3.27.2020

That Cool Thing That Happened Back in November (that I Somehow Forgot to Mention)



This was cool. And for the life of me, I can't imagine how the heck I forgot to post this Facebook screenshot back in November, when the article was first published on Vocal. But I did. (Whoopsie!)

Anywho, there it is, True Believer. Ain't it cool?!?! Yeah, super cool. 

Also, I decided a few days ago to move the article from Vocal over to Medium, so if you're lookin' for it–cuz you were, perhaps, too busy or too cool to read it the first time–you can find it by clicking here

3.15.2020

Another Satisfied Reader


A two dollar tip isn't much, no. But it's the thought that counts, as goes the saying. And it does mean a lot to me when an anonymous reader thinks enough of one of my essays to dig into their "pocket" to send me a tip (it's an option on Vocal but not Medium, sadly). So, anonymous reader, in the immortal words of that old Bartles & James wine cooler commercial, "Thank you for your support." 🤓

3.10.2020

3.08.2020

Janina Gavankar: The Way Back (Back, Forth & Forth)

My early-ish introduction to multi-hyphenate talent Janina Gavankar was her remarkable cover of Kanye's West's "Love Lockdown" back in 2010, which was promptly followed by the stunning music video shared below.

Today, Gavankar stars opposite Ben Affleck in the recently released film 'The Way Back' (2020).

Admittedly, though, it had been so long since I'd heard her name that I actually had to run a google search to make sure that the singer and the actress were one and the same. The subsequent confirmation made me love the previously posted quote of her comment to co-star Affleck (shared on Facebook) even more: 

"I’ve been marginalized for 15 years. There was no way I would get to act across from you in any of these years until now."

As is true for most of those whom we think of as an "overnight" celebrity, Gavankar's star turn didn't happen overnight. She was doing the work while the rest of the world slept. But also working twice as hard, as a brown girl, to earn one of those chances that are too frequently given to someone with half the ability.

2.29.2020

Kissed the Girls and Made Them Cry

That moment when you discover – a bajillion years after the fact – that Eric Benet’s gorgeous duet with Faith Evans, “Georgy Porgy” (1999), was a cover. And not only that, but that rapper MC Lyte’s “Poor Georgie” (1991) sampled the song that Benet later covered–a soulful 1978 rock song by Toto. And you friggin' love Toto, but never knew about their OG version until stumbling across it on YouTube just now.
I mean, what the hell? What other musical mysteries are out there waitin' to bamboozle me? I've strived to know...well, pretty much everything. But now I'm feelin' like I don't know up from down! How do people live like this?!?! 😅😭🤣
Updated: While listening to the original version again (about an hour after posting this), it occurred to me that the sista singing the chorus sounded really familiar. Something about her voice and the way she sings made me think of R&B songstress Cheryl Lynn ("To Be Real," 1978). Sure enough, looking up the song credit's for "Georgy Porgy," Lynn's name is right there!
Ah, the balance is restored. 🤓

2.24.2020

"For Relaxing Times, Make it Suntory Time."


Although I've never been a big whiskey drinker (or a big drinker at all), I've decided that if I'm gonna own a bottle of whiskey (and I am gonna), then it'll be an $80 dollar bottle of imported whiskey. Because...why the heck not?
Suntory, which has a few different whiskeys for varying price points ($40 to $6,000––yes, six grand, kiddies) was made famous outside the Land of the Rising Sun back in 2003. It happened with the brand's clever placement in Sofia Coppola's Academy Award-winning film, Lost in Translation.
In a commercial shoot that was woven into the screenplay, a tuxedoed Bill Murray slowly raises his whiskey glass, looks into the camera and delivers the line, "For relaxing times, make it Suntory time."
Like a bajillion other fans of this flick, I've probably wanted a bottle of Suntory Hibiki ("Harmony") ever since. But, again, not being a big whiskey drinker, I wasn't in any particular rush. But now it's finally time. I mean, I'm not getting any younger.
Truth told, I'd thought about buying a bottle last year for my birthday, but didn't get around to it. And so it occurred to me a few days ago that I could get a bottle for my birthday this year. But I'm also realizin' now that it can't just be a gift.
I've gotta earn it.
You see, Paco's got this lil' folder on his Mac with more than a dozen unfinished articles piled inside that need to be written finally and then published. So I'll reward myself with my much coveted bottle only after all this work gets done.
Yes, in light of the aforementioned, I prolly won't be enjoying any "relaxing times" anytime soon. But what's cool about incentivizing this is that my articles will pay for my bougie-ass imported liquor, and quite a bit more too.
Although I've watched Lost in Translation more than 20 times (yes, really), it's been a few years now since the last viewing. So planning now to watch it again after my projects are done makes for a sweet bonus incentive; I just posted the trailer and I really do look forward to watching it again.
It's also just occurred to me that I will need to temporarily deactivate my Facebook account again soon. On the bright side, though, in a few weeks (or more), I'm gonna have the perfect thing with which to toast my "triumphant" return.