Friday, December 29, 2006

Ordinary People of 2006

I've tried my hardest to make this an original blog, but damn it, there's just no escaping certain things that have been done over and over. So please forgive me for posting an end of the year list. This one be like all those other lists that you've seen on news and what not, this is the S/C/W version.

Each year, People Magazine likes to do it's 50 Most Beautiful People list. Well, I've decided to list some folks who I think are beautiful, either for their looks or other attributes, and have not gotten the recognition they deserve. It also contains folks I'd like to see more of in 2007. Check it out!

1. Djimon Hounsou. I saw Blood Diamonds recently and had to wonder if this man has ever even been nominated for an Academy Award. There's something special about that man.

2. Keith Robinson III. I have mentioned that I'm obsessed with 'Dreamgirls,' but I haven't mentioned about the little crush I developed on the dude that played Cici, Effie's brother. Where'd he come from? When can I see him again?

3. Robin Thicke. Speaking of obsessions, I really don't need to go on about how I'm in love with this man again, do I? I watched an old episode of 'Growing Pains' recently and found myself thanking the loins of Dr. Seaver.

4. Jason Segel. This past year, my Monday nights have changed thanks to a show called 'How I Met Your Mother.' My devotion has nothing to do with the star, Josh Radnor, whose constant whining and whimpering is not good for my mental health. But I love his buddy Marshall, played by Jason Segel. He and I go back to 'Freaks and Geeks', which was unfairly canceled. I also love Neal Patrick Harris, but there's been enough said about his recent comeback and his coming out, so he didn't make the list.

5. Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje. I admit that I cried when they killed Mr. Eko off of 'Lost' a few months ago. I wasn't feeling this dude at all when he played Adebisi on 'Oz.' Back then, his acts sickened me and all I wanted to do was straighten that lopsided hat on his head. I changed my mind when he came to Lost and realized how sexy he looks in the flashbacks. I'm shocked at what a shower and shave will do for a man. Of course, now all the black folks have disappeared from this show. I'll have to reevaluate my commitment to 'Lost' after this season. Hmph.

Honorable mentions:
Carlos Bernard, actor -- 24
Percival Everett, writer -- Erasure, Glyph, Wounded
Daniel Sunjata, actor -- Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada
Adrian Grenier, actor -- Entourage, The Devil Wears Prada
Joey Harrington, football player -- Miami Dolphins

1. Lisa Gay Hamilton. This actress will forever be on my list, since she gets no recognition anywhere. Whenever I see a movie or TV show that features her, I always wonder why she never gets more roles. Back when she had a recurring role on 'The Practice', the writers treated her like an extra. I hope to see more of her in the future.

2. Reiko Aylesworth. The one way to get me to stop watching a TV show is by killing of a favorite character of mine. And last year, when the folks at 24 blew up the character Michelle in a car bomb, and then killed her husband, Tony (Carlos Bernard) a few episodes later, I was done. I've been watching her since she was on One Life to Live back in the day and have seen her suffer through several parts with barely even a speaking role. The word is that she's going to star in the new Alien vs. Predator movie. Under ordinary circumstances, I wouldn't see that flick. But since she's in it, I'll at least get it at netflix.

3. Meredith Vieira. She's hardly underrated, but I made an exception in this case. Am I the only one whose not surprised that she's doing such a good job on the Today show? After handling the bitch beat on the View, its good to see ol' Merdith doing something worthwhile for a change, even taking on The Donald. I even see Meredith as a better fit than Katie on this new prime time gig of hers. Make that money, MV!

4. Anika Noni Rose. This is another 'Dreamgirls' shoutout, but I can't help myself. This Broadway actress played the role of Lorell in the movie, but the movie didn't show much about her character outside of her relationship with singer James 'Thunder' Early, played by Eddie Murphy. She's slated to have a bunch of movies premiere in 2007, so we'll see where this takes her.

5. Whitney. It may be too soon to call, but I hope this year is her comeback year. Now that she's gotten rid of that baggage, I hope she'll focus on getting her life together and reviving that beautiful voice.

Honorable mentions:
Jaguar Wright, musician
Macy Gray, musician
Meshell Ndegeocello, musician

People I'd like to see less of in 2007:
Paris Hilton, Kevin Federline, Britney Spears.

Have a wonderful 2007!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Baby, you'll always be 16 to me." -- Curtis

Sorry I’ve been neglecting my posting duties, even falling back on my promise of Monday/Wednesday postings. I wish I had a reason as to why things have been so delayed, but I don’t. I’ve just been lazy. And between the ongoing rush that is the holidays and the strange things that keep happening to me, trust, I have plenty to write about. I just haven’t been motivated to do so. But today that changes.

Because I haven’t been posting, I haven’t mentioned my ongoing obsession with the movie, “Dreamgirls.” When I was around four years old, Mom went to Broadway to catch this musical with her sisters. She was so excited about how great it was, that she came back and told me about the play word for word. I remember looking through the book at the gorgeous Sheryl Lee Ralph, Loretta Devine and Jennifer Holliday. Mom played the songs non stop, especially Jennifer Holliday’s “And I Am Telling You.” I loved this play without even seeing it. I was upset that I didn’t get a chance to go, but Mom said I was too young.

Fast forward to the present day. I heard that they were producing a movie and I didn’t have high hopes. But then I saw the previews with BeyoncĂ© channeling Diva Diana in all her fabulousness, that I knew I must see it. To prepare, I whipped out my copy of “Mahogany” (yes, I do own it, no I ain’t ‘shamed) and got ready to watch. But my stupid VCR apparently wanted the tape more than I did and it got lodged inside. I’ve been trying to get that bad boy out for a week now.

Anyway, I saw the movie the day after Christmas. I LOVED it. I felt like I was at a concert. Jennifer Hudson was AMAZING… stole the show in my opinion. And I’ve never been a BeyoncĂ© fan before, but the chick gets much respect. I mean, this heffa is downright gorgeous. Even in those old wigs and outfits, she shined.

I sang, I clapped and if it wasn’t for that annoying Little Bastard in our row, I would have cried during the critical Jennifer Hudson song or Jamie Foxx’s “When I First Saw You.” This kid did it all – needed to go to the bathroom during my favorite scene (Jamie’s previously mentioned song), sneezed annoyingly throughout the movie, loudly whispered to her mother at critical parts, among other things. I had to restrain my movie date, J.J., from screaming “Roe Vs. Wade” at her mother. That experience helped me realize that when I have kids, I’m never taking them to the movies. If I must, I’m doping them up on Benadryl beforehand.

Despite those challenges, I had an enjoyable time. I’ll probably see the movie again, because that’s how I get when I’m in obsessive mode. When it comes on DVD, I’ll probably buy it. Hopefully, by then I’ll have rescued “Mahogany” from my evil VCR and I’ll be able to view the flicks consecutively. Yes, I know I need help. Unfortunately, I can’t afford the help that I need.

(photo courtesy of

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Like A Star & Put Your Records On

I have jumped on the Corinne Bailey Rae bandwagon. Heard this song on myspace, then ran and bought the cd. I haven't been stopped playing it yet!
Check it:

Also check my theme song:

Monday, December 11, 2006

Slowing Down

Well blog readers, things have been fun here, but I think it's time for me to scale back on my posts a little bit. Between the blog, work, school, and the occasional cruising the Internet and other miscellaneous distractions, I find that I have been neglecting my writing.

I need to get back on schedule with that, so I'm going to slow down the posts for a little while. I'm not disappearing, but I promise to have a new post here each Monday and Wednesday. Actually, maybe promise is too strong of a word. I'll try to have new posts waiting for you all on Mondays and Wednesdays.

In the meantime, it's back to my writing. Hopefully I'll get some short stories published and (gasp!!) even a novel. Please look out for a book by Strength/Courage/Wisdom coming soon!

Friday, December 08, 2006

The Strength Planet

Mom once told me that I live on my own planet where everyone speaks a strange language. Apparently, they have music there too.

Throughout my life, I have been known as the person who butchers music lyrics. I'll hear a song and recite back what I think I hear, and everyone nearby will look at me like I'm Boo Boo the Fool. It's alright though. After 29 years, I'm used to the stares and laughter. It comes part of being the only occupant on the Strength planet.

Here are a few of my famous screwups. Some of them, I only learned the true lyrics very recently:

-My version of Kanye West's 'Testify.': 'I gotta testify, come up in the spot lookin extra fly, for the day you die, you gonna testify.'
Reality: The song is called "Touch the Sky": 'I gotta testify, come up in the spot lookin extra fly, for the day you die , you gonna touch the sky.'

-My version of Whitney Houston's 'So Emotional': 'I get so emotional baby, everytime I think of youuuuu. I get so emotional baby, just show me what ... love can doooooo.'
Reality: 'I get so emotional baby, everytime I think of youuuuuu. I get so emotional baby. Ain't it shocking what ... love can dooooo.'

-My version of Guns 'n Roses 'Welcome to the Jungle' (I have a diverse group of friends, what can I say?): 'Welcome to the jungle, we got what it takes ..'
-Reality: 'Welcome to the jungle, we got fun 'n' games ...'

You get the picture.

My coworker, Nicole, and I were talking about music recently (today, actually). I told her how I often insert my name in songs, since its so hard to find a song with my name in it. When she said she felt the same way, I looked at her like she was crazy. I asked her if she heard that old song by Jimmy Cozier called "I Love Nicole." She hadn't. I even sang the chorus: 'Sometimes I love her/sometimes I love her not/I love Nicole cause she's all I got.' She still didn't know what I was talking about.

I googled and googled and I finally found the song. It's actually called "She's All I Got." I sent her the link to the video and she could barely get through it, she was laughing so hard. She proceeded to tell me that her name wasn't in the song. Jimmy was actually saying 'I ain't lettin her go.' I tried to explain that Jimmy was mumbling so much that it was an easy mistake, but she was laughing too hard.

Ah well. Not my fault folks aren't on my planet. Check the video below. Who knew?

Monday, December 04, 2006

Baby, Remember My Name

I mentioned previously that I was revisiting my childhood and right now I'm in the thick of it. I'm still in the '80s and I'm done with watching and re-watching my favorite movie, only to move on to one of my favorite TV shows. I put in for my netflix order and promplty received season one of Fame on dvd.

Say what you will, but when I was a girl, I thought this was the best show on TV. I sang along to the theme song, making up some words as I went along. I was always so perplexed that these people not only wanted to live forever, but they wanted to learn how to fly....high. Deep. Real deep. In my mind, I was Cocoa, who danced her butt off in a class run by Clair Huxtable's baby sister. My other favorite character was Leroy Johnson... but of course. Gene Anthony Ray was the best thing that happened to that show.

I spent a good hunk of Saturday morning and afternoon watching the show. It's not good by today's standards (and don't even get me started on the movie, which SUCKS. the best part was leroy's audition dance), but I couldn't walk away from my TV. There were a few cameos in there, including a non-speaking part from Michael DeLorenzo and a speaking part from the brotha who played the father on "Moesha."

I was so enthralled with Fame that Mom signed me up for ballet lessons. I decided I wanted something more exciting, so I switched to tap, then jazz. In the end, I decided I wanted to hang up my dancing shoes and watch Saturday morning cartoons with my cousins. That's probably why I have two left feet to this day. I had big dreams, I wanted fame. But fame costs and I didn't want to start paying ... in sweat.

Oh well, I'd better get back to my show. I only have one more episode to watch on disc 1 and I'll be done with that one. I can't wait till they release all the previous seasons on dvd, because I surely will add them to my collection. But then I'd never leave the house. It's a Catch 22. Sigh.

Monday, November 27, 2006

R.I. P. Bebe Moore Campbell, 1950-2006

I was saddened to read this earlier today. Ms. Campbell has been one of my favorite authors since I read "Your Blues Ain't Like Mine" some years ago. Her work never let me down and I tried to read everything she wrote, including the excellent "Brothers & Sisters," "What You Owe Me" and most recently, "72 Hour Hold."

For anyone who hasn't read her work, I advise you to go to your local bookstore and pick up one of her books. It is truly a sad day in literature.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm a fan, not a stalker. Really, I am!

I'm convinced that I'm getting younger everyday. I get my kicks out of watching cartoons and kid movies. And most recently I was reunited with my first love. Leroy Green.

For those of you who don't know me too well, I'll offer my confession now. "The Last Dragon" is my favorite movie. I was 9 years old when I first saw this movie, which is about a black kung fu master in Harlem named Leroy, aka Bruce Leroy. Vanity played his love interest and it featured cameos from William H. Macy, Cockroach from the Cosby Show and a few other folks.

It's a pretty cheesy flick, but you couldn't tell my 9-year-old eyes that. I fell madly in love with Taimak, the actor who played Bruce Leroy. I followed his career ever since then, even though there wasn't much to follow. My eyes would bug out of my head every time I caught him in one of his bit parts (He was a bartender in the Peach Pit After Dark on 90210, he was the guy that tried to rape Freddie in "A Different World" and he was in a few of those BET Arabesque movies). He's the reason I took karate lessons. I even signed the online petition for the filming of a sequel to The Last Dragon. Because I have great friends who feed into my obsessions, I own The Last Dragon on VHS, DVD and I have the soundtrack. Oh yes. I'm his number one fan. Some might call me a stalker, but whatever. They don't love the way I love.

I pretty much have the movie memorized, but I started watching it again this week. Then I found his website, plus saved him as a friend on MySpace. It doesn't matter to me that he's in his 40s now, never been married, and has no kids, which means people constantly question his sexuality. I still love that man. If he's gay ... we can work it out. I mean, look at Star Jones and Al. It can work!

These days, he is a trainer at a karate studio in New York. I devised a plan to visit him there once when I was in NYC with friends, but Juicy wouldn't let me do it. *sigh* Maybe I'll do it next year on my birthday, since it doesn't look like I'll be taking my dream trip to Egypt. I'll just so happen to be in the same area of Taimak's studio when I bump into him, with a pen, paper and digital camera ready. If I do meet him, I already have two options for my opening line. I'll either look him up and down and say "I would love to teach you some moves, Leroy", or I'll scream, "Could you teach me some moves?!!!" (Sorry, those are quotes from the movie. If you haven't seen it, I'm afraid you're left in the dark.)

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Feels good

This is my 100th post. I'd been trying to think of something witty to write to mark this occasion like I did for the 50th, but I couldn't think of anything. Surprisingly, some things have changed in my life recently that gave me some material.

An elderly relative died recently and I had to go to my hometown for the funeral. It's always weird going there because I'm surrounded by a bunch of relatives who I either don't remember or they mistake me for my mother or one of my aunts. As expected, this happened several times at the funeral. And while I was there, I was able to see some relatives that I remembered very well, but for reasons that I won't go into here, I vowed never to speak to them again. True to my word, I hadn't had any contact with them in seven years.

It was very weird to spend half the day trying not to look at the side of the room where said relatives sat. I did what they did and didn't speak; I tried my best to get through the service without looking in their direction. When I did try to make eye contact, they didn't (or wouldn't) meet my eyes. I was so angry and hurt by the situation that I gave myself a fever and a pounding headache.

By the end of the post-service meal, I had enough. I went to their side of the room and greeted the people who were the source of my anger. We wound up hugging and crying, with them apologizing and me accepting their apologies. In the end, we looked like teenagers on the last day of school, scribbling our addresses down and programming phone numbers in our cell phones. I didn't realize how much I missed them until then. It didn't even occur to me that maybe they missed me as much as I missed them. Until that moment, I thought the concept of tears of joy was a myth. Now I tear up each time I replay that scene in my head. It's good to have my family back in one piece, even if I was the one who had to break the ice. My daddy would've been proud.

On my way out the door, one of my cousins grabbed me. "I saw what you did and you're a woman," she said. "You're a real strong woman, you hear me?" All I could do was nod. I knew that in a few minutes my self-inflicted fever would break and my headache would go away. Anger was tearing me up inside and it was time to let it go.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Yucky Yolk

I'm amazed at what my refrigerator can do when it's unattended.

The other day, I took the time to clean out the fridge, which was screaming for some attention. It contained practically every nasty thing you can think of -- sour milk, rotting lunch meat and swiss cheese that has turned a greenish blue.

The bad part was that I was hungry as I did all this. My tastebuds screamed for an egg sammich. Not a sandwich, a sammich -- with cheese, butter and strawberry jelly. Hells yes, jelly. Don't knock it till you try it.

I had two cartons of eggs and one carton only had one egg left. The carton with the single egg had an expiration of July, but the second one was more recent. But because I'm curious, I decided to see what an egg four months past its prime would look like. So I cracked it open with my fork and what did I see? A big ball of black yolk. Nasty!! I quickly ran it down my garbage disposal and hoped that that wasn't symbolic in any way.

Friday, November 10, 2006


This week, I was terribly saddened by the death of Ed Bradley and then today of Gerald Levert. For me, Ed Bradley was the best part of the bland 60 Minutes. He stayed handsome throughout his life and I loved the way he rocked that earring. Gerald Levert was a big teddy bear with a beautiful voice. I remember being a little girl dancing to some of his hits with Levert, the group he formed with his brother and cousin back in the 80s.

But in my office this week, you'd think I was the only one who cared about these deaths. One of my friends emailed me Thursday and told me that Ed Bradley died from leukemia. I was shocked because I didn't even know he was sick and again, he was the best part of that boring CBS show. I had a moment of silence at my desk and pressed on, 'cause that's what I do. For whatever reason, I didn't tell my coworkers the news. I don't know why, maybe in the back of my mind I thought that they wouldn't care about the death of a black newsman.

It didn't take long for the news to spread and soon, everyone in our little department was coming up to me, asking if I knew that Ed Bradley died. They would come across the room and talk to me about it, as if the death of this black man didn't matter to anyone but me, the only black person in the office. "He was such a good man," one lady said to me. "And a good journalist. I trusted him. I really did." But later that night, this trusted man's death didn't even lead the 11 o'clock news. I mean, it's not like he was Britney Spears, ending a marriage via text message. Now that's news.

Another friend emailed me today about Gerald Levert and I was just as saddened. I needed to share this info with someone, but I knew none of my white colleagues listened to R&B. But then there's Anna. Anna is white, but she lives with her black boyfriend. She must've seen too many 'hood flicks because she uses them as fodder in her daily imitation of a stereotypical black woman. Yet her delivery makes her look more like Buckwild from Flavor of Love. Anna once told me that she loved my baby locks and asked me what I would think if she got her hair cornrowed. All I could think of was Bo Derek in "10", and told her that she should do what she wants.

Anyway, I sent Anna an i.m.:
Me: Do you remember Gerald Levert?
Anna: Hell yeah, girl
Me: He's dead! Had a heart attack.

Anna jumps up from her computer, eyes crazed. "Are you serious?? Can ya'll believe this? GERALD LEVERT IS DEAD!!" Everyone else looked around and gave a collective, "who?"

Anna looked around the room like she was staring at BooBoo the Fool. "Ya'll can't be serious up in this piece! Gerald Levert -- Eddie Levert's son!!"

Sean, another coworker, was perplexed. "I'm sorry. Were they friends of yours?"

"They're singers," I said. "Eddie sang with the O'Jays and Gerald was his son."

"Doesn't sound familiar," Sean said. "Can you sing a song?"

Against my better judgment, Anna and I did a duet of Levert's 1986 hit, "Casanova." We were off key and all we knew was the chorus. Sean later said he knew the song, but neither one of us believed him. Anna went back to her desk and made a series of calls where she screeched, "Gerald Levert is dead! Gerald Levert is dead!"

Later, I saw her outside smoking a cigarette and holding her cell phone, presumably telling someone else about Gerald's death. "Yo, I can't even believe these people," Anna said. "How can you not know who Gerald Levert is?!"

I shrugged.

"Damn shame," Anna said. "Damn shame."

Sure is.

Update: Upon checking my newspaper on Saturday, I see that Gerald's death is on page 6B, sans photo. There's no mention of it at all on the website.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

"Taco night? I don't do taco night!"

It is now official. Until February, my Wednesdays are going to change. "Lost" has been placed on hiatus until then so ABC can run with that stupid Taye Diggs show that looks like "Groundhog Day" with guns.

I'm gong to miss "Lost" and all the unstability that it brings into my life. Every Thursday, just before lunch, my coworker and fellow Lost-aholic corners me by the vending machine and asks if I watched it. Then he'll tell me little things that I may have missed and what the writers are saying in the podcasts, message boards and secret websites. Yeah, he's a bit over the top. As a matter of fact, he scares me!

I feel a little guilty because so many "Lost" fans have theories about where the show is going and why these folks are stranded on the island. But I have no theories, no hypothesis. I am pissed off with the increased disappearance of all the black folks -- Michael, Walt, the woman with cancer, the woman with The Others who opened the hatch, and Mr. Eko. Words can not express how upset I was when the killed Mr. E. There are so many other people they could've murdered -- Hurley, Charlie and if Sayed wasn't so sexy, I'd want him gone too.

But last night, at least, the show had my attention. The moment I've been waiting for with Kate and Sawyer finally happened. Kate flashed back to a time when she was married and she basically went ballistic on her hubby. "Taco night? I don't do taco night!" Then she killed him. Actually, she just poisoned him. Man, I love her.

So for the next few months, my Wednesday evenings will be somewhat empty. At least I have one more episode of Dancing With the Stars to fill the void. I'm torn between Mario and Emmitt. They're both so good! It's the Dimples vs. The Bald Head. I can't wait to see who will pull it out in the end.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Can't Knock the Hustle

I'm a sucker for a cute kid selling Girl Scout Cookies. Heck, I'm a sucker for an ugly kid selling Girl Scout Cookies. So there was no way I could say no to the mass of hair that come marching toward me this evening.

The Girl Scouts had the perfect hustle going. They were set up in front of a school, which was my voting station. It was raining and they looked more than pitiful as they counted their money. The girl -- glasses, braces, hair going every which way -- was either too nervous, or too self conscious to give me the full sales pitch. All I heard was, "Um .... Miss? Would you like to ... ummmm.... uh...?" I was about to instruct her in the art of successful marketing, until I looked at the table and saw that they had Trefoils, my favorite. I happily handed over my $3.50 and grabbed a box. I was so excited that I drove away without voting.

Just kidding. I did cast my ballot and there was no drama. I hope everyone had a happy voting day!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

To The Extremes

I once told my friend, Dee, that one of the reasons I'm single is because I've seen very few stable relationships in my life. Very few of my friends are married and some are in some seriously unstable situations filled with baby mama drama, cheating, and child support scandals, among others. So I thought it was only natural that I spent my life dealing with fellas like The Jerk, Mr. Too Sensitive, Mr. Not Sensitive Enough, The Amateur Rapper who only talked in rhyme and the Ambigiously Gay Ex Boyfriend.

Enter my homie Dee. We became friends back in the Midwest and I did my best to ruin her life. Well, not totally, but in my own way. Dee is one of those people who likes sweat – working out, rowing boats, riding bikes – that’s all pleasurable to her. Me? I’m a big fan of eating and sleeping. When she entered my life, I showed her how to do things my way. We spent a lot of time going to the movies, then IHOP, watching soap operas, then heading to Arby’s, watching music videos and then going out for ice cream. Not the healthiest situation.

Needless to say, I moved away and Dee lost 40+ pounds.But Dee didn’t lose this weight on her own. She fell in love with a Canadian. He had the same sickness she did; he was addicted to sweat. They spent their time rock climbing, skiing, weight lifting, playing tennis and then seductively rubbing each other down in Ben Gay. I began to call them The Extreme Couple. I liked the Canadian, but I was disgusted that he was ruining my influence on her. But I got over it.

Anyway, after they’d been dating for awhile, Dee and I patiently waited for what every woman waits for in these situations.

The Ring.

I may have been more anxious for a proposal than she was. Whenever she called me unexpectedly or on special occasions, I waited for the news. We started to talk in code:
Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: Really? What’s going on? (You got the ring?)
Dee: I got these beautiful diamond earrings. (Nah girl, not even close.)
Me: Oh, that’s beautiful! (When’s it coming? Where’s the ring?)
Dee: Yeah, I really love them. (I wish I knew)

Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What’s going on? (Thank you Jesus!)
Dee: I got concert tickets! (Settle down, it’s not what you think)
Me: That’s fabulous! (Well damn. How long am I expected to wait?)
Dee: Yes, I can’t wait to go. (It’ll come soon. It better.)
Me: You guys have fun. (Don’t make me have to cut a Canadian)

Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What? (Oh, finally)
Dee: I got a new car!
Me: You know what? I tired of this *bleep* *bleeping* *bleep!* Where the *bleep* is the *bleeping* ring?
Dee: Girl, I wish I knew.
Me: I mean, what the *bleep?* I’ve invested too much in this *bleeping* relationship!
Dee: I know you have.
Me: Do I have to go out there to make him see the light? I mean, what’s wrong with you? Why won’t he propose?
Dee: Oh, he’s the one with the problem.

(And on Halloween)
Dee: You’ll never believe this!
Me: What’s up? (What the *bleep* do you want now? Didn’t I talk to you earlier today?)
Dee: I … I ….
Me: Yeah? (Spit it out. I’m eating my dinner)
Dee: I… got… engaged!!!
Me: Que?
Dee: I got engaged!!

The Canadian dressed up as a trick or treater and surprised her with The Ring. He had been planning it for months, but things finally came together this week. They’re planning the wedding now and out of the three weddings that I’m going to in 2007, this is the only one I’m looking forward to attending.So, I give my sincere congratulations to Dee and the Canadian, the soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Extreme. I wish you nothing but the best. Thank you for being on my list of stable couples … you give the rest of us hope!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Signed, Sealed & Delivered

Well, I did it. I saw The Ex, just like I said I would. There was no cursing, no throwing things and no yelling, so I'd say it went pretty well.

We met up at Starbucks and I was late, as I tend to be no matter how hard I try. (Plus, I had to make sure I was wearing a pair of shoes that would make me tower over him) He looked good. He had just come from work and was all dressed up as he read the paper and waited for me. We gave each other compliments and chatted about the stuff that has happened to us over the years. He's single, but not happily so. He told me about how he wants to get married and have kids, but he can't find the right one. He said everyone he meets seems to have some kind of "agenda", whatever that means. It helped me realize that things are just as hard out here for the fellas as it is for us gals.

We were there for about two hours, just catching up. We didn't have the "I don't hate you anymore" conversation, but I think it's understood on both our ends. There are no hard feelings anymore.

So we ended the evening with a hug. Then he said, "Are you getting taller?" Heh heh. I guess I selected the right pair of boots.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Sunday Morning

Apparently, God is trying to tell me something. I haven't been to church in months and I've pretty much given up on looking for a church home. That means I either spend Sunday morning sleeping in or working out. Lately, it's been more of the former than the latter. Nowadays, even sleep has gone by the wayside because of my lovely neighbors. They are very different from the people I lived with in my previous apartment, but they have their own set of issues here.

I live on the second floor, sandwiched between 'Officer Jaheim' and Martin and Gina. Officer Jaheim got his monicker because he is a police officer and often plays Jaheim cd #1 constantly, particularly his song, "Anything." I once loved that song, until I heard it repeatedly come from his apartment. Martin and Gina are the young couple who live above me and I have the pleasure of listening to their trials and tribulations. The most interesting was when they had an argument about his cooking and he told her to "put some ketchup on it and shut the f*** up." There were shouts, slammed doors, and then the bed squeaking.

These days, the party gets started on Sundays... at 8 a.m. to be exact. Last week, I had a friend in town when Officer Jaheim and his entourage decided they wanted to blast their music at 7:45 a.m. I woke to a loud wordless song with a beat that sounded like 'boom diddity boom boom boom diddy boom.' was pissed, so I ripped off my red scarf and let my little locks flow. I knocked on their door looking my worse -- pj's, robe, glasses and morning breath. A boy answered the door and I politely asked him to turn the music down. You know what he said? "Oh, that's my mom. I'll tell her." His mom??!!!! Sheesh.

She turned it down and I went back to sleep, for a little while. An hour or so later, she decided she wanted to sing a lullaby to the baby. Do you know what lullaby she sang? "Lean wit it, Rock wit it." All I heard was a repeated chant of "lean wit it, rock wit it lean with it, rock wit it lean wit it rock wit it lean wit it rock wit it" over and over in her poor attempt at a whisper. This is going on at the same time that Martin and Gina decide they love each other and start making their own music on that broken down bed of theirs.

This morning it was more of the same, but I had to wake up early anyway. This time, Officer Jaheim's teenage daughter was playing what sounded like Kelis' new cd. I was torn between asking her to turn it down and asking her to burn me a copy. So I decided on nothing and went about my business.

Our walls are thin, so I can't easily escape the sounds of the neighbors. Since Sunday is such a happening day in our building, maybe I'll run to church next week. Then I need to run to a realtor and see about buying a house. This apartment living thing has run its course in my life.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Let it be said ....

... that I hate baseball.
... that I think it's the most boring sport on earth.
....that I've gone to several baseball games only for the hot dogs and atmosphere.
...that many have tried and failed to get me to love this sport.

But let it be said ....

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 20, 2006

New Year's Resolutions, Part Deux

Here I sit at work on a Friday night. (Oh yes, I'm blogging at work!) Basically, I volunteered to do the grunt shift because a coworker (that's the Plantation Wife, for those of you in the know) called in sick. I'll be here until 10, putting out fires, checking myspace, blogs and other reading material.

All this heavy work I have ahead of me caused me to do some deep thinking. In a few short months, 2006 will be history and 2007 will be present. A lot of stuff will happen in the upcoming year, with the changes to Daylight Savings Time, hopefully new representation in Congress and my 30th birthday. It made me think of my buddy, good ol' 2006, and all the promises I made to him in January.

My year was born pretty pitifully on my living room floor as I watched New Year's Rockin' Eve. I had to fight back tears everytime I heard Dick Clark's strained voice, trying to sound as excited as he did in all the previous celebrations. I realized I was getting old then, so I fell to my knees and .... made out my resolution list. Right then and there, I established a few goals for myself in 2006 -- get something published (short story or book), work out regularly and hopefully get Janet Jackson abs, and find a new church. I wrote these plans in my journal and couldn't wait to implement them.

In March, I had to tweak the list. I immediately eliminated the Janet Jackson abs, as I do every year. I mean, the chick has millions of dollars, she could've paid somebody to suck out her ribs and smooth out her belly. Plus, I hate sit ups. They make my neck hurt. Still working on getting published, new church and working out regularly.

Come June, I'm not moved by any of the churches I visited. None of them (there were only three, but still) were inspiring enough for me to want to join. That exercise thing has fallen by the way side a little bit. By this point, it's summer and it's time to show off the working out that was conducted in the winter months. I was lucky to go to the gym two days a week. Methinks I'll start running! Getting published was still my priority. I planned to wake up at 5 a.m. and write for an hour, then go to work and write on my lunch break. I'll write a short story a week and send them out, until someone picks up my stuff. (That grueling schedule went out the window the next day)

Now it's October and the slate is clear. I'm fishing for resolutions for 2007. Still trying to get published, although I'm getting sick of those friggin' rejection letters. Maybe I'll be better organized. I should probably put that at the top of my list. I should spend more time with my parents, apparently a once a month visit isn't good enough for Moms. I definitely should control my addictions, particularly one I have to that Egyptian game mentioned in a previous post. (More about that issue in a future post). That's all I can think of right now. Feel free to leave me some suggestions.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

My wardrobe malfunction

I wasn't going to post anything today, because I was tired, irritable and had a raging case of PMS, mixed in with a twinge of my annual Seasonal Affective Disorder. But then I figured ... what better time to blog than when I'm feeling like dirt?

This morning, I overslept, which is pretty typical for me. But it was my own fault, since I was up until nearly 2 a.m. trying to save my little Egyptians from the Kushite invaders in this addicting computer game that I have. I was prepared for a late night because I had already laid out my clothes for the next day and packed my lunch. So things should go smoothly in the a.m., right? Right?

Naw, that would be too easy. I hop out of bed to slip into my skirt, only to find that I have no clean panty hose. Now I'm frantic because 80 percent of clothes are sitting in my hamper, waiting to be washed (I wasn't lying, Juicy!). So I start pulling things from my hanger until I find a top that doesn't need to be ironed. I slip it on and there's a hole in the center. Grrrr. I grab another shirt and I have to iron it five times until it's presentable. I hate what I'm wearing, but I'm late to work, so I have to go.

All day long, I sit at my computer screen hoping that no one will notice the inappropriateness of my outfit. I was dressed in practically all brown -- dark brown pants, light brown top and brown boots. I looked like a UPS worker or as some of my high school friends would say -- 'Earth Toned Ethel.' (This was a name we gave a female classmate who wore brown from head to toe every day). Plus, I needed to get my hair and eyebrows done, so I felt totally off kilter. Then I had this ongoing desire for chocolate. Yummy!

Well, somehow I got through it. Hopefully tomorrow will be better.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Operation 'Something New'

A high school friend of mine recently got married. They had a small ceremony outside of the state and are having a reception here, to which I am invited. So far, I'm dateless and I'm one of his few single friends. I imagine that there will be very few black women there since my friend 'Victor' is marrying a white woman and several of his friends also have white wives. That's fine for them, but it has helped me come up with a plan that I have devised as Operation: 'Something New.'

This move is based on a movie by the same name. My plan was simple. I was going to take one of my white male friends to the reception and have him pretend to be my man. I wanted to do this partly because I didn't want to go to the reception alone and also because I wanted to give the men there a taste of their own medicine. The black men I know who date white women would say they believe in a color blind society and all that nonsense, but as soon as they see a sista walk by with a white man, they get irate. Surely tongues would wag if I bought my own set of porcelain to the party. Hence, Operation: Something New.

I selected the perfect target -- Ezra. He was an easy choice, since he is the only single and good looking guy at my workplace. I thought he was cute when I first met him, but I was a bit turned off because his girlfriend was a slut. (Gosh, I hate that word. I'll just call her a 'woman of ill repute.' ) Anyway, we got to know each other and I let him into my minority wrecking crew at work, which consisted of myself, a Latino, Trevor (an ambigious looking white man) and Ezra, a Jew. Fun times.

Anywho, the date for this reception is frighteningly close and I've made no moves to implement my plan. Things are further complicated now because I think Ezra and a new female supervisor are embroiled in a secret romance, even though they both have denied the rumors. The way I see it, I have three choices: 1. Pull Ezra aside and say, "would you like to perform a social experiment with me? Maybe afterward we could conceive a little Halle Berry or Lenny Kravitz?"
2. Give my gay friend a straight makeover and have him accompany me to the wedding.
3. Go by myself and try to stay away from both the wine and Victor's freaky father. That could be a lethal combination.

Actually, any one of those options could make a humorous blog post sometime in the future. I'll get back later with my decision.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Mental Health Day

Somedays, other people will sum up my life much better than I can. I was leaving a social services building awhile back and two older black women got on the elevator with me. They worked in the building and were talking about work when they got on the elevator. I'm nosey, so I couldn't help but pick up bits of their conversation. "She had the nerve to ask me 'don't you get excited about your work and your assignments?'" One woman said. "I said, 'Hell no, I don't get excited. White people get excited about that shit." I couldn't help but crack up after I got off the elevator.

This scenario came to mind recently when a supervisor commented on my lack of enthusiasm for the job. Mind you, he just gave me an assignment that was the equivalent of counting the number of fire hydrants on our street. I told him I'd do it, 'cause Lord knows I love getting a paycheck every week, but I guess he expected some singing and dancing to go along with it. I don't know if its a cultural difference or what, but I do my work and take it for what it is .... WORK. I have a colleague (they're all white, except for me) who would've kissed my supervisor's feet if he was given the fire hydrant assignment. Loser.

Anyway, because of my on the job issues, I'm campaigning to get sent home for a Mental Health Day. I could easily call in sick, but I'd prefer that my colleagues see on their own what the working world has done to me. I've come up with a variety of ways to get me noticed and hopefully sent home:

1. The rape whistle. When the going gets rough at the office, I escape to my car and blow on my rape whistle as loud as I can. Now I’ve taken to blowing it in the office. Everytime someone does/says something to tick me off, I’ll blow the whistle in their face. When they ask what’s wrong, I’ll just blow again.

2. Music. Most days, I load my music on my computer and listen to it with headphones during lulls in the day. Now I’ve devised a series of songs with anger management themes and have bought them to work. I’m talking about Eminem, Jaguar Wright, NWA, Public Enemy. This time, I’ll let the music blast from my computer. “What are you listening to, Strength?” “'Dead N*** Boulevard,’ by Meshell Ndegeocello.” “Umm….okay.”

3. The Pound. Before I go to lunch, I will pound my head onto the computer five times quickly as I squeal ‘ow, ow, ow, ow.’ When anyone asks what’s wrong, I’ll look at them like they’re the crazy ones.

4. Talking in tongues. Every time I get off the phone with an agitated person, I’ll slam the phone down. Then I’ll jump to my feet and scream “King Kong Ain’t Got Nothin’ on Me” in a loud, booming voice. I’ll beat on my chest for a few seconds, then I’ll go back to work as if nothing happened.

5. Calling in sick. I will get to the office in the morning and check my email. Then I’ll pick up my phone and call my supervisor, who sits less than three feet away from me, and tell him that I’m sick and I won’t be able to make it into work today. He’ll think of it as a joke, but I will promptly log off my computer and walk out.

Hopefully, this will be enough to get me sent home on that special holiday. But with my luck, they'll view all of this as my newfound enthusiasm and give me a promotion. *Sigh*

(Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Back in the Box

Sorry for the brief absence. I wish had an excuse for the hiatus, but I don't. I was just slacking. While I was 'away', I thought of a couple of things to blog about:
1. I'm campaigning to get sent home for a mental health day at work
2. Operation: Something New
3. I'm going out with coffee with The Ex next week.

I'll get back to the first two in later posts, but today I will focus on number 3. I've been communicating with said Ex and we've made temtative plans to hang out next week. There's no ulterior motives on my part; this is just my way of taking hold of my future. You see, I know there's going to be a day where I'm at the grocery store wearing curlers and pimple cream and who will I run into? Yep, the Ex. So I'm going to avoid that by seeing him on my terms, which means that I will look too good for words.

We did not have a good break up, if there is such a thing. And we only started talking amicably a few years ago. Now I realize I am completely over him. Previously, I was over him, but I didn't want anyone else to have him. Now I just want him to be happy. With someone else. Maybe I've matured.

So anywho, I'll see him, write about it and that'll be that. A good friend of mine once said that seeing an old boyfriend is like finding that old teddy bear in the garage. You're so happy to see it that you hug and squeeze it. Then you realize that it stinks and it just isn't you anymore. So you put it back in the box and keep on moving. That's what I'm going to do. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I'm so obsessed with this man. Come Tuesday, I'm running to get this cd!
(Okay, I can't get the stupid code to work. Go here and click on 'Lost Without You.' That's his wife in the video)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I'd like to send a firm thanks to the people at Dancing with the Stars for allowing my man, Mario Lopez, to dance again. I'd like to send an even further thanks to the people over at Nip Tuck for allowing him to appear on the show this season and showing his booty. As someone who has long loved A.C. Slater, I have to say thank you thank you thank you!!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I'm in Love with a Stripper

This weekend I went to a workout class that I’ve been putting off for various reasons. Now that I went, I’ve gotta keep going back. See, this was strip aerobics. And thanks to our leader, Cinderella, I had a great workout.

It was a free intro class and I went with a friend. It started out with her leading us through a series of moves. She would ask us how we felt and we would yell out 'Sexy!' Then things started getting more serious with us repeating a series of moves to the beat of the music. We had to rotate our legs a certain way, but keep them together as if we were squeezing a hundred dollar bill. We also had to do a kitty cat pose which is an erotic version of yoga’s downward dog. And there was a whole lot of booty shaking going on. By the time it was over, I had the trademark Whitney Houston sweat on the top of my lip and my legs and abs felt tight. But the mission was accomplished, b/c I did feel sexy.

Later, Cinderella demonstrated her moves on the pole and I was seriously impressed. She climbed it, spun around it and hung upside down on it. And she was just an ordinary looking woman. Actually she wasn’t that cute at all. But by the time the class was over, I wanted her number! (that’s a joke… I’m not a lesbian, no I’m not)

Now I have newfound respect for strippers/exotic dancers. It’s not all take it off, grind, shake, take the money. There’s an art form to this. I’ve got to go back there and buy a bulk of classes so I can learn some moves. Then I want to go to strip club and see if I can pick up any new moves. I've got to buy some classes and a pair of trampy shoes soon. ‘Cause I’m bringing sexy back. Woo-hooooo!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Flavor Flaaaaaav!!!!!

About a week ago, I was visiting my mother. We were sitting back, drinking lemonade and shooting the breeze. Suddenly, she told me that she had an important question for me. I cringed. Did she find out about the 10-year-old twins I put up for adoption? How I spent my senior year in college stripping to help pay for my portion of the tuition? My affair with my high school gym teacher?**

“What’s the point of ‘Flavor of Love?’”

Whew. A television question. That I can handle. Thanks to Juicy, I was able to catch a marathon of that show over the weekend. Here’s a quick recap. The show revolves around Flavor Flav, who was a member of conscious rap group Public Enemy. The group, led by Chuck D, was known for giving the finger to all things authority (hence one of their song titles, “Fight the Power”). Flavor Flav was more like the mascot of the group, chiming in every once in a while to say “Yeah, Boy”, bug out his eyes and twitch like an epileptic. He’s so famous that VH1 chose him for The Surreal Life (a show for Z-list celebrities) and it was there that he hooked up with Max-Headroom look alike Brigitte Nielsen. They broke up and he decided he wanted real love. Hence his show, Flavor of Love.

This is the second season of this trainwreck, er, I mean, show. The first season he chose a girl nicknamed Hoopz over another known as New York. Hoopz later broke up with him and they called for another season. New York came back to unleash her fury on the other contestants and keep them in line. By the end of the show, Flav decided he wanted her in the running again. When he gave her the gigantic clock (the show's version of giving the rose on The Bachelor) she bawled like a baby.

I don't know why any of these women want to be put through Flav's house of horrors for the world to see. But at least I can understand New York's motives. Up until now, she's known as the chick who was dissed by the unattractive Flavor Flav. Can't go out like that. Even if it means putting herself through an endless amount of booty-shaking contests. Poor girl.

Days like this make me glad I got rid of cable. Because I would surely be television watching.

(**All lies, btw. Or are they? Heh heh)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I reflected about the high school years the other day with one of my oldest friends, April. (that's the republican, for my regular readers) We spent alot of time together because we had similar circumstances -- only child, single mother and one of the few black students in a predominantly white classroom. We were also the girls with the answers. We were the students in class that teachers love, but students hate. We knew the answers, but it's not that we tried to draw attention to that fact. We weren't the kid in the front row who raised his hand for every question and pouted if the teacher picked someone else. We were undercover nerds. We tried to hide our brains, but the teachers would know better and call on us constantly to demonstrate that fact. Then they'd praise us and the other kids would roll their eyes.

April's talent is math, mine is English. Here is April's story, as told to me:
(My high school, 1993. Ms. Massaquoi's pre-calculus class)
Ms. M: Now who can look at this problem and apply the I Love Math Theorem?
April: (face buried behind textbook)
Ms. M: Anyone? Anyone?
April: (shrinks lower in her seat)
Ms. M: April! Do you know the answer?
April: Ummmm...not really.
Ms. M: Sure you do. Come up here and show everyone.
April: Ok.
(she writes a series of numbers and gibberish on the blackboard as slow as she can, so her classmates will assume she's working the problem out as she goes along) Is that it?
Ms M: Class, look at this!! Do you see the answer? The answer is e=mc2. And April is the only one who knew it. How do you all feel about that?
(A few yawns from the other students)
April: It really wasn't a big deal.
Ms. M: Oh yes it was. You all need to start studying, like April. Do you know why she knows the answers? Because she stays afteschool everyday to practice math! That's right. Everyday. Ask her if you need help.
(April walks slowly to her desk and contemplates slitting her wrists and bleeding over the blackboard. But since that would ruin her wonderful problem solving, she decides against it)

For the record, April stayed afterschool only a few times to tutor a friend. Ms. M. saw them together and jumped to her own conclusions.

Anyway, here's my story. I'm taking a writing class for graduate school. Our assignment was to write our autobiography.
(Present day, Strength Univ.)
Professor: I apologize to you all, but I've been sick this weekend. That means I did two things I never do. One, I marked up everything and two, I used a red pen. So my apologies in advance.
Male student: Oh great. You can keep mine then.
Professor: Some of you are very strong writers and I was impressed. I think the highest score in the class was a 96. Anyway, after you see your papers, you can leave.
(She passes them out and I get my paper. I got ... drumroll please ... a 96!! I could leave now, but everyone else is reviewing their papers. I fear that if I leave, everyone will know that I got the highest grade. So I sit back and try to look pensive)
Professor: (approaches my desk with a questioning look) Something wrong, Ms. Wisdom?
Me: No. Just looking over some of these errors I made.
Professor: Yes, only a few grammatical errors. (she points to my score) But you did very well. You write like a journalist.
Me: I think that's my problem (I chuckle with another student)
Professor: Oh no, you did very well. Very well. Again class, 96 was the highest score. So if you have a 96, I wouldn't even think about resubmitting. I mean, any score in the 90s isn't worth revising, but I'll leave it up to you. But you can't really improve from a 96.
(I stare at my paper for a little while longer, hoping that no one picked up on the fact that I earned the 96. Then I slip out quietly)

Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of my grade. It just made me feel like I was in high school again, trying to fit in with the cool kids. It's not easy having this beauty and brains too. =) In the words of Eva Perrone, or Madonna, "I'm only a simple woman!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

My Reality

I had just completed an episode of A Different World on dvd when I wondered which character I was most like in college. Then I wondered why that wasn’t a blog meme and who I could write to in order to get one established. Then the harsh reality hit me: I have no life.

Sure, I have this fabulous job that I love (yeah, right), I’m pursuing a master’s degree and I spend my free time either working out or hanging with a close-knit group of friends. Yet there are too many days when I come home from work, eat my dinner and count the number of times I blink. I can’t remember the last time I had a date. Actually, I can remember, but I’d rather not go into it here. I wonder how much my life would change if I had a boyfriend. So I started down a path I’ve treaded before – online dating.

The first site I tried was pretty extensive. I don’t want mention its real name, so I’ll just call it eNarmony. I saw the commercials of all the happy married couples and the guy with the glasses that claims to be an expert in love. The site seems easy enough. I’m required to answer a series of statements about my personal characteristics and rate them on a scale of 1 to 7, which translates into not at all, somewhat and very. I went through statements like – I’m ambitious, I like to look at people of the opposite sex, my beliefs make me a better person, etc. Whew! It was a lot of work. Finally, when I got done all that, the web site people told me I was only 15 percent through the questionnaire. Interesting. Was I willing to go any further with this? Hell no!

Then I stumbled on another site, Hatch. I’ve been there before. It’s so easy to keep my profile the same and grab my credit card. But some things have changed from my previous profile. For starters, my picture. I have short hair now and in the picture I have long hair. I have to find someone with a digital camera to take a new picture of me. That sounds a lot easier than it actually is. I can’t really go up to random people and ask them to take my picture and then email it to me. I have considered asking my coworker to do it, since she’s taken up photography as a hobby. But then she’ll wonder why I insist on looking perfect in the photo and I don’t have time for her endless questions. So I’m back to square one.

Things shouldn’t be this hard. Why can’t it just be easy to meet someone? I mean, Mom and Dad were childhood sweethearts. Mom met my stepdad through work. My aunt met my uncle at a club. My cousin met her man through rehab. Nice, simple scenarios! At this rate, I’ll tell my kids that I met their father after he left a comment on my myspace page or winked at me on Hatch. Sigh. It’s hard out here for a chick.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Friends -- How Many of Us Have Them?

Now that I've been roughin' it (that's what I call this period in my life where I've been surviving without cable), I've learned to discover the wonderful world of educational television. I watch PBS often, mainly because that's one of the few channels that doesn't turn all fuzzy on me. It's also enabled me to discover other television shows that I refused to watch in the past. There is this one show called "Friends". Ever heard of it?

Yeah, I know it was popular when it was on. But I refused to watch a bunch of idiotic white kids prance around New York as if they had never seen a minority before. It was the preppy version of 'Living Single' (which I loved) and I refused to support it. Yes, I've watched a few episodes in the past and I know how it ends (Ross and Rachel, blah), but I was never overly impressed.

Thursday nights used to be the best night for television. Back in college, we'd pile into the TV lounge and prepare for a night of New York Undercover, Living Single and whatever else that was black and on the air. We dared anyone to touch the channel:

(Freshman year, Urban U. Two white girls approach the TV)
Girl #1: I'm sooo loving Rachel's hair! I can't wait to see what she does next.
Girl #2: Me either! Let's change the channel.
(Alarm sounds and a group of black students crowd the TV set)
Black student #1: Halt! There will be no watching of the 'Friends' here.
Girl #1: Why not? Everybody watches Friends.
Black student #2: We're watching New York Undercover.
Girl #2: What's that?
Black student #3: It's a black-a** show for black-a** people. So get outta here before we start a revolution.
Crowd: REVOLUTION!!!!!!
Girl #1&2: (huddled close together) Er... let's get outta here.

Maybe I've mellowed a little sense then. Here, 'Friends' comes on at 7 and 7:30 on weeknights. At first, I just kept the show on for a little background noise, then I found myself cracking up. I hate Ross -- he's sooo friggin' pitiful -- but I love him just the same. Chandler gets on my nerves with all his antics, but he cracks me up. I'd say my favorite character is Monica, who is a much more neurotic version of myself. Joey's just dirty, but he makes me laugh. Good times.

So there you have it, my secret is out of the bag. I watch 'Friends' and <*gasp*> I like it. I'll have to keep this a secret from my revolutionary homies.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The Shingles Bond

I didn't do much for my day off. I spent it working out and then recovering from my workout. I watched a bit of tennis which enabled me to see James Blake, who is my kindred spirit. (He won, btw)

Much has been said about Blake's struggles in recent years -- a serious car accident, injuries in training, his father's death from stomach cancer and his own battle against shingles, which nearly paralyzed him. Somehow, he perservered and is back to winning tennis matches again.

Blake and I are the only two people I know of who are under the age of 60 and have dealt with shingles. I got it when I was 17 and I didn't know anything about this virus. All I knew was that I wanted these blisters to go away. The rash was on the side of my stomach and stretched around to the side of my back. It didn't itch, but it hurt. It hurt to the point that I often held my shirt away from my skin because the mere touch of the fabric ached. I was also cold all the time and spent much of the spring bundled under covers with my teeth chattering. I finally went to the doctor and I learned that this is a disease that usually affects the elderly. To this day, I have no clue how I got it. It left a few tiny scars.

My case wasn't as bad as Blake's. He had shingles so bad that it nearly paralyzed the left side of his face and almost caused permanent nerve damage. That virus is no joke. I still get goosebumps when I think about it. So if I ever happen to meet James Blake, maybe we can compare cases. Then I'll show him my scars and he can show me his. Then we'll ride off in the sunset together ... 'cause the man is foooine.
(Photo courtesy of

Thursday, August 31, 2006


I think my mother is having a midlife crisis. She had me when she was young (18) and now that she's pushing 50, she seems to feel like we're in competition. Competition for what, I don't know.

Flashback seven years ago, shortly after my father died. Mom was trying to cheer me up, so we went to the mall and stopped at the M.A.C. Counter.
Mom: Excuse me? I'd like to buy a new foundation.
Saleswoman: Ok. Try this one. You might also want to follow up with this concealer and this as well.
Me: I want a foundation too.
Saleswoman: Okay. (tries a few different kinds on my face, then sighs) You know. You don't really need any foundation. You've got beautiful skin.
Saleswoman #2: Yeah, you don't need anything. You should see me when I take my makeup off.
Me: Thank you.
Mom: Aww, that's so sweet.

Fastforwarded to present day time. Now I'm with the pre-menopausal mother, on the cusp of the senior years. She's on her way to a baby shower and we stop at a kid's clothing store to find a gift.
Saleswoman: (grabbing my arm) I'm sorry, but I have to say this.
Me: Ummm, yes?
Saleswoman: You have really beautiful skin.
Mom: grrrr
Saleswoman: I mean, it's like, flawless.
Me: Thank you.
Saleswoman: I bet people stop you all the time!
Me: Um, not really ...
Mom: Yeah, they only do that when she's with me.
Saleswoman: Guys? Have you seen this woman's skin? Isn't it amazing?!
Mom: You know what? It's time to go. I'm not seeing anything I want in here.
Me: But ...
Mom: (grabbing my arm) Let's go!

So that's the latest example of her midlifery. I tried to tell her that she could also have beautiful skin if she just drank eight glasses of water a day and eased up on the salt, but she looked like she was going to beat me, so I shut up. I heard through one of my aunts that Mom actually likes my new hairstyle, despite all the grief she's given me about it. She told me recently that she bought India.Arie's new cd and that's helping her understand me better. Maybe I need to start watching Oprah. Maybe that would help me understand her and this whole midlife crisis thing.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Get on the Bus

There was something in the air today that told me it would be a good day. I didn't figure out what it was until I got all the way to work and saw a yellow school bus filled with children. Ah yes. It was the first day of school.

Ordinarily, days like this are insiginficant to me. That was back before I moved into my new neighborhood, which is swarming with kids, or as I affectionately call them -- Little Bastards. And I'm not talkng about the cute and cuddly kind of child. I'm talking about the most dreaded of all -- the teenagers.

Throughout the summer, I had to come home only to find a bunch of Little Bastards sitting on the front stoop of my apartment complex. They sit out there smoking and cursing, some of them without shirts on as if someone wants to look at their bird chests. Several times I wanted to toss grocery store applications at them or books or sudoku puzzles. Shoot, I even wanted to drive their behinds to the park. But I never did any of that. Why? Because I'm filled with apathy.

Thank goodness the public school system has picked up where I failed. There was no one sitting on my porch this evening and I didn't hear any loud arguments. I can't remember the last time I sat in my apartment and was able to hear myself think. But I'm sure this will only last a few days. Once the teachers start slacking off on the homework, the Little Bastards will be roaming free again. Until then, I'm dancing a jig.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Training Day

In my latest effort to get the training regimine of Motown Runner Girl, I have started running again. Myself and three (sometimes two) other people get together on the weekends and run around this park until we, or I, collaspe. Yesterday was one of those days.

Our fearless leader, Katie, took us for a run at a park that's different than the one we usually workout at. This new park had hills that felt like mountains. There were only three of us yesterday, which sucked for me. The other guy who usually comes is in worse shape than I am, so it's good to have at least one person in the back when we're trekking to the forest. Without him yesterday, I started out good than had to sputter in the back by myself. No fun!!

Unlike Motown Runner Girl, I'm not planning to do any marathons anytime soon. I'm just trying to find something that I enjoy that keeps the calories off. So far, this is working. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Heather Headley Stadium

It may be hard to believe, but sometimes I make a bad decision. I'm ashamed to admit the number of poor choices I've made in my life. But this last blunder is at the top of my "If I could only go back" list. It was the day I chose a 70s party over Heather Headley, one of my favorite singers.

Here's how it went down: The lovely Ms. Heather was performing at an outdoor concert the same day when an acquaintance of mine, Rachel, was having a 70s party. Typically, this would've been a no brainer for me and I would've just went to see Heather. Yet there was a catch with this concert. There a bunch of other artists scheduled to perform that day and no one had a time that Heather would sing. One of the other artists set to perform was Chingy. I like Chingy, but I don't see how his crowd mixes with the Heather Headley crowd. I didn't feel like being lost in a crowd of 200,000 people that were mostly youngins, hoochies and hotheads. I figured Heather could wait.

So Rachel convinced me to come to her 70s costume party. She planned to dress up as roller girl from "Boogie Nights" and another guy wanted to dress up as Jack Tripper and bring two female dates looking like Janet and Chrissy. It started to sound like fun and an opportunity for me to flirt with a pair of brothers -- Cutie #1 and Cutie #2. (Note -- There were going to be few people of color at this party. Actually, myself and the cuties would account for the color component).

I convinced my friend Tracey to come with me to the party. We were looking fierce -- me with my jumbo Afro wig and dashiki, she with her dashiki, platforms and two ponytails. Just getting to Rachel's place was an adventure. The chick lives in an area that's not known for its racial harmony and we were walking around in our power to the people get ups. We even had to pass a bar that was overflowing with drunks and the sound of Garth Brooks. Sigh. Now I know how white people feel when they enter the hood and hear "gangsta" rap. A sista was scared! Still, we pressed on.

Finally, I get to Rachel's house. She greets me with open arms. And then I noticed something ....

Rachel wasn't wearing a costume!!

I looked around her backyard and no one else was dressed up either. Not even the Jack Tripper wanna be!!

By this point, Tracey's pretty pissed at me, but I try to play it off by mingling in the crowd and staying as far away from her as possible. I later find out that Cutie #1 and Cutie #2 were at the party earlier and already left. Grrrr. So after about 15 minutes of talking to people we didn't really want to talk to, we rolled out as well.

The next day, all the radio stations were talking about how amazing Heather Headley's performance was. I changed stations repeatedly, but each time I found someone raving about Heather's performance. "I can't even tell you how great she was," one caller to the station said. "Ya'll gonna have to start calling it Heather Headley Stadium from now on."

Grrr. So I learned my lesson. When it comes to choosing between Heather Headley and the 70s, always go with Heather.

(Photo courtesy of

Monday, August 21, 2006

Back in Effect

Sorry I've been MIA for awhile, it's just that I've been so .... Oh forget it. I just haven't felt like writing anything. I'll start to post something, then I'll get sidetracked and promise to come back to it, yet I never do. I was beginning to feel like a slacker, but eff it, this is my house. And if I'm uninspired, I'm uninspired.

Somehow today, I'm inspired.

Apparently, Osama bin Laden should've been included in Rev. Michael Eric Dyson's book, "Why I Love Black Women." Osama apparently has a "thing" for Whitney Houston. Kola Boof -- she's Sudanese, also a sista -- is writing in her autobiography that bin Laden is obsessed with Whitney and wanted to take her as one of his wives, as well as have Bobby Brown killed. Kola Boof (pictured) has been described as Osama's mistress or sex slave, depending on who you ask .. but actually, is there really a difference between the two? She once worked as a writer for the soap "Days of Our Lives."

I wonder what Whitney has to say about this. The chick needs to run and hide.
(Pix courtesy of

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


People Envy Your Compassion

You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.
People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mixin' It Up

I had a wonderful weekend hanging with some women I met during my freshman year of college -- back when we were teenage brats. I only attended this college for a year before transferring, but I managed to stay in touch with all of them. We camped out at my one friend's house Friday - Sunday and laughed, ate, and laughed some more. It felt like we were in college again.

I realize how blessed I am to have so many close friends. I keep them compartmentalized into individual groups. There's the Freshman Friends, my Friends from my Other College, High School Friends, Neighborhood Friends and Work Friends. I abide by one simple rule -- never mix up the groups. These people had nothing in common, except for me. And if they did have anything in common, there was no need to bring them together at once. I mean, what if they liked each other? Or, God forbid, started getting together without me?

These days, I'm opening my circles a bit. I've invited a friend from the Other College Group into my weekly runs with my Work Friends. I'm hosting a book club meeting next month (we're reading Octavia Butler's wonderful book, "Kindred") where I'll have members of my Freshman, Neighborhood and Work groups. We'll see how this works out. If it does, I'll open my circle even wider. But if it doesn't, and my friends start cheating on me, it's back to the old ways.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Family Secrets

All my life, they tried to hide the truth from me. It took me 29 years, but now I know the truth.

For the first nine years of my life, I lived in a house with my Mom, aunt and my beloved grandmother, Vera. I knew Grandma wasn’t like the other grandmothers in our small town of Nowhere, U.S.A. For starters, she loved sports, but she didn’t watch them on television. She preferred to listen to them on an old radio and yell ‘get ‘em’ to players who couldn’t hear her. She also had a tendency to let people know exactly who they were. For example:
Grandmom: Raynell! Your white friend’s here.
Aunt Raynell: Mom, shhh! Don’t say that.
Grandmom: (in direct earshot of the person) Well, she is white. And she’s fat too.

So that was Grandma -- this beautiful, saintly woman who ate my vegetables when Mom wasn’t looking. She was also the only person able to show me how to tie my shoelaces. I thought I knew her intimately, but I was wrong. All that time, there was something she kept form me. And I learned the truth this week.

My beloved Grandma…… God rest her soul….


She was a …..


Not just not any Republican, she was the kind that used to stand in the corner trying to make other people become Republicans too. I hear folks used to think she was crazy -- an old black woman standing on the corner proclaiming her love for Reagan. I went with her to the voting booth for years as a child and never knew who she was supporting. Now that I know, I wonder how she got that way. My family is the anti-conservative -- we've got atheists, gays, "broken" homes, welfare, criminals, tax evaders ... I could go on and on. So what on earth possessed Vera to become an elephant?

I shared my concerns with my friend, April.
Me: No wonder people treat me strangely when I visit Nowhere, U.S.A. They're thinking, she's the granddaughter of the Republican.
April: Wow. You'll really hate me then.
Me: Don't tell me! You can't be ...
April: (nodding) I just hated John Kerry. At least W. is scum, but he's out in the open with his scum.
Me: Don't give me that bulljive. You only changed because of Justin (her fiance).
April: Well, he had a little to do with it.
Me: Traitor!
April: Hey, it's the party of Lincoln.

So there you have it. Not only am I the descendant of an elephant, but I'm also friends with one. It's enough to make a grown woman cry.

Saturday, August 05, 2006


This song sums up my mood these days. Check out my girl, Amel.
(Press Stop if you don't want to hear the music)

Music Video Codes

Back in the Day

I'm stealing this from Kelley. Feel free to use on your own blog.

Ten years ago today, it was August 5, 1996. what a difference a decade makes!
1) How old were you?
THEN: 19
NOW: 29

2) Where did you work?
THEN: Blockbuster
NOW: None Ya Business, Inc.

3) Where did you live?
THEN: The East Coast
NOW: The East Coast

4) How was your hairstyle?
THEN: It was long and relaxed, with some honey brown highlights
NOW: Short and twisted.

5) Did you wear contacts?
THEN: Hell yes
NOW: Hell yes

6) Did you wear glasses?
THEN: When I'm not wearing my contacts
NOW: The same

8) Which of your pets were still alive?
THEN: I didn't like animals
NOW: My cat -- Simba

9) Who was your boyfriend/girlfriend?
THEN: The First Love
NOW: Me, myself and I is all I got 'till the end

10) Who was your celebrity crush?
THEN: There were many. But I always had Taimak from The Last Dragon at the top of my list.
NOW: He's still my main man. Yeah, I know he's probably gay, but let me have my fantasy!

11) How many piercings did you have?
THEN: Two in each ear.
NOW: The same.

12) How many tattoos did you have?
THEN: None
NOW: None

13) What was your favorite band/singer?
THEN: 'Favorite' is such a hard word. I will say it was then that I started getting into Groove Theory, because I saw them perform and was blown away. Also the Fugees.
NOW: Amel Larrieux, who went solo from Groove Theory, and Lauryn Hill, who went solo from the Fugees. The Fugees reunited, but I'm not impressed with what I've heard.

14) Had you smoked a cigarette?
THEN: Yes, to see what it was like.
NOW: That first time I tried it was enough for me. That was disgusting.

15) Had you gotten drunk?
THEN: Maybe a little tipsy
NOW: Maybe a lot tipsy

16) What kind of car did you drive?
THEN: Chevy Corsica
NOW: Ford Escort ZX2

17) Looking back, are you where you thought you would be in 2006?
Not at all. By now I'm supposed to be a famous novelist who is happily married to Taimak with three kids, a mansion and a summer home in the Hamptons. Maybe I was being a bit unrealistic.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I declare war.

I started my own guerrilla squad awhile back, but now we're in full effect. See, I'm a founding member of my own group that I like to call S.I.S.S. (Sistas in the Single Struggle). Our members are all single women who for one reason or another, tired of the bullshit. I started this group after I got tired of the endless snotty comments I get from members of another group, the M.R.S. (Married, Raising Seeds). Chicks in this group like to flaunt their wedding rings in front of your face and frown upon anyone who doesn't have a husband. (I do have some wonderful, married female friends, but because they're so great, I'm excluding them from the M.R.S. group.) Now that I'm on the cusp of 30, it's like I run into the M.R.S. every place I go. (Still not married, Strength? Do you have any prospects, at least? You're not getting any younger.)

Imagine my surprise when I learned one of my closest friends was an M.R.S. My friend, I'll call her Denise, got pregnant and married when she was 18. She and the hubby have three boys and live on the West Coast. We don't email often, but when we do, I get the same message. What's new with you? Married? Kids? LOL! Hmmmmm. LOL, she said. Last time I checked, that means 'lots of laughs.' Is there something funny about the possibility of me being married with kids? Apparently so.

Anywho, Denise and her brood were in town a few days ago. Another friend had a party, so we were there talking. The conversation went a bit like this:

Denise: Have you gone anywhere this summer? Jamal! Put the ball down!

Me: Nope. New York to visit my friend. Some amusement parks, that's about it.

Denise: I haven't gone anywhere either. And summer's almost over.

Me: I know! It's been like two years since I went to the Dominican Republic.

Denise: (eyes bulging out of her head) Did you say ---? Tyree, chew with your mouth closed! Dominican Republic?! Are you serious? You said you hadn't been anywhere.

Me: I haven't. Not this year.

Denise: (rolling eyes) I meant any trips. Ever.

Me: Oh, well yeah. I went to D.R. and I was in Mexico before that. Both were alot of fun.

Denise: Oh, I bet it was so beautiful over there. TYREE, NO SPAGHETTI SANDWICHES! I MEAN IT!

Me: Yeah, both were really nice. I didn't want to come back.

Denise: I'll bet.

Me: My friend that I travel with is supposed to be coordinating another trip for her 30th birthday. That's in November.

Denise: Oh, I want to go! I'll be 30 this month. Where are ya'll going?

Me: She mentioned Brazil before.

Denise: Wow, I love Brazil. What I've read about it, I mean. Do you think ... Jamal Bebe Williams! Don't make me come over there! ... Anyway, do you think I can come along?

Me: We may not do anything that big, we're in the early stages of planning.

Denise: (grabbing my hand) It's okay! I just need to go somewhere, anywhere. I don't care!

Me: I can get you the information. It might be fun traveling with you.

Denise: Really?

Me: (smiling) LOL.

S.I.S.S. 1, M.R.S. 0.

I'm also looking to take on any new members of S.I.S.S. Anybody with me?

(Photo courtesy of

Monday, July 31, 2006


Someone please give me a good reason why I should go to work today?

I spent the entire night tossing and turning, cursing that cappuccino that I just had to have yesterday evening. I suspect the caffeine is what kept me awake all night. That and the 2 1/2 mosquito bites I received at my cousin's cookout. I have one on my left elbow, one on my right foot and one somewhere on my right arm that starts to itch sometime after I'm done scratching the other two. Grrr.

In my four-hour quest for sleep, my mind wandered lots of important places. I mentally wrote this blog post while I lay there staring at the ceiling. I even thought of all the productive things I would do today if I took the day off: wash clothes, vacuum, remove the mystery meat from the fridge, read and maybe even write. Yet truthfully I know all I would accomplish would be watching soap operas, reading and attempting to do some writing while getting distracted by a video game. *Sigh* It's hard out here for a chick.

I feel wide awake now, but it's 5:30 a.m. Something tells me I'll be exhausted by 8 a.m., which is when I have to be at work. Maybe by then I'll have a headache and my calling out would actually be a true thing instead of a lie. And I am really coming down with something -- Ned's slowly trying to make a comeback.

I think I know the real reason why I want to call out today. I watched "Clerks" for the first time last night and their slackerishness rubbed off on me. Watching Dante have such a horrible work day on what was supposed to be his day off made me feel like I should get some rest for him. So maybe that's what I'll do. I'll go back to bed in honor of Dante Hicks.

Until next time,

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Life on the Blue Screen Pt. II

Dear Netflix administrators,
Perhaps you all misinterpreted my intentions in my last letter. I was only offering a suggestion as a customer, not criticizing your DVD service. But apparently, I've angered you people. You've gone through some guerilla tactics to make sure I don't get my movies and I won't stand for it anymore.

Let's start with The Princess Diaries, shall we? That movie was supposedly mailed to me on a Monday, but it didn't get to me until Friday. In the meantime, you were able to send me The Princess Diaries Pt. 2. How, pray tell, am I supposed to watch the sequel when I haven't seen the original?! So I have to hold onto the sequel until I get the original, thus screwing up my weekly movie schedule.

It doesn't end there. Apparently your shipment facility has some sort of bias against me and/or The Princess Diaries. According to your records, it took SEVEN whole days for the Post Office to deliver the DVD to you? I had to report the movie as lost so you guys would hurry up and send me another movie.

But my latest problem is with "The King of Queens." Because I don't have cable, my TV fades to blue at the most critical times when I'm trying to watch this show. So I figure that instead of putting myself through this nonsense, I should go ahead and order the episodes from Netflix. Big mistake. In the middle of episode three on disc 1 (the "Cello, Goodbye" episode, where Doug thinks Carrie's boss is hitting on her) the DVD decides to go back to the very beginning of the episode, giving me a dizzying case of deja vu. I sent the movie back as damaged and I await the replacement copy.

For obvious reasons, I'm beginning to detect a bias on your part. Do no tempt me to take my monthly $18 service fee somewhere else. That's right, I've had other offers ... I may even go to the big C. Mom told me she'd be willing to pay my cable bill for a year, but I'd have to get a relaxer and change my hair back the other way. Don't make me do it!

Yours in movie love,