Monthly Archives: May 2010

So Stephen…where’s the iPad? A study in shame.

I have no iPad...yet. And probably won't for a minute.

I have shame.

Why? You ask.

Well 33 days ago, I trumpeted proudly how my network had pulled together to raise funds to get me an iPad for my 40th birthday.

Not just any ol’ iPad, mind you.

The 32GB 3G+WiFi in Black.

Thanks to the generosity of friends and strangers alike, I raised over $1000 for my iPad.

And although I haven’t collected all of it to date, I’d collected enough of it by my birthday to get my iPad.

All I had to do was order it or wait until the 3Gs were in the stores and go cop it.

In a perfect world, it would have gone down just like that.

But alas, mine is not a perfect world.

And 36 days after my birthday, I am still without an iPad.

I’ve encountered countless folks, who supported me, either in spirit or in cash, since the Great iPad Campaign, who ask the same thing, “How’s the iPad?”

And each time, I hang my head in shame and mutter, “I don’t have it yet.”

And here’s why.

A few days before my birthday, our dishwasher broke.

Called the repair guys over ($75 for the diagnostic) only to learn that the electric board was shot and the model was no longer in production (=Whirlpool no longer supports this model=buy a new dishwasher).

Oh. A new dishwasher starts at around $299.

Then the Jeep started taking in water.

Whenever it rained, water would pour in through grommets on the grab bar and pool on the floor of the passenger side of the car.

Sorry, Mr. Chukumba, but the car is out of warranty. We’ll require a $200 deposit, that will be applied to the cost of the repair. (Final repair bill $480.75)

BTW. The car still leaks. Chrysler, can we talk? What’s up with that?

Then little Fuji had a staff infection requiring prescription antibiotics, salves and creams, totaling almost $200 (and that’s with insurance coverage!)

And then there were the various and sundries that turned my little birthday iPad stash into the emergency fund.

You must know, but for my birthday stash-o-cash, some of these issues would still remain unaddressed today.

It’s a recession, and times are kinda rough.

But I don’t want folks walking around thinking they’ve been scammed.

So I’m posting this little update to address the elephant in the room.

But know ye this, I WILL HAVE AN IPAD (God willing), and I will (one day) tell you all of the joys of iPad ownership.

That day, however, is not today.

I am (unfortunately) too responsible to let my desire for baubles, gadgets and playthings, override my duties to the fam. Damn you Dede!

So if you see walking down the street, and I start to cry, each time we meet, walk on by…walk on by…


Filed under Smack talking

Super Daddy and The Chukumba Rules

When I’m off the clock, I assume the identity of my alter-ego, Super Daddy.

This is the African version of Super Daddy.

Unlike Work, Tech or Computer Daddy, Super Daddy is 100% about the kids, so mine got a healthy dose over the weekend.

When I grabbed my phone today, one of the first things I saw were ‘The Chukumba Rules,’ a code of conduct the children and I came up with, while we were playing at the park.

They include things like behaving in public and being respectful and considerate to others.

The kids’ list (in no particular order):

1.  No hitting.

2.  When an elder is speaking, ask permission before you interrupt.

3.  Always keep up with your younger brother or sister.

4.  Respect your elders.

5.  Always do the right thing.

6.  Always tell the truth.

I didn’t say it was comprehensive. I said it was a list.

Mind you, this list is aspirational, as my kids have occasional lapses resulting in bouts of hitting each other, interrupting when adults are speaking, losing track of their siblings, being disrespectful to adults, doing the wrong thing and fibbing.

That evening, I shared the list and details of our playground excursion with the wife, and we talked about the importance of establishing a code of conduct in children early, and reinforcing it consistently.

We cringe whenever we’re in public and see other children behaving badly, and the parent simply smiles and allows their child to run amok – unchecked.

We make it a point to keep our interactions with the bratty kids of parents we know to an absolute minimum, lest our children see the undisciplined wilding of other youth as a model of behavior to bring home. HELL TO THE NAW!

Parents, establish a consistent set of rules for your children to follow, lest one day you wake to fiendish hellions embarrassing you at every turn.

Children, pay attention to the rules your parents put in place for you, lest you have children and they repay you in kind.


Filed under Parenting

Pack mules and celebrities.

Aids Walk 25 was a blast!

I spent Sunday afternoon at Central Park with family and friends, attending the AIDS Walk 25 concert.

With the wife and kids in tow, we headed over to midtown to catch Leon and The Peoples’ set, which was supposed to start at 12:30, but hadn’t (thank you CPT!)

After lugging the two lawn chairs, two sleeping bags, diaper bag, freezer bag of snacks, hobo bag with blankets, stroller and four kids halfway across the park (from 65th and Madison), we finally arrived at our destination.

Now I was supposed to be ‘backstage’ (on account of me being a VIP and all) but there was no way I was subjecting myself to the torture of chasing three kids around craft services and celebrities.

So we opted for the grassy knoll to the right of the stage (on the other side of the fence) instead.

The pack mule (=Stephen) was unloaded, we set up camp and proceeded to get our collective groove on.

As soon as I was all comfortable, I saw a few folks I knew and headed over.

I gave a pound to my peoples, Danny Greene, Jon E. Edwards, Victor Lewis, and Leon.

Danny and Jon were recording Leon’s set, and are co-producers of a film (currently in post-production) called Mr. Sophistication, that features Leon.

But there were mad heads in the cut as well, Bob Johnson, Ed Woods, Malik Yoba, among others.

Now you must know my girl D was with us, and she is crazy off-the-chain.

When she heard that Malik was in the cut, she told us she was going to head over to f with him for GP.

A few years ago when she met him at APT, she stated (matter-of-factly) “I haven’t seen you in anything recently!”

Chanel and I were aghast at her audacity, but Malik seemed…smitten.

And the love affair began.

I was genuinely concerned for Malik as D (and her acerbic wit) made her way over for Round 2.

When she returned, she regaled us with another story involving the aforementioned wit, a tussle with denim and one Mr. Yoba drawn deeper into D’s mischievous rabbit hole.

And then she proceeded to knock over what looked like a miniature cricket set of these two dudes whose misguided survey of the grounds led them to select next to us as the location for their game.

I’ve got to do a separate post about D one of these days (this little ditty does her no justice).

When Leon’s set was over, the pack mule (=Stephen) was laden (once again) with our gear, and we headed back through the park to the ride.

I might be working with Leon and his crew in the near future, and I expect that D will be harassing Malik as well, so stay tuned.

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Filed under rant, Smack talking

Stay in your lane (aka muth*f*cka you can’t drive)!

I wish I could wrap my Jeep with this message.

I originally wanted to title this post ‘The Zen of Driving.’

But since I’m constantly cussin’ behind the wheel, and have yet to achieve vehicular Nirvana, I would be a tad disingenuous to be giving advice on finding one-ness when driving.

So instead, I’m going to rant. Surprise, surprise.

I consider myself to be a good driver.

Although I’ve received numerous tickets throughout my driving career for various driving infractions, I’ve only been in one accident that I caused (hit a slick of ice and spun out of control).

My only victim to date was an unsuspecting telephone pole.

But I’ve been rear-ended, side-swiped and on the far-too-close end of multiple near death driving experiences, that I simply have to testify.

Like last Saturday driving my son to a birthday party when I was nearly run off the road by a moron turning into my lane as if I wasn’t even there!

But I digress.

To put it simply, muthaf*ckas can’t drive.

To wit:

If you’re doing 50 in the left lane and folks are passing you on the right, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you’re doing 50 in the left lane and I roll up on you, and you fail to cede the lane, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you’ve got your turn signal on for a half mile, but fail to make a turn in that direction, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you straddle two lanes when you drive, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you talk on the phone (not hands free), eat, drink, apply make up or (insert inappropriate activity while driving here), muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you make a right hand turn from the left lane (or a left hand turn from the right lane), muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you back out of a driveway without yielding to oncoming traffic, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you drive like Mr. Magoo or Asians (sorry Asians, but you ALL drive like Mr. Magoo), muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you drive down a residential street like you’re in the Indy 500 (or down the highway like you’re on a residential street), muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you weave through traffic like some sort of nut trying to avoid the police, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

If you fail to go around a car turning left when you have ample room to pass on the right, muthaf*cka you can’t drive!

I’m getting hot, and I’m not even behind the wheel right now, so I’m signing off.

But if you’re reading this while you’re driving…


Note: Please feel free to share your own driving pet peeves.


Filed under Smack talking

Stumping with Vincent Morgan

Vincent Morgan cheeses for the camera with the event hosts.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about my first meeting with Vincent Morgan.

At the time, he was a prospective client.

Last Wednesday, I was stumping with my client, as he made his way about Harlem, promoting his candidacy for the United States House of Representatives for the 15th District of New York.

I met him at his place, and we headed to Amsterdam and 138th, where he was scheduled to speak to the West Harlem Independent Democrats.

We arrived early and grabbed a bite to eat at a Spanish restaurant a block up from the WHID office.

After enjoying arroz con pollo with coffee, distributing a few M4C leaflets, and settling the bill (Vince paid), he, Philip (a member of his communications team) and I headed to the engagement.

When we arrived, Vince was introduced and took the floor.

He opened with a reflection on Cinco de Mayo, and it’s relevance to the race against Rangel.

He followed up with a brief background of how he came to public service.

And then fielded several questions about charter schools, small businesses, the viability of his candidacy, and closed.

From there, we headed over to the Madison Cigar Lounge, where an M4C fundraiser/meet-and-greet was being hosted by FYI Communications.

I watched, taking notes and snapping pictures, as Vince worked the room and offered his perspective for a revitalized Harlem.

By the time I headed out, I was left with one distinct impression: Vincent Morgan can win this election.

I’m not a member of the 15th district.

I’m not a NYer.

I can’t even vote in the upcoming elections.

But if I could, I’d be voting for this guy, and here are a few reasons why:

1. Harlem needs a fresh perspective. Rangel is 80 years old. What does he have in common with the struggling lower and middle class of the District?

2.  Rangel has been in office waaaayyyy too long. Period. 40 years in the House of Representatives? C’mon, can someone else speak for Harlem?

3.  Vince kinda reminds you of Obama. Democrats. Black. Raised in Chi-town. Married. Two kids.

4.  The guy knows his stuff. Vince is all about facts and being able to substantiate whatever perspective you maintain. Columbia MBA. Need I say more?

5.  He’s passionate. If you’ve seen him speak, watched any of his videos or have met him in person, you’d agree that he means what he says.

I’ll admit that I’m a member of the cult of Vince. We’re both Taurus (his birthday is the day after mine), and I am on his payroll. So I’d better be all about Vince.

But my obvious bias aside, give this guy a gander.

You may very well be looking at the next Congressman for the 15th District of New York.

If you’d like to hear him speak in person, check out the events calendar on his website to find out where he’s going to be next.

If you’re interested in donating to the campaign, volunteering or learning more, check out the Morgan4Congress website.

You can also follow him on Twitter @morgan4congress or fan like him on Facebook.

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