Monday, December 31, 2007

And on to 2008....


It's about time to in a new year and I'm happy about that. Not that 2007 has been bad year. It wasn't the greatest, but it definitely wasn't the most. Like most folks, I've spent the last 365 days going through my share of ups and downs. But I'm looking forward to ushering in 2008 and all the challenges that lie ahead, good and bad.


I'm not really big on new year's resolutions, but I do have a few goals that I want to accomplish in the big 08. I'm going to try to be better organized and I'm also going to try to have a better handle on my money. I'm not a big spender by any means, but I'm looking at ways to invest my money and get a better return on it. Recently, I opened a savings account with EmigrantDirect. Similar to ING, these banks give a higher annual percentage yield than banks or credit unions. I also need to figure out what I'm doing with Sharebuilder. My account there allows me to invest in stocks and bonds, but I put it on hold a while back, mainly because I don't know what the heck I'm doing when it comes to the stock market. But I'll figure it out. (However, I am always open for advice).


At the end of last year, I did a post called Ordinary People, where I did my roundup of folks who may not have got the credit that they deserved last year. I can't think of anyone who fits that category this year, so I'll flip it a bit. Now that I have cable again, I'm finding a number of shows that I hadn't heard of back when I had nothing but four snowy channels. So instead of listing underrated people, I'm going to list the most underrated shows. (Or shows that I like and I think you should too!) Here goes:


Journeyman: At first, I didn't want to watch this show because it seemed like such a rip off of Quantum Leap. But because it came on after Heroes, I found myself watching it every week and finding it to be even better than the Sam Beckett show. There are twists and turns at the end of every episode as this reporter is pulled through time along with his girlfriend, who is being pulled into the future. Yeah, it seems confusing, but trust me, it all makes sense when you watch it. I had heard that they were going to cancel it, but I'm not so sure that's the case anymore. I'm hoping for the best.


The Salt N Pepa Show: Salt N Pepa's here and we're in effect/1 2 3 Push it, Babe! Sorry, I couldn't resist. I guess you can tell that I was an S-N-P fan back in the day. It's good to be able to tune in occasionally and see what they're up to. The show isn't without it's faults -- no Spinderella, sometimes they're obviously acting, can Salt really be that prudish and Pepa that over the top? Regardless, every time that I see that this show is on, I stop in my tracks.



Prison Break: I'm late to discovering this show, but I'm glad I did. Back when I was sick, a friend loaned me the first season on DVD and I was hooked. It was a serious adrenalin rush, kinda like 24 was back when it first got started. I'm glad I watched it on DVD, though. I don't know how I could take those constant changes in my blood pressure week to week.


The Game: Seriously, who can watch this show and not develop a crush on Derwin? This show just makes me laugh at every turn. Everything they do is pure comedy -- from the way they handle seemingly serious topics, like groupies, gold diggers and interracial dating. Good stuff.


Battlestar Galactica: I am sad that I have to wait until fracking March for them to start airing the final season of one of my favorite shows. But whatever, I'll hang in there. I could say that it is the best show on television, but non fans wouldn't believe me. Instead, I'll just sit back and count the days till I can see Starbuck and crew again. So say we all.


Honorable mention: Recently, I was treated to a marathon of Jon & Kate Plus 8, a reality show based on this couple that has eight kids, thanks to fertility drugs. They already had a set of twin girls when they decided to try for another baby, but that resulted in sextuplets. Yikes! The twins are six and the younger kids are three. The kids are sooo cute -- my favorite is Collin , the bully of the group. However, this show is a walking safe sex commercial. I think I'd have a nervous breakdown if I took eight screaming kids to an amusement park. I cringe at the thought! (And wait till you see what her stomach looks like after the births. Not pretty.)


As you can see by now, my list has gone out the window. Ah well. Happy 2008 everybody!



(Photo from http://www.stardustparkhill.com/maryland_web_designers_new_years_eve.jpg)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Meatballs. Sneezes. Toes.


There is nothing worse than being sick on a holiday. Believe me, I know. The one other time I can remember being sick on a holiday was when I was a young girl and it was Thanksgiving. I think I had the mumps or measles or something that starts with an M. Anyway, I was sitting around feeling so miserable as I watched my Grandma stuff the turkey and everyone around me having fun as I was curled up in my blankets. Young Strength was not a happy camper.

However, this year I had the pleasure of being sick once again. This time it wasn’t anything majorly serious, just a cold. But a cold that came with a fever, chills, sweats and severe loss of appetite. It pissed me off to the high heavens. But the fact that I have an idea where I contracted this cold makes it even worse.

See, we had an office party last week. This was not the traditional party my job normally throws – instead of going to restaurant and eating and drinking to our heart’s content, the cheap powers that be decided to have an alcohol-free office party. My colleagues and I weren’t too happy about it, but we endured.

There was a ton of food there and I was particularly interested in the crockpot of meatballs. I suspected that my coworker, Jane, a master chef, fixed the meatballs since I saw her lugging in a similar crockpot earlier in the day. I fixed myself a meatball sandwich and devoured it until my heart’s content. Good times. It wasn’t until much later did I learn that Daisy, my sniffling, sneezing, hygienically challenged coworker, cooked the meatballs. Already, I could just picture her blowing her nose over the crockpot, filling it with all of her germs. But it was too late – I already ate her meal.

It took three days for my cold -- The Meatball Virus -- to fully incapacitate me. I blew my nose so many times that my nostrils turned red. My eyes watered so much, people thought I was touched by the Holy Ghost. My voice got so deep and raspy that I sounded a bit like Tone Loc must sound first thing in the morning. I infected others, too. People who were brave enough to come near me came down with fevers, sore throats and laryngitis. My illness is the gift that just keeps on giving.

I was supposed to work on Christmas Eve, but because of my condition, I was more than happy to call out sick. I spent the entire day in bed, wishing I could taste my food. The only thing that kept me sane was watching the first season of ‘Prison Break’ on dvd. The main guy, Wentworth Miller, really didn’t do anything for me until I started watching the show. They have this one episode where they cut off two of my boys’ toes. The doctor stitches him up and asks him if he is okay and he says, “toes are overrated.” That is the kind of man I need in my life. What dedication! Now I just have to move on to season 2 and see what other surprises he has for me.

Anyway, I hope everyone had a happy holiday! I’m still recovering, but I’m back at work and I hope to be able to breathe through my nose sometime soon. Hooray!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Soap


In case anyone was wondering, Ultra Palmolive Oxy Plus dishwashing liquid certainly does the job. However, it does not taste good.




Recently, I learned this the hard way. I packed some yummy chicken noodle soup to eat with my lunch at work. It was so good, I ate it to the last drop. When I was finished, I dumped some dishwashing liquid in there, so I could take it to the sink and wash it. You can imagine where this goes.



I must've gotten sidetracked at work, because a few minutes later, I looked at my bowl and got excited about what looked like tiny droplets of leftover soup. I dipped my spoon in and gobbled it up. All I can say is, thank God I didn't swallow. I can't even describe what lingered on my tongue as I raced to the ladies' room to rinse it out. It tasted like a combination of Pine Sol mixed with coal mixed with Sour Patch Kids candy mixed with Nyquil. It's safe to say that I won't be returning for seconds.



My own dishwashing taste test led me to a memory, this one going back to high school. I had this media arts class and we met in the library. I think the goal of the class was to produce and edit video, but most of the time, all we did was sit back and wait for an easy A. This was a small class, with a combo of football players, cheerleaders, druggies, geeks, student gov folks and losers. I was none of the above. I guess I probably fell into the loser category back then, but I didn't know it.


Anywho, there was this kid in my class named Aaron. He was in special ed classes and the teachers said he was mentally slow. Of course, he was constantly teased about that. The worse part was that he didn't seem to know he was being teased. He thought he was friends with these two football players in our class -- guys that pushed him in the hallways and constantly played tricks on him.


Once, because class was so dull, Aaron fell asleep. With his mouth open. One of the football players found a bottle of dishwashing liquid and poured some into his mouth. He woke up with this shocked look on his face because there was something terrible in his mouth and he didn't know why. Everyone laughed -- including me. I felt bad for him, but I didn't think there was anything I could do so I joined in the crowd.


Aaron told the teacher and she investigated. Come to find out, the genius pranksters poured the dishwashing liquid in his mouth all in front of a videocamera that recorded their every move. They were suspended, the local paper and TV news stations did stories about it. I think Aaron was pulled out of that class or something, but I can't remember.


Well, now I've become a form of Aaron all on my own. Except for me, no one saw me feed myself the dishwashing liquid, there was no camera in sight and no laughter, other than my own, a few days later. I guess the one thing I learned from all this is that I should watch where I toss my laughter. Because in the end, we all eat the soap.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas in Hollis


I realized the other day that the holidays are not coming, but they are here.

This may not be news to most people, who have already sent out their holiday cards, done their shopping and decorated the house. But it is news to me. See, I’m that person who refuses to believe that the holidays are here until one of two things happen. I hear Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis” on the radio or the local networks start playing “Shaka Zulu.” Well, imagine my surprise when I turned on the radio the other day and heard Rev. Run rapping about chicken and collard greens. (Side note: One day during the holidays, I’m going to go up to New York’s Hollis Avenue and eat chicken and collard greens, just to make things interesting. Anybody with me?).

Most people consider films like “It’s A Wonderful Life,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “A Christmas Story” as true holiday flicks. But growing up, my holiday movie was “Shaka Zulu.” (And I’m talking about the original, not the remake with Grace Jones) Every December, the local networks would air the gazillion part miniseries detailing the life of the Zulu chief. I watched every year, even though I didn’t understand what was happening and the Witch Doctor gave me severe nightmares. It wasn’t until much later that I understood everything that was going on in this movie, from Shaka’s rise to power to his subsequent downfall. Unfortunately, the networks stopped airing it years ago. I’m tempted to get it on DVD, just to reminisce about old times. RIP to Henry Cele, who gave an amazing performance as Shaka.

Anyway, I decided to bust out with the holiday decorations the other night. This is a big deal for me, since I haven’t decorated in years. Back in the day, I used to distribute Christmas cards, trim my little fake Charlie Brown Christmas tree and have a miniature tree at my desk at work. But that was before I added my cat, Simba, into my life. He was so hyper that I was reluctant to put up anything that he might destroy. He has mellowed out in his old age, so I figured I’d bring the Christmas spirit into my home.

The decorations took me all of five minutes. Do you know what they consist of? My black Santa Claus, that gyrates his hips to “Jingle Bell Rock,” and an 18-inch faux tree that sits near my coffee table. Awwww yeah.
I guess phase 2 of ringing in the holidays would be to buy some gifts and Christmas cards. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll wait to do all that when they start airing “Shaka Zulu” again. Hah!

Merry Christmahanukwanzakah everybody!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where I’ve Been, Where I’m Going


Yes, I’ve been gone for quite a while and I apologize. This little thing called school reared its ugly head on me at the end of the semester and it required all of my attention. I’m proud to say that classes ended last night, so I am putting my brain on a vacation until February 2008. Until then, I will only read chick lit and Cosmo and I will watch as much trash tv as possible. Oh yes. I can’t wait.

But school isn’t the only reason I’ve been absent from the blogosphere. Another thing called laziness also set in, but I think I've overcome it. Anyway, here's a brief rundown as to what's been going on with me lately:


-I've decided that I need a part-time job. I make decent money, but I live in an expensive area and if I want to become a homeowner, I need some extra dough. However, there is nothing as humbling as going to my favorite drugstore and asking the 16-year-old cashier for a job application.


-In light of the writers strike, I've decided to go on a little strike of my own -- from men. Because I've done this before, I know that this is the time when the dudes want to crawl out of the woodwork and jump into my lives. These days, the most interesting are The Ex, who is once again showing his stalkerish ass and a married friend of a friend, who is now separated from his crazy wife, and is asking around about my relationship status and how he can get in touch with me. Obviously, these fools didn't read my picket sign -- "NEVER TRUST ANYONE WITH AN XY CHROMOSOME." But I'm always open to negotiations ...


-Once again, I procrastinated on doing my Christmas shopping. I started just the other day, but now I can only think of what my grand gift to myself will be this year. I'm thinking either new iPod, new guitar or laptop. I'm leaning toward the iPod, but I would literally sell my soul for a red guitar.


-I really want to see 'Sweeney Todd.' Seriously, I love Johnny Depp. I always forget that I love him, and then he'll come out with a movie, and I'll remember that I love him all over again. Now there's a man that would make me drop my picket sign.


-I'm really hurt that the networks are canceling 'Journeyman.' That just hurts. And I need Battlestar back in my life. Immediately.


Ah well. That's about it. Thanks to all of you who missed me on the blogosphere and inquired as to where I've been. I'm back, baby!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Turkey Time ... Almost


I’m sitting at work waiting for quitting time. Tonight, I’ll be hanging out with some friends before heading over to my parents’ for the eve of Thanksgiving. Then we’ll probably cook, play Scrabble and dabble in my stepfather’s HUGE bootleg collection. (don’t tell, ya’ll!)

My Mom is always the one that’s truly in the holiday spirit. It’ll be just the three of us celebrating, so she may make us go around the table and list something that makes us thankful. Right now, the only things that cross my mind are selfish and silly things that I’d rather mention here than to my family. So here goes.

I am thankful for ...

-The new coat I bought from Target last night. It’s very rare for me to go into a store intending to buy something and actually finding something that I like. Good stuff!

-Catching the old school song of the day while running out for lunch today. The dj played “Before I Let You Go” by Blackstreet. That truly took me back. I remember that video because Omar Epps (a member of my harem) was in the vid, along with Shari Headley (Coming to America), who was my favorite soap opera actress at the time.

-The 70 degree weather. It means that I have no need for this new coat today and I’m suffering in my non air conditioned car, but still … it feels good.

-That I get to watch “Razor” on Saturday with a fellow BSG geek. We may also fill up the day watching “Hostel II” and “Hot Fuzz”

-The white girl who shares my cubicle wall. She’s a preppy, private school, New England-bred gal. Her mom’s birthday is on Thanksgiving and she told me that she’s buying her Kanye West’s cd because “she just loves Kanyeezie.” My jaw fell open.

-Alice Smith. "For Lovers, Dreamers & Me" is on constant repeat.


-Having cable. Yes, I have let the corporate predators into my home once again by linking into their network. Now, between FX, Bravo, BET, Vh1 and Soapnet, I can never leave the house. *Sigh*


Ah well, that's all I can think of at the moment. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! No matter what anyone says, eat as much as you want. No one likes a dieting dinner guest. =)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

If the children are the future, then the future is fcuked


No, that is not a typo. It's just an example of how this next generation of children is headed toward illiteracy at a rapid rate. I confess that there are certain things I'm a tad bit anal about -- grammar and proper spelling are only two of them. Maybe it's the writer in me, but I've been known to lecture people about using affect and effect improperly and the misuse of a semicolon really ticks me off. I mean, respect the language, folks. Respect it!




Awhile back, two of my younger cousins requested to be my friends on Myspace. My page is private to anyone who is not a friend, so I immediately cleaned it up so that they could view it. That caused me to remove a couple of folks from my top friends' list, like my friend with the cartoon of a lion coming out of a woman's vagina and my other friend who each week is either a Gangsta Bitch, The Main Bitch, or The Bossy Bitch.






Anyway, I added my two cousins -- both boys, one is a freshman in high school, the other is in sixth grade, or middle school. It started out innocent enough, Freshman Cousin constantly sent bulletins about how much he loved his girlfriend and other chain letters. Things were fine, until he sent one with the subject, "I like to fcuk." (I'm not sure if I was more pissed at the topic or the incorrect spelling) It was one of those forwards where your birthday month says something about your personality. Obviously, I was not too happy to get this from my 14-year-old bird-chested cousin, so I emailed him and told him so. This is what I got back:




----------------- Original Message -----------------


From Strength


Date: Nov 1, 2007 7:43 PM




its a bulliten chill i didnt make it






Let's examine the problem, shall we? First of all, can a sistah get a bit of punctuation? And what is a 'bulliten'.... hmm? Where is the apostrophe for 'it's?'






That alone unnerved me, but I kept my mouth shut. But it wasn't too long before Freshman Cousin started again. I was online once late on a weeknight and I saw that he was also online, so I sent him a message and told him to go to bed. This is what I got:



----------------- Original Message -----------------


To Strength


no skool i gotta go lol peace i was just talkin 2 my gf



Allow me to translate that. Basically, he's telling me to calm down because he doesn't have school tomorrow and the only reason he was online was to talk to his girlfriend. But once again, no punctuation. Call me old school (school!! not skool!), but I need a subject, verb, and predicate in my life.



Another time, the Sixth Grader sent me a message asking me how I was doing. I responded and this is what I got back.


----------------- Original Message -----------------


To Strength


can i be on your top.even know i'm aloud, don't tell my mom or (freshman) that i was on mysace.don't ask!



Again, allow me to use my bilingual skills to translate. What he meant to say was, (insert British accent here) "Hello, my beautiful and enchanting cousin! I was wondering if you would give me the honor of being one of your top friends on Myspace. My mother and brother are aware that I am on this site, but I'd appreciate it if you didn't mention this message to them. Cheers!" Instead, I got a muddled mess. Where is the question mark in the first sentence? And didn't he mean 'allowed'? I can forgive the 'mysace' as being a typo, but as for the rest ..... ARGHHHHHH!!!! (Of course, his parents are aware of this convo and for unrelated reasons revoked his myspace privileges).


I may have to start a one-woman literacy campaign. I haven't seen my cousins in quite awhile, but the next time I do, we're going to have some spelling practice. I refuse to allow them to become statistics!


(Photo from http://www.ticketspecialists.com/theater/images/25th-annual-putnam-county-spelling-bee.jpg)




Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Don't Ever Wonder (Or, Appreciation Pt. 2)


Sometimes the moment hits me harder than others. There have been times when I'm driving in my car and a certain song will play on the radio that makes my shoulders shake. Other times, like today at work, I just want to shriek, "WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME??!!!"




I am talking about Maxwell, who I had the pleasure of meeting in 2001. Okay, it was a concert, with thousands of other people there, but I'd like to think it was just the two of us in the room. This was back when his last album, Now, had been released and I was playing it nonstop, particularly "Lovers Only." A new singer by the name of Alicia Keys opened up for him and I spent the rest of the show drooling over Maxwell, or Max, as he lets me call him.




Max and I have a complicated history. Back in college, two of my roommates were crazy about him, but I just didn't understand. His music was alright, but I thought he was rather odd looking. His hair was all over his head and he was always doing something bizarre in his videos. I liked his music, but he wasn't on critical levels.




Then a few years later, I saw him do an interview on BET. I don't know what it was -- the sunglasses he wore, the tone of voice or his outfit -- but it was then that I got it. Dude was special. I was sold.






Because I worked (still do) in a creative environment, I was able to display the poster I bought from the 2001 concert near my desk. Of course my colleagues wanted to talk smack, particularly the men. One guy in particular always had something smart to say -- Maxwell's overrated, his music sucks, when is he coming out with a new single? I kept my head high and ignored the naysayers.




That was years ago. Now it's truly time to ask, 'When are you putting out a new single, Max?' I've been patient -- Lord knows I have been. I give him a fair dose of Google and I saved him as a friend on myspace, which includes a sample from his "upcoming" album. Other than that, I sit tight and check the new releases each week.




The problem is -- I am not a patient woman. I listened to one of my stations on Pandora.com the other day and they had the nerve to play Max's "Ascension (Don't Ever Wonder)." It took everything within me not to keep from falling out of my chair. Oh, Max. It was so good to hear his voice again.



Now I'm back to checking his website and Google, to see if I can get even a mention of a cd release date. Hopefully, I'll get some news soon. It's so hard to be dedicated, especially when there are so many men out there who deserve my appreciation.

(Photo from http://z.about.com/d/randb/1/0/Y/5/-/-/Maxwell.jpg)




Monday, November 12, 2007

Reunited


Please forgive me for my recent tirade. I had a terrible day and needed to vent, so I did it on the blogosphere. I'm much better now and thanks for hanging in there with me. I hope I didn't offend anyone with my rant. I was going to delete that post altogether, but I think I'm going to leave it there so I can return to it a year from now and look at it as a distant memory, a lesson learned.




Anyway, the recent drama in my life sent me straight back to my home away from home, Barnes & Noble. Say what you want, but I am a regular at this spot, which is just outside my parents' neighborhood. I often get in trouble for traveling to the B&N and leaving without saying hello to my folks. Ah well.




This time, I saw two other people who are at the B&N as often as I am. First there's Duane -- I call him that because he reminds me of a guy I once knew of the same name. I can never figure out if Duane is a writer, student or homeless. No matter what the weather, he walks around wearing a wife beater, dark hat and dingy pants. He's always in the cafe and his table is covered with books and papers. He's always either writing furiously or reading furiously. I'm torn between asking him what he's working on and giving him a dollar. Instead, I just leave him alone and watch from afar.



The other person is Helen. She's this college-aged disabled girl and her father usually drops her off there and picks her up later. I don't know anything about her, other than what I see. I'm not so sure what the name of her disability is, but she walks with an exaggerated limp. The first time I met her a few months ago, she scared me to death. I was sitting at my table, minding my own business when I heard this strange, noise. It's hard to describe, but it sounded the way I think a demon would sound shortly before it took it's next victim. Anyway, I soon realized my life wasn't in danger. The noise was Helen, grunting as she copied some words out of a book.


Once, I went to my beloved B&N, only to see that there was some kind of emergency inside and the fire department had it blocked off. I went into a panic and called the operator, trying to find another B&N. There weren't any nearby, so I had to settle for Border's. Once I got there, who did I see? Helen and Duane, doing there usual work. Now that's dedication!



Anyway, it was good to be surrounded by books, quiet and some familiar faces. Plus, a caramel macchiato makes everything better. Yum!



Friday, November 09, 2007

Today ....



I am pissed off. Frustrated. Annoyed. Aggravated. Sad. I'm trying so hard not to be bitter, but I am losing that battle. And today was definitely not a good day to listen to Phyllis Hyman on pandora.com, but I did it anyway.


Today ...

I wonder why I even bothered to do the "right" things in my life -- get a degree, good job, wait until I'm married to have kids -- while it seems like everyone who does the opposite gets everything I want.


I am tired of being described as "sweet" and "the girl next door", by men who are screwing the chick around the way, the one they don't even like, just because she's ready, willing and able.

I want the folks from Trojan, Durex, LifeStyles, etc. to do a national demonstration on how not to make a condom break. But would anyone show up?

I wish I could direct my anger at the right target.


I wish there was no such thing as too good to be true.

I wish I could say I never felt this bad before.


Tonight, I will ...

Sit around in my pajamas and use up every tissue packet in sight.

Watch Grey's online and lust after McSteamy. (McDreamy's played out).

Drown my sorrows in burnt popcorn and cherry flavored Kool-Aid.

Cheer on "Dexter" as he chops people into bits and tosses them into the ocean.



And tomorrow, I will put on my fake smile and go about my business. I know things will get better. They have to.


(Photo from http://erkansaka.net/blog/archive/Metallica-StAnger-thumb.jpg)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Thanks to Muze, I don't have to write a real blog post today

I've been tagged by Natural Muze. How fun! So here are the rules and some random information you may or may not wish to know about me.

The rules of the game are:

A). Link to the person that tagged you and post the rules on your blog...

B). Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself...

C). Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs...

D). Let each person know that they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog

Okay...my seven facts are:


1. I can't stand to see dirty dishes in the sink. However, that doesn't make me a neat freak. I simply hide them in the microwave until I get around to doing them.

2. I have a serious collection of Archie Comic Books. I even have some issues that go back to the 1960s and 1970s, thanks to my old science teacher, Mr. Moy, who gave me his old comics. Thanks, Mr. Moy!

3. My favorite color is red. It makes me happy and I think the color makes everyone look better, particularly me!

4. People with restless leg syndrome really bother me. There is something about seeing someone's leg twitch constantly that makes my skin crawl.

5. I have a bit of an addictive personality, particularly when it comes to the Internet. If I haven't checked my email or blog comments several times a day, something is wrong with the world! It's a good thing I don't have any really bad habits.

6. I recently got cable again after going without it for nearly two years. It's a whole new world!

7. When I was a little girl, I wrote to several celebrities in hopes of getting their autographs. My collection includes autographs from George Burns, New Edition, along with several astronauts and comic book creators.

**Bonus: I have this intense fear of running out of toilet paper. Whenever the stash is dwindling -- as it is now -- I run to the store in a panic.

And there you have it. Now I'm tagging Andy, Naysue, Camille, Eclat, Juicy, Motown Runner Girl and Nicole.

Monday, October 29, 2007

The Birds & The Bees & Thank God for Jill Scott


Recently, I was reminded yet again about how difficult it is to talk about sex with a parent. I learned about sex at a very young age, thanks to Mama. She had me when she was young and to prevent me from doing the same thing, Mama made sure I knew exactly where babies came from. Because of these conversations, videos, and books, I was the girl in kindergarten who knew that it took more than birds and bees to make a baby. By second grade, I knew about abortion and third grade it was birth control.

All this sex education didn’t give me any time to ask questions on my own and I got through adolescence avoiding Mama’s worse fear – teenage pregnancy. Now that I am a full-fledged adult, I’d like to think (or hope) these conversations about sex with Mama would stop. Every now and again, she’ll scream to me about how I should be careful and not become an unwed mother. Other times, her messages are more subtle, like this conversation I’m about to describe.

I went to pick up Mama from her hair appointment. Normally, this is a hilarious thing, especially since the hairdresser is my Crazy Aunt. They like to pick on me and I can take it, most of the time. This time, I was grateful for two things: 1. that the shop was empty aside from us and 2. that I had my iPod with me.

Mama: Strength, your stepfather wants to know what kind of birth control you’re using.
Me: Wha-What? Why does he want to know?
Mama: We were watching the news and they mentioned all the side effects that this one form of birth control causes. All of a sudden, he was like, ‘Strength’s not on that, is she?’
Me: *sigh*
Mama: I told him that I had no clue what kind of birth control you were on. Heck, I don’t even know if you’re on birth control.
Me: I wish ya'll would just stay away from my ovaries.
Mama: I’m just saying. We’re looking out for you! It’s not like you tell me anything. What about you, Crazy Aunt? Do you know what form of birth control my daughter is using?

(At this point, I put on the iPod and turn to Jill Scott’s song, ‘Celibacy Blues’)

Crazy Aunt: I have no clue.
Mama: Knowing her, she’s probably got an IUD. Maybe that’s why she’s so evil all the time.
Crazy Aunt: Believe me, that’s not why she’s evil.

This here celibacy thing/ Lawd, just got something over me / Like an addict, I could really use a thing ...

Mama: (smiling) Really! Why don’t you tell me why she’s evil. I'd like to know.
Crazy Aunt: Oh, you know why. Don’t make me spell it out for you. When’s the last time this girl got some?
Mama: Hmmm. There was that one stupid guy she bought around. What was his name …

I'm trying to clear my mind / But all I seem to find / Is this gangsta, gangsta type of need

Crazy Aunt: But that was a looooooooooong time ago. Surely this girl has gotten her nails polished since then!
Mama: I dunno. That’s why I’m asking you.
Crazy Aunt: Well, she does make those trips out of town and you know it’s not just to see friends. You know how she likes to go to the Midwest.
Mama: Oh yeah! I forgot about that fool.

People say mind over matter / But I don’t mind what they say / And it don’t matter

Crazy Aunt: I didn’t. She’s still about due for a tune up, if you ask me.
Mama: Don’t say that! You know I don’t condone that kind of behavior.
Crazy Aunt: Whatever.
Mama: I just need to make sure she’s safe. And …
Crazy Aunt: We know! You’re not ready to be a grandmother.
Mama: Thank you.

This here celibacy thing / Is working on me …

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bittersweet Poetry


One of my friends tacked this poem in her myspace blog. I liked it, so I'm stealing it. I'm especially a fan of the last few lines. You'll see what I mean. Anyway, check it out!



"Full Moon and You're Not Here"

By Sandra Cisneros in Loose Woman Poems, pg. 54


Usless moon,
Too beautiful to waste.
But you, my Cinderella,
have the midnight curfew,
a son waiting to be picked up from his den meeting,
and the fractured marriage weighing on your head
like a crown of thorns.


Oh my beauty,
it's not polite
to keep me waiting.
To send me reeling in a spiral
and then to say good night.


I smoke a cigar,
play a tango,
gulp my gin and tonic.


Goddamn you.


Full moon and you're not here.
I take off the silk slip,
the silver bangels.


You're in love with my mind.


But, sometimes, sweetheart,
a woman needs a man
who loves her ass.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Songjacker


First off, my knowledge of The Beatles is limited. Yeah, I know the members of the group, the whole 'Paul is dead' theory and what role Yoko Ono played in the group's breakup. I don't know any of their songs, other than hearing 'I Want To Hold Your Hand' years ago in one of those Time Life music commercials. I remember thinking that it was a pretty awful song and I wondered how the band got to be so big time.


That was back before I was introduced to guitar. Now, I have my own acoustic guitar that I've named 'Shug' after a character in one of my favorite movies (more on that later). I've been taking lessons off and on for the last three years. My teacher -- David -- gives us all individualized, one-on-one lessons. He's been trying to teach me fingerpicking, something that I've been struggling with. As much as I love Tracy Chapman, I was unable to get it together when he gave me the sheet music for 'Fast Car' (I'm still trying though!). If I can't catch a song in a certain amount of time, we move onto something else.


Awhile back, he introduced me to 'Blackbird' and I became obsessed. It's not the easiest song to play, but once I started getting it together, the tune was so beautiful that I didn't want to stop. I've googled the song several different times and not only found the lyrics and other artists singing the song, I also found some clips on youtube of Paul McCartney playing it. David told me he was glad I was so interested in the song and that we'd play it until I perfected it.


Well, last Thursday I had no choice but to show up to my lesson early. I planned to sit out in the waiting area, reading a good book until it was my turn. I didn't get to read a bit, because I started hearing the first bars of 'Blackbird' coming from the music room. David was working with Warren, the guy who goes before me each week. I thought Warren was a nice enough guy, up until this point. Now I know he's nothing but a songjacker! David was guiding him through the song, giving him the same advice he gave me about getting it just right. The nerve!


This recent turn of events leaves me with two options. #1. I could beat Warren mercifully with his guitar and tell him to stay the hell off of my song. #2. I could master the song to the point that Warren won't be able to look me in the eye anymore, that he'll think of me everytime he thinks of the Beatles and he'll bow down in my presence. As much as I think about doing bodily harm to people who stand in my way, I think I'll go with option 2.


The next time I face off with Warren, it won't be pretty. It'll be just like that scene in 'The Color Purple', that part when Shug reunites with her preacher father by singing 'God is Tryin to Tell You Something.' David and Warren will be up in the room trying to play and all of a sudden, they'll hear something from outside. They'll open the windows, look into the parking lot and they'll see me, coming out of the shadows. I'll be strumming them notes and crooning, 'Blackbird singing in the dead of niiiiight.' Warren will look defeated and David will get so emotional that he'll be on the verge of tears. Then I'll put my guitar down and I'll say, 'See David, sinners have souls too.' The he'll open his arms slowly and we'll embrace, both of us so wrapped up in emotion that we cry.


Ok, maybe I've gotten ahead of myself with that little fantasy. My lesson is tomorrow night, so I hope to have my act together by then. I must win back my song!


(Photo from http://www.flyglobalmusic.com/fly/archives/Sara-Tavares.jpg)

Monday, October 22, 2007

Waiting. Anticipating.


I arrive at work to find my desk covered in dust. The workers are doing something dreadful to the roof and our desks are the latest casualty. I’m peeved as I wipe the dust away and subsequently disinfect everything, including my trusty coffee mug. I prepare for work when the roofers start banging and banging on the roof to the point that I feel like I’m working in a war zone.

It isn’t until a supervisor walks by and gives me a compliment, do I realize what day it is. (This is a supervisor whom I dislike on a professional level, but I imagine her being cool outside of work). She tells me that she likes my hair and that she can tell I just got it done. I thank her, but then I start thinking, WTF? Yeah, I did get my hair done over the weekend, but what was wrong with it last week? Is she trying to tell me that my hair is busted? Like she, of all people, needs to talk about anyone's hair! Then the woman who sits on the other side of my cube makes several phone calls to tell everyone about the 16 bags of leaves she and her hubby had to carry over the weekend. I swear, I had to listen to the story about the 16 bags 16 different times, including the time she told me about it when we walked in. I’ve barely drunk my first cup of tea before I close my eyes and make an honest to goodness pledge to punch her in the throat if she mentions them damn leaves one more time.

And that’s when it hits me. PMS.

Ladies, you know what I’m talking about. Those days when nothing goes right and you find yourself doing everyone in the vicinity bodily harm. Today, I’m in the constant state of waiting and anticipation. Days like this, I know it’s going to come, feel it’s going to come and I race to the bathroom several times only to realize that it hasn’t come. Sigh.

Today, I could split the jugular of a male colleague who tried to talk to me as I nearly fainted from mind-boggling cramps. I mean seriously, James, now is not the time for you to brag about how you beat me in fantasy football yesterday. If you value your life, and that of your descendants, you will back away from me with a quickness. Naturally, I don't say this but I think it, real hard. And he backs away. I’m so glad.

This evening, I will deal with a combination of my thrilling research class and Trudy. And theoretically after that, I’m going to be meeting up with a former coworker who has since moved out of the state and is gracing us with her presence for one night only. Theoretically, I’m going to be prim and proper throughout the night. At least that’s the hope. Cuz if anyone acts up tonight, I promise to rip the 2-liter Pepsi from Trudy and toss it in the face of anyone who gets in my way. Today ain’t the day folks. Back away!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Soundtrack


If I belonged to a tribe of some sort, I'd name myself Queen Many Songs. No matter where I go or what I do, I need to have a soundtrack to the occasion. Here's a few:


Taking a bath/shower:

Sade -- Either 'Lovers' Rock' or 'The Best of Sade', since those are the only two cds of hers that I have. I've mentioned my love of her before. I don't know how to explain it. She and her band just do it for me.


On my way to work:

Kanye West -- Specifically, "Spaceship" on College Dropout. I love how this song talks about how he struggled in his miserable job at The Gap, while staying up all night and writing his rhymes. I have to sing this song whenever the going gets rough at work because I know better things are on the way.


Friday nights:

Kelis --There is nothing like a chick who can flip it from talking about her love for her husband to tracks like "Blindfold Me", "Bossy," "Awww S**t" and my personal favorite, "F** them B****s."


Kanye West -- "Drunk 'N Hot Girls". That's basically about men in the club going crazy over some hot, drunk chick. Loves it!


Common -- This man makes the world go 'round. 'Nuff said.


Anger management:

Eminem --All day, every day. 'You don't/Wanna efff with Strengthy/Why?/Cuz Strengthy will effing kill you!' I couldn't have said it better myself.


Jaguar Wright -- If you aren't bitter and depressed when you listen to her first cd, 'Denials, Delusions and Decisions', I can guarantee that you will be after you finish listening to her. I've listened to it so many times that I've become immune, but she is definitely not for the weak.


Working Out:

A medley that consists of The Pussycat Dolls, Beyonce, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse and Kelly Clarkson.


Being wistful:

Another one of my infamous medleys. This one consists of David Gray, Corinne Bailey Rae, Amel Larrieux and Amerie. Some of my favorites are Gray's "This Year's Love," Corinne's "Breathless" and Musiq's "Today." Shoot, "Today" would make a good wedding song.


Anytime, Anyplace:

Amy Winehouse


Chrisette Michele


Eric Roberson


Toby Lightman


Nikka Costa


Jill Scott
John Mayer

Meshell Ndegeocello


Robin Thicke


Macy Gray


India.Arie


Erykah Badu


Lauryn Hill



Plus, many, many more! Sigh. This is just why my iPod is nearly out of space.




Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Manic Mondays



The next time I get the bright idea to register for a Monday night class, I'm going to look up this post and read it 1,000 times until I talk myself out of it. Seriously, this is what.... the eight week of the semester? ... and I'm already about to hurt someone.









My problem is that the class I need is only offered on Mondays, 4:30 p.m. to 7:15 p.m. And it's a research class, which is a code word for boring. My task in this class is to do a research paper on George Sand and give a 15-minute presentation on my work by the end of the semester. Writing the paper is no problem -- my thing is that I hate oral presentations. I'm glad we only have about 10 student sin our class, but I'd much rather turn in my paper, take an exam and roll outta there. But that's just me.







Anyway, I've learned that each semester there is one student in class that I want to assassinate. This time it's this girl, Trudy. (I have no idea what her real name is, but she looks like a Trudy to me). Trudy is an interesting character. Each day, she comes to class wearing a black scarf -- I'm pretty sure its the same scarf each week -- and lugging a 2-liter bottle of diet Pepsi. She spends each class either drinking her Pepsi straight out of the bottle or asking the professor questions that have nothing to do with the subject at hand. There have been several times that we could've left class early if it weren't for her endless comments about the state of British literature, followed up with her loud, caffienated burps. Luckily, I've been able to zone out during those times that she gets overly annoying. On those days, I imagine myself dancing on her face while wearing golf shoes. And for whatever reason, that fills me with extreme joy.







Well, I hope the Monday night stress explains a little bit as to why I've been MIA lately. I'll try to do better with the posts, as long as it doesn't interfere with my 'thrilling' research. So far, I'm still sane. Check with me again in December, which is when I may truly lose my mind or make that golf shoe fantasy a reality. I'm hoping for the best!

(Photo courtesy of http://www1.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/848625/2/istockphoto_848625_online_education.jpg)

Before You Ask .....

A new post is coming soon, I promise! If I could just get a minute to organize my thoughts, then throw them up here, things would be gravy. But at the moment, that's not happening. In the meantime, please sit tight. It's only a matter of time before we return to your regularly scheduled program.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Last Temptation of Strength/Courage/Wisdom





The next person who suggests a TV show to me is going to get a swift kick in the stomach. I mean it. TV is stressing me out and it has got to stop.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I can be a bit on the obsessive side. When I like something, I REALLY REALLY like it and I want others to feel the same way. I also have this insane habit of wanting to be able to contribute to any conversation I stumble across. That combination does not bode well for the plans I made to watch less television.

For awhile, I was doing well. I had my must see viewing list and nothing else. If it wasn't "Lost", "24", "How I Met Your Mother", "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Ugly Betty" or "Grey's Anatomy", it wasn't getting watched. Yeah, I stumbled a bit with "Dancing With the Stars" and "America's Next Top Model," but for the most part I stuck with the plan.

Things changed when a few of my coworkers started talking about their new favorite show, "Heroes." They said it was much better than "Lost," a show I love to hate, so I said I'd check it out. Sure enough, this show rubbed me in the right way and got added to the list.

A few of my must see shows got dropped -- 24 killed off my favorite characters, I kept forgetting about How I Met Your Mother and SVU. I was fine with that, until my friend, Dee, appealed to my inner teenage white girl and tossed "One Tree Hill" my way. I watched most of the old seasons on dvd and reluctantly added that to the list.

But now that the new fall viewing season has started, I'm torn. I stopped watching "Girlfriends" long before they got rid of Toni's character. Now they have the nerve to add one of my many crushes, Richard T. Jones, to the cast. Don't the writers know that he was one of my favorite parts of "The Wood"? Don't they know I watched "Judging Amy" every week just to see him?

Adding 'Girlfriends' to the list makes things even more complicated because 'The Game' comes on right after that and I know I'll end up watching that as well. An even bigger problem is the fact that 'Heroes' comes on at the same time as both of these shows. But the CW Network does reair the episodes that Sunday, making it way too convenient for me to watch everything.

Recently, my friend, JJ, told me about his undying love for "Brothers & Sisters." I thought the show looked cheesy, but I got the first season's DVDs just to check it out. And I was right, it is cheesy, uses every cliche imaginable, but ... dare I say it? ... I can't stop watching. Sally Field is such a great actress and seeing Calista Flockhart again takes me back to my Ally McBeal days. I haven't finished watching the first season yet, but when I do, I'll probably .... you know ... add it to the list. (Of course, this list doesn't even mention the cable shows that I watch on DVD -- "Battlestar Galactica," "Nip/Tuck," etc)

After "Brothers & Sisters", I'm putting my foot down. The list is under lock and key and I'm not putting another show on there. So what if 24 is resurrecting one of my favorite characters from the dead (Tony Almeidia played by Carlos Bernard) ... I'm not going back! So what if ER is adding my other favorite 24 character (Reiko Aylesworth) to the cast this fall ... I'm not watching!!! And no matter how loudly my inner teenage white girl may sing "Glamorous Life", I will not watch Gossip Girl!! Hmph.


(Photo courtesy of http://www.stormerbrooks.com/karen/comp.too_much_TV.gif

Friday, October 05, 2007

Say It Ain't So!



I haven't been this upset than Flo Jo's death. Sigh. Anywho, check it.


I'm pretty speechless right now, and that's a first for me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ask Naté



These days, I have a new BFF and her name is Naté. We enjoy similar music, gossip blogs and she supports my stalkerization of both Robin Thicke and Method Man. We’ve bonded with issues over being the only black person in the workplace, folks misspelling and mispronouncing our name and how our accent marks have become the bane of our existence.

The only thing is, Naté and I have never met.

See, Naté is the girlfriend of my coworker Matthew. He’s a quiet, ordinary white fella who sits near me. I didn’t think one way or the other of him when he started working with me, but my eyebrows went straight to the ceiling when I saw the picture of the beautiful sistah on his desk. I tried to keep my surprise on the inside as countless numbers of our colleagues went up to him, ogled his girlfriend’s picture and told him that he was way out of his league. Yeah, I don’t work with the most sensitive people.

Anyway, it’s no secret that I check ybf on a frequent basis for my gossip fix. But one day Matthew told me that his gf told him to tell me that the site had a mention of Robin Thicke that I needed to check out. And sure enough, there was a link to a story on my man, in all his glory. From then on, Naté has been golden with me.

Since then, Naté, via Matthew, has become my go-to person in the office. It’s not unusual for me to say something like, ‘Hey Matthew, I hate that new song by (insert famous R&B artist here), what does she think? (She agreed)’ ‘Hey Matthew, is Naté wearing her black to support the Jena 6? (She was and so did he)’ And he’ll say, ‘Hey Strength, Naté wants to know if you think Paula Patton is pregnant (I have noticed a belly bump).’

Maybe one day I’ll meet Naté. I do get a kick out of her, via Matthew. We keep telling him to bring her around, but they live too far away for socializing outside of the office. Or so he says. Truthfully, I wonder if there even is a Naté. Maybe Matthew is embracing that inner black woman that dwells in us all.

(Photo from http://www.empowerme.org/images/he2016.jpg)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Stalker of My Mother is My Stalker (or, Down with Google)


To hear Mom tell it, Barry is just someone she felt sorry for in high school. He was a bit on the geeky side and everyone wanted to beat him up, so she befriended him. They went their separate ways -- she had me, got married moved away, got remarried, moved away again, and kept moving and moving and ... you get the picture. He got married, moved away, then returned to their hometown.








Of course, I knew nothing of this when my phone rang at work three years ago. At the time, I was living in the Midwest. Apparently, Barry googled my Mom and some kind of way stumbled upon my contact information. Yeah, this sounds a little fishy to me too. I do work in a field where an Internet search makes it easy to locate me, but only if you search my name, not my mother's. Anyway, here's the conversation:




Barry: Oh my goodness!! Is this Strength/Courage/Wisdom?? Pam's daughter?
Me: Ummm, yes. How can I help you?
Barry: You won't believe this, but I'm an old friend of your Mom's and blah blah blah (basically, he said everything I listed in graph #2)
Me: Really, that's interesting. (As I type a high priority email message to my mother)
Barry: So.... do you know how I can get in touch with her?
Me: Well, I can take your information and pass it on to her.
Barry: Perfect!


We chatted for a little while and I learned that he works in the same field that I do. Apparently, my Mom told him that I entered this field and I should chat with him for some career advice. I vaguely remember her mentioning this to him. Anyway, he calls her and life goes on.



I never heard from him again. Until yesterday. I'm no longer in the Midwest; I'm at the job that I've been at for the last two years, making me much closer to my friends and family.


Barry: Is this Strength/Courage/Wisdom?? Pam's daughter?
Me: Yesssssss
Barry: You may not remember me, but I'm your Mom's friend! Barry X!!
Me: Oh yeah, I remember you.
Barry: Great! You'll never believe this, but I lost your mother's phone number. I've been in the area for a few days and I'm trying to get in touch with her. Do you think you can help me out?
Me: Sure, here's her work number... (She has caller ID there and literally only answers the phone when she knows the #)
Barry: Thanks so much! Do you happen to have her cell?
Me: No, I don't. That's in my other phone that I left at home. (A bold-faced lie, but whatever)
Barry: Ok, that's fine! So what's it like to be back home? Do you get to see your Mom alot? I bet she's happy to have you home!
Me: Yeah, it's good. I just saw her yesterday, actually.
Barry: Really! Man, your Mom ...
Me: So how's your wife and kids?
Barry: Oh, the kids are good. My son just graduated college, daugher's in college and my youngest just started second grade. My wife's alright. So anyway, about your Mom ...
Me: And how long have ya'll been married now?
Barry: Oh, we've got a 25th anniversary party in a few months.
Me: How beautiful!!!
Barry: Yeah. Now about your Mom....
Me: Well, I have another call. Gotta go!!


We hang up and I immediately call my mother to tell her that Barry will call her soon. Just like I thought, she didn't answer her work phone when he called because she didn't recognize the number. I haven't followed up with her to see if she called him back. She didn't sound too enthused to hear that he was in town. Either that, or she didn't want me to know about their elicit affair. Hah!! I hope she deals with it, cuz I do not want to get another phone call from Barry. Sheesh. I swear, it's hard being the daughter of a MILF.


(Photo from http://imagecache2.allposters.com/images/pic/153/994066~The-Family-Guy-Got-MILF-Posters.jpg)

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

How (Not) to Approach Me

Honestly, I’m not making this stuff up. Here are some transcripts of conversations I’ve had with men that I’ve met over the past few weeks.

(The scene: Salsa club. The dance floor is crammed with folks and I am having a blast, even tho I’m still trying to get adjusted to this salsa thing. Dude asks me to dance and I comply. But before I go out there, I warn him as I do all my other dance partners, that I’m a beginner. So we go out there. )
Him: You’re sure you’re a beginner? You’re doing perfect!
Me: No, you’re just saying that.
Him: No, I mean it. You’re very beautiful. I love your hair.
Me: Thank you.
Him: Do you have a boyfriend?
Me: Kinda. (The correct answer is no, but that’s my way of saying I’m not interested)
Him: Ah. That’s okay. I’m kind of involved myself.
Me: YOU’RE MARRIED??!!!
Him: No, no, no. I’m not married. I’m just in love with someone and she’s not talking to me.
Me: Oh. What’d you do?
Him: Let’s just say I was just being a man.
Me: (rolling eyes) Oh, you’re one of those.
Him: I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything, but she just won’t give in.
Me: How long has it been since she stopped talking to you?
Him: About a year.
Me: A YEAR??? Okay, I think she’s moved on.
Him: Well, I know she’s not married. I can’t give up on her.
Me: Interesting.
Him: Anyway, if you give me your email address I can add you to my online network. (He was talking about LinkedIn)
Me: Sure. It’s you_r_a_stalker@getaclue.com

(Scene: The library. Many times, I spend my lunch break at the library just catching up on some reading. This dude was sitting in front of me. While I was immersed in a book, he was staring out the window with a bunch of bags at his feet. I wondered if he was homeless, but he looked too well kempt for that)
Him: Hey sis. What you reading?
Me: (startled) Oh, nothing.
Him: Seriously, what is it? Is it a good book?
Me: Yeah, but …
Him: What’s it called? I might want to read it.
Me: (I reluctantly hold up the cover of the book, which is titled ‘Why I’m Still Married’. It’s actually a good book)
Him: (a look of horror on his face) You married, sis?
Me: No. It’s just a good book. These real life authors are talking about their marriages and some of them are in some crazy situations.
Him: Interesting.

He continues to chat over some time and I learn that he has college age children. He won’t tell me what he does for a living, but tells me about jobs he has held in the past (pastor, head of an AIDS clinic), which typically means that he’s unemployed. He asks for my email address and I give it to him as I’m about to leave. I’m not interested, but whatever. An email address, esp one that doesn’t list my last name, is harmless. I get up to leave.

Him: So, sis …
Me: (Didn’t I just tell your ass my name is Strength?) What?
Him: Um…. What’s up with the dreads?
Me: Nothing. It’s just my hair. And they’re locs.
Him: Hmmm. Ever had a perm?
Me: Yes. Before I had these.
Him: Ever considering getting one again?
Me: Nope, I sure haven’t.
Him: Oh.

Suffice it to say, this dude never emailed me. Darn! I was so looking to having so many stimulating conversations with this brainwashed old man. Sigh. Anyway, 'Why I'm Still Married' is a great book, particularly the essay from the woman involved in an open marriage and then she later starts an affair with her husband's girlfriend's husband. Drama, drama!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Watching 'Heroes' Nekkid



This will come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but every once in a while I struggle with my swagger. Even though 99.9 percent of the time I profess to be a queen and insert my name into damn near every song lyric I can find (Lately, it's Dream's 'Shawty You a 10'), I'm actually quite shy and insecure. Close your mouths, it's true.







One of my biggest issues has been naked phobia. Basically, I'm a bit uncomfortable being 'nekkid,' as well as having the folks around me in the buck. This was a nickname that some relatives gave my issue, but after googling it, I found out that it is actually a real problem. I wouldn't say I have a major dose of this phobia, after all, I have been able to get over it in certain situations. I have no clue where I developed it either. Maybe that whole thing in middle school where you have to undress in the locker room with all the other girls. Or maybe it's a general feeling of inadequacy with my own figure, which is something I still struggle with today. I wonder if I would have this problem if I had a bigger chest, flatter stomach and curves. Hmmm.







Anyway, I decided to cure myself. I didn't do any googling or call any 1-800 numbers for advice, I simply found my own way to make my body image better. For about a week, I slept in nothing more than my skin.







This wasn't the first time I slept with nothing on, but it was definitely the first time I did it for a continuous period. I heard people talk about how addicting it is to lie in bed and feel the sheets on your bare skin, how freeing the whole thing is. I wanted to join that club, so I shed my garmets.







For a while, I had a ritual going. I'd hop in the shower, oil down, stand in front of my mirror in the nude and chant 'I love myself, I love myself' a few times and then crawl into bed. At first, it felt a little strange, but then I got used to it. Of course, once my alarm clock came off, I reached for my robe with a quickness.







So far, I'm not addicted to sleeping in the nude, but I don't hate it either. I'm just going with the flow, seeing if I can heal myself. I don't have any answers yet. I do know that I did gain one thing from sleeping nekkid. A cold! It might be time to break out the jammies.

(Photo from http://www.thaicraftstore.com/images/e820_10.jpg)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Happiness Is

A hug from a certain 11-year-old boy who typically shuns affection ..... an easy day at work that gives me free time to blog ... tightening up my resume and realizing that I am pretty marketable ... saving hundreds of dollars by slowly printing the first draft of my book at the office (30 pages a day, baby) ... the one white girl at work who can join in when I start chanting "Broke, broke, broke, broke phi broke" .... getting an oil change and learning that there's nothing majorly wrong with my car ... a phone call from a friend I haven't heard from in a long time .... a box of my favorite cookies ... a flirtatious smile from a boy who's young enough to make it illegal in 14 states .... having my coworkers miss me when I'm on vacation ... strawberry kiwi tea ... managing not to cry when I realize both Macy Gray and the Brand New Heavies will be in town tonight and I can't go ... getting warm spirit's vetiver spray lotion for free ... returning to guitar lessons after a two-week break and making progress on The Beatles' "Blackbird" song ... feeling good that Kanye West beat 50 Cent in the sales war, but not caring enough to buy either one (tho, i'll probably burn kanye's) ... sushi lunches with the girls on fridays ... helping other folks recognize the value of Bat Star Gal ... text messages just to say hello ... discovering "heroes" .... seashells on the mexican and bahamian beaches ... fall season sales .... a raise, as paltry that it may be ... realizing that my company's recent takeover will result in a 401K match ... having my mama close enough that I can just run over there and either cry hysterically or laugh so hard that I cry. Good times!!

Alright, I just had to get that out. Stay tuned for the next installment, which could very well be things that piss me the hell off. Have a good day!

1,2,3 Push It, Babe!


Yet another reason why I should get cable is here, either that or camp out on my parents' couch once a week so I can watch. Hmmmm....everything's under consideration at this point, since I was such a big fan of there's back in the day and I have quite a few of their tapes (yes, tapes!). I even have their first release, which includes the original Spinderella.



And speaking of Spin .... where's she been? There's no mention of her on the site. The plot thickens.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Appreciation





Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have many men, many imaginary men, that is. Countless celebrities that I refer to as boyfriends who don't know they're my boyfriends. So what if Access Hollywood says he's dating some new actress, that's just something we tell folks to keep the paparazzi off our trail. What, he got somebody pregnant? That's totally innocent -- we asked that chick to be the surrogate mother to our child! As you can see, my stories tend to be a bit on the elaborate side.





Today, I want to talk about the cuteness that is Coby Bell, pictured above. I remember the first time I saw young Coby. I was in the suite of my dorm watching ER with a few of my roommates. We were barely paying attention to the TV until Coby appeared. He played a patient who was an athlete with some kind of prostate problem. We decided he was cute and got a little closer to the screen as his character became embarassed over the erection he got when the female doctor prodded him. As we remained transfixed to the screen, we wondered whether he was a brotha, hermano or gringo. In the end, we decided that it didn't even matter -- he could get it.





Over the years, I followed him onto various TV shows -- "Third Watch" and now "The Game." I always thought he had this rare cute/innocent quality about him, until I caught a glimpse of him on CSI Miami this week. I only saw enough of it to grasp that Coby was the bad guy and that he had killed someone. He had this nice little soul patch just below his lip and he was admitting to the murder with such bravado. It made him seem so dangerous ... and appealing. Gotta love a man with determination. Yum.



Yeah, there are rumors that he's married with twin girls. That's just another one of our schemes to protect the anonymity of our love.











(Photo from http://images.tvnz.co.nz/tvnz_images/tv2/programmes/third_watch/Coby_Bell_d.jpg)

Friday, September 07, 2007

On Felix, Kay and Jamaica: Mission Impossible






I have returned from my week of the sea, the beach and now I'm back in reality. Sigh.



In short, I had a FABULOUS vacation, even though it started out on a sour note. My cruise -- which was expected to hit Grand Cayman and Ocho Rios, Jamaica -- had to be rerouted because of Hurricane Felix. The storm forced our fearless captain to change our route, so we went to Cozumel, Mexico and Freeport, Bahamas instead. I was a bit disappointed about the changes, since this is the second time my Travel Buddy and myself attempted to go to Jamaica. We tried to go there with a group in 2005, but the trip changed and we wound up going to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I had a great time on that trip as well, but I can't help but desiring Jamaica even more. Sigh. I'll have to add that to my dream trip list, right up there with Egypt.


Anyway, this was the first cruise for TB and I. Day one we both showed up on the boat with a combined total of four hours of sleep and empty bellies. But we couldn't eat until the captain did a demonstration on the emergency exits and we returned our life jackets to safe places. Once we finally ate, we planned to take a little nap before we explored the boat. Well, what was planned to be a small, 1-hour nap, turned into a 11 hour slumber and we didn't wake up until early the next morning. Because we missed a series of announcements that first day, we spent much of the time not knowing what time we were supposed to eat in the dining room, that there was some kind of competition going on and which team we were on for the competition. Eventually, we got things together.


TB and I had been to Mexico before, although it was Puerto Vallarta instead of Cozumel. Cozumel is a mostly undeveloped island in the Carribbean with nice, sandy beaches. Our guide, Cesar, took us through the town, which was pretty much abandoned in the daylight (methinks this place is more of a nighttime spot) and it was filled with tons of shops and aggressive salesmen who chase people down the street to sell just about anything. We ate at a nice restaurant called Tiki Tok where I had the quesadilla of life and the main drag was filled with the American bastardizations of McDonald's, Blockbuster, etc. Cesar also hipped us to the beauty of black coral and ways that it can become this without hurting the environment, which is now making me regret not buying that heart-shaped ring one of the aggressives tried to sell me.


I don't have my Mexico pix developed yet (they're on the disposable camera), but I do have several of the Bahamas. That up top is me making my descent into the water at the Freeport beach. This is very significant because neither myself, nor TB, can swim. (I know, I know ... I should learn). Here are some more Bahamas pix:





Here's us setting up and getting ready for the water:









Me digging my toes in the sand:







One of the things that I got a kick out of on this cruise was the towel animals. Each night, we'd return to our room with a different animal made out of our towels and washcloths. It cracked me up! By the end of the week, we had three animals -- a elephant, a snail/squid and a walrus..... I think. I tried to get the animals in an erotic pose on the last day, but that didn't work out too well. (Hey, I get my kicks wherever I can!) Anyway, here's the animal art. Please let me know if the animals aren't what I say they are.















Even though I enjoyed my cruise, I think it will be several years before I take another one. I'd really just rather visit the individual cities/towns/islands etc instead of being trapped on a boat much of the time. I didn't get seasick at all, but I often went to portions of the boat where I could feel more movement than others and that was uncomfortable.


One of the best parts of the trips was karaoke and our DJ, "Kay", who hosted it. Kay was incredibly bland (think Ben Stein), except when the music came on. Then she would bust out notes like I never heard and occasionally chimed in as other folks were singing. It was hilarious. I only wished she cut off the chick who got up there to sing Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On." I mean, really .... who sings a song from 'Titanic' when they're on a cruise ship?? Sheesh.


Well, that's enough for now. I hope you all had good weeks!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Caribbean Queen


As I dragged myself out of bed this morning and made that endless drive into work, I asked myself a serious philosophical question that I continue to ask now that I'm sitting at my desk. WHY AM I HERE????


Today is my last day at the office before my weeklong vacation in the Caribbean. I'm taking my first cruise to Jamaica and Grand Cayman. The only thing that sucks is that I have to leave my apt at 3:30 tomorrow morning to make my flight. (GRRR) But after that, I'll be footloose and fancy free.


Soon, I'll type up a sign and tape it on my computer monitor to remind my colleagues that I am out of town. It'll probably say -- 'GONE ON VACATION. DON'T CALL, DON'T EMAIL, DON'T TEXT. MOST IMPORTANTLY, DON'T THINK ABOUT ME, 'CUZ I AM NOT THINKING ABOUT YOU. ' I cannot wait to be aboard that boat, have the sand in my toes and see nothing but ocean all around.


Anywho, this is my way of alerting all of you that I will be gone for an entire week. When I return, I'm sure I'll have lots to share. But right now, I am in vacation mode (actually, I've been in that mode since June). I hope you all have a pleasurable Labor Day -- I know I will!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Jesus be a restraining order and a True Love Waits accountability partner. The flesh is weak.'

There are people in my life who truly want to get me fired. I won't mention any names (Juicy), but there is a certain someone who sends me to the most hilarious websites during the workday that I fear my shoulder-shaking laughter will eventually get me fired.

Today, I was introduced to this site. And apparently I'm late because it looks like the creators, Tia and Toya, have been around since 2003. Like me, they are both in love with Common and have a fetish for Jeremy Piven, making this my favorite post. I've been laughing about that post all day, especially when she mentions Common's tux. It even sent me googling True Love Waits. Enjoy!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

For Tha L, who's not trying to be 'ALL THE WAY UP' in my bizness



Well, I did go on the Not-Date with Crush (this would be the fourth Not-Date, to be exact), as I mentioned before. It was, how do you say ... uneventful. Yes, uneventful is the word of the night. This man has no pulse. Allow me to set the scene.








A friend of a friend was having a party that included dancing, salsa in particular. Crush and I agreed to meet up there. Let me just say that I was hot ... I was looking fierce in this strapless black and white dress. I put a little extra time into getting ready and I even smelled good too. Crush arrived before me and once I went to greet him, all he said was 'hello.' This dude had the absolute gall not to be affected by me in all my gorgeousness.









The night wore on and we danced and chatted, danced and chatted, sometimes with each other, sometimes with other people. I upped the flirting a notch, yet Crush did not take the bait. Grrr.









Anywho, I drove home feeling dejected and disappointed. I felt like Marcus Graham in that scene in Boomerang where he's trying to get Robin Givens' character to fall into his charms: "This is my mack daddy vibe I'm giving you, in all it splendor. Check it, it's like Jet Magazine (pose)." I mean really, the nerve of this fool to be immune to my feminine wiles.







When I got home, it was late, I turned on my computer for a minute just to check my email. Crush was online and we im'd for about an hour. That's the thing about this dude, we're rarely on the phone -- mostly i.m., text, email. Call me old school, but you've got to call me. Sheesh. Anyway, I've given myself a deadline (Sept. 11, to be exact) as to when I'll either tell him I like him or ask him if he likes me or something like that. Man, I feel like I'm back in high school again. Maybe I'll slip him a note that says, 'do you like me? check yes, no, or I don't know.'







PS I hope that's enough, L-Boogie. And this works both ways ... I mean, can I learn a little bit more about this special someon you've been so giddy about? I'm not trying to be 'ALL THE WAY UP in yo bizness' but, ya know .... =)

Photo from http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/dayart/20060116/flirting.gif