I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

Balance. Equilibrium. Stability. Remaining perpendicular. These are never easy things to achieve. Just ask former first lady Nancy Reagan (or even skateboard enthusiast and “How to Stitch” crooner, Lil Wayne).

According to AP:

“Former first lady Nancy Reagan is said to be doing fine after stumbling as she was escorted into an event at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley.

KNBC-TV video shows the 90-year-old Reagan walking into the room on the arm of Florida Senator Marco Rubio Tuesday night when she apparently lost her balance. The crowd can be heard gasping as Rubio catches her before she falls to the floor. Several people in the crowd then swarm her, and Rubio and the others help her get to her seat.

Rubio was invited by Reagan to speak at the library.

Library spokeswoman Melissa Giller told KNBC that the former first lady wasn’t hurt. Giller says Reagan apparently tripped on a post used for crowd control.”


Guuuuurrrl. I know how you feel.

Let me tell you about a clumsy little blogger who used to go by the nickname “Stumbelina.” I got that nickname from my dear friend Sonny when we were besties in Dallas back in the mid-to-late 90s. For a while, my dear friend even kept a running tab of stumbles – like, literally carried a piece of paper with little marks on it. That particularly fun-for-me project had to be abandoned when the sheer excessiveness of my affliction rendered the effort impossible.

I fall upstairs. I fall downstairs. I’ve fallen nowhere near stairs. I’ve fall in showers at nice hotels and required nine stitches. (That’s a true story. New Orleans, October 2010. My most epic spill to date.)

My favorite place to fall is, apparently, on metro escalators. One time I fell because my heel got caught in the hem of my pants and sent me tumbling (pretty sure I pulled my arm out of my socket trying to catch myself). Another time, I was on my way to meet someone for a run on the Mall and tangled my legs (no reason) and went bouncing down the escalator on my right hip. I had the gnarliest black, purple, green, yellow bruise for about three months.

About two months ago, I fell, in my own house, while carrying two empty plates and a couple of small ramekins containing soy sauce from the living room to the kitchen. Hindering my awesome and well-honed plate clearing skills? Two tiny stairs from our living room to the dining room. These are stairs I have successfully navigated probably hundreds of thousands of times. (Ok, a couple of other times not-so-successfully. I did fall down these same two stairs one time while carrying a scalding hot cup of tea, which I proceeded to slosh into my lap. Red thighs anyone?)  I still don’t know why my toe caught on the stair this particular time and sent me, and the soy sauce, flying, but fly we did. The pale yellow dining room walls sustained minor soy sauce-related damage from that particular event.

In fact, right around the same time that poor Mrs. Reagan was taking her spill in California on Tuesday, this girl right here (two thumbs pointing at myself) tripped and bit it on a very busy DC sidewalk. We’re talking total face plant. As in, cell phone clattering and skidding out of my flailing hand. As in, people stopping to help our poor heroine regain the upright position. As in, painfully limping the rest of the way to my destination, covered in embarrassment and shame.

Yeah. And that was AFTER I had swapped out my gorgeous 4-inch mustard colored stilettos for a pair of practical, if ugly flats, in full recognition that me and sidewalks do not get along. That’s right. I took PRECAUTIONS. And still I stubbed my flats-covered toe on a crack in the sidewalk and went stomach surfing in broad daylight in full view of the busy street, park and White House. I blamed aftershocks from the earthquake.

At least Mrs. Reagan is 90 years old. Lil Wayne had moving wheels under him. What’s my excuse?

Lies I’m Not Believing: Lil Wayne’s “How to Love”

I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a little while, but my bodyguard-for-life XFE questioned the wisdom of antagonizing a rapper with a penchant for firearms. His concerns caused me to pause. But then last night, I was watching this well-done HBO documentary called Superheroes, and well, I was inspired (spoiler alert: the superheroes are crazy and only mildly less creepy than the criminals they are supposedly protecting the citizenship from).

Plus, the rapper I’m poking fun at fell off a skateboard today, so I’m a bit less concerned about my safety.

Listen, Lil Wayne. No offense, but I don’t want to hear you telling me “How to Love.”

Have y’all heard this song? In it, our erstwhile Weezy sings repeatedly about a young lady who has “had a lot of crooks trying to steal your heart,” and she is unlucky in love.

“See you had a lot of crooks trying ta steal your heart
Never really had luck, couldn’t never figure out
How to love
How to love

See you had a lot of moments that didn’t last forever
Now you in the corner trying ta put it together
How to love
How to love”

By the way, these eight lines are repeated about 200 times.

But I digress. Lil Wayne, through the fine instrument of autotune, speculates on the many reasons our lovely heroine might not have been able to find love. Apparently, she’s insecure and quite untrusting.

“When you was just a young’un your looks was so precious
But now your grown up
So fly it’s like a blessing but you can’t have a man look at you for 5 seconds
Without you being insecure
You never credit yourself so when you got older
It’s seems like you came back 10 times over
Now you’re sitting here in this damn corner
Looking through all your thoughts and looking over your shoulder”

And, a bit world-weary, according to Lil.

“The fact that you saw the world affected all your decisions
But it wasn’t your fault
Wasn’t in your intentions”

So, our hero, Lil Wayne, tries to offer magic words of praise intended to set the object of his affection right.

See I just want you to know
That you deserve the best
You’re beautiful
You’re beautiful

And I want you to know, you’re far from the usual
Far from the usual”

Alright Lil Wayne, I appreciate that you aren’t talking about drugs and hos. But I do not want to hear from you about “How to Love.” Especially you singing about it, which, even with the help of autotune, is atrocious. As in, not melodic. Not appealing. In fact, horrible, even.

But more than that, frankly, I question your qualifications on the subject of love.

No doubt you have a ton of experience in making babies. According to your Wikipedia page, you had your first one at 15 years old. This was one year after you, (an honors student?), dropped out of high school to focus on your musical career.

Making babies.

You also (almost) successfully fathered three children with three different women in one single year (OK, 13 months. So close!). Your second child, a son, was born in Cincinnati on October 22, 2008; your third, also a son, was born on September 9, 2009; and your fourth, another son, was born on November 30, 2009.

Not exactly the picture of fidelity, correct? Do these multiple and overlapping lady-loving episodes make you qualified to tell us “How to Love?”

Perhaps you were talking about how to love firearms? Because you have quite the colorful history when it comes to the guns! Starting at age 13, when you accidentally shot yourself with a 9 mm handgun (again, an honors student?). Luckily, an off-duty police officer was around to drive you to the hospital.

Then, of course, there’s the 8 months you spent on Rikers (of a year-long sentence) on charges of criminal possession of a .40 caliber pistol in 2010. Rikers. Yikes. That’s pretty hard core, all right. Not a lot of opportunities to discuss deep philosophical issues such as the proper way to show and receive affection.

Interesting belt buckle. Really says "love" to me.

Perhaps in “How to Love” you are talking about your love of certain illegal drugs? Or, your love of sports which has been well documented through your blogging for ESPN? On these things, I do feel that perhaps you are an expert. I cannot speak as eloquently to the appeal of purple drank. I have never been stopped at the border with 105 grams (3.7 oz) of marijuana, almost 29 grams (1.0 oz) of cocaine, 41 grams (1.4 oz) of ecstasy, and $22,000 in cash.

You said of “How to Love”—“When I listen to it I get goose bumps. And I feel like the song is gonna take me somewhere that I’ve never been musically.”

Well, I sir, do not get goose bumps listening to this song.

And as for taking you “somewhere that I’ve never been musically,” would that perhaps be to court for copyright infringement? Because apparently, you are facing a lawsuit from another MC over ownership of the beat to “How to Love.”

Reading the story on TMZ, it does appear to be an issue of your producer buying said “beat” for quite the bargain price and now the original MC feels he was ripped off. Which just makes you a good businessman, actually.

Perhaps “the place you’ve never been musically” is the hospital? Today, it was reported that you were injured in a skateboarding accident and had to have nine stitches. According to the report, you had a large entourage with you. Hopefully that included some fine young lady with low self-esteem and a jaded view of the world. I wouldn’t want you to go through such an event alone.

I look forward to your next song, “How to Stitch.” Maybe something along the lines of:

“See you had a lot of doctors trying ta close you up
Never really had luck, cause they kept crackin’ up
How to stitch
How to stitch

See you had a lot of nurses that didn’t finish the endeavor
Now you in the corner trying ta put my head together
How to stitch
How to stitch”