Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Hearty Set of Thank Yous

I have to thank you all for your support of my blog.  This blog has now reached over 4,000 pageviews.  I never thought I'd have this kind of support for this endeavor.  My opinion is just that, mine.  It's what I think.  I didn't think that my opinion would be so wanted.  Thank you all for the support.

I want to thank my family for being so supportive of me.  I knew they'd be supportive, but it's good to thank them anyway.

I want to thank my friends.  The ones that have my back through all the mess I go through.  You would think that people aren't overwhelmingly interested in being there in times of trouble, but they are anyway.  It's good to know you're liked.

I want to thank my church family for being supportive of me.  I want to thank them for always praying for me and encouraging me with friendly words.  A little word can go a long way.

I want to thank the people in my life who have turned themselves around.  The ones that went through some trials and then came up out of those trials better.  You're an inspiration.

I finally want to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  He died for me.  He forgave me of my sinful habits.  He's given me blessings that I don't deserve.  Nothing is possible without Him.  I'm aware that some of you aren't believers, and that's fine.  However, just think about how prosperous this nation is compared to everywhere else.  Consider the fact that you have a cell phone.  Consider the fact that you may be reading this from a cell phone.  You're blessed.  You may not believe in God, but God is still doing things for you.

Take a moment to thank any and everyone in your life.  I know it's hard to thank people, especially when they can be stupid.  However, it's always good to be thankful for what you have, and even more thankful for what you aren't going through.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hectic Hump Day

It's that time again.  Spreading the random, one thought at a time.

1.  I don't think I can watch Snow White and the Huntsman with any type of believability.  You mean to tell me that a magic mirror honestly thinks Kristen Stewart is prettier than Charlize Theron?  That's like giving Channing Tatum an Oscar for Step Up over Jamie Foxx for Ray.

2.  My poor Oklahoma City's like everything they do doesn't work against the Spurs.  Sometimes, you just run into the wrong team at the wrong time.

3.  I realize how people can really be misinterpreted if they don't explain intentions immediately, or at the very least well enough for people to get them the first time.

4.  Anyone have a mattress for my roommate, Eddie?  He's been sleeping on my air mattress and thinks there's a slow leak somewhere.

5.  I don't think my gas bill reflects that crazy charge they were going to give us for having a mild winter.  Good, that's like McDonald's charging my five dollars extra because my neighbor wasn't hungry.

6.  I have more followers than before.  It's cool.  All I have to do is follow some blogs, and BOOM I have friends.

7.  My boy Tyler is starting his own blog soon.  Make sure you follow it.  He's a great guy and loves burritos.  BUR REE TOES!

8.  Speaking of burritos, Moe's Southwest Grill is amazing.  I forgot how amazing they were since I moved here to Roanoke.  I got Moe's in Atlanta, wonderful stuff.

9.  I love my Turn Back Tuesdays blogs.  It gives me a chance to see how I've grown as a blogger.  Just wait till you get to the blogs about my crazy ex.  My close friends will see just what I went through.

10.  "I will now open these trousers and reveal some even more precious treasures to Your Royal Highness."  That was said by the Archbishop of Uppsala, Sweden.  He was trying to impress an English royal visitor with his knowledge of English.  If you say that once in a while out loud, it really makes you laugh.

That's all I got for this week.  Keep your heads up and remember that God loves you, and so do I.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Turn Back Tuesday

So, this is another edition of Turn Back Tuesday.  I'm just looking back at some old blogs I did.  It's interesting to see how I've matured in my blogging skills.  I'll post the link, then explain my thinking and how I feel now.

My rant on the President.

I've realized that President Obama was pretty much the king of all media for while.  He still is, to an extent.  He made an appearance on Jimmy Fallon's show...yeah I know.  He's front and center on a lot of events.  I honestly don't have a problem with it.  I actually think it's pretty cool that he's such a likable person.

I do have a problem with those who complain about him doing these things.  They always say that he has more important things to do and what not.  Kind of ironic that I was one of those people.  However, I've realized that more often than not, it's good to have a little fun when you're spending every waking moment running the free world.  Statistics actually show that the Obamas have taken less vacation time than any of our previous presidents in his four year term.  I think he has every right to take a load off and do a bracket or two.  I think he has every right to show up on a terrible late night show.  Sorry, Jimmy Fallon's best work is when he's doing those Capital One commercials with the baby, and it's really the baby who is the star.

However, at the same time, let's not throw Barack into godlike status either.  Too many people are giving him the credit for the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Muammar Gaddafi.  He didn't do it.  Let's not make him the hero.  No one gave George Bush the credit for Hussein's death, so we have to be fair and remove the hero status for Obama.  He's not the rock star we want him to be.  He's the president.  He's our leader.  Let's give him respect as that and nothing else.

There are no words...
And for heaven's sake, please find the guy who created this bumper sticker and have him tarred and feathered...immediately.

Monday, May 28, 2012

My Two Day Vacation

So if you're not aware, I've been out of town for the past couple of days.  I went to Atlanta, GA with two wonderful friends.  I think I'll give you some highlights and some pictures.  I didn't take pictures mostly because I don't have a smartphone, and my digital camera battery dies after 3 pictures.  So I will be sharing pictures taken by others.  Forgive me if the rear ends of baseball players end up on the page.

Our first stop was our hotel room.  We went to the Hilton Garden Inn at Perimeter Center.  I give you the full name so that you'll know exactly where you should avoid if you don't want to wait almost an hour for sheets or pay for your breakfast.  I'll explain later.  We had to go kill time because we got there too early.  So we spilt a 4 dollar plate of sliders and fries between the three of us.  Yes, you read that right.  After all that, we went to our room to gussy up for the game.  That's when I realized I forgot my belt.  So I had to cleverly keep my shorts up while going to the baseball game.

Dan Uggla before hitting that burrito home run
We went to Turner Field to see the Braves play the Nationals.  I'm not a fan of either team, but third base line seats and a chance to see Stephen Strasburg pitch was great.  The highlight of the game was Dan Uggla hitting the Homewrecker Home Run.  During the 5th inning, if a Brave hit a home run, everyone in the crowd got a free burrito from Moe's.  If you've never been to Moe's, make it a bucket list item.  The Braves lost 8-4, but it was a good time.  Our seats were under the upper deck, so we had a lot of shade.

After the game, we went back to our hotel room to get ready for Dave n Buster's.  Before we went there, we had to go to Marshall's to get me a belt.  That's when my friends were made aware of my fear of escalators.  After getting my belt, we went to Dave n Buster's.  That place is Chuck E. Cheese for adults.  So much fun was had.  I redeemed my tickets for a can coozy.  I gave the rest of my tickets and my token card to a family.  I won't be there for a while, no need in keeping the cards.

After we get back from Dave n Buster's, we are ready for bed.  However my sleeper sofa mattress wasn't prepared for me.  In fact, the mattress was in plastic and the sheets were missing.  So I called the front desk and asked for my sheets.  They said 15 minutes.  After 30 minutes, nothing came to the room, so I called again.  The desk man said he'd send someone to knock again.  I don't remember a first knock, neither did my friends.  My linens finally came, and I got some much needed sleep.

The next morning could be easily defined as the strangest morning ever.  It started when we went downstairs to the lobby for what we thought would be a great breakfast.  I should have known it was going to be bad when the little African chef came out and fussed at me for taking my own biscuit.  I grabbed a biscuit for my biscuits and gravy, and he tells me not to use my hands because we have tongs.  He honestly came around from the kitchen to tell me this.  It's my biscuit.  If I want to grab MY biscuit with MY fingers, I'm going to do so.  So, anyway we sit down to enjoy our free continental breakfast when a waitress comes up to us and asks how we're paying for this.  We're thinking, "ummm."  Considering there were no signs, no menus, no labels, and no one telling us anything, we figured it was complimentary.  Come to find out that my biscuit and gravy, sausage, and bacon with orange juice cost almost 9 dollars.  It was a deal because it's 11.95 on the weekdays.  My friend got potatoes and a slice of bacon.  Hers was 9 dollars too.  My other friend was smart.  She just got a bowl of oatmeal and a bagel.  The oatmeal was 1.75, and the bagel was 1.25.  Needless to say, we weren't happy.  My friend who put the hotel in her name gave the front desk and manager a talking to.  The waitress took our bill from us, asked about linens we didn't get, and told us to have a nice day.  Apparently, we weren't the only ones shocked by this turn of events because a man who wanted to feed his family was given the same runaround.  That hotel needs to put up signs or something telling people about their breakfasts.  Also need to put the price of breakfast in the room guide.

Tyrone in the penguin tunnel at the Georgia Aquarium
This is the ocean tank with the whale shark inside.
So after that wonderful time, we went to the Georgia Aquarium.  That place is amazing.  So much fun was had by all.  If you haven't been to this beautiful aquarium, you are missing out.  God's creatures really are beautiful.  I know some of you animal rights people will get all up in arms over animals in captivity, but this place takes such good care of these animals.  It's a wonderful view of the animal kingdom.  My favorite was the Dolphin Tales show.  It was sponsored by some phone company.  Couldn't tell you which one, even though they said it a dozen million times.  I don't have pictures of the dolphin show.  They said the camera flash distracts the performers.  I know a copyright issue when I hear one, can't fool me.  Please go see this place, it's another bucket list item.

After we went to Moe's in downtown Atlanta for our free burrito, it was time to head home.  Driving in downtown Atlanta was quite the adventure.  Especially when someone's iPhone GPS had more of a delay than a rainy baseball game.  We were supposed to take I-85 back north, however (we really are baffles as to how this happened) I-85 never showed up and we ended up on I-75.  I-75 takes you from Atlanta to Chattanooga, TN.  Yep, we went the complete roundabout way back to Virginia.  However that roundabout way connected us to one of our friends and her family in Pigeon Forge.  So we crashed their dinner at the Mellow Mushroom.  After dinner, we drove home.  It was a rough, long drive.  However I wouldn't trade that adventure for anything.  Well, except a better warning that breakfast at the Hilton isn't free.

Oh, I also finally got some boiled peanuts.  Anyone who knows me knows how much I hate peanuts.  However, the one way I'll ever eat peanuts is boiled.  Found some in Georgia.  They were yummy.  My friends who never had any were not fans.

A big thank you to my friends for the wonderful experience.  I love you guys, and I appreciate you.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Music Friday

Today's a double shot of music.  I had one song to play in mind, however the following song has been playing in two different Kroger's over the past week.  I felt it was a sign that I needed to blog about it before getting to the next song.  Enjoy...

Some of you heard this song in that movie Eurotrip.  Others have heard it from Seinfeld.  I heard it on Sunny FM and Q99 a lot.  Apparently, Sheena Easton is so excited about her hard working man doing everything he can to provide for his lady.  I remember my dad being a super hard worker.  He worked everywhere, from a meat plant to a car dealership to security guard.  He was always doing everything he could to provide for my sister, my mom, and me.  I see the men nowadays who do everything they can not to work.  I see so many so-called breadwinners failing at taking care of their business.  I just read a story about a man who has 30 kids and works a minimum wage job.  His kids get a whopping $1.48 a month.  It's terrible that men like this exist.  Could you at the very least, try to be a man and work 9 to 5?  Don't say there aren't enough jobs.  I have two jobs and no kids.  It's possible to work hard, provide for your kids, and bring some pride to yourself.

If you're a Designing Women fan like me, you've heard this song.  In fact, I think Ray Charles himself was in the opening credits one season.  For those who don't know, Designing Women was Desperate Housewives in the South.  Tomorrow, I'll be on my way to Atlanta, GA with a couple of good friends.  I'm pretty excited about it, truth be told.  The last time I was in Atlanta, it was a stop on the worst bus ride ever.  This time, I'll be going to a Nationals-Braves game, playing at Dave and Buster's, and looking at beautiful animals at the Aquarium.  All in all, it should be a wonderful time.  If any of you readers are near Atlanta, feel free to come visit me.  The more the merrier I always say.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Poor Mouth

Let me tell you something.  If you ever get half your mouth numbed, you're doomed.  Seriously, today I went to the periodontist.  They did a special cleaning of my teeth.  When a dentist or doctor uses the word "special", it usually means you're going to be in pain.  Now I have to say that my hygienist, Lisa, was wonderful.  She put me at ease.  I even gave her a hug after the procedure.  However, the pain has decided to make its way into my body.

Now what they did was clean the underside of my gums.  I have a terrible, hereditary gum disease that caused some bone loss in my mouth.  So they have to do special cleaning to get all the stuff out.  I hate medical people, so this was torture just for me to go.  After all the Novocaine, scraping, and scratching, I got to leave.  They gave me a prescription for pain killers and antibiotics.  I don't know what to say about the pain killers.  They say be careful when operating a car or dangerous machinery.  And I'm about to drive my roommate to the store to get toilet paper.  We can throw the toilet paper in front of me if we crash.

Medical places scare me to death.  I have never been a fan of going to doctors, dentists, school nurses, and the like.  It took a lot for me to come to the decision to even go to the dentist.  I'm proud of myself for doing this.  I kind of wanted to run completely out of the building at the first sight of the needle.  However I stuck with it, and I'm proud of myself.

Look, we all have anxieties and fears.  It's not wrong to have a bit of a nervousness about things that are unknown.  It makes no sense to avoid things.  You should go full bore.  Don't let simple fears and complications ruin things for you.  It's not just trips to the dentist.  It's life in general.  Don't let life pass you by because something may scare you.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hectic Hump Day

It's that time of the week.  The day I share my crazy thoughts.

1.  After watching Celebrity Apprentice, I have to say that Clay Aiken and Arsenio Hall are two of the nicest people on this planet.  Watching their love and passion for their charities is amazing.  Clay actually used to be a special education teacher, so his charity was the National Inclusion Project to allow kids with disabilities the same opportunities as their peers.  Arsenio's charity was the Magic Johnson Foundation that funds research and care for those with HIV and AIDS.  Two great charities of two great guys, I wish Hollywood had this kind of care for their fellow man.

2.  Tomorrow, I have to go to the dentist for a special type of cleaning.  I think they said something about having to numb my mouth and eventually needing pain pills.  I don't do well with medicines.  Dimetapp gives me the shakes.

3.  This weekend, I'm hitting the ATL for a baseball game and a nice time with friends.  Kind of excited.  If you're nearby, hit me up.  I'll give you a shout out on the blog maybe.

4.  I don't think I have an interest in America's Got Talent without Piers Morgan.  If any of you have watched it, please tell me how it is.  I'm mostly worried that Howie Mandel will ultimately get his way and have midgets in turbans winning the show.  Not that there's anything wrong with midgets...or turbans.

5.  I still haven't seen The Avengers or any other movie made in the last 10 years besides The Hunger Games or The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo...anyone want to come see one with me?  Did I just ask people to hang out through a blog?  I'm such a dork.

6.  Every morning, without fail, ants crawl all over the back area of my house, the sidewalk outside my house, and my neighbor's front step.  My neighbor says it's because the ants think there's an earthquake coming.  The ants are gone by the afternoon, but they show up every morning.  They're more reliable than the mailman.

7.  I don't know what my crazy old roommates did to upset the local authorities, but they're looking hard for her.  I had to send back mail for her from authorities.  I've had to tell the police, Eddie has too, that they don't live here anymore.  If you're reading this, which I doubt, please turn yourself in.

8.  I don't know how my roommate can watch American Idol with a straight face...that show is awful.  That goes for anyone else that watches that show.  Like I said 100 times, if you can't see that talent in Jennifer Hudson, you really don't know talent.  My roommate says she got eliminated because of a power outage in her hometown that knocked out phone lines.  HA, the rest of America should have seen her talent enough to more than overcompensate for that power outage.

9.  Thank you all for your support.  I appreciate what this blog has become because of your love and support.  Thanks.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Turn Back Tuesdays

I'm trying something.  Some of you haven't been able to read all my blogs.  I figured I'd start sharing my blogs from the beginning.  So every Tuesday, I'm going to share my very first blog entry.  I'll just give you the link and you can go back to it.  Some people have taken the freedom of going back on their own.  For those without initiative, here you go.

Click here for your history lesson.

I think my favorite part about that entry is that you get a glimpse into my personality.  You also get the inspiration for why I titled this blog what I titled it.

This blog would be nothing without you readers.  I can't possibly thank you all enough for your support.  I always get kind words, constructive criticisms, and undying support.  Thank you so much.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Moving On

So I was listening to Michael Baisden today in the car.  Apparently, he's starting a new segment on his show about people having the courage to move on from terrible situations.  He's calling it Moving On Mondays.  It seems like a great concept.  Basically, there are people that are in bad dating relationships, that know they're in bad dating relationships who refuse to leave those relationships.

You know, I get a little frustrated with people in relationships who know they're not in the right relationship.  Men who are lying, cheating, and abusive constantly get thousands of chances with the same person.  Women who are nothing but gold digging, selfish, chumps constantly keep good hearted men walking on eggshells.  It's absolutely terrible to see.

Look, if you're in a terrible relationship, feel free to leave.  If your woman is selfish and self-serving, get out.  Don't waste your effort on her.  Don't waste your love on her.  If she's not willing to give back, don't give in.  Ladies, if you have a jerk for a boyfriend, get out.  If your man doesn't appreciate all you do for him, get out.  If he abuses you with words, or God forbid his hands, definitely get out.

I try to figure out why people stay in toxic relationships.  I wonder if it's the belief that the guilty party will eventually change.  Maybe they're more interested in status than self respect.  I think it's just people don't know how to love themselves.  Not in a self-absorbed way.  Just in an "I won't allow people to run all over me because no one has that right" sort of way.

I think the main thing is that a lot of people don't have God in their lives, or at the very least, don't think God is enough in their lives.  It seems like God is an afterthought.  It shouldn't be that way.  God being in your life should be enough to satisfy.  If God is enough to satisfy, then you'll know God is telling you that that person in your life is no good.  You know that God is telling you that that person doesn't love you like they should love you.  A person with God in their life knows for certain what they have.  They know that they are either in the right relationship or need to escape.  I know that some of you aren't Christian like I am, however I still think God has a bit of a say so in your life, whether you believe it's Him or not.  Some people call it conscience, some call it common sense.  Point being, there are certain signs that tell you exactly how crappy your relationship is.  I just hope that one of those signs is a good friend.  If not, at least this blog will get you thinking.

You can thank me later.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

I'm Sick of Twitter

If there is one thing I hate more than anything, it's Twitter.  It seems like everything is based around Twitter nowadays.  Basically, it's some way to share whatever is on your mind, or on your dinner plate, in 140 characters or less.  Wait, what?  How can anyone say anything of significance and importance in 140 characters or less?

Allow me to quote Gin Rummy from The Boondocks, "Nothing typed by someone's thumbs has ever been important."

Now I'm all about texting because it's easier than calling people.  However when news outlets are quoting Twitter for their breaking news, it's time to rethink journalism.  People are getting into fist fights over things said on Twitter.  It's really a shame.  If some contest is happening that involves me having to send a "tweet" to enter it, no thanks.  I don't care if my odds of winning are astronomically in my favor, I shall not use Twitter.  I don't care how popular and famous someone is, if I want to know what happened to them, I'll go to the only source I can count on...National Enquirer.

Twitter became famous when Erykah Badu used it to update fans on the birth of her child.  I hate that woman because she wrote that song "Tyrone."  Do you know how obnoxious it is for me to hear, "Hey, have you ever heard that song, 'You betta call, Ty..."  I cut them off and tell them never sing that song in my presence.  So she got the Twitter craze going, and ruined music for me.

Thanks Erykah.  Appreciate it.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Music Friday

I knew what song I wanted to play, but I also knew what I wanted to talk about.  Neither matched the other, so I had to compromise.  I didn't want to be all cliche and post about Donna Summer because, truth be told, I'm not particularly familiar with all her songs.  I could have went alternative and give props to Chuck Brown, who also passed away this week, but I'm even less familiar with his work.  However I knew what I wanted to vent about, but wasn't sure how to incorporate a song with my subject.  However it just occurred at about 9:37pm what song I should play.  Thank goodness for one of my mancrushes having one of my favorite songs in his playlist.  Yes, Justin Timberlake is a mancrush, don't judge.

So, why this song?  No, I'm not a jilted lover who was cheated on.  I'd do a heck of a lot more than post a video and blog about it.  This song is about someone who made some choices in life and then decided to whine about them.

Lately, I've noticed that there has been a lot of whining and complaining about things going on.  So many people just gripe and complain about how they're being wronged or how things aren't going their way all the time.  It's really annoying, truth be told.  You know, if you're in a situation you're not liking, how about changing your situation.  If you aren't able to change your situation, don't complain about it.  It's like people don't understand what happens in life.  Life gives you some pretty tough hands.  It's your job to read your cards and play them accordingly.  It's not to throw your cards on the table and pout about them.  It's also not good to be defiant of the rules of your game just to show those cards who's boss.  That makes you pretty immature.  I've seen adults just completely forget how to be adults.  Adults take what they're given and suck it up.  Stop crying a river.  If you're going to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.  Or at the very least, build a boat and ride that sucker over the waterfall.  We don't need your whining here.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Little Things

Today, I got to go with our class to the Mill Mountain Zoo.  Now I have to admit that everytime I go, the place seems smaller and smaller.  It's not the largest zoo in the world.  It's probably not the largest zoo in the state.   They'd have to put mirrors on each end of the zoo to make the place look bigger.  And there weren't the typical zoo animals there either.  No elephants, lions, or giraffes there at all.  It could be a disappointment if you're all about tons of animals in your zoos.  But it isn't really about that.  Sometimes simplicity is all you need to enjoy life.

I've always been a kind of no frills person.  I always wonder why people need to have an overabundance.  I always wonder why people complain when things aren't exactly perfect.  Nothing is perfect.  I've dealt with people who want everything to go their way and are miserable when it doesn't happen.  In fact, I can name countless times when people have complained and moaned about their situations, yet haven't once tried to improve it by doing less.  I think people should be happy with what they have compared to people who are truly suffering.

I think simplicity isn't necessarily living poor.  It just means being smart with what you have.  You can have an abundance of money in your pocket and make very little on the payscale.  It's really all about being able to keep it within your means.  The zoo reminded me today about what simplicity is.  Sometimes you can have the most fun on the smallest of budgets.  You just have to find people who value fun over the price of fun.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hectic Hump Day

It's that time of the week when I just share random thoughts.  Here we go.

1.  I got to go to one of my old stomping grounds today.  It was awesome to see people I hadn't seen in a while.  I was kind of apprehensive about going there just because it had been so long.  However as soon as I got there, people were really thrilled to see me and I likewise.  It felt awesome to know that I still left an impact on a place 2 years after I last went there.

2.  I'm against all marriage.  I'll just leave it at that.

3.  There is still no one worth voting for in this Presidential election.  Seriously, it's just silly how all the campaigns are negative against the other candidate.  How about telling me what you're going to do to fix the mess that this country is in.

4.  I was listening to Michael Baisden one afternoon, and he brought up a good question.  Where are all the black men doing things for kids nowadays?  We have everyone but black men doing things for the youth of America.  Not all black men, but there are probably less than there should be.

5.  I just realized how close we are to the end of the school year.  Pretty exciting and pretty sad at the same time.

6.  My opinion still stands about how cute my new haircut is.

7.  I just called my haircut cute, what is wrong with me?

8.  I can't believe how much input and insight I got from my friends on Facebook about Netflix.  Kind of impressive that my friends are caring enough to give me opinions on the service.

9.  Kroger didn't have my favorite Lunchable.  I have to remind myself to get one from another Kroger before work tomorrow.

10.  We're going to the zoo tomorrow for a field trip. This zoo has a cool wolverine exhibit.  They say the wolverine is pound for pound the most vicious animal on the planet.  Obviously, the experts haven't met a couple of kids in our program.  It could get demoted to third after tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Best Feeling

I try to think of some of the best feelings in the world.  I think of a warm bubble bath, because only women like them really hot.  I think of a good massage.  I think about sitting on my couch in my slippers and Snuggie (with clothing underneath).  However the best feeling in the world, to me at least, is the feeling of a fresh haircut.  

I just love getting my haircut.  For a while, I was doing it myself.  Mostly because I didn't trust anyone but Maurice since I moved from Salem to Roanoke.  Maurice works at Hair Attitudes over at the Lakeside Center.  He did my hair right.  However when I moved to Roanoke, gas prices didn't allow me to go back to Maurice's.  So I shaved my own head.  I looked good, but I can't see behind me and I didn't trust any of my roommates to help me.  People like me have to have the right barber, and by right I mean black.  Truth be told, black guys know how to do my hair.  So when I found Custom Cutz around the corner from my place, I figured I'd give them a try.  They're really good.  It looks old school, too.  Old school barber shops are exactly where you need to go.  I didn't have that crazy conversation about politics or sports, but it wasn't full of brothers.  I'm guessing if I went on a Saturday afternoon, I'd get more of the barber shop that you see in those Ice Cube movies.  

A fresh cut is a wonderful feeling.  I would have to say that it's great to go to a shop, get styled, and look good.  Truth be told, my haircut looks good on me.  You know what the best part is, my haircut is significant and noticeable and cost me 12 bucks plus tip.  Women go to the salon, basically leave looking the same and spend triple digits.

I love being a man.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Good Call

I don't know how many of you are aware of this story, so I'll give you a bit of background.  In 2011, Robert Champion, a drum major for Florida A&M University marching band, was found dead on the bus travelling to a football game.  The death was ruled a homicide.  However the perpetrators were his bandmates.  He was a victim of hazing.

If you don't know what hazing is, it's basically a rite of passage to a group or team.  It usually involves doing some absolutely disgusting things.  Sometimes, hazing can go too far.  There have been stories of deaths from alcohol poisoning, hypothermia, and blunt force trauma.  It's absolutely frightening that this stuff happens.

The thing I want to commend is the fact that the entire band has been suspended for the 2012-2013 school year.  They will not make appearances at football games.  They will not exist.  It's awesome to know that someone cares enough about their reputation to give consequences for heinous actions.  You kind of wish that more people would get punished for their actions.  People like O.J. Simpson, Charlie Sheen, and George Zimmerman come to mind.

It bothers me to no end that hazing exists.  Gangs do hazing but they know enough to at least stop before permanent damage takes place.  However in places of higher education, the kids seem to be slightly less concerned with a happy medium.  They seem to want to show everyone that you have to be tough to be in a band or a fraternity.  I was in middle school band, all I had to do was play my instrument well and I got respect.  I didn't need to get beat up or have to swallow something gross just to prove myself worthy of playing a bass clarinet.  So why in the world does hazing take place even with all the news coverage of deaths and permanent injury?  It's because not enough people care about their fellow man enough to just respect them for their skills.  They obviously have to be good enough if they made the band.  I know of a lot of good that fraternities and sororities do for their community, but I don't think they need to be able to drink a barrel full of whiskey to prove their ability to feed a soup kitchen.

If you know of any group that does this sickening mess, don't bother joining them.  Social status is not worth risking your life for.  Make your own hazing free group or band.  Trust me, you'll live without being in that group.  In fact, you'll just live.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Mine Is Better Than Yours

I was thinking about how cliche it would be for me to post a standard issue Mothers' Day blog.  Then I thought about how awesome my mom is compared to everyone else's.  It's nothing against your moms.  In fact, I'd venture to say that most of you reading this have a pretty awesome mom.  I've met a few of your moms, they're great.  However, mine is the best.  My mom is super supportive of me.  She always tells me how proud of me she is, even when I'm an idiot.  Actually, I'm never really an idiot, so basically, I get affirmation all the time.  I love her daily texts to me.  However I need to let her know when I have days off so she doesn't text me while I'm attempting to sleep in.  My mom is a great mom.  If you're actually looking for an example of how to be an awesome mom, just ask me and I'll tell you about my mom's ways.

Before you get all up in arms about how I'm being arrogant about how great my mom is, let me ask you a question.  Does your mom belly dance?  That's what I thought.  Okay, that wasn't fair.  Most moms don't belly dance.  However my mom beat cancer, by the grace of God.  Yes, other mothers have beaten cancer, but considering she's my mom, I'll say my mom is the best fighter in the world.

It's kind of hard being away from my mom.  However I also know that I'm exactly where God would like me to be.  I sacrificed a lot to be where I am today, however I know that my mom instilled in me a work ethic and a faith in Christ that is unshakable.  Thanks mom for being my hero.

Happy Mothers' Day to all the mothers out there.  You are a blessing.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Music Friday

So, yes.  I was wondering what song to post for this week.  However it was pretty clear when The Vibe played this song like 11 times this week.  This song takes me back to when I was in the 3rd grade.  I remember three things.

1) Dude, New Edition is gonna suck without him.  I was mildly wrong.  They were still good, just turned into more of a soulful R&B group with Bobby's replacement, Johnny Gill.

2) That Bobby Brown dance is ridiculously hard to do.  It was at my age then.  It's harder to do at my age now.

3)  I so want a "Gumby" haircut.  My mother refused to let me have one.  She wouldn't let me have any type of fade haircut growing up.  I do remember one time my mom cutting my hair trying to make it look cool.  She put a 4 inch line down the right side of my head.  It was hideous.  Add that to the missing teeth and bo bo shoes, I'm surprised I don't have a complex.

Life was crazy for me in elementary school.  Never had the name brand shoes, cool haircut, or stylish clothing.  I didn't really care, honestly.  My babysitter's teenage daughter mocked me for my lack of style compared to a rapper.  I told her, "I'm 7, I don't have a rap contract, and no one really cares.  If I can go a day without peeing my pants or seeing a clown, I'm good."  The fact that there are people who pick on people because of their choices of clothing is sad.  Except Tapout shirts, but that's mostly because the guys that wear them are complete toolbags.  Truth be told, clothing doesn't make the person.  The inside does.  Bobby Brown had some cool style, but look where he is today.

Look, if you are being picked on because you don't have those stylish clothes that the cool kids have, don't flip out.  Just remember that their parents are spending all their money on clothes and shoes instead of heating bills.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Be Mindful...

I've noticed that there are a lot of people taking stands on different subjects.  You know, I don't really have a problem with people taking stands.  In fact, I'm all for people standing up for what they believe in.  I think there are far too many people that just follow along for the sake of following along.  However there is an issue with taking stands.  It seems that at times, the people that are taking the stands aren't living the way that reflects their stands.

I think my biggest issue is hypocrisy.  Look, I want to say that I'm not claiming perfection.  Far from it, actually.  However I just wish that those who tend to stand up for things be accountable and real.  I feel like there are proponents and opponents alike of particular causes that don't really live like the causes they stand for.  I don't know if I want to get into specifics.  In fact, if you want specifics, you can just get at me privately.  My point is, if you're going to be against something, you had better make sure your house is in order.  You had better make sure that your life is worth the scrutiny that will come from being so outspoken about this or that.

For example, if you're all about family values and morals, you'd better be living a truly moral lifestyle.  If you're about equal rights, you had better be okay with people who aren't just like you having an opinion that may differ from yours.  My point being, walk your talk.  Again, not claiming perfection.  I'm far from perfect.  However I try to be who I say I am.  I try to be what the Good Lord wants me to be.

This isn't very long, mostly because I'm exhausted.  However, I just know that there is way too much hypocrisy from all sides of life, present company included sometimes.  If you're going to fight for something, that something had better be a part of your life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hectic Hump Day

It's another week of original thoughts and opinions.  Enjoy.

1.  North Carolina voted overwhelmingly to ban same sex marriages.  Whatever you think of same sex marriages, I have a bigger issue with some of the other crimes that are happening in this country.  When a woman who was being abused and had her life threatened multiple times by her ex-husband gets arrested and is facing 20 years for shooting the ceiling of her own house, I kind of lose concern for issues like who marries who.  I know that sounds heartless, but there are much more pressing issues to be concerned about.  We should be worried about the single moms working multiple jobs just to keep their lights on.  We should be worried about 8, 9, and 10 year old boys joining gangs because their fathers aren't around.

2.  I took my fella to a church group run by Young Life called Capernaum tonight.  I have to say that they do it right.  If you live in the Roanoke area, I truly suggest you check this ministry out.

3.  Space Jam is an awesome movie.  It just crossed my mind to say that out loud.

4.  Anyone remember when Cartoon Network was nothing but cartoons?

5.  I'm pretty happy that Vibe 100 changed their name to The Vibe.  When you have 100.1 and 97.7 as your channel number, the 100 seems a bit obsolete.  If you're a fan of Neo-Soul, R&B, and classic music, program that channel.  They even have some Gospel.

6.  Words with Friends is getting brutal.  I'm getting some ill will from some peeps.

7.  I honestly don't mind working a little harder to get the job done.  I just don't like working a little harder because others don't want to work at all.  Now I know what a Republican is thinking all the time.

8.  Speaking of, I'm tired of politics.  I'm tired of the two party system.  I'm tired of hearing people say that "Obama must be stopped."  He's not an evil villain in a comic book, he's the president.  Use some class.  Oh, and all the name calling of our elected officials is disrespectful.  It's terrible.  What happened to respect for other people.  Can't claim Christ's love if you're going to go that route.

That's all I got this week.  If you have any comments or thoughts, get at me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I Miss Old School

I was working with my fella today.  While we were playing many rousing games of Uno, his younger sister was watching television.  I couldn't help but notice that she was watching some shows on Nickelodeon.  Truth be told, the show was terrible.  It wasn't even relatively amusing.  It was like brushing my teeth with sandpaper.  I'm baffled over what Nickelodeon has become.  It used to be so good.  Here are my top ten Nickelodeon shows of all time, in no particular order.

1. All That
Anyone who knows anything about good sketch comedy knows that All That was the show of shows if you were too young to stay up to watch Saturday Night Live or too young to truly get In Living Color.  This show gave us Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Amanda Bynes, Nick Cannon, and Gabriel Iglesias among others.  I believe the first 2 or 3 seasons were the best.  Good Burger was by far the best sketch.

2.  Doug
The ultimate underdog, Doug Funnie and his dog Pork Chop worked tirelessly to win the heart of Patty Mayonnaise.  Doug was just a cool show.  I'd plan my Saturdays around catching episodes Doug.  Couldn't possibly watch Nickelodeon without Doug.

3.  Legends of the Hidden Temple
Pretty much my favorite game show of all time.  Six teams battle for supremacy in ancient Mayan ruins, all being guided by a talking rock.  You can't make this stuff up.  Who didn't sit there and yell at the television when some poor 11 year old kid couldn't figure out how to put together a three piece puzzle of a monkey?

4.  Double Dare
Before there was a hidden temple, there was Double Dare.  It was a messy, nasty team game where the winning team ran through an obstacle course.  I loved the 1 Ton Human Hamster Wheel and the Sundae Slide the most.  I hated the Blue Plate Special.  No one could find that stupid flag in the peanut butter sandwich.

5.  Finders Keepers
Okay, seriously this was pretty old school.  I loved watching this show.  If you're not aware of it, you had like 60 seconds to find random things in a makeshift house.  I loved the clues and the abstract thinking that came with the show.  It was my kind of show.

6.  Rocko's Modern Life
It's one of the few Nickelodeon shows my mom would watch with me.  A wallaby named Rocko and a cow named Heifer reeked havoc on their crazy neighborhood.  Personally, I loved the Bigheads.

7.  Hey Dude
Yeah that show was the bomb.  A bunch of teenagers working on a dude ranch, instant classic.  I liked Brad more than Melody...kind of a Maryann vs Ginger kind of thing.  Don't get me started on Maryann vs Ginger...anyway, great show.

8.  Salute Your Shorts
Camp Anawanna, we hold you in our hearts...nuff said.

9.  Kenan and Kel
If anyone asks "who loves orange soda?"  and you have no slept on this show.

10.  Fifteen
The soap opera for teens.  It had the bad boy, the nerd, the jock, and everything in between.  It was kind of like Beverly Hills 90210, without the adult charged stories.

Trust me, Nickelodeon will never get back to what it used to be.  However, every show is basically a bunch of teenagers sparking their music careers.  Sad...what happened to the good shows?

Monday, May 7, 2012

What are we asking for?

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just a glutton for punishment.  We always talk about how we should ask the Lord for patience or strength or something.  However, do we really know what we're asking for?  I just think we tend to ask without really thinking.  When we ask for patience from God, I have a feeling God just kind of giggles because He knows exactly what we're asking for, even if we don't.  I think when we ask for patience, God just gives us opportunity to be patient.  I think when we beg for God to give us strength, He gives us chances to be stronger.  I think when we ask God for wisdom, He shows us ways to be wise in tough situations.

I think we should ask God to be our patience instead of Him just giving it to us.  I think we should ask God to be our strength instead of just giving us strength.  When Samson had God's strength, bad things happened.  If God is our strength, we can't go wrong because God is truly in control.  I went through a rough day today, and I feel like God was giving me chances to show patience.  I would have to say that I passed pretty well.  Mostly because I didn't swear at anyone or throw anyone through a window.

God is so good.  He gives us way more than we deserve.  It's funny when people claim that "God won't give you more than you can handle" even though they always complain about how they can't handle this or that.  The truth is God doesn't give you anything you can or can't handle.  God just lets opportunities come about for you. If you try to handle it by yourself, you'll fail miserably.  However, if you let God be your strength or patience, you will always come out on top.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Challenger Baseball

Today, I got the honor and privilege of taking my fella to the opening ceremonies of Challenger Baseball.  For those not familiar, it's a program for kids with disabilities to play baseball on a team.  They get jerseys, hats, and a chance to play one of the best games in the world.  It was awesome to see all the kids playing hard and just having fun.  They finally get to be included in things.

Inclusion is so important when you're a kid.  It's even more important for kids with disabilities to be included in things.  It's so frustrating when I see people completely ignore those who need the most help.  It seems like people that need the most help get shoved under the rug in favor of higher test scores or a slightly more peaceful classroom or home.  For shame, I say.  Things like the Challenger Baseball League are what life should be about.  It's beautiful to watch.

I challenge everyone to go to a game.  Go to this site right here to learn more about it.  If you live in the Roanoke area, get at me.  I'll be taking my fella to his games, so I'll keep you updated on Roanoke area games.  I guarantee that you will love it.

I want to say thank you to all those who gave me support today.  Today is my late father's birthday.  I know this is a big drinking holiday, however this day has a little more significance than Tequila and being inebriated before dinner to me.  It's a day where I often think about what Daddy is thinking about me.  Some of you have said some wonderful things about how he may have taught me well and is smiling down on me, but truth be told, I kind of want to hear it from him.  Take that how you want, but I miss Daddy a lot.  Particularly now that I'm older and in that whole manhood stage.  I have a feeling he'd have been a really good resource for help in growing up and probably dating.  He did land my mom, and she's the greatest woman I know. Point being, thanks for the support.  Thanks for the awesome love you guys show my blog.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Music Friday

I'm going in two different directions today.  I'm still doing Music Friday, but I'm doing two songs instead of one.  I'll have a story for each song.

We lost a pioneer of hip hop today.  Adam Yauch aka MCA of the Beastie Boys passed away after his battle with cancer.  I pretty feel like The Beastie Boys were the precursor to Vanilla Ice, Eminem, Bubba Sparxxx and other Caucasians in the rap game.  Seems like any Caucasian that embarks on a rap career or embraces hip hop or street culture are automatically pegged as wannabes.  It's kind of frustrating.  Hip hop should never be relegated to a particular type of person.  Hip hop is a wonderful tool to share your life with others.  I do worry sometimes about what's said in hip hop, however it's understandable that it can get pretty gritty.  However I wonder how awesome it would be to see our hip hop artists rhyming about how God has truly blessed him/her with their career and lives.

This song is the personification of using your talent to honor the Lord.  This song is played on secular and Christian stations alike.  My fella that I work with sang this song tonight.  It was such a special moment to hear him sing that song with such passion and heart.  This song is so beautiful to hear.  It brings a hope to the Christian that one day, all their suffering on Earth will be just a means to an end.  The end being our eternal home in glory.  This world is not my home, I'm just a passing through.  Such a beautiful thought.  One day, I'll be done with bills, illness, death, and jerky people.  I will be with my God forever.  I'm not ashamed of that.  I'm proud that I've chosen to serve God with everything I have.  I fail at it, but it's not about falling.  It's about getting back up.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

This Could Get Me In Trouble

What I am about to talk about could offend some people.  I am prepared for that.  I will apologize in advance if you're upset.  However I will not apologize for my opinion.  My opinion is mine, and I will never shy away from it.

By now, you probably have heard the tragic news that NFL linebacker, Junior Seau died this week.  Now the initial reports say that Seau died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest.  Some say that the chest shot was to preserve his brain for research.  It's a sad story that the life of a man like Junior Seau ended so early and so tragically.  However I have some things to say about this.

Suicide is a terrible thing.  Suicide is a horrible last resort for anyone.  It basically says, "I give up.  There is nothing left for me to do and nowhere for me to go."  For anyone that goes through suicide in their circle, I feel horrible for.  They lost someone that could have come to them for help.  However, I'm not going there yet.

I have a real problem with suicide.  I know it's a highly touchy subject, but it has to be addressed.  I have an issue with people who commit and attempt suicide.  I find suicide to be a desperate, but selfish act.  I just don't understand how someone could end their life just because things are tough.  Yes I understand that some lives are tougher than others.  I understand that people hurt a lot.  However, I've never understood how a person could just decide to selfishly hurt everyone else in the name of ending their own pain.  To disperse all the pain they're going through to everyone else, I can't wrap my brain around it.

Maybe I'm being a tad insensitive.  Actually, no I'm not.  I've seen the pain of a suicide to others.  Nothing is solved, if you ask me.  For someone to look at their friends, family, and even God and say, "they're not good enough to help me through the stuff I'm going through" is pretty horrible.  People who spend all their lives loving them and taking care of them aren't good enough to carry them through that terrible trial.

Like I said, I don't think I'm being insensitive.  For someone to end their life and hurt people around them, that's insensitive if you ask me.  If you are going through some horrible trials.  I mean, horrible enough that ending your life is the only way out of it...I suggest going to counseling.  I suggest calling a friend.  I suggest getting a hold of your family.  If your family is the cause of the pain, I wouldn't go to them.  However, please please please find someone to help you through this.  Do not take the coward's way out and end your life.  You can talk to me...even though I sometimes lack tact, I care.  Don't end your life.  You're important.  God cares for you.  Don't transfer the pain you're going through to those who truly care for you by committing suicide.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hectic Hump Day

It's another edition of Hectic Hump Day.  It's the day where I just spit out random thoughts and allow you guys to chime in.  Even though none of you ever do.  Because you're wimps.  All of you.

1.  If it weren't for On Demand, I honestly think I'd miss everything I love to watch.  Thank goodness for Cox Communications.

2.  I have to say that my new job is quite interesting.  It leaves me really tired, but it's worth it to see the progress my fella is making.  I'm truly blessed.  God is too good to me.

3.  I invented two words this week.  Openability - the ability for something to open.  Opporwoonity - chances given to you to impress someone.  Thank me later.

4.  I am so thankful for the friends I have.  I say it a lot, but I truly believe that God has blessed me with the best friends a person can have.  I can honestly say that this is the best time in my life in terms of how close I am to people.  I've always had a hard time dealing with people.  People are put off by my bluntness.  They know I have a heart of gold, but they're not sure how genuine it is.  I understand, I can be a tactless son of a gun sometimes.  However I'm more loyal than a dog and more dependable than Allstate.

5.  What in the world happened to the weather?  It was disgusting and cold a day ago.  Now it's hot and muggy.

6.  Mother's Day is coming up.  I love my mom.  That is all.

7.  I'll talk more about this in tomorrow's blog, but condolences to the family of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau.  It's sad that a person who gave so much life and joy to others couldn't save enough life and joy for himself.

8.  I have to have a talk with some people.  The people on this planet who rock mullets.  Please stop.

9.  My movie collection is quite scarce.  I really need to amp up my game.  Maybe one $5 Wal-Mart movie a week.  Which also means I have to get myself a DVD shelf.

10.  A friend of mine shared this article, and I'd like to do the same.  Kind of gives a bit of a meaning to why people suffer through unimaginable disabilities as well as what God's plan is for them.

11.  I've started sleeping with an oscillating fan at night.  Kind of defeats the purpose of my crazy habit of having 12 covers on my bed.

12.  If my neighbor's 8 year old daughter doesn't stop sneaking into my backyard and leaving my gate open, we're going to have words.  Back in the old days, you could just beat other people's kids no problem.  In fact, when you were naughty in a grocery store, about 12 grandmothers with belts would jump you in the cookie aisle.

That's all for this week's Hectic Hump Day.  God bless you all.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

You Wouldn't See This 40 Years Ago

This is not an endorsement for Dodge.  I just wanted to post this video, then talk about it.

I'm sure you're wondering what I'm trying to show in this video.  You see a commercial for a Dodge and think, "It's a Dodge, whoop dee doo."  Congratulations, you've advanced to intelligent life.  Take a peek at the commercial closely, you'll see something that you'd have never seen a few years ago on television.  It's a Caucasian male showing a physical attraction towards his younger sister's African American friend.  Nothing particularly wrong with that.  In fact, it's really a great sign.  Back in the olden days, that kind of thing just didn't happen in commercials, much less in real life.

A long time ago, it was highly taboo to see that kind of thing.  Actually, in some parts of the country (usually the parts that fly Confederate flags and claim some kind of Southern resurgence in the future) it's still highly taboo. Kind of ridiculous if you ask me.  However this kind of thing still exists in America.  It's really something special to see companies like Dodge take a different approach to their commercials by showing this.

In 2006, I was on the Wheel of Fortune.  The Wheel of Fortune is taped in California.  My sister and I toured a good bit of Los Angeles while I was there.  My sister made the comment that it was so weird to see so many interracial couples so proud of their relationship and how open everyone else was to it.  My sister has spent most of her life in South Carolina.  She's seen the complete opposite of what she saw in Los Angeles almost all her life.  My point is, how sad is it that there are people that will condemn others simply for who they choose to date or associate with.  Scientifically speaking, we're all just blessed with melanin or lack thereof.  I actually worked with a guy way back who told me that this is Virginia and no one takes too kindly to that kind of relationship.  I laughed at it and made a wise crack about his daughter checking me out.  If you really want to show how advanced you are, mind your business about who someone is seeing if your reason isn't based on abuse or infidelity.

Kudos to Dodge for taking a risk with this commercial.