Posts Tagged ‘family’

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Pregaming La Feria in Jerez de la Frontera

May 10, 2015

This was certainly something.  Samuel and I keep it real and show you how it is about to really go down at the biggest event of the year in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain.  Again, the thing to remember is that La Feria hasn’t officially started yet but stuff like this has been going on for at least a week…

Dance + Lessons: Samuel With Jay Electronica Edition

April 13, 2015

[Intro – Martin Luther King Jr.]
We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now
Because I’ve been to the mountaintop; I don’t mind
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life.  Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will.

And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!

And so I’m happy, tonight
I’m not worried about anything
I’m not fearing any man!

Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!

[Verse One – Jay Electronica]
Boom bash dash
I had to break, I had to get away
Pack my bags, headed for Greyhound, it was a Monday

Time to start my mission
I felt that burning feeling in my soul, I had to listen

I had this re-ocurring dream from the stage in a suit with a fade
I had set the game ablaze and they threw me a parade
I stacked a little change and took my family out the caves
But I was trapped in a maze like a lab rat
And at the bottom of the barrel where they keep the crabs at

No Geico, no Aflac, nothing to fall back on
But the streets where niggas cussed out the police and sold they crack on
Better known as back home, where they treat the Arabs and the Spanish and the blacks wrong

There he go with that song
You may be tired but I spit what I’m inspired
From the Lord of the worlds cause the devil is a liar

[Hook – Tone Treasure]
Say, I’ve seen the lightning flashing (yes I did)
And I’ve seen the thunder roar
But you can’t (you can’t keep me down for long)
Because I’m getting stronger (Because I keep getting stronger)

[Verse Two – Jay Electronica]
My style is like a shot of Jack Daniels, a baby grand piano
Lightening Hopkin, smokin’ cigs, strummin’ on the banjo
The son of man’s the son of a gun with hella ammo
Sheriffs shootin’ Bob Marley, John J. Rambo
Six sextillion, 19 million, the holy pyramids say we all Allah’s children
Voodoo for the pilgrims who bring weapons and conceal ’em
They silence you with force
 and then indoctrinate the children
Yo Gabba Gabba
, Ahmadinejad will blow up your apartment if you don’t observe the Sabbath
I look the devil in his eye and say abracadabra
Then drown ‘im in the mighty light his brain couldn’t fathom
Scrappin’ every day, just like fight club
A thriller and a smooth criminal like Mike was

[Hook]

We stay on the primrose path.

A post shared by Dan Knuckles (@danknuckles) on

Party in the Street: Andalusia Edition

April 11, 2015

I am told that in all of Andalusia people like to party in the street.  Andalusian people are festive and they don’t need much reason to throw down at a moment’s notice.  Dancing in the streets is common and the Flamenco style is apparently in their blood.

My family and I were walking down the street, minding our own business, and this elderly gentleman just started playing the guitar.  Another stranger started to bang out a beat on a box that he found.  Two ladies that were having lunch nearby started dancing.  My wife joined in but I pretty much started filming like a tourist, even though the entire scene was reminiscent of African cultures.

People all over the world aren’t really that different, I suppose.  If you are ever travelling through Spain, you might want to take part.  The next big party in Andalusia is La Feria in Jerez and Seville in May.  The people have been warming up since March, when this video was taken.  The orange blossoms are filling the air with a sweet smell and the weather is already quite warm in the South.

We are going to get with you at a later date.  You have got to come to Spain!

My son, Samuel, and I.

We stay on the primrose path at Jardín Escénico, Jerez De La Frontera.

Domingo de Ramos 2015 en Jerez de la Frontera, España

March 31, 2015

Well I finally got the wide angled HD shot that I was looking for in the procession of the Holy Virgin, Mary during the first procession of Semana Santa.  Everybody wants more Samuel, anyway, so peep my best effort below.  I told you that I was going to get with you at a later date…

I am not a professional photographer, folks.  I got really distracted by my beautiful wife and cute son, but I managed at least one close-up of the statue of Mary.  In addition to a solid silver platform you can also make out the rich gold embroidery in the long shawl covering the back of the statue.  You can probably tell from my previous post on the subject that I am not a big fan of mixing materialism with religion but I also realize that Catholics aren’t the only one’s.  (Reverend Creflo Dollar recently made headlines by asking his Baptist congregation to foot the bill for a brand new jet that costs somewhere upwards of $65,000,000.)  You have to be really careful out there, people.  Plenty of meaning is lost on folks when they get caught up in the almighty dollar and I am pretty sure it is irrespective of denomination.

Money isn’t everything, folks.  I can think of plenty of things that are more important.

Samuel eats his hand and mom watches.

My wife and teething son await the procession of the statue of the Holy Virgin Mary -for free.

Semana Santa in Jerez de la Frontera 2015

March 30, 2015

Let me apologize in advance for not going full wide screen with this video of my son, Samuel, at his first Semana Santa in Jerez de la Frontera.  You really need to see this in the full HD glory to appreciate the magnitude of all that gold.

Holy Week is a really big deal here in Andalusia.  There are plenty of religious relics and important statues strewn about Europe but I am told that Jerez goes above and beyond the call when it comes to commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  There will be parades like this all week.

Folks dress in tunics with pointy hats and walk solemnly through the city streets with heavy statues depicting various aspects of Catholicism.  Spain is a Catholic country after all.  My wife explained to me that the valuable statues and the various marchers are indicative of an extensive subculture of laypeople devoted to religious organizations.  Of course there are meetings all year long in order to ensure that the events are well-coordinated and go off without a hitch.

I never knew that Holy Week could be so lucrative.  People pay big bucks to anonymously accompany the elaborately adorned statues.  Older and richer people pay even more money (all year long) just to have a seat in one of the many grandstands along the parade route.  Even the people working the hardest in the Andalusian heat carrying the relics have to pay to join the religious associations for the privilege.

It kind of makes you wonder what Jesus would think about all this gold.  We haven’t even gotten started about the Virgin yet.  We are going to get with you at a later date on that, but please consider this photo as a preview.

Holy Week in Jerez 2015

My son has no idea what is going on during the parades of Semana Santa, but maybe nobody really understands.

Paris St. Patrick’s Day Edition: Notre Dame

March 17, 2015

I hope you are out there being responsible and all that good stuff.  Just so you know, I’m wearing green.  Oh you already knew that it was St. Patrick’s Day just like you knew that the DeMatha Stags won the ACIT.  You probably also knew that the Notre Dame basketball team (in Indiana) won the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament Championship later on that night.  Did broadcasters mention that Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey graduated from DeMatha in 1971 1977?  Did they mention that Notre Dame has a Player of the Year candidate and ACC Tournament MVP winner by the name of Jerian Grant that graduated from DeMatha in 2010?

A very cute baby at Notre Dame.

My son Samuel outside the cue at Notre Dame in Paris.

There will be more on that stuff at a later date.  We should all spend more time in our lives talking about the saints that we actually met.  (Anyway, shout out to my Irish-DeMatha-Music homey Coleman Mellett who is no longer with us.)  My wife tells me that Semana Santa or Saints Week is about to pop-off in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain very soon, so I know at least one fat baby boy that has some traveling to do.  I’m wishing all of us out here safe travels and may God’s grace and the luck of Irish be with ye!

Pi Day Family Photo in Paris

March 14, 2015

Where do I begin with this lazy Saturday filled with basketball?  I know that the high school kids out there took the SAT this morning but I didn’t think that the brain drain would extend itself to someone so far removed from such mental gymnastics.  Everything is going in circles during this floor routine.  Maryland lost to Michigan in the Big 10 basketball tournament semifinals today.  Nobody can find Vladimir Putin all of a sudden.  Then my ray of hope.  (No, I am not one of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology prospective students waiting to hear from their admission committee via the special blast they planned for today.)  I am referring to the picture of my wife and son in front of the Eiffel Tower on a cold and gray afternoon.

Margarita y Samuel

My wife and son hold down the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Pi Day, 2015.

My day was made, and I am truly thankful.  There really isn’t a whole lot to say here other than I hope that all of you out there have the opportunity to travel the world with your family or the people that you love.  I am one of those people that believes that the world is getting smaller.  People are a blessing and a curse when it comes to travel.  As fast as we discover the wonders of this world, people end up destroying or ruining other parts that might be equally wondrous.  Be a good steward in the world, people.  Take care and enjoy your Pi Day.

American Goring Advice: But None Too Much

February 17, 2015

When 20-year-old Benjamin Miller decided to leave his native state of Georgia in the United States and travel to Denia, Spain I bet that he wasn’t planning on life-threatening injuries.  One extra hazard of running with the bulls for Americans is the likelihood that you will make international news if you are unfortunate enough to be gored.  Like how do you pack for that?

NY Daily News, Benjamin Miller is gored by a bull in Spain.

NY Daily News, Benjamin Miller is gored by a bull in Spain.

I have written about running with the bulls before, and my training for the event began in earnest in 2008.  I quickly got off track and later broke my ankle but I should be able to make my first run at the age of 41, or 42 because I’m a gangster like that.  Trust me, it is still going down now that I have a foothold in Spain but the naysayers should never be completely ignored.

I have come across some magnificent gems of advice as a result of listening attentively.  My official bull running mentor is from Valencia and he has a Ph.D in astrophysics, so I feel like I’m more hip to the game than the average American.  Nevertheless, my wife has seen fit to give me this one final last warning not to attend next month so I’m sharing it with you.

Anyway happy Mardi Gras!  Somebody out there should send your boy some king cake or hot sausage or something…  (We are literally celebrating my son’s probable conception date because New Orleans is a really fun time during carnival.)  I’m going to be sure to pass along Kipling’s advice that “all men should count with you, but none too much.”

Carnival in Jerez de la Frontera

February 16, 2015

It just so happens that a Catholic country like Spain makes a big deal out of the impending season of Lent by throwing a huge carnival in most of the cities.  I am told that Cadíz is place to go to see the biggest celebration, but I don’t expect the same type of revelry as Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Not-so-funny-story: some young racists dressed up as the Harlem Globe Trotters in full afro wigs and blackface.  Now I don’t know what this costume has to do with Lent, or Mardi Gras or anything other than being racist so it made it into the video.  (See if you spot the racist.)  I think that my son had a good time.  I noticed that my momma refused to comment on that bullshit.

You already know that racism is a world-wide problem.  Spain is not the exception, but it is still better at race relations than the United States of America.