Adventures with Dr. Lady Cutie Troublemaker

Life is in flux BIG TIME these days. I want to keep in touch with all of my peeps. The Internet is this beautiful thing. I can move to a brand new city and still stay in easy, near-daily contact with the people I love. When I feel connected to the people in my life that matter, I am unstoppable!

Thanking Chuck D

By Abby at 12:48 pm on Sunday, September 12, 2010

Me and Chuck D #hopscotch

I could write about a million things related to Hopscotch Music Fest here in Raleigh this weekend, but I’m going to pick one little part of one little segment of one little thing. I want to remember what I said to Chuck D. He’s the lead singer of Public Enemy, and if you don’t know who he is, well then I’ll ask you to look him up. I have thousands of photos to sort through now, and like the bad writer that I am, I’m going to make you do the legwork yourself.

Chuck D spoke at the Raleigh City Museum as part of a panel just before Public Enemy went on. The panel started at around 4:15, and they didn’t finish until around 7:40. I stayed for the whole thing, and if you know me, then you know that (1) I had to be pretty damn interested and (2) it had to be pretty damn interesting. There were all kinds of other things going on in Raleigh that I could have left to go to, but I shrugged them all off to stay. Dinner was a piece of pizza my friend Shannon brought to me (with a Lactaid – my girl knows me). I sat front and center and listened, completely riveted the whole time – not in a “Chuck D is Jesus” kind of way, but more just knowing that this is a real man who has really lived. He listens, he’s thought about things, he’s real. He has something to say. It’s not agenda that he’s pushing. He’s just been around a long, long time, and I’ve been listening to him since I was about 19 years old.

I won’t tell you all about the talk. There was a guy there from Rolling Stone who’s going to be putting a piece on the online site who’ll do a much better job. There were many questions for Chuck and the rest of the panel. I just wanted to make a comment and thank him. Here’s the basic gist of what I said. I wanted to get it down, sort of to share with my parents, but like I said – I wanted to remember before it left my fragile, imperfect brain:

Lots of the people here are talking from the perspective of being 30-something or younger, and some of you guys on the panel are older (in your 50’s). I’m 40, and I’m not from the suburbs like some of the other people here. I had a little bit of an unusual experience in that I grew up in Atlanta in the city, but my parents kept me in public schools during all that flight to the suburbs, so a lot of my fellow students were black. And all that Cosby Show, Michael Jordan, Oprah stuff was going on, but it was safe, like you said. And then there were the black kids at school. And even though we saw them all day every day, they never talked to us white kids about what it was like to be black. We weren’t privy to that conversation. So when I went off to college where a lot of the kids were white, up at Oberlin where we all thought we were so liberal, PE came out, and it was so different. It’s like we finally had this chance to hear all that stuff we weren’t supposed to hear before. Those things that black people were pissed about but that they weren’t talking about on the Cosby Show. We were old enough that our parents had no say in what we were listening to, and we were ALL OVER Nation of Millions. When Fear of a Black Planet came out, the local records store, Sarge’s, was selling it like hotcakes. I remember Mike’s little legal pad “PE, PE, PE” all the way down the line. We left the library every night when it closed to head to the ‘Sco to dance to that, and we loved it. So I just wanted to thank you for that. Noone else was letting us hear any of it.

It was a long thank you, but I can’t tell you how glad I was to say it to him. I was right up front – about 8 feet in front of him – where I’d been sitting for over three hours. There were a few more questions after mine about the record industry, mostly aimed at 9th Wonder. After it ended, I got Chuck D to sign my copy of the 33 1/3 book (again, look it up, because I have so many pix to edit!). No idea what he wrote because it’s so hard to read, and then I walked down the street with Chuck D (holy shit) to City Plaza where he played to a massive crowd in the rain. And that was definitely the highlight of my Hopscotch weekend.

Filed under: Music,Ramblings/Brain Dumps/Opinions,Stories From My Life3 Comments »

We Are The Light

By Abby at 12:11 pm on Thursday, August 5, 2010

I’ve always loved The Alarm. Declaration was one of my favorite albums for years. I was editing this picture last night and was loving the light in it so much. I was trying to think of a good title, and “We Are The Light” popped into my head, just because I’ve always loved that song so much. Here’s the original:

Following tangents is what I do best, so I headed to YouTube in search of a video of the song and came across the lead singer of The Alarm performing the track earlier this year. It’s wonderful. The audience does most of the singing for him. I started thinking about how I’ve always loved The Alarm, but I never really knew of many other people who did, so I posted the video on Facebook, and sure enough, lots of people piped up to say that they were long-time fans (one of the things I love about Facebook!).

And of course, to fully follow the tangent through, I looked up the chord, got out my guitar, and fumbled through the song myself. Here’s my own clunky version.

It’s a good message, I think: We are the light of our lives.

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Enough Already!

By Abby at 2:29 pm on Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jake and I went to DC at the beginning of this week. I had to come back, but he’s still traveling (Philly first, and now NYC). I’m getting to do a little armchair traveling, too, because of his frequent calls. It’s kind of fun! I go online and find stuff that’s cool to take pictures of and send him little emails and junk. Of course I’d rather be with him, but the good news is that we’re heading down to see my parents in a few days. The trip will extend a few days after Christmas, so the long drive won’t be as dreadful as last year (nothing like food poisoning and car trips, I always say!). Can’t wait to see him and all the pictures he’s bringing back with him.

He just posted the coolest iPhone picture from the Brooklyn Bridge. Imagine what the pictures from his REAL camera will be like! 😀

OK, I know his trip is awesome and all, but COME BACK! It’s been long enough already!

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Verizon Navigator for Blackberry Kinda Sucks

By Abby at 3:34 am on Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I’ve been meaning to blog about this for forever, but I just haven’t had the time. I did, however, get around to writing a short letter of complaint to Verizon regarding the version of Verizon Navigator created for Blackberries. It’s godawful, and I don’t see how they can’t know that. Here’s what I said:

I bought a Verizon Blackberry instead of an iPhone because I loved the VZ NAV software I’d used with my LG phone so much. I got the Blackberry and was brought back several builds to Verizon Navigator version 2.9 (having used version 4+ on my old LG phone). Once the NAV software finally DID upgrade a few months after I received my Blackberry, it was TERRIBLE. There’s a 30 second splash screen (hello, I’m LOST!); frequent lack of contact with satellites; when it DOES work, there’s a time lag meaning I miss turns; and no text prediction (I type in “RAL” and even though every place I go is in Raleigh, your software can’t predict the second half of that word in the city field!). Was this build even beta tested? I am extremely disappointed and regret even getting the Blackberry. I loved VZ NAV so much, and you’ve really blown it with this build. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time and money on this product, and before, I was preaching the wonders of it to EVERYONE. A product this flawed should never have been released. I’ve now bought an external Garmin GPS for my car and have uninstalled the VZ NAV from my Blackberry. I expect others will do the same if you don’t improve the performance of this product VERY soon. I’m a big Verizon fan, but this was a huge misstep for you.

One thing I noticed when rewatching my video is that I failed to mention that this version I’m demonstrating in the video is actually the latest UPDATE of VZ Navigator. Yes, I had that v. 2.9 before, but I did upgrade a couple of months ago, as soon as that software was available.

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Stream of Consciousness

By Abby at 3:48 pm on Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dad had emergency back surgery, and I keep meaning to blog about that. Since mom had one knee replaced in early April and another in early May, his back surgery wasn’t ideally timed. I went down there for several days to help. Back now and busy. I’m working hard trying to get work for the private practice, but since it’s mid-summer, it’s not really kicking in yet. Got a Blackberry, but I can’t for the life of me work out how to sync my contacts (from GMail, Airset, etc.) with the device. That’s driving me nuts. Jeep has a cold. I was dating an awesome guy, but it wasn’t a great fit so we broke up, but it was like the best breakup ever – no drama, lots of respect. It’s a weird thing to be happy about, but it was mutual and the right thing, and so it goes. I need to contact that woman about the teaching job. Being gone got me off track. I can’t find my sunhat, and I’m going to fry later on the Triangle Film Meetup. I need to get my sleep schedule back to normal. This place is such a mess. What does one do with a perfectly good CD multi-disc player? Everyone else has iPods, too. I don’t have the space for it. I need to shampoo the carpet in here. I wonder if Shannon will have any Zyrtec in her bag. I’m out. I should have left sooner. Which film should I use? I should blog more. Should I join that no-frills gym around the corner? Still, the sunhat thing is the big Dukkha in my life at this exact moment.

Damn Hell Lilly's Bathroom
This old self-portrait seemed about right

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