Monday, February 28, 2011

Thanks to my mother-in-law for sending me this video:
Tyson vs McGee

Sunday, February 27, 2011

About once a month or so, the wife and I get our groceries delivered from the good folks at Peapod. I certainly understand how the joys of walking up and down a grocery store aisle can be a fun experience for certain couple, but wife and I can't stand it. The crowds are annoying, the checkout lines are more annoying, and when we do these things online, everyone wins. We get certain groceries via Peapod, and the rest from the Farmer's Market that's right down the street from our house every Sunday morning.

So this morning the delivery guy from Peapod showed up around 1pm today and delivered all of my groceries, except for a 24-pack of Deer Park Water. The delivery guy explained to me that he had forgotten it at the store, and I told it was no big deal at all. He gave me all the bags from the truck, gave me the sheet to sign, and then he hesitated a bit, and then we proceeded to have the following conversation:

Him (pointing at the sheet): Usually people leave a tip or something on this line for the drivers, you don't want to leave anything for me today?

Me: No I'm good

Him: Oh ok, well you have a great day

Me: You too buddy

Now..I'm not a mean guy and I'm generally pretty forthcoming with tips, when I feel someone has gone above and beyond the call of duty. But when you announce that you have forgotten a part of my grocery order(I need my water, especially after I workout in the morning) and then on top of that, you openly lobby for a tip, I think that's way out of line. If he had offered to re-deliver the water a later date, that would have gotten me excited to tip..but no such thing happened.

So was I wrong?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pretenders to Contenders

If you haven't noticed, I'm slowly transitioning this blog from a personal diary to a less personal one full of links, articles and whimsy of course. I am fully aware that my readers will dwindle from five to three, but I can't just keep spilling my feelings all the time. I also must say that I've threatened to do this many times during my 5 years of blogging, so I am to be ignored when I say this.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Wizards Sing the Blues
Every now and then I see or hear something, that reminds of my grandmother who passed seven years ago, and last night it was seeing the legendary Hank Aaron on David Letterman. Aaron is from Mobile, Alabama, and my grandmother was from Sylacauga, Alabama, but their mannerisms, jokes, their laughs, and even the way they tell stories is virtually identical. And even though Aaron's video made me laugh several times, I still was missing (and appreciating) my grandmother. I wish I could have appreciated her pound cake a few more times..especially since she never wrote that damn recipe down for anyone. But I's the interview:

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

So yesterday while I was on the plane, I finally saw the movie, "Notes on a Scandal". The movie is basically about a 30 something teacher who has an affair with her 15 year old student..although there's also another plot that involves an older woman and her obsession with getting close to the teacher. Needless to say, the older teacher, younger woman plot really intrigued me.

I don't remember crossing paths with a single, solitary attractive teacher between kindergarten and 12th grade. I remember Mrs. Lynch, my science teacher, had really big breasts that you could see because of how the buttons on her shirt were situated, but she was not attractive. There was another teacher of mine whose name escapes me, who had a big ass and she wore tight pants, but again her face was less than stellar. Where were these attractive, pervy, emotionally-disturbed teachers who wanted to give my young ass a little trim? Why couldn't I be so lucky? I'm hearing more and more stories about older teachers and younger students, and I'm increasingly resentful no such thing happened to me.

When I was doing my student teaching I noticed some attractive girls, but I never once thought of going there, even though they were only a few years younger. I valued my future as a teacher, and I didn't want to have a solitary blemish on my record. Plus so many of my students lived in my neighborhood, so I didn't want things to get complicated. Plus no one wants to admit it, but it is WAY creepier for an older male teacher to talk to one of his young, female students...such a sad double standard.

I wonder how I would react if my son told me that he got down with an older female teacher? I know how I'd react if I had a daughter and she told me about a male teacher..I'm going to stop now, because I think I have become a Chris Hansen target..

But seriously, if you have some free time, rent "Notes on a Scandal"..its worth sitting through the uncomfortable scenes

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something funny happened after the All-Star game last night...
First let me send a special shoutout to my main man Sabin who caught the fact that I put an incorrect link in my post yesterday. Its good to know that someone is indeed reading what the hell I'm writing. Second, I do believe this is the first ever blog post I've done from an airplane, which is very cool (in my book at least). I'm currently 20 minutes into my flight from Los Angeles to St. Louis, where I will catch a connecting flight back home to DC. Everyone around me is sleep and snoring, and I'm tired enough to do the same, but the thrill of mid-air, mid-flight blogging is way too enticing to pass up..

Last night's All-Star game was kind of boring, but I did meet more interesting people in the bowels of the Staples Center. I met Chris Tucker, Rhianna, Drake (when I say I met Drake, I gave him a head nod and kept it moving..I'm not a fan) and LaLa (Carmelo Anthony's wife). If I attempted to meet these people on the street, they'd probably look at me like I was a stalker, but since media folks and celebrities were all in the same area, it was acceptable for them to talk to me I suppose

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of both covering basketball and hobnobbing with people who make more money than I can shake a stick at. But I miss my wife, I miss my bed, and I miss my time zone. There's no way in hell I'm going to work tomorrow..
Shoutout to the woman sitting next to me who is sleep, and therefore unable to see the tiny bit of drool that just fell from her lips on to her blanket. Very sexy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I feel like I'm becoming one of "those" people because I keep telling people about the famous people I met. And then I realize that everyone who knows me should know good and goddamn well that I'm not one of "those" people, I just still get excited about meeting folks you know? I met Lenny Kravitz last night, and I told him how much I liked this song he and Michael Jackson did. I met Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and told them I've been fans my whole life (not many people knew who the hell they were). I met Justin Beiber, but I'll only admit that to get street cred with younger kids. And if you're interested in a little inside baseball, I met Jackie MacMullan in my hotel elevator..MacMullan is an excellent, award-wining sportswriter, and I was nervous as hell, but I managed to get some words out.

Anyway, that's enough of that bullshit, please read the last two articles I've written, one of which includes a funny run-in with Charles Barkley. Today is my last day here, and then tomorrow I will return to discussing the boring and mildly entertaining, mundane details of my life.

The Skills and Dunk Competition
All-Star Practice

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I'm going to the All-Star game in Los Angeles early on Friday morning, and I shall return late to my humble abode late Monday night. I have a lot to do between now and then, and I cannot say I will have time to blog before then. So if you watch any of the festivities on tv, look for me on tv (I was on there last year,check this video for the brother with the green sweater under the basket). If you're going to be in LA, let me know and I can act like I'll hang with you, only to back out on you at the last minute(just kidding, I'll be busy). And if you don't give a good goddamn, then I'm sorry for bringing it up.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I saw and read a lot of hate and resentment about Valentine's Day yesterday, in terms of it being a manufactured holiday, it should celebrated everyday, blah blah blah. I'll admit its really not that big of a deal, but it can be an excuse to plan something fun with your mate (I sound like I'm doing a show on Lifetime right now). The wife and I went bowling for two hours at Lucky Strike (while enjoying wine and sports on the big screen), we exchanged gifts (this was my favorite gift), then I got a hotel across the street from her job so she sleep in, and we drank copious amounts champange(shoutout to the hotel staff who gave us free bottle). It was nothing fancy, just simple, understated and pressure-free. There's nothing wrong with that.

By the way, while I was in Lucky Strike, I went to the restroom to wash my hands, and I waved my hands in front of the sensor on the paper towel dispenser, and out came the towel. And I don't know if it was the wine or what, but for one second, I felt like I using The Force. You may find it routine, but I still find it fascinating that I can wave my hand in front of a sensor, and towels pop if I could only parlay that into actual Force usage, I'd be unstoppable.

I probably shouldn't release all my inner thoughts to the world all the time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As I have mentioned on this blog numerous times before, I am fighting a losing battle with my son's hair. He wanted to grow it out and wear cornrows, and his mother did nothing to shut that down, and since he lives with her I had to just sit by and let it happen. Up until this point, he had just been growing it out, but when he stepped off the train on Friday night, his hair was fully cornrowed..poorly I might add.

He had just gotten his hair cornrowed on Tuesday, and already it was coming undone--partly because his hair is thin and not really meant for that style and partly because the woman who did his hair did a terrible job. Carlton asked me what I thought about his hair, and I told him I hated it. I explained to him that I loved him, I explained the concept of agreeing to disagree, and then I told him I hated it again. My wife said I hurt his feelings, but I really did not give a damn. To steal a quote from the movie Boiler Room: "I'm not your best friend, here to nod my head and sympathize. That's your mother's racket. I'm your father, I let you know when you f**k up."

But the next morning, we had a long talk and I explained to him that as much as I hated his hair, it was important that he made sure that a)he took care of it and b) it always looked neat. So I took my wife's suggestion, and we went to a women's hair salon to get his hair cornrowed the correct way. Two words: NEVER AGAIN.

First of all, there were about 13 women in there, and they were all in various stages of getting their hair done, which means they were looking evil (and no it wasn't just all in my head they really were looking evil). My son had a look of terror on his face, and I was hoping he didn't look at me for comfort, because I was just as terrified. We got evil looks, everyone stopped talking, and this was before we even got two feet in the door. Finally one of the women remembered me from our earlier phone conversation, and she told me to sit my son down in the chair so he could get his hair washed, blow dried and cornrowed. I was left standing by the door like a damn fool.

Eventually I sat down and decided to watch my son get his hair done, but the discomfort did not stop. It was 100 degrees in that room, the music was loud, the evil looks were plentiful, and oddly enough there was college basketball on tv(it was on before we arrived), but only my son and I were watching. I tried to act like I was texting or watching tv, but each and every time I looked up, there was someone staring at me like I was a white man at a Black Panther rally. I took the hint, grabbed my phone and went outside and got on the phone.

While I was outside the door, I noticed a sign that said cash only, but that was right next to a sign that said AmEx, Visa, Mastercard and Discover, so I was thoroughly confused on how I should pay (I eventually went to get cash). I looked in the door to see how my son was doing, and he had a look of agony on his face, and I started to go in and ask hi if he was ok. Then I saw evil women, and I stayed my ass outside, and gave him a thumbs up sign. He immediately looked away.

Finally my son came out and said he was all done, and I went up the counter to pay. Now my wife had estimated that it would cost about $40-50 to get his hair cornrowed, but I took $100 out of the ATM just in case. But the woman charged me $80 (not including the tip) and I had no real argument against paying that much because a)I've never gotten cornrows, b)I wanted to get the hell out of there and c)I was 100% sure that if I complained, I'd have been jumped by at least 5 out of the 13 women. I think they took advantage of my male naivety though. As we left out, I told my son that he owed me big time for making me sit in the hair salon for an hour. His response? "What about me Daddy, I was uncomfortable too?" Touche' little man. Touche'

I still hate the way it looks, and I still think cornrows are hideous, but he's happy and so is his mother. But I told the both of them that Memorial Day is the deadline. After that he and his 13-year-old head are coming up here to DC, his hair will be uncornrowed, and he will get a low, warm weather haircut. Enough is enough already.

Friday, February 11, 2011

If you have any kind of sports awareness, you know that legendary Utah Jazz coach retired yesterday, after 23 years of coaching. I wrote about it today, and you can read it right here. He was a great coach and from my limited vantage point he is a great man, who unexpectedly retired..I wish him the best of luck.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

When I was 11 going on 12 and living in Connecticut, I had a little paper route I was in charge of. I had about 15 houses on my route, and it really wasn't all the difficult to do, because we lived on a cul-de-sac at the time, and all of the houses were on one street. I would get up around 6:30 or so before school, pick up the papers that were dropped in front of my house, put them in a satchel, get on my bike, deliver the papers and then get ready for school. I don't remember exactly how much money I made, but I remember it being a big deal for an 11 year old--and I was delivering the papers so early, that I never really had to engage in any small talk. Win-Win.

As the summer of 1986 came closer, I remember begging my parents to attend this basketball camp that was going to be held at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and since so many of my friends were going to be there, I wanted in as well. My parents said yes, and for one week in July, I was going to head to camp. About a week before I left, I asked one of my friends who lived in the neighborhood, if he would deliver the newspapers for me, and he said yes. I called my "boss", I told him that I'd be gone for a week, but I had coverage, and he said it was cool and that allowed me to enjoy my West Point basketball experience without worrying about who was going to get the paper, get the papers.

Unfortunately for me, when I got back from basketball camp, my friend would not give me the paper route back. I guess he enjoyed the little bit of money as I had come to enjoy it, and it wouldn't give it back. My supervisor wasn't obligated to fight for me, because I voluntarily gave it up and legally I had no recourse. I think I asked this dude to give it back to me at least 5 or 6 times, and our parents even talked, but it didn't happen for me. I remember beating his ass after his it was clear I wasn't going to get it back, but even that only helped me feel better temporarily. A year later I moved from Connecticut to Maryland, and I was STILL salty about that.

What made me think about this? This morning while I was on my to the pool, I saw a guy delivering the Washington Post from his car. He just rolled down the windows both on the driver and passenger side, and launched the paper, so that it landed perfectly on each doorstep. I admired his skill and accuracy, but it brought me back to my stolen paper route. So tomorrow I'm carjacking this dude and hijacking his route..its the circle of life.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

So this morning I am jogging at a relatively brisk pace in this brisk cold, while listening to EPMD's Crossover. I had to volume up loud enough to I could enjoy it, but not so loud that I couldn't hear cars or someone run up next to me--or so I thought.

I was running down one street in particular, when I felt the presence of someone behind me, and I glanced back, and saw a group of about 4 or 5 runners who were clearly running faster than I was. I moved to the side of the sidewalk in anticipation of them passing me, and then I kept looking forward and running. My plan was to let them pass, and then cross to the other side of the street so I wouldn't have to look at how fast they were running. Clearly this was a group of elite long distance runners and I wanted no parts of them. But the leader of the pack had different ideas, because as he got next to me, he tapped me on my shoulder. Now in my mind, I had fully prepared for this group to run by, so when he touched me, I was legitimately started, and I swung my elbow backwards. I didn't make any contact with this guy, but he did start yelling, "What the f**k?", and eventually all of us stopped running.

The guy explained to me that he was just going to ask if I wanted to run with he and his group, and said no, I apologized to him, and then I explained that when its 6am, and dark outside, touching is not the way to go. Then he told me I needed to calm down, and it was not like we were in a bad neighborhood, and honestly at that point, I wanted to mush backhand him. I apologized to the guy again, and then I crossed the street and resumed my run..but I had questions...

1)Who goes around recruiting runners DURING a run? What kind of sense does that make, or is this a new trend I'm not familiar with?

2) Why would you think its ok to touch someone with headphones while they are running in the dark at 6am? That's how people get punched, elbowed and maimed..he's lucky my aim was bad

3)Was this my fault for having the volume on my ipod up to high? I'm answering my own question the 3 years I've been running, I've never had this happen, and I keep the volume at a relatively low level. I'm blameless here...maybe I shouldn't have thrown an elbow, but hey, I didn't know what was going on..

4)Its not like this is a bad neighborhood? We live in DC, there are bad parts, and there are better parts, but no area is immune to crime--especially at 6am.

Anyway..I shall end this entry with another Kurt Elling hype session. I have sung Mr. Ellling's praises many time on this blog, and I'm pretty sure none of you have taken my advice and bought any of his work, because if you did, I'd have gotten some feedback. I forgive you all for that, because today his new work, entitled, "The Gate" comes out, and I am telling you now that it is a fine piece of work (I bought it last night). He covers a Stevie Wonder song (Golden Lady), a Miles Davis song (Blue in Green), a Herbie Hancock song (Come Running To Me), and a Joe Johnson song (Steppin' Out). It is romantic, melodic, soothing, and I think you should buy it.

Monday, February 07, 2011

So last night I attended Questlove's Super Bowl/Birthday party at a fine establishment that goes by the name of Liv. I usually frown against watching the Super Bowl anywhere but home (especially now that I have my own big screen tv), and I usually DEFINITELY frown against going out on Sunday night when I have to go to work the next day. But I had already bought tickets to this party a long time ago, and the original party date of 1/26 had been postponed due to inclement weather. So my hands were tied...

The first part of the party involved a bunch of folks hanging in the restaurant/lounge area while the Super Bowl was on the big screen. There were some annoying folks here and there, who were loud and clearly knew nothing about football, but for the most part I had a great time. I was rooting for the Packers. I love Mike Tomlin and the way he coaches, but I hate Ben Roethlisberger and some of the other Steelers..they are just so damn smug. So by the Packers winning, I could stick it to them AND Brett Favre who is somewhere pissed that Aaron Rodgers won (despite what he may say publicly).

The second part of the party was in the nightclub area, and this is where the wheels came off. The music Questlove was playing was great, and I appreciate the way he puts plenty of thought behind not only what song he plays, but the songs that come before and after. He's a meticulous music nerd, and I love that about him. But what I DON'T love is how members of the crowd spent more time looking at him and trying to be seen, then they did dancing. He didn't give a flying f**k about anyone but his music, and his girlfriend behind him, yet everyone was dancing, pointing, taking pictures, and trying to be seen...the whole scene was f**king ridiculous.

Then I had this couple by me that was dancing provocatively, off beat and a bit too close to me and the wife. That was more funny than it was annoying, but I still could have done without. There dudes who were travelling in threes looking corny and hungry for female attention. There were women who were more interesting in dancing and talking in a circle, than they were in talking to anyone. And then there were annoying people by the bar, who were blocking people who actually wanted to buy a drink. As I am writing this I realize that I sound like a cranky old man, and that's not what I want to do. The larger point here is that my days of clubbing..even for my main man Questlove, are long gone. I can do jazz clubs, lounges, selected concerts, and occasional bar. A nightclub, particularly on a Sunday night? Those days are over, and I'm ok with that. What I'm not ok with is how out of it and tired I am this morning...

Friday, February 04, 2011

I love babies as much as the next man (not really) but there is a time to show off your baby, and a time to get the hell out of the way. Just now, while I was trying to purchase my drink from Starbucks, a former Starbucks employee showed up with her baby and all hell broke loose. Everyone behind the counter all of a sudden came down with a crippling bout of paralysis, and they stopped working and played with the baby. The baby was slobbering, laughing and talking, and the employees were just losing their damn mind. Meanwhile, there were at least 10-15 people in line waiting to be served, and do you know who was in front of that line? YOURS TRULY.

I patiently waited for 2 minutes while they swung from the baby's young jockstrap, and then I had to say something. Needless to say it did not go well. I told the people behind the counter that I didn't mean to be rude, but I did have to go to work, as did the people behind me. I got mean looks from the mother of the child, the Starbucks employees, and even the baby. But despite the menacing looks, the mother and the baby moved aside, I got served, the line shortened, and all was well. But clearly I cannot go back in that particular Starbucks, because I'm confident they will urinate in all my beverages going forward. Still, I was in the right..Starbucks isn't a nursery, a photography studio, or a meet-and-greet area for children and their parents. It is a place of business, so act accordingly.

And finally I would like to send a shoutout to this anonymous woman:

I absolutely love how you shunned the straps on your backpack, and decided to roll that sh*t around like its a dog on a leash. Its not like the suffix in backpack tells you where it should be placed on anything..Plus the contraption you're dragging the backpack around with is bigger than the damn backpack. Please rectify that. Although I'm sure I deserve to be equally criticized for snapping that picture like a creepy person..

Thursday, February 03, 2011

I have nothing of note to contribute to my blog today, but my main man Adrian has a hilarious blog entry about a dog, his new bed and a laptop bag. Click right here to read all about it.

And then after you read that click on my Gilbert Arenas article right here.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

My latest article
Gone are the days when I will compliment a woman on how nice she looks on a given day, only to be made to feel guilty that I don't dish out that comment EVERY day. Nobody looks nice each and every may have one or two work days when everything comes together (hair, makeup and outfit for women; fresh haircut, new outfit for men) and when that happens you absolutely KNOW you're going to get compliments. In fact its not a matter of if you're going to get complimented, but its more of a how-many-will-I-get-today situation. These are also the days when your spouse, girlfriend or boyfriend better notice how good you look, otherwise there will be hell to pay.

Unfortunately, there are more days when you simply look average to below average. Its not like you look like ugly or hideous, but you simply did not feel like taking the necessary time it takes to look notch. You are simply trying to get to work, do your best, and then leave. In fact, if you someone comes up to you and compliments you on days like this, you will give them this incredulous look that says, "Are you f**king kidding me, I look like sh*t!" but all that will come out of your mouth is a quiet thank you. This really isn't hard to figure out.

The only thing I can think of is that when I complimented my co-worker on how nice she looked today, she KNEW she looked good, but she also thought she looked good yesterday (NOPE), and was offended that I only paid my respects today. She overplayed her hand basically, which is why I got a "What was wrong with me yesterday?" question today...