Friday, December 11, 2009

Can I Live?

What do I do as
I sit there shielding my
Being from this beauty that is blinding me?
This shit is just not fair and fuck
A next lifetime cause memories and daydreams
Don’t live and breathe like people do and they
Don’t make me glisten like you.
And I sit here, taking you in
In doses because you
Undiluted is just way too much you
To swallow at one time and I am afraid that I
Might drown – arms so tired – legs
So heavy using them both to wrangle my heartstrings
Back to their rightful home in my chest. But you keep
Talking and smiling and talking
And smiling…….and my strings are
Unraveling like the bottom of a farmhand’s
Jeans and this shit is so
Not fair……because I don’t have to
Drown. I can float on the raft of this beauty
But what of my heart?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mammograms and Pap Smears - What's REALLY Going on??

Hey folks!!

Over the past week or so, there have been "new developments" reported in the areas of health research that state that women under 21 don't need to get Pap smears and women under the age of 50 do not need routine mammography screenings.

What's really good here? Especially in the African-American community where (as reported by the US Department of Health), our women are more likely to be diagnosed with breast cancer under the age of 40, and nearly one-third of those diagnoses are of an especially aggressive type called "triple-negative", which is highly resistant to traditional forms of treatment.

And what of cervical cancer? In the United States, cervical cancer most often affects Hispanic women, where the rate of infection is more than twice than what's seen in non-Hispanic white women. African-American women are 50% more likely to develop cervical cancer than white women.

With these statistics, can we women of color really afford not to be vigilant about our health via routine screenings? Many of us are single parents/heads of households whose families may suffer tremendously - both emotionally and financially - if they have to bear the burden of caring for a terminally ill loved one. And what happens to the children in those families who lose a loved one to such an illness? Are they pushed into a woefully inadequate foster care system?

These revised guidelines around Pap smears and mammograms scare me. And YES, I am fully aware that the advice is different for those who have a family history of certain types of cancers. However, in African American and Hispanic communities, the lack of family history isn't a reliable indicator of possible infection and women are often not diagnosed until it's much too late. Pair that with our higher likelihood of developing more aggressive forms of these cancers and our overall lack of access to quality health care and we're looking at a really bleak future.

Take care of yourselves, y'all. As much as possible, eat right, relax, and get your routine screenings done. As Chuck D. says - "we've got to keep ourselves in check, or else it's - self-destruction, we're headed for self-destruction."

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


I love haiku and some days are just the days for them. Here are a few off the top. Happy Wednesday....

The lonliest thing
is three glowing embers and
a loved one’s turned back.


Stilted and formal
it’s the best I could do for
a wall post. Sorry.


Can you pay my bills?
Can you pay my telephone
bills? ….Automo-bill?


I’m not remotely
interested in helping
you feel better now.


I wonder how long
I could go with this writing
of haiku all day…..

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Horse Is Dying...Let's Beat it Some More.....

Sooooo….over the past two years or so, monogamy and the (in)validity of it has been a pretty hot topic amidst people in my immediate and larger communities, especially amongst folks of my age set.

There are many people who believe that based on divorce rates, infidelity, and the general perception of unhappiness and unhealthiness of modern relationships/marriages, that monogamy is an unrealistic construct.

There are also many people who believe that monogamy – the idea of one man for one woman, is the way to build strong families and communities and that healing oneself comes through true and genuine interaction with another person.

And most of these people don’t see eye to eye. And a number of these people are in relationships.

With each other!

So where does that leave us?

Is monogamy the problem?

Is an open relationship construct the solution to the problem?

Are those who remain in monogamous relationships deluding themselves and afraid of change? Are they involved in an archaic game of ownership and forced reciprocity?

Are those who propose a more fluid and open construct living unrealistically? Are they really able to provide a firm and secure foundation upon which to build families and raise children?

Or is the issue something entirely different?

Is it our fear of communicating honestly and openly about our needs? Are we afraid to say “I don’t like this”, or “I don’t want that”, or “This makes me afraid”, or “This makes me feel good”?

Can that level of communication exist in the loving and supportive environment of a monogamous relationship? Or does it only exist in the boundless construct of an open/fluid relationship?

I’m not judging. Just wondering what other folks are thinking about this subject.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Depression Diet

So.......I'm just really trying to make myself less indigo these days. A nice cerulean would do. Honestly.

One shonuff thing about feeling badly (for me), is that it does WONDERS for my figure! Happiness and bliss be damned! My thighs are (gasp) small(ish)!!! My arms are.....less bouncy! All I need is $2,000 worth of airbrushing and I'm making the cover of King magazine. Well....maybe $2500 and an updated photoshop program....and some pancake makeup. For the stretchmarks on my ass......But it would be good!! I tell you.

So my friends and family are telling me to eat and drink. And right now, depression tastes like chocolate cake. No...better than chocolate cake. Depression tastes like Parano cheese and ripe pears, followed by seared salmon on a bed of sauteed spinach and mushrooms, and a glass of sauvignon blanc....or vinho verde. Yes. And butter. Depression tastes like butter - the good, kind. In the foil wrapper. That costs $8.00 a pound.

Depression tastes better than the first ever diver scallops I had in my life at Red Sage in 1999. Depression tastes better than foie gras. And fatty toro, and Jim's steak and cheese with mushrooms and peppers and ketchup.

Depression is DELICIOUS! It's better than tapioca pudding and baklava with lots of butter. And better than popcorn popped in olive oil and seasoned with Fleur de Sel. It's better than dinners at Restaurant Nora, I Ricchi, Makoto, Oceanaire, Black Salt.

Depression is BETTER than VODKA GIMLETS...even the homemade, Vegas diet kind.

Depression is DELECTABLE. It's even tastier than brunch at Bouchon!! It is, I tell you. It's better than dinner at Mesa Grille, too.

It's so filling, depression. Mmmm....mmmm...good. Like Campbell's Soup. No...better....better even than that expensive ass soup that nobody buys because it costs $9.00 a can. The one with the white lable. WHO EATS THAT??? Don't nobody eat that!!! does a mind crazy, but damn sure does a body good!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Recipe in Futility - That Ain't No Cake, Anna Mae!

Have you ever tried to turn a lie into a truth?

I have a story about it.

I’m creative. I used to make petticoats for hand sewn Elizabethan Barbie gowns out of used Bounce sheets when I was little.

I made sensory toys for my son when he was little – crackly plastic, aluminum foil, feathers….inside of scraps of African material so he could feel and hear the differences in textures in things that look identical.

I can do all types of amazing things with food – Perrier pound cakes, chocolate cardamom banana bread, amazing 5-ingredient barbeque rubs.

And I almost figured out how to turn a lie into the truth.

It wasn’t MY lie. It was just the one I decided a long time ago not to see.

I moved into its home, pregnant, scared, wanting to do the right thing. Not bring shame.

I locked it out of the room one night when it came home after the sun came out – hanging with the boys.

But I said “I do”.

I put it in a red dress on vacation in Florida and was amazed and afraid of the attention it got.

So I cut its hair and then let it grow again.

I put it in heels that I bought and he bought.

And then I cut its hair again and wrapped it in 4 yards of cloth for at least five years after I added a new baby to it.

And then it peeked out around year three of the 4 yard era and I sought counsel to learn to live with it.

And lived with it I did.

And then I dressed it in less cloth because it seemed like it was making some kind of truth metamorphosis.

So I loosened up. Relaxed a bit. Dressed it in sweats every now and then. Got it some new friends.

It gave me a tumor and three kick-ass visits to the hospital with three weeks of intravenous antibiotics. I cuddled it close like my portacath. Even when it kicked my ass down another three flights of stairs. Again. Mm- hmm.

I believed it again in counseling. Even when it said there was really no room in the schedule and the counselor determined that the problems were inside my head and not with the lie.

I dressed it in jeans. Sexy ones. Got it a new job.

Almost let it take me out, but I found the strength somewhere to hold it closer, tighter. This is a figment of my imagination. A creation of my own delusions. An isolated event that I need to treat as such. I am the difference. Life is 10 percent of the lie and 90 percent how I perceive it.

I am but PERCEIVING being lied to.

It’s not true because it’s just a PERCEPTION. Remember?

People should be free.



No such thing as monogamy.

Why are you binding yourself to the box society says you have to?

A new way of looking at it? Okay. I followed the lie because, why not? Life is all PERCEPTION, right? So if I don’t PERCEIVE it as a lie, then it isn’t.

I took it on a fabulously shortened Vegas vacation because it didn’t have time.

I worked a whole week of vacation into 50 jet-lagged hours – a different bikini every day.

Molded it into something I could stomach. Hid it behind the new, improved, liberated, creative me. The honest, writing, wine drinking me. The “reaching my peak” me.

And on September 27th, I decided to read that white piece of paper that had been flashing before me for weeks and weeks and weeks.

And the children, cloth, counseling, rent, haircuts, bikinis, mortgage, counseling, wine, vacation, counseling, new car….

it all.




And all that’s left is the lie that I could never make true.

You Don't Know What Love Is....

Good morning, afternoon, evening heartache. My old and trusted friend. The one with an open invitation to the pieces of my fragmented heart.

Good morning, afternoon, evening heartache. I dine again on your breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, supper and dessert. Your meals of resentments and I told you so's fill my belly and make my heart leaden.

I trusted in love and she stabbed me again. In the same wound, by the same perpetrator - just a different knife.

This knife is a many-pronged dagger that seeks the public eye. It wraps itself in the veil of self-acceptance and pulls others into its one-sided story. There's no shame in the jaggedness of its blade. Its cutting style is erratic and saw-like. Stabbing, chopping, slicing......There's no rest from this knife. It has severed my vocal cords. Its story has become the official spin on the destruction of a home, a marriage, a family. Its story has become one of self-redemption. Of cleansing and transparency. Of letting go and letting God.

The perpetrator had no idea about this knife. The profundity of making such a choice. It was irresponsible, immature, nearly unforgiveable and completely unnecessary. Because at this point, I cannot stop wondering about what could have been....I cannot help but wish that things would be different.

I gave my heart to the perpetrator. Freely again. Trusting again. Open again for the possibilities of something so great that nothing would be able to pull us apart. And the perpetrator pulls out a new, even more deadly dagger.

A dagger that won't go away.

A dagger that has no shame.

You don't know what love is
Until you've learned the meaning of the blues Until you've loved a love you've had to lose
You don't know what love is

You don't know how lips hurt
Until you've kissed and had to pay the cost
Until you've flipped your heart and you have lost
You don't know what love is

Do you know how a lost heart feels
The thought of reminiscing
And how lips that taste of tears
Lose their taste for kissing

You don't know how hearts burn
For love that can not live yet never dies
Until you've faced each dawn with sleepless eyes
You don't know what love is

You don't know how hearts burn
For love that can not live yet never dies
Until you've faced each dawn with sleepless eyes
You don't know what love is.....what love is....

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Absolution or Responsibility?

So for nearly two weeks, I’ve been seeing the facebook statuses – and they’re all about accepting oneself, no matter what.

Then come the notices of the intent to go the public forum route and talk about the cheating experience on the radio.

That for me was the last fucking straw. Like dog – DO YOU HAVE NO SHAME?? This is NOT JUST YOUR situation. There are families affected here. There are real people, with real lives and real struggles trying their best to get over, resolve, move forward. I feel like this is a public spectacle of her “struggle for acceptance” .

And who's left holding the bag?

You see, I’m convinced that people who cheat just want to get the hell over it. They want to do a little bit and get instant forgiveness. They want to get back to normal as quickly as possible and get this whole thing behind them.

But there’s a difference between responsibility and absolution.

Absolution is granted. It’s something that’s given as an act of mercy. Like clemency or pardoning. Absolution isn’t the responsibility of the wronged person. Absolution comes when our friends look at us funny for a couple of days and then say “okay, I ain’t mad at you no more, you’re still my girl/dude, no matter what.” Absolution requires no serious self-reflection and no serious commitment to change.

Responsibility is a little different. Responsibility says “you know what, what I did was fucked up AND it has affected a number of people around me. I’m going to take responsibility for what I’ve done in a way that is sensitive and gentle.” Responsibility says "there is someone in this other than me." That it’s not JUST about the transgressor getting OVER it, but about taking some long hard looks at what got the transgressor there and how s/he needs to repair some relationships.

Responsibility says that there is not “just my side of the story that needs to be aired.”

Absolution is an occurrence, where responsibility is a commitment to a process – that in the END may also result in absolution.


And that’s all I have to say about THAT shit.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Ripple - It's Not Just A Fortified Wine

This weekend, I learned the power of the connectedness of the universe. She smacked with with the old one-two (three, four, five) – the realization that our actions are not isolated events and random occurrences.

I learned that each of us has a responsibility to the other - that no person walks this earth alone. Each of us carries the hearts of those who’ve gone before and those who stand with us now. What we do with those relationships can affect people we love dearly and those we’ve never met.

I’m standing in the wake of a tremendous ripple – the result of a ridiculously unnecessary event, trying to figure out why and wondering where to go from here. Left or right? Stay or go? Or just close my eyes, listen and stand still - waiting for the ripple to subside?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Misery - Vintage 2007

Apparently, 2007 was a really rough period in my life. However, when the going gets tough, the Retired Superwoman writes. I've committed to being honest, though that's the most painful part of writing - the fear of offending, the fear of alienating, the fear of being judged as crazy or literarily (not a word) challenged. My painful writing is the most eloquent, though. I figured you guys deserve it...since you read all my other drivel. So here goes:

I want to curse loudly with
Abandon on the
streets at people walking by

I came up with this haiku as I was walking back to my office from lunch. The first thing I heard as I ascended the elevator from the food court was the deep, gravelly, authoritative voice of a man passionately hurling expletives. I knew without looking at him that he was one of the homeless contingent that populate the streets downtown. As he passed me, arms swinging carelessly in the early-October breeze, I grew envious of the anonymity granted him by his lack of physical address. There he was, yelling, calling someone a punk-ass, bitch-ass, weak-ass motherfucker who don’t know shit.

Today is one of those days when I’d like to express myself the same way. I feel the beginning of the tearing. It always happens about a week before my period, when I feel my sanity ripping away from my brain. I feel powerless to stop it. I see it happening. I feel it happening and yet I cannot reach out and grab it back.

If I could touch my sanity during these points, I imagine that it would be like trying to hold a weight with a sheet of wet facial tissue. The edges of my sanity are all soft and pliable and rip without provocation.

I hate myself for going crazy once a month. I wish someone would take me seriously when I say that I feel mentally imbalanced and that I should lock myself up for the week or so that this period lasts.

I am not a pleasant person to be around at this time. I am a failure. And a fat one at that. I hate my periods.

Everybody Needs A Glass Of Water Today....To Chase The Hate Awayyyyy!!!


I read that Tyler Perry is making a movie of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf”. For the 5 out of 9 people who follow my blog who may not be familiar with the Ntozake Shange’s poem/play about the lives of several Black women, this is kind of a “big deal”.

A big deal in that the book and poster were fixtures in the homes of my mother and all her natural-haired, vegetarian, repertory theatre-acting, college educated, divorced, younger-lover-having, public-radio-listening, no-tv-having, food-co-op shopping, foreign car-driving, vitamin pill-popping, no-white-sugar-or-flour-eating, jazz concert-attending friends. I often thought that the cover art on the book was my own mother! As a precocious child, trying to navigate through all the stream-of-consciousness type expressions in the book proved difficult. I mean, I wasn’t old enough to have had those experiences, but reading the words made me feel like I was peeking through the keyhole at some serious grownfolks business and I needed to stop. Immediately.

Fastforward to adulthood and I can relate. Ntozake went IN with that work. All the way IN. So I can understand peoples’ – Black womens’ connections to and protection of her work. Their innate feeling that she was talking about not just the “lady in yellow”, but Sheryl Petterson from right outside Detroit. You know Sherryl. She’s somebody’s somebody. Hell, she might even be YOU.

Anyway, so I opened Facebook the other day and several women to whom I’m related in various degrees of closeness mentioned the upcoming Tyler Perry project. “Mentioned” may not be the proper operative word. More like “typed with vitriol and angst” – yeah…....

Oh, the Tyler Perry hate was RAMPANT that day. Folks had predicted his inevitable casting of Ciara and Beyonce in the lead roles. Madea was gonna make a debut. It was funny, no doubt. The snark in me ate it up like literary chum! Licking my chops at the puns, similes, clever innuendo….oh, it was a smorgasbord of cynicism with 32 oz Big Gulp of slushy haterade on the side.

But after digesting all the loathing and repulsion, I was left with a bad case of heartburn. Really. Here we are, back at the whole crabs in a barrel scenario.

That’s really all it is.

First of all, how do we know Tyler’s gonna be writing the screenplay? Who’s to say he’s directing it? How many of us Facebook movie moguls have the inside scoop to know exactly how this is gonna play out? As we’re sitting and typing and hating and signifying, Tyler Perry is constructing a media empire. He OWNS his studio.


Not leases.

Not borrows.

Not uses.


And when you OWN your OWN shit, you can hire who you want.

Who’s to say that Tyler Perry doesn’t understand the place that Shange’s work holds in the cultural hearts of generations of women? Who said he’s not gonna give an up and coming director, screenwriter, engenue – a little shine?

And you know what? At the end of the day, SO WHAT IF HE DOESN’T?

Because you’re typing on Facebook instead of submitting your proposal to him.

You tell ME what’s wrong with this picture!

Peace and love folks. And let’s ease up on the hate for one another. There’s room for all of us – if we just have enough faith and balls to try.

2007 Rant: Fitewolks

So, I was reading through some random stuff today and I came across this rant about an exchange I witnessed on the train and my feelings about it. I thought it was kind of tragically funny, and definitely reminsicent of my general snarky outlook on life back then. It's always nice to look back and reflect, even when you do it just to make yourself feel EVEN BETTER about your current station in life. So, here goes:

On the train today, I realized that I really don’t like white people. My personal dislike has very little to do with historical stuff like slavery and colonization. I mean, that probably figures into it on a broad scale, but not really so much on a personal scale. Like, there are some individual white people who are kind and giving and honest and forthright. But I’m not talking about my personal, one-on-one interaction because honestly, my personal interaction with them has been overwhelmingly more positive than negative.

Nope, I ain’t talkin’ bout that.

What I am talking about is the carelessness with which they wield their dominion.

Like I said, I was on the train this morning. A Black woman boarded. I’d say she was in her late thirties/early forties. She was lugging a large backpack and wearing some royal blue scrubs. She was obviously on her way to work in a medical facility. She was also OBVIOUSLY not a physician.

Now, before people get their panties up in a bunch about how I know she wasn’t a physician or how I can just come out and say she wasn’t a physician, it’s just something one knows after dealing with physicians and riding the train for eons.

Anyway, so she walks onto the train at the same time as a white woman. They end up sitting in the two seats in front of me. The black woman is having a time with her heavy backpack. The white woman says “what a bag you have there.” The black woman just kind of smiles. She’s obviously NOT interested in engaging in conversation this warm August morning after probably getting her kids off to school, waiting for several other trains and lugging that heavy ass bag. The white woman looks at her and says “are you a doctor?” The black woman looks at her and says “no, I’m in school as a medical assistant.” The white woman smiles indulgently and says “good.”


Now here’s where my dislike peaks.

First of all, you’re in her business. Rule number one for black people is that we don’t like random folks in our business like this. We also don’t appreciate it when we see it happening. That sharing of personal information is very much frowned upon by us – especially in public spaces. This white woman don’ know this black woman from the hot dog vendor downtown on 14th & K, but she felt the need to get all up in her b.i.

Secondly: “good”….what the hell??? I mean, who has given you the authority to put your stamp of approval on what she’s doing with her life? On some “good nigger” shit. Good. One word says soo much about where she feels she is in life and its relationship to this black woman medical assistant student. Good. To me, it says, “good that you’re doing something with your life”. “Good” implies to me that there’s a “bad” or less desirable response that she could have given that would have been frowned upon and thought to be less worthy of approval.

Pissed me off.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Here I am - back from an amazing set of trips - one down memory lane and the other - a chance to see possibilities of the future.

I attended my 20th class reunion and it was a nice chance to see and feel folks and things I haven't in many, many years. I also hooked up with some friends from back in the day and chilled, laughed over milk spilled and bridges crossed. It was all good.

Headed out to Vegas for a much needed and appreciated vacation. My girl and I showed the 702 how we do it on the east coast. Gave them a taste of modernist Afrikan flavor that they'd never seen before. Blew all types of fuses with our classy womanly wattage! Sunday brought the love of my life back to me....and well.....we enjoyed the fruits of our 14-plus year union, hand in hand, cheek to cheek, along the Colorado river and back. How I love that man and what he represents.

So I'm back.....and I'm better. Darker, sweeter and energized - stance ready for whatever life has to throw my way!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Red Line Train to Glenmont - Monday, June 22nd


How many of us have been faced with it? In the midst of a frightening situation. We go left when we mean to go right; walk in through the out door.


How many of us have had an opportunity to return from the place where life flashes before one’s eyes? That unlit abyss where there seem to be no options – inside or outside of the box? The moment that feels like “the moment”, “your time”, “the end of the line”.

I was reading the paper this morning about the operator on DC’s ill-fated Red Line train. It is speculated that she did not hit the brakes before the train she was manning crashed full-on into the rear of another train, catapulting the first car of her train into the air and on top of the other train. It is speculated that she did not stop. Nine people, including the operator, lost their lives. Many others sustained serious injuries.


As I read the words in the article, I was seized immediately with a feeling of understanding. For in the midst of an untenable situation, I too have frozen. Deer in the headlights. Stuck between fight or flight and unable to move or speak.


So now imagine. Fifty miles per hour, the metal wall of an unmoving train appears in the window before you in what seems like an instant. Every light on the control panel under your hands is lit. Indicator buzzers sound. The realization that this is the end of the line, not just for you, but for countless others seizes your ability to move. Life flashes before you and you cannot avert your eyes in time enough to find the brake.


My prayers go out to those who lost family members and loved ones on yesterday’s train. I send healing energy to those who were hurt in yesterday’s accident.

The opportunity to live our lives for another day is a privilege. It is not to be taken for granted.

Be blessed all.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dear America

Barack Obama is NOT a magical Negro. He is not the keeper of the holy grail. You will not find a cure for cancer in his saliva. He does not miraculously levitate nor does he have water-walking skills. He’s not the return of Christ, the Jedi, the Living Dead, the Dragon, or the Pink Panther.

He’s a cool dude, and has probably done more in his first six months as POTUS to raise the diplomatic profile of our nation than many have done in two terms.

HOWEVER – just because he goes to parent-teacher conferences, takes his wife on dates, and kills a pesky fly on national television, people are treating him like he’s the next best thing….well…since the next best thing (because surely, he’s BETTER than sliced bread!!).

I beseech you media to CEASE and DESIST with this ridiculous coverage of President Obama!

It’s the equivalent of, “He speaks so well!! He’s SO WELL SPOKEN!!” And it makes me fear even more what the mainstream media REALLY thinks about Black men.

Rant over.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dream Lesson

Have you ever had a dream that upon waking made reality seem absurd?

I asked him how long he’d loved her and he looked me in the eye and said, “I’ve loved her for the thirty-six years she’s been on this earth. It’s just that I hadn’t met her until a year ago.”

I asked him why and this is what he told me:

“You comfort me. She distracts me.”

“You satisfy me. She leaves me wanting more.”

“You wear your intelligence on your sleeve. She’s so beautiful that she doesn’t have to be intelligent, yet she’s always seeking to learn something new.”

“You’d lay out a four-course dinner – perfect in every aspect. She makes just enough to prove that she can put together a competent meal.”

I asked him if he was willing to throw away all we had together. He looked at me and said, “I have but one life to live. Why should I not be happy living it?”

I awoke from the dream, not believing reality. I sat with the words and how honestly he expressed them. I sat with the feeling of frailty and rejection. I sat with my sadness without shedding tears.

I rolled the words around my tongue like meltless ice cubes. Juggling them between my teeth and gums. Repeating, regurgitating, tasting their bitterness and their permanence.

I replayed the scene of me trying to call her with the last two digits of her phone number missing and I cloaked myself in the fabric of despair; tightening the belt of agony around my abdomen. Squeezing, squeezing.

But I did not cry.

I sat with my sorrow.
Then I sat with the lesson for myself.

I am a reformed giver. I am learning to give enough but to leave enough for me, too. I am learning to give to my heart’s content, but not to my heart’s end. I am learning that just like alcohol or drugs – self-sacrifice is also a form of addiction. I am learning to deal with mine. To not revel in the sick joy that leaves me drawn and quartered in the name of motherhood, marriage or community. I am becoming comfortable with the healthy selfishness of a fulfilled woman.

And I like it!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On Love:

I read something that made me ponder today. The crux of it all was a woman declaring her “loss” without her significant other. It was a poetic statement – sentimental, loving – the kind of thing found written in a Hallmark card or depicted in a movie. It was genuine, heartfelt – the expression of the feeling isn’t what gave me pause.

What struck me was how she’d fare through the inevitable. At SOME point, we’re going to be without our significant other. At some point, we will lose physical contact with a being we’ve come to love and cherish. We will be without a person upon whom we may have depended for years – by choice or by chance. It’s one of life’s few dependables.

Yet, when I read the statement about this woman’s declaration of joy at her man’s intent to make everything right, it made me feel sad.

One thing I’ve come to learn over many years of marriage and familyhood is that one person can’t make anything right for another. One person cannot be depended upon to remove the sadness and misery of another. That doesn’t mean that we throw away our gestures of kindness and gentleness toward one another. Tenderness is definitely not out the door – but righting one’s own emotional state is a personal journey.

It’s a journey that requires strength and benefits from reinforcement from others along the way, but it’s a journey one must take alone in order for it to be effective.

When we remove that opportunity to journey from another’s life, we disempower them. We take responsibility for what is not our own. We make their happiness into something we think will fit us.

Let us live in the now – creating joy out of our own realities and out of the visions of our minds. The ability to do that without condition is an expression of true love.

Friday, May 15, 2009

RIP Wayman Tisdale: The "What If?" vs the "Why Not?"

Sometimes, news can hit you like a ton of bricks. Today was one of those days for me.

I'm a basketball fan - let me rephrase that - I'm a fan of teams and team players. The types of squads where the beauty of the game is exemplified in how the individuals come together to make magic on a court. I love unselfish ballers - the kind who'd rather assist in a series than have a slam dunk highlight replayed on Sports Center.

Today's blog post is dedicated to Wayman Tisdale - nachoaverage.

Some of you may remember Wayman's basketball days - he played for the Pacers, the Kings and the Suns and was a formidable big man on the court. He was my kind of player: competent, kind, unassuming. He retired to pursue his first love - music - he's clearly a man after my own heart.

Wayman was a phenomenal musical talent. Word has it that he was one of those people who didn't read music, but just had an ear for it. Throughout college, he played the bass guitar and decided that he'd make a full-time go of it.

Wayman was one of those smooth jazz artists - the type of performer you'd see at a summertime concert series populated by clean-cut men in linen pants carrying wicker picnic baskets and curvy women in sundresses. The music was cool, but there was something more about Wayman.

Wayman's smile was infectious. HUGE!! BEAMING!! And so sincere. I never had a chance to meet him, but even listening to his voice - you could hear the kindness there. In 2007 he lost part of his leg to cancer, but even still, on a youtube video I saw of him, he was ebullient, vibrant, and so full with the possibilities that life had to offer him that one couldn't help but think "wow, what a GREAT GUY!" Here he was, an ex-basketball player - missing a LEG and talking about how blessed and grateful he was and how he wasn't going to stop. Watching him left me at "what if?" What if it was me? Would I be as joyfully expressive?

I decided to take it beyond the "what if?" and ask "why not?" And I didn't have an immediate answer. The "what if?" is the easy part. I can stay in the "what if?" for days - winning the lottery, losing my job, being homeless, being famous, living off the land in Papua New Guinea....all very intriguing "what ifs?"....but no real exploration into the why not.

The "why not?" forces us to question our own values - the things that drive us to be happy where we are, malcontent, or overly ambitious (is there really such a thing). The why defines how we deal with other people, on our fortunate days, and days when we're diagnosed with cancer after a fulfilling career in a profession that requires the competent use of one's legs.

What if we sulked and snapped and became generally snarky? What if we shut out all who love us, shunned all that makes us happy and decided to live a life of complete misery based on "woe is me"?

Why not?

On the flip side, what if we decided that every single day we live and breathe is a divine blessing and an opportunity to get up, get out, and get SOMETHING? What if we decided to honor our talents in OUR ways - writing, singing, making people laugh, cooking, organizing, cleaning - in order to make our lives more fulfilling?

Why not?

I've made my choice. Yours is yours.

Rest in peace Wayman - may many people be inspired by your "why not?"

Friday, March 27, 2009

Whole Paycheck - A Note on the Class Implications of Food

Last year, during my yearly facilitation of an event planning and cooking workshop for adolescent girls as part of an organization in which I’m involved, we ended up in a discussion about which organic food store would be closest so we could quickly shop, pay and get back to my house to prepare an appreciation dinner for their mothers. Aside from using my exposure to these girls as a barometer for my tolerance of adolescent estrogen in preparation for my own daughter’s transformation from girl to woman, it’s also an immensely fun activity to which I look forward every year because kids really DO say the darndest things.

One of the girls suggested that we head over to Whole Foods to do shopping. I didn’t get a chance to disengage from my mental debate over feeding the 15-passenger van for the day or my children for the week before I overheard another of the girls say “You mean Whole PAYCHECK?? That's what my mother calls it.” I laughed, because it was one of those laugh to keep from crying moments. Her mother was right. Eating right is expensive.

Let’s take bread and water, for example. They used to be universal diet basics. Prisoners and bad children were fed a diet of bread and water. Both are referenced over and over in the “big 3” holy books. Yet both bread and water have become woefully expensive commodities and class markers! People line up at specialty stores for loaves of "rustic" bread at more than $5.00/loaf. The labels and shapes of the plastic bottles of water people carry around say a lot about how much expendable income they have.

Not just that, but there’s this stigma that one is more “cultured and well-rounded and refined and all that good stuff” when one shops at Whole Foods or the other uber-expensive, upscale markets. I know you see them, crowded around the displays of lopsided, funny-colored “heirloom" tomatoes and gingerly nestling glass bottles of milk between the Greek yogurt and the multi-grain, non-GMO, gluten free item of the week.

Now please understand that I am not anti-eating well. I prefer to feed my family the good stuff. What I don’t like is the fact that according to our capitalist society, one must be a damn-near trillionaire to be able to afford a healthy diet.
I was recently reading the caloric breakdown of organic foods vs. high fat, simple carbohydrate, fast foods and found that it costs approximately 400% more per 100 calories to eat well than not! Our underserved communities are not organic food oases, but one can find a McDonalds, Wendy’s, or KFC in any given one of them that is able to feed a family of 4 from the Extra Value Menu for about $15. What will $15 get you at Whole Foods? Not much.

Farmers market you said? HA!! The farmers markets in my quickly gentrifying community still sell organic and locally grown items at a premium. I don’t blame them. Farmers gotta eat, too.

Gardening, you say? Really? And where? In my quickly gentrifying community, condos are replacing areas where vegetable gardens COULD have gone, and I’m not sure how much time the average single parent has to compost, and weed and seed between working two jobs to try to put food on the table.

Back in the day, I remember having loads of different fruits and vegetables at the ready. My mother fed me a primarily vegetarian, whole grain and legume- based diet because along with being healthier, it was also less expensive to NOT eat meat or fast food. She wasn’t a member of PETA (my mother loves very nice leather items) nor did I feel any more special because we belonged to a food co-op and ate organic produce.

Fast forward to 2009 and the other day, I purchased fruit for my children and balked at the price of oranges at $1.00 each. Non-organic cherries (YES EVEN IN SEASON) are rarely less than $4.99 a pound. The cost of my children’s daily packed lunches is approximately $5.00. I have two children who go to school every day. That’s $50/week for ONE MEAL A DAY. It’s not a game.

And our communities continue to be plagued by illnesses and ailments that can easily be reversed by simple dietary changes. Yet most don't have enough change to make the change.

Go figure.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Colors of My Letters and Numbers are Flyer than Yours

So, today I found a name for the condition that has plagued me all my life.

Perhaps "plagued" is not the best word, for the condition hasn't been unpleasant, itchy or putrid or anything like that. I've never needed a cream or liniment for it, and it is pretty much unseen by the public eye. For all intents and purposes, unless you really, really know me, you probably never even knew that I had the "condition".

It's called synesthesia.

I was listening to NPR tonight while washing dishes after a nutritious dinner of curried quinoa, collard and kale greens and salmon cakes when this segment of Soundprint came on. Seemingly otherwise normal people were talking about how they literally see the colors of numbers, letters and words. For some, there are even smells and textures associated with them, too.

All my life, I've seen my numbers and letters and words in colors. For example, the number three is always, always a deep navy blue. The word three, however is a mixture of colors, starting with a black t, and then slowly lightening from black to deep purple to blue to light blue.....

The number 1999 is yellow - bright, blinding, neon yellow. But the number 2000 is a very vivid red. However, the number 1 is not yellow, but a lime'ish green. The number 2 is red, but the zeros have no color.

My favorite words have colors, too - and sometimes textures, smells and animations. The word cacophony is a series of patterned letters - stripes, polka dots, checkers, herringbones, all stuck together with no clear logic, blinking individually -rhythmless and indistinct from its neighbor.

Pessimistic is slimy green, oozing from the double-s's and smelling badly.

Caustic is like an oil spill. In a sentence it sits above the other letters, undulating as if on an ocean, creating swirly rainbows on its surface.

Sychophant is red - actually crimson. It has the texture of the peel-able wax pencils that elementary school teachers used to check papers. It is equally indelible.

You can imagine that reading for me is a multi-sensory experience. It's not just the act of stringing letters together to make words to make sentences that make paragraphs, that weave chapters into stories. For me, reading is a seriously tactile act. Some authors are able to make word combinations that cause actual physical reactions in me. I remember the first time I read Song of Solomon and got so moved upon reading about Pilates lack of a navel that I had to put the book down and walk away. Reading that passage caused my body to flush from my hair follicles down to the pit of my abdomen.

Other writers, like Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (if you don't know her, this is your chance to google her and buy a book) are able to make words tell tragic tales with a level of humor and everydayness that is both heartbreaking and completely hilarious just by the combinations of words she uses.

I am currently reading Inside Inside by James Lipton. For the past few days, I've been trying to figure out why it's taking me so long to get through the book. Today I realized why. The words that he uses are so dense and strung together so tightly that they don't flow. The colors don't match and meld together properly in my mind. It's like eating a meal that gives really, really bad heartburn.

I get the same reaction to accents. Some accents sound like broken glass being poured slowly onto a tile floor in the middle of a quiet museum. Other accents sound like the clanging of cowbells. Still other sound like the tuning of an orchestra before a's just that the concert never gets started and it just sounds like the endless tuning of various instruments.

So, I am not crazy - just different (which is yellow-green like a forsythia plant). And different is okay, I guess, even though neither green nor yellow are favorite colors of mine!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It’s Our Reunion! (The Sandy Effect)

So….my 20th high school reunion is coming up. Twenty years, I still can’t believe it. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday that we were in Ms. Benson’s microbiology class, listening to Haydn as we smeared agar-agar with staphylococcus aureus and watched it grow in the incubator!

For the 2.5 followers who aren’t somehow related to me or otherwise financially obligated to read my blog posts, you’ve probably already surmised that I am a nerd of first class standing.

During high school, I was never one of the cool girls. I didn’t dress cool, didn’t have cool hair, didn’t drive a cool (read any) car, didn’t have a cool (read ANY) boyfriend. Basically, I was just about as lukewarm as one could get! Talk about socially awkward, kinda chubby, and basically unnoticeable and you’ve got me as the high school prototype. My extra-curricular activities were limited to the French Club, the Pre-Med Club and the National Honor Society! The guy I sat next to at graduation hadn’t ever even heard of me. Much to MY credit, I’d never even heard of HIM, either –so TAKE THAT Solomon Irby (though if you happen to show up at the 20th, I’ll have a big hug for you)!!

But let’s get back to the subject at hand – the REUNION!! And we all know that class reunions are about one thing. REVENGE!! They’re about finding the person who taunted you the most about being unpopular, uncute, unshapely and watching them eat crow with a side of humble pie as you explain with vim and vigor what a successful business owner you are with your trophy spouse on your well-toned, South of France-tanned arm!

They’re about finding that one girl/guy who really liked you, but didn’t want to date you because they were afraid of what their friends would say and introducing them to your supermodel girlfriend, and watching them stand there struggling to breathe in their 18-hour girdle/manssiere.

Reunions are all about the phenomenon I like to call “The Sandy Effect”. Derived from the motion picture “Grease”, “The Sandy Effect” is the transformation of a young, totally square, saddle-shoe wearing lame-O into a stilettoed, hot-pants and red lipstick wearing vixen who leaves the likes of a slim, 70’s John Travolta tongue-tied!

So, for all you similarly nerdy folk whose reunions are coming up, it’s time to be a living, breathing example of the “Sandy Effect”! Come ON!! You’ve no doubt used all of those nerdy characteristics to launch a great career or a successful business! The Coke-bottomed glasses you used to sport back in the day have been replaced by contact lenses or Lasik surgery! Hell, if the reunion is in the summer, you’ve still got plenty of time to shed those few extra pounds and melt yourself into that size (whatever you were in 11th grade or MUCH, MUCH smaller in all the right places) dress!

DO IT! Your inner Sandy will thank you for many years to come!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

It's Been A Long Time....I Shouldn't Have Left You...

Happy March, folks! Good to see you back!

Let me apologize for not updating as I should, but there's a little thing called life that also takes place outside of the confines of in which I engage from time to time....

So...moving on:

March is here. You know, I've always equated March with a certain level of ridiculousness. I actually think a number of people do. Like - which other month is described as a schizophrenic cliche? In like a lion, out like a lamb? It's EXPECTED that there will be a blizzard or some other wintry anomaly at the beginning of the month followed by a 75-degree March 31st, which leaves us all with "walkin' na-MOAN-ya" by April 5th.

Or what about St. Patrick's Day? There's a high level of ridiculousness in its celebration, isn't there? Green beer?? GREEN BEER??? Paired with a mushy stew of cabbage, corned beef and potatoes, there've got to be ridiculously copious amounts of chunks being blown every March 17th!

How about the ridiculousness of a lack of a three-day weekend during one of the longest months of the year? Especially when we're just coming off six months of GOOD federally mandated three day+ weekends! September has Labor day. October allows the celebration of the anihilation of ethic groups native to the Americas. November is Thanksgiving (see October). December begets "the BIG THREE" - Chrismahanakwanzaakah. January has Martin Luffah da Kang Day. February has President's Day. March has.....anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

And what about The Ides of March? That was pretty ridiculous, huh? I mean good ole Caesar got offed on 3/15 by his boyz from the hood. And I know I wasn't the only one who thought Caesar was dumb as a doorknob for not heeding the creepy oracle (on the scratchy Julius Caesar play album) when it said, "beeeewwwwwaaaaarrrrrre the iiiiiiiiiiiiidessssss uv MAAAAAHHHHHHCCCCCHHHHHH!" Please believe, if somone told me "doooonnnnnn't go ooooowwwwwtttt ahhhhhnnnnnn theeeee fifffffff-tteeeeennnnnttttthhhhhh", I'd have my behind up under some covers @ 5523!!!

So to bring today's theme of ridiculousness full circle, I thought I'd share with you a recent quote I read from The King of RE-DICK-YOU-LESS-NESS - Mr. Kanye West.

Now I know that at this point, one of my followers has probably abandonned ship after reading the above line. Just remember, girl, you can pick your blogs, but you can't pick your family :-)!!!

But ole Yeezy has done it yet AGAIN!!! Is it the food?? I swear, I wanna know what he EATS every morning. Like is his water enriched with egoflavinoids? What's in his Wheaties? What could possibly make him think that it's okay to utter these lines:

There's nothing more to be said about music. I'm the f**king end-all, be-all of music. …Oh my God, I'm one of the greatest rappers in the world. I'll get on a track and completely ee-nihilate that track, I'll eat it and rip it in half. I wouldn't have to think of it. …I have, like, nuclear power, like a superhero, like Cyclops when he puts his glasses on."
You notice I put that crap in soft pink itallics, since that's pretty much what I think of Kanye. Dude is soft and pink and creamy in the center! He couldn't make sense if he had all the ingredients and the recipe to put it together!!
End-all, be-all of music?? Werrrdd? So there was nothing before Kanye and clearly nothing after? So when we look up Kanye in the dictionary, we should see this:
Oh, but of the greatest rappers in the WORLD?? Oh REALLY doe Kanye?? REALLY DOE?? So you're in the same league as this guy:
Kanye, I'm giving you the seriously squinty-eyed, lip curled to the side stare right now. I really am! For equating yourself to a Chernobyl reactor you deserve:
and that "W" is not for your last name.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Comin' From Where I'm From......

Hello out there in blogland!

I'm up late tonight - not sure why, but I have this restless energy that's got me going so I figured, WHY NOT BLOG???

And as I'm blogging, I'm listening to music - actually, I'm toggling between this site and watching Cape Verdean videos.

As the the five of you who follow my blog (thanks) may know, one part of my family is from the lovely archipelago of the Cape Verde Islands. And along with the beautiful people (hi family) and great food (some of my followers have tasted the JOY that is cachupa), there is also a wealth of very good music made by the folks who come from where I'm from.

I'm sure that most people associate Cape Verdean music with the Queen of the Morna - Cesaria Evora - and she deserves all the shine she gets. There are also some great, newer artists out there as well. One of my favorites is Lura and since I'm enjoying her stuff, I figured I'd pass some of the love on to you all as well.

Don't worry about not understanding the words if you don't speak's okay....just enjoy the spirit of the music. And at the 3:39 mark, she gets REAL traditional with it!


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

CRAPTASTIC!!! But I Wish You Love, I Wish You Peace, I Wish You Hope....


I penned an entire blog called "Sometimes" about my love for this song by Bilal....I mean, I went ALL IN y'all!! I was disclosing and sharing all over the place and then I clicked the back button like an idiot and what happened???

OF COURSE I DIDN'T PRESS SAVE!! The title of today's blog wouldn't contain the word CRAPTASTIC if I had pressed SAVE!!!

So now I gotta try my best to recreate my creative moment!

Here goes: ever have a song that really takes you THERE?? "There" meaning head back, eyes closed, hand in the air in CHURCH TESTIFYING mode?? I apparently have four blog followers and it would be unfair to assume that all four of you have a church frame of reference. In the spirit of inclusion, "THERE" for you might also mean, head back, eyes closed, air-guitaring in front of a virtual crowd of half-million in a foreign stadium.

Have I covered all the bases? If not, shoot me a comment and I'll see what I can do for ya. I aim to please. For real. That's actually part of my problem, but that's another blog - stay tuned.

I digress.....

So this song, "Sometimes" by Bilal goes all over the place. First of all, he opens with a disclaimer so the listener has about four counts to get OUT and press fast forward before he spills his guts because he tells you in the beginning! Then he goes from some serious disclosure to railing a little bit on his upbringing and getting into his significant other's shit. He even gets a little domestically violent! But at the end, he's resolved and he's just wishing good on everybody.

How much is that like REAL life, though? Like how often have you just woken up one morning feeling like crappitty-crap-crap-crap? And everything around you is crappitty-crap-crap-crap? And everything that happened last night is crappitty-crap-crap-crap. And then you go outside and it's 65 degrees in the MIDDLE OF FEBRUARY (thanks Phil - you read my blog!) and the sun is shining, and you remember that you lost about 7 lbs over the past ten days, and you don't have PMS....oh wait....

Back to the song.....digressing AGAIN!!!!

The other thing about this song is NOT just the lyrics, but Bilal's flawless execution of them. He goes from these rumbly, grumbly, almost scary bass tones to this dreamy falsetto that just makes this song such an absolutely, beautiful, terrible MESS. And he's so authentic with it that you KNOW he's experienced every single moment; for real-for real (hi Amina).

So, I cheated today. The blog LOOKS long, but it's mostly Bilal's lyrics. And if you're a good, obedient blog reader, there's a bonus at the end. Click it and have a really, really great day!! (I mean it).


This is a song that makes me spill out all my guts

Sometimes, I wish I wasn't me
Sometimes, I wish I was drug free
Sometimes, wish I saw the exit sign first
Sometimes, wish I knew the truth without searchin’
Sometimes, I wish I could
go where I never been
See what I never saw,
do what I never did
Ohhhhhhh (walk before I)
walk before I could crawl

I wish my eyes wasn't so red

Sometimes, I wish I had breakfast in bed
Sometimes, I mean it's worth it since I did all the work last night

Sometimes, you ain't good to me, as
I am good to you
And you don't see my intentions
the way I do
hey slim,
you should be nicer than you are
Sometimes, you take that complaining shit way too far
I mean,
I thought it was cute in the beginning
but now I think
you only do it
‘cause you know I hate it

Sometimes..... you got me wishing
I didn't have home training

Then it wouldn't hurt me so bad
When I think of knockin’ you on your ass
Then it wouldn't hurt me so bad
When I wanna put my foot up your ass

I wish I knew life with no pain, yeah
Wish I held the keys to this game
Sometimes, I pretend ‘cause I'm afraid to be,
afriad to be

Sometimes, I hope I live to see twenty five

Sometimes, I wish I could
be like Moses

Round up my people
move out the ghetto

And live a better life

I wish I didn't try so hard


Who knows truth

They don't know nothing,
who needs that approval
The sun in your hands player
Move at your own pace,
listen to your own mind
Do your own thing,

yeah yeah
I'm saying this because I love ya
And I wanna grow with you, baby
But you wanna run in the other direction
So I got to stay on my path until
I win
I win,
I win,
I win
I wanna win,
I wanna win,
I wanna win,
I wanna win

Oh sometimes,
sing it with me I wish
(I wish you love)
And I wish,
oh I wish
(I wish you peace)
Oh sometimes
(I wish you hope)
I wish hope
(I wish true)
I wish true
(I wish clearly)
Hey I wish so clearly sometimes
(Wish with no fear)
I wish with no fear
(I have no fear)
I have no fear
(Have no doubt)
I have no doubt
(I don't doubt)
I don't doubt
(Have no doubt)
No, I don't doubt
(Have no doubt, I wish love)
I wish you love, hey hey

BONUS for those of you who read (y'all are so good):

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It's February and.....

I've got a couple of gripes already for this month. The first starts with Puxatawney Phil.

LISTEN UP FOLKS!! I AM A MICHIGANDER. For us, winter is a long, cold corridor in the house of purgatory! Those standing outside the house are only there putting chairs in their parking spaces to ensure that they won't have to walk a half mile down Mr. Nevershovels sidewalk to get to the front porch The rest of us are waiting in VAIN for Puxatawney Phil to NOT see his damn shadow so winter can be over! Of course, good ole Phil must have eaten lots of carrots and got hold of some brighteyes flowers because, lo and behold....

I guess Phil must also be on memo ban. Right along with Ina Garten. There needs to be a change in administration.

Ay yo PHIL: It's COLD in DC. When I say cold, I mean...we're not getting above freezing lately and we're BELOW the MASON DIXON LINE. While you're reading this note, Phil, (and I know you can read if you can see your SHADOW) I need you to holler at your boys Cold Front and Low Pressure and get some REAL snow going on down here. I don't mean the paltry inch and a half that they worked up last week. I mean a full-out, shut the fed'ral gub'ment DOWN, no milk, water, eggs, bread, or snacks in the grocery aisle BLIZZARD!!!



I'm trying to be PHILANTRHOPIC - you know, get my Kimora and Russell on, right? Being the change and all that.....So, BDB (that's my son Big Drummer Boy) did a science project on how music affects animal behavior.

First of all, let's give BDB some shine up in this blog as well. BDB is a mess. He's my 11-year old, straight-A student, budding intellectual ladykiller with a mole right between his eyes. BDB is also veeeerrrrryyyy much in tune to what will motivate his parents.

BDB approached me about the idea he had for his science projct a while ago. Being a musician, BDB decided that he would do some scientific observation of how music really affects animals' behavior. Well, of course, proud mommy that I am just thought BDB was the stitching holding together the cat's pyjamas! We bantered back and forth about how many gerbils he should observe, the type of music he should play, how long he should play it....thewhole nine. I was under the impression that his observations would be done at school....with the school's animals. Er...NO. The school HAS no animals. Which led us to Petco for a couple of gerbils and habitats, etc for him to do his observations.

Let's stop here: did you see me get bamboozled? Did you see the run amok move? How about led astray?

Just wondering.

I told y'all BDB is good. Because NOW he has pets, over my live and willing body!!

And yeah, he did all the observations and all that and put together the board with his mother's intense involvment. The project is over and I'm sure he'll get a good grade. Because he's just like that.

HOWEVER....I said earlier that I'm trying to be PHILANTRHOPIC!! So why is the school hemming and hawing over whether or not they're going to accept our donation of two small animals, food, cages, bedding, the whole nine!! WHY?? AREN'T WE IN A RECESSION?? WHY NOT TAKE MY GIFT? Come ON!! We're being beneficent here! Is this the thanks we get???


Friday, January 30, 2009

Girls' Night

So, tonight was "officially" Girls' Night for me and TripleAy. TripleAy is my daughter. She's a minor, so shall remain protected from the 3 people who are currently reading my blog and probably changed one of her dirty diapers at some point. But I'm a responsible parent, dammit. It's one of the things upon which I pride myself. That along with the wonderful ability to NOT end a sentence with a preposition.

So anyway, it was "officially" Girls' Night because I called it. And anyone who's ever been a child or been around a child understands the importance of "calling it". For those of you unchildish folks, "calling it" means you just say that shit and mean it. So I called it tonight.

TripleAy is amazing. And I'm not just saying that because I spent 26 hours of pure, unmedicated HELL trying to get her out of my body nearly 8 years ago. Naahhhhh.....she's a pretty cool kid.

Why, you ask?

Well, for starters, she's got knowledge of self. Honestly. This girl told me the other day why she needs new friends. Her thing is "I'm smart, I get my work done, I don't like to talk a lot in school unless my assignments are complete, I study, I dance, I sing, I make my own clothes and I need friends who do the same."

I also exploit her innate sense of style. And since I'm doing all this revealing here, I might as well tell the world (well, the three total people in my reading audience) that I ask her for advice on my outfits every morning. Nine and a half times out of ten, she's going to dress me better than I dress myself.

Oh, and she's planning a birthday party for me....and Sasha Obama this year. Our birthdays just happen to fall on the same day. Of course, that was TripleAy who did the research on that. She's penciled into her dad's calendar to go over party themes, the menu and a venue. Now don't take this as an off-handed invitation. Your sense of style and ability to create sparkling conversation will have to be evaluated by TripleAy before you can even think about being considered for the guest list. Sorry.

So, back to Girls' Night....

TripleAy starts running track tomorrow so she needed real running shoes. We head over to the sporting goods store and she starts looking at shoes. Number one on her list of priorities - PINK. TripleAy bleeds pink, okay? After the pink consideration came comfort. So TripleAy bugged the salesman out by strapping on her shoes and literally running laps through the aisle to make sure that the shoes fit properly. All the while, I'm trying to figure out what good deed I've done in a past life to deserve such a dynamically vibrant human being to parent. So she finally settles on a pair that are pink, comfortable, AND within budget (I told y'all she rocks).

Afterwards, we head over to the Asian-American food spot (I refuse to call it Chinese) and grab a bite, and laugh like old friends over moo-shu and tofu. TripleAy does an uncanny imitation of Andrew Zimmern (Travel Channel, stand up) and had me nearly spitting into my Singapore Sling at her rendition of eating a live shrimp on a boat in the remote South Pacific.

In the midst of laughter and trading stories, TripleAy looks at me and says "Mommy, Girls' Night has never been THIS fun!!" And in that moment, I heard the Chorus of Naysayers start doing scales, getting warmed up to serenade me with one of their old mental hits. You know...something along the lines of "you're not good enough, you're not good enough...." But this time, it was different, because this time, I looked into TripleAy's eyes and her happiness and excitement in THAT moment was enough to shut the Chorus of Naysayers the FUCK up!!

I'm a bomb mom!

That's all.

Oh...and Girls' Night rocks!!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ina Garten Musta Didn't Get The Memo

I like Ina. I like that she's obviously committed to being the middle-aged sex kitten of the Food Network. She's got that husky voice and that "I'm not wearing any underwear" chuckle going on. It's pretty clear to me that she and Jeffrey (her short, balding, bespectacled, potbellied, middle aged husband) are having LOTS of sex at her Hamptons estate. I get that and I like it.

Ina, however, is apparently living in a parallel universe where we all have access to a custom-made pantry with Malagasy vanilla beans steeping in Russian vodka and an acre of organic poppy flowers so we can harvest our own saffron! I honestly think she has bumped her head with the door of her Sub-Zero refrigerator one too many times.

Tune in and you'll see Ina massaging a $75 leg of lamb with truffle oil and fresh rosemary from her garden. Another day she's admonishing her viewers to use "good (read: EXPENSIVE AS HELL) kosher salt/Ceylon cinnamon/undutched German cocoa powder/European butter with a 100% butterfat content.....

Lady, it's 2009. Did you miss the memo?? A man just killed his entire family AND himself because he and his wife lost their jobs! The unemployment rate is sky-friggin'-high!! Did you happen to see that the government of Iceland collapsed the other day?? probably didn't. Too busy churning out lavender-scented ice cream and caramel drizzled tarte-tatin.

Carry on.


So, anyone who knows me, knows that I'm not a betting person. Yeah, I'll place big wagers on things I know, like the fact that the average American walks the distance from New York to Miami every year, or a ball made of glass will bounce higher than a ball made of rubber. But betting on the unknown was never something I've been able to really, really embrace.

But, it's 2009, and what with all the change going on, I figured I'd better get on the bandwagon. And what better way to display my inner comedian/snarkster/drama queen than to put it in writing? Because most people believe what they read anyway, right?

So here I am: multitasking as usual - writing a blog while teaching my 7-year old how to tease a black barbie head's synthetic hair and baking a banging batch of chocolate chip cookies (I should probably start taking photos of my food). I'm also planning dinner at this moment - something with spicy turkey italian sausage, spinach, eggs and asiago cheese that would pair well with a New Zealand Sauvingnon Blanc. Oh, did I mention that I'm also a self-proclaimed foodie? Yeah, I just did.

And I'm taking a risk. Putting myself out there, if you will. Some of my close friends and family members will tell you that under the poised exterior is a riot waiting to happen.

Well the riot has been unleashed. Strap on your helmets and breastplates because, yo - some shit is about to go DOWN!