Monthly Archives: May 2010

The Third Decade

*I was going to title this post “My third decade of dominance” but that just sounded a little too douchey for my liking. Things like that are a gateway for other douchey behavior like calling myself awesome, bragging about owning t-shirts, and wearing sunglasses inside of clubs. Unless your name is Barney Stinson, just don’t do this sh*t.  Steve Young’s baby boy is better than that.*

Today is my  31st birthday which means that I’ve been into my third decade for 365 days and however many bullsh*t hours that your grade school science teachers used to tell you constituted a year and I feel fine (No Michael Stipe.) I’ve got nothing to complain about. I’m secure in who and what I am. I’m finally focusing on what I want to do with my life.

Not to say my journey has been easy because it hasn’t. Hell, it isn’t even over, but I’m just here to tell you that things at 31 aren’t as bad as many people of my age would have you believe they are. You know why? You’re only going to get older so throwing yourself a pity party every year on your birthday only ruins a day that you should be thankful for. (Unless you’re Richard Alpert. Then you’re just finding any way possible to ending it all.) So I’ve thrown together a few tips for those in or entering their third decade.

  1. Like Lyfe Jennings said “Thirty is still the same old thirty.” Deal with it Hoss. Keep on working hard at what you love, keep loving who you love, and remember that you’re a full-fledged adult now.
  2. Rely your friends for support and help. </s

Where I’m From

There's no place like home.

 

I’m from where the hammer’s rung, New’s cameras never come /
You and your man houndin’ every verse in your rhyme
        

An excerpt “Where I’m From” by Jay-Z        

My name is Wu Young, and I am a product of my environment! All of the good and bad things about me were created in tiny Allendale County, SC in and around the town of Fairfax,  more specifically in the community of Barton, and I’m a better man because of it.       

Allendale County and the words paradise are seldom never used together. That’s just the way it is. Allendale has the uncanny ability to be both rural and ghetto at the same time.  For the last year and a half the unemployment rate has been over 21%. The schools systems aren’t up to par with South Carolina’s standards, so thusly they aren’t anywhere near the national standard. The population is somewhere near or around 10,000 people according to the last census. Allendale is  in so many words is the blackest, poorest, and most bleak county in the blackest, poorest, and most bleak region of a state that is bordering on third world. Still the tiny little village of Barton is still important to me       

   

I don’t care where he may be from, a man who doesn’t have just a tad bit of fondness for his place of birth is akin to a man who doesn’t love his mother. Doesn’t matter if it’s Mogadishu or Hanoi there’s will always be something to make you smile about your home town.   Last week I spent two days back home and during that time I reflected about both the good and bad things that Allendale County instilled in me. There is in fact no place like home. Dorothy nailed it!  During my two days at home with my parents I stepped back and took a look at the woods that I grew up in. Somethings are still the same and some things are vastly different from when I was a permanent resident. In spite of what Allendale has become only the fond memories of home came to my mind.     

I can remember a time when my grandparents were my only neighbors who were actually people. (The other neighbors were fields of whatever crop my pops and grandfather planted that season and forests.) My brother and I would spend way to much time playing in places in the woods that we probably shouldn’t have gone into but what the hell, I’m still here.       

I remembered the time when my father was filling our big red International tractor with diesel and I decided to press the pump handle one more time after he took the nozzle out of the tractor’s tank and the fuel just covering him from his feet to his torso. I also remember him taking off his belt and putting on a clinic that only Pootie Tang’s daddy could appreciate.       

I remember thanking God after catching a ricochet from my Daisy 880 bb gun (Screw Ralphie’s punk a** and his Red Rider, the Daisy 880 is the M-1 Garand of bb guns.) in the neck after I shot a piece of tin. I also remember thanking God even more when my parents didn’t find out.       

I remember discovering hip hop through my littlest, big sister’s music collection, the various radio stations we could catch from Savannah, Statesboro, Columbia, Augusta, Charleston, and the two local stations that played “black” music at night and on Sundays. 93.5 WDOG’s “Rap Attack” with DJ Hollywood was taped on a weekly basis.     

Even today many of my actions and thought are dictated by what I learned and saw in Allendale County. I still want to go fishing on nice warm days. I still carry a pocket knife just like my daddy and his daddy. I still look out for snakes when I’m near bushes, even when I’m in downtown Charleston. I still crave bbq (Not grilling, bbq. There is a difference.) on the July 4th, and I still think that leaning on someone’s car or sitting on a tailgate drinking Budweiser with your big brother and best friends listening to Wu-tang is a good way to pass a hot afternoon.     

I could go on forever talking about ish like this but I’ll spare y’all the bulk of my memories, but what fond memories make y’all all warm and fuzzy when you think about your home towns? Is it food and drink? Your parents telling you to either stay “in or out” of the house in the summer? Let your friendly neighborhood Agent of M.E. know what’s up.    

Thanks for listening.  

        

        

         

 

Random Thoughts: Questions and Statements

  1. Gucci Mane is back on the streets people. I don’t have anything snarky to say about that. That’s just a PSA.
  2. The legendary Lena Horne passed away recently at the age of 92 after a ground breaking career. I’ve got a question: Fellas, who was hotter in their prime Lena Horne or Dorothy Dandridge? I wonder what Fred “the G is for gangsta” Sanford and Robert “Granddad” Freeman would say?
  3. It’s only 111 more day to the start of college football season and Saturdays will be Saturdays again.*whispering softly* Roll Tide!
  4. I find it funny that five of America’s funniest people (Tiny Fey, Aziz Anasari, Amy Poelher, Tracy Morgan, and Steve Carell) are all on the same network (NBC) within a two-hour time span every week. Shouldn’t NBC just broadcast dead air and the two Law and Order shows for the other 160 odd hours of the week?
  5. Listen to my boys radio show. It’s not like you have anything else better to do with your time.
  6. Is it wrong to contemplating ordering a rum and coke with your lunch during the work week?
  7. There are several Chinese restaurants in downtown Charleston and I always see the same two Chinese men driving the same large white cargo truck around town “delivering supplies” but for some reason the words “sex trafficking” pop into my head when I see them. Is that racist?
  8. Dear Arizona, Thank you for passing a series of ridiculous, ethically questionable laws involving illegal immigration, racial profiling, and the banning of ethnic and cultural studies in your public schools. Thanks for taking the load off. sincerely, South Carolina
  9. Is “Darling Nikki” an inappropriate song for a wedding reception?
  10. Office Politico: I hate Microsoft Outlook. I hate CCing, BCing, and Read receipts. What I hate the most is getting e-mails with that red f***ing exclaimation marks the most. That’s some ho shit Lois.

*Tune in next time for “Which Obama is better?” or “Iconic album covers”*

A ton of bricks (it he me like).

Hey, it could have been an ACME anvil.

What is it about bad news that hurts so much? 

Is it the content of the news itself?   

Is it the initial shock of it?  

Yeah, it’s the shock.  

The things that you never see coming do so much damage you sometimes forget about the aftermath of the incident. (see Pearl Harbor,9/11, James Evans and Kurt Wagner’s deaths.) Please know that this entry is in no way belittling damaging events in your lives, but I’m talking about finding out about what happened. The news flash. The phone call. The moment you answer the phone and you just know something is horribly amiss.  

For the second year in a row Mother’s Day weekend was the vehicle that delivered bad news. Both times the messages were the same but the bearers of the bad news were different. Both times the message was unfortunately cancer. The last year’s message was delivered from my biggest little sister (breast) and this year the message was from my pops (prostate).  

*In the span of 365 days cancer has moved up the list of things I hate in a swift manner. Think of it as a horrid song that keeps climbing the charts because its, catchy!*   On yesterday, I called home to talk to My Family Agents of M.E. and to wish my mom a happy Mother’s Day. When I called my father picked up the phone and we began to talk. I asked how he was doing and that’s when the news dropped.   

 “They say I have prostate cancer.” were the words uttered by my pops in his usual baritone. 

Immediately my end of the phone fell silent for a few seconds while I replayed what was just said to me. 

“F**k!” was my initial thought.  

I honestly couldn’t think of anything else to say until i snapped myself out of the haze I was beginning to slip into and resumed my conversation with my pops. I knew he had an examine done a few weeks ago as a routine but I didn’t know the results were back yet.  A gaffe that I take full responsibility for. (No Joe Biden) As we continued to talk about the situation I fought the urge to feel like a little kid that just learned how messed up the world could actually be. (Think, getting your ice cream cone getting knocked in the dirt.) Luckily the cancer is in the beginning stages and I talked to my pops for about 20 minutes and eventually I talked to my mom. I wished her a happy Mom’s Day and we began to talk about my father. She could sense that I was barely holding on, but didn’t press the issue. Next, I talked to my littlest big sister who was at home with my parents.   

After about an hour and 20 minutes, I said my goodbyes and again tried to process what I had just heard. Being the over thinker that I am, my mind began to spin wildly out of control thinking about my father’s situation. My appetite found a bus to catch not long after this. Then I tried to take a nap because NBA basketball would only make things worse.  Because of the days bad news I spent all Sunday afternoon from around 3 o’clock until I closed my eyes to go to bed that night trying to process what was going on. It did get better when I actually did something out of character for me: I let it out. 

Miss Moneypenny was there and she listened. It still wasn’t easy but the stress of the bad news was alleviated by just saying what was on my mind. After all of yesterday’s events I’m still stuck trying to figure out why the initial shock stings so bad when the content is much more horrible. I guess that’s why sucker punches hurt much more than the ones you see coming. This is the only answer I have for now because I can’t call it.   

So for the few people who may read this, I’ve got a question: Why does the shock of news hurt so bad?

How do you deal with it?  

Let me  know!

Let’s try not to be the grass today.

Babar's not having any of that today.

 

“When 2 elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers; when 2 elephants make love, the grass also suffers.”       

             Old African proverb*                                                                                                                                        

*Side note* I generally try not to use general terms like “African” but I couldn’t locate the exact source of the proverb. One source claimed it to be from several tribes in Nigeria. Another claims it’s Kikuyu. I’m not sure so I’ll generalize this time. Somewhere Dr. Muhammad Alpha Bah is making a snide comment about me.      

I first became aware of the above proverb a few years ago. It came from a very unlikely source too. I was reading Wolverine vol 3 #41 and the proverb was featured in the prologue of the issue entitled “The Package”. In the story KIng T’Challa  (The Black Panther)of Wakanda finds himself in a bit of a spot. He is both the ruler and protector of his country, which in the fictional Marvel Universe is one of only two sub-Saharan nations that have never been colonized, but he must aid his neighbors in Zwartheid who are embroiled in a civil war, while maintaining his nations centuries old neutrality. Fortunately for T’Challa he has options. Although he has many powerful American friends such as Tony Starks and Reed Richards, but T’Challa has to avoid an international incident. Foreign nations in the midst of a civil war usually don’t take kindly to Americans interfering in their affairs so T’Challa calls on a member of his new defacto family, the X-Men. Having just married X-Man Storm, he reluctantly deals with complexity that is her relationship with the X-Men, who are both her friends and family.  (Imagine, your new bride’s three best friends are sometimes dead chick who can destroy the known universe, a slutty, homicidal, Canadian alcoholic who is really good with kids, and a blue-furred Catholic Priest with a prehensile tail. Sounds like a super-powered episode of Springer.) Long story short  our hairy, metal-boned, hero receives a phone call from T’Challa asking a favor, he needs to prevent the grass in Zwartheid from suffering. To do this Logan must parachute into the fray and escort the infant daughter of Zwartheid’s President  out of the country so that she will live to become heir to the nation’s throne and restoring peace. Caught in between two armies that want nothing more to remove the other from the gene pool, Logan does his best and saves both himself and the child.      

 I was reminded of the proverb again today when a few of my coworkers got their panties in a bunch again….      

 One attorney had set up shop in one of our conference rooms early this morning and had to be out by 2:00. He did not bother to reserve this room and he did not bother to check with another attorney who was scheduled to use the room at 2:00. Fast forward a few hours and it’s 1:59 and my unlucky a** just happened to be walking through the lobby when the attorney who wanted the room at 2:00 asked if he could use another room. He was told yes and a crisis  between the two attorneys was averted right?      

 Damn right!      

 Unfortunately for me, the attorney who had just been ushered into an alternate room’s sh***y assistant rolls through and starts talking to the receptionist and your friendly neighborhood Agent of M.E. about the room situation.      

 “Blah, blah, blah, esq (no Biz Markie) doesn’t like meeting in those small rooms with his clients. I just want him to know that I scheduled him a big room.”      

 Next our stalwart receptionist chimes in “I don’t know why Blah, blah, blah, esq took that room. He knew it wasn’t scheduled for him.”      

 So at this point I’m wondering why these two are worrying about something that in no way concerns them. Both of these men make triple your salaries and could have you fired on a whim, so why don’t you just let stay out of it and let the two elephants fight it out if it comes to that. Everyday I notice my colleagues inserting themselves into situation where they can only catch fallout. There is no need to be the grass.Try being a tree or something. If your boss and some of the other check writers or decision makers start bumping heads you just stay out of it. Day after day people unnecessarily make themselves play the role of the grass in the most harsh situations and it’s seldom necessary.      

 The moral of the story is don’t go out seeking to get trampled by the elephants in your life. When the office pachyderm start going at it just go grab a coffee or a Newport and shut the f**k up. Trust me it will make your day a lot more peaceful.      

 

An open letter to Hustler Guy (aka Mr. Doin’ it Big)

Clavell and Howard Tibbs III... steady hustlin'

 

Dear Hustle Guy, 

If you happen to see me on the telephone out side of the library again please do not interrupt me to ask me to come to “your meeting” tonight at the Sheraton in North Charleston.  In this time of economic upheaval I applaud you for going out making an income, but I have no desire to become involved in whatever nefarious, soul-draining, pyramid scheme that you are running think you’re running. 

I have no desire to sell KrispyKreme, Spanks, Body Magic, crack-cocaine, “wellness products”, or f**king steak knives. Sorry hoss, not interested. I’m just here trying to download a mix tape. That’s all. I’m not interested in ending up with a storage shed full of “product” that I can’t move. Yeah I know a man has got to make a living, but you are almost as annoying as those mall vendors who get in your face trying  to sell the little machine that buffs and polishes fingernails. 

“C’mon man, buy it for your pretty lady friend.” No thanks Kamal, her nails are fine. 

If you have to sell someone on the idea of working for you/with then you probably have already lost. I’m just saying. 

I was polite to you, but our interaction was my fault. I should have seen you coming. I should have noticed that “doin’ big things” look on your face, but I didn’t. Keep on hustling homie, just don’t hustle around me. Here’s a final one to grow on–Don’t sell steak knives when the people can barely afford steak. Sell something that there is a demand for. Trust me it’ll work. 

Thanks for listening, 

Wu Young Agent of M.E