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