Monday, June 26, 2006

For Daddy ...

JULY 29, 1957 to JUNE 26, 1999

Miss ya

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I'm Beautiful

Say what you will, but I love this song. I saw James Blunt on an interview talking about how he saw an ex girlfriend on the subway once and it inspired him to write these lyrics. I've loved it ever since.

MySpace introduces me to MyPast

My coworkers introduced me to the world of MySpace and I've been hooked. Not hooked in that I'm on there posting all the time. But I've been going on there and looking up people from my past and seeing where they are. I found a few college friends, an ex boyfriend and some high school acquaintancesces. I also looked up Gary, whom I had a crush on throughout much of my high school career. He also had a long time girlfriend, but I had no interest in looking her whereabouts. With some people, you just don't care about where they wind up.

So, guess who I ran into while eating my lunch in the park the very next day? Here's a hint: it wasn't Gary.

The girlfriend, I'll call her Keisha, was strolling through the park talking to a few other women. I knew it was her as soon as I heard that loud, raspy voice. I considered saying hello, but I decided against it. She may or may not remember me and if she did, I couldn't remember if we last spoke on good terms. And I get so tired of these random conversations with people from the past, particularly high school. They give you the once over to see if you've gained any weight, then they want to ask you about marriage and kids. Because I'm not married and wasn't looking my best, I looked away and she did the same. She looked good, though. I heard through the grapevine awhile back that she married her other high school flame, a real loser named Jeff. But he wound up getting his act together. They now have about three kids.

I remember practically everything about Keisha. She was the girl everybody pretended to like, but secretly hated her because she "thought she was cute." She did have a massive ego and a flair for the dramatic. I remember the first day she strolled into my 9th grade English class, concerned because the teacher couldn't find her name on the attendance sheet. And when Mrs. C. was finally able to find her information, Keisha grabbed her arm and said, "Oh, God bless you!" I new then that she was going to be a piece of work. And I was right. She was one of those light-complexioned sistas who was confused about her heritage and didn't like to say she was simply black. She traced her ancestry back five generations and liked to tell people she was part Irish, French, Italian, Native American, etc etc etc. She showed up to prom wearing a geisha-themed outfit because she said everyone thought she looked Asian. That statement came as a surprise to the rest of us.

I was disappointed when she started dating Gary, but I kept my feelings to myself. Keisha and I became friends, but I secretly wished that she would fall down the steps and become incapacitated so Gary would realize his true love for me. No matter how many times I hoped, prayed and poked my voodoo doll, this scenario never became true. When they did finally break up in our junior year, it was explosive. They had a loud argument in the hallway, she slapped him and he said something like, "if you hit me again, i'll shoot you." She performed in our school talent show shortly after and sang Ce Ce Peniston's "Keep On Walkin'", which everyone knew was dedicated to Gary.

Tthe demise of their relationship didn't bring Gary any closer to me. He moved onto another chick, a freshman this time, and Keisha hooked up with Jeff, her future husband. I never thought I'd see either one of them again, but I was wrong.
(photo courtesy of

Monday, June 19, 2006

Thursdays with Mom

Mom and I have started this thng where we spend one night a week, usually Thursdays, eating out together. It's sparked some interesting comments on her part.
(While dining at Mongolian BBQ)
Mom: Whoa, there's a bunch of Asian guys standing outside. Just hanging around.
Me: Yeah. I noticed our whole area is getting a larger Asian population.
Mom: Interesting. I wonder if this restaurant would give them a discount.

(Over burgers at Ruby Tuesday's)
Mom: You remember your cousin Kelly's grandmother?
Me: No.
Mom: Sure you do. She was real thin and gay. I'm talking gaaaaaaay. She was gay back before there even was gay.
Me: No, I don't remember her. Why do you ask?
Mom: Oh. Well, she died.

(At Applebee's)
Mom: Please get a relaxer! I'm tired of you doing this natural thing.
Me: I want locks. This is the only way to do it.
Mom: Fine. I guess I'll be the only white girl in the family.
Me: I guess so.
Mom (as she tosses her hair): So are you happy? Are you happy and nappy?

(Over the phone)
Mom: I'm sorry I gave you a ghetto name.
Me: What?
Mom: I was listening to this radio program and --
Me: Mom! Stop listening to Michael Baisden!
Mom: They were saying that employers see certain names on a resume and eliminate the ones with ghetto names. Your name is at the top of the list.
Me: My name isn't ghetto. It's certain people who make the name ghetto --
Mom: But still. From now on, you should go by your middle name.

(At her house)
Me: Be happy with the step grandchild you have now. That'll probably be the only grandchild you'll ever have.
Mom: Oh, you'll give me a grandchild. Husband or not, but I'm sure you'll give me a grandbaby.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Go, GHANA!!!

I'm sure there's a rule out there that says as an American, I am entitled to root for the U.S. team in the World Cup. I am officially bucking the system. The U.S. plays Ghana June 22 and all I can say is, GO GHANA!!!

I couldn't have cared less about the World Cup until this past Saturday, when I spent like five hours waiting to get my car serviced. I finished a good book, read the newspaper and tried unsuccessfully to do a sudoku puzzle. The only thing left to do was to watch television, which the service guys turned up once the match between Ghana and the Czech Republic came on.

The game was amazing. Ghana came out swinging, scoring the first goal in the second minute. The end score was 2-0, Ghana won. This was Ghana's first time beating an European country since the 1960s and Africa's first victory in the World Cup. Czech Republic, which had already beat the U.S., was ranked second in the world before that upset. Everyone in the waiting room was cheering for Ghana -- black folks, white folks and Latinos. My car was ready before the next match, which was between U.S. and Italy, but I didn't have any interest on that one. I went online today and saw when the U.S. and Ghana will play and I can't wait. Go Ghana!!
(photos courtesy of and

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Phlegmatic? Me?

You Have a Phlegmatic Temperament

Mild mannered and laid back, you take life at a slow pace.
You are very consistent - both in emotions and actions.
You tend to absorb set backs easily. You are cool and collected.

It is difficult to offend you. You can remain composed and unemotional.
You are a great friend and lover. You don't demand much of others.
While you are quiet, you have a subtle wit that your friends know well.

At your worst, you are lazy and unwilling to work at anything.
You often get stuck in a rut, without aspirations or dreams.
You can get too dependent on others, setting yourself up for abandonment.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I ♥ NY

Sorry I’ve been MIA, but I spent the last four days hanging out with some buddies from undergrad in New York. My friend Naomi and I traveled up there to visit Bianca, my former roomie who now lives in the Bronx. We had a blast.

It’s always fun hanging with Bianca, who is a sexual health educator. She explains things in ways that I never thought of. When demonstrating how to get around on the subway system, she explained that the map of New York is shaped like a penis. Manhattan is the actual penis, Brooklyn is the testes, the Bronx and Queens are the pubic hair and Staten Island is an ejaculant. She explained this while drawing a diagram for a couple of male friends who were planning to go to Yankee Stadium Sunday afternoon.

Bianca (while drawing her own map on a napkin): See, I live here and you want to get here.
The Boys: (staring wide eyed) Ummmm, your drawing is very interesting.
Bianca: Yes. I live in the pubic hair. You need to get out of the penis and come to the pubic hair. Pun intended.

So we had laughs like that the entire time we were there. We got to explore Manhattan, Harlem and Greenwich Village, where I was able to buy some great souvenirs from the art studio of James De La Vega. It was mission to get a one of a kind souvenir, something other than those awful "I ♥ NY" t-shirts that everyone and their cousin's uncle seems to own. I bought a few cards with his artwork, one that says ‘You are your best investment’ and a mug that says ‘Become your Dream.’ The mug has a drawing of a fish, that has become too big for its tank, jumping out of the tank and aiming for a glass of water. We even took some pictures with the artist.

I hear so much about New Yorkers being mean .. so untrue! We were standing up on the subway and an old Indian man offered to give me his seat. I declined, but he was persistent:
Him: I call you, 'Your Highness’.
Me: Okay.
Him: You are Queen of Sheba.
Hey, who was I to argue with him? He must’ve heard about the blog! =) Until next time …..
(included is a map of Manhattan, courtesy of

Monday, June 05, 2006

My Golden Anniversary

According to the Blogger people, this is my 50th post. When I started this site a few months ago, I worried that I wouldn't have anything to say. Now I can't shut up. I appreciate my readers (all five or six of them) for sticking with me as I dealt with hard-hitting subjects such as toilet manners, my hair issues and my ongoing relationship with Ned. This time, I thought I'd treat you with something special. I'm writing 50 random facts about me. Enjoy!

"I, Strength/Courage/Wisdom ...."

1. ... Love the color red
2. Hate the color green, particularly lime green
3. Know all the words to "Ice, Ice Baby"
4. Memorized the movie, "The Last Dragon"(one of my favorite movies). I also have the movie on VHS and DVD, as well as the soundtrack.
5. Had two imaginary friends, a girl named Rareress and Nana the horse.
6. Owned four parakeets -- Twootles, Samantha, BeeBee & GeeGee -- at separate times and I killed them all
7. Once ate a piece of soap. More about that in a later post.
8. Have a black belt in karate
9. Once had a boyfriend who is a a Little Person (we were 11)
10. Have a car I nicknamed Mimi
11. Have a pet cat named Simba
12. Have an acoustic guitar nicknamed Shug
13. Have a half-nude statue named Sheba
14. Have an obsession with naming things
15. Love the letter 'S'
16. Own a serious Archie Comic Book collection, with some issues going back to the 1960s
17. Am an Aries
18. Once thought Emmanuel Lewis wrote the dictionary. Ya know, he had that show called "Webster"
19. Was pointed at by Eric Benét during a concert in Orlando in 2001. (I'm not making this up, there were witnesses!)
20. Have a scrapbook
21. Have dated at least three guys named Steve (all at different times)
22. Have a autographed picture from New Edition, written by Ralph Tresvant. It says, 'To Strength, From New Edition -- We're with you all the way'
23. Learned about slavery through a very strange roleplaying exercise with my mother. We even got slave names -- hers was Belle and mine was Lou. (Don't ask, more about this in a later post)
24. Speculated that my father was the Incredible Hulk after seeing him without his shirt on
25. Can't swim
26. Am madly in love with both Bruce Lee and Langston Hughes, despite that whole dead thing.
27. Love "A Walk in the Clouds", despite the fact that Keanu Reeves can't act.
28. Am slue-footed
29. Once worked in a prison
30. Worked at a bagel shop where a manager nearly cut off my finger while trying to play a joke. 31. Met G. Money from New Jack City, aka Allen Payne
32. Accidentaly ripped off a boy's shirt while roller skating
33. Love "The Sound of Music", but I still refuse to watch the second half of the movie because it's way too sad
34. Told a teacher in nursery school to 'sit on it' and got sent home
35. Was once left handed, until my parents forced me to use my right hand. Now my handwriting is terrible.
36. Still don't know what I want to be when I grow up
37. Google every guy I go out with prior to date #1
38. Love thunderstorms, as long as I'm safely tucked away
39. I hate baseball, but love going to baseball games
40. Think Uma Thurman and Tyra Banks look alike, despite the obvious complexion differences.
41. Want the troops to come home
42. Want to love and be loved, preferably by someone who is not on the down-low, crazy or has crazy tendencies
43. Hate the taste of beer
44. Love to watch boxing matches. I like to pretend the men are fighting over me.
45. Want to visit Egypt
46. Dreamt that I woke up in my second grade classroom. I was a kid again and everything that happened since then in my life had been a dream. How I wish that were true.
47. Will almost always give my phone number to a man with dimples, unless he's missing teeth.
48. Keep a diary
49. Considered naming my cat, Sho'Nuff after the villan in "The Last Dragon", one of my favorite movies.
50. Am obsessed with sudoku puzzles.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Miseducation of the Negro

Sometimes, I find myself making the same mistakes. For example, whenever I go to the African-American interest section of bookstores, I get disgusted by the abundance of 'street literature' -- books about gangstas, pimps and the drug trade. I visited this section again recently at Borders when I found a book in that genre called 'I Shot Ya, M***F***.'

That's not the name of the book, but the title was pretty offensive. I'm not printing the name of the book because I don't want to give it anymore attention than it deserves. On the back cover, the author wrote, ''this is about a fly n___, who had all the money, b____es and clothes that a n_____ could want. Then he tried to go against Big Tony. And that was the end of life for that n____.' I flipped through a couple of pages of the book and I stumbled upon a love scene. I use the word 'love' loosely. It went as follows: 'I liked to f*** and so did she. I stuck my d*** in her dripping p*** and she laughed.' (I'd like to say I'm exaggerating here, but I'm not)

Books like this are especially troubling for aspiring writers like me. I dread the day when I meet with some editor who criticizes my work for not being 'black' or 'street' enough, as if the words were interchangeable. I hate going to bookstores where I see a ton of Toni Morrison and Alice Walker's novels line the shelves, while novels like 'Pimp that Ho' and 'Shoot that B***' sell out almost as quickly as they are published. These days, street lit is saturating the black fiction market.

I shouldn't lump them all in the same category, since I have been a fan of some street lit. Sister Souljah's 'The Coldest Winter Ever' was a really good book and I did like some of Donald Goines work as well. But what sets their work apart from all the reformed thugs writing today's crop of street tales, is the overall message. Neither writer glorifies drugs and violence, nor shows it as the only way of life for black people. They show the reality of these poor choices and demonstrate how their characters suffer as a result. I beg the author of 'I Shot Ya, M***F***' to read something by Souljah or Goines before picking up his pen again.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Reasons to procreate

So I've decided the other day that I must have children. Actually, I decided this a long time ago, but this week made it more evident. I have to have at least three kids -- preferably three, strong boys. Actually, at least two boys. Do you know why? So they can carry my groceries.

There is nothing that screams single woman like lugging groceries out of the car and putting them inside your apartment. The sweat, the huffing and puffing and neighbors who pretend not to see you and don't hold open the door is enough to make me want go through 26 hours of arduous labor three times.

I'd give my sons strong names like Butch, Desiel and Bonebreaker. Butch and Desiel would do the heavy lifting, while Bonebreaker would escort me from the car and into the comfort of my living room, prepared to fight if any of the other neighborhood kids so much as snickered. Butch would unload the groceries, while Desiel would rub my feet and Bonebreaker would bring me a cool glass of lemonade. I guess I'd throw a husband in there.... but I'd have to find him an activity and a name. Hmmm.... Ah, here's one: The husband's name will be Bonebreaker Sr. and he'd cook dinner and do the cleaning. Ah.... what a life!

Friday, June 02, 2006

How to Annoy Me

It may be hard for many of you to believe, but somedays I get disgruntled. I can't always be the mellow, happy go-lucky person that I present to the world. Sometimes, things happen to me that make me want to rip someone's head off and stomp on the corpse. So here's my infamous list of my pet peeves. Note: This list is to be added to at a later date.
How to Annoy Me:
...Be Mr. Softee: I hear your music, Ice Cream Man. And so does anyone who lives in a five mile radius. You already have a dozen kids crowded around your decrepit truck, why do you need more? Do you really think that blasting that godawful song for 15 minutes straight in front of my window is going to attract more customers? Turn the radio off. Or I will .. but I'll bring a glock.
...Be the Mass Emailer: My friend Laura emailed me and a bunch of other people about her birthday plans. In response, I got emails from Shaleagh, Alison, Sean, etc saying that they couldn't wait to attend. The problem? I don't know Shaleagh, Alison, Sean, etc. I got an email from my friend AJ to say that he was engaged. Shortly after that, my inbox filled with other people's congrats. I guess it makes too much sense to respond to one person, folks want their messages spread through the world. 'Reply All' is the most awful button known to man. Anyone who presses it, should have their fingers chopped off one by one. I'm willing to be that butcher!
...Be the Nextel person: Either you have a cell phone, or a walkie-talkie. I want to make this a sign and shove it at my neighbor who keeps walking past window in walkie talkie mode. All I hear is a portion of his conversation, followed by BOOO-boo, that annoying sound that comes with the walkie-talkie function. That sound is the equivalent of fingers on the chalkboard for me. Next time I hear it, I'm liable to run from my house in my scarf and pajamas, ready to smash that phone into pieces.

That's it for now. I'm sure I'll have more input next week about things that piss me off. Until next time ....