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Showing posts from June, 2016

Latest Music Thoughts | Favoring Sia's "This Is Acting" LP

It’s been awhile since I’ve punched the keys on music. It’s actually not because I’ve stopped listening to music (who does that?), but because, well, I’ve just been doing just that – listening to music.
I’ll admit, there was a period – a few months ago - where I became a bit disconnected and upset with the music that was being released. Much of it felt forced, cookie-cutter, and for the most part, unmoving. And this was across the board in so many genres. For me, even as a casual country-listener (this city-kid dabbles a bit ya know), I always felt that genre of music always stayed true to its form with authentic writing – albeit mostly, and annoyingly, about love, alcohol, and pickups trucks – but it was theirs. Not anymore. Country is generic. At times weak, sounding like cheap rip offs of pop music.

Pondering Picture #67

There is no question that I LOVE Brooklyn, New York. And while the photos that usually tug on my heart strings of this place are that of street art, busy streets, and the culture and diversity of this small town of four million people, there are photos like this that somehow are captured on my cell phone which equally pokes at my feelings - no matter where I am. Summer nights in Brooklyn. Always.

Thank You, Jesse Williams

Thank you, Jesse Williams. 
Thank you so much for so eloquently and intelligent tackling the issue of black oppression and race appropriation in this country. Thank you for standing on a stage and telling the world what many people of color have felt, and feel every single day in this country. 
As someone who begins to learn more and more about our ignored history, and how this current system is set up to reap the benefits and steal the lives from people of color, I echo your thoughts. Especially, of when it comes to the misguided history we present through our schools and education. And of course, there is the way students of color - all types - are held down under the system of "whiteness" in higher education. I see it everyday as someone who works in such an environment.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/26/16

3 Up
1. Jesse Williams - "Just because we're magic, does not mean we're not real". Williams said what needed to be said for all communities in regards to the oppression of black people in this nation. PLEASE give his speech a listen here
2. Memphis Man Raises 103K For Teen - As always, I love a great feel good story. This is one that once again shows the power of the human heart. Imagine if we can all help others in this way. Check out the story. Definitely a touching one, on both ends. 
3. Mom's Viral Facebook Photo - A mom recently posted a picture of daughter standing on top of a toilet, a move taught to her daughter in school for active shooting situations. It's a photo that is moving, and her words following the picture are just as poignant and intelligent. Great read. 
3 Down
1. Brexit - Look, as an American, I am in no position to offer an insight on this issue which Brits have clearly voted on. Personally, this whole deal of Britain leaving the Europ…

A Rose in the Garden: Thoughts on Knicks Acquiring Derrick Rose

I told you I would use the title. After all, I'm sure everyone else will too. Hey, it's just a good headline.
How many times will "A Rose in the Garden" be used in headlines. Heck, I am using it tonight in thoughts on this. #Knicks — Dome Pondering (@DomePondering) June 22, 2016
Sooooooooo...it's been awhile since I've punched the keys on my beloved New York Knicks. After watching the city of Cleveland celebrate their latest championship (seriously, think about that, THE CLEVELAND CAVALIERS are NBA Champions?), it leaves fanbases like us thinking - hey, it could happen! Shout out to J.P. from Angels in the Outfield for the lifelong optimism. 
Nonetheless, Derrick Rose is now a New York Knickerbocker. And to be quite honest, unlike the previous trades surrounding the Knicks in past years (Andrea Bargnani, anyone? Ugh.), I'm not furious or skeptical. In fact, I find this trade to be a win for the Knicks. Yes, a win for the Knicks!

Dome Pondering Import: J.R. Smith's Emotional Postgame Interview

Yeah, I admit, I am one of those guys that have criticized J.R. Smith. For me, it's stemming from his time here in New York as a Knickerbocker, and some of the highly questionable things he's done as a player.
In today's age of social media, snarky comments, cynicism, and "fantasy" sports, we often forget that these players, these athletes, are indeed human. With real feelings and real emotions. 
As always, am a huge sucker for redemption and coming-of-age stories, and besides LeBron, I'm very happy for JR Smith. It was a VERY touching press conference with raw emotion, and not the usual wash-rinse-repeat cliches we see from athletes not looking to get "caught" by the media.
My hats off to you, J.R.

He Did It: Thoughts on LeBron Finally Winning One For Cleveland

He did it. 
That is pretty much all I can muster as the final seconds ticked down on the 2016 NBA Finals. And quite frankly, after all he has endured, been through, experienced, and overcome, I am truly, truly happy for LeBron James. 
After all, how can you not be? Has there EVER been an athlete more scrutinized than James? Hey, even I have had my fair share of things to say about LeBron following "The Decision" (Disappointment: The True Fallout From "The Decision"). 
Regardless, through it all, LeBron continued to persevere through an age of social media and constant revolving negativity, ignoring the haters, the doubters, and blogging clowns like me, to bring the one thing that as been elusive and let's face it - down right necessary - to the existence of his career - bringing Cleveland a championship. 
I am a sucker for stories of such perseverance and adversity. And I too, was a sucker for James' pursuit of this title. Again, how can you not be?

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/19/16

3 Up
1. Father's Day - A big shout out and major props to all of the men out there doing their part raising their kids, and helping to shape the future of our world. Especially, these days, when such credible men are disappearing 
2. Gun Control Discussion - It's a bit refreshing to see that the discussion on gun control isn't just hot air, but something that many are taking seriously. The U.S. Supreme Court may take action, and of course, even Bill O'Reilly shocked us all with a viewpoint that was well...un-O'Reilly-like. 
3. LeBron James - He. Got. It. Done! Kudos to James for bringing a title to Cleveland under all of the scrutiny he's been under since a teenager. Really, really, really happy for that dude. 
3 Down
1. Westboro Baptist Church - The fact that these folks, in some people's eyes, rperesent Christians and their values really bothers me. But it is what it is. Regardless, seeing these people go down to Orlando to protest is disgusting. The absol…

Morning Wind

You born and cry with the morning wind
Whipping you as you flourish
Under the protective covering
Up from a fall
From a life that should've brought a cyclical death
Wish upon his broad shoulders and back
Home for a sunrise from his imagine
How far you have come.

How far the morning wind has taken you.

Slammiversary 2016 Review: Hey, We're Back on PPV!

It surely was nice to have TNA back on pay-per-view. As much as I enjoy the bell-to-bell television specials, there is just something about that special event feel that the company was missing for a long, long, long time. Despite the wait, TNA is back on pay-per view, bay-bay! And back with a well built and anticipated show. Here are my quick thoughts and takeaways from the show:

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/12/16

3 Up
1. People of Orlando - I can't explain how awesome it was to see the people of Orlando in long lines just hours after the tragic events this weekend, ready and willing to give blood to help those who can still be saved. The human spirit is such a powerful thing, especially, in the face of such senselessness. 
2. #BrockTurner - Social media can at times be annoying and the bearer of terrible things for our culture, but the hashtag brought to the forefront the story of the Standford Rape situation, and angered many, as it should. 
3. Pitcher Home Run Derby - I like the idea of Madison Bumgarner showing some moxie and announcing his intent to get into the Home Run Derby. It's a different element, but one that is definitely intriguing. 
3 Down
1. Orlando Mass/Public Shootings - First it was the shooting that killed former voice contestant, Christine Gimmie, and then of course, it was the senesless tragedy at The Pulse nightclub. A lot for Orlando in the weekend, more deaths fo…

Reaction to Orlando Shooting - When is Enough, Enough?

It's days like this where I completely find myself stuck in the midst of many emotions in regards to the evil that is the world we live in, and more precisely, the intentions and operations of this country we call the United States of America.
I have to be honest - as that's all I ever am here on this site - I've run into a emotional road block for this country. Almost like, a certain loss for the prestige and honor I once held for it. I guess it's the constant abuse in the news, my dive into history, and my experiences that has done this. 
Just this weekend, Orlando has seen two of these types of attacks and shootings. TWO!
It absolute sucks that we have to deal with more pointless mass violence in this country. Even worse, one of them, the largest of it's kind in our history. The United States of America is a first world, modern, nation, that continuously has more mass killings and public shootings than any other in the world. In the world! 
Yet, we sit on this …

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 6/5/16

3 Up
1. Muhammad Ali Legacy - While this easily could have gone in the "down" section, there is a part of me that felt like Ali's legacy was provided an awareness to many who weren't aware of his impact beyond the ring. I touched a bit on what Ali meant to me (How I Will Remember Ali), and the time allowed us all to reflect on the loss of a true cultural icon. 
2. Roots - I began watching the remake of Roots and am half way through - it's absolutely phenomenal. It's a story that needs to be told, of not only the truths of how this country came about, but the injustices which still have lasting impact today. 
3. Mookie Betts - It pains me to say this, but the streak that Mookie Betts went on this week was just, absolutely insane. Betts had three homeruns in a game, and followed that game up with another multi-home run game for an impressive stretch of five home runs in seven games. 
3 Down
1. UCLA Murder Suicide - Why has mass shootings and murder suicides beco…

How I Will Remember Muhammad Ali

2016 certainly has been rough to humanity in regards to taking away cultural icons. So many who have given us such great moments and impacted our lives in the arts have passed on, and as of this writing, we add the transcending Muhammad Ali to the list. 
I am not going to regurgitate much of Ali's accomplishments and impact on history and humanity, as you're well aware of that. Nor will I be dishonest and explain or describe my experience with a life of Ali as a part of it. The truth be told, I am a thirty-one year old man who learned of Ali's greatness through my father's stories, history books, autobiographies, and trusty YouTube. 
While I love hearing stories about those legendary fights (the images and photos are so cool, and are still timeless) and all of those battles that make boxing seem like it's best days were in the past, the things that will stay with me from Ali is in fact his presence.

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

What is it about?  A mercenary stricken with cancer, turns to an alternative rogue experiment that leaves him with the special powers of accelerated healing powers, thus adopting the alter ego of Deadpool. 
Who is in it?
Ryan Reynolds - Deadpool
Morena Baccarin - Vanessa
Ed Skrein - Ajax
TJ Miller - Weasel