Saturday, November 29, 2008

My brief interview with former New York Knicks center Patrick Ewing is here

Friday, November 28, 2008

Two noteworthy moments from physical therapy this morning

One, my instructor had me and my poor back bent in all kinds of positions in an effort to stretch it out. Before she put me in these positions, she would demonstrate how she wanted my body to be. I would watch her, then get into the position my damn self. Now I must tell you that my instructor is a woman in her late 40s, and although she's very much in shape, there just isn't anything attractive on her to me. So when she would hit some of these borderline raunchy positions, my mind would immediately go to how much I would love to put my lady in many of the positions. Well one time I think my mind went a little TOO far, and while I was sitting there thinking we had a bit of an erection situation jump off. I had to strategically position myself away from the instructor for several seconds, so she couldn't see that my nature had risen. She kept asking me what's wrong, and I just blamed it on a back spasm, and I stayed bent over for a bit. She kept coming over to me trying to give me a soothing position to stand in, and I kept shooing her away, until finally things were back to normal. Keep in mind I had on short and tshirt, so it would have been PLAINLY obvious that I was tenting. Crisis averted.

Second, my instructor was talking about how happy she was that Obama was in office, and then she stopped mid-sentence and said to me, "Now I assume you voted for Obama right?", and I asked her why she would assume that, and then she started tap dancing by saying, "Oh I just figured...ok maybe that was wrong..ok who did you vote for?" and I told her that was personal, and then there was an awkward silence. Now keep in my mind, my instructor is a lesbian, so I had already assumed that she was an Obama supporter, but I wouldn't ask out loud. I know that's ignorance more than its racism, but still it was a little annoying. But she was hooking my back so good, I didn't linger on it too long.

My hyperlink function isn't working today, but look to the right, and read my games notes from last night's Wizards game.
Right now it is 1:51 am, and I should be in the bed, considering I have a 8am physical therapy appointment, but I cannot sleep. Two hours ago, I left the Washington Wizards game. One hour ago, I finished writing my article based on the game, and I am still wound up. I will be sleeping alone tonight for the first time since June, and I am not looking forward to it at all. My lady is at her sister's house until tomorrow night, and I was over there my damn self, until I had to leave to cover the Wizards game. They ate dinner at 7pm, which was about 5 hours after I had already left. What did I have for Thanksgiving dinner? Boardwalk Fries and bottled water..but I digress.

When you sleep with someone as much as I sleep with my lady, it is absolutely impossible to sleep without that person. In fact, I think I am going to sleep on the couch tonight, instead of our bed, that's how serious it is. Now, by uttering that statement, I am quite sure I will subject myself to all kinds of scrutiny from my male friends, but you all can kiss my black ass twice. I am speaking from the heart right now, I miss my lady.

Anyway, its now officially Friday, but I will still give thanks. I am thankful for this blog, because this is what got me writing again, and this is what got me my gig for this site. I am thankful that my lady and I are still sane despite losing a baby just two months ago. I am thankful that my son is doing well in school. I am thankful that I have great friends. I am thankful that my family is doing well. I'll stop there, this a bit sappier than I care to be right this second.

If all goes my way, I'll have big ass flat screen, HD television tomorrow. And once I have it, all of my blog readers are invited to watch the Super Bowl at my house. Just bring wine.

This is the song that the Washington Wizards are introduced to, and I can't get the song out of my head. Actually, the Wizards only come out to Jay-Z's verse, so fast forward to the the 1:50 mark, and then when it gets to the 2:22 mark, sing "HOOOOOVAAAA" out loud like I've been doing all night.

And now, i'm going to sleep..on my couch

Oh, but before I go, let me send a big GFY to those people who incorporate rhetorical questions into their sentences. For example: Do I regret spending too much money? Yes. Will I probably do it again? Yes. That shit is annoying, and if you aren't going to let ME answer the question, then doesn't pose it. Just speak in the affirmative.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

There is an interesting dynamic going on between me and my main man Cliff. As I have mentioned before, I have known Cliff for over 21 years, and he and my main man Kevin (sorry I didn't call you back pimpin) are the best two male friends I have outside my brother. I talk to Kevin on the phone every now and then, but I definitely see him more than I see Cliff. Because Cliff is a pilot for FedEx, our conversation primarily goes down over the phone, I'd say once or twice a week. Our conversations consist of a complicated series of jokes and private lingo that it would take years to break down and explain to you mere mortals.

Anyway, Cliff is in Hong Kong for two years, so that means phone conversations are pretty much out of the question. He and I hadn't worked out how we were going to communicate at all, and we didn't see each other before he left, we just went on about our business. That's what male friends do. So imagine my surprise yesterday morning, when I received an email from Cliff. He had copied his closest friends and family about how good his trip was going, and all that jazz, and as much as I appreciated the email, I could not pass up the opportunity to tell playfully rib him. He then gave me the uncensored version of this trip thus far, and then we transitioned into a serious discussion about the economy..the same type of conversation we'd have on the phone.

If this were a female friend of mine or even my mother, she would have called me before she left and the conversation would go like this:

Her: So be sure to email, I'll email you as soon as I get there
Me: Ok
Her: Ok be sure to return my email because I won't be able to call you
Me: Ok
Her: Now you're going to email me right?

With your boys, no such red tape is presented. Good times!

By the way, I am going to call my brother out, for showing up to the Washington Wizards game last night at the start of the 2nd quarter, and then leaving before the 4th quarter started to go drink. How can you be related to me, and just disrespect the sport of basketball like that? Shame on you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Every year around this time my parents lobby for my services during Thanksgiving. My mother uses the direct approach by asking, "Are you coming with me to Cleveland for Thanksgiving?" and my father uses the cool, subtle approach by asking, "So um, what are your Thanksgiving plans?" and then once he hears my answer, he says, "Oh ok that should be fun...I'll just be hanging around". I love both my parents dearly, but they can both kiss my ass this year. I'm going to lady's sister's house during the day, and then at night I have a Wizards game to cover. If my parents question me, I'll say, "This is the year you all's divorce bites you in the ass". Holidays are depressing enough without hearing your parents grovel for your attention. And what's good about me anyway? All I do is eat, watch football, nod on the couch and then leave. That's not exciting.

So it looks like I'll be doing Yoga after this physical therapy for my back is over. I've always heard how good yoga is for posture, for mental health and all that jazz, but I usually blow it off and say its feminine. But I read up on it last night, and it definitely looks like it will be helpful. But here's the quandary I may find myself in while I'm trying to heal my back. Do I want to be in yoga class with mostly men? Do we high five when we hold a particular position successfully or go out for beer and celery afterwards? Do I call him up before class and say, "Man, are you going to yoga today?" Or do I want a class with mostly women who are parading their T&A everywhere, threatening to cause my lady to withhold or withdraw the lovin? Perhaps I'm overthinking here. My health is the key here, so that should be all that matters...but its my job to overthink.

Read my article that I linked to below.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Washington Wizards fire Eddie Jordan
I was telling my lady before she left for work this morning, that I feel guilty for calling off work, particularly on a Monday. So many people are just tired and lazy, and calling off is the easy thing to do, and I usually avoid it like the plague. But the combination of sitting on a bar stool too long on Saturday night, with my already bad back, made yesterday and last night absolutely miserable. I couldn't find a comfortable sleeping position, the drugs I have here aren't strong enough, I have muscle relaxers here at my disposal, but I am scared to take those because of the side effects. The heating pad made my back feel great, but you can go to sleep with one of those on your back, so I got about an hour of sleep. I told myself I'd wake up, see how my back felt, and assess whether I would go in today. I woke up at 8, the back is still jacked up, so here I am with heating pad in tow, chilling on the couch. I have my initial physical therapy session on Wednesday, and my doctor seems to think that is the answer. My father suggested acupuncture, but whenever I think of that I think of that creepy hellraiser guy..

The worst part about this? I was just getting a bit of momentum with my workouts and all that, and now I'm grounded...again. Anyone have some lower back pain remedies?

Incognito - Shade of Blue

Sunday, November 23, 2008

So my lady and I are still going back and forth on whether to rent our place out during Inauguration Week. At first, the money was driving my decision, then the thought of strangers parading around my stuff and my space irritated me, then I thought it would be perfect to go out of town for my birthday, and to let someone stay here. Then I talked to my dad last night, and he attempted to scare me away from this idea by telling me about the numerous scammers and con-artists that would use this occasion to rob folks blind. But this morning on craigslist, I see people who live right near me, charging as much as $2000 for just a few days. There are even people who are sweetening the deal by offering their guests free transportation to and from the airport. This has caused me to re-open negotiations with myself and my lady regarding this temporary rental. I think a list of pros and cons is in order to help me out...this won't be the last time I write about this.

Yesterday, while my lady and I were out enjoying dinner and wine, there was a woman sitting right next to us who works at the Grooming Lounge. One of the bartenders inquired about some of the services they have there, and it was quite impressive. A haircut, beard trim, nail trim and buff, massages, facials and all that. And to top it off, there is a free open bar that is available before, during and after you get served. Now in the past, something like this always seemed to be a bit on on the effeminate side, just because guys don't typically do this. We work hard to find a decent barber in a semi-grimy location, and that barber does cuts our hair ,and trims our beard. Then for the massages and the nail work, we just get our significant other to handle those things for us free of charge. Oddly the massages start at massages, then go to handjobs, then end up in full blown sex..funny how that happens. I digress.. Now, there's a place that will handle all of these chores, and they will get you liquored up to boot. Good times. I'm sure at least one of the 3 men who read this blog have been before, so do share you experience.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Just random thoughts:

-When adults look at young kids, and say stuff like, "He/She is going to be a cute one when she gets older or "he's going to break some hearts", isn't that just a borderline creepy way of them sizing up the child?

-Last night, our Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, collapsed during a speech and was rushed to the hospital. The ambulance and the detail assigned to him, zoomed past my apartment last night around 11pm or so, although at the time my lady and I thought it was Dick Cheney being rushed to the hospital, since he frequently goes by my apartment too. I know its a bit morbid to speculate on who is in ambulances that zoom by your house, but hey, we thought it was cool. And the Attorney General's health is improved this morning.

-Tonight's Wizards/Rockets game will be on national televised by ESPN. So if you see me on tv, come back here and let me know. I'll have an orange shirt on.

-Now that I think about it, this entry was a bit too raunchy and I apologize for putting my own personal business out there. No one cares about the good head I get and what agents are used to enhance it. And if you do, then you're a creepy bastard.

-This video I am getting ready to post, is the first time I realized that my crush on Janet Jackson was very real. My favorite part of the video is at the 4:02 mark or so, when she spins and drops her right leg, right on beat. And yes I can do that move upon request on beat as well.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When I was 24, and I was just getting started in the world of contracting, a boss of mine clued me in as to how the world of government contracts works. She said a company will bid for the government's money, and then attempt to dazzle them with charts, resumes and promises to do everything short of resurrecting Jesus. Then, once this company actually gets the money things change drastically. Assuming this company was awarded $55 million from the government to do something, this is how the money is actually spent:

$1 million - used to set up a call center
$3 million - used to staff the entire call center from manager all the way down to college grad manning the phones
$17 million - used for the salaries phantom jobs of project director, project manager, assistant to project manager, etc
$34 million - goes to the company(aka the CEO, the VP, and the mafia family backing the company)

Yes I have peppered quite a bit of hyperbole in there, but you get the point. Occasionally the government will be vigilant about tracking exactly how their money was spent, but sometimes they simply don't care, and it adds up to plenty of money stolen.

I mention this because for some reason, I think the "Big 3" auto companies, are looking to get paid like this with the bailout they are requesting. Now don't get me wrong, I have friends who live in Detroit, who say things are pretty bleak up there where the auto industry is concerned. But these people also say things had taken a turn for the worse way before the country was ensconced in this recession. Some of these CEOs are crying broke, yet individually, still doing things that would indicate that things are still on the up and up(whatever that means). As Rep. Capuano from Massachusetts said, "My fear is that you're going to take the money, and continue the same stupid decisions you made for 25 years". That pretty much sums up my fear too...I am fearful that so many companies will take the bailout, and then the higher ups within each company will insure that they can get paid, and then bail, which will solve nothing. I know this is highly cynical, but shit, given what's going on around the world, black president or not, how you can not be?

I've solved nothing here, then again, I don't thing I was trying to, I was just attempting to make sense of this in my own little way. If someone smarter than I am is reading this, please feel free to jump in...

Out of Touch - Hall and Oates

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

That's what she said:
So yesterday I sat here and speculated about who I would scream for in a concert setting and the list was relatively small. So who do I see at last night's Washington Wizards game? Serena Effing Williams. Halfway through the second quarter of the game, they flashed her face on the jumbo screen, and every dude(except me) in the arena broke their neck to see where she was sitting. She was about 7 rows away from and I saw her sitting down, and due to my aching back, and the fact that I was typing notes for the game, I was surprisingly subdued. But man, if I was just at the game as a spectator...and to my beautiful lady, who is reading this, you owe me one after you screaming display at the Maxwell show. And yes I am keeping score.

I don't know why I haven't had a whole lot to say recently...perhaps I am losing my blog mojo....

Jamiroquai - Space Cowboy

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

So, last night's concert was absolutely great. Jazmine Sullivan kicked things off with her set, and even though I don't really know any of her songs, she convinced me to buy her cd. Her voice is strong and full of emotion, and I forgave her for throwing in the typical man-hating song. At no point during her set did I feel bored or disinterested. Still, I was happy when Maxwell came on the stage.

Unlike Erykah Badu who kept the crowd waiting an hour after the opening act performed during her show, Maxwell was onstage in about 15 minutes. As a straight man, I can say that he looked smooth, and he sounded even better. His voice is even stronger in person than it is on cd, and he didn't overdo it with the theatrics and the dancing. It was just a solid R&B concert, and it was money well spent.

As I watched my lady screaming for Maxwell, I started to think about who the female singer is who could make me stand up and scream...and I couldn't think of one. I may look at Janet or Beyonce with some binoculars or something, but standing up and screaming. I sincerely doubt it. I think I would stand and scream for Michael Jackson though. Yeah I said it.

My back is hurting and I am STILL in vacation mode, so I'm not terribly inspired right now..

Monday, November 17, 2008

Today is the last day of my vacation. I'll be going to the Maxwell concert tonight, so I shall have a more detailed entry tomorrow. Until then..

Bobby McFerrin - Thinkin About Your Body

Sunday, November 16, 2008

I highly recommend this gel. Don't ask me how I know, just trust me. God bless vacations.

So first and foremost, let me say that we now have washcloths. This morning, we went to the owners of the bed and breakfast, and let them know that we were without washcloths, and they graciously corrected the error. Thank God.

This morning, at 8:30am, the people who owned this establishment served breakfast. My lady had to convince me to get up that early and engage the other people who were to be eating breakfast too. Once we got downstairs, there was another couple from Amish town Pennsylvania, and a therapist from New York who was here alone to get away from her life and her boyfriend. All five of us sat down at the kitchen table at 8:30am, and shared a breakfast of egg quiche, cinnamon rolls, bacon, fruit and tea. The conversation ranged from, "How did you meet?" to "What are you all doing today?" to "What do you do?" My lady was right in her element, but I was REACHING big time to come up with conversation. I do not like communal situations AT ALL, and when you combine an early breakfast time with my disdain for people, you have a bad situation. I made the most of it, but damn. Now, we have to do this again tomorrow, or risk being looked at as outcasts.

I also would like to report, that I survived a day of outlet shopping. I bought outfits for work, outfits for the weekend, and tomorrow, I plan on buying some dress shoes and some clothes to work out in. Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I'd be shopping and loving it so much. A couple times, I had to look at myself in the mirror and make sure I did not have a touch of the ghey. So, if you see me in DC next week, compliment me on my outfit, because chances are, I'll have on some new outlet gear. Good times!!!

Whatever It Takes - Anita Baker

Saturday, November 15, 2008

My lady and I decided to go to a Bed and Breakfast this weekend, due to the rough month and a half we've had. I would tell you where we are, but we both have some stalkers out there, who could possibly hunt us down.

In this bed and breakfast, they have a fireplace, a kitchen, a flat screen, a very nice elevated bed, a fridge by the bed, and other things. We met the couple who owns it when we got here, and they are nice as well. They bought this huge house, quit their job in May, and decided to devote all of their time to this bed and breakfast. There is only one problem with this room...there are no washcloths.

There are towels to dry off with, towels to put on the floor post-shower, but no wash cloths. Even hotels give you at least 4 or 5 washcloths, but apparently not this bed and breakfast. Washcloths are vital to my cleaning process..I could explain why, but that's just nasty. The point is, by the time we realize we were operating under a washcloth free environment, it was too late to ask for any. First thing in the morning, we will handle this oversight.

My feelings about this can best be summed up by the fictional character Leonard Washington from the Chappelle Show. Fast forward this video to the 6:50 mark
Blinkx Video: Chappelle's Show: Trading Spouses

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The late Ralph Wiley was one of my favorite writers EVER. If you are unfamiliar with his work, go here to see some of his books, and go here to read a sample article of his. He died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 2004, and so many events have come and gone since then, and for each of them, I wish he was still alive. He'd love to how LeBron James has blossomed, or how Obama was president, or how O.J. Simpson had finally gone to jail. Why do I bring him up now?

I have had the pleasure of befriending his son Cole, who is an up and coming film maker. Cole has a lot of his father in him, and he also unique qualities that his father did not have but probably instilled in him. Cole did some editing for Spike Lee's film, Miracle at St. Anna, and the trailer I am posting below, is from his upcoming movie. So look out for the young brother and read his father's work.

And yes, I have broken my own personal record, by having 3 entries in one day. I'm going on a weekend vacation tomorrow, so i'm getting it all out.

By the Numbers - Cole Wiley
The Wizards finally won!!!
Earlier this week, the normally apolitical Tiger Woods, came out and praised the election of Barack Obama. This was quite a shock to me, because up until now, Tiger had chosen to take the Michael Jordan approach to politics which was to shun it at all costs. So the fact that Tiger would even listen to a question like that, let alone answer it with eloquence, was a monumental event.

In his praise of Obama, Tiger used words like "person of color" and "multiracial", which makes perfect sense since Tiger too falls under that category. On a message board that I frequent, several people started severely criticizing Tiger. They said that he refuses to acknowledge that he is black, they called him a sellout, and they just slammed him as if he had done something wrong, and that offended me deeply. Tiger's late father was black, and his living mother is Thai. We all know that the public perception is that he is 100% black, but in Tiger's mind he has to keep that biracial tag firmly around his neck, as to not disrespect the heritage of either parent.

I guess I am bit sensitive to this issue since my 11 year old son is biracial. When we had the race talk, I explained to him that most people would look at him as being black. I also explained to him that sometimes, the prize for being perceived that way, is a bunch of insults reserved for black people and he said he understood. And then he said to me, "But Daddy I am both right? You're black and mommy's white?". Of course the militant side of me wanted to be like, "Hell no you ain't both, you're black", but that's just not realistic. I told he was bi-racial, but he needed to at least know that to many people that didn't matter and he understood...I think. Its a subject we have to visit continually, because his mother and stepfather say NOTHING on the issue, which is not at all surprising.

I say all this to say, I understand why Tiger doesn't come out and say he's black. I understand why Barack didn't call himself black during his acceptance speech, and I intimately understand my son's line of thought. Whether I agree with them or not is really not the issue. I would just want all of them to respect my views and I'd do the same for them. I don't know how popular my opinion will be, and I certainly will be happy to engage in a dialogue via the comment section. But if it gets disrespectful, a GFY is coming your way.

And now, the teacher will begin to speak:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Did you know my Washington Wizards are the only team without a win in the NBA?

Did you know that I wrote an article? Can you read it please?

Also, if you live in the DC area and you've gone to a physical therapist before, would you mind recommending one for me please? I'd prefer one that's in Northwest DC. My lower back is giving me problems again, and my doctor recommended I go a physical therapist, but all his referrals were in Maryland, which is not close enough to my home or my job. And what good is a blog if I can't get some recommendations right?

I don't have a lot to say today..lots on my mind, and little of it is fit for public viewing.

Phyllis Hyman - What You Won't Do For Love
it isn't the best quality of video, but I still dug it

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So last night my lady and I were watching the 200th episode of Inside the Actor's Studio with James Lipton and Dave Chappelle. This has been one of my favorite shows over the past 14 years, and Chappelle is definitely one of my favorite comedians, so I tuned in because I knew I was going to laugh. Not only was I tuned in intently, but I shunned the first half of Monday Night Football to see this show, so you KNOW that's serious.

But there was one moment during the show that was not funny at all, and it stayed with me all night and this morning too. The show was filled with clips from older shows, and one of these clips featured actor Gene Hackman. James Lipton asked him to discuss the circumstances surrounding around his father's departure, and Hackman calmly began to talk. He mentioned that he was outside playing with friends, and his father drove by and kind of waved nonchalantly, and it wasn't until later that he realize that was going to be the last time he ever saw his father. Then, out of nowhere, Hackman had to stop talking because the tears were coming, and he was trying desperately to stop them. Once he had semi-composed himself, he joked around and said, "It's only been 65 years". And THAT is what struck me. 65 years later, his lack of a father, still affects him. That is deep.

In my lifetime I have dated women without fathers, I have good male friends without fathers, and I have even watched my father go through his older years without the benefit of his father's presence, and it is a lot like having a venereal disease(it sounds bad, but bear with me). You can manage the effects, minimize the pain, and on some days you can even forget that its there, but you will never, even shake it completely, and watching Hackman brought that home for me. I am lucky that my father has been a part of my life for all of my 33 years on this earth. And even now, if he was no longer a part of my life, I would be absolutely devastated.

This was meant to be a father appreciation, but I have no idea whether its coming off that way..oh well.

I'm off today, and I have no idea what to do with myself. My doctor's appointment was cancelled, I was supposed to have lunch with dad and my boy Kevin, but I've heard from no one, so I'm sitting here in my living room, in my drawers. Good times. Perhaps I'll watch an episode of Californication now.

Lalah Hathaway and Marcus Miller - When Your Life Was Low

Monday, November 10, 2008

The latest craze in the Washington DC area is people renting out their homes and apartments to out of towners coming here for the January 20th inauguration. My lady and I giving serious thought to getting on board and doing just that, depending how much money we can get. On one side I feel badly for thinking about getting paid, rather than attending Barack Obama's festivities, because I know it will be an historic moment. People off all races will gather, be inspired, feel like one, and all that other good stuff, and I am sure I'd get up in that moment as well...BUT

I hate crowds, I hate people all in my face, and I had not being able to leave when I am ready, and by attending his ceremony, I would surely have to deal with all three, and frankly I am not sure I am ready to taken that far out of comfort zone. Second, not only will have inauguration day (my birthday) off of work, but the previous day is Martin Luther King Day, so we're looking at a four day weekend situation. We could rent out place out, go on a wonderful vacation, and break even financially. Its a win win. We could be somewhere on the beach, appreciating Obama's historic moment, and I gotta tell you, I wouldn't feel badly about it AT ALL. But nothing is final right now.

Not a good sports weekend. There was the flag football fiasco on Saturday morning. Then one of my favorite boxers ever got his ass kicked in what SHOULD be his last fight on Saturday night. And finally my Eagles lost to the Giants last night on national tv. And for good measure, I'll throw in the fact that my beloved Washington Wizards are winless.

'Round Midnight - Ledisi

Saturday, November 08, 2008

I do believe I was the victim of discrimination about two hours ago. I just played a flag football for an hour, and not ONCE was I thrown to. I went deep, I went short, I went intermidate, and the our quarterback (who was black) would look at me briefly, then throw to someone else. Sometime that other person was wide open, other times he seemed to be forcing the ball. At least 3 times I went up to him after a play, and said, "Man they are leaving my side wide open", and he did not throw my way. Even two of my teammates commented to me how wide open I was, but still, no catches, no throws my way. So now my mind is working overtime to figure out why he shunned me. I played one game back in September, and then I quit the team because my lady was having pregnancy issues. Then I came back for today's playoff game, and maybe he resented that..who knows. All I know is I got up good and early for this game, and the hardest I worked was when I did sprints prior to the game. Sons of bitches.

I did much better in my second game covering the Wizards. I'm not grading myself this time, I just felt better. Read all about it here.

Rachelle Ferrell - Waiting (live)

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm 100% sure that I have written about this particular subject before, but given what has happened to me in the last 12 hours, I clearly have to revisit it.

There is a list of things that men cannot do together. I don't make these rules, I never got a memo explaining this things to me, there is no rules coordinator, they are just rules that were magically instilled in my brain and I adhere to them whether I like them or not. As men we don't watch Oprah without a woman somewhere in the house, we don't sit next to each other at the movies, we don't call each other and say happy birthday without saying "man" afterwards, and we don't go to the men's dressing room together. There are others but you get the point.

So yesterday, my father sent me an email about how excited he was that our next President is a Columbia University grad just like he is. I sent him an email right back, letting him know that a Hampton University grad was next, and then he did the unthinkable. When my father sent me an email back, he said, "The sky's the limit", and then he put a smiley face after that sentence. Now, I understand my father is almost 60 years old, and he might not be fully educated on the rules of engagement when it comes to trading emails with another man, so I can somewhat give him the benefit of the doubt. I also understand that 90% of my correspondence with him takes place over the phone and in person, but a smiley face? Really? As my boy Cliff said, if he's sending this to me, who else is he sending smiley face's too, and how much sex and respect has this cost him this year alone? I expect and welcome this behavior from my mother, but not from the man who continues to teach me how to be a man.

I didn't respond to the email he sent me, because I am verklempt and shell shocked. I want to call and make fun of him, but I don't want to hurt his feelings..then again, I have spent several paragraphs clowning him here, so why stop there? Something must be done though. By the way, the exchange wasn't all bad. The "sky's the limit" reference he made was pretty funny, and it references an exchange between the media and basketball player Micheal Ray Richardson(yes he spelled Micheal that way). Anyway, the Knicks were in a particularly putrid stretch and a reporter asked him this:

REPORTER: What do you think is happening to the team?
RICHARDSON: The ship be sinking.
REPORTER: How far can it sink?
RICHARDSON: Sky's the limit.

Even 25 years later, that is hilarious to me. So my Dad gets major props for referencing this, but that were IMMEDIATELY nullified with that smiley face...

(You Caught Me) Smilin - Sly and the Family Stone

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Did you ever wonder what Prince was saying at the end of Darling Nikki? Do you like creepy sounding things? Then watch this and kill two birds with one stone. You can thank me for the nightmares later.

Yesterday while I was on my way to work, I saw three girls and one boy running down the street. They were black, they all had uniforms on, and they seemed to be in the junior high age group. Each of them had a newspaper in their hand, and they were running down the street screaming, "We won, We won, Obama won" as they ran past me. I had mixed emotions about this. On one hand, I admire their enthusiasm, because this COULD quite possibly be the first election they have paid attention to, and if they are inspired in some way, shape or form by Obama's victory, then that is great Perhaps they'll even get into student government or something en route to a political career. I just hope a parent or a teacher explains EVERYTHING to these kids. They need to know the struggle it took to get to this point, they need to understand how Obama won, why he won, and then they need to realize the daunting task ahead. And this isn't an effort to shoot the kids down at all, but if they are old enough to run around with newspapers in their hand, they are certainly old enough to get full detailed explanation. And there are some adults who could stand to receive that lesson too.

Speaking of newspapers, they need to start make newspaper machines that accept dollar bills. On may walk to work to yesterday, I saw at least 5 or 6 machines FULL of newspapers but all I had in my pocket were dollar bills, and since I thought I might be late, I did not stop in a deli, the drug store, or Starbucks to pick one up. I figured I'd be able to get on after work, but clearly I was mistaken. Stores and newspaper machines alike were BONE dry yesterday. In fact, even when the Washington Post announced they were reprinting this special edition, I still couldn't find one. Finally, I went out about 8pm to a corner store, and they had ONE more paper that the owner was nice enough to give me. Personally, I think the newspaper edition that comes out January 20th is way more important but that's just me.

One more thing about newspapers. They were dying a slow death until yesterday, when suddenly Obama's victory gave them a serious shot in the arm. In fact, they need to give the Obama family a percentage of their sales yesterday. We'll see if they can maintain their momentum until inauguration. You see my friends, as good as internets is on a day to day basis, it won't be fun 40 years from now, to get on the computer, pull up the Washington Post archives, and show your kids and grand kids the "Obama-won-the presidency" electronic edition of the paper. But if you have hard, laminated copy to pull out, it just makes things that much more me at least.

Oh and its not too late to read my article from yesterday.

The song that about to link below came on my ipod this morning during my run, and I was so inspired that I started running, harder, better, faster and stronger.. Oh, and PLEASE don't blast this song if you're at work. It is totally inappropriate and yes its a bit misogynist, but damn if it isn't effective when you're running.

Xxplosive - Dr. Dre featuring Kurupt, Nate Dogg and Six Two

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election night observations:

1) I saw two men, Juan Williams and Jesse Jackson, barely control their emotions last night as they watched things unfold. One has written extensively about the Civil Rights Movement and the struggle, while the other actively participated in it. Juan Williams was on Fox News talking about the significance of this moment, and his voice cracked more than a few times. Jesse Jackson stood seemingly alone in a sea of Obama supporters, and was weeping uncontrollably in what he probably thought was a private moment, but of course the cameras caught. I've had the pleasure of meeting both men in my life time, and I was really wishing I could be around them. Not so much as a proud black man, but as a writer who would love to get their raw emotions..besides the crying of course. I saw Roland Martin from CNN crying too, but his writing sucks, so I wasn't as moved.

2) Both my parents were crying on the phone when they called me. My mother is always crying these days, so that's not that big, but I have NEVER seen or heard my dad cry before, so this was huge. He cried at his dad's funeral, but I was way too young to remember that. He didn't even cry at my grandmother's funeral, but last night's moment had him doing just that. He explained to me that in 1968, his senior year of college, he was depressed by the murder of MLK, RFK, and just the overall state of race relations. Now 40 years later he was seeing this. Then, after he was done crying, he said to me, that Barack has LOTS of work to do, and he better celebrate quickly, then get to planning.

3) My voting experience was pretty uneventful. I left work at 4, got to the polls around 4:30, waited in line about 45 minutes, then I was out. If I was a camera person, I would have taken pictures and written snazzy captions under each like my friend Nichole, but I dropped the ball on that one. I had my headphones on, and I was listening to a sports podcast.

4) My lady's sister had to call my lady and I and tell us that Obama won. In an effort to avoid the exhausting coverage, we were watching the Rockets/Celtics basketball game Real Housewives of Atlanta(yet another show, my lady has successfully reeled me in on). Every now and then we'd turn to CNN to see the electoral college votes, then we'd switch back. Talk about stimulus overload...

5) One of best and favorite articles I've written for Hoops Addict is now on the site, but due to this Obama juggernaut, I doubt many folks will read it, which I understand, but selfishly speaking it sucks.

6) I would like to extend a personal thank you and middle finger to the jackasses in my neighborhood who drove around honking their horns at 2 and 3 in the morning. I can understand someone drinking champagne last night, or going to a party and getting smashed. But grown folks driving around the streets honking their horns in the middle of the night like NY cab drivers? That's just ridiculous, and it kept me up way longer than necessary.

7)John McCain gave a very eloquent concession speech last night, and he took the high road with Denny Green, when he really didn't have to. But during McCain's speech people were openly booing and cutting him off to chant his name, and McCain was visibly frustrated at this. I felt bad for McCain last night. Up until last year, Republicans, Democrats and Independents all loved McCain for his ability to bring folks together to talk about and solve problems. Now, he is basically the Craig Ehlo to Obama's Jordan, and he'll probably fade into Bolivian. Or perhaps Obama will reach out to him for help..who knows.

7) And last and certainly not least my friends, we will swear in a new president on my birthday son. That means that each and every one of you owe me not only a gift at that point, but a presidential one. Let's make it count people.
There will be time to criticize Obama, there will be time to wonder if he'll make good on all the promises he made, and all that jazz. But today, I'll just appreciate what I'm seeing right now. My father called me just a few minutes ago, and he could hardly hold back his tears. THAT is my barometer for how serious and big this moment is..

So congrats to Barack, Biden and their respective families. And if you all are looking for a writer to document your first 100 days, or your first term, just give me a call...

Cherish the Day - Sade

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

How do you know whether you are really in love or not? It is based on a little something I like to call, "recovery time".

Whenever you argue with someone, first there is an internal decision making process. First you decide whether this is an argument worth pursuing, then you think about your tactic during this argument, and then you go in. There is usually arguing, pointing, excitable body language, and sometimes there may even be a little cursing. Neither side really intends to be mean and nasty, they are simply trying to win this argument. Then, after the emotions are emptied, and the points have somewhat been made there is separation time. You've said your piece, and now you want a little bit of space from this person, so you don't murder them and say something you will regret. The time in between this space you take, and when you start taking strides to repair things is called recovery time.

Now, when you are with someone who you don't really care about, that recovery time can took a good three or four days. You will give that person the silent treatment, slam doors and cupboards when they are around, and answer every question with, "its whatever", "do what you want" and " I don't care". Your intent here isn't to make things right with the person, your intent is to hold out and be angry until they give in and apologize first.

But when you are really in love and an you really care about the person, that recovery time is substantially shorter. As soon as the argument is over you start thinking about whether YOU were the cause of the argument, even if it really was not your fault. Then you start thinking of extravagant ways you want to apologize. Then all you want to do is hug that person, and they your thoughts travel to how good it feels to have sex with that person and how hard they make you..., and then you realize that being in good graces with that person is way more important than planting your flag in defiance. So you apologize, an all is well with the world. This whole paragraph sounds real tender I know, but its true. At least for me it is.

Now, let me talk about this Iverson trade right quick. It seems like only yesterday, I was writing about Iverson being traded from Philadelphia and now two years later he gets traded again. Chauncey Billups and Iverson are both basically the same age, and they are both on the downside of their respective careers. Iverson is more of a fast paced player, while Billups is more methodical in his approach. Iverson is a scorer first, a creator second. Billups is a passer first and a shooter second. I think Billups instantly makes Denver better, because he'll get Carmelo Anthony the ball where he wants it, and he'll play better defense. Unfortunately, the Nuggets play in the West with guards like Deron Williams, Chris Paul, Tony Parker, Steve Nash and Baron Davis, so it won't matter, because the Nuggets will still get sent home early.

I think in the long run, the Pistons will be better because of this trade, simply because even at 33, Iverson is a matchup problem for the elite teams in the East. Yes it will take he and Richard Hamilton some time to adjust, and hell no Iverson doesn't play defense well anymore, but still, in the long run, the Pistons will go further with him. If I'm wrong, I'm deleting this post from the blog, so you can't say I told you so.

And HELL NO i'm not talking about the election. I'm sure you know where to go, if you just want to hear someone talk about it, but it damn sure isn't here. I'm sick of it.

Oh, and one of my ladyfriend's good friends now has a workout tips blog. Go check it out.

Under the Cherry Moon - Prince
aka the ultimate song to get a striptease to

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm not going to get mushy and all that jazz, but had my parents stayed together, this would have been their 35th year of marriage. They only made it to 20, and while that's not bad, it doesn't have the ring(pun intended) of 35 years. Had they stayed together, I could go to ONE place for the holidays, instead of having to disappoint a parent each and every year. On the flip side, they had me and my brother, and knowing them the way I do now, there's no way in hell they could be together. So it all works out I guess...
Monday stuff:

-I went to the doctor's office this morning, and he told me that my kidneys are just fine, and the results from my urine test are golden. Now, I just have to be sure that I continue to watch my cholesterol and I'll be fine. This was the clean bill of health I was waiting for, and although I still have a follow up appointment on December 19th, I'm on the right path..thank God. He even said I drink wine again, but he asked me to be a bit more judicious.

-I always suspected this guy in my office was dirty in some way, shape or form, and just a few minute ago I got confirmation. This dude went to the urinal, did his business, and just let out of the bathroom. No hand washing, no consultation with some soap, and no opening the door with a towel to mask the germs. His hands went from his phallus to the door, and thank God I know better than to touch anything in that bathroom with bare hands. That's how infections get started and spread. I will never shake his hand, set foot in his office or any of that. And this man is at least 55 years old, how do you not know to wash your hands after using the bathroom?

-Please go buy Black Magic DVD that is now available in stores. It tells an excellent story about African-Americans and their struggles/triumphs in the game of basketball. Here's a good review.

-And finally, I would like to thank my ladyfriend for turning me on to the song I am about to link below. I had fallen out of favor with Usher, but this song has me back on the bandwagon..even though I'd much rather hear, Mr. Michael Jackson sing this particular song.

Usher - Here I Stand

Sunday, November 02, 2008

So I went to the party yesterday, and I had mixed feelings about the event. My parents were there, my brother and his wife were there, my uncle and his family made an unexpected appearance, and there were also seemingly millions of other kids running around like mad men and women. So that I would not sit around over thinking, I made it a point to keep busy. I cued up the music (Foreign Exchange, go buy it), I snapped numerous pictures, and I tried to crack as many jokes as possible to mask my pain. At one point, my nephew came up to me in his Batman outfit, and spread his arms for a hug, and I picked him up, hugged him tight, and I told him I loved him. Right after I put him down, I felt myself getting choked up, and I put my evacuation plan in motion. I kissed everyone, made sure the family knew which gift was mine, said my goodbyes, and I exited stage left.

About 20 minutes later my father called to check on me, and he said he and my brother were surprised I stayed that long. He also said that it meant a lot to my brother that I even made the effort to show up and my brother confirmed this earlier this evening when he called, and of course that choked me up a little more. I understand that the grieving process takes time, and I know for me to attempt to cheat or shortchange that process is futile. Still, I don't like feeling "abnormal" or feeling like a charity case. I felt the same way after the fire, and it makes me extremely uncomfortable. No one means any harm I know, but still. I like being "regular" you know? If I let my lady guest blog one day, she might feel a different way..but this is how I feel right now at 8:35pm.

Anyway, my nephew is officially 2 today, and one he'll read this and say damn, Rashad really IS crazy. So happy birthday young Nazir.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Today is the birthday party for my 2 year old nephew Nazir. I have known about this party for exactly two weeks, and my decision about whether I should attend has wavered about 22 times. Initially, my answer was hells no. My lady and I had just lost the baby, and the thought of having to be around a bunch of babies was just a bit too much for me to wrap my arms around at that particular moment. Then I thought about how disappointed my brother would be if the rest of the family (including my mother and father) were there, but his big brother was not, so I made the decision to go. Then I thought about how many times someone at the party would ask me if I was ok, or how I holding up, and how much that would annoy the shit out of me, so I again decided to sit it out. My lady had pretty much decided she was NOT going to go, and I totally understood why. But I was jealous that she was able to be so finite with her decision while I flip flopped on mine like John Kerry on the beach.

So on Thursday, I decided I would stop being a punk, and just show up. I got some gift ideas from my brother, I told him I was coming and I pretty comfortable with my decision. If I cry or lose it, at least I'm with family. If my emotions are in check, I will be able to have a great time with family. The irony here, is that I sincerely doubt that my nephew will even remember I was there, let alone appreciate what it took for me to be there. Then again, that type of naivete and cluelessness are what being a kid is all about right? I gotta figure out a way to get back there.

What Child Is This - Vanessa Williams
I know it ain't Christmas, but I love this song