Showing posts with the label life

Life Comes at You

     People from where I am from aren’t supposed to do the shit I am   doing right now. … stick with me here.      A child of a single mother, we grew up in the hood.   Beyond the normal shit of football in the street and ding dong ditch at 2am, time was spent running from racist-ass cops before they became emboldened enough to shoot people that looked like us in the back.   We always had what we needed , but had to learn to grind hard for wants that often never quite panned out for even that, as we all had to grow up fast.   Extra money from cutting yards and handiwork was often remitted back into the household and became food and necessities.      Rarely did we have the luxury of travel.   I had never left North Carolina until right around my 12 th birthday and that trip was to Atlanta to visit an uncle who had been living there my entire life already.   Any and all travel in my childhood involved visiting family and never included a hotel unless my grandfather was aroun

Christmas Spirit

     Christmas is still three weeks out, yet… From about the time in my life that I would fully credit with making me what I am now, we had some adult-ass Christmases.  I say that to say that we had a couple of things under the tree – if there was a tree at home – and a ton of practical things. Socks, drawz, clothes and shoes fit to be worn to school were staples.      At 12, this was kind of hurtful, but at 38 I would LOVE someone to provide me with some of these things. [ Phlip note : no shit, email me for size/address information] There was no secrets at the time as to why things were the way they were, and since we liked to live and eat, indoors at that, we had no good reason to complain.  We appreciated what we had.      On into actual adulthood, I was kind of conditioned not to give a whole lot of a fuck about the general mechanics of Christmas given our history with it.  A gift or two to the people around me, special focus on helping the kids to not feel what I


     I’m as stingy with loyalty as I am with respect. I don’t often avail myself to people, so the ones I have shared any information they felt should not be shared had better be treated as if they should die with it. As bad as my memory happens to be in the short term, it is dangerous when the topic is things that I feel are important.      My continued circle consists of people I have been given reason to be loyal and respectful to. Sure, I am prone to fits of personal stupidity, but I am at least dumb enough to not be interested in majorly fucking up my plays in a manner I might find egregious.      I have a team… A twin brother, a best friend, several really good friends and some cats that I have never actually met in person.  The amount of “me” that I have given these people is a testament to who I perceive them to be.  This is usually a result of what they have done with or for me with no reason to otherwise.  This is usually a result of shared common interest


(I'm the one in the diaper with the beard) When he worked third shift, he would get home from work right about the time we’d be waking up.  We were often in the house – even outside of the few months we lived there – so we were there when he came in on Saturday morning.  We’d wake up and take us to this tiny greasy-spoon diner around the corner.  They always knew what he wanted before he asked. The place closed sometime before I was old enough to take HIM to breakfast there.  I hate I never had the chance. It is a fish place now, but I still have warm flashbacks every time I am in the building. Often in my school years, especially in 4 th and 5 th grades, we would be in class about to go to lunch.  “Phillip, your granddad is here.”  He would sit and eat with us and our friends and generally be the coolest old man in the building.  Furthermore, he would bring us all happy meals.  Never once do I recall TELLING him how many people I normally sat with at lunch, I am guess

True Story©... Trading War Stories

     I have learned that while people SAY that they want a better life than they previously had, they really only want to have a better life than others.  Selfish as this may be, it just is what it is.  To be honest, I used to be like that.  I found that karma and whatever else you believe in would begin to catch up with me and that the desire simply not to come in last was not enough. Now, I want EVERYONE to be as great as possible, even if that means some people will be better than me.  I think that is a part of leaving the world a better place than you found it.      I have personally tended to shirk the concept of “seek help” or “see a therapist,” I have literally monstered through every one of these fucked up situations that have presented themselves in my life.  I might or might not be a mess as a result of it, to be honest. But I try to do the right thing.  In situations where there might not be a “do” as far as right things go, I do or say what I feel might fix the s

On Respect...

     Far too many people think respect is something to be traded, like a commodity in the market or some shit like that. The only thing you should be trading for respect is respectability.  What have you shown the world as your reason they should respect you?  What deplorable things have you NOT done?  What in your daily life would a reasonable person NOT feel less reasonable for respecting? Yes, I know that respectability – and/or a lack thereof – is no longer a deciding factor in whether or not one is allowed to be the one chosen to pretend to run the country.   No need to remind me. I don’t, will not, and can not believe in “you give respect to get respect.”  The reason is quite simple. I will offer a metaphor.  I come from humble beginnings, have made major mistakes and have gotten a grasp on all of my shit to keep together a decent life for my child and family.  Sometimes that is in spite of myself, but the worst of it has been placed behind me and my work involves lea

Out of the Desert

“A person who has only known the desert has no good reason to miss the trees” ~Me, just now      I say that to say that you never know what you DIDN’T have before until you actually have it. A recent VERY candid conversation with a tiny friend of mine under one of  her FB posts led to my discussion of how I handled the end of my last two prior relationships.  I don’t understand stress eating, except I do.  With me, I'd stress drink, and anyone who has been inebriated before understands “intoxicated bored eating.”  Throw in a bit of depression and work-related stress and you don’t leave the house except for work and supplies.  In my comment, I explained how I had gone down through this to the point where it caused me an illness that I have since shaken, and I have since lost all of the weight I gained to boot.  Lifestyle changes and such, I hope y'all are reading about some of it on Tuesdays. I credited my current lady with helping me back from it, and my tiny fri

Is it Trickin'? Lessons from our Elders

     You ever listen to two old men bragging about being sugar daddies?  Like that is some shit to be PROUD of? I am getting gas on my way to my sister’s a couple Sundays ago.  The station I went to was one of those Asian-owned joints with the illegal video poker machines in the corner.  Stationed at two of the five machines were two old (65-70ish) men, each nursing a Miller Lite (before noon on a Sunday!) and chatting each other up the way boys tend to do when they’re drinking and playing.      I was grabbing a drink for myself in addition to gas, so I had to go right by the duo and their conversation was HILARIOUS to me.  My nosy ass slow-walked to the case and fiddled with my phone for a reason to listen to them trying to impress one another for women that weren't around anyway. #1: “Sheeeeeit, n**ga.  I got me a coupla dem young tenders right now.  Them young girls love me man!” #2: “I hear you” #1: “Just like I told my grandson a couple days ago, it don’t

My Own Worst Enemy

     I imagine this is a common assessment for every person of themselves, but I am my own worst enemy sometimes.  My short term memory leaves much to be desired, but my eye and ear for details of mundane shit that happened a long time ago are A-1.  That often leaves me a prisoner to my own mind, to my habits – past and present at that.      I also have a hard time forgiving myself for shit that I have done or have been blamed for, or at worst have been allowed to believe took place on my watch. Ever laid awake and listen to your brain quoting shit you should have done differently and then chide you for not doing it differently?  I call those Tuesdays. … and Wednesdays. …  or, fuck, any day that ends in Y.      It may seem that I spend a lot of time on what I’ve done wrong and God knows I do as well as I do that this is true.  I surely don’t want to, but it just is.  I don’t take compliments well because I am still so stuck on my opportunities for improvement. An


     I am a confusing being… I know I am difficult, yet I pride myself in the simplicity that I tend to operate in. When I was 11, we left my pops... When I was 12, I dreamt up two plans… 1 – when the moment arrives, any child I sire will be left with no question of preference, nor would they live in a dearth of attention. 2 – when I get the words confounding my head in order, I WILL entertain the masses with what I am thinking. To thought number 1… I am the middle child in birth order, do your research and understand that this is a real thing.  I live in two families that are each colorstruck, and lived not light or dark enough for full inclusion on either side.  I was left to make my own way.  My baby knows not these problems.  She asks for my attention, she gets it.  She doesn't ask for my attention, she still gets it.  Suffice it to say, I take to this daddy thing seriously enough to not repeat the things that broke me growing up. And 2… I was ne

True Story© Conflict/Resolution

     Being mad and angry will sap the energy out of a person.  I don’t have a lot of that to spare, and none laying around just to be giving out and shit, so I tend to no let things get to me a lot of the time.  The beauty of staying cool under the heat is how that in itself is enough of a response to send whomever is acting out deeper into their rage.  Try it when you get bored.      Another thing I do is apply silly humor to an otherwise serious conversation if I feel it might head in a direction that might soon turn too ugly.  Mainly, this is done to make someone who did not want to be amused laugh at you anyway to diffuse a situation. Scene 1: Mimi: “Phillip…” Me: “Yes, dear?” Mimi: “I appreciate you cooking, but how, I mean how is there food on the CEILING?” Me: “My creativity is not the type to be easily contained.” Mimi: “Well can it be cleaned up after?  How come when I cook, I wash dishes but when you cook, I wash dishes?” Me: “…” Mimi: “Hello?”

A (real) Celebration of Life

Wait until a random Thursday and call your next of kin… “[next of kin], I died in my sleep last night.  It is on you to plan this funeral.” Hold on a minute, I know that seems morose as fuck, but I am going somewhere with this.      When we’re at funerals, they tell us not to be sad because it is over, but to smile because it happened.  To celebrate the life of the loved one that you now have to bury and not to lament overt the loss.  What better way to celebrate a life than to do it while the person is still around and sentient to the love they’re receiving?      Lady and gentleman, I present to you…  The living funeral.  It is not a concept I came up with, it is one I kind of read about daydreaming for this post. The takeaway, though is let me have my flowers while I can still smell ‘em. In my family, the day of a death, the phone calls are made post-haste with mind on getting the body into the ground as quickly as possible.  So if you make that call on Thursd

True Story© - "I Quit"

True Story©… I quit. Yes, you read that right, I quit. No more IT Specialist, no more Forum Administrator, no more Outreach Program, I am shitting on all three jobs to chase my dreams. With a child, automobile maintenance, bills and a $74,000 mortgage balance in front of me, I quit. Starting Monday morning, I am going to be a rapper. I am going to be totally independent and sell to people outside of Wal Mart and various gas stations throughout the region, never mind the SIGNED artists I know who could put me right where I need to be. I want to do this shit organically. Look, there is no need to tell me “… but Phlip, you can’t rap!” because that is a fact that has not bothered to stop basically any member of the XXL Magazine freshman class since that has been a thing. Just know that when I approach you outside of that Wal Mart, be prepared for me to tell you ANYTHING it will take to get that $4 out of you… “yo, you like Nas, Jay-Z? Well I ‘m better than both of them, COMBINED even!” “lo

True Story© - Bringing the Curl Kit Back

True story©… She has a bathroom full of natural hair care products. All kinds of olive oil and shea butter and other things that look like she pays a lot for them to be shipped to the house and aren’t available in stores. Well one night my stomach was misbehaving and my phone was dead, so the only thing I could do to pass the time was to look at and smell the various things on the little shelf in front of the throne (yes, boredom is THAT bad in the mind of a supervillain). Moisturizers, double moisturizers, super triple moisturizers, coil activators, curl activators, shampoos, conditioners, comb-through conditioners, leave in conditioners, EVERY damn thing you could imagine. My mind immediately went back to the ‘curl activator’ thing. Without tipping anyone to what I was up to, I decided to see if it would be ANYTHING like I imagined it would be so I waited until I got to work to test the theory that it would give me the LOOK of a late 80s/early 90s Los Angeles rapper with none of the

The frugal sneaker fiend

My name is a Phillip, and I am a sneaker head…                 I did not come by this as honestly as many who I have observed have.  In fact, I may have created it for a WILDLY different set of reasons.  When my twin and I were 11, we left my pops and became a single parent household.  Even before this January day, we could basically be assured that at any given time there would be three pairs of shoes in our lives: 1 – “school” shoes:  this would be the newest and cleanest pair, re-upped only at the beginning of the school year and Christmas. 2 – “play” shoes: the most recently demoted shoes from “school shoes” status, provided there had not been a major growth spurt to bring on a change. 3 – “church” shoes: replaced ONLY at significant growth spurts and/or Easter.  Otherwise self-explanatory.                 Let me preface this by explaining that I have worn the same size shoe since the summer before I turned 16. As a kid, I learned to lowkey HATE that other kids got sh

In the Kitchen with Phlip x Dads at War -- "Don't throw out those leftovers!"

This is something I came up with 6 weeks ago... I found myself faced with a fridge containing leftovers that I no longer wanted as they were at the time, but unwilling to throw out or give to the dog food that was still good.  I sat the Ava down in front of Yo Gabba Gabba and went to work. Started with some boneless/skinless chicken breasts I'd had on that Monday... And some cheesy coarse-mashed potatoes from that Wednesday... Now, addressing the chicken, make with the knifework and dice it up as fine as you can make it go... Line the cookie sheet with foil and (not pictured) hit it with the cooking spray... Panko bread crumbs and go ahead and put that oven on 400 now)... (not pictured) simply fold into and mix the chicken and potatoes together, add some cheese if you're feeling sporty and pat out into 2.5"x1" patties, then dip into the bread crumbs to cover completely hit the tops of them with that cooking spray one last time to aid in cr

Dads At War -- $ave on your Grocery Expen$e$

Today, I am teaching a lesson… This past weekend in line with the release of the Galaxy S4, I joked on the social networks about the unemployed people who have no actual income but always have money for new fly shit and how I stretch my money to make sure that I myself can afford at least some of the fly shit that I desire.  Yeah, I was being TOTALLY judgmental. Well, one of the things that I mentioned doing is that I can make $100 worth of groceries last 3-5 weeks.  I assure you that people on Facebook see what I am capable of cooking and eating more than those who may be trawling my blog.                 Rather than spend time on the humor in my taking these people to task, the conversation turned to just HOW in the hell I am making $100 go just THAT far.  The rest of the conversation turned to me explaining how and why most of what people lose in their grocery budget goes right into the trashcan, literally.  Waste from cooking too much and seeing the leftovers go bad is the