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

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide

My husband is the first man I could talk to about ANYTHING. I can tell him the stuff that scares me, that worries me, that stresses me and he listens and tries to fix or soothe, depending on the situation.

Last week I finally brought two sets of my silverware over from my house 'cause I was tired of having to wash off a fork every time I wanted to eat something. It's something I wanted to do before, but ... hesitated. Now, you may be saying, whateva, you brought some forks over, but for me, it was BIG gigantic deal.

Later that same night Mr. SingLikeSassy and I were talking and I said to him that I was scared to sell my house because if for some reason this all goes sour and we don’t work out, where will me and my cats live? And I said, for me, all these little things I bring over in dribs and drabs -- forks, cheese grater, cds -- are GREAT BIG STEPS toward really stepping out on faith with this marriage thing. Up til now, we've been legally married, of course, but in a little part of my brain I've thought of my house as a safety net in case he don’t act right. Once the house is gone, I’ll REALLY be married. There will be no place to run. I am not used to relying on someone else. Like Destiny's Child said, "I take care of me." I'm still adjusting.

Rather than get upset with me or feel hurt, my husband just hugged me real tight and told me that I don't have to sell my house right now if I don't want to do so as he didn't want me feeling trapped or scared.

See why I love him? He *gets* me. I will sell the house, I will step out of the comfort zone, I will trust. Because I love. And he loves, too.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shut the F*** UP!

I can cuss like a longshoreman. I have tried halfheartedly to stop over the years, but sometimes, a good got-dayumit is needed to punctuate a statement. Lets you know I mean BIDNESS, shyt!

The problem is my husband doesn't cuss. Or, rather, he didn't cuss. He is around kids all day and developed other rated G expressions to use when frustrated. This summer, however, I've noticed that Mr. SingLikeSassy's mouth has become just as potty as mine. I am a bad influence. I really want to stop with the filthflarnfilthflarnfilth. So, in order to restore order and goodness to my husband's tongue before school resumes in a couple of weeks, I have vowed not to cuss for the month of August. I will need your help people. There is strength in numbers. Thanks in advance for your assistance.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Raising biracial children

Interesting essay on theroot.com today from a mom who is starting to get questions from her daughter about her race. Check it out and tell me what you think...

I bought some gas!

(see this post for background) And dang it, it cost me darn near $70! Now, granted, my tank was as close to empty as it could get, but still, that's a lot of money for my little car. Chaps me man!

Berry berry quite contrary

I eat some berry (or cherry) of some kind each and every day. Other people eat apples or bananas, I eat berries. It is the one fruit I can eat everyday.

I don't much care for bananas because the texture is wrong. I don't like mangos or papayas because their textures are wrong. Blech. Apples, oranges, pears, plums and peaches are OK, but I can't eat them everyday cause I don't quite like them enough.

Berries are high in fiber. Very high. And, suddenly, this is a problem. Somehow between winter and spring, I developed an intolerance for soy milk and berries, which both now make me extra, extra, extra, um, poopy. EXTRA POOPY. I have given up the soy, though it was the only way I could do a latte or eat cereal, but I can't let the berries go. Je refuse. I WILL OVERCOME!

The black man pocketbook

My uncles always used to tote some little bag with them and I always wondered what was in it, but never asked. But in my head it became "the black man's pocketbook." In the last few years or so I learned it's actually called a manbag.


Monday, July 28, 2008

Gettin' gassy

As I wrote earlier this month, I try to use public transpo as much as I can and fill my gas tank as little as possible. I have about a thimble's full worth of gas in my car right now.

I realized today that I might be carrying this a bit too far. I *know* I need to fill my gas tank, but yet ... I find some weird pleasure in the idea of filling my gas tank once a month. I'm beating the oil robber barons at their own game. Somehow.

I last put gas in my baby on July 5. I will not make it to Aug. 5 because we're driving down to the beach next week in my car ... but I intend to ride out this little bit o' gas for as long as I possibly can without damaging my car.

I'll let you know when I finally stop holding out and just get gassy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Introducing Janet!

While caught up in the momentum of decorating and revamping Mr. SingLikeSassy's house, we decided to get a plant. Her name is Janet (she's a Janet Craig bonsai plant) and we shall love, water and feed her as instructed.

Transforming a house, settling in to a marriage

This weekend the painters came and totally revamped Mr. SingLikeSassy's house (see this post for background info). I am afraid of color on the walls. At my house the colors are all whites and soft pastels. Our bedroom at Mr. SingLikeSassy's house is an earthy terra cotta, which I've loved since the first day I saw it. I've bought bedding to compliment it and put up some curtains (before he met me, my husband was showing all his goodies to the neighbors, as you could see straight through the matchstick blinds he had up) and basically embraced the bedroom wall color he chose.

I decided not to paint the whole house while he was traveling because I didn't want to make a decision as big as what color our living areas would be without his input. Yesterday when we were choosing colors, he wanted to paint one wall a chocolate brown. I vetoed for no reason other than I am scared of color on the walls. I wanted beige and beige, or rather, boring and boring. Mr. SingLikeSassy pressed a little and I decided it wasn't worth fighting over and that if it looked really awful, we could always paint that wall again. Best decision we ever made! It looks great!!!!! Here are some photos of the work and workers, who are a really cool family from El Salvador who have helped me with repairs at my house over the years.

Hello, again

Well, it's been a couple of weeks since I've posted in earnest, though I've been reading and responding to a couple of other bloggers during that time.

I've been debating if I should change the tone of this blog. I mostly use it as a place to post whatever is on my mind at any given time -- reality TV, how much I love my husband, movie reviews, my unhappiness with my new job etc. -- and from time to time I hit on some substantive topics, but I think there's more dessert than vegetables.

Anyways, that's where my head is at right now. Weigh in if you have thoughts or suggestions.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rhode Island is hot as hell!

I spent pretty much all of yesterday covered in sweat. That said, the wedding was beautiful, the bride looked gorgeous and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I have lots to write, but no time to write it...

Here's the shorthand version:

Mr. SingLikeSassy is back, though he is not completely done with his military obligation.

Work was so cool and laid back this week. Unfortunately, next week will likely be a different story.

My friend was in town and I realized how much I missed her.

I am traveling to a wedding this weekend in a state I've never visited.

We decided I would be a SAHM if our frozen embryo sticks. I got my prescriptions filled and am on the ready when cycle day 1 comes around next month.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Reverting back to single mode

Mr. SingLikeSassy has been gone long enough now for me to start shifting back to single mode. You know what I mean, you put something down and come back later to find it in the same place you left it. You have the whole bed to yourself. The shower curtain closed all the time the way you like and there are no chin hairs in the sink.

I told him today he better hurry and get home before the transition is irreversible.

There are plans and then, there's life

This post caused me to reflect all weekend on this: no matter how you think things will turn out, despite all your planning and goalsetting, life will sometimes throw you a monkeywrench.

My friend has *never* wanted children and never thought she would get married, while it was always a given that I would do both.

Earlier this year when I was doing my first (and possibly only) IVF cycle, she questioned why I was going to so many lengths to have a kid. Now, here she is with a baby on board and happy about it (I'm still shocked by her reaction as this is someone who did not want children with a capital HELL NO!) and here I am barren and mostly OK with it.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Operation purge and merge is a success!

I am officially declaring victory in the battle to get most of my husband's junk out of his house and some of my stuff in it! (Read this for background)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Frozen embryo stays on ice

Today is the first day of my cycle. I was supposed to call my infertility clinic today and tell them so they could get me on a sked for transferring our one little frozen embryo...but, I didn't. I want one more month of not sticking myself with needles, no daily doctor visits and not obsessing about my hormone levels. Maybe next month?

"One martini, six olives"

It took us six months after our wedding last September to decide we would live in Mr. SingLikeSassy's house instead of mine. The tipping point was when I got a new job that's walking distance from his house. In the four months since we made that decision, I've asked him to clear space in his house for my things. He has moved stuff from place to place, but try as he might -- and he has put in a good faith effort -- nothing has actually left the house because Mr. SingLikeSassy is a pack rat.

Everything has some sentimental or other value to him. The piece of music his beloved and now deceased mentor arranged for him. The letter some student wrote him years ago telling him how much they loved his class. I see the value in those things, too, but his house is too small for us to keep each and every momento, so we have to make some hard decisions.

To help get things started, I have taken it upon myself to sort through his junk and throw stuff away while he's traveling this month. In just a couple of days I've made significant progress. This weekend I have my handyman coming over here to give me an estimate for painting and making some small repairs here and there. I'm also going to have him bring over a rug, chair and table from my basement and my dining table.

When I told him my plan and that I could wait on the painting until he came back to weigh in as I didn't want to make a decision about the whole house without his input, he said not to wait for him, he trusts my judgment. So, when Mr. SingLikeSassy returns, *his* house will be *our* house.

Once I get stuff like I want it here, I will aggressively get my house ready for sale. I'll be sad to sell my house because it officially ends the single chapter -- more like volume -- of my life. But it will be nice to put that mortgage payment in the bank and to not be responsible for it anymore. And, of course, I am building a life with Mr. SingLikeSassy, which is the whole point of this marriage thing.

Was it hard for you to merge households?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Choosing to be happy

I responded to this post about getting beyond trust issues on the "Black And Married With Kids" blog and someone challenged my response. I responded to the poster, but decided to expound on the subject here in my own house.

I operate from this basic belief: life is about choices. In *most* situations we have a choice. In the situation briefly described in the post, that person has a choice: let situations from the past keep them from moving forward or choose to move forward and be happy. I realize that some people will always choose to wallow in their pain, will always choose "unhappy." That's their business, but please PLEASE understand that you are MAKING THE CHOICE to be unhappy.

The person who responded to my initial post said "kids and bills" and being "the scorned one" can make it hard to get past the pain and learn to trust. She also said "maybe some ppl can get over it quicker if sex was the only thing exchanged."

My answer is the same no matter how deep or shallow the relationship you experienced the hurt in was: You. Have. A. Choice.

Choosing to be happy may not be easy and will most likely take some work to achieve, but I believe it will always be a better choice than staying stuck and relinquishing your power and your joy to someone else who is likely off living their life and not thinking about you.

There's a saying used often on another blog I follow, "Rantings of a Creole Princess" that I think sums it up perfectly: Living well is the best revenge.

Choose to be happy. Then BE happy.

When life throws you lemons, make lemonade and add vodka

My best friend, former roommate and line sister told me she was pregnant yesterday.

It was unexpected and unplanned as she has never wanted a child or wanted to be pregnant. I was worried she might terminate because she's made it clear since we were 20, that if she could find someone to tie her tubes, she would get it done.

But, faced with the real decision, she's decided to be a mom. I'm glad.

'Meet Dave'

Is anyone going to see this movie other than Eddie's children, Charlie Murphy and Uncle Vernon?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Who even cares if brothas want white women?

Blog: BLACK WOMEN, BLOW THE TRUMPET!: WHO EVEN CARES IF BROTHAS WANT WHITE WOMEN?

This issue always puzzles me. Why would I care about the race or ethnicity of the person someone else chooses to marry??! Lisa summed up the various issues well in her post.

Do you get worked up, or care very much, about this issue?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Affirmative Action?

I'll agree, there are a lot of things that our community needs to do to get itself together, but just because I have ten dollars doesn't mean I should turn around and say, "the rest of y'all nigras shoulda figured this thing out the first go round."

This is the end of a response to this post over at AverageBro.com. It's an interesting discussion about whether or not Affirmative Action is still needed today, among other things.

Missing Mr. SingLikeSassy

My husband has been gone since Saturday a.m. and I haven't had a good night's sleep since he left. It's odd how much you can become connected to a person, your rhythms synched to theirs, your body attuned to theirs ... I've noticed that the quiet in the house is so much more quiet -- and creepy -- than it is when he's here. It doesn't feel safe here. I'm used to him being here as my protector from imagined and real dangers. And spiders.

Mr. SingLikeSassy is a musician, so music is always playing in our house. But since he and his instruments are gone for most of the month and he usually is the one in charge of our music, I haven't been able to recreate that environment. And I don't know that I want to. I love it when he goes through his music collection or when he's excited about some new music or musician he's discovered. I especially love listening to him when he practices.

Plus, we bond over music. Sometimes he plays the piano (that's not his main instrument) and I sing. We buy sheet music to all my favorite musicals and even though he hates the movies, he will play the songs for me and let me sing to my heart's desire. He's working on the "Mrs. SingLikeSassy" song. We even have music wars sometime where we see who can find the best version of a song. We did that with Águas de Março last week and sat in the car outside the movie theater jamming to the version we both decided was the "best" one.

But it's not just that. I'm used to him waking up before me and turning on some jazz -- either something he's recorded or something I haven't heard before -- then kissing me and wishing me a good day before he leaves the house. I'm used to coming home and being greeted at the door with a hug and a "hey baby." Now I wake up to silence, come home to silence.

I hate it here with him gone. Hate. it. Sigh.

Blacks who "sound black"

"...blacks who "sound black" earn almost 10 percent less, even after taking into account other factors that could influence earnings. One piece of interesting good news is that blacks who do not "sound black" earn essentially the same as whites."


Read the rest here in the N.Y. Times' "Freakonimics" blog.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seven Deadly Sins

Went bloghopping and found this meme based on the seven deadly sins. If you do the meme, please leave a link in the comments so I’ll know to check your responses.

Anger
1. Who did you last get angry with? coworker
2. What is your weapon of choice? Sarcasm
3. Would you hit a member of the opposite sex? yes
4. How about of the same sex? yes
5. Who was the last person who got really angry at you? Not sure.
6. What is your pet peeve? people who have entitlement issues.
7. Do you keep grudges, or can you let them go easily? i don't hold grudges, but I may deal with you differently once you've shown me who you are

Sloth
1. What is one thing you’re supposed to do daily that you haven’t done in a long time? wash dishes. thankfully Mr. SingLikeSassy has been all over that
2. What is the latest you’ve ever woken up? 2 pm
3. Who have you been meaning to contact, but haven’t? an old jr. high friend who has emailed me two or three times now
4. What is the last lame excuse you made? I have to watch "Lost"
5. Have you ever watched an infomercial all the way through (one of the long ones…)? Yes, the furniture direct one
6. How many times did you hit the snooze button on your alarm clock today? Zero. No alarm clock

Gluttony
1. What is your overpriced yuppie beverage of choice? A shaken green tea lemonade with two pumps instead of the six they usually put in it
2. Meat eaters are…: cool with me
3. What is the greatest amount of alcohol you’ve had in one sitting/outing/event? whew. several glasses of wine topped by several martinis. I paid so dearly for that the next day
4. Have you ever used a professional diet company? yes, weight watchers
5. Do you prefer sweets, salty foods or spicy foods? Spicy.

Lust
1. Have you ever caught yourself staring at the chest/crotch of a member of your gender of choice during a normal conversation? I do that to my husband sometimes. It's a great view. LOL!
2. What is your favorite body part on a person of your gender of choice? eyes
3. Have you ever been made a proposition by a prostitute? Good lord no
4. Have you ever had to get tested for an STD or pregnancy? Yes, I've had pregnancy tests (hello, if you've read my blog you should know this) and STD tests. I think any sexually active adult nowadays who hasn't had an HIV test -- and doesn't require the same of their partner -- before getting intimate is crazy.
5. Is love at first sight really lust? Prolly. But if the chemistry is there, that's not necessarily a bad starting point.

Greed
1. How many credit cards do you own? four, butI only use AMEX
2. What’s your guilty pleasure store? I don't shop enough to have a guilty pleasure store
3. If you had $1 million, what would you do with it? invest and donate to various charities
4. Would you rather be rich or famous? rich.
5. Would you accept a boring job if it meant you would make megabucks? sure. I'd do it for a year and save the loot then go do what I wanted to do
6. Have you ever stolen anything? yes, i've stolen some hearts. LOL!
7. How many mp3s are on your hard drive? I share with my husband and we have 15K between four computers

Pride
1. What is one thing you have done that you’re most proud of? the career and financial stability I created for myself before I got married
2. What’s one thing you’ve done that your parents are most proud of? buying my house
3. What thing would you like to accomplish in your life? becoming a jazz vocalist
4. Do you get annoyed by coming in second place? not if I didn't put the work in to earn first place
5. Have you ever entered a contest of skill, knowing you were of much higher skill than all the other competitors? no. seems like that would be boring
6. Have you ever cheated on something to get a higher score? yes. my computer scrabble game. I use the dictionary. LOL!
7. What did you do today that you’re proud of? umm...get back to me after I've officially gotten out of the bed

Envy
1. What item (or person) of your friends would you most want to have for yourself? nothing
2. Who would you want to go on Trading Spaces with? my husband
3. If you could be anyone else in the world, who would you be? i'll stick with the devil I know
4. Have you ever been cheated on? yes
5. Have you ever cheated? yes

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Why I love living in D.C.

I grew up in a southern city during the 70s and 80s. There was little multiculturalism or diversity. People were black or white and no matter the color, you were Christian. It wasn't until I moved to D.C. that I was exposed to people of different ethnicities and backgrounds.

When I first moved here I met a guy from Grenada and we dated for several years. His circle of friends were more African and Caribbean than Black American. It was ... interesting. At first. But after a bit, though he would never admit it, cultural differences came between us. He had some expectations of me that I recognized from observing the women in his family and among his friends, that I would not and could not conform to. I was not going to work all day and come home and take care of a grown man and a gaggle of children. I wanted -- and married -- a partner not a master.

Don't get me wrong. I take care of Mr. SingLikeSassy. He gets homecooked meals and pampered, but he also reciprocates and more than that, he doesn't EXPECT those things and is gracious when I do them.

But back on topic. When I go home, I still don't really encounter a diverse group of people. Whereas in D.C. I regularly socialize with Latinos, Africans, Filipinos, Koreans, Chinese and East Indians as well as black and white friends. I also know people from different religious backgrounds: Muslims, athiests, Unitarians, Jews, Catholics.

My world -- and worldview -- expanded when I moved here. And I love D.C. for that.

Who's in your circle of friends? Was your social circle diverse when you were growing up?

On the other hand

Reading this today reminded me that as a kid I wanted to be a lefty so badly that I tried to retrain myself to write with the left hand. Just another example of me trying to be "different" and change myself into someone else. (<--see the post before this one for more detail). But, I remain a righty. I am a bit ambidextrous, however.

How about you? Which hand do you use?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Lies and lying liars

Mr. SingLikeSassy is out of town for the rest of the month and I'm watching this old LiLo movie "Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen," which reminded me that I was the lying-est something when I was a kid.

My parents weren't happy as a couple and they fought a lot until they got tired of that and divorced. To drown out the yelling, I read and watched old movies. As a result, I had a real active imagination and often I couldn't disengage from it. Someone would ask me the most simple question and before I could even stop myself I would lie. I created whole stories and scenarios for my life that were nothing like the one I was living. Sort of like Penny on "Good Times." I get a funny feeling now when a memory of one of my lies pops into my head as most of them were easily debunked.

In high school I decided to be "myself." For a little bit I tried to be a mashup of Prince and Madonna. My school environment wasn't into "different" or "artistic" so I eventually conformed. Worst mistake of my life. It took me a long time to get the courage to be "myself" again. For that matter it took me a long time to figure out who "myself" is/was.

I look back now and see I was a really screwed up kid who needed...something. Attention? Love? I dunno. I eventually grew out of the lying, but every now and again I find myself embellishing a story and I get a little scared that the mixed up kid is resurfacing. I remember so badly wanting a different life and wanting to leave home and all it contained, behind me. I left for college at 17 and never went back home. It puzzles me how no one in my family left my hometown but me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm close to my mom and dad, but I've learned I'm not the kind of person who wants or needs to be surrounded by aunts, uncles, cousins etc. There's always some tiff or dysfunction or some kind of foolishness playing out over something someone said or whatever and it's all petty and silly. And my parents and brother have a jacked up dysfunctional relationship that I do my best to ignore.

But those early experiences are also why I am a very insular person. I see other people with all these real intense friendships where there are expectations to do certain things and respond and engage in certain ways and it all seems tiresome to me. I have a friend who is really needy -- she wants to hang out all of the time and get together and do stuff -- and all of that is too much for me. But rather than meet me where I'm at, she continues to push and need. Eventually I will shut the door and our "friendship" will be over.

Do you ever lie? If so, why?

Friday, July 4, 2008

How I cope with the gas "crisis"

I live really close to public transportation and use it frequently to commute to work or to get to other places that I can access via the Metro or MetroBus.

But I hail from the South where you need a car to get around and have not been able to convince myself in the nine years I've lived in the D.C. area to go without a car. This year the rising cost of gas helped push me toward taking some action I had talked about but hadn't done.

I own a roadster (4-years-old with less than 25K miles on the odometer) that only uses premium gas and I've been paying more than $4/gallon for awhile now. Recently, I've started walking to and from work and hopefully that will net dividends in my pocketbook and my waistline.

The result is that I last filled my tank on June 1. Yes, more than a month ago. My goal is to get one last summer in with the top back and then sell the car this fall. My husband owns a car, too, (he actually uses his bike to get around most of the time) and I think we can become a one car family. It would save us even more money because we would reduce our insurance and maintenance bills, and the proceeds from selling my car could be added to our savings.

What are you doing to offset rising gas costs?