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

Saturday, June 27, 2009

What Michael Jackson meant to me

It's hard to put into words how he and his family's music impacted my life, but I'll try.

There are the memories of me and my cousin Chris in his living room playing the Jacksons' records over and over and over again while Chris drilled it into me that I not only had to learn the lead and background vocals, but I needed to know the drum score, the bass track, guitar riffs etc. and I had to know who was singing and playing what and when. It was my first "music" lesson and it's how I listen to music now -- in layers. Mr. SLS loves that I can dissect a song in that way.

There's the Jacksons' Christmas album that Mama SLS has played every year since I was a kid. Christmas didn't begin until that tape was popped in and the tape was garbled at one spot in "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" so I only know it with the garbled part. I talked about it so much that Mr. SLS bought me a new cd of it 2 years ago and the tradition lives on in our house.

When my parents separated we stayed with my Grandma for two years while they argued it out. During this time, my daddy bought me a stereo for my room at home and the Jacksons albums as well as Off The Wall to listen to -- but I couldn't take them to Grandma's. When we would go home on the weekends (yes, it was odd to go home to my own house and room and friends) I would play the Triumph album over and over.

Which leads me to the first concert I ever went to -- The Jacksons' Triumph tour. My uncle took me, Chris and our other cousin to the concert and, even though I was 10 and there was no Interwebz, I knew that Randy had hurt his leg in a car accident and was still rehabilitating it on this tour. The best part of the concert was afterward though. We left a little bit early because my uncle wanted to beat the traffic and as we drove down the highway I looked to my right and saw a limousine with the windows down and sweaty men with towels over their heads in it. IT WAS THE JACKSONS!!! I excitedly pointed and told everyone in the car and we all waved and they smiled and waved back.

On Thursday, I called Chris to see if he remembered that, too, or if I had just dreamed it, but he recounted it just like I remembered. When we got back to Grandma's house (this is while my parents were still divorcing), Chris and I re-enacted the whole concert for our moms and Grandma. LOL!

Then there was the Victory tour. I was at my Granny's house and my cousin Chris called to say he was going to the concert in our hometown because a friend was taking him along. I had been calling into the radio contests for a month trying to win tickets and I started crying because he would go and I couldn't get tickets. I called my best friend, Candy (BTW we both had Michael Jackson curls at the time), and we hatched up a plan to run away from home so we could see this concert somehow. Thankfully somewhere along the way we realized that was just stupid, so I called Mama SLS and for the first and only time in my life I TOLD her what to do: "Get me tickets to see Michael Jackson. And do it NOW."

Rather than slap me through the phone for being cheeky, she actually understood where I was coming from, called Candy's mom and the two got us tickets to the concert in Knoxville, Tenn., and a week later they DROVE US across various states to see this concert. Candy and I wore our best MJ get ups complete with gloves and all that. I kept the ticket stub, souvenir book and other memorabilia under my mattress for years and years.

I spent a good part of my youth thinking I would marry Michael Jackson. I wrote him letters. I bought magazines and books about him, hung his posters, talked about him incessantly and joined his fan club. It tripped me out that people had to run out and buy his music on Thursday. Real fans, like myself, already had it in the rotation.

My family has been calling me for the past two days because they knew I would be upset about his death. My mother called TWICE to make sure I was OK. She knew. She knew.

I won't pretend that I wasn't disappointed about the latter part of MJ's life. But that's not the Michael I think of now. I pray for his kids and family as I know this has devastated them.

And I hope that Michael has found peace.

I leave you with this song, Destiny, which even as I kid I always thought spoke to the "real" Michael Jackson. Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekend learning experience

I don't know if I've said this before, but I haven't spent much time with children as an adult. We don't have many in my family and even if there were, I haven't lived near my family since I graduated from college. None of my single friends have kids and my married friends with kids live in other states and cities far away. Our married friends here are DINKs like us.

Mr. SLS obviously gets a lot of exposure to children as a teacher, but that's not the same as parenting. SO we decided now that his niece was older and potty trained, we should spend more time with her and her brother as a test run of sorts.

This past weekend we took them to lunch, then to a movie and then played with them. It was exhausting!! And stressful!! The dynamics between us changed dramatically as obviously we couldn't focus on each other as we do normally. The whole experience made me pause and wonder if being a mom was what I really wanted to do. Or should do.

Luckily Mr. SLS was wondering the same thing so we discussed and decided we need to spend more time with these kids (who are not bratty or whatever, just regular kids) in the next few months before we do our next cycle.

But all this makes me wonder, why is it so easy for other people to just have babies and keep it moving? I think about stuff too much, I spose.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Parking tickets

Every now and again I watch the show "Parking Wars" and even though I hate to get tickets, I find it hard as heck to feel sympathy for the people on this show who get ticketed and booted.

For example, there will be people who owe hundreds of dollars in unpaid tickets and then the car gets booted and they get mad. But you owe money for unpaid tickets! It's not like it's a random booting.

Or they will park in a no parking zone so they can run in and get a sandwich then get mad when they get a ticket. OK, it only took you 2 mins, but you were in a NO PARKING ZONE. That doesn't mean no parking for everybody but you. That doesn't mean no parking except for the couple of minutes people need to go get their sandwich. It means no parking. None. Nada. Zilch.

Yeah, yeah, they cut the film to show the parking folks in the best light, but still they couldn't show these meltdowns if they didn't happen.

Now, where I *do* feel sorry for people is when they get to the impound lot, cause it seems really disorganized and often people seem to get lots of wrong information from the workers there. I would have a full on meltdown at the impound lot based on some of the situations I've seen on the show.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A great in-law outing

Yesterday was my brother-in-law's wife's birthday so we all got together for dinner and drinks, then went to hear Mr. SLS play some jazz.

It was cool to hang out drinking and partying with my in-laws. Everybody was relaxed and making jokes and cutting up and it was one of the best times I've had with them. I think my sister-in-law has accepted our relationship boundaries as she did not mention doing my hair.

On another note, Mr. SLS has been playing a lot of gigs lately and we've been hanging out til the wee hours for the past month or so. We haven't stayed in the street like this since before we were married. I love being his groupie. LOL!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I hate taking meds

I'm the kind of person who will take a nap if I have a headache. If something hurts, I'll just suck it up. I *hate* taking meds.

Part of the reason is that I am paranoid that I'll develop a resistance and then I'll catch the heebeegeebees and they won't be able to save me.

No, I don't know what the heebeegeebees is. No, I don't know who this *they* is who are supposed to do all this saving of my life.

But moving on!

In the past year and a half of infertility treatments, I've taken more meds than I did in the previous 30-some years of my life.

Now, I have to take four pills a day for various and sundry issues and there's one additional pill I take when an issue pops up. I'm about to get a pill box like an old lady cause I can't remember half the time if I took this or that pill.

But the most important question is, do I feel better? No, not really. I don't feel worse either. Which is why I'm considering chunking the deuce on this pill poppin' ish.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Beep! Beep!

I am an aggressive driver. Most people don't like to ride with me because they fear for their lives, which is fine with me cause I don't like shotgun riders, as most of mine spend the ride saying "OH GIRL YOU ARE DRIVING TOO FAST!" or "YOU JUST TURNED LEFT FROM THE RIGHT LANE YOU COULD HAVE KILLED US!" (cept for Mr. SLS because my driving doesn't scare him).

I can do a lot of what I do in my car because it sits low, is nimble, it has a lot of engine power and it's manual shift so I can downshift for a burst of acceleration when I need it. If you like to drive 20 mph in the 20 mph zone, don't get in my car. If you are the kind of person who won't pull out into the intersection to make a left turn, don't get into my car. If you slow down to a crawl to turn a corner, don't get in my car. If I can walk faster than you drive, DON'T GET IN MY CAR.

::peels away from curb on two wheels::

Thursday, June 11, 2009

This is so funny to me I had to post about it

From VH1:
4.2 million viewers tuned in to see Ray J pick his leading lady on the For the Love of Ray J finale episode. Cocktail was crowned the winner and all seemed great for the happy couple. We next saw them on the reunion episode where both let viewers know they were excited to see how their relationship would progress! Ray J thought he had found “the one” but unfortunately, things didn’t work out – and he’s now single again.

As viewers saw last season, dating a hip-hip star is a full-time job which includes red carpet events, the paparazzi and handling all the crazy fans. For Ray J, dating has never been an issue – it’s finding the perfect woman that can be harder than you think… especially when you’re a celebrity. Since things didn’t exactly work out with his last girlfriend, Ray J is back to give love a second chance. As R&B’s most eligible bachelor, Ray J is determined to find a woman he can settle down with.

VH1 is looking for women with confidence, personality and class that can handle the pressure of being with a superstar and turn Ray J into a one-woman man. Beginning today, viewers and fans will have the opportunity to submit themselves for consideration on For the Love of Ray J 2. Online users can log onto VH1’s For the Love of Ray J 2 casting site at www.rayjcasting.com.

They let folks write their own promotional copy over at VH1? Ray J ain't no R&B superstar. No sir. He is at best a C list "star," assuming you can be a star on the C list. Before he did the first iteration of this little BS show wasn't nobody checkin' for his short azz. This is hilarious to me.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I love you until I don't

My cousin Chris, the one who is like the big brother I never had, is getting divorced.

When he brought his soon-to-be ex-wife around 12 years ago, I'll admit I preferred this other woman he was seeing that I had befriended. His other girl was really cool, pretty, smart and we were in the same sorority.

But my cousin told me he preferred the woman who would later become his wife. So, I left it alone. He loved her and it was his choice -- and life -- at the end of the day.

Until the other day, I've never been rude to his wife. In fact, I went out of my way to be nice and friendly to her because not one other person in our family liked her or wanted him to marry her. And when my family decides not to like you, they will make your life hard indeed. I figured until she did something to me or hurt my cousin, it was all good.

Why does my family hate her so? She lied. All the time. About everything. First, she said her kids (she had two when he met her) had the same father. That turned out to be a lie. She said she had been married before and had left her husband. Lie. She told me she went to college and pledged a different sorority than the one I am a member of. Lie. If she was talking she was lying.

While they were dating Grandma invited her to an event and she wore the shortest, tackiest, sluttiest dress for miles around embarrassing our grandmother. After she bent over one time too many my Grandma said, "Everyone here is dressed like a lady except you. Go put some clothes on cause I'm tired of seeing the top of your ass crack every time you bend over."

I'm sure there are good things about her, too, I just can't think of any of them.

Now, after almost 10 years of marriage, this couple is done-zo. She found a new man and decided she didn't want to be married anymore. When my cousin told me about the pending divorce, we had a good long talk about relationships etc. No matter what *we* saw, he loved his wife, lumps, bumps, lies and all.

When she called me Sunday asking for something -- I don't know what, cause I cut her short -- I was rude to her. I'm wrong for that. In our whole family, I am the *one* person who has been consistently nice to her, so whatever she needed, I'm prolly the only one she could ask.


Yes, I know I'm going to hell.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The week ended on a good note

I know the other day I was in some kinda kooky mood, but all that's worked out.

Last night I went out and did a little drinking and played groupie to the hubby on his gig. And I got up this morning and took the car to be inspected and then renewed the registration.

I had a crazy but fun couple of days at work, I've got two writing assignments and the housekeeper left the house all lemon-y fresh so, basically, the mood has lifted.

I'm feeling G-doubleO - good.

Have a great weekend all!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Reconnecting with "great things"

A couple of weeks ago I had a chance to catch up with my high school boyfriend. It was really cool! He was still the same nice fella I remembered from all those years ago.

I always find it odd when I bump into people who knew me way back when and they say "I knew you were going to do great things" or something along those lines. This has happened more times than I can count.

First, while I admit I have done some interesting things, I dunno that I've done "great things" and secondly, what about me all those years ago communicated "great things are in her future?" And most importantly, why did no one tell me to relax and stop stressing the heck out cause you're going to do "great things" in the future?!

What Would You Do?

From today's Ask Amy column
DEAR AMY: Our 19-year-old daughter has decided she does not have to abide by the curfew her father and I give her.

If we tell her to be home by 1 a.m., she never gets home before 2 a.m. She always turns up at least an hour late.

As I write this, it is 4 a.m. and she was told to be home an hour and a half ago. She is still not home.

When I call her, the response is always, "I'm on my way," and then she arrives at least two hours later.

Each time I say something to her, she says, "Sorry, I was having fun."

She has always been a good daughter but we don't know what to do now because she just keeps doing her own thing when it comes to her curfew.

She thinks that at 19 she should stay out as late as she wants.

Her father and I want this stopped without threatening her.

We don't want to take away the car keys from the car we bought for her.

We need something effective that will work without causing our very close family to crumble.

Her late nights are disrupting our lives. Help! -- Oh So Tired Mom
I'm not posting Amy's response here, but rather would like to hear what other parents would do in this situation.

When I came home after my freshman year in college I had a 1 a.m. curfew (I had just turned 18). One thing I learned early on is that my mama said what she meant and meant what she said. So when Mama SLS said be IN the house by 1 a.m. I figured she meant that thang.

That was the last time I ever lived with either of my parents. Their house, their rules. My house, MY rules.

But every kid is different. Those same rules she set in stone my brother openly flaunted and never adhered to...with no reprecussions beyond her getting mad and my dad getting irritated because there was drama.

Where I was afraid to cross the line because I had been taught early on that actions had consequences and grown folks actions had grown folks consequences, my brother was a habitual linecrosser (to steal from Charlie Murphy).

It's interesting to see how our lives have turned out...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I'm in a mood and it ain't sentimental

I have a bajillion forms and papers to fill out and tests to take so that I can have this surgery and be away from work for six weeks. It's overwhelming.

I also need to get my car inspected this week so I can renew my registration and I haven't done it yet and am clearly waiting until the last minute to do it which is not generally how I handle my business.

There are other things I need to do poste haste but I just can't quite muster up the energy to tackle them. I'm in a funk of some kind. More than once in the past two weeks I've gone home and been asleep almost 30 minutes after I got there...I'm not even tired, I just want to be asleep.

Addendum: A coworker just asked if I was OK, because I wasn't my usual sassy and sparkling self, so clearly I am noticeably off my game.


On a really random note, how did you and your mate decide which side of the bed you would sleep on? It's funny but when we slept at my house we were on the opposite sides of where we are now.

Our beds are set up the same way in relation to the door, but, at my house I slept closest to the door. When I started spending the night with Mr. SLS we both just automatically switched positions and he slept closest to the door.

Now, I *can't* sleep closest to the door no matter where we sleep or how the bed is positioned.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Me and my barnacle-covered uterus

Well, my recent MRI revealed that I have many many more fibroids than were detected via sonogram. They are also spread all over and protude into my uterus so I am unable to do a less invasive procedure and have to get cut. I'll be out of work for six weeks recovering.

Both my reproductive endocrinologist and primary care doc recommended the surgeon who has the *best* bedside manner I have ever encountered. When he called to give me the results of my MRI, he asked how I was, if I felt OK, if I was having a good day etc., then told me the results, responded to my questions and told me to call him if I had other questions later. Just really nice and patient. And his voice is very soothing.

All in all, I'm not worried because I feel I am under the best care since all my docs (primary, RE, gynecological surgeon) are in touch and aligned in terms of my care, my health and our ultimate goal of trying to have a baby.