May 28, 2014

We Know Your Wings Are Gonna Fit You Well

One of the many perks of working in public libraries is getting to meet so many great (some good) writers -- and some legends. I first met Maya Angelou a few months after starting my career in public libraries. I was a year out of college. She was keynoting a Maryland Library Association event in Baltimore. I stood in a long line to have her sign "Phenomenal Woman." The cut to the chase: When I got up to her, I set the book on the table, opened to that poem. I was truly awed. She looked up, smiled that big smile, reached across the table, slid her hands around mine, and held them there. I was officially having an audience with Maya Angelou! (Of course, I was one of the last people in line.) She turned to her assistant, who was standing beside her, and said something so nice about me. I blushed, and my mind began racing: "How will I write this story? How will I tell people this story?" My car flew down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway. I got home, told my folks, called my college friend in Pittsburgh, wrote in my journal, and didn't sleep all night. And that was my first time.

May 11, 2014

Kanye West (for example), Thoughts on Modern-day Celebrity

I. "Money is numbers and numbers never end.
If it takes money to be happy,
your search for happiness will never end." ...  
Bob Marley.

II. "I made it over NBA, NFL players
So every time I score it’s like the Super Bowl.
Baby, we should hit the south of France
So you could run around without them pants.
I put that glacier on your little hand
Now that’s the only thing without a tan.
My trophy on that Bound bike, I gave you only pipe.
If people don’t hate then it won’t be right.
You could look at Kylie, Kendall, Kourtney and Khloe,
All your Mama ever made was trophies, right?" ...
Kanye West.

III. Kanye West (for example) must have thought:
People will like me and think I'm somebody if I get a lot of money
and lots of stuff and a whole lot of fame;
and hang out with other famous, pretty people
who invite me to their parties and weddings;
and if I flaunt it all ...
my stuff and my things and my friends,
and tell people how it's too bad
they can't be me. 

That, instead of: 
I could have a good, rich, intensely colorful life
if I am kind and conscientious;
if I listen to people, and laugh with them,
if I help them and share with them.
If I am not ... 
an all-day jerk.

Part II from “I Won,” words by Future, performed by Future and Kanye West

May 2, 2014

Noah on the Mound (video)

My two-year-old nephew. Baseball fanatic. Student of Jackie Robinson (loves the movie "42"). Future Golden Glove? Cy Young? Ump? Watch (below) as he mimics the pitcher, calls a strike on the batter, and then lobs a fastball at the cameraman -- his dad.