Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Yes, They've Finally Made Me Bonkers

To All of My Coworkers:

I sit near the printer
I do not fix jams
Nor do I replace toner
If your document didn’t print
Take it up with management.
Again, I only sit near the printer

How is your paper jam my problem?
You think I know the right way to hit it
The divine secret behind making it spit
Newsflash: I DON’T
So I’ll keep giving you a blank stare
Or my frown, my terrible thug mug
Until you get a clue
And go away.

I sit next to the printer
So when you print your credit report
Your elaborate expenses
Your fudged time sheets
Your receipts for your mistress
Guess who has the first peek?
That would be me.
Let’s work together, shall we?

Photo from http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/funny-pictures-your-printer-has-a-kitten-in-it.jpg

Monday, April 26, 2010

The (Late) Sunday Spin (**‘Church was Great. It’s like God told the pastor my secrets & then I got a good loving talking to straight from upstairs")

1. I had a one-day weekend, which is why this post is late

2. That one-day weekend was held on Sunday, which was spent househunting

3. It’s amazing the things that can turn you off of a neighborhood immediately

4. Like the sight of a woman with an unfortunate shade of burgundy hair

5. Or a bulletin board notice that gives notification of a sex offender living a few doors down

6. Or folks that look like they would kill you for parking too close to their car

7. But I survived, and the hunt continues!

(**Twitter quote from singer Chrisette Michelle**)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Sunday Spin (*"I see a white door, and I'm going to paint it red")

1. Today was Eat All Your Leftovers Or Throw Them Out Day

2. So a few minutes ago, I gorged on turkey burgers, beans and broccoli

3. And now I feel quite full

4. I recently committed to going to the gym regularly again, ideally four days a week

5. That led to the discovery of a 6 am spinning class offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at my gym

6. "My name is Mark, and I'm an animal", was how the instructor introduced himself to me

7. He wasn't lyin

(*Tweet from actress Rachel True at 6:18 am Jan 27, 2010*)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On Reunions, Teen Rebellions & Absolutely NOT Driving Drunk

I’m truly convinced Heather hates me.

Heather and I go way back, we’re cool peeps. I knew her back when folks were just starting to realize how much she resembled Winona Ryder. She knew me when I started my first act of rebellion – shaving my legs against my mother’s wishes. (Deep scandal, I know) We roamed that hallowed hell of high school together and we’re all the better for it.

Every once in awhile, I’ll hear from her. We’ll catch up through email on what we’ve been up to and how our lives have turned out. I’m satisfied with knowing that we’re both doing well, but she always has to push the convo one step further and ask the dreaded question – will I be available for the high school reunion? There’s one big convo ender for me.

I have nothing against high school reunions. I went to my five year and had a pretty decent time. I found that as much as things changed, they remained the same. No matter how much all of us tried to stretch beyond the barriers of our usual cliques, a lot of us simply evolved into the adult era of cliquedom: The Marrieds, The Singles, The Parents, The Screw Ups Who Became Somebody, The Somebodies Who Became Screw Ups, etc. It was that single event that helped me realize that I didn’t need any more high school people in my life. I didn’t want to be surrounded around people who knew me When. I wanted to be surrounded by people who know me Now. No more high school reunions for me.

The closest I got to a reunion was a few years ago when a close friend, It’s Always the Quiet Ones, got married to a new boyfriend after calling off her first wedding. A bunch of us got caught up on our lives, high-school reunion style, when the convo turned to our friend Bubbly, who wasn’t there. I’d been living out of state and had been out of touch with all that had been happening in Bubbly’s life – new career, marriage, kids … and the fact that her younger sister had been killed by a drunk driver the year before.

It shocked me because I’ll always remember Bubbly’s Sister as the cute babyfaced girl who followed her sister everywhere. The two of them were very close and I’ll never forget how hurt Bubbly’s Sister was when Bubbly started dating the Absolute Wrong Guy. Thankfully, she didn’t marry him, and their relationship survived.

Bubbly and I were able to catch up through Facebook recently and I was able to send my condolences, albeit they came about six years after the fact. Each year, she and her family participate in the MADD walk to celebrate her sister’s memory and raise money to get drunken drivers off of the streets. The event is being held next month and I signed up. It’s Always The Quiet Ones may attend, along with some other folks from our teenage circle. I’m looking forward to raising money for a good cause and catching up with old friends, sans the judgment and the cattiness.

So it looks like a mini high school reunion is being formed after all, one on our own terms. Don’t tell Heather.

Photo from http://www.cartoonstock.com/lowres/amc0300l.jpg

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Sunday Spin ("I wish I liked anything as much as white people love The Wire"**)

1. The weather has been so beautiful, that it's hard to believe that this was my life just two months ago

2. And in just another two months, I imagine this will be my reality yet again, since the cost to repair my car's air conditioning is more than I'm willing to spend

3. I'm hearing mixed reviews about the newest Tyler Perry flick, 'Why Did I Get Married Too'

4. One friend called it an abortion of a movie, another said it showed how communication was key in relationships

5. I'm extremely excited about what's going to happen in the next half hour

6. And that'll be the series premiere of Treme, the latest HBO flick

7. I've also been enjoying an older HBO series -- Rome -- on dvd. Oh Netflix, how I love thee!

Have a great week everybody!

(**Writer Mat Johnson via Twitter at 6:12 p.m. 12/27/09)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Hard Dick vs Soft Bubblegum (Is There Really Any Choice?)

The oversharing award of the week goes to my baby cousin, who kept us all on the edge of our seats as to whether or not she would be staying with her children’s father. (They have three kids, ages 3,2, and 1) She announced that if he wasn’t trying to put a ring on it by the end of the week, she’d be gone. And lo and behold, I open facebook one day to learn that she is single. That was followed up with a status message that said something like “After eight years, I’m tired of a life of hard dick & bubblegum. I need a real man to take care of me and my kids.”

After reading this update, it was clear to me that I needed to provide some guidance to my relative. Clearly, the girl needed me. So I promptly sent her my comment: “Never underestimate the power of good bubblegum.”

Now, you may think it’s amusing, but there is power in those little sticks. I mean, at least they're long lasting. Whenever there was hardship in my life, I turned to gum. Maybe it’s for the simple fact that growing up, my mother was strict and refused to give me any candy. And maybe it’s for the fact that the Neighborhood Candy Lady knew my mother’s rules and did everything she could to corrupt me. Or maybe it’s for the simple fact that I have little self control over some things. Here are a few examples:

*Bubblicious: Yeah, this is an old school treat, but it hits the spot. I was going to a brutal personal trainer sometime in 2003-2004. He developed this great workout plan for me, one that required my meals to consist of nothing more than four smoked turkey slices for breakfast, fat free yogurt for a snack, salad of nothing more than letttuce and tomatoes for lunch, and dinner of chicken and green beans. Eventually, I learned that some people were given treats in their meals, like oatmeal! And apples! I became so angry that I would sit in a little corner and chew my sorrows away on Bubblicious. God help anyone who asked me for a piece.

*Orbitz, Trident: Ever worked at a job that wreaked of misery, but your coworkers were pretty darn cool? That was me a few years ago…. And who am I kidding? It’s me now. The most exciting part of my job was the constant moving around – from a quaint house that once was a children’s store to a small office that shared a wall with a tutoring center and finally to a massive corporate building that had a convenience store attached. We went to the convenience store several times a day, and our prized possessions were gum. Rumors of a hostile takeover? Orbitz! A supervisor quit? Trident! Your project is being dismantled? Dentyne! Someone else is sleeping with a boss and getting promoted? Dentyne on Ice!

These days, my go-to gum has been Stride. It comes with quite a zingy scent that fills up my purse whenever I open it. Here’s how the gum helps me these days:

*Trey Songz: Ever heard him sing ‘You Belong To Me’, ‘I Invented Sex’ or my personal life story ‘Neighbors Know My Name’? Ummm …. Yeah. Ever seen the videos? Schwooo. Do I even need to explain? Everytime he comes on, I turn the station and pop two pieces of orange flavored Stride.

*My Neighbors: Yes, Trey Songz wrote a song about me. I am the neighbor forced to listen to the people above me get down and dirty whenever the moment strikes them. Yes, I know his name. It's actually Mike. Not Ohhh!!! Or Ohhhhhh God!!!, which I thought it was before. Three slices of the red Stride, please. And hurry.

*The Tudors: Jonathan Rhys Meyers wearing next to nothing, speaking old English and screwing any female that moves? Time to cancel HBO and indulge in five packs of the peppermint flavor.

You see? Choosing a life of bubblegum is not that difficult. Unfortunately, Baby Cuz wasn’t interested in my lifestyle choices. She and ole boy are back together again. Next time I see her, she better not even think of asking me for any gum.

(Photo from http://halfninja.files.wordpress.com/2007/06/stride.jpg)

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Sunday Spin ("What's the qualification to get a job as a music critic? My drunk uncle Pooky can do that job."** )

1. I woke up this morning (well, afternoon if you want to get technical about it) and decided that 33 is going to be my year

2. That means I'll be having a Labor Day party at my own house or condo

3. That I'll complete a draft of my thesis this summer, and go into the fall semester just putting the finishing touches on it so I can complete my program by December

4. That I'll be putting some serious thought into self publishing these short stories I've written over the years. If anyone has any advice on self publishing, please let me know.

5. In the meantime, I had a fabulous belated birthday weekend where my parentals treated me to a dinner at the steakhouse of my choice, where I gorged on a meal of lambchops, spinach, sweet potato casserole with peacans and a smidgen of chocolate cake

6. My mommy treated me like a kid by presenting my gifts in an Easter basket, but I was happy to get it, especially those jelly beans!!!

7. Be sure to return in the upcoming week for future posts about the power of bubblegum, liner notes and whatever other deep thoughts come to me

Have a good week everyone!

**Quote from Erykah Badu, via Twitter, 10:51 p.m., April 3, 2010**

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Discovering Greatness ... A Little Too Late

I didn't know the Undercover Black Man, but I wish I did. I was only vaguely familiar with his blog, but I've been going there reading the archives quite frequently after learning that UBM, an alter ego for TV writer David Mills, died from a brain aneurysm this past week.

His name didn't ring any bells with me as I read the various obituaries and tributes that ran in different newspapers. It's surprising that I wasn't familiar with him, since he did go to my alma mater, worked with David Simon, another distinguished alumnus, and was a writer for both Homicide: Life on the Streets and The Wire, which was one of my favorite programs. He was also set to work with Simon on Treme, an HBO show that seems to deal with life in post-Katrina New Orleans. He wrote his last blog post about the show, along with several others.

I'm ashamed to say that I've only been perusing the blog after learning about his death. But I do have some favorite posts, like the one where he lists recording artists who were convicted of murder; 'Run, N-gger Run', where he lists the lyrics of a catchy old time tune; and one where he calls out folks for pretending to be Indian. He also provided little known historical data, like giving a bio on the country's first non white vice president.

I've been late in discovering greatness before. I was an adult before I read 'Go Tell it On the Mountain' and 'Giovanni's Room', the latter helping me realize how much I loved James Baldwin. And just last year, my guitar teacher has got me playing songs by the Beatles and their tracks are in constant rotation (John Lennon was THE TRUTH). I'm now learning 'Don't Let Me Down', which faces stiff competition from 'My Life' for being my favorite Beatles song. (I've become so enamored with them that a friend has nicknamed me The Ladybug)

I had already known I was going to watch Treme when it premieres in a few weeks. But now I'll do so with the UBM, or David Mills, in mind. Rest in peace, Mr. Mills.