Monday, June 26, 2017

The Asshole

Let’s talk about this guy I know. I need a codename to call him, and since Boogie has been taken, I’ll need a name, a basic normal name to use. Let’s call him…”Joe”.

“Joe” used to be the security manager at my current job (a set of residential buildings in Cambridge). He was known for being somewhat of a douche. No people-skills. Just hard-assery 24/7/365. The people in the buildings hated talking to him because he was so cold and sour. Even in my limited time knowing him I saw how much of an douche-mountain this guy was. About two weeks ago “Joe” left and became manager at a building in the Seaport area, presumably to be a douche there and make life miserable there as well. I became the new manager in Cambridge. When I talk to the residents here, the conversations almost always go like this:

Resident: Hey, are you the new security manager here?
Me: Yes I am.
Resident: Oh good! That other guy was such an asshole.
Me: lol

Never fails. Every single day, I get that exchange from someone. And it's not just the residents either – the contractors and vendors that stop by on a regular basis hate the man. The only difference between each resident’s/contractor’s conversation with me is whatever word(s) used to describe “Joe". Asshole. Mean. No good. Sucks. Fucking idiot. All of these things have been used to describe him. I’ve even heard “racist”, however that one is pushing it, in my opinion. He’s not racist, but when you seem like a douche-canoe to everybody, I can see how one may come to that conclusion.

I've called myself an asshole before, but I'm not really. My honesty can absolutely be mistaken for assholishness (that's not a word, I know...), but I'm pretty tame. I've made a pretty decent life out of being as nice as I possibly can. That is the customer service in me; I want people happy if it can be helped. And most times, it can be helped. The way “Joe” did things here kinda upset me, mainly because it was so unnecessary. Why be an asshole? Why make some of these families' lives that much more depressing? Why make these contractors hate to ask you a simple question? Why seem like you don't care about anyone else's feelings but yours? Why be the Titanic of douchebaggery if it's not needed?

But there was a specific moment last week that made me know that I might be doing the right thing when it comes to just being a nice person. A old man came to the office and didn't know where he was going. He didn't live in the buildings, but he received a letter saying that he's a finalist for an apartment. After talking with him and explaining what office to go to, he thanked me and told me how good a person I was. After his office visit he thanked me once again gave me his card. It turns out that he is/was a lawyer. At one time, he even represented Nelson Mandela! He told me to keep being the person that I am; the world needs more like me. I was humbled to say the least. I looked him up online and it also turns out that the city of Cambridge honored him by naming a street corner after him. I couldn't believe it when I saw it. One of his quotes from the articles that I love:

“People will have good health and good life if they do good things. You are not born to make money and to do evil.”

Now what does that have to do with "Joe"? He is the literal opposite of that man. Hell, he's the literal opposite of me. I have complete confidence that the Mr. Laher would not have told "Joe" the same things he told me. "Joe" is not about that "good" life.

So please, if you take anything from this post let it be this:

Don't be like "Joe".

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Oh My Earth!

"I stay single, great. A girl comes and changes my earth, great. I'm prepared either way."

That was me two years ago. Totally content with not being with any woman. Just sitting there OK with this. What a dumb ass. I would tell that version of me to cut the shit. 

In this the year of our Lord, Two-Thousand and Seventeen, somehow, a female likes me. And almost as inexplicably, I like her. How did this happen? How did we get here? Well, I dunno. Somewhere along the line this year I decided "you know what? I think I'll try a dating site. Because, sure OK." It was a friend of mine who was all like "Chill. Don't do that. I got you." And I was like "Word, yo." Fast-forward to now and her and I are still going strong. 

And it's all crazy to me. I didn't think I was desirable or wanted or anything like that, but this girl (who I will now refer to as Boogie for the rest of this blog because I needed an incognito name and why not Boogie) has proved me wrong. Boogie has been great for me (whether she believes it or not) simply because she gives me (among other things) more confidence than I can ever ask for. And judging from my previous posts, I believe I lacked confidence. And I would never admit that, either. I can be stubborn like that.

This won't be long drawn-out post. I just basically wanted to say this: Go get it. Pretty much disregard my other "being single" blog posts. They're stupid posts. It's out there, but the only way to get it is to GO GET IT. I got Boogie. Go get your own Boogie.

I think my Earth changed, y'all.

PS. I hope Boogie was a good incognito name. ;)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

DAMN. It All

On Friday, April 14th, 2017, Kendrick Lamar may have cemented himself as one of the greatest rappers to ever do it when he released DAMN. You can legitimately argue whether or not this is his greatest album (it's not IMO) but you can no longer argue his place among the greats. He hasn't released a bad album in his life, and I think he's incapable of doing such a thing. Section.80 was a classic. Good Kid, M.A.A.D City was a classic. To Pimp a Butterfly was a classic and one the greatest albums ever. Even Overly Dedicated and untitled unmastered were great. He's allergic to making bad music. But for some reason, in 2017, there are a decent amount of people who dislike King Kenny. And who do I blame for this?

Lil Yachty.

Well, not just Lil Yachty. There's a whole bunch of people with a whole bunch of reasons (from somewhat legitimate to lololololol) as to why they dislike this man.

It's starts with the "rappers" of today. The Yachtys and Desiigners and Migoses (is that how you would spell that?) of the world. Mumblers. They're trash, but since trap music life, they're "great". They have people believing that their version of rap is how is should be. Meanwhile the Kendricks and J. Coles of the rap world are overlooked. One of the prevailing opinions of Kendrick's newest albums that I've been reading is that it's "good lyrically, but musically it's trash". This is an opinion, so i can't call them wrong, but these opinions are wrong. Like if I can't murder the sub woofer of a car with this album it sucks. FOH. I've also seen "it sucks lyrically and musically". These are the people who believe Lil Wayne is the greatest rapper ever. Their opinions are invalid. But it's not just mumblers that have a problem with Duckworth. March 30, 2017, Kendrick released his biggest single ever, HUMBLE. It was an immediately hit. Millions of views with an hour on YouTube. Successful AF. 

I'm so fuckin' sick and tired of the Photoshop
Show me somethin' natural like afro on Richard Pryor
Show me somethin' natural like ass with some stretch marks

Oh shit. With these lines in the song his next group of unsupporters showed up: feminists! Hooray! Now I'm not going to bash all feminists because I do personally know a few and I understand how women need to be treated fairly and equally on this very sexist planet of ours. But the above lines do not show me any misogyny. Unless I am completely misunderstanding the actual definition of the word. Totally possible. nah

The anger seems to stem from the "don't tell women how they should look" school of thought. This anger would be justified IF Kendrick was speaking from a place of malice. Believe it or not, he's trying to uplift a woman, Don't believe me? Section.80, listen to the pre-mainstream song No Make-Up (Her Vice). He's been saying shit like this for years, but now is time to dog him. Gotcha. Hell, Kendrick doesn't catch slack for some of the obvious misogynistic shit he says, but when it's not obvious (or even non-existent) is when everyone loses it.

And then, most curiously of all maybe, there are some Black women who dislike the man. I 've always believed that this is due to darker-skinned women disliking that fact that Kendrick's fiance, Whitney Alford, identifies as Black (she is half-Black), but is light-skinned. Why do I believe this? Click here. Need more than that? Look up Carter Kim. She is the woman you see in the HUMBLE. video. She said in an interview recently that has gotten some criticism from darker-skinned Black women. Guess why?

Look. Dislike the man if you just don't like his style. I'm cool with that. Dislike him if you wished he wasn't so political in songs. That's fine too (just don't go around loving Nas). But some of this dislike is unnatural and borderline insane. Carter Kim, take me home:

"I feel like a lot of people are blaming Kendrick and pretty much are throwing the heat on Kendrick for this whole situation being not feminist. But it’s almost like people aren’t understanding the real picture, and the real picture is not just him but guys appreciate a natural girl. Whether you decide to wear makeup or you don’t, it’s just to make girls feel more comfortable. You know what, guys do like girls with no makeup. You don’t have to dress up every day to impress somebody or get the guy that you want or things like that. They’re not always looking for the girl that’s the most done up or the extra pretty girl, they’re mostly looking for somebody that’s genuine and humble and modest and has a good personality. I think that’s the whole picture that people are missing; the whole purpose of the video. It’s for all women, not just Black women, not just light skin women. I also feel like people are kinda missing that. I feel like women are very particular today in how they want to be portrayed and every time that’s trying to be achieved, it’s not good enough or something’s wrong with it. So that’s kinda how I feel on the whole negative end of the feminist situation, I guess. I’m definitely for women’s empowerment, for sure. I just feel like to criticize another woman or to criticize a man who’s just trying to portray a natural woman and being a feminist, I think that’s a little bit backwards. But that’s just my personal opinion, I guess, on the situation."


Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Internal Conflict

I've mentioned about four previous times in this blog about being single. I'm about to make it five, but this time I need to go a little more in depth.

"You're such a great guy. Why/how are you single?"

I absolutely hate that loaded question. It's a stupid question. I especially hate when single women ask it. Makes me rage.

You wanna know why I'm single? I'll give you four main reasons:
  • A majority of women don't want a great guy. Or rather, they want a great guy that looks great and has a six-pack and has a great job and a car and their own house and... I could go on forever.
  • I'm ugly. That statement has nothing to do with low self-esteem, either. It's just the truth. This goes hand in hand with point one. It's all physical attraction nowadays. If women started looking beyond the physical just once and realize that I'm literally the greatest human of all time, I probably wouldn't be writing this post.
  • I don't feel like having to work at least twice as hard as the good looking guy. I shouldn't have to. But they'd rather have a shitty, sexy guy rather than a good, ugly guy.
  • I'm painfully honest. That's not liked these days either. I will tell you that you look like crap in that dress. I'd rather be honest than to protect feelings. Protecting feelings literally equals lying. Can't do it. Won't do it.
I need to expand a little on that 2nd point. The "ugly" thing. This is something that I've known for a very long time. There was a point in time where I was very self-conscious about my looks. But that was when I was 14 or 15. Since then, I've accepted it. And yet, I've become what I (and some people) believe to be a great person. People have called me "handsome", which then makes me go "...really?" If you truly, truly believe that, then I respect you having an opinion. But your opinion is wrong. Stupid, really.

But there seems to be in internal struggle starting to happen. A struggle between being single and not being single anymore. It has never manifested to this level ever. And I have no idea how to fix it. I do and don't want to be in the relationship. And I don't have the mental makeup for the "sow your wild oats" thing. It sucks. I feel like a can't do the OKCupid thing. My profile would be full of so much asshole-filled sarcasm it would break the website. And I feel like I'd have to be a different person on a date. I'm not saying that this would be completely true, but it's likely.

July 17th, 2015 was a great day because it proved that it's totally possible that someone, somehow would somewhat like me for me (although, alcohol). But it's so sporadic when those opportunities arise. And yes, going out more would also help, and I am working on that. And I'm going to do some losing-weight activities this summer because, potato chips. And I need to be a healthier person for any potential significant other. I get that. But even when (I said when, not if!) I lose that weight, my face will still be my face. The face your God gave me. Take it up with him. In the meantime, we'll see what happens. I stay single, great.  A girl comes and changes my earth, great. I'm prepared either way.

Am I?

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Top 10: Appreciation Edition

I was looking over my posts and I'm starting to  realizing that a majority of them seem...not so positive. There are many things that make me rage, but I never give credit to the things in life that I actually like. The people. The places. The whatever. So this is what this is. Ten things I appreciate. And I could list cliché things like my mother, or  certain family members, or friends. But that would be too easy. I appreciate them. It's just that this would be a very boring post otherwise. So, in no particular order:

1. Salmon
I'm starting to notice that there are people that hate salmon. Not just dislike. Just absolutely loathe it. Why? For what? This fish is too good. There are other great fish to eat, but salmon is on a different level. I just cooked a piece a couple of days ago. Pan seared then baked then devoured. Ridiculous. Salmon is love. Salmon is life. Stop hatin'.

2. Alonzo Lerone
YouTube has its fair share of greatness. And I watch a lot of different channels (like this one, or this one, and yes, even this one). But Alonzo's videos are appreciated more for me simply because he makes fun of the dumb of social media. The misspellings. The bad grammar. The complete misuse of words. Get a dictionary! He's funny as hell. We must do better, but until that point, I'll keep watching him. You should too.

3. Snow/Cold Weather
If you live in the Boston area you know that we all almost died due to the blizzards of last year, so I know that some would consider me "fucking insane". But I have always loved the snow. And the cold that comes with it. Even if there was no snow and all cold, that works too. Even if I have to shovel. Some people have said that I feel this way because I don't have to drive in it. This may very well be the case. But until then, blizzard away, Mother Nature. Blizzard away.

4. Kendrick Lamar
Simply put, he's the best rapper in the business right now. Its not even close (LOL Drake). He's a perfect blend of lyrical prowess, performance, and message. He represents hope, not only in rap, but in the black community as well. If (big IF) I ever have a child, I may have to name it Kendrick. Boy or girl. Doesn't matter. Kendricka if it's a girl, maybe. Am I obsessed? No, right? Definitely not.

5. Single Life
This is why Kendrick or Kendricka or K-Dot Williams may never exist. I still love the fact that I'm not involved in any relationship. It's still so refreshing. Y'all women sometimes know how y'all are. I don't have to explain. It would have to take The Miracle of All Miracles for me to change my mind. Odds are low, though.

6. Bob's Burgers
Secretly one of the greatest animated shows ever. Fox has had some great animated programming in the past, but nothing has been better than Bob's (maybe other than early Family Guy and early Simpsons. MAYBE). The characters have this sense of "real" the other shows don't really have. This has been my reason for using Netflix. #LouiseBelcher

7. Thursdays
I know that Friday, Saturday, or Sunday are more popular days of the week, but Thursdays are great because you know the week is almost over. Other than the week being actually over, there's no better feeling than knowing it's coming to an end. Plus, I can't put the word Thirsty in front of Tuesday. Imagine that. Thirsty Tuesdays. How stupid does that sound?

8. Cookouts
Grilling. People. Beer. Great weather. I mean, I really don't have to say anything else. So I won't. #July2nd

9. Jamaican Accents
There's something amazing about the way a Jamaican talks that I just love. The dialect is perfect. In general Jamaica is awesome anyway. The food. The women. The weather. But that accent? Incredible. If you've ever played Grand Theft Auto 4, you'd understand why Little Jacob is my favorite character in that game. Don't you ever stop being Jamaica, Jamaica.

10. Military
There will always be much love and appreciation for the men and women of the United States military. That goes without saying. But my appreciation extends to all men and women around the world in their country's respective military. To have the bravery and commitment that they do is downright admirable. This even goes for countries that either don't like us or I simply don't like (like *REDACTED*. To hell with that place). What you do is great, and you have my respect.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Zero Faith

On February 20th, 2016, right in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, 16-year-old Amari Pope stabbed and killed 15-year-old Deon Hopkins. Pope's girlfriend and Hopkins were arguing, which led to Pope going home, grabbing a knife, and stabbing Hopkins.

On September 10th, 2015, right in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, 32-year-old Zachary Pinnick was found dead after being found suffering from gunshot wounds. He was on his way to see his sister at the time of the shooting. The killer has not been found

On May 3rd, 2013, right in the Roxbury neighborhood of Boston, 23-year-old Mibsam Wiggins and 22-year-old Tremayne Jackson were both shot and killed as they were waiting in a parked car in a Walgreens parking lot. The killer has not been found.

Four lives gone for no good reason. This happens often in these neighborhoods. Dorchester. Roxbury. Mattapan. Lives gone. Usually young lives. People have been calling for peace since forever, trying to put an end to the perpetual cycle of violence. You'll see walks, or protests, or prayer services. You'll see programs were you can turn in guns, consequence-free. People just want the violence to end.

It won't end. Ever.

I have no faith in the inner city getting it together. I have no faith that these walks or protests or anything else will ever change things. We must do better, but no one wants to actually do better. This vicious street lifestyle will continue until the earth is no more. And that's pretty scary.

Of the four lives I mentioned, I knew two of them. And one of those two I used to live with for a short time. It saddens me that they are gone. It saddens me further in the way they passed. Kids are getting into this lifestyle at younger and younger ages. I would love to say "it'll get better", but I'd be lying my ass off. It's going to get worse, or at the absolute best, it'll stay exactly the same. I hate to be this pessimistic about this, but I have zero faith, and nothing has given me a reason for optimism.

And even worse, a lot of the killings (either rightfully or not) will be linked to black people. Now I know that there's a chance that there were other races involved in the murders in the inner city, but I'd bet money that some of them were black. And as I've mentioned in the past, these killers would be all about Black Lives Matter and then go end a black life. Only blacks are allowed to kill blacks, they'd say (most likely). We need to do better, but doing better is hard, they'd also probably say.

Zero faith.
And why should I have faith? Just because?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Celebration of Not Celebrating Christmas

I believe I was about 9 years old when I got my Super Nintendo system for Christmas. My aunt, who I was living with at the time, bought it months in advance. She also bought my cousin a Sega Genesis. So for months whenever we got the chance (which was whenever she wasn't in the house) we would move the couch (she "hid" them behind there) and visually make love to the back of the boxes. We just could not wait to open these things up and play and play and maybe even play some more until our thumbs no longer existed. And Christmas came. And even though we knew what we were getting, me and my cousin were still beyond excited to get those systems. How our thumbs survived is anyone guess. That story is very important to me for this simple fact: that was the last Christmas I was excited for. Since then, I've gotten either no gifts or gifts with no thought put into them (shoelaces!), or gifts with no thought put into them (again, shoelaces!!!!) and lumped together as a birthday gift (December 26th, baby!). Sure, I've gotten older. So that has to account for some of the lacking excitement. But there's more to it.

You see, I'm not what you would could religious. But I know that there are some religious to Christmas. People look at it like giftsgiftsgifts either in the "gimme" sense or the "here ya go" sense. It shouldn't be this way. The word Christ is in the name, for Christ's sake. See what I did there? Take a hint as to what it would possibly mean.

But (BUT) Christians, do me a favor. Stop making everything related to Christmas about Jesus. Candy canes are not symbols of Jesus. And I'm not making that up either. Someone posted a picture on Facebook of a candy cane and diagrammed all the Jesus in it. The red is the blood of Christ. The white is the cleanliness or something of Jesus. The cane is shaped like a shepherd's cane. I almost vomited. Even religious people were calling that a little over the top. And if a child wants to believe in Santa, let them. Don't brainwash the child tell him that he's/she's wrong. I mean, you believe in a magical man with comic book-like powers too, right?

I won't be celebrating Christmas this year or any other time in the near future. Unless I have some kids and a wife and a dog and a house with a fireplace and a Lexus. So, you know, very unlikely. I will keep enjoying the perks of Christmas, like paid time off. I'm not gonna go up to my boss and say "hey I don't celebrate Christmas so don't pay me". Who would do that? An idiot, that's who. And I'm not an idiot, so there's that.

This won't be a long post because it almost turned into a anti-religious rant, and I won't have that. So I'll end this by saying Happy Christmas, but much more importantly, have a great Derrick's birthday the day after (which is, after all, a much MUCH more worthy holiday to celebrate).