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Archive for December, 2014

“Why I Liked THAT Cosby”

December 30, 2014 Leave a comment

I was holding out some kind of hope that the allegations agains Bill Cosby would turn out to be false; maybe he would come forward with evidence to refute every claim, magically. I held out hope because when I was a child and grew up watching Bill Cosby showing me me, on the TV screen.

I was born in 1975 so I grew up when “The Cosby Show” debuted and closed. I was also watching shows like “What’s Happening?” and “Good Times” as well as “Different Strokes”, “All In The Family”, and “The Jeffersons”. But something about “The Cosby Show” transcended all those shows. While I looked much like “Roger Thomas” from “What’s Happening?”, and even identified with his character a bit, I never felt like “What’s Happening?” depicted me, or my family environment. I guess the single mom deal was far from my reality. All the other shows were extremes of my reality – “Good Times” was a depiction of a black family fighting to make it while living in the projects (low income housing). “The Jeffersons” was an ode to black business success taken to the heights, whilst not forgetting the roots. Ultimately, I just couldn’t see my situation. Then came “The Cosby Show.”

My parents were not doctors and lawyers, but they were employed well enough to provide their children with middle-class, even to some degree upper-middle class, lifestyles. We never wanted for anything. Our house was never cold, and there was always more than enough food on the table. On this note we probably overindulged, but that was my reality; my parents provided. We lived in an amazing amount of security; I was definitely allowed to play outside after dark without parental supervision. We lived in a town that provided us with an education that was an example of how good U.S. public education should be administered. And when it came time for college, we went to top notch private universities (me Syracuse University and my sister Fordham University…price tags not exactly at “Good Times” level). Basically, we had a great life under the umbrella of my parents. This was “The Cosby Show” to a great degree.

“The Cosby Show” also showed me that we, as black youth, could aspire to be working professionals with a healthy family life, while being humble and regular (also with all the happy dysfunctionality that goes with family life). I dreamed big as a kid, and I still dream big. I am studying for my doctorate of education in curriculum and instruction, not something the average person just throws around. I don’t say that to be high-minded but just to say my dreams are still moving forward. I still dream big, but I guess I can also reel in those dreams and turn them into practical realities. Again, “The Cosby Show” was a reflection of this.

But, if there is one thing I really loved about the Bill Cosby I grew up with was that he made me, and my family laugh. We just laughed and laughed and laughed to no end. In some ways I think my parenting style, and overall demeanor, of trying to inject humor and comedy into situations comes from Cosby’s character of “Heathcliff Huxtable”. My parents were/are awesome, but they were not clowns and jokers (although now they seem to joke a lot more than when I was a kid). “Heathcliff Huxtable” showed me a father and husband and son could be funny and serious and inspiring all at the same time. I was always like this, but as a father and husband and son I am now in the moment where all these traits and realities are coming together and living through my current persona. Looking back I see that “The Cosby Show” depicted characters like this all the time, and they were characters I could identify with then and now.

It truly does sadden me to know the truth about Bill Cosby because the reality of his exploits does corrupt all the good memories I have of him as a child. I do wish all these women, and insiders would have blown the cover much much much sooner so I could have discarded the facade. I know he was really funny, for me, but obviously at great cost to others. He was plainly a bad person that put on a great show, and it has caught up to him, thankfully. I will not introduce “The Cosby Show” to my child under some false pretense other than to say that as a child I simply did not know Bill Cosby was a monster, and I wouldn’t have watched him if I had known.

So the question goes, “will I re-brand those cherished memories for what I now know is the truth; the product of a sick twisted man?” I can’t obviously retroactively stop laughing; go back in time and tell myself to stop watching this guy. If anything, I do hope Cosby mans up and comes forward because at least he could then own his success more truthfully; with the equitable depravity he displayed. The alternative is his legacy will forever be that he was and is just a coward and pure fake.

Categories: Miscellaneous Debris

“We Are What We Eat”

December 16, 2014 Leave a comment

This is where it starts. Can’t underestimate the power of food. If you eat crap then crap you will be. If you eat golden fruit then golden fruit you will be. It just comes down to what you want to be.

This was where my refocus started. Actually, this refocus started with my marathon training, but to do that I focused on the food I was eating and how I should be eating to fuel my marathon training. The main source of food, and lifestyle, information came from Dave Asprey’s podcast “Bulletproof Radio”.

The story goes, I was simply looking on iTunes for health and fitness podcasts to keep me motivated through my mid to long runs. I found Asprey’s podcast and was hooked from the first one. I don’t listen to every single podcast, but I usually tune in to the ones that speak about diet and exercise, which are quite a few. That said I do listen to quite a few and I personally feel they are well produced, informative, and entertaining. The objective for Asprey, as I have come to understand, is to disseminate information that will help people kick ass in life; performing the best they can, all the time.

A little background about him. He has raised his knowledge through years of self-study and self-hacking. He has changed his life in so many ways, and brings the knowledge and experience he has gained through self-change to those interested in listening, and those interested in changing their lives in positive ways. He used to be something like 300 pounds, but over the years of self-change has reduced his weight by 200 pounds, and has raised his activity and performance levels tremendously. Along the way he has used his background as a computer systems specialist to achieve great success in body and lifestyle redevelopment.

Over the years of gaining knowledge and experience hacking his body and lifestyle he has provided a wealth of information to those who have chosen to engage his shows. This journey wasn’t just a knowledge dissemination project for Asprey though, he turned his life-change mission into a business of health foods and supplements. I actually bought, and still buy his goods from “Bulletproofexec.com.

His foods are made from high quality, but very simple ingredients; I understand the ingredients list, which is a key to healthy eating, I believe. He awakened me to a heightened level of nutrition that was, and still is, very interesting to me. I do think for some he and his guests can get a bit nerdy with their nutrition and lifestyle talk, but he usually brings it back to ground zero for people to understand how to apply the knowledge to their lives. He also alerted me to the more holistic aspects of my body, and how my body works in conjunction with all my environments – internally and externally.

This was an awakening moment and I recognized I had to be more conscious of what I was taking in. Now I am pretty conscious of what food goes into my system, and how it makes me feel. I fully understand the saying, you are what you eat.

I will follow up on this topic with more information about Asprey and his Bulletproof products and guests. I trust the way they are sourced, and I like the ethics behind his products, plus they deliver to Japan quite easily. It is an investment in my health and lifestyle that is well worth it.

Eat well!

Categories: Health and Fitness

“‘Quality’ of Information”

December 12, 2014 Leave a comment

There is a plethora of information sources out there for people to consume – social media (twitter, facebook, instagram, tumblr, etc.), traditional news media (FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, BBC, NPR, Mother Jones, Monocle, etc.), podcasts (too many to name), literature (novels, poetry, essays, journalism, etc.), general television, cinema, music, I could keep going and going. One doesn’t have to wonder why people may be frustrated by what they should or maybe should not listen to or read about. So the questions, I feel, become what is the quality of information you consume, how do we balance points of view, and how do we siphon out the “good” from the “bad” because eventually we act upon the information we consume, right?

Personally, I consume a lot of information from all sources and forms. I do read more magazines than novel-type books; listen to political-news, society/culture, and health/fitness podcasts more than read newspapers; watch more political/society-culture television than sitcoms; not sure why in any of these instances, I just do. I’ll be writing about my outcomes from the various “quality” information sources I consume. Take a gander at this space when you can. Peace.

Categories: Miscellaneous Debris

“Journaling Creates Focus”

December 11, 2014 Leave a comment

I am now writing to focus. This is something I used to do on a regular basis, but for some reason I stopped, or the process became inconsistent. I realize now I have to return to what I was doing in order to move forward with my personal development.

I keep multiple journals on teaching, health, exercise, nutrition, personal stories, musical ideas, dreams, etc. I write in them all and read them all. I reflect on them all and find common threads. These common threads usually reveal actions I need to take to move forward in my life, and the life of my family. It can be quite confusing and time consuming, but the time spent is well worth it because the end product is a better me.

I encourage writing of any kind to become part of one’s life. Everything from social commentary, music lyrics, daily chronicling, or merely stream of consciousness, all kinds of writing are applicable for gaining clarity, focus, and motivation.

I am consistently writing, and there in lies the challenge – write consistently.

Categories: Miscellaneous Debris

“Step by Step Through Reflexivity”

December 8, 2014 Leave a comment

Watching a child grow is an amazing experience. The process of seeing a person move through steps of curiousity to frustration to elation or even defeat can make one reflect, I think. I often see reboots of my life as steps in my growth. And I have not made massive reboots that have totally changed the structure of my life, but the little changes I have made have created ripples that are reaching very far areas. More than anything I am trying to focus my mind and get more active. The major mind move though is to take slower steps so I can stave off the frustration to defeat option in life, and move through the frustration to elation option. I don’t mind being frustrated because it means I am trying and learning ways not to do something. I am trying to enter a state of reflexivity, which is basically a state of reflection and action. The process is a very personal one, and one I have chosen to put up here. In the next few posts I will talk about specific tools I am using to catch up with where I am now, how I am moving through this period, where I want go to, and where I end up. Until next time, peace.

Categories: Miscellaneous Debris

“Journeys”

December 6, 2014 Leave a comment

Beginning a journey is a daunting experience – the conception, preparation, execution, and reflection. So many aspects of life flow through the mind, body and soul. So is the case with the journey I am about to take. I am actually making a journey back to a place I felt quite comfortable with the objective being to push myself to new places; I’m going to write more. In particular I am going to get back to blogging. Not about one specific thing, but about various topics; exploring old stories, current events, future happenings, reviews of books, interesting and poignant literature, vinettes, polemics, and thoughts of all kinds. Most of all I will also chronicle my own personal development on many fronts – family, health, career, etc. The goal is for three to four posts a week (more is okay, but looking to hit that three to four mark).

There is no special reason why I made now a moment to restart other than, why not? I am about to start a health and nutrition journey where I gradually cut sugar out of my diet to see what happens to me (life hack to some degree). I will couple this with keeping my exercise regiment at regular levels, for me – running 3 to 4 days a week (6 to 10 miles per run on any given day), and general cardio, strength training, dynamic stretching, and yoga. The objective here is to see what my nutritional input, which was laced with sugar (overtly and covertly), has on other areas of my life.

I have always had a “sleeping” problem that manifested itself into fluctuations of energy that have baffled me considering my bill of health has always been clean. I used to be very defensive about my “sleep” issues, but now I am more easy going about it, but maybe too much so. I really want to tackle these energy problems, at least in my opinion. My feeling is my diet in some way has been contributing and at 39 no one controls my diet but me (considering I am fairly healthy man with no physical ailments that causes me to rely on others for my nutritional intake); the problem and solution and responsibility lie with me.

So this is the beginning of a journey that could change my life in fundamental ways. Along with the health journey, I am also back to writing more. Hopefully this will spur me to finish off my dissertation research. Intellectually I am passed my study, but I need to actually do it so I can get my doctorate of education and advance my career as an academic and educator and leader. I guess there are a few journeys to deal with and move through. Funny how life does that.

This year, leading up to age 40, will be a dynamic one filled with many episodes along this path I call “My Life”. I will try to chronicle my thoughts and ideas at this space. Comments and questions are always welcome.

Be well, and peace be with you as you make your way on your journeys.