Saturday, July 30, 2011

Don't You Crave Fresh Meat?

"Isn't being a politician great, fellas?"
It's time to limit terms in Congress across the nation. Congress has single-handedly destroyed our country over the past decade. People always blame the president when the country fails, but the one consistent thing about this country's demise has been Congress.

Out Bush, in Obama. Have things changed?

No.

After Obama, will they change?

No.


Because Congress will still have the same dirty crooks in office because of idiot voters. Voters who make their decisions solely based on seeing a "D" or "R" beside a candidate's name. They don't know anything about the candidates or their track record, they just vote for them. I understand wanting to vote for someone who shares ideas of your own, but does that "D" or "R" guarantee that they do? I mean, how would you know if you didn't bother to find out?

We also have to blame those who choose not to vote. They play a big role in this, too. By not voting, they're basically saying that they're cool with the state of the country. Ironically, they also tend to be the biggest complainers.

So, we all know that this country is going through some things. Some really bad things. Our jobs are being sent overseas, the country is in debt and we're fighting two or three wars overseas that have gone on longer than World Wars I and II combined. Longer than the two World Wars, people!

It will only get better once we get rid of these career politicians. These people in Congress who have crawled into the White House and embedded their claws deep within the walls for a long stay. Strom Thurmond was a Senator from 1954 - 2003. He was 100 years old when he died in January '03. With all due respect to the elderly, do you really think a person who is 100 years old is fit to help run a country? 

Maybe he got re-elected because he ran on the Democratic ticket in 1954? Nah, it can't be that because he became a Republican in 1964. I'm guessing that he just continued to get re-elected because his name looked familiar on the ballot. Robert Byrd was also a virtual lifelong politician for West Virginia. Byrd became the longest-serving member in congressional history with 56 years of service.

"You'll love this job, John!  The benefits rock!"

So, here we are rolling up on another presidential election in 2012. We've spotlighted this upcoming election, but yet ignored the last Congressional election which is actually more important.  Congress has done an excellent job of distancing themselves from Obama. I'm not just talking about Republicans either. Democrats have shied away from supporting Obama as well.

Why? Because they have the mindset of: the best way to keep my job is to say that someone else sucks at doing his job. People with common sense know that the POTUS is basically a figurehead. Congress is the real driving force when it comes to getting things done in this country. But, if every day people knew that, they would direct their anger towards Congress and not the President, right?

And since Obama has a limit of how long he can be president anyway, then why not sacrifice him to get another term for yourself? The pay is great, lobbyists woo you constantly, free travel, TV face time and benefits galore.  Members of Congress become eligible for a pension once they reach the age of 50 (with 20 years of service) or are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62.

They also control their own pay raises. You read that correctly!  They have an automatic "cost of living" raise kicks in every year. In 1989, Congress passed an amendment allowing for the automatic raises, unless they specifically voted to reject it. Which Congress did, until 2000, the year the greed became an epidemic.  Why else would someone spend millions to campaign for a job that pays less than $200k a year?

When was the last time you voted on your own raise?

I read some where that as of the end June, Apple, Inc. had more cash and marketable securities than the United States of America. I'm not sure how accurate that is, but the thought of an electronics company being in better financial shape than an entire country is ridiculous!

Then again, with the tax rate on American corporations being so low, maybe it's not so surprising after all...

I want to send my readers over to visit Mooner and Squatlo.  If you want to read some good, quality, political blogging, then check them out and tell them that Q sent you. Be sure to ask Mooner how he feels about Rick Perry! Oh, and also, while you're there, ask Squatlo what his name means for me.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Cold Chicken Tenders

Okay, so last Wednesday, my mom and my Aunt Bernice decide to roll 40 miles west of here to a town called Vicksburg. Some of you may know the name from the Civil War chapter of your history books, but others know it for the casinos.

My mom and aunt get to Ameristar Casino and decide to gamble the night away. Although I'm not a fan of gambling, my mom loves the casino. Sometimes I think she's a $5 bet away from calling 1-(800) DONT-BET, but I guess that she's earned the right to have fun. My mom is almost 69 years old and she's retired more times than Brett Favre after 20+ years with GM. Someone who has worked as long and hard as she has deserves to live out her senior years however she wants.

So, after a night of gambling with my aunt, they decide to visit the buffet and grab a plate before heading back to their hotel room. My mom gets countless coupons that entitle her to "free" stays at the casino and she she cashes in on them now and then. She gets some chicken tenders and a roll and she and my aunt head upstairs for the evening.

The next morning, my mom asks my aunt to warm up the leftover chicken fingers in the microwave. Aunt Bernice takes them out of the refrigerator and proceeds to look for the microwave. She looks on the lower shelf of the cabinet and spies what she thinks she's looking for. "Why is the microwave so low?," she asks my mom.

My mom just shrugs her shoulders not really paying attention. My aunt bends over, places the chicken tenders inside of the black box and closes the door. "How long do you want them heated?," she asked my mom.

"About a minute should be fine," she replied.

Aunt Bernice pressed "1-0-0" to start the microwave and then walked over to finish doing her hair. After about a minute, she wondered why she didn't hear that familiar "ding" that you get when the timer is expired. She noticed some letters flashing on the box, so she walked over, bent over and saw the word "Code" written on the device. She opened the box and felt the chicken tenders. "These things are still cold!," she exclaimed. "I don't think this thing works!"

Now my mom comes over to see what all of the fuss is about. She puts on her glasses and then complains that the microwave is too low on the bottom shelf. A few seconds later, her and my aunt are on the floor on their knees trying to find instructions for the microwave. She places the chicken tenders back into the box, closes the door and hits "1-0-0."

The message on the front once again displays "Code" and my mom and aunt are completely confused. She presses "1-0-0" again and the display then reads "Secure." That's when my mom read a small label on the side of the box. That label said, "Safewell Hotel Safe."

Those chicken tenders are still in there.


SN: By the time I post again, I should have reached the 100,000 mark for page hits! I want to thank everyone who visits the page and I most definitely appreciate followers and commenters!

If you can e-mail to me a screenshot of my page hits reading #100,000, then I will do something very nice for you. I'm unsure of what it will be right now, but it will be nice!


Saturday, July 23, 2011

I Think My Wife Is Trying to Kill Me

Ok, not really. But, I did get your attention, huh? My wife watches "ID" or what you may have come to know as the Investigation Discovery channel... constantly. For those who have not had the pleasure of watching this channel, it's basically show-after-show-after-show of people murdering other people. Listen to these show names: "Wicked Attraction," "Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?," "Nothing Personal," "I (Almost) Got Away With It," and "Deadly Women."

Really, ID? Over the past few months, I've come to notice that every time I go into the bedroom, the TV is on this channel. Most of the time, I'd watch two or three minutes of it and then walk out. After a while, I started paying attention to the nature of these cases: spouses being killed, missing bodies, murder-for-hire, etc. Wait. What?

When I started dating The Mrs., she was really into "Law & Order." In fact, she's the reason I'm all into crime-time TV now with the L&O series and the CSI series (except for CSI: NY which sucks to me). Now it's real-life drama she's watching? Instead of to Maritza Hargitay and Ice-T it's Carla Hughes and Chiman Rai?

These cases are always sad, but also goes to show how unstable people are in the world. It still amazes me, no matter how many news stories I watch, how people are so selfish, insecure or both, that they take a person's life at the drop of a hat. It may be out of jealousy for someone full of rage or just murdering a person because the funeral would be cheaper than the divorce. I watch some of the shows with her and in so many instances the person has a chance to just walk away, but instead, they choose to take a life. "If I can't have you, then no one can."

These shows are twisted, yet interesting. I can see the appeal and how easily someone can get sucked into sitting down a bit to see how a show ends. But, the bedroom TV stays on ID, 24-7.

Memo to The Mrs: I know you're reading this. Don't forget that I've watched 20 years worth of L&O reruns, so don't think that I don't know how to leave behind clues for investigators!

Again, I'm kidding. The Mrs. isn't that type of person to make me wonder "Who The (Bleep) Did I Marry?" But then I thought about it and realized that those victims on the shows probably said the same thing about their spouses. So, I've hired someone to taste my food now. I'm not saying she's plotting against me, but if you go a week and don't notice a blog post from me, then send someone, please?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Prettiest Female

Some idiots overseas did some research to try and determine the best-looking race of women. Long story short, the Asian doctor who led the study concluded that Asian women looked the best. Imagine that.

I personally think the study was a waste of time, money and effort. There is no such thing as "the prettiest race of women." Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? How do you think Patrick Ewing ever got married?

Beauty means something different to everyone. What may look good to me, may not look good to you. And it goes even further than just judging people. My father is a fan of antique cars and because of that influence, to this day, I love seeing antiques on the road. Someone who grew up without that same influence might not have the appreciation for a '64 Impala like I do. Does that mean an '09 Impala is ugly? Of course not! So why waste so many resources trying to determine what can't be measured? I guess because someone will read it and say to themselves, "Hmmmmm... That makes sense!"

It never fails. There are enough morons in the world to take what they read and assume it's the gospel truth. After all, it takes too much effort to actually form your own opinion, right?

The good doctor also concluded that black women were the ugliest race of women. His "scientific study" determined that they possess more testosterone in their bodies than other races of females and those create masculine features that render them unattractive as a race.
There's nothing masculine about this cup of coffee.

Wow. Is that why we're bombarded with the Snookis, Kardashians and Hiltons of the world on TV and in magazines? Because the majority of the country think sistas are ugly? Nah, that study can't be correct, can it? If so, how could it explain that Sandra Oh and a few actresses in Verizon commercials are the only Asians I see regularly on TV?

Okay, I'm being a little sarcastic, but you get my point. Besides, I see beauty in all races of women. I love my dark-skinned sistas, Latinas are hot, Asian women are exotic, Indian women are majestic, and I have a fascination for white women with red hair (I was jealous of Ricky Ricardo as a child).

I guess what I'm trying to get to is this: It doesn't matter if you're a curvaceous Latina in the Bronx or a size 0 white woman in the Bay Area, you are beautiful to someone. Don't let some nut and his "scientific study" be yet another reason to lower your self-esteem. This country is way too vain as it is with how we place who we consider "beautiful people" on a pedestal. Don't let the media dictate what defines "beauty." Take beauty pageants at face value and understand that it recognizes a concept and not a reality. Instill in your daughters that they're beautiful ladies and should expect demand that they be treated as queens.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Please, No More Help!

Can we please stop with the Mississippi movies on racism? There's more to my home state than this. I'm sure my tweet homie, CIH8U2, can back me up on this. Is it possible to shoot a movie in Mississippi that doesn't involve racism? And no, "Biloxi Blues" doesn't count! For every "My Dog Skip," there is "Mississippi Burning" and a "Ghosts of Mississippi." Heck, even "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" had an appearance by the KKK.

I've lived in Mississippi for almost 40 years. Does racism still exist? Yes. Do the aforementioned movies represent life in Mississippi before 1970? Yes. I'm not denying that it happened and that it should some how be swept under the rug.

I'm just saying can we be about something other than racism for a change?

Hollywood provides a look into different cultures across the world, but how can non-Mississippians that are watching know when a view is skewed? I've met people who visited Jackson for the first time and expected dirt roads, drinking wells and cotton fields. At first, I thought they were just stupid, but over time, I begin to realize that they had no other reason to think differently. They're only expecting what they see on TV. They're looking for a bunch of racist, slow-talking, sweaty, country people a la "In The Heat of the Night" (which actually wasn't shot in Mississippi).

Even when a movie didn't involve white people, it still involved race. An example is "Mississippi Masala." This movie was shot less than 10 miles from my college. In fact, me and my friends stood in line hoping for a chance to be an extra in the movie, but never got selected. We did have a classmate get picked, but he was too high to even remember shooting his part. Seriously. He had a scene dancing near a bonfire and he was high out of his mind.

But, I digress. This movie was about a black man who fell in love with an Indian woman and neither of their families were down with it. Even as a 21-year old, I thought to myself, "Dag, does anyone like black people?"

This movie was shot a few miles from my college.

I kid you not. These movies even had an affect on me as a black man. I think back to my teen years and my days in high school and college. I had plenty of opportunities to date outside of my race, but I passed each and every time. Was it because I truly preferred black women or was it embedded in my subconscious that if I stepped outside the race that I'd wind up having a future movie based on my run-in with another race?

Wait. I did go out with a curvy Latina from Ole Miss a few times :). Speaking of Ole Miss (Univ. of Mississippi), they suffer from the stereotypes, too. Because their mascot is the Rebel and they have Rebel flags waving all over the place during their games, some black kids refuse to go to school there. Could it be because their parents have flashbacks of the Rebel flags in these movies and they think Mississippi is still living in the '50's? It's possible. A lot of people want Ole Miss to do away with the team name and the flags. That's a blog post for another day.

Well, before this movie, "The Help" comes out in a theater near you, let me make this public service announcement on behalf of all Mississippians:

"Here in the Hospitality State, we have our faults. We have a lot of improvements to make in order to better our education system and job industry. Our past has been spotty, but don't think for one second that bigotry spawned here. Blatant racism was once rampant across the nation, not just in one state."

There are a lot of good things about Mississippi we can focus on when it comes to the media's exposure of us: We have arguably the three greatest football players of all-time in Brett Favre, Walter Payton and Jerry Rice. We have talk show greats like Oprah Winfrey and Robin Roberts. Well-known singers like Jimmy Buffett and Faith Hill (who went to middle school with me) were born and raised here. Great authors like Eudora Welty and William Faulkner were rooted here. Entrepreneurs like Fred Smith, the founder of FedEx or Robert Pittman who founded MTV are both Mississippians. Even people I could care less about like Ray J and Britney Spears grew up here.

So, let's get away from making a movie about races hating on black people in Mississippi. Try to recognize my state for the positive things that it currently has to offer:

Like your favorite blogger! :)

That's my brother in the tie.  He was an extra in "A Time to Kill."

* UPDATED: 8/8: * I found an excellent post on this same topic from a local blogger, but with a twist (and video). I wasn't able to comment on her page (although I tried to follow her blog) nor did she have contact information. Hopefully, she'll be able to follow the bread crumbs back to my site so I can commend her on this post.

Scott Joins #T2Q!

Scott brought it on the Talk 2 Q Radio Show! He met some opposition from the callers on his stance on spanking, but he didn't back down. He also received some support from Maritza and Beverly in the chat room who agreed with him 100%. He really help put some things in perspective and held his own against M&M, who is one of the show's strongest callers.

I enjoy reading Scott's blog because he stands for what he believes in regardless of what people around him may think. If it's what is best for his family, then he's really to fight you tooth-and-nail for that right. That's an admirable quality that I wish more people possessed. I urge each and everyone of you to follow his blog at www.thisdaddysblog.com and get a look at the life of a man who does whatever it takes to be a leader in his household.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Year Two: What Now?

My blogging anniversary just passed on the 15th and now I'm into Year Two. What now? How can I top Year One? When I think of all of the things that I did to try and set my blog apart from others, I'm unsure of how to try and continue to do so. I guess I first need to analyze the accomplishments of Year One before I can attack Year Two:

Wanda Sykes read my blog

Although I don't have 100% proof that it was Wanda who I chatted with over the course of three or four months, I'd like to believe it was her. I started believing that it might be her when she tweeted photos of her twins (although they could have been Octomom's kids for all I know). The way we crossed paths is that I mentioned her in a tweet about a post I wrote on her. It was about the show she did on the Gulf Coast that I wasn't able to attend because of the ridiculous ticket prices. She replied back to me and ended up reading the blog post. A few DM's (direct messages for those who aren't tweet literate) later and I was one of only 7 people she was following on Twitter. Every blue moon, she'd DM me and ask how The Mrs. and I were doing and it was kind of cool. Then one day, she was gone. No more Twitter account. Months later, she's back with a new account. I never reached out to see if she would even remember me or if she could confirm if it was really her or not. I guess I just wanted to believe that Wanda Sykes read my blog. :)

Formerly TQRS, now T2Q

Those acronyms mean nothing to those who truly don't follow me. TOAR, Thundercat, Chaplain Donna, Sonia, Coach Steph, Angie, Israel, Reckmonster, Lil Pixi, Charli and Tiffany all know what it means though. :)

The Stunner

Although I don't think this was the most creative idea, but it was by far the most successful when it comes to viewership. The Stunner Blogging Tournament brought in almost 30,000 page hits for the month it was active. This competition started as a crazy idea fueled by the NCAA March Madness tournament. 20 bloggers competed in a bracket-styled tournament where people would vote on a submitted blog post. Whoever had the most votes in a set period of time advanced to the next round. This continued over the course of a month until we crowned a champion. It is now something I plan on conducting annually and qualifying rounds will occur in October for those interested. It's invite only and if you're not a commenter, then don't expect a tap on the shoulder from me. I believe in rewarding loyalty. Brandon over there at My Own Private Idaho ended up taking home the title, but not without controversy. This tournament saw everything from substitute contestants, accusations of voter fraud, and a Twitter war between two contestants. Overall, it was a lot of fun for the readers because they got to read some of the best blog posts on the web. Oh, by the way, if anyone needs campaign management, then talk to Lynn, Alexandra, Brandon, or Michelle W. because they were promoting their entries like mad. All of the contestants gained followers and most of them even started following one another. That camaraderie is actually what led to my next crazy idea.

The Blogger Reality Show

This is another crazy idea that I posted with no intention of following through. Except there was one problem: eight other crazies thought it was a good idea. The Real Blogger Shore's Amazing Undercover Idol was born! The "circle posting" idea came while I was on the Yahoo! homepage and I noticed some "news" stories about one or two reality shows and it gave me an idea: I'm going to write a reality show idea about bloggers and pitch it to FOX! Basically, it's about some stereotypical bloggers who are stashed in a posh mansion in Helena, Montana. Why Helena? Because the mansions there are cheaper to rent than Beverly Hills. We're on a budget, you know? This show will be very similar to MTV's "The Real World" which some people call the first traditional reality show. Like "TRW," you need an interesting blend of characters to sell the show.

The next thing I know, the bloggers I had in mind wanted to give it a try. Squatlo kicked things off with an amazing intro to the series of posts that required readers to go from each of our blog sites in order to get to the next chapter of this fictional story. The process of sending readers to a new site to continue the story brought new readers to sites they may have not even been aware existed. In fact, I had some new followers tell me via comments or Twitter that the found my site while reading the different chapters of the story. Crazy idea, great results!


Taylor Corley (Stone) read my blog

Two of my most popular posts are about this young lady. She's a former Mississippi State University cheerleader turned Playboy Bunny. She was the subject of a lot of controversy here in my home state and I kind of felt bad for her. I thought people were wrong for riding their faux moral high horses and thumbing their noses at a young lady who is pursuing a career. The first post gave a basic summary of the situation and how she was being treated. I basically defended her because what she was doing was legal. As long as people are within the proper venues, they can do what they want if you ask me. It's not like she was stripping at Bulldog football games (although that would have increased attendance).

The second post on Taylor discussed her upcoming TV pilot called "Girl Swag." It's a reality show looking to debut on VH1 or MTV. I basically joined the TC Bandwagon at that point and joked that I would represent her as an agent. Well, when I promoted the post on Twitter, she saw her name mentioned and came on over to read my blog post. She then responded to me on Twitter which I thought was pretty cool. Now if I can only get her to retweet my blog site to her followers.


The Android App

Yes, there's an app for that! Wait. That's Apple, isn't it? I get confused. No matter. You can follow my blog on your phone by clicking the link and downloading. This app automatically brings all of my posts straight to your cell. Now you can take me with you where ever you go! (Memo to self: first cell phones, next the world).

So, now, Year Two starts. Let's see what it has in store!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Thank, Q Thanks U


What a difference a year makes. When I first started blogging a year ago, it was just to get something off of my chest. I was tired of going to forums on different websites to post my comments and wait on a response. I didn't like being restricted on my discussions.

Well, one year later, I'm still in the game and feeling pretty good about it! I remember my first follower, Jim. I was actually excited that someone thought of the blog post enough to want to follow me. That meant that I had to make more, right?

So, the second post came along (on the same day -- LOL)! That's when the addiction started. Later, I started checking out other people to see what they were saying. I first started with Annah over there at Red Means Go. Her site is full of flat-out funny stories and animations. To top things off, she's absolutely gorgeous. Can't go wrong there. It was her blog that got me fired up and wanting to stay in the game.

From her site, I ran into Falen from Colorful Rants of a Fed Up Sista. I saw one of Falen's comments on Annah's page and it made me crack up laughing. I figured if her comments were this funny, then her blog had to be even better. I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I started following her. I don't know where "Thundercat" comes up with the things she types. It's funny and scary at the same time. Falen gave me the boost that I needed as a rookie. She took me under her wing and really supported my blog early on. I honestly think that a lot of my followers are from her blog.

Falen did a guest post over at the Thoughts of a Randomista site and that's how I got introduced to Lynn's blog. We never agree on anything which is probably why we love one another. I think Lynn and I would have been the best of friends had we grown up together. When I first read her blog, I was completely stunned that she was actually just as crazy as Falen. I didn't think that it was possible.

So many other bloggers came along and inspired me. Unfortunately, I can't name them all, but I will mention those who support my blog with their comments:

Chaplain Donna at Empowered Peace - First Lady material. She should be every girl's role model.
Sonia at LogAllot - Marketing genius whose site has helped me tremendously.
Israel at Israel Carrasco Monologue Jokes - Hilarious, straight-to-the-point blog postings.
Erin at The Life of Ann James - Style blogger with the prettiest smile in the blogging community.
Scott at This Daddys Blog - Family man and sports fan. Gotta love that.
Michelle W. at Mommy Confessions - Not your typical mommy blogger. Michelle brings it.
Michelle R. at Rantings of The Reckmonster - Half-Filipino/Half-Crazy, but all-entertaining.
Alexandra at the Tsaritsa Sez - A free spirit whose blog will leave you smiling.
Lil Pixi at It's A Lollipop World - Entertaining. Resilient. Supportive.

Jillsmo at Yeah. Good Times. - Please follow her on Twitter. Funniest tweets ever.
The Empress at The Ranter's Box - Has some of the funniest videos/photos you'll ever see.
Cheryl at Diana Dishes - She's not a follower, but I like her. Very smart and a football fan. 'Nuff said.
Brandon at My Own Private Idaho - Great blogger and even better commenter.
Bob at Squatlo Rant - If you love politics and photos, then Bob is your guy.
Alice at Guys, Boys, and Men - My 50th follower and a very insightful blogger.
Charli Penn at Man, Wife, and Dog - Is the real deal when it comes to relationships.
Jewel at Jewels Turning 30 - Full of sexy and funny stories.
Tiffany at The Chocolate Knot - Always has a great point or two to make on her blog.
EmDottie at Electrik Blu - Young and outspoken. I love that combo!

Others who recently got aboard the Q-train: Mynx (follower #100), Mooner Johnson, and Lawfrog.

So, let me take the time to thank you.

Thank you for a 365 day trip that has allowed me to express myself in any way that I choose.

Thank you for all of the comments regardless if they agree with my point of view.

Thank you for clicking Follow and showing that my blog means something to you.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

TOAR is back!

Lynn from the Thoughts of a Randomista blog comes back to T2Q with a vengeance! Listen to the discussion she had with me and my homie, M&M. There's also a brief appearance from Israel Carrasco as well! Be sure to check out their blogs and follow!

Listen to internet radio with ThankQ on Blog Talk Radio

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marriage Talk w/Charli and Tiffany

I have a chat with Charli Penn from Man, Wife and Dog and Tiffany Maberry from The Chocolate Knot. Listen to what these bright, young ladies have to say about relationships and marriage. Be sure to check out their blogs and follow!

Listen to internet radio with ThankQ on Blog Talk Radio

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Car Wars

I can't stand it when people block an intersection or run a red light. It causes road rage in me more than anything else that can be done. You can cut me off, you can not use your turn signal, you can even drive 50 mph in the fast lane on the interstate. But, if you run a red light and / or block an intersection, then I will murder you with my thoughts.

There is an intersection near my job that puts me through this pain every single work day. This exchange is on a very busy street and if you get stopped by a red light, then you'll have to wait about three minutes before the next opportunity. Now, three minutes doesn't sound all that bad, right? But, what if you wait your three minutes and you can't move because some idiot crossing in front of you is blocking the intersection? Now it's six minutes.
I'll tell you a story of what happened to me recently so you'll better understand why this perturbs me to so much.

5:10 PM - I'm in the burgundy Lamborghini Buick on the diagram above. Now, before I could arrive to my spot, the idiot in the blue car decided instead of waiting for traffic to clear before leaving the gas station, that he would instead just pull out and block two lanes of traffic. He wants to get into the turning lane to go left, but he's stuck because no one will let him in.

Lesson #1: Don't pull into traffic unless you have some where to go that doesn't impede the flow of traffic.

5:12 PM - The turning lane light gives the green arrow and eight cars make it through, but Car #9, the black car shown above, never got a chance to turn, so she now has to wait. My light and the light for the brown car turns green, but we can't go any where because of the idiot in the blue car. Now, the person behind me is looking at me like I'm a hickey on a priest and it's my fault we're not moving. Again, this is a very busy intersection. It is not uncommon for up to 30 cars to be waiting to turn left at any given time. So, we never get a chance to advance through the light which is now red again.

5:16 PM - The black car now has the green arrow, but the idiot in the blue car still has to hope that the gray car (or one of the 10 cars behind it) is nice enough to let him in. And if you leave a gap longer than a car length ahead of you on this street, the light will start to change! Of course it's my luck that on this particular day, the idiot in the blue car does not catch a break to get into the turning lane. But, instead of backing into the gas station and getting out of the way, he sits there for yet another cycle.

5:17 PM - Once again, the light is green for us, yet we can't move. I blow my horn out of frustration, but the idiot in the blue car is deaf. Seriously, he's not deaf, he's just doing that "I'm-ignoring-you-because-I'm-in-the-wrong-and-can't-face-you-like-a-man" bit.

5:19 PM - We're still stuck and the light is red once again...

Do you see why I'm having homicidal thoughts? Next scenario...

I'm in my signature James Bond BMW Buick trying to go to work. As the traffic crosses in front of me, I notice that the cars are starting to slow down. Slowly, this idiot in a pink Mary Kay Cadillac decides to creep into the intersection despite the fact that she has no way of clearing the intersection. She's basically praying that she clears the lane before he light turns red. Well, that stupid idea didn't work.

Lesson #2: Don't start to cross into an intersection until there is room on the other side for you to clear all crossing lanes.

Now the idiot in a pink Mary Kay Cadillac has a red light and guess who has the green? Me! But can I go any where? No, I can't go any freakin' where although driving across the hood of her car did cross my mind. So, here we are with two lanes of traffic blocked because someone decided that they were more important than we were. That her time was more valuable than ours.

And how dare we blow our horns at her! After all, what was she to do? She was forced to pull into the intersection prematurely and block two lanes of traffic, right? I should blame the cars ahead of her for not being little Smart cars and allowing her extra room to move forward, right? You're wrong, woman! Even the guy in dancing in the alien suit with the "We Buy Gold" sign is shaking his head at you!

Idiot. If throwing bricks from your vehicle were legal, my left arm would look like Popeye's.
These scenarios happen to me at least once, sometimes twice a day. If you run red lights and / or block intersections/traffic, then you should have your license revoked. Because if you have the attitude that your time is more than important than anyone else's time or safety, then you don't deserve to drive. In fact, not one of you reading this has the right to drive.

Lesson #3: Driving is a privilege, not a right.

If I had things my way, then there would never be a problem with this ever again at this intersection. At least not when people see my car coming down the block. That's right, I have a fix for both of the above scenarios, but for some reason, I still can't get a patent for my idea.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Basketball Baby Mamas

You all know that I hate reality shows. I hate them because I think that they're either scripted and / or the drama is manufactured. Although I can understand the allure to these shows, since Americans love train wrecks, I also get frustrated when someone passes one of these shows off as "positive" or "real."

This is what Shaunie O'Neal did in a recent interview with CNN discussing her garbage of a show, Basketball Wives. Here's a quote from it: "I do believe some of the shows featuring African-American women have positive story lines and are not meant to tear black women down. Shows like Tiny & Toya and Monica: Still Standing, LisaRaye: The Real McCoy, What Chili Wants and The Braxtons."

I won't comment on any of those shows because I've never watched an entire episode of either. Well, I did watch 10 minutes of Tiny and Toya and I thought my SAP (Secondary Audio Programming) was on because I don't think they speak English.

But, I did watch the first three episodes of the first season of Basketball Baby Mamas. Now, the reason I call it that is because I think only one of them is even married to an NBA player. They are either long-term girlfriends/baby mamas or ex-girlfriends/baby mamas. How any of that is "positive" is beyond me. I thought the show would actually represent some behind the scenes look at the NBA, but it's quite the contrary.

The show promotes this glamorous lifestyle of women who want to be socialites and self-inflicted drama worse than any episode of Maury Povich. For O'Neal to say that she wants the show to be powerful and uplifting to black women is like me saying I want Family Guy to be a tool of learning for children. BBW's promotes fighting, cursing, backstabbing, and materialistic things. They leach off of their baby daddies (most who are not even recognizable players in the league anyway) and they basically remind the world that a-holes come in female forms, too.

I used to wonder if people who watch the show only do so for entertainment. I no longer think that about most people after hearing over-30 somethings talking about the show as if they're talking about their neighbors. They believe it so much that it's as if they know the ladies on the show. They are that much invested in something that doesn't represent anything legitimate about how people are supposed to interact with society.

Now, check out another previous quote from Shaunie in an interview from Sister 2 Sister magazine:

"And, I had some other original choices that just didn’t work out after we got a mini kind of casting reel of them. It was like, eh, not so exciting anymore. It was one wife I talked to, she said, “All I do is take my kids to school and pick ‘em up and cook dinner and have it here and go to the game.” Well, that’s not going to work for TV."

Sadly, this hypocrite is absolutely right. We only want to see drama. We thrive off of it. That's why this Casey Anthony trial has blown up like crazy. The media has pushed it on us so much for so long that people exploded emotionally when the verdicts came down. Mission accomplished.

So, how do we reverse this trend? How do we keep our kids from thinking that this is the way to live? How do we disprove that fighting, pouting, and seeking materialistic things is what life is about?

Just like Shaunie said, if you put a nice, respectable person on TV, who's gonna watch that?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Would You Go to Jail for a Hamburger?


Would you go to jail for a hamburger? I almost did. I know, I know. You have a confused look on your face, right? Does he love hamburgers that much that he'd do a stint in jail for it? Nah, it's not what you think. Let me explain how it all went down...

(deep breath)

I'm working for a General Motors company back around '91. They're a factory that produces parts for GM vehicles. It's my 2nd summer working with them, but unlike like last summer, I'm stuck on the overnight shift. I'm working 1030 PM - 7 AM and I absolutely hate it. What makes it so bad is that we only get 30 minutes for lunch. I guess it's management's way of making sure we don't have enough time to actually get some sleep. I can only imagine that an hour of sleep at 330 AM would not lend to much production afterwards.

Since we only get the 30 minute lunch, me and the guys usually bring our lunches from home. The only restaurant near us was a Waffle House and their cook with the Jheri curl and trench coat creeped us out. Yes, dude was a cook and he wore a trench coat. Weird, right? But, there was a Krystal located roughly 10-12 minutes away. For those unfamiliar with Krystal, it's the South's version of White Castle.

But, like I said, it's a 10 - 12 minute trip one way to get there. With only 30 minutes for lunch, we'd spend 20 - 24 minutes on the road with only 6 - 10 minutes left to order our food. Eating wasn't a concern since you can easily "scarf down" a few Krystal burgers while in transit.

Well, our 3rd night of the summer, four of the five of us didn't take the time to bring lunch. We were struggling with the decision to go to Waffle House and pray that the cook wouldn't pull out a saw-offed "shotty" and kill everyone or just going to the vending machine. At that time, one guy whose name I forget, so I'll call him Dale (in honor of Earnhardt, Sr.), came up with a brilliant idea. "Fellas, I can get us to Krystal," he started. "I'm not eating Doritos or waffles tonight."

"How are you going to do it?" another guy asked.

"Just come on," he said turning towards the punch clock waiting on 330 AM on the dot, "I can get us there."

Of course, the four of us are intrigued on how he's going to manage to drive us to Krystal and back in 30 minutes. We follow him to the parking lot and this dude leads us to a blue 1990 Geo Metro. "How are you going to get us to Krystal and back in this (bleeping) thing?" one guy asked.

"Man, just get in, we need every second!" Dale yelled.

Within a couple of minutes, we're down the windy road leading from the parking lot and onto Highway 80 rolling five-deep in a freakin' Metro. Dale has to be doing 85-90 mph on a four lane highway with a speed limit of 55. We're scared to death of being late from lunch, but we manage to get to Krystal at 337 AM! I'm amazed. Not necessarily for how easily we got to Krystal, but for the fact that I just rode in a Metro that topped 85 mph.

We get our order in roughly eight minutes and we're back in the car and on the road at 347 AM heading back to work. Dale tears down the highway once again with not another set of headlights in sight. We arrive back to work at 355 AM with full bellies and nothing left but colas to finish off.

(Laughing) "Man, I can't believe you drove like that," one guy started. "You were wide open!"

Now, as a 20-something at the time, I wasn't a least bit concerned about the rate of speed we were going. 20-something males are invincible, right? Not! But, they are stupid.

After the successful run, we spent the next two weeks going to Krystal every single work night. The closest we came to being late was 358 AM. Call it Divine Intervention or just dumb luck, but one Tuesday, we congregated around the punch clock waiting on 330 AM. We're not in a rush this particular night because our manager decided to reward us with an extra 15 minutes for lunch each night this week for being so productive. Dale tells us that his mom had to borrow his car, so one of us would have to drive.

"I'll drive" a guy named Rick said.

Rick had a 1989 Hyundai Excel and we all piled into it. As we get midway on Highway 80, we notice blue lights ahead. "Aw, snap," Rick said. "Road block."

Normally, at this point of our trip to Krystal, Dale comes over this hill rolling around 70 mph. This is normally the stretch of the highway where we can pretty much determine if any cops may be in the area. Needless to say, we're relieved that this isn't one of those nights.

We pull up to the road block and the Clinton Police Officer asks to see Rick's driver's license. "How's it going, officer?" Rick asked squinting at the flashlight in his eyes.

"It's alright, I guess," the policeman starts. "We're out here tonight trying to run down some idiot in a blue car who speeds through here like a fool every night."

The car went silent. Dale is sitting in the middle of the back seat in between me and another guy. Rick, noticing the uncomfortable silence, speaks up, "Oh, re-re-really? W-W-What kind of car?"

The office replied after passing back Rick's license, "I'm unsure. An off-duty officer saw him two nights in a row while dropping his wife off at work. Said he had to be doing at least 100 mph."

Again, the car goes "Tell-Tale Heart" with a creepy silence that seems to scream guilt. I'm racking my brain trying to remember ever seeing another car on the road during our "qualifying laps" to Krystal. "Man, that's messed up, officer," Rick says.

"Have a good night," says the officer as he taps the car with his flashlight and waves us on.

We drove 40 mph the rest of the way to Krystal. Had Dale been driving that night during our normal 30 minute lunches, there's no doubt that he probably would have been arrested for a reckless driving charge and we all would have been out of a job and possibly at the police station with him. In fact, even if he would have been doing the speed limit in his car that night, he still would have probably gotten in some sort of trouble just from his car being recognized.

That next night, a new tradition was started: lunches at the Waffle House.

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