Monday, December 29, 2008

The Role-Reversal

It appears that I'm hitting new ground with my mother-in-law! I don't mean to sound so excited, but let me give you some background on our overly-simplistic relationship.

It of course, began when I asked my mother-in-law and T's sister, my intentions of asking for T's hand in marriage. They were pretty happy with me, but my mother-in-law didn't quite know me as well as T's sister. Mainly because my mother-in-law lives out of state, and at the time, my sister-in-law lived up the street. I was convinced she didn't like me as much because we didn't have interesting conversations, or deep discussions.

Most of our chats consisted of the weather. The topic is non-threatening, light, and non-opinionated. Perfect for an older woman, 50 plus years my senior. Anytime we spoke on the phone or in person, it was always, "a little bit cold up here in Virginia." And she would retort with, "It's 70 degrees in Atlanta. Great weather we're having." I was convinced that she probably thought I worked for the Weather Channel because that topic was my go-to. What else do you talk about to a woman in her 80s?

This holiday season, she decided to split time between my sister-in-law and my house. My sister-in-law gets more days because she has more kids than I do, so she's living with us for several days, and then heading back home. I am now spending my first of several days with my mother-in-law uninterrupted. No work, no hobbies, no nothing. Just pure Mother-in-law.

So on the way home today from the grocery store, I make my snide remark about our Weather chats, and my wife says, "Actually she can't stop talking about you. How lucky I am to have a husband that is so loving and humble! It's making me sick." I smile, but laugh it off in disbelief. Then the magic happens when we get home. As I'm taking out the trash, I heard, "He's so humble and quiet. You're so lucky to have him."

Now mind you, T's Sister actually found me weird and didn't trust me at first, because I seemed "too quiet." Upon meeting anyone new, I don't talk a whole lot. My reasoning is that I'm taking mental notes on that new person. Over time I slowly begin to show my true personality and sick sense of humor. That way I don't overwhelm them, or offend.

Therefore, the very same Personality Flaw that my sister-in-law didn't find trusting, is the same Trait that my mother adores. She said, "He can be feeling something different, but he's always so nice." This, of course is driving my wife up the wall, and I'm enjoying it...a little.


Friday, December 19, 2008

Why are chicken strips so friggin' expensive?

As my spouse and I were out shopping yesterday for food, an interesting query came about as we were passing the KFC.  What are chicken strips so friggin' expensive.  As we were passing, KFC was advertising  that their chicken strips were 3 for $4.99, but a 10 piece was $7.99.  There's a bit of disparity there.  

We continued past Chick-fil-A, and found that same paradigm to be in practice, except there, we found the strips more expensive than the sandwich, which makes even less sense!  Think about it, a sandwich is comprised of a large chicken breast patty, lettuce, tomato,( both optional), a delightful toasted and buttered bun,  and a strategically placed pickle.  Compare that price point to 3 strips of breast meat in a box.  

It is my theory that the Corporations have put one over on us!  Not just the American Public, but the Worldly Gastronomic Republic of Consumers that we are.  How are they able to get away with charge more for physically less?

So expounding on this fact, let's take a look a the Golden Arches.  Now it is obvious to me that the Chicken Selects are a higher quality of chicken compared to Chicken McNuggets.  Their price difference is understandable because the selects are for a more complicated and grown up palate, however; comparing the price point to the chicken sandwiches...something doesn't jive for me.  One would think that the sandwich has more chicken and more accouterments than the strips. 

I have scoured the Internet for an answer to this conundrum to no avail.  I leave it to you, the smarter and more patient public that may have a better answer than my frustration.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Sign" O' Trouble...

Given, I'm not a political person, but like most people, the upcoming election has made me a bit more politically charged than usual.  

A candidate that my wife an I support came to town and she wanted me to blow off my "other" job and join her at the rally.  I, of course, mumbled something (begrudgingly) about responsibility and I worked my shift that night.  She was there for about 5 hours from beginning to end, and had a BLAST!  

Upon my arrival home that night, I noticed a sign in the window, presumably from the rally.  So I go in the house, and remove the sign and throw it under the sofa.  I know, I know...dick move! But there's some back story you need to know.

I have been very clear about yard signs or any showing of political affiliation at or near the house.  I have nothing against my neighborhood or my surroundings, but I still don't quite feel like a local...yet.  My wife has been chomping at the bit to post a yard sign to show her solidarity and her belief in that campaign.  I respect that, I do!  However, there are 3 reasons why I'm dead set against a yard sign or any other iterations:
  1. It changes your relationship with your neighbors when you wear your political affiliation on your sleeve.  It feels as if you've tipped your hand and they have something "over" you.
  2. It could create a "Sign War" with other neighbors.  One political sign can inspire others which could divide neighbors and the neighborhood.
  3. I live where there aren't too many minorities, and showing any sort of support for either candidate could make my house a target.  Again, my neighborhood is devoid of the old "Stars and Bars" but we're about a 7 minute drive from a few houses with the Confederate Flag on a flagpole in their front yard.
So fast forward to 2 days later, and when we're pulling into the driveway, she notices the sign is missing.  I begin to explain that "We've talked about not posting a sign" and she completely goes Postal.  She begins to speak about her "rights" and the "time she spent to get that sign" and "our responsibility" and that I'm a "fearful wuss."  I asked during the barrage of insults, "What do you plan to do with the sign if I give it back?"  She refused to answer, which told me that she would post it immediately.  
Seeing no other option to this impasse of opinion, she pulled, what she thought was the Ace in the Hole to earn an instant win...she called my mother.

After a heated discussion with the U.N. (read Mom), T understood that it wasn't that I was irrationally freaking out about the sign, but my chief purpose as the man of the house is to Protect the house.  Posting anything that my result in retaliation is my concern.  I also understood that hiding the sign was as wrong as she unilaterally posting the sign.  Cooler heads prevailed and the lovely land of Eden was once again at peace.  

P.S. By the way...the day after our argument, my parents saw a news report about retaliatory attacks on houses for yard and window signs.  "I told you so"never even entered my head, but...


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Darian's Food Theory...Part 2

And so my wacky eating habits continue, as I actually find myself observing how I eat when I'm alone in the car or the break room. I know, I know. I'm nuts, and the insanity continues.

I've recently found myself buying and eating Pop-Tarts again. Considering my 45 to 60 minute drive into work, I could eat a lot worse! Well with eating those beloved rectangular pastries, I find myself falling into old habits.

Because of it's shape and Crust, Pop Tarts fall into the "Sandwich" category along with Regular Meat Based Sandwiches on White Bread and Uncrustables. For the uninformed, Uncrustables are a lovely sandwich from Smuckers that basically stamps the heart out of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in a small single pack. Thaw out the package and **poof** you have a lovely sandwich to enjoy. Like the Pop-Tart, I eat the crust first and then eat the middle.

So yes, I "uncrust" Uncrustables.

I've also have a new theory to add to my long list of Food Theories: The Pound Rule.

When I'm indulging on a nice back of snack chips, out of the public eye, I organize them according to how much flavor powder is on each chip. You know what I mean when I say flavor powder, right? Think back to that last bag of Doritos or any flavored chip. There's a certain amount of magical, flavorful, pixie dust brought by the food fairies to add to the deliciousness of the product.

It started in elementary school when I used to eat Sour Cream and Onion, Ripple Cut potato chips on top of my Tuna Sandwich, but I would sort them to make sure the most heavily powdered chips ended up on my sandwich.

Every once in a while, this compulsion resurfaces, and I must organize the chips, but I discovered the last time I at Wheat Thins, this rule did not apply. Mainly because the folks at Nabisco know how to fully cover the cracker in flavor powder to make sorting them futile and pointless. This is where the Pound Rule comes into play.

The Pound Rule states, "When a company earns the privilege to have their snack cracker or chip enjoyed, and they have proven, bag after bag, or box after box, that the flavor powder distribution is approaching the saturation levels deemed acceptable, you have a license to pound the product into oblivion."

Now the "Pound Rule" will never, ever, include Doritos.  I have a love-hate relationship with Doritos.  The flavor fairies are so kind with Doritos, and the powder is amazing, but the inconsistency from chip to chip drives me nuts.  Frito-Lay, MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.  Don't pile on the powder, and then give me barely a taste on the very next chip.  This is part of the reason why I don't eat them anymore: takes WAY too long to sort them and then eat them.  

Another exception to the "Pound Rule" is Combos.  I actually crack open that lovely cracker or pretzel cylinder and separate the cracker from the filling.  Believe it or not...I've met 2 other people that eat them the same way.  I know, I know.  The patients are running the asylum, but they seem so nice, and the medicine is great!


Friday, August 15, 2008

I speak "Woman-ese"

Being a married man in the twilight of his twenties, there's been one resounding reason why my wife has not changed the locks on me (yet!). I speak several different dialects of "Woman-ese" and "Woman-ese" slang.

Given that my wife's form of the language is local only to her, the following translations should be treated as a public service to all of my brothers out there. I'll share with you some of the key plays in her play book.

Women mainly speak a diminutive version of something they call in Communication Circles "secret language." "Secret Language" is basically the act speaking in passive suggestion as opposed to a more direct line of questioning. For example:
  • "Are you hungry?"
Now this question can be a sticky wicket in my household. This could mean 1 of 2 things: 1.) She may have noticed something in me that exhibited signs to her that I'm hungry or 2.) She's hungry but afraid to say so. It's usually the former of the 2 in which case I always say, "I'm not hungry, but I could eat!"
  • "Are you ready?"
This question usually unfurls during a party or get together or what I like to call "away games." It's usually a situation where we've both had WAY too much day. This is also a situation where we either have a long drive ahead of us, or midnight is fast approaching. Either way, I know SHE'S ready.
  • "I choose [blank]"
This is a tough one. My loving wife has a bad habit of presenting me with 2 options. She then chooses one, and the relents and chooses the other one, but only after I'm completely psyched up about the 1st decision.
  • "I'm leaving it up to you..."
This isn't as cold as it sounds. This means she's reached a point where a decision needs to be made, but she doesn't want to make it. The reason for her indecision could be anything, but at the time, she's not going to make one, and I have to live with the results; good, bad, or indifferent.


Friday, July 11, 2008

Goin' South...

Happy Summer everybody, and I'm back after a week long vacation in the South with some of my wife's family and yours truly in a series of what I like to call, "Trials."

Trial 1: The Drive Down
From point A in NoVa to Point B in the South, we had to cover approximately 600 miles. However, I had to make the trip in a Minivan with 3 kids (8, 6, and 1), a Sister-in-law and my wife. You can only imagine how much fun that was.

Where's my Brother-in-law you may ask? He works for a company based in Europe that could give a God damn about the U.S. Independence day, so everyone begrudgingly worked the long weekend for the Commie bastards.

For most of the trip, the 8 and 6 year olds were busy with their hand held games and their backseat DVD player. Thankfully I had brought my brand new Nintendo DS, and was all set to take the second shift in driving after my Sister-in-law(who has made the drive before) took the first shift until...we went to the local Sheetz for coffee.

I went in and got my rations for the road and came back out while my Sister-in-law stood guard in the minivan with the kids. Then my Sister-in-law took her turn and some stupid, idiotic, bitch bumped into rushing off to her shitty minimum wage job, spill boiling coffee all over her hands. She was mildly scalded and the ice packs in our cooler did the trick, but she was in no shape to drive first shift. Bye-bye DS and personal time to swim in lake "me."

Trial 2: The 4th of July
I basically worked on the 4th of July on what I wished and hoped was my "vacation." Unfortunately, I spent my 4th serving bikers, church-going folk, and teenagers. Basically my Mother-in-law has a nasty habit of inviting a bunch of people over to her house for the holiday, but no clue (or bank roll) to feed the incoming guests. That's where my wife, my Sister-in-law and I come into play, being the rich Yankee folks that we are. (*Sigh*)

Those weren't her exact words, but it sucks to feel taken advantage of when she puts us in this situation and expect us to bail her out and pay for it. Why invite guests to the house with NO FOOD in the house at all! The 3 of us were just this side of a "Stay-cation" and she springs this on us in the morning of the 4th to spend money, 90% of which, I'm not related to!

Trial 3: The Drive Back
This was the only part of the vacation that went off without a hitch. I was given the joyous task of driving through 3 states to get back to NoVa. It may sound hokey, but despite my whiny niece and nephews, it was a very relaxing drive and you get a chance to really appreciate all the beauty this country has to offer.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Power Struggle...

I apologize once again for the lack of updates, but I actually have an idiotically stupid reason why: I suck at life. That aside I had the shock of my life on Friday the 13th (*ironic gasp*) only to find that none of my electricity worked in my house. Jammed in my screen door is a note stating that I haven't paid the electric bill, and that they've sent me 2 notices by mail (never received folks!).

So we walk in the house and there's a stench of just non-air conditioned must in the air. Everything that was illuminated and functional was dark and uncommunicative.

Considering the fact that I was batting a thousand by paying the wrong bill instead of the electric bill, my wife decided to make that phone call to the power company.

"Ma'am we've sent you 2 notices of non-payment."

"Really?!? Feel free to take a look at our payment history, we consistently pay on-time and all of a sudden we would just stop paying hoping you wouldn't shut off the power? That would be foolish!" my wife said.

"Yeah your record is pretty consistent."

"Well let's go ahead and pay it now. What's the soonest we can expect power?" my wife asked.

"The earliest we could restart the power would be Monday."

"MONDAY!" we exclaimed in unison.

This is where a fundamental difference between my wife and I showed through.

My theory would be to pay them on Monday to get our service back on Monday. Why give them the satisfaction of getting their money NOW if I'm going to suffer in the house with no power for 2 days?

Her theory is to pay them as soon as possible to get on their schedule to flip our switch on Monday regardless of the fact that we're paying excruciatingly early. Also this included late fees, service charges and a $75 security deposit.

Still I was no position to argue since this was my screw up, so I piped down and gave her my debit card.

"Don't you have anyone that lives close to us that can do us a favor and turn our electricity back on?" my wife pleaded.

"I'm afraid not. The only people we have on call are linemen and they're only trained to deal with downed power lines."

So for those of you keeping score at home, they have trained chimps whose job is to turn electric power to customers in arrears off and on, however; trained linemen who deal with thousands of volts of electricity during snow and thunderstorms are not competent enough to flip a switch and turn on my electricity, at no danger to themselves or others.

Just checking.

**Aside: I have to give this spouse of mine credit where credit is due. She could've flown off the handle, packed her bags, went to her sister's house and asked me to have my things out by tomorrow. She could have gone postal and started a screaming tirade starting with how much of an idiot I am, and ending with how much I'm going to pay for the divorce. She could've vowed to never fulfill her wifely duties for the next 8 months!

She did none of the above. She was "angry at the situation and not at me."**

"So what do you want for dinner?" I murmured.

"I'm not in a good place right now Darian. You don't want me in public right now..."

"Look. I f-ed up, but that doesn't mean we have to starve. Its 85 degrees in here. What's done is done. Let's go to a nice, air-conditioned restaurant and get ready for tonight."

Twenty minutes later, we more or less sat at the restaurant in silence. I give her the benefit that she was trying to make small talk. I don' know whose venom was worse: Her venom for me, her venom for our power company or my venom for myself.

Friday night was nightmare! NoVa was way too muggy to open the windows at night and sleep upstairs so we were relegated to the Basement hotel.

No futons here folks. In our basement/entertainment center we have an electrically dim: TiVo Box, Bose surround sound system, a 51 inch plasma television, a 4-year old overstuffed chair with ottoman and an overstuffed couch.

Given that I had made the error and was in for a hot sticky night in the cooler basement, I took the chair and ottoman and got about 5 hours of sleep and a crick in my neck and back. T, more or less slept comfortably, but only as well as expected considering the circumstances.

Saturday and Sunday we had grown accustomed to our Amish-like lifestyle and mentally we were racing to the Monday finish-line to return to our electric laced lives.

We made doubly and triply sure that they would be turning our power back on consider how early they had our cash. Everything came off without a hitch, but this snafu was something for the record books. I'm going to be hearing about this screw up well into my 70s.

Oh well...L8er.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Idiots say the darndest things...

I wish to expound on one of the points I made in my previous post about some women choosing to pursue me because of the fabled taboo of dating outside of your race. In this short 20 something span that I call a life, there's been quite a few one liners directed at me and meant to be taken as compliments, but are really just outright foolishness.

Now before you jump down my throat and say that I'm playing the race card, allow me to retort: all of these "compliments" were met with the following: a blank stare, a gawk, and a befuddled "wow" and that was the reaction of the witnesses. I said nothing because reacting negatively would further support their skewed view of African-Americans on the whole. I also feel, why waste my breath with a clever retort, when everyone around me feels it's not warranted. You don't reward stupid.

The first liner comes from a chum of mine in college. She lived a very charmed life of privilege and I represented the only sliver of diversity in her existence. I have no beef with her, because we're still close to this day. I don't hold it against her that I'm her only Black friend and never will. We were talking about a race relations class that I was taking and I was merely saying how interesting it became when we began to talk about dating outside of one's race. I said, "My parents basically gave me carte blanche because I didn't date too much in High School, but I don't know how my parents would react." She said, "If I came home and told my parents I was dating you, they would be happy and fine with it. If I came home with any other Black guy...I don't think they would take it well."

Now to her credit, that's not exactly ALL her fault. However, I never looked at her parents the same way again, because it was plain to me that they didn't consider me Black.

However this next example is on the other end of the spectrum. He was a fellow I knew in High School, and he was from a lower middle class family. He has quite a few Black friends but this still came out of his mouth at random. He actually interrupted out conversation with this, "You know what Darian, you're a cool guy and you're a great friend. You're like an Oreo cookie. Black on the outside and White on the inside." YES PEOPLE! I've had acquaintances that actually FORGOT that I was Black.

He considered me White because I had the ability to code switch, I got pretty good grades, and I kept my nose pretty clean. For some reason in his mixed up head, he considered those "White traits." Despite the very fact that he was White, and the exact polar opposite of me.

***aside: Code switching: It's basically the African-American version of Windtalking. It is the phenomena of speaking one way around one group of friends and speaking another way around another separate group of friends; i.e., using inside joke vernacular around your buddies, but not around your mother.***

And the Coup de Grace was in High School again, during Black History Month. The only span of 28 days where we study people that look like me. The class nerd raises his hand and asks, "Why isn't there a White History Month." Everyone in the room grilled him for being so daft and insensitive. But the teacher smirked and said, "We study White People everyday." Then a student chimed in, "Yeah, everyday is White History Month you Ass! Now shut up!"

I've always lived my life as the "exception to the black stereotype". Not "like the others" in their words. I prefer it that way, because the expectations are advertised on T.V. and rap videos that I should be rough and angry. White men of this idiotic mindset automatically think that I'm trying to date their sister, or trying to steal their girlfriend because I'm Black. White women think my "member" is huge, and that I'm trying to get into their pants because I'm a Black guy, and I actually speak to them as people as opposed to sexual prospects.

I can assure you that none of these idiots have affected me to a point where I would stop talking to White people all together. I don't believe in throwing out the baby with the bathwater. One cannot blame the flaws of one person on an entire race. All I ask is for the same patience in return.


Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Reunion Plot Thickens...

Why is it anything that you happen to do out of sheer nostalgia, like signing up for while in college, comes back like an errant boomerang?

I receive a random message from that "Someone wants to reconnect with you!" Translation = someone you knew in High School is trying to stalk you in the hopes that their unrequited love for you can be fulfilled.

90 percent of the time, I presume this message to be junk mail, however; in a brief moment of weakness, and considering the person I ran into last week, I bit. It turned out to be a girl that I held a huge torch for and she chooses now to tell me that the feeling was mutual. And given: I'm no Brad Pitt or some big, sexy, chocolate piece of Man Candy, but I don't believe I'm hideous!

Also, considering the love connection could have been interracial (**facetious gasp**), the other question I asked myself before deciding not to pursue her was, "Is she looking to date me, or looking to date a black guy."

Now some may say that dating me is dating a black guy, but that's not what I mean. There are some women that I've met that seemed to be more interested in the whole, "Me and you against my parents and the world" thing as opposed to dating Darian, flaws and all. They seem to be more interested in showing you off to her plain-Jane friends that find you so "deep" and "strong and silent" or showing her father just how big of a rebel she can be, but I digress(as always!).

Another question, what is it with women that prefer to give you one last shot at a love affair? Follow up questions, why do they choose to proposition you in your yearbook? It pissed me off that I've been going to school with these women for a minimum of 4 years, and in some cases, my entire school career! You feel heat, and a connection with this woman, but there are obstacles:

  • They're dating your best friend
  • They're your best friend's little sister
  • Your best friend already dated her, and your risk the ire of your best friend and your inner circle

I've been in all three of these situations, and I've never fully acted on any of them in fear of retribution or that it won't work out.

So in the case of this person trying to reconnect with me, she fulfilled the first bullet point. Upon our first meeting, she was dating my best friend since Elementary school. We flirted, we chatted, and I would protect her in his absence, but there has never even one date between us.

Senior year, she hasn't dated him in 2 years and I still never worked up the nerve to ask her out. She then writes the infamous message in my yearbook about how she's yearned for me for the last 2 years, and to "give her a call."

So I go to the Classmates website and find that she's still single, attractive and is waiting with baited breath to see me at the reunion.

Now part of this is my fault. I was the one who didn't "man-up" and ask her out on a date or something. But to be glib, what is it with you women and timing?


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Everyone has a price...?

Today was quite a curious afternoon. I actually had to only work half of the day today, so I had the opportunity to get a few errands done and managed to get lost on the way to one of them. Anyway, while I was on the other side of town, I went to a small general store owned by one of my clients.

He's a good guy with a wife and child, and in his 40s. I found it curious when he came in with this business idea that he was opening in a neighboring town. His idea was a moderately priced Dollar Store, but instead of importing everything from Asia, he chose to focus on the untapped European exporters. On paper a great idea, but I give him mad props for not being afraid to fail. However, in this economy, Small Businesses, especially Rookie businesses fall victim to the almighty tightening of the purse strings.

So anyway, I always make it a point to visit when I get the chance and do a little shopping at the same time. He welcomed me in as usual but told me he's going to sell the store at the end of the month. Mainly the rent is too high and the income on the store is too low, despite the low overhead.

So while I was checking out, we started talking about fraud and fraudsters in our respective industries. He then brought up a friend and former co-worker of his was caught up in the Tax Fraud Scandal involving the bank manager and the D.C. Tax Office.

"I was just reading about it online, and I just couldn't believe it. She was such a nice person and always treated me great. I guess it goes to show you that everyone has a price," he said.

He continued, "I just hope that bad people never meet my price, because we're all human. If someone asked me to rob a bank for $50,000.00, I would probably call the police and have them reported. If someone asked me to rob a bank for $500,000.00, I would ask 'What bank!?!' "

This made me think, does everyone have a price?

Is the only thing keeping us from a upright citizenship and moral decay a dollar amount? Maybe I'm being a bit to idealistic, but what about the value of one's word? What about doing the right thing consistently? Is it all a matter of waiting for the right ne'erdowell to offer us the right amount of money, and we'll pursue illegality with reckless abandon? Are we all that vapid and morally bankrupt?

I have no idea but it sure is something to think about. Do you have a price or an opinion on this subject? Comment away!


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Class Reunion...

So believe it or not, my 10 year class reunion is coming up, and I'm not quite sure how to take it. On one hand, I'm excited to see how everyone is doing and catch up on old times; a straight-up nostalgia-fest! On the other hand, I'm a bit unnerved at the prospect of having my lovely wife, T, find out about just how big of a NERD her husband WAS in High School.

The topic of this lovely Shindig came up by accident. I was working my second job, when a familiar face came in to make a return. These situations always seem to put me in a pickle because I've taken a staunch stance on crossing paths with associates from High School: If I recognize someone from school and the other person doesn't recognize me, I don't bother telling them who I am. I feel that saying "Hey, remember me from high school?" is just this side of being the "Creepy guy from high school that just never learned to let go of the past."

The problem is I remember this guy when I was IN high school! I'm unafraid to admit that in HS I was a choirboy, literally! There was a high level of seniority in the choir game, but it was always prudent to pass the torch to the next generation during your Senor year, so in a way you're leaving the legacy of greatness to the Juniors. During my first year in choir, there was guy that left for college, but just kept coming back. I easily saw him 3 times a week, which is normal for the newly graduated. Then I saw him the next year. He just couldn't let go. He came to all of the performances, hid in my choir teacher's office, played jokes, sat in on the was quite sad.

So anyway, I saw this girl from school and suddenly she began to get this look in her eyes...and then she said, "Don't I know you from somewhere?" A part of me panicked. Understand that I enjoy my second job, but not enough to be caught by a girl who was pretty popular in HS to catch me at my second job as opposed to my career where I have a desk, an office, a wedding photo, a job title, you know, any semblance of success!?!

I know what your thinking, "Why do you give a flying fig about an 'associate' you had in HS and what she thinks about you?" That's a great question to which I have no answer except to explain the theory of reversion. It's actually quite simple: It's the way your mother treats you whenever she sees you. She treats you like you still live at home even if you have your own wife, home, income and several offspring.

So now this girl from school decides to go in for the kill, "Did I go to High School with you?" I relent, "yes." She responds, "Wow! You look great! Do you know about the reunion?" I answer "No." She then continues to fill me in about the time and date and asks for my email so she can send me the invitation.

After work and getting over the morbid embarrassment, I called my best friend, Lance. Way back in the day, he held a bit of a candle for this girl. "Does she still look great?" I answered, "Yes. Actually I believe she may be a zombie, because she looks the exact same as she did in HS, which is a bit unfair. It's as if she bought a Cryogenic Chamber of Youth." Lance of course was floored, and follows up his awe of her with, "So are we going?"

I then brought up the vow we made to each other about the Reunion. If he goes, then I will go and vice-versa. The other vow was to go without our girlfriends or spouses for 2 reasons:

  1. the flirt factor and Wingman plays that could be made if one or both of us happens to be single
  2. The escape factor in the event that the Reunion is completely wack and warrants a hasty exit

Now the first of these reasons is null and void, due to the fact that we're both happily married in our lives. The second factor however frightens me, and we will both be fighting tooth and nail with our spouses that the reason for going alone isn't for the flirt factor.

Have you ever tried to leave someone at a party or a get-together with a date and you have that heavy talker that just keeps putting the screws to you like a walking Anchor? When you're alone you have the latitude to go the bathroom and make a break for it.

So why do you go to HS Reunions? Is it the Maury reason: "In High School I was wack, but now I've got back?" Is it the Morbid Curiosity that Lance and I shared? Do you agree with our theory about going to the reunion sans spouses because it's easier to leave? Hit me up with some comments, because we're gonna need some advice about this one.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm so sorry for the lack of updates...

Hey people, I'm so sorry that I haven't been to the site in a while. Also, mad props to my girl the Disaffected Scanner Jockey for giving my a big ups on her website. I've been sick as a dog, and I'm just getting back to regular life.

It all started with chills and fever on Sunday and an "upper respiratory infection" knocked me on my ass from Monday through Thursday. I'm back now, and please expect regular updates coming soon. Thank you so much for reading and giving me a chance. Much appreciated and reciprocated!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

Girls That You Meet in the Club...

I recently went to a club for my older Sister's birthday, and I was completely flummoxed by the new menu being offered to men in the club. I couldn't imagine being single nowadays because I would probably get less play than High School and College combined, which was few and far between. Anyway, here's the list:

  • The "Everything BUT the Pole" dancer - This is a woman who dances as suggestively as possible, and actually poses for pictures for the pervs that brought their Camera-Phone. She wears next to nothing and is also known as "the complete ho bag" of the group. Studies have shown that you can actually contract a venereal disease, just by watching.
  • The "Drunk Chick" - She desperately wants to be the dancer chick referenced above, but unfortunately she started drinking 7:30 this morning. She has no short term memory or tolerance for anything she's drinking. Tends to sound like James Earl Jones the morning after.
  • The Girl with the "Hypothetical Boyfriend" - This is a girl I've run into very often. She has a boyfriend, but not really. She probably more attractive than the previous 2, but she's untouchable because her "Hypothetical Boyfriend" is standing guard ready to strike if you show the slightest interest in "his girl." If you're UFC fighter or have a high tolerance for getting your ass kicked, she's the girl for you.
  • Supa Ho - This is the evolution of the "Everything BUT the Pole" dancer. She is the Jedi Knight of Hos, complete with light saber and hooker heels. Her job is to upstage every pole dancer in the club, but specifically targets committed men.
  • Delusional Girl - This is a girl that actually believes that you can find a "good man" in a club. She falls "in love" with the first guy that is sober enough to pay attention to her and would love to go back to this gentleman's apartment to "talk" but is derailed by...
  • Mother Hen - She's less attractive than Delusional Girl and is her best friend. She's also the grenade...wait...nuke that your best wingman would have to jump on and appease in order for you to get to Delusional Girl. Unfortunately, the chorus of "We ARRIVED together, We LEAVE together" is joined by...
  • Sour Girl - Who also sings the chorus of "My friend's dragged me here!" I REALLY HATE clubs!" There's no real reason why this girl showed up to the club other than she is a sheep that just follows the crowd. She also makes it a point to never reveal who true feelings to the chums that "dragged" her to the club. Secretly, she's glad to be there.

Surely this isn't an exhaustive list, but it's a nice start.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

The Kid Question...

One of the most interesting things about being young and married is the inevitable question:

"So when a you gonna have kids? "

It's not like I don't expect this question. T & I are young, healthy, and for the time being childless. In the African American tradition, we're once again, "bucking the trend." At the same time, I can't help but find this question to be a bit unnerving.

Then with a Federal District Attorney's relentlessness, you get the follow up question:

" you like kids?"

This ladies and gentleman, is when the wicket gets a bit sticky, because the entire tone of the conversation hinges on your answer to this question. In my opinion you have 4 options as far as an answer; each having their strengths and weaknesses.
  1. "For breakfast!" Atta boy! Answer a serious question with sarcasm. Especially when you're dealing with anyone older than you, with kids, you're asking for it with this answer.
  2. "Nope." Straight to the point, but one of two things will happen. You will either get the follow up "Why?" and if that's your answer get ready for your dancing shoes. The other reply you may receive is an uncomfortable, "...ok..." which to me means, Congratulations, you'll never be asked this question again, but you've alienated your curious questioner.
  3. "Yes." Which means you'll definitely be faced with the follow up, "When?" and if that's the case get ready to explain your entire family planning road map.
  4. "I love 'em!" Which could make your questioner even more uncomfortable when a full grown adult that doesn't work in a child based industry, answers with that level of zeal. Don't be surprised if the authorities visit your home for hostages.
My normal answer is "Yes...eventually." At this point the monologue about how rewarding and life-changing that rearing children are begins to unfurl. For once, I would love to receive credit for approaching procreation with such a fiscally responsible attitude. My wife and I are paying for a home for the next 30 years and a new vehicle for the next 6 years. The average cost of a child per month in my income bracket is $625 per month.

Now don't get me wrong! I'm not going to sit here and say that I'm going to wait until I completely pay everything off before choosing to procreate. What I am saying is that I wish to make sure that I am able to afford everything I need for this child. What I usually hear then is "You can never afford a child!"

Let's just say I'm saving up for a kid!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Darian's Food Theory

Hello once again. So I was talking to some friends at my other job, and I starting thinking about my food theory again. I know that it's incredibly left-brained of me(i used to separate my succotash and color-coordinate my skittles), but I separate foods into two distinct groups: Commitment Foods, and Non-Commitment Foods.

Commitment Foods are the foods for which I have developed a certain process, and I will completely avoid or save until later to fully enjoy my process, or too complicate to fully enjoy. The following are examples of commitment foods and the process necessary:

  • Skittles - Need to be organized according to the color wheel (ROYGBIV) and the same goes for M&Ms
  • Oreos - Needs a glass or bowl of milk, completely separated into a wad of creme filling and a stack of cookies to be enjoyed separately, cookies first.
  • Butterfinger - needs to be eaten at home or among friends due to the Butterfinger filling getting stuck in your teeth
  • Submarine Sandwich - Needs to be plated
  • Succotash - Needs to be split into Lima Beans and Corn and enjoyed separately, Beans first
  • 3 Musketeers Candy Bar - Chocolaty shell is eaten first leaving the chocolate nougat to enjoy separately
  • Peanut Butter Trix - Peanut Butter scrapped off of the bar and then the cookie enjoyed
  • Utz Ripple Cut Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips - (or any chips for that matter) The most heavily flavored chips are saved for last
  • Tuna/Chicken Salad - Referencing the "best chips" highlighted above, are to be placed inside the sandwich and enjoyed mixed together.
  • And the most difficult of all commitment foods: Combos. They're miniature pretzel or cracker snacks in tiny short rolls with a cheesy or tangy center. My complicated process with these is to crack the Combo, like an acorn, remove the flavor filling and eat the shells, THEN eat all the filling at once similar to the Oreo process.
WOW! I'm a psychopath.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

My Szechuan Soul Sista...

As I told you earlier, I'm in the Financial Services Industry, but I've also picked up a second job, at a local mall. The mall is kinda where I got my start, so I'm never ashamed to go back to earn a little extra money. I work for a clothing outfitter with a very thick Eurasian fan base.

So I was working there this evening and I ran in to a very interesting Asian pair: a mother and her daughter. The mother had to be in her early 60s and her daughter into her early 30s. The daughter was making a purchase and I asked for her I.D. She handed me her driver's license, and her mother said, "You look like a FOB in that picture." The daughter said, "Yeah, that picture was taken a while ago. Turning to me, the daughter asked, "Do you know what a 'FOB' means?" I shrugged and told her no. She said, "A FOB means that I look like I'm Fresh Off the Boat."

I totaled her purchase and gave them the price. The Mother then said to me, "Well, since a lot of this stuff is so high-end, hows about a discount?" I tried to laugh it off, but this old bird was persistent. "Come on, I speak homeboy, how about a 'brudda-sista' discount?" Taken aback from that comment, I couldn't contain my laughter. "Come on! I know you have a 'brudda-sista' discount! I know we not brudda and sista, but hook me up!" My laughter continued. She then said, "Come on brudda, I'm T-pain's mudda. Hook me up!" I again cheerfully declined and at this point, her daughter was completely embarrassed. The mother said, "He laughing, it's OK!"

On one end, I could have been completely offended by her comment, but it's best never to take yourself too seriously. She was trying to get a rise out of me and inject a bit of levity, and for that, she'll forever have my respect. Just no discounts.


Friday, April 4, 2008


I'm fresh from a trip to my weekly wallet raping, A.K.A. refueling my vehicle. There's a gas station right up the street from my job that I've frequented especially this past week. I pulled up to pump 1, and at most stations, if they wish for you to pay cash up front, there's usually a sign posted to do so.

I stood there for 7 minutes repeatedly flipping the gas pump on and off so that I may pump my gas, to no avail. I then waited in line for 3 minutes and asked for pump 1 to be turned on. He said, "I'm sorry. It's very busy and we've had drive-offs and I don't have a lot of customer confidence right now." I said, I completely understand that, but why don't you have a sign posted. He said again, "I've had drive-offs, I'm sorry." I said, I WORK NEXT DOOR! I've bought gas and candy bars from here several times. Here's my name tag! Meanwhile, people next to me are paying for gas and other Quickie Mart staples, but for some odd reason, I have to pay for my gas upfront. I tried not to sweat it, handed the man $30 and tried to k.i.m. (keep it moving)

Now people, I TRIED! I TRIED SO HARD, to be the bigger man, swallow my pride and get my gas and be on my merry way, but I couldn't. I stopped just short of the door, waited in line for another 5 minutes and promptly asked for my refund. He said, "I don't understand." I told him that obviously he's having a bad day with customers, and I would just like to come back when you're having a better day. He once again feigned understanding.

"What do you mean bad day?", he said.

"Sir, I would just like my money back." I said.

"Is there something wrong with the pump?"

"No, I just wish to get my gas elsewhere, since I have to pay upfront for some reason."

"You're being very unfair. You're showing your name tag as if I should recognize you!"

(Now mind you, I dress very classic and old school, complete with a derby. At this point I had bought candy and gum there 2 days straight.) I demanded my money and finally he relented.

His gas pumping underling followed me to my car and apologized, but the damage was already done.

Now mind you, I make a conscience effort everyday as an African-American to not play the race card. But when you get to a point when you're crossing all the other reasons for this disservice in your mind, you get to a point where the color of your skin is all you have left. That's quite sad in a world where most people don't believe that discrimination no longer exists, and is nothing more than a figment of one's imagination. It's not the first, and won't be the last.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hello, it's me...

I'm sure your first thought is, "who the hell is this guy, and why am i reading his blog?" Well, sir or madame, that's a great question!

First off, the name is Darian, and I'm a gentleman who was in desperate need of an outlet to rant and rave. I spend my days in the Financial Service Industry and working for my loving spouse(named, T) and our lovely cat(named Poo-Poo).

I'm sure the second thought is, "what's a Vicenarian?" Well to save you from, it is someone in their 20's, like me, and yes I will edit the title when I turn 30(in three short years).

I live in Northern Virginia and there's a reason why we accentuate the compass direction. The rest of Virginia is very much Southern and I have Southern roots in my family, however; Virginia, like North Carolina and the rest of the South tends to make one assume that we have Southern Accents, which is nonexistent in Northern Virginia. Given, NoVa is a transient society, and we live in a "Southern State" but we're not Southern. You can't find the lovely fried food, southern drawls, or sweet tea anywhere but McDonalds(which is quite maddening!).

I've lived many different types of existences, despite my fairly young age including the life of a work-a-holic (working 3 different jobs, 5 days a week), a shy youth trying to find his way, and as an Podunk on-air radio personality.

And now I wish to finish this entry with a résumé like entry with a run-down of Strengths and Opportunities for Improvement, just so you know what you're getting into from the gitty-up.

My strengths: hard-working, loyal, a sense of humor, style, calm, focus, a people-person, a consummate perfectionist

My opportunities for improvement: patience, organizational skills, follow-through, "letting it go", a consummate perfectionist