Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Songs in the Key of The Honest Man's Life - Christmas Edition

I realized in making my essential Christmas list that in the music section, I left off the timeless classic "Christmas in Hollis". The first time I heard this I was hooked. And from that point on, EVERY Christmas, I scanned the video channels or tuned the radio stations at Christmas time, waiting (and waiting) for my man DMC to say "It's Christmas time, in Hollis, Queens, Moms cooking chicken and collard greens...." You got Bing Crosby, I got Run DMC. Holla if ya hear me :-)

Run-DMC - Christmas in Hollis

Monday, December 21, 2009

Racial man...racial

"Nice....very niiiice" - Bernie Mac

You've gotten two stories already from the Honest Man about his parents. One story is here. The other is here. Now I'm going to hit you up with another oldie but goodie from my youth. What my readers may not know is that the Honest Man is not originally from South Carolina. While I grew up there the majority of my life, I was actually born in Houston, Texas. How did I end up in South Carolina from Texas you ask? Well, impatient ones, I'm going to tell you....

The Honest Mama is from Tennessee, Springfield, TN to be exact. The Honest Daddy is from South Carolina, Edgefield, South Carolina to be exact. My parents met in Atlanta, fell in love, and moved to Houston when my mom got a new job. That's the cliff notes version, I'mma give you the real version at a later time. Anyway, my Dad started getting homesick, my Mom felt somewhat guilty for having to uproot them to Texas, and ultimately gave in to moving back to the Southeast. So after my sister was born, my Dad found a job in Columbia, SC (about 50-60 miles from his home), and we were off.

Now in Texas, we lived in an affluent neighborhood for blacks and latinos. My parents, particularly my Mom, loved the area because it was a great example for my sister and I to see that minorities could thrive and have their slice of the American pie. When we moved to South Carolina, my parents started looking for a similar spot but not shockingly, that "paradise" did not exist :-). They ended up finding a nice suburb where they were building new homes, which my parents jumped on.

If we were not the first, we were one of the first black, scratch that, minority families in the neighborhood. I'm talking like the University of Nebraska where all the black students are probably there on athletic scholarship and the rest of the student body is white. Except my Dad wasn't a pro athlete...although he did look like Reggie Jackson.

Keep in mind, this is the late 70s/early 80s when we moved and while race relations had definitely made significant strides since the 50s and 60s, you still had backwards ass people. And our neighborhood would prove to be no different, particularly our neighbors that were directly next to us.

When we moved in, I swear you probably could have heard pins dropping. I think the folks at the time probably thought we were the moving people that brought their kids along because they were too poor to pay for a babysitter type bullshit. But nope, we were doing the Huxtables before it became mainstream. Like I said, our neighbor next door was one of those observers, and according to both my parents, he wasn't happy about it.

I don't remember him that much because I was too young. Like I would easily remember if he was rocking a confederate flag or calling me a n***er in front of me but nope he didn't. He simply showed his ass by refusing to acknowledge us, especially my Dad. Like for example, my Dad would be in the backyard doing work, he see the dude, shout out "hello", cat would just go back in the building like "You must be kidding..."

Well there was one time my Dad taught this cat a lesson on race relations. One spring day, ole dude was out in his yard barbecuing steaks. Had his beer in one hand, grilling fork in the other, just as happy as one could be. Remember what I told you in the above paragraph. That day, my Dad went outside and was determined to make that guy talk to him. Well he goes out there, waves to ole boy, and just like before immediately dude goes back in his house. So my Dad goes, ok, I'll teach his mark ass. He stood out there and just looked into the open air like he was on some nature shit, knowing full well that ole boy needed to turn his steaks. Here's the crazy part, that jackass REFUSED to come back outside. You could smell the steaks burning but my Dad stood his ground, refusing to budge. He even had me bring him a tasty "beverage."

You could imagine the look on that guy's face when those steaks burned. All that money spent gone to waste. Your family's primary meat is toasted. And in his mind, all because of some smarty arty n***er. But in reality, he had no one to blame but himself. Instead of trying to get to know someone, he assumed what he had been taught was true and chose to show his ass. And in return, my Dad showed him how stupid being racist is.

Today's Lesson

You have to keep in mind my Dad does a lot of talking behind closed doors but is more poodle than pit bull in public. My mom, as you read in a previous post, is the Wu-Tang clan member not to fuck with. But my pops had his moments and that one was of them. It was essentially, you don't have to do a lot of waving your arms and shouting to show your anger at someone. You can just flip the game on them and then they see after the fact, how dumb their tactics were. Thanks Daddy, I learned so much that day.....Racists beware, I smell some food burning LOL.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

All I want for Christmas

"..And this Christmas will be, a very special CHRIST-mas, fooorrr mmmeeeee" - Donny Hathaway 'This Christmas'

The Honest Man hit you with a Christmas Story last week. This week, I'm letting you what's mandatory to have a successful Christmas. Mandatory you say? That's right jabroni, MANDATORY. If you haven't experienced the following things during Christmas, you might as well call your holiday season unfulfilled :-).

I. Christmas Songs

  1. Donny Hathaway's 'This Christmas' - The grandaddy of all Christmas songs. Yes better than "White Christmas". Yes even better than "Silent Night". And damn sure better than any Christmas song that came out after 1991. Don't be fooled by the imitators. Donny's version is the one you have to hear.
  2. Jackson 5's 'Santa Claus is coming to town' - They put out a Christmas album featuring this but for the most part, the album is pollywollycrappy (shoutout to Nelson Meanie). You only need to hear lil Mike blowing it out like no other on this. I can't help but feel like a kid when I hear this. Let me go get my milk and cookies :-)
II. Christmas TV Specials

  1. A Charlie Brown Christmas - The greatest Christmas cartoon special in the history of Christmas cartoon specials. I'm not bullshitting you. Just classic stuff. Dope Intro ("Christmas time is here") .You got kids (the Peanuts gang), you got animals (Snoopy), you got romance (Lucy and Schroeder), you got the important message about Christmas (Linus' solo started off by "Lights Please"), and you got a bomb ending ("MERRY CHRISTMAS CHARLIE BROWN!!"). It gets no better. Stop frontin' and act like ya know....
  2. Fat Albert's Christmas Special - I think I was 6 or 7 years old when I first saw this. But I do remember one thing. Church's chicken was a major sponsor for the special for like forever until they stopped showing this. Sadly, they have shown the special on TV like once since '88. You kids out there today don't know how good life was in the 80s. If someone has the video and offers you to watch, you better take advantage. And yes it's better than that foolish Shrek special....
  3. Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas - HBO used to show this ALL the time. Just classic shit. Like the infamous lines "Look at the birds in the trees." 'We're not birds, we're a jug band.' Ha! Hell I still remember the barbecue song ("BARBECUE, bless my spirit, I swear it never fails, and the sauce just stays there together so you never get it under your NAIILLLLS"). Yep I need Jesus...again!
III. Christmas Movies

  1. A Christmas Story - Although Ted Turner has done his best to make me loathe the movie with the 24 hr marathon every year, it is still the best holiday movie. If you are thinking 'Home Alone' belongs here, then I'm thinking you need a virtual slap. Or better yet, I will do something to your toiletries, make you go blind, and have you telling your family "It was....soap.....poisoning! OOHHHHHH"
IV. Christmas Humor

  1. Raging Rudolph - "Hey whatso friggin important you interrupting my meal" Classic start-off to this HILARIOUS sketch that MAD TV debuted in the 90s. Took that old claymation stuff and flipped it into a historical masterpiece. Don't have me break balls on ya!

Today's Lesson

So there you have it. The Honest Man's list for mandatory viewing during the Holiday Season. There are others that I watch from time to time but I don't find those mandatory, moreso if it's on, I'll watch it (see Silent Night, Deadly Night, BET's top 100 countdown, This Christmas, etc).

Do yourself a favor. Wise up and listen. The Honest Man knows all. And he knows what's good for you. Kinda my own Christmas Soup for the Soul....CHUUUCHH!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tales of Christmas Past

The holiday season is here. Decorations are rapidly going up or are up on homes. People going ape shit at the local Walmart trying to get that GI Joe with the Kung Fu grip for their kids. Kids are writing out Christmas lists like their parents write out their wills, telling Santa they want the whole world. Aw yes, it is indeed that time of year....

The Honest Man has some fond memories himself about Christmas. I remember when my parents surprised me with a boombox (yep I'm old school), and the Raising Hell and Orange Juice tapes for me. I also remember getting a Nintendo one year. I even remember the bad years when I got books and clothes as my primary gifts :-). But there is one memory that always sticks in my head and about I'm about to share with my readers.

I was either 8 or 9 yrs old and it was Christmas Eve. Moms had finished making the mandatory sugar cookies for "Santa" so that "he" would have something to eat from doing all that "hard work" in delivering our gifts. My sister and I were doing required viewing aka watching the Fat Albert Christmas special (yep that Fat Albert special, the one that got main sponsorship from Church's chicken back in the day). My Pops was in a jolly mood that evening. I don't know if it was the hellacious amount of egg nog he drank but he really was in like a Cliff Huxtable type mood. He even had on the crazy sweater!

Anyway, it gets cold in South Carolina in the winter. So my Dad had the fireplace going to keep the house warm. Like I said he was feeling giddy. He had actually brought some chestnuts from somewhere and had them on this little platter. He starts walking from the kitchen to the fireplace with the plate, doing his best imitation of Nat King Cole by singing "Chestnuts Rooooassting on an opppeeennn fiiiiireee!" He was still singing when he actually tried to put the chestnuts in the fire. He popped two into the fireplace, those bad boys shot straight back at him in seconds, he quickly dodged and shouted "OH SHIT". He also fumbled the plate of unroasted chestnuts :-).

Today's Lesson

I don't why I remember the silliest shit from my youth but that story does it to me everytime. And if you aren't laughing, my response is either you had to be there or you should try it yourself with people around you and see how they react :-).

My Dad also learned a valuable lesson too. The only roasted nuts he should mess with are the prepackaged ones from Planters. Next year he just baked cookies......

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Frosted Flakes

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart" - Eldridge "Tiger" Woods

The Honest Man really wanted to avoid this subject aka the Current Saga of Tiger Woods. I mean I have already spent time discussing the perils of the pickle tickle if you are married. But since the day after Thanksgiving, my global and local news has started off every night with this bullshit. Are we so starved for entertainment that we are easily intrigued by the idea of a popular athlete supposedly getting his roll on with some "fans"?? Dude cheated. Nothing magical in the world of sports or entertainment. But no trapper (my term for the females who want those dollah dollah bills ya'll) got pregnant and Tiger didn't announce he's retiring from golf due to contracting a sexually transmitted disease. So why all the fuss?

The Honest Man has gotten caught up in multiple conversations about this. The first one stemmed from a co worker telling me, "I would never expect someone like Tiger to do this." That is an interesting comment to me. My response was "Why? Dude's the most recognizable athlete on the planet, the richest athlete on the planet, and isn't a bad looking cat (no homo!). Frankly, I'm shocked this didn't happen sooner." Of course he was alluding to Tiger's physical appearance and the way he keeps his personal life private but that's a cop out. Let's be clear, Tiger is no saint. None of us are. He's got the same vices as say Allen Iverson does. The difference is he doesn't have a bunch of tattoos and he doesn't publicly lash out at people. But truss Tiger is about GTD as much as Iverson is.

The second conversation was around the shock factor. I mentioned to someone I wasn't shocked that he cheated. And she responded back that she was, can't believe someone would violate the morals of marriage. She added it doesn't matter how much money, how popular you are, you still have to respect the marriage. I absolutely agreed with her. But unfortunately the Honest Man learned at a young age, those rules are thrown out the door by athletes.

The first time I was shocked by an athlete cheating on his wife was Magic Johnson. Dude was my sports idol. I came home from school, turned on the tv, and listened to him state he was retiring from the NBA. Shit broke my heart. Stories followed later about his infidelities and I was stunned. Not you Magic was my first reaction. I literally thought the way he played on the court was the way he acted off the court. Leader. Charismatic. Loyal. Team Player. Those were the images I had about him when he wasn't playing. Come to find out, he was a rich woman's lover and a poor woman's fantasy. But still I wasn't completely like these athletes are doing dirt.

The next one was Michael Jordan. Again, I didn't have a man crush on Jordan like most male groupies back in the day but I did (and still do) believe he was the G.O.A.T. The way he played on the court, I swore that's how he approached family values. Again found out dude was doing dirt all over Chi-town and possibly other cities. That pretty much sealed it for me, athletes, and their thoughts on the sanctity of marriage. That shit basically is a pipe dream :-).

I say all this to say that I'm no longer shocked by anything athletes or entertainers do. Babies born out of wedlock even though the dude is married to someone else (Bill Cosby, Jesse Jackson), check. Dudes accused by their wives of cheating on them with another man (Michael Strahan), check. Nice dudes on the court, different type of dude off the court, like strike your wife different (Warren Moon, Jason Kidd), double check. So don't be shocked readers about Tiger's "transgressions". Embrace it and understand he's no different than anyone else. He's human. And since we live in a short term memory society, Tiger's reputation might be damaged for 2-3 years but he'll bounce and someday we'll all look back and laugh. Well all except the people actually involved ;-).

Today's Lesson

I continue to say this but if I was a POPULAR athlete, no way I'm getting married until my playing days are either over or close to over. In Tiger's situation, dude's been popular since he was in high school. I would be doing my best Q imitation and having a hoasis until I was like 35. Then I would settle down :-). Easier said than done though. One thing's for sure though Tiger, if you are indeed found guilty of cheating and wifey leaves you, her settlement will be g-g-g-g-g-g-ggreat!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We're all in the same gang - Vol. 2

Here is the beginning of my post. Earlier this month the Honest Man hit you with the first wave of essential jams for the progression of the black man. I'm back with the second batch and the theme is focused on Knowledge of self.

Wake up (Reprise)

A definite must for any black man that needs some knowledge and wisdom on the wicked ways of the world. I first heard this as an early teen and was just captivated by Brand Nubian's lyricism. Definitely has you thinking about what you doing with your life and how the evil forces can try to get you to do the wrong things in life...MURDERAH!!

Fire and Earth

To the east my brotha, to the east...Another good knowledge of self song from the same era as "Wake up". X Clan may have overdid it with the physical appearance but there's no denying the message in their music. Pay careful attention young bruhs to what they are saying because my nation is protected by some pro-black (negroes). LOL, yea the Honest Man isn't going there on this post

Git up Git Out

This was a true combination of the Honest Man's makeup: From the south and conscious thinking. Outkast's been spittin messages since '93 and they were the first group from the South to include these types of messages in their raps. Like the Honest Man, while they are about having a good time, they also understand you got to do something do, cain't just be getting high all the time. Cuz you and I got to do for you and I....

My Philosophy

The Honest Man was an academic nerd. But growing up, you had folks doubting how smart the Honest Man was because of skin color. And lawd don't ever let the Honest Man have an opinion. It was like I was blasphemous for challenging the 'system.' This song clearly represents my thought against old time thinking.

True to the Game

A message to the Oreo Cookie, find a mirror, take a look G, do you like what you see. Do you get this black man? No matter how high you climb, how many mountains you move, you need to stay grounded, remember where you came from, and who you are at all times. Because they will quickly knock you down as fast you stand up. Get it?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Fat Chance

The Honest Man was grocery shopping the other day and couldn't but notice this obese lady walking up and down the aisle. You're probably ok Honest Man what's so unusual about that, I see fat people all the time. Well what struck me was that this lady had opened up a bag of chips that she was planning to the store!!

My mind is going is it that crucial that you could not wait to eat that bag until you got home. Or at least in your car. I mean she literally was picking food off the shelf while stuffing her face with chips. You already know the Honest Man's take on snacking. I'm just going could you at least act like you care about what goes in your mouth. At why not some fruit or vegetables?? Why does it have to be the stuff that will put your closer in the grave :-)

Today's Lesson

I'm hoping for her sake, she at least didn't eat the plastic too :-). But America this is bad. Like real bad, real bad Michael Jackson. And it has the Honest Man, real mad real mad Joe Jackson. Yep and for those who are reading and going wow, he's wrong. No she's wrong for what she's doing. I love chicken but you don't see me walking in the grocery store eating a leg now do you ;-)

Friday, November 13, 2009

In need of some MORE hugs

Man I thought giving out hugs back in September was good enough for the year but no less than 2 months later, another week of back to back foolishness. Different folks, same strokes, HUGS for everyone!!

Monday - Katt Williams falling off the pimp wagon. He starts off the week getting arrested for burglarizing the home he was a guest in. As in he stole from the house of a friend he was staying. I wish it were not so but considering that ugly incident earlier this year in South Cack, anything's possible right

Tuesday - Lil Boosie trying to look tough but ended up looking stupid. Get this he was going to jail for possession of marijuana and illegally carrying a firearm. Originally was a 10 yr bid, judge took pity reduced it to 2 yrs, along with house arrest. Dude violates his house arrest repeatedly, new judge oh you think this is a game? Doubles the sentence like Jesus doubled bread and fish. He's going to prison for 4 years for this??? Oh yea it's his first conviction. BRILLIANT

Wednesday - Iron Mike re-enacts his scene from the Hangover at LAX. To be fair it's still being debated if he did it to defend his daughter or if he simply just initiated with the paparazzi. Regardless, it's Iron Mike, so you know anything he does physical, gets extra attention. That face tattoo doesn't endear him to the folks that decide his fate either ya dig!

Thursday - GUCCI! Ah yea Mister make the trap say AYE man just got busted for violating his parole. For not doing community service?!?! Tell me you got caught with some grams. Tell me that you were fighting outside 112 because you were fucking with Hollywood Cole in the parking lot. But don't tell me you going back to prison cuz you too good for showing up to tell the kids, don't (screw) up like me.

Honorable Mention - Someone needs to give that serial killer in Cleveland a hug but it won't be the Honest Man. I don't want to be #12 under his house. And I need the hip hop community to pray for 50 cent. He's decided he doesn't want to fight in his weight class anymore and step up to the heavyweight decision to battle Jigga. And he's got Beanie as his manager.

Today's Lesson

We got to get it together people. I mean our hugs have to be strong enough to squeeze the stupidity out of them. Otherwise we will be back here, same Honest man time, same Honest man channel!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

We're all in the same gang - Vol. 1

A couple of weeks ago, the Honest Man got a request from his good conscience, aka the Reverend Doctor Page, to do a list of 25 jams essential the progression of the black man. He and I chat often about the plight of my fellow bruhs...the good, the bad, and most definitely the ugly. So I started thinking about what songs would be appropriate. But don't get it twisted, this isn't a ranking. These are just songs I feel the bruhs should listen to from time to time. I'll be posting jams over the next month or so in between normal blogs. So today we begin with the first batch....

Papa don't take no mess

It takes a man to raise a man. No ifs, ands, or buts. And as such, a father has to make sure that his son understands that even with all the love Daddy can give, at the end of the day, Daddy definitely don't take no mess! Let the Godfather himself take us to the bridge....


Definitely have to give respect to the moms too black men. This song captures what it was all about as a youth. Early one Sunday morning, breakfast was on the table.....Amen Mama!

Brothers gonna work it out

I think all generations after the baby boomers have lost their way on sticking together. So much jealousy, so much unnecessary hate and envy. I wonder what we as bruhs would have done back in the days when the fountain said "Whites Only" and "Colored". Definitely gotta work it out

Be a Father to your child

Again, like the Honest Man said with Papa don't take no mess, it takes a man to raise a man. And regardless, this message was relevant in 1990 and it's relevant in 2009. Ladies can I hear it...THANK YOU!


We got a lot of young angry, frustrated, sometimes misguided, and anxious black men out there. This song was inspirational in helping people like me stay the course and avoid getting caught up in the above statements.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Just (don't) do it!

The Honest Man is married. Scratch that, the Honest Man is HAPPILY married. Been married almost 6 years now, which like an eternity in my generation. Have two kids. Got a decent house. All we're missing is the white picket fence and a beagle named Snoopy to make the Leave it to Beaver life complete.

Magic Johnson. Michael Jordan. Kobe Bryant. Rick Pitino. Tragically Steve McNair. And now Steve Phillips. What's the connection between me being married and these high profile folks you say? We are bound by the fact that we are married (or in some cases were married). The difference is they and other dudes at my level have strayed from the concept of marriage. In legal terms they are married. But in their terms, they are dipping their hands in someone else's cookie jar.

This is the Honest Man's view on marriage. If you want to date multiple women, then don't get married. It's that simple. It's emotionally and financially better to you. I mean I look at it like this, you already gotta take 2 Advil pills to deal with the wife, why increase to the dosage to 4 to deal with the mistress? Personally I'm all about less headaches.

And for those who are reading, have jumpoffs, and are saying well my mistress isn't like that, what makes you think that. Humans are unpredictable creatures. You have NO idea what someone will do when shit hits the fan. Look at Steve Phillips situation. He boned ole girl THREE times and the next thing you show she's posing as his son's high school classmate. What the fuck?!?!?

I'm not gonna be a hypocrite and say I don't look at other women. My name isn't Stevie Wonder which means I'm not blind to what is in front of me. But I'm not Deuce Bigalow either so I'm not looking to step to chicks and totally ignore that I'm married. One of my boys says it's easy for me because I'm in those folks mentioned above's position. I counter with one of my boy's Uncle is Billy Cunningham. You know the same Billy Cunningham that was a Hall of Fame coach and player. He coached the Sixers during their early 80s heyday but yet he wasn't out trying to see how many notches he could put on his belt. And I know it was available to him if he wanted it.

Ok, ok, you say so what Honest Man, we all know Billy. All right tricks, got a local one for you. My man was single at one time, built him up some nice paper via his 401K, and met this chick that was a low level employee at the same company. They get married, have a kid, but he decides to step out on her. He gets busted, they go to court, the judge rules in her favor, and all that hard earned money he made BEFORE he got married, she now would get half of that. Did you hear me? She will get HALF of his 401K. Considering they were married a short while (less than 5 yrs) and he had already put in 10 yrs work to the fund, he got fucked with no vaseline. All because he wanted some honey. Are your eyes opened now???

I guess ultimately we can't all be perfect. Maybe for those that need more honey, you should find a wife like Andrei Kirilenko aka AK-47:-).

Today's Lesson

Keep the rocket in your pocket married jabronis! Otherwise don't do the bitch move and say ole girl is crazy for this and that when you the reason she out trippin'. And for those thinking about getting married, learn from these stories, and think real hard about what you want outta that woman before you say I do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


The following has been inspired by my beautiful black women aka the Good Mothers of the Earth aka the Queens of the Nile aka the Jewels of my fellow brothers and all that other good stuff....

Heifer - 1. A young female bovine (cow) that has not yet had a calf. 2. An ugly or objectionable woman; a cow.

How many times have you heard a black woman say "I wish that heifer would say something" or some similar phrase using that word. It's a word that I truly did not understand it's power until now. Heifer. A female cow. An ugly woman. Both derogatory. And both used with the same venom as when a man calls a woman a bitch. And it literally has the same negative impact. Walk with me.....

I must have been 15, 16 years old when I first heard the word. But I can clearly remember the event and the word's significance. My mother worked long hours back in the day and sometimes she would reward herself with a treat to help take the edge off. One day, I remember she had bought some a few slices of chocolate cake home. She ate one of them but warned my sister and I not to touch the other slice. She was saving it for the next day. Now I don't know about you, but I'm like my mom. When I have my mind on something I want to eat, I daydream the whole day about that special moment when that delicious morsel of food will touch my lips and my belly becomes a happy camper. I also know, like many of my fair skinned compadres, you don't cross Moms. EVER.

The next day my sister and I are home from school. We've done our normal routine of getting our schoolwork done, get a lil pre meal snack (not Mom's cake), and then I'm on the couch, flipping between Yo MTV Raps and Rap City . Unbeknown to me, my sister is also getting a snack but she's snacking on something that she is not supposed to touch. Yep, you guessed it, Mom's cake :-(. About an hour later, my Mom walked in, she unwinds, and come downstairs. We all eat dinner as a family and when we're through, she starts talking about that cake. I should have known something was up then when my sister had this bewildered look on her face. The next scene was priceless.

Moms gets up, opens up the refrigerator, and starts looking for her cake. She's bending over, furiously searching for her food like a mouse does for cheese. She stands up, looks confused, and asks us "Have you guys seen my cake?". Like I said, you don't cross Moms. I do my best my Penny from Good times imitation and go "no Mama, I didn't do it, I was watching TV earlier." She then looks at my sister and goes well. My sister did this nervous chuckling routine, which basically said I'm guilty. Moms is smart and immediately knows she ate it. Without even hesitating she says "Heifer didn't I tell you not to touch my cake. You probably would eat shit too if I left it in there." Classic.

Now my Mom had a slight case of you know I don't mean that. But you see what happens when a black woman is at her wits end and is about to go into Def com 9 mode. And it's not just her. My wife says it from time to time, my aunties and cousins say it from time to time, and just the other day, my homegirl used the word. And I'm going is heifer the new bitch in the black community. Just spoken by black women among each other when they upset at another black female. And our black dudes allowed to use it. In this politically correct day and time, I never know what's right and what's wrong. But I do know one thing, if anyone touches my good eats, it's on...Heifer :-)!!

Today's Lesson

Heifer is a fascinating word to me. I learned afterwards that the word meant cow and I was like wow, my mom called my sister a cow. Obviously she apologized to my sister for lashing out but that memory and constant reinforcement today is etched permanently in my brain. So I when I hear you sistas say "I wish a heifer would..." or "Let that heifer start some mess here...", I will now salute you. CHUUUCCCHHHH

Friday, October 16, 2009

All Aboard

Dear Hater,

What's good fam! It's been a minute since we last chatted. I know, I know you've been doing your best to forget that a certain team in Los Angeles not named the Clippers popped champagne all the way from Pasadena to Inglehood. If you check your calendar, we're two weeks away from the start of the new season. And I'm sure you going here goes this asshole, already starting shit in frickin' preseason...

But you've got me wrong hater. I'm more Martin than Malcolm, more Bush Sr than Bush Jr, more Holyfield than Tyson, well you catch my point. I'm offering you a chance of lifetime. Instead of working against each other, we should be working together on the same team. How about you jump on the Laker Title Train now and we can squash that beef?

What's not to like? Rub elbows with winners, dine with kings and queens instead of franks and beans, find out what's like to be me. Do that and I promise I will "pardon" you for all past wrongdoings: the midnight phone calls, the injury excuse cards that were played when your team lost, and my favorite the horrible misspellings when debating me. Heck, I might even meet you halfway and let you forgive me too. So whaddya say, do we have a deal?

Today's Lesson

This offer will expire the day the NBA regular season starts. Failure to accept will obviously result in the Laker Posse aka D-Lo, the Z-man, Del the Funky Homosapien and host of others having to smash and trash yet again. Be easy..."friend" :-)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

(Honest) Man vs. Food - Deanie's

The Honest Man is a huge fan of Man vs Food. And the Honest Man also considers himself a food connoisseur. So I've decided to start writing about some of my favorite food experiences and sharing them with my readers. These are places I consider you absolutely must try if you are ever in these fair cities. If you don't, you might as well be on the outside looking in. So disappoint me young Jedis, abandon your fear, and join me in the quest to complete your Jedi training and sample some of the best food of your life.....

New Orleans. 3 things quickly come to mind: Bayou Classic, Mardi Gras, and grocery stores that sell hard liquor in them (seriously!!). However, recently I had to add a new thing to that list and that place is Deanie's. I actually saw this on an episode of Man vs Food. But what caught my attention was that both black and white people were eating there. Quick side note, while I have love for my Caucasian brothers and sisters, some of ya'll don't know what the word seasoning means. I like for my food to have flavor. Whenever I eat with ya'll, more often than not, you take me to food places that are allergic to flavor. And if I don't see any minorities eating the food, that's a HUGE red flag to me.

Enough rambling, more eating. My wife and I were in New Orleans recently and I told her we are trying this spot. We went to the original one in Bucktown and one word. WOW. They start you off with new potatoes that are piping hot and have spices that make you crave water. We had the gumbo as appetizers, which is as close to authentic as one can get. I had the shrimp, oysters, and catfish platter that had me going Van Damme over and over.

Long story short, if you are ever in New Orleans and you have an urge to check out local cuisine. Go to Deanie's. They got one in the French Quarters which is ok but the best one is the original one in Bucktown by the lake. Trust me, you won't be disappointed. I leave you with this picture...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Beast(ie) Edition

I honestly feel Beastie Boys are one of the greatest rap groups in history. And no not for the obvious reasons that most people pick (first white rappers that could flow, Def Jam backing). They are one of the few hip hop acts that have evolved since they started. From License to Ill to Paul's Boutique to Check your Head to the Ill Communication, they have definitely dropped multiple styles. And the Honest Man likes that. EVOLUTION. Take a listen young wanna be rappers. You don't have to do and talk about the SAME SHIT on every album.

This is one of my all time favorite Beastie songs. Those drums. That bass. That electric guitar. If that riff doesn't get you, then the hook will. Ah yes, I think I'm losing my mind this time, this time I'm losing my mind....You can't front on that ;-).

Beastie Boys - So What'cha Want

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Cookie Monster

"C is for cookies and that's good enough for MEEEE....." - Cookie Monster

The Honest Man loves cookies. I like to take fresh dough, mix in my favorite ingredients, put them in the oven, and watch the goodness that unfolds. Sometimes though I bake my cookies a lil too long, burning a few in the process, and unfortunately have to throw them away. But the ones that stay fresh, I stash those in my cookie jar so I can eat them over and over. I'm selfish about my cookies though and I don't like anyone putting their hands in my cookie jar.

Before the Honest Man became a Married man, I also loved women. And I always compared my dating experiences to baking cookies. Meeting a woman for the first time is fresh dough, the favorite ingredients is Honest talk, putting them in oven is going on the date, and I liked to watch the goodness unfold ;-). But like cookies, sometimes you can get "burned" by a woman because you "cooked" (dated) them too long, and unfortunately you have to "throw" (drop) them away. But the ones that stay "fresh" (stay in good standing), I stash those in my "cookie jar" (the Honest Man's rotation) so I can "eat" (keep dating) over and over again. But like my cookies, I'm selfish about my women and I don't like dudes putting their hands in my cookie jar. You wit me so far ;-)

No dude should ever put his hand in his homeboy's cookie jar. Let me repeat that. NO DUDE should EVER put his hand in his boy's cookie jar. I'm cut from the old school cloth where dudes don't date an ex. I'm not talking that bullshit where your boy had a crush on some chick but never took a swing at the plate because he was too shy or too corny on some ice cream and puppies foolishness. I'm talking that your boy either dated the girl for a good minute or got them drawas. It's that simple....

I hear you saying oh yea how would you know Honest Man, have you ever been tested? Actually jabroni, if you paid attention to the above sermon you shouldn't even be questioning that but I see you still sleeping. One story that comes to mind is my boy had a chick he was with for a minute that I became friends with. They had been broken up for at least a year and not even on speaking terms. I'm not gon front, shortie was fine but the FIRST thing I thought about was my boy. And I thought about how I would react if he were to do that to an ex of mine. To make matters worse, ole girl was dropping game and hints all day to me, culminating to the following conversation.

GIRL: "Hey what'chu doing right now?"
HM: "Working, likely taking a half day. Prbly will go home and take a nap."
GIRL: "You wanna come take a nap with me?"
HM: (Silence)

The devil is alive always and I constantly feel him breathing. But I thought with the right head in this case and told her no, I don't get down like that. I explained to her that her ex is my boy and that game recognize game. She at least understood but since she knew she I didn't want her cookies, the game changed completely and ultimately so the communication ceased.

The Honest Man can't roll like that. I work too hard in baking my cookies to watch you wait until all the hard work is done and you come in like a thief in the night to take what's wrongfully yours. Go bake your own cot damn cookies!!

Today's Lesson

Don't be that dude. I mean if you say my friend and do something as dirty as trying to get in my cookie jar, why in the world would I ever trust you to do something else for me? You get it, you got it, you know it's good, the blogs I write, you wish you could :-).

Monday, September 21, 2009

Halle Berry

"With that Big Willie talk, ya playing ya self" - Jeru the Damaja

There's something happening in young black America people. And that something isn't a positive. The Honest Man calls it the "Ya Feelin' ya Self" syndrome or YFYS. YFYS happens when a man or woman sees another man or woman of the same color in a particular setting but for whatever reason has it in his or her mind that other person is jockin' them. It creates an uneasy and unnecessary tension because one person may be trying to just be friendly but the other one is thinking he or she wants me. Let the Honest Man explain further.

One day my wife and I took my son to the doctor for his normal checkup. When the appointment ended, my wife was paying the front desk and I took my son downstairs to wait for my wife. As we're waiting, a sista gets off the elevator. She sees me looking at her, immediately stares down at her shoes, walks by, and is obviously ignoring me. Keep in mind, I'm sitting there on the bench, with my wedding ring clearly showing AND I'm sitting there with an infant. What am I going to holla at you about? "You wanna help me change these diapers you sweet sexy thing..." Sounds stupid doesn't it. Just as stupid as you thinking I'm trying to holla....

I told my wife the above story and she got a chuckle out of it. She tried to rationalize, asking me to look at it from the girl's perspective, and think about how many other times that some bruh did hit on her. A valid point, agree with her, but I'm also thinking if I lived my life always thinking the negative, then I'd never would make it through the day. My first thought at elevator chick was "Tric you ain't Halle Berry, stop feelin' ya self." My second thought was damn I wonder how many other folks think like ole girl....

Look I'm not saying there aren't dudes in my situation that probably were thinking about some corny mack line to kick it to ole girl. But you can't label everybody the same. If that were the case, based on my history with black females back in the day, then I would have abandoned them for a snow bunny or a butter pecan rican. Again see how stupid that sounds :-)

Today's Lesson

Seriously young black people, stop feelin' yo self. Not everybody wants you like that. Truth be told, real g's don't even think like that, only insecure folks. Truss me, the Honest Man was single many moons ago, my pimp game was tight (fact not fiction), and even with the NBA squad I was fielding, I didn't every chick wanted me to be their coach (MESSAGE). Whatever happened to just being friendly? CHUUUCHHH!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Health Care Party

Did you ever see the movie "House Party" ? I was thinking about that one scene where Play is cleaning up the house, getting it ready for the evening. He's looking at his mama's China collection and says "Ya'll not about to mess up my mama's good China, let 'em fuck with this plastic shit!" Those words are a great metaphor for the supposed health care crisis we are facing right now. Just replace "ya'll" with the low income people, China with private sector hospitals, and plastic shit with public hospitals aka county. Follow me puhlease :-).....

President Obama has been taking a lot of flak for his health care reform plan. And the some of the public outcry has been ugly. Like Senator Joe Wilson interrupting him on public television to scream "you lie" ugly (and if you're wondering that's NEVER happened in the history of American presidents). Opposers say the plan will cripple the economy. Opposers say taxes will increase. What opposers aren't really saying nor admitting is that the barrier between receiving good health care and bad health care will be cracked a lil more open.

The Honest Man is gonna keep it real 100% on this. This is about rich folks and poor folks. Rich folks get that "good China" aka good health care right now because they can afford the premium that comes along with it. It doesn't matter if you a small scratch on your elbow or need a bone marrow transplant, you can get the proper medical attention because that's what you are paying for. Poor folks on the other hand are not so privileged. They are normally stuck messing with that "plastic shit" aka your favorite county hospital where the medical attention is well, um, on a first come, first served basis. So if you got that small scratch on your elbow and you checked into the hospital first, then sorry bone marrow transplant, you're behind in line until Dr Deat er I mean Johnson is done with tidying up that nasty scratch.

The second issue is that the President's plan will essentially force rich folks to pay for poor folks by him putting more taxes on the rich. So look at it from a rich person's perspective. Not only do I have to pay for these poor people to get better care, I also have to let them sit in the same hospital lobby with me to get the same proper care. Shit, President Obama you must have been sitting too long in the foxhole with your terrorist friends. Sounds silly doesn't it but this is what some of our fellow Americans believe.

I always say until you actually go through it and experience the same pain as others, then you don't completely understand where that person came from or is going through. Frankly, I'm more amazed that the people who are well off don't understand you could potentially save another person's life. Considering some of them are fakin' and frontin' when they write those big donation checks to make it look like they are a good humanitarian but really are just looking at the nice tax write off they get, they should feel obligated to pay.

But I live in America, and while we are indeed the closest thing to a democratic state, we still believe in an informal caste system. It's why the above is happening now. It's why you see liquor stores and strip clubs in lower income areas and health nut stores in affluent areas (think about it ;-). So what do we do about it? I say you continue to support it and try to diffuse the naysayers with logical thinking instead of irrational thought. I'm just saying.....

Today's Lesson

This message was inspired by my good friend the Rev Doctor Page, who probably has been wondering with the Honest Man was going to speak on this. Well look no more Dr, I'm talking....CHUUCH

Friday, September 18, 2009

Where I'm from

"Oh no I could never visit South Carolina..." - My barber to me after I told him I was from South Cack.

The Honest Man is from South Carolina. West Columbia, South Carolina to be exact. I wasn't born there but I might as well have been because I spent the majority of my life there. The state is known for a few things: the Clemson Tigers-SC Gamecocks rivalry, Growing peaches, beautiful places to golf, and having the confederate flag fly over the state house. But recently, it's become "famous" for two reasons: Gov. Mark Sanford's affair and Sen. Joe Wilson's disrespect of President Obama. Those events have prompted a few folks to ask me if I was embarrassed, shamed, or something to that effect. And it had me thinking about other times in the past when people would start clowning or telling me "Oh I would never live in South Carolina"

I honestly don't get that comment about "Oh I would never live in South Carolina." Particularly when it comes from folks that live in other Southern states. For example, my wife, who's from Texas said after her first trip to SC that she couldn't live here. Too racist she said. How can you grow up in a state with the confederate flag she asked. I'm like compared to what? Oh you mean to a state that's had it own share of problems (see James Byrd ). Oh it gets better folks...

When I first met my barber we were talking about where we were from. I let him know I was from South Cack and he was like oh naw playa, can't live there. Too country, too racist. I'm like where you from. This fool goes Memphis. The same Memphis where Martin Luther King was shot. The same Memphis that's produced well spoken people like Eightball & MJG, Three 6 Mafia, and Young Buck. But my state is country and racist. Riiight....

I say all this for one reason. We all got issues. I don't care if you grew up in Idaho or Illinois, everybody comes from a state with a few skeletons in their closet. Ours just so happen to be on public display at the wrong time. Yea I'm not down with the confederate flag either but it's not like it bothered me to the point like "If I see the muthaphuckin flag one mo' cot damn time, I'm Audi 5000." No, I just ignored it, focused on bettering myself and taking care of bizness. Maybe you should do the same ;-).

Today's Lesson

Don't act like it's just me :-). Yea my state's got some issues but who doesn't. As my boy Gangsta D said "Get your weight up, not your hate up..." Now let's shake hands and go get some bo berry biscuits....

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Black Star Edition

Ahh yes, Black Star people. If you ain't up on this, you ain't Hip Hop. PERIOD. When this album dropped in '99, it was so slept on. Mos Def was more known for commercials than rapping and Kweli was very very very underground. But the album opened doors. Shit was just banging.

One of my faves off this album is Respiration. I don't know why but every time I watch this video, it makes me think of my boys, K-dawg and Gangsta D, and the good times we had in and post college. We really did it up. This video always takes me back to those times. Maybe I need to share those great times....MESSAGE :-).

Black Star f Common - Respiration

Monday, September 14, 2009

In need of a hug

I don't know if it was due to Blueprint 3 dropping on Friday or what but some of our people are in need of a hug. Here's what happened over the course of 3 days...

Friday - His Airness' HOF induction speech. If you missed it, man I'm talking SERIOUS backhanded compliments. From the callout of "the little guy" (Jeff Van Gundy) to flying in the dude that he was passed over for in high school, Jordan spared very few.

Saturday - Mz Fat Booty aka Serena Williams having a public meltdown....during the US Open semis. First it started with the racket throwing during the 1st set. Then it got ugly, real ugly, during the 2nd set when she got into it with the line judge

Sunday - Kanye's outburst at the MTV Awards. He ran up on stage during someone else's award presentation to say that Beyonce's Single Ladies should have won, then dashed off the stage. What's wrong with just blogging that??

Honorable mention - for Lil Mama almost ruining a classic live performance by Jay Z and Alicia Keys (Empire State of Mind) by running up on stage. B list talent trying to act like you A list. It would be like Soulja Boy running onstage during a Michael Jackson/Janet Jackson performance to show off his dance. I'm just saying....

Today's Lesson

Give these folks a hug peeps, they need it....The Honest Man is wondering who's next :-). But regardless, he's here to give them hugs too LOL.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Militant Edition

Back in high school, some of the white kids called me militant. That's because they would say things like "You don't talk black" and I would reply "What's talkin' black?". And I would always get on my philosophical soapbox about there's no such thing as that, stop watching BET as your source for Black people, yada yada yada. I didn't make matters easier by rocking my Public Enemy "It takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us back" sweatshirt at soccer practice, complete with red Umbro shorts and socks to support the movement :-).

Which brings me to today's choice. Public Enemy. Fight the Power. I don't know what got me more crunk from 1989-93 than the kickoff lyric of "NINETEEEN EIGHTY NINE/A number/Another summer (get down)/Sounds of the funky drummer" That was my shit back in the day. I'm talking that I'm wrong person to fuck wit today type motivation. Tests, sporting events, dates, it didn't matter, I listened to this. And with that, I share my motivation for today.

Public Enemy - Fight The Power

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Que Pasa!!

"Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges" - Mexican Bandit in Blazing Saddles

I don't know what makes them love it, I don't know why they crave it, and I don't give a shit about either but it's got to stop white people. And I'm talking about you always wanting to get Mexican food. It doesn't matter if it's Spring Bling, hot fun in the Summer, cold as balls winter, but you always asking me about going to get Mexican food. And the Honest Man is sick of it...

For starters, it's not authentic Mexican food. It's friggin' Tex Mex or some other knockoff of it. You honestly think Mexicans are eating fajitas, rice with peas, and refried beans every day. Oh hell no. Think about this, how many Mexicans do you see eating in On the Border, Don Pablo's, El Chico or some other bullshit wanna be Mexican restaurant. And I mean as a patron not the ones in the back cleaning dishes that get the stuff discounted. Hmm, makes you wonder doesn't it.

Second, why are you persistent in me going to places that serve only margaritas and Mexican named beers like Dos Equis and Corona? Can a brotha get a white russian in a clean glass. It's like they look at the calendar, see it's Friday, and automatically assume it's margarita night. So you end up picking the margarita spot...except you do it every Friday. I like my margaritas from time to time (I see you El Patio and Cabo's in Houston) but damn not every fucking Friday.

Lastly, from now on, if you start talking about going to Mexico, I'm going to start asking you if you are from Mexico. Maybe that will offend you but my goal is get you to stop talking about going to get Mexican food. Can we get some options? Asian, French, Caribbean, Soul, etc all are decent choices. But stop this silly shit about "craving enchiladas and burritos."

Today's Lesson

You're not from Mexico and neither am I. How would you feel if I were in your face every day about going to Sylvia's to eat. Uh huh, you would get sick of it. Class dismissed.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Daily Thoughts

I have a friend from college that works at the same company as me. One day she im'ed me and told me she was on a conference call and one of our co-workers asked her about how her family was doing. What's so interesting about that you say? Well for the simple fact that ole boy confused her with my wife and asked my friend how's your husband (the Honest Man) doing. Keep in mind ole boy is of hispanic background and should know better than to loop us all colored folks together like that.

So I relayed to her that next time he says something silly like that, you should say "Here's the 20 dollars I owe you for cutting my lawn last Saturday." Bet'cha he won't forget again ;-)

Today's Lesson

Yep, I know that comeback is fucked up on so many levels but what's more fucked up is you laughing at the comeback. MESSAGE!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Honest Man takes a sneak peek at Community

The Honest Man is not a big TV person as you know. I even tried to get in the reality spirit and watch two guilty pleasures of mine, Real Housewives of Atlanta and Frankie & Neffe. But they've been.....lackluster. Actually they are supposed to keep me occupied until the new Fall season arrives and my shows return. What shows you ask? The Honest Man watches the following shows Hard Core

  • 24
  • Heroes
  • The Office
  • 30 Rock
  • Entourage
I would put "Family Guy" on there but I only watch that on TBS or Adult Swim. Any way, I'm rambling as usual and not getting to the point. I bring up the list to say, it is possible I may be adding a new show to that list. And if the preview is a good sign of things to come, "Community" will be become must see TV. Peep this preview below, featuring Ken Jeong who you may best recognize from The Hangover. Dude is fuckin' hilarious!

Today's Lesson

Don't say the Honest Man didn't warn you.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Just to Get By Edition

Alright readers. You've been patient with the Honest Man, even as I have infrequently blogged on here. There's been a whole lot going on the past 3 months and frankly the Honest Man was tired (hence why they call me the Honest Man, I give it to ya straight). I'm not gonna play politician and make promises I can't keep. Will I be posting more than 3 posts in a month starting now and forever? No. Will this be the last time I take forever to post new material? No. Will I consider your emotional needs and desires to hear the good word more and be true to you? No, this ain't a fuckin' soap opera. I'm the Honest Man dammit :-)

I kick off the "re-launch" with one of the songs that got me through the recent rough patch. Hell this song always gets played when I need a pick me up. This the pre-diva I'm just tryin' to get a record deal and stop getting zero to chump change for ghost producing Kanye West (peep his QUICK 5 sec cameo). Great song, great beat, good times, yep just to get by....

Talib Kweli - Get By

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cold as Ice

"Sleep is for losers" - P. Diddy

It was in the wee hours of a Sat morning after a Friday night full of debauchery. Me and my crew have made the normal party rounds in Houston but need some food to counter the firewater in our system. So we go where everybody (and dey mama) knows your name....IHOP. As is the case with most IHOPs in major cities, this one is packed like sardines at 3amish. If you know about IHOP and after hours, you know it is always like a club within a club.

So we there, kicking it, talking shit with other folks, and notice our waitress is working mad crazy. So crazy that she is slow with everything we order. Water. 15 minutes. Food. 30 minutes. Extra napkins. She forgot that. Yeah, she was struggling. Normally I let stuff slide since 1) it is late and 2) she did have extra tables to serve. But this waitress was part of the wine and cheese club.

Ok, we have finished our meal, sitting there chilling, and I ask her for more water. Again took her like forever to bring that water back. She's starts talking about she's sorry and how tired she is, she's working double shifts, and blah blah blah. She goes away, and comes back complaining some more about her working.

Like I said earlier, I had firewater in me and I felt inspired. Inspired to spread reality in the hearts of little waiters and waitresses across America. So I decided to be real with her. I'm like sweetheart, you remember when you walked into IHOP and asked to work here. You remember that they said they are open 24 hours a day. So you understood with accepting this job, you would have to work these crazy hours from time to time. But you got options. The option is to quit this and go to Mickey D's, where they close at midnight. And then you don't have to complain anymore. Otherwise you got to suck this shit up and do it.

She didn't do the obvious response and curse me out but she did give me the evil eye. Still despite my asshole I have a dream speech, I still gave that poor woman a dollar tip for her troubles. And a quarter to call someone that cares ;-).

Today's Lesson

If you don't want a Diddy answer, then don't come at Diddy with the foolishness. Because the Honest Man will always ask do you want some tea for that pity party :-). Handle your business.....

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - New meets Old

I don't think I've ever posted a current song in my "Songs of the Key of Life" library online. But this song is mad infectious. My homie Gangsta D be hating on my man Cudi but he's a hater. That's what haters do LOL (You still my bruh Cardigan). Anyhoo, this shit is just dope. Normally multiple emcee tracks have 1 good verse from 1 emcee and the rest are throwaways. Not this. All 3 spit it hard. The beat is harder. The hook is harder than both. OH uh oh oh oh uh uh oh.....

Kid Cudi featuring Kanye West, Common, and Lady Gaga

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Pop Champagne

"To be the man, you gotta (WHOOO) beat the man" - Ric Flair

1993, Junior year, Cardinal Newman High, all the guys were corny but the girls were mad fly LOL. Sorry I'm having a flashback moment ya'll mixed in with one of my all favorite Tribe tracks. I'm a semi-big soccer fan. Semi in the sense that I cannot stand watching MLS. Probably because I've watched the international leagues so much over the years, the comparison is MUCH different. Kinda like playing NCAA Football in Freshman mode vs Heisman mode. And like the Heisman mode, the Euroleague is much superior.

Anyway, I was watching the Confederation Cup last month and the US' shocking run to the title game. Before the tourney started, looking at the US' bracket, it looked like US would finish no better than 3rd. Then when play started, they were shook Mobb Deep style, and was left for dead. But something crazy happened. They rallied to advance out of their bracket, upset the heavily favored Spain, and took Brazil to the brink in the title game. That run took me back to my '92-'93 year in soccer. Our regular season was very similar to the Confederation Cup.

Backstory on me and soccer. My pops started me in soccer when I was 6. Broke my leg when I was 7. "Retired" for 5 years until I got to junior high. Came out of retirement to wreck shop on the JV squad. Handled business during tryouts my sophomore year, earned a spot on varsity. Was basically the 20th man on a 21 team that season. Pre-junior year, coach tells me I got a shot at starting. Tries me out during a few scrimmages. Sucked major ass. Really major ass. Basically became the 14 or 15th man on a 21 man team early in the season.

Backstory on the 92-93 Cardinal Newman Cardinals. Picked to finish next to last in our conference. Had 6 seniors, 4 that started, the rest a lot of underclassmen. 92 squad was superior in talent but struggled to keep up expectations, very mediocre season. 3 of the seniors basically let us know we not going out like that this year. Coach was a redneck, chewed tobacco, but was a fair man.

What does this all mean? Be patient tric, you have to appreciate the full story the Honest Man is telling you here. We stormed out of the gate shocking folks, taking names, crushing hoes all over. I mean after 10 games we had maybe 2 losses tops. That was shocking because we are smashing folks that are supposedly better than us. During the initial quick start, I'm barely playing, talking like 20-25 useless minutes. But I was inspired by our team's start. So inspired, I started to pick up my play in practice. I mean I was the Lone Negro out there making plays. My coach starts to notice and is like I'm about to put the Honest Man on. My moment comes against the top team in our conference. Coach tells me I'm starting before the game. He also tells me he wants me to mirror the opposing's team right striker. People kept saying how fast this cat was and that I would never catch up. I'm not one to play the race card but the striker was white. I'm black. You do the math. In my mind, he's not outrunning me pimp. And in reality, that's what happened :-). He tried to do the okey doke by pulling my jersey when a ball was sent his direction. But like I said he ain't faster than me. I recovered, sped up the field, caught him just as he was getting ready to make his cross pass and blocked that shit out of bounds. The Legend of the Art of Paper is born. I would start the remainder of the year.

Back to the team, we keep handling business. We just straight fucking up the league. Opposing teams, hell even our own school, were not believing the hype. People said we were lucky. Shit we were good, get your mind right. Our confidence just got stronger as the season went on. We finished second and had everyone thinking we were gonna fade in the playoffs. The first couple of rounds, people took their best shots, one team even had us go into a shootout but we kept winning. We advanced to the Finals against the same top ranked team, with literally no one giving us a shot.

The opposing team was like Brazil. A lot of talent. Some you just knew they were going to play D1 soccer when they graduated. And like Brazil didn't think much of the US, they didn't much of us. And that mentality initially bit them in the ass. First half, we just straight blindsided them. We were on the attack, forcing them on defense, and it led to a 2-0 lead at halftime. This is where the problems started. Our coach and some of the cats on the team starting feeling themselves at halftime. They talking about buying kegs after the game and getting wasted. Keep in mind we had 45 more minutes to go. But they were already talking popping champagne....

The 2nd half is a blur, only because the opposing team got on its' shit. I always say Talent overcomes Heart and that's what exactly happened. I mean before I could say "Damn", these fools had rung up 5 goals on us in like 20 minutes. Not kidding. Bing. 2-1. Bing 2-2. Bing 2-3. Bing. 2-4. Bing. 2-5. It was the most deflated I would ever feel as a player in any sport I played in. So close yet so far.

Crazy as it sounds what I remember most post game is my mom taking me to Burger King afterwards. That's big because we were struggling at the time so going out to eat was not the norm. I wanted to cry so bad because I was angry for how we went out but that Whopper kinda eased the pain. Ok eased it a lot. A month later, I was voted by teammates as Most Improved. Still didn't make things better. Winners win, Losers lose, and on that day, we lost.

Today's Lesson

We would never recapture that magic. Senior season was like sophomore season. New coach, new leadership, bad chemistry. I never achieved the same level of individual and team success in one season. I did win Best Defensive player but that don't mean shit if we don't win the ultimate goal. But I'll always have the magical junior year run.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Songs in the Key of the Honest Man's Life - Conscious Thought Edition

I went to private school. The total number of kids in my high school was two hundred and something. My senior class had 44 people. And out of that 44, 6 of us were black (ironically 3 females, 3 males). From time to time, I had to change costumes. One minute I was Carlton Banks, representing in the classroom. The other minute I'm the Fresh Prince, just reeking in smoothness. When those forces collided, it normally meant I debating with my fellow blanco classmate and it usually ended with them calling me militant. Like you know why they shouldn't say "****er" in front of black people, even though they listen to rap albums that constantly shout out the word (another day, another post).

Today's song captures that militant aspect of my life. Mos Def. Talib Kweli. They are BLACK STAR. And their album was pure dopeness. As soon as I saw this video, I'm like I'm coppin' the album when it comes out. And I wasn't disappointed. Get yo' mind right pimp, they shot Tupac and Biggie, too much violence in Hip Hop, Why-oohhhhhhhh....

Black Star - Definition

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Music and me

Today they buried Michael Jackson. I'm still in shock about his sudden passing and that one of the greatest entertainers in music history is no longer with us. The man was an icon and as a youth I did idolize his dancing and persona. My mom brought up a funny memory of me back in the day about how much I loved Michael. I had the Beat It watch that played the hook for Beat It, a Michael Jackson Action Figure (not a doll as my mama said), and countless MJ albums.

But there are some people out there trying to discredit the man's name and legacy in music. And the Honest Man is here to address the foolishness

1 - Don't Truss It

Yet there are a few people and media outlets out there that refuse to give the man his proper respect. They're using his death as a personal platform for them to make a name for themselves. You got a congressman (Peter King) who no one has heard of crying out that we should not be celebrating the death of a "molester." You got a cable news channel (Fox News) that's determined to focus solely on the financial woes of Michael's estate. You have a washed up ex-daytime TV host (Geraldo Rivera) that's focused on pointing out how "weird" Jackson was up until the day he died. Lost in their ignorance is that this man is someone's father, someone's son, and someone's brother. Interesting, these folks come out of the woodworks a few days (in some cases, literally hours) after he is pronounced dead to voice their opinion.


Michael Jackson is the greatest entertainer of all time. Let me repeat that again. The Greatest Entertainer of All Time. A few years ago, I was in a GMAT prep course and before our class started, the teacher asked us who did we think the greatest entertainer in music was? One girl quickly said "the Beatles hands down" and I countered with the King of Pop. The following is for fans of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, the Eagles, the 'Stones, and anyone else they think is better.

Let's put this in perspective. Michael Jackson has been selling millions since he was 11 years old. He produced a platinum album as solo artist in every decade he has been making music (70s - 00s, check wikipedia if you don't believe me). He's never sold less than gold. He made a song about rats (Ben) and it won an Academy Award. He set the bar so high for himself with Thriller that when Invincible "only" sold 2 million records, people said it was a failure. That's like saying Michael Jordan fell off because he "only" averaged 23 pts a game instead of 35 pts a game. There has never been an artist in history with the King's credentials. NEVER. So stop this silly nonsense about these other groups or artists being better than Michael. Not. Even. Close.

Today's Lesson

Separate the man from his music. Mike may have been eccentric when not recording music. But when it came to his work, there were few better in their prime.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde

I told you a long time ago, you fucking little monkey, not to FUCK ME! - Alejandro Sosa (Scarface)

You remember the infamous scene from "Scarface" where Tony Montana fucked up the assassination plot, which prompted Mr. Sosa to spit the above quote. I think it's appropriate for the next Honest Man story as this quote definitely fits the situation.

1997. Junior Year. The mighty mighty Morehouse. Hotlanta, GAHGWA :-). Let me just say Spring Time in Atlanta or at least in the AUC should be a goal of any young man that's trying to get his peek on. I'm talking bad ass broads from all realms of the world, walking around, sporty the daisy dukes, fake tripping when cats yell "Yo shawty" at 'em. It's just magical.

FYI, across the street from Morehouse is our female counterpart, Spelman College. In the 90s black movies, these two schools were the mecca for guys and gals. And in the movies, these guys and gals became friends, then lovers, and later husband and wife. Well in reality, shit just didn't happen like that. It was more like a dice game when it came to dating Spelmanites. Sometimes you hit on 7-11. Sometimes you roll snake eyes.

I had a homegirl at Spelman that loved being a matchmaker. She kept note of how many shorties I was always talking about and frequently commented, I need to calm myself down. She was one of the few who drank the Kool-Aid when they entered Spelman, so it was easy to maintain a relationship with her and not have her think I was trying to spit at her (which I wasn't). Anyway, she decided I need to meet a "nice" girl so she set me up on a blind date with one of her girlfriends. I agreed to this only because 1) I had never been on a blind date, wanted to see if I could hit 7-11 and 2) because my mindsight that year in school was GTD (Get The Drawers).

Crazy side story, I actually had two dates the day of my blind date. First date, me and this shorty I had been hollering at for a minute hung out in midtown and had lunch. I dropped her off back at Spelman at like 5, 6pmish. The blind date was at 7 so I rushed back to my dorm, quickly "freshened" up, and came right back to Spelman's front gate at 6:55. Yep, I definitely had ego in those days.

So the blind date strolls up, shorty I had to say was looking kinda nice. Like the Brandy song, she wasn't too thick, she wasn't too small, not too big, not too tall. We introduce ourselves to one another, then decide we should go to Houlihan's by Lenox Mall (RIP) for dinner. Along the way, we making short talk, and at that point, I'm like man she's pretty cool, not thinking my night was about to become a Nightmare on Peachtree Street.

So we get to Houlihan's, sit down, chop it up with the usual bullshit intro lines ("Where you from, what's your major, whatever the latest entertainment buzz, etc) and order our food. I remember the next part clearly. Right after we order our food, we start talking about dating. I don't know if that was her trigger to turn to Mrs. Hyde but this chick immediately started spurting off about these men "being sorry ass hoes and full of shit." To me, that's a general statement and not true. I mean imagine if I said all women are nothing but bitches and hoes. See how angry you just got ladies at that comment. Now reverse it and see how I felt when she made that blanket statement.

I started probing why are men full of shit and her response was pure comedy. You all cheat, you just want sex but you don't want commitment, ya'll afraid of a strong, independent woman, add in your favorite cliche statement. I was like that's not true, not all dudes are like and she's like yes ya'll are. Meanwhile, I'm praying where the hell is our food :-). You would think food would shut her up, but nope she kept going. She just kept coming at me with the you guys ain't shit stuff and finally I couldn't take it anymore. I finished my meal and said this isn't exactly the best way to kick off a first date. It's a turnoff but me being a nice guy, I can tolerate it. But you may run across a dude who isn't a gentleman and may treat you like a dude cuz of all the shit talking you doing. She like "Whatever, you ain't gon do shit." That was the statement that officially switched me into asshole mode.

Our check comes, I tell ole girl, I'm going to the bathroom, and be right back. I actually went to my car, and started driving down Peachtree. I'm like forget this tric, I don't need this shit, I'm going home. But then my conscience started talking to me, saying Moms raised you better than that. The good dude in me, went back, and found ole girl sitting in the front waiting. Funny, I was fully expecting her to go into bitch mode and make a scene but she was mad quiet. I think she was so angry, she didn't know what to say. She didn't say a word, just followed me out the door, got in the car, and was quiet the entire way back to campus.

I was more amazed at how ruthless I could be to an individual. But it also taught me that don't mistake my kindness for weakness. Might find yourself trying to figure out how to get back to campus when MARTA isn't running anymore.

Today's Lesson

Fuck with me all you want but Honest Man don't play that shit. LOL. I never saw that girl again and my friend never brought it up. She didn't hook me up with any of her girlfriends ever again either but hey that was one of those Chris Rock deals where ole girl needed to look in the mirror and say "Maybe it's just ME!!"