10 Random Yet Scary YouTube Videos

I really would if I didn’t get zits from sweets!

*** Initially this post was going to contain 10 videos, but midway through, I couldn’t take it anymore. Therefore, it’s been amended it to 6 videos. ***

Ghost! Goblins! Aliens! Monsters! Oh my! I enjoy a good scare… occasionally and since Halloween is around the corner, I decided to list 10 of the scariest videos I’ve found on YouTube. Now, when I say scary, I don’t necessarily mean blood, guts, and monsters under the bed scary, but rather real life,  twisted, scary… stuff. So, if you dare to wonder, “could that really be true” or, if you’d like to get the poop scared out of you, check out these videos below. WARNING! Viewer discretion is advised (HA!):

  1. The 10 Creepiest Websites on the Internet by Matthew Santoro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDTqh1U8izw Ok, so this isn’t really make you jump scary, but Santoro does list a load of creepy and downright weird websites. By the way, this is probably the least creepy video on this list. In fact, I don’t think it’s that creepy in comparison to the other videos listed below.
  1. 5 Disturbing Deep Web Stories by Top 5 Unknowns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DaXn8uR9Ybg Soooooooooo…. I’m not sure where to begin with this one. If you want to hear some twisted stories, check out this video.
  1. 10 Creepy Unsolved Kidnappings: Twisted Tens by Rob Dyke https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BfrvN-3ISWo Rob Dyke always has strange real-life terrifying stories. This video is no different.
  1. 5 Things That Cannot Be Explained by Top Trending https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b55j-DrN4S0 This one is more so interesting than scary. It’s another one that probably won’t freak you out too much.
  1. 6 Most Terrifying 4Chan Posts REACTION by Blastphamous HD TV https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bgyiHBnCQKs Ok, this video is equal parts funny and creepy. It’s funny seeing the guy’s reactions and hearing his comments regarding the stories. It’s creepy because the stories are disturbing as hell.
  1. 6 Terrifying 4Chan Posts Part II by GloomyHouse https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQBrtOpb5eo …and this is where I’ll be ending my tour of scary videos on YouTube. The last story told on this video is just disturbing on many levels.

So, that’s all. I refuse to venture further down the darker alleys of YouTube. If you dared to watch any of these (especially the last 2), leave your thoughts and comments below.

Ten Songs That Started My Day

I often start my days off with music. As mentioned in the previous post, it gets my mojo flowing by allowing me to brainstorm or just relax and collect my thoughts. Therefore, I decided to share 10 songs, plus a bonus, that got my day going:

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The cover reflects the simplicity of the musical arrangement. Just a guy and his guitar.

The Beautiful People by Lee DeWyze – “It’s not your fault that you’re always wrong. The weak ones are there to justify the strong.” Wow, what a statement. This song makes me think of politics, but more so economic systems, especially with lines like, “capitalism has made its way, old fashioned fascism will take you away.” Hmm. The downside of capitalism. Obviously, in a free market society, you’re going to have haves and have nots. That’s just the way it is. However, if the scale tips where there’s a massive economic downturn and the have nots turn into don’t have shit, then scapegoating and hateful ideologies rear their ugly little heads (having a middle class is important). There are plenty of examples of that in world history. Anyway, I would love to know what his inspiration was behind this song.

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Blackbird Song by Lee DeWyze – Clearly I was feeling Mr. DeWyze this morning. In celebration of the premiere of the new season of “The Walking Dead” this coming Sunday, I decided to play this song. It was featured on an episode on one of the previous seasons (for those who watch, I think it was the scene where we saw what Bob was up to before coming across the group). His raspy voice is quiet alluring and I love the folksy, bluesy sound of the song. Also, whoever played the fiddle in this song played the hell out of it. It’s one of my favorite aspects of the song.

 

She also kind of reminds me of my grandmother.

She also kind of reminds me of my grandmother.

La Guarachera by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente – This is currently one of my favorite jams! Wow! Ok. So sadly it really wasn’t until I took a Caribbean cultures class in college that realized the African diaspora extends well beyond the U.S., Jamaica, and Haiti (who knew Brazil had the highest population of people of African descent in the western hemisphere?). As such, I discovered salsa in general and Celia Cruz in particular. The foundation of salsa music is the drum. This song emphasizes that to the max. I love the drum solo towards the end of the song. Freaking amazing. (On a side note, listening to music in español also really helped me learn vocabulary and syntax when I was a Spanish major once upon a time.)

 

His blank expression conveys a lot.

His blank expression conveys a lot.

If I Ruled The World (Imagine That) by Nas featuring Lauryn Hill – I’m sure you can imagine from the title what this song is about. Basically, if Nas had his way, there wouldn’t be social or economic injustices and the have nots will, well, have. I don’t think I need to elaborate more. “Black diamonds and pearls… living for today in these last days of times.”

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Uninvited by Alanis Morissette – Ha! So you know how you’re just kind of doing your thing, not really looking for anyone, and then… BAM! Someone comes out of the blue and you’re like “wow, I’m really feeling him/her” but then you think about how you don’t want to like said person because you don’t want to get screwed over in the end (ergo, that person is uninvited). Yeah. Ms. Morissette nailed that in this song. Additionally, the instrumentation is sick! I love the rock mixed with the classical orchestra. It’s heavenly music to my ears.

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Work That by Mary J Blige – “Just because the length of your hair ain’t long and they often citizen you for your skin tone, go on and hold your head high because you’re a pretty woman…” Awesome! This song is just great. It’s all about appreciating your given beauty and flaunting what you have, no matter what society says about you. Don’t bleach that skin. Don’t feel pressured to straighten that hair (unless you’re on an interview for a job, lol) or wear those extensions. This song is all about self-esteem building. It’s also an ode to diversity. Without it, life would be monotonous.

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There For You by Damian Marley – “Vexation of spirit is a waste of time, negative thinking don’t you waste your thoughts.” Now this is a great opening line! Ah! If I were a smoking woman, this is one song that I would smoke one to while listening. It’s just a really relaxed, chill out song. It also makes you think about all the people who have supported you throughout your life and how you should appreciate them being around, even when you’re at your darkest. Well-said Jr. Gong.

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I love her smile!

 Daydreamin’ by Lupe Fiasco and Jill Scott – So, this song is definitely a gaping metaphor about a robot where the robot represents life, particularly urban life. Lupe makes tons of critiques on society. One of my favorites is where he’s speaking ironically about rap videos and all the “props” they should have (e.g. scantly clad women, guns, coke, blunts, “bling”, etc.) It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a video so I’m not sure if those same mainstays remain. However, something tells me that they’re still there and have probably gotten worse over time.

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Love of My Life (An Ode To Hip Hop) by Common and Erykah Badu – Yet another metaphorical song. I love the allegory of hip-hop as a woman, or a relationship in general. When you love whatever craft or hobby you have, it kind of does feel like you’re in a relationship with it. There are ups and downs, good and bad, and sometimes you just need some distance from it to see if it’s something you’re really into, or, to find much needed inspiration.

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You’re So Vain by Carly Simon – I find this song to be hilarious! Clearly Ms. Simon had to get some things off her chest about a certain someone who screwed her over in the past. What better way to vent than to write a passive aggressive song about the bane of your existence (at the given moment)? Gotta love the arts!

 

The Legend!

The Legend!

**Bonus: Thriller by Michael Jackson – Because who doesn’t need a little MJ to start their day off! We’re getting closer to Halloween and this video was a Halloween staple. I remember seeing it on Mtv as a kid and being terrified. With my adult eyes, I now marvel at the choreography and the concept behind the entire video. Definitely avant garde for the time.

Well that’s what got me going today and inspired this post. What are some songs that get your day going? Leave a comment below. Who knows? Maybe I have it in my iTunes as well.

 

 

Music: The Muse Behind the Madness

It’s true!

Hello dear readers. I’ve been plugging away on the computer, pounding out the words to the Twisted sequel. If you’ve been keeping up with my previous posts, then you know that this hasn’t been an easy journey for me.

When I began the story, I had a certain trajectory in mind. I thought that there needed to be a “certain progression” to maintain story logic. However, I really wasn’t feeling the plot as it, well, progressed. It was almost like torture trying to get the story out. Therefore, I backtracked and decided to look at it from another angle. Once I made that commitment, the words began to overflow.

So far, I’m loving this “new” story in this “new” world! I feel that with the current rendition, I’m able to take my characters to places I previously couldn’t in the first version. I’m very excited by that. 🙂

With that being said, I am digressing (sort of) from today’s topic, which is… Music!

Music served as my muse for the current rendition of the sequel (currently untitled). I don’t like to listen to it while I write, yet I do prefer hearing music as I brainstorm. So today, I’ve come up with a list of 10 songs that have helped frame some of the current storyline. They are listed below by genre:

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Dancehall: This genre helped me to write the very first scene of the story, but it will probably go somewhere in the middle once I coalesce all the scenes (I don’t write in a linear fashion. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work for me). I don’t know how familiar you, dear reader, are with this genre or the culture from which it derives. But if you ever get the chance to YouTube some of these songs below, you may be amazed at how the dancers move their bodies to the music.

Gimme Gimme by Beenie Man -> This was my jam when I used to run on the track and it brings back a ton of memories! If you ever need a good song to run to, this up-tempo beat is the one.

You’re No Good by Major Lazer -> has no official video, but I love beat.

We Be Burnin’ (Legalize It) by Sean Paul

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Rap/R&B: Basically, every song listed under this genre is associated with AJ is some shape, form, or fashion.

Fancy by The Dream -> Don’t want to comment on this one too much because I’ll give away a major clue of what’s going on in the story. However, I will say that it plays in my head when I write scenes with two particular characters.

So Fresh, So Clean by Outkast (hometown group!) -> Oddly, this song plays in my head whenever I’m describing something AJ is wearing or when he’s in his car.

When I See You by Fantasia

All I Really Want by Rick Ross

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Rock: or maybe alternative? Not sure of the differences between genres. Anyway, this genre fueled a lot of scenes between two particular characters. If you’re familiar with Possum Kingdom, then you’ll probably deduce that these scenes take a walk on the dark side. You would be correct.

Creep by Radiohead

Jeremy by Pearl Jam

Come As You Are by Nirvana -> one of my favorite songs in general

*Bonus Possum Kingdom by Toadies -> creepy song that also makes me think about vampires.

There you have it. I have no idea why these particular songs inspired the ideas or themes in the sequel but they have. Surprisingly, the number 1 song played in my iTunes did nothing for me (which is Kings of Leon’s Back Down South, I love Caleb’s slightly raspy voice and the instrumentation throughout the song. Plus I’m from the south).

Does music inspire your creativity? Or, if it doesn’t, what’re some of your favorite songs? Leave your comments below with the song title and the reasons why you like them.

10 Facts About That Kush

We all know Rihanna likes to puff

My main man, AJ, is into that green business and he makes a pretty nice profit for himself. As much as weed has been in the news lately, I discovered that I really didn’t know shit about the drug, aside from the usual stuff you’re fed in school through those D.A.R.E. programs (if you grew up in the 90’s I’m sure you’re aware of those antidrug initiatives). Or, from the musings of a friend who’s high as hell and waxing philosophical about the ills of the world and how if every world leader smoked one, a lot of problems would get solved.

D.A.R.E. poster

So, I decided to look some shit up on this divisive little plant. However, I wasn’t interested in the mundane discussions on its medicinal purposes (although I do sprinkle some in the end) or how it’s a gateway drug that will have you itching for that next hit of rock outside that seedy downtown spot (which is probably gentrified by now if you live in Atlanta). Nor did I want to go into details about how although weed usage is even across the races, blacks are disproportionally imprisoned due to weed possession (aside from being outright sad and ridiculous, that also deserves a post all of its own). I wanted to dig for some other facts ( as much as my 2 a.m. brain will allow me). Therefore, after cutting through most of the mainstream malarkey, I discovered 10 interesting things about cannabis:

Courtesy of gifstumbler.com

  • Hemp is not marijuana. Cannabis stiva (weed) and cannabis stavia L. (hemp) are two entirely different things. The former contains the psychoactive compound THC, the latter does not. There are also many other strands of cannabis that also contain other psychoactive properties aside from the THC we’re familiar with.
  • Cannabis has been around awhile. It is believed to date back to Central/South Asia around 12,000 – 10,000 years ago. For instance, cordage made of hemp found in ancient pottery in Taiwan suggests that cannabis was one of the oldest known human agriculture crops. Chinese records document various ways hemp and weed were cultivated and used throughout the centuries.
  • Cannabis wasn’t always illegal. In fact, it wasn’t until around 1906 that the U.S. began cracking down on the cultivation of cannabis. Prior to that, King James I mandated that hemp be grown as one of the crops in the Virginia colony mainly for textile purposes. Many oils and serums made of hemp were marketed as medicines. However, due to charlatans mixing harmful ingredients into their hemp-based medicines and conservative social mores driving legislation, The Pure Food and Drug Act (1906) was born and deemed cannabis oil a “poison” thus increasing regulation of it. This law preceded the Marijuana Tax Act (1937), which made the possession or transfer of cannabis illegal throughout the U.S. under federal law excluding medical and industrial use. Of course those exclusions were levied heavily. By the 1950’s and onward, the laws around the criminalization of cannabis usage got even tougher.
  • In the U.S., cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 substance. Apparently that means it’s in the same classification as heroine and LSD. Damn.
  • According to some theories, xenophobia helped to criminalize cannabis in the U.S. Interesting on so many different levels. According to an article from NPR citing a 1994 Atlantic article, “Cannabis was outlawed because various powerful interests (some of which have economic motives to suppress hemp production) were able to craft it into a bogeyman in the popular imagination, by spreading tales of homicidal mania touched off by consumption of the dreaded Mexican ‘locoweed.’ Fear of brown people combined with fear of nightmare drugs used by brown people to produce a wave of public action against the ‘marijuana menace.’ That combo led to restrictions in state after state, ultimately resulting in federal prohibition.” Now this was during the early 20th century. What’s most amazing to me about this quote from NPR is how corporate interests played on the fears of the American populace. Arguably, corporations and other interests groups currently employ these same tactics. As far as the xenophobia, the more things change, the more the stay the same. Once again, this deserves a post all of its own.
  • How did we get the term ganja? Put your lighters up and wave your ganja in the air.I’ve heard the term ganja in many dancehall songs and automatically thought it was Jamaican slang for weed. Well, that’s partially true. However, ganja derives from the Sanskrit word ganjika. In Hinduism, ganja is associated with the god Shiva.
  • Even influential minds smoke that Kush. Shakespeare was one of them. While he probably didn’t smoke the Kush strand specifically, an archaeological dig did find pipes from Shakespeare’s garden that contained trace amounts of cannabis. I was surprised to know that even Oprah admitted to smoking it once upon a time.
  • In the U.S., cannabis ranks number 4 in crop value. At least according to some estimates. It’s kind of hard to track that since it’s illegal on the federal level. In some estimates, cannabis ranks as number 1 or 2 in California, New York, and Florida.
  • Cannabis is delicious. People eat it, including yours truly. And no, I’m not talking about those special brownies your homeboy made when you were in college causing you to have that God awful trip. I’m talking about products such as hemp milk, (I use the unsweetened Vanilla flavor in my protein shakes) hemp seeds (which are high in Omegas 3 and 6), and other edibles that don’t contain THC.
  •  “Marijuana” is not the spelled the same in Spanish. Hmm. This probably isn’t that interesting to most people, but since I took Spanish throughout middle and high school and was a Spanish major once upon a time, I find this interesting. In Spanish, it’s spelled “marihuana.” How did the anglicized version morph that “h” into a “j?”

So, that about sums up my 2 a.m. ramblings on random weed, sorry, cannabis related stuff. As always, I’d love to hear from you. Do you know any other good factoids about cannabis or do you have any good weed related stories? Leave them in the comments below or find me on social media.

Sources:

  1. Live Science. http://www.livescience.com/48337-marijuana-history-how-cannabis-travelled-world.html
  2. Advanced Holistic Health. http://www.advancedholistichealth.org/history.html
  3. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_(drug)
  4. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_foods
  5. NPR. http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2013/07/14/201981025/the-mysterious-history-of-marijuana
  6. DEA Museum. http://www.deamuseum.org/ccp/cannabis/history.html
  7. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_history_of_cannabis_in_the_United_States

 

10 Random (Yet Comical) Writer Memes

Writers memes

You’ve heard the joke before. Writers are big time procrastinators. In fact, they procrastinate so badly that you wonder how they even get any writing accomplished. (On an anecdotal note, I tend to get my best writing done in spurts. For example, I won’t write anything for two or three days and then I’ll go on a random ten-hour bender.) I was ecstatic when I saw these recurring jokes online. After all, I thought that I was the only person who stared blankly at a screen for ten minutes or so before deciding to check Twitter or G+. However, this seems to be a common thread that I share with fellow writers. So, on a morning chocked full of procrastination, I decided to make another lighthearted post. Sit back and postpone your musings for a minute or so. Here are ten comical memes pertaining to writers:

writing meme 4

Hmm…

10. Accurate. Sometimes it seems like my characters are telling me the story and I’m just the scribe. Other times, I’m trying to dig deep into my creative reservoir to see what I can come up with. When the latter happens, it’s time to hop on Twitter or G+.

Writers meme 8

Try insulting a writer at your own risk

9. Need I say more? Don’t mess with a writer and her keyboard (and sometimes pen and paper).

writers meme 3

Beware of plot holes and crazy story logic

8. Anyone who examines a plot and sees gaping holes (be it movies or novels) will tell you why the aforementioned meme is spot on. Or, if the story just doesn’t make any sense, this meme is also appropriate.

Writer's Meme 9

Procrastination at its finest.

7. Ha! Story of my life while in the middle of any writing project. I even remember going through these same categories while procrastinating for school work.Well, maybe not the comparison piece.

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Are you ready to go yet?

6. What can I say? I’m a little introverted. However, listening to others socialize can yield great ideas for future storylines or characters.

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Ha! Where’s my tribe?

5. Anybody who’s read this post will and this post understand why I selected this meme. The struggle is real!

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Well, is it?

4. Ha! More of an inside joke for myself. I wear my satin bonnet whenever I’m parked in the house for the day.

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Happens to me all the time.

3. I actually find these conversations beneficial. I really get to know my characters and it helps me keep them authentic throughout the course of the story. I particularly enjoy interviewing them. Or, I could just have multiple personalities. Am I crazy or nah?

Writer meme 6

Another thing that happens to me more times than not

2. When I have those ideas on the tip of my brain right before I fall asleep, I jot down notes in my cell before tossing it on the nightstand and rolling over. Sometimes, I’ll even dream about those ideas. When I wake up, I’ll get the cell and jot down the details I remember.

1.  I love this meme, which is why it’s number 1! I think it’s an accurate description of different people’s perception of who writers are and what we do. What are your favorite memes? As always, leave a comment below or find me on social media! If you liked this post, please don’t be afraid to share the love! 🙂

Yep!

Yep!

10 Random Facts About Me

Yours Truly

Yours Truly

A quick, fun Saturday post!

 

Yuck! T

Yuck!

10.) I don’t like overly ripe bananas

Why so serious?

Why so serious?

9.) I love a good joke

8.) I’m short

Vanderbilt Divinity School

Vanderbilt Divinity School

7.) I spent 2.5 years in seminary.

Non-GMO-project

6.) I’m a little particular about what I eat

Nope!

Nope!

5.) …and I don’t drink sodas

Archer!

Archer!

4.) I’m a Sagittarius

My Camry isn't this jazzy!

My Camry isn’t this jazzy!

3.) Every car I’ve own so far has been a Toyota

2.) My favorite time of year is October 1st – January 1st

Ha!

Ha!

1.) I can be stubborn at times!

What’s a random fact about you? Leave your comments below or find me on social media!