Thursday, July 31, 2008

20 Things You Might Not Have Known About Me (Or Cared To Know)

This was me... a future blogger!
(And yes, they had color pictures when I was a baby-lol.)

Okay, I know this is purely a fluff piece and every blogger and his mama has done one like this... but hey, it's a slow news night so, here goes.

1. I was born on the Monday after Easter of the year I was born.

2. At age 14, I was already 6ft tall and towered over both of my parents.

3. I love libraries and book stores.

4. Because of my early love of reading and because I read everything, I'm a walking encyclopedia of facts that nobody else cares about. I was dubbed the "King of Trivia" by one of my college roommates.

5. I once sold women's shoes... the pay wasn't great but, it was a nice way to make small talk and meet girls. (I met several during this time.)

6. I once worked as a pool cleaner (for the Department of Recreation, City of Philadelphia-lol). This was another nice way to meet women. Me and a friend would close the pool to clean it and fill it back up... and then, let the neighborhood girls back in late at night to swim. We weren't supposed to do that but, we never got caught. We probably ruined it for some teenager with the same summer job.

7. The first president that I was old enough to vote for was Jimmy Carter in 1976 (I didn't vote though, I was away in college).

8. The first time I actually voted was in 1980. (Jimmy Carter was running for president again but this time, he lost to Ronald Reagan).

9. I came very close to pledging Omega Psi Phi and then one night, I saw the Kappas stepping with canes. I was mesmerized so, I changed my mind and changed my life forever.

10. I practically lived with a Delta yet, had my heart broken by two AKA's (at different times... not the same semester).

11. After college, I considered joining the Navy, then enlisted in the Air Force instead.

12. I actually met the future "Mrs. Keith" in a video store.

13. I got married on the lawn of my parents home in New Jersey in 1989.

14. I am allergic to seafood but, would really love to try it. People look like they really enjoy it so much.

15. I love to cook (I'm actually pretty good at it, if I do say so myself).

16. (This should have been number one.) I got baptized and gave my life to the Lord in 1991.

17. I have been in only one fist fight since the 8th grade. (Some unfortunate guy called me the "N" word in 1984 and I hit him with a piece of plywood! I was 26 and hot tempered... what did I know?)

18. I didn't particularly like jocks yet, I lettered in two sports... track (in high school and college) and Soccer (in college). Yeah, I was the odd black guy on the team!

19. I can sing.

20. I'm a (closet) hopeless romantic.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Can't Live Without My Cell Phone

Most of my friends text. They have Blackberrys, iPhones, and they probably are candidates for carpal tonal syndrome in their thumbs from texting so much. They're on the bus texting, the subway texting, sitting next to me in my car texting, at the bar texting and laughing to themselves. They used to text me but, since I never text back, they stopped.

Me, I talk on my cell phone... not a lot and certainly not as much as some people but, enough. Which brings me to my real topic… brain tumors and cell phones! I was watching Larry King earlier tonight and they had a panel of "experts" on talking about a possible link between cell phone usage and brain tumors.

This is a prime example of the kind of foolishness that gets passed for "news" on a slow news day. They have been talking about this for 7 years now and no study has really said that there is conclusive evidence that there is a link.

One expert said that when this study was initially started, they were talking about analog cell phones, which nobody uses anymore. He said that practically all cell phones on the market now are digital and give off a burst of radiation too low to concern anyone. (I was concerned that any radiation at all might be near my head.)

A doctor remarked that brain tumors have been around long before cell phones and that they, more than likely, will be around when something new comes along. (Wow, I'll bet he sat at the head of HIS class!)

Some woman from one of those "red states" that elected George W. Bush called in and asked if, the fact that she lives near a cell tower puts her in any danger of getting a brain tumor. I wanted to say, "Yeah, it puts you in danger of letting the Martians know how stupid you are."

Larry King asked if there was any documented cases of someone developing a brain tumor from cell phone usage. The doctor said, "There is no more proof that using a cell phone causes brain tumors than there is that not using one causes them."

At that point, I had enough of the foolishness. I turned the TV off and came in my study to write this post. Uh... oh, I gotta go... my cell phone is ringing!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Real Relief


Today, the Bush administration approved a mortgage relief package. From what I'm hearing, it will allow homeowners who can't pay their present mortgages to refinance at a lower rate and use a FHA type of government loan to back them. This is great but, my question is... "What took them so long to do this? What... they didn't think of it until now?" The solution was there all along.

A lot of the right wing types like to say that people such as I, who happen to swing a little too leisurely toward the liberal end of the pendulum, want the government to control people's lives. Nothing could be further from the truth. What I do want is for the government, in situations in which it is called for (such as the present mortgage crisis), to be able to step in and alleviate the problem, as it did.

Here you have a national emergency.... people are losing their homes around the country and you have other people who have the gaul to say, "Let them handle it themselves!" When a sizeable amount of your population loses their homes, cars, and jobs... guess what they're not doing? Spending any money. Why? They don't have any. This causes a ripple effect. Then, somebody else loses their job because sales are slumping and that person loses their home, car, etc. Do you see where I'm going with this?

When the government steps in and helps a number of people to stay afloat, they in turn help the economy and thus, the entire nation in general. Simple isn't it? We also have a number of people who don't have health insurance? The right wing's solution is simply for people to stay healthy. Taken plainly, that sounds great but, real life is a little more complex. For example, does "Just Say No!" solve the drug problem?

The government can't solve every problem and shouldn't get involved in everything but, for the problems it can solve, I wish that the politicians were a little quicker and sincere in doing so. This is better than say, waiting until the last minute (the eve of a big election) to do something.

Keith's Favorite Quotes

I heard something today that is so real, so truthful,
that I just had to stand up and applaud...

"Don't make someone a priority
who only makes you an option."

Enough said!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Obama World Tour (Some Random Thoughts)

Obama Speech in Berlin, Germany
Thursday, July 24, 2008

Last week, Barack Obama toured Iraq and Afghanistan. He made a triumphant stop in Berlin and gave a speech before a huge crowd that makes one think of Dr. Martin Luther King's triumphant, "I Have A Dream" speech in Washington, DC. (Of course, I can only talk about the picture of that speech since I was only 4 or 5 years old when it actually happened.) The photo of Obama addressing all of those cheering German people should certainly have a lasting effect on anyone that witnessed it. Next, he went on to Israel and finished off with a customary stop in the U.K.

Obama has been gone for a week and while he was away, the McCain people have been criticizing him left and right. I have to laugh when I hear it but, they had the nerve to say that he has "abandoned America." This is a clear case of just saying something because it is expected of you. You don't really have anything to say but, if you don't say something, you become irrelevant.

Actually, Obama was trying to do what his critics, both Hillary Clinton and John McCain, have been bashing him with from day one and that is, get some experience in foreign policy. Well, you can only get experience if you go out and meet these foreign leaders, talk with them, hear their veiwpoints, and acclimate yourself with the current foreign policy of the day.

What foreign policy experience did the current president have when he took office? If we are to judge the way he's handled things so far, would anyone in their right mind say that he had a lot of experience? Under the current administration, the U.S. has managed to insult and lose the alliances of several NATO countries who had been our allies for years. Come on folks, lets be for real... none of those important countries want to talk to the U.S. right now. They are praying for a change in government, just like most of us.

I was still in the U.S. Air Force Reserves at the beginning of this decade and when I would go abroad to Europe, I would sit in the public houses and bistros and talk to the common people on the street. Contrary to what Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and others tell you, they don't hate the American people... they hate American policy as it stands now. The average citizen won't know this unless they bother to travel abroad to see and hear for themselves.

When I heard that Obama was going abroad, I welcomed it. Now, those people got the chance to see him, hear him and, most importantly, get to know him. Of course, I am guilty of doing what he has also been accused of this week... putting him in the White House before he gets there. After all, he is not the president yet.

Now, let me ask all of you something. Do you really think these world leaders want to talk to John McCain? (Nothing against the man personally, because unlike the present president, I do believe he has read a book or two and knows the difference between a Sunni and a Shiite Muslim.) It's not so much McCain but, what he represents... which is more of the same.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Clean Up Man (A Love Story)


I wrote about my friend N. in a previous post called Down Low, Dirty Shame. She was once engaged to a guy who also had a penchant for an occasional romp with a young man. Well, she ultimately married another guy who is very nice and, apparently, makes her very happy. It's been two years of marriage for them so far and every time I see her, she is just glowing.

A couple of my co-workers and I stopped off at a new restaurant after work yesterday and I saw N. and her husband, (I'll call him) L., sitting out on the deck at a table with another one of my friends. I went over to join them, sat down, and ordered. We started talking about relationships and N. was telling the other woman sitting there that she had seen me and my wife riding the bus and the EL (elevated trains) to work together for years and was so inspired by us (a fact I didn't know). She said that she remembered when our daughter was little and she observed all of us during the years that she was growing up... all the while, hoping that she could find that kind of relationship.

So, I asked her, "How did you know that L. was the guy for you?" He laughed and covered his face and I knew that this was going to be an interesting story. N. said, "Well, he was over my house... he had only known me for about a month... I got sick and vomited all over my sheets, the floor, and everything." I recoiled in horror. N. continued... "This guy got a mop and bucket, ran some hot water, got some Pine Soil, and mopped the floor. He cleaned up everything. Then, he took my sheets and pillow cases and put them in the washing machine. After that, he took off my clothes..." I stopped her right there and said, "Should I be hearing this?" N. laughed and said, "Oh, shut up... I was hardly in any condition for what you're thinking. After he washed the sheets and pillow cases, he washed my clothes and ironed them while I was sleeping. I knew right then and there that this was the man for me!"

All I could say was, "Wow!" I didn't expect a story like that but, I have to admit... I can see why she would feel this way. Most people (including yours truly) run when somebody mentions throwing up... and, cleaning up my own has never been my favorite pastime. But, this guy not only cleaned it up, he cleaned the bed sheets and her clothes. L. still had his head down, shyly laughing. I shook his hand and said, "My hat is off to ya bruh...you're a good man. I don't know if I could've done it." He said, "I wish she would stop telling that story. I've done better things... I mean more romantic and appealing things than that stuff." I looked at N., winked, and said "Maybe so, but it's the down and dirty things that let you know whether or not you've got a soldier." N. just nodded her head in agreement.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Modern Day Minstrel Show


(Of course, I could have blogged about the documentary, "Black in America"... it was very good and I hope that everyone got a chance to tune in and watch it. But, I'm sure that everybody and his or her mother will blog about it so, I'd like to do a post about something else. Come on, indulge me...)

Robert Downey, Jr. is starring in a new movie called "Tropic Thunder", in which he is going to play the role of a black man. I've seen the previews and while it looks funny, I have to wonder to myself why white people in Hollywood have always found white actors appearing in blackface so humorous.

As a child, I often remember watching movies on UHF (Remember that term? If you can't, I don't want to hear about it!) that were made in the 1930's and 40's. I especially liked the gangster movies with James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart. If I had been an alien from some other planet and watched my fill of these movies, I would've thought that black people either didn't exist in America until 1960 or that the few that were here were only meant to be servants or comic relief to white people.

When I heard my parents, aunts, and uncles talk about the rich full lives they lead back then, it used to make me wonder why none of this was ever portrayed on the screen. I don't have to ask that question now... I know the answer. I don't have to tell you either... you know the answer. So, it used to puzzle me that when I did see someone black in a movie, they were usually a porter, butler, or maid. And, if it was a man, he was usually "jigging" and afraid of his own shadow.

I remember that one movie in particular had a huge impression on me. It was a horror movie and the old black character, Stepin' Fetchit, was in it. He was a porter on a train and there was a black female zombie in one scene with him. He asked her where she was from and she replied, "When I was alive, I lived in New York." He laughed, then his eyes grew so wide that they practically stretched out of his head, and he said, "WHEN YOU WAS ALIVE? LAWD HAVE MERCY!" After that, he ran at top speed through the cars of the train and the white people yukked it up.

When I was in the Air Force Reserves, they showed us the movie "Gone With The Wind" and when Butterfly McQueen said, "AH DON KNOW NOTHIN' 'BOUT BIRFIN NO BABIES!"... again, the white people yukked it up. I felt like going through the floor. My point here is that they did a good enough job using real black people and making them act like fools. Why should they put on blackface and denigrate us even further?

The once popular radio show "Amos & Andy" (and, I know this aired before many of you were born... me too but, my parents told me about it) was actually two white actors pretending to be black. I understand it was a big hit in the 1930's and 40's. Then, it became a television show in the 50's in which actual blacks were used to further perpetuate these stereotypes. (We had a family friend who had videotapes of this show and insisted on showing them at every family gathering. When his house caught on fire, the first thing me and my brother wondered was, if those tapes burned up with the rest of his house!)

All of this brings me back to "Tropic Thunder". Here we are in this day and age when all of this coonery and buffoonery is supposedly a thing of the past and there are still people with the gall to put a white actor in blackface and have him pretending to be black! Did we learn nothing from Spike Lee's brilliant (but, under appreciated) movie, "Bamboozled"? I've seen "The Jazz Singer" with Al Jolson, "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby, and "Babes on Broadway" with Mickey Rooney (Hey, I was a weird kid, what can I say!)... and the coonery and blackface did not amuse me.

I also read about "minstrel shows" and they amused me even less. I didn't even like The Wayons Brothers in "White Chicks", in which they flipped the script. I thought they looked freakish and ghoulish. I haven't seen "Tropic Thunder" yet but, the critics are lauding Robert Downey, Jr.'s "courageous" performance. Courageous? For who? Necessary? I think not! Will it be amusing? I'll have to let you know after I actually see it.

Maybe I'm just drinking a big bottle of "Haterade"... I don't know. You tell me. But, in the words of The Field Negro... "the jigging must stop" and the minstrel shows must end!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Pancake Flip!


This past Saturday, I took my grandson to the International House of Pancakes. It's kind of a tradition with me. I took his mother there on many-a-Saturday when she was a little girl. When I met my wife, that was one of the first places we went to eat breakfast. And, even before they were in my life, me and my best friend would meet and eat breakfast there on Saturdays (we still do to this day, just not as often).

The IHOP that we usually go to was built and opened the year after I was born and is located in the section of Philadelphia that I call home. It is now managed by Arabs and most of the cooks and waitresses are African-American, West African, and Jamaican. It's located near the city limits so, it services a lot of white customers who are just coming into the city. It's just my spot.

Some of my friends have often kidded me about still going to the "hood IHOP", as they call it. They have mentioned that there are several in the nearby suburbs of Philly that are bigger, cleaner, and have better service. What they really mean is... they are managed and worked by white people. I don't know what is worse sometimes... black middle class self-hatred or black middle-class vanity. You see, the prices are also a little higher out in the 'burbs too.

So, I decided to patronize one of these suburban establishments with my little man in tow. It was a beautiful establishment, very clean, modern (it was wifi accessible), and a lot of young whites and blacks had their laptops hooked up and were chatting and texting while waiting for their pancakes. I think I'm as hip as the next guy... maybe I'm not. But, when I'm ready to get my grub on, I don't need to call anybody, text anybody, or even write a blog post. All that can wait until I'm finished eating. I am not impressed by a wifi accessible IHOP.

The manager was indeed white but, all of the guys in the kitchen flipping pancakes, frying eggs, making hash browns were… (drumroll please) … African-American. The waiters and waitresses were a mixture of both black and white with an equal number of males and females. We sat down and a pretty, young black waitress got me a high chair, crayons, and a paper with nice pictures for coloring to keep my grandson occupied. Then the trouble started.

My waiter was a brother who looked like R&B singer Babyface used to look back in the 80's, when he had his curly 'fro. He had on a crisp, neatly creased white shirt and tight black khaki pants. He was just a tad effeminate but, I couldn't care less... I just wanted to eat. He asked, "Can ah take your order?" I ordered a short stack of pancakes, hash browns, sausage, coffee, orange juice, and an apple juice for the little man.

About 30 minutes went by and nothing. Meanwhile, I see my waiter chatting and laughing with all of the girls who come in, complimenting them on their hair ("Girl, you is fierce!") and their clothes. He finally comes up to me and asks again, "Can ah take your order?" I was incredulous. I said, "I gave you my order a half hour ago!" He snapped and said, "I would have remembered if you had given me your order... I do this for a living, you know." I said, "Whatever, man." And, I gave him my order again.

Another 30 minutes went by and he's still laughing and talking. He brings me the pancakes and the sausage. No orange juice, no coffee (But, he did bring the cup!), no apple juice, no utensils, and no napkins. Ten minutes go by... nothing. Finally, I stopped him and told him that our food is getting cold. He brings syrup. I then ask him, "What are we supposed to eat with?" By this time, my grandson has gotten bored with the crayons and coloring and has syrup all over him. I ask for some napkins and he gives me one... one napkin! At this point, I think that this is a gag and that Ashton Kutcher is going to come out of the bathroom and say, "You just got punked!" But, there was no Ashton... no MTV crew... and I'm beyond furious.

I grabbed my little man and I asked for the bill. The waiter has the nerve to tell me where to put the tip on the bill. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, "I'm not giving you a tip... your service was horrible!" A white man who witnessed the whole thing smiled and just shook his head. The brothers in the kitchen started laughing. My waiter then said, "Hmmmph, well I'd appreciate it if you would not come in this establishment anymore." One of the sisters (waitress) said to him, "You can't say that to a customer!" He got mad and said, "Well, I don't have to take this... I've had a very rough morning and I won't let him steal my JOY!" Then, he stormed off. The brothers in the kitchen were roaring at this point.

Now, I confess... had it been someone else, I would've been on the floor laughing but, it was me and it definitely was not funny. I called the manager, told him what happened, and said, "I'm not paying for this kind of service!" He said he understood and he gave me a store credit towards another meal. Guess where I'll be using it? In my good old "hood IHOP", where I feel at home and where I get good service... even if it's not wifi accessible!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Secret Lives Of Journalists


If I mention ex-Atlanta Falcon's quarterback, Michael Vick, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? The fact that he is currently serving a two-year sentence for financing a dog fighting ring? If I mention, recently re-instated football player and new Dallas Cowboy, Adam "Pacman" Jones, what do you think? Night clubs... somebody yelling, "Let it Rainnnnn" and someone (allegedly him) throwing a lot of money at some strippers, which caused a melee that ended with a security guard being severely injured. I could mention Mike Tyson, Allen Iverson, and Floyd Mayweather and many of you, including those who aren't sports fans, can conjure up some scandal that these men have been involved in outside of their profession.

To be fair, let me name some white people... Britney Spears (I don't have to say anymore than that), Lindsey Lohan (ditto), Paris Hilton (super ditto), and Kiefer Sutherland (a short stint in stir for drinking and driving, etc.) Here's where I'm going with this... all of these people have been maligned in the media for their shortcomings and bad behavior. All of us (including yours truly) have watched them being maligned... we laughed, shook our hands, and said, "What were they thinking?" and felt pretty good about our lives because, after all, "I didn't do what THEY did."

Nancy Grace and that crazy woman with the glasses who agrees with every position Nancy has and barks out a rhyme to back her up every night has made a career out of prosecuting people every night on her CNN television show. And don't let someone mistakenly leave a child unattended in a car or something like that and they are crucified on the air. (Nancy just had twins.)

Did you know when she was a prosecutor, the Supreme Court of Georgia has twice commented on Grace's conduct as a prosecutor? In a 1994 heroin trafficking case, Bell vs. State, the court declared a mistrial saying that Grace had "exceeded the wide latitude of closing arguments by drawing comparisons to unrelated murder and rape cases." In 1997 The court was more severe... they overturned the murder-arson conviction of a businessman PRIMARILY because of Grace's court actions, citing "in-appropriate and illegal conduct in the course of the trial." But, nobody is on the air moralizing about that, are they?

In the world of sports... let's look at HBO boxing analyst, Jim Lampley. He is a constant critic of Boxer Floyd Mayweather's out of the ring behavior. Particularly, Mr. Mayweather's penchant for strip clubs. Jim Lampley has been caught in the same Vegas strip clubs himself and last year, he received three years probation for violating a restraining order brought on by an ex-girlfriend who accused him of "domestic abuse".

My point being that we, the public, never hear about journalists who misbehave. These journalists get on the air and pontificate, moralize, and nail athletes and entertainers to the cross for their bad behavior, while their own bad behavior hardly ever makes the air.
Now you know I had to save the best for last, don't you? My favorite TV personality... the one I love to hate... Bill O'Reilly. He has been revealed to be nothing more than a bad tempered, sexist bully. He was sued by a woman last year for making some pretty salacious remarks to her over the phone. He used his clout to not only bury the story but, to try and intimidate her into dropping the suit. At this point, I don't know if the young lady is continuing with the suit or not.

We hold our athletes and entertainers up to ridiculous standards that most of us can't live up to ourselves and, I'm just saying, maybe we should hold the people who report on them up to the same standards. Can you imagine how different and less mean spirited the reporting would be, if we did.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NIGGA PLEASE!!!


The "N" word has reared it's ugly head once again. I believe it was two times last week. First, you have poor Rev. Jesse Jackson caught with a "hot" microphone again and by whom? The Fox network saying the "N" word... Poor Jessie....What would make you think that they would ever turn your mic off in the Fox studio? (They probably had it on from the time you got there.) considering the juicy tidbits they got from you last week, the Obama thing, and now this... it probably was good business, from their point of view, to keep it on!

Then, as you all know by now, the ladies on "The View"... Whoopi Goldberg and Sherri Shepherd were discussing the issue and had to explain to Elizabeth Hasselbeck that we do not yet live in "One America" and that words have whatever meaning the user gives to them. In other words... in black America, we have taken the sting off of the "N" word and when we say it amongst each other it has a whole different meaning than when, let's say, a tobacco-chewing klansman uses it.

That being said, it doesn't make it right when we use it to each other. It didn't just start with the young people and the hip-hop crowd. Black people have been calling each other "nigger" and now "nigga" as a term of affection since the end of reconstruction. A part of me agrees with Elisabeth Hasselbeck... why would we want to use a term toward each other that brings back so many memories of so much pain.

When I'm on the subway with white people, it embarrasses me to hear our young people calling each other the "n" word and I know it probably perplexes the average white person. Young "wiggers" who want to be down with their black friends have made the mistake of using the "N" word to them and much to their surprise, they discovered a whole new reality. In other words... we can say it to each other but, YOU better not fix your mouth to say it.

A lot of whites scream that it's a double standard (which it is but, so are a lot of things in life) but, I'm also very suspect of those who protest a little too much. It makes me wonder, (1) if they're mad because here is something we can say that they can't say and (2) if maybe, they really want to say it and are pissed off because they can't. This could be a subject for a whole 'nother blog post.

For the record, I stopped using the word myself, about six or seven years ago. It is a racist and degrading term and I can't use it towards my people in an endearing fashion of any kind. That's just me. It would be nice if we could live in one America where "race" wouldn't be a big deal anymore. An America where the words "nigger", "spic", "wop", kike", "fag", "dyke", and even "bitch" would be a distant memory of the past. I know we are not there yet but, I'm doing my part by not saying that word or any word like it that demeans another human being.

The question I have for you is what are you going to do?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Nu Blog 'N Da House


This won't be news to a few of you who have already found it and commented... but, for the past few days, I have been working on the start of a new blog called Escapades. So, I just wanted to do a post (to make it official) for those of you who didn't know about it (and, that's OK because it was still "a work in progress"). Please feel free to stop by and check it out (when you get a minute)... just click on the text link or screenshot above to get there.

A Midsummer Night's Kruise 2008

Norristown (PA) Alumni Chapter Official Website

The Spirit of Philadelphia
Friday, July 18, 2008

Me and my wife set sail around 12:00am with a ship full my Kappa brothers from Norristown and their guests. We didn't go far... anyone who has ever been to Philly knows that "The Spirit..." (as we call it) takes a slow sail (3 hours) on the Delaware River down at Penn's Landing.

The DJ, music, food, and drinks were great. It was a "par-tay" in every sense of the word, done in true Kappa style. But, it's funny... after me and my wife left the dance floor, the best part of the evening for us was (the last 30 minutes of the cruise) going up on the top deck of the ship, relaxing, enjoying the night air (the weather was very kind), and taking in the sites along both riverbanks (Philly and Camden). The music on the top deck was much more mellow but, just as nice.

Here are a few of the photos we took before and during the cruise. I was told that it would be a "white linen" affair so, my wife and I tried to dress accordingly. Of course, that meant we had to eat and drink everything with a little more care than we normally would... but, we managed to make it through the night without incident (just a few near misses) and return home spotless (smile)!



Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blowin' In The Wind (Conclusion)


As expected, Tyrone got wind of the fact that I was seeing "his girl" and he didn't like it too much. He didn't like me but, he couldn't do anything about me. He didn't know me and didn't know who I was associated with but, he had something I didn't have, a hold on this girl.

Apparently, he told her in no uncertain terms that he didn't want me buying anything for his son, didn't want me holding his son, playing with his son, or doing anything with his son. (I had bought her son a stuffed animal and thus, she gave it back to me.) Ask me what his father ever bought for the little boy. Yeah, I'm still trying to figure that out.

It also seemed like Tyrone always knew just when to drop by "to see his son" when he thought that I might be there. After about a month of this, he got to be such a nuisance that I stopped going to her house... I would have her come to my house instead.

I should tell you that, neither my mother nor my brother thought much of her. My mother said, "She's a prissy little thing." My brother used the term he always used for any of my girlfriends... "high maintenance". I couldn't argue with either of them. I was growing more miserable everyday just being with this girl.

When we were together, she was flirting with other guys, right in my face. When she wasn't flirting, she was on the phone (at my house) arguing with her son's father... her "married" son's father who "couldn't get away to see her right now", as he put it.

After summer break, I went back to college to start my junior year, feeling like my little romance had been a disaster. In fact, I left for school early... I just wanted to "boogie oogie oogie" as far away from Philly as I could get.

I never called that girl again... never tried to date her again... but, I did keep up with her movements from time to time. She got pregnant again about two years later. Who was the father? You guessed it... Tyrone. Needless to say, his wife asked him for a divorce… she was no dummy. You would think that now the two of them would be free to be together right? Wrong! Tyrone married yet another girl two years later and had twins with her.

Fast forward to 1989... a good eleven years after these events. I was at City Hall, getting a marriage license and who did I see in the same courthouse getting a divorce? Tyrone. By this time, we were no longer adversaries... just two black men from the neighborhood downtown dealing with "the man" for different reasons. We had a little small talk and I told him that I was getting married. He asked me if it was my first time and I said, "Yes". He smiled and said, "Good Luck" and we went our separate ways.

In the year 2000, I ran into Tyrone again and he had just gotten married for the third time! Today, his son by my ex-girlfriend is now 30 years old... his other son by her is now 28 years old... his son by his first wife is now 29 years old... his twins by his second wife are now 27 years old. He also has three more sons by another woman he was living with and they are now teenagers. And, by the way, Tyrone is still seeing my ex-girlfriend off and on. She has never married... I guess she's still waiting for Tyrone to put a ring on her finger.

Epilogue

I will say this to all of my female readers... There is a time in a man's life when there is a window of opportunity for him to be susceptible to the idea of marriage and you have to know when he is feeling you that way. In fact, he'll let you know... you won't have to do anything. He'll be so into you that you won't be able to get rid of him until you do marry him.

Men are hunters by nature. If you have been with a guy for over five years and he has never brought up the subject of marriage, it doesn't mean he doesn't ever want to get married... it means he might not want to marry you.

I never could understand how she could stay with Tyrone, have another child, and yet, watch him marry TWO other women. I figured out that in her case, having A MAN was better than not having any man. I also reasoned that he was in a position where (in a twisted kinda way) he couldn't disappoint her anymore. She didn't have to worry about him having another woman, (he had a wife)... SHE was now his OTHER woman.

When I told her I was getting married in 1989, she was 29 and starting to hear that biological clock start ticking. She and Tyrone began seeing each other again. He was living with a woman then (who he would have three children by) and he went on and married yet another woman in 2000, as I stated above. For him, this was a great arrangement... have your cake and eat it too (and, then some).

The shame of it is, here is a woman who has wasted a good part of her life (didn't finish college and had to raise two children by herself) who might have given the world something great had she not deferred her potential chasing a guy who thought she was good enough to bed but, never good enough to wed.

Life... your life, is too precious and way too short to waste chasing anybody... especially someone with so little regard for you. I knew that about her... it's a shame she didn't know that about Tyrone.

I'm not bitter, even if it appears that I am... that was a long time ago. To answer my question "How long will a woman wait for a man?" I suppose it's as long as she thinks it's necessary but, the true answer to that is blowing in the wind.............................................

This story was told for "Dreamy", because she wanted to know... Zack, because we've all been through it with the women... for "Miz" and "O.G.", because this story will give them a good laugh, if nothing else... and for "All Mi T", because it is about the "Man" in us!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Blowin' In The Wind (Part II)


Well, this girl called me the next day. She asked me if I'd like to come to her house to meet her mother and her son. I said, I'd be delighted. (Okay, I didn't say "delighted"... I said "cool". I was 6'1" tall, 165 pounds, and thought I was hot shyys.) I went to her house and met her mother and little baby boy, who was one year old at the time.

We talked and I gave her mother the same spiel... that I was home from college, working at "The Department of Recreation", and I lived with my mother, father, and brother over on the northwest side of Market Street. Her mother seemed surprised that I came from a two-parent home (?), impressed that I was still in college (?), and had some crazy idea that I had "money"(?).

I had what you call a "Kansas City knot" in my pocket... that's a twenty dollar bill on one end, 60 one dollar bills in the middle, and another twenty dollar bill on the other end. I carried it in a money clip and it gave the appearance that I was what you'd now call a "big baller... shot caller". I laugh about it now... I thought I had so much game. It was all a mirage, as Smokey Robinson would say. (I know you younguns, "Zack", "Dreamy", maybe even "O.G.", and certainly Shanita, don't know nothin' about "Smokey".)

We began dating that summer... we went to movies, a baseball game, Atlantic City, and a couple of clubs. (We were both under age but, a little thing like that never stopped me). I began to notice things that I didn't like about her right away. For one thing, she was very flirtatious. Everywhere we went, she would be winking or giving some guy the eye... enough to make him think he could come over and try to "beat my time".

I wasn't her man, not officially, and there wasn't too much I could say. All I ever did was pout and I think she actually liked that somehow. Guys would be slipping her their phone number while I was paying the bill at one of many places we would be eating and, all the while, I was powerless because more than anything, I didn't want to "lose" her. She was fine and I was kind of the envy of my friends because I had her on my arm but, it soon became apparent that I didn't really have her... she had me!

Then, of course, there was Tyrone.

To be continued...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Blowin' In The Wind (Part I)


How long will a woman wait for one man? That is a question I pondered yesterday when I happened to run into a young lady that I was once quite smitten with... we met when I was barely 20 years old.

I was home from college and I kept seeing this girl in tight jeans and a rather loose-fitting halter top riding around in these new cars. I saw her early in the morning in a car, later on in the afternoon in another car, and then again that night in a hooptie (which I later learned was her car). Later on that same night, I went to a block party. The music was flowing... "Let's dance, let's dance to the drummers beat...", "I said hotel... motel... Holiday Inn....", "These are the breaks...", and so on. The smell of barbecue was in the air and people were dancing all over the streets. The aroma of fresh "killer" (marijuana) was everywhere and guys had their "forties" in paper bags. Then, I noticed the same girl in the cars sitting by herself so, I sat next to her and started a conversation. I talked about some non-sense and got her to laugh and then, I introduced myself and got her name. I offered to get her a plate of food and some Kool-Aid (unfortunately, it wasn't my Mom's Kool-Aid) and then, we sat and talked some more.

I told her that I was home from college for the summer and that I was working for the Department of Recreation up in North Philly. Of course, I made it sound more important than it really was... what I was actually doing was cleaning the swimming pool in the local playground. My check was from the Department of Recreation so, I guess I wasn't exactly lying... I just left the specifics of what I actually did out of the conversation and since we were in West Philly, there was no chance of her or anybody she knew actually running into me. I also had another job... scooping ice cream at a parlor in University City on the weekends for a few hours. I didn't bother to mention that job at all. She had been in college too but, had dropped out because she got pregnant and had a baby. She was working for a temp agency in town and did secretarial work at a lot of interesting places... the electric company, the gas company, (the Department of Recreation), etc.

We were together until well after midnight... we laughed, talked, ate, and we even danced together a few times. I asked for her phone number and she wrote it down for me on a piece of paper (this was before cell phones and text messaging). I gave her my phone number and walked her to her car. I couldn't help but notice that it didn't look half as new or as good as the first two cars I had seen her in previously so, I asked her about the cars. She said, "Oh, those aren't my cars. They're (I'll call him) Tyrone's... he works at the auto repair place on 59th Street and he lets me drive them once he finishes the work on them and before the owners come to pick them up." (I made a mental note that if and when I ever got a car, never to take it to Tyrone's shop.) I asked, "Is Tyrone your man?" She looked at the ground and said, "Well, not exactly. We have an understanding. He's my son's father but, we 'kinda' are together but, we aren't." I asked her what she meant by that and she said, "You see, Tyrone is married."

She and Tyrone started seeing each other in high school. He would drive up to her college and stay with her on the weekends in the dorms. Then, all of a sudden, he stopped coming. She didn't see him for about a year and, during that time, she had his son. Tyrone was busy too... busy marrying someone else! Tyrone ran into her again after she dropped out of college and told her that, although he was now married with a child on the way, he felt as though he may have made a mistake and that she was his one true love. "You believed that?", I asked. She looked at me and said, "I don't know what to believe. I see him sometimes and then, sometimes I don't see him for months. I can't say that he's my man but, then again, we do have a connection."

Now, here is one of those times when I should have just said, "Okay, it was nice meeting you and bounced. But o-h-h no, not me... I said, "I'd like to meet your little boy and then maybe, if you
wouldn't mind, I'd like to see you again... maybe even take you out." This would prove to be a BIG mistake!

To be continued...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

"Red" Kool-Aid & Other Randomness

Okay, this is a totally crazy post and further proof that sometimes, I'll write even when I don't really have anything to talk about. After a slew of controversial subjects, I like to lighten things up a bit. (One more reason why I'll never make the top ten bloggers list...I'm all over the map!)

Well, I'm just sitting here on the computer with the window open, catching a cool breeze, and sipping on "Red" Kool-Aid... laid back, with my mind on why I don't have much money and much money on my mind-lol.

Since I'm sipping on "Red" Kool-Aid and was previously listening to The Roots new CD, "Rising Down", I started thinking about a time when I was much younger and when my mother would make us a big pitcher of "Red" Kool-Aid (it was really Cherry or Fruit Punch but, you know, being black, we simply called it "Red").

My mother always did something magical with the Kool-Aid. She would add a can of pineapple juice to it and then some ginger ale. I kid you not... and, it was a great treat to have after you had been outside playing all day and part of the night. There was no Kool-Aid like hers... any of my friends who happened to be over my house and was fortunate enough to have her special brand of Kool-Aid can attest to that. There was nothing like it. She continued to make it up until last year, when she got sick.

For some reason, I could never make it the way she did, even though I knew the ingredients. I would have a tall glass by my side when I was typing on my old IBM Selectric II typewriter (Remember those? And, if you can't, I don't want to know about it!) and listening to Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, Rick James... and P-Funk.

Some things never change... others unfortunately do. Today, I might be grooving to The Roots, Usher, Tank, Jaheim, and Chrisette Michelle. The difference is, now they are not coming from a record player or a boom box cassette... they're coming from a CD player or they are playing right from the computer. The computer has now replaced my old typewriter. But, that "Red" Kool-Aid is right by my side, just as it was was back then. That much hasn't changed.

*********************************

I am blog surfing tonight... making comments on other blogs... reading my comments on my last two posts... and desperately looking for a topic to blog about or should I say "rage" about. We all blogged about the "Obama-Osama" cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker ad nauseum.

I wanted desperately to just chill this evening... I didn't want to write about anything too heavy and I sure haven't! I thought I had a writer's block, started to panic, and there it was... sitting right in front of me... my topic for this post... "Red" freakin' Kool-Aid.

Bloggers, don't try this at home... you'll destroy your credibility (like I just did).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fear & Loathing In The New Yorker

I was not going to comment on this but, you know me... I can't help myself. Late yesterday, a friend of mine made me aware of the controversial New Yorker magazine cover that depicts Michelle Obama dressed like a Black Panther and Barack Obama dressed like Osama Bin Laden! I am guessing that this is satire!

The cover is the actualization of what the folks at "Hitler's TV Station", aka Fox News, have been not so subtlety implying all along... that Michelle Obama is an "angry black radical" and her husband, Barack Obama is a Muslim. (And, to borrow a line from Jerry Seinfeld, "Not that anything is wrong with that!")

The idea here is a "code" for those whites who may be on the fence, to be afraid of the Obamas. Back away... they may seem like nice people but, they're really militant terrorists with ties to Al Queda. As silly as that sounds, if played right, you can convince part of the non-reading public that it's true. Hitler's chief of propaganda, Joseph Paul Goebbels, once said that if you tell a lie long enough and often enough, it becomes the truth.

There is a percentage of the American public that really believes that Barack Obama is in fact a Muslim, even though he has said a number of times that he isn't. (If he was, would that be a reason not to elect him as president? I keep asking that question.) The talking heads on Fox News go on and on about Michelle Obama being a "closet black militant". To a number of Americans, this isn't too far from the truth. Trite as it all is, this is enough to cost Obama the election.

The American media is guilty of fear mongering... not just in the case of this year's presidential election but, in everything they put out there. They peddle fear... just watch ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, and even (I'm sorry to say), CNN. It's all fear for sale. In order to get you to believe something, buy something, and vote the way it has been deemed you should vote, they play on your fears and insecurities. Advertisers have been doing it for years and reaping big windfall profits. Why wouldn't politicians and the press not do the same?

Look, most Americans don't read past the first paragraph, don't really watch the news past a sound bite, and definitely won't buy a book! We are just not that deep. We are busy watching Entertainment Tonight, reality shows, and dealing with indigestion, bloating, erectile dysfunction, and a myriad of other more IMPORTANT things than to be worried about our future.

We complain about how high gas is, being unable to pay our mortgages, not having health care and the like... but, we don't really demand that our leaders do anything or vote them out of office when they don't do anything. When somebody does ask these questions, they get drowned out by somebody telling us about patriotism, gay marriage, and lapels with flags on them. We worry about whether somebody is too old or too inexperienced or what kind of dress their wife wore last week instead of asking that man about his ideas, ideals, solutions, etc.

So, this cover may mean nothing to a lot of you yet, scare the hell out of some of you and in the aftermath of this, truth and decency will lie bleeding in the street. I, for one, am outraged but, not for the reasons that would seem most obvious. It's just that this type of thing has become the norm. America is supposed to be the bastion of democracy but, at times it seems to be the bastion of hypocrisy. To the Iraqis, who are having their first elections and trying to learn how to be a democratic state, is this really a good example of how the process works? It's certainly how it works here!

In closing let me be perfectly clear on this... I read the New Yorker occasionally and I know that this was done in jest. They were making fun of people who think this way. I am not at all equating the New Yorker with Fox News... there's a big, big difference. I'm not even upset about the cover. What bothers me is how easy it is to convince some people that what the cartoon depicts is real.

Monday, July 14, 2008

I AM, THEREFORE, I BLOG!!!

From "blog surfing", I have discovered that there is a service that actually rates blogs and one that rates black blogs. I have read the writings of different bloggers lamenting that they didn't crack the top twenty-five, the top ten, or what have you. I myself am not worried about cracking anything. I'm pretty sure that I am way under the radar, considering this is such a new blog (it's only seven months old).

What makes me sad is that, in America and western society in general, everything is built on competition and eventually, profit. People fail to understand that when those two elements get in the mix, all of the fun, beauty, and creativity of anything goes flying out of the window.

I have always taken a pencil or a pen and put my thoughts down on paper. I have done this for as long as I can remember. This is something I just do, without thinking of profit. I do it because writing is therapy for me... it's relaxing and it's fun. I do plan to be published one day but, whether I am or not has nothing to do with whether I will continue to write. I will always do that.

When my wife came to me with the idea of doing a blog myself, I was hesitant at first but, after actually seeing a few blogs, I decided to give it a go and gradually we created something that I can say I'm proud of. I will admit that in the past few months, I have become a shameless "comment whore", to borrow a term from my sister blogger, "O.G."... but, like her, I have "found Jesus" and I have my head on straight now. I know what's really important.

I have looked at a lot of blogs and I must admit that I have my favorites which continue to inspire me (most of them are listed and linked on this blog, if you scroll down the sidebar). There's the raw, naked, and passionate honesty of "Chicago Zack"; the creativity and brilliance of "Mizrepresent"; the jazzy fluid writings of "O.G.-The Original Glamazon"; and the usually on-point political commentary of "The Field Negro" and "Hodari P.T. Brown". These are blogs that keep me on my toes and constantly inspire me to step up my game (which I haven't done yet... I got a long way to go before I get to their level but, half the fun is aspiring and trying to get there).

I would hate to find myself in any kind of competition with them for blog of the year or what have you. Rating blogs to me is as silly as rating a "My Space" page or an email address. I want to continue to have fun, to write on my own terms, and not be bound to any formal criteria or standards that are not my own. So, while I want to be "popular" and read, I don't care if I ever crack the top twenty-five or top ten of any formal blog rating system. If I can express myself, inform, and perhaps make someone smile after reading one of my posts, then I have done what I set out to do when I started this blog.

I'd also like to take this time to shout out some of my new blog friends:

"Dreamy", "Keisha 'Kitten' Isaacs", "EB, the Celeb" (a true renaissance woman), Zack Kirk, my little sis "Shanita Waters", and Torrance "The Raw Dawg Buffalo" Stephens.

May we continue to be original and creative voices of the new blogosphere!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Discoveries


My daughter and grandson went on their first vacation together this past week and returned yesterday evening. They traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC (as did other members of my wider family)... so, my grandson had a chance to experience his first road trip, his first stay in a hotel (w/a pool) for 4 days + nights, the ocean, the beach, sand between his toes, tanned skin, and being away from his Pop-Pop and Grammy for the first time since he was born. We really missed "The Booga Wooga" and from what I hear, he may have had his moments when he missed us too. Well, I guess "there's no place like home", is it Boogs (wink, wink, smile)? These are some of the photos my daughter took while they were there.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Lovers Rock


I don't know if I'm going to make this a recurring post but, I like the concept. Because it's Friday, the beginning of the weekend, and I'm in a rather good mood, I'm going to present this challenge and tag some of my blog buddies.

Name seven songs (past or present) that remind you of your significant other. Here are mine...

1. "Nothing Even Matters" by Lauryn Hill & D'Angelo

2. "Sent From Heaven" by Keyshia Coles (I don't know if this was on my other list/post, but I'm really digging this song.)

3. "Never" by Jaheim

4. "No Air" by Jordan Sparks & Chris Brown

5. "Umbrella" by Rhianna (My wife hates this song but, it's got that Jay-Z stamp of approval and I love the sentiment that she's my shelter from the storm.)

6. "You're All I need To Get By" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (An old school classic... I know it's before some of you folk's time but, if you get the chance, check it out. This is love-making music.)

7. "So Amazing" by Luther Vandross (No list of songs is complete without a "Luther" song... Come on now!)

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hot Microphones


It's a funny thing about microphones in television studios... you never know when they're on or when they're off. You may have finished your interview or maybe your interview is scheduled for an hour from your arrival... you just don't know. The thing is, these microphones always happen to be on just when you're saying something that you would rather not have anybody else hear. Has anyone other than me ever noticed that?

Here's a funny story (seems like now of days, I always have one)... When I was a teenager I worked at Burger King. We had a shift manager who was F-I-N-E and all of the guys wanted to work on her shift. She would just laugh at all of the adulation. There was a PA system in her office and if she needed someone to clean up a spill or refill the milk shake machine, she would just get on the PA system and make her needs known. Well, she accidentally left the PA system on one night when she was in the office with her boyfriend (he had a deep voice, like Barry White). She said, "It's bigger than a cheesesteak... oh my God!" Then he says, "That's right baby, it's bigger than a cheesesteak and it's all for you...heh, heh, heh. " Everybody in the store heard that part of the conversation. People were laughing, clapping, and just carrying on when she came out of her office and when her man walked out of the office. We all began chanting, "Oh, look, it's CHEESESTEAK... hahahahahahahahahaha!" She realized she had left the mike on and tried to backtrack... "Oh, no... no... we were talking about a sandwich... get your mind out of the gutter!" And, of course, nobody believed her story.

Yesterday, Rev. Jesse Jackson had one of those moments... he was caught on a hot mike and on video whispering to another brother, "Obama is talking down to black people... I feel like cutting his nuts off!" The other brother had the good sense to stay stone faced and not respond. He probably realized that they were in a FOX studio. I can hear him now, "Jesse done lost his damn mind. Does he know where we is? Shoot, I ain't 'bout to be called out by The Field Negro... he's on his own. I ain't sayin' a thang... I ain't even gonna smile. Lawd, Jesse must be goin' senile!"

Today, Jesse is all over CNN apologizing for what he said. That's the thing about those "hot" mics... you never know when they're on and they always catch you saying something that you really mean but, would rather not have a whole lot of people hearing you say.

My message to Rev. Jackson... The next time you have something like that to say, make sure you are outside in the open and with a close friend who you know is not wearing a mic. I learned that much from watching "The Wire".

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

"Black In America"


Soledad O'Brien of CNN has been on black radio a lot lately. She's been on The Steve Harvey Morning Show, The Michael Baisden Show, and Tom Joyner. The reason why is because she is promoting CNN's upcoming two night documentary, "BLACK IN AMERICA." I intend to be glued to the television set on July 23rd & 24th.

As excited as I am about watching it, I hope that white America will also watch this special. I have been talking this up amongst some of the whites that I work with. They need to know... they need to see our stories... and hear our point of view. They need to know that everything they know about black America isn't necessarily found on "The Wire" and "Oz" or some goofy sitcom.

I know about being "Black in America"... I've been "Black in America" my whole life.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Down Low, Dirty Shame


I was listening to Amy Winehouse's current CD and blog surfing a few weeks ago. (It was one of the few times when I was actually in the house by myself.) I felt my cell phone vibrate and wondered, who could this be? I looked at my screen, smiled, and thought... wow, another country heard from. I hadn't talked to this person in years... not since we stopped working at the same place. I'll call her N. It turned out that N. was calling to tell me that it was the first anniversary of her marriage. Marriage? First Anniversary? I wasn't aware she had gotten married. I remember that she was engaged to a guy, I'll call him Crawford (for want of a better name), for three of the total seven years that they were together.

Did you ever meet somebody that you just know must have something wrong with them because they seem too perfect? Well, that was Crawford. First, Crawford was about seven years N.'s junior yet, he had what you ladies call "swagger"... he had swagger goin' to bed. He carried himself like he was older, which is why N. was so enamored with him. He even appeared to be somewhat flirtatious with the other ladies in the office. N. would often complain that Crawford would vanish for days at a time. She'd try his cell phone and it was off... send him a text and it wouldn't be returned. Now, conventional wisdom told me that he was seeing another woman but, I knew better than to say that around N.

Well, N. and Crawford eventually got engaged and all of that came to an end. A year passed, another year passed, and another year passed. Finally, I asked N., "When are you two getting married?" She said, "I don't know. I keep asking Crawford and he keeps beating around the bush." Again, I thought... another woman... a jump off. Well, I couldn't have been more wrong.

Crawford took N. out to dinner about three nights later and said that he was ready to get married. N. was relieved and told everyone at work that a date was set. Then, Crawford dropped the bomb. (You know where this is headed don't you?) Crawford informed her that, although he intended to marry her, she must understand that... "I occasionally prefer the company of a young man." N. told me that she thought, "something in nature had failed... like the sun had fallen out of the sky." This explained Crawford's disappearances. He insisted, however, that he was not gay. After all, he had been sleeping with N. for seven years. He said that he just liked to "experiment with young men from time to time." Da Nile is more than just a river in Egypt!

Needless to say, N. dropped Crawford like a bad habit and now, two years after that, she's telling me she's been married for a year! I asked, "It's not Crawford is it?" She said no and that she wanted all of us to meet him. So, we all dropped by our hangout after work at the end of the week to see just WHO was the mystery man. He was no Crawford... but, like Crawford, he was a few years younger than N. He wore a baseball cap, a baseball jersey, and a nice pair of jeans. He seemed like a nice guy, had a pretty good job, and held his own with the guys. He was also more respectful of her than Crawford had been... no flirting with her girlfriends behind her back. (Kinda made me wonder if all of that had been an act.)

N. seems very, very happy now that she's finally married and I wish her the best. As for Crawford? I've seen him in town a few times and he has another girlfriend. I wonder if she knows about his secret life? I wonder if even Crawford understands his secret life?

"I told you... that I was trouble... ya know, that I'm no good." - Amy Winehouse

Monday, July 7, 2008

What Did You Say?


I was channel surfing last night and I see that "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" is back on the air. Didn't he use the "N" word in a tape recorded conversation in which he was chiding his son for dating an African-American woman? He sure did and can't deny it. And, he didn't say it once... he said it several times in the conversation. He said "I'm not going to let you and these ___________ destroy everything I've worked for", among other things.

America was "shocked and appalled. In fact, America leads the world in being "shocked and appalled when it comes to racism. A&E TV immediately pulled the show off of its schedule. I couldn't even find it on ON DEMAND. They expressed their "outrage" at this language and said that what he said was not the position of the station. That was last year. Now that things have quieted down and several other people (Don Imus comes to mind) have put their foot in their mouths, the network has quietly put Dog back on the air.

I didn't want to bring Don Imus back up because I have already done a post on him and given him more publicity than he deserves... but, wasn't it also last year when he made his "nappy headed hos" statement, which also shocked and appalled America and got him tossed off the air too. Now a year later, he quietly got a new contract and is also back on the air. He's even been involved in yet another controversy and is STILL on the air! Now, it's my turn to be shocked and appalled.

I truly do believe in freedom of speech and I'll even defend these idiots' right to say things that are considered to be a defamation of my race under the guise of freedom of speech. I will go as far as to say that I wouldn't have fired either one of them for what they said. It's protected by their right to free speech. I just wouldn't patronize them or their sponsors... that's my right
too.

I never watched "Dog, The Bounty Hunter" before he said the "N" word and I doubt that I will watch him now that he's back on the air. I do, however, have a few buddies who watched him and then, stopped watching him once he said the "N" word. Now that he's back on the air, I'm sure that enough time has gone by and they will resume watching him.

Here is the rub... Dog and Imus were not tossed off the air because their networks or radio stations were outraged at their perceived racism and small mindedness. They were tossed off the air because to continue to keep them on the air would be a loss of revenue (i.e. sponsors).

The networks and the radio stations don't really care about black people. They care enough not to want to piss us off in the short run but, they know about our limited attention spans. They know that we watch a lot of television... probably more than the average white consumer and that, while we may be mad at Dog or Imus for a minute, we are still going to buy that product... and, if they placate us for a year or however they can slap those guys on the wrists and say, "Watch your mouth next time", they can put them right back on the air and all is forgiven and forgotten.

For all the cry and hue about Don Imus and his "nappy headed hos" comment, nobody said a word when he quietly came back on the air in April. Nobody said a word when comedian D.L. Hughley agreed with what he said and even called the girls "ugly" on Jay Leno (The Tonight Show) and on conservative talk show host, Glenn Beck's TV show. See, they know all about us. They know we don't really have each other's back and, if we don't care, they damn sure don't care.

Actually, they really just wanted to placate Al Sharpton... keep him from making too much of a fuss. So, let me pose a question to all of my black brothers and sisters out there who might think I'm making too much out of nothing. If you think I'm full of it, ask yourself this... When do you think America will "forgive" O.J. Simpson? Do you think he'll ever do another Avis commercial? When will America ever forgive Michael Vick? When he gets out of jail, do you think he'll get another starting quarterback job? Do you think he'll do commercials for anything? (And hell, all he offended was dogs). Now, let's go beyond black people... Mel Gibson made slanderous remarks about Jews two years ago. Tell me, how many movies have you seen him in since? I'm just asking... really I am. Yet these two men, Dog and Imus can slander our sisters, call us NIGGER (let's stop with this "N" word crap), and still have a second chance. I just want you to think about that...

I'm not watching Dog and I'm not listening to Imus. I never did but, if I had watched them and they said that crap, I wouldn't watch or listen, just out of solidarity. How many of you out there feel the same?

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Sleepless Night


It's 2:09 am on Sunday morning... Am I nuts? I can't sleep and I can't believe that I am up writing at this time of night. Does anybody else out there do this? D'Angelo's "Untitled... How does it feel?" is playing on a distant radio across the driveway. (Whatever happened to that brother anyway? I was so sure that he was the second coming of Marvin Gaye at one time.) My posts are usually topical and organized but, lately I've been experimenting with a more "free form stream of consciousness" type of style. (It's driving my editor and significant other crazy... lol!)

I thought I would have a lot more to write, considering it's quiet and it's night time but, right now... right this minute... I just don't. I'm just alone... alone with my thoughts... about my mother, and how everytime I go to a family gathering where she would have been present, how very empty it seems for me now. I'm thinking about whether I need to buy some new clothes to wear to a Kappa boat ride I've been invited to in two weeks.

But, most of all, I'm thinking about how a nice hot cup of coffee and a donut would set my night off right. Fine, right about now? I could grab my keys, throw on my pants, and drive to the 24 hour Dunkin Donuts... which would be totally crazy and out of character for me... which is all the more reason why I should do it. I really need to go back to bed... I sound crazy right about now.

Tell me... Is there anyone else out there in the blogosphere that ever gets like this? I would welcome any and all comments. As for me? I'm outta here! I'm going to get that coffee and donut. It won't help me sleep but, it'll make me feel better. And, to those of you who can and are sleeping right now, I envy you.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Death Of Senator "No"


I just got word that Jesse Helms has died. He was one of the most racist and devisive individuals American politics has ever created. To quote The Field Negro..."If there is a hell below, I hope it's enough fire down there for him to burn crosses to his heart's content."

With Jesse Helms and Strom Thurmond gone, the stench of the old south has hopefully gone with them. I'm going to stop short of saying that it's a new day in America... One never knows, does one? But, it can be one... it can be one... and, there is one less person to say "No" to progressive change now.

Goodbye Senator "No" and good riddance!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Independence Day

Annual Family Gathering on July 4th

I observed the holiday by participating in a tradition that I have taken part in as far back as I can remember... I spent the day with my larger family at our annual July 4th picnic in the park. My daughter took this photo of me and my grandson trading smiles in the park.



Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Promise Of A New Day


"I have lived a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of this truth, that GOD governs in the affairs of men. If a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it possible that an empire can rise without His aid?" - Benjamin Franklin

In these days of bankrupted futures, seemingly unending wars, skyrocketing gas prices, foreclosures as a way of life, and no possible reason to greet the coming sunrise of a new day with anything more than dread, I would ask that each one of you out there, stop, take a deep breath, and remember who is running this thing we call life. Remember who is still yet, in control and stop worrying.

Nothing stays the same too long... not good times and certainly, not bad times either. Dare to believe and to hope for a brighter future.

Peace and love to everyone in my ever growing blogosphere and enjoy this holiday weekend!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Only In Philadelphia


You know you're in Philadelphia when . . .

1. You can run out of gas at a fast-food drive-in.

2. Cameras are put up at high-risk accident intersections but, kids and adults can stand in the middle of residential highways and collect money for sports, sell water, roses and no one notices.

3. You can buy a "Philly blunt" at gas stations, newsstands, etc., even if you're under 18.

4. A crack addict will come up to you to sell something he already stole from you.

5. Sometimes the best "throws" at a Phillies game are when the fans are tossing visiting-team home-run balls back out on the field.

6. You can get a cable bill sent to you for next month while you're standing in line to pay your current bill.

7. A mayor will invite you to sit down with him at City Hall to watch "The Wire." Many guys who showed up probably said to themselves: So, that's how it's done. Why watch it when you can just drive around the city, Mr. Mayor?

8. A major-league pitcher can enter anger management for problems with his wife, get a raise, tell his team he doesn't want to be a starter, and still be here.

9. An unaccomplished basketball player who happens to have the same initials as a superstar (who Larry Brown drafted and didn't build around) can turn down $57 million when all he does is dunk.

10. An ex-major-league pitcher can become an expert analyst and tell us how home runs are hurting us and you have to get the ball over the plate! Somewhere Joe Carter is still laughing.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Seven Songs I'm Feeling Right Now

I was over at a friend's blog (Mizrepresent) and saw this so, I decided to play along too:

List seven songs that you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good... but, they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring-summer. Feel free to add this to your blog and post these instructions along with your seven songs.

1. "My Love" by Jill Scott

2. "Rock Boys" by Jay-Z

3. "Sent From Heaven" by Keyshia Cole

4. "Work That" by Mary J. Blige

5. "Heartbreaker" by Tank

6. "Moving Mountains" by Usher

7. "Bye-Bye" by Mariah Carey

Who's A Patriot?


One thing that the Bush Administration has done successfully (and, probably the only thing) is to convince the general public that if they question any of their policies (no matter how idiotic they have proved to be), they are UNAMERICAN and UNPATRIOTIC...

If you are against this war that Bush just had to have, you are against the troops and against America.

If you travel to Iraq, as actor Sean Penn did in 2003, simply to see for yourself what is going on, you are unpatriotic.

If you say that you are ashamed of your president's actions... a right guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States... you are a traitor and should be tried for treason. Ask the Dixie Chicks, if you think that I'm exaggerating.

If you happen to be running for president of the United States and also happen to be black with a peculiar kind of name that doesn't sound too American... you must have your patriotism questioned and you have to explain over and over again that you are patriotic.

If you, however, served in Vietnam and got shot down, you get a pass... despite the fact that you might have said that you didn't love America until you became a prisoner of war. Ask John McCain... he actually said that not once, but twice.

If a certain presidential candidate's wife had a slight slip of the tongue by saying that she was "finally proud of her country" for how far it had come... this slip is just cause for her patriotism to be questioned.

GIVE ME A BREAK!!!

I think that allowing the city of New York to be bombed on September 11th, when you were given several warnings from several different sources about certain terroristic activity and afterwards, lying to the entire nation and thrusting it into a war that it can't get out of and has bankrupted the nation's future should be just cause to have your patriotism questioned!

HOW ABOUT THAT???




KEEPING THE FAITH: RANDOM PRAYERS "ON THE DOWNLOAD"
























































"Mommy, can I go to Timmy's blog and play?"



































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Click on image to enlarge for reading



Click on image to enlarge for reading