Category Archives: new orleans

You aint Bad…You Aint Nothing!!

Some people want to pretend that they are  like Master P would say, “bout it, bout it,” and they are as cold-hearted as  Marlo Stansfield from HBO’s “The Wire.”  However, the reality is while there are people in the world who will throw down at the drop of a hat, there are still a large majority of people who would not throw rice at a Chinese wedding. I am not knocking non-violent people, because I am a non-violent person myself. I have been around long enough to know we are all not built to be Kimbo Slice or Tupac. My problem is when I see people perpetrating like they Dough Boy, and then not doing nothing.

Do you know someone in your family or circle of friends that talk a lot of smack about fighting and don’t do nothing? They make a big ass scene  in public and then fall backwards on somebody in the crew saying, ” Don’t hold me, Don’t hold me!” Then they get in the car and say, “Man, I was about to whip his ass!”

It’s not becuase they just like  being in the drama, I realized this is a defense mechanism too. The art of the non-fighting trash talker is the ability to bluff your way out of a physical altercation, by verbally intimidating your opponent. This is done mainly for show and in many cases, because the person really can’t or won’t fight.

Now as an adult, I don’t condone fighting over frivolous things, but if you are going to set it off, just do it. You don’t have to make a proclamation about it. There’s nothing worse than seeing a guy talking trash in his DMX voice, then getting his brakes beat off or his cord pulled. I recently witnessed shit talking at its finest recenlty and I just had to write something about it.

I was playing basketball at the gym the other day and these two guys started arguing about a foul called during a pick-up game. The older white guy called a foul on the black guy and the brother turned into Debo and threatened to kick the white guy’s ass for even insinuating that he committed a foul. Before it got too crazy, all the fellas stepped in and broke up the faux scuffle.  The white guy did not seem to be scared, he brushed it off  and tried to take the ball out and keep playing, but my brother did not want to let it go….He went on and on about where he was from and how he was the realist triple O.G. #1 in the fitness center…Yes, we were playing at a fitness center. It’s not like we were in the hood at Stallings Park or something, we was in a National fitness center chain complete with a Café, health spa, and Yoga classes. I’m not too sure he would have been as bold in the hood. But in the suburbs, he thought he was Big Meech, Larry Hoover….(Rick Ross Song) This dude was acting like we were in Angola State Penitentiary on the prison yard playing for our respect. He continued to give us the rundown on his criminal pedigree, and because of it, we should not mess with him. “He was from the street; he did too much dirt in his past.” It made me mad, because I hate when people talk trash; especially when aint no action behind it. A lot of time they do it, because they think they have an advantage. He knew the white guy was not going to fight him. So, he gassed himself up. He was like Mad Dog on Good Times trying to punk J.J. Evans.

You know there are different types of trash talkers, but in most cases, the trash talking is to cover up the fact that they are not as bout it as they say they are. It’s actually kind of funny to listen to. This guy was a “Past Trash” talker. He was talking about things he been through to let us know that he did not play. The way he was running it down, he should have either been in jail for life, or a millionaire. Like he really shot and stabbed people on the regular….C’mon son. We d on’t believe you, you need more people….

After we broke them up again, this dude was still running his mouth as we ran up and down the court until he stopped play again to talk to all of us. He grabbed the ball at half court and declared,” The next dude that fouls me, is gonna get punched in the face…” We all were laughing, because he was basically threatening everybody, except me and the other three dudes that was on his team. He went to calling out his gang name and how he could have one of his crews come in a help him handle his business….Negro please!

Before anyone else could say anything, one of the other black guys on the opposite team could not take it anymore, he jump in the self proclaimed triple O.G.’s  face and said, “Who you gonna hit?” I guess he calls himself being the hero, but all of us were thinking the same thing. The other white guys on the court were looking scared like, “oh shit, the black guys are gonna throw down O.G. style.”

I wasn’t scared of this clown. If a guy really wanted to do something, it would have happened already. I was just embarrassed for him. He looked like an ass.  Why my people always got to be the ones ruining the good time at group activities…

I just wanted to play ball. All the white guys were looking at me like, “Do something Obama!” Before you knew it, the black dudes were pacing with each other shoulder to shoulder in a circle saying, “Do something…..you do something…swing….. nah you swing…” It was pathetic. This was how we did it in elementary school. I was waiting for someone to knock a twig off someone’s shoulder.

You know what’s worse than a dude talking noise? Its two dudes talking noise to each other. They are (1) trying to bluff each other into believing they are hard, and (2) trying to convince the white people on the court that black guys keep it hood no matter where we are. The truth of the matter is if one of them really wanted to fight, it would have happened without the dramatic scene. I think I even heard someone say,” just fight already, damn!”

After a few more minutes of the drama, everyone else quit and left them on the court arguing. They messed up the game for everybody. At this point I was mad. I felt like, I wanted to see some type of action now that they ruined the game.

I don’t want to generalize, but I felt like this guy was under the impression that people were going to be intimidated by him, because he was a big black guy with tattoos. (You know there is nothing scarier than a big black guy with tattoos…LOL.) Actually there is….TWO big black guys with tattoos! (Joking). Nobody cared about this dude or his ranting. He actually pissed people off by talking so much.

The irony is most of the hardest dudes in the world hardly ever said a word before they got someone. Jason on Friday the 13th just walked down the street and chopped your ass up. The monkey man from the movie The Golden Child couldn’t talk, he just choked you with his chain.  Now I know that there are exceptions to every stereotype. Mohammed Ali talked noise and backed it up, Scarface talked shit, and Fred Sanford talked about giving people a fat lip, but we are talking about the everyday average Joe.  Most of the real bout it averae Joe’s in the world don’t waste time giving you a speech about what they are going to do. When you wake up in the hospital three days later, you usually find out he/she whupped your ass.

Also as a side note, black people aren’t the only people that talk trash either.  All people do it. It’s a part of some people’s human  nature. It’s just more evident in black people, because we do it so well. We can paint you a picture of what we can do to you.  You are psyched out before anything happens. I remember my mother told me as a kid that she would stomp a mud-hole in my ass if I went outside while she was at work. Now I had no clue of what a mud-hole was, but I had no doubts she could do it. I envisioned her stomping me in my mind and it hurt. So needless to say, i did not go out. This is what some people use to their advantage. If I can convince you that I’m not to be played with, I get the glory even if I don’t touch you. That’s wack to me.

Handle your business when you have to, but stop talking noise, especially if  you aint gonna do jack!

 

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Got a Weight Problem Ladies? ….Well Work Out Then!

It’s that time of year again when all the gyms are getting packed. By the time 5 p.m. rolls around, you can’t even find a parking spot. All the “New Year’s Resolution” ladies may have fallen off, but the second waves of fair-weather trainers are coming out the wood work. You know who they are, they are the women that have been eating pot roast, Now & Laters, and donuts all during the winter, and are finally deciding to work out, because it’s warming up outside.

Even though they are in the way of the real trainers, I actually think that it is commendable for women to work towards their physical fitness goals, even if they start too late. I mean, what woman wants to show off her “thankles” in a bikini looking like a high school cafeteria lady. You don’t want to be called Kim “Kar-fat-agains” all summer.

 (“Thankles” are when your fat thighs, calves, and ankles are the same size all the way down your leg.)

What I hate is that, instead of joining curves, or doing P90X, or something like that, some women prefer to deceive people by buying into all these gimmicks and contraptions under their clothes.  Some women are wearing more gear than Iron-Man.

I know that there are all types of mechanisms out there to hide being out of shape or over weight. I think it is ridiculous. I have seen women with a “booty-do” on Monday, and then on Tuesday, show up to work with a flat stomach and a curvaceous body. So we thought….

(“Booty do” when your stomach sticks out further than your booty do)

It’s wrong to mislead the bruhs’ like that. Women are looking all fine with a coke bottle shape and then when a guy takes you home it all falls out like Buddy Love turning back into Sherman Klump on The Nutty Professor. Do some crunches, walk on the treadmill, or buy some roller skates….something. Why live a lie?

The problem is that, as usual, most of the ladies wait until the last minute to try to get right. You can’t get a body like Stacy Dash overnight, it takes hard work. I hear women in the gym talking to each other everyday, talking about, “Girl, I’m gonna be sexy for “The Essence” (Music Festival).” That’s wack. How about saying, “Girl, I’m gonna be sexy…period.”

Women try to lose weight for events. They go hard for major life proceedings like weddings, vacations, birthday parties, and marital affairs. What they don’t realize is that losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight and shape is a year-round lifestyle change, and once you get to the size you want, maintaining it is easy.

The problem is they want a quick fix. They are not willing to put in the work.  Some women are trading in the ab-roller for a tummy tuck.

Now I know that there are some women who have surgery for medical reasons, but there are some that have it for plain ole lazy reasons. I hear women say all the time that they are getting a tummy tuck and having gastric bypass surgeries. Then right after the surgery, they gain all the weight back. Some people don’t realize that you still have to work out. They go right back to eating hotdogs, marshmallows and gravy, without doing so much as a jumping-jack.

Have you seen what the gastric bypass procedure looks like?

Now I know that there are some beautiful women both big and small dedicated to healthy living and overall body maintenance. This article is directed to the slackers that are trying to skate the system and deceive us men. While it is my goal is to keep it real, I don’t want to just bash the ladies. I just want to shed light on a sensitive topic and also uplift my sisters by encouraging healthier living.

So instead of wearing push up bras, girdles, body shapers and leg-warmers, here are some tips to jumpstart your healthy lifestyle and improve your body’s appearance:

1. Set realistic expectations.

Don’t try to get built like Melissa Ford when you to look like a Ford Explorer. Set a more realistic goal. Weigh and measure yourself, then set short incremental weight loss goals. Unless you are smoking crack, you won’t drop 80 pounds in a month.

2. Take some workout classes.

Now I know that we are in a recession. Everybody can’t afford to pay for a trainer. I also know that everyone’s schedule does not permit them to attend formal aerobics classes. What you can do is buy some workout DVD’s. Programs like P90X might be too much for you, but I am sure there are some less expensive, but effective workout videos out there.

3. Don’t try all these gimmick diets and phony workout toys.

Although you may find pleasure in using this, it’s not really effective workout equipment.

4. Go with your man to the Gym.

This will help you three-fold. (1) You will have someone to push you and support your effort (2) It will make your relationship better. More quality time and (3) Your man can’t cheat on you with gym freaks anymore.

Now get out there and work out!!

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Traffic Court…You Have the Right to Remain Silent!

I had the pleasure of getting a speeding ticket recently on my way to work one morning. I was driving down the street while listening to the Rickey Smiley morning show on the radio and they caught me driving a few miles over the speed limit. With all the people whizzing pass me, I was surprised he pulled me over. It’s not like I was weaving through traffic in reverse like Puff & Biggie on the Hypnotize video.

To make matters worse, I got pulled over right across the street from my office. The cop was hiding in the bushes like the dude from cheaters in that black van.

So not only am I getting a ticket, but I got everybody turning into my office building pointing at me and being nosy. I just knew as soon as I got to my desk, my computer was going to be flooded with emails from my co-workers wanting to know what happened.

Surprisingly, the Cop was pretty cool, but I could tell he was happy to fill his quota. He had me feeling like Smokey on Friday trying to lie to Big Worm.

I figured since the cop was a “brutha,” I could make small talk and get away with a warning….He should understand my struggle as a poor black man trying to make it in America right??  NOT! He wrote the ticket from his patrol car so he would not have to holla at me; then he drove off. I was so mad; I just turned my car off and walked a couple of hundred feet to my office.

The cop did tell me that I could go to court and contest it, but I was like, “for what?” He clocked me on radar. I already knew I was guilty. Besides, you know black folk don’t do well in court! Why set myself up?

On the other hand, the points and the fine were too much to endure on my driving record and my pockets. I had to try to do something.

 So, to get my fine reduced and some points taken away, I decided to go to court to plead my case. I was gonna get my People’s Court on. (LOL)

If you have never been to court before, it is both a very entertaining and humbling experience. It was like watching your drunken uncle tell a story. I can understand now why people watch all those Judge shows like Judge Judy, Judge Joe Brown and Judge Mathis.

My appointment wasn’t until 2:30, but I got there early to avoid any foolishness. The last thing I wanted to do was be late. So as I sat there, I got to witness other peoples’ cases. This was probably the best decision I made all year.

The judge was slaying people left and right. He was slicing them like King Leonidas from 300. No excuse went unchallenged and no clown went unembarrassed. The stories I heard were both amazing and amazingly dumb. Just when you thought you heard it all, you heard somebody say something more asinine than the person who testified before them. The hardest part is not laughing out loud when you hear it.

Why in the hell would somebody come to court and lie about their driving record under oath? Do they not know that their traffic record is in front of the judge as he tries your case?

By the time my name was called to take the stand, I just went in front the judge and just told the truth. I just walked up and said, “Guilty your honor. I made a mistake.” I braced myself for the verdict, like in the Color Purple when Cielie made Shug Avery that breakfast after Mister tried to serve her some burnt food.

Without going into the legal details, I can honestly say that I made out alright. It was definitely worth showing up.

If you ever have to go to traffic court and you want to make it out with your driving privileges and freedom in tact. Follow these rules:

 6 Rules to Follow in Traffic Court:

 1. For the duration of your visit, treat the Judge like he is God – These judges sometimes have egos (Not the one I had of course). Never challenge a person with the power to take your freedom with a wooden hammer. They’ll rip you apart to make an example out of you.

2. Accept responsibility for your violation – Do not make up excuses about what happened. Unless you died, plead guilty and pray for a miracle.

3. Don’t lie about nothing…Period

4. Always reply, “Your Honor.” (This kind of goes with rule #1.)

5. Have the cash to pay your fine. You want to end this scenario as soon as possible. Pay the fine and close the case.

6. Don’t talk to other people about your driving record in court. They will throw you under the bus to save themselves.

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I Need a Window Seat Next to Erykah Badu

People act like they never saw a naked woman before…..To me, Erykah Badu has always been a deep and soulful artist, but now all of a sudden the mainstream media is trying to play her like she is some desparate deviant diva vying for attention and record sales. Aww Phooey! It’s not like she pulled a stunt like lil’ Kim did at an award show on the red carpet with the glitter pasty on her left breastasis’.

My, my, my, how soon we forget…Back in the day, Madonna used to pop up naked all the time at weddings, picnics and report card conferences, and nobody would say a thing.  Pink gets naked for every awards show and does an aerial ribbon in the sky performance, and people call her “creative and bold.” I think people let it ride, beucause Pink has the body of a 13 year-old boy. On the real, I really think that people have been hating on Erykah, because of how fine she looked. It takes a lot to go in the buff on a busy street in broad daylight. Erykah did the damn thing. She was just strutting down the street with that, “I got a big booty walk.”

Jealousy is a terrible thing.  Some people are trying to say that it’s a big deal, because of where she did it. All of a sudden, President Kennedy’s assassination site is a sacred place. Let me be clear, the assasination of one of our greatest Presidents ever was a terrible thing. It was one of the darkest days in our country’s history. However, I don’t think the street he was shot on should be treated like the road to Damascus.

If this place was so sacred, why haven’t they cracked down on all the real crimes that happen in this area. Bums piss on the grassy knoll, crack-heads buy rocks there, and people still get shot on that very same street. Yet, people on the news were crying out, “how could she do that on the same land Kennedy was killed on?”

Why no outcry for Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., USA? These streets have murders, rapes and drug deals go on everyday and nobody says a thing. “Ground Zero” in New York City still has a hole in the ground. The alley in South Central Los Angeles where Ricky was shot still has prostitutes running through it. Is any street in America really sacred?

 People with flat butts and big guts are saying that she did it for record sales….GTFOH. That’s their way of saying, “she’s got a fatty and I have a flatty.” Hateration at its finest. It’s always somebody with a chewed up body hating on somebody else who is confident enough to show their bodies off. Erykah is the bomb, but she don’t need her ass to sell records. I could see if this was a sexual song a la’ D’Angelo’s song “untitled.”

Erykah Badu has always had a large fan base and she did not need a publicity stunt to generate a buzz. She makes great music….period. The woman was making an artistic statement in this video. I don’t quite know what it is yet, but I am sure that after I watch it a few more hundred times, I will figure it out.

Andre’ 3000 and Common knew a long time ago, what most of us were just recently able to witness to. Erykah Badu should change her name to Erykah Badonk-a-donk-du.

What is interesting about this is that Lady Ga Ga can come out wearing some Mardi Gras beads and some glitter-glad wrap to a catholic church service and people would call her an “artist.” The double-standards in our society are amazing.

 Even if they continue to bash her and charge her with indecent exposure, I am still buying her album. The song is actually good and I am sure the album will be great.

If they try to charge her with anything else…(singing) I think she better callllll Tyyyrooonee!!!

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The New Years…..Revolution

 

Five, four, three, two, one…..HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!

Its 2010, celebrate at the party with all your friends, pop the fire-works, do the stanky leg with your cousins, and finish the last of the liquor. Let’s end the decade with a bang! You’ve worked hard all year, endured some drama, and survived a depression. You deserve to get loose. (Singing Jay-Z) On to the next one! On to the next one!

The New Year has rolled around and you are excited about all of the new possibilities that the New Year has to offer. Just like Tevin Campbell said in his song Tomorrow: “To-morrow will bring, a bet-ter you, a better, meeeee! To-gether, we’ll show this world, we got more we could beeeee!”

(Record Scratches) But now what? It’s 2010 and just like you do every single year, you make up some “New Year” resolution that you cannot live up to. I know, because I have done it too.

 I used to always say that I was going to stop cursing, but shiiiiiiiiiit! (See what I mean?)

I know what you are thinking, the New Year is suppose to be a new beginning and you want to start things off on the right foot and yada, yada, yada; In some families it is a tradition and yada , yada,  yada…

However, how many times have you said, “I’m going to start working out this year?” Then you buy a membership to The French Riviera Spa and spandex outfits like Sherman Klump did on the Nutty Professor and you get all your friends to join you in your new workout regimen. You go strong for about a week and then your group of 300 Spartans dwindles back down to the 3 Little Pigs. After about two weeks, it’s back to Popeyes and Krispy-Kreme donuts.

I have also heard people say, “I am going to spend more time with my family.” You start off good and spend Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday with them, and then you don’t see them again until Thanksgiving. The only time you might see them in between holidays is if they let you claim lil’ Man-Man on your taxes and you feel guilty about not letting them come over and spend the night.

At this very moment, someone is declaring that they are going to start their own business…….Right now; someone is changing their mind and pushing it back to NEXT year, “Grand Opening Grand Closing!”

New Years resolutions put too much pressure on people. It’s hard to quit bad habits cold turkey. You set yourself up for failure by making an annual declaration to the world that you are going to stop or start doing something that you could not do the entire year before. All of a sudden, just because it’s January, you’re going to stop smoking weed? Okay Cheech and Chong. How can you give up drinking with Mardi Gras just around the corner? You say you’re going do better with your money, but the new 2010 Maxima just came out. You know you gots to have it!

It’s also hard to make life-changing decisions in January. The kids are still in school, so you can’t move. Nobody is hiring, so you can’t get a new job. You did not get your income taxes yet, so you can’t buy that house and get the Obama tax credit, and there is no way in hell you are going to the gym everyday in this cold ass weather.  

I propose a new approach; we are going to call it the “New Years Revolution.”  Everyone should do the same old stuff they have been doing since 2009, and start weaning themselves into their resolutions around March. That way, you miss the failure slump that most new years changes bring. This will give you some time to plan a little bit better.

This January 1st deadline is unrealistic. You need time to gradually pull away…It’s vital to the success of your Revolution.

You can do it, just not today…

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The Ghetto Big Brother is Watching…

So I am sure that everyone has at least heard one conspiracy theory or two about how “Big Brother” (The U.S. Government) is watching your every move with their traffic-light cameras, monitors on the internet, GPS systems in cars and phones, and un-warranted wire-taps on your cell phones, etc.. Yes these things do exist, but there is another brother watching you that you are not aware of, and in most cases, they are doing more damage to your privacy than you think…It’s not the Chinese, it’s not that creepy bundle of money with the big eyes on those Geico Insurance commercials, it is everyday people.

It’s the people around you. It’s the guy in the grocery store standing behind you in the check-out line; it’s the kids in the mall, and to bring it even closer to home…..your mate. Technology has become a blessing and curse, just like Sarah Connor said it would in the Terminator when Skynet made the super-computer that decided to destroy the world. In the words of Southwest Airlines, “You are no longer safe to move around country.”

Anybody with a cell phone and a computer, can be Jack Bauer and track you down, set you up, get you busted, or just embarrass the hell out of you over the internet. Think about it, your girlfriend and your nosy ex-girlfriends are checking your Facebook page right now to find out who your friends are, what you are doing, and who you are doing it with. She also gets a text from Bank of America every time you use your visa debit card. She  getd the dollar amount you charged and the location of the charge. She also has the GPS tracking dot she can follow on the computer thanks to your cell phone.

You want to try to creep in the new BMW you just bought? Don’t do it big pimpn,’ she has a GPS system on that too, she got Onstar and a low-jack. She can kill the engine where ever you are until she gets there to Tiger Woods your ass right in front of the club.

Let’s say you lied to your boss about why you’re not coming to work? Well you better hope your house does not show up on GOOGLE MAPS! This site can show your house in live living color 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I called my father one day who lives all the way in Longview, Texas while googling his apartment address. I got to see so close, I could see his bicycle on the balcony. I said, “Dad, you should move your bike before someone steals it.” Man did that freaked him out. This made me think, hmmmm, every time I leave my house, someone can be watching me on the internet.

The biggest thing that has gone too far is the camera phone. You can be made into a YouTube sensation without even trying. Think I’m lying? Just get into a fight in a public place. People don’t break up fights or use their phone to call the police anymore; they just flip on the camera and make you their latest YouTube post. People have become so good at it, that CNN is now asking people to send them their videos they record so that CNN can air them with their news stories. 

There should be a law against people doing that….For real, for real.

With all that going on, you still have people out here who are dumb enough to just tell you all day, what they are doing and where they are going on Twitter. This is out of control, but this one is a self-imposed invasion of privacy. Just tell all your business: “I’m at Wal-Mart, I just passed gas…it stank, I’m driving down the street, Oops my license is suspended…I being pulled over by the police. D’OH!!” I can write a whole new article on Twitter alone.

 Just watch your back out here in these streets. Big Brothers are watching…..

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The Saints are 12 N.O. – I have waited all my life for a season like this…

I have been a New Orleans Saints fan my entire life. Not the type of fan that jumps on the band wagon when they are winning and jumps off when they lose, but the type of fan that stuck with the team after Mike Ditka mortgaged a decade of draft picks for Ricky Williams. If it weren’t for hurricane Katrina, I would still have my 5-0 Cha-ching T-shirt.

Being born and raised in New Orleans, the Saints were the only team I followed in professional football. My father was so much of a fan; you would have thought he was on of the owners. Instead of church on Sunday, The Saints games were the only thing that would guarantee that my entire family would spend a day together. The Saints were part of the family. As an adult, my work week would be a good one or a bad one based on whether the Saints won their game.

I remember watching the games with all my cousins on Sunday afternoon with a plate of red beans in my lap sitting Indian-style front of the television. It was funny hearing the adult s in my family cursing and complaining about the game.

I watched my father and uncles throw beers and chicken bones at the screen in disgust every time the Saints would screw up. The game also came with full ghetto commentary from my uncle Steven and my pops. You could get a full injury report, game strategy, play by-play from my people. I also learned the entire history of the franchise by listening to my father and uncles tell the stories of how we picked who and what Tom Benson (the owner) was doing wrong with the team. The kids never asked questions, because the adults would get frustrated and kick us out of the living room.

The Dome Patrol:

After the Saints games were over, I used to go outside to play football in the street with my friends wearing my Bobby Hebert jersey, only to be laughed at and ridiculed by some of my friends who had sold out for a Joe Montana’s or Jerry Rice’s 49ers jersey. In spite of the dynasty the 49ers were at the time, I still thought the Saints were the best team. After all, they were the Saints. I thought that Dalton Hilliard was the best Running back to ever play and Rickey Jackson was better than Lawrence Taylor.  I used to stick up for the Saints when they lost and make excuses for them like most people do for their cousin that’s always going back and forth to prison for various crimes. I used to say, “We need a quarterback, we have a hard schedule, the refs cheated (my favorite).”

 In 1988, the Saints were playing extremely well and made it to the playoffs for the first time and played the Minnesota Vikings. The Saints were a whopping 12-3 that year and we looked unstoppable. After leading the game 10 to zero, the Vikings went on a roll and beat us 44-10. I was devastated. Vikings Wide-Receiver Anthony Carter returned a punt for a touchdown and caught a Hail-Mary touchdown pass. (The irony of a guy catching a Hail-Mary on the Saints…Whose side was Mary on?) My dad almost broke our television that day…I remember him saying a statement that would forever ring in my head,” Same ole’ Saints”….I would use that statement for the next 15 years.

In spite of all of that, when I became a teenager, I still rooted for the Saints. I remained faithful through the Ditka years, and as an adult, I have rooted through the hot/cold Haslett years, and the current Payton administration.

 A lot of my friends fell off to support the Cowboys and the Patriots etc.

Then in 2005 the unthinkable happened. Hurricane Katrina tore a hole through the Superdome and flooded my city, forcing me to move to Maryland. Living between D.C. and Baltimore, people would ask me, “So are you a Skins fan or a Ravens fan?” With pride, I would show them my Saints baseball cap, screen saver from my phone, Saints engraved door keys, tie-pin,  Saints logo debit card or the Drew Brees or Joe Horn (Remember him) Jersey I owned. People laughed and said, “the Saints suck!” Well being from New Orleans you know I had to respond, “No Yo’ momma sucks.”

 Anyway, I knew that we would not fair well in 2005 as a result of Hurricane Katrina and Aaron Brooks still at quarterback. I still supported the Saints and counted the season as a rebuilding year. Oh man did we rebuild, something magical happened in 2006. We got a new coach (Sean Payton) a good quarterback (Drew Brees) and a guy named Bush (Reggie Bush) that wasn’t from Texas. The team looked great and was kickin’ you know what and I thought to myself, whoo-hooo!! We are finally going to win the big one. All of these years of disappointment will be worth it by winning the Super Bowl. However, it was our time, lost the NFC championship to the Bears. “Same ole Saints”

 The Saints could take you high as a kite like your first love and then leave you feeling disappointed like a kid whose father did not show up to their recital. Heart attack, aneurism, and depression were some of the things I experienced over the last 30 years on a frequent basis, but for some reason I could never give up on them. I always believed that our time would come.

Does anyone remember the River City Relay in Jacksonville?

Supporting them was like the family car you never want to get rid of. Sure the car has its problems, but you have too many good memories with it and it has done too much for your family.  Also, you always saw the potential in the car and what it could be, so instead of trading it in for another model, you rebuilt the engine, and threw some 20’ spinners on it, with a coat of black & gold candy paint.

I still love the Saints, like a woman loves her baby daddy, like a fat kid loves vanilla ice-cream on his chocolate cake, like Bobby Brown likes getting arrested, like Tiger Woods loves white women.

Currently, the Saints are playing great football and are 12-0 for the first time ever in life and are looking like Super Bowl contenders. They also are not falling victim to the pitfalls and bone-head plays that long time fans are accustomed to.

This season is special, but I personally don’t care about all the undefeated mess, I just want us to get home field and continuously get better as the season winds down. Now if we happen to go undefeated in the process cool, but let’s not call the season a failure if we do lose one. The goal is to be the champs.

I wrote this, because this past Sunday against the Washington Redskins, the Saints gave me heart palpitations, because I got caught up. The way they were playing against the Redskins took me back to 1988, “Same ole Saints.” As the Saints were on the doorstep of their first loss I began to complain to my wife saying, “We blew out the Dolphins, Stomp the Eagles, Ruin the Giants and embarrass the Patriots, and then lose to the Redskins?” In my mind, that is what I was used to. The Saints building you up, and then as soon as you start to believe the hype, they let you down. But just like any other family member you have, whether they are graduating from high school or flunking out they are still family and you still support them.

Here I was about to condemn my team for losing a single game that would have made them 11 and 1. (Wow unhappy with 11 and 1? We have become spoiled)

 These may not be the “Same Ole Saints” in terms of their talent, attitude and potential, but these are the same ole Saints I have been rooting for my whole life, these are the same ole Saints that brought my family together, these are the same ole Saints that could have left and went to San Antonio, but stayed in a desolate city to support the fans who love them. (Thanks Tom Benson)

 So no matter how the rest of the season goes, this is my team and I am sticking with them win, lose or draw. I loved the 3-13 Saints, the Dome Patrol Saints, the Cha-ching Saints, the Katrina Saints, and the lost to the Bears in the NFC Championship Saints, and the undefeated 2009 Saints. I will just make sure to take an Aspirin before each game from here on out…..Geaux Saints!!!

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Are we in hell already?

civil_unrest2I have really been trying to stay away from blogging about things in the news, because I did not want to just keep repeating what is already out there. Instead, I have been writing about things that I felt like sharing such as: my philosophy on life, relationship issues and the human condition. However, I have been hearing  and reading so many depressing and horrific things in the news, I had to say something.

People have lost their minds. It’s like jail or death is no longer a deterrent for a lot of people anymore. What also seems bad is that people have become numb to hearing about murders, rape and violence. I see people react to hearing about a serial killer murdering 10 women like, “okay, what’s on ESPN?” When did we all become so cold-blooded? It’s only when something happens to our loved ones that we want CSI to come out and do a full-scale investigation. We only care about the rapist or pedophile if he is on the loose on our neighborhood.

I know that most people believe that we are in the last days and all kind of craziness is suppose to take place. In the book of second Timothy chapter 3 verse 1 says, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” So, this is suppose to be the precursor to Jesus coming back and taking all the good people to heaven and the evil doers’ (People Shacking up LOL) to hell.

Tupac said in his song “Blasphemy” on the Makeveli Album, “We probably in Hell already, our dumb asses not knowin, everybody kissin ass to go to heaven ain’t goin. Put my soul on it….” 

Everybody does not believe in the bible, but whatever your religious beliefs or unbeliefs are, you know the world cannot go on this way. It’s about to be Madd Maxx in a minute.

Look at some of the major news stories in the past week:

r465884_2309754Fort Hood Shootings – For those of you who did not hear about it already, there was a shooting spree that killed 13 people and wounded 31 others on Thursday, November 5. They are still finding out details, but anyone who does a Rambo on a military base has got to be crazy. The scary thing is, if someone can pull that off on a military base, where everybody got a gun, do you feel safe in the suburbs?

15 Year-old Girl Raped – Onlookers laughed, took pictures and even joined in Saturday night during the two-hour gang rape of a semi-conscious 15-year-old outside her high school homecoming dance. This is wrong on so many levels. I got a question, where were the chaperons at the dance? I remember when I was in high school; they would even let you hang outside of the dance. You either had to come inside or go home. Then, you had people watching and taking pictures. I am so scared form the future for my kids. People are watching and filming rapes and murders on their camera phones, so they can post it on YouTube. They should make that a crime.

0_64_110309_rapistOhio Rapist Charged with Murder….10 Bodies Found – Anthony Sowell, 50, was charged Tuesday with rape, felonious assault and kidnapping, Cleveland police spokesman Lt. Thomas Stacho said. The gruesome new discovery comes after 6 bodies were found last week in the Sowell’s house, bringing the total number discovered there to 10. Authorities do not know whether the skull belongs to an eleventh victim.

So now we have the black and freaky serial killer. I read that people have been complaining about the odor coming from his house for a minute and the police never came over to see nothing. You can’t lie and say you are cooking chitterlings forever. The police should have been over to the house, especially given the fact that he is a convicted felon.

Office Shooting and Murder in Florida – Last week, 40-year-old Jason Rodriguez went on a shooting rampage at the Gateway Centre in Orlando, Florida, killing one person and injuring at least five others.

In a brief court appearance, he was portrayed by his lawyer as a mentally ill man who has had a bad year, losing his job, home and marriage.

I don’t’ know the details of this situation, nor do I agree with what he did, but apparently this guy was at the end of his rope and snapped. It seems like people all over are just feeling hopeless and are giving up on life.

These are just a sampling of events that have happened in the U.S. over the past week or so. This is not to mention all the destruction and chaos going on everywhere else in the world that does not make the mainstream news.

Given the recent chain of events, I ask the question, “Are we in hell already?”

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Shacking Up, is so hard to do

f058338cac3bca82Have you ever heard the saying, “Don’t play house.” This old school metaphor has been widely used by mothers all over the world when trying to school their young daughters about living in with a man before marrying him.

Living together has become very common in mainstream America. It has now been looked at as the next step in a  boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. Back in the day, unmarried couples that lived together were looked at like they were morally deficient. It was like being in a room full of doctors and admitting you dropped out of high school. People were embarrassed to even tell someone they were shacking up. You would say that you were living with a roommate, a friend, or your cousin.  I remember when even spending the night at a girl’s house was a big deal. I used to have to sneak out of a girl’s house like I was James Bond.

As the fabric of or morality began to deteriorate around the late 80’s early 90’s, living together before marriage gradually became more acceptable and justified by an increasingly high divorce rate in the United States. The new saying became, “Don’t you want to test drive a car before you buy it?” That’s why today’s couples that shack up are not hassled; they are only typically only looked down upon by religious zealots and protective parents.

Some people believe today that you should try living with someone before you leap into a marriage. In many aspects that theory makes a lot of sense. It seems like a responsible move to test the waters. Would you order a dish without sampling it? Would a company hire you without an interview? Would you sign an artist without an audition? Marriage is a serious commitment and most people feel that it is absolutely necessary that you live with someone before you sign your life away. Nobody wants to end up like Nas & Kelis, Bobby & Whitney, Starr Jones and RuPaul, etc.

However, I think that there are valid points on both sides. The beliefs in most religions is that people should be married before they live together, but the benefits of moving in first make for a better long-term decision about marriage. People always say that you should really get to know someone before you marry them, so shouldn’t living together help you really get to know the person?

See, I think that the primary concern of the old school generation was really about preventing the young couples from having sex, not living together. They were protecting their kids against fornication and getting pregnant out-of-wedlock. The only problem with that is that couples don’t have to live together to sleep together. Premarital sex and unwed parenting is not taboo for the new generation.

So I think that in addition to it being a morality issue, it is also a generational issue.

I was watching Good Times last night and Thelma wanted to move in with her African boyfriend Ebay that she met in college. Florida (her mother) was against it, because they were not going to get married yet.

See, Florida represented the old school way of thinking and Thelma was thinking on a level that transcended into the 80’s and beyond.

Benefits of Shacking Up

One of the benefits to shacking up is that you get to really get to know that person, before you are obligated to be with them forever. Living with a person 24/7, you get to see beyond the veil of his hollow swagger or her sexy mystique. You get to see her unsexy mistakes and his trifling ways.

I used to date a woman that I would pick up three times a week to go hang out. Once I spent a full weekend with her and never wanted to date her again. Her house was dirty like Mister’s house on The Color Purple when Cielie just moved in. She had old food in the fridge and her bathroom was like the public restrooms in the Superdome before Hurricane Katrina. She could not cook and she looked like Kim Wayans without her weave in and make-up on. Then I found out that she had a severe lying problem, and she did not even bath everyday. (Eww) I found all that out by just spending two days at her house. Just imagine if I wouldn’t have known that and married her. I am a clean freak; we would have been divorced quicker than Usher and Tameka. It is very easy to pretend to be fly, cool, or clean, when you are around somebody for short periods of time. However, if you live with them, eventually you get to see the real person.

The other benefit is that you can leave when you want to. If you break up with them, there is no alimony, or divorce fees. You won’t have to give up half your stuff. (Willingly that is)

Problems with Shacking Up

One of the biggest problems many shacked-up couples face is when mad day comes. Every couple knows what mad day is. Unmarried couples sometimes buy huge assets together while things are going good. However, it does not always stay good. So when the time comes and they decide to go their separate ways, who going to get the stuff? This is when the convenient blessing becomes a curse.

Here’s a quick scenario: Tyrone and Lisa living together and they decide to put in together and buy a flat screen for the living room. Two months later, Tyrone gets caught cheating and Lisa wants to break up. Who gets the TV? Who has to move out? Who gets to keep the puppy? Since they are not married, they can’t let the divorce proceeding decide who gets what, so now they got to go on Judge Judy and fight on TV.

Another problem is some women believe that the free-loading bum that is living off of them is going to marry them eventually. There is another great saying tied to this situation. “Why buy the cow if you can get the milk for free?” In most cases, if you live with a guy and you all have 2-3 kids, a house, and cars etc., he is comfortable and has already won. He has no reason to marry you. What he does have is an easy road out if he decides that he wants to move on. He gets all the benefits of being married without any of the responsibility. To buy himself some extra time, he’ll say that they’ll get married down the road when they can afford it. That usually shuts the woman up for 3 or 4 years. And don’t let him hit you with the “we in a recession speech”. This is also what parents are trying to protect their daughters from.

At the End of the Day

At the end of the day shacking up is still the issue of morality vs. practicality. For the more spiritually minded people, it is a clear-cut moral issue that should not be compromised for the sake of convenience or experimentation. On the other hand, it makes all the sense in the world to know what you are getting into before you commit for what is suppose to be a lifelong vow.

In the practical sense (barring religion), all marriage is able to do is make it harder for couples to separate, thus encouraging couples to make a more concerted effort to save the marriage. (And possibly save you from going to HELL) However, if you find out in advance that your potential spouse is a dirty, trifling, no bath taking, cross-dressing, sea donkey with filthy habits; you probably would not marry them in the first place.

So I say, if your conscience is clear about it,  do what you do, but I aint God…….

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Career Change……What’s the Hold Up?

george-bush-motivational1What did you want to be when you grew up, a teacher, a fireman, an astronaut? I did not want to be anything like that. After I saw Purple Rain in the 80’s, I wanted to be Prince. When I got a little older, I decided that I wanted to become a writer. Twenty years later it’s still a work in progress, but at least it’s a work… right?

Now that you are grown, are you doing what you planned to do with your life in terms of your career? Are you working towards your career goals or are you still putting it off for the future like paying off your student loans?

How many years have you been saying, “Next year I am going to open a salon or restaurant.” How long have you been writing that movie, working towards your degree, or taking the bar exam?

You can sing like Patti LaBelle and you dance better than Chris Brown, but you are still working at Popeye’s. Well, what’s the hold up? (Sarcastic voice) Oh yeah, that’s right, you are starting your own label next year, and your cousin knows Babyface and he is going to get you a deal…and blah, blah, blah.

People spend a lot of time talking about what they are about to do. I know, because I was one of the greatest at doing this. I was always painting this vivid picture to people about what my future would look like and how successful I was going to be. The problem was that most of the time I was full of it, but it made me feel good just talking  about it. The sad thing is for a long time, that’s all it was…Talk. Do you know anyone like that? Someone who yells with the greatest conviction that they are going to do something and you find out they aint gonna do shit.

I heard someone say a long time ago that “talk is cheap,” and it holds true today when it comes to career aspirations. When it comes to making moves in life, you should be like Nike and “just do it.” Time waits for no man, and before you know it, you will find yourself only being able to talk about the past. “I could have had this or would have had that”…… I have countless friends that I played sports with during my teenage years who swear until this day that they could have gone pro, but they never put forth the effort or took the steps to get there.

Here are some of the reasons we give as to why we can’t work towards our career goals:

 I Don’t Have Time!

One of our challenges we face is that we are all creatures of habit. Once our lives become routine, it also becomes safe and convenient. You now become afraid to leave your comfort zone. Your job pays the bills and allows you to buy a few things and take care of your family. In this economy, nobody is trying to rock that boat. However, at the same time, you don’t want to be stuck in the same situation or limit your options either.

Routine stuns your growth. It is a mentality we develop over time. Routine is comfortable and breaking your routine is scary. Whether it is fear of failure or fear of losing what have been able to barely maintain, people are afraid to take that leap to the next level. It’s like the dumb saying goes: “The man who sleeps on the floor can’t fall out of bed.”

However, there is a way to work through this obstacle. It’s all about planning. Look at your week and log how much time you waste. Whether it is 30 minutes or 3 hours a day, this down time is what you can use to work on your career changing project. Use this time to do some research and make some long-term plans. Everyday that goes by should include you doing at least one thing toward your goal no matter how small.

Are People in the Way?

Another reason people are apprehensive about trying to progress is, because of the people around them. You know who I am talking about right? I am talking your dog, your home girl, etc.

Some of our so-called Friends, are the main ones that will hate on our ideas. Believe it or not, deep down some of your friends are envious of you and don’t want you to be doing better than them. Think about it? Do you have a friend that is always saying something negative about what you are doing? Anything you say about something, they got something bad to say about it.

The other thing is that they’re always comparing themselves to you. You know that they’ll never really support you trying to come up. You might want to distance yourself from these types of “friends.” They will only slow you down or deter you from your goals.

Self Doubt

Worst of all, some people just don’t believe that they can make it. After what I have seen over the course of my 30 plus years on this earth, I believe that anything is possible. Look around you and see what is going on. Consider this, if Frankie and Neffe can get their own television show, if Jermaine Dupri can get Janet Jackson, and if “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” can win an Academy Award, anything is possible.

I often watch the behind the music shows on VH1 and I recently watched both 50 Cent’s and T.I.’s show. Neither are my favorite rappers (Hov, DMX), but they both had crazy struggles earlier in their lives before they got to where they are in their industry. Are they the best at what they do, probably not, but they kept grinding.

With a little preparation and opportunity, you never know where you will end up. You don’t always have to be the best at it; you just have to be driven. Haven’t you seen the best singers not make it to Hollywood on American Idol? 

Not motivated yet? Well, if you had any doubts about being successful at making your career change, I got some medicine. Check this out:

Former President George W. Bush made his debut as a motivational speaker Monday, October 26, to a crowd of 11,000 in Fort Worth, Texas. Are you kidding me? The most non-articulate President in the history of the world has got a new job as a motivational speaker. Do you know what that means? That means that if you are a 5 foot 2 inches tall, you can play power forward for the Lakers. If you are as big as King Latifah is, you can be a stripper at the Blue Flame in Atlanta. If you have been arrested more times than Bobby Brown, you can still be  the mayor of your city. The sky is the limit. You just have to get to work!!

There are many reasons why we can say that we haven’t reached our career goals that we set for ourselves, but no excuse. We can blame it on life decisions we made early in our lives, we can blame people, or we can even blame on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol, but at the end of the day, it’s on us to get it popping. Our complacency and doubt are our own. Think about it, many people throughout history have done great things despite their opposition.

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