I cannot imagine what FREEDOM must feel like
    to publicly exist without caution or care

FREEDOM may perhaps be a wholly theoretical construct
    where we live in impossible purity and simplicity and truth

Maybe this FREEDOM is something that has never existed
    to plainly be without having to be any one thing (or another)

I cannot imagine a scenario in my lifetime where I would
    ever experience the uninhibited privilege of FREEDOM




No. 56.2


No. 56.1



2021. Mixy2021
46:15 para auriculares y cacao

 tyhardaway dot com 


Essay No. 56

What's Your Story?

  This document is not definitive. Think of this as an installment. A recap. Someday, there may be more.

How did this year’s annual birthday anniversary essay come about? I was DMing with a friend in The Bay and a comment and a question was thrown my way: “You’re so mysterious.”“What’s your story?” I decided what the heck, I'll type until I run out of gas. 


I am ty. ty hardaway. Weirdly, and some people have noticed this, I don’t capitalize my name when I type it. I’m not sure why but it’s a thing I do (so I can, perhaps, capitalize on my name someday). I tried to explain it once but as I was listening to myself explain it, I was like, no Broheim, you’re just making shit up (and I hate that). Interestingly, I print my name in all caps. I am ty. ty hardaway.


Sure, mysterious. I get that. I’m pretty self-protective and I have a good understanding of my limitations. I try not to try too hard. And I do work very hard at my craft. I don’t disclose a lot. I keep my business to myself where I can more carefully control the information people use to formulate opinions and judgements. We should all want to influence that better. I am also really good with giving people closest to me the very best of me. I customize experiences. I’m a curator. My graduate school advisor suggested I start a cult. That’s a weird thing for a graduate school advisor to say. I've watched the docs, it's way too much work.

I know who I am and I don't care if people judge me

–Stefanie Dolson

I have spent my entire life making things. Maybe I’ll define what that means someday but that’s it. I make things. I help people and groups do what they do better. Sometimes I get them to their very best selves or places. I make things. I make people. I’ve made lives. I’ve made some career defining things for myself. I’ve lived dreams. And just so you know, it’s actually very difficult living your dreams. I have done it a couple of times and when it’s over, the gravity of reality is horrible. Take great care with what you dream and what you do with those dreams. With blessings come curses or something.


I have been so many self-rejected titles, but I file taxes as “artist.” Please don’t refer to me as that. I’m just a person. Mostly, I am not a lot of things.


I have extraordinarily amazing, loyal, and talented friends. This category totals as a single-digit number. My friends are all extremely good at the things they do. They know their respective crafts. They know authenticity. Most of them make things too. And they really care about the quality of how they live. They curate their existences. They love me as I love them. We're all pretty crazy, clinically. I don’t let a lot of people in so this is the category of the people I do. Hardly anyone, maybe no one gets all the way in. Or out.

Likewise, I am above anything, fiercely loyal to the people I consider to be my friends. I do not friend or befriend easily. But my friends are important and I will always stand with them. Single digit number stuff.

I think I’m pretty smart sometimes but it is well within my capabilities to be much smarter. I’m a little bit clever. I’m definitely a diva. I embrace necessity. I’m a survivor. I can be a jerk. I am not lazy. I am keen on efficiency and presentation. I can make very difficult things look easy. And, I can see through knots.

"I can see through knots” is a phrase I once wrote to summarize my ability to come into situations and very quickly decipher what is happening, who the players are, and how I can become involved in or categorically avoid these situations. I can immediately see how I can improve things. I can create a role and immediately add value. It’s my super talent. I get it. I can leverage it. I’m a quick read and I’m usually right.

The earliest web reference to seeing through knots is
here, from 2004:  I am absolutely certain there are earlier references in the notebooks. I guess I could look through them…

…okay, found it. 1995 is the earliest reference I can find to being able to see through knots. I was a corporate consulting analyst in 1995. Makes sense.

But, I’m just a person. A not-so-interesting person who is fairly insecure or a person who knows exactly how awesome they are but has created a humble performance around it because they know that arrogance is ugly. But everyone absolutely knows it’s a performance. Take that one to your therapist for interpretation.

Therapy? Oh my! My therapist gets such a kick out of me. It’s become a stand-up comedy performance of me riffing my funniest material to an audience of one who is crying in laughter. I’m pretty funny. But one-on-one I’m hysterical. I am really good at quickly discovering what makes people laugh and deploying it like a tickle scalpel.

We could get into the whole growing up poor, broken family, laughter-as-survival narrative but that’s just tired. I’m funny because I’m smart. I’m smart because I wanted to be smart. Blessings and curses. I have family.

I am not nor have I ever been perfect in any way, shape, or form. But I exist against perfection as control group. In high school my senior quote was, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”*

*Today I learned that this is almost wholly a Vince Lomardi quote. I never knew. I stole it from a 1980's-era instructor. At the time I thought it was profound.

Silly, but I’m pretty old school. I came up with some pretty demanding mentors. I’ve had to intellectually battle some of those mentors to prove that I am qualified. I am qualified. This has been bestowed upon me by ancestors with the knowledge and experience to know how the world works.

Now I’m a mentor to super talented people. People who will be much better than me. It is my role to help them reach their potentials. Some of these folks have waged intellectual battles against me. Some have lost. Others have won. It’s how it works. It’s primal. Still, I believe that am guaranteed to end this thing in the win column. Heck, I could live to 270 years-old and still end up in karmic black. Not such a humble thing to type, but it’s factual.

Ask ty

Question 1: What’s your favorite vegetable?

I guess it’s something boring like broccoli. I can think of a few ways to prepare broccoli that I would like. I probably enjoy most vegetables but broccoli pops into mind first.

As a plant, I think the artichoke is my favorite. It feels so otherworldly. It’s always interesting to ponder the first people to try something we eat or use on the regs. You had to have been hella hungry to stumble upon an artichoke plant and think, I’m gonna to eat that! Same with horses (not eating, but sure eating too). At some point someone somewhere looked at a horse and thought, I’m gonna ride that!

Q2: Is everybody lonely?

Yes. The smarter we are as individuals, the more we understand that we are, essentially, alone. And temporary. And insignificant. Only we can know our entire histories, all of our truths, and all of our motivations for how we behave. Eventually, we come to understand that the absolutely only person we could possibly trust or rely upon fully, is ourselves.

Now, this does not mean we should be moping our way off of rooftops. With a little luck and with a little work we find people who are willing to also work a little to fill you in ways you cannot fill yourself. If loneliness is a ten liter tank, we can procure people and situations that fill our tanks to eight or nine liters on occasion. And that’s a good thing.

Also, and as with any emotion, a little loneliness serves as an important reminder that there are better states. Perspective and contrast are essential. A little of the worst of anything reminds us it takes real work for us to exist in the best. Is it exhausting? Yes, but while everyone is lonely, we don’t have to always feel lonely.

Q3: What is core to being ty?

Core to being ty is fighting every temptation to be inauthentic. Sometimes, in awkward or social situations, I’m the biggest phony. I always end up outside of myself watching myself legitimately bullshit my way through situations but hating every second of it. I know I’m a kook. I know I’m mysterious. I know I’m different. I’ve been fortunate to have that all work really well for me for a long time. But sometimes, and usually it involves a suit and tie, it’s totally gross. But the best of these situations is when I realize that I’m trying to fit in and then I flip the switch back to being myself. It must be as baffling to people as it is amusing to me. Core to ty is working very hard at being ty.

Q4: What trait do you hold most dearly?

It’s hard to answer this one without coming across as braggy. I’m not. I’m fortunate and I work hard. Sometimes I go on an on about things but when I do, I have the credibility and authority to do it. So, jeez, the one trait I hold most dearly is genes. I've previously discussed this but, sure, genes. Are genes a trait? I suppose they are. I have actually thanked my mother and my deceased father, directly for their genes. In those words. “Happy mother’s day, thank you for your genes.” “I forgive you for being a terrible parent but thanks for the gene.”

Or maybe it’s self-possession. Historically, I have been able to get to and maintain a state of calm, confident, and control. I have had a mastery of my feelings. I have even mostly extinguished the tickle reflex. And I have held this trait dearly. Some friends tease me that they’re going to make a real boy out of me someday. But do I still hold it dearly? Can I still occupy this state? Because when the feelings do get loose, they get loose and can run wild. And it’s this low-single percentage amount of time that is awkward, disconcerting, sometimes a little frightening.

Is composure something I hold dear? Sure, I can focus and perform difficult tasks for freaky durations. But that’s like a parlor trick. It may no longer be who I am, just something I can, at will and consistently, turn on like a light.

No. The trait I hold dearest is the ability to genuinely connect with so many different people. One-on-one I can really communicate with people. I hold that well-honed trait dear.

Q5: What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

One favorite thing about myself is, shockingly, my superiority complex. It’s all manifestation of insecurities but sometimes I wear it pretty well.

Again, it’s hard to not sound like a bag of hot air, but do I have a favorite thing about myself? Of course I do, but what is it? I could be smarter. I could be more talented. I could work harder. I could be better in a hundred ways. I guess, when I become a friend with someone, a real friend? We become family. Years could go by without a word. We could drift far and wide but they will all always know that I’m thinking about them and that I’m here for them. My favorite thing about myself is I try hard to be a good friend.

I am a good person. I know this. Maybe that is my favorite.

Q6: Does wisdom come with age?

Yes. I think this makes sense. With time/age comes experience and experiences. With age/time comes the opportunity to witness and analyze the behaviors of others. With time and age we see social, individual, and political empires rise and fall. We see trends come, go, and recycle. I have lived a childhood, a teenhood, the lost 20s, the adulty 30s, the amazing 40s, and now I’m in my mid-50. I’ve put in the work to find out more and more about myself and what I what holds my interest. I’ve also absorbed everything external that has competed for my cognition and consciousness. Perhaps this doesn’t pertain to everyone. We exist on continua after all. Some people don’t learn anything. Some learn way too much. With time comes wisdom.

Q7: What is your earliest memory?

I believe my earliest memory is being on a swing set at a pre-kindergarten daycare center in Los Angeles. So somewhere around four-years-old. I can conjure the memory with ease. The motion; going higher and higher, faster. Can I fly? Can I touch the tree? Look at my feet! The scene is in heavy shadow. In the playground behind the facility. Dark greens. Some brown. Probably autumn. As simple as that, I have no other details.

This daycare center was near LA’s Exposition Park, the former Olympic venue and public park. There are museums and gardens. I guess this was right around the same period. I remember the natural history museum, what was once called the Museum of Science and Industry, and the rose gardens. My grandmother absolutely loved the rose gardens. I literally stop and smell roses all the time. And every time I do, I think of my grandmother. She was better than all of us.

Q8: Can you share an experience of deep personal healing?

Healing, huh? Are there actually fixes to the brokens? I guess I did get deep personal healing from treating my father with the respect and dignity everyone deserves. He was dying. He let me know he was sick after not speaking much for a few years. How sick? Stage 4 lung cancer sick. From the moment he learned his fate until he was gone, I gave him an amazing farewell. I forgave him. I assured him he was a terrible parent but I also let him know that that fact never held me back nor did I ever whine about it. I let him know I defined myself. I was solely responsible for shaping and defining myself. I also forgave him for being a terrible human to others. He apologized and discussed circumstances. I let him know it didn’t matter. What had passed was the past, and I declared us as fine. I was fine. I played music for him, I recorded his stories. I arranged his care and hospice. I feel good about how we ended things. So spending five months and eight transcontinental trips to help manage his care was deeply and personally healing for me.

Q9: What’s one thing you would change about yourself?

This one is difficult. I do like many aspects of what I’ve created and what is my existence; the things that are me. Always a work in progress. It almost seems as if changing one thing, ostensibly for the better, would kind of disrupt the delicate balance that holds this house of cards together. The bad things have been used, historically, to create good things; yin and yang. Would I have more hair? Would I change my skin color? Would I be a fitness guy? Would I work harder? If I were less compulsive, would I be as productive? If I were more careful with my feelings would I experience the amazing highs that are sometimes countered with horrid lows. What would happen if I was less know-it-all-y? I do know a lot of things and that knowledge has definitely come in handy. So, it’s hard to think of what would change.

I have always been quite thin. In the ‘70s we were all skinny kids. But I stayed on the thin side. It makes sense because my birth mother is tiny. Genetics. For the longest time growing up, I always wanted to add a good 15 or 20 pounds. I have always been active and my metabolism runs high. So, it’s really hard to load weight. It’s also really easy to lose it. If I get into an exercise cycle, my weight immediately drops about 10 pounds. Weirdly. I end up drinking milkshakes and eating burgers to get the calories. Then, what’s the purpose of exercise? So I mostly don’t albeit probably more than 90 percent of Americans.

I told my physician that when I exercise I can’t keep weight on. His reply was, “Don’t ever say that in public. Nobody wants to hear that. You’re perfectly healthy. Just never say that to anyone. People would spend millions of dollars to be able to say that.”

As I grew older I saw everyone else outgrowing their proportions I felt younger and even more superior. I went to my only high school reunion. My 30th. I never wanted to go to one before but picked 30th because it would be a good measuring stick. I took my friends. We made a weekend out of it. I had an actor friend of my write my profile for the little booklet. I didn’t read it until I got the little booklet. My friends and I recited everyone’s profiles. Haha! I love my friends.

When I walked into the reception room, I looked around and I lifted my hands above my head and whispered to myself, “I fucking won!” I introduced myself to people as, “Hi, I’m ty and you look like someone with whom I went to high school.” With my friends there, I was able to be myself.

I would change my voice.

I guess I would change how needy I can be. I know I’m pretty great most of the time but why do I need others to acknowledge it? We all know where we stand. I’m just a person.

What’s My Story?

What’s my story? Sheesh! I was born in Los Angeles, a city in south California. You may have heard of it and formed really bad impressions of it based on information from people the city has rejected. Like New York, it’s not for everyone but if you find your place, you're home. My formidable years were spent in Claremont––5th through 12th grade––a college town. That was cool and absolutely formidable. I am from and of, these two places. I was poor and grew up with my maternal grandmother. She was the very best person who has ever lived and I’ll fight you about it. Claremont was not a town for the poors like us. But I adjusted. And I thrived. I made it work for me. I saw through the knots.

I spent some time in The Bay; Hayward and Cupertino and Santa Clara, and in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz definitely had some influence on my life. I lived in Santa Cruz for around six years. Then in 1992 I moved to Maryland. That was supposed to be for only about four years. But, it’s now been about 30. What’s my story? There’s a very good reason I stay here while wanting to leave each and every day. Maybe I’ll discuss that some other time.

I was involved in the highest level of a national competitive activity. I loved it and I was really good at it. I was a leader of a world class group and I always knew I was the best. But I couldn’t pull everyone else up high enough and we lost the world championship by one-tenth of a point. It can become exhausting carrying others but sometimes that’s what it takes.

I’ve worked in a variety of jobs for a variety of organizations. For corporations. For small businesses. For myself. But, even though there are a thousand work stories, those stories don’t necessarily define me. But maybe some do. I was good at playing corporation. I got to have meetings. I traveled. I tried some groundbreaking things that still exists. I had my moments.

Again, as I've posted, I volunteer a lot of my time doing things I believe in. I don’t join groups or clubs. I’ve been married for over two decades.

My marriage is none of anyone’s business. Every relationship is its own entity and should be treated as such. I don’t want to know about your marriage or whatever either. It’s none of my business.

Back in 1996 I told a dear friend and colleague that I wanted to spread my presence far and wide over this new world wide web thing. I wanted to be able to, someday in the future, find things I had long forgotten. I wanted to plant future gifts all over the web. I did that.

I used to be super sexy in an esoteric unsure-of-his-race kind of way; exotic. I’ve been accosted on the street and asked where I was from; parts of India, Africa, and the Caribbean. I always answer the same, “I’m from California.”

I was a terrible high school student. I was an amazing college student. I was recruited by two schools for free education. I had some skills. Both offers felt kind of back-doory so I didn't go to either of those schools (or stay long in one case). I probably should have taken the UCLA offer. I never took the SAT. I love the college from which I graduated. Formidable!

I really like music. Listening to and making music are two of my favorite things. Music is elemental. Music is life. Music is a way to customize your existence. Music has a way to contextualize your existence. I added a mixy below, so enjoy.

Things I’ve Heard

I have been called attractive. I have been treated as such. I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder, right? I’ve never felt that I fit in. I will always be different. As an awkward teenager, this is terrifying. Nowhere to be anonymous or just observe. Nope, everybody knew ty. They still do. And, sure, I have certainly used this to my advantage over the years, but sometimes you don’t need to be the star of the show. And attractive? I believe I had a brief period in the late ‘90s where I held my own. But mostly, I have accepted that this is who I am and this is what I look like. Never look too closely. I already have. Can’t change it. Could be worse.

I have been called talented. I have been treated as such. I have a difficult time with praise. I feel that people are being nice or are up to something. I question the motivations of praise.

I have been called confident, cocky, conceited, and arrogant. I have been treated as such. Sheesh! What did I do? If only people knew. I suppose if one does things really well (hard work) and one didn’t really discuss things much (awkwardness), I can only guess that people could misinterpret as conceit. But that’s less telling of the subject than it is of the judges, right?

Yes, the things I do well, I do really well. I know this. With some things I have been world class. I’m an expert at some things. I work smartly to be the best. If I were to bet, I would bet that I work harder than anyone to do things well. And, yes, there are plenty of things I do completely half-assed or I that I am wholly dismissive. I’m just a person, remember?

But, I can certainly portray a certain cockiness. Even if it’s an ironic or insincere front, why not? If you’ve paid your dues and earned your cred, a little swagger, where deserved, is appropriate. Those who know, know.

But I'm just a person, a really good person, and that's enough for now. I've grown weary with myself. My eyesight is still failing and screens are insufferable. And that's a lot of words to barely scratch the surface of something that's not all that interesting. There's much more.


Customize • Optimize • Simplify

End Game Unit

11:18 para auriculares y cacao

 tyhardaway dot com 



That Shepherdstown Show, 1999

Technical Difficulty Improv Set, 1999

20:12 para auriculares y cacao

 these photos may not be from this show so just use a little imagination


Big Art


Watch yourself with Bigelow Arthur
He’ll fight your sons and date your daughters
He’ll come for blood and come for torture
And drown your mom in freezing water

When Bigelow Arthur rides to town
Shutter your home and lock it down
Hide in shadows don’t make a sound
Hope to not engage this round

Bigelow Arthur that son of a bitch
Will leave your brother in ditch
He’s not a rat he’s not a snitch
He’ll steal you soul to him rich

2021 - Day Six


2021 - Day Five


2021 - Day Four





In the day and through the night
All we are are shades of light

Strange continua we exist, for
good and worse (how we subsist)

Nightmares in most frightening forms, you
are the monster (dutifully warned), but

in the sun of dawn of day, the
scene is viewed another way

Monsters are not here to harm, there
is no reason for alarm, to

keep you safe and free from fear, em-
brace the monster’s heart (hold near)

Monsters guard us and protect, us
from the thoughts that we neglect, and

shield us from the worst of stuff, so
we become the brave and tough, for

all we are are shades of light, through-
out the day and into night


Mexican Jelly Revisited


Mexican Jelly from Free Milk Seminal
3:56 para auriculares y cacao
This one is way ahead of its time. 
I never talk about this record and not many track are online.

Black Magazine


Black Magazine from the Skunk Wooder Sessions
2:55 para auriculares y cacao
This one is all Rich and he absolutely slays. 
There's a reason I use an image of the young champ for this one.


Ghost Story

Ghost Story
15:00 para auriculares y cacao

 [fea xEEx loop]

Take Three A Day

Pain and suffering
As always self-inflicted
We live as we live

Only one letter
Separating the vastness
Between Hunt and Hurt

Act like you’ve been here
Until you hear those tom-toms
Be big be better