thoughts on Nicki Minaj’s debut album

January 14, 2011

I’m a supporter of music. Point blank. I still purchase albums, and usually for one or two reasons, sometimes both: i love the artist or i love their music. For the former, i will purchase the album regardless (unless it’s absolute rubbish, such as the case with Christina Aguilera’s latest, Bionic). For the latter, as is the case with artists like Lloyd Banks and R. Kelly (his alleged sexual criminal activities have sullied his reputation and lyrics’ intent),… Read more of: thoughts on Nicki Minaj’s debut album

day 003 – Mental Ephemera Redesign

January 13, 2011

This will be a relatively short post as i wrote enough for the day about an hour ago lol. I was up until around 2:30am last night designing version 3.0 of Mental Ephemera. All week it was bugging me. I finally decided to just sit down and knock it out. I blame it on the simple elegance and content focus of Apricot Tea. Why did i have to stumble upon that site? Lol. I’ll never know, i’m… Read more of: day 003 – Mental Ephemera Redesign

The Loving Story: tears welled in my eyes watching this

The video below is the trailer for an upcoming film, The Loving Story, by Elisabeth Haviland & James and Nancy Buirski, about the Supreme Court case of Loving vs. Virginia, contesting the legality of miscegenation (interracial cohabitation or marriage). The film project is currently in the final days of funding at Kickstarter, the “largest funding platform for creative projects in the world.” Although it’s been around for a few years, i hadn’t found a project… Read more of: The Loving Story: tears welled in my eyes watching this

day 002 -above average pain tolerance

January 12, 2011

For whatever reason(s), i’ve had a nagging headache throughout the day; hence, my immaculate photo of my 500mg Duane Reade brand “Pain Relief.” These caplets have been instrumental to keeping me sane over the past year (maybe longer) when headaches pop out of thin air. Today’s headaches were probably caused by stress, most likely from an nagging client who is more mercurial about their project than i am with Mental Ephemera’s design. Being bugged during… Read more of: day 002 -above average pain tolerance

day 001 – importance of digital books, of all books

January 11, 2011

This is the genesis of the My Life in 365 Days project. I wanted to start yesterday with a photo i snapped of some geese, but they didn’t strike me with inspiration, and after speaking to my father, i agreed the once-in-our-lifetime date of 01.11.11 was too good to pass up. I love numbers, and although i’m not heavily into numerology, studying or believing it wholeheartedly, i do have a passive interest in numerical significance… Read more of: day 001 – importance of digital books, of all books

my life in 365 days

January 10, 2011

Directly inspired by Ev’Yan and her “my life in 365 days” post, i’ve decided i want to try taking a photo … every day … for a year. It’s tempting to think it’s easy, but as a person who’s attempted (and “completed”) several poetry 30-in-30s (at least one poem every day for 30 consecutive days), i know better. The fuel to do so and excitement is there for the first couple days. But then life… Read more of: my life in 365 days

essential ingredients to breaking and forming habits

January 8, 2011

We all have habits. Some good. Some not so good. Some downright terrible. It’s an accepted rule that habits take 21 consecutive days (three weeks) to form—or to break. Knowledge is power, so they say, so let’s use that power to make or break some habits. To begin, it’s best to take a few minutes to think about habits we have—all of them. The good and the bad should be acknowledged. Now, write them down.… Read more of: essential ingredients to breaking and forming habits

(BlackBerry app review) Wicked Blogging App

January 7, 2011

If you’re anything like me, you live on your phone. I text, BBM, read and reply to emails, Tweet and Facebook, pay bills, and order stuff and books online through Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Up until a few days ago, i essentially did everything but blog. I’m a WordPress advocate—well, more like fanatic—and was dismayed by the lackluster official WordPress for BlackBerry app. It was limited. I’ve noticed a trend in “official” apps for… Read more of: (BlackBerry app review) Wicked Blogging App

with AppleTV, there’s little need for cable

January 6, 2011

I don’t own a TV. I haven’t for about a year and a half now. Even when i did, i barely watched it or played videogames (sadly, another pastime that fell by the wayside). Throughout 2010, i accrued a renewed interest in TV thanks to some awesome shows, like Mad Men, Big Bang Theory, Criminal Minds, NCIS, House, Covert Affairs and Leverage. With the proliferation and adoption of all things Internet-based, i’ve been able to… Read more of: with AppleTV, there’s little need for cable

my 2011 (gasp!) resolutions

January 3, 2011

In an attempt to be more accountable (public acknowledgment is a wondrous form of keeping me in check), i crafted a list of goals (of resolutions) for 2011. This litany was much more difficult to construct than i thought. Deciding what i was comfortable sharing and goals i truly want to reach was interesting. So without further ado, i, macario.james, with utmost diligence, before the gods, deceased and yet alive, resolve to: Take saxophone lessons… Read more of: my 2011 (gasp!) resolutions

marriage name-taking: a patriarchal anachronism

January 1, 2011

Several weeks ago, during a Twitter conversation with a group of friends, we discussed the traditional practice of a woman taking their husband’s last name after marriage. It was asked if i was for or against name hyphenation–a growing practice by woman upon marriage over the past three decades. Of course, i answered i was all for hyphenation. My response wasn’t surprising to anyone because “of the way you are,” but people weren’t prepared to… Read more of: marriage name-taking: a patriarchal anachronism

freedom to read (on any device)

December 31, 2010

With the proliferation of digital readers and assorted touch screen tablets, there’s an increase in the desire to read books, magazines, PDFs, etc. while on the go. We’re an increasingly mobile society, so being able to learn or be entertained wherever we are is important. Heck, i rarely go anywhere without my MacBook, and never without my BlackBerry (even the bathroom, sadly). I love having access to my library (or as much of it as… Read more of: freedom to read (on any device)

the Oxford English Dictionary is dead—long live the Oxford English Dictionary

I love words. Without shuddering from the dreaded “labeling,” i am a logo- and bibliophile. So when i heard the news, as reported by the NY Times and the Huffington Post, that there would be an imminent dem…transitioning of the Oxford English Dictionary from print and online versions to only the latter, i was immediately disheartened and worried. I should rewind first. Earlier this year, i came across the leather-bound version of the 20-volume set of… Read more of: the Oxford English Dictionary is dead—long live the Oxford English Dictionary

choices to be made: Kindle 3 or Nook Color?

December 28, 2010

I’ll come right out the gate with what you want to know: i decided on a Nook Color. I’m sure my friend @Pat_B_Sure is saying, “Ha! I told you so” right about now, but that’s only because he thinks he’s won the war in our Nook vs Kindle disputes. Well, in a way, sure; but ultimately, i’ve won. The consumer is always right! (Pat works for Barnes & Noble, by the way.) After chiding (jokingly)… Read more of: choices to be made: Kindle 3 or Nook Color?

finding that writing sweet spot

Everyone is capable of writing. I think many people are under the impression that there’s a secret code to doing so, some sort of arcane practice or rite of passage they must go through first. Nope. You just need to find that writing sweet spot, that place where you feel most comfortable—and the medium that works for you. For me, depending on what i’m writing, be it a poem or random thought or idea or… Read more of: finding that writing sweet spot

continued compromise of the 1st Amendment: banned books

December 21, 2010

(Originally Published 24 Oct 2010) The challenging and banning of books is a direct attack on our First Amendment as U.S. Citizens. From the ALA website: Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. – From ALA.org The restriction of access to books is a subversion of liberty–an exact instance of what… Read more of: continued compromise of the 1st Amendment: banned books

short-term influence of free digital versions on book sales

December 6, 2010

With the growing purveyance of digital books and ebook readers flooding the publishing and consumer markets, respectively, it was apropos stumbling upon this paper by John Hilton III and David Wiley of the Journal of Electric Publishing, tackling the question that’s on many authors’ and publishers’ minds: Increasingly, authors and publishers are freely distributing their books electronically to increase the visibility of their work. A vital question for those with a commercial stake in selling… Read more of: short-term influence of free digital versions on book sales

darling Nikki (Giovanni): your transparency should be lauded

November 27, 2010

When encountering an artist’s work for the first time, especially one who’s lauded doubly for her writing ability and Civil Rights activism (and the coupling of both), it’s dismaying when the work is underwhelming. With Sacred Cows…And Other Edibles, that surely is not the case. In fact, i don’t believe the work of Nikki Giovanni, or at least this collection of poetic and autobiographical prose, is given its deserved attention today. Even in an age… Read more of: darling Nikki (Giovanni): your transparency should be lauded

age of privacy over? the (unsolicited) transparency agenda of Zuckerberg

Facebook has been an integral part of my life since Oct 2004—back when only a hundred or so colleges and their constituency were part of the social networking site. It has since grown from a fledgling, exclusive college-only website of many interconnected networks, into an Internet behemoth that rivals Google and Microsoft with its web ubiquity. A lot has changed. And not all of it for the better. The sticking point here is privacy. Or… Read more of: age of privacy over? the (unsolicited) transparency agenda of Zuckerberg

my issue with the Four Loko ban

November 17, 2010

Alcohol: many (of age) college students’ favorite buddy. Caffeine: college students’ other best friend. Combine the two friends and the partying jumps a few notches. I’m not for ending the party. Not at all. Although i am not a fan of the beverage—i think it tastes horrible no matter what flavor and its influence on my psyche and body are unsettling, a true, quick caffeine high and inebriation—i don’t believe it should be prematurely banned… Read more of: my issue with the Four Loko ban

become a patron of the arts—of writing, of film, of … whatever

November 14, 2010

Often, I stumble upon an engrossing website or an excellent blog post or WordPress plugin, and I immediately think about donating to the cause, but for whatever reason, I rarely ever give. Usually a lack of a “donate” button (from PayPal or Amazon) deters me from doing so. There is now a fix: new micro-payment/donating service Flattr. What’s cool about is that it allows you to financially support writing or videos or plugins (or whatever!)… Read more of: become a patron of the arts—of writing, of film, of … whatever

the importance of “MOOZ-Lum” The Movie

November 11, 2010

(Originally published on Aug 8, 2010; updated since then.) There is a growing spirit manifesting amongst the American people, one with a voice resounding with trepidation, fear and anger of and towards the Muslim population in this country—drowning out their prayers for peace. Ignorant crescendo has become raucous uproar: the proposed mosque at the 9/11 Memorial site has all walks of life and political backgrounds sharing their opinions, the loudest being rejection. Of all things… Read more of: the importance of “MOOZ-Lum” The Movie

thoughts of self: conventions of naming

April 22, 2010

Conventions of naming: You’ll notice that anytime i write in the first person or refer to myself, it is a lowercase ‘i’ and not the normal ‘I’ that everyone (in English speaking countries, at least) is accustomed to—unless, of course, the word starts a sentence, in which case i adhere to the standard orthography. Why do i do this? Originally, it stemmed from not indulging in the English culture of putting the self above others… Read more of: thoughts of self: conventions of naming