Sunday, May 31, 2009

My lady was nice enough to turn me on to the joys of eating Pho when we starting dating, and I have taken a shine to it as well. In fact she is to Pho what I am to Chik-fil-A. So when we found a place that serves this wonderful dish about 5 minutes away from our house, an average day suddenly because a great day...

And this great day is made even greater because LeBron James and the Cavaliers are sitting at home. I didn't want to besmirch the good name of LeBron while he as still playing, because I thought I would jinx him going home. But now he's home, so all is well. I hope he spend the entire summer agonizing over his defeat, because next year, my Wizards will dominate his team. End of rant.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yesterday I sat here and wrote about how I desperately wanted to score an interview with the great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. A few people told me follow him on twitter, which I was doing already. Some folks told me to try to contact him via his website, but I haven't much luck with that either. And then my main man Ryan from Hoops Addict came through with some inside information that will hopefully lead me even close to finally making this dream come true. Now I just have to type a formal request email. I've tried it about 4 or 5 different times, but oddly enough I get nervous and I don't seem to be able to come up with the correct words to convey my point. Perhaps after my swim lesson today, I'll find the right words.

Friday, May 29, 2009

My weekly appearance on the radio

By the way, as I've mentioned in this blog, it is my DREAM to interview Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I am working on this on my own, but if any of my 4 readers have the hookup, please share it with me. I could do an entire book on this man with his cooperation, but I'd settle for an extended interview.

That's all I have for today, I'm still pissed Cleveland won.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yet another moment from the gym/locker room chronicles...

So this morning after I swim and shower, I am standing at my locker naked, because the door is jammed, and I can't seem to gain access to my clothes. I don't panic at all, because it is still 6:45, and apparently I am the only one who thought to get up and workout, with the exception of one other dude who was in the pool with me, but I was sure he would be in the pool for at least 10-15 more minutes...I was wrong

I hear this guy come into the locker room, and jump in the shower, and it was at this point, when I finally got the door to my locker open. I placed my towel on the bench, sat down (still naked) and began to put my clothes on, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. The following happened

Him: Excuse me sir, would you mind helping me for a second?
Me (LONG pause): Ok?
Him: I can't get this machine to work and I need help
Me: Ok, I'll be over there in a second
Him (just standing there still naked): Thanks!
Me (still sitting there naked): No problem..let me just finished getting dressed
Him: Well I'm kind of a in a hurry
Me (frantically grabbing for my towel): I got you man...

Now, a few things here. This machine that he speaks of is a bathing-suit-drying contraption that everyone uses. You get out of the pool, you put your suit in there, hold the door down, a loud noise comes on, and then in 30-45 seconds your suit is relatively dry. Its tricky sometimes, but not impossible to operate, but I guess this guy couldn't do it. Secondly, when you ask someone for help and they say yes, you're supposed to walk away, ESPECIALLY if both of you are naked. Its like in the shoe find a salesman, they say they can help you, and then you walk back from whence you came, and wait for the salesman to arrive. You don't just stand next to them..that's just putting unnecessary pressure on them. And lastly, why must you stand so close to me while naked? I'm not homophobic (OK maybe a little) but damn if I'm naked, freshly showered ,and relaxing, I damn sure don't want to be sidled up next to.

So as I am standing there with my towel on, I fix the machine, and his naked ass puts his hand on my shoulder and says thank you, and I said no problem, and quickly walked away. I didn't even finish drying off, I just put my clothes on and got the hell out of there. I wonder if women have these kinds of issues at the gym..

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

There is a beer/wine/liquor store across the street from my apartment, that I have given my business to for almost two years now. The guy who owns it is from Pakistan, and his main man is Ethiopian, and ever since the first time I visited there, they either call me by my name or they call me brother. They asked me for my ID the first time I ever walked in there, and after that they never asked me again. It wasn't because they were negligent or lazy or cutting corners, its just that I talked to them enough for them to really know me (and my lady for that matter). Considering so many mom and pop stores are going out of business, or are priced out by larger chains, its nice to have what feels like my very own liquor store(that sounds bad) at my disposal. But at this man says, times they are a changing...

The last few times I've gone into "my" store, I've noticed completely different guys in there. They barely look me in the eye, they follow me with their eyes around the store, they ask me for me ID every time, even though I KNOW they know who I am, and my attempts at friendly banter are met with one word answers and dismissive attitudes. They are more concerned with talking to one another in their language and joking around, than they are with building a rapport, and it makes me want to steal(not really). To me its more than customer service, its just plain nice, to humor the folks you see regularly giving you business. Or, maybe just maybe, I'm getting to be a crotchety, Dick Cheney like man, who doesn't embrace least not where my liquor stores are concerned.

By the way, a few weeks back when I saw the Mike Tyson documentary, there were some very poignant moments of him discussing his children. After his last fight, he mentioned that fighting was no longer his passion, and he was much more concerned with how his children viewed him. In another scene, he mentioned that seeing his kids grow, play sports, graduate and have grandkids was his biggest desire at this point in his life, and they showed extended footage to hammer that point home. So when I saw that his daughter passed away yesterday, it made me sad, not just because I'm a parent who worries about his child, but because I know a part of him died too.

The Times They Are A-Changin' - Bob Dylan

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I have nothing of note to say today, except to say that allegedly, Sade has a new cd coming out in November. First Maxwell, then Sade...this bodes well for D'Angelo.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I sprained my ankle something terrible yesterday, trying to be a super athlete. I had just finished swimming for 40 minutes or so, and I was getting ready to go home, when I peeked in the gym to see what was going on. There was a 17 year old boy in there shooting baskets alone, and when he saw me, he immediately challenged me to a game of one-on-one. I was tired from swimming, sweating like a madman, and I was in no condition to be playing basketball, but my ego got the best of me, so I said, "Sure!"

Five minutes into the game, I regretted my decision. I was two steps slow, I didn't feel like guarding this dude, and clearly this young fellow had endless energy. He was winning 7-1, when I jumped up to get the rebound, and my left foot landed on his, twisted to the left, and then came down. I yelled out an impressive string of expletives, hit the wall with my fist, and limped around for about 30 seconds, before I said to the kid, "Ok, let's continue." I reeled off 6 points in a row, and tied the game, while playing in pain, before he put me out of my misery and beat me 11-7.

I wanted to be angry and embarrassed that this 17 year old beat me, but the pain in my ankle reigned supreme. All day long the ankle slowly swelled up, and gave me problems, and the longer I sat down, the worse it was. My lady and I went to see the play Radio Golf and afterwards, I felt like trash, and I feel the same today. I'm writing all this so that you'll feel sorry for me, so I hope its working. Now if you excuse me, I am headed out to find some Chik-fil-A on this fine Memorial Day off.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

My interview with Washington Post writer Michael Lee

I know this is the second day in a row, I've linked my work in favor of writing an actual blog entry, but 1) Its the holiday weekend, and I cannot say I feel like writing a whole lot and 2)I am really proud of that interview, and I think you should click on that link.

I'll resume writing tomorrow.

Friday, May 22, 2009

That new Eminem is TERRIBLE. I mean it is TERRIBLE, and I'm not even exaggerating. I think that he is one of the 3 most talented rappers out today, and if a creative fire was ever lit under his ass, he could be a devastating lyricist. But that mojo didn't insert itself in his head or his rhyme-writing hand, because the end product was hot ass garbage. It was if he talked to 50 criminals at Riker's Island, asked each of them for some horrifying stories, and then went back to put the stories in rap form. When he first came out it was mildly amusing for him to rap about those kinds of things, but now its annoying. And again, it wouldn't be so bad if he wasn't so damn talented

This Obama/Cheney feud is pretty damn interesting. Considering how bad the Bush/Cheney administration has been trashed even before Obama entered office, I don't blame Cheney one bit for defending his defense policies specifically and his administration as a whole. He's "earned" that right to be a curmudgeon and a perfect foil to Obama....BUT. If I were Obama, I would calmly refute and rebut each and every one of Cheney's talking points. And then I'd end all my sentences with, "Yeah, but I'm the f**king president now." There's no come back for that.

As I have explained before, I'm doing this whole twitter thing after months and months of shunning it. I like to write in long free flowing sentences and paragraphs, and the one-liner nature of twitter is the equivalent of running in place. I need to be unleashed. BUT my lady says that I need to hip to such things, plus my favorite sportswriter is on there too, so it must be legit. Still, I have no clue what I'm doing. But tonight, when I attend my first baseball game at the new Washington Nationals Stadium, I will be twittering (I think the right word is tweeting, but that sounds like something that's done behind closed doors in or on someone)

My favorite Jay-Z song....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Me and my first podcast
Reason #4562 I know I'm getting old...

My lady and I have an unhealthy obsession with the Weather Channel. In the morning when we wake up, we anticipate the "On the 8s" update that starts at 8 after every hour, and repeats every 10 minutes thereafter. After work, but before dinner, we check the weather again, for not only the next day, but for the next 5-7 days thereafter. After dinner, but before bedtime, we check it again, and then there's that one final check before bedtime that takes place around 11 or 12. Then you have instances like Monday, when my lady tried to sneak and watch the channel, when she thought I wasn't paying attention, but I caught her ass.

This type of behavior is acceptable during the winter months, since snowstorms and the proposed accumulation totals change on an hourly basis. I'd even venture to say that during a hurricane season, it is totally understandable if one checks the weather channel on an hourly basis just to be sure nothing bad is going to happen. Or if you're headed to a baseball game the next day, and you want to make sure a rain out isn't coming, then a peek at that channel is paramount. But even then, you can check once or twice, and get the information you need..not 5-6 times. But we are at the tail end of Spring/beginning of Summer, and the weather simply does not vary that much. Whether its sunny, rainy or cloudy, the same weather pattern that's shown at 8am, is shown again at 8pm. The 5 day forecast may vary a bit, but to dwell on that is pointless because you know damn well you will have looked at the forecast 456 times before 2 of the 5 days go by.

What's the allure of that channel besides the weather? You have the smooth talking, radio DJ voice guy, who sounds like Chris Hansen may have paid him a visit at some point in his life. You have the smooth jazz that annoys me 99% of the time, but somehow seems to fit so well with sun, cloud, rain and snow pictures/drawings. And then finally, you have these Weather Channel "news" anchors who look so damn happy, that you would not be at all surprised if they all had a raging orgy shortly before and right after they went on the air. You add that all up, and you have the anatomy of a unhealthy obsession.

Thank you allowing me air my confession.

Feeding Off The Love Of The Land - Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More and more buildings have handicapped buttons outside of their doors(or as I like to call them, easy buttons) These buttons are for handicapped individuals who do not have the ability to grab the handle, pull the door, hold the door, and the step through. Occasionally I have seen non-handicapped people who have their hands full push that handicapped button as well, and that is perfectly legal as far as I am concerned. What is not legal in my ever-growing book, is when able bodied individuals are just too lazy to open the door, so they hit the button, wait 5 seconds for that door to completely open, then step through... which brings me to this morning..

I had just completed my 20 minute walk to work, and I had removed my headphones from my ear, wrapped them around my IPOD, and started to reach for the door. But before I could open the door, it hit me SQUARE on the forehead, because some dumb ass chubby woman (not what I really want to call her), who was neither handicapped, nor carrying anything heavy, had decided that she was too lazy to open the door. Granted, she had to have seen me right in front of her, so she had no excuse to hit that button, when I was RIGHT in front of the door, but she did anyway. I guess the sound of the door hitting my head, hipped her to the fact that she f**ked (I'm at work) up, which brought us to the following exchange

*the door hits my head*
Her: OHMYGODOHMYGOD, I'm so sorry are you ok?
Me: I'll be fine
Her: I'm so used to hitting that button, I wasn't even paying attention, I'm so sorry
Me: Its fine
Her: *touching my shoulder* Are you sure you're ok? Do you need some ice or something?
Me: You have some on you?
Her: No, but I could..
Me: (interrupting) Again I'll be fine, but if you really want to help, you may want to open the door, instead of hitting that button. Just a thought
Her: After I walk from the train station (a 200 foot walk tops), I am so tired, I just want that door open, you know?
Me: But do you want to kill me and others in the process?
Her: Oh I see you're a smartass, but that's cool, because I know I'm wrong
Me: I'm an injured ass, and yes you're wrong, but its cool, have a great day
Her: Oh whatever, you be blessed

Be blessed? The last-word-gotta-end-on-a-high-note freak in me wanted to say something mean and hurtful, but I took the high road like Denny Green, and me and my sore forehead walked away. That was the mature thing to do. But man... I swear if I am ever behind this woman, I will get her back, "accidentally" hit her in the head with the door, gently put my hand on her shoulder, and ask her, "Is that blessed enough for you?"

Shirley Bassey - Send In The Clowns

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I just remembered that today marks the 2 year anniversary of the fire that took 99% of my belongings. I'm at the point where I don't get too melodramatic, but I still think about that day and what could have been. So this reminiscing session will be very brief, but to me its still necessary. I spent the night at some one's house on a humble that night, and had I stayed home, I would have been dead and gone. That's not something easily passed off and bear with me please...
I first met Al (not his real name) last year around late November, early December. I was minding my own business at work, and he tapped me on the shoulder and asked me a few questions, and me being the friendly brother I am, I answered all of them. But me also being the observant brother I am, I could not help but notice Al's appearance. He wore a tattered hat to the office, his beard was patchy at best, he wore sweatpants that seemed a size or two too big, and a sweatshirt that fit the same description. To say the volume on Al's voice was loud would be doing a severe disservice to the word. Al's voice was so loud that even Billy Mays would cringe if he heard it. And it wasn't just that his voice was loud, it was coarse, gravelly and distinctive. When Al talked, not only did the people in front of him have to listen, but a few folks who had no intentions of hearing him, often were in for a treat as well.

Despite his disheveled appearance and his animated nature, Al definitely knew his stuff on the job. If I had a question, Al knew the answer, and if he didn't know, he would make it a point to get back to me later on with an email, a text or he'd just tell me the next day when he saw me. He was thorough like that, and I appreciated that, and I did my very best to return the favor whenever I could. We'd talk about sports, women, being a man, and life in general (I just realized that I sound like Forrest Gump talking about Lieutenant Dan or something..bear with me though). But I cannot sit there in good conscience and tell you that Al didn't annoy me, because he did. This may come as a surprise to you, but I am a quiet fellow, who likes to keep to himself most of the time. When I"m at home, I share myself with my lady, but other than that, I enjoy solitude. So here was this older guy (early 40s) invading my space every chance he could, and although I enjoyed it sometimes, there were some instances when I'd see him coming, and I'd think damn..again?

Yesterday when I was en route to play basketball, I saw Al about a block from my apartment. He was in a group of about 20-30 people standing outside of a nondescript building, and we noticed each other simultaneously. We did the traditional handshake/half-hug deal, he noticed that I looked slimmer, we talked briefly about the Wizards, then he asked me about my lady and I did the same about his. Since I abhor small talk, I attempted to wrap the conversation up prematurely, and I just casually asked him what the hell he was doing standing outside of this building with all these people. He paused, then looked right at me, and with a surprisingly soft voice he said, "Man I'm here for an AA meeting. I fell of the wagon a bit, and I'm trying to get right!"

I was completely floored. Completely. That's the last response I expected to hear, and I instantly felt bad for being so flippant and probing with my question. But I do have a grandfather who has been sober for 35 years, and he's told me about the challenges of not only staying sober, but being around people who are supportive of the sobriety you're trying to achieve. So instantly I went into that mode, and I told him a quick story about how my grandfather had to stop listening to jazz, because it made him want to drink. Al told me that certain music and people caused him to do the same, which is why he was at the AA meeting. He was still speaking in hushed tones at the time, and he was surprisingly candid with me. Instead of just rolling out and ending the convo, we talked for about 10 minutes more, we did the same hug/handshake combination, and then I left.

I immediately called my girl and told her about what had happened, and I remember telling her that I felt a little bad for judging Al. I mean yes he looked bummy sometimes, and yes his exuberance was in stark contrast to my understated ways, but I had/have no idea what it takes for this man to get dressed and come in public; I had no clue what his personal demons were; I had no idea that he was in the fight of his life. Swimming has humbled me. Seeing writers write amazing articles that I did not think of humbles me too. I now have another humbling experience to add to the list.

Monday, May 18, 2009

I was minding my own business during my walk to work this morning, when I saw a sight that deeply offended my eyes and my man sensibilities. I saw a gentleman with a nice dark grey suit on, a dark red tie, and BRIGHT green New Balance on his feet. Now I am deeply against men wearing sneakers with their suit under any circumstances, and I have spoken out against it many times in this blog. Women can do that, because some of the shoes they have to wear to work are insanely uncomfortable. So for them to have to walk up and escalator or extended distances is difficult and hard on their pretty little feet. I've seen women do it, so its not impossible, but I've seen MORE women wear comfortable shoes, then switch back at their office.

Guys should not be afforded that option. You buy shoes, you walk around even if your feet hurt, and you like it. Those are the rules. But if you can't take it, there are some nice dress shoes that are made with walking in mind. The Rockport catalog is filled with them. I've seen men violate this rule, and it annoys me deeply, but I kind of understand it, so I don't usually rant and rave about it. But when I see a nice suit mixed with some absolutely horrendous shoes, I have to draw the line. I spent 2 minutes fumbling around my bag trying to get my phone out to take a picture of this madness, but apparently those green New Balance had jets in them, because this guy was GONE. It didn't even seem like he was walking that fast, but he was completely out of my range. I would have had to run in my nice black dress shoes, and clearly that wasn't happening.

I wish more guys read this damn blog, so they could weigh in on this phenomenon, but I'd like to hear the ladies opinion on this as well.

Rhythm of Life - Oleta Adams

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This classy picture was taken by my ladyfriend on Friday around 4pm. I was en route to the cleaners with approximately 13 shirts. Who needs a bag, when I have my arms?

Oh, and I gave in, and joined twitter. Here's my site.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

I think I have made my feelings about smooth jazz (as opposed to traditional jazz) pretty clear on this blog. I can't stand it. I think its boring and without a vocalist it is pretty much useless, unless you own a department store, or the Weather Channel. But I am not stupid enough to not make exceptions from time to time, and I definitely did that with Wayman Tisdale Since I initially knew him as a basketball player, when he retired from the NBA, I followed his musical career pretty carefully. And although I had a serious problem with the music he choose to play, there was no doubt that he was talented, and I enjoyed watching him flex his chops so to speak. So in honor of his death at the premature age of 44, I thought I'd post my favorite song of his.

You - Wayman Tisdale featuring Brian McKnight

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Me on the radio talking about the NBA playoffs
I have taken tomorrow off, so that I may attend the Maryland Small Business Week Awards breakfast in Baltimore. The breakfast, which starts at the insane time of 7:00am and lasts until 9:30, is a chance for folks to network, mingle, act like they are not still sleep and to watch their fellow small business peers get honored. As I'm quite sure I've mentioned more times than anyone not related to me would care to hear, my father is being honored at this breakfast, and he will be given the small business journalist award

My brother and I will easily have to wake up at 5am tomorrow, be on the road from DC towards Baltimore by at least 6, and be expected to be "on" and friendly by 7am. I work for a small business, so I guess I should be doing some networking, but chances are I'll be too lazy to do so. My brother works for a bank, so it is to his advantage to network, and he'll definitely rise to the occasion, which will automatically cause me to do the same, because he's not better than me at anything. You may be wondering what my point is here, and although its taken me two paragraphs, I plan on conveying that.

For 34 years (31 for my brother) my father has been there for us in every way imaginable. First and foremost, he's been there for us financially, he's given us support at our athletic events, in school, at graduations, at weddings, birth of children, he's given us love and great advice, and he's far and away exceeded the duties of a great father in my biased opinion. Tomorrow morning will represent one of the few times we have to actually return the favor, and to have that opportunity is more rewarding than I could ever articulate in such a trivial blog post. But I tried my hand at genuflection nonetheless.

By the way, the other time I was able to be there for my father, is when he was divorcing his second wife. She was coming by to get the rest of her clothes, and my dad asked me to be there, just in case she a)starting going crazy like Glenn Close on him, or b) she tried to give him the business, and then lie in court and said they had sex, which would complicate the ongoing divorce proceedings. So he called me over, and had me answer-the-door duty. Eventualy the doorbell rang, I opened the door, and there was cleavage everywhere, and initially she had a seductive look on her face, until she saw it was me and not my father. Then she stormed past me, asked where my father was, and proceeded to angrily get her stuff. I had foiled her plot, and frankly I felt like a rock star for doing so. As fun as that was, I'd much rather be there for my dad the way I will tomorrow.

Yah Mo B There - Michael McDonald and James Ingram
Notice how this video was shot in 1992, and Michael McDonald looks exactly the same as he does now. In fact, I think he's looked the same since 1972.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I would like to take this time to apologize to everyone who reads my blog everyday, just comes here to be nosy, looks at the pictures, downloads music, or steals my jokes. It has been brought to my attention by my doctor, that an odd substance has been found in my blood, that has allegedly enhanced my writing performances since '06. As you may or may not know I did a lot of hanging out in bars in 2006, and I talked to some questionable women, with even more questionable intentions and clearly one of them slipped me some time type of drug, that inflated my ability to convey the events of my life. I was writing all kinds of dazzling things, thinking I had achieved some type of writing zone, when in reality, strange substances had penetrated my body and made themselves right at home.

As you know, I have been working out diligently over the past few months, and those foreign substances have slowly been making their way out of my body, causing my blog to absolutely suck over the past couple of months or so. I can occasionally summon my past greatness, but I'm no longer able to hit it consistently (that's what he said). I tried to explain this away as writer's block awhile back, but I cannot in good conscience, keep that lie going on any longer. I don't however, take any blame for this happening to me, because it was unknowingly done. If I were left to my own devices, I would come out and give 200% each and every day. Most people stop at 110%, but I'm able to push it to 200(with performance enhancing substances, I was up to 500%).

I vow to keep writing everyday to re-achieve that natural greatness. The writer's block that has swallowed me whole recently, will soon subside I hope. I also hope to avoid pejorative assassinations of my character. I wasn't trying to get ahead..I was tricked during an unfortunate state of vulnerability called "beingsinglewhileatabar". Perhaps you've heard of it.

Thank you for your time, and shouts out to my boys Roger, Alex, Manny and Barry. We're keeping it gully in the '09.

Too High - Stevie Wonder

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Today was the first day in awhile when an umbrella wasn't a part of my outfit...

Anyway, as I mentioned last week, a woman in our office lost her father, and yesterday the rest of the office got together to figure out what we should do. My boss sent an email out saying we should all pitch in and get a card and flowers, and one of my co-workers agreed. My retort was that we should just do a card. It seemed a little pointless just to get her flowers before we had funeral arrangement info, but given that a few days had elapsed since her dad's death, I didn't just to wait without doing something. I felt a tad bit guilty after I hit send on that email, and I felt like a couple of my co-workers gave me dirty looks. I was not being insensitive or cheap, but this ain't Mother's Day when giving flowers directly is totally appropriate. Flowers at a church or funeral home are perfect. Even when my lady lost the baby, my co-workers sent flowers to the hospital and that was nice. This just felt different. So because I felt guilty, I went and bought the card this morning..but I still feel like I did the right thing, although its not totally out of realm of possibility taht I did not.

My dad informed me recently that he has a new girlfriend, and yesterday when we talked about her at length, he was absolutely giddy. Now very few of you who have read this blog have ever met my dad, but "giddy" and my father have never gone hand in hand. He's a very stoic man, who rarely shows outward emotion, except when he a) talks about the Temptations and b)plays with his grandsons. But yesterday he was talking about what he and his lady did the previous weekend, he talked about how nervous his lady was to meet us, and we talked about other things that I cannot discuss without violating and disrespecting the man code. Still, it was nice to see that at age 58, my father still gets excited and enthused over a woman. Hopefully my mother will follow suit soon.

Sunshine In My Life - Phyllis Hyman

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thanks to my brother for digging this song up for me. I used to wear this tape out..
This morning I finally used the loofah I purchased on Saturday, and I have nothing but glowing reviews. I only had to apply a little bit of soap, and I was able to create a sudsy, soapy delight right there in the shower. It felt much smoother on my skin than a regular washcloth, and I found myself getting mildly aroused the longer I washed myself. The biggest drawback? I couldn't rinse the damn thing out good enough. Each and every time I ran water over it to get it clean, the suds seemingly multiplied like Gremlins. So I guess tomorrow when I get in the shower, I won't even have to re-apply soap, I can just pick it up and start washing, which works for me. So I will publicly thank my lady for insisting that I make that switch from washcloth to loofah. I'm not looking back.

Yesterday, we went to see the documentary Tyson, and I can honestly say I have mixed feelings about it. The good parts? It was nice hearing Tyson candidly reflect on all aspects of his life. You often times hear his friends, enemies, and handlers talk about him, but to hear Tyson in his own words go through his own experiences was refreshing. It was also nice to see clips from his old fights, which were always much bigger events than any of the fights you see today (except for the upcoming Pacquiao/Mayweather fight). The downside? At 90 minutes, this documentary was MUCH too short. They could have easily stretched this to 3 hours, and I am quite sure that everyone would be as captivated and interested as I was for that brief 90 minute period of time. Or, given the way things are packaged and marketed these days, they could have a whole 2-3 more hours of material that would be shoved into the release of the DVD. Either way, I found myself feeling fulfilled and cheated at the same time. I still recommend it though. Plus before the movie, there was a trailer for a movie called Soul Power, which looked pretty damn interesting.

Between the Sheets - Fourplay featuring Chaka Khan

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The picture you see above is one of a strip club that I live right across the street from. It is open 7 days a week, but Thursday through Sunday, is when they do their serious business. And given that the White House Correspondence Dinner was a block away, they figured to do great business this evening. My lady and I have been in there before, but not because the strippers are so great. Its mainly because the bartender knows us, and is so damn friendly.

Anyway, as my lady and I came back from listening to jazz, we walked by this strip club and happened to see the following sign:

Now, not only were there grammatical errors all through this sign, but who decided that "Mother Day" was SO important that the strip club needed to be closed? Shame on them.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

When you are a man in a relationship with a woman, there will be moments when she makes pointed recommendations and suggestions to you. These suggestions come from a place of love and goodwill, and most times it is absolutely the right way to go. Unfortunately, there are consequences and repercussions that come with accepting this kind of advice from your lady, as I am about to demonstrate right now.

As I've previously mentioned, I now use Dr. Bronner's Peppermint Soap to wash my body on a daily basis. It smells fresh, the bottle is chock full of reading material, and when the soap is strategically placed in the right area, it tingles in such a way, that your mate would and should be insanely jealous. Unfortunately, it never lasts quite as long as I would like, and given that the bottle is kind of expensive, its a pain to purchase. (Un)luckily for me, my lady had the solution while we were in Whole Foods this morning. She suggested a loofah.

Now, many a morning, I have longingly looked at my lady's loofah hanging up in the shower, and I've wondered how it would feel, but I would quickly snap out of that line of thought. It just seemed very effeminate (dumb reasoning I know). So when my lady suggested I pick one out today, I was extremely hesitant, but when she told me it would cut down on my soap usage and generate more suds, I was open to it. The colors I had to choose from were pink, white, bright green and baby blue. I choose the baby blue, and it about 15 minutes or so I test it out. I'm hoping the tingling power of the soap, mixed with with softness of the loofah, invokes a feeling that will make me NOT want to leave the shower.

The video you will see below is from the Jacksons Destiny Tour, which went down back in 1979. The song is "Show You The Way To Go", and I want to pay attention to how happy and confident Michael Jackson is..I'm not sure he still has this kind of performance in him, but if he does, I will gladly shell out any amount of money to see him.

Friday, May 08, 2009

I was feeling pretty pumped up when I left work yesterday at 5:30. It had not been that difficult of a work day, I had a radio appearance scheduled for later that night that I was excited about, and I was headed to a relatively new restaurant for a brief happy hour. I shut down my computer, hapheartedly cleaned my desk, and said goodnight to one of my male co-workers. Then I went to say goodnight to one of my female co-workers, and I noticed she was crying on the phone, and I just froze.

While I was frozen in time, I heard her say, "He can't be gone, I just spent time with him last night." Her father, who had been in and out of the hospital over the past several weeks, passed away presumably late yesterday afternoon, and she had to get the news as she made her way out the door. Her back was to me, so she couldn't see me standing there looking stupid, thank God. I sat there not knowing exactly what to do. Do I go over and hug her, and ask the rhetorical question, "Are you alright?" Do I just hug her while she is still on the phone and not say anything? Or do I just let her deal with the news on her terms, without distracting her? I opted to just leave, and I felt a tad bit guilty about it. As I left, my other male co-worker was headed to her office to console her, so I felt a little more justified in not bothering her, but that image of her sobbing in the phone with her down, stayed in my head for awhile.

When my grandmother died 5 years ago, my father called me at work at around 10am. As he talked about the funeral arrangements, when I needed to get to Ohio and what needed to be done, I was sad but I didn't cry. I remember telling my boss I was leaving early, and I still didn't cry. But when my co-worker asked me why I was leaving early, and I started explaining to her what was going on, I just lost it, and I cried on her shoulder for a good 10 minutes before leaving out. I was thankful she was there to console me, but I wonder had she steered clear of me, would I have held it against her. Of course all this seems trivial given that this whole line of thought began because of a co-workers death, and ultimately that reigns supreme, but still....

Since its Friday, I don't want to end on a low note, so let me mention that this morning at the pool, I swam down and back (100 meters) without stopping, and without the kickboard for the first time. After the first time, I went back and did it 3 more times (that's what he said) and I was smiling the whole time. Good times!

Stakes Is High - De La Soul
For some reason, I've been playing this song all week like it just came out in 2009, instead of 1996. Luckily for me, its timeless.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Someone who has less time on their hands than I do, needs to start a website entitled, "They Didn't Wash Their Hands". There can be a few people in charge of this site, and their job is to accept the thousands of profile-style pictures of people who neglected to wash their hands after a trip to the bathroom. I'm sure this site would be slow to get off the ground initially, but with the swine flu pandemic upon us, and others like it surely to surface sometime down the road, it would pick up steam eventually. Soon sponsors like the CDC , Purell, Jergens and wet-nap, would join the fray. And who knows maybe an athlete who can't get any other endorsement like say..a Ron Artest who be the spokesperson.

I bring this up, because I witnessed something that was simply disgusting this morning. Since I walk to work every morning, I tend to break a bit of a sweat by the time arrive. So I go to the bathroom, wipe my forehead, fix my clothes, smooth my eyebrows, and make sure I look semi-presentable. As I was doing that today, I heard grunts, heavy breathing and other ungodly sounds coming out of the stall. Sure I was grossed out and frantically trying to cut short my grooming session, but hey its bathroom, what did I expect right?

About 30-45 seconds later, this assclown flushes, opens the stall, comes to the mirror to do some grooming of his own(which included hand to face contact), says good morning to me, grabs the door handle, and then walks out of the door. No soap, no water, no hand towel, no steam, no nothing ever made contact with his tainted hands. I walk out of the restroom, and the FedEx guy is there at his office, and they shake hands, and at that point, I am so happy that I have yet to eat breakfast. Seriously dude? That's how you're rolling? Blow up the bathroom, and then shun any semblance of a cleaning agent? You're a class act. Next time I think I'll say something like, "So you're not going to wash your hands, that's how you feel right now?" or something to that effect. The you're-just-going-to-leave-that-booger-on-your-jacket scene from The Golden Child comes to mind...i'm rambling

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Last month, I sat here in this blog, and said that it was my goal to read more, and I specifically vowed to read a book a month. I even went out and bought two new fancy books, and I had every intention of finishing one and starting the other within the month of April. After that promising declaration, I am sorry to say that I fell short of my goal, because I forgot to factor in one major aspect of my life that reigns supreme this time of year: the NBA playoffs.

Much to the dismay of my lady, there has basically been an NBA playoff game on the television every damn evening, and I make sure my night is centered around that. I may miss a quarter here or there, but for the most part I am glued to the television. Unfortunately, when I am not watching the games, I have to be a good boyfriend and watch the shows that SHE wants to see like American Idol, Dancing with the Stars (where Lil Kim got shafted last night), and any other movie that she's seen 567 times. All of this leaves little time for reading, and I know it sounds like I am making excuses, but I am simply explaining myself. Even the few times I have tried to read before bed, the result is me sleeping five minutes later.

My son on the other hand, finished the book I got for him in just two weeks, and mentioned to me that he is ready for me to get him another. He asked me what I was reading, and when I told him it was the same book I started a month earlier, I felt ashamed. I'm all for my son reading copious amounts of books, but I'll be god damned if he shows me up like that. So, I will waste yet another few sentences, proclaiming my re-dedication to reading a book a month.

Yes the playoffs are still on, and yes the festive Memorial Day holiday is coming up, but I vow to finish my book this morning, and write a review. In the meantime, if anyone can recommend a good book for my 12 year old son, it would be much appreciated.

Tonight - Mint Condition

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

So I have been swimming at 6am for about 3 months now at the Jewish Community Center, I absolutely love it. There aren't really a lot of folks who look like me there, but the facilities are good, the people are friendly, and it is never crowded, which works perfectly for relatively new swimmer like myself. Even when I go play basketball, everyone is my age, and the games are ultra competitive, but most importantly everyone is friendly,pleasant and non-crazy. I knew that 3 month streak of good luck could not continue.

This morning after my swim, I did my daily morning nude romp around the locker room(it was empty or so I thought) when all of a sudden I heard this guy singing reggae music at the top of his lungs. I quickly headed to the shower, and from the time I got in there, from the time I finished putting on my clothes to go play basketball, he had covered 5 songs (and yes I remember them all)

1)You Got Me Going In Circle - Friends of Distinction
2)Goodbye Love - Guy
3)Here I Come - Barrington Levy
4)Betch By Golla Wow - The Stylistics
5)I'm For Real - Howard Hewitt.

Now I love the real version of all those songs, and if they were being blasted in the locker room, I'd love it to death. But to hear this guy(who looked to be in his early 40s) singing these songs at the top of his lungs at 6:30 am was just too much to take. Now as you know from reading my blog, I frequently take the high road in these instances and just walk away, but I simply could not do it, since he was personally offending me. And here's what happened:

Me:(at the tail end of his Howard Hewett song): What's going on man?
Him: What's going on young brother?
Me: I'm chilling...You're singing kind of loud aren't you?
Him: Hell yeah man I'm trying to wake up
Me: Well what if I don't want to wake up yet (half laughing, half serious)
Him (all out laughing): good point, good point, I'll tone it down, but man I gotta get pumped
Me: Hey, I hear that. I do dig the song selection though
Him (getting naked at this point): Oh man I got songs for days
Me: (walking away): Alright man, once the clothes come off I'm gone
Him: Oh my fault brother
Me (already gone)

Now, I realize I was violating his space by talking to him at his locker, so he was well within his right to strip naked, but damn, give me some warning or something. Anyway, after I left him, I went to play ball for 15 minutes, I came back in the locker room and he was sitting in the steam room singing Barrington Levy's, "Here I Come" again. And yes he was yelling. Although this time I just cracked up laughing, but the other men in the locker room clearly weren't amused.

And now I will play the REAL Barrington Levy song. Just imagine hearing this loudly, and off key, less than an hour after you woke up from a good night's sleep.

Barrington Levy - Here I Come

Sunday, May 03, 2009

I had a dream last night that I was walking to the grocery store to pick up a few items for dinner, when I saw the one and only Mr. Michael Jackson. He had his swine flu prevention mask on with a black hat, and he was completely alone. I went up to him and said, "Hey you're Michael Jackson", and he asked how I recognized him and I responded by saying I was his number one fan. After that he asked me if I wanted to walk with him to the store ,and I said hell yes. I asked him if he was nervous about his upcoming London concert, and I asked him if he would consider letting me guide his career, and he laughed at me. And then I woke up. I swear I thought that that dream was real, and when I woke up and realized it wasn't, I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. Although I'm not that naive to realize how creepy it is in this day and age, to be dreaming about Michael Jackson...

Five minutes after I woke up, I came out into the living room, got myself some water, and I turned on the television, and I saw the video you see posted below. It just happens to be one of my favorite songs from the 80s. Perhaps this will be my lucky day..

Saturday, May 02, 2009

No words today, just a good pic of my mother and I from two weeks ago when I was in Cleveland.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Every time I feel good about something I've done in the sports world, something happens to humble me and make me realize I have miles to go. Here is an article written by my favorite sportswriter, that I wish I had been smart enough to write.
So just like I predicted, I was nervous the entire day yesterday. I had a training to conduct at my job, and usually those make me a bit nervous, but I breezed right through it in less than an hour in a confident manner. As soon as I got back to my desk, I started stressing about the radio appearance once again. Since I was going to be speaking about the NBA playoffs on the radio, I printed out at least 3 pages of information about the ongoing first round series, as well as the ones that were to be played in the second round. I tried to avoid reading the opinions of others, because I damn sure didn't want to get on the air, and start regurgitating someone else's thoughts and views. So as you might imagine, I was a nervous wreck at my desk.

Then after awhile, I decided that I was over preparing, so I ceased stressing about the information portion of my appearance, and I turned all of my paranoia to how my voice would sound. I have this habit of reverting to raspy, gravelly Allen Iverson like voice that sounds creepy and anything but sexy. What the hell was I going to do alleviate that? I also was worried that my nervousness would cause me to blurt out an unfunny joke or maybe even an expletive or two, which would certainly get me banned from that radio program.

Anyway, after work, I made that relaxing 15-20 minute walk home, I poured a half a glass of wine, kissed my lady, and went back in the bedroom with my laptop, my phone and my paranoia. Oddly enough, while I was watching tv, I saw the famous DAMN DAMN DAMN Good Times episode for the FIRST time. Yes the FIRST time. I found myself getting a little emotional watching Ester Rolle flex her acting chops, and then I caught myself and said, "What the hell am I doing?", I need to be in a basketball state of mind. 5 minutes later, I got THE call, I turned off the tv, started pacing around the room, and I proceeded to do the radio program. I still haven't listened to it, but I'm sure I will at some point today. But if you'd like to, here it is.