Thursday, July 31, 2003

Hard Heads

The presence of the Y chromosome is what genetically differentiates males from females. I’ve heard several different theories and old wives tales on what factors influence determining the sex of a child at conception. “Male sperm are less tolerant to heat than females, throw away those tight fitting briefs, you’ve got to let em hang low if you’re shooting for a boy…You’ve got to do it missionary style to make a boy!..Drink a lot of water!…Drink a lot of beer!” I don’t know about the validity to any of these ‘theories’, but one thing I DO know, is that raising boys is completely different than raising girls.

Society makes a definite distinction between how women are treated and how men are treated. Our job as parents is to prepare our children for their eventual days of being totally independent and able to fend for themselves in this wild world that we’re living in. A world, which will definitely be even wilder by the time, our children reach adulthood. This training process needs to be geared toward children’s individual needs. Some kids NEED extra love and attention, some kids are naturally well mannered and obedient without any correction and then there’s that group that I fell under…hard headed. I don’t know what it is about this ‘trait’..but it definitely seems to be closely associated with the Y chromosome. From my toddler days..all the way up until I started grade school, it was very common for me to ‘catch’ at least 3 whuppings a day. What started out as swats with the hand, graduated to leather belts or the one I dreaded the most..switches.

A lot of people today don’t ‘believe’ in hitting their children. “That’s teaching them that physical force is the way to solve problems and I just don’t believe in that….I was abused as a child and I made a vow that I would never hit my children when I became a parent….All you have to do is REASON with them and explain what it is that they need to correct.” I guess that all sounds good and ‘civil’. but I thank God my parents didn’t adhere to any of these philosophies. Because of all the ways my hard-head steered me to do softened behind was the only thing to bring clarity to my world of delusion.

Didn’t I just TELL you to stop throwing that ball around before you wind up breaking something??
Don’t ‘uhh’ me!! I’m sick and tired of you doing things that you KNOW you’re not supposed to be doing!! And I’m sick and tired of talking…go get the belt!

This immediate feedback of receiving punishment when I perpetrated a crime was a key element for me in learning how to allow reasoning to control my actions rather than impulse. Hard headed boys have a blockage of reasoning..much akin to tunnel vision. If it looks fun and I have the opportunity? I’m going to DO it!! And not only would I DO it, I’d get so absorbed and ‘caught up’ that danger and respect of property became an indistinguishable orb somewhere in the background.

I think this hard headed trait is directly proportional and linked to the presence of the Y chromosome. Because its something about little boys..just the things that they will do..that will make you cock your head to the side like a confused puppy and try to figure out what’s REALLY going on inside their heads because their actions are making NO sense..

Why are you running around here yelling and screaming like its something wrong with you??

Do NOT drink out of the toilet!! I don’t care if the dog does it..YOU don’t do it!

Didn’t you JUST hear what I said??!!

Put some pants on boy!!! Stop running around here naked!!

Where are your shoes??

What happened to your shirt?

What do you mean ‘you don’t know’ how you got that big knot on your forehead??

Have you been EATING this???

People that have them already know, hard-headed boys are WILD!! They require a special kind of attention to be able to grow into loving and responsible men. Some mothers cuddle them too much and turn them into big sissified mama’s boys that aren’t good for anything. Some fathers don’t spend any quality time with or around these boys, thus causing a male role model deficiency.. And worst of the whole bunch are the ones who get NO love and attention at home. Boys that have hours and hours of unsupervised time. Time where they can do whatever they want while their parents are entrenched on the couch for hours watching TV, not even bothering to get up and check in on them from time to time to make sure they’re not getting into something that they’re not supposed to. Cuz remember, hard headed boys are WILD and one of the worst things that can happen is for the ONLY time they can get attention, is for doing something wrong…

Clean that up!!

What the HELL are you doing messing with that ANYWAY??!!

Git your lil nappy headed butt over here..boy, don’t MAKE me come after you!!

Ironically, a lot of these ‘neglected’ boys end up having the same types of issues as the ‘spoiled’ boys. Spoiled boys that get every video game they could think of..every new pair of Jordan’s that comes out…all the latest CD’s, designer clothes..spoiling can get to the point of being considered abusive. Because as much as people love their kids and want to make their lives easier than how THEY grew up..the ultimate goal of parenting is to TRAIN a child in the way that they should go. Kids have gaggles of friends..but only one mother or father. If we just give our kids everything their hearts what point do they learn the work-reward reality? All those ‘baby boys’ out there that think the world is going to treat them like their doting, spoiling mother or grandmother are in for a rude awakening. Because unlike the comforting, soothing feeling of a mother’s lap..the world waits and caters to no man.

I think this problem with boys is showing up like an outbreak, by the vast number of single, intelligent, attractive, hard working women that can’t seem to find a suitable mate. So many guys don’t know or care to learn what it really means to stand up and be a MAN that its ridiculous. From wife beaters, to men afraid of making the commitment of having a family, to those who’s singular drive in life is to play video games and/or memorize every current rap song verbatim..these hard headed boys desperately need positive direction. It’s a lot easier if the discipline process starts the toddler stages. Because parents that take a passive approach to early childhood discipline, wind up having a lot harder job when these hard-headed boys become pre-teens and teenagers.

While being subjected to my parents strict guidelines as a child, I at times felt that they were mean and abusive and for some reason, they just didn’t want me to have ANY fun. But looking back on it now, I thank God for putting two parents (and close relatives) in my life that had no intentions of sparing the rod with me. Without this motivational ‘act right’, I could have easily grown into the type of person that paid no heed to rules or authority. Boys WILL be boys, and do the things that they do. I’m sure both my son and daughter will do things that I don’t approve of as they grow older, but that will be a decision that they make, not because we didn’t teach them what’s right. As parents, proper direction through words, discipline and example is the ultimate love that we can give our kids. And those hard headed boys in particular? They DEFINITELY need all three!! Because it’s a lot easier to discipline them early, than to have to pay for bail money and legal fees later.

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Driving Ignant

My definition of ignorance is not about what you don‘t know, ignorance is about what you’re not even TRYING to learn. Unfortunately, we all have our own ignorant spots. My wife has made it very clear to me, that whenever I give her driving directions, I should never use the cardinal directions..”I don‘t know where northeast is!! Just tell me if I need to turn left or right??” In similar fashion I would rather drive an extra couple of hours, “Just to see” before conceding and pulling in and asking for directions. Either way, it’s a level of understanding that we’re not trying to delve into. On the Southside, we call it ‘ignant’. It’s that point in the mind where reasoning no longer exists, and when two ignant spots collide?? You have problems:

Ignant Spot #1: I’m running late and although I know this light has turned yellow and I’m more than 3 car lengths away, I’m just going to give it some more gas and speed through under this red light.

Ignant Spot #2 (approaching the same intersection as #1): I come this way everyday..I have these lights timed..I don’t even have to slow down, as soon as I get right up on the light, its going to turn green…

Too often accidents and incidents occur because of lack of awareness rather than malicious intent. Its so easy to get absorbed in our own world's of pressing issues, cell phones, kids in the car and even just plain ole daydreaming, that we lose focus of the road ahead. When you add in the people driving around impaired. Whether they’re drunk ignant, doped up ignant, emotionally wrecked ignant, or just plain, "I'm going to drive REAL close up to the car in front of me and blow my horn real loud, because I'm mad that he cut me off" ignant, and we’ve got a nice big diverse ignant gumbo brewing on the big concrete pot. And to really give it a zesty spice, sprinkle in some of those ’hot’ boys..that like to race through public roads to get their rush and a heaping spoonful of those cars driving the hot streets on bald tires ready to blow out at any moment...and we have a daily deadly recipe.

Everyday, thousands of automobile accidents happen. From the slight fender benders, to spectacular high speed collisions and everything in between. Safe drivers have to have a wary eye on the driving landscape. By constantly being aware of the traffic around our immediate and impending vicinity, we give ourselves and our families the best chance of making it to our destination safely. Both my wife and I have conceded from our ignant spots a bit, now I willingly stop even before we get to the county line and I wait in the car while she goes in and asks which way is north.

Saturday, July 26, 2003

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to visit Servinemup. The positive feedback and support that it has received has been heart warming and greatly appreciated. What began as a couple of invitational emails sent out to my personal group of family and close friends is now on its 2nd iteration of readers. Readers who don’t know David Earl Washington II personally, but they know a friend of mine or a cousin or something. I’m very much aware that a lot of my material is very intimate, opinionated and folksy, but I can only be me.

Who am I?? I’m the son of two God fearing, hard working black folks from Arkansas who migrated to Houston in the mid 60's. They taught me and my older sister to never be afraid of standing up for what we believe in. I believe in the one and only God that reigns supreme over all of creation. I believe in the crucifixion and Resurrection of His only begotten Son, Jesus. I believe that the Holy Bible is the Word of God. And I believe (and have personally witnessed and felt) the Holy Spirit move through a congregation of folk.

I was raised a Baptist, and my parents required us to go to church and serve God every Sunday. While I was a child, I was baptized by the late Pastor W.D. Richardson at Blueridge Baptist Church in Sunnyside, and there I served as the Junior Superintendent of the Sunday School all the way up until I left for college. I started school at Pickwickian Academy on MLK in South Park, and then I went to Edgar Allen Poe Elementary School, Sidney P. Lanier Middle School, Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions H.S. and then on to Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, where I received my B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering.

I currently reside in Houston, with my beautiful wife Tracy, who I love dearly, and our 2 wonderful children Gyasi (Jah-see) and Alexandra. Although my educational background isn’t in the literary realm, I’ve always been a voracious reader. From my childhood days of being curled up in a quiet corner (usually because I was on punishment) with Fitzgerald’s,'Great Brain' series, or C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, I’ve always respected and appreciated the educational voyages into other worlds that reading allows. Voyages that allowed me to elevate above the confines of my immediate environment and to broaden my awareness of other perspectives of life.

What started from words of encouragement from friends “ write stuff that’s informative AND you be clowning with it!”, has now blossomed into a public unveiling of me and my world. Fortunately, I feel that my life’s journeys have more than prepared me for the sometimes-intimidating task of being in the public’s eye. I understand that everyone isn’t Christian..or black..or male..or heterosexual..or married..or free. My family and friends cover a wide range of nationalities, religions, sexual preferences and beliefs. The one common bond amongst all that hang with me is love. I’ve got love for everybody, even those who hate on me. No matter if you love me or hate me, you can’t knock the hustle.

My goal for Servinemup is to inform and entertain. Writing is a business and the larger a writer's core reading group, the more leverage he holds on the publishers and distributors bargaining tables. Writing is something that I geniunely enjoy, but it’s not all about fun. My children have grown accustomed to eating everyday and my wife functions best with the a/c in the house around 70..(I know those that summer in Houston can feel me), so don’t ever think I’m not trying to attract and draw in more groups of readers. The more I can keep serving up knowledge, laughs, cry’s and things that make you go, “Hmmm..”, the more I know I’m closer to that writer’s nirvana of reader's thirsting for more.

Other than that, I work as a sales engineer for a pump station manufacturer in Houston, I’m an avid golfer, fantasy football and basketball FREAK, renowned domino-ologist and I have no problem laughing at myself.

For those who are curious about what it takes to have your own website, there’s plenty of free web-hosting services available on the web with various options. The one that I’m using right now ( costs $35/year and all you need is Internet access to post a website with it. Many people have already inquired about my 1st book and all I can tell you’s not finished yet. I could easily throw together short stories and essays I’ve already written and put it in print, but writing is something I plan to do for the rest of my life. I've got to come HARD every time I drop..I’m just like that. So patient with me, God is not through with me yet.

Shouts out to the Washington Family, the Scott Family, the Dunston Family, the Reece Family, Sugarvalley and the whole Southside, Jelly Roll Street in Calion, Booker.T Alumni, the Bruhs, my Stanford family, the Carroll Childers family, my golf buddies, the Hoop Crew and the Ultimate Players Club.

Once again, thanks for all the love and support and thanks to all the haters for making my game tighter. Ya’ll keep riding with me baby, cuz I’m going to keep on doing what I do!

Thursday, July 24, 2003

Finger Waves

One of the priceless advantages of knowing and loving your close blood relatives, is the convenience of having their archive of medical history available for reference. Scientist and biologist have proven that a person's genetic breakdown plays a substantial role (along with environment, exercise, diet and lifestyle) in their quality of living. Some people are blessed with the natural genes that allow them to eat whatever they want, whenever they want and not gain a pound. Other's are doomed with that 'big boned' gene, where even just one bite of cheesecake goes directly to their butt.

Having this archive available for reference is a great map to look back upon, but in the end, we all have to be accountable for ourselves. A lot of my friends and relatives will only go to see the doctor if there's an emergency involved.

"I ain't going to see no doctor! All they're going to do is find SOMEthing wrong with you, so that they can get you strung out on whatever the latest dope they're pushing."

"I feel GREAT!! What do I want to go see a doctor for?? If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

I must admit, for the majority of my adult life, I was a member of this latter, 'Emergency Room Only' mentality. I wasn't overweight, I didn't smoke cigarettes and I wasn't in any pain or discomfort...I never even THOUGHT about going to the doctor. It wasn't until I had decided to buy some more life insurance, that required a complete medical exam, that I even knew I HAD a Primary Care Physician! As I normally do, I called my dad and found out who HIS doctor was and setup an appointment.

Right after my exam, I went over to my parents house and I guess the glazed and distant look in my eyes alerted my dad to a problem...

You alright?
Uhh...yeah. (Actually, I was a bit preturbed...I just didn't know HOW to explain my 'issues')
Did you go in for your exam?
What did the doctor say??
My blood pressure is lungs and heart sound good...uhh..he did say I had a couple of hemorroids that I need to keep an eye on.
Hemorroids?? (My dad was a bit confused...then he started smiling) Had to get the ol 'finger wave' huh?

In that instant my mind and my eyes raced to make direct eye contact with him, because obviously he KNEW about the experience I had just had..

Yes! (I admitted with full honesty and a slight cringe by just recalling the experience) They've done that to YOU too???
I get mine checked every year.
Why?? (I was amazed at how nonchalant and emotionally detached he was from this procedure)
Because Black men are in a high risk group for prostate cancer. You're pretty young right now, so you don't have to do it every year..but once you turn need to get it checked annually.

My prior experiences with doctors have mostly been shots, x-rays and sports physicals. Standing in line outside the coaches office, with my parental waiver form and $35 waiting to get checked out. At the time, I thought the ol dice roll 'Turn your head and cough' and getting down in the 3 pt stance naked were the most humiliating things they could do to a man. But now I KNEW my true nemesis..and his name was DRE (Digital Rectal Exam).

The normal prostate gland is quite small, it weighs only about an ounce, and is nearly the size and shape as a walnut. It is located in front of the rectum and just below the bladder. The prostate wraps arond a tube called the urethra, which carries urine from the bladder out through the tip of the penis. The prostate's main purpose is to produce fluid for semen, which transports sperm. Just before the male orgasm, muscular contractions squeeze the prostate's fluid into the urethra. As men get older, their prostate normally increases in size.

The easiest, most inexpensive way to check the prostate for enlargement or growth is via the Digital Rectal Exam. As the name suggests, this involves a latex glove, a finger, some lubricant and the testee assuming a prone position. The probe itself only took a few seconds...but to me it seemed like an eternity. After the doctor had slapped off the glove and told me I could put my pants back on, I found my knees trembling and a cold sweat had accumulated on my brow. I felt...violated. Like a dream sequence I can remember him handing me some tissue to 'wipe myself up' all the while he's rambling on about how I shouldn't sit on the toilet too long when I go to the 'office'.

It's bad for your bowels for you to sit and read in the your business and get up.

On my drive over to my parents house, I was having all kind of crazy thoughts about the obvious masochistic inclinations associated with homosexual men. I couldn't understand how someone could LIKE that. When I revealed my 'issues' with my parents, my mother wasn't consoling at all, , she was d'm near laughing...

You alright son?? (smiling) You all acting like you're about to DIE!! You're lucky you don't have to birth any children or get your cervix scraped!!

Her words of consolement did little to boost my spirits. Since then I've found out there ARE different ways to check the prostate for the PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) blood test. I've also found out that one of the reasons that the fatality rate of prostate cancer is so high with black men is that we rarely go to the doctor unless something is wrong. The advances they've made with prostate cancer has allowed many diagnosed men to go on and live healthy lives IF detected early.

I have an anal-intrusion phobia like a lot of 'regular' guys. For years I'd proudly announced my 'Exit Only' anal card for all the world to see. Now that I know how much of a vital role the prostate plays in my sexual enjoyment, I had to make the decision of health over fear/hangup and do what's best for my long term health. For those that have yet to venture into this realm of 'intimacy', my best advice is to do what my father told me to do....relax. :)

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


There’s an interesting question that’s been bandied about the collective group of American slave descendants, (those that still acknowledge their African heritage that is): Are we better off NOW..being slave descendants here in America in 2003 vs. being indigenous natives in Africa? The first problem when trying to tackle this question is the dilemma of the vast African diaspora. From Northern Algeria to Southern South Africa..the mother continent’s native inhabitants cover the entire spectrum of color, wealth and religion. We’re African descendants, but we have NO IDEA what country in Africa our people are from. Add to that all the mixed-breeding of slaves and the blood that the white masters mixed in..and its d’mn near impossible to backtrack what our TRUE blood heritage is…

Back to Africa?? For WHAT??!! I don’t know nobody over there and don’t nobody over there know me!!

Man..I got a GOOD job at the Post Office, I’m retiring in 8 years with full benefits and a well stocked 401(k)..I’m doing better now than any of those uneducated, starving, HIV infected, nappy headed, broke Africans we see on TV!! I’m GLAD I ain’t no African..I’m from 5th Ward!!!

If they REALLY loved us, they wouldn’t have allowed us to be taken into slavery!! They didn’t give a d’mn about them slaves, everybody is just out to protect themselves!! Hell, they NEVER even came to try and bring us back!!!

The Middle Passage from Western Africa to the Caribbean and the Americas stands on record as one of the most horrific, demoralizing and vicious acts in our world’s history. Slavery is no longer a legal institution in America..but the catastrophic effects of the decentralization, dispersement, and oppression of an entire race of people is still being felt today. A lot of the things that so many cultures can hold dear and exclusive to their own…like language and generations of family history, are things that Black folks have to make it without. Some of the slaves spoke Swahili..or Ebo..or Hausa..or Uruba..or any of the hundreds of languages and thousands of dialects found throughout continental Africa. Not only were slaves separated from their land and language..they were forced to learn English, one of THE most difficult languages there is. I had a Nigerian instructor in college who used to chide us ‘Americans’ all the time…

KANIGHIT?? That makes no sense!!!
KA-NIG-HIT?? What are you talking about?? (I was confused)
K-N-I-G-H-T…(writing the letters on the board then turning around pronouncing it) KA-NIGT!!
That’s knight…like..a knight in shining armor?
I know, but why is there a K and you can’t hear the G??
(shrugging my shoulders) I just is.
That’s what I mean…English makes NO sense!

My parents weren’t sticklers for grammar…we could say ‘ain’t’ and ‘fo’ and not be corrected. Probably because my parents were country and used those same ebonical contractions and many more…if my mother was in complete agreement with someone, she’d be quick to say, ‘Sho nuff!’ My father sported an Afro and dishike and knew every soul brother greeting (including handshakes) there was…

What it is Bro? What’s happening my man? Say it loud…

But that was just around family and friends…once we had to go somewhere and talk/communicate with those ‘white folks’ parents diction and mannerisms changed. The ain’ts were replaced with ‘You are not’..’Fo’ became four..’Sho nuff’ turned into “I know that’s right!” I also noticed this change in speech pattern when they talked on the phone to ‘white folks’ Gone was the folksy comfortableness of conversation, replaced with a more calculated pace and crisper separation of syllables. One instant my mother would be on the phone talking to one of her friends sounding like Esther from Sanford & Son..and the next minute when she’s talking to one of them ‘white folks’ she’d sound like Barbara Jordan.

I used to have this same translator device that I would put up..and make sure my words and speech were as grammatically correct and linguistically conforming as my native Southside Houston dialect would allow. And it wasn’t just the white folks I’d put this ‘switch’ on..if I was trying to increase my station in life around someone engaged in the mainstream society..I could flip it. All of my Sunnyside friends used to say that I talked ‘like a white boy’…all of my white friends in school used to say that I talked like Arnold from Different Strokes. I could make them laugh HARD if I would give them just one, ‘Whatchu tawkin bout Willis??!!’

Some black folks today are ‘reluctant’ Americans. They still hold on to the anger and caution that years of slavery, Jim Crow laws and racism has force fed their souls.

Black man ain’t got no business celebrating no 4th of July! White man didn’t even think a black man was HUMAN when they wrote all that sh’t! Wasn’t no ‘Independence Day’ for Black people!! We do celebrate Juneteenth tho!!

Back in 1822 when James Monroe was president, a group of freed American slaves were relocated back to Africa by the American Colonization Society. They re-settled in a small west African coastal country about the size of Tennessee..they called it Liberia. They even named the capital honor of the American president. I’m sure the faces of the freed slaves as they boarded the boats headed BACK to Africa were full of happiness, hope and optimism. They were allowed to go back to their mother country and live as free people. Lucky them..too bad ALL the slaves couldn’t return..right?

Today there are rebel factions in the streets of Monrovia hurling mortar bombs and firing machine guns against the ruling regime of the current president, Charles Taylor. Years of fighting, governmental corruption and industrial oppression has turned this country founded by freed slaves into a dangerous and unstable warzone. And as so many of these Liberians anxiously await a helping hand (militarily and economically) from America, I look at the images of a war torn country..with mounting civilian casualties, poverty, maltnutrition and archaic medical facilities..and I sit and ponder, exactly who are the fortunate ones?

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 20, 2003


Just like MOST black, professional (working) men, I've been quite intrigued by the Kobe Bryant sexual assault case. When the news first broke about the allegations and him turning himself in to mind did an immediate summation and judgement from the information given. Okay...19 year old Colorado hotel worker female from a middle class family is CLAIMING that Kobe 'sexual assualted' her.

I don't know this woman, NEVER met her, I don't know ANYTHIING about her..all I know is that she's 19...was working at a hotel in Colorado(in what capacity, I don't know) and that she's from a middle class family. I know that Kobe is an NBA SUPERSTAR. The son of an ex-NBA player Jelly Bean Bryant. Kobe spent a great part of his childhood in Italy...while his father was hustling to play ball in Europe..Kobe was growing up with a full belly and all the spoils of being a professional basketball player's claimed & named son. On top of all that..Kobe had SKILLS! Everybody can't be 6'7". Everybody don't have a KILLER J. Everybody can't run the court with the grace of a gazelle. Everybody ain't scaid. Everybody ain't able to SKIP college completely and go STRAIGHT to being an NBA lottery pick. Everybody ain't got..RANGS.

So here's Kobe..a young black man that's SEEN the international flavor of the world and then came and lived and graduated from high school in Philly. Most black athletes that grew up in an affluent= (non-ghetto:crack situation: poor:all black) environment..(i.e. Grant Hill, Tiger Woods,etc.) all they KNOW is non-black women. Kobe is no different...with the European environment that he was exposed to..he never had the cultural taboo of (Boy..leave them white (non-black) girls alone! They ain't nothing but trouble!) impressed upon him. His wife is Hispanic, the 19 year old that pressed charges on him for sexual assualt is non-black. (I'm ASSUMING she's white...)

Kobe isn't one of those ignorant...cracked covered..can't bust 800 on the SAT..If I didn't hoop I'd be criming.. type brothers. He's intelligent..well heart...can d'mn near speak 3 languages fluently, type brothers. To the lay doesn't even make logical sense for him to try and FORCE sex (or anything else for that matter) from a woman. EVERYBODY knows who he much money he makes..and how much earning potential he has.

Kobe's first public statement via his lawyer after the charges was. ""I am innocent of the charges filed today. I did not assault the woman who is accusing me. I made the mistake of adultery. I have to answer to my wife and my God for my actions that night and I pray that both will forgive me. Nothing that happened June 30th was against the will of the woman who now falsely accuses me"... Here in the majority black Southside Houston, most people look at Kobe's case and says.."That girl (and her family) are trying to get paid."..from that SAME majority have a large faction (mostly women) that says.."Umm hmm. that's what Kobe gets for messing around with them white (non-black) girls!"

Personally, I ain't mad at Kobe...but a bit astonished. Because I would have THOUGHT, that a man with his position would have the sense enough not to even put himself in the situation where some OTHER woman could come between him and his wife. In true PLAYER fashion..Kobe's wife appeared WITH him at the ESPY awards even after the allegations were released. Whomever God has brought together in marriage, let no man (or woman!) pull asunder. Kobe is wrong for committing adultery..that we know. But so much of the legal system and cultural opionion is apologetic towards the adulterous (& prosperous) MALE..that we look past that and instead, scrutinize and berate the female..."That's just a crazy money grubbing white slut that got mad at Kobe after they 'hit'"

The BIGGEST picture is what's right in the eyes of the Lord. Adultery-fornication-sex with ANYBODY that you're not MARRIED a sin. God made a point to make it a COMMANDMENT. A lot of people know want to assuage and validate those 'adulterous' hearts..."heh-heh(chuckling)..a MAN is going to be a MAN...even if you're not MARRIED to them,if you LOVE is okay...this is between TWO consenting adults,God ain't got no beef with this!"

"For the lips of an immoral woman drip honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But in the end, she is bitter as wormwood. Sharp as a two-edged sword. Her feet go down to death.Her steps lay hold of hell." - Proverbs 5: 3-5

As another brother walking this earth..I'm in AWE of Kobe..because with MY mind and desires..if I was put in a similar situation in life where d'mn near every single woman I'm around is WITH it if I just say the word...I don't know how I would handle being around the Beyonce-Ashanti-Vivica's clamoring for attention in every city. My prayers go out to brother Kobe, his beautiful wife Vanessa and the accuser and her family ..if ya'll grow stronger together in the Word of'll be alright.

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Moving Weight

I knew I was in trouble when I got down on the floor to do push ups and my arms started trembling when I got to 7. I could remember times when I could breeze through straight sets of 50 at a time and still jump up with energy. My 30-something body combined with my ‘executive’ lifestyle had started to show up in places that I wasn’t ready to concede to the game. I don't have to have a ripped 6-pack, but I’m not ready to be that guy with ROLLS of fat hanging on his stomach either. Whenever you start doing jumping jacks butt nekkid and you can feel layers of fat slapping against the rest of your body…its definitely time to do SOME-thin! Cuz if you ignore it and let it go unchecked, its not going to magically fact, its going to continue to grow!

Human body weight isn’t a magical science, it’s a simple exercise of looking at the numbers. Whenever what you put IN to your body, is more than what you take OUT of your body ( through the digestive tract and calories burned through physical/mental/sexual exertion) gain weight. As a young man in my 20’s, my metabolism and activity level was so high, I didn’t have to worry about what I ate because my body was an efficient machine that burned off those cheeseburgers and chicken baskets like it wasn’t NOTHIN’. But once I adapted to a sedentary lifestyle full of computer screens, project meetings full of ample doughnuts, Kolaches and fluorescent lights,…I started losing balance.

It started with my clothes…my pants started feeling a bit ‘snug’ in the crotch and thighs…then my buttons started popping from the stress exerted by my gut once I exhaled from sucking my stomach in to fasten them. I had to gone and concede a bit and move up from the 32’s cuz the 34’s just ‘felt so good’. Then I had to take another step to the 36’s cuz them 34’s are cut for ‘Them whiteboys with flat az’s and skinny thighs.’ It wasn’t until I started looking at my weight chart that I started tripping for REAL…17, graduating from high school – 147 lbs, 21, leaving college – 170 lbs, 25, good job with an expense account 185 lbs, 30, married, kids & a whole bunch of bills, 200 LBS, 32 and caught up in the “Ignorance is BLISS!!” battle cry –215 lbs. At this rate I'll be 297 by the time I'm 50!!

The average Black person in America has a life expectancy of 70.3 years (76.0 for whites). Looking at the NUMBAS..that means our ‘halftime’ of 35 years is fast approaching. The leading causes of death among Black folks in America according to statistics released by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control in 1995 were as follows: 1. Heart Disease, 2. Malignant Neoplasms (Cancer), 3. Cerebrovascular (Stroke), 4.HIV, 5. Unintentional Injuries (Accidents).

So 4 out of the top 5 are directly related to the LIFESTYLE that we CHOOSE to live. Controlling our diet, getting regular exercise and limiting smoking and alchohol consumption are all direct factors in determining the quality of our lifestyle. Like most, I prefer for my ‘time’ to come quickly and painlessly. I don't want to be that guy that needs someone to come change my soiled bedclothes every morning cuz I done got too fat to even get up and go to the bathroom for myself. Or that patient that has to get his chest cracked open so that they can unclog all that built up grease and fat that’s blocking the arteries and valves in my heart.

We only get one time around in this world ..treat your body with respect and love. Life doesn’t come with any guarantees..cuz they’re some people who’ve never smoked a day in their life and still got cancer. There’s some people that exercise, eat healthy, don’t smoke or drink and end up getting hit by a bus! All we can do is look at the NUMBAS and do the best we can to give our body’s the best chance to WIN! We all need to be able to ‘move weight’ and get into prime fighting condition…the time for war is near. Only when you consider the long term effects of what you put into your body, will you be able to redivert your taste buds rule over your diet and recommit what you eat to your heart.

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Save The Children

One of the most difficult and demanding tasks in the world is being a good parent. There's such a fine line between being too strict and too lenient, that I sometimes find myself scratching my head and trying to recollect how other parents handle similar situations: What would MY parents have done? How would Claire & Cliff Huxtable handle this one? Would James & Florida Evans do it like this? As our children are raised in an evergrowing society filled with sex, violence and rampant greed & corruption..I shake my head and worry for them.

The images they see on television, the songs they hear on the radio, the pop-ups that come up on the internet...parental discretion is definitely advised. We strive to reach the point where we teach them to recognize right from wrong, and hopefully make good decisions, but nothing is guaranteed. Everyday you can pick up a newspaper or catch the TV news and see horrible stories of innocent children being the victims of cruel intent. For example, yesterday in suburban Charleston, West Virginia, a woman was shopping in a Target store with her 11 year old daughter. As most children do, the girl wandered away from her mother to browse through the toy department. Store survelliance cameras recorded a 30-something man following and observing the girl. He then approached her, told her that he was a security guard and that he observed her stealing in the toy department. He proceeded to take her out to the garden area and sexually assault her. As customers were steadily coming into and out of the area, he led the girl to another area of the store and sexually assaulted her again. All of this happened during the daytime, in a public store full of customers and employees.

Just the thought of how many times I've been in a store with my kids, and how many times I've let them venture away from my direct view and protection, made me shudder. The world is full of ravenous wolves, chomping at the bit waiting for the opportunity to take advantage of the meek and innocent. The Texan in me makes me want to load up all my guns and keep them handy in case I have to go vigilante on one of these despicable predators. The Christian in me makes me want to get down on my knees and pray for the girl and her family, as well as for her attacker, because vengeance is the Lord's.

The main thing I try to focus on now is loving my kids and teaching them the way in which they should go. Sometimes this love is expressed with a belt..sometimes this love is expressed with a hug. All I know is that its my job to prepare them for this world. To teach them how to be wary and cognizant of their surroundings. To teach them to never be afraid to speak up for themselves and call out for help if they need it It's a helpless feeling to know that there will be times when your child will need help and you won't be able to render aid & assistance. Some people go straight paranoid and isolate themselves and/or their children from the rest of the world. To me, living in constant fear of what might happen is more akin to waiting to die. Instead, I teach my kids that no matter what they do, I will always love them. And no matter what happens, I want them to do what they have to do to make it home alive.

Copyright © 2003 All Rights Reserved

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Closeness To Death

I always used to wonder what it REALLY felt like to be dead. Most people that die have a pretty good forewarning that they were about to die. Cancer, Heart Disease, AIDS and even old age.

But what about those people who didn’t have a warning? The people who expected that they had the rest of their lives to live…or at least more.

The people who are killed in car accidents…or the people who are victims of homicide…an unexpected out of the blue heart condition…tumor…terrorist attack fatality. Weren’t they surprised to DEATH just by the sheer THOUGHT of their time being up?

They say that if a person jumped from the top of the Empire State Building, they would be dead before they hit the ground…massive heart attack.

At what point do you really die? At what point does the cognizant mind and thought and soul that you have now give way to that next level? How long will it be before you even REALIZE that you’re in that next level? Will it just be black and dark? Will I see my Grandma Bessie? Will I know what my daughter is doing after I’m gone? Will I know how long I have to wait before I see her again? Will I be able to talk to God IMMEDIATELY?! Will I be able to avenge my death? How long til the world is destroyed by fire? What are my grandchildren going to be like? Was I saving too much money that I would never be able to use? Did I have enough life insurance?

I’ll be at the gate giving St. Peter the BLUES with all my questions! Pretty soon he’d probably just get pissed off and say, ‘Go on in and ask Him yourself!’

The first brush with death that I can remember was in the bathtub. I was of the age where my parents let me take a bath by myself. Of course NO kids just get in there and bathe and get out.I was in that mf doing what ANY boy small enough to be able to fit in the tub with your head touching one side and your feet touching the other..stretched out.. I was playing Aquaman. In my head I went through a whole episode of being Aquaman and saving the world.

I had to tone it down a bit cuz my mama had already whupped my AZ before for splashing water all out on the bathroom floor and rug. But I was doing my famous Aquaman swirl move where I went under water and did the 360 spin..underwater holding my breath the whole time. For a n’ga that couldn’t swim..this was a big accomplishment. But as I was turning and my face was facing the ceiling..but still underwater.. a vicious air bubble went up my nose into my brain and I panicked and opened my mouth..bad move. All I got was a LUNGfull of water. Soapy water. And everytime I tried to catch my breath…it wasn’t there…Oh no!!! I’m about to drown in my own bathtub!! I couldn’t scream….I couldn’t breathe..I felt nauseous and I could feel my bowels loosening…I was REALLY about to die..or so I thought. After the 4th heave..which seemed like an eternity..a sliver of air came in with the water… I threw up the water..and the remnants of my undigested dinner into the tub. My breathing patterns slowly returned to normal…my heart gradually started beating slower…

Mama: "David Washington!!!!! It’s time to stop that playing and come on out of that tub!!!!!"

I paused for a second and smiled…the sound of my mother’s (steadily growing pissed off) voice was the most beautiful thing that I had ever heard….

D: (weakly..but thankful) "yes ma’am."

In that split second my 7 year old life had QUICKLY passed before my eyes. I remembered all my favorite Christmas toys…my worst whuppings..and all the people I knew in my life. The ONE comforting thought that I had amid that swirl of emotions was that of me being rewarded for being a good person. Fighting the good fight against the evils of the world. I was going to Heaven and with that feeling my soul had braced itself for the next step. Now if somebody would have walked into the bathroom to see a 7 year old black boy sitting in a tub with vomit in the water, smiling, they’d have taken me away immediately. But I sat there smiling just enjoying being ALIVE. Appreciating this life that God has given me for this short period of time. Tomorrow is promised to no have to always be ready.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

The Game For A Lifetime

As most working class, inner-city black youth, my sports of choice were basketball, football and baseball. In my early 20's I was fortunate to be introduced to the game of golf by a group of friends that had not too long picked up the game themselves. It didn't take long for me to become completely in love with the game (my wife sometimes refers to golf as my 'other woman'). A lot of my childhood friends scoffed and snickered when they heard that I was a 'golfer'..

What's wrong with you? What are you doing playing that 'white' man's game?
Golf?! Golf ain't no SPORT! The ball is just sitting there..all you have to do is hit it, get back in your cart and drive off!

I took all of this chiding in stride..I was used to doing things that strayed from my peer group, so the ribbing didn't bother me at all. Instead, I chose to try and recruit more of my friends into the game..

Yeah, I know you THINK golf isn't a sport, but let me see you lug a bag around for 18 holes and see how your body feels. Its not an aerobic activity, but you have to stay in shape if you want to perform at your peak level. You don't need to round up 9 other guys to play golf, its an outside activity and its a wonderful venue to network. And best of all..its something that you can play with your grandparents and grandchildren and still have a competitive game.

As a former high school baseball player, I figured that hitting a golf ball couldn't be nearly as hard as hitting a 90 mph fastball...boy, was I wrong. My first golf experience was at a municipal golf course in Houston, Texas...Hermann Park. I had purchased a set of clubs from K-Mart, watched Jack Nicklaus's videotape, 'Golf My Way' and I figured I was ready to set the golf world on fire as the newest phenom. While we were warming up on the driving range, I quickly realized that golf is a lot harder than it seems to the observer. There I was trying to hit a 3-wood in my stall, but instead of going out toward my target, the balls were careening directly down the stall line hitting other patrons on the driving range. After I had shanked about 10 balls in a row like this, my mentor and childhood buddy exclaimed, 'At least you're consistent'.

Although I was unable to record a score (ran out of balls on the 16th hole) that day, I knew that I was hooked. Every since then I've spent endless hours on the driving range, damaging furniture in the house by practicing my swing in a mirror and I've used pretty much every curse word that I know when that d'mned little white ball just won't do what I want it to do. All it takes is that one pure contact on the ball to make you keep coming back for more. I was fortunate to have a group of friends on compatible portions of the golf learning curve as I, to keep me challenged and inspired to get better.

My first golf books were Ben Hogan's Five Fundamentals of the Modern Golf Swing and Harvey Pennick's Little Red Book. I would definitely advise any beginning golfer to read those 2 books, take the time to find a qualified PGA golf instructor to guide you along, and above all else..have fun. My days of filling the lane on a 3 on 2 fast break are coming to a close..but my time out on the golf course hustling my buddies in our Tuesday afternoon skins game are just beginning. many retirees do YOU know that still play basketball?

Monday, July 07, 2003

Happy Plates

When I was a child, growing up in my parents house, there were strict rules and guidelines my older sister and I had to follow regarding meals and snacks:

Cafeteria Hours: We couldn't stand aimlessly in front of an open refrigerator door trying to figure out what we wanted... "Hurry up and close that d'mn door!! What are you trying to do..refrigerate the whole house??!! My light bill is too high as it is!!! Dinner is going to be ready in a couple of can wait, you ain't about to starve to death!" Of course as we got older, they gave us more leeway as far as snacks and such, but what it did was make sure we built up an appetite, instead of spoiling it on snacking.

Breffast is THE most important meal of the day: I was one of those privileged kids that grew up with some COUNTRY parents, wasn't none of that doughnuts, pop tarts, toaster strudel (i.e. JUNK) and stuff like that for breakfast. Instead my mom (and a lot of times my dad) got up early and made sure we had eggs, toast, bacon, ham, grits, oatmeal..we had 'HOT bref-fast' every morning except Saturdays..on which we were allowed to have cold cereal. Both my grandfather's always used to make sure that I realized that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. It's important to get your body fueled to handle the rigors of the daily grind. All that refined sugar found in that junk food deters the mind and body from being in the peak condition to learn. A lot of the kids are running around school right now on those early morning sugar highs and parents are spent trying to explain why lil Johnny can't sit his bad az down somewhere and be quiet & still.

3 Squares: My father was a strong advocate of the 4 basic food groups. Everytime we sat down, we were going to have at least one fresh vegetable, a meat, a starch (rice,pasta or potatoes) and some bread. Today's world of 2 working parents and time crunches makes drive-thru and microwave dining so appealing and convenient. And in a pinch..a biggie sized combo meal can solve a problem..but once its a regular part of the dining regime (more than twice a week)..then it becomes a crutch. Shopping for, preparing and cooking fresh fruits and vegetables, quality meat is definitely more time consuming than the fast food. But what so many are giving as a willing tradeoff (time vs nutrition), is an addictive lifestyle that American society is overdosing on daily.

No Food? No Drink!!: Along with each meal, we had SOMEthing to drink. Sometimes Kool-Aid, Lemonade, soda, water, milk, etc. Water we could have abundantly (as long as we were past the age of peeing in the bed)..but anything that had sugar in it (Kool-Aid, soda, etc.) was rationed out during the meal...
"Put that d'mn soda down and and finish eating your food!" We couldn't just gulp down our drink and dwadle over our food..there had to be a proportionate consumption of food and drink. If we had few of our cousins or friends over, we had to check in before we took a drink.
"Take a sip now boss??.
(scrutinizing the plate to see how much food was left) Eat a couple more bites of them beans, then you can take a sip.
Thankya boss!

Full Bellies: Once we were of the age that we could serve ourselves (fix our own plates without breaking something, spilling something or hurting ourselves) we were given one rule, "Don't waste my food." Whatever we put on our plates, we HAD to eat. A couple of times I tried the ol, "Chew the food then spit it out in a napkin while I act like I'm wiping my mouth" my complete amazement, my father already knew that one! Probably because my parents are one generation away from people that didn't have a full belly everynight, they took this rule very seriously. We couldn't have any desserts, snacks or special treats if we didn't eat ALL of the food on our empty plate is a happy plate. If you took all the clean, edible food that Americans threw away in restaurants and at their homes every day, I'm sure it could easily solve the world's hunger problem.

Work hours, education, culture, finances, health,schedules, etc. all play a part in how well we feed our families. Some people were never told that it was dangerous to eat fried chicken and bacon cheeseburgers everyday or that you need to make sure to drink water (not soda or beer) everyday. Some never knew why their heart stopped pumping..they had no idea that a grease-filled diet is not the recipe to a long and healthy life. It doesn't matter what color you are, or what your religion is or how old you are...learning how to eat to live, is a lesson that ALL can benefit from.

And remember..I'm not only the writer..I'm also a fried chicken, biscuit & gravy, bacon double mushroom cheeseburger with a fried egg on top LOVER!!!..I just can't eat that stuff (that much) anymore. :)

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Don Diego

“You can find me in the club, bottle full of bub Look mami I got the X if you into taking drugs I'm into having sex, I ain't into making love So come give me a hug if you into getting rubbed..”

50 Cent's 'In Da Club' has become THE party anthem for 2003. Even the white folks are 'feeling it mane!' I never realized how infectious the hook really is until I heard a live 5-piece band jam this song in Dallas. If you like live music, dancing and good drinks, then you should make sure to check out Don Diego at Stone Trail in Addison. Located on Midway, less than half a mile north of 635, this is THE spot if you want to hear some quality R&B music with a spontaneous infusion of pop/rap.

The crowd is the after 5, slacks and a shirt (no tie) type mix. With everyone ready to dance at their tables at the bar or wherever the spirit hits them. Don Diego's band is full of energy and enthusiasm WITH a flair for 'what they want'. Their choreographed dance steps will bring a smile to your face and make you exclaim, 'These guys are DOIN IT!!"

With all the soulful classics of Maze, the Isley Brothers, Marvin Sease, etc in their repotoire, they always seem to know the song that will make you move your feet and shake your pelvis. And just when we thought we couldn't get more crunk as the dancefloor was packed with folks 'doing tha butt'..they bust out into a rousing rendition of 50's "In Da Club" that made the whole club start pumping their fist and jumping up and down.

Rap and hip hop have always been an indicator of what's going on in the hood. But live music has always been and will always be a talented offering of what's going on in the heart. I like 50..but if they would have put Don Diego's crew on stage at the BET Awards show and let them do THEIR thang with 50's song..the crowd would have been even MORE hyped. If you're ever in Big D and you want to feel the beat,check out Don Diego@Stonetrail, you know where they be...

"I'm feelin' focused man, my money on my mind I got a mill out the deal and I'm still on the grind Now shawty said she feeling my style, she feeling my flow Her girlfriend wanna get bi and they ready to go.."

(l to r) David, Don Diego & Tracy