Saturday, July 16, 2011

Countdown: 12 Weeks Left

Not much happened this week. Response cards are still coming in and on Friday, I picked out the tuxedos for myself and my groomsmen. Besides that, the only news to report has to do with who is not coming, as opposed to who is coming.

The other day, I received a text from my best man, Sigma. He asked me if I had inviited "Promdate" because she was pissed that she hadnt received an invite. Once I explained to him why she wasnt invited he quickly understood. It's not like we have been that close over the last 15 years. Sadly, the only reason we still talk is because our parents are cool. I've made efforts to try to chill and be cool, but those efforts have been refused each time. the only time we hung out was at Sigma's wedding and my 29th birthday party. This doesnt exactly scream friendship to me (not that I have any animosity towards her).

Its truly tough to determine who your closest friends and/or family members are. the first few are easy, but beyond that, it gets difficult. Deciding who to invite to one of the most special days of your life is a tough task and eventually, someone is going to feel slighted. Ultimately, you have to be comfortable with who is invited and I am. That's the bottom line.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Tell'em How You Feel Thursday - July 14, 2011

1. Stay in your lane.

2. That is not my main priority right now.

3. If you want something, ask for it.

4. This is weird. . . but it feels good at the same time.

5. It's tough to be an optimist when you're used to being a realist.

6. Can someone turn down the volume on the sun.

7. I find it interesting that when I tell you I'm having a bad day you don't tallk to me, yet when you have a bad day, you want me to listen and give opinions.

8. I don't like telling you "I told you so" just as much as you don't like hearing it.

9. "I'm a scary judge of character"

10. Facebook is NOT my primary means of communication.

11. So, if I dont initiate contact, we dont speak?

12. If you have a problem with me, tell ME.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hug Your Kids Today

An 8 year old boy was kidnapped in Brooklyn earlier this week. They found part of his body in a dumpster this morning. It's stories like this that really rub me the wrong way, especially now, when I'm weeks away from becoming a step-father to a 9 year old. It's scary. It only takes a second for a child to be scooped up these days. I hope his death is not in vain and maybe some parents start talking to their children about safety, strangers and anything else. Communication is key. It may not bring this child back, but it could save another one.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hey Now, You're An All-Star (In My Book)

Tonight is the major league baseball all-star game where participation is aparently voluntary. It got me thinking. who are the all-stars in my life. The people who come in when the rest of the world checks out. Those who go above and beyond for you just because they care. I am notorious for being a loner. Have been for most of my life and still have my moments today, but there are a few people who have been ride or die in my life for years. Today seemed like a good day to shout them out and let them know I appreciate them.

I've never really had good relationships with other guys but there are four who are like brothers to me. "Sigma", "Twin" and "DG" have been around since we were in elementary school. We were all in the Cub Scouts together and haven't been ar apart since. We have grown together, fought together (and sometimes against one another), dated together (sometimes the same woman, at different times) and through it all, nothing has been able to break the bond of our friendship and I pray nothing will. As for the Ladies, "Panama", "Charlotte", "Neo-Soul" and "Lightbulb" have given me more than I could have asked for in a friend. I have been blessed beyond belief and have learned so much from them.

A wise man says the best way to succeed is to surround yourself with people who are better than you. Everytime I think about my all-stars, I know I'm succeeding and I am a better person because of them. They build me up, challenge me and keep me on my toes. I love them all dearly and hope I never have to live a day without them.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Countdown: 13 Weeks Left

So, our story is joined in progress. At this point, the date has been set, venue, photographer, dj and flowers have been picked out. The wedding party has been picked out and the invitations were sent out over a month ago. That's where we will begin with our weekly updates.

The reception hall we selected holds 224 people at full capacity. After much discussion and editing, we narrowed down the guest list to 220. It was tough, but we decided that nobody was getting a plus one unless they were married or in a serious relationship (with one exception because I don't care too much for that persons signiicant other). A few people who didn't get a plus one asked why, but understood after being given an explanation. Besides that, we weren't having any problems until Wednesday. I received a response card from someone. When I texted her to let her knew I received it, I also told her that I am looking forward to seeing her fiance' as well. She responded saying he wasn't coming, but she'd find someone to come with her. I can't speak for the rest of you, but this is NOT gonna be a place for you to flaunt your side piece. It's not that kind of party.

This morning, I received an e-mail apology. She said that she would be coming alone and will still have a good time. As much as I appreciated the apology, it shouldnt have come to that. She knew who her plus one was for and should not have tried to change it. Have any of you had invite issues in the past? If so, please share.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Ode To Neo-Soul

I watched "Brown Sugar" today and got to thinking.

I fell in love with "Neo-Soul" the first time I heard her smooth sounds. I was sitting by myself, unsuspecting, unexpecting. Before I knew it, I was bobbing my head, snapping my fingers and the song was half over. I wanted to hear more, but didnt know where to get my fix. They didn't play this kind of music on the radio where I'm from. For a while I had that first song on repeat in my head. When I couldn't take it anymore, I started doing my research. The more I listened the more I liked. the more I liked, the more I wanted to listen. Songs became albums, albums became shows. Next thing I knew, that was all I wanted to hear. Didnt want to hear r&b, damn sure didn't want to hear hip-hop. "Neo-Soul" was all I wanted. I thought it was going to be a phase like disco, but five years later, "Neo-Soul" still has a special place in my heart. Music doesnt sound the same anymore, and probably never will.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary

"The Doctor" and I have known each other since 2000 and our friendship started getting close a year later. Over the 8 1/2 years after that we have always been there for each other; birthdays, holidays, even a few trips together. We were there for each other in good times, and in bad. At one point we were so close that our mutual friends thought we were destined to end up together (we knew better than that) and my ex-fiance, to this day, thinks our friendship was more than plutonic. There was only one thing that could come between us, and it showed up a little more than two years ago.

At the 2009 Urban League Classic, I was introduced to "The Lawyer". This was The Doctor's flavor of the month at the time. Unlike any other occasion I would meet a boyfriend of hers, this meeting was ackward. He didnt say much to me and I didnt say much to him. The Doctor was stuck in the middle trying to hold two conversations and make it seem like one. The only other time i had been in a situation like that was when The Doctorr met Aye Papi.

The way she would talk about him, I was not surprised that our conversations were less frequent, and I definitely wasn't surprised when she called and said she was engaged. They were taking trips together and he was being romanticb she was truly happy and I was happy for her. They got married on July 5, 2010. Although I wasn't I was not in the wedding party I was asked to give a toast at the reception. Although the toast was well received by most in attendance, including the mother of the bride, I found out later that not all in attendance weree receptive to it.

A week or so after the wedding, around midnight, I received a call from "The Doctor". She was brief. She thanked me for coming to the wedding and for my git and toast. She then went on to tell me that The Lawyer wasnt too happy with it, he wanted his boys to throw me out of the reception and he is so upset that they hadnt consummated their marriage yet (talk about TMI Tuesday). She closed by saying that she is going to respect her husband's wishes and discontinue communication with me.

The was the last time we spoke, I havent really had a desire to call or talk to her. She has called on two seperate occasions and (most recently over the weekend - no message) has texted me on christmas and my birthday. Today, I simply hope she is still happily married. The whole situation does make me think; was he really that insecure when it came to me? Did she say something to him to alter his opinion? As my wedding approaches, is there anyone my fiance would feel insecure about? The entire situation puzzles me, but at the same time, its not worth my time.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Randomness: Buttermilk

I'm on my way to the store to get some buttermilk for my omlette. Everytime I think about buttermilk it reminds me of my first encounter with it. It was my junior year in college. I was making a late night run to 7-11 to pick up some things. I made it back to my room put the things away and went on with my night. The next morning, I made myself a bowl of cereal before class. When I put the first spoonfull in my mouth, something wasn't right. I checked the carton and sure enough, when I went to 7-11, I picked up a carton of buttermilk instead of regular milk.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Believe The Children Are Our Future

Q: Why am I standing in the middle of a basketball court at 6:45am on the first day of a holiday weekend?

Growing up, my father wasnt around much. He'd make special appearances, but they were moreso to "see" (feel free to interject another adjective if you want) my mother than to see me. Although my mother did all she could, the lack of a male role model in my early years was obvious. The first male role model I had did not come into my life until I was 12 (and is still in my life today). By then, I had some catching up to do, but even that relationship took a step back a few years later when he was blessed with a son of his own.

During my teenage years, I would say that I have had five (male) role models who have had a significant influence in my life. So much so, that I am scared to imagine what path I would have been on had they not entered my life. To me, I couldn't think of any better way to thank them than to pay it forward. Do for someone else what they did for me. That's why I work with the youth group at my church and try to be there for anyone (regardless of age or gender) who needs/wants it.

As far as the answer to the original question. There is one young man (who we will refer to as "Hoop Dreams") in the youth group who has drawn to me. He reminds me a lot of myself at his age; smart, head on straight, shy, reserved and no father figure in his life (only difference is he is having better luck with the ladies at his age than I was). After knowing him for two years he has taken a liking to calling me "father figure". Anyway, a whole ago, he told me that he wanted to try out for his schools basketball team in the fall. I told him I would help him out and promised to practice with him every Saturday morning this summer from 7am-9am. I'll let you know if he made it in October. (BTW, if you are wondering why I am able to write this post when I should be practicing, he was 22 minutes late, so I am making his run.)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Facebook Fridays: More Than Just Wings?

I was scrolling through the news feed on my Facebook page when one of my friends post a status about the buy 10 get 10 free sale going on this coming Fourth of July at your participating Hooters restaurant (prices and exclusions may vary. Contact your local Hooters for more details). As good as that sounds, I was reminded of a sad reality. . . as much as I have professed to be a breasts man, I have never been to Hooters before. Am I really missing anything?