Sunday, February 25, 2007

"Life Goes On"

I apologize for my absence, but it couldn't be helped. A good friend of mine had a death in the family, so I had to go out of town to attend the funeral. It was one of those tragic stories where her uncle was standing outside making a phone call when he became the victim of a drive-by shooting. I'll never know what causes a person to grab a gun and shoot a complete stranger multiple times. Maybe complete insanity.

Anyway, in the years that I've known my friend, I never met her uncle. He was someone I knew about in passing, since she would often mention him. She and I always lived about a four-hour drive away from each other, so most of the time we talked over the phone. Usually, she would tell me some hilarious story about her favorite uncle. Even though our paths never crossed, her uncle often told her to tell me, his 'girl,' hello.

Visiting my friend's hometown again helped me realize that it's been 12 years since we first met. We became friends after living on the same floor freshman year and became so tight that we went to each other's hometown each summer. The first time I went to her place, it was the summer before 2pac and Biggie were assassinated (yeah, I said assassinated). Her uncle loaned her his car and the only cd he had was 2pac's All Eyez on Me. There was one song we played repeatedly, "Life Goes On." The chorus was: 'how many brothas fell victim to the street/rest in peace, young nigga there's a heaven for a G/be a lie if a I told you I ain't never thought of death/my niggas we the last ones left.' I had the pleasure of meeting some of her friends who nicknamed me PochaButtus, because of my growing booty. She even earned the moniker 2Plop Shitmore for her miraculous ability to eat and then disappear into the bathroom five minutes later. Good times.

We had our fair share of issues over the years. Family drama, school woes and man trouble usually kept us on the phone all hours of the night. These days we probably talk once a month about nothing in particular, but it always feels like not much time has passed. It's cool to see this woman -- who once wanted nothing less than Shemar Moore -- gush over her boyfriend. I even helped her drop some hints about how she envisioned her future wedding. I'm not sure if he was took the bait though. We'll see.

Both her uncle's wake and funeral were standing room only. Once it was over, we drove back to her place in silence. Leave it to me to break it by starting off with 'how many brothas fell victim to the street.' She tearfully joined in. After all, life does goes on.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Love Style

Your Love Type: INFP
The Idealist
In love, you crave a long term, harmonious relationship.For you, sex doesn't come quickly - it takes time for you to open up.
Overall, you are supportive, nurturing, and expressive.However, you tend to be shy and protective of your personal space.
Best matches: ENFJ and ESFJ

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Occasionally, I like to stray away from the pack -- do something on my own without hooking up with my friends. Sometimes I just have to get away from doing the stuff that everyone else wants to do and do what I want to do. Maybe that makes me selfish or a loner, I don't know.

Anyway, last night the task was swing dancing lessons. A few weeks ago, I heard this club was hosting the lessons/party, so I bought a ticket. I figured it was something to do on V-Day other than sitting at home and twiddling my thumbs. And it's not like it was February 2004, when I celebrated 'Single Awareness Day' with a bunch of girlfriends getting massages and watching Sex and the City. (Remember that, Motown Runner Girl?)

Initially, I thought the lessons were a bad idea. The crowd was kind of sketchy. The male and female teachers seemed pretty nice, but everyone else was coupled off. I was the only person who arrived alone and I feared being paired off with the teacher the entire night. I was standing at the bar when I noticed a man -- whom I thought had special needs -- plop down on my coat as he searched through his pockets. I immediately wished I stayed home to watch Lost.

But things picked up. They arranged us so everyone had a partner and everyone danced with everyone. I learned a few moves with a couple of guys who seemed to be learning this for the first time, much like myself. I got the hang of it alright, but it got a little confusing when it came to the spins. I've been told before that my biggest problem with dancing is that I don't trust the man to lead. Hmmmm. That says alot, doesn't it? One guy, Bill, seemed to struggle to learn the initial steps, but he got them.

Then they broke out the band and it was a free for all. Bill asked me to dance and I accepted. I didn't expect much, especially since he seemed to be screwing up in the practice session. Well, Bill's a liar. To say he knew the moves is an understatement. He shook and swung and spun me into a dizzying frenzy. Then Special Ed -- dude that sat on my coat -- asked me to dance and the same thing happened. Special Ed was not special and was actually the best male dancer in the room. These dudes were perpetrating a fraud! They were undercover swingers. Pretending that they couldn't dance and then they raised the roof.

Overall, I had a great time. I checked out the flier for the swing dance teachers and I'm considering taking some additional classes. But we'll see.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

I'm Working Today

All schools, buildings and government offices are closed. The roads are barely salted. A combination of snow and freezing rain is coming down. Anyone with any sense is in their bed, eating cocoa puffs and watching reruns of the Smurfs.

Today I'm not one of the smart ones. I was awoken by a combination of my cat and two alarm clocks. I groggily get dressed when I realize I'm ill prepared for the weather. The snow boots I bought from Payless for $3 don't help me much, especially when I realize that both shoes are for the right foot. My long johns are dirty, so I pull out some of my spandex/workout wear to do the job that the thermals can't do today. Why didn't I just call out, you may ask? Because I'm dedicated. And because I have no problem with going to work and doing nothing, yet I feel slightly guilty for calling out. Go figure.

I slip and slide my way down the empty roadways and stumble into our building. The lights are flickering on and off, a pipe burst near the sink and a water spot on the ceiling looks like the roof is going to explode. Lots of folks called out, including a guy who was hired six weeks ago and has called in sick for four of those weeks. My brave colleagues and I spend the morning plotting their demise.

Then the clock starts to tick. I make a few phone calls that I know will not be returned, listen to my iPod and watch a disgruntled delivery man hand over a bunch of bouquets to a female coworker who previously told her boyfriend she "didn't do Valentine's Day," wink wink.

I list all my canceled appointments and look forward to spending the evening inside and watching Lost. Yet the one thing that will not go away are the swing dancing lessons I signed up for previously. I email the organizers and call the club, but the bash is still on. These lessons will require me to travel 45 minutes up the road in an attempt to drop it like its hot. But I bought the $15 ticket in advance, so I will be there.

By the afternoon, the faucet is fixed and we have water. The maintenance crew has cracked out much of the ceiling and calls it progress. The snow stops and the sick workers are calling constantly asking for some way, anyway for an extra assignment to make up for their neglect.

Nevertheless, I am at work today.

Oh yeah. Happy Valentine's Day.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Happy Blogday to Me!!

Today marks the one year anniversary of the day this blog was born. I used to think the idea of having a blog was silly, so I deleted the previous one I had. Yet my buddy, Juicy, convinced me that I should try again.

So on February 9, 2006, I wrote this. Then I continued to write about various issues: my hair woes, troubles with Ned, and other issues. I even started my own club. What a productive year it's been!!

Anyway, I just wanted to take this time to celebrate my first blogday. I want to send a few shout outs to some of my readers -- Mlle. Smith, Tha L, Motown Runner Girl, Reese, and the aforementioned Juicy. Please check out their blogs -- they're really good!

Again, thanks for sticking with me for a year. I'm looking forward to another year of blogging and meeting new bloggers!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Grown Folks Music

For some reason, this song has been on my mind alot lately. This, and a Jody Watley song. I couldn't track down the Jody video (still trying!!) but I did find this. This song was the truth back in the day ....

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wanted: Asians -- For Good Times, Easy Conversation & to Settle 'Oriental' Debate

For the past couple of years, I’ve belonged to an online writing community. It’s pretty decent. It allows me to get my writing reviewed and I can also review the work of others. So it’s a mutually beneficial relationship.

Recently, I was annoyed when I read a woman’s short story where she described the people on the block: ‘Their faces were black, white, and Oriental.’ An alarm buzzed in my head. Isn’t the term, ‘Oriental,’ a no-no when referring to a human being? Isn’t it the equivalent of calling a black person ‘colored’ or ‘negro’? In my review, I told the writer that the word could be offensive: “All of my Asian friends prefer being called Asian, Asian American or identifying their country of origin,” I wrote.

That’s when I stopped. All my Asian friends? Hmmmm. In all honesty, I haven’t had an Asian friend since high school. That was my Cambodian buddy Seila, who hipped me to the Asian/Oriental issue. We drifted apart, as high school friends are prone to do. I’ve made many new friends since then – white, black, Middle Eastern, Latino, gay, straight, etc. But no Asians. I do have one Asian friend, but she’s Indian, so she doesn’t count. I’m looking for some southeast Asians. I'm on a hunt.

There is an Asian guy at my job – actually, there’s two (double the number of blacks, but that’s a different story). One of the men is pierced and tattooed. I see him outside smoking with the smokers all the time. Because I loathe the smell of smoke, I wasn’t able to introduce myself and tell him that I’m recruiting Asian friends. I didn't even display my t-shirt which is emblazoned with the image above.

The other Asian man is cool. His name is Dave. We had a nice long chat about a football game about a month ago. The problem is that Dave doesn’t work in my department. The few times I see him across the room, he’s gone as soon as I blink. I never see him in the break room, the conference room or with the other Asian guy (if I could catch two birds with one stone, that would be great!).

But I am determined to find this man again – this Dave Asian person. I’m going to introduce myself, turn on the charm and eventually ask him how he feels about that whole Asian – Oriental debate. If he doesn't cuss me out, I'll report his response to the writer who penned that sentence about the 'Orientals' in her neighborhood. For shame!

Friday, February 02, 2007

Blogging While Paranoid

Someone is trying to take my baby.

I’ve been told that all new mothers feel this way – that the minute they look away, a stranger will whisk their precious bambinos into the wilderness. And ever since I got my iPod for Christmas, I’ve been a bit overprotective.

At first, I would leave *Sasha at home, because I didn’t think she was ready to face the elements of this cold, cruel world. But I missed her during the workday. Yeah, I had my headphones and I could listen to my songs on my computer anytime I wanted, but it’s hard to do that when I see everyone else with their babies hooked up to their ears, bobbing their heads away. And even though Sasha was safely hidden in the top of my dresser drawer, I feared that somebody could easily break in and take her away. Each time I came home, I would search for her and then be happy again when I found her securely positioned beside my Robin Thicke tickets (23 days to go!!).

Then I began bringing her to work. Wonderful. I could escape into the world that was filled with my podcast of This American Life, along with the music of John Legend, Corinne Bailey Rae, Common, etc, and leave everyone else behind. Initially, there was that dilemma of my going to the restroom. Was Sasha old enough to sit at my desk by herself? Or do I need to escort her? Then I saw Franklin, our shifty security guard, stroll by my desk and I knew that Sasha wouldn’t be safe alone. I packed her into my purse and took her with me to the bathroom.

Now that it’s been a few months, I’ve loosened the strings slightly. Somedays, I completely forget to take Sasha with me and she spends the day either in my drawer or hooked up to my computer at home. I don’t always take her to the bathroom with me now either. Often, I’ll just slip her in my bag and put it under the desk or slide her into purse and put that in a drawer. And lock it. Word must’ve gotten out about how beautiful my baby is. Aside from Franklin, now I’ve got Isabella and Geraldine, the office cleaning crew, hovering around my desk. I might have to get a restraining order.

But at this minute, Sasha and I are in our own world. We’re sitting in Barnes & Noble flipping between John Legend and Erykah Badu. We're trying not to get too annoyed with the person who just sat down behind us -- this guy smells like a medley of Windex, feces, and Lysol -- and mind our own business. She’s helping me decide if I want to buy "Love is a Mix Tape" or "Off the Record." They're both on sale … but dang it! ... books are running me out of house and home at this point. Yet I always feel like I need something new to read. Hmmm ... I'll figure something out**.

*Ok, I have a bad habit for naming all the important things in my life. And yes, all the names start with S. Maybe one day I'll mention the names I have for my guitar and statue in the living room.

**In the end, I bought Off the Record. This writer's got some juicy stuff in there. She's the one who penned that quote where Angela Bassett explained why she didn't accept the role in 'Monster's Ball': "I wasn't going to be a prostitute on film ..." I may have to get 'Mix Tape' from the library.