Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Between the ages of 11 and 14, my son Carlton had some serious struggles with maintaining any semblance of academic excellence. He could get good grades on a test here, a quiz there, but ultimately, his report cards would have all Cs and Ds on them. I tried various forms of motivation, but none of them worked. But of course my son is now at that age, when material things--more importantly having the money to purchase them--are the one of the most important aspects of his life. So when I found this out, I was able to coax academic excellence out of his lazy ass, by promising sums of money. In fairness to Carlton, I think he's also motivated by the fact that his friends have begun talking about college and he does not want to get left behind. Anyway, he's gotten all As and Bs for two consecutive semester (the second semester of 9th grade and the first semester of 10th), and as a result I initally offered him cash, and then he explained that he wanted Jordans (Concord 11s to be exact).

Now when I was under 18, my dad refused to pay that much money for shoes, and to this day I have never owned a pair of Jordans. Even when I was working and could afford a pair, I just found it difficult to justify that kind of money for shoes I will wear on Friday and Saturday only. Dress shoes are worth spending $100-$300 for, because I will get plenty of mileage out of them. I'm not crazy about Carlton getting Jordans with the little bit of money he earned last semester, and I did my best to tell him how asinine it was to make that purchase, but he stood his ground. He'll learn his lesson the hard way. Before we got off the phone, I told him to send me the shoe he wanted, and the size he wore via email. This is how the email exchange went down:

Carlton: Concord 11

Me: Carlton I have no problem getting you the shoe, because as I said before, you earned this money. But I asked for the name of the shoe and the size. The least you could do is put them both in a complete sentence, instead of you sending me two words, because I don't know if the shoe is called Concord 11, or if it's just called Concord and your size is 11, so please clarify for me.

Carlton: Concord 11 size 10

Me: That's still not a sentence, stop being lazy.

Carlton: The shoes are called the concord 11, and I wear a size 10.

Me: Thank you, I'll order them today

For some reason I feel the need to call my dad and apologize for all the headaches I caused as a teenager.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Here is a quote from Questlove, on why he feels it is important to teach. He's currently teaching a music course at NYU. I dig the quote, and it is why both my sons needed to understand the importance of all types of music:

You’re hoarding all this information, but have you taught someone that this is important?” The mistake we made is that the potent magic of the music I listened to when I was growing up would just somehow transcend mankind through the ages, like throwing a stone in a lake and watching it ripple. Now I realize that we’re the ripple. My goal is simply to teach 24 students how to enjoy music. There’s a wealth of knowledge and information on the internet and a lot of it is overwhelming and there’s too much to process. I just want to point out and say, ‘Hey, try door 36. Try door 513, that’s kind of cool’ then have them decide for themselves.

Friday, February 22, 2013

First off, check out this article regarding the latest and greatest trade by my beloved Washington Wizards. I know you've been waiting with anxiously.

Second, here is young Nyles:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

As part of ESPN's massive media push to celebrate the 50th birthday of Michael Jordan, a beautifully-written piece was posted on their website. I won't spoil it by giving out specifics, but it basically showed MJ at his best, worst and most candid. Wright Thompson, who wrote the piece, was granted an unprecedented amount of access to all aspects of MJ's life, and I have no problem admitting that I was/am supremely jealous.

But after reading that piece, and reading about MJ's reluctance to the aging process, my thoughts went to my father. He's going to be 63 soon, and he's told me about how frustrating it is to know there are things he can no longer do. He's also explained to me how scary it is to know that he's closer to death than he ever was--not that he's sick or anything, but the air of invincibility that people(particularly men) have in their 20, 30s and even 40s is all but gone. I mean damn, I'm 38, and I can no longer play ball with the same kind of ferocity I used to play, and I've had two head colds knock me on my ass and keep me from work. I'm not ready to imagine my 50s and 60s. I know I want to live that long and beyond, but I don't know if I'm ready for my powers to be lessened (assuming I don't dabble in HGH or deer antler spray of course).

In a related note, I've decided to run a 5K race in June. I don't workout as much as I used to, so this will serve as a great motivator. That's all for now..I'm trying to write while I'm in bed, and it isn't working out. But speaking of aging, here is an aging, but effective Big Daddy Kane with some new music:

Monday, February 11, 2013

So today is my last day at my current job. Starting tomorrow. I will be relocating from the suburbs of Virginia, back to downtown DC. I will be closer to daycare, closer to my wife, closer to the Verizon Center (where the Wizards play), and most importantly, closer to my house. The job will be more challenging, and my boss definitely seems tough, but fair, but I'm used to that. But that's not why I'm writing this email.

The job I'm leaving today, requires me to supervise 30-40 people, which means all of them have to say goodbye to me in some shape, form or fashion. I have been at this job since June of 2012, and I have varying degrees of closeness with my staff. I am cool with some, stay at arm's length from others, and the rest fall somewhere in the middle. Still, right now it is 3:38, and three members of my staff have left already, and it is hilarious to watch try to say goodbye.

One woman just kind of looked at me and said "bye", not knowing whether to hug me or shake my hand, so she did neither. One dude didn't know whether to shake my hand in the traditional sense or to give me the handshake/half hug combo, so we ended up playing rock-paper-scissors. One woman clumsily came up to me and gave me the churchiest of church hugs known to man--and we still have 30 or more awkward confrontations to go. I want to just sneak out the door to avoid this madness, but these people have treated me to lunches, cards, and a bottle of wine over the past couple of days, since learning of my departure. If I were to just walk out, that would be uncivilized right?

By the way, since I started this blog, another lady just got real close to me to say goodbye. No hug, no handshake, just an invasion of personal space. This is awesome.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

The wife looked at me about 10 minutes ago, and told me she missed my blog, which is exactly what I've been thinking for a couple of weeks now. I definitely don't have items to report on a daily basis, but there still times, when something is on my mind, and I'd like to put it down--the words of course. So, for the fourth time after ending it, I am back on the blog scene again. We'll see how this goes, although I am not sure anyone is reading anymore.