Tuesday, January 31, 2012

First off, let me thank my main man Sabin for his guest blog appearance on Saturday. My life is boring--well not boring, but much less blog worthy than it has been in the past. Sabin added some much needed life to it. In rap terms, my blog was "Scenario" and Sabin was Busta Rhymes.

So this morning I attempt to swim for the first time since November. The combination of laziness and Nyles being here (more Nyles' fault of course) had me out of action for awhile, although I still magically managed to lose 7lbs during that span thanks to this insane vegan lifestyle I have adopted. Still, I was pretty nervous about getting in the pool, because since I started swimming in February of 2009, I had never gone more than a month without getting in there (the same can be said for my wife). I knew my breathing and stamina would suffer (won't be a problem with the wife), but I also knew I had to start somewhere, so I jumped in and started to swim a mile like I had done before.

After three minutes my chest starting burning like I had swallowed hot sauce and Vicks. Another two minutes elapsed, and I had water in my nose and down my throat, and my breathing was off. 4 minutes later, I got mad because this guy next to me was zooming by me, and when I tried to keep up with him, all the symptoms I listed earlier in this paragraph increased tenfold. Still, I gutted it out for 15 minutes total, and then the fact that I was woefully out of shape was too much to overcome. And of course to make matters worse, the life guard, who is used to seeing me swim a mile, had to open his big mouth:

Him: You're not yourself today huh?
Me: I've been away since November man, my wife and I had a baby
Him: Congrats to you my man, but you didn't actually think you could swim a mile after all that time did you (he chuckled a bit)
Me: Why yes, yes I did
Him (now laughing): Come on man, you gotta put the time back in
Me: That's why I'm here boss..I'll be back tomorrow

On one hand that motivated me to come back tomorrow and return to my mile swimming ways within the next two weeks. On the other hand, I wanted to go over there, let him know what it was and say GFY. I chose the former and walked out. Besides, it is not his fault, and it is not my fault, it is all on Nyles.

Speaking of Nyles..

Monday, January 30, 2012

There's nothing worse than going to interview an athlete pre or post game, and all they do is string together cliches, youknowhatimsayings and nahmeans, and just waste my precious time. This is why Kevin Garnett is an awesome interview. Here is his post-game interview from last week:

And here's my favorite one from 2008

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Today's blog entry will be written by my main man Sabin aka my first and last roommate at THE Hampton University. He writes a blog, which can seen here and he wrote a book which can purchased here. And now, without further ado, here is Sabin:

After reading his last blog posting, I figured, I gotta help my guy. Can't give him what he is craving ... yeah, um, he gonna have to handle that. But since we go back like ODB and Mariah Carey (... me and MaRIah, go back like babies and pacifiers ...), I have to show my guy some support.
So today, I'm going to guest blog. Kinda like when Jay Leno came off the bench for Johnny Carson back in the day, except minus the chin.

Since this blog sometimes ventures into rant territory, I'm going to visit the Rant Zone with a rant of my own.

Before I get to ranting, for those you old enough to have had a crush on Thelma from Good Times or had the Micheal Jackson with the yellow sweater vest poster - do you remember the opening lines to Self Destruction? You know, the Malcom X quote that said:

We all agree tonight
All of the speakers have agreed
that America has a very serious problem .."

Not to say this rant is on a Malcolm X level of seriousness, but there is a problem and epidemic of sorts we need to address.
I'm a pretty even spirited guy. Old enough to cherish Bobby "Blue" Bland and young enough to dig Big KRIT. Cool enough to know who Lonnie Liston Smith is and wise enough to know that Wacka Flocka is some bullshit. Intelligent enough to know that 'bet not nobody try to remake an Isley Brothers song; yet silly enough to randomly blurt out "trick luv da kids!!!"

So given that I'm an even spirited guy, please hear me out when I go this Rashadian rant.

Er'body ready?


Got dam it I hate it when during your birthday celebration some want-to-be-cool person tries to hi-jack the happy birthday song with the Stevie Wonder inspired version. Man, I hate that shat!!! As the late Robin Harris would say, "I was pissed off to the highest of pissivity!!"

Don't get me wrong, I love Stevie Wonder. I mean Stevie "is a musical genius!! I have all his albums!! I got Fafil- Fafilly- F*#^! it you know, the good one. I got all that sh** man!!!" (apologies for the Eddie Murphy "Delirious' flashback, but Rashad and I do that in normal conversation)
Anyway, so I appreciate folks wanting to share the musical genius of Stevie.

But the song was for Martin Luther King. Since none of us are quite about to get our own holiday and sh**, then we gotta let Martin have his own song. I mean damn can't the Drum Major for Justice have his own song?!

However, what really gets to me, I mean really nails-screeching-on-the-chalkboard gets to me - is that people don't really know the song. Some of these young cats can't even visualize Stevie sweatin' on the HOTTER THAN JULY album cover. These the same folks that think K-Ci & Jo-Jo did a good job on "Lately."

So this is how I handled it. Right around the time when everyone's voice started dimming - you know, after the third or fourth "haaaaaaaappppeeeeee biiiiiiiiirthdaaaaay", you know right in there. I stood up and starting singing the rest of the words.

Why has there never been such a holiday?
Where peace is Cel-LE-Brated?
thheeeeee wooooooooooorrrrrrlllllddddddd!!

Man, didn't nobody say sh**.

Ok, I'm making that up. I still hate the poorly implemented Stevie Wonder inspired hi-jack of the Happy Birthday song.

And you should too.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Yesterday I endured one of those days that thoroughly kicked my ass. One of those days when you want strangle someone until they die, kill yourself, and then strangle that same person in hell. Ideally I should just put that day behind me and move on to bigger and better things--and eventually I will do just that. Today, I must recapitulate.

First off let me say I much I hate people who say things to me like "Oh yeah I remember going through that when I had a newborn, I don't envy you" or "better you than me" or "good luck with all that". You people can go f**k yourselves. Give me some advice, a list of solutions, or just say nothing. I don't think that's too much to ask..in fact don't limit that line of thought to just me, adopt it as a full-time mantra. Do I always follow my own advice no? Do I contradict myself on my blog frequently? You bet your sweet ass I do.

Anyway, first my car broke down yesterday morning, and I had to get it towed and taken to the shop. Here I was at 7am, sitting in front of my apartment on a main street in Washington DC (Connecticut Ave for those familiar with DC), and I became THAT GUY. THAT GUY is the one of the side of the street who holds up traffic, and passers by break their necks to see who it is and if you're lucky they may even throw you a sympathy smile. I was THAT GUY. The cost to fix the car is more than I care to spend right now, and its even more when you consider I only bought the car to usher young Nyles around--before that I was fine walking, taking the train and biking. But that's life as an adult, and if that had been the only issue of the day, I'd have gotten over it. But it was not.

Then I had the work day from hell. My boss is an idiot (she used the expression "peace mill" instead of the correct spelling "piecemeal, and that's just the tip of the iceberg), I was in meeting after meeting, I had reports to do, people kept plopping their asses in my office with both relevant and irrelevant conversation, and all I wanted was to go home, sleep and drink some Port, while I played with Nyles and my wife...more Nyles though.

But when I got home, Nyles was cranky and craving the breast (can't blame him there) more than the bottle, and he would not go to sleep. Plus he kept digging his newborn nails into adult neck, and no matter how much I asked nicely for him not to, he kept going to town. This is the moment when I realized having an infant means you never truly get to rest. I know and understand that now, and I will adjust accordingly.

The bottom line here? I really need to get laid. I'm hoping the doctor gives my wife clearance next week, because it has been WAY too long, and the consequences are rippling through other aspects of my life. You never realize how vital sex--even if its baby-in-the-room sex--is until it is violently taken away from you. I want it back. Sorry for rambling. The good news? My oldest son arrives today, so he'll get to meet his new brother. Good times

Monday, January 23, 2012

Yesterday marked two milestones in my life, one minor, the other was pretty f**king major. First and foremost, yesterday marked young Nyles' first month birthday. I celebrated the day by trying to get his ass to stay sleep so I could watch:

1)The Wizards/Celtics game at 1pm
2)Ravens/Patriots at 3pm
3)Giants/49ers at 6:30pm

Nyles did his best to fall asleep for 90 minute intervals, which was just long enough for me to think I can could get into the game, before being abruptly interrupted. Thankfully his mother and I took turns picking him up and changing him. Despite the minor inconvenience, I appreciate the little man being around for a month, and as usual the good far outweighs the fatigue/inconvenience.

The second milestone I celebrated yesterday was one month of Vegetarianism. The night before my son was born, I decided to abandon chicken and fish (I already ate beef and pork sporadically at best) and just go strictly vegetarian. I had contemplated it during November when I gave up meat for two weeks, but I didn't think I was disciplined enough to go through it. This time around I gave myself a month to see how if I could pull it off, and so far so good. Yes I miss Chik-fil-A and the occasional mini-burger binge, but I'm hanging in there and feel great.

My father gave up beef and pork when I was born, and 10 years later not only was he going strong, but he decided to rid himself of chicken too. At 61 he's a pescetarian, and he looks and feels great, so I'm open to incorporating fish back in my life at some point. Of course tomorrow, this could all come undone, and I could be caught going on a KFC binge.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Today is my 37th birthday. I don't have any fancy words or thoughts, I'm just extremely happy to be doing this again.. for a 37th time to be exact...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So last night as I returned from the drug store, and headed back up to my floor, I mistakenly pressed the fifth floor instead of the sixth. I did not notice it right away, but as soon as I stepped off the elevator, I realized I made a mistake and I proceeded to get back on, when a woman got my attention.

She was standing by her apartment door with her laundry by her side, and she explained to me that she was locked out. She had gone to put a load in, came back up, and realized that her keys, wallet and cellphone were all in her apartment--and it was 9:30pm. I told her I would call the landlord and the emergency number, but I only had the landlord's number on my person, and he didn't pick up, so I left a message. I told the lady to sit tight, while I went to find that emergency number for her.

I went up to my apartment and looked for that emergency number with my wife, called it and left a message, but I delayed a little bit before I went back down to update this woman. I told my wife I wanted to help her out, but I did not want to invite her in our home because we had a newborn, and we both agreed that was the smart thing to do. At the same time I kept thinking that if my wife was locked out, I'd want someone to help her--still I didn't want her in my damn house. So I went back down, told the woman I left a message on the emergency number, and I explained that if someone called me back, I'd come back down to let her know. And yes I felt bad about it, but I didn't look back, you can never look back.

I went back up to my apartment, talked to the wife, felt bad about not doing more, and then I went back down to the fifth floor, and asked the lady if she wanted to use my phone to call a friend. She responded by saying she didn't know any one's number by heart. I said ok, introduced myself (her name is Yuko which makes her Japanese. Who needs Wikipedia when Google can save the day), and then I went back to my apartment again--but not before explaining to her that I would let her in my spot, if I didn't have a newborn baby living with me. She understood and said congrats, and I felt even more guilty. Still, I did not go back down for another hour because I was enjoying an adult beverage and tending to young Nyles. But when I did go back down, she was still waiting for my trifling ass building people to respond to the emergency call.

Yuko said she was going to head out of the building and try to visit a couple friends unannounced, hoping they would let her in. Since I knew she wouldn't be able to get back in the building once she left out, and I knew my wife had a key as well, I gave Yuko my key and my phone number. I told her if she couldn't find anyone to stay with, she could use my key, come back in, and spend the night with us, since Nyles would be asleep. She said I was sweet, and then she headed out. I hoped to God she didn't call back to sleep here, and in paranoia I kept checking my phone over and over, but she didn't call.

This evening when I got home there was a note from Yuko, and she thanked me (and my wife, but more me) for my kindness, and she told me that she found a friend to stay with last night, and this morning she tracked down the landlord who let her in. Of course all day I was bitching to my wife that she had not called to a) update me and b) make arrangements to give me my damn key. So her note made me a)feel stupid, b)calm down, and c) feel good about the good deed I had done.

Now I know at least one person is reading this saying, "So the f**k what, you did what you're supposed to do", and that is 100% right, but not the point. The point is, I went way out my comfort zone to help someone (which I rarely do) and it worked out--and I am happy about it. Maybe I'll hit the lottery soon as a result.

Kareem is doing big things..no pun intended:

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The best part of Mo Better Blues: Bleek vs Shadow. Playing what the audience wants vs playing what you want and hoping the audience gets it.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Today the wife left out of the house for about an hour, which meant young Nyles and I were here alone for the first time since he arrived 3 weeks ago. When she left he was sound asleep on my shoulder after a 20 minute feeding, but of course once I put him down to sleep, he started kicking, crying and screaming. Thanks little buddy.

First I fed him a little more of the bottle, but during my attempts to burp him, he spit up a little bit, which meant it was time for change of clothes. Since he had yet to have his little ass washed for the day, I decided to give him a full wash--with the diaper off (which is basically target practice for Nyles). Luckily for me, he was completely cooperative, and I was able to wash him up without him going 1 or 2 on me, which was a miracle. He cried, he yelled, he laughed, but ultimately he got clean. I had a rough go of it trying to put on his yellow onesie--in fact I'm pretty sure I smeared his little face with yellow fabric trying to get it over his head, but he made it out alive.

Of course, this led to another round of crying, and since I know he's not hungry (for the bottle at least) and the magic breast of mommy was not coming thru that door anytime soon, I turned to my best friend in these situations: jazz.

So right now as I type, young Nyles is watching me with wideeyes while he listens to Miles Davis play "Four" and all is calm...for now

Thursday, January 12, 2012

This morning at 4:30, my main man Nyles woke up crying out to his parents that he wanted to be fed. His mother started to get up, but I told her to rest, and I got young Nyles out of bed. I changed him, I fed him, he fussed a bit like he wanted more food, but there was no more food readily available (I was too tired to walk to the kitchen) and eventually he calmed down around 5:10-5:15 or so.

From 5:15 until 6am when he finally went back to sleep, young Nyles was alternating between sitting in my lap and laying on my chest,but his eyes were focued on me. He made some faces, he tried to grab my lips and nose, and occasionally he would widen his eyes in a creepy, I-am-possessed-by-the-Poltergeist kind of way, but mostly he just looked at me. I don't believe in baby talk, so I talked to him the way I talk to all adults. I asked him if he wanted to see the Washington Wizards highlights that were on tv behind him, I asked him how that diaper was fitting him, and of course I asked him if the feeding session had been to his liking. He didn't answer, but he didn't cry, so I'd say Daddy is winning right about now.

My wife is with him all day long, and when I come home most of the time he's sleep, sleepy or saddled with a bad case of the crankys. This morning he was perfect, and that private time is making the fact that I got less than 3 hours of sleep, a distant memory. Ok that's a lie, I'm mad at that sh*t even as I'm typing, but I'm happy Nyles and I got to have a productive, one-on-one conversation

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

So I'm at work doing my thing, and the extended version of Michael Jackson's Billie Jean comes on the ipod. Since I am knee deep in work, I hear it, I acknowledge the greatness of the song for 6784th time, and then I keep working. But..no matter how many times I hear this song, there are two moments that make me want to do the follow things (in order I might add):

1)Shake my hand (with or without a glove)
2)Scrunch up my face
3)Bite my bottom lip
4)Kick my leg up

The first moment comes at the 2:49-2:50 mark. The split second between when he says, "be careful what you do" and "don't go around", you can hear him grunt a bit and THAT is when you follow instructions 1-4. The second moment comes between 5:43 and 5:44, right after he says, "you know you can't!"

So without further ado, here's an example of what the shake, scrunch, bite and kick should look like: http://splicd.com/Q29BzMev58k/57/60

And then here's the extended version of the song:

Monday, January 09, 2012

Nyles on video, part deux.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

It is about 5:45am on a Thursday morning, and usually this is the time that I would be preparing for my morning swim. Instead, I am sitting here wide awake after having fed Nyles and put him back to bed. Right now he's over there smiling in his sleep, and I am cleaning his spit up off of my stomach and sweatpants--fair exchange right? I slept about two and a half hours last night, and I really want to go back to sleep, but if the pattern of the past two days is any indication, he'll be awake in about 20 minutes asking for the rest of his bottle. The night before last, I got about 90 minutes of sleep, and overall, I haven't gotten more than 3 hours since he came home the day after Christmas.

I remember the bouts of insomnia I'd have before Nyles came. Usually I would sit awake for long stretches of time, drag my ass out of my bed the next morning, and eagerly look forward to going to bed early the next night, so I could make up for lost sleep. But with young Nyles in the mix, there is no such thing as making it up the next night. You know how most athletes will tell you they are never really healthy, they just learn to manage the pain? Well my wife and I are managing our fatigue levels with varying degrees of success.

For example, last night while I was writing about the Wizards game, Nyles fell asleep in the car seat. I wanted to leave his ass there all night because he was knocked out, but the wife insisted on moving him to his bed. I tried to argue for the car seat, but she shot me down, I moved him to the bed, and then for the next two hours he was awake, crying and doing what babies do. I was mad at my wife, but I was too tired to be mad the way I really wanted to be, and she was too mad to return the anger, and eventually all three of us were knocked out sleep. This is our life right now.. Nyles, sleep, work for me, staying home watching him for her, and then repeat..and you know what? We are STILL having fun..even without my dear mother-in-law who left yesterday after two weeks.

Shout out to young Nyles who waited until the night before my mother-in-law was supposed to leave before he decided to pee on her.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

You know I'm f**king you tonight right?