today is my mom’s 27th birthday

happy birthday!

i first met my mother a long time ago. im not sure what she expected but she got me and you know she didnt predict this, but for a mild mannered southern belle from ft. valley georgia, she didnt freak out as much as you’d think.

i was wild as a kid. the doctors called me hyper, but my grandparents called me a kid. my mom was very patient with me and quite smart. she was one of the first computer programmers ever. and definately one of the first black female computer programmers ever.

so when the doctors called me hyper she said, but my boy can sit still and do a whole jigsaw puzzle, and the doctors said, oh, really? and then were unable to prescribe the ritalin or whatever they were going drug me with and we went on our way.

my mom raised not only me alone, but my sister as well. who is also crazy. my mother was never bored. she worked long long hours at motorolas headquarters and sometimes i think its because she didnt want to come home. but when she did it was always with love in her heart and mcdonalds in the car and questions about homework or basketball scores or the like.

i could never have asked for a better mom.

her mother was a librarian at the state college. during holidays we would go down to georgia and we’d always end up at the library and i am sure that my love of books and writing is directly influenced by my razor sharp grandmother who read two newspapers before 9am and was working on one of her novels before breakfast was done.

my mother worked on computers all day and paid for my first computer, the apple IIc. i will never forget what she did for my sister and i. i will never forget how difficult it must have been to be a working single mother in a town of few blacks.

one day a “friend” of mine fell on the playground and lied to his father and said that his black eye was the result of me punching him. his father came to our door with his son and told my mother that he was informing us that he was going to spank his son because no son of his was going to be beaten up by a nigger.

instead of freaking out my mom sat me down and said that she knew that i didnt beat that boy up, but that race is a difficult thing for people to deal with, that we needed to be patient cuz the world would catch up with reason soon enough.

my mom always threw big birthday parties for us, she gave presents to all the attendees, she drove us to practices and games and rehearsals and recitals. she went to parent teach conferences, she drove us to the airport and back, she took us clothes shopping for school supplies in the fall, she did it all, and i dont remember her complaining and i dont remember overhearing her ever saying that it was too much of a burden.

there was never anything that i wanted that i wasnt given. ever. and we were not by any means a wealthy family. i have no idea how she did it. she was always there. was there when i went through college. is there now for my sister and my neice and my brother in law. was there for our dying relatives. is there for our friends of our family. she is rock solid.

one of the finest moments was when my mother took me to my first real rock concert. AC/DC Back in Black tour. i was but a wee lad. she had given my sister the album that christmas and here it was nine months later and somehow i got 1 ticket in the 12th row. my mom drove me to the show (about an hour away), dropped me off early, drove home, and then after i called, drove back to the arena to pick my little ass up.

not only would most mothers not allow their kids to see devil music (hells bells opened the show and i nearly peed my toughskins), particularily Alone, but how many would make two trips to ensure a safe ride?

when i became of age to drive she tightened the reigns in a tad because in her words, “the roads are filled with drunk drivers”, but i was still allowed to drive into Chicago to see the cubs pretty much any time i had saved up enough allowance money to pay for it.

over the years she bought me a few saxamaphones, guitars, drums, lessons of all sorts, sports uniforms, bikes, anything.

i cannot imagine a better childhood. i cannot think of anything i could have wanted more than the ability to be myself, and free, and loved.

my mom did all those things for me and she continues to.

the only thing that she asked in return was that i be a good reflection of her.

and if it werent for the swear words in this blog im doing my best.

i love you mom,

happy birthday!

dos boheinde and seymore + mouthy + greg vaine

why the emmys decided to call me this morning

at six am, is beyond me. maybe they hadnt slept all night. maybe they were still giddy from giving away all those awards to angels in america and the daily show.

the mainstream media might not be liberal anymore, but the academy members of the emmys sure as hell are.

anyway they asked me if i would tell them what i liked and didnt like from the program last night and i told them that i needed a few hours of sleep and during my first 15 minute break at work that i would be sure to put down a little list.

maybe you can add to anything that i left out.

* first of all, a 40 second acceptance speech is stupid, and to kick in with the music as someone is pouring their heart out is tacky as hell. has no one ever told you about manners? you have the red carpet and all the gift bags and all the cameras and you think someone can get it together and really thank the people who made a difference in their lives in 40 seconds? please.

and what are you rushing off to so quickly? so that billy crystal and garry shandling can give us some lame fake banter for three minutes? let bro from angels in america tell us a little about motherfucking AIDS, retards. i swear.

maybe you’ll beat csi in the ratings next year if you do.

most of these people will never get the chance to win one of these bogus awards again. many of these people actually have a few people to thank or a tale to tell or a tear to shed. let them shed their tear.

what you need to do is start the show at 7pm. four hours isn’t so bad. youve got brad pitt and jennifer aniston sitting in the front row for pete sake, if you cant hold an audience with those kids, meryl streep, pacino, the sopranos, kelsey grammah, and all the skits, then maybe you should learn a few things about tv production. let the winners have their moment. and give them more than just a dumb little moment. this is their night, not yours.

* for those of you who didnt see it, CBS had a contest. they picked two winners to fly to LA, they blindfolded them, put headphones over their ears, didnt tell them what they won, and walked them onto the stage of the emmys (above).

they were stunned, shocked, and my brotha was moved to tears. it was wonderful. it was perfect. their prize was getting to read the nominees of the best reality series. great moment in tv as the two winners seemed geniunely suprised and into the whole deal. only flaw was CBS gave the prize winners more time to be excited than they gave the emmy-award winners to say thanks. re-evaluate your priorities.

* loved the director of the emmys winning an award for directing the oscars. loved how he gave his parents from tarzana 10 seconds on tv. loved how he was so happy to have won and even directed his wife to kiss him.

* why no musical groups?

* E! blew it by letting Joan Rivers get away. Star Jones is no Joan Rivers. She looked horrible in her outfits, she was not funny, and i don’t think she will rip apart the fashion victims the way that Joan does in Fashion Police.

this will be the first time that Joan wasn’t on the red carpet since the advent of color tv and it was a sad day indeed. instead their spinning wheel contraption was a disaster, no one wanted to get on the lazy susan so that the cameras could get the full view, and all it made you think was, why isnt Joan here?

* let tony soprano speak.

* we get it that film stars are respected actors, but it seemed to me that film actors who ended up on tv got way more nominations than real tv actors who actually worked full seasons. the exception to that would be james spader, a film star who is now a regular on a tv series, which of course got him an emmy as well.

* john ritter should have been in your in memorium. did you forget he died or did you cut his picture for time?

* dont get a hunk to deliver the in memorium intro. the people want to hoot at tom selleck who is looking pretty good after all these years: so let them hoot. get someone olde to deliver the in memorium. is that so difficult?

* you need some new catagories: best action sequence, grosses crime scene discovery, biggest live mistake, best news anchors, most underrated non-network or hbo series, etc.

* hire conan to do the next 10 emmys. not only is he truly funny, but he loves tv. its ok to have people who love tv to host the tv award show of the year.

my lovely wife moxie + sk smith + futurballa

last night i got to see an old comrade on the tv

our pal jason ross.

jason was the editor in cheif of the daily nexus the year that i graduated from ucsb. which means that as he was cutting his teeth he worked along side such luminaries as welch, whalen, max, solomon, collins, hornberger, lalum, and yours truly.

now he’s one of the best writers of fake news in america.

last night he got his second consecutive emmy for The Daily Show.

one of my fondest memories of jason was the night that we had our CIPA awards in sacramento. CIPA is the california intercollegiate press awards. all the big time cali colleges get together and figure out who put out the best paper that year.

all the sections are awarded, and that spring night in the early 90s your pal tony had one of the greatest nights ever. i was awarded Best Arts & Entertainment editor, a nod that the venerable Daily Nexus had never won in its storied history.

the best part about it was that i had to fight even to get my section in the competition as our editor-in-cheif, still sore that i had run against him 7 months previous, had excluded me from being judged. after some help from pat whalen, my section got in, and won.

i was also falling in love with the beautiful and talented jeanine natale.

i was also wearing a dress, which was traditional for we nexus men on awards night.

so there i was with my plaque, my new girl, and i was confronted by a drunken, drugged, giddy, thrilled, jazzed, very tall jason ross offerring me a handful of “little white crosstops”, the legal speed pills that truckers take when they feel themselves nodding off at the wheel.

never one to really delve into the dark underworld of amphetimines, i declined, but you should have seen the daily nexus that night in the beverly garland in sacramento thanks to jason ross and his bottomless bag of speed.

my boys were singing and dancing and whooo-ing and making all kinds of noise and mayhem all through the night.

a song was even written right there on the spot by either Os or Charlie or even Jason himself proclaiming the benefits of the little white crosstops.

jason went on to become the campus news editor and a year later the editor in cheif of the paper.

last year he invited me to a pre pre emmy party since he was in town but i was in the arms of an nba cheerleader who asked not to be involved in the retelling of Another daily nexus story, nor did she wish to learn about the inner workings of the modern day Spy/National Lampoon stylings of The Daily Show, a program that deserves all the awards that are heaped their way.

so last night when Jon Stewart turned to thank his writers and asked the industry not to poach them away he pointed directly behind him to the still quite tall and red cheeked Jason Ross who had those wild eyes that i remember so well.

congratulations big man, you’re doing the nexus fine.