Monday, November 8, 2010

A Well Rounded Take Is More Than Two Sides

Watch and read. Pay attention to the details. Draw your own conclusions. Google up a copy of the federal budget and flow of funds documents. Take a month or two to learn how to read it. Then educate yourself some more. Just learn to take less stock in all of that "Side A is 100% right, side B is 100% wrong" you hear and read too many places. That kind of commentary decides for you, rather than giving you the tools to decide for yourself.

The Cost of Doing Nothing For Two Years - Fortune   

Is Big Government Stifling the American Spirit? - Bloomberg TV

Which Party Is Better on The Deficit? - The Atlantic

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vote Today. And forever. All the time.

Get out and vote today. And the next time around. Make a habit of being informed and having influence. Voting is how you get politicians and officials to pay more than lip service to your concerns.  Incentive dictates that they work to make things happen for those who control the privilege of office.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Who's Next?


"Never underestimate the power of a small group of committed people to change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has." 

- Margaret Mead

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

And Many More

"9 years stacked within my soul."

Youth count. At SMITH.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Other Way Around

I don't come from the consulting world. But having moved from corporate to non-profit, I can attest to everything in this article.

“The approach to problem solving, and general project management in the non-profit world and for-profit world are similar,” says Ms Cunningham. “But the negotiation skills, listening, empathy and the client collaboration are quite different. [With non-profits] you need to understand the clients’ culture, to understand their personal agenda and to appreciate the constraints the clients are operating under.”

Friday, October 8, 2010

Why Context Matters

Interview video, transcript, and comments at Big Think.

Perpetual polarity is, to me, killing business and political media. I don't think any ideology or management strategy is forever relevant. Rather, their relevance is more dependent on context. Who is involved? What is happening around them? When is this happening? When I have a conversation with someone who infers that "conservative" or "liberal" agendas are the beginning, middle, and end of every single problem or solution, from every single angle, my eyes gloss over.

It's the same for single solutions considered applicable to all remotely relevant problems, at all times, in all contexts. Better to keep informed and make adjustments when necessary than to be lost in a truth that is no longer.

Friday, October 1, 2010

The Morning After

"Maturity means taking a respectful attitude toward uncertainty. You can be honest. You can stop lying to yourself. You can find ethics that way. But if you think you're going to just wrap your lasso around the next big truth, you're out of your mind."

-Karen Schultz, Author and Sexpert

Get in touch. At Slate.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Random Quotes In Person

I was there.
They caught my ear.
I thought I'd share.
I'm Dr. Seuss.

"Drake looks like a little boy who wants to ask a question."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In Jay We Trust

Enjoyed this read. Taking points 2, 4, 7, and 8 to heart.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Motor City Classic

Music and life. -
"It’s just a part. It’s like water."

Natural improv streams unchecked.

Try some at Nat Geo. Read the rest right here.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Five Underrated Reads

GOOD takes its title seriously. The content brings a solution-oriented take to societal progressions, small towns and entire cultures included. Soppy feel-good puff stories are left behind for the local 5 o'clock news. If you can, grab the community issue published two or three issues ago.  

The Fresh Xpress -
FreshXpress' commentary is top notch, even if the title conjures images of neon-colored bicycle hats and four-knuckled name-rings. Writers tackle light and weighty issues directly and intelligently without coming across as crass or falling into an empty, politically correct faux pas of a shell. Seasoned alphabet-channel journalists don't make me learn, laugh, or think this hard. FX pulls a hat trick every week.   

I'm nowhere near 50 years old and yet AARP engages me on a personal level.  My favorite thing about the mag is its low BS tolernace. AARP has a light, life-is-first tone that's casually substantive and not as self-important as a young chap like me. I guess if you've been around for 50 years and longer, you've seen enough to know what is and isn't worthwhile.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mr. Clean

Taking out the trash. Turning rust to gold. All in a day's work. 

Read the article at Fortune.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Ignorance By Degrees

So true. And I say this as I'm starting my own graduate education. But since the system makes money selling dreams, so stays the system.

Read the full article at The Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


It's been a while. Been busy with life. Still haven't found enough time to put more than a few streams of bite-sized  blurbs on the net. LinkedIn, however, is not a good substitute for the Twitterverse I refuse to get sucked into. Will post something eventually. Maybe soon. My fingers are antsy.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Early New Year's Resolution

Be humble, be brave.
Think smart, be aggressive.
Be a leader, make it happen.
Have fun.

That is all.

Friday, June 11, 2010

$2.50 Well Spent

Mamoun's Falafel
22 St. Mark's Place
New York, NY 10003

Thursday, June 3, 2010

At Your Leisure

A few favorites from the past year or two.  A place-keeper for me more than anything.

Serendipity - Sasha Frere Jones, The New Yorker

The Importance Of Going Places - Fly Brother

Rules To Rule - Jay Mohawk, Corporate Takeover

The No-Stats All-Star - Michael Lewis, New York Times

The Great Escape of Timothy Sheldon - Steve Lewis, BlackBook

Papa - Sean Flynn, GQ

Who Is The Progressive Girl? - Nicholas Nadel, Asylum

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Bull, the men's fiction quarterly, is midway through its second year of publication. It's a milestone worth notice.  Few literary outlets have dedicated themselves to the personal accounts of men.  The ones that do never seem to last. The most recent, Ring Fire Voices, was discontinued two years ago.

Solid fiction and essays still find their way into popular mens monthlies, but are often tied to the finites of pop culture.  That's logical and expected. Playing off the news and entertainment cycle is the best way to find common interests among a general audience.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Way I Feel

Wrote this as a Facebook update status sometime ago...

It seems I value pursuing personal interests to no end more than mulling over tasks that tear away any sense of individual worth or motivation. That may go against practical wisdom in a time when financial security is at a premium. But, for me, free pursuit of purpose is worth more than any weight in silver. I like my pockets fat too. But I'd rather stand on, not hunch under, the weight of my worldly possessions.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Johnny, Jack, & A Book

Nassau Inn Yankee Doodle Tap Room
Ten Palmer Square
Princeton, NJ

The Power of Pause

Last night's Lakers-Suns game was entertaining, a throwback to late-80's/early 90's run-n-gun NBA.  For all there was to watch, it's what LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson didn't do that warranted admiration.  When a Phoenix jumpshot capped a run putting the Suns up 44-34, the camera immediately panned in on Jackson, anticipating reaction.  The "Zen Master's" face remained in place - calm, stoic, leaning forward into steady eyes. He called a time out, presumably so the players could join him in collecting themselves.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Breaking Again

 I have some things to tend to.  Posts will come infrequently if at all for a bit.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Well Said

"I will not trouble myself to acknowledge the air."

From the comments section of Ta-Neishi Coates' blog post, "One Last Thought On iPads and Xboxes."  More impressive than Coates' argument, was how he fit so much context into so few words.  

Monday, May 10, 2010

Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars Interview

For a Fader-maniac whose early bylines came from niche outlets like Nu-Soul Magazine and Underground Soul, things don't get much better than writing for National Geographic.  I read the Fader music blog religiously, but don't have enough time to lurk the hipster underground for the next best thing in alternative what's-its-face.  Nat Geo Music is a worldy, timely, diverse, and classic alternative that I assume will mean something to me from now until my golden years.  This time around I had a short chat with Reuben Koroma of the Sierra Leone Refugee All-Stars.  As always, I learned a little something about music and the world at large.  Check out the interview at NatGeo World Music.

AOM Is Top Notch

"It is a transitional time for the culture of manhood. The idea of proving one’s manhood has certainly not disappeared and is very much still with us. But at the same time, there are few outlets for men to be tested. There is no tribe of men to judge one worthy, no rites-of-passage, no proving grounds to make one’s stand. And thus we see a source of modern male anxiety: the ancient desire to prove one’s manhood meets with a world where opportunities to do so are practically non-existent."

Evolution in context. At Art of Manliness.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Hard Graft 3 Fold Bag

Making the transient life a little easier.  At NotCot.

Friday, May 7, 2010

McPhee on Nonfiction


"I decided that I would work in the big world by day and learn how it worked, then write about it at night."

"Structure is not a template. It's not cookie cutter. It's something that arises organically from the material once you have it."

"All these labels - I've been called an agricultural writer, an outdoor writer, an environmental writer, a sportswriter, a science writer. And so you just grin. I'm a writer who writes about real people in real places. End of story."

"But some people think I should be writing with my cudgel. They think that I don't have the temerity to express these opinions. That's just the exact reverse of what's going on. I'm trying to lay things out for the reader. Not to take the reader and rub his nose in it, and say, This is how you should think. I want the reader to do his own thinking. And why do I do that? Because I think it's a higher form of writing."

John McPhee on nonfiction writing - Paris Review, Issue 192

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Summer Evening In Stamford

488 Summer Street
Stamford, CT 06901

Subtly Ridiculous Job Ad Of The Month

Occasionally, I come across job descriptions that make me go "huh?"  Pointing out double standards probably won't do much for my career.  But I couldn't help myself.

This particular job practically lists three different positions in one and requires a myriad of "expert level" soft and hard skills obtained in as little as three years.  It's a serious job for a seriously talented, disciplined, and motivated candidate.  Apparently, anyone hired should forget that the moment they enter the lobby.
Job Ad Excerpt: "Above all, no candidate should take life, the details of a job description, or him/herself too seriously."
Translation: "We plan to milk you for all you are worth, soul included. Although our job requirements hint at sky-high standards, you'd be a fool to try to hold us as accountable as we will you.  Forget that anyone who is serious enough to take on this kind of responsibility would comb through the job description to see if it meets what they are looking for.  Don't even expect to do the job you applied for. And stop taking your life and career so seriously.  You can be sure we never will. Slavery is progress. We are your father. "
Notice the "above all," as if succumbing in full were more important than the actual job or "life" itself. The ad neglected to mention candidates should not take the company seriously either.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cutting Through The Clutter

" The New Yorker is all about cutting through the noise and telling people about the few things they should know. Our Twitter philosophy is very much the same: You put a couple of things out there a day, and only when they’re really important."

"For a 55-year-old reader, the idea that someone might both be interested in reading a 15,000-word piece about a shooting in Zambia and also be an active user of Foursquare is kind of anathema. But there are a lot of 25-year-olds who don’t see a contradiction between those things."

- Blake Eskin on The New Yorker's digital brand

Monday, May 3, 2010

Is There Balance In Fair?

Slate's "Escape From The Echo Chamber" attempts to measure online reading habits according to political affiliation.  Some of the more interesting insights from the comments section:

Charles Sarau:
THis is a major problem with U.S. politics in general . There is no home for socially liberal and fiscally conservative voters. Nor is there a home for socilly conservative and fiscally liberal voters ( although I am not sure that they exist ?) . Sometimes in spite of it's very visible flaws I wonder if the European Parliamentary form of governemnt might not be more representative then the U.S. model. Certainly when it comes to the U.S. Senate , which is a travesty of misrepresentation , the European system is superior.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What I'm Reading

Will let you know how they are. Read along if you'd like.

Brothers - edited by Andrew Blauner
How To Live - Henry Alford

Remembering Midnight Soul

 2004 - 2007

Reminisce 1. Reminisce 2. Reminisce 3.

Bryant v. Durant

I like this article.  Have yet to see Durant or Stephen Curry play in a pro game.

Of Interest

No theme here.  Just links that caught my attention.

Sex and Hamburgers -

Ignorant Music - Miller-McCune

Millennials and Promiscuity - Slate

Ghost Town - Good

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Know Your Mandarin

China reigns. At Big Think.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Moving Forward

Systems change. Standards change. Every so often, you might too.

On Rings And Hang-Wringing - Intelligent Life

Accelerated Learning / Paternal Instincts - Hemispheres

Dating Double Standards - Very Smart Brothas

Five Remakes That Improve on The Originals - Nerve

5 Questions That Can Could Change Your Life - Experience Life

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Hardest Part

Alcohol, marijuana, prescriptions.  No better than "hard" drugs, these crutches can't support people's every ill.  The users who try turn into abusers. They all fall just as hard.

You can tell when he's under the influence.  His eyes shine from liquor.  They crack red from smoke.  They water uncontrollably, unnoticed by him, as he sniffles.  When you tell him so he gets testy and defensive, argues himself in circles. 

"Crackhead logic," a friend joked.  Thank God it's not.  But legally and socially legit drugs are just as debilitating.

Obama On Facebook

Laugh a little. At Slate.

The Day They Call You Sir

Young muscle and corporate pudge were once taken for my age and better.  At 26, a new job that evenly split office time and foot patrol, along with a retreat into the near-vegan diet I was born into, shed some 30 pounds and five years in four months.  Now, two years shy of 30, bartenders are as generous with ID checks as co-eds are with attention.  In either case, one of us fears giving up the goods may put them on the wrong side of the law.  Yet peers, as young as me or as old as my parents, still call me "sir" while I am on the clock. Both bring relief, reprieve from each other.  While the people who see shirt and tie remind me I've done well with the years that passed, the after-hours crowd reminds me just how many I have left.

Great Philosophers, Parties, & Rock Stars - Black Book

Resurrecting The Jetrosexual - Fly Brother

A Selection Of Five Trenches - Fantastic Man

(Don't) Put A Ring On It - Nerve

Modern Maturity - Art of Manliness

Friday, April 23, 2010

Never Say Die

Larry Dobrow at Ad Age ponders whether the New Yorker is sustainable in its current form.  I doubt the weekly mag is going anywhere or changing much, since the flagship publication is the only title Conde Nast didn't subject to budget and staff cuts when the media conglomerate pulled out the ax last year.  Personally, I think it's probably the best publication out there and should find reason to exist indefinitely, if only for my own benefit.  But I do agree with a few of Dobrow's points.  I declined to renew my subscription as well, if only because I couldn't keep up with five 10,000 word features per week, no matter how good they are.  New Yorker, along with Harper's and The Atlantic, provides informative escape when I need some (and solid fiction when I don't need the info).  Even if it's now only once in a while instead of once a week.

Read the entire article at Ad Age.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Friday, April 16, 2010

The World In Here

"To recover that sense of belonging to a natural landscape is indeed to recover the sanity of one's own nature.  That's probably because we spent 95 percent of human history wandering such places in small bands in nomadic omnivores.  The human mind evolved here, not in cities.  The mind's interior landscape feels at home, much as we try to deny it, in the 'wilderness' that has really been our species' domestic domain for almost all of our existence."

Quoted from "In The Presence of Rock And Sky," by Erik Reece, in Issue 412 of The Sun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Road Less Traveled

I enjoy my annual trip to the rural town outside of Philadelphia.  I come here each year to drive my Great Aunt north a few days before she flies back home.  She likes that the long roads cut across sprawling farmland, small ranch house communities, and rest stops. The big cities have too much going on, too many people living on top of each other, too much murder and mayhem on the news.  Either way, moving to America for good, like so many of our other relatives, was never a consideration.

Five and Counting

I learned of spoken word group El Grito des Poetas after watching two of the seven members perform on three separate occasions.  Talented poets spin words into journeys.  Good actors suspend disbelief.  Chance and Simply Rob lean back into memories, rock forward into personas, and speak with a momentum only a life lived, staggered, survived, and conquered can carry.  They carried the audience with them every time.  I had to see where the rest of the group would take me. 

Good Morning DC

A night out in DC with friends, family, and more go-go than I could stand was well worth the trip.  The morning after was even better.  Early, post-party, weekend morning strolls are routine in whatever major city I'm in, whether I got in at 11 last night or 6 AM.  DC is my favorite morning city of them all. Enough of the city sleeps to make it feel serene.  Enough of it functions to make it feel accessible and accommodating.  For a couple hours I get lost in the illusion of owning my domain, with nothing more to do than be in the moment. The multinational entourage of government officials retire to Virginia or wherever they flew in from.  They leave the parks, plazas, and coffee shops to a public in no rush to beat the crowd or time.  I take full advantage while the city is still mine.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Whole In One

Reading Glenn O'Brien's "Bane In Vain is Mainly on The Wane" and the "Facts Of Life," a book excerpt republished in this month's issue of The Sun (in print only), felt like looking in the mirror.  That the world's people are uniform in their variety and impermanence is as clear as water, a principle I live by and depend on.  Translating disjointed and self-contained subcultures into a single, flowing id is a personal choice.  One needs to at least in part decide who they are instead of being dependent on others to define their world for them, and never become attached to the idea that either will remain permanent.  Once person, personality, and exchanges precede the barriers that previously defined them, the individual is free to soak in the greater context - true, unadulterated, and equally familiar in all its distant parts.

Read "Bane In Vain is Mainly on The Wane" at GQ.
Preview Issue 412 of The Sun.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Frasier Knows

"I don't think there's a universal reason for drug addiction or alcoholism. I do believe in an axiomatic truth: Addiction is the result of unresolved grief."

Read "Kelsey Grammer: What I Learned" at Esquire.

Monday, April 5, 2010

The Reorg

I lay restless thoughts, random interests, and an urge to write on this blog.  Mostly without regards to purpose, direction, or readers. Still, I try to maintain some standards for you three or four regulars.  Or, at least, let it be known when I have no plans to.  While keeping up with the "Daily" title has been a bit of challenge at times, it did help me sort out what I had an interest in writing about.  And so, for the next few weeks (or more) I'll be spending more time writing for and pitching to some relevant outlets.  The blog isn't going anywhere.  It just won't be five days a week for now.  But I should have more to say, more often, when I return in full.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Shook #8

After Straight No Chaser wrapped up its final issue, some of the mag's leading editors went on to produce Shook.  From Issue #1, the new zine' became my favorite print music magazine not named Fader. Today marks the release of Issue #8.  I suggest you order yourself a copy.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Looking For Leaders: NBMBAA & Urban League Hartford

Young Scholars. INROADS. National Black MBA Association. National Urban League.  I owe my career to these organizations.  So while I don't have the time to be as active a member as I was in the past, I look to help out where I can.  Both the NBMBAA and the Urban League's Hartford chapter are looking for new CEOs.  I'm more than happy to pass on the info and hope they snag the best talent available.

See below for details.

Longer Every Day

I always wanted to live in nature's sanctuary, a step away from the diversity of urban frenzy.  Too bad Vermont doesn't border Manhattan.  Wealthy tycoons and powerful dignitaries would own my fantasy even if it did exist.  Splurging on city rent is doable, but would keep my pockets a lifetime short of a stable future.

It used to be that suburbia offered the best compromise.  Space was comparatively available and affordable, the city in reach, even if you lost a few more hours in the shuffle.  But as the cost of going to and fro rises in tandem with living anywhere and everywhere, that concrete-front lawn wonderland is feeling more and more like a nightmare stretched thin.

Burbs' Aren't So Cheap -

Commute May Cost More Than You Think - Culpepper Star

Should Home Listings Include Transportation Costs? -

Home Buyers Don't Factor in Commuting - Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Fares Are Going Up - Daily Record