Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sittin on My Porch Part Nine.

Insomnia enhances my writing ability…………………………

Vices are a wonderful thing. The reason I probably have all the ones I do for so long is that I love them all. However, given my reason tendency for mood swings I thought I would try and drop all of them for a trial run and see if that made a difference. I’m sober. The sleeping pills got flushed. I haven’t had a Big Buford cheeseburger. I haven’t had a cigar or been to the strip club. I have come to one conclusion. Anyone who can make it through life with no vices and still not hurt anyone has to be touched by a higher power. There is no way I can keep this up with football being in off season. Let’s move on.

How many people must the Claiborne Avenue Bridge kill before we tear that bastard down and put a new one up there? Let’s add that to the list of shit we are going to demolish in this city. Rest in peace Officer Felix.

Senator McCain, please pick Bobby Jindal to run with you so Mitch Landrieu can take his position and we can have a New Orleans governor.

I have a message for Hillary Clinton, all the jackasses on Fox News and the instigators on talk radio. I hear you keep making these slick comments linking the names Obama/Osama and making references to assassinations. I would like to inform you all that not all white people are bright enough to not take this literally. Some of your cousins believe everything they hear. I realize black ignorance is packaged and sold for entertainment so you might think we cornered the market on that. All of you are not corporate employees and soccer moms like the commercials suggest. Somewhere in a remote countryside some guy in camouflage pajamas is practicing for the time he has to save the county from Bin Laden’s cousin. Stop talking crazy before you get the man hurt.

After watching Kobe light up the Spurs I am starting to be a little glad the Hornets didn’t play them this year because it might have been embarrassing. Chris Paul needs to watch how Kobe gives his teammates about thirty minutes of the game to get it together then totally doesn’t care if they shoot or not towards the end and takes over.

If you ever want quick evidence of the lack of quality education in New Orleans just spend about an hour browsing local pages on My Space. They speak for themselves. My cousin and her kids have some that make me want to get them all DNA tested.

Don’t you hate when you loan friend money and they feel obligated to call you everyday during times they normally wouldn’t to make small talk about things you don’t care about? I loaned you cash because I love you and you are my friend not because I want to hear how the hot sausage po-boy you ate at lunch gave you gas. Stop calling me.

Speaking of my friends, why is it every time I get ready to get my solitary and F the World mentality to its peak performance all my lifetime friends come out of the woodwork and start contacting me to show care and concern? I would think they planned it except they all don't know one another personally. I truly feel the love and appreciation and I love you too but stop calling and texting me unless one of you have my Roots tickets.

I am dedicating my music clip for this post to the brother I met at Bridge House this morning on a business visit. He was there buying a car to put his supplies in to drive around and get his hustle on. He even had a sign already made up to stick on the doors. People like this always move me because I meet them randomly and they always seem to feel what I am thinking. As he put it……….

“Big man, you can’t let em shake ya up to bad ya heard me! You got to keep doing you the best way you can. Ya feel me?”

I feel ya…He looked like the type of brother that would like this clip.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Okay......I can't sleep. I might as well start my Roots campaign.

I never ever solicit anything or ask for favors on this page but the Roots are coming to New Orleans on June 19. I have missed this band at least 6 times because I found out too late. It's not gonna happen this time. I don't want anyone to buy the tickets for me although that would be a nice birthday present. If anyone has a close friend or family member who can sneak two people into the House of Blues please holla at me. I'm getting in there one way or another.

Send Robert To The Hole

I am aware the R. Kelly trial has finally started. While I don’t read the stories I do watch the headlines because I keep waiting for the big rally. I am waiting for Al, Jesse, Oprah, the NAACP, T.D. Jakes and everyone else to be marching back and forth in front of the courthouse steps with a big ass sign that says “FU$K R.KELLY! GIVE HIM THE MAX!” I wish the entire jury was black and it took five minutes to come back with a guilty verdict. I wanted to be the jury foreman. It’s time to set an example and R. Kelly is the perfect target.

That’s going to be hard to do since he comes on the radio every five minutes. What do you have to do besides being a conservative Republican or criticizing Barak to be ostracized by black people? I am not blaming R. Kelly for all the emotional and physical scars black women have. That’s been happening since we got here. What I am trying to say is that if we keep talking about wanting to change the direction of the community, sooner or later we have to throw someone to the lions to show we are serious. Why not Robert since we already saw the evidence that he’s guilty? I’m just saying…..It’s on tape and people bought it and watched it! To make matters worse, he’s actually gotten nastier with his music and recording songs for a younger audience since the tape came out. I think that he thinks that we think that everything is ok. That must be why he wanted more black people on the jury.

Almost all black Americans live vicariously through a public personality. We may not obsess over them or even admit it but we look at their accomplishments as our own. The personalities themselves may not say it publicly but they know too. Don’t think Beyonce doesn’t realize millions of sisters live that glamorous life along with her or Oprah doesn’t know she’s a symbol of power for the same group. What does that say about us if we let this pedophile who pisses on babies run all over the globe in public like he’s the greatest thing since Otis Redding. How are we going to protect these angels and teach them how to respect themselves and their bodies while listening to Feeling on Your Booty in the car on the way home?

I just don’t understand. I get the same feeling when I see some grown jackass in a work truck slowing down to whistle at a girl in her high school uniform. She may be built like she’s an adult woman but she’s not and it’s not her job to know better than to mess with you. She’s the child. If there is one action we should have zero tolerance for it’s this kind of stuff. The only other people who should be on trial with R. Kelly is that girl’s parents who let her alone with a grown ass freak in the first place. If a grown man would have been alone with my sisters in their teens, my only concern would have been what medication would have stopped my dad’s psychotic rage long enough to tell him the guy was dead and he could stop punching.

You may think I am hating on R. Kelly and you would be right. Raising girls will do that to you. You should be hating on him too. What if he wasn’t the Pied Piper of R&B? Think if he was just Robert who installs cable in the neighborhood and you saw a tape of him having sex with a young girl who wanted free movie channels. How would everybody feel then? Everybody would want to chop his nuts off. It’s no different since he’s famous. Actually, it might be worse.

This is dedicated to the sister who wrote the piece that made me delete all my R.Kelly music a few months ago. I wanted to give her credit but I looked on every computer I have and used every search engine and I can’t find the damn thing. That’s unfortunate because her words really moved me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I had to find something I like to put in between my recent anger. I would like to introduce the uninformed to a great song by the Freestyle Fellowship called Inner City Boundries. It's old now but good music doesn't really age. This reminds me of my backpack wearing college days in my late teens. Youtube is the greatest website ever created.

Registration Blues Part 4.........My Mistake

I have a correction to make from my last registration post. Apparently I got my registration rules confused between schools and she is not enrolled in school yet. See, school A has a lottery if they get a number of qualified applicants above available slots. I won’t know about that one until July. School B has a lottery after they have reached the number of qualified kids. The high lottery number I have is now only good if we tear down a few more neighborhoods and ship those folks out of town. The question I have now is if people have been applying for schools years before their children are actually eligible to enroll, why are they still taking applications? Why not just put a “Full” sign on the door so parents can go somewhere else and not waste that sick day from work. This particular school also gives preference to kids who have siblings already enrolled. That means that a parent with five kids can be on easy street if she can get that first one to test high enough to be accepted. Her other four kids can be slow as molasses and still get in.

The obvious solution is to just make all the schools equal and then we won’t have this problem. As great as that idea sounds we are too busy experimenting with all these different charter school organizations to do that. Just in case someone is reading this and thinking that I am being a selfish angry parent. I know three people who are going through the exact same thing and I talked to all three today. The problem is that no one really wants their kids to go to a Recovery District school. There are several reasons for this.

The first one is that no one really knows where they are. The second one is everyone is scared to have their kids going to school and fighting all the time. This may not be a reality but its what everyone assumes. The third reason is that the charter schools appear to offer so much more for free. Who wouldn’t fight to get their kids in an innovative school for free and save the tuition money. The thought of spending money on this school stuff as a way to escape instead of a choice is bothering me. Maybe the recovery schools are not that bad. If the kids don’t learn anything at least our tourism industry will have fresh new labor to clean hotel rooms and sweep up the French Quarter. That will make King Rex and all the other elite bastards whose kids will be born into management positions happy.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Weekends Post Katrina........

May is the best month to live in New Orleans. It’s hot enough to do just about any outdoor activity but the humidity isn’t so brutal you can’t stand to be outside. Its not hurricane season yet so everyone’s stress level is a little lower than it will be in June. This is the time of year that you see more people on the lake front or in the parks working out or just chillin. That’s the reason I am writing this from outside under this big ass oak tree in my back yard.

I’m enjoying one of my Ashley Morris dedicated cigars and I am playing the music from the 10GBs of files I have on my laptop. If I can play something loud enough to disturb my stupid neighbor then that is a bonus. I’m thinking if I play one of these hip hop songs no one her age understands it may draw her out. I got a few songs that might make her move back to Houston. I hope she does come her ass outside because this time if she comes with one of her tirades I can feel good about it because she will actually have a legitimate reason to be angry. I hate being hated for nothing. I’m also enjoying a glass or three of St. Remy brandy. Say what you will about the French but they make good liquor.

I’m just sitting here thinking to myself why it seems my attitude changes from Friday to Sunday. I have made lots of progress not giving that storm that happened three years ago power over how I live on a daily basis. On Monday thru Thursday I am fine. It’s the weekend when I realize just how much things have changed. I have always set out here alone from time to time because I like to have solitude to get my own thoughts together. I really think I have too much alone time now. I get invited places and could be gone everyday if I wanted to but for some strange reason whenever I do something on the weekend or the holidays it reminds me that people are no longer here in the same capacity as they were before. I would rather sit here alone then go to someone else’s function so they can remind me of all the things I don’t have anymore.

Anything I say beyond this point may just offend, hurt, or anger people that are in the city with me now. I don’t want it to seem like this is a reflection on anyone. I am cool and content with being the only person in my inner circle still this bothered. That makes sense to me since I am still looking for this dude name Randy that hit me in the back on McDonald 19 Elementary School’s yard in the second grade. If you reading this Randy, you better be in training for when I see you. I know I hold onto things for awhile. I guess that’s just how I was born.

At least the cigars are good. I went to the front yard and could hear my music loud and clear. That means my neighbor can hear it so later on I might have to speak to the NOPD. The ice in my glass hasn’t melted so my brandy is still nice and cold. It’s a cloudy day so the sun isn’t shining and putting a glare on the screen so I don’t have to go inside and get my glasses. It’s been a great day. Besides, gas is too high for all that aimless driving anyway.

Of course, this entire post could just be a way of not admitting my laziness to get up and do something. Where's E.J.? I need some analyzing from a pro.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Registration Blues Part 3.......The Lottery

So I got a letter in the mail telling me that my baby is a low number that is not divisible by two in the lottery for one of our many charter school groups in New Orleans. Since everyone is scrambling to find a place for their children in a few schools, I won’t put the actual number she is because I can’t afford to hire security to protect her safety. Might be some poor baby right outside of the magic number with an over zealous parent.

I am glad she got into this one because I had to spend money on the second option and there was no clear third option. This school is supposed to be really good for a public school. I am still doing what research I can.I think my registration trouble is over but looking at the big picture I have mixed emotions about the whole thing. All I can come up with is questions.

What about all the kids that don’t get into the school their parents have selected? How come I don’t know where my district school is if I had to send her there? Do I have a district school? Do we still have districts? If you have more than one child and they don’t get in the same school after the lottery, what kind of pain in the ass is it if their schools are miles apart? How much time and gas does that cost? How come we have schools advertising on the back of city buses like they are small claim attorneys? When is the local news going to mention this like they do the crime problem? Doesn’t this situation assure that we will still have a crime problem for a long time? Why isn’t our city council making more noise about getting back local control of the school system? Why isn’t Austin Badon’s bill to give all the kids in the city a chance for a scholarship to pay to go where they want a bigger story? Am I the only person who realizes his bill is a direct statement about the state of public schools? Don’t try to answer all of that because it will give you a headache.

At the risk of making the counter argument against my own blog, New Orleans schools have been a wreck for a really long time. Some of us manage to still make it through all of that to live productive lives. Just because it’s obvious that the odds are stacked against these kids doesn’t mean that we can make it alright for them to not give the total effort. That means I shouldn’t see these kids waiting for the bus in the morning without a pencil or a notepad. They are not prepared to learn anything. If my kids were going to a school with one window, no air conditioning and the entire class had to share one book, I would be mad. I would be angry. I would do whatever it took to get that fixed but when my kids left my house they would know that I am laying the smack down on anyone who doesn’t give their best. When it’s all said and done no one is going to pay your bills and buy your groceries because you went to a Recovery District School instead of a KIPP charter school. Circumstances suck sometimes but you have to deal with them anyway.

That’s my opinion as I sit here dreaming of causing an uprising at my first PTA meeting in my Clark alumni t-shirt.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Back In The Hole Again

During my lifetime I have experienced different levels of being broke. Growing up I had close family broke. I have been through "lay off broke", "minimum wage broke", and "theft broke". There’s "too much fun broke", "lack of self control broke", and "too many girlfriends broke". The one thing all these conditions have in common for me is that they are easy to accept mentally and deal with. They are either caused by something you can’t control or something that was so fun you don’t mind the lack of money. The one state of broke that torments me is “almost have enough broke”. This is the condition where you are not broke enough to feel broke but never seem to have any extra money to do things. Every week it seems like some little situation or unknown expense comes up and knocks everything out of wack. It could be something as small as a flat tire or forgotten balance on a traffic ticket. Whatever happens breaks your routine just enough that it takes weeks to get back on track.

There is the aggravating realization that if you could just get five hundred dollars of windfall money you could put everything back in order again and relieve the stress. Of course that money never comes so you end up taking a bit from here and a bit from there and juggling as many payments as you can. You don’t want anything to be totally behind but nothing is totally caught up either. After awhile you realize that unless someone makes a mistake in payroll things are not going to change anytime soon. Crazy thoughts start popping into your head like “If I would have went to class for one more semester I would be making enough not to have this problem”.

Thank goodness our president and the inept Congress messed up the economy so bad that they felt guilty enough to give everyone a stimulus check. I have never been the type of brother to depend on the government for anything. I work for mine. That’s why last week I felt like such a loser for checking my bank account every twenty minutes to see if my money came in. I had calculated that money. It was going to get me back on track and make Mother’s Day better ( That shows you how stupid the government is. Everyone should have gotten their checks before Mother’s Day. Everybody would have spent a little extra on a mama somewhere).

That damn check never came last week! Due to the service I used to file my taxes my check won’t come until a month from now. If it comes then that’s fine. If it doesn’t I will make it alright. I come from a long line of brothers that never get free money. It’s one of the reasons that if the next hurricane comes through like Katrina did, I will be one of the few brothers that can still file a FEMA claim. The other thing is that the last week has seen some of the worst disasters in world history. I guess when I pull up to get my 3.60 gallon of gas I will think that I could be in Myanmar with some assholes called Junta holding back my food and water.

I know that's the right perspective to have but damn...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The MVP Down Here

I am not going to be the bandwagon fan because I don’t like those people.

I have been a member of the Kobe Bryant fan club since he started with the Lakers and a Lakers fan since I was five. Not only that, I know for a fact he was in New Orleans helping the kids even before The Hornets came back so I will not bash him or his MVP because Chris Paul lost. There will be no Kobe bashing on this blog ever. You can't say he didn't deserve the award.

I do have a problem with the voting being such a wide margin. Kobe got 82 first place votes to Chris Paul’s 28 votes. The Lakers only had a better record by one game. Plus, Memphis let them make a trade for a seven foot Spanish dude that can dunk without leaving his feet. David West is good but he can’t do that so Chris Paul should have gotten the benefit of the doubt. Does anyone other than sports fanatics like me realize that Chris Paul had the best statistical year for a point guard ever? It was better than both of Steve Nash's MVP years. How does he not get more first place votes?

Even without the MVP Chris Paul is approaching legendary status in New Orleans. He has a chance to be the black Archie Manning (local people will understand that). We have had so many people come here to play and you could tell that they were here for the paycheck. Sometimes it feels like they are being forced to live here against their will. This kid actually wants to be here. That makes him special, crazy or both. Anyone that lives here can agree that this is one place you can’t fake liking. You either love being here or you are miserable and can’t wait to leave. I would like to thank Chris Paul for shining on the national stage and letting the world know he is representing the Gulf Coast and it’s crazy major city……..and being proud of it.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

This is a musical interlude. Please enjoy the sounds of Talib Kweli 's Hostile Gospel

The Burden We All Carry But Won't Admit

Random deaths on the block, young nigga packin glocks
Picture me a TRU nigga, visualizing fools dying quicker
Murder murder's in the heart of every killer
Take a look into his eyes, it's evidence of a homocide
Life's get tooken faster then the egg leave the womb
Consider me in danger cause I know I'm dying soon
Twenty five years incarceration if I pull it
Bring the yellow tape, niggas can't overcome my bullet
Went to jail tryin to get paid, still on my rampage
Jump behind some bushes, dodging cops, another close shave
I'm bumpin heads with the reaper on a daily basis
Can't sleep with nightmares of dead faces
Fuck the man in the mirror, I don't trust him
Check his weapon, he's ashamed, got his boy blood on a muzzle
That's why I turn my head and leave him lonely
He phony, he got the whole hood waitin on his ceremony

C-Murder ...Like a Jungle

I have a blog friend who exchanges emails with me throughout the week, He will remain nameless because he already thinks everything he asks me about is racist (they are not) and I don’t want to put him on blast without his permission. He asked my why don’t more black bloggers speak out on murder in their community. I have been thinking of how to answer him. I could have just given him links to the dozens of blogs I have written about the topic but I am just one guy from New Orleans. Personally, I don’t know what else to say anymore. I could only come up with one conclusion. We don’t know what the hell to do about it.

I was reading The Book's site this week as he recounted all his former classmates and friends that were involved in some of the major murder stories in New Orleans recently. People in New Orleans think that somehow this is a problem that is confined to their city. The Field Negro keeps a running count of the murder rate in Philadelphia. The last count is 101. The First 48 show on A&E follows murder cases in a host of cities like Dallas, Cincinnati, Miami, Memphis, Kansas City, etc. The victims and the accused usually all look the same, black and brown men.

We have this situation today where we have more opportunity to succeed than any other time. There is a significant black middle class who really want to move past the hood mentality. We want to redefine the agenda and the outlook of our race in spite of how many people still struggling and dying. If we can do it then they can too. We might even have a black president who's approach reflects that promise of moving forward. All of that is wonderful but as long as the lives of our young people are not worth fighting for with the same vigor we have behind getting people like Don Imus off the air or calling people like Tavis Smiley sellouts for criticizing Obama we all have a burden to carry. No other group in this country has came to a comfortable level of violence against one another like we have. We romanticize it and legitimize it so much that even though there are millions of us that have never committed a crime there is a strange heroic reverence for people who do. That baffles me as I sing the words to my favorite Lil Wayne song.

Before you think I am trying to throw stones I am not. I have a few songs on my mp3 that brag about the ability to take another brother out. Last week, when I read the story of those guys that kicked in that door on Laharpe St. and shot those three people, the first thing I thought about was “well, at least they didn’t shoot the baby. Had they shot the baby too, we would have been outraged because the baby is not part of the game. Since they let the baby live, there is part of us that considers that kind of event part of the life those folks choose to live. The question is how can that be ok when the folks in question are our family, friends, classmates, and neighbors. How can we be so close together and have that big of a gap in our mentality? Maybe we are closer in mentality than we can admit in public without looking sad. Sad is how I feel when I can’t make sense of it.