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Many of my post may be filled with typos, ignorant statements, untruths, bad English, & anything else that may make me appear to be uneducated. Please note: all of these things combined make my Blog the perfect one, because you know I have issues & I am not ashamed. With this said; enjoy, fuck mistakes & read between the lines!

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Archive for the 'Drama' Category

My Brother’s Keeper

Author: Tafari, Monday, April 16th, 2018 at 10:53 AM Mindspill

MISSING::: Langford Patton Jr. Ward of the State/Patient at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital 30901 Palmer Road Westland, Michigan 48186 Phone: (734) 367-8400 Last seen in Westland, MI April 15, 2018 at 2pm headed south on Wayne Road running from the MJR movie theater. Wearing a light gray coat, navy blue skull cap, khaki pants, and navy-blue Nike gym shoes. It is likely that he may show up in the Dexter/Davison area, specifically on Sturtevant and or Cortland between Dexter & Linwood. If see, please call 911 immediately, do now engage with him at all. He may be a danger to himself or strangers and will continue to run. A missing persons report was filed in the city of Westland, MI & the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital has been alerted Please contact family representative, Tafari Stevenson-Howard, if you have tips or potentially helpful information at 734-678-0974. Thank you! Mindspill

Last Thursday, I got a call from my brother’s case manager, Stacy Wetters at the Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital informing me that he was eligible for a day pass. I got excited when she asked me if I would be comfortable picking up for an 8-hour period. With no hesitation, I said yes, got the details then it was officially a plan. I got off the phone, called our momma and told her the good news and we were both so excited! Langford (Topot) got into some big trouble almost 2 years ago while living in an adult foster care home who allowed him to go unmedicated. When my brother slips off of his medications, all hell breaks loose and it did… He went into a local restaurant, waving a knife demanding food. He even went behind the counter with the knife further making demands. The workers were able to get him to leave the building but then he went to the dumpster looking and ultimately fell asleep in front of the restaurant with the knife and was arrested… Fast forward and he’s now facing a 4+ year felony charge, was transferred to the Wayne County Jail, put on trial, transferred to the Ruether Psychiatric Hospital, where he was put back on medication, had them adjusted, got cleaned up, I was able to visit with him. Later found incompetent to stand trial and the case was dropped. Although the case was dropped, he couldn’t return to the street until he was mentally stable and put into a home that could meet his high needs and that’s the challenge. I last met with his treating team over 6 weeks ago and no movement since then but he’s doing so good. I visit him often. We usually have snacks, talk about old times, play cards and he usually has some interested fantasy stories that he tells me. I always listen no matter how out there the stories are & they are usually out there… Back to now… So I pick him up yesterday for the 8-hour pass, he looked great! So bright, happy, and excited to be getting some fresh air. My plan was to take him to see "Black Panther," then some lunch and back to my house to chill. When we got in the car, he asked me to put on some jazz, so I did. We listened to the Brand New Heavies, one of his favorites. Then he asked if we could listen to more jazz when we got to my house. I had a surprise for him… I found a Paul Hardcastle album at the record store the day before and we both love Paul Hardcastle so it was a treat. We get to the movies, get snacks, get seats and it’s going great… He then has to use the rest room. Then minutes go by. Then more minutes and I’m like where is he. He sits back down next to me smelling like cigarettes. OMG! One of my instructions was no cigarettes, no liquor, no other drugs… All of this can interfere with his medications. As a matter of fact, any of this can make him have seizures. I asked about the cigarettes & he popped off at the mouth and then he had to use the restroom again… At this point, I sensed trouble and knew I had to cut the day short. I explained that I was taking him back. He got upset and as soon as we got outside headed to the car, he bolted. I was shocked but immediately started chasing him. He was running like a fucking gazelle bobbing and weaving through a very busy street with cars coming in both directions. It was like a scene in a movie then I stopped… Why am I chasing him. WHY??? Really putting myself at risk. He always told me he was a ninja and a green beret (whatever that is). yesterday, I believed him. The way he ran across Wayne road through those cars and disappeared trips me out. I mean... he took off running. Like he was Carl Lewis. I walk back to the car in the freezing rain… Thinking… What am I gonna say to the hospital. All my fault. The police. All my fault. He’s grown but he’s not. Called the police and Water P. Ruether Psychiatric Hospital. Reports were filed. Cars were out searching. I headed home. He knows my phone number and may call. He may run to our old neighborhood for refuge. I don’t know but I do know that I’m drained! DRAINED! Mental illness is such a heavy load! For those affected and for those family members who love & support. Last night, I felt like I was at the end of my rope. I went through a range of emotions. Through my family experience with my grandmother (paranoid schizophrenic) and brother (paranoid schizophrenic), I see how your family will give up on you because of mental illness. I don’t want to be how I saw my mother, aunts and uncles were with my grandmother. I don’t want to be like that to my brother. It’s so hard. A hard place. I want to be my brother’s keeper but damn…

Temporary Struggles of a Father

Author: Tafari, Sunday, June 17th, 2012 at 10:30 AM Mindspill

About eight years ago, my oldest daughter, Olivia made this sign for me and since then, I have kept the picture in my office. It serves as a reminder, motivation, & inspiration. She was daddy’s girl. I remember those days well. Life is different now but memories always remain. It’s been months since I left the planet that was destroying my life. Up until my departure, I questioned myself; is this the best thing for me to do. Should I walk away to prevent my children seeing their parents tearing each other apart. Should I walk away to save myself. The answer may have been hard but it was for sure a yes on all counts. Walking away is tough but sometime necessary. I was cautioned by several that if I walk, it may be a while, long while before I could spend time with my children. I didn’t want to believe it but the advice came to pass. It was true. Being a father is complicated and I feel that we often do not get the support that mothers get, socially, judicially etc. I NEVER thought that I would be one of those fathers that wanted to see, love, support, joke with his children but could not because of the other parent being an obstacle. These last four months feel like fourteen. I’m looking forward to the time when this just a memory and I am embracing my daughters as I have since the day they entered this world baring my likeness, my blood, my name. With all this said, trouble don't last always and here's a shout out to the men who understand the shoes that I'm walking in.

Niggas Can Be Bitches Too

Author: Tafari, Saturday, March 10th, 2012 at 5:09 PM Mindspill

Inspired by a conversation I had recently.... I didn't think protecting yourself from slander, harm and accusations could be considered "fighting like a dirty bitch." Mindspill

I’m Doing Fine By Myself

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 at 8:10 PM
On this day last week at this time, I was sitting in my new space reflecting on the move that I made. A move that I NEVER imagined that I would ever make had you asked me 1 year ago but here I am. Almost single; wondering when I will see my daughters, wondering how they are doing, feeling, acting. Today, a week after I left a world that was destroying me, I am feeling fine, OK, grounded in the belief that this overall drama will pass. Knowing that my babies love me, miss me…. As I feel for them. The dissolving of a family is tough shit & it’s a great thing to have tons of friends and family here to get through this process. On a positive note, I feel like I have wings now. I grew a little stronger. The seeds of poison, disgust and envy no longer shadow my every breath or affect my being. Interestingly enough, I did not realize how intense my situation was until I stepped outside of it for a few days and reflected then realized that happiness, comfort, peace & satisfaction does exist. I will continue to believe in love, family, the black man, woman and child but now I have a different lens in which to view that from. A shattered lens making things seem like some kind of kaleidoscope. I don’t know. Maybe I’m silly…. There is so much more that I want to say here but I just cant, however getting this out was a relief. Whatever the case;. Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Baby! Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Baby! Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Don’t worry about me. Baby! I’m alright & I’m a human being dammit.

On Leaving This Planet

Author: Tafari, Saturday, February 4th, 2012 at 1:11 AM
Mark de Clive-Lowe Leaving This Planet This whole divorce process has been a bitch to say the least. Emotional highs and lows, mental highs and lows, energy highs and lows and everything in between. Many nights, I felt like Leaving This Planet. Not in ways that are dismal or literal but I needed an escape. A spaceship. A hovercraft. A friendly alien to help me get into a space where I was safe from a crushing perceived reality. For the longest, Kaye West's song “Spaceship” was my theme song for so many reasons. Then I heard Mark de Clive-Lowe's “Leaving this Planet” (vocals by Sharlene Hector) and I started crying (not like a bitch but close). This was some time in the spring of 2011 when my world started to experience change. Sometimes, I would listen to “Leaving this Planet” on auto play repeat like I was the Rain Man or something. It calmed me. Made me wish. Made me……. This evening while driving home, I was reflecting on the events of my day and “Leaving this Planet” came on the iPod. At the moment, I started driving a little slower to enjoy the 4:47 minutes of happiness that the song brings me. Like most, I can use music as a marker for many events in my life. A life soundtrack if you will…. As time is passing, I’m only getting stronger. -------------------------------------------------------- Mark de Clive-Lowe - Leaving this Planet [audio|width=250|titles=Leaving this Planet|artists= Mark de Clive-Lowe]

Real Life Movement

Author: Tafari, Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 at 11:12 AM Mindspill

Yes! It’s true! I’m almost single... I haven’t shared this publicly before now but I am in the process of a divorce. The last few months of my life have been fairly turbulent but I am committed to pull through this event. 2012 has a whole lot in store for me. The ending of many things & the beginning of many more… I feel ready for it all but that feeling comes and goes like the Dexter bus (Detroit reference). On A Positive Note:
  • My kids are pulling great grades in school.
  • Three more months left of school and I will be walking across that stage and joining the Educated Negro Elite.
  • My sister and I have reconciled and are back at one.
  • My brother is out of the hospital and doing much better.
  • I’m now a bowler. Well not really but I am really enjoying this sport. And I totally have to get my own bowling shoes because the rented shoes are NASTY.
  • I still believe in the power of love.
  • I look great in fancy man scarfs.
  • I leave for Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in 2 weeks!

Talking With No Voice

Author: Tafari, Monday, October 10th, 2011 at 12:46 AM Mindspill

Yesterday, I had a senior portrait session downtown Detroit.  Days leading up to the session, I was dreading the worse because I was not sick but something was up with my throat leaving me unable to talk off & on. My voice sounded horrible but I felt no pain. Seems like since I got that flu shot, I've been having all kinds of body drama. I'm just saying. Saturday, I met with friends and at the end of the night, my voice was GONE.  I woke up Sunday & the voice was still GONE but  I was not going to cancel my session because I could not talk! I wasn’t sure how I was going to make it through but I was going to make it happen. At the beginning of the session, I let the clients know that I was going to be doing a lot of whispering. It was actually kind of funny. I made it through the session with nothing vocally to spare. I joked on Facebook that I whispered through my photo session like it was a Ying Yang twins video. Yeah, I got jokes! On the way home, I was at a stoplight telling myself that I was not going to talk for the next few days to let my throat rest. Also, while at the light, I noticed this uniquely Detroit liquor store sign. The sign actually made me smile for some unknown reason. Maybe it was the colors. Maybe because the sign was lit but it was in a vacant lot. Anyway, I still cannot talk. Dammit!

It’s a Wrap: Mercedes Benz Fashion Week

Author: Tafari, Friday, September 16th, 2011 at 9:11 PM Mindspill

Mercedes Benz Fashion Week is officially over & I survived the madness for five days…. This season for me was the best of the three that I have attended for one major reason & that is because I refused to let anyone or anything stress me out. This means that I got into no arguments with Italian photographers, I didn’t have to elbow anyone & I did not have to cuss anyone one out. On the way home, I thought about how calm & reserved I was, which is totally not me. Although I did not stress like in the past, I did have my fair share of incidents that were challenging such as:

- Twisting my ankle the 1st day of MBFW. A total bummer considering that photographing at MBFW means lots of walking & standing. When the accident occurred, honestly, I could have cried. It hurt like never before & walking on it was a bitch! A week later, the ankle is feeling better but not 100% so you know that I really messed myself up.

- Having my Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens die on me stemming from a drop months ago during a photo session. I noticed that it died moments before I was about to photograph the Lacoste runway show. In order to make it through the rest of the assignment meant procuring a replacement lens fast. Luckily, I found a replacement at THE only open camera store on Manhattan. I so did not plan on getting a replacement lens but I have to say that the updated version of the Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 lens is far more superior to its predecessor. Much faster, lighter & much more crisp. I guess it all came together…

- Losing my laptop charger. Luckily, the 5th Ave Apple store is open 24 hours!

- Missing several runway looks in six shows because my rental Nikon D700 camera mirror kept locking up on me. Fortunately, I keep a back up camera. And even better, when I returned the camera to Foto Care & informed them of the issue, they totally took care of me in a way that I did not expect. They have the best service and I appreciate their commitment to photographers.

- Losing my Metro Card on the last day & almost missing my flight after busting a cabbie who tried to rip me off by double charging.

Outside of the drama, I worked my ass off photographing twenty shows/presentations, processing and uploading images the same day & being in the bed by 1am. Mindspill Making my turn around time even better was the fact that my editor, Asia Willis and I were coordinating via phone, text and email as she was in LA whipping up our reviews over the weekend and posting on the spot. Technology is a beautiful thing! Without the company & humor of my friends in New York with me, I don’t know if I would have been able to stay sane because after the ankle, I was like, OK. After the lens, I was like, REALLY?!!!. After the camera, I was like, I must have a Gypsy curse on my life (as I screamed loudly in my head)… Mindspill On an interesting note, my friends at The NYLA Report and I are already talking about MBFW in February as we continue to wrap of our coverage from the past week. It’s not that far away & we are going to be bigger & badder with fingers crossed for less drama or at least some fun drama! To see images from that I captured on the runway at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, check here. For coverage & show reviews, check out The NYLA Report here.

Blah: My Life

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, August 3rd, 2011 at 7:45 PM Mindspill

The last two days of my life has been a mixed bag of good, bad and evil. I’ve been wading through these elements as carefully as I can but life is what it is. I was blue. Wait, I wasn’t all that blue. Not as blue as blue could be but I guess still blue. A shade of “non-photo blue” if you will. Shake it off.... This evening I took a test for class and while doing so, all I was thinking was just 2 more weeks until it’s all over. That’s good. To ground me, I surrounded my computer with buds from my Rose of Sharon bush just to be all earthy & shit. It worked! That’s good. Going through email tonight, I got the press release informing that the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week schedule for the upcoming season is on & popping. While reviewing the schedule, my blues were shaken as I had some great rememories of yesteryear. Fun times, drama, my pimp boots & meeting new friends. That’s good. Anyway…. The bad and evil that I’ve been wading through is like some shit out of one of my... Nevermind. I’m shaking that off like hateration in a dancery!

Ted Williams: Not So Shiny & New

Author: Tafari, Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 12:05 AM Mindspill

When things are shiny & new, everyone wants a piece. I’m happy that Ted was "discovered" & I’m VERY happy that he is in recovery now but it's a shame how it all played out for him under the media pressure. Shame on Kraft, The Cavaliers & them other bitches who dropped Ted like a hot potato. I mean, come on, did you really expect that he had a squeaky clean past. Perhaps they should have did some background checking before they started sucking his dick & making offers because they wanted to look "nice & caring." I’m just saying. I’m hoping that Ted heals the areas of his life that were neglected for so long. While healing, I hope that the money/fame hungry vultures are kept at bay. Let a brother be successful the right way. Now that I said my piece, peep this story I found on Good.Is. “A Month Later, "Homeless Man with a Golden Voice" Is Abandoned by His Corporate Friends” by Cord Jefferson
“In early January, a journalist in Ohio came across a homeless man possessed of a "golden radio voice." That man, as you probably know, was Ted Williams, and the journalist's video footage of him quickly became a hit on the internet and television. Williams got a makeover seemingly overnight, and soon he was doing voiceovers for Kraft products, appearing in TV ads, and fielding an announcing job offer from the Cleveland Cavaliers. But then reality struck. After getting into an altercation with his daughter, an altercation for which he was not , Williams was pressured into going into rehab for alcohol addiction by TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw. He then left almost immediately, saying he felt rushed and that the process (i.e. being broadcast on Dr. Phil live from rehab) felt "scripted." Williams then checked himself into a sober living house for voiceover actors in Los Angeles, where he could come and go as he pleased, but where he still needed to submit to drug tests and promise to remain clean. Eventually came word that Williams had long ago abandoned his nine children. And then The Smoking Gun released his rap sheet. Ultimately, it turned out that the man with the golden voice did not have such a golden history. Alas, in the aftermath of his troubled second chance, Williams is still making minor appearances—the Los Angeles Times reports he was recently at a milkshake shop but Kraft hasn't brought him back, his TV ads have been pulled, and the Cavaliers' job offer has been reneged.” Read More Here...
Photo Credit: AP

There Is A Black Messiah Coming

Author: Tafari, Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 10:23 PM Mindspill

As a self proclaimed Jesus impersonator, I will admit that I am not all that ready for the rapture this coming Saturday. So far, all that I have ready is a playlist, some batteries, a new pair of jeans and a full tank of gas. Sigh! From what I read, Jesus will be here at 1:45am Zulu, so if you’re not familiar with Zulu time, bitch, you better read up. With that said, I will quote one of favorite my soulful house DJs, Osunlade:
“…As sure as I live, I know there is a Black Messiah coming. The shadow of the spirit looms against the universal sky. There is a Black Messiah coming. The son of the great Black father who watches the door of time. There is a Black Messiah coming. His thoughts, they fill the air. There is a Black Messiah coming. He is the one we have be waiting for forever. There is a Black Messiah coming. He will love us all completely, there is a Black Messiah coming. The spirit of Malcolm will walk again. There is a Black Messiah coming. Bringing dreams that only Kings would dare to dream. There is a Black Messiah coming. The man of all men he will be. There is a Black Messiah coming. All people will be set free. There is a Black Messiah coming. He will walk this barren land removing all children out of ignorance. There is a Black Messiah coming…”
See you on the other side!

In The Mood

Author: Tafari, Wednesday, April 20th, 2011 at 10:06 PM Mindspill

The other day I received some feedback for something that I did recently. Not really a big deal because I always welcome feedback, but this feedback went in the wrong direction!  Everyone knows that good feedback should be thought out, concise, and constructive. The feedback that I received was nothing that I just noted and it blew me out. Actually I was hurt. I slipped into a self-doubting mode and it lasted quite a while. I was so done that I called Cousin Dee so that she could talk me down and help get my mind right. In the usual fashion, she made me laugh about it during the entire conversation, but every now and then, I would slip into that zone that prompted me to call her in the first place. By the end of the conversation I was good and moving on thinking that I can only do what I do; nothing else. I’m hired because people like my style and the quality of work that I produce and of course everyone loves my winning personality. I’m not gloating but it is what it is. So yesterday, I reviewed some information that got me feeling some kind of way again then I just had to throw my hands up like for real. I cannot win them all. No one can. Last night, I thought about my reaction and realized that I let someone get the best of me over something that boiled down to bullshit. My assessment led me to realize that... I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about MY shit! On another note: - I’m done with my winter semester with two classes knocked out. The end of the tunnel is 1 year away! This time next year, I’ll be inviting you to my graduation ceremony… I’m so looking forward to being down with this chapter of my life! - I thoroughly enjoyed the 1st installment of the PBS series "Black in Latin America." - My hair looks like a hot mess, but not in this photo that was taken by my friend Shades. It's a hot mess in real life. Cannot wait to get it 'did' Saturday!