Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nasal Strip Nightmares

I snore.

It’s something that I’ve been told. I even heard it after recording myself. It’s not a loud, earth-shaking sound, but it is a snore. My problem is that I have allergies and I get congested, especially at night. My nose can barely release air when when I’m awake, let alone when I’m sleeping. So those six to eight hours I spend in bed are really a fight between oxygen and my nasal passages.

Because I’m the Google Queen, I’ve found several ways to solve my problem. The only one that seemed worthwhile were the nasal strips. What you do is put one of these taped strips on your nose while sleeping and your sinuses open right up, and there will be no rumble emanating from the nostrils. I’m willing to try anything that my FSA will pay for, so I bought a pack of Breathe Right Nasal Strips.

Do you know what’s been happening? My sinuses open up as they never have before. I get into my bed and I’m out until my alarm clock goes off. I sleep hard, and I sleep quietly. But there is a downside to that. For me, that’s the dreams. I often have a dreamless sleep (or dreams I forget by the time I wake) and when I do dream, they’re pretty crazy and are usually because I’d been lacking sleep.

I’m in a whole new world with these Nasal Strip Nightmares. I’ve committed murder. Driven off cliffs. Beaten elderly men with their own canes. Watched our new CEO transform into a snarling lion. Then I awake in a slight state of panic and rip the strip off.

I could stop using the nasal strips, but I can’t. You see, NOTHING has ever made my nose feel this clear so I’m willing to make the sacrifice. It’s time for me to go to bed anyway. I wonder what I’ll dream up next. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Becoming Black Jennifer

My freshman year of college, there were three Jennifers on my floor: White Jennifer, Black Jennifer and Track Jennifer.

White Jennifer was the one with the sense of humor. She used to run around telling jokes like "your mom is so dumb, that she asked me what yield meant. I told her slow down and she said 'what .... does .... yield .... mean?" Black Jennifer was a middle-aged woman disguised as a teenager. Right after class, she'd slip into her slippers and sweats and vow never to go outside again. Track Jennifer, who was also black, was on the track team, hence her nickname. She was cool in the beginning, but she started disliking me because I was friends with a girl who was hooking up with a guy that she liked. Yeah, it still doesn't make any sense to me either, but whatever.

Lately, I've been thinking alot about Black Jennifer. It would be 4 o'clock in the afternoon and I'd see her decked out in her comfort clothes: this was the 1990s, so her gear consisted of those bright yellow zip sweaters that Lerner/Limited/New York and Company used to make, the ones that just said USA. She'd be perched up next to the security guard --- we called him the White Black Man, because no one knew if he was white or black -- talking about middle-aged things, like the stock market and real estate. Ok, I don't know what they were talking about, but it all seemed very adult, and boring. I pitied the poor girl because she seemed to be allergic to the parties, independence and freedom that college provided.

Fast forward nearly 20 years later and I've developed Black Jennifer traits. I come home from work and I want nothing more than to unhook my bra, put on my scarf and sweats, curl into a little ball and watch my dvr. It takes a great deal of strength for me to do an after-work activity, such as grocery shopping or taking out the trash. I've become so obsessed with CBS Sunday Morning that I dvr it and discuss the most interesting stories with my dude. Same goes with some of these speeches at the RNC in Tampa. I draw the line at Dateline and 48 Hours, though. There's only so much real-life tragedy that I can handle.

It has occurred to me that I might be getting old, or growing up, depending on how you look at it. And if it has taken me all this time to reach the maturity level of 18-year-old Black Jennifer, I can only imagine what she's like today. Maybe things changed and she hit a youthful stride in her mid 30s. Perhaps she's now at the club, dropping it like it's hot. Or maybe she was able to woo the White Black Man and perhaps they're living somewhere together, happily ever after. No matter where she's wound up, I do hope she's managed to find happiness, and hopefully leave that USA sweater behind.

(Image added from

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What Ya Say Wednesday ("Why do people use the phrase 'work like a dog?' I wish I worked like my dog .. I would sleep 18 hours a day"***)

Happy belated birthday to ShellyShell!! Please update your site so we can learn how you celebrated. I haven't taken a vacation yet this summer, so I remain envious of Tha L's trek to Zion National Park. I'm also green about these fab pix from Mykonos. I'm excited to learn that a new book about a zombie apocalypse is now available from husband and wife collaborators Tananarive Due and Steven Barnes. I'm eager to learn more about Oprah's natural hair venture. And I'm glad that I recently discovered this blog, which emphasizes that not everyone in Detroit is an abandoned building.

**Tweet from comedian Kevin Hart

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday Spin: ("You should see my sleep lines. I look like I've been whipped like an escaped slave**")

1. It's been a long time since I had a nightmare, so I figured I was about due

2. I shouldn't have watched "Celebrity Ghost Stories" or a rerun of Frasier before I went to bed

3. In CGS, a model talked about she and her husband visiting a hotel, where they both dreamed of elderly ghosts that were trying to kill them

4. On Frasier, he confronted a neighbor about his loud music, and the neighbor listened

5. So I dreamed I confronted a neighbor with loud music, only it didn't go so well

6. Said neighbor was part of a gang. He and his crew left notes on my door, sat on my car and even burst into my apartment and tried to kill me

7. I was so scared that I woke up, panting for air and vowing never to watch TV again right before falling asleep.

Have a good week everybody!
(**Text message I sent summarizing my fretful night of sleep)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

In Search of a News-Free Morning Ritual

I'm a creature of habit.

I spent my weekday mornings getting dressed to the hum of the television. Over the years, my viewing has changed. As a child, my mother rushed me out the door to the sounds of the morning news program, which was likely Good Morning America. In college, I prepared myself for the real world by watching the Today Show and planned my outfits based on Al Roker's weather report. And once I got into the real world, I tried to lessen the workday's blows by watching reruns of The Smurfs before I headed outside. (And if the network hadn't switched things around, I'd still be watching the blue people)

But in recent years, I returned to the Today Show. I can't explain why. Maybe it was those college memories of eating oatmeal and chatting with my roommate as Matt Lauer hovered on the screen. Or maybe it was my  ongoing crush on Matt Lauer. (#DontJudgeMe) These were people I had come to know, and I liked them. I was there through Katie Couric, Meredith Vieira and Ann Curry. So when I watched a video of tearful Ann talking about her new duties with the show, I got mad. I turned off the television and decided I was going to explore other a.m. alternatives. 

My first attempt to boycott the Today Show sent me over to their competition, GMA/Good Morning America. (You can't convince me Robin Roberts is sick, the woman looks AMAZING). While I enjoyed the stories and the banter among the hosts, I didn't have a connection to them. They were having too much fun. I wanted to toss them in the corner and shout “This is news, people! It's serious!”

So then I turn to CBS This Morning. I really love the CBS Sunday Morning program, so this was a natural progression. And as a fan of Gayle King, I figured there was no place I'd rather be. But while the folks at GMA are having too much fun, it hits me that the folks at CBS aren't having enough fun. Sure Gayle will swoop in with her witty personaliy, but it doesn't seem to mesh well with the stagnant Charlie Rose.

I'd been tempted to throw in the towel and go back to the Today Show. But recently, I found a better option. Adult Swim airs reruns of King of the Hill early in the morning. I dvr those episodes and watch them at my leisure, lately in the morning. Hank Hill's life is so much more interesting than the real world. So I now start my mornings in Arlen, Texas, where both propane and John Redcorn rule.  

**photo from **

Thursday, July 05, 2012

What Ya Say Wednesday ("I'm a fly black woman, but I have no ass")

(Yes, I know it's Thursday. Midweek holidays mess up my equilibrium)
If I could chat with my 12-year-old self, I'd advise the young me to get contact lenses. IMMEDIATELY. I'm sure I'd have more meaningful things to say, but actor Jeremiah McDonald puts me to shame with this vid of him interviewing his younger self. I'm a black woman with an ample rear --nicknamed Pochabuttus by a select few -- but Aisha Tyler does this hilarious rap about how hard it is not to have any assets. And one of my favorite bloggers explains here how one commenter helped her decide to keep blogging.

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Losing Wisdom

I'm not a dentist, but I play one really well.
Before I start this post, I should confess a few things. The first is that I have hypochondriac tendencies and I've been known to Google every single symptom I have. The second is that I have an aversion to the medical system, i.e. doctors, dentists, hospitals etc. The third is that I made a commitment to be more responsible about my health care needs this year. The fourth is that I'm very proud of my teeth; folks are usually impressed to learn I've never worn braces.
Earlier this year, I had a nightmare. In it, I dreamed that my tongue had become a two-headed snake and was lashing out at both of my jaws. I woke up in a cold sweat, and with a pain in my right jaw. I chalked it up to it being a developing canker sore.
Fast forward a few months, and the pain grew. I couldn't sleep because my jaw would just throb in pain. I googled 'healing canker sores' with abandon and tried every solution around. I gargled with my mouthwash. I gargled with salt solutions. I used Orajel. I downed Ibuprofen like it was candy. After one sleepless night, I went to the urgent care clinic desperate for some relief. The nurse said my allergies were probably causing this canker sore, and gave me a prescription for some magic mouthwash. If the problem continued, she suggested I rinse with Maalox and Benadryl.
Well, the problem continued. The throb wasn't just my jaw, but also my back teeth. It was like I was teething all over again. Then I saw the season finale of Mad Men of Mad Men and the main character was fighting with a dental abscess. That's when it hit me. Aha! I have a dental abscess! I shall find a dental office and have the dentist take care of this abcess.
So I step into this office and I tell the dentist all about my woes – that I have an abscess, and maybe a canker sore too, and that I just need relief. He proceeds to poke around in my mouth as a way to do his job, and likely, as a way to keep me from telling him how to do his job. After some poking and prodding, he tells me that what I'd seen in my mouth, it is NOT a canker sore. It's just an ordinary indentation that everyone has. But what was troubling me was my wisdom tooth, which is decaying in that same region. The other two (I have three wisdom teeth, not four) would likely give me the same amount of pain, so it's best to have them all removed. He gave me drugs, and sent me on my way.
Since then, I've called the nearby oral surgeon. I have a preliminary appointment next week, and then we'll set aside a time for the Big Removal. I'm nervous. What helps is knowing that I'll have a legitimate excuse to be away from work. What doesn't help is hearing all of the wisdom teeth horror stories, of which there are 983463473743. And it's only a matter of time before I Google 'wisdom teeth horror stories.'
Anyway, it's time to whip out my insurance card and see what other appointments I need to make. With my family history, I can't afford to avoid medical professionals.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Sunday Spin ("If you don't like her, just walk around in a circle three times and say 'I divorce you, I divorce you, I divorce you.'"**)

1. This weekend, I went gambling

2. I went to the new casino in my neighborhood and decided to get the big money

3. So I took my $5 and hit the various slot machines

4. In no time, I had raised my earnings to $7

5. And then my winnings dwindled down to $4

6. Yet by the end of the night, I had a whopping 20 cents.

7. I can't even buy a Snicker's bar with my winnings. Frown.

Have a good week everybody!(**overheard from a strange man in McDonald's)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What Ya Say Wednesday ("If Kim Kardashian is your idol, get some help.""**)

Well, it's been a long time. But please charge my head and not my heart. It's not like I haven't been busy, but things happen. I'll try to do better. In the meantime, check out pretty trees and read about Alex Trebek. Or sit back and celebrate an icon.

**Tweet from Terry McMillan

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Make New (Blogs) But Keep the Old....

Ok, so it's obviously been a long time since I've been on here. There's no one reason why, just got super busy. There were things I wanted to blog about, but didn't get the time. And then when I sat down to blog about it, the moment was gone. Sigh. But I'm back in action, in a slightly different way.

So a while back, I had an epiphany. I wondered why people -- people like me, particularly -- are so drawn to things like Date Lab and New York Times Sunday wedding profile feature. For me, I like reading about connections. How people got together, what they thought, and how it worked out. I decided to do my own version like that, but from a perspective of girlfriends, or BBFs, if you will.

What I'm saying is, I'll still be blogging here from time to time. But I have started a new blog,one based on sista(er)hood. It is in the VERY VERY early stages and I will post a link when it's ready for public consumption. However, if you have a close girlfriend -- yes, it's all about female friends -- and you'd like to be profiled, please drop me a line and we can set something up. In the meantime, take care and I'll talk to you soon.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Let Me Be Your Motivation

There have been several workplace changes over the last few months. In short, a lot of folks have gotten the heck on out. The company's finances are questionable, since we are sent misleading notes about how well things are going, then hit with a surprise furlough day. As I told my coworker, we're like the orchestra on the Titanic.

Never fear, I'm coping as best I can. I have two ways to handle the psychological prostitution that has become my Monday-Friday gig. One way is to wrap my resume up in sexy lingerie and prop it up on every street corner I know. The other is through my insane filing system. (I've come along way from how my desk used to look)

I started my filing system as a way to get better organized, and a way to stay sane. One of my critical folders is a file I've labeled “Goodies.” But honestly, the file's true name is “Things That Keep Me From Going the Fuck Off.” This folder was assembled in a moment of panic, when my Least Favorite Coworker Ever began tweeting EVERYTHING, when the higher ups began calling me by the other black person's name, when payroll 'accidentally' misplaced my mileage check, and when – now THIS was my final straw – some crazy MoFu walked by and tossed his ish in MY trash can! But I kept my cool. I grabbed a folder, some scissors, and I got to work.

Hence the birth of the Goodies folder. It contains various forms of inspiration, be it motivational quotes, obituaries of folks who overcame the odds and even fortune cookies that made me feel real good.

From this picture, you'll see glances of my good stuff – a sweet note that came with my Valentine's Day bouquet, an obituary of a blind man who ran an office supply store, a fortune cookie that says “Not Having a goal is more to be feared than not reaching one” and favorite quotes like “I am not afraid of storms for I am learning to sail my ship” - Louisa May Alcott and “Follow your passion and success will follow you” -Arthur Buddhold, which are from my Live Love Dream Desk calendar. Because I'm a handwriting geek, it also contains a few handwritten notes from people telling me I did a good job on various things. I keep those notes partly for inspiration, but partly because I like their penmanship so much that I dream of imitating it.

Anyway, these are the things that keep me from going homicidal. Everyone needs a coping mechanism!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Six Blogging Years

I wish I knew that when I started this blog six years ago today, that it was also the birthday of one of my favorite writers, Alice Walker!!!! Anyway, thanks for hanging in there and reading about my antics. Time to party.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

My Mama's Mama's Mama's Mama

There are people in my life who shower me with great gifts. One of them is my college roomie, who continues to Wow me on my birthday and Christmas. Her latest gift – this tshirt – got to the writer in me. So I went to the site to check out what else they had to offer.

I was amazed that you could create your own shirt. Naturally, Only Child Syndrome kicked in and tried to think of what else I could design for me. I decided to take the writer theme and make the shirt a tribute to the women in my family. I fiddled around with a few sayings, and settled on Pearl & Vera & Vanny & Me. That boils down to my great grandmother, grandmother, mom and myself.

Then I remembered how much Mom raved about my original shirt. I knew she'd be just as ecstatic about the new one, so why not get her one as well? I decided to do a four generations of women thing with her too. But there was one problem? My knowledge of family history stops at Pearl. I don't know of the people who came before her, only the ones who came after.

So I tried to do some research, research that wouldn't send this google/factchecking/genealogy-obsessed blogger to go into overdrive. I set up some particulars on That got me nowhere but continuous emails about a free trial. (Resist, resist!!) Then I asked a relative. She told me to ask another relative, who was dealing with a terminally ill spouse so I wasn't about to bother her. I knew Mom didn't know, because Pearl died before she was born, as did all of her history.

I became obsessed. I did a couple of Internet magic tricks and wound up with … NOTHING. On a whim, I sent a tweet to a cousin. Thankfully, she knew the answer! She knew not only the name of my mama's mama's mama's mama, but also her mother and father. Sweet!

Now that the puzzle is complete, I can go to the site and create Martha & Pearl & Vera & Me. Then I'll wrap that bad boy up and give it to Mom for mother's day. Yet I am still on the verge of signing up for the membership. It takes some special dna to make up all of this **jazz hands**

Monday, February 06, 2012


So here I am, a deadbeat blogger, simply writing a post because I need to get it done. I can freely admit that this will be a half-ass blog post. You may wonder why I'm bothering to write anything at all, if I'm going to be so cavalier about it. Well, I'll explain. I looked at my calendar the other day, and realized my sixth blogday is quickly approaching. I usually use that time to reflect on things I've written about over the last year or so. But now, as I take inventory of the past few months, I haven't written a whole hell of a lot. And for that I apologize. In short -- things have been good with me. There's been some bad, but thankfully, the good has outweighed the bad. And that's about all I can ask for. You'll hear from me again very soon, I promise!!!

Monday, January 09, 2012

They're trying to tell me something

Recently, my crutty but charming gym got bought out by a larger franchise. My spinning buddies and I mourned, until we realized nothing would change with our 6 a.m. workouts, they're still on the schedule under M, W and F. There were some benefits too. Our new memberships allowed us to visit larger, nicer gyms. I'm talking about stationary bikes that are equipped with fans. A room with boxing gloves and punching bags. A locker room that came with dressing rooms, vanities and suitable showers. It was heaven.

And then there was the downside this week. As we returned to the crutty gym, things were cruttier than we'd imagined. There are no paper towels in the ladies room, and barely any toilet paper. Our regular instructor is traveling for his job, and they can't find anyone to sub his classes. "No one wants to come out here," I heard an instructor say. So when I complained about the lack of paper towels, I also learned that the entire crutty gym was lacking supplies. The front desk attendant told me this, but what I heard was "they're going to be closing this gym soon. So be prepared." Bummer.

At work, the building is so cold, we never take our coats off. My method of warmth has been to bundle up in my American Red Cross blanket and warm my hands on a mug of hot water. I also have a space heater beside my desk, which has succeeded in keeping the right half of my body warm. But my space heater trend has caught on, and others are following suit, causing us to blow a fuse at the worse possible time. But I can't work when I'm locked in a meat locker, so something is going to have to change. The big boss told us that the system is antiquated and they've been having heat problems, plus it wasn't built to accommodate space heaters. What I really heard was "the company is broke as hell and heat is the last thing on our mind. furloughs are coming again, and we're struggling to stay afloat. Best be sending out those resumes, cause we're not going to be around much longer either." Double bummer, but point taken.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Going digital

I didn't want to do it, but the decision was kind of made for me.

I'm a bit of a mimimalist, but I have a friend who is a gadget fiend.(I won't mention her name, so I'll just call her Mom) She laughed at my desire to turn pages, while she quickly jumped on the eBook bandwagon. She tried to move me into the digital world, but I couldn't be swayed. My home library is a source of pride for me and doing any electronic reading just seemed like infidelitely.

Well, you know how gadget junkies are. They constantly have to upgrade. So when Mom upgraded hers and asked me if I wanted her old nook, I got custody of the darn thing. It can be good for people like myself, who read 89374387538 books at once and can lighten the vacation load of suitcases filled with 45748797 books and 975485795903 magazines. But it is not the same. I can't underline or put stars on my favorite quotes in an eReader. When I meet Toni Morrison, she won't want to sign my Nook. I don't have wifi at home, so I my only entertainment is the crossword puzzle and the one book I've purchased.

And don't get me started on the return policy. I'm a big fan of David Anthony Durham, so I tried to download his first book Gabriel's Story. However, I got the titles confused in my mind and I bought A Walk through Darkness (which I read some time ago) instead. When I realized my mistake, I quickly downloaded Gabriel's Story. I expected that just like a real book, Barnes & Noble wouldn't mind refunding my purchase of Walk Through Darkness. Right? Nah, guess again. Digital books can't be refunded for any reason at all. Bah humbug.

That being said . . . I REALLY LIKE MY NOOK!!! Sure I'm not going to buy every book this way, but for the ones I do get I'm happy that they'll be cheaper, I won't lose my page and I can take them with me anywhere I go without being weighed down. I only have one Nook friend at the moment (Mom again) but I'm hoping to build up my contact list. Who knows, maybe one day I'll actually live in the 21st century!

Monday, January 02, 2012

The Problem with Being a Bra

Recently, I confessed to friends that there is a tv show that I simply endure. Like my other shows, I set the dvr up to record it and I watch it whenever time permits. But unlike my other shows, I don’t laugh, grin or even chuckle my way through the episode. They asked why I continue to watch. I told them it’s because I am a bra.

There was a time when the release of a black movie was such a rare feat that it called for celebration. Coming to America. Boomerang. Waiting to Exhale. The Inkwell. Boyz in the Hood. When I could help it, I raced to the movie opening weekend. My dad often laughed at my insistence of being black movies, almost immediately. But I explained to him that it was my goal to be the black film industry’s biggest bra -- I had to support what was out there. And that I did.

Lately, it has become hard to support, especially on television. I long for the Thursdays I spent with Dr. Huxtable and Freddie Brooks, the Sundays I spent with Maxine Shaw and Martin & Gina, as well as other nights I could spend with the Fresh Prince, my Girlfriends or The Game (the pre-BET run), etc. I don’t have many choices now, so when a new show with a black cast debuts, I immediately return to bra duty.

So when this show -- I’ll call it Feed Between the Fines -- debuted, I set the dvr and waited for my life to change. I tweeted the hell outta that bad boy’s premiere date and encouraged my friends to watch.I watched the first episode and noticed a few things -- my childhood crush on Theo remains, I have an outfit crush on almost everything Tracee Ellis Ross wears, and what is up with Tracee’s left eye?

I watched later episodes and did not react.I deadpanned my way through the episodes. And it’s not that I think the show is bad. I do NOT think the show is bad. I just think it is, well, not good. I get that this a story of POSITIVE BLACK MAN marrying a POSITIVE BLACK WOMAN and their POSITIVE DRAMA-FREE LIFE IN THE SUBURBS, FREE OF EVERY BLACK STEREOTYPE THAT HAS EVER EXISTED. And as exciting as that sounds, I’m going to need to laugh every once in a while. And clearly, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

But I survived this season, who knows how I will feel when it returns. The new season of The Game is starting soon. I was a big fan of that in its original version. Now that the show is at a different network and in different hands, I feel like it is missing . . . SOMETHING. Nevertheless, it is making somebody money. For now, I’ll keep looking around and find new ways to use my bra powers for good. I did recently watch this and enjoyed it. Perhaps things are looking up.