Thursday, December 31, 2009

I thought about typing a grand summary of the last decade of my life, but if I can be frank (and Rashad)it really isn't worth it. I had some dark, dark times that were bookended by great times, but I can't remember them all. And when you blog nearly every day of the damn year like I did, there is really no point in summarizing the year either. So, I will take the easy way out, and thank everybody who helped me out, read my work, talked me through things, etc. I also want to thank my lady for putting up with my crazy ass for yet another year. I hope I was a good friend to everyone this year, and I hope to be a better friend next year. And if i haven't been good to you, then i'm sorry, but it was probably intentional any damn way.

Happy new year!
And in the words of Mr. Jimi Hendrix:

"If I don't see you no more in this world, I'll meet you in the next one, and don't be late...don't be late"

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My latest Wizards article
I am sitting in bed this morning, when I heard about a tragic murder in San Diego. Apparently a man who had previously been fired, came back up to his job with a gun, killed someone and then turned the gun on himself. I've heard this type of story hundreds of time in life, where someone does a little killing, and then conveniently decides to check out.

After something like this happens the families of the victims have an empty feeling, because the person who caused them so much pain and suffering is just gone. Whenever there's a death by hands of a murderer I suppose you're going to feel a sense of emptiness anyway, but I suspect that when you see the murderer punished or put to death, you feel like a sliver of justice has been served...I think. I have no idea how these types of things work..but

I think we should open up some negotiations with God when it comes to these types of murder/suicides. I think we should lay out some specific terms for the Big Man upstairs, and see if he would be open to them. I propose that when someone commits murder, and then tries to turn the gun on themselves, that God denies their request for a little bit. The person who murders should have to do a little bit of suffering before they check out whether it be the pain of a gunshot wound, a beat down by the hands of witnesses to the murder, the loving hands and genitals of fellow inmates in a jail or whatever. Then, once they've suffered a great deal of pain, and the families of the slain have SOME degree of satisfaction, God can step in and say, "ok you're done now."

I know this is a bit twisted, but what do you want from me, I haven't worked in two days, and its like 10 degrees outside. Clearly I'm not of right mind. And speaking of God, I suggest you see Bill Maher's Religulous if you haven't already. You may not agree with the premise of the movie, or some of the points he makes, but you will laugh and you'll definitely think.

I will conclude with my favorite sports meltdown of the past decade. I have posted this on the blog many times before, but its worth posting again. And I will give a cash prize to anyone who can figure out what is being said between the 5 and 8 second mark.

Monday, December 28, 2009

How's this for an eventful morning run. First, I violently rip my headphones out of my ear three times in the first 5 minutes. Then at the 10 minute mark, I accidentally step on a live rat, nearly giving myself a heart attack. 5 minutes later, I unsuccessfully attempt to dodge some ice on the sidewalk, and I fall stomach first on to the ice cold pavement (only the gloves and two layers of sweatpants prevent this fall from being even worse). And then during the homestretch of my run, I get stuck behind two guys. One was smoking a cigar, and the other was smoking a pipe (which smelled damn good), and the combination of the two had me coughing and hacking, and it just totally threw off my concentration. Of course all this was done in below freezing temperatures and a head wind that wouldn't quit. This is the price I pay for continually shunning the treadmill.

Anyway, this past Saturday, my father, his lady, my lady and I all hung out, and I realized that in my 35 years of life, this was the first time I had done this sort of thing. It didn't at all feel like an adult/child dynamic, it just felt like four people out on the town. I mean sure my dad and his lady complained about the built-in mouses on their laptops the way old people do, but for the most part I had lots of fun. Someone smarter than me warned me a long time ago, that parents desperately want to become good friends once they hit about 55 (if not sooner), and I think my dad and I are in the next level of that phase. At one point, his lady and my lady were off in their own world having a conversation (despite having just met for the first) and my dad and I were having our usual discussion about how bad the Wizards suck, and it just all felt very adult. As I am typing this, I'm coming to the realization that no one except me gives a damn about this. I'll stop now..but its still (semi) interesting to observe.

This is my last day of work until the new year. For the rest of the week, my days will consist of the following

1)figuring out ways to spend this $100 Macy's gift card I got for Christmas
2)putting a dent into this 800 page book
3)finally finishing this book
4)Watching season three of Californication
5) and figuring out exactly what I should do for my 35th birthday (on jan 20th).
6)Covering the Washington Wizards, which this week means finally getting to see Kevin Durant play.

Is there anything else I should be doing? I'm open to suggestions

And now, two hilarious scenes from the movie "Forget Paris" which was on for the 1000th time last night. This is the kind of old man I will be..I guarantee it.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Toto, the group who brought you the songs, Africa, Georgy Porgy and I'll Be Over You, also happened to write and produce Human Nature for Mr. Michael Jackson. Here is their demo:

Friday, December 25, 2009

When I was in college, I used to wear my Randall Cunningham jersey each and every Sunday, whether the Eagles played or not. I'd catch heat from folks on my floor who were fans of the Giants, and other teams, but I still wore it faithfully. The jersey was tattered worn, and eventually pretty damn small on me, but I still wore it out of respect for Mr. Cunningham.

You see when I was 10, I saw him play, and I was mesmerized by his arm, his elusiveness, his command of the offense, but not his jheri curl. Prior to that moment, I had been a Cleveland Browns fan just like my father, but from that moment up until now, I was and will always be an Eagles fan. Even when Randall switched teams and played for the Ravens, the Cowboys and the Vikings, I admired him, but I remained loyal to Philly, which is where he made his mark.

Back in 2001, my brother and I were evicted from our apartment (long story) and that jersey was gone. Just gone. I always told myself I would replace it, but I never did. In fact, this Ahmad Rashad jersey that my lady got for me 2 years ago had become more important. But this morning, after the gift opening ceremony..

Randall is back in effect!!!!!

Alexander O'Neal - My Gift To You

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I would like to wish everyone who reads and skims my blog, a Merry, safe and festive Christmas. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow as I frolic, drink and switch between basketball and football games. I hope you get everything you wanted, some things you didn't expect, and gifts that you cannot wait to take back. I leave you, not with a Christmas song, but with a song that I cannot get out of my head. And if the song offends you, blame my main man Sabin for turning me on to this group back in college.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An article on last night's Wizards game

I think I am approaching burnout status with my writing, which means I need to visit an airport or something to get rejuvenated. Right now, I'm just juvenated.

By the way, my father finally responded to my article last night, and he sent me an email that damn near made me cry, which means he cried while typing it. You don't get many moments to truly impress your parents, but I think I may have done it this time. That being said, if they ever got hold of this blog, it would undo any goodwill that Kareem article built and then some.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It has been awhile since I remember being as annoying and persistent as I was yesterday. I sent that damn Kareem article to everyone I know, I posted it on facebook and twitter, any and every message board I visit, and I even emailed it to people I haven't talked to in a couple years. I didn't care whether the feedback was positive or negative (lies), I just wanted people to read and have some comment, and for the most part I got that...But..

The most important person I wanted to read it, has still yet to graze his old(er) eyes over it and that's my father. I don't know what happens to people 50 and over, but for some reason they don't have it in them to check their email everyday. I semi-regularly correspond with two or three people over 50, and I could easily send them the solution to health care, their favorite artist's box set, and a year supply of Depends to them via email, and it would take them a month to realize they had it..and then another month to actually respond. Its like why bother even having an email address if you don't check it at least once a day?

I gave my father the benefit of the doubt last night, and I waited until around 10:15(halftime of Monday Night Football) to give him a call to tell him that my article was in his inbox, but of course he didn't answer and he was probably sleep (I'm sure there are other options that could more accurately describe what he was doing but I'm in denial). So now I have to wait yet another day to see whether the very person I dedicated (unofficially) my Kareem article to, actually knows it exists.

I wonder if I should print it out and mail it as a(nother) Christmas gift.

As I was telling my lady this morning, I really want to see this movie It looks smart and funny, Alec Baldwin is hilarious 70% of the time, Steve Martin is funny 90% of the time, and Meryl Streep never mails it in performance-wise. But I feel like from the time I buy the ticket to see that movie, to when I walk out of the theater, I will age about 15-20 years, and turn into a I-forgot-to-check-my-email person. That's how geriatric this movie looks...

Eric Roberson featuring Lalah Hathaway:

Monday, December 21, 2009

I realize its two weeks after the fact, but I hope that my interview with Kareem Abdul Jabbar is worth the wait. And I also know that a lot of you don't click on the links I post to Hoops Addict, but this is one definitely worth clicking on in my biased opinion. So, please click on the link below, read the article, look at the pictures, and then tell me what you think either on the site, or here on the blog or both.

My interview with Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

My main man jazzbrew did an interview with Terence Blanchard last week, and you can check it out right here

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Being snowed in on a Saturday like this has me coming up with all kinds of brilliant ideas. Allow me to share one..

When my lady and I moved in this apartment, one of our neighbors was nice enough to give us a nice bottle of white wine. It wasn't that expensive, but it was neatly packaged, and the thought alone made us happy. We gave our neighbor a thank you card, and then we later had a pleasant conversation. When a new neighbor on our floor moved in, we decided to continue the tradition by buying this person a fine bottle of wine. We didn't get a thank you card in return, but we did get an invitation to come drink wine with her whenever we wanted (we've yet to cash in on that).

So my idea this Christmas, is to give each of our neighbors a $5 gift card from Starbucks. I know its not a lot, but considering they probably aren't expecting jack shit from us, I think it will go over well. They will be surprised initially, and then they will be racking their brain trying to figure out what they can get us in return. And then the guilt they will feel about not initially thinking of this idea, will cause them to go a bit overboard with their return gift (i.e. go over $5), which is a win-win for me. Spend $5(or better yet just re-gift a Starbucks card that I get between now and Christmas) and get upgraded on the comeback. That's what Christmas is about! This had to work right?

By the way, for the first time since I was 17, I have a Christmas tree in my place of residence. When the woman I lived with initially insisted that we get one, I resisted, but now that its here, I must admit it looks damn good. I'm actually in the Christmas spirit.

Corinne Bailey Rae "I'd Do It All Again"

Corinne Bailey Rae | MySpace Music Videos

Friday, December 18, 2009

With the exception of Wesley Snipes' terrible, terrible cornrows, this movie looks excellent:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here is my issue of the day..

My son is 12, he will be 13 in August, and he is currently lobbying hard for new cellphone. He has a basic remedial phone right now, and it is a prepaid phone at that. I bought it for him two years ago, and for the most part he has been pretty good at using it, and I briefly touched on that in this entry But now that he is more "grown", he wants to upgrade to this phone, and he wants a real phone, not a prepaid one.

The Pros of me caving into my son are pretty damn formidable. This will be yet another tool to teach my son to be responsible, I won't have to refill his minutes on a continual basis, and he will be winning the ever important war of 12 year olds to see who has the best cell phone. The cons? He could run up the bill to an insane dollar amount, or he could lose the phone as he did 4 or 5 times this year alone. I normally don't take advice from people regarding issues related to my son, but on this one, I am on the fence. Feel free to weigh and help me out.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

So last night I had this dream that Tiger Woods' personal assistant called me and asked me to fly down to Orlando, to do an exclusive interview with Tiger. Apparently Tiger had so much time on his hands, that he stumbled on my blog, read this entry I did about him, thought it was funny, and then decided that I was the man for the interview.

They asked me over the phone if 100k would be suffcient payment for the interview, I said hells yes, and I flew down to Orlando. His kids and his wife weren't around, it was just Tiger and I in some room with a huge tv with a Wizards game on, and we talked about them. Then we starting talking about Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic, and then finally we moved to talking about his scandals, what his life was like now, and when he was coming back.

I honestly don't remember much after the Dwight Howard conversation, so I'm sorry I can't reveal any fake breaking news. But I swear I woke up feeling like this was real, and even when I realized it wasn't, I was convinced that I could somehow make this happen. I mean sure I'd lose my privacy, I'd have to delete this blog, and move to an undisclosed, isolated location, and I'd be on TMZ every night, but still, I'd totally sell out for that interview. Wouldn't you?

By the way, my main man jazzbrew is interviewing Mr. Terence Blanchard today, and this is every bit as big to him as Kareem was to me, so I want to wish him luck and I cannot wait to read it. Speaking of my article on Kareem, I hope to have it up on Hoops Addict by Monday morning.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And so it begins..

I got to my desk and there were two gifts in my chair. A homemade Christmas card and a bottle of fine red wine. The Christmas card looks like it was made on some one's computer last night. There's a picture of my co-worker (who is somewhere between 55 and 60) in a semi-revealing top, while on the beach in the Cayman Islands. Now, I am all for the Christmas spirit, and I appreciate her thinking of me (and everyone else in the office), but come on man. A woman of that advanced age should not be placing those types of photos in Christmas cards no less and then giving them as gifts. Not to mention, this same woman does not believe in bras, and walks around the office with her headlights WAY on..which would be fine if this were a Tina Turner or Racquel Welch situation. But its not. Not even close, and we have a bit of a sagging situation..just not good.

But back to gift number two which is a bottle of fine South African red wine, courtesy of my boss. Now THAT is a gift. THAT is how you inspire people to shun their Scrooge-ness and come out of their pocket with something lovely. If it was socially acceptable, I would crack this bottle open and get a little taste right now at 10am. I am smiling and everything.

But the f**ked up part about this, is that now I have to get a gift for every damn body in the office, not just one person. The dance continues....

Monday, December 14, 2009

I am entering into my toughest gift giving season ever, and it has me stressed the hell out. I know people say giving gifts is not what this season is about, and frankly I agree. I tell everyone not to get me anything, because my birthday is on January 20th (that's an early plug), not December 25th. I have no problems being that one friend/relative that doesn't get a gift, because I won't care; however, if you are my friend/relative, and my birthday comes and goes, without a gift, some cash, a card or some acknowledgment that I've turned 35, there's hell to pay. I digress..

Not everyone subscribes to gift-free Christmas theory, so I have to begin (at this late date) the gift process, and it is just impossible for me this year. Allow me to break the cast of characters and explain

My girlfriend
I have never been with a woman for more than a year, let alone three, which is how long I've been with my lady. Usually, I have great ideas for one calendar year, and then I'm out the door, on to the next woman. That means for a good while, I just recycled the same briliant ideas without anyone ever realizing I was re-gifting. The fact that I'm with someone I actually love combined with the fact that this is year three, means that I have to do dig deep into my creativity bag. It's not impossible, but its a challenge.

My mother
When she was married (either to my dad or her second husband) it was easy to get a gift for my mother. I would just call up the man in her life, ask him what he was NOT going to get, and BOOM, a Christmas gift was in her hand like clockwork. Now, aside from flowers, I am clueless as to what I should get my mother. Everyone tells me to just ask her, but where's the imagination in that? I want to surprise, shock and awe her, but to be honest, I have no clue what gets 57 year old women hyped up at Christmas time. Plus I'm not around her enough to get subtle hints.

My dad
Now my father is a unique case. Because he's going on 60, he doesn't buy new clothes. In fact, I wouldn't be going out on a limb by saying my father has not worn anything purchased after the year 2000. That doesn't mean that new and improved clothing has not been bought for him, because it has. But when he gets in a crunch, he leans on the 80s clothing that has held him down for so long. He has music that he purchased in '04 that he's yet to listen, exercise equipment he hasn't used, etc. I wanted to buy a Temptations poster for him and frame it, but he did that himself back in August. I have no idea what will make him happy at this point. And if I knew what I was getting my lady and my mother, this would be no big deal. But for me to be clueless on all three is just a clusterf**k of a situation.

Notice my brother and my friends don't make this list. They know that I love them, but not enough to get a gift. This has been the case for quite some time, no need in changing it up now. It's tradition.

Just kidding Jamal, that Chris Brown cd you want is en route..

And if you want to listen to me and my main man Ryan talk about basketball-related topics, click here.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Its been awhile since I could sleep in on a Saturday, and I tried my very best to do so today, but I was unable to pull it off. So despite it being frigid outside, and despite the fact that I have a long day ahead due to a Wizards game this evening, I am awake. So while I'm awake, why not write and/or share something right?

1)Here is a snippet of Lenny Kravitz live in the studio preparing for his new cd entitled, "Negrophilia"/

2) Here is an article I wrote yesterday on Boston Celtics' guard, Rajon Rondo

I think I've been doing more sharing of links lately than I have writing, but it'll even out soon enough.

The Roots & Jane Krakowsk "The Man With The Bag" from Okayplayer on Vimeo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I consider Bryant Gumbel to be the gold standard in all things journalism. He's written about sports, he's done the Today show(back when it was a credible news entity, and not focused on interviewing Tiger Woods mistresses), he's covered collegiate and professional sports, he's had his own shows on both network and cable television, and he's one of the best interviewers I've ever had the pleasure of watching. His detractors will look to his personal life, and judge him that way, but I don't do that, because I damn sure don't want any one's hands in the cookie jar of my life. That's a no win situation.

Recently Mr. Gumbel came out and announced that he had surgery to remove a tumor near his lung, but he was doing "fine for now". But hearing that story made me want to search the Internet for all things Gumbel and in the process I found this brilliantly written piece on Gumbel. It originally ran in Sports Illustrated back in September of 1988, and it was written by Rick Reilly (now of ESPN). When the article was first written, it was considered to be a highly controversial and unflattering look at Gumbel, who at that time was at the very top of his journalistic game. But when I read the article, I found that he has some(and only some) personality similarities to me that I appreciate. Some of his behavior is harsh, but it is part of what makes him great.

But there was one paragraph I read in that article about Gumbel that I think sheds some light as to why Tiger Woods got married so early.

Gumbel may have even married to please his father. June Baranco, a student at LSU who would later become a Delta stewardess, came through Chicago to visit a friend for a few days in 1968. On one of those days, Gumbel's dad ended up taking June on a tour of Chicago. Richard liked her. In fact, Bryant told McCall's, " the very beginning he thought more of her than I did. But that fact was very important to me." They were married in 1973.

I don't want to delve to deeply into the Tiger situation, but I still think people underestimate how close he was with his father. His father was very hard on him, and Tiger was constantly trying to show his father that he was indeed worthy of his praise and approval. When you combine that with that fact that Tiger's dad was sick the last few years of his life, I really think Tiger wanted his father to see him married before he died. I'm not saying he wasn't in love with Elin, and I'm not saying that justifies his current behavior. This is just an hypothesis that I took a roundabout way of explaining..kind of

But again, read this article on Gumbel. It is a brilliant journalistic piece.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Amy, the photographer who shot my Kareem interview, has written her recollection of that magical day. You can read it here.
Spike Lee presents, "This Is It" (a tribute to Michael Jackson)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

First off, if any of you fine people who read this blog can get this picture framed and sent to me by my 35th birthday (January 20th), that would be terrific. Shout out to my man Neil for bringing that picture and the book it comes from to my attention. I know its a tad bit tacky to openly solicit folks for birthday gifts, but I'm turning 30 f**king five, so the way I see it, I've (kind of) earned that right.

Secondly, I was alone in the pool for 40 minutes this morning, which means I had plenty of time to think and over think, which brought be back to a specific instance in 2004. There was this one day (at band camp) when I went the entire day without speaking to ANYONE. I remember getting to work (back then I worked at HUD) insanely early because I was a bit behind on my work. The security guards and I were strictly on head nod status, so there was no need to exchange senseless verbal salutations. When I got up to my office, there were two messages on my voicemail. One was from my co-worker who told she was going to be out that day, and another was from my boss telling me the same thing. When I heard these messages, I remember closing the door to my office and thinking that it was going to be a productive day without them.

For the next few hours or so I worked with my door closed without taking a break. I got my lunch out of the refrigerator, ate in my office, went back to work, and not once did I talk to anyone. No work phone, no cell phone, no bullshit visits from co-workers, no nothing. I stayed at work an hour later than I needed to, exchanged more nonverbal communications with the security guard, rode the train and arrived home. I was single at the time, so there was no reason for my phone to ring or for me to have any personal messages, so I put my phone aside, worked out, cooked dinner, watch two basketball games, had a little wine, and went to sleep. I didn't even bother to get on the computer. It was not until that next morning when my co-worker called me on the phone and said she'd be late, that I realized that it been OVER 24 hours since I spoke to anyone besides my reflection.

This may not be a big deal to you. But considering in 2009, my days are filled with conversations with people who I don't give a good goddamn about, days like that seem far away. I guess the difference now is that I have people in my life who I actually want to talk to everyday. But on that one day, there was nobody and I enjoyed it.

And now I will conclude with Sade's new single "Soldier of Love". I've heard many people say they don't like it, but I think its refreshing. But she's 50 and still looks like this and this.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Normally when something happens in my life, whether is sports-related or otherwise, I come to this blog and spill out my guts via my writing about what happened, how it affected me, and what happened behind the scenes. And my first inclination is to do that exact same thing about this past weekend, specifically the Kareem interview. But I've been so damn stressed about how to write this article, that I don't want to "give" any of my precious words away via my blog. I'd rather wait until I write the complete article on Hoops Addict, and THEN I will fill in the details on the blog after that. It will help keep me sane, because right now, I think I'm severely lacking in the department. But I would like to thank Amy (my photographer), Nichole for being my LA tour guide on Friday night even though I was a nervous wreck, and my lady for putting up with my incessant rants, both pre and post Kareem interview. When I get rich and famous, all of you will get a car.

I would also like to thank myself for surviving endless rounds of small talk with various people on Saturday. I was so nervous about meeting Kareem, that I completely coasted through mini small talk sessions with about 20-25 people. I don't remember what I said, how I said it, how fast I was talking or anything, but I DO know I got some business cards and shook plenty of hands, so something must have been going right. I probably have to let anti social Rashad die right now, and just embrace my effusive, affable side. But I won't.

Also, yesterday, like everyone else, I was completely swept up in Allen Iverson's return to Philly. Prior to the game, I found two articles that were written about Iverson in 2001. The first article was written by the late, great David Halberstam, and the second article was written by my number one favorite author, the late, great Ralph Wiley. I suggest you read both articles even if you aren't a sports fan, because that's how good they are I hadn't read this articles in 8 years, but I read both of them twice yesterday, and I realized that as good of a writer as I think I am, I have miles to go before I come even close to mastering my craft the way they did.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

My father bought the above book for me back in 1984. I was 9 years old, and it was the first "adult" book he had ever purchased for me. He wanted to introduce me to Kareem, and it worked because i read the book over and much so that it looked like this...

I took the book to LA with me, and I told Kareem the story about it, and he laughed, told me my father should be proud, and signed the book. A more extensive story along with pictures about my experience/interview is coming at a later date, but I just wanted to share this:

Thursday, December 03, 2009

This is depressing. I understand print media is falling by the wayside because of craigslist and the Internet, but still, lots of good writers are looking for work, and the sad truth is that there won't be enough room for all of them anymore. I hope I'm wrong. But I suspect many of your favorite newspapers and magazines, will be releasing statements like the Washington Times did. And it sucks.

That being said, please read my article from the online basketball site I write for now.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dear 21 year old, pre Masters victory Tiger Woods:

Hey there buddy? How is life? You are about to play in one of the biggest tournaments in your life, and I have a strong hunch that you are going to come out victorious in record fashion. As much as your life has changed since you turned pro last year, things are going to change even more after you win this tournament. Your bank account will increase exponentially, you'll have to watch what you say during interviews, you'll get unwanted pressure from the Asian and Black communities to represent them, and your father will only be able to guide you for a limited amount of time. But I have no doubt that you will handle each and every one of those events/obstacles with great aplomb. However I have one piece of advice for you, and I sincerely hope you take this to heart:

Don't get married before age 40.

Now I know you want kids, and you want to be the great father Earl appears to have been to you, but you need to fight that emotion with all your might until 40. Sure you'll be an older father, but you'll be rich(er) so these things will even out I'm sure. But between now and age 40, you are going to be offered a high volume of poontang, snatch, etc. I know you dated black women in college, and you've tasted the white blond experience since then, but once you hit that upper stratosphere, you be offered everything, and you really don't want to be bogged down by a relationship, a marriage or a kid out of wedlock. You need to be unfettered, unencumbered, and lady free.

Your screening process has to be impeccable, and with time it will be, and you'll have to guard against pregnancies, rape charges, disease, AIDS (Happy belated AIDS day), etc, but I trust you can navigate those waters. You may even meet a woman who you really love and want to marry..perhaps at age 29, but you must fight that urge. You won't be able to resist the taste of another woman's sweet nectar, and there will be a PR rainstorm that will overwhelm you and your marriage. Playing the field as a single man never hurt anyone my friend. Ask Common, ask Derek Jeter, ask George Clooney..they've been doing God's work with the fairer sex, and their reputations are intact and borderline pristine.

So anyway, I've rambled long enough. Take my advice, and you'll be so golden. Failure to do so will get you jacked up with facial lacerations and a busted SUV..or something like that.

Your friend


* I sent this letter back in March of came three days letter saying, "Return to Sender"


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I will type this one last time, and then I will no longer say, write, or think this. But I am nervous as hell about my interview with Kareem this Saturday in Los Angles. People tell me that nervous people often times are unprepared people, but that is complete and utter bullshit. I know all 10 of the questions I want to ask him by heart, and I even have five other ones I can throw at him, and that doesn't even include the follow up questions that may come as a result of his answers. I know the outfit I'm wearing (which will include this shirt from his foundation). I've talked to all the necessary contact people, I have a photographer on board, I have hotel reservations made, the car is rented, friends and family have been contacted and all that stuff. And still I am nervous.

When I was in college, I used to get this nervous before speeches and presentations, but all would be well once I got in front of the audience and started talking. Since college, I have taught, spoken in front of 500+ people and given all kinds of presentations, and the same thing happens. I get nervous until I start speaking, and then I tell some sort of disarming joke, get the crowd laughing, and then everything is good. Only once in my life have I truly choked in front of a group, and that was due to me being unprepared. I was embarassed that day, and it will never happen again.

But this nervousness has to do with WHO I'm interviewing, not whether I'm prepared or ready. I've looked up to Kareem since I was 9, and my father gave me his autobiography to read. I followed his career, admired his intellect, and I have privately rooted for him to get a head coaching job in the NBA. But until June of this year I never, ever thought I would meet him let alone rearrange my life for a weekend to interview him on the other side of the country. And now that opportunity is just days away, and I'm nervous. I can't sleep, I lose my train of thought easily, my temper flares up a bit more..all of that. But I'm hoping that by admitting and writing it, it will ease (not eliminate) my nervous energy and bring me some sense of calm.

And now, something to make me happy...

Monday, November 30, 2009

I live in an area in called Dupont Circle and Washington D.C. and for those of you who aren't familiar with this area, let me just say its an eclectic area. For years the area has had a gay/lesbian stigma attached to it, which doesn't really bother me because a)the area is nice b)there are plenty of things to do and c)I live with my girlfriend. Still, on any given day or night, there are reminders of this stigma that cross my path, and this morning was one of those occasions.

I was walking by Starbucks, when I noticed a car pull up by the curb. In the driver's seat was a woman who looked to be about 60 years old, and in the passenger's seat was a woman who looked the same age. The driver put her hazard lights on, and then got out of the car, and the passenger stepped out of the car, opened the back door to get her briefcase, and the closed the door as well. Then I heard the driver tell the passenger to have a great day, and they hugged, which really didn't give me pause. But then they kissed. And when I say kiss, I don't mean just a peck on the lips or cheek. They kissed long, deep and with enough tongue to make this man jealous. I

It was at this point, that I actually walked by the lovebirds, and I didn't want to look like I was staring or shocked (I was) so I kept right on walking by them. As I did, I noticed the incredulous looks on the faces of the people walking towards the kissing lovers, and I knew that I wasn't crazy. As I said earlier, this area is no stranger to gay/lesbian activity, but even this was something new. You (meaning me) just don't see women this age get down like that very often. I'll admit that after I walked by the couple, I looked back at them a couple of times, and they were still kissing, but I also noticed that had added a little groping to the mix. I don't know about you, but seeing this level of passion in public before 8am is a bit much, but I couldn't look away. Finally, they stopped kissing, the passenger went into a building for work, and the driver jumped back in the car. Show over.

I hope I haven't displayed too much ignorance here, but dammit if you had seen this, you'd have done the same thing.

Friday, November 27, 2009

There's was nobody on the road, en route to work this morning. I passed by 34 Starbucks, and there weren't more than 4 people in each one. I may have passed 10 people total from when I left my house to when I walked into work. Then I peeked around the corner where Macy's is, and I saw a phalanx of people in and around the store taking full advantage of the biggest shopping day of the year. And where am I? At my f**king desk pretending to do work, on a day when everyone else called off work.

Three of my co-workers are off today, which is fine because I volunteered to work this day, so I could all the days before and after Christmas off. I may go out of town during that time, and I need that flexibility. Still, you never really know how stupid you'll feel getting up and coming into work the day after a holiday until you get here. All the things I said I was thankful for yesterday, have now come undone because I'm frustrated that I'm not in my bed drinking mimosas, watching Sportscenter, and laughing at those jackasses who had to go to work.

But yeah other than that I'm doing swell. I met a lot of people on my lady's side of the family yesterday, and it went way better than I thought it would except for two things. One, at our first destination, several female family members kept blocking my view of the Dallas/Oakland football game because of where they were sitting. I wanted to ask them to move, but to do would have been tremendously rude, so there were 5-10 minute stretches of the game I just completely missed. And second, my lady's grandmother has about 1000 creepy dolls strewn around her house. There are white dolls, black dolls, Native American dolls, a Lucille Ball doll, a Jackie O doll, and even an Urkel one. The only doll I actually enjoyed looking at was the gloved Michael Jackson one. You have no idea how badly I wanted to whip out my camera phone and capture the whole creepy scene, but that would have been rude. Next time though.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I think it may be time to have THE talk again.

My son has had prepaid phone for about 2 years now, and most of the time he is pretty laid back with telling me he needs more minutes. I call him, I get a voice prompt letting me know he can't accept calls, I go online and put more money on, and then I call him and ask him why he didn't tell me. And his answer is always, "I meant to tell you Dad, but I forgot." Then I tell him that he can monitor his minutes as they get lower, and once they get down below five minutes he should tell me. He said ok which is child speak for "yeah whatever I'll forget as soon we hang up." I get and respect that.

But recently things have changed in the urgency department. First I get a call last week from my son asking me to help him setup voicemail. I just assumed all this time that he had voicemail, but clearly I was wrong. I interrupted the Wizards basketball game on television, walked him through the process for way too long, and boom the voicemail was setup and he cheerfully said thank you Daddy. I said thank you, and tried to back to watching the game.

Then on another occasion, I get a call (from a different phone) from Carlton, and he tells me that his phone is dead and he needs me to refill it. I tell him that I'll put more time on there as soon as I can..and two hours later he calls me and asks if I have done it (which he knows damn well I hadn't otherwise the phone would have worked). I started to ask him what the urgency was, and then it hit 13 year old son is having special feelings toward a young lady, and he wants to be accessible as possible. Up until now, the talks about women and girls have been all hypothetical, but it appears as if he is now officially in the "game". And what better person to assist him in this game, than me right? He has no clue what kind of ride(s) he's in for, but I can try my best to equip him with as much common sense as possible.

Monday, November 23, 2009

So this morning, I left directly from the pool and came to work, which meant I spent a little more time than usual in the locker room. I brought my soap, my deodorant, and my clothes, and I showered and dressed right there, which was not ideal, but I made it work. While I was getting a dressed, an older gentleman with a cane, slowly made his way to a locker not too far from mine. I was naked at the time, which meant I immediately tensed up and got a bit defensive, and I was thisclose from saying something, but then I just relaxed and went on about my business.

This gentleman didn't say a word to me at all, he just put his cane and his backpack down, and slowly started to remove articles of clothing one by one. I was just about finished getting dressed, when I heard some grunting come from behind me, and I turned around and noticed that this guy was struggling big time to get his workout clothes on his body. His underwear, socks and shirt were on, but he couldn't get his warm up pants over his ass, and despite the loud, powerful grunting he was doing, it was not helping at all. I really started to just walk out of there and act like I did not see this, but I wanted this man to have a workout in the actual gym, not in the locker room putting on his pants, so I asked him if he wanted any help. He sheepishly said yes, and I just lifted his pants up on his waist for him, and then I quickly went back to my locker. As I walked back over to my locker, he looked up and said thank you, and I said no problem at all without looking up at him. He grabbed his cane, and slowly headed towards the gym. No elaborate thank you, no b.s. small talk, he was just a short, sweet, efficient operation.

Now usually this story wouldn't have had a chance in hell of getting off the ground, because I would have said something smart or asinine to the older man about standing close to me, and then a fracas would have ensued, and he'd have beat me down with the curved end of the cane. But for once I accessed my mature side, and actually did a good deed, and I felt pretty good. I wasn't trying to embarrass the man, or make him feel helpless at all. Plus it is quite possible that 80-85% of the time, he has enough strength to pull those pants right up without any grunting or labored motion. But this morning he struggled, and I helped him out. And that's really what you want out of locker room buddy isn't it?

In a strange twist, as I left the locker room I broke my shoe strings to my dress shoes, I realized I had a hole in my sock, and I forgot my umbrella on a day when its supposed to rain. I've yet ascertain what the correlation is between my good deed and my unfortunate luck.

Click here to listen to me and my main man Ryan talk about basketball related issues.

Stay A Little While - Loose Ends

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I'll get back to regular blogging tomorrow, until then checkout this article. Shoutout to Kyle for allowing me to guest write on his site.

Friday, November 20, 2009

First off, won't you be so kind as to read my latest article right here.

So earlier this week my brother called me up, and told me that he was absolutely irate, and it was regarding my nephew. He hadn't gotten in trouble, he wasn't struggling with his grades, and he had not peed on himself uncontrollably. No my friends, the call regarding my nephew had to do with something that happened to him.

Another boy kissed him.

Now, my brother was extremely irate, as you'd expect any father of a three year old to be. One, he was angry because he never particularly cared for the mother of the boy who kissed his son. Two, because over the course of this school year, he had gotten a good look at this kid kisser, and he'd made the conclusion that this kid, even at the "tender" age of three, was a bit "suspect". And the third reason my brother was mad was..well another boy kissed his son for God's sake.

So of course when this happened, my brother called the smartest, most caring and sensitive person in the world to navigate him through these water, and that was me. I told him that he needed to 1)Talk to his son about appropriate and inappropriate touching 2)Talk to the parents of this child and 3)Talk to the teacher(s) about monitoring this type of behavior. Students should not be repeatedly touched against their well regardless of their sex, and teachers should be sensitive to that. And no, I cannot back this up with a BIT of expertise. Perhaps my main man Sabin can.
Anyway the one thing I told my brother NOT to do was to get visibly angry, so that his son felt shamed or got angry, because that could bring on a whole host of scary behavioral issues. That concluded the serious portion of the conversation. The humorous part went like this

Jamal: Rashad, can I ask you a question? (note, my brother doesn't just ask questions, he asks if he can ask you a question, then he asks. THAT is covering all your bases)
Me: Yeah what's up?
Jamal: Did your son's mother ever have a problem with someone kissing on him
Me: You said what now?
Jamal: Did another boy ever kiss your son when he was younger?
Me: Uh no..he was involved in a little something we like to call sports my brother
Jamal: Man f**k you
Me: That's what you get for living in Atlanta too long
Jamal (laughing and crying at the same time): Man this is bullsh*t
Me: Why yes..yes it is

By the way, I supposed I should have gained the proper signatures and clearance from my brother before writing this..but he wrote about this on facebook, so he's fair game.

I love you man. And kiss my nephew for me would you? I hear he's into that.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Last night, my beloved Wizards defeated LeBron James and the Cavaliers, and I stayed up late writing. This morning I overslept, was swamped with work, and wrote an article all at the same time. I got ready to blog, and I realized I had nothing to say at all. There comes a point when you're just tapped out, and the sidewalk ends....for today at least. I'll be back harder, stronger, faster, and of course harder.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

When you're young(and by young I mean until you've graduated high school) your parents are like your heroes. They provide for you, they seemingly have all the answers, and even when they don't, they are skillfully adept at telling you to look it up, research it, and bring it back to them. They take you to practice, discipline you, help with homework, and they just do an all around bang up job at being parents. Yes I am aware of the exceptions, but I'm going to stay positive for the purposes of this blog. By the time you leave for college (or the military, or trade school or Wal-Mart) you are equipped with the necessary skills for you to be an adult.

Then once you're in college, you pretty much shun your parents. Sure you accept their care packages, take their phone calls, visit them during holidays, and humor them with the occasional out-of-the-blue-just-thinking-of-you (aka I need money) calls, but for the most part you are living an autonomous existence. Why? Because that's part of what your parents were trying to teach you to be all those years. College is where you test your lessons, and its where parents admire their work..again, this is ideally.

Then after college, you start to become friends with your parents. The lessons are gone, you are ideally knee deep into whatever profession you've chosen, and the calls are light, easy and breezy. This is when you say to yourself, "hey my parents really aren't mean ass tyrants with no heart..", and good relationships develop. And then if you get married and have kids, they become your mentors, your confidantes, and all that good stuff. And then something happens..

Your parents start to get a bit more advanced in age, and then they get this trait that causes them to get on your f**king nerves. You don't want to be mean to them, and you don't love them any less, but when your phone rings and its them, you wonder whether you should pick up the phone now or call them wonder if they'll say something to ruin your evening, and then you wonder if you're being a bad son or daughter..The thoughts and feelings run the gamut, and you end up picking up the damn phone, having a GREAT conversation for 10 minutes, and then it takes a turn for the worse, and you want to hang up in their faces. But you don't, you say I love you, you hang up the phone, then you bitch and moan to your significant other or your best friend about what just happened. Then someone who has lost one of their parents gets in your face talking about, "I wish I still had MY parents around.." and they try to intercept your perfectly valid anger, and it works..and it sucks..ok now I'm rambling

The point is my mother got on my nerves last night, and it seems to be happening more often, and I feel badly about it. My dad never gets on my nerves like this (except when he keeps asking me "So what else is going on?" instead of realizing there's nothing left to talk about and hanging up the phone). But my mother has a knack for making me angry or irritated both during the call, and then about 20 minutes afterwards. I have no solution, I just wanted to complain. I do love her though.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

I'm starting to get a little self-conscious about all this self-promotion I'm doing on this blog, on facebook and via twitter. I wonder if people see me pushing an article or an interview and say, "Damn we get it man, leave us alone." That's a sentiment that I have frequently expressed when people flood me with me things they have done or accomplished, and it is indeed annoying at times. But then I tell myself that three years ago, I had nothing to push, nothing to promote, and nothing to brag about except this blog(and even that only had a few readers) I feel a little better I suppose. Plus in my humble defense, if you visit a blog where the person's name is in the url, can you really expect anything but narcissism? Still its a fine line to be walking, and I am very conscious of it. I don't have the arrogant trait, and I'd like to keep it that way. But if I don't push myself, who will? I'm torn here.

I forgot to thank Janelle for coming to DC this past weekend to hang with my lady and I. For me, and apparently no one else, its always a scary proposition when world's collide and friends meet. When you throw in an opposite sex friend, it can get even more hairy, but it went very smooth, and I'm happy about that. Crisis averted. While I'm doing shoutouts, I'd like to shoutout my lady's friend Isha, who was nice enough to take my lady to go see the Biggie-in-drag movie that I refuse to see. You are a champion of honesty!

Building A Mystery - Sarah McLachlan

Monday, November 16, 2009

My interview with Grant Hill

A pic from Miami..and yes the shirt is my ode to Kareem. You can buy one here

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My boy Cliff and I were in a sports bar earlier today watching a football game, when an elderly couple entered the bar. The man was using a cane, and was walking extremely slow and labored. The woman was helping the man enter the restaurant by holding the door with one hand, and keeping her hand around his waist with the other. When I saw them making their way into the bar, I told my boy Cliff that they didn't belong in the bar. I wasn't being mean or discriminatory, but the bar was loud, the people in there were good and liquored up, and I just did not see how they would be able to enjoy themselves in a peaceful fashion.

The couple came in and walked all around the bar looking for a seat, and they were unable to find one. It was both cute and painful to watch, because they were moving extremely slow, but they were still smiling and very good spirits. I found myself wanting to find a seat for them, but when I did a quick survey around the bar, I couldn't even find an empty spot for them to sit. I saw two waiters/bartenders look at this old couple, and not ONCE did any of them offer assistance to this couple. At one point they stopped right next to me and the woman said, "There doesn't appear to be anywhere for us to sit dear." The man looked around and said, "I think you're right dear."

They then turned around and slowly walked back out of the bar. No one from the bar helped them be seated, no one offered them a drink, a menu or anything, and I know for sure the bar staff saw them. And then, less than 2 minutes after they entered, they were gone. It was just sad man. Cliff mentioned to me that could very well be us in 30-40 years and he's right...

Friday, November 13, 2009

Its Friday, I'll be attending a potluck lunch for work in about 90 minutes, and I had too much wine last night, so all that adds up to me not feeling like writing much of anything this morning. This should be a good weekend though, there's a fight this Saturday night, there's a Wizards game that same night, Ryan and I will be recording a podcast tomorrow for Hoops Addict (that's something we in the business call a plug), my friend Janelle is coming in town, and most importantly I'm off on Monday.

But yeah I don't feel like writing, but what I DO feel like doing is boring with more of Michael Jackson's brilliance. Notice how everyone else is rehearsing in regular clothes, and Michael's outfit of choice involves a hot ass leather jacket while indoors.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

From 8:30 in the morning on Tuesday, up until about 11pm that night, I received approximately 450 notifications from various people about Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's announcement that he had leukemia My father was the first to inform me, and someone who follows me on twitter was the last. I appreciated each and every notification that I got, because it showed me that people actually pay attention to what I say, and they realize how important Kareem and this upcoming interview are to me. But seriously, enough was enough already damn.

The important thing here, is that I heard from the PR people, and my interview is still on, which made me happy. But then the magnitude of Kareem's announcement and my upcoming interview with him kind of hit me hard. Although Kareem has mentioned several times that his doctor has labeled his prognosis as "very good", leukemia and illnesses like that are very unpredictable. No one wishes this on Kareem (or anyone for that matter) but a good two weeks could very quickly turn into a serious more dire situation. I could interview him on December 5th, and then things could take a more serious turn in coming weeks. Or, on a more uplifting note, before this announcement, Kareeem could have very well breezed through my interview not taking me very seriously at all. But maybe now, he'll do every interview/public appearance with a sense of urgency not knowing whether it will be his last. Or maybe, just maybe, I am over thinking this whole thing, and coming up with crazy scenarios to mask the fact that I'm nervous as hell.

And yes I am nervous. I was watching Kareem on MSNBC last night with Keith Olbermann, and my lady looked over at me and said, "You're going to be interviewing him in a few weeks." And then I said to myself, oh shit I'm going to be interviewing this man in a few weeks..but i'll be fine I'm sure.

Curious Child - Prince

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Why do people bring work related documents and papers into the restroom with them? What is so pressing and important that it can't be left behind while you go in there and conduct your business? And am I to assume that those documents are for your eyes and hands only, or will this be an assembly line situation, where you have to pass this on to other people? I've seen this three times in the past 24 hours (all women by the way) and I just think its nasty. There's just so much that can go wrong in the bathroom, why bring work in there? I suppose bringing work in the bathroom is better than bringing and selling beer in there.

Speaking of work, today is a big day for me. Today is the birthday of one my co-workers, which means for the first time, I can turn down the request for a $10 donation that will be coming my way in the 4-5 hours. I've studied and prepared for this moment, I've given the necessary 150% (per the athlete cliché handbook) and I am ready to nix and stifle any request for money to change hands. Enough is enough.

As I was writing this, my father called me and told me that Kareem Abdul-Jabbar announced the he has a rare form of leukemia. When my dad first said, did you hear about Kareem, my heart sunk because I thought he had died or something, but I was relieved that it was "just" leukemia. I don't know if this affects kareem's short and long term health, or my interview with him in a few weeks, but I will certainly find out right now.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Some Monday thoughts..

This past Saturday, I watched ESPN's special on Len Bias, and I had to fight back the tears more than a few times. The documentary is good, and the fact that I felt close to the story having lived near Boston when Bias died in '86, and then in the DC area as the aftermath unfolded in '87, made me emotional. But watching Bias' father having to talk about Len over and over, knowing he had outlived him, was just hard for me to take. You could see in his eyes and in his body language that the wound surrounding his son's death is just as fresh as it was 23 years ago. But don't let that discourage you from watching it, especially if you're in the DC area.

Do dog owners have to sign some type of pact/contract, that says if they meet another dog owner, the dogs have to sniff each other? At least five or six times on my way in to work, the following scenario would go down. One person would be walking their dog, another person walking their dog would come close, they'd stop (one time in the middle of the street) for a good 2-3 minutes for their dogs to sniff, lick, and god knows what else, and then both parties would walk away. There was no conversation between dog owners, there was no barking or animosity between dogs, there was just odd silence, perverse sniffing and touching, and then that's it. It seemed like a very efficient operation, and I'm just curious to know if that's common among dog owners. Sixfive help me out there...

And last, but not least, god bless the woman who works at the front desk of the gym I attend. She has lost 30lbs over the past 8 months, and today, I think she thought she had on an outfit that accentuated all of her 55 year old curves. After I finished my morning swim, I was tired, sweaty, and ready to go home, but I was detoured by this woman and her outfit. She sashayed her elderly ass by the door, showed a little leg and took it right back, and then had the nerve to poke her ass out. She kept asking me if she looked good, and I thought one "yes" would suffice, but apparently she was shooting for about six or seven of them, so we compromised at three. Its not that I wasn't happy for her loss, I just don't need to see a 55 year old woman, at 6:45 in the morning, posing like Hugh Hefner is about to come sniffing around. Its gross. The list of 55 year old women I could tolerate doing that? Phylicia Rashad, Tina Turner, and Racquel Welch. That's it. That's the list. Ok Maybe Helen Mirren get honorable mention. Other than that, I'd rather not see elderly women in that light. Its bad for (my) business.

Please read my interview and please read my game notes.

And since I've been listening to the great jazz drummer, Elvin Jones all morning, I thought I'd attach a video of his:

Saturday, November 07, 2009

This morning while I was in the barbershop, my barber was explaining to me what his plans for Thanksgiving were going to be. He and his ladyfriend planned to drive down to South Carolina to see his family, and then head back two days later. He explained to me that his parents were dead, and he really didn't get along with much of the family he had left. Then I asked him if he was going to visit his daughter (she's 24) and he paused a bit and said no. Apparently his son-in-law is both physically and mentally abusive, and despite repeated pleas from everyone on the family, his daughter refuses to leave him. I asked him what keeps him from going over there and strangling this guy to death, and he said that if his daughter won't leave, he can't do much for her or to him.

Now I certainly understand that sentiment in the rational side of my brain, because ideally, you cannot make an adult do something that they aren't feeling. But, I swear, as my late grandmother as my witness, if my daughter was being abused physically or any other way, I'd make my way to scene of the crime, inflict bodily harm on this guy(the kind that would keep me out of jail), snatch up my daughter and any kids she may have, and have her either live with me until she came to her senses or help find her a place. Its probably not the right thing to do, but I'll be goddamned if I stand back and watch that kind of thing happen to someone I helped to create.

My barber heard my points and nodded his head, but said to me, "That's not how you do things young brother..she'll leave when she's ready.'

I don't know if there's a right or wrong answer here, I just wanted to share and maybe get some feedback

Friday, November 06, 2009

So if you're sitting at home tonight around 6:45pm (EST) come chat with me! It'll be fun!!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

On Friday, December 4th, 2009, I will be flying to Los Angeles..
that night, I will (hopefully) attend the match between the Lakers and the Miami Heat..
On Saturday December 5th, I will be interviewing Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Am I pumped? you goddamned right I am.
What I am about to explain may be ignorant to some, and offensive to others so let me offer a fake apology to anyone I may offend.

This morning the train was unusually crowded considering I was going to work 30 minutes earlier than usual. When the train finally stopped, the entrance I chose was especially crowded, and to make things worse there were about 5 people who had to get on the train before me, so I had to patiently wait. But when I looked towards the front of the line, I noticed that everyone was only entering the train on the right side, because a man was standing on the left side of the entrance. Upon closer examination, I noticed that this man was not only reading the paper (god bless him because newspapers are dying), but he was holding the paper so far out, that you couldn't get on the train without running into his paper. The 5 people in front of me, I guess not wanting to cause any type of fracas or brouhaha, just walked around this guy. Their decision to do so a) annoyed the sh*t out of me and b) almost caused me to miss getting in the train.

Now before I explain what I did, allow to give a bit of background on my mind state. I got to work at 7:30am yesterday, I left at 5, headed to the Verizon Center for the Wizards/Heat game(read the game notes), then I left the Verizon Center at 11:10 pm, got home, snacked, got in the bed at 12:45am, and went to sleep at 1:30am. So I'm already cranky and sleepy, but thanks to this Jacksons song, I was in a good mood..that is until this guy ruined it.

So instead of walking around this guy as the previous train passengers had done, I walked right into the newspaper, knocked it down on the ground, and then stepped on it for good measure. Mind you, as I did this, I took my bag off my arm, because I fully expected some kind of conflict whether it be a push, a punch or something, and I wanted to brace myself so I could evade his blow, and then watch as he failed to do the same to mine. But, this guy did no such thing. He looked around, spread his arms wide, and then...

Him: What the f**k dude?
Me: What's wrong?
Him: You walk into my f**king paper, and you stand there and don't say sorry or excuse me or anything? that's classy
Me: That's exactly what I did
Him: You're an a**hole man
Me: I know, but I'm an a**hole who is not blocking the door
Him (bending over to pick up his paper): All you had to do is say excuse me and I'd gotten out of the f**king way, that's how adults act, if you didn't know
Me: You want me to help you pick your paper, or do you have it?
Him: Yeah that's real sincere pal
Me: I do my very best

So at this point, the other 20 or so passengers in the vicinity are either a) wishing we'd shut the hell up or b) getting ready to put up money to see who is going to win this fight. Luckily for all parties involved, my train ride is all of five minutes. I got off the train, but the other did not, so as I left, I gently touched his shoulder and said, "Excuse me slugger, I just wanna get by..". He said, "F**k you pal!", and I told him to have a bless-ed day.

Now, it is entirely possible that I handled that incorrectly and in an immature fashion. But damn it felt good. And he violated the unwritten etiquette rules. One (un)good deed deserved another.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

So last night as I headed to the shower, I made a visit to the linen closet and pulled a large towel and a face towel. The face towel was brown, and the large towel was green. I didn't do this just to be a contrarian (although that was part of it), I did this mainly because I don't believe in getting color coordinated towels..or sheets for that matter. The face towel lives in the shower, the larger towel(is that even the correct terminology?) lives in the rack outside the shower. Unless you have visitors who are extremely nosy and anal (which I'm sure I've had before) no one will know about the towel color mismatch situation, and the same applies for bedsheets. Unless someone is getting in the bed, they don't need to be too concerned with the color of the bedsheets, because they are either a) going to sleep or b)getting ready to do some "blending". Either way, there should be no discussion about sheets that don't match. That's my belief.

So as I walked back into the bathroom, I made it a point to show the woman I live with, that I was not matching my towels, and of course she was not pleased. She explained to me (for the 100th time) how important it is to match the towels, and my failure to do so was not making her happy. When she replaces the towels after washing, she makes it a point to match both my towel and hers. The fact that I am not bound to such rules and regulations annoys her just a bit. My defense?

I told her that women don't always match their bra and panties during the course of the week, and while she didn't deny that, she told me that wasn't a good enough retort. I feel like this should have been a Curb Your Enthusiasm episode...

Oh and I'd like to thank the Wizards for losing in Cleveland to LeBron James and the Cavaliers...again.

And while I'm giving out thank yous, let me also thank the directors and producers or whoever, for extending "This Is It" for a few more weeks. First of all, no one ever believed your bullshit story that this movie was only going to be out two weeks, you just didn't trust that people would actually come see it in droves the way they have--shame on you. Second of all, you are delaying the release of the DVD, that I want someone to buy me for Christmas or my birthday, and I'm sure that video will have even more unseen footage. So extend the damn movie ONE more week, not three, and stop this b.s. charade.

And now, my favorite Police song...

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

So, on my day off yesterday, I had the pleasure of writing two articles. One was an article on Washington Wizards guard Randy Foye, and I knocked that out in about an hour and a half. No problem.

The second article was much shorter, and easier to write but its significance was WAY more important than the initial one. I had the opportunity to participate in a media conference call with Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. They have a book coming out called, "When The Game Was Ours", and this call was set up so that media members could ask them questions about the book and other topics.

Now when the call began, I had no idea whether my question would actually make the cut. The moderator of the call asked everyone who was going to participate to submit a question, so I did; however, when the call began, the moderator said that there lots of people on the call, so he may not get to everyone. Still, I was nervous as hell. I was pacing around the room, drinking down water like a crazy person, and shuffling papers around trying to calm down. I couldn't even call anyone, because I was recording the call via my cellphone, so I just had to stew in my own nervousness. Why was I nervous? Not only would I possibly have the chance to talk to Magic and Larry, but I would have to do so in front of established journalists. I didn't want to botch the question, and then be known as that guy who f**ked up, instead of Rashad from Hoops Addict. At about the 50 minute mark of the hour long call, I figured they weren't going to get to my question, so I calmed down considerably and starting pouting a bit. And then, right on cue, the moderator said, "And next we have a question from Rashad Mobley from Hoops Addict.."

Instantly I grabbed my notes, got close to the phone, stumbled over my words and got my question out (you'll have to listen to the call to hear what I asked). They both answered my question, and then I was fortunate enough to get a follow up question as well. Then that was it, and I couldn't stop smiling. Right after the conference call, of course I called my dad, and we were like two little schoolgirls talking about Magic, Larry and basketball in the 70s and 80s. I think he was smiling too.

So now, whenever I talk to another basketball player, or even someone not affiliated with basketball, I can start off a sentence by saying, "Yeah, so when I was talking to Magic and Larry..." That's good Christmas party small talk and maybe..just maybe this will be notch on my belt I need to finally interview Mr. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

So here it is.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

First off, won't you be so kind, and go read my Game Notes, from the Wizards home opener last night.

Yesterday was my nephew's birthday/Halloween party, and leading up to it, I was stressing on what to get him. I'm not good with getting gifts period, but I damn sure am not good with getting gifts for young kids. They can't really articulate what they truly want, and their parents tell everyone to get the same thing, so you can't really trust their advice either. Still, about 20 minutes before the party started, I ventured into Target, hoping to find that perfect gift. I saw baseballs, I saw action figures (its a shame age and maturity have caused me to part with those things, they were great), I saw remote control cars, and just a wide variety of toys for kids. I'll admit I was overwhelmed at all the options, and judging by the looks of the faces of the other men and women in the aisle, I was not alone. Then I saw it...

There was this monster truck that looked like a mini-Bigfoot that made a lot of noise, and I instantly knew that I had to get it. Young boys love trucks that appear as if they can smash anything in their path, and the fact that it made lots of noise only kicked things up a notch(although my brother and sister-in-law will surely hate me). I picked up the gift, shunned wrapping paper, for the more practical gift bag, skipped the birthday card (who are we kidding, I don't even like cards, so why would he), and I stepped into the party.

Once the gift opening ceremony began, I instantly realized I will have some stiff competition for the unofficial "best gift" title, that no one was paying attention to except my narcissistic ass. There were all types of clothes, trucks, books and even a kids laptop that my showoff father decided to get. I was starting to doubt whether my gift would even resonate with my young nephew. But once he unveiled my gift, it passed all the important litmus tests that kid gifts much endure

Eyes get wide when the gift is unveiled? check
Gets impatient while the gift is being removed from the package? check
Other kids around get jealous and try to snatch the gift repeatedly? check
Shuns the other gifts just to play with that one? check

So needless to say I was happy, and I made it a point to tell both of his parents, that uncle Rashad came through like a champ. And most importantly, my nephew was happy with ALL the gifts that he received, and I whispered to him that he should cherish it. The quality of the gift falls precipitously once you enter your 30s..