Thursday, July 31, 2008

Before I start this entry let me flash my disclaimer which says, I do not in any endorse making fun of or mocking homeless/mentally ill people. It is nation-wide problem, and instead of writing about them for my own personal gain and humor, I should helping with the I kind of did when I worked for HUD.

Speaking of disclaimers, remember this one at the start of MJ's Thriller? I wonder where sleeping with little boys fits in on MJ's personal conviction list?

Anyway right before I walked in the office, I saw a homeless man who was clearly afflicted with some inner demons. This is not at all unusual in downtown DC, so I was not taken aback at all. He was about 20 steps ahead of me, and he was just walking down the street talking to himself, and minding his business. Then, as if something in his head clicked, he ran on the street, stopped in front a car, crouched down in a catcher's stance, and he yelled out, "Hit me goddammit" to the oncoming car. I immediately burst out laughing. When you wake up in the morniong, you realize anything is possible but you don't expect to see that. Upon further review this man was not only mentally ill, but drunk too(which I admire at 9am). I ran in the street, gently escorted him out of the street, fought off the stench of beer, and asked him if he was alright. He looked at me and said, "Man I'm fine, what the hell is wrong with you, I almost had him". I just made sure he was off the street, told him to have a nice day, and came into the office.

Perhaps I should have escorted him into the Starbucks for a sobering cup of coffee, but I figured saving him from moving cars was enough. I really should have taken a photo of him first, then saved his life, but when my superhero instincts kick in and the signal is given, I'm helpless you know?

Drive - Bobby McFerrin

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am sitting here in Bus Boys and Poets, trying to get motivated to write an article for my main man Sabin D. I had two doctor's appointments to attend to earlier in the day, and I said I would sit in here all day long until this article was written, but its not working so far. I have about half of it done, but its not quite flowing the way I want it to..I think the official term for it is writer's block. This rarely happens when i sports articles, but this article is about my ambivalence about attending church regularly, and its hard to write. Perhaps I should start drinking wine to get my creative juices flowing..I don't think this counts as an official blog entry, I'm just trying to write my way out of this mental stalemate. This is the kind of thing that has me wondering if I could regularly write about something other than sports...anyway, thanks for listening to my free flowing stream of consciousness about absolutely nothing.

Sabin, if you're reading, I'm trying man..don't give up on me yet.

i'm ordering wine now

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Obama, basketball and me.

Now, let me sell the above article a bit. Usually, when I post an article on the above site, it is a little too sports related for most folks who read my blog. But considering the man I'm writing about for this article is on the presidential ballot in November, and could quite possibly be your nextpresident November, it would behoove you to read the article and leave comments. My main men Ryan, Austin and the rest of the gang would really appreciate it.
When I was in elementary, middle and in high school (secretly) there was nothing that brought me pleasure more than Valu-Packs of cereal and potato chips. As good as the larger versions of both foods were, there was something cool about eating them out of a smaller version. Not only did I feel closer to the midgets, but I knew that at any time I could break out this snack, and down it in one sitting. The larger versions didn't really afford you that option unless you were just an obese child, which I was not.

In college, the mini potato chip bags seemed to disappear, but the mini cereal boxes were alive and well. I can remember many times while I was in the cafeteria at THE Hampton University when a mini box of cereal or two or three would accidentally find its way into my knapsack, despite my efforts to keep them out. At that point, I would have no choice but to eat them when I got back to my dorm room, and then the memories of younger days would kick in, and my overwhelming hunger would subside for a good 10-15 minutes or so.

Value packs and I haven't really had a relationship since college. I see them in the grocery store, but I always talk my way out of purchasing them, because they no longer look very filling. And now everything is value-packed from cookies, to juice boxes, to....

Now when I first saw this yesterday in the drug store, I immediately knew I had to get a picture of this. The purchase of KY warming jelly is not that big of a deal at all. Some people prefer life's natural lube, other prefer a little slippery assistance when they do their thing. Other people find themselves trying to enter places that simply can't be conquered without a substantial amount of KY..who am I to judge? But what I DON'T understand is why KY has now been valuepacked. I mean do you wake up and decide that one day you want the purple stuff, but that night, its a orange liquid kind of night? I don't get it..however, how cool of a gift would this be come office Christmas gift swap time????

Monday, July 28, 2008

I arrive at my job this morning to chaos. There was a fire on the second floor of the building, which is causing all kind of leakage on the first floor where I work. We just had a fire alarm only to be told mid-evacuation that it was a false alarm. My office has no water damage, but a few short steps from where I am typing, there is significant damage, and quite honestly it cannot be safe for me to be here. The building security has asked that everyone evacuated the first floor and head up to the fifth floor, which is pointless considering my work is at my desk. So I am a good 10-15 minutes away from bailing, and going back home to the comforts of my apartment.

When I walked in here, the first thing I smelled was that burnt smoke smell, I just immediately thought back to my fire right quick. That smell was in everything I owned for a good two weeks, and its something I'll never forget. Its also something I no longer need to linger on and get sad about.

This chaos is totally upstaging what I originally wanted to write about, which was my weird dream. I had a dream that I was in my old high school office talking to my principal back then and Michael Wilbon. All of a sudden, Wilbon asks me if I want to play a game of football and I say yes, and magically we round up enough people to play an 8 on 8 game of tackle football on the ground of my old high school. I don't remember any plays, I just remember saying out loud, "That is Michael f**king Wilbon". Then I woke up.

I also had another X-rated dream involving my girlfriend and a movie theater, but i'll spare you.

i'm being asked to vacate my office now...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tom Brokaw simply cannot be the host of Meet the Press any longer. In his heyday, what made Brokaw such a stellar journalist was his ability to tackle an intense story in a thorough nature, but still remain calm and placid. During an election, a crisis, and even the LA riots of '92, I always turned to Brokaw, because I knew he would frame the story in a palatable way, and keep me calm. Even if the story gave me reason to lose my mind and panic, somehow Brokaw kept me in a good frame of mine, and caused me think. This may sound like I am being over dramatic, but it is true. And that's no slight to his other colleagues/competitors which were Dan Rather and Peter Jennings, I just always appreciated Brokaw's style more.

I think the only time I saw Brokaw lose his cool a bit was during 9/11, and even with that he gets a pass. I didn't see too many journalists keep their composure during that event, because not only was it happening quickly, but in many cases these journalists had lost friends and family like "regular" people. During several occasions, Brokaw's voice would crack and his eyes would water, and I knew that this country was in serious trouble, because even the great Tom Brokaw was visibly shaken.

Even Brokaw's replacement, Mr. Brian Williams has the traits and characteristics that made Brokaw great. He speaks in slow measured sentences, he's always on the verge of breaking into a smile without being smug, and he just has this look that says, "Yeah I know the news sucks, but at least I'm giving it to you in a nice way". That's from the Brokaw school of delivering news. BUT..

Meet the Press is not a show where calm attitudes and soothing voices are the way to go. Many times presidential candidates, senators, governors, etc are on the show to push their own agenda and to make you believe that they aren't lying about anything. Tim Russert was adept at cutting these people off, and getting them to stick to the point at hand. Not only that, be would dig up an audio clip of them contradicting themselves, just to show his guest at the time, that he was not be messed with. Tim was fair, but he was also very intense and quick on his feet. Brokaw has to realize that he has to step it up a bit in the intensity department, and he's still trying to be Joe Cool on Meet the Press, and it is a bad fit. At first I thought it was just me missing Russert, but after watching him this morning, I realize that he's just a bad fit. He's signed on until the November election, and then hopefully he'll be replaced. I have some replacement suggestions.

1)David Gregory. He's currently the Chief White House Correspondent for NBC, and he's highly respected. He can a bit goofy at times, but I blame that on the Today show environment. I think he would step and be serious for Meet the Press. Plus he's 6"7, and he can intimidate the hell out of everyone.

2)David Letterman. I know he's not the first name that comes to mind when you think of politics, but Dave is clearly no fool. And if you've ever watched him conduct an interview on his show, you know that he is a master at keeping his guests off balance and on their toes. If nothing else, it would be nice to laugh and learn on Sunday morning.

3) Dave Chappelle.. He has no job, so instantly that qualifies him. He's smart, he knows the issues, he's quick witted, and he would bring a unique perspective to the Meet the Press franchise. Plus he's unemployed

but yeah Brokaw must go.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

So last night they were playing a block of Mary J Blige videos on VH-1 Soul, and even though I have seen all of them, I was thoroughly entertained. But there was a glaring omission in this group of videos, and that was the one for Love No Limit. Now I do believe I have posted the song in this blog before, but yesterday gave me reason to post the video. So what do I like about this song?

1)Number one, its the closest thing to a jazz song she's every sung, with the Anita Baker-type scatting towards the end.
2)The Bobby Caldwell, "What You Won't Do For Love" sample
3)Unlike most of Mary's videos which are WAY over the top, this one is fairly simple. A night club, Mary, an admiring dude, and little else
4) She doesn't overextend herself vocally at all. She stays comfortably in her range and she hits all the high and low notes
5) Its a song I can see myself singing(or reciting)

So now, I present, Mary J. Blige, "Love No Limit":

Friday, July 25, 2008

It was one of those crowded, ass to elbow situations on the train this morning for some reason. Usually I just pass up the initial crowded train, in hopes that the next one is a little less crowded, thus decreasing my altercation opportunities. This morning? No such luck.

I skipped 2 trains, and when the third was crowded I just got on it. There were people all around me, but everyone was pretty much quiet and respecting each other's boundaries... except for one woman who was directly in front of me. This lady was hell bent on not only reading the paper, but spreading it out to the fullest extent. I tolerated it while she was just holding the paper. I even tolerated it when she grazed my face when she turned the page the first time. But when the second violation occurred, and I had a mouth full of Washington Post, enough was enough. I just gently brushed the newspaper off of my face, which magically caused her to drop the entire section of the newspaper she was reading (aka I forcibly snatched it to the ground). She clearly was in her own world, because SHE thought it was HER fault and she apologized, and I said "oh no you're fine", and then I smirked and went back to listening to my relaxing morning meditation. Again, I do not ask for these type of altercations..then again, I'm also not mature enough to walk away from them either. For the kids out there who are reading, I am sorry for letting you down. I won't promise to do better next time though.

I have bitched and moaned to you people about this crazy woman in my office who won't stop humming, and I haven't gotten many solutions as to how to handle this. My lady suggested headphones and I tried that, but it annoyed me that she got to hum all willy nilly, while I was confined to head phones, so I took them off. My solution? I played very profane music to combat her spiritual hummings if you will. The first time she kept humming..the other two times she was visibly appalled, and she stopped it completely. Today, there has been nothing but silence..then again I was 15 minutes late today, so we will see.

In just 3 short weeks I'll be on the sunny beaches of Miami, and none of this will matter one bit.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I watched less than a hour of CNN's, "Black in America" program last night, before I gave up on in it in favor of surfing on the Internet. I watched it because various friends and family suggested I do so, but I was a bit skeptical going in. I suspect Obama's surge from senator to presidential candidate to the top was the catalyst for such a show, but I could be wrong. I also suspect that more black than white people watched this show, which to me defeats the purpose. There were some very good moments in the show, like the ones that featured Roland Fryer, and then there were some moments like the woman with five kids, when I found myself wondering, "Ok what am I supposed to get out of this again?" It lacked focus, and the spoken word brother at the start of each segment just did not fit in with what was supposed to be a serious look at Black America. I'll watch it again tonight just to make sure last night wasn't an anomaly, but last night sucked big time. Or maybe my expectations were too high, who knows.

I would like to take this paragraph to slam and antagonize my brother, who rather than go out in the rain and thunderstorms last night to find food, decided to eat up my crabcakes. Let me tell you a bit about these crabcakes. I went out on Sunday morning to the farmers market down the street from my house, and I purchased some FRESH crabcakes that only needed to be cooked then eaten. They had been sitting in my refrigerator since then, because I had yet be hit by the mood to eat them. Last night, after a 2 hour session of playing ball, my brother was supposed to go back out and find dinner. But when the torrential rains came he got scared, and had to decided between ordering out and eating my crabcakes. Not only did this man eat BOTH my crabcakes and only offer me a sliver of a taste, but the smell of those tasty ass crabcakes is STILL in my house this morning. So now I have to wait until Sunday to get a taste..of crabcake that is. So thank you Jamal!!!!!!!!!!

I neglected to recognize that this week marks my second year of blogging. I appreciate each and every one of you. From the people who read and comment, to the nosy people, to the people who link my blog to the their page, and all of that. I threaten to stop and shut it down, but I like doing this, so I won't stop. But again, thank you very much. Its been quite an interesting two years.

My office mate has been humming hymnals like Mahalia Jackson the entire time I have been typing this entry. I need a nice way of shutting her up, because I'm two seconds from playing some Compton's Most Wanted

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

So yesterday I got to cover my first MAJOR press conference, which was called by the Washington Wizards to announce the re-signing of one Gilbert Arenas.. I had been to other smaller scale press conferences, but I knew that this one would attract media from all over the country, because Gilbert is indeed a megastar.

Because I was paranoid that I wouldn't get a decent spot at the press conference, I got there insanely early. I work about 5 minutes away from the Verizon Center, and I left my job at 11:30 for a press conference that started at 1pm. I rushed on the train, greeted the security folks, ran down the hall on to arrive to a room that was full decorated with no one in there but me:

So I took out little pen and pad, and started jotting down story ideas and introductions, while texting my lady about how excited and early I was to be at the press conference. On the actual court of the Verizon Center, the Washington Mystics were practicing so I briefly glanced at them. Eventually, writers, photographers, and other media started coming in, and I was glad I had gotten there early. One of my favorite bloggers sat directly next to me with his laptop, and we talked briefly.

Eventually Gilbert came out to rousing applause along with Abe Pollin (who curiously look like this guy), the head coach and the team president. The press conference was short and sweet, and although I didn't get to ask a question, I was able to get some fantastic quotes and audio. As I left the event, I did see Gilbert in the hallway, and I said hello and shook his hand, but that was it. Hopefully during the season, I'll be able to sit down and do an extensive interview with him.

I just wanted to share my experience yesterday. That's all I have. Oh and as usual, go here and read my article, as well as the other fine articles on that site.

Oh did you all see the catfight last night?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Despite the sweltering 90 plus degree temperatures yesterday, I decided to take my towel, my water and my basketball to the hot outdoor courts for a good workout. My plan was to stay out there for about an hour, do some individual drills to break a sweat, and then come home. While I was out there, there were two kids who were making themselves quite at home off in a corner. One kid was about 6"4 and looked to be around 17, and the other kid was about 6"0 , and he looked to be the same age. They should have been on the court with me, but instead they were finding joy in partaking in quite a different activity.

These guys were huddled up in the corner of the basketball court smoking the sticky green and I was not a happy camper at all. First of all, if I am trying to get a hard workout in, there is no way in the world I can keep doing my thing with THAT smell hovering over me like an umbrella. Second, as much as I was enjoying my time playing with myself(that's what she said), I could have used the competition on the court. And thirdly, there was a significant police presence both on foot and in cars, and I didn't want to be guilty by association..which brought up another moral dilemma.

Part of me wanted to go over there and tell the kids to roll out and go do their business elsewhere, because I was trying to work out. I can't say that would have been the smartest thing to do but it crossed my mind. Then yet another part of my mind wanted to tell them to go somewhere else because the police were all around us like the Matrix, but I had this fear that while I was down there talking to them, the police would jump out like this was The Wire, and we'd all get arrested. As unlikely as that story may seem to you, stranger things have been happening in DC lately. And then I wondered if I just ignored them, and then the police caught them, would they remember my face, and come back and hunt me down, No Country for Old Men style

Luckily for me, someone else came to shoot basketball up at the court, and they were shooting at a basket closer to the smokers. Problem solved. 10 minutes later, the two guys emerged from their cloud of purple haze, and they asked me and the other guy who was out there, if we wanted to play 2 on 2. Now at first I'm thinking to myself, how the hell are they going to play high..and then I realized certain people in a certain professional league have been doing it for years, so I quickly got rid of that thought. Anyway we played, the guy I was playing with was terrible and we lost a close game. Still, it was an interesting 90 minutes. I was still disappointed those high school kids were just getting high at 6pm on a Monday. I suppose I should accept the fact that these are the times we're living in, but I couldn't quite get comfortable with that. Then again, I didn't say anything either, so how bothered was I really?

On a side note, the other guy who was shooting around, had some G2 low calorie water that he was drinking after our game was over. I wanted to tell him that drink has lots of high fructose corn syrup and that my girlfriend, her sister, and other studies I have read, have told me that is bad for you, and that he should drink water. But I didn't want to lose the street cred I have worked so hard to attain, so I let him go down on his own.

Monday, July 21, 2008

About 5 or 6 times a year, there are stories publicized about an infant either missing or murdered. Sometimes the father commits the murder, sometimes the mother does it, and sometimes its just a mysterious mess that plays on through the media for months on end. The families of these victims always seem to make it on the news, and I feel sorry for them, because no one deserves to go through that. For days and days the story is covered, and each day, the family looks more and more worn down and sad. Sometimes they don't even want to be interviewed, but they don't want to prematurely stop what they've started either.

This weekend in a Northeast section of Washington DC called Trinidad, there was a shooting spree that left young and old residents dead and injured. It was so bad, that for the second time this year, the police department saw fit to have vigilant checkpoints in that neighborhood. You can't get in or out unless you have sufficient proof that you either live or have business in that neigborhood. Some residents have filed suit against the DC police department saying that this is unconstitutional and pointless. When the checkpoints are there, no violence goes down. As soon as the leave, the violence restarts.

Now I'm not saying that a baby disappearing or dying is less or more important that what's happening about 15 minutes away from my apartment in DC. But if I am producer for the Today show, or Good Morning American, or NBC Nightly News, and I am ratings hungry, don't you want to go for the more controversial, lesser heard story of what's going on in DC? Or do I want to go for the heart tugging story of a child murdered or missing? Or damn, why can't we give both equal shine? Perhaps I am being naive here, but I don't think so. I'd just like a different approach to the coverage of stories that's all. I think I'm making sense, and I don't think that's too much to ask. There seems to be a laziness and a lack of imagination in terms of how to cover and find news stories.

I refrained from introducing the racial element here, I'm sure you can read in between the lines.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sometimes you forget what real hip hop is..some people never knew was it was..and there are people like me who know exactly what it is and used to be, and they take great pride in pointing it out to anyone who will listen. I do get caught up watching videos and listening to the radio every now and then, I am utterly unimpressed with most of the garbage I hear. There are a few newer artists who tickle my fancy, and a few more older ones who continue to put out stellar work, but for the most part I am left feeling horribly shortchanged by these modern hip hop offerings. I find myself turning to jazz more, althought to be honest I will never completely abandon the art form I grew up with. So allow all those sentences to be the lead in to the video I am posting below.

This is real hip hop. No needless hooks. No entourage. No wasted motions or lyrics, and no one distorting their voice like they have throat cancer. Just Eric B and Rakim telling a cautionary tale from a New York rooftop, about someone who got a little too drunk with power. I'm sure you've heard this song before, but on this Sunday morning, sit back and listen to it again, and let Rakim minister to you. Its a great story that only takes 3 minutes and 53 seconds to tell. And as a bonus, you get to see old clips of the movie Juice

Saturday, July 19, 2008

We got to the theatre about 45 minutes early to see "The Dark Knight" yesterday, only to see there were people who had been line for 2 and a half hours. You'd have thought they were giving away iPhones or something. Once we got in the theater, there were people frantically running around trying to save seats for their friends, and I cannot tell you how annoyed I was, but I kept it together, despite having to constantly get up out of my aisle seat.

I rate the actual movie about a 7 out of 10. The action was great, the plot was great, and the acting was pretty damn good. Christian Bale was stoic as usual in his role as Batman, Morgan Freeman played his role well as always, and Michael Caine brought a certain level of class to the Alfred role. Heath Ledger was excellent as the villain, although I wouldn't go as far as to say he deserves an Oscar for his performance. But still he was diabolical and funny all at the same time. My only gripe is that the movie was way too long. The last 15 minutes or so were corny, and they seemed forced. But I'm nitpicking, overall it was good..except for one thing.

Maggie Gyllenhaal played Batman's and Harvey Dent's love interest and never has someone been so badly cast. Maggie is not attractive at all, her posture is bad, and she just looked like a fish out of water the whole movie. In the previous Batman, Katie Holmes played the female lead, and while she's not attractive to me either, she was still better than Maggie. In fact, I could think of about four women that could have played that role:

1)Jessica Alba
2)Jada Pinkett
3)Jennifer Aniston
4)Sanaa Lathan

If you've seen the movie, please weigh in here on the movie, but specifically, Maggie Gyllenhaal. I can't be the only who saw this atrocity.

Friday, July 18, 2008

So, in celebration of his monumental 30th birthday, my brother and I set foot in the strip club for an evening of nudity, drinks and ignorant behavior. It got old after about 20 minutes, but there were two instances worth writing about.

One, there are AKAs all around Washington DC as they celebrate their 100 year anniversary. While we were in the strip club, a group of 4 AKAs, all dressed up in their pink and green, set foot in the venue. They showed their IDs, and took two steps in, and realized that they had made a horrible mistake. Women were bouncing, spreading and shaking, and it was too much for them to take, and they bust out laughing, and high tailed it out of there. The drunken old man next to my brother and I kept saying, "man I WISH they'd come in here". Funny stuff.

The second thing I saw wasn't funny at all, in fact it was downright disgusting. One of the strippers was on stage dancing completely uninspired, then she had the nerve to go around to each of the patrons in attempt to collect extra money, and people were barely acknowledging her. My brother commented that in Atlanta, the women work hard for their money, and the dudes have no problem forking over the money. Clearly that wasn't the case with this lazy woman. And then, to make things worse, she got right off the stage, paid for her Chinese food that was being delivered, and she ate right there at the table. She didn't go in the back, she didn't put all her clothes on, she just sat there half naked, eating Chinese food..and then had the nerve to be pseudo-classy by using chopsticks. I mean at that point, she may as well have emptied all the little cartons in her mouth. As Seinfeld says, there's good naked and bad naked, and eating food, halfway clothed, while other women shake their ass for cash, and when you have to go back on stage in 20 minutes, is straight up nasty. My brother and I felt disrespected, and for that to happen in a strip club is QUITE a feat.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

I have a friend of mine who is in the throes of a painful breakup. From what I know, it isn't really any one's fault, they just broke up for whatever reason. I know about the ups and downs of their relationship, not because I saw them with my own eyes, but via her detailed, and very explicit blog. This week alone she has produced a higher volume of work than she has in quite some time, and I left a comment on her blog the other day, letting her know that she is proving my Mary J Blige theory to be correct.

It is my contention that Mary J Blige's, My Life CD is the best piece of work she has ever produced. Her first CD will always remind me of college, her most recent CD will always remind of David Gregory dancing, and I cherish those sentimental memories, but "My Life" is her best work to me. Why? Because she was in the midst of a very painful breakup, and in each and every song you could feel her pain and struggle. I didn't take pleasure in her hearing her pain at all, but I appreciate how she seemingly lost herself in her work to hide the very pain, that was so clearly evident in the songs. Even in the last song, "Be Happy", you could still feel that she was tired of struggling, and she was searching for happiness and everywhere.

Now Mary isn't as unhappy anymore, and while I still buy and support her music, I don't quite feel it as much. I love that she's happy, but a rich woman singing about everything is fine, causes more of a disconnect. I can't relate to that shit man. Now if she were singing about fine wine and sports, I could connect to that..but she doesn't. I connected to Mary J's "My Life" not necessarily because I had gone thru a bad breakup, but it was something that I had seen and caused, and it brought her down to a more palatable level. There's something sad and twisted about this logic, but so be it. When I want happy songs, I go to the Brand New Heavies or some group like that. I like my Mary miserable.

Now other artists like Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Alanis Morissette, Janis Joplin, and The Cure have done this same type of emotional recording and producing, but I chose Mary J because I have grown up with her work.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

One of the biggest side effects of my parents' sudden divorce 15 years ago, is not being able to say goodbye to the house. From 1987-1993, I lived in that house in Potomac, Maryland, which covered the ages of 12-18 for me. I did a lot of growing up in every way, and considering my family did so much moving around the country from birth to 12, Potomac was the closest feeling I had ever had to a home city. Then one day, while I was in college, I called home to speak to my separated parents and brother who I thought were still living there, and the phone was disconnected. My brother and my dad had moved to Cleveland, and my mother had moved to another suburb of Maryland. The house had been sold, the items had been moved out, and the things that had been in my room were boxed up. Some were in Cleveland with my dad, some were in Maryland with my mother, and some were just thrown out without me being consulted.

I remember I cried and cried the day I found out that move had gone down without me, and at first I thought it was related to the fact that the divorce was finally final. After all, my family was now split in two sections, which meant split holidays, hurt feelings, plane tickets, and ultimately neglecting a parent. But in hindsight, I realize that it had a lot to do with that house too. I would have liked to pack up my room, walk through the house to create my own last minute memories, and have my own closure that nobody but would be able to understand and process.

The reason I mention all this is I've been having vivid dreams about that house. The dreams are always the same too. I am usually walking around outside the house, trying not to look like creepy person, but that's exactly what I am. I admire the improvements the new inhabitants of the house have made, and like a puppy, I longingly look in the window hoping to get in there. Eventually I ring the doorbell of my old house, and then I wake up. It ALWAYS happens like that man. I never gain entry into the house, and I suppose that is symbolic. In real life, I have thought about doing just that, but I highly doubt that I would be allowed to just parade around some one's house like that. I need to let that part of my life go completely, but its hard letting something like that when you the closure you sought just ain't happening.

I think this entry is for me, I needed to get this out. Tomorrow I'll blog about what I was supposed to speak about today, which is "The Mary J Theory" and the new Nas cd. But this dream has stayed with me for so many years, I figured I'd finally write on it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My article on Etan Thomas
I am sitting in the CVS this morning, buying more of my dog food, when the song "Hip Hop" by Dead Prez comes blaring through my tiny ipod speakers with family friendly lyrics like:
"Who shot Biggie Smalls, if we don't get them, they gon' get us all
I'm down for running up on the crackas up in they City Hall"

Now I've mouthed those lyrics so many times over the 8 years that song has been out, its really no big deal to me. But when you are in store full of older black and white people, suddenly you become conscious of the lyrics you are rapping, mouthing and listening to. So instead of saying the words with faux anger, I just listened and smiled at the folks around me. That is what distinguishes me from kids 10-15 years my junior who walk around doing stuff like this:

I won't go into too much detail about that now famous New Yorker cover, because its not worth it. But I WILL mention that, it would have been way more funny to me, if the New Yorker had that exact same cover with McCain and his wife. I'm mildly offended at the current cover because of the racial element, but I am MORE offended as an aspiring comedian/satirist. The writers and editors at that paper went for the easy laugh, instead of digging deeper for something truly funny, yet still charged. McCain and his wife on the cover would have achieved that, plus it would have been totally unexpected. If I knew how to navigate photo shop, I'd make my own cover.

Monday, July 14, 2008

You want the key to living longer? It has little to do with eating right, or getting exercise or taking pills that you saw advertised on television. No my friends, I have unearthed the solution to living longer, which means this blog entry qualifies as breaking news.

The solution to living a long, fulfilling life is to get a job on the long running news magazine, 60 Minutes. As I watched yesterday, I realized how old some of these dudes were, so I decided to do a little research. Morley Safer is 77, Andy Rooney is 89(although he looks closer to McCain's age of 134), and Mike Wallace is the elder statesmen of the crew weighing in at age 90. Safer and Wallace still do above average interviews, and I still find myself wanting to see them. Rooney, who I consider the original blogger(via television), still has observations and commentary that is funny, although I will admit he misses more often than he connects these days

There isn't another show on television with 3 members well into senior citizen status, and holding it down the way they do. Of course, the late, great Ed Bradley died of leukemia at the age of 65, so that kind of messes up the numbers a bit. But still, you can't even find nursing homes or churches with a 77, an 89 and a 90 year old, let alone a weekly news program that still carries a sufficient amount of weight.

So continue working your current job, and I'd say around 55 or so, bone up that resume and apply to 60 minutes. Rumor has it, McCain is headed that way in November.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

There are these people protesting not too far from my apartment, and their premise is that Scientology is wrong. There are like 40 people out there with signs, costumes, and other props, and considering its about 90-95 degrees out there, that is some serious dedication. One of the guys came up and gave me the flyer you see above, and he came up to me and said, "Do you want to know why we're protesting Scientology?", and said "No, I just wanted to know why you were protesting." And he proceeded to tell me how wrong Scientology was and how it was a cult, and then I responded by telling him that he and his people were protesting on the EXACT spot where a biker was killed earlier this week, which just so happened to be in front of the Scientology church. He looked dumbfounded when I told him that, and then I just walked away laughing.

I don't know enough about the damn religion to speak on it passionately either way. But I am just as skeptical about people speaking out against a religion as I am those who are a little too gung-ho spreading it. People choose religion for their own personal reasons, and as wrong as it may be to me or anyone else, I can't just go around telling them their way is wrong. Perhaps there are some exceptions, but I can't think of them right now. Besides, all that protest did, is make me want to read more about Scientology, so I think I'll do that. If they have church services on Saturday, and not Sunday(aka football day), I may be worshipping next to John Travolta and Tom Cruise sometime soon.

By the way, its day two of this iPhone 3G business, and I STILL see lines everywhere. Now THAT is a cult, perhaps the Scientology protesters would like to tackle that one.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This morning, right across the street from where I sit right now, there is an AT&T store. Outside of that AT&T store, there are about 75-100 people waiting to get their hands on the new iPhone 3G, that comes out today. Considering I just got my little blackberry back in March, I am not exactly the most qualified person to be talking about phones and the like. My phone allows me to access the internets, talk to my family and friends, take dirty pictures, and occasionally shoot a dirty video. I mean what else could a man want? Apparently much more, because 90% of the people in line were men. Is it really that serious that you have to stand in line for this phone? The short list of things I would stand in line like that for are: 1)Michael Jackson tickets and..that's it, that's the list. I am quite sure my boy Kevin will have this phone within the next couple of weeks, and when he does, I'll look at his to see what the fuss is all about.

I mentioned here that a major biking accident happened basically across the street from my apartment. In the days since the accident there have been vigils for the slain biker by other bikers, and press conferences from some bikers' association saying that drivers need to be more cognizant of the bicycling community. That my friends is bullshit. Bikers play by their own rules. They want to be considered on par with cars and trucks, yet when it comes to obeying red lights, they instantly turn into kamikaze pilots, and they do what they want to do. You can't have it both ways man. Either ride on the street, and follow the rules of the cars, or stay your ass on the sidewalk. When you try to have it both ways, you get hit, simple as that. No one deserves to die, but you gotta put yourself in a position to live too.

The late Tupac Shakur had a line from his song "Against All Odds" that went as follows:

"All you old rappers trying to advance
its all over now, take it like a man
Ni***s looking like Larry Holmes flabby and sick, trying to player hate on my sh*t
can eat a fat d**k"

Now sure its a bit over the top, but hey that's what rap is with it. But when I heard Jesse Jackson's comment about Obama, I couldn't help but think about that 2pac line, especially since this isn't the first time Jesse has said some off the wall comment about Obama. The previous time, he accused Obama of "talking white", which is a sensitive issue for any black man. If Jesse had some pointed, well structured and thought out criticism, I would be all for listening to him. But when you speak out your ass, and off the cuff, and your star power is already waning, you just come off looking like Larry Holmes against Mike Tyson. A fallen star getting his ass kicked by a rising one. Damn if I didn't just feel like Keith Olbermann just now.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Yesterday while I was walking to work, I saw the above woman walking in front of me, and I paused when I saw the green boots. My first instinct was to look at the rest of her outfit for hints of green, and I saw nothing. Then, since they were clearly rain boots, I looked for a green umbrella, and I didn't see that either. As a last ditch effort I looked for an Eagles, Celtics or even a Michigan State University emblem but I saw none of those either. So at this point, I break out my camera phone, because I know this is not a normal occurrence.

There are plenty of aspects of women's fashion that I am clueless about, but sometimes they can be explained to me in detail and I'm ok. Before I had a girlfriend, my friend Faye would break it down for me and sometimes it made sense, and most times it didn't. Since then, my lady has taken over Faye's job, but I am still as clueless as ever about women's fashion, which isn't always a good thing for a straight man. I expect women to know enough about sports so that I don't have to explain each and every damn thing while I am trying to watch. So I need to achieve that same(or close to it) level of mastery in the fashion world. I don't have it at this moment.

Even now, my lady has a pair of red polka dot boots that I didn't initially like, but they grew on me. Red is an ok color, that you can ultimately justify anything going with, I think. But the green that the woman had on above, is just totally off and it doesn't match at all. Furthermore, why can women get away with such clear (or maybe not) fashion errors, and dudes cannot. This is racist.

Amy Winehouse - Round Midnight

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

A Tale of Two Foods.

Due to my cholesterol issues earlier this year, and my overall obsession with getting sexy and svelte for my trip to Miami next month, I have begun to eat a little healthier than I have in previous months. I have played around long enough, and its high time that I treat my body like the wonderland that it is. I usually would eat oatmeal for breakfast, because it is very good for your heart, and all that stuff, but when it is 80 degrees at 7am, oatmeal just isn't the way to go. So, last week I decided to invest in some Heart to Heart Cereal which is made by Kashii

I don't add any milk to this cereal, because that's just not my deal. I just pour some in a bowl, and eat it dry(pause). Now, the other day, I took a good look at cereal before I put it in my mouth, and I realized it looks just like dog or cat food. Don't get me wrong, it tastes terrific, its not too sweet, and it is way healthier than say, Frosted Flakes. But if I were to pour you a serving, let you eat a bit, and then say, "SURPRISE, its dog food", you would totally believe me then you would slay me. It has the same texture as pet food, the same look, and everything. But I keep eating it because I am now addicted just that quick. Plus if you look closely, they kind of look like Cheerios..except the hole is a bit smaller and tighter.

On the other side of the spectrum, we have this new product called Beneful which is made by Purina. Beneful is was made by folks who think it is important to make balanced and healthy meals even for dogs(Michael Vick clearly wasn't consulted). I don't know if it really works or not, but the dogs in the commercial look so damn happy, so something must be tickling their fancy. But if you take a closer look at this food, it looks way better than human food, and easily better than the Heart to Heart cereal I munch on every morning. I can see the meat and the gravy, and all that succulent stuff, and I can easily picture myself watching football, drinking wine, and enjoying a plate of Beneful with my lady on a Sunday night. It could happen.

So, I am going to conduct an experiment one day soon. I'll put a bowl of Heart to Heart cereal in front of a dog, and Beneful in front of someone who doesn't read this blog, and we shall we what happens. If I pull this off without getting attacked, it would be my biggest coup yet.

Grapevyne - Brownstone

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

This accident happened literally a block away from my house. Scary stuff man. And while nobody deserves to die, I can say that bikers in the DC area are very arrogant are the joggers and the walkers for that matter.. So if there is ANY silver lining to a story like this, its that folks need to be careful.
When you get a chance, check out my article on Mr. Gilbert Arenas. And while I'm at it, if you know anyone who is a basketball fan, please direct them over We are doing exciting stuff over there, and I'd hate for it to be in we're trying to get our numbers up. I sound like Jerry Lewis right now.

Ok, so I have a minor confession..I miss my old job. Don't get me wrong, I love my new boss, and the other gentleman who has been training me, and I actually like the work that I am going to be doing, especially the training aspect. Its the closest I can get to teaching, without having to do actually do it. But I do NOT like sharing an office with someone at all, and I definitely don't like the fact that at any moment I have to be held hostage by small talk. If it was small talk about sports, I would have no complaints, but I am living in fantasy land if I think that would happen. Instead, I get to hear nursing homes stories, medical procedure horror stories, and apologies for bodily function mishaps. As I have said before, its not that I am insensitive at all, its just at work certain things do not need to be discussed--and certainly not every damn day. At my old job I just had my non-deodorant wearing, no hair brush using, Alzheimer's patient in training intern, who at least provided comedic fodder for my blog, and even if he was only a seasonal pain in the ass. I suppose I need to grow up and shut up, but I wanted to vent a bit.

Rhetorical question: If Heath Ledger hadn't died, would I be hearing all these stories praising his role in the Dark Knight as the best villain ever? I know I shall find out for sure when the movie comes out, but the media sometimes does an excellent job of inflating some one's importance and accomplishments after they die. I've been hearing about Ledger's legendary performance since the day after he died, so my expectations are sky high at this point, as they are about the movie in general. They've come a long way in this Batman series since Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson.

My mind is all over the place this morning.

Your Body's Calling - R Kelly
This is actually the best song R. Kelly ever recorded in my humble opinion. The creepy factor was low, the music was good, and he was actually singing, and not sing/rapping like the kids and Kelly are currently doing. The sad part is there is a remix to this song, where R Kelly and 15 year old Aaliyah are singing back and forth about what they want to do to each other. Its pretty disgusting, and I refuse to post that song here in this family blog.

Monday, July 07, 2008

I still cannot understand why in 2008, grown men(mainly black) walk around with do-rags on their heads. I could add cornrows to that list, but that may be harsh. I saw at least 4 dudes on their way to work this morning in outfits that ranged from business casual, to 3 piece suits, and they all had black do-rags on and they just looked horrible. Around the house, cutting the grass and playing basketball are all good situations for a little do-rag action. But en route to work in the morning, while you're walking down the crowded DC street? I don't think so..and I have had arguments with other men, who say I am being close-minded, and you don't judge someone by their appearance. Well I'm judging baby, and I think it shows poor taste.

I woke up yesterday morning at 9am to watch the Federer/Nadal tennis final, but it didn't start right away, due to the rain. So I got up, went to the barbershop around 11am, and I got updates on the tennis match via my lady and my cellphone, but the match still hadn't ended because of rain delays. As I headed home about 4pm, the epic match was STILL going on, and I rushed to get home, because they were in the fifth and final set..which had been delayed by rain as well. So at around 4:15, my lady and I sat down, and watch that incredible fifth set. Nadal and Federer played the best tennis match that I have ever seen in my young 33 years. At one point, my heart was beating as if I was on the damn court, that's how intense it was. So when Nadal won, and fell out like this, I knew exactly how he was feeling..somehwat. If you missed it, it'll be on ESPN Classic tonight at 7pm. It'll just take you 4 hours to watch it.

I don't want to dislike my office mate..I really don't. Its just not in my nature. But if you see me typing and eating an apple at the same time, chances are sky high that I don't want to talk to you right this minute. I do want to hear about your weekend and your love for Golden Delicious Apples, but damn let me get settled, let me blog, let me check my work emails, let me have the big piece of chicken..

Its going to be a great Monday!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

It is the holiday weekend, and as a result I am feeling extremely lazy. I was supposed to get a haircut, and even take in a movie, but I decided to stay my ass in the house. This morning I watched Venus and Serena play in the Wimbledon final, and it was beautiful. Usually when they play, the quality of tennis is subpar, and they both appear to be too nervous to play. Today, the quality of tennis was simply beautiful, and I enjoyed watching every minute of their match. Venus won, and she was happy, but you could tell that despite her joy, she was not TOO happy that her victory came at her baby sister's expense.

So while I was watching, I thought about how I would feel if I played my brother at any sport on the highest stage. And I came to the conclusion, that if he and I were playing tennis at Wimbledon or in any other sport, I would try my hardest to whip his monkey ass. And if I won, I would jump and down and celebrate as hard as I could. Not only that, but during the match, if I was winning, I would yell all kind of rude things across the net, and I would talk some jive to make my brother mad. Its not that I don't love him the way Serena and Venus love each other, its just that my love wouldn't reveal itself unto him, until after I beat him savagely. And then during the awards ceremony, I would be classy, and give him all the props he deserved. Now if he beat me? I'd pout like a 10 year old.

So after Wimbledon, my lady and I just happen to find the movie Forget Paris on pay per view. It is a fantastic movie starring the hilarious Billy Crystal, and if you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it. So during the movie, I notice one of the characters has a highly recognizable voice, but I'm not quite sure where I know it from. Then, my lady told me that voice that I heard was that of Marge Simpson, who in real life is played by Julie Kavner. I have been watching this movie for 13 years, and I had no clue that was Marge Simpson's voice. So that alone is reason to rent that movie.

Sarah Mclachlan - Building A Mystery

Friday, July 04, 2008

If you're an aspiring comedian and you need some material, or if you just want to laugh your ass off at some unintentional comedy, tune into MSNBC today. They are having a 17 hour "To Catch A Predator" marathon, and it is absolutely great. Yes, I understand that grown ass men going after underaged kids is a serious subject that needs to be addressed. I also fully understand that this show has put many of these individuals in jail, and as saved many kids from life long trauma. Still, that being said, the show is hilarious, because these adults are just clueless as to how deep their sexual illness really is. I'm not doing a good job of selling this show..but still you should watch.

You should ALSO watch both the tennis finals coming on Saturday and Sunday. Tomorrow, Venus and fine ass Serena will play each other in the Wimbledon final. Then on Sunday, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer will play in a classic match, and then Venus and Serena will play again for the Wimbledon doubles final. Good times all around.

This is how our founding fathers would have wanted us to spend the holiday. Watch creepy people get caught doing illegal acts and watch two black women, a Spaniard and a Swede play tennis. God Bless America...and nowhere else.

Ginuwine - What's So Different?

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Here is a random youtube clip of my favorite scene from the movie Good Will Hunting...If I put this up before, get over it, its funny to me. The volume on it is low, so turn it way up

The arrogance of some men blows my mind sometimes. I saw this 450-500lb man walking down the street today with his gut hanging out all over the place. To make things worse, he was only about 5"6, so he basically looked like a male version of Aretha Franklin. As I walked towards him, there was an attractive woman in front of me, who had what we in the business like to call "large assets". I barely saw it because I was focused on my music, but Big Ruben not only fixated on this woman who looked to be a third of him, but he grabbed her arm and said, "hey baby can I talk to you for a minute?". It was at this point that I turned the volume down on my ipod, so I could hear what his game was like. The woman immediately grabbed her arm away from him, and said "Excuse you!", and started briskly walking away.

At this point, Big Gilbert stopped and watched this woman walk away, was like "goddamn she got a big ass". Then he tried to do the thing that men often do, which is involve me in his mess. There is always one jackass who sees something attractive, then tries to unify all the men in his presence to cosign, like he's Obama or something, which sometimes calls attention to the woman in question. Anyway, this guy looked at me, and said, "you saw that ass right?", but at this point I pretended to be all in my ipod, because I wanted no parts of his shenanigans. Everyone looks at everyone and there's no problem. But if you are going to ogle, grab, be borderline disrespectful, and stare like Serena Williams is buck naked in front of you, at least be in shape..please. That's my PSA for the day.

Speaking of Serena and Venus, I wish I was at home watching them play right now. They are thisclose to playing in the Wimbledon final.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Washington Wizards article
I had an extremely awkward moment this morning, as I left my apartment. I had a trash bag and a pizza box in my hand, and I had every intention of throwing them both in the dumpster on the side of my building. As I walked towards the dumpster, I noticed a homeless man meticulously going through the trash presumably looking for something to eat. He saw me walking towards him, and he said good morning, and I said the same. Normally when I throw the garbage away, I treat the trash like its a basketball, and I'm Michael Jordan, and I just shoot it in there not caring if it makes a lot of noise or possibly spills out into the dumpster. On this day, not only did I carefully put it in (that's what she said), but I put the trash way in the back, as to not disrupt the system that this homeless man had going. He seemed to notice my consideration, or so I thought so, and he said thank you. But what he was saying thank you to, was the fact that I was bringing him new trash to go through, and even smiled.

As I walked away, I felt totally guilty and even more inadequate. Should I have taken him the Starbucks down the street and bought him a real breakfast? Would I have been disrespecting his search for food, if I just gave him money? Should I have complimented him by saying his feet look just as jacked up as mine? I don't know what I should or could have done, but I don't think it was enough. I would just let this go, but as I have documented in earlier blog entries, I tend to get obsessed with learning and understanding certain homeless people, so this could turn into a project.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

So yesterday I took a later lunch at my job, because I was scheduled to cover a press conference that the Washington Wizards were giving. They were introducing their newest draft pick, Mr. JaVale McGee, to the media and possibly speak on any other future moves they may be making.

So as I headed to the arena, I was kicking around all kinds of story ideas, questions, and approaches I should take once I arrived, and I noticed a familiar looking man standing outside of a building in downtown DC. He was an older gentlemen who looked to be about 6'4 or so, and he was tearing up some baked chicken. I initially walked right by him, and then it hit me who it was. I walked back up to him, and the conversation went like this:

Me: I'm sorry to interrupt you, but you look very familiar
Him: I do huh? I don't owe you money do I?
Me: No..well yeah you do
*we both laugh*
Him: You aren't trying to pick me up are you?
Me: Nah, nothing like that brother
*only he laughs*
Me: No, I've seen you somewhere before
Him: Oh really? Where have you seen me?
Me: I'm ashamed to say this, but I saw you on Oprah a couple years back..aren't you Chris Gardner?
Him: I sure am brother, what's going on? Do you watch Oprah regularly?
Me: Only when someone special is on, or when my girlfriend makes me
*we both laugh again*

Now the whole time we are talking, he doesn't bother to slow down on his chicken eating, and frankly I don't blame him because it looked damn good. But I kept trying to leave him, and he kept telling me that I wasn't bothering him, and I could keep right on talking. He asked me what I did for a living and I told him I was govt contractor by day, and a writer by night. When I told him I was on my way to cover a press conference, he then began to ask me about McGee, the Wizards, and Agent Zero. He then shared with me that he was in town on business, but he loved DC, and would try to come back often. I mentioned the site I worked for, gave the man a forearm bump (he had chicken grease on his hands), and we went our separate ways.

For those of you who don't know who Chris Gardner is, he is the guy who the movie, The Pursuit of Happyness is based on, and its quite a moving and motivating me at least. I took my son to see the movie on Christmas Day 2006, and as a result, my son and I had a great convo afterwards. I didn't get a chance to share all I had to say with Mr. Gardner, so I went to Plan B.

I channeled my inner stalker, and found his website, then found a contact email address, and I emailed him. I mentioned the chicken he was tearing up, and I mentioned the conversation we were having, and how glad it was to meet him. Through my thorough research, I found out that he spoke at THE Hampton University(my alma mater), and his daughter went to that school, so I threw that in there too. Considering this man is worth upwards of $70 million, maybe he'll throw some change my way. But seriously, I would love to interview this man or something like that. You don't meet people like on the street for no reason you know?