Sunday, May 30, 2010

No words today. Just an amazing 25 year old freestyle from LL Cool J. As corny as he is now, its easy to forget just how brilliant of a rapper he used to be. Click here to hear it.

Friday, May 28, 2010

1 - Listen to me and my man Ryan in our weekly podcast about basketball, by clicking here

2 - I walked out of the house today with no work badge, no metro card and no wallet. I went to Starbucks to order a drink and realized that I had NOTHING. I got to work at 7:30am, and I had to sit in the lobby for another 40 minutes until my boss arrived to escort me in. I feel helpless, but if I go back home to get my wallet and badge, I ain't coming back

3 - A bit shoutout to my main man without a shapeup, Mr. Ron Artest. Not only did he win a game at the buzzer for the Lakers last night, but he found time to shout out his hometown of Queensbridge after the game. Very cool stuff

Speaking of Queensbridge, here is Nas (with a cameo by Artest at the 1:25 mark)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My latest article on Dwight "Superman" Howard
I'm going to do something I rarely feel like doing when I write this blog, and that's revisit some things that I've previously written.

My checks and balances committee (aka my fiancee) brought it to my attention last night, that my friend break down entry I wrote yesterday, came off as a big GFY to my friends and family. On top of that, I have friends who contacted me yesterday, and they hinted (others just came out and said it) that they were disappointed that they would not be in attendance at my wedding.

Now, I was not taunting or being mean to friends and family with that entry, I was trying to let everyone in on my thought process. I'm having a small wedding, and any one's exclusion is not a reflection on how I feel about them in the friend or family department. I don't see why that's so hard to understand. Actually that's not true..there are some people who have seen me go through ups and downs, and now they want to see me achieve one of the ultimate high moments. I get that. I'm just not giving it in to it with this particular event.

Secondly, last week I wrote this entry about the man with the dogs who didn't speak to me. This morning I saw this same man again after my run, but he was without his dogs. The last time, I just stared at him without offering any morning salutations, so right off the bat I wanted to right my wrong. The following conversation went down:

Me: Good morning sir
Him: Morning
**He does a double take**
Him: Hey, you're the guy I saw the other morning after I walked my dogs
Me: Yep, that's me
Him (extending his hand): Hey buddy, I'm Bruce, what's your name?
Me (extending mine in return): I'm Rashad
Him: Nice to meet you
**awkward pause**
Me: I see you got your Starbucks there
Him: Oh yeah, this is my crack, I need it every morning, and sometimes in the afternoon.
Me: Crack? word? (in my head). I prefer water and grapefruit juice, but every now and then I dabble in Starbucks (out loud)
Him: Hey juice and water are cool, but they don't wake me up you know?
Me: Yeah that's true
**another awkward pause**
Me: Well let me get going Bruce, I need to get ready for work
Him: Ok Rashad good seeing you again man, take care

and scene.

I will admit it feels good hobnobbing with the neighbors like that..makes me feel like I'm a part of the community. Sure the small talk is torturous, and I was sweating like LV in a Coolio video, I still enjoyed. Maybe I'll invite Bruce to my wedding..

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

I stand steadfast in my desire to avoid starting a "countdown to marriage" blog, because I know that there will be days (just like there are on this blog), where I have absolutely nothing to add. And what's the point of starting yet another blog, if it will barely be populated with new and exciting information. I know people who don't who don't hold this concept in high regard in their blogs, but I won't call them out. But I digress...

Today I actually do have something wedding related to share, and its all about friends and family. As you may or may not know, my lady and I will be having a small wedding, and when I say small, I do mean small (20-25 people). Its not that we don't have more friends and family that we love and care about, but we'd like to keep the irritability levels low to non-existent. We want parents, siblings, old friends, and my son. That's it, that's the list.

But before the lady and I decided to keep it small and simple, there was a point where we were trying to cast a much wider net of friends and family. And unfortunately when you do something like that, you have to divide your friends and families into categories, which help to rationalize their inclusion or exclusion from the bless-ed union. So here are my friends and families categories

Halley's Comet Group
If you don't know what Halley's Comet is, then your school system has failed you, and Wikipedia is your enabler. These are friends and family members that you talk to every 2 (or more) years. You have their number, their email address, their physical address, and the memories of when you saw and spoke more often, but that's not enough for you to step the frequency with which you speak. When you do talk, the conversations are a good 15-20 minutes tops. You update each other, you make false promises to meet up and stay in touch, and then there's a deep sigh of relief when the phone is away from your ear. These people will not get a wedding invite.

Prostate Exam Group
This group is dedicated to the KY jellied, ensconced in latex, fingers that my doctor inserts in me annually. Keep doing your thing! Anyway these are people who you talk to or see once a year. When you talk to them on the phone, you have 1-2 hour conversations that are just action packed and filled with laughs. When you see these people in person, the same good vibes are extended, and you all look at each other and say (to yourselves), "Damn, why don't I hang with this person more?". When you separate, you make plans to hang more and you really mean it, but something always comes up, and then you all just fade into Bolivian until the next time. These folks get wedding invites if it can be combined with that one time you see them.

WWW Group
70-80% of your correspondence with this group, occurs in front of a home or work computer or laptop. You trade jokes, you get advice, you vent, you listen to problems, and you share politically incorrect thoughts and desires. When you log off you don't even realize that you have not been in the physical presence of that person, because you've covered every damn thing. In high school, this was the person you spent time on the phone with for hours and hours for no good reason. Now, the wonders of the internets allow you to just type, hit send and wait for the inbox to refresh. Its tough to exclude these folks from the wedding, I wont even lie. In fact, if I was having at 50-60 people wedding, some of these folks would be there.

These are friends who you met after college, but before you met your fiancee. Or these are family members who you weren't close with until you got a little older. These are groups of people who have seen you at various stages of growth in your 20s and 30s, and they know a good deal about you. Unfortunately, this group suffers the most when you are in a serious relationship, because the levels of accessibility change, and it sucks. If my wedding was 30-40 people, this group would definitely be attendance as well

Gold Club
These are the people who have known me for 15 years of more, and have seen it from pre-puberty, to puberty, to high school, to my college years. Of all the groups I've listed, they can appreciate the journey from boy to man to husband the most. These are the people I call when I get into a jam, and they pretty much do the same for me, which is why their attendance in a 20-25 person wedding is ideal. Everyone I am inviting (except for my son of course) fits into this category.

There I got it out. This entry will also serve as the official answer to the question, "Well why wasn't I invited?".

Friends and Strangers - Ronnie Laws

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In case you didn't know, I'm coming up on four years of blogging in July, which means three Memorial Day weekends have come and gone during my blogging career. During that time, I have not received a single, solitary cookout invitation from you people, and frankly I'm a little miffed about that.

I'd like to think that for four years, I've given you a taste of my life for 5-10 minutes(30 minutes for you slow readers) via this blog, and that's not easy. There have been times when I have absolutely bared my soul (a voluntary choice I know) and there have been other instances when I've recommended music, books, ass-kicking strategies, etc. I don't do this for money, for fortune and fame, or for fast women with ample bosoms. I do this not only because I love to write, but for the reactions to my writing. But, if I'm being totally honest with myself, I can readily admit that I also do this for cookout invitations. Allow me to make the case for myself.

As my main man Neil can attest to, I am a great person to have over in a cookout/party setting. I bring Chik-fil-A, I don't break things, I don't eat a whole lot, I drink responsibly, I compliment you on your book collection (or whatever you have interesting in your place), and I leave without being strongly urged to do so. Now I'm not too keen on socializing with others, but my fiancee is a great talker and she can work a room (that's why I'm marrying her) and so she will more than pick up the slack in that department. And to top it off, the next day, when you check my blog, I will shout you out and give you and your hospitality a glowing review in front of my 20 loyal readers. I mean seriously, what is better than that?

So all I ask (and I say I, because my lady thinks this approach is a bit tacky) is that you consider putting me on your cookout invite list. I'll make it worth your while. Let's work together to make this happen.

Thank you for listening.

Summertime in the LBC - Dove Shack

Monday, May 24, 2010

So on Friday night, my son got off the train that pulled into Union Station, and he had his luggage in one hand and a basketball in the other. Up until now, he has primarily been into football and golf, and basketball was a distant third in the favorite sport department. But for some reason, he has taken a shine to basketball as of late, and here he was with ball in hand like he was ready for immediate battle. I asked him why he brought the ball for such a quick visit, and he said he wanted to beat me one-on-one. He didn't say he wanted to play me, he said he wanted to beat me.


I chuckled and said we'll see about that little buddy, and again he reiterated his declaration that he would be defeat me in a game one-on-one. Immediately, I thought back to my one-on-one battles with my father, and how he would handle the brash basketball challenges I attempted to put in his lap on any given weekend.

Now my father knew that I was a growing boy with flimsy confidence, but he also had a lot of pride and residual athleticism from his 20s and 30s. This meant he played badly enough to always let me stay in the game, but at times he would flex his athletic chops just enough to let me know that I had many miles to go before I beat him. I had no idea what was going on at that time, but when I was older(and could beat him with my eyes closed) he explained to me what his methodology was. I had no problems adopting this same strategy for my son.

So, after we went to the barbershop and got his haircut (as documented right here) we headed to the basketball court. First we shot around for about 10-15 minutes, and I could tell that he was sizing up my game, and and I was doing the same for him. The last time he and I played was two years ago, when he was about 3 inches shorter and 30lbs lighter, and I beat his young ass with ease. The 2010 version of my son was better, faster and stronger, so I knew it wasn't going to be as easy.

We agreed to play the first game to 13. I hadn't played basketball in quite awhile, so my shot was off, but I have been running and swimming everyday for the past month or so, so I felt fast and in great shape. But fast and in great shape at age 35, is much different than being faster and in greater shape at age 12, so my son was running circles around me initially. Still, I had the strength advantage, and my shot eventually came back to me. My son caught fire toward the end, but I won 13-7. I was curious about my son's competitive streak at this point, because when I was his age I hated to lose with a passion; as a result, if and when I did lose, I wanted to play again right then and there. Sure enough, my son said, "Dad let's play another game to 5." I smiled and said absolutely.

Now, for this second game, I decided to ease up a bit and let him win (plus I was tired as hell). His hot shooting streak continued in game two, and my shooting touch abandoned me like it was Arlen Specter and I was the Republican Party. The score was 4-3, when my son shot the ball, said, "That's game Daddy" while the ball was still in the air, and then swished it for the 5-3w win. I said to him, "Really, you're going to talk smack?" and he said yes. It was right about then, when MY competitive streak kicked in and I said let's play one more game to 6, and he said he was game.

Needless to say, I got my second wind during that third game and I whipped up on him 6-0. I could see the frustration in his eyes, but he never stopped playing hard or trying. At one point, he even tried to get physical with me, which I appreciated, but I still crushed him like a jellybean. After the game, I hugged him, he said he'd beat me next time, and I said we shall see.

It is now 1:30am, early Monday morning, and I am off from work today. My son has gone back home and is probably in bed and resting comfortably in preparation for school tomorrow. Meanwhile, my body is sore like you would not believe. I was warned that running and swimming does your body good and keeps you in shape, but basketball shape is a completely different animal--and now I know that firsthand. My back hurts, my elbow hurts, my left ankle is swollen, and my neck is sore. But I won right?

By the way, I've watched the video of my son (seen below) about 683 times since yesterday. I take it this is the stuff proud father moments are made of...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Pre and post haircut interviews with my son Carlton..



Friday, May 21, 2010

First off, click right here to hear me run my mouth with my main man Aaron, about all things NBA related.

A few weeks ago when my son was last here to visit me, he was sporting the type of haircut that only Soul for Real or Craig Mack could truly appreciate. I asked him if he wanted to get a haircut, and he said he wanted to let it grow, and at the time I didn't put up any opposition. The boy will be 13 in August, and he's certainly entitled to a relatively small piece of autonomy where his looks are concerned. Plus, we left for the Penn Relays early in the morning, and returned kind of late, so the barbershop wasn't open anyway. Round one went to my son.

Yesterday I called him and discussed our weekend itinerary, and I asked him if I needed to include a trip to the barbershop. Once again, he told me, "Dad, I'm trying to grow it out" and I cringed, but I told him that was fine..but I'm lying. I can only imagine how long and unruly his hair is now, and as a person who grew up getting those warm weather/summer haircuts between the months of May and September, it is going to gnaw at me if I have to sit by and watch this. He promised me he isn't growing cornrows, which again leads me to wonder what the hell he's doing. His mother of course, is taking the hands off route, so any opposition to this growth will only come from me.

So the way I see it, I have only three options.
1)I could just leave him alone and let him do what he wants with his hair
2)I could take him to barbershop, and get his hair cut low the way I usually did it before this new phase
3)I could compromise and just cut it down a little

I gotta tell you I'm strongly leaning towards the first option, but I'm [slightly]open to suggestions.

Patti Dooke - De La Soul featuring Guru

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The message below may not be a big deal to you, but it is for me!

JazzHQ: Esperanza Spalding "Chamber Music Society" Release August 17th, 2010 [Video]
This morning as I finished running and stretching, and I was headed towards home, I noticed a gentleman and his dogs. He also appeared to headed towards his house, and he barely noticed his dogs staring at me as I got closer to them. Then, as dogs so often do in these situations, they starting barking up a storm and the gentleman turned around and saw me, as he took his keys out of his pockets. I gave the dogs my customary pet greeting which is to say, "Hey buddy!" and then give them the JaVale McGee salute.

But I noticed this gentleman could not decide whether he wanted to put his keys into the door, or look back at me. He would fumble with his keys, then look back at me (without speaking I might add), then look back at his door, and all the while the dogs kept barking. Eventually I passed him and his dogs, but I kept looking back at this guy staring at me. Finally he opened the door to his house, told his dogs to hurry up and he quickly shut the door. Immediately, I thought of about 3 or 4 different things

1)I thought to myself, here is this white man and his dogs, and he MUST be completely paranoid that I'm going to rob him, or attempt to gain entry in his house. He must be thinking that way, because if he wasn't, he would have either said good morning or at least appeared to have been much more relaxed.

2)I didn't exactly look like someone who was on the up and up (whatever that means). I was sweaty, I was tired, I was breathing heavily, and I kept digging in my pockets (for my ipod), so Lord only knows what he thought I was doing. Plus, saying "Hey buddy" to pets is not exactly the best way to convince people that you are sane. I could have put this guy at ease by saying "good morning sir" like most friendly neighbors do

3)If the tables were turned, and I was attempting to enter my house with my friendly little canines, my paranoid ass would absolutely do the same thing this man did. I would keep looking back, I would get my keys out and in the door quickly, and I would not take my eyes off whoever was passing by until I was in the house. And even then, I'd stare at them through the window until they were out of my field of vision. It wouldn't matter if they were black or white..I'm just paranoid like that. Perhaps this guy felt the same way. Its not like there haven't been home invasion in DC recently

4)I wondered if this guy was really torn between being paranoid and being nice. Maybe he was trying to get into his house as quickly as possible, without giving the appearance that he was trying to do that, because he thought that would piss me off. If that's what he was doing, that would be an impossible balance to strike at 6:30 in the damn morning.

Sure enough, when I completely left that guy and got to my door, there were two Hispanic gentlemen walking by, and I initially treated them the same way the white guy had treated me. I stared, I fumbled with keys, and I played with my imaginary dogs (that's a lie). Then I quickly snapped out of it, and said, "good morning" to both of them, and they hit me with an "Hola!". As I showered this morning, I thought to myself, this is why race relations are so jacked in this country and possibly beyond. There's no dialogue, no discussions, just assumptions made based on past unresolved feelings and issues--and I'm just as guilty as the next man.

I won't attempt to tie this up with a nice little bow of an ending, I just wanted to share.

Don't Call Me Nigger, Whitey - Sly & The Family Stone
This title always throws people off until they listen to chorus, and then they're like ohh, I get it. So don't get thrown off

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Every morning while I'm walking into work, there are gentlemen with hoses, whose job it is to spray the streets with water. Most of the time I recognize them, and I speak or nod my head, as they temporarily stop the stream of water so I can walk by. Sometimes the exchanges are pleasant, other times they are very minimal, but that's fine by me. As long as that water stops, and I can pass by without getting wet, everyone wins--which brings me to this morning's assclown.

This guy saw me coming towards him and twice he looked at me, put his head down and kept spraying the water. As I got closer, he stopped the stream of water, and I walked by him, but he said nothing and neither did I. But before I was able to completely clear the line of fire, he started spraying the hose again, and my entire left pants leg, and the left side of my shirt was wet. I wasn't drenched in water, but it was definitely noticeable since I have on a light colors. 10 years I've been working in the city and never have I been splashed, so I KNOW its avoidable. I put my bag down in front on the Au Bon Pain, and I proceeded to step to this guy.

Now, I know I'm 35, and too old be getting into fights/skirmishes, but come on, I should get a pass here. No one should be arriving at work with wet clothes, especially when it could have been avoided. So as I walked towards this dude, I fully expected for things to get physical, and it just made things worse when I noticed the smirk/half smile on his face as he kept saying, "What, what I do?", which didn't help matters. But I noticed he completely stopped and dropped his hose, and was backpedaling a bit, which told me he aware that he may be in the wrong and something might go down. The following conversation ensued

Me: What the f**k man?
Him: I'm sorry bro, I'm sorry
Me: Then what the f**k are you laughing at?
Him: I just didn't mean to....

At this point I mushed the guy with my left hand and he stumbled over the hose and fell on his ass. Then he quickly got up, rushed towards me and swung on me twice. The first time he missed, the second time he hit my arm, and I was getting ready to hit him, when the police came, at which point both of us got our act together, and stopped dead in our tracks.

The police asked me what happened, and I explained that I got sprayed and knocked the guy down, and the guy confirmed but said it was accidental. The policeman looked at me and suggested I head to work before I got myself in trouble, and I did so, but not before being serenaded with a "F**k you bro" as I walked away--the cop just laughed but I noticed (I kept looking back) that he stood there until I was out of sight. I don't regret a damn thing, except not knocking this guy out and stuffing his hose down his throat. I do recognize that I could have gotten in much more trouble, because of my immature actions, and for that I apologize(to who I don't know). And I'm also glad it was 7:30am, which means the street was still relatively empty. But what would you do if you were in my shoes?

Anyway..this day was supposed to be a good one, and I do believe it still can be. I'd like to thank all of you who prayed for the Wizards to win the lottery and the number one pick, because they did just that. I was watching The Wire, while the lottery was on, but I knew something was up when my phone rang twice, and my blackberry light kept blinking. This is a pretty big deal, and it insures that all year, all eyes will be on the Wizards for something positive, which (hopefully) means my writing gets even more exposure. Good times all around.

And finally, this is the third anniversary of the fire that caused me to lose everything I owned--except my laptop. Last year, a friend of mine asked me why if I was going to mention this every May 19th, and I said hell yes. Its a reminder of how thankful I am to be living, alive and well, because it could have ended very differently for me. And each and every time I open my laptop, and see the the dents and scars the fire left, I am reminded of that, and I choose not to let that day come and go without remembering. Besides, had I been taken out in the fire, would I have had the chance to mush Mr. Water-The-Sidewalk-Man this morning? I don't think so.

I'm Still #1 - KRS-One

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

This morning I was in the midst of my normal pre-leaving-the-house routine, when I had an epiphany of sorts. I had just brushed my hair, and said hello to the two new gray hairs in my goatee, when I reached to turn the light off in my bathroom. But right before I hit that switch, I took a good look at myself, and I realized that I looked just like my father.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that I am supposed to look my father, because he helped to create me, and that is the truth. But my father's look has evolved over the years. And when I looked in the mirror this morning, I saw the 35-40 year old version of my father. This was the man who wore a suit and tie every day, and would meet me at the kitchen table before he left to tell me to keep my hands off the Sports page until he read it. During this time my father was rocking a goatee with flecks of grey in it, he managed to look older while still displaying flashes of youthfulness, and he had this focused look on his face like he could not wait to get to work. With the exception of that last part, that's the look I had on my face this morning. In fact, when I looked at myself, I said out loud, "Damn I look like my dad"

I've also been paying very close attention to how he's aging. The thinning of the hair in the back, the graying, the minimal weight gain..all of that. This bodes well for me as I coast into my golden years. In a related note, I've gotten a good look at my future mother-in-law, and it looks like I'll have no complaints on that front either.

And finally, I saw the movie Up In The Air on Sunday, and it was depressing. It had its moments of humor and sexual tension that I enjoyed, but I must admit I was expecting something a little brighter. And on a personal note, it reminded me of the kind of life I thought I was going to live a few years ago when I was basically single...but I don't feel like delving into that right now. The bottom line is, I didn't see why that movie was so damn good.'

If you are a praying person, I'd ask that you direct your prayers towards the Washington Wizards. If they win the NBA draft lottery tonight, and they get the number one pick, not only will be happy as a fan, but I will have endless amount of writing material, which makes me happier. So pray for my happiness...and the Wizards too.

The Temptations - I Can't Get Next To You
aka the song I was would sing at karaoke or a talent show..or American Idol..and yes I'd do all five voices

Monday, May 17, 2010

I'm operating on 2 hours sleep right about now, its raining outside, I have on jeans, and my boy just spent 15 minutes convincing me that the movie Just Wright is worth me seeing. Its been an odd morning and I don't have much to say today, because work is going to kick my ass.

I wish I had the kind of job, where I could sing, "I wanna give you some head" over and over again at the top of my lungs like Marvin Gaye does in this song (starting with the 1:52 mark)

Soon I'll Be Loving You Again - Marvin Gaye

I would also like to thank the powers-that-be for allowing canteloupe to be in season once again. It has made an otherwise dismal morning much more tolerable.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Listen to me and my main man Ryan talk about LeBron James, the playoffs and former NBA player Kenny Anderson by clicking right here.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No words today. Just a sign that was hanging up in the bathroom at my fiancee's job. Never in my life have I seen something like this....but maybe this is how all restroom's will be in the future, who knows..

Thursday, May 13, 2010

First off, my stay classy award goes to the gentleman I saw right outside my job this morning. He had his two girls with him--one looked to be seven, the other looked around four years old. He also was pushing a stroller, an in it was a girl who looked to be under a year old. As I approached them, they were all laughing and joking and having a jovial time. Then, a woman with a short skirt and black stockings walked by and everything changed.

This guy abruptly stopped laughing, maneuvered his gaze around his two daughters, and stared at this woman for a good 30 seconds. Of course the woman was oblivious to this, which is good, because that could have only made the situation worse. Still, this guy made no attempts to mask his desire to get a thorough look at this woman. Just as I was crossing the street, I overheard one of his daughters say, "Daddy what are you looking at?" to which the father responded, "Nothing, let's cross the street."

Now maybe I'm overreacting a bit, but if I had young kids with me, and a woman with a big ass and legs exposed walked by, I might steal a quick glance, but that's it. That would just have to be one bit of eye candy I missed out on, because that's just not the age to be exposing kids to that level of perverse behavior. If my son was with me, I may show him that side of me when he was much older, but it would come with an explanation. For daughters, I just wouldn't do it. But again, I could be wrong here.

I would also like to apologize to my neighbor (she's told me her name many times, but I don't remember it). Clearly you weren't expecting anyone to come out of their apartment at 6 in the morning. Because if you were, you wouldn't have jumped the way you did, when I came out of my apartment, and saw you and your girlfriend kissing in a way that I've only seen in adult movies. I didn't meant to scare you, I was just on my way out for my morning run. Then again, you have no clue how awkward that elevator ride was with your girlfriend. Her face was red, she kept fixing her hair, and I'm sure her loins were moist and alive, but I said nothing except, "Have a great day!"

Maybe Your Baby - Stevie Wonder

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

In my neighborhood, it is not at all unusual for me to be stopped by groups of people who want my attention for various reasons. There are tourists who need directions, there are homeless people who need money and/or food, there are servers who need you to come into their restaurant, and there are groups like Greenpeace who need your information and your ear. I ignore all of them, except for the homeless, but even with them, I simply cannot give each and every day.

My routine is always the same. I take one headphone out of my ear, I hear what they have to say, and then I tell them that I'm on my way to work or on my home. They usually retort with some reason as to why their cause is urgent, but by then my headphones are back in effect, the speed of my gait has increased, and they are left flummoxed until the next victim comes along. This is 100% effective by the way--well it was until today.

This morning while walking to work, this woman came up to me and asked me if I was interested in supporting a second term for Washington DC Mayor Adrian Fenty. Fenty's reputation has taken a hit over the past couple of years, and I have noticed his supporters all over the city, but usually I am able to evade them. So when I saw this woman, I was mad that she snuck up on me, but I composed myself, and went into my tried and true methodology to get rid of such people. Just when I got to the part where I put my headphones back on, and starting to turn around to creep away, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was from Mayor Fenty himself. The following conversation went down:

Fenty: So you're not going to at least stop and let Amy take your information so you can support me?
Me: Well I wasn't until I saw you
Fenty: That's why I'm here my friend
Me: Well you need to be stopping people, not her (I laugh, he laughs, and Amy halfway laughs with resentment on her face)
Fenty: I just want to know that I can count on you come election time
Me: You can count on me, but you do know you're approval rating is taking a hit in the city as of late
Fenty: It comes with the territory man
Me: By the way, I'm coming after you and your 17 minute, 3 mile run time
Fenty: well if you let Amy here take your info, perhaps i'll call or email you and you can run with me
Me: You and I both know that'll never happen, but i'll give Amy my info
Fenty (laughs): Thank you sir, that's all I ask

Now, I must admit, I was a bit starstruck at first, but I quickly regained my composure thank God. I must give props to Amy and Mayor Fenty for penetrating my previously impenetrable defense, and getting me to talk AND give up my information. And I really hope he calls me, so I can participate in one of this legendary morning runs. I wrote about wanting to beat his ass in a race three years ago, and this is my best chance yet.

Creepin - Stevie Wonder featuring Minnie Riperton

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

For the second time in as many months, my father challenged me to write a book, and I have to admit that it is a daunting task that scares me. The first time, he challenged me to write a book with him on a yet-to-be-determined subject. We've been casually brainstorming about ideas, but I can easily pass the lack of progress off on him, as opposed to me. Instead of feeling 100% of the blame, his presence allows me to whittle it down to a much more manageable 50%.

But during our conversation last night, my father came up with an idea for a book for ME to write, and I must admit it was a solid idea (I would tell you what it was, but people steal). He referenced some past conversations we had, as well as some other data, to convince me that this was a book that needed to be written, and I was the man for the job. While we were talking, I was getting hyped up and I convinced myself that I could do it (and beat Harold Washington). But after we got off the phone, I thought of all the work involved, and it was a bit intimidating.

A few years back, I was on a fast track to write a book based on this blog. I was going thru old entries and cleaning them up a bit (cleaning up the language, deleting names, etc), and I was even writing little intros to each entry to add a little flair to what I was trying to accomplish. But once I started writing for Hoops Addict, the desire to keep working on a book based on my blog just disappeared. The way I saw it, I was trying to develop a reputation as a sports writer. And if I wrote a blog every now and then, that's one thing; however, if a book came out based on my blog, and all the uncensored, mean and personal things were on display for the world to see, that would usurp any sports reputation I was slowly trying to build (how is THAT for a run-on sentence?).

But the heavy lifting that comes with writing about basketball will end in a month or so, and I'll have some down time to begin that long book writing/planning process. I'm still scared as hell, and I wonder if I research, organize that research, and then write it down, if people would actually want to spend money on it. But dammit I'm 30 f**king five, and my teens and 20s aren't walking thru that door. So why not give it a shot right? My main man Sabin wrote a book, one of my favorite sports bloggers is working on one, why can't I jump in? I think I will.

By the way, this has nothing to do with anything I just wrote, but I'm curious about something. Why do people workout, skip drinking water, and go right to coffee? Every morning I see people complete their runs, or come from working out at the gym, and they form a line at starbucks to drink coffee. What is that about?

Monday, May 10, 2010

My latest article
I really and truly appreciate those of you who read my work and listen to me run my mouth. Sometimes I get self-conscious about peddling my work all the time, but when I get positive comments and feedback, it makes it all worth it. And as usual, if you don't like it, you can GFY.
First off, if you have a few minutes, please click here to hear my appearance on Fox Sports Radio last night.

A while back, my mother informed me that actress Kym Whitley used to babysit me back when we lived in Cleveland. My mother was teaching at Shaker Heights High School at the time, and Kym was one of her students. I wish I could say that I remember her babysitting me, but I do not.

Yesterday, my mother and I were talking about mother's day and various topics, and Kym's name came up again in passing. But between playoff basketball and me being knee-deep in The Wire, I didn't think twice about that conversation once I hung up with my mother. Then, while I was watching basketball, I saw this T-Mobile commercial (she's at the 5 second mark) for the millionth time, and then I decided to do a little investigation. I found her website, found an email address, and I told her who my mother was, and that she used to babysit me. Two seconds later, I received an email that said, "Thank you for emailing Kym Whitley's fan club, she's very busy and doesn't get to all her emails." Fair enough.

This morning, when I got back from swimming, I casually checked my emails via my T-Mobile phone, and I saw that Kym had sent me a return email--from her personal account no less. She did indeed remember both my mother and me, and she asked me to find her on facebook and befriend her. Just a few minutes ago, I called my mother and told her all about it, and she was just happy, and going on and on about Kym-related memories. My mother gets a big kick out hearing about her former students, whether they are from her high school teaching days or her years at teaching at various universities. It is just a reminder to me (and maybe to you) how much little things go a long way..especially with old(er) people.

And finally, the following conversation happened to me while I was in the Starbucks.

Starbucks man: Isn't it sad that Lena Horne died?
Me: Its not really sad, she was 92
Starbucks man: Its sad to me
Me: Before today, had you thought about her?
Starbucks man: Come to think of it I have
Me (realizing I was being insensitive): I'm not trying to be insensitive man. When someone dies at age 50, that's sad to me. When someone dies at 92, and I'm not related to them, its more of a celebration or an appreciation, but its not sad
Starbucks man: I guess so.

I came away from the conversation feeling pretty bad (I'm over it now), but I stand by what I said. I just saw Lena Horne on a Different World rerun last week and I wondered if a)she was still alive and b)what she was up to. The last time she was regularly on tv, is when she was doing the Crest commercials. So when I heard of her death late last night, I just started looking up old clips of her and I just admired her work. But there was no need for sadness.

Man I am all over the place today. Oh and one more thing, I neglected to include this link of me and my main man Ryan talking NBA playoffs.
My appearance on Fox Sports Radio last night

Sunday, May 09, 2010

1)Happy Mother's Day to all the moms

2)Allow me to brag that President Obama spoke at my alma mater this morning.

And now, one of my mother's favorite songs:

Saturday, May 08, 2010

First off, please read my latest article.

Second of all, I never realized how much work was involved in planning for a wedding. Every single detail has to be covered from the venue, the invitee list of the wedding and the reception, figuring out whether we can do it indoors or outdoors, taking the weather into account, the tux, the wedding dress, wedding bands, etc. Part of me wants to just pay someone to figure all of this out for me, but that is simply not realistic. Its our wedding, and we need to have an active role in it. Still, its a pain in my ass, and I totally understand why folks just say f**k it and go to Vegas. I also have a larger appreciation for good wedding planners. They should be charging way more than they already do.

And lastly, I'm going to be on Fox Sports Radio on Sunday night at 11:30 for a 5-7 minute interview. If you're awake go to Fox Sports radio and check me out. If not, hopefully I'll have the link on Monday for you to listen.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Yet another great interview. I hope you all are reading these.
Usually, I intentionally avoid discussing current events in my blog. I'm aware of what's going on in the world, and I certainly have strong opinions like everyone else. But it gets a little annoying when stories are discussed over and over again. It starts on the train, then it spills over the websites I frequent, then I overhear loud conversations about it at work. By the time I sit down to write at my computer, I'm ready to go in a completely different direction and discuss my own personal issues. Today is not one of those days.

I've been hearing the details of this UVA situation, where a male lacrosse player murdered his ex-girlfriend, who also happened to play lacrosse. Allegedly, this guy had been drinking all day long, and then went to his ex's room in a drunken stupor, roughed her up and eventually killed her. It is also alleged that this guy had a temper that was made ten time worse by alcohol, and he had roughed up his ex in public before. When I heard those details I cringed because it reminded me of a situation I was in....kind of.

Three and a half years ago, my ex and I were out at a function, and we both were drinking, when an argument broke out. We quickly left the function, got back to my place, argued some more, and then out of sheer rage, I hit my hand against the wall and broke it in two places. Yes I had enough sense not to lay a hand on her, but I remember being absolutely scared at the level of rage I allowed myself to reach. Not to mention, when I went to work with a cast on my hand, and I told people what happened, no one believed it at all. I had one guy pull me aside to ask me if I had really hit a woman, and I told him I did not, but his facial expression told me he didn't believe a word I said.

Shortly thereafter, I took some anger management counseling, and I haven't reached that level of anger since. Part of it was alcohol, part of it was bad decision-making in even being with this particular ex, and part of it was just my bad temper rearing its ugly head--or hand as it were. I still get mad (my fiancee is a witness) but it never gets ugly or out of hand, and I'd like to think I have things under control. Being able to write helps a whole lot.

I'm not sharing this to get sympathy or to lose readers (although if that anonymous f**ker from yesterday stops reading, I'd be happy). I'm just sharing this because there is real fine line between what happened to me, and I'd be a damn fool to sit here on my high horse and completely condemn this guy at UVA. Yes he took things way too far, and he deserves to sit in jail for a minute, but I understand that initial state of mind he was in..if that makes sense.

Feel free to criticize me, I'm a big boy, I can take it.

Peaceful Journey - Heavy D

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My latest article.
First and foremost I would like to send a shout out to the jackass who anonymously tried to leave a comment in my blog yesterday. You said, "Your basketball articles are ok, but we're used to seeing real entries from you, make it happen." Now, if you said this to get under my skin, then congrats, because it worked. If you said this because this is how you truly feel, then be a man (or a woman) and reveal yourself unto to me, so I can monitor and scrutinize the daily entries in your blog. And I resent you representing yourself as a collective by saying "we're" instead of "I".

I could very well blog each and every day, but sometimes I'm just not feeling it. Other days, I am dealing with personal issues that I just don't feel comfortable telling the world. There are other days (like today in fact) where I have to write something for Hoops Addict and I am scared that I may spread myself too thin by wasting all my pseduo-brilliance on this blog. Honestly, I don't even mind someone complaining about this, I just hate that it was done anonymously. That will bother me for a minute.

My second shout out is directed to all those people who told me that the second season of The Wire would not be entertaining. Now I'll admit I only have season one, and four episodes of season three to compare it to but I thoroughly enjoyed the second season. The capers on the ship, and the street drug situation were merged nicely, but each of the plots stood strong on their own too. There was rarely an episode that dragged along, or bored me. In fact, the first four episodes of season three are boring me more than season two ever did--although I'm sure it will pick up soon. I still can't believe I shunned this show for 8 years. Shame on me.

And my last shoutout comes in belated form. Yesterday was Star Wars day and I completely forgot about it, until Lex made a comment (non-anonymous I might add) in my blog yesterday. So in honor of that, I will link my favorite scene from my favorite Star Wars movie, "The Empire Strikes Back".

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

There is something about receiving a prostate exam at 10 in the morning, that makes you not want to write a goddamn thing. This is my third one, and I'm still not used to it. So I am going to attempt to enjoy the rest of my day off, and I hope you clicked on this excellent interview with my main man Kyle.
My latest interview

Monday, May 03, 2010

This morning I was at a busy downtown DC intersection waiting for the "you can walk now" sign to appear, when I decided to do a little informal research. Your friend and mine, Ms. Oprah Winfrey, has been a quite a crusade as of late, in attempt to get commuters to put their cell phones down while driving. To be perfectly honest, I never really paid close attention to the problem, but what better time to delve deeper into, than while waiting to cross the street right? Here are the results of my poll.

I counted about 55 cars in various states. Some were at red lights, some were temporarily stopped while traffic slowed, and some cars were just zooming through intersections. Of the 55, 30 people were holding cell phones, and more than half of them were texting or looking at their phone and not the road. This may not seem like a big deal to you, but as someone who walks to work, its absolutely terrifying. I've been at intersections where I have the right o' way, but the driver of the car near me isn't paying attention, he moves his car up, and then slams his breaks on, when he realizes the light is still red. There have been some pretty close calls to be quite honest with you. So for once in my life, I support something that Oprah is doing, so if you're a violator, please be more mindful.

So I was wrong about my fight prediction. Floyd won. I was correct when I said Floyd would struggle early on, and then smile like he wasn't hurt. But I thought Mosley would put up more of a fight in the middle rounds, and force Floyd to fight from behind, but it didn't happen. Shane got lit up like the Las Vegas landscape for 10 long rounds, and that was a wrap. Now I owe my little brother money. And I have to wait for a Mayweather/Pacquiao fight that may never happen, before I see a good fight.

As for the fight party I attend, my main man Neil and his wife Melanie were great hosts. They had Panini machine, plenty of hors d'oeuvres, plenty of drinks and the crowd was festive and lively. I also have to give props to Neil for having this book on display. As I have mentioned many times in this blog, the late Ralph Wiley is my favorite author, and before the fire, I had all of his books. Seeing this on display reminded me, that I need to re-purchase and re-read all of his works so I can be a better writer. But back to the party.

As good of a host as Neil and his better half were, and as much fun as my lady and my man Sabin had, I must say that I was man of the hour that night. You see when you're going to some one's house, you MUST bring some food or some drink (not napkins). That is the polite thing to do, although I saw some people come in empty handed, that is none of my business. So the night before the party, the lady and I were out to eat, and I was trying to figure out what to bring to the party, and I decided that a Chik-Fil-A platter was the way to go. There are no Chik-Fil-A's in the DC (except on college campuses) and I thought that if I were to bring it to the party, everyone would be appreciative, and they were. People (myself included) dug into that platter like gangbusters. In fact when I walked in, Neil and his wife looked at the platter like this was college and I had brought the keg. So let this be a lesson to you. You can NEVER, EVER go wrong with Chik-fil-A.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Listen to me and my main man Ryan talk about the NBA Playoffs by clicking here.