Sunday, April 29, 2007

Berries and Cream, Berries and Cream

Sunday, April 29, 2007 1
I'm recovering from this weekend's festivities. I'll out together a weekend wrap-up sometime tomorrow. I had to share this. This has to be the funniest commercial I've seen on awhile. I can not stop laughing at this:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

UMD finally releases renderings of Byrd Stadium Expansion

Wednesday, April 25, 2007 0
This really made my morning.

University of Maryland athletic officials finally released renderings of various phases of the planned expansion of Byrd Stadium. Phase 1 construction will include changing the playing surface from natural grass to a synthetic material, lowering the entire playing surface, installing a brick wall around the field, adding seat backs to the 200- level seats, Maryland's version of a club level, on the south side of the stadium and various cosmetic upgrades including a new JumboTron to replace the relic of a scoreboard behind the student section. The cornerstone of Phase 1 construction, however, is an expanded Tyser Tower (see the photo above).

The University also plans to add ~8,000 seats to the enclosed end zone, expand Gossett Field House and add another Terrapin Team Store at the stadium.

Click here for other renderings.

I couldn't be more thrilled.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The Weekend That Was...

Monday, April 23, 2007 1
Where to begin?

This weekend was probably one of the more eventful weekends in recent memory. On Friday, a bunch of friends and I went to the Black Cat in NW Washington to experience the lovely and beautiful Teedra Moses. The concert started off with a bang. The PJ Morton Band opened and was good enough to inspire me to buy ‘The Perfect Song’, the band’s newest release on Brash Records. Teedra came out and sang a few songs (and by a few I mean 6 or 7, maybe 8…fortunately, I had enough drinks that I wasn’t too bothered by her abbreviated performance). After that, we piled into our cars and headed to Ryan’s for one of his famous (well, infamous) gatherings. We chilled until maybe 4:30am or so, then went home. The paparazzo was out in full force (thanks Spanish Eryk!). I'll post the links to the pics a little later.

Saturday began like most Saturdays do. Errands, laundry, cleaning, playing the dog (click here for pics of him), etc. Andre, my homie from college who moved to LA after graduation, was in DC/Baltimore for the weekend. He invited me to his parents’ home in Baltimore for a not-so-impromptu gathering. There was food, cards, drinks, and friends. It’s always great to see/chill with people you haven’t seen in a long time.

I really did think my Sunday would begin in the house of the lord. It didn’t. In fact, it didn’t begin until mid-afternoon. I met up with Laura, then the new love interest. Then I went home and went to bed.

So, as I sit here starring blankly at the computer, reading my emails and news updates, I’m still tired.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Dog Pics

Thursday, April 19, 2007 1
I finally bought a new camera and decided to take and post pictures of my puppy. JJ is a 3-month old Rott/Chow mix. I've had him for almost 2 and a half months now. He's great.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

"It kinda makes you wonder where is this world headed in the future."

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 0
The following began as a response to a post (the body of the post is the title of this entry) on a message board I frequent. It inspired the following:

I think the future is now.

The news outlets have moved from reporting the actual event of the tragedy to attempting to understand the psyche of Cho Seung-hui, the 23 year old South Korean undergraduate responsible for the carnage at Virginia Tech. Most reports describe this kid as a ‘loner’, an ‘outsider’ and ‘clearly disturbed. There are a bunch of clearly disturbed people in this world who will NEVER shoot and kill 32 people and injure a number of others. This kid had a clear mean streak in him.

Its unfortunate, but he isn’t alone. Many of us are flat-out mean and don’t even realize it.

But how did this happen?

We've developed a culture of meanness and somehow it’s become less reprehensible and garners less reaction than ever before. Common decency seems to have fallen nearly completely off most people's radar. We don't say hello when we pass each other on the streets or standing next to each other on the Metro. Hell, I’ve been jogging along the same route for nearly a year and have seen the same lady every single day and never even say hello. I often look pass the homeless solicitors while walking down the street or waiting at the stop light in my car without giving a single thought to his/her situation.

We've somehow lost our way and the truly disparaging thing is nobody seems to be enraged by it.

Think about you're emotions when you watch your local news reports. Local news sucks primarily because producers rarely have time to report anything other than the murders and violent crime that seemingly occurs daily. We hear it so often that it doesn’t even bother us anymore. We may be upset or disappointed by it, but how many of us are truly incensed enough to actually do something other than grumble? Many of us don't even skip a beat, bat an eyelash or break stride. We've been desensitized and that’s unfortunate. An unscrupulous and sometimes just plain mean nature has somehow woven itself into our social fabric.

I wonder when this happened…

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

2007 ACC-Big 10 Challenge Pairings Announced

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 0
I'm a sports junkie. Sports junkies write about (and live for) sports. Here's my first sport related post.

The pairing for the 2007 ACC-Big 10 Challenge (not sure why this is still being called a challenge; the Big 10 has never won a series...ever.) On
Wednesday, November 28 at 7:30pm, Maryland plays host to Illinois at Comcast Center. I swear it seems like Maryland plays either Wisconsin or Illinois in EVERY SINGLE challenge. The Big 10 will have to wait another year to capture its first series victory. The ACC will take this one 7-3. This year's matchups are below:

2007 ACC-Big 10 Challenge

Monday, Nov. 26 Wake Forest at Iowa - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

Tuesday, Nov. 27 Georgia Tech at Indiana - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Minnesota at Florida State - 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Northwestern at Virginia - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
Wisconsin at Duke - 9:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Purdue at Clemson - 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

Wednesday, Nov. 28
NC State at Michigan State - 7:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Illinois at Maryland - 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Boston College at Michigan - 8:00 p.m. (ESPNU)
North Carolina at Ohio State - 9:00 p.m. (ESPN)
Virginia Tech at Penn State - 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)

I can not wait until college basketball rolls around again.

The Mouring After...The Virginia Tech Massacre

This post really has no direction. It's just a collection of the thoughts that are running through my head.

My thoughts and prayers are with the familes, friends and loved ones of the 32 students and faculty members whose lives were abruptly ended yesterday. May God bless the souls of the dead.

Events like yesterday's tragedy at Virginia Tech really puts life into perspective. I immediately thought about my days on campus at the University of Maryland and the emotions I experienced during the 'DC Sniper Attacks' in Washington and suburban Maryland and the tornado which left two dead many others injured and without shelter and the attacks of 9/11. Even with those experiences as a reference, I can not (nor will I attempt to) fathom what students, faculty and staff at the University are feeling right now.

I really feel for those people because this is really an incident that is not exclusive to Blacksburg; this could happen at any college or university or any other place in the country for that matter...and at any time.

I know time supposedly heals all wounds, but the effects of these tragic events will no doubt be felt for what may feel like an eternity.

Washington Post -
DC Area Man Was Va. Tech Shooter
TIME Magazine - The Virginia Tech Victims

Monday, April 16, 2007


Monday, April 16, 2007 0
It's Monday and usually that's a bad thing, not this week. This week Monday means it's just 4 days until, well…Friday. But this isn’t just any Friday. Its 4/20 (can’t wait to celebrate…that’s all I’m going to say about that), my buddy Andre (originally from Baltimore, but moved to LA after graduating college) is coming home and a bunch of us (read: me, LaNia, Mel, Andre, Jaimar, Spanish Eyrk, Ryan, et. al) are going to see Teedra Moses perform at the Black Cat in Washington, DC.

I loved her debut CD, Complex Simplicity, but have never seen her perform live. Since she lives in LA, she does lots of little clubs there and Andre says we’re in for a treat (and if he’s willing to travel 2000 miles to see her perform on the east coast, then this MUST be special.)

This should be one interesting evening. I told LaNia to let Melvina know her lateness will not be tolerated on Friday. I’m excited!

Why can't we leave well enough alone?

I try to stay informed. In my mind, there are few things in the world worse than a person who has no clue what’s going on in the world. Since sophomore year of college, I’ve dedicated a solid hour of each morning to indulging in my news updates. My daily cocktail consists of the Washington Post, the Baltimore Sun, the (London) Times, Reuters and others. It’s what I do.

Anyway, I came across this article in the New York Times. The ‘How to Pay for College” tagline caught my eye and should probably grab the attention of any recent undergraduate (especially if they are up to their eyeballs in debt like I am – thanks University of Maryland!). Apparently, the Bush administration has decided to allow private corporations to offer colleges and universities (both public and private) inducements (read: millions of dollars) to pull out of the federal lending program created and championed by the Clinton administration in the early 90s.

It really pisses me off that Bush and his republican cronies can’t leave well enough alone. I swear this administration will do ANYTHING to appease the private sector. Why couldn’t they leave well enough alone? Kids were getting there loans without high originator fees and the like and taxpayers were saving money because the interest payments went directly to the federal government.

This is flat-out BRIBERY: “Voluntary giving of something of value to influence performance of official duty.”

Republicans are determined to defend any private business that will produce profits. I’m waiting for one of them to start up a “I’ll wipe your ass for you’ service for elitist capitalists in this country. Pubs piss me off.

New York Times - Lenders Sought Edge Against U.S. in Student Loans

Sunday, April 15, 2007

You know what really grinds my gears? 2.0

Sunday, April 15, 2007 0
I hate when people talk to me while I'm on the treadmill. Actually, I hate when people talk to me while I'm on the treadmill AND have those ubiquitous Ipod ear buds in place. It clear (or at least should be clear) that I'm occupied.

Don't tap me to talk about what just came across the ticker at the bottom of the CNN broadcast. Don't try to have a conversation with me about politics, what I do for a living, the weather, my dog, my coworkers, my workout or anything else. It's so uncool for your old ass to be walking slowly and expect me to engage you in conversation while attempting to run a 7:30 mile (the word attempting should be stressed).

That brings me to another point. Why do old people feel so entitled? Are the elderly not held to the same standard gym etiquette? All I want to do is get in, do my thing and get out. I don't want to talk to YOU.

I'm sure you'll read this and think, "This guy is a pretentious asshole." or "The old man was just trying to talk." Both statements may be true, but I stand by my statements.

This really grinds my gears.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Imus, Imus, Imus - ENOUGH ALREADY!

Saturday, April 14, 2007 1
By now, everyone on Earth has heard of 'shock jock' Don Imus and the racist and sexist comments he made about the Rutgers women's basketball team - if you haven't, then you've been living under a rock on Mars. It's been nearly two weeks since the University of Tennessee Lady Vols beat Rutgers to win Pat Summitt's 7th national championship (will Rutgers ever win a national title in anything?) and Imus' 'Nappy headed hoe' tirade is still unavoidable. Not only is this story being covered by every major (and even the not-so-major) news networks, but ESPN and FSN, two major sports networks that occasionally try their hand at real journalism, is also on the case.

This begs the question, why after two weeks is this story still front-page, headline news? Case in point, remember NASA's odd love triangle involving Lisa Nowak, the clearly disturbed astronaut who kidnapped and attempted to kill her ex's new lover? Yeah, her. You'd probably forgotten all about her because the Anna Nicole story gripped the nation (note the sarcasm) just a few days afterwards. The point is, American news moves in waves and cycles. When something newer, fresher and juicier comes along, we forget about 'the big story' of two days ago. Imus' story, however, really seems to be bucking that trend and that brings me to the point of this post.

**To avoid any confusion and to be clear on my stance, I feel I should issue the following disclaimer: I don't support Imus or his radio program, his comments were racist and sexist, are unacceptable and should not be tolerated under any circumstance**

With that said, when will our so-called black leaders (read: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton) learn appropriate leadership tactics? Why does black leadership always wants us to play the victim? Why advocate reactivity over proactivity? Al Sharpton, on his radio program 'Keepin' It Real', said that Imus should render his resignation because “What [he] said is racist.” Why is Al even trying to win that battle? Imus' constitutional right to free speech affords him the opportunity to say whatever racist and sexist crap he'd like to. Why is Al inviting this man on his radio program in the first place? The time that Sharpton dedicated to Imus on his radio program would have been better spent urging blacks and women and everyone else who disagrees with or has been offended by his ideology (and TRUST, he's offended many) to boycott CBS Radio, MSNBC and products made by companies who sponsor his program until they stop stopping him and his offensive opinions.

CBS Radio and NBC initially suspended and ultimately fired Imus. These networks didn't succumb to the wrath of Sharpton, Jackson and friends or public opinion, for that matter. In its own statement, NBC News said the decision “comes as a result of an ongoing review process, which initially included the announcement of a suspension. It also takes into account many conversations with our own sponsors employees.” The statement went on: “What matters to us most is that the investors men and women of NBC Universal have confidence in the values we have set for this company. This is the only decision that makes that possible.”

When will we learn that we can say what we want, but money is really what talks? When we will learn to forgo battles in an effort to win the war? When will we learn not to play the victim and become proactive opposed to being reactive? Perhaps when our "leaders" figure this out for themselves.

CNN: Imus Suspended from TV, Radio
Fox News: MSNBC Drops Simulcast of 'Don Imus in the Morning'
Baltimore Sun: Under pressure, CBS drops Imus' program

Thursday, April 12, 2007

You know what really grinds my gears?

Thursday, April 12, 2007 0
I feel I should preface this post with the following comment: I recognize that we all have our faults and that no one, myself included, is perfect. I pride myself on continuously growing, evolving, learning from mistakes and making every effort to leave situations and circumstances as a better man than I was when I entered.

With that said, I really can't stand it when people fail to follow through on things they say they plan to do. Case in point, I have a 'friend' (these quotations denote friendship in the loosest sense of the word...more like a long-time acquaintanceship) who never keeps his word. We recently made plans to attend a summer festival in Florida. When I approached him about the subject, he seemed excited about the prospect of traveling together and even asked me to firm up travel arrangements. That was on a Friday. I called on Sunday afternoon to talk about our upcoming trip. No answer. I called again on Sunday evening; his telephone went to voicemail after one ring...I left a message asking him to call me so that we could talk about the trip and determine how he'd pay me back if I made the reservations, etc. A week went by, no answer. Half of a second week went by and I received the most random email on my BlackBerry explaining that his telephone was either lost or stolen and that I should reply back with my cell number.

I'm no bloodhound, but I can certainly sniff out a pile of bullshit.

A week later I got a phone call from him. He was giddy and happy to hear from me. I was, according to him, confrontational and abrasive. I explained how disappointed I was in his immaturity and how he handles these types of situations (no, this is NOT the first time he's pulled this type of stunt). he really had no response, asked if I felt better about the situation and we terminated the telephone call (and probably our friendship.)

My question is, why do people do things like this? I completely understand that people change their minds about stuff. I have no problem whatsoever with committing to something, re-evaluating your stance and decommitting. Just be a man and say something. I might be disappointed that I have to change my plans, but I'd get over that. I can't, however, get over being lied to and deceived by a supposed friend.

I really hate to sound like a girl about this, but it really pisses me off. Actually, it really grinds my gears.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Random Musing 1.0

Wednesday, April 11, 2007 0
So...the muse for today's rant is an exchange between a lady and her daughter who sat next to me at the barber shop. The young daughter (probably 11 or 12) and her friend come back from a nearby Burger King. The daughter leaves out to use the bathroom. Mom takes a sip of daughter's drink. The daughter returns from the bathroom. The following ensues:

Lady: (in a very stern and abrasive tone) Did you taste this before you left Burger King?
Daughter: Huh? No. Why?
Lady: This is seltzer water. I always tell you to taste things before you leave places. What is wrong with you? Why don't you listen?
Daughter: (gives perplexed look)
Daughter: I'll go back and get another one.
Lady: No you won't! You'll drink this one. I swear, I'm not giving you anymore of my money. You don't value shit. What's wrong with you?
Daughter: (takes sip of drink) Ma, I don't want thins. It's nasty.
Lady: Ciara, DO NOT PLAY WITH ME!! You better drink that seltzer water!
Daughter: (drinks what remains of seltzer)
Me: (Texts LaNia to laugh at/ridicule the mother) to begin? First, I feel for the daughter. Parents always blow shit out of proportion and make a big deal out of things that really aren't that serious. The lady placed no blame on the Burger King for not checking their soft drinks before serving it to the public. Restaurants have an inherent responsibility to ensure the quality of their products. If not, then they wouldn't be negligent when people find razors in their hot dogs or fried mice in their bucket of Popeye's. Besides, how many times do you check your shit before leaving a fast food place?

Now, let's get into the mother. She really needs to relax. I don't know if she was having a bad day or if she's sexually frustrated or what, but she made a scene over a damn soda. I completely understand and appreciate when parents rear their kids (that doesn't happen often enough today.) But teach a lesson about drugs or sex or something...soda is not a core value.

Lastly, this whole situation could've been avoided had she not drank the girl's stuff when she went to the damn bathroom. That's what her sneaky ass gets.

Monday, April 2, 2007

I've jumped the shark!

Monday, April 2, 2007 0
After months (and in some cases years) of ridiculing my friends for exposing their most private and intimate thoughts with random (and some not-so-random) strangers on the web, I've jumped the shark and joined in.

Not sure what I'll talk about, but...sty tuned. Should/could be fun (hopefully).
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