Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Featured Artists

Yo. I'm really feelin this artist Chris Brown and his latest song thats playin out here on the airwaves "YO". I was feeling him from jumpstreet with the first song I heard from him, called "Run it" because I would always be getting crunk with that song at the club. But I'm liking this song by Chris Brown "Yo" more. It goes a little something like this:

(Whoa.Whooa... Do do do do do....

*intro beat *

Yeeah. Yeah. )

[Verse 1:]
Yo Tell me fellas have you seen her? (Seen her)
It was about 5 minutes ago
When i seen the hottest chick That a young'n never seen before
I said Yo,
Tell her girls I want to meet her (meet her)
On second thought that ain't the way to go
I got give her game proper Spit it so she'll get it
There she is--I got to stop her
or should I talk about her smile (It's been said before)
or what about her style (too obvious)
i'm out of time
she's out the door
i gotta go for mine
I think I'll say

Yo I don't know your name but excuse me miss (oh yeah) I saw you from across the room
And I got to admit that you got my attention You're making me want to say yo
I know you're trying to leave but excuse me miss I saved the last dance for you
How I'd love to keep you here with me oh baby

Yea okay, maybe there's a little more to it than just liking his song and his voice. The boy can sing, but there's one more thing... Yeah, I know you're gonna say I'm robbing the cradle but that boy looks madd good. So he is my first featured artist. Go Chris.

Mary J. Blige

The other artist that I'm bumpin my head to is Mary J. Blige and her song "Baggage". Mary J. Blige has always been one of my favorite artists just cause she sings her heart out and she always comes real as fuck with her messages, and this song is just a good example of that. The beat just got me bumpin my head through the whole song and Lord knows she might be talking about me because I've had my share of baggage that I been lugging around too. I gotta give it up to Mary for keeping it real on this song. Check it out:

I know I do some things that make you so confused
One minute I'm so in love and the next I can't stand you
But if u may ask it's just the things that you do
that reminds me of all of the mess that I've been through

I got this baggage with me
Don't wana make you pay for what somebody else has done to me
I don't know what to do
With all this baggage in me
Everytime I hurt your feelings it's what someones done to me
I don't mean to hurt you

Gotta love me some Mary J. And dont get me started on her song Be Without You. I'm lovin that song too.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Tai Chi - Internal Martial Art

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If you live anywhere near a densely populated or heavily influenced Chinese area, -or- if you are interested in Asian culture, you may have heard of the "internal martial art" of Tai Chi. Perhaps you have drove near a park or a civic center square, for example, and noticed a group of people doing a regimen of exercizes of slow graceful movements, in unison to the tune of an invisible song. That was what my first experience was like of seeing Tai Chi being performed, as a child. My school had taken a trip through Golden Gate Park, and I noticed a group of elderly Chinese people moving ever so slowly and gracefully in one coordinated movement.

I used to wonder, "how are they able to do that at such an old age?". What I thought was simply elderly exercize was really a form of internal martial art. They call it internal martial art because the slow and graceful movements of Tai Chi are said to have healing properties that release the "chi" or "energy" trapped in stagnant areas of the body. The "dantian" or the "belly" area is said to be the place where the chi is concentrated. Tai Chi stimulates "chi" energy but that is not only its sole purpose. While Tai Chi is an internal martial art, with positive effects on lethargy, circulation, muscle and joint flexibily, depression, breathing, and balance coordination, Tai Chi is also used to deflect an attack of an opponent. An opponent may attack physically or using "chi" energy to harm you. This I found quite interesting.

On a personal level, I felt energetic and revitalized afterwards. My endorphins were flooding my system and I felt good. I hadn't felt that way in such a long time. Perhaps the belief of the "chi" energy [which the teacher was describing to us out loud while we were practicing] has something to do with it, but if a skeptic were to be doubtful of the chi energy and its positive effect, still I would benefit from the physical rewards of performing Tai Chi. It's a win win activity. I wish I would have tried it sooner, but I didn't feel too bad since the people in my class were from every age range. There were some older people in their 40's and 50's; some in their 20's; and some right out of highschool. There were a few caucasians, four african americans, a few hispanics and the rest was Asian. I was surprised to see how many people showed up. The room was full.

The teacher is this small Chinese young lady, dressed all in black. She wore white ankle sox and was a petite little thing. Inside my mind, I was secretly glad to see that the teacher was Chinese because while it may be akward to think that only Chinese should be teaching Tai Chi, I just feel better that she was Chinese instead of some hippy caucasian. I know that's horrible but it's just one of those things that I need to work on. Perception.

As a matter of fact, I was surprised at the knowledge that my teacher contained. She is an expert at Tai Chi and knows everything you want to know about Tai Chi including its historical account and various forms. She was trained by a Grand Master and is an expert in the art.

I'm really hoping this is one of those things that I take with me as a life long learning experience...

Monday, January 16, 2006

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In honor of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the great American civil rights leader, Google has posted an MLK icon with the words, "I Have A Dream" emblazoned underneath the Google icon. It was a nice surprise to see that Google took the time to do that.

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Personally, this man has affected my life since childhood. As a kid I use to cry tears of amazement when I heard his speeches or watched the rallies on television, and I use to think,

"...This man has such passion and intelligence. Such strength, courage and hope! What brilliance to respond to violence with non-violence in the face of annihilation and violence. It is truly disarming!"

There were few people on this earth who with Love, conquered hate, who transcended this life and world with a philosophy of love and kindness; forgiveness and nonviolence. Dr. Martin Luther King is one of those persons. In my mind I think of three great leaders who taught love to break free from the hate of the world and its oppression.

Jesus, Ghandi, and yes, Dr. Martin Luther King.

Below is an excerpt from an article that quoted Dr. King's biography in which Dr. King hears the voice of Jesus Christ.

This excerpt was during the time when he was receiving numerous death threats over the telephone and seriously thinking about giving up the leadership role in the movement after having been jailed and threats made against his life (up to 30 times per day):

Unwelcome thoughts prey on the mind in the late hours, and King was overcome with fear. "I got out of bed and began to walk the floor. I had heard these things before, but for some reason that night it got to me.

Stirred into wakefulness, King made a pot of coffee and sat down at the kitchen table. "I felt myself faltering," he said. It was as though the violent undercurrents of the protest rushed in upon him with heightened force, and he surveyed the turbulent waters for a way of escape, searching for an exit point between courage and convenience-"a way to move out of the picture without appearing a coward"-and he found none. "I was ready to give up," he said.

King thought of baby Yoki sleeping in her crib, of her "little gentle smile," and of Coretta, who had sacrificed her music career, according to the milieu of the Baptist pastor's wife, to follow her husband south. For the first time, he grasped the seriousness of his situation and with it the inescapable fact that his family could be taken away from him any minute, or more likely he from them. He felt himself reeling within, as the Psalmist had said, his soul "melted because of trouble, at wit's end." "I felt myself . . . growing in fear," said King.

Sitting at his kitchen table sipping the coffee, King's thoughts were interrupted by a sudden notion that at once intensified his desperation and clarified his options. "Something said to me, 'You can't call on Daddy now, you can't call on Mama. You've got to call on that something in that person that your daddy used to tell you about, that power that can make a way out of no way.'" With his head now buried in his hands, King bowed over the kitchen table and prayed aloud. He said:
Lord, I'm down here trying to do what's right. I still think I'm right. I am here taking a stand for what I believe is right. But Lord, I must confess that I'm weak now, I'm faltering. I'm losing my courage. Now, I am afraid. And I can't let the people see me like this because if they see me weak and losing my courage, they will begin to get weak. The people are looking to me for leadership, and if I stand before them without strength and courage, they too will falter. I am at the end of my powers. I have nothing left. I've come to the point where I can't face it alone.

As he prayed alone in the silent kitchen, King heard a voice saying, "Martin Luther, stand up for righteousness. Stand up for justice. Stand up for truth. And lo, I will be with you. Even until the end of the world." Then King heard the voice of Jesus. "I heard the voice of Jesus saying still to fight on. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone. No never alone. No never alone. He promised never to leave me, never to leave me alone."

And as the voice washed over the stains of the wretched caller, King reached a spiritual shore beyond fear and apprehension. "I experienced the presence of the Divine as I had never experienced Him before," he said. "Almost at once my fears began to go," King said of the midnight flash of illumination and resolve. "My uncertainty disappeared. I was ready to face anything."

Happy Birthday Dr. King! Your memory lives on, certainly in my heart as a true American Hero.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Memoirs Of A Geisha

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Two young sisters are sold by their father from their home in a remote Japanese Village to a man who delivers into bondage and servitude into a Geisha House where they are separated. Sayuri is kept in the Geisha house to become a Geisha and the sister is sent to become a common prostitute; apparently she didn't have that sparkle that Sayuri did.

Later in the movie Sayuri is affronted by "The Chairman", and important Japanese official who tenderly comforts the young Sayuri as she is upset. She at that moment secretly vows her love for him and makes a wish to have his heart and love at some point in time. She fulfills this wish and promise in prayer at a temple where she throws all the money she has into the collection pot and rings the prayer gong and lights some incense while praying that her wish be granted.

She goes through all sorts of trials and tribulations and finally is taken up under the wing of Mameha of a rival Geisha House. It is here that she learns the art of becoming a true classy Geisha and where the Chairman eventually takes notice of her.

World War II breaks out and everything that Sayuri had known was shattered.

I loved this movie. Four stars!! ****

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Munich by Steven Spielberg

I watched the movie MUNICH by Steven Spielberg today. I found the movie cinematically pleasing and done very well. Theres were a lot of politically charged and loaded messages in the movie that I just wasn't sure how to feel. I didn't want to be analyzing too much in the movie theater, but rather just trying to enjoy the dramatics and cinematics of the movie.

The movie is based upon and inspired by real events that took place in the Munich Olympics in 1973 when Palestinian terrorists stormed the olympic compound and took the Israeli Olympic team hostage ultimately ending in everyone getting killed which includes both the terrorists and the Israeli hostages. This movie delves into the retaliatory response of the Israeli Mossad (Secret Service) and the assigned assasination plots against the masterminds of the Munich terrorist attack. Some have been angered by the portrayal of the Mossad agents as Zionist extremists, and having sided with the Palestinian cause indirectly.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Omar Metwally, who plays "Ali" ( of the Palestinian Liberation Organization) is one of the PLO agents who mistakenly gets booked the same room as the Mossad agents in what was deemed a safe-house in Greece. I thought he was real hot!!

Eric Bana Eric Bana, who plays the starring role of "Avner" (the distraught Mossad agent) assigned to take out the terrorist masterminds had a lot of hot moments in the movie, I must say. I didn't realize that he was the same actor that starred in the movie Troy.

Lynn Cohen, who plays "Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir" was also a real good actress to watch. Really reminds me of the PM actually.

I give this movie **** four stars for good acting and cinematography. I'm not really going to get involved with the loaded political messages. I liked it.