Category: Film

…… hearts and history

You Are What You Think

I read an article recently that talked about how important it is to pay attention to the way in which you do things. As we all are aware, these are indeed trying times. But the way in which we think about them, and the way in which we do our work and live our lives is as much our own responsibility as the crazy outside forces affecting us.

This Too Shall Pass

Remember that while we worry about politics or whether that crazy neighbor is going to have a loud party again which might keep us up all night, to keep it all in perspective. We can be comfortable in our issues while we work them out. We can keep fighting the “good fight” and remember that right will win in the end. Welcome to life……

Be Proud of Yourself


Remember to pat yourself on the back for what you ARE accomplishing….. Bravo! Try and keep in mind that your only competition in life is YOURSELF and making yourself better as time moves on. Conquering your fears, overcoming your obstacles learning things you don’t know… in essence becoming a more centered more capable more loving person is all we really need concern ourselves with.



Black History Month

There is so much we don’t know about African American history. We didn’t learn what we Americans should have about all the contributions we’ve made in the United States. I hope one day that will be a thing of the past…. in the meantime I like to use the month to honor people. This year I’d like to recognize four.

Dr. Garret Morgan, Paul Cuffee, Miriam Benjamin and Shirley Chisolm.

Dr. Garret Morgan

Born to slaves, Dr. Garrett Morgan was only educated to the 6th grade level… but like many inventors he had an innate mechanical mind as was a skilled entrepreneur. He received a patent for the first gas mask invention in 1914. He also invented the traffic signal which of course we probably couldn’t live without today. Learn more about Garrett Morgan HERE

Paul Cuffee

Paul Cuffee’s father was captured as a child and sold into slavery. He was freed by his Quaker master in Massachusetts in the 1740’s. Cuffee built a successful shipping empire in New England and established the first racially integrated school in Westport Massachusetts. He was a devout Christian and abolitionist, and helped establish the colony of Freetown in Sierra Leone. You can read more about him HERE

Miriam Benjamin

Miriam Benjamin was the second Black woman to receive a patent in 1888. Her invention consisted of a light-up chair, originally used in hotels to notify wait staff when patrons wanted service. However, this technology has since been adapted to airplanes and the U. S. House of Representatives. Its a powerful and impactful tool that we still use today. So… every time you call the airline steward or stewardess you can think of Miriam Benjamin. Here’s a link on her full story.

Shirley Chisolm

The great turnout in the mid term elections this past November and the resultant record numbers of women being elected made me think of Shirley Chisolm. A Brooklyn native, Shirley was the first black major party candidate to run for President of the United States in 1972 and the first woman Democrat to do so.  While running for City Council she’s often quoted for her statement “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair”.

While running for the presidency she said “I am not the candidate of black America, although I am black and proud. I am not the candidate of the woman’s movement of this country, although I am a woman and equally proud of that. I am the candidate of the people and my presence before you symbolizes a new era in American political history. And so it did… You can read all about this wonderful woman HERE

As a last thought for Black History Month, I would also like to share a short documentary film that I really enjoyed called “Railroad Ties”. Its only about twenty minutes. It won a 2019 Sundance award and happens to refer to a church I am quite familiar with.

Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day for all you lovers out there.


There are several stories about who Saint Valentines was. One dates to Roman times, another from the 17th century. In both cases the tradition can be traced to a priest who married young couples in secret. Whatever the true story may be, love is a global phenomenon and Valentines Day is celebrated around the world in fascinating and different ways. If you’d like to learn more about the celebration around the world click HERE


Quotes for this post

Optimistic people play a disproportionate role in shaping our lives. Their decisions make a difference; they are inventors, entrepreneurs, political and military leaders – not average people. They got to where they are by seeking challenges and taking risks. DANEIL KAHNEMAN

Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago. WARREN BUFFETT

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. FRANCIS OF ASSISI


If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. MAYA ANGELOU

Be well everyone…

As always, I am – Musically yours, Gregory



……giving thanks

Thanksgiving Gregory overlay

 

I am thankful for my family, my friends and my fans. You all have given me so much. In the wake of the extremest attacks happening all over the world; this Thanksgiving and this holiday season means even more to me. And as I have always loved this time of year, I am grateful. I pray that we have the strength and courage for peace in the world. Blessings to you all.

And I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it”.

WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD

What are you grateful for?

 


 

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I was at the UNAFF International Documentary Film Festival in October (United Nations Association Film Festival) and saw some great films at my Alma Mater Stanford University. The festival covers cutting edge films that make you think. This is their 18th year.

I am telling you now that this festival covers difficult topics.

The director of the festival Jasmina Bojic works tirelessly to find films that will make an impact on the world… and especially on children. I am in agreement with Jasmina that our children are the answer to a bright and healthy future.

They were all very important films but one that really stood out to me that I thought I would mention. It’s called “I’m Not Racist… Am I”?

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It’s a film about twelve high school students asking questions we don’t normally ask. It takes place in New York City. The links to the trailer are above. It’s not something you will find in your local movie theaters, but IT IS SOMETHING that is a great thing to share with young people– your children and grand children. If you are compelled to see the film; I am pretty sure you can contact the producer André Robert Lee for a showing.

Being multi-cultural myself; issues like these are something I think about and talk about with friends and family. They are a part of who I am. I know that my friends understand how to communicate different and difficult ideas and the like; but I ask friends of friends etc… to please treat this topic with respect. If it’s not for you then its not for you. Thank you.


On a different note- I spent a few days in the snow in Lake Tahoe California.

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It was beautiful. I’m sporting a beard for a little while (see clip above) because I’m tired of shaving. (Can’t a man take a break)! LOL.

There was a local pet; a chocolate Lab named Doobie who came in and out as he pleased and got treats from all until we noticed on his collar (PLEASE DO NOT FEED) then the jig was up! He still came around though. (There is always hope). It was a great three day break from the studio and I feel refreshed and ready for more….

Bear

 

On the last day we noticed something odd about the car…. and found out a bear had tried to break in and completely took off the door handle…. (this was not the bear but just imagine).  Glad I wasn’t there to see him. This is definitely bear country and the locals respect bears and the wildness of the area and try and co exist. I saw a picture at checkout in the local pharmacy of a bear in the store. It just wandered in and started eating face cream. The people gave it a wide berth and gently “shooed” it away and it left. That’s Lake Tahoe!

Here’s the full song of the snippet in the video above. “Seasons Change”


INTERVIEWS in December

I have three interviews coming up. Click the photos to links of the stations etc…

KOSR Radio Network

KOSR Radio Network

First on December 9th I will be interviewing with Mia Williams on Nite Moods on the KOSR Radio Network (click pic) via  Tunein .

Later, I will post the exact air date and time.


 

Cresent City Radiio JuLā DuCré

 

On the 19th of December I will be LIVE with JuLā DuCré on ‘Real Talk’ with Big G and JuLā DuCré    “Making Radio Cool Again…”

Every Saturday 8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (CST)  Call-in: 504-865-3635www.crescentcityradio.com

http://tunein.com/radio/Real-Talk-with-Big-G-and-Jula-Ducre-p500195/


show talk with Angela Butler

 

And on December 29th I will be taping: Show Talk with Angela Butler @ 1:00PM PST

You can listen via either blogtalkradio or livestream.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/angela-butler

http://original.livestream.com/showtalkwithangelabutler

And again- we will post when we know the exact air date and time.


 

On a totally unrelated note: I thought this was funny and thought I’d share.

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That’s about it for now. Enjoy the holidays.

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My quote for this post: Everything you want is on the other side of fear”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be well,  As always I am musically yours,

Gregory


……sons, brothers and fruit

I’ve been asked many times over the years if I had any tips or insights on staying healthy. What are some of the things that mean the most to me 🙂 — that make me happy and keep me healthy, centered and as stress free as possible in this day and age…

Well I think a lot. I read a lot. I ask a lot of questions. I always have. I’ve always followed only those things that made sense to me…. never been a big trend follower for example. I prefer to cut a new path and explore… that’s the kind of thing that jazzes me. I have a friend that said this about me (and made me laugh… so I guess the shoe fits). “If we’re all going out for a swim… maybe to get some sun and meet for lunch at a specified time…. Gregory will not be there until hours later… and when he does come back, he will have some interesting story to tell about a new kind of turtle he found or how he discovered a path that leads to the best swimming hole ever”. “How do you think we found this place!”

I’m no expert but I’m a big believer in good nutrition and taking care of yourself. The women in my life have always been more on the ball with this overall… (taking care of themselves I mean). My male friends could do better.  I’ve learned a lot from my travels to different cultures… and from my own study…… and trial and error. I thought I would pass some tidbits on health and nutrition to you from time to time. You can use them (or not) as you see fit. So here’s… ta da

Abbott’s Amusing Health Tip #1

 
EAT BLUEBERRIES. 
I eat a lot of blueberries…. just–plain–raw BB’s.
Why Greg? (ha ha) They have one of the highest antioxidant abilities of all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Huh… come again? (wink)

Blueberries are a whole body antioxidant. Antioxidants are essential to combat free radicals… the process in the body that ages you. And BB’s are pretty much good for everything. As a phyto-nutrient they’re good for stress, the nervous system, the brain and memory, the cardiovascular system and they are a low glycemic food. (more on that later). This is probably the only sweet that I eat. But don’t take my word… for more blueberry info than you can possibly handle, heres’s a link

 


I finished a short 3 minute film called “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters”. It’s a self-help poem that we filmed and turned into a “graphic novel” type of  animation. Some of you may know that I quoted this in the liner notes of my CD “Eyes Whispers, Rhythm Sex…”.  It’s a story or metaphor about learning from your mistakes. It’s a powerful message that many self-help organizations use. I’ve always loved the poem and thought it might be cool to animate it. I’ve been trying to figure out where and how to present it so folks don’t think its a music video! It’s not. If you have any ideas let me know… and if you think this can help someone you love or care about, by all means pass it on. Here is a private link.

https://youtu.be/A5SG2Av0Qvc


 Some of you are aware that  I am an enthusiastic  supporter of respecting  the  environment (the  seas and the trees  mostly). Nature is an  essential part of my being. It brings me peace and helps me stay creative. There’s nothing like walking  through the woods with the light shimmering through the trees to start me creating  a new song… the water does this to me too.  Global Cooperation Day 2014  is on October 4th and I want to encourage you to read up on the movement…..


I have also joined in the support of an organization called the “Alliance for Boys and Men of Color”. In California the demographic of people is 70%. That is “seventy percent of people living in California identify themselves as “people of color”. Unfortunately the ones most in trouble are our young boys and men. Our culture depends on its young people having a fair chance to thrive and succeed and that’s what this program is all about; improving their chances for a better life. A major focus is to keep these young men in school. I wish they could grow up like I did but they do not have the opportunity….

 

Quoting from Robert K. Ross he states: “I know that when we help our sons, we’re building future fathers, colleagues and productive members of society. When we help our sons, we help our daughters and everyone”.

 


The more I travel through this comedy we call life, the more I come to appreciate the value of simplicity. A lot of the complexities in life simply aren’t necessary and quite often have to do with some other person or group wanting you to do something that they want you to do…… good for them… not necessarily good for you. But not only that, as I move through life I also appreciate how short it is  and I’ve come up with the brilliant notion (yeah right) that the more efficient we can be, the more of it we can live and enjoy! I love being alive and I want to live life to the fullest. I find that so many things that I have owned I really didn’t need and after discarding or giving them away, I never missed them and that the path of my life became clearer, cleaner and more fun. This also applies to people, problem organizations,  and affiliations of any kind.

Tend those you love like a garden.

Tend those you love like a garden.

So my advice would be to treat your life like you would your beautiful garden…. prune regularly and nourish and water your favorite plants (people) they are your treasure. 


My quote for this session:

Giving up on a goal because of a setback is like slashing your other three tires because you got a flat……


Welcome to all the new followers to my blog. I thank you for taking the time out to join.

Lastly, I am grateful to all of you who asked about myself and my family regarding the 6.0 earthquake in Napa here in Northern California. We are fine. Although I haven’t heard back from everyone; most of those I have reached out to have positive reports – that is to say no one was hurt (thank goodness).

RIP Robin Williams

Until next time…. I am musically yours, Gregory

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