Friday, April 14, 2017

2016-17 Bulls Fans Celebrating A First Round Exit.

Hello, WORLD!! The NBA's regular season just ended this past Wednesday with very little surprises. The biggest surprise is Cleveland didn't finish the regular season as the best team in the Eastern Conference this year. That was a surprising Boston Celtics team that seems to have gotten back on track after missing the mark for these past few years when Doc Rivers went to coach CP3 and Company.

There was one other shocker in my opinion and that's the fact that my hometown team, the Chicago Bulls, made the Playoffs. In a season full of very little highs, few middles and mostly lows, they've beat the odds and made it to the Playoffs. And they're going to lose in the first round handedly.

The Bulls biggest problem even before we get to the first game of the series is identity. Do you know who these Bulls are? I doubt it. They don't know who they are, which has been a huge issue since Fred Hoiberg unnecessarily took over the coaching reigns from Tom Thibodeau in 2015, a move which seemed equally awfully familiar and just plain awful, a distinction that Hoiberg is familiar with now. 

This Bulls team swept the defending NBA Champion Cavaliers but couldn't beat a New York Knickerbocker team that may be more dysfunctional then they are. They say they wanted to get younger at the offset of the season, trading Chicago's very own Derrick Rose in the process to prove it, then turn around and sign guards Rajon Rondo and Dwayne Wade
, both guards being older than Rose. They say they're not rebuilding, yet they trade a fan favorite in Taj Gibson and a young player who has shown flashes of potential in Doug McDermott. 

And nowhere has Bulls management been as clueless as to how they've been handling their new marquee player, Jimmy Butler. First he's the franchise, then he's on the trading block and they kept the rumor high key enough that Mr Buckets heard these rumors all season? And ironically the team that would've been the most ideal place to trade Buckets to, for both Buckets and the Bulls organization, is a team that we first ticked off by stealing a win in the United Center this past February. The same team that we have to play in the first round. The Boston Celtics.

Like I said, I don't see us winning a game but if there has ever been a time I'd be happy to be proven wrong, it's right now.

Later, WORLD.

Monday, April 4, 2016

B is For Bandwagon (An #AToZChallenge post)

Who you got in tonight's NCAA Championship: North Carolina or Villanova?
Better question: is either one of those teams your original pick to win?

Even better question than that: have you ALWAYS supported one of these teams, no matter how bad they may have sucked at some point in your lifetime?

Excuse me if this post is a little brief. I'm tired after a weekend of barely any rest so this post won't take up much of my time or your time. To be honest, I'm so tired I really couldn't think of a good B post for this A To Z Challenge but I've been thinking about a couple of stupid arguments I've had recently on what it means to be a REAL fan. So I had to ask all of those questions to see if whether or not you too are a bandwagon, as I've been called recently, which is absolutely absurd.

There's two bits of info that you need to know about me before I continue. If you know anything about me, you know I'm a die hard Chicago BULLS fan. Through thick and thin, I'll ride with this team no matter what. I was a BULLS fan as long as I can remember and I'm still one to this day, even if I'm a little pissed we might not make the Playoffs right now but hey, I'll still be rooting for them next year. Ditto every other Chicago sport team because I love my city that much, even if I don't like certain sports like soccer and ice hockey our other teams play. If we win a championship like our NHL defending Champion BLACKHAWKS did last year, I'll still celebrate that but it won't mean as much to me as a BULLS championship does.

That other thing you need to know about me? I'm a gambler. I love making bets for profit but hell, I'll do it for bragging rights too. The reason I felt I had to say this second thing is what gambler you know only bets on one team? Not a very good one, I'd say.

Recently, I've been awed by the Golden State WARRIORS. How recent? I was singing their praises two years ago, when Mark Jackson was still their coach. And I said they were gonna win the Championship soon. And I was laughed at for that. Golden State the NBA Champs? Yeah right!

Then they won. And Curry went from All Star to Superstar just that quick. Now the Golden State bandwagon is overcrowded. But I got plenty of room where I'm sitting at since I didn't jump on their bandwagon at all in my opinion. I recognized them as a team on the rise and I called it as I saw it. Call it a gambler's hunch. I had one about the Seattle SUPERSONICS that same year they won the Super Bowl in 2014. I had one about Seattle when they lost the Super Bowl that next year too. I was still a fan this past season too and more than likely, I believe they'll avenge their playoff lost to the Carolina Panthers (another team that's had it's fair share of bandwagon jumpers this year too) but I never stopped rooting for my Chicago BEARS. And I predicted OKC was gonna win the Championship the year they made it to the NBA Finals. They would've proved me right if James Harden had bothered to show up that series but whatever.

When you're a gambler, riding with one team just because you like them is stupid as fuck. Excuse the language but yeah, it's seriously fucking stupid. You'd almost never win any bets. And riding with a team even though they constantly disappoint you is just as stupid BUT this is understandable because that means you're a die hard fan.

Which is also fucking stupid if you ask me.  

There is no such thing as lovable losers in sports. We call them bums. For instance, say you're a die hard CUBS fan. How does it feel to not have had a real reason to celebrate since, well, ever? It sucks, right? I know, I know. But hey, how about those New York Yankees, huh? You hate them, right? Just like everybody else in America, right? Well, everybody that's NOT from New York of course. Does hating a team that everybody already hates too make you a bandwagon jumper, even if you've hated this team forever? Does jumping from one bandwagon to another make you a bad sports fan or a fan of great sports teams? Why is it so wrong to root for more than one team at a time? Or is it wrong?

Get back to me on this will ya? Outta.. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A Funny Thing Happened On My Way Home Last Week...

Hello, WORLD!! Still here. Haven't been blogging as much as I usually have. I know, I know. I keep saying I'm going to post more but yeah, I don't. Sorry. I'll get better. Maybe. Or not. Who knows? Anyway, I've been holding off posting about this incident for a week. I might as well get it over with.

This funny thing from the blog's title happened exactly a week ago, around 1AM. I was heading home from the Egg, the nickname of my old block on 75th and Eggleston, drunk as Esther's husband Woodrow (I got a no-prize for the first person who can name the TV show these characters come from.) when I hit Halsted and started heading toward 71st street. I walked down to about 73rd or 72nd and Halsted and that's when I first heard the shots then the screams. If you know anything about me, you know I'm bout as blind as a bat and as I stated, I was very intoxicated. Maybe, had I been sober, I probably would've stopped walking and try to make sure I wasn't the intended target. Maybe. Needless to say, I didn't even try to figure out where the scream and the shots came from.

I just kept walking.

As soon as I got 71st and Halsted, the shots started again, louder this time. A somewhat beige looking four door car bends the corner by the gas station, some guy hanging out the window on the passenger side. Then I hear people yelling. Me? I'm knowing whatever is happening ain't got nothing to do with my drunk ass so I just kept going. Then I felt something hit me in the chest once then I felt more of whatever it was hit me in my chest and my arm. Still walking, never stopped walking actually, I look down in time to see some square shaped things bounce off of my chest. I have no idea what they were but I was just glad they weren't real bullets. I waved it off like no harm no foul after checking myself and making sure I wasn't bleeding for real. I laughed it off and continued on my way home while several people who were outside near the gas station on 71st and Halsted were on the phone I'm presuming with the police. I did indeed hear sirens getting louder at that point.
See, it didn't really dawn on me what had happened until the next day. It hit me while I was a t my desk at work. Hey dumb ass, do you remember when you got shot yesterday? OK, so it wasn't a real gun. I'm more than sure it wasn't even a BB gun. Those weren't pellets I was getting hit with. They felt too soft. But I was shot and hit with something. This time, I'm cool. Still alive and kicking.
Am I still walking home that late? Yeah. I know I need to be more careful. I know this. And I know I need to take this for what it's worth, like what if this was some type of warning? What if this was some kind of sign that maybe I need to get home a little earlier or maybe I should simply be on some home and work and that's it type of routine? That would be the safest thing to do in Chicago but that's not living, is it? I shouldn't have to fear for my safety just because I'm not indoors but that's how Chicago is these days, isn't it?
The thing that I'm getting the most from the whole thing is maybe it's time to close the book on Chicago as my home. I've had a week to think about it and I got to admit, the idea of leaving Chicago is sounding more and more like my next move. Probably the first major move I make in 2016.

Later, WORLD. Hopefully.
Smokkee (@MrGBIZ)


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Religion Vs Resume

Hello, WORLD! Unless you've been living under a rock, you know who Kim Davis is. Just in case you've been under one, Kim Davis is a county clerk in Kentucky who just recently found herself in the national spotlight for not issuing marriage licenses to same sex couples, even though that's part of her job as a county clerk. She argued that issuing those licenses went against her religion. Of course, wouldn't you know it, she claims to be Christian. She was adamant about not issuing the licenses & because of that, was found in contempt of court and consequently threatened with jail for her actions. She did not given in and was in fact was jailed for it; as of today, she has been released. 

I try not to speak on the actions of religious people, since according to them it's not their actions to begin with, but over the weekend I heard of another woman in a somewhat similar situation, this time the woman is a Muslim named Charee Stanley. Stanley, a flight attendant for a small airline company called ExpressJet was suspended by her employer for refusing to serve alcohol sense it's against her religious beliefs.

Whereas the Davis situation could almost be deemed to have a bit prejudice, the Stanley situation is less likely to offend any one except maybe a traveling passenger who paid for his or her trip and assumed that they'd get the best possible customer service, which they won't...if they asked for a drink. Since ExpressJet is such a small airline, they typically only employee one flight attendant per flight. While one issue is much bigger than the other, they both are in essence the same story: a woman refuses to do part of her job because of her religious beliefs.

What do I have to say to that?

Well, first I'd give both ladies kudos for their strength in their convictions. I truly believe if you stand for something, then take a stand for it and both ladies have done this. I will give them that.  After that, I'd add that they both need to look for new jobs or new religions. Maybe both.

If your religion prevents you from being 100% effective at doing your job, the bottom line is you've got a job that you really shouldn't have.  Can you see a man of the cloth working at an abortion clinic? How about a nun working as a stripper, or anything for that matter, at a strip club? A Muslim working at a rib tip joint? No, right? Of course not! It would go against everything they stand for, wouldn't it? It would be virtually impossible for anybody in these three examples to be true to their job AND their religion. Furthermore, I find it highly unlikely they'd even entertain the thought of working at those establishments just cause of the fact these establishments would clash with their ideological beliefs.

The Davis case and Stanley case only slightly differ from the above examples because it would seem religious tolerance, or intolerance, would have a minimum affect on these ladies doing their jobs. Had there been another flight attendant on board with Stanley, would she have delegated that alcohol serving duty to her coworker? Davis wasn't the only clerk on duty; why didn't she allow her coworkers to serve the marriage license to the same sex couples, which is what happened when she was locked up? That would have freed her from that obligation and she would've been kept out of the national spotlight if she had done so.   

I'm not arguing that these ladies are in the right. As I said, if they truly believe in their religions, I applaud them for their convictions but I'm not condoning what they've done in the least. Especially Davis. See, in Stanley's case, she couldn't have delegated her duty to another flight attendant because there were no other flight attendants working with her. And her employer was very aware of this because she had approached a supervisor with her issue with alcohol once she herself had found out about it. She's a recent convert to Islam so she was not aware of the alcohol issue at first. She went on to say "I don't think that I should have to choose between practicing my religion properly or earning a living",  which I would agree with if she had already been a Muslim when she started at the job. Once she converted to Islam and she realized that serving alcohol, part of her job duty, wasn't allowed per Islam, she should have started looking for another job.

Davis though DID in fact have coworkers who she wouldn't allow to do their jobs because of her beliefs. That's a very Christian thing to do in my opinion. Davis has that same audacity I see that most Christians I know possess; if they believe something wholeheartedly (which is me only assuming that's how they feel), they'll do their best to force said belief upon you like their belief is the only belief that matters. If Davis or Stanley felt like they didn't have to do their jobs because of their beliefs, they should both be comparing said beliefs with each other in an unemployment line. If you're belief is more important than your livelihood, quit and pray for a better job that will allow you to make money and still worship whoever you worship. Most deities would agree with that before they agree you that you should be a dick about doing your damn job. Ok, maybe dick is the wrong word to use but it is the right word to use when somebody comes up with an excuse not to do their duty AND still expect to get paid for it. Do you got a better word for it?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Back To Work

Back to life, back to the day we have / Let's end this foolish game / Hear me out, don;t let it waste away / Make up your mind so I know where I stand...♪♪ - Soul II Soul

I hope I didn't overstay my welcome with them A To Z Challenge posts in April. It honestly felt good to be blogging. It was a vacation in a sense. I stay writing but not about myself. Creating stories becomes a strenuous task if you don't give yourself a break every once in a while. That Challenge was just what I needed to do just that.

I got away from my favorite nerd Mitch, his date Sarah, and the two suitors for her attention  that picked the wrong day to hit the beach and an even worse day to actually get in the water there. I took a break from accompanying Osirious Onyx on his quest to discover just where in the world was he, well, that is after he figures out who he is first. I barely know him at this point myself but I got a feeling I'mma get real familiar with him and the White Sheriff he's been running into a lot. 

You still haven't met Johnny Boy yet either, have you? I'm sure you know somebody like him though. Got a bomb ass wife but he still cheats on her whenever he can yet he can't possible deal with the fact that his wife might be cheating on him too. Of course of he can't handle that, he's really gonna kill over when he finds out exactly what she's been up too..
At this point, you have no idea who any of these people are do you? I'm sure you don't. I haven't finished enough stories for my book of short stories, titled 'Is There A Third Option?' yet. That's where you'll meet Johnny Boy, Mitchell, and the rest of those guys. Mr Onyx is the star of my first full length effort, 'Dark Sky, Red Sun' and I'm working really really hard to finish this effort. It's been a slower process than I thought it was but that's mainly my fault. I don't want to just put any ole stories out to say I'm an author. I want to put stories out that will not only entertain you but warrant intelligent discussions amongst us readers. Yes, I'm writing these books but I'm still a reader myself; of course I'm going to read Smokkee Singleton books too when Smokkee Singleton actually gets one published. 

Enough chit chat. Back to the grind. Later.


Thursday, April 30, 2015

Z is for Zombies

I started the day needing to write 4 different posts for the A to Z Challenge for bloggers in the month of April. Well, here I am at Z. I made it. This is it. The last post. I promise I'll be brief.

What else is there better to write about at the end than 'the end'?

None of us want to die, right? Are we all in agreement there? If not I always say... but I digress. The end is nigh. Inevitable. We dread it. Yet, we're obsessed with it, can't get enough of it. You hear somebody died a horrible death, the first thing you do is ask for details.

It may also explains why zombies are so popular all of a sudden. I just don't believe that's the only reason.

It's not like they're new. George Romero become one of horror movie's most famous directs basically by introducing us to the creatures we know as zombies today. Now we got 'The Walking Dead', the Black Ops series of Call of Duty games, (whose zombie killing mode, complete with classic, actual terrifying zombies, make this series one of the best in the whole CoD line), and we even got zombies in romantic situations.

'i Zombie', any one? Have yall seen 'Warm Bodies'?

But why are they so popular all of a sudden really? I mean death has been around 'ever. We've been curious about it just as long. So why now?

I can't answer this question but that doesn't bug me. I'm more concerned about the zombies becoming the new vampires. As a life long fan of all things horror, seeing vampires frolicking through the woods in Twilight really irks the shit outta me. Vampires are the most romanticized monsters of our imagination these days. I blame Sookie's boyfriends and #TeamEdward for this but at least Charlaine Harris made her vampires revert back to their classic forms from time to time.
Give me a kiss, baby!

If zombies go the way of vampires, I'm gonna start #TeamCthulhu. I wanna see this monster get romanticized.       

. Later WORLD!!

Smokkee Singleton

Y is for Yin Yang (#AtoZChallenge)

Before I begin this post I'd like to scream one thing:


Sorry. Every time I used to hear somebody mention "Ying Yang", that song by them twins would pop up in my head. Now, it's more than just a song to me. It's a way of life.

I've spent most of these A to Z blog posts explaining what I don't believe in. Let me see if I can explain something I DO believe in. Problem here is I don't believe in much of anything, really, as far as theories about life go, but 2 things: karma and balance.

I'm a good man, now, in my opinion. If I met another me, I'd be cool with having that me as a mean I'm not out here trying to hurt nobody... now. Not out here robbing people, or setting other people back because I'm trying to get ahead. Of course I'm talking about right now. See, I haven't always been able to say that but I've been able to say it since my late 20's. I'm 40 now. According to what I call my karma calculator, I got a few more years to go of having all the bad stuff I've done or the stuff I've done that wasn't quite nice boomeranging back to me. I ain't mad. Hell, I did the crimes...

That's just my theory though so I could be wrong here. But my other theory on balance, even if I'm completely wrong about it, still leaves me in a better place. The way I figure it is every time I feel life isn't going the right way for me, or maybe karma is just giving me what I deserve, do something right. Any photographer who worked with a real camera before will tell you that for every pretty picture you see, there's a negative for it. I think life is like that too. For every negative action you cause, life will boomerang it back to you eventually. Might not be that same day or the same year, maybe even another lifetime perhaps, but it'll catch up with you eventually. Don't laugh. I'm sure I'm not the only person who believes that.

But think about this. What if positive actions work the same way? And even if they don't, doing good for other people usually makes you feel good as a person. Who doesn't want to feel good? Even if my theory is off, I still wind up feeling better about the person I am now. At least that's just how I think life works. It works for my life at least.

Later, World. Actually, I got one more post to right and I'm done so I guess I mena to say I'll be right back.