The Post Game Show

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good-bye 26, Hello 27!

Yep, today was the big day. It's been non-eventful, thanks to the rain canceling my work assignment for the evening, but my co-workers did buy me a cake, my mother, younger sister and my road dogs called me early this morning, big sis sent an e-mail later in the afternoon and my facebook wall is one HUGE birthday greeting from a gang of folks.

So far, I've had a good day in the fact that I've been happy all day, and even though some random person tried to throw me off my game this afternoon, it's been a great day. It got off to a great start this morning when I went to the park to exercise. The basketball courts are closed down for two weeks for resurfacing, and that threw me off for like 10 seconds. Instead I decided to join the other folks who walk around the long circular parking lot (there are four baseball fields inside that circle, so it's a LONG way around). This morning, I got bold and chatted up an in-shape 53 year old sister who we'll call "Chocolate Miz," or CM for short. The reason we'll call her that is because once again, I'm an unabashed cougar connoisseur, and the only thing stopping me from making Miz the Demi to my Ashton is a few hundred to thousand miles of distance. Hi Miz! *waves and smiles*

Anyway, so CM and I chatted as we walked for over an hour straight about everything from Obama to educational programs to racism to our exercise routines. I never did ask if she was seeing someone or not, because I had a feeling her saying "my sons are older than you" was her way of deading any thoughts I had of advancing things. But man, does she look good to be 53. 5'4, 150 pounds, strong legs, a little something in the back underneath the track pants, hoodie and bucket hat. And there's the chocolate factor. Although I struggle with being darkskinned myself, women with some serious color do it for me everytime.

But yeah, the bigger story was the fact that I chatted up a woman on the fly and IN person, instead of trying to approach women via this here machine. Hopefully this morning's events will give me enough confidence going forward to approach more women in person. I know every woman won't be as open and accepting as CM was this morning, but I can't let a few failures get in the way of potential successes.

La had a brilliant post earlier this week about timelines and deadlines we impose on ourselves, and ever since I read it, I've been thinking about it, and she's pretty much spot on, as she always is. We really can't measure ourselves by what our friends and peers maybe doing, the most we can do is be happy with where we are ourselves, and if not, then make steps to change it. Both my boys have children, healthy relationships with their current SOs, but they both have been divorced too, so even they had some valleys in the journey to their peaks.

I think about where I am now that I'm starting 27 - no kids, certainly no relationship prospects, but when I think about the entry-level nature of my gig...could I really be a family man right now? No. I'd have to pretty much work two jobs to support a wife and kid(s), even though I'm sure my wife would work, it'd be tough right now, so the best I can do is just keep progressing in my career until I can rightfully feel like I can be the provider that a man is supposed to be in the household.

The biggest storyline that will unfold as this year goes on is feeling better about myself. Even though I did have a quick issue with someone this afternoon, it passed over because I was still feeling high off the well-wishes I received and the conversation with CM. Even though it's been raining all day and the skies have been dark, I was determined not to let anyone steal my sunshine, especially on my birthday. And with the help of the people that care about me and a conversation with a certified couger in the AM, I was largely successful.

Let year 27 begin.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Send For Me...I'm just a telephone call away..."

" can't answer the phone, you can't return calls, what's going on?" My best friend Y (I'm still uncomfortable with using folks' governments on this blog, go figure) has called me by my middle name since we were kids, and I used to vehemently - and to a larger extent, childishly - admonish him for calling me that. Now, I could care less. It's just great to hear a familiar voice on the other end of the line. We talked about his recent campaign for city council back home, and he joked that he was going to mortuary school to run for office because the two guys that won spots out of the Democratic primary were funeral directors. Just because they bury a lot of victims of my hometown's violence, does not mean they know how to stop the killings. My mother and I were angry because my boy was built for this. He's been in government on SOME level since grade school - he knows the ins and outs of city government and even had a well-thought out plan to strengthen neighborhood schools. But he's fine with it, and if he's content with his efforts, then I'm proud of him.

We also talked about our other best friend J who by the miracle of God is going to receive a kidney after his own failed him earlier in the spring, just a few weeks after his mother's sudden death from Diabetes. We were both glad for that bit of good news, and Y was surprised when I told him I prayed for our boy. The irony of my relationship with God is that I haven't stopped by his crib in a minute. I was last a regular church-goer in the spring of 1999, and for my own reasons, I have yet to find a place to worship, and not really breaking my neck to do so. But I do make an effort to at least verbalize my thoughts and feelings, hopes and wishes to God so he can at least know that I believe in Him and whatever plan he has for me, I'm more than willing to follow along. Y is a really devout Christian, not to the point of Bible Thumper, Judge and Jury, but he is strong on faith. And I could tell he was pleased on the other end when I told him I sent one up for our dog.

A 15 minute conversation like that can really make one's day, and it really picked up my day, especially less than two weeks from my 27th birthday where I'll more than likely spend it alone or working. So I plan to touch base with my friends and family more often until I can do something about my current situation of loneliness. Even though this place sucks, it's good to know the people that you are closest to are really just a few phone buttons away.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bonnie and Chris

She's a full-figured goddess. Sleek curves with ample junk in the trunk, she's great to handle, perfect to spend time with and she gets me where I need to be. She has the loveliest cherry red complexion with a warm and comfortable interior, she's my baby, and I'm glad we're together.

I'm talking about my car of course. My 1992 Pontiac Bonneville, affectionately known as - what else? - Bonnie. We hooked up a year and a week ago and have been rolling pretty tight ever since. Aside from new brakes, new tires, a new battery and the usual oil change, I haven't had to do anything but drive, and in my job? As much as I travel? That's an added bonus.

I was car-less for a year after Champ (my '94 Mitsubishi Diamante) bit the big one and we never could get it fixed before some haters on my mom's block called my car in as abandoned and the city took it away. I still think it was the folks next door, who hate black people, but are surrounded by a block full of them. I could go into greater detail, but that's another story for another time.

So when I finished school last August and went looking for a car (I had started making arrangements to freelance for a couple of local newspapers), I came across a plain ad in the classified section of the very paper I would be stringing for. It was for a 1992 Bonneville, 140,000 miles, all paperwork, $1500 as is, call ***-****. I went to see the ride, and the Hitchens family, a great couple living in Old New Castle, told me that they had just purchased a Chevy Trailblazer and they had no more use for the Pontiac, which had all maintenance work done to it within six months. Basically, it was close to new as a '92 GM could get. For 1500 though? Hmmm...Mrs. Hitchens gave me the keys and told me to ride it out and see if I liked it.

45 miles later, I came back to the house and said that I would like to buy. They encouraged me to think it over a couple of days. I was able to do so and I picked Bonnie up for good on Thursday, August 28th. We've been together ever since. Trips up and down 95 to come home, riding around Southern Maryland for work...driving to DC and Baltimore for work, or just going to the Borders up in Waldorf to update my libraries. I didn't get a car until I was 23 years old, and now that I'm turning 27 soon, sure the thrill of "ha, I got a car" is LONG gone, having reliable transportation, even with gas prices being the way they are, will never get old. Getting up and going somewhere because you can, just you and your car and the road, thinking, driving, rapping, singing, more thinking, it's been a lifesaver for me a lot of times.

So here's a toast to me and my car on our one year anniversary. May many more follow....and hopefully we can find a good girl to share our special love with *wink*

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Soundtrack Of My Life: Let's Get Physical....

Don't be alarmed readers, this has nothing to do with hot, lovely relations *wipes drool from right corner of my mouth*, but it's some of the music I enjoy when I'm working out and trying to get myself into shape. If you're wondering how that's going, I haven't stepped on a working scale in close to six months, but the looseness in my clothes, the extra pep in my step, and the turbo boost of energy I've picked up in recent weeks tells the story. I took a new profile picture and slapped it up there, so maybe y'all can see it in my face. So let's look at some of the music and routines I go through to become a better - and healthier - Chris.

Cuts for Sit-Ups

"Ground Zero," Dip Set - The clashing of the cymbals, the rapid-fire guitar samples, Juelz Santana imploring the listener to "come on" at the beginning is the perfect start to a 20-sit-up set, which only takes a few seconds for me to complete. Music like this is the reason I'm up to 1000 sit-ups per week. 200 Monday/Wednesday/Friday, 100 the other four days of the week is how I break it down.

"Sing For The Moment," Eminem - This one is totally off the hi-hats. You can get into a rhythm by the tick of the drum because it's 1-2, 1-2, 1-2, with the bass giving you a quick boompboomp in the middle to settle you if you get off your pace. This was my sit-up song through the first eight months of 2007, that song motivated me when I needed it the most and it still does a pretty good job of that now.

"You're Gonna Pay," The Undertaker's theme from late '02 to fall 2003 - My favorite Undertaker persona of all time was when he was a human character, a red-headed bad ass biker from Houston, Texas. He slimmed down to about 290 pounds, started using submission moves to go along with the Last Ride power bomb, and had a phrase to this day that I use whenever someone needs to be checked. "You see that? That's the yard. And I'm the big dog that runs that yard. I don't like people playing in my yard." So whenever I need to feel bad ass while doing sit ups, I click on this one.

Home Stretch

I've been concentrating largely on my thighs and rear end because those areas are the ones that need the most toning. *Sigh* I know that sounded real femme. Don't judge me. Approximately 1 minute each of standing and sitting butterfly stretches, leaning to the left, right and center, one leg in, one leg back...I try to do it all. I usually end up listening to something that will relax me while I'm stretching, like Paul Hardcastle's Rain Forest, Summer Madness by Kool and the Gang, Breezin from George Benson. Those kinds of instrumental pieces are usually best while stretching because you're not going to do yourself any favors if you're tensed up while stretching. At least that's what works for me.

Chris is playing ba...sket...ballllllllllll....

As I've said in an earlier post, I live out hoop dreams and favorite plays from basketball history when I'm on the court alone for an hour every morning at my local park. It makes it more fun to try and replicate some of the moves I've witnessed over my life.

Random theme music from 1980 NBA Finals Films - The track in question starts at the 4:09 mark. It's Game Two of the '80 finals when my Sixers jumped out to a 23-point lead against the Lakers, only to have LA come back and make it close at the end, but the Sixers held on to win 107-104. At 4:57 is where I practice my top of the key jumper from about 18 feet out, just like Darryl Dawkins takes and makes at that spot. And yes, like in the video, after I hit the shot, I turn around and jog to the other end of the court. I do it at least five times - hey, it gets the legs moving, especially when you're out there at 6 a.m.

"Swagger Like Us," - T.I./Kanye/Wayne/Hova - Now anybody who knows me, knows I HATE the word "swagger" with a passion. It ranks up there with game (i.e. "you need some game to get a woman") as the words of my generation that I absolutely loathe. But this track is a killer, and every time I walk onto the court and my shot is falling, even if I am just shooting for and by myself, I have a certain, well *finger down throat* swagger.

Bulls playoff video music from 1992 - This music runs from 4:50 to the end of the first vid until the first minute of the second one (there are two different links there). Really don't have a description for this one, except I can imagine playing under the bright lights with a series on the line and not giving an inch until my team comes out with the victory, much like the Bulls did in that NY series.

1984 NBA Playoff Music, Celtics/Knicks series - This music goes from 2:54 to 3:39 (sorry for all the YouTube links, but it's a matter of convenience, lol), and much like Bird is in the zone under this music, I usually feel the same, creating three-point plays for myself, hitting shots while the shot clock winds down, embarrassing my opponent. It's basketball. Gotta win, or else you lose *wink*

So that's a long and supersonic look into what I hear or see when I'm working on getting in shape to feel better about myself. I need a lot of motivation, and what I've listed definitely provides it.