Tuesday, January 28, 2014

When You're Unable to Help Your Suffering Child

Nothing can possibly prepare you for it.  It has to be the worst pain that a parent can endure.  Seeing your child suffer through physical or emotional pain and not being able to comfort them has to be the worst feeling in the world.  However, I wouldn't know...

I don't have children, but I understand the parent/child dynamic from the child's point of view.  As a son, I've seen the anguish on my parents' faces as I've suffered through something.  Although I'll never truly feel the pain that they've felt since I don't have children, I can somewhat relate to what it must feel like when I watch other parents go through things.

When I was around 8 years old, I was riding barefooted on the back of a bicycle with my aunt.  We were riding downhill and my feet were flopping from side-to-side as she pedaled.  Somehow my right foot flopped a bit too hard and came into contact with the bicycle's back wheel.  My foot got entangled in the spokes as the tire locked up and the pain that I felt was tremendous.

It happened right in front of my house.

I remember my brother and father running out to the street as I screamed in pain from the discomfort of having my lower leg twisted in the metal.  My foot was literally wedged into the wheel to the point that neither I nor the wheel could move an inch.  My father had to cut the spokes in order to free me.

I had a severely sprained ankle and slight fracture.  My aunt felt guilt.  My brother felt helpless.  My father had a look of concern as the event occurred, but ultimately he was okay.  He's always been a rock in troubled times.  My mom of course was my mom.  She never wanted to see her baby go through anything.  But, I eventually got through that ankle injury, countless minor boyhood injuries and an appendectomy at age 16.  Each incident was painful, but I had the loving support of Momma and Pop to carry me through.

There are times that as a parent you can't help your child.  You want to take the pain away, but you can't.  You wish that you could take the pain and bear it yourself just to give your child a breather, but life doesn't work like that.  I saw that look on my father's face when I had to bury my wife after her death.  He wanted to stop my hurt, but he couldn't.  There were no spokes to cut to free me from my torment this time around.  So, he did the only thing that he could do: he stood by my side.

And he remained there until I reached out to him for help.  That's what parents can do to help their children get through almost anything!  Be there!  Your presence alone means so much to a child going through emotional and / or physical pain.  It's not always what you say that makes it better, it's being within reach that makes the difference.  As a son, I can say that definitively for all of the pain that I've been through in my life that looking up and seeing one or both of my parents made all of the difference in the world to me!  And I guarantee you if you do it for your children that they will remember it when they have children.

Be your child's rock.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The 2014 #Grammys: Play-By-Play

I hate award shows. I truly do. The people that I always think deserve to win never win. It's some sort of popularity contest or who creates the biggest story more so than who's actually the most talented (in my opinion).

Having said all of that, I felt the need to watch The Grammys tonight. Why?

A) There's no football to occupy my Sunday Night
B) Everyone else and their grandmother will be watching and tweeting, so I may as well join the fun, right?
C) I pray that Kanye West gets on stage and says, "Beyonce's twerk was better than Miley's" or something. 

So, check in from time-to-time this evening to see updates on what I'm seeing.  I'll update my blog throughout the broadcast of The Grammys...

7:49 PM EST - Macklemore is on the Red Carpet wearing his Thrift Shop clothing.  Cyndi Lauper is there as well with her Sharon Osbourne hair color.

7:50 PM - Taylor Swift's dress is nice.  A little chainmail look to it, but it's classy.  Paula Patton looks great in her outfit, too.  And she doesn't appear to be high!  Yay, rehab!

Robin Thicke and Paula Patton
7:56 PM - The Summer's Eve commercial where the man tries to "reclaim his manhood" is absolutely hilarious!  Should have been a Super Bowl commercial!

8:02 PM - Beyonce kicks off the show with the "Drunk in Love" song.  She's all grown up now and she loves showing off that fact.  She's more sexualized and curses regularly.  I guess that if it works for Miley Cyrus then it can work for her, too.  She's going to wear out that "surfboard" term.  Uh, oh.  Here comes Jay Z.  Dude always rocks a nice suit, but he's still a punk to me for what he did to Harry Belafonte.

8:08 PM - L.L. Cool J is starting to look older with the hats.  He may need to let them go.  He looks like one of the old guys that used to come to my barbershop.  Now he's trying to remind people that he used to be a musician.  I doubt anyone under 20 remembers.

8:10 PM - What happened to Pink?  Why does she look like a body-building dude now?  And why is Pharrell Williams dressed like Ranger Rick?

8:12 PM - You could look at Kendrick Lamar's face and know that he wasn't going to win Best New Artist over Macklemore.  Macklemore will win every rap category tonight.  Watch.

8:23 PM - Whaaaatttt!!!!???  Liam Neeson has another movie coming out where he has to kill someone?  I'm already there! #Non-Stop

8:28 PM - I have no idea who this kid is, but he looks and sounds like he's trying to pass a kidney stone.

"It hurts!!!!!"
8:36 PM - Katy Perry would have been the perfect Wonder Woman.  She has the look.  I wonder if she knows how to act?

8:47 PM - By far the best performance so far tonight with Chicago and Robin Thicke!  Chicago's band reminds me why I first started loving music!  Live instruments can beat a computer any day!  Wow!

9:01 PM - Kevin Hart just gave a shameless plug to "Ride Along" when referring to Charlie Wilson.  Terrible!  LOL!

9:09 PM - I'm just seeing this on Twitter courtesy of .  Best outfit of the night by far!  LOL!

9:21 PM - There is no way Pink is singing live while spinning through the air like Cirque du Soleil.  Dangerous performance though.

9:31 PM - "The Talk" has the cast of "How I Met Your Mother" on tomorrow and they're trying to tie their commercial to The Grammys.  No, there's no connection there.

9:32 PM - Oh, joy!  Ozzy Osbourne is reading a teleprompter!  #TVGold!

9:38 PM - Okay, let's discuss this...

Did "Gremlins" get a reboot? #Stripe
9:56 PM - Loved Kasey Musgraves!  I don't necessarily listen to country music, but I love the old style country classics.  The outfits, the music and her lyrics screamed a young Loretta Lynn!  Bravo!

10:01 PM - Julia Roberts' mouth is so big that when she smiles her ears get wet.  She's presenting the Beatles semi-reunion with Paul and Ringo.

10:05 PM - Yoko Ono makes an appearance trying to dance to Paul and Ringo.  She doesn't look bad for 96.

"I miss John!"
10:23 PM - Kasey Musgraves won over Taylor Swift.  I couldn't be happier!  It's nice to see someone who actually sings country music win a Best Country Album award.

10:32 PM - The Grammys are starting to wind down and I'm still waiting on that one moment that everyone will be talking about tomorrow.  It's yet to occur.  No Kanye running on stage or saying Obama hates white people.  I hope he's just hiding in the rafters right now or something.

10:33 PM - I just saw a commercial for the new movie "Need for Speed".  You're a decade late, fellas.  "Fast & Furious" pretty much cornered the market on racing.

10:43 PM - Lourde takes down Macklemore for Song of the Year ("Royals").  She sucks in acceptance speeches though.  I'm pretty sure she killed animals as a child.

10:54 PM - It's my first time seeing Metallica perform and I'm enjoying the music.  Mixed in with a classic pianist gives it a nice and unique blend.  The Grammys have done a good job coordinating artist collaborations.

11:03 PM - Just saw the trailer for "3 Days to Kill."  How is Liam Neeson not starring in that movie?  Kevin Costner?

11:11 PM - This is The Grammys "big moment?"  A mass wedding with 33 couples getting married by Queen Latifah?  Did she get her license to marry from Devry's overnight online class?  And why is Madonna dressed like a pimp?  No wonder she feels comfortable saying the n-word.

11:22 PM - Why does Ryan Seacrest torment me so?  He's everywhere.  It's like trying to run away from Jason Voorhees.

11:37 PM - Yoko Ono is a presenter, but I'm disappointed that she didn't speak more or dance.  Daft Punk wins Album of the Year.  They are cleaning up.

11:44 PM - Took forever for the Grammys to end.  A great show if you're a lover of music and / or Country/Rock.  Not much at all for R&B and rap, but an enjoyable evening.  I'm disappointed that no one did anything outrageous.  I guess that's a good thing though.  L.L. Cool J was non-existent as a host.  Half of the time I forgot that the show evening had a host.  Not very memorable on his part other than him flirting with Taylor Swift.

Good night, all!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Racial Inconsistencies in Sports: @RSherman_25 Isn't A Thug

Mitchell 10 years ago; Rodgers present day
It's a shame that on MLK Day, I'm blogging about something race-related.  As far as we've come in this country in regards to black and white, there are things that remind us that there's still a long way to go.

Sports has been called the "great equalizer" when it comes to uniting the races.  The "Remember the Titans" movie is a perfect example of that.  Still there are some inconsistencies in the media that make me shake my head.

Time and time again I see the media portray people differently based on race and culture.  Last night, Seattle Seahawks defensive back, Richard Sherman, went off on San Francisco 49ers wide receiver, Michael Crabtree and social media went wild.

People called him a "thug" (which is a popular word used when describing aggressive black people), classless, an embarrassment and other unflattering words.  What they saw on TV was a black man who should "just be happy to make millions playing in the NFL."  He should be humble, appreciative, keep his mouth shut and just play the game.

It takes me back in time to my youth when I first started noticing inconsistencies in the media based on race.  I remember when Deion Sanders played hurt in a football game once.  He was clearly hampered by the injury, but chose to play and try to help his team.  He didn't play well and I remember one of the commentators saying that he was being "selfish" for playing at less than 100%.  That same day, the Jets played and one of their players named Wayne Chrebet was also playing hurt.  He went on to have a poor game, but the commentator said that he was a "warrior" for trying to gut out a win for his team.

Scoring touchdowns is something that is viewed differently at times.  The term "act like you've been there before" comes up often when black certain players celebrate after scoring touchdowns.  Yet when Aaron Rodgers of the Packers scores a touchdown, he gets applauded for that "championship belt" gesture he does.  In fact, instead of being chastised, he even has commercials for what is now called the "Discount Double-Check" move.  What's even worse is that he didn't even invent that scoring celebration.  Former Philadelphia Eagle, Freddie Mitchell, was doing the "championship belt" move back in 2003 when Rodgers was still in college.

Do you see the inconsistencies that drive guys like me nuts?

Last one: back in 2007, a player named Anthony Smith from the Pittsburgh Steelers guaranteed a victory over the Patriots in an upcoming game.  Tom Brady torched Smith and the Steelers defense en route to victory.  On one of the TD passes Brady threw, he ran up to Smith and got facemask-to-facemask and taunted him.  The stories that made the headlines the next day talked about Tom Brady's "passion" and how he was "teaching Smith a lesson" and being a "fiery competitor."

Where are those words when it comes to describing Richard Sherman?  Crabtree and Sherman were jawing at each other the entire game, so why doesn't he get to have the last word like Brady did?  Why is he a "thug" instead of a "fiery competitor?"

Lou Pinella kicked dirt on umpires and cursed them out.

Brian Wilson beat a Gatorade cooler with a baseball bat.

Bobby Knight threw a chair on the court of a basketball game.

John McEnroe yelled at judges on the tennis courts.

Larry Bird was a legendary trash talker.

John Tortorella, Mike Ditka, etc.  The list goes on and this still occurs to this day.  There are some white people in sports that have berated, cursed, intimidated or (technically) assaulted others and yet they are still "feisty heroes" to many media types. Not even once have I ever heard any of them referred to as "thugs."  Never.

Richard Sherman finished 2nd in his high school class in GPA and went on to graduate from Stanford in Communications.  He even went back for his graduate degree.  He's never been arrested and doesn't play dirty in the field of play.  He's not a "thug."  He's the best cornerback in the league (statistics will back that up) and he had the last word against a mouthy competitor.  At least I thought that he had the last word...

Crabtree obviously didn't learn his lesson because he's still disrespecting Sherman.
Does the media (including social media) treat black athletes different than white athletes?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Learning Isn't Lame

It's hard not comparing things in the present to things I experienced in the past.  I catch myself doing that daily and I have to try and correct that behavior.  2014 isn't anything like my life growing up in the 70's and 80's.  In fact, the two are as different as shooting a bullet and throwing one.

The most notable difference between then and now is the focus of kids.  What I focused on as a child is nothing near what today's child focuses on.  In fact, it's flat-out scary!

When I was growing up, my parents preached how important my education was.  I got grounded when I didn't get good grades and praised when I did.  I had the ability to be an "A" student, but most of the time I only gave a "C" effort.  I didn't realize how what I did in school would affect me later as I approached adulthood.

Today's kids have a different mindset.  They don't want to give much of an effort at all.  What for?  They're not focused on school because they think learning is dumb.  It's more important to them to be cool than it is to be successful.  It's all about image in schools now and parents rarely do anything to prevent that mindset.

"You're being lame when you try to be smart."  


Too many "role models" have not really embraced education and that has trickled down to the children.  Athletes, musicians, and celebrities only display life in the fast lane while rarely discussing how they got there.  Parents don't make it any better by explaining how much hard work goes into being successful regardless of the career.  From a stockbrocker to a stripper, if you don't work hard then you will struggle with being successful.

Kids may not know that their favorite rapper is a college grad.  They don't know that an athlete is fluent in two languages and very familiar with a couple of others.  They haven't a clue about a child actress being home schooled.  It's up to parents to reveal that to the kids and keep their focus on the importance of school.

Kids tent to only pay attention to the glitz and glamour and that is continuing to dumb down this country.  It's going to catch up with us as a nation.  I guarantee you.  And it won't take too many more years for it to do so.

What can be done to help kids focus on schoolwork instead of their image?

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

@SingleDatingDiv + @DirtyinPublic = Naughty

Last week, I was a guest on a podcast over at Mr. n Mrs. Romance and it was a lot of fun!  I went 2-on-1 with a couple of  award-winning, blogging divas as we discussed multiple relationship topics.  Suzie from www.SingleDatingDiva.com and Marrie from www.DirtyinPublic.com were the hostesses with the "most-esses" of the show.  Amy Poehler and Tina Fey can't hold a candle to this duo!

Oh, you have to watch out for those two!  Suzie and Marrie know how to bring out the naughty in their subjects and I now know that first-hand!  Kiddie pools filled with Jell-O and being tied up in bed somehow got mentioned on this show.  I think these ladies could get the Pope to spill some secrets.

We discussed some things from my blog like: how do guys get out of The Friend Zone and why it's important to Ask for What You Want.  There were plenty of other topics and questions as the Diva Duo got to know me on a more personal level.

I truly enjoyed speaking with them and being their first guest on Season 2 of the podcast!  I think that not only will you laugh multiple times when you hear it, but you will also get something from this episode.  The ladies did a great job asking the right questions and I hope that I provided the right answers for the listeners.

If you want to enjoy the show for yourself, then just click here to be entertained.  

I want to thank Suzie and Marrie for not just thinking enough of me to ask me on, but also for being such gracious hosts!  Not only am I better off for being followers of their blogs, but I'm truly glad to have them as supporters of what I do.  They both do a lot for my blog and radio show and that truly means a lot to me.  It's amazing how some of your biggest supporters will generally be people that you've never met in person.

Follow them on Twitter at @SingleDatingDiv and @DirtyinPublic!

Friday, January 10, 2014

I Got Her Hooked

She knows that she wants it.
Oh, yeah.  Who's the man?  I'm the man.  I got her hooked and there's no denying it.  She can act like she doesn't care all she wants, but I know differently.  I know that she wants it multiple times per day and that she can't control herself.  She wakes up out of her sleep and thinks about it.  She wants it before and after dinner.  Even after the first session, she watches the clock waiting for more.  My lady craves it.

Wait.  You dirty-minded scoundrels.  No, I'm not talking about sex.  I'm talking about how I introduced my lady to Candy Crush.  I won't lie, the photo I attached probably didn't help your wandering minds, but I like to be misleading like that from time-to-time. #Gotcha

Yes, she is hooked on Candy Crush and it's my fault.  She held out as long as she could, but decided to give it a try shortly after Christmas.  Now she fusses when she's stuck on a level and gets even more agitated when she runs out of lives and has to wait 30+ minutes for more of them.

I was once hooked on the sweetness that is Candy Crush.  It felt different than Angry Birds.  That limitation of lives creates more of a sense of urgency in playing.  However, like most things, I got used to it and learned to control my need to have it.  Now I usually only play a couple of times per day during the week.  I'm too busy on weekends with football to care about it on gameday.  But, it's the ultimate way to pass time while sitting in a line or at a doctor's office.

Her addiction is hilarious at the moment, but I'm sure at some point I'll start to hide her iPad so that I can help curb her addiction.  Then again, she'll probably get over it herself. Once she gets past Level 35 and finds herself closer to Level 100, then the thrill will slowly dissipate.  It's just a matter of time for the newness to wear off. :)

I'm glad that she's not THIS hooked on the game!

Is there a game that has you hooked?

Friday, January 3, 2014

I Hate Social Media Oversharers

West Coast fans have it bad thanks to social media.
(steps on soapbox)

I'm sick of it to the point that I have to blog about it..

Stop it... Just stop it...

Stop thinking that what you have to say is somehow more important than anyone else. 

Stop thinking that putting something on Facebook or Twitter somehow turns you into Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow. 

Wait. You may be confused. Let me explain:

First of all, when I say "overshare," I'm not talking about the people who put too much information on their timelines. TMI is a problem in social networking, but it can usually be ignored easily. Besides, seeing an older co-worker discuss increasing the fiber in his diet doesn't really impact me.

The people that I can't stand are the spoilers. The people who watch sporting events, movies, and/or TV shows and choose to disclose every single plot point or game score on their timeline. Those are the people that I wish I could ship off to a remote island with no cell phone signal or Wi-Fi.

The reason that I hate them is because they force me to live in a bubble because they can't keep their mouths closed! They're so selfish and arrogant that they feel as if they have a right to reveal information to you and ruin your experience! They're too self-centered to ponder if you may want to watch the show and enjoy the revelation of each storyline just as they did. No, you don't get to have that luxury because they typed out the entire show on their timeline!

(takes a deep breath)

The perfect example of this is the ABC hit show, "Scandal."  If you don't watch that show as it airs, then you may as well turn off every electronic in your home until you do.  Everywhere you look, someone will post important information about the show that will ruin your viewing experience.  "Fitz got shot!"  "Mellie got raped!"

Dag, at least give me a week.  SMH.  People on the West Coast must really hate the time difference because they literally have to disconnect from social media for two hours prior to any relevant show.  If not, they will have someone spoil the show appear on their timeline.

Another example is sports.  There were two college bowl games that I wanted to see this week.  One on Monday and one on Tuesday.  Both came on in the mid-afternoon prior to me getting off of work.  To be able to go home and enjoy the recording of the game, I had to eliminate Facebook and Twitter from my afternoon.  Despite the fact that I don't follow ESPN or any TV sports personalities on social media, I still have to disconnect because everyone else on my timeline doesn't care if I want to enjoy the game or not.

I failed to make it home both days without knowing the scores to the game.  Despite the fact that I disconnected from social media, an associate felt the need to "share" the score with me and ruin my evening.  Although I chose to avoid Facebook and Twitter, she didn't.  And with all of that technology at her finger tips, she couldn't wait to reveal the score of the game as if I had some sort of appreciation for it.  As if I had no way of ever being able to watch the game once I got home.  Like DVR's haven't been invented.

I came home both evenings and deleted the recordings of the games without watching them.  Why would I watch?  I already knew the final score.  What's the point?  The opportunity to watch the game unfold was taken from me by some selfish individual.

Look, I get that watching TV with a bunch of followers/friends is exciting.  I chat during shows, too, but I never reveal anything in my tweets because I don't want to ruin it for anyone.  Social media has options for people to create private groups in which to discuss things.  Why not create a private group so people who are watching the show live can chat it up with you?  Wouldn't that be better than spoiling it for people who have to work or maybe live on the West Coast?

Then again, if you do that, then that would mean that you actually have to put forth an effort to consider other people's feelings, huh?  Please just choke yourself to sleep.  Wake up.  Repeat. 

(steps off soapbox)

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