Saturday, June 30, 2007

In what is starting to become a once or twice a week ritual, I am sitting here in the coffee shop paying bills, returning emails, making lists, and watching all the pseudo beautiful sexy people parade around like they are the best thing to ever grace this fine earth. I must admit it is getting more and more difficult to blog, just because I don't feel quite as comfortable with making my life an open book. When I was just making dumb decisions involving women, or struggling with custody or whatever else it is I did, I didn't feel as self conscious about things. But my life here recently has gotten real interesting and challenging, and to write about it is turning out to be non-cathartic. As soon as write about what I'm feeling I get emails and phone calls, and while I'm appreciative of the love, it is just overwhelming sometimes. And when you try to describe this to people, they give you this look like they want to shut up. So, now I am trying to be a bit more judicious with what I write about. I thought about ending this blog once my one year anniversary came, and I still may do that. As usual, my thoughts and words are all over the damn place.

I saw the movie Knocked Up last night and it was hilarious..a little too real at times, but it was good overall. And I must admit it made think twice about my decision not to have any more children. I think I would be open to have at least another child, if it was within the right circumstances. But I remain steadfast in my wish to have this done before I turn 35. I do NOT want to be in my 50s trying to raise a child. I want to be able to play with my son/daughter, not be moving around in a wheelchair or something. Its just something to think about..right now i have way more pressing needs to address.

that's all for now..

Friday, June 29, 2007

Ok I have a confession. That NBA draft last night was as boring a draft as I ever watched. All the flash and hype around it was really getting annoying, and I felt like I was watching an awards show, not something for a substantive basketball fan. There were superfluous interviews, loud talking, and the word upside was used at least 1000 times. After the Wizards stole Nick Young at #16, I pretty much stopped paying attention, and I figured out why. The draft is fun, because it allows fanatics like me to speculate how good a team is going to be with a newly added player. But much like the NFL draft, you really have to wait a few months to get results and properly size up the draft. Summer league stars in a few weeks, and then there is training camp, but once the preseason begins, I will get a much better grasp on who is good and who isn't. But right now? It really isn't compelling stuff. And this is coming from a sports fan. I talked to another fellow sports fanatic, and he was saying the same thing. The best part of the night? Watching Spike Lee and the New York crowd react to this trade.. Isiah Thomas has to be the most resilient man in the NBA. Last year he was on the verge of being fired, he was given an ultimatum by his head coach, and now he SEEMINGLY will keep his job. Very impressive.

I made some difficult decisions last night right before the draft about me leaving the area, my living situation, and all that, and for now, I have that ever elusive peace of mind. I'm not sure how others around me are going to feel about it, but I sincerely hope they are understanding.

Boston - Lalah Hathaway

Thursday, June 28, 2007

I am more than a little disappointed that NO ONE commented on that damn song I posted in yesterday's blog. I have never been a big fan of the Beatles or anyone in the group, but a few years back a friend of mine turned me on to this particular George Harrison song, and I have dug it ever since. Of course, when I attempt to play it for someone they look at me like I'm from crazy town. But it doesn't even appear anyone bothered to listen and Rashad is hurt by that.

Speaking of the third person, tonight is the 2007 NBA Draft, and I must admit I am really hyped up for this. The coverage itself is extremely over the top(whatever that means), and I think the draft alone can market itself, but ESPN makes sure that you know its coming. There will be fluff stories, stupid questions, crying mothers, stoic fathers, and eager girlfriends who will surely be dumped before the regular season starts. But the meat of the draft is about the players, the teams they are going to, and trying to project how good of a fit they will be on their new teams. I must admit that I am not too optimistic that my beloved Washington Wizards will do anything of substance but we shall see. I can't wait to watch, and I am dreading writing about it at the same time. I know about halfway through it is going to be hopelessly boring and I'll regret committing myself. But hey I'm a trooper..

Enough of this 40 is the new 30, 30 is the new 20 bullshit...seriously. This is all part of the collective denial that some folks seem to relish on in this country. To explain my point, I will use the great Michael Jordan. When Michael Jordan was in his 20s, he got by on impressive athletic ability. He didn't do too much thinking, he just physically imposed his will on his teammates and his opponents. But even he'll admit, he was not quite mentally strong yet. Once Michael Jordan hit 30, he was able to combine his stronger mental game with the physicality he had developed. He wasn't quite as dominant physically as he was in his 20s, but the mental part of his game was so sharp, that you really didn't notice. This is when MJ was master of his domain so to speak. He wasn't 20 anymore, but he was still carrying those lessons he learned to make him a better player. Fast forward to age 40..Jordan's physical gifts were all but gone, but he could summon them every now and then if need be. But mentally, MJ was as sharp as ever, and now he was in the mode of teaching, giving back, and figuring out a way to maintain his edge. The youthfulness wasn't gone, but he had to work harder to maintain, but he was still reaping the benefits of his smarter years in his 30s. MJ was also preparing himself for the future while in his 40s. But there were CLEARLY some things that MJ couldn't do anymore, because he was neither 20 nor 30. Ok this analogy lost a bit of steam, but you get my point. At no point, can you just arbitrarily decide that the age you are, is really a decade younger..that's denial to me.

I'm all over the map this morning.


R Kelly - For You

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

First off, my article about my son, my dad and I was finally published here. It seems like a long time ago, but I hope it is still a good read.

Sticking with the same theme of fathers and son(stay with me now), I watched the BET awards last night. Now normally, I steer clear of such shows because they are simply based on fluff, but on I decided to let loose a bit and watch the event with a friend of mine while we dined and sipped on fine wine, and yes I am inclined to rhyme when its the right time.(I couldn't resist being corny here my apologies). Anyway, at one point during the show, there was a tribute to Gerald Levert, and I had to watch his father Eddie Levert sing along with Patti Labelle, Gladys Knight and Yolanda Adams. But my main focus was on Eddie. I have NO idea how he was able to sing a song on stage, that he had sung with his now deceased son. I also have no idea how devastating it must be to out live a child that I created. In that article above, I wrote about how important and fun it is to pass on to your children, what your parents have taught you, so that they can eventually do the same. So I have no idea how it feels to do just that, only to have you son or daughter pass this case at 39 I believe. I'm sure he's happy to have shared time, sang songs, and raise a man, but at the same time Eddie Levert has to be thinking damn, why am I still here and he's not. Or perhaps this is another example of me making more of this than it really is, although I didn't feel like that while I was watching last night. It was powerful stuff.

So between now and next Friday, God willing of course, I will have determined if I'm going to stay in this area, or move to Chicago, I will have a more permanent place to stay, and I will have yet another article published about the NBA draft. If and when I pull all that off, I will impose a moratorium on sad and depressing blog entries for awhile.

I'd Have You Anytime - George Harrison

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This morning, because the weather is so hot, and my thirst is so amazingly strong, I decided to venture into the Starbucks right down the street from my job. When the heat beams down on me the way it has for the 2 hours I've been awake, I frequently like to visit said Starbucks and get what is called an Iced, Green Tea Lemonade..sweetened, shaken, but not stirred. So this morning, I when I ventured in, there was a brief line of 6 people. By the time I got up to the counter, the line behind me was up to 10, so it was quite crowded. And as is frequently the case in tight spaces such as these, there were all kind of why-are-you-violating-my-personal-space violations done to me, but I kept my cool because 1)thirst relief was within arm's reach and 2)it was tight space for God's sake. Once I got to the counter, I ordered my drink I noticed that there was a slight problem. The guy behind the counter was an African-American man with a touch of the ghey(that's not the problem). The woman making the drinks was an Ethiopian woman(that's not the problem either). I dont know if this was his first day or what, but he was clearly nervous, and he was spitting out sentences like we were at an art auction. The woman was having trouble understanding him, so she asked me directly what I wanted to drink. This pissed off my slightly ghey friend behind the counter, and he raised his voice a bit. I calmly talked OVER his loud ass, and tried to tell the nice lady what I wanted to drink. Well the lady couldn't understand me either, despite my immaculate pronunciation, and I had to repeat my drink 3 times before she got it. While all this is going on, the Starbucks snobs around me are looking at me funny, because everyone else in line had ordered some type of fancy coffee, and I bucked the trend by ordering tea. A pedestrian drink I suppose, but a tasty one nonetheless. I gave my cash to irate, ghey brother, and he had the nerve to apologize to me, for the woman. I'm like, you mumble mouth motherf*#*#3@, had you come up with some type of code or system to avoid this and co-exist with your co-worker, we wouldn't be in this situation(all this was said in my head). I said its cool man, I have him my money and I made my way to this here office. No sweats were broken, no tempers flared, smartass Rashad was held in check, Starks didn't get ejected and the thirst was quenched.

8 Million Stories - A Tribe Called Quest

Monday, June 25, 2007

So, in case you haven't heard, I have been living the nomadic lifestyle, and today's travels find me in Arlington, Virginia. I am right across the street from Pentagon City, and if you ask how I found this place, I found it via craigslist. This dude named Jeff is renting out his room for a bit, and i responded to the ad, and I arrived today. It wasn't until I arrived, that I realized that Jeff had a touch of the ghey. He and his partner stay here, and based on what i've seen and heard, Jeff used to be in the army, and he also used to be married, but neither one of those things are true anymore. And on top of that, his lovah stays here in the house with him. However, I am upstairs, and all of their business seems to be conducted downstairs, so I am at peace with this situation. Not to mention, this place is pristine clean, which is one of those stereotypical traits of men with the ghey. This feels like one of those safe spaces I spoke about yesterday, but I will sleep with one eye open. So far? good times indeed.

The following is a real live conversation I had today while trying to purchase an iron at Linens and Things.

Cashier: Your total is $31.96
me: *pulls out check card*
cashier: I need to see some ID
me: do you want me to take it out?
cashier: no, you can just flash it?
me seeing a joke opportunity: isn't that the same thing?
cashier: what? oh boy you are nasty
me: we are talking about the wallet aren't we?
cashier: what? oh yeah
me: ok here it is
cashier: ok thank this is smooth(my wallet)
me: yes it is alligator skin
cashier: really?
me: no
cashier: ok have a nice night
me: you do the same

and scene.
This morning while I was getting dressed, I noticed that ESPN is doing this series entitled Make A Wish. They pick a famous athlete and then they find a kid who has some type of ailment, and they show about 5-10 minutes of them spending time together. First the kid is interviewed, and we learn what type of affliction is plaguing him or her, then we meet the parents, and they too give their take on what a great kid they have, and how the disease has affected their lives. The star athlete is then shown having a playful interaction with the child, and then this same athlete is interviewed and they usually say something like(hyperbole alert), "You know man, making money and having sex with lots of women is fine, but it means nothing if I can't give back and play ball with my man Jimmy who has sickle cell". Now, I realize that I can be extremely cynical, even in my current state when clearly I need help, but COME ONNN. First of all, ESPN purposely airs these spots during June and July, when there is no basketball, no football, no hockey. They show some baseball, they report on any other news going on, and then they drop this make a wish campaign on you, to fill the hour long Sportscenter, and I would dare them to tell me otherwise. If this were a year round effort, I think I'd be less cynical about it. But the timing of it all makes it difficult. Plus there are athletes who are extremely caring and giving on their own, and I think that should be highlighted as well.

When You Think Of Me - Eric Benet

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Ok, so the damn article is written. Right after I blogged earlier today that I couldn't find the motivation to write, I opened up Microsoft Word and just typed 4 pages. Then I closed it out, and I just re-opened it and made some final touches to it. Hopefully by tomorrow it will be published and I regain the swagger that has been missing for a couple of weeks. I find myself wondering what I would do if I worked for a major newspaper, and something like a fire derailed me the way I have been derailed. How long would they be understanding? When I would be required to produce an article? And if I stayed gone too long, would they bring in someone to "replace" me. So when I think about all of those things, it motivates me to put out a product regardless of how I feel. So hopefully i'm well on the way now.

And if one person looks at the back of my laptop 3 and 4 times, I think i'm going to put a big ass sign on the top of my laptop. The sign will read, "Survived the Fire of May 19th", and I'll attach the picture of how the apt was damaged. At least that way, they would have a reason to stare and something a bit more visually pleasing to look at, instead of fire damage that currently is showing.

As I am typing this, there is this guy next to me, who is drawing everything in this coffee shop. It is actually quite fascinating, and I am trying not to disrespect him by staring at his unfinished product, but i've never seen anyone draw a picture in presence before..then again, I am VERY protective of my writing when it is in an unfinished state. I have over 40 articles that i've written, but for some reason I have talked myself out of them and NOBODY has ever seen them. And if they got out prematurely, I would be devastated. That being said, I'm still trying to steal glances at the Picasso wanna be next to me.

Take it EZ - Common(the jazz mix)
I have cheated on many a girlfriend in my day, and i can say that sometimes I have little to no guilt about committing such an act..this was in the past of course. But man let me tell you, cheating on my "writing" is an extremely difficult thing. I have been trying to write this article about my dad, my son and I going to the baseball game for about 3 days and it is not happening for whatever reason. If I don't sit down and hammer this article out soon, it isn't going to happen. Thursday is the NBA draft, and I plan to do a minute by minute blog on that, so I know I have no choice but to be focused for that one. But this article is not flowing like I'd want it to, and it is frustrating the hell out of me. Not to be all dramatic about this, but when I write I need to be in a relative safe space. When i wrote those NBA articles I was in a safe space, I controlled the variables, and I was able to just sit down and flow like Nas over a good beat. When I am not in a good space, i stop and start sentences, or I wrote about 4 or 5 paragraphs that make no damn sense, and there's no fluidity. I need fluidity. Perhaps I can buy some at Wal-Mart today or something.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I am in the midst of having one of those days that reminds me of how life was pre-fire. I woke up late, I watched mindless television, I ate pizza and wings while still in bed, and I even drank a bit of wine while still in the bed. Irresponsible? Perhaps a bit, but dammit I deserve this type of mindless activity. I can get back to being a regular responsible adult once Monday comes right? Right.

I saw the movie Ocean's 13 last night, and it was incredibly boring. Yes the usual wit was still there, but how many times can you rob a casino and break all the rules in the process? Plus I think the point of those movies is to appeal to the ladies. I'm not ghey, but I'm no fool either. I know the combination of George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Don Cheadle and Matt Damon appeals to women both black and white, and that alone is enough to insure the movie does well. Personally, I enjoyed looking at an aging, but still sexy Ellen Barkin. But as a whole the movie was a waste of time, and for Al Pacino, it was a waste of talent. He's been in a slew of mediocre movies here lately and it is kind of disappointing. This is a man who brought us Carlito's Way, The Godfather, Scent of a Woman, etc..So why would he take a role in this movie and play a cartoonish character?

For a sports fan, this time of year is extremely hard. The NBA finals is over, and even with the draft coming up, it is still hard to get motivated to watch a sporting event. Football is still two months away, baseball is alright, but very boring to watch in the middle of the summer, and boxing matches are few and far between. Sports fans all over the world need to unite during these times, and come up with some sort of activity that can sustain us during this drought. Otherwise, I'll be forced to hit up museums, movie theatres, and various other spots in search of entertainment, women, etc..And that is not a good look.

Without You - Lucy Pearl

Friday, June 22, 2007

Well, I am just coming back from handing out thank you cards to everyone who gave me money at my place of employment, and it really wasn't all that bad. No one asked questions that were terribly probing, everyone gave me hugs and polite smiles and everyone gave what I like to call the Larry David stare. This is when people look you up and down to see if you're lying or telling the truth. I was telling everyone that I was fine, and that I was working thru this, but I wonder if my face was saying otherwise. This goes back to something i've mentioned here before..i do better in the background and to myself. When I am placed on "display" if you will it is uncomfortable and i hope it didn't show. The bottom line here? the people I work with are VERY friendly and the cards I gave out don't even adequately cover how thankful i am. I just need to get over myself at this point.

So, I need some clarification on something. If two people are having a conversation in public, and it is necessary for me to walk thru them, do I ALWAYS have to say excuse me? Yesterday, I was attempting to purchase some wine, and two gentlemen were blocking my way, so I said excused me and they just so happened they were blocking the RED wines, so I said excuse me once again, and they apologized and got out of the way. No harm done. 15 minutes later, while trying to leave the store, these two dudes were hovering over the exit as if I was distracting them This time I didn't excuse me at all, and I just walked in between them defiantly, and as soon as I walked by they stopped talking. I looked back, and they were looking at me with disdain. Now I know I can be rude and all that but COME ONNNN.

That's all I have for now..

Dreaming in Metaphors - Seal

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There is a song called Respiration by Blackstar and Common, and it came out back in 1999. I used to play that song to death, mostly because of the beat, and the way the rappers flowed over it. I sat down at my desk this morning and listened to it, and now it resonates me for much different reasons. There are two different lines that jumped out at me this morning. One, "So much on my mind that I can't recline..." and the other, "its hard to be a spiritual being when shit is shaking what you believe in". The entire song is worth listening to, but those two spoke to my current situation man. It makes no sense to try to run from it, or declare myself all "better" because I have one day of euphoria. This will be with me in some capacity for a minute, so I may as well deal with it. I am unhappy with aspects of my life, and but there are other aspects that are damn good. As my spiritual guru(my mother) said to me today, I have a cell phone, i have a computer, i have a job, and i have friends and family. Things could sho nuff be worse. I could be the homeless man I so fervently stalked last year. How's that for perspective?

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I am 2 hours late for work, yet I came in here with the swagger of someone who was early. I have successfully shaken the doldrums that had plagued both me and my blog the past couple of days. How did I shake them? One, my living situation has stabilized at least for a couple of weeks so I feel sane again. Two, I have some good friends(one in particular..not to single anyone out but still) and close family who "hold me down" as the kids say. So I feel good this morning. I don't write well at all when I have serious things going on in my life. Yesterday I happened to look at the Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and second line from the bottom focuses on security. Safety, security and stability, and I haven't had any of those in a month, and it does takes it toll. I sat down to write at several different points, and nothing sounded right. But anyway enough of that.

I have some morning observations:

1)If people who ride bikes want to be respected on the roads like regular drivers, they damn sure better start following the traffic lights. I see bikers ride in the middle of the road, hold up traffic, make the cars miss the green lights, and then they just ride through the intersection as if there are no rules. That's ridiculous. This is not an anarchy..

2)I appreciate people checking on me and my mental state and all that jazz. But don't keep asking me questions like, "so what are you going to do?", "where are you going to live?", etc.. I know this is extremely insensitive for me to say, but you have NO idea how annoying that question is to answer after the 23rd time. Especially when I'm trying to figure that shit out myself. Let me breathe a bit please, and then when the master plan is revealed unto me, I shall reveal it unto you..or blog about it.

3)The Today show is a joke. Matt Lauer is a pushover of an interviewer, Meredith isn't very smart, and Ann Curry is a Melwood graduate who is also a terrible interviewer. Al Roker is the only one I like, but he does the faux weather, so he doesn't count. When I watched this morning, I noticed that Tiki Barber was on this morning so maybe they'll go in a different direction. I miss the days of Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric..those were the days when people hated to come on that show, because they knew they were actually going to be interviewed and not pampered.

4) I have started writing an article on the experience of taking my son and my father to the game. I've been trying to write it since Sun night, but I just haven't been motivated. I am now.

All I Need - Jay-Z

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It is heat like this that makes me wish I lived in the Pacific Northwest when it never gets too hot or cold. I walked outside this morning and it was already 77 degreees, and I began to perspire like Patrick Ewing in the layup line. This is that type of heat that makes you pick a fight with someone just to release frustration. This is the type of heat that makes you dress inappropriately to work(as a man), because it is simply too hot for the traditional business casual attire. This is the type of heat that drives women to wear some insanely skimpy dress with open toe shoes. Okay so maybe this type of heat isn't all bad, but I can't stand it at all. Give me 70 degree weather year round.

As I have alluded to before, I am an emotional and mental wreck right now. For the most part, I am able to hold it together long enough to be productive during the day, but recent developments have me feeling a bit crazy. I am still quite confident that long term, I will be just fine, and by the time football season rolls around in September, I will look back on this period of time and chuckle..not laugh. But getting to the point from where I am now is a difficult task, and it is not something I can easily convey to anyone. I find myself snapping at folks a lot quicker than usual and not just because of the heat. Sometimes I sit and stare into space thinking about all types of things. I'm not going to sit here and say my life is ALL bad, because I have some very good things going for me as I sit here and type this. It's just a tough time man, and I could use some good energy, prayers, lapdances, all that good stuff.

When Your Life Was Low - Lalah Hathaway and Joe Sample

Monday, June 18, 2007

So, during my day off, I just so happened to be standing and chilling at Pentagon City metro stop. While I was standing there, two teenagers, who were raising money for their high school, came up to me with what I guess was their sales pitch and it went like this: "excusemesircanyougivememoneyformyhighschoolfundraiserplease". I put my hand on his shoulder, and stopped him. I said look here champ, let me help you out, and he gave me this look that said get your hand off my shoulder, but I didn't move. I pulled out a $10(an ill advised move since i'm homeless with no things) and I said, I will donate this, but I need to give you a few tips. I said first of all, you MUST slow down, because I don't know what the hell you're talking about, and he starting laughing. I asked him how many people had given him money so far, and he said none. So I said to him, Wayne(that was his name), I'm going to give you three easy tips, and i guarantee folks will help you. i said first, turn your hat around(it was backwards). Then I said before you start talking, ask for names, extend your hand, and smile. Not a huge smile, just an affable one so that folks don't think you're a thug(he laughed again). And lastly, I told him to speak slowly but with confidence. He looked at me and said I was acting like his daddy..i looked at him right back and said man think of me as a consultant trying to make you some money(we're up to 3 laughs now). So after this mini-lesson, I purposely missed the train, so that I could watch him and his new found approach. He went up to 3 people, and two gave him money, and then afterwards he shook their hands and thanked them(something I forgot to throw in). My train came shortly thereafter, so I couldn't shake his hand, but we made eye contact, and I nodded, and he nodded back.

What good is it to be 32 years old, if you can't act like it every now and then right?
Yesterday, on my way back from dropping off my son, I was in the car with my ipod on shuffle when the song, Boys of Summer by Don Henley came on. Now this song is my second favorite 80s song behind Billie Jean, because of both the beats and the lyrics, and I've listened to this song a countless amount of times. But last night as I drove back I listened to the lyrics even more carefully, especially the last verse, and I realized how well written the song is, and how I particularly like the line when he says don't look back, you can never look back. In my head, while in that car, I was playing the what if game in my head with a variety of subjects. What if I the fire hadn't happened? What if I was taller, could I play in the NBA? What if I didn't have my son? What if I spent my money more wisely? This is a DUMB and very cruel game to play with yourself, and I don't recommend it at all. So when this song came on, I was just singing the lyrics at the top of my lungs like I normally do, and the don't look back part came on, and I stopped singing. And I said to myself, damn Rashad, listen to the lyrics, stop feeling sorry yourself. Now I'm not saying all was magically better at that moment, because that my friends, is the stuff fairy tales are made of(sorry to be ending so many sentences with prepositions). But the song did give me perspective, which is just as important. So, as I do in this blog from time to time, I will recommend that you listen to the song, because it is damn good.

I have lots and lots on my mind these days man, so bear with me if my blogs seem scatterbrained and unfocused. I'm trying to find a job, I need a place to live by Wed, I got things going on in my personal life, etc. If I had a heavy bag to hit right about now, I'd be tearing that thing up. A vacation would be great right now, but I'll settle with a day off.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

I can best sum up my father's day weekend with the following scene. It was 6pm, my father, my son and I, were sitting in the ESPN Zone in Baltimore, MD. I was eating BBQ chicken Pizza, my father was working on some catfish, and my son was tearing up a buffalo chicken sandwich, that was too spicy for him because his eyes were watering. Conversation was minimal once the food arrived, but beforehand the conversation was plentiful. My son had just finished playing a NASCAR racing game, so he describing it in detail to my father and I. My father was intrigued by Carlton's newfound interest in the sports, and I was enjoying the back and forth between my dad and the one who calls me dad. A little after 6pm..I'd say about 6:04, we all stopped eating and looked at the televisions. The television to the left had Barry Bonds up to bat against the Boston Red Sox, and the television to the right had Tiger Woods about to take the lead in the US Open. Our 3 sets of eyes were darting back and forth to both televisions, although mine were looking at the tvs, then my son, then my dad. Barry Bonds ended up flying out, and Tiger Woods did end up taking the lead momentarily. Once these moments were over, my dad looked at me and didn't say anything, he just nodded and smiled. My son had the same look on his face, except he verbalized what my father had been feeling, and he said, "Daddy I couldn't figure out which one to watch". i just smiled, and then we all went back to eating our food, and watching tv. These are the kinds moments fathers and grandfathers hope for, and to be honest I'm quite sure I'm not giving this moment justice thru words, but that's all I have.

I forgot how much these types of weekends wear me out. I am absolutely tired, and I am thinking long and hard about taking off tomorrow. Plus, my friend Nina is coming back two weeks early, so now I have to figure out where to live in the interim. I'll save that for tomorrow, for now I'll savor my weekend with Carlton and my father.

Stand By Me - Ben E. King

Friday, June 15, 2007

What a 24 hour period. First, I celebrated my USA Today article a little too hard on Thursday night, and I missed most of the Spurs championship win. I did see the last minute or so, but by that time San Antonio had the game in hand. It was a bit irresponsible of me not to write a recap about the last game, but I don't feel too badly about it. I have about 10 articles in my head that I begin writing next week, so we'll see if lightning can strike twice. I will say this though: Lebron James has nothing to be ashamed of at all. In fact the Cavs team as a whole should not be at all ashamed. They advanced to the NBA finals way before anyone ever expected them to, and they now know what it will take for them to be successful. The Cavs also need to understand that the Spurs were just way too good, and there's no shame in getting swept by a four time nba championship team. None at all.

I went to get my son today, and I swear he looks even taller than when I saw him two weeks ago. We have quite the father's day weekend plan, so it should be lots of fun. Today we went out to eat, drove back from Hampton together, and talked about baseball and driving fast(which I was doing like a champ). We also went to the barbershop, and I paid close attention to what Carlton was soaking up. Normally when I go to the barbershop, I laugh at the cursing and lewd discussions, because i'm an adult and i'm old enough to know what I should tune in to, and what I should ignore. Young Carlton was just taking it all in, and I didn't try to censor it at all. Once we left I asked him what he thought of the barbershop, and in his true minimalist fashion, he said it was interesting. Tomorrow we go see the Fantastic Four, we go to the Bodies exhibit, and we'll end the day with an Orioles baseball game with my dad. I am going to be thoroughly tired..actually i feel that way right now. The highlight of my day? Watching Carlton sit down at my laptop and read sports. When I get that picture back, I am definitely going to put it up.

The depressing part of my day? I went to check my mail at my old apartment, and I happened to peek in..all of my stuff is gone, and it has been repainted now. I know the stuff I left in there was severely burned, but the finality of it all hit me like a ton of bricks. Too many good things have happened over the past week for me to cry or get depressed, but it was definitely hard. I'm over it now though. Life has and will continue to go on.

Bulletproof Soul - Sade

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Writing is serious business. That's what my friend Nichole said in one of her recent comments to an entry I wrote, and she is exactly right. If you call yourself or aspire to be a writer, it is something you have to take seriously, and I can readily admit that it I have been pretty inconsistent with that over the years. That is part of the reason I was so excited with getting my article on, and again I cannot thank Ryan and enough. You never know who is going to read your writing and cast judgement on you good or bad, so if you decided to submit something in this vast internet world, you'd best be sure that what you are doing is thorough and correct. Hopefully bigger things are in store for me but for now, I'll take this.

If I were a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers, I'd be mighty pissed that every article and every tv report, is basically giving the Spurs the championship already. I understand that the Spurs are up 3-0, but still, it really isn't over yet, and they are STILL at home, and Lebron STILL hasn't had a monster game. This is completely far fetched, but it can still be a rallying point for the Cavs, especially Lebron who has taken a hit in the legacy department this week. All that being said, I sincerely doubt the Cavs are winning tonight. In fact, I'd be shocked and awed. Plus I need them to win tonight, because my son is coming in town this weekend, and I might miss the game, so if you could just lay down and lose Cleveland, that would be great!

As evidenced by my struggle to find some decent sneakers last week, I know that I don't exactly have a firm grasp as to what is and isn't hot in the world of shoes. But at least two times in the past week, I have seen men wearing white dress shoes. And these men aren't over 45, and they aren't old school players like Steve Harvey. One was my boy Brandon at my party last week, and the other was this guy on the train this morning who also looked to be my age. I haven't picked up a GQ magazine in awhile, but perhaps this is the new trend. But in my mind, white shoes are strictly for 75 year old black men, who are deacons in the church, and look like this.

Poetry Man - Phoebe Snow

Wednesday, June 13, 2007 published my game 3 recap. I do believe this is the best thing to happen to me in quite sometime. Thank you to Ryan and the good folks over at for giving me the platform.
It really irks me when people who claim to be men and women of God act snobbish when someone who may not be as into the church as they are, has a question. It would be different if they said they didn't have the answer, but they would find it, or if they just pointed me to a particular passage in the Bible, because then I would have a tremendous amount of respect for them. But to look at me in a condescending way and say, "Maybe if you went to church more you would understand", makes me want to do things that I am QUITE sure are not in the Bible despite my lack of a full command of the good book. When someone asks me a question about sports, I do my best to be as thorough as I possibly can with my answer. Why? Well one I know that I either know or can find the answer. But two, I want that person to be informed, so that when see it on their own, they can say to themselves, Rashad taught me that. That's a beautiful thing. Even if I make fun of someone for not knowing something sports related, I eventually give them the answer. But never do I just say, well if you watched more sports you'd know. What the hell is that? Part of being a man or woman of God is teaching those who may be "behind" you, and if you can't teach them, point them in the right direction. But to turn away someone who is seeking knowledge in any walk of life not just church..especially when you have that knowledge is asinine.

How did this come up? I asked a co-worker of mine(first mistake) how we really know God is giving us a sign, and its not just our own selfish wants and desires. I think that God was trying to tell me something when he spared my laptop and little else in that fire, and I think he was sending me message with the fire as well. But if I go to the liquor store(as I did today) and try to buy something with my credit card, only to be told its cash only, is that a sign that I shouldn't drink? Or is it a sign that I need to work harder for that drink by taking my ass to an ATM to get some cash? So I sought out this woman of God, and she proceeded to tell me that I needed to be in church, and I need to understand how to pray and only there would I get the answers. Not that annoyed me, but I got over it. Then she started using the "you people" phrase. You people who don't go to church are always asking questions, and the only real answer is in church. So then I asked her if she ever had questions while in church, and she said yes but that's different. At this point, I realized that I had let this go, because clearly we weren't going to see eye to eye. She could have pointed me to a verse, referred me to her pastor, call on her own experience and all that. Instead I just got a bunch of bull. Perhaps I'm overreacting here..
Here is my game 3 recap.

I was real late this morning getting to work, so I'll write more later

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The more writing I do on this blog and other places, the more of an appreciation I have for those individuals whose job it is to write all day, every day and get paid for it. Don't get me wrong, it is a job that I still aspire to have one day no matter how old I get, but it is definitely a tedious one. Not only do you have to come up with a subject matter that is both relevant and readable, but you also have to write it in a creative way, so that it stands out head and shoulders above the millions of other writers and bloggers who may have decided to cover the exact same thing. And if you are getting paid for it, that means an editor somewhere is probably monitoring what you do, how well you do it, and the general public's response to what is written. And that last part is the most difficult part for me. I rarely get upset when something I write here in this blog is criticized, because I know if I wanted to, I could take the author of the comment, and rip them the next day in this very space. But when my sports articles are criticized, my skin tends to be a lot thinner, because I still consider myself to be a neophyte at this. Yes I love sports, and yes I've been writing about sports on my own for about 8-9 years now, but here recently my articles have received just a little more exposure, and my own personal insecurities are being exposed just a little bit. The only cure for that is to keep writing and to flood the market with as much writing material as I possibly can, so I don't feel quite as bad.

Continuing with this writing theme, I have the ultimate respect for people who can write creatively. My friend Jamal does an excellent job of this on his blog, and I wish I possessed this talent as well. I remember in college, I had an assignment of writing a poem with a Valentine's Day theme, and it literally took me all night to come up with something that was really really corny. It just isn't in me to be creative. But if you send me to an event, and ask me to write on it and have an opinion, I'm all over it. This is why I have so much resentment towards people who write poetry(not rappers). These people can write about six lines that rhyme(or sometimes not), and then they give the poem some off the wall abstract title, and when you ask them what it means, they say well what do you think it means. I don't like that kind of ambiguity in my life man. If YOU wrote, then YOU tell me what it means, and once I know, then I'll go back and try to sift through it myself. But most poets don't give you the pleasure of doing that and it burns me up. **Sidebar: This is the EXACT reason why so many people were disgusted with the Sopranos finale. Instead of writing of definitive ending, David Chase wrote an ending that left people wondering what happened, and it was open to multiple interpretations. As my main man Michael Wilbon said, this is a mafia series, give me gore and murder first, introspection a distant second.**sidebar over. As much as I hate poetry, I do have one poem that I will always love and it is this one.

What's Going On - Donny Hathaway

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cavs/Spurs-Game 2
One would think that I would know and understand that I cannot take naps during the day, because I will definitely feel it when it gets to be the midnight hour or later, and such a thing happened to me yet again last night. I took two naps yesterday. One around 10-11am(I woke up 7am), and then I took another about 1pm, and that last one pretty much cemented my fate. Right after I wrote an article about that massacre of a game 2 of the NBA finals, I attempted to go to sleep, but it wasn't happening. I'll spare you the gory details of my 5 hour toss and turn session and skip to the good part. I'm operating on 30 minutes sleep, and I feel incredibly cranky, and not just because I happened to miss the last episode of the Sopranos. With the hours I've been sleeping lately, I really need to look into becoming a truck driver or something. Maybe I should start working out at night or something who knows. But this is bad for my nerves man.

Much like on Friday, I am not going to say too much about last night's game until my article gets published. But I will say this: CLEARLY the Spurs are better than the Pistons. When the Cavs were down 0-2 to the Pistons, they could at least say they were close to winning both games. No such luck this time though. I think the Cavs will win game 3, and maybe even game 5, but they are still going to lose this series. The Spurs are just too efficient at what they do.

Has someone ever done something for you that was really nice and genuine, and you say thank to you them, and you even send them note, but it still feel vastly inadequate? This is how I feel when thanking people who have given me gifts since the fire. I have said thank you countless times, and I am 100% genuine and sincere when I say it, but somehow it still doesn't feel like enough. Perhaps that is some of my phantom guilt that my friend Jolanda was talking about, or maybe I just feel like no matter what I do, I cannot properly thank people for helping me out. I don't think i'm accurately capturing how I feel right now. Now I know how my ex felt, when I would give her a compliment and she would immediately get uncomfortable. There are some people who know how to graciously accept help, gifts, compliments etc. And then you have socially challenged people like me, who are genuinely uncomfortable with attention given to them. I will say this though..I am much better at it now, than I was a few weeks back. Perhaps that's one of the many lessons I am supposed to learn.

I bet if you re-read all of my entries, and you would find that I write the wackest blog entries on Monday. I have no focus, no drive, fatigue is a factor, and it just feels very disjointed. I could definitely benefit from more cowbell on Mondays.

Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal

Saturday, June 09, 2007

One of my biggest flaws is me not being able to keep my word. Some of my friends just accept it as who I am, others get extremely mad and call me on it. I've lost relationships over this, I've been yelled at over this, and I have had people lose faith in me as well. It is something I vowed to change after so many people came through for me after the fire, but I'm not doing a good enough job. I hate it when people I love, like, or respect start feeling different about me because of something I did NOT do. Its the equivalent of your dad saying, I'm really disappointed in you son. It doesn't physically hurt, but it lingers in your mind and hurts mentally. I missed a hiking trip this morning, and I didn't meet up with someone I was supposed to see, and I feel like dirt. I had valid reasons for both, but the bottom line is I didn't keep my word, and that is something I plan to eliminate ASAP. I think I'm a decent friend, but in order to maintain those friendships, I have to be more reliable. This feels like diary, but man it was on my mind and I had to get it out.

The same night that I wrote my article about game one of the NBA finals, my favorite writer in the Bill Simmons did the exact same thing. I'll let you decide who did a better job. But it shows that great minds think alike..I think.

Friday, June 08, 2007

HERE is the article. Please feel free to comment here or on the site.
I really don't consider 32 to be an old age at all. I'm not going to get all corny and cliched like so many people are doing these days and say that 30 is the new 20, because that's ridiculous. But 32 is a young age, and God-willing I have plenty of life to live. But yesterday, while shopping for sneakers, I felt like I added at least 25 years to my age..which would make me my father's age. Now I have never been one of those people, who has 20 and 30 pairs of sneakers to go with all of my outfits. I wear suits and business casual attire Monday thru Friday, and on Saturday I may wear sneakers, and then Sunday I go to church(yeah right). So as you see, I only really wear sneakers on Saturday, so if I have one or two pair, I feel comfortable. But since the fire, I have lost all but one pair of sneakers, and I'm beginning to wear those out a bit, so it was high time that I upgrade my sneaker game. Now, I'll admit, every other time in the past I purchased sneakers, I would always bring a woman with me to bounce ideas off of. I dont know why, but women have a knack for knowing what does and does not match, so there was a certain comfort with bringing them along. Plus, it would be a bit suspect if I called up Cliff was said, hey man, I'm going shopping for shoes, wanna roll? Anyway, on this particular shoe journey, I went at it alone, and immediately I remembered why I didn't like it.

First off, it seemed like every shoe store absolutely had to play loud, ignorant rap music(sorry if I offend anyone). I heard lyrical trash by Young Jeezy, Rich Boy, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana, I already I was cranky. Then,not one shoe store I entered had a salesperson over 25. Each one was young, talking to their friends, and not very professional. I could see if I was a hip youngster entering the store, but I was dressed in professional attire, and clearly I was crying out for some assistance..I got none. I was left to fend for myself with shoes that looked like they asked pre-school kids to paint them blindfolded. The colors were bright, loud and not aesthetically pleasing at all. Then there were some shoes that had the color I liked, but the shoes just looked too clunky. I wear a size 13, and i'm only 5'9, so I really can't afford to have a clunky shoes that you can see coming, before you see the rest of my body. And then some of the shoes just had way too many accoutrements if you will. So in one store, I went in, and told the guy my dilemma. I told him I'm not a sneaker buyer per se, but I was ready to spend some money in his store, thinking that this would peak his interest. He said, well let me know if you need help, and walked away. I was thisclose to sonning(sonning is when you take a younger guy, put your hand on his shoulder, and say look her son) him explain that I really did needed his help which is why I just asked for it, but I said why cause trouble. Plus as smartass Rashad started rising thru me, I felt like David Banner turning into the Hulk, so I settled myself down. After 2 hours, three different shopping centers, and plenty of underarm sweat, I finally bought ONE pair of shoes seen here. There's no way in hell I'm doing that alone again. Ideally, there would be a 35 year old man in there who is old enough to have damn good people skills, but he's not quite old enough to be out of touch with what's hot and what's not. In fact, I need that same type of service when I go shopping for music too. But i'm rambling now.

I wrote an "article" on last night's game, and I don't feel too good about it at all. I basically wrote a minute by minute blog on every aspect of the game from pregame to final buzzer, and it was more challenging than I thought it would be. I had to write and watch the game, then come up with something to say on the spot. Usually I just jot down incoherent notes, and then put it all together in the end, and it comes together like I'm Quincy Jones or something. Last night was much different, so we'll see how it turns out. So I wont say anything about last night's game I see that article. But I will say this. All these jackasses saying the series is over after one game, are the same jackasses who said that Cleveland would win simply because of King James. You can't draw any conclusions about a series after one game, because basketball is about adjustments. Cleveland will adjust for game 2, and it'll be a closer game. But one thing that is CLEARLY evident, is that the Spurs are better than Detroit. Other than that, its too early to be making grandiose predictions and statements. The announcers suck though. EVERY NBA finals game should have Marv Albert and Hubie Brown

In an effort to get the bad taste of that terrible rap music I heard in shoe stores all over this fine DC area out of my mouth(run-on sentence), I will now post one of my favorite rap songs ever. It just so happens to be Will Smith's best song lyrically as well.

Brand New Funk - DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince

Thursday, June 07, 2007

It is a weird thing attending an event where people who read your blog are in attendance. I am used to saying exactly what is on my mind, but in these instances doing that can get you in trouble with people who know and like you. Well then I guess I'm just going to be in trouble..

The fun began before the party actually started, when my father called me and said he was attending the party with his ladyfriend. I'm pretty sure he knew how this would affect my mother, but I sincerely doubt he truly cared. When my mother called to confirm the time of the party, I told her that her ex husband would be rolling in with a lady, and she said she didn't care at all. I sincerely doubted that was true too. The last time my father brought someone, and my mother did not, was during my college graduation and that didn't go over too well, so this was in the back of my head as I headed to Posh.

I arrived at the spot at 7pm, just like the invitation said, and I realized a few things. 1)I was REAL nervous. 2)I was the first one to arrive at my own party..which is just like me. Either I don't show up at all, or I get there early or on time. I have no sense of social timing. And the third thing I noticed was how nice it was inside. About 10 minutes after arriving, my friend Aisha sat next to me at the bar, and the first thing SHE noticed is how talkative I was, and I politely explained to her that this behavior was truly an anomaly. When I'm nervous, I drink water like I'm in the Boston Marathon and I talk like Joan Rivers on the red carpet. It was actually kind of funny though, because Aisha and I work about 5 minutes away from each other, yet we never meet for lunch or anything, but here we were chatting it up like old friends. Good times. We both commented that the music that was playing during that time was perfect for an extended tantric sex session. I wish I had a clip of it to play, because it was strange indeed. As was the maitre d', who looked like a character out of Beetlejuice.

Over the next 30-40 minutes, the bulk of the party attendees came in, and this is when my nervousness really kicked into high gear. Even though I was repeatedly told during the day, and even during the party to relax and enjoy the night, there was no way in hell I could do that right away, and the people who suggested that clearly didn't realize how wired and nervous I was. Whenever a group of friends get together, you worry about how folks will socialize, you worry about there being absolute silence, you worry about putting face time in with everyone at the party, and on top of those typical worries, I had to make sure my mother was comfortable with the fact that my father was there with another woman. **As an aside, let me just say that my father's tie, ALSO looked like it was taken from some Beetlejuice extras. Very unplayer.** Anyway, despite my nervousness and fears, the people at the party did just fine on their own. People talked, ate, drank, laughed and all that good stuff. My friend Darnita was gracious enough to float around and take both flattering and unflattering pictures of everyone in the room.

The most nerve wracking part of the evening, was coming up with a speech. I really didn't want to say jack, not because I wasn't grateful, because I absolutely was. People brought gift cards, slipped me money in my pocket and in my hand, bought me glasses of wine, gave me hugs with their bountiful breasts pressed against me, and they made me feel very special and loved, and that was priceless. I was determined not to cry or anything like that, but I was overwhelmed with emotion..and nervousness. So all night I was trying to think of something to say. I wanted to be serious, but I wanted to break that seriousness up with a joke. So right before the speech, I went downstairs in the bathroom, and hyped myself up like Eminem in 8 Mile before that final battle. It was very intense. Ok I'm lying it wasn't THAT intense, but still..I gave a 20 second speech. I thanked folks, let them know how lonely I felt when the fire happened, and how everyone there had directly and indirectly helped me to feel loved, and then I told them that I would NEVER be this nice to them(that KILLED son!!), and that was it..end of speech. I didn't thank my mom and dad, I didn't thank Dana who organized it, or Curt who reserved this particular club, or Darnita who was graciously taking picture. Very unclassy on my part, and I felt bad. Other observations from last night:

-My father's ladyfriend tripped and almost fell over someone's laptop. It is sad that when something like that happens, your..ok MY first inclination is to laugh and laugh again. And I was on the verge of doing so, especially since it was clear she was ok. But I was sitting next to my dad when this happened, and he gave me this look so I decided that may not be the best move.

-The CEO of the company I work for showed up and completely shocked me. He also gave me the strongest handshake I've ever had in my life. Any nervousness I may have had that night, he squeezed it out and then some

-I somehow had to pay for $50 worth of items I didn't even order, because the waiter was confused as to who ordered and paid for what. I'm glad I had it..because if I didn't, it would have been PERFECT time to break out my I-just-had-a-fire-I-have-nothing-I-am-so-confused speech.

-At one point last night, three women that I have had sex with were in the room at the same time. I invited pretty much everyone that I know to my party, so that was bound to happen I guess. But its a weird feeling. I already imagine people naked at parties like that, but to be RECALLING was pret-tay, pret-tay weird.

-Instead of a basketball game, Law and Order was on tv. its amazing how everyone knows this show, knows the characters, and all that. As Aisha said, this show must make a killing in syndication, because it is ALWAYS on, and much like Seinfeld reruns, you can watch them 5 and 6 times and it never gets old.

-I told someone this privately, and I have no problems saying it on this blog. When my father is around, I feel invincible man. I feel like I can give speeches, work the room, be friendly, picture folks naked, and not miss a beat at all. Its not that I lack confidence without him, its just that he makes everything easier. My mother has that same effect to a lesser degree, but there's nothing like the man who raised you being around.

-Towards the end of the night, my brother sent me a simple text. "I love you man". Normally I will tell him how ghey that was, but on this night that message was right on time.

But on a very serious note, I am TRULY a lucky and blessed(can I say that twice in one week?) man. So many people go thru personal tragedies, and they have no family, no help, no nothing, and they feel isolated on top of everything else. I have had my bouts of depression, anger and loneliness since this happened, but overall, I have had plenty of friends and family get my back and I feel very special. And when my book comes out, I want all of them to CONTINUE to make me feel special, and buy it, because there will be a dedication to each and every one of you.

Oh yeah, and the night ended with four shots of Mr. Johnnie

You Got me(instrumental)-The Roots

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

So let me get this straight. You are a black man who was lucky and smart enough to be an elected official in the state of Louisiana. Before being elected into office, you were an attorney who had attended both Harvard and Georgetown. Your last name is the same as one of the men who helped to pen the Declaration of Independence and was our third president. You represent a state that has seen an incredible tragedy with Hurricane Katrina, which means essentially, you have the chance to do great things on the world's biggest stage. And what do you decide to do William Jefferson? You "allegedly" decided to do some things we call bribery, racqueteering, and you hide about $90,000 in your freezer. Now I'm well aware that black men have been wrongly accused for years and years, so there is a sliver of hope that you may come out of this smelling like roses. But come on does not look good. And before you even make it to jail, some disgruntled Katrina survivors might get to you, the way that old man got to Nino Brown in New Jack City. But there's more..

So Billy spent 11 years coaching at the University of Florida. During that span you win two national titles, and you take a school that is primarily known for football, and make it a force to be reckoned with on the basketball stage. During your 11 year tenure there, you are linked to various NBA jobs, but you turn them down, saying you are happy where you are. Then, this past April, after your Florida team defeated the mighty Greg Oden and the Ohio State Buckeyes, you are offered a job at the University of Kentucky, and you turn it down, saying you're happy where you are. Two weeks later, you are offered a job in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies, and again you proclaim your happiness with your current situation and you again turn it down. A few weeks later, the Orlando Magic, again of the NBA, offer you a head coaching position with a contract that will pay you 35 million over 7 years, and you snatch it up, leaving the very place that was allegedly making you so happy just a few weeks earlier. In the press conference for your new job, you say how excited you are to be in the NBA, and how tough a decision it was to leave Florida, but you are now ready for a new challenge. And then two days later, you are begging to be let out of that contract, because you think you made the wrong decision and you want to go running back to Florida? Come on man. 200 season tickets were sold when you were hired in Orlando, what about them? Anthony Grant, a young black coach at VCU, was going to take your old job at Florida, and now he's out of luck. And the Orlando Magic are trying to keep their team in Orlando, and you were helping them out by taking this job, and now you bail? Yes we all reserve the right to change our minds, but the presumption is that when you sign a contract, you also exercised your right to do a little something we call "thinking it over". Not a good look Mr. Billy Donovan

Today is the party in my honor, and I have no problems admitting that I am a little uncomfortable with it. You'd think because I write a blog, share my life, and allow people to comment sometimes, that I would thrive in a situation where I am the center of attention, but that is not at all the case. It makes me uncomfortable to be the center of attention, even when people are trying to be helpful. I never know the right things to say, and I feel like at any moment I could unintentionally say something to offend. Conversely, I also feel like at any moment I could intentionally say something to offend, and take it too far. Being socially awkward/challenged is a hell of a straitjacket sometimes, and even though I have gotten better at it as I get older, it is still a bitch sometimes. I suppose I could drown my fears away in an impressive array of wines and liquors, but that would be dead wrong. I'll face it head on, and it'll be a beautiful experience whether 3 or 30 people show up. And if not, tomrrow's blog will be vicious.

Oh and I got a writing gig writing for this site. I'll let you know when my first article is up, so you can hate it or love it.

My One and Only Love - Sting

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

I got on the train this morning in a terrific state of mind. I actually got 6-7 hours of sleep last night, which hasn't happened in quite some time. I felt rested and ready for a great day..or as good of a day that can be had spent in an office and not on the beach with a beautiful woman on top of me. I digress..I stepped on the train listening to this song, and notice this older lady(about 45-50) keeps looking over at me. I am standing up, she is sitting down; I am reading the paper, and so is she; but I had my IPOD on at a relatively high volume, because the song I was playing requires me to do just that. After looking over at me about three times, she finally gets my attention, and says to me, "Your music is quite loud". Now I heard her the first time, but I removed my headphones, but some bass in my voice, and seriousness in my eyes, and said "Excuse me?" To her credit, she didn't back down at all, and she repeated herself. Staying true to my Rashad-like nature, I asked her if my music was louder than the noises on the train, and she said yes. Then, almost as if the Gods decided that they were in a smartass mood too, her cellphone rang and our entire side of the train turned around, because HER cellphone sounded like it sitting next to the mic of a bullhorn. Before I put my headphones back on, I looked at her, smirked, and said, "Now THAT my friend is irony". And she rolled her eyes. Some thuggery almost crept to my lips and made me say, "WHAT NOW BITCH?". But I have too much class to say that, but clearly not enough to not write it.

As I told a few people last night, flat front pants are NOT for me. I understand pleats aren't cool, and I also understand it could be I just haven't found the right kind that make my boys feel comfortable and all that, but until then I'm cursing those pants to high hell. I had some on yesterday, I tried some on last night, and I can't get comfortable. It's like sleeping under the covers with your feet sticking I know my ass isn't small, but come on man, by no means am I fat or overweight, and I see them in clothes that fit all the time. Of course, it would help if I spent about 40-45 minutes, actually trying on different styles and options to see what made me comfortable, but who has the time or patience to do all of that? Its bad enough I have to now go to the grocery stores, instead of getting them delivered.

Here is my take on the upcoming Spurs/Cavs series. Lebron is great, Tim Duncan is better. Lebron's teammates are solid, Tim Duncan's teammates are better. The Pistons were older and unorganized, the Spurs are the most consistent team in the NBA over the past 10 years and they are led by Tim Duncan. Now Lebron's greatness, especially in Cleveland, is good enough to get his team 2 victories at best. But there is no way in the world, you can tell me that Cleveland will beat them 4 times. And it'll be a pleasure to see Lebron's 45 year old, crestfallen face(you don't believe he's 22 do you?)as the Spurs celebrate their 4th championship in 9 years. And then as he's being interviewed after the loss, I want one of the journalists to look him square in the eye and say this to him. I'm openly taking offers from people as to what I should be made to do if the Cavs somehow win. But it won't happen.

Back in the High Life-Steve Winwood

Monday, June 04, 2007

I was all prepared to sit down and start typing about my day with my son and all that, and then right before I came back in the apt where I am currently staying, I saw a prostitute get picked up right outside my house. When I was trying to find parking, I saw the woman dressed in skimpy attire, but I really didn't think prostitutes were quite that bold..not on this street anyway. But boy was I mistaken. She wasn't that attractive, but the guy that picked her up must have been mesmerized by her breasts which where 95% out...which is what initially caught MY attention. That's wild man..and it was still Sunday when that happened too. I can proudly say I've never paid for least not like that.

Anyhow, I had a great day (don't I always though?) with my son. I hadn't seen him since February, and the first thing I noticed is that he is damn near up to my shoulder in height. He is well on his way to being taller than his granted i'm only 5'9, but still, that's impressive. Considering his sports of choice are football, baseball and golf, it certainly can't hurt if he were taller than 6". The second thing I noticed about young Carlton, is that his expressions were just like me. He saw me and gave me a half smile, and he tried to act like he wasn't happy to see me, which was just fine by me. I often think he does this out of some kind of weird loyalty to his mother and grandparents, because as soon as we were out of their field of vision, he perked up a bit, and we went out to eat. He shared with me his new found love of NASCAR, and then he proceeded to break down who his favorite drivers were. i was very impressed that I took him to the bookstore and let him pick out some books on the subject. If he's going to be into the sports, the least I can do is feed his habit, and he was appreciative, because as soon as we got back in the car he stopped listening to me and focused on the books. I was impressed. When you add this to his already vast knowledge of just about every other sport, you have a father who can talk to his son all day long, which is what we did. I dont know how I'd act if my son was into sports. We also went to see Spiderman 3, which was a boring, glorified love story, but my son loved it. This particular visit wasn't as long as would have liked, but I will get him for Father's Day weekend as well, and hopefully Carlton, my father (and perhaps my brother and his hear that Jamal?) will come up and we'll all go see to a baseball game. I think my father would cry..although based on recent developments, i'd probably beat him to it. My son will be in Hampton for awhile, and that is easier for me. I still don't know how the fire, and my desire to move out of this area, is going to affect my quest for custody, but my attorney will let me know that soon...

And yes I'm aware that Lebron James and the Cavs are in the NBA finals. But my hate is strong right now, so I have to wait until Wed to speak on it.

Oh and this is coming up on Wed, if you want to attend.

I need to be sleep, but i'm still on cloud after my day today. A welcome change of pace from yesterday I might add.

Postcards From The Edge- W. Ellington Felton featuring Eric Roberson, Sy Smith and Raheem Devaughn

Saturday, June 02, 2007

The past 24 hours of my life, I think I have gotten my money's worth in the emotion department. Every single emotion you can possibly feel, I have felt and then some. Last night I was out drinking with friends, and I had a damn good time talking, joking and laughing. Of course I drank too much, which is what happens when the prices are cheap, and everyone is having fun. My two good female friends over the past 6 years were out with me for the first time ever, and it was a lot of fun, and a little weird. Usually you don't want your worlds to collide like that, but it wasn't a problem at all. A friend of mine that I used to talk to was also there, and she made the evening fun as well. Good times had by all. So that represented the happy part of my weekend. Then earlier today, I went to my old apt for the last and final time to remove any sensitive papers, documents or anything that may have been lying around. The finality of the situation hit me hard while I was in there, and I just starting crying..again. I felt like a punk for doing so, but the fact that I was picking thru MY stuff, sifting thru things that were burned and smelled of smoke, was just too much for me to deal with. Plus it was dark in these, glass was everywhere, and I realized that this was a lost cause and I left. I'm never going back again, its just too much, and frankly at this point, its time to move on. that's the sadness portion of my weekend. And then I spent some time with my father once again, and he made me feel comfortable. Don't get me wrong, my friends made me feel comfortable today and yesterday, but there is something about the comfort a parent can give you that unparalleled. I can't tell you how happy I was to see my father, and listen to him wax poetic on the same shit he always does. It just sounded and felt different this time.

So now I'm sitting here in the dark, on my laptop, waiting for the game to start and I'm realizing how lucky and blessed I am, and you KNOW for me to say i'm blessed I must really be in a weird place. But I am. I'm ready to put this fire stuff behind me, and I'm ready to leave DC behind, and move somewhere else for now. My friends and family here have been instrumental in helping me get back on my feet, and nowhere near there quite yet. But i'm on my way man..I really am. I actually have more to say, but the game is getting ready to come on, so i'm must skedaddle

This entry has been brought to you by Mr. Joel Osteen.

Friday, June 01, 2007

I have three observations about last night's game in which Cleveland defeated Detroit in double overtime:

1)Both teams are going to be dead tired and leg weary when the next game is played on Saturday night, but it is going to affect Detroit much more. Antonio McDyess MAY be suspended, which means their already thin bench will be a bit thinner. Plus, with the exception of Tayshaun Prince, the rest of Detroit's starting five are in their 30s, and this time of year EVERYONE is tired, but they will deff nett lay(br'ish accent) feel it more. At this point, I think Cleveland would give the Spurs a better contest in the NBA finals anyway, because they will be fresher.

2)I know I am hard on Lebron James for own personal reasons, but last night he was incredible. That was a Jordan like game on every level. He finally stopped being a punk, and he stuck up for one of his teammates, he had a playoff scowl on his face, and he had that its MY team swagger in his game. It looks like he finally gets it, which means we may have to get used to seeing Lebron go this deep in the playoffs. Although, I still say, that if my beloved Washington Wizards had been healthy, we would have defeated Lebron and the rest of his squad in the FIRST round.

3)Chauncey Billups can no longer have the nickname Big Shot. I am taking it from him, and giving to someone else like an adult movie star or something. You can't be known as Mr. Big Shot if you miss a shot at the end of regulation, and then another that basically lost the game for your team. That makes you a choke artist, which is consistent with what he has been doing during this entire series. If Detroit doesn't win this year, this team will be broken up, and it will start with Chauncey. I would write what Chauncey's underground nickname is, but its not politically correct to say here. But THEY can say it for me.

So yesterday, I had to call someone whose name was: Xuan Huong. I had never spoken to this woman, or heard her name pronounced, and I had to call her up and speak with her for business purposes. Now I am sensitive to correct name pronunciations, because people constantly butcher my name. I get called Richard, Rashidi,Rasheed, Roshaun, and everything under the sun. If people get it wrong the first time, I have no problem correcting them, every other time after that, you are just ignorant. So, in an effort to not embarrass myself, I called my friend Folayan, who is a world traveler, and someone I thought to be smart in such matters. Folayan had not a clue in the world how to pronounce this name, so she suggested I speak to this woman very slowly, so that when I got to the pronunciation of her name, she would jump in and correct me. I put this bit of advice in my mental rolodex, and then called my dad, who didn't answer. So, I decided to venture out on my own, and call this woman. It was just my luck that she did NOT answer the phone, and I got a voicemail at her place of business, which meant I HAD to say her name so that she got the message. I'm not going to tell you how I said her name, but I may as well have called her a racial slur, because I'm sure I got it WAY wrong. Before and after I said her name, I apologized on her voicemail, but I felt small while doing so. Then, on cue my dad called and gave me what he thought to be the correct pronunciation, and then right after that Xuan called me back, with the REAL pronunciation, and when I tried to apologize, she blew me off and I felt bad. But that was I feel like she needed to lighten the hell up. People with difficult names should have a sense of humor about these things the FIRST time around. If I was a repeat offender, she could kick me in the mouth, but I wasn't. Just now I learned that her name is Vietnamese, so I vow to never get a Vietnamese name wrong again. That being said, I don't remember how to say her name, which is why I have yet to spell it out phonetically in this paragraph.

Rock Me Amadeus - Falco