You know, I've never been one that took time too seriously and I'm notorious for being late- but Steve, the guest blogger of the day is REALLY late. I gave him an assignment almost a month ago and he's JUST getting it done, but it's all good- better late than never. I'm almost uncomfortable posting this because a) it's revealing my real name, b) it's talking about my whacky days of middle AND high school and c) this cat knows way too much about my past! If I EVER wanted to run for senate I'd have to pay him off handsomly. But in all fairness, he's one of my bestestess friends from way back, so he's got the poetic licence to say what he wants about me. So without further ado, I give you (unedited) ten things about the "Peruvian Pimp Dad" Steven Morrow.
OK so that's not really his picture and he doesn't work at Lexus so ladies don't get all excited, even though his is a good looking guy. And besides, I wouldn't want his wife to come looking for me because some woman saw his picture on my blog and found him claiming to be "hisbabymama". Alright for real this time.
So I was among the non-bloggers that Yahya tagged a while bac, like months ago. So to hold up my end of the bargain, I will now belatedly post 10 random things about me, not an altogether easy thing for an audience of strangers. I’ll try to keep it interesting by sprinkling some old-school Rahmaan stories. So now, on to memory lane….
1) Birthday Blog – Yahya originally tagged me on my birthday (technically the day before my birthday but he was too lazy to get the email out until the next day). June 26 1976. I’m a Cancer. The tag was kind of a nice birthday present, to think my words might be interesting enough, stupid enough, or entertaining enough to post for all to read. I’ll choose to focus on these positives, even though it was a bit insulting that on his blog post Yahya called out someone else’s birthday and completely forgot mine,. My birthday brings me to my birthplace:
2) Hospital Jesus Maria, Lima, Peru– That’s right I am Peruvian, or at least half Peruvian as my dad was an American foreign correspondent. All in my family are alright in the aftermath of the earthquake, thank you for asking. I love visiting family back home, but it doesn't quite feel like home. Born in Lima, raised in Lakewood (Denver suburb), lived for a period in Barcelona; Amherst, MA; New York City’ and now Pittsburgh, all exciting and interesting places in their own right (except for the suburbs). Yet until I got to Pittsburgh they never quite felt like home. Its ironic I feel that way here in the ‘burgh, a place with a reputation for being hostile to outsiders not to mention racist. But here I finally cut the teenage angst-ridden schizophrenic tug-o-war between my Peruvian and American identities: Who am I? What am I? Where do I belong? Blah, blah, blah. Even wrote a poem about it in High School. Maybe it’s just because I finally chilled when I reached my 20’s. How can I mention high school angst without recalling that:
3) I once challenged Yahya to a fight in High School– Yahya and Norm (from Yahya’s infamous bus rout) were giving me too much crap about some melodramatic little thing that was sooooo important to 16 year olds. I actually don’t even remember what I was being teased about. It took days of planning and false starts to rack up the nerve. Finally, in front of the entrance to Mrs. Pennington’s Spanish class I got up in Yahya’s face and challenged him. Three other bystanders saw the ridiculous scene for what it was and broke out laughing. I gave the time (lunchtime) and the place (who the hell remembers). Yahya being one of my more cool and collected friends elected not to show up. When somebody reminded him during lunch time pick-up basketball, he responded “Ehhh, It ain’t worth it,” displaying maturity beyond his years, and far beyond mine. In the end though, I did get the best of both worlds: not getting my ass beat (which I most certainly would have), and putting a stop to the teasing. The best part though: letting it all blow over and reconciling with good friend. Did I say basketball?
4) I Love Basketball– I was a regular on the lunch time pick-up basketball circuit. The Denver Nuggets are my favorite team. The best job I’ve ever had was volunteer coaching varsity basketball to eighth grade boys at Nativity Mission School in the lower east side. On my high school team, I was the hustle player and defensive stopper. Senior year, we were one win away from the State Championship tournament but got blown out by the eventual champion (If only I played better defense). In other senior year sports news...
5) Yahya and I were doubles partners on the tennis team– The only minority and half-minority on our whole lily white squad were teamed up as the number 2 doubles pair. We took to wearing long shorts down to the calf and yelling out foreign curse words after bad shots. I designed the team t-shirts that year with a graphic on the back of a bad ass looking mustang (our mascot) about to kill a serve. Yahya complained about how the hired cartoonist chose to dress the horse (a leotard) and how the animal lacked …. er, well, manliness. Apparently Yahya forgot about the t-shirts the year before: solid red with one solid white silhouette of a dude whacking the nastiest (and we don't mean that in a good way) backhand you’ve ever seen. Those t-shits were designed by a blog reader who will remain nameless. Lets travel a little farther back in the day shall we…
6) In Middle School Yahya and I were part of a three person club called YAM– That’s right Yahya, Aaron and Morrow. Using my first name would have made the club name YAS, which sounded too Middle Eastern or something. The club was in part to lampoon to some chick click named JAM: Jenny Ali and Mary. They had JAM sweatshirts made with argyle letters (yes, it was that kind of a school). Beyond satire, the other purpose was to try to get girls and to pretend we knew more about them than we really did. Yah was pretty damn good at that. We never mentioned sweet potatoes in the charter. Speaking of pretending:
7) I am pretending to be Bob Villa while mired in my own housing renovation project– Somehow this son of a famously unhandy journalist (he once went to the library to learn how to hammer nails), is now tasked with putting down decorative baseboards, installing new closets and re-painting the upstairs. Our house is on the neighborhood house tour this year, which explains the latest motivation in our manic depressive home renovation cycle. (2 ridiculous months on, 18 months off) I wish I had Yahya to install bathroom tile. But hopefully strangers in the night will find my house more uninviting than they found his.
8) Strangers seem to find me approachable– One summer after graduation, Yahya took my friend Patrick and I to the hood for some ethic eats at Kapre Chicken, an institution in Denver’s Five Points area before the grip of gentrification drove many neighborhood joints away. These two suburban white kids found the chicken to be forgettable, but I won’t forget the local culture. As I got into my street parked car, this man I had never met leaned onto the passenger side window, and with a slur to his speech asked what time it was. Before I could muster a response, he had opened the door, put his girlfriend in the back seat, and sat himself down in the passenger side. In the 3 months of having a faulty lock on my ’83 Nissan Datsun Sentra, it was the only time I wished I’d fixed it. The sudden smell of Malt Liquor and beer explained the slurred speech, and also the urgency this couple had in getting into a stranger’s car: the liquor store was about to close and they had to get there quick. As I was not in the position deter two hulking, determined, and inebriated strangers from getting their drink on, Yahya ended up driving these cats in my car to get their fix, as I waited in front of Kapre Chicken. I was finally hearing Yahya when he said that living the suburbs must be so boring.
9) I’m deaf– Unfortunately I couldn’t always hear that well. I learned in college why I always had trouble hearing song lyrics, or was constantly was asking people at parties to repeat themselves. I now wear hearing aids, which I felt a little funny about at first, thinking I looked like a 70 year old man. But I found it much worse to act like a sixty year old man, repeating “say that again” and pretending to know what people were saying. My mother in-law was then inspired to get her own hearing aids, which suddenly made her a lot more tolerable, even enjoyable in conversation. Actually I married into a great, loving family and do fell very lucky about this whole marriage business.
10) I did not have the wedding from hell– It was my wedding that Yahya had blogged about a year ago when he wrote about how weddings can bring out the worst in people. I think the wedding was portrayed unfairly and I’m using this space to clear my good name. To recap, the groomsmen and I were wiping down bottles of wine and beer that were chilling in ice buckets and placing them in cardboard cases for transport to the wedding. Yahya had suggested we keep the liquor in the buckets and transport and put them in the car directly. In my defense I did not yet own hearing aids, so I did not hear Yahya’s suggestion, nor did I here Patrick’s pointed response telling him to just shut up and do what he was told (thanks Patrick). But there actually were two reasons why Yahya’s suggestion was not carried out in the first place. 1) The ice buckets were two big to fit in the car. 2) We needed to keep the wine labels from getting soaked in ice water for another 3 hours so they wouldn’t slip off. Otherwise the bartenders wouldn’t know which wine was which.
We got ourselves this state of urgency because we spent too much time watching Angola kick the Czech Republic’s ass in the World Cup. We probably should have multi-tasked during the game, but I’m known for being a bad planner, NOT for losing my temper. While we were definitely in a hurry during this absurd wine transfer exercise, I was by no means barking out orders, being irritable, or outwardly angry. That came later when the incompetent wedding band caused me to miss my own best man’s toast, but that’s a different story. (Fortunately we did catch the toast on video). All in all I had a great time, and it appeared that Yahya did too as we have several action shots of him sporting his recognizable grin. Also, Yahya made one of the nicer connections from the wedding as my best black friend from white high school, (Yahya), met and befriend my best black friend from white college (Mike Nickens). The two of them still hang out in Atlanta. Bottom line, Yahya twisted the truth about the wedding to drive home his point on the Blog. No Yahya, there were no weapons of mass destruction.
I now am no longer tagged.