Monday, April 20, 2009

Complicated (Redux)

I really was hoping I wouldn't have to make a sequel to "Complicated," but for as much as I understand about the universe and sports and music, I am absolutely clueless when it comes to females. They say they want caring and understanding, and when you give it to them they take it and run the opposite way, like All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha picking off your favorite quarterback in the endzone.

Exactly like that.

You think you finally have something, you think you got those six points and scored--and when I mean score, I'm not taking about some sexual conquest--and then the corner plays under and takes it the other way the length of the field for a touchdown. Pick-6. I'm now negative on the scoreboard. An even better example is the end of the first half of Super Bowl XLIII: The Cardinals were primed for a score, and then the unthinkable happens--they lose the ball.

Why do I keep losing the ball? My quarterback vision could be better but I can see a blitz coming 20 yards away. My defensive line is small but they're quick on the feet and get the job done, like the legendary Zone-Blocking scheme. I know I have what it takes to win a championship, but apparently no one else out there feels the same way. All I can keep doing is going back to the drawing board in the locker room, working on new offensive formations with my receivers and backs, and hope that my team will catch that miracle at the end of the game, like Santonio Holmes did at the end of Super Bowl XLIII.

Maybe I need to stop dealing with girls and start getting to know women.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Complicated

For some unfathomable reason, a former classmate who shall go nameless in addition to a myriad of other females seem to believe my musings on love and relationships are all in vain or for some carnal purpose.

I liken love to basketball, chess, Othello, dominoes, and other games of chance.

In Algebra I in eighth grade, or perhaps Algebra II in tenth, we learned about probability, exponential realities, and Fibonacci sequences.

In dominoes, there are literally exponential possibilities as far as the final outcome for the ultimate victor. No matter what happens, you are never defeated until you submit to your one, two, or three opponents. You control the person in front of you, and can effectively shut down the person two people ahead of you. Like we learned in Chemistry in tenth grade, this becomes a chain reaction.

In Othello, Pressman's tag line could never be more apt: "A minute to learn... A lifetime to master." You can become cornered, dominated. If you can establish unity among your pieces on the board, divide and conquer, and ultimately unify your 'army,' you can outflank your opponent in the end game and emerge victorious.

When my brother brought home a chess set from Richmond Academy in the sixth grade, he taught me the fundamentals and different styles of game play. There are three segments to one game: The opening game, the middle-game, and the end-game. Throughout the first two segments, you are never defeated. (One of the most important tenets of chess is that your opponent does not beat you; but rather, you beat yourself.) You can move and attack your opponent piece for piece, and continue to lose major personnel, but you are never implicated in defeat until the end-game. Even in the end-game, you can prolong your defeat, and by moving within a certain amount of moves, you can emerge with a stalemate. If you choose to give up, you eventually become cornered and the result is your defeat in checkmate.

In basketball, there's three parts of a half-court: The left wing, top of the key, and the right wing. I take 100 shots from each wing and 50 from the the top of the key, rotating between both hands. I sometimes practice stutter steps, jab steps, fadeaways, and the like. Of these shots, only half reach the vicinity of the rim. Of those that do, only half go in. Of those that go in, only half look technically-sound, or "beautiful."

In love, you don't know who will love you and eventually marry someday. They could be white, Black, Brown, Indian, Arabian, Asian, extra-terrestrial, celestial, or what have you. Only a Higher Power knows. The only thing that matters is that they love you and want to be with you.

Life really is that simple. It's only as complicated as we as people make it for ourselves.

81

My favorite athletes are polarizing iconoclasts like Kobe Bryant, Terrell Owens, and Usain Bolt. You probably think I have some sort of superiority complex, right? Not at all.

The thing is, these athletes are probably the only ones that I can actually relate to on a personal level. When I play basketball I try to emulate Richard Hamilton, Reggie Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Josh Smith, and Andrei Kirilenko because I have a similar frame or skill set to most of them.

When I was younger no one ever wanted me on their team or wanted to be around me. People ask why I set such hard picks on curls and back cuts now: It's because when I was younger I was too frail to set a good pick and would either get ran through or I would end up in the ground. Cue the violins. I feel so sorry for myself.

I never had particularly good mechanics in respects to any sport I tried to play. I was too slow to run track, lacked the lung capacity for that as well, had too bad of coordination to play baseball or football, and was too frail for most of these activities. It's like now, when I go to the gym I do all my shooting drills and ball handling drills and agility and strength-enhancing drills by myself. Outside of a few close friends, I'm very reticent when it comes to the gym. Especially since I bust my face open last week.

Do I feel like I have a chip on my shoulder? No; it's more like a mountain. But every great person had to have some sort of chip on their shoulder, so I don't harp on it. I don't feel sorry for myself. I don't want anyone else to either.

Who knows, maybe when I get older people will actually value my company. It's whatever. Am I distant? No. Is Kobe distant? How about TO? Or Bolt? You might say so, but if you knew what they had to deal with as youths, you wouldn't say that.

What's Kobe's career high? 81. What number does TO wear? 81. As a multiple of three, that's the only number that matters to me at any gym, sandlot, or playground.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Trigger-nometry

After heavy deliberation, I've tabulated a formula for gentlemen to calculate their gross swagger product, or GSP:

(Shoes) + (Polo) + (Abercrombie) x (Swagger) =

(S) + (P) + (A) x (S) = (Ronaldhino Air Force I) + (Ralph Lauren Polo custom fit rainbow XL) +

(A F cargo pants) x (10,000²²) =

($150) + ($70) + ($65) x (a google or 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) =

2,850,000²²

My GSP is 285 to the 26th power.

Calculate yours. Many of the variables are interchangable.

Quoth the legendary Polo Dro: "Mathematically, with a ______ I do trigger-nometry."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

23 Ways to A Billion Dollars

I'm sure that by now, people probably think I have some sort of vendetta against future NBA Hall of Famer LeBron James. This couldn't be farther from the truth.

While living in Idaho, I actually went to the Champs Sports in the Boise Towne Square mall in autumn 2006 the day the Zoom LeBron IV's were released and paid cash money for them, which was what, $150? I wore those things to death. Foamposite works well in snow, so I literally wore these shoes everyone outside of formal events.

As an aspiring journalist in Augusta, Georgia, I first read about LeBron James in the September 2001 issue of Slam magazine. I was amazed by what I read in the story, because this guy wasn't that much older than me, and he was draped in all these new adidas threads. He had the carbon fiber KOBE's on; a clean adidas track suit, and didn't look that much stronger than my father, but was really tall.

(This is especially worth noting, because back in 2001 the ABCD Camp was still sponsored by adidas and legendary sneaker impresario Sonny Vaccaro.)

He didn't really have much of a nuclear family, outside of his mother, her boyfriend, his AAU and high school teammates, and his coaches. He sounded very reserved and mature for a 17-year-old kid. I could really relate to that, because as large as my family is, it's been very makeshift during some parts of my life, and I never really liked opening up to people I had just met when I was younger.

Throughout the story, LeBron displayed little idiosyncrasies that would portend an illuminant future, like signing autographs differently every single time he touched something, so that no one could fabricate his signature. I was just amazed by how normal he was as someone getting press in a major sports publication.

Fast forward to today, April 13th, 2009. LeBron James' Cleveland Cavaliers have secured the number one overall seed in the 2009 NBA Playoffs and he is as a heavy favorite to receive the NBA's coveted MVP award, and a lock for several other awards, such as All-NBA First Team, All-NBA Defensive First Team, et. al.

I just wonder: LeBron, as blessed as you are physically and mentally, do you really need Commissioner Stern to implement a rule so you can dominate even moreso next season? You take as much of a beating as anyone in today's NBA, but the crab dribble would literally have you averaging a triple-double next season. Truth be told, today's NBA is a fraudulent mockery of yesterday's NBA. NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan played against some of the toughest defenses and defenders in the annals of basketball history, and still dominated.

There is no hand-checking in today's NBA. There is now a three-second-in-the-key rule. You can actually play zone defense in today's NBA. Commissioner Stern, I understand you want to globalize the NBA. Yo entiendes todo eso; yo soy Latino. But at what cost?

I'm a very labile person and never put anything out of the picture. But are we really helping or hurting the legacies of players like LeBron James? Don't let the money distort your vision of the future of basketball.

Monday, April 13, 2009

3-Peat

I don't believe in numerology, witchcraft, freemasonry, or any of that stuff, and am not very superstitious, but I do believe good things come in 3's. Here's proof:

-Allen Iverson wore the number 3 throughout his Hall of Fame basketball career, most notably as a rookie when he won the NBA Rookie of the Year award.

-D.J. Shockley wore the number 3 in his decorated collegiate football career at the University of Georgia.

-My cousin Alex wore the number 12 throughout his notable high school football career, a multiple of 3.

-In the Christian church, there's a Trinity: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

-The three major organized religions all refer to a higher power, but refer to 'It' as a something different: Jehovah Jirah, Allah, and Yahweh.

-The numbers in my birthdate (10/29/1987) all up to 2046, a multiple of 3 with no remainders.

-My parents originally had three children, my brother, my sister, and I.

-There were Three Musketeers in the old English tale.

-I was 21 when I gave my life back to Christ, a multiple of 3.

-One of the most powerful and successful offenses in basketball history is the Triangle offense, revolutionized by Tex Winter and utilized by Phil Jackson during his stints with the championship Chicago Bulls teams of the '90s and and the championship Los Angeles Lakers teams of the '00s.

-Lil' Wayne has reached the apex of his musical career with the third installment of his Carter series, The Carter III.

I don't want people to think I'm some sort of religious zealot or stark raving lunatic, but I do believe everything happens for a reason, especially when it comes to 3's...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk
through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

Things could always be worse!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Reappraisal

Since I'm still up taking care of some administrative work and talking to a friend, I thought I'd give some background on a new skill I've recently developed: Reappraisal.

There's an excellent article on it the current issue of Details magazine, but in a nutshell: Reappraisal is a skill people learn after they've almost literally failed and have been rejected in every facet of life. No matter what comes their way, they still roll with the punches and keep a smile on their face.

As someone who's failed time and time again and been rejected in so many different ways over the course of my fairly evanescent life, I've steadily learned to never let anything get me down in terms of the long-term. No matter what happens, as long as I am still alive, I tell myself, "Things could always be worse. My mother and father are both living testaments of that statement.

Your life could always be worse. Don't give up!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"...I'm doing my best."

Ever feel like your best just isn't good enough?

I feel like that more than I would care to... Our life on this planet is a crazy thing, I guess. God never gives us more than we can handle, but according to people we come in contact with, it seems like we're not capable of handling all we're responsible for.

Negative things don't bother me anymore, but hearing them from people I care about... I won't even front: It hurts sometimes. It could be a family member, relative, close friend... Any of the above. At 21, I couldn't care less what a stranger says about me. After all, I hear something new everyday:

"Your teeth are too big."
"Your skin is too light."
"You're too soft."
"You're too nerdy."

But when someone you care about or respect says something to you... It's different. It actually stings.

One thing I don't take lightly is when people who supposedly care about me and know question my ambition, my hunger, or my initiative towards creating a better life for me and those around me. I don't want anyone's sympathy, but I am getting too old to keep being modest about everything I do or don't do.

I usually wake up at 6 o' clock Monday through Friday and 8 o' clock on the weekends. I usually don't go to bed until midnight, or whenever I feel like everything at home (on top of everything else) is done. Whichever comes first. I clean and organize things with a spirited fervor; I guess that comes from being around military people all my life. I'm a stickler for details; when I iron my dress clothes they have to be sharply-creased. My dress shoes have to be shone to the point they begin to gleam like Waterford crystal.

I always have something to write with on me, be it a pen or pencil, and will take notes with either hand (however legible they may be) just to make sure I got a phone number, address, e-mail, or website down. I constantly keep track of military time even when I don't wear a watch. I'm always reading something, be it a magazine, newspaper, book, or just the nutrition facts on the back of a food product.

My point is, I'm not just some romantic who thinks his dream is going to magically appear out of thin air. I don't know what some people's perceptions of me are, but I can be extremely pragmatic and objective. I'm working hard to be the best person I can be.

"...I'm doing my best."