Have a Shaq-a-Poe-licious Birthday!

A big Happy Birthday to my identical birthday twin, Shaquille Rashaun O’Neal! We were born on the exact day in the exact same year, which means we’re both 41 years old today. And one of us is wheezing her way around some ruins in Peru.

Since Shaq is my brother from another mother, I’ve compiled a handy chart highlighting the many, many similarities. You know, in case you see one of us walking down the street and your get confused about which of us it is.

(I would have made a Ven diagram, but honestly, it’s beyond my meager skills set. In fact, even making this table was a struggle. I’m quite sad that my pretty purple block formatting did not transfer over. Damn you, Microsoft Word! )

Shaq v. Poe


 NAME First name means “little one” in Arabic; middle name (Rashaun) means “warrior.” Named after Cher (allegedly, if certain unreliable familial sources can be believed).

Standing 7 ft 1 in (2.16 m) tall and weighing 325 pounds (147 kg), he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA. Throughout his 19-year career, O’Neal used his size and strength to overpower opponents for points and rebounds. Wears a U.S. shoe size 23 Standing at 5 ft 5 in tall and weighing, well, less than 325 pounds, she is one of the most average sized bloggers ever to play on WordPress. Throughout her almost 2-year blogging career, Poe has used her wit and sarcasm to underwhelm audiences for fame and glory. Wears a Texas boot size 7.
 EARLY FAMILY LIFE O’ Neal never really knew his biological father, and was raised by his mother and stepfather who was a career Army Reserve sergeant. Shaq even rapped about it on his 1994 album Shaq Fu: The Return where he dropped the line, “Biological Didn’t Bother, Phil is my Father”. Poe barely knew her biological father, and was sorta raised by her mother and various stepfathers of undistinguished careers. She has not yet rapped about it. Although she certainly whines about it a lot.
 PERSONAL LIFE He married Shaunie Nelson on December 26, 2002. The couple have four children (Shareef, Amirah, Shaqir, and Me’arah), and Nelson has one son from a previous relationship (Myles). O’Neal also has a daughter from a previous relationship (Taahirah). The couple divorced in 2009. Poe was married and divorced, all before the ripe old age of 25. So, like, a bazillion years ago. She’s been dating her long-suffering partner-for-life, XFE, since 2005. They are co-pet-parents to Petuniazaquirah.
 EDUCATION O’Neal has a bachelor of arts in general studies from LSU, an MBA from online University of Phoenix, and an Ed.D. in Human Resource Development from Barry University. Poe is not an online Phoenix, but received her bachelor of journalism from the actual physical structures of the University of Texas at Austin. For seven years. She also has an MPP from the actual physical structures of George Mason University.
 NICKNAMES  O’Neal has called himself “The Big Aristotle and “Hobo Master.” Other nicknames include “Shaq”, “The Diesel”, “Shaq Fu”, “The Big Daddy”, “Superman”, “The Big Agave”, “The Big Cactus”, “The Big Shaqtus”, “The Big Galactus”, “Wilt Chamberneezy”, “The Big Baryshnikov”, “The Real Deal”, “The Big Shamrock”, “The Big Leprechaun”, “Shaqovic”, and “The Big Conductor” When she was a child, she suffered under the family nickname of “Pookie.” She has also been called “Stumble-ina” by her so-called “friends.”  And, in a nod to her exotic white trash roots, Poesteromovich.
 WORKOUT REGIME O’Neal began training in mixed martial arts (MMA) in 2000. At Jonathan Burke’s Gracie Gym, he trained in boxing, jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling. At the gym, he used the nickname Diesel. Poe began “training” in the Body Pump arts in late 2012. At Old Town Sport and Fitness, she trains in lifting 2 pound weights, pushing her own body from a prone position, and running 5 miles in under an hour. At the gym, she uses the nickname Ethanol: Unleaded.
 MOTION PICTURES Starting with Blue Chips and Kazaam, O’Neal appeared in movies that were panned by critics. Poe has turned down numerous movie offers, including, surprisingly, a revival of Kazaam.
 MUSICAL PROWESS Shaq has released four rap albums, with his first, Shaq Diesel, going platinum. Poe frequently rewrites the lyrics to popular songs, including Jason Derulo’s “Riding Solo” into the much more entertaining “Riding Cholo;” and Ben Benassi’s “Cinema” into the tasty “Cinnabon.” She hopes to drop some dope tracks in spring 2015.
 RELATIONSHIP WITH THE LAW  Shaq has always had a love for law enforcement, and has been a reserve officer in some capacity in both Los Angeles and Miami. He was even given an honorary U.S. Deputy Marshal title in 2005.

Poe has long fought the injustices of today’s bureaucracy bloated criminal justice system. With varying success. She’s pretty much the Erin Brokovich of northern Virginia. She also watches a LOT of “Campus PD” on G4, which really should confer an honorary badge of some sort.

 ALTRUISM When Hall of Fame center George Mikan died in June 2005, O’Neal extended an offer to his family to pay all of the funeral expenses, which they accepted. Poe has been known to be generous to the homeless – human and animals, and donates to several organizations. She has not yet paid for a funeral, mostly because she thinks funerals are like weddings: a waste of money. But she would pay for one, I suppose, if she had too. A funeral, I mean. NOT a wedding. Definitely not a wedding. I mean, if she really, REALLY felt the whole funeral thing was necessary and people guilted her into it or something. But if the family accepted it, she’d probably try to talk them out of it. (You know what? She’s NOT very altruistic or nice after all.)
GIF from theClassical.org