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How I Got The Name “Loupy”

I have been so busy these past couple of months… Work, kids, write, rest, repeat! I admit I’ve been stingy with my online experience, but all the latest internet fads and trends over the holidays did not go unnoticed, nor did the “Trump-set” of the election. I had to go underground and get my bearings back on straight, so now I’m ready to share something with you.

It’s the story of how I got the name Loupy. Loupy D was created in 1991 when my first interview was published and became my hip hop moniker for life! There are only a few people that have worked with Loupy D, but that story will be told in the second memoir. Right now you’re getting a sneak peak into the first.

I have some more news to share wth you very soon, so stay tuned. The holidays are coming and I’m in a sharing mood. Please share your holiday spirit by leaving a comment and sharing this with someone!


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1979, fifth grade at Windsor Hills Elementary changed the course of my history, though I didn’t know it at the time.

A brotha named Jeff had transferred into Windsor Hills from another school that was on the south side of Slauson. This kid was on the path to destruction. He was like me when I first went to Canfield: always in trouble, always in the office, but the school aids at Windsor Hills weren’t as nice as they were at Canfield.

I met Jeff sitting in the office. The thing that gave way to that reality was that he was a bully to most, but took a liking to me. He was just a cool and funny kid, a little slow and big for his age, but after we joked around I guess he saw me as a cool brotha to hang with, so we became friends. He asked if he could come over after school one day. I told him that his parents would have to check with mine to see if it was okay. I wrote my name and number on a piece of notebook paper and handed it to him.

“Call me tonight and put your mom on the phone, and she can talk to my mom,” I said.  Later that evening he called. I picked up the phone.

“Hello?”

“Uh… may I speak to Loupus?”

“Loupus??” It took me a few seconds to figure out who it was since there was no Caller ID in those days.

“Man, my name ain’t no Loupus! It’s Lawrence!”

“Uhhhhh… aight den… Loupus.” I could hear him chuckling in the background. “That shit is funny.”

“Man, you crazy Jeff!”

“Hu-ha…Loupus…”

“What’s up man? Where’s your mom?”

“She had to work late, but she said it was okay for me to come over.”

“Oh for real? That’s cool. I’ll tell my mom your mom said it was alright in the morning.”

“Okay… Loupus. Hu-ha…”

“Man, stop calling me that!”

The rest of our conversation probably went on about what was gonna be for lunch in the cafeteria or who was the best at kickball, but I sure remember him snickering and saying under his breath, “Loupus…”

The next day I walked alone to recess, and when neared the gate, there was Jeff, grinning. His ashy, whop sided Afro looked steamy in the morning sun, his face beaming as bright. Jeff looked like that kid who was waiting to see his auntie with the candy come off the airplane, standing there, waiting for me right at the gate.

“WHAT’S UP LOUPUS?”

It so happened that one of my new Jewish friends Doug was walking in the gate at the same time. Doug and I both wanted to be architects when we grew up and we were in gifted class together, so we were cool. He was about to be even cooler because after he heard Jeff call me “Loupus” he picked up the chain that Jeff threw down. Doug couldn’t stop laughing.

“Loupus!!” Hahhahahahaha!!! Here we go loop de loo here we go loop de lie!!! HAHAHAHA!!!”

After that, in all my yearbooks, the name stuck and it stayed. Loupy was born.

The school day ended and I walked out of school with Jeff. My house was right around the corner. When we got there he looked up and marveled.

“Dang, this all your house?” That was the typical reaction when someone saw our house for the first time. I had a birthday party earlier that year and invited friends from my old neighborhood. One of the guys said that when he walked to the front door that he wondered if he was at the right apartment.

“It’s all one house,” I said. “My dad designed and built it.” I took more pride in saying that fact than I did in the size of the house. It seemed like it was just big enough for our family to be together and be apart at the same time. My sisters shared a room in the same section of the house where my room was. We shared a bathroom. It was long, with a double sink counter. The toilet and shower/tub were at the end. The bathroom divided our rooms, but the only way in was from the shared hallway. I used to wish that it was like the bathroom on the Brady Bunch, where both sets of kids had an access door from their rooms. We walked in through the front door and you could see the backyard through the glass windows in the foyer. We had a big backyard. There was a big pool in that big backyard, and lots of room to run and play.

Jeff and I came out onto the patio area. It was brick tiled, with white patio furniture consisting of two round metal tables framed by four and two chairs each, surrounded by planters with huge fronded exotic plants. Off in a corner of the tiled area was a wet bar and a gas barbecue grill, perfect for grilling in all types of weather, my dad used to brag. On the other side of the bar was the pool and Jacuzzi area, taking up about one third of the backyard. Next to the pool was a flat grassy area that went towards the neighbor’s wall into a hilly area going towards the back of the house. This is where Meme planted her vegetable garden. Another thing that Meme taught me was how to work the soil and grow things. She was the granddaughter of a slave, and she grew up in Tennessee. Making use of the soil was an ancestral skill she handed down to me, and I took a lot of pride in the strawberries I planted that were bursting with sweet, delicious full fruit.

Jeff was so interested in the garden. Most of my friends who came over would want to race around the pool or roughhouse in the grass. Not Jeff. He walked right over to the strawberry patch and started picking strawberries right off the vine and eating them. Some of those strawberries were already half eaten by snails, but Jeff didn’t seem to care at all. I never ate anything out of the garden without washing it off first, but I realized that Jeff didn’t care. After he got his fill of strawberries, he told me that he had to go home.

“You just got here,” I complained. I didn’t get to have company over very often and it was cool having a guest. It felt like being grown.

“My momma’s gonna beat my ass if I don’t get home,” Jeff replied.

“I thought you said that your mom said it was okay for you to come over.”

“I lied, cuzz. I got to go home before my mama beat my ass. Thanks for them strawberries though cuzz!”

Jeff slapped me on the back of my neck – a Benny Hill as we called it – and took off running. I chased him and caught him at the door leading into the house. I smacked his neck twice: one for lying and one for eating all my strawberries!

That was Jeff’s first and last visit to my house. We still kicked it at school though. When our play area changed from kickball field we would have tetherball or foursquare, and none of the boys were interested in that. So, we walked around the schoolyard and I’d watch him harass other kids. If any of my gifted friends approached me Jeff would scare them off. Even my black classmates Reggie and Blair were cool when it came to Jeff. His trademark greeting was “What’s up cuzz?” He claimed RSC or Rolling Sixties Crip. I didn’t know that kids my age were gang banging. I knew about teh Crips though because we just moved from where 18th Street was founded. Jeff didn’t pose a danger to me, but the other kids feared him.

We eventually drifted apart. He was put into a remedial class, which was far away from the other classrooms. We saw less of each other at lunch because our play area days were on different schedules. Whenever we’d see each other on the yard he would say or yell out:

“What’s up Loupy Cuzz!”

People always ask, “How did you get the name Loupy?” Some think it’s Spanish like “Lupe”, so when they ask if I’m from South America, I say “Si.” That opened me up to meeting a lot of Spanish speaking people. When I was a chubby little chocolate kid, other kids would tease me in reference to my “loopy” proportions. I didn’t even know how that name would one day have its own personality. The way that it came about has nothing to do with what it has come to mean, and the meaning behind has become a lot more significant because of the course life has taken me.

I find that Loupy fits. Loupy is loopy: kind of goofy and nerdy, full of mirth. On the foreign end, like le loup (French for wolf) I can run solo or with a pack.. The yin and yang and is complete, like a circle, churning up the chi and the creativity flows deliciously. Loupy represents the freestyle of my spirit and good nature, the square kid who rounded out his stitch in the fabric of the American quilt. I’ve made it up view my life as a series of cycles and turns, not just a lineation of facts and events. This means I’m always evolving, and I’m great with my Loupy way of life.

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Seasonal Shifting

I am back from the trenches. A lot of my personal woes have been too close to the heart to share with this crowd, or even Facebook for that matter. Work and parenting are certainly testing my limitations and motivations. I ask myself often, Why am I writing? Blogging ain’t paying the bills! I think about other work to make money to survive and buy stuff for the kids. Oh, the kids are getting bigger and need more stuff. I need to make more money!

I collaborate with a great group of people who are passionate about film and loyal friends as well. We continue to develop scripts and ideas that we hope will one day soon sell in the marketplace. The last five years we have all experienced the challenges of balancing parenthood, art and work. Since the hands on practice of filmmaking is on hold, we have all relapsed into our creative cocoons. They write screenplays while I focus on personal narratives, poetry, and developing a new old outlook on an old love: hip hop. The past few months I’ve had the opportunity to practice my photography skills with my DSLR instead of my phone camera.

The other day my sister comes over. She picks up a book I put together on Shutterfly, sitting on my coffee table. She can’t believe the beauty of the photo selection. “You took these?” “Yup.” “You’ve still got those pictures from the riots?” “Yeah.” I’ve been wanting to make a book from those photos for a long time. I admit that I have anxiety about starting projects that don’t require the hands on support of fellow visionaries. This is something that would carry my name on it. Sole credit. “What will it take to make the book?”

Dreams. promises. I try everything and I don’t give up. I write because I set things in motion from the words that stir from my fingertips. A person can think of what they want to do, but until those thoughts materialize as words and those words become actions, ideas will be the house of dreams and unkept promises.

Winter is coming quick. I set that as the deadline for a rewrite of my memoir. I’m going to smash a few pages out while I’m down from work these next few days. A friend sent me back notes on some poems I’m getting ready for publication. I want to work on those. Tomorrow isn’t promised. My buddy is going to show me how to shoot stars in the desert at the end of the month. It feels good to be back on this page.

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Friends & Situations

Hey. I’ve been absent for a while. April was a month of fluctuations and adjustments. I had to get used to someone sleeping on my couch for one. I had a couple of house guests last month at different times. The first was my pregnant friend from Joshua Tree who stayed with me while the AWP Conference was in town at the start of the month. For a woman with a torn abdomen and a broken pinky toe – AND 8 months preggers – she could move around!
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We had an adventure riding the Metro Expo Line from downtown, where we discovered that the benches had been removed from the underground station at Pershing Square. My guess was that it was so the homeless would have no comfortable place to sleep out of the elements. We had been on our feet almost the entire day since 10 AM. It was 10 PM when we made the discovery that we would be standing at least another half hour, as we waited for our train to arrive at its Sunday night scheduled time. I was glad that we went to a yoga workshop in the afternoon, or else our attitudes and our spirits would not have been appreciative of all the information about publishing, writing and networking we gleaned from our excursion.
When we got back to my apartment, we were starving. It was a chance for me to practice my vegan cooking skills. I made cornbread for the first time with no egg. She even had the nerve to put me on blast on Facebook, for making something so delicious!
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House guest number two was an ex-flame who was in transition moving from one living situation to another. It was then that I learned about the new recent ex-boyfriend that she got with after me. She and I remained friends after our “situation,” but she never mentioned the new guy in any of our conversations over the phone or in person. I do remember that we were kind of out of touch between the holiday season last winter and her birthday in February. I knew that she was planning a trip to Florida for that occasion with her girls. While she was staying with me, she showed me pics of her in the club and just hanging out, and then she showed me pics of her in the Bahamas having a great time.
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“Oh yeah, that was a special surprise that I didn’t expect,” she told me. I could only guess that it was a gift from the new guy. And now there she was, couch surfing in my living room, caught between situations.
After a week I helped her move into her new place: a room in a house not far from me. When she left she said that now that she’s closer, that we could spend more time together, as friends of course. Of course. I wouldn’t stand for being involved in another “situationship.”

All said and done, I’m glad May has arrived. In just about an hour, I’m poised to be a guest on another radio show, this time talking about the writing craft. I hope May brings the flowers that April showers promise, but the weathermen promised El Niño this year too, and I was dreadfully disappointed. I appreciated the few drenchings we got in this portion of Southern Cali. I just hope that it was enough to irrigate my mind and allow some creativity to sprout from this fertile brain.

Catch me on KPFT.ORG/LISTEN today at 11am PDT.

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It’s A Blog’s Life

Whoa… where have I been? Living life and not stopping to take notes, that’s where. My time has been preoccupied with managing this writer’s life. I believe that the mind can take you wherever you want to be, and right now my mind is tripping.

I didn’t think that I’d get back to a place in my career again where I could turn down jobs because I was already flooded with work. This past week, I was able to negotiate a deal with one company that would guarantee me double the rate I made before getting my degree. So rather than turn down a job, I just gave myself a raise. The power of words is strong indeed.

The work that I’m flooded with is blogging for another site. It pays a lot more than blogging for this site I tell you, but one day that will change. I’m learning a lot about the blogosphere though, like the purpose of blogging, and sharing with other bloggers and asking questions and making comments. I’m also learning that capital letters and triple exclamation points are great attention grabbers. Anything with a hashtag is sure to get some shares.

The plan is working though. I’m getting my name out there again in the publishing world. I saw one of my first professional blogs up on the web today. One of the blog managers said that it was getting a lot of shares in a short span of time, and that’s good news for the team. It’s great news for me because LOUPY D is getting some action!!!

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AWP 2016, Los Angeles or Bust: A Packing List

I’m glad this conference is happening in my town!

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

awpSome helpful packing advice from Brevity assistant editor Alexis Paige:

1. Combat Medic Kit.

If, like me, you suffer from both actual and imagined illnesses, you will want to be prepared in case of a blowout at the book fair, a paroxysm in panel, or (god forbid, crossing myself just in case) an embolism in flight. Make sure you pack the essentials: vitamin-C, pain reliever, prescriptions, antacids, Calamine Lotion, antiseptic, anti-diarrheals, anti-anxieties, anti-inflammatories, anti-psychotics, tourniquet, epi-pen, staple gun, and emergency flares (better safe than sorry). In case of emergency, you can find me, my kit, and my hypochondriac’s diagnostic wheel at the Brevity table in the book fair.

2. Toiletries.

Red lipstick, moustache wax, pomade, cigarettes, mouthwash, flask, sunscreen, hair brush (?).

3. Snacks.

Leftover jellybeans and Peeps (which double as action figures for book fair dioramas), cigarettes (or nicotine gum), gum (nicotine gum), energy drinks, coffee (instant…

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