Friday, April 23, 2010

That's that then

Ramblings Post #97
Sometime in 2008, I honestly believed that God had, as close to as metaphorically possible, punched me in the mouth by causing an occurrence the odds of which were astronomical against to actually take place. It was a sign that I'd squandered a opportunity. I have a reason to believe, God is now holding my feet to the fire again.

I looked on Facebook earlier, and judging by the chatter the studying starts in earnest tomorrow for my peers. I thought well, I too could take one more night then dive in. Watch a little TV, let the mind settle, start on creating my Flash Cards and gather everything together. Maybe a spot of laundry. Nothing intense.

But I came home to my "new" yard guy finishing up the yard. Which was odd, because he was supposed to cut it on Saturday when I was home. No big, he said I could pay him tomorrow and disappeared. I walked in the house, got my comfy clothes on, turned on the TV and ....

... so it seems intense starts tonight.

Dude cut the cable.

To get a signal at my house, Direct TV had to put the dish in the yard and ran the cable that carried the signal all the way across the lawn around the house. My old lawn guy had cut the yard and never even nicked it. This guy didn't just cut it, he cut it into three distinct pieces. One of which he nicked again!

Then I called Direct TV, whom I tout every freaking chance I get, and damned if they can't arrive until Tuesday, unless somebody cancels. I might have to take back my free advertising! So I'm home, with my books, and I'm off till Thursday to get my mind right for finals. And no TV.

As such, now I have no excuses. My film collection is sorely lacking. My video game collection is woeful, and would take up way too much time anyway. So, it's studying, eating and the internet. Technically, this is distractions, other than the internet (which can get boring), and just studying all weekend.

Barkeep...just tell me this is good.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

And with that, it's on....

Ramblings Post #96
And now we come to end of another chapter. Will our hero find his bearings in time? Will the runaway freight train of destiny be corralled by the hands of confidence? Will his love finally wake up and smell what the Rock is cooking? Did I leave the lights on? I wonder if they have it in black? All that and more will be explained...someday. Maybe.

We're here again. Finals. That time of year where the constant refrain "why did I decide to do this again?" comes every time you open a fresh law book to begin studying on your next subject. Finished my last class tonight, Constitutional Law, and the writing part of my first final, Civil Procedure, is due on Friday at noon. Then the test part of it is next Thursday.

My plan is simple: Study like its the end of the world and somewhere in the text is my salvation.

I have this writing assignment, two in-class finals and then one take home eight hour masterpiece.

The writing assignment I did the bulk of last weekend. Wrap up and polish tonight and tomorrow. Turn in tomorrow night.

Study all weekend, off work all week and final on Thursday.

Repeat the next week, off work all week and final on Wednesday.

Repeat the next week, off work until I download and take the final on Wednesday, twenty four hours before the deadline.

Then sweat out grades for a month.

Oh yeah, this promises to be fun.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shoulda just cut it all off

Ramblings Post #95
Despite our best efforts, life is about minutiae. No matter the heights we achieve, we must still bathe, and eat, and shave - in some for or another - and clip our nails, and etc and so on. These things can't be avoided. And since "little things mean a lot", when I came to the realization I'd been neglecting something important, and then it turned on me, I knew it was time to get right with myself...and the guy who cuts my hair.

I'm not a barber snob.

For the past few years, more and more guys I know are forgoing the barbershop and cutting their own hair. Those are to some degree, barber snobs. I, on the other hand, had stuck to the tried and true system however, not because I was too lazy, but rather because I'd tried cutting my own hair before and truly screwed it up so I'd rather trust a professional.

That said, usually any professional (who can take instruction) will do.

Typical barbershop - Black America.

As a kid, a trip to the barber meant our mother dropped us off at, I think it was at least, Professional Barbershop #3. It was in what would now be called a little strip mall, with a dirt parking lot. It was the original "men's hut". They were professional professionals, even now I remember that they were older than college students, who cut hair all day. The shop was big, had old magazines and smelled like what I imagined at the time Africa smelled like. And they had two huge mirrors facing one another, which gave this infinity effect which at the time I thought was sooo cool.

In college, I let my hair get cut just about anywhere. The barber's, a friend's house, my house, by this chick who swore she knew how to cut. On internship in Chicago I drove to the Southside to get my haircut, and on internship in New Jersey going in the barbershop and waiting let them know I wasn't from there. I probably wasn't as self conscious as I should have been, appearance-wise, so it was probably wild and woolly then. Looking back, a little grooming and discipline might have made a world of difference.

Now I've proscribed to the comment plight of the black male (who still has hair), finding a barber who I like. A good barber for a black man is sacred. I've changed barbershops because "my" barber moved, put off cut because he wasn't available and waited when he said he was running late. A good barber, who knows his customers, almost doesn't have to be told, only reminded how you like your hair. And he doesn't cut it so it looks good just for today, he cuts it so your hair grows into the shape you want.

I would have picked one a while ago I think, but at the place to close to my job they never have a lot of customers so I'm wary of riding by one day and finding them gone. But I think it's time to pick one of them - and a suitable back up.

Because yesterday, when I walked into my latest usual spot, where I ended up after my last barber disappeared (long story) and because its close to the job, I let them pick out the guy who would cut my hair. I gave him explicit instructions. How did he do?

- I don't like them to give me a "line" in the front. The hair is headed back fast enough, no need to encourage it. He touched up my line.

- For my head, I need the sides cut closer than the top, it grows faster. Otherwise my head looks like a wedge, like Grady from Sanford and son. He didn't understand "close".

- And because the sides grow faster than the top, I like the sides cut high, closer to a buzz cut than a fade. He started fading it out around the ears.

I paid him...even tipped him, headed home and broke out the clippers.

You shouldn't have to cut your hair after you gotten your hair cut. That and he sprayed some gook on my hair without asking, then told me it was black company and we need to support. Not really digging his flavor. So it looks like it's gonna be the bald guy in the back from now on, or the sister who cut it once and it wasn't too bad.

Barkeep...tell me the baldy is coming back!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Well, well, well

Ramblings Post #94
Now is the time, as happens around this time, where I start to question my life choices. Specifically what made me think I could be a lawyer. I mean really, what was I thinking. I'm either in way over my head or I'm a little bit crazier than I think. I can no longer tell how I do I tests, I'm not sure if my data is sound, I'm questioning myself at every turn. But as I said at the midterm - "If I'm not nervous about it, then I got a problem."

It was Saturday, the tutor session started late, I'd been reviewing too much for one class and needed a break, and so when Spur called and said let's go eat (right as I walking into the session) I asked her if we could kick it back to after my brain was thoroughly fried. She was cool with that.

So Spur met me on a late, warm Saturday afternoon at our old hangout, Fellini's. There was a time she and I would do Fellini's twice a week, a couple of slices, a couple beers and just chill and talk about whatever. This is nearly a decade ago when we both "between positions", but since then Atlanta's little bohemian pizza chain has been "our" spot, although we do venture upmarket from time to time.

But as it was she got a slice with ground beef, onions, and peppers and I got the basic sausage pepperoni with extra cheese, we got a couple of cold ones and found a spot on the patio of Fellini's on Ponce, which for a restaurant on a busy four lane street is pretty damned relaxing. Or so it used to be. We never really got around to talking about anything, though we did have a good time. It turned out whatever day that was, is apparently family night.

Now, Fellini's has always been, at least to me, a bohemian pizza joint. The vast majority of them are mostly patio, the little sign to let them know which table to deliver your pizza or slice to are little photos pop icons like James Dean or Frankenstein or something. Staffed by what looks like, well, bohemians, it is usually chock full of college kids, hipsters and couples in BMWs looking for something a little different. So to look over and see, somebody's gray haired mother was a little disconcerting. To see her sitting next to her even grayer haired husband even more of a shock. Then the kids came.

I got nothing against kids. My favorite kind are the ones you herd back over to the mothers. My least favorite are the kind whose mother's sit down, start sipping on their beer and are oblivious as their brood run wild. The people on my patio were the second group. I watched the kids filch change out of the fountain, chase birds, refuse to take off their skates, stick their feet in the water, etc, all while the adults paid them no heed. Spur kept calling them out to me as they happened. I kept wondering when the mother was going to say something.

It started as a joke, but maybe it really was just family night. Another couple showed up with three kids. Then some other folks showed with kids. Apparently Chuckie Cheese was closed. Spur and I decided we'd need a bit more age friendly spot to hang out at in the future, because the occasional curse words happen over beers, and there is nothing worse than a mommy's righteous indignation after she's taken the reins off her children for you to offend them by acting like a grown up.

Other than that, my Saturday...of which the night was spent still reading for that SAME freaking class...was as boring as expected.


Barkeep. B-12 with bee pollen in a mountain dew guava juice mix. I need brain food.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Quick Film Review - Surfer, Dude

I don't watch a whole lotta movies, I don't really have the time and most of the films emanating from Hollywood reek of a blandness or sameness, stamped with the mantra that a big star and more explosions equals success. Or the drama is contrived and plausibility factor is in the toilet. So last night, after class and after reading a little for next week (finals are around the corner and I'm nervous) I turned on the TV to give me brain a break and found...well, this odd movie....

I've looked it up on IMDb and found that all told, the film grossed around $50,000, which makes it an epic flop considering someone invested millions to make it. But it's not that bad a film, considering the fact the for most of it...well, 95% of it, the lead Matthew McConaughey is bereft of shirt. That alone should have made it unwatchable, but it wasn't.

The whole movie is about a guy who is supposed to be the world's greatest surfer: cool, smoked out, barefoot and basically living the life we all dreamed we'd lived when we were much younger. He makes money off casual endorsements of stuff he uses and really doesn't focus on business, just the waves. Only his loose casual contract has has been bought out by a guy who wants super cool surfer man to be on his surfer version of a reality pay per view show and record his moves for a virtual video game. The hero isn't interested, he just wants to surf. So the evil corporate guy cuts off super cool surfer man's existing money until he signs up for the whole program...just as the waves in the Pacific stop well, waving. No waves, no surf. And super cool surf man can't live without surf.

Throw in lots of gratuitous nudity (that Surfer TV house is the greatest party house ever), massive quantities of illegal substances, the prerequisite cheesy romance storyline, and some surfer zen and you've got...well, a mess. But a very likable mess.

I clicked over a little after the start and found myself fascinated. I figured I would turn the channel in a few seconds, or go to bed, but found myself wanting to watch a few more minutes, and then a few more. And I kept waiting for him to put on some clothes! Or at least change his shorts. It's not a bad little tale, visually it looks like just a cut above your average B-movie/straight to video affair. It could have been a stylized indie statement of life and whatever else those kind of storytellers want you to see, but there isn't enough angst or weight to this movie to pull that off.

I wish I could say, after watching this, that Matthew McConaughy is an underrated actor whose looks distract from watching him act, but I would be lying. McConaughy just plays a character who is essentially himself. Which might make this his best role ever.

I'd watch it again. Maybe.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Muddle on, muddle on

Ramblings Post #93
It is what it is and it is what its gonna be. Sometimes life deals you the cards you've been waiting on, and it all falls together perfectly. Most times however, life deals you a mess, but you've got to play anyway. So learn to play like you've got a pair. At least a pair, because high card is straight BS.

So this weekend I had my last spring hurrah before finals, which really wasn't, saw a little family and woke up to find the NFC east had been mucked up beyond all recognition.

Saturday, after three hours of sleep on Friday, I awoke and muddled through a morning and afternoon of reading. I don't think anything stuck. I was a surprisingly unproductive day considering I did so much, but I would read, then read, then throw in some laundry, then read, then take out the garbage, and read...and I don't remember any of it. My prof who used to post the PowerPoint for class on Friday has moved it to Monday, so even that typing which gets me in the right frame of mind I wasn't able to do.

And I spent most of the weekend looking for the affidavit to get me out of jury duty...because the day I'm assigned is the day of one of my finals. Two weeks later and I would have just had to spend the day relaxing at the court house hoping I didn't get picked.

But Saturday night, I head over to the Estate for the Final Four - Jones/Hopkins party. I'm bar tending, which is usually a pretty sweet gig. But because one of the "new" hosts had decided to let some chick he was trying to holler at open a second bar, it was different and I didn't really need the hassle. Now, just so we're clear : I don't bar tend at these little private functions for the money. It's a nice bonus, but it ain't why I does it. I do it because it's a great way to meet people, and I love meeting folks.

So that wasn't cool.

And my understanding , because they didn't get the fight for the party in the end, that Roy Jones needs to offer refunds for his showing.

Sunday I spent reading more that I don't remember, and reviewing more that just now escapes me. I should have washed the dishes, cleaned up, reupholstered the couch, something, but reading was a waste of time...

At some point, I found out the Eagles had traded Donvan McNabb to the Redskins, which is troubling, but why I don't know.

Had dinner with my brother, who's online career is starting to grow a little bit. He's writing for a few sites with name recognition now, and might actually be able to make a career out this. It's a cobble together situation right now, but I'll give him credit, he is working it.

Additionally, from my defacto niece, who is 18 and a college freshman, I found out I'm not that far from still being cool, as I did know Waka Flocka Flame is a person, and not a new drink. My brother joking referred to to Waka Mocha Maraschino a couple times. Why I know he is would be a whole different story.

Tonight is study night for real. I got no choice. The power points are up, I gotta have salad for dinner...Zaxby's house salad is nice...and at some point I need to check on Sporty.

And I am, as my father used to say before his current, well, live action "meme"...I can't complain. Because ain't nobody listening anyway.

Friday, April 2, 2010

That damn Batman...

This is a political post.

Obama is dangerous.

I lamented several months ago that Obama, embattled and looking shaky needed to let the Chicago out. Throw some elbows, flex a little muscle, you know. You don't learn politics in Chicago without getting dirty...excuse me, filthy. And I, like many was confused by the man's cool demeanor in the face of fierce opposition from his critics. And unlike many, I've just realized that Barack Obama is really Bruce Wayne, because he just pulled some serious Batman shit.

For those who don't read comic books, in a hand to hand fight, Batman can beat Superman.

You see, although he's a mere mortal and Superman is the man of steel, Batman has always has a plan. You don't know it, you can't see it and when it pops up you're like "damn, I should have thought of that." It's usually some old "backdoor, underhanded, hatched back when nobody else even realized there was a problem and has been slow building for forever" plan that ...mixing hero metaphors for no reason ...makes the A-Team look like amateur hour.

Obama just okayed the offshore drilling the Republicans swore would fix our energy problems.

Why would he do that? Because he knows it pretty much means nothing, but it takes the weapon out of his opponents hands. Nothing you say? It's not like they can start drilling tomorrow. Or next week. Or next year. The surveys alone to figure out where to drill will take three to five years. Getting the equipment together another two or three. IF the price of oil is high enough to warrant it the capital outlay to actually drill. All this has to be factored in. It is all in all, just this side of an empty gesture.

And it just took away a major Republican rallying point that the President wasn't serious about America's energy policy.

He's passed health care which the Republicans couldn't repeal even if they wanted to (and they do) and now he's kicking in the opposition party's doors and starting undermine their rallying points.

Batman like a mofo...