Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One of the drawbacks to being sick (besides missing, being awake since 3:57am, and being totally congested) is not being able to workout. I haven't done jack shit since Saturday when I ran a strong five miles. Sunday was my day off from working out, Monday is when I got sick, and I still feel bad today. Tomorrow, I will attempt to swim a mile after not working for several days, and I'm sure I will be gasping for air just to get halfway done. I'm not trying to get sympathy here, I just talking out loud.

This past Sunday, I watched all four hours of Spike Lee's documentary, "If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don't Rise" and I must admit I was pleasantly surprised. Much like Michael Moore, Spike has a tendency to get a bit heavy-handed with his movies and documentaries..meaning he beats you over the head with whatever point he's trying to make. But with this documentary, he got out of his own way, and he just interviewed folks and shot a beautiful movie. Its not easy to watch, it makes you cry, cringe and flat out angry. But most importantly, it sparks discussion, and it makes you realize that New Orleans is still suffering, despite the lack of media attention. I must admit up until this 5 year anniversary, I hadn't though about Katrina and its victims since the Saints won the Super Bowl.

*And as an aside, if you do watch the Spike Lee movie, you'll see my main man Shawn Escoffery featured in a few interviews. He's a talented, smart brother who is not only a good photographer but he does good meaningful work for the city of New Orleans.*

Roy Hargrove & Terence Blanchard
Uploaded by Itsme. - Watch more music videos, in HD!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Today is my off day, but I will be relegated to the bed all day, because my lovely, lovely bride-to-be has given me a cold. These things happen when you live with someone I suppose, but it does not make me feel any less miserable. I was all prepared to write a beautiful entry about how annoyed I am when I go to a bar and there are non-sporting events on the television..but I don't have a lot of energy.

I did want to plug my latest article though. I would also like to report this sad news about the Oxford Dictionary.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010

I have a little pussy
Her coat is silver gray
She's in a great wide meadow
She never runs away
She'll always be a pussy
She'll never be a cat
'Cause she's a pussy willow
What do you think of that?

That poem is called, "The Pussy Willow Poem" and it is straight out of a 3rd grade workbook. This particular section of the workbook is called, "Making Inferences" and there are three questions at the end of this poem:

1)Why does a pussy willow never run away
2)Why will this pussy never grow to be a cat
3)Really, what is the "coat of silver gray"?

My friend Nichole told me that this is her from her nephew's workbook, and when she saw it she died laughing. I really, really wish I was mature enough not to join her in laughter, but I am not. Not even close. I think this is hilarious, and you'd best believe that if I were in the teacher in this class and this came up, I would do everything in my power to skip this page in the workbook. I know pussy willow is an innocent term for (some) third graders..but I also know that throwing around "pussy" without its best friend "willow" is just recipe for parental tampering..and no teacher really wants that..

Let me remind you that I'm 35, I have a 13 year old son, and I'm getting married in December, and I'm up here laughing about pussy willow poems...

The Roots - Pussy (Willow) Galore

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I have spent a lot of time on this blog talking about all things related to me, and that really should not be surprising, given that my name is in the URL. However, today I'd like to spend some time talking about someone who is actually related to me, and that is my brother Jamal.

As you may or may not have read, Jamal, my sister-in-law and my nephew left the DC area at the end of June and headed north to Brooklyn, NY. But their place was not quite ready yet, so they had to stay with her mother in Trenton, New Jersey for a few weeks. My brother had yet to find a job in NJ or NY, so he had to commute back and forth to his old job here in the DC area. He would spend weekends in NJ, look for a job in NY during his off days, drive back to DC to work, and then he'd crash with me before repeating the cycle. Since I am his older brother, I was very concerned about the toll this was taking on all aspects of his life..but he convinced me he was doing just fine (lies).

Then finally at the start of this month, he had two favorable interviews, and he felt like one of these employers would hire him. Then he had two more follow up interviews with each emloyer, and the momentum was seemingly building..but all the days he was taking off from him DC area job, were starting to add up. He knew he either had to get a job quickly, or quit the DC job to free up more time for interviews, family, etc. He asked my father and I for advice, and we told him to quit his job and take a chance. He quit his job on a Monday, and shortly thereafter he got offered a job in NY..the same weekend he and his family officially moved into their place in Brooklyn. All was well, but not really.

Although Jamal was happy to have A job, he did not get THE job he really wanted. THE job had a much higher salary, allowed him to do what he really wanted to do, and it would also help him in his business on the side. I told him that given he had just moved, and money was tight, he needed to take the job, but he was hesitant. And sure enough, this past Monday when I emailed him to ask him how his first day was going, he told me he informed his employer that he would not be working there..before his first day of work. Now when he told me this, I literally said out loud, "dude what the f**k are you doing?" But Jamal calmly told me that he wanted to hold out for what he really wanted, but all I kept hearing were the (un)sweet sounds of poverty. Sure his wife was working and all of that, but nothing beats a two salary household. I was officially worried..

But yesterday, my brother called me and told me that THE job he wanted had been offered to him, and he gladly accepted. He's making more money than he's ever made, and he's happy that he can conduct his side business, see his family, and start settling into his new life in Bed-Stuy, NY. So Jamal if you're reading this (and you should be), let this situation be a reminder that you should never, ever listen to me or anyone else for that matter. You knew what you were doing all along, and it worked out. And now I will link a corny, hokey song in honor of your situation

I Knew You Were Waiting - George Michael and Aretha Franklin

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I had a stifling case of writer's block yesterday, and it had me completely flummoxed. Usually I can tell how well of a writing day its going to be, by how easily a blog entry comes to me and yesterday I felt good. Then my editor asked me to write an article about this article and I just froze up completely. You wouldn't think that such a simple task would cause a problem, but it did. For 4 hours, while I was at work, I started that article about 6 or 7 times, and each time it felt forced and unorganized. Finally, I told my editor that my writing powers had failed me, and I'd have to pass on the assignment, and he was understanding. But that has never happened to me before...never. I thought of another article I can write, and I plan to get started on that today, but I'm still embarrassed about what happened yesterday..but I've talked to two different people who write for a living, and they told me it happens, and it will happen again. I can't wait.

I had a dream last night that Michael Jackson was alive and giving a private concert in the woods by my old house in Potomac, Maryland. There were about 50 people in attendance, and during my dream he sang Stranger in Moscow and then he sang "Wanna Be Startin Something". After he finished the last song, he took his shirt off, yelled at the top of his lungs, and then told the crowd that his official US tour was scheduled to start in December, and I believed him. I swear the dream was so real and vivid, and I woke up feeling sad. I guess this is related to his birthday coming up..I wanted to hear more though..

And finally, in something that means nothing to anyone except me, I'm growing my beard back and flecks of gray are appearing all over the damn place. My innocence is gone...

The End of the Innocence - Don Henley

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

This past Saturday, I made the decision to upgrade my son from a prepaid cellphone plan to a regular one (aka I now have the family plan). I really resisted this for about 3 years, because I simply did not trust my son to not run wild and crazy with the minutes. But when I learned that I could put a cap on the number of minutes he had to play with, I just went ahead and made it happen. I bought a refurbished phone as opposed to an expensive, brand new one, and I have allotted 500 minutes per month which should be more than enough time for my son to conduct his important 13 year old business. I told his mother about this, and I asked her to monitor his phone usage, when he is not in my presence. I also spent a good 20 minutes talking to my son, about the conditions that came with this new responsibility (good grades, don't take the phone to school, don't let anyone borrow it, stay under your minutes, no sexting, etc). And with all of that, I still feel like a sellout.

Just yesterday, I spent an entire blog entry waxing nostalgic about my first day of school and all the emotions that went with it, and nowhere in there did I discuss my cellphone. I got my first cellphone at age 23, and someone I was able to function just fine up until then. Now here I am trying to assuage my own guilt about buying my son one, and depending on when you catch me, it really isn't working. I wonder if I'm guilty of the "long-distance parent" syndrome, which magically causes one parent to heap unearned gifts on the child they don't see often enough. I wonder if the phone (even though its refurbished) is going to cause other kids around him to get jealous and (try) to fight him for it. I wonder if his grades will slip or if his mother will call me one day to say that she found female genitalia in his phone (its hard to be mad at that, but I'd ratchet up some anger somehow).

And then I come to my senses and realize that I am co-raising a good son, and even though he's at that age where kids really start testing their parents, he has rarely let me down in the behavioral department. Not only that, thanks to T-Mobile online, I can monitor his every text, phone call, and picture that comes in, and then I can call him up and ask him wonderful probing and invasive questions like, "What was going on at 4:45am when you received that text?" I'm quite sure he'll appreciate that. So this morning at 10am or so, when he receives the phone and the list of directions/instructions I typed up to go with it, I am sure everything will go smoothly...I think I've convinced myself with this blog entry..

Europe - The Final Countdown

Monday, August 23, 2010

As I sat in bed trying to convince myself that work and not calling out sick was the best way to proceed with my Monday morning, I noticed that today is the first day of school for certain kids in the DC area. I'm sure there are some kids who have had this day circled on their calendar for weeks now. They've picked out their outfit, their shoes, their accessories, their ringtone, the members of the opposite sex they plan on redeeming themselves with this year, and all that. Then you have those other kids who think its bullshit that it is still 80-90 degrees outside, and now school is back. These kids don't move a muscle until their parents poke and prod for 20 minutes, and then they purposely drag until they set foot in school. Then once they see friends and catch up with everyone, they slowly come around. So of course this caused me to think about my favorite first day of school, which was in 1989.

In 1989, I was 14 years old and I was entering 10th grade, which meant this would be my first day of high school. There was also an inaugural 9th grade class coming in below me too, so I knew I wouldn't be picked on too much. Plus, I knew most of the 11th graders from junior high a couple of years earlier, so I felt comfortable for the most part. But the thing that stands out to me the most, was my first day of school outfit.

Spike Lee's, "Do The Right Thing" had come out earlier that summer, and I made it a point to get a T-shirt, because I knew I wanted to wear it on the first day. I also had recently bought the soundtrack on cassette, which meant I could listen to Public Enemy's, "Fight The Power" on the way to to school. My jeans were black and non-fancy, my haircut was fresh and symmetrical (my father didn't allow anything too crazy), and my belt was plain and black. But my shoes, at least in my biased opinion, were the best part of the entire outfit.

Although the Washington Bullets were my favorite team back then (and now), Big Game, James Worthy of the Los Angeles Lakers, was my favorite player, and I just had to have the shoes he wore. They were New Balance, they were purple, gold and white, and I was positive that no one else in school would have them, since Jordans were all the rave (and I was right). The only bad thing was I was about 5'4", I weighed around 115-120lbs and I wore a size 10 shoe..this meant you see these Worthys coming, way before you saw the rest of me. Still, you couldn't tell me I wasn't fresh--although I remember some kids trying to tell me just that. Great times.

And oh yeah, I had a crush on Rosie Perez.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Townhouse for rent

and wise words from Will Smith:

Friday, August 20, 2010

What's the protocol on men sending other men emails that end in smiley faces? And is there ever a scenario when its acceptable? My straight, male co-worker (who is out today) sent me an email with a smiley face in it, and I feel some kind of violated...
If I see one more person on television, facebook, twitter or on email, type a sentence and then end it with, "let's go!" or "let's get it" or "you already know what it is", I am going to slit their wrists, and step on their fingers. None of this makes sense to me, and I don't even care to sit around get an explanation as to what any of it means. Why can't people just talk regularly? Why do people abbreviate and lazily misspell words on purpose? Why does music suck so bad as of late? And what does it mean to "Dougie"?

That's my disjointed rant for today

So, I am on a mission of sorts, to create a specific kind of playlist on itunes, and this is going to sound a bit random, so please bear with me. Last night, while I was watching some boring preseason football game, the song, "Love Ballad" by LTD came on via itunes. If you've ever listened to that song closely, you'll know that the last 1:45 or so, Jeffrey Osborne just keeps singing the chorus over and over ("What we have is much more than they can see"), and then in the background, he's improvising (or riffing as we call in the business), and it makes for a pretty entertaining way to end the song.

D'Angelo, on his second cd entitled, "Voodoo", also had a song where he followed this same formula. The last 1:58 or so of the song, he sang the chorus over and over, and then went back and laid some improvisational vocals over it. Its a hard contrast to explain, but when you hear it, you'll know what the hell I'm talking about. And then once you realize what I'm talking about, perhaps you can help me find some other songs that are similar to it. And they don't just have to be R&B, then can be soft rock, rock, metal, I don't even care...Jazz is excluded though, because I need these songs to have vocals.

Just in case you are still thoroughly confused I will link the two songs in question:

Love Ballad (start at the 3 minute mark), and ignore the creepy graphics

The Root (start at the 4:35 mark)

And again, if you can think of any other songs that fit this description, please let me know..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I would like to dedicate this blog entry to my best friend..even though I am 100% sure that this friend has never, ever placed his two eyes on this blog, he still is my best friend. That man is my father.

Mr. Mobley turns 60 years old today, and if he ever answers his phone, I will be taking the drive up to Baltimore to treat him to a meal. As I told my son when he turned 13 last Friday, everyone has milestone birthdays. There's 13, 18, 21, 30, 35, 40 and then 50. After 50, you make a big deal of 60, and then after that, every year is a big deal, and much be celebrated as such, and that's exactly what I plan to do.

An ex of mine called me a "daddy's boy" one time, and I really can't disagree with that. When I was younger, I used to cry when my father went out of town, and I'd be right there at the garage when he got back. When I played basketball and ran track in high school, I really couldn't get settled in until I looked in the crowd, and saw him give me the thumbs up. When I was in college, our relationship changed a bit. I was in college trying to find myself, he was getting divorced from my mother and remarried to some woman who was an ass (but she worked for an airline, so I got free buddy passes to fly wherever), and we drifted a bit. We still talked often, but the depth of our conversations was affected a bit.

Since college, we have gotten close, and I'd venture to say that since I've gotten in a serious relationship, we've gotten even closer. I lean on him for advice, I joke around about things, and I find myself listening to his issues even more, which is how I think the evolution of a father-son relationship should go. The last step in this relationship comes in the form of me taking care of him, but I hope we have a ways to go before we get there.

So, daddy(yes I call him that at age 35), if you're reading this (I know you aren't), I would like for you to a)pick up the damn phone so I can make that hour drive in the pouring rain to see you b)Have a happy 60th birthday and c)know that your son Rashad loves you. I would also like to apologize to my brother Jamal, who probably that HE was my best friend, and not my father. Sorry man..we may not be best friends, but in the words of Gwendolyn Brooks, "we real cool".

Ain't Too Proud To Beg - The Temptations
my father's favorite song, from his favorite group

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Right across the street from my house, there is a Rite Aid, and for reasons that I have yet to fully grasp (as far as I know, they have all the regular items any drug store holds), they have security guard at the front door. I think they have three to four gentleman they rotate during the course of the day (its a 24 hour Rite Aid), and for the most part, they are pretty cool. They don't have guns or handcuffs, but their uniforms are sharp and they do have cool walkie-talkies (I'm sure there is more formal name for these contraptions, but saying walkie-talkie reminds me of my youth) There is one who follows my lady around the store a bit too much for my liking, but that's relatively benign, plus my lady has stolen before, so they gotta lock that down.

I make it a point to speak to all of them, because 90% of the people who come in and out of that store, just completely ignore or talk down to them. I was taught a long time ago, by my main man Cliff's father, that you speak to everyone when you enter an establishment..janitors, cashiers, the people in business suits, all that.. You just never know who you're speaking to, who they know, where they can get you, etc..

Anyway, there is one security guard at the Rite, whose behavior baffles me for some reason. He looks to be in his mid to late 40s, he's at least 50lbs overweight, his uniform is always dirty and untucked, and his posture is terrible. Whenever he sees me walking towards or near him, he puts his head down and mumbles a greeting after I say, "What's up man?". The first time he did it, I thought he was just being funny, but this happens each and every time I try speak to him. I've seen him joking and laughing with other employees, customers, etc, but I don't get that same treatment, and it irks the shit out of me.

So now I wonder what the root of his snubs are. Does he think that I think I'm better than he is? Does he feel bad because he knows I've caught him looking at my girl's ass more than once? (which is fine, I look at it too) Does he feel ashamed because he thinks he should be doing better, and seeing me reminds him of that? Does he know I have a blog and obsess over little things, so he's giving me ammo? I don't know what the hell it is, but it really bothers me. Half the time when I go into that Rite-Aid, its late at night, or early in the morning, and I'm dressed like a bum anyway, so there's no reason (that I can see) for him to think I'm better than he is and not speak with his head up. And all this aside, it annoys me that he can't tuck his shirt in and clean his uniform....

I don't think this entry is coming off the way I want it to, but I'm not deleting it.
I'm a man..a black man at that, and I don't like to see any man..particularly a black one, walk around with his head down looking sloppy on his job. But for him to be looking like that, speaking to everyone else, and then snubbing me? That puzzles and annoys me even more.

Perhaps this makes sense to someone if not, move along, there's nothing to see here...

Windmills of Your Mind - Take 6

Monday, August 16, 2010

My latest article

And courtesy of my friend Nichole, here is a interview with Marvin Gaye and his father. And yes its creepy to watch:

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Just the other day, I took great pride in poking fun at the fact that I was going to work-related function, where Ashford and Simpson were headlining. I thought they were too old and too irrelevant to have such an honor, and most of the people I told about his agreed with me. But now, having spent nearly 45 minutes watching them perform, I have to take it all back.

Maybe it was the rather strong glasses of Cabernet Sauvignon, maybe it was the terrific crabcakes I ate, or maybe it was the festive atmosphere, but Ashford and Simpson absolutely impressed me. They can sing on key, the know how to work the crowd and their band seemed to be up to the challenge of backing them up. Sure there were creepy sexual references that you really don't want to hear from a couple that's well into their 60s, and sure Nick Ashford had the same Billie Jean jacket that MJ wore in Motown 25(with a black sheer shirt on underneath I might ad)..none of that mattered on this night. By the time they started singing "Solid", I was clapping and mouthing the words as if I had written the song.

The downside of the party? When a company has been around or 10 years, and there's only a handful of people who have even been around 8 years (there's been high turnover), you'd think that there would be some kind of recognition, cash prize, or at least 30 seconds of stage time..but it didn't happen, and I was angry about it. I do my job pretty damn well, and a little recognition never hurt anyone..in fact it does quite the opposite. But again, I shall not complain, at least I have a job right?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Two signs I am getting old

1) I overslept this morning, and missed my doctor's appointment. I was up at 2am, because I couldn't sleep (the lady is away), so I knew that there was a chance I could oversleep. I didn't sleep in the bedroom because the television that was in there is no longer working, so I was attempting to sleep (un)comfortably on the living room couch where the television is. I brought the alarm clock out here in the living room, and I set my cellphone alarm as a backup. But my dumb ass set to both alarms for 6pm, not 6am, and of course I woke up around 8am. How does one set two alarms for the wrong time? Now the doctor's office is going to charge me a fee for not cancelling within 48 hours, and I'll still have to pay a co-pay--all because I am apparently inept.

2)My son turns 13 today. I have a teenage son. This combined with the grey hairs I continue to find on my head(and other places) have me feeling a little long in the tooth this morning...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The company I work for is celebrating their 10th anniversary tomorrow night and to commemorate the occasion, they are having a formal dinner at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in downtown DC. I have been fortunate enough to work for the company for 8 of those 10 years, on various government contracts, and although I probably could complain about various things, I will not. There are too many people out of work, for me to be bitching and moaning about an eight year employer. There have been more good times than bad times....plus all you need to do is click on the link to see how nice that Mandarin Hotel is (although that money could have been better spent on company bonuses).

But there is one little detail about tomorrow's celebration that I cannot let slide, simply because it is so ridiculous. There will be a musical guest at this dinner (which is a bit over the top in and of itself) tomorrow, and if I gave you 200 guesses, I PROMISE you, you'd guess wrong 200 times. The guest? Ashford and Simpson

Now I'm not diminishing the greatness of Ashford and Simpson at all. They are Hall of Fame songwriters who have given us great songs like "You're All I Need To Get By", "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing". They also gave us the mega-hit "Solid", which has curiously been overlooked as background music for male-enhancement products. And I bet you didn't know that Nick Ashford spends his spare time playing the role of Jesus..the Black version.

But as talented and accomplished as they are, Ashford and Simpson are 68 and 64 years old respectively, and their last hit was over 25 years ago. Furthermore, most of the employees of my company are under 40, which means no one really gives a good goddamn about seeing this duo perform on a Friday night. They are known for songwriting, not performing for God's sake. I started not to RSVP for this blessed event, until I realized how endless the blogging possibilities would be. It would be a crying shame if I didn't attend, take mental notes, and then come back and write an extensive review of what happened. So that's exactly what I'll do..not because I want to, but because its the right thing to do.

Baby This Love I Have - Minnie Riperton
(I started to end with an Ashford and Simpson song, but I just cannot do it. I don't even have any of their songs on my ipod)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My latest article.
When I was single and dating, I used to apologize to women, even when I knew in my heart of hearts that I was right in the point I was trying to make. In my mind, I did not care about them enough to truly fight my point, because chances were pretty good that they wouldn't be around that much longer. Who has the energy to fight with someone that they don't really and truly care about?

Now I'm in about to married, and I've eschewed that way of thinking. If I believe I am right, I will tell my lady so, and if it means our argument is extended a few hours longer than usual so be it. We know that no matter what, we will come to some kind of understanding before we go to bed, and the door is even open for me to get a bit of the make up trim.

I say all this to say that last night I had a pretty bad argument with my mother, and she was completely in the wrong. I'm trying to help her sell/rent her condo, and I needed to ask her some follow up questions about details, and she blew up at me. I'll spare you the specifics, but at some point, I could no longer take the misguided anger she was dishing out, so I decided to dish out a bit of my own. In hindsight, I should have just gotten off the phone once her decibel levels got to a unbearable levels, but I was in the heat of the moment I suppose. We abruptly got off the telephone without saying goodbye, goodnight or I love you.

As soon as we hung up, I thought about all that my mother is going through right now, and then I thought about how bad I would feel if something happened to her, and we had left off on such a sour note. Then I thought about how nasty I was in response to her nastiness, and I said f**k it, let me take the high road and apologize..and I did. I was still angry, I felt like I had walked into some residual anger she had been carrying all day, but I still was the one who apologized, because it just felt like the right thing to do. As soon as I apologized, she did the same, and then she politely, but quickly, rushed me off the phone, because she was talking to her girlfriend (presumably about me).

I went to bed at peace, and I hope she did too. But now I wonder if we've reached that stage, where arguments are more frequent and sometimes irrational. She's going through it with her mother, my father went through with his mother as she got older, and I may have hit that milestone as well. I believe its called the I-am-getting-older-and-crankier syndrome. You want to love and respect your parents the best you can (and I do), but I swear, the older they get, the more they successfully work your last nerve. I have no real point here, I'm just venting, forgive me. But I would like to extend the middle finger to those people who have no better advice/words of wisdom than to say, "Well at least you parents are still living!" That's a bit self-righteous. I can love and appreciate my livings parent while trying to win arguments..can't I?

So Whatcha Want - Beastie Boys
For some reason, when this song comes on during my morning run, I feel invincible. And it is THE best Beastie Boys song in my opinion. The video is cool too.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I have lots on my mind as of late, and I don't really feel like discussing any of it, which makes it difficult to write a blog as you can imagine. But I can discuss one juicy nugget of good news, and that's my wedding.

Two weeks ago, the lady and I decided to get rid of the traditional wedding ceremony we were planning, and do things a different way. So, we will be going down to Miami on December 11th to get married on the beach in a ceremony that will include just us two and a preacher, and then the next day we will be leaving for a week long honeymoon at an undisclosed island (stalkers are real buddy). We notified our parents last week, and everyone was supportive and happy, except my mother, but she's slowly getting over it. I go back and forth about whether to invite her, but right now I'm in the nah-she'll-get-over-it stage. And while I appreciate the advice from the few people I've told about this, I really don't want anymore. This was not a spontaneous decision. We talked it out, and BAM, this is what we decided. In the brilliant words of my father, "Other people will try to tell you what you should and should not do, but this is you all's day, and whatever you decide, I will support you. You all are grown."

Works for me.

Friday, August 06, 2010

In what has to be some kind of personal record for me, I have written two WNBA stories this week. The first one was about Obama and his appearance at a Mystics game. The second one is an interview I conducted with Chamique Holdsclaw, who used to play in D.C., and now plays in San Antonio. I know most of you don't like the WNBA, and that's fine, but I still think you should read it. You can read it by clicking right here.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The following conversation (or something extremely close to it) happens to me each and every time I bring my laptop in public, and someone sees the back of it (including just now):

Others: What happened to the back of your laptop, I notice it looks damaged and kind of beat up

Me: It was damaged in a fire three years ago, and it has sentimental value for me, so I just haven't bothered to replace or cover up the rough looking part

Others: Oh man I am so sorry about, thank God you made it ok, did you lose everything?

Me: Yes, I lost everything but this laptop, but all is well now

Others: Ok, I'm so sorry again

Me: Next time mind your f**king business, and you won't be in a position where you even have to apologize with your nosy ass (said beautifully and eloquently in my head).
I have today and tomorrow off, which means I will be spending my time writing in random coffee shops and lounges in the this wonderful city of Washington D.C. But first I have a few things to say..

1)I'd like to say thank you to the guy on the bike (not a motorcycle, just a regular bike) who came flying down an alley without looking both ways, and ran right in to me. I saw you coming out of the corner of my eye, but I thought you were going to stop, but you did not. Luckily for me, I protected myself and gave you the Heisman Trophy stiff-arm. I had tire tracks on my leg and minor discomfort, but you fell off your bike and spilled all your precious water. I wanted to feel sorry for you, but I don't so lets call it even. Driving/riding-down-an-alley etiquette calls for you to slow down as you get towards the sidewalk, especially when the alley opens up to a main street (U St for you DC folks).

2) I want to send a special, special shoutout to all you jackasses who littered my facebook, twitter and Gmail inbox yesterday, with messages that went a something like this, "Happy Birthday Obama!" or "Happy 49th Pres" or "Join Me in Celebrating Our President's 49th!"



Are you working on some sort of commission that puts money in your pocket if you get the word out that it was his birthday? Do you think I live in a cocoon, and I don't read the paper, watch CNN or listen to NPR? And what the hell do you get out of telling the masses like that? Its annoying, and there was no mass party spot where President Obama was going to grab the mic and thank everyone.

3)And lastly..and I really hate to write this, but lastly, I would like to thank my father. We hadn't talked in over 10 days until last night, and 2 minutes into our conversation, I heard you typing on the computer, which explained why you were barely paying attention to me. I asked you three times if you were busy or needed me to call you back, and you said no, and then kept right on shunning me. You came up for air briefly to discuss my WNBA article, then you kept right on snubbing me. If you can't multi-task, then just let me go, rather than making me cut the convo short. I do believe my little feelings were hurt..besides, my lady gets tired of being the only one I pour my heart out to.

That is all for now..

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I am fairly certain that this will mean nothing to anyone, except my main man Sabin, but I am sharing it anyway, because it is a big deal to me.

As I have mentioned here and there in this blog, I just learned to swim in March of last year, after 30+ years of being afraid. I went from taking a lesson every Saturday, to going 2-3 times a week, to swimming every day, to swimming every other day (I run on the other days). There are times when I jump in the pool with ease, and I smile to myself, when I think back to the days when I clutched the side of the pool for dear life. I would have all the confidence in the world in every other athletic endeavor, but when I set foot near or in a pool, I'd turn into a scared little boy. These are things I will never forget, no matter how adept at swimming I become.

So this morning, I reached a personal milestone, and its a pretty big f**king deal to me. I swam a mile in 45 minutes, which was nearly 13 minutes better than my previous best of 58 minutes. This will not win me a gold medal or any Wheaties endorsements, but this is a very big deal to me. And I'm hoping that maybe, just maybe, that special lady in my life is reading this right now, and decides to give me a bit of trim tonight as a result of this monumental occasion.

Didjital Vibrations - Jamiroquai

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

First off, if you haven't already, I would like to politely ask you to read my article on President Obama's appearance at the Mystics game on Sunday. If it is good enough for the Ted Leonsis, owner of the Wizards/Mystics/Capitals to link it in HIS blog, surely its good enough for you to link in yours...and I won't call you Shirley anymore.

Now, this morning as I taking my post-run cool-down-walk towards my apartment, I noticed a woman trying to parallel park right in front of me. She was driving a full sized car, and the space she was attempting to squeeze into was a full sized space exactly. I thought she was old, but when upon closer examination, she looked to be around 30 or so. I could see her getting frustrated that this process was not working in her favor, and when she saw me, she gave me this "go away" look and I started to do just that. But in my neverending quest to become a better person, I did not go away at all. I ignored the fact that I was sweaty, and it may have been a bit creepy to be approaching anyone, let alone a woman alone in a car, at 6 in the morning.

I went to the driver's side of the car, motioned for her to roll down the window, and I told (not asked) her that I would help her fit her car in the space (sounds like a sexual reference). I switched to the passenger side of the car, so I could see how close she was to the curb, I asked her to roll the window down so she could hear my commands, and I got her in the space with room to spare. Normally I would take this time to promote the stereotype that women can't drive, but it really was a difficult spot for her to navigate through. And who among us hasn't needed some assistance getting into a tight spot...pause.

Anyway, she thanked me, I said no problem at all, and she said thank you sooo much, and I again said no problem and told her to have a great day. I did a good deed, and I appreciated her thanking me, but I felt like some early morning small talk was about to be thrown my way, and quite frankly, that would have ruined the moment. Seriously though, it really does feel good to help people when they aren't expecting..and that's one to grow on.

And now, a selection from Branford and Wynton Marsalis:

Monday, August 02, 2010

President Obama, the Washington Mystics and me: The article
If you click on this link , scroll down to the bottom of the page to the video and fast forward to the 1:32 mark, you see me on the bottom left corner for a good five seconds, looking totally cluelesss. It may say that the video isn't available, but wait for it, it'll come up..
I was in attendance yesterday afternoon, when Barack Obama appeared at the WNBA game. I didn't get to meet him or shake his hand, but I was directly on the floor in the media section, and he was across the way in his own floor seats. I'm writing an article on it now, but until that's completed, here is my grainy cellphone picture: