Seriously, Rollerman?

http://wimp.com/therollerman/ Few things here.

1. Sorry Rollerman, you're not as epic as your linkin park music makes you sound.

2. I understand rolling on your face is dangerous, the blood didn't make it any more epic.

3. I wanted you to take off at some point, like shoot wings out your suit and fly or something. You did not.

4. If you're going to film a race with a tank on a roller skate body suit, you should probably win, just fyi.

5. Why was that group of koreans running across the street?

6. Why aren't there wheels on your head?

7. If you're going to film your bloody nose, why didn't you show us your crash?

8. The best part of this video was when you were in the luge tube or whatever, but only because it reminded me of this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpdg5XOZZDY

9. Why on earth would anyone want to book a full grown man rolling around on the ground that can't fly? Especially one who injures himself.

10. The last frame of you sitting with your helmet on your knee looked at first as if you had trained your son in this ridiculous sport. He was sitting next to you staring off into the distance with your arm around him. Unfortunately it was just you sitting there without your helmet on your head. Watching a 3 year old do that stuff would've been awesome. Try that instead.

*You don't know how much I want to believe that this was a parody of something, but unfortunately for us all, I don't think that's the case.

"I hate you"

I took my little brothers out to Amy's a few days ago. It was a pretty standard Amy's run, except for a little hiccup with a family who felt that their ample personal space was worth more than allowing me and my brothers to enter the store (the line was so long we had to wait outside in the cold for about 10 minutes). Anyway, after making a comment and pushing a 50 year old man with the door a few times, we got in, but the situation sparked a conversation between me and my little brothers about douchebaggery, racism, and how to handle people. I don't think that the family was not letting us in because my brothers and I are brown, I think they just didn't want to move, but that was a possibility that was discussed over ice cream with my brothers. Anyway, while the ice cream door experience was significant for a number of reasons, the point of this post, as well as the title, is about the story that experience reminded me of.

I was walking through Capitol Hill in Seattle a few months ago, I believe I was looking for something to eat before I saw a comedy show, when I saw a man and a woman walking about 30 feet in front of me. It was probably around 9pm, 30 degrees, a little wet. They were walking in the opposite direction to me so we were facing each other. The woman was kind of hanging on to the man with her head on his shoulder and her arms around him. He, in turn, had his arms around her and his head was leaning against her head. To all around they seemed like a couple in love. All of us were making eye contact with each other from afar, I was looking at them, they were looking at me, and when it got too close for any of us to acknowledge that we were looking at each other, I looked dead ahead and kept walking. They were not talking to each other the whole time, I could see their mouths and it was pretty quiet on the street.

Anyway, in the moment that we passed each other, when I could no longer see their faces in my periphery, I heard the woman's voice say three words, "I hate you."

It wasn't said jokingly, it wasn't said angrily like she was crying, it wasn't said out of frustration, it was said because she really meant it. I can't explain why, but in the moment that I heard it, I knew that she had said it to me. I didn't acknowledge that I heard anything, I just kept walking as the words echoed through my head and down into my stomach. "I hate you."

I immediately dismissed the possibility that she had directed those words at me. Obviously she was talking to the man in her arms. Obviously, it was out of context, obviously I overheard a conversation. There was no possible way that this strange woman wrapped around another man on Pike Street in Seattle, Washington would ever even think about me as anything but a stranger in a hooded Mariners sweater and a brown leather jacket. And yet her words hit me so hard.

I realized in that moment how much those words can hurt. How strong they are. And also how often we say it. I say it. I used to say it to my friends a lot, jokingly, when they annoy me. Not anymore. Those words are strong, and shouldn't be said lightly. As a poet, I'm tuned into words with weight, with power, and those three words that I heard walking down that street were intense.

I went through a wide range of possibilities in the next few moments as I tried to shake off what I heard. Maybe she was having a fight with her man, maybe she said it jokingly, maybe she hates brown people, maybe she was joking with her boyfriend, eventually I settled on the idea that I simply overheard a conversation. The probability that she was talking to me is just too low, by all logic I was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

But no matter how I try to doctor the situation, I'll never shake that feeling that the strange woman on Pike Street in Seattle hates me.

Immortal Technique and homecoming

[gallery link="file"] So I went to an immortal technique concert last night. Gotta say, it was pretty amazing. I don't usually like getting into the music at a concert, but I couldn't really help myself here. Technique was the first hip hop artist that I ever really got into, and it was very gratifying for me to see him live, finally. Chino XL opened for him, as well as Da Circle, but I gotta say Chino dropped some lines that blew me away. One thing that he said, which wasn't part of a song or flow, was that parenthood is the highest art form.

Anyway, Technique did a lot of stuff from his latest album, The Martyr, a few things from The Third World, and just enough from Revolutionary Vol. 2 to be satisfying. He ended with "Obnoxious" which just might be my favorite song by him.

Anyway, I've just been closing up shop here in Seattle, and will be packing things up tonight and tomorrow morning. I'm heading back home to Austin on Saturday and will be there indefinitely. Gotta say I missed my family like crazy while I was up here in Seattle and can't wait to be back. There is much food eating, movie watching, and wrestling to be done when I get back. Not to mention that I will be within driving distance of my favorite sister who lives in Houston [insert shout out] APAJAN.

I want to thank all the friends that I made here for making my time in the Pacific Northwest so much better. It's hard to meet the kind of friends that I've found, so much love to my Seattle crew - Michael, Fa, Jordan (even though you moved to the bay), Robyn, and the boys. I'll miss you guys a lot.

So goodbye cloudy skies, it's been real.

Video

Hey folks, I got some footage of my performance in Arizona and will be uploading that in the coming weeks. I'm also working on a new project details of which I'll post here once I'm further along in the process. Also after a very interesting 3 months, I'll be coming home to Austin and will be happy to soak up some Texas. Anyhow, I'll post the video here as soon as I get it up and running.

Peace.

Yep.

I really tried to come up with an interesting, slightly quirky, hopefully memorable blog post for you guys, but unfortunately, my life is not very interesting at the moment. I do know that i'd kill for some home baked chocolate chip cookies and some blue bell. I'm only saying this because I had some cookies at subway. That's where I've stooped guys. To buying cookies at subway. Anyway, hopefully next week will bring better tidings, for now, y'all will just have to deal. Peace.

ISBA pics

Hey folks, sorry about last week, most definitely got swamped with work and didn't update my blog. To make up for it, today's post is going to have pictures! I know that's really not making up for anything, but I've got pictures nonetheless. These are from the Islamic Speaker's Bureau Awards Dinner in Phoenix. Much love goes out again to the ISBA and the phoenix crowd!

Anyway, got a little bit of a cough so I'm trying to hit the sack at a reasonable hour. Peace.

[gallery link="file"]

H-Town

Hey folks, I'm flying to houston today. I'll be performing at an event on Sunday evening, then flying back to Seattle on monday inshallah. Between now and then I'm making a trip to Austin where I'll celebrate my grandfather's birthday, hang out with my bros, then leave for Houston where I believe I'll be attending a wedding on Saturday evening. Lots and lots of family this weekend so very excited to see everybody. Also, if I could get a reminder from someone to take a picture of a rockets billboard or sign when I'm in houston, I'd be much obliged. I'll explain later. Anyway, I still need to pack so I'll catch everyone later. Hopefully with an update on the weekend and all that good stuff. Peace.

Crazy week

hey guys, it's been a crazy week! I will probably write about it at some point, but I'm about to head out of the house and realized that I didn't update this thing last night. Anyway, I'll post something a little more substantial later on, but will catch you guys later.

Sister.

My sister and her husband are visiting Seattle this weekend! Suffice it to say I'm a little excited. I've got some things planned out, but basically my schedule is just an elaborate ploy to get her to bake some cookies for me. Saturday morning - wallingford, fainting goat, coffee, late afternoon time comes, we go to hidmo because I've been prepping them for some amazing eritrean food for the past two days, wait til around 6:30, then go there, but BAM, it's closed down (it shut down a while back). Oh no! what are we going to do? I guess we'll have to stop by the grocery store and pick up a quick snack while I figure out where we should go for dinner. Then I say, "Don't worry everybody, I'll get the snacks" come back, put the groceries in the back (which are made up of cookie making ingredients) then drive everyone home. Once inside, my family will ask me, "Imaad, what snacks did you get us?" I will proceed to lock all doors and windows and lay the cookie ingredients on to the dinner table. By this time, I've already eaten everything else in the house. She will have no choice but to make cookies or everyone starves. Done. Cookies for me.

Actually, I'm just going to ask her. But I play these games in my head to avoid doing actual work. Anywho, inshallah I'll pick them up from the airport tonight. Peace.

Performance!

What up Phoenix!? I'm coming back on the 15th of October to perform at the ISBA dinner with Rami Nashashibi. I must say, my first performance in 2008 was such a big deal for me. You guys showed so much love and support that it literally blew my mind. It was a generous showing of love that I have yet to see duplicated or surpassed in any other venue that I've performed at. So much love goes out to the ISBA and the phoenix crowd. I can't wait to be back and show you guys what I've been working on in these past 3 years! Here's a link to information on the dinner and here's a sweet promo.