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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Helllllooooo world!

I just opened up the blackout blinds in my bedroom and let the sunlight wash over me. It was a wonderful moment.

I want to be a slug today, but I have a house guest coming on Tuesday and a party to attend tomorrow night, so I needs to get to cleaning up in here. The guest room is always clean and clean fresh sheets are always ready, it's just my room that needs some work. And I need to clean up the mess I left in the kitchen yesterday.

My mama told me to stop posting ugly 1970s-era pictures of her on Facebook. Of course you know this means I'm about to post another 1970s-era pic of her on Facebook, right? LOL! I love those pics of my parents looking like Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.

I do believe my daddy is feeling some kinda way because I haven't called him in a bit. I email him all the time but he wants phone calls. I hate talking on the phone though! In any case, I think he's pouting.

I had a dream about the teacher (the one I dated earlier this spring and summer) last night, but I don't remember it. He's reached out to me a couple of times in the past month or so but I haven't responded. He hurt my feelings and I am not inclined to forget or forgive. Sorry Charlie.

I've been reading about being a pet owner and realized that I have made some mistakes with my friend's dog that I keep sometimes. He's adorable, but he's a dog. I don't treat him like a dog. Apparently, that is confusing for a dog. It explains some of his anxiety when new people come to the house (he tinkles on the floor when new people show up).

Since the summer of frolicking has ended, I've just been going to work and coming home. No volunteering, no personal enrichment activities, nothing. I'm OK with being that boring for right now, but I need to get on the good foot and sign up for a class or something for the new year.

I got a good annual review last week at work. I didn't think I wouldn't, but you never know. I'm coasting though. Need to challenge myself some more.

I'm going to make a fish stew next weekend. I've been cooking in my house fairly regularly. I think I'm getting back to feeling like this is my home. Didn't realize it would take so long to readjust to living in MY house again. I do miss my cats though. I only lived here by myself for a few months before they came to live with me and being here without them makes the house seem so odd. And quiet. No knocking stuff down and waking me up in the middle of the night. No getting shut up in a room and then meowing and sticking their paw under the door trying to get my attention. No meeting me at the front door meowing cause they are ready for dinner. No walking around the bed and on my head all night. No laying on the clothes I just laid out on the bed for work. No hiding in places and jumping out and scaring me. They are fat and happy though with their new owner. My mom and Grandma visit them all the time.

What's going on with y'all?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Today's Lesson

If he misses you, he'll call. If he wants you, he'll say it. And if he cares, he'll show it. If not, he can't be worth your time because you're obviously not worth his.
This is just another way of saying what my Grandma told me: When a man wants you, he will make a way. Great advice that can never be reiterated enough.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Post-Divorce Funny

I was editing a story about Greece and the European Union and it made me sad because Mr. XSLS and I had this dream of running away to Greece and living off my writing and his music, drinking wine and listening to the waves roll in every night.

So I text him this: "We never made it to Greece."

He responds: "Country's bankrupt and we probably would have been kidnapped."

Me: "LOL! That's another way to look at it."

Him: "LOL, I know."

That's all.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Black Bean Chili Tonight!

I put some black beans on to soak this weekend because I have been craving black bean chili for two weeks now.

Last night I finally got them into the slow cooker with some garlic and when I woke up this a.m. the house smelled so fragrant and garlicky!

Once I get my ground turkey browned with onion, I'll stir that into the beans with some chili powder, fresh oregano and basil. Then I'll let it cook for a bit so the flavors can meld together.

I used my avocado last night when I had my friend E and baby OK over for dinner so I'm going to grab another on the way home and once my chili is ready, I'll top a bowl of it with a dollop of plain greek yogurt, some avocado and diced tomato. YUMMY!

Monday, October 24, 2011

More "New Yorker" Love

Great writing stays with you. One of the best pieces of writing I have ever read was in The New Yorker.

Here, eight years later, I remember the author's name -- Katherine Boo -- and the name of the piece: The Marriage CureIt examined whether marriage was a cure for poverty in the "post-welfare" era. 

I also remember where I was when I read it (at home on a Sunday relaxing with the sun shining on me from my bedroom's bay window), what time of day it was and everything. When I finished it I called my friend PJ (she has a doctoral degree that focuses on issues related to children, education and poverty) to discuss what I had read. The story was that good to me.  

Boo won the National Magazine Award for Feature Writing in 2004 for this piece. Here's an excerpt:
Kim has moist brown eyes, a body that neighborhood males call "ripe" and "aching for my love time," and a bleeding ulcer that an emergency-room doctor ascribes, not implausibly, to stress. It is her habit to think with a fist on her chin, and the puzzle that engrosses her is how to live a life less indigent and criminal than the one in which she was raised. The youngest of seven children, she was the first of her four sisters to forgo having babies as a teenager. She hoped as well to be the first to go to college, and had recently taken a series of tests for a general-equivalency diploma. Although she didn't know anyone from a background like hers who had obtained a college degree, she didn't see why a smart woman couldn't pull it off. For several years, she'd been trying to do the precise opposite of what people around her had done, in the hope of eventually attaining what she termed "a healthy, wealthy, normal-lady life." Marriage, like staying out of jail, struck her as a vital part of normal-lady living.

Do you read "The New Yorker?"

If you don't, you should. It's some of the best writing and storytelling out there. Even the letters to the editor are well written. I also appreciate that they don't treat hip-hop poorly and that they spend time examining it. Like in this piece last year about Jay-Z and Decoded.

And please take the time to read this piece about the economics of Sept. 11. Here's an excerpt:
The events of September 11th, as grim as they were, offered the prospect of employment to a generation of working-class Americans who were born too late for good factory jobs. If the Bush Administration’s “global war on terror” had gone the way of the Second World War, mass mobilization in the armed forces, combined with mass production in the factories, would have revitalized a stagnant national economy and produced a postwar boom. This didn’t happen. Without a draft, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been fought by less than one per cent of the population. The Pentagon, which wanted to keep those wars limited and short, avoided planning for large-scale manufacturing, even after its necessity became obvious. In 2004, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was questioned by a scout from the Tennessee National Guard about the lack of quality armor for his unit’s trucks. “You go to war with the army you have,” Rumsfeld replied. Even after this remark became infamous, the production of armor proceeded slowly, almost grudgingly, and troops and vehicles remained dangerously exposed for years. Most new defense jobs at home turned out to be in data collection and intelligence, which required college degrees and specialized knowledge, or in the low-paying realm of airport and building security.
But the main reason that 9/11 didn’t become a source of jobs, or of ideas for revitalizing the economy, was that the country wasn’t thinking about its own weaknesses. President George W. Bush defined his era in terms of war, and the public largely saw it the same way. September 11th was a tragedy that, in the years that followed, tragically consumed the nation’s attention.
I'm a long time reader and the best thing they could have done was create their iPad app because now I subscribe to that, which saves trees as well as gives me access to extra bells and webzy whistles. I get so much Sunday joy from my New Yorker. Get you some.

That is all.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All Is Fixed

Mr. XSLS (do we like that?) and I kissed and made up today and handled the business we needed to get done yesterday that didn't happen.

I'm not a grudge holder. Do you know how much pretty is wasted by being ugly on the inside? I'll be damn if my face gets all wrinkled and creased up messing with him.

My mama who is VERY MUCH a grudge holder and who is still mad today about something folks did 20 and 30 years ago said she admires that me and my ex-husband aren't nasty to each other. It's given her something to think about in regard to how she handles her relationships.

It's so pretty out today I put the top back on the car. Hope y'all are enjoying the nice weather too!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Y'all like these?

My house is done in oranges, browns and greens. I want another duvet for my bedroom and am looking at these right now:

I Have Relaxed, Related and Released *cleansing breath*

I was still ticked off when I wrote that last post. Wanted to let you know that prayer worked.

It also helped that I remembered the advice my dad always gives me and that I am always giving other people: Control those things you can control. I can always control my reaction to other people's actions. I am in control of me.

I should not have allowed his actions to get me so upset. But he does stuff knowing it's jacked up and then tries to fix it later. No, just don't do fugged up ish!

Still, it's my fault. I keep having expectations of him that I shouldn't have because I have yet to accept that he is not the man I thought he was. Never will be. He stopped trying to live up to my expectations a long time ago.

Just remember what I said people: Choose well. That's the best advice I can give you out of my experience.


Mr. SLS made me so mad today I had to pray cause everything else I wanted to do would have had y'all looking at a mugshot pic of me on TV with blue mascara streaks running down my face.

That is all. #keeppokingmeinthebackandseeifIdon'tcutamuhfug

Friday, October 21, 2011

Don't Let Me Fool You

Don't read what's here and think I'm all easy breezy cover girl about this divorce stuff. I wouldn't wish this on anybody.

My advice to all of you? Choose well. Choose. Well.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teachable Moments

So, as promised, I took Mr. SLS' niece to pick her own pumpkin this past Sunday. Because her older brother (who has a different mother) was there with his dad for the weekend, we took him along, too. I no longer feel any guilt for wanting just one child.

First, to be clear, I like her brother, he's always been a nice kid and for the most part minds and follows directions. Neither one of them are mouthy or whatever. But, together these two children bicker. All the time. Which, I guess is what kids do. But it works my nerves.

Secondly, he's 10 and she's 5. He's also sort of a typical boy, which means he's a little bit reckless and always running and jumping and climbing on stuff. His little sister wants to do all that, too, but her legs are shorter and she's not as agile. And it frustrates him to slow down for her and frustrates her when she can't keep up.

Anyway, we get to the farm and she's all OOOOOOoooo and AAAAAAHHHH while he's already over it. It's more little kiddie-focused. Which I told him before he was all, can I come too Auntie Tanya, I want to come, too!!

He runs and gets on a swing, so she gets on a swing, too. He's swinging all high and frankly scaring me so I say, "Nephew SLS don't swing so high!" and then Mr. SLS (yes, he came too) was pushing Niece SLS on the swing and asked me why I was telling Nephew SLS to stop and I said cause he was scaring me and all I could see was his thin little body flying out of that swing into the air and smashing into a gaggle of pumpkins all broken and crumpled.

Mr. SLS said, "He's fine. Let him swing." And he was right.

That is why children need a dad AND a mom. Because, as a mom, I know I would probably react that way all of the time and likely overprotect my children. He saw that, really, though the swinging scared me, it was fine. Everything was fine.

Here's another example of me possibly being too cautious. Mr. SLS had gone off to hunt us up some water and they were still on the swings. Nephew SLS had to use the restroom. I wanted him to wait until his uncle came back to go with him, but he said he couldn't hold it. I made Niece SLS get off the swings and we went to the bathroom with her brother. Mind you, I could SEE the bathrooms from the swing. But, I couldn't take a chance that some perv might be in the bathroom and there was no way in hell I was leaving the little one on the swings.

When he caught up with us, Mr. SLS didn't think I was being too much though he did say chances are Nephew SLS would have been OK by himself.

Anyway, I think that balance you get from a mom AND a dad is important.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I Have News

My divorce hearing was at 10 a.m. today. Mr. SLS was late and had the marriage certificate so I couldn't divorce him in absentia. The clerk was nice though and moved our case to the bottom of the list to give him time to show up.

It was interesting. Most of the other cases were same-sex marriages. And with the exception of us and another black couple who had been married for 23 years, all these folks got married last year.

I thought there would be more to the whole thing, but basically the judge asked us to verify our identities and swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then asked us when we got married, when we separated, whether we had had marital relations during that separation and whether we both had agreed to separate. Then we went over our having no kids or assets to argue over and that was it. It took all of 3 minutes. Seems like the dissolution of a family should take longer than that. Sigh.

I thought I would be sad when this day came, but I sit here now eating brunch with Mr. SLS and it feels like any other day. I'm considering going to work.

Our divorce will be final in 30 days if neither of us appeals it before then.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Something New

I know I said I wasn't ready to date but whatever, this young man pursued me and I couldn't run that fast. LOL!

Anyway, we've been hanging out and he's a cool kid, but different in some ways I'm not used to but that I like. A lot.

And he's alpha male, which I LOVE. Handle me. Don't just SAY you're the boss BE the boss. Chea!

Is there a future for us? I don't know about all that. I'm not planning for tomorrow, I'm just enjoying this right here, right now.

That's all.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Life Is Strange

When I met my husband he was a teetotaler who didn't really hang out beyond playing gigs.

Now, he's at a club every weekend getting drunk and, I guess, picking up women. *blink*

Maybe it's a mid-life crisis, maybe he's tired of being responsible and he's "acting out," but I know that the person he is now is not anybody I want to be married to.

And soon I won't be.

So, there ya go.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Grandma Funny I Forgot To Share

My Grandma's niece Ann came to her party with her new husband. Ann is at least 51 years old. Now, Ann's new husband is a nice looking fella. He was clean and dressed well, smelled good.

And then Ann's husband smiled and he looked like this:

I'll pause and let you take that in.

Anyway, Ann's husband was talking to me about how he has TWO roadsters like mine, though admittedly, I missed much of what he said cause I couldn't tear my eyes away from his gold tooth. After he helped my uncle put my Grandma in my car, he and Ann rode off in a shiny new BMW.

As I drove Grandma home I said in passing that he seemed nice and that I wondered what he did for a living.

My Grandma pursed her lips and said, "Whatever business it is it's criminal cause that's the only kinda business he can be doing with all those cars and that gold ass tooth in his mouth." (Note: My Grandma says she doesn't cuss. According to her, shit and ass are NOT cusswords).

I can't WAIT until I'm 90 and can say whatever.in.da.hell.I.want.to. LOL!

A Divorce Funny

On a board I follow for women dealing with issues around separation, infidelity and divorce, a new poster asked how to answer questions about why she and her spouse were divorcing without getting into details she didn't want to share.

Here's the response one poster uses that I plan to adopt IMMEDIATELY:

"he kept asking people really inappropriate personal questions." Then I stare at them. 


A Work & Labor Funny

My friend E that works with me is pregnant. Baby is due next month. We love picking on our editor. I don't know why. He is such an easy target though! And it makes us laugh.

ANYWAY, here's an IM conversation E and I were having today:

E: they say that labor usually starts slowly. and my doctor encourages us to labor at home for as long as possible. i'm sure i could even walk home (1.5 miles) when it starts. that's my hunch. we'll see though.

ME: boy.

E: or i might ask for a ride home. :)

ME: see, i can't see me being all zen and saying, I think I'll stroll home

E: hahahhahaha


E: you crack me up. i know. i still can't believe i have to give birth. yikes. I'm like, getting pregnant will be fun! having a newborn will be fun! but birth? I forgot about that part. what did i get myself into?!?! :)


E: oh my god. i should totally do that. i should actually pretend. see what he does when i'm like 39 weeks along. i'll drape myself across his computer and say, 'i just want to have the baby right here'


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OK, I've been so busy...

Cuttin' up over on Black 'n Bougie today that I was neglecting my OWN blog as I did have something I wanted to talk about today.

This song came on today as I was speeding to work:

And when I heard the line that starts 1:37, I was like, wait, whoa.

See, I was with Jaz, Mary J. and 'em right up until then -- "I know it's hard but know that you can walk away, cause it aint no man out there worth causing you all this pain" -- I can get behind that. 

Then Mary J. said this, "I remember, that pain and n****s is all the same." No ma'am. NO MA'AM to that. 

Don't get me wrong, I'm one of the "My Life", "Share My World" Mary J. Blige fans. I have never stopped listening to "Mary J. Blige: The Tour." 

But I just didn't like that line. I can't quite put my finger on why except it is so.very.bitter.sounding. Hard. Ugly. I envision a woman with twisted lips lighting up a cigarette and sucking her teeth as she says it. I KNOW! It makes me think of Namond's mom from "The Wire" and I hated her so much I wanted to punch her character through my TV.

Anyway, that is all. Carry on. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I realizeeee that I just don't love yoooou, NOT like I used to!

I'm not a big a John Legend fan, but I did love this song back in the day and I've had it spinning on repeat for an hour now.

P.S. I think I stopped liking John when I met him and he was my height practically and kinda frail looking. That killed it. HOLLA HOLLA HOLLAAAAA!

P.P.S. I love how Kanye is supposed to be the directing the choir in this video but keeps looking right into the camera. LOL

The Walk

Spotify turned me on to this and I have to share.

I Woke Up With The BeeGees In My Head

Who the hell knows why but here ya go:

And here's some Andy Gibb since we're there this a.m.:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I had a crazy Friday yo.

It turns out that you when you rarely drink caffeine and then you get on a half and half (half sweet tea, half lemonade) kick and drink Honest Tea all the time instead of water or even the sparkling water that you normally drink you can get very very very very very dehydrated with dry heaves and retching and stuff.

And when that happens you have terrible dizziness and vertigo and it's scary so you call work to let them know you can't come but you've scared yourself so bad that you're crying on the phone so your boss insists you call 911 which you do after calling your soon to be ex-husband who also says call 911 and that he will meet you at the hospital. By now you're in a full on cry and panic and when the firemen arrive (dunno why they come first) and you stumble down to the door with everything looking like an LSD trip they check your vitals (which surprisingly and thankfully were good!) and then you proceed to vomit up clear fluids until the ambulance gets there, and then you retch and heave when going out into the ambulance scaring your elderly neighbors who have looked out for you for nine years.

You get to the hospital and they initially think you have food poisoning, and give you something for nausea (thank you Miss Jean!) and you feel better now so you want to go home and then you sit up and everything is still spinning so the doc comes around and asks you some questions and presses your belly here and there and it's decided that you are dehydrated and the lining of your stomach is inflamed. They take some tests and samples to be sure, hook you to an IV to get fluids into you, your soon to be ex-husband comes and talks to your mother who was already in the car and headed up I-85 and to the doc and gets stuff straight then puts you in the car.

Then you go home. And get in the bed. Water only for me for the unforeseen future.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Birthday Mama SLS!

I called my mom this morning to wish her a happy birthday and she told me that she wanted a blowout birthday party -- three years from now. What da hell? LOL!

THEN when I asked her what she was doing today (my mama "retired" in 2003, but has continued to take long-term sub teaching gigs) she said her friend was going to work for her (what?!) and she was going to a hotel to check-in and she would be ordering room service, watching Trash TV, getting a massage and not answering her cell.

Of course, I only half heard the last part of the conversation cause I was like, what kind of job is this where you can send your FRIEND in to work for you when you don't feel like going? How do I get that hook up?

Well she told me I was keeping her from her celebration and got off the phone. 

One day Imma be old enough to do and say whatever I want to all the time, too. LOL!

Have a good one y'all!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In the end these things matter most....

How well did you love?

How fully did you live?

How deeply did you let go?

— Siddhārtha Gautama

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

You *Can* Go Home Again!

It was so cool to be home with my family. And this was the time to be there as I saw relatives I haven't seen in years and years and years, such as:

My fave great-uncle F, who told me I was even more beautiful than the last time he saw me.

His wife, my fave great-aunt B, who hugged me so tight and told she had missed me and that she thinks about me every year when she cooks okra because I always liked her okra.

My cousin K and his children. He looks so much like his dad now that he's older it was scary.

My cousin C's new girlfriend, who I like a lot. He's doing well after his divorce. Gives me hope.

My cousin S's "oops" baby (he's 19 months), who was on my hip and in my lap for a long time cause he liked him some Cousin SLS.

And it was really great to see my Grandma with three of her seven sisters (another two couldn't make it and then another two are deceased -- one passed away a couple of months ago). Her last living brother wasn't able to make it. But, that's a lot of folks still with us (my great grandparents had 17 children) and my Grandma isn't the oldest!

And various and sundry other relatives.

I will admit that lately when I've gone home I have actually thought about going back to live there. I never thought I would get to that point. I guess this time it didn't feel like the prison it has felt like in the past AND I liked having people around who loved me.

Finally, I got to have one special moment with my Grandma. Now, she may be 90, but she is vain as all get out. So when I went to pick her up, I helped her get dressed. We picked out her wig, her jewelry, her make up and she had her nails done and all that. I never got to play dress up with this grandma cause that wasn't her thing, that was what me and Granny did. It was a nice shared memory.