Friday, November 30, 2007

In Love With Myself (3rd Post)

I gotta admit that I'm in love with myself. I have a very high view of Rashan. Some might call it cocky or arrogant. I don't deny that. That's not all I am, but it's part of who I am. The thing about it, I don't care. I'm not interested in apologizing for liking me. That's how it's supposed to be, right? If I don't like me, then who will?

But every now and then, I have to check myself. I have to pull the reigns on my ego and say "wow, that was arrogant even for you, Rashan." Yes, I talk to myself and I use the third person when I have those conversations. And yes, sometimes those self conversations are out loud. And yes, sometimes I like talking to myself better than talking to other people. That doesn't make me self-centered does it? Oh, it does? Oh,well. I'll be that.

The strange thing about it is by recognizing my own tendency for self absorption, I make me like myself even more. How, you ask? Check it out: Some people go through life being selfish, but don't realize it. I, on the other hand, recognize my shortcomings, so that makes me better than them. LOL. I know that's crazy Rashan logic, but it is what it is. Perhaps, I'm just a little sleepy right now, and shouldn't be posting my inner most thoughts. Probably, I'll wake up in the early afternoon and wonder what the hell I was thinking by sharing this. More than likely, I'll have one or two comments telling me how crazy I am. At least I hope so. Cuz that would mean that Rashan was right again. And Rashan loves being right.

It's funny how sleep deprivation mimics drunkenness. I haven't had a drop tonight, but you wouldn't know it from reading this rambling. I'm off to sleep for 10 hours. Somebody wake me up when its happy hour.

The Beginning

"I know it sounds like an ending, this is a beginning." Big Pooh Of Little Brother "When Everything Is New"

November is coming to a close and with it, the end of National Blog Posting Month approaches. I didn't know if I could do it, but for all my protests and complaints, I actually posted everyday without a problem. Yeah, a couple of days there were some short bullshit posts, but for the most part I'll stand by what I wrote. I guess what that means is that I am now an official blogger again. No more one post a week from me. I look back at the beginning of the year and see that a lot has changed. In addition to no longer being a sporadic at best blogger, my entire outlook seems to have changed. I feel good, dammit and I'm gonna keep on feeling good. Even when I complain about something now, its done with the understanding that its all a part of life, and life is about living. No more wallowing about what should be or could be. I'm back to the old Rashan. The one that celebrates differences and revels in the craziness that surrounds me. Nothing is gonna get me down.

Okay, so apparently I still have a whole stream of consciousness thing going on, because this is not the post I intended to write. I was just trying to point out that I'm here to stay now. My name is Rashan and I'm a blogaholic. I wanna give thanks to Jameil for inspiring me to post everyday. Even though I know she wasn't talking directly to me when she put that post on her blog, I took it and ran with it. I also wanna thank all of you that come by and comment on my ramblings everyday. Sure, I could do it without you, but I wouldn't want to. Also, the lurkers, the people I know are reading everyday, but don't say anything, I appreciate you too. I hope that you are enjoying what you read and hey, don't be shy. Say what's up every once in awhile. I don't bite. LOL

So, this is not the end. It's a new beginning of my blog life. I like writing regularly, and even if I don't do it every day next month, I know that I'll be around a lot more than I used to be. I hope you all will stick around and check me out. One!

Had to get back to me, get back to mines
Get back to fam, get back to rhymes
Lay down at night and say without shame
Today I was a man, tomorrow I'll be the same
Be a bonfire when others are just a flame
Be a memory when others are just a name..
That's real words from a true heart
You can take it as a old ending or a new start

Phonte of Little Brother "When Everything Is New"

SHHHH!!!!

Please do not say the following things around me:

Do what it do.
Off the chain
Grown and Sexy
On and poppin
On and crackin
Boo
That's my jam
BabyDaddy
Thug Thizzle
Holla at cha boy!

That's all... Real post later today!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Respect

Just a couple of random thoughts thrown together into a post...

I wish I liked Alicia Keys. I tried, but for some reason I just cant get into her. I mean, I like what she stands for as far as real talent and musicianship, if thats a word. I even like a few of her singles, but invariably when I listen to her albums, i just find myself underwhelmed. Bored, even. It bothers me because I know she is very talented, but I guess I just don't like what she likes. I respect the hell outta Ms. Keys, but I dont think I like her.

That's not unlike Mos Def. I want to like him too. When he was with BlackStar and rapping I did. When he first started acting I was like he's doing a good job repping hip hop. When he would speak at colleges and stuff, he seemed reasonably intelligent. Then I bought his solo album. I tried to like it for a while, before I realized it was pretty darn horrible. I gave him another chance with his next album, but I downloaded it. I wasnt about to make that same mistake again. That one was pretty horrible too. And his acting? It just rubs me the wrong way now. I don't what happened. I respect him, but I don't like him as an artist.

I respect what Will Smith does as an entertainer. He's good natured, talented, but I just find his brand of humor to be off putting. It's nothing personal about him, but I just would rather sit through a kindergarten play than watch one of his movies. But I do respect what he does.

See, I'm not always a hater. I just like what I like. I can at least respect what these people do, even if I not entertained by it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Curse Strikes Back

I'm gonna get around to replying to your comments on the last couple of posts later tonight. I just been dealing with some crazy ish with my car.

I wrote about the Jamal family curse before. Us and cars just don't get along. Let me hip you on the latest freak occurrence involving me and automobiles.

Monday, it was raining so I had my lights on. I coulda swore I turned them off when I got to work. In fact the car didnt beep at me to remind me the lights were on. So when I got off at 1 AM, I go the car and it wont start. Apparently I left the lights on. Even worse, work stalker was right there and insisted on helping me. Got a jump, car was fine. No problem.

Tuesday, I get to work. It wasn't raining so no lights on. But just in case I triple checked that the lights weren't on. Got off at 1AM, and my parking lights are on and the inside light wouldn't go off. Had to get another jump. Luckily, work stalker had already left so I didn't have to be nice to her. Got a jump, went home, quadruple checked that the lights were off. The inside light was off, the headlights were off, the parking lights were off.

Wednesday morning, around 5 in the morning, I looked outside and why the hell were my parking lights on again? My car is possessed. The lights came on by themselves. I think its a short in the wire somewhere. I messed around with the wires and they haven't come back on since then, but every couple of hours I'm going out to the car to make sure there are no other problems. Shit is just crazy. I'll holla at you all and check out your blogs tonight. Be easy!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Unrealistic Expectations

Can someone answer me this? Why does every guy think he can date a model? And why does every girl think she can date an athlete? I'm sorry to say, there just aren't that many of them out there. For every model or athlete there are 100 regular people out there looking for love. It doesn't make sense to me to limit yourself to an unrealistic expectation.



Now some will say that it's what they deserve. Their overwhelming self confidence dictates that they only seek out a certain type of person. And that's all well and good, but don't complain to me when you are still single. It's hard enough to make things work in a relationship, but when you hold your mate to an impossible standard, its damn near impossible. If you a 5, how you expect to get a 10? If you have no job, why do you expect your mate to have a 6 figure job? If you weigh 400 pounds, why do you discriminate against someone that is overweight. It just makes no sense to me.


I had more to say, but I have to go to work now. Just something that got on my nerves listening to someone with unrealistic expectations today.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Swagger ®

Courtesy of a conversation I had with Kareeem and his buddies Friday. It was just an funny idea, but you know me, I had to expand it into a blog post.

"Niggas would buy the swagger phone in epic numbers..."

Introducing The Swagger ® by Motorola

Do you want to get that swagger back? Are you tired of the same old boring cell phone. Well, Motorola is proud to present the phone just for you... The Swagger ®.

Preloaded with 1000's of the latest hood anthem ringtones, The Swagger ® is the hottest thing on the streets.* From its custom made blinged out carry case, to its Bathing Apes sponsored numbered buttons, The Swagger ® has just what you need to impress that trifling nigga or gold digging female. Dazzle your crew by being the first to download the Pimp Chalice screen saver. Be the king of your block by using our patented T-9 Ebonics text messaging technology.* This function turns your average ordinary text message into a swagtastic conversation. Check out this example read by our paid spokesman, Samuel L Jackson.

Ordinary Text: What time is the party?
Ebonic T-9 Text: Hey, muhfucka. When dem shawties comin' thru

Ladies: Don't think we forgot about you. You need to get your swagger back too. Our special pink phone is ready to go with all your favorite anthems. Act now and you can get the Mary J Blige female empowerment Swagger® phone, which comes with a complimentary weave-holding pouch and a dynamic shoe sale guide right there on your display screen. Plus on your phone, the numbers are actually sponsored by Louis Vuitton. Guaranteed to show your swagger.

The most impressive feature of The Swagger ® is the dial a date function. Whenever you need an ego boost, dial #69 and the Swagger ® will hook you up with an eager and willing mate.*** This feature is also available via IM for you computer lovers out there. The Swagger ® phone will break you out of that dry spell you're going through and help you feel like the Man (or the Woman) again.

So, ditch that old boring cell phone and get your Swagger ® back. For a limited time only, get a set of detachable rims for your Swagger. ® ****

The Swagger ® available at bodegas, cornerstores and barbershops everywhere... just what you need to get yo' swagger back.

The Swagger ® is a registered trademark of Rashan Jamal. 2007. All rights reserved.

* Hottest in the streets claim made from scientific survey of 4000 drug dealers, playas, and hustlers. Results in Oct 2007 issue of Vibe Magazine.

** Standard text messaging rates apply. Not responsible for misunderstandings, hurt feelings, or translation errors.

*** Dial a date feature an extra $99.99/month. Available only in the 48 contiguous states. Offer not valid in Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and where prostitution is illegal.

**** For a limited time only, while supplies last. Mobile phone rims are for entertainment purposes only and should not be used on automobiles.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

I Shouldn't Have Had That Last Shot

When someone asks you if you want another shot, and you know that you shouldn't, please take my advice: Trust Yourself.

I was doing just fine, remaining in that tipsy zone, on the edge of drunk, when the waitress asked if I wanted another shot. Actually, she peer pressured me into it. Said "It's your birthday, you gotta get twisted." Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. I can usually withstand it, but something about the combination of bouncing booties and trying to have a great time, made me change my mind. I made that fatal mistake that many club goers make. I ordered another shot...

"Lemme get a double shot of Patron"

Why I do that? I was doing just fine, being judicious with my funds. Being selective with the table dances. But after that shot, I was just gone. Any dancer that whispered seductively in my ear got a dance, even that snaggled tooth girl who ordinarily just sits down because nobody wants her to dance for them. Don't get me wrong, I already had a strip club budget for my birthday; I didn't take in more money than I could afford to spend, but I could have kept even more. I still walked out with money in my pocket, but that easily could have been doubled if not for that last shot.

I didn't like what I was feeling. I was keeping a mental tally of my loot, but was unable to stop myself from spending it. I was even oblivious to the fights that happened right behind me. Or when the DJ stopped the music, I didn't even notice. The worst part was that I had to stay in the club longer than I intended to, just to make sure that Patron wore off. It would have really sucked to get a DUI on my birthday. Today, my actual birthday, I'm dragging. I didn't have to be at work until 4:30, but I was still late. I wouldn't call it a hangover, but I definitely was feeling some kind of way today. I didn't want to see any food, especially not birthday cake. Now, I'm better. Ready to respond to all the birthday text messages and calls that I ignored this morning and afternoon. Ready to start being 33. Don't get me wrong, I had a helluva good time, but I really shouldn't have had that last shot.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Going Home

I'm bout to hit the highway to head back to Atlanta. I'm a couple hours later than I hoped, plus I gotta make another stop to pick up my sister's big kids in Swainsboro. Hopefully Ill make it back to town in enough time and with enough energy to celebrate my birthday. I dont have any definitive plans, except lots of liquor. I'm sure I'll find something to get into. I'll be sure to tell you all about it tomorrow. But for now, I gotta go hug my mom and grandma and be out. Be easy!

Friday, November 23, 2007

3 AM

I'm sweating... No, seriously. I'm up at my Grandma's house literally sweating at 3 in the morning. I don't know how to tell her that you don't need heat when it's 64 degrees outside. I done drank 3 gallons of water in the last 2 hours. Grandma got the ice maker that makes the crushed ice. It's lovely, but damn I'm hot. I'm sitting here watching TV on the internet with my earphones on, trying not to spontaneously combust. I would like to go outside, but Grandma done locked up and seems to wake up whenever I move towards the door. Besides, I don't know the alarm code, so I'm trapped.

On another note, I have a new pet peeve. Holiday text messages. I don't mind if its personalized, but don't send me an message you sent to everybody in the phone book. The messages started at 8 in the morning and didn't stop until after 5. Who knew I was in so many people's phone books? Some of the people reading this are the ones that sent me those messages. Here's what I need from you: When Christmas comes, I'm a need you to either personalized my text message or take me off the distribution list. Thanks in advance!

Talked to PHD yesterday (see my message to her was personalized.) Her family lives about an hour away from Savannah. We are gonna try to get up before I leave to go home so she can take me out for my birthday. If not, then I'll see her sometime later. I'm also supposed to meet Kareem and his fiance sometime tomorrow. We'll see how that goes. When I talked to him tonight he was trying to get me to come to some function that his church is having or something. I'm not real interested in that, but we'll see how it goes. I'm just playing it by ear for right now.

I was at work the other day and I wrote a post that was too crazy even for me to post. I decided not to finish it, but I should have. You guys already think I'm crazy. Here is an excerpt from that post.

You put it in your mouth with your soft hands. Everything goes in slow motion as you take it in. It's starting to look like a music video, and you are playing the Karrine Steffans role. See, you look like a vixen to me. I can't explain it, you just look so good right now as you work your jaws. And here comes your friend. I like the way that you weren't selfish and shared with her. There's enough to go around... Why don't you do that again? This time lick your lips before you put it in. Yeah, that's sexy. I see you pulling your hair back into a ponytail, don't want it to get in the way of what you are doing. That's right girl, I see you. Take that, Take that...

I don't know if I'm hungry, or horny, or just plain nuts but I just enjoyed the hell out of watching that girl eat some french fries. Or maybe it's the lack of sleep that has my brain thinking strange thoughts. Or maybe, just maybe, she really was eating those french fries in a seductive manner and I'm not crazy.

Yeah, I probably am just nuts. I'll be regretting posting that as soon as I wake up in the morning. But no matter, I feel I can be myself on the blog, insanity and all. Well, now its 5 in the morning and I should be either sleep or hitting up Best Buy for the doorbuster specials, but I choose to do neither. Let's see what else is online that I haven't seen. One more week of everyday posting, so bear with me as I do this. Have a good weekend and check back on Saturday for a new post.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It's officially Thanksgiving and I'm about 5 minutes away from leaving work. It's been a slow, long day. I didn't get to sleep until Noon and I had to wake up 2 hours later to get ready for work. As a result, I'm not going straight to Savannah like I planned, unless my sister wants to drive. More than likely I'll sleep for a few hours and then hit the road in the morning. I am really looking forward to seeing my family, especially my grandma. I hope she is in the kitchen right now making her macaroni and cheese. In fact, I don't care what else is served, as long as she makes that. My sister and her little one are riding with me. The big kids will be with their dad. My brother and his family are coming down on Friday. So it will be a mini family reunion.

I called my friend Kareem and let him know I am coming down. We are supposed to get together on Friday. He's really excited for me to meet his fiance and I haven't seen him in years. I guess since its Thanksgiving I should be grateful that he is clean and sober and has his life together. It should be a cool experience. As for the rest of the trip, I'll just try to avoid all the crazy people I knew back then. I actually might hit up some of the Black Friday sales with my Grandma. If anyone is reading this, have a Happy Thanksgiving. Don't eat too much and if you do, make sure you have plenty of air freshener for the bathroom. LOL

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Rashan Moment

And now a Rashan moment...

I had the bright idea that I would wash all my clothes tonight. I'm trying to leave for Savannah as soon as I get off of work, so the plan was to wash, dry and pack. So, I separated the clothes, put a load in the washing machine and then went to put in the detergent when I realized I was missing a necessary ingredient. I had no detergent. Container, yes. Detergent, no. I started to curse someone out for leaving an empty thing of detergent in the laundry room, but then I realized that it could only have been me that did that dumb stuff. It was 4 in the morning, but I decided to go to the store. I was (and am still) wearing a pair of old jeans and a Mecca T shirt I got back in 98, complete with an unsightly bleach stain on the sleeve, but oh so comfortable. Looking straight bummy and I have a thing about going out looking bummy, even if it is 4 AM and no one of consequence will see me. Hell, for all I know I'll meet the woman of my dreams at the store, but will be looking too tore up to holla. But I digress. It took no more than 15 minutes and I was back to washing my clothes. I did a couple of loads of dark clothes, then when it came time to do my whites, would you believe that I had no bleach? It was now 5:30 in the morning. I had a couple of choices. I had enough T Shirts to last me on my trip. I could also wash clothes when I got to my grandma's house. Worse come to worse, I could just go buy some more. I chose option D. I decided to take my ass back to the store. The only problem was, in my warped mind, I couldn't just go back to the same grocery store. They would look at me like I was crazy. So, I drove in the other direction and hit up another spot. Cool, I got my bleach and some dryer sheets just in case I was about to run out of them. When I got home, I checked my load of clothes in the dryer and damn it if they weren't just as damp as they were when I put them in. That's right, my dryer is broken. I don't know what the hell is wrong with it, it just isn't getting hot. Now it's 6:30 in the morning, all my clothes are washed, none are dry and I have no idea what I'm gonna wear to work tomorrow. I really don't feel like going to a laundromat to dry these clothes. I just want to go to sleep and hope that they will magically dry by the time I get up for work. Sigh, and that my friends is a Rashan moment. I swear this stuff happens only to me, and it happens all the damn time.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It Ain't Hard To Tell

It ain't hard to tell, I excel, then prevail/The mic is contacted, I attract clientele/My mic check is life or death, breathin a sniper's breath/I exhale the yellow smoke of buddha through righteous steps/Deep like The Shinin', sparkle like a diamond/Sneak a uzi on the island in my army jacket linin/Hit the Earth like a comet, invasion/Nas is like the Afrocentric Asian, half-man, half-amazin/Cause in my physical, I can express through song/Delete stress like Motrin, then extend strong/I drank Moet with Medusa, give her shotguns in hell/From the spliff that I lift and inhale, it ain't hard to tell

Track 10: It Ain't Hard To Tell

I'm finally finished with my Illmatic series. It's a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it gave me some ideas to write about during this long month of posting everyday, but on the other hand, it was kind of confining. It seemed like a good idea when I started but I guess I should have came up with a outline or something instead of just freestyling. Anyway, here is the final installment of the Illmatic series: It Ain't Hard To Tell. Lord knows what I'm gonna blog about after this is over.

It ain't hard to tell... that you are way into me. You try to play it cool, but come on, we both know what the deal is. I've been in your position before, and its okay. Just play your role. In our group dynamic, you are the stalker and I am the stalkee. You don't have to pretend that that's not the case just because I called you out on it. I really wish that wasn't the case, there's nothing worse than a sometime-y stalker. I would respect it a lot more, if you were at least honest about it. But when your words say one thing and your actions say another, it's just, well its ridiculous. I told you that I can't date you because you work with me and you say you understand, then what is the reasoning behind the early morning text messages and the jealous looks when the other shorties come to my desk. It ain't hard to tell you are just fronting. You ain't hardly fooling me.

It ain't hard to tell... that you are some fucking vultures. I understand that it's news that his mom died, but are the tabloid style headlines really necessary. You never talked about him on your show before, now you are trying to exploit this story and make it into a sensational story. Leave these poor people alone to grieve. No need to make it into a cautionary tale about the evils of plastic surgery.

It ain't hard to tell... that your radio station is bootleg as hell. I like that you are independent and play some underground hip hop from time to time, but do you really have to be so unprofessional? I mean, isn't part of being a DJ making sure that your records don't skip? Shouldn't you know before the song is halfway over that you are playing the dirty version instead of the radio version. And what's up with the dead air? Rule # 1 of the radio: never have any gaps that cause people to turn the station. Let me not even get into the amateurish scratching and mindless babble during interviews. You can at least pretend like you know what you are doing.

It ain't hard to tell... that I'm starting to hate everything Boston related. Them damn Red Sox, them damn Patriots, now them damn Celtics. Give somebody else a chance to shine in the sports world.

It ain't hard to tell... that I often think about stuff to say and then censor myself. That's not a bad thing, because my thoughts are sometimes too much for people to take. Like when the vegetarian girl decided to lecture me about what I was putting in my body, my immediate thought was "I got something to put in your body." Funny? Yes. Appropriate? No? But the little smirk I held on my face made it obvious that I wanted to say something.

It ain't hard to tell... that I'm really looking forward to Thanksgiving. Not so much for the food, but for the chance not to go to work. I'm on major coasting mode this week. No above and beyond for me. I need a vacation and this little 4 day weekend isn't gonna do much, but its needed nonetheless.

It ain't hard to tell... that that shit just ain't gonna work out. I can't keep putting myself out there with someone who is as nonchalant as, well, me. I refuse to be a bug a boo. If you want to get at me, you know where I am, otherwise, it was nice to know you for the short time that I did and I'm sure that I'll see you sometime in the future. We'll just chalk it up to bad timing, and leave at that.

It ain't hard to tell... that last paragraph is gonna be the one that everyone focuses on. But it really ain't that serious. LOL

It ain't hard to tell... that I'm mad as hell about the writer's strike. I've been looking forward to the next season of Lost and 24 and now I don't know if they are gonna come on at all. You can tell I'm mad by the random outbursts of profanity directed to nobody in particular whenever I turn on the TV and hear about another damn reality TV show.

It ain't hard to tell... that I really suck at communication. First there was the broken phone for a week, now I forgot to charge my phone so it died at work today. It's like I don't want to talk to anyone. It might be a good idea to actually make some phone calls if I actually want someone to take me out on my birthday. (5 days and counting!)

It ain't hard to tell... that this posting everyday thing is harder than I expected. I have plenty of ideas in the infant stage in my drafts, but not enough time to flesh them out. Or better yet not enough resolve to finish them. Now that this Illmatic series is over, maybe I'll work on some of those. Don't hold your breath though, I'll probably take the easy way out for the rest of the week. Besides, nobody will be reading anyway. It's Thanksgiving week for Pete's sake.

And just like that.. I'm gone. Thanks for coming by and checking me out everyday. I really appreciate the feedback you guys give. I know it sounds like I'm done blogging for a while, but I'm not. I'll be here same blog time, same blog channel tomorrow. Be easy, everybody!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Going Home

It's 10:47 and I'm going home. I went to work early so I didn't get a chance to write anything else. I know for most people this is late, but its actually 2 1/2 hours early for me. I just had to fulfill my posting requirement for the day.

Quick Question: Is it wrong to call a young woman, ma'am? This lady got very offended by that. I was just trying to be respectful. Anyway, I'll get at you later.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Represent

"Represent, Represent"

Track 9: Represent

Remember Kut Klose? I'm just saying, I know I'm cutting it close for today's post.

So, I went out to the party last night. It was a birthday party for some people we lived with in Spring Valley, NY. It's funny how everybody has at one time or another congregated down to the Atlanta area. I didn't take too many pictures because I was on play with kids mode. There were no eligible bachelorettes there; everyone was either married or engaged or (almost) family. And the booze? Man, these parties used to be legendary for having an open bar and people getting good and drunk. I guess since they are getting older they only had wine and soda. I stuck with the soda since I am not really into the vino. Dude from Gn.arls Ba.rkl.ey (the producer) came. It was his father's birthday. I grew up with him in Spring Valley. I was a couple years older than him so I never knew he was into the music like that. I just remember going to their house and playing bumper pool and hating on them because they were rich. LOL. Anyway here are some of the limited pictures I took. I'll spare you the pictures of the "take a picture of yourself" contest I had with my niece. It was crazy. I would shout out an emotion and then she would take a picture of herself. Aiight, Spring Valley, New York, represent!!!



My Godbrother Trevor and his family


My Aunt and my niece


Me looking drunk, but not drunk



Trevor and Brian (AKA Da.ngerMo.use)



Gn.arls Ba.rk.leys BE.T, MT.V and Gra.mmy Awar.ds.


Next Up: Track 10: It Ain't Hard To Tell

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It's Still Saturday

I'm late, but I made it. I've been sleep all day. Yesterday messed up my sleeping pattern even worse than normal. Anyway, I've got to get ready to go out, but I'm just stopping by here to fulfill my everyday posting thing. I'm going to a party given by some friends of my mothers. It's somebody's birthday. I hope they still do it like they did when I was a kid. They used to have the liquor free flowing and I might need that to get through the evening. There's only so many times I can answer "no, I'm not married" in one evening without downing a shot of Henny. One of my "aunts" is gonna be there and my "cousin" and his wife should be there, so that should be cool. I haven't seen them in a couple of summers, since their wedding. Hopefully, there will be some people my age there, but if not I'll hide away with my sister and her kids. Wish me luck! I'll get some pictures if appropriate. One!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Who Needs Sleep?

Apparently, I don't. It's now 1 pm and I haven't been to sleep yet. It's been a bit of a strange day. I came home from work last night and watched a bunch of TV on the internet. Next thing I knew it was 7 in the morning. I figured why go to sleep, I had some errands to run anyway. You know how crazy stuff tends to follow me? Well, today was no exception.

First thing, I went to get some gas this morning. It was mad cold as I pumped my $49.67 worth of gas. I finished when a lady in a BMW truck pulled up at the pump next to mine. I was about to get in my car when she spoke. She asked me to watch her kid while she went in the store. How exactly am I supposed to react to that? A perfect stranger asks me to watch her kid. I couldn't exactly say no, could I? I mean I could have, but then the cute little 3 year old in the backseat would have been left unattended. It was strange but I obliged. The lady went in the store. I figured she was just going to pay in advance for her gas, but she was in the store for what seemed like an eternity. Did I mention it was cold? I mean, it was 'frost on windows' cold and I was standing there making sure nobody kidnapped this child. When the mother finally came back to the car with coffee, and a breakfast bagel, my hands were numb. But as much as I wanted to say something mean to her, and/or call DFACS on her, I refrained and kept it moving.

About an hour later, I went to the Sprint store to get a new phone. My old one had stopped doing the basics that phones are supposed to do, like ring or dial numbers. It was my fault because I was continuously getting it wet and I may have dropped it in a cup of water when I was half sleep the other day. Anyway, I had already picked out the cheap phone I wanted, but they just kept trying to upsell me to one of those expensive phones that does everything. They almost got me too, but I remembered that I hardly ever use my phone, so all the extras would just be a waste of money. That wasn't the strange part. The strange part was another customer who was waiting while I was getting rung up. He was extra familiar with me. He starting asking me all kind of questions about where I lived, and where I worked, and what church I went to. I guess he was being friendly, but I wasn't really feeling the whole interrogation thing so early in the morning. Then he told me about his church and pastor. I felt like he was trying to get me to join a cult or something, but its already been established that I don't do cults.

Next up was the haircut. Luckily, there was no wait, so I got right in the chair. As I'm getting my haircut, a lady comes in with some kids and a dog. Mind you, I have my glasses off so I can't see anything beyond their basic shapes, but I think it was she was one of the barbers girlfriend or something. I hear the dog jumping around and barking, but I didn't see it coming up to me. I hate dogs with a passion, because of this, and today did nothing to alleviate my disdain for them. This dog started licking my shoe and I may have "accidentally" kicked him in the nose to get rid of him. That was not the right move, because he took a bite out of my shoe. Fortunately, he missed my toe, but I was just blowed at that occurrence.

Finally, I went to renew my car tag. After getting my emissions test, I went to the Tag office, since the deadline is my birthday next Sunday and I didn't trust DeKalb County to mail it to me in time. There wasn't much of a wait, but I sat in the lobby until they called my number. Now you know me, so you know I sat away from everybody else in my own little world. I had my iPod on and had the entire row to myself. Would you believe that someone came and sat down right next to me? I mean, there were empty seats all over, but he chose to come sit where I was. Now, it wouldn't have been a big deal if he would have sat down at the other end of the bench, but he sat literally in the next seat on the empty row. Anyone who saw us would have thought we came together. I was so glad when they called my number and I could get out of there. I just don't understand people.

The time is now 1:12 and I guess I'll go to sleep now. I'm supposed to be going out tonight. I'm actually double booked, so whoever calls me to confirm first wins the prize of hanging out with Rashan. Or perhaps, I'll just forget to charge my new phone and stay home tonight. I hope you all have a great weekend, and I'll be back with another fresh post tomorrow. One!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

One Time 4 Your Mind

One time 4 your mind, one time/ Yeah whatever/ One time 4 your mind, one time/ It sound clever

Track 8: One Time 4 Your Mind

I'm stuck on coming up with a post with the title One Time 4 Your Mind. The only thing I could think to do was write a rap to it, but since I've already subjected you to my nostalgic attempts to flow, I'll pass. Instead I'm just gonna break the title down to its parts and focus on one aspect of it. Let's talk about the mind. As in my mind plays tricks on me. I know that's a different rapper, but like I said I was stuck. I started thinking about my mind and some of the weird and quirky stuff it causes me to do. By the way, I know I am stretching to stay within the concept that I laid out for myself. Anyway, my mind is strange place. I'm sure most people have weird thoughts and weird things they do. Here are 10 strange things my mind makes me do.

Tucking in my shirt: I absolutely cannot look in the mirror while I'm tucking in my shirt. I will take my glasses off or close my eyes until I am finished. Then once the shirt feels like its tucked in properly, I will look and make adjustments. I don't know what that's about, but my mind really doesn't want to see the tucking in process.

Finishing Lyrics: If I get a random lyric stuck in my head, my mind wont let me function unless I figure out where it came from. Often that involves running through an entire verse until I determine the source of said lyric. Then once I identify it, I have to say the rest of the song. Most of the time, its in my head, but occasionally I will do this out loud leading people to question my sanity.

Germs: I alternate between being a germophobe and being nasty. I've been known not to wash dishes until a science fair project starts growing on them, but at the same time complain if someone comes around me with a cold. It's like my mind says its okay wallow in my own filth, because they are my own germs, but bring someone else around me and I will apply the Purrell like its lotion and I'm Ashy Larry from Chappelle's Show.

Touch: I really don't like to be touched. My mind makes me immediately and involuntarily recoil when someone touches me in an unsolicited manner. This doesn't go for people I want to touch me, but I'm really not a touchy feely person. All them high 5's and hugs? You can keep that. There's this girl at the job that always touches my back when she walks by me. One day, I'm just gonna accidentally slap the shit outta her and claim it was my reflexes. LOL. I'm exaggerating, but I have told her to stop touching me, but she thinks I'm just trying to be a jerk.

Christopher Williams: I talk to myself. No need to elaborate on that one, go ahead and call me crazy.

Obscure References: See above. My mind really enjoys making obscure references that most people wont understand. I think that's why I like Family Guy so much because they will just come out of the blue with some reference that makes no sense at all, but I'm sitting there like, I remember that shit. Today's obscure reference (other than the Christopher Williams one) was when I told someone that I was serious like Jermaine Jackson. Now that I read it, it sounds corny, but at the time it was funny to me, even though they had no idea what I was talking about.

Third Person: My mind likes for Rashan to talk about Rashan in third person. For instance, Rashan will say "Rashan is a fucking genius!" which is an actual quote Rashan used at Rashan's job today.

Sleep Disorder: You already know this one. I can't sleep like a normal person. My circadian rhythms are all fucked up. I think it started back when I was a teenager and this happened. Ever since then I have had a problem sleeping. I think I was just afraid to go back to sleep and somehow trained myself to stay up all the time. The weird thing is that I can sleep all day, but not at night. It has to be a mental issue.

Alone: My mind won't allow me to be lonely. No matter how alone I am, my mind always provides me with a distraction so I don't long for other people's company. This one gets me in trouble because I'll forget to call people back because I'm just sitting there enjoying myself. Wait, that sounded like I was talking about mas.. What I meant was that I enjoy my conversations with myself.

Curiosity: "My mind wont allow me to not be curious" (Cee Lo - Cell Therapy). I am nosey as hell, especially if I'm not supposed to know. If you try to hide something from me, I'm gonna look that much harder until I inevitably lose interest. It's not that I even really care, its just in my mind, I think I should know everything. How dare you try to hide something from me? I use my Magnum PI skills to find out stuff that I shouldn't really know, but can't not know, ya know?

Next Up: Track 9: Represent

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

One Love

You was my nigga when push came to shove/One what? One Love

Track 7: One Love

I was out in my sun room/storage area yesterday, looking through some old papers, marveling at my genius. Yeah, I was on my own shit, I admit it. I saw a bunch of essays and midterms that I got A's on without reading the book or studying. I read over some of my old lyrics from when I thought I was a rapper. Man, it felt good reminiscing. I had a sappy smirk on my face reading that old stuff. Then I found a journal that I forgot about. I read through it and it read kinda like a blog, except there were no comments, and no filler posts like yesterday. It was just the straight uncut thoughts of 18-19 year old Rashan. I ran across this entry and the emotions came flooding back. Here it is:

October 7th, 1993

I talked my father today, for the first time in nearly two years. He and my mother separated when I was about 8. Since that time, the lines of communication have basically been cut. We used to give each other the courtesy calls on holidays and birthdays, but in the last three years, I realized that he doesn't deserve my respect. My father owes over $30,ooo in unpaid child support for me and my two siblings. He always says that he will send money, but never delivers. The most recent example of his irresponsibility occurred this summer. I need $46 to pay for my tuition. He told my mother he would send it. To this day, I still haven't received the money. If not for the generosity of my friends, I would not be attending classes this quarter. I never ask my father for anything unless it is pertaining to my education. I have been told that I am too proud for my own good, however I don't feel that way. I am, however, too proud to beg. In the first place, I shouldn't have to beg for my father to take responsibility for the children he claims he loves. Secondly, no matter how diligently I have asked in the past, he has never delivered. I have become more responsible because I had to take up the slack of a "Deadbeat Dad. When I become a father, I will be more responsible for my children than my father was for me. No child should have to deal with this.

I've written about my father before, in this post on the old blog. I've been very candid about his drug use, lack of child support payments, and general lackadaisical attitude towards his children. But I have come to reconcile those thoughts. As I got older, I became more understanding of his situation. I never made excuses for his behavior, but I realized that regardless of his faults, he gave me life, and a large part of who I am is because of him. Reading my writing reminds me of his writing. The way that I write on any spare scrap of paper is classic Ricky. Damn, that man's face is just like my face. That man's mannerisms are just like my mannerisms. That man's love of music spawned my love of music. That man's intellect was passed down to me. See, now I know its all One Love. He and I are one.

It made me sad to see the bitterness I had for him. I like to think of myself as being more evolved than to just dismiss my father. It wasn't always like that though. Now, I know I was young, but to think of the time I wasted being bitter sickens me. I wish now that I had more time to just chop it up with him and relate to him as a man. Although we reconciled before he died, I just wish that I had a better relationship with him. I know its not all on me, but when I read over what I wrote on that October day, I had to fight back the tears. Its been 12 years since he passed on, but I still feel the pain occasionally, especially when I read his letters and see myself in him. It's all love, Ricky! One Love!

Next Up: Track 8: One Time 4 Your Mind

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Filler

So a funny thing happened on the way to writing my latest post. I got sidetracked by the content and decided to wait on it. But since I promised I would post every day, here is a filler tag. I stole this off some random blogger's page. I'll be back to the Illmatic series tomorrow with One Love. If you are looking for something with a little more substance, just scroll down and read my last few posts. Those were pretty creative, unlike this generic tag. Sorry for the inconvenience.

38 things about me that you may or may not want to know.

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night? Myself. I crack myself up sometimes. I am currently experimenting on how mean I can be to potential stalker before she leaves me alone.
2. What were you doing at 0800? Just going to sleep
3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Writing the post I was supposed to write before I realized I didn't have the energy.
4. What happened to you in 2006? Wow. Vague question. Just read the archives
5. What was the last thing you said out loud? That's my shit!!! I was listening to some Isaac Hayes on the iPod.
6. How many beverages did you have today? Starting at midnight? Some Ginger Ale, Some guava-pineapple juice and a whole bunch of water
7. What color is your hairbrush? Brown
8. What was the last thing you paid for? The previous mentioned bottle of ginger ale.
9. Where were you last night? Went to work, came home
10. What color is your front door? Black
11. Where do you keep your change? In my pocket, in the cushions of the couch and in an old eyeglass case in the car. Weird, I know
12. What’s the weather like today? Dry, and alternating between nice and cold-ish.
13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? I like Vanilla
14. What excites you? Music makes me high
15. Do you want to cut your hair? It's time for a cut now, lets see if I can wake up in time to get it done.
16. Are you over the age of 25? Yep, I'll be 33 in 12 days.
17. Do you talk a lot? I'm more of a listener. In fact I get self conscious when I talk a lot.
18. Do you watch the O.C.? Does that still come on? Okay, I'll admit I did watch the first 1 and half seasons.
19. Do you know anyone named Steven? I got a cousin named Steven. And one of my friends has a baby daddy named Steven that if I ever meet, is getting his ass kicked.
20. Do you make up your own words? All the time. My newest made up word: T.Painadelic used to describe something that sucks.
21. Are you a jealous person? I am extremely un-jealous to a fault. People think I don't care, because I don't show jealousy
22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter "M" - Why M? PhD's real name starts with M.
23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. - Kristie
24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Since my phone is broken again, and not currently accepting incoming calls, this is from last week. My nephew Tarik is the first one.
25. What does the last text message you received say? "Am I one of the crazies, or the stalkers?!"
26. Do you chew on your straw?Yes. and ice and pens and my t-shirt and anything else that comes in the vicinity of my mouth.
27. Do you have curly hair? Not at the moment. If I let my hair grow out it will either be curly or wavy.
28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Hopefully to the land of dreams. It's about that time.
29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? That would be me, Chuck. But its all part of an experiment. I'm not really rude all the time.
30. What was the last thing you ate? MMM. Spinach and Feta Cheese Turkey Burger I made the other day. That joint was delicious.
31. Will you get married in the future? I vacillate on this one. I honestly don't know. I would like to.
32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? Last 2 weeks? 2 completely different movies: Transformers and Talk To Me.
33. Is there anyone you like right now? I like everybody, until they get on my nerves.
34. When was the last time you did the dishes? Tonight.
35. Are you currently depressed? I'm good. No depression here.
36. Did you cry today? Almost... I got to thinking about some stuff with my post I was trying to write and I felt it coming on, but I manned up. (You'll see why tomorrow, unless I change the concept of the post)
37. Why did you answer and post this? Because I didn't finish my real post and I promised to post everyday this month.
38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. I don't tag people. Do it if you want.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)

True in the game, as long as blood is blue in my veins/ I pour my Heineken brew to my deceased crew on memory lane


Track 6: Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)


This should have been the easiest post for me to write, but for some reason it became the hardest. The title "Memory Lane" lends itself quite nicely to one of my stories about the craziness of my past, but I think I may be tapped out. I couldn't think of any other stories that I haven't already shared. I've told you all about my dirt, my wild Savannah experiences, and growing up. What more can I say? I'm sure as soon as I finish this post, something will come to me and I'll regret that my long term memory finally failed me. But while we are on the subject, let's talk about memory.



Can memory really play tricks on you? For me, I know that it does. I tend to see the past through rose tinted glasses sometimes. I can remember stuff that happened a long time ago very fondly, whereas at the time I probably wasn't viewing it so positively. Is it just natural to see the past as "the good old days?" I thought about that as I remembered this story. My nostalgia makes it seem like it was the most dramatic (in a good way) time ever, or perhaps that's just the writer in me. Anyway, let's take a trip down "Memory Lane" when she and I were "Sittin' In Da Park."



She and I.. sitting in the park. Not a care in the world except what movie we would go see on Saturday night. Her with her biology textbooks, me with some masterpiece of English literature that I was supposed to be reading. We would sit for hours staring at the lake, in between chapters of academia. Hardly a word crossed our lips as she sat between my legs and I stroked her hair. Class let out at 11, and the next one wasn't until 2. So we sat in the park, communing with nature, stealing kisses, and pretending to study. Walking around the fountain hand in hand reciting sonnets with our eyes. Young love in full bloom.
THE ACTUAL FOUNTAIN IN DAFFIN PARK


She and I... sitting in the park. Worrying about final exams and car insurance. Her with her Physiology textbooks, me with my book of rhymes. I had long since given up the pretext that I was actually studying. We would sit for hours staring at each other, in between bites of Popeye's Chicken and gulps of Mystic juice. We talked more then, talked about our fears, our dreams, what was to come. Class let out at noon, and the next one was at 2:00. Less time to spend with each other, but more intellectual conversation. She challenged my mind, that's one of the reasons I loved spending time with her. We didn't feel the need for public displays anymore. Our love had matured.
THE PATH WE WALKED


She and I...sitting in the park. Graduation was upon us. I was taking 2 classes, she was taking a full load. Temporary worry lines painted fault lines upon her face. I, carefree and aloof sat there restless. We sat there for hours, she with her MCAT study guide, me with a Source magazine. We didn't really talk, but my presence was required. I, fidgeting and squirming, her not paying me any attention. I, wondering what was going on in the student center, her not wanting me to leave. Less than lovers, more than friends we sat in the park growing apart. To her, the park was pristine, relaxing even inspiring. To me, the park was stifling, boring and full of bugs. We didn't look at each other the same way anymore. We both knew that love had been replaced by co-dependency. We needed each other, although we didn't necessarily want each other. We liked each other, but it wasn't necessarily love. We loved each other, but we weren't necessarily in love.
OUR SPOT (Or one that looks just like it)

I alone...sitting in the park. A symbol of a relationship gone on too long. Emblematic of a love too young to be so serious. I sat in "our spot" and re-read her letter. She was doing fine in Virginia, and I was doing fine in Savannah. That's when I knew it was over. Her words betrayed the fact that she didn't miss me, and I didn't miss her either. Well, maybe a little, but not like we should have missed each other after seeing each other every day for three years. It used to tug at our heartstrings when we spent the weekend apart, now she was gone for a month and a half, and I was okay. I knew that our time had come to an end, but was afraid to verbalize it, afraid to lose my first love, afraid to prove my mother right, but most of all, afraid that she would not be okay, which is what I cared about more than anything in the world.



She and I...traveling in two disparate paths. Denying the inevitable, replaying the memories of our park. Always holding a place in each other's hearts, albeit as supporting characters, instead of the leading role.

(Stupid scanner won't work, so I couldn't post the picture of us. We looked-ed good together at graduation. LOL)



Next Up: Track 7: One Love

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Halftime

Nas, why did you do it?/You know you got the mad fat fluid/when you rhyme, it's halftime.

Track 5: Halftime

I'm still posting everyday, even on Saturday and Sunday. I know alot of people don't read blogs on the weekend, so if you missed yesterdays joint, just scroll on down to the previous post.

You know how in sports at halftime, the coach will give a pep talk to inspire his team? Tonight I gave myself my own version of the halftime speech. Just reminding myself of what I need to do to be successful in a certain aspect of my life. Take a look at my split personality at work...


Coach T. Casanova: Rashan, I brought you in my office to talk to you about some things.

Rashan: Aww, coach! This isn't one of your pep talks again, is it?

Coach C: Indeed it is. Now I know you think you don't respond well to these, but I've been seeing some areas of improvement we need to focus on. Sit down, and let me holla at you for a minute.

Rashan: C'mon coach. I've been doing much better. Can't you just give me some credit for that?

Coach C: You are the team captain, and I cannot accept mediocrity from you. You have been stepping up, but your efforts have not been nearly good enough. Do I need to remind you that we are losing?

Rashan: Nah, I see that. But it ain't all my fault. I feel like I'm getting singled out.

Coach C: It is your responsibility to motivate the team. And its mine to motivate you. You might as well stop griping because you are gonna hear me out whether you like it or not.

Rashan: Okay, lets get this over with.

Coach C: What's going on with you and the ladies? I thought we talked about this before. You are getting too old to be so complacent.

Rashan: Well, see, what had happened was...

Coach C: Let me stop you there. Cuz I already know what you are going to say. I don't wanna hear that bullshit about Social Anxiety Disorder. You talked to PhD, didn't you? You didn't run from her.

Rashan: Well, you see how well that turned out. I haven't even talked to her in a while.

Coach C: Have you called her? Or are you just waiting for her to call you?

Rashan: She's just too busy. I don't wanna interrupt her studies. Getting her doctorate is very important to her. I don't wanna get in her way.

Coach C: I can respect that. But why haven't you tried to get with anyone else? I'm not saying you have to marry them, but you can at least take someone out on a date.

Rashan: C'mon, coach. You know as well as I do that I only attract crazy. Like old girl at the job. She gets mad if she even sees me talk to another female, platonic or otherwise.

Coach C: I don't accept that excuse. I will admit that you have had your share of crazies in your life. But for every crazy, there's a normal woman out there that you never got the chance to meet, because you are not applying yourself.

Rashan: But..

Coach C: But nothing! Honestly, how many women have you tried to engage in conversation over the last few months.

Rashan: Well, none. But...

Coach C: But nothing! You miss 100% of shots you never take.

Rashan: So, you gonna hit me with cliches now?

Coach C: Only when they are appropriate. You can't just wait for them to come to you. You have to put yourself out there. I've been telling you that since high school.

Rashan: It works though. They do approach me sometimes. Just not lately. I'm just in a slump, that's all.

Coach C: Ask yourself this: Of the women that have approached you, how many of them would fit into the stalker/crazy category?

Rashan: Shit, you right! Those do tend to be the most possessive, controlling ones.

Coach C: Damn right, I'm right! And I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. It's time to cut out that shy shit and be a man.

Rashan: Hold up, bruh! Don't be questioning my manhood.

Coach C: No, that's not what I'm saying at all. I am really proud of you for how you have stepped up for your family. And how you go to work every day even though you hate it. I would never say that you aren't a man, but in this aspect, you got put up some more shots. And don't just be going for the easy layups, either.

Rashan: So you saying don't call old girl from the old job? I'm saying, I could call right now and get you off my back.

Coach C: See, now you are confusing things. I'm not talking about getting easy sex. I'm talking about getting someone you can spend some time with. You know someone that you would respect and possibly build with. I know you have no way of knowing until you try, but, Rashan, you have no way of knowing until you try! Nah, mean?

Rashan: I think I do. Basically you saying that I gotta kiss some frogs and shit.

Coach C: Hell yeah!

Rashan: I feel you, coach. I really do. In fact its like your thoughts and my thoughts are the same. I've given that some thought, but I'm getting to old to just be dating.

Coach C: You gonna make me repeat myself? You will never know if she is the right one unless you take her out on some dates, get to know her, and see if you are compatible. You trying to skip the process and that won't work. It's like you're just throwing up the first open 3 pointer. You have to work within the scheme, pass the rock around, then you get the high percentage shot.

Rashan: Nice sports metaphor. I really do understand.

Coach C: Son, this whole conversation is a metaphor.

Rashan: Right, Right.

Coach C: So are you onboard? Can I count on you to get your head back in the game?

Rashan: I want to, coach. I really do. I just don't know if those moves are in my repertoire. I mean, I'm the master of the crossover. I can make the girls think I'm going one way, and then go the other, but as far as working within the offense I just don't know. Any advice?

Coach C: Oh, I see you are using metaphors now too. Nice... But let me tell you this. Your problem is will, not skill. You have to be willing to do the work. You have to be willing to not take a no so damn personally, that it causes you to foul out of the game.

Rashan: Aiight!

Coach C: You gotta apply all the lessons I have taught you, otherwise I'm just wasting my breath. We can talk about this until we are blue in the face, but unless you actually run the play, all the coaching in the world isn't gonna help you.

Rashan: So what do you want me to do?

Coach C: First of all, I need you to get up out the house. I didn't say anything last weekend when you lounged around all weekend, but again this week? That's just ridiculous. Didn't you have people who wanted you to go out with them?

Rashan: Yeah, but I just didn't feel like going anywhere.

Coach C: Do you think you are gonna meet people sitting around in your drawers? Seriously, man get up, take a shower, shave and just go out. I know you don't do clubs, but there are chill spots all over Atlanta, where you can meet like minded ladies.

Rashan: Uh-huh. Next weekend, I promise. I'm already supposed to hang out on Friday. Maybe I'll come with something for Saturday too.

Coach C: That's a start, but I need you to do something else for me.

Rashan: What's up!?!?

Coach C: Talk to people. You don't realize it, but people really are interested in you. You have a unique mindset and people respond to that. You just have to let your intellect shine. Let your wordplay shine. Shine, nigga, shine!

Rashan: That's Wu-Tang right? "No Hooks?" That joint they did with Shaq?

Coach C: Yeah, sorry about that. Sometimes I'll just bust out with rap lyrics without knowing it. But you get my point. Next weekend, I expect you to score. I'm not worried about your shooting percentage. I want you to keep shooting until you make a basket. Can you do that for me?

Rashan: Yep, I'm down. Hey, coach? Thanks for the pep talk. I actually feel much better now.

Coach C: I knew that you would. We are the same, ya know? That's how I know what you need, better than you even know it yourself. Now get out there and have a strong second half. Don't make me pull out the Hoosiers quotes on you, cuz I'll do it.

Rashan: At least it ain't Rudy. God, I hate those inspirational movies. They are just so lame.

Coach C: Hey, man whatever works! Aiight, halftime is over. Let's get back to it. Can I get Team Rashan on three?

Rashan: Dawg, its just you and me in here. That would look kinda crazy.

Coach C: Just humor me, will ya?

Rashan and Coach: 1,2,3... Team Rashan!!!

Next Up: Track 6: Memory Lane (Sittin' In Da Park)

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The World Is Yours

Whose world is this?/The world is yours, the world is yours/ It's mine, it's mine, it's mine/ Whose world is this?/ "It's yours!"/ It's mine, it's mine, it's mine /Whose world is this?

Track #4: The World Is Yours

I started to hold this one until Monday, since nobody really reads blogs on the weekend, but then I remembered that Monday is a holiday, so they won't be reading anyway. Long story short, here's today's post.

Dear God,

I know the world is Yours. I wholeheartedly respect that. And I don't want to seem disrespectful in any way, but I have some questions. Why is the world like this? Why are we always going to war or killing our kids or just generally hating each other? I like to think that because You gave us free will, all of the problems of the world are because of us. But Your representatives always rebuff this thought. They say that You work in mysterious ways and that I shouldn't question. They give You the glory for the good and blame the d'evil for the bad. They tell me that everything happens for a reason, and I while I get what they are saying, I'm not too sure I agree.

For instance, why would it be in Your will to have Your people suffer through over 400 years of slavery and even after the evil institution is over, still suffer merely because of the color of their skin. Or how could You intend for 6 million people to die in a holocaust perpetuated by evil men using Your name. Or even on a smaller scale, what part of Your plan makes a man take a perverted sexual interest in an innocent child? Things like this I don't understand. Again, I mean no disrespect at all, but if what the church says is true, You created me to be inquisitive, so I'm sure You understand.

Here's what I think. I think You gave man dominion over the earth and quite simply, we are messing up. We have been for generations and we will for generations to come. I think man's capacity for destruction is a choice that You have allowed us to make. You have told us how to please You, but whether or not we do is up to us. To me that makes more sense than to think that tragedy is a part of Your plan. I know it makes it easier for the families of victims to cope, but in reality, God, it is mankind that is responsible for the ills of the world.

Am I off base? I pray that You would let me know if I'm on the wrong track. I pray that You will correct my path if I'm going astray. I know I haven't always lived up to Your Commandments, but I'm trying to be a good man. You already know this, but my disdain for the church, has nothing at all to do with You, and everything to do with the people who claim to be Your representatives' hypocrisy. You know my heart, and I just ask these questions to become closer to You. The world is Yours and I'm just trying to find my place.

Your Loving Son,

Rashan Jamal


P.S. - Two more questions for You? If a soldier dies in combat right after killing an enemy, does he go to hell? And how do You feel about these preachers using Your name and word to get rich? Thanks, God. I look forward to Your response.

Next Up: Track 5: Halftime

Friday, November 9, 2007

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program

I know I'm supposed to be posting the next part of the Illmatic series, but I have to postpone that to talk about some ill shit that happened last night. A cab driver was murdered in my apartment complex last night, and I may have seen it if I didn't stay at work running my mouth. I was coming home from work and after making a couple of stops, I rolled into the parking lot. I saw a taxi mini-van posted up against the gate separating my complex from the adjoining one. There was another car in the middle of the road, partially blocking the way. I maneuvered around them and went to my crib not giving it a second thought. The time was 2:05.

Around 4, I turned on the computer to tweak my next post and check my email. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw some blue lights flashing through the living room window. I peeked out said window and saw a cop car. Again, I didn't give too much thought to it. I assumed someone just was getting a ticket or perhaps there was a domestic dispute. Next thing I know, I see red lights from an ambulance and yellow lights from a tow truck. I decided that I would get my Scooby gang on and go outside and investigate.

I ventured out in the 30 degree weather and walked around the corner and what I saw shocked me. A parade of DeKalb County police cars with flashing lights surrounded the area where the taxi was idling earlier. Yellow crime scene tape cordoned off the area. I got closer, but not so close that I would draw attention to myself. The final straw was when I saw the Medical Examiners Van pull up and remove something (I think it was the body) from the van. Shit, the cab driver was dead.

I walked closer and asked an officer what happened. He told me that there was a murder and asked if I heard anything. I told him I didn't, but I did see the taxi crashed against the gate when I got home. I told him about the car I saw in the middle of the road. Turns out they called 911 and got the cops there. He took down my information and I went stood outside a little longer as they put the taxi on a flatbed tow truck, covered it in a tarp that said "Medical Examiner's Office", and drove away. By this time the news crews were already on the scene, so I decided to go inside and find out more.

Damn, I need to move away from here. In the year since I moved to this side of town, I have driven by a murder victim, saw a shooting at the gas station outside my complex, heard about a shooting at the Waffle House next to the same gas station and saw a fire right across the gate from my building. I think its time to abandon this cheap(er) rent experiment and go find me a nice crib by some white people again. It's messed up that it has to be that way, but like I am prone to say...it is what it is.

Anyway, here is a link to the news story. I'll holla later. Gotta hit up Craig's List for a new place to live.

We now take you back to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress...

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Life's A Bitch

Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we get high/Cause you never know when you're gonna go/ Life's a bitch and then you die; that's why we puff lye/Cause you never know when you're gonna go

Track 3: Life's a Bitch

Okay, I don't know how I feel about this one. I wrote it out and deleted it like 5 times before I just decided fuck it. Either you feel it or you don't. I freestyled this into my phone on the way home from work. The beat in my head was "Roc Boys" off that new Jay-Z album. I listened to it when I got home and made some tweaks so it could be 16 bars, but for the most part its off the top of the dome. It's been awhile since I actually had a coherent freestyle when I was sober, so here it is. If you think its wack, I can respect that, but if you feeling it, go on and hit me up in the comments.

Life's A Bitch (freestyle)

They say that Life is a bitch, and then you die
Have you ever taken a second to ask yourself why?
Why niggas always struggling succumbing to stress
Anesthetize with liquor, Newports and sess
We do what we do in a quest to get high
Escape from our reality, just to get by
While some try to hustle, some just give up
Consider suicide when the rainbow's enuf
Well, if you ask me I gotta let you know
If Life is a bitch, then that bitch's my hoe
I'm a put her on the stroll, she'll be sweeter than honey
Hollerin' bout "Bitch better have my money."
and if Life is a bitch, I'm a pimp her out
Doesn't matter what you and I lament about
See, Life is what you make it, it is what is
For some it's their job, for other's it's their kids
For some it's their God, for others it's their family
Whatever gets you through it, maintain your sanity.
Do what you gotta do to live your life
Cuz you really gonna miss that bitch when you die
I know life can be hard when the stress starts attacking
And you wonder why life is such a bitch when your Black and
Your pockets on a diet and you need to get paid
These girls steady tripping and you need to get laid
And you might be afraid of what's next to come
And the negativity be straight vexing some
What you really oughta do is just look her in her eyes
And say "Bitch, you can't break me. I'm running this life"
Be surprised how your outlook can change in a second, B
Control your own life, and make your own destiny.
They say that life is a bitch and then you die
Well stop calling her a bitch, cuz that bitch is my life.


Next Up: Track 4: The World Is Yours

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

NY State Of Mind

It drops deep as it does in my breath/I never sleep, cause sleep is the cousin of death/Beyond the walls of intelligence, life is defined/I think of crime when I'm in a New York state of mind

Track 2: NY State of Mind

(This was written under the influence of Benadryl, so excuse me if it seems rambling.)

February 1st, 1986: Spring Valley, New York

The day of reckoning was upon me. I had known for months that I was leaving NY. All my stuff was packed, all goodbyes had been said, nothing left to do but hop a plane and head down south. I was 11 years old and flying dolo on Delta. I can't remember why, but my mom, sister and brother weren't coming until the next week. I also can't remember what airport I went to, but I do remember that it was snowing. I had the red and black lumberjack with the hat to match, (that's the truth, not just stealing Biggie lyrics) and I was carrying my boombox. In the deck, I had UTFO's first album. I had the vinyl, but I had just recently converted over to a Maxell cassette tape. In the pockets of my bomber jacket, I had other tapes, mostly stuff I recorded off the radio including "Rock The Bells", a song I was obsessed with. After a brief layover in Charlotte, I arrived in Savannah, Georgia and was greeted by my grandmother. The first thing I noticed was the heat. Son, it was 85 degrees down there and I was rocking the lumberjack and long johns. For real, the game switched up on me for real. I was in for a major culture shock...

Growing up as a Yankee in the south, I kept my NY State of Mind. I proudly proclaimed "I'm from New York!" when asked where I came from. Sadly that didn't mean too much to the other kids at DeRenne Middle School. I was an outsider, but for the most part I didn't mind. Besides, I didn't really understand half of what these kids were saying anyway. Their southern slang was so much different than my northern slang. When I would say something was "def" they would look at me like "huh?" or when they said they were gonna "box me" I didn't know until too late that meant I was about to be hit. I'm playing, nobody ever hit me. But you get the point, we were just different. I would say "youknowwhatI'msaying" after every one of my sentences, and they would say "Iknowdatright" after every one of theirs. Eventually, I learned how to communicate with them and incorporate the down south talk with my New York talk.

There were times where my NY State of Mind got me out of trouble. For example, in 7th grade, I had invested in a candy selling biz with a classmate. I was the financing, and he was the salesman. I should put his myspace page up here to put him on blast, but I wont do that, although if you go to my page and look for the only guy on there, you'll know who I'm talking about. LOL .Anyway, one day we were in the gym taking a standardized test (not sure why we did this in the gym) when some other kids started stealing the candy out of homeboys book bag. Son, they were messing with my money, so I had to step in. I'll be damned if 4 of the meanest, most delinquent ass teenagers at the school wanted to fight me over some candy. They caught me and Fred outside at lunch. I was holding on to the bag and refusing to back down. Fred literally left me holding the bag (although he denies that he jetted on me). I couldn't punk out though, I'm from New York. I don't play that shit. Thank God my bravado worked. Them fools actually thought that I could fight. My NY State of Mind got me through that one.

As I got older, I maintained that NY swagger. I walked like I saw the rappers walk on Yo! MTV raps. I emulated the slang I heard in the hip hop music. I rocked the baggy jeans like I saw the New York cats wear. Remember when Africa medallions and X hats were big? I had them joints. You couldn't tell me I wasn't still from New York. I tried to turn brothers on to that NY hip hop. You could find me rocking my GangStarr tape, or my PE, or Tribe Called Quest, or some Boogie Down Productions. When they would ask me why I listen to that crap, I would proudly proclaim "I'm from New York, boyeeee!!!" Even down south, I kept that NY State of Mind throughout high school. But then something happened that changed all of that...

I went to college and met people from all over the country. I realized that I don't really like some people from NY. I mean, I liked the idea of them, but the actual people were kind of... annoying. I mean, they were cocky and rude and arrogant. Always talking about how shit was gully (what da hell does that word mean anyway? I missed the memo on gully) in New York. And everybody I met from NY had a tough guy act that I was beginning to be able to see through. It was like they were herbs up north, but came down to Savannah and acted like they ran the projects. Half them cats never even saw the projects. I wondered, is that what I sounded like all those years ago when I moved from New York? Did my NY State of Mind turn me into an arrogant jerk that thought I was better than everybody else? I think it did.

So now when people ask me where I'm from, I don't yell out "I'm from New York, kid!!" That was 21 years ago; I can't claim that anymore. But occasionally I still have my NY State of Mind moments, particularly when I'm listening to some horrible rap song inflicted on my ears by a Southern artist. I'll find myself thinking "We don't do it like that in NY. We actually write lyrics" before catching myself. I'm not from NY, and some NY cats (cough Jim Jones cough) are just as wack as these ATL cats. Besides, my man Rakim told me back in 87, that "it ain't where you from it's where you at", nahmean?

Next Up: Track 3: Life's A Bitch

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Illmatic: The Genesis

I have a strange idea. It's either gonna be incredible or incredibly lame, but since I committed to posting everyday this month, let's give it a try. If it doesn't work, then I can always just stop right? Anyway, my idea is to take my blog title posts from the songs on one of my favorite albums ever: Illmatic by Nas. I'll write the post based on the song title. It will not be matching up with the song lyrics, because my life is so much different than the stuff Nas was rapping about, but it should at least spark some ideas to write about. Track # 1 is called "The Genesis." This may be esoteric and only make sense to me, but here we go anyway...

Track 1: The Genesis

The Genesis of this blogging thing happened in December of 2005. That's when I started my first blog. I had no idea what I was doing. I had no idea what I was going to write about (much like today.) I just knew that I had recently discovered the whole world of blogging and liked the idea. I don't remember the first blog I read, but I do know it was a girl from NY that was writing about her experiences dating. The idea was novel and fresh to me that I just had to be a part of it.

So, I sat there on December 3rd, and put key to keyboard. The first post was sort of an introduction. I entitled it "Who I'm Is" after a quote from T.I.'s song "Rubberband Man." At the time, he was blowing up in Atlanta and you couldn't go an hour without hearing that song on one of our various urban radio stations. I just sat down and wrote. I realized that my niche in the blog world was to be Mr. Hip Hop. All of my blog post titles were quotes from hip hop lyrics. I knew nobody was reading, but I didn't really care. I started out just writing in the hopes that someone would feel what I was saying, or at the very least care enough to leave a comment. It took about a month before I realized that in order to have people read my shit, I had to read theirs. So I did. I read and commented and next thing I knew, I became pretty popular. Mad comments every day. My work life consisted mainly of reading blog posts and responding to my comments, not to mention obsessing over my site meter. Trying to figure out who was reading my blog.

A funny thing happened along the way. I started getting invites to have IM conversations and later invites to real life hanging out. It was cool. Anti Social Rashan was breaking out of his shell. This all started out from just a boring guy trying to pass the time. I became part of the in crowd and started meeting more and more bloggers. It started out with her, then later I met her and her, Even later I met her, and she came and crashed at my apartment when she was in town. I went through the whole gamut from blog crushes to blog beef to blog cliques etc. Blog life and real life were pretty much overlapping.

Then it all came crashing down. The people I was cool with no longer wanted me around. I don't blame them. Some ill shit went down, and I just kept quiet about it. The thing about sharing so much about yourself is that people feel entitled to know every aspect of your life. That's my fault. I'm sure they expected me to talk about it like I did with everything else. But it was too personal to me. Slowly but surely, these same bloggers stopped visiting, stopped calling, stopped IM'ing me. And I stopped blogging. For an entire month, I thought nothing about my blog or anyone else's blog. When the time was right, I came back in a new spot. I linked from the old blog to the new, you see. I wasn't hiding out, I just needed a change. The blog colors changed from dark to light. It was symbolic of what I was trying to accomplish. I was trying to get rid of the negative energy that surrounded my old blog. Let's just say it didn't work. It took a few months, but I finally realized it wasn't the blog that had the negative energy, it was me. I had to reevaluate my life and get my shit together.

And now here I sit. I like blogging, but I'm not obsessed with it. I write my innermost thoughts, but not everything. I'm candid, yet reserved. I read blogs but not so much that it takes over my whole day. I've not met any more bloggers in person (not that I'm philosophically opposed to the idea.) I've learned how to share just what I want to share, and not every little thought I have. I mean what I say in my tag line.. This time I'm gonna try to do things differently. I think for the most part I have.

The Genesis was an insomnia laden December night in 2005. I wrote some damn good blog posts (like this one), had some damn crazy blog ideas (like the damn 8 part Blog Real World series, da hell was I thinking with that one?), and met some cool people. But you know what? I wouldn't trade it for the peace of mind I have now. Only time will tell what will happen next.

Tomorrow: Track 2: NY State of Mind