Sunday, September 30, 2007

Last night, I attended a retirement dinner at Georgetown University for my best friend's father, Dr. Clifton Leftridge, and I cannot even begin to tell you how good of a time I had. But i'll try. The evening started with my boys, Kevin and Cliff picking me up, and they had a chance to briefly meet my ladyfriend, and of course, when she kissed me as I got in the car, they made fun of me in front of her, and about 20 minutes after, although I must say I deserved that ridiculing and more because I violated the man law. As I've mentioned before, Kevin, Cliff and I have no each other for 18 and 20 years respectively, so you can imagine the level of jokes and immaturity that was flying around the entire night. Yes we were wearings suits and ties, yes we all appeared to be mature from the outside, but the reality is, when you get guys together who have known each other for a long time, the maturity level plummets, and hilarity ensues. Last night was no different.

Once we stepped into the reception, we each took on different roles. Cliff, because it was his father being honored, had to meet and greet seemingly everyone in the room. Kevin and I made a beeline for the cash bar, and started drinking the first of what would be about 6 glasses of quality red wine, and yes the buzz I had was real and very spectacular. Kevin can work the room like a champ, and he did just that. He charmed the older ladies, talked with the older gentlemen, and he was just an overall social juggernaut. Me? I didn't say very much. I spoke when I was spoken to, and mainly watched people interact. My social flaws have been well documented in this blog, so there's no need to harp on that. Thank God for glass of wine though.

The actual event was very beautiful. Dr. Leftridge retired this year after 29 years of service in the Radiology Department of Georgtown University Hospital. Over 100 people were there to honor him, and I must admit I was in awe. Most people in my generation won't even be at a job for that amount of time, and even if we are lucky enough to do that, there is guarantee that we will create as big of a legacy as this man did. There were countless stories of his generosity, his skill as a teacher, his job as both a father and a husband, etc. Dr. Leftridge has been a second father to me ever since I met him in 1987. He would talk to me about certain issues, let me borrow money when my father said no, correct me when I would try to self-diagnose a medical problem, and keep me sane when my father was not available. So to see that many other individuals felt just as lucky to know and have him in their lives as I did, was quite special. And to share this occasion with my boys was even better. So much so, that I got my ass up at 7:30 on Sunday morning to write about this..

Friday, September 28, 2007

So I stroll into the bank this morning with hopes of getting a cashier's check. I have my driver's license out, and I filled out my account number, the date and the amount of money I want to take out. Once I get up to the teller, she looks at my ID, looks at me, and everything is going just fine, until she looks at my signature, and asks me to re-sign the withdrawal slip, so I do it again. She looks at it again, and then proceeds to ask me a bunch of question like my social security number, last withdrawal, last deposit and all that, and I answer all the questions correctly. Then she asks me to sign one more time, and I guess it still didn't match, but she let me slide. Now I'm all for preventing identity theft and all that, but come on man. I gave her all the proper documentation, I knew my last deposits and withdrawals, just give me my damn money. The signature they have on file was signed back in 1997. I was 22 years old, who knows what was on my mind back then. Its 2007, I'm 32 now so I'm sure my handwriting is slowly deteriorating, I'm left handed, so that means I already handicapped and severely disadvantaged, and I drank a little last night, so that could alter my signing technique too. Why must I be punished for a measly signature snafu? Of course you can't get angry in the bank, because if you do, the 3 security guards they have in that tiny space will do beat you silly.

I was on the street walking behind this woman last night around 6pm. It was light outside, and they were people all over the place, but once she got a glimpse of me following her, she got a little jittery. She kept glancing back, she picked up her pace a little bit, and she made me feel a bit uncomfortable. I was only behind her about 100 ft or so, and then I turned to walk down my street. Now before I start bitching and moaning about this, I'd like to know if all women are like this, or was she paranoid because I was a black bearded man in a mostly white neighborhood. I know crime in DC is bad and all that, but I just wonder if she was a little premature with her paranoia, or am I naive to the plight of women walking in front of normal looking men in broad daylight.

In the Mood - Talib Kweli

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Tevin Campbell's song "Goodbye" was on my ipod this morning, and I am trying to figure out how I didn't notice that he was gay back in the late 80s/early 90s. He looked awkward with women in all his videos, he was curiously soft in his interviews on BET's Video Soul and he just never looked comfortable. Of course this is all in hindsight. Back then, I just appreciated the melodic songs he made by himself, with Al B. Sure and with Chubb Rock. This same theory applies to George Michael. Those nut hugging jeans he wore in his videos should have been a dead giveaway, but I wasn't as "gay savvy" back then I guess. That doesn't even sound right.

I wonder if these superstars with nicknames like Meatloaf, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, and 50 Cent, ever feel stupid when they go on shows or interviews and their nicknames are used, as opposed to their real names. I know I would feel stupid if my real name was James Smith, and as GQ is interviewing me, they keep referring to me as LL. Especially if I hadn't recorded a cd of substance in over 10 years..I think the only person who gets it is Ludacris, who uses his real name of Chris Bridges when he's attempting to act.

Nichole asked me not to talk about Michael Vick anymore but these recent developments are just way too juicy to pass up. Now I understand that the stress he is under my drive him to want to puff a bit of sticky icky, but come on man. You're waiting to be sentenced, you plea bargained so you can get a lighter sentence, the judge and your lawyer(s) told you that you'd possibly be subject to random drug testing, and your employer, the NFL, has a strict policy on drug use, yet you decide that you are going to get blazed anyway. Just the day before this came out, ESPN aired a program called, "The Vick Divide". This program was aired in town hall meeting format in Atlanta, and so many of Vick's supporters kept saying that he was/is a victim, and people need to ease up a bit. True the prosecutors in this case may have gone after him a bit hard, but come on. You make millions, you bet thousands, you buy property to kill/fight dogs, you're a big football star, then you get sentenced, then you smoke weed? And then the feds are supposed to let you slide? Please, that's the stuff promotions are made of. And after all the jail time, and after the NFL suspends him for being in jail, he'll have to sit out another year for testing positive. My suggestion to Vick? Become a rapper. Its way more lucrative.

Oh, if you find time, go respond to Janelle's inquiry.

Sacrifice(live) - The Roots

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Let me preface this entry by saying that I left the house in damn good mood. This looks to be the last day that feels like summer, I had a good evening, and despite the fact that I have to endure yet another bullshit going away function at my job, I was even ready to handle that. So my mini-conflict on the train this morning was the equivalent of a record scratching in the middle of listening to a bass-less, "When Doves Cry". I was starting to think that these types of things are my fault, but then if I thought like that the evil-doers of the world would would the terrorists. I attempted to get on the train, and this man in a suit with a backpack on(which was the first sign of trouble to come), was in my way. He was reading a book while facing the door, and it was preventing me from boarding. At first I said excuse me sir, and he backed up an inch, which was still preventing me from boarding. Then I used my tried and true tactic of saying excuse me, while gently moving this man out of the way, and he acted like the music had stopped in musical chairs, and I was trying to get in the seat he already occupied. He was not budging, and the "doors closing" voice I was hearing meant the doors were about to close directly on me. So the third time, I "accidentally" re-adjusted my bag, so that his book would fall out of his hands, and I could get all the way on the train. Of course now he was incredulous that I could be so rude, and says, "What the f*ck dude, I was trying to read?"(if he had said bro, I would laughed this entire incident off). And I looked at him and said sorry. He then accused me of doing it on purpose, to which I responded, "I'm sorry, I forgot we were in the library". He then said, "whatever dude", which I took to mean, ok Rashad you can put your ipod on now, which I did. At this point, all the train dwellers are looking at me like i'm naked, not knowing all the events that preceded this exchange. So is this my fault?

My friend Cliff and I have this expression called, "Don't Feed the Animals", which means when you see or hear something that is crying out for attention, just ignore it. There will be times when someone makes a bad joke, and I'll start to laugh, and he'll say don't feed the animals. This expression applies perfectly to Mr. Bill O'Reilly, who basically said he was pleasantly surprised at the civility of black folks in Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem. Could he have phrased this better? Probably. Was this racist? No. Was it a bit ignorant? Hell yes. But either way, O'Reilly has made a living off saying borderline controversial things, and then the media blows it way up, and then a star is born. For once I wish the media wouldn't feed the animals, and watch how quickly his overblown star shrivels. When folks make a big deal out of comments like this, it messes things up for those causes that REALLY are racist.

Marc Cohn - Walking in Memphis

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The press conference that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave in New York yesterday in front of the local, national, and international press, had the feel of a star athlete speaking to the media. The only difference? Ahmandinejad actually had some witty retorts for the media, but two of them in particular stick out. Someone asked him if he provided weapons and money to terrorists, and the person asking him this question told him to say yes or no. Ahmadinejad, through a translator of course, responded by saying, "How are you going to ask ME a question, and then tell ME how to answer it". When I heard that I knew instantly that I would use that in an argument somewhere down the road. That's just brilliant. The second humorous exchange occurred when a reporter asked Ahmadinejad(we need to get this man an abbreviated last name) why he hated and persecuted gays in Iran. Mahmoud chuckled a bit, and he started responding by saying something to the effect of, "You see sir, in Iran, we don't gave gays running wild like you do in the United States". Some members of the audience chuckled, and I know I laughed out loud (a grown man should NEVER type is on page 5 of the guy handbook). Its no so much that I agree with him, but the way he calmly sonned the media is something I never get sick of seeing. Although he never really answered the question directly. But on a serious note, that also gives some insight as to why other countries can't stand the United States. They view as a controlled anarchy that isn't based in faith at all. Its something worth debating in a forum..not here though. Not today at least.

So my friend and I were reading a brochure in the box of condoms yesterday, and they were going down the alternative methods to using the condom, and how likely a woman was to get pregnant with these methods. They conveniently left out the threat of diseases in this chart, but for the purposes of this discussion I'll let that slide. What struck me is that on this list they still listed the sponge and the diaphragm. Who the hell is using these things still? Is it women over 40? Amish women? I really would like to know, because I have never been with a woman who uses these things, and I've never known a man who was involved with a woman who uses these either. But clearly someone is using them, because you go to your local drugstore and there they are. According to this brochure, withdrawing is a more effective method of preventing pregnancy than the sponge, the diaphragm AND the female condom(which is WAY too tedious to be fooling with anyway). But again, that chart was making the huge assumption that everyone is clean and disease free...

Speaking of which, Mike Tyson is facing more jail time. And that really isn't surprising. He also admitted that he was addicted to cocaine, marijuana and other addictions, but he had successfully completeed an 8 month rehab. That wasn't surprising either. What WAS surprising to me was how overweight Mike Tyson looked. One of the things that always amazed me about Tyson up until now, was how he remained in incredible physical shape, no matter how high his personal problems stacked up. Yesterday, it looked he's finally given up on that too, although if he's headed for jail, that could change and quickly. I just wish he could find a friend, a happy place or something, because the look on his face yesterday said otherwise. Then again, if I blew $400 million in my lifetime, spent time in jail for rape and other offenses, and couldn't do the one thing I was good at for a living, I'd be feeling a little downtrodden too.

Maybe Your Baby - Stevie Wonder

Monday, September 24, 2007

So on Saturday, I went to see this semi-violent movie entitled, Eastern Promises, and once you got passed the grotesque throat slashing, disturbing sex scenes, and male frontal nudity, you got to see a damn good movie. The plot took some unexpected twists, and the director did a damn good job of creating tension in every single scene. But there was this one fight scene in the movie that really had me wanting to get in a fight my damn self. I won't go into detail just in case this little paragraph I have written inspires you to go see it. But while I was watching this it made me realize that I haven't been in enough fights in my 32 years on this earth. I'd say I've gotten in about 5 fights, and 4 of those have been with my brother and that doesn't count, because there's guilt and conscience involved. I"m talking about those fights that if you don't win, there are "serious" consequences like your friends making fun of you, or you losing your bag, or your girl feeling like you're a punk because you got beat up. Seriously, if your girl sees you get beat up, is it possible to get any that night? I doubt it. Of course the reality is that I am 32 years old, and my mind and my mouth is supposed to get me out of situations. But if I keep going to the basketball court, the sky is the limit.

In the Rashad-is-a-good-son department, my mother has been in town since Saturday afternoon. That night, she had an event to go to, so I couldn't see her then. She called me early Sunday morning, and asked me if I wanted to go to church, but by the time I got the message, she was sitting in the church parking lot. Then she asked if I was available for a late lunch, early dinner, and I said I couldn't do it because I wanted to watch football. That didn't initially go over well, but she knows her son, so she didn't make a big deal out of it. Plus it turned out yesterday wasn't good for her anyway, so I will see her today at lunchtime. I felt guilty on and off about this, but not anymore. You may call it selfish, I call it compromise.

This entry just FEELS boring. Blame it on my bad case of the Mondays. And too much football.

When Doves Cry - Prince
23 years I've been listening to this, and this morning is the first time I realized that there is no bassline in the song. None.

Friday, September 21, 2007

It is Friday, and ideally I should happy, jumping for joy, and spreading love and glitter on everyone like I was in a Jacksons video. But I woke at 3:30, and I didn't go back to sleep until 6am, which is about 30 minutes before I normally get up and get my day started, so now I am very cranky. But instead of finding some poor soul to vent and pour my emotions out on, I can come to the blog and bitch and moan.

-I keep getting this comments from people who read the blog(and don't leave a comment) that I keep mentioning my friend(ladyfriend, girlfriend, etc) in my blog. And my response is yeah, and? Its not like I'm giving intimate details of what she and I do, although give it some time and I'm sure I'll be moved to write that blog.

-Yesterday I was harassed by some of my black co-workers and my mother I might add, for not wearing black to honor the Jena 6, and again my response was yeah, and? There are people all around the country who knew nothing about the situation, they just threw on black because someone told them to, and then they got details later. If I were going to Jena, I'd be dressed in all black like Blade. But I wasn't, so I didn't. What DID i do? I tried to do something a little more tangible, by helping my friend Dana raise money for the Jena 6's legal fund, and I have mentioned the Jena 6 in the blog a few times. My mother said this wasn't about me and what I wanted, it was about something bigger. I respectfully disagreed, she yelled at me some more, and then I went out to drinks bountiful pitchers of margaritas with my LADYFRIEND!

-Every morning there is a guy who hoses down the sidewalk in front of my building, and EVERY morning he waits until I get right up on him, before he stops spraying. This means that although I don't get a full splash of water on me, I get a light dusting, and depending on what I have on, it shows up on my garments. Today I have on jeans, so you could clearly see some water on me. Usually I'd let it slide, but today is different(see the first paragraph), so as I walked by, I "accidentally" closed the door on his hose, which means he couldn't move freely and he had to walk back and free the door from the hose. Of course now, this means that on Monday morning I'll be drenched by his hose(there's gotta be a better way to say that).

-One of guys in my building has on a denim jacket that says "Hogwarts" on the back of it. If you're not familiar with Hogwarts, it is from the book Harry Potter. It is a school for magicians and wizards. How do I know this? An ex of mine made me watch all of the movies, and they were just ok. It certainly was no Star Wars. But I digress..I was a bit taken aback to see a man in his late 40s wearing a jacket like this. So I thought to myself, if I had some Star Wars paraphernalia, would I wear to work on a Friday? And the answer was hell yes. So rock on my man!

Royksopp - Remind Me
aka the song from the Geico commercial

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I left out this morning fully prepared to write about the Today show's lead fluff story about OJ's new blonde girlfriend, when something else happened to throw off my day. As I was leaving my friend's aparment trying to walk outside, there was a nice couple with a little dog that looked like this. Now I am 95% sure that they don't allow pets in this building, but far be it from me to break the code of the streets and snitch on anyone. So I when I see this couple and their mini-Cujo at the bottom of the stairs, I motion for them to come on up the stairs, and in return they said no YOU come up the stairs, and since this could have gone on all damn morning, I just started walking down the stairs. I don't even get halfway down this 12 stair flight of steps, before they just walk themselves and Benji right on up the stairs. Now I was a bit verklempt, but I kept it moving and I tried to move to the right side of the staircase so I wouldn't step on the dog. Well clearly the woman who was controlling the leash couldn't hold the dog back, because the dog began to run all willy-nilly up the stairs, and despite my attempts to evade it, I stepped right on the dogs toes(or paws), and I believe I may have gotten a bit of its face. The dog yelped a bit, and I was knocked off balance and I stumbled down the remaining 4 stairs. Were it not for my amazing athleticism and boundless balance, I would have fallen directly on my ass; however, I was able to stay on my feet, but I banged my back against somebody's door at the bottom of the stairs. I looked back up at the couple, and they made NO attempts to see if I was ok, they were just holding and caressing their precious dog, who was clearly alright, because he was licking their hands and face. When I opened the door to leave the building, they all looked back at me with angry looks, as if I had done something wrong. The dog was no bigger than a computer speaker, and you're telling me you can't yank that leash(that sounds naughty) enough to keep that dog in check? And then, I can't get a, "are you alright?".."oh god I'm so sorry?", you just stare at me, as if I'm taking your dog to Mr. Vick's house? That's unacceptable. But, in my neverending quest to take the high road less traveled, I ask them was the dog ok, and they said yes. I fully expect them to press charges for cruel and unusual punishment.

Black Dog - Led Zeppelin

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Two very interesting stories came to my attention yesterday, and to me both had a bit to do with race. One was blatantly obvious, the other was a bit more subtle.

I'll start with Donovan McNabb's complaint that black quarterbacks are under more scrutiny than white quarterbacks. I have heard many people basically say that Donovan is playing the race card, and he needs to stop crying. I hear others say that given his terrible game on Monday Night Football, he really should shut up, not knowing that this interview was filmed on August 31st. And then I hear some people saying Donovan is right, and they start giving examples of current quarterbacks who are singled out. In this instance, everyone is right and wrong. Donovan has a right to be sensitive about qbs and race, given that a few years back he was called out by Rush Limbaugh BECAUSE he was black. That gives Donovan about a 10 year pass to speak about race and QBs. Also, every time a black QB comes into the league, questions about his intelligence surface, and I've been seeing this since I've been watching football. It's pretty laughable at this point. The other side of this argument, is that there are more and more black qbs coming into the league, getting jobs, losing jobs, starting, playing backup, than at any point in history, and of course they will be scrutinized, because ALL quarterbacks are in the NFL. So this is not a simple issue at all, in fact it sparks excellent debate.

The second story I noticed yesterday, was the this kid from the University of Florida, who got tasered at a John Kerry speech. Apparently he got a little overzealous with the questions while he was on the microphone, and despite being asked to step down(or off as the kids used to say), he proceeded to keep talking, and the police swooped in with great vengeance and furious anger, and tasered this kid, and then arrested him. In less than 24 hours this story has been all over the news, some kids on the campus(both black and white I might add) are protesting, and the policeman who tasered this kid have been put on administrative leave while this is investigated. And all of this attention is justified. I just don't understand why an equally news worthy story, involving some racial injustice in Louisiana, has not gotten this kind of publicity. You could argue that John Kerry's presence at the University of Florida incident, instantly makes that story newsworthy. And then I could come back at you and say that this Jena 6 story is happening in Louisiana, which just two short years ago, was the site of a hurricane that took the world by storm(bad pun) and sparked a huge debate on race and class for that matter. So i'm not cynical towards my main man in Florida, just upset at the disparity in media coverage.

In a lighter note, there are two things funny about the taser incident. Right before he got tasered, the kid said don't taser me bro...which reminded me of this article. And second, while the kid was being tasered, he kept yelling and screaming, and it reminded me of this scene from Star Wars.

Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey - Sly and the Family Stone

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Last night was a sad, sad time. Its one thing to have your team lose, its another thing to have them lose on Monday Night Football, its another thing to have your team lose to the team of the city where I reside, and it makes it even WORSE when your girlfriend's favorite team beats your team AND you lose a bet. I wanted to throw the remote at the television while watching my beloved Philadelphia Eagles lose to Washington last night. The combination of McNabb's receivers being garbage, and McNabb himself playing like QB with no confidence was just a sad sight to see man. But I've been watching football way too long to think that they are down and out, so I'm not giving up on them. But they didn't exactly give me any encouragement last night. The best part of last night's broadcast was Charles Barkley talking trash in the booth during the third quarter. Charles is every journalist's dream. Instead of giving the typical athlete response, he says EXACTLY what is on his mind, regardless of what anyone may think of him.

I can't wait to read this Alan Greenspan book. He is quite the fascinating fellow. For the past 20 years he has had a hand in the economy of the United States, he's worked under Reagan, two Bushes, and Bill Clinton, he's survived the big stock market crash of '87, and now that he's "retired"(read: making big money consulting), he gets to write a book slamming the very people he helped out. I used to see him talking on tv, and I had NO clue what the hell was talking about, so hopefully this book will help me out a bit.

Norah Jones - Don't Know Why

Monday, September 17, 2007

Last night I reloaded my ipod with lots of wonderful songs, and this morning I was about six songs deep in the rotation, when a Black Sheep song came on that I didn't initially recognize. I looked down at my ipod, and saw what the song was called, and then I glanced a bit upwards, and I saw that the song I was playing was song 6 of the 666 I had loaded on my device. I literally stopped in the middle of the street, and said, "Are you f**king kidding me?". All that means is that I am blessed and highly favored today right?

Last night, while watching the annual Emmy's-who-died-in-the-past-year segment, I happened to see that my main man Tom Snyder died a couple of months ago and I was deeply saddened. During my senior year of college, Tom Snyder was my middle-of-the-night friend. Whenever I couldn't sleep or I stayed up late, Tom Snyder's show would be on CBS, right after David Letterman, and he would have great guests. The show was an exercise in minimalism: no audience, no loud music, no flair, just Tom and the interviewee..almost like Charlie Rose, except not on PBS. After awhile, I didn't even wake up in the middle of the night to watch him, I would just stay up until his show was over around 1:30am. Since I graduated, I really hadn't heard much about him until last night. Time does indeed fly.

Over the weekend, while logged into my Yahoo IM, I received a random IM message. The message said, "Hi Rashad", and it was from a lady named Kara. I returned her message and said I have no clue who you are. She returned my return message and said she was Kara from some website that i didn't recognize, and I again told he that I didn't know what the hell she was talking about. Then she started running down things about me that she thought she knew(you're from Arizona, we chatted earlier this summer, you're looking for love), and I politely said hell no you got me twisted. She apologized, then she attempted to make small talk with me, and it was at this point that I clicked on her profile, and at first glance she looked like the head detective. Upon further review, I noticed that she just had a big head AND she was in a wheelchair, which kind of took me aback. Not only had I rejected this woman's advances, but I had rejected a handicapped person which increased the amount of guilt of felt about abruptly logging out while she was typing. I wonder if wheelchair bound persons have their own network where they meet each other and have raunchy conversations. I should pull a Chris Hansen and go undercover.

The Barney Miller Show song

Sunday, September 16, 2007

So I wake up this morning and turn on some news, and I notice NBC doing a story about the anti-war march that took place on Capitol Hill yesterday. Apparently the march turned violent a couple of times, when some war supporters clashed with anti war folks. At one point, I heard a war supporter yell out, "If you don't support the war, you don't support the troops" which is the dumbest thing I've ever heard in my life. No one has any malice towards the actual troops, especially since they seem to be so young. I think the reason why so many Americans want the war over and troops home has to do with the dying for seemingly no reason. I think its unfortunately when protests like this get overshadowed by the behavior of the actually protesters. I wonder if Bush looks out of his window at the protesters and laugh..I know I would if I was the president. I'd look out and say, "Don't you know this will change nothing?".

If I could design the perfect day weather wise, yesterday would have been it. The temperature was between 65 and 70 degrees, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and there was a slight breeze. I was out and about earlier in the afternoon, and I spend the remainder of the day in the house. There were just too many sporting events on tv. There was golf, baseball, and of course college football. I'm 32 years old and a sports overload like this still never gets old. And the madness continues today at 1pm with NFL football.

As I am typing this entry, a commercial for deodorant is on tv, and in this commercial, the woman asks her boyfriend, "If you could be with any of my girlfriends, who would it be?". Why the hell would a woman ask this? I've been with someone in the past who asked me this, and its just a no win situation. I doubt women really want to know all of the dark inter workings of a man's mind, and as a man I don't need to know all that women think. We can just meet in the middle somewhere...

Deborah Bond - Things Will Never Be The Same

Friday, September 14, 2007

My friend Dana has organized a fundraiser for Jena 6. I am not one of those people who DEMANDS that you do anything, but if you feel strongly about the cause, and you want to do something, please help out. If the flyer appears too small, click on it and it gets bigger..i promise.
'Tis Friday, and I am late getting to work, but while I walked into work, I heard a song entitled, "Like A Feather" by Nikka Costa. I hadn't heard this song in a good while, and it made me remember the sexy video. The video wasn't sexy because she's so attractive, although she's not a bad looking woman. The video was sexy to me, because of the way she moved, the way she danced and just the overall choreography(I just said the same thing 3 different ways). I remember having this discussion a long time ago with isn't about looks(to me), its about the intangibles, and this video has all the intangibles.

Nikka Costa - Like A Feather

And no I didn't listen to Bush's address last night, and if that makes me a bad citizen, then so be it. I knew he was going to do two things. 1)He was going to throw the Democrats a bone by giving a half-assed plan for withdrawal from Iraq and 2)He was going to give a whole-assed plan, to keep us there longer. When I looked at the transcript this morning, that's exactly what he did. I'd rather read the transcript, than look at him smiling and smirking at a quite serious situation. I have this bad feeling that if McCain or Giuliani are elected, they are going to adopt Bush's stance, and keep us invading Iraq and all kinds of foreign "evil-doing" countries. And since we're low on soldiers, that means that they would try to reinstate the draft, which would cause all kinds of upheaval in this country. I realize I sound paranoid and pessimistic, but if you read in between the lines of some of the rhetoric of(3 "of's in the same sentence) some Republican candidates, this is not so far fetched.

Oh and Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'll admit I was a bit smug in my earlier entry today, and about 3 hours later I was humbled by a phone call from my mother. She has strep throat, and there is the possibility that some other health problems are on the horizon. I'll know more in about 48 hrs. Both me and my brother wanted to go down there to comfort and take care of her, but my mother, always the nurturer, told us to stay away, because she's very much contagious at this point. When my mother lived in Woodbridge, VA, I would just take that 20-30 minute drive over to her, and make sure she was fine. Now she's a 6 hour drive away(an hour flight), and it isn't quite as easy, but I'd still do it in a heartbeat. I've written about this many times, but to watch your parents, who have been seemingly indestructible for all years and years, have moments of weakness, is scary...for me at least. I know my mother has been under a considerable amount of stress, and I keep telling her to slow down a bit, but still, this came as a shock. i'll be alright though.

Anyway, that last entry I wrote had me thinking about the concept of constructive criticism. I take it very well from people I respect. If I don't respect you, and you criticize me, I treat if like fliers I get on the street. I am respectful, I'll take it, I'll even read it after I walk away, and then I'll discard it. But if I respect you and your opinion, i'll take the criticism to heart, and try to incorporate the very change you have mentioned. I wonder if I'm alone in that line of thinking.

Brown Sugar - Mos Def
I watched Brown Sugar for the 23435th time last night, and as usual this song is in my head. It never fails. I highly recommend that everyone watch this movie with their significant other and laugh, joke, argue, etc..
I sat down at this here computer at 730 am, and I could think of absolutely nothing that was worth blogging about, so I decided to take a bit of a reprieve. But two things have happened since then, so I shall share. One, I hate it when I have executed a joke with perfect comedic timing, and it falls short. It doesn't fall short because its not funny, but only because the person hearing the joke must live in a damn vacuum. There is a woman here who hurt her shoulder, and she's in a sling. She asked me to do something, and in my retort I called her Bob Dole. Not only did she not know that Senator Dole only has usage one hand, but she also didn't realize who Bob Dole was. She asked me who it was, and why I would say that, and I just told her to google. Someone else within earshot laughed so it wasn't a total loss, but dammit I want perfection.

The second thing I noticed is that there are some blogs that are just hot, stinking garbage. Now I am not an arrogant person, but I'm going to put on my arrogant(or my Kanye) hat for just one second. I think 70% of my entries are pretty stellar, and I'm willing to lower that number to 60%. 40% of the time(much like today) I ramble on about things that make no damn sense to anyone but me, and if someone calls me on it, i'll say yeah you are right. (That last sentence is called self-deprecation.. a tactic I am using to appear humble in the midst of my criticism of others. It lessens the blow a bit.) Lately, I've been reading these boring, mundane blogs that don't talk about jack. They don't make me think, they don't make me laugh, they aren't well written, they are similar to watching someone get up on stage and lip sync. Far be it from me to stand in the way of some one's writing experience via a blog, because I think EVERYONE should write or type their thoughts out. Its a golden feeling. But just know that there are people like me who will talk about you. I think I have taken a step back in my pursuit to be a better man with this entry. So be it though.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

It seems that there are distinct parallels between our president George W. Bush and Iran's leader, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bush tried to distinguish himself from Iran by putting Mahmoud on the dreaded, yet strangely comical, "Axis of Evil". I am certainly not disputing the diabolical nature of Mahmoud, but upon further review, you can see that Bush's actions could very well land him on that axis too. Mahmoud was able to gain the support of his people but strongly condemning the Jews, promising to make Iran a legit nuclear threat, and of course, painting Bush as Mephistophiles. Bush on the other hand, used the September 11th tragedy as a way to scare the American people into invading the evil doers in Iraq and Afghanistan, and for a minute Bush support and nationalism were at an all time high. It didn't hurt that Osama and Saddam were painted as our enemies. Incidentally, I am using all the major names and words to get this entry red flagged. Anyway as time as gone by, support for both Mahmoud and Bush have waned, mainly because they have not delivered on some important promises. Mahmoud, while maintaining HIS reputation as someone to be feared around the world, hasn't really boosted the economy in Iran like he promised, and some of his ideas have proven radical even for Iran. And it is well documented that Bush and his supporters continue to linger in Iraq for reasons that seem to change daily. So the question is, why the hell am I mentioning this in my blog? It is EASY to criticize Bush, and it is easier to look at a leader of a foreign country, and to just criticize them based on a 5 minute news report you see on tv. But I'm starting to see more and more, that leaders in general are basically the same with a few exceptions of course. They are complex, they let you down, they are corrupt, they are effective, and they are just enigmas all around. And its frustrating that in this country at least, we have some limited options with which to work with every 4 years. And then we(or Iran) have to live with whims and opinions of our "elected" President. Its very demoralizing at times. Ok i'm done.

My brother mentioned to me last week, that he is going to Jena, Louisiana on September 20th, to participate in the rally for the Jena 6, and more specifically, the rally for the tactics used against Mychal Bell. I told him that if he does indeed go down there, he should document every damn thing he sees and hears, and I'll write about it. Part of me wonders if I should go down there with the specific purpose of documenting all that I see on both sides of this issue. I haven't really made that decision yet, but I think it would be challenging for many reasons.

The above paragraphs are a DIRECT result of limited sports options on television last night. I need basketball and the baseball playoffs to start, so I can be covered with sports every day of the damn week.

Shame - Lewis Taylor

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I can't figure out whether these Osama bin Laden mixtapes remind more of Weekend at Bernie's or all the Tupac videos released after 1997. To be honest there are elements of both. I watched excerpts of this morning's video, and my main man Osama didn't move at all, until later on in the video, and his arm raised and he pointed his finger. However the catch is, this was only an audio some geniuses that live wherever Osama continues to hide, could have used some photo shop tactics to fool us all..similar to how the main characters in Weekend at Bernie's, continued to physically prop up a dead man. And then, when you listen to the Osama audio, you really can't tell if its current or not, because the "lyrics" if you will are very vague..but not quite vague enough for the people he's trying to scare or influence, to truly believe he's gone. Now most people I know pretty much believe that 2pac is dead, but then they get thrown off by a song or two. The major difference among 2pac, Weekend at Bernie's and Osama, is that the latter party allegedly masterminded the tragedy we are recognizing today. I must admit my head was on a swivel this morning while on the train, and even though I suppose it should always be that way, you can't help but be more aware today..whether you're prayed up or not.

So I have resumed my 3 mile morning jogs/runs in an effort to defeat Adrian Fenty in a 3mile run. As you may recall, back on May 4th of this year, I wrote an entry in which I stated my desire to kick his ass in a 3 mile run. Then came the fire and a series of unstable events, and I was knocked off my mission a bit, but I'm focused once again. The time off can only work in my favor, because I'm quite sure the mayoral challenges that Washington DC has presented to Fenty over the pass few months, has slowed him down just a bit. Anyway, I am now doing my morning runs in a more affluent area of Washington DC, and I definitely notice a difference. In my old neighborhood, there wasn't a chance in hell that I could wear an ipod, because of the vigilant squirrels, and nocturnal people who roamed the streets..I'm not going to say I didn't feel safe, but I need to hear and see what was going on around me at all times. This morning? There were about 500 people running around carefree with headphones. I still didn't completely trust that though, so I ran with the music on low. That's all I need is to get tag teamed by a squirrel and a homeless person..

Black Hole Sun - Soundgarden

Monday, September 10, 2007

So yesterday, in the middle of Big Brother and the Cowboys/Giants football game, my boy Cliff calls me and asks me an interesting question. He asked if it was more politically incorrect to not believe in God or to not like or want kids. My initial reaction was to say that a lack of belief in God will definitely get you in trouble, especially considering we are in an era when religion is not only more profitable than ever, but it seems to be much more out in the open(television, internets, a plethora of books, etc). But honestly, I think to not like or want kids is the bigger offense. Granted, I know plenty of men and women who don't like kids and have little to no desire of procreating. For the longest time, I felt like my son was enough and I was definitely done, but I always left the window(waitress...inside joke) open for me to meet an influential woman who I really loved and could change my mind, and that happened. So when I meet folks who think like I used to think, its no big deal. But there are others who had SUCH good parents, and they had such a good childhood, that they cannot possibly fathom not continuing the good tradition, and having some kids on their own. And when they meet non kid lovers, they go into a mini tirade about the beauty of kids and how GOD wants us to have kids and he says so in the this was a paragraph long way of me saying that I still think not believing in God is the bigger "crime".

Yesterday was simply beautiful. Football was all over the place, and once again my fantasy fooball teams performed immaculately. I watched Tiger win a golf tournament, I saw some of Federer's US Open victory, and I took the time to briefly take in a festival with my friend. Not a bad Sunday at all. I won't even mention that my Eagles lost on the last play of the game.

Ambrosia - That's How Much I Feel
This is one of those songs that you think you haven't heard until you listen to it, and then you realize that EVERY time you're in a department store, it is quietly playing in the background.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

As I mentioned in the blog a little while ago, my mother is now the Provost at Bennett College in North Carolina, and since she's been there she has told me a lot of interesting stories. But today she told me something that is very disturbing. She mentioned that someone on the campus was sexually assaulted, and although that is always a big deal, when it happens on an all women's campus, the crime is magnified ten fold. My mother mentioned that in response to this assault, they had a meeting with faculty, students and some parents about this crime, and they discussed what women can do to prevent this crime. My mother mentioned that when she was at George Mason, they would tell women not to let a man make their drink, because they could slip anything in their to "convince" them to do something that they otherwise wouldn't. This got me to thinking..what kind of guy slips something in a women's drink just to get some sex? Seriously, that makes ZERO sense to me. There is always a woman, especially on a college campus, who gladly gives up sex. And even if there isn't, in this day and age, how can a man not come up with enough game to swindle a woman into giving it up. I cram to understand that logic...There's no need to force a woman to give up the sex..the Anna Nicole's, Kim Kardashians and Superheads were put on here on this Earth for guys to get need assault, rape, etc...I'm being cynical, but I am serious here. Sorry to get semi preachy on a Saturday night

Don't Be Cruel - Bobby Brown

Friday, September 07, 2007

Here is my Effi Barry story. It was Monday, November 22, 1993, and I was halfway through my sophomore year of college. It was a short week, since Thanksgiving was that Thursday, so a lot of kids were taking off early. To combat this, a lot of teachers were giving important exams on Tuesday and Wednesday of that week, just to be sure they had decent attendance. My health teacher, Ms. Effi Barry, had shown no indication that she was going to do such thing, so I went with to Hartford, CT, to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with my then girlfriend. I skipped Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and I figured that because it was only health, I'd be golden. I returned to class on Monday morning, and Ms. Barry mentioned nothing about the exam she had given the Tuesday while I was out. Then at the very end of class, she handed back the exams and I was the only one not to receive one. Of course after class, she asked to see me in her office. Man, the FIRST thing I noticed when I went to her office, was not the trouble I had potentially caused, but how attractive she was for a woman in her late 40s. She quickly shut that down though, and the first thing she asked me was where I was from, and I told her Potomac, MD, and she chuckled a bit and asked me if what I thought about the whole Marion Barry fiasco that had transpired, which was very awkward. Then she asked me if I had gone to Maryland when I skipped her class, and I said no, I went to CT with my girlfriend. Again she laughed, allowed me to take the exam over, but she said that even if I scored perfectly, the highest grade I could earn would be a "B", since I had skipped three days of class. That seemed fair to me, and she dismissed me from her office. About 15 minutes had elapsed, and that was really all I needed to be a fan of hers. There were only two more weeks of class after that, and then I never had to take her class again. I would occasionally see her at a Hampton football game, but that was always in passing, and she would be in the company of her son, so no one would really bother her. I figured I would share this happy story on the day after her death.

I was absolutely ecstatic while watching the game last night. The Super Bowl champion, Indianapolis Colts pretty much showed that they aren't affected by all of the personnel changes on defense, and they WILL defend their title with vigor. On top of that, all of my fantasy football players did lovely, the beer was plentiful, my friend was patient with me, and even watched parts of the game AND Big Brother was entertaining. Can't ask for much more than that.

Taste of Your Love - EU
This song has the distinction of being the backdrop for my FIRST slowdance back in 1990. I was at a party, and this was the era when DJs still played slow songs so that young boys could attempt to act like they didn't want women to feel how excited they were to be real cloooose. Or, to use 90's terminology, the boys wanted the girls to feel their nature rise. Good times indeed. Now instead of slow songs, they just play reggae, and that isn't even remotely the same. I don't even know what the hell they are saying half the time.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Today, after a long hiatus, professional football makes its grand return. Preseason football is a farce, and my interest in college football faded awhile ago, so even though both have been on television the past couple of weeks, THIS is the day I've been looking forward to. This is the day when guys who are sports fans, start making deals with their girlfriends about how their relationship will fit into the football schedule. Deals such as I'll go see Hairspray with you on Friday, if you promise to watch football on Sunday. In my effort to be politically correct, let me also say that there are women who are big football fans, and they too are looking forward to this day. Last year at this time, I don't remember making any deals at all..I sat in front of the television from 11am to 12 midnight and I watched football with reckless abandon. This year will be a bit different as I have to compromise, but still, I am excited. Tonight's game has intrigue for both football and non-football fans. The football(count how many times I've used that word, and you win a scooby snack) fans will appreciate the Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts playing the up and coming New Orleans Saints. Casual female(and gay) football fans will be fixated on staring at Reggie Bush and Dhani Jones. And non football fans will be interested in watching "that black coach" (Tony Dungy) face off against "that team that was most affected by Hurricane Katrina. So you see there are numerous reasons to become a football fan tonight, and as you can probably tell I am indeed pumped.

I must confess that I miss my intern. I don't miss any of his Rain Man ways, I just miss his yeoman like work ethic, especially on days like today when I've been out since last week. So if you're reading this Michael, now you know you weren't completely useless(he's not reading this).

Everything Man - Talib Kweli

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Well, day one and a half of the sickness is upon us, and I only feel a little better..actually, i'm not going to sit here and document my sickness, that's very depressing. I'm home again and i'm getting better. End of story.

Adding to my sickness last night, was having to watch Serena Williams get her ass kicked as the US Open by Justine Henin. Henin has now defeated her in the quarterfinals of 3 major events in a row, and I think the frustration of it all finally got to Serena last night, as evidenced by this press conference. She wasn't really mean, but she flashed just enough of her displeasure to let the media know that the question/answer period was going to be short and sweet. Not to mention, she was crying when she left the court. Now I have to root for her sister Venus.

Senator Larry Craig has made an ass out of himself by trying to rescind his resignation. He would like for the public to believe that he really wasn't trying to get some hot man lovin' when he was in the Minnesota airport, and it was all a misunderstanding, and that is hard to believe. The men's restroom in most venues is not a place to linger. You get in, do you business, and roll out. The airport men's restroom is even more of a revolving door, because people have places to go. So I don't know how Senator Craig could linger long enough to be playing footsies with someone in the stall, and then "mistakenly" be confused with a man trying to get some trim in the stall. But he pleads guilty, then says he isn't guilty but resigns, not he's trying to get everything reversed..all because ONE senator, Mr. Arlen Specter, gave him a semi-endorsement. And now the Republican party is working hard to ignore Craig, but he won't go away. The sad part about this is that i am QUITE sure that there are gentlemen in both parties who engage in this type of secret behavior, and they are SWEATING right now hoping it doesn't get out.

And from this bunch, lots of wonderful laws, rules and bills will be passed. Yet there are still people out there who don't vote, because they don't see why they should.

Secret Garden - Bruce Springsteen
This is the song that played everytime there was a sensitive moment in Jerry Maguire. I don't even like the damn song, but for some reason it makes me laugh when he sings, "She'll let you innnn". Its an inside joke that I'm attempting to make mainstream. we'll see how this goes.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

So earlier today I took off because I wanted to relax, and so what happens? I get sick for real somehow. I'm congested, my nose is running like Carl Lewis, and I've blown my nose more than Monica blew Bill. The knee jerk reaction is for me to say God is punishing me for wasting my sick days, but oh no no no my brother that's not what is going on..I think sleeping under the air, and running 3 miles and then coming right back under the air might have something to do with it..whatever it is i feel less than stellar. My friend is taking care of me, but i think she's underestimating just how stubborn I can be..we'll see what happens in the morning
It really is no fun when you say to yourself on a Sunday or Monday night that you're going to take off work in advance. You really can't appreciate the day off or the night before, because you know the next day the entire day is yours to do whatever you damn well please. The TRUE joy in taking a day off is when you wake up the same time you always do, and then make the 11th hour decision to stay home. It makes everything feel that much sweeter, whether its blogging from home buck naked, or watching Patty Scialfa sing a God awful song on the Today show..everything feels great today. I am going to hopefully finish editing my blog in preparation for the book..i'm going to run 3-5 miles today, and I am going to enjoy the fact that I don't have to work today, and I suggest you do the same. Other observations on this fine off day of mine:

-If you haven't been watching the US Open, please do. They are in the quarterfinals right now, which means every match is good and competitive. James Blake lost a hell of a match yesterday, but Venus, Serena, Andy Roddick, Rafael Nadal, and the unbeatable Roger Federer are still alive. Its great tv drama, but i'm quite sure its even better to watch live and in person, and I hope to do just that next year

-Phil Mickelson beat Tiger Woods yesterday. As an avid member of the Woods fan club, I'm not too happy that his arch rival whooped his ass, and then smirked about it in the press conference.

-Today is my son's first day of 5th grade. He was all excited about it, and for a moment I missed that feeling I had way back in the 80s. And then I got back to enjoying my day off.

-Do any of you know who you're going to vote for in next year's election? I suppose its too early to speculate, but right now I have no clue. No one is distinguishing themselves as of yet, and no one is really getting down and dirty in terms of revealing their plan(s). I can't remember if any Democratic candidates had separated themselves from the back by now back in '03 or not..What I DO know is that I will be blogging from and attending the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado. I am registered Republican, but as a writer, the Democratic convention will be way more exciting with Obama and Hilary headlining. I just don't see that excitement coming from the Republican side as of yet...we shall see though

Carnival - Natalie Merchant

Saturday, September 01, 2007

It was a beautiful night for baseball this evening. The temperatures were about 70 degrees, there was no cloud in the sky, and the beer floweth. My friend and I had a great time at the game. We saw the mascot give some kids autographs, as well as some lesser players. It was amazing to see how important it was to the kids to get any autograph they could, and then smile as they walked back to their seat. Barry didn't sign any damn fact, he didn't even stand up for the national anthem. The first time I saw Barry was when he came up to bat in the first inning. He was hitless the entire game, and he endured thousands of people booing him everytime he came up to bat. It was actually quite comical how people were booing him in one instance, and then photographing his every move. Deep down I think everyone there was a Barry fan, but they just hear that they shouldn't like Barry, so they boo. Anyway, we left after the 7th inning when it was clear the Nationals were going to win, and Barry wasn't going to be at bat anymore. I wish I had caught a foul ball at the very least, since we were sitting right off the first base line but it wasn't in the cards for me. This is the equivalent of going to see Michael Jordan in his prime, but he never dunks it..I am disappointed in Barry especially since I hyped the whole experience up in this damn blog.

And now, I am going to spend the rest of the evening enjoy Beck's beer, and switching back and forth between Jerry Maguire and the US Open.