Thursday, December 31, 2009

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 28, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 26, 2009

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

Friday, December 25, 2009

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

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

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

Randall is back in effect!!!!!

Alexander O'Neal - My Gift To You

Thursday, December 24, 2009

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

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

An article on last night's Wizards game

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

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

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Roberson featuring Lalah Hathaway:

Monday, December 21, 2009

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

My interview with Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

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

Saturday, December 19, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Corinne Bailey Rae | MySpace Music Videos

Friday, December 18, 2009

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

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Here is my issue of the day..

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

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

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And so it begins..

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

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

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

Monday, December 14, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 12, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 11, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 10, 2009

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

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

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

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

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

Sunday, December 06, 2009

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

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

Thursday, December 03, 2009

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

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

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Dear 21 year old, pre Masters victory Tiger Woods:

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

Don't get married before age 40.

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

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

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

Your friend


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


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

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

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

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

And now, something to make me happy...