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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Thanks, thanks and thanks, again

A lot of jacked up stuff happened this year.

My Granny died.

My marriage crashed and burned.

I got pregnant from our last IVF cycle, but it ended up being an ectopic pregnancy.

My mama had another mini-stroke.

My brother had a heart attack.

My tenants decided to stop paying rent and D.C. is making it hard as hell for me to evict them.

I got shingles.

I lost and gained 30 pounds.

I got an $8k bill from the IRS because I made an error on our taxes.

I could go on. And on.

But this post is really about saying thanks.

Thank you to Honeysmoke, TiffanyInHouston, Stylin' & Profilin', TravelDiva, Lottie, CreoleinDC and every other person who has looked out for me this year. Every one of you who let me cry, who listened to me whine, who convinced me to get the hell out of the house, who read my stories on this blog and offered some advice or a woo woo woo. ALL Y'ALL!

I just wanted all of you to know, I appreciate you. And thank you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Mamas: You can live with them and you can't live without them!

My mama cleaned her "room" (it's really my office that doubles as a guest room but she calls it "her room") before she left! I guess she noted all my nervous tics from the mess.

However she did call me at 7:58 a.m. (I didn't hear the phone, I was asleep) and left a message saying, "OH! I forgot that you don't get up until 8:15 a.m. then do a crazy race to get out of house and get to work by 9:15 a.m. even though you should be there at 9 a.m. I'll call back in 20 minutes."

O__o to my mama whom I love love love! LOL!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hope and Prayers

Every holiday, without fail, some drama comes up with my brother. We have spent many a Christmas/Thanksgiving/Fourth of July/Labor Day evening in the ER.

My brother has always been the more healthy-looking and active one of us two because he played sports. But then about two years ago he suddenly put on a LOT of weight. I'm talking a LOOOOOOTT of weight. As a result he now has heart troubles and high blood pressure.

If you recall from this post, health issues kept my brother from our Granny's funeral and my parents -- and the doc -- gave him some ultimatums: take your meds, lose some weight, get your life together, or die.

According to my parents and uncle, he started taking the meds and exercising again and he has lost some weight. By all measures he was DOING something and for my brother, this is monumental because he has stood still in the same place for several years.

But last night my dad called: my brother had a heart attack. He's 34.

Luckily he is alive and my mom has talked to him. We managed to rebook my mom's travel arrangements that were canceled yesterday and she's heading home in an hour.

This is the kind of thing that will set my brother back rather than spur him to try even harder to get healthy. That's his nature.

So I ask here for your prayers that his health AND his motivation is restored.

Thanks.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Why I Can't Live With My Mother

I am not squeaky clean by anyone's measure, but I do like things to be neat and I do have a certain way I like for things to be done.

Still, aren't there some things that are universally done?

My mama is messy. As hell. I MEAN MESSY. And it's funny that all the things she complains about my brother doing, she does.

Like, for example, leaving her plate on the kitchen counter NEXT to the sink. I don't understand that!

Leaving cups and spoons and bottles all over the house from her coffee/cocoa/sparkling water breaks.

Pots in the refrigerator.

Empty ice trays.

Towel on the bathroom floor. TOWEL ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR.

Coat(s), scarf and hat laying on the sofa (we have a hook behind the front door for all coats, hats and scarves).

After she got my office/guest room all messy and disorganized, she decided to come in my bedroom and bring a whole bunch of blankets and books and cups.

I love my mama, I do. But she gotta go the hell home! My nerves are bad! I'm about to turn Rainman on her!! Please baby jesus, hold the snow for one more day so I can get her back down South and safely in her own house among her mess.

::lights cigarette, chases Xanax with vodka to steady hands::

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I got nothing for you today...

Nothing gossip-y or mean or personal, that is, but I DO want to extend a Christmas blessing to each and every one of you who joins me here in this space.

I know this year has given many of us some sharp lefts and rights, but we're still HERE so let's be thankful and send out many good vibes for a wonderful new year.

Hug your kids, hug your wife and hug your husbands. Run and tell dat! (OK, I did riff a little on Antoine there but you get what I'm saying...)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

SMILE! You're on Candid Camera!

I was raised that you don't take pictures with any and everybody. My parents said you never know how that photo will be used later so be judicious about who (and how) you are captured skinnin' and grinnin' with.

That was an easy rule to follow before cell phones, but now I stay extra careful cause I don't want any crazy pics of me popping up on the Interwebz ruining any future career and romance options.

There seems to be a new phenomenom (new to me anyway) in the dating world where dudes want you to text them pics. Let me step back. Dudes you just met want you to send them a pic. What is that about?! Why would I send you a pic of me? Who are you again?! No. I'm married (still) and I've only sent my husband one or two pics of me via phone because I wanted him to see my freshly done hair or something like that. I damn sho ain't sending some strange dude my pic.

Ladies, are you doing this? Please tell me no. I know this has been an issue with the young peoples and sending nekkid pics, but please tell me that grown azz women are not clicking pics -- nekkid or otherwise! -- and sending 'em to random dudes?

Guys, are you making these requests? Why? What do you intend to do with these photos?? What is this about?! 'Splain this!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Do you do this, too?

When I first moved here I wasn't used to a cold winter. I didn't have heavy coats, gloves, scarves and all that.

It took me four years to cave and get a real coat.

It took me another two years to get hats, gloves and all that.

Now I have several coats -- casual, dress, trench, short and long. I even have two vintage fur coats my Granny gave me.

What I have not bought are snow boots. I need some snow boots. I have been looking at snow boots for at least two years. Why won't I buy snow boots?! I saw some cute ones on sale this weekend and I looked at them and thought, I should get those but then I thought, well, maybe next time.

How many years do you think I'm going to let my foot get wet before I buy some snow boots? I have lived here for 11 years now.

O_o <--side-eyeing my own self.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mamas know their babies!

So this weekend I had something cosmetic done. It's verrrrry subtle. Very subtle.

I saw two people who have known for me 10 years immediately after I had this done. Neither of them noticed.

My husband didn't notice, though he did keep looking at me so I think he sensed something was changed but wasn't quite sure.

When I picked my mom up last night the first thing she said before hello or hugging or kissing me was, "you got blahblah done! it looks good!"

My mama hasn't seen me since September.

The end.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Real World Tami: What The Hell Happened?

I got a chance to watch the premiere of the second season of Basketball Wives (DON'T ASK ME WHY, JUST READ THE POST DAMMIT!)and my mouth was hanging open at what has happened to Tami Akbar aka Tami Anderson aka Tami Roman.

See, while I didn't watch much of the first season of Basketball Wives, I watched each and every episode of the first Real World: Los Angeles, including this episode that led to that guy who ran off at the mouth too much getting kicked out of the house.



Now, I'm looking at the show today and wondering why she has this jacked up weave, is all covered in great big tattoos and is generally looking a hot mess. Life has not been kind to this sista.

Also, she says the day before she married Kenny Anderson he presented her with a prenup and she signed it and ended up with nothing after leaving him for his infidelities. Now, she says that like we should feel sorry for her, but, she also said she had $70,000 from the Real World in her pocket when she married him.

Why didn't she pinch off some of that stash and pay for an attorney to review the prenup? She signed it, it said she got nothing and, when the marriage ended the prenup kicked in and she got nothing. As a result, she and their two daughters had to use food stamps for awhile.

OK. But looks like she's spending plenty money on cheap hair and tats. I'm just sayin'.

In any case, check out this season preview and join me on my new trash TV journey!



I'd also like to note that they have all this music and stuff going on with this season trying to make it kinda like Laguna Beach or something. O__o

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sigh. I miss my Granny

I promised to make this dish for the office potluck. I make this dish every holiday season so I only have to pick up one ingredient to make it happen cause the rest of the stuff is in the cupboard.

I was thinking in my head about the timing this evening for making it and something seemed off. I know I have all the ingredients. What is it?

And then it occurred to me what was missing: Granny. I always called her when I was making this dish! And she would talk me through it, even though I know how to make it.

Sometimes she would say, throw a pinch of this in it or you know, if you season with this, it gives it a fuller flavor.

I MISS MY GRANNY!

Lesson learned?

Remember a couple of months ago I wrote about a friend who had done some cross country moving to be with an SO who broke up with her when the long distance became too much?

Well, now they are broken up for good and she wants to come back to the right coast. I am sad about that because I like both of them and had hopes they would work out.

But it does make me wonder about commitments and such. I have a coworker who is in a longterm committed relationship -- including a child -- and they are more solid than many of the married people I know. I have another coworker who is divorced and in a longterm relationship that seems happy. Both couples are in it for the longhaul and jumping the broom isn't important to them.

I am focused on marriage because...why? Does the piece of paper matter or the level of commitment?

And frankly given the demise of my marriage, am I focused on marriage NOW?

Marriage was important to me because I wanted a family. With the likelihood of my having a family decreasing each day, I'm not sure I care about being married again.

That doesn't mean I don't want a companion or life partner or whatever, but I can't, AT THE MOMENT, see myself getting married again.

But then, I am licking wounds right now so...never say never.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Flirting with age

Old dudes like them some me. I'm not that into older dudes though.

Don't get me wrong, it's flattering for them to flirt with me (when it's respectful), but I'm just not into older dudes.

Every Sunday I go to Whole Foods to get my fruit and sparkling water for the week and fresh flowers. (side note: I like coming in everyday to fresh flowers in a vase. It brightens my mood).

ANYWAY last Sunday I was in line to buy my stuff and this little girl in front of me with pretty hair was whipping it back and forth. I laughed and she hugged her Grandad (who looked like a slightly younger Melvin Van Peebles and was prolly realllll smooth back in his day) and he said she had gotten it done the day before. I told her whip away then!

Grandad then asked me my birthdate (not the year, just the month and day) and started talking to me about being an Aries and whether or not my personality fit those characteristics because he, too, was an Aries. Umhm.

I responded in a friendly way because he wasn't intrusive or slimy feeling. Little girl was still whipping and her mom was paying for the groceries and smiling at me cause I guess this ain't her first time with playa Grandpa.

I answer the questions and then suddenly little girl grabs my hand and says "NO! Do you know him? Don't tell him anything about you!!" and pulls Grandpa away from me. Not in a "stop talking to my Gramps you harlot" way, but in a "I'm saving you from something you don't understand" way.

We three grownups laugh, but I'm thinking "from the mouth of babes," and flashing on the many episodes I've watched of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit/Bones/Criminal Minds/NCIS, so I focus more on taking my stuff out of the basket and less on Grandpa's queries.

Shoooot. I wasn't lettin' Grandpa drink my blood so he could live another 100 years! LOL!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Um, what?

I was riding to work today and heard something on the radio that made me laugh and decided I would blog about that funny thing.

Whatever it was.

See, as I am getting older, I find that I need to write stuff down. Otherwise many of my thoughts are like fireflies, they flicker brightly, then float away.

So this is all you get today. A blog post about how I had planned to give you a different blog post but I forgot what I was going to write about and there's a chance I may remember it later and blog about it but I don't think so....

But I did have this thought last week that I meant to blog about! If Steve Harvey is so concerned about black people, why is he hawking buy one, get one Burger King chicken sandwiches?

See, all is not lost after all.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Perfect Endings...

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned -- the hard way -- that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle and end.

Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next."


-- Gilda Radner

I'M DOIN ME!

I always loved myself, maybe a little bit too much, but still I like what 'Tasia is trying to say with this song. Best line in the whole song: I'd rather be by myself. I won't let your drama hold me down.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A happy medium

I broke down this week and bought a Barbie for my niece. It's what she wanted.

I bought her four books, too, and I chose the fashion designer Barbie because she told me she wanted to do that when she grew up but, lawdy, it was hard. My finger hovered over the button for a full 10 minutes before I hit enter.

I *hate* buying toys for kids. It seems wasteful when so many of our kids are stupid.

I prefer books and college fund donations. Or activities. I'll take you to a movie, a museum, an amusement park or to paint some pottery -- stuff like that.

But toys? Half the time they are broken or forgotten about by mid-January. Meanwhile that book helps with reading skills and the college fund donation invests in the future.

Yes, I'm Ebbie Scrooge up in here.

Friday, December 3, 2010

You know what I hate?

I HATE when there is a problem and you try to sort out the problem by talking to your SO then once you hear what the problem is you begin addressing it...only to later find out, that ain't what the damn problem is at all!!

Meanwhile your SO has watched you twist yourself into knots trying to address what you THOUGHT the problem was when they know good and GOTdayum well that was NOT the problem.

Finally, once the truth comes out, don't get an attitude if there are questions and confusion when you set the whole thing off by lying and being misleading in the first place, hell.

Treat people the way you would have them treat you.

The damn end.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

I might get a dog.

So I'm considering adopting the three doggies below. Tell me what you think.

Benson is a 7 month old poodle. He looks bad. But he's sooooo cute.



Tramp is a poodle mix. He's 5 months old and also looks bad. But I feel like we might have a lot of fun together.



Tramp has a sister, Lady. She, too, is five months old, but rather than looking as if she might chew all your shoes up, she looks like she needs some love.



I can't take all of these dogs in obviously. I'm going to visit with them on Saturday to see which one I connect with the most. I'll try to take some pics and post them.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's Wednesday. Damn.

I work in the media field. This is a business where people are usually news junkies.

But, it's also a business full of nosy ass people. That irritates me.

I don't need or want to know everything. Don't get me wrong, I'm not incurious, I just don't need to know who the new person is that was walking down the hall as I headed to the elevator. I don't care about who that is until I have to work with them, which in most cases is never, otherwise I would know them already. I'll be nice and smile -- I do this with everyone I pass in the hallway -- but who they are is not something I'm pulling people to the side to ask and sending emails about.

I work with people who need to know this, though. Not because the person is odd-looking or hot/cute, but just because they are NEW and they feel they need to know everything about everyone in the building.

See, that's nosy to me.

I also work with folks who like to stress themselves out unnecessarily.

I try to spend my energy on things that will give us the most bang for the buck. If I know we are not pursuing a story because we've decided the news value is minimal, I do not waste time looking at photos and shit reporters send for that not very newsworthy story. We aren't doing it. ::Delete:: I don't care how pretty the photos are, pretty photos do not suddenly make the story newsworthy. Either it's news or it ain't.

But my coworkers stress out because, OMG! they sent photos. So? I can take a picture with my phone right now. We gonna freak out about that, too?

Perspective. Get some.

/rant

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kiddie Shopping

This post about poring over the Sears catalog as a kid from CreoleinDC made me laugh this morning because it brought back some great memories from my childhood.

My cousin Chris -- who is one year older than me -- and I would make sleepover plans based around poring through that book and writing our letters to Santa about what we wanted.

I would usually go to his house (he had bunkbeds and a big wheel) and we would plan it out the night before as we lay in bed -- tomorrow we will get up and eat cereal, watch cartoons, then write our letters to Santa.

Then we would lay on his living room floor and slowly page by page go through the toy section of the Sears and JC Penney catalogs, claiming "that's mine!" and putting our initial on the thing that was "ours" and describing all the things we were going to do with the toys and making up stories and stuff.

I had a bit of a leg up because until I went to school, my mom was a stay-at-home mom and grad school student so she only worked one day a week -- on Saturdays. And her Saturday gig was in the toy section of Sears!

My daddy and I would go pick her up on Saturdays and I would have fixed in my head what I wanted and as I got close to it, I would look at it, point to it and ask if I could have it. My mom would say "no" so then I would show out in the store throwing a tantrum. My daddy hated that so he would give me what I wanted to shut me up.

Every week this happened.

Every week. (Take note new parents. Kids know how to work you!)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Emotional?


Anybody out there finding that they have become more emotional as they've grown older?

I swear I tear up over something new (and some old stuff, too!) everyday. I never used to be all waterworks like this. There was a time when I wondered if I had tear ducts.

But now, I can be watching television and tear up at a scene. I went to see "For Colored Girls" recently and would have bawled had I not been with some friends so I had to keep it together a little bit.

At work. In the car. In the grocery store. At dinner.

WHAT ARE ALL THESE TEARS ABOUT??

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!



Just wanted to let you guys know that among the many things I am thankful for, I am very thankful for all of you.

Have a wonderful holiday! -- SingLikeSassy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The eyes have it!

I have shorter lashes than I would like and in the past have worn fake lashes to try and get the length that I desire.

Unfortunately, fake lashes are usually TOO long and look a bit more dramatic than what I'm trying to achieve which is a little more length.

Someone recommended a couple of years ago that I used a navy blue mascara to help my eyes pop more and earlier this year I went out and found a brand I liked that carried a nice deep blue. There were other colors as well, but I wasn't adventurous enough at the time to get purples and greens.

Well, now I need a new tube, but when I went to re-up on my navy blue a couple of weeks ago, it was gone. I've googled and apparently that color isn't carried anymore by that brand. Sigh.

I went to Sephora and they recommended this mascara from Dior in azure blue. OMG! My lashes look longer and the blue is so pretty on my eyes!

I'm planning to try some other mascara colors, such as green and purple, but right now I am pretty happy with this color and the length I get from this product.

Have you recently found a new makeup product that you recommend? Share in the comments.

Monday, November 22, 2010

This got me going today on the way to work

I don't like NeYo, but this little song is jazzy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Kitchen Is Closed

This year will be the first since 2000 that I haven't cooked a big holiday meal.

It feels odd to not be making lists and planning decorations and looking through recipes to see what new tasty thing I can add to my menu.

But while on one hand it's odd, on the other it's a relief. I love to cook big meals and love the family and fun that come with them, but the lead up and clean up always exhaust me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Top Chef: Desserts

I watch this show and am amazed at what they create. I do wonder, though, if a judge doesn't like an ingredient how do they judge a pastry?

For example, I hate coconut. Hate. HATE. Nothing I ever taste with coconut in is ever going to be good to me. Won't matter how moist or pretty it is.

I also don't like banana-flavored stuff. Or nuts other than peanuts in my sweets. Or mango, apricot, guava -- none of that. Yuck.

So, I can't believe all the judges have liked all the ingredients in these various cakes and desserts.

How do they fairly and accurately judge? Any chefs out there?

I like the remix even better than the original!

Mary J. and Jazmine Sullivan are doing it on this song.

Hmmmm....

Interesting new comment on my Stand up! -- Ludacris post from Monday.
Anonymous said...

The thing about this post is that the white guy gave up his seat to a black woman while a bunch of brothers stood by and let him. I mean, c'mon. Brothers should be wondering what this white guy sees in this black lady. I think one of them should have fallen off his chair to compete with the white guy. Do white guys see a woman, any woman, and feel compelled to be a gentlemen while a room full of black men do not? if so, that's sad and it speaks to why so many black women are considering their options.
Thoughts? Comments?

SLS note: Posting anonymously makes you unknown to other posters, but not to me, so please adhere to the posting rule, i.e. use your inside voice, or I'll put you outside.

Holiday Servings

I always cook (I'm better at it and enjoy it) and I always fix Mr. SLS's plate. Sometimes I'll even put it on a tray and take it to him. I don't think of it as being subservient or submissive. I do it because it is a loving gesture for me, but also because that is how the women in my family raised me. My mother did it for my dad and my stepmom does it for him now (if she's not around, I do it). My aunts do it for my uncles. My cousin does it for her husband. I've also noticed that Mr. SLS's sister and sister-in-law do it for their husbands.

A couple of summers ago when Mr. SLS and I went to Hilton Head with my family, my uncle brought his girlfriend along. I fixed Mr. SLS's plate while uncle's girlfriend sat at the table waiting after fixing her plate. My uncle watched me bring my husband's plate to him and said very pointedly to his girlfriend who had been pressing him to get married: "See that is how you get a husband."

Now, my uncle is 60-some years old and has traditional views of the roles women play in a marriage. My father is also oldschool and loves my stepmom. She fixes his plate and is sometimes a shortorder cook for him, he makes sure she can buy shoes and handbags because she likes to shop and that her BMW is always in tiptop shape, among other things. My stepmom told me no one has ever loved her like my dad does. My dad has been happy for the past 20 years.

A friend of mine recalled a story about the way her mother-in-law's husband sat and waited for his plate to be made at a Thanksgiving dinner and how she told her husband if he EVER sat around waiting on her to do that he would be hungry (I think I'm remembering this right).

So here's the discussion point: Do you do this for your spouse/significant other? If so, why? If not, why?

Monday, November 15, 2010

I reallyyy like this Jazmine Sullivan song

Stand up! -- Ludacris

Last weekend I went out to a spot on U Street that has live music on Fridays. I was meeting a friend there (and ended up inviting another friend as I sat there), but I live close so I got there first.

I walked in and the bar seats were all filled with men -- all black except for one lone white guy. One guy was eating, everyone else was nursing a drink.

Lots of women (all black) were standing, waiting for seats to free up. O__-

And let me note that these were adults all well into their 30s.

I walked up to the one guy who was standing at the bar, tapped him and asked if I could steal his space for a minute to order a drink. He said sure, no problem and stepped out of the way. This left me standing between two seated guys -- one white, one black.

In the very few minutes that passed between me ordering my drink and my receiving it, the white guy offered me his seat. I said thanks and told him his next beer was on me. He said, thank you, but not necessary.

Now, I sat there for a good long time enjoying the live music and sipping on two, three drinks til my first girlfriend arrived and not naan one of the black dudes perched on those bar stools offered their seat to the many MANY ladies (all black) who were standing.

I *did* notice that quite a few of the prettiest women came over and hugged the white guy while the black dudes just...sat there. Sipping on their drinks. Not offering up their seats. Not saying hello. Nothing.

This all made me wonder: who raised these dudes? My brother is a hot ass mess. HOT.ASS.MESS I TELL YOU. But he would never sit when a lady is standing. Not ever. I know, because I have seen him in action AND ladies (neighbors, my grandma's friends) are always raving about how polite and mannerable he is, helping with groceries, fetching something, pumping gas, putting away the trash can.

So here's how I interpreted the situation: For the men on the stools, these women were not deserving of a seat. Or respect. Let 'em stand.

In my opinion, it's a sad, sad example of the state of male-female relations today. Sigh.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into it. What do you think?

I guess this chivalry thing is on a lot of folks minds because my friend Lottie blogged about it today, too.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

No comment

Well, I will say this...they shoulda never gave these dudes money. That is all.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Riding solo

I drive a two-seater car because I *hate* totin' a bunch of mofos around in my vehicle.

When I'm ready to go, I am rhet.ta.go. and I don't like having to do a bunch of waiting on other folks when I get ready to roll out.

In fact, though all of my cars haven't been two-seaters they have all been two door vehicles and I prefer that, too, because I control who gets in and out and when, which fits with my "don't want a bunch of mofos ridin' around in my car" stance.

I know this is hateful. I know it is. But...well, whatever. Ride in yo' shit, hell. I will meet you there and when I'm ready to go, I'm out. Win-win.

Monday, November 8, 2010

There's no place like home *clicks heels*

Thanks to TIH ::waves at TIH:: I found this blog prompt and thought I would use it get me going today: What would your dream home/apartment/condo/yurt look like? Where would it be? Who'd live in it with you?

I love older homes with pocket doors, original wood floors and trim, wraparound porches, built-in shelves and the like. Here are a few pics of the styles of houses I prefer:









I fell in love with these kinds of houses after a sleepover with a friend from summer camp when I was in the 8th grade. Her parents owned an historic home and it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

These homes are pretty expensive in all the various places I would consider living, so I'm a few years from being able to afford one, but as soon as I get my money right I will be moving myself into one of those homes.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

What about your friends?-- TLC

I've never been a big fan of TLC but I did like that song because of the lyrics.

In any case, this morning my best guy friend called and left a message saying essentially: We need to TALK. Not that what's up BS via text and superficial ish via email. I need you to call me and talk to me and tell me how you are doing and what the hell is going on.

And he's right. With the exception of my friend Honeysmoke and my parents,, I've for the most part kept all my problems to myself. Which is why stress is eating away at me and causing issues with my health. And here's why that's particularly crazy regarding this friend: he has helped me through many crises. Supported me. Been my shoulder to cry on. Offered to kick asses. Offered his basement apartment to me as a refuge. Since college. COLLEGE.

So I'm going to call him and we'll have a long talk. Because you have to let a friend BE a friend. I don't have to carry all this by myself.

Friday, November 5, 2010

A new favorite thing: "Babies"



I've had this Netflix movie laying around for about a month now and finally watched it Wednesday night when I couldn't sleep. It was wonderful!

There's almost no dialogue so prepare to just ...watch and observe. No, this documentary is just a view of the lives of four babies from womb to walking. And often from their vantage point.

One thing I noted was how we might overprotect our children here in the U.S. And there's an extended temper tantrum by one kid that cracked me up.

I think anyone planning to be a parent should watch the movie because it definitely made me think, "well, if they can raise a healthy baby in that environment, why do we stress so much about every little bump and bruise?"

As a whole though, I feel the movie showed how much alike we are, despite our differences. OK, that will make sense if you watch the movie. I plan to add it to my permanent collection.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

One of my favorite things: "Brown Sugar"

I love this movie. I *never* get tired of watching it or listening to the soundtrack.

The first time I saw it was at a screening at NABJ before its release and it was a new "Love Jones" for me (another movie screened at NABJ. Ha!)

The combination of the music and the complexities of the love relationships in the movie always make me laugh, smile and cry.

Here's my favorite song from the soundtrack, Indie.Arie's "Get It Together."

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Just...stuff

I've found that when I'm at my desk, I listen to my Antonio Carlos Jobim channel on Pandora all day long -- in fact, it's ALL I can listen to at work. But in the car? I'm alllll crunk all the time. With a little bit of Soul Train-era jams thrown in for good measure.

I pay for Netflix, but don't use it enough. But when I think about getting rid of it, I suddenly have all those movies I meant to watch and I go pile up my list. The same list that's piled up from the last time I had this big "I need to see all of these movies!" moment.

I had a Coke Zero the other day on crushed ice and it was so good. I prefer Pellegrino to soda though, hands down. I always find it funny when people ask, "how can you drink that?" (we'll put aside the fact that it's just water with bubbles for right now) I think the same thing about room temperature still water. That's like spit to me. How in hell can people drink that?

I'm sitting in an office that's not where I usually work and there's a ticktocking clock next to me that I want to smash into a million little pieces. But working in this office I've realized that, while I'm more productive in this space, I'm prolly happier in cubeville. More interaction with people. Even the constant interruptions would be nice right now.

I don't drink caffeinated coffee if I can help it. If I consume caffeine anytime after about 3 p.m. I won't sleep at night.

Speaking of sleeping -- I haven't been. I try, but, nothing. And, for the past six months or so I've been under a lot of stress in pretty much every area of my life. Also, remember all that smiling and making pretend happy I noted a couple of posts back? Well, turns out my body wasn't feeling all that nice on the outside, hold the rest inside stuff and it has rebelled. In a serious way. My doctor has told me I have to calm the hell down and find some outlet like kickboxing to work out my stress.

I like the show "Castle" because I love its star, Nathan Fillion (Firefly and/or Serenity anyone?!). But this third season is not as good as the first two. I'm pretty bored with his neverending quips and the predictable storylines. The writers can do better. Much better. That said, I will still recommend it for a lazy Saturday viewing.



And on that note, I'm done. For now.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

It's Election Day. What Are YOU Going To Do?

During the 2008 election cycle my parents were at first a little leery of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. He was young, fairly untried, and they felt more comfortable with Hillary Clinton's experience and with a former president as her husband they saw it as a two-for-one deal.

Still, once Obama won the nomination, my parents were on board. Not because he was black, though admittedly the historical nature of the election did speak to them, but because they were drawn to his call for change.

My mother, aunt and 80-some-year-old grandma got out and volunteered for voter registration efforts. They made calls, went door-to-door, signed people up at kiosks and churches and did their part to ensure that their candidate would win in November 2008.

One of the things my mother encountered several times during her voter registration push were ex-convicts who thought they couldn't vote because they had served time. But once my mother probed further she would find out that they were no longer on parole and (in my home state) once you get out of prison and complete the parole period, your voting rights are restored.

When she informed them of this, many of them cried. Cried. ::pausing while you take that in:: Cried because they could vote.

My mother's youngest brother has always been the black sheep of the family. He voted for the first time in 2008. He was 50-ish.

Late last year my mother and aunt (Grandma had to bow out this time) resumed their voter registration efforts. Why? Because in a casual conversation with that uncle above about midterm elections, he asked why he needed to vote again, wasn't 2008 enough? ::pausing again while you take that in::

Mama and Aunt Laura figured that he might not be the only person out there who held that view, so they revved up and started visiting homes all over the state and making calls and doing their part.

Now, if those two 60+ aged ladies with high blood pressure, sugar diabetes and other creaks and cracks can walk around in the hot and cold weather in the backwoods and unpaved roads of a Southern state to register voters, you can get to the polls and pull the lever or mark the X or punch the chad or whatever it is they do at your polling place, today.

So, I ask again, it's election day, what are YOU going to do?

::drops mic, steps off soapbox::

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Rites of Passage

I went to a Bar Mitvah ceremony recently and as I sat there learning and observing and taking in the family's pride and support and the focus on being a better person it occured to me that there should be ceremonies like this for young ladies and young men, maybe more secular but still as meaningful because it would involve family, friends and the community.

At the reception there was a candlelighting ritual where the young man asked all the people who were close to him and had some significant role in his becoming a bar mitvah light a candle. These included his parents and his brother, but it also included his friends, a cousin, an aunt, a teacher -- it's the village concept.

Anyway, food for thought.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting To The Other Side

When I'm hurting, I tend to turn inward. This means I will shut people out, as my good friend Honeysmoke knows all too well.

I learned long ago to put on a happy face even when inside I'm not feeling all that happy, and that takes a lot out of me. Sometimes when Friday comes, I'm spent. All I wanna do is go home, get in my bed and recharge so I can face the next day.

That's how I felt last Friday evening. I had an invitation to go to a party at TravelDiva's house for another blogger, ForNot. I had been looking forward to it all week because I needed and wanted to be out and among good people, but as soon as I got home, I felt the shut down coming on. However, I pushed on through, took a shower, ironed some clothes, cut on some music to get me going and I didn't let myself stop or slow down or otherwise talk myself out of it.

Then I put on the jeans and top I had planned to wear and the 15 pounds I have gained over the past month and a half of laying around feeling extra sorry for myself looked awful. I took that off and sat down on the bed. Then I laid on it. In my head I was thinking, what excuse can I come up with at this last minute for not showing up?

But hometraining overruled ratchedassness and I got up, found a dress that camouflaged some of the fat and rolled on out to the shindig. And I'm glad I did because TravelDiva made me feel very welcome in her home and I had a great time meeting some of the other web peoples who comment on Monica Mingo's blog.

Though I talk a lot, it's mostly to cover up that I'm shy-ish. And dealing with all this emotional upheaval doesn't help. So, this isn't the last time that I'll probably have to push myself to get up and get out over the next few months. But I'll make sure to remember how good it is once I get to the other side when I'm searching for excuses to stay in my head.

Monday, October 25, 2010

It Ain't No Way In Hell That I Can Be Just Friends With You

I don't like Trey Songz much, something about him looking like child with his chest all greased up, but this song right here???? It's saying everything I've been feeling for the past couple of weeks.



I could only like it better if it had real strings and a real piano playing on it, but nevertheless the lyrics are talking to me.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Black Marriage Negotiations

A friend sent me a message and asked me to blog about this but, after watching it all I have say is this: =_=

You folks can have at it in the comments though.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Love and Luggage

I have a friend that moved across country with an SO for a new job. The SO found a new job in the same city and everything was lovely.

When the economic crisis happened the SO lost their job, but was able to find freelance work and the couple made it work.

Then the friend lost their job and ended up getting a new gig pretty quickly but on the opposite coast.

Friend moved and they had a long distance relationship for about a year until the SO decided they couldn't do it anymore and broke it off.

My friend beat the bushes and got a new job and is back on the other coast with the SO. The relationship is all good now. But my friend hates the new job.

Here's my question to you: Would you do all this moving around for someone you weren't married to?

I'm not asking this question in a judgmental way, I'm trying to better understand my views on relationships and commitment and why I feel/believe the things I do.

For example, I am pretty sure I wouldn't be able to do all this life rearranging for someone who wasn't longterm committed to me and, for me, that would mean marriage. But I think that's because I don't trust other people enough. Or maybe I don't trust myself enough.

I know people who are making these kinds of moves and decisions all of the time and it seems to work out perfectly fine.

So why is it marriage or nothing for ME? Hm.

What say you?

Building my real estate empire

So I've decided to buy my Granny's house. My uncle and dad plan to sell it and will give me first dibs at it before putting it on the market.

Based on my research of rental rates and comps in her community, I can easily afford to buy it and rent it out at a profit (my Granny bought this house in the very fashionable and hip downtown of my hometown at the beginning of the movement to return to city centers. She was a smart lady). And even if I can't rent it out at a profit, I can afford to buy and take care of her house. Plus, my daddy said he would split the mortgage with me if it took me a minute to find a tenant, though I'm not making my plans based around this promise as I know folks' intentions and actual actions don't always line up.

So, my dad and uncle will make some money, I'll get Granny's house, which meant a very lot to her and I know she would love for me to own it and since my whole family is there, I know managing it long distance would not be a problem.

And this would be the second house I "own."

WIN-WIN!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Decisions decisions decisions

I have spent the past six months in limbo waiting on other folks to decide what they are going to on various issues do so I can decide what I'm going to do.

Some of these things are outside my control, but some aren't, it's just been easier to float along without making a decision.

Things are coming to a head though, and I need to stop playing and pick a road. It's just that it's....hard.

Sigh.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Come to jesus meeting


When I was home for my Granny's funeral, my brother wasn't able to attend. The night before he was complaining about some health issues and when I got home I asked him if he was alright. He said, sure.

The next morning when I got up to get dressed and told him to get up, too, cause we needed to be at her house at 11 a.m. to meet the family, he was complaining about the same health issues and said he would drive his own car. My mom had gone out to do her daily exercises, so when she came back I told her something was wrong with him. Me and Mr. SLS went on over to Granny's house. Turns out my brother had to go go the ER and was admitted to the hospital while we were saying goodbye to Granny.

That night my parents and stepmom went to see him and they all had a "enough is enough, too much stinks like shit" meeting with him.

Basically they said he needed to get himself together because they could not and would not provide for him any more as they were getting old and needed to take care of themselves.

All this is shocking to me, frankly, because he's been able to play my parents against each other for years so to have both of them and my stepmom united and doing an intervention of sorts was serious business.

I don't know if it's made any difference with my brother, but we will see.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Who's the Boss?

I watch the show Mad Men and it's a show about the characters more than it is about any activity, though advertising is done a bit here and there.

But there's one character (the blonde lady in the pic) who divorced her husband (dark-haired fella in the pic) and remarried. And she and her new husband live in the house she shared with her ex-husband. The house he bought.

For some reason that's been bothering me and I was about to post something on Facebook about it when I realized something: I live in the house that my husband lived in with his ex-wife.

Now, I can tell you that his house was always a placeholder as our plan was to sell/rent mine, then sell/rent his and buy something together. And I can tell you that I moved in with HIM because he was uncomfortable moving into MY house. He wanted us to live in the house that he had bought for his family (along with his house being closer to amenities and walking distance to my job).

And while I felt a little bit some kinda way about this (<--how about my mama says this all of the time now? She says it's the perfect expression for how she feels at given moments) in the beginning because my house is bigger, I have to admit that I mostly believe in traditional roles for husbands and wives, e.g. the husband is the provider, the wife is the homemaker. So I moved my stuff in and started making it into our home (last wife was trife and didn't decorate or nuttin'). And (when it comes) my rent that I get for my house is my money. I don't pay the light bill, the water bill, the cable bill -- nothing.

I'm good.

(Bringing it on back to why I started this post) This is why I am puzzled about why a man would be comfortable living in the house that another man bought for his wife. Seems to me he would need to get somewhere else for them to live, something HE had provided as a husband. And this dude is wealthy so money is not the issue. He complained about it once and then it's never been mentioned again, as far as I can tell.

What do guys think?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Saying goodbye

I've been gone longer than usual because my Granny passed away last Wednesday. It wasn't unexpected -- my dad told me she had declined to have some surgery and the doctor said she would likely pass away in the next two weeks -- but it was sooner than we thought it would be: just two days after she declined the surgery. Thankfully I was able to get there in time to say goodbye.

I am...sad, but then, I'm not either. I'm sad, because as I've written on this blog before, Granny was very loving and I was her ONLY granddaughter and as a kid, she was the ONE person who constantly and consistently told me she loved me. I never doubted her love for me and my brother, though I (too) often took her for granted.

I'm kinda not sad because in the past few years she had gotten to the point where she couldn't cook, bake or socialize. Granny was all about the cute and the baking and she was unhappy. I know she is peaceful now so, while I would have loved to have her with me for much much longer, I know it's not all about me and what I wanted.

In any case, my Granny was jazzy. Check her out:



And something she would have loved happened: our family got together and laughed and shared stories and hugged and cried and ate and filled her house the way it always used to be before she got sick.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

This is my foot...


It is short, fat and brown like me! I did my own pedicure this weekend and my feet feel like a baby's bottom.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I thought I would never be this person but...

I let someone else's good news make me feel bad on Tuesday.

A friend of mine announced on his Fbook page that he and his wife's baby is due the first week in January.

Admittedly my VERY FIRST response was "That's so great!" I hit the like button before anyone else.

Then I started crying. I went to the bathroom and stood in a stall and said to myself, "what the hell am I crying about?!"

I couldn't stop crying but I forced myself to because I had a meeting to attend. I wiped my face but it was obvious I had been crying. I said I had a bad headache when asked if I were OK, which wasn't a lie: my head was hurting from trying so hard to not cry in front of these people.

Meeting ended, I went BACK to the bathroom and cried. Then I went back to my desk.

Finally, I left work early and went home, crying all the way (it's an 8 minute drive, thank goodness I didn't use public transpo that day!).

I got home and the screen door was locked so I lay against the door crying and knocking and Mr. SLS came to the door and asked "what happened? what's wrong?! are you hurt?!!!"

I cry/snot/short breath bursts blurt out that somebody was having a baby and it was due when our baby would have been due and then I ran upstairs and lay on the bed and cried into the duvet cover. He came up and rubbed my back and hugged me until I fell asleep.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dysfunction Junction

For years now I've been witness to a relationship that grows more and more dysfunctional each day.

In the past I would listen to each person complain and gripe about the other one and offer advice for how things could be better, but then I realized that these people don't want things to change. I stopped caring.

Don't get me wrong, they don't like how things are either, but neither one is willing to meet the other even a tiny bit of the way so they are stuck in this neverending cycle of disrespect and drama. And, for various reasons, these people can't or won't just walk away from each other. This is one of the reasons I limit my visits home.

You see, this dysfunctional couple is my mother and brother.

Despite ALLLLLLLL my mama's grandstanding, my brother lives in her basement again. Is he paying rent? No. I know this because my mama talked about it really loudly all week to be sure he heard her saying it.

Does he help around the house in little ways, such as taking out the trash, washing dishes, buying groceries, paying the power bill? No.

Did he come to the hospital with us when I took our mom for her surgery? No. Did he ask how she was doing when I came home to pick up a change of clothes for her because the doc had decided she needed to stay overnight at the hospital? No. (I should note here that the reason I went home for her surgery is because she asked me to come as she said she could not count on my brother, you know, who lives in the house with her everyday).

No, he complained about how she's so mean and ugly to him and nags him all of the time and is nosy and won't let him bring women to the house. *blink*

So to sum up: my mama continues to complain about my brother mooching off her, while allowing him to mooch and my brother continues to complain about her while doing whateverinthehellhewants with a bunch of stank attitude on her dime.

Gotta love family. I will continue to love mine from right here in D.C., many states away from them.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Ring(s) Around the Rosie

I generally wear my wedding rings everyday, but I take them off at night and if I'm running late I might forget to put them on.

On Tuesday I told Mr. SLS that I was doing drinks after work with some friends on Wednesday. He said, OK, cool. I went to bed late Tuesday which made me oversleep on Wednesday and I was running late and forgot my rings.

Yesterday morning Mr. SLS playfully noted that I had forgotten to wear my wedding rings the day before with the implication being that I was out doing something I had no business the evening before when I was supposed to be "getting drinks with friends."

Of course I wasn't and he knows I wasn't, but this made me wonder: would you notice if your spouse wasn't wearing their wedding rings?

I think the wedding ring thing meant more to me BEFORE I was married than it does now, as I realized that rings on or off, I'm married.

But I know some folks think of their rings as a status symbol -- not the size of the diamonds or whatever, but the fact that they signal "I was chosen. Somebody cared enough about me to make me his wife."

What do you think?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hide ya husbands!! #antoinedodson

Yeah, yeah I've been away from the blog for a long time and not giving y'all any love.

Well, it's summertime, can a sista live? LOL!

Besides, I'm working overtime trying to keep Antoine Dodson on the minds of the people. What?! You don't know who Antoine Dodson is? Well let me introduce you to this hero who is the new Interwebz sensation.

This is what's hot and poppin' in the streets right now so if you don't know, you don't know:



Marinate on that then pass it along. Keep #antoinedodson alive!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What I'm listening to right now...

This is on constant rotation:



And I stumbled on this one the other day and peeped Mr. SLS to it so he bought it:



And if you follow me on twitter you know that Jobim is always in my ear:



And for some reason this has been on spin:



Finally, this has been in and out of the rotation for a minute now:



Enjoy!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Who's in your corner?

When you're messing up, who checks you? Do your friends just sit back and say, "OK, if that's what you wanna do," or do they pull you to the side and really question you about the choices you are making?

I know the women in my circle will question me and I do the same for them. This isn't about the negative nellies, or haterade, that's different. This is real talk. People who care about me and my future and care that my actions or choices could be putting both in jeopardy.

I think that's part of friendship. But I see a situation where friends are letting another person make what could be a mistake. And, from my perspective, it's because THEY have their own interests at heart. It's hard to watch. I don't get "yes men."

I'm not saying that sometimes people shouldn't have to learn the hard way -- hardhead makes a soft ass and many folks learn by lesson rather than lecture -- but I think friends look out for each other. To do otherwise seems...wrong to me.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Thank You To My Friends

I was reflecting on the past few weeks and my calendar for the weeks ahead and thinking about how my girlfriends have made sure I am up and out of the house. I've had some activity of some kind on the agenda nearly every weekend. I've been BUSY doing things and having a really great summer rather than sitting around reflecting on what might have been...

Thank y'all so much!!!!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I've decided to quit my job...

i quit Pictures, Images and Photos
Next year sometime. It's not that I hate it, it's that I don't love it. I want to be doing something I love. Don't you?

So I'll spend the next few months coming up with a plan and then I'm quitting the gig.

If you have any suggestions for how to do this, pass them along pls. Thanks!

July Fourth weekend recap!

OK, I've been both lazy and busy so I'm just getting to this post about my holiday weekend.

Mr. SLS's military band tours for two weeks (sometimes they stay in the area, sometimes they travel to fun faraway places) every year starting the Fourth of July weekend and I usually volunteer to work so I can make a little money. Since the work holiday was on Monday this year I had the whole weekend free and I told a friend I hadn't hung out with in a long while to find something fun for us to do.

She wrote me back that we were going to join a friend couple of hers on their boat for the weekend. I'm all about the water, so I was in. We packed up beer, wine, liquor, water, snacks, her dog, bathing suits and left early Saturday morning to go down to Chesapeake Bay. The boat was gorgeous and had three sleeping quarters, a kitchen, two bathrooms -- all the creature comforts I needed.

We set out on the boat and found this cove where we tied our boat to another boat that belonged to some friends of theirs and we all relaxed with drinks.

I remembered that the guy who owned the boat we were on used to date my friend years and years ago and I asked her what happened with that and she said he was too wild for her and that he and his fiance were into sharing. I said, sharing what? And she said swinging. I said, oh. *blink* Then I realized that it was just the four of us on the boat so the chances of anything weird happening were slim to none, and I went off to read a book and have some quiet time.

Later I joined the boat owner and his fiance on the other boat and I noticed the conversation was...risque. I'm not a square but I don't like sitting around talking about chexual stuffs in groups. They were making comments that I guess were supposed to be funny and cute, but were just too much, IMO. I jumped in the water and stayed there for two hours.

We went back to the boat slip and my friend and our hosts started drinking and playing a truth or dare game. It seemed innocent enough so I watched and even joined in at first...except, it went left real quick. Suddenly one person was nekkid, one woman was sucking on another woman's tatas, someone was licking stuff off dude's belly and I'm sitting there with my body language registering my disapproval. I know this because they kept saying I was rated G and that they were keeping it lowkey!! because I was there....

The whole time this is going on, I'm texting about it to Mr. SLS who is mad that my friend took me on this trip with people who were obviously not my style. He was feeling some kinda way.

I guess I was busting up everybody's groove so the festivities ended and we all went to bed. Well, how about *I* went to bed and I think that THEY -- all three of them -- went into the master bedroom. I can't say for sure though.......

The thing that trips me out about this -- aside from just the general this ain't me-ness of it -- is my friend's earlier comment that seemed to disapprove of their lifestyle when she seemed willing to get close and personal with both of them.

Anyway, it was certainly different from other holiday weekends I've had, that's for sure.

P.S. I wish I had a boat! I loved being out on the water. Sigh.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Faith, Religion and the Church


I don't go to church. I've never quite felt "at home" in a church the way other people seem to feel.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't believe or don't have faith, I just don't go to church.

I wasn't raised in the church as many of my friends were -- Sunday school and church on Sunday, Bible study on Wednesday, church camp, usher board, Christian youth group -- so the foundation wasn't really laid as a kid. Church was an option for me because my parents were made to go to church growing up and they didn't want us to feel forced to go.

In my 20s and early 30s I tried to create what I thought I was supposed to feel and do in churches. I visited churches and tried to get involved, but it all felt false and one day I decided it was OK for me not to attend church.

One thing I didn't do in church was meet men and date. I wasn't there for that purpose. I was too busy trying to figure out how to become the good Christian I thought I was expected to be so that I wouldn't go to hell. Also, I knew I was struggling and assumed a really religious man would be a poor fit for me (and vice versa).

That said, there has always been a meme in the black community about finding your husband in the church, having a spiritual head for your family and being equally yoked.

Lottie over at 30 Something has a post asking if black churches keep black women single. You should check it out and weigh in on the discussion.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The End?

I was doing this in tweets and realized that I needed more room to express myself. Then I thought, I have a blog. DOH!

I've decided to finish a short story I started more than four years ago. It's time. The story is ... more complex now.

On the way back from our little weekend excursion, Mr. SLS and I caught this storytelling show: The Moth. It was funny because, as I listened to the various stories I thought, "I should do that." Then as if he read my mind, Mr. SLS said "You should do that."

When we first started dating I wrote a lot. Then, I stopped. I started blogging and I've written a few work-related pieces, but I have done very little creative writing.

I've been mulling over that unfinished short story for a long time. It's about me and Mr. SLS. At the same time, Mr. SLS has been mulling over an unfinished song for me for a long time, too. Funny that we haven't been able to finish these artistic ventures...

I started writing that story when our relationship was new. I didn't know where it was going. Now, I have more than four years worth of material to draw from and there's more meat on the bone -- and I still can't finish it. Or maybe I don't want to finish it.

Mr. SLS says he struggles with the song he is writing for me because nothing ever captures me the right way. He has a couple of chords he has decided say "MY REAL NAME," but the rest won't gel.

It makes me think about our marriage, which is sort of in the same state as these two artistic ventures...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Who are you competing with?

I have a friend (we'll call her Jane) who is *painfully* self conscious. As in, most of her waking thoughts are about what other people think about her, what she's said, how she looks, her work etc.

I thought this was unique to her, cause surely other people didn't spend that much time and energy focused on what other people think of them, right? Wrong.

Jane has been encouraged by my weightloss efforts and started her own Couch to 5K program. Now, this is not just good news because she is becoming more active, this is good news because Jane has low self-esteem and has not had a real date in about three years because she doesn't think anyone will want her because she is fat. So, to see her get up and do something about this is a BIG deal.

Another friend asked Jane to run a 5K with her in the fall. Jane mentioned it to me and I said, "I'll do it with you!" because it's a good goal for both of us to work toward this summer. Then Jane says this: "I'm scared because, what if I come in last? I would be so embarrassed."

*blink*

Really? This is your first time ever running a race, a race in which there are likely to be experienced runners and your fear is that you will finish last?

I said, "Who cares if you finish last as long as you FINISH. That's what I am focusing on. FINISHING the race."

I recounted this conversation to my coworker who is a runner and she said, "I thought the same thing in my first race. I was so worried I would be last and it made me tense."

*blink*

I don't get it. Why the hell would I care about whether some people I don't know who are standing their fat asses on the sidelines while I run and improve my health laugh or whatever at me cause I finish my first 5K race last?

But, that's when the lightbulb went off. This is the same coworker who needs me to reassure them every five minutes that they are doing a good job. She needs constant stroking and approval. Not me. Accolades are nice, but I prefer money.

See, I operate in MY world. I don't give a shit what anybody else is doing, cause I'm doing ME. I compete with ME. With the race, I was thinking about finishing it and what an accomplishment that would be and how I would ask my friends and family to come and cheer me along and how great it would be to do this with my friend. That's all.

Now, race two or three or 45, OK, yeah, I should be pushing myself harder than to just finish. But race one? Let's just get through the race, cross the finish line, reach the goal.

This also brings to mind a conversation with a friend. She was hesitant to put her daughters in dance class because of the potential for body image issues. I countered with this: I took dance lessons -- tap, ballet and jazz. I was a pudgy kid. Maybe the other kids noticed, maybe they didn't, I don't know cause all I cared about was getting on stage and performing. That's it. I don't remember one other girl's name from those classes and I took them from ages 3 to 15. I wasn't there to make friends, I was there to be a star. (<-- people who know me will laugh at this statement cause they *know* how true it is).

But, maybe that's just me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Dinner!

I promised Mr. SLS last week that I would cook a big Sunday dinner because I hadn't done it in awhile so I went to work this morning (filling in for someone on vacation, aren't I nice?), then set out for the grocery store where I got a chicken to bake, a cabbage and other stuff.

But the star of the dinner is my punchbowl cake. Mr. SLS *loves* this cake and it's so simple to make: angel food cake (or if you aren't watching calories, pound cake), vanilla pudding, whipped cream and berries (I use raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries). Then using a glass punchbowl you layer all the ingredients -- cake, pudding, berries, cream -- until the bowl is full. Garnish with a couple of berries and a mint leaf or two. Then put it in the fridge. It's a great summer dessert, not that bad for the waistline and pretty.

Now before I sign off I would like to encourage everyone to make their own whipped cream. It is not that hard!! And it tastes better and is better for you.

All you need is 8 ounces of whipping cream, some confectioners sugar, some vanilla and a pinch of salt.

Here's a secret my Granny taught me: chill the mixing bowl and your WIRE whisk in the freezer before whipping. Pour the whipping cream in the bowl and turn your mixer on low. Throw in the dash of salt right at the beginning (I dunno why, but Granny said do it so I do).


Let it whip for about 30 seconds, then increase your mixer speed gradually while pouring in 1/2 tsp vanilla and 2 to 3 tsps of confectioners sugar. Then turn it up to high and let it whip away.

When your cream looks like this, you're done!


And it only took about 5 minutes total.

Alright my timer is going off so I need to get my chicken out of the oven. Hope you are having a great father's day!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Stream of consciousness


Ever try to hold on to something so tightly only to wake up one day and realize you didn't even really want it any more?

How free is free? Not free enough for some people and too free for others. Which one are you?

When watching reality TV, I always wonder if people know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Do you?

Are you doing what you want to do? Why or why not?

When you listen to music, what do you hear?

How often do you just sit still and listen?

Do you have a problem with quiet?

Are you a pleasure reader or information-only reader?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Did some sprucing up over here...

Hope you like it! I decided I needed a new look on the blog and this seemed to express my personality more than any of the other templates available to me so voila! this is it.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and is enjoying the good weather. Take care.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Christian McBride

Thanks to Mr. SLS and his best friend, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McBride last fall and I've heard him play live several times as well.

In my next life I want to be a bass player -- assuming I grow arms long enough to reach the top part of the bass. (smile)

Anyway, here's some good jazz listening for you on a lazy weekend:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

It's A Family Affair


Well...let's see. I went down to Georgia and visited my dad and stepmom last weekend and had a great time. It was relaxing to be away from D.C. and to be out of the house and able to just take a break from the stress and whatnot.

I would never ever ever ever say this to my mom, but, sometimes I prefer being with my dad and stepmom to being with other family. My mom's family keeps a lot of mess going all the time with lots of drama, gossip and petty fights. It's dysfunctional. It starts with my Grandma, who likes to pit her children against each other.

My dad's family is more loving. Everybody gets together and laughs and it's easygoing. My Granny is very loving and accommodating and all of us are her "favorite." Except me, I am her VERY VERY VERY favorite. (smile) Way different vibe.

Then last night I told Mr. SLS something his sister-in-law told me and his sister told me and he said, "Damn, you didn't think you were marrying into all this dysfunction did you?" It was funny. You had to be there.

So, crazy is as crazy does and my people are out there, but that's family for ya!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Catching up...

Lemme see, what's been going on with me...

I started bleeding on Saturday and am still bleeding, so I am officially not pregnant now. I'll go to the doc tomorrow for one last blood test to check my HCG levels but based on what I'm passing I'm pretty sure all baby is gone at this point. I thought I'd be more sad, and I did cry a little when it started but at this point, I'm just ready for this to be done.

I've started my Couch to 5K program again. First day was a bit crazed, but second day was better. I've lost 32 pounds since last February, the last 10 pounds in the last month. I'm pushing forward to losing at least that much if not more in the next year and to be more fit and become a runner.

Going to visit my dad this weekend for the first time in a long time. Can't wait to see my stepbrothers and nephews. Even though I'm not very close to them, I'm closer to them than I have ever been with my blood brother. It will be interesting to be there with Mr. SLS.

Finally, Mr. SLS and I are separating. That's the news y'all really wanted an update on, wasn't it? Yes, he will move out by the end of June. You read that right, he will move out of HIS house at the end of June and I will be living here alone. Maybe some space will help us. Or, maybe not. Who knows.

But he just called to see what kind of sushi I wanted so I reckon he'll be home with dinner soon, so I'll shut this down until later.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

This made me laugh this morning...

But there's some truth here, so you might give it a read: Black 'n Bougie: For every @HillHarper, there are 39 taco-eatin’ Pookies & Ray-Nays – Do we know a “Good Man” when we see one?

Personally, I think the definition of a good man varies depending on the woman. What's good to me might be yucky to you. For instance, I don't like musclebound men. That looks disgusting to me all those lumps and bumps. I prefer leaner bodies to all that bumpiness. I like nerdy bookish men. I'm not looking for the smoothest brother in the club with the expensive tailored suit and the shiny new car and all that. That's a turn off to me. I'm looking at that brother at the bar who might be a little shy. Why? Cause I'm not the shiniest thing in the club and I'm a little shy and we can probably have a great conversation. And being able to talk and laugh with a guy is way more important to me than what he looks like.

As for potential, after 35 you need to be doing whatever it is you had planned to do with your life. Not getting ready to do it, or making plans to do it or talking about doing it, just doing it. Dreamers who don't have a main gig bringing in regular income til they can get their dream off the ground should keep rolling past me, too. Every man in my family has a business of some sort and I have seen them provide for their families while working their dream so I know it can be done without laying on your mama's couch.

And don't get all indignant in the comments about how some brothers get started late and all that -- if you are approaching 40 and have had the same 20 years to get your shit together that I have, you should have something to show for it. Now your something doesn't have to equal mine, but you should have a pretty good foundation at 40.

Finally, let's put this question to the brothers: Do you know a "Good Woman" when you see one? Cause I've encountered many a man talking about alllllll he wants his woman to be -- beautiful, educated, career-driven, has her own money, lady in the streets, freaky in the sheets and so forth -- who then turn around and spend time with Susie Stripper cause she got a fat ass and tight abs and can fall down in a split from the top of the pole. Reconcile that for me.