“There are Only Two Kinds”: An Editorial


I said it on Twitter. There are only two kinds…

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Trade That Lottery Pick, Lakers!


So the 2016 NBA Draft lottery is tonight…

Expectations include the Lakers or Sixers getting the top pick (watch, neither will, because drama).  I am of the opinion that there is not enough talent in this draft to be totally excited about those prospects.  Ben Simmons, the expected overall #1 pick next month, is EXTREMELY one-dimensional in his unwillingness to touch or be touched.  That will limit him in the NBA for a player who has not yet exhibited an ability to consistently shoot from distance.

Beyond that, the REAL talent to be had right now is in the upcoming free agent class who waited out for the new collective bargaining agreement and TV deal, wherein they will be able to make MAJOR cash on their next deals.

Never mind the Sixers, it is almost guaranteed they will find a way to screw the pooch on this – yes, even with new management.

The Lakers apparently have compiled the best war chest with young talent/rookie deals currently on the roster to build with and a TON of money coming off of the books with the retirement of Kobe Bryant, among other things. Trade that high-level pick (even if you need to negotiate it over the month and pull the trigger on draft night) for one of those big names and some pieces to make the deal fit.  Sell the incoming veteran all-star(s) on the prospect of playing for a “rookie” coach who has a winning pedigree already, a management group who is committed to winning soon or recusing themselves for one that can win, and – perhaps most importantly – a Kobe Bryant no longer in the building as a distraction or outgoing hindrance.  Keep your young nucleus intact, I am thinking to make a play for a PG, SF and PF (Kevin Durant and Kevin Love come to my mind), work them into a system that maximizes their respective talents and get back to the playoffs RIGHT now is where my opinion leads me.

I know it seems crazy, a bit foolhardy and homerish for me to think like this.  No need to remind me.  I have been a fan of the Lakers long enough to see good times, bad times and the disaster that has been the past two seasons.  I also know that we NEVER stay this bad for long at all.  It is about time for one of those Laker miracles to take place, starting tonight.  I am of the opinion that no matter what happened last night or will happen tonight, that neither of the Kevins’ respective teams will beat the Golden State Warriors in 7 games and therefore will be looking to move on to greener and perhaps more successful pastures after each taken multiple goes at it with their current/former situations.  The changed dynamics of the NBA of the past 5-7 years or so in the “instant rebuild” as I call it removes the uncanny or unlikely nature of how this might go over, even if each of them only takes a 2-year contract to feel it out and make another move if this play doesn’t work out.

Stranger things have happened, no?  Trade that pick for proven talent and win RIGHT now, Lakers.

Words by PHLIP

5 Dates To Take Her On That Won’t Murder Your Finances



Words by PHLIP

For those of you connected to me on the social networks, you see that I am an entertaining mix of opinion, advice and activism (<– hey, alliteration!).  Sometimes the "opinion" side of that is caged in sometimes-snarky/sometimes-poignant commentary about dating…

Recently, I tossed out a gem that said:

Take her on a lunch date to Barnes & Noble…

TELL her where you’re taking her, curve her ass if she balks.

A good cafe for a decent lunch and coffee, plenty of seated space for amazing conversation and even if you wind up buying a book or two, you’ve still spent less than a night out for dinner and drinks.

The pretty bow on top of this is that any woman willing to chill with you in a giant f*cking book store is at least smart enough to be a reader and forward thinking enough to see your creativity.

As with a good many of these random recommendations, a conversation was born and I found that a great MANY women of considerable quality (read: non-thot-types) would be OPEN to creative dates like that. Some even further welcoming the frugality of such an undertaking. I was told that I need to be teaching some kind of class on things like this, apparently since my approach to the use of my money leads to creativity that amounts to some kind of a special ability.

So here we are, 5 dates you can go on without breaking the bank in no particular order…

1 – The book store
Look, I could go BACK into excruciating detail, but you should have already read about this by the time you get here in this post.

2 – The museum
If you listen to NPR (no, I am not telling you to if you don’t), you will find that certain times EVERY year there are times that every museum in this country will allow free entry.  Some are already free as it were.  Further, if you bank with Bank of America you should look at your account online and learn what museums offer free entry as a perk of being a BoA customer.

3 – COOK, dummy!
Listen…  I know some of you just can’t cook without the fire marshal getting involved.  Coming soon, I will grace these very pages with instructions on how to whip up good food very easily and we will keep the expenditures for each meal under $25 (drinks extra).

The point, here is that women LOVE a dude who can get down in the kitchen, same as men do a woman who can.  Further, this is the PERFECT chance to prove you were paying attention when they told you what they likes.  Lastly, the willingness to get your hands this dirty is the kind of effort that any human want to be shown in an interested suitor/suitress.

(Note: do this WITH them present.)

4 – Volunteer
Common interests…  Get out and rally.  Help habitat build a house.  Feed some homeless people.  Collect clothes for kids in need.

Again, do something that shows your capacity to be a human being and be with someone who shares common interests.

5 – Go play outside
Yes, I am being VERY serious right now. Sometimes we find the best of ourselves in a reversion to a time when life was simpler.  Take the dog to a park and play catch/fetch.  Go fishing.  GO bicycle riding.  Walk around that park and throw a frisbee.  This one is totally freestyled, and the sky is the limit.  This one is especially good for people with small children they ostensibly can’t just get rid of.  Bring ’em along, give them the opportunity to get involved or go over there and do their own thing.

Naturally, this list is not the be-all-end-all, the beauty of this is that now you’re actively considering what you CAN do without killing the bank account.  Considering a “night on the town” will cost you appetizer, entree, drinks and/or dessert, the mid-day lunch you will have to buy for 4 of the 5 above will make up most of the expense of your outing, and you just don’t get it if that EVER costs you more than a twenty.

More importantly, now you’re being creative about doing new things, or at least revisiting things you’ve forgotten that you enjoy(ed) doing.  Hell, these are even “homebody friendly” solutions, as EVERY SINGLE ONE has you home and in your pajama pants at a reasonable time.

… and if you’re giving time to someone who can’t appreciate that then you should revisit who you’re giving your time to and why.

Words by PHLIP
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Questions, comments, complaints?

Love, Hate, and the Theory of Relative-ity


Words by PHLIP

It is a sad fact of the matter that “family” is more a matter of convenient coincidence than anything else. Blood relation, fiduciary responsibility in some certain situations, reasonable expectations to be in attendance at weddings and funerals and that is about it.

Loyalty is expected, but that is the human condition.  Damned if it is anything close to DEMANDED of anyone these days.

Listen to nearly anyone talking about who over the course of their lives has done them dirty or disloyal, fucked them over or are even just plain funny-acting and guaranteed they have a story that involves a blood relative.  Sadly, the ones placed closest to you without your say in it are invariably the ones most likely to fuck your life up, or at least try.

Ability to know who to distance yourself from and specifically how/why are important skills to gain and cultivate.  Not to the point of being rude or an asshole about it — yes, even if they are…  Let God (or karma, or both if you believe that way!) — but protect your heart and your checking account.

Time will tell you who and not to fuck with in your life, and literally everyone you give a couple of minutes to do so will show you who they are.  That goes for people you meet out in the world and people born into your family with you.

The people we freely offer our time and loyalty to, the ones who visit us when we’re in the hospital to add to our families AS WELL as when we need someone to pray with us to get well, the ones who can call from in front of the house and expect to be allowed in (and won’t judge the mess when they get in).  These people are your family.  The cat that can swing by with a six-pack and spend an hour or more without even turning the television or Playstation on.  That man is as much your brother as your parents’ sons are.  The people you spent summers in middle school with, walking 30+ minutes to other neighborhoods to play the boys THERE in football or baseball.  After 5+ years of friendship, you have to introduce these people as your “cousins.”

For the most blessed among us, at least some of the people you did this with ARE blood related, but people like me only have one brother and our male cousins all lived too far away growing up.  We moved a lot growing up, so we have a collection of friends to this day that can call our mom “mama” without her blinking.

These people to us are not “friends,” they’re our brothers and sisters and they all know it.  Their kids will and have grown up in a world where we’re their uncles (and vice-versa) and our kids are their cousins and that is perfectly okay with the all of us and our parents.  When one of us goes through something, we all feel it in some fashion.

We’ve been told all of our lives that “blood is thicker than water,” but that is a statement of a time when loyalty was automatic — or when disloyalty was not recognizable.

I am more of the mind that “you can’t choose your relatives, but you can surely choose your family.”

Choose wisely.

And if you have it on your hearts, mutter a little prayer for one of my brothers going through something right now. And speaking of family, it is rather alarming that people do not GENUINELY grasp the concept of Love and Hate. Well, REAL love and REAL hate, that is.

The music that we (well, THEY, because my brain is not equipped to receive many of today’s rappers) hear speaks to this misunderstanding.

Apparently someone who has not reached the stature you claim to have is jealous of, and therefore "hates," you for that.  The oddly fucked up thing about this is that they don't even have to have heard of you and you don't even have to HAVE anything of substance.


That is not "hate," that is "indifference."

Conversely, anyone who blindly supports your shenanigans and believes your bullshit apparently "loves" you.  Again, they don't have to know you personally and you don't have to have accomplished anything, but if they cheering for you instead of fact-checking then you are loved.  This is not to be confused with "in love," which we already discussed recently.

This isn't "love," and frankly I don't think I have a word for this.

You want to see real love?  Go out in the world and find it.  Go to the airport and see people coming and going and watch their reactions.  Have a kid–…  wait, DON'T have a kid.  Go to a playground and watch a father playing with his daughter and her friends, take cues on how he watches and protects them, his willingness to become a 6 year-old for a couple hours of his week.  Visit your grandparents and ask them about their parents or a departed spouse/family member.

The same applies to real hate.  Go and find it…  Watch the Republican debate or listen to Donald Trump talk.  Consume the news from the media about the ills of the world.  Shit, take that father on the playground above and imagine what would happen to the hapless fucker who tries his princes out there in that park.

I guess at the end of this all, the thing we REALLY need from what we consume is some growing up.  Because someone doesn't enjoy (or, more likely, has never heard of) my work does not mean they hate it.  Just because they support my deeds without question does not they love me either, and that assuredly is not necessarily a good thing either.

Words by PHLIP
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Questions, comments, complaints?