Viewing entries in
Thoughts

Body Cam Turned Off Before Police Shooting? That’s Odd.

Comment

Body Cam Turned Off Before Police Shooting? That’s Odd.

IMG_1260.JPG

           Late Monday night, I got a message from a friend telling me there was a small protest going on in South Memphis. I was told a police officer shot a young man claiming he had a gun. It’s a narrative we’ve heard so many times before. Sadly, I thought to myself, “I wonder if the kid really had a gun?”. Then I went on Facebook and saw his mother on someone’s live feed. She was demanding answers. She wanted someone to produce a weapon, to see bullet casings, and for her sons hands to be tested for gunpowder residue. This woman clearly has watched enough news and TV to know a little something about this process. 

             I grew up in South Memphis and Westwood. We had cops patrolling constantly. I can’t say I had any great interactions with police as a kid. I remember leaving a corner store after getting the biggest bag of Frooties( basically flavored Tootsie Rolls) and walking my bike home because I broke the chain. I was pissed about the chain because my dad just bought the bike and told me not to let anyone ride it. Well, I let my friend ride it and he broke the chain! A white cop drove by and did a hard turn and ran on the curb in front of me. He asked me where I was going. I said home. He asked if I had stolen the bike. I said no. He said there’s been a kid stealing bikes in the area and someone said it was me. I started crying. He told me I was going to jail. He made me lay in the ground and went through my pockets. At this point, I urinated on myself. One of my neighbors saw this and came over and explained to the officer who I was and how I got the bike. The officer took my $5 bill and my Frooties and left without saying any apologies. I was 10 years old. Had my neighbor not shown up, the officer probably would have tried pinning some crime on me. Again, I was 10 years old.

          Fast forward 25 years. I still have this not so great feeling about police and their practices. When I hear an officer involved shooting, I wonder if the police are being truthful. It’s their word vs yours. A young black male is no match for the police or judicial system. Then a bombshell occurred! Police Director Mike Rallings announced that 3 officers were relieved of duty because their body cameras weren’t activated or were turned off right before the shooting. That’s odd, right? Why would an officer not want this interaction recorded? Why would the only proof the victim have not be available? While this might be shocking to some who grew up away from crime or daily police interaction, this exact situation is sadly normal to a lot of Americans. Cops planting evidence, bogus charges, and an overuse of force are so common in communities of minorities. It’s an accepted reality and there seems to be more and more instances happening.

           I won’t go into why people protest, why citizens don’t trust police, why Colin Kaepernick and other players kneel, or any of that. Those things are brutally obvious especially after this incident. I also don’t think all cops are bad. I just want to leave you with a couple things to think about. Why would a police officer turn off his body camera? Where’s the gun? Why did they shoot the kid in the back? Why should young Black kids trust police? Why don’t “good cops” speak out against the actions of the “bad cops”?  

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

           

Comment

5 Things I've Learned About Tinder

Comment

5 Things I've Learned About Tinder

IMG_1096.JPG

           Oh Tinder. The app that is a basically a "Hot or Not" for singles near you. After a breakup, a friend encouraged me to try it because he swore he’s had success with it. I'm not very keen to online dating because I feel meeting someone and having a conversation is more ideal to me. Having to sift through photos of people seems very time consuming, but I gave in and gave myself 5 days to discover if I would actually meet someone. Here's what I discovered.  

Is it a Hook up or Dating App? 

           I'm still quite confused on this one. I don't think there's a definitive answer. It's a toss up. I can see it being used to see who's in a location near you that is available, but that could also be used to see who's down to hook up. I think it's person specific, but it's definitely an issue with people because lots of profile read "NOT LOOKING FOR HOOKUPS". I personally wouldn't take it as a serious dating app. Casual encounters maybe. 

Catfishing is alive and well!

          Yeah catfishing is still a thing these days and if you're being catfished in 2018 you kinda deserve to be catfished. New to the concept of catfishing? It's basically a person online that lies about their true identity. There are plenty of spam accounts of women that are just way too perfect or that something just don't seem right. Watch the signs! I swiped right on a woman I actually know only to find out someone had stolen her pics and created a whole account. Then I was super liked by a woman claiming to be a lawyer. I asked where she went to college and she couldn’t tell me. BLOCKED! Also, some women hide behind the head only pictures. I call it body catfishing and it’s way more prevalent. 

A normal conversation is a rare commodity 

They say conversation rules the nation. I've learned that some women are so used to being asked questions and offering the most basic answer that they cant have a real conversation. In a world of “wyd” “good morning” and “how was your day”, it would be nice to have a compelling conversation about aliens or anything. Getting to know a person is a two way street and each have to put in effort. A vast majority of the women I interacted with where some of the most boring women I’ve ever talked to in my life.  

The app is lacking in features and pricey 

I tried Tinder and it's not for me. Besides the people, the app is a bit lacking. You can't send pics within the messenger, which I guess would cut down on the random, unsolicited pics of genitalia. There's also fees associated with the service. $29.99 per month for Tinder Gold, which puts you at the front of the line for a potential boo basically. Kinda steep. 

It’s a weird way to meet people  

Maybe it’s the 80s baby in me or my need for real human interaction, but meeting someone online is super awkward for me. Can you really tell if you’re into a person by simply seeing pics of them? I prefer to be around someone and talk with them. I can instantly tell if I like them or not. Tinder takes that aspect away. Ever go out and meet a tenderoni, get her number and can’t wait to call her? Can’t get that level of feels through Tinder. You’re just stuck waiting to see if they swipe right or read their messages at least once per week. 

 

         Needless to say, I deleted the app. I prefer to old fashioned method of running across a woman at a grocery store or a bar. I’d rather leave it all up to fate. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B

Comment

Why So Mad Bro?

Comment

Why So Mad Bro?

IMG_0990.JPG
           Recently Nike made Colin Kapernick one of the faces of its 30th anniversary ad campaign and it seems some people have completely lost their minds because of this. Some are burning their Nike gear or vowing to never buy Nike products again. I have several questions about why this ad has triggered a certain demographic. I don’t think I have to detail exactly what this demographic looks like at this point. 

 Why does this ad really upset you?

         I’ve heard arguments that kneeling during the anthem disrespects the flag, the country and veterans by kneeling during the anthem. How so? I’m a veteran and I don’t find it offensive at all. I wonder how many of these veteran lovers actually served in the military. I also wonder how many have reached out and actually helped veterans in any capacity other than in objection to Kapernick’s protest. Let’s cut the shit, it’s not about the vets. It’s because Kap is black and he should, in the eyes of some, basically be happy he has a job and shut up. 

 Why do you think Nike cares?

Ok you’ve burned your Nike gear because you’re having a temper tantrum. Now what? Nike should be so upset and hurt by your actions, right? Nope! You’ve already bought the Nike gear so they already got your money. You’re burning you’re own money up. If that’s the case, can you please send me some money? I take PayPal, Cash app and Venmo. Seriously, you aren’t hurting Nike in any way. They are a multi billion dollar global company. Burning a few shoes and shorts does nothing to effect their sales.  

Why not donate the discarded Nike gear to veterans? 

Now this question made way too much sense as I asked in my head. These folks love American and the veterans so much and lots of veterans are homeless or living in poverty. Well, why not help those in need? Especially the veterans in need. That seems to be a far better way to release this frustration.  

 

         Let’s not get this twisted. While Nike has definitely made a stance, this is also a business move. Nike is betting on those who want a change and their dollars. It’s already paying off because the NFL released a statement shortly after. The NFL is huge, but Nike has major influence as well. They also supply all NFL uniforms and apparel via a contract. Nike and the NFL will be partners for quite some time.

             For the last time, to those upset about players kneeling, the protest is not about disrespecting the flag or veterans. This is to bring an awareness to social injustices in this country. You don’t have to agree with the way they are choosing to protest, but don’t forget this great country of ours started with a protest.  

Life is for Living,          

Michael B.  

 

Comment

Are Haters Real?

Comment

Are Haters Real?

IMG_0242.JPG

           I recently saw a video on YouTube asking this question and I found it very interesting. Are haters really real or are we just personifying our own insecurities? I know right. Mind blown. I would hate to think there are people out there who wake up and think about new ways to destroy you. Well, I guess it is possible if you’ve ever seen the movie Mean Girls. That just seems like such a miserable life. How can you live your own life while also paying so much attention to someone else’s life? Who has that much time? I’m tired just thinking about it. Haters could also be our own fears personified. I know I’ve been my biggest “hater” because I’ve always questioned if my work is any good. I second guess a lot of things about myself and the things that I want to do out of fear. Who do I blame that fear on? Haters mane. But those haters aren’t real and they look and sound like me. 

           So are haters real? Well, yes and no. There  will always be people who don’t like what you’re doing and that will try to impede your flow out of jealousy or just being hateful. These actual people are really your biggest supporters. They watch everything mane! Collect those views fam! On the other hand, we can also be our own nagging hater thinking we aren’t good enough. Getting over yourself can be the hardest thing to do. If you don’t believe you’re good at what you do, then no one else will. Shake those haters off, real and imagined, and be great mane!! Ball until you fall. 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

Comment

Comment

Just Go Create Something Mane!

 Photo cred: @aleksworks

Photo cred: @aleksworks

          At times I have to motivate and be my own cheerleader, which I think is totally normal. I doubt my work a lot because I feel there are so many other amazing photographers and videographers and I’m on their level. I also have a tendency to remain as modest as possible and I try not to brag.  

          Recently, I've been shooting a lot more video. I'm totally not the best at it but I'm really into creating memories through motion pictures, which all video really is. I have met some amazing videographers like Isaiah Conyers, KC Austin, etc and even a big time Youtuber, Jason Anthony. Each have encouraged me to just go shoot and create something. So I did just that. I took a walk downtown and shot just random clips and created a little short. 

          Even after making that video, I still was hesitant about posting it. I still doubted it. My daughter, Maddy, said it was awesome and that I should. Had she not said that this video would never have seen the light of day. Boy was I glad she said it! I posted it and it went crazy. People were commenting about how cool and beautiful I made Memphis look. It got 25 shares on FB in 1 hour! I had no clue how this random clips would touch people. As of this article, the video has 2.5K views! I’ve never had a video have that many views! 

           Then it hit me. Everyone won't like your work. You can't worry about those people. You have to focus on those giving positive feedback and constructive criticism. Haters aren't really real. Haters are just our own insecurities that we personify. It’s ok to be excited about your work and to be proud of it. We are all capable of amazing things if we can get out of out own way. So go be great and go create mane! 

Life is for Living,

Michael B. 

Comment

Be Your Own Superhero Mane

Comment

Be Your Own Superhero Mane

           I always wanted super powers. I’m pretty sure we all did at some point. Who doesn’t want super strength, the ability to fly, X-ray vision, or to be able to shoot cool things out our eyes? If you’ve never pretended to be a superhero, you might need a redo of childhood. Superheros are awesome, but they also cripple us. They make us dependent on them for our safety and lives. Where would we be without Superman? 

           We lust after their abilities and wish for them so we can change our own realities. What if I told you that everyone already has super powers? Would you believe me? You can totally change your entire life by changing your thinking. Sounds crazy right? I know, but it’s the truth. It starts in the thoughts and things tend to manifest in the physical. You can literally make yourself sick by thinking you’re sick!  

          While you can’t think you can fly and go jump off a building to test your abilities, you can get a pilot’s license and go fly a plane yourself. Being more positive and kind will in turn bring both back to you. Not every day but for the most part. So try something new today and think positive. Be nice to that coworker you don’t care for. Help a person in need. See how your super powers can work for you. 

Life is For Living, 

Michael B.  

Comment

$25 For A Medium Pizza!!

Comment

$25 For A Medium Pizza!!

IMG_0198.JPG

            See that pizza up there? Yeah, that one. Looks delicious, right? Would you pay $25 for a medium pizza? Yeah me neither, but I somehow managed to. How? Well, here we go. 

            I took the day off from work to hang with Maddy the Great. We went to see Hotel Translyvania 3 and decided to grab a bite to eat. I always look for local establishments first and decided on Broadway Pizza. I’ve had Broadway pizza years ago, so I was kinda excited to have it again. I ordered a half cheese half, Broadway Special along with 2 sodas. We finished and received our bill.  $32.23  

             There had to be some mistake. This couldn’t have been my bill. I had a medium pizza and 2 sodas! I look over the receipt and see the horrible news. This pizza costs $25! This pizza was in no way worth $25. I won’t go into how the crust tasted frozen and the toppings just slide right off with each bite. Heck sodas at $2.25 each is a tad excessive. I could have bought a couple 2 liters or a shopping cart full of Faygos! 

           I feel like I was gotten over on, played and pimped. For the first time ever, I wished I hadn’t eaten local. I’m already not a huge fan of pizza and this one was surely not the best I’ve ever had. Granted it wasn’t the worst, but it definitely wasn’t worth $25. $25 for a medium pizza. Geesh.   

IMAGE.JPG

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

              

Comment

1st World Problems: A New Debit/ Credit Card

Comment

1st World Problems: A New Debit/ Credit Card

IMG_6676.JPG

            Eventually you'll need a new credit or debit card. Maybe yours expired, you lost it, snapped it in half as you sat in the car..... Ok maybe that's just happened to me. You'll definitely find yourself in a situation when you're going to have to replace a card. This is the moment when your life goes into complete chaos! 

          Why? Well, if your anything like me, you've got things automatically deducted from your cards. I've got photography memberships, my electric bill, and lots of other things. If you're also like me, you forget to update these things when you get the new card. Yep! I didn't and guess what? I went home to an apartment with no lights and even my website being suspended. It was not a pleasant experience at all.  

             Waiting in the heat of the summer for your lights to be turned back on really makes you put your entire existence into perspective. When will I grow up and be an adult? How did people survive without WiFi? What was the noise?

             So do yourself a favor and update all your accounts as soon as you get your new cards. Don't be like me. Be better than me! 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

Comment

Fire Ants are the Devil!

Comment

Fire Ants are the Devil!

           Yes, the Devil! I've been down and out the last few days because of them. It happened so fast. I took my daughter for a walk while I flew my new drone. I stepped in the grass for literally just 2 mins and noticed something painful on my lower leg. I shrugged it off as a mosquito, but then I felt another another sting, then another and another. I looked down at my ankle and there were 10-15 ants crawling on me! 

            I swiped them off but a couple were stuck. Yes, stuck on my skin! Then I felt it. It felt like my entire ankle was on fire. The pain was intense. I pulled them off, grabbed my daughter and ran for the car. I got to my apartment and jumped in the shower, which totally didn't work. I tried ice, anti itch cream, rubbing alcohol, everything! Nothing worked! The pain was so intense. 

            It's Day 5 now and the pain had finally subsided but the itch is still there. It's fading, but not is it intense. I don't wish this on anyone. It truly sucks. Don't be like me. Watch where your stepping and be aware of your surroundings. Pay very close attention to where your kids are as well. The bites could send them to the emergency room. Pray for me y'all. 

 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

Comment

2 Comments

5 Reasons You Weren't Invited to the Family 4th of July Party

           Your family has big 4th of July plans. There will be BBQ, plenty of laughter, spades or dominos, festive outfits and of course fireworks. There's one thing missing; you haven't received an invitation yet. It could be a slip up or an implied invitation because it's family. Maybe they don't really want you there. Before you crash the BBQ or get in your feels, consider these reasons why you didn't receive that invite. 

1. You drink too much

         We all know that one person that can't handle their alcohol. They either get extremely loud, overly aggressive or end up passed out in the kiddy pool. You gotta know your limit and stay well below it. No one wants to babysit your drunk ass. Plus throwing up in front of Grandma is grounds for family eviction. Get help or a damn good wing person to slow you down. 

2. You show up empty handed, but leave with plates.  

          I have an uncle who never ever brings anything to the BBQ, but always takes to go plates. Don't be like my uncle; who never gets invited yet always shows up anyways. Bring something! A bag of ice is the least you can do. It takes nothing to bring a couple sodas or hot dog buns. If you don't put in on this, you can't leave with anything. Simple.  

3. You Have Weird Food Preferences

          Yeah, we get it. You're Vegan, vegetarian, or on some other food restrictive diet. We totally understand it, but this menu ain't changing for you. Stop bringing your weird dishes trying to force everyone to try them. No cauliflower covered in buffalo sauce doesn't taste just like hot wings. We love you, but we kinda feel like you're judging us for eating BBQ. Not cool.    

4. Your Kids are Bad as Hell

          This one might be a hard pill to swallow for some parents, but sometimes people just don't like your kids. You might think little Timmy is a little angel, but everyone else sees the little devil he is. Kids that break things, smell really weird, and that fight everyone else's kids aren't welcome fam. Your kids need to have home training and a proper bath before coming to a family function. If your kids have silver teeth, just assume they aren't invited. You good, just leave that kid at home. 

5. You're a Negative Nancy or a Debbie Downer  

          No one wants a person around someone that's always negative or that's always in their feels. Bish don't kill my vibe. Don't come around raining on people's parades because your life isn't where you want it to be. Be positive and supportive of family and friends or stay your negative ass at home. If you're always sad at the function, people will naturally try to avoid you. So what you aren't married yet. Yes, we know you're unemployed, but none of that matters. No one really cares if you're having money troubles. We are all trying to enjoy our day off and family. Check those feels at the door. 

 

         Any of these remind you of yourself? It's never too late to make some changes and family will welcome you back regardless. That's what family is all about. We love you in spite of. What other reasons are there why someone wouldn't be invited to the family function? Drop a comment. Don't forget to like and subscribe to the blog for more updates!  

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

 

2 Comments

Cordova Doesn’t Deserve Jerry’s Sno Cones

5 Comments

Cordova Doesn’t Deserve Jerry’s Sno Cones

IMG_6168.JPG

            Yes I said it. Cordova, you really don’t deserve Jerry’s Sno Cones. Better yet, Jerry’s you’re way too good for Cordova. I know you’re wondering why I say this. Let me break this down for you. 

IMG_6169.JPG

          I never ever ever ever go to the burbs, but I recently made an adventure to Cordova to visit the new Jerry’s Sno Cones. It’s not that the new Jerry’s is not great -hell they have a sitting area- it’s the residents of Cordova that are the issue. In line I heard nothing but complaints from people getting sno cones after someone that ordered before and the long lines. I'm thinking to myself, "These are all normal Jerry's Sno Cone operating procedures." Try standing in 100 degree heat waiting for your Supreme John Deere amongst a crowd of 50 people. Cordova you'll never know that struggle. 

IMG_6167.JPG

          Jerry's, you're a Memphis treasure and way too good to be in Cordova. They will never appreciate you the way us nonsuburban dwellers do. We know the rules and have embraced them as law. Here's a potential new rule; You can't go to the new Jerry's without first going to the original location 3 times. I think that's fair. Maybe the residents of the burbs will come around and learn to enjoy their enclosed patio that the original doesn't have. Maybe they will chill out. Probably not, but we can all be hopeful. 

 

Life is for Living,

Michael B.  

IMG_6166.JPG

5 Comments

Comment

I Had My First Vegetarian Meal!

           Yep! I did it! My first vegetarian meal! Only took 35 years to finally try it. Before I go into my thoughts, I would like to thank Kim Thomas (@kpfusion), Justin Fox Burks (@TheChubbyVegetarian), and his lovely wife Amy for making this all possible. I was totally hesitant to try something drastically new, but they assured me I would enjoy it. So what did I have? 

 The Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing  

The Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad with Yogurt Ranch Dressing  

             The Chubby Vegetarian whipped up his Vegetarian BBQ “Boss Man” Salad recipe along with oven roasted potatoes and banana pudding. You can check out the recipe HERE.               

             So, how was it? The “BBQ” didn’t taste like pulled pork, but it was oddly similar. Maybe my eyes and tastebuds were playing tricks on me. I’ve never been a huge fan of eggplant, but this was very good. I’m thinking the BBQ sauce helped make it more enjoyable for me. I could definitely have it again. I have to say the yogurt ranch dressing was absolutely amazing! OMG! I want a bottle of it! Now, let’s talk about this super crazy dope banana pudding for a second. Now, that I could eat every single day. You know how hard it is to keep the cookies from being soggy at the bottom? Those cookies were super crispy! Shout out to Amy for that banana pudding. You’re the real MVP!

           For a person that’s never eaten vegetarian food and has always been very resistant towards it, I must admit I was pleasantly surprised by the food. Now before everyone starts planning the parade for vegetarianism, I want to say that I totally couldn’t change completely over. I love my meat way too much, but I could definitely incorporate some of the dishes into my diet maybe twice a week. I want to thank The Chubby Vegetarian for not only being a super cool guy, but for not forcing any food on me. Sometimes people who are vegetarian or vegan want to change the lives of us or shame us about eating meat. Justin never did that and I totally appreciated that immensely. Go check him out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more vegetarian dishes. There’s also a matter of a Carrot-Dog that I need to explore! Also check out KPFUSION.com as well. She’s so freaking fashionable! 

Life is for Living, 

Michael B.  

          

Comment