Monthly Archives: March 2014

Complex T.O.N.E.z – One


Part I – The Journey

CAM05088

I thought it never rained in SoCal?

It was an unusually heavy downpour that dreary Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. Unusual in the sense that this was the most significant amount of rain we’d had in L.A. County since drought conditions were declared just a few months earlier. I was on my way to meet T.O.N.E-z at the studio where he was shooting the video for his latest single, “My Baby Girl, ft. Alicia Witt”.

My oldest son, Maurice Jr., and I drove under ominous looking gray skies – and among even more ominously questionable drivers.  We marveled at the transparent sheets of rain as they drifted across the highway, casting a thick layer of water against the windshield with a dull swoosh. My frantically swinging windshield wipers were desperately – and sometimes ineffectively – trying to push away the water and provide a safe field of vision. Being born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve seen my fair share of rain. I was pretty confident of my ability to get us from the South Bay to our final destination – an unmarked studio tucked away in the small upscale neighborhood of Windsor Square.

40 minutes into what would normally be a 15 minute drive, I asked my son if we should trudge on or turn back and head home. I called Joel and asked him if the shoot was still happening. Yeah, the rain was coming down THAT hard. But he assured me that everything was still a go, and to be honest, the rain was actually fascinating. There was so much water everywhere that we almost felt like we were in a submarine. Plus, I wanted to meet T.O.N.E-z, whose family includes pioneering MCs T La Rock and Special K of the Treacherous Three. And so, we pressed on…

I was able to expertly navigate the flooded intersection of Western Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard before coming to a stop on 3rd Street. I turned to my son and watched him as he shot brief glances through the water pouring down the passenger door window before turning his attention back to his marathon texting,  while also periodically checking to see if he’d had any increase of followers on Vine.

When we arrived at what I thought was our destination, we couldn’t find the building. A quick call to Joel and we discovering that the address he was initially given was wrong. So after a little finagling, we figured it all out and finally pulled up to an unassuming, brick, storefront building just as there was a break in the rain.

Getting out of the car, I saw a guy leaning against the stone wall of an inset door frame. “Is that the guy you were talking to on the phone?”, my son asked pointing out the window. “No,” I said. “That’s not Joel. That, is T.O.N.E.-z,” I said, recognizing him from his Facebook page

1623727_795278983820142_459745999_n

Check out his Facebook page! Click the photo!

“T.O.N.E.-z?,” I said as we approached him. “Yeah,” he said coolly, with a friendly nod. “Glad you guys made it. Come on in.”

And so, we did…

Categories: music | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voices


_______________________________________________

“You’re such a mean dad!”I usually hear this one after I discipline my children.

Your wife is miserable!”I hear this one mostly on the days when I see how overwhelmed my wife can become with managing a household that includes four children under 8 and two over 16.

“You are a failure!”I hear this one frequently. Either when I reflect on unmet educational goals or unwritten books and songs that are begging to get out of my head.

“People don’t like you. They think you’re weird and anti-social.”Well, if you’ve read “The Struggle With Hugs” last year, you’ll understand this one.

_______________________________________________

Yes, these are the voices in my head. No, not the “OMG, I’m hearing things!” crazy kind of voices. But rather the very distinct voices that narrate various parts of and events in my life. Like uninvited guests to my parade of memories.

They are altogether unrepentant, distorted versions of my own voice that cast verdicts from the sidelines like a mental peanut gallery.

This is probably the result of the fact that I have a tendency to fall into over thinking or over analyzing situations and people. As soon as I dedicate any mind power to introspection, here come the snickering voices that want to judge my past or recent actions against society’s definition of success.

Sometimes it seems as if they simply want to pull me toward despair. Encouraging depression and pessimist behavior. Or pushing me toward isolation and episodes of social awkwardness.

But I resist.

I push back at them by encouraging myself with what I know to be true. I am loved by my wife and children. I am appreciated and respected by my peers. I pursue honor and integrity and support others in their pursuit of health and happiness.

Of course there are days when my exhaustion makes the effort to resist seem ten times harder. But I’m not given over to pity parties. Besides, there’s yet another voice that likes to shout things like, “No one wants to hear about your stupid issues, Mr. Happily Married with 6 beautiful kids!”.  I just ignore it, realizing that if I decide to stuff down those thoughts instead of purging them, I will become the worst version of myself.

So this is my release.

My confession.

Admitting that I struggle against the naysayers from within more so than I ever did against those from without. Yet, I strive to be a daily overcomer. One who acknowledges the challenges while doing everything necessary to overcome them.

It makes us human and ultimately, makes our victories so much sweeter.

What do some of YOUR voices say to you? How do you quiet them?

VoicesInHead

Categories: personal, stories | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Burning Down The House


I’ve seen some couples confuse deliberate embarrassment with playful banter.

They are NOT the same. Not even a little bit.

It’s like playing with matches in a tree house. If someone gets burned, the whole thing could go up in flames.

treehouse fire

Categories: marriage, personal, relationships | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: