Monday, December 10, 2012

Baltimorons: Parent of the Year, Nominee #1

So I get on the bus to head home from work, and of course, it's crowded. A woman who got on the bus at the same stop I did sat down in the last available seat, next to a young mother with a toddler son sitting on her lap, playing with his mom's cell phone. Soon after the bus pulled off from my stop, however, the mother took the phone from the child to make a call. If you've ever witnessed a little one having something taken from them that they really wanted (and cell phones seem to be as addictive to children as to adults), you know what happened next: an epic tantrum. The little darling proceeded to go completely apeshit, screaming and kicking and flailing like there was there was no tomorrow. But then, he took it to an extra special level: he turned towards the lady who had just sat down and hauled off and hit her. The mother, who had to have seen this, did and said nothing. The woman who got hit just sort of smiled and let it go.

The little darling, emboldened by these responses, decided that if no one was going to stop him, then he was going to keep taking his anger out on this stranger sitting next to him. And so he did, repeatedly. And the lady continued to quietly take it, the mother continued to talk on the phone and ignore what was going on, and everyone else witnessing the scene grew more and more frustrated. We couldn't figure out who we were madder at: the mother for letting her child hit this stranger, or stranger for not doing anything about it. Was she that patient and saintly a woman? Was she too tired or too scared to say something to the mother? DO SOMETHING!

Then, after this kid apparently got tired of whacking on someone who had nothing to do with him not being able to play with his mother's phone, decided he would take things out on the guilty party. He turned and popped his mother right in the face. "Let me call you right back," the mother said, and then she proceeded to whip the crap out of her child. "You don't hit your mother! Don't you ever hit your mother!" she screamed as she beat his ass. Okay, I'm all for a child not hitting his mother, but why in the hell should he be able to whale on a total stranger? "Don't hit me, but if you hit the nice lady sitting next to you, I won't say anything"...

After the kid calmed down from his beating, he sat quietly in his mother's lap - for about 15 seconds - and then turned and started hitting the lady again. And again his mother said and did nothing; she had resumed her phone conversation and couldn't be bothered. This continued all the way until the lady got to her stop. The next lady who sat down and immediately shot the kid and his mother a look that said "I wish a muthafucka would..."  And you know what, the kid didn't even try to raise his hand again. That kid's momma might have been a fool, but I guess she wasn't "raising" one...

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


So I have been asked on occasion what is my "type" of woman, meaning what am I attracted to physically. My standard response has always been that I don't have a type; I just know what I like when I see. That's not really accurate, however. It's just that my "type" is not according to the standard labels us men like to slap on women: petite, average, thick, BBW, and so on. Whether or not a woman is physically "my type" is based on what I like to call "mathematical beauty" (hey, what else would you expect from a nerd?), which I will cover in detail in future posts, but which basically is all about proportions and ratios and curves and such. The particular size of a woman isn't quite as strong a factor in attractiveness to me as are proportions and curves and ratios and shapes.

"But, Angry Nerd," you might say, "why should we believe that you would go out with someone that has some size to them, when the last couple of women we've seen you with were little teeny things? Well, their being petite wasn't what drew me to them; they just had all the right mathematical ratios. Their petite sizes were just a coincidence. Besides, just because you haven't seen me with a larger woman doesn't automatically mean I wouldn't go out with one - or that I haven't already done so (y'all don't have to know all the Angry Nerd's business...)

Still not convinced? All right, all right, I'll confess: I do have one rule/test/restriction when it comes to women of size. I call it "The Fingertips Rule". It states as follows: "If I hug a woman and I can't touch my fingertips on the other side of her, then she's too much woman for me." Simple, right? What? You think that's shallow? Aw, c'mon, a man's gotta know his limitations! I mean, if she's big enough that I can't touch my fingertips on the back side of her when we hug, then how we mind...

I mean, I know that today's big girls can be beautiful, confident, fun, sassy, and great to be around; I get that. And surely, there are plenty of brothas lined up to chase/date/hookup with said big girls. And as I said, I am not opposed to this idea; I would (and have) done so myself (dammit, I said y'all weren't supposed to know all my business!). But - and this is a BIG but (no pun intended) - when it comes to women, I'm like an amusement park: your circumference has to be less than my reach in order to enjoy this ride...

Alright, so that's the basics on my "type". Mock me if you must, but hey, I'm really not that hard to please, certainly not as bad as guys who isolate particular body parts  as a woman as a means of determining whether she is attractive (and I won't even get into the picky ass nonsense women use as criteria for determining attractiveness in a man). I may analyze how and why I find a woman attractive more than most (surprise, surprise), but in the end, as I said, I don't believe I'm hard to please...

Now come over, big girl, and give me a hug...

Monday, October 8, 2012

Stanky Legg

So I boarded the #15 bus downtown after work to head home, and found a seat next to this rather sullen looking young lady, who as I sat down promptly shifted slightly away from and leaned up against the window. Typical kind of response from people who think they're supposed to have two seats to themselves. So we're riding along for a little bit, and all of sudden I feel this warmth along my right leg and hip. What the hell is that? I thought, and in very short order I got my answer as I gagged from a particularly noxious stench.

Oh HELL no, I know this wench did not  just FART on me!!!

But fart on me she had, and the odor circulated quickly through that immediate area, causing riders to comment - loudly - about the smell. Folk started turning towards the direction of the funk to locate its source, which meant they were now looking in my direction.

Oh no oh no oh no, I am NOT the one! Direct your attention to the dainty little thing sitting next to me. I looked squarely at lil Miss funk bottom, who was conveniently looking out the little pretending not to feel all those eyes pointed that way...Dammit, own up to your stank! Embrace the funk! If somebody try to blame me for that stink bomb, it's gon' be some consequences and repercussions up in here!

Soon enough, the funk dissipated and everybody calmed. Lil Miss Funkbottom stopped pretending to be fascinated by whatever was outside, and was now sitting straight up and down. But then at some point, she started leaning forward and then...

Arrrrrgh, this chick done farted  AGAIN!!!

I looked over at her like with an expression I can't even visualize.  Seriously? What the hell did you eat today? Only this time she looked back and said, "Excuse me", in a voice and expression so pitiful that I couldn't even be mad at her anymore. Po' lil stink stink, you just having a rough time, huh? Well that's all right, at least you pointed your ass away from me this time...

Thankfully, by this time we were approaching my stop. I got up and did the Stanky Legg all the way off the bus...

Friday, October 5, 2012


Hi, I am the Angry Nerd, and I am a life long fan of the Baltimore Orioles (hi, Angry Nerd). My dear, departed Grandmother, Ethel Rae Keel, was responsible for getting me hooked on this 50 year addiction. From the time I was in diapers, I was going to the old Memorial Stadium with Grandma watching the O's. I spent my childhood summers in the left field bleachers as a Junior Oriole, got to see playoff and World Series games, and the closing game of the old stadium as well as the opening of Camden Yards. Everyone who knew my brother or me knew of our Orioles addiction, and if they knew us from our childhood days, they knew Grandma Keel was at the root of it. And while I love me some Ravens, and cried when the old Baltimore Bullets moved out of the truly crappy (even in the '70s) Civic Center and moved to Landover to become the Washington Bullets (and now the Wizards), nothing has ever quite compared to 'Dem O's in terms of my fandom.

Well, after many years of knowing nothing but success from my favorite team, the last couple of decades have been pretty rough on O's fans. Since our last World Series Title in 1983, we've only made the playoffs twice, in 1996 and '97, with heartbreak and controversy (Jeffrey Maier got an ass whooping coming if I ever meet him...I kid...maybe...). Since then - nothing but embarassment. I tell ya, it's got rough standing up for this team. I fought the good fight defending them and trying to project some optimism, but it ain't been easy to do in this millennium...
Until this year, that is! The Orioles, against all odds, and defying all logic, are in the  playoffs! As I do at the beginning of every year, I came into the start of the season with plenty of optimism/blind hope that this would be the year the boys got it together and turned things around, but who saw this coming? 93 wins, coming right down to the wire for the division title against the hated Yankees, still earning a Wild Card spot? UN-friggin'- BELIEVEABLE!

All the years of disappointment, all the getting mad at people who ridiculed the team, all the arguments even this season every time fans were ready to jump ship when the team hit a slump - all that is behind me now, as I anxiously await the one game, win or go home playoff against the dangerous but slumping Texas Rangers!

So to Buck Showalter, thank you for molding this group of young men and steering the ship to a playoff route. If you're not manager of the year, something's wrong. To Dan Duquette, thanks for not paying attention to some of our fans who ridiculed your hiring and some of your moves, and instead got players in here when we needed them. To Adam Jones, Matt Wieters, J.J. Hardy, Jim Johnson, thanks for holding it down for us. To Nick Markakis, thanks for solidifying that leadoff spot until fat ass Cap'n Crunch Sabathia broke your thumb. To Manny Machado, welcome young man. To Wei-Yin Chen, welcome to America. To Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis, keep hitting those bombs.

To all you guys that got picked up off the scrap heap and had some of thinking, "here we go again, picking up a bunch of nobodies and has-beens", thanks for proving us wrong. To Jim Thome, hopefully you'll finally get that World Series ring on the way to the Hall of Fame. To Robert Andino and Pedro Strop and Nate McLouth, thanks for that spirit and energy.

To all the know it alls that said it couldn't be done,  well look at us now! To Bobby Valentine, who turned us down before we hired Buck, and who called us lucky this season, good luck finding another job...

To everyone in the Orioles family (yes, even you, Peter Angelos), congratulations and a big THANK  YOU for such a fantastic season! No matter what happens from this point, I think it's safe to say that you all far exceeded the expectations of even the hopeful fan! No go out and beat Texas so we can take on those Yankees!

 To my fellow die hard O's fans, who have stuck it through 14 years of losing, and seen our once proud franchise become a laughingstock of the baseball world, well WE'RE BAAAAACK!
And finally, thanks to Grandma Keel for instilling that love of baseball in my brother and me. No doubt we would have become fans anyway, but you were one who got the ball rolling. I only wish you were still here. You would have LOVED this team!

You're a Nice Guy...

For many men, these are four dreaded words to hear. "You're a nice guy." We hate those words because a)they are being spoken by a woman we are interested in, and b)because the word following those four words is always BUT, as in "You're a nice guy, BUT":
  • I already have a man
  • My ex is talking about getting back together
  • I'm not looking for a relationship right now
  • I met this guy this past weekend, and I think I'm gonna check him out
  • You're not my type
  • I'm probably not really your type
  • I'm trying to focus on [work, school, family]
  • I'm a lesbian
  • You're just too [insert negative adjective here] for me
  • [So much hysterical laughter at the thought of her being with you that she never gives a reason why]
  • [Eye rolling, teeth sucking, and/or other assorted non-verbal signs indicating her insult at you even thinking you had a shot, and Chile, PLEASE, do I REALLY have to explain why?]

For these nice guy-phobic ladies, us nice guys really only serve three purposes: to buy/give them stuff, to do stuff for them, and to provide shoulders to cry on when the bad boys who command their attention and who they lust after for every other need inevitably treat them like crap and break their hearts. Now the smarter/savvier/slicker of these women will let you down nicely, and try to pump up your egos afterwards, because for them, they're about maximizing their resources and income, and they're not going to jeopardize losing the potential for a source of the same by stomping on a nice guy's emotions any more than they have to. So as a result they will follow up their reasons why THEY don't want you by telling you how great a guy you are and listing the good qualities that some OTHER woman would want. This buttering up has the intention of preventing any alienating the nice guy, thereby keeping him on ice until she needs to use him again (the meaner girls, on the other hand, are not the least bit concerned with sparing a nice guy's feelings because a)she figures she's hot enough that no matter how crappy she treats him, he will still come running when she snaps her fingers for her to do something for her, and b)if he won't come back, there will be plenty of other nice guys around to be used).

So, nice guys, let's translate the typical let down:

Statement                                                   Translation
You're a really nice guy................................Brace yourself...
but..............................................................There's no f-ing way I'm going to be your lady
[reason/excuse/explanation].........................And here's my maybe true, maybe bullshit reasons why
You're a really great guy.............................Hold onto your wallet, here comes a set up
And plenty of women.................................(Women besides me, of course, hahaha)
would be lucky to have you........................Of course, those women would be much less
                                                                    awesome than me, and I'm betting I can always
                                                                    distract your attention from  them long enough to
                                                                    get what I want from you when I want it...

Maybe I should just get myself a "Wanda". What's a Wanda, you ask? Well, remember the show "In Living Color" from the early 1990's? Wanda was a the hilariously ugly woman played by Jamie Foxx:

She was always chasing around poor Tommy Davison's character, and no matter what excuse he gave for trying to get the hell away from Wanda, she always had the same line: "I got you", after which she would pull out whatever it was Tommy said he was looking for...
I got you...damn, I can't even imagine how that would feel to have a woman say those words. I got you...not "gimme", not "I want, I need", but I got you. Hmmm, maybe I need to adjust my sights a little bit...
Then again, if Wanda ever tells me, "You're a nice guy, but...", then I'm REALLY in trouble...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Workplace Drama - "Know Your Environment"

So whenever there's a conference at the job, they cater in a big lunch, and whatever's left over someone will bring to the cafeteria for a general grab fest. Today they were bringing in taco fixins and shells just as I was about to get my lunch out of the fridge. Screw this sandwich, I'm gonna make me a couple of tacos. Ham and cheese can wait til tomorrow!

Meh...let's just say the tacos didn't go over too well with my insides. ¡Ay, caramba! It wasn't long before I was hustling to the men's room for a round of projectile pooping. Unfortunately, I was in too much of a hurry to take note of one tiny detail: the toilet paper situation. ¡Ay, caramba!

When I was finished and reached for the TP, I saw that dreaded sight we all have seen at least once in our lives: a couple of squares of paper glued to the cardboard that you can't do a damned thing with...Now what? There's usually a spare roll in the stall for changeovers; no such luck this time. I looked under the stall to see if anyone was occupying it. Empty. And I hadn't recalled hearing anyone come in above all the grunting and splashing. Okay, I can make it to the next stall before anyone comes in, right?

Well, almost...

I was hopping my poopy ass - pants around my ankles - out of the stall I was in and was almost safely into the neighboring stall when I heard the door open!  ¡Ay, caramba!  I was only a hop or two from being safely into the next stall, but I panicked when I heard the door, tried to rush that last hop or two, stumbled forward, just barely manged to catch myself before cracking my skull open on the toilet seat (now wouldn't that have been one hell of a story for an EMT and/or coroner to tell: "Ah yes, we have a Black male, 50 years old, face down, rear end - unwiped - up, in the men's room toilet at his place of employment"), rushed to right myself and slam the stall door closed, and crumpled in a heap onto the toilet seat. Dear Lord, please let me not have accidentally flung any doo doo from my butt somewhere while stumbling and bumbling around this bathroom stall. Amen.

I sat there motionless, other than the heaving of my chest from trying to catch my breath until whoever it was that had come in was finished and left the bathroom (and doggone it, whoever it was never said a thing, didn't ask if was all right, nothing. I could've busted my head open on the toilet and been laying there bleeding into the bowl with my ass all exposed and shitty, and this fool would have not cared one bit. JERK.), and then finally got myself together and cleaned myself up.

Bathroom trips are not supposed to be a damned adventure...

It must be COLD in here...

So a few years ago, I was out doing some shopping while talking on the phone with a female (platonic) friend. Somehow or another I ended up wandering into the women's clothing section of the department store I was (probably following behind some outrageous booty in a pair of ultra-tight jeans and not paying attention to where they would lead me). Once I finally figured out where I was, I looked around to get my bearings so I could get out of there, and noticed something very interesting (to me, anyway), which lead to the following exchange with my friend:

Me: You know, these female mannequins have some slammin' bodies! You don't see many real live women with bodies like these..."

(long pause)

Her: You need to find yourself a woman...
Me: (bows my head in embarrassment)


Fast forward to a few months ago. I was walking into my favorite Baltimoron mall, Mondawmin Mall, near the entrance of the Forever 21 women's clothing store, and as my eyes followed the parade of scantily clad ladies parading in and out of the store, they caught a glimpse of something that seemed a little odd, but I shrugged it off and kept it moving. Later that day, I was in Target and saw the same thing, and then again as I walked past another store and looked through the window. What the heck is up with this?

After that, any time I was in a mall or downtown, it seemed like this same sight, this same phenomenon just kept showing up, even when I wasn't looking for it. The more I saw it, the more baffled I became by it. There seemed to be no reason for their increasing appearance, yet there they were in full view all over the place, standing tall and proud. And after a certain point, I could nothing but wonder in amazement, and ask myself:

Why do female mannequins have nipples?

And I'm not talking about just any old, run of the mill nipples here, either; I'm talking about some serious headlights with the high beam flashing, poke out your eyes, hollow point bullets! Wow, these poor mannequins must really be freezing! Or maybe it's just, as my friend E said with his typical smartassedness (a trait which I admire, given that I am an incurable smartass myself), that they are really excited to see me (which would, sadly, make them different from the overwhelming majority of the living and breathing female population)...

So what's the deal with all the nippleage (nipplitude? nippleocity?)? I tried to find an answer on this, but no one really seems to know for sure. Is it to create the impressions to women that wearing this blouse or sweater is exciting, even arousing? That was one theory I saw floated about, but really does the average woman want to walk around in public this visibly aroused (not I would complain about it, but still...)? The other theory I saw was that all these gigantic (literally) displays of polystyrene/fiberglass/wooden nipples would catch the attention of (and distract) legions of bored husbands and boyfriends trailing their wives around department stores while carrying bags and bags of absolutely nothing for them enough to alleviate their torture.
Well, maybe...for about 30 seconds. Personally, I would have much preferred a live model parading around bra less displaying assorted sheer clothing while babymama spent hours carefully perusing clothing and (especially) bras that she was almost invariably going to end returning the next day (retroactive note to the babymama - not that she would pay it any mind, since she never listened to me when we were together -if you hadn't kept trying to stuff those Double D titties into single D cup - or worse, C cup bras, we might've gotten out of some of this friggin' stores a helluva lot sooner! But I digress...). Then again, if there were live models instead of mannequins, there wouldn't be too many wives and girlfriends dragging their husbands and boyfriends to go shopping with them, now would there be?

Is it me, or do the mannequin's boobs look lopsided?

But who am I to question how some other sex-deprived husband gets his jollies? And if those men getting their jollies helps the store make money, you can bet your sweet ass they don't mind either...

So my research was done without me feeling like I have any more understanding of the polystyrene/fiberglass/wooden nipple madness than I did before. While they never fail to momentarily catch my attention and provide a source of amusement/befuddlement, they certainly aren't nearly as entertaining or attention-grabbing as many of the human females milling about in malls in assorted outrageous clothing - although, strangely enough, no matter how much of their bodies these lady customers put on display, you rarely see them showing off their nipples the way these supposedly life-like dummies do. Hmmmmm...

The moral of the story: I still need to find myself a real live woman, one that hopefully won't be calling the cops on me for playing with her nipples.

(Note: This has NOT happened to me! I have never played with a mannequin's nipples, nor have I even gotten close enough to one to even think about playing with any. I repeat, this has NOT happened to me!)



Tuesday, October 2, 2012

"Jeopardy!" Update

So those of you who are regular watchers of "Jeopardy!" has begun. Those (very few) of you who read this blog and/or know me in real life also know about my audition back in the spring. Well, if you're watching the show looking to see if I'm going to be a contestant on it this season, DON'T. The tapings for this season have come and gone, and I wasn't called, which means you won't be seeing my reach my destiny as mega-multiple, gazillion-dollar "Jeopardy!" champion just yet. I'm on a waiting list, which is good through next season's taping. If I don't call the call by then, I have to go through the testing and interview process all over again. As the audition coordinators hammered home to us, it ain't easy making the show, no matter how smart you (think you) are. Just too few contestant spots in a season for too many aspiring bodies. However, as the coordinators also pointed out, many of the show's big champions were those who didn't make it to the show the first time they auditioned. So there's that.

I'm slightly bummed out I didn't make it to the show this time around (and I will no doubt be even more bummed if the face of someone I recognize from my audition session comes smiling and phrasing answers in the form of questions across my TV screen), but in the end, I just it as a delay in gettin' mine, because I'm gonna try to bankrupt them suckas when I do make that appearance on "Jeopardy!" I've already claimed my winnings (well, not literally, obviously; you won't be seeing me rolling around the streets of Baltimore in a Benz anytime soon)! Hell, I'm so sure I'm going to kick some Jeopardy! ass, I have more than once simultaneously fallen into three of my more prominent tendencies - list making nerdiness, a dandified, preppified dress sense, and putting off shit I should be doing while daydreaming about shit I wish I was doing - by imagining what I would be wearing during each of my seventy-five "Jeopardy!" victories (one more than the great Ken Jennings). Yes, I did put together 75 different outfits in my head, yes I did keep an imaginary running total of winnings for those 75 matches in my head. So what? Shut up about it and stop shaking your heads and laughing...'cause I just know some of y'all gonna be trying be my new best friends when I come flying back to the east coast with all my "Jeopardy!" winnings. So just let me have my daydreams until the real time comes, okay?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Purple Monday!

Monday was the day I spend every summer waiting for: the start of RAVENS season! This year, of course though, my even more beloved Orioles are in the mix for a playoff for the first time this millennium, so I had to put off getting ready for the Ravens for a couple more days before I went into Purple mode...

As it turns out, the wait was worth it! Although the Orioles got blown out by the hated Yankees in Sunday's game, which I went to (I really need to stay away from the stadium the rest of the season; they haven't won a single game I've attended), they still split the series with them, winning their two games in dramatic fashion, and in the process they are only a game behind them, and thoroughly in their heads. Even the (too) many Yankee fans who infested Camden Yard were much less obnoxious than normal, knowing that in spite of their runaway win Sunday, these were not the same old Orioles, and that nothing is guaranteed for them at this point...

As for the Ravens, well y'all saw their destruction last night! A 44-13 ass whooping of the Who Dey crew from Cincinnati, sending those Bengals back home with their tails between their legs! I must say, with all the talk about how they were going to open up the offense this season, my boys needed to go out there and put up or shut up. Well, put up they did, and then some!

All in all, a great weekend for the local sports scene, even if I did jinx the Orioles by going to the game Sunday. I promise, I'll stay home and watch the games on TV the rest of the way...

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Purple Friday? Not Yet

Like many companies in the Baltimore area, my job is big on "Purple Fridays" during the football season, to support the home town Ravens. And so it was on Thursday, with the Plant Manager's Administrative Assistant sending out an email urging everyone to wear their purple for the first Purple Friday of the season.

Wait. Not yet, I thought. The Ravens don't play until Monday, and the Orioles are playing the Yankees this weekend!

Now in recent years, of course, this bit of information would not have mattered one bit. The Orioles, as everyone knows, have been pretty awful the last 14 seasons, and by the time football season had rolled around, they have routinely been way of the running for any playoff chances. But not this year! For the first time in this millennium, my beloved O's are playing with a chance to do something other than watch football with the rest of us in October. Don't get me wrong, I love the Ravens, but the Orioles have been part of my life practically from birth. So come Friday, I was rocking Orange all day. I fired off an email responding to the Purple Friday notice stating that we should have Purple Monday, and do Orange Friday instead. Whether or not anyone else would follow suit didn't matter. The Angry Nerd was going to be in an Orange state of mind all weekend. Come Monday, the Ravens would have my undivided attention, but the weekend it was all about "dem O's"...

And then came Thursday's game. The Orioles jumped out to a 6-1 lead, and I was on Cloud Nine. But then, in the top of the 8th inning, the Yankees - with a big assist from our wild relief pitching - tied it up. O's fans everywhere were no doubt having flashbacks of 14 years worth of screwing up games just like this. But in doing so, they forgot - just like I temporarily did - that this ain't the same bunch of sad sack Orioles from the past, and they wasted no time proving that as soon as got to bat in the bottom of the 8th. Adam Jones, front and center as a leader on this team- HOME RUN!. Matt Wieters, quieter than Jones, but a leader as well (especially of the pitching staff) - walk. The red-hot Mark Reynolds - HOME RUN! - his 8th in 7 games! The streaky Chris Davis - the first player since Babe Ruth to win a game as a pitcher AND hit 3 Home Runs in a game in the same season - HOME RUN! And just like that, we were up 10-6. Unbelievable! This year's team has a flair for the dramatic, that's for sure. There's no way any of the sad sack Orioles squads from the past decade and a half wins a game like Thursday's (or like any number of other games they have managed to win in dramatic fashion).

If I was committed to an Orange Friday before Thursday's game, you can bet there was no stopping me after the game. Hell, if I had some orange pants I would have worn them too (then again, I guess there is a reason I don't have orange pants). So to the Ravens, love y'all, can't wait for the Monday Night Football beat down of the Bengals, but until then - it's all about "Dem O's"!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice? Um, not so much...

"All right, ladies, fine. You are not a whore. But you are wearing a whore's uniform." - Dave Chappelle, "Killin' Them Softly"

So Monday morning marked the day that adults in Baltimore who travel to and from work via public transportation dread like none other: the first day of school...there goes the peace and quiet we enjoyed all summer long (aside from an occasional drunk or crackhead creating a scene). My ride experience this morning, however, was indicative of an evolving paradigm shift: that it is the girls who have become more disruptive than the boys...

First of all, there is the way these high school girl dress. Jesus me, I thought I accidentally gotten onto a prison bus where the cops had done a sweep and rounded up all the local had displays of breasts that ranged from titty strangulation by way-too-tight tops all the way to those that were just all out in the open and barely covered at all. Then you had practically every girl wearing the looooow riding pants that gave them all cases of plumber's butt, and half of the girls showing their asses also had on tops that were cut off or tied up so that they were exposing their midriffs along with the plumber's butt - and to be frank, some of those stretch marks and spare tires and blubber bellies ain't got any business being made available for public viewing (well really, at their ages, they should have all been covered up more, especially given that they were going to school, but how the hell do these kids get so damned out of shape?). Even some of the girls that were wearing uniforms made their best efforts to slutty up those uniforms by tying up their uniform tops (again to show off stomachs that were in various degrees of fitness), wearing fishnet stocking with uniform skirts, and in one case, substituting khaki uniform pants with a low-riding pair that also had the legs cut off so short that butt cheeks were spilling out of the top and the bottom of the shorts. I have three questions to all of this foolishness:
  1. How the hell did these girls make it out of the house without a parent knocking them upside their heads and sending them back to put the rest of their clothes on?
  2. How the hell did they get into school without being sent home? And...
  3. Am I sounding like a cranky old fart yet? 
Even worse than the way these young "ladies" dressed was the foulness of their mouths. I remember a time when calling a female a "bitch" was cause for a fight; then it became popular for these young, dumb boys to routinely call young women bitches with little repercussion. Now the guys don't have to refer to them that way, because these are calling themselves bitches - and as a general purpose term, ranging from "That bitch betta not say nothing to me when I see her, or Imma beat her ass" (talking on the phone to a friend) "Where you at, bitch, I thought you was catching the bus?" "I told that nigga he gonna be sorry, cuz he ain't gonna get no other bitch to be as good to him as I was"...aye yi yi, I need to buy a iPod or something...

But as bad as that all sounded (to me, anyway), the worst of it was a little conversation that got start near the end of the ride, where three little angels got into a discussion over who was the oldest guy they had (or were having) sex with. The one girl whose oldest partner was "only" 17 was was roundly ridiculed by the other two, who bragged of being with men in their 20s and even early 30s, guys who had their own cribs and cars and money they didn't mind spending on them. The girl who was doing her thing with the 17 year old was stupid, they said, for doing the do with someone that young and without proper financial resources. She was giving away her goodies for nothing, while they were proud to have gotten some financial return on spreading their this point, my head was pounding. What would their mothers think of this conversation? Then again, maybe they are modeling themselves after their mothers...

Well, at least the young men were far better behaved. They mostly sat or stood in a collective daze, headphones on, or engaged in much quieter (thankfully) conversations. And I could tell it was the first day of school, because they all seemed to have bright, colorful new drawers they were showing off under their sagging ass pants...

Whew, I'm glad my kids are grown...

Friday, August 17, 2012

My (formerly) favorite Baltimoron Men's Clothing Store

Whenever I was looking to buy some casual or "smart casual" clothing without resorting to something that would make me look nerdier than usual, one of the first places I would go to shop would be the Turning Point store in Mondawmin Mall.

Mondawmin Mall is itself a quintessential Baltimoron institution. One of the oldest urban malls in the country, Mondawmin was built in 1956, and has had its share of ups and downs over the last half-century plus. In recent years, with the gentrification of some of the surrounding neighborhoods, the old mall has undergone some renovations, including the building of a Target and a Shopper's Food Warehouse, giving the residents of the immediate area convenient access to quality establishments that sold something other than sneakers, hip hop clothing, fast food and music for the first time in who knows when. However, although the Mall's new look has been hailed for creating a diverse range of customers, the truth is that while the Target (and to a lesser extent, the Shopper's Food Warehouse) - both on the periphery of the mall - does indeed enjoy a diverse range of customers, the central part of the mall itself is still a place into which  few White people dare to venture. I guess in that way Mondawmin Mall is like many big cities. But I digress...

One the big drawing points of the Turning Point establishment, in addition to its selection of clothes and its  prices, was the makeup of its sales force, namely women. And I'm not talking about just any old women, but some seriously FINE, booty- and boobalicious young ladies with clingy outfits, beautifully done hair, nails, and make up, and big, brilliant smiles - well, except for the one young lady who had this one lone tooth that was kind of brownish and stuck out in front of the rest of her teeth. That tooth could be distracting, no doubt, but she may have had the best body of all the girls in the store (and that's saying something), plus she seemed to have the most personality of the bunch, and she was actually still a very pretty young lady - I mean, you know, with her mouth closed. Needless to say, I looked forward to shopping at the Turning Point for more reasons than just its selection of clothing...

So one evening recently I was out doing a little shopping and I decided to duck into Turning Point to see if they had anything I wanted. As I walked into the entrance, something seemed very odd. Where are all the ladies? There wasn't a single female salesperson in sight. Instead there was a Sikh gentleman who nodded and said hello. I almost felt like backing out of the store and looking up at the sign to see if I was in the right place. But I decided to venture in and see what was what.

Not long after I wandered in, I noticed a heavyset 30-something brother wearing a hoodie, long white T-shirt, and baggy, saggy jeans approaching me. I didn't pay it too much mind, but then...I was attacked! I got hit by a Bruce Lee kick square in the nose by his funky ass breath! "Uh hey, how you doin', good evening. Are you looking for anything in particular that I can help you with?"

WHAT? THIS is a salesman? Where the hell are the ladies? How did I end up with this dragon breath over aged yo boy who in no way looks or smells like someone who ought to be doing (legal) business with anybody, trying to sell me some damned clothes? I need to go talk to that Sikh guy to find out what the hell is up...

"Nah, I'm just looking around for right now."
"OK, cool, well let me know if you need any help with anything."
"Yeah, OK", I said, still looking around to see if any of the ladies was there somewhere - or at least a brother who was actually dressed like someone trying to sell some clothes. Oh well...

So I started off looking at some button down shirts, and came across a purple one that I liked, only I couldn't find one that was exactly my size. Some were my neck size but not the right sleeve length, some were the right sleeve length but the wrong neck size, everything else was wrong for me in both measurements. I was just about to move on to look at something else when I spotted Mr. Stank Breath out of the corner of my eye closing in on me - fast. I braced for his arrival, and turned my head to try to avoid the stank- but I was just a split second too late, awwwww damn!

"I see you like that purple shirt."
"Yeah, but I didn't see any in there were exactly my size."
"Oh really, what size you wear?"
"16 neck, 32/33 sleeve."
"Let me look through there again and see what we got."
"Okay, whatever." I moved on to another part of the store, temporarily freed from Mr. Stank Breath, while he occupied himself looking for a shirt that wasn't there. Alas, the freedom was fleeting; Mr. SB was back in my face again, with the shirt I had been checking out, along with a sweater to go with it - a sweater which I already owned one of - and a bowtie.

"What do think of this combination, my man?"
"Well I already have that sweater, and the color of that bowtie is a little off. You found the right size shirt?"
He handed the shirt to me. "Uh, this is a 16, 34/35; the sleeves are going to be too long. This is what I had in my hand when you came over." Dude looked stunned, almost like he thought I wouldn't know the difference, or wouldn't care. Off he went, and I got back to my shopping. A few minutes later, he was back again - with a purple suit (remember, this is a Baltimoron store). I cut him off before he could say a word:

"Man, I like purple, but I'm not wearing a whole suit of it." Off he went again, only to return with a shirt, some grey slacks (which actually were pretty nice) and some shoes -purple, of course, striped with patent leather and suede striping...

"I am NOT going to even try those on", I  laughed. "I like the pants, but purple shoes? I don't think so."
"Man, these are HOT!"  Yeah, a hot MESS...
"Too hot for me. You found a shirt?" He shows me the shirt. "Um, this is 16-1/2, 32/33, sleeves are right, but the neck will be a little loose."
"This is close, though. You should be good."
"Nah, I don't do close on clothes I'm paying good money for." I replied, as I headed for the exit, leaving him standing there with a wrong-fitting shirt and clown shoes.

On the way out, the Sikh gentleman, who apparently had been observing from a distance, approached me. "He is new." No shit, Sherlock, what happened to the eyecandy? He is a little overeager." Ya think? I nodded and forced a smile.

"So you didn't find anything?"
"I wasn't really looking for anything in particular, although there was a shirt I liked that you didn't have in my size." I would've stayed longer and looked at more stuff if Mr. Stank Breath had stayed out of my face...
"Well, we have new shipment coming in next week. You should come back." Will the ladies be working again?
"Yeah, I may just do that." It would certainly help if you replaced Mr. Breath with one of the ladies - even the one with the jacked up toofus...

Well, in the 3 months since then, I've made several trips to Mondawmin Mall, and I always walk past Turning Point and take a peek in the window - no women. A couple times I saw Mr. Stank Breath and got the hell out of dodge with a quickness. I guess eventually I'll go back in and get a little shopping done, although, Mr. Sikh owner, that shopping might happen a little sooner if you make things right with the world and bring back those lovely sales ladies.

Even the one with the jacked up tooth...

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Baltimorons: "Madam, I Believe It's Called WORCESTERSHIRE Sauce..."

So as I'm walking into the neighborhood CVS, about a half hour before closing, in breezes this woman with too little clothing and too much body, in an obvious state of panic. I watched as she practically ran back to the food section, then out of curiosity (and sensing a subject for a blog post) I strolled back to the area to see what the deal was...

"Oh my God, oh my God," the lady practically screamed, "where the hell is the Winchester Sauce?

Woooo boy...I came real close to busting out laughing, but I held it together and kept it moving to go and get what I came in for. But a few minutes later, as the cashier was ringing up my purchase, the security guard approached and asked if they carried any Winchester Sauce. "Winchester Sauce?" the cashier asked, looking totally befuddled. "Yeah, WINCHESTER SAUCE," the lady said breathlessly, still in a ridiculous overwrought state of panic. "Like you put on steaks."

"You mean, STEAK SAUCE?"
"I mean, it's kinda like steak sauce, but different. It's Winchester Sauce. WINCHESTER SAUCE! You never heard of that?"
"Uh, well, we don't carry that, but if you hurry, you can catch the corner store in the next block before they close; they might have it."
"Oh Lord, okay...oh my God, I gotta have this Winchester Sauce for my steak!"

By this point I was too through. The intellectual side of me wanted to scream "Lady it's called WORCESTERSHIRE SAUCE!" while the smartass in me just wanted to laugh in her face. And if she had said "Winchester Sauce" one more time, I might just have done both...

As I exited the store, the woman was standing on the steps trying to figure out where the corner store was. I pointed her in the right direction, she replied by saying, "Oh thank you! I hope they ain't closed yet; I gots to have this Winchester Sauce for my steak!"

I took off in the opposite direction and got away from her as fast as i could...

Thursday, August 9, 2012


Gymnastics is, like a lot of Olympic sports, something that I typically only follow every four years. So as this year's Summer Games approached, I started watching the gymnastics trials and reading up on the competitors, and lo and behold, what do I discover, but a young Sister by the name Gabrielle Douglas who was in position to make some serious noise in London. How did I not know this before? All of a sudden, my interest in gymnastics increased exponentially. I mean, there hadn't been a Black female gymnast from the U.S. since Dominique Dawes in 1996 (and my my my, hasn't she grown up nicely), so I was anxious to see how Gabby would do against better known and more experienced gymnasts from around the world, not to mention on her own U.S. team...

Well, everyone around the world with a telelvision, internet or newspaper has known for days how things turned out. Miss Gabby, aka "the Flying Squirrel" (did anyone else think of Rocky the Flying Squirrel from the old "Bullwinkle" cartoons?) first qualified for the individual All-Around finals (beating out teammate and All-Around favorite Jordyn Wieber (although the new rule that only two gymnasts from each country could be represented in any individual competition was pretty bogus), then she helped lead the ladies' team to the Gold Medal in the team competition, and then followed that up with a Gold in the Individual All-Around competition. And just like that, she was a world-wide overnight sensation!

But alas, whenever new-found fame arrives, bullshit is right behind it, nipping at its heels.I'm a person that thinks the label "hater" is about as over- and mis-used as a term could possibly be, and I generally try to avoid using it, but in this case, there were some serious haters standing in line waiting to get at Ms. Gabby - or at the people who were either close to her, or proud of her success. I got my first taste of this in reading various message boards, as well as Facebook, and Twitter. Why, many White folks ask, must a fuss be made over Gabby being the first African-American to win an individual All-Around Gold? Why must her race be mentioned at all? Why must Black people be termed "African-American" at all; why can't they just be called "Americans"?

Well, the simplest answer is that Gabby's gold medals were historic achievements in the realm of the Olympics. Although Balcks have long made their presence felt in the Summer Olympics as a whole, gymnastics has been an area where we have not had a whole lot of participation. So yes, Gabby's first-ever Gold Medal for a Black woman in the All Around competition (and the first by a Sister in the team event since Dominique in '96) was both a newsworthy achievement and a great source of pride for many Black folk. And if you think it strange that an athlete accomplishing something in the sports world that is rare for someone of his/her ethnicity would create a stir, then you obviously weren't paying attention to the whole "Linsanity" craze from earlier this year (and funny, I don't recall too many White people complaining about that...). And I have a few questions of my own for those who question why Gabby's race should be mentioned:

First, if you have such an aversion to a Black person's race being highlighted when they achieve something great, do you also have the same reluctance to race being mentioned when a Black person does something wrong? I mean, I've heard and read an awful lot of complaints about the need to better highlight the statistics that show Blacks comitting crimes at a rate disproportionate to their population; and I hear and read plenty of commentary that greatly exaggerate the criminal behavior of Black "thugs" in the NFL and NBA, yet Gabby Douglas wins two Gold Medals, and suddenly we shouldn't put any emphasis on identifying her race? And second, why is it a bad thing for y'all to hear someone say that America's newest sweetheart is Black? Is it so hard for you admire the accomplishments of someone Black that you have to put your mind in some state where the only way you can see someone like Gabby Douglas as a hero is if you pretend you don't notice her skin color? You can only celebrate a Black person's achievement if no one burdens you by mentioning that the person is Black? I don't get it...

Well, now that I've covered some White folks' bullshit, let us now get to the petty, silly assed, skewed priority foolishness of some of our own people. Of course you know that I am referring to the jackasses that took to Twitter because they decided that Gabby Douglas' performance at the Olympic Games wasn't nearly as important than the fact that she hadn't gotten her hair did in the latest style before heading off to London. Well to this nonsense I say, how was her hair fixed any differently from anyone else's in the competition? Let's take a look:

I dunno, maybe it's me, but it looks like everybody's hair is fixed exactly the same way to me. Nobody's hair looks any better or worse than anybody else's. You know why? Because those young ladies weren't going out to the club; they didn't travel to London to be in a Bronner Brothers hair convention; they were there to compete in the O-freakin'-LYMPICS! Even though they were in a "glamour" event, complete with nice shiny outfits, those outfits are designed first and foremost for function; the same applied to their hair. To those who had crap to say about Gabby's hair, you need to get your priorities straight. If some of y'all cared as much about the condition of your bodies as you did about the condition of your hair, we might be in better physical condition overall as a people. Then again, I guess there ain't much motivation for some sisters to get in shape when so many of us brothers (many of whom need to do better at keeping our own bodies in shape) ignore your waist-lines to drool over your be-hinds. As for me, give me a woman with her hair pinned back and working it out in the gym or on the track over one who has a fly hairstyle, but also cottage cheese thighs and an overlapping belly any day of the week and twice on Sundays...

The final bit of hateration came from the media, in the form of questioning Gabby about her mother's finances. Seems Natalie Hawkins filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, and that bastion of virtue and good taste, TMZ, broke the story in the middle of the Olympics (as they also did about Gold Medal swimmer Ryan Lochte's parents' house being up for foreclosure), and reporters couldn't wait to hit Gabby with questions about it. Seriously, though? Why would you ask a 16 year old about her mother's financial matters? And even if there was justification in doing so as the price of her new fame (as more that one talking lamely claimed), you couldn't wait until she was done competing? Gabby, as always, handled herself with grace and class (more than one can say about the reporters), but it was small wonder that she wasn't herself in her last two events.

 But you know, putting aside those instances of nonsense, this was a great moment in time for young Gabrielle Douglas. She was the best in the world at what she did, she made history, gained worldwide fame, got her face on boxes of Corn Flakes, and set herself up to make a nice piece of change in future endorsements. All in all, life is looking pretty damned sweet for Ms. Gabby; now maybe someone can come up with a better nickname for her. And as for the haters, well, y'all can go have a bowl of Corn Flakes and a smile...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I'm All Ears...

Ever wonder why a baby or toddler with an ear infection screams uncontrollably? Simple: because it's a friggin' miserable, non-stop painful feeling! I've had a few ear infections over recent years, usually in the winter, and each occurence pretty much unfolded the same way: scratchiness in the (always right) ear, as well as in the throat, followed by the onset of an aggressive, unyielding pain and a stopped up feeling in that ear, leading to a visit to the doctor's and a prescription for some antibiotics, and the whole mess is over with (until the next time) in a few days...

Well, a couple weeks ago, it happened again, only this time seemed a little different. For one, it happened during the middle of the summer. Also, whatever I thought was a painful earache was nothing compared to what was hitting me this time. My right ear felt so stopped up and full, it was like my inner ear was going to come exploding through my right temple. My jaw felt like I was a Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot that was one more punch away from getting its head lifted up off its body; by the time I made it to the doctor, I was reduced to eating nothing but yogurt, soup, and ice cream - and even the chunks of chicken in my chicken noodle soup were torture to chew.

So I got my antibiotic drops, with the instructions to call the office if nothing improved in a few days. This was on a Saturday; by Tuesday, not only was the right ear not feeling any better, but the left ear was now going through the same set of symptoms, to the point where I could barely even hear at all. Yes, it's ear infections in STEREO! On top of that, I was staggering around in a haze of vertigo, had a fever, and to top it all off, a particularly active case of diarrhea. To sum it all up, I was live and in 3-D: deaf, dizzy, doo-dooing. So back to the doc I go...

This time I saw my regular doc (the first trip was on a Saturday, so I got the doctor that was covering that weekend), so I had to run through the whole sequence of events from the beginning, followed by a bunch of questions from him about what symptoms I had or didn't have, when each symptom appeared, and how severe each one was. Then just when it seemed like the Q&A was done, I mentioned the diarrhea, which sparked another round of questions (who knew bowel movements would be of interest in ear problems? I mean, I know some people about whom it could said have "shit for brains", and some more that are so full of shit, it ought to be running out of their ears, but still...), and some contemplation and a quick internet search by the doctor.

"Mr. Angry Nerd, could you take off your glasses for a moment?" the doctor asked. I'm going to hold one finger up in front of you, and I want you to follow it with your eyes only as I move it around." Simple test, right? One we've all done plenty times...but I absolutely could not do it this time. First I was moving my whole head, then it was moving my eyes in a delayed reaction, then, when I tried to bear down and focus, that made it even worse; my eye's were just out of control. I don't believe I can't do this!

"Well, Mr. Angry Nerd, it would appear you have a condition known as Meniere's Disease. It's an inner ear order that affects your hearing and balance."

"Never heard of it."

"You have all the symptoms. Check it out on the Internet when you get home," he said, handing me a post-it note with the name written on it. "I'm going to give you prescriptions for a different antibiotic ear drop, another ear drop for pain, a pill for dizziness and nausea, and some prescription ibuprofen."

Aye yi yi! Four medications? I'm too absent minded to reminded to be trying to remember when to take all that crap...

So off I went to get all this stuff from the pharmacy. And wouldn't you know it, the one I needed the most - meclizine, for dizziness (I've had enough injuries that I can function with pain; spinning rooms are another matter entirely) - was the one that my insurance didn't cover. "I won't fill it if you don't want to get it," the pharmacist said.

"No, no, that's the one I need the most," I said (and I'm sure some of you probably think I should've been taking something to prevent me from being dizzy years ago LOL); and next thing I know, I was strolling out of the pharmacy with a big bad full of drugs...

And as for the part about being too absent minded to remember when to take all this stuff? Well, symptoms have a way of reminding me...

So for all of you who have asked me about my condition, there you have it. Thanks for your concern, and hopefully it wasn't TMI. But I figure if you read this far it wasn't TMI (and you didn't get turned off by my shit talking LOL). Besides, anytime I can turn feeling like crap into a blog post, I gotta do it...


Friday, July 6, 2012

"The Pop-Pop Chronicles", episode 1: "Puttin' My Foot in It"

"Daddy, can you watch the kids tonight?"

As I've mentioned before, C-2b and her boys, GC-2 and GC-4 live with me. C-2b works nights, which means I end up with babysitting duties 3-4 nights a week. I have a tendency on those nights when I'm going to be watching the boys to find reason to stay out as a long as possible before heading home, because I know as soon as I walk through that front door, GC-2 is going to immediately become my shadow, and my time to babysit is going to thus immediately kick in. Hey, I love my boys dearly, but I like to have at least a little time to unwind after work and before they're all over me, and that just ain't going to happen once I get home. So if I'm babysitting that night, I find somewhere else to be until the absolute last minute before going home. C-2b is not crazy about this (oh well...), and she has her ways of getting back at me (I'm convinced she does, anyway)...

When I received that text at work last Friday asking me to watch the kids, I rolled my eyes and let out an exasperated sigh. Great, like I really want to spend my Friday night stuck in the house babysitting. How she know I ain't have nothin' else to do?

Well: I didn't actually have anything else to do, and that being the case, I almost certainly wasn't going out to try to find something to do. Let's face it, on the nights when I don't have plans (most nights), I'm not inclined to go and make plans out of no plan; I was just going to park my butt in front of the television and watch movies. Would it be nice to do so without interruption from a crying kid or two? Sure, but once GC-2 (finally) expends all of his seemingly unlimited energy supply, he's not budging until morning, and even GC-4 was getting to the point where he is sleeping pretty much all night. Still, can't I just have my Fridays free, in case I get lucky and something (someone) comes along to spice up the night? I mean, that could happen...right?



"Yeah, I can watch them."

As usual, I found ways to lolly gag and avoid going home for as long as I could without making C-2b late.  As usual, she wasn't too thrilled about this, stomping off to work with an attitude. Too bad, you're getting free babysitting service, on top of paying no rent or utilities. Deal with it. Right away, it seemed as if GC-4, normally very pleasant, was a bit on the cranky side. Hungry? Nope, he spit out his bottle in my attempt to feed him. But then, wait...that smell...OK, I think I know what your problem is, Mister...

We retreated to GC-4's crib, where upon getting his diaper off, I discovered the whole front and back and everything in between) of his bottom to be covered in a Dijon mustard-looking, vomit-smelling mess. Oooh, that damned daughter of mine, I grumbled, convinced that the frequency with which one or the other (usually both) of these boys has soiled diapers that need changing right when I enter the picture is no coincidence. So I got GC-4 all cleaned (which took much more time and effort than should be expected to clean up a 12 pound human), and voila! he was back to being his normal pleasant self. Problem solved. But then I turned around...

There, standing in the middle of the room was GC-2, butterball naked, holding a clean diaper in one hand and box of baby wipes in the other. Seriously, dude, if you can go through the trouble of undressing and un-diapering yourself, and going to retrieve what you need to get freshened up again, WHY CAN'T YOU SIT YOUR LIL BEHIND ON THE POT AND DO YOUR BUSINESS THERE???

"Where's your diaper?"  Blank stare.  "WHERE'S YOUR DIAPER? Boy, I'm not playing with you!"
GC-2 took off running. I took off after him, but within a few steps --


Alrighty then: there was the diaper, now under my foot. I was so busy demanding the whereabouts of the darned thing, I didn't even see it laying right where he stepped out of it. Lovely...

But then, a frightening thought occurred: where the hell was GC-2 running off to? Please, not to MY bedroom! I kicked off my shoe, ran down the hall and, sure enough, there he was standing at the foot of my bed, and its freshly washed sheets. I sprung into action, snatching him up before he planted his unwiped butt on my sheets, and hauled him off to his own room, wiped him down, then put him on his own bed to get the fresh diaper on, washed my hands, and went to retrieve the 10 week old attention hound crying in his crib...

Well, I guess I maybe I COULD get home a little earlier when she has to work...

Saturday, June 30, 2012

"The Pop-Pop Chronicles" - Introduction

So most of y'all who know me know that I have two daughters, one son (with my son and younger daughter being twins), and a crew of grandsons (up to four now with the latest addition). You also no doubt know that the twin daughter and her two sons (including the newest grandson) live with me. All of this, as you might imagine, makes for some interesting stories and memories. "Pop-Pop Chronicles" will be my addition to this blog where I share the joys of grandparenthood (my days of raising young kids pre-date blogging, sadly)...

If you're a grandparent or parent of multiple kids, you've no doubt had the experience of , when trying to address one of  your spawn (or one of theirs) by running through a whole list of names before you get to the right one (if you ever do):

"Justin-er-Darius-er-Chris-er-YOU RIGHT THERE, you know who I'm talking to, YOU, BOY, get over here!"

Besides which, whenever I'm telling a story about the kids or (especially) the grandkids to someone who isn't that familiar with them, I inevitably have to stop and explain who is who...
Well, my solution to these problems will be to refer to my descendants by a letter/number. Originally I just started referring to the grandboys as 1, 2, 3, and 4; then I realized I couldn't leave my own children out of the mix. Thus, from now on, in any "The Pop-Pop Chronicles" or other "The Angry Nerd" posts, I will reference my descendants by the following letter/number designations (a "C" is a Child, a "GC" is a Grandchild):
  • C-1 = April, my oldest daughter
  • C-2a = Justin, my son, and older of the twins
  • C-2b = Joy, my younger daughter and younger of the twins
  • GC-1 = Christopher, son of April
  • GC-2 = Darius, older son of Joy
  • GC-3 = Jaden, son of Justin
  • GC-4 = Kevin, younger son of joy
Got it? Too bad, you'll get used to it...


Friday, June 29, 2012

Baltimorons on Rehab

I pass by this place every morning heading out to work. There sure are lot of Baltimorons who have used illegals substances over the years; there's a line going  halfway down the block every time I go past there. The sign always gets me: "Open Access to Treatment. IN and OUT  - 15 Minutes!!!"

Oh well, I guess I can't knock them; at least they're trying...

Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm Baaaaack! And another year/decade/half century older...

Okay, so you a few of you have noticed I haven't posted in over a month, and have inquired why. It's taken me a while to figure it out myself; I mean it's not like there aren't plenty of assorted idiots, assholes,and just plain batshit crazy folk walking around giving me material to speak on, and I do have plenty of ideas and opinions to write about - I just haven't done it. But why?

Well, at first I thought I was just tired. I mean, I did recently have another addition to the house, with the arrival of my newest grandson, Kevin. But his older brother, "Hurricane" Darius has been around for a couple years now, and he has a patent on making me tired, so this new one isn't adding much to that, for the most part. Then I thought, oh I've just been so busy...but hell, I'm ALWAYS busy with something, and that hasn't stopped me from blogging.

Finally, I had to face facts and get over my denial: I turned 50 last month, and for all the weeks of insisting to anyone who asked that it was no big deal, just another day, I wasn't going to feel any different, etc., somewhere in my subconscious it actually WAS a big deal. And though I didn't feel depressed about the birthday, or succumb to overthinking / overanalyzing what it all means, and though I had a great time at the party my family threw for me (THANKS! LOVE Y'ALL!), on some level I think the milestone did have an effect on me, and temporarily threw me into a brief state of paralysis by (unaware) analysis.

Anyway, I'm baaaaack! and I'm FIFTY, DAMMIT. I've been on this earth a half a friggin' century, since before there were personal computers, cell phones, texting, sexting, instant messaging, iPods, iPads, DVDs, CDs, mp3s...before anyone ever heard of rap, hip hop, disco, punk, grunge metal, or New Jack Swing...before reality TV, HBO, Showtime, MTV, or satellite radio...before the major North American sports leagues all had 30 or more teams, before a man walked on the moon, eight years after Brown vs. the Board of Education, and two years before the passage of the Civil Rights Bill -- and a few decades before anyone thought they'd be alive to see a Black President of the United States.

So yeah, I'm OLD! But I embrace it, and everything on me still works pretty good (wink), including - maybe especially - my brain (you know, since it's the one part that gets used on a regular basis). That means you will be hearing more from my half a century ass in the very near future. You have been warned...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Doing What You Doo-Doo

So I was at church recently, and at some point in the service I got up to use the restroom. As I got near to the restrooms, I saw an old friend of mine that I grew up in the church with.

"Hey", she said, "Can you check on my nephew (who's about 4 or 5)? He's been in the bathroom a while now. I don't know what he's doing."

"No problem."

So I opened the door to the Men's Room, took a step in, and -to quote the late, great Richard Pryor - "the funk rushed out and knocked me to my knees!" Well, OK, not really, but lil' Dude was seriously lighting the bathroom up. As I looked towards the stall, I noticed that he had taken off his shoes and socks, and they were laying on the floor. I guess he plans on being here for a while.

"You okay in there?" I asked.

"Yeah. uuunnnnnhhh [bloop bloop]"

"Your auntie sent me in here to check up on you."

"uuuunnnnnhhhh [bloop bloop] I'm still doo-doo-ing! uunnnnhhh [bloop]"

"Uh, yeah, I can tell. Well, I'll let your aunt know that you're all right."

"Okay. uuunnnnnnnhhhh [bloop bloop bloop]"

So I made my way the urinal, did my business, washed up - all while lil' Dude was continuing to machine-gun pellets into the toilet (what did this kid eat?) - and started to leave when a terrifying thought hit me:

"Uh, you know how to wipe yourself, don't you?"
"Yeah. uuunnnhhh [bloop]"

Ooooh, good. 'Cuz Auntie would've had to come in here and finish that job herself...

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Meet the Parents

So as y'all know, I became a grandfather for the fourth time; since the baby and his big brother, and their mom are all living with me, that meant that there were a steady stream of visitors at the Angry Nerd residence for a few days - not all of whom I had met before. In once such instance, a couple came to the door that introduced themselves as Kevin's (the babydaddy's) parents. Very nice couple, friendly, seemed very good together, seemed like they interacted pretty well with their son, and they seemed genuinely happy about having a new grandson. Seems like Kevin is from a solid family; that's a switch (actually, that's not quite accurate; the family of the moron my daughter made her first-born with was quite nice; HE was the problem, not his people, and I'll just leave it at that).

The next afternoon, another unfamiliar visitor was at my door. "Hi, I'm Kevin's mom", she said. And then, in a moment of absolute stupidity, I said:

"Wait, I thought I met  Kevin's mom yesterday?"

The expression on Kevin's mom's face, while maintaining her bright smile, tightened up ever so slightly and subtly - almost imperceptibly... "No, I'm Kevin's mother", she stated (still smiling). "You probably met Kevin's father - and his wife..." sure got cold in here...

"Ooooh, I'm sooo sorry", I grovelled.

"Oh, it's quite all right", she said, smiled still pasted on her face. "Wow (changing the subject), your daughter really takes after you, I can really see the resemblance."

"Yes, everyone says that", I responded, happy to be let off the hook, and from there we went on to have a nice little chat while my body temperature rose back to normal. Meanwhile, that smile never left her face the entire time...