let the record state: she taught me better
she tried her best
i ended up like this anyway
it’s not her fault.
let the record state: she taught me better
she tried her best
i ended up like this anyway
it’s not her fault.
back when i was first learning about Government.
i asked, how many Black senators are there?
she said, are you kidding?
i asked, all of them?
she said none of them fool!
and her friend laughed so hard she nearly dropped her baby.
so then i asked, well you can see into the future,
when will the first senator from Georgia get elected?
and she said, you will be bald and fat before that happens.
i said what?
she said, the other party will have to do everything wrong, repeatedly, loudly, they’ll have to withhold vital relief money from the entire state, they’ll have to be cowardly, and unusually evil.
and then, my sweet boy, then Georgia will hire a Black man for Senate.
and she rubbed my little snow cap and aimed me at my grandpa holding the camera
and i closed my eyes and thought
and yet this Christmas, like every Christmas she sends more packages and more gifts to us than we give to each other.
always good things.
always things i wear forever.
always things i love.
last night i went to bed early and woke up in the middle of the night somewhere around 420am. when i get four hours of sleep my body thinks thats all i want so i know im doomed for the rest of the night so i turned on the maladorian and started wrapping amber’s gifts.
even though im broke i met a guy across the river and did a favor for him. in return he told me i could purchase a laptop computer for amber at a deep discount.
believe it or not the favor was to do some SEO work for their company’s website.
but as soon as i started wrapping her gift, i hear her stumble to the bathroom and then slowly walk to the living room. i hastily hid the computer and took off my pants in front of her.
that image worked to perfection and she retreated back to slumber.
currently im reading the autobiography of ted templeman who loved jazz as a teen in the 1950s and went on to produce a slew of Doobie Brothers albums in the ’70s before producing all of Van Halen’s records and then later Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, and Joan Jett.
he starts off talking about his dad and uncles who had such a horrible life that it makes you ashamed for ever complaining about anything. i havent had an arm blown off. i havent been taken prisoner. boo hoo kris rebah didnt wanna go to the seventh grade dance with me, ted templeman’s dad had to eat spiders to stay alive and gave raw meat to a monkey to see if it would die. and if it didnt, mr templeman would eat the horrid meat.
eighth grade would be better.
and eighty-eighth grade would be better than ever.
suck it up, whiner, the next chapter will more than make up for this one.
and then i can get my momma better presents than she gets me.
typically we have pleasant phone calls and everythings cool
but today she told me something incredibly disturbing.
she told me that she is going to go to my sisters house to tutor her grandchild.
i said have they discovered the cure to the contagious disease that kills senior citizens, especially minorities are the most at risk?
i had literally just posted on LosAngeleno a tweet that said
250k Angelenos this year have contracted a disease that has no cure.
the person who implored me to be safe my whole life was telling me that she was planning on going to a home filled with people, including children,
one of whom just happens to be ill and has no idea what the malady is.
when i objected my mother accused me of being on drugs.
I AM THE MOST HONEST MAN OF ALL TIME. YOU RAISED ME TO BE THAT. IN COLLEGE I WOULD CALL YOU WHILE I WAS ON DRUGS AND TOLD YOU I WAS ON DRUGS I AM NOT ON DRUGS RIGHT NOW. IF ANYONE IS, IT’S THE PERSON SAYING SHE IS GOING TO A HOME WHERE GOD KNOWS WHERE ANYONE HAS BEEN.
it was a disaster of a phone call.
and who knows maybe my mom wants to wrap it up. who am i to stand in her way. my whole family is filled with strong black women. nearly all of them college educated going back to my great great grandmother. a rarity for our race.
she knows what she is doing.
i would be devastated without my mother.
the one reason i am as incredible and thoughtful and open minded and sensitive to the needs of women in the workplace is because of what she taught me and what i saw her go through as a single black woman in a corporate hq.
the last person i would ever want to grow up to be is someone who had done my mother wrong.
also i had a pair of grandmothers who would literally beat my ass if i was anything less than gentlemanly.
i am sure its hard to sit in the house and watch trump every day and read the Daily Kos and stare out at the window watching the leaves turn brown. but thats the struggle we all have right now.
WELL YOU GO OUT ALL THE TIME she said.
and i do. and i wear gloves. and i sanitize everything. constantly. and im in and out. and i use apple pay from my iphone. i dont touch shit and if i do i set it on fire and set my hands on fire too
and i rise from the ashes.
i dont know what these people are doing at my sisters house. i dont know who their friends are, what sort of situation is going over there. for pete sake my niece had 3 jobs last month, tell me how that is not a risky maneuver right there.
dont you think i want to go out into the world and interview people?
dont you think i want to go to every neighborhood in LA and pull back the curtain?
dont you think i want to take a road trip around the country and talk with every single person and take their picture and hug them and kiss their babies and pet their dogs and eat on their porch swings and pee in their snowbanks?
but this is not the time.
this is the time to sit in the house.
just like in the omega man.
just like in the bible.
just like in the end times.
i was so mad i drove and drove through the night in the valley and people were outside bars dining on the sidewalk, way too many of them
everyone taunting fate.
every one just exhausted of the fear and the invisibleness of it all
every one just borderline suicidal because blooming onions and a margarita are just too irresistible on the last night of summer
and i will not go to any funerals of people who die when i tell them not to die.
My mom got into college at 16 years old. She was a math whiz and an excellent student. Unlike me.
Back then Black people were limited to the colleges they could attend. Even though Honest Abe had freed us in the 1860s and even though the Declaration of Independence in 1776 said something about all men being equal, in the 1960s my mom was only allowed into a Black college.She chose Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. John Lewis did too.
Fisk was very strict with the young ladies. They had to sign in and sign out whenever they left the dorms. One afternoon her friends said there was something that was going to happen downtown at the drug store and since a few of the girls were going as a group, she would be allowed to leave campus.
It turned out it was one of the first civil rights demonstrations ever. It was a concept so new my mom didn’t even know what it was. They had all assembled to protest the segregation of the lunch counter at the drug store.
When my mom figured out what was happening she turned right around and got on the bus and got back to school
ASAP. She was a proper southern gentlewoman (still is). She did not want to break the law.
Later when she moved to Washington DC she’d march along with the multitudes with MLK and was even at the I Have A Dream rally. She said they were behind the stage and could only hear it.
When John Lewis died yesterday she texted me to ask if I had heard. Then she said, “he was at Fisk when I was there.”
I said, “really? Was he at that first protest you ended up at?”
She said, “he led it along with Diane Nash.”
And here I thought I had gone to college with cool people.
and its true, for years i would write 2-3 times a day, youd think that now that im lazing about the house i’d be writing twice as much but what do you say when you are constantly job hunting or working out on your soul and your six pack abs?
the cubs are doing well, thats all that matters, really.
this week they signed the closer that they need, an all star who for some reason wasn’t getting signed by anyone this spring. was he asking too much? was he nuts? was he too old at 31? was his agent a dope? if this guy was so good why had no one snatched him up?
all fascinating questions. the cubs still paid him $43 million for three years. which is in the neighborhood that im looking to earn in my next gig, btw.
last night i went to bed in not the best shape. i was nervous about the future, something the bible advises against. consider the lilies of the field, it says, they dont have agents, they belong to no unions, they dont have a sinking fastball and still they live great lives because God loves them, so think how much more he loves us, who have amazing changeups and circle curves.
but i couldnt sleep so i turned my phone on and clicked over to linkedin… maybe there was a job i hadnt noticed that i should apply for. and there it was. right next to the job i am still waiting to hear from. yes at the very bottom they are asking for some space age futuristic things, but the bulk of the job is right up my alley.
then i couldnt fall asleep for all the right reasons. i had visions of sugar plums dancing through my head. all the ideas came rushing though. color returned to my cheeks. my heart started beating and mama mia was my brain going into overdrive.
one idea tapdanced in front of another. boom boom boom. and all brilliant ones. then, lurking in the background, arose the greatest of all ideas ever. it’s ambitious, it’s glorious, it would be a game changer, a sweeping force if ever there was one, and this company could pull it off better’n any of them. theyd have to believe in me though.
but the crazy thing is, it wouldn’t cost much to pull off. i mean they could invest *money* into it, but it’s not necessary. the lilies don’t buy facebook ads and people drive out to the superbloom in droves. this would be a super dooper bloom of love.
4am, 5am. finally i ate a croissant and drank a glass of juice. another idea. an old one from the past, but with a new hat. oh and another idea. what about this. MY COVER LETTER IS GOING TO BE A NOVELLA!
so then i thought, should i go in great detail one some of these ideas so they can take a glimpse of my genius, or should i just list the code names of the concepts as teases?
First in Line
The Perfect Room
Disturbing the Piece
Somebody Walks in LA
Press Conference, Jr.
OK enough procrastination. On to the application.
if i could go back in time, i would start
Reasonably Priced Flowers by Phone
because for the last million years ive been getting my mom flowers on mothers day and on her birthday and i cant remember more than one time when she took a picture of them that i was satisfied.
they either looked sickly or somehow wanting. and there never seemed to be as many as i had thought i had ordered.
and so often things seemed too expensive for what i was getting.
in my Flower Fone world, a dozen roses is $30, tulips are $25, gerbers are $20, and the deluxe double mixed would be $40.
for $100 we’d go nuts in a way that you’d always wanna give us $100. free vase, babysbreath, chocolate, and sparklers if its a night time delivery.
online we would do totally insane things like Remember what you ordered last time, Not ask you for all your info over and over, and Thank you for repeated business.
every now and then we might just send you free flowers out of the blue because what the hell else am i gonna do with left over flowers that i couldnt sell before they start wilting? throw them away? never! give em to your customers, jethro!
this year i got my mom an amazon echo. she says its because i want her to be able to say Hey Alexa, ive fallen and i cant get up! but the truth is, i love it. i used to use the clapper for my bedroom christmas lights, now i say alexa turn off the lights. i used to have to tell siri a million times to play Tsar, now alexa not only plays it but the echo dot speaker is fantastic.
basically, she works as advertised. the google nor the siri does. so thats what my mom gets.
she says she doesnt want a new tv for her room but shes getting one for her birthday i dont wanna argue.
anyways, this isn’t a picture of my mom, but it’s how i see her.
“The most disrespected woman in America, is the black woman. The most un-protected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America, is the black woman.” – Malcom X, 5/5/62, Los Angeles
my mom was queen of her school, entered college at 16, and yet her family was so poor they couldn’t afford melanin.
after earning a masters, having two kids and getting divorced all in a matter of 5 years, she became one of the first computer programmers
because back then men thought computers were like typewriters, so let one of the girls in the typing pool figure it out.
oh she figured it out.
my mom raised me and my sister pretty much alone. no immediate relatives were near by. we were the only black people in a huge suburban community so she was isolated in so many ways. and yet both of her kids went to college, on her back, because she persisted.
it is a quiet, even-keeled, magically locked-in confidence that i also see in Beyonce, Michelle Obama, and the sun. she is reliable and together and organized and elegant. now more than ever.
the only time i have ever seen her seriously flustered was a few years ago when we were walking the two short blocks from the Loews hotel in Hollywood to the Oscars red carpet, and it began raining.
black women do not like getting their hair wet.
especially in a formal affair.
my mom was raised in the deep south in the 1950s by a mother who, like many other black women, taught their black babies what the stereotypes were and how to be the opposite. the idea was, if they thought blacks were messy or “raggedy” or ignorant, then we had to be clean and sharp dressed and smarter than they could ever expect.
and when it came to being a lady, the bar was set even higher. thus looking drenched from the sudden rain burst was an instant nightmare.
with no umbrella in sight, my mom’s anger reached the heavens and she looked up with pursed lips
and it stopped.
until the mother of the busblog had safely entered the event.
i have many many things to be thankful for in my ridiculously blessed life, but at the top of the list is to have my mom as my mom.
my beard is growing in so it’s itchy.
yelled at this guy at a red light. he rolled down his window. i rolled down mine.
i did most of the yelling.
the whole time he was smiling, like he thought he knew me, or worse
like he was an undercover angel sent from above to see how im doing
AND IM CLEARLY NOT PASSING THE TEST
angels always have the little smiles that kill me.
deep down i was pissed because my uber app wasn’t working right
and when i called them for help the woman had no clue what i was talking about or how to fix it.
you could tell she was somebody’s mom in Manila and she needed to make a few extra bucks and all she had to do was type things into a computer and the script would tell her what to do.
but this wasnt something that a script could fix. a real person at Uber has to reset something, then i gotta reset something
so i said, i am so not mad at you, lady, i am mad that uber would put you in this situation.
i said can you just transfer me to your supervisor and she said he’s busy. i said what about the smartest person in the room. and she said she’s busy too.
i said can you just let me wait. i will wait all night if i have to because im seeing The Darkness tomorrow and Friday is Good Friday and a brother can’t work on Good Friday it’s like the holiest day and then Saturday is
and the phone disconnected.
and i was outside the westwood W, parked under a street light.
it was so quiet you could hear the crickets saying fuck you to each other.
so i called my mom.
the best mom ever.
for the last several dozen decades i have looked at things that i am thankful for as things pertaining to *me*
things like job, cars, health, the cubs, are any hot babes loving me, all the things
but this morning i got a text from my mom and it nearly broke my heart.
she was happy to have a job but she didn’t want to have to go to work, she wanted to be cooking and watching football and doting on her grand kids.
but during the Great GOP Recession, just like tons of people, her retirement was wiped out and here she is working for The Man for peanuts on a day she would rather be watching the Macy’s Parade.
so i am not thankful. i am determined. i need to do something serious so my mom can finally retire.
and sadly it’s not drive more trips for Uber + Lyft.
or is it?
no, it’s not.
OR IS IT?
i need to write a script and sell it.
i gotta learn how to write a script.
and i know exactly the story i wanna tell: the time Joe got busted in Isla Vista
music by The Wonderfuls, The Ramones, Rogue Cheddar, Pink Floyd, Mons Pubis, PMS, and Janes Addiction.
it’ll be called Damn Those Shrooms Strong