Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Part 56 of the "you know you're getting old when" chronicles...

I've been getting calls and updates from my mother all year about my grandparents. My grandfather has been battling prostate cancer, and my grandmother is the in early to mid stages of dementia. My grandfather is at that age (84) where chemo would really take too much of a toll on his body, so he just kind of lives with it. My grandmother is a spry 77 years old, and she can still out-talk anyone on the face of this Earth, but she's slowing down, forgetting things more often, and facing limitations. Up until now, my grandparents have been living in house in Akron, Ohio, and my mother and uncle try to check on them once a week. But recently, remedial tasks like taking out the trash and going to the store to get groceries have become huge challenges, and our family has decided to put them in a retirement community, which is a glorified nursing home, but not really.

In 3 weeks, my mother and uncle will be having a send off party of sorts for my grandparents, and my lady and I will be there to support them. I am ashamed to say that I have not seen my grandmother since 2007, and I haven't seen my grandfather or been to Akron since 2006. I kept saying I'd get there, and then I would selfishly thrust my life and its issues ahead of my family, and before I knew it, a full 2-3 years had elapsed. The last time I saw them, their challenges had not really kicked in full throttle, so it was like old times (no pun intended). Now, I am mentally preparing myself to be alarmed at the differences, and it just sucks, but its reality. Not only that, I have to pay close attention to how my parents age, but I wil find myself in similar situations eventually.

The second way I know I'm getting old is a little more light hearted. Last night, former Georgetown star Alonzo Mourning got his jersey retired by the Miami Heat. I can distinctly remember being an 11-12 year old kid, reading the high school section of Street and Smiths College Basketball magazine, and seeing Alonzo Mourning's name as a future college star. Then I remember being in high school and seeing Alonzo dominate and intimidate everyone at Georgetown. Once I went to THE Hampton University, Alonzo was with the Charlotte Hornets, and because the Hampton area didn't have a professional basketball team, and Charlotte was just a couple hours away, at least 3 or 4 times a week, Alonzo was on the local networks, playing hard, starting fights and battling with Shaq. Once I was out of college and into the working world, Alonzo moved to the Miami Heat, retired because of a kidney disorder, had a transplant, came back and won a title, and I ALWAYS followed his career with interest and intrigue. So when I saw him crying and getting emotional, I got a little choked up too.

I didn't cry though

Norman Brown - Acoustic Time

Monday, March 30, 2009

I made the Washington Post!!!!
(see the link below the video)
Hoops Addict is taking over the (sports) world!!!
or something like that
When my son was here with me a few weeks back, we got into a discussion about sports posters, and which ones I had when I was younger. I told him the first two sports posters I had were Michael Jordan, James Worthy, and Eric Dickerson. I explained to my son that I put each of them up with ugly manila masking tape, and my father promptly took them down and asked me to put them up neatly, and that's exactly what I did. I then asked my son what posters he currently had in his room, and he said none, and my mouth dropped. For my son to be as big of a sports fan as he is and his mother and stepfather had not purchased any type of poster, was just criminal, but correctable.

So a few hours later when we returned to my house, we sat down at the very laptop I am typing on now, and we went to allposters.com, and found posters of his two favorite basketball players: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James (I spellchecked them Ryan). We ordered them online, and they were to be delivered to his house in one to two weeks. Last night, when I called my son, he informed that not only had the posters arrived, but he (by himself) put the posters up that same day, and he was happy to finally have some posters of his two favorite athletes.

I have a lot of resentment, anger and frustration regarding my role in my son's life during the past 11 years or so, but I try my best to put it behind me. And when rewarding moments like that take place, I tend to forget all about, and just soak in the moment, and it felt damn good. Eventually he'll tell his friends, his cousins and down the road maybe even his kids about the first poster(s) he ever received.

I asked my son how he put the posters up, and he didn't say manila masking tape..he said he used push pins. Smart man.

If you have not read my article on Gilbert Arenas returning to the Washington Wizards on Saturday, please read it.

Body and Soul - Cassandra Wilson

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Return of Gilbert Arenas
*Disclaimer* - When it is time for my lady and I to have another child I will happy with a girl or a boy.

So today after my swim lesson, I hit the shower, dried off, and headed towards my locker and in the back of the locker room, when I noticed a father and his 4 or 5 year old daughter. I saw the both of them in the pool earlier, and I must admit they were cute. The daughter was getting a lesson, any time she got scared, Dad was right there with words of encouragement. When the little girl did something right, the Dad was right there with a high five or a handclap. The dad tried his best not to undermine the swimming instructor, and the swimming instructor tried her best not to undermine the parent. It was a great give and take and the child was definitely in good hands.

Once the lesson was over, there was no way in the world the father could walk around in the women's locker room, so that brings us right back to me seeing them in the men's locker room. The daughter kept running all around the locker room, and luckily for her and the Dad, there was no one else around. But at one point, I was clutching to my towel for dear life just to avoid any awkward situations. They took a shower together, and then went back to Dad's locker, then they went to the sink to blow dry her hair, then they walked out.

Now, maybe this guy was a single father, or maybe mom had to work or maybe Dad drew the short straw and had to take the girl to the locker room, but it just look awkward. I wouldn't be showering with my little, and I damn sure wouldn't feel comfortable parading her around a bunch of men. I think I'd be paranoid that my daughter would see too much too soon, and then turn into some wild sex maniac (hyperbole). I am terrified of having a daughter just because of those possible awkward moments.

Feel free to tell me how irrational I'm being.

Before you do, please read my article.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Prince killed it last night. Wanna see it? Here it go
So I am listening to the podcast of PTI on my way into work this morning, and I hear that this a new book on Larry Bird and Magic Johnson written by Seth Davis that I want to read. Last week I heard Chuck Klosterman on a podcast, and I decided that I had to have this book of his. And then earlier last week, I found out that a book by main man Bill Simmons is going to be re-issued with about 84 new pages. Besides the fact that I listen to way too many podcast, I was able to glean a pretty important fact about myself, and that is I don't read enough.

Currently, I have about 6 books that I've bought over the past year, that I've barely started. I basically am treating books the way women treat shoes. I like the way they look, and I cannot immediately use them, but I know at some point I will, and when the moment comes..ta daa they will already be in my possession. That is no way to treat something as precious as a book, but I do it nonetheless. Typically how it goes down, is I'll buy a book, ride the momentum of that exciting purchase for about a week, and read the first two chapters of it, and then I abandon the book. Either a sporting event will be on, or my lady and I will get caught up doing something, or I'll be writing..but I don't get back to reading.

Just two weeks ago when my son was here, I stressed to him the importance of reading all the time, and not just at his age, but all his life. I told him the more he read, the better his vocabulary would be, the more he would know, and the more impressive his writing would be. But now here I am collecting books like AIG collects bonuses, and nothing is being accomplished...that is until today.

Today is March 27th. I vow to read a book a month for the remainder of the year, and after I finish, I will post a review on this very blog. I figured if I said this, as opposed just thinking about it and keeping it in my head, all 5 of my readers would take me to task and hold me to it. You may be saying to yourself, "A book a month? That's nothing". But let's delve deeper.

The following sports events are coming in the month of April:
1)The NFL draft
2)The NCAA Final Four and Championship game
3) The Masters Tournament (pronounced tuhn-a-ment)
4) The NBA Playoffs

Wish me luck.

Clipse of Doom - Ghostface
This song is far from worksafe, so use your headphones. I work out to this song, and I suggest you do the same. Ghostface is for the children

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tony Kornheiser on the Today show:
If you've paid close attention during the last two years I've been blogging, you know that I am huge fan of ESPN host and former Washington Post columnist Tony Kornheiser. When he wrote for the Post, I'd read all of his works, when he had a radio show, I would listen religiously, and when he appears on some one's podcast, I make sure to download and listen. Even though he comes off as a cranky old man, who constantly rails about how the old days were better, he is an excellent writer, and beneath that crotchety exterior there is a brilliant man. But by his own admission, he is virtually unapproachable, he'd rather talk about American Idol than sports, and he has the attention span of an 11 year old..which brings us to me.

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Tony last year during a Wizards game. It wasn't an extended interaction, it was just basically a hi/bye situation, and at that time, it was enough for me. There were lots of people around, and I was thankful that I got a chance to squeeze myself in(that's what he said) and say hello. I saw Tony again last night, and the circumstances were quite different. I was walking back towards the press room to get my cell phone, and I saw Tony putting on his coat, fiddling with his cell phone and walking towards the door of the arena.

Immediately I checked my pockets to be sure I had my recording device, and I did. Then I checked my breath to make sure it was minty fresh, and it was. Then in my head I tried to come up with at least 3 or 4 questions I could ask him to get him to talk, and although that was a bit of a struggle, I can honestly say I felt pretty good. Mind you, all of this mental preparation happened over the span of about 10 seconds, so there was no time to waste, although i certainly did my best. So now all I had to do was break into a slight job, say excuse me Mr. Tony, and get the damn interview..but I froze..but with good reason.

On his radio show, Tony used to talk about how he hated being approached and interviewed, because it was awkward, and depending on what he was doing, he would just basically blow you off. Not only would he do that, but then he'd get on his radio show, or whatever venue he was frequenting at the time, and basically rip and laugh at you. When I was just a listener, I would laugh and appreciate this behavior, because it was totally up my alley, and I KNOW if I got famous I would do this at least 30% of the time. But as a journalist trying to get a story, this was NOT a good memory to be etched in my brain. So instead of getting a fantastic interview that I can rave and rant about, I have a fantastic blog about what could have been. I watched Tony disappear out of the door, and I just sat there shaking my head. But the third time's a charm right?

As an addendum, I wrote this blog, BEFORE I knew Tony was going to be on the Today Show.
He Comes - De La Soul
Allow me to say, that if you like hip-hop, and De La Soul in particular, you need to pick up their CD, The Grind Date. Yes its a few years old, but its one of the best CDs you've never listened to, I promise you. Much better than 90% of the hip-hop you currently hear

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chik-fil-A is healthy!!!!
I had two major milestones happen to me this morning, both of them occurred before 7am. The first happened around 6:15am while I was at the pool, when I swam half a length of the pool without any help. There was no floatation device, no swim instructor, no guidance, not even another occupant in the pool with me. I was one with water and chlorine, and I succeeded for half a length of pool, not once, twice, but four times. After the fourth time, I tried to get cute and push myself a little bit, but I ran out of energy and damn near killed myself. At least I have something to look forward to the next time.

The second miracle happened around 6:45am, and this one requires some background. Every morning when I am walking back from the pool, I see the Washington Post guy throwing newspapers from the street to various doorsteps around my neighborhood. This always holds a special place in my heart, because I too was a newspaper delivery person when I was a 10 year old living in Connecticut. Anyway, I always see this gentleman throwing papers around, sometimes I think to myself, "Rashad, you should try to run and catch one of these papers mid-air". Now that may sound crazy and juvenile to you (that's because it is) but I thrive on such fake athletic achievements, and I was not going to be denied. Usually I am so tired from my swim workout, and that I can't even fathom picking a newspaper out of thin air. But I was feeling high and mighty after my Phelpsian half a length of a pool performance, so I decided to give it a gander. I watched the delivery guy pull up slightly in front of me, and throw the paper from his car to the doorstep, and took over running like another Olympic athlete, and with my Ipod headphones on, I caught the paper with my right hand(not my strong hand).

The guy who threw the paper looked me dead in the face, shook his head, and just drove away to the next destination. Clearly he failed to recognize the feat that had just been conquered right before his very eyes. There was a guy walking his dog a few steps in front of me, and he was laughing his ass enough. Curiously, the dog did not seemed amused and he started barking and growling like Chewbacca. I had done something he had done countless times, but I gave it more flair and class. After I reveled in my feat for about 30 seconds, I put the newspaper down where it belonged and continued to walk home.

You probably think I am joking or making this up, but I'm really not. That really did feel good, and I really am just that simple at times. Besides, I bet you didn't do that much before 7 am this morning.

All for Love - Bilal

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

So Mr. Michael Jackson allegedly will be touring in London this summer in what is being billed as his last European hurrah. He's doing something like 40 shows at 50 years old, and I am sure it will be a dazzling display assuming it really happens. If it does, here is my dream writing assignment...

Because Michael is a perfectionist, I am quite sure he starting practicing and getting his body into shape BEFORE he called this press conference. He probably just tested his body and his vocals a little bit just to see if they were serviceable, and once they were, he decided that he could really go through with the intense preparation it takes to put on 40-50 shows. I would like to take my little camera, my pen, my pad and my laptop(redundant I know) and follow Mr. Jackson from now until he's finished with his shows. I'd want full access to his band, his handlers, his background singers, Michael himself, and by the end of the experience, I would want to be considered as one of his boys...well men. Here would be my selling point..

I'd tell Michael look..yes you sold out all 50 shows, and yes this may give you a false sense of confidence again, but you still have numerous fans to win over. So why don't you let me write and film you, you can have a slight hand in the editing process, and we can release this as a DVD. This will get people excited for a possible new album, this will allow people to get a better perspective on your weird ass, and it thrusts me into a higher tax bracket. Plus you've never allowed anyone to have this kind of extended access. And on top of all that, I am a fan, so I won't exploit you like that Bashir fellow. Everyone wins. It sounds like a good enough idea right? We'll see.

Another Part Of Me - Michael Jackson
aka the Captain Eo song..

Monday, March 23, 2009

If Barack Obama's bowling experience makes him feel like he's a Special Olympics participant, then I am right there with him. And unlike Obama, I am not apologizing for using Special Olympics athletes as a point of reference. I am not making fun of them or mocking their accomplishments, but the reality is they have serious physical and mental issues to overcome in addition to the athletic event they are attempting to conquer. Obama and I bowl like we are overcoming some deep serious physical challenges, when in reality, we just plain suck.

This past Saturday, I bowled a 64 and a 94. During my first game, I had three straight turns of straight gutter balls. My ball would start off so promising, and then it would find a home in the gutter. My lady and the other 4 people in attendance tried to be polite at first, and then they just started laughing at me straight up. When the second game started, I showed tremendous by starting off with a strike, and then I was just inconsistent from that point on. Everyone else was having fun, and so was I up to a point, but I was mad that at my lack of bowling skill. Now, for the excuses.

1) I hadn't bowled in 8 years
2) I was drinking beer while bowling
3) I'm left-handed (so is Barack by the way).

I'm dragging my girl and whoever else wants to come back to a bowling alley, and I'm upping my game. In a completely unrelated note, I would like to thank my main man sixfive, who put me on to Goldie, per my request on Friday. I know I am late catching on to the drum and bass, but I am loving it nonetheless. Thank you. I would also like to thank the men in my gym for continuing to parade around nude at 6am. That's how you start off a work week.

House of Cards - The Foreign Exchange

Friday, March 20, 2009

There has been no hot water in my building since around 7pm last night. I could not take my customary night shower, and I did not wash dishes, because dammit, my dishes deserve damn near scalding hot water as well. I did shower at the gym this morning, but since I am usually still sweating on my walk home from the gym, I needed another one once I got home and I couldn't do that. So I had to boil some water and wash my body like an 8 year old who inexplicably avoids showers. Let me tell you something, a hot shower makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Your soap has you smelling good, your genitals are free of the funk you've carried around, and any problems you may have had in your life are just magically gone. But when you have to just wash up without a stream of water beaming down on you, there's no freshness. There's no disappearance of problems. Instead, there's a scowl on your face , and anyone can catch a beatdown if they cross your wrong. No matter how much you wash up, lotion up and throw cologne on, you don't feel fresh at all, and you might even randomly start itching. That is me today. How's that for a pretty picture?

This reminds me of my brother when he was about 9 or 10. He would run the shower water, wet his face towel, then proceed to sit in the bathroom for a good 15 minutes doing nothing. Then he'd wrap the towel around himself, brush his teeth, put lotion on his bone dry, unsoaped, unshowered nasty ass body, and parade around the house and school like he was THE man. (I think I've told this story before). My father got wind of this, and made my brother stand at the end our driveway, facing the main street. He was ashy, he was dirty, and this sad look on his face. Meanwhile I was in the window laughing at him..although at some point I felt bad for him, and I told my dad I was going to get him, and my dad just walked upstairs without saying anything to me. From that point on (I think) my brother became a believer of showers. I don't mention this to slam my brother, but I mention this because now I know what he felt like as a youngster, and frankly, it ain't nothing nice.

Oh, and no trash talking about the NCAA tournament until after today's games are played. We have a long way to go.

One more thing..I think I want to start getting into drum and bass music, so if anyone can recommend about 10-15 standout drum and bass cds, that would be great.

Lick - Joi

Thursday, March 19, 2009

If you live in DC or if you visit the area and you would like to take yourself or whoever you're with to a nice dining establishment, I highly suggest a restaurant called Nora's. I took my lady there for dinner last night, and I was highly impressed with all aspects of it. The service was impeccable, the waiter (who looked like a ghey Gilbert Arenas) was extremely helpful and detailed with his descriptions of the items on the menu. And the food, which was marketed as organic, was both filling and light if that makes sense. And to top it off ,the after dinner drinks (although they were expensive as hell) were perfect. Noras is definitely not the kind of restaurant you'd visit monthly, but if you want to treat yourself to some fine organic food, I highly recommend it. If you do decide to go, when you leave, you can walk one block to my apartment, and my lady and I will more than happy to accept the extra plate of food you brought us.

The NCAA tournament starts in about 2 hours, so if you haven't joined my pool, I really would appreciate it if you did. The details are below:

Go here http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com
The groupID is 65718
the group name is Synchronicity
the password is rashad

By the way, I think my son heard my lady and I having, but I can't prove it, but I'm dying to ask him if he heard anything. My lady asked me not to write about this, but I just had to get a sentence in, because I think its hilarious. My lady thinks we're horrible people, but come on, what kid hasn't heard that at some point?

Sly and the Family Stone - You Caught Me Smilin Again

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

When I was younger, and my commute to and from work was a little longer, I used to read the Washington Post cover to cover, and I even had a set routine. To me the Sports page was the centerpiece of the paper, so I'd tease myself and not read it right away, thinking that the longer I delayed it, the better it would be once I finally laid eyes on it (I think I use this tactic regarding "finishing" sex too..). Anyway, I'd start with the Style section, where I'd read about the hottest entertainer or I would casually glance at a review of a CD I was considering purchasing. Then I'd gravitate to the depressing Metro section where I could catch up on who got shot, the corrupt police department, and a feel-good, warm and fuzzy mom and pop store. Then I'd read the front page, where I'd get my international and national news. I wouldn't read every damn story, but I would read enough so that if asked, I could have a little something intelligent to say about a broad range of topics. But the sports page was the crown jewel of the paper to me.

The sports section at the Post housed my two favorite writers, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, and I would try to read their columns first and foremost. Then I'd delve in the scores, the numbers, the beat writers etc. But then a funny thing starting happening...People stopped reading newspapers, and they preferred to read books, magazines or printed articles from the internet. All of a sudden newspaper readership dipped and dipped, and great columnists that had been with newspapers for years and years, were either bought out or they gravitated to television instead. For me personally, my commute became shorter, so I stopped going to the newspaper vending machines, and I just read certain articles on the internets.

I feel myself rambling, so let me get to the point. By this point next year, at least 3 or 4 major newspapers could go under. You'll hear people the blame the recession, but that's bullshit because that industry (along with the automobile one) was on a decline prior to this monstrous recession. I don't know what the answer is, or how to reverse this trend, but it just makes me sad. I've been reading the newspaper since I was 5, and now, barring a miracle or a brilliant rescue mission, they will slowly go under. What the hell am I supposed to do on Sunday if I can't read the paper? How will great stories and great writers be immortalized if a computer crashes and the data can't be retrieved, and there's no newspaper?

I have no answers, and I have no point. This is just a knee jerk reaction to me hearing that the Boston Globe is near death. And then on top of that, one of my favorite local writers who covers the Washington Wizards for the Washington Post, Mr. Ivan Carter, is leaving newspaper, to be a television host. How dare the internet and television usurp my favorite medium like this?

Pretty Baby - Eric Benet
Dedicated to my lady (whose name I've managed to not mention all this time..pretty impressive) who turns 36 today. Happy birthday to you, and thank you for deciding to rob the cradle by choosing me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Each and every time my son leaves, I tell myself not to get upset, not to tear up, and to think ahead to the next visit, instead of reacting to the one that's just been completed. I actually had gotten it down to a science. I would make sure that both of us were laughing when we separated, and I'd let the memory of his laughter carry me through, and then by the time that memory faded, I would be fine. But when you drop your son off at the airport, and then an airline employee takes over for you when you can legally walk no further, and you watch both the employee and your son walk towards the plane, there's no smiling there. There's no laughter. There's part frustration that you can't see your son all the way through, and then there is a greater degree of sadness that this boy that you've created and loved closely, but mostly from afar for 11 years, is now leaving again..So after my son walked down the ramp towards the plane, I found a nearby gate with a seat near the window, I pulled my hat down, and once again, I cried. I didn't even try to fight the tears this time...

However, those tears quickly turned to anger and impatience. He boarded at 5:25, and he was supposed to leave at 5:55, but the sat at the gate until almost 6:30. Apparently there was a microphone malfunction in the pilot's cabin, and it took awhile to fix. I must have bugged the United staff at least 45 times in 30 minutes, asking them what was going on. Finally, at around 6:35, the plane with my beloved son it took off, and I left and embarked on that long 30-45 ride back to my apt. It was weird not have him in the car, or in the apt, but the sad reality is, in a few days I'll get "used" to it again, and I'll put all my hopes into the next visit. That's how these things go. Fortunately for me, the emotional pendulum will swing back in my favor, since my lady's birthday is tomorrow and the day after that the NCAA tournament starts..speaking of the tournament, if you scroll down you will see the information needed for you to join my little bracket challenge. My picks were done by my son, so surely you don't want an 11 year old to beat that ass do you?

Gettin Up - Q-tip

Monday, March 16, 2009

Today is my last day with my son, so I'll make this short and sweet. If you'd like to join my NCAA tournament challenge, here is the info

The groupID is 65718
the group name is Synchronicity
the password is rashad

In the meantime, here is a humorous ESPN commercial:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

3 generations of Mobley
last picture I promise..

My son Carlton and my nephew Nazir
In my kitchen...on the Ides of March at 1:40pm
I'll get back to writing tomorrow, but its so rare that I get to see these two together, I thought I'd get this photo up.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My son is here, and all is well. The above picture was taken at the Newseum earlier today. Today at the Newseum, we learned that I live one block away from where Ronald Reagan was shot back in 1981. How cool is that?

Friday, March 13, 2009

It is NCAA tournament time again, and I would like to encourage you to join my pool, before other people bother you and get you to do the same. Here is what you do.

Go here http://tournament.fantasysports.yahoo.com
The groupID is 65718
the group name is Synchronicity
the password is rashad

Even if you know absolutely nothing about college basketball I encourage you to play, because it really doesn't matter. Anyone can win..I know I sound like Ed McMahon right about now, but I'm serious.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

This morning on the train, I watched this married couple talk, laugh and joke around with each other for 10 minutes(which is how long I was on the train). They talked about dinner, watching The Office later, and what their plans were going to be for the weekend. While I was listening and watching, I found myself saying, "Damn, they sound like my lady and I." This couple seemed totally oblivious to the millions of people on the train around them, and I immediately wished my lady was with me, so I could ignore everyone too. But she wasn't so I was forced to stare.

When my stop came, I guess the wife's stop came too, and they hugged tight, they told each other to have a nice day, and then the husband leaned in for a goodbye kiss, and the wife backed away. The husband thought she was joking, and he leaned in again, and this time the wife leaned back, but then put her right hand up and said no. Now I don't know if anyone else saw this, but I damn sure did, and I laughed out loud(by accident) and they both looked at me, and I looked away and acted like this man. At this point both the husband AND the wife got off the train, and before I went up the stairs to the train station, I heard this conversation.

Husband: What the hell dude, why are you backing away?
Wife: I don't like kissing you on the train and in public you know that?
Husband: Dude you're my wife, what's the big deal? what the hell?
Wife: I'm not going to argue with you here, I love you, and we'll talk when we get to work
Husband: Oh come on Marie(her name I guess), that's bullshit

And then she walked away, and was on the stairs not too far behind me. That is some cold cold shit man..frigid even. I am not the most affectionate brother ever made, but I kiss my lady damn near wherever I want (that's what he said), and I give the proverbial (and sometimes the actual) middle finger to anyone who dares to say anything. Of course I don't get flagrant with it, and grope her like a pervert in a club, but I show subtle affection. But if I leaned in to kiss my wife after a fantastic train conversation, and she snubbed me, I do believe I would go into an apopletic fit right then and there. That's just wrong.

I will admit though, 18% of me admired her boldness. I bet they talk later and she'll apologize, and he'll be angered a bit, but then he'll be engulfed in the throes of his work day and he will forget all about it. Then as he's on his way home, the husband will remember his wife's actions, and it is quite possible his anger will return as he steps in the house. But the wife, being the intelligent woman that she is, will get home just 5 minutes before he does, so that when he steps in the door, she will have her knees comfortably resting on the welcome mat and then......

Minnie Ripperton - Inside My Love

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are there any black scientists out there? If so my man Brian from Hampton has a message for you.

Here is the link

and here is the video message:
When I first starting attending the Jewish Community Center for swimming lessons, I must admit I was a bit nervous. 90-95% of the members are Jewish obviously, and aside from some of the employees who cleaned the building and worked the front desk, I didn't really see anyone who looked like me. I saw one black woman hanging around the pool one day, and I saw another one on the basketball court, but no black men. Still, I enjoyed the facilities, everyone was nice, and I decided that I'd be the Jackie Robinson of the JCC. And for the first few weeks, I had no incidents to speak of...that is until this morning.

Even though I have weekend lessons, I try to get to the pool at least 3 times a week to practice what I have learned. I try to get to the gym around 6-6:15, and I swim 30 minutes..partly because my stamina isn't where I want to be, partly because I don't want to be sleepy all day while I'm at work and partly because there is 30 minute swimming rule when the people are waiting, and I never want to be in position where I have to rush. There is usually one other guy in the pool with me, and we say hi and bye, and that's it. There is also a lifeguard/front desk person who is there every morning, and we speak every now and then.

So this morning I arrive around 6:10(pay attention to the times here), I change, and then go back to the front desk at 6:15 to grab a towel, then I head for the pool, where I am the first one to arrive. I mentally make a note to myself that I have until 6:45 to my little workout in. The guy who usually swims with me arrives about a minute after I do at 6:16, and then a woman (who was black..surprise surprise) gets in the pool about 6:20. For a good 15 minutes it is just us in the pool, and then an older gentleman arrives around 6:30, and he just swims in the same middle lane as the black woman. About two minutes later(6:32) the black woman, who I guess has a cold, starts coughing uncontrollably, so she gets out of the pool. We now have three lanes occupied again, when another guy emerges from the locker room, surveys the three full swimming lanes, looks back at the lifeguard/front desk guy, then hesitates. It is now about 6:34, and the front desk/lifeguard guy comes over to MY lane, bends down, and says:

"Sir, we have a 30 minute swim rule we try to follow here, so that no one is waiting too long"

I looked him dead in the face for about 10 seconds, then dipped my head back into the pool. This jackass then met me on the OTHER end of the pool, and the following conversation went down:

lifeguard: Sir, did you hear what I said, we have someone waiting here, and its been 30 minutes for you
Me: Do you even know what time I got in the pool?
lifeguard: I know you got to the gym around 6:10
Me: But do you know what time I got here?
lifeguard: I'll say 6:10
Me: At 6:10 I hadn't even grabbed a towel yet, and even if I did, I still have 5 more minutes right?
lifeguard: Yes five minutes (looks back at the guy waiting and repeats five minutes)
Me: But I actually I got in the pool at 6:15, so I have 10 more minutes (I look at the guy waiting and hold up 10 fingers with a smirk on my face and get back in the pool).

Now, first of all, as I've said earlier, I don't even swim longer than 30 minutes, so they NEVER have to worry about me violating that rule. Second, the previous guy who encountered a full pool, simply got in the water and shared a lane with someone without complaining..like you're supposed to do. Thirdly, if you are going to be Mr. Thorough about timing my pool minutes, the least your punk ass can do is clock me correctly. And lastly, what I SHOULD have done is extend my lesson by 2 minutes, since that's how much of my time was wasted talking. Oh..and fifthly(i know that's not a word) the guy who was waiting should have interrupted the lifeguard's interrogation of me, and said the following, "That's ok, that's cool I'll just wait!" or sat his eager ass down for 10 minutes. That is what I would have done.

My apologies to my lady who I basically woke up at 7 am, so i could bitch and moan about this. I should have just sat down at the computer first.

Carousel - Michael Jackson
After hearing numerous "singers" butcher Michael's song last night on American Idol, I felt need to hear the real thing.

Monday, March 09, 2009

I know I haven't mentioned my son too often, and that's because he is living in Tuscon, Arizona, way too far from me. But, he is on his spring break right now, and from this Friday to Monday, he will spending time with me...finally. 3 days is not nearly enough time for us to do all the things I truly want to do, but I try my hardest to squeeze everything in (that's what she said). One of the main things I want to do is have yet another sex talk. We had one last year, and as expected his eyes glazed over, and he was noticeably uncomfortable as I threw around the clinical terms for words and actions that he almost definitely heard the slang terms for in his young 11 year travels. I identified the organs, told him where to put things, told him what women have, the feelings that go with it, and that he should try to wait until he's much older, but if not he MUST be protected. But now he's been away from me for several months, and although I've asked his other two parents to pick up where I left off, they are semi-competent assclowns, and they probably didn't do jack. I will gladly do it again..

I can readily admit though, the thought of my son doing the very thing that I did to bring him in this world, creeps me out beyond belief. Its not quite as bad as having to face the mental pictures of someone(man or woman..just to be fair) going in and out of my daughter, but it is still an image that I never hope to see or picture you know? In my mind he's still that infant who can't hold his head up, and smiles up at me when he sees me step into the room. Now he's 11, on the brink of puberty, and when he sees me he has that look of indifference(a look I also possess) 90% of the time. Not to be crass, but something tells me he and that look of indifference are going to get more ass than I can shake a stick at, and as a father how do I prepare him for that? I'm sure I'll figure it out right?

Anyway, besides that, I am very excited. I hope he is too. Oh and one more thing, the movie Watchmen was TERRIBLE. It was too long, too violent, and the plot just wasn't very believable. I've heard there is a book to go with it, and that's much better. We'll see about that. I want my money and my 3 hours back.

Synchronicity - The Police

Saturday, March 07, 2009

So after my 30 minute swim lesson this morning, I decided that I wanted an additional workout, so I went to play basketball. Initially when I stepped on the court, there was only one other guy out there, so we both shot on our respective baskets. After about 20 minutes, folks slowly starting filtering in, and eventually there were 6 other people, 8 of us total. Seven guys and one woman.

Now I've played with and against women before, so this was no big deal to me at all. She was on my team, and she clearly had game, and after about 5-10 minutes, I was way more concerned with my team winning the game, because to lose would mean I'd have to sit out for at least 15-20 minutes.

At one point, I made a shot from the outside with a hand in my face, and my teammates all high-fived me...except for the woman. The woman bypassed my hand, and slapped me on the ass the way some guys do from time to time. Now, I didn't have time to react or say anything, because the opposing team was running down the floor, and I had to get back on defense. But in my head I was thinking, "Why the ass?" She could have opted for the high five like everyone else. Was she trying extra hard to prove that she was "one of the guys? Was she just trying to get a free feel? Or was I just over thinking things as usual? And more importantly, if I was to do that to her (which I wouldn't) what would her reaction be?

I was on her team for two more games, and I made plenty of good shots after that, but she never touched me again. After my last game I started to just ask her why she slapped my ass, but that would have come off as slightly neurotic right?

Do the Right Thing - Ludacris and Common

Friday, March 06, 2009

I wonder what percentage of people are late to work, because they were engaged in sex that went longer than they had originally anticipated. Someone needs to do a study and crunch those numbers.

So I was walking briskly with purpose this morning, because I was a bit late for work, when I stuck behind a woman who was dragging a backpack on one of those roller thingys. I was already upset that this backpack was on this roller, instead of on her back, which is where it was designed to go. But who I am to judge right? So I kept trying to walk by her, but at one point she changed directions quickly and ran over my toe. Either she didn't feel herself run over my toe, or she was just being rude, but she didn't even acknowledge it, but I let it slide. I was feeling good this morning, and I wasn't going to let a backpack roller bully mess that up. But then she did it a second time on the same toe, and I was livid, because she had the nerve to look back at me like it was my fault. And on top of that, the first thing out of her mouth was, "Excuse you!"

Now, there are times when I work myself into a lather over things that could easily be solved with a little tenderness. This was not one of those times. So the follow exchange happened:

Me: What the hell you say? (yes I'm an English major, but anger trumps correct grammar sometimes)

Her: I said excuse you, you kicked my bag for the second time (so she DID feel it initially..that's what she said)

Me: You hit MY foot twice ma'am, and perhaps if you put the BACKpack on your back, this wouldn't happen

Her: Whatever, can you just watch your step?

Me(under my breath but not really) Man f**k you

Her: Whatever

Now, I realize that was harsh, and my lady (and maybe others) are reading this and shaking their head at my language, but I feel like I did as well as can be expected given the circumstances. I'm trying to work on my mouth and my temper, so that I can take that elusive high road with Denny Green. Its just going to take some time. But still, you roll luggage, you put backpacks on your back. Those are the rules. No exceptions baby.

This Is The Time - Billy Joel
This is my favorite Billy Joel song for two reasons. One, if you're old enough to remember when CBS aired NBA games, they would do NBA finals highlights to this song. And two, at the 46 second mark of the song, he utters the lyric, "I haven't shown you everything, a man can do." I don't know why I like that lyric, it just seems like something cool to a woman during regular conversation..or foreplay. I think a lot my flaws are showing up in this entry.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I may have bee more inclined to write something beautiful and inspiring today, but I lost my keys this morning. I had them when I left the house, but somewhere between the gym and coming back home I lost them, and its very frustrating. I had like 15 year streak going of never losing my keys, and now I have to start over AND get new keys. So that has curbed my writing enthusisam greatly, so nothing today.

Here is the article that was inspired by yesterday's story. Please read it, I think you'll enjoy it.

People In Search of a Life - Marc Dorsey
Yeah I've posted this song before, but its a good song

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I had an article to write last night for Hoops Addict, but I was having a hell of a time getting started. An interview that I had done earlier in the day didn't turn out the way that I wanted, I was sleep from staying up late the night before, and all I really wanted to do was relax and act silly with my lady. I took out my notes and my audio from the previous night's game, but my motivation was minimal. My plan was to check my email one more time before I went to bed, and then shut my laptop down for the evening. But when I checked my email, I saw a blast from the distant past.

I had an email in my inbox from my brother's godfather and a good friend of the family (we'll call him William), who I had neither seen nor spoken to in over 18 years. William went to Columbia with my parents, and he had stayed in touch with both my parents well after college. After my parents starting have problems in 1991 (they officially divorced in 1994), I suspect that he was one of the friends of the family who choose to believe my mother's side of the story and blame my father. This led to me seeing him less and less and eventually not at all. William's parents and niece lived in Hampton while I went to school, and I would see them, but I never was able to reconnect with him, and frankly I never tried. But apparently, he had somehow gotten a hold of the Obama/Wizards I had written, and I guess he was moved enough to contact me.

In the email, William updated me on his wife and now three kids. He apologized for falling out of touch, and he admitted that he had been keeping in touch with my mother, but had fallen out of favor with my dad. He also left his email address and number and asked me to give him a call sometime. I was COMPLETELY blown away, and although I was sad it had taken this long of us to reconnect, I was absolutely grateful to have a shot at making it right 18 years later. I returned his email and promised to call him later on this week, and then instantly I got the very burst of energy that I had been severely lacking at the start of the evening.

I took my notes and my audio back out, I pulled up the blank screen, and I took two hours to write the article. I had my lady read it over and make edits, then I read it over and added some things, and by the time I got in the bed it was damn near 2am. Of course by then my second wind has subsided a bit, but I was still too wound to sleep. I think I finally got to sleep around 3:30 or so, which means I'm sleepwalking today. But it was all worth it. You just never know where inspiration will come from.

Oh and when the article is up on the site, I'll post it up here. Its either really good or really bad given when and how I wrote it.

Bonita Applebum (Hootie Mix) - A Tribe Called Quest

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

When I worked at HUD from 1999-2005, there was this older black man who shined shoes right outside of the building. I would see him shining shoes of white and black men, and even some women would leave their shoes, and then pick them up later in the day. When a person was lucky enough to sit in his chair and have their shoes shined, this older gentleman would sometimes listen to the person bitch and complain about their day. On the days when a quieter person was in the chair, the gentleman would engage them about sports, the news of the day, women, etc. When you're in that profession, much like a barber or a hairdresser, you can ill-afford to just work in silence, because you want the entire experience to be memorable, not just the service you're providing.

On many occasions, I would walk by this brother, and say good morning, or ask him how he was doing, and he would say, when are you going to come get a shoe shine, and I'd jokingly say that I kept my shoes together pretty well, and we'd both laugh until I was out of sight. But the cold truth was, I didn't feel comfortable letting an older black man shine my shoes. Its not that I didn't respect what he did for a living, and its not that I thought his service was anywhere near substandard, I just felt like I was disrespecting him by allowing him to shine MY shoes. The picture in my mind was that here I was a late 20s/early 30s kid sitting in an elevated chair, watching an older, distinguished black man on his knees shining my shoes. I just couldn't do it. If it was a black woman, or any other race, I'd stick BOTH feet all in their face, and go to sleep in their chair until they were done. But an older black man, who could possibly be my father or grandfather? Couldn't do it. I stayed conflicted about this during my stay at HUD, and when I left I was happy to rid myself of that dilemma..or so I thought.

Before every Wizards game, in the bowels of the Verizon Center, there is yet another older black man who shines shoes. Granted, he shines the shoes of all the basketball stars, so its a much more glamorous and well paying job, but the premise is still the same. He seem=s me every evening there is a game, and says, "What's going on young brother?", and I always respond with, "You got it man!". Then he asks the dreaded question, "Do your shoes need shining?", and my tried and true answer is still, "Not yet, I don't think I do a bad job myself." He usually laughs and I laugh until I turn the corner, then I exhale, thinking I dodged yet another bullet.

But yesterday when I walked away and said that, it didn't feel like I let myself off the hook, and it didn't feel good to avoid that uncomfortable feeling. For the first time, I felt like I was ducking responsibility and being selfish to some degree, and I can't describe why that was. But what I DO know is that on March 11th, when the Wizards play at home next, I am going to get to that arena early, put my laptop down, take my coat off, get my shoes shined, and enjoy a great service and better conversation.

After all, I'm about five years away from being an old black man myself right?

Jerry Butler - Never Gonna Give You Up

Monday, March 02, 2009

So on one hand I am absolutely ecstatic that it snowed, and the federal government received a two hour delay. It allowed me to "sleep" a little longer, relax, and just not to have to rush on what would otherwise be a depressing Monday morning. I'm now here at work, and I'm rested and ready to take on the world. But I am a little disappointed that we only got 3-5 inches instead of the 10-15 inches I saw other areas receive. 3-5 inches gets you delays and minor inconveniences. 10-15 inches in Washington D.C. gets you home one day, and a 2-3 hour delay the next. That kind of day would enable to drink insanely strong mimosas, watch movies, go the gym at my leisure, and have a grand time. Still, considering the DC area hasn't had a snowstorm in a couple of years, I'll take it.

On Saturday night, my lady and I went to the Kennedy Center to see Mr. Kurt Elling and his band, perform a tribute to the great John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman album entitled, "Dedicated To You". By the way if you aren't familiar with Mr. Elling, then go here, and get acquainted with some of his work because he's a talent jazz singer. Everyone knows Coltrane, but to find more about Johnny Hartman, go here, because he too has good music and kind of a sad story surrounding him. Anyway, the show was excellent, the atmosphere was romantic and sexy, and we had a great time. And I told myself when I left, I'd do my best to promote both the artists performing, as well as the ones they paid tribute too. Judging by the lack of people at the concert under 40, jazz seems to be a dying breed among young folks, so any little thing I can do to promote it I will.

That being said, Mr. Branford Marsalis will be in DC this weekend. If you are interested in going, let me know, because I know someone who is selling discounted tickets.

My latest article is here.

Kurt Elling - Nightmoves

Sunday, March 01, 2009

My latest story.
And yes it may look familiar