Monday, March 29, 2010


"Calvin that used to hang out on the corner?!?!" - Old lady from the McDonald's commercial

Do you remember the McDonald's ads in the early 90s featuring Calvin? You know the one where all the black folks in the neighborhood are pleased as punch that Calvin from around the corner is working at McDonald's. The story starts with him getting the job to by the end of the commercial, Calvin pretty much owns the joint. Classic shit right?

Today, I felt like I was in Bizarro world. And it starred a Bizarro Calvin from around the corner. And it involved a normal McDonald's. But the experience was anything but normal. It was...bizarre. And the only reason I am invoking Calvin's name is because the cashier was young and black. But unlike Calvin, I definitely didn't see him owning no McDonald's anytime soon....

Anyway, the Honest Family took a trip to McDonald's after the kids were scooped from class. We were getting my kids Happy Meals for being extra good at school (and the fact that we let time slip away from us and forgot to cook dinner LOL). We pull up through drive through like normal, order our food, and pull around to pay the cashier at the first window. I should note now the Honest Woman was driving and I was riding shotgun.

So we pull up and we see a young black dude working the register. Again normal right? The first thing that comes out of his mouth is "Aw yea, we get some black folks passing through here for a change." Not hey how you doing or your order comes to this but that line. What the fuck?? So unlike the Calvin who was courteous, we get Bizarro Calvin who's just saying the first thing that comes to mind. But oh no wait, I got more :-).

So after being starstruck that we are black, he takes the money and still going on and on about being happy to see black folk. You think that would be the end of it right? Nope, dude observes the Honest Wife is driving and then comments to me that "Hey man, you oughta be driving the car and letting your lady ride." Again, what the fuck? I'm getting advice on how to treat my woman?? From a McDonald's cashier? So not only does he take orders, he gives relationship advice. Ladies and gentleman, meet Bizarro Calvin! But not Calvin from around the corner, this Calvin comes from the land of Stupid. And yes there is something wrong with that ;-)

Today's Lesson

Maybe this dude watched a lot of "Coming to America" and thinks he's the new age Akeem by giving advice. But um, Calvin, stick to your day job. Take the orders, pick up the trash from time to time, and maybe one day you'll be on fry duty. And that's when the medium bucks will start rollin' in.....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ice Cube

"Yo we got a problem?" - Dough Boy (Ice Cube) from Boyz in the Hood

Do you remember that scene from Boyz in the Hood when Ricky and Tre' are kickin' it on Crenshaw one night? You remember they were minding their own business, walking over to their friends, someone bumps into Ricky, and a riot almost started? That's what I felt like when I read this recent article on The summary is about people flying with babies and the mounting issues some of their fellow passengers have from flying with these people. The Ricky in this case is me, flying with my kids on the plane and the someone who bumps me is the passenger who doesn't have kids and is already annoyed at my presence because I have young toddlers and babies on the plane...

"Babies should be banned from planes, movie theatres, restaurants, and any other public place for that matter. The rest of the world doesn't think your kid is as cute as you do."

That was a quote from the article. Should be banned they say. Not as cute as you think they added. And what does Ricky say to his fellow hater. Shut. The. Fuck. Up. Yep it's go time pimps and playas, mark ass tricks, trick ass marks, let the Playa Hata Year of the Speech 2010 commence. Such buffoonery and silly commentary must be addressed the correct way and that my readers is the Honest Man way.

For those that strongly oppose bringing babies on planes, what do you suggest we as parents do? The immediate response is don't fly. More thought out responses would probably suggest catch another flight, take another mode of transportation like the train, wait until they get older, or even better have the person(s) come see you. I guess it never occurs to the ones who have the problem that good parents normally think this out and exhaust the possibilities for traveling. Truss me, I hate going through security with breast milk, a baby stroller, a baby seat, and all other related items that add extra time and weight to the trip. But if your family or destination is say 1000 miles or more, I'm not thinking about how it affects your trip. I'm thinking about what's the most effective and fastest way to get to that spot. And sorry jackass, sometimes that means we're flying. Fuck yo feelings, I'm not thinking nor worried about if you can get sleep on that 2 hr flight. I'm thinking about how Ricky is going to survive myself....

Some recommendations during the flight are standing up and walking around with the infant to 1) quiet the child and 2) show the other passengers that you are trying and hopefully gain sympathy from them. Again you already know my response to that. Bullshit. You got a problem would be my first reaction to ANYONE who steps to me negatively about my baby crying. Like I wanna have my kid crying in my ear the entire flight. How stupid does that sound? Babies are unpredictable like the weather. Do I want them to keep quiet during the flight? Absolutely! Does it always happen? No. The recommendation I have is what Richard Pryor told Eddie Murphy to tell Bill Cosby " Tell Bill I said to shut the fuck up, have a coke, and smile." Walk around my ass. I just told you how tiring it is to get all that stuff through security. Now I'm going to walk around so you can get some rest. Riiiiight.

I always say you never know until you walk a mile in someone's else shoe. Prior to children, I probably was like those people that had issues with babies on planes, although my irritation was mild compared to what I read in the article. Once I had a kid and went through the experience of flying, my perception changed 180 degrees. I remember flying post-child by myself one night. My flight from California to home was delayed by 3 hrs. The flight was already 4 hrs by itself. We didn't board until like 10 or 11 at night. Turns out I drew a seat next to a lady with a 8 month old. I am exhausted and in dire need of sleep. But it was a 4 hr flight. The baby was good for at least 2 hrs of the flight until she started screaming. Considering I had a kid, how mad could I be? It's late at night, she's in the air, she's probably irritated, her mother is irritated and tired, and me acting bitchy wasn't going to help the situation. I put myself in the mother's shoes and tried to play with the kid to calm her down. Not turn up my nose and act like an ass because I can't get my sleep.

Today's Lesson

Please don't be that person that has an issue with people flying with kids. Not until you have to do it yourself. Because karma can be a bitch and the funky ass attitude you had with the parents will be the same one someone has with you when you have a kid. And trust me, God don't like ugly. So sit yo silly ass down and read your airline magazine before I have to put you in check. Kapeesh!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Know Your (Music) History - Who Do You Love

I don't know what's come over the Honest Man lately. I feel like KRS-One, wanting to educate the masses. I decided I will add another recurring piece, entitled "Know Your "Music" History. It's probably b/c I'm tired of folks either thinking rap started with Biggie and 'Pac or think a lot of the new music joints are using original music. Wrong McBoo!

I was watching TV the other day and they broke out Todd Smith's classic "Loungin". They followed it up with the original song from Bernard Wright. The Honest Man has to admit, I totally forgot about Mr. Wright's joint. So I'm part of the problem too haha. Anyways, without further adieu, the FIRST music history lesson ala Honest Man Style

LL Cool J f Total - Loungin' (Remix)

Bernard Wright - Who Do You Love

Friday, March 12, 2010


"Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing" - Lao Tzu

The Honest Man is taking my readers to school. Today's subject: Busy. You're probably wondering what in the hell is he talking about. I'm talking about folks who use the word "busy" so much that's it's become a crutch to their daily lifestyle. Whether it's talking in general about life or asking for simple work requests, that word seems to pop into the conversation. Sample conversation below. This is an instant messenger conversation where the recipient's status says available.

Me: "Hey man, what's happening?"
Busy Person: "Man I am so busy right now with stuff, I can't talk"

Is this person you? Is that what you tell folks on a consistent basis? Now this is recipient is a combination of people I have dealt with either professionally or socially. And we are all pretty much on the same level. Business analyst. IT analyst. Accountant. Auditor. Consultant. You get the drift. Not the CEO. Not the Vice President. Shit, not even a first line supervisor or manager. A fucking analyst. Think about that for a second while I discuss more...

He was so busy that he couldn't talk. Nevermind that his status said available AND he wasn't so busy where he had time to respond. Last time I checked, green means go on the traffic light. So if the light says green, that means you're available. Otherwise, simply log off chat or at least put the away status on.

I know time can get away from me some days but in reality am I really THAT busy? Hell naw. And this is from a man with a wife and multiple kids. Young kids at that. Juggling that family lifestyle is time consuming on its' own. Then I have to switch gears and do work for the powers that be. And even with that, I still find time to break out the playstation or watch a movie or read a book or write the Honest Man blog (wink wink). If you are single or without kids and are reading this, I'm talking to you. You may be busy but trust me, you ain't as busy as you think you are. Don't believe. Switch roles with me and see if you maintain.

I hear what the naysayers are saying. Yea, yea Honest Man, you don't know me like that or my lifestyle to be passing judgment. The Honest Man's response is shut da fuck up. Oh you thought I was going to give you the Hallmark card and a hug. Fuck that. The Hallmark advice is stop using that word "busy" as you're crutch, be like Mike and Just Do It!

The reality is you are no more busier than any of your peers at your level. You are just caught up on making yourself sound more important than you actually need to be by using that word. The desired effect you want when you say "I'm busy" is that the recipient goes wow Man the Honest Man is doing it. In reality, the Honest Man ain't doing shit. At least not compared to someone who has equal status or responsibilities.

Today's Lesson

I'm not saying "busy" shouldn't be in the vocabulary. I'm saying it should not be consistently in your vocabulary. Not unless you the CEO, Vice President, or to a certain extent first line manager. Get it, got it, I know it's good, the advice I write, you wish you could :-)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Believe I can fly

"Kanye, can I talk to you for a minute?
Me and the other faculty members was wonderin could you do a lil som...
Somethin beautiful
Somethin that the kids is gon love when they hear it
Thas gon make them start jumpin up and down and sharin candy an' stuff" - Intro from College Dropout

I just posted the motivation for this post. The following is going to be details of that story and hopefully inspires the kids. You know something that has will have them "jumpin up and down and sharin candy an' stuff!" So without further Adieu, you get the Honest Man's Motivation

Fall 1994 - Summer 1995. Freshman Year at Da 'House. Computer Science Major. Steady girlfriend across the way at Spelman. Scholarships out da ass. Finished the year with a GPA over 3.5. Dean's List. Got an internship working at a major airplane maker in Seattle. Got the thumbs up from Moms to get a new ride. Yep on cloud nine and about to do my Kanye "Can't tell me nothing routine"

Fall 1995 - Summer 1996. Sophomore Year. New year, new rules. Drop the steady girlfriend to get my pimp game on. Meeting chicks all over Atlanta (Emory, Georgia Tech, Agnes Scott, AUC, Art Institute). Hitting up parties and spots that can't be accessed via the club bus or MARTA. Land an internship in Houston with a major oil company. Course load gets tougher. Arrogance says I can get my party and dating on AND maintain the GPA. Stupidity in thinking leads to GPA slipping under 3. Over a 2 week stretch during the summer, I lose my room and board scholarship, and get placed on academic probation by the remaining sponsors. Received all this news in Houston. Moms is threatening with transferring to local state school. Com Sci chair is questioning my motivation. Being told at rate I'm going, I'll probably graduate in 6 years. Cue the lights going out on my party...

So what did the Honest Man do readers? Do you think I accepted my fate? Do you think I cried myself to sleep? As your friendly neighborhood crackhead aka Ms Whitney Houston said "Oh hell to the naw." That shit was a pure wake up call. What I did was considered pure suicide by most close to me. I signed up for 22 hrs in Fall 1996. 7 classes, 4 for majors. The major classes were Data Structures, Mechanics, Linear Algebra, and Biology. Most people usually only take 2 of those on at once. My crazy ass said Sign me Drill Sergeant!! If you don't think that's tough, then either you never took those classes or you're Doogie Howser. I cut back on partying and dating (don't worry I made those events COUNT when I did go out ;-)). Between constantly listening to "I Believe I can Fly" and replaying my mom and advisor's conversations in my head, I was motivated like no other. Straight taking NO prisoners. My reputation was on the line. I definitely didn't want to disappoint those who were down with me and I damn sure did not want to leave Atlanta. So what happened?

I'm doing pretty good in all my classes. All I needed to do was knock out my finals and I would be back above a 3. I'm not gonna lie, those finals were fuckin' ridiculous. I was like the widowmaker is out and preparing my funeral. I was so stressed out, looking like a bum, hair uncut, clothes not matching, so un Honest Man like :-). I went home for Christmas break and on Christmas Eve, my report card arrived. I was scared shitless as I opened it. When I did open it, I found I had posted a 3.6 GPA for the quarter and brought my average back up. I scared the hell out of my mom because I immediately jumped up and down and thank God repeatedly for the miracle. 4 major classes like that and I made it happen!

Post story was I went crazy again in Spring Semester with 20 hrs and Fall '97 Semester with 19 hrs. But my vision was having a very lightload in Spring '98 which I did (12 hrs). And I learned the Jedi art of balancing the academics with socializing.

Today's Lesson

So whenever someone tells me that I cannot accomplish a task or reach a certain goal, I always draw back to this story. For those reading that work with me, don't ever try to put me in a corner or say I cannot do something. Trust me, if push comes to shove, I'm straight fuckin' yo shit up and taking no prisoners. I'm the People's Champ and their motivation for making it happen. CHUUUCH....

Songs in the Key of the Honest's Man Life - I can fly edition

I never understood why R. Kelly never gets his due as a musical genius. Too much focus is spent on his outside the studio antics and not enough on what he produces inside the studio. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't let my daughter within 100 feet of him but I would buy her 12 Play in a heartbeat (sounds fucked up, don't it ;-). But check his statistics, he's music gold.

I heard this song on the radio today and immediately was taken back to my junior year of college. The Honest Man was going through some serious shit back then. I was put on academic probation and was having to prove to a lot of people that Da Kid still had it. Even though the Pied Piper of R&B was not known as a person that made inspirational songs, I Believe I can Fly struck gold. The song resonated with me as I was trying to get my mojo back (I did and that's going to be discussed in a separate post). So from the man who gave you ditties like "Half on a baby", "Ignition", and "You Remind me of my Jeep", you get one of his classics.

R. Kelly - I Believe I Can Fly

R. Kelly : I_believe_i_can_fly
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