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

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…

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…
and as always…
Thanks for doing better…
– dre’ of

Do Better Thursday – Commentary: Daley Dose "T-Pain, You’re the Game"

“T-Pain, You’re the Game” by Ordale J. Allen
When I was about ten my father observed me as I “watched” my little sister. She was about two at the time.  She was standing in her crib playing with a doll and kept dropping it on the floor. I’d picked it up, but it seemed like a minute later she’d drop it again. After watching this go on for about five minutes my father cynically remarked, “The funny thing about this is that you’re the game and you just don’t know it.” While watching the first fifteen minutes of “Freaknik: The Musical” took me back to that moment.
At first glance the show just seems like BET: The Animated Movie. Then I realized that somewhere in there T-Pain was trying to paint a satirical picture of Black people and Freaknik. AOL Keyword: “trying.” There was a scene about twelve minutes into it where the title character sings a song saying that women don’t have to watch their kids, instead they can go to Freaknik and it will solve all of their problems. There were various scenes of women getting their nails done and immediately transforming from a stripper into a lawyer.
Don’t get me wrong, I have a sense of humor. I know how to check my uppity ways at the door and just have a laugh. The problem is that while it may seem like he’s making fun of stereotypes, he’s only reinforcing them, hence the allusion to my babysitting days of yesteryear: T-Pain, you may think that you’re breaking down stereotypes in a clever way but guess what…you’re the game. You’re only reinforcing these stereotypes. After all, Black people aren’t a large enough demographic for Adult Swim to spend money on this show. Big brother is watching and all you’re doing is proving him right, especially considering what your day job is.
Someone who sings into a synthesizer over tracks generally promoting misogyny and being nigger-rich can hardly be viewed as an instrument of change and inspiration. So your message is lost on two levels. First, White people think that it’s real and younger (either in age or mentality) Blacks will relate to it because it’s in your videos.
Now perhaps the show will take a turn. Maybe some of you watched the whole thing and will say that I didn’t give it a chance. My only retort is this: I probably watched about as much of it (if not more) as a White person who happened to flip through the channels and landed on this tripe and who knew nothing about T-Pain, Big Boi or any of the other voice actors.
In this case, the show did for Blacks what those reports on the Prius malfunctions have done for Toyota. We’ve placed a magnifying glass over a few negative outliers and by doing so have painted an inaccurate portrayal of the whole. So the next time you wonder why racism still runs rampant despite having a Black president, you can add Freaknik: The Musical to your list of contributing factors. As for me, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I’ve got dibs on Caucasian. 
Ordale J. Allen

Do Better Thursday – Commentary: Ordaley Bread "Do B.E.T.ter"

(Please welcome contributor Ordale J. Allen to the Do Better Movement family.)
Do B.E.T.ter by Ordale J. Allen
“Here’s our chance to make it, if we focus on our goal. You can dish it, we can take it. Just remember that you’ve been told: It’s a different world, then where you come from.

2010 is here and I gotta say it feels a lot like 1960. A product of DC Public Schools, I spent every February helping the teacher break out the old projector and play those Black History filmstrips with the accompanying record narrated by someone who himself sounded like a slave.

Back in the 60’s we were never on television unless we were playing a mammy, a stereotype, in blackface or just being the buffoon for comic relief. Apparently Black people didn’t like that. In the 90’s we put that behind us. We had Martin, Roc, Living Single, The Sinbad Show, In the House, The Fresh Prince, In Living Color, A Different World, The Cosby Show, Thea, Hanging with Mr. Cooper, Family Matters, Amen, NY Undercover, and the list goes on. Talk shows: Keenen Ivory Wayans, Arsenio, Vibe, and Magic Johnson. We even had black cartoons. MC Hammer had a cartoon, Salt-N-Pepa, Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson (Prostars), Kid n’ Play…they were giving out black shows back then.

Then something happened. It’s kinda like the dinosaurs. No one knows for sure what happened, but science is working to figure it out. From what we can tell, the Black world of entertainment was destroyed by at least two entities: BET and Tyler Perry Productions! Now that is coonery at the highest level. I mean, if you’re not at least a level four African-American, you don’t even want to come into contact with either of those. I’m serious. If you take one follicle of Tyler Perry’s hair and mix it with one drop of water from the fountain at BET, in three days you’ll have a slave.

For the sake of humanity we have to keep BET and Tyler Perry separate. They cannot come into contact with each other. If Meet the Browns or House of Payne airs on BET, the moon will fall out of the sky. It’ll be like crossing the streams on Ghostbusters or feeding a gremlin a midnight snack while giving him a bath. So all jokes aside, if you see Tyler Perry anywhere near 106 and Park or maybe you see him walking down the street over on the Brentwood side of DC where BET’s headquarters is…Chris Brown that dude! Forget do better; you’ll be doing best if you take him out on sight.

So anyway, back to my original point: Where are the Black shows in 2010. I don’t have cable. I didn’t need cable in 1995 to see a Black show. I shouldn’t need it now.  You know who I blame? Obama! I like Obama, I really do. I wouldn’t have stood out in six degree weather for ten hours on Inauguration Day if I didn’t. I’d be the first to hit a Coming to America move and put that brother on a quarter or something. I’m just mad that someone voted to trade all of our Kool-Aid points for one Black president. It’s like that dumb little kid on the playground who trades all his toys for one sticker. I’ll trade you the Teen Summit era of BET, UPN, all the good Black shows, Michael Jackson and credit for the first Black golfer if you give me one Black President. Oh, and I want a Disney cartoon where the main character is Black and you can’t Cleveland Show me and use auditory-blackface either like they did in the Lion King.


We gotta do better!
– Ordale J. Allen