Archive for March, 2009

“Say It” and More

One of my favorite songs growing up, re-done by Passion, Gabe, and Leejay..a triple threat trio.

If you are a RnB head like me, then you can appreciate these fellows. Thanks to my aunties and uncles, I grew up listening to Stevie Wonder, Boyz II Men, Luther Vandross, Aretha Franklin, etc… As I got older, I ventured into Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, D’Angelo, Avant, and many many more… That’s music to me, something that hits the soul, makes you feel a special way.

Enjoy the trio’s rendition of some of our favorite songs from the 90’s till today.

Down and Out

I’m a bit irritated and sad at the fact that one of things I was working on didn’t get picked to be used during the tradeshow. I worked really hard at it.

What’s worst is that I didn’t get a fair chance. I was told that I had certain limitations to abide to and the person who told me went OVER the limitations… Her work was chosen and mine came in second..

If I had known what was really allowed I know I would have done better than her. This was my forte and I got jipped…

I guess this is the official first time I can say “Welcome to Corporate America Danny Pham.”

Dancing

After a discussion with one of my friends, I thought about one of my rantings that I wrote almost two years ago. I would like the share it with everyone. And it goes a little something like this:

“Where do i begin? I’ve been dancing for years, a little more than 10 years of my life. I frequently get asked the question of whether dance to me is a hobby or a passion of mine. After years of doing this as a normal past time, i have learned that dance is the art in my life.

What was a mere hobby to me, suddenly became the outlet of my life. Through rough struggles, through tears, through happiness, i was always dancing. Through the toughest times in my life when I felt like I had nothing going for me, there was always dance; the number one thing for me to turn to. It was a way for me to escape reality, a way to channel all of my energy into certain movements that went with the rhythmatic sound of music which took my soul into another world.

Dance has opened my eyes, my mind, and my soul. Dancing is no different from life, it is life itself. At times I have failed, fallen down hard, but I kept getting up again and kept practicing harder each time. I recall the day that I finally got down my second windmill, I felt this rush of happiness come through my heart. After practicing this move for a year, gaining nothing but bruises and swollen elbows, I have finally attained my goal of repeating this move continuously. I’ve learned to adapt this mentality to my life, when I find myself on the ground, I just got to get up and keep at it to attain my lifetime goals.

I used to have the arrogant and ignorant bboy mentality where no other dances matter. When I was exposed to hip hop, I fell in love. I’ve learned that every other dance may take as much practice or even more compared to bboying. It’s amazing how Dance has opened my mind to accept and want to learn from other dances, ranging from styles of tap, jazz, contemporary and much more. I’ve also learned to give what I know back to people who are willing to learn from me. I am willing to teach anyone anything that I know, just as long as you are not arrogant and closed minded. I now consider myself a dancer with bboy influences and hip hop influences.

I’ve learned to embrace and appreciate things that are different. There are many different styles of dance, but everything came from one another. None is better than the other, just different…just like people. So before people start clowning on other dances, you have to realize every dance was influenced from one another. Evolution is a wonderful thing.

Dancing is not about yourself, it is about others. Whether helping them or giving them a certain emotional feeling when you dance, you do it for them. I heard this amazing phrase that I wanted to share: “Dance for your teammates, not for others.” Don’t impress people that don’t matter, impress your team, your family and most importantly, yourself.

I’m tired of all these so called dance battles. The sole purpose of these battles is to prove who is the best out there, but from years of experience, there will always be someone out there who is better than you. The battle should truly be within. I remember when I couldn’t do choreo if my life depended on it, but now I can honestly say that I’ve improved so much. I’ve learned to push myself farther than my limit allows me and that’s where the battle is, that’s where the reward is.

All in all, dance has given me a positive outlook on life. It has brought to me friends that share the same passion and love for this art. Appreciation is the key to dance, don’t take anything for granted.

To my past crews: Lost Trybe / Calamity Era / Pho Bangers, to Ascension, to my family, to my friends of 220, my boys Patrick and Paul, and to my friends (the list goes on)…thank you for believing in me, for the encouragement and for the support. I couldn’t have learned what I know and got where I’m at today without any of you.

The floor is my pallet, and I am the paintbrush.”

This conversation started from my injury complaints. I haven’t been able to dance as much or as hard as I used to. All the crazy moves and tricks I used to do is finally catching up to my body and it aches. With all the pain and the suffering, I will never forget how much I respect dance and how much I love it. Not everyone will understand my love for dance, but I will always have time to preach its existence upon my soul.

Fern Makes Dope Designs for Girls Line

Is this Rogelyn? Nope, its a fellow male supporter that just so happens to be wearing a tee made for girls.

I can’t knock on him because I’ve made Fern print out a few of the girl designs on men’s tee for me, but his shirt didn’t have to be so fitted.

Mosquito Talk With Lani

KEwteanGeL (11:03:26 AM): it was classic
KEwteanGeL (11:03:29 AM): no
IamDanny125 (11:03:29 AM): why
KEwteanGeL (11:03:48 AM): cuz ba saw the moxquito and it was where the couch was at the very top
KEwteanGeL (11:03:58 AM): and iono wut she was doing but she went to the closet
KEwteanGeL (11:04:13 AM): and then ong comes walking slowly and decideds to sit down on that couch with his visine
KEwteanGeL (11:04:29 AM): and then she comes out and was holding the broom getting ready to kill that sucker
IamDanny125 (11:04:34 AM): hahahahh
KEwteanGeL (11:04:37 AM): but ong was sitting there with the visine
IamDanny125 (11:04:44 AM): hahahah
KEwteanGeL (11:04:48 AM): so she was waiting for ong to finish
KEwteanGeL (11:04:53 AM): and he was taking FOREVER
IamDanny125 (11:05:03 AM): this all happened last night?
KEwteanGeL (11:05:06 AM): she looked at tme….then looked at the mozquito…and then looked at ong
KEwteanGeL (11:05:17 AM): and then she looked at ong and then back at the mozquito
KEwteanGeL (11:05:28 AM): yea he was takin FOREVER witht he visine
IamDanny125 (11:05:33 AM): hahaha
KEwteanGeL (11:05:44 AM): and then when he finished ba was like close ur eyes
KEwteanGeL (11:05:52 AM): and she whacked it but it got away
IamDanny125 (11:06:02 AM): ahha
IamDanny125 (11:06:08 AM): are u gonna be there on saturday?
KEwteanGeL (11:06:17 AM): and then it flew away and she found it again and whacked the thing really fast
KEwteanGeL (11:06:22 AM): ong was ike wuz going on troi oi
KEwteanGeL (11:06:24 AM): HAHAHAHHAHAH
IamDanny125 (11:06:28 AM): hahha
KEwteanGeL (11:06:41 AM): freakin funny
KEwteanGeL (11:07:28 AM): most likely yea
I can imagine this all in my head. My grandparents are very animated, my grandma is a comedian lol. Good times. Family always makes me laugh and smile.

Ip Man

Two weekends ago my sister bought the move “Ip Man” which stars my all time favorite idol, Donnie Yen. Somehow she told me I owe her $15 for Ip Man, so I think she hustled me (Give me the receipt).Ip Man wasn’t the normal Donnie Yen movie where it was just packed with a bunch of fighting scenes. You can really see that Donnie Yen’s movies are starting to evolve; giving you an emotion, telling a full on story, having you relate to the protagonist, and so forth.

To shorten the story of “Ip Man,” Master Ip is a Wing Chun Master. He was one of the most noteable martial artist in Fo Shan, where Wong Fei-Hong grew up. During the time of Japanese invasion into China, Ip Man and many other Chinese became homeless. The Japanese basically took everything that belonged to the people of Fo Shan. Fo Shan’s population went from a wealthy 300,000 to 70,000. The richest of the Chinese became coal pourers just to earn a bag of rice to get by.

Here’s where it gets interesting. The Japanese military would offer a bag of rice to those that dare to fight them in a sparring match, but the Chinese would have to win to receive their rice. Ip Man’s friend Lin, was killed during a sparring match, which lead to Ip Man’s anger to defeat 10 Japanese soldiers in a sparring match at one time. Intrigued with his skill, the Japanese wanted Master Ip to teach them Chinese Kung Fu, Ip refused. Ip ended up fleeing to Hong Kong with his wife and son after he defeated Japanese military General Miura. In Hong Kong, Ip started to go in depth with his teaching, where he eventually taught the late Bruce Lee.

Now here’s some of the areas of the movie that I felt a lot of emotion during. Growing up I’ve always hated it when your own people would fight with you, kind of like that “Black on Black Crime” type of thing. Jin, a martial arts bully, was out to make a name for himself, but during rough times he brought up a gang to steal from his people, the Chinese. Though I do have a temper and a bad mouth, I do promote unity amongst everyone. Instead of fighting your own people, the answer is to always come together during rough times. We all need one another to lift our spirits.

Another part of the movie was after Ip Man’s fight with the 10 Japanese soldiers. He sat outside with his wife and said he practiced martial arts, but yet felt worthless. He didn’t feel like he helped anyone (this was prior to him agreeing to finally teach Wing Chun). I’m not going to lie, there are times when I do feel like that. You try to live your life, do your thing, help others, but when something hits the fan, it gets the best of you. Like Ip Man, I’ve made mistakes in life, but now I’m trying to help others when I can, grace them with my philosophy of how I live life now.

When I did teach martial arts (before I left to San Diego), I would just teach students of how to fight, yell at them, scold them, use my authority…never taught them about my views of life, I was too immature then. After coming back from San Diego, and being able to teach whenever I can, I’ve developed a more mature outlook. I can actually teach them what not to do, how to live life correctly and to their fullest potential, while teaching them martial arts. Back then I was too self absorbed in my own happiness that I failed to reach out to others. After having teachers, instructors, friends, family reach out to me, all I can offer is to think of others before I think of myself.

Overall, I believe there’s a little bit of Ip Man inside of all of us. I enjoy movies that I can relate to, and this was one of them. If you love movies, watch this. If you love kung fu flicks, true stories, learning about history and asian culture, this is definitely the movie to watch. It’s not my comedic self, it’s more of a serious movie.

Frontline Represent

Today, Bobkat insisted on taking me out for lunch before he flew out to New York for two weeks. I haven’t seen Bobkat, practically a father figure to me, for about a month now..so a reunion was a must. Bobkat is the youth group leader of Frontline. Without Frontline, Lost Tribe wouldn’t be the same. Without Bobkat we would all be lost (literally). He’s the the type of person you can go to for guidance, the person who will be there for you whenever you need a hand.

We did the normal, went to chillis and discussed life, my relationships, and my faith in the Lord.

When he asked how’s my relationship with the Lord, I stated “Great.” I pray everyday, I stopped cursing, brought down my anger, became more humble, living by humility first, but yet I still feel something is missing. I want to be that person where people can see I live through the ways of the Lord. Perhaps it’s the fact that I haven’t been to church on Sunday for a few months. Don’t get me wrong, I love my religion and try to follow it as much as I can, but a part of me is still uncomfortable with going to church, raising my hands up and jumping up and down. That’s just not really me. I am a goofy kind of dude, but there is a time and place I do certain things, and definitely church is not one of them. I prefer to go to Catholic mass where I feel things are more “orthodox” and I dont spend 30-45 minutes listening to Christian songs. Maybe I still need more time to break out of my shyness…I know right, did I really just say that?

We also talked about relationships. The funny thing was that Bobkat agreed with me when I told him about things that bothered me. He even said that he is the same just like me. It’s actually nice to know that even a man 20 years older than myself is annoyed about the same things. He and I both concluded on, “If you say you’re going to do something, JUST DO IT.”

Thanks for the great meal pops. Have a safe trip to New York

Side Note: I need a new camera to document everything I do.