If I were the Boss III

Today’s dream job is a Record Company! Yay!

I personally have no idea what goes into having a record label, however I know what I see and I know what I like and don’t like. So this post is extremely biased :)

How would you run your record company/label? This includes being a music producer, executive and maybe even artist.

Would you run it like Clive Davis runs his many labels including Arista and Sony BMG? Would you find a formula and work that thing for 3 decades producing juggernaut artist hits year after year? Would you compromise the integrity of your artist for the money? What I mean by that is yes Clive made Whitney and Alicia, but he also tried to break people like Phyllis Hyman. I guess being as deep as a puddle packs more punch…

Would you run your company like Sean Puffy Combs runs Bad Boy? Would you put all your energy into promoting groups that have a gimmick, that might be hot for a month rather than showing equal amounts of support for your solid artists that have been selling for years? ie 112, Faith, Total, Lox, Craig Mac, Carl Thomas…dang what happened to those groups? (Cue Puffy is the Devil video please). Would it be more important that YOU get more air time than your artists, even though you are a far better producer than performer? Would you be wise enough to know your strengths?

Would you run your company like Steve McKeever runs Hidden Beach? An independent label that is in it for the artist and the music. A label that stays true to the artist and believes in integrity? Hidden Beach promotes artists like Jill Scott, Kindred, Lina, they just signed Darius Rucker and even have Dr. Cornel West on wax. Yes I heart Hidden Beach and I know that who ever pops up outta them next will be real good.

How many of you think that Kanye West would be better suited BEHIND the scenes, back as a mega producer and label executive? We all know that boy is a phenom producer, we question his performer power, well at least I do, but I would like to see him get back behind the scenes and do more for other people. I really do heart Kanye West as an artist/producer, nothing but respect for his talent. I just lament his ego.

So how would you run your record company?


..... heck naw, you know me & Revolutionary Eysqueen don't believe in those things, you should know that by now... Lately I have been getting things in my inbox, IM, or beating on my ear-bass-drum that have been either inspirational or right on point with what I am feeling. An example:

From Cubicle Crusaders: IM Revolutionaries (Naturally Alise and Tiha)

My cartoon of the day this morning was the one above. Just yesterday I was lamenting my feelings of being out of sorts because I do not have that day job I was so used to. That cartoon reminded me of the vicious cycle that place had perpetuated. I need to get it through my head that the routine I was in was unhealthy and making me crazy, and I need to get over the routine change. I must remember it is what I wanted. I put my wish to leave there out in the universe and guess what? ....the universe called my bluff. So where do I go from here? ...not exactly sure yet (but not exactly unsure either), but I have a support system that is strong and they are helping me along the way (yeah Tiha, you are part of that system :) ... ) I just thought of a "poem-esque" something:

So time for me
... to abandon the vicious cycles
.....and running in circles...
I am gonna run ....
in some new shapes,
no. fuck that.
I am multidimensional
I'll run, walk, and glide in 3D,
run in dodecahedron
excel in this sphere....
no more running in circles
...that always ends in a cube....

*I love that word...


Sorry y'all, I have been MIA. A few reasons why:

  • See title of blog. Remember this commercial? (see picture below) Only thing, my brain is not on drugs. My brain apparently needs structure. All of this "un-structure" has affected my focus, or lack therof I should say. I think they call it Adult ADD, I suppose...
  • The times I have been able to manage to get my focus on, I have been pouring all of that energy in some poetic endeavors/projects I have going on right now, as well as helping my mother with her side business.
  • I feel out of the loop, I have been ripped out of a 5 year routine. As much as I hated that place, it was part of my life and it takes time adjusting.

Things I realize:
  • I need to put myself on a schedule
  • I need to get out more and interact with the outside world to get inspiration.
  • I need to get my blogging life together so Tiha doesn't quit me.

I'll be back later with another post, but I just had to check in and let you guys know what's going on....

Miss ya,
~Naturally Alise~

Poker and the decision making process.

Sometimes making decisions is like playing poker when you are surrounded by many options with none of them guaranteeing a win. I currently find myself stuck in a sea of options. When I walk down the cereal isle, when I’m trying to pick a seat on the early train, when I pull up to the drive thru window. I’m bombarded with options. No one likes to feel boxed, least of all me, but good grief in these times, sometimes, we have too many dang options. What is one to do? None of us wants to make the “wrong” decision. This is understood. But when you’re faced with many options, and none of these options are anything that you would jump to do, what do you do?

Do you hold out until you see what you really want and suck up the consequences in the meantime?

Do you just make a decision, take an option, even if it doesn’t lead you to where you want to go?

Truth be told, I suck at poker, the options weigh me down and the indecision shows up on my poker face, instantly cracking my icy veneer.

I’m not a gambling girl. I’m the stick in the mud at Vegas holding everyone’s emergency money. I’m the only one who didn’t clap when North Carolina finally got a lottery.

And the one thing I hate more than being boxed in is being indecisive.

This morning I was stuck trying to make a decision between a rock and a hard place. I was paralyzed by the options and turned off by my own apprehension. Finally, after a large coffee and many phone calls I made the decision. And truth be told, actually following through and picking something was a whole lot easier than the thinking about it part.

So what I really want to know is, what is the secret to Poker?

If I were the Boss...II

Today’s business is a Bookstore! yay!
Eysqueen’s bookstore would contain:

-Used books, maybe with a concentration on books about and by different cultures. The classics will always be in stock though, but I’m really interested in what other people (non-whites) think and how they write fiction (thinking about Junot Diaz as I type this).

-Because I read so much and am quick to go on Amazon to order up some books, I have this need to actually see the books and be able to hold them and flip through the pages. I would have computer stations set up so people could research different books and find them in the store AND match Amazon’s price (without the additional shipping fees).

-I would have staff picks, what my staff reads and would recommend.

-I’d have an annex to my store that connected to a comic book store because yes, I am that geek that is still into comics…I might just open an additional store now that I think about it hmmmmmm

-I need a niche though, something special that I could offer the community…maybe reading classes in the back for adults who can’t read. Maybe computing classes as well for those who don’t have any computer training (I worked in a community center where I did just that and LOVED it.)

So how would YOU run your Bookstore? (I’m conjuring up Suga as I write this, hoping she will grace us with her real world experiences. please oh please oh please…)

If I were the Boss...

The recent economy crisis has prompted many of us to think about how we would do things different if we were running our own companies. I’m going to take it one step farther by opening this up to everyone in the blogosphere. I’m going to pick a business and open the forum up for suggestions.

Back in the day, during the times of when A Raisin in the Sun was written, it seemed pretty popular to own a laundry business. So I’m going to update that dream and say for today:

How would you run your Coffee Shop?

*The Rock - A Unique Events Venue & Coffee Shop in Papillion/Omaha, Nebraska

Alise and I have been kicking around this idea for awhile and have come up with some cool things. If I had a coffee shop it would probably be called The L___ M___ (my paranoia just kicked in).

-I’d want specialty coffee blends being created by the staff, so they feel like they are contributing to the business.
-I’d have a make shift stage for spoken word nights.
-I’d have a shelf or 2 of used books, staff favorite picks for people to peruse and buy.
-AND I’d have a listening station for music so people can hear local artists and bands and buy their music (I actually saw this in one of the most wonderful coffee shops here in the A called Urban Grind).
-And of course art work will be for sale on the walls done by local artists.
-And free wi-fi.
-I’d staff my shop with only those that I needed, maybe with college students who I would expect to rotate over the course of the semester.

And best of all NO LAYOFFS because a sista would be swift with the bomb budget.

So I ask again: How would you run your Coffee Shop?

Something fun today

I have to confess about a guilty pleasure of mine. I am soooooo guilty, but sooooo caught up in this horrible pleasure that I cant do anything else but to confess about it. Here goes…when I’m not out slaying dragons, fighting for creative freedom and enlightening the people, I indulge in the “reality” tv show…For the Love of Ray J.

*head hung low in shame

As much as I talk mess about the lack of creativity on tv and the tons of crap being manufactured and tube fed into our brains, I almost feel like a traitor for searching VH1 for its next installment of this…reality tv train wreck. I almost want to sing “blame it on the aaaaallcccoohhhhooolllll”, since I was sipping on some wine the first time I saw the show, but all the other times I was sober as hell.

What is it about this show that has me hooked? Is it that I’m looking for the real Ray J? not Brandy’s little brother or Raymond Sr’s son? Is it that I’m looking at how long these girls can pull off hiding the fact that they could really care less about Ray J and only want to boost their careers? Am I looking for a Brandy guest appearance? or am I truly just looking for an hour of escapism and it just aint that deep? Either way I’m hooked!

Whoo, got that off my chest!

Fun facts about the Natural one and the Eys (ice). Ying and Yang. Naturally Alise is a nice person. She is usually ready with a smile and comforting word (in public anyway). Eysqueen is not a nice person. She has zero tolerance for bs and is kinda blunt with hers (currently competing with PBG (author of Hey You Asked & SWHHW ) for the evilest blogger on this side of the net award, but is slipping daily. Hopefully this blog will bring her back up.).

With this said, I’m about to tear a whole into some bs that passed my screen the other day. I can’t stand manipulative people. These are people who don’t have the social grace or cajonas to say and do what they really want so they have to use people. They use people to express how they really feel. They use people to do the things they wish they could do. Someone has been manipulated on the outskirts of our world, the manipulated victim thusly tried to throw salt in our universe. It was all pretty transparent to me. So all I have to say is don’t let yourself be open to manipulation.

If someone who you ain’t cool with offers you a present, you are being manipulated.
If someone passes on to you information that no good can come of, that you can’t do anything about and has all around f*cked up your day, you have been manipulated.
If you find yourself with a birdie that is constantly squawking in your ear and you don’t know where the hell it came from and why it won’t shut up, you are being manipulated.

Now, evil Eys wanted to make a lesson out of said manipulated victim as a warning to the main manipulator, but nice Alise doesn’t subscribe to that kind of debauchery, and because she is my friend and I have to live with her on this blog, I’ll oblige.

I will say this, I’m not one to back down from confrontation, if the issue is about me. If it isn’t about me, I could care the f*ck less, so don’t bring it to me. I still might catch a case just because you are being stupid though. In other words don’t bring nonsense to me. If your beef is legit, meet me outside…

And don’t bring nonsense to my peeps, we ride or die and I’m always ready to ride…

Have a happy Friday ya’ll!

*Alise adds just for good measure, since it is "The Wire" Friday, picture this as Alise & Tiha instead of Bunk & Omar (yeah Tiha is crazy like Omar, lol)*

Viva la Part-Time

My life as an hourly wage warrior (part time of course) is not too bad. In Cube World I did contribute significant portion of brain power that made my company better, they were the slumlords of my intellectual property. Maybe I should have called Housing Department or something *shrugging shoulders*, hindsight 20/20 I suppose. The thing I like about my part time Hourly Wage Warrior job is they don't need my creativity or suggestions. Everything is done a certain way, is organized, and not much wiggle room for innovation in any of the processes. I know you think that this would make me crazy or is not ideal to my life. But y'all don't know me like that! To the contrary, it lets me save it all for my own projects. I can use my powers for good and be selfish with it. So Viva Nepal la Part Time! Seriously, I have been doing so much writing for side projects that it is boggling my own mind, and I like to feel "mind boggled"* sometimes, lol..... Back to the lab, I'll check in later!

* I live for trash reality TV, and on "For the Love of Ray J", Ray J said he hates to be "mind boggled", everyone in my e-web of silliness(including my e-pal Odara), thought this was hilarious!


Just to quickly piggyback Tiha's post yesterday. I totally understand Tiha's survivor guilt, because I feel similar emotions. I actually do feel a sadness for the folks left behind, because I know bullshit they have to deal with. I, though am in a situation that my unemployment is not going to affect my lifestyle, Alise is gonna be just fine, so please none of y'all worry. I feel bad for those whose world this destroys; folks with families, mortgages, car notes, etc.... So i feel guilty for being alright... Does that make sense? .... it hurts on all sides.

Surviving Layoffs

I’m here today to report on what its like as a survivor of layoffs. I’m one of the ones who haven’t been hit by the ax, this is not to say that it wont still happen, but for now I’m still here.

As a survivor, I’ve been going through a whole host of emotions. On the day of the ax drop, I remember jumping every time the phone rang thinking it was my turn next. I remember seeing the faces of the peeps I actually like, tell me that they were going away. I remember how strong they were that day, and how terribly weak I was. I showed on my face what they, perhaps, were feeling, I just couldn’t hide it. My peeps are strong people, they are good people, and they are used to surviving, so they really did handle it as best as could be expected. Not so much for the cubicle crusader. At one point I had to have someone take me outside, the tension was just too thick and the bs of it all was too much. Later that week and still even up until today I was angry. I felt guilty because I was indeed still there. I have a job, they didn’t. Why them and not me? Who was making the decisions? I mean tons of questions. I had to check myself though and fall back onto my faith. It made no sense to continue to ask questions about stuff that was beyond my control, especially since I’m not the writer of anyone’s destiny, including my own. I felt bad for questioning the “plan”, it’s not my plan. And as events began to unfold in the lives of the axed ones, things started to make sense. Yes they had lost their jobs, but for my peeps, other things started to open for them, other avenues, and other opportunities. And my peeps and I would always talk about what we would do if we didn’t have to be here. And slowly, but surely, some things are coming to light for them. Now I won’t say all of them have seen the light yet, some have seen a glimmer, some have seen the whole beam, but all have been scarred by past misfortunes and all are apprehensive of stepping out of their comfort zone, even though the comfort has been snatched out from under them.

So I’ve taken it upon myself to support my peeps in their future endeavors. I’m that lil silver lining that reminds them that this is what they wanted, this is what they asked for and that it is ok to pursue it. Mildly altruistic, but mainly selfish, my efforts to be their personal cheerleader is helping me get over my guilt of being a survivor. I’m also focusing on what plans may be in store for me. I mean I have no idea what’s coming my way, which of course causes stress, but I’m sitting back and putting myself in a place mentally and emotionally, to be receptive of my marching orders.

Tough times in the cube when you are the last one standing…

What's up with Alise?

Remember how it felt the day after the last day of school marking the beginning of your summer vacation? Remember how it feels the first day of "real" Spring? Remember how it felt refund check day in college? Do ya? Well I do! As you may already know, I got laid off. Yet, I am not mad. I was sad for approximately 3 hours. My SO bought me a six pack and my BFF Curly took me to the bar and we tried every type of shot we could imagine. (awwwww yeah!). Then the next day I received my Unemployment determination, and it wasn't too shabby. So I can still work my part time job with a few extra hours and be A-OK... I am going to go back to school this summer, but for the next few months I can write, RELAX, RELATE, RELEASE with no financial worries.

*Skip to 9:15 of the video for some nostalgia laughs*

Wanna know what I did today? Well I 'll tell you since you asked! I rose, ate a real breakfast, walked to the shop (Ideas! Coffeehouse) that is about a mile/mile and a half from my house, sat in the coffeehouse with pen and notebook and a novel, and wrote for about 2 hours, and read for about an hour. After that I went to my part time job hopped up on caffeine. (Y'all know how I love me some coffee!). Only bad thing is that I hate my part time job, but it is PART TIME, so that is a moot point really.

Y'all, I am happy. I feel free. I feel inspired. I feel naturally Alise.

Love y'all!

ya get what ya ask for

With the way things have been going lately, specifically last week, but also over the past couple months, I’ve been really trying to get myself together. Having said the lines “it must be your time” and having heard it said a lot lately as an explanation for events that happen out of our control, I’ve found myself looking for signs. I’ve been looking for guidance and answers as to what I’m supposed to be doing right now, whether or not I’m on the right track and when will it be my time. I’ve even gone so far as to ask the people around me and who know me best if they’ve seen any impending signs that I may be missing. You know your real friends are good for pointing out real obvious shit in your life that you seem to miss (like girl your man aint shit, and oooo girl that weave color just doesn’t go with your newest contacts).

Well last night I think I got a sign. Signs sometimes like to come in traumatic ways, which is why we miss them. And although this trauma is probably only traumatic to me, may even be minute on some scales, it nonetheless worked! The omnipotent one knows which tactics to use to reach his children. So last night as I snoozed on my couch, snuggled warm and cozy under my comforter, one of Georgia’s critters scampered across my face jerking me out of dreamland where I was ruler of some quaint world and jarring back into the present. After I popped up off the couch, half rolled and ducked across the room, grabbed my pistol and peeked my head around the corner, I realized that I was the only human in the house. After the cause of my alarm was identified, and my level of danger had gone down, I put the pistol away, thinking about how much I have to save now and cant be wasting bullets on non-humans. Anyone who knows me knows that I have a horrific, terrifying fear of critters. I will bitch up in a heartbeat when it comes to critters. My voice gets all high and I find myself either hiding behind someone or on a chair or clear across a room. People don’t scare me, this economy doesn’t scare me, not even a bad hair day scares me as much as critters. I haven’t always been this way, it must’ve been all those years I spent hanging with the wonderful ladies of a certain sorority, being oh so pretty! anywho, critters cause me trauma.

After the trauma had passed, and I relocated to my bedroom, where I shoulda been to begin with, I turned on the tv to my favorite tv network, Adult Swim, and waited for the antics of the animated characters to lower my heart rate and lull me back to sleep. Mission Hill was on (one of the underrated cartoons that had a short life but was just dammit good, new episodes please!), and for those of you who have never had the chance to see it,

its about two brothers who live in a loft apartment with a few roommates in a super cool town somewhere filled with artists and eccentric types of people. On this episode Andy, the oldest brother, decided to give up his career as a cartoonist to become assistant manager of a mattress store, after receiving quite a few rejections from his cartoons. In the beginning, as he was presented this opportunity, he hesitated, likening it to selling off a piece of his soul. But he stuffed that lil voice in a box and let the lean mean green make his decision. Soon he was assistant manager, making money, driving a fast and fancy car and having sex on the regular. He was selling waterbeds, driving his bosses car and doing the dirty with a prostitute. He knew this wasn’t the life for him, that the perks weren’t that great, but he resigned himself to being a sleazy suit wearing sales man. Eventually he saw the light when he saw one of his cartoons published in a local free newspaper, one of which he scoffed at in the beginning because he didn’t think it was big enough. He saw how the lil cartoon made the people around him laugh and began to remember why he did what he did as a cartoonist. He remembered his purpose and sucked up his pride and went back to cartooning (with a $35 residual check, yeah boy!).

I took last nights events as a sign, I mean, I’d been looking for one been asking out loud for guidance and I believe I got it. I don’t think I need anymore traumatic, psychologically scarring things to happen to me. Do you hear me? I get it! It’s not about the money for me, it never has been, its about staying true to my gifts and using them as was intended. Thanks big guy, and thanks to the readers for letting my borrow your eye time with this post.

Back in the swing of things...

Hello folks! Just wanted to let you know Cubicle Crusaders will be back tomorrow, stronger than ever. I have been forcefully removed successfully escaped the Cube and will chronicle my journey into this new world of mine, and my partner will give the developments on her side of the Cube. This is a scary but yet exciting time and I can't wait to share my journeys with you all. Muah!