Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Last night as I watched the Boston Celtics and the Cleveland Cavaliers battle during Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals, I sat on my couch contemplating whether I wanted to go to work today. As an aside, I am finally able to enjoy the Celtics/Cavs series without thinking what a goddamm shame it is that my beloved Washington Wizards were prematurely (at least to me) eliminated from playoff contention. I haven't written a single solitary word since the playoffs ended, which will change shortly. More on that later. I digress.

Anyway, as I sat on my couch I tried to convince myself that I should go to work. I don't have a hell of a whole lot of leave, there is definitely plenty of work to be done, and given that a three day weekend is upon us, taking off on a Wednesday is just plain greedy. On the other hand, there's nothing more enjoyable to me then taking the day off, grabbing my laptop, and heading to my local coffee shop to catch up on sports articles and my writing. If I could get paid to do just that, I'd be a happy young man.

So that was the choice, go to work and be responsible or stay home and be spontaneous. Needless to say, I am blogging to you live and direct from a coffee shop. I"m a slacker.

The primary reason I am taking today off is so I can watch some WNBA games--specifically the Washington Mystics. Starting with Friday's game against the Chicago Sky, I will be covering home games and I am equally excited and nervous.

The last time I attended a WNBA game was back in 2010 when Marion Jones and President Obama were there. That was a fantastic experience but I was a man on a Marion Jones-interview mission that night. By and large, once the Washington Wizards season is over I have no desire to write anything, let alone cover yet another team. But this season, I felt like I was in a decent groove writing-wise on the Wizards finished their season, and I thought that covering the team would be a great way to maintain that momentum.

So in preparation, I am watching the last two Washington Mystics games, reading some background info on the other team (the Chicago Sky), and trying impersonate a journalist on my day off. I'm nervous but I am also excited about stepping out of my comfort zone to try something that will broaden my horizons and strengthen my writing chops...I hope

Thank you for humoring me as I typed that out..

I dedicate this next song to Nyles, who is learning the days of the week:

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Last October I was playing basketball at a playground my son frequents and I jacked up my ring finger. If I'm being honest, I shouldn't have even been playing basketball, because the wife and I were supposed to be watching my son run wild a little bit before bed time. But once I saw that my son was knee deep in his playing duties and my wife had firm control over her monitoring duties, I allowed my mind and body to veer over to the basketball court.

I wanted to play a game, but these dudes preferred to play "21" so I obliged. I shot the ball, saw that it was going to be short and I immediately followed my shot (the way a coach would instruct me to do) and as soon as the ball hit my left ring finger, I felt it bend all the back. I immediately started to pull it out (pause) and although that wasn't helping, the adrenaline kept me going and I ended up winning that particular game of "21". But when I got home, took a shower, ate dinner and drank my red wine, I felt like anything but a winner.

My finger began to swell like nobody's business and I was SO glad I was smart enough to take my ring off before I even began playing ball. I used tape to bond my ring and middle fingers together which I thought would reduce the pain and stabilize the finger while I slept, but it did nothing. I went to the doctor the next day, and x-rays were negative--I just had really bad sprain, which prevented me from wearing my ring.

Fast forward a couple months later, the swelling in my finger had subsided, but the area around the middle of my ring finger was still swollen which mean I could get my wedding halfway on, but not at all the way down. As you can imagine, this caused my Mobley-household approval rating to plummet a great deal. The wife could see my finger was still swollen and intellectually she knew I couldn't get on my ring, but emotionally she felt like I was running around town like a single man...she was joking though...I think. I made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon to see if something was wrong, and then my mother just suggested I buy a bigger ring, which made sense too.

When my wife first bought me a ring before marriage, I asked her to not buy me anything expensive because I don't tend to do well with jewelry. I've lost about 7 watches in my adult life, and I didn't want the pressure of losing an expensive ass ring--so it was nothing for me to purchase a new, larger version of the ring I could no longer wear due to my mutant finger. It fit, I shunned the surgeon, and life was good. As time went by and my finger went down even more, the ring was a little loose, but that only meant I couldn't swim or play ball with it on..which brings me to last week.

Last week I removed my ring before my morning swim and of course I walked out of the gym without it, leaving it on a shelf in a locker. I called later that day and no one found it. I went back to the gym the next morning and no one found it and when I told my wife I had lost the ring that had replaced the one my mutant finger prevented me from wearing, she gave me the evil eye--as you can imagine, my approval rating again plummeted to the sunken place. I was dragging my feet in purchasing yet another ring hoping it would be found, and this morning when I went to the pool, the lifeguard located it. But the way he told me he found it was weird:

Lifeguard: Hey Rashad, how much did you pay for the ring?

Me: Around $100, why?

Lifeguard: One of the cleaning people found it and I saw it in her area, and I asked for it because I knew whose it was, and she told me she'd give it back if I took her to lunch

Me: **blank stare**

Lifeguard: So I gave her $20 for it, so how much are you going to give me?

Me: What?

Lifeguard: You should give me some money..ok just kidding I'll go get it

Me: I'm going to swim first, then I'll come get my ring

I was so damn mad that this mother f**ker was trying to bribe me for my own damn ring, but I didn't want to get sidetracked and go without a workout. I swam for 30 minutes, got out of the pool and asked him for my ring back. He again repeated how much he paid to get it back from the person who found it, and again he asked me how much I wanted to give him. I repeated that I didn't and I asked to give me my ring, and then he asked me was I sure, and at this point I stepped slightly closer to him and asked him to give me my fucking ring. He obliged but acted like it was a chore to hand it over. And as my wife observed, how do the cleaning people have "an area"? What does that even mean?

I wanted to report his ass but I changed my mind because I'm selfish I don't want anything messing with my morning swim. I have known this dude for almost 8 years now. I made him a damn R&B mixtape (an experience I spoke about at length in this here blog), I've helped him with computer issues, and I even helped him with paperwork to get his wife in this country from Morocco. I did all those things free of charge, and so for this dude to have the balls to ask me for money for my ring, because the woman who found it didn't have the smarts to give it to her boss (the head of security) who could have called me, is enough to still piss me off. But again, I"m not going to report him, because chances are if a dude is working as a lifeguard and he's over 40, he needs this job. But I will be talking to his ass tomorrow.

The bottom line to this long ass story? The ring is back on my finger and all is well.