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Archive for December, 2011

15 Years Later, He’s Still ‘Pop’

December 28th, 2011 19 comments

My original plan was to meet him at Red’s Donut Shop. We went there all the time, when I was a kid. Sometimes picking up donuts to take back home and enjoy as a family, other times, he and I stayed. Two guys with two glasses of milk, and one warm cinnamon roll with melted butter apiece, talking about the world before spending a day at the construction site.

But as it turns out, he doesn’t live in the immediate area anymore. That was news to me, then again, since we only spoke once in 15 years, and hadn’t seen each other in just as long, there’s a lot of room for breaking news.

He and I last spoke earlier this year after I received word his mother passed away. I wrote about this phone call and the anxiety I had leading up to the phone call (read both here and here). Our chat was brief, too brief for me to say there was any real closure. The pain of his mother’s death (still fresh) and my impromptu phone call made for a disjointed conversation. We would have to talk at a later date. Seeing as I am home for the holidays, I figured this was as good a time as any.

Through a tangled web of now distant families, he received word I was trying to get in touch with him. When I picked up the phone, he started to say “This is Pop” but corrected himself quickly and referred to himself by his first name instead. I simply said, “Hi, Pop.” I imagine it was news to him that even after 11 years, I still referred to him as such. When I told him I was in town and I wanted to see him before I made my way back to New York, he half-jokingly said, “As long as you don’t want to go at my head.”

This was odd. All the years he raised me, he made me nervous. There was not one chore I did, not one play I made on the baseball field, where I didn’t hear his voice demanding me to do better. If I didn’t meet his high standards, there were consequences to be paid, some severe, some not. Now, he was the nervous one, worried I was baiting him into some sort of scenario where I would tie him to a chair and make him feel bad for raising me with an iron fist.

That was the last thing I wanted to do.

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Categories: Family Tags: ,

Lessons For The Single, Unwed, or Childless Friend

December 21st, 2011 17 comments

The only way I could hang out with my best friend of 15 years tonight was if I went with him to his little girl’s school recital. There was a time in my life when I would have told him to just call me after the recital was done, but tonight I agreed. I’m home until December 30. There are plenty of nights him and I can get drinks, flirt with women, and talk about the world using an unnecessary amount of expletives, so yeah, scheduling, there’s that; but that’s not why I accepted the invitation.

My boy didn’t have to invite me to his daughter’s concert, but he did. The gesture was a testament to how we’re more like brothers than friends. You should have heard the way he asked, like he was inviting me to come watch a game with him or some other customary fellowship in which men partake. I didn’t find it unusual, but I knew it was. The last time we were hanging out at school concerts, we were performing in them.

In addition to my best friend, my married best friends just had child number two, a beautiful girl. While I’m home, I’m going to see them and my new Goddaughter. All around me, my friends are living new lives, which means to some extent, I am too.

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My Friend, The Reverend, Has A Mixtape of Sermons

December 19th, 2011 1 comment

Today’s post is not about me, it’s about my friend. I’ve written about him before on this blog (new readers can click here to check out those posts). For those wondering, yes, he’s the same one for whom I was trying to find a wife, the same guy who is now in what seems to be a great relationship.

Back when I introduced him to people, I mentioned he was a preacher. Judgmental people with dogmatic ways of thinking about the church and religion questioned how a legitimate preacher could also be seeking his future wife through my blog, but as we both explained, he’s not your typical preacher.

A couple of weeks ago, he reminded me just how outside-the-box he is with his thinking when he called me with a crazy idea. “What if I did a mixtape of all my sermons,” he said. The idea floored me, not because it was controversial, but because it was brilliant.

I’m proud to say he executed his idea. Being the friend I am, I’m supporting his work with a link to the mixtape along with a look at the cover art, which I just think is fly as all get out.

I encourage anyone who is curious to go to his bandcamp page and download or stream some of his sermons yourself (both options are free). I discourage anyone from going into my comments section and saying something without listening to anything. I am not posting this up for you people to write some typo-riddled negativity. Save all that for another day when I post something you don’t like, which will probably be tomorrow.

Without further ado, here it is, Pastor Harold’s Ministerial Mixtape. Link below the front and back cover art.

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Breakup Songs For Women At Fault

December 16th, 2011 8 comments

A couple of weeks ago, a good friend of mine took to his Twitter to point out the lack of songs about men done wrong in a relationship. He said, in most breakup songs, the man is at fault.

I’m with him. Male and female artists always sing melodies about fouls committed by men, men apologizing for their mistakes, or regretting the loss of a woman once had but now only dreamt about. It’s gotten to the point where whenever I hear a song from the opposite point of view, my ears perk up. I even have a playlist called, “You Damn Right You’re Sorry, Now Say It Again.”

Even though my friend wasn’t necessarily asking for some song suggestions, I threw some of the songs I have on this playlist in his direction. There’s Trey Songz’s “Cheat On You,” Mark Morrison’s classic, “Return of the Mack,” and of course, “Next Girl” by the Black Keys. Not to be left off this playlist is Janet Jackson’s “Where Are You Now”. I love how she sounds apologetic and accountable for mistakes she made. For those who forgot exactly what that sounds like, here it is.

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A Gift Guide From Girlfriends Of Christmas Past

December 14th, 2011 4 comments

Not all women are bad at giving gifts. Only 99 percent of them are. For the 1 percent who want to protest this fact, email me. I will email you back my mailing address so you can ship your best gift to me.

For the rest of you ladies who are humble enough to admit that every year you’re stuck figuring out what to get your man, whether it’s a new relationship or an old relationship, allow me to give you a helpful guide provided by the lovely ladies from my past.

Below are gifts received from ex-girlfriends. Some were expensive, some were under $20, but all of them were thoughtful. No matter the price on them, what made each one special is they were a reflection of my passions, my interests, and each woman’s ability to listen and pay attention. I did not ask for any of these gifts, they just took a shot based on what they knew and now, they’re in the gift hall of fame.

Enjoy the list, and to the ladies still struggling to find a gift for your man, I hope the list helps you figure out what to get him. Just remember: Make it thoughtful.

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The Five Best Stores To Meet Your Next Date

December 12th, 2011 14 comments

If you were a young, fine woman living in the DC-MD-VA area back in 2001, interested in purchasing some new music, there was a good chance you went to Sam Goody Music, located on the ground floor of Pentagon City mall. If you went on the right day, there was a good chance you left with more than just the album you were looking for, you left with a date with one of the store clerks as well. Of course, that store clerk was me.

Who would’ve thought, right? Certainly not the few lovely ladies I met during my time at Sam Goody. Probably nor did the women who walked into the Tower Records by the George Washington University campus when I worked there in 2003. Back in those days, I always saw my job as a perfect opportunity for me to talk to women I perhaps wouldn’t speak to in other settings. To say I took advantage would be an understatement. I capitalized and did well.

I say this not to brag. The other night I went to a stand-up performance headlined by Aziz Ansari. He had an extended rant on the difficulty of meeting perfectly normal people to date. His two biggest gripes were with bars/clubs and dating websites, both of which he said were horrible places to meet people.

Now, I don’t agree with him on either front. Clubs and bars have always worked well for me. I met the girl I’m dating now at a club, and I met my last serious girlfriend at another club. As for online dating, it’s become so commonplace I don’t think it’s bad, I just don’t think it’s as effective as it used to be.

But there are a lot of people who agree with Ansari and find both bars/clubs and online dating websites lost causes, which begs the question, where’s a good place to meet our next date? Well, my suggestion is the store. What kind of store? Glad you asked. Here are five stores, along with which gender would benefit from going into them the most. You’re welcome.

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Jozen’s Incredibly Fun and Exciting Dating Strategy Part 2 of 2

December 8th, 2011 12 comments

Before I begin, apologies for the hundreds of thousands of people who were refreshing my website every two minutes last night because I promised you the second part of Tuesday’s post was going to go up on Wednesday. I’m a guy, which means I can only promise a promise will be broken.

Now that you all forgive me, let’s move on and get to the good stuff. Part 2 of Jozen’s Incredibly Fun and Exciting Dating Strategy.

WAIT! One more thing…

It’s very important you all have followed the advice I mandated in the previous post. I really need you all to understand that nothing I tell you in this post will be effective if you just ignore step 1 and skip to step 2. When I first started getting into shape, I couldn’t build muscle from the fat I stored up, I had to lose the weight first and then build up. This is kind of like the same idea. You can’t prosper and live a wonderful 2012 full of fun until you’re willing to do what it takes to get there. So here’s the post one more time for those who may think they need a refresher. Remember, get your mind right first. For as long as this takes, do it, then you can get into what I’m laying out below

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Jozen’s Incredibly Fun and Exciting Dating Strategy Part 1 of 2

December 6th, 2011 11 comments

With only a couple more weeks in 2011, everyone breathing is about to make some major life adjustments for what is supposedly Earth’s final year of existence (I believe none of that, by the way). Some guys are going to start hitting the gym to get in shape, others are going to purchase shirts in a smaller size so they can look like they’re going to the gym. Some women are going to start wearing nothing but matching bras and panties, while some women are not going to wear any bras or panties. Whatever the changes we make, they’re all going to be for what we hope is a better year than last year, even if it was the greatest year ever.

I would like to add my own helpful advice for how to make 2012 the best alleged last year of your life. But before I change your life with this strategy, I have to make sure you all are mentally ready to accept it, and open to executing it. This is not for skeptics or non-believers. I only want Charlies to follow this advice, word to Willy Wonka. You kids with your tons of questions and talk back can stop reading right now. Thank you for your click, have a nice day.

Now for those still reading, sit down.

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