Monthly Archives: June 2011
Well, the BET Awards came on last night and, as I do every year around this time, I decided to run my Blackness Credit Report. It is so hard to get to 800. Apparently, refusing to play BET in my house automatically knocks off 100 points. I live in a White neighborhood so that’s holding me back. I had a baby in wedlock so I got credit for uniqueness, but not giving her a name that ended in ‘A’ negated that credit.
On the plus side, I have ramen noodles, potted meat, sardines and Kool-Aid in my cabinet so that gave me some points. I grew up without a father and was born to a teenage mother so that gives me semi-decent credit but it’s still a leap away from “good” Blackness credit.
The Supreme Court just struck down a ban on selling violent video games to minors. Some are happy, some are pissed, while I couldn’t care less. Society seems to be heading down a path of self destruction and I’m not talking about entertainment. I really feel like we’re trying to censor too many things while thinning out our skin. My video game life started around the Atari age. Back then we had Pole Position II and Ms Pac Man. As systems advanced so did the realism and violence of games.
I never heard of Mortal Kombat until the local news ran a special talking about how it was going to cause kids (me) to beat the shit out of each other. I ran to the carryout and started playing. It would be another three years before I would get in a fight and at no point did martial arts moves come into play. Then came Doom, Duke Nukem and some other violent stuff. I haven’t fired a gun yet.
I didn’t have a mother and father at home telling me that guns and fighting were wrong, instead I had good ol’ common sense. I used to watch the news as a kid and I grew up in the hood. I knew that when people get shot, there are no continues or extra men. I also knew a very important truth…people don’t fight anymore. Karate, Kung Fu and all that other silly shit is for matches and tournaments. Even if you do somehow manage to beat someone’s ass with a drop kick, you better hope you learned the Bruce Leroy/ Last Dragon technique of catching bullets with your teeth, because fights in my neighborhood never ended with “Oh, he beat me…I won’t bully him again.” Shiiiiiiiiit.
So I don’t particularly care if the law is upheld or not. I think we need to teach kids common sense and then they’ll be better equipped.
My wife always tells me that I should be a writer–not because I’m grammatically correct or because I write beautiful ballads but because I do it all the time. Like, seriously all the time. I write on the back of bus transfers, grocery receipts, journals…whatever. Why is it then that I have so much trouble keeping this blog up to date? Two things:
1) Even though I know my grammar sucks, I still try to be a perfectionist within the scope of my own ability.
2) I might need to get a job in the future.
Number one is straight forward. I have maybe a hundred “drafts” saved for this site and I don’t like any of them enough to hit “publish.” I type about 95-100 words a minute, so imagine my wife’s frustration in seeing me hit “select all” and then delete on a 500 word post. There’s something about not wanting to publish something that I think sucks or is too preachy, even if it is just a blog with one or two followers.
Number two is more complicated…sadly. I think people are “special.” You can’t say “retarded” anymore so we’ll go with special. The same reason that people lose their jobs over their Twitter and Facebook updates is the same reason that I feel like I have to censor myself on a semi-anonymous blog. The world is so screwed that we expect everyone to be publicly correct even in their personal lives.
Who knows when I’ll need a job and they’ll turn to Google and say, “five years ago you said that a woman you passed on the street looked like Sheer Khan from The Jungle Book. Do you hate women?” I gotta figure something out though. It sucks not being able to express your thoughts on your own damn web site. Maybe I’ll just say screw it and be myself. Sincerity sells, right?
Here are some things that no one will tell you about parenting:
The concept of a good night’s sleep will never be the same after you have kids.
You may sleep for eight hours straight (eventually) but it won’t be the same peaceful sleep you got pre-kid.
You will want to fight your child.
I’m not talking about abuse. That’s something else. What I’m saying is that the day will come where they will work your very last nerve to the point that you’ll drift off into a fantasy where you can somehow magically become the same age as them and fight them.
You will think the child is doing “it” on purpose.
My daughter is eleven months old and I swear that some days she has moments of clarity where she gains the intelligence of a 15 year old and does stuff just to spite me.
You will break down.
Male or female, old or young parent, you will break down. I’ve seen some shit in my life and even I was brought down to a level of “what the hell am I doing” one night. The baby kept crying and trying to pacify her only seemed to make her madder. After an hour of endless crying, I finally just had a moment where I wondered if the hospital made a mistake giving me a baby.
You will learn to magnify small accomplishments
Being a parent fucking sucks some days, but unlike regular life where shitty day after shitty day eventually makes you bitter, parenting has the opposite effect. Shitty day after shitty day makes you more optimistic that things will get better. It makes you appreciate the smallest thing. It’s as if our minds evolve to be able to make do with less. Changing a shit-filled diaper while my daughter lays completely still is like a gift from God. Normally she takes off running the minute the tape comes off the diaper. Or…being able to go to the grocery store and come home without my daughter throwing a fit, screaming or whining is a damn fine day.
You’ll secretly enjoy your time away from them.
I love my wife. I love my daughter. But, I swear that one of my happiest moments is walking out of the house alone to go somewhere. I don’t care if it’s just me running back to the car to get something out of the trunk. That three minutes is like a mini-vacation. No noise, no requests, no judgmental eyes from the baby…just a man and his thoughts.
You’ll miss it all because time works differently
As crazy as it gets, as stressed as you get and as relentless as the baby gets, it passes by incredibly fast. It’s hard to explain, but while you’re going through it, it seems like forever. When you look back, however, you’ll wonder where the time went. They go from being this little thing that fits in one arm and makes a bunch of random noises (mostly cries) to being this mini-person with an opinion that clashes with yours yet still wants you to hold them (only now you have to use both arms) and finally they just become hell on wheels walking/stumbling around the house like a drunk making demands. Before you know it, they’re grown and you kind of miss it all (Stockholm syndrome?).
It isn’t a bad job, if you know what to expect. That’s why I’m telling you what no one else will. The brochures lie. Oh here’s one more I learned the hard way…
They won’t play with anything that costs more than 15 bucks.
Nothing is more soul crushing than going out to buy something (a jumper, a swing, a walker) that costs fifty bucks only to come home, put it together, go back out to get batteries for it, then get pissed because they fell asleep before they could reward your efforts by playing with it and finally after they wake up…they play with it for two or three minutes and get bored or they play with it in a way that wasn’t intended (like pushing the swing while sitting in front of it). Worst yet is when they get bored with the toy and go play with something free like an empty water bottle.
People are talking about Rihanna’s new video for her song, Man Down. For those who haven’t seen it, here it is:
I hope to never have to deal with this issue on a personal level, but I have known a few people in the past who’ve been raped and I gotta tell you that it aint some shit that just goes away with time. I hate the fact that I can’t count on one hand how many of my friends have been raped pre-adulthood. I had a friend who called me on a few occasions to talk her down from suicide after she was raped in high school. She wasn’t one of those “cry wolf” types either. She’d already tried a few times and always wore long sleeves to cover the deep scars where she sliced her forearms and wrists.
It depresses me to even type about it, especially considering that I have a one year old daughter (not to mention, a wife). The video stirred some thoughts, so I figured I’d use this post as a platform to give a “+1″ for Rihanna. Some parenting groups think that the video justifies murder and is too violent. It’s real life and I agree that you should talk to your kids to explain what you don’t like rather than just trying to take the video off the air. Like I said, I have friends who went through this in their pre-teen years. Kids are growing up faster than you think and it isn’t always because of what they see on tv.