Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Has that feeling of rage ever come over you? I mean that all out rage that you didn't even know you had in you? The kind of rage that makes a rational person go workout or hit the heavy bag, and puts an irrational person in jail or on the wrong side of a left hook to the head? I had that kind of rage this morning while I ran.

I am a bit disoriented during the first 100 yards or so of my run. I usually have to adjust the volume on my ipod, pull the hat over my ears tighter, figure out how fast or slow my stride is going to be for the day, and surveying the landscape to make sure no creepy people are trying to rush me. Plus, most times I am still fighting off sleepy, so it isn't always a fun and sexy time. So today I was in the midst of doing that, and I fell to the ground. It had been a good month since I had fallen, and after feeling like I wanted to laugh, I was quite disgusted with myself. My hands were a bit chafed, my knee hurt, but I took it like a man and kept running. But as I resumed my run, I noticed this man with a can of paint in his hand (I assume he was a painter), who was mimicking my fall and laughing at me. And he kept doing it as I ran towards him and when I looked back he was still doing it. I suppose I should have been good natured about this, but I was furious man. About 3 different scenarios came across my head in a matter of 10 seconds. I could a)just keep running and channel that rage into a good run b)attack this dude, and then run before the cops or someone else saw me or c)just forget the run altogether, and let this beat down I was going to give or receive be the workout. And as mature as I claim to be, I really wanted to choose b or c, but I sucked it up and ran of my best runs ever. But still that rage was there, and it was a bit scary. I guess that's why I'm 33, and not 25.

The scene that I am linking below is from the movie High Fidelity which is one of my top 5 favorite movies. In this scene, Rob Gordon is confronted by the current boyfriend of his now ex-girlfriend. In his head he plays out three different scenarios of how to get back at him, but eventually he chooses the right one..this illustrates perfectly how I felt:

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

When you work out consistently for a week or so, and then you slack off for a few days, it does terrible things for your self esteem. You suddenly feel like you look like Sherman Klump, you scrutinize the things you ate during your workout hiatus, and you dread working out again, because you know that first workout back is going to be extremely difficult. I faced such a beast this morning, and I'm mad I even took a few days off. I was told that even if it is something as minor as jumping rope for 15 minutes, some type of cardio should still be done. I won't forget that piece of advice ever again. Although, considering I stayed at home yesterday and had a hearty breakfast I really shouldn't be complaining.

Its been an interesting year Anne Leibovitz. She had a wonderful exhibit based on her book, "A Photographer's Life 1990-2005", which actually came out last year, but was quite popular in DC earlier this year. Then she takes this controversial picture for Vogue with Lebron and Gisele, and now she's on the hot seat for taking pictures of cult leader Miley Cyrus. I can honestly say that I love all of her work, although the Lebron picture did bother me, but I still blame Lebron for that one. I could give a shit about Miley Cyrus to be honest with would be different if my son was a fan, but he's too busy trying to figure out the NFL Draft, which is how it should be. And considering Miley will be making a sex tape in three years anyway, what harm is there in taking a borderline racy picture. Folks should be thanking Anne for yet another solid photo shoot. That's my take on the issue.

If all goes well, I will be covering the Washington Wizards on a part-time basis for this site...Hopefully I'll have more details late, but I am VERY excited.

Check The Technique - Gang Starr

Thanks to my main man sixfive, I will also post this Dockers commercial which has the original beat to the song i've posted above. Every time I see that commercial, I want to instantly cue up the Gang Starr track

Monday, April 28, 2008

I feel guilty about calling off work today to be honest with you. Its about 50 degrees, it pouring down rain, and I'm sure my boss thinks that I'm just blowing off the job today because of that. But in reality, I had about 2 hours of sleep last night, and I when I woke up this morning, I just couldn't see myself making it through the day at all. So I called off, went back to sleep, and I woke up just now, and what is my reward for sleeping in late? I see a commercial for Depends that features two older women on a motorcycle. I'm all for Depends, but something about motorcycle riding and Depends just doesn't match. I should go to work just to avoid seeing that commercial again.

Speaking of commercials, last night during my bout with insomnia, I saw about 34 commercials for male genitalia enhancement products. These products allegedly make you bigger, stronger, faster and harder, and they do a pretty good job of convincing you of this in their commercials. Now at 33 years old, I can say that equipment is still functioning like it was when I was 23.(I'll spare you the details). I am quite sure that at some point, I am due for a dropoff in performance, and at the point I'll probably need some of these magical products. But I can't sit here and lie and tell you I'm not curious about these products now. We'll call it there Barry Bonds theory.

Prior to allegedly taking performance enhancing drugs, Barry was considered to be one of the top 10 baseball players of all time. But Barry saw other players getting more love for hitting home runs, so he decided to start taking drugs, that would cause his already great numbers to go through the roof, and successfully did. So 3 or 4 times a year, I wouldn't mind(and i'm sure my woman wouldn't either) wonder what its like to have superhuman phallus powers with the assistance of drugs like these. Unfortunately, I'll never go through it because 1)my ego is too big and 2)I'm convinced that there were be some side effect that the FDA finds two years from now that is bad. And it would be just my luck that the side effect causes my genitals to disappear one morning. I can't go out like that.

My team is almost out of options.

I'm going back to bed.

Harder, Better, Faster Stronger - Daft Punk

Saturday, April 26, 2008

I challenge you find someone who dances with more skill and technique than the man in the video below.

So last night I had the itch to hear some live jazz, so I headed into the city to do just that. I ended up at a spot called Columbia Station in DC, and I went to hear Butch Warren and his makeshift band. While my lady and I were at the bar, the bartender implied that Butch Warren was a jazz legend and I was a bit embarrassed that I had never heard of him in my life. In fact, it was not until I googled him this morning, that I realized that he was indeed a semi-legend who played with Herbie Hancock and Thelonious Monk. But while looking at him last night, I had no clue that he had achieved legendary status. He was very unsteady on his feet, he seemed to have a grand total of 3 teeth, and he had a lost look in his eye like he didn't quite realize where he was, and what he was supposed to be doing. All this changed on he got the bass in his hand.

Once Butch started playing the bass, he no longer looked lost or uncomfortable. He actually looked like he was mid-coitus..that's how much he seemed to be enjoying himself. He played beautifully, he fed off the other members of the band, and clearly he was in his element. But he only played 3 songs, then he went outside and walked around, came back in and had a drink, and watched the other band members play. There was a backup bassist there, and I suspect that was due to Butch's past bouts with mental illness.

The rest of the band was interesting as well. The drummer clearly thought he was playing at the Blue Note and not a small bar in DC. I tried to request a song from him before the band started playing, and he basically blew me off. The pianist(say that out loud) was a woman, which for me was a first. The alto and tenor saxophonist looked like Phil Donahue and Don Imus respectively. At one point Phil Donahue abruptly cut off his solo to go the restroom, catching the other band members off guard. The guy on alto sax was clearly the best player in the band, and his solos were on beat and on time. The trumpet player seemed to be the youngest member of the group, and his solos were terrible. When he played, you could see the other members of the band struggling to find common ground with the notes he was putting down. It was the equivalent of watching a comic bomb at his first gig. Very painful to watch at times. But the band collectively still sounded decent. The only song they played that I recognized was the Girl from Ipanema, and it sounded excellent.

The only thing that bugged the hell out of me was the crowd. I'd say there were about 30-35 people in the venue and they were all loud as hell. Columbia Station is a restaurant/jazz club, but 90% of the clientele seemed to only focus on the restaurant part. Jazz bands at this venue thrive on tips, and up until right before we left, no one was tipping the band, and it was making me angry. Here the jazz band was setting the mood, and providing the audience with melodic sounds, and no one had the decency to place even a dollar in their tip jar. My lady and I dropped $10 in there by the way. No one in the place knew to clap after solos, or to be quiet while the band was playing, and it was just a mess. I think I may be a bit of jazz elitist, but oh well. There's a certain decorum that needs to be followed when jazz is being played, and clearly no one was following it but us. But that's what I get for not going to a fine jazz establishment. Overall, I give my experience with Butch Warren and his band a 5 out of 10. If you live in DC, you can go see them any day of the week I believe.

Girl from Ipanema - Stan Getz

Friday, April 25, 2008

I saw a series of stories yesterday about the increasing number of Lasik eye surgeries that have gone a bit awry. I guess there have been enough complaints for that FDA to investigate a bit further. To be honest with you, I always thought this type of surgery was borderline insane. I can list lots of things that make me feel good and bring me pleasure, and you may be surprised to learn that a laser in my eye doesn't crack the top 100. I know any type of surgery can go wrong these days, and I know that most people who have this surgery(including the great Tiger Woods) have nothing but great things to say about this procedure. But come on man, we're talking about a laser to the eye. Lasers are made for light shows and science fiction movies. And the last time I checked, glasses are still very accessible, and they give you much more personality than a laser all in your eye.

My beloved Washington Wizards bounced back and won last night against the Cleveland Cavaliers. All is well with the world when the Wizards are victorious. I have a big of a bounce in my step. I have more fun writing my articles, sex is better, sleep is sounder, etc. This is why I am glad I have a son, because I can pass this type of passion about sports teams down to him. I'm not saying I couldn't do that with a daughter because I probably could...but its just more rewarding with a son, especially considering I was that young passionate child myself. Although I'm sure my lady thinks its more fanaticism than passion..OK I'm rambling now.

As I get closer to marriage, I become much more mindful of the importance of staying married. I got in a discussion last night about divorce and its effects, and it just brought back some of the bad feelings I had surrounding my parents divorce. Back when I was going to therapy, my therapist said to me that you never really get over divorce. She said that some folks do their best to suppress their emotions, others fear commitment, but rarely are people completely honest about how divorce has effected them. I consider myself lucky because I have talked to my therapist, my mother, my father, my brother and even my girlfriend who is also a product of divorce, about my feelings on this matter. And I don't even think I'm being negative here, I just want to be sure that when I do decide to take that leap, I do it once and I get it right. That's not too much to ask right? I could write about two months worth of entries on divorce and call it "The Divorce Chronicles"..I'm rambling once again..

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I sat down to write a blog entry this morning, and then I got distracted by work. Right before I re-started my entry, I clicked on the video you see below. And then I became disinterested in writing for now. The song is called Rising Up, and it is by The Roots, whose new cd comes on April 29th. Go buy it. In the meantime...

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It is my firm belief that most staff meetings that are called on the job are pointless. 80% of them are done by people who either have no one to talk to once they leave work or are in some type of relationship where their partner does not listen to them. Only about 20% of meetings are called with some kind of point or productivity in mind. I remember when I co-managed a group of 14-15 people, I tried to avoid meetings like grim death. I much preferred to go from office to office with a notepad to tell my co-workers what I needed from them, and to hear what they possibly needed from me. There were no dumb questions, no small talk about the weekend, and no stale food that I was forced to eat to keep myself from falling asleep. When the other manager would call a meeting, I would sit there impatiently waiting for it to be over. As I think about it, I really think a detailed email with bullet points, trumps a meeting any day. Especially the meeting I had yesterday at my job.

Now I can't go into as much detail as I want to, because you never who is going to read this. But I CAN say that this meeting I attended yesterday morning was about the craziest thing I have ever seen. Leis and flower coasters were handed out for what I thought was going to be a team building exercise, but it turns out, they were brought in to boost morale. My manager was sharing things with the group, that only a therapist should hear, in the name of helping the staff get to know her. Maybe I am cold and callous, but I can give a good goddamn what's going on with my manager's personal life. Just manage me, I'll humor you with the OCCASIONAL small talk, and its a win-win. But to hear about deeply personal things like I heard yesterday was just a bit much, especially since no one else was asked to share their life story. So instead of team building and pumping everyone up, I think the staff walked out of there feeling like they had just been forced to watch the Lifetime channel for an hour. I know I sure as hell did.

I'm sure no one was surprise that Clinton won the primary yesterday, although I was a bit shocked at her margin of victory. I was really hoping Obama would put this Democratic nomination out of its misery, but he didn't. At this point, I think I'm going to shun the coverage of this whole thing, and then ask someone to call me when a winner is declared. I'll occupy myself with the NBA Playoffs until then.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I am going to expand on a point that my main Michael Wilbon made during his Talking Points section on This Democratic primary is starting resemble the world of sports. Both Obama and Clinton are attempting to rally the crowd(voters) to get them in their favor. Much like athletes, they are using the media, to slam one another with catchy soundbytes and quotes. And both candidates are very much aware of the closeness of the score(polls), so they are mounting careful approaches. Even the media is covering this election, much like ESPN would cover a sporting event. They have shows focused on what they think the candidates will do, they talk to "teammates" of both Obama and Clinton so that we can get an inside look into what their strategy may be, and its all just very annoying at this point. At least sports has a fixed 2-3 months window with which to decide a champion. This primary has gone on long enough, and I want Obama to narrowly win this Pennsylvania primary and possibly win this nominatio, so we can move on and be annoyed by 6 months of he and McCain going at each other. Do you realize that its been 6 weeks since the last primary? And do you realize that if Clinton wins by say..10%, we could possibly have yet another debate? Someone needs to bring in Don King, so he can give Clinton money under the table, so she can back out.

Speaking of sports, my Washington Wizards got spanked something terrible last night. They talked all the trash via the media, they haven't even come close to backing it up, plus in two consecutive games now they have lost their composure. Meanwhile, Lebron keeps his mouth shut, and keeps dunking on them. The saying goes, a series doesn't start until the road team wins, so I don't believe this series is quite over yet. I think the Wizards can win the next 2 games at home, and if I'm wrong, then yes I will cry. I also think Gilbert Arenas will NOT be in a Washington Wizard uniform next year, and I have mixed feelings about that. But that's a sports article I'll write later on this summer.

People Make The World Go Round - Jackson 5

Monday, April 21, 2008

This is a shameless plug. For a few weeks now I have been posting links from this site. The site is mostly for basketball fantatics, and I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to write articles like the one I wrote this week. But there are numerous talented writers on this site, and I think it would behoove you to take a look at it at least once a day. Even if you aren't a huge fan of basketball, you still have two options. You can 1)read the site anyway because I asked you to. or 2)pass the site along to someone you know, and have them read it. I am not saying you have to love it, because you may very well have some pointed criticism, and if you do, bring it on, I'm sure that good folks over there can take intelligent, constructive criticism. But if you like something or more specifically, if you fancy some one's writing, leave a positive comment. Spread some sunshine on someone and make them happy, because at the end of the day(or the beginning..or the middle), everyone wants to know that someone out there appreciates their work, whether it be art, religion, sports, music or sex. I know I do.

I wish I could pick one password for every aspect of my life. I have so many passwords for different things like the phone, my work computer, my laptop, my email, my bank account, and half the time I can't remember what the hell I picked. Ideally I would pick one word or phrase, and let that be it, but I've heard many smart people tell me how dumb that is. And then, let's say I forget my bank password, and they send a new one to my email address..I still have to remember my email password just to look at my damn money. So what's my solution? I am going to devise a password spreadsheet, and send it to my dad and my brother, but not retain a copy. That way, all I have to do is pick up the damn phone(no password is needed for that) get an answer, and hope to God that they answer the phone, as opposed to calling me back later and leaving a message where a password is required.

I know no one cares about this, but I had a fast run this morning. I felt quick, graceful and strong, just like my main man Edwin Moses. Too bad it was 5am, and no one was around.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I know it was wrong of me to take this picture and if this man reads my blog, then let me personally apologize. But there was no way in the world, that I could let this picture slide. If you look carefully, you'll notice that this man has on a fine v-neck sweater...however, the sweater is on backwards, and the "v" portion is on the wrong side. His poor neck was catching all kinds of wind and rain due to this man's negligence. And now he's immortalized.
Someone keeps stealing my inserts to my Sunday Washington Post, and it is starting to get under my skin a bit. The Post generally delivers the coupons, the comics and the other special Sunday features on Saturday, and the remainder of the paper on Sunday morning. For the past 3 Saturdays, I have been waking up and heading to the lobby, and I see that the other 4 people who get the Post delivered have taken their inserts, and there is one remaining; however, the inserts that are remaining are picked through and scattered all about the table in the lobby, and I can do nothing with that. I've asked the Washington Post to start labeling everything they send to me, but its clear they haven't gotten around to it yet. They told me if I call before 11am, I can have inserts redelivered free of charge, but that's not the point. The point is that is MY paper, and although I could probably read the Sunday paper online like I do the other 6 days of the week, I enjoy having the physical Sunday paper to read along with Washington Post magazine, coupons, comics, etc. That and reading the New York Times make me feel distinguished, and seeing how that feeling seems to be a fleeting one for me, I don't want any inserts bandits messing with that.

I overcame my nervousness, and met my lady's father and his wife, and it was all good. We ate an outdoor crab dinner by the water, talked about various things, and I had a great time. We then traveled to see my dad, and that too went smooth. I've mentioned this before, but its worth mentioning again. When you grow up with your parents, you just have this image in your mind that they will stay forever young, and honestly my father is a young 57 years old. But old age is creeping on him, and I see that every time I visit him these days, so when I leave I make it a point to hug him extra tight, kiss him, and tell him I love him. I noticed my lady did the same for her dad. These moments are not to be taken granted at all.

And for you bastards who know I love the Washington Wizards, I am well aware that they lost game one to Lebron and the Cleveland Cavaliers yesterday. May I remind you that this is is a marathon series, not a sprint.

Paisley Park - Prince

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I went to see the movie Smart People last night, and I was quite disappointed with how it turned out. Dennis Quaid is about 90 years old, and the sexual chemistry between he and Sarah Jessica Parker just seemed incredibly forced. Ellen Page of Juno fame, would have been ok, had I not seen Juno already. And even though this movie was filmed before Juno, they still had the same effect. She played a young kid, with an old mind and a smart mouth. To me, the only funny parts of the movie, were the ones involving Thomas Haden Church of Sideways fame. He consistently had good one liners, and he was the only character that seemed halfway genuine. AND the movie was set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and there were NO black people, except for a quick shot of some thugs on the street. I'm not one of those people who feels like black people should be in every movie, but damn this was Pittsburgh man--home of John Edgar Wideman and August Wilson. They could have thrown one of us in there in some capacity. So out of 10, I'd give the movie about a 5. That's my feeble attempt at a movie review.

Friday, April 18, 2008

I meet my girlfriend's father tomorrow, and that is something I have both dreaded and looked forward to for quite some time. It is important to meet the parents in a serious relationship, because seven times out of 10, the parent and the child have a significant bond, and anyone else who can be in on the bond is considered to be special. So the fact that I am even meeting this man, means that I'm kind of a big deal to her(as does the fact that we live together). But as a man, meeting the father of my girlfriend is quite nerve wracking.

My lady keeps telling me that her father likes everybody, and I have absolutely nothing to worry about, but I can't buy that 100%. No parent wants to imagine their child having sex at all..its just a mental picture that is way too much to bear. But for a father, at some point, whether its conscious or unconscious, he is going to have a mental picture of me giving his daughter the business repeatedly(and well I might add) and he's going to have two options. He can take it all in stride, and just be resigned to the fact that his daughter is giving and taking it. Or he can become an irate Cliff Huxtable clone, and give me the cold shoulder. I think the latter example is pretty unlikely, but its not impossible; as a result, I think I'll be a bit nervous. I may even tape some small talk bullet points on my wrist just in case I draw a blank.

The Dude - Quincy Jones

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I recognize that I am blessed to have a 10 going on 11 year old son. And while I his mother gets on my nerves, I am also blessed and very thankful that she gave me him. But then there are times last night, when all that being thankful bullshit goes right out of the window, and I am just plain irritated.

I know I've mentioned it before, but this story bears me mentioning it again. My son's mother is white, and while that always has presented small obstacles in the parenting department, as my son gets older, some of them become more glaring, and one of those issues is the barbershop. My son's mother is terrified of black barbershops because she says that the men hit on her and make her uncomfortable. I tried to explain to her that the men in barbershops hit on every damn body, and that's basically their job, but she still says no. I explained to her that most barbers cultivate a father/son type relationship with younger kids, regardless of whether a kid comes in their with his dad or not, but she didn't understand. I have a cousin that lives less than 10 minutes away from her, and I tried to suggest that she let him take my son to the barbershop, but she never follows through. Whenever I make that three hour drive down to Hampton to see my son, the first thing I do is make a beeline to the barbershop, but I don't see him every weekend, so that still leaves a void. And unfortunately, my son is a bit too passive to just demand that his mom take him somewhere to get it cut. So why am I bringing this up?

I got my son's school pictures yesterday, and I must admit I smiled because he looked very handsome. He was in those dumb, action figure like poses that they make you strike when you take school pictures but he looked good. But when my eyes glanced up at my son's haircut it was just a war zone. It was if my son's mother looked at Ron Artest, and said, THAT'S what I want my son to look like. There was no shape up, it was way too long, and as handsome as my son looks, his hair sticks out like a sore thumb, and it just irritates me man. I get my haircut every week and a half or so, and when I step out of the barbershop, I feel invincible, and I don't think its too much to ask for my son to get that same feeling. I suspect I'll have to resort to drastic measures to make sure this happens on a consistent basis.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

One of the challenges I am facing in writing for a website on a weekly basis, is learning the art of compromise. I think writing a blog can be both a good and bad thing when you aspire to write full time for a living. For me, the good part of writing this blog, is that it has gotten me in the habit of writing on a consistent basis. I do it partly because it helps me become a better writer, and I also do it because I know when I don't blog my brother will text me asking me where the hell the blog is he's Ike and I'm Tina. The bad part about writing this, is that I really don't have to answer to anyone. Sure I may get some opposition about an entry here and there, but for the most part, I can do what I want, when I want to do it.

So when I saw my most recent article published this morning, I must admit I was a little frustrated that the two editors of the site took some of what I liked out of the article. When I first got wind that my original version would not be published, I tried to plead my case but to no avail. It is their job to shape and mold the articles so that the fit into the concept of what they are trying to do with their site, and far be it from me discourage that. But the selfish part of me wanted what I wrote to be published verbatim, and I'm learning(slowly)that its not always about I want. It's humbling to say the least.

Other Wednesday observations:

-If I get shirts out of the cleaners, I don't expect them to be wrinkled at all. I expect a crisp, freshly starched shirt. My cleaners does this fancy thing, where the fold the sleeves to all my shirts in a fancy way, so all my sleeves are wrinkled. so this morning when I removed the shirt from the giant plastic they put it in, I had to decide whether to iron it right quick, or look like wrinkled willie all day. So its wrinkled sleeves for rashad today(3rd person alert).

- Waiting for a woman's cycle to leave when you sleep right next to her every day is like waking up every morning on Christmas. You know its Christmas, you know the tree is downstairs with all the gifts, and you suspect that at any moment you're going to have access to those gifts..and then your parents come out and say, not yet, you can't quite go down or dive in(to the gifts of course). Its driving me crazy man, and frankly I don't know how people survive sexless marriages for months and months on end. Who are these people?

- Carmelo Anthony did apologize yesterday, although I still think it was a day too late. And he never really admitted to doing anything wrong but I suspect that may have been for legal reasons. Still, if he really was drunk or drinking, why not just admit it man, why give cryptic apologies? If he doesn't play well when the playoffs start this weekend, its going be a LONG summer for Carmelo.

Push and Pull - Nikka Costa

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I have two complaints this morning. One with star athletes and the other with the media. Let's start with the star athletes first.

Yesterday, Carmelo Anthony was arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence yesterday. He failed a series of on-the-spot sobriety tests, and he consented to a blood test as well. And although the results of that blood test have yet to be determined, Carmelo released a statement through his attorney, in which he apologized to his family, his team, his fans, etc. Now, it seems to me that if you were NOT guilty of anything you wouldn't have anything to apologize about at all. But my problem is whether you are innocent or not, don't speak through a publicist, a team spokesman, or your attorney. Why not just come out in an unwritten and an unprepared statement, and just speak and apologize that way? Why not just say look, I had to much to drink, I shouldn't have been driving and I apologize. It would still look bad, but at least there would be some attempt to be responsible, and the media, his family and maybe even his teammates would have more respect. Instead, there is this trend where athletes hide behind legal terms, and they play innocent until they absolutely have to admit guilt. I suppose that his their right, but I'm sick of it.

Last night on CNN, Anderson Cooper was interviewing one of the women from the polygamist ranch in Texas. This woman felt like she had been persecuted, because she had been separated from her kids, and held in harsh conditions by government officials. She was also upset that she hadn't been allowed to even say goodbye to her children before the separation. As you can imagine, the woman was very passionate about her plea to see her child; however, Anderson Cooper was basically ignoring this woman's emotion, he was asking a series of questions about the polygamist ranch. Cooper asked the woman why she stayed on the ranch, he asked about other women who had left the ranch, and he even question the woman's intelligence on one occasion. I suppose Cooper was just being a typical journalist by asking questions about the compound, but his approach was just all wrong. A good interviewer would let this woman talk about what she wanted to talk about, and then slide in other questions as he went along, but Cooper did no such thing. Instead, he succeeded in making this woman look crazy, because all of her answers came back to her wanting to see her children, which to me was the real story. It was a painful interview to watch, regardless of how I may feel about this polygamist ranch and the people in it. I had to check to make sure I was watching CNN and not the Fox News Channel.

Monday, April 14, 2008

If you really and truly care about how someone is doing and/or feeling, you pick up the phone, you dial the number, and you ask them directly. In some cases, you may even get in the car, or buy a plane ticket ,and go that extra mile just to be sure that person is doing ok. You don't text message, email, or go to a myspace page to do that, because it just comes off as callous and insincere. And I know all of this, because I am frequently guilty of this behavior. Sometimes I'll send an email to someone and ask them how their doing, when in reality I should be saying, "I'm thinking of you, but I don't really want to talk to you or with you." I can't expect people to know and understand that I am anti-social, sometimes I have to take that extra step. Granted, this is Monday morning, and I am tired, and all emotions are a bit more raw than they will be this afternoon or tomorrow. But this was on my mind after I sent a bullshit, "how have you been" message to a friend and mine, and it is especially on my mind, since my brother send me these kinds of texts all the time. And yes Jamal, I am calling you out..indirectly of course.

The morning after Tiger Woods doesn't win a golf tournament (pronounced "tunament) is especially hard for me to deal with. As I have written about before, I have a bit of a mancrush on Tiger, and I feel like I have a lot personally invested in his success. So that when he falls short(and falling short for Tiger is finishing in second place) I get irritated knowing that all day, I will have to hear both on radio and on television, people asking what's wrong with Tiger. He's set the bar so high, that when he loses, its a big deal, when in reality, golfers only win tournaments 3 or 4 times a year, and they "lose" 10 or 11 times and that's putting on the mild side. I feel like I work for his PR department or something here.

If you look back on every blog I have ever written on Monday, I think you'll find that they all suck. I'm keeping with the tradition today.

Tevin Campbell - Round and Round

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The popularity of CNN, MSNBC and the Fox News Network have made the Sunday morning news programs on regular tv pretty much unwatchable. It used to be that shows like Meet the Press, were the one and only chances one had to get in-depth looks at politicians, their views, and pressing issues. Not by the time Sunday morning arrives, the stories are old, stale and boring. However, this morning, I just happened to catch a bit of Meet the Press was on, and I caught the tail end of James Carville discussing his decision to slam Bill Richardson's endorsement of Obama. James talks like Jamie Foxx imitating Ray Charles, and I NEVER get tired of hearing him talk. I've heard him talk about college basketball, football, politics, movies, and he always manages to entertain me I need to get him to follow me around for a day, and then narrate my every move. In fact he and Marv Albert could alternate narration duties.

Also, is it appropriate for a man to send another man a smiley face via email? It happened to me today, and I was taken aback. While I'm at it, what's the policy on men saying LOL to each other? I need to update my man handbook here.

Autumn Leaves - Ledisi

Saturday, April 12, 2008

So today I am in the process of applying for a job that I'm under qualified for, but I'm hoping I can at least get an interview. I feel like if I can at least get a chance to sweet talk someone into seeing why hiring me would be the best thing they could do for their business, I have a fairly decent shot at making an impression. But if this is the kind of job, where they just are looking for specific qualifications via resume only, I may not get the shot. But I am going to use the power of positive thinking and prayer to hopefully will myself into something positive. The job? NBA editor for the USA Today. So throw some prayers my way, and if I get this job I'll buy each and every person who reads this blog a nice, stiff drink. You have my word.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Yesterday was the first day of the year that actually felt like late spring/early summer, and it felt damn good. So what did I do? I got a needle, pumped up my basketball, put on my gear, and went to the outdoor courts to test my game against guys who were 10 years younger. Not only were they younger, but I seemed to be the only one under 6'3, which made things even more interesting. I surprisingly held my own out there. I didn't get dunked on, I didn't get crossed over, and despite being called little man the entire time, I was proud of myself...until i stepped off the court. Since that moment, my ribs are killing, my calves are sore, my back hurts and I feel about 47 years old. I have come to realization that this is how its going to be unless I play that hard at least 2 or 3 times a week.

And now, since I don't have much to say today, I am going to post a video by the Jacksons. I am posting this, because Michael Jackson not only puts on a dancing clinic, but he masters the elusive art of singing on key while dancing. Today's performers typically pre-tape songs, or lip-sync, or they just stop singing to dance, but Michael does both, and I never get sick of watching different version of this video.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Now that I am writing more often, and seeing some minor success, I have no problems admitting that my current job is starting to get on my nerves more and more. Its not so much the work that i do that annoys me, its the people around me. When I write, its a one on one situation. Its just the laptop and I staring each other down, until I can successfully come up with the right words to properly convey my thoughts and feelings. There are no distractions, no meetings, and no one looking over my shoulder constantly. I know that may not be a realistic work environment, but that is what I'm shooting for.

I say this, because yesterday at my job, one of my co-workers came up to me and asked me to contribute money towards a gift, and sign a card for someone who is leaving. Now the woman who is leaving says nothing more than good morning and good night to me, and as nice of a woman as she may be, I don't know her. So to have to come out of my pocket and sign a card for a woman I barely know, is a bit of a inconvenience for me. Apparently others must have felt the same, because when I looked at the other messages on the card, they were about as boring and brief as you can get. It looks like people just signed, because they were pressured to. Plus, this is about the sixth person to leave over the past two months, and frankly, I am tired of signing cards and giving up money, so I'm not doing it anymore. Of course when I try to take this stance, a small degree of guilt comes over me, because my entire office was so giving when they found out a fire took everything I owned from me. The people in my office could have had the same attitude I currently have, but they chose not to. BUT, even with that, giving is a personal choice. And giving someone money because they lost everything is one thing. But giving money towards a gift and signing a card for someone who I don't know and who has decided to find another job, before I did, is NOT an giving occasion in my humble opinion. I know this reeks of selfishness, but it really isn't. I'm just drawing my line in the sand.

I can't be the only one who thinks like this

Aquarius - Common

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

My 2nd article
I certainly understand why people all over the world are protesting the upcoming Olympic games in China. The Olympic Committee chose to over look some of the questionable tactics of the Chinese government in favor of the almighty dollar, and so far that had led to the most politically charged lead-in to an Olympic event since the 1984 Games, when then the Soviet Union chose not to show (now THAT my friends is a fantastic run-on sentence). And even though it has been known for several years, that the Olympic games were going to be in China, I get why the protesters have waited until this year to step up their protests. The mainstream media usually waits until the year of the Olympic games before they really focus on the preparation, the location, the athletes etc. All that being said there are two things about this situation that bother me:

1)What about the athletes? Nine times out of 10, Olympic athletes have an even more limited window with which to shine than do the athletes in the major sports. The Olympics serve as their stage, and when politics (and illegal drugs I might add) get in their way, it overshadows their accomplishments. And it thrusts them into the uncomfortable position have to either get on board with a possible boycott or to ignore the political issues and be viewed as outcasts, when in reality, they just want to compete. And the second thing that bothers me about these protests, is the number of people who keep trying to attack the carriers of the Olympic torch. Do these people not realize that these carriers have fire in their hands? And do they not understand how even the kindest of people, when attacked by angry protesters, are legitimate threats to lose their mind and burn everyone in sight? There's gotta be a better way.

So back in December, I wrote a blog entry about women's basketball, and I was openly questioning people as to why they didn't watch and support them. After watching last night's game I'll no longer question those people. I had to watch last night's game, because I committed to writing about it, but I hated every minute of it. As much as I like to look at Candace Parker, even she wasn't enough to sustain my interest. The game was sloppy, Stanford's best player, Candace Wiggins never really showed up, and at one point in the game, 5 minutes had gone by, and no one scored. I wanted to throw my laptop at the screen. I had to somehow summon an article out of that garbage, and I'm ashamed to show it to anyone, because the game was that bad in my humble opinion. So from this day forward, I will no longer pressure anyone to watch college basketball. But still support the WNBA..

Waiting - Rachelle Ferrell

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Old and inadequate. Those are the two words for the day.

I felt old at two different points last night. The first one, was while watching ESPN, and at the bottom of the screen I saw that Patrick Ewing and Hakeem Olajuwon were two of several men to be inducted into the NBA Hall of Fame. In between showing highlights of their brilliant careers, ESPN also showed both men in suits, looking older than they did in their playing days, but not too old. They both had suits on, and it just made me sad. Not because they are bums or they aren't doing anything with their lives, but more so because I remember these guys playing in college. I can remember watching them at the University Houston and Georgetown respectively in the early to mid 80s, and I remember my dad watching with me, while I had my college basketball magazines sprawled out in front of me so I would know who every player around these two giants were. So to see these two men retired and damn near immortalized in the Hall of Fame just made me feel old..

And then, as if seeing Olajuwon and Ewing weren't enough, while I was watching Kansas defeat Memphis in last night's title game, I felt even older. It wasn't the fact that these kids were running up and down at a pace that I really can't keep up at this point, but it had everything to do with the years these kids were born. While I was looking up the bios of some of these guys, I noticed that all of them were born between 1987 and 1990, which blows my mind. I mean I realize someone had to be born during that time, but it hits you a different way when you see kids who may be in the NBA born that short of a time ago. During those years, I was listening to Public Enemy, attending Jack and Jill conferences, and discovering the wonderful tricks my genitalia could perform, and how dare these kids come into the world during that time. I know this sounds cranky, but I think incredulous captures it a little better.

Oh, and I am feeling inadequate about the layout of my blog. I've seen many blogs over the past few weeks, and their layouts are pretty impressive, and I can honestly say I'm way too lazy to upgrade, but it does gnaw at me that I'm lagging behind in this department. Perhaps I'll recruit someone to upgrade me in that department. Until then, I'll continue to say that my blog is about content, not bells and whistles. That will mask my shortcomings for now.

And I'd be miss and miss again (remiss I think it’s called) if I didn't mention that my ladyfriend kicked my monkey ass in Scrabble last night. She attempted to hide the scorecard so she could scan it, photograph it, or whatever, but I was hip to her game, and I flushed that scorecard down the toilet like it a dead cricket. It’s nice to know the sore loser in me never goes away.

A Little Better - Gnarls Barkley

Monday, April 07, 2008

I'm in total denial about it being Monday morning, and I am in disbelief that my weekend has decided to leave me so abruptly. So rather than be responsible, and face my Monday like everyone else is probably doing in some way or another, I am going to act like its Sunday, and speak on what I would rather be doing this morning.

My ideal Sunday would start off with heavy rain and temperatures around 45 degrees with a slight breeze coming in from the screenless window that would open slightly(read that whole sentence in your best Maya Angelou voice). I would feel that breeze coming and remove one layer of blankets, as to feel it better. My lady would be in the nude right next to me, and of course I would have the immediate option of doing un-Godly things to her on the Sabbath, but I would pass on that for now, since she would presumably be sleeping. I would then get up to get the Sunday Washington Post(by the way, let me ruin this Sunday fantasy to say that I get my Sunday paper delivered, and someone stole all my inserts with coupons and the comic papers and don't appreciate that shit at all) and sit in front of yet another open window in another room to listen to the rain. I would grab the Sports section and read it cover to cover, and then I would sloppily put the Sports section back in the inside of the rest of neatly folded newspaper.

I would then grab the remote and watch a bit of CBS Sunday Morning. When I was younger my dad used to watch this show, and I used to marvel at Charles Keralt's voice. And even though he's dead now, and the show has a different host, I still like to peak at it every now and then.

So at this point, after I've read the Sports page, watched ESPN and Sunday morning, and listened to the rain, it would be about 10am, and I would be ready to "go back to bed". I'd slip back into bed, gently wake up my ladyfriend, and then I would do things that I am much too classy to type in the blog, until the NBA pregame shows came on about noon. THAT is how you spend Sunday morning, and those will be the images that get me through this dreary, Monday morning.

Sorry if I made anyone squeamish. It was either this, or yet another Monday morning Haiku.

Its Been You - Anita Baker

Sunday, April 06, 2008

I went to see August Wilson's play Jitney, at the Kennedy Center on Saturday night, and I enjoyed it a lot. I didn't realize until I arrived that they play was a reading, so I was taken aback when I noticed all of the actors reading from a script. Initially it was very distracting, but once the plot started to take shape I got used to it. I won't give away the plot or anything, because it is definitely worth reading/seeing. But I will say the ending had me tearing up just a bit. It was pretty emotional, so if you can see/read this play, or any of Mr. Wilson's play, please do.

But that was not the highlight of the evening my friends. The highlight of the evening came after the show when I met and shook hands with Glynn Turman. Some people know his Colonel Taylor from A Different World, some know him from the The Wire, and others like me know him as Preach Jackson from Cooley High. I noticed him as he came out of the restroom, and at first I wasn't going to speak. Then I went up to him, told him I appreciated his work, asked him how he enjoyed the play, and then I left him alone. I feel honored. Although I wanted to ask him questions about his now 500 lb ex wife but that would be mean.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

There are certain unwritten rules that have to be followed in the barbershop at all times. I don't know how I know this, I don't know who told me, and I don't know why I have never violated any of them, I just know that they exist. One of the rules is that you don't correct the barber, without doing it in a joking way. Whether they use incorrect English, or get a sports score wrong, or mispronounce a politicians name, the patrons of the store have to tread lightly when correcting them. Again, those are the rules.

But today, there was a customer who violated that rule in the worst way. One of the barbers pretty much butchered a sentence, but I was going to let it slide, because I knew the point he was trying to make. But this other guy in the shop, started correcting my barber like he was a child and it was VERY uncomfortable. The normally jovial barbershop got real quiet for about a minute or so, and the guy who corrected the barber, never realized the error of his ways. I felt bad for the barber, because no one wants to be made to feel like that in their own place of business. And you ESPECIALLY don't do that to someone who is cutting your hair. That's just asking to be skinned alive and left for dead..

Trying To Get Over You - Today
This has nothing to do with the blog entry. But it took me 3 years to track down the cd where this song came from, and I can't tell you how happy I am. My boy Sabin used to play this cd for me back in college, and one day 3 years ago, I made it my business to find it, and I did. These are the minor victories that get one going.

Friday, April 04, 2008

To offset that depressing, but necessary blog I posted earlier today, I leave you with the video below. My favorite part: the 7 minute mark to the 7:27 mark when you see the TRUE essence of what a gangster is..or is not

As I got ready to leave for work this morning, I noticed the Today show was doing a special edition of their show to "celebrate" the 40th anniversary of Dr. King's death. And for a split second I asked myself if I really wanted to address this in the blog. We talk about Dr. King so much during the month of January and February, and his assassination really isn't a pleasant memory to revisit given what it symbolized and the destruction of many major cities that followed. But despite its unpleasantness, and I am going to make two "points":

1) I remember being about 15 years old or so, and my father talked to me about Dr. King. He said to me that it is important that I understand that while Dr. King was talking about Civil Rights and equality, he was relatively harmless to the powers that be. Yes he was challenging the status quo in the country at the time, but his power seemed to be limited to just black folks at the time. But during the last two years of his life, he started taking on causes that cut across racial lines (although when you think about it, racial equality issues cut across racial lines too, but folks didn't see it that way I guess) like the Vietnam War, labor unions, and economic empowerment, and shortly thereafter, he was killed. My father told me that both black and white people need to remember to include that part of Dr. King's memory, and not just heap a bunch of I have a dream stuff on top of him.

2) From listening to folks who were old enough to really process the after effects of Dr. King's assassination, the biggest tragedy of all was the loss of hope. Dr. King had built such a following and he was generation such momentum with his movement, that when he was killed, people just gave up the fight. President and Robert Kennedy had been killed, Malcolm X had been killed, the end of the Vietnam War was nowhere in sight, and there just seemed to be a certain mood of gloom and doom. It reminds me of the loss of hope that some folks may feel if Obama doesn't get the Democratic Nomination, let alone the Presidential one. So many people are inspired by Obama and his message of change. So many people who normally sit on their ass and do nothing, are participating and giving their money and time. Even folks who can't stand Obama, are passionately supporting other candidates to keep his ass out of office. But if he falls short, will everyone lose hope? If he falls short, and there is some foul play involved a la the election of 2000, will folks riot? Will they give up and not vote again? Who and what will be the motivator and agent of change, if the Obama 2008 movement falls short?

I hate ending with rhetorical questions, but these were my thoughts this morning. I hope this is more thought provoking than it is depressing, but it doesn't feel like it right this minute.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Oh and I forgot to mention that picked up my article yesterday. This is the second time they've done that for me, and I am legitimately happy about this.
So here is yet another example of why I love writing, and why I hate social interactions. A friend of mine, who reads this here blog and I met her about a year and a half ago at a bar. She was engaged then, and she's married now, and she is nice enough to share some of my entries with her husband, which I really appreciate. So this past weekend, she emailed me and said that she had two tickets to next week's Wizards/Celtics game, that she would give them to me. Now I had been online for the past two weeks looking for tickets to those games, but the prices were absolutely outrageous, so I was definitely appreciative of the gesture. I thanked her, and we made plans to meet up, and this is when my crazy, Larry David tendencies kicked into high gear.

Its no secret that I am socially awkward. Sometimes I do it just to annoy people and to get them the hell out of my face. But other times, despite the best of my intentions, I just come as aloof and awkward. Either I worry about having enough small talk to sustain the other person, or I sip water or whatever drink I have in front of me, to keep myself from having to talk, or I grow bored listening to someone talk and talk and I just keep saying "right" over and over.. And I don't discriminate with this at all. I'm awkward around my sister-in-law; awkward around people I work with; I get nervous when I meet someone I haven't seen in awhile; if I see someone I know in the street, I'll walk right by them to avoid small talk; you name it, I can get nervous about it and then over think it. So I am scheduled to meet up with this woman today to get these tickets, and it will either be a quick meeting where we say hello, hug, do the ticket deal, talk and then she leaves, or it can be a sit down lunch where we talk. Either way, I am putting way too much thought behind this, and its just downright neurotic man. I said I wasn't going to write about it, but dammit, nothing else came to mind this morning, so I had to..

My girlfriend, whenever she reads this, would say, Rashad, you're over thinking it, I'm sure it will be just fine. Perhaps I'll print that quote out and tape it on my wrist as assurance. And I really am trying to get better at this man. And in the words of this man, I'm doing the work, I'm not a slacker. And its not that I'm not grateful to get the tickets and even be in this situation because I am. Its just the other side of it that drives me batty. Its like winning the Nobel Peace Prize, and initially you're happy, you tell your family and its all gravy. And the you get a phone call from someone saying, that you'll be required to give at least a 15-20 minute speech at a ceremony. That speech, and the days leading up to it, will be absolute agony.

Today's blog justifies the url for my blog.

Crazy - Seal

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This is my second blog entry of the day. Here is the Kareem article. Leave comments on that site if you're so inclined. I'm a big boy I can take it.
I constantly hear from my girlfriend and other people, that the way I go about handling certain situations leaves much to be desired. I usually like to take the Ludacris method of getting things accomplished, when in reality, the Otis Redding method is much more effective and less confrontational. So this morning, when I was faced with a bit of a situation, I kept this in mind.

I was running a bit late this morning, so instead of walking to work, I had to take train, which is really no big deal. The train wasn't too crowded, so I stepped in and stood in my normal spot by the door for my two-stop ride. One the first stop, this gentlemen got on the train, and stood WAY too close to me, considering the emptiness of the train. And then on top of that, he raised his arm to hold on to the rail, and his armpits were right in my face. Now I suppose I could have just shut up and take it for 2 more minutes until I got off the train. But to me, having armpits in the face, is just downright disrespectful; however, I was careful not to say anything smart to this man. So I said, "excuse me sir, would you mind backing up a little bit your armpits are right in my face." And he looked at me and said, "dude, i only have one more stop, and I need to hold on, just chill out". Now, at this point, I am wishing that all you people who tell me I handle things wrong, were right there with me. I could have dealt with everything he said, but the "just chill out" portion of the sentence pissed me off, especially since nothing about me was angry. So I said nothing until I got to my stop, and politely let him get off the train first, and then I followed behind, and we went up the escalator, and when we came off, I "accidentally" tripped his ass. He didn't fall, but he did stumble a bit, and he whipped his head around, and said, "Dude what's your deal?". That phrase is an inside joke with my lady and I, so I wanted to laugh, but I had to keep my composure, so I did, and I said, "I"m sorry man, it was an accident, chill out". He looked like he wanted to say something else, but he didn't, and we went our separate ways.

Immature? probably. Petty? You bet your ass. But ask me if i care.

Under the Cherry Moon - Prince

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

So yesterday when I got home from work, I decided that I would get started on this article I want to write on Kareem Abdul Jabbar. I put on my post work outfit of a t shirt and jeans(aka the Bruce), I got a tasty snack of Ritz crackers and hummus, I put on some Robert Glasper, and I proceeded to turn my laptop on and bang out the greatest words I've written about one of the greatest men I've ever known about. And nothing came to me. nothing at all. I mean sure I typed a few non-sensible sentences, but when I re-read them it sounded crazy. But considering it was only 6pm, I figured I had plenty of time, so I shut my laptop, and I got up and started cooking.

While I was in the kitchen, I tried to act like I was no longer thinking about writing, and I switched to loud rap music, but it annoyed me. The music was preventing me from thinking about the article, and rather than fight that emotion, I put jazz back on, and kept cooking and thinking, but to no avail. So I put that aside, and I ate dinner with my lady, watched a little TV, and I was hyped about getting back to the computer later on that evening. But when I sat back down, I had nothing, and at this point I was frustrated beyond belief. I started cursing at my laptop, I stomped away from my lady with the laptop thinking a lack of privacy was stopping my words, but none of it worked. This is when the smart ass in me started to rise up, and I became a pain for my girlfriend to be around..and it was all due to this writer's block.

Eventually I turned off the computer, poured me some red wine and whupped up on my girlfriend in a game of scrabble. I wasn't as frustrated, but I was still sad that my alleged wonderful gift or writing had failed me when I seemingly needed it most. At one point I said to myself, how is it I can use these words to win a damn game, but I can't string them together to write an article. But I decided to sleep on it, and I did, and about 9 minutes ago(or 12:32pm) I finished it. It still needs to be edited and all that jazz, but I finished and thank God. I haven't had writer's block since college, and even back then my parents were divorcing, so I was stressed and emotional. I'm neither now, so I was confused and verklempt about the block.

So why am I explaining all this? It took me this long to blog today, because I am using my blog as an escapegoat as Michael Scott would say. I wrote such a long detailed blog yesterday, that I was probably tapped out mentally to some degree (yeah I know its far fetched, but work with me). So today, I decided to forgo the blog until my little article was complete and it worked...I think, we'll see.