Wednesday, January 04, 2012

And so it begins. Again.

I received a message from a dear friend the other day.

I hate to be one of THOSE people but I miss your blog.

Since this person is a dear friend and not a creepy stalker and writes way more than I do, I had to accept his challenge. He may not have meant it as a CHALLENGE (gotta say it like Bill Cosby for full effect). But because I respect him, I accept the challenge.

Yesterday, another dear friend sent me an email with a link to a site with 25 tips for writers (I'm honored that she still considers me a writer). Upon reading the article, I realized all of the tips can be summed up into this phrase:


Well....if that's not the universe sending you signals like all these weight loss commericals telling us to collectively get off our fat post holiday asses, then I don't know what is.

So here I am. Again.

I have to address why I stopped in the first place. For one, the topics swirling around in my mind just were so damn depressing. Out of control family issues. Watching a friendship unhinge, fall completely off track, and not able to do anything about it but watch. Love wonderings. Loneliness. Unfulfillment. Square peg in a round friendship. Etc, etc, and a cashmere sweater. Did you really want to read all of that?? Well, if you did, I decided you didn't and avoided coming back to my blog. (ALSO, blogger erased an epic blog that i wrote about my high school headmistress and I was pissed pissed pissed. Like I'd get fined, ejected from a game, curse the reporters at the post game interview, and suspended for the rest of the season pissed. If this blog gets erased like the last one, so help me butterfly, I'll need some metta world peace.....)

Secondly, and way more exciting, I dedicated myself to starting my own business. You are now reading the musings of the Creative Director and Founder of a greeting card and event stationery company (will post the new website soon). I started selling handcrafted cards last year and not only do I love it, but I've actually had people purchase cards from me. And quite frankly, I love my job. Seriously, I LOVE MY JOB as a trainer for the old folks but the money? Honey, not so much. And I need all the streams of income I can get without making a career of doing something strange for change. But this business start up shit is h-a-r-d. So many decisions to make. So many expenses. I started a business plan because I want my company to be legit. Writing this business plan is harder than writing a research paper and I haven't been back in school for a minute. I truly believe its worth it but writing the business plan made me realize how much I miss the creative process. There are no word flourishes in a business plan. No puns, no tongue in cheek. Just blah blah money money blah blah projections blah blah research. No word joy at all.

And so I'm here. Again. I need a break. I needed the word joy again.

So here I am. Reclaiming my joy. Again.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Text Stance

I'm in week 11 of a 10 week training cycle. No, you're mind is not playing tricks on you. Yes, I wrote that correctly. One of my sites needed to start later than the other sites so we tacked on an extra week at the end. When this decision was made, back in the sunny everything is great days of summer, it didn't seem like a big deal. Now??? I curse having to dress in "work" clothes, travel 30 minutes to conduct a ONE HOUR training session and then bounce. I'm grateful for the work but I'm the only trainer who's not getting a full 17 day break between Summer Cycle and Fall Cycle. With this last training classes and meetings I need to attend because...sound trumpets....I'm getting interns, I'm getting more like 10 days (including weekend). I know to many of you this sounds like a great big bowl of whine and complain stew but damnit I need my days. I've been busy as hell between work, a new business venture (not ready to announce this one), and I'm still making cards and invitations and writing (yes, just because I'm not blogging doesn't mean I'm not writing). Again, not complaining because its either this life or none at all at the moment. I choose what's behind door number one. Thank you very much.

About a week and a half ago, I received a text message that read something like this: *

This will be the last text message you receive from me. You don't have time to talk or to even answer. I don't want to bother you anymore. Take care.

I read it as I was changing my purse that morning and thought: DAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMNNNN.
I thought for a minute and then responded:
Ummmm, I'm sorry you feel that way. But that's life. Take care of yourself as well.

The text message was from my high school ex-boyfriend's younger brother. A couple of months ago, he made a play for me and I promptly threw a flag on the field. He went back to being my pseudo-little brother and life returned to some semblance of normal. Or so I thought.

Now, I can't lie. Initially, his play for me weirded me out worse than Ron Artest errrr Metta World Peace's blonde hair art on Monday's Dancing With the Stars episode. It took me a minute to get back into the groove of our normal conversation. Eventually, I got over it and myself, and resumed our periodic text convo without any reservations. I thought, "Eh, I don't speak to him often. How difficult can this be?" Famous last words.

This boy (oops, I mean man. he's damn near 30 but I still picture him as a 10 year old asking me to help him with his homework when I came to see his brother but I digress). has the uncanny talent for texting me at the worst possible time. Seriously. I'm speaking during a meeting? Text. I'm out on a date? Text. I'm in my sub-basement training room where I have no phone reception for 4 hours and I'M WORKING? Text (along with the occassional followup "u there?' text). I'm in a bad mood and not answering anyone??? Text. Sometimes I remember to answer but others I don't. Quite frankly, he's not saying much. The convo is as predictable as a soap opera.

He: Hey. How are you?
Me: Heyyyy. I'm good. How are you?
He: Chillin. So what's good? How are you?
Me: Uhhhhhh didn't I just tell you I'm good? LOL (always gotta soften the blow of my sarcasm with an LOL)
He: true true. lol

End Scene.

Yeah that's it. So of course there were times that I didn't entertain this predictable banter. And I will neither confirm or deny that I copied and pasted a response or two. So when I got his tempter tantrum text, I had no previously typed response to copy and paste so I responded as I did. He then responds with sarcasm about how I responded to that message so quickly and blah blah blah, you're too busy. As I'm now sitting on the bus on my way to work, I felt like I was engaged in a battle of words with a 10 year old. I answered one last time - told him he was right to say I was busy. I'm busy living my life and living on MY schedule and not what works for his time frame. I stated once again that I was sorry he felt this way (clearly not an admission of guilt on my part) and I wished him well. He responsed to that message but as usual his timing was off and I was busy.

I'm not saddened or bothered by his decision. Just like his older brother, his time in my life clearly has passed. It's his pronouncement that seems soooooo.....juvenile. It reminds me of the time I told my mother I was running away from home, filled a garbage bag with all my clothes and toys, realizing it was too heavy for my 8 year old self to carry, and my mother calmly sitting on the sofa doing a crossword puzzle and stating " you better put everything back where you found it." We both knew I was acting on emotion just as I'm sure this guy's text message was laced with. maybe I was right all along to look at him as that 10 year old boy with the ketchup stained shirt, asking me to help him with his homework.

end scene.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Silence Stalker

My work schedule is crazy and most days I love it. I'm never in the same spot for longer than I have to be there to conduct my training. However, my schedule sometimes collects its toll like an EZ-Pass. I have no choice (at the moment) but to pay up, shut up, and keep it moving. I don't have an office. I feel like I'm constantly on the go so much that when I have my own personal errands to run my get up and go is giving me some serious side eye like "bitch please. it's my day off."

But there are moments, like this exact moment, that I live for. Silence. One of my training sites shuts down the room I use for training up to an hour before my class begins. I hustle from my morning site, pick up some semblance of healthy cuisine in the Bronx (another Debbie Downer in weighing the pros and cons of my job), navigate my way through the hustle and bustle of this commercial neighborhood and descend into my silent refuge aka my training room. What adds to the joy? I have no cell phone reception in the room whatsoever. AHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhh. (Am I the only person who relishes from time to time being off the grid, so to speak?)

As I sit here, I realize that there aren't too many silent moments in my life. I'm always in the hustle and bustle of the never quiet city. When I'm home, there's the million channels on cable that I must watch because I pay for them and there's my mother and all of her needs, and there is her cat that never ever leaves me alone so much that I've renamed her damn cat, Shadow. Maybe that's why I love this silence so much. Sitting here in a quiet room with the dull hum of some computer machinery, the murmur of a whoosh from the central air, and my click, click, click on the keyboard. That's it. Pure bliss.

Once I close that door, the outside world is no longer buzzing in my ear. I don't even want to hear the sound of my own voice - another side effect of talking all day for work purposes. Even in composing this blog, I feel like my voice in my head is on whisper -just audible enough to gather my thoughts in my head without intruding on my silent bliss.

I know I'm a walking contradiction. I have many friends. I'm always out and about. Not to beat the cliche like a Mike Tyson circa late 80s opponent, but I am a social butterfly. Don't get me wrong. I love that side of my life. But the balance of silence is missing. And I crave it like men crave the fall and its bosom buddy football. Now that I have it, I don't want to let it go. I feel like I'm stalking silence. Soooooo, how do I get more of this bliss?

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

I got next....I guess...

I guess I'll see you next lifetime.....

When this song came out in 1997 I had not an inkling how true it would ring in my lifetime.

I guess being single for as long as I've been, this was bound to happen. The odds for it not to happen are clearly not in my favor. It happens so often I feel like this song is on repeat loop in life's soundtrack.

I meet a nice guy. A down to earth, normal attractive guy. No swag on a full tank, not dripping swagu (hate Kanye for this term by the way). Normally for me, this is a somewhat quiet, laid back kind of guy with a mix of shy nerdiness sprinkled in for good measure. Maybe it's the shyness in him or maybe it's my seemingly outgoing personality but this guy may hint at possible interest but never follows through.

Him: "We should hang out sometime"
Me: "Okay. Cool"


Some time may pass before I see this guy again. But when I do, he's quite vocal with how he finds me attractive and blah blah blah. Now, something changed. He's more confident with his words and more direct with his eye contact. Not to the point of obnoxious arrogance but the volume is just a tad bit louder, enough to be noticeably undeniable.

So what's changed? Sigh.....
You need to know/I've got somebody, but/ You're beautiful.........

He's married or engaged or in a seriously committed monogamous relationship or any variation of the above. All in all, unavailable for me in this lifetime. As Badu says, "it ain't that kind of party nowww" so being the other woman, at this stage in my life is not attractive and is damn sure not an option I want for myself. So I guess I'll see him next lifetime as a few have suggested. The problem is unless there is more feline in my DNA that I would even consider, I don't have that many lifetimes to go around.

I'm always puzzled by this surge of confidence though. Where the hell did it come from? Most importantly, why NOW and not when you initially met me? I've heard some saying somewhere in my life travels that says something like "the love of a woman will make a man feel like he can conquer the world". Sooooooo if I'm to believe this to be true, does that mean that this said woman's love also gives you the confidence to tell another woman that you're attracted to her and "damn if only I wasn't blah blah blah...."??

The more I think about it, I believe it's a sub correlation to my "Nothing to Lose" theory. Initially this theory applies to the no teeth, colt 45 drinking, 10 baby momma fool that always finds you in the club and wants to holla at you "for a minute" (read: for the rest of the damn night). He knows he has a snowball's chance in hell with you and most likely already has baby momma #9 and #10 lined up for the evening but he likes to gamble. Hence, he has nothing to lose when he approaches you. Baby momma #9 and #10 are still going to entertain his foolishness whether you audition to be baby momma #11 or not. In a more refined manner, this shy guy now has nothing to lose as well. The possibility of my rejection does not affect his life at home. He's now afforded the luxury to drip a little swagu into our conversations without the bruise of the perceived rejection he assumed I would send his way.

What is clearly ironic or right out of a romantic comedy movie, most of these guys, if they would have mustered up enough swagu initially and asked me out on a date, I would have said yes. When it comes to dating, I'm pretty easygoing. A great conversation is all I need. I won't even mandate that you must feed me and I damn sure won't throw Michelin ratings in to prove that my bourgie ass knows how to eat well. It's a date, not a walk down the altar. Plain and simple. So what's the harm in asking me out before you find yourself in a relationship. I don't bite.......well, at least not on the first date.

Unfortunately, we'll never know what could have been. Unless we hit the reincarnation jackpot and get another chance next lifetime.

Baby we'll be butterflies.......

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

Friday, September 02, 2011


I have a blog written about how Irene (the recent hurricane)is a hater and how she completely destroyed my weekend plans but eh, I'm over it....kinda. Not really. I really wanted to curse her out but are we tired of talking about Irene and the mess she left behind - including my weekend plans?!

Late last night, a male acquaintance of mine asked me about a female friend of mine in the vein of "What's up with _______? Hook a brotha up!!!" After a slight pause, I had to say, "Nahhhhhh, I couldn't do that do you." and very vaguely told him why I wouldn't hook them up without giving him the specifics.

For the record, I'm not interested in dude. I actually know him through a long gone ex and he's always been cool with me. So don't think I want to stockpile him all to myself like those people on those hoarders shows. Also, I'm not a hater. As I told another girlfriend of mine, if he would have asked about any of my other single friends, I might have have told him to go for it. Personally, I hate hooking people up. As someone who has been hooked up, that shit doesn't work. It's always awkward and at some point, you wonder "what the hell was my friend thinking?" Then, inevitably the "Why didn't you tell me about ____________ (insert catastrophic baggage here)?!" Who needs the drama, the accusations, the awkwardness? Not me. Most times, I will tell someone "Hey, if you happen to meet them, then fine. But I'm not hooking anyone up." I don't like playing cupid because frankly Cupid's outfit ain't cute.

So why did I give the red light instead of the green light? Well here's the 1, 2, 3. First of all, I know he's not her type. She likes flash, glitz glamour and he likes a t-shirt and a fitted. She likes bottles popped; he likes beer bottles. She's a Louboutin. He's a Timberland. Don't think Beyonce and Jay-Z. Think video vixen du jour meets the mailman in his uniform. The only time their worlds mesh is when he is bringing her something she wants. Secondly, let's can I put this in the most diplomatic way possible???? Ummmmm.......damn Madeline Albright, I am not....sooooo let's just say she wants to lead the Glamorous Life (cue Sheila E.) and in the few conversations I've had with him, that's just not him at all. I may not be Miss Cleo or one Dionne Warwick's friends, but I could see this going horribly wrong and lil ole me would get the blame. Which leads me to my last point, I'd never hear the end of it. Years ago, it was my BFF, Tootiezilla's idea for me to give my ex my phone number. I listened to her and we all know what happened. Even all these years later, I remind her that all of his foolishness is her fault from time to time. Like now. LOL I wanna keep my very close to impeccable hookup record spotless. And this duo would have been a big ink stain on my angelic white dress. Not a good look.

After my vague veto explanation, he thanked me for my (vague) honesty and said he would admire her "fine ass" from afar. Whew! I'm off the hook. On the surface, it may look like I threw a friend under the bus but in actuality, I believe I pushed two people out of the way of a mack truck.

But, it has me wondering:

How many times as someone asked a friend about me in the "Hook a brotha up!" vein and they've responded, "Janelle? Nahhhh, I couldn't do that to you." ??? LOL

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lunch with a side of quake

While I flipped through New York Daily News this morning, I came across this picture:

I chuckled.

Not because I don't take the ground shaking underfoot without the rumble of a subway or the touch of the right man at the time in the right spot seriously. Oh trust and believe, it freaked me out and my first thought upon finding out was "oooohh, Momma Nature is not happy right now?" Actually that was my second thought. My first thought was "What?! Oh Shiiiiittttt!!!"

I chuckled because while this above scene played out with undoubtedly some panic and memories of the uncertainty of almost 10 years ago, I was sitting with an almost demolished chicken and spinach burrito, a mojito, and paperwork at one of my chill eateries, and most ironically, didn't feel a damn thing. For the record, I never indulge in an afternoon cocktail on a work day. But I was having a pretty intense day, had 3 hours to kill and when I walked into my favorite watering hole, one of my favorite bartenders was behind the bar and she makes a damn good mojito, sooo I called it fate and ordered one. And once again, she didn't disappoint.

To put this in perspective, the scene pictured above was less than 20 minutes away from where I was sitting and the only thing I felt was a fully belly and after drinking that mojito, a stronnnng need for a very large cup of Starbucks to get me through my evening training sessions. And to make matters even more comical (well at least in mind), my phone was charging behind the bar, and when the bartender told me my phone was blowing up like crazy, I told her, "Eh, ignore it. I'm out to lunch.", completely oblivious to what was going on in the world around me. Of course by the time I finished my meal and afternoon cocktail, paid my bill and collected my phone, I had not a hint of phone service when I tried to return all of my missed calls.

Upon hearing that there was an earthquake in Virginia, I reached out to people I know there to make sure they were okay. I still didn't know anything about its effect here in New York until I arrived at my training site (armed with my caffeine fix). Apparently, the building had been evacuated as a precaution. Some of my training clients told me they felt it. The entire time I'm wondering, "Where the hell was I?!" This felt like some kinda Alice in Wonderland slipping down the rabbit hole experience, only I was completely and utterly oblivious to what was going on. I spent the day exactly as I wanted - had a damn good lunch with a damn good cocktail, ran a couple of errands, and apparently walked on shaky ground without even knowing it. Talk about a day. Ah well, I at least I had a damn good mojito.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Microphone Check

*taps mic* Hello, is this thing on?????

I've been gone for a minute but unlike Lil Kim Konnichiwa I'm not back with the jump off. For the record, I've attempted to write 2 blogs in the last week or so and blogger has smacked me around like a 2 bit ho for abandoning my blogging corner by erasing my words. One entry, I cried when it disappeared. It was a entry about my mom waking up from a coma a year ago on August 8. I poured everything into that entry and to see it disappear with a click of a mouse and never to return again was heartbreaking. The other entry?? Well, I took it as a sign from Sweet Baby Jesus above that I had noooooooo damn business writing that angry black woman diatribe in the first place. Moving on....

For the legions of you who still check my site, first thank you for continuing to come and check on me. Secondly, in case you've been wondering, I've been working. My new job has me out in the field Monday - Thursday. I never realized how much I miss an office until I realize I don't have a computer to log into or blog on in my downtime. Maybe I should think about getting an iPad or the HP Touchpad?? Or maybe my legions of fans will chip in and buy me one?? Noo?? Really????!!! Okay. Sigh..... Moving on. (Sidebar: I just read the news about HP abandoning the Touchpad, my beloved Pre telephone, and the entire WebOS operating system. Bastards. Oh well, guess I'll be a reluctant iPad groupie...sigh. And I have no clue what the fuck I'm gonna do about a phone. Thanks HP. If Carrie B wasn't an HP I would curse you to burn in hell for getting me all hype for nothing. Oh well...moving on.....)

I work with senior citizens. And let me tell you, there are many days when I feel like I am back teaching in public school. I broke up an argument that had all the potential to turn into a physical fight the other day. Two older women in my class got into an argument over personal space and the use of a computer than one claimed was hers (ummm like my mom used to tell me "None of this is yours. Its all mine. You didn't pay for it." LOL). Tempers flared and next thing I knew, I'm standing between them, yelling at them to "CUT IT OUT!!" with threats of "I'ma kick yo ass!" flying through the air above my head. Looking back, it was quite comical. One old lady could barely walk so I don't know whose ass she was going to kick. The other, as quiet as she normally is, actually looked like she might be able to take the other one as she said in her thick Puerto Rican accent, "Jooo don't know what I capable of." If I would have seen this on a sitcom, I probably would have laughed until I damn near cried but unfortunately, this was real life and there wasn't anything funny about it.....well not until I walked out the building. Then, I laughed my ass off. Tears rolling down my face laughter. In relaying the story to friends, in between the shock followed by howls of laughter, everyone wanted to see a video of this Granny Smackdown. Thankfully, none of the senior citizens have smartphones to record said outburst and they all think you tube is an ointment. So alas, there is no such video of the tomfoolery.

I'm pretty sure many of you are wondering about my dating life. Especially since I've devoted so many pages upon pages on this site to tales of my dating highs and lows. Eh.....yeah that about sums it up. I guess I'll go into detail soon enough but "Eh....." is about right. At least for right now.

I'm finding a rhythm again. I'm making time for writing again. So that's my start....again. Thanks for stopping by and reading. Next blog won't take as long for me to post. If I drag my feet with the next post, you have permission to kick my ass like the old folks. Jooo don't know what I'm capable of. At least not yet. :)