Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Elm Street Blues

From Dracula to the Boogie Man, Jason to Michael Myers there’s always been these symbols of horror designed to scare us. As children our parents wouldn’t allow us to watch scary movies late at night (though we’d sneak and watch anyway) for fear it would give us nightmares. (And sometimes it did) They tried to protect us from having those fears...and they didn’t want us trying to sleep with them in their room.

We would try to pretend that those things never bothered us. “Nothing can scare me” would be the motto to stay up late and watch a movie I probably wasn’t quite ready for, to keep pace with my older brothers. I’d watch with them feeling fine until bedtime. I can remember being a small child and turning off the light then running down the hallway in the dark and jumping into bed. I didn't believe I was being just made me feel better. As cool and collected as he was movie time, my brother had a thing with being afraid to sleep with an open closet door. We were children and these things were normal. We eventually grew out of it and were no longer afraid. Freddy Krueger wasn’t coming to get us.

Funny thing is, as I’ve grown older I’ve come to meet some real life Freddy’s. Only instead of wanting to kill me, they wanted to kill my dreams, murder my goals. We’ve all met these people, no they may not be sporting the tight Christmas Coogi sweater or have the bladed glove and burned up face, but they are just as creative and determined to destroy. They pop up when we feel like things are genuinely going well and try their best to slash away all feelings of hope and accomplishment.

They might as well put on the dirty brown hat as they shift from dream to dream set on being an ambition assassin. They will try to break up our relationships, hinder us from bettering ourselves or just plain try to prevent us from changing. They don’t want us to progress or succeed and they’ll stop at nothing to make that happen. We can try to ignore them or set ourselves out to prove them wrong but in the end they must be eradicated…they have to go. We can’t give them the option of getting their little rusty glove on something we hold dear. All they’re looking for is an opportunity…a chance to bring us down.

I’ve also come to learn that these aren’t people to fear as much as to pity. Like Freddy they’re born from a place of pain, frustration and confusion. Lacking the strength or ability to pull themselves up they would rather keep us down. They will come in all forms from our parents, siblings, friends even significant others. They only know misery and we all know misery loves company. They will try their best to convince us that we’ll “never make it” or we’re “not good enough”. Phrases like “why don’t you just quit and do something else?” Or even “you can’t do it” can slice through the most driven of us and bring us down. That’s why we have to defeat them head on. Leaving them around in any capacity will only give them a chance for a sequel so they can’t be allowed to survive this film.

We may have grown up and dismissed the idea of a machete wielding maniac with a hockey mask but we do need to identify the real life monsters in our world. My dreams are important to me. I value them and will fight to protect them. We can’t be afraid to remove the cancerous people in our lives…even if we do walk a little faster after we turn off the hallway light.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

A Musical Moment: Gengis Khan

Gengis Khan (GK), lyrically paints a portrait with creativity, raw passion, and a diverse flow. He has the ability to captivate crowds with his energy, charisma, and intelligent wordplay. His freestyle, one of his signature traits, showcases his talent in a way rarely seen. GK represents not only hip hop, but…music. Whether he’s bringing you the gritty realities of the street, to the lavish tales of success and all that come with it, GK speaks the truth.

Originally from San Francisco, CA, GK has never lost touch of his Bay Area roots. He proudly acknowledges his hometown, never forgetting where he came from. Though a product of California, that is not all that defines him. His complex layers are displayed throughout his rhymes, and are for everyone.

His love of music came at a young age when he first heard and was inspired by Eric B. & Rakim. Even back then he knew hip hop was going to be his forum for expression. Being a lover of all music, only added to the dynamic fashion in which he would do it. When you listen to GK, you can not only hear, but feel his raw emotion and power through his lyrics. With this passion, he has excelled in not only his versatility but abilities. With a flawless “freestyle” and smooth delivery he commands respect in any circle.

With over 10 years under his belt GK has been working hard to bring his message to the people. Dedicated he has weathered the storm of past business relationships and issues that have held him back never letting them defeat him. In true warrior fashion he used those setbacks as fuel to push him that much harder…and it’s paying off.

2011 was big for GK as he received placements on nearly 20 projects with some of the industry’s finest such as Dorrough, Hopsin, Killah Priest, G-Unit & Ace Hood. His contribution to “The Faction” a compilation of nationwide hip hop and r&b artists was consistently labeled as a standout and one of the true gems of the project. He’s quickly been gaining respect in many circles and as he approaches the release of his solo project all eyes will definitely be on him.

His first single “Blaze It Up” from his forthcoming project Khanquest is already making some noise early in its release. Produced by Aristotle, Gengis Khan cleverly rides the beat always delivering, “40 days & 40 nights with the burning bush/I feel like Moses in the mountains but I’m burning Kush.” “Blaze It Up” an anthem of appreciation for one of nature’s wonders will have the head of the most avid non-smoker bobbin’ and reaching for a lighter.

Verse by verse, stage by stage the Khanquest is coming.

With several projects set to release in 2012 the world better get ready for the Gengis Khan invasion!

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Give Me 10: 10 Signs That You Might Be A Hoe!

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: 10 signs that you might be a hoe!

10# If you’ve ever woken up naked alongside someone and had to ask them their name.

9# If you see sex with professional athletes as an opportunity for career advancement.

8# Before you go out your kids ask if you have “protection”.

7# If the reason why you don’t take a “one night stand” back to your place is because your current man/woman is there sleeping.

6# If after taking the “walk of shame” you step outside and realize you don’t know where you are and have to turn around and walk back.

5# If you’ve ever introduced yourself to someone you’ve previously slept with.

4# Ladies: If you and ALL of your children ALL have different last names, yet you’ve never been married.

3# If your morning routine consists of “bump watch”.

2# If you view STD’s as “Collateral Damage”.

…And the 1# sign that you might be a hoe…

To fall asleep at night you count your number of sexual partners.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

To All The Girls I've Loved Before...

During the course of my life I have been fortunate to have known and loved some pretty amazing women. They all brought something into my life that I continue to carry with me to this day, no nothing that requires ointment…a better sense of me and who I am.

It has been said that, “you can judge a man by his woman.” Who he chooses to be with and how he treats her is really a good indicator of how he sees and treats himself. I agree with this. If a man finds a woman that for all intensive purposes is worthless and treats him poorly he obviously doesn’t think that highly of himself. The same could be said for a man that has a good woman yet drastically under-values his mate and is not kind to her.

Honestly, I’ve done both; I’ve dated and walked away from women most men would kill for, as I have pursued women that weren’t worth the piece of paper their number was written on. Crazy as it seemed at times, all of those experiences were necessary for me. It was part of my maturation process, my development into a man. It’s how I learned the difference between good and bad women…and this world has plenty of both.

Before any of you women start with the, “what about good and bad men?” Save it. We’re talking about you today.

That’s right; we’re talking about you devoted, honest, loving, committed, nurturing, passionate, deranged, psychotic, petty, vindictive, evil, crazy women…every last one of you.

“A man doesn’t know who he is until he figures out what kind of woman he wants, or if he even wants one at all.” True, we as men decide if we’re going to focus on ourselves and put relationships on the back burner, if we’re going to pursue the life of a family man or if we’re just going to hoe it up and see what happens. In any event our plan is based around a woman. Ladies do you see how influential you are to a man’s world? All of the talk you hear about having strength and being the center of the universe is true. You are not only the deciding factor but the equation to a man’s existence.

With that, a lot of you are messing up the game right now! Get your ish together! Stop trying to live the real life version of “America’s Next Real Baby-Mama of Atlanta for the Love of Basketball”! Yes you ass hanging out, breasts to your neck, pregnant but fighting in the club, 3 baby daddy having, auditioning for Miss World Star Hip Hop 2011, tire slashing, brick throwing, poking holes in the condom to get a baller, uneducated females! You are screwing it up for not only men but yourselves! “Messy” women have always had their place in our society. Whether we called them hoochies, hoes, sluts, loose, ratchets, groupies, stunts or jump offs we properly identified them and made a special place and exception for them. Now women are trying to claim dual roles and that plain doesn’t work.

Women have moved away from the “lady in the streets & a freak in the bed” mentality. Freaks have evolved and don’t just come out at night anymore. Women have a pound of caked on make-up and skin tight clothes like they’re performing in Vegas at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday in Wal-Mart…pushing a stroller! More are trying to claim hoochie liberties and still demand lady respect, in the words of Puff Daddy “eh, eh”. Sorry it doesn’t work that way. If you want us to see you and treat you with respect and class you’ve got to walk the walk, and not in clear heels.

Yes we men will be attracted to you but not on “keeper” status, and you don’t want us to be. As more and more men begin to try to settle down with these hot messes the overall consensus is forming that “this is the best out there”. Men are beginning to work under the belief that these extras from a Ray J video are today’s woman, and women of class and morals don’t exist anymore.

Ladies this is going to require some in-house cleaning. I get it that it’s fun to be sexy and flirty, that having all eyes on you at the club and being the center of male attention puts your self esteem on superstar status, but like any other drug you all have to kick this habit. These young men don’t know the difference between good and bad women. They think these hoes out here are the prototype and it reflects in the way they are and will treat the rest of you. Get these “Nicki Kardashians” under control! Doing the most for the least has never been good business.

Keeping it 100, a man is ultimately held accountable for the woman he chooses. If his wife “smashed the homey” it was his bad for picking her. The problem and why this hurts you is he’ll just see all of you that way and continue to pick bad women. Like a kid that will eat nothing but candy until his teeth rot or a gold fish that will eat until it dies, ladies this is another case of where you have to save a man from himself. You need to remove some of the Butterfingers and put some celery in front of him.

It is your responsibility as a unit. We need at least one good girl for every 3 hoes. That’s the ratio. In a group of 4, 3 of you get to work the hoochie spectrum and 1 of you has to hold it down for good women. Figure out which one you are and pick your friends accordingly!

I say this to you because I know there is a wide range of amazing women out there. I know so many of you are beautiful, intelligent, amazing creatures, but I’m not the one that needs the convincing. Men are losing faith in you. A man NEEDS his woman in his eyes to be greater than himself. He has to look at her as his motivation and his reason to try harder. We don’t see or do that for women we don’t respect. Similar to the armed forces, we’re looking for a few good women. Ladies we need more of you enlisting to fight this war against the devaluing of women and the increase in male Bitchassness. This war cannot be fought from the sidelines. We need you to be the designated drivers, the cock blockers, the prudes, the mothers, the haters, the good friends…the future. You maintain the balance. We can win this.

To all the women currently taking one for the team…

And to all the girls I’ve loved before…

Thank you.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Give Me 10: Top 10 Things That Really Go Through Our Minds At Thanksgiving Dinner

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: Top 10 Things That Really Go Through Our Minds At Thanksgiving Dinner

10# It will be okay

9# Is that the same casserole from last year?

8# Happy thoughts, happy thoughts, happy thoughts…

7# Is this even cooked?

6# If she asks me why I’m still single one more time…

5# I can’t believe he showed up here, with her.

4# I wish this place had a drive-thru

3# Isn’t all of us being here a violation of someone’s parole?

2# Yeah…but it’s my family.

And the number 1 thing that really goes through our minds at Thanksgiving Dinner…

…I should have drank more.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Snitch Please

From as early as I can remember it was drilled into my brain to not “tattle tale” or “snitch". If someone was doing something wrong I was just supposed to let it happen and the proper people would take care of it. As I grew up, that notion hasn’t changed. Now it’s a catch phrase, “stop snitching”, I’ve seen it on t-shirts, it’s in songs, I’ve even seen it as a tattoo. Really?

First of all let’s break down "true” snitching. You’re snitching if you tell on someone under these circumstances…

Example 1: Myself and James decide to rob a liquor store. The two of us knowingly enter with guns, hold up the staff and flee the scene. In our daring escape I’m the only one that’s caught and they don’t know who James is…

Example 2: I sell drugs on the corner and witness someone else dealing down the street…

Example 3: I leave a bar and see someone stumbling drunk to their car. They stagger through the parking lot get in and drive due East, I look slam my shot and head West…

Are we getting the idea? Snitching only applies if you’re doing dirt! We need to get past this childish and stupid notion. There are a whole lot of people that need the whistle blown on them. Day after day innocent men, women, and children are being violated and no justice is given. We need to grow up and hold people accountable. If you don’t agree, imagine these things happening to you or someone you love…

One Saturday afternoon in front of a barber shop on a semi-busy street, a two year baby still strapped into his car seat was hit by a stray bullet in a drive by shooting. He died in front of his mother and older brother before he was old enough to have a first memory. No witnesses came forward.

A 14 year old girl was being raped in a park at night. It was less than half a mile from a packed movie theatre with plenty of foot traffic in the area. Several people reported hearing her screams yet no one investigated, intervened or “saw anything”.

In an apartment complex, through the walls of the neighboring units the screams of a woman being beaten by her drunken boyfriend could be heard. She cried for anyone who could hear her to please help. Her screams went on for over 20 minutes. Though over 10 people reportedly heard her, no one called for help…she died.

Is it sinking in? Are we seeing the difference? Currently in the news is the scandal at Penn State University where former defensive co-ordinator for the football team Jerry Sandusky is being indicted for sexual abuse against minors.

This “man” is charged with raping and molesting 9-11 year old boys with allegations going back to the 1970’s. He is being accused of taking predominately African American children from neighboring lower income communities under the guise of charity and good-will and assaulting them sometimes even on school campus. This information has been brought forward (in 2011) because of an incident that happened in 2002.

Sandusky was allegedly seen having sex with a 10 year old boy in a campus shower by an assistant coach. This assistant coach said he saw the 10 year old boy pinned against the wall and heard a “rhythmic slapping” sound. He was close enough to identify that it was a young boy, even close enough to hear the “slaps” but simply turned and walked away. The coach said he reported the incident to his superiors and members of the athletic department (the following morning) but nothing was done.

There have been stories now coming out that janitors have witnessed oral sex involving young boys and other staff members have witnessed inappropriate behavior and NO ONE SAID ANYTHING! These little boys have been violated for decades by this man at this school and nothing has been done about it. Stories are also surfacing that on some level nearly every member of the football athletic department has either seen, heard about, or been reported to about some form of misconduct yet no charges were filed! Furthermore, Sandusky hasn’t been employed by the school since 1999 but has had full access to the campus to “entertain”.

Penn State legend coach Joe Paterno was recently fired because of his inactivity regarding these accusations. He reported the 2002 accusation but never followed up or further inquired. He basically dismissed it and followed by sweeping it under the rug. By not taking action these boys were never stood up for, his silence contributed and enabled their victimization.

This moment is brought to you as response to all of the people who sit back and do nothing when faced with the opportunity to help and prevent pain. If you still feel like not “snitching” is the way to go please remember that, if and when something happens to you…and for EVERYONE involved directly or indirectly with this Penn State situation…

I hope you all go to prison so when someone twice your size has YOU pinned in the shower you can watch the correctional officer just turn and walk away…and when you know what a true violation is and go to the warden or press for help. I hope they tell you…

…stop snitching.

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A Peaceful Journey

This past week the world lost some truly iconic men in the areas of sports and entertainment; former boxing heavyweight champion Smokin’ Joe Frazier and rapper/actor Heavy D passed away.

Joe Frazier notably had one of the most dangerous left hooks in boxing. He used it to propel him to the top of the ranks culminating in his epic battles against Muhammad Ali. In their 3 bouts Ali won 2 of the 3 but their matches are still ranked amongst the greatest in boxing history. He reached the pinnacle of his career by winning the heavyweight championship in 1970. Joe died at the age of 67 of liver cancer.

Heavy D was a pioneer in the rap game in the early 90’s with a series of hits like “Nuttin’ But Love” & “Now That We’ve Found Love”. Heavy released 9 albums, had 4 Grammy Award nominations, appeared in multiple films and television shows and was responsible for originally hiring Sean “Diddy” Combs as an intern who later set the tone for 90’s hip hop and r&b. Heavy D died at the age of 44 from medical complications including pneumonia.

Since their deaths millions of people have come out to share personal stories and feelings about these men. They have both had tributes given and countless accolades received posthumous. The question is, why do we wait for someone to die to share how we really feel about them?

Once someone dies people come out of the woodwork to share a tender moment or defining event that forever changed their lives. We like to believe that it is important to remember the feats of that individual and to make sure their legacy lives on through stories and praise. Now I agree with this in theory, it does however bother me a little.

Why does it take death? Why do we need to wait until they’re no longer here to express our real feelings, thoughts and emotions? I’ve seen so many older men and women whose final years would have been greatly enriched if they would have been able to hear the things that were said about them by their loved ones after they died. They spent their last years often alone but were buried to a packed house.

Some people wait to bury grudges when they finally bury the individual, really? Is the pain, hurt or anger we hold on to so great that it can only be trumped by the passing of life? It’s really that serious? I know people who are angry with individuals that they haven’t seen in decades. They have no idea how that person even acts anymore but primarily out of habit, they can’t let go of their need to hate.

There is one more piece to this “irks” me puzzle…the liars. We all know them, the ones that come out after someone has passed away to profess how much they loved and respected them when we all know it’s not true. The liars, the ones that spoke badly of them, wished them ill will, and basically despised their existence in life, but are the first ones to throw themselves on the casket or lead the toast in their honor after death. Oh the liars…we hate you.

Why can’t we keep it real? If you love someone tell them. If you value or cherish them for what they have or do bring to your life let them know. It shouldn’t be a secret that you literally take to the grave. You never know when that could be the difference in someone making it another day, month or even year.

While we’re keeping it real…I understand making peace and letting go of anger when someone passes away is difficult. If you haven’t truly come to terms and are “good” in your heart with someone don’t come around praising under false pretense. You disrespect that person, their loved ones and their memory that is being honored. I know it’s not politically correct to pass on funerals or to speak badly of the dead but if that’s how you’ve felt and still feel…be honest. I can respect that, I may think you’re petty, but I can respect it.

We’ve all lost someone, in fact we just celebrated Veteran’s Day, the acknowledgement of those who have and are willing to sacrifice everything for others. We need to be real with ourselves and those in our lives. Let’s not wait until it’s too late.

Rest In Peace Smokin’ Joe Frazier, Heavy D & Warren G. Morris.
Heavy D…take us out.

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Monday, November 7, 2011

Give Me 10: The Top 10 Reasons Why WE DON'T BELIEVE YOU!

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: The top 10 reasons why WE DON’T BELIEVE YOU!

10# Because your NEW car is ALWAYS, “in the shop”.

9# We can’t confirm it’s your elbow in the picture with Lil Wayne.

8# You say you’re single but your Facebook relationship status says “It’s Complicated”.

7# You say you “never do this” yet we know 5 people who beg to differ.

6# You’re always, “just about to call us”.

5# You don’t keep it real.

4# Working out doesn’t make you go from a B to a D cup.

3# You’re not “Hater” worthy.

2# You’ve been fired from every job as part of a conspiracy headed by “THE MAN”.

…and the 1# reason why we don’t believe you…

You don’t make tips like that at the Sizzler.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Allow Me To Reintroduce Myself...

This is a public service announcement sponsored by J Morris and the good folks at Morris Corp ENT…

Sam Cooke said it best, “A Change Is Gonna Come”. Change is inevitable; from the leaves turning from green to red and brown, branches that were once full and rich left narrow and bare, to the temperature shifting from warm to cold…a change is gonna come.

Now we may whine or complain about it being too cold or too hot but deep down we know there’s nothing we can do about it. We accept it. We can’t stop the rain from falling we can however pack an umbrella. Just as we can’t turn down the sun, hence the invention of air-conditioning. When we’re hit with something uncontrollably unpleasant we adjust and adapt. So why is it we stay so Darwinian deficient when it comes to accepting change within a person? We can accept the idea that caterpillars can become butterflies, giraffes once had short necks like horses even that dinosaurs roamed the Earth but “Steve” can’t mature past junior high?

We have such difficulty with the idea that a person can change. Whether it’s a family member, childhood friend or significant other we lock into this idea of who we think they are and refuse to believe anything different. Why? Why is it so important to believe that someone will never “really” change? Why must we meet the idea of someone growing, maturing and becoming aware with such resistance?

I’ve heard everything from, “once a cheater always a cheater” to “a leopard never changes its spots” even as blatantly as “people don’t change”…really? Humans can evolve from huts and pointy sticks to skyscrapers and cell phones but we’re incapable of curbing a behavior or two?

In my short time on this planet I’ve seen people that were screw ups in school now responsible spouses, parents, and people. I also remember some of the ones that were labeled “most likely to succeed” and “they have such a bright future ahead” turning to lives of crime and destitution. The once “hot girl” now…not so much, the guy going from Urkel to Denzel, or even from Craig to Carla, change happens all of the time.

I think the real disservice comes not from those who refuse to see us differently, but from those of us who refuse to embrace our changes. Some of us go away to school, become educated about different people and cultures or simply mature and we want so badly to hold on to who we were as opposed to whom we’ve become. We don’t want to accept that we are different and we have changed.

That awkwardness of no longer having things in common with old friends, the uncomfortable silence at functions after the “reminiscent” stage is over or the sheer feeling of disinterest can be unsettling and a little sad. This used to be “our boy/girl” now we’re only talking about old times because that’s all there is…and that’s okay.

Everyone in our lives isn’t necessarily meant to be here forever. We experience life with them, we learn and grow and in some cases move on. It happens in relationships too. Depending on what steps we take in our personal growth and development we may or may not still be compatible as time goes on. We may learn to like new things or stop liking old ones, change our behaviors or habits, in some cases we just grow up. Who we were is no longer who we are. “Love conquers all” is great in theory, however it doesn’t always ring true…and that’s also okay.

Family can be the worst, never seeing us past our childhood selves. They remember us as that little brother or sister, or still expect us to respond or think as we did in grade school. It’s a big leap accepting the idea that our once 6 year old little sister is now a 30 year old wife and mother. Seeing our wagon-toting little brother as the now corporate executive can be difficult to process. Sometimes it is family that has to be introduced to the “new” us the harshest…and once again…completely okay.

We shouldn’t have to suppress our growth or pretend to be someone we’re not for the sake of someone else. We will grow, we will change. There will be relationships that adapt and others that will end. The important part is understanding and accepting who we are. Others may not be as open to the idea of us changing or getting past their own expectations of us. They may forever view us as 9 years old, or from high school or those college days and that is their issue not ours.

A leopard may not change its spots; but a snake sheds its skin, birds molt their feathers and people alter their behavior…

A change is gonna come.

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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Don't Lock Me Out!

What comes to mind when you hear the names Michael Jordan, Derek Jeter, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, Tom Brady, or Aaron Rodgers? Whatever the image, the point is that these names instantly register in your mind. Sports are so big and influential in this country and all over the world that we can all associate an idea, thought or memory to some sports figure or experience.

This year however professional sports, has taken quite a blow. First there was the NFL lockout; a period of time when the owners and the players association could not agree on terms for their new collective bargaining agreement. This resulted in a period of no signings, trades, or even practices by the teams until an agreement was made. Because of this teams were left without the full schedule to prepare their players for this season and some have gone to say that it is a cause for many of the early season injuries. The NFL was able to get it together and now the season is in full swing.

Now it’s the NBA’s turn. They are faced with the same dilemma; two sides unable to come to a mutual understanding resulting in a lockout in professional basketball. The difference is, there is no season currently. Pre-season has been cancelled and NBA commissioner David Stern has said that they are hoping for a season by Christmas but few believe that is likely. Players and the owners are at a stalemate on terms and there doesn’t seem to be any budging.

NBA players have been looking for alternative ways to spend their time with some going overseas to play, some looking into other sports, and some just enjoying the extended vacation. Players stand to lose millions in salaries and endorsements without a season, if you’re Kobe or LeBron they can lose anywhere near 10 million dollars for the year. Granted they won’t go hungry, but that’s still a lot of money. If you’re one of the bench stars of your team, you can find yourself in real trouble.

Delonte West of “sleeping with LeBron’s mom fame”…allegedly, has recently begun working at his local Home Depot.

With all of the back and forth between the players and the owners I think sight of the true victims has been lost…the fans? No. The groupies!

How can they neglect the needs of a nation full of willing, ambitious, high heeled aspiring baby mamas? City to city and state to state from Sacramento to Miami, Portland to Boston there are thousands nay I say millions of auditioning women looking to be stars on the next “Basketball Wives of…”

How can the league be so selfish? Don’t they realize the impact to the “jump off” economy that not having a season will have? What about all of the “hush money” that won’t be received for late night activities? What about all of the “main stages” that won’t be “raining”? How can they do this and still sleep at night?

What about the social ramifications? A “Ratchet” without an NBA All-Star Weekend is like a kid without Christmas! Who will be there to sneak into player’s hotel rooms at midnight…their wives? What about the impact on “regular” people? Don’t they know about all of the lonely men there will be out there? Have they forgotten about all of the guys who go out to where the players are and exercise their “scavenger game”? And let’s not forget about the unsung heroes… what of the “professional homeboys”? Who will be there to bring the car around and name drop to get girls back to the house? What will they do? Get jobs? *Whistle blows* C’mon!

The NBA needs to get it together. They need hash this out before the people lose interest and they can’t get the fans back. It’s hard enough with the current economy to spend so much on tickets and merchandise now, leaving a bad taste in the public’s mouth may lead to even bigger financial problems for the league in the future.

We all need to come back to 1 and remember why we fell in love with the game; the money, shoes, posters, video games, hats, jerseys, and hoes…

NBA action…it’s fantastic!

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Give Me 10: 10 Signs That...IT'S YOU!

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: 10 signs that…IT’S YOU!

10# You’ve been fired from every job you’ve ever had.

9# Everyone else always has “bad cell phone reception”.

8# You only have 1 night stands.

7# You never have help moving.

6# You are everyone’s first case of domestic violence.

5# You’re on the receiving end of a drunken rant & they’re on their “first” beer.

4# After thousands of dollars and countless hours of training the dog continues to pee on just your clothes.

3# You exchange Facebook messages but they never add you as a friend.

2# Your pets are on suicide watch.

…and the 1# sign that IT’S YOU…

Your mother has her tubes tied.

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Price Is Right

“Do you want to be right or do you want to be happy”

-Dr. Philip McGraw

From an early age we’re taught as young boys and girls to seek out the correct answer. Even before preschool we’re on this quest to figure things out and understand how “our” world works. Year after year in school and with an endless supply of real life situations, we’re thrown an infinite number of opportunities to find the “answers” of life. Now that’s all fine and dandy in the classroom even in the workplace, but in a relationship being correct doesn’t always equal the best answer.

Far too often we, men and women, suffer from what I like to call “Be-right-itis”. This is the disease of having to be right at all costs. Symptoms include; always having to have the last word, the correcting of his/her significant other in any situation or company, the inability to move on in a subject until the acknowledgement of being correct has been made and so on. If left untreated it can result in the alienation from friends and family, termination from work as well as an inability to sustain relationships. Yes Berightitis has taken the lives and livelihoods of millions. This subtle and silent killer can lay dormant in the body for years but once activated there is virtually no stopping it.

In relationships it’s important to remember that it’s not a tit for tat situation. What one person needs and wants doesn’t necessarily apply to the other so “an eye for an eye” logic doesn’t apply. An example; when a man returns home from work in most cases the best thing you can do for him ladies is leave him alone! Men need decompression time before they’re ready to make the adjustment to being home. Bills, what happened today, even dinner plans should all be put on hold for the first 20-30 minutes upon his arrival. The reason is that men need to gradually settle in, if this isn’t done he will bring whatever issues the day has had for him into the relationship and home. Now the other side to this is men won’t give you that same grace period. If your man is in your face the second you walk in the door because he wants your attention…let him! Men are driven by the ego turn him away at 5pm and good luck getting his attention for the rest of the week. Pride will stop him from “putting himself out there” again and there will be distance and silence which is the last thing you want. True you may need that same time to gather yourself and your feelings maybe hurt when he turns from you as well but that’s a pill you have to swallow. Yes you’re right to make your case the question however is who will be more affected by the distance? Women are better at the emotional bounce back. He can make up for it during the rest of the night by paying you enough attention, you most likely cannot. Food and sex may pacify him, good luck though getting that same attention when you come home tomorrow. No it’s not fair…but so what.

Men know how much women NEED to talk. We know that you have to give every emotional detail to every story of every event that happened in your day. We know that to keep a happy home and to have an engaging relationship we have to sit through every unfunny, uninteresting, dragged out, overcomplicated story you want to share. We know that conversation and active listening makes you feel validated and important. It gives value to your feelings and you feel closer to us when you share. Yes we get it yes we understand it we just don’t feel the same way. Unless it’s a subject we’re really into, or it gives us an opportunity to showcase what we know, men don’t really want to talk. The smart ones do it to keep the peace, but deep down inside we’re all thinking, “Why can’t you be like us?” Because you’re not men! You’re women and that’s how you’re wired. Does that mean we have to sit through conversations we don’t care about? Yes. Does it matter if we don’t do it to you? No.

Berightitis affects the male ego and the female self esteem areas of the body. In men, a woman who has to be right will force the issue to make her point. All men’s egos aren’t affected by compliments however they usually are by insults. Women who have to stress the notion that he is wrong and relentlessly push the issue to prove they’re correct will all but invite their man to leave them. He may not walk out on you immediately but a man will search out a woman for whom he feels he can build with, if you’re chipping away at him…the search will continue. As for women, if their man has to insist upon being right at all costs the result is usually a decrease in how she feels about herself with him. Women typically look to their man as a gauge for their place. She will define her worth in respects to her value to him. Keep putting her down or insisting on being right and her feelings towards you will change. The less valued she feels with you the more opportunities for her to feel valued by someone else.

We have to come to terms and accept the fact that we have different needs. Is it fair that the man is the one who gets up at 3 a.m. to investigate the strange noise downstairs? No, but we do it. The argument of “I checked the last time” won’t hold up as reason to send her into the backyard in the dead of night if something bad happens to her. Just as a woman being home with the children fulfilling the roles of; mother, counselor, nurse, teacher, chef, janitor etc never takes precedence over the man’s needs when he comes home from his 9 to 5. No it’s not fair…it’s life. You can argue your position as valid as it may be, it will just more likely than not keep you from where you ultimately want to be…happy.

Berightitis can prevent the ability to forgive. Some people suffer from such extreme cases that they can never move on and allow the relationship to grow because they’re stuck waiting on their gold star and imaginary accolades. If they don’t feel they’ve been fully acknowledged family ties can un-tether, friendships can be stressed and relationships can end. Why? Is it so important to prove we’re right? Is there really this universal scorecard that tallies up when we die and can get us a better seat in heaven?

So many of us suffer from this affliction, we let it send us into fevers and panic attacks. We need to learn to take a step back and not be so focused on making our point and being correct, and enjoy the lives and relationships we’ve been fortunate enough to be exposed to. Pick your battles.

For those who can’t beat this disease be advised, if you find that you have to always be right…you might get left.

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Monday, September 26, 2011

Let's Hope We Change

“The road ahead will be long. Our climb will be steep. We may not get there in one year or even in one term. But, America, I have never been more hopeful than I am tonight that we will get there.
I promise you, we as a people will get there.

In this country, we rise or fall as one nation, as one people. Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.
That's the true genius of America: that America can change. Our union can be perfected. What we've already achieved gives us hope for what we can and must achieve tomorrow.

This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”
-Barack Obama

The nation was captivated as we listened to the words spoken by our newly elected 44th president Barack Obama. He campaigned on the premise of hope and change for a new America. The nation fell in love with the idea and concept of this utopian society void of its past failures and flaws. Yes Barack Obama made the world believe in change and then we hoped…

We hoped there would be this systematic change to take place magically as soon as he stepped into the White House. We believed that we were on the brink of this new understanding, and then…nothing. That’s right, nothing. Because the one fundamental part of the Obama equation never happened. WE never changed! We hoped he would fix everything instead of sacking up and digging a little deeper to help this country bounce back. City to city, town hall meeting after another, President Obama campaigned telling the people that “we” need to do more and we only heard “he”. So where does that leave us now?

We are now staring down the barrel of a situation no one wants to be in. Since the people of this nation didn't hold up its end of the bargain the government is going to try to force their hand. After being elected Barack Obama bailed out the auto industry and put things in place to cushion the real estate collapse. Along with the war and quest for Bin Ladin, President Obama has spent more money in two years than any other president in US history.

Our economy is in a state of intensive care and now this… There is a proposal for universal health care as well as a heavy tax increase for anyone making over $250,000 a year. That increase would all but kill small business owners, forcing them to either layoff employees or downgrade their own personal living situation. Why? Why do we feel this need to punish the achievers of our society to take care of the less fortunate? Charity should be a gift not a requirement. Why should we penalize those who accomplish and excel and then do it under the guise of “helping out”? Where is the call for personal responsibility from those with their hands out? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Here’s the cold reality of it all, sip slow; people are stupid, lazy, un-ambitious and have massive feelings of entitlement. We have been coddling them as a nation for too long and if we don’t get this under control now, we may never.

Our government has become nothing more than an overprotective parent for its citizens and is no longer taking the steps to really prepare its people for the real world. We spend billions of dollars a year on social programs to allow people not to work and enable their bad decisions. A quick history lesson; the basic duties of the government are to protect the natural territory & preserve peace within its boundaries. The government is to maintain the infrastructure (i.e. roads, schools, law enforcement, fire dept) it was never designed or intended to cover the costs for programs like welfare, unemployment etc.

Year after year we continue to raise taxes on those who achieve in this country. We demand more of their income and work under the premise that it’s their duty. Why? Why should someone who works hard, pushes themselves and reaches their goals be punished and forced to pay out more than their share for someone who may never have even tried? This isn’t just a “woe is me” for the rich, it’s about what that kind of thinking does to everyone.

When people know that there will always be a safety net it alters their decision making; it gives them an out for ambition. So many men & woman now believe they are entitled to being taken care of and our society has reached an insane level of dependency. So what would happen if that changed? News flash, we never voted on the social programs put into place now. Our representatives at the time merely made the decision and gradually we have expanded on it. But what if we took it to the polls? How would this nation respond to having the choice to help its fellow man instead of being obligated?

If the government stopped spending its resources on social programs it would have the money to lower taxes and rebuild its infrastructure. There would be an instant surplus of funds to go into the building of bridges, roads, and schools as well as money for law enforcement, fire fighters and the military. Employed people would keep more of their paycheck and there would be an instant spike in consumer spending. The government would still take care of its veterans and we would continue to have programs for the people funded by the private sector.

So why aren’t we doing this? The sad part is because of the initial shock to our dependent society. Imagine everyone being given a deadline to get their act together before the government shut their water off. How many Americans would step up? How many would truly take advantage of their free education and study while in public school? How many would be true parents and raise the children they brought into this world? How many would do all they could (the right way) whether it’s going to college, working labor jobs, even joining the military to not be burdens on the system?

If this new tax plan and universal health care go through I fear it will be the beginning of the end. Ambition will be done away with. The more we condemn those that have achieved, hinder those that are trying and reward those who have failed, the more we are setting the table for one of two outcomes; failure or revolution.

Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of the United States of America because he made the people believe. It’s time for us to follow up his words with action, because it’s not about the statement of “Yes We Can” but rather the action of “YES WE WILL.”

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

And Justice For All

(Courtesy of the Huffington Post)
“Davis has been on death row since 1991, convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer. But pervasive questions about his innocence have plagued the case. Davis was convicted almost solely on eyewitness evidence, and seven of the nine witnesses who testified against him have recanted their testimony. There is no physical evidence tying Davis to the crime, and another man has even confessed to the killing. Nevertheless, after years of appeals and several stays of execution, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles upheld Davis’ convictions and he is scheduled to be killed by lethal injection on Wednesday night.”

Troy Davis is an African American man facing the death penalty today for the murder of a white police officer in Georgia in 1989. He was convicted based on evidence including; a ballistics report that proved the gun that shot the police officer was the same one used by Davis in another shooting earlier that day. The weapon was however never recovered. Along with eye witness accounts that placed Davis at the scene of the crime and named him as the shooter, Davis was found guilty and sentenced to death. Since the conviction, 7 of the 9 eye witnesses have recanted their statements (not under oath in court) and the man that was with Davis has confessed to the shooting. This evidence has bought Davis more time, as his last appeal was denied he now is facing the termination of his life. Protesting has been coming from all over the globe; people who are screaming for justice for Davis as well as voicing their opinions on the holes in the capital punishment theory.

Law enforcement stands by the conviction. They feel they have the right man. Popular opinion begs to differ. But let us not forget our judicial system. From Casey Anthony to OJ both walking as a free man and woman with mounds of evidence against them to the BART officer in the Oscar Grant case getting a slap on the wrist for his executioner style shooting of a handcuffed man on film; there are so many intricacies in our legal system that don’t always lead to “justice”.

The first card thrown out in this discussion is Race. If Davis were white, many people feel he wouldn’t be facing the same outcome. Maybe, however there is a man named Scott Peterson currently sitting in prison for the rest of his life convicted for the murder of his wife Laci and unborn son, ONLY on circumstantial evidence. There was no physical evidence, DNA, or eye witnesses that saw him commit the crime yet Peterson is never going to see the light of day and he’s white. For the record…that’s b.s.

Truth be told Scott Peterson was convicted because he was cheating on his pregnant wife and was making plans to leave her for another woman. His character was destroyed and people wanted to see him go down. Troy Davis was involved in another shooting and an assault that same day. With a dead police officer, “justice” has to be served and he “fits the description”.

There will most likely be no divine intervention that saves Troy Davis’ life today. He will die not only for his convicted crime but for the life decisions he’s made that paints the picture of his character. His character is why he is going to die. If those other incidents hadn’t happened, he wouldn’t be facing the end of his existence. Is that fair? Is that justice? Do we weigh a man’s track record against his life? Davis had a rough youth and made a series of not so great decisions, ones that led him to where he is today. You can make the argument that he may have more likely than not committed the crime…but not beyond a reasonable doubt. He is not being judged for his involvement in a crime, but for what kind of man he has been.

Justice is balance. But is ending a man’s life prematurely for the premature ending of another’s really how we want the scales evened? A man is being executed with more question marks than the “Riddler’s” outfit surrounding the case. Why? It needs to be looked at closer.

“An eye for an eye and we both lose our sight”.

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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Give Me 10: 10 Signs That You Might Be A Bad Parent

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: 10 signs that you might be a bad parent.

10# Your children call you by your first name.

9# You and your son have the same dealer.

8# You make sure to bring condoms to your kid’s play dates.

7# You thought child support was included with the dinner bill.

6# If you’ve ever said to your kids, “You smoking my sh*t?!?”

5# Your daughter has dated nothing but losers and you loved every last one of them.

4# You look at every new baby as an opportunity for good credit.

3# Your daughter does porn.

2# You have your kids hold your camera phone so you can take bathroom pictures.

…and the 1# sign that you might be a bad parent…

This is your child...


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Monday, September 12, 2011

Give Me 10: Signs It's Time To Settle Down

First of all thank you to all of the loyal readers for sharing these moments with me. For all of you that have been readers since my first rant to all of you brand new to the experience, you are appreciated. Now I’d like to introduce you all to a brand new segment of the blog, “Give me 10”.

Give me 10: 10 reasons, examples or indicators of a certain behavior. Take the time to use the checklist…you may need to check yourself. Today‘s list: 10 signs that you may need to settle down.

10# You bump into one of your friend’s kids at the club.

9# After dating all of your phone contacts you go back to “A” & start again.

8# Your children are getting married before you.

7# You're flirting with a hot man/woman & they say,“Don't you know my mom?"

6# You’re dating a man/woman so much younger than you that whenever you pick them up an “Amber Alert” goes out.

5# Your parents are threatening to adopt grandchildren.

4# You’ve become the “old guy” at the club.

3# If all of the boys in the neighborhood refer to you as “Miss Parker”.

2# Ladies if you & your children all have different last names, yet you’ve never been married.

…And the 1# sign that you may need to settle down…

When you walk into “Planned Parenthood” they shout out your name like “Norm” on “Cheers”.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Single Mothers

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, “Single Mothers”.

I recently addressed bitter single parents on A Cold Cup Of Coffee, this is different…and oh so necessary. I was blessed with the opportunity to be a part of an on-air discussion about the effects of fatherless families, specifically on men. There was a lot of great dialogue and insight. We all threw our two cents into the hat and relived our childhood and adolescent experiences. We discussed everything from learning to tie a tie even to what kind of husband, fathers… really what kind of men we’ve become.

I think this kind of discussion is important however one thing that I had some difficulty with was this overwhelmingly accepted feeling that a single mother is to be heralded. Not just in this discussion but so often in life I hear that the single parent struggle is one that rivals the feats of Hercules. Please don’t get me wrong, my mother was a single parent and I love her for all that she was and even what she wasn’t and even she gets mentioned in these fables of greatness.

There is this belief and excepted understanding when it comes to the plight of the single mother; she is the burden bearer, the rock, she is taking on the task of not only reproducing but raising the future kings and queens of this society. She is to be respected for her sacrifices and honored for owning up to her responsibilities…really?

Take this moment to take a deep breath before you get a swig of this cold cup. Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Let’s first address what a single mother is, and not just single because you don't have a man. Single as in your child's only active parent…

With the exception of DEATH, a single mother is like a couple going out to dinner; you both sit down at the table. You order wine to go with your appetizers. He’s feeding you calamari, you’re feeding him crab cakes, it’s all love. You then move to the meal, you both have steaks just the way you like them. It’s juicy and perfectly cooked with the potatoes. The two of you even stay for coffee and dessert. You’re sitting back in sheer contentment. Then he gets up to go to the restroom and sneaks out the back as the waiter hands YOU the check. Welcome to single motherhood.

That’s right, let’s stop making this out to be more than it is! Is it great that YOU own up to your responsibilities and even take on his? Yes, but don’t make it sound like you rushed into a burning building to save some orphans! Look it sucks that you have to pay the whole check when it should have been 50/50, but there was no argument or issue while you were sipping merlot and picking porterhouse out of your teeth. Don’t go screaming victim now, you savored those crab cakes now break open your piggy bank and pay the check! The restaurant and waiter don’t owe you a pass just because you picked a suspect eating companion. The only one in this world who owes you anything is him!

First off this is not a pass to suspect dudes. If you’re that weak individual that would leave a woman holding the bill now that you’re satisfied, you suffer from what is commonly known as…Bitchassness! You are as weak as a watered down Lemon Drop and nothing but punk flows through your veins. In the words of Silky Johnson, “may all of the bad things in the world happen to you and only you.”

Ladies, this isn’t designed to put you down. You need to realize that being left to raise a child on your own is not something to be championed. It is the result of bad decision making. If we’re going to address this problem, let’s be real. We need to stop praising under false pretenses! Women, stop going to “dinner” with every man just because he asks you. If you know he’s broke and unreliable leave him be, especially if he’s been known to dine and dash before. You have to make the decision to have self respect and be proud of yourself. If you go falling for every man that tempts you with beef you will more likely than not end up in some regrettable situations.

There are too many single mothers out there. Trying to do all they can and even what they can’t because some man simply chose not to be there. It is a shame and a growing problem. I’m addressing you ladies because you’re the gate keepers. He can say and do all he wants you have to grant him access. Screen these dudes! Get to know these men’s history if you‘re going to make decisions in the present that can forever effect your future. Children need both parents period. One can never do the job of two when it comes to child-raising.

This is directed at those people, men and women, who want to hoist these single mothers up for making a decision and putting themselves in a situation they would never want their daughters or sisters in. If you’re a woman out there doing it alone because you picked a loser guy, own that! Don’t express it to the child, just use that as motivation to not only not repeat it, but instill it in your child to not walk the path that you did.

Ladies out there doing it alone; I understand it’s a hard road you’re walking, one that can be filled with resentment, anger, and pain. Hold your head up for your children and for yourself. Just don’t do them or you the disservice of letting them think this is to be celebrated. Let them know it’s a struggle and not path they should choose.

For you men, if you’re going take these women out to eat you better be ready to be a man and cover the check. Leaving an angry woman to raise your fatherless child can go all sorts of wrong. From strange men in the picture to neglected children you need to be involved. Also never underestimate a woman scorned. Fill her up and bounce…and a scorned woman can have you left without the tip.

Let’s be true men and women. If we’re going to make adult decisions own up to them accordingly, and we need to stop giving props where “pops” should be.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

It Ain't No Fun...

We all know the story; boy meets girl, boy dates girl, boy and girl break up, then the boy’s friend starts dating the girl… I say we all know this story because it’s safe to say that we have all either experienced or at least known about this happening. When a relationship fails, what are the guidelines, the protocol if you will, when a friend wants what you had?

This comes from a question posed to me recently. A man was seeing a woman for a short period of time, (a fling) after they stopped dating his friend then began dating her. The kicker, he made sure to go where and when he wouldn’t run into his friend. Now the fact that he has to duck and hide shows his obvious guilt, but is he wrong? Do we really get to plant a flag on someone?

It’s easy to make claims of disloyalty, but do those claims stand up if he was mistreating or abusing her? If there was cheating, disrespect and neglect going on do we have the same right because we were there first? How about if she just flat out didn’t want him? How much weight is given to her wishes? I pose these questions because it’s not always so black and white. Many of us go through a string of flings and bad relationships we throw away quality men and women frankly because we or they weren’t ready. Does that mean that everyone we call a friend can never have the opportunity that we passed on?

Women are a little different in this department. A woman will take her “friend’s” current man if his market value is high enough. (See “What’s Your Number?”) If he’s got a high score, even her sister better watch her back. That’s right, she better take him to the bathroom with her like he was pork chop in a room full of starving orphans. If you don’t agree find any woman with a man she values and ask her how many of her girlfriends would she trust alone with him? Let me know when you find one. Don’t worry I’ll wait…

When it comes to women and their old flames there is a certain degree of possessiveness. She can have a great man now and will still stake her claim on a prior. Primarily because so many women go back to old flames in some capacity that they don’t want to share him with another woman they know if even only on booty call status. (See “Ignorance Is Bliss”) To women’s credit, that’s often not a friendship deal-breaker. If one of her girlfriends gets with her ex she may call her all 31 flavors of a hoe but in the end they can be friends again. (That is only if the relationship doesn’t work out) If they get married, she’s a backstabbing hoe for life!

Men, we handle things differently. Since a man is nearly never allowed to have deep expressions of emotions we have to take a different stance. A man’s response is really based on the way that his “friend” goes about it. If the friend approaches him like a man and informs him of his intentions, the man will often acknowledge the respect and say okay. The woman herself is not really the issue it’s the respect shown to the man. The male ego sets precedence over almost everything. As long as he doesn’t feel lied to or disrespected most men don’t care. Many have babies by the same woman, can compare notes because they’ve all had the same girl, pretty much men “share the wealth”.

There are of course exceptions to every rule; if the man truly has feelings for the woman then he will do what we affectionately call, “hate”. (See “A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Haters”) He will harbor feelings of resentment and hurt. Everything from name calling to a fist fight can be the result. This is when his emotions get the best of him (something frowned upon when speaking on male behavior) which can lead to verbal and physical outbursts. Usually something immature will happen then the two men can move on.

In the end we are all free to do what and be with whom we choose. Friendships are wonderful, but so is love. We have to make the decision if our friend’s pain is greater than our pleasure.

If you are the one calling out your friend or labeling them as disloyal because they want what you had, you might want to ask yourself why? You had a chance and every opportunity to be with that person, it didn’t work out…it’s over. They may be the match that you and him/her weren’t. We need to ask ourselves, “Are we the ones being the bad friend, trying to keep our friend from potentially finding true love just because we’re uncomfortable with it?” If you are interested in a friend’s ex, are you showing the proper respect to the friendship? If you have to sneak, hide or lie to your friend there are problems that go way deeper than this man/woman.

Dating after a friend rarely goes smoothly, there’s a lot of emotions and feelings involved, step wisely. Relationships end for a reason, hopefully you took notes.The last thing you want is to risk a friendship just to find out what they already learned.

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Ignorance Is Bliss

It seems that that throughout history there has always been a price for knowledge; from slaves being murdered for being taught to read, all the way back to Adam & Eve being kicked out of the Garden of Eden after eating the fruit and gaining worldly knowledge. Even children are fearless until they’re told what to be afraid of. It seems as if sometimes the acquisition of knowledge comes at such a heavy price that we may not really want to know.

One area in particular that we often like to remain in the dark is when it pertains to our partner’s past. We want to know the basics; have you ever been to jail? Do you have any children? Ever been married? Can you read? We want to know the real-life necessities, but when it comes to sexual history sometimes we prefer the question marks.

Women are a little more inquisitive than men in the department of wanting to know sexual history. They often do want to know the "number", men…not so much. Asking about how many people your woman has slept with doesn't usually go well. As men we know there is no correct answer. If the number seems too low we think they’re lying and if it’s too high we’re upset. That’s one that we just throw out and accept. If it is truly an issue for the man, he’ll choose drafting over free agency when looking for a mate. (See Player, Player)

Women are much more accepting when it comes to the "number”. If his is high, a woman can rationalize that “he must be good in bed” or is “experienced” if so many women have slept with him. However not all areas of his past are met with such understanding. Something I’ve learned recently has opened my eyes to one area of zero tolerance from women. I don’t like superlatives, (always & never) but in this case 100% of the women asked all came to the same conclusion and response.

The question:
Which would you prefer, that your current man, had slept with 30 women before he met you (you don’t know them, have never seen them, don’t even know their name) or only 1 woman in his life before you, but you know her very well?

Every woman responded with 30. None could deal with the feelings of being around and knowing the woman who had been with her man. To take it a step further, I raised the number…it didn’t matter. 40, 50, 60 they could all deal with their man having been with these “phantom hoes” over knowing just this 1 woman.

There were mixed reviews from men; some wanted their woman to have been with the lowest number possible so they could see themselves dealing with the 1, others weren’t too concerned over “where she’s been”. Very few were hung up on the knowing the other guy part. Guess it really is, “ain’t no fun, if the homies can’t have none.”

It's difficult learning those things about the person we love that we don't want to really know. Hearing about those old encounters or knowing he/she has done some of things we're doing now can sting. We just have to be more concerned with creating new memories and pushing those old thoughts and stories to the back of the closet.

Relationships are all about acceptance. We have to learn about and truly accept who we’re with. All of their past experiences are what made them into the person we love now. I know it’s hard to want to think of them being with anyone else, we just have to remember, that needed to happen in order for them to find their way to us. That’s every lost love to random booty call, every broken heart to drunken threesome, all of it. To love someone is to love every bit of them including their past, and with it create a future.

I am a firm believer in "don't ask questions you don't really want the answer to." Yes we need that tolerance and acceptance but too much too soon can be an overload to the system, inquire when you're ready. You may find that it's really not that important to know.

The past is just that...the past. Learn it, accept it, deal with and move on. You don't want "knowing" to keep you from "learning", and really that's where relationships get fun.

You may even find yourself saying, "I don't know", just to "learn" something again.

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Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Cold Cup Of Coffee: Bitter Single-Parents

This is a special edition of A Moment With Morris. This is part of an ongoing series I affectionately titled "A Cold Cup of Coffee". Bringing you real life without the sweeteners, a cold and sometimes bitter, but always necessary sip of reality. This time we're looking at, Bitter Single-Parents.

This truly is, “A Cold Cup of Coffee” edition, some of you will be angry, some upset, some confused. All of which is okay, these are my thoughts…read responsibly.

Let me first begin by saying, that I myself spent my adolescence and teenage years in a single parent household. I believe that my mother did the best job she was capable of doing. To her credit, she had a lot going on within herself and still managed to raise me into being someone I am proud to be today. We made it through some rather tough times, and some low points, but we DID make it through. I appreciate her for everything, the good and bad, all helping me to be who I am today.

My parents couldn’t make it work but my mother never kept me or turned me from my father. Regardless of what happened in their relationship she made it clear and stressed his importance to me and my development.

Now have a seat at the bar and take a nice big swig of this cup. We’re pouring cold and sugar free all night…

Growing up in a single parent household, (divorce, baby mama/daddy, death) is a very difficult place and space for a child, and by child I mean under 18. Please don’t think that you’re 16 or 17 year old goes unaffected by a change like that. We’ve become so accustomed in this society to people having children and not staying together that I feel like we have become desensitized to the damage it creates. If you’re under 35, most likely you and many of your friends are products of a single parent home. It’s so common that I believe we take on the notion that since “we came out fine” we don’t see the problems that surround it, and yes there are problems.

Children of single parent households are drastically more likely to suffer from emotional issues (depression, anxiety, low self esteem) than if their parents stayed together. They also have a tendency to be more aggressive and disruptive. Girls are more likely to be in abusive relationships and experiment sexually at a younger age. This coincides with increased probability of molestation. Boys are more likely to drop out of school, get involved with drugs and alcohol, and engage in criminal activity. Close to 70 percent of male inmates in this country come from single parent households.

In other words, children need active involvement from both parents. This isn’t designed to throw statistics at you, let’s look at real life…

A man’s first relationship with a woman is with his mother. Her presence or lack of will set the table for the type of relationships he involves himself with. A boy with no mother will have him dating every emotionally distant, damaged or unavailable women, all the while trying to fill the mold of a woman that wasn’t there.

His father is there to teach him behavioral traits. We learn how to respond and deal with things from our same sex parent. A boy raised with a mother but with no father will have him reacting more like her; emotionally. Women have become the new male role model in our society, and it is killing us. Men need to learn how to be disciplined, and responsible in a way that a woman can’t teach. It’s a visual lesson.

Girls need both parents even more than boys. Girls without a father, grow up with incredible insecurity issues. (See “Daddy Dearest) They grow up in a state of panic, exhibiting high levels of anxiety which are often expressed through aggression or sexual behavior. In real life, they are more likely than not to be in abusive relationships, have issues with drugs and alcohol and battle depression. They attach themselves to men quickly and create non-existent relationships within their minds to fill that void. It’s a damaging process often leading them to experience extreme highs and bitter lows. Girls that have a father but no mother tend to grow up with trust and intimacy issues. They are being raised by men… They need their mother to teach them how to respond and process emotionally in ways that a man can’t teach…a visual lesson as well.

Let me top off that cup for you…

A lot of you are selfish. You let your own feelings of hurt, anger, betrayal and pettiness cloud your judgement when it pertains to your child. You made the choice to have a child with the person that YOU went out into this world and found. If you no longer love them, want them, whatever, those are YOUR feelings. You don’t get to make that decision for your child. If the other parent is difficult, if you can’t stand their new girlfriend/boyfriend, if you can’t stand to look at them, if you hate the fact that they’re still breathing…suck it up! Don’t take that parent away from that kid. Your child’s best interest is not contingent on your comfort.

This “Moment” is brought to you by the self-centered, immature, and bitter parents, (men & women) that with-hold their children from their ex’s because of their own issues of hurt. If she cheated on you with an NBA player, she still has the right and need to be with her child. Yes it sucks seeing them in matching jerseys, but so what. It’s not about you it’s about what’s best for your child. If he left you for your best friend, he still has the right and need to be there for his son or daughter. I know it hurts to know the three of them are at the park, but you don’t get to remove him and his importance in that child’s life. (However, I’m not saying you should beat her down…but I understand).

Get over this belief that a child is the rope in your little game of emotional tug-o-war. In your quest to hurt your ex, you are preventing your child from growing and being all they can be. Your B.S. is stunting their growth.

Personal responsibility goes all the way around…understand that if you screwed her over, maybe she’s going to make things a little difficult for you. No it’s not right, but neither is what you did. If you lied to him and he left you, understand that maybe he doesn’t believe you when you say you need him to come over “for the baby”. Your credibility is garbage, and you have to accept that.

There are so many men and women out there who are struggling day to day who wish for nothing more than for the other parent to be involved. If you are fortunate enough to have that option and opportunity, don’t waste it on your own petty non-sense. You will never get the response or satisfaction you are looking for and your child will be the one to suffer in the end.

I would like to hear from the B.S.P’s out there or even just the Single Parents, so leave a comment.

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Sunday, August 7, 2011

How Many Of Us Have Them?

From Stevie Wonder letting us know “What Friends Are For” to Biz Markie warning us when we hear they’re “Just A Friend” music has educated us on the need and importance of friendship. Friends are the family we choose as opposed to the ones we are given. They allow us to express sides of ourselves that aren’t often shown and are usually the influence that has us trying something new.

I can say that I have been fortunate to have met some incredible people and have had some amazing friendships, most I still maintain. I didn’t fully appreciate how important they have been in my life, until I got older. When we are young, friendships are simple. “You like Transformers and Spider-Man? Me too!” And a friendship was formed. I can however also remember one of my best friends growing up came from our initial dislike for one another. It was 1st grade, I remember like it was yesterday…

He had just moved from out of state and transferred into my class. We had a lot of the same interest, maybe too many. We were so similar that we “had” to fight. After a quick altercation of two shoves, no punches thrown, and 5 minutes of circling each other, we were cool. Our friendship had been forged in battle. From then on we were unstoppable teammates or arch enemies. (Depending upon how kick ball teams were picked) Our friendship/rivalry helped to fuel my already forming competitive spirit. Truth be told, his love for the Mets is what made me a Yankees fan. Thank you for that. Yes, it was that deep.

As I got older I would make friends with many different kinds of people. Being surrounded by different cultures and backgrounds I couldn’t help but expand my understanding and way of thinking. Learning about foods, music and customs became so common, I was no longer even aware that I was doing it. I may have taken 2 years of Spanish in high school, but I learned more in my friend Miguel’s kitchen with his mother, than I ever did out of a book in class.

Now I say friends are the family we choose because I have made some friends that I view as being as much a part of my family as those I share blood with. Those types of bonds were so necessary in the process of becoming who I am now. Granted some of those friendships may have had an expiration date, they were important. It’s funny to me when I hear from my friends that I “know everybody”, because I don’t. I just appreciate everyone who has been in my life, and I refuse to forget them. Whether the experience was good or bad, everyone I have ever encountered in some way affected the sculpting of who I am. For that, even my “enemies” have a place of relevance in my mind.

I know some people that say they only need a few really great friends. That’s all they want and need. I understand the concept. It usually comes after having been burned. Fear is however a horrible reason to not try something. Just don’t close yourself to the idea of knowing or growing with new people because mentally you feel you’ve reached your quota or are afraid of being hurt. In this day and age you can’t just let everybody “in”, I get that. Just remember that when you close yourself off, it is you that stops growing. Others just don’t have the time or want to maintain multiple friendships. “It’s too much work”, and I understand that as well. Hey, Bert had Ernie, Will had Grace, even Tom had Jerry; sometimes one is enough.

Family may be blood and are often expected to be there for us through the thick and thin…usually out of obligation. We’re “supposed” to be there for our family. This moment is for all the ones that are there for us…just because. Our friends get us through failed relationships, school, family issues, they help us get jobs & sometimes offer places for us to say. I know I have had to depend on my friends more than a time or two in my life and I appreciate them all to this day.

Whodini put it best; “Friends. How many of us have them?” Well I’m thankful to say that I’ve got quite a few great ones…

And to my old buddy…I’ve got $20 on the Yankees if you’re interested.

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Friday, August 5, 2011

A Different World

“Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute.” – Gil Stern

The Earth has been around for millions of years; its tendencies have been the same, existing within a cycle of biological checks and balances. It continues to regulate itself through climate and with the creatures that inhabit it. In other words, the planet is a constant…then why do we all live in such different worlds?

“Our” world is the one that we create and exist in for ourselves. How we approach and view the world is entirely up to us. Some people choose to see every day as an opportunity to be better than they were yesterday, while others see it as the next 24 hours of a lifetime sentence. In any event, we can have drastically different experiences to the same thing based solely on our outlook.

Now some think that money (with or without it) is the determining factor in how our world spins, deep down we know that’s not true. There are those with insane amounts of money that are miserable just as there are those with meager monies that are enriched, enlightened, and happy. Money doesn’t make the world go ‘round, it only dictates our mode of transportation on it. The scenery however…is the same.

Even our opportunities and “luck” is within our power. Ever notice how lucky people don’t stress? How happy people are seldom sick or how negative people are hurt or sick all of the time? We choose how we feel. We choose the world we live in. We may not have been born in the best location on the Earth or even into a horrific situation, but from every place of darkness someone has risen and shined…why not you…why not us? What was in them that was not in another? Thinking “happy” thoughts won’t do it alone. It does however start the thought process of putting us on the path to the better outcome. Once we remove the idea of “woe is me” we shift into a clearer state of thinking, and that allows us to make the better decisions. Remember, “The darkest hour is only 60 minutes.” You have to believe that you’ve got at least 61 minutes of fight in you to get to that focused state.

“Pessimism never won a battle.” Our need to make our world better has to come with the belief that we can. We need to accept control over our lives, our feelings, actions, behaviors…our world. If you think the mountain is too high, then it is. I’ve never heard of a marathon runner hitting that last 5 miles and making it through by saying “I can’t do this”. Get up! Shake the cob webs of self doubt and fear! Where is the gain in putting down yourself and circumstances? I would rather believe in myself to the fullest and fail gung ho style like “Thelma & Louise” over the cliff than whimper and limp to mediocrity or even victory. My world needs my belief and conviction, it can't exist in the space of blind hope or “why me?” thinking.

“The optimist already sees the scar over the wound; the pessimist still sees the wound underneath the scar.” I say remember the wound by the scar and try not to add more. Accept, learn and keep it moving.

This moment is directed at those that may not know the power that they wield. We can change our circumstance right this second. The way we think is what directs and guides us, change the way we think and we change where we’re going. It’s not about faith, or hoping or wishing; this is about understanding and assessing the ideas and thoughts we have. We need to know that we can take charge of the world we live in, and make the decisions necessary to be better instead of conceding to bad times and negative thinking.

“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.” We can start by simply looking at what’s real as opposed to what we feel. From there we can base our next move on where we want to be instead of getting hung up on how we got there. Let go of the need to focus on what brings you down and redirect that energy into lifting up. We need to value what we do have and who we really are…

…and If you’re still hung up on your glass being half empty…pour your drink into a smaller glass.

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