Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When's Day

So we went out to the nightspot we had our first date.

Had a standard dinner and a few drinks...
Jaeger shot...
Cuervo shot...
beer...
Grey Goose...


Home.

And we talked. Somewhat.

There will be more talks. And more Jaegermeister.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How Do I Save My Marriage?

Today supposedly is my 6 month anniversary.

Bullshit.

I see marriage as something that challenges you daily, I also don't get the whole annual celebration thing (because you get a chance to do whatever daily) because you're not guaranteed tomorrow nevertheless next month/week/year.

I truly love my wife and I am grateful for her being in my life. I understand how hard it must have been to give up a life she still reminisces over a lot to be here in the big city with my stank ass. It must be hard to come someplace bigger and faster than you're used to and have to instantly adapt.

She made that choice and I thank her for that.
It's not a choice that she embraces on the daily.

That brings me back to the birthday/holiday/anniversary thing. I tried to leave a comment on Second Sixty-Eight's blog congratulating him and the Mrs. on twelve years in, but Blogger gave me an error code each time I tried. I gave up in trying to leave a message and I probably shouldn't have. Doing something as simple as typing a message in a tiny box and shooting it over the internet to congratulate a couple that kept on keeping on with possible problems and hurdles much greater than mine for more than a decade is something worth trying for. I found no reason to beat myself up in an attempt to leave a message when I could circumvent any additional errors by just sending one tomorrow.

Sometimes I wish I could be happy in all that I do by repeating certain actions.

But isn't repeating the same actions over to gain the same results considered insanity?

So what is marriage?
What is MY marriage?

While I try to to figure that question out, there is one constant in my life that isn't really guaranteed but for now it remains the only thing that is constant and that is my marriage. I know that we made the right decision and I'm happy with what has transpired so far in 6 months but I continue to ask myself if being married (and if it's like this 6 months in) is like this now, then what will it be in the future?

When will things change for the betterment of both of us?
How will they change if folks are stagnant in their ways?
When does logic ever trump fantasy?

I ask that last question because things still seem so surreal. At times things are damn near perfect and at other times things are near ruin. We are two individuals who have different dreams, goals and ways of thought trying to do shit together and sometimes the together part is impossible. I have always been individual in thought and action and have not wanted to follow the ways of others but in this instance, for the sake of my marriage sometimes I feel the need to give into the 'Jonses' syndrome, and that has never and will never sit with me well but I do it because I want to be there. With my wife. Together.

Most times the beautiful thoughts of us living in martial bliss crosses the minds of both of us, but I am the realest realist I know and logic kicks in and I have to come up with a finance and common sense plan for our relationship. That means sacrifice, and time and effort we could have spent dining at a posh restaurant feasting on the finest meats and cheeses will be spent with me putting in 600 mile days and she putting in hours possibly with another employer even though we break the six-figure barrier in the salary department. Things like groceries and fuel trump fine dining, and luxuries like central air, fiber optic supported high speed cable and the extra HD TV channels we have to enjoy the big flat screen joint we bought definitely need to be taken care of without blinking or else they are gone in a blink and a comfortable life is thrown into shambles because it feels like we're living in 1978 instead of 2008.

I am not ashamed to put myself out there. Never have. I truly feel like the lyrics of the Stevie song 'For Once In My Life' most of the time, but there are times like right now when I should at least make an attempt to congratulate myself and my spouse where life feels totally the opposite of said lyrical content. Here you have me fresh out of rebuild mode attempting to celebrate life with the one that helped me get to this point in straight revert mode, shrinking more and more by the hour into a non-person in our relationship. That burns my ass because I know that she is stronger than this. What I get now are a lot of blanket statements about introvertness and giving up based on my attitude. I always believed that something worth having is worth fighting for verbally, physically or otherwise. From hearing her, reading her body language and browsing her blog (yep, I gotta read her blog to get an emotional clue) I get the feeling that she's giving up on us.

Yeah, I said it.

For all the sacrifice. For all of the desire to get to the big city and prosper both personally and professionally, for all the support, pep talks and new family where old family members failed, for all of the good sex, time spent and weird moments that make up a new marriage, for all of the parental preparation, for the housing search and dreams shared. For all of the feelings expressed and effort given on both sides my only feeling on the 6 month mark of my marriage is that of wanting to annul things for the sake of my wife's happiness.

I know that she moved away from a place she didn't want to to be with me, and no I didn't ask her to.

I know that she has limited family and emotional resources here.

I know that our current home here at the compound is big as hell as well as being located in the middle of a gentrified neighborhood making her feel smaller than she ever has. Chicago is also a big and fast moving city. She initially wanted to come here years ago and do the single professional thing. I don't know if the city is for everyone. Most times she expresses how alone she is, and other than my presence I can do nothing but get her a plane ticket to cure that ill. It's not enough.

I am in love with my wife and do not want her to be unhappy, but in order to achieve overall happiness dear reader, I might have to remove Hassan from the equation. This is why I don't do anniversaries. I look at things with a fresh prospective every morning I get a chance to wake up, but there has to be a plan. My military mind instructs me to focus on achieving the goals with no shortcuts and no backpedaling. No compromising except for the sense of making sense and don't get me wrong, I know about change, necessity and the need to change direction. How can I as a man map my plan out with my wife when all of a sudden there is no voice representing the other half?

My wife has gone silent and I don't like it.

For the first time in my life I have someone and something to live for and I have never before felt an urge to get up and make motions to build like this but there has to be two to make that happen. Putting our business out here like this will probably push her further away, but what am I supposed to do?

It' only been six months.

What would you do?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Giving Props Where Props Are Due


I'd like to congratulate the Boston Celtics for winning the NBA Championship last night. I followed a team other than my own for a whole season for the first time in my life and it felt good to see these guys win a ring and cement themselves in history as the biggest of the big three.




I'd also like to congratulate Paul Pierce individually for winning the series MVP. This man spent 10 years on this team and was almost traded to the Lakers last summer when Kobe demanded to be traded to Chicago. Glad neither of them things happened. He also went through losing seasons and when the C's did get to the post season, they got knocked out in the first round. Not to mention getting stabbed 11 times in a Boston club a few years ago by an admitted Celtic fan.



I knew after the acquisition of KG and Jesus Shuttlesworth (who should have won MVP honors, but with The Truth there, I understand) that they would at least get to the Finals. I knew after purchasing this T-Shirt at the Adidas store on the strip in Vegas that they could win it all. That shirt was lucky for me. As I mentioned a few days ago I got married in that very same shirt. We also hit the slots real well at the Stratosphere with the magic from that shirt as well.




I was wearing that shirt when I drove through 60+mph tornado winds from Lexington, KY to Chicago a couple of weekends ago.

I know the Celtics are talented and also have the #1 defense in the league and defense does win you championships, but I gotta give props where props are due...


It was the shirt, y'all.

So much luck, so little fabric. I would cut it up and sell little pieces of cloth for luck's sake to all of you but, it's time to retire the shirt. The moment that buzzer sounded in the New Garden last night in Boston, my lucky #5 Kevin Garnett Boston road green screen-printed jersey T-shirt was put into retirement. I took it off after doing a little Irish jig, folded it and placed it on a shelf never to wear it again.

I also unearthed my 3 Chicago Bulls pullovers and prepped them for next Thursday's NBA Draft where the local team has the first pick. The Eastern Conference is wide open and with an addition like Derrick Rose, I'd be stupid to be wearing green come fall.

Salute, Celtics. Somewhere in heaven Red is lighting up that victory cigar.

Monday, June 16, 2008

How I Spent My Weekend

I spent most of my weekend doing this:




But I did spend Father's Day with my dad, stepdad, brother and cousin who are all daddies and of course the rest of the fam all barbequed, Laker/Celtic'ed and audio greeting carded out. Common knowledge shared by my family and friends is that this is the last Father's Day my other half and I spend parentless. Of course I am ready to be a daddy, but first things first. Mental preparation, and that means rest and relaxation.

I am enjoying my quiet weekends.

I hope you're enjoying your weekend however you choose to spend them.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Black Saturday, Blue Sunday

I stared my weekend driving thru a mother effing tornado. Yes, I drove thru the storm system against my better judgement but I did make it from Lexington, Kentucky to Chicago in about 5 hours. These were taken driving on I-65 north in Endinburgh right around the time Hillary Clinton wrapped up her speech. Edinburgh is about 35 miles south of Indianapolis.

An hour later, all of the major highways around Indy from Terre Haute there were closed due to either flooding or twisters touching down. At that point, I was 2 hours away, driving in sunlight towards Chicago.







I got home to have a quiet and dry weekend. I had a few friends and family that got hit by tornado systems but no on was hurt and property damage was minimal. My other half, my Celtics shirt and I wandered out to the park downtown Sunday night and joined over 100,000 other folks in enjoying a legendary set with B.B. King who closed out the 25th annual Chicago Blues Festival. It was so important for me to spend this time with my wife witnessing a legend under the stars. It'll make you drive thru a storm... Or get the blues.





History, y'all.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Something To Chomp On For The Weekend

Whoa Nelly...

I shouldn't have to explain.

No one is comparing Obama to Reagan.

I am asking you to validate the fact that if change is needed you have to do the validation in the form of activity. I need to dig deep a minute and rehash some things from the primaries like if 90% of black folk and 35% of somewhat educated and above white folk will vote for Barack mathematically it doesn't stand a chance be enough for him to capture the 270 electoral votes needed to capture the white house.

Black folk make up 12% of the US population around 40 million and only 35% of those folks actually vote.

The rest of the 17 plus million that voted Obama ain't enough.

We already know that damn near half of the Clinton voters will probably vote against their own interests out of spite and will cut their nose to spite their face before they see themselves under the command of a brown-skinned president.

What we're dealing with her is either the rest of the US has either no clue, doesn't want any parts of the Senator or is either conservative enough or a die hard republican that doesn't plan on casting a vote whatsoever for anyone on the left. Most folks in rural America claim not to know Senator Obama. Funny thing is that when people are polled on the knowledge of the political race this year they bring up a minister, a crooked political fund raiser, a 60's hippie extremist or a white catholic priest. I guess television is our greatest teacher and no, folks no longer speak when they walk past you on the street.

This means that most of common knowledge comes from something dubbed 'the idiot box'.

So now I'll swerve and tell you that this election ain't about making history. It ain't about firsts. It ain't about breaking barriers and letting freedom ring in the historical sense. I do get goose bumps in knowing that the night on the convention when Senator Obama formally accepts the Democratic nomination for the presidency it will be 45 years to the day that the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his 'I Have A Dream' speech in the nation's capital.

Irony
Progress
Historical


but...

My mortgage payment is still due.

I have multiple cars to pay for, multiple gas cards for both and I recently purchased a big screen TV. It's hi-def so I called the cable pimps and got the HD package. And by the time I cast my ballot in November my first elevated natural gas bill will be due. I got 2400 square feet of upstairs and downstairs to heat efficiently. I also gotta eat.

I also live in the heart of niggerdom where fabulous meets ferocious. I live on a block of property owners who like myself like a clean ride, a cool button down shirt and a fitted baseball cap placing me in the cross hairs of the gestapo-like foot soldiers that commonly mistake me for the thugs on the corner mere blocks away.

I also need to know if I lose my job I can quickly replace it with another so I can continue living my current lifestyle...

wait

Crime is related to lack of employment opportunities and also a lack of education and also due to a limit of resources. When I walk out of my duplex to grab a quarter water my similarities to dude and em' on the corner are apparent based on my outward appearance forcing the cops and neighborhood outsiders to see me as something other than I am.

The current presumptive nominee comes from that, but like him I am not either a thug, a hood, lazy nor unemployed. Bur perception is reality, right?

So why haven't my kinfolk in this generation stepped up to differentiate between hood and good?

We're scared.

I said it before a scared negro will get you killed.

That would be a rally cry to gather around your presumptive nominee and become his shield. Some of us need to be the lawyers to defend his stance. Others need to be the town criers that not only let the neighborhood know, but to go out and register more folk and inform the uninformed. Others need to get their congregations over to the town hall and disrupt council meetings...

Rappers and R&B cats need to get involved and use their influence. Where the hell is Diddy with his 'Vote Or Die' campaign now?

Bloggers need to speak to the issues on the regular. This is our time and we need to reclaim resources and put them back into the hood. There is a direct correlation between crime and lack of opportunity. When we all work, we all earn and are able to keep up with the Jonses.

All of these crews on that grass roots ish need to block off the pharmaceutical companies and create a hood lobby in order to lower medical costs.

Oh lord, I can go on... I got 800 billion reasons per year where we have the power but choose to stay marginalized due to fear and giving in to the undertones of inferiority.

Whatever, man. I've been loosing faith in my peoople for quite some time. I love y'all, but...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Right Change - Left Change

Is this the man you want to be the leader of the free world?

If so, you have a lot of work to do.

It ain't because he's black
It ain't that he's charismatic
It ain't that he can communicate
You need to convince everyone else that this man is the best candidate for the job.


Nothing has been accomplished.

Get off your ass.

I need all of you who are as old as me to remember Ronald Reagan.
He spoke well.
Looked good.
Damn good speech giver.
Charismatic as hell.
Hollywood player.
Converted Democrats in the polling booth with great ideas.

And then...

Because folks didn't want to vote for a woman and a liberal liberal millions of people voted against their interests and voted for the 'Great Communicator' and were dubbed 'dixiecrats'.

The great communicator came into office and fought those that voted him over the top and went towards those who worked so hard... They were working-class blue collar white folk in Pennsylvainia and Ohio.

Farmers
Air Traffic Controllers
Factory Workers
Service Personnel

Tax breaks were given to the upper percentile earning Americans and large corporations.

Factories closed
Unions broken.
Employment outsourced.
Crack took a stranglehold in my hood.

America never recovered.

It's twenty years later and I have one question:




Will you let America once again vote against their interests and put the wrong person, cabinet and executive branch as well as undue influence on the world in the White House?

get to work then... it's just starting

Doesn't matter if it's McCain or Obama, you have work to do.


History is waiting on you.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Blog Hookey Status Report

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Nothing.





That's what I've been up to. Absolutely friggin' nothing and it feels pretty good.



I mean, I've been working, hanging out with certain folks in all kinds of dank, dark beer gardens with my other half until damn near 5am (not that dark around 4:20am though), hanging out with extended fam at my best friend's aunt funeral (that was a trip, black folks and funerals provide plenty of nothing-type comedy) as well as helping a friend move into new digs. Memorial Day weekend was awesome as my sister made it in from Dallas and brought what I believe is the largest 18 month old little girl in my history of interacting with small children.

Shawty dusted off the meat offa' 8 chicken wings in one sitting. Thick ain't even the word mane.

Work, hanging out and the occasional adult beverage under the sun (or moon for that matter) under the guise of normalcy has been kind of theraputic. I think I have to continue my detachment from the world. To me it seems that the politics of the day and the continued non-action of my people disappoint me to the point where my faith has been shaken.

In them. I guess some folk misunderstood the latter part of my last post. Sarcasm, y'all. I said in another post that I would no longer share my plans with the world although that Geo Metro sounds real nice seeing the price of gasoline these days. Waaay too many haters, internet stalkers and cubicle gawkers to let folk know where I'll be next. Whatever, man. I like being away from the interweb doing much of nothing. I am partaking in a few extra hobbies though...

I have been taking a few pics over the last couple of weeks... That's a hobby, right?


all four of my young nephews Memorial Day weekend
ain't that grass green? don't ask about the hair
the parentals post-grub at the Rock Lobster
okay, this one is at a tatoo shop in Vegas...

So I guess you know who I got in the finals, huh?

You know something? I got married in that shirt. That's how much I love them 'Cs'


Okay... Going back to doing nothing