Artist Greggy...Musings and Yik-Yak

~Musings & Random Yik-Yak~
Thursday, September 30th

Race relations


note: My wife Cheryl asked me to thank each and every one of you who paused on my previous blog and left a comment to wish her a Happy Birthday. All of your words and wishes were greatly appreciated! I also personally appreciate everyone’s thoughtfulness for leaving such kind comments on my post. end note

Brothers and sisters, today I am going to talk about my early formative years. Not that they were that entertaining or worthy of being written about, it's just that I wanted to share with you the period of time in my life that shaped me as a person, and particularly my views on race. Allow me to go back several decades, in fact let's trip back to when your homie was a little boy back in the 60's. (I can hear some of my younger audience gasping since some of them weren't even born yet) I was born in 1956, by the way, during a time when Jim Crow was gradually being replaced by a more subtle or underground racism. For those of you who don't know what Jim Crow was/is, well the way I understood it to be, it was the openly accepted practice back then of publicly defining the separation between white's and black's through the use of aids such as laws, signs, placards, declarations, guidelines, reserved areas, or any other (at the time perfectly legal) means of letting it be known that black folk (colored folk, back in them days) were not welcome here, ok? When I was in elementary school, the early sixties were a time of massive change in America as the black people finally started claiming "legally" and by force what had been denied them since the beginning. And most of the time the change was not automatic or accepted so easily by the rest of the country and was often violent and bloody. By the time I was in middle school during the early 70’s racism had evolved into something that instead of being practiced blatantly and openly, was now being practiced subtly and in invisible or hard to see ways because of the laws that were being passed. Results were still the same, but it was more easily hidden now, easier for folk to be private racists. Back then although I was young my analytical mind had already formed at that early age. I used to sit and draw while I was thinking about deep adult stuff like race relations, poverty, injustice, the Vietnam war going on then, while other kids were happily playing with bikes and dolls. Back then for the life of me I couldn't understand how it was possible for people of any color to hate someone else merely because the color of their skin was darker or lighter. I always viewed all people as relatively decent people first, then let them define for me whether or not I am right or wrong in that assumption. You see, that racism ish never sat well with me, on either end of the fence. I was brought up in a home environment that taught respect, love for thy neighbor (notice I said love and not lust), self reliance, plus I had a solid moral foundation that came from having spiritual and good people involved in my upbringing. As I grew up my heart commanded me to treat people as I would want to be treated and if they acted a fool then to chalk that up as their loss and move on. That is a mindset that survives even unto this day with me. I clearly remember back when I was in 4-5th grades when we were about the only black family in our school, me and my brother and sisters being chased home from school by a small gang of ignorants who were calling names and throwing rocks… I was too young to even attempt to understand the logic for their hatred and anger at that time, but it left an impression on me that remains to this day. Call it misguided if you want, but my young mind had already decided to prove the “world” wrong…all those who had developed a negative opinion of me, and by “me” I was referring to not only me as an individual, but “me” as in my race, as in all black people. I grew up determined to prove that I wasn’t stupid, or a dirty shiftless bum, or a thief, or a liar, lazy, non-working, uncaring, or any of the thousands of other myths and lies that we as a people, and especially us as black men, were tagged with back then that still stick to this day. I excelled in elementary and middle school, always got top grades, and was very polite and respectful in my dealings with my teachers and elders (well most of the time). Special note however, I remained true to who I was as an individual. In other words I wasn’t a cop-out, suck-up, or someone who sought to get approval in order to prove something. For some reason I got a sort of perverse pleasure in knowing I was much smarter than most of those who disliked me for my skin color. I was especially determined to also show those who were outright racists how silly their actions made them look and sound, especially when you stripped away all the lies, ignorance, and misconceptions. Little did I know it at the time but I was also laying the foundation for the personal path that I was to unconsciously follow for the rest of my life and become a better man for it. Being the best person I could be under all circumstances and giving everyone a chance to prove their humanity first before forming an opinion about them. All that, because of a misguided desire to prove the rest of the world wrong so that they would realize that not all of us black folk were lazy shiftless illiterate sex-crazed baby-makers living off the fat of the land and waiting for the next handout. Hell, that label there can apply to every last race on earth; you’ll find the lot in every racial community. So as I sit here and marinate on low while looking back over the fog of time, I can honestly say that I want to thank those from my past who considered me the enemy back then when I was much younger. Because of your unnecessary hatred and anger towards me, it inspired me to become a better man in the end. And I am especially thankful to all the adults (black and white, male and female) in my life back then who saw fit to guide me in the right direction when I was a youngster by showing me right from wrong, and instilling good moral principles in my mind that allowed me to grow into the cool character I am now.

Everyone say Heyyyyy!
Y’all B good!

Artist Greggy on 09.30.04 @ 07:15 AM EST
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Tuesday, September 28th

Happy Birthday Baby!


Happy Birthday to my Wife Cheryl :o)
I hardly ever talk about members of my family in a personal way on my website, but since today September 28th is my wife Cheryl’s birthday, I am going to blog-wish her a Happy Birthday! Although we were not able to get this week off together for vacation like we wanted to, we did manage to get off last week so we were able to celebrate her birthday plus our vacation the entire week off together! Due to our hectic work schedules, it’s been a long time since I’ve been able to spend some really good quality time with my wife, away from the bothers of work and coworkers, or the constant worries of interruptions at home while you trying to get sum’ on, etc., *wink*. We had a very good time just chilling and hanging out around the house, relaxing, playing games and other “activities”. I even went on several shopping expeditions with her, which is an extreme rarity for this brutha…LOL. Here’s a little background on us as a couple…
I met Cheryl on the very day I moved to Baltimore way back in May of 1974. At the time, I lived in Pennsylvania with my mom, my “step-dad”, my younger sister Donna, my even younger sister Cindy, and my younger brother Frankie. My father, who had also remarried, lived in Baltimore with his wife, my older brother Ronnie, who had moved here a few years previously while he was still in middle school, my younger step-sister Crystal, and my younger step-brother Darnell. I decided to hang in Pennsylvania until high school graduation before fleeing for Baltimore. Darnell and Crystal were good friends with my wife’s family back then so when I moved to Baltimore, they all became my buddies too by default since we all hung out and ran together. I still remember the day I got off that Greyhound bus in downtown Baltimore back in 1974 and was picked up by my father and whisked to his house in Northeast Baltimore. I was just turned 18 and Cheryl was soon to be 15 back then. As I got out the car, my future wife was standing in the back yard of my fathers house chilling with my step-siblings, Crystal and Darnell and that’s when I first met her. At the time neither one of us were going with other folk nor were we even into each other much at that time. A few days after moving to Baltimore, I jokingly told her mother that I was going to marry her daughter one day…LOL. Little did I know at the time that my heart was speaking the truth when I thought it was joking. We all became really close friends and hung out almost daily at each other’s houses. I hung with her brothers most of the time, thus I saw her almost on a daily basis. Over the course of the next several years we all went our separate ways in life though. We still saw each other frequently since by then our families had become so close and I was constantly there at their house. Years passed before we finally got together as a couple in 1980. By then I was 25 and she was 22. We both had gone through other relationships that had left both of us unfulfilled and empty. She had just come out of a horrible relationship with her ex then, and I had just shortly before ended a relationship that had just been revealed to be deceitful to me. When I finally had a chance one day to sit with her and let my heart speak without having to worry about either one of us being with someone else, I just let it flow, and from that day forward I knew she was The One. The one woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Although we had/have our share of arguments and disagreements through the years, (what married couple doesn’t?) we have never lost sight of the fact that love is what holds us together…not empty promises, or material riches, or anything else that will come and go. We’ve been married for 13 years now, although we’ve been together for 24 years. Although I can’t give you half the things this world may offer, I can give you the best that I got. Happy Birthday sweetie. I hope every good thing your heart desires will be yours today and every day hereafter.
Love, Greg
Have a gorgeous day!


Artist Greggy on 09.28.04 @ 12:41 AM EST
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Friday, September 24th

:o)


Happy Weekend my friends! I mentioned in a previous blog that I had two doctors appointments scheduled for this week while I was on vacation that were sort of making me a bit nervous and not able to relax and enjoy my vacation fully. On Monday I went for a CT scan and the doctors took a scan of my abdomen and pelvic region. Apparently a few weeks ago during a recent exam that was triggered from me having a dizzy spell and almost passing out, the doc discovered a bit of blood in my urine. All my other tests came back normal, even the heart tests, the EKG thingy, all my bloodwork came back as good or near perfect. No signs of diabetes or heart disease, both of which run in my family. While microscopic amounts of blood in a person's urine is apparently nothing to become alarmed about, the doctor decided that he wanted to run more tests to see if they could discover where the source of the blood in my urine was coming from. Thats' why I had to do the CT scan, which I just learned today came back as perfect as perfect can be. Thats' extremely great news for me, as a brutha was getting a bit anxious waiting for the results. This morning I went for my other scheduled exam, this time to see the urologist. That exam went well also and found nothing that would indicate a problem. In other words, a brutha just received an excellent bill of health and was told that there was no need to worry about the blood since it was microscopic and in such a small quantity. Next year I will be re-examined for the same issue to see if it is still there or more than likely will have gone away by then.

I especially want to thank my buddies who stopped and sent me prayers and messages of concern and support, you guys certainly helped to ease a brutha's run-a-way imagination, I was conjuring up all sorts of dire scenarios in my mind...LOL

Now that my spirits have returned back to my normal hi-octane self, I'm about to go get it on for the weekend!! I hope all of you have been well and enjoying yourselves to the max. I'm ready to go have some fun now. Let's do this!!! :o)

Have a gravy weekend everybody!
God is so good to me!
~peace~

Artist Greggy on 09.24.04 @ 02:21 PM EST
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Saturday, September 18th

weather related and other observations...


My goodness what the devil is going on with the weather? I really feel for the folk down the way who are dealing with hurricane after hurricane this season. This is ridiculous for sure. Although we up in here in Maryland have been pretty fortunate as far as extreme weather goes this year, my counterparts to the south haven't been so lucky this year. Yesterday as the remnants of Hurricane Ivan tord up this way, my neighbors down in Virginia were hit by numerous tornadoes and violent weather. We up here in Baltimore were under tornado watches and the most we got out of it was some pretty hard rain and wind, so yes a brutha is counting his blessings. I pray that my partners down the way are safe and that they didn't suffer too much damage in the storm. I know my web brutha Frank of Fantasy Beyond lives down Virginny way and I hope he and all of his loved ones are safe and sound. As well as all my web family who live in the path of the storms I hope you guys are all OK and didn't suffer tremendously. Even Nona and some of my other partners from the D.C. area and surrounding 'burbs were having some wild weather issues too. I was looking on the news last night and saw photos of parts of Pittsburgh under water...w.t.f? That's near my old hometown of Midland so naturally I was like...whoaaaa! Thank heavens when I talked to my sister in Pennsylvania this morning she told me they were OK. They had major mudslides and road and bridge closings everywhere along with trees down and debris everywhere. I am so glad I didn't make that road trip up the way that I was planning for this weekend, for sure we would have been frinked big time. I'll call my other sister down in Richmond Virginia later today, I'm sure Mother Nature and Hurricane Ivan were acting a fool there too. My prayers go to all who lost anything or who took a direct hit as Ivan flexed his muscles. Now there is yet another storm down the way aiming for the mainland again isn't there? goodness...makes a brutha nerbis...

Ok, now that the brutha is on vacation this week coming up, I need to focus on some items of interest that I need to tackle, namely tackling the rest of the home renovation projects that I started way back in the spring before the lazy days of summer set in...lol. I was supposed to finsh renovating our bedroom way back in July, but got side-tracked by other issues at home, the weather, and my health. Also I'm a bit nervous and scared perhaps since I also have two doctor's appointments for this coming week that are making me a bit nervous. I don't like hospitals and such anyway and Monday the 20th, I have to go get a CT scan of my abdomen and pelvis region so that the doctors can try to figure out if I'm actually an alien or not...*sike* No, they are handling thier biz trying to make sure I'm not rusting away inside or sum'...lol. I was told that before I get the CT scan that I have to drink a barium solution so that my organs will be more clearly distinguished during the scan and can be seen better. I went to the pharmacy yesterday to pick up the barium and OMG if they didn't hand me two gigantic bottles of solution that I have to drink before the scan. Just drinking those bottles will kill me I am sure...LOL. They look straight up nasty and they big as hell. I don't care if they flavored the frink out of that stuff by calling it banana flavored, you aint tricking this ole dog, that stuff is nasty. As long as he doesn't whip out any needles or sharp probing instruments, then I'll be good to go though! I've been having some health issues that perhaps will make it to my blog one day, but until then a brutha sure can use some positive prayer, it is always appreciated.

Well, it's time for me to go do my weekend thing, just rolled out of bed a few moments ago, now it's time to freshen up the face and breath so I don't scare the family with my "saturday morning look" or "saturday morning vapors" when they get up...LMAO.
You guys take care of yourselves..
and each other....~peace~


Artist Greggy on 09.18.04 @ 09:38 AM EST
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Sunday, September 12th

The Big Chill


Hey family…not a thang going on this weekend. Not that I’m complaining, I really enjoy it sometimes when there aint squat going on. Especially when every weekend since the beginning of summer has been taken up doing something it seems. Well, actually I can't say I didn't do anything...I did do something yesterday, I went to my Dad’s to watch that movie “Passions of the Christ” around noon and later in the afternoon I went to my sis-n-law’s for a hit-n-run cookout…(that’s where I show up, grab a bite, and flee…LOL) Right now I’m sitting here in front of the PC listening to some of my favorite melodies that I listen to when I’m getting ready to do some painting or drawing. One of my all time favorites is “Always and Forever”, the original version by Heatwave. That song is just so me…if I could only hit the high notes in that one…*sigh* I also like “Hotel California” by The Eagles…yeah, that’s right, The Eagles. I couldn’t draw a lick if I didn’t have some Maxwell playing in the background, and Sade always has a reserved spot in my CD player. These are just a few of the tunes that help to settle my mind, not only when I’m creating something artistically, but also when I just need to work things out inside. Although I like that bass thumping jam when I’m in my fly mode, when it’s time to get on down, and I mean get on down deep and dirty, then a brutha needs something mellow, something that will help me find that natural rhythm, that flow. I’m all about loving life so I tend to like songs that speak of love and togetherness, especially the old school songs from the Commodores, The Floaters, The Isley Brothers, The Chi-Lites, Norman Connors, The O’Jays, The Temptations, Earth, Wind & Fire…goodness there are just too many to mention here. But these sounds are what settles a brutha so that he can find his flow. Right now I’m trying to finish a poster design I’m working on, I’ll probably post a mini-version of the graphics that I used for it soon. Maxwell is taking the flow home for me…’bout time to sign out and chill for the rest of the afternoon, so on that wave you’ll find me…chilln in Baltimore.
Y’all enjoy the rest of this weekend
~peace~

Artist Greggy on 09.12.04 @ 11:55 AM EST
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Tuesday, September 7th

Fear or sum' close to it...


I’m sitting here at my computer just idly reflecting again. Been doing a lot of that lately it seems. Just chilln’, marinating, letting my thoughts simmer on low trying to find a vibe to jump on. After meandering every which way from the mundane to the bizarre my thoughts kind of settled on my issues about fear and the things I’m afraid of. Yeah, I ‘fraid of a few things in life, nothing scaredy-cat type though, where you could call me a beach or other “sissified” terminology. I know most men would be averse to admitting to any type of fear, but the way I see it, fear is fear, whether you acknowledge it in a public way or not is your bizwhack. Let me see, there are a few things that I could say give me a degree of fear…

I know hospitals are supposed to be all about healing and such and getting better...
But yours truly is terrified to think of being a patient in one, them places have enough mistakes, inept doctors, disgruntled nurses aides, and other phenomena to give greggyman “duck” bumps…

Planes are such an essential part of our everyday lives no doubt…
But a brutha prefers the “keep ya hiney on the ground at all times” approach to travel.

What in God’s earth would an amusement park be without a fast rollercoaster?
In my opinion…a much safer place for all!..LOL! Homie don’t play that here, ok?

Without hypodermic needles the very sick and ill would have a hard time getting medicine…
What is it about that tiny skinny thing that evokes terror in my mind when the doc turns around with one in his hand? This Soul Survivor aint having it without a tremble, ya heard?

I have always wondered why God created waterbugs, flying cockroaches and dragonflies…
I’m of the belief that it was solely to keep us in check…them some nasty bugs for sure.

All this new-fangled genetic theory drug therapy stuff sounds like promises of the future…
Here’s hoping some mad scientist aint inventing a toxin that targets specific races only...

Long ago they established fair workplace rules and regulations to protect the worker...
What if we awoke one morning to find out the guvmint did away with the weekend?

I remember once feeling very good about the security of my country against foreign threats...
Now, although there are real terrorists everywhere, it’s my own country that frightens me the most in it’s approach to terrorism by not only informing us of the danger we are in, but also teaching them( the terrorists) how to defeat us by exposing and broadcasting where we are the weakest….duh.

A lot of moobies dealt with the premise of someone innocent going to jail or deathrow…
I believe that my single greatest fear right now, is that in this country, I know at any given moment on any given day, I could get arrested and thrown in jail because someone said I did something…even if I had nadda to do with it, and after that most folk will always think I did do it regardless.

You see, those were just a few items that give me pause for alarm or a certain degree of fear. What you scurred of? Or are you one of those helmet wearing hard-nosed “I aint scurred of nothing” types?

Happy September (yikes!)
~peace to every last one of you~


Artist Greggy on 09.07.04 @ 06:33 PM EST
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Friday, September 3rd

Happy Holiday Weekend to you!


Hey Family...I got up this morning full of ideas, thought processes, brain cell synapses and whatnot, but somewhere between the time I fell out of bed up until now when I sat down at my PC, any meaningful blather that I had to blog about just went out the door...probably because that's what my tail is about to do also in a few. Seeing as how our last "real" summer weekend is now upon us, I had to at least blog a few new lines to the folk who matter to me...

Just a lil' thought for my Friday...
I remember when I was first getting into the internet, to me computers were a new thing...I didn't even know squat about the internet then, except for what I'd heard from family and friends and the media. Everyone was all abuzz about the dangers of the internet, how stalkers were at evey click of the mouse, some even went as far as insinuating to me that "everyone" on the internet was bad or perverted or lurked all day in chatrooms...LOL. In actuality, they were partially right...but on the short side. The vast majority of the folks I've run across on-line have been all about being a cool and rational human being. Of course I've had my share of contact with some who obviously have major issues and carry bad karma with them...but that's life. But overall I have my Soul Train to thank for enriching my life on a daily basis with your friendships.(especially you) Some of you guys make me feel almost as if we relations or sum'..lol. :o)

So with that said, Happy Friday and I pray that all of my web family has a safe and fun holiday weekend. And watch out for all those fool drivers out there too!
Enjoy yourselves and your loved ones!

Artist Greggy on 09.03.04 @ 07:32 AM EST
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