Today’s Word is… TRUST

[Editors Note: Happy Stanniversary yall,  crazy this is start of the 4th year,  probably the last one,  you know how shows go on for far too long and ruins everything (looks at HIMYM, Prison Break, Dexter, Family Guy…) I don’t want to get to that point (I don’t think I’m there yet,  maybe I am one of my 6 readers let me know it’s time to hang it up) anyway I’m going to be a little more frequent,  a little lighter and finish strong,  anyway here’s a post that has nothing to do with any of this,  Enjoy]

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Trust is a funny thing.  It’s in our nature to trust, we want to trust but it’s far easier said than done.  More than we want to trust, we want to be trusted; as much as one can understand, there’s always a level of offense taken if you were to tell them that you don’t trust them.  Nothing sets the mood quite like “so when’s the last time you got tested?”, nothing says I’m secure like checking their social media.  The misconception with trust is that one must have a reason NOT to trust not the other way around.  There’s been times women told me they don’t necessarily trust me and my first reaction is not “I understand” but rather “why the fuh not?”.  More often than not her reasons are typically about what some ex did, and I will respond as either a) I’m not them b) how you gonna let that affect your present?  Ego supercedes logic in those cases.  It’s somewhat hypocritical; as that could never work on me because, well, I just don’t trust that easily.  I’m not jaded, insecure, or paranoid, I don’t think, I think I’m just reluctant to trust.   And that’s okay.  

Trust issues are shown in a negative light most often.   It’s something you must get over, it’s holding you back,  it’s unhealthy…but so is blindly walking into any and every situation.   It’s a frustration I have with this whole dating game; it’s too objective based and less about just getting to know and understand someone else.   It’s why you bring your representative to the first few dates,  play chicken with your emotions and keep every possible option open for as long as you can.   So when I tell someone that I don’t trust them, can I really be blamed?  And it’s not like I expect the opposite,  if someone showed up on a date looking like Saturday morning and went way too deep with the TMI,  I’d probably go to the restroom and never return. (Kidding,  maybe, except that one time….actually I think I said something came up,  paid and dipped.  We arrived separately anyway.)  I guess what I’m saying is, for me to trust someone I need to feel like I have genuine grasp on who they are, what they’re about and if they can meet my expectations for them.  There’s level to this shit (RIP Meek Mill), and levels of trust comes with their own expectations.

I can trust a chain restaurant to make me a well done burger,  but I’m probably not going to try their lobster.   There’s women I can date and share a few funny stories with,  but probably not giving the keys and security codes.  I trusted “She” to be a girlfriend and confidante but as I contemplated getting #thatring,  I realized that maybe I didn’t trust her as much as I thought I did.  Conditional trust sounds kinda bad aloud but it’s something we all do,  it’s just how we’re wired.   All or nothing trust sounds good but most aren’t about that life.  That’s not to say I don’t trust anybody; I just place limits on everybody ergo I can trust everybody.  Does that make sense?  It does,  trust me. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… DISTRACTION

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Right now I’m writing this, dinner is in the oven, I have a drink that Brady is determined to spill, so I have to keep throwing his ball in the opposite direction, I’m having multiple text conversations, awaiting my turn in Words With Friends and Trivia Crack,  the TV is on ESPN game but muted because I’m listening to The Internet’s “Just Saying/I Tried” on the stereo.  (Somewhere in America, National Grid is still twerking).  I’m able to multitask,  I do so from the time I wake up, I do so at work, and now that I’m home.  This isn’t anything special, we all multitask,  its simply inefficient to focus on one thing and solely that one thing at a time.  Except apparently, when there’s a story about black people being killed or harassed….then you must enter activist mode and remain there indefinitely, stay woke B.  It’s perhaps one of the things that annoys me the most on Facebook outside of my grandparents having conversations under 4 year old pictures and seeing friends from college share memes from whatever Right Wing nonsense page, every day somebody’s cousin makes a meme about a tragedy in black America and something else that we are being distracted by. 

This week, its the tragic MURDER of Sandra Bland and the rap “beef” between Meek Mill and Drake.  Now, on Twitter I gave my thoughts on both matters.  My heart broke watching that dashcam video, I’ve spoken before about a time I got sassy with an officer, and I think about times even my sisters had.  We’re human we have emotions, we react, and it’s terrifying to think one of us could lose our lives if we dare show them.  I also believe Bland was murdered; there’s no way a woman over 6 ft tall could physically hang herself with a trash can liner on a wall that’s shorter than her.  Even if you believe that fallacy to be true, you can watch that video and see she had no business being in jail with a $500 bond in the first damn place.   I also opined on the Meek Mill/Drake beef, Meek looks foolish and I think like authors, artists reach a level of prestige and then start to outsource their work.   Speaking on something as ridiculous as that doesn’t take away from my desire for justice for Bland’s family.  I can live tweet an episode of Power it doesn’t make me less aware of Kindra Chapman, an 18 year old girl who also “committed suicide” after spending a night in a holding cell for taking a cell phone.  I’m painfully aware of a lot of things going on and at times it’s just….exhausting, being angry and hurt and afraid every day.  Sometimes I rather just watch Ballers and escape for a few.  And I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about it.  So one of yall go get your cousin with the distraction memes.

What is a distraction is people going off online about how everyone else is turning a blind eye on something they themselves just learned about minutes ago.  Time spent attacking others is a distraction.  It’s like black people aren’t even allowed to compartmentalize, you got to #staywoke incessantly and damn if you want to just make fun of rappers, listen to ratchet music or debate sports.  There’s this expectation to just be “on” all the time and it’s tiring.  Perchance some people are able to shoulder that burden 24/7, I am not.   I’m able to suffer in silence for a little bit, take my mind off and try and enjoy a distraction.  Lord knows there’s only a limited time until there’s an announcement of no charges being filed or someone else is killed. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… WHITE

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I have a guilty pleasure for ghost stories/haunted house movies or as I like to call them “White people won’t move movies”.  Poltergeist, Mama, The original season of American Horror Story…I love them all.  Seldom are they good, they almost all follow the same same exact tropes to the point they’re literally the same movie with reshuffled white people but bad, awful or mediocre, I’m in.

You’ve all seen one: Family decides to move to this secluded area for some undisclosed reason, the kids don’t want to go but they’re kids they don’t have a choice.  The entire ride up, the parent is reassuring the kids that this is a good idea whilst ignoring the fact they’ve been the only car on the road for the past hour.  They get to the house and of course, it’s never clean, how the realtor sold a filthy house never ceases to amaze me.  That realtor could sell a Gap hoodie and a pumpkin spice latte to Rachel Dolezal, the hustle is that strong.  The kids complain again, at which point the parent explains that they put all their money into this, so deal with it or sell drugs to get us out of debt. The kids consider it, but they ain’t about that life, so this is home now.  The movie then goes down the beaten path of ignoring every possible red flag until the ghost or creature literally says, I’m a ghost or creature and even then they are in disbelief.  Of course, these people won’t care about something until it affects them directly so that ghost that been trolling them all movie is going to possess someone. So then a family member clearly gets possessed but that won’t stop other relatives from simply asking them to snap out of it while the demon is clearly trying to kill their ass.  Yes genius, merely asking water yew doing is going to stop the person with no pupils, pale skin and trying to choke you.  Then comes my favorite part,  the obligatory fling someone across the room scene…never not hilarious.  Anyway, the ghostdemon chases family around the house while the family continues to look for safety in the worst hiding spots ever.  They go everywhere except out of the damn house because why exit the premises, there’s no way anyone will look under the bed.  Yada yada yada in spite of their stupidity they manage to exorcize whatever demon, because they spent one afternoon in the library and realized why the ghost is there in the first place.  Of course it’s always some sappy excuse and the ghost who killed every other family feels understood, so they gonna chill with all that haunting.  The family goes back to lives as normal, yet and still they won’t move out that damn house.  Because sequel. 

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Never. Not. Funny

So I was watching the unnecessary remake of Poltergeist the other day and I couldn’t help but think…this is literally white privilege.  What is white privilege? In layman’s terms:   There’s even a movie coming to MTV about it (Sidenote: check the link, the writer is sooo mad). Someone should tell MTV to save their money, because nothing showcases some good old privilege like a horror flick.  Who wants to watch a bunch of white kids crying about how it isn’t their fault that waaay up they feel blessed when there’s a plethora of  haunted house movies full of thrills, scares and naivete.  THAT’S how you get the point across.  You’ll never see any black families in this type of film, because they wouldn’t approved be for the mortgage any damn way. There’s only so many “coincidences” until they would get up outta there.  We just aren’t wired with that level of privilege like a middle class white family moving way over yonder to live in some house with no wifi.

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What MTV should do if they are so obliged to tackle white privilege, is show white people watching The Conjuring. As they roll their eyes and jump up because its so obvious there’s a ghost in the room, hopefully they feel the same way when a racist shoots up a black church, says it was fueled by race yet some gasbag will go on CNN and say it’s not a race issue.  Next time that person on Facebook says racism will go away if black people stop bringing it up, just tell them to watch Annabelle and what happens when they keep pretending that doll isn’t evil, then the evil will just go away.   Maybe the way to get through to privileged folk isn’t debate but showing them other silly and ignorant people.  Perchance then they can see that asking why isn’t there a WET awards is just as stupid as a protagonist asking a demon to just cut it out.  Because that’s not how this works, that’s not how any of this works. 

The way to approach white privilege isn’t to express fake guilt, it’s to acknowledge that you have it and understand how ridiculous you look when acting otherwise.  Being self aware goes way farther than trying to explain yourself…thats how you end up making songs like Accidental Racist or looking like the simpleton parent in a horror movie, and no one wants to be the simpleton parent in a horror movie.  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… CONVENIENT

So it’s been a long time, shouldn’t left you.  I been busy with work,  life, moonlighting over at Verysmartbrothas…and writer’s block is a bitch. With halitosis.  So anyway,  can I rant for a minute… Of course I can, this my house. 

Remember how when you were a kid and you would be amped about a Happy Meal toy you saw in the commercial,  so amped you would want some damn McDonald’s.  You were even prepared for the “you got McDonald’s money” line, cause you had McDonald’s money,  that’s how hype you were for that toy, you dancing in the car,  ready for all 850 calories of horsemeat, synthetic cheese,  and fries that are only good if you eat them within 6 minutes of getting them,  but it’s all worth it because you want that toy.  Then you get your food,  you open the bag and…..its a doll.   They are out of boy toys.   You’re crushed, and in spite of feeding you McDonald’s your parent cares so they hit up another McDonald’s and again,  it’s just not that toy.   Mom is in a good mood so she tries two more McDonald’s.   She has spent $20 of which you could’ve just went to a toy Store and got a better quality toy. But now it’s principalities  Smokey, you want that damn happy meal toy.   Essentially, that’s my dating life in a nutshell,  I want one thing… But it’s the other thing.  

It’s the age old story,  iight looking bachelor just wanna run thru everything until the right one comes along.   I’m not even interested in the wrong anymore,  I can’t turn my brain off enough to enjoy the ride while it lasts because I know in the back of my mind this road leads nowhere.   It’s frustrating really,  I have a surplus of what I don’t want.  Sometimes I have to remind myself that I don’t want it even though it’s convenient.

Long distance relationships,  flings with exes, relationships that are well past their expiration date, friends with benefits, to me those are conveniences. They scratch an itch but have no hope of long term sustainability. I can say now that there isn’t a single woman I’m entertaining that actually has a chance with me.  That sounds cruel and pretty damn arrogant, but it’s a harsh reality.   I’m probably not moving unless it’s for work,  I wouldn’t want the obligation of having someone move for me.   I don’t think there’s one who got away,  my relationships ended for good reason.  Yet it’s the convenient relationship is alluring for however long you can suspend disbelief.  It feels good to have a bae to talk to every day, feels good to be wanted, feels good to have a +1 in bedroom shenanigans.  You tell yourself that the right one is en route and in the meantime, well,  you gotta get these shots off,  but what happens if you missed your cue because you’re distracted by this frail shit?  Perhaps a Saturday is better spent out alone than home with whomever.   

Also,  it’s manipulative. I’m not interested,  I’m bored, and while I’m doing myself a disservice, I’m doing them one as well.   Sure,  I can communicate that this is going nowhere and they shouldn’t wait on me but then dating sucks and they end up waiting on me.  (For real,  just pushing the hell out the door that says pull,  like, it never fails, tell someone you’re not looking for a relationship they say me too then proceed to be in a relationship with you without asking, don’t do that; it’s rude).  In this plot twist, they too are just in this for convenience, they know it isn’t going anywhere but they are able to turn their brain off and enjoy the ride.    

I’m making it a point to be better at passing up what’s convenient, if I want what I say I want my actions should reflect it.   Might need to make some roster cuts and learn how to be single,  like single single.  Or this post will be all for naught and I end up with a summer fling.  I’m only human. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… ARENBEE

I had to Musiq Soulchild it,  it’s been like 3 years why break format?  Anyway,  growing up I was a big R&B fan.  By default really, I had no music of my own so I borrowed my parents cassettes (omg am I old now?) and my sister’s CDs.   (My 7 year old nephew uses  Spotify…. kids these days, okay maybe I am old).   I’m not one of the super nostalgic types, while I can listen to 90s R&B and engage in online debate for  several productive work hours,  I’m also able to listen and enjoy current music.   It seems like ever since Nas declared hip hop dead and proceeded to make a mediocre album to serve as a eulogy,  the line in the sand was drawn and now with social media to echo bitterness no one seems to like…. Anything. Ironically,  as we have more access to music than ever before,  people still live in the past,  listening to 90s R&B and telling kids to get off the lawn. It’s perplexing to pay $10 a month for a streaming service and only listen to music you purchased 20 years ago.   But hey, not my ears.   As someone who chooses to live in the now,  I’ve just come to accept that R&B has been…. sundered.  In every era,  there was one dominant sound whether it was doo wop,  electropop, or new jack swing and slow jams.  This era is a bit more scattered.  For example there’s….

R&Buckfoy- This is probably the one that history will sadly label the era as a whole.   Dudes are too tough to love,  women are just hoes,  bitches and thots anyway.   Popular with the League of Ash-assins and dudes who never got hugs in high school.

Ex: Some dude who isn’t Chris Brown & French Montana -Can’t Trust Thots

PBR&B- or Alternative R&B,  will be the other label that would be used to describe this era of music 20 years from now.  A break from the previous era where the stars were confident heartthrobs, now are much more weird and vulnerable.  

Ex: The Weeknd weeknds Drunk In Love

R&ebriated- Artists these days do love….. Being drunk. A growing trend to sing the praises of alcohol that doesn’t pay you to do so.  *Insert Kermit Meme*

Ex: Elijah Blake x I Just Wanna

R&Biguous- Like in the early 2000s when every pretty brown skinned girl with a 24 inch sew in got a record deal,  these days it’s racially ambiguous girl next door types.   Unfortunately not much different from the Ashantis,  Brooke Valentines, Ameries,  Niveas,  this pretty faces don’t carry much of a tune either

Ex: Jhene Aiko – You Vs Them

Hard&B- A confusing bunch,  they can sing but think singing is soft so they try to over compensate their street cred.  It didn’t feel forced when Nate Dogg did it but then you see like a Chris Brown do it and it’s like,  cmon bruh.

Ex: Pictures say a thousand words

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You're singing a duet with Aaliyah fam

Slur&B- It’s not really singing you’re just kinda dragging your voice over music that sounds like a water level in Super Mario Bros.  This Drake’s fault.

Ex: Post Malone – White Iverson

White&B- aka Blue Eyed Soul or as I like to call #SneakyAthletic R&B,  is some of your typical R&B except because it’s a white man singing it, it’s much more popular.   It’s why Tank got lawn furniture in his living room and Sam Smith has Grammys in his. No shade tho,  it’s probably my favorite playlist on Spotify

Ex JMSN- Street Sweeper

R&Barz- Only way to describe whatever it is when people are basically singing rap lyrics over club beats

Ex Trap Queen… I refuse to make a link for it cuz I’m so tired of that damn song

R&90s- For those who can’t get with the new new, plenty of their favorite artists are still kicking…..except they’re still doing the same thing they were doing 20 years ago. 

Ex: Toni Braxton & Babyface – Roller Coaster

Then of course,  there’s Neo Soul,  but they saw the storm cloud and hopped on their lifeboat a decade ago.   They long gave up chasing hits and selling their souls to sell records (sideeyes Usher),  they have their fan bases and will shut down a House of Blues in a second.

So what happened to the R&B we knew and loved?   It still exists but to my point about neo soul it’s much more of a niche genre.  Art reflects the times,  and really,  people just find love boring.   Sure, a good breakup song will get some spins but a song like All of Me is a rare exception (because people love they ass some Chrissy). Also, society as a whole has become increasingly narcissistic, songs are no longer about being vulnerable and wooing a woman,  it’s more I know you want me so just pull em to the side.   Then of course,  there’s just a lack of appreciation for greatness…..but that’s another post entirely. Maybe.  If I get around to it.  I’m busy.

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Today’s Word is… TWENTY

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Andrew Jackson wasn’t shit.   He slaughtered people,  he won his elections by rounding up uneducated southern voters, he amassed his wealth primarily through slavery.   Hell,  he abhorred the idea of paper money (dollars ain’t paper, they’re cotton) yet and still Old Hickory is on the 20.  (Yes I’m kind of a history dork…Oh yeah hi International readers who have no idea what I’m talking about, my favorite readers in Zambia,  a couple Canadians, UK… ) Recently,  people (or maybe this is just a reddit thread that’s gone viral,  also I don’t really know what reddit is) have pushed to get Jackson up out of here and the new face of the 20 be someone revered and isn’t an old white man.   Harriet Tubman,  former slave turned abolitionist, civil rights activist as well as a nurse and spy during the Civil War became the popular choice to replace Jackson.   While I support this move,  I’m also torn; Jackson wasn’t shit but to be fair neither is a $20 bill.   9/10 times I specifically used a $20 it probably went to something unnecessary and you can’t quite do that with a Tubman twenty.   How you gonna make it rain Tubmans in the strip club and not feel guilty?  Perchance, I don’t need that level of accountability and I need to stick to bad 20s.  So assuming this rumor is true and the switch is made, they’ll officially be Good and Bad 20s in circulation and one should spend accordingly.

Looking back on some of the bad spending decisions I’ve made,  I can’t help but think what would happen differently if I had Harriet Tubman judging me….Like let’s say hypothetically I had company over and they overstayed their welcome but it’s like 2am and maybe I just gave $20 for a cab so they can go on about their business.   I feel like you can’t do that with a good 20.  Good $20s should go to something a bit more worthwhile like…

-Buy that gross ass Boy Scouts popcorn,  why can’t they get some cookies no one wants that shit

– Get a fresh cut…. In 2013.  I paid $30 for my last haircut.  I’m growing dreads (no I’m not)

– Buy some clippers

– Get Ciara’s album,  she needs a win

– Map a domain name for your blog (oh yeah, that happened)

– Buy a nice tie (I spend way too much on ties and like,  they aren’t even clothes it’s a strip of fabric you wear around your neck, but I’m fly tho)

– Go to a thrift shop and buy random shit

– Go to a Dollar Store and buy random shit (I think I’ve said shit a lot already)

– Get her some Just Because flowers,  nice enough for her to instagram not too nice she wanna know what you did

– Buy a book,  reading is fundamental

– Get your car detailed, there’s like 2 year old fries back there

– Hook up a panhandler, maybe they too would feel bad about wasting a Tubman

– Take your favorite jacket to the cleaners

– Get a charger for your phone cuz your old one has like 3 shorts in it and you gotta hold it at a 45 degree angle to work

– Support a black owned business

Jacksons however, can and will continue to go to the ratchet goods as intentioned.   Hell, good 20s in circulation should make Jacksons even more ratchet; buy some weed, a bottle of Everclear, pay for a month of Tidal (Okay don’t do that).   And so I implore you to look back on the last time you spent a $20 bill and tell me that it wasn’t something ratchet or unnecessary.  Why?  Because Jackson ain’t shit. 

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is…. GYM

[Editors Note: Here’s an oldie but a goodie, with a few addendums…. Enjoy]

I’m an extroverted introvert. It takes me a while to adjust to my surroundings. When I do get a decent temperature for the room, I act accordingly. It’s a trait that took some development, as in high school I always felt I wasn’t welcome even the times I actually was. In college, I turned it up a bit too high, where I went completely shut down to just unbelievably arrogant. These days, I’m learning to accept that ain’t nobody worried about me, just live my life. I’m attending more events, being more open, I’ve come a long way. Perhaps the biggest example of this is at my gym; where I’ve eventually came into my own. I remember when I just felt awkward, every whisper or snicker I felt was directed at me.  As I stopped giving a damn and remembered why I was there in the first place. I’m much more into my own, headphones blaring, head nods to the familiar faces, smiles to the pretty ones, I feel at home.

Well not really, personally I rather jog, play basketball and work out at home, but Planet Fitness’ “break up with me face to face” policy keeps me coming back.  (I have since broken up with Planet Fitness, I joined a YMCA which introduced some new characters, thus the update) As I go now, it’s funny seeing the different types of people there, my music almost providing their soundtrack.   You have the….

Beibers- They’re the skinny high school kid who’s come to “beef up”, they almost never even look at cardio machines just straight to the dumbbells and bench presses.  (Note I don’t have any Beiber on my ipod just couldn’t think of a better analogy)

Biebers.

Jay-Zs- The old people who somehow be killing it still.   Don’t you dare get off a elliptical before your senior neighbor, makes you want to reevaluate you’re whole life. 

Lady Gagas- Okay I have 2 songs.  Gaga’s put more into their outfit than their workout, they try the flashdance shirt look but always got to stop and adjust it.  They only use the stationary bike, hip apductor and leg extension so they can tweet that they’re at the gym.

2 Chainz- He is EVERYWHERE.  You can’t go on a machine without him popping up, “Hey I’m using that”.  He spends so much time defending his territory you never actually see him lift anything. 

Rick Ross- He’s the big guy who is way too comfortable with public nudity.  His shirt is way too small, can’t raise his arms without it flying up like a crowd doing the wave.  He even throws in a “ugh” after a set. 

Nicki Minaj- Like the Gaga but only does stretches and squats, pleasant to look at but from a workout perspective don’t understand why she’s there…

Drake- He’s pretty much there to hookup with any woman there.  He doesn’t do much else, but he used to be better so no one minds

Wiz & Amber- (They back together right? Good cuz I can’t think of a replacement) You see Wiz by himself and he oes his thing, when he brings her he can’t seem to do anything without some kinda PDA attached.  They basically are roleplaying trainer and pupil.

Diddy- He’s the guy who wears sunglasses in the gym. Douche.

Dr Dre- The guy with the obnoxiously large headphones that everyone within 4 ft can hear him.  You gotta turn your music up louder just to drown out his. 

Beyonce- She’s the already fit woman who sometimes brings her friends along to own them.  She’s not nearly as helpful as she thinks she is, some would say it’s intentional.

Rihanna- She’ll flirt, smile if she catches you looking but she ain’t worried bout anyone up in there. Also she always looks high

Kendrick Lamar- Sit down. Drink. Work out. Drink. Wipe machine. Drink.  He’s pretty much a camel, not that there’s anything wrong until you need to get water and he’s refilling his gallon  

A$AP Rocky- He’s the walking Dick’s Sporting Goods store. Every accessory possible: Headband, under armour, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, etc he has on, and of course they’re all color coordinated.

Pharrell- The “new black” or in this case, the new fat. They lost weight and now suddenly they are the expert on all things fitness and if you could just do what they did they’ll be no issue

R Kelly- There’s this one dude who is always with this girl who is young enough to be his daughter but he, well, doesn’t treat her like his daughter

Young Thug- I get its a gym but dude comes in already smelling like ass, 2 divorces and spoiled Hummus

Andre 3000- He’s the guy, that comes, kills and then disappears for weeks.  Oh wait…..that’s me.

-Stan-

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