So I have this friend, who for anonymity's sake shall remain nameless and genderless. This person is a really good friend of mine and we keep in touch pretty regularly. We have lunch every once in a while, we talk on the phone too and basically know what's going on in each other's lives.
The thing with this friend of mine, is that they NEVER use any reference to gender when they are talking about their relationships! Now I am 99% sure that this friend of mine is gay but they just don't want to say it. I wish they would because it really doesn't matter to me at all. I would love them just the same. In fact it might make our friendship that much closer if they would just....come out. But who am I to say? Maybe I'm wrong or maybe they're just not ready or maybe it's simply nobody's business right? And so I say nothing and give no indication as to my personal impressions.
In the meantime, we continue to have these conversations where I'll talk about guys and whatever relationship issues or stories I might have and they will say, "Oh yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about. This PERSON did the exact same thing to me." Or "Yeah, this INDIVIDUAL and I went through that and so I don't talk to that PERSON anymore." Or "Don't you love it/hate it when PEOPLE do X,Y,Z...."
Kinda strange way to talk, right? I know, but again, not for me to question them directly but it just really adds to my belief that I had even prior to realizing their manner of genderless conversation. I find it interesting and even funny at times how they will twist and turn their words to avoid saying a name or anything but like I said, even if one day we do get around to having a "talk", I'm cool either way.
Why is it that they continue to add more and more Awards shows when the ones they already have aren't that good. The Emmy's were pretty bad the other night...
For all the McCain/Palin supporters out there, (even though being non-American, I have no vote) do you REALLY think Palin could run this country in the event that she was called upon to do so??? Just the thought makes me nervous...
As big of a reality TV fan as I am, there really are too many on air right now. It's getting out of control if you ask me. Paris Hilton's New Best Friend, really???? And some of these new Game Shows, please??
Why is it that the no one likes or cares about my sport of track and field outside of every four years at the Olympics. It's still us, the same people, doing what we do year in and year out. Please show us a little love on the odd years too...
Why can't men and women think just alike? I swear it would make life a whole lot easier, lol!
If you haven't tried the Mango Strawberry Fruitista drink from Taco Bell, you are seriously missing out...
Why is Roger Clemens so surprised and distraught that they didn't invite him to the celebrations at Yankee stadium the other night? Really though, he was sitting waiting for an invite?...you've gotta be kidding!
Why is OJ such an idiot?
Between the Scion and the El Camino from back in the day, let's just say I'd rather walk thank you very much...
For the first time in my life, I've been trying to PUT ON weight, yes that's right put on about 5 or 7 pounds that I lost while I was sick in Beijing and nothing's happening!!! I'm eating ice cream, pizza, whatever and nada! All of my life, I've had to watch what I eat cause I had TOO much JITT (junk in the....) and now there's no junk to be found for miles, LOL!!!! Somebody please tell me the formula to get it back...
You know it's a sad day when I'm overjoyed that gas is UNDER $4.00/gallon. There was a time when I trained in Austin, TX around 1999/2000 when I paid 89 cents a gallon. I would've never dreamed in a million years....
How come millions of dollars are being spent every day and yet there are no new cures being found for old diseases or illnesses? When's the last time you heard someone say, we've finally found the cure for X,Y,Z!!! Cancer, AIDS, spinal injury, alzheimers, blindness....just one, please?? Can we just cure one?
I swear if Bill Clinton was to run for President again, he'd probably win!
Why am I attracted to L'il Wayne? There's really no good justification. I know, I should really keep it to myself, lol. He's probably 4ft 8 and 130lbs...
Is it me, or do some people singing karaoke get a little identity crisis every once in a while mid song and think that they REALLY are Mariah, Celine, Aretha...
And last but not least, now that Clay Aiken has OFFICIALLY come out as being gay, who amongst us didn't actually know this already? Is this really news to anyone?
I've spent the past 4 days here in Bakersfield but you know the saying, "All good things must come to an end...." well the end has come and my back for one couldn't be happier. I had to use a heating pad the other day cause it was pretty sore from all the heavy lifting. My time here has been very productive. Almost all of the boxes got either emptied or stored and my parent's things are about 90% unpacked I would say. They have some clothes left to tend to, but I'm not getting involved with that.
Their bedroom got sorted out the other day. My father LOVES this Asian inspired fan that they have and so I figured I would put it in a place where he can see it every night. I wish I could've painted the walls to give some more depth to the room but hey, it's not my house. All I did was select the comforter set and the lamps, clean up and find that fan amongst all the many boxes. It's pretty simple but it's their style and their furniture so I did what I could.
I'm taking the short drive back to LA today. My friend/business partner Peggy and I have to meet with a real client later this week. They're changing their downstairs half bath to a full bath to accommodate their handicapped son and so I need to be in town for that meeting. We've done all the legwork already as far as space planning, material selection, colour selections,etc and so this is really just the final go ahead meeting.
It's been fun spending the time with my parents. Yesterday my father preached his first sermon at his new church and it was definitely well received. I hope that they will have a great couple of years here before they return home to the Bahamas for their retirement.
So yesterday, I finally drove up to Bakersfield to visit my parents at their new home. I was supposed to come on Tuesday but between fatigue and a slight cold I didn't quite make it. Anyway, so I got here yesterday and suffice to say, the sight that I beheld was somewhat overwhelming. Boxes everywhere, clutter, disorganization....everything I dislike. People who know me, know that I like my ducks in a row!
I wasted no time and within 45 minutes of my arrival, I got to work and put my parents and my brother to work as well, lol. It took a lot of moving and bending down and lifting and reorganization but I'm happy to report that by this morning this is what the room was looking like. I'm posting a before and after picture from the same angle so you can get a better idea of just how far we've come.
Last night I went to bed at 9:30pm because I was so exhausted. After wrapping up the living room this morning, I took a little lunch break and enjoyed the clean living room area for a moment and then it was time to move on to some of the kitchen, folding towels and bed linen and the beginning of the dining room. It's only one room down and several more to go but at least we're on the way....
I made it back to LA last night after pretty much a whirlwind trip to Germany. I spent the first couple of days in Munich and then headed out to Stuttgart as I had mentioned. Here's a pic from Chandra's birthday dinner in the dining hall.
The day before the meet, I went to a seminar on how athletes should conduct themselves in press conferences, at meets and in the event of good and not so good results post competition. I didn't realize we needed lessons on this but I guess it can't hurt to learn something.
The weather turned pretty cold on the days of the competition but all I did was just bundle up and head on out to support everyone. Here's a picture of my friend Valerie from Munich, my Bahamas teammate and 400m runner Christine Amertil and me.
My friend Grace ended up finishing fourth in the long jump and collecting a good sized check for her efforts! Go Grace!! I started to catch a little bit of a cold so I did not go out clubbing with everyone after the first day of competition.
On the second day, David ended up winning the hurdles, as was expected and I managed to take a picture of him on his victory lap.
Later on that evening, they threw a closing party for everyone. At first it was a bit of a bore, but suffice to say as the evening wore on and people finished eating and they cleared out the tables and the DJ got his act together, let's just say a fun time was had by all in attendance.
People you wouldn't expect to be dancing were killing it, people who you knew would be gettin' it, didn't disappoint. I had a really fun night. Parties tend to be far more enjoyable when you know everyone there and track parties are notorious for being pretty good. First of all, we're one of the few professional sports where both genders compete together all the time, so we all end up being pretty good friends. Of course that creates it's own other set of problems but all in all, for the most part, we just are one big happy family. Here are just a very few of the more tame pics I took. We'll keep everything else amongst "the family", lol!
Me and Marc "Gobo Speng" Burns
One half of the Barber twins, Lisa Barber, my girl Steph Durst and Monica Hargrove
Some of the ladies....Tiff, Joanna, Dawn, Torri, Marshevet, Christine
Me, Dave, Lisa, Steph
Me and Joel
Me and Tiff
Chandra, Christine, and manager extraordinaire Paul Doyle
Me and my Bahamian homegirls, Chandra, Christine and Debbie on the bus ride back to the hotel after the party...
Anyway, I'm pretty tired but I might be headed out to Bakersfield later this morning to help my parents unpack a little as they just did their big move from San Jose.
So I enjoyed the couple of days I spent in Munich. I did some shopping, I ate well (I had some vanilla and mango ice cream for the first time. I'm still daydreaming about that!!! It was delicious!), and I just had a relaxing time all around.
On Thursday, I took the train and came to Stuttgart where the World Athletic Finals are being held today and tomorrow.
I will not be competing but I decided to come anyway and spend some quality time with my friends as the season comes to an end. So far I have had a really good time just laughing and hanging out. I don't think I've had this many jokes in a long while. My face was literally hurting last night when we were celebrating my friend Chandra's birthday because I was laughing so much.
I came here with a personal motto for myself which is "Be joyful at all times!" and so far I've been holding myself to that.
Everyone else will be in competition mode starting today so I will just be here to be as helpful and supportive as I can be. Its kinda weird actually to be here as a non-competing athlete, basically a spectator, but there are a few of us here in that capacity.
Anyway, that's it for now. I will definitely try to post some pictures later today from the birthday dinner last night but for now I'm about to head out to the track soon to help my friend Grace Upshaw as she competes in the long jump this afternoon.
So I'm in Germany, Munich to be exact visiting my really good friend Valerie. I got here late last night and I'm happy to report that I slept through the entire night and just got up about 10 minutes ago. That hasn't happened for me in over two weeks. If I knew that just flying to Europe would have brought me a full night's sleep I would've done it a long time ago:)
I've known Valerie for about 10 years now. We were both bridesmaids at my best friend Peggy's wedding, who I co-own Urban Safari Design with. Valerie is a woman like no other that I know. She is African American and I met her when she was doing her Masters and PhD at Stanford years ago (she did her undergrad at Princeton- yeah she's that type of crazy smart!!) Her doctorate was in something to do with Aeronautics and Astrophysics if I'm not mistaken and she used to run track with a best in the 100m hurdles of 13.00 if I remember correctly which is not too shabby!
She used to design jet wings for Boeing and then one day she decided she wanted to work in the German office of her company so what did she do, she taught herself German in no short order and not the "where is the bathroom?" and "how much does that cost?" kinda German, I mean the kind where she can communicate perfectly well in an office environment, discussing technical things. Beyond impressive if you ask me. She's now learning French and so travels back and forth to Paris for intensive classes all the time. I speak French pretty well so it'll be fun to chit chat with her in another language.
Did I mention, she owns two BMW motorcycles? Yeah she used to ride them all the time when she lived in LA and DC. One's a dirtbike and one's a big racing bike. I'm not sure but I think she left them back in the US. She actually rode one of them all the way from San Francisco to LA when we went to Peggy's wedding and I took her suitcase with me on the plane, lol!
One time I rode with her to the mall and when we got off I had the distinct impression that people were staring at us wondering what two buff black chicks were doing riding such a big bike. I think we looked like a "couple", if you know what I mean, lol for real!!!!
I've been to visit before so I know the lay of the land. I'll be going shopping downtown once I get cleaned up and then later on I'll be having dinner at this great Italian restaurant around the corner.
Anyway, I love Val. She's a free spirit and a go-getter and lives and marches to the beat of her own drum and I'd do well to take more than a few pages out of her book while I'm here.
If I could get a dollar for every time I have been asked this question, I would have made a fare sum by now! It's at the point now where I can anticipate when someone's gonna ask me. That's because 9 times out of 10, it's usually being asked by someone from one of the two countries.
The normal scenario is, I'm out and about somewhere, maybe an airport or out shopping and I see them start to look at me. It's kinda funny actually. You know how black people acknowledge one another here in the US even if they don't know each other with a head nod or something, it's pretty similar to that. We don't really do that in The Bahamas because almost everyone is black and so you'd be nodding all day:) But I see them looking, wanting some kindred acknowledgment like, yeah you're part of the clan, the group and I'm trying to make eye contact with you. Sometimes I'll play a game and purposefully avoid the eye contact and then other times, I nod and play along and pretend that I'm one of them, lol.
The eye contact however, if made, is then usually followed by someone approaching me and asking me, usually in a foreign tongue, but sometimes not, if I am either Ethiopian or Somalian. Even if they speak in their language, I will answer immediately and just say no I'm not, which is then usually followed by a puzzled look or even the actual question, "Well if you're not, how do you know what I just said?" My answer, "because I've been asked this question a hundred times".
In my personal assessment of why this is the norm for me, I guess I've figured out that it's a combination of my eyes and my forehead, both not the smallest, lol and my hair. Anyway, I take it as a compliment because I like how their women look.
I figured I'd post a pic of myself along with some women who are actually from these countries and you can decide for yourself if the comparison is so frequently warranted.
Yeah it's 4 something in the morning and I'm awake, yet again. Anyway....
So even though I was raised in The Bahamas from the age of 7 and I have been a citizen since 1991 and if someone asked me where I was from, I would say The Bahamas, I'm actually Jamaican. At least that is where I was born anyway. Falmouth, Trelawny deep in the country part of Jamaica. All my close ties and friends and allegiance is to The Bahamas but all of my relatives and history is 100 percent Jamaican - parents, uncles, aunties, cousins and everyone before them.
Yesterday, I was watching the Lausanne track meet online with my good friend and training partner, Aubrey Herring, on this remote website that he found the meet on and we had a good time as we watched Dave tear it up over there and beat World record holder and Olympic champion from Cuba, Dayron Robles.
Now on this website, as the video is streaming, you can post running commentary with all the other people that are watching too and this makes it pretty interesting. Clearly some of the other viewers were from Jamaica due to their written vernacular. It was quite funny because if you've ever heard Jamaican "patois" (pronounced pa-twaa), it's not the easiest thing to understand, but reading it presents an even bigger challenge. One time Aub had to ask me what the one guy was saying and I gave him the full breakdown, lol.
Anyway, I can't remember exactly what I "translated" for him but I thought I would give you a couple examples of what written patois looks like and how hard it can be to read. I'll write something first in patois and then translate it below and you can see how or if it makes sense.
1. PATOIS: "Dis eh pickney need fi go dung a road an' nyaam sum'tin. She too mawga!" ENGLSIH: "This child needs to go down the road and eat something. She's too skinny!"
2. PATOIS: "Hard ears pickney bite rock stone." ENGLISH: "Hard headed children will pay the consequences."
3. PATOIS: "Look 'ere no massa, no mek mi haffi draw mi han' back an' give you two buffu lick in a you mout! Is who you tink you a talk to?" ENGLISH: "Look here mister, don't make me have to slap you. (Literally written - draw my hand back and give you two big hits in your mouth.) Who do you think you're talking to?"
4. PATOIS: "You too own way." ENGLISH: "You're too selfish."
5. PATOIS: "So you tink me a wuk fi you? Cum and pick up you carrouches an' gu wey." ENGLSIH: "So you think I'm working for you? Come and pick up all of your stuff and go away."
Well that's my Patois lesson for the day. Hope you had fun trying to say the few random sentences I came up with. By the way, yardie is the term used by Jamaicans to refer to people who are from Jamaica. Aub, thanks for the inspiration!