Game Time. Class Time. Time Invested.

I had a shitty academic week, so I took it out on the hoop court on Friday night.

And then I wrote about it.

(I showered first.)

….

It’s the tempo of basketball:

the freestyle-the jazz-the avante garde method of thinking-acting-and-reacting.

That’s what I love about the game.

Wanna be a baller, shot caller... (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

Wanna be a baller, shot caller… (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

I’m 5’5 and to be honest- that doesn’t really work to my advantage on the hoop court. But I’m quick, I have good vision, and above all: I think really well on my toes. I adapt.

In the classroom- during discussions- I’m usually in the middle of the discussion- throwing out my insight. Another example of thinking on my toes. But when it comes to reading a 20-page affidavit in one sitting, writing an 800 word article in ninety minutes, or sifting through the shit-loads of emails we get sent daily… it takes a totally different method of thinking:

Thinking on your heels- (if you will).

It takes time. And seeing growth from time invested is a wonderful thing.

Through my experience thus far in the classrooms of Cal Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, I’ve grown.

Multitudes.

Clarification: I’ve grown = I’ve made mistakes… but those mistakes have been my lessons. My ability to spell, write, and take notes have hit a j-curve. My comprehension of English has grown to the point that I’m now understanding Spanish better, un poco. My eye for details in the world has increased my ability to dress…

(I got a compliment on my fashion from a cute girl the other day- go figure?)

…  And this is only the first month.

Yeah, there’s nothing like growth through time invested.

I bought a basketball a little less than 3 months ago- I play quite regularly.

I mean, I suck. But I’m getting better.

I like to hoop by myself with my headphones on- early in the morning, it gets the blood flowing. I also hoop with my homies- I hoop with random homies…

Last weekend, I hooped with my ten year-old niece… she made more consecutive shots than I did.

(She was in the key, I was shooting from 3) … (That’s an attempt to cover my own ass).

She shoots. She scores.

She shoots. She scores. (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

When my niece made a couple of shots- I saw her face light-up. And that’s why I like to hoop… There are few greater joys in life than seeing that damn ball drop into the net: swishhhhhhhhh….

He shoots. He ...hits backboard. (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

He shoots. He …hits backboard. (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

It’s an instant confidence builder. It’s a manifestation of one’s desperate attempt to calculate the trajectory of a leather-wrapped inflated object, through air, and into a metal cylinder… A cylinder that is only twice its size in circumference.

It’s all that intelligent shit… and it’s also Jim Jones’, slightly less intellectually-stimulating-statement of: “Baaaaaaaaallllllllllin,” which is a reference to financial success- and is shown through a hand gesture which originates from the follow through of a made jump shot.

Yeah: made shots- writing- my niece- the hoop court- the classroom…financial success.

Gotta make my shots.

"On the playground is where I spent most of my days. Chillin' out, maxin', relaxin' all cool. And shootin' some B-ball outside of the school ..." (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

“On the playground is where I spent most of my days. Chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool. And shootin’ some B-ball outside of the school …” (Photo by Spencer Whitney).

Alright… that was a good post game press conference, I’ll leave ya’ll on this note.

Check out this video of this 5’4 homie getting stooooopid on the hoop court:

And on the topic of evolution/ hoops/ and making media: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-OZI0-LhuQ&feature=related

Why is it so much easier to help other people than myself ?

Why is it so much easier to help other people than myself ?

You know that spot on your back where your arms don’t reach? That one spot that always itches but you can never scratch-until you get one of those plastic back scratchers … But of course- that doesn’t suffice: that’s plastic dawg!

Yea, that spot on your back where your arms don’t reach, that’s a constant reminder that human beings are social creatures. We need someone to scratch our backs… I mean, we could use trees like California Brown bears do; at least the tree is living… I bet a that’s more sufficient than an inanimate object … I digress.

So, my itching- or, uh- burning question: Why is it so much easier to help other people than it is to help myself ?

I was awarded a shiny-new parking ticket after taking these young men to get educational resources.

I was awarded a shiny-new parking ticket after taking these young men, amongst other students, to a Saturday afternoon full of workshops full of educational resources.

The first thing I did when I came to the realization of this conundrum: post it as my facebook status … and sent a tweet out carrying the same sentiment.

“It is called being selfless. And it is a good thing, for when we lend a hand to another, we are in essence helping to improve ourselves.” Benny “Uncle Punch” Andrews said in reply to my post.

“For two reasons. The selfless part like Bennie said and also it is harder to see the issues in oneself”- Andrew Meyer.

How true…

It’s been killing me all week: I can hold it down for the community, for my friends, for my family … but when it comes to self-It never comes down to self…

It’s not a total mutilation of self in order to save the world… na, I’m not that nice. It’s not a: save the world, so I can say I saved the world kind of thing either… Na, I’m not that egotistical. This persona is a product of being aware: I see the bigger picture. I see the young person who is affected by the parents who are unemployed … that… Or it’s the elder junkie who is a product of a broken school system, hit a schnide in the game, turned to whatever drugs were readily available in the community… and then whallah! You have my surroundings.

And as bad I want to get out of here, that’s just scratching my own back… I want my surroundings to change. So, when I walk out the door in the morning I scratch the backs of fiends , “baby mommas” , marginalized youth, ect, ect… And they say it all comes back… They never said it would come back to haunt me.

It’s messing with my mind.

“you fall in the same line as a psychologist with this one. Unable to solve their own problems.”- @Truth_Inception.

He’s right. I can give people the shirt off my back, but have trouble asking for it in return.

“Yes. I dedicated a week to myself and it was the hardest things ever. Very necessary though.”- @OhhMissRiss

She’s right… that’s what I need.

It’s crunch time. I’m 24 ½. It’s time to lock in and focus on something great. But all I seem to care about is socializing, the internet, and socializing via the internet!

Dang!

I saw this tweet the other day, it simply said that “accomplishments are better than compliments”… and I’m more than sure it’s some song lyrics that were tweeted out of context and quotations- nonetheless, the statement resonated…

I have a number of big time accomplishments within my grasp (graduating, publishing a book, living to be 25…)

And all of it seems so simple: Just do it, NIKE style. But every time I go to move forward… those same friends that are better than back scratchers- are holding me back. They aren’t exactly back stabbers, but nonetheless, being sociable and helping others and wanting to show the world that I’m solid ( That I have a strong backbone)… all of that is holding me back.

So I had to investigate- I had to find someone who has been in my position before. Someone that was destined for greatness, but was suffering from minor setbacks …

So I googled quotes from Michael Jordan:

To be successful you have to be selfish, or else you never achieve. And once you get to your highest level, then you have to be unselfish.”- Michael Jordan

… I’ll take the words of the man who wore number 23 on his back …

Peace.

Celebrating Moms & Pops Each Giving Me 23 Chromosomes For the 23rd Time.

On my twenty-first birthday, I rolled out of bed and everything added up: July 6th, 2008 my birthdate, 7+ 6 +08 added up to 21. I realized that every birthday of mines, since the turn of the millennium adds up to the age I was turning… I thought that was pretty cool.

My Dream Cake

This year, as July 6th 2010 falls upon us, I did a little reading about the mathematics behind the age 23. I found some pretty deep things about the number 23; that movie with Jim Carey, and Michael Jordan’s number were just the tip of the iceberg… as I celebrate my mother and father coming together, and donating 23 chromosomes for the 23rd time in my life, CLICK HERE TO READ THIS ARTICLE, and find out some very interesting facts about the number 23.

And after reading that article, check out my man Jordan’s highlight reel, and allow Air-Greatness show you why number 23 means so much to a young African-American man born in 1987…

Now let me get this Jordan year kicked off with a grand slam… a picture that symbolizes good times:

a mad Llama I encountered at a petting Zoo at Oakland’s Jack London Square this weekend…Just because its the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time…

the mad Llama.

NBA 2K and MJ Collaborate.

The game of basketball can be summed up in two names: Michael. And Jordan. To his name: 6 NBA Championships, an immaculate career, The title of Charlotte Bobcats franchise owner… but it wasn’t complete until MJ landed his name on the cover of a video game…Again.

Multiple sources, including ESPN , report that NBA legend Michael Jordan will be on the cover of NBA2K11.

The NBA 2K brand has produced the highest selling NBA video game for the past two years, and it shows, as the brand has a tremendous following. But the game’s following is nothing compared to Jordan’s. The name “Jordan” has sold everything from hot dogs to shoes, and from underwear to movies about cartoon characters from outer-space. The combination of the two will sell like hot cakes!

I’ve never actually had the urge to buy a hot cake before. I think that saying is a little outdated. And speaking of outdated: isn’t it a little late for Jordan to land on the cover of a video game?

Well removed from his playing days, and now serving as the owner of the Charlotte Bobcats, Michael Jordan is reported to not only be on the cover of NBA2K11, he is also supposed to assist in the making of the game, and be an optional player to compete as!

Jordan has rarely appeared in video games, instead games would put a nameless characters as shooting guard for the Chicago Bulls. A short list of some of the video games Jordan has appeared in: Jordan vs. Bird: One on One, Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City, and the video game Live 2001 was the first game I ever played with MJ available as an active character. That game was made by EA Sports.

Electronic Arts Sports, the longtime reigning top NBA video game designer, has been upended in recent years by the 2K line. The EA Sports company has decided to go with a name change this upcoming video game season, changing its “NBA Live” series to the title of “NBA Elite 11″.

Even with the competition upping the ante, 2K ‘s VP of marketing Jason Argent maintains confidence about the upcoming 2K/ MJ collaboration. Argent was quoted in an article in USA Today, “We’re very confident that this year … will not only be the best basketball game we’ve ever put out, but the best basketball game that’s ever been put out.” Argent continued, “When you start thinking about people that can accurately represent that in the game of basketball, the list is short. And, frankly, the greatest basketball player of all time seemed to be the greatest fit.”

Argent’s marketing philosophy sounds like the opening line to this piece… the game of basketball in two names: Michael. And Jordan.

Game designers are set to debut the cover at the  E3 video game convention June 15-17, 2010 in Los Angeles California, and the game is set to hit stores October 5, 2010. I just want to see if 2K11 sells like hot cakes…or better yet, see if sells like Jordan’s line of shoes.

No Gravity

I took a flight from California to Washington, D.C. on February 16th, 2010. The flight landed. I didn’t.

As the night turned from the Fat Tuesday Holiday of Mardi Gras, into the Ash Wednesday that is the first day of Lent, although I am not Catholic, I decided for the 40 days of Lent, I would give up Gravity. 

Gravity

Gravity

I joke sometimes, when I see someone drop something out of obvious clumsiness: “don’t worry about it, it’s a high gravity day”.

But what if you awoke one morning and there was a no gravity day… I known i’m venturing along the lines of the esoteric (weird) world. But just think for a minute: if you defy one of the elementary laws of physics and proceed to rise as you desire, then what physical being can stop you from rising?

What can hold you down, if gravity can’t? 

I got off of my flight and went on a twitter rant….Or as I like to call it: standing on my “milk crate”…

These were the results…

The plane landed…I didn’t…#NoGravity 12:10 AM Feb 17th 

#NoGravity…this make sense 2 me- once you defy 1 of the basic laws of physics- what can another human being do to hold you down? 12:12 AM Feb 17th

So when hw, $, and otha bullshit is holdin me down…the voice n my head is finna say “fuck that bru! #NoGravity“…and I’m back on ma shit! 12:17 AM Feb 17th   

My soul is too young to be pacified. I gotta burning desire to be satisfied….. #NoGravity. 12:19 AM Feb 17th   

“Keep yo head-up”-Tupac…. #NoGravity. 12:20 AM Feb 17th   

Yea, and fuck Isaac Newton…#NoGravity. 12:21 AM Feb 17th  

But speaking of “Newton”…happy birthday to Huey P. Newton….Fist up High…#NoGravity. 12:22 AM Feb 17th  

Speaking of B-days…happy B-day to Michael Jordan…yea, he knows about the #NoGravity movement. 12:23 AM Feb 17th   

And most importantly -Happy Born Day to my momma…she’s an angel on earth….#NoGravity 12:24 AM Feb 17th  

*This time imma just levitate off of my twitter-rant milk crate…#NoGravity * 12:29 AM Feb 17th

And before I went to sleep…this was my last tweet…

When u live n a world w/ #NoGravity… U don’t lay down to sleep…fuck na…u jus simply rest UP!…peace. 2:08 AM Feb 17th

I admit, explaining my mindset to people has been rather challenging. When you tell someone that you don’t believe in gravity-  they look at you like you came from a planet without gravity!

But when I explain how the feeling of “heavy gravity days” is the problem that usually sets me, and many others back, people start to listen. Who can’t relate to those days when the world has you bogged down, those days where you don’t want to get out of bed, or even those days where you clumsily drop something and some witty-wiseguy takes it upon himself to make light of the situation…

So with that said, no more heavy gravity days. period. And for the next 40 days…no gravity- I’m taking to the sky!

…this is just my train of thought…

Peace,

Pendarvis.