Wednesday, January 30, 2008

In the midst of all of the around the clock TLC I've been bestowing on my mom, I had a date this weekend. Looking back I think my mother manipulated me into leaving the house for something other than a pharmacy run or a grocery store excursion. I received an out of the navy blue, random phone call from a guy I dated back in high school. Yes, this seems to be a recurring theme with me these days but more on that later. I hadn't really spoken to him in over a year. A mutual friend had given him my number way back in the winter of '06. When he called, I told him I was in a relationship. He told me right then and there, "It won't last. He's not the one for you." I chalked it up to male bravado and bruised ego. Like “how dare you be with someone when I want to be with you?” And in true Janelle fashion, I told him exactly where I thought his comments were coming from. Our conversation pretty much ended with his "Call me when it's over". He sporadically called for months after that conversation, even in the midst of all of that foolishness that he predicted. But I never answered the phone. He would leave a message and I might text him back. I guess I was afraid to admit that his prediction was accurate and I thought I may have to owe him 2.99/minute for that psychic reading. After awhile, the sporadic phone calls became even less sporadic. I can't even tell you the last time he called before Friday. We had a brief New Years Eve text exchange. You know "Have a great '08" and all that ish. He asked if I was single again. I told him I was. He responded with " I told you so". I replied "LOL". But that was it. Until Friday.

When his out of state number came up on my caller ID, I hesitated for a minute. But I really didn't have a reason not to speak to him. So in my mind I said Fuck it and answered with a "hey there, stranger". He informed me that he was in town and wanted to see me. I told him what was going on with my mother and tried to weasel out of seeing him. He insisted on bringing my mother some flowers, which I thought was a very sweet gesture. But I still tried to get out of it. My mother, overhearing my protestations, basically told me to get out of the house and that she was fine. He heard my mother through my cell phone (damn Sprint!!) and told me he would be in front of my building in 30 minutes. As I was getting dressed (with my mother telling me to wear my orange Banana Republic u-neck sweater because "it's such a pretty color on you", never mind that it frames "the girls" quite nicely I may add...hahahahaha), my mother kept telling me that I needed a break. Now over the past month, I have heard the same thing from various friends, acquaintances, etc. So to hear it from my mother must mean that I am not hiding my fatigue as well as I thought.

Long story short my date started with grabbing a bite to eat and ended with taking a drive up to Syracuse, New York. Yessss, I drove all the way up to Syracuse and drove allll the way back. I had never been to Syracuse and its one of my favorite places on the planet. See, my mom went to Syracuse University and it was in Syracuse that she met my father. So I like to call Syracuse, New York "the place where the magic happened". However, no "magic" took place on this trip. hahahahahahahaa The drive gave us an opportunity to really talk. We caught up on each other's lives. Yes, I had to hear about 30 minutes of "I told you that shit wasn't going to work". We had an IPOD battle of taking turns to test each other's musical prowess by playing hard to come by songs on each other's IPODs. We had a very heated debate over who broke up with whom all those years ago. Of course, the inevitable happened. Blast (as in "blast from the past"; that's his blog name...hahahahaha) asked me to come and visit him. Of course, my first response was "I can't. My mother...." He cut that short really quickly with "When your mom is back on her feet, come and spend a few days with me. I'll send you a ticket. You need a break". Damn, now he's in on the conspiracy too??? Of course I had an arsenal of excuses as to why I can't accept his plane ticket to see how he lives. Finally, Blast told me to cut the shit and asked me what was I so afraid of?? (Sidebar: why in the world would I want to take a knife or scissors to shit and cut it?? Where in the world did this expression come from???)

I sat there for a moment. And you know what? He’s right. I am afraid. I'm terrified of this. And just as my fear of these emotions start to ease I received an email that started like this:

"Yeah my husband (yep he my husband, LEGALLY)) may get a chance to call you
today, but if he call you then I can call you cause I WILL get your number. "
This was from a woman claiming to be Spalding’s wife. When I read the email, I didn't cry, I didn't scream. I read it like it was an email forward, completely devoid of emotion. It was right then and there, that I realized I am numb. Whether she is his wife or not, I could care less. All I know is that drama attempted to knock at my door yet again when it comes to someone I care about. I say attempted because I coolly responded to take that up with her significant other and leave me out of it. Now she doesn’t scare me despite her juvenile threats (the ONLY woman that could make me shake in my tall black stiletto boots is the one who made the magic happen in Syracuse all those years ago…hahahahaha), but the drama and aggravation just makes me want to close the door on it all, padlock my emotions away forever. And for almost a year, keeping the door to emotions closed has served me well. I’m more rational when it comes to matters of the heart. A guy doesn’t call? “Oh well” A guy leaves a message with some explanation for not calling/canceling plans? “Whatever!” A guy tells me that he just “wants to be friends”? “Coool, dude.”

Conversely, this fear terrifies me. Typically, I’m not that person who holds back. "Let's analyze it and get to the root of the problem" has been replaced by "It is what it is". I’ve become very business like, almost robotic in my dealings with men. And now, I know longer recognize me. Sure, I’m still fun-loving, still laughing, joking, and seemingly having a good time in life. But when it comes to relationships and relationship building, I run for the hills. If I were Superman, this would be my Kryptonite. My heart has been injected with a shot of Novocaine and I don't feel romantic feelings anymore. I no longer want to be that person. I want to exist somewhere in the middle between my former, fall in love at the drop of a dime romantical self and the current rational robot I've become. The middle ground for me would be cautious but not terrified to take a step and open to the possibilities of love. Somewhere in that middle ground is where the magic happens.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In surfing the Internet this evening in an attempt to get back to normal, I came across this particular picture. If you don't recognize the man with his head bowed down, that, my friends, is the President of the United States, George W. Bush. While I don't know who the little girl is, I recognize her look very well. This, my friends, is what we like to call "the side eye". And, if I may add, this is the funniest example of the side eye. EVER. How many of us have watched our "leader" on television, listened to and processed the shit that was coming out of his mouth and instantly gave the TV the side eye?? And this little one was able to do it in person, in living color!!! Raise your hand if you're jealous, right now!!!! hahahahaa

There are many variations to the side eye. Some may smirk their lips to the side for emphasis. Others just cut their eyes to the side. But, the side eye says so much without saying a word. It lends itself to numerous interpretations.
"You want me to do WHAT??!!"
"Negro/Bitch, please"
"Don't even THINK about it."
"I don't believe you; you need more people"
"Yeah, right. Do I look stupid to you??"
"You better back up off me!"
"WHY are you in my face?? And WHAT do you want from me??" (my interpretation of the little girl's version...hahahahahaa)
I think this little one needs to be given a Cabinet position immediately for the remainder of his presidency. Her official title will be the Side Eye Czar. Whenever Bush, Cheney, Condi or anyone else for that matter has any ideas for the direction of this country, it needs to pass her desk. They need to stand before her desk, present their idea, and wait for the "look". If they don't get the "look", they may proceed with their idea. If they get the side eye, Secret Service comes in to berate and humiliate them until they cry out for their mothers. Okay, I know I must be losing it. Maybe its the lack of sleep but I think you get my point.

This girl has inspired me to give people the look of disbelief more often. Its so much more effective than cursing people out. Family, friends, Hustle, dates. No one will be immune to the wrath of my side eye. I am perfecting my variations as we speak (well technically as I write...hahahahahaa)for the off chance I have a moment with Dubya, I will have the perfect tilt of my head, squinted eyes, and smirk for what I will call the Presidential Side Eye, it will be the Grand Dame of side eyes. And I do believe, even he can't be that dense not to understand the diatribe and rant conveyed with a simple look.

Yeah I really need to get some sleep. hahahahahahahaaa

Monday, January 21, 2008

In honor of today being the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King and his legacy, I'm posting this old school video. While it brings a smile to my face because it reminds me of days of Gazelle glasses and begging my mother for a pair of Lotto or LA Gear sneakers (who remembers those??? hahahaha), it makes me sad that you don't see people coming together for a project like this anymore. Did Dr. King's dream die in the 80's to make way for us to "super man that hoe"? Have we put aside our collective dreams to make sure that we're "getting minez"??? Who is keeping the "dream" real - Dr. King or Condi Rice???

Enjoy the video. Smile as you see the various artists before drugs introduced some of them to another dream. See if you can still sing along. Wonder what happened to all that optimism and the belief in a man's dream.

Friday, January 18, 2008

I've had the distinct pleasure of dining in a hospital cafeteria for the past 2 days. Of course not just any hospital. Banner after banner all over the place informed me that it is the 6th best hospital in the country and the top ranked hospital in the state of New York. I wonder if the accolades have anything to do with the fact that I was born at this particular hospital. hahahahahaaa

Here are my "Garden Cafe" observations:
*You can always tell the visitors from the regulars. We are the ones who mill around aimlessly peering over the counters, trying to figure out what's worth eating. We are the ones with looks of fatigue and stress plastered on her faces. Yes, we're indecisive. Yes, we get in the way. And no, nothing looks appetizing. On behalf of the visitors, I apologize for getting in the way of the harried hospital employees who may only have 45 minutes to eat while we the visitors have 4 to 5 hours to wait......and eat.

*Doctors scare the hell out of me. No, not because of needles, and all of their medical jargon. Doctors scare the hell out of me because I have witnessed some of the dumbest shit by the supposed scholastic upper echelon. How do I know these were the doctors and not some other hospital employee? Their ID badges are slightly different from the rest (another hospital observation).I was waiting for the Garden Cafe to open with about 15 other people. We are all standing in the hallway waiting for someone to open the doors. A doctor comes walking down the hallway, past everyone gathered by the entrance. She walks over, yanks the door really hard and almost falls on her ass when the door stays shut. What the hell did she think all of these other people were standing in the hallway for? There is nothing but the entrance to the cafeteria in this particular corridor. Later, I saw a doctor stick his hand inside of a toaster and scream (like a bitch I may add) when the heat from the coils came in contact with his skin. What else did he think would happen? Then there was the doctor who dropped a bottle of soda, picked it up, and immediately opened it. Guess what happened?? You got it. The soda came spewing out of the bottle. And guess who was the only one with a look of shock on his face? You got it. The one wearing the soda. While book smarts is not always a measure of common sense. But the absence of common sense makes book smarts highly questionable.

*Jazz is great. During the lunch hour a jazz band plays in the corner of the cafe. Something about the melodic rat-tat-tat of the instruments harmonizing is very calming. While I am no jazz aficionado (dare I say I am jazz ignorant), I can't rate the caliber of the Lunch Time Band. All I know is the mood in the room changed. It went from noisy and heavy with stress to a soft buzz of conversations. While I sat there with my soup, salad, pen and paper, listening to jazz, I felt like I was an extra in a Spike Lee movie or a character in a Charlie Brown cartoon with the jazz providing the dialogue for my silent thoughts. It was the perfect backdrop to the scene of me writing at a lonely table in the middle of the busy cafeteria. I seriously need to add music to my musical repertoire and my IPOD. Is there a Jazz for Dummies book that I can pick up at Barnes & Nobles? But live jazz at a hospital in the middle of the day? Genius. Dr. Huxtable would be proud.

*Construction workers are utter gentlemen. This top ranked hospital is undergoing some serious renovations, so I've seen quite a few guys with hardhats milling around the cafeteria. Those that know me, know that I used to work in the Construction Management industry, so I've had a fair share of dealings with the men who work in that industry. But during my time in the hospital cafeteria, I've seen the guys carrying food trays for feeble but spunky old ladies, help the female kitchen staff lift heavy hot pots of soup into the soup kettles. When I had my quiet mini-breakdown at the corner table of the cafeteria, the scruffiest man with dirt splattered jeans, and stained hardhat came over and offered a tissue with promises that everything would be okay. When he saw me again the next day, he asked how I was doing. I thanked him for his kind gesture and words as I wandered around aimlessly trying to figure out what the hell I was going to eat. I have a theory about guys in this industry. Working around men all day and being "men's men" by doing heavy labor makes them perfect gentlemen in the presence of women. Of course my theory is flawed by all of those images of construction guys cat calling to women walking down the street. However, that was hardly ever my experience with the construction guys. Maybe I will explore this theory further in a later blog.

* Why is the hospital nutritionist overweight? Is this one of those "do as I say and not as I do" type of things???

*Should a hospital cafeteria serve a cheeseburger wrapped in foil and sitting under a heat lamp? Is it me or is something wrong with this picture? It's almost as bad as when Harlem Hospital opened a McDonald's in the hospital lobby. Doesn't that just scream "heart attack"???

*Sorry if I offend anyone but why do people who work in hospitals look like crap? Maybe its the long hours. Maybe its the energy drain of constantly saving people's lives. But damn can you comb your hair??? Can you not look sooooo....disheveled?? Can you at least look like you've bathed and shaved? Grey's Anatomy, ER, House, Dr. 90210 (especially Dr. 90210) and all those medical shows have us fooled. No one is as coiffed and polished or as neat as the people we see on TV. Either they need to make these TV characters look like crap or hospital employees need some serious "me" time. STAT!

I'm pretty sure I will have more hospital observations over the next week or so as I will be spending a lot of time there tending to my mother. My observations provide an escape from the complexities of what weighs heavily on my mind and in my heart.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just when I thought I had nothing to say about this political circus, Bob Johnson of BET fame goes and puts his 2 cents into the mix. Apparently, he has taken umbrage with Barack Obama's campaign.

"To me, as an African-American, I am frankly insulted the Obama campaign
would imply that we are so stupid that we would think Hillary and Bill Clinton,
who have been deeply and emotionally involved in black issues - when Barack
Obama was doing something in the neighborhood; I won't say what he was doing,
but he said it in his book - when they have been involved."

Is this man serious? Did the political arena just step into the Twilight Zone? Bob Johnson can support any political candidate he wants. That is his choice. Just because he is a Black man that doesn't mean that he can only support the one candidate that he most resembles. I don't expect every white man to back every white male candidate nor do I expect every white woman to throw their support behind Hillary just because of some race/gender allegiance.

Bob Johnson's comment is disturbing at least and laughable at most because of who he is. This is the same man who created the wasteland of TV programming, Black Entertainment Television. Dude, have you seen the crap on your former station? Since he sold the station and is no longer at the helm, I won't even hold him accountable for the recycled MTV programming that now airs on BET (ummmm College Hill = The Real World with Brown Folks; Baldwin Hills = The Hills guessed it Brown Folks). But come on. Where was his outrage when shows like Uncut replaced Teen Summit? Why wasn't he offended when all of the BET News programs were replaced with infomercials or The Parkers?
Bob Johnson made his billions on the strength of the portrayal of drug use, violence, and booty clapping in the music videos of "urban culture". He has been insulting the intelligence of Black people for decades. Does HE think we are that stupid to not realize that he has pigeon holed the portrayal of Black people on TV into a billion dollar industry of minstrel shows? Now he has the audacity to be offended by Barack Obama's use of marijuana when he was younger?! Has he seen the programming or does he just cash the checks?
While re-reading the statement, and watching the footage online, not only does it not make sense grammatically but is just feels extra slimy coming from Mr. Johnson. Yes this is politics and politics tend to get more down and dirty year after year. But his statement feels like a dirty old man complimenting a teenager on how good she looks in her high school uniform. Ain't nothing right about it at all.
The next time Hillary Clinton's campaign wants to use a Black person to speak out against Barack Obama, I hope they stay away from the pot who's been talking about how black the kettle is. Next time can they just choose a different messenger. One that has done more that get paid from the shucking and jiving programming on Channel 42. One that doesn't feel like a dirty old billionaire. One who's done something positive besides making money. I'm just saying.....

Dear Loyal Readers,
I know you've been checking my page so you know that this entry wasn't originally posted on January 14. It's the day I started the entry but because of some things going on in my life I was unable to complete it then. Please continue to check my site. I am thinking of adding a subscription link to the page so you can know instantly when I post something new, regardless of the date. LOL
Thanks for the support!
The Resident Butterfly

Saturday, January 12, 2008

I haven't had much to blog about lately. Life has kind of taken off and there hasn't been much I wanted to blog about. Nothing worth an entire blog. I've sat here, looking blankly at the blank screen, wondering what words were going to pour from my fingertips. After a while, I just gave up, guilted into logging off because of the hundreds of things that I need to focus on right now. Sure I could blog about the election process, and the Broadway production it is turning out to be as it is every time elections roll around. What more can I say about the whole thing that hasn't already been said by every pseudo-politico with a keyboard? All I can say is yes I will be voting in the February 5 primary and yes I will be voting in November as well.

I could blog about this invitation I received in my inbox, and how I can honestly say I contemplated it for all of 2 seconds before I realized (a) I don't have anything appropriate to wear and (b) I'm too chicken to do anything this wacky.

I could blog about my mother's doctor's appointments. But to actually put my feelings into words makes it all real, and that's not something I am quite ready to tackle. So I push it as far back into the corners of my mind as possible. I'm dealing with it the best way I can right now. And blogging about it is not an option. At least not right now.

I could talk about my recent date with Hustle. But what more can I say on the matter? We continue to enjoy each other's company tremendously. And I still refuse to shed a tear. That's our ongoing battle and I'm sticking with my position.

I could write about all of this and some other stuff but its just not in me. Hopefully this will fade and my muse will return. Until then, that's all folks. Sorry.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

December 10, 2006. One year, 26 days ago. The day of my last hit. Just like a junkie, I remember everything about that last high. Propped up on my sofa, inhaling my drug of choice, paralyzed by my drug taking over my senses. I had known for some time it would be my last fix. Well at least for awhile. So I tried to savor it, prolong it as much as I could. I was hooked until the very last possible second. And then it was over. And I have been in withdrawal ever since. Until tonight. The addict in me has been been fed. The Wire is back!

Trying to detox over the past 391 days hasn't been easy. I would see bunches of kids and wonder "Street kids? Corner kids?". In every bunch I saw a Dukie. I've given every campaigning politician the side eye whenever I hear their campaign promises (okay so that's not a direct result of the Wire). I've said SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT so much that I thought my friends were going to start calling me Clay Davis, and now that's the only way we know how to say it. Snoop is no longer just a rapper. I no longer look at abandoned buildings the same.

Sure I've gotten hooked on other shows during the past 9,384 hours. Thanks to Hustle, I'm currently going through withdrawal waiting for new seasons of Weeds and Californication. But they seem like "gateway drugs" to the ultimate high that the Wire provides. There is no other high quite like it.

So I watched the episode tonight with baited breath. I turned my ringer off so I would not have to curse anyone out for disrupting my hit. I had soooo many questions. None of which were answered in this first episode. But I know it will be rationed out piece by piece. A good dealer knows how to keep you coming back for more. After midnight, next week's episode will be available on HBO on Demand. I am fighting the urge to get my fix early. I'm itching to turn the channel, press play, and get a double hit. But if Bubbles can remain clean for one entire episode, even after walking through his old stomping grounds, I can hold off watching next week's episode until Sunday, like the good junkie that I am. But damn do I miss Bubble's Depo already. hahahahahahaha

When the series finale airs on March 10, I will most likely be found wandering the streets like this. And just like her, I don't want to go to rehab. I said no, no, no.

Friday, January 04, 2008

I'm sick. It all started with a tickle in my throat Wednesday evening. Then, just like the body snatcher invaders took over, I woke up Thursday feeling not like myself. My head was too heavy to lift off the pillow. My chest felt as if Fat Albert had parked his fat ass right on my sternum and wasn't getting up. I was sweating out my sheets but not in a good way. So I did want any normal 31 year old woman would do. I called my mother.

In a matter of hours I had homemade chicken noodle soup and was wrapped in my blankie with a refrigerator stocked with an abundance of Vitamin C - orange juice, ruby red grapefruits, and navel oranges. What is it about being sick that forces us to revert back to childhood? The days when your mother called out for you and you spent the days camped on the couch watching cartoons. The days when she would cut the crust off your sandwiches and crush the Tylenol into a spoonful of orange juice.

I guess it pretty goes without saying that I'm a big baby when I'm sick. I cry, I whine, I sleep. I pout, I frown, I sleep. And it should also goes without saying, that I am so over being sick. I want my life back. I want to continue the momentum I was building on New Years to get stuff accomplished. I want to put on real clothes and eat real food. I want to see people not on my television. I want to leave the house. But until all of that can happen, I gotta get back under my blankie.