    Thoughts: ... Speaking of Colson Whitehead, a dialogue over on the Afrofuturism list makes me wonder: While writing "The Intuitionist," did Mr. Whitehead have in mind "Let's Go Crazy" and that bit about how, when the elevator tries to bring you down, one must go crazy and punch a higher floor? ... While giggling over a copy of "The Boondocks: Because I Know You Don't Read The Newspapers" in Walden Pond Books yesterday ('cause walking is good for what ails you, despite my issues with it -- to be discussed later), I turned to the back cover and found two quotes.
    "The most appalling of McGruder's reckless charges was that BET 'does not serve the interest of black people.' Our response to the slanderous assertion is that the 500-plus dedicated employees of BET do more in one day to serve the interest of African-Americans than this young man has done in his entire life."

    Robert Johnson
    President and CEO
    BET Holdings, Inc.

    "The Boondocks" is a deliciously amusing work that creatively challenges us with intense substance, cleverly disguised as a humorous comic strip. Aaron McGruder is one of the most important voices of his generation and a true credit to his race."

    Tavis Smiley
    Author and host of
    "BET Tonight"

    I gotta get that sophomore A-Dub joint (street release date: May 15th).


    High, low and in-between: ... If you're reading this, most likely you're at a computer, so do me this solid: Get up, stand up (no, not that get up, stand up) with your arms at your sides, extend them out to, well, arms' length, hold 'em for five seconds and lower them gently.

    There, that's more like it. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah, last night. It was pretty cool, even though I had to drive into The City. I shouldn't whine, 'cause plenty of folks have to do so from much farther than my parking space in downtown Oakland. Last time I did so was just over a year ago, and I had better music then (Arto Lindsay's "Noon Chill"). Yesterday it was just KCBS news radio.

    So today, I get up, grab my backpack and *pop* I sit back down in a hurry. I pulled something in my back, most likely a muscle. So I luck out and get an appointment with a masseuse in Alameda. Interesting time. At one point, she moved my left arm around in my shoulder joint -- and I could feel the middle three toes on my right foot go fwoosh up in flames. No pain, but just the exact sensation of a hotfoot in those phalanges.

    The moral of the story is: Stay flexible. Walk while you can, stretch while you can and if a loved one says to you, "You're spending too much time hunched over your keyboard," try not to blow them off like you usually do.
    I wanna rock: ... right now.


    Quote of the day: ... "I don't want to overhype it or underhype it, but it's scary. Crazy-fast beats per minute, a theremin, crazy synthesizer energy, Moogs, a lot of drum'n'bass sh--."
    Note to self: Join Plastic: ... and sort through posts to this Feed dialog on race and technology.


    Survival of the dimmest: ... manifests itself on a Louisiana panel.
    Be sure to celebrate: .. National Masturbation Month. Go on, take matters into your own hands. Get a grip, why don't you? Mano a mano, you know how we do. Don't knock it until, uh, yeah.


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