Friday, December 30, 2011

My last post of the year will be a video of my son Nyles taking in some Coltrane:

So yesterday after work, the wife sent me on a mission to buy nipples and formula for young Nyles. Nyles is on a mission to get his weight up (he went up 4 ounces between Wednesday and today), and to achieve this goal, he's drinking that winning combination of breast milk and formula. As a result, I was sent to the store to replenish the supply.

Luckily for me, the wife called our local Target ahead of time to see if they carried the type of formula, and they confirmed that they did. I made a beeline to the baby section of Target, looked up and down the aisle, and of course the formula was nowhere to be found. Since my wife accuses me of having a problem with looking for things, I walked up and down that damn aisle at least five times, and then I walked up and down every baby-related aisle just to be sure I wasn't negligent--and still nothing.

So the next logical step was for me to ask "the help" at Target if they could guide me in the right direction. The only problem was none of them spoke good English, just fantastic Spanish. I even held up an empty jar of the type of formula, hoping that would jar (see what I did there?) their thought process a bit, but all I got was incoherent sentences--I felt like I was calling T-Mobile for questions on my cell bill. Finally I waved the proverbial white flag, called the wife and explained to her that there was no formula to be found. She sympathized with my plight and told me that our local Rite-Aid had the powder form of the formula we needed (which is a pain to make). I said ok, and then I mentioned to her that I would ask one of the non-Target employees if they could possibly guide.

Well thank God I did that, because this young black woman with a youngster in her stroller, was a HUGE help. I showed her my empty jar, and she told me that she had seen that formula stashed in the corner somewhere, as if someone was trying to hide it for later. She walked me to that area, I grabbed the formula (and the nipples) and I was on my merry way. Of course I could not get away without having a bit of small talk about Nyles, my wife, etc..but I was more than happy to do step out of my comfort zone to talk with her, since she had been so helpful.

I'm going to do my best not to sound like Lou Dobbs here..but I don't mind bi-lingual "help" at any of the stores I frequent..but if I have a f**king question, you need to have the necessary words in your arsenal to help me out, otherwise, what good are you? I understand there are lots of Hispanic brothers and sisters in that particular area where I was, but still I needed help. This is why Nyles will be bi-lingual. End of rant.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Young Nyles had his first doctor's appointment today, and things are looking good. He needs to eat more and gain more weight, but his mother and father will makes sure that happens. He also got his Hepatitis B shot, which judging by the look on his face, hurt like a mother.. But today his grandmother (my mom) will be in town to spoil him with kisses, love and who knows what else..

One day when Nyles gets older I will tell him marvelous stories about his presence cause me to miss covering the Celtics/Wizards game on New Year's Day. I LOVE covering the Celtics locker room because Doc Rivers is a great talker, and that locker room is full of personalities. But it just so happens that I love my wife and son more..this will be a delicate balance to strike all year.

One more thing..last Thursday night, as I drove from the hospital back to my apartment, I was playing the new Common cd, and the first song was the one I've postsed below. It is a great song, and all was well until the 4:42 mark when the deep, non-sexy baritone voice of Maya Angelou came in...I almost drove off the road laughing. I like Maya's words, but her voice still makes me think of David Alan Grier's impression of her. Sorry Maya.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

The wife and young Nyles are finally sleeping, so I can take some time to write a bit of an update. After two nights in the nursery, Nyles was able to spend the night in the hospital room with his mother (I was once again asked to go home). He is now big enough to maintain a normal body temperature, and he can eat without spitting up everything. Tonight, if the nurse is nice, all three of us will be able to spend the night in the hotel room and tomorrow morning we finally get to home.

My main man jazzbrew told me that in the beginning, the mom is clearly the center of attention, and the dad just has to get in where he fits in, and that's exactly what I've been doing. You just can't help to have more respect for women after this process and I do. You also have to learn how to operate on minimum hours of sleep for maximum periods of time--I'm still figuring that part out.

When my main main Brian had his baby, he transformed his blog from a blog about his health to a blog about his son. I don't know if I'll do the same thing in the long run, but for right how, its all Nyles all the time. Even my older son Carlton wants to get in on the action next week when he comes to visit..

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Mr Nyles Roman Mobley was born into the world on 12/22/11 at 5:25 pm. He was a bit small at 5 lbs and 12 ounces, but with the healthy combination of breast milk and formula, his blood sugar was stabilized, and he's doing well. The bastard at the hospital wouldn't let me stay the night, so I'm back home and exhausted. I just wanted to share.

I didn't cry when he was born, I didn't cry when I held him, and I didn't cry when I watched Nyles in his mother's arms. But when I tried to write his name on my copy of the birth certificate, I broke down big time.

I love Nyles, I love his mother, and I love just about anything right now..thank you for humoring me..

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Until yesterday, I had never heard this Marvin Gaye song in my life. Now that I have, I thought I'd share (sorry if you people have heard it already):

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

It hit me this morning that I am going to have two kids 14 years apart...that is just wild. Anyway, Thursday afternoon is when Melvin will be here..God willing. Then I can start calling him his real name...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

So in yesterday's entry I got on here and raved about how I was in the midst of growing a Richard Kimble-like beard in preparation for the birth of my son. This morning I went to the barbershop to get it all trimmed up, and that's when things went awry. He was so busy talking about how well his beloved Dallas Cowboys played on Saturday night, that he cut one side of my beard. He stopped and apologized, but at that point the damage was done, my hard work was ruined, and the entire beard had to come off. But that is not why I'm blogging about him my friends.

Later on in the conversation, he asked me how my wife and the baby were, and I explained that she was scheduled to give birth this Thursday. The following conversation went down:

Him: So are they going to seduce her so she can give birth?
Me (trying not to laugh): I didn't hear you
Him: You know how they seduce women to get the baby out faster?
Me: Oh no, she's having a C-section, so none of that will be necessary

Now, I wanted to tell him that the correct term was "induce" and not "seduce", but the man was cutting my hair, and he had already jacked up my beard. I didn't want to agitate the man any further. Plus there is kind of an unwritten rule in the barbershop that doesn't allow the customers to upstage or correct the barbers. Outside the shop, they are fair game to be usurped, but in the shop, they are the rules. It is still pretty funny least to me it was.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Washington Wizards opened up their preseason yesterday, and I attended the game. Why is this worth mentioning? Because the arrival of young Melvin will severely limit the number of games I will be able to attend this year. But me and the good folks over at, did a good writeup, and you should read it..there are cool videos in there too.

Here it is

Oh and Thursday is THE day..i'm growing a Richard Kimble-like beard until he's born--maybe longer than that.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Baby update part deux:

The wife had an exemplary visit to the doctor, and her amniotic fluid level was even higher due to her water intake and bed rest (no more working for her). The doctor was impressed and said that assuming the appointments on Friday and next Tuesday go well, the wife will give birth on the 22nd or the 23rd (or the 38 week mark). So this is good news.

The "bad" news? All kinds of shit is going on in the NBA right now, and I cannot keep up at all. My son will hear about this when he's born..he's causing me miss Wizards training camp, media day, etc...But it is definitely worth it, and I am definitely on Cloud 9. Excitement doesn't even seem like an accurate word to describe how I'm feeling these days you know? Yes I'm a father of a 14 year old, but he's lived with this mother all this time, and I get weekends, holidays, summers, and anything in between. This time around it is full time, and I am ready...I think

I know I was supposed to write a dazzling blog entry about the baby shower, but the events that took place before the shower had me in a different state of mind completely. I was going on less than 2 hours sleep, my mother was staying with me, and there were seemingly 70 women there hugging me, telling me how nice it was to meet me, and showering (no pun intended) my wife and I with gifts, gifts and more gifts. My head was spinning, and the only other men there were my father-in-law (who had to sit by his wife the whole time), my wife's drunk uncle (who smelled like that winning combination of mints and strong alcohol) and my five year old nephew who acted like he didn't know me until there were 10 minutes left. My brother-in-law showed up with 10 minutes left too, but all he did was laugh at me.

So overall it was a good experience. We got more towels, wipes, clothes, breast pumps, etc than we know what to do with right now, but I'm quite sure we will need all of that stuff and more. Also, even though my wife thinks this is tacky, if you want to give or send gifts, just email me (, and I'll let you know how you can help.

And yes I'm still nervous and excited all at the same time..I can't remember being so damn unproductive at work before..This will be the first song I play for young Melvin:

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ok so here is the update. The wife's amniotic fluid was low after Friday's doctor's appointment, so we immediately went to the hospital's labor and delivery unit, so they could monitor that more closely. We were told that if the fluid level did not get higher by Saturday morning, the baby would be coming out. So we spent all damn night in the hospital--me on an uncomfortable couch and her on a bed with an IV in her arm--and the next morning, we were told the levels were more acceptable.

So now she is on bed rest, she has to drink water like crazy, and we know for sure that the baby will be delivered some time this week. So now I have to rush and put together the stroller/car seat, we have to pack a hospital bag, and all that good stuff. We thought we had a few more weeks, but we now we are down to a few days..

And lost in all this madness is the fact that today (Sunday) is our first anniversary...good times.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I've been writing in this damn blog all summer and all fall, and I've been enjoying the fact that I could use the NBA lockout as an excuse to not write for Truth About It. Then a couple of days I go, I stupidly volunteered myself to write a full-fledged article on release of the Washington Wizards schedule. I wanted to get back on the wagon, and I thought by committing myself to writing, I would get that old magic back.

That old magic did NOT come back, and I spent 4 damn hours writing an article that was a pile of stinking garbage. Then my main man (and editor) Kyle came through with some kind words, some well-placed pictures, he suggested some words and sentences here and BAM..a final product emerged that was halfway decent. Still, I need to write more..especially before young Melvin comes this month..

Anyway, here is the article called, "Guess Who's Not Coming To Dinner?"

Oh and by the way, my wife's baby shower is this Saturday, and I've been asked to attend..the whole time. I predict the mother of all blogs after that shit..

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

First off, if you haven't already, go check out the new Roots CD, "Undun".

Secondly, here is an article I contributed to earlier.

Friday, December 02, 2011

As you've probably heard, the NBA lockout is over, which means I can once again flood this here space with articles I have written and co-written. Here is yet another one on the Washington Wizards. If you don't give a rat's ass about basketball, then pass it on to someone who does--it would be greatly appreciated my friends.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I'm not sure what happened to this woman, but she can do nothing else in her beautiful life, and I'll still love her for this song alone:

I would like to publicly apologize to my beloved mother-in-law for the comments I made about her husband yesterday. She mentioned to me that her husband was a great and prolific poet, and in response I told her that I respected poetry, but they frustrated me as well, because I never know what's going on, and they always seem to have an infinite number of interpretations. I also added the I consider poems to be the handjobs of writing--meaning they leave you feeling slighted and wanting more (and yes I can talk to my mother-in-law like that, because she's cool and we have an understanding).

Still, I owe her an apology, because the previous reasons don't truly represent why I poems bother me so much. The TRUE reason I can't stand poems is that every time I read one, I hear it like its being read in Maya Angelou's sweet baritone, and that throws everything off, and I can't take it seriously...

Am I jealous of people who can write beautiful poems? Perhaps. Do I read poems and then feel like I need cliff notes? Hell yes. Do my mother and some good friends of mine, get sick of me slamming poems? You bet your sweet ass they do. But back to my original point..if you're reading mother-in-law, please accept my apology, and forgive my fleeting ignorance--along with my annoying rhetorical questions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I remember coming home in the summer of 1996, and hearing my mother give me the great news that she had a new boyfriend. She arranged an elaborate meeting among the three of us, and she gave me a speech about being nice, respectful and fair--all traits that I possessed back then. You see a year earlier, I met my mother's previous boyfriend, and I immediately thought that he was gay--not that anything is wrong with that. My mother denied it and got upset with me for not being over the split of her and my father. I told I was over it but her man definitely had the gay, and she was upset. A year later, my mother called me when I went back to college, and told me that this guy was indeed gay. I took no pleasure in saying I told you so.

Anyway, on this particular occasion, I ended up going to lunch with my mom and her new boyfriend, and this guy was definitely not gay. He was a Vietnam vet, he was Mr. Testosterone, and worst of all for me, he cursed all the time. Mind you, back then (and now) my mother was an extremely religious woman woman who never cursed, so to hear this guy doing his best sailor impression in front of her, was a shock to the system. Not to mention, I have this delusional notion that older men--especially one who wants to be involved with my mother--should carry themselves in a classy, regal manner. What you do behind closed doors or when younger folks are not around is certainly not my business, but if I'm in your presence, pull yourself together and be classy or fake like you are. My father carries himself like that, and right or wrong, that's the standard I hold older men to. There are plenty of men in my life who have no problem upholding that standard, and this guy my mother was courting clearly was not one of them.

Six months later my mother married this years later they were divorced. His drinking habits, his inability to deal with my mother making way more money, and other things I won't mention, eventually caused the split. My mother told me she ignored the signs because she thought she was in love. Again, I did not say I told you so, because I knew she was hurt, and Lord knows I wasn't even close to perfect i the relationship department. But I was glad that guy was out of the picture, because he rubbed me the wrong way, and I lost respect for him after that initial, expletive-filled meeting. That was awfully judgemental of me I know, but come on, I'm biased when it comes to a man dating my father too for that matter.

Why am I mentioning this? Someone I recently met, who is a pastor and has told me how deeply religious he is, was cursing up a storm yesterday. I'm not sure how I feel about it and I don't know he stands with me in the respect department. I know he's a man, and he's human and all the rest of those b.s. cliches we sometimes throw out to do what we want sans accountability, but he's also a man of the cloth. And if you come to me and say you're a pastor, and if you tell me you'll pray for me, and you give me unsolicited advice on how I should live my life in His name, then goddammit, you shouldn't be cursing like Kool G Rap in his prime. Maybe I'm wrong here, and if I am it wouldn't be the first, second or third time..but it was on my mind...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

And now, making his third appearance on my blog via video, my son Carlton. While I was at work on Friday, he spent the day with some friends of his, and I got wind of a picture he drew while he was over I asked him about it:

Friday, November 25, 2011

When I was 14, I do believe I was the epitome of awkward. I was short, skinny, in the marching band, on the newspaper staff, unable to make any of the athletic teams, and I got no girls. It wasn't as if I wasn't interested or my young loins weren't burning, yearning for some interaction, it was just that I had nothing to offer them at that time. I lived vicariously through my boys who had women, I continued to get lost in my love for sports, and I was placed in the friend zone (the high school version) by all types of attractive girls who thought nothing of me. I'm not saying this to get any sympathy, I'm just saying this was a stone, cold fact during that time.

**As an aside, while I am typing this my co-worker came into my office, didn't ask if I was busy, and sat his ass in my chair, and just commenced to talking about his weekend, his Black Friday experience, and other bullshit that I really don't give a good goddamn about. Its not that I don't like the guy because I do, I just a)don't like when people come into my office and just unload on me and b)don't give me at least 15 minutes to get myself together (read: blog) when I get in--especially on a day after a holiday. And, just to piss me off, a second co-worker has come in asking about my holiday..can't they see I'm busy? Perhaps I need to pull a George Costanza and look angry so that folks will leave me alone early in the morning.**aside off

My son, who is in town for this Thanksgiving "holiday", is the completely opposite of me at 14 years old. I have watched young girls flock to him, and he just acts like its no big deal--which of course makes them want him more. I asked him if he had or wanted a girlfriend, and he said, "No not right now, the girls will be there." I may as well have talking to Denzel F. Washington, instead of a 14 year old high school freshman. Although I don't believe this stance will last very long, and I sure as hell don't know where it came from, I admire it. I'm sure it doesn't hurt that his voice has deepened, he's taller than me (he's 5'10", I'm 5'9"), and he's lost all his baby fat. I'm thinking yet another sex talk is in order..

Monday, November 21, 2011

I don't have much to say this Monday morning, and I really wasn't going to write a damn thing. Then my co-worker came in this morning, and provided me with the comic relief/inspiration that I needed to write.

He has on a maroon shirt, dark slacks and black shoes, and that sounds like a respectable work outfit right? WRONG..AND WRONG AGAIN. Although my man only has one button undone on his shirt, I see way more chest hair than I care to see when I'm in a non-tropical/beach environment. There's no t-shirt, no tactufully placed top button, and apparently no razor in sight for him to cut it down a bit. There's just chest hair, and one open button, and frankly I'm longing for some Magnum PI reruns. I want to tell him, but honestly, what do I say?

Friday, November 18, 2011

So today after I enjoyed a few tasty happy hour beverages, I happened to run into an underground wrecka stow. Now I bought a record player a few years back, and for awhile I was doing a good job of purchasing quality hits on vinyl. But soon the baby and other pressing personal needs were more important, my vinyl collection fell a bit by the wayside. But today I was inspired enough to buy four good records:

1)Mos Def and Talib Kweli Are Black Star (the instrumental): This remains one of my favorite albums of all time, and now I can pretend I'm going to write my own rhymes over the classic beats..

2)2pac - I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto 12": This wasn't even in my top 10 favorite 2pac songs list, but this song does have sentimental value. I first heard it the day I got my first teaching job back in 1997. I was 22 and as altruistic as one can get.

3)Hall and Oates - H20: This album has Maneater and One on One, which is enough to reel you in alone. But there are other gems on here like "Open All Night" and "Crime Pays". Plus the cover of this album just looks intense

4)Miles Davis - My Funny Valentine Live in Concert: I really don't need to explain why I'm buying a Miles Davis record. Just know that I WILL be playing this on Sunday morning while I cook breakfast for the wife..

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Do you realize that young Melvin will be here in a little more than a month? Soon this blog will go from me writing my mundane musings about the ignoramuses I come in contact with on a day-to-day basis, to real, live observations about this little man who will occupy our home (and I won't pull a Bloomberg and kick him out). We've found a daycare, I begrudgingly bought a car (which is a pain living where I live in DC), we've looked at strollers, and all kinds of baby things, and the fact that I'm going to be father again is slowly starting to hit me--in a good way of course.

Last night while the lady and I were watching Archer (my hyperlink function isn't working right now, but google it. Its an adult cartoon that is hilarious and shout out to Nichole for recommending it) and I literally felt the baby moving from side to side. I don't know whether he was moving his ass or his ankles, but he was causing quite a ruckus in there, as if to say, "Man I've had enough of this sh*t, I need to be free, I need to be on the breast (I can relate), and I need to see all the stuff I've been hearing in this damn womb."

I wanted to tell him that I can't wait for him to be freed either..and then I wanted to add that I need him to stay in there, so I can try and get laid as many times as possible before he messes it all up. I'm sure he'd love to hear that, as most kids do. I'm rambling horribly, but this is my long-winded way of saying that I'm excited, I'm ready and I plan on being knee deep in some trim this weekend (you've been warned wife).

Also, a big shoutout to my 26 year old co-worker (who I'm sure had googled me and found this blog) for bearing with me while I explained who the hell the D.O.C. made feel old, but at least you learned something in the process.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I realize these self-congratulatory stories about the amount of restraint I've shown in any given situation is a bit annoying. But a)I was once in therapy for my anger, so these are continual success stories and b)What the hell else am I supposed to write about? Anyway..

As I've probably mentioned before, the wife and I get our groceries delivered. She doesn't mind the grocery store, but she doesn't always have time to get there during the week or the weekend. I can't stand going in the grocery store and waiting in line, and the delivery route is just so damn convenient. You can finalize your grocery list online one night, and BAM, your food is there the next morning. Plus, I can still get my fruits and veggies at the farmer's market down the street. Win-Win.

So on Sunday night I ordered groceries and scheduled my delivery between 6 and 7pm. My wife usually gets home at 5:30, so the 5 to 6 window was too risky. And it just so happened on this night, the wife had to pick up our wedding pictures (and if you come over to our house we will SO have a big production around showing you the pics and making you comment whether you want to or not--that's how we get down)so she was also scheduled to get home around 6, so I knew we were covered.

Now mind you, the wife and I usually order groceries via Peapod but every now and then I switch it up and use Safeway, which is what I did yesterday. Peapod has less selection, but they are cheaper and always on time. Safeway has much more of a selection but they are NEVER on time..I mean sometimes they are up to an hour late, but I rarely complain. I went with Safeway this time.

So around 5:45, as I'm on my way home, I get a call from the Safeway delivery guy telling me he's out in front of my house. I checked the time on my cellphone, and then I kindly informed him that I was still en route, but I'd check to see where my wife was. He loudly sucked his teeth in my ear, and hung up without reacting to what I said, but I let it slide. I called my wife and she wasn't close, so I called the dude back and informed him that I'd be there by 6pm--which is the damn time I chose. The following phone conversation went down:

Me: My wife isn't home, but I'll be there by 6pm, I'm 3 minutes away
Him: 3 minutes away huh?
Me: Yeah 3 minutes
Him: I'm going to have to hold you to that man, I have other deliveries to make
Me (wanting him to repeat that dumb shit again): Say it again?
Him: I gotta hold you to that, I got other deliveries this evening

I hung up the phone at this point because I didn't want to say anything mean to the guy who had my food in his hands, plus I was close enough to see him in front of my house. When I got there, he didn't say hello, he just shook his head repeatedly, slammed my bags of food all over the place, didn't acknowledge my wife who walked in behind him, even after it was CLEAR she and I knew each other, then he shoved the pen and the paper in my face for me to sign the receipt. And even then he had this scowl on his face and he was STILL shaking his head like he was just so damn annoyed.

I wanted to ask him if there was a problem, I wanted to yank his locs and slam his head into the door, and I wanted to ask him to carry my groceries up to my apartment like I usually do. Instead I used restraint, signed for my groceries, said thank you and went up to my apt with my smiling wife. Still, how are you gonna be 10-15 minutes early AND demanding, when I have clearly paid for a delivery at a certain allotted time. Either you call and wait until 6, or politely ask me how close I am, but you can't get indignant and impatient, because you're early and can't tell time...or am I wrong here?

By the way, this song has nothing to do with what I've written, I just can't get it out of my head--and yes I realize Dolly's cameltoe is on full blast, but that's not why I'm posting this..

Sunday, November 13, 2011

My friend Janelle, who writes this blog right here (not nearly as often as she should, but who am I to talk right?) has her own website geared towards greeting cards and event stationary. Check it out if you get a chance.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Joe Paterno was fired tonight, but a year ago in this NY Times article, he spoke about why that terrified him.
I've directly and indirectly written about death twice this week already, so as much as I respect Heavy D, I don't have it in me to write about that anymore. Instead I will write about subject that no one seems to be touching on (no pun intended) and that is Herman Cain.

Now, I suspect Herman copped a feel or two (and maybe he even sang about it afterwards), and it is being made into a big deal but I don't know for sure. Let me repeat, I don't know for sure, because I was NOT there. But I will say this..if I was a politician and I was single, do you think I'd be throwing my weight around to feel up on some nice, attractive women? Do you think I'd be begging or (over) extending myself at all, just to get unlimited access to some trim? Do you think I'd fraternize with "regular" women just to get my sh*t off? Hells no.

I would carefully examine the female landscape--aka the women who were free in the circles I ran in--see who I could and could not get with without losing my career, and then I'd enter into a mutually beneficial relationship with a nice lady who had as much to lose in the political realm as I did. And then we'd wear each other out and put "it" on one another for as long as we possibly could. Then when we were done or when we were bored, we would walk away with our careers and dignities fully intact. If we were questioned, we'd both deny it and give Fox, MSNBC, and everyone in between the middle finger. Little boys, married women, waitresses, people below my "status", etc wouldn't even be in play for me if I was Herman Cain's (or any politician for that matter) position.

As my father tells me from time to time, "Rashad, life is easy, its just our questionable decisions that make it hard" (again the pun is not intended). I've learned this lesson the hard way..

The word for the day is hard.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

When I was about 13 right up until I was 17, I used to sneak in my Dad's office (which was right next to his bedroom) to temporarily borrow (read: steal) all types of fun, fascinating items. Some days I would steal one of his many college sweatshirts to wear to high school. Other days I would steal music like the Jimi Hendrix Blues cassette or his Branford Marsalis Royal Garden Blues cd. I'm sure my father knew I was removing items from his office, and putting them in the wrong place, but he was nice enough to never say anything--thus enabling my thievery.

One day I was on a mission to steal something new, when I noticed some of his interesting reading material. My father had saved some old newspapers from significant dates in history like Nixon's resignation, Gerald Ford's inauguration, and Martin Luther King getting shot. I set all three papers aside to read, and then I saw two Sports Illustrated magazines buried in the corner. The first one read: End of Ali legend with Ali in the midst of falling from a devastating left hook from Joe Frazier, and the other one read: The Epic Battle with Ali making Frazier eat a right hand. I quickly stacked the magazines on top of the newspapers, and I prepared myself to pull yet another heist.

Unfortunately for me, two seconds after that, I heard the garage open, which meant my dad was home, and I had to attempt to put everything back in its place, and get the hell out of there. Before I went to bed that night, the magazines AND the newspapers were sitting on the desk in my bedroom, and I went to my dad's office. First I apologized for the theft, but he said not to worry about it, but to stop it immediately (I didn't). Then he proceeded to tell me stories about Nixon, about MLK, and most importantly (at least to me at that time) about the Ali/Frazier battles that he saw when he was in his early 20s. I was captivated and jealous all at the same time, and this was before I had ever seen tapes of those entire fights. Once I saw the fights, and combined them with stories I heard my dad tell, I felt like I had seen them live and in person.

So when I heard Joe Frazier passed away (while my Philadelphia Eagles were losing no less) I immediately wanted to call my dad to see if he maybe had one more story he had forgotten to tell me all this time. Unfortunately for me, it was 11:30pm and you don't call anyone that late unless there is family emergency. I'll call him this morning though..

Monday, November 07, 2011

Andy Rooney died on Saturday at the age of 92 after complications from surgery. Joe Frazier, 67, is weeks if not days away from death, due to the liver cancer he was recently diagnosed with. They are both considered to be giants in their fields, and just the mention of their names demands a certain degree of respect.

When Andy Rooney's death was reported, all kind of media outlets started off by saying that his death was a tremendous loss in the journalism field, and he would be sorely missed. I agree that his presence on 60 minutes will be a loss (as a side note, if you want to live longer than 80, 60 minutes is the gig for you..Morley Safer, Andy Rooney, and Mike Wallace have had their AARP cards since before I was even born), because I thoroughly enjoyed his parting shots. He was cranky and funny, and I'd like to think I am too, although I'm nowhere near as good as he was. But to think Rooney's death is a tremendous loss is absolutely ridiculous.

The man lived to be 92 years old..90 effing 2 years old. We had plenty of time to hear him, laugh with him, pick his brain, etc. In fact, considering most people are dead around 80 years old, we got EXTRA time with Mr. Rooney. So when someone like that dies, it isn't a loss, and it isn't sad, it is a celebration of his life. The only people who can legitimately be sad, are his family members and his immediate co-workers, since they will no longer interact with him. His fans? We should get over ourselves, youtube his clips, read his work, and get to know him even more posthumously.

Now Joe Frazier's inevitable, untimely devise? That is sad. 67 is too early to die, especially for a man who has lived much of his life in Muhmmad Ali's shadow. He needs some time (before he dies) to be thoroughly celebrated for his boxing achievements--much the way Negro leaguers have been celebrated during the past five years or so. Frazier should have been able to enjoy this celebration, only because he was tormented by Ali and others for so damn long. So if HE dies this week or soon thereafter, it is sad, its too soon, and it is a tremendous loss.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Here is my review of the movie Tower Heist (which I haven't seen) starting Eddie Murphy, Ben Stiller, Ferris Bueller, and other respective actors. I have no plans of seeing this movie, because I am furious at how unimaginative the writers were with their usage of Eddie Murphy--mind you this is simply based on the endless numbers of previews I have been watching for a little over a month now.

Eddie could have done this role in his sleep 30 years ago when he was a brash, cocky 20-year-old kid. In fact, this could have been the role that took him from star to superstar. But 50 year old Eddie does not need to do a movie where he portrays a criminal who is granted a release from jail just to lead a heist against a dude who swindled millions out of his employees. I'm upset with the writers for not taking a chance and putting Eddie in a different role, and I'm more upset with Eddie for taking it.

You know what would have been funny to me? If Eddie played the role of the guy who swindled folks out of millions, and scoffed at the notion of a group of people coming to reclaim what was rightfully theirs. or, I'd have been cool withe Eddie playing the Ben Stiller role as the man who rounded up the troops and organized the heist. But to see Eddie play a role that he mastered, perfected, and basically created, is just annoying and lazy. Eddie should know better--however, if this bullshit role leads to a big comeback, which leads to more substantive comedic and dramatic roles, then all is forgiven. Until that magical, mystical day, i will protest and forsake this movie.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Yesterday was my nephew Nazir's fifth birthday, and based on what his father told me, he did not have the best of times. You see young Nas has been sassing his teachers for the past couple of weeks, and despite the strong urging of his parents to switch up his behavior, he continued to misbehave. The day before his birthday, young Nas tried to straighten up and act right, in hopes that he could salvage some semblance of a birthday celebration. Not so much.

My brother opened all his gifts in front of him, and then took them away--I swear my brother and I are DEFINITELY products of my father's upbringing. I told my brother that if I was there, I'd have taken it one step further, and played with each and every one of those damn toys in front of him, with a huge smile on my face just to rub it in. That's how I get down. The silver lining here is that Nas gets great grades, he just doesn't act right, so that's not a bad trade-off.

Today also represents what would have been my parents 38th wedding anniversary, which ended in divorce in 1993 (that's 20 years if you're counting at home). My parents both try to act like this day is no big deal anymore, but they are liars. They are friends now, but I know this day is on both of their minds big time. I used to wish they were still married, so I had one place to go during the holidays. Now that I know them as people, not just parents, I realize there is no way in hell they could have made it this long, and I'm just happy they are both still here.

And now, the song that was played on that glorious day, 38 years ago:

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

When I was younger and in the dating world, I had the whole seal-the-deal routine down to a science. In case you're naive or selectively acting like you are, seal-the-deal is a politically correct code for getting the boo-tay (but I'm quite sure you knew that).

To seal-the-deal, I would offer to cook a dinner of salmon, asparagus and rice if I was feeling especially in a good mood. After dinner I would suggest that we watch the movie Love Jones while we drank Riesling (I don't drink that anymore, my pallet is too advanced), and then I'd sit back and wait for all of that goodness to work in my favor. It may seem diabolical, simple and just flat out dumb right now, but nine times out of ten, your judgement is colored with mature colored glasses. Either that, or you're just not tipsy(read: drunk) enough to truly appreciate the (pseudo) genius of it.

Now that I'm 36, married, allegedly mature, and a bit more learn-ed, I no longer have to resort to such guerrilla tactics just to get some of the sweet goodness. However, I realize some of you people are single, lonely or just flat out have no game (if you read the previous paragraph, you will understand that I was right there with you not too long ago), so I will attempt to lay out a tried and true method for you to get laid.

1) Take your significant other to a jazz club. It shouldn't be a big jazz club, but rather one with an intimate setting like the Blue Note in NY or Blues Alley in DC. You don't want your date to feel swallowed up by the venue, and a smaller venue will give you both the feeling that you know and see everyone. You can see other couples kissing, eating, drinking and swaying to the music and say, "Hey they are just like us!"

2) Drink wine (I'm a Merlot guy, but there are other out there)

3) Take your date to see Kurt Elling (tour dates listed here). He's smooth, his phrasing is beautiful, he's always dead-on pitch, and dammit, I've been telling you about his ass for three of the five and a half years I've been writing this damn blog. You owe it to me (and yourself) to check him out, and see why he will most definitely seal-the-deal for your ass. The wife and I saw him tonight, and it was great as usual

4) Take her to get dessert at a place other than a jazz club. I don't know what it is about going somewhere with the sole purpose of eating dessert, but it just feels adult. Sharing a fine dessert dish is an option, but if you're like me and you are selfish with your food, just get two damn dishes and share that way. And if the wine hasn't done any damage, this is your time to drink Amaretto or even a Port

That's it..that's the list. Just follow those four steps and you'll be doing the grown up and thanking me for the Blueprint. Of course, as with everything else, I am quite sure I am way off base with this one, so don't hold it against me.

Monday, October 31, 2011

After witnessing snow and feeling 30 degree temperatures this weekend, I think it is a safe bet for me to say that the summer is over. Usually that means the end of baseball, the continuation of football, and the start of NBA basketball--which would mean I'd be peppering this blog with all kinds of links from articles I had written. But instead the NBA is still locked out and I'm writing little to nothing.. which isn't such a bad thing because my participation during the season would be limited because of my yet-to-arrive son..

My oldest son and I were in the barbershop this past Saturday, so he could he get that haircut that has apparently eluded both he and his mother all month long. Because it was a new barbershop, at the completion of my son's cut, the barber gave my son his business card. When we got out to the car, I told him that there are rules when someone gives you their business card, and they go as follows:

1)You take the card
2)You flick at it
3)You say, "Oh yeah!"

My son looked at me like I was crazy, then he denied that I was telling the truth. So I put him on speakerphone and called my wife, my brother and my boy from high school, and they all verified what I said, in the order I said it, and my son was dying laughing. Where did I learn this bit of information? New Jack City of course:

I have been at job fairs, interviews, barbershops, networking events, etc. .and each and every time I get a business card, I do the same thing. Sometimes I get odd looks, most times I get ignored, and every now and then someone knows what I'm referencing and they just laugh and laugh.

and oh yeah, the boys of summer are gone..

Thursday, October 27, 2011

So I took the train to work this morning, because a)I got about 2 hours of sleep thanks to my lovely, sexy, pregnant and snoring wife, and b)it was raining, and I didn't feel like coming to work wet. The train was quiet, everyone kept to themselves, and when my stop came I got off the train and headed towards the escalator.

The escalator was broken which is par for the course for the DC Metro system, so I had to walk up about 20-25 stairs or so. Usually when the escalators are broken, they tell the people who are walking up to stay to the right, so that the anyone coming down can do so on the opposite side. It is a great system when it works..however on this day, I decided to do something different. I peeked to see if anyone was coming down, and they were not, so I decided to walk with alacrity, skip steps, and make my way to the top before interfering with passengers going down.

I made it to the top, but I heard an older gentleman behind me mumble something in my direction, so I removed my headphones and then the magic began:

Me: Excuse me sir, I didn't hear you?
Him: This is a two way escalator so you aren't supposed to do what you just did
Me: No one was coming sir
Him: Still, this is a two way escalator, you should follow the rules instead of doing what you want

**sidebar on** At this point, I really wanted to steal this old man in the jaw and watch him fall backwards down the same escalator he was defending like the American flag. But I have common sense and a scintilla of restraint, so I relaxed.**sidebar off**

Me: Sir if someone had come down, I'd have gladly gotten out of the way, but no one came, I made it to the top, and no one got hurt, except for your feelings, and you'll get over that by the time you get to work I'm sure
Him: I'm sure I will

I put my headphones back on, and he walked up ahead of me, and I figured it was over. But five minutes later we were at a crosswalk that had the "do not walk sign" up, but since there were no cars coming, this same follow-the-train-escalator-rules guy, ran across the street. He barely dodged a car, he almost dropped his briefcase trying to run, and his glasses almost fell off--and he did all of this just to get in a crowded line in Starbucks. I know this because yours truly sidled right behind him in line. So I talked to him..

Me: I'd say we're even now my jaywalking friend
Him (laughing with that I-drink-coffee-and-smoke-cigarettes laugh): Touche' my friend, touche'

When it came time to pay for his coffee, he was taking way too long to get his money out of his wallet, so I paid for his coffee (it was only two dollars and change) and my Green Tea Latte (much more than that). He patted me on the back and said thanks, I said don't mention it and I asked him to follow the rules, and then I left out (on a high note I might add).

So yeah I won this one.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Sunday morning as I took my weekly trip to the Farmer's market, I inserted my headphones into my iPod, and prepared myself to be serenaded by the sweet vocal stylings of Mr. Kurt Elling (who will be at Blues Alley next Tuesday, if you're in the Georgetown area of DC). I hit play and I noticed my screen was completely blank. I turned my iPod off, turned it back on (as any IT person would suggest), and STILL nothing happened. In fact, after my Kurt Elling-less trip to the market, I tried all damn day to revive that iPod and it did not work. That night I made the impatient, rash decision to order a new one, which went against to advice of my wife who suggested I simply take it to get repaired. I should have followed her advice instead relying on my knee jerk instinct to get some new shit, but that's my challenge.

The bigger point here is that I would like to give the middle finger to the late Steve Jobs for making me so dependent on this damn iPod. I listen to it at work, I listen during my walks to work, I listen on the way to barbershop, to the market, while I workout, and sometimes in my bed. Now I must resort to listening to songs and podcasts on my Blackberry (no I don't have an iPhone, so save your sales pitch for me to get one, T-Mobile has me in a box) and it simply isn't the same. When my phone rings or I receive an influx of texts or emails, the music or the podcasts are interrupted. Then I have to reach in my pocket, look to see who is calling or emailing, assess whether I want to talk or return their message, and then re-start what I was listening to. I am quite sure there are more inconvenient things to do, but it certainly doesn't feel like it when I'm enduring all of that. I want my iPod back, and it should arrive today.

Perhaps I'll take the other one to the shop, get it fixed, and then give it away on my blog or something. Maybe that will increase my dwindling readership..or I could just try to actually write on a consistent basis. Although in my defense, as much as it seems like my blog sucks now, the excitement level will increase exponentially once this kid makes his way out of my wife. Actually it will get more exciting tomorrow when I do a Hubie Brown-like breakdown on the 3 new people who work for me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

No one really warns you about how equally challenging and humorous third-trimester pregnancy sex is...they just let you find out for yourself, which I guess is how it should be. It would be pretty damn creepy if someone broke it down for me, which would force me to picture them (and their spouse) doing the dirty deed. But it IS funny and it IS challenging..I'll stop there...

I have been upgraded to supervisor at my job, which means I am now in charge of six people--and I hate it. I like being independent, but this position (and the little bit of money that came with it) was put in my lap, and I'd be foolish not to step up to the challenges, take one day at a time, and give 110%. But the minute they f**k up, get on my nerves, or just flat out annoy me, I promise to pepper my blog with all kinds of stories with changed names..

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Melvin will be here in two months or wife bought this for him yesterday. Very exciting stuff

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I work with someone who does not know how to use the phrase "no pun intended", but because this person is above me (my boss), I cannot say anything. Usually I just laugh quietly to myself, but today I will go a different route, and write about it here. But first a brief tutorial on how the phrase should be used:

How it should be used: The Energizer Bunny was arrested and charged with assault and battery--no pun intended

How my boss uses it: No pun intended or anything, but the last person who worked in this office was not a good worker.


No one is putting a gun to her head and asking her to use the phrase "no pun intended", so I don't understand why she even bothers to utter it. The phrase she SHOULD be using is, "No offense or anything"..or "I don't mean any harm but..". Occasionally when I interview athletes, I hear them use a phrase or a word that I know good and goddamn well they know nothing about, and I want to correct them too, but I'm no fool. Am I saying that I'm better than anyone? Hell no. Am I saying that I am better at researching the corret ways to say or write certain phrase before I use them? You bet your sweet ass I am. Am I usually the rhetorical question techinique to slam my point home?

Maybe I should stop being a punk and tell my boss (in a non condescending way) how to correctly use the phrase, but I see that going horribly wrong. It is much easier to be passive aggressive (and employed) by doing it this way..

By the way, the uncle I made fun of yesterday for the God texts? He called me back last night to say hello, AND to say he wanted to visit me while he's in DC today. So I owe him an apology...this time.

And finally, I just bought the new Lalah Hathaway, and the jury is still out on whether it is good. But this song with her singing lead and Rachelle Ferrell singing background vocals, is excellent:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This is going to come off as mean, but I would like to preemptively say that I am not trying to be that way at all. I'm just annoyed with something..

Every Tuesday, under the guise of something he calls "Touch Tuesday", my uncle texts me a bible verse and/or a story of great God is. My uncle is a devout Christian, he is in Church every Sunday, and he knows that I am neither, so I suspect he wants to keep me near and dear to the cross via text--and I'm ok with that. In fact when I see my uncle, he is carefully not to beat me over the head with Jesus, but he does like to make sure I know of His divine power. Sometimes I listen intently and make mental notes to investigate further, and sometimes I just flat out ignore it, which I think is fair.

But what annoys me is that after my uncle sends me these holy texts, he just checks out and doesn't send anything else to me. I try to hit him with that, "What's going on with you?" or the "Good morning" or even the ""How is your mother (my grandmother)?", but he completely ignores my texts. Then next Tuesday like clockwork, he populates my inbox with more verses, more God, more preaching. Why can't I get a little banter? Why can't I get a side dish of personal touch with my main entree of that too much to ask uncle?

Sunday, October 16, 2011

I'm not overly dramatic, but you really can't help to get emotional when you see this picture of Martin Luther King's daughter Bernice, kissing her father's statue during yesterday's ceremony. I can't even imagine the kind of emotion she must be feeling..I'm sure she appreciates his legacy, the effect he had on the world, and the millions of people who will inevitably visit this memorial. But she just misses her daddy..

Thursday, October 13, 2011

1) What the NBA Lockout means for...

2) If you are a fan of jazz (and if you are on this blog I hope you are by now) please buy this new cd/album/download by Terence Blanchard and Poncho Sanchez called Chano y Dizzy. It is a tribute to two pioneers in Latin Jazz (Chano Pozo and Dizzy Gillespie) and it is damn good. It'll make you want to dance with someone, dance by yourself, or do dirty things that I dare not discuss in this here family blog.

You'll thank me later. And now here is a tease...

So any remote shot I had at naming my child Melvin completely went out the window last night, when my wife shut it down with swift and authoritative force. Ok honestly, I knew Melvin wasn't going to make the cut as a first name, but I was hopeful that I could sneak it through the back door as a middle name. My plan was to give my wife first dibs on the first name, which by (unwritten) law would give me carte blanche (within reason of course) to choose the middle name of my child.

Now, I did have a backup first name that I wanted, and my wife liked it, and I thought we were going to go with that, until last night. That's when she started dropping subtle hints that she wanted to use her first choice as the first name, and I said no problem, but Melvin has to be the middle name. My friends, not only did she shoot it down, but she shot it down hard, she told me she didn't like Melvin, and that I didn't have a shot in hell at getting that name anywhere on the birth certificate. I tried to explain that it was only fair that if she wanted the first name, I should get the middle name, because that's what good compromises (and marriages I might add) are made of, but she did NOT fall for that b.s.

In fact, I am convinced that she was so hell bent on making sure I didn't try to further convince her that Melvin as a middle name was the way to go, that she decided to go with my second choice as a first name just to spite me(not really, but that's what I'm telling myself).

**As an aside, I must say that I have two reasons for wanting Melvin to be the first or middle name. First off, my father is a huge Temptations fan, and he used to play their records to death when I was younger. Despite the distinctive voices of David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks, it was the deep voice of Melvin Franklin that intrigued me, because my dad always seemed to be singing his parts. So that name had an early entry into my brain. Secondly, when I was in high school, there was this older dude who I looked up to, because he was a popular all-world athlete who I wanted to be like, because I was neither. We also ended up going to college together, and I always looked up to him to a certain degree. His name was also Melvin. That name was shot down when my son was born in 1997, so I was hoping the second time would be a charm. Not so much.**

So I say all of that to say, we finally have the full name of our unborn child. Oh and sorry for being so damn vague about the names and all, but I do have my reasons. My mother told me that we should not tell folks what the name will be, but it is African tradition to whisper the baby's name in his ear first, then tell everyone else second. That's what my parents did with me, and I turned out to be a halfway decent human being, so why not carry on the tradition? Then again, if I was granted permission to name my son Melvin, I would absolutely kick that tradition to the curb.

I would also like to mention how creepy it is to be sitting next to my wife looking at her stomach, only to see my son kicking, moving and doing whatever the hell he's doing in there. It doesn't bother me to touch her stomach and feel him, but to see her stomach moving like her name is Sigourney Weaver is a bit of adjustment, but its beautiful too.

84 days and counting..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I know I'm not writing as much on this blog, but hey, this things come in spurts (pause). But one thing I am still doing, is listening to music...

Nas - "Nasty" Music Video ( from Nasir Jones on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Whether you are a sports fan or not, please take some time read this article by former NY Times writer, and current ESPN/Grantland writer, Jonathan Abrams. It is a great piece of journalism, and it makes me realize that I still have a long way to go.

Secondly, I'd like to give a special shout out to my son's mother, who decided to wait until my son is 14 years old (and my wife is nearly seven months pregnant) to give serious consideration to having my son live with me full time. Great timing. You see my son has started off with poor grades (again) and his mother kicked him off the JV basketball team he JUST made, yelled at him, and then decided that she can no longer steer him in the right direction--something I noticed about 5-6 years ago I might add. I'm not saying I'm SuperDad with all the answers, but I had good parents and they slid me the how-to-be-a-good-parent manual. I'll stop there.

Thirdly, I wonder what its like to walk down the street, and see people of all ages, races, sexes and nationalities, using the devices that you were instrumental in creating. Is it overwhelming? Does your ego shoot through the roof? Do you get paranoid and start thinking of the next invention? I don't know what that's like, but he did.

And now the next installment in the "Listen to Michael Jackson Sing Background Vocals" week:

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

I contributed to this article
And I interviewed Michael Lee of the Washington Post for this one

and lately i've been obsessed with finding songs that Michael Jackson sang background on, so here's another one from 1981 that he did with Kenny Loggins:

Monday, October 03, 2011

So at the absolute last minute, I received a job offer, which means I can continue to work, get paid, support my family and my gambling habit, so I am a happy man. A couple friends of mine who I work with, were not as fortunate, and lost their jobs, so I was not happy about that at all. I have vowed to help them find work, and I do believe it is wise for me to considering leaving eventually as well. For now, I am happy.

In other news, my son has made the JV basketball team, and I absolutely ecstatic. Earlier this year he tried out for the 8th grade team, and when he got cut he was absolutely devastated. I told him that Michael Jordan got cut as well, and that he worked hard to make the team and prove folks wrong. My son worked out hard all summer, ran, played pickup ball, became a vegan (a strict vegan at that), and he got serious. Last week he tried out for the team, and he made it, and I am proud. I'm saddened that I live here in DC, while he lives in Hampton, VA, which means I'll miss most of the games. My dad never missed ANY of my JV or varsity games so this sucks.. But I'll find a way to make some..

That's all I have for now

Thursday, September 29, 2011

This is a video from an artist my brother manages. Please leave feedback on the youtube page, here on my blog, or just ignore it and go to hell.

Disclaimer: I usually don't do things like this, but considering i have a lot on my mind, and I've struggled with blogging on a consistent basis, I figured now was the time to do something like this. And if you get mad, thank my blogger friend, the notorious k.i.m. for planting the idea in my head.

Wait one more unborn son received his first gift via mail yesterday. One of my wife's college friends sent us a giant stuffed dog. Our child will be scared of the damn dog or at least two years--that's assuming of course that I don't accidentally maim, destroy and try to do X-rated things to that stuffed animal in the process. What the hell kind of gift is that for an infant anyway? If I wanted my infant child to have a giant gift like that, I'd introduce him to my wife's body pillow.

Anyway..on with the corny portion of the blog:

The A-Z's of Me (Rashad)

A. Age: 36.

B. Bed size: - Queen (although this body pillow is really making the case for a King)

C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning the bathroom. If I take the time to dirty it up, someone should be nice enough to clean it up for me.

D. Dogs: I don't have one, but when that changes, I'll have a black lab retriever

E. Essential start to your day: ESPN and a Venti Soy Green Tea Latte Unsweetened

F. Favorite color: Philadelphia Eagles green

G. Gold or Silver: This is the first dumbass question of the group, and I'm not answering this

H. Height: 5'9" or one inch taller than my brother says he is. Either answer will do.

I. Instruments you play: trumpet. I played from 1984-1991, and then I retired because I made the basketball team as a high school junior and I wanted to be "cool", and I thought the trumpet was holding me back. I was wrong.

J. Job title: Trainer/Analyst/Sportswriter/importer-exporter

K. Kids: A 14 year old son and a baby boy scheduled to arrive on 1/5/12

L. Live: Washington DC

M. Mother’s name: Marilyn

N. Nicknames: One of my boys from high school used to call me Shad Shotty (yes he was straight). My high school basketball coach used to call me "Flash" because I was so quick. Both of these names suck big time ass I know

O. Overnight hospital stays: Only when my wife had surgery

P. Pet peeves: People who feel the need to talk to me in the elevator, people who say "swag" and "whatever" all the time, and jackasses who text and walk into me.

Q. Quote from a movie: From the Departed: 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.

R. Right or left handed: Left

S. Siblings: My brother Jamal who is three years younger than I am. This is a great time to add that he tried blogging for three months, and then he gave up..

T: Time you wake up: 5:26am

U. Underwear: Boxer briefs Monday-Thursday, Commando Fri-Sun (except if I go to church, then I'm back to briefs..but I've been to church twice in 4 years)

V. Vegetable you hate: Cauliflower. They look like pieces of broccoli who didn't make the cut, and they taste plain no matter how much you season them

W. What makes you run late: trying to get a quickie or a jerk before work

X. X-Rays you’ve had: My back

Y. Yummy food that you make: Salmon and asparagus and pancakes--yes pancakes.

Z. Zoo animal: I'm a big fan animals like birds and squirrels who really don't have to be in the zoo, because they can roll out at any time, but they choose to be among their captured friends. That's character baby.

I promise to never do this again.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This past Saturday, my wife and I decided to sit down and watch Michael Jackson's This Is It with my mother who had never seen it before. I take time to watch this movie at least once a month, and I've seen it over 20 times already, so I certainly had no qualms about yet another viewing for my precious mother. In fact, I get a big kick out of watching it with someone who has never seen it, so I can a) see their reaction b)watch their amazement over how spry MJ looked and c)watch them fall in love with his music all over again.

About 20 minutes into the movie, my mother looks at me and says, "This man was a phenomenon. He was relevant in five decades, and we will never see anyone like him", and I agreed with her 100%. Another hour passed, and eventually my mother had to go, and I turned the movie off, and I found myself amazed at MJ even after the 21st viewing of the movie. Aside from all the other disappointment I felt when he died, I was most disappointed that I missed out on seeing him in concert a second time. I saw him when he came to Maryland back in '88, and I would have liked to see him as a adult--but he had to die on dare he?

So basically what I've been trying to say for two paragraphs and change, is that MJ--even after being dead for 2 years--still has superhero status to me. I know he had flaws and imperfections like the rest of us (present company excluded of course), but he made and produced great music, and I was on his jock as a result. So imagine my shock and surprise when I walked in the door today, and the news shows his dead body as part of their MJ trial coverage. I was disgusted and creeped out at seeing a lifeless, pale MJ on a hospital bed. Why show that to anyone except for the people in the courtroom? Why have a televised trial at all? Why couldn't they have a closed-to-the-public trial, so that our only images from the trial could be those inaccurate creepy courtroom sketches that we've all come to know and love? And why must I now attempt to get some sleep with images of dead MJ floating around my head?

It ain't right.

Anyway, I just found out that MJ sang background on the Doobie Brothers song, "What A Fool Believes"..listen closely

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I went to the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial this morning with my wife, my mother and one of her friends who was attending the Congressional Black Caucus conference with her. My wife and I got there first and two minutes later my mother and her friend joined us. Two minutes after that, after my mother's friend (I think her name was Tasha) and I introduced ourselves to one another, we had the following banter:

Her: You should all stand in front of the memorial and take a picture
Me: No I'm good
Her: Why not?
Me: I just think its kind of corny to take a picture in front of the memorial, I just want to be in the moment
Her: Really? You don't want a family picture? Wow..ok.. (and then she rolled her eyes and walked off

Now, because this woman works with my mother, I did not curse her the f**k out and get indignant with her, but I was awfully close. I then told my mother that I probably was not verbalizing my feelings about not wanting the pictures properly, but I meant what I said.

There were all kinds of people posing around the MLK statue. Some were throwing up their sorority signs, some were standing by some of the quotes that were etched in walls, and it just looked juvenile and corny--but perhaps I am being too hard on folks. I think the MLK memorial should be about reflecting, thinking, teaching, crying (like my mother did) or just flat out being awe-inspired about this man's life. It is called being in the moment, and I just don't think the photographers and the posers were doing that and it annoyed me..and so did my mother's friend who rolled her eyes.

After she walked away, my mother, my wife and I walked around to each one of MLK's quotes and soaked up the moment. My mother reflected a bit and starting crying initially, then she talked to us about the greatness of MLK, the sadness she felt that he didn't get to finish his work, and the amazement she felt that he accomplished so much before he was killed at 39. I won't capture the full moment here, but it was awesome. And not one picture was needed. I highly recommend you attend

Now what I DID take a picture of was the copy of the May 1986 Sports Illustrated I bought on the way home. My second favorite player ever was on the cover (James Worthy, Kareem was my all time fave), and I remember putting this up on my wall. Good times.

Friday, September 23, 2011


Lalah's version

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I usually try to keep my personal complaints to a minimum, but right about now I am extremely stressed. I'm a government contractor, my contract expires on 9/30/11, and I have yet to receive the job offer that will allow me to keep working on October 1st. I have two basketball-related articles I should be writing, but my work days are so damn busy and arduous, that by the time I get home, I feel like drinking wine, feeling the baby move in my wife's stomach, and then getting in the bed for my customary 4 hours of sleep. Shall I go on?

My mother is staying with me this week, and she can't parallel park worth a goddamn, I'm stressed about money as it relates to the baby, and my wife sleeps with a body pillow. Let me repeat, my wife sleeps with a damn body pillow because it helps pregnant women sleep. Every time I roll over, the body pillow is there, and its the equivalent of being in the bed with a midget. Part of me feels like a threesome could jump off at any moment, and part of me wants to kick that pillow out of the window--especially since I have accidentally dry humped it on a few occasions.

I haven't even mentioned that Michael Vick got hurt and the Eagles lost last week. That's all for now..And now, so that I don't end on a low note, I will link to the smooth sounds of Kurt Elling..

Thursday, September 15, 2011

My wife took this picture of me two weeks ago while I was conducting not one, but two fantasy football drafts. I had my netbook, my laptop, and her laptop at my disposal, along with a fine bottle of red wine. I was focused, I was tipsy, and I was using insane amounts of electricity!
First off, let me shout out my landlord who typed the sentence, "I conquer with Rashad", instead of saying "I concur". And secondly let me send a hello the the man who used the word "affidavis", instead of saying "affidavit". I need those laughs to get me through some days.

Anyway, I had to do a presentation for my job yesterday, which required me to speak in front of about 50 people, and in the few days leading up to it I was absolutely terrified. Just a few years ago, I had a job with HUD that required me speak in front of 200-500 people at least twice a month, and although I would be nervous as hell every time, I started to accomplish these tasks with relative ease. I used to both teach and substitute teach, and that required me to get in front of kids, and I never got nervous for them because a)they are f**king kids and b)they were depending on me in a way adults never really do. I felt like there was no room to be nervous, because I had to deliver in a major way.

I actually had to deliver in a major way during yesterday's presentation as well, but the nerves were strong. I had to speak in front of colleagues, paralegals, attorneys, bosses and their bosses. I woke up at 3am before my speech, and I practiced countless times, and I would get nervous, I'd start shaking, and I'd get the foam (an old Cosby show joke). Every time I practiced, I would present my information in a different way, or I would leave a bullet point off of the notes I'd prepared for my PowerPoint presentation, or I would just flat out skip over something thinking that I'd get it right when the time counted. I know people say that you only get nervous when you're not prepared, but that's bullshit. You get nervous when you are taken out of your comfort zone for whatever reason, and I was going to be violently ripped from mine once that speech was to begin.

Well the speech began and I was nervous, sweating like a black man at a white woman's funeral, and I wasn't speaking as loudly as I would have liked (luckily I had prepared for this occasion, and I asked the guy who was in charge of the training room to mic me up just in case. When someone said they couldn't hear me, I mic'd myself up, and I was ready to roll baby). After awhile my ego kicked in, and I realized that I was in front of these people for a reason, and there was a job to be done. I did my little 10-15 minutes worth of a presentation, I fielded questions, I cracked jokes, I spotted dimes and I ate onions.

So I say all that to say, now that I'm done with that, I can get back to writing now, without that damn presentation hanging over my head like that black cloud that followed Nas.

Friday, September 09, 2011

I'd ask that you read the ESPN article I had the pleasure of being a part of yesterday. For the longest time, I was doing this type of basketball writing for free, but now thanks to the good folks at ESPN, I get paid per article. I would like to thank all of the generous people who helped make this possible like my main man, and current editor Kyle, and my former editor Ryan who got me started four years ago. It has been quite a journey, and it is not over yet--hopefully it is just beginning (sorry for the corny cliche').

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

I got hit in the ribs this morning with an umbrella by an old lady (I'd say she was about 55-60). I was getting ready to cross the street, and she was coming down the sidewalk in the opposite direction, but she could not cross the street because she had "Do Not Walk" sign. Had she been looking up and not texting, she would have seen me coming, but that was not the case. I slowed down my gait a bit so I could walk behind her, but then she abruptly stopped so she could answer her phone, and I ran right into her. I said I was sorry, but she instantly assumed I was trying to touch her inappropriately:

Me: I'm sorry ma'am, I wasn't expecting you to stop so suddenly
Her: Were you trying to touch my ass?
Me: Why would I do that, I'm trying to get to work?
Her: I'm a lady have some respect (pulls out her umbrella)
Me: Ma'am you were on your phone and you weren't paying attention
Her: So that gives you the right to brush up against me? (she hit me once with her umbrella..and it wasn't a little umbrella either)
Me (trying not to laugh): Ma'am please don't hit me, I said I was sorry, now I'm leaving
Her: You better walk away (she took one more swing, but I caught the umbrella in my hand).

I can think of two or three women 55 or older, who I would openly grope, but this woman was not on that list. And as funny as the situation was, I could have been in quite the situation had law enforcement been around. So thanks old lady!

My son starts high school today, and I'm so damn proud of him. He was here this weekend and we had all the talks (sex, academic, how to carry yourself, women), so I think he's ready..but we'll see.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

When his wife was expecting five years ago, my brother would show me the ultrasound pictures of his son and tell me how excited he was to be on the verge of parenthood. I would tell him that while ultrasounds are nice, nobody really cares about seeing the outline of a baby that was living inside of his wife's body. Not only that, the image looked more like Emmitt Till, than it did a growing boy. The joke was highly inappropriate, the sentiment was kind of mean, but it was true. I've had lots of people show me their ultrasound pictures of their children-to-be, and it really is underwhelming. I don't even remember the ultrasound pictures of my son Carlton from 1997.

But last Friday, due to work obligations, I missed my first doctor's appointment with my wife, and I was pretty upset about it. I swore up and down that I would attend each and every appointment she had, but I fell a bit short. I waited and waited for her to call me, and when she finally did, she explained that young Melvin was healthy and on schedule and so was she. A couple of hours later she sent me the ultrasound picture, and I just broke out into a full smile. You'd have thought the kid was sitting in my lap or something, because I just stared at that picture incredulously.

Five minutes later do you know what I did? I sent the picture to my mother, my father and my brother, and thankfully they were way more gracious than I had ever been. They all commented on how excited they were, which just got me more excited (pause). So here he is at 21 weeks (he's 22 weeks old right now though).

Monday, August 29, 2011

I would like to send a congratulations out to my main man jazzbrew. who has been reading and commenting on my blog for a few years now. He and his lady had a baby boy this morning, and I couldn't be happier for him. I know I'm turning into an emotional writer here, but kids and parenthood will do that to you.

Friday, August 26, 2011

I know this is going to sound super sappy, but I cannot wait to be a father again.

You see I had my son Carlton when I was 22 years old, and not only was I clueless and fresh out of college, but his mother and I did not get along. She lived in Hampton, I lived in Maryland, and I missed lots of milestones in Carlton's life (first day of school, first step, first missed tooth, potty training,etc) It wasn't like I was an absentee father, because I saw him two and three times a month, it just was not the same as being there each and every day. Now he's turned into a fine young man (as fine as a 14 year old sneaky bastard can be), and I love him, but there are parts of his life that I missed, and sometimes it hurts. Not a debilitating hurt that will send me in a tailspin..but the kind of hurt that comes and goes (mainly comes) when Carlton's name comes up in conversation.

14 years later I'm married, a little smarter, a little wealthier, less mature, and I am ready to get the full Daddy experience. I've had friends and family attempt to scare me away with baby horror stories, but they don't understand how much I want that. Every parent goes through ups and downs, but (most of the time) there is some type of rewarding experience on the wrap around. I want the good, the bad, the ugly and the payoff.

Where did all this come from? On my way into work this morning I saw a father and his young infant going for a morning walk. The kid was in one of those pouches that fit right in front of the parent, and he was just smiling and gazing into his father's eyes--and the father was looking right back at him with an identical look. I'm not a REAL emotional guy, but I definitely got a little filled..Needless to say, I'm pretty f**king excited about the birth of young Melvin.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Before a wedding, there are usually two separate parties: one for the bachelor and one for the bachelorette. There is drinking, there may be dancers, there could be a sporting event involved, and maybe even some gifts shared, but both the bride and groom get a chance to do their thing and feel special. The wife and I chose not to have to have those types of parties, but the option was briefly on the table. We have no regrets.

Before a baby is born, this type of congruency simply does not exist and it is troubling to me. Granted, I understand that the mother of the child deserves most of the attention and the bigger party. She needs love, attention, affirmation and most importantly gifts for the baby--especially when the sex of the baby has been determined as it has in our case. Still, I think the man should have some type of baby-related party as well. I'm having a boy, so my boys and the men in my family should throw me something. I should get a dazzling array of cigars, some clothes and diapers with Philadelphia Eagles or Washington Wizards on them, maybe some fancy hats, bedsheets, bottles etc. I know this seems weird or maybe even a bit unconventional, but I think it should happen.

Plus when young Melvin is finally born in January, there will be twice as many helpful gifts for the wife and I--ultimately, isn't that what really matters? I think so. Surely somewhere out there, some man has picked up and ran with this concept...

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nick Ashford died of throat cancer yesterday. Just last year I went to see he and his wife at a company function and I had this to say
Well I lost a bet to my wife, we were NOT the only black people at the wedding this weekend. As we were walking out, we saw two black dudes hanging out in the back, although quite honestly, I think she had them planted just so she could collect on our bet. Overall the wedding was beautiful, and quite different than any wedding I've ever attended. The bride was Romanian, the groom was Irish-Catholic, and I was totally confused throughout the ceremony. I didn't know when to stand, how long to stand, when to kneel, or any of that good stuff. And I was caught of guard when I noticed that every prayer had to be sung, not recited, which is what I'm used to seeing. Still, I wasn't so confused that I couldn't see the joy of two people coming together in holy matrimony.

The next day, the wife and I went out to eat with my grandmother, my uncle, and my cousin and the subject of the movie "The Help" was brought to the table. My uncle had just seen the movie, and he asked my grandmother about some of the jobs she had to do as a youth. My grandmother started listing all the jobs she did for white people, and she also mentioned that she took care of Judy Resnick (the woman who died in the NASA Challenger explosion back in 1986) from birth to 10 years old. I never knew ANY of these stories my grandmother was telling, and considering she's battling dementia, the effects from a stroke and retina surgery, it was amazing she remembered so damn much. I also realized for me not to have heard this story before, means I am not asking her the right questions.

So maybe THAT is the reason "The Help" was supposed to be released: To encourage dialogue with our elders, so that we can hear their stories as well. I'm still not going to see the movie though...I have no problem with it per se, I just think it sucks that black women rarely get leading roles in movies--except when movies like this come along.. but that's another entry.