Saturday, December 29, 2007

Rap Beef Nigga!

Okay, so I'm admittedly flip at the mouth. Though I typically think before I say things, there are times where I intentionally use strong words and can be a bit abrasive. But that usually takes place when the topic itself is abrasive and controversial. I do not mince words.

I found myself in a exchange regarding the housing situation in New Orleans. I'm sure that many of you have been aware of the controversy related to the projects and low income housing in New Orleans. They're tearing down "da bricks" to make room for "mixed income housing." Now on the surface, it sounds good. Unfortunately, there is not one monumental task in the city of New Orleans that has been seen to fruition without a load of bullshit. Don't believe I have a cause for concern? How's that levee thing going? The BIGGEST issue in New Orleans history, and the city is still not hurricane ready, almost two-and-a-half years later. So pardon me if I don't believe that poor people will not get the shaft here.

Now, there are an abundance of people that chide project dwellers for "always wanting a handout" and "not wanting to work" and blah blah blah. When you point out the fallacy of their almost robotic regurgitation of "I got mine" rhetoric, offense is automatically taken. And honestly, that's cool. I have the right to my opinion, and everyone else has the right to be offended by my opinion. But at the end of the day, I still hold on to my opinion.

My big question, which has never been answered to any degree of satisfaction is this: who is willing to pay their janitors $30K a year? Who is willing to pay pharmacy technicians $15 an hour? How about hotel maintenance staff? The very backbone of what keeps the New Orleans tourism industry running pays crap. These are all taxing jobs. Yet, many these folks can barely make rent without public assistance, living in the projects, etc.

I remember being newly separated, with a four month old daughter and a two month old son. I worked at Hibernia National Bank FULL TIME, and after four promotions, I made $1300 a month. My rent was $500, my child care was $650 at the time. When all was said and done, I had $150 to pay for groceries, electricity, a telephone, bus fare, doctor's appointments, medicine, you name it. I remember locking myself in my room crying, because my son dropped the last roll of toilet paper in the toilet, and I didn't have enough money to get another roll AND buy the milk that we needed. Me, a woman who worked every day. A woman who kept working hard to get to the next level like she was told to, only to realize that next level came with a salary instead of overtime pay. At the end of the year, I was thanked with a $12 gift certificate to Sav-A-Center to go towards my family's holiday dinner. What made this particularly fucked up was that my landlord gave me a $25.00 gift certificate.

The end result for me, was being homeless. No, not under the bridge homeless, or in my car homeless, but homeless nonetheless. Make no mistake, when you are above the age of majority, and you "live" in a place where your name isn't on anything involved in keeping that place running, and for that matter, you don't even know if someone's bad mood require your moving, your ass is homeless. I lived in a hotel for four months. Me, a woman who worked every day.

Now, eventually, I got another job. But you'd better believe that I was replaced with SOMEONE -- someone who was probably making less than I (since, keep in mind, I attained my beloved salary after a host of promotions and five years on the job). And I had a "good" job. Hmph.

So, until someone answers me with any satisfaction, I will have major beef with this housing demolition. It's not about being pro-black. It's about a moral obligation to people who are doing the best that they can. Are there people sitting on their asses in these places? Yes. However, if we had fewer city EMPLOYEES getting paid to sit on their asses and do nothing, maybe system abuses could be better monitored. Or maybe if NOPD wasn't so damned corrupt, the criminals wouldn't be running the bricks with abandon.

But I guess that's too much like the right damned thing to do.

I could go on, but really, people are going to say what they're going to say and feel what they're going to feel. This just so happens to be my spot, so I'm doing it here.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Happy Belated Festivus!

I grew up not celebrating Christmas. So of course, when I got older, one of the first things I decided to do was to celebrate Christmas...and ultimately felt a little silly. I'm sure if I grew up with a firm tradition, it would be easy-peazy. However, I did not, so going through the motions of something that I don't quite believe in rang a little hollow with me. Plus, I could not bring myself to teach my kids that Santa Claus exists, only to shatter that belief years down the line, forever branding myself as the parent that lies to kids because that's what they want to hear. I'm saying all that to say, Christmas really isn't my thing.

That being said, something about a passing year makes me long for my friends and family. It's hard for me to fathom that an entire year has passed and the memories that I have made with my friends and loved ones are so few and far between. This is the first time I've ever felt truly lonely during the holiday season. I called my sister the other day and she said she was playing Scrabble. I got incredibly sad at the thought of not being able to call a friend, or shit, even a casual acquaintance to do something as simple as play a game of Scrabble.

I'm never one to believe that I'm the only one going through rough times. I'm sure that I've got friends out there who are down as well, so, if you're feeling a little down or lonely or what have you during this holiday season, I hope this song picks you up like it picked me up.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Hey guys, it's your favorite cynic returning from a brief hiatus. It's not that I haven't had anything to say, it's not that I haven't had time, and it's definitely not that I don't love you. My computer desk at home collapsed (yes, collapsed, this is not an exaggeration) and since I have yet to replace it, I have to sit on the floor to use the computer. This makes my butt fall asleep, which hurts people. So, the blog has been lacking.

But fear not, I have some December jewels or you. It's winter, so you want something warm and fuzzy don't you? Well, fortunately for you, I'm a good mama, so I'm going to give you what you NEED: a heaping helping of my caustic mental gumbo. Please note the plethora of tags/labels here.

It would seem that prisons should make "The Shawshank Redemption" required viewing for their employees. Jose Espinoza, recently plead guilty to aggravated manslaughter, and Otis Blunt, was being held on robbery and weapons charges. Blunt dug a hole into Espinoza's cell. Espinoza dug a hole to the outside. I'm sorry; did I mention they were in the "most secure area of the facility?" The most secure area of the facility had one cinderblock separating an admitted killer from the great outdoors. Like Shawshank, they concealed their progress by covering the holes with bikini clad women. It was funny to watch the New Jersey prosecutor poo-poo the similarities. And by similarity, I mean that they did the exact same shit that was done in the movie. . .except it was more difficult for dude to get out in the movie. Two armed and dangerous criminals, who were kind enough to leave a thank you note to the prison, are now running loose in suburban New Jersey. AWESOME!

Meanwhile, in Iowa, John Edwards was involved in an exchange between an older white guy who essentially has no interest in Obama and the rest of his watermelon eating cronies leaving chicken bones on the White House Lawn. And uh, somehow, the O.J. verdict came up? Something about O.J. and Obama being payback for black mistreatment by white society. First of all, black people ain't fuck with O.J. like that since before "Naked Gun." I will have to defer (once again) to another quote from one of my favorite movies to wrap up my feelings on this.
Copperhead: You have every right to want to get even.
The Bride: No. No. To get even? Even-Steven? I would have to kill you, go up to Nikki's room, kill her, then wait for your husband to come home, and kill him. That would be even, Verntia. That'd be about square.
So don't think for one second payback, if such a thing were desired, would come so easily.

Pamela Anderson Lee Rock Salomon. She was married to Tommy Lee once. Then they separated, and reconciled and divorced. Wash, rinse, repeat with Kid Rock. So she married Rick Salomon in October, filed for divorce this past week, and they are now trying to work it out. Five dollars says what happens next. This proves only one thing: douchebags are unafraid of exposing themselves to sexually transmitted hepatitis. Then again, Kid Rock kind of reminds me of a cross between Pigpen and a petri dish. Who knows what he's had!

This past weekend, I watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Show of hands: who can watch these movies and escape the desire to smite someone's ruins upon a mountainside? Anyone? Anyone at all? That's what the hell I thought. Them shits are the BOMB!!!

As a pre-Christmas gift, I'm saving the best for last. I was caught in, what can best be defined as a nigga moment. I unapologetically offended someone. I firmly believe that every action has a reaction. I also believe that when a person feels you have wronged them, you can't control how they feel and/or respond. Unfortunately, that's not my fucking problem. Maybe I should elaborate.

I was involved in a conversation with two other coworkers, when the topic of hustlin' and slangin' somehow came up. I made the statement that such behavior is ignorant. I did know that one of those parties used to hustle. I did know that he would get a gleam in his eye at the mere mention of the name Rayful Edmond. I did not know that he was going to spontaneously menstruate at my desk. My firm conviction led me to be called "naive," "a slave to the man," "judgmental," "think you're better than people," and ultimately, my problem was diagnosed as "thinking I know every fucking thing." I'm hating on the hustlers for "grabbing the bull by the horns." In addition, since I work in the litigation department, what I do is no better than hustling, because "crime is crime, just because it's white collar crime doesn't make it any different."

Good argument. Crime is crime. And I'll be the first to say that ain't no thug like a corporate thug. I'll second that with saying that this justice system is deplorable. You know and I know that the right people lobbied for THEIR drugs, and they lobbied harder (i.e. paid off more people) to get their shit pushed and make their competitors shit illegal. I'll concede every bit of that.

Unfortunately for his argument, my job is not illegal. Unfortunately for his argument, my job is not the reason people look over their shoulders at the ATM. Unfortunately for his argument, my job is not the crutch that the middle and upper middle class "haves" use to justify why low income "have-nots" in New Orleans should be denied their homes. My job doesn't create chain snatchers, and orphans. My job does not lead people to the legal institutionalized slavery that is the United States Justice system.

Naive? No sir. I learned the rules to this game a LONG time ago. I think son was just pissed that this sheltered East Shore kid schooled his hustling ass to the game. But as Money Mike said, "You can lead a ho to water, but you can't make [him] think."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Today's Mental Oasis

Dust of Snow

    The way a crow
    Shook down on me
    The dust of snow
    From a hemlock tree
    Has given my heart
    A change of mood
    And saved some part
    Of a day I had rued.

    - Robert Frost

Today, we're getting our first snow of the season. I am visualizing myself in this very moment, at home in my cushy chair; covered by warm blanket fresh out of the dryer; a mug full of hot egg nog healthily dosed with some of the most delicious dominican rum on earth. I've just dozed off with a book in my hand because Coltrane's "Stardust" is softly playing in the background. As the song ends, I become alert. I then put on my thickest cable-knit sweater, jeans, boots, coat, scarf and gloves and venture outside.

Once downstairs, I dust off the bench below my bedroom window and just sit there for a couple of minutes. I watch the powdery snow cover the table in front of me, and I write my name in it; the way I used to when I was 15. I'd curve the final "e" all the way up and over, then draw a smiley face inside of it. Undoubtedly silly, but I wrote my name that way for a solid year. I deliberately came outside without a hat, because I love when snow gets in my hair (plus my hats no longer fit). I try to see how many good things in my life I can list before the snow that touches my lips melts.

Sitting there I realize, even when things are bad, they're not that bad.

And since I couldn't sit on that bench in the snow physically, I think this is the next best thing.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Stop in the name of love!

Fewer things irritate me more than dating based reality TV shows. Watching a group of misguided, love starved souls vie for the attention of another misguided, love starved soul of the desired sex is not my idea of good television. Though I pride myself as the person who doesn't stop and stare at accidents, occasionally, my curiosity gets the better of me and I play looky-loo.

Flavor of Love 1 & 2: The powers-that-be don't think civilization has sunk far enough into the abyss, so we will soon be cursed with a third installment of this travesty. A group of women vie for the affections of Flavor Flav. Did you just vomit in your mouth? Yeah. Me too. Basically, women kick, scream, claw and otherwise degrade their way to the position as Flav's chosen one. He proceeds to rename the women as it suits him; you know, like in slavery. At the end of it all, she's presented with a grill. My heart is all aflutter.

I Love New York 1 & 2: When tallying the sins committed by Flav's show, few are as unforgivable as the unleashing of Tiffany "New York" Pollard upon humanity. After being twice dumped by Flav, her own reality show was launched. She fills her house with a bunch of suspect dudes. At the end of the first season, the "finalists" (because she's the "prize?") were this beefy dude named named Mango or something like that, and another dude who essentially needed subtitles in real life. Currently, it is in the midst of it's second installment, and a bigger group of pussies I've never seen. There's this dude that looks like he lives with his mama, a swole Puerto Rican with a press-n-curl, and a general assortment of douche bags. Now, I must say, there is one dude named Buddha that caused my eyes to linger for a moment...Until I realized "This nigga wears smedium tank tops and evidently pursues women who are obviously no stranger to the free clinic." Next.

Rock of Love: Bret Michaels of the hair band Poison headlines this show. Basically, imagine Flavor of Love, but white trashy. I could elaborate, but I believe Joe McHale of "The Soup" said it best: "It's like a Tupperware party...but with chlamydia." To my dismay, this too shall repeat.

A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila: This one kind of confuses me. I know who Flavor Flav is. I know who Bret Michaels is. I even know who New York is. But, Tila Tequila? No fucking clue. So I'll tell you what I do know. This bisexual midget brings slew of men and women into her house (I love that they refer to it as their houses, I'm sure it's the network's joint). Though uncertain of her gender preference, she just knows that she wants to be fucking - something. I swear that every time my television passes this channel, I feel the need to pop an antibiotic just to be safe. Since there are so many individuals there, she dismisses them two at a time. Soon we shall find who has the greater appreciation for skanks: emotionally damaged lesbians, or douchebag heterosexual males.

And this, my people, is entertainment. It's strangely ironic that my feelings can be summed up best by Public Enemy: "Burn, Hollywood, burn!"

Friday, November 30, 2007

What's Good in My Hood

The Whip: Last week when I won my car, I was on the verge of tears, but I didn't cry. I was really just overwhelmed. However, this morning, when I watched the woman receive her car, I started bawling. Life has been so much easier with the aid of my new baby though. My free $15 gas card gave me 3/4 of a tank, so though the gas station ass raping is certain, it will be more Ryan Seacrest and less Lexington Steele.

Hot Steaming Relations: It's been a while since I've had sex. I'm not saying I qualify as a female eunuch, but seasons have changed and shit. But given my general disinterest in dating at the present time, combined the report that 37.5% of HIV occurrences in DC stem from heterosexual contact, I guess I'll stick to masturbation, chocolate, the gym, shoe shopping and, um, masturbation.

Good Ass Television: For those of you looking for good television, now is the time to reacquaint yourself with "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." This has been a stellar season. I know that some were getting burned out on Mariska Hargitay, but now that she's finally received her Emmy, they're giving us a break. Additionally, "Life" (Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. EST) is delightful.

The Math Master: Last night, I asked Finge how he was doing in school, and questioned him about math. His reply? "I'm sorry, are you talking to me? Are you asking ME about math? ME? The MATH MASTER?"

Neck Tattoos: Color me judgmental, but I find it hard to believe that one has a serious life plan in place when you have "Sexy Black" tattooed on your neck. Other people's names and Asian symbols are even worse. I'm not taking your seriously. I'm not.

Husband Auditions: My homeboy has opined (and I am inclined to agree) that women past a certain age do not so much date, as they audition husbands. To a certain extent, I have done that. Not that I'm in a hurry to walk down the aisle and such, but I have to honestly weigh out, "Can I tolerate the fact that he always corrects my sentences/scratches his ass in public?" and shit like that. Another homeboy of mine stated that more women would do well to do so. With that, I'm on the fence. When you treat every man like a "prospect" you WILL find a husband. However, this does not guarantee you will find the husband that you want. Caveat emptor.

Being Alive: While in conference with my brother from another mother, I was telling him about my blues. His response was that I've been so busy surviving and I need to start living. And, though that sounds right, I haven't got the first clue where to begin. But I'll be damned of the prospect of beginning that journey in my brand new car doesn't sound positively delicious!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Good things come to those who


So, it's no secret that autumn hasn't brought the best of news. I found out some more earth shaking information that makes my other issues pale in comparison, but I'm still scratching and surviving.

So imagine how I felt when this happened to me this morning.

It turns out my homegirl was in on the WHOLE thing. Let me state for the record that old girl was really taking a big chance with the police knock that time of morning, but it's gravy. I've been saying prayers of thanks ALL DAY.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Whoa, that was angry...

"I been sayin' that shit for years. And if you ever heard it, it meant your ass. I never really questioned what it meant. I thought it was just a cold-blooded thing to say to a motherfucker before you popped a cap in his ass. But I saw some shit this mornin' made me think twice. Now I'm thinkin': it could mean you're the evil man. And I'm the righteous man. And Mr. 9mm here, he's the shepherd protecting my righteous ass in the valley of darkness. Or it could be you're the righteous man and I'm the shepherd and it's the world that's evil and selfish. I'd like that. But that shit ain't the truth. The truth is you're the weak. And I'm the tyranny of evil men. But I'm tryin', Ringo. I'm tryin' real hard to be a shepherd."
- Jules Winnfield [Samuel Jackson] "Pulp Fiction"

So, um, wow, that last post ended on kind of a sour note. I broke my rules and altered the post, for the sake of my own dignity more than anything else. The fact remains I'm still angry. And maybe the anger is unfair, and maybe were one to hear the other side of the story, I would come out looking like a complete bitch. If so, I'll BE that. But I think I have the right to be angry, considering after constant reassurance, I get dumped by email and never hear from dude again.

And maybe he has his reasons, and maybe this is a shitty way to air my dirty laundry. But you know what? That was a shitty and fucked up way to handle me, so for now, I am going to pout and stomp my feet and be angry for a little while.

Admittedly, do I have a million other things going on that are exacerbating my issues? Sure. But this is my blog, and I'm going to say what I want on it.

Part of me is thankful, because if a person can walk away so thoughtlessly, well, good fucking riddance. But it's still hurtful and it's still fucked up and it's still shitty. And SICK. Most of all, THAT SHIT IS SICK AND MEAN. And for the record, I'm trying REALLY hard to be the shepherd. I swear I am. But sometimes, it's necessary to be the tyranny of evil men, just to keep yourself from exploding.

Please note, I'm not posting this for "men ain't shit" commentary (though I don't think my female readers subscribe to that theory anyway) nor do I want sympathy. I really just wanted to purge in my own space and be done with it, because I'll be damned if I'm going to ruin my fucking Sunday sniffling and choking back tears all day...fucking up my pedicure and shit.

You know I got posts!

"It's been a long time, I shouldn'ta left you, without a strong [blog] to step to!"
- Rakim "I Know You Got Soul"

Your favorite blogger (that would be me, you ain't know?) has found herself in some heavy shit these last two weeks, which partially explains my being incognegro. Essentially, I've been engaging in some heavy "scheme, scheme, plot, plot" to handle my situation. Well, I've been doing that and playing Hobo Wars on Facebook. Friggin Amadeo got me hooked. (Usually, I would place a link to his blog here, but he's in my "Must Reads" column to your right, so, I'm going to be lazy.) To him, I can say but one thing for getting me hooked on this legalized crack. KHHHHHHAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNN!!!

So I'll be moving, downsizing actually. I'm not thrilled with the ideas, but I'm short on time and choices, so I'm handling my biz. The icing on the cake is that I lost my wallet Friday night. Fortunately, I rarely keep money in it, so I had my trusty $5 in the zippered portion of my purse. I guess that's good. Of course, now I need to get a new driver's license, wait for my new bank and credit cards to come and put out an alert on my license and credit card. This sucks ASS. Last year this time, I was the shuttle bus headed to my cruise. Happy 31st Birthday? (Well, not yet, next Saturday is actually the day.)

I have decided that next year, I am going on an adventure? Have I blogged about this already? Well, I had tentative plans to go on an exciting vacation this summer, but those plans fell through. SOOOOOOO, next year, I'm planning an excursion of my own. I've always wanted to see Venice.

I've come to terms with happily ever after not being for me, and the whole "domestic" thing really not fitting into the lifestyle of this Maverick, so, fuck it. I've finally got it in my mind that obsessing over a person who couldn't give so much as a fart bubble about me is a fairly stupid and pathetic way to live ones life. Frankly, I was doing just fine before his bullshit.

There. I said it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do You!

When life happens, particularly to women, it is really easy to let yourself go. I woke up this morning and watched "Tim Gunn's Guide to Style." For the most part, the show is made up of women who ease into their roles of wife and/or mother, and forget themselves. I remember when I was going through my drama toward the end of my marriage, I went through a transformation of Quasimodo proportions. My daughter was only three months old, I was as big as a Buick and I felt as though I had the world on my shoulders. I know what it's like to forget who you are. I know what it's like to lose yourself. I know what it's like to spend so much time catering to everyone else's needs, that you know longer see yourself as a being that needs catering of her own.

But I reclaimed my life. And one of the first things I did to signify reclaiming myself was getting a hair weave. . .down my back. In retrospect, I was still lost, and the concept was slightly silly, but it was a step toward rediscovery. Let me rephrase: it was MY step toward rediscovering MYself.

After taking your first step up, no matter how minor it may seem to the outside world, looking back at yourself and where you were is akin to peering down at the Grand Canyon. That's how I felt.

I'm no expert, but when I feel things are out of control, here are seven things that help me:

1) Stop. Literally. You are not Atlas. The world is not going to collapse if you take a breather, Send your kid to the sitter, go in late to work, call in to work altogether, take a power nap. You'd be surprised a brief respite can give you a fresh eye and the ability to cope with any situation.

2) Buy something. Do not talk about retail therapy like it is a bad thing. Granted, I'm not telling you to spend the rent money on a pair of Jimmy Choo slingbacks (*drool* shoes). It doesn't have to be major. Spending $10 on a book or $5 on a latte can do wonders for your attitude. It's not even about the purchase, it's about the feeling of doing something for yourself.

3) Fuzzy slippers and a terrycloth robe are necessities! This is something that is hard to explain. If you own these things, you know what I'm talking about. If you do not own these things, purchase them immediately, and you will know what I'm talking about.

4) Do something that inspires compliments. If you are a good cook, fix a meal for friends or organize a pot luck. If you've got great gams, wear a skirt while you're running your errands. If you have a great smile, show it. When you're down, sometimes you NEED external positive reinforcement.

5) Go to where the cute men are. When I'm in a bad mood, I like to go to Sexy Mart a/k/a Whole Foods Market. Denzel Washington movies are nice, but something about seeing a fine man up close and in person does wonders for the disposition.

6) Stand naked in the mirror and do affirmations. Yeah, you have stretch marks, or a double chin, or, hell, a double stomach. Running from the mirror is not going to change any of those things. You are still a jewel. If you are avoiding yourself, how do you expect other people to be drawn to you? Be comfortable with who you are. Embrace you. The affirmation can either be something you wrote yourself, or it can be something that you borrow until you are able to write your own.

7) Dress up the windows to your soul. When I'm feeling blah, I like to put on liquid eyeliner. There's something magnificently divalicious about it. I've seen even the mousiest of girls "pop" with a little liquid liner. You can't go wrong when you make it sexy.

You betta work!!!!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Basket Case

"Do you have the time to listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once
I am one of those
Melodramatic fools
Neurotic to the bone
No doubt about it
Sometimes I give myself the creeps
Sometimes my mind plays tricks on me
It all keeps adding up
I think I'm cracking up
Am I just paranoid?
I'm just stoned..."
- "Basket Case" Green Day

So for the past three months or so, I've really thought that I was slowly losing my mind. Murphy's Law reigned my domain. I thought it was an evil ploy. I thought the cosmos had convened and my fate had been decided. I thought that it WAS as bad as I thought and they WERE out to get me.

It all came to a head Monday night. It was seemingly innocuous. Finge checked the mail over the weekend, and somehow, neglected to return the house key to me. I did not discover it was missing until Monday morning. Thank God for the thug in me, because I had to leave home without the key and break into my house that evening. Monday night, I searched my house from top to bottom. Still no key. I broke.

No. You don't understand. I really broke. Over my fucking keys. I searched my house, for three hours, to no avail. I talked to my younger sister, who basically said, "pull it together before I beat the hell out of you." Then, she sent me to bed. For real ya'll. The only thing I was allowed to do was take my shower and go to bed. I turned on the television. She called me back and asked, with bass in her voice I might add, "You have the television on?"

It was just like everything had finally come crashing down on me, and I couldn't take it. I couldn't deal with my kids, my job, my friends. My heart was breaking into a million different pieces for a million different reasons, and I could get a handle on not ONE of those situations. So I went to bed.

And it was Tuesday morning. I woke up, got ready, did my hair (ravashing) and make-up (flawless). It was then that a remembered a quote contained in an email I received a long time ago:

When you feel that nobody loves you,

Nobody cares for you,

And everyone is ignoring you,

You should really ask yourself...

Am I TOO sexy?

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Santa Clause is a Bla...GREEDY BASTARD!!

I would greatly appreciated it if someone would explain the following to me: Last night, on my journey home, I looked to my right and, behold, the strip mall was decorated with Christmas wreaths. WHAT? On November SIXTH?! You've got to be shitting me.

Honestly, I've come to terms with the fact that my connection to Kevin Bacon is probably stronger than Jesus' connection to Christmas, but damn.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

File this along with "Speaks So Well"

Hi . . . clueless white people? Hey. It's Mamba. Oh. I'm fine. What's that? No, I'm not calling to finally tell you how I get my hair to "do that." I was reading the pa . . . yes, I read. So, I was reading the paper, and I noticed an item that I was virtually certain we discussed a while back. To be more specific, this item in particular. Now, it was determined, quite some time ago, that black face is racist and offensive.

Wait guys, Kelly Nantel of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement is speaking. What was that, Kelly? "He was not wearing blackface but makeup that was a darker color than his skin?" So, he was just portraying a racially nonspecific dark skinned male with locks - characteristics typically associated with black people. . .on his face? Kelly - sit your stupid ass down.

So, here's an idea, and this is going to be fun. Since people of your ilk seem to enjoy emulating your idea of the black prisoner, people of my ilk will have no choice but to play white policeman and beat you like you stole something. Because, you know, since you're a black prisoner, you probably have. Equitable? No. Well, what about this? After whatever function you are attending ends (because people of your sort seem to think a party ain't a party without blackface), and you are sufficiently liquored up, I drop you off in the hood so you can be effectively, uh, embraced by your element. Still not working?

Well let's try this: every time you think of engaging in your shenanigans, think to yourself, "In another setting, would this get my ass whipped?" If the answer is yes, make another selection. Pleading ignorance is old, and frankly, we are tired.

Monday, November 05, 2007


When I got to the door, I couldn't push it open. I tried to pull it, and that didn't work either. I saw a woman walk through the other door, so I figured this one had to be locked. I pushed. I pulled. When I realized I didn't even have the strength to open the door, I asked myself how I thought I could get up and go to work every day. I turned around and went home.

Thus goes the tale of my mother's first time giving up and her last attempt at a job interview. In my heart, I believe that is the day she began dying.

Truth be told, my mother was the original Maverick. She had been on her own from the age of 18, and there was precious little she could not do for herself - in 3" heels. Her talents were infinite: she was a teacher, a writer, an artist, a fashionista and a counselor. And of course, since she chose to be a mother, she was underappreciated.

She always felt a pang of guilt for putting me through painful procedures that, at two years old, I could not understand. She said that the first time my pain medication wore off, and I felt the effects of what was going on with me, I gave her a look that said, "You did this to me." But I think part of that was just the feelings of a good mother, a healer, who could not ease a pain for which she felt responsible. Rather than handicapping me, she chose to make me strong.

On the one hand, my mother celebrated my spunk. When I wanted to try something new, or difficult, or even just weird and off-kilter, she let me do my thing. Often, it was a benefit to my family. I cooked at an early age (even tackling difficult dishes from scratch), could help with combing hair (which is a big deal when you have four daughters), changed diapers, prepared bottles, you name it. She would often refer to me as "her right arm."

There was a part of her, I know, that viewed my independence with fear. I believe she partially viewed it as a personal rejection. Advice was dispensed in a manner that indicated she didn't expect me to follow it. "I'm saying this, but of course you know everything, so you can do whatever you want." If I was feeling particularly ornery, I would do precisely what I wanted. Unfortunately, what I wanted was usually to irritate her for presuming what I would do. I wasn't engaging in any life-altering behavior, so it was really no big deal. Hell, nobody's perfect; not my mother, and definitely not me.

She had the same love/hate relationship with my fighting spirit. She liked the fact that I wasn't a pushover, but she was concerned about me having a chip on my shoulder. Once, after picking a senseless argument with a much larger girl, she yanked me inside and exclaimed, "SHIT, you'd fight a circle saw knowing you'll get cut!"

Once I became a teenager, as is custom, our realtionship had it's series of ups and downs and downs and downs. From ages 12 to 16, we lived around each other. We sat at opposite ends of the table. Many times I pretended to be engrossed in some such project or another so I wouldn't have to eat with my family, or more specifically her. We were, to a certain degree, strangers. My mother actually went to her deathbed never knowing that I was a writer. At 16, I tried to run away from home. She tracked me down, at that point from her sick bed, and brought me back. When I got home that night, she tearfully looked at me and said, "I know things aren't easy, but I am not your enemy." At the time, I thought she was being dramatic, but that's exactly how I was treating her. But then, I felt that's how she was treating me as well.

My mother, in her way, was shaping me. See, as much as I felt she didn't understand me (and no one ever completely understands anyone else), she knew me. She knew I would be a maverick. She knew I would be THE Maverick. So she made sure I would be able to pay the cost to be the boss.

The second, and last, time I ran away, it was the day after my graduation. We didn't know it, but we would only have six more months together. When she had my father bring me back home, again, we had what I think was the first real, honest conversation in our lives. We don't spend the beginning of our lives listening to our mothers. We hear them, we may follow their advice, but we don't really listen. She told me that when she saw that I was gone, she felt relief. Maybe the house would finally be peaceful. In truth, I can't think of any household ruckus that I wasn't in some way a part of. Her second thought was, I am her child and this was my home. I left because I was hurting, and if I was hurting, I needed to be in my home where I could heal.

And on that day, we both started to heal. We would wake up and drink tea and watch Law & Order and talk. By this time, she was confined to a hospital bed in our den, and I typically put the sofa cushions on the floor and slept there.

My parents sent me on a trip to the East Coast in October of 1994, and shortly upon my return, my mother was admitted to the hospital. I thought it was just one of her "regular" trips, until the day I called her and she began crying on the phone. Her inability to care for herself was tearing her apart. It was then that I understood my mother, for then, I felt rejected. Didn't she know we would have cared for her forever? That was the last time I heard her voice.

I prefer not to remember the last time I saw her. It was the night before she died. She was gasping for breath and was trying to tell me something. Her eyes said it. "Get out." She didn't want to be remembered that way. On our way to see her the next day, there was a terrible traffic jam. She died shortly before our arrival. Five days before my 18th birthday.

Despite that, despite the hurt of losing someone so precious, so soon, I'm okay with my relationship with my mother. I recently reached some sort of explanation:

"The Mundo have a saying that any real love completes itself. The way that you tell a love is not real is that it is always unfinished. It is just sort of hanging there, maybe throughout your whole life, this ache, this longing.

And why is that? I ask him.

It is because when you truly love someone you wish them no suffering, although they must suffer, just in the course of life. You are always reaching out to them, to heal them. They instinctively do the same for you."*

My mother, through her words, stories, examples, and yes, love, even still heals me.

A family friend told me that very shortly before her death, my mother told her, "M is my child that scared me the most. I was so worried. But now, I'm confident that no matter what happens, she's going to be okay. If she's okay, I know the rest of the girls will be too."

I guess that means I healed her too.

*By the Light of My Father's Smile Alice Walker

Friday, November 02, 2007

Nosy Bastid

"Sometimes I feel like I've lost so much I have to find new things to lose. "
- Mozelle Batiste Delacroix "Eve's Bayou"

Today Grumbles, for some reason, decided to ask me about the Chupacabra hunter. My response was a very cool, "We're not together anymore." *deep breath* I got it out. For the first time. Without crying. Milestone. Then he said, "Aw man, what happened?" Well I had no idea the words, "I don't know," could be so difficult to formulate. Even more difficult than that was attempting to master the ability to stave off the tears that were screaming to escape my eyes. Being emotional is one thing. Turning into a basket case in front of a workmate is something entirely different. The more I tried to insist that it was a part of life, and not that big of a deal, the harder I had to fight my tears.

I said some things that I really meant, but really didn't mean. Make sense? I told someone, who I deeply care for, and who before now, was a heavy presence in my corner, that I couldn't be his friend. And on the one hand, I don't know if I can. On the other, I don't know if I can't. I thought if I could actually make a definitive decision for myself, then I could begin to at least make sense of myself, since making sense of what happened between us seems impossible. Nobody told me it would make me feel worse.

My sister said I believe that to live is to suffer. I don't believe my outlook is that morbid, but I have said on more than one occasion that my struggle is what keeps me alive. It is true that I have become so accustomed to scratching and surviving, I fear contentment, because it can be snatched away so quickly. Within a weeks of appreciating my mother as a human being and coming to an understanding, she died. The very week I found out I was pregnant with Ladybug, the very day my then-husband and I finalized our reconciliation and signed our new lease, and within the same HOUR that I bought our bathroom decorations for our new home, I discovered that he had fathered another child - who was three weeks old. Within days of finally gaining the light at the end of the financial tunnel and believing that I had some grasp on what course my life would take, Katrina took everything away. So, when I realized that I met someone who could really pull me in, I was uneasy. When I came to the realization that he had, in fact, pulled me in, I was scared shitless. And though I invested in it, and threw caution to the wind, and did everything else the scarred, yet optimistic do, secretly, I waited for the "boom."

Be careful what you wish for.

I see why I've battled against this for so long. Love is a bitch. Plus, as a wise man once said, "Even the married folks I know (though they love their sig others) are a couple of dirty dishes left in the sink away from calling it quits."

I just wish I wasn't so damn sad. I've always known that I'm ultra emotional, but crying for 35 out of 38 days is a bit much, even for me.

Part of me wishes that I could just forget everything, and go back to the me I was before, because this just hurts so damned bad. Usually, I welcome all experiences, including pain, because it shapes me. However, this time, it just all feels so senseless, I don't know what the lesson could be other than love just isn't for me, and I don't know if I'm ready to accept that.

Thursday, November 01, 2007


The carpet is a green shag - tres seventies; the stairs seem impossibly high. No one else is around. I want to be upstairs, so I decide to climb. I place my hands on the second step from the bottom; lifting my right leg, I lurch upward and forward. Step one. This process is repeated a second time. I don't have the floor as a balance, so I use my hands to assist my right leg in pulling me upward. On the third attempt, my right leg gets caught in the long Holly Hobby dress my mother made for me, I lose my grip on the carpet and slide backward - back to square one. I try this again with the same result - two steps; slide. I try again, and again, and again. Finally, I scream in frustration. The body cast that begins beneath my rib cage, goes across both hips and renders my entire left leg immobile is truly cramping my style. I am alone. I am fighting. I am two years old.

This is my first memory of myself, and as such, I consider it my defining moment. Whenever I recall this, it is assigned the mental caption "Birth of the Maverick" (who preceded Black Mamba by several years.) I know that my parents were somewhere nearby, because when I screamed, one of them promptly came to my aid; yet, even then, I needed to do things myself. Go take care of those other suckers. I GOT this.

I've always hated to admit that there are things in this world I can't handle myself. This trait infuriated my parents, and I'm fairly certain they believed I did this to spite them. Rather than surmising that I came from self-sufficient stock, they presumed that I was rejecting them, so, in a sense, they rejected me. This wasn't done in a neglectful way. It was actually quite subtle. And also quite understandable. Part of me liked it that way. They had a loose idea of my interests, kept tabs on my friends, made sure I was home on time, talked to me about sex and drugs. The definitely followed the good parents rule book. Most of all, they loved me, which is something I can't stress enough. I live by the rule that I love people in the way they allow me. I think that is what my parents did with me. They didn't exactly quit, but they didn't put themselves in a position where they could be fired either. Ours was a relationship filled with ferocious love, yet casual disinterest.

In order for me to do this justice, get some sleep, and avoid being a terrible bore, I think I'll address my relationship with each of them in my next two posts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Prose in the Key of Self - Foreword

Everyone has a story. Every story is compelling. The mousy guy that you hardly notice has a heartrending tale that explains his demeanor. No story should be take for granted. As a writer, I feel obligated to share my story. Maybe there's someone else who is a maverick, or audacious, or unrequitedly in love with a mighty Chupacabra hunter and needs to know that things will be okay. That's my responsibility.

But despite that, I don't think I could ever go the autobiographical (or even semi-autobiographical) route - for profit. Because, when I speak, I will speak the truth, and people don't always want to hear the truth about themselves. So, if I give it away, here, then maybe it won't be so bad. So, when I feel stuck, or lacking a topic, I will talk what I know: me.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Fear Stupiditiy!

From an early age, I developed passion words. I read fluently at age four, and upon entering kindergarten, I was reading at a second grade level. Shortly after learning to read, my parents, through our church, introduced me to public speaking. That gave me a desire to read more, because if people were going to listen to me, I wanted to make sure I had something interesting to say. I read the encyclopedia ("Funky Wagnalls"), cereal boxes (which irritated me because no one could explain the use of riboflavin, or agree on which vowels had short or long sounds), the newspaper, and every book that came through the house. I read Great Expectations at eight, began devouring Shakespeare at eleven, and had a full fledged seven-book-a-week habit at twelve.

At ten, I began composing my own works - poems, songs, short stories - for my own private entertainment. I shared my work for the first time in sixth grade. When my teacher pulled me on the side and asked who helped me to write my assignment, I knew I was on to something. I can converse with the urbane, the uncultured, and everyone in-between. I am life's student. I am a writer. I am a mother who passes these same values on to her children. I am the parent of a future Johns Hopkins alum. I am a black woman. I am a product of the public school system. I am not an island. There are many like me.

Therefore, white people who just don't get it, THIS is why "speaks so well" pisses us off. (Thanks ACT.) This is why "he's so articulate" makes us liken you to the worst of bigots. Because we KNOW what you mean. We KNOW what you are expecting. Hell, YOU, most often, have had a hand in creating the system that was meant to crank out this ignorant subculture. And yet, it still didn't work. So, your back-handed slights WILL be checked. YES, every time.

So this has you "afraid" to speak your mind? Good. Be afraid. Be mortified. Let it make you think, "Exactly how long has unchecked stupidity been pouring from my piehole?" Don't let the La Shawn Barbers *cough symbolic house negroes* gas you into believing your actions are acceptable ("Massa ain't mean dat de way you sed"). Did he not know he would be speaking to a national audience? It wasn't "awkward," it was ignorant. (Thanks Mr. Clemens.) Racism is ignorance at it's finest.

So you're damn right, we're sensitive. And we will remain so as long as overt racism is seen as nothing more than a big misunderstanding.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The Douche Bag Zone

So, I went to my first meeting of the Pink People (think Purple People sans veils and lots more lipstick), and the shorties were so well behaved, I promised them I'd take them out to dinner last Friday. Mr. Finge, never one to forget a promise, reminded me, so we made the sojourn to Red Lobster. After I got my electronic cattle prod (a/k/a pager), I stood outside with the kiddies. I figured, that was a safe spot, in the event they wanted to run around or be loud, outside is as good a place as any. There I stood, minding my own business, when I heard what I thought was a compliment toward my hair. I turned to confirm that I was the subject of the compliment, and prepared to offer thanks if I was. Unfortunately, I was stopped in my tracks by her goat-mouthed companion ("The Douche Bag") who said, smirking, "That's a wig." My mouth lay frozen. She then gave me a look that said, "Yeah, bitch, I said it."

I was taken aback, not so much by the fact that she said my hair was a wig; I could care less, I know I grew it. The vehemence is what threw me. She said it like I went in her douche bag palace, blew her man, and left my wig on her night stand. Now, I know with virtual certainty that her issue had absolutely nothing to do with my hair, and everything to do with the fact that her over-relaxed hair was thinning at the top of her Oompah Loompah mushroom. I'm just not sure how that became my fault.

Despite the fact that I wanted to thank the woman who complimented me, I didn't trust my lips to stop there. Douchie was old enough to be my mother, however, that only takes one so far. She passed me two more times with that same look on her face, without any idea of how close she came to this story ending, ". . . then I hit that cow in the mouth."

There is something in the DNA of women that almost forces us to detract from any compliment sent to anyONE who is not us. "She probably got booty implants." "She got acne though." "Her right titty is bigger than her left titty." Fortunately, I had a mother who instilled in me that blocking the shine of others, only makes you look that much more dull. It can also bring you dangerously close to being on the business end of one of the illest rabbit punches in the Mid-Atlantic.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Verbal Vomit

I promise, I'm working on a cohesive post, but it's taking longer than I anticipated. Hopefully, it will not disappoint. But it has been long since I've thrown words up here, so I'm going to give you some thoughts of mine to discuss amongst yourselves - or in the comments section - whichever.

I have janky cable, and as such, no cable guide. So I have to flip through the channels to see what's going on. I passed some channel or another and saw Ann Coulter talking to somebody about something [because I just don't really listen to her], but I saw her throat. This bitch has a BODACIOUS Adam's apple. Can someone consult the rule book on this? I mean, she doesn't look like she used to be a man, but there's something has gone horribly awry. I think I looked at the show for five minutes, mesmerized by the Adam's apple bobbing up and down. It give's me the willies.

I need help in understanding why Harvey Keitel introduced Snoop Dogg at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors.

Yesterday my bus driver almost hit two pedestrians, a car stopped at a red light and a parked car. I see why they want to raise fares.

Show of hands: Do we care that within life is forming within the diseased husk also referred to as Jennifer Lopez's womb? Why do people care about this shit? I mean, a baby is a joyous occasion, but are we really celebrating children being born to crazy ass women who change relationships like they change shoes? Give it a rest.

The Boondocks premier was HILARIOUS! Who knew Ruckus was ill with the nunchucks? It won't necessarily go down in the books as my all time favorite episode, but the, "...or die tryin'" hook was nothing short of genius. (For all Adult Swim/Family Guy fans, do yourself a favor and tune in this Sunday, October 14, for the Family Guy & Robot Chicken Star Wars episodes. You WILL thank me.)

So last night, while dialoguing with my Harlem Ambassador (who is truly slackin' on his blog mackin') we discussed the conundrum of having too many good shows to watch this season. I am truly impressed. I've become so accustomed to the influx of sub par reality TV shows, I find myself speechless in light of my delimma. It seems I will have to get my DVR game on and popping once more, as Wednesday nights are hellacious. Though I don't think K-ville is the best the season has to offer, and it may well be one of the first cancellations of the season, I will represent and watch it. (No, I don't have a Neilson box, but I've still got that old team spirit.)

I think everyone should incorporate a little Ghostface in their life at least once a week. No, I'm not exactly sure that he's always speaking English, but still. . .

My morning commute is interesting. A couple of weeks ago, I decided that to pass the time, by giving the regulars names from Martin characters. So far, I've discovered Jerome, Roscoe, Mama Payne, Rickey Fontaine, Shenehneh and KeyLoLo, and would you believe KING BEEF. Monday and Tuesday, I created storylines for them. DANCE PUPPETS!

I'm not sure if you are familiar with Tim Gunn (who leaves no stone untunred in the fashion world, considering he unearthed Veronica Webb), but he makes my list of one of my favorite celebs. Here is a designer on "Project Runway" doing a spot-on imitation of him:

What makes this even better, is that when he discovered Santino's homage, this was his reaction (forgive the quality):

I love people who don't take themselves too seriously.

I am seriously slacking on my gym game.

The current state of my job has me humming the tune "9 to 5" just a bit too much. My end of the year gift and raise will be critically scrutinzed this year.

Yesterday, I did a free write that yielding some VERY promising fruit. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 08, 2007


As I am still working through my latest post, I figured I'd leave you with some, "whatchu know 'bout dat" shit to start out your week.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Not so easy like Sunday morning. . .

This week has been hellacious. I'm a little better, but not great. It's funny when you're face to face with something you've spent the majority of your adult life avoiding. In any event, I'm trying to do things to keep myself busy. One of my major issues: I'm a broke mutha-shut-yo-mouth.

1. I really need to get on my writing grind. I want to get articles and such out there, but don't know where to start. Ideas?

2. I still want to get my staffing agency business off the ground. Again, no clue where to start. Now that I have extra time on my mental, I guess I can go back to the drawing board on that.

3. An immediate solution (and I promise death to all who laugh) is that I am now a Mary Kay consultant. I need money, people buy the stuff, and did I mention I need money. Plus, this leads back into that extra time on my mental thing. We'll see how this works in six months. This job requires dresses and skirts. Lord save us all.

Friday, September 28, 2007

"To be young, gifted and black. . ." (c) Nina Simone

So, yeah people. I'm sad. Actually, I'm heartbroken. Yet, the sun has managed to come up each day since, so I guess I need to dust myself off as well. And besides, Tom Selleck is back on prime time television, so that's got to mean that things are going to be okay. Right? Well, at least that's the story I'm sticking to for now.

From time to time, I get into discussions about black entertainment: where it's going, where it's been, what must change, what must evolve and so forth. Of course, you can't have a discussion about black entertainment without discussing hip-hop. Sometimes I wonder though, how I even feel about the label "black entertainment." I mean, white folks own BET, lol. [Can we digest this for a moment: white people are essentially telling black people what "entertains" them. WOW. The even bigger wow: black people are LETTING THEM!] This, however, is not the only issue. Not every black person likes hip-hop; not even "good" hip-hop. Or R&B for that matter. I went to a high school where I'd say 40% of the black student body listened to metal, alternative, etc. And I'll say that a chunk of that 40% didn't have much interest in hip-hop or R&B (remember when those used to be completely separate entities?). So if Guns N' Roses also entertained me, why wasn't "November Rain" entertaining my black ass on the station that is supposed to be mine? But, I digress. . .

When I talk about hip-hop to those younger than I, inevitably, I assume the "young-whippersnappers-don't-know-a-dayum-thang-'bout-good-music" tone. It can't be helped. Of course, I sound like my parents, and I'm sure there are some songs that will come from newer artists that I may enjoy, but on the whole, it's crap. But if you know anyone from 29-40, you've probably heard this argument ad nauseum. Whether you're digging the old school, or getting crunk, this woman should be your she-ro.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Foreword: This post originated last week, after reading this article in my office cafe for the fiftieth time. At the time, I was in an entirely different frame of mind. It's interesting how things change in such a small time span. Even more interesting is how, this situation, viewed from two perspectives, moved me to tears each time. I'm hesitant to post it, because it can seem accusing, which is not my intent, but I feel as though posting it will be therapeutic.

Recently, I've been considering the state of romantic relationships, and why they fall apart so quickly. I've come to the conclusion that we don't really have the stomach for adversity.

Earlier this year, Jim and Nell Hamm, just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary, were hiking in the mountains. Suddenly, a mountain lion pounced on Jim and would not let go. If ever there was an instance where someone could have broke out and run, it would be this. Nell Hamm, however, is from an entirely different school of thought. She grabbed the nearest log and started beating the animal. When that didn't work, she tried to jab it's eyes out with an ink pen. Can you imagine? Living without her spouse seemed a more daunting task than attacking a mountain lion with a Uniball. "We fought harder than we ever have to save his life, and we fought together," she said.

I've sat down and given much thought to what this means, and I've tried to sort out whether this should be viewed as an aspiration or an anomaly. All I've managed to come up with is this: beautiful though this may be, it's not something that we are owed. And if this is the road not chosen, that doesn't make us bad, or weak, or wrong. I think it just means that when we pick our battles, we can do without the mountain lion.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mamba Reborn

"An essential characteristic of the superhero mythology is, there's the superhero, and there's the alter ego. Batman is actually Bruce Wayne, Spider-Man is actually Peter Parker. When he wakes up in the morning, he's Peter Parker. He has to put on a costume to become Spider-Man. And it is in that characteristic that Superman stands alone. Superman did not become Superman, Superman was born Superman. When Superman wakes up in the morning, he's Superman. His alter ego is Clark Kent. His outfit with the big red "S", that's the blanket he was wrapped in as a baby when the Kents found him. Those are his clothes. What Kent wears, the glasses, the business suit, that's the costume. That's the costume Superman wears to blend in with us. Clark Kent is how Superman views us. And what are the characteristics of Clark Kent? He's weak, he's unsure of himself... he's a coward. Clark Kent is Superman's critique on the whole human race. Sort of like Beatrix Kiddo and Mrs. Tommy Plympton."
- Bill "The Snake Charmer" "Kill Bill Vol. 2"

I wished and hoped and prayed that I didn't have to be the superhero anymore. I slipped for a moment and thought that I could finally put her to bed. I don't know why I always have to be wrong.

I'm precisely two months away from my 31st birthday, and I still can't get it right. And the fucked up part is that no matter how sad, or hurt or angry I am, it doesn't really matter because: 1) it won't do a damn thing and 2) I have to many responsibilities to take any type of "break." It just doesn't pay to be some people.

Damn you El Chupacabra. . .you win again.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yoo Hoo

I've got about eight million unfinished blog posts. Okay...slight exaggeration, but there's a crapload. Things have been pretty quiet around here. So I guess I'll engage in some word regurgitation.

So, my new goal is to learn to cook different types of foods. I bought three cookbooks from Borders last weekend. Two of them only costed $2. If anyone knows where I can buy some yucca, get at me. My South American cookbook has a recipe for yucca cake. Who knew?

I was going through my iTunes and found a lot of duplicates. This is not baller.

Am I the only person that finds the likes of Perez Hilton, TMZ and other shows of their ilk galactically boring? I have little to no concern for who's gay, who's coked out, who's fat, or who's losing custody of their kids. Are they taking my kids? Sneaking coke into my coffee? Please, if you know me, don't send me links to this stuff. I really don't give a monkey fart what "Perez Sez."

I bought a fresh pair of Nike Shox off eBay for $31. Don't hate!!!

A couple of days ago, I was reading Horton Hatches the Egg to the kiddies. The whole time, I'm thinking, "This story completely KICKS ASS!!!" In a world filled with crap, it's cool to have a story that is basically an ode to integrity. Having kids really lets me rediscover some literary hotness.

Going beddie bye now.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"When they reminisce over you, my God" (c) CL Smooth

My children are the coolest individuals on the planet. Not just regular, "I'm their mom, so I have hype them up" cool. They're on some, "Even if they weren't my kids, I'd take to buses and a train to hang out with them" cool. They're well mannered and kind. I TRULY have no idea where they got that from, because I consider myself rather surly and unpolished, but I won't look a gift horse and all that. Don't misunderstand and think I'm pretending that they walk on water; they are still kids. They fight, bicker and without warning scream, "STOP LOOKING AT ME!" Overall, their virtues far outweigh their faults. Plus they're just so darned cute!

Of course, like most kids, they have a father. (Caveat: I often tread lightly on the topic of our "union," as it would open Pandora's existential box regarding The Chocolate Wonders.) Frankly, I don't like dude. Don't get it twisted, it has nothing to do with what happened to "us"; the decision to divorce was a stroke of genius. I don't discuss him much because 1) for all practical purposes, he's somebody else's problem; 2) my children hearing me bad-mouthing their father, even accidentally strikes me as being in bad form; and 3) he's essentially useless.

He subscribes to the Wack-A-Mole parenting style. He appears, then ducks out just in time to avoid any sort of adversity (read: anything remotely financial). It's been this way since 2002. Pain in the ass? Yes. But the show must go on. Initially, this would crush the kids. They couldn't comprehend why he was never returning their calls. How does one explain that to a child? "Well honey, the thought of having to send you money mortifies him to the point that occasionally forgets that you exist?"

At one point, I remember hoping and praying that they wouldn't feel the pain of missing him. Be careful what you pray for. They're five years older now. And now, his disappearance isn't so crushing. And his resurfacing is met with a casually polite demeanor. And if he doesn't call them, they don't call him. That is hellacious. Granted, I make no apologies about my feelings for him as a Grade A douchebag. But as a woman who has known and loved her father, and the descendant of people who knew and loved their fathers, it's sad to see this.

Lately, I've been thinking what they will be like five years from now - or ten. They are great kids...AWESOME kids. But I wonder how often they will forgive? When they look back, what will they recall? People say, "Your kids will remember that you were a good parent." That's not enough. I don't want to be the "good" parent. I don't want to be the "strong" parent. I don't want them to one day realize he attained his comfort at their expense. I want them to know that they can rely on both parents to have their backs, always.

But my wanting it isn't enough, is it?


Honestly...what else needs to be said.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

And it all started at dinnertime. . .

This weekend, my children returned from visiting "down home," so I took the opportunity to restock my freezer. Soon the season of chicken noodle soup, stew and various pot pies will be upon us. I ordered my groceries via Peapod, because I was feeling like a lazy bum. As I shopped, I noticed chicken breasts were $1.79/lb. Who could pass up such a steal? I presumed the chicken simply needed to be frozen (Side note: I almost typed "freezed" and it took an embarrassing amount of time to figure that was not right) as soon as it arrived. What I discovered was much worse.

America, one single chicken breast should NEVER be bigger than the person about to eat it. I'm telling you - my chicken breast was four feet high. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little, but just a little. I cut it in HALF, and my kids said, "Mama...this is just too much chicken." Do you comprehend the gravity of two black children saying that chicken in ANY variety is "too much?"

It's really a damned conspiracy. Read here to get some perspective on what I'm saying. No coincidence that the poorest state in the nation is also the fattest. There's the main reason is lean meats, fresh fruits and veggies can be cost prohibitive. I've said it a million times: there is no reason a chicken leg should be one price and the chicken breast should be another. I will not sacrifice this argument until you point me to the Peruvian All Breasted chicken. No legs, no thighs; nothing but titties popping out all over the place on the chicken. Also, try explaining why 20 oz. of fresh pineapple slices is $4.99 and 20 oz. of canned is $1.79. Anybody seen a canned pineapple tree? If you think that simply going the lean meat, fresh produce route is expensive, think about the cost disparity when you go organic.

Then, when these healthier choices ARE in the price range of poor people, they are completely FUBAR. Plums with more bugs crawling inside of it than actual plum flesh, bananas that look like active participants in a Mexican hat dance-off and chicken breasts so injected with growth hormones that they ARE AS BIG AS A MAN! (It's also no coincidence that even when the children are not morbidly obese, they look like grown men and women. You should not have 38-24-36 proportions when you are ten years old.) So they're screwed even when they do what they are thinking is the right thing.

But, as Chris Rock said, "The money ain't in the cure, the money is the medicine." Diabetes, heart disease, cancer - these are all medical cash cows people!!! It also provides fodder for those with the "us vs. them" mentality. "Look at how they eat!"

If you're not rich, this country will do it's damnedest to keep you poor. You buy a car and go to work to pay for it, but you have to get another job to pay for gas and parking. You have kids, and you work to provide for them, but you have to get ANOTHER to afford child care unless you plan to entrust your kids to the "raper man." You pay for medical & hospitalization insurance that you may spend five years not really needing; but the moment you require a treatment that falls an inch outside of their stringent guidelines, you're sick and SOL.

So what's a scratchin' and survivin' single mother to do? Go home, eat the genetically mutated chicken (because though I'm not "poor," I damned sure don't have money to waste chicken) and pray that I don't have to buy a bra for my six year old next week.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Have you ever had a day, where so much was swirling around your head, it almost made you puke?

Plus, I think I really fucked up something important in my life.

I've had better days.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lovely Lauryn

This morning, I received a picture of Lauryn Hill taken at a concert in Brooklyn, NY. It was a very unflattering comparison between Ms. Hill and Homey the Clown. Unfortunately, there was no denying the comparison.

This afternoon, I posed a question to STO. "Am I the only black person that finds Lauryn Hill's sanctimony just a little irritating?" I was then asked to elaborate because, well, it's Steve, and you can't pose a question like that without it requiring some elaboration. But since I'm me, I am very good about conveying genuine emotion, be it love, hate, or irritation. What I am not so good at, is giving the details as to why. At least, not all the time. It is easy to explain why I hate liver, or why I love my friends. To explain an irritation with someone you love is a much more daunting task.

On more than one occasion, I've found myself in the midst of the debate on whether or not she is a musical genius, or if that was an invalid theory because she only has one solo album to her credit. So last night, I sat down and listened, really listened, to "The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill." Not only did every cut resonate me, but some made me misty. Twice, I closed my eyes and was transported to "then." To accomplish that is genius.

But this new Lauryn, I don't dig at all. And it has nothing to do with her wacked out clothes, or her "different" music, or any of the other things people pick at like scabs. It's her. Lauryn was always beautiful to me. What made her such wasn't the way she wore her hair, or her ability to spit some of the illest verses ever uttered (period - I will not use the "by a female qualifier"). It was the light she had in her eyes because she was doing and saying something that came from her heart. You got the feeling that she was sharing an experience with you.

Not so with new Lauryn. Now, you get the sense that she's not sure we will understand or be interested in her experience, so she placates us with what she thinks we want. Unfortunately, we want her creativity. I would rather she shaved her head, played the cowbell and celebrated it than furnish us with the musical equivalent of a pity screw.

The going opinion is that she alienates her fans, but I believe that's only a by-product of her being alienated from herself. She is still at odds with where she's going and where she's been. She doesn't seem to realize that she is timeless; an entity altogether classic and and ceaselessly relevant.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

I'm just a soul whose intentions are mediocre

I haven't blogged here in a LONG time. As a matter of fact, I haven't done much blogging anywhere. I just came out of hibernation last Sunday I think. And that one wasn't even here. I think it was on MySpace...or maybe 360. I think all seven of my readers have those addresses, so I won't bother adding the link. I'm actually a little lazy today.

Here's what's not lazy. I've completed the first chapter of my book. It's a short chapter, but still, I finished it. Now I'm well into the second chapter, which will be longer. It feels so good to have things flowing, I just don't know what to do. That's also part of the reason I don't blog as much. It can quickly become a monster that stops me from doing my own writing. Basically, every time I miss my honey and start obsessing over it, I pull out my notebook and start writing. Though I do a lot of work on the computer, there's something organic about pulling out a huge notebook and a pencil and just getting down to it. That method better serves to isolate me from distractions.

My kids come home in another week. I've missed them so. I had a lot of time to just decompress and kick back. It's a beautiful thing.

Gonna pour myself a glass of wine and hit the hay.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mmmm Mmm Bitch!

In a world full of pretense and demands, happiness can be elusive. For some, it is virtually intangible, causing one to question the very meaning of life. However, I'm a simple brawd, and happiness can be summed up very simply - ramen.

Who knew that you could wrap paradise in cellophane and charge twenty cents? It's cheap, it's comforting, and if you can get beyond the fact that the flavor pack is tantamount to a .zip file for sodium, it's the best damn thing on the planet. Like, if someone were to ask me, "Hey, what do you want to do? Have sex, or eat ramen?" I'd choose sex, but I'd probably ask what flavor ramen first.

My Pell Grant and Stafford Loan people feel me. The college experience isn't complete unless you've pulled an all-nighter with nothing more than your trusty ramen to provide nourishment and comfort. When I say you have to go to the Vietnamese store to get the "real noodles" (and a hot pickle), my New Orleans people DEFINITELY feel me. (For in New Orleans, the word "ramen" is rarely, if ever used. "Noodles" is completely sufficient.) I'm willing to wager that if a steaming hot bowl of Oriental flavored ramen were placed in the middle of the Saudi dessert, they could coax bin Laden out of hiding. Just a theory.

Personally, I get artistic with my ramen. You'd be surprised how some green onions, red peppers and a scrambled egg can jazz it up. Don't even talk about if you throw in a little broccoli. Talk about a MEAL!

So here's to you ramen, for bringing us so much joy, for so little, for such a long time.

Friday, July 27, 2007

I couldn't resist

You know what grinds my gears?

No, seriously, she does. I mean, people criticize Paris Hilton for being famous for doing nothing, but I actually prefer that to any displays of "talent." Plus, though this should really surprise no one, when she got caught doing dirt, she essentially came out her face with, "Oh, dude, that so wasn't me. The nigger was driving."

You know what grinds my gears? That little boy on the Verizon FiOS commercial. I mean, not the little boy per se, but I just really can't support little kids approaching strangers in vans. What next? The dude in the trenchcoat with a bunch of lollipops? I let ya'll live with Dora the Explorer roaming the jungle while her mama was running hoes in the daylight hours, but this is just too much!

You know what grinds my gears? Dweebs. Nerds are sexy, geeks are necessary, but dweebs are just...scary. An example of a dweeb? ANYBODY that participates in the show "Who Wants to be a Superhero." For the past three days, I walked through the valley of the shadow of death, and vegged out. It was terrifying how emotional these people got over this. But it lost me when the sole black woman was big as a Buick and named Fat Momma. Her weakness is diet foods yall. Evidently her strength stems from diabetes. Don't talk to me.

You know what grinds my gears? White America. Normal regular white folks are fine. White America is outrageous. Granted, I have labeled Michael Vick as a dumb nigga for doing dumb nigga shit. HOWEVER, my issue with him is, regardless of what he may or may not have participated in, he allowed his name to be affiliated with some old bullshit. Everything else will come out at trial. But not for White America. "THAT WIDE NOSTRILED NIGGER DID IT! HANG THAT NIGGER!" If White America showed half the concern for young black kids that they did for the fucking whales and dogs, maybe we'd have more doctors, lawyers and techie moguls and fewer unruly athletes.

And that's what grinds my gears.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Call Out

"Now, black people don't like to talk about crazy niggas, because white people may be listening, but I'm afraid the secret might be out." (c) Huey Freeman

Face it people. Some folks in this world are niggas. Whether or not you choose to point the finger and vocalize the words, "You'se a nigga," is honestly a matter of personal choice. However, I'm willing to wager that even the late Coretta Scott King saw some stuff that made her say, albeit only mentally, "Look at this nigga here." But that's why I'm here: to say what you're thinking. Ladies and gentlmen, I present to you, "The Call Out."

One can't have a conversation pertaining to niggas without bringing up the illustrious four star nigga, PACMAN JONES. Being merely suspended for one season due to your 31 flavors of nonsense, ignorance and general tom-foolery was, in my opinion, a gift. You make millions of dollars - MILLIONS - yet you can't stay out of trouble? Your salary makes mine look like lunch money, but I still live my life in a way that has kept me out of trouble with the law. Switching license plates? Seriously? What's wrong with you? Plus, we got beef because I had to explain to "making it rain" meant to my older relatives. Thanks alot.

After reading the details of the indictment, MICHEAL VICK, you are a nigga. In the best case scenario, the "trusting the wrong people" defense no longer flies. How many celebrities before you have found themselves in some shit for allegedly "trusting the wrong people?" So in 2007, if you haven't realized the need to at least cover your ASSets, then nothing can be said for you. Worst case scenario, you were involved in some unspeakable shit. Beyond the deplorable act of dog fighting, you sanctioned (and participated in) killing dogs that did not have enough fight in them.

CAFE 1200 BREAKFAST PATRON, you are also a nigga. I understand that you may have been upset with the cost of the food and even the demeanor of the worker. However, the screaming, threats and stomping up and down the cafe are what earned you your title. Whatever happened to not patronizing the establishment, or, in extreme circumstances, filing a complaint with the management or BBB? Then again, maybe that's too much work for niggas. Under normal circumstances, I would dismiss this as a "nigga moment," but everything about you said that this is an everyday occurrence for you. The flip flops and capris also worked against you.

UNNECESSARILY ANGRY FELLOW TRAIN PASSENGER, when the trains are behind, the trains get crowded. And lord know folks will talk sporty, sometimes mandating a response in kind. Unfortunately, we couldn't hear the other person. All we could hear was you. Every word, including the vaguely ominous, "I'll see you again." Who in the fuck are you? Michael Corleone? Let it go.

I'd be remiss if I neglected adding 50 CENT at least as an honorable mention. I've got a curious relationship with 50. Now granted, i think he's lyrical content is pretty garbage, I find the things that come out of his mouth astounding. He is, and I quote, "[s]mart enough not to overwhelm people with information." [Read full article here.] Dude, you are a muthafuckin' RHODES SCHOLAR at that shit. And though I'm not jumping on the bandwagon with everybody else saying, "FIDDY SAYIN' YOU SHOULDN'T READ," I really don't think he thought about what he said about Nas before saying it at all. You've gotta appreciate a person who is not afraid to say what's on his mind. But must everything that is on his mind be so damned scary?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Come listen to my story 'bout a girl named Breez

So I jacked this post, from a chick who jacked this post from somebody else. It seemed fun, and I don't feel like coming up with thought provoking topics.

My ex is still.....

not even a factor in how we live our lives.

I am listening to...

"Romantic" by Goapele

Maybe I should...

color my hair

I love...

being loved. Not being "in" love, but having people who see past the facade, look my frailties square in the face and love me anyway...yeah, that's what's up.

My best friends are....

first and foremost, my sisters. After that, my cousin Amber. I am so blessed to have family members that I would want to befriend, even if we weren't related. In terms of old friends, I have Chasity and Tammelle: we go back like afros and fist picks. And for newer friends, there's Michelle. These are TRUE friends. It pays to keep your circle small people. And of course, Ro is definitely in the running.

I don't understand....


I lost my respect for....

individuals who don't care enough to have respect for themselves. Respect is a jewel, and I refuse to waste it on those who have no interest in it.

I hate....

that juicy-mouthed feeling one gets right before they barf.

The meaning of my screen name is...

there are two related to this page: Breez and Black Mamba. Think Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk. Once you read a post, you can which alter-ego wrote it.

Love is...

never having to say you're sorry; yet being humble enough to say it anyway.

Somewhere, someone is...

thinking sweet thoughts about me.

I will always....

cherish my life and the blessings that it brings.

Forever seems.....

like just the right amount of time.

I never want to lose......

my memories and my family; possessions come and go.

My mobile phone is.....

to Breez as the Bat Phone is to Bruce Wayne.

When I wake up in the morning...

I realize how blessed I am.

I get annoyed at.....

complacent individuals. It bothers you? Do something!
Parties are....

essential outlets.

My pet(s)....

don't exist. I don't think it's in good "mommie form" to count one's children as pets.

Kisses are....


Today I......

am beautiful.

I really wish i could......

assist my father financially.

I want to see.....

Venice with Ro.

I'm afraid of......

my children being without me. I know how hard it is to make it without a mother, and the mere thought of them ever having to go through that makes me incredibly sad.

I think I am.....

constantly evolving

Tomorrow will be...

a fresh opportunity.

In 5 years I...

want to know what it's like to be supremely happy.