Friday, February 20, 2009

House of Noise

I have a headache. But I'm happy. I just returned from the barbershop, where being loud doesn't make you right, but it definitely helps your case. The barbershop, as everyone knows by now (thanks to Cedric the Entertainer, Ice Cube, Eve, et al) is a cultural centre for black people. Ideas are exchanged, good-natured insults are traded, and more than anything, men engage in the ancient art of debate. At high volume. Very high volume. The sound waves traveling through the barbershop could level a small building if channeled properly.

Conversation topics change in the blink of an eye. One minute a hapless barber is set upon by five patrons for the poor state of Duke basketball, and the next, Julius Peppers is said to be most certainly doing steroids. Sports are usually the main theme of the day, but nothing is taboo in the barbershop. Barbers must strike the delicate balance between perfecting a difficult fade haircut and winning a heated argument about the efficacy of LeBron James' fadeaway.

And did I mention it's loud? It's really, really loud. But we love it.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Other Friend (Social Media Site)

Good afternoon twitterverse! Oh crap... this is Blogger isn't it? This is a bit awkward. I thought I was on Twitter... A bit like calling a close friend with some exciting news to tell but dialing the wrong number and reaching a friend you don't talk to nearly as much. You can't really hang up and go, "sorry cuz, wrong number!" and you can't really be as excited about your news because you haven't talked to that person in so long. Anyway, how's uh, how's it going Blogger? Oh, you got a new job? That was two months ago? Yeah man, I've been real busy these past couple months with other social media-- I mean, work and soccer. You heard I got a new job? You say you had to see it on Facebook? Well I mean I meant to call you, but-- Wait, let me finish. No, I'm not purposefully ignoring you, I just-- Alright fine, I'll call you tomorrow and we'll hang out. Alright?? Peace

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Over the last few years I've been slowly working on my ability to impart knowledge to others. Some people call that teaching, but semantics aren't important at this juncture in time. I realized that I'm simply not a very good teacher. Ok, I'm a decent teacher. But nowhere near the standard to which I normally hold myself. I've always been scared to teach children because I realize just how much sway a teacher holds in a child's life, and frankly I didn't really trust myself with that power. Over the past few months, I've really worked at being able to explain how I can do things to other people. I get easily frustrated when kids don't pick up on concepts quickly, and I realized it's because I get frustrated with myself when I do the same.

Yesterday I had a struggle with a 10-year-old who just didn't seem to grasp what I was telling him, no matter how I explained it. I realized that sometimes vocabulary can be a stumbling-block when attempting to simplify meanings. A kid that doesn't understand one polysyllabic word isn't necessarily going to understand it when one explains it using another polysyllabic word. It definitely didn't help that the boy wasn't really listening to my explanations. I was finally able to help him out by slowly walking him through each precept, but my frustration level was way above where it should have been. It was a great learning experience, and it's one I can definitely use going forward, but it's not something I want to have to repeat. Hopefully I can continue to hone my teaching skills while continuing to learn.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

It's Not Whether You Win or Lose... It's How You Play The Game


As a sore loser, I normally take extreme offense to that statement. Tonight I had the utter misfortune to be on the wrong side of an 8-7 indoor soccer semi-final loss in overtime. Anyone who knows me relatively well knows that I don't deal favorably with losing. To put it bluntly, I have the temper of a 6-year-old whose TV privileges have been revoked for a week. I've been trying to work on it, but by nature I am a terrible loser. However, tonight I reached a turning point of sorts. We lost. I was angry. But I appreciate the journey for what it was. The essence of the quotation that headlines this post means that while it is summarily important to win in a competition, it is not necessarily the end-all be-all.

As deep (or shallow) as that obvious realization may be, the truth is that losing SUCKS. While it's some consolation that I played rather well and scored one of my best goals this year, the fact remains that I was on the losing side. But as the Russians say: c'est la vie. Wait... I meant: такова жизнь

On a completely unrelated note, I have been absolutely dominating life in FIFA 09. For something that has no value in the real world, I am doing incredibly well. If only FIFA wins translated into real-life dollars... Ah well, for the love of the game.

In other news, follow me on Twitter (AWestJuve) or rabid chinchilla/chihuahua hybrids will carry away your unborn children to raise them for their own. While you pause and wrap your brains around the utter absurdity of that statement, I'll be quietly stealing all the loose change from your sofas and car seats. That is all.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Area Teen Really Into Music

I like The Onion. So in homage to The Onion, I decided to try and write my own version of one of their stories. If it sucks, let me know, if it's good let me know. Just... let me know?

San Francisco, CA -- Local teenager, Tim Grant, 16, confirmed with reporters today that he really enjoys music. "I'm really into quality bands who aren't commercialized, like Coldplay, U2, Fallout Boy and All-American Rejects," Grant said while bobbing his head expressively and maintaining a thoughtfully pensive look on his face. "I like rap, you know, hip-hop, because it helps me understand the plight of poor, I mean urban Black people." The teen went on to list his favorite rappers as Eminem, Bubba Sparxxx and Asher Roth. After cutting the interview short in order to listen to the newest Good Charlotte single, Grant went to pick up Bonnarroo tickets for himself and three friends whose favorite bands are Dave Matthews Band, Limp Bizkit and Creed.