Saturday, July 31, 2010

I just had a long Saturday, and I sat down in front of the television to relax, and I noticed that VH-1 Soul was in the midst of a Sade video marathon. And that got me to thinking about my top 5 Sade songs. So...


The best part about this song? The drum part in the beginning. This was out the summer I stayed with my grandmother, which means we were in church every damn summer. After each and every service, I would run up to the drum set, and try (unsucessfully) to play this song on the drums

4)Keep Looking

Besides the fact that the music is great, the best part of this song is towards the end. After singing the chorus in a higher register for most of the song, at the 3:27 mark, she goes down and sings it in a lower voice, and its sexy as hell.


I don't have a reason, this song is just catchy as hell.

2) Cherish the Day

There are two versions of this song. The version that originally appeared on Love Deluxe, and then the second version that appeared in the video and on the greatest hits cd. I prefer the latter version of the song. At the 4:16 mark of the song, Sade and long time background vocalist, Leroy Osborne, sing the chorus together and they keep doing so until around the 5:31 mark. At that point, they momentarily sing a capella, and the beat switches to something that sounds like a slow version of the Humpty Dance, and they fade out by saying "Cherish the Day" over and over.

1) Couldn't Love You More

The arrangement is sparse and the words are so damn beautiful, that I wish I had written them when I first fell in love with my wife-to-be, and then saved them for my wedding vows. And then wayy at the end of the song, at the 3:38 mark, she screams out, "Yeah-ee, Yeah Yeahhh", and the very fact that its in stark contrast to the rest of the song, makes me like that moment.

Friday, July 30, 2010

My favorite quote from the movie, "The Departed" (i dont condone the usage of the word homo..but the rest is funny):

"Marriage is an important part of getting ahead: lets people know you're not a homo; married guy seems more stable; people see the ring, they think at least somebody can stand the son of a bitch; ladies see the ring, they know immediately you must have some cash or your cock must work"
Back in late 2008/early 2009 (and beyond), Beyonce's song, "Put A Ring On It" was all the rave. Married women would flash their rings, single women would flash their naked hands, gay men would sing it just for the hell of it, and straight men would hear the song, and mutter "f**k this sh*t" under their breath (until they saw the video of course). I was a card carrying member of that last group.

My lady and I would be in lounges, bars or clubs, and that song would come on, and people all around us would lose their mind. And I'd watch my lady enjoying the song and the dances that went with it (including that annoying hand flash dance), and I would secretly resent her and the damn song. It wasn't because of anything she had or had not done, it was simply because I had not proposed to her yet. I had my own personal timetable for proposing, and although I knew she would never put any pressure on me, I felt pressure of the self-imposed variety. We had been together almost 2 years, and I was working towards a ring, and then here comes filthy-rich, Beyonce, and her self-righteous song, telling me and other men, that their love is not complete until a ring is on it. Really Beyonce? F**k you and your husband.

Of course, after I proposed and the insecurities I had about not making my lady an honest woman had subsided, I heard that damn Beyonce song, and things had changed. Instead of resenting and hating it, I felt defiant and proud of myself. Not only had I proposed to the woman I loved, made that first step towards building a life with her, and gotten myself one step closer to having guilt free, legal-in-the-eyes-of-God sex, but I had given the middle finger to Beyonce, the song, and everyone (made up fictional people) who was "hating" on me for taking so long. I even wanted my lady to do the dumb hand dance, so she could flash the ring for all to see. Confession over.

And now I'd like to post a video by my main man Redman. My co-workers have no idea that my headphones will be blasting this song, and the other ones in his catalog,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I have nothing to say today (aka I have something to say, but its X-rated, and I'm all about conservative family values.) So instead of grossing everyone out and possibly getting myself fired, I will post some music for you to download and enjoy.

This particular 9 song musical offering is called, "The Robert Glasper Beat Mixtape". It is put together by a French producer named Dela, and it is inspired by an album by jazz pianist Robert Glasper, entitled, "In My Element". This is perfect music for you to listen to while you're at work. And I'd like to thank my main man Donnie for turning me on to this last night.

You can download it by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

This past Saturday I was walking down the street to my barbershop in the sweltering 120 degree heat, when a song by Common came on my ipod. The song was called "Heat", and its from his cd that came out in 2000 called Like Water for Chocolate. A wave of nostalgia came over me during the song, and I remembered how much I enjoyed playing that song and the album in general. After that, I fully expected the next song on that cd, called "Cold Blooded" to start playing. But it didn't happen.

You see the reason it didn't happen is that I had my ipod on shuffle, which means a completely different song from a completely different artist starting blaring through my headphones. I instantly got agitated (with no one in particular of course) and I went through the 45 step process of deactivating the shuffle function, going to the artist, then the album, then the name of the album, and just played Like Water for Chocolate from the beginning. And I was agitated no more.

But the minor agitation reminded me that rarely do folks (including me) play one cd from front to back anymore. We may do it when we first buy something, but after that we just pick and choose songs we like, and never play it again. But there is something to said for listening to something front to back, even if some songs suck ass( and on that Common cd there are a few that do just that). Some artists (like The Roots and virtually all jazz musicians) actually pay attention to how the songs are sequenced on an album, and if you skip around or just listen to selected songs, you miss out on meticulous details that come with doing that. That was one of my favorite things about MJ's Thriller--not only did every song seem to fit perfectly, but EVERYONE knew the sequencing, and it was like being a part of a secret club with 50 million members.

On a related note, the other day my lady was at her computer and she played the Lionel Richie song, "You Are". Immediately, I thought back to 1983 when my babysitter used to play this record all the time, and I told my lady that I remembered exactly what the album looked like, and I even remembered the color of the album sleeve. Aside from feeling old, I also felt like that type of nostalgia is gone. I don't even buy albums or cds anymore, I just go itunes, hit download, and I may not even see the cover art. Perhaps I need to make some changes...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Washington DC politics found its way to my neighborhood this morning, and I found myself extremely annoyed at both its presence and its approach. Right in front of my building and across the street, there were at least 10 Adrian Fenty supporters on every corner. They were holding up signs, jumping up and down, and asking people to give their name, physical and email address and phone number, all in the name of supporting Fenty. About three months ago, I blogged about a run-in I had with such a supporter. I suppose these people weren't really hurting anyone, they were just annoying and loud, but I powered through until..

Two blocks away from my house, there were even more supporters hovering about the blocks of Dupont Circle, but they were for riding for Vincent Orange, who is running for DC Council Chair. In what was a brilliant stroke of political genius, all of Orange's supporters wore orange-colored hats and shirts, and they held up orange-colored signs with the word Orange on them. Unlike Fenty's supporters who actually wanted something from you and came armed with pen and pads, these Orange people came armed with nothing. So while I was waiting to walk across the street, I struck up a conversation with one of the orange-colored, Orange supporters.

Me: What's going on sir?
Him: Good morning man, what's your name?
Me: I'm Rashad
Him: Will you be supporting and voting for Vincent Orange?
Me: Well I don't really discuss my voting preference
Him: Understood sir, we can certainly understand that, we just hope you support us come voting time
Me: You know you sound like T-Mobile when I'm calling them with questions on my cell phone bill, where's the human element man?
**shared laughter..his was harder than mine..pause**
Him: I'm sorry about that
Me: And I don't mean to be rude, but what does holding up signs and wearing Orange do? Folks are rich in this neighborhood, their vote will be based on his platform, etc
Him: We just want people who may not have heard of him to be curious and ask
Me: But I'm asking now, but you're not telling me anything, you're just telling me to support him
Him: Sir, I'm just doing my job
Me: Fair enough, have a good day.

Honestly, I really wasn't trying to harass this guy, I just wanted to say hi and ask about this particular campaign tactic, but I got nothing. I really started to grill him but a)I was running late and b)I feel like I'm an agitator at times and I'm trying to cut down on that type of behavior. I've lived in DC a few years now, so I know what Orange is about, but if you are campaigning, you have to assume I know nothing, and sell him to me, whether I am voting for him or not. Even with the Fenty folks..I know its time to start accumulating votes and all, but I just don't like the way its done. Don't just come around when you need me and my vote, come around when nothing is wanted or needed, just to assess your city. As inept, annoying, corrupt and foul as Marion Barry was in this town, he was visible during campaign and non-campaign seasons, and his followers were loyal as a result. That's a terrible example, but if you could combined Barry's attitude with Orange and Fenty's intelligence (for the most part), you'd have the more ideal candidate.

But in fairness to these two gentlemen, the entire voting/campaign process needed to be audited, and neither one of them is going to bring this up when they are simply trying to get re-elected. I get that. I'm rambling..

I would like to thank red wine, my fiancee, and the David Letterman show for helping to create a great wedding planning atmosphere last night. Again, I refuse to do a wedding planning blog per se, but every now and then I will pepper this space with minor developments, so bear with me. We made some crucial decisions last night, and things are much clearer now, and that makes the both of us happy. And yes I wil stay vague for now.

And now, listen to the smooth vocal stylings of Mr. Kenny Loggins:

Monday, July 26, 2010

As I wound down my weekend of solitude yesterday, I decided to watch the last four episodes of the third season of Mad Men in an effort to be all caught up for the debut of the fourth season later that evening. I remembered most of the previous season, but I had some time to kill, there were no significant sports that needed to be watch or tended to, and you really can never go wrong with a little Mad Men in your life.

During the last episode, there was a point where Betty and Don Draper have to tell their two children that they are splitting. I really don't know the exact ages of their kids, but I'm guessing they are around 8 and 5 years old. The oldest one (the daughter) immediately gets upset, blames the mother, and stomps out of the room. The youngest one (the son) immediately runs to the father and says, "I don't want you to leave". Don Draper hugs his son tight, and Betty silently weeps with her head in her hands. Now, I watched this episode during last season, and I don't remember being emotionally affected at all. But yesterday was a different story. I teared up a little bit, but I fought it back. Then I tried to explain to my lady why I had gotten emotional, and I got even more emotional. Allow me to explain myself before you think that I'm getting soft in my old age (which may be the case).

That scene from Mad Men took me back to November of 1991, when my parents sat my brother and I down, and told us they were getting ready to start the divorce process. I was 16, and in my senior year of high school, and my brother was 13, and on the cusp of puberty. I had seen signs that there was trouble in paradise, but I still didn't see the actual divorce process coming. My parents were as delicate as they could be with this speech, but it still hurt..a lot. I knew things would never be the same, and although I'd still have quality time with my parents separately, we'd never be a family again..and we haven't been. Seeing that Mad Men scene just made me remember the pain I felt not only that day, but periodically since then. Children of divorce never really and truly get over it. You joke about it, you get angry, you push it back to the depths of your mind, you tell your therapist about it, and you come close to getting over it. Real close.

But then holidays come around, and you have to chose sides and loyalties. Or your son comes in town for the summer, and you have to divvy up the time without offending a parent. Or while you're planning a wedding you have to be concerned with your mother not having a man, or your father bringing his new woman, and how those things are going to mesh. I know I'm grown and that's life, but that doesn't make it any easier.

Sorry to start off on such a depressing note, but it was on my mind all night.

White Turns To Gray - Bilal

Friday, July 23, 2010

I was looking for something on youtube, and I stumbled on this entertaining performance:
Yesterday afternoon, the lady left town for a few days, so I decided to use that opportunity to switch up my post-work routine a bit. Instead of coming home after work, eating dinner, and pretending to write yet another article, while listening to music and sipping red wine, I went to go play basketball.

Now, although I have recently played basketball alone and with my son, I have not played competitively with other people in a little over a year. The last time I played, I severely sprained my ankle, and it threw off my workout routine for a week or so, and I didn't like that. Still, I burned and yearned to get back out on the court. Even though I'm 35, my game still has not changed much from when I was in my early 20s. In fact, while I am playing, you can't even tell that I am pushing 40..unless of course you were with me the morning after, when I tried to move, but that's a different story.

So I get to the indoor court around 6:30, I wait around until the end of the last game, and then I assemble with the other three guys who said they had next. From 6:45, until 8pm when I left, my team won five games in a row, which means I did not sit down once. We won close games, we blew teams out, some games I did the majority of the scoring, other games it was evenly distributed. It was just good, solid basketball, and a great workout I might add. Plus the gym was 566 degrees, so I was sweating like a crazy man.

But around 7:55 or so, right before my team finally lost, I took the ball, drove the lane, jumped up for a lay-up, and came down on someone's foot. The SAME ankle I jacked up the last time I played, was once again severely sprained. I finished the game, I walked home, I walked around my house (with no sympathy because the lady wasn't here), I put heat and ice on it, and I did whatever I could do to avoid that morning after pain. It didn't even hurt that badly last night, but I knew as soon as I took that first step out of my bed this morning, it would. And now that I've taken about 50 steps this morning, let me tell you, that shit hurts. I see Motrin in my future. I have all kinds of things to do this weekend, and this is going to set me back.

This minor setback is not at all a reflection on my 35 year old game. Despite my year hiatus, I held my own against the youngsters, even though they kept calling me little man, because they all seemed to be well over 6'0" tall, and I am 5'9". Love it when that happens!

Everything's Gonna Be Alright - Sounds of Blackness

Thursday, July 22, 2010

It was my intent to ignore this whole Shirley Sherrod issue, because to me it seemed like a pretty cut and dry case. A conservative blogger (and one of the many things that's wrong about today's media) chopped and screwed a video clip, fired up he and his tea party followers, and then the mainstream media got a hold of it. Then Ms. Sherrod was wrongfully terminated by the Obama administration (which got this horribly wrong), but an apology and a new job offer were on Ms. Sherrod's lap yesterday (she only accepted one of them). I know its the media's job to stretch this like I used to stretch $10 a week a before payday, but there are just too many other things on this country's docket for me to stay bogged down with this. But...

There is a growing trend in this country that is really irking my nerves. Like I said before, there is plenty of wrong to go around in this story, and most of the people who were in the wrong have said as much. But now Ms. Sherrod, who without question was a victim in this sad saga, is now doing a world tour of media interviews, to explain to us, the American people, just how much of a victim she really was/is. Now she'll tell you that she's using this exposure as a platform to get the REAL issue out which is the plight of black farmers, rural America and people from the South. And while I am well aware of the validity of all those issues, I just can't help but think that she's milking this to get her 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps my cynicism sensors have led me awry with this one, I just would like her to shut up, meet with Obama and others privately, so that her concerns can be voiced, and then I'd like for her to fight the good fight that way. I just don't think its necessary to be on television day and night.

I really wish the members of the media would be a little smarter, not only with Sherrod, but with stories in general. This "gotcha-let-me-report-it-first-whether-it-is-factually-correct-or-not style of journalism is really irresponsible, and in the newspaper era, this happened a lot less. But with the internets and the 24 hour news cycle the way it is, this is happening more and more, and its making faux stars out of the people who report, and the people who are being reported about. The term, "don't feed the animals" comes to mind here...

On a lighter note, if you get a chance, go buy the soundtrack for the movie, "Despicable Me". I went to see the movie with my son, and it is ok, but the soundtrack, done by Mr. Pharrell Wililams, is pret-tayy, pre-ttayy good.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I first heard my parents having sex on Christmas morning of 1986, while I was living in Connecticut. I was 11 years old, and I was anticipating some quality gifts that year, so I got up around 8am, and my intent was to knock on my parents door, to gently nudge them towards getting up and giving me (and my brother) presents. Well apparently they were up already, and they were giving each other their own presents, because the sounds I heard coming out of there were deeply disturbing. They were also similar to the sounds I had heard and seen on Playboy after dark (that channel was accessible after 8pm..shout out to the Connecticut cable company for that). My brother asked me what was going on, and I just whisked him away and told him to relax.

I don't remember being traumatized by any of this, I just knew my parents loved each other, and this was one way they showed each other that. In my mind, I was less concerned about the sex, and more worried about when my damn gifts were going to be in my hands. About an hour later, I did get my gifts, and this soccer game was the centerpiece. Good times.

That being said, I think my son heard me doing the dirty deed last night, and I can't even feel bad. My brother has been staying with me while he finishes his job in MD before permanently moving to NY, my son has been here the several few days, and the Crimson Tide was in town this month. All this adds up to limited opportunities to make the magic happen (I know this is TMI, so if you bail right now, you'll be spared). But last night, such an opportunity presented itself, and after trying to get things accomplished quietly for the first half of the bless-ed event, we eventually just had to go for ours and hope he was sleep.

When we emerged from the room, Carlton appeared to be sleep, but if he's a smart child like I think he is, he was faking that, to avoid being caught or embarrassed. I hope that a)he didn't hear us b)if he did hear us, he's not traumatized, and c)he doesn't go home and tell his mother that his father and his wife-to-be are sex-crazed maniacs. Besides, he and I have had THE sex talk many times, so this should not come as a complete shock. The way I see it, this is all part of the initiation process of being a child, and we've all gone thru it. Haven't we?

I really wasn't going to write this, but it was just too good to pass up (that's what she said). Besides, the alternative was me writing about how difficult it is to have quiet sex, but that's a bit much. I hate to celebrate my 4 year blogging anniversary with an entry like this, but hey...

Monday, July 19, 2010

And back by popular demand, the second installment of Conversations With My Son Carlton:
Last night my son and I went to the LA Galaxy/DC United soccer match, and we had a great time. I took about 6-7 pictures of Carlton hoping to capture the moment. All 7 pictures looked exactly the same, and I guess he's in that cool pose mode that pre-teens get stuck in sometimes. Exhibit A:

Friday, July 16, 2010

As I have surely mentioned before, I run five miles every other day with my ipod on, and although I see and hear things while I am running, I tend to stay pretty damn focused--with one exception. At about the four and a half mile mark (or for you Washington DC folks, at 18th and Columbia NW) there is a semi-steep climb that is followed by a gradual descent. As I am running up the semi-steep hill there is always an older homeless guy sitting there peacefully. He's usually sitting on the outdoor chairs of a restaurant that doesn't open until 3pm, and I am quite sure they don't know he occupies that space, and it shouldn't matter because he's not bothering anyone. He usually has a bottle of water one on side, and a cup that he asks people to fill on the other.

I am usually much too tired to speak to this guy, so I just run by him and give him the JaVale McGee salute, and he always yells out, "Hey young fella!". I smile, throw up the Roc sign (not really, but I always am tempted to) and keep running.

But this morning, this gentleman had one of his boys sitting with him outside the restaurant. There was no cup for change anywhere in sight, just two bottles of water between them. This time when I ran by, my friend said "hey young fella!", and the gentlemen with him gave me a thumbs up, and I smiled. But just before I ran out of earshot, I heard my friend say to his buddy, "That's my man right there, I see youngin running by here every morning."

Now, I don't know what else this guy goes through during a typical day, and I don't know what circumstances led him to be homeless. But if me and my sweaty shirt, out of breath ass, can bring this guy enough sunshine that he speaks to me and brags on his friends about it, then that's enough to make me smile. The next time I run, I am going to bring have some cash ready to drop in his cup. Or maybe on a day I'm not running, I'll just talk to him, although I suspect that might ruin things..but let me not be cynical. That 10-15 second exchange this morning put me in a good mood.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back in December, when we were at the start of the most impressive snow extravaganza the DC area has seen in quite some time, there were jokes about how there would be lots of babies born this fall. Actually people say that each and every time it snows, but last winter lent some serious credence to that theory. And based on what I've seen the past few weeks, there were some people who were really blending with purpose (I think blending is a terrific synonym for sex. I thank Spike Lee for using it Mo' Better Blues).

Anyway, I counted 17 pregnant women on the way in to work this morning. Now I am willing to lower that number to 15, because two women just looked obese, and to look more carefully at their stomach to make that distinction between that and pregnancy might have gotten me slapped. But there was no doubt about the other 15. Some looked like they were just starting to show, others looked like they had been showing for a few weeks. I commend you all. Because of this situation a couple of years back pregnancy has been a sensitive issue for my lady and I, and that used to cause me (maybe her too) to hate on all things baby-related for quite some time. No more of that. And no we're not expecting for those people trying to read in between the lines.

On Saturday morning, after four wonderful weeks of staying with my mother while attending camp, my son will be leaving Cleveland, and coming back to DC to stay with me for a bit. Based on the constant phone calls I've been getting from my mother, she has had an absolute ball with my son, and I'm happy for her. When you have a child with a woman you were never married or in a real relationship with (don't judge me, I was 21), you don't get that connectivity with all the family members, like you do in a married or even a divorced situation. As a result, up to this point, my son did not really have a chance to spend extended time with my mother.

I say of this to say that when my mother watches my son slowly board his plane, she is going to cry and cry HARD. My mother gets emotional over fact my brother just told me that when they went to see Boyz N The Hood in the theater back in 1991, my mother screamed and cried when Ricky got shot, and that was just fiction. My mother also cries over the phone when she's explaining how powerful Sunday service was.. And if I cry whenever I drop my son off after a weekend, I know for sure that my mother will bawl and bawl on Saturday morning. So if you're in Cleveland Hopkins Airport at the time, and you see this woman crying, go give her a hug. Actually that would be creepy and she may cut you, so just text me, and I'll console her that way.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First off, if you haven't already, I would ask that you read this article I wrote yesterday. Its my first one on the new site, so its kind of big deal.

Secondly, I'd like to say that I'm not all about asking readers to do something that only benefits me. Sometimes, I like to share things that benefit everyone. So right below this paragraph, I will link a workout video for you to dance to. And when I say dance to, I don't mean for you to do your own dance while the video is playing, I mean you should do ALL the dances that you see, in the exact way the are performed. I guarantee you that your abs will tighten, you legs will be toned, and you will lose weight at an alarming weight. Here you go:

And finally I'd like to bring up a situation that I've discussed plenty of times before, and I am so sorry I have to bring it up again. Actually, I shouldn't have to apologize, the offending parties are the true villains here.

Just 20 minutes before I sat down to write this entry, while I was walking to work, there were three people outside an office building smoking cigarettes on the sidewalk. There was a bit of construction on the sidewalk, so the normally spacious area had been transformed into a tight spot. I was really and truly hoping that this group of people would a)see that I was coming and b)realize the area was tight, and get the hell out of the way. No such luck.

Two of the cancer stick smokers casually looked my way TWICE, but chose not to move. At that moment I asked myself if I should take the high road and say excuse me, or just turn the music up in my headphones, and plow through these people like Jerome Bettis I am happy to report I chose the Bettis route.

I did not say excuse me, and I walked right through the cigarette smokers , and in the process, the back of my bag made contact with a dude's cigarette, and it fell out of his hand. As I walked away with a smile on my face I heard, "What the f**k is your problem?", I heard, "Dude, what's your deal?", and I heard, "A**hole", but I kept walking. You see, I am a non-violent peaceful brother, and my only desire is to walk to work, listen to my ipod, and walk on sidewalks with clear paths. But if you're going to be a jackass and stand on the sidewalk like you all are the human version of the A Band Apart logo, then we will have a problem, and I will forced to bring the ruckus, Jerome Bettis-style.

My main man jazzbrew told me one time that I need to be more mature in these instances, and I assure you man that I really am trying. Really and truly I am. But as Yoda tells us, there is no try, either do or do not, and this time I did not. Next time though..

Undeniably - Terence Trent D'Arby

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Please my read my latest article. Its the first one on the new site, so check it out please.
First off, I'd like to thank my main man and former colleague at Hoops Addict, Ryan for staying classy, and leaving a comment on my blog yesterday. I appreciate that. I would also like to thank you Ryan for making me completely paranoid yesterday. Allow me to explain.

I would like to think that I live a double (writing) life. On one hand, we have the basketball writer who focuses on the Washington Wizards, but is just a fan of professional basketball period (I lose more interest in the college game the older I get). I have friends and followers who have been paying attention to my basketball articles for 3 years or so, and I like it that they know little about me, except my opinions on the game. I'm sure if I became more famous and more exposed that would change, but for now that serves me just fine.

The other Rashad is the one that appears on a daily basis in this blog (I am SO sorry for dropping the third person). That side is bold, more candid, mean at times, and just completely careless. Although in my defense, I will say that I have toned it down just a bit since I've been a serious relationship, but still..the writing I do here is not like the writing I do in the basketball world. I may pepper some basketball discussions in this blog every now and then, but its most a semi-reckless free-for-all and that side keeps me "sane". In fact, when I first started writing for Hoops Addict, Ryan told me to be mindful of what I wrote in this blog, and I agreed with him 100%. The street are always watching and you just never knew who may read these things and start judging(shout out to the guy who lives in my building, who I suspect got a glimpse of my blog last week. Please keep reading, I have good and bad days).
So yesterday, in an effort to publicly thank me for my 2+ years of service at Hoops Addict, Ryan went on twitter, thanked me, and wished me luck. No harm done there right? But right after this thank you message, he included a link to the entry I wrote yesterday.

Now, what I wrote yesterday was totally harmless, but that's not what I'm worried about. I'm worried about that person who will read yesterday's entry, get intrigued about what I else I have to say, and the start reading other entries I've written. I'm fearful they may roll on up on this entry about a handjob and an Asian woman or this entry about me breaking my hand or perhaps this entry about the wonderful things our nation has done with KY jelly. These are sides of me that I'm not necessarily sure I want out for all to see, but once things go up on twitter you never know. Although one would argue that once I put this blog on the Internet, I was fair game to any and everybody.

Still, I'm paranoid now..not paranoid enough to stop of course..just paranoid enough to write an entry on it today and then get over it tomorrow. Or perhaps (and most likely this is the case) I am overthinking things as usual, and I need to get over myself.

I'll Never Turn My Back On You (Father's Words) - Terence Trent D'Arby

Monday, July 12, 2010

After over three years of dedicated service, countless interviews and just overall good times, I left Hoops Addict yesterday. Ryan (my editor) and I recorded this podcast and shortly thereafter I informed him of my decision to leave. I wasn't quite sure how he would take it or if he would be upset, but to his credit he was classy about it. He said he was disappointed about my decision, but he respected it, he appreciated my time with the site, and he left the door open for me to write in a guest capacity--at least I think he did, I could be wrong.

As I told Ryan, he first gave me the opportunity to write for his site back in 2007. I had just lost everything I owned in a devastating fire, and I thought that since my laptop was the only thing to survive I should start writing. Two weeks later, the first thing I wrote for Hoops Addict was picked up the USA Today. So that's something I will never forget. But its time to move onwards and upwards..

I will now be writing for a site run by my main man Kyle, called Truth About It. The site is part of ESPN's, True Hoop Network, which includes blog sites from every team in the NBA. Kyle's site focuses on the Wizards, and most of my articles from here on out will do the same with some exceptions of course. I've gotten to know Kyle a lot over the past year or so, I'm excited about working with him and John (who I met yesterday and also just joined the site). I've actually written for Truth About It before earlier this year, but you probably weren't paying attention..and shame on you for that.

Anyway, I thank Ryan, I thank Kyle, I thank God, I thank my fiancee for being patient with me as I talked about my agony over this decision every damn day, and most importantly, I thank you, the customer.

We Gone Ride - Najee featuring Eric Benet
Yes I spend lots of time slamming and disrespecting the whole genre of smooth jazz, but smooth jazz backed by a smooth vocalist is way more tolerable in my eyes.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I started to re-enact this photo with my fiancee and slap it right below this painting, but I'm pretty sure that would shrink my blog subscribers from four to none. Still, I like this painting...Its hanging up in the bar area of a restaurant I frequent, and I'm pretty sure its for sale too. Perhaps I should buy it for Christmas..
New video from my main man Eric Roberson:

Friday, July 09, 2010

I spent the majority of Thursday evening in the Verizon Center, where I watched some practice, recorded interviews and caught up with some of the other people who cover basketball for a living. So as promised, I missed the LeBron James spectacle last night, although as you can imagine, it didn't take long for the news of his decision to make its way to us. I'd say 99% of the people I was with can't stand Mr. James, so I was in great company.

But after I left the Verizon Center, I noticed I had a text message from my son Carlton. He presumably had seen the LeBron James press conference, and he asked me to give him a call so we could talk about it. Carlton has a unique perspective on all this LeBron mania this summer. First off, he's spending a good chunk of the summer in Cleveland with my mother, so he gets to see fan reaction up close and person. And secondly, LeBron James has been Carlton's favorite basketball player for 7 of his 12 years on this planet.

So as soon as I got a free moment, I called my son and asked him his feelings on this matter. Had I been thinking, I would have recorded this conversation via speakerphone.

Me: So, I know you watched the press conference, how do you feel?
Carlton: I don't like it at all Daddy
Me: Why not?
Carlton: I feel like LeBron took the easy way out by joining Wade and Bosh, instead of finishing what he started in Cleveland
Me: (agree, but playing devil's advocate): But the man wanted to win a championship right now and play with great players.
Carlton: That's true. But still, that's the easy way out Daddy
Me: What's the reaction in Cleveland and at camp?
Carlton: Everyone knew all day he was leaving, but people were holding out hope he would stay. I think people are mad that he didn't tell the city of Cleveland what he was doing before he went on tv
Me: Well I thought it was pretty classless too. So is LeBron still your favorite player? Or has Wade gone from your second favorite to your favorite player
Carlton: I guess I still like LeBron, but I may switch. I don't know. Right now I don't like him
Me: Ok Carlton, its late, get some sleep
Carlton: Ok Daddy.

Again, I should have recorded this interview, sent it to LeBron and his "people" and said, "See what you did to the kids?!?!!"

Also, if you haven't read the letter Cleveland Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert wrote to the fans and released to the media, please read it here. Clearly the man was angry, tipsy and in love with the "caps lock" and "quotes" buttons.

Is It? - Cee-Lo Green

Thursday, July 08, 2010

This morning, I overheard one of the guys I swim with, having a conversation with one of the gym employees. Usually I make it my business not to eavesdrop on their conversations, because I'm in a hurry to get home and eventually get to work. But this morning I just so happened to get wind of two things that intrigued me a great deal.

One, this guy had Al Roker surgery last year (aka gastric bypass). I think I starting swimming at the gym right after he had it done, and I just noticed that for someone who seemed like a swimmer, he had a lot of saggy skin. But because a) I'm not ghey and b) I'm not nosy, and I didn't delve deeper into this subject with him, but I'm glad he confirmed it this morning. I heard him say that he's lost plenty of weight, but he's struggling to tighten things up, and he worries that at his age (43) it may not ever happen. I wanted to tell him to run, lift weights and to do more than just swim, but again, that's not really my business.

This guy is the third person I know who has gotten the Al Roker surgery, and I have so many questions. When someone gets this type of surgery, and they drop 100+ pounds, do they still view themselves as a great big fat person? Or do they instantly turn a switch on in their mind, and obtain an arrogant, fly (sorry for using that word) personality? And when they date, do they still feel like they have to corner the overweight market, or do they "graduate" to slimmer, more fit folks or does it even matter. And is the money that saved on food, now go to buying an entire new wardrobe? So many questions I want to ask, I just don't really know anyone well enough to probe like see these are the types of subjects the Today show needs to cover, instead of beating me over the head with Lindsay Lohan, missing white girls and LeBron James. I digress..

The second topic this guy brought up at the gym, was the fact that he was not going to be back at the gym the rest of the month. He mentioned that starting tomorrow morning, he was headed to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. He explained that a vacation was long overdue, and he was really looking forward to some relaxation.

As I walked away, I did the math in my head, and I realized that this man was going to spend a little more than three weeks on vacation. THREE WEEKS SON! My honeymoon will be 10 days at the fact I've never taken more than 10 days off, let alone 21 or more. This made me feel like a)I'm working in the wrong place b)I'm not living life the way it should be and c)I need to a little bolder with my leave. If I had three weeks of vacation, I'd hit up the Las Vegas Summer League to see the Washington Wizards play, then I'd travel to South African to watch Spain and the Netherlands play in the World Cup final, then I'd finish it off with a trip to Scotland to watch Tiger play in the British Open . Again, I'm rambling..but last I checked, I had 132 hours of vacation time, so I need to do something.

Again, please boycott LeBron's announcement tonight..

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

I'm convinced that people do all types of sneaky, nasty and repugnant things in the elevator. Sometimes I happen to smell these things when I walk in the elevator after someone. Other times the guilty looks from a couple once the elevator door opens tells a story. I know there have been plenty times when I have done some serious crotch adjustment when in the midst of an extended solo elevator ride. This is nothing that I am particularly proud of, I just did what had to be done..and quickly.

So I was not at all surprised at 6:30 this morning, when I saw one of the women who lives in my building, removing her hand from under her dress when the elevator door opened. But this woman was clearly shocked that I was standing there, but I don't know why. I was soaking wet from a 5 mile run in 90 degree heat, and all I was seeking the sweet solace of a cool elevator ride to my apartment. But this woman was so shocked, that she didn't say good morning, she didn't look me in the eye, and she didn't say excuse me as she walked out of the elevator right in front of me. Me being the friendly, aiming-for-neighbor-of-the-year brother that I am, I still said good morning to her even though it was met with silence. But damn if I didn't wonder what the hell she was doing with her skirt pulled up and her hand up it when the door opened. I was able to come up with a short list of possibilities though:

1) her underwear was twisted and causing her discomfort, so she had to work it on out

2) she was going commando and she wanted to feel the coarseness of her pubic hairs while she had a free moment

3) she had gotten some action (from another or self imposed) this morning and the residual moisture she thought she had wiped away, had crept back

4)she had the uncanny ability to get herself off in 10 seconds, and she thought she had timed it perfectly, but the elevator door opened prematurely

Whatever the reason was..if you're reading this neighbor, I'm sorry for interrupting you, next time I'll just extend my workout another minute or two by taking the stairs.

And finally I would like suggest that none of you watch Lebron "Attention Whore" James' press conference on Thursday night. During this sham of an event, LeBron will allegedly announce where he has chosen to play for the next three or so seasons. James, who hasn't won a title despite being in the NBA seven years, is selling sponsorship to this event, and will allegedly donate all proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club. The charity part is great I suppose but the event is just sickening. Mr. James, the way you become a global icon is not through contrived events like this, its by winning, winning and winning again (see your idol Michael Jordan). You come off like a pompous ass by doing it this way..

But unfortunately, many people (including some of you reading my blog) will watch this event, it'll get great ratings, and the LeBron media runaway train will continue to roll with reckless abandon. And if you think this sounds like unabashed hate for the man, then you my friend, are 100% correct. I can't stand LeBron eats me up that he's my son's favorite basketball player. It eats me up even more that I like his movie, "More Than A Game" (although in fairness to me that focused on the pre-NBA LeBron). I'm rambling now.

Speaking of movies, go see Cyrus if you can. I saw it on Monday, it was pretty good.

I Get A Kick Out Of You - The Jungle Brothers

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

I know this woman who look like the British singer Adele, and I really want to tell her, but since Adele is a bit of a portly woman, I'm afraid to say anything. But each and every time I see this woman, I immediately think, hey that's Adele. Perhaps one day I will...and this concludes today's Jack Handey moment.

A couple weeks back I wrote about a friend of mine from high school, named Rashaa who died of brain cancer at age 32, and this past Saturday I went to his funeral. I debated for a good week and a half on whether I should attend that funeral. No one under 60 likes funerals (people over 60 get off on them for some strange reason..that and obituaries), but I just feel totally awkward at them. Even on my way to this funeral, I felt guilty for laughing and joking with my boy Kevin, because I knew I would be expected to look and feel somber as soon as we got out of the car. And what if someone saw me laughing as I pulled up, and instantly got offended because I was not appreciating the moment and honoring the dead the way they felt I should?

But from the moment I got out of the car for the funeral, to the minute I headed back from the cemetery, everything worked out. The funeral was tough to watch. Parents should never have to bury their 32 year old son, and a wife and her two year old, should never have to watch their husband/father get lowered until the ground. Both of those sights choked me a bit, as did me seeing Rashaa's brothers break down in tears. But at the same time, because they were so many friends of mine from high school in attendance, it felt like reunion, which meant there were good hugs and jokes shared as well. There was also plenty of "so yeah what's been up?" followed by mumbled answers and awkward silene. Love that!

And on a "lighter" note, towards the end of the funeral, they allowed folks to go up to the casket and pay their final respects. I really didn't want to go, but I did it anyway because everyone else was, and I didn't want to look like an ass. But during this 20 minute period of folks going to the casket, they played the song "Jesus Is Love" (by Lionel Richie) at least 7 times. That song, combined with the moment of folks going to the casket had everyone crying and wiping their eyes. As soon as I stepped out of that funeral home, I told Kevin that I was DEFINITELY deleting that song from my ipod. I never want to hear that again. I also want to shout out the ant that was crawling on Kevin while we were in that funeral home. I've never seen someone try to knock off an insect with so much restraint, and still look paranoid.

And finally, because I cover the Washington Wizards, that means that it would behoove me to follow some, if not all of them on Twitter. This means that I had to go through the painstaking process of adding kids who are 19 and 20 years old to my twitter page. This also means that have endure spellings like "gud" instead of "good, "wat" instead of "what", and gratuitous usage of expressions "lol", "LLS" and "epic fail". The English major in me dies slowly every day..I know Twitter is only 180 characters, but surely you can muster a coherent, grammatically correct sentence. And I won't call you Shirley.

Guns and Roses - Jay-Z featuring Lenny Kravitz

Friday, July 02, 2010

This entry is primarily for you people in the DC/MD/VA area, but if those of you outside the area want to get in on the fun, please do. My mother is looking to rent or sell (preferably sell) her condo in Woodbridge, Virginia. She currently lives in Cleveland, and she's been renting it out for 3 years, but her tenants are rolling out. She'd like someone to occupy the place on or around August 1st. Here are the vital stats:

Townhouse in Woodbridge, VA 22191
End unit
Brick and siding
4 bedrooms (3 upstairs, 1 in the basement)
hardwood floors
jacuzzi in large master bedroom
3 full baths, 1 half bath,
deck, fenced backyard
washer and dryer in basement
basement den with fireplace
basement walkout
nice deck, fenced back yard
beautiful kitchen with attached dining room
1,564 square feet
good condition, wooded view, nice neighborhood
original owner, built in 1997
*Available August 1, 2010

Rental Price=$2050 per month
Sale Price=$345,000

Normally I'm asking for you to help me out, but this time, I'd ask that you help my mother. You don't want my mother unhappy do you?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Superstition - Stevie Wonder featuring Prince and Sheila E. Thanks to Questlove for posting this on twitter last night.

First off, I'd ask that you listen to me and my main man Ryan talk about NBA free agency. This just so happens to be one of the biggest topics in sports, besides the World Cup and Wimbledon. Listen by clicking right here.

As you probably have heard by now, Mr. Larry King will be retiring from television in the fall, after 25 years on CNN. Much like like Bryant Gumbel, I've always admired King for his full body of work. He's done politics, he's announced and written about sports, he's currently on twitter, he had a nationally syndicated column in the USA Today for over 20 years, in which he became the king of the semi-humorous non-sequitur, and apparently he gets it done with the ladies because he's been married eight times in 48 years, which means he's presumably had more affairs than Tiger Woods can shake a stick (or a golf club) at.

But while I was walking into work this morning, I heard a statistic that made my jaw drop. Mr. King has interviewed over 50,000 people during his distinguished career. 50,000 son! So that got me thinking about interviews that I've conducted, which led me to start thinking about the people I've interviewed, which led me to start thinking about a wish list of sorts. So, without further ado, here is my interview wish list, which shall only focus on people who are living.

1) Mike Wallace and Larry King. Wallace is 92 years old, King is 76, but looks 92. Wallace is a legend primarily because of 60 Minutes, and we've already established King's greatness. Interviewing these two guys is as important as interviewing your grandparents. They can go at any time, but before they do it is a must to get their stories recorded in some shape, form or fashion. And with well over 100 years of combined journalism experience between them, Wallace and King would be a joy to talk to.

2) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. I know its hard to believe that after my dazzling 9 minute interview with him back in December, that I could want more, but I do. From basketball, to history, to acting, to jazz, this man has a wealth of knowledge that I need to tap into. He's already written his autobiography, but that was back in 1983, and plenty of things have happened since then. He needs me to update him.

3) Tiger Woods - no explanation necessary
4) Quincy Jones. I ONLY want to talk to him about his Off The Wall and Thriller Recording sessions with Michael Jackson. I want stories, I want to hear about arguments, I want CDs of unreleased music..all of that.

5) George W. Bush. I think he overplayed his hand by aspiring to be president. I think if he had peaked with just trying to be a baseball owner, he'd look and feel a lot younger than he probably does right now. I'd make it my business to find something likeable about this guy, because right about now, its easy and convenient to bash him.

6) Janeane Garofalo. I've seen numerous interviews with her, and I'm always left wanting more--mainly because the people asking her questions either a) ask dumb shit or b)seem to get intimidated both by her humor and her faux angry woman vibe. I'd like to penetrate (pause) that exterior and figure out what she's about, because I dig her work.

7) Chris Rock/Eddie Murphy/Dave Chappelle. Again no explanation necessary
8) Mike Tyson. One of my favorite writers, Mr. Tony Kornheiser has said numerous times, that Tyson is easily the most fascinating person he's ever talked to, and I've heard that numerous times. Much like George Bush, its easy to focus on the negative and crazy aspects, but Tyson has some smarts under there.

I'm sure there are more but I'm tired of writing. To be continued. And now, a creepy, stalker-esque song from Jerry "Iceman" Butler. One of my co-workers was playing this song this morning, and I got a good listen to the words. Jerry is creepy.