Friday, September 27, 2013

Single moms make it happen. Why I might be a decent Social Worker...

Something happened last night. I was out in BK having dinner with a friend when I realized it was Thursday and there was an NFL game on. I hit one of my boys who lives in the area and he told me I could come watch the joint at his crib. I picked up a six pack (Blue Point Hoptical Allusion is a great brew btw) and headed over. We watched the game and talked mad sports (mostly college football but more on that later). Around 1am my boy politely kicked me out lol. Understandable, he had to go to work in the morn, I didn't since I'm still looking for a full time job. Two degrees, one certification and no full time job (as these loan payments creep up I'm a lil salty lol).

Anyway, the night was over and it was time for me to go home. After waiting for the train for a while (40 mins) I realized it wasn't coming and decided to hit plan b: different train and the SI Ferry. When I boarded the 4 train to Bowling Green I counted 14 ppl on it, at least the 1st half of the train. It was late, I was a lil tipsy, that's why I was counting. Also why my count may have been off.

Anyway, as I got on I saw a mom with her 3 kiddies (9, 7 and 4) all passed out sleep sitting across from me. It was close to 2am. My initial thought was why are this kids on the train this late to begin with? Very poor parenting #smh. 

The newly licensed social worker (#Oww #LMSW) in me thought I may need to report this being a mandated reported and all.

*Warning: don't talk about mistreating (especially hitting) your kids in front of me because I'll have to report you. Sorry*

But, there is also a "social worker who is trained to look for strengths in every situation" inside me as well so I thought about it more.

As I did I realized that maybe she isn't a bad parent after all. Maybe she is a single mom who had to work late at the second job she doesn't really like that much because of the late hours but it gives her the extra money to buy some things to help her children feel good (they were all dressed well and wearing Jordans). Waste of money some may say but I thought those "extra expenses" could help prevent them from being teased and/or bullied and help them maintain good self esteem and confidence helping them perform well academically. Proactive, thoughtful parenting.

But what about the late night train ride from Brooklyn? What if she has family in Brooklyn and used their address to get her kids into a better school than the one in the Bronx where she lives. Yea, she probably lives in the Bronx because it has the lowest rents in the city and being a single mom and all it's all she could afford. And the 4 train goes to the Bronx, either that or East Harlem.

Given those circumstances I think she's doing well, better than she supposed to be doing. Obviously, it's a lot of "what ifs" but hey maybe it's true. I don't feel like I was that far off though. The good thing is that I was able to look at it from a different, uncommon, lens. That's my job as a social worker, to look at folks who may not be in the "best situation" and find their strengths and help build on those to help them get to a "better situation." That's what makes me happy with my profession.

All in all I thought to myself "Single moms make it happen and for that they're awesome. I also thought: "If I keep thinking like this I'm gonna be a pretty decent social worker." #Oww

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Throwback Thursday: Gigolo. Nick Cannon Ft. R. Kelly

So my parents watch and love America's Got Talent. They love the acts, the judges and the host Nick Cannon. They've loved him since he was at A&T. Anyway, every now and again they'll call me in to check something out and I'll catch a glimpse of him being a decent host. This dude has come a long way from All That. He branched out into more dramatic roles such as the aforementioned Drumline, Wilded Out, was featured on a Chappelle skit, married and had kids with the crush of every dude who grew up in the 90s (myself included) Mariah and is now worth 20 million. And of course there was his great rap career which in 2003 spawned one of the greatest callabos ever with the Pied Piper himself, Kells. Gigolo was such an awesome song. You can't front like you ain't like. It's a certified classic.


"Pimp bones in my body..."

You know what else Nick did in 2003?

Masterpiece theater

'03 was a great year for him but some how he tops that these days. #respect

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Graduation Speech

Graduation with my Masters in Social Work on May 21st, 2013. As class president I had to give an address to my classmates. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. My pops finally edited the video and sent me the speech:

I was just trying get my Obama on. Very proud moment.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Suit up!

Iron Man 3 is dropping this weekend. I'm extra hype. I'm obviously waiting to see what these new armors will be like. I'll be looking forward to seeing all the suit ups in 3 because my favorite scenes from the first two movies and the Avengers were when Tony suited up. He did so a few different (kick ass) ways. Been doing a little research. Enjoy.

Mark I - Mark VII

Gotta start with the original, then the beta suit. The suiting up of Mark III was the defining moment of Iron Man 1. The de-suiting of Mark IV was pretty damn fancy. Mark V was the traveling suit, I'd love to have that in my bag on my next trip. Mark VI was the triangle suit, the de-suiting in Avengers was pretty hot. Finally Mark VII, helped save the world at the end of Avengers. That suit up may have been the best. Below I pulled out the three best suit ups for a more particular look:

Suit up from Iron Man

It took a long time to put this suit on (especially when you consider the original suit and the beta test suit) but I remember when I first saw this, I was so hype.

The traveling suit from Iron Man 2

Iron Man is getting owned but that suit up was so dope.

Flying Suit up from the Avengers

My favorite scene from the whole movie.

I'm looking forward to what Iron Man 3 has to offer. One thing we know thus far is that there is this:

Can't wait til this weekend, Can't wait!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Throwback Thursday: So Into You (Both)

During another episode of late night YouTube cruising I stumbled on this: A very young Fab (lol), a very fine KD Aubert (those eyes) and an extremely fine Tamia (that body).

Which took me further back to the original:

Tamia so damn fine in '98, '01 and '13. Damn you Grant Hill.

#the90s, #the2000s

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Baseball GMs & 100 Million dollar Contracts. When will they learn?

In the aftermath of this year's winter meetings and a couple of free agent signings I starting thinking about this trend we are seeing in baseball regarding contracts. Now a days we see absurd contracts on a yearly basis. Every year a few players will get a  6+ year 140 million+ dollar contract which pays them 20+ mil per season until they're 37+ years old. This off season we have seen three such deals starting of course with my Mets signing David Wright to the tune of 7 years 122 mil extension to the 16 mil he's due this season, so 8 years 138mil. As a Met fan am I happy he signed? Yes. Is he worth that much? No, but yes. More on that in a minute. Then the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Zack Greinke for 6 years 147 mil, followed by the Anaheim Angels signed Josh Hamilton for 5 years 125mil a couple days later.

In doing my research I found that this trend of hefty contracts started almost 15 years ago, in 1998 when Kevin Brown became baseball's first 100 million dollar man after signing with the Dodgers for 7 years and 105 mil. In 2000 following a trade from the Mariners to the Reds, one of my favorite players ever, the kid Ken Griffey Jr. signed a 9 year 116 mil contract. Following that 2000 season, Dan O'Dowd signed former Met great Mike Hampton to the richest contract in baseball history at the time 8 years 123.8 Mil. It only stood as the highest contract ever for 2 days. Enter Tom Hicks, the former owner of the Texas Rangers, who signed Alex Rodriguez to a 10 year, 252 million dollar contract on December 11th, 2000. That signing became the highest paying contract in sports history and more than doubled Mike Hampton's. Some people applauded Hicks for the signing as they felt he snatched up the most coveted free agent baseball had ever seen, or at least since young Barry Bonds hit the market in '92. A-Rod was 25, a 5 tool player, whom many thought would one day be the best player in the game, if he wasn't already. He was coming of a .316 AVG-41 HR-132 RBI-134 R-Gold Glove caliber season. Signing him was a no-brainer, but at what price? Hicks thought that number was 252 Million over 10 years. 25 mil a season. Never had that money been paid to one player, 25 mil per season. Outrageous, even for someone as talented as A-Rod. 

With the contract Texas committed to using 1/4th of their payroll on one player for the next 10 years. By setting this precedent with A-Rod, Hicks made it impossible for other teams and GM's to have a chance at signing players for a respectable amount. Other GM's took note and realized what they would have to dish out 20 mil, or close to it, to keep their best players or best free agents. Players have asked for outrageous contracts in negotiations, and no matter how outrageous it's not close to A-Rod's deal. We have seen that players have won as there have been several subsequent outrageous contracts (17+ mil per season):

(SS) Derek Jeter: 10y, 189m, 18.9per
(OF) Manny Ramirez: 8y, 160m, 20per

(1B) Jason Giambi 7y, 120m, 17.1per

(OF) Carlos Beltran: 7y, 119m, 17per

(OF) Vernon Wells: 7y, 126m, 18per
(OF) Alfonso Soriano: 8y, 136m, 17per
(P) Barry Zito: 7y, 126m, 18per

(3B) A-Rod: 10y, 275m, 27.5per
(P) Johan Santana: 6y, 137.5m, 22.9per
(3B) Miguel Cabrera: 8y, 152.3m, 19per

(1B) Mark Teixeira: 8y, 180m, 22.5per
(P) CC Sabathia: 7y ,161m, 23per

(1B) Ryan Howard 5y, 125m, 25per
(C) Joe Mauer: 8y, 184m, 23per
(OF) Matt Holliday: 7y, 120m, 17.1per

(P) Cliff Lee 5y, 120m, 24per
(1B) Adrian Gonzalez: 7y, 154m, 22per
(OF) Carl Crawford: 7y, 142m, 20.2per
(OF) Jayson Werth: 7y, 126m, 18per

(1B) Albert Pujols: 10y, 240m, 24per
(P) Cole Hamels: 6y, 144m, 24per
(1B) Joey Votto: 10 years, 225 Mil, 22.5per
(1B) Prince Fielder: 9 Years, 214 Mil, 23.7per
(OF) Matt Cain: 6y, 127.5m, 21.1per
(OF) Matt Kemp: 8 Years, 160 Mil, 20per
(SS) Jose Reyes: 6y, 106m, 17.6per
and the 3 previously mentioned signings of this offseason. I know I'm missing a few too.

Well we know how everything worked out for Tom Hicks. A-Rod had 3 good steroid using seasons while in Texas, hit 156 home runs and won an MVP one year despite his team finishing last. Hicks couldn't keep spending that amount of money on him and was forced to trade him to the Yankees and eat a portion of the contract. Texas eventually filled for bankruptcy and Hicks sold the team to Nolan Ryan. A-Rod has had a few good regular seasons with the Yankees, won two more MVP awards, and even hit well in one postseason to help the Yankees win a ring. However, he opted out of his original contract in 2007 to sign the highest paid contract in sports history, again! This time 10 years, 275 Mil. Now he is 37, got pinch hit for and benched in the ALCS last season and is getting ready to have his second hip surgery in 3 years. He is still owed 116 million over the next 5 years. 

I'd say that it has certainly went bad for the Rangers and is now going bad for the Yankees. Most of the contracts on that list didn't pan out. In fact, I can only point to a handful that were "worth" it: Jeter, Ramirez, Cabrera, CC and maybe Teixeira. However the trend hasn't stopped. Bloated contracts keep coming because there is no way players will ask for anything less than what has been previously given. Additionally, and more importantly teams are forced to dish out close to 20 mil per season to keep their best players or add players to help. If they can't do that they watch him go, listen to their fans cry and their team loses. If they can keep him, fans are happy in the short-term but feel the financial burden years later when he no longer produces at the same level and the team can't bring in anyone else because they are weighed down by the contract. This is happening now with A-Rod, many of the others on the list and sure to happen to any of the recent signings. All of theses 100 million dollar contracts amount to short term happiness, most of the time very short term, and long term sadness and regret.

Now in the case of my Mets and David Wright. Wright is our best player, face of the franchise and now, since the trade of R.A. Dickey, the only reason to go to a Mets game next year. Because of this we absolutely had to sign him to an extension. Not only that, we had to offer 17.25mil per season or he would have walked to some team that would. Is he worth 17.25 mil? In short no player is. However, because of what he means to us and his status as one of the top 3 or 4 3rd basemen in baseball he might be close to worth it, for now. He will play like he is worth it for the next 3-4 years (I hope) but on the backside of the deal he certainly won't be. Then we'll be dishing out 17 mil for a shell of himself. What hurts most is that we probably won't be in contention for much of the first half of his deal and when we start getting better in the back half (if this young pitching comes around) we won't be able to afford other players because of his contract. In total this contract, like most 100 million dollar contracts, adds up to short term semi-happiness long term depression and regret. When will these GMs learn?  

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Down Low

In honor of the newly release parts to Trapped in the closet I present this Throwback Thursday  First I want to say that I love Kells and although he been tripping of late, this was when he was at his best. Down Low was so dope, original and remix. I remember when these videos came out it was crazy. Fancy Garcelle Beauvais was a #snookup, actually she still is. Anyway, enjoy:

Remix too:


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Remember Me

Not the movie, which is pretty damn good, but this Wiz joint featuring The Weeknd:

The Weeknd makes everything better. #Respect

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Legends of the Hidden Temple

It's a known fact how much I love the 90s. Also known: how much I love 90s Nick and their gameshows. Well for this Throwback Thursday I'm going with another one: Legends of the Hidden Temple. It wasn't as good as GUTS, but nonetheless was an awesome show. Perhaps the greatest thing this show contributed to society was the Blue Barracudas, Green Monkeys, Silver Snakes, Purple Parrots, Orange Iguanas and the Red Jaguars. Which team was your favorite?

For your viewing pleasure: