Friday, August 31, 2007

Thank God for pickup basketball and the people I play with. They provide me with endless humor and material for my blog. Yesterday, I decided to get about 90-100 minutes worth of cardio by playing basketball. The competition was so-so, but what they lacked in skill, I made up for by over-working myself because I was determined to get a workout. There were two things that occurred on the court that are worth speaking about: First off, there was this guy on the court who looked EXACTLY like Michael Stipe from REM. He had the frail look, the eyes that looked like he had been crying all night, and he was just all out creepy. But, during the course of the game, he was leaving everyone on the court with a special gift, and that was his strong, pungent, and all around nasty body odor. I was losing MY religion every time I got a whiff of the man's underarms, and what was confusing me even more was that his friends didn't say a word. And I KNOW they smelled it, because it was way too strong for them not too. Halfway through the second game, I asked my teammate if we could switch who we were guarding. So I ended up guarding this big dude who was about 6'3 and 250 lbs..but it was worth getting away from the BO. The second event on the court which had me laughing is how the game ended. We were in the middle of the third game, when one of the guys looked at his watch, and stopped and said, "Dude I gotta stop, I have an ice hockey championship game in 2 hours". I don't know what had me more incredulous..what the man said, or the way everyone else reacted. The rest of the guys reacted as if it is an everyday occurrence for someone on the BASKETBALL court to stop and go do a Wayne Gretzky on the cold hard ice. I just grabbed my things, shook every one's hand, and rolled out. But that was definitely a first.

Speaking of pickup basketball, this is hilarious I think i'm the "8.5" guy.

Abracadabra - The Steve Miller Band

Thursday, August 30, 2007

During my Barry Bonds lovefest yesterday, I neglected to mention a bit of conflict that happened to me on Tuesday night. As I have mentioned several times before(but not recently) my laptop was one of the few items that survived the fire in my apartment, but there is still some noticeable damage to the top of it. I am used to seeing it now, and although I keep meaning to get some type of cover for it, I usually forget about it before I head out. So on Tuesday evening, I took my laptop to a spot in downtown DC. My mission: Do a little bit of writing/editing and to enjoy several glasses of fine Perrier with a twist of lime. I was lucky enough to find a table alone, and I sat down and starting doing my thing. About 20 minutes later, this group came and sat at my table. There were four women and one black gentlemen who clearly had the ghey. The women were relatively quiet, but the man was VERY loud. He was talking about everyone who walked by, he was banging on the table, and he was just all around annoying. Since I had my headphones on, I was able to drown out most of his shenanigans(or sheganigans as my friend calls it) but still he was annoying. Well at one point my computer started going a bit awry, so I rebooted, and I overheard this dude talking about my laptop. He said..and this is a direct quote, "Girl do you see his laptop, you can't give niggas anything, because they always f**k it up". Now I heard this, and I immediately wanted to jump across the table, but I just brushed it off. Honestly, my laptop doesn't even look that bad, so he really was just being an ass. Plus I still had my headphones on, so I'm quite sure he thought I couldn't hear. 10 minutes later, more of his friends came to the table, and he kept talking about it to them. Most of his friends just quietly giggled and changed the subject, but he would NOT let it go. So, me being the bible-toting, man of God that I am, I slowly removed my headphones, looked him in the eye, and said (close your eyes, racy language ahead), "B**ch, shut the f*ck up!". He looked and me and said excuse me, and I said it again with the same intensity as the first time. The women that he was with didn't say a damn thing, and after awhile neither did this gentlemen. Their food came, and they started talking about other things, but clearly I had ruined their dinner experience, much like they had ruined my computer/Perrier time. I know my therapist is going to scold me for this type of behavior, and even if she doesn't I know it may have been bad judgement, but come on man...If you're bold enough to keep talking jive within earshot, you surely deserve a little insult.


Tell Me I'm Not Dreaming - Jermaine and Michael Jackson

I may have posted this song before, but I don't care because its all in my head today. My favorite part? At the 1:23 point of the song when Michael comes in, and sings, "Midnight"..up to this point you only heard him in the background, so when he finally comes in the song its a big deal. As my friend said, this was during the MJ golden years, when everything he touched was a hit whether it was Rockwell, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger or his sister with no talent Rebbie. Everything was a when you heard him you got goosebumps..or at least I did. And yes before I mancrushed on Barry Bonds, MJ did it for me.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I woke up at 3:45 this morning, and of all the things I could have done at that special hour of the morning, the one thing I chose to focus on was Barry Bonds. This has nothing to do with his homerun chase, or his steroid use, or his big water head, but rather this has everything to do with our date this weekend. You see, either on Friday or Saturday, I plan on going to go see Barry Bonds and the San Francisco Giants take on the tepid, futile Washington Nationals. I politely asked (strongly insisted) that my friend go with me, and I am determined to pick a good seat so he can see me. Now the reason I was up at 3am thinking about this date, is that I need to devise a way for me to meet Barry Bonds. I thought about getting to RFK about 2 hours early to see him take batting practice, and I hope to call out his name in the most masculine way I can. Barry Bonds gets love in the city of San Francisco, but outside of his home stadium, he gets booed and ridiculed. I wouldn't do that to Big Barry..not at all. I would call out to him, shake his hand, let him know that I respect his game as well as standoffish demeanor off the field. I would also say that I appreciated his strong relationships with his late dad. And then I would tell him that if he ever wanted to admit that he did steroids/performance enhancing drugs, would he kindly tell me first, so I can have an exclusive story via my blog. And that would be it. I wouldn't ask for an autograph, I wouldn't ask him to sign my ladyfriend's cleavage, and I wouldn't take any pictures. I'm a sports fan, but I'm not a maniac I'd say it would take about 5 minutes tops, and then I'd send him on his way. So this is what I hoped and prayed for at 3:45am. I have my fingers crossed even as I type this...

Barry Bonds - Kanye West featuring Lil Wayne

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

So, I watched two press conferences yesterday. One featured a man whose crimes were very detailed and disgusted us all. The other featured a man whose crimes are only alleged, and we probably won't know for quite some time what the effect is on our country..especially considering it was his influence that led to policies on presidential power, spying, etc..One man is headed to jail for at least one year, maybe five. The other is headed for a plush consulting job somewhere in this fine country of ours..probably Texas. One man was relatively detailed about what he did wrong, and what he needed to do going forward..and the other one was extremely vague. One similarity that both Michael Vick and Alberto Gonzales do have, is that their fates would be very different had they come out early on and admitted what they did wrong. Vick could have saved himself some money, and Gonzales would still have his job. So what's the lesson here? Vick should have befriended the president like my main man Gonzales.

While I was waiting to see the lovely sisters, Venus and Serena play their US Open matches last night, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing the ceremony dedicated to the late, tennis great Althea Gibson, who was the first black woman on the tennis tour. It was a little annoying that the US Tennis Association waited until she died to honor her, especially since her accomplishments were worthy of this honor long ago. Still, it was nice to see her get her just due, and it was even nice to see the woman who came to honor her(Susan Taylor, Sheila Johnson, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and many others). But my favorite part of the whole evening was seeing Ms. Clair Huxtable herself: Phylicia Rashad. I think the first crush I ever had on an older woman(Lisa Lisa of Cult Jam fame was the first woman period). Sure Phylicia is a bit heavier and a little longer in the tooth, but she is still sexy. I wasn't even in the room when she first came on tv, but when I heard that familiar voice of Mrs. Huxtable, I asked my friend was the Phylicia Rashad, and she said yes. I remember that one episode of the Cosby Show, when she was speaking Spanish, and I was instantly in love. Not to mention she must have liked it rough as evidenced by the number of times she'd put Cliff in a headlock. Good times all around.

Easy Lover - Phil Collins and Phillip Bailey

Monday, August 27, 2007

Today is the first day of school for DC kids, and I walked by several of them on my way to school, and they did not look like happy camp...well schoolkids. The first day of school is supposed to be about new clothes, new shoes, brand new supplies, catching up with friends who you probably saw every day of the damn summer, and doing diagnostic, what-did-you-do-this-summer essays in English class. I suppose all of that should tickle the fancy of every kid ages 4-18, but that is NOT what I saw. The looks on the faces I saw told a much different story. They said, "Damn its hot, why do we have to go to school". I remember when I was teaching, I would try to be that one teacher who made the kids work hard on the first day. I would skip the student introductions and all that other b.s. that teachers use to fill up the time on the first day to mask the fact that they are really unprepared. I'd go straight for the jugular, and start teaching and going over the rubric and the syllabus. That's Allstate's Stand! I don't miss school one bit..even though I do need to go back, I still don't miss it. Good luck kids.

I'm wearing some pants that I bought back in June, but I haven't worn yet. They are a little more snug than I remember them being when I "tried them on" (aka getting the size I think I would like). Needless to say, if I have any inappropriate thought today, the world will get an up close and personal view of my package. Good thing I'm tucking it today.

The Lump Lump - Brand Nubian

Sunday, August 26, 2007

I don't know what it is, but all this talk of Michael Vick and dog cruelty is making me want to buy one right away. I was walking down the street today, and I saw at least 9 or 10 dogs being walked by their respective owners. My friend makes fun of me, because every time I walk by a dog, I look he/she in the eye, and say, "hey buddy!". Sometimes the dogs will flare their wet nostrils and give me a loving look. Sometimes the dogs will give me a look of indifference and watch me walk by, and other times the dogs look like they are going to attack me for all of Vick's wrongdoings. Come to think of it, I don't limit my "hey buddy" speech to just dogs. I speak to cats, squirrels, birds and all of my "buddies" in the animal kingdom that I happen to cross paths with during the day. But I digress, a dog is on top of my list. I don't want a mean dog, or a bitch of a dog if you will. I want a Black Lab that looks just like this. I can get the dog to listen to me bitch about life, I can bring the dog on my morning runs, and what I like most, is going to stores, and tying my dogs around the nearby poles, while I go shopping. I think the dog would absolutely love that.

Yeah it was a slow weekend

Friday, August 24, 2007

Yesterday I thought of doing grand things for my intern for his last day. I thought about bringing in donuts, and then having all of my co-workers come get a donut and say goodbye at the same time. Then I thought about going to lunch with him, and inviting the rest of the co-workers, but I thought that was a bit much. So the idea I landed on, was to buy a card, have folks sign it, and then send a congratulatory email to him and copy everyone here. Well the jackass decides to repay me, by not even showing up on his last day. He calls me RIGHT after I blogged yesterday, and told me an "emergency" came up and he wouldn't be in the office. Never mind that he left his briefcase(that he bought when he lost his backpack on the metro a few weeks back), nevermind that he left his brush and his lotion(which is now mine), and nevermind that he had some work that needed to be finished. No, none of this was important because an emergency came up. The same emergency that caused him to pull a no call/no show a few weeks ago. I'll admit I was VERY angry (and perhaps I still am), for all the reasons I listed above, plus its just bad business. I abruptly cut him off once he told me he wasn't coming in, and I asked for his personal email address, and I wished him luck in college. It is in that email, without the confines of being PC and curse free, that I will let him know how I feel. This dude doesn't stand a chance in the real world with that type of work ethic..and I use that term loosely. My boss and people who worked with him here were not happy campers at he didn't fill out a timesheet, so unless he comes back up here, he will not get paid. Its just one big hot mess all around. At first I thought I may have failed as a mentor/teacher, but that's bull. If anything I didn't have enough time to complete his "training". But via email, I will continue to both annoy and teach him.

Hit Em Up - 2pac
If you're ever angry, listen to this song. You'll hear how angry 2pac was at Biggie, and it'll instantly make you calm down. At least that's how it works for me. This song really is disrespectful.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Yesterday, while I was watching ESPN, I noticed that they were doing yet another story on Mr. Michael Vick. This time, they chose to interview other athletes in various sports to get their reaction to his alleged crimes. As I expected, most of the athletes gave cryptic responses. None of them wanted to really side with Vick, but clearly none of the athletes wanted to violate the unwritten code of throwing a fallen fellow athlete under the bus..which I can understand to a point. But my favorite part of this segment on ESPN, was the brief interview with Jim Brown. Even well into his 70s, Jim Brown is still one of the most compelling athletes in any sport. He completely dominated the NFL, from 1957-1965. He walked away from football, when he was at the peak of his career, because he wanted an acting career. He acted in various movies, and he was one of the first black men to have romantic sex scene with a white actress (Ms. Racquel Welch). Jim Brown also happened to be an outspoken activist during his time(along with Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Bill Russell, etc) and this was also unheard of, because up until that time, most black athletes smiled and dazzled on the field/court. Jim Brown took it a step further and was very outspoken about racial and economic conditions. Of course, Jim Brown is/was no angel..he has a history of beating women, and he was sentenced to community service and jail time as a result. So as you see, he is a very complex figure. If you get a chance, go rent is a damn good look at Jim Brown and its directed by Mr. Spike Lee

Anyway, Brown brought up a damn good point when speaking of Michael Vick. He said that people are worried about when he's going to play football again, and what his life will be once he gets out of jail. But people are forgetting that he is going to be IN a real jail with real criminals for anywhere to 1 to 4 years. Brown said that we have NO idea how that is going to affect Vick, and we are just assuming that he comes out of that experience unscathed. He also said that Vick should use this time to separate himself from that element that got him in this trouble, and get a fresh start in all aspects of his life. Its a fairly obvious point I know, but in this firestorm of Vick stories, it is definitely a point that I hadn't given much thought right now, it is easy and trendy to just bury Vick, but there are certainly other viewpoints that can be highlighted.

After today, I won't have the intern to kick around anymore, since today is his last day. I will get a card to be signed by the entire office, and I'll send an email to my boss and his, praising his work, because he really did work hard under difficult conditions(my hazing). But before he leaves, I will definitely remind him about his missteps while he was here, so he doesn't repeat them as he ascends through this thing we call life. That's the least I can do..

Real Love - Rell featuring Kanye West and Consequence

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I've known for quite some time that I am a sports fanatic, and I came to terms with that a long time ago. But last night, I realized just how big of a nerd I am, because I had my fantasy football draft. To be honest, I usually don't participate in the draft, I just pre-rank my players, and let nature take its course. But this draft is a bit different, because there is about $500 at stake, plus weekly cash awards as well. So for most of the day yesterday, I did research. I looked up players, I looked at their preseason numbers, I looked at what the experts had to say about both offensive and defensive players, and I tried to devise a strategy. I even got all my work done yesterday morning, so that in the afternoon I could devote most if not all of my energy to this fantasy football draft. God bless my friend for being understanding while I participated in the draft. I'm sure at one point she was looking at me thinking I was indeed crazy. I had one eye on Big Brother(I think I am now addicted to this show..), and the other eye was firmly planted on the draft. And then at some point, I just dedicated myself to the draft totally. If I was thinking smart, I would have blogged while doing this draft. I found myself cursing, exclaiming, breaking out a pen and paper, and doing in-draft research. It was a beautiful experience, but it is not over my friends. Next, I have to see who the free agents are, I have to look at the other teams, and decide if I want to engage in a little trade action. Hopefully this paragraph has served as one big public service announcement for fantasy football...I highly recommend it.

Oh, and if my intern was observant(or had a touch of the ghey) he would notice that I inadvertently left my belt at home, and he would instantly scold and chide me for doing the very thing I got on him about. But he is in his own little autistic world this morning. Plus, I don't weigh 100 lbs like he does, and my butt is much bigger than his, so I can mask it better. It is a tad bit embarrassing though. I shall rectify the situation as soon as Macy's opens.

One Of Us - Prince

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

It is a sad day in the Vick household right about now. I can't even imagine what it must feel like to look a parent, (let alone the media, my boss, my kids, and all that), in the face, and say to them, Mom or Dad, I killed dogs, I gambled on dogs, and I ignored the fact that I was making a comfortable salary using my God-given talent, I just had to slay and make money on dogs. My mother would get down on her knees and concoct the prayer of all dad would just say, you really let me down Rashad, then he knock me right questions asked. Until something new happens, I think I will call a moratorium on this story. But for the life of me, I can't understand this man's thinking. Football contracts, out of all the major sports, all the shakiest of all contracts. They aren't guaranteed, and there are so many incentive-laden clauses in there, it would behoove every athlete who signed one, to be on their best behavior. Because unlike other sports, it is extremely rare, that a football signs TWO lucrative contracts in their playing career. That, and that alone, would be my incentive.

This morning's weather was just crying out for slow sex under the covers. The air was on all night, so it was not cool, but cold. It was dark outside, and even though it wasn't raining, the threat alone was enough to add to the sexy scene. I did NOT want to get up at all, but I made it in somehow. I've always fantasized about living in Seattle, when the weather is seemingly always in the high 60s, rainy and dark, but I'd probably turn into more of a sex addict than I already am. Still I could certainly get used to this kind of weather.

And finally, I would like to know what happened to all the male singers who aren't afraid to sing in a baritone. There seem to be three kinds of singers on the radio these days. You have your singers who sound like they have an electronic voice box attached to their throat like a throat cancer patient; you have your "singer" who is basically rapping their lyrics melodically(we have Bone Thugs N Harmony and R Kelly to thank for that) and finally we have the singers who use that nasal, high pitched voice, and that covers about 80% of the singers. There are a few male singers who can sing(Brian McKnight, Johnny Gill, Eric Benet..and that's all I can think of off hand.) For the most part though, there's little originality, and little baritone. Now I'm a straight man, but that doesn't mean I don't want to hear someone sing with a little bass and attitude in his voice. There's gotta be a better way to say that.

Welcome to the Terrordome - Public Enemy

Monday, August 20, 2007

I really wasn't going to blog today, especially since I felt so strongly about yesterday's entry that I was going to take a break today. That all went out of the window, when my intern started discussing heartbreak and relationships with me. He asked me if I had gotten my heart broken, and I said no, and he gave he this incredulous look. I then explained to him that my non heartbreak had more to do with me bailing quickly, than it had to do with good luck. I also explained those times when I would cheat on someone, then beg for them back, and they would say no..that isnt really heartbreak though, that's just plain selfishness. Anyway, talking to him made me realize how shady I have been in the past(although therapy has brought this out too). But gone are the days when I'm going to be hard on myself, because I am finally in a relationship that is damn good. I can't say I don't occasionally think about karma jumping and getting me, but the longer this goes, I think about it less and less. As for the intern, he needs to man up and grow some balls. These women are running all over him like Jerome Bettis, and he's still focusing on them, rather than focusing on his current 9 month relationship. I try to give advice, but I know he'll have about 5 or 6 more heartbreaks before he learns his lesson. Lord knows it took me a long time, and I'm sure there are still more to learn. But at least I was getting some at 22....

I hope this reads like a stream of consciousness, because that's how I typed it.

Shadows - Branford Marsalis

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The countdown to the birthday day date with my father began with a trip to the barbershop, where I was promptly greeted with a, "Damn you are black as hell". Honestly I've been getting that a lot since I returned from Miami, but I guess I'm used to it at this point. I was ridiculed about that, the fact that I went with a lady, and the fact that my favorite team was the Eagles. You never really realize how much you miss barbershop harassment, until you actually step foot in there and experience it. From the barbershop I headed to the store to pick up a card, I went hope to take a shower, and then I headed out to meet my father at Blues Alley, at an insanely early hour.

I arrived at Blues Alley around 6pm, which was exactly 30 minutes before I was to meet my father. I wanted to send a note to Terrence Blanchard, in hopes that he would give my father a shoutout during the show. I wrote a brief note and gave it to one of Terrence's people, and just hoped for the best. I then sat down right in front of the stage, ordered myself a Perrier, and waited for my father to arrive. To be honest, I was a bit surprised he wasn't there already, as prompt as he usually is. I was even MORE surprised when he called me and told me he was running about 15 minutes late, due to Beltway traffic. We both had forgotten that there was a Washington R**skins football that night, which basically clogs up all the highways in the area. So I patiently waited for my father..

As I sat waiting for him, I noticed that most of the crowd was old and white. There were some young white couple, some older black groups, but mostly the crowd was old, and I'll spare you my views on that, but I did notice it. There was a group of young black kids my age, but I found out later that they were family members of Terrence Blanchard, not necessarily jazz fans.

Anyway, my father strolled in wearing some player type vest, and looking unusually spry despite the fact that this was his 57th year on the planet. I immediately ordered him a Perrier, and he looked at me and said, "Rashad, you are 32 years old, if you want to drink, you certainly can." Part of me wanted to immediately order shots of Patron(to get in the zone), but I stuck with Perrier. Plus my friend and I had gotten QUITE smashed the previous night, so I wanted to stay clear and lucid. We ordered our dinner, and the proceeded to have a good talk.

We talked about the trips our entire family had taken to Blues Alley in the late 80s and early 90s. We saw Dizzy Gillespie, Branford and Wynton Marsalis, Marcus Roberts, and others that we couldn't remember. We talked about how my father would have the family there dressed up, and sitting front and center, so the artists could see us, and afterwards we'd meet the artists face to face. Besides that we talked about women, jazz, family, and of course sports. The subject matters with my father and I rarely change, but that doesn't make the feeling any less rewarding at all. Plus for me, the fact that I can take my father out, and have him listen to the music he loves is a damn good feeling. I don't know about anyone else, but I 'm eternally trying to please my father, and the few times I am on the mark, it is feeling like none other.

Anyway, once Terrence came on, both my father and I were entranced. He played music from his new cd entitled, "A Tale of God's Will: A Requiem for Katrina", and he played some other original compositions. The band was tight, they took a few chances on stage, they made each other laugh, but most of all they played damn good jazz..better than I had heard in a long time. There was this one somber song he played entitled "Funeral Dirge" that was especially moving..I'll link that one at the end of this blog. Everytime I looked over at my father, he was especially moved by the music, and that made me especially happy. Terrence played for 90 minutes straight, and I was a little disappointed he didn't shoutout my dad, but we had a time regardless.

Two funny observations: 1)There was a blind guy there in the audience, enjoying the show. Usually, right after a jazz solo, the audience is supposed to clap, and his applause dies down right after the next soloist begins. Well the musicians in Terrence's band would take pauses DURING their solos, so most of the audience knew not to clap. But the blind man had no such visual contextual clues to go on, so he was clapping at every pause, and after a while it was hilarious. Although the people he was with should have clued him in..2)I spent almost $35 on Perrier alone. The waiter kept bringing it over, and I was even asking for it, but my dad kept drinking, so I did too. But when the bill came, and saw that drank nine glasses of it, I wanted to complain and throw a fit. Pellegrino is way better anyway..but I paid the bill and kept it moving.

At the end of the night, my father gave me his customary hug and kiss, told me he really appreciated it, and we separated. Thinking about it, still makes me smile man. Now all that needs to be done is for me to get my father AND my brother out at the same time...i'm efforting on that one

Terrence Blanchard - Funeral Dirge

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I went to see the movie Superbad last night, and it was pretty damn funny. It didn't have much of a plot, there was lots of raunchy humor, but I still found myself laughing many times. Plus any movie that makes fun of Yoda and his voice, is alright with me. And finally, Michael Cera, from Arrested Development fame, has always been funny to me. So if you want some hilarious, mindless humor, go see the movie. Now, the annoying part of that movie experience, and what has compelled me to write this entry, is the behavior of the crowd after the movie. I NEVER understand why folks clap after the movie is over. Its asinine behavior, and when people started to clap, I actually said out loud, "Oh don't f*cking clap", but the powerful applause probably drowned me out. I mean its not like representatives from the movie are in attendance to receive the applause, and its not like the actors and actresses on the screen are going to step out and take a bow, and then run back in the screen. Its a movie..if you appreciate it, then get on the damn website and send an email or mail a letter to your favorite actor. But the applause is just dumb.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yet another big brother moment occurred yesterday betwixt the intern and I. He wanted to get his girl a gift for her birthday, and he was asking me for a website where he could buy relatively cheap shoes. I gave him the website, then I told him that trying to buy shoes for a woman, is the equivalent of trying to pull your bottom lip over your head. It is simply an impossible task, because half the time women aren't even satisfied with their own shoe purchases by the time they get home. I told him to either get some type of gift certificate, or abandon the idea altogether. Then I asked if she had dropped any hints over the past 9 months of their relationship, and he said he didnt remember, which made me laugh. I can understand the sentiment of not listening to what the hell your woman is saying, but I can certainly say that as I get older, not listening can have terrible consequences. I gave him some generic suggestions such as the spa, some flowers that aren't roses, a handwritten card, a nice dinner, and then I again suggested that he think about the things that she likes. He then said to me that he appreciated the advice, of someone older. I said no problem, but I also told him that I am just as clueless when it comes to the ladies as he is, I just have been around enough to learn from past mistakes. It was a very tender and borderline ghey moment. I am very curious to see what his lady looks like, and I'm even more curious to know if she has given this boy ANY peek, feel or whiff of trim, because he surely doesn't act like it.

My father called me last night to confirm that his birthday outing with me, him and Terence Blanchard is still on, and I told him it was. For someone who rarely shows any outward emotion, he certainly sounded excited. So excited in fact, that he asked me if we should meet at 5:45pm for a 8pm show. I said let's not get carried away big fella(in my head). But his excitement has me excited too, so this should be good. The only real dilemma for me is whether I will finally drink in front of my father. I only drank in front of my father one time, and that was when I had the post-fire party in my honor, and even then, he never saw me drink, because I was mingling all over the damn place. I know I'm a grown ass man, who shouldn't be scared to drink in front of his father, but its just weird for some reason. Its not like I'd be taking two shots of J├Ąger and beer or would just be wine.

Pharcyde - Passing Me By
I post this song today, because it came on my ipod as I walked toward the train station, and it is amazing to me how this song holds up 15 years later, especially the lyrics. They are actually rapping in sentences, not phrases, and they have a decent subject matter, the song is funny, and the last verse to me is still one of the 10-15 best I've ever heard.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Let me preface this entry with some good news..I have been in therapy for the past couple months, and I have made great strides with reconciling some things from my past, and I have definitely come up with coping mechanisms to keep my temper in check in real life situations. Unfortunately, I have no such effective mechanisms to keep my temper in check while playing basketball on the court.

Yesterday, I found out about an open gym in Adams Morgan that brings some pretty stiff competition. I actually played outside for about an hour, and then one of the gentlemen my age told me about the competition inside. The ages of the kids ranged from 15-40, and everyone looked talented for the most part. 90% of them were black, and there were also some white kids sprinkled in there as well. I jumped in head first, and for about 2 hours I was playing full court basketball. Well at one point, this gentleman named Chuck, kept asking me over and over if I knew who he was(I found out later he's a DC playground legend named Big Chuck..he was about 34). I kept saying I had no idea who he was(except my retort was filled with expletives) but at this point it was still a playful, talking jive type of banter. Then he said something about my lips, and then I said something about his mumble mouth method of "talking" and everyone on the sidelines laughed, but he did no such thing. So, the next time down the court, when I jump up, he deliberately steps on my foot, which basically strains my groin out of shape, and it hurt like hell. Even his own teammates told him to chill, but I said I was fine..but this is when my temper kicked when one of his teammates missed a shot, i jumped up, grabbed a rebound, and made sure my elbow landed squarely on top of his head. Of course this is when he came after me, and I was ready for his ass, but the older gentlemen stepped in, and checked BOTH of us, and threatened to send us off the court. We finished the game(my team won) and I gave the dude a faux handshake/hug combination, and I ended playing a couple more games before I left. But I was still mad, and I stayed that way later when I met up with my friend..I need to let things go, although I don't regret my on-court behavior..I just regret carrying with me after this dude left and into the rest of my evening.

Plus, my need to prove my basketball prowess, goes back to when I was younger and in college, and I was told I couldn't really play ball, because I was suburban and not "hood" enough, and that used to make me angry, especially when it was clear I was as good, if not better than some of these dudes. There were elements of that at work last night, and I proved myself again but I resent that notion sometimes, although it only rears its ugly head in a competitive nature. Oh time I can handle it better. This morning all I have to show for it, is this blog entry, and an incredibly sore body.

Code Of The Streets - Gangstarr

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The rules on what is and is not acceptable for men to wear to work in extremely hot weather MUST be bent just a bit. It is supposed to be anywhere between 95 and 100 degrees today, with a heat index that will surely me much much higher. So far this morning, I have seen women with skimpy, borderline professional attire, and they think just because they bring a sweater from home(in case they get cold or their nipples are high powered) that it is all good. Meanwhile, the men around here have to just suck on it and like it, by wearing either suits or a regular button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up which looks ok, but just isn't comfortable. I occasionally rock the polo shirt with the slacks, but even then I feel guilty and I get funny looks for not necessarily falling in line under the business casual/professional umbrella ella ella ay ay. The only other option is to attempt to come to work with a short sleeve button up shirt and slack, which would leave me looking like a used car/insurance salesman as shown here. That just look terrible. So I propose that men be allowed to wear shorts or maybe even a kilt, when the temperatures are 95 degrees and above. This will level the playing field I believe.

I'm back here in the office, and already my intern is irking me, but not being on time. It also doesn't seem like a hell of a lot of work was accomplished in my absence. And behavior like THIS is why i'm to speak.

Whip You With A Strap - Ghostface

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Enough about the beach now, I'm back in the area, which means my focus totally changes now. I have to continue to save money, I have to finally get some winter/fall clothes, and I need to hurry up and finish editing this book. But dammit if it didn't' feel good to just relax and have fun without a care in the world. That type of mindless fun needs to happen at least 3 times a year. Twice with someone special, and one time with your boys..maybe more depending on the stress levels.

This Saturday is my father's birthday and I am hoping to take him here to see him My father used to take my brother and I to Blues Alley all the time, so its time for me to return the favor. Plus he and I haven't had an outing all summer, so this should be fun. I'm also remembering that I owe my brother a birthday gift..sorry sir.

Since last Thursday, when I last set foot into work, I have not heard a peep from my intern, which worries me because I didn't leave him enough work to last my entire time out of office. No telling what i'm walking into tomorrow..

Monday, August 13, 2007

Some beach observations:

-There always seems to be one or two dudes who are in love with their own bodies, so much so that they parade around the beach looking lost, hopefully someone will look at them. Women, as if in tune to this fact, never look at them. They end up look like predators with no prey

-Similarly, there are women who are love with their bodies as well, but men(usually the ones I mentioned above) cannot resist the temptation to say something and make asses out of themselves.

-I didn't know it was acceptable to go topless at the public beach..and I definitely didn't know you could get in and out of the water like that

-I cannot swim and i have a HUGE fear of the water, yet I have been conquering that fear one day at a time with the help of my LADYfriend..

This is my last full day at the beach, so hopefully things will continue to go smoothly. I hope these beach entries don't come off as me rubbing in the fact that I am having a great time, because(3rd person disclaimer) thats something that Rashad just doesn't mean to do. Rashad is just not that kind of person, but Rashad is having fun.

Candy - Cameo

Sunday, August 12, 2007

So, while at the beach, I saw a couple of things that I found disturbing. One, was this couple in a breakfast spot right by the beach. My friend and I were enjoying breakfast and we were laughing, joking and all that, but we saw this couple that was doing the exact opposite. They weren't laughing, they weren't talking, there was no eye contact, and the guy was on the phone. This literally went on for twenty minutes, and my friend and I were literally breaking our necks to figure out what was going on with them. Then out of nowhere they started arguing with one another quite loudly, and then the man got up and walked away from the table. Shortly thereafter my friend and I left, and we saw the woman crying, which was sad. It is never good to argue in public, but it makes it WAY worse when you are on vacation and in an argument. I'm not going to automatically take the guys side here, but it didn't look too good for him.

The other thing I saw while at the pool in the hotel was a group of Hispanic gentlemen throwing around the word "nigger" like they were Richard Pryor in his heyday. They didn't even care that my friend and I were right there near them, they just kept right on using it, and I really wanted to say something, but that would have definitely been an ass whipping for me considering there were 4 or 5 of them, and just one of me. I don't know if its rap music, Big Pun, Fat Joe, or if they just have lots of black friends, but something has let them to believe that they can use that word as freely as black folks..who really shouldn't be using it either in my humble opinion. If there ever was a sign that usage of that word has gotten out of hand, that is certainly an example. Or maybe I am late, and this has been going on for quite some time. Either way, it bothered me.

Other than that, vacation is great...I drank beer, shots of vodka, got in the water, walked on the beach and all that..good times indeed. And to top it off, Tiger Woods is playing great. Life is good.

Cruisin (the wet remix) - D'Angelo

Saturday, August 11, 2007

It is currently 11am..I am overlooking the beach, and I am totally relaxed and uninspired to write at this current instant. That can change at any time, but not right now. The highlight of the past 24 hours, is going to a bar that allows you to play a playlist from your IPOD. That my friends, is downright golden.

that's all for now...

Thursday, August 09, 2007

There are times when I see someone riding their bike, when I want to jump up and tackle them. If I was successful at executing this tackle, I wouldn't get hurt at all, because I would land on the person riding the bike. I wouldnt even want to steal his bike, I would just want to do this tackle maneuver to perfection. This is my Jack Handey moment.

I don't know what's going on with the karma gods, but they are definitely sending me messages here recently. Yesterday, my intern, me, and three other co-workers were sitting in my office talking about siblings. When I mentioned that I had a younger brother, my intern mentioned to me and everyone else in the room, that he could see me being an older brother, because I had been so important to him. Then he proceeded to tell everyone that I was hard on him, but he appreciated it, because he learned some things that he could apply when he went back to college in a few weeks. Everybody in the room let out a collective, "Awww", and if I was a sensitive brother(read: ghey) I would have shed a tear, but instead I just nodded in his direction and kept it moving. Its nice to know that he views my treatment of him as brotherly, and not hazing, but its also a bit disconcerting that I haven't broken down his spirit enough, so I'll need to double my efforts just a bit.

And in the Rashad's-going-to-hell-series part 4080...yesterday, I called my grandmother and talked to her for about 45 minutes. In the 24th minute of the 45 minute conversation I stopped off at the drug store and attempted to purchase some jimmy hats(late 80s/early 90s term for condoms). I walked up and down the aisles, and I didnt find any condoms, so I headed to the pharmacy section and asked the lady at the counter, who politely informed me that all condoms were kept behind the counter, since they previously had problems with condom theft. I didnt tell my grandma to hold on at all while she was talking, I just put the phone in my pocket, while having the discussion with the pharmacist. At one point my grandma asked me what I was doing, and I said I was in the drugstore, and she just said, "oh" and kept it moving. I felt a small bit of guilt, because at the time my grandma was discussing David in the Bible, but deep down I know that she would appreciate the fact that 1) Someone was even giving me some trim and 2)That I was engaging in safe sex.

And speaking of condoms, stealing them is an interesting, but sad crime. You have to applaud the individual for being so adamant against unprotected sex, that he would use guerrilla tactics just to obtain condoms. But on the flipside, if you can't afford to buy some condoms, it seems to me that you don't even deserve to get any at all..and if the woman knew you were stealing, seems to me that she would revoke all of your sex privileges..

A Shade of Blue - Incognito

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Ok so my intern was able to invoke a bit of sympathy from me today, because he's been out with food poisoning, which is definitely no joke. He said both he and his girlfriend had it, and they both have been struggling. I had it one time, and I was screaming bloody murder...He is feeling better and he's been unusually quiet this morning, which ultimately works in my favor. Everybody wins.

I won't speak anymore about Barry Bonds, but I'm glad he finally did it. But I am ESPECIALLY happy because Henry Aaron, who for weeks had been saying he wouldn't acknowledge Barry when he broke his record, decided to send a videotaped statement congratulating Mr. Bonds. Very classy.

Ok one more thought...honestly, if I caught Barry Bonds' 756th home run, I would call him up and say that I appreciated his milestone, but considering home run #756 wouldn't be his last homerun, I'd like to keep it to see what I can fetch on the open market..the ball would be a free agent so to speak. If Barry offered me more monney(which is highly doubtful) I'd give the ball to him. Otherwise, I'd keep it, cash it in, maybe do Letterman and PTI and then call it a day. I wouldn't abuse my "celebrity" status, but I certainly wouldn't miss a chance to bask in it just a bit.

I wanted to write a whole entry about misdiagnosed racism, but I don't feel like it right now. But I will say both the Michael Vick situation and this Barry Bonds story, the story of race has been mistakenly pushed to the forefront, and its just dead wrong. I'm not saying race isn't an issue here, but in both of their cases its about 4th on the list. Vick is an issue because he is allegedly was involved in extreme cruelty to dogs. Barry is a big story because he allegedly took steroids, he was going after an esteemed record, and he is a major league ass to the media. Race is an issue with Barry because his dad endured racism in his day, and Barry carries that chip on his shoulder. Not only that, but unlike a lot of black athletes, Barry has no need to be loved by the media, so as he's been enduring this home run chase, the media has absolutely LOVED the fact that he's appeared vulnerable at times. Race is an issue in this Vick case, because some people feel like Vick is not getting his due legal process by the media, the NFL, etc..Those same people feel like if he was a white player, this wouldn't be as big of an issue..which is debatable to me, but far be it from me to argue them down. ESPN did a story on Vick and this racial issue, and I COMPLETELY disagree with it. Its long, but its a good read.

I know I rambled there, but that was on my mind, and it needed to be said. Besides, it doesn't seem like anyone is reading this week anyway.

Jingling Baby - LL Cool J

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Wow yesterday's blog must have really been boring...

Anyway, yesterday, for the first time in my 32 years, I ate crab legs. In the past year, I have had ribs, steak and now crab legs for the first time. The ribs and steak part is easy to explain, since my parents raised both my brother and I to be vegetarians. We ate chicken and fish, but no beef or pork. Once I got to college, I would have a hot dog or a hamburger every now and then, but for the most part I stayed true to how I was raised. Once I was on my own, it was the same way for the most part..I'd eat pepperoni and sausage on pizza, and an occasional hot dog or hamburger, and I didn't go all willy nilly with it. Well I have broken down those barriers since then..but my unwillingness to eat crab legs had much more to do with me being lazy, than it had to with my learned eating habits. I just had no desire to work that hard for a sliver of meat...well my friend convinced me to open my mind and my mouth(pause)to crab legs, and I was most certainly glad I did. I wasn't precise with my leg breaking technique, and I wasn't always willing to suck all the meat out of the leg(I wonder why), but overall I enjoyed the experience. I alternated between eating just the meat, and dipping it into a vinegar/apple juice/seasoned salt mix, which was delicious. By no means am I ready for an all out crab fest, but this is a start. Now I need to taste ham...

My intern was out yesterday, and man was it a beautiful experience. No half assed stories that have no rhyme, reason or common sense. No music fights(all of which I have won by the way), no giving me complicated handshakes upon leaving, just peace and quiet. And, best of all, he actually followed proper protocol by calling someone to say he was going to be out..mind you, he didnt call or email me, but he did call my supervisor which is better, but not really what I like. He spends 90% of his day working with me, he needs to call me..and as I'm typing this I was received another forwarded emailing saying he will be out today as well. The party continues..

Do You Love Me Like You Say - Terence Trent D'Arby

Monday, August 06, 2007

I must say it was a pretty uneventful, yet relaxing weekend. I had yet another workout on the basketball court, I went to a public pool, and watched bodies of varying sizes parade around in bathing suits of various sizes..very interesting to say the least. If I had brought my laptop with me, I am quite sure I could have painted quite an entertaining picture. But anyway, I was extremely relaxed, and that usually translates into short, boring blog entries. And today isn't the exception.

I did however get a chance to see the replay of Mr. Barry Bonds hitting his 755th homerun, and just as I suspected, he was not showered with boos and debris from the San Diego fans. Instead, the fans had out their cameras and video recorders, and everyone stood up on their toes to see the historic ball travel out of the ballpark. Even the normally crotchety Barry Bonds rose to the occasion after the game, and gave a very engaging press conference, where he admitted the hype and anticipation leading up to the record tying homerun was extremely difficult. He also said that breaking Hank Aaron's record would be much easier than tying it..we shall see about that. As I've said before, I am sure Barry took some type of enhancer, but he damn sure wasn't the only one..but he is the only one going after such an esteemed record. But I still think this accomplishment should be recognized. But my favorite moment of the whole event, was this picture right here of Barry Bonds hugging his son Nikolai as he crossed home plate after the home run. I must admit I am biased, because I am a sucker for father/son embraces.

All About Our Love - Sade

Saturday, August 04, 2007

So today I had something a bit different happen to me. I went on craigslist earlier this morning to inquire about a television for a friend of mine. I emailed the lady about a television she had for sale, and I set up a time to meet her at her house. I remember asking her if she wanted me to call before I arrived, and she said no, I could just show around 1:30. I showed up at her house, said hello, and I immediately started to run my mouth, when she placed her hand up and mouthed to me that she was deaf. From that point, until about 5 minutes later when I left, we had to do the communication dance. She couldn't sign like she normally did, and I couldn't talk the way I normally did either. So I talked slowly and purposefully, and I pointed at things, and she did the same..and it was clear that she could read lips. Upon exiting, I looked her in the face, said thank you and walked out. It was the first time I have ever crossed paths with the "other" side like that. My friend joked that she could have been feigning deafness to avoid small talk, which would have ironic to say the least. Anyway, just thought I would share.

Friday, August 03, 2007

This morning, right in front of my building, one of my Hispanic brothers got arrested, and I really couldn't tell why. But what I DO know is that everyone within a one block radius was staring at this dude. They watched him get cuffed, they watched him as he sat on the sidewalk, and they watched as the office gently placed him in the back of the police car. You'd have thought there was a naked woman breastfeeding the way folks were staring. And the poor guy looked so helpless and embarrassed. He had his head down, and a very downtrodden look on his face, which was totally understandable. But in my mind I was thinking, here is a black police office arresting an Hispanic brother right in the heart of DC...somewhere Dr. King is smiling.

Also this morning on the Today show, I watched Matt Lauer interview a father and his two daughters who lost their mother to the bridge tragedy in Minnesota. For some reason, I just found the entire interview to be cruel and pretty much unwatchable(except one of the daughters was VERY fact it didn't even look like the parents could produce something that pretty..but that TOO is cruel). Anyway, Matt Lauer was asking the family very personal questions about their last words to the mother, how close they were, and what some of the mother's favorite hobbies were, and all the while they had to keep their emotions in check, since they were on live television. I guess on some level that's considered to be riveting television, and johnny-on-the-spot journalism, but I didn't like it at all. The last thing I would want to do if I lost my mother less than 48 hours ago, is to get on a nationally televised morning show, and try to talk to Matt Lauer..And I definitely don't know how Matt Lauer could conduct the interview, without feeling at some point that he should stop simply out of pity.

Act Won - The Roots
They use the clip from Mo Better Blues to underscore the plight of an artists. Do you play music that you like, and hope the people get it, or do you sacrifice you own desires, and play what the people want..

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Ok so I got into a minor altercation on the train this morning. Nothing physical at all, this was strictly verbal. The train was extremely crowded and I was the last one on, however I made sure that none of my body parts were sticking out of the door..i'm a professional train rider, I know what to do. However for some reason the doors did not close, but I just assumed(and rightfully so) that it was another door. After all, there are 8 train cars, and two doors on each one, and if one door is blocked, all of them will remain open until the problem is resolved..common sense should tell not only me that, but everyone else right? WRONG....WRONG! These two dudes proceeded to stare at me when the doors wouldn't close and I ignored them. Then after the fifth time the doors wouldn't close, one of them said to me, "it might help if you move back a bit". I took my headphones off(even though I heard them the first time), and said "Excuse me?"..and he repeated himself. I said yeah maybe I should, because this is the only door that could possibly be blocked right? And he said dude, don't get smart, i'm just saying, you could be blocking the door. And then I said, why don't you run up and down all 8 cars and repeat that shit, that way we can be sure to get you to work on time. He said dude I'm just saying you could be blocking the door..and then his friend(i think it was his lover given how they were holding hands) said, Everyone should just calm down"(I respect his attempt to play peacemaker, but this wasn't the time), and at this point my cup runneth over with anger, so I "politely" asked him to shut the hell up. I must mention at this point that I was the Dupont Circle metro station, which is about 90% white, so I already was sticking out like Al Sharpton at a Klan rally, so my talking like this surely did not help. The whole side of the train I was on was in complete silence after my outburst...then the doors closed, I rode my two stops, and then I got off. I felt bad for all of about 30 seconds..

And to top it off, I forgot my password when I sat down to my computer, so I was delayed even more. My intern had his music playing all while I was on the phone getting my password reset, but when he got a glimpse of my face, he QUICKLY turned his music off...I wasn't even angry at that point, but I guess he thought I was, and he said, you seem angry, and I said I'm fine. And then I turned around, opened Windows Media, and played this song....

The Way I Am - Eminem

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

After all the bad news that has been going on in sports yesterday, its about time something actually related to on the field/court stuff happened, and that was the Kevin Garnett trade. I'll break down this trade in an upcoming sports article I'm going to write(self-promotion), but in a nutshell this trade is kind of sad for me. Gone are the days when your favorite player or superstar stays with one team the duration of his career. Gone are the days when your general manager/owner does whatever he needs to do to make sure that the team succeeds..well maybe it just seems like those are gone. Kevin Mchale, the general manager of Kevin Garnett's now former team, the Minnesota Timberwolves, failed for 12 years to put a good team around Garnett. Now Garnett is responsible for some of that, because he never really put the team on his back, and took over the way a superstar should do every night. But still, he didn't have a great team around him. So by executing this trade, McHale basically is waving the white flag, giving up, and telling the world and the Minnesota fans, we are taking 4 steps backwards to start moving forward again. If I was a Minnesota Timberwolves season ticket holder, I'd demand my money back. I bought tickets thinking I was going to see Kevin Garnett, and now a half empty arena will be watching household names like Gerald Green, Sebastian Telfair and Al Jefferson.. Now if I lived in Boston or if I am a Celtic fan like my favorite writer is, this is a very fun and sexy time.

I am going to attempt to re-create something hilarious I saw on my way to work this morning. Two older gentlemen were passing one another. Both men were immaculately dressed. Both men were carrying briefcases. One was just coming off the escalator, the other was walking by to catch the escalator going in the opposite direction. Both men looked like mild mannered individuals. The one difference? One of the men had on an eye patch, and the other did not. I assume that the eye patch prevented him from properly seeing out of one eye, because when the two men walked by one another, the non eye patch gentlemen bumped into the eye patch wearing one, and the eye patcher caught the worst of the collision and he fell flat on his ass. Everyone around the two men kind of stopped, because it was clear that the fallen one eyed soldier was going to retort in a way that was nothing short of violent..however when he tried to get up, he fell again. And this is when I had to conceal my laughter. So instead of getting up, he proceeded to curse all kinds of ways at the man, who was standing over him yelling, "What the hell is wrong with you?". And then, the one eyed man stood up, and they started yelling at each other, but no punches were thrown(a damn shame). They just stood in each other's face, until their respective trains came, and then they left..both trying to get the last word. I have no idea whether this story is funny now, but if you can just picture a one eyed man falling, trying to get up, then falling again...

I swear i need a video camera...

Break My Heart - Common