An Awesome Email Exchange With My Mom (Defining Who I Am)

October 9, 2013, in an email with a subject of GREAT MORNING.

Mom:
Hi,
Since i have been emlg you since 8am yesterday, i figured i would stop and do it now. Just wanted to tell you to have a fantastic day, and thank you for being such a wonderful son. Love you!

Me:
Thank you mom. Have a great day and thank YOU for raising us right.
Love you too

Mom:
no THANK YOU for getting it!!

Me:
Well you had something hanging on the door that didn’t give us much of a choice!

Mom:
LMAO!!!!!! No argument there.

(sniff, sniff) It just brings tears to my eyes. Be inspired people. Be inspired.

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Why I Still Feel Uncomfortable Listening To Tevin Campbell

Before I get started with this post, let me make two announcements:

1) Spotify is the absolute best app ever known to man, IMO. Just think Netflix for music but with little to no limits. Imagine if Netflix allowed you to watch any movie ever created on your device, and download the movie to your phone to watch while online. Yeah, that’s what Spotify does for music.

2) This story is not about the perceived sexuality of Tevin Campbell. Like anyone’s sexuality, it’s non of my business or concern.

Now for the story. This actually started back in 1989. I was 10 years old and there was a new album called Back On The Block by famed producer and composer Quincy Jones.

Keep in mind that in the 80’s there are a few things that we have now that didn’t exist back then. There were cell phones but they were the size of lunch pail’s and you certainly couldn’t watch videos online using those cell phones in the 80’s. Oh, also there was no online. Well at least not a portable version.

We also didn’t have cable often in my household growing up. I can remember only once having it for a while when we lived so far away from school and my mom’s job that we didn’t have time to watch it but on the weekends anyway. It was that old school analog box that sat on top of your tv with the little red block numbers showing up in front. Oh and that was another thing, you could put the box on top of your tv back then. You can’t put anything on top of these paper-thin tv’s today.

Another thing is that without wonderful creations like cell phones, Spotify, and the aforementioned internet on your phone, we utilized the radio more often. We hated the commercials and the dj talking over our favorite song as we tried to record it on a blank tape, but hey it was all we had.

Recently I revisited this memory by stumbling across Quincy Jones’ most recent album from 2010. I had never heard of it but I liked it. It made me remember to download the old album from 1989, especially since the song this story is about was remade (ironically by John Legend, who I can’t stand) on the most recent album.

Now that the back history is set up here’s the story. On the Back On The Block album I heard a song called Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell. This song was all over the radio when it first came out and on the 90 minute trip home they might have played it three times. I really liked the song. At the time I had no idea who sang it. This was during those Traffic Jams during the five and six o’clock hours so songs would be played consecutively with little interruption. So no one would come on say the name of the song or the artist.

You know how it is. The first time you’ve heard a song by an artist you don’t know. Or that radio DJ that you listen to daily. Or that person a friend of yours sets you up with that you speak with on the phone before you meet them. You have no idea what these people look like so you create them based on the sound.

Everyone does it. Every one uses the voice to draw yourself a mental image of what you think this person looks like. The sound of their voice almost instantaneously and effortlessly creates an image in your head. It’s the reason why so many people are disappointed when they actually meet their favorite radio dj or even that date, because sometimes they just don’t look like they sound.

Most times actually. But it’s usually not a big deal. So they’re a little short. Or they’re a little ugly. Or their missing their two front teefus. You’ll get over it with a story to share.

In my case it wasn’t so simple. All the way home I fell in love with this voice on that song. That’s because in my mind she was a beautiful, light-skinned girl. Probably had braces. She was about my age and when we got older we were going to be together forever and live happily ever after.

Yeah that’s a real dangerous idea. For those of you who are not leaning over in laughter right now, it’s because you don’t know that Tevin Campbell is a he.

tevin-campbell-1

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The worst part was when I finally saw the video. I anxiously waited to finally see what the girl of my dreams looked like. I spent the first 30 seconds wondering why they had this little boy lip singing the words in this video and where was my lady. The next 30 seconds I was in denial. By the next 30 seconds I was nearly in tears. My life marriage to the love of my life was over before it started. After I heard that song on the car trip home after seeing the video I covered my ears. At that point I wished they had stopped playing the stinkin’ song three times. Now I have an idea of what those people on Jerry Springer feel like.

So now whenever I hear or see TC and especially when I hear that particular song I shiver.

And put in to practice that whenever I talked to a potential date on the phone first, I always made sure to ask if they are a female and were they born that way. For some reason it turned some girls off and offended them. It’s a simple question. I think if they were offended they were probably a man at some point in their lives. Or maybe they are Tevin Campbell.

Smh. I need therapy.

When Equal Employment Opportunity Goes Wrong

This post may seem like I’m being a jerk. And in some part I will agree. But I just want it known that ultimately the individual(s) who put this gentleman in this position are the true jerks.

The following is a 100% true story and it took place on Friday, August 16, 2013.

The scene? Downtown Los Angeles in the Department of Transportation headquarters, otherwise known as the DOT Building.

On Friday, I decided to eat lunch there. As is customary, you walk up to the guys at the grill, tell them what you want, they print out a ticket that you then take to the cashier where, of course, you pay.

Everything was moving according to plan. I had my ticket, went over to get my drink and filled it up using my recipe: one quarter fruit punch, one quarter sierra mist, one quarter fruit punch, one quarter sierra mist, no ice.

I get to the cashier and the very nice gentleman said to me “may I help you please”. The only problem was I was standing right next to him but he was looking straight ahead.

I said “here’s my ticket” and I noticed it kind of startled him. I looked at his eyes and they were all over the place and it seemed like they couldn’t stay fixated on any one thing. Clearly this guy did not have marginal visual impairment, he was blind as a bat!

Let me pause for a second. I am not a monster or anyone’s judge. I am not making fun of the fact that this man can’t see. I’m merely pointing out the irony considering his particular profession. Sure, it’s probably better than him being in the kitchen. But still. Cashier?

Before I could say or do anything he asked me what the ticket says because he can’t see, proving not only is he blind but he’s also apparently a master of pointing out the obvious.

I must confess that at this moment, despite going to a training at work on Ethics in July, it was very difficult to not tell him my ticket was $1.39. Not like he would know. I mean, come on how often do you get to name your own price for lunch?

Despite my desire to I resist the temptation. I tell him the correct amount. It’s $7.95 on the ticket. Then he asked “anything else?”.

(sigh) Oh boy. Okay, okay. I didn’t get a $2 lunch, but hey a free drink sounds like a good deal. What about this gum I have too? They shouldn’t be charging $1.50 for it anyway. What to do. Curse those DOT people for hiring this man and putting me in this position.

I again decide to do the right thing. I tell him I have a regular drink and a pack of gum. He then asked me what the total said on the register. This one wasn’t hard since he had to put in the prices manually when I told him what I had. Plus I ruined any chance of a substantial Stevie Wonder discount when I told him my ticket was $7.95. So I figure I’m safe. No more temptation. I’m good. I hand him a $20 bill and breathe a sigh of relief. Then he said….

“How much is this?”

Dear God, why do you torture me so with these ethical tests? Yes I get that I’m supposed to stay on the right path and live my life honestly, but may I point out that it was probably one of your beloved children who proclaimed ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’. Well, I’ve got an argument for otherwise. You know as well as I do that they had no business hiring this man as a cashier. Amen.

“It’s a 20”, I reply reluctantly knowing it’s the right thing to blah blah blah.

He then gives me the correct change, I’m guessing because he knows the order of the bills in the register. I thank the admittedly very nice man and even had a part of my heart tweak a little when he said “may I help you please” to the person behind me as I had to tell him there was no one there.

I go back to the grill and wait for my food. Normally what happens is the cashier stamps the receipt with a Paid stamp and you give the receipt back to the grill guys in exchange for your food.

When he gave me my food I handed him the receipt and told him it wasn’t stamped but I did pay for it. With all of this ethical temptation going on I needed him and anyone within ear shot to know! I almost said “and I paid the correct amount too”.

My goal wasn’t to get anyone in trouble. It was just to say hey I paid, I’m a good guy and I want to go to Heaven. Now give me my food and I’ll go celebrate my victory over temptation in peace.

He looked at the ticket for a minute and then yelled out in an irritated manner, “hey (whatever the cashier’s name was) you have to make sure you stamp the ticket paid”.

Really? Either he’s been forgetting to do it all day in which case why say something now, or he has been stamping it all day and he forgot one. Either way leave the man alone! He’s a blind cashier for crying out loud.

So the cashier says “which one?”.

The grill guy says “the chicken sandw-”

I interrupt, “well, he can’t see what it says on-”

The cashier interrupts, “the $7.95?”

Grill guy: Yeah

Cashier: Ok

They both get back to work.

And I’m standing in the middle thinking yeah, like THAT was the big problem here. Feel free to name your own price and tell him you gave him a $20 when you really gave him a $5 and get change. But this man had better make sure to stamp the receipt.

How My 6 Yr Old Had Me Fighting Back Tears

This story began on Friday night, July 12.

My little girl had stayed home on that day with her mother and I’m assuming at one point they were both in the kitchen. That’s not unusual for her and with her vivid imagination, she likes to pretend she has her own cooking show and has included “visitors” to the house. The visitors were her fans.

When I got home that night she told me that she made blue tissues and wanted me to help her figure out how to make them glow in the dark. The blue tissues, as it turned out, were napkins she had poured blue dish washing liquid on. She had a small orange pot that was full of a nice little collection of blue napkins. She said she wanted to sell them for $20 and told me her dreams of having a house full of money.

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My Thoughts On 2013 Movies: 3D Edition

Hey peeps. It’s cranky old me again. The one who always has an opinion.

So the movie making world seems to be stuck on this 3D Bandwagon right now and it’s extremely annoying. Mainly because 3D is pretty pointless in most cases.

Sure, I recently purchased an LG 3DTV with the same type of 3D as in the movie theater. But I’m an idiot. You don’t really wanna be like me.

There are certain movies where 3D actually enhances the storytelling. But for most  movies 3D does nothing more than squeeze those extra few dollars out of your pocket to increase their total gross receipts.

And I think I’ve figured something out. All animated films are mandated to be in 3D. Has to be. You’d be hard pressed to find one released in today’s time that isn’t.

Well here are my thoughts on 3D movies that have arrived or are on their way. As I said before, I don’t do reviews. Just my thoughts.

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Spiritt’s Thoughts On 2013 Movies: Past, Present and Future

It’s been awhile. Actually it’s been six months since my last post. None in 2013. I told my boys Dre and Ed that I was focusing on things that made money, so blogging got moved to the bottom of the list. The problem with that is I have completely neglected my outlet, silencing my voice. Plus I missed you guys. And I really missed writing for fun.

So let’s have some fun.

These are my thoughts about movies. These are not reviews. I don’t do reviews. Reviews are boring and there are millions of them online, most of which are written by some tight wad who wonder why Die Hard isn’t the type of movie that can change someone’s life. Speaking of which, let’s start with…..

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