Do Better Thursday – Daley Dose: Fatherhood, A Fool’s Errand

Fatherood, A Fool’s Errand by Ordale J. Allen

On July 6, 2010 my wife gave birth to our first child, a baby girl named Zoe. Not only was she born on my birthday, but also the same day of the week and in the same hospital. With that many coincidences it’s either a miracle or an (THE) omen.

The last three weeks have been life altering so much so that it’s difficult to answer the question, “What’s fatherhood like?” It’s one hell of an experience. I could tell you that baby’s are a bundle of joy and that childbirth is one of the most beautiful experiences in the world but I’d be lying through my teeth. I’ll let the pregnancy books and saps over at Lifetime tell you that. Pregnancy, childbirth and parenting are beautiful to the people who don’t have kids.

My wife was pregnant for ten months. During that time I went from sleeping in a queen sized bed to sleeping in the fetal position in the corner on the floor. I learned to speak only when spoken to, not wear any scent that she found offensive (everything except deodorant) and to take ownership for everything that happens. If it rained too loud…”yeah my bad.”

Childbirth was a whole different monster. I will say this. My wife is either one strong woman—perhaps the result of being the most recent on a lineage of Black women hardened by the injustices of slavery—or she’s a warlock. How an eight pound child came out of something the size of a keyhole is still a mystery… and I had a front row seat. During the twelve hours of labor my wife went from “I love you” to “I will extinguish the light of every soul in this hospital if you don’t find the anesthesiologist.” Don’t even get me started on the hazmat team that had to come in to clean up all the blood. From now on, I will kneel down like they did in the olden monarch days whenever my wife enters a room.

My daughter…I love her to death but I’m not sure if it’s pure parental love or Stockholm Syndrome. Understand this: Children—no matter how young—already run you. For all intents and purposes, you are their bitch. They cry, you jump. You feed them, burp them, bathe them and change them and you’d better be damn thankful for the opportunity. I actually sneak around my own damn apartment for fear of disturbing HER sleep. Never mind that I haven’t slept longer than three hours in three weeks.

I’m the same guy who stands in the grocery store with a calculator comparing grams, ounces and “per pound value” to determine if a sale is really worth it. I will melt two mini bars of soap into one full bar before I’ll throw it away. I’m cheap. Despite my frugality, the princess is immune to my concerns. She doesn’t want to sleep in the three hundred dollar crib? That’s fine. The two hundred dollar swing isn’t doing it for her? No problem. My five dollar box of wings and fries is getting cold because she wants me to hold her until she becomes bored with me? That’s no big deal.

I’m encouraging everyone to donate to their local Child Support Office. If I have to go through this then every sperm donor has to go through this. I won’t rest until every office has its own Apache Helicopter and night vision goggles.

– Ordale J. Allen

Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You: The Brothers "Al"

Welcome to Albums Your Parents Should Have Played You… It’s my attempt rectify this generations profound ignorance of the wonderful music their mom, dad, aunts, uncles, gramps, grammas and cousins enjoyed growing up… Hopefully, you’ll dig it and spread the joy of Soul Music...
Growing up, if you stopped by my home on any weekend morning you were certain to hear some soul, jazz, funk, rock or even pop blasting from my Pops speakers… I can remember several Saturday morning cartoons drowned out by Aretha… Jimi… or Archie Shepp… It didn’t matter who was the artist… It was only a matter of time before I would turn off the TV… open my bedroom door… and begin to build Lego spaceships to the soundtrack of my dad’s mood at the moment… while he prepared “big breakfast”… a breakfast that was usually served around noon… It wasn’t until I was older when I learned we ate meals hours later than other families… I don’t blame him… for a while he was a single dad… there was the laundry that rarely got folded… rooms that needed cleaning and several tasks he didn’t have time to address during the week… In addition to those chores… I had piano lessons, tennis practice and soccer games in the AM… Thus, my early bowl of Cheerios was significantly burned up… and I’m sure he had skipped a meal… so our “lunch” was a full breakfast… by the way, when your 6 years old… a mountain of clean clothes is a great source of play material…

Al Jarreau, We Got By, 1975

One distinct memory of the Saturday morning routine was getting for a soccer game to the tune “Spirit” by Al Jarreau… At the time, it seemed like a bad-ass yet innocent theme song when putting shin guards and Lotto cleats before the Sun had fully stretched out… I had no idea who Al Jarreau was nor the title of the album… I just knew it was time to play some futbol… and the guy on the cover of the “green album” was sitting in an awkward position…

It wasn’t until I began to sample albums for School of Beats production that I fully appreciated the 1975 debut, “We Got By”… I remember doing some crate digging and coming across the “green album”… Immediately, thrust back to the days of my childhood… I purchased the vinyl LP for 25 cents… a mere quarter for memories of listening to the title track “We Got By”… or hearing my dad joke that “sistas got excited when they heard ‘Susan’s Song’ until they found out ‘Susan’ wasn’t a sista…” was beyond a bargain… Very few albums seamlessly travel across genres as well as this one… Jarreau effortlessly demonstrates mastery of soul… jazz… funk… and gospel… from the opening jam “Spirit” to the close of the album with the spiritual “Aladdin’s Lamp”… this 9-track piece of work transports you to a different place from where you set out…

Recently, Jarreau suffered health complications while touring in France… Fortunately, he is expected to fully recovery and continue sharing is gift with us… If your parents didn’t share this gem with you growing up… You owe it yourself, friends and offspring to click here and download this masterpiece…

Al Green, I’m Still In Love With You, 1972

Sure, this can be filed in the “but of course” bin… However, you can never be too certain these days… Everyone may know of Reverend Al but few know of the album which he found his stride… On one album he managed to place “I’m Still In Love With You”, “Love and Happiness”, “Simply Beautiful”, “For The Good Times” and “Look What You Done for Me”…

If I had crafted an album as genius as this… I too… would be on the album cover decked in all white… lamping in the Petey Greene player chair with foliage in the background… When folks ask me have I heard the latest R&B sensations album… I often ask… “Is it better than Al’s ‘I’m Still In Love With You’…” after they look with bewilderment… I explain what this album entails… and they usual claim “of course not, come on dre’…” Welp! Sorry, friends… I see no need to sonically cheat on my ears when I’m still in love with music like this… Click here to understand where some of your favorite hip hop samples came from… and why current soul music needs a sermon from the likes of Brother Al…
That’s it for this edition of “Albums Your Parents Should Have Played for You” featuring The Brother “Al”…
Check back for other classics and hidden gems your folks should have played…
– dre’ of onustees.com

Do Better Thursday: The Shirley Sherrod Fiasco

 We all knew this day would come… We just didn’t know when, how or why… In the end, it was the most obvious issue that placed President Obama into the “Doing It Wrong” category… Race.

No need for a long intro…

Let’s get right to it…

Doing It Right

  • Happy Birthday to the Star Child aka Sir Lollipop Man… “Chocolate-coated freaky and habit forming“, George Clinton!!! Leader of the Mothership turned 69 today… I’m sure somewhere “there was a real type of thang going down, getting down… with a whole lot of rhythm going round…”
Aquaboogie, baba?
  • Shout out to all my friends Doing It Right by getting married and THEN having babies… Truly, congrats to them all and much love and success to their families! They know who they are…
How come no one has topped this show? :-/
  • Inception… Look, it’s not going to solve the world’s mysteries… Nor does it thoroughly examine the power of dreams… but what it does a heluva job at is keeping you in your seat for roughly 2 hours and 20 minutes… Christopher Nolan does a great job of telling this story… Even though is completely unfathomable, you will think “damn… If I took NyQuil can I get this popping…” In a summer full of lackluster films, sans Toy Story 3 I hear, Inception comes to the rescue… bottom-line, go see it… Even if it’s just to get away from this evil ass Sun…
 Just go see it… You wouldn’t want these guys to have to come in your dreams to try to plant the idea to go… it can lead to very complicated things…

On the fence…

  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People hasn’t been advancing too many folks in a while… Now, before the Shirley Sherrod incident occured… I was already priming to go-in on the historic civil rights organization… Mainly because they only seem to pop up when CNN reports something first… then they jump on it… they’ve become pretty invisible in the past two decades… It’s either because the media doesn’t pick up on what they’re accomplishing… or they’re just not doing much of anything… I refuse to quickly denounce the legendary entity, as they did with Sherrod… but it’s hard to see their work advancing the community when so many in the community appear to be regressing… STEP IT UP!
 They’re watching us…

    Doing It Wrong!!!

    • The Head Brother In Charge falls for the okie-doke… The Movement shall not… and will not “hide” this behind the Obama Administration… or place the blame on the evil-doers over at Fox News… nor will we address Andrew Breitbart… This entire Doing It Wrong moment is for Barack Hussein Obama… Now, brother (in my best Dr. Cornel West voice) we understand you are battling two wars… pushing an agenda that includes financial and healthcare reform… and also managing a catastrophic natural disaster… Which is why it is imperative you remain on your toes… It’s a lot of pressure, we underdig… but you can’t afford to have any slip ups… Last year, Skip Gates had a little skirmish and we felt you dealt with it appropriately… Beer summit… Ok, cool… Now we come to the Shirley Sherrod situation… simple and plain… It should have never happened… This was the slow-pitch softball of racial ploys… Not a Strasburg heater… or a fast-speed pitch from the Champion Lady Bruins… This was a “Grandma’s on 3rd… My dirty uncle is on 1st… We’re down 2 runs… and my cousin who was pitching a shutout just hurt himself… was replaced by the drunk aunt to close the game…” All you had to do was step up to the plate… read the seams… lift your knee… and swing for fences… Instead, you went up to bat… Didn’t check the score… outs… or order… Because if you don’t get this right… no one on your team may ever get another chance at bat… and you struckout… I mean, really? You backed the decision to force Sherrod to resign based on a report from Fox News and a video released by a conservative blogger? Really? Brother Barack, that’s the equivalent of SkeletorNews reporting that Cringer aka Battle Cat called He-Man “a punk ass beeeeeech” behind his back… based on video edited by Mumm-Ra… and then He-Man goes out and asks Lion-O to “handle that.” Yes… it’s just as absurd. C’mon, O… you can’t fall for these schemes without even asking questions… Next time, call up the Mystery Machine… Scooby and them will solve it in 30 minutes or less.
     “Fox News… ruh roh???”

    Welp… it had to happen…

    Glad he rectified the manner in a timely fashion…

    See you next time…

    Same Do Better Day… Same Do Better Blog site…

    Thanks for doing better,

    – dre’ of onustees.com

      Do Better Thursday: The Sports Update

      You’re looking at the WAKA Spring 2010 – DC Rock Creek Kickball League Champions!!!
      (I’m the brother in the two-tone purple shirt… it was hot… :-/ )
      Welcome back to another edition of Do Better Thursday!
      It feels good to be home… 
      This week, as you can tell from the title, the Doing It Rights and Wrongs will revolve around the sports world… It’s been a busy two weeks… So… In honor of the ESPY’s last night…
      Let’s get to it…
      Doing It Right
      • LeBron realizes his hometown squad is clueless… In gathering talent to surround him… and in the fact he was leaving… double whomps whomps to Cleveland… and I don’t blame him… We’ll look into this deeper below in the “Doing It Wrong” section… I just wanted to briefly acknowledge that Mr. James made the right decision…
       “Now, which way to “Championships”?”  “South…”
      • Miami journalist and sport radio show host gives epic “Welcome” speech… If you read the entry above… the following needs no intro… just enjoy Dan LeBatard celebrate LeBron’s arrival…
      Tell me you wouldn’t fly down to South Beach for a chance at “Run The Point” Night…
      • Reggie Bush does something funny… I couldn’t think of a better lead-in than that… I doubt there is a better one… I was a Reggie Bush fan when he was at USC… However, lately he seems kinda corny or “douchey”… 100% sure that has to with the Kardashian factor… Fortunately, promos for the ESPY’s has helped the brother out…
      • Do Better Movement “Ole Head” celebrates 73 years of Doing Better… HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO Mr. “HEY NEGROES GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER I DIDN’T SPEND ALL THESE YEARS PUTTING MY BEST FOOT FORWARD FOR YOU TO BE WASTING IT! DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT WAS TO BE THE CO-LEADING BLACK ACTOR ON A PRIME TIME TV SERIES OR PERHAPS HOW MUCH OF AN ACHIEVEMENT IT WAS TO HAVE THE BEST SITCOM SHOW… PERIOD… REGARDLESS OF RACE??? DO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I’M SAYING TO YOU, THEO??? …We do at Do Better Movement, Mr. Cosby. Thanks and enjoy another year!

      On The Fence…

      • This one’s personal… I recently had a dream that I visited my junior high… Accompanied by my parents, we caught up with all of my former teachers… Catching up on my hi-jinks and academic achievements… Towards the end of the dream, we bumped into my 8th grade homeroom and science teacher… Mr. Teach… (I didn’t really believe that was his name then either… but it is…) After a few laughs… he asked what was I up too… remembering how I had the promise to do “anything I put my mind to…” …after thinking about my 9-to-5… I looked at him and simply stated… “Work…” *dream ends…* Now, I’m not sure what exactly sure what that meant… I just know that when I said “work…” it felt like I had a lot more to do… and the current career might not be the thing to satisfy my ambition… I used to want to be a teacher… Then it was producer… Now, I sell shirts… All of which I like… In the end, I know I need to find something that’ll make an impact and help others… Do Better.

      Doing It Wrong!!!

      • Dan Gilbert goes bat-shit crazy when his meal ticket leaves town… There’s nothing more I can say that Brother Jesse hasn’t already… So, check out these clips… And you’ll understand why LeBron left…
      • Delusional upset fans claim “Michael Jordan” did it by himself… and ask “Why can’t LeBron???” For this debate… I had stats… facts… and putbacks… (work with me… going for the rhyme trifecta…) But there’s no need for that… Let’s have fun… Here are pictures of past NBA Champions since the Jordan era… Tell me what you see…
      …it takes 2 or more!!!

      “this shit here ain’t gon’ work…”

      …but this might.
      …and that wraps up this weeks Do Better Thursday: The Sports Update
      Hope you enjoyed it… 
      Take a gander at the new tees over at www.onustees.com…
      and as always…
      Thanks for doing better…
      – dre’ of onustees.com

      Do Better Thursday is… Back!?!

      Yeah… I know, it’s been awhile…
      It’s been nearly two months since the last Do Better Thursday post… I’ve gotten calls from my mom asking me what’s going on with the blog… “That’s how I stay in the loop with the hap’nings of world…” <— those are her words not mine… although, my jargon isn’t far from it, ya dig? I’ve had other blogsters ping me on The Movement… Shout out to Ms. Mocha Cafe… Thanks for bringing me back to the interwebs… A lot has gone on since then… Most of which will be revealed in upcoming posts… But this post is all about the Do Better Thursday updates…

      Let’s get back in the groove…
      Doing It Right…
      • Jack Bauer rescues another US citizen trapped (in the house…) Well, I wasn’t necessarily trapped… but like millions of fellow Americans, I was unemployed for a spell… and much like those Americans looking for work… I sat in front of the TV… Fortunately, Bauer saved the day! and the subsequent days… weeks… etc… Now, I know I’m late with the Jack Bauer Power Hour… But, better late than never… Unlike the Snowdom of 2010 (which lead me down a regretful path of watching the first 5 seasons of Lost so I could be ready to jump on the bandwagon of calamity that was the final season of the show) thus far I don’t have any qualms with the first 5 seasons of 24… It was a tad eerie to watch the President Palmer seasons with the Obama administration in office… Also trippy to watch the history of technology… Several times I thought, “oh shit… I had that phone!” with each season… Then realizing that I’ve bought a new cell phone each year as if somehow the present phone had become a dinosaur… (So… No, thank you, Apple… I’ll be sticking with this 3GS for a little while longer…) To the remaining 6 folks in the world who haven’t checked out the show… I highly recommend! It has become reference material for my daily interactions… No matter how out-of-date I sound… Here’s to you, Jack!
      • Recently Bill Clinton addressed the media on Obama’s handling of the oil disaster… Even though his wife has her paycheck signed by Brother Barack… I really thought Bill was going to come at him sideways… To my surprise… he didn’t… Check it out…
      • 37signals.com’s publishes book “Rework” to motivate business “starters” to get it crackin’… One night on Twitter… I came across, one of my favorite artist, Phonte’s page… In his profile picture was a shot of him hold up the book, Rework… Knowing that it had to be of some value to get his nod… I googled it… Bought it off Amazon for about $18 dollars… and completed reading it 2 days after delivery… As you can imagine is a pretty good book… Initially, I wondered if it had anything “new” to offer as I turned the pages… but as the 2-3 page chapters progressed the value was evident… It debunks myths and theories that I learned in business school… and addresses the real world issues I face as a small business owner… Mostly, it reaffirms the ideas a “starter” in the new world may develop and encourages to run with them… Definitely, a Do Better Approved piece of work…
       
      On The Fence…
      • Chris Brown breaks down and cries before he can begin singing “Man In The Mirror”… I won’t spend much text on this… 1st… I didn’t see it live… So I didn’t know he started “crying” before he could get a word out… that makes it a little suspect to me… 2nd (and lastly) as I’ve stated on Twitterverse… If it took the death of an icon to revamp my career… I’d shed a tear too… real or fake… (I must say… he did do a damn good job with the MJ moves…) 
       
      • The Roots and Jimmy Fallon make blips on my “What the hell were they thinking?” radar… The good people at Okayplayer pointed out the skit below may be a bit too much… My biggest is grievance is Black Thought partaking in the foolishness… You decide… 
      It’s no Michigan J. Frog… but it’s close…
      Doing It Wrong!!!
      • The Sun. Point. Blank. Period. Last week, the Sun got beside itself… Literally, going “en fuego” during the last week of June… I mean really… it was uncalled for… I shouldn’t be heading to work in the morning… only to towel off and down two glasses of ice cold water… Fortunately, the past couple of days in the Nation’s Capitol have been pleasant… but I hear Good Brother Ra is planning to bring in Fourth with some fireworks of it’s own… It will be damn near 100 degrees… Come on, son sun… #getthephuckouttaherewiththatheatshyt…
       Dog on left: “It’s not a game fam’…
      • Do Better Movement. Wrong for “going dark”. #bauerspeak
       
      •  Lil B the Based God inspires league of young idiots to pursue rap… (Disclaimer: I will not link to any of his ignorance nor that of his following… Or any videos of him getting slumped <– true story… Or him speaking on his beating and the subsequent “I’m sorry” youtube by his aggressor… and to my ole’ head readers with kids… Ask your child if they know of Lil B…. and if they do… an ass whooping may be on hand…) Currently, there’s a race going on… Unbeknown to me, there was a rapper named Lil B the Based God (what the hell that means… I do not know…) making headway in the rap game… With the ability to sound utterly ridiculous on even more utterly ridiculous tracks… Now you may ask, “Where does the race come in?”… Well, folks are posting videos of themselves rapping like Mr. Lil B… Of which, I can only discern as a competition to become or mock the worst rapper to ever have a buzz… no matter how minuscule the buzz may be… let’s call it a single Vuvuzela blow… Anyway… the race is on… I’m not sure if it’s genuine or all a big joke… I just hope it ends soon.
       Nope… Nada… Nothing… That’s right… I’m trying to erase this from the spectrum of life…
      • FIFA and Baseball deny the 21st Century it’s coolness… As you know… or should… The World Cup is going on… and the refs are having a wonderful time! Ok, not wonderful… they’re struggling… Struggling to govern flops… Struggling to call handballs… Struggling to keep up with the pace of the pitch to call offsides… and sadly… Struggling to award goals… All of which could be addressed by implementing in-game and post game replay reviews… Baseball is dragged into this because of their consistent ineptitude of refusing to use the same technology that allows them to broadcast to millions of viewers… all the while robbing pitchers of perfect games… in the name of the “human element…” I have a story about the human element and competition, I’d like the share… Nothing to do with my years of playing competitive tennis… through juniors to college… Nothing to do with my football playground and current “reclaim the dream” seasons of both male and coed flag football leagues… Nope! We’re going back to 4th grade and the battle of dodgeball… Let it be known… I was the shit in dodgeball… Quick… Daring… Accurate… and most importantly, Lean… really, I was skinny as hell… but dig… There was one game I’ll never forget… I was playing dodgeball during PE (back when schools encouraged children to run… jump… play… etc.) and I was in the usual final four… I had made an attempt to get “Crystal” out… but she was nimble and averted my throw… picking up the ball behind her was Strong-armed Derrick… You know… the kid who either A, stayed back a year… B, destined to be a bully or professional athlete or C, had parents who were both 6 feet plus… I’m not sure which Derrick was… He could have been a combination of all three… I just knew I had to get the hell outta dodge (pun intended, I like them…) and that’s just what I did… I darted to the far corner against the wall with the flip-up tables (the gym was the also the cafeteria)… and waited for him to set his target… “Crystal” was closer so I knew he’d go for her… but like the rest of my fellow boys in 4th grade… We didn’t understand “treating girls nicely”… We thought… “if you like them… push them… so they’ll chase you…” Yup, that’s the way to a girls heart… But Derrick was worldly… and thought better of going after the girl… and went after me… As he locked on… I bolted across the room to the other wall… In an attempt to mess up his throw… And it worked… he flubbed the throw… but as stated he was still “strong-armed” Derrick… the ball had some pace but it was a bouncer… Quickly, I made an adjustment… Slid to the wall… Flatten myself on the ground and watched the ball bounce over me… hit the wall and go back into play… Success! or so I thought… from the opposite end of the gym the PE teacher yells “You’re out, Andre’!” …first thing I thought was “WHAT THE HELL! ARE YOU SERIOUS? I JUST MADE THE BEST DEFENSIVE MOVE IN THE HISTORY OF DODGEBALL AND YOU’RE CALLING ME OUT!?!” …but there was no sense in debating… It was a close call from where she was standing… and you didn’t want to argue with her… I just wish she could have gone to the replay booth.
       The move was kinda like this… but waaaay better.
      • Tiger Woods is apparently set to pay Elin $750M in their divorce settlement… No one… or few… knows the particulars but the astronomically large sum is for her to remain silent about the goings-on in Tiger’s past… If that is the case… Tiger is doing it A$$$$$$$$ ($ = L) wrong… I don’t know how much more money he plans on making or what exactly he did in his past… but outside of beastiality and/or kinky homosexual acts… I’m not sure if it’s worth paying someone $750M… I’d much rather slide her $100M max… let her do all the books and talk shows she wants… and just wear a shirt that says… “Yes, I’m a filthy ho’… a filthy rich ho’.” For the record,  Do Better does not think Elin is doing it wrong, at all… this is solely on Tiger… Some of the fellas may say… “Come on fam… that’s just TOO much money.” Well, I’ve learned alot of things from watching 24… and the one lesson they tell over… and over again is… “the one with the info holds the purse”… *****spoiler alert, to the remaining 6…***** I’ve seen Nina Myers commit treason 4-5 times… kill everyone from Jack’s wife to 2Pac and still bargain for full immunity signed by the President… So if Tiger figures his whoredom is worth that much in secrecy… So be it… I would just think it’s far cheaper to be a renown ho’ and keep swinging… (another pun… jots down on scorecard…)
       “HA Ha haaaaaaaaa!!! Now about that loan…”
      • The “IN BEFORE THE LOCK!!!” award winner: An asshole has his hand up a puppet’s asshole.
      If he gets raped by a pack of Kramers… I’ll post it on YouTube.
      That’s it for this “Welcome Back” edition of Do Better Thursday… 
      Hopefully the rust is off now…
      Thanks for reading…
      Keep doing better…
      dre’ of onustees.com