Relationships

It’s You, Not Me, Falcons.

It's You

**gathers all the Atlanta Falcons in a room and closes the door quietly**

You know what, guys? Enough.

No more.

I give.

I’ve been a fan of you guys for just about 34 years of my life. My Granddaddy loved y’all when you arrived in this city in 1966 until the day he left this Earth. My Dad loves y’all lamenting the woeful Falcon teams he was offered autumn after autumn… and I love y’all, honest I do, but on the real, I’m tired.

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Categories: Atlanta, Relationships, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Do That Thing!! :: A Monday Quick Hit Blog

“You study long, you study wrong.” Don’t spend all day looking at those cards!”

That was usually Kim, or Charles, or Will, or one of my other college friends yelling across the card table imploring me to play quickly instead of having lengthy deliberations with myself while playing spades, the card game that I spent more than a little time participating in while a student at Georgia Southern (go Eagles). The view of my fellow card players was that little about the circumstances in my hand were going to change. The cards I held weren’t going to transform to something else so sitting there poring over the cards was going to do nothing but hold up the process for the others waiting to play, so play already! Continue reading

Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, College Years, Encouragement, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Clock Is Ticking

“On everything that you start in life there is a timer. Knowing that time is ticking we should probably get to it, huh?” -Me

I POSTED THAT LITTLE QUOTED FACTOID to my Last Native Facebook page on Saturday. While I get little lightning bolts of cool things to say and post from time to time I can’t say that I completely came up with this one on my own. I was given an assist by the man I like to call “The Coolest White Man To Ever Walk The Earth” and that, of course, is the man known as Sting. I came to know of Sting and The Police at a very young age and knew that he was no ordinary White guy. Some rockers seemed to be abstract just for the sake of being so but Sting, even when his songwriting tried to be mysterious, made plenty of sense to me. On Saturday when I found myself listening to one of my favorite Sting songs, “Seven Days” from the album “Ten Summoner’s Tales”, over and over and over again last Saturday afternoon the message of time struck a chord with me. There’s a large lesson in that tune’s incredible rhythmic timing, but like most good messages, they most often go unheeded. Continue reading

Categories: Attempts at Seriousness, Humor, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Parenting Experiment for Non-Parents

400-04372327THURSDAY WAS A GREAT DAY! One of my best friends welcomed his first child into the world, a baby girl right at 5 lbs and about 17 and a half inches long. From all accounts she’s a gorgeous little girl and by the few pictures I’ve seen I have to agree with that assessment. Of my friends in my immediate circle there are several that I would have thought would become fathers before this guy, especially given his rant in THIS BLOG about rabbits and the greyhounds that chase them, but he’s already taken to fatherhood well, feeding, changing, the whole thing. Truth is, we don’t know who will make good candidates for parenthood. We can make guesses based on personality and demeanor but who becomes a good parent is pretty much a crap shoot. Wouldn’t it be great though if there were some sort of test that you could take that would gauge your parental aptitude prior to making a kid and then finding out as you go? Too bad that doesn’t exist – or maybe it does! Continue reading

Categories: Atlanta, Family, Humor, Relationships, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Discomfort of Love

Happy Valentine's DayAHH, THE DAY OF LOVE, Valentine’s Day. Money will be spent, flower and candy will be delivered, proposals will be offered, dinner will be had, and love will be made, all in the name of Cupid. I’m not one of one of these “down with Valentine’s Day” people that you may see around town. While I know that love should be shown EVERY day of the year, I certainly don’t mind lovers having their day to go all out for their special someone. I enjoy it actually. Now I can never trot myself out as some expert that knows what love is all about, if that were the case I’d have a significant other of my own to squeeze today; for all that I do not know about the ins and outs of how love works, I do know one thing, two things actually, about what ought be…and of course those things were taught me to me by my parents, who will celebrate 51 years together in less than a month; those things are that love is about acts of sacrifice and acts of loyalty. I have several pictures of my parents, far better than the one that I’m going to share in this blog but I think it fits. Continue reading

Categories: Family, Holidays, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Catfish, Not As New As You Think

ImageEVERYTHING old is new again. From movies to music to clothes to “Catfishing”? Catfishing, which is one loser using a more attractive person’s photographs to create a online personality to gain the attentions and affections of another loser, has run rampant with the advent of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and was the focal point of a documentary and, now, MTV television show by filmmaker Nev Schulman called – duh –  “Catfish”. This got huge attention recently when Manti Te’O, the starting middle linebacker at Notre Dame for Christ’s sake, was allegedly catfished via Twitter which proves that this younger generation is mentally challenged because if the All America middle linebacker at Notre Dame can’t manage to get himself laid in person then something is horribly awry. Though considered a new trend in society, I beg to differ, long before Twitter or Instagram in an era where our football heroes could actually score real women there was another tool used to lead men astray. Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to ISCA BBS. Continue reading

Categories: College Years, Humor, Relationships, So Incredibly Random | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Birthday Blog: Reasons to Smile

birthdayI’ve been told several times in my life that I smile too much. That I laugh too loudly. That anyone that smiles as much as I do must either be soft or not to be trusted.

I never knew what to say to those pointed statements. The first time I heard it I was in college; a buddy of mine was introducing me to one of his friends that lived in his dorm. He flat out said that he didn’t trust me, I smiled too much, and he walked away. After that, I tried to carry around the seemingly obligatory Black man “mean mug” forcing a scowl in every circumstance regardless of the setting but I always seemed to fail, my urge to smile and the enjoyment of hearing my own laugh always seemed to win out. It certainly kept me out of the cool circles in college but I managed. Continue reading

Categories: Atlanta, Attempts at Seriousness, College Years, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Love in Varying Degrees…

I pity people sometimes.

Not regular you and me common sense type people but sad sack lemming types that believe anything their half wit BFF tells them or gives weight to anything spoon fed to them by a reality show housewife; especially when it comes to love. If you let some people tell it, love is a unicorn dancing in a field of smurfberries being ridden sidesaddle by a mermaid. I mourn for those that don’t have examples of a love not shot through its heart with a high caliber rifle, I wish they could see it like I do, or have seen it like I have.

I’ve written here often about my parents, my worrywart father and my too-silly-for-her-own-good mother. Last month the two of them celebrated a half century of marriage. 50 years together, three children, two grandchildren, and a slew of adopted kids, most of which are my friends who know they can infiltrate our family functions and eat as much as they like without consequence. My mother’s favorite saying is that she hasn’t always liked Dad, but she never stopped loving him, and that’s what made staying together so easy. It’s easy to see a couple like that, that’s been together since the beginning of time seemingly, and say to yourself, “Man, that’s what love looks like right there!” and you wouldn’t be wrong. But that’s not the only face of love.

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Categories: Atlanta, Attempts at Seriousness, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , | 8 Comments

The 2011 Birthday Blog

Everyone quiet! Stop what you’re doing…and listen!

Shhhhh….

Hey you. Guess what?

It’s my birthday! WOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO!!!!! **does a Michael Jackson “Billie Jean” spin**

That’s right, Thirty-something years ago at a hospital about 10 miles from where I’m typing right now a certain brown skinned, big headed fella was brought into this world, after much labor and suffering based on my Mother’s account, somewhere a little after two in the afternoon. Amazingly enough, I made my arrival on Earth the same day as my father so I get to share my birthday with my Dad every single year! How f’in cool is that, boys and girls? I think it’s very cool! I have lots to celebrate, I have health and a cool family now that my big sisters no longer beat me in their downtime. I’ve got a cool circle of friends here in Atlanta and beyond that I love and wouldn’t trade for anything. Yeah, I’m living a pretty good life except for this little tidbit…

Man, I got called into the office at my gig on Friday and told that my contract was up effective immediately. I mean, what kind of news is that to get leading into your birthday weekend. Boooooo, right? They could have let me work through the end of the year, right? That’s just a bummer…but then I started to think…this isn’t a bummer at all, this is the greatest thing ever. You’ve got your birthday off and you didn’t even have to ask for it, they just sorta gave it to you. I mean, given the choice I could go out and get completely Jack Daniel’ed out of my head tonight and not have to worry about crawling out of the elevator into the office lobby tomorrow morning, right? Right. Plus, I’m pretty sure that I’ll land on my feet with this job thing and not be out long so I’m not stressed.

So as I sat at the edge of the bed and said my prayer of gratitude this morning for another year I immediately started thinking of the possibilities of what I can do today and came up with this list of the top 5 things you can do on your birthday when you find yourself temporarily out of a gig two days before your birthday.

**drum roll**

  1. You can spend the whole day trying to keep up with your birthday wishes on Facebook – If you’re like me and have a Facebook wall open to comments from friends then it’s tradition for that wall to get flooded with birthday wishes from friends. If I were sitting in my cubicle right now I wouldn’t be able to sit here and watch my Wall scroll all day and attempt to comment on everyone’s birthday wish, if I did that then all manner of important information would slip through the cracks…but since I’m sitting here in sweatpants and an Atlanta Falcons t shirt at my desk at home…Game On, Facebook Friends, do your worst!
  2. You’re 19 all over again – Remember when you were a sophomore in college and you’d come home for Christmas break and have three weeks to do pretty much nothing leading up to Christmas? Same thing, and you know what that means…sitting cross legged in the middle of the bed with a bowl of Frosted Flakes watching The Price is Right. Come on down, b*tches!
  3. If you’re like me and share your birthday with a family member you can take that family member out to lunch and then sweat it out when they start ordering all the fancy stuff that you can no longer really afford because your contract wasn’t renewed two days before your birthday. What do you mean you want the $35 Ribeye? Oh well, I hope they have the dishwashing liquid for sensitive skin.
  4. Six Words…Tug of War with the dogs –  Or wait, is the proper appearance of that game Tug-O-War? And if it’s hyphenated would that make it one word, in which case the heading would be “Four Words”? I don’t know…now I’m lost; but if there’s a dog in your house it’s easy to kill a few minutes by playing Tug of War (tug-o-war) with it.
  5. Find Your Silver Lining – Sure you’re not working, but you will soon so live happy. Hang out with a friend, go for a walk, exercise, embrace your passion. Dammit, it’s your birthday, live it up. Biblically speaking, we’re only promised 70 years so you’d better enjoy it while you’re on this side of the ground!

And with that, ladies and gentlemen, I’m outta here. I think I’m gonna take my Dad out for lunch for our birthdays and pray that he’s not too hungry; money’s tight, you know! If you see two handsome cats riding along in the streets of Atlanta, that’s just me and my Pop cruising the town. Pray I make it out alive!

~thanks for reading 🙂

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My Hall of Fame Speech (if I had a chance…)

The NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremony last Saturday night was a lot of things. Emotional. Heartful. Inspiring. It was also a bit of a blow to fatherhood. In the 6 hours worth of speeches from the inductees – okay, the speeches weren’t quite that long – Mama and Grandmama got the lion’s share of the praise from a good number of the players, Richard Dent and Marshall Faulk being the exceptions, and furthering the cause for women who wish themselves Happy Father’s Day every June. While it’s not the first time that any of us have heard an athlete say that his main goal in being successful was to buy Mama a house/a car/some jewelry/a rocket ship, it did solidify the fact that Mama trumps Daddy in the battle at home almost always. Like Chris Rock said, all the good songs are written about Mama – Tupac’s “Dear Mama”, Boyz II Men’s “A Song for Mama”, and “Sadie” by the Spinners (to their credit there was a Daddy reference in there) – while all Dad gets from the songwriters is “Papa Was a Rolling Stone”. It’s an all too real reminder of the state of fatherhood in “The Community” and illustrates why some people say that there are no more real fathers out there.

I offer this as an antithesis to that argument.

I am a thirtysomething year old man pushing perilously close to that dreaded “F” word that comes after thirty-nine though my boyish good looks would lead you to believe otherwise (shameless self love). Most men my age go through life at this stage without much fanfare; I have a few friends with sons, daughters, wives or girlfriends that think they hung the moon but for the most part guys have grown accustomed to going without much credit or pats on the back or even attention. It’s just the way with guys that aren’t singers, actors or comedians; you do something cool, and you keep it moving. I was presented with an opportunity to speak in front of my church a couple of weeks back, a simple task really, I was asked to put together a brief memorial tribute on behalf of the music department. I’d be on the microphone for 45 to 60 seconds tops. Outside of a few presentations at work I hadn’t done much public speaking so I figured this a prime opportunity to get up in front of people and justify all that tuition money Mom and Dad spent on me as a Communications major. Get up, speak eloquently, and sit down. It was a simple mission, one of those aforementioned things that guys my age do, don’t expect anything from, and usually forget about within a few months. Not important at all in the grand scheme of things except for the fact that my Dad showed up.

I didn’t know he was there, didn’t see him from the podium as I stood to speak and looked out over 2500 or so people, perhaps if I would have if I didn’t get a bit of the jitters and look down at my script a little more than look out at the people I was addressing. I was up there a little longer than I thought that I would be, about 90 seconds, but I made it through okay. Ol’ Dr. Fulmer back on the campus of Georgia Southern (Go Eagles!) would have been a little peeved at my lack of eye contact but I think a “B+” would have been in order. After Church, I reached in my pocket and turned my cell phone back on and there was a voicemail message from my Dad in his usual baritone.

“Hey, Man! This is Dad. Came to see you speak at church today. You did great. Tried to wait for you to come out but I didn’t see you. Maybe I’ll see you at the house a little later on. Talk to you later.”

The tiny speech was nothing to me. A little over a minute addressing the congregation, half of which were probably flipping through or doodling in their programs, a chance for me to utilize some public speaking skills in front of a decent sized gathering. But to Dad, it was more than that. It was just like every soccer or football game that I played in that he attended, just like every little thing in college that he drove 3 hours at the drop of a hat for to see me in, it was just Dad supporting his kid, his thirtysomething almost “F-word” kid doing something that wasn’t a big deal to me but was obviously big enough for him to get up, skip his own church to come to mine to see me speak for 90 measly seconds…just because I’m his kid. That’s it.

I’d like to be a Dad, I really want to be a Dad actually, but I think sometimes I’m afraid to because there’s no way I can be the father that my Dad is. To be so selfless and have the ability to think that every moment, no matter how immaterial I might think it is, is important. There’s something regal in that, something that is insanely incredible about how much love it takes to think that everything is significant…and while I can’t really fathom it, I’m glad that I have a Dad that can.

It’s unlikely that I’ll ever make the Hall of Fame in anything, maybe a bestseller list one day, but I don’t know that I’ll ever have the opportunity to openly buck the trend and thank my Pop openly in front of millions on TV, but I’ll take solace that the 100 or so that may trip over this page will know that there’s one Dad in our Community who is a great man. If you’ve got one too, call him and tell him so, he may have turned off the radio in disgust because “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” was on. 🙂

~thanks for reading

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