Friday, January 26, 2007

Music on my mind (part 1)

Thanks to TC, JAC, and MikeSeeI have been inspired to throw up some videos of songs that I like. Everyone seems to have music videos going up these days with each being unique to their personal styles...TC does hip-hop and R&B songs regularly and covers just about everything, JAC covered some R&B that she loved in college, MikeSee put up some old school Hip Hop that he was feeling, and now I am gonna do somewhat of a hip hop timeline of some of my favorite songs throughout the stages of my life.

Naughty By Nature - Everything’s Gonna Be Alright (Sixth Grade - 90/91):
Warning: Explicit Lyrics
This song was official my first "favorite song" to the point where my mom (who was only 32/33) used to tell me how it made her think of me and hoped I wouldn't end up like Treach. This video is also probably responsible for me getting my @$$ kicked for the first time too since I couldn't help but think I was hard after watching that video....LMAO!!!
MC Eiht - Straight Up Menace (Eight Grade - 92/93):
Warning: Explicit Lyrics
This one took Naughty's place as my favorite when it came out. If this was the stuff I got on TV during my formidable years and I turned out fine I don't think I can blaim the television for how some of these youngin's are these days any longer! I guess I see why some of my friends say I have a violent side...LOL!!! Why was I allowed to watch this at 13 ya'll?!?
High School
Da Brat - Give It To Ya (Sophmore Year - 94/95):
During high school Biggie ruled music for me with his 1st album dropping my Freshman year and his last dropping my Senior Year but this song was undeniably one of the best songs dropped in that time fraim. Best track ever made by Da Brat in my opinion.
Kriss Kross - Live and Die for Hip Hop (Late Junior Year - 95/96):
I'm really putting this one on here to see if anyone else remembers it other than me. This is the same year that "It Was Written" dropped so the fact that Kriss Kross tried to make a comeback flew completely under the radar but back then I always thought that this was a dope track. I was really surprised to see that these dudes were my age or older back then too...they like 17 in this video. LOL.
Red Man - That’s How it is (Early Senior Year - 96/97):
I still believe that Red Man is one of the most underrated rappers ever (somewhere trailing Scarface in that category) and this song and album prove it. Easily one of the top 5 albums that year and it was his 3rd album. Man I swear, 93 thru 97 were the 5 greatest years in hip hop history.
I'll get back to cover my undergrad and grad school years in Part 2.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Colts and Bears

Yeah the Indianopolis Colts will be facing off against the Chicago Bears in Miami for the Superbowl on February 4th but this one isn't truly about that match's about the coaches! We finally have the first black coach to ever make it to the Superbowl but not only that...we are gauranteed that a black coach will win the Superbowl! This is HUGE!!!

Tony Dungy is the Coach of the Indianapolis Colts. Dungy had to get past talk about him not being able to get to the show because his last team won after he left. Tony Dungy is also playing in his first full season since the loss of his son last year to a suicide. I wanted him to go to the Superbowl more than any other black coach not to mention I am a fan of his QB (but this ain't about him right now!)

Lovie Smith is the coach of the Chicago Bears. He is a coach that focuses on defense and even after much criticism about his decesions for offensive starters he has proven that loyalty to his players is just as important as winning. This man is a class act and a protege` of Tony Dungy.

Now I know what your thinking "It's only a freaking football game." But a black coach in the Superbowl means so much more to the game than you think. Football is the most popular sport in the United States and with that it follows along with the culture of the United States and there is no secret that black people have had to overcome some barriers in this country. This is another one of those barriers we have had to work on. I mean, I'm not saying this is big like if Barak Obama actually becomes the first black president but let me just break down why it means a lot to me.
First know that in the NFL it has just become a regular thing to have black Quarterbacks in the last 10 - 15 years with most of the black QBs coming out of college being forced to transition to other positions. Why you ask...because QBs run the offense and along with the physical aspects of the game of football you had to be a thinker to run an NFL offense with complex plays and read defenses. In the US society, black men haven't been thought of as thinkers so they have strayed away from putting us in this role due to there opinions about our lack of intelligence. So you can imagine that if they didn't think we were good enough to run the offense on the field they damn sure don't think we're good enough to run the entire team from the sideline. This has always been another one of those positions where our people were made to feel as though they were inadequate and black coaches have been dealing with the pressures of proving these stereotype wrong for much too long.

If you think I'm exxagerating just look at the facts:

  • 32 NFL Teams and only 7 black head coaches in the league (which is actually a great number for us cause it's normally 2-3): Lovie Smith, Tony Dungy, Marvin Lewis, Dennis Green, Art Shell, Romeo Krennel and Herm Edwards. (and two of them just got fired after the season ended on his first year with the team)
  • 119 NCAA Division 1A and only 7 black head coaches (yeah that's an exact figure!)
  • 41 Superbowls and there hasn't even been a black coach to make it let alone win (I attribute this to lack of opportunity as well as odds. 7 against 25 sucks!).
  • And although it's a tangent fact....The NFL just got it's first black owner this past season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Getting the gaurantee of having a black head coach win a Superbowl is a milestone. For the sport of football it is historical. I'm just glad that I am here to see it happen. Gives me hope for us succeeding in other areas where we have encountered barriers. But I'm not the only one who is excited about can check out my man AB's blog about this topic too. He calls it The Soul Bowl. LMAO!!!

This is the best year in Football since my Skins won the Superbowl!

The Year is New: "Ya'll Feel The Boat Moving?"

If you hadn't already go back and check out the first part of my trip...

So now we are leaving Miami and getting on the cruise ship and for me this is not only my FIRST cruise but also my FIRST time on a boat.

Once on the boat I just tried to have fun and take in everthing about the trip. The beautiful weather, the food & drinks, and the good people. During this trip I was deemed a "professional conversationalist" (whatever that means) so it should be no surprise to those in attendance that I actually met a star on the ship....


Hey at least that's what everyone else seems to think when Mike puts on the shades and the hat. Personally I don't think my man's nose is pointy enough to look like Swizz Beats but he seems to get that comparison from everyone else. I think people just try to hard though.

So Mike and I went to Key West and he finally got the chance to go Jet Ski (he was so f*cking PRESSED). It was Mike, KC, and JAC out in the ocean doing it and I wanted to go with them (which was supposed to be another first for me) but I was still feeling a little under the weather from my sore throat I caught in Miami so I chose health over fun. I get responsible some times.

Randall is missing from these pics because my man wasn't as lucky as I was with his sickness so he was stuck in the room losing his lunch. LMAO!

But when my man got back you know he was in rare form again saying wild sh*t and talking trash. LOL. Doesn't Randall look twisted in this picture...yeah that's TheraFlu. LMAO!! Don't I look like a football player that loves to knock the sh*t out of people in this one...that's why Mike always talks about me beating his azz. LOL!

On the boat we enjoyed parties every night and especially had fun kicking it with all the different people we met and the party the night after Key West was probably the best night.

The next day was Mexico and I have to say that the most fun on the trip was my FIRST time in Mexico. Riding ATV's for the FIRST time, swimming in a huge outdoor pool, trying to hustle the vendors to get stuff cheap, 3 brotha's and a mexican playing Volleyball...this day was classic! LOL.

The rest of the trip was more partying and getting to know everyone that was with our group during dinner. All the fellas even got together to play basketball towards the end of the trip. Man, on this trip I think I spent about $230 on drinks but don't worry I only drank about $150 worth of them myself....LOL. But I had a great time so I ain't complaining. I'm just mad that I wasted money on motion sickness medicine I never needed. Whenever the boat moved it just felt like I was a little tipsy but nothing serious. Well at least not until late in the trip. That rocking seemed to get worst as the days past. I knew it was really bad once the trip was over and we were back in the airport waiting for our luggage to come out. Everyone was standing near each other and occasionally one of us would start to sway back and forth like we lost our balance. I guess we were all feeling the same thing cause eventually Fool asks "Aye, ya'll feel the boat moving?"

That was the craziest feeling to sucked cause it reminded me that the trip really was over. Ah well, back to reality.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Be...all that you can be!

Okay I really need someone to tell me that I am wrong in thinking that Telemundo. I am under the belief that Telemundo is taped and airs in Mexico and the channel is broadcast in the US for our many hispanic citizens. Please someone tell me I'm wrong because if not than I am completely disgusted with what I just saw tonight....

So I'm watching Telemundo (just accept it I don't really have a reason) and the show I'm watching (Decision`) goes to commercial. The commercials are coming on and off and you get your normal commercials in spanish like Lays potato chips, Walmart, and Nissan. Now don't get it twisted they aren't playing our commercials with voice overs they have there own commercials and if you ever get the chance to go to Mexico you will see all the companies down there.

What has me messed up is the last commercial just before the show started was a US Army commercial. NO BULL! And it was equipped with a Mexican family with the son dressed in his army uniform and they were all speaking spanish having one of those family moments like they normally have with black families in the US commercials. You know the ones back in the day when the mom hugged her son and they all looked into the screen and smiled. Now I am in disbelief and I need someone to tell me that Telemundo is only in the US and not in Mexico because if we are recruiting people in Mexico to fight in our army but won't allow them across the border I have some SERIOUS problems with our government. I mean WTF!!! How does this sit well with political officials. I mean I have heard of people ignoring their morals but DAMN.

This may be hard to believe but I swear it's the truth. Man, this shit is crazy if I'm right...please tell me I'm wrong.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Year is New: "We not even on the boat yet!!!"

This year I brought in my New Year with a vacation (Yeah I know I'm late!) with some friends. We made our way down to Miami for a couple of days and then hopped on a fun ship (Carnival Cruise) and did it up for about 5 days. This vacay was the best I have had thus far....of course I am only on my 2nd one (unless you count the trips for weddings then it's the 4th). LMAO!

I had Randall (A.K.A Woo, A.K.A. Balloon Man ) and Mike (A.K.A. Bone) riding with me (I may be the only one of our friends with 1 name...LMAO) on this trip. Although they were the main ones with me for everything they definitely weren't the only friends with me on the trip...

We also had some beautiful ladies with us on the entire voyage starting with TC, JAC, KC, and Jess doing it big with us in Miami (notice Mike, Randall, and I all have the contagious peace sign disease that a lot of black men in there mid to late 20's can't seem to let go of...LOL!)...

And you know a couple of the fellas is wifed up so my man Fool and B (both seated) were there with there better halves...LOL.

This trip was all about 'NEW' experiences for me so I did a lot of new things for the first time on this vacation starting with this being my FIRST time in Ft. Lauderdale and Miami (YES, I have been to Florida before...LOL). And after me and the fellas hit the streets of South Beach and got some food (damn near $200 worth) I step inside this little shoe spot and pick up my FIRST pair of Loafer's (Good looking out on not having money to buy those Woo!!!).
Later on the three of us went to Club Bed and had dinner and drinks. This was my FIRST time in the club (they have one in NYC also) as well as my FIRST time eating a Filet Mignon and I have to say that I highly recommend their food to anyone who gets the opportunity to pay them a visit. Arguably the best steak I have eaten. About halfway thru our time in Club Bed the ladies finally make it to the club to party with us and I have my FIRST time partying with JAC and meeting Jess. We had a freaking ball but we all learned the hard way that Miami can be tough on the wallet. LOL.

The second day in Florida was just as good. We went down to the Beach in December and it was over 75 degree....WTF!!! We had some unbelievable weather while in Miami. We kicked it on the beach for a while, got some food and funny looks from some NBA players (LOL), got some drinks of course, and then went back to the hotel to get ready for the evening festivities. The night of New Year's Eve was at hand and we all meet back up and get it popping. The ladies all came out in the flyest dresses which made Randall, Mike, and I look even better to all the other ladies watching (Thanks a lot ladies...LOL!!!). We did a lot of walking, some of it up and down some stairs to this weak ass party that only Randall could find a way to enjoy. LOL. Then we ended up on the beach at countdown. Well it was a little bit after countdown for me cause I made the mistake of trying to follow Randall during one of those times where he got missing and didn't even realize it was midnight until we got back to the water and they told me. Sitting out there on the beach that night was almost surreal and a few of us had some nostalgic moments. That was was the FIRST time I had ever been on the beach under the moonlight and I couldn't help but think of how romantic that could have been to be with a wife or girlfriend at that moment. After I got out of my little zone I noticed a friend (female of course) having her own moment but she looked so sad that I couldn't help but give her a big hug (I'm a sapp at heart) and do that rocking back and forth like your mom will do...LOL. That was a good moment. It felt good to be able to be there for her during that moment and I hope it made our friendship stronger.

Honestly that's probably the highlight of the Miami trip right there...well that and that damn steak in Club Bed! (Did I mention that I recommend that to everyone?). Walking from the beach I found myself going into big brother mode when this 8 foot 2 bama walked up on JAC....but I just sat back and made sure he ain't try to do anything crazy. Wild thing is I realized afterwards that I know his older brother. It's really a small world. We got some more food and sat at the restaurant until the ladies decided to go in for the night and then my main man Mike drove back to Ft. Lauderdale (that trip was hell at 5am when you were tired).

All in all me and the fellas had a hell of a time in Miami and just as Mike said about 23 times that weekend...."We ain't even on the boat yet!!!!"

For more detail on our time in Miami and a different perspective, check out what Mike has to say in Part 1 and Part 2 of his blog on the trip. I'll finish up the rest of the trip later.