Thursday, September 30, 2010

My son got a 74 on his History assignment, and I asked him why his grade was so low and he said he didn't know. Then I asked him if asked the teacher told him exactly why he earned a 74, as opposed to an 100, and again, Carlton said he didn't know. I then proceeded to tell him that anytime he earns a grade that isn't an "A", he needs to ask the teacher why, and then follow that up with an additional "how can I improve" conversation. I explained to him that teachers appreciate it when kids take an active interest in their education, plus its just good practice for high school, college and beyond.

We were on the phone, but I'm pretty sure his eyes glazed over, but I anticipated that kind of reaction, so this morning I texted him and reminded him to talk to his teacher. I plan on talking to his teacher too. But this is not why I am bringing up this story. Here was the end of our conversation:

Me: So how is your girlfriend
Carlton: Well the girlfriend I had this summer is gone, and then I had a new one when school started but we broke up too
Me: Did you get dumped, did you do the dumping or was it mutual
Carlton: It was mutual both times
Me: You don't have a good retention rate man
Carlton: What's retention mean?
Me: Look it up
Carlton: Ok
Me: Just don't get too caught up with the girls right now
Carlton: I'm not but I like talking to them
****Can't blame him there****
Me: I understand but just keep things balanced, school is still most important
Carlton: I know
Me: Ok, well talk to your teacher tomorrow, and please remember to call me afterwards
Carlton: Ok I'll try
Me: Do you know who Yoda is Carlton?
Carlton: Yep, he's from Star Wars
Me: Well Yoda teaches that we should do or do not, there is no try.
Carlton: (while laughing): Ok Daddy
Me: You can laugh if you want to, but I'm serious, and so was Yoda

Now, I am happy Carlton is getting the full middle school girlfriend experience, and I'm also happy he likes girls as opposed to...well you know. When I was his age, I got NO play because I was shy, nerdy and into reading football and basketball magazines. Its nice to see he's breaking the tradition.

But anytime I can work Yoda and Star Wars overall into a speech/lecture with my son, it is a GREAT night. My dad would be so proud of me. That moment alone was enough to offset the fact that I lost a salary negotiation (by 6.5%) earlier in the day..but I won't get into that right now.

The song I'm getting ready to link below, is GUARANTEED to get you hyped doesn't matter whether you're working out, you're having a bad day, or any of that..its a high energy song that's to be listened to a high volume

What We Do - Freeway featuring Jay-Z and Beanie Sigel

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

First off, if you would be so kind as to read my article, that would make me extremely happy.

Second off, I owe a sincere apology to a toddler and his father. This morning, I was busy fiddling with my ipod, trying to find that one last song to listen to before I set foot in my building (I settled on this one) As I was scrolling through the songs on my ipod, I stepped on something, and initially I was just going to keep on walking and not really pay any attention. Then I looked back, and noticed I had stepped on a stuffed animal version of Elmo, and I said, "Oh sh*t!"

Not too far from where I had stepped on Elmo, there a little kid in the stroller who started bawling and bawling loudly. I immediately took off my headphones, went back to pick up the Elmo with my size 13 footprint on his face, and I started cleaning it off and apologizing to the kid and the father. The father kept saying don't worry about it, and he told me that his son had thrown Elmo out of the stroller about two seconds before I stepped on him, but that didn't make me feel any better at all. Still, despite my profuse apologies, that kid would not stop crying, and the father basically told me, "Thanks buddy, but move along".

I put my headphones back on, played the song I had stepped on Elmo to get to, and started walking towards my building, but I swear the cries of that little kid were drowning out my music. I still feel bad about it, and I hope that kid has gotten over it now..knowing kids, he's probably laughing and joking right now. But I do kind of wonder if he sees me on the street again, what will happen: Will he cry when he sees me? Will he vomit on me? Will he say, "Daddy there goes that bad man?" ..these are things that are on my mind right about now

Walkin - Bobby McFerrin

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

There is no greater indicator of how good of a day you're going to have, than a prostitute propositioning you at 5:50am, while you're trying to complete a 5 mile run. That's what I always say..I was tying my shoes, and out of nowhere comes this prostitute dressed like the woman at the beginning of MJ's Dirty Diana video. She put her hand on my back, asked me how I was doing, and I said I was fine, but I had to run..literally. As I ran off, she asked me if I was sure I didn't need any help with anything, and I thought to myself, "Really? That's your hook to get folks to sleep with you for money?" COME ON!

Now I get to a much more serious matter. Yesterday, I had the distinct pleasure of participating in Washington Wizards Media Day, and in the next few days, I suppose you will read my thoughts, findings, opinions, etc. But there were photographers all over the place during that event, and as a result my picture was snapped a few times, but there is one picture that concerns me, and that is this one.

Now if you look closely at the top of my head, it looks like either I'm thinning up top or I am balding. This is a great concern of mine, because my father is balding that way too, although his didn't start until around 53 or so. I don't know whether its the way I brushed my hair the day, or if its the fact that I'm wearing my hair longer than usual, but I am disturbed at this. I love my hair man. I'm no Troy Polamalu or anything but I still love my hair. And if I lose it, I don't mind rocking a bald head, but if I did that, then I'd have to shave my beard. As my friend Cliff says, if you have a bald head and a beard, then that beard looks like you just snapped it opposed to folks with hair who can blend it in nicely. The king of snap-ons right now? RAWSE. I can't go out like that at all.

Luckily for me, I was able to find another picture from yesterday right here, which shows that my hair is fully intact..still, I'm completely paranoid now.

Cut and Paste - Ron Carter

Monday, September 27, 2010

While I was at the pool swimming my customary mile on Saturday, I saw this father escorting his reluctant son to the pool for lessons. It was about 9 in the morning, they both looked like they would rather be in bed, but that didn't stop either one of them. The father got his book and sat in a chair that was near the pool, and his son went to the instructor and got ready for his lesson--kind of..

You see the kid kept staring at me while I was doing my swim. I'd get to the end of my lap, and as I prepared to make the turn, I'd see this kid just looking at me. His father was oblivious to this at first because he was knee deep in his book but the instructor was clearly getting agitated. At one point the instructor kind of raised her voice, and when the father heard this, he yelled at his son to pay attention. The son did a better job of watching me and going through with this lesson, but he still wasn't totally focused on his lesson. I wondered if this kid was a stone cold killer or something, but I was determined to finish my workout, so I kept right on going.

Finally, I finished up in the pool, and as I walked away the kid kept on staring, but he waved at me, and I waved back. Clearly the kid wasn't crazy, he was just being a kid I suppose. But as I got ready to walk out of the pool area, his dad stopped me and we had this brief conversation.

The Dad: Hey, I'm really sorry about my son staring you down like that
Me: Its no problem man
The Dad: No I'm really sorry about that. But to be honest, I think you're the first black man my son has ever seen swimming before, and he was probably mesmerized
Me: Oh, well that's flattering, you don't swim?
The Dad: I haven't gotten around to taking lessons. His mother swims though
Me: Well you should learn man, I just learned last year
The Dad: Really? Well hell (yes he really said this), I need to get on the ball, I'm 40, its not too late right?
Me: Not at all I'm 35 now, but I was 34 when I learned. But let me run (I can only take so much small talk) Does your son have swim lessons every Sat morning?
The Dad: Yep every Sat. morning at 9
Me: I'll make it a point to swim at that time too, maybe I'll chat with your son next time
The Dad: Thanks man, that means a lot
Me: No problem

Now..a few things

1)As I walked back to the locker room to change, I couldn't help but smile. It is RARE that I get put in a position to be a role model to anyone not related to me, so the fact that I could possible inspire a father and son combo who look like me too? That is a win-win

2)The father was about 100lbs overweight, which made me think maybe his son doesn't believe he is athletically inclined at all. I remember when I was younger, my father was spry and athletic, and it made playing sports with him that much more fun and challenging. Had he been overweight or too big to play football or basketball, I think I'd have looked at him different and I might have lost respect for him too. So this kid was could have been staring at me, because I looked his dad's age and I was in shape..This may sound shallow, but these are the dynamics between fathers and sons. This is part of the reason I try so hard to stay in shape and eat right..I want my son to be frustrated because I'm kicking his ass at all sports, not the other way around.

3)It annoyed me that the father was basically reading the whole time his son was swimming. No he doesn't have to be an overbearing dad, but damn, cheer your son on, encourage him, let him know you're there. Don't just bark out instructions when he's messing up..

Ok rant over

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My latest article and then a humorous response to what I wrote.
From the age of 10 all the way up until age 17, I was fascinated with the logistics of prayer--especially as it related to older folks. Older folks prayed before meals, before long trips, in bible study and of course in church, and I became a prayer-scholar if you will. I listened to the cadences, I watch every one's faces, I watched how tightly the hands were being held in the prayer circle, and every now and then I would catch someone with their eyes open looking at me (which was funny and terrifying at the same time).

It seemed like there were four main roles that needed to be fulfilled during a prayer session:

1)The leader: This is the person in charge of organizing and vocalizing the actual prayer. I used to wonder if this person had something memorized, or did they use the spirit to come up with a freestyle of sorts, that would fit the occasion. Having been in this position before, I can say without a doubt, that I am ALWAYS freestyling my prayers; however, if I could have a bulleted-pointed prayer cheat sheet on my person, I would be better off.

2)The "ad libber": This is the person who really wanted to lead the prayer, but they somehow got the shaft. So they make it their job to lightly sabotage the leader by throwing in ad libs. The ad libber (and supporters of the ad libber) will tell you that this person just feels the spirit and is moved to spiritually ad lib, and you can believe that horsesh*t if want to, but its a hoax. Why else would someone constantly interrupt the lead prayer by saying, "Yes", "Yes Lord", "Thank you Jesus", "Yes Yes Lord Thank you Jesus"? Its sabotage son.

3) The "closer": The closer is like the ad libber with manners. The closer waits out the prayer and the ad libs, and once they hear the lead prayer say, "Amen!", they jump in and say amen again, but with more feeling. Not to be terribly sexist here, but the closer is a better fit for a man with a deep voice. My Uncle Melvin used to say "Amen" in such a deep, booming voice, that I honestly that it was God in the closer role. After the closer has spoken, prayer is over, and real life can resume. Its no coincidence that kids and non-believers love the closer.

4) The "handsqueezer": This is the person who either who just involuntarily squeezes the sh*t out of your hand during group prayer, and the only thing that keeps you from strangling them, is the fact that your other hand is being held as well. You can be 30 seconds or so into a prayer, and everything is lovely, and then BOOM, they squeeze your hand because the spirit has moved them. This is all well and good for them, but meanwhile your entire left side is numb, and now its a Bob Dole situation.

So why do I bring this up? Last night before my fiancee and I ate the wonderful meal she cooked, she decided to say grace out loud. I'd say about 85% of the time we say grace to ourselves, but I guess last night was a 15% type of night. So she started saying grace, and about 10 seconds or so into it, I whispered "Yes" a few times, and we both burst out laughing, which effectively ended any chance that God would bless our food. We've done this a few times to one another, and it never ceases to be funny, given all the ad libbers we have encountered in our youth. If you haven't been able to pick up on this already, we are REALLY immature, which is why we can only marry one another.

By the way, me posting this video below has nothing to do with previous entry I've made. I just heard this song while I was typing and decide to link it.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

First off, I'd ask that you take some time to read this article that I wrote. Its a little different than the articles I usually write, but I hope you feel it just the same.

Secondly, I'd like to write out my dream, while its still fresh in my mind. I had a dream that I was in the lobby of the Orlando, Florida Marriott (a hotel I have not visited since 1991) waiting for the elevator with Carlton (my son). When the elevator door opened, there were two individuals in it who were also headed up. Rainn Wilson (Dwight from The Office) and this woman at my job who absolutely cannot stand.

The first thing Carlton said (or whispered) to me was, "Daddy, that's the guy from the Office", and I said yes it is, but its not polite to point. Then, Rainn Wilson asked my Carlton how long he had been watching The Office, and who his favorite character was, and of course Carlton said it was Dwight Schrute--which made Rainn smile. At that point, the woman from MY office, put her entire hand on Carlton's head and said, "You're such a good kid", and immediately, I took her hand off of Carlton's head, and said, "I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't touch my son's head."

She looked at me and said that she was simply trying to pay my son a compliment, and I asked her to do so without touching. Carlton jumped in and said, "Daddy, its ok" but I told him to shut up and get out of the elevator. Dream over.

Now, Rainn Wilson was mentioned on a television show I watched last night, I saw the woman at my job coming out of the elevator yesterday during lunch, and I texted my son last night. I have no clue where that Orlando part came from, but I still find it amazing that my brain chose to take those three things out of my day, and put them into an early morning dream. I also don't know where that elevator attitude came from though, I never overreact to things like that in real life (of course that's a lie) But I really don't like people touching my head without my permission, and the same goes for my son. That's just disrespectful, and women should know and understand that..they barely let men look at their hair let alone touch it.

And finally, while I was running this morning, the Pharcyde's Passing Me By came on my ipod, and I was once again amazed by the entire song, but especially the last verse. I know I've talked about it on this blog before, but its worth repeating, that verse is amazing. Its complex, there is singing involved, and it tells a story.

Now there she goes again, the dopest Ethiopian
And now the world around me be gets movin in slow motion
when-ever she happens to walk by - why does the apple of my eye
overlook and disregard my feelings no matter how much I try?
Wait, no, i did not really pursue my little princess with persistance;
And I was so low-key that she was unaware of my existance
From a distance I desired, secretly admired her;
Wired her a letter to get her, and it went:
My dear, my dear, my dear, you do not know me but I know you very well
Now let me tell you about the feelings I have for you
When I try, or make some sort of attempt, I symp
Damn I wish I wasn't such a wimp!
'Cause then I would let you know that I love you so
And if I was your man then I would be true
The only lying I would do is in the bed with you
Then I signed sincerely the one who loves you dearly, PS love me tender
The letter came back three days later: Return to Sender

- Fatlip from The Pharcyde

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

D'Angelo the ghost has risen to finally give us new music, which is right here.
I didn't write this entire article, but I contributed to it, along with the other good writers at Truth About It. Other than that, I have nothing to say today. So I will leave you this entertaining video from Mr. Al Jarreau, as he covers the jazz classic, "Take Five". Unfortunately, after watching this video, I can now imagine the faces Al makes during sex..but the song is great.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I will now document yet another reason why I hate people who don't understand sports..

As I have mentioned probably one too many times, my son is now playing football. First he said he wanted to play, then he quit, then he came back and earned his starting job back. His first game was last Thursday, and he had two tackles, but his team lost. Still he is just now getting back into the swing of things, and judging by the tone of his voice, he is pumped up, and frankly so am I. Yes I wish the games were on the weekend instead of Thursdays, but I'll take a day off soon to see him, no big deal.

So, last night as I'm talking to my son, I mention that I want to take this Thursday off, so I can drive down to see him. He mentions to me that he won't be playing this week, and when I ask him why, he tells me that his mother has planned a family trip to Mississippi this weekend. They are leaving on Thursday morning, and they will return. He will be missing school (an issue I won't even touch right now) and he will be missing his game. I asked him how he felt about that, and he said he was disappointed, but there was nothing he could do about it, but he was mad that he may lose his starting job.

So I spoke my son's mother, and she told me that she would be sure my son got his school assignments for the day he was missing, and that it was "no big deal to just miss one football game". I tried to explain to her that in an abbreviated season, where my son already has missed time due to his indecision, one week could cost him playing time and his starting job. Again, she hit me with the, "its just a game, and he'll be fine" and at that point, I just waved the white flag and hung up the phone. My mother used to say that kind of thing when I was young, and luckily for me, my father would jump in and let her know how important it was for me to attend to my sporting events (it was basketbal and soccer for me)..but they were married, so he had that "power". I have no such power in this particular issue and it infuriates me.

Anyone, male or female, who has played competitive sports during the summer, spring or fall, knows the importance of making all the practices and the games. Everyone is fighting for playing time and the coach's good graces, and you don't get anywhere when you miss time..even for a family trip. And unless there is a death in the family, why the hell are you taking a mini-vacation at the end of September? That's what the summer or a three-day weekend are for..

Rant over. Its Monday morning, so I'll attempt to keep my attitude positive. I stumbled on this jazz clip yesterday while I was looking for something else. Sarah Vaughan is on the vocals, Ron Carter is on the bass, Dizzy Gillespie is playing trumpet, Herbie Hancock is playing piano, and Billy Higgins is on drums. This is classic stuff whether you're a jazz fan or not. The song is 'Round Midnight.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

It has been awhile, but I've finally written an article. Check it out right here.

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Sounds of VTech / bilal_isthislove_web

Yesterday while I was here at work, three of my co-workers were watching a funeral that was streaming online. They had the volume up a bit too loud for my taste, and their reactions were similar to the ones you would hear at Sunday service--which would be perfectly fine if we weren't in an office. The funeral was for MaLinda Sapp, who was the wife of renowned gospel singer Marvin Sapp.

Now, I can readily admit that I had no clue who Marvin Sapp was until a few years ago when my mother made me listen to him in her car. So I only recently knew how big he is in the gospel community, and I definitely knew nothing about his wife. I also know that certain people here in my office, are heavily into church and gospel music, so they were all over this so the funeral was kind of a big deal to them. Having said that, I have a big problem with what went on yesterday for many reasons.

1) You're at work in a public office in a public space, which means anything coming out of your computer speakers at a high volume, needs to be in the safe confines of headphones. Unless President Obama is giving out vital instructions or something, there's no need for everyone within a 10 mile radius to hear you.

2)If you are wearing headphones, you have to still keep your reactions quiet. As I mentioned before, this was a funeral for a woman who was deep in the church, so it was the equivalent of an Easter Sunday service, and then everyone was grieving on top of that. So if I had taken a shot of Johnny Walker Blue every time I heard a "Mmmm Hmmm" or a "I know that's right" or a "preach brother", while I was at my desk yesterday, I'd have been drunk--and possibly agitation-free.

3)I mean this as no disrespect to the deceased (which means someone will take it as such) but I can think of three people who have streaming-online-funeral status: Michael Jackson, the President and the Pope. That's it, that's the list. Everyone else has to have a regular non-televised funeral, and then the program/playbill can be PDF'd, then sent to the entire world via email blast. I just don't think those things should be televised.

4)Why the hell would you want to watch a funeral anyway? I was "invited" to three funerals this year, and I only went to one, and it was an emotional rollercoaster. Of the 2 hours I spent at that funeral, the best parts were a)when I saw my high school buddies walking to the car as we left the funeral home, and b)when we started drinking afterwards. Nothing about the funeral had me thinking, "Man, this is must-see-tv, and I'm glad I came. But even when I've gone to funerals that were less sad, I still felt like it was a private, intimate affair for those in attendance--not something I'd look in on at work.

But again, this is just me, I'm sure someone can construct a beautiful rebuttal telling me why I'm wrong, and I'll probably read it and consider it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Last Wednesday, my son's football coach called, and invited my son to their second game on Thursday. The coach told my son that he understood that he no longer wanted to play, but he at least wanted him to come to a game, and get a feel for how things would go. My son politely declined.

But Thursday after school, my son must have gotten hit with the urge to play, because he came home and told his mother he wanted to attend the game. So he watched the game from the sidelines, and he saw his former teammates getting hit, having fun, and competing hard, just like they had done in practice for the past month or so. When the game was over, my son went up to the coach and said, "I think I want to play again." The coach asked him if he was sure, and he said yes. The next day, my son was right in practice.

Last night I called my son and asked him how football was going, and he immediately broke into a story about how he got two tackles and a sack in practice. Because of his size (I still don't know where he got it from, I was 5'4" and 125 pounds when I was 13, and my son is 5'6" 155) the coach has him playing Defensive Tackle, so I asked him if he was the new Albert Haynesworth. He laughed at me and said, "No Daddy, I'm like Warren Sapp." Sounds good to me.

Tonight is his first game, and I wish it wasn't on a weekday, so I could see it. Next time I'll be there.

We Don't Need Another Hero - Tina Turner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So this morning, I just stepped out of shower after my swim, and I was naked and toweling off at my locker, when the lifeguard on duty comes up to me. He asked me how I was doing, and I bypassed the return greeting, and went straight to asking him what he wanted (you know, me being naked and all). He asked me if I'm good with computers, and I tell him I'm ok, and then he asked me to come to his desk before I leave. I'm quite sure I still had an incredulous look on my face, but I agreed to come check out his issue. I don't know how it is for women, but it is a serious man-code violation to run up on a man while he's naked at the gym. I'm comfortable with sexuality and all, but damn..

Once I got to his machine, he explained his issue. On his work computer, he has two email addresses he uses to log-in: His main one and his private one, and they both show up in his drop down menu, which is fine. The problem is, he has the same log-in situation at home, and he doesn't want his wife to know he has two emails addresses. I asked him point blank, why would you login to your private address at home, why not just keep that at work? His response? I want to talk to my "friends" at home and at work. I looked at him like really man? CLEARLY his wife is going to catch him doing something stupid in the next few days if not hours..that's how sloppy he is..but we pressed on..

I explained to him that I'm not exactly sure how to eliminate an email address from the drop down menu, but I'd find out for him, and he had this look of panic on his face like my answer wasn't good enough. Just then, two female swimmers came by the desk to get towels, and the lifeguard quickly, but loudly shushed me, so they could not overhear his plight. The two women looked back at me like I was doing something wrong, which instantly caused me to get annoyed. So finally, I told the lifeguard I had to go to work, but I'd find out from someone smarter than I am, how to solve his problem. He gave me his desk number, his cell number and his email address (the private one, I feel special), and told me to please let him know soon, so he could go home at lunch and fix it. I said I'd do what I could, and I left..15 minutes later than I wanted to..

I don't condone cheating at all, but I've done it before in my past, so I'm not naive and angelic here. But come on now, if you aren't smooth enough to conduct your emails in a discreet fashion, why the hell would you even embark on a cheating mission? Is it really worth it man? I really wanted to tell him this, but that too is a man-code violation. If he was my close male friend, I may have told him that he's not built for the cheating game, but since he isn't, it simply isn't my business. Still, I felt sorry for this guy but not really.. Wait, is this blog entry an example of me snitching? Is Suge Knight going to get me now?

As of this morning, I officially live in a city where an effective mayor is about to be replaced by an ancient one, simply because he is arrogant and doesn't try to be any one's friend...but he was still effective at his job. Of course I am grossly oversimplifying here, but not by much. Then again, this is the same city that elected a friendly, sporadically effective crook twice so why am I surprised?

If you're a Bilal fan, go buy his new cd. Its excellent, I'm listening to it now.

And finally, my son is playing football again. I didn't sweet talk him at all either. The coach invited him to watch a game, he regretted the decision, and now he's playing. My 300 plus dollars are back in action.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First off, please take some time to read this article by my main man (and colleague) Kyle. The Washington Wizards are looking for a new public address announcer, and they had tryouts last night. Kyle attended, and wrote an entertaining write up..

Secondly, I watched Nadal defeat Djokovic last night in the US Open Tennis final, and I was thoroughly entertained. There were two men at the top of their game going back and giving their all. Just as impressive as their athletic feats, was the fact that I was able to switch back and forth between that and the Monday Night Football game, with just a simple click of the remote (slightly annoying my fiancee o course)..but I digress. The best part about that tennis match, was not having to watch the smug Roger Federer win yet another title. I appreciate his talent and the effortlessness (is that even a word?) with which he performs, but he's just a smug bastard, who was his initials embroidered into his towels, his warm up suits, his hats, etc.. Only one man can get away with that kind of thing, and that's this guy and his logo. In contrast, Rafael Nadal is humble, he's initial/logo free, and he's damn good.

I realize only 3 of the 6 people who read my blog are sports fans, so this entry probably annoys you, but deal with it. Last weekend was one of the best sports weekends of the year, and I couldn't not speak on it..I mean come on, I ditched a party, a festival and an out-of-town friend to get all that sports watching in...

The video you will see below came on last night before I went to bed, and it reminded me of my freshman year at the The Hampton University. There was a Burger King on campus, and inside of that Burger King were two tv's that played videos all day long. My main man Sabin and I used to spent countless hours watching videos and eating unhealthy (but cheap) fast food. When that Mary J video came on we would watch carefully...especially at the 55 second mark..the 1:04 mark too.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Do you realize that in less than 3 months, I'm going to be a married man? It hit me just now as I was preparing dinner at 4pm on my day off. It hit me last Friday, as I watched my lady's sister and her long-time boyfriend, tie the knot in beautiful fashion. It hit me that during basketball season, when I'm covering the Wizards and talking to other writers who do to the same, I'll be able to say shit like, "Yeah you know my wife was telling me that the other day", and I probably won't be able to contain my smile. I think about the vast amount of dumb and irresponsible things I've done in the past, and the fewer number of dumb things I plan on doing in the future, and I count my lucky stars that my fiancee wants to marry me. That is all for now, this is a bit too sappy for my taste.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Below is an article from 9 years ago, written by my favorite writer, the late, great Ralph Wiley. The article dealt with why sports was so important after 9/11..I wish I could write this well.

The article can be found right here.

If that article is intruguing to you, the rest of Mr. Wiley's works are here.

Also shoutout to my main man Neil who is also a big Wiley fan. Sorry I could not attend your going-away-to-NY party my friend, but I wish you and your wife the best of luck.
Just the other day, I wrote a glowing love letter to my fiancee, and it was basically a preemptive apology for all the football I was going to watch today. But now that this glorious day is finally upon me, I am going to have to make a bit of an addendum. This is not just an incredible football-watching day, this is an amazing sports day period. Let's delve into this shall we?

1pm: Football games
2:30: USA vs Turkey in the FIBA finals
4pm: My Philadelphia Eagles take on the Green Bay Packers
3pm: Tiger Woods
3pm: WNBA finals
4pm: US Open finals: Rafael Nadal vs Novak Djokovic
8pm: Donovan McNabb vs the Cowboys
10pm: Mad Men

In the back of my head, I can hear my father's voice telling me: "If you're going to watch all that tv today, please make sure you get some reading done beforehand." So Dad? You will proud to know that I am going to read the Sunday Washington Post, from front to back, before I watch a bit of tv. In terms of my fiancee? I need to trick her into watching some of these sporting events, so I can lessen my guilt.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Welcome to the latest installment of "Accidental Moments of Ipod Brilliance"

Every other night before I run, I meticulously put about 150 songs on my ipod running playlist. Some songs I retain from the previous run, others get taken off because my mood has changed, and I never like to repeat songs on consecutive runs, so those get removed as well. So in your mind, picture me hovered over the laptop, moving songs around like my ipod is a Soul Train Scramble Board. You may be curious as to why I have 150 songs on a running playlist, when I won't even go through 10 of them during my 5 mile run. And my answer to you is that I like variety..if I had 20 songs on my playlist, I could pretty much predict what was coming next, and then I'd get irritated and distracted, and my 5 mile run would suck, and then I wouldn't be in shape. It's a vicious cycle that can be prevented by me putting a copious amount of songs on there.

So anyway, right before I went running this morning, I scrolled down to my playlist, I hit shuffle, and the I was off. Around the four mile mark, this song came on:

and then right after that, this song came on:

Now what are the odds that two songs, out of 150, with the same beat, playing back to back like that? I was so happy and inspired by this stroke of genius, that I ran that last mile in 2 minutes..yes 2 minutes. Now you can laugh at me, or trivialize this accidental moment of brilliance, but if and when it happens to you, I promise you'll feel the same way. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure something like this HAS happened to you, but you failed to share it with anyone, because you thought it a)it was too inconsequential to discuss out loud or b)it has only happened to you. Hopefully I have freed you from the shackles of silence..

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Dear Fiancee,

We have had a great Spring/Summer. We kicked it off with our wonderful engagement, and it continued with all the wonderful money spent towards fact that seems to be the gift that keeps on giving given the current state of my back account. Anyway, we went out to eat, we shared great happy hours, we watched The Wire, Newsradio, and countless other television programs. We kept our arguments down to a minimum, survived an air-condition-less June, and we did other things that will not be discussed in this blog (my future mother-in-law is reading). To sum things up, I have absolutely enjoyed our time these past few months, and I hope you have fact, I hope you bottle up and save it because...

Tomorrow night the football season starts when the Vikings take on the Saints tomorrow night on NBC. From now on, my Sundays and my Monday nights will be filled with real and fantasy football. I'll watch football on tv, and then run to my laptop to see how my fantasy team is progressing. I know I should find a better way to balance you and football, but after 3+ years of us being together, you should know that I cannot. Its not that I don't love you, its just that football reigns supreme..its an unstoppable force that has been sweeping me up off my feet for 30 years or so. I can't stop it, I can only hope to contain it. Plus, next year there may not be a football season, because of NFL labor issues, so you have that to look forward to right?

Also adding insult to injury, is the fact that the Washington Wizards will start their preseason activities at the end of the month, and that will further cut into our time. As you know, writing for the Wizards is basically my second job, so that's a legit reason to occasionally snub you..Please know that none of these things lessen my love for you, they just may lessen my time. But I pledge to have a strong presence in your life, on those rare days when there's no basketball or football. Also, please know that I am not one of those guys who needs to leave the house, and go somewhere to get sloppy drunk just to watch games. I can sit at home, alcohol (and shower) free and create the illusion that I'm right there with you, when in reality, I'm lost in football...

And when all else fails, and you're ready to kick my ass or curse me out, look forward to that glorious Dec. 11th date when we will be married in Miami. That should bring a smile to your face..hell I'm smiling while I type it.



Tuesday, September 07, 2010

So this morning during my walk to work, I noticed a woman with a rather short skirt on in front of me. It wasn't short like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (the first and only time I will ever work that movie into my writing) but it was short enough to be drawing attention from the men around me. So at one point, this woman got her heel caught in a grate, and she dropped her purse, and all the contents of her purse were strewn about the sidewalk and the grass (thankfully not the grate). I saw this unfold in front of me, but I kept walking, because there was another woman right next to her, who was more than happy to help. I didn't keep walking because I'm an ass or I'm insensitive, but I did so because a woman's purse is personal (even when its all over the city sidewalk), and I wouldn't want to help her clean up, and then find something that would make her blush.

Anyway, as I walked by the short skirt woman and her fallen purse items, I noticed that there was this guy in front of me, who was walking fast, but steady looking back at the woman. At first I thought he was just debating on whether to go back and help the fallen woman, but I knew that couldn't be the case, because someone was already helping her. But he kept walking forward, and then looking back, and after the fifth or sixth time he did it, I decided to look back to see what the hell was going on, and I immediately saw it. The short skirt woman was on all fours picking up purse items, and by doing so it revealed the fact that she had NO...I repeat NO underwear on her person or her ass. NONE. If you don't know what a woman bent over with nothing on her ass looks like, and you haven't gotten laid in a while, I have some lovely movies I can refer you to...

Now, after I looked once, I kept walking and didn't look back for a few reasons. 1)I noticed several guys looking at this, and it felt like a creepy fraternity to be a part of..2)there were women around who were looking at the panty-less woman, but they were also looking at the guys looking at her, and it wasn't a good scene, and 3)my boss is out today, so I needed to get to work a bit early. But I ended up being slowed up once again because...

The guy in front of me was so busy looking back while walking forward, that he didn't notice that he was trying to cross a street without the "walk" sign. So he got halfway across the street, and then about 4 or 5 cars zoomed by him, and he screamed, "Oh sh*t" and tried to go back to the curb, but he was stuck. So here he was in the middle of the street yelling like a crazy person, cars are honking at him like crazy, but no one's letting him cross, and on top of that, his vision of the naked beaver was completely blocked. I can't even begin to tell you how hard I was laughing at this dude, and I know he saw me laughing too, but what the hell was he going to do to me at that point? Finally, there was a red light, and he crossed the street, and he looked back at the woman, but she was long gone.

So what's the lesson here? If you're going to be pervert and look at naked ass, or down a woman's shirt or at a man's crotch, it should be a looking-at-the-sun situation. Get one good look, store it in your mental rolodex, or even whip out a camera phone and snap a pic really quick, and then get the hell out of there. Failure to do so, will get you caught in the middle of the street like a scene out of the movie Bowfinger

Monday, September 06, 2010

Friday, September 03, 2010

I love Carlton (my son), I love him with all my heart and soul, but this morning, I want to hit him in the chest about 500 times in a row like an watch him stumble around like Trevor Berbick. This morning, he informed me that he no longer wants to play football, because his heart isn't in it anymore. It wasn't because he wanted to find the Lord, like this guy and he didn't have a serious injury like this guy, he just lost the desire to play.

Now, I can readily admit that I never wanted him to play football anyway. The new information we are finding out about concussions is very scary, and the players are getting faster, stronger and bigger at a much younger age. My son himself is only 13, and he's 5'6" 155lbs, so I know he was going to hit and get hit frequently, and I was worried. Because of bad grades and circumstance, he hadn't played football in 3 years, so I worried if he'd still be able to play, and it turns how he could, but he didn't want to anymore. I get that.

Plus he (like his father) started to take a serious interest in basketball, and even though I beat him with ease the last time we played, I can see talent developing..and he plays almost everyday. On top of that, he's been playing golf since he was 4, and he wants to revisit that as well, so he has other sports he can play for now. He knows academics and not sports are the way to college, but he's athletic and he should take advantage..BUT

I spent over $300 on registration and equipment not even 3 weeks ago, and so for him to pull this quitting sh*t is irritating as hell. And as much as I want to see him play basketball, I'm going to have a hard time forking over one cent towards this. So I told him he is going to have to write extensive proposals to his mother and me, explaining 1)why he should be able to play basketball, 2)why he won't quit prematurely, and 3)how sorry he is for this grave inconvenience. Its not the same as getting my damn money back, but its a pain-in-the-ass for him, so that will have to suffice. But when he gets his first paycheck, I am SO garnishing..

Thursday, September 02, 2010

I can pretty much guarantee nobody cares about this but me, but that's fine. I like finding samples of my favorite hip-hop songs, so I found that this classic Diamond D song:

was taken from this original

and all this time I thought it was taken from here (skip to the 7:29 mark)

I find this fascinating..sorry if you don't
Last week I left my building to go get two cookies from my local Potbellys, and there was nothing but determination in my eyes. I work out, I pay my taxes, and I talk to God at least once a week, so I think I am entitled to two cookies once a week. Its the American way...anyway, as I left the building, the security guard looked at me and the following conversation went down:

Security guard: "Have a good night sir!"
Me: "I'm just going to get a cookie my man, I'll be back!"
Security guard: "Ok then we'll see you shortly" (I hate when a singular person uses the plural form..why not just use the third person and be all the way annoying?)
Me: "Alright then."

Right before I headed out of the door I realized I forgot my wallet, so I headed back towards the security guard, and headed towards the door that led to my office. But before I could get there, the same security guard put his hands on my shoulder and stopped me, which led to this conversation:

Me: "Whoa, whoa, what's with the touching?"
guard: "I need to see your ID"
Me: "Man I haven't even left the building yet, and we just had a conversation, and you KNOW I work here you could have said my name, all the touching wasn't even necessary"
guard: "Just show me your ID please"
Me: "You're really on your job today man"
guard: "I'm just trying to do my job sir"
Me: "I see that"

Now, so that I did not risk my job or being detained somewhere, I shut my mouth, got my wallet, and went on about my business of cookie purchasing. But I remember telling my lady later on that night, that sometimes security guards don't use common sense to do their damn jobs. When I first come in the building in the morning, I understand being ID'd..I can understand it after lunch when masses of people are coming in and out..I can even understand it if I left the building for an hour and then came back. But when I leave, talk to you, and then turn around and walk by you, all in a 15 second span, and you STILL ID me? That's not in the spirit of what security guards are for..

But when I see incidents like the one that happened at the Discovery Channel yesterday, I'm a bit more appreciative of the measures that are taken to be sure I am safe. You never know what can happen on any given day, and there are times when even security guards aren't save (like last year at the Holocaust Museum in DC). So this morning when I walked in the building, I went to the security guard who jerked me around last week, and apologized for sassing him, and he returned the favor by apologizing for touching my shoulder. It was a tender moment, and I'm sorry it wasn't taped (actually it probably was on the security cam), but I meant what I said.

And since no one died in that hostage incident, except for the person who caused it, I can make a semi-humorous observation. With the exception of the movie, "Inside Man", have you EVER seen a successful hostage situation? Does anyone ever break in a building, get hostages, negotiate terms of their escape, break free, then show up at Chik-fil-A the next day? It never works, yet people do this every year, and it blows my mind..I suppose that's why they are criminals though right?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

My lady has been working later hours recently, which means that most of the cooking burden will now fall on me. I've been able to avoid it this week, because of my sickness, but now that I'm back at work (still sick, but playing hurt) it is high time that I start meeting the challenge. As it stands right now, I have some solid dishes in my cooking repertoire:

Salmon (with broccoli or asparagus)
baked chicken breasts (with spinach)
dirty rice
tilapia (With spinach and maybe rice)
turkey burgers (made with A-1, bbq sauce and a secret ingredient)

Now this may look putrid and boring to you, but you'd be surprised how much mileage I've gotten out of this the past 2 years or it helped that I only cooked a few times a month. But now that I'm transitioning from part-time to full-time cook, my limited repertoire will be exposed, which means I need to expand. I'm sure I can scour the Internet for cooking recipes, and I know I have some friends who can throw down in the kitchen as well, but it would be much easier if I could get everyone to send me some good dishes and post them in the comments section..please

So I beg of you, to contribute any fun, tasty and quick recipes for me to try. Actually you can submit your long, drawn-out recipes as well, because I can tackle those on the weekend. I do have some limitations though:

1)I don't eat beef or pork
2)I hate snow peas, brussel sprouts and non-cooked onions
3)I don't eat fried foods

Please help me out here, I'd greatly appreciate it..both my lady and I thank you. Now if you excuse me, I must go back to trying to give all of my co-workers this wonderful cold that was given to me.

By the way, why can't the President give a major address without the aid of a speechwriter? I certainly understand that some speeches have to nailed in one take, and any "umms", "uhhs" or extended pauses could lessen the strength of the message..i get all that. But some people (like me) would appreciate a little deviation from the script. He's an intelligent man, I'm sure he had some mental bullet points laid out before the speechwriter got a hold of things, why not just speak your mind. What's the worst that can happen? You're the f**king President you're going to get criticized and praised before and after the speech anyway, why not go down with your own words, as opposed to the ghostwriter? I'm sure someone smarter than me has the right answer, but still...