Saturday, March 24, 2007

The Big 3-0

I made it! Happy birthday to me .....

I'm on my way to New York to celebrate the third chapter in my life. And surprisingly, I haven't had a nervous breakdown (yet). It doesn't hurt that I just won some cash in a creative writing contest or that Jay-Z wrote "30 Something" just for me. Anyway, I'm off to see the Color Purple. Details when I return!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Spring Break Follies with Oprah & Gayle

I'm crying, but in a good way.

I'm a part time graduate student, so each Tuesday I leave work a tad bit early so I can go to my weekly class. This week, the university is closed because of spring break. Naturally, I didn't tell my supervisors that. I strolled out of the office at around 3:30 and got the chance to feel the 60 degree weather for a change. It was great!

By the time I got home, Oprah was just coming on. I have an interesting relationship with Lady O. I was raised in a household where the holy trinity was Oprah, Jesse Jackson and Vanessa Williams. My mother loved and still loves these three people; she would defend them till the end. (She doesn't defend Jesse as much anymore, but that's a different story). Because I was the rebellious kid I was, I had to have a different opinion. I'd make fun of her when she watched her tapes of the show and get annoyed when she made me leave the room because friggin' Oprah was on. It hurt my little heart and turned me into the Anti-Oprah. Although, I did squeal like a big baby that one time I met her.

These days, I've learned to appreciate Lady O, but I'm sure not telling Mom that. I turned on the show today and I laughed so hard I cried. They did a rebroadcast of Oprah and Gayle adventure show. The way I understand it, the two BFFs are taking a road trip across the globe and putting it on film. I didn't watch the entire thing, but what I saw cracked me up. At one point, they were at this hotel and this old lady had no clue who Oprah was at first glance. She simply asked them where they were from and would've simply gave them a room at the motel if Gayle didn't spill the beans on Oprah's identity.

For awhile, my girls and I have been talking about taking a road trip. The plan is for the three of us (Myself, B. and Juicy) to travel someplace west and record our adventures on voice recorder. It won't be on an Oprah and Gayle level, but I'm sure it'll be really fun, depending on how long the trip is. The three of us took a four-hour drive to a wedding a few years ago and it was quite comical. B is my happy-go-lucky friend who has a serious case of road rage, while Juicy is .... well, just Juicy. =) Most of the time, B is forced to play referee when Juicy and I have slight disagreements. I would hope we wouldn't kill each other on a road trip.

Four more days 'till 30. Outlook? So-so.

Happy spring!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Nothing's certain except death, St. Patrick's Day and taxes

I'll start with the back story first, since that's where this issue began:

Fall, 1995. Somewhere on the East Coast ...
I began my freshman year at a large urban university. I was two hours away from home, but I was just a subway ride away from my dad's place and much of my extended family. That made it convenient for emergency money situations. Aside from missing my friends back home, I enjoyed this university. It was my first taste of true independence and I loved every minute of it. Other than the homeless problem in the city, there was only one other thing I could complain about.

The color green.

It seems that lime green became the latest fashion in that city around the time that I arrived. The first time I saw a pair of green Reebocks at the mall, I thought it was a cruel joke. Who in the world would wear green sneakers? Then a light bulb went off in my head. Everywhere I went, folks (mainly girls) were decked out in the latest lime green fashions. There was the sista with the bright green blouse, matching bag and headwrap. There was a girl on the subway wearing the green Reebocks, a green Polo top and a green bookbag. The biggest standout was the brotha in my math class. I thought he was cute until he strolled into class wearing a green hat, green cardigan and he carried a green notebook and pen. I wanted to scream.

All those images of green was enough to give me a headache. Actually, it did give me headaches. I could no longer eat green M&M's or the green clover in my Lucky Charms. Whenever I saw the color green, particularly lime green, I was taken back to my math class -- trying to ignore the Leprechaun sitting next to me. I began to eliminate all things green from my wardrobe.

St. Patrick's Day, 2007

Obviously, this is my least favorite time of the year. I dread it when it falls during the week, because I will be the one person in my office not wearing green. I'll wear some rebellious color -- like red, my favorite -- until some happy go lucky person will tell me how wrong I am. "Where's your green? Everyone's Irish today!" Then he or she will give me a tiny little pinch on my arm. Cute.

Luckily, the holiday fell on a Saturday this year. I slept in and rolled out of bed to go to the bank. I didn't think about St. Patrick's Day and simply threw on a black shirt and some jeans. When I get to the bank, the only available teller belonged to a women wearing a bright green "Kiss me, I'm Irish" shirt. Great. After I handed her my paperwork, she asked me if I was wearing any green. When I said no, she tsk tsked me. "Come on, hon! Everyone's Irish today!" Then she handed me a green lollipop and sent me on my way. I smiled with her, but waited until I got outside to toss the lollipop in the trash. Green, yuck! That color is my kryptonite.

I decided to spend the next couple of hours doing something where I wouldn't be persecuted for my color choices -- my taxes. After staring at IRS forms for hours, I've made a few other conclusions for the next tax season. I need to buy a house, have a baby or take someone else's so I can claim a dependent, since the IRS won't allow me to deduct for my cat. Heavy sigh.

In other news, I've got 7 days until the big 3-0. Current outlook: blah.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dark and Twisty?

I visited the blog of the lovely and fascinating Motown Runner Girl the other day and was pleased to stumble across a quiz. The subject was "Which Grey's Anatomy character would you be?" Now I watch the show, but I'm not as enthralled with it as other people are, like Motown and my mother. Most days, I just watch it so I can communicate with my coworkers at the water cooler Friday morning. Without even taking the quiz, I knew that I would score as either tough Callie or maybe Addison, McDreamy's ex wife.

Imagine my surprise when the quiz said I'm most like Meredith. Meredith??!! The dizzy chick who gets drunk and brings home guys from the bar? The broad who not only had an affair with a married man (McDreamy), but begged him to stay with her? Naw, that's nothing like me. But then I watched the show this week and Meredith actually said a phrase that I've been known to say a time or twenty: "I hate people." Meredith might not be so bad after all.

My results say that "for being so 'dark and twisty' (I) have a surprisingly sunny outlook on life. (I'm) quick to jump into new relationships, but just as quick to jump out." Interesting. Too bad Meredith is probably my least favorite character on the show. Her voice grains on my nerves and she whines about every friggin single thing. Most Thursdays, I want to smack her. But that's probably my dark and twisty side getting out. Tee hee.

Anywho, the quiz is available at

Monday, March 12, 2007

Taking it Easy

When my alarm clock went off this morning, I was physically unable to respond. All I could think of was the long workday that loomed in front of me -- the assignments I would be forced to do, the bosses I would be forced to smile at and the headache that wold greet me by the end of the day. Just the thought of it gave me a headache, which made me realize that I needed to call in sick.

It's early afternoon now and I'm sitting around in a pajama top and jeans, trying to figure out who the hell all these new people are on All My Children and Young & the Restless. Then I watched a bit of Regis & Kelly earlier, only for them to say Robin Thicke will be on there tomorrow. Grrrr.

There are some responsible things that I want to do -- my homework, my taxes, and going to the gym. But there are also some irresponsible things I want to do as well -- go shopping, sleep, and watch mindless TV all day. I probably won't go to the gym or go shopping though. Whenever I call in sick (yes, I've done it before -- everyone needs a mental health day), I try not to go out in public. I have this fear that the mall or my gym would be subject to some kind of armed robbery and I'd be on the news as one of the victims, making it so obvious that I wasn't sick. Maybe I'm overreacting, but I can't have that happen.

Anyway, I did have a decent weekend. I went to a 3-hour intro to bellydancing class, which really wore my behind out. Trust, it ain't as easy as it looks. I went to see Pan's Labyrinth (two thumbs up, but pretty violent), bought my tix to see the Color Purple on Broadway for my b-day and caught up with my season 2 dvds of Battlestar Galactica. The last couple of episodes of have sucked, so my obsession with that show may be over sometime soon. It's doubtable, but possible.

Oh well, it's back to trying to find something to do. Have a good one!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Paper Towel Passion

Back in the day, Mom told me to keep all the love letters I received so I could have fond memories of the guys who sent them. When she told me this, I was a skinny bespectacled kid who never got valentines, let alone love letters.

Fast forward through the years and I did get a decent amount of correspondence from guys. The first one I remember came in fourth grade from my best friend, Franklin. He wore glasses too and the boys in our class called him a "fag" because of his mannerisms. One day in class, he slipped me a note that said: "Do you think we're falling in love? Check yes, no or I don't know." At 11 years old, love was a word I reserved for Mom, Dad, and my poster of Taimak. For whatever the reason, I checked yes.

That was Franklin. We had the typical, childish ‘I-go-with-you/I-quit-you’ kind of relationship. I didn't keep his note, even though, like Mom said, it would have been nice to revisit. I did keep a few letters that I received later in life -- one from a guy I met at the beach the summer I turned 17 and another from an inmate in prison writing workshop that I helped facilitate. (I didn't intend to keep these letters, I just found them piled in with some paperwork.) I never expected to receive another letter, but I was wrong.

A few weeks ago, I arrived at my desk and saw a strategically folded paper towel with the words 'Open Up' on the outside. Keep in mind, it's 8 a.m., I haven't had my tea and my brain isn't functioning properly. I stared at the words a few minutes, contemplating the meaning of 'open up.' I concluded that one of my colleagues left that there to remind me not to be so reserved, to let my hair down a little. Point taken, I thought, and I tossed it in the trash.

The next day, there was another paper towel. This time it had ‘For You’ on the front and I opened it. "This is someone that sees you all the time but really never had a chance to talk to you because sweetheart u move fast when u are in the hallways but at least I get to see that pretty smile. If you are ok with it I would like to get to know you if that's cool. Have a nice day. Are you taken?" The note was signed '_ _ _ Y.'

Now, I can play hangman with the best of them, but I had no idea who _ _ _ Y was. Could it be the quiet maintenance man for whom I've been harboring a secret crush? Or was it the other maintenance man who is always mopping the front area when I arrive? Maybe it's that married, older bigwig in another department who always stares at my ass.

Anyway, I grabbed my own paper towel and addressed my own note to Mr. _ _ _ Y. I basically said that I was flattered and I apologized for throwing out the first note, but I had no clue that it was a note. I also said that he could get to know me, but I wasn't interested in dating anyone these days, but I also wanted to know who he was. When I came to work the next day, the blanks were filled in as TONY. There was no note, nothing. I guess he felt like I played him, but I hope not. I thought the gesture was really sweet, but I just have a deep disdain for all things male at the moment.

To this day, I am not positive who Tony, a.k.a. the Paper Towel Bandit, is. I suspect it is the fella that's mopping the hallways when I arrive (he's the one of the few people I see everyday), but I'm not positive. And if it is him, what do I say? "Hey, are you the guy that's been hovering around my desk at all hours?" With my luck, it's probably the cute maintenance man (even though his nametag lists a name that's nowhere near Tony) and I've scared him away. Sigh. I can't win.
No matter who it is, I folded my little paper towel note up and placed it in my top drawer, right next to my Robin Thicke ticket stub. This might be one of the few notes that I keep.
**Update: I found out who Tony is. It is the dude that's always mopping the front areas when I arrive. I introduced myself to him the other day. Nice guy, but I'm not interested.***

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's Spring Again...

But not quite.

The weather was so beautiful on Friday that I wanted to hop and sing in a meadow like they used to do on those old Summer's Eve commercials. Instead, I did the next best thing. I took a long lunch break where I got sushi, then pranced to my local CVS and got the new Vogue with Jennifer Hudson on the cover. I wasn't going to buy it, since the magazine has such a poor record of putting women of color on the front, but I love J Hud and I wanted to support. It was the least I could do, since I missed her Oscar win because I was at a concert. (Quick recap: Loved the show! Our seats were so close we could have performed fellatio if we were so inclined, but we left our groupie hats at home. He touched me and sang to me on two songs. Ahhhhh!) Now all I have to do is read the article.

It was beautiful outside yesterday as well, but things took an ugly turn today. I was outside for a minute to take out my trash and the wind just whipped me around. Sigh. This is not good for my seasonal allergies. But at least daylight savings time ends next week. Pretty soon, I'll be able to leave my Seasonal Affective Disorder behind and just be downright depressed. Hah, just kidding. And 20 days till I turn to the big 3-0. Still trying to coordinate b-day plans, since I wasn't fiscally responsible enough to save for my dream trip to Egypt. Any suggestions?

Happy spring!