"There are notes between notes, you know." -- Sarah Vaughan

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Relationships: What I learned from Black Men

My parents fell in love, got married, had two kids, realized they weren't really suited to each other and divorced. My father didn't just go missing when they divorced, he was still present in our lives. My brother and I also had our grandfathers and my mother's three brothers to serve as male role models. The following are just some of the lessons I learned from my dad, grandads and uncles in regard to dating/relationships:

1. Never let someone else's actions dictate yours.
2. Don't be a worrisome-ass woman, e.g. if you call and he is unavailable, don't call him another 30 times. Leave a message and move on.
3. If a man knows he can have you and someone else, too, he will (translation: don't ever be a sideline chick/ho).
4. When a man wants you, there will be no confusion about his intentions.
5. Have your own money and be self-sufficient.
6. Never lower your standards (which should be reasonable and attainable). If a man can't meet them then move on.
7. Don't make babies out of wedlock.
8. Don't live with anyone who isn't willing and able to make you his wife.
9. Listen to what a man says and watch what he does. If the actions don't match the words and vice versa, move on.
10. Any man you aren't married to who needs you to co-sign for him to get or do anything is not for you. Move on.
11. If a man (or woman for that matter) wants to cheat, they will and nothing you say or do will stop them.
12. Relationships ain't that hard and if you find yourself struggling to stay in one/make one work, ask yourself why.
13. Never belittle your man in public.
14. Focus on a man's character cause the rest is BS.

Some of this is commonsense, but still, it helped to hear these words of wisdom from men who cared about me. Many a time I've been told I have a "dude's attitude" about dating. I've never been that chick that called my man's friends looking for him. He ain't home or answering the phone, then I'll talk to him when he gets back or becomes available. If he's going out, I'm not asking a whole bunch of questions about where you're going and who you're going with etc. He knows he made a commitment and either he'll honor it or he won't. It will all come out in the wash.

And all of what they told me has a ring of truth. When Mr. SingLikeSassy and I got together there was no drama or foolishness. He let me know upfront what his intentions were and we moved forward. I don't talk to him any kind of way in public or behind closed doors. He shows me EVERYDAY that he would give me his last crust of bread. Everyday. He shows me in big and little ways everyday that he loves me and I reciprocate cause I want him to feel just as special. He appreciates that, like him, I had my own house, sufficient savings and a thriving career when we married and trusts me to take the lead with our finances.

This isn't to say that my whole dating life was perfect 'cause we know that's not the truth. I made some questionable choices and had some bad relationships. But thankfully my dad and uncles kept me from making mistakes I couldn't bounce back from and taught me that even in the mistakes there are lessons.

What about you, what did you learn about relationships from the men in your life?

The Chasm Separating Black Men and Black Women

I see more blog posts about the chasm/valley/high level of misunderstanding between black men and black women (probably because a good few of the blogs I read are written by black people) but the topic puzzles me.

If the black men bloggers are writing about problems in the community and trying to figure out solutions and the black women bloggers are doing the same thing...there is no "misunderstanding." Maybe a disagreement about how to solve the problems, but it seems we all collectively understand what the problems are and are doing what we can to fix them.

Or maybe I'm misunderstanding...

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Boondocks

Mr. SingLikeSassy bought the second season of "The Boondocks" and we watched it the other day. WHY HAS THIS SONG BEEN IN MY HEAD EVER SINCE??? I even got extra ghetto and was singing it at my desk with the little dance and everything. I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE I WAS DOING IT! This is a sad commentary on me and the music which spoofs current hip hop music as well as rags on gay rappers. Sigh. Oh well. breaks into the homie dance.

One of my favorite scenes and songs

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

SchoolHouse Rock still jammin'

I miss these little mini-grammar lessons. And based on the writing I see each day I have to say not enough people saw these commercials.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Things I loved as a kid that give me pause today

OK, I *think* I loved this movie when I was a kid, but a recent review in the Washington Post made me wonder, what the hell? I didn't remember one thing about this movie and when I looked it up on YouTube and saw that video I linked to earlier I was really nonplussed: what in the hell is all that tapping and rollerskating about??

Then I remembered this movie I went to SEE in the theater with my cousin Chris one summer when we convinced our moms to let us go to the movies every Tuesday and I wondered if my parents had slipped me some LSD or something when I was a kid.

Thank goodness Rizzo is just as I remembered and that Donna Summer did her part right or I might have thought I was going crazy.

Do you ever have these kinds of moments?

Temperature fluctuations

I run hot and cold all day long. Which makes no sense to me as I sit in the same seat most of the day. I have my own personal heat/air con unit at work that I adjust all day long and still I can't find a happy medium. And at home I'm sweating because Mr. SingLikeSassy is cold all of the time. He likes for a room to feel warm all of the time, with no air blowing on him ever and I need a cool breeze wafting over me, shoot, I'm from the South and we blow air conditioning down there. I need respite!

Folks who know every gotdayum thang

Isn't it odd how folks who have *never* done your job know so much more about it than you do? Just an observation.

Monday, June 23, 2008

DJ Driis the Londoner

Just wanted to refresh y'all on what's really tasty in case you forgot or sumtin'.

Yeah, he can butter my toast anytime. WHOOOWHHHEEE.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

What in the H.A.M. hell?

Read this then come back and comment. I'm speechless, right now, but once I can gather my thoughts, I'll share them with you.

Enough is enough is enough

This post over at AverageBro.com* made me a little bit hot this morning. Not so much what he was saying about it, but what he noted about some people being offended by Obama talking about absentee fathers on Fathers Day. Really people? REALLY?

Maybe I'm extra-sensitive on this subject because I've mentored lots of young black women and my mother and Mr. SingLikeSassy are teachers, but anybody who can't see how this is affecting the black community and who chooses to take offense rather than take notes and action, well, let me steal a line from the movie "Crash:" You embarrass me. You embarrass yourself.

Rather than be offended, how about we focus on creating a community where teens are not having children they can't raise. A community where teens are graduating from high school with enough skills to be gainfully employed somewhere and/or with the tools and support they need to enter and complete college (that last part is key, cause often we get them to college, then leave them to figure out how to get through college). How about we strive for a community where young men are not so angry and don't feel so decimated that they turn to crime to be "noticed" or to feel like they have power. Obviously that's not everything, but those are places to start.

I am really grateful that I have a father I can call and talk to about anything (except sex. We don't need to be chitchatting about that). He (and my mother) taught me that being self-sufficient was critical. I needed to know how to take care of ME before I could take care of someone else. They taught me about saving, building wealth and the dangers of immediate gratification. Just yesterday my husband commented on my thriftiness and how it benefits us as a family. But the key is I learned this from my parents, who learned it from their parents and if I have children I will pass this information and my life lessons on to them.

To get back on point, we have the power to make those things I noted happen. Most of them can be solved with active parenting. So I'm not mad about the Fathers Day speech. Whether or not Obama wins the election, he has the podium right now. If a black man can't talk about problems with black men, who can?

On a side note, if you missed this project from the Washington Post a couple of years ago, check it out now: "Being A Black Man." Even two years old, it's still good food for thought.

*I think I may have gone to college with this fella. Too bad we both are behind the veil of anonymity.

I have the power!

OK, when I wrote this post I forgot that once I changed jobs I became a member of a union that represents these folks. So you know what that means, right? I get to vote on ratifying the contract and I get to weigh in on whether or not these folks strike or show up for work. I have the power (OK, I have one little vote, but still...) to decide whether or not TV will have scripted shows with actors or reality shows with fools. MWAAHAHHAHHAAAAHAAAAAA!!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Way out of left field

I have never played a sport. I don't like balls hurtling toward my face (yes, there is a dirty joke in there somewhere, haha you nasty creatures you). I don't have a "team" and I don't plan my holidays and weekends around game schedules. Mr. SingLikeSassy doesn't either. If a game is on, he'll watch, but mostly he doesn't care. This is one of many reasons why I married him. 

So imagine my surprise when his monthly outing idea was for us to go to a Washington Nationals game. I know less than nothing about this sport. The only batter I know anything about is the stuff that creates cakes. 

BUT this is what he wants to do so I am dressed in what I guess is baseball game attire and ready to go. I have a book, my blackberry and my iPod Touch in my purse (do you take a purse to a baseball game?) and some money for a bag of peanuts. I'm actually thinking it will be fun, as I've been to a professional hockey game and a professional football game and both of those were really fun because of the crowds and chanting and whatnot. 

So, let's geeeetttt reaaddddyyyyy toooo rummmmbllleeeee! Oh wait. Wrong sport. 

Please answer this pressing question

Friday, June 20, 2008

Latifah's Had It Up 2 Here!

Movie people try to stick Queen for her paper ... and she pulls a Miss Sophia on their ass and says "HEY-ELL NO!

Give it to 'em Queen!

Another one bites the dust!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Global warming, black femininity

If you deny global warming, what do you think about this story?

I was reading this blog post today while at work and found it really interesting. I hadn't thought about this issue. Ever. Certainly not in the way this blogger is appealing to readers to think about it. I recommend this blog generally and this post specifically as the tone and conversation is thoughtful and respectful and she cites her sources.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A man, some kids and a patch of flowers

Mr. SingLikeSassy fancies himself a gardener. Every spring he goes out and snatches up the weeds that insist upon taking over the teeeny tiny patch of greenspace in front of our rowhouse. He plants purple fountain grass for me (they look like one of my cat's tails) and whatever else he wants out there.

Sometime ago I befriended the kids who live three doors down from us. They are very little -- pre-school, maybe kindergarten age -- and they liked the cats and my car and I guess being able to call me "Miss Lady."

Well, one day I came home and the little kids had decided to "help" clear away the weeds in our little postage-stamp patch and, well, they don't know what weeds are it seems. So they pulled up stuff Mr. SingLikeSassy had just planted. Bulb and all. I tried to tell them the difference between weeds and real plants, but I think it didn't quite take because, um, Tuesday I came home and they had ripped up the new plants.

Mr. SingLikeSassy is over it. In fact, this whole experience has practically turned him off children altogether. I keep reminding him that they are very little and really mean well as I do believe they honestly think they are helping. I'm not sure how much longer I can keep using that line though....

Recommended reading

If you haven't already, pick up the latest issue of The Atlantic magazine.

Though I grabbed it because of the cover story, three other pieces were actually better reads and gave me more to think about: American Murder Mystery, I Choose My Choice! and Inconspicuous Consumption.

In the last story I found this quote particularly interesting: "In places where blacks in general have more money, individual black people feel less pressure to prove their wealth."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Marriage and Meddling

When my husband got divorced (yes, I am his second and LAST wife) every one of his friends told him how they had never liked his wife and the way she treated him even before they got married. I asked, well, why didn't somebody say something BEFORE you married her?

I am a card carrying boundary crossing meddling mofo, because I have told two friends before they walked down the aisle that I didn't think they were making the right choice.

One friend got a marriage proposal when she was changing jobs and relocating. This friend and I lived in the same city together for almost three years and in all that time this man came to visit her once. He lived driving distance away. She had gone to visit him once. When she got a new gig and was moving to a new city and state, she "broke up" with this guy. That prompted him to ask her to get married. She said yes. It all sounded crazy to me and I said so pointing out that he hadn't even been moved to travel to our city and spend time with her more than once in the past three years and now he wanted to marry her? She told me that she loved him and was marrying him. I said OK and showed up on time in the right clothes. They have two children now and are approaching their eighth anniversary.

Another friend was never really interested in her husband. But he was a good man and she wanted to be married and have children and the clock was ticking. I was hesitant to bring this up with her as I felt like she was not going to receive it well. Imagine my relief when she calls me to tell me that another friend had told her she was making a mistake. I tell her that I was thinking the same thing and that he was a nice enough guy, but she was settling. She admitted she probably was settling. And then she married him. I showed up on time in the right clothes. They are still married, but she is very, very unhappy.

Yes, I meddled. But I couldn't imagine just letting my friends make a mistake as serious as marrying the wrong man. Despite what television and celebrities would have you think, marriage is serious business. So I spoke my piece. I was wrong in one case and right in the other. Maybe Mr. SingLikeSassy would have married his other wife anyway, who knows. I do think experiencing that (failed) marriage helped prepare him for the great relationship we share.

Would you say something if you thought a friend was making a mistake?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Mr. SingLikeSassy loves me!

<--He bought me this! It's a remote control for the PS3 so when I want to watch DVDs I don't have to clicketyclack with the game controllers.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

OK, why did my friends say these characters are me?!

Apparently I'm Gina in this episode of "Martin." (specifically the section beginning at 2:32)

And young Cece Bloom in this scene of "Beaches." (specifically the section beginning at 8:12)

And evidently I burst into show tunes and perform whole scenes from musical productions like this one from "Funny Girl" randomly, too. (I can believe that because I love this movie)

No cable TV, more comics

We don't have cable TV. We watch regular channels and have rabbit ears on top of our TVs. We've discussed getting it, but I feel like we watch too much television now and worry we would become hermits if we got a cable subscription. So to date, we've remained cable TV-free.

Besides, I like that when we go on vacay we reserve one night as cable TV-watching night and we lie in the bed and order room service while channel surfing and marveling at all the stuff we don't get to see regularly.

We're not sure what we'll do when television goes dark next year. We haven't gotten any converters. We don't even know how to get them as we haven't paid attention to those PSAs beyond saying once or twice, "I wonder what we need to do" after we catch the tail end of one.

Maybe we'll read more comics once TV is no longer an option. I'm re-reading this right now (here's a sampling of it if you're interested), but maybe I'll branch out to some of the more mainstream stuff. Up 'til now I've stayed in the indie genre.

And is it me or does this whole converting thing sounds like some backroom deal by Congress and some big conglomerate that's left Joe-brokeass-Consumer holding the bag. OK, maybe it's just me.

For those of you who don't have cable, what do you plan to do next year when the big switch is flipped?

Talk amongst yourselves

You can find more of them here: http://www.heelarious.com

Friday, June 13, 2008

That darn Metal Gear Solid 4!

I am sitting at home on Friday night instead of at the movies watching "The Hulk" because Mr. SingLikeSassy bought that damn Metal Gear Solid 4 yesterday and now he's suddenly "too tired" to go out.
Now, look at this (blurred to protect the innocent and unaware) photo. Is that looking like somebody too tired to go out or is that looking like someone who wants to play PS3 instead of go out? If you chose door number two you areeeeeeee the grand prize winner.

banging on computer keys and mumbling Fred Flinstone-style curses under my breath

Stop looking at me...and put the money in the bag

(Note: Mr. SingLikeSassy suggested this post)

I hate this painting. It hangs on "our" bedroom wall (I put that in quotes because this is Mr. SingLikeSassy's bedroom in a house he owned before we got married).

Why do I hate this painting? Cause I sleep on the side of the bed closest to it and she's always looking at me. I don't like paintings of faces. I fear them the way other people fear clowns.

Plus I'm not feeling that bang. No righteous sista on top of her game would wear a nappy ragged bang like the one in this painting.

But noooooo we can't get rid of it because it was a gift he gave to his deceased mom that he bought from another mother he holds in high esteem. She painted it for him and said it was his guardian angel. Mumbo jumbo witchcraft black magic rootwork if you ask me, and he ain't the one the damn painting is staring at day and night! dousing myself in holy water and reaching for the garlic ring necklace all while keeping one eye on the accursed painting

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I hide cookies from my husband

Every now and again I crave Pepperidge Farm chocolate mint Milano cookies ... and I want to eat the whole damn bag without sharing. To make that happen, I "leave" (coughhidecough) them in my car and nibble on them outside of his view.

The thing is, Mr. SingLikeSassy doesn't like these cookies. So, this is it, I am officially crazy and dysfunctional. Save me from myself! And the cookies!

Wait, wait, wait. This cookie in the car thing is my secret single life like Carrie talks about on SATC. OK, nevermind. I'm good.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Folks who need a shoe upside the head

Last weekend Mr. SingLikeSassy and I went to the movies. It was early-ish so there were lots of children around. We always get our tickets at the kiosks (which are so fast and convenient, why do people bother to stand in those long lines for the ticketbooth?).

Well that afternoon all of them were occupied -- or so we thought at first. We realized pretty quickly that the little boy at kiosk no. 2 was just playing around on the machine. His mother was at kiosk no. 1 helping a man buy tickets, I suppose. Little boy asks for a credit card and she yells, "I saiiiiddddd NO!" without even looking up. Her back is practically turned to this kid. It was obvious to me that she was not going to tell him to move away from the machine so that real customers, such as myself, could use it.

So I lightly touch his shoulder and say quietly, "hey there, can we use this?" Little boy spins around and then -- THEN -- his mother looks up and pulls him over to her. Now he needs a mother's love and protection. This next part is where I had to make a choice between being a lady or a becoming a stereotype up in this theater lobby.

This wench with her tacky, twisted, multicolored weave, long applique-covered fake nails and filthy too little sandals says, "unh unh! I don't like that, don't touch my child, you see his mother standing here." Now, for a minute this situation didn't compute cause I knew fo' damn sho' this trashy-lookin' trick didn't fix her lips to talk that BS to me over a child she was so inattentive to he could have walked off into the sunset and she wouldn't have known it. Then when it registered that she DID have the audacity and gall, the first thought I had was "lord, save me from myself" cause I had on some wooden wedge sandals and my hand was itching to snatch one off and commence to whuppin'. that. ass.

But my call to the lord was answered as he quickly reminded me that at the end of the day she would continue to be her and that was punishment in itself. So I gave her the smile of a woman who was not the pregnant mother of a son with a big fake diamond in his ear and designs cut into his head who thought it was stylish to tack different colored plastic hair onto her head and whose toes hung wayyyyyy over the edge of her sandals. Then I turned to the kiosk and focused on what Mr. SingLikeSassy -- who, as usual, was oblivious to all this activity -- was doing.

She walked off still mumbling about how she "don't like that." I went on to see my movie. I feel sorry for the little boy, though.

What would you have done in this situation?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Confronting classism

I live in Washington, D.C. and I work in Washington, D.C. In fact, the main road at the end of my block is the same street that my employer is located on in downtown D.C. So I ride the MetroBus to work. It's cheap, the ride is about 10 minutes and it's practically door to door since the bus stops at the end of my street. I save on gas and reduce my carbon footprint.

I could ride the Metro, but I'd either have to walk four blocks North to catch it or 8 blocks South to catch it and, as I said, the bus stops right at the end of my street. More importantly, if the bus breaks down, I can get off and walk the rest of the way to work or home. No harm, no foul. If the Metro breaks, I'm stuck in a tunnel trying to fight off panic from claustrophobia.

Some of my friends are appalled that I would ride the bus to go anywhere. The issue for them is "the great unwashed" that I am traveling with on the bus. Now I'll admit, there are some mixed nuts on these buses and someone ALWAYS decides to befriend me on my short ride, but I never feel unsafe and I don't know why that should keep me from riding the bus. It bothers me that some of my friends think they are "too good" to ride the bus or use other public transportation.

Frankly, it keeps me grounded in what's real. I work for someone and with a flick of a pen and some bad luck, I might count myself among the "great unwashed" someday. Riding the bus reminds me of why I save and invest rather than buy expensive handbags and shoes. From my perspective the people on the bus are just like me -- trying to get to work or wherever in the most efficient and economical fashion. We share that goal. We are one.

Ding! Stop requested.

Monday, June 9, 2008

An unwanted blast from the past

I recently checked an email addy I don't use much anymore and saw an email from a guy I dated briefly some years ago sitting in my inbox. It was innocent enough, just asking how I was doing and my first thought was to hit delete and keep it moving.

Don't get me wrong, there are/were no hard feelings between us, it just didn't happen. There is no one reason why it didn't happen, it just didn't happen. And since there was no animosity on either side, we dropped each other an email about once a year or so until a couple of years ago.

Anyway, as I said, my first instinct was to hit delete, cause I felt no need to continue playing nice. I don't really care what he is doing. He has several degrees from some very expensive and very elite East Coast schools and a wife with the same credentials, so I figured he should be making out OK. But responses to a recent post on a blog I follow made me rethink that decision. So I typed a brief response and hit send.

He emails me back the same day trying to enlist my help in getting him a new job (pass on job leads etc.) as he had recently left his gig. He also shared some information about a new venture his wife is undertaking that he hoped I would support. And this reminded me of at least one reason why it didn't click for me. Despite all the edumacation and ambition, he didn't seem stable. He had "tha man tryin' to get me" isshas and seemed volatile in the workplace. I don't have time for my paper to be shaky cause you think every comment a white person makes is some racial slur directed at you.

It also reminded me of why I was out of touch with him. In the last email exchange we had a couple of years ago he asked to come crash in my guest room for a few days as he and his wife were having troubles. I replied I didn't think that would be a good idea, but then he said something about needing to get his child away where she couldn't find them and some other nonsense that I didn't focus on cause I already knew none of that drama was coming into my household. I suggested he seek counseling, put it in prayer and reach out to his parents. Never heard from him again until this email and they are still together and have more children. I'm happy for them if they were able to work through whatever and keep their family intact.

But do you think I'm recommending this person for a job at any company I have established a good rapport/reputation with?

Here we go...

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ending Friendships

I have a longtime friend that I haven't spoken to in several months.

This friend is a Ph.D with a great (IMO) husband and two sweet babies, who readily admits she is not happy despite all she has to be thankful for in her life. Rather than address what the real problem is, she continues to search for distractions and brainstorm plans to get the Oprah-sized bank account she feels will solve all her problems.

None of that would matter to me except all her plans require me to do something. She gets upset when her plan to start a publishing company with me as editor that will become some multi-million dollar venture generates this response: crickets chirping. Or when her plan to publish a collection of essays that we write and I edit that will secure for us the coveted spot on Oprah's couch gets this response: crickets chirping.

Those aren't bad ideas and I sincerely hope if they are what she wants to do that they happen for her, but I'm not interested in doing those things. I also am not on a paperchase. I won't say it wouldn't be nice to have Oprah's bank account but that woman is working hard as hell for that money and has made some sacrifices I am not willing to make in order to have the empire she enjoys. Plus, I am a firm believer in what Biggie and Mase said: Mo' money, mo' problems. Money is not going to repair what is keeping my friend from enjoying and appreciating her wonderful family, career and home.

But despite my explaining all of this to her, she continued to call me with these schemes ... so I stopped responding to her calls. She wasn't respecting my boundaries. Every now and again she sends a friendly "hi" email and I respond to it, but other than that we haven't spoken since February.

How have you dealt with losing a friendship?

I love Jeopardy!

I'm corny. And quirky. And an endless font of random facts. As a result, I love the show Jeopardy! Any time me and Mr. SingLikeSassy can watch, we tune in.

I don't even get the current gameshows. Pick a suitcase and do what now? Hook up to a lie detector and broadcast your business on national TV?

I'll stick to the tried-and-true. You can't go wrong with Trebek.

What are your game show addictions?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Paying someone to clean your house

I have a regular housekeeper. I like for my house to be clean, but I have never enjoyed cleaning it. Yet, I toyed around with bringing someone in to clean for awhile before finally doing it a little more than two years ago.

I hesitated to hire someone because it seemed lazy to me. At the time I lived alone in my house with my two cats. My closets are always a jumble, but other than that, I am pretty neat. So having someone come in to clean after us seemed indulgent. Bougie. Wasteful. And, again, lazy. My mama never paid anyone to clean our house. Neither did my grandmothers. Or anybody else in my family.

But interestingly enough when I got the housekeeper my mother saw it as her daughter having the courage to do what she wish she had done. She never liked cleaning either, but felt everyone -- especially my father's mother who has never liked her -- would give her the side-eye if she brought in a maid.

My having a maid is just one more step of independence from male oppression and familial guilt, from her perspective.

Another reason I hesitated is a conversation I had with a man I should never have dated who had class issues, among others. When I mentioned it to him he said it was a frivolous expense and that I was trying to live beyond my means. Now anybody who knows me and how I am with money would look askance at any person who dared open their mouth to say that I spend money frivolously. But at that time his opinion mattered to me. Thankfully he stopped mattering and whither he goest so did my regard for his opinion.

I now employ a single (legal!) immigrant woman who has put her daughter through college because of people like me. And I choose not to purchase things, such as expensive handbags or shoes, so I have lots of excess money I can use to pay her for making my house smell lemon-y fresh and pass the white glove test on a regular basis.

I had just started dating my husband when I hired the housekeeper (who liked him the first time she met him). I wondered if he would react as the other guy did about my decision. Instead he asked me what she charged as his house needed regular cleaning, too. About a year later, I started paying the housekeeper to clean his house and now she cleans for us (and offers advice about marriage and babies. Think Magda from SATC), spoils the cats and leaves us baked goods.

What about you, do you have a housekeeper and if so, did you have any of the qualms I had about hiring someone to clean?

Mr. SingLikeSassy has a hangover!

Apparently he drank more than I did while he was hanging out last night!

I could tell he was feeling "good" when he came in, though frankly I couldn't really respond cause I was lying across the bed in all my clothes in a half-drunk sleep.

We chatted a bit this a.m. before he left to meet his pupil and I went to my biweekly hair appointment and everything seemed fine and dandy, but when I came home I found him in the bed grumbling.

Me? I feel just fine, the caipirinhas treated me reeeeeaaal nice, thank you very much. PLUS I met a guy and his wife in the restaurant last night who invited me and Mr. SingLikeSassy to a music-related event tomorrow afternoon.

Anyway, I'm trying to convince him to roll out with me and let some Sat nite likka override that lingering Fri nite likka. We'll see.

Top back...up

It was too hot, I had to shut all that up and cut my air con on. Hot and greasy is never a good look. Ew.

This is what I'm doing today!

What y'all doing?

Do you know the answer to this question?

What kind of tape is best for creating a sculpture?

Friday, June 6, 2008

Some of my favorite songs!

OK, Ms. SingLikeSassy got a buzz on from too many caipirinhas and I need to share this music me and my friends dug up today when we *should* have been working. Got me groovin'. What makes you get up out of your seat and jam?

Dear Prudence

Every week I read the "Dear Prudence" column on Slate.com and always find something, uh, interesting in it. For example, read this from last week's column:

Dear Prudence,

My boyfriend of four years recently told me about an odd fetish he's dealt with all his life: He is fascinated by adult diapers and would like to wear them occasionally. If he had told me about this years ago, it probably would have been enough for me to end the relationship, because it genuinely bothers me. Though I love him and find it hard to imagine life without him, I'm having a difficult time thinking of him sexually, or even talking to him, now that I know about his strange fantasy. It's like his confession has transformed him into a different person. It was very difficult for him to tell me about this, and when he saw my reaction, he apologized for bringing it up. I know he feels awkward and ashamed, but I can't bring myself to comfort him or to say it's all right. I can't accept it, don't want to hear him speak of it, and don't want to think about it. But I don't know how to explain to him how deeply his fetish disturbs me without really hurting our relationship. I am worried that if I ask him not to speak of it anymore, he will be afraid to open up to me in the future. What should I do?

—Wiped Out

Dear Wiped,

Now we know there is at least one person in the world actually looking forward to the day he loses control of his bodily functions and ends up wearing nappies. Actually, your boyfriend is not alone—here's the Wikipedia entry about people with paraphilic infantilism and the one about people who call themselves D.L.s, or diaper lovers. I know it's hard to absorb this news, but try to imagine the anguish your boyfriend has felt over the last four years wanting to tell you and wondering whether he would lose you if he did. While there are some women who can explore the deep kinks in their partner's psyche (think of the stories about couples who stay together after the husband has undergone a sex change), you clearly are not one of them. I understand that the image of your boyfriend looking like Baby Huey is killing your libido, but remember that the man you love is not a different person; he's the same man who harbored these fantasies all along. And now that the diaper's out of the bag, you two simply can't pretend he's never mentioned his fixation. For one thing, you've got the little problem of the fact that you can't bring yourself to speak to him. You could try to get past this impasse with some humor. Perhaps tell him you two need to talk, but you definitely don't want to know whether he prefers cloth or disposable. Ultimately, his confession may have so shattered your conception of the two of you that you won't be able to go on. But since you say you can't imagine life without him, consider seeing a counselor together to at least make sure you don't come to a rash conclusion.


They're playing basssketttballllll

Dirty Harry takes on Mookie

Clint Eastwood tells Spike Lee to "shut his face" over accusations the former doesn't cast many black people in his movies. I guess it's on now!

My celebrity crush: Idris Elba

I love my husband. I said I LOVE MY HUSBAND. But this here Big Driis the Londoner is some kinda fingerlicking put yo' foot in it fine. Whoooowheee!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Note to self...

Shut your piehole about work. See below.

Your faithful servant,

Keeping politics private

As I said somewhere in an earlier post, I am a journalist. As such, I don't broadcast my politics in conversations or online. I'm a skeptic and I don't really believe all this Web chatter is "anonymous."

So there won't be any declarations for McCain or Obama in my posts and I likely won't take stances on many hot button political issues, such as gay marriage or immigration. That's the kind of stuff that gets your name in the paper and on the journalism listserves as the latest journalist marched to the door over some straight foolishness. I am not trying to emulate this book cover as that is not a good look.*

How about you, do you broadcast your political beliefs or hold that info close to the vest?

*Edit note: I might be fat, but I am not 40.

Erra, errors

I spend my days correcting other folks' writing, so when I glance at my blog and see a typo or grammar error, I feel like I've been outed. From my perspective, the whole world sees my error and harshly judges me.

But in my defense, after squinting at a computer screen all day then coming home and doing it again for my own purposes, I can't always keep the mistakes from slipping in and unlike at work, there is no copyeditor reading behind me here.

So there. It's said. Or, rather, typed.

Now the actors wanna strike???!

Not for nuthin', but we don't have cable so Ima need these folks to show up for work. As it is there's barely any decent programming for me to watch because of the writers' strike last winter. Thank goodness "Lost" survived.

And since no one has suggested a book for me to read ... well this may be one long, hot summer indeed.

What will you do if the actors bail on us?

NPR on RFK Assassination and the Secret Service

I found this story fairly interesting as I didn't know all of this detail about the Secret Service and I used to date a special agent.

Anyways, check it out. It's part of a series about key moments of 1968.

Summer movies

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

More love and hate on the job front

I figured out what I hate about my new job: the paper pushing, too many meetings, arguing with folks on behalf of my people, management portion of it. I want to do good work, not talk about it in meetings!! When I'm actually working with someone on a project I'm happy. When I'm sitting in one of the many many many many meetings I literally want to jam a pencil in my eye. Management was supposed to be a small element of this gig. I was had. Hoodwinked. Bamboozled. Led astray.

But whatever, lesson learned, and I already know that I am not doing this right 'chere for too much longer, so don't cry for me Argentina. Nope, today I broke the glass on Plan B and am now just waiting for my carrier pigeon to return with the good news.

Like Anthony Anderson said in the movie "Two Can Play That Game," the CIA ain't got SHYT on a black woman with a plan.


I'm giving this the people's eyebrow.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Temps might get into the 90s this week...

Kenyan memories

This story reminds me of my wonderful trip to Nairobi in 2006. I took the first photo from my hotel window. The second photo is from Limuru, a small town north of Nairobi.

Tuesdays with Moron

For the past several years I've had a regular Tuesday lunch date with Gene Weingarten. We laugh, we cry, we laugh some more. OK, we mostly laugh. OK, so I laugh. And when I say "lunch date" I mean I log on to his weekly chat on washingtonpost.com.

Gene won a Pulitzer Prize this year, and while I don't really get his columns, I love his reported pieces: he's able to take the oddest idea and create wonderful stories.

I'm not sure what to make of this...

TOKYO (Reuters) - A Japanese man who was mystified when food kept disappearing from his kitchen, set up a hidden camera and found an unknown woman living secretly in his closet, Japanese media said Friday.

The 57-year-old unemployed man of Fukuoka in southern Japan called police Wednesday when the camera sent pictures to his mobile phone of an intruder in his home while he was out on Wednesday, the Asahi newspaper said on its Website.

Officers rushed to the house and found a 58-year-old unemployed woman hiding in an unused closet, where she had secreted a mattress and plastic drink bottles, the Asahi said. Police suspect she may have been there for several months, the paper said.

"I didn't have anywhere to live," the Nikkan Sports tabloid quoted the woman as telling police.

Local police confirmed that they had arrested a woman for trespassing, but would not comment further on the case.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Bill Cosby: Tie up your camel

I told you before and I'll say it again: visit this brother's blog. Here's an excerpt from his latest post:

Bill Cosby gets it. He gets that black America has devolved into a state of emergency. He gets that cowering behind excuses and encouraging a ‘woe is us’ mentality won’t solve our myriad problems any more than speaking about them privately or in hushed tones. Cosby also gets that the Joint Committees for Cultural Correctness and Keepin’ It Real reject him on the grounds that he’s “classist,” and hold him in Clarence Thomasonian esteem.

What remains a mystery to me is what his critics suggest be done to address the 70 per cent of black babies who are born to unwed mothers and fathers; the greater than 50 per cent high school drop-out rates in predominantly black public school systems across the country; the fact that one in four black men older than 35 has been incarcerated; or the fact that black women have the highest number of new incidences of HIV/AIDS of any group of women–among other pressing issues.

Sentencing for crack-related offenses

When I first started to read this story admittedly I came to it with a bit of cynicism. I'm glad that didn't keep me from finishing it. By the time I got to the end I found myself really hoping this man would be able to get it together. I'm glad he had developed strength of character as well as had the support of his long-time girlfriend to help him find his footing.

On another note though, would you wait for a boyfriend or girlfriend who was sentenced to 15 years in prison? My immediate reaction is no, but then I think about my husband and I have to say: depends on the circumstances.

Me, my husband and our travel baggage

Our little turnaround trip to New York City this weekend reiterated once more that my husband and I don't travel well together. After we got back to D.C. we went to dinner and talked about it and tried to get at what makes it all go left. Well, wait, let me back up and explain what happened.

Six weeks ago I decided I wanted to go see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. I asked Mr. SingLikeSassy if he wanted to go, too, and if there was a weekend that worked for him. He said, sure, late May. I bought the tickets, arranged transportation, made a dinner reservation and booked the hotel.

We get there a little later than planned, but still in time to check into the hotel, change clothes and make our dinner reservation which was right across the street from the theater. Our hotel was around the corner from the theater/restaurant. When we get to the room I can see that Mr. SingLikeSassy is in the early stages of developing a stank attitude. I ask him what's wrong but he says everything is fine. I know this is not so because I have to rush him so that we don't miss our reservation. He is passive aggressive. We have dinner and all seems well. We get to the play and all seems well. We leave the play and I'm like hey!! we're in the Big Apple, let's get your instrument (we never go anywhere without this instrument) and I'll be your groupie tonight while you clubhop and sit in on gigs. He says, no, let's just call it a night. I realize stank attitude is back in force. I ask, again, what's wrong and get the same answer. We go back to the hotel and I undress in silence while he sits on the edge of the bed staring at his shoes. I get in the bed and turn on HBO, find a movie and snuggle down in the sheets. He gets in at some point and reaches over and holds my hand. I start chanting something from the movie and he laughs and then we fall asleep.

We wake up and I just go ahead and say I am feeling some kind of way about last night. We try to talk about it, but aren't getting anywhere so we leave it alone as we have the rest of the day to hang out in the city. We have breakfast then go to the comic book store then take some photos then have caricatures made of us and then we head on back home.

I suggest we go out for dinner and while we're waiting for the tandoori chicken to arrive, I bring it up again. He comments that there are never things planned that reflect his interests. I respond that he always leaves it to me to plan our getaways and when I ask what he wants to do the response I get is: whatever I want to do is OK. As a result, I plan for what I want to do but then when we're doing them he feels like his interests haven't been included or taken into consideration so he pouts, which just pisses me off. He then says that to some extent he is expecting me to read his mind and I say well, you can't take a back seat role then be mad about where the ride takes you.

So our June and July getaways are his responsibility. We will do whatever he plans. I also said that in the future I would do more to build some of the things he's interested in into excursions I plan. Most importantly, we talked through this situation without yelling or any real drama.

I'll let you know what happens on the next trip, but in the interim, how do you handle travel plans with your mate?

What's the last book you read?

I'm in the middle of a couple of books, some fiction, some non-fiction and none of them are quite interesting enough to suck me in completely.

I'm looking for some suggestions for summer reading material. What's on your library list?

Also, are you a library person or do you feel you must own every book you read?

Review: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

First let me say that we had some pretty good seats, but the acoustics were bad or the sound engineer screwed up or something because we couldn't hear half of the lines. So, consider that when you read my review.

The set was gorgeous. Really well done, captured the mood, tone and feel of the era the play was set in (hot-azz Mississippi in the 1950s).

The wardrobe worked, too, especially Maggie's (Anika Noni Rose). It completely communicated that she was a goodlooking woman who liked nice things that made her look and feel pretty. Anika was hot when she needed to be, spicy when she needed to be, desperately in love when she needed to be, deprived when she needed to be -- she pulled it off. I believed.

Terrence Howard as Brick. Hm. Well, he sort of just...laid there. I know the character is supposed to be a lump of indifferent drunkeness, but somehow Terrence interpreted that to mean he wouldn't need to, well, act.

The other characters played their parts well enough -- James Earl Jones and Phylicia Rashad are always guaranteed to deliver.

All in all, I would recommend it.