Sunday, May 29, 2005

Childhood Ages 5-12

What happens in childhood will affect the rest of your life. Growing up a little kid in the streets of New Orleans is hard from the standpoint of trying to be yourself. Too many things needed for status and acceptance and everybody is broke. That's cool. Luckily for me I still found a way to develop my own personality. That's due to my parents that never made me get involved in something just for their benefit. Kids are cruel and heartless for the most part. My only regret is that I actually dreamed about being in the in crowd anyway. I probably would have started developing my current personality sooner. Even with all the aggravation and feeling like an outcast, I still had a great time.

Favorite Songs: Can't U Feel It- Fat Boys, Billie Jean- Micheal Jackson, Five Minutes of Funk- Whodini, Another One Bites the Dust( Junkyard Dog Theme Song), Ladi Dodi-Get Fresh Crew

Favorite TV Shows: Mid South Wrestling, A-Team, Dukes of Hazzard, Scooby Doo, Knight Rider, Hulk

Heroes : Daddy, Mama, Junkyard Dog, Batman, Rickey Jackson, Dalton Hilliard, Magic Johnson

Favorite Activities: Building skatemobiles, Making wrestling belts out of liquor boxes, Playing C.H.I.P.S. with Devin and fighting over who was going to be Punch or John, Going Crabbing on the bayou with my family, Playing football and basketball, Running away from girls that thought I was cute.

Best Moment : Any family crabbing trip because there were no bad ones.

Worst Moment: Cutting off my eyebrows before the fifth grade honors program. I was 10 years old and trying to shave like my daddy. I still have a mark in right brow from cutting myself.

Posted by Hello

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Clifton  Posted by Hello

The Top 31 Things I have Learned by the Age 31

1. I am blessed
2. You will not love anything more than your children.
3. Know one will love you more than your parents.
4. Dignity is something all men need, but not enough have.
5. Fathers are something that all men need and not enough have.
6. Money has nothing to do with your effectiveness of a parent.
7. The value of a friend should never be judged by the amount of time a person spends around you.
8. At least once a week, everybody needs a few hours alone to get in tune with their own thoughts.
9. I would take a healthy and happy family over being rich.
10. You must try to enjoy everything you do.
11. If I would have listen to my dad more in my early 20's I would be better off right now.
12. If I would have listen to my mom more as a little boy I would be better off right now.
13. If I would have not listened at all, I wouldn't be here at all right now.
14. My pride and stubbornness together have slowed down my progress in certain aspects of life.
15. You can try to act different to please other people, but eventually the real you will come out and drama is going to start.
16. Sometimes we ignore people that really care about us for the attention of someone more visually pleasing.
17. You have to be satisfied with most of your decisions are they will eat away at you
18. The Saints will never win and I will be tortured for the next 50 years waiting.
19. Everybody wastes money in their 20's in one way or another
20. 5 people can be raised by the same parents and all be totally different.
21. It is very overrated to be a young bachelor. When it's over all you have is memories of things you can't do anymore.
22. Although I play the role of not caring, I am probably the most self conscious person I know.
23. Eventually I will be used as a tool to help other people's lives get better. I just have not found the direction yet.
24. Nothing about being ignorant or stupid is cool but somehow in the hood we have romantically glorified it.
25. People in the hood romantically glorify ignorance because we are reminded daily by the media that the situation is hopeless. As daddy always says "If you control the media, you control what you see"
26. The hardest thing to be in the black community is a normal man. The majority only cares about the really rich or the extremely poor. No one does shit for the people in the middle.
27. I would much rather die an old man with kids and grandkids, then being killed in the streets when I am still a kid.
28. Never feel bad about people caring about you or doing things for you. That's what is suppose to happen.
29. If I can wake up the next day from something, it wasn't all that bad.
30. I wouldn't trade any of my family or friends for anybody
31. If I had to do the whole 31 years over again from the beginning I would and not change a thing.........Except for a little more money.

15 Days of Cliff

In 14 days I will be 31 years old. I can honestly say that the first 30 were pretty good except for the last one. I have tried to figure out if writing 14 days of talking only about myself would be considered vain. I came to the conclusion that it doesn't matter. June 11 is my day and I like to reflect on everything that has happen up until that day of my life in that year. Now, I have to find enough interesting things about me to make one post every day until June 11.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Mind Blowin Vol 9.

I am sitting at my evening desk and I think this will be the last day. I never seen a stranger collection of people in one office setting. When I was 24 years old, I walked out of AutoZone on July 6 1998 and I promised myself that there would never be another time I put up with foolishness on a job unless my family was homeless and starving. Since I still have a job and money coming in (even though it's not that much) I think I will let this one go with the idea of finding a better environment. I just want to touch on a few more things.

I'm sick and tired of the Steve Nash jocking. If John Stockton never won an MVP neither should Nash. No one that can't play defense should ever win the award period. It's looking like Pistons vs. Spurs in the finals which means we could possibly see the first 50-49 final score in postseason history. Before I get off of basketball, I just want to say it's never a good sign when your hometown team uses the draft lottery as a promotional tool. You are supposed to be in the playoffs Hornets. Baron Davis you still suck!

I did not set out to find out what I did this week but things happen. Fellas,if you are ever in a grocery store or pharmacy and a nice looking young lady starts to flirt with you, the quickest way to get her to stop is to let her see the diapers you are buying. It will kill any ideas she might have. You don't even have to speak.

I am sure that there is something really wrong with R. Kelly. However, I love the entire Trapped in the Closet saga. Sure, we all should be ashamed for supporting a pedophile but when the part 4 comes out everyone will be listening.

The New Orleans public school board and most of the citizens for that matter are really confused. For the last 20 years we have had control over the public school system. Now we have basically stole, neglected and abused our own kids, then we scream racism once the state comes in and wants to take over. If the school board would have been taking care of their own business and their own children, there would not be any need for a state takeover. Colonel Davis was from right here in New Orleans and you treated him just as bad or worse than Anthony Amato. What price are we willing to pay just to say we are in control. Let the people come in and get the money straight please.

Yesterday, a little girl drowned swimming with her friends in the Mississippi River. I felt real sad when I seen that. I also felt a chill go down my spine. It happens every time someone drowns like that. When I was 13 years old the same thing almost happen to me swimming in the canal near my house. If anybody in my family reads this they have just been shocked because no one ever knew about that except for the fools I was out there swimming with. I would like to think my childhood friend Lonnie Allen for saving me that day. I know you are doing about 30 years in prison my friend. I hope you have found a way to turn your life around and when your judgment day comes, the fact you pulled a little fool out of the deep water when everybody else was standing around fussing and screaming earns you some extra points in the end.

Coming soon.............Clifton - The First 30 Years..........................

Poor Brother Tate

Killer on Probation Held in Fla. Robbery - Yahoo! News

There are some dumb brothers (Mike Tyson). There are some stupid brothers (Kobe Bryant). Then there is the truly sad and ignorant stories like brother Lionel Tate. Either we left him in prison too long or we let him out too early. Where is his mama?

Monday, May 23, 2005

It's Hot

My first act as mayor of New Orleans will be to allow everyone to wear underwear to work once it starts getting hot, humid and miserable like it is now. The crime rate would almost be non existent. No one could hide a weapon and the mood of men would change drastically. New Orleans is so hot between May and September that you can sweat in every possible region. I should actually average 5 showers a day but due to obligations I can't.

Ten things you need to survive the New Orleans Summer...
1. Water
2. Air conditioning
3. BBQ grill
4. Extra shirts in your car
5. Off bugspray
6. A pistol for ignorant fools that get worse once it gets hot
7. A pot big enough to boil crawfish in
8. More air conditioning
9. Fishing gear
10. Even more air conditioning


I am writing this through my Yahoo email from my second job. After years of struggle and conflict, the powers that be have finally broken me down to the point that I have to get a second job. I will basically be working 7 days a week and will still be broke enough to not have any fun if I ever get a day off. This is the life for many Americans in our times. So many credit cards, house notes, car payments, child care bills, cellphone charges one has time to do anything they really like except for a small percentage. That's probably the percentage you are working on the weekends to accomadate. I'm not going to sit here and type up a whole page of rhetoric about the values of quality time and liesure in your life. I will just say that when it's over, none of your love ones will sit at your grave and talk about all the hours you worked. They'll talk about cookouts, fishing trips, things you did together, and vacations. Of course, you need money to do all that stuff. That's the catch 22. Everybody works all the time trying to put themselves and their family in a better situation. That leads to allot of material things and no quality time or memories. If you don't work, most of your memories will be a about missing out on things and struggling to make it. God bless America

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Friends..........How many of us have them?

I'm not going to sit here and tell you guys how much I love my friends anymore. You know it and they know it. This time I am going to break down my different categories of friends and dedicated them to a person in my life. Some names may be changed to protect the guilty and curb confusion. Just remember I love everybody on this list.

The Childhood Friend that can't get right
Dedicated to D. Bateman
This is the type of friend that you grew up with and experienced all kinds of things with as a child. He grows up and becomes the most stupid person you know. You just can't figure out what his problem is. He usually has had a pretty good childhood which makes everything that more confusing as to why he is having the problems he has.
The Only Call When He is Down and Out Friend
Dedicated to Beedie B.
There is a chance that B might read this and be pissed with me for about 6 months. This is the friend that moves away and enjoys his life out of town until he runs into trouble. Then, he calls and shows all the love in the world usually ending in a request for a loan or a big ass favor. He knows you how you feel about him and won't say no if you can do it for you. This is the friend that will ask you to be his best man in his wedding and make you feel guilty for calling him ungrateful.
The Everybody is Looking at Me Friend
Dedicated to Tate
Everybody has a friend that they go places with and no matter how good you look or who the other person is, they always think the person is looking at them and not you. What are you trying to say? Do you think you like that better than me where you can't ever imagine that maybe one of those women in the barroom is looking at me? This is the type of friend that back in the days would have been shocked to see you with the girl from the club that he wanted to talk to.
The Old Habits are Hard to Break Friend
Dedicated to Joe E.
This is the friend that you go 6 months or more before talking to. As soon as he sees you, he rolls a blunt or goes and gets a bottle of gin like it's 1995. He just can't figure out that in ten years you might have changed a little bit. He might even ask you what's going on, hear what you say, and still pass the duche to his left hand side.
The I am Going to Get my Boy to Handle this Friend
Dedicated to Chris
This is the guy you don't be with allot as you get older because you always think he is a little destructive and potentially dangerous. However, if something in the "hood" should occur, this is the first person you call and he will be there before you hang up the phone. This is the friend your mama likes but she is kind of nervous about. to
The I Wouldn't do it Like that Friend
Dedicated to Wilma and Tate...Again.
This is the friend that always has a comment for everything you do. They don't like the way you drive, cook, talk, raise your kids, anything. You usually never see them doing too much they damn self but they always have something to say.
The Just a Little Too Ghetto Friend
Dedicated to Shandy and Carlette
These are the friends that you love to death but can't take anywhere in public because you just know that something will happen and the hood will come out of them.
The Man that is my Boy but I Never See Him Friend
Dedicated to Kenneth and Freddie
I am dedicating this last category to my two boys because we have never had a bad time, a disagreement or an awkward moment. For some strange reason we just don't see one another that much anymore but when we do, it's like nothing ever happened.

Now lets hope none of these people read this post.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mind Blowin Volume 8

Lost in Transition
I think I just lost the best thing I have ever written on this blog due to a problem with Blogger and IE. I am logged in now to Mozilla from now on to make all my post. I was really pissed and planned on a evil tirade on this site and Microsoft for losing my thoughts but it's ok. I have a feeling that for whatever reason that post was not meant to be read by anyone else. Maybe my guardian angel scrambled my signal in order to save me from unnecessary analysis. If that's the case then thank you. I won't repeat what I wrote a few moments ago because it just came out of me. I won't even mention what it was about. I all I know it was very therapeutic for me just to but it on paper. So now I will move on..................But damn that post was written real well!

20's vs. 30's
You know in my early 20's whenever I was bothered by something, there was a four part system to getting it off of my mine. I called it the Four W method; Women, Whiskey, Work and Wrestling. A combination of those always seem to do the trick. Now in my early 30's I haven't perfected the method for feeling better and releasing my mind yet. That is a work in progress and I will have it together soon.

Inspired by Tara, Kristie from Ez2njoyu, and almost every other 30-35 year old I have talked to recently.
You know one problem our generation has? We have been so brainwashed by standards of living in the media that when we are 30 we feel like the end is near and whatever we are now will be forever. My grandfather was 89 when he passed away in March. My dad is 55 and has two younger siblings. That means that Big Walter had 3 children after the age of 33. If my grandfather would have had the attitude in his 30's that we have in our 30's now, I wouldn't even be here. My daddy wouldn't either for that matter. 30 is not the age to gauge what you did with your life. Hell, my mama graduated from college at 51. We all just need to calm down, have a little more fun around here and stop letting people tell us how much and how long it should take us to feel successful. Life can be long if you live right. You don't want to be miserable for 75 years. Did everybody read what daddy said?

I need to read it again my damn self........

Before I close this post I want to thank you to Yolanda from Yo's Vibe for the words I am given. We will start that joint project again soon. I also want to tell anybody that reads my blog, they should click on the Nappy Diatribe link and read the HumanityCritic. He is my favorite blogger on the internet and he writes the illest sh@t on any blog.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

What Daddy Told Me

One day I am going to write a book called What Daddy Told Me just to show my daddy that I was listening to all the quotes and philosophy he's dropped over the years. I take almost everything he says to heart and try to apply them to my life. When things get shaky I pull out the Cliff Archives and find some advice that fits. I figured I would share this one with everybody since we could all use it. He told me this one around 1987 or 88 when I was a young teenager and we were riding in the truck together.

Two men are born at the same time. One man lives to be 26 and the other man lives to be 100. Now, if the man that lived to be 100 was sad and miserable for the last 75 years of his life , did he really outlive the man that died at 26? The 26 year old man was blessed because for every one of those 26 years he loved every minute. The meaning of that is that it makes no sense living a long time if you are not going to enjoy the time that God gives you.

Yes I remember almost everything Big Cliff has ever told me. Don't ever tell me black fathers don't matter.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mind Blowin Volume 7

It sure feels good to not feel stressed for a change. I actually had some clear thought for a couple of days. In light of that, I am going to try and be positive for as long as I can. The weather is getting hot and things are changing all around. I think I am changing too. Since the news is full of bad news and depressing stories, there won't be too much of that being talked about around here this week.

The strangest thing I saw the last few days was a lady in her 60's showing off the big tattoo on her arm for Mother's Day. That's the gift that keeps on giving.

Inspired by last weekend...Everybody has a friend that only wants to hang out when their mate goes somewhere on their own. They come and take over your house for the evening and act like they never want to leave.

Inspired by a conversation at work today....These are the five songs that you don't play at a wedding. 1. As We Lay, 2. Me and Mrs. Jones, 3. Secret Lovers, 4. Everything I miss at home, and 5. Agony and Ecstasy

Dave Chappelle is in a mental institution in South Africa. I never seen 50 million dollars make a black man go so crazy. I can finish writing the third season for 5 million and the only thing that will drive me crazy is all the times I would count my money.

I have to admit I have been real hard on hip hop on my blog lately but I must say I have some new excitement. The new songs I heard from Freeway, Nappy Roots, Common and that damn Dear Summer song by JayZ ; who retired just when he found his flow.

Serious message from Clifton: One day when I was 16, I was sitting on the steps of one of my neighborhood friends. We were all just hanging out doing nothing when all of a sudden the subject of money and the future came up. I listened to every single person sitting on that step talk about their plans. Everybody wanted to either be a drug dealer, rob a drug dealer, or find some drugs to sell. I knew right then and there that if I wanted to have any kind of future I had to remove myself from those guys and that mind state no matter how long I knew them. The moral of the story is that there is no amount of loyalty to your hood or your street that requires you throw your life away. In the end, you will be judged alone.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Cliff's Playoff Preview

Before we get into the second round, lets quickly review everything we learned from the first...
  • The five all around best players(Iverson, Kobe, Lebron, KG, and McGrady) are not even in the playoffs going into round two.
  • The Heat are a good team even without Shaq.
  • Yao Ming is overrated.
  • The Kings miss Chris Webber way more than they will admit.
  • Reggie Miller can't play two good games in a row anymore.
  • Vince Carter is still not ready to grab the spotlight on the big stage in the playoffs.

Now lets get to the round 2 matchups. I know the second round has started but I won't use the first games to change my mind out what will happen.

Heat vs. Wizards - The Heat will win this series because they have the better team all around but give the Wizards 2 games because they have three players that could all put up 30 at the same time......Heat 4-2

Pistons vs. Pacers - I know these two teams split the season series but the Pacers look a little worn down. I don't see this one going more than five games. The Pistons are in championship mode now. If Indiana had some scorers on their bench I would give them 2 games but I'm predicting this one as a wash out......Pistons 4-1

Spurs vs. Sonics - When Radmonivich and Ray Allen got hurt in game 1, the series was basically over. The only way the Sonics had a shot was if both of them could play and maybe outscore the Spurs. If they both are hurt for the whole series..............Spurs 4-0

Suns vs. Dallas - I picked Dallas to win this series and I am going to stick with that. Although, after watching what Amerie did to Erick Dampier in game one I am not so sure. My faith in Avery Johnson says that Dallas will come back. I hope I don't look stupid..........Dallas 4-3

Thursday, May 5, 2005

Mind Blowin Volume 6

What in the hell are we doing in Iraq when North Korea is testing missles right now. How come we didn't make Kim Jong Il hide in a hole like Saddam. I know why. There are about 2 billion North Koreans waiting to combat the USA. Lets face it, the Iraq war was just a way for us to flex our muscles after 9/11 and for George to get some revenge and honor back to his family name.

I will do my playoff review as soon as the Pacers get rid of Boston tomorrow. The only thing I am upset about is Allen Iverson is eliminated. I'm sure David Stern can fix it so he can get signed by the Wizards or the Sonics for the Sonics for the next few weeks.

I watched the New Edition Behind the Music on VH1. It was actually kind of sad the way their careers have gone. That still doesn't stop them from being the number one group of my generation. Everybody looked good except for Bobby Brown. He sounded like someone had just punched him in the mouth.

The government wants to give a million dollars for Assata Shakur. She's an old woman by now. They didn't arrest the man who killed Medger Evers until he was damn near 80. I figure she can turn herself in at her 75th birthday and that's about even.

Someone has kidnapped the young Cliff and replaced him with this mature clone of himself. I am going to end this edition with a scenario and question for all the hip hop heads out there that have been defending gangsta rap and explicit lyrics for the last 15 years as simply a way of expressing ourselves and nothing more...........

I was driving home from work yesterday when a song by Isaac Hayes came on the radio. I wasn't in a bad mood at the time but even if I was it would have been over with because it instantly brought a smile to my face. There are other songs that I can hear that can instantly make me cry or call my mama. My question is this, if there are love songs that make you happy, and like Billy Ocean said, sad songs to make you cry, then why would songs full of disrespect and hopelessness not make you disrespectful and hopeliess? If you listened to hours of music about bitches and whores, wouldn't you start looking at sisters as bitches and whores in some way? What about if everyday all you heard was how cool it was to be a hustler and kill a nigger? Eventually, some people will think it's cool to hustle and kill niggers too. No matter how much I love hip hop as a lifestyle and an art form, I can't look past the fact that ever since the first NWA album, the climate on the street has become progressively worse and rap music has now become the gospel music to the hustlers religion. Now, I have underground hip hop crawling out the speakers of my jeep every single day. However, at 30 years old, it would be foolish of me to think that some kids aren't adopting some of these lyrics as their doctrine for life.

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Classic Cliff.....Dignified Brothers

This kind of goes with the theme for today................

September 22, 2004
I parked my jeep for this morning and this brother came up to me asking if I had some pliers so he could work on his bike. I didn't know anything about him but I could tell that he was not doing so well. I loaned him the pliers and went inside the office thinking that I wouldn't see him or those pliers again. To my surprise he actually came in the office and brought them back. He began telling me about how he was homeless and was trying to find a place to work. I directed him to a few places and he rode off. After he left I got to thinking about the number of brothers I pass everyday or see out my office window that life has totally beat down. The one thing I will never understand is how black men can hurt and mess over one another when we all share the same experience. I could have kept walking and ignored that brother this morning. If I did, am I not validating the same thoughts that everyone else has about him and in turn applying these ideas to my own self. We will never be able to change anything until we get our men to look in the mirror and be proud of what they see. Having a few brothers that are successful will not benefit the community as a whole. Sooner or later, we are going to have to come up with a way for all of our men to feel dignified.

Mind Blowin Volume 5

Madhubuti said the stress of being black takes a special toll on the minds of men. "Men run the world, and now understand that you are not one of the men running the world, and layer on that that men you don't like are always telling you what to do," he said. "Many brothers just drop out."

From The Disappearing Man, Times Picayune 5/4/2005

I had other stuff I wanted to speak about but since I read The Disappearing Man article from the Times Picayune that is all I can think about. I don't know if many brothers that need to read that would care or even understand what it is saying. Being a young black man with knowledge of the world today is one of the most frustrating positions to be in. Imagine watching all of your childhood friends going to jail, being addicted to drugs, or being murdered all the time and none of them seem to realize that there is something wrong with that scenario. Some of them will actually call your manhood cheap because you have never "handled your business". A large part of the black community, men and women, have accepted the thug life/soldier mentality as everyday living and the numbers reflect that. That leaves the hood intellectuals like myself stuck in the middle. We are not rich enough to move away from the madness, and not ignorant enough for any of the madness to make sense. Basically, we helplessly watch our friends and family create their own genocide on a day to day basis. That takes a mental toll on anyone that cares about their community. I wish I knew the answer.



I was feeling really good this morning until I read this article. It has upset me so much that I can't even write any real comments on it. It seems as if I am looking down the barrell of a gun by being a black man over 30. This is the kind of article that makes me wonder why are we even trying sometimes.

Tuesday, May 3, 2005

Rebuilding Myself

In one month I will be 31 years old. I was watching the Sixers play the Pistons on Sunday and saw Allen Iverson running around like he was 18 years old again. I couldn't help but think how sad it was that we are the same age. He played 53 minutes of basketball and was barely sweating. I can't run for five minutes without almost passing out. There was a time when I really took good care of myself. My arms, legs, shoulders were all tight. Somewhere between the ages of 18 and 30, I totally let myself go. Now, I don't want anyone to think that I am trying to be A.I. I'm not that foolish. I would however like to be in better condition and at least get down to my weight of five years ago. It's pretty upsetting when you tell some of your newer friends that ten years ago, you used to be atheletic and they all laugh. My pride almost makes me want to head to the nearest ball court and show them. The only problem with that is that I can't run for more than a few minutes so even the ones with no game would beat me and piss me off.
I got to get myself together. My sisters Michelle and Jennifer, who were my quality control staff for years may be the only person that really knows deep down I am one of the most vain and self conscious people in the world when it comes to how I look. I was always asking, "Shell, how does my beard look? or "Jenny does this haircut make me look old?" I do the same thing now, only I ask myself the questions instead of bothering them.

I am now announcing the official Cliff rebuilding project. My goal is to lose 20lbs or to be able to fit into all the XXL shirts that I have that are too tight. I am not going to kill myself trying to be skinny or anything. This is for no one other than me. I'm just tired of feeling sluggish and miserable. I have too many headaches, and pains in my body for no reason at all. Plus, I miss being competitive physically. I wasn't made to feel like a slob or a wimp. The way I look at it, there are only a few things I need to do to accomplish this.

1. No Drinking on Weekdays : I am not an alcoholic, but I live close to their neighborhood. Water and juice during the week will help me.
2. No Rallys, McDonalds, Burger King, etc : It's amazing you can eat a Big n Tasty at 12:00 PM and still feel miserable at 12:00 AM
3. Physical activity : The bottomline is that the last 7 years of office work has made me lazy. I used to actually have to use my body to earn a living. Now, I just punch on keyboards all day. There has to be some time spent outside, or on a treadmill, or something like that.

I think I can handle this. I will keep you posted.