|Welcome to my online journal. I'm Alex Mead. For many years people called me AMPro --so much so that it seemed like my name. More recently, a lot of people on the internet have come to know me as green.earth.al and in show biz...My Rap Name is Alex. Whatever name I'm known by, I still seem to have the same opinions and convictions, I still like to write and make public my introspection and try to say something that will provoke some thoughts and help people see the world in new and helpful ways.|
Meeting Chuck D!
this journal entry posted on April.28.2005
It wasn't until I actually got to Buffalo State that I realized I had forgotten my camera. Damn! I left it on the recharging stand. I had rushed to get there just in case it was going to sell out or something. I was plenty early, it didn't sell out and I'd have had plenty of time to double check to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything if I'd have been thinking. Oh well. I forgot it, that's life. I got my ticket, I saw Baba Simba and so I went to go talk to him for a while and I ended up giving him a copy of Relations (that's my new novel).
Chuck D spoke for a long time. He's a marathoner. He spoke a lot about many of the things that are in his latest T-Dome
. He said "I can talk all day," and it was obvious from watching the audience that we could listen all day. So that's what we did. Chuck ended up staying until late in the evening. And then he took questions (for quite a while). And then when he was done he just sat down on the front of the stage and started talking to people and taking pictures and such.
I guess I'm just echoing what I've heard from anyone I know who's ever met him, but he really is a fine example of humanity's potential. If I ever acheive any level of notariety, it is my hope that I comport myself in much the same way.
If I would have remembered my camera I would have had him hold a copy of my book and start a gallery of famous people holding my book or something (I got a picture of Nader holding my book when I opened for Patti Smith and Ralph Nader a couple weeks ago)
but since I'd forgotten my camera I just stood around and connected with a lot of the people that I hadn't seen in a while. There were a whole lot of people there who had been influenced by the Public Enemy phenominon. (Quick shout and some linkage to DeepThinkaRecords
who sat on the front row across the aisle from me). There were dozens of people who seemed like they really needed to talk to him. And while I wanted to talk to him if it seemed like there's be time at the end, I was content to defer to the people that seemed like they needed to talk to him. But then as the night was winding down Baba Simba was making everyone he knew pose with Chuck D for a picture. And so he instructed me to go stand next to Chuck D so he could take my pictures. Who am I to argue with the elders right? Baba says go stand next to Chuck D, you go stand next to Chuck D. So I introduced myself and told him about when I was a freshman at Buff State in 1988 and what P.E. had meant to us all. I told him that I was GreenEarthAl on the EnemyBoard
and that I had been one of the first to wish him a happy fortieth some years back. I told him about my book and offered him a copy. He seemed interested in it and so I bookmarked the page that mentions Public Enemy (with a BrainRap.com
flyer) and he told me that he would read it and that I should contact him to go on his Air America
weekend radio show that's coming up this spring. So, um, yeah. I will definately do that if that opportunity is there. So, yeah, that was pretty memorable. And Simba has a picture of it somewhere.
In other news, I've had a really productive morning. I got BrainRap.com back online after months of absense from the web. I got a new edition of my book completed and up online ready to be ordered by folks
. With the new, bigger type it's much easier to read. And now, I have about 4 hours to get ready and head on over to the Langston Hughes because I have to do some rapping of my own at "Poets Against Descrimination."
Conquering Fear in a Year
this journal entry posted on April.25.2005
Here in Buffalo, NY there are two really cool poets, Celia White and Joe Todaro, and they organize an event called Urban Epiphany. Urban Epiphany is a gathering of poets (of all different levels of experience) and gives them each two minutes to read. It is an awesome event and has a lot of really good energy. http://www.celiathepoet.org/urbanepiphany2005.htm
One year ago I went to Urban Epiphany to see my friend Anna Walsh read (we have a book of poetry coming out soon, keep a look out for it). And it was a lot of fun to watch and I so wanted to go up and read. I wasn't signed up to read, but it was possible to go up to Celia and Joe and get an open reader slot. I spent a couple hours trying to work up the courage to talk to them about getting a slot and I wasn't able to do it. I had one poem of mine memorized well enough that I could recite it, but I was afraid I would freeze or forget the words. Any time I thought about approaching the sign up sheet my heart would start pounding in my chest. Eventually I had to run and do some activist stuff and I had not signed up or read.
Oh what a difference a year makes. I have bunches of things memorized because I perform quite often to pretty big audiences. This year I was really excited to see Anna read again, but also about half of the poets there were poets that I know and like and have enjoyed seeing in the past (the past being the last 5 or 6 months). And the performance poetry group that has recently welcomed me in, ice9, was there and we read as a block (somewhat coincidentally) and we really rule.
I performed "Ugly American" and "Be Peace" again --not only because those are the ones I've needed to perform lately, but also because they seemed right for this audience. And the audience really liked it.
Also, my buddy Mikey didn't like it that you couldn't find the lyrics to the things I was performing in the galleries on the AMProSoft website here, so I have started adding some lyrics here and there. Here's Ugly American
Coding and scripting
this journal entry posted on April.23.2005
Been a while since I've stopped to code anything. But I have a project due for the Western New York Peace Center http://www.wnypeace.org and so I've been awake all day Perl Scripting. I feel like I'm back in college. I have to work all night tonight and I have a performance and book promotion to do tomorrow so this all basically amounts to me pulling an all nighter. (So now I really feel like I'm back in college).
Speaking of my performance and book promoting and such... a number of my local Western New York friends have asked me to keep them up to date with where I'll be doing stuff. So... Ive added a calendar to the website here that gives the what, when, wheres of events and occasions that I'll be involved in
Oh, and a lot of the coding I've been doing today has also helped me complete my journal thing so that folks can look at historic entries. And I'll be adding more historic entries as I track them down.
988 Back where it Belongs
this journal entry posted on April.22.2005
In 1991 I decided to become a software designer for real. For me this meant buying a P.O. Box and then cranking out some shareware video games and waiting for the checks to start rolling in at the P.O. Box. The P.O. Box that I bought was #988 at my local post office. I was very proud of it. Over the years I had t-shirts printed with the P.O. Box address on it, I named the Letter column of my newsletter "988" in honor of the P.O. Box and over the years I actually did get quite a few letters and even some checks (though not enough to make me rich or famous).
So in the early 2000s I became really busy with a lot of other stuff. AMProSoft sorta fell by the wayside. The web page didn't get updated much. One day to my horror I went to the post office and found out that I had failed to pay for my P.O. Box for quite a while (I was pretty sure I had paid but I guess I was mistaken) and THEN they sold my P.O. box -- the P.O. Box that had been AMProSoft's physical home for more than 12 years-- to someone else.
Yesterday I was at the post office mailing out a job application and mailing stuff to the beautiful and talented Heather K, and on a whim I decided to ask them to check to see if P.O. Box 988 was available. The clerk didn't exactly want to. He didn't think there was a good chance that any specific P.O. Box would be available and he felt like he was a very busy man apparently. But I had him check anyway and low and behold... P.O. Box 988 belongs to AMProSoft once more!! Mu-hu-ha-ha-ha!
P.O. Box 988
Buffalo, NY 14213
in case you want to write me some fan mail or send me some checks or anything like that.
Been a Bizzy Beaver
this journal entry posted on April.16.2005 April.14.2005
What a day I had on Thursday! I worked from midnight to 8am(at my "real job"). Then my ice9 crew picked me up from work and we all journeyed out to Niagara Falls, New York for a performance at NCCC. That was a fun time. I'm not sure the students knew what to make of us. They kinda just sat there staring at us in disbelief. But I have fun performing no matter what the audience does I suppose. Well, I guess probably not if they were screaming at random intervals or shooting a gun at me or that kind of thing. Anyway, here are some pictures from it
And then we went out to eat for Amy's birthday. Happy birthday to our tyranical evil leader who makes us hate people and whips us when we don't comply. It's not so bad really. Usually, evil, abusive, dictatorial, criminal masterminds are just misunderstood. That's certainly true of Amy. She's very, very nice when we're doing what she tells us to do.
Then I had to hurry up and bike it on home because Patti Smith and Ralph Nader were returning to Buffalo and I had been telling my friend Matt that they should let me perform as a local opening act for weeks. Then I happened to run into him last tuesday while he was putting up flyers and I reminded him one more time that he should let me on stage and I will entertain the masses for him. He looked to tired to argue, so he relented or agreed or something. So I went to the church thinking there was a pretty good chance that I really was going to open for Patti Smith and Ralph Nader, and that's exactly what happened. I sat right up front, met a really cool new friend named Celia who agreed to take pictures of me. Then Matt came up and said "You're on in five minutes. Ready?" I was totally ready. I honestly and truly expected that with Buffalo's destitution they weren't going to get any more than 100 people to show up. I was very seriously mistaken. There was a pretty full house. Between 300 and 400 people. Far and away the largest audience I've ever performed in front of. And when I turned around and saw that huge church practically full it was very exciting. I gave a little ice breaker humor about my "Americu" hat and then I performed Ugly American and Be Peace for them. It was a scary thing performing Be Peace in front of that many people since it's a new song and I had just completely screwed it up earlier in the day at ice9's NCCC performance. But I nailed it this time. People seemed to like it, and hopefully the lyrics provoked some thoughts. Check out the pictures of me on the same stage that Patti Smith rocked a short time later.
Then I went home and slept for a very long time.
Relations: McEmpire tops 100!
this journal entry posted on April.11.2005
Well it feels like a huge accomplishment to me:
This morning, my new book Relations: McEmpire generated it's 100th sale. In recent weeks sales were slumping and it seemed like there was a force field blocking the 100 mark after a rapid march up to the mid 80s. But then the kindly folks of Riverside-Salem UCC church were nice enough to have me out to Grand Island to read from my book yesterday and I sold a bunch of copies and had a lot of fun reading passages. That seemed to prime the pump so to speak and I sold another copy online this morning, and just like that, I was at 100. Not too bad for a book that's been mostly sold out of my backpack or at local independant bookstores in an abysmal Bush administration economy.
Speaking of retailers, I have a new version of Relations: McEmpire coming out soon (with larger print and an ISBN number: 0-9767717-0-5) and I'm very eager to start selling those but I have a bit of backstock to get through first, and there are a number of outlets that have been kind enough to sell my book, but they're not generating many sales. It would help me tremendously if these places could sell more copies:
Rust Belt Books - 202 Allen St (Buffalo - Allentown)
Talking Leaves - 951 Elmwood Ave (Buffalo - Elmwood Village)
Talking Leaves - 3158 Main St. (Buffalo - University Heights)
WNY Peace Center - 2123 Bailey (Buffalo - East Side)
Abbey Grange Books - 239 Lexington Ave (Buffalo - West Side) Tell a friend!
If you know of any other places that would be interested in selling this book, please let me know. For more about the book, click here: http://www.amprosoft.com/books/Relations
And lastly, if you've already read the book, there is still a little bit of time left to submit a back cover blurb for the new edition. Just write two to five sentences about why this is a good book to read, what you liked about it, etc. and email it to me
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