National Football Entertainment

            On Sunday, January 19th , 2014, The Seattle Seahawks battled the Defending National Champion San Francisco 49ers in the National Football Conference Championship game. While this was happening, I was in a movie theater watching the Wolf of Wall Street with my girlfriend. So, I didn’t see the game. But I sure heard about it; just as you certainly have, as well.

            What I’m obviously referring to here is the ongoing conversation among television and social media regarding the post-game rantings of Richard Sherman in his interview with Erin Andrews.  Richard Sherman clearly had some words for Michael Crabtree. To summarize, in case you missed this, Richard Sherman is “the best corner in football” and that “Michael Crabtree aint’ got nothin’” (My words, not his), on Richard Sherman.

            Now, hundreds of thousands of people are in an uproar about the comments that he made. Many defend the comments. Many think Sherman is now just an arrogant thug. My initial thoughts on the matter were leaning toward the latter. Both teams played their hearts out and it was an absolute battle to the finish. For any one player to single out another player who clearly fought just as much as you is absolutely disrespectful. Arrogance bothers me. This was a team effort for the win.  But in hindsight, all this may be a good thing.

            I don’t know what kinds of thing may or may not have been said on or off the field between these two, but it’s obvious that the two are at odds.  Now, whatever their personal feud actually is between one another is their problem and not mine- nor yours. I personally think this feud is/was a wonderful wonderful thing and that “everybody wins” here.

            I have no doubt that the  public comments that Richard Sherman made had relevance to a situation between himself and Michael Crabtree. I’m sure the two were “calling each other out” at many points in the game. If indeed Crabtree was “talking trash” at any point, then I feel that Sherman had every right to defend himself and to be excited over win. I agree that, perhaps, he could have worded things a bit differently, but I believe and understand that he was “in the moment” and that what he said was simply just what came out.  In honesty, I have no interest in breaking down any of the actions of the game and it’s not my intent to support or defend or to even understand exactly what their “issue” was and/or who was right or wrong.

            In the end, what this all boils down to is a little bit of “trash talk” between two great athletes. Probably no more different than the sorts of bantering chatter that could be heard around a kitchen table during an intense game of Monopoly. “Trash talk” is common and maybe even sometimes healthy (helpful, anyway). It’s can sometimes be referred to as “being competitive” and it often brings out the best in people. I have no doubt then, that Crabtree and Sherman brought out the best in each other during their matchup. This was a close game that came down to a final play.  Any true sports fan should agree that blowout games suck. It’s great to get the win, but not much entertainment in the end. So now, everybody either directly involved or personally/emotionally invested in the situation needs to look back and be thankful for the great entertainment that was the end result. Sherman and Crabtree need to shake hands and remain competitive.

            With that being said, we can now look ahead to Superbowl 48. What we have is a matchup that, at least in this modern era, is unparalleled.  We have two 13-3 teams who have fought tooth and nail all year and whom have risen up significantly in a short time.  Both teams are clearly energized, excited and focused. Although I do have a favorite to win, I really cannot and will not be upset for any outcome this year. I know it’s going to be a great game and if I had to put my money on anything, it would be that superbowl 48 is going to be the most watched football game in history.  So, let’s all shut the hell up for a while. Congratulate all the loyal Broncos and Seahawks fans, stop calling Manning fans “fake”, respect the opposing players and fans, prepare to play (and watch) hard and enjoy some damn football!  Except, of course, for Tom Brady, whom won’t be watching this year.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I think I might be racist

Okay, so before you start immediately hating or racking your brain so hard, please hear me out. (and note also that I’m writing this from my mobile device)

A couple of months ago, I was helping my sister move. A friend of hers, (ill call him Joe) also came to help. Joe is of course an African-American male and I would guess his age to be anywhere between 21 and 25 years old. He was dressed in very loose (saggy) fitting jeans, a red hoodie with some sort of tribal design on the front and wore a black 59fifty Yankees ball cap (the ones with the flat bill and the big round gold sticker).

When he spoke, he used a lot of slang and terminology that for the most part for the sake of this argument, could probably be considered as ebonics .

Joe was a really nice guy and was a great help to both my sister and I. We got along just great and shared some laughs and treated each other respectfully as any two mature strangers would.

After we finished for the day , we were all taking a break at the kitchen table and as I enjoyed a cup of coffee with my sister and as my sister smoked a cigarette and as Joe smoked a black and mild cigar we began to engage in “normal” conversation. And here is where things get tricky…

Somehow our conversation segued  into various things such as government wiretapping,  Guantanamo bay, questions about the official 9-11 investigation, weather modification, fluoridated water,autism, RFID chips, and etc.

All in all, it was a very interesting, insightful, thought-provoking and engaging conversation that I enjoyed. But I was also very surprised!

I was surprised because I didn’t expect him to be knowledgeable about many of those things. Had we talked about sports, or music, or told jokes and shared “gossip” I wouldn’t have thought anything was strange.

It wasn’t until a day or two later when I thought back to the situation that I realized the major error that I made. The whole reason why I was surprised about how “well-informed” he was about so many (taboo/conservative/conspiratorial/?) Issues was because I had judged him.

Only at the time, I wasn’t aware of the fact and rather, at the time, I thought I was merely making observations about his looks and personality at that first moment I met him.

Now don’t get me wrong. I didn’t find any offense in his outward appearance nor was I bothered by the words and way in which he spoke. I’m a friendly person and I truly believe that I have the ability to get along and find some sort of connection with anybody I encounter.

But when I think even further into the situation I feel worse and worse because had Joe been a white man my age, or an older white woman, or had been wearing something from American eagle or been generally different in appearance in any way, I don’t believe that I would not have had the same sense of “surprise” that I felt that day.

Clearly, I don’t truly believe myself to be racist in any way. Now while I won’t go so far as to say that I have NEVER used derogatory terms or told slanderous jokes, well… that was stupid and I guess I was young and immature at the time.  And so,  while I may have said  those things I don’t sincerely believe that I felt and/or believed those things.

So, while ill end this by saying that I’m NOT racist and that I believe in equal rights for all humans and that I truly love all people and that I don’t believe myself to be above anybody, I still have to wonder: am I just in denial?   I hope not!

Your thoughts??

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Someone stole the “Enter” key!

I just navigated away from the Google homepage in order to start writing this post immediately. Or perhaps I should rephrase that by saying that I was scared away and that my wordpress blog just became my “safe zone”.

What brought me here is this:  I was obviously attempting to enter a search term for  something when I made the observation that the “predictive text?” field of websites below was giving immediate up- to-the-second results. For example, if I enter my name into the search bar, I get the following top results as I type: J.C. Penny, Java, James Franco, James Franco, James Franco, James Renner, James Ritty, and finally I get “me” (James “AC Jimbo” Richardson– A television presenter and journalist).

Then suddenly, I had a realization…the realization that my keystrokes are being monitored in some form and that someone or at least something which at least someone could probably get access to, is “watching” everything that I now type into the search box.

WHY I just made this observation is beyond me. Nor do I  know how long Google has had this particular feature. (I suspect that it has been some time) I do know however,  that it wasn’t ALWAYS like this.

Now, am I really all that concerned by what I make of this feature? Yes and No.

Think of spyware. We all know that it’s bad. Therefore we run programs to detect and remove all forms of it. Many forms of which, are of the keystroke reading variety. And so essentially, what is NOT OKAY over here, is accepted as the “norm” over here because it’s understood to be more convenient and user-friendly

Say for instance, that I get into an altercation with the neighbor next door. An explicit shouting match about the “mess” that his dog  had left on my neatly manicured lawn. I’m angry and upset (and not being a fan of physical altercations) I storm away, red-faced with rage,  seeking the comfort of my home and the solace of the internet. I open internet explorer to the default Google homepage and pose the question,”How can i hire a hit-man?” Clearly, I know that it’s a totally unethical and irrational thought and that I would NEVER so much as even wish someone were dead. But I “throw it out there” anyway and I now feel a whole lot better.  I never press “enter”, and instead, I navigate to Facebook ,change my status to “NEIGHBORS SUCK!” and spend the next two hours giving 30 word fragments of the “official story” in my comments section.  Finally, I eat some dinner, watch the newest episodes of South park and Tosh.0 and call it a night.

Then, five hours and forty-two minutes later, the phone rings. It’s the F.B.I.. They want to ask me a few questions…

Okay, so perhaps that’s really stretching things. I pray that I truly am, but it is possible and that’s a scary thought. More and more we are being tracked and monitored in all aspects of our lives. Our Cell Phones are equipped with G.P.S. and know where we are at all times. Even when it’s turned off, triangulation could be used to locate you. I’ve recently read articles which make the claim that, supposedly, there lies embedded in the “code” of pictures sent from your phone information which can give out your specific coordinates. Websites, especially from social networks, as most people are well aware of, use your hobbies, interests, key words and etc. in order to give you “selective” advertising.  Smart phones with predictive text replace your actual words with the words that it thinks you actually meant to say; Half the time with humorous, embarrassing, or unwanted results.

Point in case though, I don’t like it. I know it’s a minor thing and chances are good that after I post this I won’t even think about these things anymore. But that also just goes to show how much a part of our everyday lives that these sorts of things are becoming and/or how accepting we are of the technologies that are both invasive, unnecessary. I mean, just how lazy do they think people are that they can’t so much as press one extra button in order to “enter”?

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

My Life’s greatest memories have been memories lost

Inspired by the Memory of Lonnie P. Brady *

* Before I begin this post, I’d like to begin with a brief explanation of what I suspect will become my writing approach now and throughout the future: While I understand the importance of proper grammar and English when writing what I intend to be serious subject matters, I feel that what is MOST important, is to simply get the idea out there in its rawest form before any details can be lost. As an English major and former tutor, I hold the belief that writing is a process and that due to that fact I will NOT (short of obvious HUGE mistakes)be concerned with grammar or spelling for the first writing of a post. However, at any point AFTER the writing of an originial post, I will then re-edit my entry to make things gramatically correct and error free

     As the title suggests, I am writing this entry because an acquaintance of mine has recently and suddendly passed away.  I say “acquaintance” because I don’t want to pretend that we were the best of friends that were ever always in touch, but he IS someone who I’ve known for as long as I can remember. It’s suffice to say that he was family of friends who are “family” to me.  Specificilly speaking, I’m pretty sure the first time that I ever threw a football,I was throwing it to him.

     I don’t have a LOT of memories about Lonnie and (even though I would LOVE to share some ) my blog is not ABOUT  Lonnie. Rather, it’s the idea of death and the means in which we cope with death and the loss of a loved one.

     Typically, when a person dies, there is a calling hours in which everyone gathers to offer their support to those most affected while also sharing stories and appreciating the “life” that someone had. Often always, these stories bring back strong memories in which people may have long since forgotten (or forgotten to remember) in a very long time. What I’m really referring to then, is our MEMORY.

     When I think of the past and some of the strongest memories, it’s almost always as an “outside observer” to said event in my life. For example,when I was 10 years old,I visited Niagara Falls for the first time in my life. While I remember being there, and looking over the falls for the first time, I was thrilled and amazed. I can imagine my sweating palms as I stood on my tiptoes and wondered what would happen if I were to fall. I think about these thigs but no matter how hard I try, I cannot recall the actual “feeling” that this created.

      I remember when I was a child, how excited I would get when the teacher on Romper Room would see “me” through her magic mirror. I remember Sesame Street and the Yep Yep’s. I remember being a young teenager and staying up “late” on Saturday’s to watch SNICK. I remember these things, and then I remember NOT doing them anymore. What I don’t remember however, was why I stopped doing these things. I mean, essentially speaking, one day a routine in my life suddenly ended and that was that. I didn’t “miss” it and for the most part, I forgot that whatever “thing” was once a part of me, ever was a part of me.

       I wonder then, what it ever was inside of my head that made me “decide” (though obviously subconsiously) to change my habit. It’s as if I had a sudden “epiphany” and that overnight, I grew up mentally–and for the life of me, I can’t remember what that “spark of knowledge” was, or where it went to from there.

     Memories are like people. They come and they go. Sometimes you run into these people and time is spent together and other memories are made and shared. A majority of these people that you meet in life though, are forgotten.  A moment or two shared which forever link you to a person, place, thing or idea. Something that you experienced which gave you some sort of knowledge to the world around you and taught you somethung whether you realize it or not in order to make you the person that you are now.

     Memories forgotten are like pieces of yourself dying. As the saying (sort of goes.. I can’t remember exactly) “the mistakes of the past are doomed to be repeated if we don’t learn from them.” Just then, the lessons that you learned, the moments that you experienced are gone when in fact, they should be considered and reconsidered often.

     With the ever increasing pace of the life that we live in and with the ever decreasing “time” that we spend truly paying attention to the world away from our computers, cell phones, jobs, therefore too, are we spending less and less time in self reflection and sooner or later I think a lot of people in this world lose the ability to experience life in the way in which it should be experienced because they’ve lost all sense of the “self” that has made them who they are.

      So, in closing, I think that the “message” (if you might call it one ) that I am trying to convey is that, while it’s important to love and remember everybody who is important to you, it’s equally (if not more)important that you remember YOU.  Because the memories that you have of a person, really are just memories of an extention of yourselves… in the essence that your experience with that person and the memory that you SHARE has shaped you in one form or another.

      With that being said, I’m going to end this blog by trying something– something that I think would be AWESOME if it could become the newest “trend” to sweep across all of the social networks in cyberspace.  I’m going to spend the next five minutes (in free thought and form) simply “remembering” things.  A list which, aside from spelling mistakes, will NOT undergo any sort of further revision.

I remember learning what a “nightcrawler” was when my Dad’s answer to what one was, was “because they come out at noon, you goof!”

I remember the first time I drove a car. It was in a cornfiend and I was trying to run over (not really) my brother.

I remember how fun Thanksgiving at my Grandma Miller’s was when i grew up. When the whole family came over and stayed ALL DAY.

I remember the book that my cousin Krysta had about the popcorn that goes out of control and filled up the whole house!

I remember my first winter campout and the story about “red eyes” which had me a little worried.

I remember doing somersaults for my Grandma Aggie to make her laugh.

I remember sneaking off to the Minerva “street fair” and almost getting caught by Dad.

I remember the first time I learned the song that goes “did you ever think when a hearse goes by….”. Thanks Judy!

I remember rolling down the hill in a barrel and ending UPRIGHT in the middle of a briar patch, and how ,in hindsight, I should have ROLLED out instead of crawling through.

I remember how bad I felt after I threw a handful of rocks at a group of swimming ducks.

 

(and time is up)

I didn’t stop and I didn’t think about those things which I would say next, I just started listing them. Those are vivid memories and they bring back many many more. Memories in which I’ll further consider while I go to sleep.  Goodnight all!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Why blog? Why now?

So, I’ve taken the lead of Timyates9.wordpress.com (and thousands of others) and begun a blog of my own here at wordpress. While “blogging” is by no means anything new to me, it’s definitely “been a while” and so I guess (for lack of a better term) this is my blogging  re-birth

So why blog? Why now? Well, there are easily at least a couple answers to that question and neither answer is more correct than the other.  The first answer then, is “why not”? I enjoy writing. It’s what I went to school for and I don’t do enough of it. This gives me the opportunity to do so.

A longer answer then, is “because I have meaningful things to say and I owe it to the world to communicate my thoughts, opinions and ideas”. Understandably some (if not many) of you reading this are going to be slightly taken aback by the conceitedness of that statement but I assure you that I DO NOT think I am better than you and/or that my opinions oughtweigh those of your own. Therefore, what I really mean by that statement is that I consider myself to be a reasonable, friendly and intelligent person and that if I am ever going to have “purpose”  and continually “learn” about things in this world that really matter throughout my lifetime then it’s important that I share ideas, ask questions, offer opinions, speak my mind and  engage in thought   provoking and meaningful communications with people of this world.

So why now? As Rage Against the Machine once said, “what better place than here? what better time than now?”. Now, more than ever in my life, I think that being free and opinionated and focusing upon something more than the latest shenanigans of Charlie Sheen or the newest season of American Idol or the upcoming release of the ipod 2 ultra slim 4-g gps-navigation with built in swiss army knife…(you get the picture) is important. I believe there are better and bigger things that people should be focused on from time to time. While I avidly use my Facebook and I leave a lot of comments there (many serious, just as many–not so much), it’s much easier to post things there that require little thought. However, a platform such as this pretty  much guarantees that nothing is being said that (although not always necessarily “clear”) the ideas expressed within are at least important enough to the writer to take the time to type them.

So, with that being said and because I absolutely realize that I’m rambling, I will end this (my second word press post) with  my own set of “rules” that I have set forth for myself and this blog:

  1. I will write from the heart (I will talk openly and honestly about many various topics from the serious to the absurd. Nothing shall be off-limits but I will be tactful in my approach  of any topic that I believe may be a “touchy” one)
  2. I will (try) not to be sarcastic. (for those that know me, I can be VERY sarcastic. I enjoy and appreciate sarcasm, but I think I want my blog to be taken seriously. Therefore, this isn’t the place for me to use sarcasm.  Although you are welcome to use sarcasm at will in the comments.
  3. I will NOT write in a  manipulative fashion and it will never be my express intent to sound “forceful” with my words or to challenge or sway any particular view that you may (or may not) already hold. I will merely share my thoughts and views and that is that.  (but of course, it’s obviously open for discussion.)
  4. I will be open to ALL forms of criticism, praise, concerns, tips or advice by YOU, the reader.
  5. I will not censor myself (I will do everything in my power to protect the names of the innocent and etc. but if I say something, it’s because I mean it. My opinions are my own and I won’t apologize for them. It will never be my intent to offend anybody, but when speaking freely, it’s gonna’ happen. Just know that as a fellow human being — I respect you!)

And well, I’m hoping that sums it up and makes my mission clear. I welcome your comments though. In fact, I look forward to some.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

A ‘noob checkin’ in

I was almost this close to publishing the default “Hello world!” post, but then I thought: “Well, why have a blog if I can’t speak for myself?”. So, here I am. I’m learning.  I’ll do my best to not suck up in here. Bare with me as I learn the ropes and I promise to write something more interesting the next time around.  Thanks for checking in.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment