Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The laptop I am currently blogging on was purchased in March of 2007, and I took the time with this entry right here, to write and celebrate about that glorious occasion. Two months after that, my laptop was the only possession of mine to survive a fire that ravaged my apartment. I decided to use the survival of my laptop as motivation, and I kicked off my writing career, by writing about basketball games for Hoops Addict, and eventually landing at ESPN True Hoop, via Truth About It, where I currently write (I haven't written jack shit in a month though).

Even when the basketball writing career kicked off, I somehow managed to keep blogging and writing, and the end of July will mark eight years of me writing about my life in some shape, form or fashion. I've attempted to kill this blog many times, and yet here it is. Unfortunately, this laptop will not last much longer.

To say my laptop is moving slow these days is an understatement of epic proportions. Some nights, when I'm trying to write, my screen will freeze for 20-30 minutes at a time, making it damn near impossible to establish any type of writing rhythm. Other nights, my itunes will freeze mid-update, the porn i'm trying to watch will stop way before the money shot(s), and I want to throw my laptop through the window like Mookie protesting Radio Raheem's death. I have a netbook, but that's tiny, and my wife bought me that for game days only, not full-time use. But even the netbook is a tad outdated in terms of what I can do, so a real life-sized laptop is needed, instead of this seven-year old Dell I've been rolling with all this time.

My new laptop should be arriving later this week, which means I then have to begin the task of transferring music, pictures, files and porn to the new machine. Eventually I will scrub the old laptop of any residual incriminating evidence, and bid it adieu. It has served me well the last several years, and it survived that devastating fire, but it is time to let that shit go, and start anew. I won't I put the final period on this blog entry, I shall do just that.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lots has happened in my world and beyond, since my ambitious desire to blog every day this month fell woefully short after six days. The first and most important event which went down was the downfall of the Miami Heat at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Not only did I revel in the pain that LeBron James and his teammates must have felt (I'm not a fan of anyone on that team except for Shane Battier), but my 16-year old son was right here in my living room with me when it all went down. He's a big Heat fan, and I was tickled pink as he writhed on the couch in frustration as the Spurs methodically took apart King James and his much ballyhooed cohorts.

Speaking of my son Carlton, he is in Arizona until August, at which point, I will fly across the country solo, and then he and I will drive from Arizona to Hampton, VA. I got the idea from the late, great Ralph Wiley, who died 10 years ago. Ralph drove from Maryland to California with this then-22 year old son Cole, who had an internship with Johnnie Cochran (lots of name dropping going on here). Cole and Ralph had always been close but driving cross-country just brought them closer. Ralph got back from his trip on a Thursday, and died on a Sunday, which means that drive was the last memory father and son had together. Now I certainly don't plan on kicking the bucket before, during or after this drive, but I definitely want to spend some quality cross-country drive time with my son, as he prepares to enter his senior year of high school. Circumstances have prevented us from spending every day together, but I feel like this will be a good exercise in truly getting to know one another on a much more personal level. I could be wrong, but it is certainly a gamble worth taking.

And last and certainly not least, my doctor of nearly 20 years, Dr. Charles Franklin, died a couple weeks ago of an unnamed illness. I knew he was sick, because when I had my brain cancer scare last year, I called his office to get a referral, and they mentioned he ha abruptly retired due to health issues. Still, it does a little something to you when the man whose job it is keep you up and running, just dies at the relatively young age of 68. He was a good man who was devoted to preventing trips to the doctor, rather than just being reactionary like most doctors are. He will be missed.

Friday, June 06, 2014

A Tale of Two Injuries

I won't pile on LeBron James and the leg cramp which prematurely ended his night on Thursday against the Spurs. I have gotten calf cramps before, and it is no joke. But I will post two videos. One is Kobe limping off the court under his own power after a torn Achilles, and the other is James being carried off due to a cramp. You form your own opinion(s):

Thursday, June 05, 2014

If you can find time in your busy schedule to actually pull away from my blog, please go read Janelle's new blog which can be found here. Much like me, life has gotten the best of her over the past year or so, so she's been on an extended hiatus, but now she's back to dazzle you with her prose.

Also, while you're in the mood to learn new things, please listen to my wife and her friend Antonella, as they wax poetic about "The Bachelorette". I'm not really a fan of the show, and I often make fun of her for liking such an asinine show, but she likes to watch it, and more importantly she likes to poke fun at it via her podcast, so click here.

So after years of shunning the joys that technology can bring, my father, who now lives in balmy Arizona, has finally caught up to the rest of civilization. He has an iPad with a keyboard, an iPhone and a kindle (something i refuse to sellout and buy, out of loyalty to the endangered species we call books). The upside to his decision to be current is that he can now talk to me an his grandson via Skype, which narrows the cross country distance between us. I can also send him interesting links to articles, and he can now click on them, as opposed to faking it. The downside? The NPR app.

My father loves the NPR app 100 times more than the rest of the apps on his phone and iPad, and how do I know this you may ask? Each and every article he reads, he sends to me my gmail as a recommended article I should read. Some of the articles I truly care about like D'Angelo's interview with Nelson George or Kelis' new cd . It isn't so much that I don't care about the others he sends to me about jazz, books, African-American culture and American history, because I definitely appreciated the depths of his knowledge (I wrote that sentence in case he stumbles on this blog), but the number of articles he sends to me on a daily basis is overwhelming. Sometimes he sends 10 articles in an hour like some sort of machine.

This past Sunday I called my dad via Skype so he could talk to young Nyles and me, and he seemed disinterested and distracted, so I cut the conversation short. Not even two minutes after we got off the phone, he peppered my gmail inbox with 5 NPR-recommended articles for me to read. In fairness to my dad, he just texted me (its 9:02pm and the Heat/Spurs game is getting ready to start) and asked me whether I was rooting for the Spurs or Heat, and I said the Spurs. He's still cool, he's just out-of-control. There are worse problems to have involving a parent, so let me stop complaining, and go watch this basketball.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

I went back to work today, and it kicked my ass, so I don't have a whole lot to say today. This article is funny though, so read it if you get a chance.

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Doing It At The Park

Nyles' fever finally subsided a bit, but it was still too soon to take him back to daycare, so we ventured out to the park. When I go to the park on the weekend, there are usually mommies and daddies standing around half-watching their kids, and half-playing around on their cellphones. It is a chaotic scene for the most part, although my wife likes to scour the park looking for a fellow parent to befriend so they can go back and forth about the rigors of parenthood (she's yet to find a friend, except for once when she thought she found a friend, and then realized she had written this woman's number down incorrectly. She's never seen that woman again, although she feverishly looks for this phantom woman every time we re-visit the park. I digress..)

The weekday scene at the park was quite different as you can imagine. There were two fathers (present company excluded) who were either stay-at-home dads or on vacation, but they mainly talked to each other, while carrying their infants in a pouch. There were two mothers sitting on a bench near me talking about the advantages and disadvantages of shaving their pubic hair (totally park-appropriate conversation by the way), and the rest of the 20 women at this park were clearly nannies. If I had to do a Harold Lederman-type breakdown on the racial demographics they would look like this: 50% African, 40% Hispanic, 10% Russian. They all sat in a group talking about various topics (they did NOT discuss pubic hair), and they all managed to keep a watchful on the kids that weren't theirs. It was an amazing display of racial harmony among with the women, and they even watched out for Nyles the few times (ok 100 times) he tried to take toys or balls away from the other children.

On several occasions, I caught the nannies trying to make eye contact with me, so they could engage in b.s. conversation (how old is your son? where does he go to school? When's his birthday? Is that a cyst on the back of his head? Do you live around here?), and I did a masterful job at evading each and every one of their advances. My wife and I are a team..she does the talking, I do the mean mugging from afar, and any attempts at switching the roles will fall flat. I suppose I should have stepped up and sat in the chatty chair for once, but I opted to stick with the mean mugging, while peppering in some fake discipline of Nyles when all my other tactics to run away failed. It was quite an operation I had going.

Thankfully, Nyles seems to be healthy, so he can go back to school tomorrow. Me on the other hand? I've been feeling like I have to vomit for 4 hours now, so I may be home alone.

Monday, June 02, 2014

Put It In Your Mouth...Hand and Feet

My son's daycare informed my wife and I that some kid in his class contracted a virus, which is called the, "Hand, Mouth and Foot Virus". This explains why my son has been clingy, vomiting and dealing with a fever that has hovered around 102 degrees. I had to stay home with him today, and he ran me ragged. In a span of 90 minutes, he wanted to color, watch Finding Nemo and Toy Story, go outside (that wasn't happening with a fever) and most importantly eat yogurt (which I cleverly laced with medicine to bring down the fever). When nap time rolled around, both of us were worn out, which is great, but when he woke up we had to go to the dreaded doctor's office.

I don't know if you people have noticed this, but doctor's offices have become increasingly impersonal and much less mom-and-pop-ish. I made a walk-in appointment earlier in the day, but by the time I got to the office it was 3pm, and the office was empty. Nyles begrudgingly allowed the nurse to weigh him and take his temperature and then we proceeded to wait for another 30 fucking minutes before the doctor came in to see us. I don't like waiting for the doctor when it is just me, but imagine how difficult it is to entertain a sick two-year old who had already been poked and prodded in the triage area. I brought up Nemo and Super Grover on my phone, and not even that was enough to distract him.

When the doctor finally came in, she did more poking and prodding and determined that Nyles did not yet have the Hand, Foot and Mouth virus, but we were to monitor him closely, which means I am home tomorrow again. Lucky me. It is tough to see a sick, two year old who vacillates between bouncing off the walls when the meds kick in to hugging me tight like he's being paid to do so. But I suppose this is part of what makes being on Daddy duty so damn fun right?

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Back Again For the __th Time

So right now, my son Nyles is finally napping after putting my wife and I through a special kind of Sunday morning hell. Nyles seems to think that the best and most efficient way to eat food--today it was pancakes--is to stuff each and every piece of food in his mouth at one time. We attempted to mitigate this behavior by taking his plate away from him, and he proceeded to throw temper tantrums and make life difficult. I say all that to say that I am worn out and ideally, I should be napping, but instead I have elected to write some thoughts down.

Since the Wizards' season ended a couple weeks ago, I have steeped in an anti-writing malaise of sorts. I come up with great ideas, I map them out, and then when it comes time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), something happens and I come up with any and every reason to NOT to do what I should be doing. Like right now for example, I should be writing something on Andre Miller, but instead I have chosen to watch the French Open, while listening to Bobby McFerrin and of course, drafting this here blog.

As a result of this chaotic, disjointed time in my life, I have decided to restore some order, and blog every day this month. I've also decided to both run and/or swim every day this month (starting tomorrow, today I have a touch of the stomach flu that has grounded me as you can imagine). I'm hoping this month-long exercise in discipline will someone ignite that passion that has been missing for a minute. I refuse to believe it is gone, I just think it needs to be resuscitated, and I hope I'm well on my way to making that happen.

Other issues:

1) The New Roots album/cd/tape/record, ...And Then You Shoot Your Cousin, is awesome. The first time I listened to it, I had no idea what to expect, and I decided that I hated it. There were no clear cut singles, Black Thought seemed to be an accessory instead of the front man, and it seemed a bit too dark for my taste. Then after I let it sit a couple of days, I noticed 4 or 5 songs were stuck in my head, and then I played the entire thing front to back several times, and now my appreciation for the release has grown. This album/cd/tape/record is best appreciated when it is listened to front to back--which only takes 34 minutes. Go buy it.

2) I wrote a long-ass blog about Donald Sterling last month while I was on the train, and then I lost it, and I haven't had the heart to rewrite it. To make a long story short, he's an asshole, he should have been gone, but there are plenty of people in the sports world who knew about Sterling's track recor and didn't make it their business to promote it as much as they promoted their own agenda or their articles. That doesn't make them as bad as Donald Sterling, but it does take the sting out of the outrage they've ratcheted up recently. Sterling should be gone, but we in the sports writing field cannot have tunnel vision when it comes to writing about stories. Sports personalities come in many different shapes and sizes and it is our duty to paint the full picture, not just the easy or palatable ones. There were a few writers who tried to warn everyone about Sterling, but it never produced the groundswell of Sterling-must-go rhetoric that we see now. End of rant.

3) If any of the 3 people who read this blog want to get me an early father's day gift, please get me one of two things: a) World Cup tickets or b)Tickets to this Dave Chappelle/Roots show. Thanks in advance.