Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

The 90s were truly about music

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Someone posted this on social media and I had almost forgotten how black audio equipment was and how much I lusted on it. From top to bottom: radio, cassette tape, amp, equalizer (!), compact discs.

In the same day I saw this tweet:

SHIT. THIS IS SO TRUE. EVERYTHING WAS ABOUT MUSIC. It was so important. Always checking the rock/metal aisles at the store almost every day, hanging out. Make sure to rewind side A for the walk to the bus. Batteries? Check. Equalizer killing the mids and boosting treble and bass? Double check. Checking parents’ vinyls and toying with them? Yup. Reading liner notes, day dreaming about the recording process. Trying to dress like that mofo on the back of that album. What kind of snare is this???

Grunge. Britpop. G-Funk. Trip Hop. Drum & Bass. Alternative Everything. Acid House. Thrash Metal. It’s like so many genres were created, birthed in the 80s and blossomed into very tasty music in the 90s.

Nothing was really about videos and shows, yet. That was entertainment. Music was culture.

The Last Dance (Long Version)

Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

The Last Dance was great. Since then I have watched The Last Season: the 1998, 82 games Bulls regular season. It’s fantastic basketball and makes that last run feel even more spectacular.

First off, in 1998 the Bulls team is a *lot* slower than the two previous runs. It’s obvious. Their bodies –especially Scottie’s, who’s on the bench until January- are messed up. When Phil Jackson says in the documentary that they wouldn’t have been able to get a 7th title, I really agree with that.

Second, EVERYONE wants to beat them. They’re the champs, the 5-time champions. Every single team wants to beat the Bulls and most are extremely well prepared. They also know that they’re not as quick as before and ALL the young guns are ready to show Michael who’s taking the crown next. They all know how the Bulls work, how to double team, when etc. The Bulls are known, dissected. The Bulls have no secret.

I’ve never seen MJ getting blocked or smacked to the ground or forced to pass the ball more than those games. There’s a game at the end of the season where Grant Hill absolutely dominates Michael. The NBA teams knew what the fuck was going on.

When the Bulls lose during that regular season, the other teams look like they just won the Finals and Olympics combined. There’s this game where MJ has 47 pts, Dennis has 29 rebounds and they win by single digit. They look completely exhausted and it’s only October or November.

The media talks shit. The Bulls are super good and strong as hell, but you can see the cracks. Plus, they already have 5 titles, how can you possibly want more? There might be fatigue. There’s also this halo around Michael. The man is a god at that time, more than ever. No one wants him to retire, but everyone wants to beat him. So it’s a strange mix and probably an insane and absurd pressure on the players’ shoulders. Observations:

The Bench

Shout out to them! Even though they’re struggling at the start of the season, they end up being crucial, allowing the starting 5 to recover. Wennington is hitting the baseline Js like it’s nothing, Brown is stealing the ball like there’s no tomorrow and Buechler is setting things on fire from those corner 3s. Burrell also has some excellent games at the end of the season and provides a lot of energy.

Kerr

Steve is a defensive beast. Of course he gets thrown around against the biggest guards in the league but his relentlessness is relentless. If you wonder why now as a coach he gets players to become much better defenders (Andrew Wiggins), that’s why.

MJ’s feeding energy

Now that I saw it, it’s true. This man wants to win every single *play*. He doesn’t want the other team to succeed at anything. He goes so hard, all the time. But that season, it’s barely enough to keep a 5-8 pts lead. He spends so much energy though that when he hits the bench, the bench is ready to throw it down just by sheer respect for his incredible hustle on the field. It’s feeding other players and without it, there’s no championship because the team would crumble under the pressure.

Phil Jackson is scary

He spends that season berating Kukoc, I mean, it’s unreal. There’s not a timeout without Phil going at Toni with “what the fuck are you doing out there you piece of shit?” vibes. It’s frightening because he’s supposed to be that cool, zen dude who wrote a book about LSD and all of a sudden he stomps Croatians for dinner. It’s wild. But it works, because Toni gets better and becomes a key to the Bulls offense (Game 7 against the Pacers in the eastern conference finals, he will go 5/5 from the field in the 3rd quarter, sealing the win).

Time Out

Phil calls them at the absolute perfect time. The second the other team feels some kind of flow, he calls it. He absolutely destroys momentums like that. It’s a beautiful thing to see and I’ve only seen Greg Popovich being that good at calling time outs. Weirdly, other teams don’t use theirs to disrupt the Bulls.

Dennis

He is so crucial to that championship team. We forget how essential rebounding is when MJ hits that crazy fadeaway J, but without Dennis getting that offensive board, there’s no win. He’s also quite nasty, locking people’s arms and getting under people’s skin like no other player. FOR THE WIN

The Pacers

From the start of the season, you can tell they’re the team the Bulls are afraid of. Even during regular season, it’s on sight. The Pacers are absolutely excellent with their 3 lefties and Reggie. The games are tough. I think the last game they meet, the Bulls again barely win and MJ who give everything on the floor is a bum for the next game like, he’s not even caring about it because he knows that they just beat their strongest opponent. The Bulls are also at that time like 25-2. Unreal.

Triangle and Defense

I say that the Bulls have no secret for other teams but their triangle offense in 1998, is a thing of beauty. They circulate the ball so well and always find something to do where they can get a nice shot. It’s honestly the most beautiful offense I’ve ever seen. Only the beautiful game of the 2014 Spurs comes close. And then the defense is just something that we don’t see anymore these days. They’d press you 24/7, basically. Long bois everywhere. The Jordan-Pippen-Harper claw, yeah, good luck with that.

Kobe Damon Allen

There’s a couple plays in LA where MJ defends Kobe without holding anything. Kobe drains the Js in his face, but knows that holy shit, that was close. Damon Stoudamire slaps the ball off Michael’s hands once, it’s dope to see a small player block OG 23. Allen is not able to shake MJ much, but he’s scoring efficiently against the Bulls. The Bulls win anyway.

 

Fast forward to those last moves in the last game of the finals, –clutch free throws, layup, steal, jump shot, it almost feels like MJ simply reminds himself of how painfully hard that year has been and that it’s time to fucking end this shit. Right now.

*squares up for The Shot*

Surviving the burn

Monday, February 8th, 2021

It’s a great book. I read it almost in one shot because I share the premises with the author: raised by white folks in rural white folks world and trying to find myself.

That’s the interesting part for most readers: her point of view and actions in a racially convoluted world. But I was looking for something else: Rebecca not having access to any biological relatives. She does, and it takes a wild turn.

She’s the second author I read who wrote about her transracial adoption. The first one was Marcus Samuelsson’s, which I wrote about two years ago. He, too, has connection with biological relatives, starting with his young sister.

Thus, the meme rises in my head:

It’s something to live without knowing anyone sharing your blood, ever. Not a picture, not a name, nada, zero. No one looking like me, in perpetuity. It’s the result of national laws in France and the times in which my adoption happened. I’m at peace with that. Sort of. I guess? Now you know why I care more about the now and the future. The past is this rigid, unmovable and unattainable bitch.

Rebecca notes about a big national event that “but I realized, not for the first time, that I had no real community at a time of crisis” . I feel that. I felt that so often in my life, even with significant others by my side or my parents around and everything being fine. There’s just something missing. They don’t get it. They want to tell me how to feel, while subconsciously knowing it won’t work.

Therapy? You mean paying a white dude to listen to things he can’t comprehend while he tries to put me on meds? This sounds like a bad idea.

I just need some black love. It’s always done wonder to me. I take a sip of it and I’m over 9000 for the next eight weeks. It’s just science.

F the governor

Sunday, February 7th, 2021

Probably around 100 people this morning at the park. Playing tennis, baseball and soccer. Half of them without a mask, of course. Kids running.

Me shooting on my locked rims. I called and emailed the city for them to free me. They don’t care.

I am so sick of things making no sense whatsoever while I stress for my health while trying to stay healthy.

Table of Content

Friday, February 5th, 2021

It’s Bandcamp Friday! So go to har0ld.bandcamp.com to buy my stuff, if you want to.

Now, it should be bandcamp.com/[artist name] and it should be like this for everything: tumblr, substack or medium or whatever. You know I’m right.

A long time ago humans decided to represent content following a tree metaphor:

root
     L branch

This is really neat and functional! We’ve used this from books to computer file systems. It works really well!

Then web engineers were like “how about we do the opposite but it’s actually the same lol”

branch  
         L root

We’ve been confused and annoyed ever since.

This is why I “hate” programming and programmers. The will to complicate things for no reason besides “we can do it!” has gotten on my nerves, especially when I see how much it gatekeeps people away from technology. No one likes dealing with nonsense.

Go get some music on Bandcamp though!

Warmth

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021

I was trying to clean up his eye. He was trying to get in to eat. My dude was stressed. I lived with him for ten months and I left a month ago. He still wants his belly rubbed when he sees me. Bet.

It used to be now and then but now every morning, I make myself a beautiful, absolutely delicious latte. Today the first words to myself after the first sip were, and I quote, “Mmmhhh bitch! So fucking good oh my gahd”

Music and sound production should resume soon. Stay good.

Happy BHM

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021

Last year started with Ahmaud Arbery and ended with Timnit Gebru. In the middle, millions of people in the streets for racial justice. Many other black people died in the hands of 12 or 19.

In July I receive almost two orders of magnitude more views on LinkedIn. Nothing happens.

That voter suppression shit. That election so close. The Capitol. The Black Guard.

I stop breathing. All the time.

May your February month be prosperous, lovely and full of self-care y’all.

UX ain’t what it used to be

Friday, January 29th, 2021

True.

“Things changed in 2008, during the financial crisis, kicking off Decade 2, what I’ll call "the slide." Lasting from 2008 to 2018, it was a time of UX teams seeing diminished influence in the organization. There were many factors at play, but a major one was the exodus of financialization experts from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Suddenly the "get rich quick" mentality that had caused the 2008 crash was being adopted by senior leadership at Big Tech firms. Now it was data and algorithms, not UX, that mattered most.”

A major shift post-iPhone was a mobile-first computer world which meant that people were stuck somewhere (there’s only one “window” there and we can’t escape what they’re sniffing) while the backend was gathering all kinds of data about how we behave.

Another big shift here was Farmville. It spun the gambling/addictive treats in UX that we now see everywhere. Farmville’s business model expanded way beyond games.

There used to be some kind of respect for the consumer. We are now simply vessels of money that they all try to convert to infinite streams of revenue. Seems healthy!

Shipping Life

Friday, January 29th, 2021

I’m freaking out about our habits. There’s no way my local businesses –and yours– survive a second year of pandemic. Ordering online is too convenient, easy and completely baked in our lives now.

Will we get bored of receiving things at our doors? I don’t think so. Shopping around is cute and fun to do with your boo or family, but it’s better when it’s not often.

They’ve been building so much retail around in the past few years, there’s no way they can wait for years for those spaces to gross income. Although, real estate mfs have so much money they might be able to sit on their properties until 2025.

The mom & pop shops though. Protect them. Put two masks on and go buy stuff there.

Blessed

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

How it started

How it’s going

Plants and bass are utterly important, as you can see.

Things aligned for me to get this great place in a way that I’m not going to try to understand, because I’m healing right now. It’s good.

So much to do. So much to feel. Let’s mf go!