Why Did I Do That?

Me after a Redskins loss

Spoiler alert: most men like….no, love sports. Studies have shown that, on average, husbands spend more time watching Sportscenter than they do watching their own kids. NCAA brackets and NFL* fantasy football leagues are responsible for more men being unproductive at work than your office secretary’s liberal definition of “business appropriate attire”. Men will cuss out their grandmother for being a fan of their hated rival. I’ve seen Little Giants a million times and will be watching it again later because, in addition to it being a great movie, I get to see the Cowboys** lose (to a girl no less), which is something that can cheer me up no matter what #screwdallas.

Now, similar to a man’s love of a woman’s backside coffee table, our favorite sports usually grab our attention instantly. It’s science. Minus Gabrielle Union confessing her undying love for me, if I see anything with a Redskins logo on it, you’ve lost my attention. But I find that this scenario isn’t exclusive to sports that a man favors. It can be applied to any sport, which brings me to today’s topic…

Why can’t I turn away from that [insert sport] game?

This past weekend, I was out at a lounge/restaurant chillin’ with my posse. Between the suburban white people who were extremely comfortable with making a fool out of themselves on the dance floor thanks to their low alcohol tolerance and me attempting to persuade my friend to walk over with me to causally steal a piece of birthday cake sitting amid a group of people we didn’t know, my eyes began to slowly shift their gaze. I could see a light out of the corner of my eye that caught my attention. I didn’t understand why I felt the urge to look towards it, but I couldn’t control myself. It pulled me in like an Imperial Cruiser tractor beam. #nerdalert What was this angelic light that had pulled me away from the foolishness of that evening?

Was it Jesus coming to tell His humble servant that it was his time to join the Father in Heaven? No. Was it coming from the red-dot sight of an assault rifle aimed directly at my temple? Nay. Or maybe swamp gas from a weather balloon was trapped in a thermal pocket and reflected the light from Venus? Nein. It was a little league softball game playing on the television.

*audience makes -_- face*

A little league softball game took my attention away from my companions. Not only that, but I ended up staring at that television for at least 10 seconds until I heard one of my friends talking about having no panties on and proceeded to vomit all of the floor once I saw who said it. To be honest with you, I don’t really remember what sport it was. Little league softball was a guess. But I do know it was a sport and not a sport that I’d normally watch. Let me say that again. I don’t remember what it was that I was watching. At all. You’d think I’d have some kind of idea since I was completely sober, but I don’t. All I know is that there was a scoreboard on the television and that was enough for it to catch my “attention”. The sport doesn’t even have to be interesting most of the time and I find myself needing to at least ask what the score is.

So to my fellas, do you ever find yourself hypnotized at the sight of a sports game, even if it’s a sport you find as entertaining as The Office without Steve Carell? Have you ever said “Taking naps is a sport now?? That’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard!!! LOLZ!! I wonder what the score is…” Ladies, do you find the attention of your man or friend-zone prisoner male friend inexplicably being taken by any program on ESPN 8-The “Ocho”? Do these jeans make me look fat? Zipadeedoodah.

-TDA

*I am overly giddy that football season is almost here.
**Cowboys fans, please proceed to 1) take a large knife, 2) insert said knife into throat, and 3) swallow knife

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All Things Are Working

Family! What’s goodington? I have returned. I had to drop off the grid for a while to prepare for my preliminary exam. What is a preliminary exam? Can’t you just Google it? I’m glad you asked. They’re set up a little differently depending on the school and department, but they’re used to see if a student should be allowed to begin or continue work on their doctorate dissertation. My department (Bioengineering) requires that, after your first year in the program, you set up a novel experimental design to acquire new knowledge in your field. You must write up a report (8 page max) detailing your proposal and present your idea to a committee of faculty members who will ask you questions to see how bad they can make you sweat test your knowledge of the subject matter. I equate it to a less intense version of a thesis defense. All this after just one year in grad school.

I was scared.

We won’t go into some of the minor insecurities that I hold in the world of academia, but let’s just say I didn’t know if I would get through this. In fact, there were plenty of moments when I thought I wouldn’t get through this. Facts weren’t making sense. Papers were contradicting each other. Information would get lost in my mind. I even began to prepare myself to deal with a failing presentation in case that ended up being the outcome. Yeah, not a good look.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I was stupid, just out of my league at this juncture (again, I’m working on my insecurities in academia). But while my fear decided to beat me over the head every now and again, I continued to prepare. I read papers, took notes, formulated ideas, modified those ideas, and attempted to organize them into a coherent proposal. I did what I had to do. But the fear didn’t go away. It was still there, lingering over me just waiting to say “I told you so.” So I did the only thing I could do…

I went to my God.

I brought my situation, my fear, my doubt, and my insecurities to Him. And I’ll tell you what. Peace surly did follow. I still didn’t know if I would pass or fail, but I knew that worrying about it wouldn’t change God’s will. I knew worrying wouldn’t change the direction that God was taking me. I knew worrying wouldn’t change the destiny God had in store for me.

In the end, I got through it. I passed my prelim. (Hurrah! Confetti! Happy dance!) And you know what I was reminded of? God used a lot of seemingly insignificant events to help make my exam go smoothly. Trust me when I say this, I could have easily failed my prelim if one or two things hadn’t gone the way they went. Things that were out of my control. Things that I thought would actually hinder me from passing, but instead saved me from failing. Thank God that His favor was on me. Through all this, I kept thinking about these lyrics from Fred Hammond…

All things are working for me, even things I can’t see
Your ways are so beyond me,
But You said that You would let it be for my good,
So I’ll rest and just believe

Sometimes we can’t understand why God allows certain things to happen in our lives until much later. It can be weeks, months, or even years later. In our “immediate gratification” society, we expect to see positive effects right away. Shoot, if ubertwitter takes more than 5 seconds to refresh, I get annoyed. But sometimes there are things that are working that we can’t see. Chess pieces being moved into place to set up the win. I know that I sometimes struggle with staying positive in the midst of a storm, but His ways are so beyond us and He does everything for our good.

So rest and just believe.” This is key to having any peace in your struggle. However, don’t let that line fool you. Rest doesn’t mean don’t do anything. It doesn’t mean that you can chill out and God will have everything gift wrapped for you the next morning. Rest means to continue to move forward, but without the burden of doubt or fear. That burden now belongs to Jesus. What was a struggle is now a victory.

I said it before and I’ll say it again, my preparation alone was not the reason I passed my prelim. I just thank God that all things, whether they seem beneficial or disadvantageous, are working for my good.

-TDA

Why Did I Do That? Act III

Whaddup fam-lay? Nice to see all you beautiful people back in the place to be. I almost didn’t make it tonight after all the LeBron fellators who didn’t get him to join their team started jumping into oncoming traffic, swallowing knives, and taking long swims in the Gulf. All of my laughter inhibited me from typing on my keyboard. But, my joy has subsided and I am ready to spew nonsense about some insignificant occurrence. Shall we?

Why Did I Look Up When You Looked Up?

So this weekend, me and some other people are at my friend’s spot eating breakfast cause she was nice enough to make us food [sidebar: I pray that my wife cooks as well as she does]. After discussing the latest rerun of In The Heat Of The Night (seriously, we were watching it), the fact that men are reluctant to eat new foods if tried-and-true foods are available, and that you have to go full retard to make a bad pizza, we somehow got on the topic of bugs. For the life of me I can’t remember why in the hell we were talking about that, but I digress. My friend began explaining how one night she noticed a treebug on her ceiling and that she had to get her boyfriend to kill it because it was so big and gross and ewwwwww (her words, not mine). Sounds pretty insignificant, right? Well it gets even insignificant-er! (???)

Friend: “So there was this huge treebug on my ceiling…” *glances up at ceiling*
Me: *involuntarily glances up at ceiling*

In case you were wondering, no there wasn’t a treebug or a bug of any sort on the ceiling above me preparing to generally annoy me. So why did I look towards the Heavens? Why did I take a second of my time to ignore my friend’s story in order to make sure everyone could see the inside of my nostrils? Let’s see if I can break this down.

No, didn't see his ass on the ceiling either

Up is a direction that has a lot of uncertainty to it. Your peripheral field of vision has a good view to your right, left, and below you. However, objects that may be directly above you usually require a head movement in order to bring them into view. The more you know. So, as a cautious black man, anytime a person directs their attention upward, especially if there is any reason for me to be suspicious of danger (which as a black man is always), my Negroid instincts kick in and I look up. This is similar to the phenomenon where black people begin to run at the sight of a group of people running. Run first, ask questions later.

So do you guys ever find yourselves inexplicably looking up just because someone else does? Do people look up with a shocked look on their face just to get you to look up and then laugh uncontrollably as they chop you in the throat? Did you know gullible wasn’t in the dictionary? Do your part to keep today’s comment section LeBron-fellator-free.

-TDA

I Hope (S)he Cheats

Well damn. That’s harsh.

Yes, yes it is.

Marsha Ambrosius (for those of you who are unfamiliar, she was the lead singer of the duo Floetry (for those of you who are unfamiliar with Floetry, get your head out of your ass & become familiar as soon as humanly possible)) has a new single called “I Hope She Cheats” that lets her express her post-relationship fury with no apologies. It seems that some guy broke her heart, moved on to another chick, and she’s still sour about it. With lines like…

I hope she cheat on you with a basketball player
Hope that she Kim Kardashian’d her way up
Don’t know the difference between a touchdown and a lay up
Gotchu on viagra in order for you to stay up

…it’s obvious she isn’t really in the mood to forgive.

I may sound bitter
I’m a little bitter
Just a little bitter
Because you are with her

No sh*t, Marsha.

Maybe you’ve been through this scenario before. Maybe you haven’t. You’re in a great relationship and for whatever reason, it falls apart. The other person moves on with their life and you’re left alone trying to figure out what went wrong. Not to mention, you’re not over them. Addendum: they’ve already found a new man/woman. I call this the Perfect Storm of a breakup. The fact that they’ve moved on so quickly is made worse because of the fact that you’re not over them AND they’ve already found someone else to be with.

At this point, some people begin blaming themselves for what happened. Maybe I wasn’t handsome/pretty enough for them. Maybe I didn’t give them enough attention. Maybe I didn’t this. Maybe I didn’t that. We beat ourselves up and figure it must have been our fault.

However, some people take the Silky Johnson approach.

"I hope all the bad things in life happen to you, and nobody else, but you."

Karma is a bitch and interestingly enough she’s your new best friend. Well, her and this voodoo doll that you just made. What’s that playing in the background? Oh, your custom iTunes playlist of Payback by James Brown, Bust Your Windows by Jasmine Sullivan, What Goes Around… by Justin Timberlake, and Sh*t, Damn, Motherf**er by D’Angelo. And yes, it’s being looped. You even send a prayer to God to ask that this heartbreaker be forced to feel the same pain that you had to. #justkidding #butnotreally I mean, how could they have ended the relationship like that? You think back to how you gave them so much. You did so much for them. You sacrificed and tolerated so much. And this is what happened.

It’s so hard (that’s what she said) to wish positivity in your ex’s love life while you’re wallowing in your own tears. Hell, it’s hard NOT to wish negativity into their love life. Rejection hurts like mother, but I’ve learned long ago that there is never a wasted moment in life. While your pain pierces at you, you have to look at this moment as a lesson being learned. There are negatives that came out of what you went through and, as tough as it is to see, there are positives as well. Take some time to cry, pout, shout, punch, kick, start, select, and then move forward. Recognize the learning experience that it was and dive head first (not literally) into your next learning experience equipped with the knowledge that you’ve gained from your last experience.

Most importantly, you got to put your behind in your past (c) Pumbaa. Don’t let it gain any more control over you, aka don’t be like Marsha in her song. We learn some of our greatest lessons during our worst times and instead of realizing these lessons, we’re too busy being distracted by our inability to let it go. Granted, we’re all human and feelings of bitterness aren’t avoidable all the time, but try to always see the positive. Everything works out in the end. I truly believe that.

PS: Shout out to Gem cause it’s her birthday! Make sure to visit her inferior blog!

-TDA

Why Did I Do That? Part B

You actually came back? Interesting, I didn’t know you were a masochist.

Anywho, welcome to the second installment of the critically-acclaimed* series, “Why Did I Do That?”

In today’s episode, we’ll look at…

Why did I look at the menu while ordering my food even though I knew exactly what I wanted?

So one day I’m in line at McDonald’s for lunch, not because I like McDonald’s but because my body doesn’t tell me what to do, my wallet does. While I’m in line, I peruse the overhead menu and decide to get some sandwiches from the dollar menu because, in case you weren’t paying attention, I do whatever my wallet tells me to do. Once it’s my turn to place my order, I walk up to the register.

Cashier: “Hi. What would you like?”
Me: “Can I have ah…*looks up at the menu*…three McChickens and small fries.”
Cashier: “Will that be all?”
Me: *looks back at the menu* “Yes.”

So, let’s recap. I stand in line. I decide on what to order. I walk up to the register. I look at the menu AGAIN and then place my order. It doesn’t seem that strange or weird I suppose. But, the point of this post is to rant about something minuscule. And it’s your fault for deciding to read this anyway.

So why in the hell did I look back at the menu knowing exactly what I wanted to order and knowing that the menu hadn’t changed in the 2 seconds that it took me to walk up to the register? Well, mostly because it wasn’t my choice. My decision to look up at the menu wasn’t a subconscious one. It’s a reflex. I don’t know why, but I feel like I need to be looking at the menu, as if it’s a menu in Spanish and I want to make sure I’m pronouncing the name correctly (don’t fake like yall don’t point at menu items in foreign restaurants so that the waiter knows what food you want to order in case you’re pronouncing it wrong). It’s not like I usually change my orders or anything. I’ve never found secret discounts on the menu. It’s a complete waste of energy.

But this phenomenon is not isolated to just McDonalds or other fast food restaurants. This is a behavior that I’ve seen done at more respected establishments (i.e. places where you sit down to eat). When I go to places like The Cheesecake Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Fridays, or any other restaurant that bougie ni**as love to frequent, after looking over the menu and deciding what I want, I usually end up reading my order to the waiter. It’s as if I’m that guy from Memento. I mean, how hard is it to remember that you want to order fettucini alfredo and then simply speak the words instead of reading? Hint: it’s not hard.

So I can’t for the life of me understand why I continue to look at menus whilst placing a food order when I don’t need to. Do any of you do this sometimes? Is it because you have anterograde amnesia? Is it because you hate to make eye contact with people? Is it because you don’t know English? Share with the group.

*by “critically-acclaimed” I mean some crackhead at my bus stop mentioned something about liking the Internet and since my blog happens to be on the Internet…..look, i don’t know why you’re even still reading this