Thursday, July 31, 2008

A Small Dedication to St. Claude Avenue

I have been grinding this week. Sometimes you have to take a break from all the drama and just sit down with a nice cocktail and forget about it all. I dedicate this video clip to Clifton and Bernadine Harris, my brothers and sisters and weekend nights on St. Claude Ave. I sure miss the Lower Nine sometimes.....

Blessing Blocking

For the first time in a few weeks I went to City Park instead of Audubon Park to work out. I like City Park much better. It’s closer to the house. There are less people who trust big dogs too much and walk them right next to your leg. Plus, there are more sisters at City Park and that’s always an added bonus. Despite all of those advantages I have been avoiding going there because I have been trying not to look my former trainer in the eye.

I stopped working with the man and I didn’t have a good reason. The brother saw me out there and just wanted to help me reach my goals. That’s what he always said and nothing he never anything to prove differently. He was even working with me for free. My own pessimism made me think of every shallow reason not to let this cat help me. I even complained about the fact he’s one of those guys who always needs dap or a handshake as affirmation for everything he says (I have a one contact per meeting limit for men). I feel bad about the last time I saw him and tried to explain why I stopped showing up. Nothing makes you feel more stupid than not keeping a commitment to someone without a real reason.

I’ve become one of those people who are so guarded with their feelings and so paranoid about being disappointed that I think of any reason to run people away from me as quick as possible. I’m probably missing out on something good because instead of opening that email or returning that phone call I ignored it. When people get in that mind state it only makes life harder. It’s definitely been harder to break through this barrier and lose these last ten pounds. I could have stuck with that brother and been outside washing my truck bare chest by now. I guess the next time I see him out there I will shake his hand and give him the phrase brothers use to acknowledge wrong doing without actually having to say what they did…………“My Bad Bruh”

I need to work on that.

Check Me Out On The Blog of New Orleans

You can check me out in my guest role here.

Thank you to Kevin Allman for giving me a chance to reach a broader range of people.

I just want to say that everything I write on that site is dedicated to the Lower Ninth Ward.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Sitting On My Porch Part Twelve

I spent the weekend doing landscaping in my front yard. It was so hot that I started singing old Negro spirituals and waiting for Harriet to show me the way to the Railroad. I have to be the only fool that waits until the middle of the day to do yard work. I know that since humans are at the top of the food chain we think highly of ourselves and how we control nature but I don’t think we give nature enough respect. Three years ago after Katrina everything around my house was brown and dead from saltwater. There was no grass, leaves, or flowers. The only thing that survived was pine trees and old oaks. Now after a few years of rain and sunlight, it looks like a swamp again. We talk about harming the Earth with the way we live but the reality of it is that the Earth is going to be fine once we leave it. The only difference is that the grass doesn’t grow as fast as it used to. When I first moved around here if you didn’t cut your grass a few days after it rained you couldn’t see your house.

Apparently Senator Derrick Shepherd went swimming in the river Saturday and swallowed some of that oil infested water. How else could you explain what happened to him this weekend? Here’s the part I don’t understand. He left his ex girlfriend’s house after she called 911 and went to his own house to get a lap dance. What woman is so fine that you bring her to the crib to get a lap dance knowing the entire sheriff’s department is looking for you? Whoever she is needs to be relocated out of this area immediately. She’s a threat to all the stupid men of the metro area. I don’t want to go to any club with a dancer so fine I will be willing to publicly embarrass myself and ruin my career.

Brothers and sisters please stop calling the radio defending the brother for getting arrested. The woman didn't go to his house and pitch rocks at his house. He went to her house. All he had to do was get his double lap dance and go to sleep happy and content. I don't want to get myself in any trouble but I never had a lap dance and wanted to fight afterwards. Derrick did this one on his own.

If you work at an organization that depends on state funding, shouldn't you keep your resume updated and saved on an USB drive in your car at all times until Bobby Jindal leaves office? If you can make it through his budget cuts you truly have a valuable position because he cuts everything. Even the elderly didn't stand a chance.

Brett Favre is now taking Terrell Owens’s place as the man who refuses to go away and is hijacking my football season. We haven’t had on preseason game and I am already drained. ESPN has to cut into every program just to tell you someone talked to Brett and he still wants to play but he is still sitting at home. I hope someone makes a trade soon so we can switch to the next month of stories about him playing for someone else other than the Packers.

In a true example of what influence real fathers can have on men, I changed my ringback tone from Hold it Now by the Beastie Boys to the regular boring ring after Clifton Sr. fussed at me like I was 17 sleeping in a bunk bed on St. Claude St. I did it because his reasons were right and because I didn't want to hear about it every time he calls me. Let this be a lesson to parents. It doesn't matter if your kids do things just to shut you up. All that matters is that they do it. Man, that Beastie Boys ring was cool. I'm supposed to be grown....I am typing this really low so he can't see it.

I have talked about my neighbor some and I am concerned that I might be giving people the wrong impression about my neighborhood. I live in a great neighborhood around good people. I just have one crazy neighbor next door. Actually, I won’t call her crazy either. Before the storm she was fine. She probably just has some post Katrina issues like everybody else. I would knock on her door one more time and try to mend fences but if she yells at me for nothing one more time I might forget she has kids older than me and I might end up running for a lap dance like Derrick Shepherd.

Finally, I just want to tell all you parents out there to please check your internet adult content settings. Otherwise you may be sitting around thinking the kids are watching something on Nick Jr. only to walk in and discover they are laughing at this video below. Don't ask me how they got there.

What kind of sick freak do you have to be to turn Boots into a gangster?

Friday, July 25, 2008

I Am A Statistic

I watched Black in America last night on CNN and I have to say this morning I am a little disheartened about being a black man. I don’t think Soledad O’Brien intended on making things look as bleak as they did on the show. I can’t say any of it was not true. It needed to have a little more balance. If you go by the show we are all statistics in one way or another. I just needed them to show a profile of some of the cats I know. There are regular everyday black men that have never been addicted, went to jail, been unemployed, messed over a black woman, or abandoned their kids. It doesn’t always have to go wrong. Even the successful family on the show had a son involved in a shooting. It doesn’t have to be that way. Neither I nor any of my brothers even own a gun.

The real focus for the future was on the show and didn’t get nearly enough attention. There was a brother named Roland Fryer on the show who is a professor of economics at Harvard University. During the crack section of the show it was revealed that he grew up in one of the biggest drug houses in his hometown. My inner city experience tells me that usually if you grow up in a crack house the chances you are going to have that kind of success is rare. The chances you are going to have any kind of success outside of crack is usually impossible. After they got through showing all of the failures and bad circumstances, this brother should have been the subject of the last hour. You can’t get a bigger hurdle in life than growing up in a crack house. Whatever path this brother took out of that should be the blueprint and we should be focusing on if it can be duplicated for a few million more.

We better do something because after watching that two hour show last night I feel like I should just stand on the corner and wait for police or the child support office.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's Something In The Water

I love the taste of good old New Orleans dirty tap water. The Kentwood Water dude has no reason to come to my house. All the particles and chemicals adds the extra flavor. I don't think one of the normal ingrediants is thousands of gallons of fuel oil. The Mississippi River is crawling with black grease after two barges collided. The oil slick is 12 miles long. Who wants to take their boo out for a walk along the levee and look at that? Now I have to go buy some water and ice cubes because the ice maker on my fridge is connected to the same water as the kitchen sink. I don't want my evening cocktail ending up with me waking up in the middle of the night to cough up a mysterious green substance with a foul odor. Maybe if the water is really contaminated I could spray some on my neighbor's car by "mistake" and take the paint off.

The Criminalization of Ray Nagin

There are two issues I need to talk about. The first is Bobby Jindal. The second one is the criminalization of Ray Nagin. I am going to hold off on talking about the first one until what I want to talk about is official. The second one has to be addressed right now.

I am not a fan of Ray Nagin’s management style. I would have liked him to be more aggressive early in the recovery. I thought he was taking a business approach when the citizens needed some inspiration. Even today I have problems with many of the decisions of his administration. You can read archives of this page and see that I have been fussing about Mayor Nagin since I started blogging. While I may not be pleased with his performance as mayor, I never try to turn this man into a crook just because I am mad. There seems to be this obsession with turning this man into a criminal mastermind. Why can’t he just be a bad mayor and nothing more?

Every day there’s a story on a blog, newspaper or on the TV news that tries to tie this man into some racket. I am not condoning using city funds for personal use but the man took his wife to lunch and you would have thought he embezzled billions. Someone is going to read this and tell me that these stories are just exposing waste and mismanagement in City Hall. I will give them the benefit of the doubt in feeling that way. What they don’t understand is that when I read or watch the news I hear the implication behind the actual words the reporter is saying. That might be only a black thing so it’s ok if you don’t get that. The story last night about the NOAH organization was implying that our mayor purposely and knowingly had something to do with money being mismanaged. Lee Zurick didn't say that directly but he didn't have to. The message was clear to me.

Note : There was a blogger on that story who has an entire blog dedicated to housing and blight around the city. She never has any propaganda on her page and I am not implying she was in on Channel 4’s plan. Ms. Gadbois if you read this I hope you don't take any of it personally.

Our grandstanding city council bought right into it and immediately held a hearing about it like they do for every suspicion. A man can’t keep letting people run his daddy’s name through the mud like that. As a black man in this city, I have enough issues with actual crooked politicians and street criminals without trying to make Mayor Nagin a suspect. I am 100% certain this man has not knowingly been involved with anything illegal. People hate this man so much that Jim Letten would have indicted him a long time ago if he had something. If I am proved wrong and Ray turns out to be like Bill Jefferson then I will admit it. I just can’t see Mayor Nagin doing anything that foolish with every investigative reporter in the city going through his trash.

It's cool with me if you don't like the brother but it doesn't have to be validated with a mugshot.

Next......The Heartlessness of Bobby Jindal

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Not A Minute Too Soon

Saints training camp starts tomorrow. I have been trying my best not to be an over the top fan. When I became a dad my dad told me that stuff like football games wouldn’t matter so much. He said life would be more in perspective and I would probably not get upset about sports like I used to. I am sure he was right but he said all this before Katrina. It is true that I gave up my season tickets after the last pre Katrina season. I had decided that I was taking the outcome of those games way too personal and it wasn’t worth making myself sick over.

After everything got turned upside down, I can’t wait for football season. I want to suspend reality for a few hours on the weekend and think about why we overpaid Charles Grant or why Sean Payton isn’t using Reggie Bush correctly. I welcome the chance to take my shirt off and throw it across the room when #42 (I refuse to say or type his name.) gives up another long touchdown. I can’t wait for the first time Jeremy Shockey is wide open but doesn’t get the ball and goes crazy on the sideline so I can call my cousin and tell him I knew that guy was going to snap. I might even drive to Jackson for some practices.

This may all seem petty to the 24/7 deep and serious thinkers. Most people who can think that deep and that serious all the time probably haven’t had to do anything that required the mental energy of dealing with some of the issues down here. After the daily attacks on my tolerance, patience and sanity I can’t wait to hate the Falcons for two weeks. I need football for awhile. The season is only 16 weeks; maybe 20 if you get to the Super Bowl. That leaves at least 32 weeks of the year for me to be angry, bitter, and aggravated.

The Saints are the NFL’s version of Barak Obama. They make their suffering fans unite together in misery and disgust between all social, racial and geographic lines. If they can just get to the Super Bowl one time, I might be so happy that I forget the fact we don’t have hospital open below Canal St. for an entire hour. I am craving that long mental bliss.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

To Protect, Serve and Bust a Cap

Ninety five percent of the New Orleans Police Department are really good people. They have a rough job and take a great risk to protect this city. The problem with the NOPD is that they can’t get out of their own way. While ninety five percent of the force are good people, the other five percent do some of the craziest shit in police history.

The police force has came so far since the days of Len Davis and the vice squad shaking down Asian massage parlors. I have to admit that this foolishness is getting a little annoying. The bad vibe started when a 35 year veteran got suspended for wearing an old shirt his last day on the job to honor his falling fellow officers. That bought the department about a week of bad press. Next, this fool on the Crescent City Connection just ignored the bridge police and damn near got himself shot. Today, this crazy ass off duty police woman gets out of her car outside of Treme Community Center filled with kids and parents and pulls out her pistol on a lady picking up five kids from day camp. Other officers arrived after someone dialed 911 and didn’t do anything when they found out the crazy woman was a fellow officer. Officer Ashley Terry has been suspended and the officers who responded are under investigation.

Here is the part that bugs me. You have this crime problem in certain areas of the city. Everyone keeps saying that the problem would be easier to solve if the citizens would cooperate more with the police department. If that’s a big priority in the city, shouldn’t an officer crazy enough to pull out a pistol on a parent who’s driving a truck full of school children be fired immediately? If she ever had to respond to something in that neighborhood no one is going to speak to her. When you live in that kind of neighborhood, no one speaks to the crazy officer because you never know if he or she is in on the hustle.

Just to keep it real………If she would have done this uptown on St. Charles or in Lakeview she would have been fired AND arrested today! What regular citizen could pull a gun on a mom and five children? What does a mama and her kids have to look like for those officers to feel comfortable letting their comrade go after brandishing a firearm? And some folks think brothers and sisters be angry for old shit. If that gun would have went off for some reason and hit one of those babies, relations between the black community and the police department would have been set back 20 years.

Please Go Fishing

I can’t take it anymore…….I only blog about football during the season but this is driving me crazy

I like Brett Favre. I remember when his dad used to be on Sports Talk with Buddy D when they both were alive. I think he has been a great player but someone needs to tell him that once you retire or quit a job the company you work for doesn’t have to hold your job for months until you are sure. If he didn’t want to retire why in the hell did he have that press conference and kidnap ESPN for the week. He can’t go play for another team. That’s like Peyton Manning, or Tom Brady playing for another team. That’s like looking at Jerry Rice in that Seahawk uniform or Emmitt Smith as a Cardinal. You can’t do that to the Packer fans. Leaving to play for another team should be left for players like Aaron Brooks who suck. Why can’t this cat just go fishing? The only way I can get with this whole saga is if it can bring down the gas prices somehow.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Neighborhood Wish List

I have never been one to get excited by stories in the paper and magazines about up and coming developments in my community. I believe it when I see it. Actually, I believe it when I see people coming in and out of the building. With that in mind I want to discuss my current area of the city. I live right along the border of New Orleans East and Gentilly. There are thousands of people living out here and most of us are middle and working class people. Any given day you can ride around this area and see work being done on houses everywhere. I would argue that besides the affluent non flooded neighborhoods, there is probably more working people in New Orleans East and Gentilly than any other neighborhoods in New Orleans. So why is it when I want to buy a non bootleg CD I have to spend gas and time just to go to the store? I know we are supposed to be all in this recovery together but its obvious no one in control of the money wanted us to move back out here. This may seem petty to most people but by the time I get to a place with a really good cup of coffee to sip on the way to work I am already in the building.

This is not about the obvious things like a hospital or new schools. This is also not intended to disrespect and minimize all the stores like Winn Dixie, Home Depot and Sears that are open already, the small businesses opening up around the area or the Asian and Arab grocers who were here months before anybody else. What I am trying to say is that I want some of the things that are on the Westbank, Metairie, Slidell or Uptown. I think the folks around me make enough money to warrant some of these things. Here is my list. If you want to add to it or tell me about something being built please let me know. Keep in mind we had some of this stuff before the storm. I know we won’t get all of this. I will settle for five and would actually be shocked if we get one anytime soon.

Wal Mart
Best Buy
P J’s Coffee ( I would be in here every morning. They would probably stop charging me after awhile.)
Any Big and Tall Men’s Store
Buffalo Wild Wings
Fox and Hound
Borders Books (because I have a discount card)
A movie theatre (with proper security)
A cigar shop
Martins Wine Cellar
24 hour fitness center with a basketball court
Chuck E Cheese
Cell phone stores from all the major carriers.
Applebee’s, Outback, N.O. Hamburger and Seafood, Bennigans, anything?
Another original restaurant like Sassafras will be ok in place of the names above.
Burlington Coat Factory
Kroger’s( I know we don’t have these in New Orleans but they have the best steaks and beer selection for a grocery chain )
Golden Corral
About three of those 5 min oil change spots.
A really good hibachi restaurant

I think five from this list is fair. We definitely have the space. I have a great idea. How about we tear down that destroyed Six Flags park that is an eyesore and never going to open again. We can take half of that space and give some of these companies free rent. I should send this to Ann Duplessis and hope her lack of a pay raise hasn't affected her ability to open emails.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Evening Music

One of the greatest hip hop albums ever that no one knows about is Buhloone Mind State by De La Soul. If you are shopping for music and have a few extra dollars I recommend it. This instrumental from that album is called I Be Blowin featuring the great Maceo Parker. I thought it was a good sitting outside on a Sunday evening song.

Scared Of Grown Man Business

I have a dear friend for over 25 years. I love him but since we have been adults he’s been pissing me off. See, my boy is scared of being an adult. Every time it seems he is close to getting things in order he intentionally does something crazy to go right back to square one. I can’t describe how I felt when he called me Saturday morning asking me to come and pick up some of his personal belongings from where he was staying. Before I headed over to help him I wanted to know exactly what these people who have treated him like family could have done to make him so pissed off he was willing to take his things and sleep in his car. He gave me some of those vague reasons about people messing over him and he won’t be disrespected and all that jazz. After about twenty minutes of conversation he finally got to the real reason. He said “Cliff, seems like my life has been more difficult since I started walking the straight and narrow trying to do this responsible thing instead of hustling. It was more fun when I was doing what I wanted to do.” That’s when I had to snap a little and reply “who in the hell told you this responsible shit was easy and fun?” I love my boy but I wanted to kick his ass. Just how long did he think other people would make it ok for him to act like a teenager. It’s not my job to make things comfortable enough for you to go out and live the care free life that I can’t. Especially when you are grown and have kids. Stand up and handle your business.

While I was pissed with him I understood at the same time. You can be fooled by these cats out here who seem to be stuck in adolescence but I am not. They know exactly what they are doing. The hardest thing in this world to be is a responsible man with a regular or little income. It’s easier to act like you don’t care so people will leave you alone. The pressure is great because when you try to make everything work without the proper resources the main person that will have to suffer and sacrifice is yourself. I don’t care what you see on television, there is no fun in that. I love and respect my dad for everything he ever did for me. There hasn’t been a day in my life to go by where I didn’t think he was there for me. I was blessed to have him around and we talked about everything. Not once do I ever remember him telling me the joyous feeling of getting up every morning and jumping on his truck with his college degree to work for people he was probably smarter than just to come home and still be short of money. He did it everyday but the reality of it is that somewhere along the line he could have easily left and lived his life without half of the stress he endured trying to support a wife and five kids. He did it and he was great at it but it wasn’t a carnival either.

That’s when I realize how little progress we are going to make without being totally honest with ourselves. We have to change our measurement of manhood. I feel like I am part of that group of real men stuck in the middle of the spectrum who know one speaks for. You have these rappers and entertainers marketing how cool it is to get out here and hustle for a living destroying your community instead of working for an honest living. The real hustle is doing it without hurting anyone. At the same time you have these elitists like Cliff Huxtable and Barak Obama acting like it’s too easy to make it right. They speak as if all these cats have to do is wake up one morning, decide they are going to get a good job, knock on their kids door and reunite the family after years of neglect and that’s going to turn the world into a paradise. If it worked like that then there wouldn’t be this crisis. Stop simplifying what is really a complicated situation. We would do much better telling these cats the truth.

Start when they are old enough to listen to you. Tell them that they may have to buy their clothes from Wal Mart instead of the fashion store if they don't have enough cash. Tell them that they may have to train themselves to give that last hundred dollars to pay bills and stay home for a few weeks until you get caught up again. Tell them that you may have to take more crap than you normally would on a job because your goal is to make sure you get that check to keep the lights on. You might have to work two of them. Tell them about all the issues that are going to come up they didn’t cause but still have to take care of. Tell them about all the friends who are not doing what they are but seem to be having all the fun and getting with all the women and you have to ignore that. Tell them that the woman they fall in love with may have never seen this kind of man before you and she might treat you like a dead beat and wait for you to walk out everyday without even taking notice of what you are trying to do for her and sometimes her kids. Tell them that you may do all of this for years with nothing to show for it and as rough as that may sound you still have to try and keep moving forward. That’s the kind of man I fix a plate of food and buy a drink for. Now, if you can work through those rough spots here and there life actually gets easier and rewarding. Too many brothers never get to realize this because they are too busy trying to live up to some cosmetic image and can't focus on making things right.

Dr. Huxtable and Barak should add that to their speeches. I guess that's just too much everyday black man reality for most folks. Even black people don‘t want to deal with it. Meanwhile, we have too many cats like my boy who is 34 years old but wants so bad for people to treat him like he’s 17 so it’s ok for him not to have to do the stuff he should be and messing up my Saturday morning moving furniture.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Sitting On My Porch Part Eleven......Questions

Did Barak Obama really vote yes on the FISA bill allowing the government to read our emails and listen to phone calls? If I say anything negative about his vote do I have to apologize and wait for him to accept before I can blog again?

How low does George Bush’s approval rating have to get before Democrats have the testicular fortitude to go against him?

When a Nigerian person opens up an email with one of those internet schemes about the Nigerian princess whose father was assassinated and has 75 million in bonds at the Swiss bank, do they get the same sinking feeling black Americans do when they open one of those emails with the ghetto prom pictures?

What the hell is wrong with Jesse Jackson?

After he got caught talking trash about Barak Obama, will Juan Williams be the only black man on Fox News?

Did Martin Luther King ever want to cut someone’s nuts off?

Jesse was dead wrong but why is it that every time some black person says something about Barak Obama they have to apologize and disappear but Pat Buchanan can write an entire article dissing everything about the black experience in America and still come on every news show on MSNBC and no one says anything?

Did our police chief just suspend a 35 year veteran of the force on his last day of work for wearing an old powder blue shirt to honor the policemen that were killed during his time of service who wore that color uniform?

What could the police department possibly gain from letting this story go public? After 35 years of putting up with NOPD drama, we should have let him work the last day naked.

Where are all the comments from angry suburban residents in Mandeville, LA threatening to leave the the Northshore because of all the corruptness in local government and law enforcement?

Isn't that why they all say they left New Orleans?

If Mayor Nagin would have gotten pulled over for drunk driving and let go by the NOPD, would every media outlet in this area have broken into his house just to take pictures of his liquor cabinet and found every member of his family's favorite cocktail to put on the front page of their papers?

Stan Pampe Barre got sentenced today to five years for corruption. After all that hoopla, did we really just get Oliver Thomas and a few small time players as the only people to fall?

Don‘t we need to have more people arrested than that or was this all just a set up to get Oliver Thomas out of the way for the mayors race?

Mayor Ray Nagin has a 31% approval rating. His rating is 49% approval with blacks and 11% with whites. Judging by the quality of life these two groups have in the city right now, shouldn’t those numbers be reversed?

How many people would get upset with me if I said that New Orleans East would be further along if Greater St. Stephen would have rebuilt their old church and corporate headquarters instead of going to Atlanta?

How many more years can I learn the words to Lil Wayne songs without feeling childish and less intelligent?

How can the city give out speeding tickets from cameras on Carrollton Avenue when no one knows the speed limit? I guess you find out when you get the ticket?

Am I the only person who has a co-worker who was out for an extended period of time with an illness but now they have fully recovered and been back for awhile. The spotlight of coming back has worn off so they find a way to incorporate being sick into every conversation for attention? Isn’t it always a person in a position that you have to talk to all the time for your work role so you have no choice but to hear the stuff? Am I the only one who has exchanges like this?

Cliff: I got that report you wanted.
Them: Thanks Cliff. You know I would run it myself but since I was out for months with my serious condition, I am still trying to get comfortable with the changes in the office.
Cliff: You’ve been back since last Christmas and we haven’t changed anything.
Them: I know but the doctors told me not to overload myself.
Cliff: You could always stay home until you feel you are ready to go full speed.
Them: I would do that but then you guys would be worried about me too much.
Cliff: Oh……………….We would?

Was that insensitive?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My Destroyed Street Never Looked So Nice

Here is one of those moments where people think I haven’t gotten over Katrina at all.

Look at this pretty ass street sign at the foot of the St. Claude Bridge. When I saw it I had to get out and take a picture. For over twenty years I lived on St. Claude Avenue. My childhood home is three blocks away from this sign. Most of those years the street was bustling with life as people lived, worked and played around on it. After Katrina there are very little sounds of life on that side of the Industrial Canal. It’s just like New Orleans to erect a big ass sign like this after most of the people who lived on this street and the area are gone. I guess this sign is to welcome all the folks who are going to be riding on the lovely bike lane that was recently painted all along the avenue. I am certain we could have spent that cash on something else in the Ninth Ward.

I wish I had a tanker full of paint thinner to put on the back of my truck. I would ride up both sides of St. Claude from the bridge to Jackson Barracks and wash every inch of that damn bike lane off the street. Then, I would sit on my grandmother’s porch where she used to water her plants and talk on the phone to pitch eggs at the first son of a bitch that tried to paint it back on my block. I never had a bike lane when I lived there. Let the post Katrina bike riders dodge the city bus and ride on those uneven ass sidewalks like the hood children had to.

Besides all of that, do you know how many cool pictures me and my boys could have taken 20 years ago if we had this sign? We could have gotten t-shirts to wear to parades and everything. I guess that doesn’t matter since all the memories would have been flooded anyway. I need to get with my childhood best friend and fellow St. Claude product Devin and have him help me wash that bike lane away. His mama is back in her house on the avenue and she never liked a whole bunch of people passing in front her door anyway.

I’m not mad. I’m just a Lower Nine St. Claude St. Refugee with a few issues left to work out.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Insomnia Poetry Moment Pt. 1

I should start another blog dedicated to everything I come up with when I can’t sleep. I am sitting here wide awake watching Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo. Some movies just don’t hold up over time. I can’t believe I almost cried to go watch this at the movies. My other choices are Squidbillies on Adult Swim or one of the Lockup specials on MSNBC. I stopped watching those after 10PM because I don’t feel like dreaming about being sent to prison. Until they get coed cells incarceration is not the thing for me. I think it’s fascinating how they show the prisoners rapping and singing like they are going to get a record deal from the penitentiary. Why didn’t you just do that on the outside? You might be free. Maybe the jail gives them mental freedom that the streets don’t to try that kind of thing. That’s too deep for this late at night.

I am browsing my high school social networking site. I would like to go on record and say that I will never talk about high school kids acting out on the internet towards their classmates again. These people are in their 30’s and are acting just as crazy. I find it wildly entertaining that my name is being mentioned in forums by girls who wouldn’t date me. I didn’t know some of these people knew my name. It’s just my luck to become a popular dude in school 16 years too late with a receding hair line. I can’t grow my ramp fade to commemorate the event. Maybe I will go to Step N. Style or Soul Train Fashions and get me a fresh rayon shirt and some of those M.C. Hammer pants.

Since this blog is supposed to be a personal reflection of who I am, I thought I would share a poem that I wrote. Look, I am not a poet. Mos Def won’t be introducing me on Def Poetry Jam. It’s just something I came up with that I think describes me. If you don’t like it well that’s fine. Besides, if no one likes it that will cost me zero dollars. If you do like it, don’t over do it with the compliments. See, I have an ego and compliments will only entice me to write more of these and there is no telling what I might come up with. It might be time to re-visit those sleeping pills.

Both of Me
By Clifton

There are two of me working seamlessly
Which one you see depends on who you be
I’m simple and complex at the same time
I’m engaged and detached.
I am easy to talk to but difficult to figure out.
Funny but always serious
I’m responsible with an impulsive edge
Old school and forward thinking
Progressive and laid back
Personable and introverted
Humble with a swagger
Some people meet me and love me forever
Some people meet me and forget about me in a few minutes.
That works for me.
Not everybody is going to understand.
The specials ones hang in there and try to.