Monday, August 2, 2010

The End of an ERA...

Three years ago, I discovered that one of the funniest comedians I ever saw was regularly hosting a Wednesday night open mic at Jokes & Notes Comedy Club in Bronzeville - LIL REL. I was ecstatic because I couldn't remember his name, and then one day I discovered him on YouTube and from there, my friend Catherine and I became regulars at the southside laugh spot.

The cool thing about Lil Rel is he is a regular dude. He could quite easily have been any number of guys I went to high school with. You know that goofy dude that everybody is cool with and can make anyone laugh. (Maybe I'm the only one who went to school with real funny guys). But the more Cathy and I went to Jokes & Notes, the more I realized my initial impression of him some years earlier was right. He may be a regular guy, but he has an extraordinary talent. It takes God-given talent to make people laugh until their stomachs hurt. To make people feel as if they can't breathe. Undoubtedly, Lil Rel has that talent, and many a "What Dat Do Wednesdays," we got an amazing treat - the gift of undeniable laughter.

So it was with a heavy dose of nostalgia, that we went to Jokes & Notes on Saturday. Just that, in and of itself was telling. He stared off hosting Wednesday's open mic night. He moved up to hosting the weekend with the national acts, and quickly people realized he was funnier than most of the heavyweights who were being flown in for laughs at $20/head, seemingly a long way from the $5 Wednesday nights.

From the moment he stepped on the stage, I knew it would be EPIC! He did not disappoint and when I left, my head was pounding from the constant laughter. I cried laughing throughout each of his sets. It was a full night. Three national acts, with George Wilborn from the Michael Baisdon radio show headlining. However, Rel stood out so much that George Wilborn took it personally. He felt challenged and stated to that effect. A lot of people don't know this, but Rel's does some of the best character comedy I have ever seen. Some people have seen him doing the hoodrats, Mr. Godfrey, Jamo, etc. But, you haven't lived until you have seen him impersonate Lil Wayne, Gucci, Scarface, Crucial Conflict, Do-or-Die and Drake all in the same song. It was absolute GENIUS! I was able to capture bits of it on my phone, but this was one of those times, I wish they had captured this on video, it was that GREAT!

Of course, his sets wouldn't have been right without a little hoodrat done in there. His execution was flawless. Way better than any prior bits he's done on Def Comedy Jam or Bad Boys of Comedy. He has mastered the art of the entire scenario with the rat. He did a bit of a hoodrat belittling a girl having a trunk party before going away to college, compared to them having baby showers! At that point I couldn't breathe. He even mastered the old slick guy that works at the ghetto clothing spot where they like to shop. I certainly hope that he starts touring more, because he has to share these gems with the world.

His last show on Saturday, July 31st marked the end of four years hosting at Jokes & Notes, and it was bittersweet to have something so good taken away from our monthly routine. So as he moves on to bigger and better things, go out and support our boy from the westside of Chicago. I promise, you are going to laugh until you can't laugh anymore. Congratulations Rel!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Decision!

So, we are 24 hours away from the biggest free agent signing in the history of the NBA! Actually, in the history of sports, and I feel as if the only thing I have become a witness to is a CIRCUS!

It is no secret that I am NOT LeBron James' biggest fan. I don't dislike him per se, I just don't care for what he represents, and I particularly don't like his team. His high school/neighborhood friends who have placed their entire livelihoods on his shoulders, all in the name of having his back. However, their laissez-faire way of managing basketball's biggest talent has become detrimental to his future as a legend in this game. Whether it is his refusal to shake the hand of his opponent after suffering a conference finals loss, or dodging the media while he pouts about it, there have definitely been some snafus in the professionalism of LeBron James.

Professionalism aside, he is an explosive and freakishly athletic talent. However, to be a legend or to be the best, you have to be professional and likable! One thing for certain, some of James' antics have landed him as the subject of the most scathing articles in sports.

Tomorrow, James and his team promise to reveal where he will play next season, and most likely the next six seasons. Will he stay in Cleveland, move to Chicago, NY, Miami, or New Jersey? These are the million dollar questions that ESPN has asked verbatim for the last month. Quite frankly, I will be glad when he does say where he's going so we can all move on. After all, our country is still at war, we have the largest oil spill in history and unemployment is still stifling the economy. I am beginning to feel like a schmuck for constantly turning to ESPN, checking the Internet and my sports alerts for news. Here is my breakdown of his possible choices.

Cleveland: If LeBron stays in Cleveland, he pretty much will be in the same position he was in last season, except for the fact that instead of Mike "Mr. Potato Head" Brown, the new coach is Byron Scott. This is an obvious upgrade, which will help, but the biggest issue LeBron had was a lackluster supporting cast. Ilgauskas had pinches of good games, but his basketball I.Q. is low, and at times he was downright goofy. Mo Williams had spurts of shooting greatness, but he also had long stretches of shooting droughts, and unfortunately it was usually when his team needed him. Shaq is done. Delonte West could be considered arguably better than Williams, but due to his romp with Momma James, it's safe to say if LeBron stays, he's outta there. This team would make the playoffs, maybe after a few tries even, the Finals, but no ring here!

New York: Considered to be the holy grail of professional sports, the big apple is known for buying their way into professional titles. However, this feat has failed time and time again for the Knicks. In fact, they have become synonymous with overpaying the wrong players (i.e., Allan Houston, Stephon Marbury). They have not disappointed this year. They signed Amar'e Stoudamire to a 5 year/$100M deal! I am just going to let that lie for a moment. Yes you read that right, $100 Million dollars to Amar'e Stoudamire! You would think they would've learned their lesson by now, clearly they haven't. While AS is athletic, a consistent scorer and is known to have breakout games. He is also a bad defender, sometimes selfish with the ball, and a cancer to some locker rooms. It is no secret that there are former teammates in the league that literally loathe him. With that said, it will be very interesting to see how AS will play with another star, especially someone bigger than Nash. It will also be interesting to see him play in a defense-oriented conference and on a team with no real point guard. If LeBron lands in New York, he and Stoudamire will be the team. That is NOT enough. Under the scrutiny of New York media, this situation can quickly become impossible.

Miami: So we now know that D. Wade lured Chris Bosh to join him in South Beach. On paper, this looks great. Two bonafide stars playing together in the land of the beautiful, however, like NY, the Heat lack a sufficient supporting cast. Mario Chalmers - pass. Quentin Richardson - pass. DaSean Butler - not nearly developed yet. Jermaine O'Neal - he's done. Michael Beasley - a wild card with emotional problems. This organization has the most work to do to their roster to put themselves in contention. That was painfully obvious when they were ousted by Cleveland in the semifinals last season. If Wade thought he was frustrated before...but that's right, if LeBron joins them - there will be a little confusion. Sometimes you can have too many stars. This isn't the Olympics, this is an 82-game season. Wade and James' games are very similar and Coach Spoelstra isn't experienced enough to balance all of those egos. Doesn't matter because Riley is coming for his job now anyway. Not sure about rings here. Maybe, but definitely NOT a dynasty.

Chicago: This is the most likely pairing. Has been from the start, much to my chagrin. Due to my issues with LeBron's professional development, I didn't want him to come to the Bulls. However, looking at where he is likely to have the quickest success to a championship, it's definitely the Bulls. Rose, Noah, Deng, now Boozer and James is definitely a championship caliber team. But, there are some ifs that all hinge on chemistry. While Rose and Noah are young players, they are very mature, focused and passionate about the game. They check their egos at the door and do whatever it takes as a team to win. LeBron hasn't grasped this yet, and I fear his penchant for things always being about him and surrounding him would throw off the chemistry of the team. Tom Thibedeau is also a no-nonsense defensive minded coach who will not allow LeBron to play three positions every time he walks the ball down the court. This would force Bron to make adjustments to his game, which I know he doesn't like to make. Finally, the Bulls organization is about business. Contrary to the DelNegro/Paxson scuffle last season, they are a take-care-of-business organization. Old players are dispersed throughout as assistants, scouts, commentators, etc. So Bron's team would NOT have free-reign, nor would they be calling the shots. Titles could come to Bron here, but he would have to be open to change.

New Jersey: Honestly, and I know Jay-Z is a 1% owner and the team is moving to Brooklyn, but right now, they are in New Jersey. That would be like LeBron coming here to play for a Joliet team. Out of all the teams, New Jersey has the least chance of landing him for obvious reasons. Even in Brooklyn, it will give them an expansion team feel and missing will be the rich histories of a New York, Chicago or Los Angeles franchise. Even with the Russian owners billions, it is too much of a volatile situation for Bron Bron. No rings here.

In all, LeBron is making a "Decision" at 9:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time tomorrow night. He is getting a whole hour on ESPN to seal his fate for the next six years. The choice he makes will decide whether he wants to win championships or is he after more fame and money and more expansion of his brand. I can already see the direction his team is going, but only tomorrow will tell whether my hunch is right. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

My Two Favorite Videos Right Now!

So in the past week, two videos that I have come to love have dropped.

First up is my boy Drizzy Drake! I'm not going to lie, when I first heard his second single, "Find Your Your," and I knew that Kanye produced this track. I thought, "this sounds like a leftover track from 808's & Heartbreak. It made me kind of unsure about this one. Drake's voice obviously sounds better than Kanye's, but the whole "hey, hey, hey's," he repeats through the song, the melody and beat is very 808'ish. To be honest, I kind of went on a "Is Kanye trying to sabotage Drake" tirade. However, the video made me change my mind about the song.

I like the fact that it was shot by Anthony Mandler.
I like that it was shot in Jamaica mon!
I like the plot/storyline in the video.
I also like the underlying theme of Finding Your Love even if it kills you! Deep, but interesting concept.

Today, Alicia Keys dropped her long-awaited video for the best song on her Elements of Freedom album, which also happens to be written by Drake, co-produced by Drizzy and 40, "Unthinkable"! I had this song on repeat even before her album dropped. As 40 usual does with some of his songs, (e.g., Successful) the beat for this song is haunting. You want to hear it again and again. Drake smashed the lyrics and Alicia delivered it as only she can.

What I love about A. Keys vid, is how they were able to push the issue of interracial dating through like 7 decades. I mean it was eye-opening to watch that scenario play out from the 50's to the present day. Kind of makes you think about why it's still taboo to date outside of your race. The song fit that theme perfectly.

Monday, May 3, 2010


This skit was featured on Saturday Night Live about five months ago, and it is STILL funny! This was when the show began to get funny this season. Kenan Thompson and Blake Lively played this perfectly. The impression of Wolf Blitzer was funny too.

The Best Episode of the Cleveland Show This Season!

So, of course, I missed the Cleveland Show yesterday because sleep finally caught me when I made it home from church. But, I checked it out on Hulu and it did not disappoint. This episode featured Kanye West and Taraji Henson.

The relationship between Cleveland Jr. and the cute-yet-sadistic little Rollo has become my new guilty pleasure. I just love these two. In this episode, Rollo attempts to help Cleveland Jr. obtain the object of his affection, only to end up wanting her for himself. Defeated that she only sees him as a little kid, Cleveland Jr. runs into a problem when he is faced with her not-ready-to-be-her-ex, Kenny West. The local, but famous school rapper, Kenny West (played by Kanye). The best part is when these two face off in a rap battle at a school party.

Check it out...

I heard that Kanye's character will be back for future episodes, I can't wait!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The What the F*ck Moment of 2010 Thus Far: N.Y.G. Edition

For those of you who may have come across a little adult cartoon called, "The Boondocks," then you have heard the term: N.Y.G. It is the smart-mouthed and often precocious little boy named Riley who coined this phrase on an episode when he saw a guy doing something that was a bit "suspect" and he yelled out, "N*gga You Gay!" This has been shortened to N.Y.G.

Now me being the flaming liberal that I am, I could often care less how people choose to live their lives. If you are gay, lesbian, transgender, pre-op, post-op, etc., more power to you! However, sometimes I see some things that truly garner being worth mentioning. This edition is courtesy of my favorite gay: Brian Bee off of YouTube. At first glance you wouldn't know he was gay because he isn't as flamboyant as some of his YouTube counterparts. And, he is so funny, that you aren't thinking about his sexuality. One thing he always does is point out the "how-you-dewiners" as he likes to call them.

I will post his video, at which about a minute in, you will need to put it on pause, and then watch the "suspect video in question," after which you can go back to Brian's vid to hear his hilarious commentary on the N.Y.G. Video.


There are just no words...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Throwback Before Summer!

So today in Chicago it was like 81 degrees. Perfect. Not too hot, not cold at all. And considering how Chicago winters go all the way into March, Chicagoans look forward to that warm day. That official weather change. I was sublimely happy today. Born in August, I LOVE heat! I love the summertime. I played this song in my car today, and my smile was a mile wide.

LL pouring chocolate on a woman's thighs in broad daylight??? Yes, he can get away with that. :)

Also, I absolutely love the part at the very beginning when Keisha says, "Mmmm, go head daddy!" I wonder do men find talking like that attractive?

Friday, April 9, 2010


I almost forgot to post about this. ALMOST!

But I cannot let the week end without paying homage to my favorite college basketball team in LIFE! Yes, I am a purveyor of the Blue and White. I am an honorary member of the Cameron Crazies! I am a believer in the philosophy that is Coach K! Yes, I am a Dukie, and guess what.............................


I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Duke haters around the world. I would also like to thank those God-awful North Carolina fans, good looking out on the N.I.T. And most of all, I want to thank God, that the kid from Butler didn't make that shot at the buzzer, and so we took the championship back!

Takes a bow...

Drops mic...

Heels click as I walk off the court!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spectacular SEX!

Okay, so a few years back, we saw a trio of girls who some touted as a possible next TLC. To no avail, it didn't happen.

So then these girls, joined forces with the oh-so-talented-Disney-star Raven Symone and formed "The Cheetah Girls"! They went on to do a couple of albums, movies and tours. The Disney tweens LOVED them.

Since then, the girls have taken quite a few twists and turns. But most of them have pretty much stayed on track with what they originally were. Well, except for Naturi Naughton who was originally in the group before they branched out to the Cheetah Girls. As we all know, she eventually played the scathing Lil Kim role in the movie Notorious. Well, Kiely Williams, who was also a founding member, must have taken notes, because sista girl released a video this week for a song called "Spectacular Sex," in which she sings about having a one night stand after getting drunk and meeting a guy at a party.

She further gets the point of the song across in her video....

The song would probably be a banger if the singer was Naturi or Britney Spears or even Kelis. But coming from her, it was shocking to all of her Disney fans to say the least. Somehow, I get the feeling this song will become a strip club favorite. I hope this isn't mean, but I felt like Laura Charles watching this video, instead of watching the blond from the Last Dragon wearing lingerie and wearing roller skates, I was watching Kiely Williams. Interesting song, and an even more interesting video.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

For Better or For Worse

Webster's Dictionary defines marriage as: "the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex or a person of the same sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law."

I think this is a pretty fair definition of marriage, however, it is the consensual part that seems to be a problem in today's society. I am beginning to believe that people just shouldn't get married. Maybe Oprah was on to something when she decided that Steadman would just be her "beau" all those years ago.

Over the past few months, the headlines of couples and their torn apart families have sent the Mainstream Media into a frenzy. Is marriage not sacred anymore for anyone?

First up is Shaunie and Shaquille O'Neal. Now, it is no secret that Shaq is NOT one of my favorite people. His arrogance, lack of focus, shenanigans off the court (chasing criminals down the streets of Miami) and his classless breakup with Kobe Bryant has soured me to him as a person to say the least. Through the years, I have heard legendary stories of his affairs, second and possibly third families, etc. I didn't care because that's typical of a player like him. But recently, a story surrounding his extra-curricular activities piqued my interest. He is in the middle of a messy divorce with his soon-to-be-ex-wife Shaunie.

"Pic via"

So, Shaunie knew that Shaq was cheating on her and decide to hire a private detective, who kept tabs on Shaq for several months. This PI apparently got so much info on Shaq, it gave Shaunie the courage to approach the jumpoff, Vanessa Lopez, and convince her to go public with her affair with Shaq. Having signed a prenup, with proof of infidelity, now Shaunie gets more money. WOW! Wives and jumpoffs unite?

Next up... Sandra Bullock!

So, Sandra Bullock won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and then the coveted Academy Award. At every show, she looked at her husband lovingly and spoke so well of him. She thanked him for putting up with her Hollywood life, and being true to her. Then, in a nightmare of a twist, we find out that he has pulled a "Tiger Woods." His affair is made public by a tattoo model that goes by the name of "Bombshell McGee"!

This chic is tattooed on her face and her underarms, despite all of the body art, she is a pretty girl, she's just a scallywag for sleeping with a married man. Again, we have a woman totally unaware of her husband's infidelity and then BAM! Not only did this McGee woman come forth, but about three or four others. So needless to say, that marriage is over!

Finally, we have Tiki Barber. Now this came as a surprise to me, because he has always portrayed himself as being somewhat wholesome. Very openly denouncing how his father left the home, and ran off to leave his mother to raise he and his brother alone. So a few years into retirement, the very married Barber has slipped. He and his wife Ginny have been married for 11 years! They have two kids at 7 and 5 years of age. Ginny is currently pregnant with twins.

In his retirement, Tiki works as a commentator on NBC Sports as well as a Today show correspondent. Many people felt he retired prematurely, considering the very next year the Giants won the Superbowl, but no one expected this. Not only did he have an affair, but he and Ginny have separated, and he is now seriously involved with an intern named Tracy Johnson over at NBC! For real Tiki? Like seriously?

All of this leads me to believe that marriage is just not for everybody. More importantly, if you aren't willing to put in the work for the long haul, DON'T DO IT! He has kids to think about. This story broke yesterday, on the morning of his 35th birthday.

It kind of makes you wonder if it is even worth it. Families are being torn apart everywhere, and it is kind of sad and demoralizing when you look at how much this affects the kids that are involved. Shaq and Shaunie have 5 kids together. This isn't something that should be taken lightly. While I don't believe that people should stay together and be unhappy, I feel that more responsibility should be taken before people take a walk down the aisle and make that covenant before God. Either way, my heart goes out to these families!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

One Day It Will All Make Sense

....but right now, I just feel like I want to quit!

So since my last post, I got a slight reprieve, but it was just that slight. I got away from the psycho guy and now I am back full time with the group of lawyers on this, well let's just say "Erin Brockovich" type case.

I realized today that I get paid to make people feel better about doing their job. I hear things like, "Mary, please tell me it's going to be okay?" "What do you think?" "Is it done yet?" "Can you...will you....Have you...." It is neverending for like 10-12 hours everyday.

Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE my job! But lately, I feel the need to just go AWOL and escape to the Caribbean or Arizona or somewhere warm with beautiful backdrops and sandy beaches, without a care in the world. I want to lay back under the sun (with SPF-40 Sunscreen of course) and have nothing to do for a change. You ever just feel like you don't want to think? I know that sounds bad, but sometimes, I just want to clear my mind and that be it. Oh God, I sound like Kelly from Housewives of New York. Let me digress here!

My cats aren't so mad with me anymore. In fact, at this very moment, my boy cat, Coco, has hustled all 17 pounds of his lush body on the back of my computer chair. On another note...

March Madness!

Kansas - OUT! Who would've thunk it. I'm not too messed up, cause I didn't pick them to win the whole thing, but I know a LOT of people did.

Tonight, SYRACUSE - OUT! This one hurt, I had them in the Final Four.

Villanova - OUT! I am actually glad about this because, had they won, Duke would have to play them, now they have to play Purdue, the team that beat Nova! It will be a tough game, but I hope my Bluedevils are victorious!

I am not even touching the NBA. The Bulls have lost every player worth mentioning to injury, and they are TERRIBLE without them. Season over!

I still think the Lakers will repeat, sorry Cavs fans.

One more thing!

After 100 years, Congress passed Universal Healthcare, a/k/a as Obamacare! I LOVE IT!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Working Girl!

So, I believe this is my first blog for 2010! I just have to shake my head at that statement, because I have truly treated this blog like a motherless child this year. However, that is a testament to how my year has been going thus far. I have been so busy, I have gone days without seeing my mother and we live in the same building! WORK! WORK! WORK! It has been non-stop since January. Don't get me wrong. I am extremely grateful to be a part of the workforce, and overall, I like what I do. It's just now, I am falling into the abyss of JUST WORK. Absolutely no play, no downtime, hardly any rest, and it's starting to show.

I had yet another rift with another attorney this week. He's...eccentric, which is basically just a nice way of saying a complete weirdo. He's been practicing for over 20 years, still hasn't made partner, and has absolutely no idea how to prepare for a trial. So here I come to save the day, except, like most attorneys with his tenure, they are absolutely resistant to anything logical or common sense. I have never met so many nonsensical people in my life. If this wasn't a reminder to drag my collective ass back to law school, I don't know what it is.

Now, I feel like I'm caught in a bidding war. Two attorneys in two separate groups, both going to trial, and they don't want to share. I have been juggling trial exhibits, document productions and tasks like Whodini, except I am fresh out of tricks, magic, and the fairy dust is gone. I swear, you would think my last name was Poppins, people expect you to be "ON" all the time. I have to know EVERYTHING, do EVERYTHING and somehow do it efficiently in the least amount of time. As much as I hate when Science tries to constantly mess with what God has a patent on, I wish I could clone myself. The sad part is, if I could, my clone would be at work RIGHT NOW!