Saturday, February 19, 2005

My first pair of Air Jordans

Today marks Nike's official release date of the Air Jordan XX. I'm not gonna front, I think these joints are ugly as hell!!!!

Brothas in cities across the country were probably lined up early this morning outside Foot Locker, Finishline and a rack of other retail sneaker outlets to try and secure a pair. I'm pretty sure that a few store managers brokered backdoor deals with dudes willing to kick out some extra cash in order to ensure that they got theirs before they went on sale this morning. This year the price tag of the kicks is a mere $175. That's just a drop in the bucket right? I mean, no need to buy a new DVD player or a 20" TV or pay your light bill with that money when you can have the hottest sneaks on the planet. I still can't believe that cats really go crazy tryna get these joints though. Back in those days kids used to get killed or mugged for their Jordans. Hell, I suppose that those days are still here but we don't necessarily hear about it as much. I've heard hundreds of stories of kids being gunned down for Starter jackets, Eddie Bauer parkas and North Face jackets, but no other sneaker has caused this kind of fury. I don't ever recall hearing that a kid got killed for a pair of Adidas Patrick Ewing's, Magic Johnson or Larry Bird Converse Weapons, or Reebok Pumps. The quest for Jordans has always been there.

But Jordans are Jordans and nothing has changed over the years. Michael Jordan and Nike started this trend two decades ago with the release of the first pair in 1985. I still remember being in the 8th grade at the time and begging my mom to buy me a pair. Back then there were two primary colors schemes, red/black/, red/black/white. If I recall, the price on the shoes back then were $65.

After days and days of getting on my mom's nerves she took me to Athlete's Foot at Prince George's Plaza and bought me a pair. With the money that I had saved up, I bought a white Air Jordan t-shirt and a pair of black nylon Air Jordan sweat pants. I can remember this moment like it was yesterday. You know the next day at school I was sportin' my newest gear. I was the only kid in junior high to have the red, white and black pair. All the other youngins were wearin' the red and black kicks. I was able to find my 8th grade yearbook photo from the intramural basketball team that I was on which showed that I had em.

Okay, so the pic is kinda funny aiiight. I was too cool back then and at times wore my Izod shirts when I was ballin'. If you happened to notice the horrible cuffs in my jeans, I can't say much about that other than those were my first pair of Guess jeans. In looking through my yearbook I was hoping to find a much better pic of me wearing my Air Jordans and there were two more pics. However I chose not to scan the one that showed me sportin' my Jordans and the fake Gucci shirt I copped from the Oriental gift shop on the corner. Anyway, since 1985 I've only had 3 other pairs of Jordans. Either I didn't have the money to get em or I wasn't feeling the style of the kicks that year. I bought a pair of white/black Jordan XII's back in '96, a pair of red/black retro Jordan XI's in 2001 and a pair of white low top retro XI's in 2002 (not pictured).

As I sit back and hear these kids talking bout needing a pair of Jordans it just takes me back. So many things have changed over the years, but one thing has not changed in 20 years. Air Jordans are still the benchmark of what every shoe company wishes they had.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Valentine's Day Booty Calls

It's that time of year my people. Yep, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and they're a lotta folks running around in search of someone to lay up with. In a perfect world everyone would have someone to call their own, but we don't live in a perfect world now do we? This weekend will cause some folks to drink heavily, while others will stay in and sleep. The question is whether those folks will be sleeping by themselves. Then again, who's the idiot who came up with the phrase 'sleeping with' as a way to determine who a person has sex with? Hell, I can recall moments of sleeping that didn't include any sex at all. While there were moments of sex that didn't involve any sleeping or laying with the individual in any way, shape or form. That is what I'll call the essence of the Booty Call. It's pretty much a drive-by for quick sexual gratification. Well, maybe not quick... guess that all depends on who you're with.

Anyway, this is one time of year when the phones ring off the hook. You start to get emails from folks that you haven't heard from since ummmm... last Valentine's Day. These are the people who are too lazy to make new connections, so they'd rather call you. Now, there's probably a good reason why you're not tryna talk to this person, but evidently the sex was good enough for them to not wanna go it alone on Cupid's holiday. It could be that they simply got an itch and instead of going out and looking for someone new, they call that individual who has had experience scratching that itch. There are a variety of reasons why someone decides to make a booty call, the primary of course being that they're tryna 'get some'

In a somewhat obscure way, receiving booty calls is a form of appreciation for previous work completed. You may feel that the person calling you is a tribute to your skills in the bedroom. While at the same time you could also be offended that the person only sees you for the physical aspects and nothing else but that. So if you haven't yet been inundated with a barrage of late-night calls from private numbers or a rack of emails from 'hook-ups' in the past, then maybe you're lucky. Then again, if you're by yourself then you could be the one facilitating the communication. In any case you should live by a few standards when it comes to booty callin'.

1- Make sure to always verify the status of the person you're calling. You may think that the person who 'gave it' to you is sitting at home awaiting your call 364 days after your last encounter. However, they may be at home planning their wedding with a significant other. Dont be surprised if you get that "Don't you ever call me again" speech, gotta realize that when you call that their new partner might be laying right beside them.

2 - Be respectful of the time and hour that you call someone. Just cuz you used to dial up 'ole faithful' every weekend 3 years ago at 2am, doesn't mean that you should do that in 2005. You may get a better response if you call at a reasonable hour.

3 - No matter what, always be considerate to the person you're tryna holla at. You wouldn't want anything to come back and haunt you now would you? If they say no this time, do go off and cuss em out cuz then you'll be burning a bridge to some satisfaction that you 'may' have had at a later time when you're on a dry spell.

4 - If the other party agrees to the 'arrangement', then make sure that you establish a precise time and place for the action to take place. That way there's no confusion later on. Furthermore, if you're going to a hotel, you might wanna clear up who's paying for the room and such.

5 - Don't get emotionally attached. Gotta remember that this is a purely physical thing and catchin' feelings may create a problem that you aint prepared for.

6 - When it's all said and done, grab ya stuff and be out. No need to sit and chat about Uncle Charles and his bad knees, the new SUV you're tryna purchase or the fact that your job is getting on your nerves. You did what you came to do... now roll out.

7- As Austin Powers would say.... "Oh Behaaaaaaaaave". Conduct yourself that will endear yourself to future calls from the person you're with. Don't be tryna simulate the lastest porno movie that you saw if the person you're with is an ultra conservative. Then again, if you think your 'the one', then go ahead and try and turn em out.

The following public service bulletin has been brought to you as a courtesy of NahLaterz and If I see this posted on any messageboards or another website, I have the right to kick azz and take names.

Peace & Love

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Coconut Shrimp

It's 7:27 on Thursday evening and I'm in the bathroom staring at the mirror. I moved closer and closer to the mirror to thoroughly inspect my lips. Dayuuummmmmmm!!!! I got a big ole' blister in the middle of my bottom lip. I could do nothing more but shake my head like a lil' kid who knew he had gotten caught with his hand in the cookie jar. I tell ya, the things that we do in life that we know damn well we're not supposed to do. I'm allergic to shellfish and I've been aware of this fact since I was grade school. I found that out after a CT Scan for migraines that I suffer from revealed an iodine allergy. The iodine dye that they used caused me to have a serious reaction. Anyway, what that means is that I cannot have any crabs, lobster, shrimp, snails, clams or oysters. On previous occasions throughout my life when I was unsuccessful in attempts to sneak a few pieces of shrimp or some crab legs, I've had terrible reactions. I've broken out in hives, began wheezing, had difficulty breathing and developed massive swelling on my face. On one occasion back in '96 (after eating some seafood salad at a 4th of July BBQ) I even had to be rushed to the Emergency Room. One other side effect that I've encountered before is the swelling of my lips. They at times blister and turn red. I'm talkin' bout a set of big swole lips that would make Biz Markie's joints look miniature. You'd a thought that Mike Tyson hit me with a combo across the face. Bruh mayne be walkin' around talkin' like Mushmouth and what not.

Okay, now back to the reason why I was standing in front of the mirror. I worked a lil' OT at the job today. They were having an awards dinner for the journalists and needed a technician to run audio and lights for the event. So after doing a quick sound check in our corporate dining room, I went into the control room to chill for a while.

Now when the company has these evening dinner events, they always make sure that the A/V technician (<---that's me) gets well taken care of. The food at most of these functions is off the hook. Anyway, around 7:15 I ventured from the control room to get a gauge on the crowd and to make sure that I wasn't needed for any technical related issues. The lead banquet server walked by me, tapped my shoulder and pointed towards the bar. Right there on the side of the table was a platter of Hor'Deurves which included a ton of jumbo coconut shrimp. At that point it was up to me to get em or let someone else swipe em. Without a second thought I ran over and scooped up a handful, then went back to my chill spot in the control room. I sat and watched ESPN on one of the many monitors in the room while I devoured the shrimp one by one. As I took a bite into the last piece of coconut shrimp that I had, I felt an instant ache in my bottom lip. It felt as if someone had stuck a sewing needle into it. I immediately knew what I had done. Well, I did know the risk involved when I took the shrimp to begin with. I quickly downed some cranberry juice that I had in a glass and took the ice into my mouth to try and cool the achy feeling. That didn't do much to relieve the pain that I felt at the time. I walked calmly to the bathroom to survey the damage. The evidence in front of me was exactly what I expected. I quickly ran back to my desk and found my stash of Benadryl. I popped a single pill in an attempt to combat the onslaught of imminent side effects.

As I walked back to the control room, I kept thinking to myself about whether it was really worth it. I was going through all of this all cuz I just couldn't resist eating that coconut shrimp. 2 minutes is prolly all it took for me to down those jumbo shrimp and for the next few hours I was gonna suffer. Was it really worth it??? Yeah... it was!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Pepper Spray Madness

This is the second part of my Caught on National TV series. Yes, not only did ABC capture me celebrating the Eagles touchdown, but they really got me the second time around. While at the Eagles-Redskins game that night a fight broke out in the stands. Now keep in mind that the game is still going on, but most people in the section turned to watch the fight. PG County police jumped in and brought some order to the situation, so I decided to turn back around and watch the game. Well when I turned back around I saw players walking off the field. I looked at the scoreboard and there was still a lotta time on the clock. My first thought was "Damn, the Redskins threw in the towel" The next thing is see is a bunch of people coughing and wheezing and hollering. I see the Eagles players holding their faces like somebody let off a stink bomb in the stadium. At this point I have no clue what is going on. I didn't smell anything. My cell phone rings and my man Leon is like "Yo man... why you looking all stupid on TV again?" I'm like "What's going on?" He explained to me what the announcers were saying during the broadcast, but it didn't really make sense to me at the time.

Eventually after a short time, word got around that PG police let off some pepper spray in the crowd during the ruckus. Hell, I've been to many Howard University homecomings, so pepper spray doesn't bother me. But the fact the EVERYONE around me was coughing and choking and I didn't smell or feel any effects from it seems kinda funny. But after seeing the footage over and over on the news that night, I felt like an idiot. Not only did the local news here in DC replay it, but so did a LOT of media sources. I was on ESPN Sportscenter, HBO's Inside the NFL and ABC's World New Tonight. I had people coming up to me talking about "You're the dude who got pepper sprayed at the Redskins game" I had folks on messageboards I frequented making threads about how they thought they recognized me from the incident. These are folks who had never before seen me in person and had only seen pics. The shit was crazy. I was like an instant celebrity for some nonsense. Folks who saw me at the mall for the first time in years hollered out "Maaan... I aint see ya since that pepper spray thing at the Redskins game". I not only was the clown that got caught celebrating the touchdown, but also the fool who was not feeling effects of the pepper spray while everyone else was choked up. I still haven't lived this incident down and figured I'd make light of it since my boyz still trip off of it every once in a while.

I did find a few articles that talked about the incident that occurred that night. - Eagles, Redskins interrupted by pepper spray NFL - Pepper spray in stands causes MNF delay
NFL Game stopped briefly when police use pepper spray - NFL - NFL - Recap