This week is a bit of a hybrid: it’s sort of a general annoyance, but kind of a guilty pleasure mixed with a little more self-annoyance. Or something.
- “In the dark of night, rising like a spider” – Burning Heart by Survivor. It’s spire, not spider.
- “Stomp on your fingers, the blame is on me” – On Bended Knee by Boyz II Men. While it’s fine if you want to stomp on your own fingers, it might be more agreeable to stop pointing them.
- “I compare you to a kiss from a rose on the grave” – Kiss From A Rose by Seal. It’s grey rather than grave and despite that clarification, I’m not entirely sure what the phrase means.
- “Pretty eyed, bright red smile” – Tiny Dancer by Elton John. This seamstress for the band indeed had a pirate smile.
- “And then a man called out exclaims” Part-Time Lover by Stevie Wonder. Though our wife’s jump-off might stand outside our house and start yelling, he would more likely call our exchange.
If music be the food of love, play on. Just get the effing words right. Throw down.
Friends and Scalawags-
I have been grinding over at The Root (www.theroot.com). Check out the Buzz Section. I be The Buzz. Anyway, I’m still figuring out how to juggle the many posting responsibilities. What I might do is get all conglomerative and do one post a day here with the morning Root stuff, the Q du Jour and the post proper. We’ll see. Bear with me as the kinks get worked out.
First things first: The Picking of Cherries
Seconds Things Second: The Q du Jour
Now for the main event…
SIIIIIICK BAND NAMES
Misogyny for Girls
The Horatio Crown Affair
Rain On The Turnpike
Ghosts of Anacostia
Your turn. Throw down.
I despise the word “blog.”
Ever since it came across my ears, I can’t help but cringe at its utterance. I wish I could say there was some intellectual objection to it; that it somehow signified the undermining of my classical approach to writing. But that’s not true. I just flat out don’t like how the word sounds when spoken aloud. Blog. Just say it out loud. Blog. Something about the blo-sound, so akin to blahhhh, makes me think the word is slang for some adverse bodily reaction rather than a way of documenting and reaching people in the digital age. “Dude, the next thing I knew, I was blogging all over the table.” If that doesn’t sound like some intestinal convulsion or other, I don’t know what does.
Any time anyone asked me what I did, while dancing around the question because I wasn’t sure how to answer it, I would say, among other things, that I write. I never called myself a writer because I found that to be an affront to the people I consider writers. I gave people the long-hand explanation of the many different writing projects I was engaged in at any given time, always making sure I explained that I wrote in on online public journal that I updated frequently to semi-frequently depended on the motivation.
“So you blog.”
NO. No, I did not blog. Blogging was for lames with nothing better to do than spectate from the sidelines. I wrote in an online journal that I updated semi-regularly depending on motivation and the amount of worthwhile cultural observations, dammit!
So, on it went. I wrote in an online journal and elsewhere semi-regularly, all the while searching for the niche that would allow me to survive in the world as well as fulfill me. Very soon, I came to grips with the fact that, in terms of activities, I only liked doing things that revolved around the creative process, particularly writing. I’d say this was a revelation, but I’ve long known I’m only capable of doing things I can personally invest in and if rejections from a bowling alley, a Foot Locker and American Eagle were any indication, the universe was not going to allow me to skate on this point.
Still, I tried.
I wanted nothing more than to realize I don’t really like writing all that much and be done with it. Having grown up in the business of the arts, I’ve seen first hand just how much certainty those who prefer the creative have. Friend and family alike tried to push me toward writing. They thought I had the voice and the talent and should try like hell to make a living doing the thing that I appeared to have a certain facility with. I always managed to squirm my way out of such conversations. I don’t care to have anyone try to push me toward anything, particularly not something I cared so much about, if that makes any sense. Besides, I wrote for the love of the game; I wrote because I really just liked to have conversations about various things. Sure it was money-free, but it was also pressure-free. If I suddenly decided to throw my hat into the writing ring for real, that would be changed. And what if it didn’t work out? What if I found out I didn’t have the goods to hang? That would be heartbreaking. And besides, I wasn’t a writer anyway.
So other avenues were sought until I finally struck gold. I found the possibility of a stable gig that wouldn’t break my heart. Teaching. A buddy was starting a charter school and thought it’d be a great idea for me to come check the place out and submit an application. So I put on my tie and hard bottoms and went to the school. And it was great. The work was structured and inspired; the mission was to help a community that needed to know what it was like to not be left behind. Walking along with my buddy, I couldn’t help but be impressed.
When we got back to the office, we sat down and had a friendly conversation discussing what I’d seen and at one point, my friend asked if I had any questions. I had only one: Would my writing be a problem?
Her answer was simple: It wouldn’t be a problem, I just should keep it to myself, not post it online for the world to see. “There’s a point where we all have to grow up and be mindful of our privacy, you know?”
I sat in silence. Slowly I began trying to explain that I didn’t make my writing public to be sensational; I did it because I had something to say and enjoyed sharing my musings with people. Writing allowed me to be close to people. Not sharing my work, considering the many things I keep to myself and struggle with alone, would be to live a double life, to live a lie. I’d lived enough lies. Even as I spoke the words, I was surprised by their passion. I felt a hint of indignation, as if my friend had demanded I make a choice on the spot. “Well that’s something for you to think about. Maybe you’re not cut out for mainstream work.”
My heart sank at that moment. I knew, for the time being, my foray into teaching, or at least entertaining the idea of it, was over. The journal entries and musicals and screenplays had won the battle.
So I came home hurt and looked up the word “blog.” Apparently, it was short for ‘web log.’ I guess that’s not so bad.
- Hearing people talk about a dead person with your same name is spooky.
- Being given a cd in a club bathroom is odd.
- I wish I had enough G to have a fact checker.
- Bougie Black people are in my top five of least favorite people to be around. See #9.
- $12 drinks still make me blink.
- Sex is overrated; sexy underwear are not.
- One day, China’s gonna come looking for their money.
- I still miss Bernie Mac and Heath Ledger.
- In fact, their neck and neck with: light-skinned dudes, the far right, the far left, Princeton and Pol Pot.
- Skinny Girls: Like bougie Black people who went to Princeton, but less interesting.
Ain’t Too Many On The Corner Have Swagger Like…Ricardo J.A. Pitts-Wiley
It was posited that I should take home a Swaggie this week considering I now get paid to do what I was doing for free, but instead I’ll defer this to my big brother. Check the stat sheet. Dude has credentials–and can provide you legal advice for a price. Now, lest you think I think my brother has third place swagger, remember: this is my award and he is graciously accepting it on my behalf. No Pitts-Wiley I’m related to has ever had third place swagger in their lives.
Ain’t But One On The Corner Has Swagger Like…Lynette Clemetson
She’s giving the Boy Wonder a title shot. And don’t get it twisted: she is accredited.
No One On The Corner Has Swagger Like…Kelechi Okere
We’ve been buddies going on twenty years. He is one of the two people I would be if I wasn’t me and the only person my age I admire. He approaches the twists and turns of life with a grace and aplomb that I find baffling. And I am jealous of it. He’s the kind of guy I hope my kids turn out to be. Can’t just anybody have swagger like that.
Thugs and Thuglets:
For the Cherry Pickin’ news round-up, head over to The Root. There you can check my fresh. Checka, checka my fresh.
In fact, if you subscribe there, you can peep game every morning. If not, I’ll always toss the link up here.
And since I know you’re waiting with breathes bated, I promise the Swaggies will be up this afternoon.
This week’s topic seems apropos, though counterintuitive, since I might have gotten a job I like.
- Nametags: I know it makes for a friendlier experience, but don’t call me by my first name unless you know me like that.
- Greeting people: I couldn’t care less if you enjoy your workout or not.
- Dumb customers: No; you can’t bring your cousin in for free. Yes; we are really enforcing that rule now. No; I’m not convinced you suddenly don’t understand English, my ethnic friend.
- Training sessions: I wish I could say I was paying attention so I could further grasp the nuance of whatever is being taught, but my mind has been occupied by the thought of anything that’s not what my trainer is saying.
- The time clock: It’s not like I’m working the whole eight hours anyway, right?
- Faking productivity: It’s bad enough I’m watching the seconds of my life tick away, that I have to hold a phone pretending to make a sales call while doing it is just undignified.
- Days off: Just more time to wonder why I have a job that requires a nametag.
- Training manuals: Corporate enthusiasm is even more obnoxious on paper.
- Using the bathroom: Nothing wrong with the facilities themselves, save for the plethora of old man nut sac I tend to encounter on the way there.
- Lack of abstraction: I did sell a membership…I didn’t sell a membership…I did sell a membership…I didn’t…premier plus system 30…contact management…T.I. on line one…red t-shirt…nametag…nametag…red t-shirt…all work with no texture makes Jack want to hit himself with a tack hammer…
There you have it, friends. THROW DOWN.
This is what the Macedonians call a “re-issue.” A classic from February 24, 2006.
So, I was at rehearsal the other day, and the scene for which we were rehearsing had to do with tomfoolery of the cock and boob persuasion. Firstly, let me tell you that it is oddly uncomfortable giving directions like, “Yeah listen, just put your hand on his upper thigh and give it a good squeeze,” or “just think common room hook-up.” Granted, I shouldn’t assume that people, especially freshmen, have skanked themselves out, but at this point in the school year, you should have been skankish at least once.
I mean, the young lady in question was just not getting the fluidity of the encounter and it forced me to have to show her how to situate herself on the couch (no To Wong Fu) and be trollop-like. Watching her go through the motions was…tragic. it was like watching a new-born deer try to run around, but with more leg spreading. As I was sitting there getting frustrated, a thought gave me cause to pause: just about everyone is awkward on the first encounter (and most people don’t have to re-enact said encounter in the Davenport Theatre April 6-8th).
Granted, I can’t speak for everyone, but I can speak for me and my junk and let me tell ya, those first go-rounds can get dicey. Was the kiss good? How’s my breath? Too hard? Speed up? Slow down? Is a hair-pull out of the question? I can truthfully say that on that first audition (and believe you me, it IS an audition), I still don’t like taking my pants off. And no ladies, it’s not the same as “Well, I don’t like taking my shirt off when being intimate,” because you could have a bubble vest on for all a guy cares, we can still get something done. For a guy, you kinda gotta take your trousers off. Now am I worried? Yes and no. ‘No’ because I think I’m perfect; ‘yes’ because she may beg to differ. I mean, things generally work out nicely, but sometimes you’re so worried about putting in a good showing that you fumble bad, except Big Ben ain’t there to clean that mess up (what?).
I mean, I’ve been to a few rodeos in my day and I’ve even gotten the first place buckle from time to time, but the incident that shaped the sexual creature you see walking the streets today was cast in the dyes of infamy. Well, it wasn’t really infamous because like 10 people know about it, but upon much pondering, it can still strike fear into the Boy Wonder’s heart. Allow me to set the scene: Senior spring, my boy Crazy Nick’s house, Saturday night.
Ok, so at the party are various characters from school, including a young lady who I had messed around with/ been talking to (Sidebar 1: I love the term “talking to.” Just a funny way of dancing around saying ’someone that makes my nipples perk’) earlier in the year. Let this first be known: this was a freaky broad says…everyone who had working knowledge of her situation. So, for someone that did not have working knowledge of it (moi), this is kind of a good thing, no? Well, as I was gettin’ set to put the ‘Gator v. 2.0′ charms on her, Crazy Nick’s girl/jump-off/ good friend of Le Freak, informed me that Le Freak was not interested in making a bad decision with me. Being the cool nigga (read: punk) that I was, I let the situation rest.
Since we don’t believe in driving drunk unless you’re gonna get your allowance taken away by mom and dad, everyone stayed at the house (a nice three-story number on the East Side of Providence). Now, Crazy Nick was in his room on the third floor con jump-off (word to my Rican duns) and I was supposed to sleep across the hall. Le Freak (who was good friends with Crazy Nick’s sister, Sinsemilla), was on the second floor, and the rest of the rabblerousers were scattered about the premises.
So, as everyone is going to bed, I walk Le Freak to her room and say goodnight. As I turn to leave, she keeps a hold of my paw. JUMP-OFF ALERTTTTTT!! So I did my best Billy Dee and was like, “So you want me to stay?” and she was like “Word.” I told her I’d be right back and ran to Crazy Nick’s room to get a prophylactic. My heart was pounding as I went back to Le Freak’s room. Now, I was no virgin, but by ‘no virgin’ I mean I’d had sex five times (but four of those times was with a girl I’d had a crush on since first grade. Ah, the sweet wine of redemption). Anyway, we get all the preliminary stuff out of the way and finally it was time to get down to business. I had been waiting for this moment pretty much all of high school. Let’s just say the time it took me to procure said prophylactic was probably longer than the time I got to actually use it. Clearly, I went to bed only slightly less dejected than Sasha Cohen did last night (zing!). Still, there was redemption to be had that morning. And by redemption I mean a repeat performance. Womp womp.
Thankfully, Le Freak was a friend of mine and only told like four girls, which, by simple extrapolation is probably like 25 people, but I didn’t get my sex license taken, so I guess I should be thankful for the opportunity to make right that wrong by skeeting it forward (like ‘pay it forward’ but with ejaculant). Kinda like Batman did after his parents got killed, but with regard to my pipe and ego. I think first sexual encounters are the reality tv God laughs at with the angels. Peace to the rookies.
Penultimate Thought: This is a good semester for meeting cool people before you never see them again.
Final Thought: There are few things more uncomfortable than watching a sex scene in a movie with your parents.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
How is Major League Baseball culpable in the steroid scandal?