Japanese Cherry Blossom

This is a work of fiction


Her dark skin is flawless. The wild yet controlled, purposely messy natural hair, bursting over her laptop, is played with aimlessly. She smells like flowers. That was the first thing I noticed when she strolled past to occupy the seat across from mine. Something falls and I look up. She reaches down to grab her purse but catches me staring on the way back up. I throw her a shy smile because I knew that she knew that I knew that I had been caught. She goes back to typing but I see a smile gently tug at her lips. My eyes return back to the book in my hands.

That night, I ended up at this small coffee shop. My friend is doing a small gig and I wanted so show some love. Flowers? I spin a little too quickly and slam into some dude. He drops his wallet. He’s fine. Over his shoulder I see her giggling. We lock eyes and she has that moment of recognition. “Are you following me?” I ask playfully before grabbing my cranberry juice and apologizing to Todd (he looked like a Todd) once more. She rolls her eyes but doesn’t answer because she has to place her order. This woman is absolutely beautiful and I’m surprised I even got that sentence out. I grab a table to watch the show. A couple seconds later, she settles in beside me.

At home washing dishes when I hear the door open. Some shuffling before the door closes again. The familiar smell of flowers hit me before I see her reflection in the window. She’s still the most gorgeous woman I’ve ever seen. Her hair is still perfectly everywhere. Arms envelope me from behind as she squeezes me tight, burying her head into my back. As soon as she releases I spin, pull out the box from my pocket and get to my knee. Her eyes widen. “It’s been four years since I caught a whiff or your Japanese cherry…”

“YES, YES, YES!!”

“Babe, I didn’t even get to ask. I had a whole thing prepared…” She doesn’t care, she tackles me into the sink. I drop the ring and it skitters underneath stove to our left. Everything stops. I stare at her blankly.

“I change my mind,” I say deadpan. She bursts out laughing.

 

via Daily Prompt: Fragrance

Disastrous

Darryl is back


Well…shit. (No pun intended)

I only have a brief time before I most likely meet my doom. I slipped out of my owners hand and now plummeting to the toilet. It’s been real yall. By the looks of things, business has been done and this will not be pleasant. Water isn’t the only thing I will be taking on like a sinking rescue boat . My pics aren’t even backed up because the WiFi is out right for whatever reason. I only had like another year to survive and I would have made it.

Who in the world washes their hands before they poop AND THEN grabs their phone??This dude has been responsible but he’s been lapsing recently and I’ve been on the painful end of it. You really get tired of getting thrown against a pleather chair, no matter how safe it is. I don’t like getting squeezed when some girl texts him something stupid. He’s acting like it’s my fault he’s blowing up. How about stop hitting up all these jawns and settle down. My job is just to notify him when stuff comes through but he would get mad if I didn’t do it.

In any case, the breeze feels nice even though I’m plummeting to my death. Strange how detailed everything gets in your last moments. Dude needs to sweep the floor of his bathroom. Who’s hair even is that? The towel rack is definitely gonna fall again. It’s like I need to remember exact details…for what though? The rice thing is malarkey, if I hit that water it is a wrap for me. Looking at my trajectory now with my advanced, pre-death observation increase there is a chance that I could just hit the seat and bounce onto…the hard ground. That’s better than water but this case better be ready to prove it’s worth.

F

A

L

L

I

N

G

Oooof, I crash into the inside of the bowl and land on something firm yet slick. This is so gross. As soon as I splash down, I’m yanked out, wiped of fecal matter and tossed into this now definitely ruined bag of rice. This won’t work…

 

via Daily Prompt: Disastrous

FB Recs 7/17/2017

Today I asked by Facebook friends to reccommend some new music to me and not to my surprise, they are listening to some pretty awesome stuff. Thanks guys! I was not going to review any of it because I’m buttslammed at work but…screw it. I’ll do short ones for as many as I can before I leave work  pass out tonight FINISHED ALL OF THEM.

SZA-Ctrl: Heard this. Really like it. Read about it here. Ya got good taste Chris.

Toro y Moi-Boo Boo: This album is really pleasant. Instrumentals relying heavily on synths and boomy electronic drums give way to an atmospheric yet groovy album with a slightly 80s vibe. The male vocals fit nicely in its appearances. Thumbs up, perfect for work. Thanks Verb.

Chairman Maf: Didn’t get a specific album recommendation so I just checked out the project 1976. It’s really smooth and well put together. The UK producer uses a ton of samples from older music and I enjoyed it. Some of the clips were hilarious and I found myself smiling along with the music. Unfortunately, the project seems to stagnate because you understand Chairman’s style. This is probably just my feelings toward beat tapes or instrumental hip hop in general but I don’t know what I’m expecting so it may be unfair. I’m moving on 9 of 16 songs in but I’m pleased. Thanks Dan.

The Frightnrs-Nothing More To Say: So far this has probably been my favorite of the day. I’m not super familiar with Reggae but this was wonderful. It was like reggae doo-wop. Laid back and appropriately seasonal. Apparently this is called rocksteady, originating in Jamaica (duh) but these dudes are from NY and this was released last year. At first I thought that one of the lead vocals was a woman but I’m wrong. Either way, the singing, lead or background was awesome. Many thanks Bob.

Christian Scott-Diaspora: I was aware my bold statement that I made in the previous blurb had the possibility of being short lived. I just love Christian Scott’s music so much. I was unaware that this project was released and I’m glad I listened to it. Some things of note: Diaspora is less masturbatory, which in itself is unfair, but more ethereal and experimental. Christian Scott has always been ahead of the curve with his material and this album is no different in the fact that it is different. At many points in the project, Scott himself takes a backseat in either the mix or to a healthy dose of flute. I loved it even though the end may have gotten a little sleep…but that could’ve been me. Thanks Matt.

Beach Fossils-Somersault: I didn’t give this album the fair one. Well the first half had my full attention and then I got dumb busy again. It’s very pleasant and the band just seems to do things better than other Indie bands. A very good bass player is the backbone to this summery melancholy experience. “Tangerine” is a standout for me. I can imagine friends frolicking through a field at about 7 pm on a warm August day. I may have to revisit this. Once again, thanks Matt. 2/2.

Theo Katzman, Flaming Warhorse, Kimbra: This friend was trolling. Theo Katzman is great and is part of funk group Vulfpeck. Nothing but positives but we just talked about him together a couple days ago. The song “Break up Together” was discovered at a hilariously bad time. I’m in that one band (SHAMELESS PLUG, GO CHECK IT OUT). I love Kimbra with all my heart. She’s incredibly talented and at this point I’m just waiting for new album………….Kimbra?? Where’s it at?? Hey now, Seann.

The next couple people listed a bunch of people, I’ll talk briefly about them and if I know them I may expand upon them:

Smino: I knew this name sounded familiar. I rocked with his album blckswn heavy earlier in the year. He sounds like music that my brother loves, I like it to but not relentlessly as him. Smino has a cool voice and does even cooler things with it at some points during this project. Listening back to it now after some time, it is still really good. The production and singing just work so well together.

Amir Obè: At this point, there are just so many Frank Ocean clones that I’m just glad that some of them can actually make good music. I’m listening to None of the Clocks Work and honestly it’s great. Unfortunately, it’s like there are tropes that these young R&B singers flock to and I can’t help but think “Frank did that on Channel Orange like 5 years ago.” It is good though. Dude has a nice voice and the production is crisp. The song titles are capitalized so docking points for that. I’m getting a feel for this person’s tastes with these last two recommendations…I see you Grace.

Saba: Chicago rapper, dope flow. His first project, ComfortZone was bumped daily when I was in college. Soulful production that was fresh to me at the time and Saba’s flow/voice put this kid on the map for me. I haven’t listened to his latest project but it is now on the list.

Aminé: String of singles with the highlight being “Caroline”. He’s on the rise and I feel like I’m more impressed with young rappers that aren’t doing mumble rap or trap music. Listening to all these awesome singles though and I’m looking forward to a album to see if he can do a coherent project of solid songs.  Once again, Fb friends showing their butts. Grace, I could make a playlist for you based on these last couple recommendations. “West side nigga”

Statik Selektah: This was boring. He recently released a track with 2 Chainz and Wiz. It was boring. Average hip hop beats and whatever verses but the guests. On to the next.

Pell: He’s cool, rapper/singer. Nothing too special. *Shrugs*

Big Boi-BOOMIVERSE: I love Big Boi. Sir Luscious Left Foot got mad play around the time it was released. I remember using “General Patton” being used as my alarm for such a long time. Looking back at the track list, I have nothing but fond memories of nearly every song being good. BOOMIVERSE is like the most southern album I’ve heard in awhile. Skits, Gucci and Sleepy Brown features and random hilarity make this project pretty enjoyable despite random electronic tracks. Big Boi’s flow is still so inventive and awesome that he makes some questionable bars sound good.

She also mentioned Anderson .Paak but this isn’t the post to gush about how good he is…but he’s great. Seriously. Go listen to all of his music.

There was another set of recs from another girl but I’m done with this thing and kinda wanna listen to 4:44 (again) and Calvin Harris for the rest of the day.

To not be a complete dick though, Rag’n’Bone has a really nice voice and should not be judged on his appearance. Kaleo is band not a person, so that was nice to learn. Blues/rock, lead singer with a fitting voice. Thumbs up. Finally, I haven’t listened to Lumineers outside of “Ho Hey” but I have nothing against them and their most recent single, “Angel” ain’t bad.

Just saw the word count and realized that I wrote this for no reason. Therefore, I will not be editing this. Thanks friends for some really good suggestions, I’ll probably do it again in a couple months.

 

 

Justin, practice

This  gone be quick because GoT comes on in 17 minutes.

I just watched a show of our from two days ago and I had to turn it off. I suck. I suck at the drums and it bums me out. Music is such a big part of my life and I’ve been playing the drums since I was eight. The drastic downturn in skill in the past two years is extremely disheartening and honestly it’s nobody’s fault but my own. The past two years I have lived in apartments that do not have basements. Back at all the previous iterations of Halfro house, we had basements and I had time. I would play nearly everyday and there was a point where I really felt improvement. There was confidence in ability, the feeling that my hands could do anything I thought of. Halfro was still playing a decent amount but Flounder Warehouse was starting to play more shows. I was able showcase my progress and it felt like even those around me could tell that I had improved.

Then we moved to West Philly. We were on the third floor and had a cool attic that I eventually did play (even if quietly) in but it wasn’t the same. The drums are loud. I need to practice at voice strength to get some licks down but I couldn’t because I was worried about the neighbors. They never said anything but still, I wasn’t comfortable. A couple times….

8 minutes to GoT.

Several times I would contact a friend of mine who had a studio with a drum set and I got to practice there. This was amazing but because of scheduling and money, this never became a steady option. Now, I live alone. I definitely cannot play in my apartment. I feel stressed out that I can’t play as often anymore. I hate inconveniencing people so playing at someone else’s house seems like such a bother to them even though they say (and probably mean) it’s not.

My confidence is gone. My fear is back. I can’t perform to the standard that I know I have in the past and it frustrates me to no end. People always come up to congratulate me after shows and I’m always appreciative but on the inside I feel like I let people down. This wasn’t my best because I’m out of practice.

So far, 26 is a great year. I want to be the best drummer I can be because not doing so or at least making an effort will continue to stress me out. Instead of spending money on dates, I should spend it on practice space/time. Instead of beer…drums. My contribution to the world is the emotion that I bring people when they hear me play. If I’m not at my best then what is the point?

Thrones has started so I’m done.

Sit Down, Don’t Bumble

Exploration through definition. Also the title…I…I’m sorry.


The App: I feel like I’ve been talking a lot about dating and honestly…who cares, y’all aint reading this anyway. Bumble is miles better than Tinder and it’s not even close. First, let’s lay out the facts. I don’t look like…uh…idk Micheal B. Jordan. I’m average looking and a bit overweight. My good qualities need to be experienced and not just seen with a couple carefully chosen pictures. There is a societal onus on men to be the one who starts things off by messaging or approaching women initially. Bumble said bump that, you men are gross and stupid, we’ll make it that the girls have to message you first. I think this is so cool. It forces women who usually just sit and wait for all their matches to do something…to do something. Now women know the struggle of coming up with something other than “Hi” or “Hey” to kick off a conversation.

This is the app icon

Sike.

Men are dumb and that stuff they complain about will totally work…BUT NOT ON ME! A big thing for me is that I need for someone to be able to hold a conversation. It bugs me to no end if you can do this. Bumble makes women do that or at least start AND ANOTHER THING…nah, I’m kidding. Anyway, Bumble is cool and I’ve been much more successful on there than Tinder.

The Verb: I trip over things constantly. Randomly run into stuff and accidentally knock stuff over. I have no clue why this happens. My loyal date stamp could honestly sue for battery for the treatment it’s endured. Also, there have been several times when I turn the wrong way when I’m walking somewhere and I have to awkwardly change directions. Taking corners to fast and smashing my hip on something, dancing too hard and punching a wall. I’m out here bumbling through the physical world. I think it’s a synecdoche of my entire life at this moment.

The Other Verb: My tongue is too big (Ayy) and it causes problems. I talk weird. I have a slight lisp and it seems like there’s something in my mouth when I talk. THERE IS, MY BIG ASS TONGUE. For reference, I can pick my nose with it and touch the bottom of my chin. In any case, sprinkle in so awkwardness and I sound garbled…or bumbled.

 

via Daily Prompt: Bumble

Quickie: Years & Years-Desire

Throwback ya heard


I don’t listen to this band as much as I used to because…reasons. Yet, the other week this song randomly popped up and I realized (again) why I love it. “Desire” was part of an insane run of singles by the British electronic trio. This is because there album is straight up amazing, every song is good…EVERY. SINGLE. SONG. I discovered Years & Years on a playlist on YouTube with the song “Real.” The almost hypnotizing (go watch the video) instrumental mixed with Olly’s special vocals created an amazingly groovy electronic song. Add in Justin’s favorite, claps, and we have success! After that came “Take Shelter” and then “Desire.”

“Desire” kicks off with some layered “Oh’s” and a slow build with the bass drum and the main synth line matching rhythmically. Olly sings about the struggles of a relationship emotionally and he’s unsure of whether he’s feeling love or just lust. He may be trapped and disillusioned by it’s physical aspects. The chorus is great. The drums straighten out and the energy level rises (as with most choruses) Simple, catchy, dancey and almost soaring over the beat. The drums are straight forward but have some interesting rhythmical parts that spice things up. The song is short and sweet and great.

Now, I don’t know why this happened but there is another version featuring Tove Lo that I also greatly enjoy. Tove Lo adds a feminine voice to the choruses, ad-libs and the “Ohs” that flow throughout the track. She brings a new, relevant verse and an added bridge which honestly just works as well, if not better than the original.

Peep…but probably not at work:

Jacked Up

It’s story time nerds. Buckle up, it’s a long one.


I was talking to this girl last night and I shared one of my favorite songs of all times with her. It’s “Troll Nacht” by The Dodos just in case you were wondering. I’m not going to review it in this post but maybe I will later. All you need to know is that this song was the theme to my life back when I was like 19-20. I love it and strangely only recently cared about the lyrics above how they perfectly fit the instrumental. They also made me reminisce about a lamer part of my life several years ago. This is about a particular girl that I was absolutely in love with during the time.

This is going to be hilariously embarrassing.

The year is 2009. I’m away at college and ready for all the weirdness that I assumed would consume my life for the next four years.  Now, real quick, the 2nd Fl Edge was the greatest freshman experience one could ask for. A majority of our floor hung out together and for the most part we have fond memories of each other. We did a lot of ridiculous things in the common area and it was all crazy fun.

I didn’t drink or particularly feel the need to go out that first year but my roommate was a gregarious fellow. He wasn’t afraid to talk to people and quickly made friends. He became friends with this girl who was in turn friends with another girl down the hall. Now this other girl was, in my opinion, stunning. A beautiful black girl; athletic (HER BODY WAS A1), funny, fearless and a bit flirty. Now, she wasn’t even the first girl I had a crush on in college but once like mid spring semester hit…it was a wrap. Everybody knew I liked her and I’m sure she did too. The thing was that I was waaaayyy too much of a pussy to do or say anything about it. So what I did was play the proximity game. If I’m near her all the time, something romantic will eventually happen. Play the good guy long game and you’re in there like swimwear.

Literally nothing happened.

I remember one summer where we texted NON. STOP. We actually turned into really good friends but I was smitten and blinded to the facts. My love was unrequited and I was absolutely useless as a single man in my prime (I’d lost a significant amount of weight and was SO swole. THANKS JON). I was a lap dog, incapable of seeing that I was being strung along for a simple platonic friendship but also adoration and attention. My role was like a stereotypical gay friend from a TV show or movie. It was pathetic. I remember we were at a party once and they tried to get me to talk or go dance with her. The move was to slowly rearrange the circle we were standing in so I was next to her. I did nothing. I remember another time, at the late stages of a hangout we were trying to figure out what to go eat. We had narrowed it down to two places and while we were going around trying to pick, another friend said “Justin will just pick whatever *her name* chooses.” I vehemently denied this accusation but he was completely correct. Burn.

I was probably unknowingly giving up buns because of this infatuation. Which probably affected things rather recently. People were starting to talk shit about her and my infatuation was waning. This was like a year or two of my life spent obsessing over this girl but now we were no more than really good friends. At this one party,  I was hanging out with one of her good friends (who I later developed some feelings for, I think had a golden opportunity with and AGAIN pussed out…she also peed in my bed so that happened). In our drunken state, she revealed that my friend had a boyfriend.

Wait, what?

I was crushed. I remember confronting her about it and texting her some really mean things. Why hadn’t she told me? Was she so manipulative to think her slave boy would leave her side with this information (probably yes and definitely yes). Why did this hurt so much? I remember laying up late some nights wondering why this happened to me. How many chances had I passed up? I thought about sex constantly…well not much has changed but my roommates were seemingly swimming in it at the time. Confidence was gone. We were done. Our friendship was practically over.  I really hated her for a long time after that whole thing but I hope she’s doing well. The last time I contacted her was to tell her not to open a snap of a dick pic I’d drunkenly sent her (this was a while ago, those come at a premium now).

Thinking back on it now, I cannot believe how pathetic and naive I behaved. I will never let a woman have that much power over me again. I should have been a gross young man, trying to smash everything that blinked at me instead of pining away for a girl who didn’t reciprocate my feelings but kept me holding on to a sliver of hope. I should have expressed myself so I could have moved on. First loves are weird but I was wimp.

 

But anyway, go listen to The Dodos, they are dope.