“Blorft.”

2012.06.14

“Blorft is an adjective that I just made up that means ‘Completely overwhelmed but proceeding as if everything is fine and reacting to the stress with the torpor of a possum.’”
-An excerpt from Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

That’s an excellent term to describe exactly how I feel.

As of late, I’ve been on a constant recession from everything/everyone I know and even myself at the same time. My best friends think I’m an insufferable, antisocial bitch, everything irritates the shit out of me, and it seems like I can’t figure out anything to save my life. Not to mention my skin has revolted. This explains a lot of why writing has been nearly impossible as of late. I’ve spent many a night in front of a blank WordPress post, just dying to get something out.

As many people don’t know, I’ve been on ‘vacation’ for about 2 months now. Somehow something went terribly awry in the universe and went from three jobs to none in the span of a month. I can’t really say that I’m really bothered by this, because I really needed the time off. But now, I’m at the point where I need to make decisions about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I’m constantly in job search mode, but the employment market in New York is comparable to a Black Friday sale at Macy’s. It’s quite dismal.

Read more…

Bowers & Wilkins C5 Review

2012.05.01

Eat your heart out, Dr. Dre.

After about a couple of months of back and forth to the Apple Store and Best Buy in search of the ‘perfect’ earphones, I’d bought and returned quite a few sets. First the Beats Tour in-ear headphones, then I settled on a pair of Sonys for a while after my Bose in-ears shorted out (and I threw them away, completely forgetting about the damn warranty) and they were the best sounding earphones I’ve owned, especially for $80. They killed any and all subway noise and were REALLY comfortable. But they began to short out and were coming apart (I wore them A LOT). So the search continued.

First, I picked up a pair of Ultimate Ears 600vi IEMs from the Apple store, after reading a few good reviews on them. Well, too bad I didn’t agree. I couldn’t get a good fit, and they were way more flat then the reviews said they were. I ended up taking them back to give the Tours a second chance. The sound was amazing, but they just could not stay in my ears. I used every one of the 7 included ear tips, and nothing worked. And of course, a good fit and seal are key to great sound.

So, I eventually bring them back. I stop by the Apple store for a fourth time in a week’s period, and stare at the headphone display. I look at the C5s with hesitation, mainly because they were the only pair that I wanted. But the thing is, I bought them a couple of weeks prior and I returned them, because they just didn’t work for me. I kept thinking that perhaps I didn’t give them a fair shake. I ripped them out of the box and just jammed them in my ears on a train ride to New Jersey, and they were kind of uncomfortable and sounded weird. I never even thought twice about the other sizes of ear tips, or about using the ear fitting mechanism to get the best fit and seal.

So, I eventually take them down to checkout, where I was helped by a girl who said she loved her C5s, and thought the Tours were really bass-heavy, which was weird because these pack more of a punch. I felt a little better about my resolve to give them a second shot.

When it comes to tech, I’m not one for giving second chances, but these earphones were worth it. I stared at them on my desk for about 20 minutes until I decided to (gently) rip them open and try again. I was worried that I’d end up hating them like the countless others and would be back at the Apple store after work, feeling defeated. Totally not the case. I first switched out the ear tips that were already on, to a pair that weren’t as tall. I put them in, gave a good sigh and pressed play. The first song for the test was ‘The Time Machine’ by Soundprank. The bass jumped up and gave me a good shake as the rest of the song shuffled in. Like I said before, the C5s have plenty of bass. Almost too much but just almost. The great thing is, the bass never seems to blanket the rest of the music. I don’t get the same balance with the Beats, where the bass comes clamoring in like a drunk uncle. It all comes shining through with stellar quality.

So, fast forward to day three. I finally get some quality time with my neglected Macbook, and I decide to plug the C5s in and listen to some Spotify.  Initially, I was listening to Spotify on my iPhone 4, with the music synced at a lower bitrate  (~96kbps) to save space. And on my laptop, the playback is in it’s full ~320kbps glory. The music sounds six times better. Even the questionable quality of the unreleased demos I played were polished up and came through crystal clear on the C5s. The bump in quality rounds out the bass, so that it sounds more… ‘scientific’, and not just thumping in your head. You can hear notes resonate to completion, and the overall listening experience is just crisper.  It’s like a full size THX sound system was crammed in your ears. I bought a new iPhone with more space, just to sync my music at the max 320kbps.

Needless to say, I love these earphones. The fit takes some finagling, but once you get it right, there’s not much you won’t like about these. With a good seal, you hear nothing but the music. No subway noise, no traffic, no coworkers, sometimes, not even your own thoughts. They also include an inline remote for volume/track control on iPhones, iPods and iPads. And at $179, I’ll definitely say you get what you pay for.

Bowers & Wilkins C5 In-Ear Headphones With Secure Loop Design

Categories : 'Vicariosity'
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Vicarious Shorts: The Skinny.

2012.04.09

The Skinny Cast

While in DC for Easter weekend, I got to see the premiere screening for Patrik-Ian Polk’s latest project, The Skinny. It’s a story about five college friends meeting up for a weekend in NYC, the ups and downs of love and dating, and simply just having a good time. (I won’t tell too much, I promise!)

I’ve always liked to support Polk’s work, because there’s always a message in the stories he tells. In The Skinny, he carries on his recurring theme of HIV/AIDS awareness, which is a mission that I personally support. Polk makes us feel at home by calling in a few cameos from Noah’s Arc, including Darryl Stephens, Wilson Cruz and Jennia Fredrique (who might easily be my favorite character from the series). Also featured were a couple of online personalities, such as poet Bassey Ikpi and blogger B. Scott.

I appreciate the fact that Polk’s work gets better with each project. I remember the first time watching Noah’s Arc in 2007, and grimacing at the rough-around-the-edges acting (but I still loved the show). The Skinny shows his growth as a producer, as the acting was significantly better, and the plot felt a lot more relatable. I actually feel like I’ve been in at least ONE of the situations from the movie.

The Skinny premieres in NYC on May 11, and I definitely think it’s a must-see.

So I logged onto ModelMayhem…

2011.11.22

I was up late doing some work, and I got restless, and started thinking about my short period in the modeling world… And I found these:

 

And it got me to thinking even more… Read more…

Jaded: Part II

2011.11.16

I quickly changed into the slightly large blue sweats and white pima t-shirt, as I began to smell fresh herbs and hear the sound of sizzling meat from the kitchen. I felt a little wierd as I walked out back to the living room, because I didn’t have any underwear on. Unless it was a dangerously tight pair of jeans, I always had to have on underwear. So, I turned around to adjust the pants in the mirror, for maximum security. As I turned around for my second attempt out of the bathroom, I noticed that there was Read more…

Jaded: Part I

2011.10.23

I was curled up in my favorite corner of my couch, in my favorite sweats, with a warm cup of Vanilla Rooibos tea. It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and I was catching up on a week’s worth of DVR recordings. I was distracted from a sudden light beaming from across the pitch black room; it was my intercom. I rolled my eyes and debated with my legs about getting up to go answer the door. Apparently my phone was in on the conversation, because it started ringing too.

“Hey Cory.”

“What are you doing? Get up! Me and Kevin are downstairs. You don’t hear the buzzer?”

“Yeah, I hear it. Do I really feel like getting up?”

My decision was made for me when Kevin pressed the buzzer until I let them up.

When they walked in, they found me in the same position I was in before they called.

“Um, get dressed! We’re going to Brooklyn. Theres a food festival, and we might go see the new Angelina movie. David is gonna meet us there, too.”

I sliced my eyes right through the plot that was being described before me. Read more…

Cristian Spikes: Life, Interrupted.

2011.04.06

I walked into my apartment, for the first time in three days. I left the windows open, so there was a freshness about the place that couldn’t be bottled. It was dark, and I left it that way. I sat my lifeless phone on the desk, and walked over to the window, to watch the sun completely diminish in the distance. Once it was completely dark, I lit a few candles around the apartment. The tranquil desolateness was very welcome. I milled aimlessly around the space for a while, touching things, picking up things, thinking.

I eventually found a place to rest — in the middle of the floor, on the plush pile of the cobalt shag rug. Once there, I got comfortable, and took off my jacket and shoes while thinking about the pain Kendall must have been in to kill himself. I began to blame myself, because after all, I was the one he left his family for. I was also the one he left in Japan without an explanation. I was also the one who he lied to for the year and a half we spent together.

I began to undo my hair, as I worried. I worried about Kendall’s two kids, who were too young to understand what was going on. Hell even at 26, I was too young to understand what was going on. I know how hard it was to grow up without my dad, although it was just because he hated who I was, but still. I needed him to be there, and he wasn’t. I worried about his wife, who had to live with the same memories that I do, of watching Kendall throw himself off that bridge, after hours of pleading with him. No matter how many tears Janelle and I shed, no matter how loudly we yelled for him to get down, it wasn’t enough.

I became instantly selfless at that moment. I no longer gave a shit about what he put me through. This was bigger than me. This was bigger than Janelle. I wanted him to be with his family. I wanted him to see his daughter graduate from High school. I wanted him to coach his son’s baseball team. But now, all I could do is sit and think about how those two kids will have to suffer through the story of how their father killed himself, because he lived a lie. A lie that I was apart of. My heart was one thousand times more irreparable than the morning I woke up alone in Japan. Or found out he was married.

As I lay there, in the dark, this surreality began to set in. I no longer felt like this was real life. Watching someone that you care for take their own life puts an entirely new perspective on everything.To know that someone is in so much pain, they can only resort to the most extreme, is painful in itself. A gentle tap on the door snapped me out of my stupor. I didn’t move. I just lay there, as I heard the tumblers rotate. I knew who it was, and felt a slight sense of relief. “Cristian?” I remained silent. My eyes were open, but I couldn’t see anything. I felt Brian’s energy loom over me like a storm cloud. He kneeled to me, and stared at my lifeless face for what felt like forever. He wiped my face with his bare hands, and it wasn’t until then, that I realized that I was crying. He picked my lifeless body up and carried me into my bedroom. He sat me on the bed, and as he tried to lay me down, I couldn’t let go. I unconsciously held onto him with any strength that I could muster. My mind could not let him go.

I’m a Prude? Oh Okay.

2010.07.13

I can’t think of the last time I posted something not related to my book… Anyway.

Before I get to the real subject of this post, I think my public is in due need of an update:

Work has been the normal circus (cue Britney Spears) that it usually is. I’m not complaining, because I could be slinging fries or ass on the nearest street corner.

I was in NYC a week ago, and I really REALLY (really) hate that I had to come back to Houston. I had plenty of clothes to stay for at least another 2 weeks. But I have something up my sleeve. Just you wait. But while I was there, I had an interview at the corporate office of the company I work for (which has to remain nameless, because otherwise, I’ll get SHOT) and It went we’ll. If you didn’t know, I need to be living back in NYC by the time I’m 25. That’s another year and a week from today, July 14. ANYWAY, I found out that I didn’t get the fucking job yesterday, and while I detect hoe shit behind that, the defense rests.

Let’s move on to the rest of the trip.

I stayed in Brooklyn with my Brothers from other mothers, Husani and Jashiro, whom I haven’t seen since 2007. They are the BEST! And really know how to throw a party! FINALLY got to meet my favorite people, including Kareem who I’ve known for 3 years, and never saw in person you’d think we used to live together by the way we carry on. Not to mention the gang of friends I’ve made on Twitter in the past year that I’ve been tweeting. XD, Ajay, Joey, Kyle, all of which are the main reason that I didn’t wanna leave. ( Lemme move on before ya’ll get messy in my comments.) I also found Mariana, too. She has a GORGEOUS new place in Brooklyn, all ready for me to decorate.) I met some new and interesting folks too, such as Assante, Penny and Lakai. I’m name dropping #dinnamug, but then again, who’s writing this??

I Shopped, too. (If you know me well enough, this is self explanatory– if you don’t, let’s just say I had to carry on a bigger bag going back.)

I will also continue to neglect the fact that I ran into ‘Two’ last Friday. Ya’ll may need to call me for that story.

So, about me being a prude.

Read more…

Music.

2010.06.16

Music. Music makes me happy. It makes me love life, despite how fucked up it is. Music makes me forget there are fucked up people in the world who don’t give two shits about me. Music helps me escape. It makes me smile.

I can listen to and enjoy just about any type of music. I feel it. I inhale it. I pull it apart, and put it back together again, like a toy car. Bass is my heartbeat, treble is my brainwave. I walk in rhythm with the hi-hats. Highs make me fly, lows make me float.

Sometimes, music isn’t about the words in a song. lyrics are just poetry to music. Have you ever listened to instrumentals? Have you ever listened PAST the words? Have you felt the bass? Have you swayed with the strings? Its very intense. Sometimes music make the words make sense.

Music isn’t always about hip-hop, rock, and rb. I personally love lounge music, smooth jazz and electronic. These are the genres for the artistically epicurean . Claude Challe, Massive Attack, Paul Hardcastle, Dave Koz, Grover Washington. Anyone can shake their proverbial ass to a Beyonce song, but it takes an intellectual, open mind to enjoy a song with no catchy lyrics.

Think about it: How many times do you hear music a day? Think outside of the hours you have headphones jammed in your ears. You hear music all day, everyday. In the store, on hold, on tv, when your phone rings, when you think… Music is usually played in stores specifically for getting customers in the mood to spend money. Retailers don’t spend hundreds, thousands a year on music and sound equipment just to entertain you. Not to mention some of the greatest moments in our life are linked to a song. The day you got married, your first job, family events, heartbreak, and even death.

So, tell me: what does music do for you?

 

Categories : 'Vicariosity'

Vicarious Shorts: The circle of fuckery.

2010.04.13

Have you ever thought about the fact that others only perpetuate the bullshit and fuckery presented before them? Think about it– it had to start somewhere!

For example:

Gays are still constantly being persecuted as disease carrying, homewrecking, deceitful monsters.

Well if you think about it, they are. Nobody told them to KEEP doing the bullshit that people say they do.. If you want people to think differently about you, STOP doing the things they say about you.. Of course we all know a lot of this is generalized amongst the entire gay community, but sadly, its more often true. And being that society as a whole constantly whores for propaganda, nobody will understand that not ALL gays do this, nor that they need to stop giving people something to talk about.

now.. nobody said that the ‘breeders’ weren’t disease carrying, homewrecking, and deceitful as well.. but I’m just making a point here.

OR–

Black people are lazy and stupid and are always trying to get over on someone (and they LOVE fried chicken and watermelon).

THEY DO!! But this doesn’t mean we should say this about all blacks.. How about you stop bitching about the fact that people are looking at the entire race like that and be the bitch to cast the first stone in obliterating this theory? Instead of being complacent and accepting and embracing the oppression, use this as a chance to prove people wrong.

I say all of this to say: Life is what you make it. Stop GIVING people a reason to talk about you (either collectively or individually)… and then maybe people can look past stereotypes and generalizations to see the person you really are. I we can’t necessarily get everyone to change, but every person that changes makes us ALL better as a whole.