Monday, June 25, 2012

the sound of settling

There’s nothing really spectacular about Monday, June 25, 2012. But for some reason, I feel like I need to have a rebirth of sorts. It’s time to reinvigorate myself. Creativity must pour forth before it gets lost and can’t find its way out to you, the unsuspecting public.

So let’s do this. I’m taking on the challenge of creating something new every day, whether it be on this forum, Facebook, Twitter or some other place in the webosphere (is that a word? No? Well it is now…). My thoughts are going to be written for the world to see. Whether liked or not. I hope you’re ready.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

beautiful day

a little over a year ago, i was at one of the worst points in my life.  although i had a loving wife, two beautiful children and a good job, i was miserable.  i weighed a little over 400 pounds and my health was spiraling out of control.  i didn't know what to do.

most of you know what happened next.  i had gastric surgery and it changed my life.  fast forward to today...i've lost over 100 pounds and i feel like i've gotten my life back.  this post isn't meant to inspire or anything like that.  but it's an anniversary i'm blessed to be able to celebrate.  a year ago, i wasn't sure if i would make it another year.  high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes were just some of the things working against me.

now, i'm off of the medication i was taking for all of those ailments.  i have more energy than i've had in the past 10 years.  i have a renewed outlook on life.  most of all, i'm alive.  and for that, i'm eternally grateful.

Friday, February 17, 2012


in november 2008, things were good. i had just started a new job and had a new baby girl that lit up my life. it was also when i really noticed my health was spiraling out of control.

as part of my job application, i had to get a physical. during the physical they took blood and when the results came back, they determined i had type 2 diabetes. my world was rocked. i didn't know what to do. looking back, i think i knew something was wrong but i never wanted to admit it.

fast forward to january 2011 and things hadn't really changed. except one morning i woke up and had some chest pain. being obese, when those things happened, i always thought in the back of my mind that a heart attack was looming. it scared the hell out of me thinking about the prospect of dying at 32, leaving behind a wife and 2 young children who deserved their father doing all he could to make sure he stayed around for them.

i made the decision to take drastic measures. i had gastric surgery in april 2011 and i have never looked back. some may view it as the easy way out, but i choose to view it as my last resort. until you've lived my life, you'll never know how it felt to be scared every day. yes, i got myself into that situation. but i also recognized i couldn't get myself out without help.

so here we are today. i'm down to the weight i was in 1996 with more to go. i'm thankful every day to be alive. i'm thankful for the friends and family that have supported me through everything. i'm thankful to the doctors and support staff who used the expertise to change my life. i'm thankful to God for life.

here are some pictures showing the journey...

Before surgery...

November 2008

March 2010

December 2009
After Surgery...

April 2011
August 2011
February 2012

Friday, October 14, 2011

i'm not a star

i like rick ross.  a lot.  in fact, he's probably my favorite rapper around right now.  not necessarily the best, but he is by far the most entertaining in my eyes.

i don't know what that says about the state of rap music today, but it is what it is.  i got the idea to write about what i view to be a crucial time in rap as i was listening to lil' wayne the other day.  he was (as usual) making his claim as the best rapper alive.  i got to he really the best?  here's what i came up with.

lil' wayne is most definitely NOT the best rapper alive.  most prolific, probably.  funniest and most clever?  if not the best, he's definitely in the conversation.

in my estimation, the best one going right now is kanye west.  he also happens to be the most polarizing.  but i don't think anyone can deny that he has the grandest vision as to what his music can be.  no other rapper puts his thoughts and emotions out there like he does.  his music is his therapy, like i think the best art is.  kanye is rapper as artist in that he paints pictures and landscapes for us, and writes as crisply and creatively as the best novelists do.  but nobody wants to acknowledge that because his medium is not universally regarded as art.  which is a shame.

who else is in my list of the best?  lupe fiasco, eminem and jay-z are at the top.  kid cudi is there, and so is royce da 5'9".  i dig youngsters like meek mill, drake, and roscoe dash.  i think wiz khalifa and odd future* are overrated.  i think slim thug and chamillionaire need to come back soon.  i think outkast needs to get back to doing what they do best, which is to collaborate and not separate.  i think snoop needs to smoke something good and channel himself from 1992-1997, then release something new.  i think mike jones and paul wall should go away and never come back.  i wonder what happened to ludacris (busy acting, i guess), dmx (cocaine is a helluva drug), dr. dre (a tortured genius?) and nelly (who knows).  and i wish 2pac, notorious b.i.g. and pimp c were here to celebrate with us.

(*tyler the creator reminds me of a 3 year old who curses at his parents dinner party to get attention and try to "shock" them.)

right now, rap is at a fork in the road.  it's definitely more accepted in the main stream, but it's threatening to become unthreatening.  it needs to take a lesson from punk and go back to scaring people and making them tense.  the "what are they going to say next?" aspect is what's missing and is one of the biggest things kanye brings to the table.  and he knows it.  and he's smart about it.

where is the angst?  rap music used to be about speaking up about injustice and oppression.  these days, it's about cheap puns, money and cars.  those things are great, but one can only talk about their maybach in so many ways before people get the point and want to hear about something else.  tell a story, be creative.

where's the message in the music?  rap is making itself irrelevant as a social commentary.  it's a more accepted form of entertainment, which is good for the bottom line.  but for the conscience?  i guess that chapter remains to be written.  hopefully there's a kid listening to common, kid cudi or kanye right now that wants to be the next great voice of a generation.  my fingers are crossed.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

jesus built my hot rod

those of you that know me are well aware that music is a huge part of my life.  the title of this entry comes from one of my favorite workout songs, performed by ministry. 

i haven't done this in a while, so i present to you another in my line of workout playlists.  as always, please feel free to share the songs that get your blood pumping and keep you jacked up while working out.  here we go...

white limo - foo fighters
got no shame - brother cane
feel good, inc. - gorillaz
can't tell me nothin' - kanye west
always on the run - lenny kravitz
spin the black circle - pearl jam
i'm not a star - rick ross
on a plain - nirvana
my own summer (shove it) - deftones
b.y.o.b. - system of a down
bleed american - jimmy eat world
the taste of ink - the used
corduroy - pearl jam

thoughts and/or suggestions?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

a moment to reflect and to remember...

september 11th, 2001 was a day that changed our world. i was 23 years old, out of college for a little over a month and not sure what to do with my life.  the world was in front of me, and over the course of the next few hours everything would change.

i woke up and turned the tv on and couldn't believe my eyes.  to this day it hurts to even think about the images i saw and what they meant.  i lost a lot of my innocence that day, but i also learned a lot about humanity and the strength of a nation that won't back down from any challenge.

i don't think i can truly out into words how proud i am to be an American, about how proud i am that we live in a place where we can think and say what we want.  we may not always agree, but at the end of the day, we're all Americans and we all want what's best for our great nation.

i hope that tomorrow you're able to tell a veteran, police office, or fireman how proud you are of the job they do; how without the sacrifices they make, we wouldn't be the country that we are.

this is my thank you.  i am forever grateful for the honorable job you do and for the oath you all have taken to protect us from harm and fight for our rights.  God Bless America.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

story of my life


1. The ability or willingness to tolerate something, in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with

sometimes i don't understand why we feel the need to constantly belittle everything we don't agree with.  i do it all the time, and it's something i'm working hard to stop.  is it something we're born with or something we learn?  it's the eternal nature vs. nurture debate, and i can't say what the answer is.

what i do know is that it makes me sick to my stomach when all i hear is complaining and the ones doing the complaining never seem to offer solutions.  they expect someone else to have the answer and all they want to do throw blame around.

i'm all for taking a stand for what you believe in, but do you have to always point a finger when it's not necessarily called for?

boom.  knowledge dropped.