5 reasons I hate the bus

Some of the funniest things I’ve encountered in my life have been on buses.  Buses are filled to the emergency exit with ackward potential energy (Ape for short…filled to the emergency exit with ape…sss).  So I will use the power I hold as a writer to share 5 of these ape moments.

1.  Sleeping of the bus can potentially ruin everything you have worked for in life.  Especially if you snore.  I can only sleep for about 5 minutes at a time because I suffer from Snape.  Snoring awkward potential energy (Who knew acronyms could be so fun!!)  My friends occasionally tell me stories of me snoring (snories).  While I was preparing to play for graduation at my old school, me and my friend Malcolm shared a room.  Before I passed out, we talked about life, the future and things of that nature.  When I woke up, I was by myself and the room was bare! (Not because I was robbed but because my roommate had already moved out.)  I called Malcolm to make sure he was good and his first words were, “You snore soooo loud.  I thought about just walking over and suffocating you; instead I left.”  If my Snape could cause a close friend to teeter on the edge of homicide, imagine what could happen when a complete stranger stumbles into the slate of sadistic sonic sounds spewing from my vocal folds.  (I may or may or be in admiration of the alluring attributes of alliteration.)  So every time I sleep on the bus my brain sends little though dwarves (dwarves are the little people with battle axes) to remind me that my slumber could lead me to an early demise.  I am forever in dept to these dwarves…Thank you.

2.  Sleeping on others.  This is potentially the most awkward moment even if you have the awareness to thwart you laziness (in the face.)  In middle school, the bates middle school bantams traveled to Carowinds to celebrate not failing the fitness test (I failed but was still allowed to go.)  As we rode, I fell into a light slumber.  Light because every time I would lean too close to one side I popped up, only semi conscious.  When I did gain full consciousness there were a group of people looking at me laughing.  (They were laughing because it was pre-Snape).  This event caused me to fear sleeping on buses.  If this was high school I would have been the star of a popular youtube video. (Darn you technology!!)

3.  Sleeping on strangers.  There is a huuuuugggggeee difference between sleeping on a friend and sleeping in tandem with a grown men that you haven’t met before.  This is actually the inspiration for this blog post.  Sitting directly in front of me are two black men who have never met.  The one next to the window was getting comfortable thinking he had a seat to himself.  All o a sudden a guy walks up after searching for a seat to no avail, asking “Is this seat available?”  Window seat guy says “….Yeah: and proceeds to move his carry-on closer to the window.  Feeling generous, he offers some of his Twizzlers to the stranger who of course politely refuses.  About 10 minutes of silence go by before they start to doze off.  Initially they lean back, but gravity takes over and says, “You won’t sleep normally today!” and they start to lean awkwardly into each other.  This goes on for about two hours before gravity leads window seat guy to the window.  Here is that whole story from window guys point of view.

Seat by myself, seat by myself, all these passengers?  It can’t be passengers, too many syllables.  I would use nigga but that’s so cliche.  Why does this have to be so difficult!  What?  You want to sit here?  You didn’t hear the song.  Seat by myself?  There aren’t any other seats available?  Man whatever!  I guess you want some o these Twizzlers too!  Here!! Dang!!!! Oh, you too good for my snacks?  Don’t ask for nothing else!  Taking myself to sleep.  It’s like you can’t have no good thing.  Swear!! Tell you what.  *Falls alseep for a short time*  Is this nigga leaning on me?? THAT’S GAY!!! Wake up!!!

I’m going to stop there

4.  3 to a seat.  I lived in a relatively small town in a small neighborhood.  When I rode my normal bus it was beautiful (for a bus shuttling us to the hood.)  I had a seat to myself, I could sit in proximity to my friends, it was all I could ask for.  But when the bus driver was sick, terror enclosed our little bodies, as we walked down the crowded aisle, the seats filled with unfamiliar faces. All of a sudden the driver shouts “three to a seat.”  My heart falls, gripping the ground, yelling “My Baby!!”  The unfamiliar faces turn into unsympathetic faces.  “No room here.”  “No.”  “I wish you would.”  Finally someone let’s me slide a quarter of a cheek into the seat.  Can this really be life?  I ca’t deal.  No man should have to live like this!!

5.  Rain.  Everytime it would rain in school or it had recently rained, riots ensued.  We were going to get wet.  There was no way around it.  Since the buses were so poorly maintained, water was your seat mate.  The window seat had no glory.  The army of water droplets marched through the leaks, soiling your shoulder.  The emergency exit assaulted whoever sat too close, establishing it as a supreme force.  Kids tried to avoid the onslaught of liquid and all attempts ended futilely.  Soggy and hopeless.

These events are all very funny in hindsight but are extremely traumatic and stressful in the moment.  The moral of this story is to avoid buses (and cliches) like the plague.  Because your phone will die, you will trade a perfectly good seat for a window seat, by yourself until you either have to force an old man to keep moving or indulge in your Twizzlers.  You will not know how you are getting home.  Do not risk it.  Stay at home, love your family and stay safe.

P.S. I thought about a lot of people that I miss during this.  Like! Jacqueline Pleasant, Betty Pride, Malcolm Brown, John Babbitt, Nidja Muldrow, and several others I hope ya’ll are doing well and I hope you read and enjoy this.  (And share it with everyone!!!!)

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Cool Personified

I have not gotten better at introduction sentences during my transition into NCCU. But I have gotten better at playing saxophone (and segues) opening me up to many more playing opportunities. I am going to use this blog post to tell one of my performance stories and compare it to one of my offstage stories.

During NCCU’s homecoming I was asked to play with the Vocal Jazz Ensemble in the Chancellor’s dining hall (which is fancier than Iggy Azalea). During this performance I did not have a chair and was confined to a smaller space than usual, so I took most of my solos leaning against a counter. Most of the songs went pretty well and the crowd liked it (which is all you can really ask for.) So after this performance we were required to unload and a man recognizes me from ten minutes prior (who looks very similar to Dizzy Gillespie) saying “You sir, are Cool Personified!” (Trademark, it’s mine and you can’t have it). He went on to explain that my demeanor during my solo was relaxed and akin to having a conversation. I told him I appreciated it, while my inner nerd pushed up his glasses and laughed nervously. This made me think to myself, what if I really am cool in the deepest part of my being? Which leads me into my next story.
About a week after this event I realized I had a paper due that I need to get like three more sources for. I thought to myself “Bet” (my new word, you can borrow this, I’m test driving it right now). After this realization, I decided to go to the library…right after I listened to Partynextdoor. Of course as a jazz musician I couldn’t let my day be fully influenced by non-jazz music (I’m a Nardis), so I turned on You don’t know what love is by Sonny Rollins a song that I am currently trying to learn because I love ballads.

After getting a ways through it, I thought I don’t know the lyrics!! How can I play a song I don’t know the lyrics to, which lead me to Karrin Allyson’s version. Then my friend called and asked if I had ate, and since I hadn’t we went to the café, and decided, we look kind of scruffy, I think we might need a shave (No Sweeny Todd). Needless to say, I spent a large portion of my day just procrastinating and listening to great music (including Mos Def, Joe Lovano, Illinois Jacquet and many more). By the time I actually decided to go to the library it was about 8 o’clock. I suited up for the weather, preparing for a battle already in the opponent’s favor. During the walk I saw very few people in the library which made my brain happy because I wouldn’t need to walk past people seventy three times. Come to find out, I wouldn’t even walk past them once. The library was closed. The library is open on Wednesdays. The library is contributing to my procrastination, but this time I was prepared for work. And it was so cold. Ohhhh so cold. I walked back to my dorm where I saw some of my RA’s and one of the said “Hey Shaquim!” and I waved like a cool guy while sipping water, like a cool guy, and then I choked on the water…in front of my four RA’s…like a cool guy? I sat in my room for a while and contemplated my coolness (or lack thereof). Then I laughed and wrote this post.

On a semirelated note, do you know the only time you will really see a blind snake (no pun intended)? When you are supposed to be editing your essay that is due on Tuesday. I’ll give you the link just in case you are there too. Have a beautiful day and thank you for reading!!! http://didyouknowblog.com/post/102472256596/in-2011-engineers-building-a-dam-in-the-amazon

Introverting

There are many things that I have realized about myself recently (or rediscovered).  Most of them are personality attributes and things that influence my communication (or lack thereof) with people.  The main identifier is: I am an introvert.  As an introvert, I am not extremely good at talking to people, small talk, and many, MANY other social events.  However, I have tons of opinions and thoughts which is why I started a blog.  When I try to express these thoughts it is either extremely eloquent or.. Bleeeeeegggghhhh.  It comes out more nonsensical than a Dr.Suess book.  Here is an example of a “conversation” I had when my introvert was on high.
Me: Hey! How are you?
Responder: I’m doing pretty good, how are you?
Me: Well, I saw you right? And I told myself, I’m going to say hello, but since I’m generally nervous talking to people I was like, “No”.  Then I says to myself I says, “Shaquim?”. I respond “Yes Shaquim?” “Put your man pants on” “Put I’m an introvert” “But that’s your friend!!” And I say “You are right, thank you Shaquim!” So I come over here and say “Hello”. But I don’t want to keep you too long, so! Goodbye!
Classy Huh?  So I’ve tried to counter these responses with a change in mindset.  I have labeled it, “The Cool”.  Basically, when I do anything, I think, Relaxxxxx, it’s all good, just be cool.  Which takes me a tad bit further until I end up in a conversation about a topic I know little to nothing about, like!  Cars.  There are other things, but Cars are common for guys to talk about.  I try to prepare myself for conversation through lots of analogies and stories.  Unfortunately when I am in a car conversation, this is my story.
“You know, I was in a car once….it drove.”
Sometimes I might throw in some exaggeration.
“Morgan Freeman crafted this car for me when I was a child, and I have to go to him to fill up on gas because it is fueled by freckle sweat.”
This may be my subconscious mind fighting off other members of society to fully isolate me to make space for: Saxophone, Homework, and Latin American cuisine.

  Sword Fight

Brain Chill

However, I have to train my mind to be more socially acceptable and plan out more spontaneous  dialogue (Ironic isn’t it?). Oddly enough, I have little to no trouble talking about engaging subjects such as politics, music (things that I am interested in.)  Which shows my inner GOOD-BAD-GOOD.  (Great article, great website!!).  So after reading that article, you now know that I should have amazing social skills, however I just have enough social awkwardness to make people think I am hilarious. (I’m going to write an article about that very soon).  But! Feel free to ask me when you see me how am I doing on my small talk/introversion, thank you for reading and special thanks to my beautiful girlfriend for the pictures!!  I told her the idea and she drew it perfect!!