Monday, January 31, 2011

Given that I am an avid sports fan, this is a little embarrassing to admit, but I finally purchased a big, flat screen television this weekend. Its something that I kept saying I would do, but I would always find a reason to spend money on something else I deemed important for me to have. But on Saturday I remedied that issue and and bought me a 46 incher.

After some minor frustrations involving getting the damn box open and not having the right HDMI cords (frustrations that caused my wife to leave the room to avoid my poor attitude), I finally got it up and running about 30 minutes after I started my task (the wife came back and I apologized). It didn't matter whether it was the Wizards game, hockey, golf, bullfighting or stock-car racing, I found myself watching every sport I could get my hands on just to see how it looked in HD. I honestly don't know how I deprived myself of such a wonderful luxury for so long, but I'm glad I fixed it. I was getting all excited at the prospect of watching the Super Bowl in style, and then I remembered I'm going to a Super Bowl party. I think I'm still going to DVR it, just to see how it looks after the fact..

I'd also like to send a special shoutout to the a**hole who had nothing in his hands, yet still found it necessary to use the handicapped button to open the door to my job. There is a 10 second delay in between hitting the button and the door actually opening, and then it takes another 10 seconds for the door to actually open completely. But you stood there all 20 seconds, rather than taking one of your empty hands and opening the f**king door. Meanwhile, I'm carrying my work bag, a Starbucks drink, a banana, and a bagel, and I had already freed a hand in anticipation of having to open the door, only to have to wait for your dumbass. There's a guy named Kevin Laue who is playing major college basketball with one hand, and here you are with two hands waiting for a button designed for wheelchair folks. You're a class act buddy.

Don't You Get So Mad - Jeffrey Osborne

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Super Bowl is not until next weekend, which means you have some time to come up for air from sports, and watch some Oscar-nominated movies. If you choose to do such a thing this weekend, I highly recommend Barney's Version, which I saw last night. The cast includes Paul Giamatti, Dustin Hoffman and Minnie Driver just to name a few, and it is an excellent movie. I won't give away anything, but I will say that it will make you laugh, it'll make you cry, and it will definitely make you think about you and your loved ones. That is as revealing as I can be without spoiling everything for you.

Next on my list? The Fighter.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

My latest article
My mother is 59 today, my dad turned 60 back in August, I have a 13 year old son, and I have obtained 5 gray hairs this year alone (4 on my head). I need to go play some basketball or something to prove to myself that I am a young 36 year old, because on THIS particular day, I feel old(er). In the meantime, I will do the orange shirt guy dance at my desk to make me feel 10 years old again..what is the oraange shirt guy dance you may ask? Check the video below and look for the guy in the orange shirt..and a shoutout to my wife who randomly did the green-shirt-running-man dance in our living room on Monday night.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

I have mentioned several times before (but not recently) that I workout at the Jewish Community Center in Washington DC. It is close to my house, they have lots of good programs there in addition to their stellar workout facilities, and it rarely gets crowded like the traditional gym. If I were to breakdown my usage of the JCC, I'd say 90% of the time I swim, 5% of the time I play basketball, and the other 5% of my time is spent doing yoga or fitness center--but its the pool that keeps me going there and playing the inflated membership fee.

Now usually I do my working out in the morning, but the cold weather has kept my ass planted in the bed, so yesterday I went to swim after work. As I walked into the JCC, I saw a gentleman that I knew in the lobby. He works with me at the Department of Justice, and while I won't say we are best friends, our paths used to cross a lot more a few years ago, so we still speak. This was the first time I had seen him at the JCC, and the conversation went as follows:

Him: Hey what's going on dude? You work out here
Me: Hey man what's up? Yeah I've been coming here since Jan of 2009
Him: Sweet man, Yeah I just lifted weights a bit, trying to keep my new year's resolution alive you know?
Me: I hear that man
Him: Are you here to play basketball?
Me: (hesitating a bit): Uh no, I'm here to swim for about 30-40 minutes
Him: Oh ok man cool, you know I've never been swimming here.

Now there was 30-45 more seconds of b.s. conversation, and we finally parted ways. I didn't know whether I should be offended at his basketball comment, or to just categorize it as harmless and not dwell on it. I chose the latter, I changed clothes, I hit the pool for 30 minutes, I showered, and then I got dressed.

As I stood in the mirror brushing my hair, I saw someone else I know coming out of the shower. I have actually seen this person at the JCC before (mainly in passing in the lobby), but I've also seen him around my neighborhood as well. I just said what's up to him, because he was in a towel, and talking to another man in that state violates my own personal man code. But he proceeded to be a bit chatty, so I had to give him at least a minute of my time:

Him: What's going on dude? Long time no see
Me: Yeah I usually try to workout in the morning, but I was too lazy
Him: Mornings? Really? I do mine after work, it helps me sleep better at night
Me: Maybe I should try that
Him: So were you up here playing basketball?
Me: (trying not to laugh at this point): No I just went swimming
Him: Oh ok, sounds good

Again, more b.s. conversation followed, but I can't remember what it was, but I do know it didn't last very long. I had a dinner date with my wife, and I left out and focused on that. But not before thinking that I had been the victim of some bullshit, borderline racial profiling. I mean everyone who works out at the damn JCC knows that on Mondays there is no pickup basketball. There is Krav Maga from 6-7:30, and then there are basketball leagues played from 7:30-10pm. I ran into the first dude I know at 6pm, which means he had to walk by the gym as he left, so he KNEW there was no basketball. The second guy I saw in the locker room I saw around 6:45, and he had just finished working out in the fitness center, which means he too walked by the gym and saw Krav Maga class. So why the hell would they both ask me about basketball? I'll tell you why...its the knee jerk "Oh the brother must be here to play ball".

Now I am quite sure I can run into both guys again this week, but I don't trust myself to be a class act about these things, so I won't. But perhaps next week I will allow myself to run into them, and I'll say something edgy, smart with a splash of sarcasm. I haven't decided yet..

Anyway, if you have 55 minutes to spare, check out the Stevie Wonder video below, its pretty good stuff

Monday, January 24, 2011

I know I'm posting a lot of videos lately, and I know this one is long, but do YOU know how awesome this is:

I know everyone has seen this by now, but I still think its hilarious, and I admire both parties for having a sense of humor about it all. Me? I think I'd have gone Denny Green on the guy:

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My latest article
The movie came out in 1976, and I have been hearing about since 1990, but yesterday morning in 2011, I finally saw All The President's Men, and I was completely blown away. Of course the movie is based on the 1974 book by legendary Washington Post writers, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein by the same title, and it details their exhaustive research on the Watergate scandal.

Not only was the movie a study on how I need to be a better journalist/writer in terms of working harder to get quotes and sources, but it made me realize how much times have changed as well. Woodward and Bernstein had to use payphones, typewriters, library sign out sheets, actual sources, etc. There was little to no instant gratification, it was all about pushing through and working hard until that story was well-sourced and well-written. I could rant on and on but I won't. Just see the movie if you can, and then read the book, like I'm about to do. And then after that I can finally get motivated to watch Frost/Nixon

You know what else I found out yesterday? Prohibition Porter is a great beer. I had it last night, and it made me smile.

Loran's Dance - Grover Washington

I know this song is smooth jazz, and I know I've slammed that genre of music in favor of real, classic jazz, but this song is a sample of one of my favorite Tribe Called Quest songs, so forgive me. Here's s Tribe song:

Push It Along - A Tribe Called Quest

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Here is my latest article.
Also, this shoutout made me smile..which is a damn shame because I'm too old to be moved by such things..but i was
Ok, this is one of those blogs I probably should not write, but since its my birthday, I am going to do it anyway, and hopefully I'll get a pass.

This past Monday I attended and covered the Washington Wizards game, and I interviewed some players (Deron Williams and Earl Watson in case you're wondering), and then I used those quotes in this article

The next day, one of my colleagues wrote an article about John Wall, and in this article, he used about three or four of the quotes I obtained in my earlier interviews. There was no mention of where or who he got the quotes from, until after the article was completed. Even then he only wrote:

Thanks to Rashad and Truth About It for the quotations

Now for some perspective, when some of my other colleagues and I borrow a quote from one another, we usually say something like, "According to Rashad of Truth About It, John Wall said..." or we'll list the quote, and at the end of that sentence, we'll say, "according to Rashad from Truth About It", and sometimes we'll just hyperlink the original story somewhere in the sentence. Whatever method we choose, you'll know by the end of the sentence, where that quote came from and who got it. We are all bloggers fighting for some degree of recognition, so we must do this. We don't throw just throw in a "thank you" at the bottom of the article, because frankly no one cares by then.

So suffice it to say, I was a little irritated, but because I'm Rashad I had to reel it in a bit. Is this really something to get angry about? Or am I just being an uptight, whiny little punk (it wouldn't be the first, second or third time)? So I'd like to turn this over to my five readers. You be the judge.

Oh and yeah, i'm 36 today, which means I'm going to post one of my favorite videos. Before I link the video, let me just remind all of you that I love my wife.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm having a Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities type of Wednesday. So that I can end on a high note, I'll start with the negative first..

1)I just got my Washington DC driver's license last Tuesday, and then yesterday they promptly hit me with a ticket. Apparently, back on October 3rd of last year (the day of my friend Faye's wedding..its all her fault) I ran a red light, and the security cameras caught me from about 678 different angles. I remember I ran that light because it was raining, and had I tried to brake, I'd have slid in the middle of the intersection..that will be the basis of my flimsy defense. But I'm a little miffed that it took them over 3 months to send me that $150 ticket.

2)I've slept a total of four hours the past two nights. Two nights ago, I'm pretty sure it was due to the 2 ample cups of coffee I drank after 1pm. I don't know what the hell was going on last night. But what I DO know is that I've seen quite enough of ESPN's Australian Open coverage that comes on between 1 and 5am.

3) I have a terrible toothache and I can't get a dentist appointment until next week, which means I have to pop pills like skittles for relief..I'm not exactly crazy about that

And now for the good stuff

1)It looks like I will be able to interview Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the second time. His people have called my people (me), and if all goes well I can sit down with him during All-Star weekend in Los Angeles. to discuss his upcoming movie.

2)My 36th birthday is tomorrow

3) I will be attending this conference at MIT in March, and although I'm a little nervous because it will be full of folks who are smarter than I am, I still can't wait to learn new things.

I wrote this out to make me feel better..I think it worked

Devil's Pie - D'Angelo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I'd be delighted if you read my article.

Friday, January 14, 2011

First off, if you live in DC and you can vote, check out my main man Alan Page's blog.

Have you ever had one of those nights when you're playing Scrabble (I spanked my wife's ass once again..pause) and enjoying fine wine in glasses that you received via a wedding gift, and you're having such a great time, that you really don't realize how much you drank, until you wake up the next morning and realize that you overdid it, and you feel like you were run over by 67 tractor trailers all at once?

Yeah me either

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A commercial from my youth...
If I am somehow overtaken by a vicious bout of the crazy, and I commit a heinous crime like this Mensa candidate, I wonder how deep in my friend pool the media would dig..I ask this because this morning on the Today show, Meredith Viera (a very poor man's Barbara Walters) was talking to a friend of Jared (not the subway one) and this guy had only known the alleged killer for a few years. Yet, here he was on national television talking about Jared like he was his therapist or long-time friend or something. It was a complete waste of time, but the media is so thirsty for a lead or a breaking story, that they will give assclowns like this a chance to shine. I understand it, but I don't like it.

Still, I wonder who the media would go after in my case. Believe me, I won't be doing anything foolish like my main man Jared, but let's say I became famous all of sudden, and it became cool to directly or indirectly know Rashad F. Baby. Would the media raid my blog for context clues of who I am? Would they read my (semi) stellar articles at Truth About It? Would they hit up my good friends or would they flock to my dumb ass exes who would present a less flattering picture of me? Would my family stay true to me and not talk (or only talk glowingly of me), or would they run their mouths incessantly about my flaws? I hope to find out one day..but again let me stress, I hope it'll because I've done something dazzling and profound, but not crazy and unsettling.

On a serious note, I feel sorry for Jared's parents, who had to put out a statement about their son. That is NOT something a parent ever anticipates doing, and to have to do that on top of the grieving process, must be absolutely agonizing. Maybe they were bad parents who led their son to this state or maybe they were model parents who just lost their son somewhere along the way..I really don't know. I still feel for them.

Touch of Grey - Grateful Dead

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I will temporarily shelve my usual crotchety side so that I can give some praise to the DMV in Georgetown. Over the past 15 years or so, I've had some rather forgettable moments in the DMVs in Maryland and Virginia, so you can imagine how much I dreading getting my driver's license renewed in DC (yet another subtle reminder to you people that my birthday is just 9 days away).

But to my surprise, my DMV experience was efficient, quick and pleasant. The security guard came out about about 5 minutes before they opened, and he explained the house rules (no cursing, no beverages, over 65 folks get to go first, etc), and then the doors promptly opened at 8:15. I took a number, filled out my paperwork, gave all my forms, got my picture taken and BAM, I was out of there 30 minutes later. Everyone was friendly and smiling, they laughed at my jokes (they asked me if I was an organ donor, I said I preferred the piano) and not one time did I encounter attitude or ineptitude. I honestly should write Mayor Vincent Gray (who in his younger days went by the name of Vincent Price and did the creepy laugh at the end of Michael Jackson's Thriller) and tell him that they did a damn good job. That's not always easy to say in Washington D.C.

When I left out of the DMV, I saw this outside the building

If you ever wonder why some people still can't forgive Michael Vick, wonder no more...

Ready or Not - After 7
Not to be an old man or anything, but love songs like this don't get made much anymore

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I'd like for you to read my article right here, and while you're reading, please put yourself in my shoes, and think about how hard it was to listen to Avery Johnson talk without laughing. Read my article, watch the video in the article, and then come back and watch the video below, and you'll know why I was laughing. Watch the video from the :07 mark to around the 24 second mark

Friday, January 07, 2011

You may be thinking to yourself, damn Rashad doesn't write in this blog as much as he used to, and you'd be correct. Or you may be thinking damn, even though Rashad doesn't write as much as he used to, he still posts some semi-interesting links every now and then, and again you'd be right (I hope). Or you could really not give good goddamn about what I do, and that would be fine too.

Today I am posting yet another link, because my main man Kurt Elling has a new cd coming out in a month, and its called, "The Gate". I know I say this every few months, but if you don't know who he is, I highly suggest you buy one of his cds and you'll be pleasantly surprised and if you're not, I'll reimburse you. And if you are a J Dilla fan, you should definitely pick up this new Kurt Elling cd when it comes out, because Kurt covers the Herbie Hancock song, "Come Running To Me", which Dilla sampled in Slum Village's, "Get Dis Money". I hope I didn't confuse anyone here...

First here's a Kurt Elling song called, "My One and Only Love"

Then here's the Herbie Hancock song, "Come Running To Me" (the Slum Village sample starts at the 1:50 mark):

And now here's the Slum Village song, "Get Dis Money"

Oh and please root for the Eagles this weekend. I want to see an Eagles/Steelers Super Bowl. One QB is a borderline sex offender, the other is a dog killer, and the media will have to spend two weeks trying to spin that into a positive. What's better than that?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I realize you may be tired of reading my articles, but I'm not tired of posting them, so here is another one.
All my life I have pretty much avoided coffee like a little kid avoids vegetables. Much like a woman who avoids oral sex, I had tasted it a few times, but I didn't care for it too much, and I never saw what the big deal was. If I wanted a hot drink, I'd stick with warm apple cider, and if I needed a drink to keep me up (awake that is) I'd drink caffeinated tea. I can readily admit that I like the smell of coffee (I also like the smell of bacon, lit pipes and my wife's hair when she gets back from the hairdresser, just in case you were wondering) but that's it.

Things have changed lately, since one of my wife's friends bought us a coffee maker for a wedding gift. As soon as we unwrapped it, I found myself wanting to buy coffee, and then I found myself drinking a cup, and then another. Then that next weekend it was the same type of deal, my wife hooked it up, and I drank it down like I was cramming for an exam, headed for an all-nighter. Unfortunately, I got little to no sleep on the days I drank it, but still, I do believe I am hooked on coffee--homemade coffee that is. I won't buy it or drink it here in the office, I just want it at home while I watch tv and read the paper in the morning.

So what I need from all 5 of you who still read my blog, is some good coffee suggestions..preferably decaf, since the caffeinated coffee sends me through the roof. So far I've had Jamaican coffee (a complimentary gift from the honeymoon) and Dunkin Donuts coffee ( I bought it at Rite-Aid), but I'd like to do some experimenting. I'm sure at least two of you drink coffee, so if you could help me out that will be terrific.

A Roller Skating Jam Named Saturdays - De La Soul
This song is now 20 years old...unf**kingbelievable

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

New Orleans Hornets forward David West, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson and me.
First off, won't you read my article please?

The combination of me watching the video of Pete Rock and DJ Premier (posted on Sunday's entry) and watching Wynton Marsalis on 60 Minutes, has made me want two things. One, I want to play an instrument again. I played the trumpet in high school and I enjoyed it tremendously, and now I want to either take piano or upright bass lessons (again, I never finished from several years ago). Whether its Pete Rock, DJ Premier or Wynton Marsalis, there is something about watching a musician/DJ passionately talk about what went into the creation of their art. It makes you want to pick up an instrument and master it, so that you can have that same feeling. Its not like writing can't bring me that feeling, but doing something music is much different in my opinion. I will pursue this.

The second thing I want is for there to be a behind-the-scenes type program on television involving popular artists. I want to see one artist talk about one album they've made, and then maybe have the producer and other collaborators talk about the nuances of the album from what inspired a song to how many takes it took to get it right. For example, one of my major regrets was that no one ever sat Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones down to break down Thriller for a good 2 hours. To me that's quality tv/radio/podcasting, and I enjoy hearing that type of thing, so why can't there be a monthly/weekly show to that effect? I've seen these types of documentaries here and there, but nothing constant.

Another example was this video of Steely Dan breaking down their song "Peg". Its only 8 minutes long, but even if you don't like the song, you're captivated by how it all came together..or maybe you aren't...I certainly am