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MMWH Updates: And Where's the Fellas?

Happy Friday! I have a few updates to report:

  • I have a great new picture up for my now infamous I Hate Cats post (cat lovers beware).
  • I have a brand new web badge for you to use on your own blogs and sites. Please use it. It took me almost 5 hours to make it and get it to link back to my site correctly. (Is that desperate enough?)
  • On the sidebar on the far right I have a new Top Commenters section. Shouts out to Yasmin, Ms. Wallace & Brooke for being the top three people giving my blog outspoken love.
  • Shouts out to Damon and Carter for being my male Top Commenters. But this begs a question...MMWH is about being a man, a man in a marriage and a father with two kids...so, fellas, where are you?

Thanks for the love and always it's been a pleasure oversharing for the week. Blog you next Monday.

Have a great (and safe) weekend.


On the Couch

I have a confession to make: I spend more time on the couch than I'd like to.

Not because I'm in the midst of some narcoleptic fit, but because that's where I'd rather be after a rough evening with the wife.

I don't mind it too much. On principle I do because the actual bed we have was mine before we got married. We haven't picked out "our" bed yet as this is supposed to be one of those first items for our new house. Otherwise, being on the couch means I get to watch television as I drift off to sleep (there are no televisions in the bedrooms) and spread out without getting in anyone's way. But the couch is obviously a lot narrower than a mattress. And because I'm an early riser, my kids are never aware that I've been in the living room until dawn.

The tragedy of this lies in the fact that my being on the couch (something my wife actually hates) means my wife and I blew it for the night. Sometimes I am the cause of this more than she is and sometimes it's the other way around. But in the end, we collectively failed.

We failed by going down and staying on the road that led me to the couch. We failed by being so wrapped up in the nonsense that somehow it was okay for me to spend the night in the living room alone and vice versa. We failed to resolve whatever it was/is, meaning one or both of us went to bed angry. This is something my mother raised me not to do, something my pastor implored us (his congregation) not to do, but sadly, something I've done since being married. And to get biblical, the bible says to not allow the sun to set on your anger. No good can come of unresolved issues that are allowed to fester and be slept on. They typically rise with you in the morning, strong and refreshed, ready for a new day, just like you. Or they keep you paralyzed, stuck in bed, not wanting to face them.

So what do you do? Do you stay up all night long playing an angry game of tennis so in the morning you're dead tired, but in a better place? Or do you opt to not be bothered with the foolishness, leave a bad situation where it is, right in the middle of the floor, and get a good night's rest so that you're right back in the same place again and again and again?

Personally, I prefer tennis. But I know at times it's best to leave well enough alone.

Everything I write here can't all be good, or funny or proverbial. By no means am I a pillar of relationships, romance or husbandry. I'm just a guy foolish enough to blog about it daily.

By the way, that is not a picture of my couch at the beginning of this post. I wish it was along with the room where it sits. This is the source for the pic.

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E.Payne Has Landed at BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com

The blessings are just flowing in 2009! Recently I was invited to be contributor to the popular husband/wife/family/lifestyle dynamo website, BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com I visit this website often and always leave half-jealous saying to myself, "Must be nice."

And now I'm a part of the team. Ain't God funny (amazing) like that?

Anyway after you finish reading this, check out my piece over there entitled, "Who Do You Lean On?", leave a comment if you like, and hang out there for a while.

Thanks for reading, following, commenting, twittering, etc., etc., etc.


Wednesday's Question of the Week: What Have You Done For "Love"?

zwani.com myspace graphic comments

Let me begin by saying I'm man enough to admit my mistakes.

I am perpetually $350 short. No matter how financially sound I strive to be, no matter how many bills I pay, no matter what I do. There is a perpetual $350 hole in my pocket.


Because back in 1999 (maybe 1998 - I try not to remember exactly when) when I was young, dumb and full of c__, as my mother-in-law puts it, I made one of the most outrageous mistakes of my life. I was on the outs with an ex-girlfriend and in an insane attempt (that I still do not understand to this day) to regain her favor and love I bought her a pair of $350 chainmail stilettos to go with an outfit she was wearing to that year's Soul Train awards (without me). And here's the thing: I was the one who told her we needed a break. But she flipped it on me when she broke up with me completely. This trump move on her part deranged me to the point where I would make this serious error in judgment. And believe me I knew as soon as my credit card was swiped I'd never see a penny.

I saw this woman recently at a gathering at a lounge and my wife glistened with pleasure over my initial embarrassment over the awkwardness of being in the same space with the two of them. She proceeded to let her girls in on the joke and told them I've never spent this much on a pair of shoes for her. Well, that's because I learned my lesson. Ha!

[I'm buying her a house when the time is right. No pair of shoes compares to this.]

But I've heard worse tales. An ex of a frat brother of mine bought a cozy little house nearby where his apartment was located. When I asked him about this madness his cool and collected response was, "I didn't tell that girl to buy a house. Whatever she thinks is going to happen, ain't."


From the $350 that haunts me to this day, to not sleeping or eating over some random chick, to standing in the rain in the middle of the night in Manhattan throwing pennies at my wife's bedroom window in a desperate attempt to win her back during our brief breakup --- only for her to open the window to tell me to go home --- I've taken some crazy leaps in the name of love. And I fell flat on my face. Oh well, at least I kept getting up. And although age and time has shortened my tolerance for the foolishness that comes with love, I still believe in romance and will always be an advocate for it.

And you?

This Wednesday's Question of the Week is:

  • What have you done --- crazy, insane, deranged, just straight stupid --- for better, but mostly worse --- for love?

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Whatever, Huh Whatever.

If my thirteen year old son was a secret agent...

  • First of all he's clumsy as all you know what because he's growing like a weed --- he's as tall as his mother (she's not short) and he's chasing me down each day --- he wouldn't make it past lunch on his first day on the job.
  • Second, if the way he is with his cell phone, wallet and homework is any indication, he'd probably report to work without his gun. And if he happened to bring the gun, it definitely wouldn't have any bullets.
  • Third, he is a bull in a China shop and walks as heavy as one too. He ain't sneaking up on a soul. My baby is quieter than he is and she's built to be loud.
  • Fourth, based on the mess I find everywhere he's been --- barbecue sauce on the walls, cheese on the living room floor, Jello containers in his drawers, Frito-smelling socks under the dining room table, crumpled up homework on the front porch, snotty tissues stuffed into the back seat of my truck --- he'll never break in or out of anywhere trying to gather evidence without leaving a DNA riddled path right back to his doorstep.

But none of this matters because based on his outlook and apparent oblivion to what's going on right in front of him. He'd walk up to some teenage damsel or secret villain, announce himself, putting on his crackly deep voice as suave as he could and mumble...

"My name is Whatever...Huh Whatever."

Love Is...

...sitting in the bathroom on the edge of the tub, first thing in the morning drinking a cup of coffee while your daughter takes a dump on her potty.


Black History Minute Monday: Blacks In The Media

Vivien Leigh & Hattie McDaniel (pictured left) a.k.a "Mammy"
a.k.a. an AKA in real life.

"Dr. [George Washington] Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut. This has been 'Black History Minute.'"
- Professor Shabazz K. Morton a.k.a. Eddie Murphy

This is my last Black History Minute Monday post for Black History Month, but I'm thinking about making it a permanent installment on this blog.

It's definitely going to be longer than a minute. Last week while throwing away trash in my storage closet, I stumbled upon a great find: a term paper I wrote my junior year at Cornell --- a long time ago --- for a class taught by William Branch, one of the most entertaining professors I've ever had and known. I don't remember the exact title of the course, but it went something like, Blacks and the Media: Stereotypes, Etc., Etc. The following is an adaptation of the introduction of my paper. Given last week's media fiasco involving the New York Post (I will not provide a link). What I wrote then is just as relevant now as it was back then.

African Americans made their way into the forefront of American life in the 1900's via the medium of film. However, this was not a momentous moment for this group of people. In fact, they were not shown in a light that was true to their actual way of life and status in the post Civil War era. Instead, they were "displayed" in situations where their actions were over-exaggerated, or executed in some ridicule of their fashion, speech and cultural activities, such as dance. This was done in order to invoke humor amongst the status quo and to insult and keep down the integrity and identity of African Americans. There were five basic classifications of African Americans that were established and in many cases still exist today whether subtly or blatantly in the media. They are:
  1. The Tom: A "good" negro that was socially acceptable. He was faithful and happy no matter what trials he encountered.
  2. The Coon: The black idiot. There were two categories of coons: the pickaninny and the Uncle Remus.
  3. The Mulatto: The person of mixed racial inheritance. Their life is a tragedy because they have to miss out on the promise of white life due to the black blood in their veins.
  4. The Mammy: The woman of no sex. She is ugly, big and fat, and has no sex appeal whatsoever. She has an attitude brought about by her independence. She usually is a servant in "Massa's" house.
  5. The Brutal Buck: The Negro savage. This is the man who had the ravenous fires of the jungle still inside him. His is big and virile. He displays violence more than any other attribute.

Although the producers of this clip define racism in very crass terms, take note: the studios behind most of the clips are the same studios that make the movies we all patronize today.

The Brutal Buck was the opposite of the coon. Where the coon was "good" and harmless, the buck was bad. He was the common field slave. Upon the conclusion of the Civil War this man posed a "threat" to white life. There was no longer cheap labor to til the fields, the white man indoctrinated himself with the fear that this former slave might avenge himself and his people for the burdens of slavery. Interestingly, they feared for their women, rather boldly assuming that the Buck desired the pristine, "virginal" white woman. Along with the popular stereotypes already held by the status quo that African Americans were stupid beasts of burden, this new prejudice rounded out the classification of the African American man being considered, by and large, a Brutal Black Buck who was violent and must be controlled with violence.
Does any of this sound even remotely familiar today? I'll leave it up to you to think about it. You should also add the Mystic Negro/Magic Negro to this list, like Michael Clarke Duncan's character in The Green Mile and the Magic Negro, or Will Smith's Bagger Vance.

What about the scientists, the inventors, the clergymen, and the politicians? What about them? Obama is the President of the United States, but a young black football star from Mississippi who just happened to be dating a white girl apparently accidentally blew his own head off during a traffic stop.

I believe the year is 2009. But do we really know this in all corners of this great United States of America?

This is not my daughter. Is she anyone's daughter?

It's time to clean up and stand up. If no one is around when a tree falls, does it truly make a sound? The NY Post has never portrayed anyone of color in any positive light, not even athletes. This one's a no-brainer. If you disagree with their ethics, then don't patronize them. Period. The media's power lies only in our consumption of it.

Happy Black History Month. Know from whence you came to know where you should be going.Never let anyone, no matter your ethnicity, color or creed, define or limit you. This applies not only to African Americans, but all of America.


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Muh To the Dayum D-E-A!

I never EVER thought I would find this dude funny, but this is just straight ridiculous.

Happy Friday!

Roland Burris - Victim, Scapegoat or Doofus?

It was impossible to not write about the campaign and election of Barack Obama as our 44th President. No matter how hard I tried. I do try to stay away from politics as it has become quite the circus (maybe it always has been). But...

When I was at Cornell and I mentioned I was from Chicago people always made reference to the crime and the corruption of the Al Capone days. To this day people always say/ask, "Chicago. Bang bang?" I laugh and tell them that was back in the 30's. Well, if you count a handful highly publicized scandals involving some governors, legislators and this guy below, maybe they knew something I didn't.

Why in the world did this poor, old man allow himself to be thrown under the bus like this? He's had a 30-year career of service. Do you think anyone is going to remember him for that now?

My dad is Burris' age and every time I watch him speak I shake my head for his generation. And is that the ghost of Harold Washington sitting next to him at Blago's impeachment trial?

The "Real" Roland should have run the other way when Blago stepped to him. Unless he got a note from the doctor saying he had 30 days to live he could've figured out a way to throw his hat in the ring after they threw that clown out. I don't care what the issues are back home, I don't care about Senator Reid's power plays, the undercurrent of racism everywhere in Chicago and Illinois, the fact that every African American who wanted to be considered for Obama's vacated seat was said to be passed over. Maybe something's wrong with me because I say, "Pass me over!" Who needs the drama? I'm just waiting for the press conference where he strokes out on national television from the stress.

Sorry, but Burris should've NEVER accepted the appointment. Now he's a punching bag for every enemy Blago has ever had on both sides of the aisle. Damn an agenda, he's gonna spend the next two years defending his credibility, or the next 30 days depending on how much public opinion turns against him.

It just ain't right.

Blago's got one hell of a punch. The punch that just won't stop punching.


Getting Unstuck From GO

It's February and most people I know have pissed away their New Year's Resolutions.After this Monday's post about my new piece over at MochaManual.com, a friend sent me a congratulatory email saying the following:

"I am happy to see that your writing has really taken off. Congrats on the new spot. Confucius said: 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.' You are past the first step and have hit your stride. I wish you continued blessings doing what you love so that [you will not have to work all the days of your life.] More than that your children will know the importance of not just following, but living their dreams.

Peace and Blessings..."

Nearly everything follows this order when it comes to us humans. My being a pontificating father of a thirteen year old and a three year old began with one step (0bviously) then many more successive ones. The same goes for being a husband, a son, and even being African American (not that I had a choice on this one - or would have it any other way). Not all of my steps were sure steps, nor will all of the ones from this point. There's no manual on this stuff. The same goes for my writing. If someone had told me ten years ago, that it would take at least ten years for me to "hit my stride" with my writing: 1) I would've laughed in their face; and 2) had I believed them, I never would've gone past GO.

But that's just how this life is, a collection of steps --- a cumulative journey --- a trip along a set of tracks. The results along the way can bear tasty (and lucrative) fruit, but the path is where the real treasure lies.

Following yesterday's post about remaining financially afloat, I believe now is as good a time as any to go after your dreams - to get unstuck from GO. After the 9/11 attacks almost no one was flying. But a friend of mine who decided to take the risk, played the field and crisscrossed the country for no more than $25 a flight and stayed in 5-star hotels for pennies. The same applies for now. I can't tell you how to do it because your path is yours for you and you alone to sort out. But first and foremost do you have the guts to make a move (even with kids) past GO?

Well...do you?

Will you?


Wednesday's Question of the Week: What Are You Doing to Stay Afloat?

After a happy, but intense squaring off with my wife on Valentine's Day, I agreed to take her out of this week's Question of the Week. So....

  • In today's economy where everyday something new is going down the toilet, what are you doing financially to stay afloat and stay sane?
  • Are you staying sane?

This Wednesday's Question of the week has been brought to you by E.Payne of MakesMeWannaHoller.com


Renting vs. Owning

After grad school, I settled down in Queens, New York and began my life as a renter. I did this for many years. Seven years later I dug deep and bought my first property --- a one-bedroom co-op apartment. And life got real good, even with the agony of gut-renovating the place. A little more than a year after the birth of my daughter and one month before I got married I sold the place. Family life forced me to "upgrade" to a two-bedroom rental to accommodate my family.

And this is where I've been ever since. NY's housing market sucks for a middle-income guy such as myself. I must've looked at 30 homes before I gave up looking at shoeboxes for $400 - $500k. And having grown up in a home complete with mowing the lawn and shoveling snow for most of the neighborhood, a condo horrendously undesirable option for me. I need a yard for my kids to burn off their energy and a place for me to set fire to meats every summer. I also dream of falling asleep in a hammock strung between two trees or something. Because of this, sooner, rather than later, New York and I will soon part ways.

I don't care about the pros of renting other than not buying in NY's over-inflated market. A home for me is a place to set down roots, a place for friends to congregate, and a place for me to escape from all the madness in the world, and a place for me to have my own space. Something I don't have right now in my current apartment.

But that's me. How about you?

Threesomes: An Update, Almost One Year Later

My Threesomes post got a lot of blog-love yesterday thanks to the good people over at Days Like These.

It's almost been a year since that fateful day, April 28, 2008, when I decided to write about the madness in my bedroom. My Threesomes post would change the course of this blog, heading it in the direction to where it stands today.

Nowadays, babygirl rarely comes into my bed --- only when she's not feeling well or can't sleep at all --- maybe 5 or 6 times a month at the most. These 5 or 6 days have no rhyme or reason. Sometimes they're in succession, but it's mostly at random. A Tuesday here, a Saturday there.

I welcome the visits from my wee one, even though I still get punched, kicked and headbutted in the middle of the night. Nothing is more empowering than having your young cling to you for protection and care.

Now, my wife may disagree with me on this one because I don't get up in the middle of the night like she does when babygirl comes to join us. But I make up for it by letting her sleep in on the weekends. It's a tradeoff, just like everything else is when it comes to living under one roof with the person you've chosen and the people you've made.


MochaManual.com Welcomes E.Payne

Just a quick plug for my new column, Fatherhood Without A Script, that I'm now writing in the Just for Dads section over at MochaManual.com. It'll be a little bit more serious and concise than the stuff I post here. Think of it as a prequel to my life now as I'll be giving advice (hopefully it'll be taken that way) to men (as well as the women that love them) getting ready to take the plunge into fatherhood.

Stay tuned over there as well as here...


Sorry! This is Supposed to be Fun

This past Friday, my wife stayed home to extend her President's Day weekend. The kids were still sick, but they were up and about in our teeny tiny home. I was glad to have the break and took my time shaving the beard I've grown out of the past few days. As most men know there are only two ways to shave: 1) shaving quick-fast with a can of shaving cream when you have somewhere to go (the conventional method); and 2) shaving with a brush and shaving cream that you have to lather up and work into your face (the original method - the way I learned to shave from my father). After emerging from the bathroom looking five years younger with a crisp mustache and goatee and all my grays washed down the drain, I discovered the following scene in my living room.

Sorry! is one of my favorite games from back in the day. The last time I played things got ugly because my wife kept sending me back to Start.

This game wasn't much better. My daughter decided about ten minutes into the game that all the pieces on the board were hers. Her brother (10 years her senior) decided to fight with her on this because she wasn't playing "fair."

Quickly, it all came to an ugly and hysterical end.


Black History Minute Monday: George Washingnton Carver & Other African American Inventors

George Washington Carver

"Dr. [George Washington] Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut. This has been 'Black History Minute.'"
- Professor Shabazz K. Morton a.k.a. Eddie Murphy

Growing up in my house, Black History Month was a huge deal. My father inundated me with information about the great African Amerian inventors of yesteryear and all the everyday inventions I barely noticed that had been invented by them. George Washington Carver (1864-1943) was just such an inventor. An agricultural chemist, he created hundreds upon hundreds of uses for peanuts and soybeans.

You can learn more about African American inventors' everyday contributions to society here.

This Black History Minute Monday has been presented to you by E.Payne of MakesMeWannaHoller.com


How To Find a "GOOD" Black Man

When I first arrived at college, I was bombarded with "Black American" jokes and in some instances contempt. "Lazy Black Americans...[insert joke]...ha ha ha." But it was all lost on me. I don't have a lazy bone in my body. And if I ever did my father broke them long ago. As a matter of fact, most of the men in my family, most of the men in my community, most of the men at my church were all prominent in their own right in Chicago's 70's & 80's middle class society. And all of them were black. All of them were family men. All of them were proud. Of course there were the projects, the bums, drunks, womanizers and all the rest peppered amongst them (and several in my own family), but they were the miserable exception to what I had grown up to understand as the norm.

But out here on the East Coast to hear my West Indian friends tell it, being Black American was the worst fate anyone with brown skin could suffer. I can't even recall how many times I've been asked, "You're Black American?"

And my answer: "Yes, dammit! I am."

My daughter's doctor told me I was this man. But I don't look anything like him.

The same goes for this new and growing chapter in my life. I'm a father and a husband and sadly to hear it from mainstream media and many African American women I'm an anomaly. And not even. Some might argue I just think I'm all that, but not really, at the end of the day. Every once in a great while I get a comment, always under "Anonymous", where I can feel the contempt (as a writer I can). Like, Yeah, you think your shit (please excuse) don't stink, but it does. There is no right a man, especially a Black man can do. Damned if you do, and dammit, you do.

Uhm...okay? Sorry you feel that way.

And for everyone out there who might be wondering, I use my interactions with my wife as a foil on this blog. I inject humor, make points, tell stories and make light of some of the things we go through. The real serious stuff will never leave the walls of my home or wherever we might be arguing. She approves of MakesMeWannaHoller.com, finds it amusing, and reads it everyday either with her girlfriends at work or at home after I've passed out on the couch. Everyone who knows my wife knows how powerful a woman she is and for those of you who think I come down on her let me be clear: my wife is a twin-turbo bulldozer who is articulate, fierce, beautiful, gorgeous, has a killer swagger (she's rocking a mohawk right now) and is a great friend. Poppa Bear has NOTHING on Big Bad Momma Bear when she gets going. Before I can open my mouth to do anything I'm usually pulling her off someone (family, friend, foe, restaurant owners, etc.) or convincing her to let someone keep their dignity. I say all this to say, you don't have to worry about her. She's good.

Now back to my point. In 2009, when we have an African American in the White House and because we have an African American in the White House, the chips are stacked higher against Black America than they ever were before (give it time if you don't believe this). And personally, I think it's pathetic that all we know for certain, is who is or who ain't shizen (shout-out South Africa) among us. Do mainstream (white) folks have these issues? Yeah, but they're personal, not societal.

So Mommy Blogging took off like wildfire. These stay at home ladies make six-figure incomes and are coveted by advertisers trying to hawk products on their sites. White men, sometimes the husbands of these ladies, and sometimes guys who decided to stay home and make money, began to get in on the action too. Why not? And do the battle of the sexes debates crop up? Of course they do. But it doesn't cut to who they are as an entire people. I mean imagine them debating the crap we do on 24/7 cable news. The blog, StuffWhitePeopleLike, would be absurd if the hottest topic was white women swearing on their lives that white men ain't s%^t. But African Americans have made an olympic sport of going around and around the mulberry bush talking about the same old, tired, ish again and again and again. They were holding rallies about it at Cornell, it cropped up during my graduate days at Bingo. How many specials has BET had and how many reputable African American magazines out there have headlines and teasers like the title of this post? I have been reading the same stuff on black magazine covers for almost 20 years (yup, 20). And I am sooo tired of it. Especially when these now stereotypical black men are NOT the black man that I am. Are they out there? Around every corner. Do they outnumber the "good guys"? Maybe. But who's counting? Or rather, why do we keep counting? Why are we so worried about the bad guys (and girls)? Why not just try to be a good person, attract a good mate or whatever it is you seek, into your life and let the bad folk self-destruct. It always happens, even if it happens very late in life. Why worry about them? Live your own life.

I was at a Jill Scott concert last March and as she was concluding her performance of Cross My Mind, she ad libbed, "Clearly, you were no good for me. And clearly with your credit card bills and bad debt I wasn't doing what I was supposed to do inspire you to be the king you are supposed to be."

I nearly fell out of my box seat and to my death when I heard this.

But drama sells. Just like sex.

Today is Friday and my blogiversary (as I hear it's called) week is at an end. I could've and maybe should've posted this on another site with more traffic to draw readers to mine, but this is my home and my home deserves the best of me, just like my family and just like the dude looking back at me when I go to shave and brush my teeth. Every once in a while I wonder if I should keep the stuff I do, the ups and downs with wifey, my love for my kids to myself? I mean, really, who cares?

About a week ago, someone (African American and male) contacted me via one of the many social networks I'm addicted to:

"I was just reading through your [blog] and I have to say it makes me look forward to getting married one day. I think every guy in his 20's should have access to the kind of information you present! Great Read!"

My answer to my own question: "No." A resounding, "Hell no!"

Oh, and by the way. I AM the shiznit, simply because I work hard at it. Until God, my wife or my kids tell me otherwise, no one else can tell me anything and especially speculate about what kind of Black man I may or may not be.


Happy Valentine's Day.

Have a great weekend.


Happy Valentines, Happy Happy Valentines, Happy Valentine's Day!!!

Sorry for the title of this post. I was channeling my inner Andre 3000.

Who can forget the slow jam tape made for those special times between you and the one you were trying to put it on? I remember all too well, putting the tape in the tape deck, sitting in front of my receiver for hours piecing together the perfect mix and flow of ballads. I remember being stiff from sitting on the floor for so long or being horrified if the tape got tangled. I remember my lazy frat brothers asking me to dub copies for them and not even giving me a tape for their copy. I was never a Luther Vandross kind of guy --- yes, I know. Shame on me. I'm going to Hell. I was always into the alternative stuff from the ones that didn't really fit anyone's mold until they created one themselves.

I decided to do this a couple days early in preparation for Valentine's Day because downloading songs onto your iPod or mp3 player is JUST as annoying and time consuming as dubbing tapes was back in the day. And for anyone who doesn't know what a dual tape deck is...well, what can I say? You missed out, the same way I missed out on 8-track tapes (sort of - I was way too young to understand - I thought they were toys). The following are some of my favorites.

Who knew this was going to be what it was when it came out all on the low? I only found out about her after reading a review in Time Magazine. Who Is Jill Scott? Words And Sounds Vol. 1

Then Jill came with another banger. My favorite off this one is Cross My Mind. Beautifully Human: Words And Sounds Vol. 2

This album is just nasty! Ms. Scott was a hot divorced woman when she laid these tracks. The Real Thing: Words And Sounds, Vol. 3.Now she's engaged and pregnant so I suppose her music is going to be happy?

I don't even need to explain this one. I've been to every concert and wanted to throw my boxers at the man each time. Maxwell's Urban Hang Suite

What a mess. But this was hot. Lady was my favorite off this joint. Brown Sugar,a classic by D'Angelo.

A great movie about love --- even if the plot was full of holes and a great soundtrack to go along with it. John Coltrane (and Duke Ellington's) In A Sentimental Mood is by far one of my most favoritest the songs I love the most in life, period. My lovely wife chose it as the music for our first dance. Maxwell has an incredible remix of Sumthin Sumthin on here too. Love Jones The Music.

R. Kelly wrote it, but despite that, this record is insane. Fortunate,by Maxwell.

Here's a joint I'm not even sure hardcore Maxwell fans are up on. Softly Softlyon the Sweetback album.

And unless you're into Brazilian music and aware of the unfortunate AIDS epidemic over there, you'd never know Maxwell has a joint where he's dropping (some of) it in Portuguese. Red Hot + Rio: Pure Listening Pleasure.

Then there's my girl, Me'shell. A fierce chick, for real. Plantation Lullabies

Again, Me'Shell. Peace Beyond Passion

Let's stop off at crazy and check out Miss Ericka Wright, a.k.a. Erykah Badu. Baduizm

Erykah again with the joints. Mama's Gun

Lenny Kravitz is on Back in the Day. And I Want You is heart pounding (or back breaking). Worldwide Underground

There's only rap song that makes it to my list. This song was, is and shall always be ridonculous. Every time I hear it, it's like hearing it for the first time. I present, The Roots' Break You Off.

This album is AMAZING! The way it was explained to me, this album was released here in the states after Back To Black, but it cut in England before Amy Winehouse (the pics are bananas, right?) became a crackhead. And even if this isn't true, if you listen to this album a couple times this story is very believable. Frankby Amy Winehouse.

Let me round it out this list with a contemporary soulster. I met this brother in Central Park back in 2000. I was meeting my then-girlfriend-now-wife there and saw her sitting on a park bench talking to this real scruffy (looking down on his luck scruffy) dude wearing a trucker's hat and some grocery-store flip flops while his daughter and my future son played. She introduced us and before we left he mentioned something about when his album was dropping. When I asked my lady who he was she said she had just met him and he said he had an album. Of course I just thought he was trying to snatch her up and then about three weeks later I saw this dude on BET with a video. Who knew? I definitely shouldn't have judged the man. Last but not least Anthony Hamilton's Ain't Nobody Worryin'.

Happy Valentine's day in advance. I may not be blogging tomorrow if I fall to the flu that has taken over most of the members of my house.

Now this list could go on forever and cross over into nearly every genre imaginable, but I can't so I'm cutting it here. Feel free to debate what I've posted or add your favorites in the comments.



Nurseman Me

For the past couple weeks my daughter has been battling a head and chest cold. My son however is someone who rarely if ever gets sick and has come under the belief that he's impervious to the elements, germs and viruses. And for the most part that has been the case for the past few years. Apparently the downside of this stroke of luck is that when he finally did get sick (Sunday evening) he went from spry 13 year old to coma patient in a eight short hours. He's probably been awake all of 10 hours since Monday. After getting into work this morning my wife called me to ask how he was doing. I told her his legs were up in the air, but he was breathing. He finally woke up at noon, ate, took a shower, took some medicine and went back to sleep.

To manage the mess, I've been working from home. This has its advantages if there's no kids around. So it hasn't been advantageous at all, not that I'd trade time with my kids for anything else in the world. I've been cooking like my name is Ruthie Mae, cleaning like my name is Bessie Jenkins, and been Rastus, my daughter's personal chauffeur from the living room to her potty in the bathroom. Right now she's in front of the television with her fingers up her nose while I type these words. I've been over the house twice with disinfectant because I am not trying to get sick from these 2 germ receptacles. This is the first time my daughter (who loves to cough all over me) hasn't left me bedridden after she's gotten over some voodoo she usually picks up at daycare.

My head is killing me and if this little girl tells me what to do one more time I'm gonna scream.

I love my yob. I do. I do.

Why Do Women Sleep...

all damn day long, if given the opportunity?
This awful cat sleeps all day, too.

I kid you not, this past weekend (Friday evening to Sunday night) my wife was asleep for almost 36 hours. Not that there's anything wrong with sleeping in, late and long on the weekend. I understand having a long night, a rough night, even a great night or being sick or it being that time of the month. But there is no rhyme or reason as to why my wife sleeps as long as she does and despite what she believes, she does this every weekend or any day she doesn't have to work.

I hate to say it, but my wife is not the first woman (from the most professional to straight...ahem...'hood chicks) I've known who's made sleeping into a professional sport, or touted it as something nearly as pleasurable as sex or food.

This Wednesday's Question of the Week:

  • Why do women, seemingly on any given day that they don't have to work, sleep the whole day away?
  • Is this something just black women do, or do all women?

And yes, I'm generalizing. Be honest. Be frank.

This Wednesday's Question of the week has been brought to you by E.Payne of MakesMeWannaHoller.com


25 Most Popular Posts on MakesMeWannaHoller

With a 172 posts and counting, it dawned on me that this might be a bit much for readers who are either new to MakesMeWannaHoller or aren't aware of all the stuff I've written, to sift through. Below is a list of my 25 most popular posts in chronological order based on reader comments. This should help you in your efforts to completely blow off the rest of your workday.


1. The Porn Question

2. My Answer to the Porn Question

3. Blockbusters are for Boys

4. Daddy Swagger

5. Franklin Delano Payne

6. A Great Day in Harlem

7. Black Male Misunderstood?

8. How to Love a Black Woman

9. What Was in the Kool Aid?

10. If There Is A Recession...

11. Why Do You Read MakesMeWannaHoller.com?

12. Sticks and Stones and Words Break Bones

13. Fighting the Good Fight

14. A Bourgie Hot Mess & The Sazerac

15. How to Keep It Together

16. When A Father Attacks: The Catch-22

17. Blogging As Therapy

18. I Can Do This

19. Father's Day Part II: Hijacking Father's Day

20. Being Single in the City

21. About Me

22. He Who Is Last

23. Arrogant or Uppity

24. I Hate Cats

and last but definitely not least...

25. Threesomes


25 Random Things That Make Me Holler

Plenty of things make me wanna holler --- both good and bad. Rather than put down 25 random things on my Facebook page so it can come back to haunt me during an interview, I decided I'd be different (like every other blogger out there) and put a spin on things by listing the 25 random things that Make Me Wanna Holler:

1. My kids throw my throw pillows all over the house --- mostly on the floor.

2. Circuit City, Wal-Mart & White Castle.

3. Shopping on a Saturday afternoon with the rest of the human race.

4. My wife's cat.

5. My daughter saying,"I love you too, Daddy," when I tell her I love her.

6. Taking my daughter's bite sized clothing out of the dryer.

7. Seeing the skid marks in my son's boxer briefs when I'm putting them into the washing machine.

8. My wife on a bad day (her's or mine).

9. My wife on a good day.

10. A word or gesture of heartfelt kindness.

11. Gino's East Pizza, Vienna Hot Dogs, Top Notch Beefburgers, oily, but crispy fries, thick milkshakes, arroz con pollo, ropa vieja, jerk chicken, Cheffette, pigs in a blanket, tapas, maduros, Halal meat, gyros, Empress Chicken, Spicy Thai Fried Rice, Chopsticks, Ollie's, Amy Ruth's, Jackson Hole, Peter Luger's, Leon's Barbecue, Harold's Chicken, Charles Southern Style Kitchen, Room Service, Mango Mojitos, Caparihnas, Mount Gay Old Style Rum (straight), IHop, moonshine, Everclear, Twizzlers and Zingers (and everything else I can't remember right now).

12. The inside of my truck looking like who-did-it-and-ran every time after my wife uses it to run errands.

13. Spider-Man 1, The Matrix, Batman Begins & The Dark Knight, Transformers, Superman, Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, James Bond, Layer Cake, Snatch, All About My Mother, Le Samurai, Patriot Games, The Bourne Supremacy, Volver, American Pimp, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Traffic, Lord of the Rings (all of them), Deep Cover, Batman (the Adam West one), The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Wall-E, Heavy Metal, Iron Man, Fatal Attraction, Basic Instinct...to name a few.

14. Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Daniel Craig, Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Dame Judi Dench, Michael Douglas, Sean Connery, Heath Ledger, crazy Christian Bale, George Clooney, Jeffery Wright, Don Cheadle, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and the whole cast of Slumdog Millionaire

15. Charles Tyrwhitt shirts, Hermes ties, a well-tailored suit, aviator shades, a nice, occasion-appropriate pair of shoes.

16. President Barack Obama

17. The Single Life

18. Married Life

19. Audi TT, A5 & RS8, Mercedes Benz SLR and the classic gull-wing Benz, AMG, BMW 5 Series, Shelby Mustangs, Porsche 911, Ferrari, Aston Martin Vanquish & DB9 and the 60's classic DB9

20. Anything with nuts in it (very bad).

21. No longer going to church on Sundays (more on this in a later post).

22. Chicago, New York, Rio De Janiero, New Orleans, Copacabana, Ipanema, Aruba, Puerto Rico, Barbados and the Crane Resort.

23. My extended family

24. John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Jermey Pelt, Lenny Kravitz, The Roots, Andre 3000, Outkast, Jill Scott, Joshua Redman, Erykah Badu, Biggie, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Jay-Z, Dave Brubeck, Ahmad Jamal, Oscar Peterson, Billie Holiday, Nina Simone.

25. No matter how many football, baseball and basketball games I go to (all of them), no matter how much I pick up the kids (all the time), no matter whether I take off work to stay home with babygirl when she's sick, no matter how understanding or how tough I am with each of my offspring, no matter how much I bust my you-know-what to be the you-know-what to my kids, the first question these two monsters ask me is always the same question: "Where's Mommy?"

Tag --- all of you are "It".


MakesMeWannaHoller Turns 1!

Exactly one year ago today I wrote my first weblog post on this site. At the time it was called Manchild in The Promised Land. I had lofty goals: to speak about my blessing in spite of all the forces working against me --- issues at work, issues at home, issues with society, whatever.

And after a couple of weeks I stayed to my theme, but it was just sooooo boring. Inspiring, but boring. So I tried to think of something else that might click better with me. While this was going on, I was growing to detest my commute into work --- the sending my son off to school at a God awful hour, the having to leave my baby behind with someone else to raise her for 8-10 hours a day, the arguing with my wife about the little things husbands and wives argue about while trying to get anywhere on time, the train and finally work itself (but only to a small degree because I wanted to keep my job). I began to complain, satirically, but complain all the same. Then I began to comment on more ludicrous pieces of news that I ran across either on the Internet or on television. I began a piece called What the Hell. A few people commented with little tidbits like, LOL or Funny!

The more I added commentary the more I realized I was hollerin’ and everything I was writing about made me want to holler. And so a new and final title to this blog was born. Meanwhile my marital bliss (I had been married for roughly 5 months) was tanking quickly. Being with my wife for 7 years before our actual marriage had a lot to do with this because married life although new was not exactly new life with her. At the time I was coming to terms with the absence of a what I thought was a very great friend from my life (I removed him) and the subsequent loneliness that I felt and still feel to this day being that all the guys I used to roll with simply are no more for one good or pointless reason or another. Work and family life infringed so much on my time that I had to give up the gym. My eating habits changed for the worse. Quickly I became a man with no outlets. And with only one television in the house life got really dismal.

But as a man of extreme faith I’ve always been able to look at the lighter side of things and make fun of myself, although I don’t want anyone making fun of me. I began to mix pieces of my home life with my commute, work and everything else on this blog until one day I wrote the post Threesomes.

The response I got was surprising. As most of my base were people I knew they weren’t accustomed to commenting yet so they all called me to tell me how funny I was. And every parent out of that group told me they could relate, either because they remembered those times or they were currently going through it themselves. An author friend of mine, Bernice McFadden, went so far as to tell me, “I like the stuff you put on your blog a whole lot more than the fiction you’re trying to get published. You have something here. You need to run with it. By the end of the year it could really be bookworthy.”

I was horrified by Bernice’s complimentary criticism, but I took her words to heart and began, over the next few months shifting my content, learning bits and pieces of HTML and tricks and trades of blogging to erect what you’re looking at today --- a daddy blog, that’s also a husband blog, that’s also a black man’s blog, every once in a while a movie blog, once or twice a photo blog, also a music blog, and often a random blog.

MakesMeWannaHoller is a year old today and 169 posts later, I’m seriously considering revamping my site completely although I really don’t want to undertake the effort to make it look the way I’m thinking of making it look. So in the meantime while I entertain the prospects of MakesMeWannaHoller 2.0, sit back and enjoy this blog’s birthday week. I’m coming hard with the posts all this week, blogging as if I were getting paid to do it.

Maybe one day I actually will.

Thank you all --- original, loyal and newest readers --- for the love.


Black History Minute Monday: Langston Hughes

James Mercer Langston Hughes

"Dr. [George Washington] Carver died penniless and insane, still trying to play a phonograph record with a peanut. This has been 'Black History Minute.'"
- Professor Shabazz K. Morton a.k.a. Eddie Murphy

Langston Hughes (1902-1967) is my favorite author. He was a product and an icon of the Harlem Renaissance as well as a world traveler and completely ahead of his time. His poetry is magnificent and my favorite book, a collection of short stories entitled, The Ways of White Folks, is priceless as far as I'm concerned.

As writer who's been aspiring for a little over ten years, I can only hope to stand in the shadow of this great, great man.

This Black History Minute Monday has been presented to you by E.Payne of MakesMeWannaHoller.com


Happy Friday, Y'All!

And so it is Friday once again. After a one-day break from the Internet after an acute case of information overload (it happens), I'd like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous Friday that flows well into the weekend.

A week ago today I was headed home to my uncle's funeral. I was way above the clouds and caught the sun spreading out across the horizon. It put me in complete awe of God's world that I've had the pleasure of living in for a few years.

With the continual recession, the tanking economy, the politics of the Stimulus Package, increasing unemployment, cars rusting away on dealer lots, and seemingly every city and state going to Hell, I have to say my thoughts are hardly on any of this. My head is in the clouds today just as it literally was last week. I'm focused on God, my family and being prospered in mind, body and spirit (and my pocket too).

Happy Friday, y'all!


My Answer to the Porn Question

See today's earlier post.

Personally, I've never believed porn could benefit a relationship. I know couples who tried to "work it out" with porn and it went downhill even faster. I think like too many war movies and war video games it can desensitize you to intimacy. As far as being a skill clinic --- maybe so because you definitely see some skilled individuals in these films, damn their drug and alcohol abuse and suicidal tendencies. But if you're talking about love, or love (not sex) in need of repair, then there's very little porn can do for you because there is no love in porn. More times than not for men (remember, only women responded to my question) porn becomes a vice, a harmless pastime in our minds. I mean, hey, we're not hurting anyone, right? We're not even hurting ourselves. There's no drugs or alcohol involved, so nothing's wrong with it, right? We just spend all of our alone time with it. We just think about her (name one --- should I? Nope) when we should be thinking about you. I mean it's okay to fantasize about her body in place of yours. It's okay that she's Asian, blond, or 19 with gazongas that defy gravity, or a badunka you could play handball with. It's just thoughts, right? I'm not really cheating, right?


Porn can lead a man to believe that he can get it anywhere (if he can afford it) and get it better than he has it at home, especially if you're in a rut and not getting along with your significant other. And this might be true, but he may not be aware that he's the one with the problem, which will only cause more problems for him. As far as it solving relationship problems - it can be a salve, but seriously, who ever stayed together for sex? Yeah, people definitely keep coming back for more, but I'm talking about stayed. Most people say or think, "Man, the sex was good, but damn, I hated his/her ass!" The fundamental problem with stand alone sex is that 1) it stands alone and doesn't address any other issues you might be having with someone; and 2) man spends more of his time upright than horizontal and until men figure out how to spend the majority of their time horizontal it will never be intoxicating enough to "fix" any relationship. I only say this because almost everyone who responded to my question (besides talking about granny panties) used porn in the context of being a personal remedy and didn't speak of any societal ramifications --- objectification, devaluing of a woman's essence (making it the property of men or showing that women live to give it away), sexual violence, lust without love, and the fact that anyone doing all the ish they do in film in real life is going to end up with a baby or a disease. And then what? And don't even throw religion into the pot --- then you've got a whole 'nother pot of mess to deal with. As the guy on SNL says, "A...HOLE...'NOVAH...LEVAHL!"

I hope I didn't get too serious with this.

All in all it was a great to hear from more than my regular loyal readers out there and have them interact with one another through their comments. I think everyone left their computer screens with something to think about. I look forward to hearing from you all again, but I have a feeling, "What's your favorite color?" might not evoke the same level of response this question did.

By the way, I'm not trying to score any points with the wife with this. I did that earlier when she came home and dinner was ready and the kiddies were in line to see her.

It's late and I'm tired.

Peace out.

The Porn Question

To mix things up a little, I've decided to start posting a Question of the Week on Wednesdays (I like how the Ws run together) to get a chance to hear your perspective on things. Also if you'd like to suggest some Questions of the Week going forward, I'm open to (most) suggestions.

Today's Question of the Week is:

We live in an age where a lot of music, movies and literature celebrate lifestyles that involve intimacy with strippers and casually refer to women outside of their names (such as b's and hos) --- good only for what they have to "offer."
  • Do you believe porn (internet, magazine, whatever) has affected your love (or lack thereof) life, love in general or your outlook on things, directly or indirectly, for better or worse?
  • Does porn play any role at all?
  • Should it?

Don't look at this like it's an obvious question with obvious answers, because it isn't once you think about it for a minute. On mainstream fatherhood and parenting websites, this subject came up a lot (not the strippers part - the porn part) last year and great discussions followed.

So, please, don't be shy. Be honest (as possible).


Blockbusters Are For Boys

I must expose myself as the nerd that I truly am (despite my swagger) and address my inner fanboy.

I am a movie buff. Growing up as an only child and an outcast, it was easy for me to escape into worlds greater than my own. Following in that same vein, this is probably why I enjoy writing so much. As far as movies go I love thrillers, biopics, a good foreign flick (and there are several), anime (in the style of American Graffiti), comedies, Spike Lee Joints, Woody Allen flicks and your occasional chick flick and even less occasionally, the black ensemble film. Just on this alone I could write a novel-length blog post, but I won't. Because despite my love for these genres of movies, I LIVE for blockbusters. Classics of this genre include Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Blade Runner

What do I mean by live? I mean driving my wife crazy because I scour the internet for upcoming movies and yell at my computer screen in awe over movie trailers for movies that won't release for at least 8 months. I then download them onto my trusty iPod and watch them, almost on a countdown, until they come out in the theaters. Now I do have some discernment over this. I don't do alien movies unless Steven Spielberg is somehow involved. And sadly, I've given up on George Lucas and his never ending business venture love affair with Star Wars.

During last year's Super Bowl my mouth fell open when they showed the Iron Man teaser. All it was was 30 seconds of quick dialogue, a couple of metal suits with rocket boots, and an exploding tank --- and I was HOOKED! And even before Heath Ledger died, I knew Dark Knight was going to be a serious movie because they used the title Dark Knight and only Batman folks will be able to feel me on that one. Daniel Craig's take on James Bond? It's the best for this particular era in time.

During this past Sunday's Super Bowl they showed more movie teasers than I've seen in previous years --- primarily because the Iron Man one worked so well last year, and maybe that $3 mil price tag had something to do with it. I don't know. Out of the trailers below only Terminator Salvation wasn't shown but I included it because it's on my list (validated merely by Christian Bale's casting in the lead role). Below is my collection of clips with the most (and least) promise for the year.

Opening August 7, 2009 is G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra. I'm not too sure about this one. Marlon Wayans is in it. And Sienna Miller as the Baroness?

Making use of a not-so-creative play on words, Fast & Furious opens April 3, 2009.

On May 8, 2009 we will be treated to a complete Star Trek reboot. I'm a little scared about this even with my man Zachary Quinto (Sylar - the only Hero on Heroes who acts like a person with superpowers) as Spock.

Now for the hotness. Terminator Salvation, opening May 22, 2009. Move over Arnold. It's time for Christian.

And then my favorite of this group is Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, opening June 26, 2009. Love Michael Bay or hate him, he did a great job with the first movie (he even got the awful 80's dialogue right) and I expect the same of this one.

A few movies didn't make it to this list because they don't have trailers less than 60 seconds:

  • Watchmen, opening March 6, 2009. Based off of one of the best, most depressing graphic novels I've ever read.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine, opening May 1, 2009. This movie looks bad-ass. Hopefully they'll get it right.
  • Harry Potter - I don't consider this a blockbuster because of my own biases, but it definitely sells tickets.
Blockbusters are for boys, but girls can watch too. Ladies if you have a man or male friends who start talking crazy about movies like these and you don't like them yourselves. Just humor them. They'll remember you when it's time to see something like, He's Just Not That Into You.

To the fellas who are into this stuff: I think Watchmen will be the movie to see this year, followed by Transformers and Terminator Salvation. I'm not yet sold on the Wolverine flick but I'll take a chance and round out my list with it.

What do you think?


Daddy Swagger

2 Years Ago - Times Flies!

After a recent visit to BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com I commented on the blog post, Does Parenthood Make You Lame? The following was my answer:

I believe this is something my wife suffers from more than I, although you’d never be able to tell it by looking at her. And maybe because of archetypal, outmoded roles, women feel this more or internalize it more than men. I’m not exactly sure.

But being at the club has nothing to do with swagger or cool. In fact although going out to dance is cool every once in a while, but the regulars at the club (specifically one club they always go to) looking for the same old same week after week is beyond lame. But chillin’ at a lounge or a swank restaurant is something I truly enjoy.

I believe swagger begins internally - it is a state of mind - it has to be otherwise it is nothing but an act that fades over time and real swagger is not an act. A few years ago when I knew I was going to be a dad (my biological first, I have a teenage stepson) I was quite panicked about the whole thing. I happened to read an article in GQ magazine that put fathers into about 6 categories. The one that resonated with me the most was Prada Dad, the father everyone wants to know and be. In fact the Prada Dad is so cool, he makes childless men want to be fathers, and women — well I don’t need to go into that here.

President Obama (currently the king of swagger) has swagger for days and talks about his kids. Brad Pitt can’t seem to have kids fast enough and he’s got swagger, shouting them out every chance he gets. Will Smith has swagger and he’s an outspoken family man. And the modern day father of swagger, Denzel - well do I need to say more? I don’t even have to say his last name and you know who I’m talking about. Now all of these men are celebrities and they have plenty of money and help, but unlike plenty of other men who are celebrities and acting a fool and keeping their kids secret, you know these men are parents and they are proud about it. It actually adds to their cool.

But to answer the question do I feel I’m as cool as I was before I had kids? No. Because it’s a different cool. I’m not stupid cool anymore. I’m really cool — that grown man cool that will last over the years, like a classic muscle car. And why do I maintain my cool? For my kids. I want my kids to know I’m cool so that they know they can always come to me for anything. I want to be their superhero, their supercool dad that they’re not horrified to see when I pick them up from school. And I don’t want that to change as they grow older and wiser.

In my travels and at work when it come out that I’m a father and even I’m the age that I am, people look at me almost bewildered. “But how?” “What are you doing…?” “You don’t look like a…?” And because I am a parent of a baby I barely get any sleep and I feel like I’m being run ragged on many days. But that doesn’t mean I have to wear that for the world to see. This is my badge of courage and I wear it proudly (well). The problem is that being a parent or married person over time has come to be associated with looking like behind on a stick. And that’s the real problem.

Swagger is a state of mind. It begins with you and it is determined by you. Parenthood can’t mess with that. It should in fact enhance it.

Does being a father/parent mean you're not supposed to have swagger?

Does being a father/parent prevent you from having swagger?

And if you've got it (swagger) how do you maintain it?

Happy Monday!