Tuesday, September 16, 2008
I established the Oasis on November 4, 2004. How amazingly life can change! If you would have told me that less than a year later, I'd be a stranger in a strange land, I would have chuckled. I thought I would never escape New Orleans. That's partially why I created the blog. An escape; a sounding board; a means to show people that I'm pretty damned clever.
It was my intent to hold off until the fourth anniversary to close out this blog, but what better time like the present for a new start. So, welcome to Wreckless Endangerment. Enjoy the ride!
Monday, September 15, 2008
...things are gonna get easier..."
It's NEVER as bad as you think. Not ever. And even if it is, it could always be worse. I was watching one of those "Animals Gone Bananas" shows (I can never remember the names, but you know the ones that like to show antelope kicking the crap out of people and whatnot), and they showed this guy who worked in some sort of animal refuge/zoo/something else, in charge of taking care of elephants. Dude was either kneeling or sitting behind one of the elephants. I'm fairly certain he was scooping crap. However, since his job didn't suck enough, the elephant decided at that moment to sit down and the dude's head was stuck in the elephant's rectum. Talk about a Pyrrhic victory. He lived, but when his number is finally up and his life flashes before his eyes, elephant ass is going to be right up there with holding his firstborn and giving his daughter away at her wedding.
So my friends, no matter how rough you think it is. No matter how shitty your situation may seem, chances are, you were never an elephant's colonscope.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
I've been in Maryland almost three years. There have been times when I questioned whether or not it's purpose had run its course. Each time, my eyes would be opened to a new purpose; something left for me to complete. Even when I would go through a difficult time, Something would happen, and I would make it through. That doesn't seem to be the case these days.
In my heart, I would rather let me kids stay here, live here. My son has already picked out his college. They go to a great school and there are a lot of benefits that come with living in Mo County. Unfortunately, the economy is fucking me UP. My departing the DMV is becoming less and less of a casual discussion, and more of a distinct possibility.
I can't, in good conscience, stay here and wait for life to become terrible. When i came here, I was so encouraged and supported. it's hard to stay in a place when you're not only struggling, but feeling alienated. I try to internalize, rather than verbalize. That's why I was a bit freaked out when Ladybug inquired about how difficult things were for me. Friday night, I asked what made her ask that question. I wanted to be sure that I wasn't throwing a pity party and she could see. She then said, "Well, it's two of us and one of you. Two to one isn't easy right?"
I've always felt that struggling is what keeps me sane and alive. Though it's not healthy, as much as I crave peace, I tend to see it as the calm before the storm. it's a twisted form of self sabotage. The rub is, I am often correct. That being said, the adrenaline rush that comes with embarking upon a new adventure for the purpose of improving our lives is exhilarating. I relish being able to look at my life and see where I have been blessed with the means and the strength to always improve things for myself, Finge and Ladybug.
I do realize, that having only one job is not going to cut it though. My writing has to work for me. I've also had a dream for eons to run my own staffing agency. These things will only remain dreams if I don't act on them. The vision, in honesty, is MUCH bigger than that, but that's the gist. My problem is, I don't have the foggiest idea of where to start.
Those that know me, however, don't worry, and rightfully so. I embody everything that is the comeback kid. I can't accept credit. My life has been blessed beyond measure; it's what made my East Coast adventure a possibility. But what I know is that I have been blessed because I put forth the effort and respect the hustle.
"You need to dance and dance to make the rain come down..."
The fact that the double cheeseburger is a dollar is absolutely criminal. No joke, they want poor, and shit, middle income people, to DIE. Just DIE. Lettuce and half an ounce of chicken is $5.00. A third of a pound of beef and cheese is a dollar. Off balance much. I won't even get into the testicles and livers and shit that I believe they use to make sausage. As stressful as it is though, I promise that eating healthy now will save you in the long run. I am by no means the picture of health, but I'm sure I would be a thousand times worse had my parents not instilled in me the importance of a solid diet.
Bruce Jenner? What happened to you? I mean, you were an Olympian and...nevermind. Just...*shudder*.
Speaking of blasts from the past, since I am awake at 4 am, I'm watching "Sanford and Son." I forgot Jane Hathaway from The Beverly HIllbillies was on it. Why do I care? It's four in the morning...don't sweat me.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I did some laundry, dealt with more wise beyond their years conversations with my little geniuses, completely cleaned my car and cleaned up around the crib. You would think that all that sweating would have resurrected my buckshots, but nooooooo. I'm still looking like Elvis around the bang area. Yes...I effing have BANGS! Some ole bullshit.
Speaking of Elvis, in addition to being a poet, Ladybug has developed a comic strip entitled "Evil Elvis." When I inquired about the premise, I was told, "He does all the things Elvis wouldn't do. You know...the singer." What the hell does she know about Elvis?! I'm TELLING you, this kid has been here before. I'm sure people don't believe half of what I tell them about my kids.
Finge plans on playing the saxophone. Let's recap: my son is tall, dark, handsome and intelligent. Am I sanctioning an activity that will certainly have him backstroking in women? Is it right for me to raise this generation's Shadow Henderson? I'm still trying to work through this.
I also, for the first time ever, sent my son in the store by himself. It was borne of necessity. I needed a can of soup, and after laundry and car washing in the blazing heat, not only did I reek, but the car wash detergent stained my paints. I was on pins and needles the entire time. However, as I recall, I was going in the store alone at his age as well.
Now, I'm sure my Uptown Ambassador may take exception for borrowing his moniker in today's theme music (because "every good superhero has his own theme music" and make no mistake, I AM a muthafuckin superhero), I'm sure he can't possibly begrudge my paying homage to the illustrious Dennis Coles.
I go to the salon once a year. There is something to be said for not using heat products on hair. No blow drying. Nothing. During this year's visit, there was a miscommunication, and my hair was flat ironed. No bigs. It was a sort of fun change. HOWEVER, my hair has not fully changed back. My fro is the essence of my mojo. Remember the Living Single episode when Regine got the breast reduction? that's how I feel right now. Now I just look like I'm letting my SOOOOOOOOOUUUULLLLL GLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! It's sort of curly spirally. I take things like that as a sign for necessary change.
My writing has been progressing quite well. I'm so thankful for that. It has really helped me refocus. Good stuff.
I need to get Bubble detailed and get the oil changed. Having a car is like having a third kid. My kids want a dog. That's a fourth. Does it ever end?
Sunday at noon BABY! The Saints meet the Foreskins!!!! Reggie better have his act together!! I got a whole dollar riding on this one!
Leaving Maryland is still heavy on my mind. Still haven't decided 100%, but I officially have no family on the East Coast. My cousin in Florida is heading west to New Mexico. I like the autonomy that being away from home affords me. Sometimes though, I wanna go where everybody knows my name...I would at least like to be able to drive there periodically.
Friday, September 12, 2008
This morning, we were going about our routine of getting ready, and she said, "Is it hard, Mommy?" I offhandedly asked what. The news was on and we were watching a report about the Capoiera Festival. "Having two kids and having to do everything by yourself."
Now, she's ALWAYS been a heavy chick. She favors biographies and books about state history over fiction. She prefers Animal Planet over Cartoon Network and she's first rate student. But still, I am SO not ready.
P.S. - I'm keeping all coastal Texas residents in my prayers.
Thursday, September 11, 2008
The past couple of days, I've made sure to have my scheduled packed with, well, stuff. Guess what? Day two of singing in the shower. My dance card is full until mid-October. In addition to that, if all goes according to plan, Spring Break is going to be off the chain. My high school reunion is in May. I, of course, plan on being there and FABULOUS! I also have fam having a destination wedding next July, so a trip to Cancun is a distinct probability.
This have been tough, but what a difference a day makes...or rather, a couple of days, but let's not split hairs!
P.S. Guess who lost two pounds? That's right, bitches!
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
I've had the blues. The frustrating part is that I haven't been able to pinpoint the precise reason why. I could nitpick at little things here and there and call them part of the problem, but I'm not sure they make a dent in the real reason.
Homesickness, however, is a mutha. My mother lived all over the country between the ages of 18 - 25. She said that after visits home, she would spend about three weeks wanting to sit in a corner with her legs folded over her shoulders. This feeling is partially attributable to the fact that I had not seen my family in over two years. That being said, I have felt a tug, not to return to New Orleans, but to be within driving distance of home. I haven't really connected with Maryland. It's not that I have not had good times here, and I've met nice people. Yet that has not stopped me from feeling like an island.
I'm giving it six months. I plan to give living here my all. If after that time, I still feel detatched, then I'll be searching for a place to live, closer to home.
One of my goals (since I'm damn near in my MID-30s - wtf) is to be more thoughtful rather than reactionary. Right now I feel like I wanna...
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
- Dilios "300"
I came to the realization that my failures - my shortcomings - are burdensome. Not only can I not glimpse light at the end of the tunnel, but I find myself struggling to make out my own feet in the darkness. In my heart, I know this is temporary. That knowledge just seems to be buried so deeply beneath a whole bunch of other caca.
Small disappointments can be distractions from the big picture, and when you look up, not only are you unaware of where you are, but you feel as though you can't even make it back to square one (abandoning all hopes of picking up where you left off).
My life is Sparta. Every step must be measured; every move, disciplined. So I don't have time to think hopelessly. I won't have time to pause. I won't have time to lament. Truth be told, I won't have time to cry. Because every second of my life from this point forward has to go as follows: stick, move, grind, repeat. It has to be that way until I get there. Presently, I don't know where there is, so that simply means that I have to keep moving until I figure it out.
Everytime someone took a shot at my title, I stood strong. There's no need to change that now.
Monday, September 08, 2008
His primary beef was the number of black women that claim to love black men and have respect for them; yet as soon as they get a man, they can't fix their mouths fast enough to tear him down. As a woman, I wanted to defend. I wanted to tell him he was wrong. Then I remembered a family member. I'll call her "Elle." The only time she discusses her husband is to talk about how stupid he is, how unsatisfied he leaves her, and how she works him essentially to death, and that's why she stays with him. I lost count of how many times they have separated, however, I do remember her going to retrieve him from his new woman's house, only to dish out more of the same.
He also touched on our buying the media's portrayal of black men. They're either dogs, gay, or bumbling morons - lovable, but bumbling and moronic nonetheless. I feel as though I need not mention the not so subtle nudges away from dating brothers altogether. How many movies romanticize relationships between white men and black women. After the obligatory obstacle that is the sole racist family member, they go on to live happily ever after. The lack of realism is astounding. For starters, when you wade through the pile of interracial relationships, black female/white male is close to the bottom of the barrel. I'm willing to wager that if you get down to the brass tacks of white males that are not impoverished or "PWT" as it were, I'll be the percentage is even smaller. So sisters, we really need to stop banking on the white Prince Charming.
I was fortunate enough to have a mother that kept me away from negative influences to the extent that she could. Additionally, she taught me how important it was that I respected black men. Eventually, my own experiences caught up with me. I became so used to being hurt and disrespected, that I started out on the defensive. I was tough on men that I attempted to date; insufferable to those I didn't. My friend mentioned the need to deal with each other on a human level. I thought about how many times we as women bristled at a man who only had use for women in bed. What can be said about a woman who only shows respect to men with whom she may be involved? Respect has to start prior to the relationship. After ti starts, it's too late. I had spent so much time with the wrong type of man, I became terrified of all men. I even avoided men that I thought would want to pursue a serious relationship, because I couldn't bear the thought of becoming attached to someone, then having it end.
Once I was told by someone that I cared deeply about, that maybe I should be with someone more suited to my relationship style; someone who could love me for the way I'm used to being loved. I realized the way I was used to being "loved" was non-existent. I crafted this amalgamation of my outside view of other people's semi-functioning relationships, combined that with a couple of "black-love" movies, and created for myself quite the cluster-fuck. I knew how to be disappointed; I knew how to have fun and bounce when it wasn't fun anymore; I knew how to be single. I didn't know how to be loved, so it went without saying that I didn't know how to give love properly. What is unfortunate is that I had a hand in messing up what could have been a good thing.
My friend said that we lie to ourselves. we say we love and respect black men, but our actions say otherwise. If I spend half of my relationship on pause wondering when (not if) I'm going to be hurt, am I really respecting my man? I can't say that I have the answers. I can't say that I'll be perfect. But what I can do is pledge to be better.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I've felt like a lost lamb in the woods before, so I figured the journey home would aid in clearing my head, and everything would be okay. I would have hatched a plan by then. Imagine my frustration when I found myself one hour from home, and no closer to a solution than the hour I embarked upon my journey.
This feeling is not hopelessness, nor is it helplessness. If anything, it is showing me that I am growing up, and I have real things to deal with; real decisions to make. Those who know me, know that a plot is in the making. I'm just not sure what it is yet. Stay tuned though. I feel a breakthrough coming on.
Friday, August 22, 2008
I've learned, with this trip, that there is a time and place for everything. I've learned that sometimes, you don't have to rehash the past to look at the future. I've put some friendships on pause, taken others out of limbo, and even got transported back to my high school days. That's kind of what going home is all about, isn't it?
Sunday, August 10, 2008
It is a MUTHA to get out of Virginia, but it's one of the most beautiful drives I've ever taken. Driving through the mountains really helps put things in perspective in seeing how truly insignificant we are. Once I hit southern Virginia, I found myself amazed by the number of black people I DIDN'T see. I went to a Walmart, and I was the only black person in the store. THE ONLY NEGRO IN AN ENTIRE WALMART. I remember being a kid and wondering, "How are we minorities? There are black people everywhere I go." But I was only going to New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Houston and a few heavily negroidian areas in Missippi. I think black people are in maybe ten other cities and that's a wrap. When I saw two separate trucks full of Mennonites pull up, I knew it was time to get the hell out of there. Nothing against the Mennonites; but I was still trying to adjust to the fact that there were no black folks in Walmart. That was as different as I was ready to handle after eight hours on the road.
Between Virginia and Tennessee, there are 6,845, 293, 957 Cracker Barrels at various exits. I began to opine that they were operated by the minions of Beelzebub, and would have no part of it somewhere early on in Virginia. However, by the time I hit CB 6 billion, my resolve had worn thin. I wanted a sit-down meal, and I vowed to avoid typical fast food fare, so I finally pulled into a Cracker Barrel, only to discover that it's not run by minions at all; but the food was delicately sprinkled with crack. It wasn't soul food, but it definitely did the trick.
After lunch, I decided I would drive for another hour. By then, I anticipated being attacked by the 'itis, and I could take a nap at a rest stop. Every rest stop I encountered during my post-CB exodus from Tennessee was closed. I finally pulled into a Kmart parking lot in Alabama to get a few zzz's. But honestly, how much rest can you expect to get in a Kmart parking lot in Alabama. So I drove into the Alabama night, where there was NO lights. I have never in my life been so afraid of the moon. And let me tell you, we're missing out on a lot of stars in the city.
It was midnight, and I still hadn't made it to Baton Rouge where I intended to bunk for the night. After seriously considering falling asleep in the parking lot of a busy gas station (I just didn't think I had twenty more miles in me) I decided that grabbing a motel was a much more reasonable, not to mention safer option. So I bunked in Meridian, MS. The prostitutes there are friendly. That's gotta count for something. The next morning (after briefly stopping to say hi to my sister in Baton Rouge) I headed to Houston.
*sigh* What can I say about Houston, Texas? Everything and nothing. As much as I love to share, this one just kind of ain't anybody's business. But I can say that I've never been happier to let go of fear and live in the moment. I can also say that no matter how tough I like to believe that I am (and I drove from MD to TX, so I think it's fair for me to label myself "Tougher Than Leather), there exists a person that makes my insides feel like one of those molten chocolate desserts simply by hugging me. No clue what that means for tomorrow, next month - or even five minutes from now for that matter - but in this moment, I have yet to stop grinning.
Before I left Texas, I got to spend some time with the Creole Queen and her family. They have basically given me a time limit as to how much longer I am allowed to live in Maryland before I move to Texas. I love when people love me.
At this moment, I'm sitting in my sister's house (she's still in Baton Rouge) at her computer, still on a high from the last few days. I'm sure there are more stories to come. Stay tuned.
Monday, July 28, 2008
I can drink like a fish. There's not even a story there; just. . . hot damn.
Every time a person says they "heart" something, Abigail Breslin is beaten with a sack of nickels. The same goes for "vajayjay." It's just stupid. Cut it out.
I've had it with men complaining about getting the shaft for Fathers' Day presents. You can stand up when you pee and you get the big piece of chicken. However, if that's not enough for you spoiled babies, you also don't have to undergo the horror that is the bra fitting. I won't go into the gory details, but I will say that afterward, I refused to purchase the bra strictly on principle. It would have been too much like paying for inappropriate contact, and I'm just not "there" yet.
You ever sit around and wonder who makes the rules? I do. Por ejemplo, lately, I've been thinking about marijuana and coffeeI'm not running for Prez, so I'll keep it real: once upon a time, I used to blaze up on the regular. When I decided to stop blazing, that was that. Had other things going on in my life, and weed didn't fit. Done. What happens when you smoke weed? You want sex and the occasional hot pocket. Marijuana is an illegal substance. I am a dyed in the wool coffee drinker. I have a few cups on the daily. When I try to quit coffee, I get migraines, the jitters, and I stay thisclose to homicide. What happens when you drink coffee, you become hyper and pretty much annoying as all hell. I have quit and restarted coffee more times than I can count. Coffee is a legal substance. Just putting that out there.
This past weekend, I had to take a drive to Queens, NY. You know how you see a place in a movie, and you think it's an exaggeration? Not so for Queens. You saw coming to America? It was pretty much like that. Queens is JACKED UP. However, I saw a site where they are building luxury condos. I have also cast lots on which mom and pop operation they were going to shut down so that they could build their Starbucks (or whatever godless, souless entity that is replacing the 'Bux now that the company has hit the skids.)
Am I the only person that finds it strange when a person needs to be walked through filling out a form. "Where it says name. . ." I just can't quite get with it.
Last week became very interesting, very quickly.
And I'm spent. . .
Thursday, July 24, 2008
I guess it takes time - more time than anybody wants to imagine - to sort things out, inside, and then try to put them together, and then try - not so much to make sense out of it all - as to see. Maybe that's why what seems to be past begins to be clearer than what seems to be present.-- James Baldwin Just Above My Head
When I need my mother most, she comes to my dreams. I remember holding Finge, counting his toes over and over again - Smith toes, like hers (onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten). She wanted boys in the family. She would have loved this boy, I thought to myself, she would have wanted to hold this boy - she would be holding this boy at this very moment. One of my first nights home, she was in my dream. She told me that she taught me everything I needed to know in order to raise a good son.
When I left my marriage, I of course, questioned myself and felt like a failure. She told me the only failure is in sitting idly by as a spectator to your own destruction.
Sometimes, when I feel like I can't do right, I have dreams where she is sitting on our old couch, ratty as it was, she pats the cushion urging me to sit next to her. Sometimes she advises me; sometimes she tells me stories; sometimes she just lets me curl up and cry while she massages my scalp.
The thing is, I don't believe I'm having supernatural or out of body experiences. I don't believe that her "spirit" is coming to me. I believe that her presence in my life was one so powerful, I had to sort it out. The things she says or does in my dreams aren't "new" things. The dreams are indicative of her handprint on my life. The signature of the artist.
I guess I can't say that I have a real "reason" for this post. However, I was hard pressed not to share.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008, would have been my mother's 57th birthday. She died when she was 43. Shortly after giving birth to her fourth child (she lost her third due to miscarriage), her host of health issues surfaced. She spent a month in the hospital. I was six, younger than my Ladybug is now. I remember her letting me get in her hospital bed and eat her ice cream. That is who she was. Her predicament was irrelevant. She wanted those around her, and her children especially, to be comfortable and at ease. During the year of these events, my mother turned 32; this year, I turn 32.
It's easy to diefy a person when they're gone. You remember all of the good and none of the bad. That's not the case here. My mother's foot had a permanent addresss in my behind. Sometimes, I still maintain that she was extra, but she also knew I was full of nonsense and shenanigans. She had no intention of allowing me to turn my life into shit on her watch. I went to great lengths to attempt to be a "bad girl," but my mother fought that. Ferociously.
What impressed me most about my mother, was that she didn't just fight for me because I was her daughter. She did so because I was a human being, and she desired happiness and success for everyone. If you were to speak to anyone who had the pleasure of her company, they would echo that sentiment. Her funeral was filled with countless people, crying as though they had lost their best friend. Young people, who on any other occasion, would have assumed the stance of stoic ambivalence, breaking down as though they had lost their own mother. But that is how she touched people. When she talked to, laughed with, or counseled you, she was your best friend. When she hugged you, she was your mother. There was never an ulterior motive to her kindness. She was a kind person, because that's how she believed she should be.
The last conversation I had with her was over the phone. I remember the conversation on her end seeming rather forced. What, really, do you talk about to your 17 year old kid when you know that you're dying? I offhandedly mentioned something we could do when she got out of the hospital. She began to cry. For years, I thought it's because she knew she was dying and she was afraid. I will not say that my mother was a superhuman being with no fear of the unknonwn that is death, but I only believe that played a small role. However, the first time I held Finge in my arms, I knew it was because she couldn't bear to leave behind her children. Even at the very end, she was worried about us.
Since I was the oldest, I did the most as far as helping my mother was concerned. I remember once, being home with her, going through our daily routine of cleaning, general care and such. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and tearfully apologized for me having to go through "all this" when I should be having fun. The same woman who took care of me in a body cast; the same woman who would stay up all night sewing just so that her four daughters would have new, pretty dresses for church; the same woman who declined countless wedding and party invitations because, according to her, "I have four girls - that's a party in and of itself." This woman was offering me an apology for doing for her what she had done for us our whole lives - a thousand fold.
My father picked her final dress. I can only hope, with every fiber of my being, that it has disintegrated into nothingness. It was a pink contraption with matching lipstick. My mother LIVED in technicolor: oranges, bright yellows, bold purples, red (never enough red), fuschias and teals. No pinks. Not ever. For the better part of two years I watched my mother with an unparallelled sense of sadness. I couldn't change her loss of health. I couldn't change her loss of spirit. I couldn't change her loss of life. I couldn't even change that stupid pink dress. But I could change her lipstick. Radiant Red was her color; Fashion Fair her brand. I didn't see any reason for that to change. My cousin produced a tube from her purse and we changed it.
Finding an appropriate ending for this post is so difficult, because, how do you wrap up in a few paragraphs, someone who had such a profound effect on everything that you are? It dawned on me that, in a couple of years, my mother will have been gone from me longer than I knew her. Despite that, I still carry her with me every day. I look at Finge and know how she would have spoiled him rotten (she wanted more boys in the family). I laugh when I think of how she would have dressed up Ladybug and let her play with her wigs. When I am at my lowest, and most lost, she shows up in my dreams. So no, I can't form a typical "conclusion" on this post. I can just promise you that there will be another.
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Thursday, July 03, 2008
This SHOULD have clued me in that the workday would be a little left of center. As I get off the train and proceed toward the platform exit, I notice someone on the floor in my peripheral vision. I turn and see that it is a woman, no more than 24 years old, stretched out, and alone on the floor. I am in a crowd, no one is stopping. So I stop to see if she is okay and needs help, and she tells me that she can't breathe. I go to get the station manager, and I notice that a woman is actually returning with him. Which makes me feel better, because that means someone stopped and this woman has clearly been on the floor for a while. However, when I look at the face of the woman who brought assistance, I realize that she was on the same train car as I was. The number of people who had to have passed this woman prior to my
I know people in this day and age like to believe that the sun rises and sets shining on their asses. I find myself becoming increasingly disgusted with the way individuals treat one another (stay tuned for the upcoming weekly installment "Men are from Maine, Women are from Compton"). This, however, takes the proverbial cake. There are four station managers in the Metro Center platform (one at each exit), as well as a minimum of two sales attendants. This means, if you need assistance, and one is preoccupied with, say, a woman literally collapsing out of her chair, you have five other people to assist you. However, for the five douches that walked up to the station manager at the 12th Street exit, collapsing woman or not, they wanted immediate assistance.
I will say this: New Orleans is dirty, ignant, backwards, and you MIGHT get stabbed. Yet, with all of that, when there is a person in need of help, there will be no shortage of people ready and willing to help. I find that when people don't have much, they are a lot more giving and concerned about their fellows. When you know what it's like to be in need, it seems that you're more likely to fill a need when you see fit. Maybe that's what's wrong here - people have too much. Maybe they don't know what it's like to be in need, or to be desperate.
I have seen more people be outright inconsiderate, then justify it because they don't feel it's adequately appreciated. Human concern is FREE. If you open a door, and a person doesn't say thank you, did only do it because you were expecting a parade? If you say good morning, and it's not returned, is that person automatically a bitch or an asshole? I'm a surly mofo, but I know that even the nicest person can have a day where they aren't "on." What does it cost for me to be the person that I AM, not because it will be acknowledged, but just because? Not a damn dime, that's what.
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
Mamba's Making That Monay!
I have made it known that my hustle is not a game. That will not be changing. It's really good to set personal goals and meet them.
Mamba's Hitting Them Streets!
Last week, my friend from work invited me for a night on the town. We hit up a local watering hole where the dj mixed current radio hits, reggae, reggaeton, and house music. Good times.
Funny Mamba story: I go to clubs for the ambience. Being a 504 girl to the bone, I just LOVE to be around people having a good time. I'm happy because they're happy, ya dig? However, that means I tend to get a little lost in the ambience and oblivious to what is going on around me. So, when the white guy standing in front of me had his hand out, I simply presumed he was the bus boy, wanting to take my Red Bull can, so I gave it to him. My friends fell out laughing, because he wasn't asking for my can; he was trying to get me to join him on the floor and shake my can. Once I saw that he had a neck tattoo, it all made sense.
Mamba's Talkin' 'Bout Music!
Last week the "Black People Awards" were on. I guess I'd like to first say that the name "Pretty Ricky" always disturbed me. Whilst gazing upon some red carpet pictures, I discovered they have faces like diseased, inverted rectums. Ugh. Fate was kind to me, and I've flicked past the channel twice when the awards show was on. Each time, it was during Al Green's performance. I don't care what channel he's on - the KKK network even - I love me some Al Green.
Rhianna gave a wannabe Beyonce performance reminiscent of when Beyonce was going through her wannabe diva extraordinaire phase. So, when you're the wannabe of the wannabe. . .? Stay in your lane and get to shakin. I'm kind of bothered by the fact that her face is shaped like a croissant.
Mamba's Talkin' 'Bout Prince!
Technically, this could have gone under the music section, but I feel the need to separate this. I'm sure I will take a lot of heat for this, however, I happen to be one of those people who do NOT see Prince as the beginning and end of music. I think he's infinitely talented. I think he can write a song like no other. I think "The Beautiful Ones" possesses the ability to make panties fly off the body and across the room. That being said, I'm kind of over the elitist, recluse thing. I appreciate artists who recognize their talent as a blessing from whatever higher power they believe in; those who use their talent to lay claim to deification, not so much.
Mamba's Going to the Movies!
One of the things I've been waiting to do is see "R" rated movies. Can't do that with the kiddies. However, nothing has piqued my interested. However, I can't WAIT until July 18, 2008. Who's gonna be seeing Bruce Wayne on an IMAX screen? THIS CHICK!
Why is it that whenever the 2520s are trying to appeal to the "urban" market, they're encouraging us to get some shit "on?" "Get your credit on." "Get your mortgage on." That type of shit. That's racist as all hell. Stop it.
I harbor the same resentment for those McDonald's Southern Fried Chicken sandwich commercials. It's always some negro saying, "This shole is how Big Mama useta fry my chicken." This reminiscence would only hold water if McDonalds were selling a chicken leg sandwich, where the chicken had been so heavily stewed, the bone had slide out of the leg. However, as they are marketing, not only a breast (i.e., "the big piece of chicken") but a breast FILET, I say hogwash!
Alltel spending a lot of money on marketing; however, no one has been able to name 3 friends who have Alltel as a service provider. I read that Alltel is being bought out by Verizon. Is there trickery afoot?
According to my sister, that dude I with whom I was once joined in ungodly matrimony, has cut his hair. Does this mean I can no longer call him "Press-N-Curl" or "Poop Dogg." I am currently in search of a new name. Please post suggestions in the comments box.
Thank you for your support.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
A(nother) C(onspiracy T(heorist) - WHAT THE HELL! Where you been? Do I have to send Gil Grissom out for your ass? Post something!
Extra Flavory - Yeah, we talk and shit, but that doesn't matter. You have funny stories that MUST be told. POST NEGRO!
Bint Alshamsa - Okay, you post, and that's how I know you're not trapped under something heavy. CALL ME HO!
Jali - We're about to be in July homie. Are YOU trapped under something heavy? Someone heavy? You being nasty? Oooooooh I'm tellin...ok, I'm jealous.
Amadeo - You've been posting, but I just feel the need to tax you on your A.C. winnings. You ain't fooling nobody. . .
Cliff - Thank you for holding it down. Of course, 504 gotta show folks how it's done.
(I am so happy to have a free moment, I really don't know what to do with myself. I'll be posting something substantive in the near future. Smooches.)
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I promise I'll be back for those of you who love me. However, I can't go without dropping a little goodness on you. I was listening to my iPod and this song came up? Remember this? What happened to this chick? This used to be the jam!
Monday, June 16, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
I swear before God... and four more white people! This is the last time!
- Gator Purify
aka "The Ghetto Can't Keep NUTHIN!"
White people and crack. Really? Rock n roll, locs and Tina Turner wasn't enough? They had to get in on this crack thing too? That's heavy. And you know the shit is about to hit the fan because it's white women who are getting strung out. You saw how they started putting the hammer down on meth production. This government will NOT sit idly by and let white folks get strung out on cheap drugs. I'm not sure of the logic behind it, I'm just citing the way things are. This can not bode well for the hood.
Here is my question: How, in 2008, are people still being convinced to smoke crack. We know what crackheads look like. I have personally been offered a big screen tv for $100.00 that a woman was selling without her husband's knowledge. (She did eventually sell it, and I was ear-witness to the subsequent beating. Life on Cindy Place was a FOOL!) With that knowledge, I KNOW crack isn't something I want any part of.
I don't consider myself any less susceptible to getting got than the next person, so I don't think it takes Festivus-worthy feats of strength to avoid the pitfalls of crack. I am a firm believer in tackling your problems, so needless to say, I find drug abuse a bit of a copout. Is their rationale, "I'm gonna keep this crack thing in check"? Do they mistakenly believe sucking dick for rocks will not be their eventuality?
And further, when was smoking a rock an acceptable excuse when grieving the death of a pet. I know Caucasians have a special affinity for canines, but word? Have they stopped making chocolate? Is there a special Hallmark card that has a small vial attached for rocks?
I swear, I don't understand this world anymore.
You can imagine how distressed I was when I saw this last week. See, evidently, Negroes want something done about the crime in their area. And in repayment for their desire to have standard safety precautions, Cathy Lanier, the MPD Police Chief, decided the only way this could be accomplished is by instituting police-state measures.
I have said it before, I will repeat it now, and I am certain I will have occasion to say it again: whenever a zero tolerance measure is taken, its negative impact of people of color is an inevitability. It's never a matter of "if", merely WHEN. They feel somewhat justified in their tactic because there were no shootings during that time period. Um. What about other crimes? Were there rapes? Robberies? Stabbings?
I can also say that I find the MPD as a whole, to be among the most unprofessional police forces I have ever witnessed. Considering I grew up in New Orleans, that's saying something. If I had half a penny for every time I saw a member of MPD driving with one hand on the wheel and another on their cell phone, I'd be able to purchase all the tea in China and the oil in the Middle East.
I grew up in a city where you can be surrounded by mansions on one block, and crack houses on the next. Therefore, the city's paler residents are often unshielded by crime. So they have regular meetings with the police department. They build up a rapport. Sometimes they even have the cops over for coffee. They discuss plans of action, options, take feedback. If you think this same thing takes place in black neighborhoods, allow me to hand you your fool of the year trophy. IF you get a meeting, you are told what is going to happen, and that's that. See, the police have to keep you rowdy niggers in line, and your tiny brains can't comprehend a plan involving law and order. Period.
Part of the reason this is problematic is because black folks don't trust the police. Policemen participated in lynchings. Policemen turned hoses and attack dogs on non-violent civil rights marchers. For those who feel these statements are merely me living in the past, I'll catch you up. Policemen sodomized Abner Louima with a plunger, then one pranced around the police station as though he deserved a medal for doing so. Policemen shot Amadou Diallo 41 times. Policemen shot at Sean Bell's car roughly 48 times, with one of those bullets almost hitting people half a block away. My point in all this, people of color have never been made to feel at ease around the police. As they are SERVANTS, it is incumbent upon THEM to gain OUR trust. Not the other way around.
But, since people of color often don't have the financial means, it is tantamount to not having a voice. And that's beyond frightening.
"I wonder if them gates was put up to keep crime out
or keep our ass in?"
- Cee Lo of Goodie Mob
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
This is a list of the top 110 banned books.
Bold the ones you've read completely and italicize the one's you've read at least some of. I've got work to do. . .
#1 The Bible
#2 Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
#3 Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
#4 The Koran
#5 Arabian Nights
#6 Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
#7 Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
#8 Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
#9 Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
#10 Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
#11 Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
#12 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
#13 Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
#14 Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
#15 Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
#16 Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
#17 Dracula by Bram Stoker
#18 Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
#19 Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
#20 Essays by Michel de Montaigne
#21 Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
#22 History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
#23 Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
#24 Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
#25 Ulysses by James Joyce
#26 Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
#27 Animal Farm by George Orwell
#28 Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
#29 Candide by Voltaire
#30 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
#31 Analects by Confucius
#32 Dubliners by James Joyce
#33 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
#34 Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
#35 Red and the Black by Stendhal
#36 Capital by Karl Marx
#37 Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
#38 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
#39 Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
#40 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
#41 Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
#42 Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
#43 Jungle by Upton Sinclair
#44 All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
#45 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
#46 Lord of the Flies by William Golding
#47 Diary by Samuel Pepys
#48 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
#49 Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
#50 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
#51 Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
#52 Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
#53 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
#54 Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
#55 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
#56 Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
#57 Color Purple by Alice Walker
#58 Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
#59 Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
#60 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
#61 Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
#62 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#63 East of Eden by John Steinbeck
#64 Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
#65 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
#66 Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#67 Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
#68 Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
#69 The Talmud
#70 Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#71 Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
#72 Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
#73 American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
#74 Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
#75 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
#76 Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
#77 Red Pony by John Steinbeck
#78 Popol Vuh
#79 Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
#80 Satyricon by Petronius
#81 James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
#82 Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
#83 Black Boy by Richard Wright
#84 Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
#85 Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
#86 Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
#87 Metaphysics by Aristotle
#88 Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
#89 Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
#90 Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
#91 Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
#92 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
#93 As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
#94 Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
#95 Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
#96 Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
#97 General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
#98 Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
#99 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
#100 Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
#101 Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
#102 Émile by Jean Jacques Rousseau
#103 Nana by Émile Zola
#104 Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
#105 Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
#106 Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
#107 Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
#108 Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
#109 Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
#110 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Monday, June 02, 2008
SEX AND THE CITY IS THE MOST BORING AND HELLACIOUS SHIT EVER! EVER, I SAID!
I cram to understand the obsession with the sex lives of four pre-menopausal Caucasian females on a show that had virtually NO consistent black representation (save when Blair Underwood was dicking down Foot Face aka Sarah Jessica Parker or when they had the "up the butt" trannies). If that weren't enough, Foot Face made a statement regarding Jennifer Hudson's addition (as an assistant, mind you), because she wanted to be responsible to the African American female viewers. Now, I know quite a few women that live in New York. Most, if not ALL of them, have professions. They are directors, executives, musicians. NONE of them are assistants. So, for the token to be a gopher, really, they could have kept that. I didn't expect her to be a friend, but hell, a professional neighbor, a boss, something?
Let me also say that I found the show itself to be boring as all hell. There were moments that I found mildly entertaining, but never enough to sustain my interest for more than 8 minutes. I've tried giving it another shot now that it comes on TBS, yet, I still combat the desire to commit seppuku when I attempt to view the show for more than ten minutes. Here's my take on it: Samatha's got "the bonus," Carrie suffers from from pediculus countenansus ("Foot Face" in Melanie's phoney baloney Latin), Charlotte is mildly retarded, and Miranda really isn't fooling anyone with that "I date men" shit. WIGGETY WIGGETY WIGGETY WACK!
At the end of the day, people like what they're going to like. That being said, what's up with dragging men to see this. One comedian said that if a dude's woman is trying to make him see this movie with him, he needs to find her some friends, because she obviously has none. Real talk. I understand wanting to do the "togetherness" thing, but really. My theory is that going to see this movie is a test for gateway activity. Don't be fooled men. If your woman gets you to go see this movie today, she's going to "gently" introduce the idea of you getting ass fucked within four weeks. MAX! I envision it something like this:
Hey baby. What's for dinner.
I appreciated you coming to see that with me so much, I made your favorite, [husband food with husband side dishes and beer and shit].
Thanks so much baby.
You know, it's great that you shared that experience with me. It shows that you truly are a progressive brother and you make an effort to appreciate the things that I enjoy. I was thinking that since you are so progressive. . .
Now, this segue will vary depending on the relationship, but it will not end before you've finished a sufficient amount of your first beer and the desired end involves having a rather uncomfortable conversation with your proctologist.
Now, I'm not here to tell you what you should watch. I'm not here to tell you what you should not watch. Simply using my blog for rumination. And warning brothers to protect not only ya neck, but potentially ya ass.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
My 15 year high school reunion being around the corner.
My daughter telling me, "Diets don't work. You should try Weight Watchers."
Being one "D" past Victoria being able to tell me the Secret.
Having to explain to my grandmother what making it rain meant.
Seeing a picture of myself before I discovered eyebrow waxing.
Being the office hottie. (Who knew backfat was in?)
Choosing a crossword puzzle over other forms of, uh, visual entertainment.
Turn down a good looking guy's request for a date because he had the crazy eyes.
The realization that I am much closer to 35 than 18. . .or 21 for that matter.
Looking at an ad about bunion surgery and saying, "hmmmmmmm."
The irony of being infinitely more comfortable getting naked for a massage as a "big girl" than when I worked out four times a week.
My daughter's crush on a neighborhood boy.
The fact that Flavor Flav stays neck deep in dem hos.
80s music being considered "oldies."
Living long enough to watch a fad enter, depart, then return.
The realization that this blog kind of makes me sound like an old fart, yet you still can't convince me that I am not the shit.
Thursday, May 22, 2008
1. Sunglasses are to be worn at all times.
Now, some normal folks feel that sunglasses are meant to shield your eyes from excessive glare, and protect them from the UV rays of the sun. Not so for The Douche. They wear their sunshades in the house. They wear their sunshades with a mouse. They wear their sunshades underground. They wear their sunshades at night on the town. They wear their sunshades here and there. They wear their sunshades EVERYWHERE. They wear them eating green eggs and ham. They look like dipshits Sam I Am!
2. The hairline should be given no consideration whatsoever when choosing a hair style.
I am elated that we live in a time where more black people embrace their natural hair by releasing themselves from relaxers or wearing locs. HOWEVER: a) if your hair requires a sign that says "next cornrow 7 miles"; or, b) if your hairline is so far back, you only have two rows of locs, you need to stop in your tracks, reevaluate the entire path of your life, from conception to this...very...moment...starting...now, as something has gone horribly awry. Granny always used to say, "Just because they made it, that doesn't mean they made it for you."
3. Wear designer clothing only if the designer's name is displayed - PROMINENTLY and OFTEN.
Baby Phat and Apple Bottom aficionados unite! Now, I know a lot of us have been eating the good chicken, and these people cater to the Reubenesque lady; that's fine and dandy. However, remember Peaches (Jada then-Pinkett-without-the-Smith) from "A Low Down Dirty Shame?" When she bought her "classy" designer outfit? Yeah. That's you. (Keep in mind, I am aware that not all of their designs look like this, but that shit is almost invariably mad gaudy. Plus, as an aside, I don't expect anyone to take me seriously when I have a pussy stitched on my ass.) Por ejemplo:
Notice the plethora of "BPs"? Not. Celebrated.
4. Failure to knock over at least one elderly individual renders you delinquent in your duties.
When a guy offers me a seat on the bus, typically, I almost shit myself from shock; however, I know about the cyclical reasoning behind the death of chivalry and such. I also know that some people will not accept seats on the bus, because they don't want to be thought of as/admit to being old. That being said, if I had a nickel for every time some overgrown clumsy ass male - BLACK AND WHITE - bowls over an elderly and/or infirm person to get on the damned metro, I'd be backstroking in brown and gold Baby Phat pumps. Were you raised in a barn? Locked in a closet as a young'n? What is your damned problem? I tell you what, regardless of my health, I'm going to start carrying a cane at 65 and consider myself licensed to correct a sucka. And if that don't work, I am not adverse to carrying a "peace keeper." Try me.
5. Disregard all traffic laws.
Red lights. Stop signs. Cross walks. Speed limits. Turning signals. None of this concerns The Douche. They will run you over, cut you off, ride your bumper because they can't be bothered with the speed limit. Personally, I stay within a 5-7 mph range. I can't afford what a moving violation will do to my insurance premium. If this annoys you, go fuck yourself and drive in another lane. On Twinbrook Parkway in Rockville, there are two major crosswalks without traffic signals. In an abundance of caution, there is actually a signal for a pedestrian to notify oncoming traffic that they need to cross. I have seen people sit there like they're waiting for Aragorn before they can cross the street. Whenever I stop, they give me this traumatized look trying to figure out if I'm for real. (Think Tina Turner on her first post-Ike date.)
6. Observe the Pilgrammage. Purchase a T-Shirt that says "FBI." Attempt to be robbed and assaulted at all costs.
Of course, not every Douche lives here. However, they are mandated by Decree of the Supreme Douche to visit DC. They get on the train - at a separate end from the rest of their party - and scream inappropriate shit. Things like, "I have no idea where we're going," and "Yes, I'm keeping all my money in my pocket!" or "Is this even the right train Jebediah!?" They stand very close to the door, because they are perpetually three seconds from being lost, and dangle their iPods from their fingertips. This is because every Douche has a secret longing to be robbed. They LOVE telling stories of their troubles, as they believe this validates their subsequent acts of douchebaggery. Like some sort of Douchebag PTSD.
7. Every story told within a 25 foot radius of your person directly relates to you. It is incumbent upon you to interject your thoughts in a boisterous and frequent manner.
It is one thing to be sympathetic, and when a friend is telling a story of some difficulty, offer words of wisdom to encourage and show that they can get through this. I'm not talking about this. That's a positive activity, and The Douche wants no part of anything positive. Any topic, from childbirth, to death in the family, to walking on the moon. The Douche will relate it to themselves. Not only that, but they will go on for such a long time, that they (AND YOU) will forget how the conversation started in teh first place. Because it's not about you. It's NEVER been about you. They are The Douche dammit, and THEY WILL NOT BE DENIED!
Monday, May 05, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Anyone want to keep this gift giving chain a-movin?
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Some days, I can scarcely figure why I'm crying. Those are typically the days I can avoid the episode. Other days, I know the precise reason behind the tears, which is why I can't hold them back. I tried to relate this cycle to my brother from another mother, and it was he who diagnosed this as "the other side of strength."
Lately, I've questioned if my strength is really just the workings of an exceptional actress. I realize that my strength is born of necessity. People have it in their mind that I'm going to make it, simply because I have made it so far. I can't recall the last time someone asked me how I was doing and I felt as though they wanted a real answer. They expect to hear fine. They NEED to hear fine. They are not prepared to deal with the helplessness that comes with hearing their strong friend is in the dark, and they can't even throw up a flare. They have their own shit to deal with. And so, being the person I am, I tell them what they need to hear. And I tell them that I'm fine. And I crack jokes. And I talk about things that don't matter; because the things that do matter or either too painful to recount, or too difficult to verbalize.
The thing about being strong is that people expect you to be that way all the time. And if you falter, they by no means expect it to be a chronic condition. When we see Superman weakened by kryptonite, we do little more than wait until he regains his strength. Not if - when. When Peter Parker declared himself "Spiderman no more" we knew it was a matter of time that he abandoned such a silly idea. Not if - when. Ultimately, we see our hero back, and better than ever. The momentary lapse was but a memory. That shit is for the movies.
When people, real people, are weakened, or suffer crises of faith or conscience or whatever, they can be forever altered. I'm not so sure of who I am anymore. The people in my life that I once believed to be central either don't call me, I don't call them, or some combination of both. Outside of a call from one of my sisters, if my phone rings once a day, that's plenty. More often than not, the call is not for me. I haven't talked to my father in months. I have a sister to whom I don't speak at all. My cousin, to whom I used to speak every day, I maybe speak to once a week. I've even taken to going to lunch alone more often than not. The Chupacabra Hunter and I have repaired our friendship in a fashion, but we do little more than exchange superficial greeting emails. I can't remember the last time I spoke to him about anything of real consequence. That's a blog post in and of itself. I know where to begin, I'm just not sure there's any point to doing it.
And that's life. And the people in my life see this as normal, because I must be okay. And the reason I cry is because this has become okay. I have little to no desire to rage against it. Why am I not raging against this?
I'm not giving up. I am actually complete ignorant of how one goes about giving up on life. But I am resigned to the fact that there is no true glory in strength. All it seems to do is increase the number of people that walk away from you.
Talk about a blue ribbon for your ass.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
What do you know about the birthplace of jazz; the birthplace of Truman Capote; the birthplace of William Faulkner’s first book? What do you know about New Orleans? Melissa Lee Smith takes on the task of chronicling the history of this great city through a collection of photos, simply titled Historic Photos of New Orleans, which spans 100 years of New Orleans history. Not only does she provide an answer to those who hear New Orleans and can do little more than conjure up images of Mardi Gras and the devastating wake of Hurricane Katrina; but she also appeals to the soul that refuses to abandon the term “K&B.” She masterfully blends the history, spirituality, pride and scandal that makes New Orleans the most unique of American cities.
The most notable thing that Ms. Smith subtly points out, is how well preserved it is. There were times when my mouth was literally agape, as I saw pictures that had been taken in the 1800s, that could have just as easily been taken in 2004. The book puts on display the city’s respect for tradition. New Orleans is home to the nation’s oldest yacht club (Southern Yacht Club), and open air market (The French Market), as well as the oldest cathedral in North America (St. Louis Cathedral). And of course, she pays homage to probably the most world renowned tradition, Mardi Gras. Notably mentioned in the book is how even in the 1800s, the port of New Orleans was still a powerhouse in the import/export business.
New Orleans’ historic neighborhoods are also showcased: the French Quarter, visited by tourists worldwide and lauded for its unique architecture; the Garden District, created for those who preferred not to live among the French Creoles in the Quarter, also a tourist attraction in its own right for its ornate landscaping; and Treme, the nation’s oldest African American community. You will also receive a taste of the arts and entertainment that the city has to offer, including the notorious Storyville.
I applaud Ms. Smith for not ignoring how African-Americans struggled to carve out their own place in the Antebellum South. The majority of black adults were relegated to work as laborers or domestic servants. The educational needs of black children were egregiously disregarded. Unfortunately, it would seem the more things change, the more they stay the same.
In viewing these photos, it makes me think the city that survived the Civil War, the battle that killed the British notion of occupying American soil, and the nations first disaster to exceed a billion dollars (Hurricane Betsy – again, the more things change. . .), can certainly regroup of the losses sustained by Hurricane Katrina.
I can only hope that a city so steeped in tradition will come to the realization that the tradition of neglect should not be repeated.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Stuff Black Mamba Hates
Tourists - Black Mamba is a city girl, so she enjoys living in touristy places. However, she is confused by the tourist's belief that not being native to a local gives one license to be an utter douchebag. Stopping in the middle of busy walkways; driving 10 mph on main thoroughfares; shouting unsafe things to the opposite end of the train such as, "I have NO IDEA where to get off!" are just a few situations where Black Mamba must battle with her inner self, not pull out her peace maker and have you run yo shit. This is entirely unacceptable.
American Caucasian Rescue Efforts - The biggest reason Black Mamba LOVES the movie "Akeelah and the Bee," was the fact that there wasn't some fresh-faced wide eyed white girl that saw her "potential" and delivered her from her peril. See, white people seem to really enjoy saving young minorities from, well, being minorities; just not in a meaningful way. Rarely, if ever, are the minority parents reached out to in ANY way. We can take this practice all the way back to Phyllis Wheatley, whose owners decided she was special enough to be taught to read and write, and her mistress "protected" her ("my Phyllis") from the big black negro (whose name escapes me) that wanted to court her. Think of every "inspirational" tale of integration. There's almost invariably some Anglo at the wheel, steering a gang of clueless black and brown miscreants to the glory that is their full potential. How else could they discover it?
The latest evolution involves the fashionable adoption of foreign children. Black Mamba is well aware that there are some people who are legitimate do-gooders, and have the purest of intentions. However, I have seen far to many black and yellow babies paraded about as the newest in the Gucci line. (I deliberately left out our brown brothers and sisters. Say what you will, but they keep their kids!) Black Mamba's opinion on the Madonna situation? When has she ever done ANYTHING that was not a calculated publicity stunt?
The fact that she likes Chris Brown - When Black Mamba won her car, she began to occasionally listen to the radio again. She found herself caught in the slow progression of tolerating a Chris Brown song, to nodding her head, to *gasp* SINGING ALONG! And as shameful as this is, she can't stop.
New Orleans Baked Goods Separation - Black Mamba very vocal about the benefits that living in Maryland affords her. That being said, there is a big difference between a Maryland donut (usually chains) and a New Orleans donut (usually local). A Tastee Donut (New Orleans standard) apple fritter reaches you right down to your most insidiest of insidey parts. I won't even touch on the fallen legend that is McKenzie's. *drool* Cinnamon rolls, buttermilk drops, black out cake. *saliva* Bunny Bread on a Saturday morning. *sigh* Randazzo's King Cake. *gasp* Hubig's Pies! *spontaneous orgasm* Of course, this is probably also the reason damn near everyone in the region has "sugar" (diabetes).
*I am well aware that there are probably other bloggers who have had a similar - or maybe even the exact - idea. This really matters not to me. There are no new ideas under the sun. Take it light and enjoy.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Though that's funny, that's not the point of my post.
A few weeks ago, after almost a year of silence between the kids' father and myself, I offered him the opportunity to do the right thing by his kids. On the one hand, I'm completely okay with handling business alone, however, it's Finge and the Ladybug that end up paying the cost. I considered it taking one for the team by calling him. I cut right to the chase.
"You call me for the first time in a year, and that's all you have to say to me?"
*Silence* "Well, yes."
What was I supposed to do? Ask him about the weather? Add him as a MySpace friend? (His mother already is. I don't want to talk about it.)
The good news is, we seem to have come to some sort of understanding. The bad news is, we now have a cordial relationship. Once he felt comfortable with the fact that I was not sending knee breakers to his home, he got in the confessing mood. He chose to share with me the fact that he still finds himself "reaching for [insert my ENTIRE given name here]." *SCREEEEEEEEEEEEECH*
See, little shit like that is the precise reason I like to keep our relationship set to "hostile." It keeps uncomfortable conversations such as these to a bare minimum.
My first reaction to his declaration was nausea. In actuality, I was mouthing "NOOOO MANNNNNNNNN," when I got the inkling that he was going to say something of the sort. Being sick to my stomach had more to do with the fact that his saying that had the same effect as a stranger confessing such a thing. It's not flattering; just kinda creepy. It's also just a little sad, because it's been almost seven years since I walked away from that. The person he's reaching for, frankly, doesn't exist anymore.
Another day, I probably would have called him every name in the book, and went on about how he dogged me and felt some misplaced sense of vindication. But, the truth is, it's really not about any of those things. I think where I am right now is precisely where I need to be. I am so free from that part of my past, not only could I sing, but I could dance an Irish jig.
And that's just fine by me.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
I woke up at the crack of dawn (and by crack of dawn, I mean 9:25) and decided that it was high time to do laundry. The laundromat is always crowded. Always. I thought going during the week would give me a break, but alas, I was wrong. It was more crowded than ever. Despite that, I was still able to do a hellacious amount of laundry in less than 3.5 hours. No small feat, trust me. I won't say that my issues with the laundry mat are plentiful, but they do exist.
I am probably the only English speaking person that uses this facility. I am by no means one of those elitists who believe "yer in Amerrrikkka, speak Ainglish!" However, when people walk up to me and begin to speak in rapid fire Spanish, it makes me forget the few phrases that I know to convey to them that my Spanish is beyond piss poor. For some reason, it kind of makes me feel like a douche. On the upside, going to this place is impelling me to learn the language, because telenovellas look like they are the BOMB. I don't know what they are saying on "El Diablos y los Guapos," but it looks like the shit and I want to be a part of it. (Side note: Does the Latino community view Univision the way we look at BET. I've seen some activity on that channel that looks like flagrant coonito-ism. I'm just saying.)
My kids are far too sociable, and they always befriend some random miscreant in the making that works my nerves. One kid almost got the taste smacked out of his mouth today, and though he was a tester, he was not crazy and he saw his future. I am really not the one for kids that like to test adults. I make it known to all children: I do not test well, but I'm in the 99th percentile in juvenile beatdowns. I will not hesitate to bust open a can of whip ass on the kids I brought into the world. Do you really think I'd second guess putting one of those Big Show chest slaps on a three-year-old that I've never met who happens to be tap dancing on my last nerve? Sheeeeeee...
I have somehow become the damned pied piper of the laundry mat. Small kids have always liked me, so I guess that means I am a fairly decent person. Aren't they like puppies where they're supposed to be a good judge of character and predict earthquakes and shit like that? Plus, everybody loves the big titty girl. I swear, babies start drooling when I round the corner. I almost feel bad when they discover that these are only display models. In addition to the kids, ever since I've gone natural with my hair, parents have become all loosey goosey in leaving their kids unattended around me for long periods of time. I guess I look like a nanny earth mother or something. Two problems here: 1) this is dangerous as all hell, and 2) I don't want to be saddled down with your damned kids!
Today, this dude and his girl came in to do laundry with a small baby. By small, I mean she was *this far* from me wondering why she had the baby out in the streets. The kid was so small, it still had that unisex look, and could not hold a bottle. Two months MAX. Anyway, son strolls in, plops his baby on the counter RIGHT next to where I'm folding clothes, walks off. On top of that, he goes about his business for at LEAST twenty minutes before he looks back. The trifling bitch he was with NEVER looked back. What in the blue hell? I'm telling you, if this shit doesn't stop, I'm getting a perm and a breast reduction. I really need a personal assistant to handle these things.
Friday, March 28, 2008
I've been out of the loop for a minute. My keyboard had an unfortunate incident with ramen noodle juice. Don't ask...just...don't.
I've been home with the kiddies. Last week, they had a bout with the flu, and this week, they're off for Spring Break. Tell me my kids don't know how to do it! I'm really not going to know how to act when I get back to work. Probably roll in around 10:30, still wearing my robe, bitching about how they don't have Florida's Natural orange juice.
So I'm up at this ungodly hour, after feeding my America's Best Dance Crew addiction. I LOVE that show. Watching people dance has always been one of my favorite past times. My love for dance is only preceded by my love of literature and music. I guess literature places first because I can neither dance nor sing, but I'd like to think that I can write my ass off.
Now, one of my favorite things about spring is the bevy of new movies to come. One of my favorite pastimes is watching superhero movies. Nothing like a little kicking ass and taking names to get the blood pumping for the warm months to come. I'm sure that by now, most of you have seen the orgasm that is the "Iron Man" trailer. Holy shit dude! That's all I can say. May 2 really can't come fast enough.
I'm sitting here watching the GREATNESS that was X2, remembering how X-Men 3 was set up to finish in FANTASTIC style, and I am really fighting the desire to hunt down Brian Singer and punch him in the mouth. I've already discussed how pissed I am with him ruining TWO superhero movies (his departure from the X-Men franchise was due to his directing the insufferable bore that was Superman Returns), so I'll spare you that old chestnut. I just hate when directors completely drop the ball on the third movie. They did it with The Matrix, they did it with X-Men, and it's my understanding that they did it with Spiderman. I won't even touch the way Batman was disgraced. They hype you up with this PHENOMENAL sequel (I cried at the end of X2), then COMPLETELY drop the ball with the third (did they really have Wolverine crying like a little bitch). There should really be a law. And speaking of Batman...
I read this blog about one of my favorite shows, "How I Met Your Mother." Besides the fact that I didn't agree with the opinion that the show sucked, this interesting tidbit was divulged: Alicia Silverstone pulled out of this episode because of Britney Spears' guest spot. Sooo...let me get this straight - she was a willful participant in the filmed diarrhea that was "Batman Forever," and "Beauty Shop," but working with Britney Spears is where she draws the line. Really? Really? Wow.
I think I have a crush on Harry Potter. I'm fairly sure that's legal right? Not like a crush crush, but I LOVE those damned movies. I can't help it. It appeals to that inner kid that is still fascinated by magic, whimsy and all that other good shit. I believe the latest installment will be released this fall. YAAAAAAAY!
But in the meantime: go out, get some sun, show some cleavage!