Monday, August 31, 2009

My lady was laid off from her job back in January, shortly after her major surgery to rid herself of the terrible fibroids that caused such complications during her pregnancy. I had just spoken with her boss the day before, and her boss wanted my lady to know that everyone was thinking and praying about her. I remember thinking to myself, "Well isn't she a nice lady?". The next day when my lady, her mother and I left the hospital and came back home, my lady got a call saying she had been laid off. The fact that she got laid off was not a total shocker given the climate and the fact that others at her job were also let go, but the manner in which they did it was just tasteless. I remember thinking of numerous unspeakable acts I wanted to commit on her now former employer, but I thought better of it.

As you probably can imagine, her being out of work for almost 9 months, was difficult for everyone involved, but mostly her. I won't delve too deeply into the tough moments we endured, but it was definitely a challenge both individually and collectively. To add insult to injury, we would constantly see news reports on how tough it was to find jobs in this economy. We'd both be sitting there like "Uh yeah we know all about that buddy!". We were even hoping something would come through for her prior to our vacation two weeks ago, but it wasn't meant to be. Still, we put our heads down and powered through.

Then last Thursday I came home from work, and my lady asked about my day, and we engaged in our typical post-work conversation. Then she casually mentioned that she had found a job, and her first day was Monday (today), and all was well with the world again. I smiled, she smiled, we celebrated, and now today she ventures back into the work force. I joked around with her yesterday, that due to her nine month unemployment, she was not allowed to complain for at least another nine months.

I am proud and happy for her, and I hope you are too.

A Tale of Two - Eric Roberson

Friday, August 28, 2009

So in my ongoing effort to stay in shape via fun and interesting activities, I officially decided to take up yoga. I actually made this decision while I was on vacation, and temporarily forgot about it until Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday, while I was walking back into my building, a woman from the yoga spa two doors down from my job came up to me with a brochure. She explained to me all the dazzling things they did at her yoga spa, and she encouraged me to come in for a consultation. Now I had been blowing off and ignoring the people who worked for her spa for quite some time, because 1)they would bother me early in the morning, while I was en route to work and 2)they just came off as creepy cult members. I want no parts of that.

But on this day, I was just as chatty as she was. I explained to her that I was ready to take that leap into yoga, but I was concerned about finding the time, being the only man in the class, and contorting my body into highly sexual positions. She assured me it would be a positive experience, and I had nothing to worry about. She took my name and number, and I got her name (Lauren) and the brochure she was handing out. We made an appointment for Thursday at noon, and everything seemed ok.

Unfortunately for me, I forgot about the appointment, and then I realized I had a prior obligation at noon. I went swimming that morning, and around 11, I realized there was going to be yoga appointment, so I called Lauren and told her I needed to reschedule. She sounded disappointed, but I reminded her that I worked right next door, and this is no way was a blow off. I told her I would call next week to reschedule, and she said she had plenty of available appointments. She said, I'll hear from you next week, and I said cool. This was around 11am.

At 2pm Lauren called me again, and said she had some Thursday appointments free, and I re-explained to her, that I'd rather do it next week, when my schedule had a little more maneuverability, and she said she understood. At this point I was a little alarmed, but I figured she was trying to be thorough. There's nothing wrong with that at all.

At 5:30pm, Lauren called again (I missed her call and it went to my voicemail) and said her Friday was completely open, and if I was interested in coming in, I should just give her a call on her cell phone before 9pm. I looked at the phone and said aloud, "Are you f**king kidding me?". Not only was Lauren not listening (isn't that a yoga principle or something?), but now she was making it difficult for me to even consider joining her yoga spa, because she was pulling a Glenn Close on me before I even joined. Still, I decided I would ignore this call, and any others that came this week, and call next week. She could start fresh, I could still get a consultation, everyone wins.

This morning I come into work almost 90 minutes early to get a jump start on things, and guess who I see? Lauren. Because I had my headphones on, I didn't even realize she was behind me, but she came up to me, touched my shoulder, and was like HEYYY Rashad. I turned around, and I know my facial expression was one of terror, but I just smiled and said hello Lauren. The following conversation went down:

Lauren: So are normally at work this early?
Me: No, I'm just to get a jump start on some things
Lauren: Cool beans. Do you want to come in the yoga spa later today?
Me: Nope, next week is still my preference
Lauren: You aren't getting cold feet are you?
Me: Not at all, I just have less conflicts next week. Are you always this persistent?
Lauren (with a confused look): What do you mean?
Me: Never mind
Lauren (touching my forearm): We just don't get a lot of guys in the spa. They show interest then leave, and I don't want you to do the same
Me: (moving back a bit so her arm and my forearm detach): Well I'm a man of my word Lauren, I'll see you next week.
Lauren: You have my contact info right?

I didn't answer that last question, I just put gave her the thumbs up and walked away from her. Now, I know I'm extra sensitive to these types of things, but I think I detected some creepy behavior. Am I wrong here?

Newness - Musiq

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I'm off today, so I didn't feel like writing jack. But allow me to ask you to go buy some music, if you haven't already. His name is Roy Hargrove, and this is his new big band cd. Damn good music. Shoutout to JazzBrew for putting me on to this. Below is a selection off the new album entitled "La Puerta". The interviews afterwards are a tad bit annoying, but the song is good

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

When you live with someone, it is rare that you have the entire house to yourself for an extended period of time. On the weekend you spend time together, and during the week, there's work, dinner, quality time and then "bed". However, every now and then, you'll get this 3 or 4 hour stretch that you have to fill alone, and since its been so long since you've had that chance, it CAN be a struggle. Last night was girls night for my lady and her friend, so from 6 to 10pm yesterday, it was just me and the apartment alone together. Here's how it went

6:00-6:05pm: Since my fantasy football draft was at 6:30, I figured I'd celebrate this momentous event by purchasing a six pack of Guinness. The guy at the liquor store, who normally only sees me buy wine, looked at me and asked me what the occasion was. I explained to him that I had a fantasy football draft AND I was home alone. He laughed and said, "And you only want ONE six pack?"

6:10: I walk into the apartment, turn the computer on, change clothes, and then come back to put the Guinness in the fridge. I open the fridge, and notice that my lady has prepped some salmon for me, and all I have to do is stick in the oven for 20-30 minutes and its ready. On the counter I see rice that needs to be heated up, and asparagus that needs to slathered in olive oil and cooked for 5 minutes. Dinner is within my grasp, and its all made possible by my lady. Good times and a gold star for her. Too bad my focus is still on the fantasy football draft, and there's no time to eat

6:20: I try to bring up the live draft screen and my computer is moving hopelessly slow, but I don't panic.

6:25: My computer is still "thinking" and the draft screen has yet to come up, and now I'm panicking a bit. I could set my draft to pick players for me, but I'm a hands on type of fellow. Plus, I'm putting off dinner, and I have purchased Guinness already, this MUST happen.

6:28: My computer is STILL thinking, so I go to another window and try to open the draft screen from there. Still nothing. At this point, I notice I have a reminder for me to download the latest version of Internet Explorer, and I decide that was the reason the draft screen wasn't coming up. So I closed all other windows, began the downloading process, and I waited for results

6:30: The draft started without me

6:35: Internet Explorer finished downloading, I went to yahoo, clicked on the draft screen, and still nothing. It was at this point that I was glad I was home alone, because I put together a string of profanity that would make Richard Pryor proud. It was clear that there would be no draft for me on this day. I felt like my whole night was ruined. On the Plan B.

6:40-7:00: I put the salmon in the oven, made the asparagus with olive oil and heated up the rice. When I had idle moments, I'd try again to pull up the draft screen, but my numerous attempts proved to be futile. More curses were uttered, objects were thrown, my temper continued to flare. The only thing that temporary made me laugh was seeing this video on VH-1. A 14 year old (now deceased) Aaliyah, and R Kelly together? Does it get any creepier?

7:00: I wash the dishes, check the draft screen 4 more times (nothing) and then I decide to sit down and watch the LA Lakers/Sacramento Kings playoff game from 2002, which was on NBA tv. My lady makes fun of me because I watch old games, despite knowing the ending. I never get sick of watching the NBA, but to watch players like Kobe, Shaq and Chris Webber in their prime just kicks it up a notch. It was as if the game was being played live. Plus it calmed me down after the draft fiasco.

7:30pm: A friend of mine sent me an article to read and critique, and I did so. Hopefully the world will be able to see this article real soon, because it was quite interesting and she is talented. Reading her article also made me realize that I miss covering the NBA, and I cannot wait until the season starts in October.

8:00: I check the draft screen one more time, and still nothing. Then I click on the "draft results" screen, and I notice that my entire team has been picked for me thanks to the auto draft function. Without getting too inside baseball for you non fantasy football players, you can pre-rank your players, and the auto draft is based on that. Bottom line? The very thing I did NOT want, happened anyway. This is when I grabbed the Guinness.

8:30: Since my back had been bothering me all day from my mile swim earlier that day, I decided to take a bath, but this wasn't just any bath. I pulled my laptop in the bathroom and cued up Eric Roberson's new cd (go buy it), grabbed the same Guinness I had been babysitting since 8, and I sat my angry, sore ass in the tub. The cd is great, the beer was greater and the warm bath water was the greatest. And I did all this without electrocuting myself or harming my laptop.

9:00pm: I took a shower. I take baths not to get clean, but to ease my back and my muscles. I think its impossible to get clean when you're sitting in your own filth. Its just not practical. I know this may sound odd, but it was necessary. Plus it gave me time to finish my beer and listen to more of the cd.

9:30pm: I looked at my phone and noticed I had a missed call from my lady. I called her back, and she informed me that she'd be home in about 30 minutes, thus ending my party for one. I ironed my clothes, made my lunch then sat down at my laptop. I turned on more Eric Roberson, watched ESPN with the volume down, drank bottled water, and waited for my lady to come thru the door.

10pm: She came in, smiled and kissed me.

Its quite possible no one cares except me, and I'm fine with that. But when I was single every night was like this, and it was no big deal. In fact sometimes, it was just flat out boring. Now I had solo time, and someone was coming home to me, which is pretty f**king cool in my unbiased opinion. Although a man in the tub drinking Guinness is awfully close to being an next time.

Trust - Roy Hargrove

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ok I have two rants this morning. One JUST happened right before I sat down to type this, the other one happened a couple of days ago.

Just now I had to talk to my boss about two different things, and I normally like to catch her early in the morning before the day really gets started. I went to my office, logged into my machine, pulled up the necessary applications, and then I walked over to her office. As I got ready to to pose my two questions, my other co-workers stood directly behind me. Apparently my question now had an audience of four ears. Right before I started talking, I looked back at my co-worker, and she just smiled at me, clearly oblivious to how rude she was being by basically eavedropping on my world changing question. I kept trying to talk to my boss, and again I peered back at my co-worker, and she was STILL standing there, and I just said fuck it and walked out of the office. As I left my co-worker said "good morning, how are you?", and I just kept walking. This woman is old(er) and she knows damn well that when someone is in with the boss, door closed or not, that means you carry your ass back to your seat until I'm done, or at least LOOK like you're trying get out of ear shot. It's not a difficult concept, at least I didn't think it was. I could not get as indignant as I wanted to get, because we are at work, and I have a pristine image to uphold. I know I need to be mature enough to let those things roll off my back and not affect me, but I'm not..not even close.

My second rant is of the tame variety and it involves cover letters. I applied for this writing position on Sunday, and they asked for the typical resume, writing sample, and cover letter. I totally understood that the resume was crucial as were the writing samples. They need to see where I've been and they need to see what I've written, but doesn't that nullify the importance/usefulness of the damn cover letter? I can't even tell you the last time I've actually written a cover letter, its all about cut and pasting info into a template, and editing some minor details. I find it hard to believe that the jobs I've gotten or lost, are related to the strength or weak nature of a damn cover sheet. In fact, I've been on the hiring end of that spectrum before, and I used to skip the cover letter all the time. I want to see the resume, and then I want to get a feel for someone via the interview whether it be on the phone or in person. The cover letter is the equivalent of sideline reporters during sporting events. You get used to them, you tolerate them, but ultimately are you really getting anything of substance out of them? No, you aren't. In fact, the next job I apply for, I am going to purposely skip the cover letter, and see what happens.

I swear I'm not cranky this morning, I swam a mile, and I feel great.

That's Life - James Brown

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am blogging this morning, not because I have a plethora of things to say and share, and not because I want to flex my writing chops, but mainly because I am in the midst of procrastinating. I have not been to work since August 14th, and as a result, there are 145 emails waiting for my attention, and that's simply too much. Not only am I not doing work, but I also failed to work out this morning. Since August 14th, I haven't gone to bed before 2am, and even when I wake up at 7am, I lay around and get up at my own pace with not a care in the world. So when my alarm went off at 5:30am this morning, I got up, put on my swim trunks, then took the swim trunks back off, and made a beeline for the bed. So, I haven't worked out or worked since before Brett Favre came back......since before Don Hewitt get the point.

I would like to suggest three music:

1) Terence Blanchard - Choices
Cornel West is all over the cd and its a little annoying, but you can get past that. Bilal makes a few great appearances, and of course Mr Blanchard blesses us with his great trumpet wizardry.

2)Eric Roberson - Music Fan First

This one doesn't come out until tomorrow, but based on the snippets I've heard, its going to be great. For the past two weeks, Mr. Roberson has been posting 5 minute youtube videos to his website. He spends 4 minutes or so giving some background behind the song, and then he plays a one minute snippet. Its almost a video version of liner notes and its very cool. You can check it out here.

3) Robert Glasper - Double Booked

The one cd I neglected to include on my list was Ledisi's new cd, "Turn Me Loose". I've listened to it 5 times now, and it doesn't move me like her 3 releases. I won't slam her because she can still sing, and she doesn't disappoint in that way. But some of the arrangements are just ok, and I expected a little more.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Whether I am at a hotel, out to eat, in my work building or at my place of residence, I always make sure to speak to "the help". It can be the janitor, the person cleaning off my table, the bathroom cleaners, or the security guards in the lobby, it really doesn't matter to me, its important to acknowledge the people who otherwise would not get recognized. Plus, the next time you see them, they speak to you, and a "friendship" is born. As my friend's father taught me, not only do you not know who is watching you, but you never know who you're talking to at any given time. One day this person is "the help", and the next day, they could hit the lottery, and then remember how nice you were, when you didn't have to be. Sound like a long shot? That's because it is, but still, you never know.

So yesterday I was meeting a friend for lunch, and I looked in front of me and noticed an older woman cleaning off tables. She cleaned off dishes at three different tables, and no one bothered to say hello, hi, thank you or anything, and this bothered me. How hard is it to acknowledge someone who is cleaning up the mess that you made? So when this lady made her way past my field of vision, I looked at her and smiled and said hello..and she kept walking.

No hi, no hello, no head-nod, no nothing. And I know she saw and heard me, because she looked me dead in the face, and I wasn't that far away. I wanted to stand up and say, "Well f**k you then", but I'm a Christian, so I could not go that route. But how dare she ignore me, when I've been such a champion of her types of causes for so many years? And to make things worse, I saw her twice more before I left, and she didn't even give me eye contact. I wasn't creepy when I said hi, and I wasn't staring down her shirt, I simply wanted to acknowledge her, and she treated me like Stanley.

I'm going back to the restaurant very soon, and she WILL speak, or I snap her photo, and put it up on my blog. I give you my word.

Friday, August 21, 2009

So what is the proper protocol surrounding gift giving? Do you give the person the gift you think they should have, or do you get them what they've been saying they want? If you get them what you think they should have, they may be thoroughly surprised that you went the extra mile to think for them, and it may lead to brownie points later (when its time for you to receive a gift). But if they DON'T like it, the first thing out of their mouth is, "I told you I wanted blah blah blah". On the flip side, if you get the person exactly what they ask for, they are guaranteed happiness and all that, but there's no surprise element, and in some ways, you are only following an order, which takes zero imagination.

I ask this question because I got my father season one of Mad Men for his birthday, and when we talked about it he seemed happy. The same person who wrote the last few seasons of the Sopranos,, and I knew my father loved the Sopranos, so I figured it was a win-win situation. He sounded happy when we talked, and he said he'd dive right into the show next week. But in the back of my mind I know he really wanted this San Diego Chargers jersey. I wonder if he's telling his friends and his lady, "Yeah I got a gift, but where the f**k is my damn jersey?" Fathers can never talk to their sons like that I suppose, but that doesn't mean he's not thinking it you know? And yes I know someone is reading this saying, "Why didn't you just get both?" My brother was originally supposed to get it, and then he decided to also get my father what he wanted..and once again, my father said he was happy..but I'm not sure.

So the solution will be for us to buy him this jersey during a non-birthday in the next two weeks. Still, for people who do NOT deserve two gifts, my original question remains. Get what they ask for or get what you think they want?

Oh and by the way, I didn't work out AT ALL on vacation, but I ate intelligently, so the damage was minimal.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

As good as it felt to be on vacation, it feels even better to be back home. Thanks to my trip, I am now the proud owner of my first pair of sunglasses, and I must say it feels great to finally look pretentious. But now vacation is over, as is my blogging hiatus, and i'm ready to get back on my grind as it were...starting tomorrow of course..

Friday, August 14, 2009

One of my favorite sports personalities, Mr. Tony Kornheiser, has been saying for months, that the toughest part of letting Michael Vick back into the NFL, would come during the introductory press conference, when the owner and the coach have to put their arm around Vick, and say this man, who has killed dogs, is the man for our team. That exact scenario will play out today at 11am when my BELOVED Philadelphia Eagles officially announce that Michael Vick is a part of the squad. I am absolutely delighted at the possibility, as long as Vick knows that McNabb is THE man, and he's just visiting for now. Given that Vick looks up to McNabb, I doubt that will be an issue THIS year. But let me not get ahead of myself. For now, I want Vick, McNabb and the rest of my squad to win and win often. I only ask that the Eagles not give Vick a #12 jersey. That is reserved for the one and only, Mr. Randall Cunningham.

This will be my last blog entry until I return from vacation. Usually while I'm on vacation I still blog and speak about quirky things that go down while I'm away, and I feel like I'm cheating on my vacation when I do that. So unless something monumental happens like me hitting the Powerball, I will be silent until next Thursday...

Thursday, August 13, 2009

1) Go read my latest article please. Basketball season is about a month and a half away, and this will hopefully be my second season covering the team, which means I need to make some marked improvement. I have friends who consistently edit, read and comment on my writing, but can never have too many eyes. Even if you don't give a good goddamn about sports (specifically basketball) I am quite sure someone in your circle does.

2) Check out my friend Nichole's pictures of Bilal from his LA concert last week. She's a mainly a writer (and one of the people who edits my articles) but she's also a talented photographer. I'm not sure if she wants constructive criticism or not, but you can still look.

3) I have decided not to work out at all while on my vacation at the beach. I have been working hard the last several months, I deserve a break. I won't go crazy on the eating and drinking, but I damn sure won't deprive myself of any fun.

4) Today is my son's 12th birthday. In fact Carlton officially turns 12 at 5:05pm today. On the day he was born, I was working in Fairfax, VA, and his mother was in Hampton, Virginia. My son was not due to be born for another two weeks, but on that day at about 1:30pm, I got a call from his mother saying her water broke, and she was headed to the hospital. I hopped in the car, sped down to VA, got a ticket doing 80 in a 65 in Spotsylvania County, VA, but the cop was nice enough to lower it to 79mph so I wouldn't catch a reckless driving charge. But that 15-20 minutes on the side of the road cost me the chance of seeing my son born. I arrived to the hospital at 5:25 on the dot, and he had already been in the world for 20 minutes. The nurse directed me to the room where he was resting, I looked at him, smiled, and then out of nowhere starting crying and crying. Then I looked around and realized that the nurses had gathered around, and I manned the hell up, and finally held my son.

I've told that story countless times, and it never gets old. Never. Yes I have regrets about not seeing my son born, but to be honest, I don't really care for his mother too much, so its not that big of a deal. I'll get another chance very soon. So Carlton if you're reading this, and I hope to God you aren't because my blog is not for you just yet, happy 12th birthday. On your next birthday, I'll officially be old.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

So here's the situation. I have been diligently working out about 4-5 times a week for several months now trying to a)get in shape and b)get svelte and sexy for my vacation that starts on Saturday. It has involved mainly running and swimming, and I have seen results that have me pleasantly surprised. My body has yet to reach Phelpsian proportions, but I'll take what I have as a 34 year old man. No complaints.

The issue I have is what the hell do I do while I'm on vacation. From Saturday to Thursday, I will be on the beach in 90-100 degree weather, eating well, and vacillating between varying states of sobriety and drunkenness. I don't necessarily want to do all of things, but the vacation handbook pretty much requires these things get done. My hands are tied. So after months of working out damn near every day, I am faced with not working out at all for just about 6 days, which will surely set me back a bit. So the way I see it, I haves several options. I can:

1) Just not work out at all, enjoy my vacation, and then resume strenuous workouts the following week

2) Cut back on my drinking and eating, so that I can workout every morning, before I start my day

3) Designate 2 or 3 days where I am going to workout, curtail my drinking and eating the night before and then go hard the days I don't work out.

Any other suggestions? I'm open to them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My latest radio appearance. I am discussing the Wizards, NBA Free Agency and Rashard Lewis.
Last night I talked to my mother and my lady in separate conversations about my first day of college. An earlier conversation had led me to think about how my parents divorce affected me, and then my thought process jumped to the weekend at started THE Hampton University.

At that point my parents were living separate lives under the same roof. My father still slept in the master bedroom and my mother slept in the guest room. My father came and went as he pleased, and my mom frequently cried herself to sleep, and to be honest they both annoyed me. I was mad my father couldn't be discreet, and I was mad my mother couldn't get over it, but thank God my brother was there, because we tried to makes sense of this life altering experience with each other.

So by the time my big college weekend came around, I could not WAIT to get the hell out of there and start anew. I remember my father telling me that he had something to do on Friday, so he wouldn't be able to drive down, but he would meet me and rest of the family down in Hampton. So that night, my mother, my brother and I took that 3 hour drive from DC to Hampton, VA, and stayed in a hotel. I had always wondered how that ride to college from my parents would play out and somehow this scenario never made the cut. Still, I tried to let my excitement about college get me thru. The next morning, we drove to my dorm, and my father met us there, and that's when the awkwardness began.

My dorm room was tiny, and my roommate (now my good friend Sabin), was already there. He and his parents were joking around, and it just seemed like a loving, family atmosphere on their side of the room. Meanwhile, my mother was trying to make small talk with Sabin and his parents, to hide the fact that she and my father were barely making eye contact, let alone speaking. My father focused on me and asked me a million and one questions about whether I had all my materials. My brother just kind of sat around looking lost. On one hand I'm sure he was happy to finally get me out of the way, but on the other side, the cold reality that my parents were divorcing and his big brother was leaving, had to be setting in. As selfish as it sound, all I kept thinking was I can't wait for all of them to get the hell out of here, so I can start my college career.

When it came time for goodbyes, my father started by hugging me, looking me in my eyes and telling me I was in school to learn and play in that order. I saw him tearing up a bit, but of course he didn't let me see him all out cry. Then he left the room without speaking to my mother. My mother on the other hand was bawling, which was to be expected. I always suspected she was crying more because of the divorce, than she was for her first born son, but the tears continued nonetheless. My brother was also sad, but at 14, I'm sure he had a whole host of other issues I couldn't even understand. Still we had our talk, and just like that, my broken family was gone. Sabin's parents were still around a little while longer, and then laughed and joked with me and made me comfortable, but they were gone shortly too.

I really don't have a neat little bow to tie on this story it was just on my mind and I wanted to write this out a bit. I don't complain about my parents divorce anymore because at this point, I'm just grateful to have them living and very much in my life. But there are still some painful elements and this was one of them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I was so blown away by the text message story on Saturday, that I neglected to mention another juicy nugget(it was to me at least) that occurred on that very same day. I was in Best Buy trying to purchase the NBA Live video game for my son. I couldn't remember whether he had a Wii, a Playstation or an Xbox. Then I called is mother, and I found out I was wrong on all counts (he had a PSP. I digress..

On my way into the store, I noticed there was a sizable tv, right in the "lobby" of Best Buy, and Michael Jackson's Beat It was the video playing. Directly in front of the tv, there was an Asian couple, a White couple, and two younger black kids, and they were completely mesmerized by the video. They were oblivious to people coming in and out of the store, they were not considerate of any people behind them who may have been trying to watch the video as well, they were just focused on this 26 year old video. I've seen Beat It millions of times, so I just kept walking to make my video game purchase.

10 minutes later, as I was wandering around trying to find the checkout out counter, I noticed that Thriller was now playing on the giant tv, and there was a different cast of characters (except for White couple) in front of the tv. This group of 5-7 people was just as transfixed as the first group, and again, I was blown away. Even if you never saw an MJ video before he died, once he passed, all his videos were on all the damn time, so you got acquainted with his body of work whether you liked it or not. But these people were watching them like it was breaking news. As I walked out of the store, I noticed this kid who had to be 5 months old or less, directly in front of the tv, watching all the scary Thriller monsters dance around, and he was completely unfazed. 26 years ago as an eight year old, I watched this video with my dad, and I cried like Dick Vermeil at a funeral. Now here this infant was laughing and joking around like its nothing. How soft do I look?

I left the store, realized I bought the wrong game, and went to take it back, and the "Bad" video was now playing. There were like 10 people of all races (that White couple was STILL there) watching Michael Jackson in a borderline S&M outfit, singing "your butt is mine". At this point I said to myself, living or dead, how many artists can keep people who are allegedly shopping, in a catatonic state for over 30 minutes. I can't name many. And even during a time, when you'd think most people are sick of MJ, he still keeps a Best Buy audience in the palm of his hand. This may seem minuscule to you, but as a fervent MJ fan, I was quite pleased.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

I got a handjob from the Asian chick I met last night, but I couldn't seal the deal, hahahahah

I was on the train this morning, en route to do some shopping for my son's birthday on Thursday, when I saw this gentleman text the above quote to one of his boys. I wasn't intentionally eavesdropping and looking at this guy's phone, it just so happens that the way I was sitting allowed me to get a clear view. As soon as I read this, I wanted to bust out laughing, but I didn't dare do that, because there was a chance that more hilarious messages would be typed, and to make any loud, sudden movements would jeopardize my chances of seeing them. Unfortunately, my stop was next, so I had to get off the train anyway. As soon as I got off the train, I told my lady about what I had seen, and we both let out hearty laughter. And then we both agreed there were numerous talking points in that one sentence alone. Thus a blog entry was born.

Now, let's break down all the gems in that sentence:

I got a handjob

Single or in a relationship, I was never a person who dug handjobs. If I may say so myself, I do a pretty bang up job handling my own member, and I'm not in the business of contracting it out to the hands of another woman. I know what I like, I know how to "finish" in a timely fashion, and I've mastered the post-job cleanup. It is an efficient operation I run, and to have someone else come to do the job, while a nice gesture, is simply not necessary. So I have a hard time understanding why guys settle for this. If a woman is willing to give you some hand action, why not push the envelope and make it a job of the blow variety? Or why not ask the young lady if she wants to house your member betwixt her breasts? Both these options are not available to a man who is alone, and they make much more sense than just some hand action. I think this guy got a raw deal.


At first glance, it seemed pretty pointless for this dude to name her nationality. But then I delved deeper, and came up with a bit of a theory. Maybe this guy and his crew don't venture outside of their race too often, and by mentioning to his boy that she was Asian, he instantly became the Jackie Robinson of his crew. By settling for a handjob from an Asian woman, he had reached legendary status(although that has to be tainted a bit by just the handjob).

That I met last night

Any props that I attempted to deny this man for only getting a handjob, get instantly restored because it was his first night meeting this woman. Chances are he went out for drinks last night around 8 or 9 with his crew, and he probably saw this chick around 11 or 12 or so. The drinks floweth on both sides, he had that liquid courage, and he stepped to her with all the game he had. As hesitant as she was initially, once that liquor was firmly entrenched in her system, the flirtation kicked up a few notches, their respective libidos levels were higher than Snoop Dogg on a cross country flight, and it was crystal clear that both parties were getting lucky. Even in her drunken state, she probably said, this guy is cool, and I am drunk, but he is NOT getting inside me, I am NOT putting him in my mouth, and my chest is too small for him to be in between there, so I must handjob him up. The guy, as disappointed as he was not to get in her or betwixt her bosom, would have been crazy to turn that down, so he was a welcome, eager participant.

I couldn't seal the deal

I've covered why he couldn't seal the deal already, so that certainly is not the allure of this part of the sentence. I just like the he used this phrase. He could have said, "but I didn't hit", or "but she was bullshitting". He could have lied and saved face with his boys and said, "but she was on the rag" or "but I passed out", but he was 100% honest by saying he couldn't seal the deal. Why is this brilliant? At first glance, it seems like his crew would clown him for not getting the ultimate prize. But once he meets up with his boys and tells the entire story, it becomes legendary with his crew, and he basically becomes a hero. If his story telling abilities are epic enough, he can dazzle his friends so much, that they forget that he didn't get laid, and focus on the rest of the story.


The fact that this guy didn't type a smiley face or "LOL" means that he has integrity as a man. I've seen men type "LOL" or use the damn smiley face (including my father) and immediately I question their membership in the fraternity of men. I'm not saying men don't laugh while sending emails (although this guy didn't crack a smile after he hit "send") but that's really not something your boys care about. But in this instance, given the magnitude of the situation, his hands were tied and he had to attach some type of emotion to this email, and the "hahahahaha" was absolutely the way to go.

In the words of Tommy Lee Jones in the movie The Fugitive (4:12 of this video) "Well done young man!!"

Thursday, August 06, 2009

So about a week and a half ago, one of my favorite authors, Mr. Bill Simmons, wrote an article on In the article, he discussed the NBA free agency period, but he did so by using scenes and quotes from his favorite movie of the decade, "Almost Famous". When I initially read the article, I was slightly intrigued by his mentioning this movie, because I had never seen it, and when I googled, I found out that the director (Cameron Crowe) also directed Jerry Maguire. But since the article also discussed the NBA, I focused mainly on that aspect, and I mentally disregarded it afterwards.

About 2 hours later when I got home and checked my email, my main man Sabin, emailed me and asked if I read the article. He said that the article made him want to see Almost Famous, and he even threw out suggestions for movies that could also be juxtaposed with the NBA, which was/is a damn good idea. After he sent that email, I re-read the article, and I said, you know what? I think I do want to see this movie. I asked my lady if she had seen it, and she said it had been awhile, but she definitely wanted to see it again. That night I put in on my Netflix queue, and a couple days later, it arrived.

Last night we finally watched the movie, and I was not disappointed. And even though the movie mainly surrounded around a type of music I am not deeply knowledgeable about (rock), it was presented in such a way, that I was able to follow and appreciate the characters, the plot and the music. For two hours I was captivated by what I saw, and I was even sitting there thinking about what band I would want to follow and write about (easily The Roots).

The first thing I did after the movie, was pull up the original article that Bill Simmons had written almost two weeks ago now, and I finally was able to appreciate it the way he probably intended. So if you're scoring at home (or if you're alone), I read the article three times, I talked about it with my boy, rented the movie and watched it with my lady, and now I'm blogging about it as well. That's a lot of mileage to get out of one article, but ultimately, I think that's what writers want right? They want to be read, they want to be influential, and they want to know that people feel what they write.

Tiny Dancer - Elton John

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

After observing not only my father's casual wardrobe, but the casual wardrobes of men 50 and over in general, I am convinced that they stop shopping for Friday thru Sunday attire at age 45. Men around that age usually have an incredible array of suits, ties, braces, cufflinks, shoes and even hats regardless of their profession. Whether its church or work, men that age have a monopoly on formal fact they may even have a few tuxedos hanging in their closet.

But when it comes to the casual clothes, older men drop the ball like Braylon Edwards in the rain. It amazes me how many items in my father's wardrobe, that aren't even sold in stores anymore. Shirts with faded logos, short shorts what would make Lil Kim blush, and sneakers that were hot in the 90s. I guess the most frustrating part about it all is that he doesn't care. This past weekend he greeted my lady, my brother and the family with a confident swagger, and he was completely oblivious to his dated attire. And again, this isn't just a problem with my dad, I see this on the streets of DC all the time. Even Obama is moving in that directions with a crease in his young ass jeans.

Now, there is one school of thought that says men that age have earned the right to dress however the hell they want, and I may very well fall under that category in my old(er) age. But if I have a young, semi-hip son like my father has, I would have no problems listening to my child's advice on how to be cooler, better, stronger, and faster in the fashion department. I have tried to pepper in some updated attire for my dad, and he smiles and beams with joy upon initially seeing them. And then they disappear into the abyss of dated clothing, never to be seen again. He doesn't even humor me by wearing them when I'm around, they just fade into Bolivian Perhaps I should give up this mission and ask his woman to take over.

By the way, the 2009-2010 Washington Wizards schedule came out yesterday. Check it out. We are winning it all this year in case you didn't know.

Fleetwood Mac - Dreams

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

I emailed a friend of mine on Sunday to ask her a question, and she didn't get back to me until early Monday morning, and in her response she told me she was off line all day Sunday. No phone, no email, no Twitter, no facebook, no texting, no internets, nothing. I thought to myself, what a novel idea. And since I now have every other Monday off (starting with yesterday), I decided to do the same..for the most part. I briefly checked email, I updated my fantasy baseball lineup, and I dabbled on Twitter a bit, but for the most part I stayed off the computer. In my head I was going to read from the 3 books I'm currently reading simultaneously, and maybe watch some tv. In reality, I slept, watched late 80s NBA highlights, and finished the first season of Mad Men (which I am hooked on by the way).

The advantages of such a day? I am refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle this four day work week. Disadvantages? I think and over think, and now I have thought about a dozen projects that I want to take on and tackle, and I didn't write any of them down. I forget where I heard this, but I remember in some movie or tv show, there was a character who carried around a notebook strictly for ideas. Some of them were used right away, some were stored for a later date, and some were simply discarded and dismissed, but the point is they were written down. Perhaps I'll start doing that..

Once again, my son wants Lebron James sneakers for his 12th birthday next Thursday, and once again I want to send him a GFY card in their place. I love my son, I love his sports savvy and enthusiasm and all that, but as a Wizards fan, I am quite sure I am violating some type of rule by purchasing a jersey last year, and now shoes this time around. I should tell him that they are too expensive, and then buy him some Gilbert Arenas shoes instead. This is yet another instance when it sucks that he's not with me full time. If we lived under the same roof, there is no way in the world that he'd get anything LeBron James related. In fact, he'd be forced to like all the teams I like (Eagles, Nationals, Wizards) until he was old enough to present strong arguments otherwise, and even then its iffy as to whether I'd accept it...

Blame my rambling on the refreshing day off..

Something Beautiful Remains (remix) - Tina Turner

Sunday, August 02, 2009

So yesterday I had the very first babysitting gig of my life. I used to watch my brother while my parents were away when I was younger, but that hardly felt like babysitting, since we'd play games, I'd kick his ass, and then he'd to bed. This was going to be a real, live babysitting gig for about 4 or 5 hours, and it involved my nephew Nazir.

Now my history with 2 year old Nazir had been a little sketchy recently. He'd see me and hug me initially, then he'd run away and spend the rest of our time together playing peek-a-boo and hard-to-get, and I accepted it, because far be it from me to force him to hang with Uncle Rashad. But as soon as it was time for me to leave, he'd shower me with hugs and kisses again. Not exactly the stuff tight relationships are built upon, but kids are moody, and I'm not exactly good with them, so I called it even. But I must admit I hesitated to accept the babysitting challenge at first, even though I knew my lady would be here to help out. My apartment is not kid friendly, and I didn't want him to be bored. But he did just fine.

On his way in the door, he showed me his truck and his motorcycle, which he had clearly brought as his toys of choice for the evening. Those toys got no love once he got comfortable in my apartment. He climbed on the couch, he wrapped himself in blankets, he tried unsuccessfully to conquer the giant exercise ball, and watched with great fascination as my lady cut up cantaloupe in the kitchen. Also let me add that he enjoyed climbing all over my lady and I, and in great swoop, he both mangled her breasts, and stepped all over my genitalia. I must talk to his father about that, because there was one time when I almost threw young Nas out of the damn window, after firmly stepping on my manhood.

But the youngster was clearly at his best, when he was ordering my lady and I around with the television. He knew he wanted to watch Dora the Explorer, Diego, and Blues Clues, and he knew he did NOT want to watch Tom and Jerry (which disappointed me greatly). Frankly all the shoes he liked had creepy people talking to me, but as my brother reminded me, I am not the target audience. All these progams were interactive, very educational, and they even sprinkled in a little Spanish, which my nephew can speak and understand. Very impressive.

There were other bathroom adventures that we conquered together, but I'll spare you. Overall it was a great time, and even though I was dead tired from the long day, I enjoyed the youngster, and based on his answer when I asked him, he had a great time too. Although when I told Nazir is parents were en route, he quickly put on his shows, gathered his toys, and asked me 564 times, "Where are mommy and daddy?".

Ungrateful bastard...

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Scenes from my dad's house today..the first picture is one of my grandparents. I went in my dad's office to print a coupon from the Gap (I got me some new cargo shorts) and above the monitor I noticed my father had this picture of my late grandparents.

The second picture is one of my father's favorite group the Temptations. There was a bookstore going out of business, and my father spotted this picture, and the owner let him have it for free, and here it sits on a wall in my father's basement. As soon as my brother, my sister-in-law, my nephew, my lady and I stepped into the house, he took us to the basement and showed off this picture like a child with a new toy..