Dec 23 2012

MADDSKILLZ Update (Best of December)

Best of December
1SKILLZ Management

Quote of the Month: “Do you have like an overall topic or do you just sit down and write about whatever comes into your head…” Billie Stark (December 03)

Quote of the Month: “They can’t find you…and now they miss you.” Snoop Dogg, Drop It Like It’s Hot (December 04)

Quote of the Month: “Great update… but I thought you were gonna put an explanation to your riddle at the bottom… some people are going to be very confused! … (later that day) … Now I get it…I even saw that at the bottom and was like “what the hell is he talking about” but since you’re usually pretty random down there I just ignored it…my mistake…”Christina Saldarriaga, referring to last month’s MADDSKILLZ Update (December 05)

Quote of the Month: “I don’t have things in common with people. THEY have things in common with ME. Don’t get it twisted.” Sarah Barner (December 06)

Quote of the Month: “You can’t be scared of death. When that time comes, it comes. … You never see a person who has lived their life to the fullest. They sometimes feel sorry for like a child, maybe, that didn’t get a chance to do some of the things they thought that child might have had a chance to do in life. I’ve been blessed. God’s looked out for me, so, I’m happy.” Pro Bowl Washington Redskins safety Sean Taylor (1983-2007) (December 07)

Quote of the Month: “We have never been just a collection of individuals or a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America,”President-elect Barack Obama, November 4, 2008. Just a thought… do you think Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. could have become a Senator in 1972, and then four years later, at age 47 (the same as Obama in 2008) won the Democratic nomination for President, and then beat Gerald Ford in the 1976 Presidential election? (December 08)

Quote of the Month: “It’s better to regret something you have done, than something you haven’t done,” Butthole Surfers, “Sweat Loaf”, Locust Abortion Technician (1987) (December 09)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 2003)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 2003)

FIRST THOUGHTS (December 08): 50+15=65. I’ve done a lot of MADDSKILLZ Updates! But there are a lot of people seeing the MADDSKILLZ Update for the first time, like Patty of the Southwest and Stacia of South Central, so I have to keep the ball rolling here. I actually have an announcement to make that concerns all holiday consumers and those looking for Jackie Vargo’s birthday present. You see, it stopped being autumn as soon as Thanksgiving (and African-American Friday) got here. It became “holiday season”, a season that lasts until New Years’ Day, after which the dark season of winter is recognized. To mark the occasion, I have signed a deal with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo to release my own video game. The name of the game is called “Super 1SKILLZ World Zero” and should be released before everyone completely runs out of money. The deal I have signed with Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo is revolutionary because the game will be the launch title on all three companies’ new consoles: the Playstation 4, XBOX 720, and Nintendo Uss. After writing over 300 pages of MADDSKILLZ Updates, releasing a full-length album, and hosting my own radio show, the next logical thing to do was release the first ever action/adventure/RPG/basketball/football video game on three unforeseen systems. The great part of the game is that you can choose to be the title character (the 1 with the SKILLZ) or, for less optimum game play, you can be yourself. I’m excited, your kids are excited, and even if you don’t have kids, you should be excited as well! “Super 1SKILLZ World Zero”… destined to be the hottest (and most expensive) game this holiday season! (*All proceeds go towards paying Lawrence Murray’s 2009 expenses)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 05)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 04)

FIRST THOUGHTS (December 09): The month of December has arrived, and 2009 is 335 days heavy. As you all know, the phenomenon of “Holiday Season” officially began on Thanksgiving, and while many believe this season ends after New Year’s Day is over (and after that seventh Kwanzaa candle gets lit, for the three of you who actually have kept up on that), I am proposing that there is a five day extension of Holiday Season. My birthday is January 5th – same as every year, but you know I have to remind you all. So why am I spending time in the December MADDSKILLZ Update talking about my January birth date, instead of doing more useful things such as educating people on agnostic holidays? Because I know how people spend during Holiday Season. I have yet to obtain a chart, or do any real research, but I have compiled some numbers that explains the percentage of people’s cash over the duration of Holiday Season:

Thanksgiving: 100% (waistlines: 250%)

Black Friday, 5:34AM: 78% (Wal-Mart injury rates not immediately available)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 09): 81% (1SKILLZ will save you money)

4th day of Hanukkah: 71% (figures do not represent full duration of Hanukkah!)

5th day of Christmas: 39% (golden rings are expensive)

Last day of autumn: 20% (yes, December is still 2/3 autumn)

December 23rd: 8%

Christmas Eve: -14% (figures for Christmas Adam are still unavailable)

Christmas: 25%

Boxing Day: ?

Ujamaa: -34% (Ujamaa is cooperative economics, but you already know that Kwanzaa is not an accurate representation of Holiday Season)

New Year’s Eve: -87% (This correlates with people’s New Year’s resolutions to save money)

New Year’s Day: -100%

January 5: 0%.

As you can see, people do a ridiculous amount of spending during Holiday Season. However, not only do people not have any money left by time my birthday rolls around, nobody claims to owe anybody either, thus explaining why I don’t get money in the four birthday cards I get a year! This must change (no pun intended). Holiday Season can still be a festive time where the kids get to sit on stranger’s laps and eggnog is legal in Middle America. I’m just saying, save a little money and time for me on January 5th, 2010! Whatever people do on Boxing Day can be toned down a little bit, I’m sure of that. So while you are putting up lights, ringing bells, and singing to hobos, just remember that you can do that for five days longer if it helps you remember my birthday next month! In the meantime, enjoy this month, and also try and enjoy this MADDSKILLZ Update.

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 05)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 05)

– (December 08) The final score from the 2008 United States Presidential election: Chicago Bulls 365, Dallas Mavericks 173.

– (December 08) People’s Facebook statuses the week of the election, without putting any of them here (most of you know already), made me wonder what Facebook statuses from 1992 would’ve looked like… “RUSSELL ‘RustaRuss’ WILLIS just voted for the first black president, Bill Clinton!”

– (December 08) If every kiss begins with Kay, does that mean every kiss ends in “Why?”

– (December 08) I’m not big on facial hair. If my skin wasn’t so sensitive, I’d shave every day, though I’ve gotten used to just dealing with it recently. But one day when I was shaving, I had the television on, and Billy Mays was screaming about OxiClean or something. I forget exactly what the hell he was selling because his beard at the time was a serious distraction (in addition to his overwhelming volume). Seriously, his beard can’t be natural. It’s like he cleans it with OrangeGlo or something before he shaves, if he even shaves at all. He probably just screams at his own beard to maintain its perfection.

– (December 04) And I know this isn’t news either (the November 04 update was the day before Election Day), but I knew Bush was beating Kerry. I wanted Kerry to win, but I was being real when I said I couldn’t see him getting the victory. Anyone who was pro-Kerry was more anti-Bush, and anyone who was anti-Kerry was more pro-Bush. The bottom line? BUSH is bigger than Kerry.

– (December 04) In a related story, the squad opened the season by jumping out at Chestnut Hill Academy by 25 points before they scored at all, and we won by about the same total (I had 7). We celebrated by jumping into the bleachers and attacking all of the FCS community in attendance.

– (December 05) No, the MADDSKILLZ Update will NOT be sponsored by the Broke Phi Broke Fraternity…because they’re, well, broke.

– (December 06) Last month I posed a query: Everyone knows about Slow Jams, but if you speed them up, are they Fast Jams? An addendum to that is, if you have a Slow Jam on, you Bump and Grind. And of course if it’s a Fast Jam, you Hit and Run.

– (December 09) I finally figured out why people are afraid of mice. Imagine if a small human hand was skating across your night floor, scurrying through your trash can, and snapped in a wire trap, bleeding from the knuckles. Would you want to touch it? Would you want to be surprised by it as you turn on a light? Would you be able to sleep soundly, knowing you can hear a human hand rummaging through your closet? What if you had some open snacks and a small human hand started running out of your bag? You’d freak out. Such is the case with mice. A mouse in the house is a violation of your personal space.

– (December 08) Barack Obama wants to keep his BlackBerry in order to keep up with the world that exists outside of the Presidency. I say he should… after all, how else is he going to communicate with terrorists?!

– (December 07) A report came out about the terrorist watch list put together by the U.S. Homeland Security Department growing too large. More than 15,000 people have requested to have their names taken off the list. Now, there are about 750,000 names on the list. I can do math. That means that of the 750,000 names, about 735,000 people either don’t know they’re on the list or are just going to themselves “Yeah I’m on the list. It’s all good though, doesn’t mean too much. It’s like those telemarketing lists. Remember telemarketers?” At least that’s what I’ll say when I get investigated for the time Nate Sandals called me “Osama bin Larry”…

– (December 06) I was talking to Alan Veliky (who will have to let me in on how he does all those ten page papers in short periods of time) one day and we basically concluded that if you steal one single thing and you are just running through a crowd like you obviously stole it, you’d be too suspicious NOT to report. But if you just walk through the street with a bunch of laptops, in a suit and tie, or a UPS uniform, and say you are just taking care of business, people will just go, “do your thing my boy, STAY ON YOUR GRIND!” So if you are going to steal something, do it in mass volume.

– (December 06) And in a related story, Lawrence Murray is being held without bail.

– (December 03) I did something for the community, working at a Natural Lands Restoration for 3 days. The catch? So did everyone else that Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

– (December 04) In a recent health and astronomy report, some statistics indicate that as awareness has gone up, some STDs have gone down. However, after a long night out, dark-colored rings have been discovered around Uranus.

– (December 05) Voters in Denver, Colorado have voted to make small possessions of marijuana legal, though state law still makes the drug illegal. Well, it’s nice to see that one city is living up to its nickname (Mile High City)…why can’t the City of Brotherly Love do that?

– (December 07) History doesn’t repeat itself. It refreshes itself.

– (December 08) I was talking with Rob the Legend recently, and we determined that if violence escalates in the summer time because of the heat, then that means that violence should cool down in the cold months of the year. Therefore, I am calling for Cold Peace this winter, although global warming seems to threaten this goal of Cold Peace.

– (December 09) As we are wont to do, Sam and I came up with a great terrible idea in the City Year office at Overbrook High School. We were discussing the general ineffectiveness of alarm clocks and then decided to come up with a solution: the Alarm Clock Blanket. This device can be custom set to wake you up in ways that are too disruptive to ignore. You enjoy sleeping in a warm bed? The Alarm Clock Blanket would freeze on impact. You can’t sleep with night sweats? The Alarm Clock Blanket will get hot enough to set off smoke detectors. The Alarm Clock Blanket doesn’t have a “ring” option or “vibrate” option. Instead, it has a “sonic shock wave” option and “short area earthquake” option. Either way you want to shake out of bed, the Alarm Clock Blanket would get the job done. And maybe give you a concussion.

– (December 08) You know what is a consumer waste of time? Deodorant scents. And I fall in to trying to logically decide between the “After Hours” bodyspray versus the “Swagger” bodyspray (RE: when/how in the HELL did “swagger” become the key word of 2008?! Everybody has swagger all of a sudden. Next thing you know, everyone’s going to want to act like pirates. Oh wait…)

– (December 04) Bill Clinton has opened his Presidential Library. So even if you take out a book and marry it, you’ll want to come back and check out the brand new books over and over again. No matter how desperate they look. You might just want that book for the weekend-you’ll still check it out, and then deny you ever had any relations with that book.

– (December 09) In a slightly related story, winter will be here in a few weeks, and Ash said she’ll work on my love for that season. I don’t know how she’ll pull that off; winter is my least favorite season by far. I understand that Christmas is in winter, and that my favorite holiday of the year (New Year’s Day) is in winter, and that I was born in winter. But as I explained about 3,500 words earlier, that season isn’t winter: it’s Holiday Season, which my birthday should now be included in. And once my birthday ends, the true ugliness of winter comes in. I’m talking about the cold mornings. The early dark nights. The black ice on the streets. The brown snow that needs to get shoveled off the block. The yellow snow that shouldn’t be touched. That return to school and work after break is over. The unexpected snow days that cancel events and may be a procrastinator’s dream come true, but not when the same amount of work has to get made up twice as much a week later. Not being able to play outside without guarding against frostbite. The need to overdress. Heating bills. Winter isn’t even here and I’m already hating it! But I’ll be fair and give Ash a chance here … we’ll see what happens in 2009-2010.

– (December 07) There is a Catholic liberal arts college in Massachusetts called Assumption College. Applying there would make an ass out of you and them.

– (December 05) Attention Window Shoppers! You’ve seen 50 Cent’s new movie, you’ve heard his new album, you read his new book, and you probably even played his rated M video game. So now G-Unit Community Projects brings to you the Candy Shop, 50 Cent’s holiday shopping center for hustlers and gangstas everywhere. The place has been shot up a few times, and will be evicted effective January 2, 2006. But all that means is that the Candy Shop will be having its Holiday Blowout sale this month! Everything must go, and not Just a Lil Bit. We have it all, the movie, the album, the book, the video game, some leftover Wanksta dolls, and a few Magic Sticks. So don’t ask 21 Questions, and before you get In Da Club, make your way over to 50 Cent’s Candy Shop (Warning: no actual candy will be sold at 50 Cent’s Candy Shop. All rappers that have beef with 50 Cent will be forced to participate in a live Piggy Bank remix video, to be shot during the eviction of 50 Cent’s Candy Shop. 50 Cent’s Candy Shop is also unsuitable for all minors under the age of 18, unless you are going to actually buy something).

– (December 07) A picture of childhood: “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite!” … “What the hell do you want me to do mom?! Do I look a zombie to you?! If I’m sleeping, then the bugs are going to bite! I’m not going to stop them! Seriously, that’s the dumbest thing you said since ‘watch out for the boogeyman!’ … No, no, I can tuck myself in; just keep it down in the other room please. Thank you. … Damn. What the hell is a bed bug any damn way…?”

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 06)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 06)

ONE SHOT (December 08): I went out to Club Zen on Savannah’s birth-night a couple weekends ago. Now, I talked to Laura the night before about Club Dolce in Pittsburgh, and she warned me about how “swanky” it was. Many of you know that I struggle to abide to dress codes, so I decided to dress up for this one: tan dress pants, a matching button down WITH A TIE (that never happens), and this brown leather coat my mother sent me last month, along with my boots. Lacy would warn me about the boots…

Well, Savannah backed out of going to swanky Club Dolce because it was expensive and, in her words, had “old people”, so the party was at Club Zen. The first thing the bouncer sees is my boots, and he immediately sent me out of line! I wanted to laugh, because my history with dress codes hovered again. But I got mad because here I was with a tie (a matching tie!) and dudes with sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts were getting in! It was the wackest dress code I’ve ever experienced! After some negotiating though, I got in, with the stipulation that I had to keep my jacket open (and tie exposed) while I was inside. Hey, whatever works. Once I got in, things only got more interesting…

First I saw this one woman sitting down, looking exhausted. I sat next to her to see what was up with her, and she told me she had sushi before she came to the club and threw up. Now… who in their right mind eats sushi before clubbing?! I had to go to the bar just to get a pineapple juice just to settle my stomach…

It was at this time that a most unattractive female (she could have been 20, she could have been 50, I don’t know, but her friends were much better looking than she unfortunately) came up to me at the bar and really wanted to take a shot with me. Now, I don’t drink. Never have, never will, most of you know that. So I told her I wasn’t changing that position. She REALLY wanted to take a shot though, so I told her we could do a shot, but mine would be water. So the bartender serves up two shots – one with Lord knows what, the other with my water – until this woman says one of her friends had her money. Oh well. The bartender chucked the shots and we went our separate ways…

Then I saw this woman who I KNEW was at least 40 walk/crank her way in my path and ask me if I knew how to “do the Soulja Boy.” She was a real cougar… she even had a leopard print top! I told her with a straight face that I wrote a song telling Soulja Boy to KICROX and kept moving through the crowd. Eventually I found myself on the dance floor in between these two girls from West Virginia. They were nice enough to let me dance with them for a hot minute, and then they told me they were having a great girl’s night out… and that they were both married! I was like “that’s what’s up” and scooted on out of there…

There was this one girl with yellow eyes in the club. I’m guessing that her eyes were really green, but the red glare made them look yellow. Either way, she was staring at me long enough for me to figure the whole color wheel out. I noticed her noticing me like three different times (!) but never got across the room to her. It wouldn’t be my only missed opportunity of the night. I got around to talking to this one girl. After all of the cougars, she was a college sophomore. Unfortunately, she had her sister all over her. The sister was having some emotional issues, but every time I’d talk to her to find out what was bothering her, she gave me the ol’ one finger lip stiffy! So I backed off her situation. But right when I was about to get the girl’s number, crazy sister got real agitated and dragged her sister out of the club! And I wasn’t about to chase; I was in Pittsburgh at 2 in the morning and already on thin ice with the bouncer because of my boots, so if I left, I wasn’t getting back in. Eventually Savannah’s friend Anna found me and Lisa kept me from wandering off again, which is where this particular club chronicle ends…

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 07)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 07)

ONE SHOT (December 09): There are 31 days left in 2009, and I feel pretty old. I definitely look old! I’ve grown my hair out to the point that it is long enough to be called a ‘fro, but obviously not as long as the shoulder length braids I used to have throughout most of college. When I entered college, I barely looked 18 … now, I’ve let my face age to the point where students at Overbrook think I’m pushing 30. I’ve been slender all my life, but every time my mother sees me she thinks I’m losing weight. I only seem comfortable when I wear clothes that make me look like I let my weight balloon. It’s the weirdest feeling. I spent the whole year under pressure for one thing or another: not having any of my Honors thesis written before Spring Break only to just receive my 100+ bound copy from Don Lawson and the Honor’s Program at Cal U several months later. Telling people that I wouldn’t graduate from Cal U until December 2009 up until late April after I received my last grade. Leaving college not knowing what I was doing for 2009-2010. Moving back home with loans to prepare to repay. Thinking I had everything set this summer, only to find that I wasn’t even close. Trying to figure out what City Year is. Rediscovering who I was (again). Finally getting my driver’s license after being over the age of 16 for over six years. Still trying to figure out what City Year is and my place in it. Still trying to figure out what I’m doing at the end of all of my contracts.

I feel like 2009 has been murder. But I’m not dead, and I’ve been forced to recognize that whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I still feel like I’m under the gun, and that I’m going to learn a lot about myself and my immediate future in the next 31 days. For better or for worse, I’ll never have another year like 2009, but I have yet to learn all that I need to learn. I just know that I’ve got some good people around me. I want to think I am doing what I’m supposed to do, and I actually met someone who inspires me to do great things. I’m excited to look back at this year, but before I can do that, I’ve got 31 pressure packed days in my way. A lot of questions that I’m not even asking will be answered this month. It’s been a year of survival and growing up a bit, yet not growing up fast enough to escape the hollow tipped challenges life shoots at a man.

So for 31 more days, I’m going to do what I’ve been doing. Being the 1 with the SKILLZ. Taking it one hour at a time. Remembering the concept of Ubuntu, which says that my humanity is tied to that of others. I may be functioning like a systematic robot, but I want to keep pushing while my battery is still good. My hope is that everyone can push through the end of this year and end it the way they see fit. I hope you all have enjoyed the MADDSKILLZ Updates so far in Season 7! Have a great Holiday Season, and I’ll be back in 2010.

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 08)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 08)

This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Copyright 2003 and 2004, for all those thinking you can get over.
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Botany never tasted so wild.
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. In Living Color.
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. In school to learn the rules, in life to break the rules.
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. What’s my age again?
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Still available in Sober Definition.
This has been a MADDSKILLZ Update. Now accepting applications for Santa’s designated driver.

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 09)

MADDSKILLZ Update (December 09)

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