Monthly Archives: December 2010
So apparently there was a little snowstorm that came through and left a bunch of people stranded at the airport. Ahhhh, that brings back memories:
Anyone remember Skybus? I do!
Back in 2008 I had to go to a wedding in Ohio. Skybus was the new airline that was supposed to blow Jet Blue and Southwest out of the water with their $10 fares. To cut costs they didn’t have a call center or a staffed window at the airport. The first 10 tickets were $10 and from there the prices went up to like $30 max. I figured I’d give them a chance and that’s when I learned that being ghetto isn’t limited to race.
First off I had to drive an hour to the smallest airport in Greensboro, NC. Second, when the plane pulled up I noticed that it didn’t dock at the terminal. We had to literally walk out of the airport, down the tarmac and walk up a series of ramps to get on the plane. They also hit a metrobus move by painting a huge Nationwide Insurance ad all over the plane. Hey, can’t knock the hustle. I get on the plane and get a seat down in front.
All of a sudden a woman in a black sweatsuit walks to the front of the plane. I’m thinking she’s a passenger going to the bathroom. Nope. She’s the flight attendant. Before starting the safety speech, she tells us that this message was sponsored by Nationwide Insurance and like two other companies. After the speech about exits and flotation devices she gives us the spiel about how Skybus is a little different than most airlines. For starters, no free anything. Pillows were $5, blankets were $10 (but you could keep them as souvenirs). Peanuts were $2, cans of soda were $3 and (here’s the kicker) once we reach cruising altitude, the QVC cart would be coming by.
Yep, they were selling jewelry, electronics and clothes on the plane. I slept through that but did wake up just before we landed. The pilot gave the usual “weather, time and thanks for flying” speech but at the end he said (and I’m not making this up) “It’s 54 degrees in Columbus today, but a nice 85 in Fort Lauderdale. As a matter of fact, this plane will be heading there from Columbus. For last minute tickets at the bargain of $20 please see the flight attendant and remain on board.”
Now if that wasn’t ghetto enough for you, guess what happened when I got off? The damn company went bankrupt. I don’t mean a week or a month later. No, five minutes after I got off…about the same amount of time it took to walk from the runway to the terminal since they didn’t lease gates at airports…I looked up on the TV in the baggage claim and the crawl on the bottom of CNN said, “Skybus files bankruptcy.”
The whole drive to the hotel I was thinking, damn I was lucky that I got my flight before they closed down. I guess tomorrow will be my last flight with them. WRONG! That day was my last flight. I got to the hotel and checked on the computer. Their website stated that due to rising fuel costs they were shutting d0wn at midnight. Anyone interested in a refund should call their credit card company to inquire about travel insurance claims.
For the next hour I tried in vain to find a return ticket under $700. I ended up renting a car and driving twelve hours through torrential rain back to NC. When I got to the airport I saw maybe five Skybus planes sitting off the runway with boots on them. I’m not making this up. They had these bright orange covers on the engine that said “Do not move this plane.”
It was the most expensive $10 I’ve ever spent.
In loving memory of
The Modern Black Sitcom/Drama
Gone but not forgotten:The Cosby Show A Different World The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air In the House Martin Living Single New York Undercover In Living Color Roc The Sinbad Show Thea Hanging With Mr. Cooper Family Matters Malcolm and Eddie The Steve Harvey Show The Jamie Foxx Show The Wayans Brothers Moesha All of Us Eve Half and Half The Hughleys One on One Girlfriends The Parkers My Wife and Kids Everybody Hates Chris
It’s a sad day in Toon Town when Kyle Barker is shopping at Marshalls. Did anyone else catch the TJ Maxx/ Marshalls commercial with the people walking through the mall singing a semi-Christmas carol about spending too much? For some reason, my eyes always focus in on the token Black person in every commercial, and this time my mouth dropped to see TC Carson aka Kyle Barker from Living Single.
It always hurts to see a beloved actor fall from grace and end up doing commercials–especially a Black one. Living Single was Fox’s bread and butter and one point, but no one seemed to take off from that show besides Queen Latifah. I don’t blame anyone for it; Showbiz is brutal. I think I would rather someone disappear altogether than go backwards down the acting ladder…then again, a brother’s gotta eat.
It kinda sucks being Agnostic. Before I continue, that is not the same as autistic. Yes, someone actually asked me that. “You speak so well, I didn’t know you were, you know, retarded.” Agnostic is basically the equivalent of being “on the fence” when it comes to God and religion. It’s different than atheism where you don’t believe in anything at all.
So where was I? Oh yeah, it sucks. Like right now we’re approaching Christmas. Facebook is littered with people talking about Jesus’ birthday and I can’t really say anything. You see, I don’t have a problem with religion at all. I used to be a die-hard Christian and not just the Sunday-only Christian either. How I got to this point is a long story. I’ll just say that I didn’t have a bad experience, no one from the church did me dirty. My belief structure changed without a bad experience serving as a catalyst. I throw that in there because the minute you tell some people that you don’t go to church they go the route of “the bad experience” and “try my church.”
Anyway, it’s hard because, while I don’t have beef with church, I do have an issue with 1) inaccurate information being broadcast all over the place and 2) having to keep my mouth shut. I looooove to voice my opinion, but it’s dangerous when religion is the topic. I don’t want to be misinterpreted as trying to bash it and at the same time I don’t want to plant a seed of doubt in anyone’s faith. A lot of people need faith to get by. Life is hard enough as it is. Some people can’t function without something deeper to believe in.
So that’s why it sucks. Just to give a small example…Jesus’ name wasn’t Jesus. It irked me as a Christian to hear people swinging for the fences with the “unless you plead the blood of Jesus and profess his ‘true name’ you will go to hell.” The letter J didn’t exist back then, neither did the sound that J makes. His name was Yeshua and Jesus is just the result of that name being translated into different languages with different sounds.
Another small bite of info that shouldn’t cause any major pitchfork and torch brigades: Palestine is pretty cold in December. No shepherd would be out during that time. Instead it was probably either in the spring or early fall that Jesus would’ve been born. December 25th was, however, the observance of Saturnalia–a “pagan” ritual. It is historical record that to help with the adoption of Christianity by the “pagans,” a lot of holidays and celebrations were merged together.
Now if you’re a Christian, none of that should really dissuade you from your beliefs. It doesn’t matter if you have the wrong birthday or the wrong name, because the idea is still the same. As a non-Christian though…you can see how it can be slightly frustrating. It also doesn’t help that everywhere you turn (mostly facebook) you run into people who speak only in scripture. If the name is wrong, imagine what the “words in red” were at one point. I can’t say anything though, because that would lead into the very thing I hope to avoid.
It’s frustrating when people can make their view point heard without meaning to annoy or offend, but the minute I say “I’m not a Christian” I run into heavy opposition and become labeled as the antichrist.
I feel like I neglect this section of the site. It’s easy to write about my crazy thoughts, but a lot harder to write about parenting. For one thing, I’m very blunt and to the point. I don’t want things to be misread as unhappy with the baby. Second, I have a very “interesting” sense of humor. I don’t want people calling Child Services over a joke that is mistaken as serious. But if I am to evolve as a writer, I guess I have to write what’s close to my heart so…
Baby for sale!
For sale is a slightly worn black baby. Approximately 2 feet tall by .5 foot wide and .33 foot deep. Has slight scratches from her long fingernails.
This baby is insane. I often write about how she doubles as a human coupon because most cashiers wanna talk to her, play with her and either make mistakes on my charge or give me a discount. There are some dark sides to the story too though. I’m just now strong enough within myself to write about them.
For one, the baby beats me. Those little fingers are strong and, when she curls them up into a fist and starts swinging in protest of being put in the stroller/car seat, I have to remind myself that it’s a child hitting me and not give into the reflex that tells me to bop and weave. Those tiger legs are nothing to sleep on either. Changing a diaper can be life and death some days. If I miss “nail clipping day” then those little toe nails are like talons or something. I have no doubt that, if she needed to, my daughter could easily catch a salmon swimming upstream with her bare feet.
No explanation really needed with that one. The baby shits as if there’s money in it for her. In her mind, there is a contest where prizes are given based on who can shit through their clothes at the most inopportune times. Nothing breaks you into parenthood like having to change a diaper and a set of clothes on a packed (and stalled) subway car and then scoop watery shit out of the stroller seat with a makeshift glove made up of diaper wipes and an old newspaper. 200 extra points are awarded to the baby for spraying you while you’re doing it. 500 points are deducted from the assholes who stare at you like, “Is he really doing that…here?” No, I’m going to let my child stew in her own excrement for the next thirty minutes while Metro figures out how to get the train moving again.
My daughter has singing in her future and I have the Joe Jackson school of managing to attend. She cries as though it’s the last breath of life she’ll ever get. You can literally hear her down the hall and around the corner from my apartment. It’s the kind of cry that pierces your soul. You keep telling yourself that there is nothing wrong with her. She’s been fed, changed, burped, she’s passed gas, and her body temp is fine. She’s just being an ass. Then you look over to assert yourself as the alpha dog and she looks up at you with watery eyes and before you know it, she’s mind fucked you into picking her up and singing the same stupid song from Sesame Street four times in a row because it makes her smile.
Suffice to say, the baby has made me her bitch. But, it’s a job that I’m willing to take. Now some people annoy the hell out of me when they give me that cliched “my kids are my life” crap. I want to say, go do something with yourself. But then I find myself thinking the same thing.
Here is a person who doesn’t work, doesn’t contribute in any way. She doesn’t wash dishes, she doesn’t let me know when my show comes back from commercial or anything. She cries whenever she isn’t pleased, makes noise through all of the punch lines of the tv shows and decides to shit through her clothes just as the team gets to the red zone. I have to plan my trips around her and everything that made being a man cool is now gone. I can’t just pick up and go when I want. I have to make sure I have bottles and the bottle cooler. Is there ice in it? Is there at least one room temperature bottle? Has she been changed? Did she go again? Is that just gas? Do I have at least one of her toys to tether to the car seat? Where is her other sock? Do I have enough bibs? Is this outfit warm enough for the walk to and from the car yet cool enough and breathable for the ride inside the car?
And after fifteen minutes…now we can go. Then she shits on the walk to the elevator.
You go through all of this every single day. You never get a break and just when you’re ready to sit alone in a four cornered room staring at candles…she laughs or does something like she did yesterday where I laid on the floor beside her chanting “please go to sleep” and she rolled over onto her stomach, crawled clockwise in a circle until her face was lined up with mine put all her weight on one arm and lifted the other one up enough to touch my face and she smiled a big toothless grin with one little drop of slobber hanging out the side of her mouth and she held her hand there for about five seconds just staring into my eyes and then calmly put her hand back down, crawled counter clockwise so that she could see the tv again and went back into her own little world while I sat there dumbfounded as I realized that those cooks are on to something. This little girl really is my entire world.
The baby strikes again!
I went to Buy Buy Baby (the name really does say it all, doesn’t it) to get a baby food maker and the guy at the register took pity on me and gave me $25 off. “Man you look like you just trying to do the best that you can with that baby and handle your responsibilities. Plus, this joint is expensive. Here’s a coupon that somebody left behind.”
Then I went to Bloomingdale’s to buy my wife something and the two saleswomen went crazy over my daughter. “She’s so cute. Look at how she smiles at me. She must like me…” I have no problem using my baby. So anyway, when I got to the register the same exact thing happened. First she did the usual, “If you put this on your [store] card then you could save 15%.” I declined as usual and she was like, “Well since you have that pretty baby with you, I’ll go ahead and give you the discount anyway.”
Please, if you don’t have one…go out and cop a new baby. They’re like human coupons.
The Redskins are just special. I promised myself that if I were going to successfully free myself from the grasp of Cowboys fandom then I’d have to cease and desist all cracks on the Redskins, but they are making it too damn tempting.
Last week was torture for me. I wanted to clown them on Facebook but I tried to hold true to my word. Even when they screwed up the snap at the end I kept my mouth shut. Today though…I can’t contain myself. They benched Mcnabb. Not only benched, they made him third string.
Do you really demote a guy whose face is on every bus stop? I’m not saying he lived up to the hype. Hell no he didn’t, but look at what he was working with. Every time a receiver screwed up or the defense phoned it in from the sidelines, he got up on that podium after the game and (homeless beard and all) took ownership like a team player should. The Redskins obviously don’t believe in reciprocity. They threw his ass under the bus. Wait, he’s 3rd string. They threw his ass under a bus and then blew the joint up.
I guess he’ll be closing his Capital One Bank account and moving to Minnesota next year…too bad because “they’re everywhere.”
Here’s something that’s always bothered me about this video…what the hell is in that box? It can’t be weed because–let’s be honest–weed was the least of anyone’s concerns in the 80′s. It could be coke, but I think I see a lighter in there. I know damn well that it isn’t crack off of the sheer size of the box alone. Can you imagine a crackhead letting that much crack just sit? That only leaves heroin but…damn! I mean what kind of family has heroin addicts at both the parenting and child level? That’s just sad.
Meanwhile, I’m still feeling for this brother:
That was by far the most realistic response to all of those corny PSAs. The little dude summed it up with, “they sure aren’t afraid of me…and they don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Girl I love you. I mean, we been together since ’05. That’s gotta count for something. I left Blackplanet for you, but I mean…damn, stop sweating me. Nobody likes desperation. I like that you growing and doing your own thing, but let me be me. Everytime I turn around you changing your makeup. It’s like everytime I log on, you look different.
Why you always worried about who I’m friends with? You say it’s just “friend finder” and that you’re trying to be helpful, but on the real…you don’t need to know everything I do. Now you wanna know where the hell I’m going. “Places?” What kinda tabs are you trying to keep on me.
When I opt out of your “Places” you still manage to just pop the fuck up. How is it that you’re supposed to be in Facebookland yet you manage to pop up and find me when I’m on CNN and Yelp? You call yourself telling me what stories my friends read, but how do you even know that I’m on CNN in the first place?
Look, our time together is our time together and our time apart is our time apart. Why can’t you be more like Google? That’s my bottom chick right there. She aint changed in like ten years. I don’t get a bunch of ads, suggestions or nothing. She let’s me be me. When I need her, I know where to find her. Simple, plain-jane and always available.
I’m not saying we’re over. I just need you to understand that I don’t like these things that you’re doing.
I’m here to tell niggas/ it ain’t all swell nigga./ There’s heaven/ then there’s hell nigga. (Jay-Z)
Tis the season to be jolly, but there are a lot of pissed off people out there and it all starts with the whole Santa Claus thing. Some kids will be laying anxiously in bed hoping to nod off so that Santa can come. Others will have their worlds rocked when they accidentally discover that there is no Santa and that their parents are goddamn liars. I was slow as hell to figure that one out, but through no fault of my own: My parents went to college to study bullshittery and with two Masters and a Doctorate between the two of them, I couldn’t compete.
My family was so elaborate with their lies, that it just had to be true. I used to mail Santa Claus letters all the time, but after finding her whole book of stamps missing, my grandmother told me that it wasn’t necessary to use stamps because the letters traveled through elf magic. She told me that Santa Claus had the newer elves working down at the main post office and that they “just know” which letters are for Santa and that they have a plane that they fly from the post office back to the North Pole each night.
Bullshit number one.
Christmas was a holiday for my mother in more ways than one. It was the one time of the year that she could leave the house without me begging to tag along by saying just one thing: I’m going to see Santa Claus. Now it didn’t matter how many times she said that, I always fell for it.
Me: I thought you saw him last weekend?
Her: He sent me a fax at work telling me to come back through this weekend because he had some questions about your list. Last weekend I went because he lost your list and needed another copy. I’d take you, but he can’t reveal himself to children or else you’ll be banned from ever getting toys again.
Me: Oh, well tell him I said hi!
I remember having a Christmas breakfast at school back in the first grade. The school went all out and even hired a guy to play Santa. Near the end, I guess the food choked him up or something because I remember him coughing a lot and Mrs Claus handing him a can of Coca-Cola. Why did this negro pull the beard off in front of all the kids to drink the soda, and then looked up embarrassed when Mrs Claus yelled, Charles, the kids!
I went home and told my grandmother what happened and instead of coming clean, she tells me that there is no such thing as a Black Santa Claus. The guy I saw was actually just a man that works for Santa Claus part time. The way she explained it, Santa can’t be at every mall, so he hires people to represent him while he’s back overseeing the toy making process.
Looking back, I appreciate them keeping the ruse going for so long. Growing up in DC in the 1980′s made all of us poor Black kids grow up fast. Suburban kids had the luxury of remaining ignorant to the harsh realities of the world, we didn’t. As early as kindergarten, our teachers were calling us all over on the playground to the spot where someone found bullet casings, syringes, crack vials, etc and teaching us what they were and what to (not) do if we found one. Going through extra effort to keep Santa Claus and the magic of Christmas real was a special gift that allowed me to just be a kid for a few extra years. For that, I thank them.