Last 25 Hours

I was in my car for the last 25 hours; I drove, slept, left NYC, arrived in Detroit, left Detroit, returned to NYC with my son.

Here is a random list:

  • “Am I the only one singing and dancing right now?” my son said to me while we were listening to Michael Jackson’s “Bad.” I cannot explain how great that comment was or how much fun we had dancing to MJ during the car ride. It was better than watching “The Dream Team” documentary, which I really liked.
  • Thanks for the texts, which told me not to drive and text…my friends…smh, and phone calls to check on me during my expedition.
  • Number of bugs killed > number of pimples I had as a hormone filled teenager (note: I had hella acne as a teenager).
  • Running over creatures <<<<<<<<<<<<
  • I still feel terrible for that small animal, whose last moment involved being under my front left tire…like seriously, I feel like a horrible human being because of it.
  • Pandora literally saved my life by giving me life when I was tired.
  • Pandora stations played: Waka (had to blast my hood booger music to motivate the first leg), Sade (too much hood booger music led to a strong desire to listen to music with meaning and love), Michael Jackson (my son and I sang, danced, and choreographed…you’re jealous), and finally Machel Montano (needed some lively soca, calypso, and reggae to keep my awake while my son slept mostly through most of Pennslyvania)
  • Nothing welcomes you to NYC like bumper to bumper, 45 minute delaying traffic…thanks New York City
  • Cruise control saved my feet from hurting
  • The United States is a sprawling country…hella trees and open space
  • Ohio has the best radio stations, especially the Toledo area, which was referred to as “Glass area” (Editor’s note: can one of my readers explain what this means because currently I believe Toledo either has hella glass factories and/or there’s “broken glass everywhere…” who knows that lyric?)
  • There is a stretch in the backwoods of Pennslyvania where I was engulfed in serious struggle: no 3G, only Edge, which meant no Pandora…I almost died…literally
  • My son told everyone in the fast food restaurant that he is now a first grader…need to review “stranger danger” tomorrow

That’s Dope and That’s Not

This week, I decided to boogie board on another bloggers’ wave (read: I am copying another bloggers’ style) with That’s Dope and That’s Not. I will highlight what’s dope and not dope over the last week. Enjoy!

That’s Dope

  1. NBA TV’s documentary, “The Dream Team.”
  2. The NBA Finals (Lebron vs. Durant is living up to the high expectations).
  3. French Montana got a summer time club hit on his hand with this one.
  4. Getting a free MacBook for work.
  5. Nas’ listening party.
  6. Euro Cup 2012
Not Dope 
  1. Drake and Chris Brown fight in WIP (update: Drake apparently sent Chris Brown a note stating, ” I am [bedding] the love of your life.”)
  2. The narrator from the documentary, “The Dream Team.”
  3. Christian Laettner as the lone collegiate on The Dream Team (Random fact: Shaq was eligible for the team and not chosen).
  4. Rick Ross’ MMG listening party at a strip club (seems contradictory to type that sentence in this section…it is what it is).
  5. Not hearing Dj Jazzy Jeff and Fresh Prince’s “Summertime” at a summer party.
  6. Having a broken kitchen faucet

When YOLO Goes Wrong

Drake popularized the saying “YOLO” (an acronym for You Only Live Once) with his infectious Bay area influenced smash single, “The Motto” (random fact: YOLO is a popular restaurant in Miami and other cities in the U.S…so that chain restaurant easily won with all the random and frequent publicity).

Since the song and its wildly popular line hit the public’s consciousness, people have done some outrageous acts, screaming “YOLO” as a way to defend their often daredevil-like or risky behavior.

Example:

That’s right; the streaker wrote YOLO on both his chest and his back as he ran around the baseball diamond, chased by security guards, anxious to taser and beat his ass subdue him.

Well last night, YOLO went terribly wrong in a local New York City hot spot. According to sources, Drake and Chris Brown, both upset about the other bedding Rihanna, clashed at WIP, a funky artsy nightclub in the popular SoHo area.While their bodyguards scuffled, Drake, allegedly threw a bottle at Chris Brown that cut the singer’s chin (see above picture…not the randomness in his nose, but the semi-bloodly gash on his chin).

There is so much to discuss about this pillsbury soft, tough act encounter, but here are my top three main points:

  • There is absolutely, positively no reason to fight over a 24 year old woman, who is clearly enacting her personal right to be promiscuous. She’s 24! That’s what 24 year olds should do! When she’s 25-27 and her biological clock starts ticking then she might be ready to think about settling down…until then, let her good girl turned bad self be bad!
  • You don’t see her rumored past lovers (and these are just the ones that are reported): Matt Kemp, Ashton Kutcher, Meek Mill, Darren McFadden, Andrew Bynum, J.R. Smith, and the Hamburgular fighting each other…nope because they understand point number one.
  • I really don’t have a third point, but three reasons sounded better than two. Umm…re-read point one again.

YOLO!

Something Is Not Quite Right With Her

Huddled around the cafeteria table, we discussed our usual range of topics: basketball, movies, and women. In 1998, all three of those topics converged; Rosario Dawson was the standout beauty in He Got Game. Stuck in the middle of puberty, high school, and the social awkwardness it engenders, I spoke highly of Dawson’s beautiful eyes and luscious lips; tragic mulatto personified. I knew she was from Manhattan, so I guessed that her heritage included Latin roots (correct; Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican), never imagining the presence of her Native American and Irish ancestry. While my friends and I raved about her beauty, one friend, the new star basketball player, sat idly eating his sandwich.

“She’s not that dope,” he nonchalantly added to the conversation.

We all paused. Who is this kid, I thought to myself. He has amazing court vision, but he must be blind if he could not see the beautiful aura radiate from her flawless figure and gorgeous face. (Editor’s note: She dated Jay-Z semi-publicly from 2000-2002…yeah 2002 is when he started macking to a young Texan named Beyonce)

“She’s not,” he continued as we tried to convince him, listing numerous standout qualities. He simply shook his head, unconcerned with our arguments and ultimately undeterred. It was his unrelenting bullish quality and confidence in his opinions that would later make us best friends.

“Peep her nose,” he calmly stated. “Her nostrils are missed up. It’s like she has a crooked nose or something. I don’t know, but her nose ruins it for me.”

Silence. Was he serious? A crooked nose? No way.

Unlike today when we could have easily pulled out a smartphone and google image search Rosario Dawson’s nose, this conversation was placed on hold until the following day. We would all go home and connect to AOL or NetZero (it was free…and I used its services) via our family’s slow dial up connection and check Yahoo images to see if he was correct.

He was!

Many years later, my mother shared with me, after I placed a few girlfriends on a pedestal, that I should find something wrong with every girl because no one is perfect. Her logic, which I agree with today, was that once one gets over the illusion of perfection (and the definite disillusion that it causes) one can engage in a relationship more honestly. Preach!

The only problem is that I know notice elongated earlobes, different sized breasts (most women’s breasts are two different sizes so I don’t use this one anymore…word), odd shaped noses, etc. I not only notice them, I actively look for them.

Consequently, after my friend’s revelation, I no longer see Rosario Dawson and all her fine-ness as heavenly. She’s still amazingly pretty, but, now, I notice the nose first.

My Son, His Tooth, and Mind Reading

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I love my son! He is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite person in the world not only because he resembles me or loves me unconditionally because he has a funny sense of humor and a great personality. Here are two quick stories:

Me: I saw the picture with your tooth missing.
Him: You did?
Me: Yeah. Did you put it under the pillow for the tooth fairy?
Him: (no hesitation) Nope.
Me: What? Why not? (startled and confused)
Him: I think I’m going to keep this one. I put it on my dresser. I’ll give the next one to the tooth fairy, but I want to keep one for me.
Me: I love you!

End Scene

Him: What did you say, Daddy?
Me: I didn’t say anything.
Him: Oh, I thought you did.
Me: Nope.
Him: Are you sure?
Me: Yeah, I’m sure.
Him: Well I know what you were going to say?
Me: What? (startled and confused)
Him: (no hesitation) I know what you were going to say?
Me: (exaggerated) No, you didn’t.
Him: (exaggerated) Yes. I. Did. You were going to say, ‘I love you.’
Me: (smiling) You are absolutely correct.
Him: (quickly) I know. I’m a mind reader.
Me: Really? If you’re a minder reader then what I am thinking about right now?
Him: (no hesitation) You’re thinking about me.
Me: (laughing) You are correct again.
Him: I know. You’re always thinking about me.

End Scene

Lessons Learned from Sebastian [Cruel Intentions]

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The other day I bragged about my love for “Coming to America.” This morning, at 6am, I decided to watch a movie to start my day. As always, I was tempted to watch Eddie Murphy as Prince Akeem search for his “Queen to be,” but decided against it. I started to fumble through my dvd collection, bored with some of the possible options. Then I saw “Cruel Intentions” nestled between “Saw” and “House Party” (Don’t judge me…yes, my DVDs are unorganized.)

“Cruel Intentions” is a great dark romantic comedy about Upper East Side high school students, released in 1999 (although I did not see it until its DVD release) with an amazing and beautiful cast, starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillipe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, and the token black guy, who has one of the funniest scenes centered on race and class Sean Patrick Thomas (editor’s note:whatever happened to him…really all of them? Didn’t two of them get married or have babies or something…sorry, I digress.).

While the sun rose, I watched Sebastian, our conflicted protagonist, battle his inner demons, damaging relationships along the way. Eventually, his issues lead to his unfortunate death (editor’s note: not at all pleased that our lovable black character is responsible for his violent death…but that’s just me and the lenses through which I look at things). Here are some observations and thoughts (as always, in no particular order):

-Everyone has personal issues, which are further complicated because we interact with others and their personal issues…just a personal issue orgy.
-Sebastian’s Jaguar XK roadster is beyond dope
-Sexual conquests eventually become boring (Word!)
-Women and friendships = oil and water gross generalization, but I don’t apologize because it is what I observed in the movie
-When faced with love, like Sebastian, many sabotage it consciously or unconsciously because we do not recognize that we deserve to be happy.
-There is only one black man (no black women, no Latinos or Asians) in all of Upper East Side, Manhattan
-Cocaine is a hell of a drug *Dave Chappelle voice*
-Many “hide” addictions, fears, etc. behind religion
-When one tries to turn his/her life around is when the enemy attacks the hardest
-Sebastian is a dope ass name
-Saying “I love you” while dying is possibly the best way to die; I want to die like that…not really, but kinda…ok, too morbid
-Lucy Liu is still gorgeous (she was not in the movie, remember no Asians were…but I saw her in commercial as I was typing this list).

Soccer From a Basketball Perspective

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Soccer is undoubtedly the number one sport in the world; their fans are the epitome of the word “fanatic.” It is a team sport, in which individual skill is important but not necessarily needed for domination. It is also a fairly inexpensive sport to play, which allows for all interested to try; there are stories of kids in poor Brazilian neighborhoods playing soccer with rocks or other poorly made round objects, ranging from socks to rubber bands.

Not only am I basketball coach, but I am also a player (extra points to you if you caught that early 90’s television allusion, eternalized by the late great Notorious BIG in one of his lyrics.) Watching soccer, I see so many similarities with basketball. I am falling in love with this sport with each tournament I watch.

Below are some observations:

-spacing is important; finding the open space leads to scoring opportunities
-flopping is universal
-fast breaks are exciting, especially when players are slashing to the ball; quick decisions (reactions) facilitate the intensity
-defense is essential; the goal keeper often is the most athletic player, stretching, diving, jumping to defend the goal
-since most games are relatively low scoring, many games often end in a 0-0 tie, scoring opportunities make all in attendance (or watching on the television, as I am) anxious and excited
-soccer fans are crazy passionate about their team, their country
-their footwork is beyond impressive; the way they handle the ball with their feet (and sometimes head) bewilders and amazes
-they attack the middle of the various zones and then stretch to the sides, only to return to the middle, which is exactly the way to beat any zone
-referees make terrible calls universally; one cannot blame them because they are human and make mistakes, which are then scrutinized relentlessly via replays–can you imagine if that was the case with our lives…no thank you
-good passing beats any defense; much of these games look like multiple triangle offenses are being played simultaneously
-European women and men have impeccable fashion sense
-tattoos and different ways (i.e. hair styles) to express one’s individuality are ever present