Valentine’s Day Alternatives for Those Without Plans Or People To Plan Stuff With

In less than a week, the Hallmark creation that has complicated more relationships than Facebook will descend upon, well, everybody. Nobody is immune from Valentine’s Day. If you have somebody, you’re reminded that you need to make it memorable. If you don’t have anybody, everyday without a date is like your alarm clock on snooze: sure you’d like to sleep thru V-day, but television, Sarah Palin’s hand notes, and CVS’s discount rack keep reminding you that you’ve got nobody.

Like, nothing AND nobody. As in loneliness.

As of 10pm, both of the VSBs had somebody to spend Valentine’s day with, but that doesn’t mean we can’t empathize with those individuals sans date. We make it our business to be in business of problem solving and world happiness. It’s a gift and a curse really. Kind of like Jay’s Blueprint 2, except we’re actually worth listening to.

Odd question time: Didn’t Jay’s inclusion in the Super Bowl and his “mashup” seem kind of forced? I’m as big a fan of Jay as everybody else and Reasonable Doubt is hands down one of the 5 albums I couldn’t live without, but when it’s all said and done, aside from a number’s game, is Jay’s actual musical contribution that noteworthy? Just fodder for convo. Short of the first Blueprint, has Jay really spearheaded music into any new territories? He changed hip-hop for a few years and he’s the GOAT and all, but I find him performing with like a 40-piece orchestra, slightly ridiculous and an overstatement.

So here’s some ideas to get your motor running (since you have to do it yourself anyway  – no roadside assistance):

1) Crocheting – It’s slightly scary how many 30+ women I know who are actually into crocheting as a hobby. I used to assume that it was for the 70+ crowd since there really isn’t sh*t else to do while you wait to meet Jesus. Plus it doesn’t require much mobility, and what with all the old mothertruckers killing people at Whole Foods and outdoor markets, anything that keeps seniors in their rocking chairs is alright with me. Anyway, all it takes is some string, some needles (no Baltimore) and some creativity. Oh yeah, and talent, which is hard to come by. However, you were probably going to spend all your time watching pr0n, throw in a crocheting DVD and learn a skill you might actually use.

2) Snuggie Beer Crawl - They had one of these in DC a few months back and I heard about them in Chicago as well. If you can’t lick ‘em, join ‘em. And trust me, most people running around in Snuggies in broad daylight or at a bar are doing this because they don’t have anybody in their lives who loves them enough to say, “hey, stop it.” Love Misery loves company so just send out of those viral emails that results in legions of virgins and 16-year old college seniors meeting up and arguing about the 382nd number of pi. Beats the hell out of a solo Snuggie Beer Crawl which I’m pretty sure is called being sloppy drunk which is like so, ewww.

3) Online Battleship - This game f*cking rocks when you play with real people so I assume it’s pretty cool when you play against ROBOT1 too. Then again, with the advances in Internet technology, you can probably play legions of games with other gamers from across the world. And technically, if you plan to do it ahead of time it’s a date, so there you go. You can have a date with BigRobLove735. You just can’t see or touch him. We call that marriage at age 80.

4) Netflix Night – You probably suck at picking movies for a group of people. But fret not, MOST PEOPLE suck at picking movies for a group. But lucky for you, you have nobody to please but yourself so it can be all The Tale of Desperaux, A Scanner Darkly, and The Tony Yayo Story, to your heart’s content.

So good hearted people of the VSB, what are some other Valentine’s Day alternatives that folks might not think about?


ADMIN NOTE: On February 18, I’ll be at FAMU as a guest speaker at their 4th State of the Black Student Summit along with Dr. Steve Perry, Enitan Bereola, TJ Rose and another celeb panelist. I’m honored to be asked to be there and speak on the Edification of The Black Man. I know nothing about Tallahassee so I’ll be depending on you folks to let me know what to get into (if anything). Do we have any FAMU folks here…holla at the kid. Anyway, bigups to FAMU for bringing Panama “I Speak of Myself in 3rd Person” Jackson to speak about Blackness, no Kool-Aid.

4 Reasons Why Being Snowed In Can Suck Major A**

It's pretty 'til I had to shovel it.

Unless you get all of your news from TMZ or BET, you’ve heard that the mid-Atlantic region, and specifically the Washington, DC area got dumped on by snow to the tune of 18-30 inches.  For some of us, it’s a welcome, though inconvenient, mini-vacation and time to rest up because you really have no choice. But for some others, being snowed in can be that total bullsh*t.

Oh, by the way, congratulations to all the Saints fans, real and as of this season or proximity-ass fans who decided to jump on the bandwagon yesterday. It was a good game. I can’t even imagine what the French Quarter is like right now. Wish I was there.

Back to business.

While most folks love to hear that their job is closed on a Monday, for everybody it’s not all peaches and cream, peaches and herbs, or strawberry letter 23s. Here’s why:

1) You have to actually dig OUT of snow

Between Saturday and Sunday, I spent a sum total of more than 5 hours shoveling snow. No wonder slavery sucked so bad, aside from the obvious. I have a long walkway and a sizeable sidewalk that I’m responsible for. Condo living never looked so good in my life. Coupled with the fact that this is the 2nd snowiest winter in DC history and I’m about damn tired of snow and everything that comes with it. Oh yeah, AND we’re supposed to get ANOTHER damn snow fall on Tuesday night. The good thing is that all the neighbors come out together to shovel snow. The bad thing is that I have a lot of OLD neighbors. Just imagine the old gay guy from Family Guy out shoveling snow while he’s trying to lure the kiddies into his home with hot chocolate and Lincoln Logs. Shoveling your own snow sucks. Shoveling the snow of an 98-year-old who’s outside “helping” sucks ten times worse.

2) Getting snowed in with somebody you hate

Being stuck with somebody you hate is the worst part of a snow storm. There’s no reason to speak to them and you’re not going to see them naked. There is absolutely no upside here. In effect, you’re stuck inside with somebody who repulses you and you can’t go anywhere but outside to shovel snow. You know you really don’t like somebody when shoveling 2 feet of snow seems like a good way to pass the time, mostly because unless you’re training for the strongman Olympics in Helsinki, it’s NEVER a good way to pass time.

3) No matter how many groceries you get,  you always forget to get stuff you actually want

For some strange reason, being locked in for days makes you yearn for foods you normally could live without. All of a sudden you REALLY want that pizza from Pizza Hut that cannot be delivered without getting your Iranian delivery guy who actually is at work waiting to make a delivery stuck on the road your city is planning on plowing but somehow hasn’t got to yet. DC, I’m looking at you. Plus, you really can’t just eat water, no matter what that Australian cat who hit the big kahuna via a stingray might have told you before. Plus, you know how Black folks are, bought all kinds of bread but forgot to get sandwich meat. Got people eating loaf sandwiches with sugar on top. Or you could just go get some snow and everybody can eat sno-cones. Don’t eat the yellow snow though.

4) You get snowed OUT of your home

Across the DC area, there are people stuck at airports waiting to leave, stuck at other people’s homes, etc. If there’s one thing that sucks more than being stuck IN your own home for days on end, it’s being stuck OUT of your home for days on end. No using your own shower in your own bathroom and sleeping in your own bed. Plus, that usually leads to number 2 at some point. I mean if you’re stuck out of your own place for a while, you’re gonna get edgy and piss somebody off. It’s the law of nature. Well that and “eat things that are smaller than you unless your name is Shaq”.

For me, this isn’t a terrible experience; I don’t have any of those problems save number 1, but I do realize how it can suck. Good VSBiens, for what other reasons might it suck to get snowed in? Amuse me while I kiss the sky.

(Really I just wanted to vent somethings though; I REALLY hate shoveling snow.)


Admin Note: By the way, I have an announcement of an upcoming stop I’m making that involves Florida, unicorns, and midgets, and not necessarily in that order. We going global.

black “firsts” we won’t be seeing anytime soon

rapper. record-setter. roach

from the first black president and the first black head football coach at mississippi state university (sylvester croom. this was a really, really big deal when it happened, btw) to the first black woman to win an oscar for best actress and the first black roach to simultaneously impregnate two mulatto sex symbols, the past decade was filled with numerous black firsts many of us thought we’d never see.

despite this continuous progress, there remains more than a few black firsts i doubt we’ll seeing anytime soon. here’s two of them.

openly gay black male in the NBA or NFL

while former nba-er john amaechi came out after his playing days were over and kobe bryant remains a bitch, we’ll see sarah palin on the cover of black tail before we see an openly gay black male pro athlete.

now, i’m sure that there are many currently gay or bisexual black athletes on NBA and NFL rosters. as far as i know, catching punts and catching penises aren’t mutually exclusive. actually, considering the sheer number of men in each league, i’d be more surprised if there weren’t at least a dozen somewhat popular athletes with an extra spare in their tanks, and i’m positive that each of them have a teammate or three who are fully aware of their situation

but, when you combine the prevailing image of the hyperheterosexual black male with the fact that no other american industry capitalizes and depends more on the allure of the ultra-competitive alpha male than professional team sports, you can understand how an openly gay black man would be the complete antithesis of what many (if not most) professional sports fans and participants think sports are all about.

with the ostracization and threats of physical danger he’d probably face, a black male athlete would need balls the size of lincoln, nebraska to come out while he was still playing (and an actual college degree, because his playing days might be over), and i can’t see anyone making that decision

black blockbuster movie

although black actors and actresses have starred in numerous blockbusters, none of the megabucks movies will smith or zoe saldana or denzel washington have been in would qualify as “black movies“…just movies that happened to star will smith or zoe saldana or denzel washington. as much as we –and, in this case “we” means “not me”-- love and support the tyler perry flicks, a 60 million gross (box office +  sales made in barbershops and bodegas) aint sh*t compared to 600.

there are myriad reasons for this (ie: black movies don’t seem to translate well overseas, black movies usually don’t have megabucks marketing campaigns behind them, the IMAX people told hollywood not to produce any multi-million dollar “black” action or science fiction flicks because they dont want n*ggas shooting at those expensive ass screens, etc) but the fact remains that a black movie would have to overcome too many obstacles to reach blockbuster status, and, unless hype williams finally releases belly 2: sincere in africa, i can’t see it happening.

anyway, people of vsb: do you think we’ll see an openly gay black male professional athlete or a black blockbuster in our lifetimes? if so, which do you think would happen first?

also, are their any other black “firsts” we probably won’t see anytime soon?

the carpet is yours

—the champ

the emo mandingo: how to be the sh*t


my name is the champ, and i’m the coolest muthaf*cker any of you will ever meet.

i’m cool ass hell. i’m cooler than ice, ice water, ice cream, and debra lee

i’m to cool what crackheads are to home depot parking lots. if “being cool” was “being black”, i’d be the back of shaq’s neck

my coolness is all-encompassing, incessant, omnipotent, and a bunch of other SAT words i could have used because i’m too cool to just say “big”, bitch.

my cool plays chess while your cool eats checkers.

f*ck king kong, the other side of the pillow aint got sh*t on me

basically, i’m the sh*t

being this cool didn’t happen overnight though. while i was born with many inherently cool-ass qualities (dark-brown skin the color of a clear cup of raspberry iced tea, an egg head, an anadromic first name, a shrimp eating mother and a dad with a fro the size of pam oliver’s ass, etc), its taken a bit of work¹ to become the emo mandingo. and, while none of you lukewarm n*ggas will ever be as ice cold as me, here’s ten ways to help you to be the sh*t too

1. answer questions that were never even asked

nothing says emo mandingo like a bespectacled brother who’s asked a question but responds to it with an answer the person wasn’t even asking about.

for instance:

lukewarm n*gga:yo. did you hear that new ghostface joint?”

emo mandingo:nah, i don’t want any steak. i’m probably going to get some pizza later anyway


2. joke about being a nerd

when around company, refer to yourself as a “nerd” or “nerdy” even though you know you haven’t seen the inside of a library since the second season of twin peaks.

3. make randomly nonchalant analogies that noone in their right mind would ever understand, and allusions to people no one has ever heard of

lukewarm n*gga: yo see that dunk lebron had last night?”

emo mandingo: yeah, dawg. that sh*t was harder than a bowl of cream of wheat”

lukewarm n*gga: “huh?”

emo mandingo: “seriously. he got higher than a mexican papsmear. the only other cat i’ve ever seen jump like that is roscoe chang”

4. don’t drive anywhere, ever

walk if you can. if you can’t walk, bus. if you can’t bus, go back to sleep

this, by the way, only works if you actually own a car

5. make faces at people

sometimes, your flagrantly excessive coolness will be so overwhelming that words won’t possess the worthiness to leave your cool-ass lips. plus, remember: you’re the emo mandingo. actually speaking all the time is for the lukewarm.

why say a sentence or type a paragraph when a series of simple shrugs or squints will suffice? so what if a sneer doesn’t really translate over the phone. you’re the cool one; the pressure’s on their lukewarm ass to interpret what you’re saying

6. pay for stuff that you can easily get for free

***actually, this only applies to water, babies, drinking straws, purple objects, jitneys, and porn.***

7. start a completely impractical trend

in the summer of 2002, i began wearing inside-out dress shirts to bed at night. why? well, i’m the sh*t, which means that i don’t have to explain sh*t to you.

8. take showers during thunderstorms

cumulonimbus deez, bitch

9. give yourself three completely eclectic for no damn reason theme songs, and play them in your head when you’re talking to white people

for me, monday through thursday its marvin gaye’s “trouble man”. friday’s its fiona apples rendition of “across the universe”, and on the weekends its a collection of cat farts i recorded in the fall of 2007.

10. be unnecessarily descriptive and vulgar when people least expect it

lukewarm n*gga: “hey, can you have those reports done by 3 o clock?”

emo mandingo: “yeah, boss. i’ll knock them out when i get back from getting head on my lunch break from that waffle house waitress i met two weekends ago”

lukewarm n*gga to himself:  “damn. how the hell can one man be so damn cool?”

exactly, lukewarm n*ggas. exactly.

anyway people of vsb, although i know that none of you will ever be as cool as me, how exactly are you the sh*t, and what advice would you give people hoping to be as sh*tty as you?

¹by “work” i just mean “living“, because emo mandingos don’t work for sh*t

—the champ

things that make you much more randy than they probably should

do you like chicken?

of all the crushes i’ve harbored, none have impacted my life the way angie williams has.

angie –a high school classmate– was the object of my silent appreciation for approximately three months in the spring of 1997. it wasn’t that she was the finest or sexiest girl in school or anything like that. i mean, she was definitely attractive, but my admiration completely stemmed from the fact that she was f*cking grown.

not “grown” in the “i’ve had boobs and booty and i’ve been boning since i was 12” way or the “my 23 year old boyfriend is picking me up afterschool in his iroc” way, but grown in the way you could imagine an 18 year claire huxtable or michelle obama being. her grown-ness wasn’t overt. she wasn’t the least bit condescending or patronizing. but, she had a general continence and class about her that made her so far removed from the bullsh*t minutiae of high school existence that it was almost like she was a character in one of those teen movies where they cast 25 year old actors as high school sophomores and juniors.

even her usual daily “costume” –black rimmed glasses, guess jeans, and a short, halle berry-esque do when most of the other girls had weave or ponytails– gave more evidence to the idea that she belonged in some corporate office or courtroom somewhere instead of homeroom and study hall

because i was seeing her best friend, i never said anything to her about the crush¹. but, she made such an impression on me that i’ve had a weakness for women with glasses ever since.

seriously, from the woman with the slight lisp who played the school superintendent on season four of “the wire” to tina fey, glasses have a way of making me much more attracted to someone than i’d regularly be. i wouldn’t quite call it a fetish, but…who am i kidding? i’d bag an albino pygmy if her angular frame game was on point.

anyway, thinking about angie and angie’s glasses yesterday made me think of few more non-sexual things that make me much, much more randy than they probably should, and i’d thought i’d share four of them today: Continue reading