“Turn off the lights. Light a candle, doom doom doom doom doom, tonight; I’m going to make love to you.” If you didn’t sing along to those words as you were reading them you’re probably too young for this article.
On a foggy Sunday morning in the hills of one of the most beautiful suburbs in LA three families were taking their daughters to play in a basketball game. Along for the ride were an assistant basketball coach and the pilot. For reasons we don’t yet know the plane crashed and everyone on board died. An entire community devastated for what was supposed to be just another afternoon ride like they have done time and time before.
What do you, we, as human beings need more than anything? We need to feel loved. We need to feel the warmth of knowing someone cares whether or not we make it home from work if it’s raining too hard. We want to be able to share our day with someone just to breathe better before we go to sleep. Whether you’re a Christian or a non-believer it’s hard to imagine a life in which love isn’t a pivotal part of what you believe in.
I didn’t grow up with a father. I had a grandfather and knew some amazing men but never a father so most of my life I’ve had this idea in my head of what I would be like as a dad. I’m a writer so I knew I would read him books and tell him bedtime stories. Sit in the backyard while it’s raining and tell him about what life was like growing up. All the things I never had.
The best books I’ve ever read have been autobiographies. I believe it’s because there is nothing that I or any other writer can make up that’s more entertaining or interesting than real life. A lot of them may read like stories created by writers and a producer but these men and women lived these lives; and as much as we love their music, movies or stories we have to accept that a lot of these men and women were flawed.
When it’s someone you love; you’re a hypocrite: don’t worry, we all are. Have you ever been talking to someone and the conversation escalates to mutual friends? “Hey, you heard that Bob and Jill are getting a divorce, Bob cheated.” Immediately it’s, “Bob is an asshole and you should never cheat! What kind of man is he?”
Texas Southern University and the University of Houston literally sit right across the street from each other. Both have put millions of dollars into their universities trying to make them more than commuter schools, which is a difficult task when you’re in the heart of the fourth largest city in the country. Not to mention the giants in College Station and Austin thrive off the Houston market.
Have you ever put your hand on a fire and let it burn through your skin until you couldn’t take the pain anymore? When you look at it, it’s blistering and bleeding and it’ll probably never be the same. If you have done that, go get counseling. My point is, love is the only aspect of life where we take pride in being able to absorb hurt. In essence, the more someone puts us through, the more we feel as though we’ve made it.
As a man, I’ve been hesitant to write about the #MeToo movement because what I’ve seen a lot of is instant generalizing. If you don’t automatically condemn any man that’s accused then you’re for sexual harassment and rape.
At this very moment on Twitter or Facebook, there is a thread of people debating on who should run for President in 2020. They’re going to list the names of celebrities, billionaire donors, and countless other people that have never worked in the political or judicial world.
Today, I read one of the best written articles I’ve read all year in the Washington Post. It was about ex NFL player Larry Johnson and his struggles since retiring from football. The main thing I got from the article was something he said when he was talking about his daughter. I’m paraphrasing but it went, “When I found out I was having a daughter I knew God had a sense of humor. With all the bad things I’ve done to women he gave me a daughter in hopes that I raise her to never want to date a man like me.”
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything and I apologize for that. I won’t go this long without writing again. This is the holiday season and what often happens during this time of year is that we start to compare and contrast. You look on Facebook and see the woman you had a fling with three years ago in the matching pajamas sitting in front of the Christmas tree and you wonder why your relationship isn’t like that?
I’ve been at my current job for twelve years and I’ve experienced several weather events. Hurricanes, freezes, wildfires, you name it; I’ve been in it. When these type of events happen most people are preparing their home for the disaster and making sure that their family will be safe if or when trouble strikes. I, on the other hand, am always hard at work prepping to make sure an entire city is safe and stays functioning. I don’t run from storms. I face them head on. My job requires me to be on call during times inclement weather strikes so I’ve never actually been at home for a hurricane.
Hatred never went away, it was simply lurking. Waiting on someone to open the door. On Saturday night, we got a glimpse into what was hiding behind the door in Charlottesville, Virginia. On Tuesday, Donald Trump kicked the door wide open. There’s one aspect of this entire conversation that’s bothering me, it’s the premise that most Americans are against racism and these Nazi’s and KKK members are a small portion of society.
I’m a guy that loves male accessories and it’s not often you find good quality ones. After viewing the William Henry Collection, I thought, “These bracelets are nice and will accessorize well with most things.” Beyond that I had no real opinion of the brand to be completely transparent. All of that changed when what I thought would be a fifteen minute, five question interview turned into something much more. And after learning more about William Henry the brand you’ll have a new appreciation for jewelry as well.
Located 3.5 miles north of San Pedro, tucked away in the small country of Belize is a secret treasure called the Las Terrazas Resort. With its white sand beaches that go on for miles and tall palm trees swaying in the wind, it is one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited on earth and one of the most tranquil. Hard to believe it is just two and a half hours away from the states. In order to get to Las Terrazas, I had to land at the main airport in Belize City, take another plane to a small island and board a boat to get to my final destination of paradise.
No matter how long you live in a city you can never really know what all that city has to offer, even when things are in close proximately to you. I made a new discovery in my city this week that has been 35 years in the making.
What do you get when you combine an MVP candidate that seems as though he doesn’t want to be at the game, twenty thousand fans and a Spurs team that is starting guys 98% of the country can’t name? You get your hometown team getting embarrassed on national television and that MVP candidate becoming a meme instead of a superstar.
Mother’s Day will always be the signature Hallmark card holiday for one simple reason. Who doesn’t love their mother? Often times she’s the first one to calm us when we’re crying, to pick us up when we fall down. Whether we get our heart broken at 12 or 32 it’s our mother whose lap we can lay on and cry like there’s no tomorrow.
Last night, I was sitting at my desk writing and watching a split screen on my television. Half of it was on the NFL Draft and the other half was on the NBA Playoffs. The Lakers aren’t in the playoffs and the Rockets already won so the television really wasn't holding my interest. That’s until I got an alert on my phone that says, “The Houston Texans just traded up to the 12th pick.” Being a football fan you understand there’s only one reason a team gives up a 1st round draft pick, that reason is to get a quarterback.
So often when it comes to sports and journalism you have every day writers writing as though they know more than men and women that have been running teams and evaluating players their entire lives. So today I won’t pretend to be a professional sports journalist. Today, I’m just a man that wants to see my team make the necessary steps to become a Super Bowl Contender and Champion.
Have you ever heard a parent say, “Do as I say and not as I do?” I’m sort of like that as a writer. I am constantly telling people to leave reviews on my books or articles but I can’t remember the last time I read a book and went on Amazon to leave a review. Blame it on my impatience for remembering passwords and not on my heart.
Every day on my way to work I pass by my old elementary school, Shadydale Elementary on Tidwell Rd. It was one of the crown jewels of the North Forest Independent School District that comprised four elementary schools, four middle schools, and two high schools. I remember Shadydale fondly; it was the first place I picked up a pencil to write a story.
What would the world be without social media? If we left it up to primary news outlets would we know that black women were vanishing out of thin air at alarming rates? They aren’t finding bodies and there are no gang associations. These are girls as young as twelve simply not coming home from school. Over 10 black women in Washington DC and Baltimore have gone missing in the past several months.
Lately, I’ve been reading so many articles and think pieces about feminism and how it’s impacting women and relationships, especially in the black community. A lot of men and even women have concluded that if a woman is a feminist then she can’t be a wife or even girlfriend in some cases.
It’s become popular to be an activist in 2017. In a matter of seconds an injustice can become a hashtag and with one tweet you can become the voice of a generation. Now imagine being the voice of social injustice when it wasn’t popular?
For as long as I can remember I’ve told people that writing was the most important aspect of my life. No matter how much I loved my family, my woman, my life, they all revolved around writing.
I’m dedicating this article to my Valentines, you know who you are but it calms me to write to you and to be perfectly honest I’m excited. My Valentine’s Day last year wasn’t the best and I want to start this year on the right path. Maybe there won’t be any call into works and hotel rooms all day but I would settle for good conversation, tipsy vibrations and building memories. So today I’m going to write four steps to the Perfect Valentine’s Day…
I don’t care if it’s a special, a documentary, or a book, relationship conversations will always sell because no matter how great our life is, it’s ten times greater with the love of someone else. I’ve taken a step back from writing these types of articles in the past year because I realized that most of the conversations we have about relationships come from a perfect place, an ideal place or a place of hurt. Men give advice to women on how to be better women.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but I’ll stand tall before I fall. That may be the start to a child’s nursery rhythm with a message to be strong despite the obstacles but it couldn’t be more relevant to our times today that are not child’s play. Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown Jr., Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jordan Baker, and Oscar Grant and now we add Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott to the continuing growing list of black men gunned down before their time. Why were their lives cut short?
Real heroes walk among us every day. It is the man that gives us a smile and wave every morning that we passed on the way to work. The assuming schoolteacher who is there with an encouraging word. The sister at church that tells us to keep pushing baby.
The hierarchy of things I need to leave to the house. My keys. My cell phone. My cell phone charger.
“Actions by University administrators directly discouraged some complainants from reporting or participating in student conduct processes and in one instance constituted retaliation against a complainant for reporting sexual assault.”
Overall I give the Texans Draft 5 out of 5 Style Points! They came away with two potential Opening Day Starters, filled positions of need and got more speed in one weekend than they had all of last year.
What is love? Although Webster’s Dictionary has managed to give it a definition, love is not all that cut and dry because there are so many different types. Love is not always butterfly kisses, roses and sunshine.
He’s been around since the Godfather, pops up in some of your favorite movies of all time. It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s the token black guy!
This isn’t an easy article to write but I do believe it’s one millions of readers can relate to. Cancer is not racist, sexist, moralist or homophobic. Cancer doesn’t care if you’re 3 or 73. These past couple of months I watched someone fight and ultimately loose that battle. This is what I’ve learned; this is what I’ve seen.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens does something that very few sequels fail to do. It bridges the story lines and characters of Star Wars Past with new and young characters of Star Wars Future.
They usually start around 9am and don’t stop until the last piece of dry turkey has been wrapped in foil. Then you decide to go get some Taco Bell because the thought of anymore stuffing or pie makes you sick. People send them for a variety of reasons. Some are just good-hearted people that like holidays. Some are exes or old friends that are looking for a way to get a foot back in the door. While some are just people that like texts.
There are two kinds of players in the NBA. The kind that guys want to play with and the kind that get the label of being selfish players. Right now James Harden and Dwight Howard are not guys that are as highly regarded as they were yesterday or even a year ago today. Today the Rockets in an almost unprecedented move fired their head coach that took them to the playoffs three years in a row and took them to the Western Conference Finals last year.
At this point in their careers James Harden and Dwight Howard have to make a decision. Are they going to become Shaq and Kobe and bring the city of Houston Championships. Championships that they're capable of with their talent or are they going to become Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady? Guys that gave us some good memories and had all the talent in the world but just never lived up to expectations.
The band playing in the background, energy so thick and electric you can almost touch, taste and feel it. A beautiful day more suited for late spring or early summer than November. Kids all around in Final Four t-shirts and on those electric Back to the Future type scooters. For a minute I forgot I was a journalist there to cover one of the biggest sporting events in the world and I just became a 19 year old kid again soaking in the atmosphere.
The Houston Rockets came up short on Wednesday night after winning 4 straight continuing their up and down season. James Harden cooled off only scoring 23 points with a poor shooting night going 8-22 from the field and 3-10 from 3-point range. Dwight Howard seems to be getting back to that form that helped the Rockets make a deep playoff run with 17 points and 20 rebounds but most importantly playing 37 minutes.
The Houston Rockets have won two in a row after dropping their first three games in an intense game against the young and feisty Orlando Magic. Led by Dwight Howard and James Harden, the Rockets weren’t always in control but they did just enough to hold on until the end.
If you ask any basketball player or fan that watched Moses Malone play none of them have a story that rivals what you would hear about Jordan or Magic. There are no highlights of him jumping over players
One- ‘I took her on a great date and she still won’t text me back. She doesn’t appreciate a good man.’ Too many men classify a good date as money spent or holding open a door. Women love great restaurants and men that have gentleman like qualities but don’t mistake being a guy that was raised right for being a man that’s interesting. I don’t care how much the wine cost, how much you know about pairings if you aren’t making her laugh. If you can’t take a conversation about life and get into her mind. Being a good man doesn’t mean you’re an interesting guy. It doesn’t mean there’s chemistry. She didn’t call you back because “free food” isn’t worth putting on makeup only to pretend to like your bad jokes.
If you ask any basketball player or fan that watched Moses Malone play none of them have a story that rivals what you would hear about Jordan or Magic. There are no highlights of him jumping over players dunking or of him soaring threw the sky. Moses Malone wasn’t the guy that needed the highlight reel because he was the guy that kept the train on the tracks.
Calling a woman or texting a woman and asking her, “WYD” or “It’s supposed to rain tonight so what do you want to eat?” You might see it as sensible or something that just makes sense after a long day but sometimes you have to not only take control but also crave control. If you’re a man reading this I want you to ask yourself one question, “When is the last time I called a woman and told her, ‘I’m picking you up at 8, wear that black dress I saw you in when you went to your best friend’s party back in May.” Don’t be afraid of her saying she has plans, don’t be afraid of “I’m tired.” Be afraid of being ordinary.
Superman gets the Instagram likes when he post a picture of date night. Superman gets the pretty girl at the gym to go on a date with him when she’s made her mind up to give no man the time of day. Superman is just really cool but Superman always disappoints right? This is the thing about women, they love flowers, candy and Victoria’s Secret for no reason but more than that they need for us to be the man we were when we first met them.
When I was younger I wrote that a date was picking a woman up, going at least two places and bringing her a small gift. The words of a young gentleman but foolish words none the less. A date is all about intentions. Women can be difficult, they can be moody but more than anything they see sincerity. Maybe you don’t have a hundred dollars so two can eat at Houston Restaurant Week but do you have twenty dollars? A cheap bottle of wine and a medium pizza, two wine glasses. That date can be anywhere from the top floor of a parking garage watching the rain fall to a park bench. There’s no standard when it comes to dating and being a good man, the only standard is being authentic and making her a priority.