Monday, February 09, 2009

This Blog ...

... is on life support. Don't worry, though. I've learned of an impending re-incarnation: This May Concern You.

It started out on Facebook as an open letter to the one person who refuses to deny or accept my friend request. My friends ate it up. So I decided to keep writing and try to turn it into a collection of self-deprecating, whimisical, sarcastic and sometimes bluntly honest open letters to some random and not-so-random people, places and things (I could've just said proper nouns and been done with it).

I want to make it to 100 letters. Take a look, let me know what you think. If you like it, can you pass it along?

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Phone Sex

So I answered this phone call about five minutes ago. The call is from Baltimore, Md., a sales lady wanting to speak to our bureau chief , who's out of the office today, about phone service. I told the lady the bossman was out. I expected the phone call to immediately end. But after trying to pinpoint when would be the best day for her to call back (never), the woman says "I just love your voice. It's so soothing."

I pause, and then say "thank you," like you would say.

She then proceeds to ask me how the weather is where I am. She asks this question "just to keep you on the phone."

I say it's like 75 degrees and cloudy, and she again says that she loves my voice.

I say "thank you," again, but that "I have to get back to work."

She says she doesn't want to let me go, but she understands. I tell her to have a good day as I picture her cheesing with three golds beaming out of her grill.

I hang up the phone.

I've had my laugh for the day, but I am thoroughly disgusted.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Greatest R&B Talent Ever? Really?

"He did all of this after he peed on the girl."

That's all my boy GM would say. It was his defense as to why Robert "I want to piss on you" Kelly, who was acquitted of 14 child porn charges, is the greatest R&B talent.

There were six of us at the table engaged in this debate. Three agreed with GM. NYC Body and I were the only two to dissent.

Shuttlesworth's Twin argued that R. Kelly had the sales. John Lennon's Black Daughter (JLBD) said Kelly had the hits. And GM's Wifey agreed with her husband because that's what she's supposed to do (not really, but she didn't happen to give reason for her argument).

They all turned to me and asked "Vic, who is better? Name someone."

(insert momentary pause)

"You're not giving us anything."

I tend not to handle that type of spotlight well. You know, that kind where it seems like everyone is really breathing down your neck for an answer you don't immediately have.

After some thought, I came up with Brian McKnight, Babyface and even Raphael Saadiq ... as artists. Even in bringing those names up, and understanding the quality and depth of their works, no one would dare say one of them was better than Kells. In fact, GM and Shuttlesworth's Twin actually defended Kelly.

It got me to thinking.

There really is something wrong with this world when the best R&B artist is an (alleged) pedophile. I mean, R. Kelly is to black music what crack was to the black community in the 1980s.

Can you imagine what R&B music would be like if R. Kelly had written 10 more "I Believe I Can Fly"-like tracks, and fewer hood anthems that have no place in our society? I'm not even talking about the sex joints because some of them have their places.

But "You Remind Me of My Jeep?" Really? Or pretty much anything off of about his last three albums? Everything since TP3 (include TP3 because it sucked) has been crap, and this is the best we have, allegedly.

I think not.

I'll admit it, I have about 100 R. Kelly tracks on my computer. He's a hitmaker. But I'll never buy another R. Kelly album.

He's a huge part of the problem. He can't be the best R&B artist ever. He's a great musical talent and a great fear to the public for his (alleged) acts with underage girls.

It's kinda like Roger Clemens and steroids - but worse. Clemens may be the greatest pitcher of my lifetime, yet he's probably not going to the hall of fame right away, if ever, because he used 'roids.

R. Kelly can't be the the best R&B artist ever because he, too, must be disqualified from the discussion.
That "he did all of this after he peed on the girl," actually makes my case.

HE PEED ON THE GIRL. He can't see anything wrong with a little bump and grind with a 13-year-old girl. Neither his mind nor his body told him no.

I don't care what that jury said, that's Robert Kelly in the video. There are Soul Train awards in the background. Think about it.

End of discussion.

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This isn't that nice, but still ...

As a child, I ate some white creamy substance - probably mayonnaise or Miracle Whip. Yet the whip had little miracle. In fact, it disgusted me. So much that I stopped eating most white creamy substances.

No 'Whip, sour cream, ranch dressing, etc.
As this little nugget might tell you, I have a problem with learned associations. There are plenty of things I won't do because of some negative association.

This brings me to today. I saw this picture of this girl I went to college with on Facebook. She looked cute, better than she did in school. Not to say she looked bad, she just looked better. Hypothetically, if she were an eight in college she'd have been a 10 in this picture. Now, I won't rate her because I'm done rating people, as you know if you've read this blog before.

But she did have one problem. Although she looked good, all I could think about were her feet, her smelly, nasty feet that is. I remember the last time I was close enough to her that she invaded my keno sphere with a huge.

She had on sneakers, and she invaded my personal space with the smell of her feet despite sneakers and socks. It was foul.

And ever since then, whenever I see or think of her I think of how disgusting her feet smelled that last day I saw her, and I factor that into what I think of her. Is this wrong? Should I try to fix this about myself, and try to give her picture another shot tomorrow?

I'm just scared that I might have a gag reflex if I stare and think for too long.

Thoughts? Anyone?

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Khaki is the new trash

I have a dilemma. I'm starting a new job soon. It will be the first job where I will be required to wear business casual attire daily.

Don't get me wrong. I can dress. I used to gear it up for work with absolutely no justifiable reason, back when I could wear a ballcap and shorts on summer days because I worked in the sports department.

I have enough of business casual wear to last a month if not longer. But that's not the problem.

Problem: I still have Khaki pants in my closet. I never - and I mean never - wear Khaki. But I need to get rid of them, all five pair. Like, yesterday.

I have about 20 pair of slacks. But I already know that on some random Tuesday I will long to slip back into that comfortable, yet sturdy feel of the Khaki, one different from the any other pant. I'll want to wear them to work. But I can't.

To understand why I this would be an egregious error to my style I must take you back, back into time.

The school year was 1993-94. Rayon and Silk button-down shirts were the in styles for the black man. But we ran into a problem that abruptly ended this fad. You couldn't sweat in either fabric. If you did, you would ruin said shirt and no girl who saw you with that shirt on would talk to you. Oh they would talk, but it would be about you.

So, with Snoop Dogg's help at the Vibe or Source Awards and Boyz II Men's Alexander Vanderpool feel, we transitioned to what I called the "uniform" look. It consisted of the name brands Tommy Hilifiger, Nautica, Polo, Dockers and Eastlands.

Trust me, you were nothing without a pair of Eastlands. One of the few pants that fit properly on top of the Eastlands were the Khaki pant. I can't tell you why, I just know it was part of the uniform, thus I followed the trend.

I lined my closet with Dockers, no Dickies please, from about 1996 to 2003. Then somehow, some way, the Khaki pant disappeared from the black man's wearable wardrobe.

I received no memo, but it seemed that all at once, black men stopped rocking clean Khaki pants. The cargo look was there for a sec over the Tims, but no regular Dockers.

Thus, I followed suit.

Do you see my dilemma now? I prefer jeans, and wear them regularly. But they won't work for work. I haven't worn a pair of Khakis since about 2003 or '04. And I know I will want to put them on because it's work.

But they're a major no-no. What to do?

I'm really tempted to burn or trash them for fear that I might actually pull them out one morning. I'll end up in front of the mirror saying "you know, that doesn't look half-bad."

But it will look/be all bad by lunch. Really, what am I going to do? I don't know.

Suggestions are welcome.

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Emotional Gamut

This has been a tough week. I've ran the emotional gamut, a few times.

On Monday, I received an unbelievable, yet long desired call. An editor from a premier newswriting outfit in town called to offer me a position where I'll do an array of things (write news, sports and some copy editing).

I said yes on the spot. I didn't overwork myself because I'd recently been let down by a another prospective job opportunity, and it crushed me for a few days. So, I didn't want to get too high or low depending on the phone call. I remained reserved, even in telling my best friends. They seemed more excited than me, although I truly am reservedly ecstatic.

I guess I'm glad I didn't get too high because of the letdown that came next.

One of my fraternity brothers was killed in a carjacking in downtown Kansas City on Tuesday night. This brother, 25-year-old Brandon McDowel, and I weren't extremely close. But we crossed paths often enough to know each other and to have many of the same friends.

First, I saw statuses slowly change on Facebook. Then I turned on the news, and it hit me. There he was, a black male college graduate prepared to finish grad school and go to law school in the fall, dead at the hands of self-hate's perplexing plight.

In some people's eyes, he's now no more than a grim statistic like Sean Taylor, Darrent Williams and countless other 20-something black men reduced to earth far too early. But this was different. This hit home, literally. It could have been one of my line brothers who lived maybe two blocks away from where this happened a few years back. It could have been my brother. It could have been me.

So all you're left with are questions. Why him? Why now? Why do these people loathe life so much that they want to take it from others? And then there's only one conclusion to it all.

Make sure you tell everyone you love that you love them. Make sure they hear and feel your words even if, in a moment, they make you seem or feel like a sap. You put things in a unique perspective knowing full well that perspective won't necessarily stick.

On Wednesday, I rang one of my cousins, a fraternity brother as well, who was closer to the Brandon than I. We tried to make sense of it, and couldn't. So we reminded each other of the sentiments in the previous paragraph.

We tried to move past it, tried to talk about other things - my new job, the bar he works at, that he was leaving town in a few hours, the new downtown development and St. Patrick's Day. Anything to pull our thoughts momentarily away from the ignorance.

All of these thoughts, good and bad, and all I wanted to do was call Triple B, and run my gamut through her ear and her world. This was a hard week because of all of the things that happened, but also because I felt like I couldn't share it all with her, the person with whom I have the strongest connection.

I haven't had a bad week concerning Triple B since, well, it's been so long that I can't really remember. The last time I had this urge to make sure she knew I loved her - last year the day everything went down at Va. Tech - I dialed her and told her. But not this time. Doesn't quite seem right, but it's still weirded me out.

Didn't help much that Q-boog rambled on about a similar situation with a guy in her hometown of Milwaukee earlier this week, too. That conversation made me wonder if this situation with Triple B will ever fully end in my head. Yeah, Q-Boog's man problem is that (a decade-plus type) serious.

So just throw that situation on top.

Oh, a friend who is quickly becoming my best friend in KC is leaving for the Peace Corps in a month.

And I got featured in a picture on Stuff Educated Black People Like since I designed the header.

So, I've got a lot going on, a lot to think about (told ya). The funeral is in the morning. I'll be there, deep in thought, still trying to make since of it all. If you can, just say a prayer for me, my people here in Kansas City and those who revel in the ills of self-hate.

If there's one thing I knew immediately when I saw the story on Brandon, it's that self-hate is prevalent in our society and at the root at the majority of our problems. We need to find help for those who suffer from it because it tragically affects us all. Some times, it's a little closer to home unfortunately.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

Thanks Dick

I found myself glued to the couch this weekend, my eyes consistently focused on my local CBS station.

There, NCAA teams throughout the nation were running up and down basketball courts beginning the arduous trek from the start of March Madness to April's Final Four. Upsets abound. Buzzer beaters fell. The unexpected was expected.

There are schools that you have no clue as to where they are, Davidson and Belmont to be specific, that come out of nowhere to challenge hated squads such as Duke and prominent teams such as Georgetown. Some win. Davidson knocked the Hoyas. And we all tune in, because we have a vested interest in a team or two or because we have $5 invested in a bracket pool.

I, for example, watched maybe 10 hours of hoops between Thursday and Sunday night. I avoided most human interaction. It might be the best time of year for any man. Just him, his television, his beer, his comfort food and his bracket. No (or few) women.

Only one problem exists: the commentators, and more particularly their overwhelmingly skewed viewpoints concerning black and white athletes.

I will not name names, but I will point out the obvious because it's necessary. Most of the commentators are white men, and it's apparent per their word choice this weekend that they believe the black athlete is physically superior to his white counterpart.

All weekend, I watched shot after shot, amazing play after amazing play. Every time a black player did something outstanding the commentator deemed him "a great athlete" or he'd say, "He's so athletic."

Conversely, if a white hoopster made a great play, the commentator called him a "hard worker" or "a hustler" or even "intelligent with a high basketball acumen." One commentator went so far as to call UCLA standout freshman Kevin Love, a white player with serious skill, "not the best athlete," while he blocked seven second-half shots and almost single-handedly led his team to victory. They gave him the "high basketball acumen" mark.

Are you freaking kidding me? Kevin "McLovin" Love is a top-five lock in this year's NBA draft. NBA team don't draft "non athletic" players with top-five picks.

Ludicrous. These commentators are the verbal equivalent to listening to Emmitt Smith or Michael Irvin ramble, and I mean stumble through incomprehensible sentences, on Sunday mornings. They might as well say what they're thinking. Blacks are better athletes, and whites are ...

That's why they don't. But why say anything? Why say so much that your true feelings are no longer veiled and you come across like an insensitive asshole who is stating, albeit in a roundabout manner, that black athelete don't work hard, can't be smart and don't have to exert much effort?

To no one's surprise, this has been going on for years (see: Magic and Bird). But I don't understand how and why major media has yet to stop this buffoonery. Hire some black men to commentate sports. Not just (insert name of any white commentator you know because I know you can't think of a black one). Maybe this shit wouldn't be so commonplace.

We all know what they're thinking, and it's not politically or actually correct. Yes, somehow black athletes are dominating professional sports, and it likely has something to do with the black gene pool being toyed with on several fronts by the white man from about 1600 to 1865.

But that doesn't give you the right to backhandedly say white athletes are smarter and work harder. That's not right, and really, really fucked up. Fucked up enough to where it screwed up my man weekend.

On Thursday night, I'm watching the games on mute, and putting my iTunes on shuffle. It's that bad.

ed's note: commentator Kevin Harlan, a fellow Kansas Citian, is not included in the list of commentators who make idiot remarks.

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

I Owe You One ....

I told a friend last week that if I was 17, Teyana Taylor would be my crush. Thus, I bring to you, Google Me, her first single. It's been surfing the net for a long time, but they're finally dropping this vid.

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