Sunday, July 27, 2014

As I got ready to start writing this entry, I realized that July 20th marked the 8th anniversary of the creation of this blog. Not to be to self-congratulatory, but I never thought I'd continue this blog for this long. I thought I would either run out of things to say, or get the type of job that would cause me to delete this blog for my own safety. Neither has happened and here I am about to start yet another entry.

Swimming was one thing that I could not do when I started writing this blog. I had a traumatic experience when I was 5, and I chose to avoid all things swimming until five years ago. My main Sabin learned to swim, and I decided to do the same, and now I'm able to swim one to two miles as part of my morning workout.

The scary part of not knowing how to swim was when my oldest son Carlton and I would go to the pool. He learned how to swim at age 3, and by age 10 he was diving and swimming in 12-feet deep water. I was terrified because if at any point he lost control or started to drown, I'd have to rely on the lifeguard or someone who could swim, because I couldn't do jack shit. Luckily, he never got into any trouble.

Today, my youngest son Nyles and the rest of my family, attended a cookout, and there was a pool in the backyard. I got in the pool, and I was able to guide Nyles in the water so he could begin to get comfortable with being in the water. He clutched me for dear life, and he did a little bit of crying, but he enjoyed his time in the water. More importantly, it felt good to be leading my son toward being more confident in the water at a young age. That's a little something we call, bringing things full circle. Again, this is probably not a big deal to anyone but me, but that's how it should be I suppose.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

This morning after my five-mile run, I was in the midst of doing my customary cool down walk-stretch combination, when I noticed a white woman walking towards me. She had her earphones in, but I noticed that once she saw me, she pulled her iPod out, turned the volume down, and took one ear bud out--something I also do when someone is coming towards me or when I notice someone behind me (keep in mind it was 5:15 am). Once we walked by one another, she said, "Good morning", and I returned the favor. Harmless enough right? No

I didn't simply say good morning my friends, but I summoned the most proper good morning greeting I could muster (think Geoffrey Holder meets Dennis Haysbert). I felt it was necessary to let this woman know that I was just a regular, proper-speaking black man who was out for a morning jog, and not an improper speaking thug looking to harass her at 5am. Never mind that at that very moment I walked by her, a very defiant and profane song by Brand Nubian, entitled "Lick Dem Muthafuckas" was playing in my headphones, and after a five-mile run I was feeling anything but pleasant and cordial. Yet, in an effort to be disarming and pleasant, I ignored my first inclination to be "normal", and chose the safe route.

On one hand, I feel I like did what has been very normal and comfortable for me for the longest time. Since elementary school, I've been in situations where there were less than five percent black folks, which meant I took it upon myself--either at the urging of my parents or some type of internal instinct--to carry myself in a certain way, so that I could show the majority (white folks) how the other half lived (that's some painful shit to type in 2014). On the other hand, given that I am damn near 40 and grown (but not sexy), I know good and goddamn well that I should not be dancing that dance for some woman I don't even know. If she was scared as I approached her, that shouldn't have been my problem and I shouldn't have bent over backwards to make her feel comfortable, by acting in a way that made me feel the exact opposite. I know we all wear the mask and shit, but damn..I took it too far, and I still feel like a sellout.

Friday, July 04, 2014

Some holiday observations..:

A co-worker of mine handed me a flyer yesterday, and the contents of said flyer indicated that a) There was a birthday party on 7/12 and b) It was an all-white (attire, not race) affair. I thanked the young lady for the flyer, and then promptly placed it my work satchel. That flyer has since been tossed in the trash.

By no means am I a snob, and I don't think I am better than anyone for the most part, but as I approach 40, there are certain things I simply have no interest in doing. One, I haven't gone to a party which requires an invitation via flyer since college. Back then, there was no Internet. so party promoters had to catch students outside the cafeteria, the book store or a sporting event, so that everyone knew the details of the party later that night. These days, I just want to be told verbally, via text or via email. The flyer aspect of the transaction just makes it juvenile. Again, I am well-aware that I could possibly be using flawed logic here. It is neither the first nor the last time that has happened.

Second, I am NOT a fan of the all-white party phenomenon. I call myself a responsible adult, but the stark reality is that I am as sloppy and clumsy as my 2-year old son. If I'm dressed in all white, and then I decide to do my usual and drink red wine, I am basically a time bomb waiting to go off. One trip, one moment of losing balance, and I have red wine on my all white and I will either have to leave, or play it off (not a real option).

Furthermore, the current state of my closet, doesn't even allow me to attend a white party. I have white shirts for days, but I do NOT own white pants, white shoes or a white belt. That means I'd have to go shopping--which in Rashad-speak means I'd send my wife to the store--to get clothing items I would never, ever wear again. And this would all be in the name of attending a co-worker's birthday part? Negro please.

On another note, please read my latest article right here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The laptop I am currently blogging on was purchased in March of 2007, and I took the time with this entry right here, to write and celebrate about that glorious occasion. Two months after that, my laptop was the only possession of mine to survive a fire that ravaged my apartment. I decided to use the survival of my laptop as motivation, and I kicked off my writing career, by writing about basketball games for Hoops Addict, and eventually landing at ESPN True Hoop, via Truth About It, where I currently write (I haven't written jack shit in a month though).

Even when the basketball writing career kicked off, I somehow managed to keep blogging and writing, and the end of July will mark eight years of me writing about my life in some shape, form or fashion. I've attempted to kill this blog many times, and yet here it is. Unfortunately, this laptop will not last much longer.

To say my laptop is moving slow these days is an understatement of epic proportions. Some nights, when I'm trying to write, my screen will freeze for 20-30 minutes at a time, making it damn near impossible to establish any type of writing rhythm. Other nights, my itunes will freeze mid-update, the porn i'm trying to watch will stop way before the money shot(s), and I want to throw my laptop through the window like Mookie protesting Radio Raheem's death. I have a netbook, but that's tiny, and my wife bought me that for game days only, not full-time use. But even the netbook is a tad outdated in terms of what I can do, so a real life-sized laptop is needed, instead of this seven-year old Dell I've been rolling with all this time.

My new laptop should be arriving later this week, which means I then have to begin the task of transferring music, pictures, files and porn to the new machine. Eventually I will scrub the old laptop of any residual incriminating evidence, and bid it adieu. It has served me well the last several years, and it survived that devastating fire, but it is time to let that shit go, and start anew. I won't I put the final period on this blog entry, I shall do just that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lots has happened in my world and beyond, since my ambitious desire to blog every day this month fell woefully short after six days. The first and most important event which went down was the downfall of the Miami Heat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Not only did I revel in the pain that LeBron James and his teammates must have felt (I'm not a fan of anyone on that team except for Shane Battier), but my 16-year old son was right here in my living room with me when it all went down. He's a big Heat fan, and I was tickled pink as he writhed on the couch in frustration as the Spurs methodically took apart King James and his much ballyhooed cohorts.

Speaking of my son Carlton, he is in Arizona until August, at which point, I will fly across the country solo, and then he and I will drive from Arizona to Hampton, VA. I got the idea from the late, great Ralph Wiley, who died 10 years ago. Ralph drove from Maryland to California with this then-22 year old son Cole, who had an internship with Johnnie Cochran (lots of name dropping going on here). Cole and Ralph had always been close but driving cross-country just brought them closer. Ralph got back from his trip on a Thursday, and died on a Sunday, which means that drive was the last memory father and son had together. Now I certainly don't plan on kicking the bucket before, during or after this drive, but I definitely want to spend some quality cross-country drive time with my son, as he prepares to enter his senior year of high school. Circumstances have prevented us from spending every day together, but I feel like this will be a good exercise in truly getting to know one another on a much more personal level. I could be wrong, but it is certainly a gamble worth taking.

And last and certainly not least, my doctor of nearly 20 years, Dr. Charles Franklin, died a couple weeks ago of an unnamed illness. I knew he was sick, because when I had my brain cancer scare last year, I called his office to get a referral, and they mentioned he ha abruptly retired due to health issues. Still, it does a little something to you when the man whose job it is keep you up and running, just dies at the relatively young age of 68. He was a good man who was devoted to preventing trips to the doctor, rather than just being reactionary like most doctors are. He will be missed.

Friday, June 06, 2014

A Tale of Two Injuries

I won't pile on LeBron James and the leg cramp which prematurely ended his night on Thursday against the Spurs. I have gotten calf cramps before, and it is no joke. But I will post two videos. One is Kobe limping off the court under his own power after a torn Achilles, and the other is James being carried off due to a cramp. You form your own opinion(s):

Thursday, June 05, 2014

If you can find time in your busy schedule to actually pull away from my blog, please go read Janelle's new blog which can be found here. Much like me, life has gotten the best of her over the past year or so, so she's been on an extended hiatus, but now she's back to dazzle you with her prose.

Also, while you're in the mood to learn new things, please listen to my wife and her friend Antonella, as they wax poetic about "The Bachelorette". I'm not really a fan of the show, and I often make fun of her for liking such an asinine show, but she likes to watch it, and more importantly she likes to poke fun at it via her podcast, so click here.

So after years of shunning the joys that technology can bring, my father, who now lives in balmy Arizona, has finally caught up to the rest of civilization. He has an iPad with a keyboard, an iPhone and a kindle (something i refuse to sellout and buy, out of loyalty to the endangered species we call books). The upside to his decision to be current is that he can now talk to me an his grandson via Skype, which narrows the cross country distance between us. I can also send him interesting links to articles, and he can now click on them, as opposed to faking it. The downside? The NPR app.

My father loves the NPR app 100 times more than the rest of the apps on his phone and iPad, and how do I know this you may ask? Each and every article he reads, he sends to me my gmail as a recommended article I should read. Some of the articles I truly care about like D'Angelo's interview with Nelson George or Kelis' new cd . It isn't so much that I don't care about the others he sends to me about jazz, books, African-American culture and American history, because I definitely appreciated the depths of his knowledge (I wrote that sentence in case he stumbles on this blog), but the number of articles he sends to me on a daily basis is overwhelming. Sometimes he sends 10 articles in an hour like some sort of machine.

This past Sunday I called my dad via Skype so he could talk to young Nyles and me, and he seemed disinterested and distracted, so I cut the conversation short. Not even two minutes after we got off the phone, he peppered my gmail inbox with 5 NPR-recommended articles for me to read. In fairness to my dad, he just texted me (its 9:02pm and the Heat/Spurs game is getting ready to start) and asked me whether I was rooting for the Spurs or Heat, and I said the Spurs. He's still cool, he's just out-of-control. There are worse problems to have involving a parent, so let me stop complaining, and go watch this basketball.