The Good Old Days: Brownappella

So sometime in late 2003, Smith had an karayoke guy come and record us singing.  The following foolishness ensued:

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things I love about Brooklyn. Part 1

Lately I’ve begun to notice all the murals around Brooklyn. I love them.


first publication, first author! boo-yow

I don’t even know how I didn’t post this to my own blog yet since I posted it on twitter and facebook a few weeks ago. But my first chapter, that turned into a journal article has finally been published! Hooray.

You can read it here.

This article uses data from the Fragile Families and Child Well-being Survey to examine the association between transitioning to marriage and general health status or serious health problems among low-income men.  Beginning with a sample of 3,631 unmarried fathers, the study observes the relationship between their transitions to marriage within 3 years after the birth of their child and their health status 5 years postbirth. The authors also explore if unmarried fathers benefit from marrying mothers who have health insurance. Results indicate that transitions to marriage and transitions to marriage with mothers who have health insurance, are associated with fewer serious health problems. The authors did not observe a significant relationship between transitioning to marriage and general health, likely because the sample comprised men who were young (average age was 26 years) and in very good health.



what i did instead of writing my paper

School hasn’t even started yet and I’m already procrastinating (old habits die hard).  Anyway, I’m trying to write up the results of my presentation for the AddHealth conference and instead of just plugging away, I did this:



My roommate encouraged me to embrace the mistakes, it makes it look more authentic. nice.

Hopefully it will inspire me to actually do some work.


sometimes coming out can be crazy anticlimatic

as i discovered last weekend when i came out to my bro, mainly in fear that my cousins would do it first.

me: hey you remember when you asked me if i was gay in college?
bro: i didn’t ask you that.
me: yes you did. remember, you said you thought that when i was on you guys about being homophobic?
bro: i remember everything. i didn’t ask you that.
me: fine, you remember [insert ex girlfriend's name here]? (shows him a picture)
bro: yeah.
me: well she was my girlfriend for 2 years.
bro: every girl goes through a phase like that.

completely and utterly unclimatic. meh.  well at least i got that out the way.


the right to be a father?

While everyone was in a huff over Lebron going to Miami, I was getting worked up about Leicester Bryce Stovell claiming to be his father and suing him and his mother for $4,000,000.  As I said on twitter, “nothing says I love you son like suing him and his mother for millions.” :-/

The long and short of the story is that Mr. Stovell claims he met Lebron’s mother when she was 15 (and he was 29, gross), they have bad sex and later she told him she was pregnant.  He never directly asks her if the baby is his, nor does she ever confirm his suspicion.  He told her if the baby is his make sure he plays basketball.  She said “ok.”  This statement and the fact that he believes they look alike (they really don’t) are the reasons why he believes Lebron is his.  In spite of his mother’s wishes, Lebron did participate in a paternity test with his father and the results concluded that Leicester was not the father.  But Mr. Stovell wasn’t going out like that and insists that the results were tampered with.

Which got me to thinking?  At what point do you lose your “right” to be a father?  It always makes me angry when I hear about celebrities who grew up with their fathers and then as soon as they make it big, here goes dad.  We saw this with Oprah, who wouldn’t even give the latest contender the time of day.  Is there a statue of limiations on when you come back into a kid’s life?  And do they have to let you back in?  To that last question, I give a resounding no.  I think that if you neglect your child until adulthood, you cannot roll back in their live and try to play parent.  It doesn’t work that way.  As a friend says, “if you aren’t there for the grind, you can’t be there for the shine.”  Or something like that.

Even if this man is Lebron’s father, which I don’t think he is, what does he deserve? What’s his prize for doing what he should have done 20-something years ago? So you’re the father, now we all have a face to the absent father who did absolutely nothing but contribute some genes to this man’s success.  That does not earn you $4 mil.  I don’t think it’s slander to say you weren’t there because you weren’t there.  He needs to go to the hood and mentor some kids or something – or take the good Princeton education and tutor someone, but please, leave Lebron and his mother alone.  They do not owe you anything.

Very Smart Brothas also wrote about this issue – but talking about how Lebron reminds that men can have daddy issues too.  Good read, check it out.


fuck it

it’s my blog and i can write what i want.

for months, maybe even a year now, i have been agonizing over what to make this blog.  i was trying to make it into something that would make me “internet popular.” a place where a bunch of strangers would read what i write, agree or disagree, but be sure to leave a ton of comments. and that stressed me the fuck out.

i was worried who would read this (apparently about 12 people a week), what would my mother say, what if someone finally put the pieces together and realized i think and talk about my ex girlfriend a hell of a lot more than i’m comfortable with.  what if my brother realized his first instinct that i wasn’t exaclty straight was right and that i totally lied to him when he brought it up becuase sometimes i’m a pussy.  what if someone called me on my research, said something about my standard errors being too small or large (i never can remember) or just said i was flat out wrong.

what if they don’t like me?

to that, i say, who the fuck cares? why in the world do i care so much about what people think of what i write?  lord knows i talk enough shit in real life, i should be able to take some by now, right?

tonight i started reading bitch is the new black. i started ready to hate because she was talking shit about some of my friends in her “ruhbuhduh” chapter. i was ready to be all snarky and hate (hate hate hate) when i realized that’s some shit i would say (maybe even have said, meh). and as i read this book, all i can think is this chick does not give a fuck who she pisses off. she’s going for hers.  she has a published book and movie deal.  i have two raggedy articles and about 4 blogs that i don’t write on because i’m punking out worrying about strangers or people i don’t like.


time to snap outta this shit and write. write for my life, huh CPC?

so here we go,

on family and theory

I never know how to treat family “issues” on the blogosphere, but since this current situation is shaping a new theory I’m working on (and because frankly, this story is so over the top), I’ve decided to share it here.

I’ll start with the headline “Eleven Arrested, One Tasered, During Manchester Drug Bust” – and now you can tell where we’re going. In that day’s newspaper, there were actually three different stories about drug busts in CT, but this one involved my younger brother.  In fact, he’s almost the star of the article

MANCHESTER — Police arrested 11 people and seized more than a pound of marijuana, plus $7,796 in cash, during a drug bust Monday that included a violent struggle.

Many of the arrests were the result of drug dealing in the Spruce Street area of town, where undercover officers from a regional task force had bought marijuana, crack cocaine and heroin over several months, police said. One of the arrested people is accused of having children sell drugs near a school. In all, police served 28 warrants.

Millard “Marquise” Jackson, 19, of Oak Street was shot with a Taser by officers when he resisted arrest on a warrant charging him with selling marijuana to an undercover officer in the Spruce Street neighborhood. He continued struggling after being Tasered, police said.

When officers got Jackson under control, they found 86 bags of marijuana on him, police said. Officers added charges of possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell and resisting arrest.

Yeah so that’s my bro. And while I could go on and talk about how hard his life has been (which is has) and his issues with mental illness, the fact of the matter is that my brother is his father’s son.  And I expect to see more stories like this for at least another 10 – 20 years.  And at this point, I’m trying to figure out how I want to deal with this, or if I want to deal with this.  Because I’ve been here before, and I’m not looking forward to doing this again.

So where does this theory come in?  The last time my brother was incarcerated he blew up my phone.  He called multiple times a day, told me how much he loved me and told me he was going to turn his life around.  Now rewind about 15, and this is exactly how my father behaved.  Much like my father, my brother pretty much calls when he needs something (the last time was to read a contract for a record deal that never worked out) or he disappears for months.  And like how I felt with my father, I’m used to him being gone and silent because that means that he’s fine. Fine here is relative, because for a long time with my father, and for the next 10 – 20 years for my brother, fine means running around in the streets doing things that are most likely illegal.

Long story short, some (a lot of?) sons who grow up without their fathers mimic their behavior as adults. I’m not sure that this has actually been written and this may be where I need to start. But I know a lot of nonresident fathers grew up without their fathers.  (Not knowing your father may make it hard to “prove” that they act in similar manners).  Anyway the theory that I want to work on involves the daughter’s relationship to her brother, who now acts like her father.  How does she act?  How should she act?  By this point in life,  I’ve had about 23 years of dealing with my dad acting crazy and simply do not have the patience to humor this behavior in my brother.  But I am unsure if this is the norm.  I need to flush this idea through… or just write my dissertation, graduate and then flush this idea through, but I wanted to put it on paper.


doing things that scare me

This summer I am trying to do things that scare me, so that they won’t scare me anymore.  Lately my biggest fear has been writing. While I think I am an ok writer, some of my professors don’t agree and frankly, that has really shaken my confidence.  So much so that I barely write on any of my three blogs. I know I need to get over it and that most of this is in my head. I just need to write.

This summer I want to learn how to skateboard. this is something I’ve wanted to do for years but I was scared that I would fall.  Sure I’m going to fall, but it’s not like I’m going to fall off a cliff or something. worst case I’ll scrape my hands and knees (nothing new there).  I’ve also allowed my friend to talk me out of this, her reasoning being that I can’t do it.  I hate it when people tell me I can’t do something.

Finally, I need to tell people to stop treating my like shit or acting in ways that hurt my feelings.  I really, really don’t like confrontation, but I’m realizing I don’t like they make me feel more. And I really hate the way I feel when I don’t say anything.  So this is something that I really need to work on because I just want to be happy and there are a few people in my life who make that difficult, and actually a few that I just wish would go away.

So these are my summer goals. Wish me luck.


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