Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year in Review: The FB Edition

Some of you are my friends on the Book of Face. Some of you aren't. Some of you didn't even know I subscribed to this site. Well I do. A Pirate friend of mine (Hampton U Pirate, not taking over your ship and demanding ransom kind of pirate) had this cool application on his page, which gathers all of your status updates in 2009. I'm not one for the silly applications on the Book of Face (really?? grown ass people with their mafia and farming fantasies?? Didn't we stop that with Old McDonald and Cops & Robbers???). But this one was a collection of my thoughts. How could I not love it??

So as 2009 draws to a close, I thought this would probably be the best way to wrap up my year. Once I downloaded the application, I had over 50 pages of updates. DAMMMMN I had a lot to say in 500 characters or less. And while I'm known for being wordy, even I won't subject you to read every single thought. I'm thinking more of a TOP 3 of each month. Some I will explain. Some need no explanation.

JANUARY (in no particular order)
1. "[Resident Butterfly's government name] wonders why do they send a man to clean the woman's bathroom? And why does he get an attitude when I have to "go"? LOL "
2. "Does anyone else wonder how the Secret Service stays warm with no hat, no gloves, no scarf?? And where can I buy whatever they have?" {Inauguration Day wondering}
3. "just saw a crackhead give another crackhead a pedicure on the train. Nail file and all. No more last car riding for me. " {I swear this is a true story. Gotta love New York. hahahaha}

Honorable Mention:
- is sick of snowboots. I need pretty shoes on my feet. {I said this at the end of January and I'm already saying it in December. Its gonna be a lonnnnnnnnnnng winter}

1. "is celebrating the love I have today and not worry about tomorrow. {must have said this crap around Valentine's Day.....hahahahahah}
2. "wonders if the people in the People You May Know section are waiting to see who will crack first and send the friend request? LOL"
3. "hates Airtran. It's the Greyhound of the Skies." {This should really be their slogan. Wrote this as I was stranded in Atlanta airport en route to Memphis when plane I just got off of was going to Memphis but the chick at the ticket counter didn't bother to tell me the first time I asked about changing my connecting flight. Heffa. Yeah, I'm still mad. LOL}

1. "just had a group of tourists ask for my autograph. I hope whatever I scribbled on the paper matches the signature of whomever they thought I was. *shrug* "{still don't know who the hell I was supposed to be. hahahahahaha}
2. "just saw a dude with a Jheri Curl Shag and laughed right in his face. Lord, please forgive me but You know that was funny!! hahahahaha" {that man looked at me like he could have killed me on the spot but damnit you can't walk out with no Ice Cube circa Boyz in da Hood, "follow the drip", "just let your Souuuuuuul Glo" Jheri Curl in 2009 in MARCH (no where near Halloween) and not expect someone to bust a gut. I'm just sayin'. }
3."feels like #?#! after my torture session. whoever said no pain no gain can kiss my a$$! hahahaha" {need to find a new trainer. Oh wait, not in my budget. Well I'm buying a fitness game for my Wii. I have travel and bikinis on my menu}

Honorable Mention - The Phone Saga
*"She's just like you and me but she's PHONELESS, she's PHONELESS/as she stands there singing for money LA DAH DEE, LA DAY DAH"
*"Industry Rule Number Four thousand and eighty: CELL PHONE COMPANIES ARE SHAAAADY!"
* " They say I'm a penny with a whole in it...yeah yeah yeah."

1. "is a wordwhore. The written word is my passion. I'm claiming it. " {one of my faves.}
2. ""is looking at some of these friend requests and wonders 'Harpo, who dis woman?" {seriously, this bothers me to NO END. You know damn well that you don't know me. Stop trolling your friends pages for their cute friends.}
3. "is enjoying today because tomorrow won't be the same. "

1. "No mas el Cinco de Mayo para mi." {margaritas on a work night. LAWWWWWD have mercy!! hahahaha}
2. "soy de salir del trabajo temprano para emapcar mi suitcase. La fiesta de FREEDOM esta noche; manana, PUERTO RICO" {yes, I was testing my spanglish in preparation for my trip. And yes, I took my suitcase with me to a party and went straight to the airport afterwards. hahahaha}
3. "Pet Peeve # 22: The word is JEWELry not JURY. A jury is comprised of the 12 people who sent your baby fahhhva upstate! And no I'm not stereotyping - somehow jewelry and her baby daddy's stint in prison were in the same conversation. lmao"

1. "Some 'Diva' just tried to sell me a pair of shoes in a bar. Called himself my fairy godmother. Only in NY. LOL"
2. 'is getting hit on by a guy working in Victoria's Secret. Can I buy my panties in peace, please? Is that too much to ask?? lol"
3. "just got a to-go cup for my Mai Tai. I LOVE VEGAS!!! lol" {seriously, anyplace that allows you to walk down the street while sipping on a spirited concoction is alright with me. Hmmm, maybe I can do a world tour of such places and document it. Funding please! hahahaha}

Whew, this is longer that I thought. Rest of the year up tomorrow. Promise. Smoochies.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Judging Covers

Last Thursday, my friend Law & Order invited me to a holiday party/toy drive. Due to the corporate divorce and subsequent corporate jumpoff status, I haven't been in much of a mood for partying lately, which if you know me, that is totally against who I am. LOL However, it was a toy drive, and you know the Resident Butterfly loves the kids, so I sucked it up (that's what she said), bought a motorized hot wheel sports car (to inflate some poor manchild's ego about the celebritous status he'll surely have if he gets the real thing when he's older) and made my way to the party.

Within five minutes, I was ready to go. Okay, maybe 15 minutes. But still

I walked in and was greeted by a nice looking brother in a suit. You already know a man in a well fitting suit is my Kryptonite so I thought maybe, just maybe, this lil holiday shindig will be the distraction I needed.


Don't get me wrong. It was a nice looking crowd and people were having a good time. But if these weren't the stuffiest nee-groes. You know the type: all about your pedigree and what firm you work for; the ones who use summer as a verb. Every dude who spoke to me (all of 3) asked what firm I was with. I didn't know this was an attorney exclusive party. When I informed them, that I was invited by a friend and indeed was not an attorney, they were deflated. As if they were already planning how great a power couple we could be in 3.5 years with 2.5 kids. While on the outside, mingling with beautiful upwardly mobile people would appear enticing. But these stuffy mo-fos were drier than my aunt's turkey on Thanksgiving.

This was the kind of party where all people wanted to do was pass their business cards. It was like speed-networking:

"Hi. What do you do?"
"Oh really. Here's my card."

I gave myself a 9 pm exit time before I got there because I really needed to finish a project I was working on for the holidays. I started looking at my watch at 8:15. Where's the bar?

The nine o'clock hour struck on my watch (which meant it was really 8:50 but who's counting) and it was time to go. I kissed my friends goodbye and sailed out the door, not before 2 dudes handed me there business cards as I made my exit, no conversation, no name, just business cards. I threw those damn cards out the minute I walked outside. If I ever need legal representation, I have Law & Order as my friend. And if she can't help me, well damnit she mingles in this crowd, she'll find me somebody.

After leaving the Stuffed Shirt Soiree, ,I need some caffeine. Well, it was either a shot of Patron or Starbucks. Luckily, there was a Starbucks on the next corner.

I walked into Starbucks and there was a gentleman in front of me at the counter. Mink jacket, jeans, tims - the flashy hood winter uniform. Not giving him a second glance, I decided to focus on the menu instead. (As if I didn't know what I want. You all know I'm a Starbucks fiend. hahahahaa). After his order, he turned around, looked in my direction and said "Wow. Hello." It was as if I caught him off guard. It wasn't aggressive, just a simple "hello". Not wanting to be rude I responded in kind (without the wow part) with a smile. I proceeded to order my grande skinny cinammon dolce latte with an extra espresso shot (it was gonna be a long night) without giving any thought to Mr. Mink. My mind was alll over running to the ATM machine to take out some cash so I could take a taxi home out of this cold weather. By the time my drink was ready my mind was already 75% down my long to-do list for the rest of the evening.

I reach out to push the door open, and its already opened for me. I look up and there is Mr. Mink standing there holding the door open for me. While I smiled and said "thank you", my mind was thinking "Oh great, let the ghetto games begin."


He held the door open for me and complimented me. When he let go of the door, he extended his hand and said "Hi, my name is [Mr. Mink's full government]. And yours?" I was so caught off guard by his finesse I stumbled over the 4 syllables in my own name as I shook his hand. We chatted for all of a minute before he asked for my number. I still wasn't completely sold but I gave him my number anyway. We parted ways before I dashed into the bank before hailing a taxi. The entire ride home, I asked myself "why the hell did you give that guy your number?" I couldn't come up with an answer.

Yesterday, while I was watching the Jets game, he called to ask me to dinner. And since I couldn't think of any reason why to decline, I agreed. We met up at Starbucks, the same one where we met. We sat and had a conversation while I drank my skinny cinnamon dolce late (we were both late by the way, so that cancels it out right? hahahaha). This was my way of feeling him out so to speak. If I rolled my eyes once during this 10 minute convo, DATE OVER!! I had already planned my escape strategy - "Girrrrl, call me in 15 min. If I answer, make it sound urgent." (Don't judge me. You do it too!! hahahahaaa)

I have to admit, I was quite impressed with the gentleman sitting across from me. Over the course of the evening, conversation traveled through ports of religion, politics, stalkers (can't have a first date these days without that convo...hahahahaha), aspirations, travel, family (and he still wanted to talk to me...hahahaa) the lists goes on. By the time he dropped me off at home (a few doors down from my building...I ain't crazy), I felt like I'm been around the world of conversation with him.

He is not at all what I initially pegged him to be. He's smart, funny, slighty sarcastic, sweet (so far) and attentive (so far...hahahahaha). And once I looked past the mink jacket and what can be construed as trappings of hood, he's actually kinda cute. Sure his outerwear didn't appeal to me. But look at those ass clowns I encountered earlier in the evening. Sure they looked damn fine in those beautiful suits. (SIDEBAR: Seriously, a man in a NICELY FITTING SUIT*??!!!!! GOOD LAWWWWWWWWD TAKE THE WHEEL AND HAVE MERCY ON ME!! ******fanning myself with the MLK church fan******* Yes, it is that serious for me. ahahahahaa). However, they turned me off worse than a guy with jeans sagging past his ass yelling down the street"YO MA! LEMME HOLLA ATCHU FOR A MINUTE!"

So yes, I'll admit I was just as shallow as those lawyers and I judged a book by its cover. But luckily, I took the chance to read inside the jacket cover.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Corporate jumpoff

I've been gone for a minute but I'm back with the jumpoff......

Good grief, Charlie Brown, I just quoted Lil, Lil Kim's ghostwriter!!!! What is the world coming to?? LOL

I once dated a guy who decided that even though the relationship was over, we should continue to engage in the fringe benefits of being in a relationship without the un-fringe benefits, title, etc. aka demoting me from girlfriend to jumpoff. Needless to say, I flat out refused. Sorry Sade, I know of at least one occasion where love ain't stronger than pride and this was it. Even in my weakest moments, my pride laid the smackdown on any thoughts of agreeing to these terms.

Years later, I find myself in a similar situation.

Today, I'm at work. Yes, I'm sitting at the plantation. When I last posted, my last day was actually supposed to be last Wednesday, and just as I was settling into the idea of waking up on Thanksgiving without a job to be thankful for, the powers that be decided they needed me through the end of this week. I agreed since a)while it may not be a full paycheck, its a paycheck none the less and b) I really hate to leave things undone. Sure it would be easy to leave them in a lurch with the project unfinished like you should have thought of that shit before you told me to WALK! (Love Jones reference for you slow ones..hahahaha) but I'm here being the good karma worker bee.

To further complicate our relationship, I was offered jumpoff status with a part-time consulting gig with my current company. I would work three days a week for my company working on the various crap that I handle now 5 days a week until either I find a new job or they are done with me, whichever comes first. Ahhh, but there's a jumpoff clause - no benefits (health, dental, etc) and no taxes out of my check, meaning it may feel good now but I'll have to pay later. So while I wouldn't get paid as much as I bring home after taxes, I would still get some pleasure out of my corporate orgasm, "my paycheck". In the back of my mind, my pride is screaming HAYELL NO, DON'T LET THEM MAKE YOU A JUMPOFF. THEY WILL NEVER RESPECT YOU. However, my wallet is ready to celebrity death match my pride, and love all over my corporate orgasm. Momma has bills to pay, money to save and shoes to buy.

Decisions. Decisions.

It should be a no brainer. Take the money while in search of a better situation. Let this be my rebound relationship, until something better comes along. But like a relationship turned sour, there is no trust here. Between payroll issues, the vague terms of my consulting agreement, and most importantly, the utter lack of respect for me displayed in my corporate breakup, I don't trust these fools. And as we all know, once trust is gone, the relationship is O-V-A and you're singing along with Beyonce and Mary J. on your "Fuck 'em, Girl" playlist.

While I'm appreciative of the effort it took to even get this offer, I hesitate to trust yet again in my life. And I know its my pride. Many times my pride rules my life like a dictatorship, instead of a democracy with my other emotions having an equal vote. I'm pretty sure I've admitted on here that I view vulnerability as a sign of weakness, and depending on this place for my livelihood now after all that has happened has me feeling pretty damn vulnerable.

Maybe there is some truth to what Sade sang. Love of me and all that I need to accomplish in the very near future has to be stronger than pride. I can't go on if I don't believe that.

You know I had to post this. I absolutely love the heartbreaking simplicity of this song. I think I envy the vulnerability and the courage it takes to say something so simplistic, yet so emotional. Hmmmm, that just came to me. Just now. Something to think about. Or not.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Road Trip

The weather was gorgeous on Sunday. So unseasonably warm, I saw fools in shorts.
As I waited in a seating area in an outdoor parking lot for my bus, I turned my attention to the baby blue sky and prayed. Actually, I sat there having a conversation with God. No need to rehash all that was on my mind, but I asked him for a sign. A sign that the plan in my mind was indeed the path I needed to take. A sign that I was in fact ready to move to where I was at the moment. I continued my conversation in peaceful silence until the bus attendant reminded everyone to pull out their ticket confirmation to make boarding easier. I looked down at my confirmation and realized, in horror, I booked my return ticket to NY for Saturday night instead Sunday. Holy crap, what if this guy doesn't let me on the bus to NY because of my silly mistake?God apparently has a sense of humor when he's doling out signs. hahahahahaa All I could do was laugh.

I went to DC this weekend. This mini getaway was planned weeks ago, before my sudden and imminent corporate divorce. I thought about canceling the trip altogether. But I'd gotten such a great rate on my hotel that it was non-refundable, non-transferable, basically "take it or leave it". I'd also purchased my bus ticket exactly 10 minutes before the proverbial shit hit the proverbial fan. Since I am definitely not in a position now to squander money, I packed my bags and left it all behind.

First order of business - check into hotel. 3hours ahead of schedule. I figured I'd get turned down and the best they would do is hold my bag until the designated check in time. Well, I figured wrong. I walked up to the counter and plainly stated, "Good morning! I'm [Resident Butterfly's government name] and I'm checking in today." Smile. And it worked! "Sure Ms. Resident Butterfly. You've already paid for the room. Here's your room key. Let me call a bellman to escort you to your room. Enjoy your stay!" Minutes later, I was in my king size bed suite, standing in awe. My suite was sweet! Not as sweet as the suite in Vegas but this was niiiiiice. And I immediately thought of all the naughty things I should be doing in that room. But I digress. I had business to take care of. Pleasure would have to wait.

I went to Howard to take my mentee to lunch. I hate calling her my mentee as if I have all the answers in the world, but she's only 18, too young to be my friend. We graduated from the same elitist high school (obviously not at the same time...hahahaha). She wanted to speak with someone who'd left the marbled hallways of our school to attend a historically black college. The Alumae Director put her in touch with me and ever since I've taken on this advisor role. While Howard is NOTHING like my illustrious Home by the Sea, I felt quite nostalgic being on campus. There is something about an HBCU, a feelings of pride and memories all rolled into one, even though this wasn't my alma mater. As we strolled on campus and headed off campus to go to lunch, I wanted to know everything - roommates, classes, parties, boys, THE WORKS. And in those 3 plus hours she filled me in on everything. I could already see that glint of school love in her eye. And as much as I love her, I will now rip her school every chance I get. That's what we do. hahahahhaaa

I later met up with my guy guru, Rashad, to coordinate the rest of the evening's plans. I met him at a restaurant/bar where he was hanging out with 2 of his friends. Okay, soooooo I promised (kinda) I wouldn't say anything bad about one of his friends anymore (kinda) so all I'm going to say is that they were both attractive men but one was an assclown while the other was a gentleman. Wait let me rephrase that. One of them BEHAVED like an assclown while the other was a gentleman. And no I won't elaborate. (Sorry, Rashad, I couldn't help it. hahahahahhaa). Oh and for the record, this wasn't some "lemme meet your friends so I can hook up with one of them". Nah, buddy. This was all about getting the evening's agenda confirmed. So also for the record, there was no need for the assclown behavior in the first place. But I digress.

Despite this minor speed bump, the rest of the weekend was beautiful. I have to thank Rashad and his lady for really showing me a good time. I got my sports fix in by going to the Wizards-Pistons game, then watched the Pacquiao - Cotto fight at a local bar. By the end of the night I was nice and tipsy, and still able to navigate my way safely back to my hotel (aka coherent enough to tell the taxi driver the address to my hotel and hold a decent conversation with said taxi driver....hahahahaa). On Sunday, after brunch, I had some alone time, to get a feel for the city. The weather was so perfect for me to just walk, and observe. Getting a feel for the city is so much easier when the weather allows you to stroll. Finally, it was time to head back to the hotel to pick up my bag and wait for my chariot back to New York.

I left New York slightly frayed. I returned with a plan. Thanks to God and his sense of humor.

For the record, the bus attendant was too busy complimenting me to notice my ticket did not have the correct date on it. To paraphrase the old American Express commercials, as far as being a woman, "membership has its privileges". hahahahhaa

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Separation Anxiety

"So ummm let's say next Friday is your last day?"

"Next Friday as in a week from 2 days from now??"

"Too soon? Okay, how about the day before Thanksgiving? That will make it 2 weeks notice. Okay? Okay. I'm off to catch my train."

And this ladies and gents, is how I found out yesterday afternoon that officially on the day when people gather to give thanks, I can cross "I'm thankful for having a job" off of my thankful list.

The saga with my job has felt like a soap opera at times. I was told months ago of this possibility to then be told "DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT" (a la Shaq in the ESPN commercial...hahahaha). The saga continued with our office management company deciding not to renew our corporate lease on our office space. The lease is up in March. Around the same time, my company issued a press release that the corporate headquarters would be moving south of the Mason Dixon line (funny, I found out about the move only when I was inundated with calls from moving companies and hotels in that area seeking to pack my shit and give me and my employees a place to stay when we transitioned to the area. Since no one was here that day, I used trusty google news search to find the press release. And voila! there it was. Don't you just love how no one bothered to tell me?? But that's another story for....who am I fooling...after today I never want to tell this story again but I digress.) With the lease ending in March and the Corporate Move to Dixieland coupled with my Shaq-like assurance, I was under the impression that my job was safe until the end of March. I began looking but not aggressively thinking I had time.

Boy was I wrong.

I can't even lie. I bawled. Right at my desk. Not in front of Mr. Gotta Catch an Amtrak Train And Have No Time to Sit and Talk to You like a Human Being I Respect. Oh no, I waited until I heard the front door whoosh back into place before I breathed and let the tears flow. It felt like a bad breakup. Like my significant other just fessed up to loving another while all the time telling me he loved me. No regard for me and my well being. No offer of a door prize (severance package) just "We used you until we're done with you. NEXT!".

But as I sat there, creating water puddles on the report I no longer gave 2 shits about, I realized two things. One, I was pissed at the nature it was handled. How do you barely walk into someone's office, stand in the door way, and deliver some shit like that??? And not even have the decency to at least fake some sorrow about pulling the rug and the floor out from under them?? And secondly, I wasn't crying over the end of this relationship (the job). I was bawling over the sudden loss of the orgasm (my paycheck). As in most caustic relationships, towards the end, all you care about is the orgasm until it no longer sustains you, and then you leave in search of something new, something better. But you always want it to be on your terms. You know. Get them before they get you. Well I got got.

Then, the pissivity led to anger. How could you do this to me right before the holidays??? Seriously. Thanksgiving is stressful enough with my family as is. But now you've added no job stress to my ever present dealing with family stress. Are you trying to make me slit my wrist instead of carving a turkey (real talk: ya'll know that won't happen right?!! I have a low threshold for pain and I need my wrists in tact to support the heavy purses I carry...hahahaha) While you're all festive and spreading your holiday cheer, you've officially turned me into Scrooge. Bah-humbug motherfucker. You'll be fa-la-la-la-ing around the Christmas Tree. I'll be fucked with no tree in sight. I have officially cancelled the holidays thanks to this lack of regard for my well being. I'll go to church but all the festive fun I love about the holidays - the decorating, the gift buying and wrapping, the carols, the spiked eggnog - CANCELLED. Wait, who am I kidding?? I won't cancel eggnog. hahahahaaa

As you can see by the publish date and the actual date posted (tuesday, nov. 17), I needed a moment to wrap my brain around this. I've been numb ever since (well except for this weekend..details to come). To put it in words seemed to break my spirit all over again. I can't say that I'm all better now but I can say I haven't cried today. Isn't that progress???

I know I'll be okay. I have faith that I will land exactly where I need to be (details to come on that too). Knowing these things doesn't heal the wounds of this professional breakup but it's beginning to take some of the sting away.

One final note. Guess who was the most pissed in my office (after me of course)??? Pinky. Yes, Pinky cursed everyone to holy hell for the way the situation was handled. Even behind closed doors, I could hear every 4 letter word he spewed after he found me in tears. In the midst of my tears, I couldn't help but to smile and chuckle. The man who I make fun of the most is my champion defender in all his pinktastic glory - pink reading glasses and all.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

364 Days

One year ago today, at around 8 in the morning I voted. At that time in the morning I happen to be number 117 on voting machine number 2 at my polling precinct.

Yesterday around 6:30 in the evening, I voted. Once again on voting machine number 2 at my polling station. This time I was number 168.

Now if the polls open at 6 am and I was number 117 approximately 2 hours later last year, shouldn't I have been a higher number last night when I went to vote after work?

One year ago today, I had a childlike giddiness in anticipation of marking a little x by my candidate's name. A first for me.

This year, I faced voting with dread and uncertainty. A first for me.

For my non- New Yorkers let me explain. Yesterday was a mayoral election and it was down to 2 candidates. The incumbent who after balking at overturning term limits voted for by the people, switches gears and campaigns to overturn them so he could have one more term (at least) but generally liked more than the dude he replaced (SIDEBAR: I think Satan is liked more than the dude he replaced...hahahaha). And then there's his challenger, the former head of the bored of miseducation but generally all around quiet nice guy. On principle, I didn't want to vote for the incumbent. As a democracy, I believe we can't have politicians changing laws all willy nilly to suit their own needs. (Sorry, Willy and Nilly for once again getting the bad rap). And quite frankly, the challenger didn't inspire me. Not to mention, he would (once again) have control of the school system here, and I'm not sure what the hell he did the last time he ran it but I'm not too trusting him to do better.

One year ago today, I stared up at the names on the ballot with pride and awe inspired glee seeping through my pores.

This year, I stared up at the names on the ballot and wondered WHAT THE FUCK??!!! as I unconsciously shook my head (think: "this is some BULL").

Begrudgingly, I voted. Flipped the tiny x next to a candidate's name. While I may not like either candidate, I had to vote. People forget that it wasn't that long ago no matter how light I am, I wasn't allowed to vote in this country. We also get so caught up in the daily routines of our lives that we forget that this one single action effects the daily routine we are so caught up in in the first place. I often wonder why people find reasons not to vote instead of looking around their neighborhoods to find reasons to vote.

So while there was no rock star excitement, no hope, no change I can believe in this time around, I voted. But for the first time in my history of voting, I felt like my vote didn't matter. Maybe next time, someone's name will inspire me, will make me believe in the process again. Like it did one year ago today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Technicolor Scent

His scent lingers on my skin. And while the sheets are cooling from his recent departure, it’s his scent that comforts me like a hot toddy on a cold night in his absence.

I bury my nose into my skin. Each note of his scent is a snapshot, a reminder of each touch, each kiss. Each snapshot is vividly 3D. His fragrance is like no other. I wish I could submerse my self in it completely if only to relive these moments again and again and again.

Funny thing about scents though. Like feelings, they fade. What were once vibrantly Technicolor snapshots has faded into shabby black & whites. Maybe I inhaled too deeply, thus diminishing the potency at a greater than average rate. Or maybe the scent was never as strong as my nose led me to believe. Either way, my skin is no longer intoxicated with his scent. My nose now wants to reject my normal familiarity and search more for remnants of him. Unfortunately, he is long gone and like New Edition I wonder if this is in fact the end.

But damn do ALLLL good things have to come to an end??

Maybe its time to leave the Technicolor alone and dream/smell/taste/love//live in sepia tones instead. Sepia appears safer.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Flashback Friday on a Monday: The Altercation, Hampton Edition

Freshwoman year. Fall Semester. The Union.

I fought a dude. With the exception of being accused of stealing a classmate’s bubblegum in the 3rd grade, I’d never had a physical altercation with a guy (for the record, I didn’t steal his bubblegum. I didn’t know that the classmate who offered the gum stole it from lil dude. He kicked me. I kicked him back. End of story..hahahaha). But there I was being dragged across the floor of the Multipurpose Room (home of the famous Union Jam) in my cream colored Calvin Klein jeans by other students trying to break up the fight.

I guess I need to back up and start from the beginning.

Lets call him LI. LI was from Long Island (hence, the lack of creativity for his blog name). Whenever, I’d encountered LI solo on campus, he was cool, polite, chill. However, whenever I would encounter him in a group setting, he always had something slick to say about me as if I were the Pam to his Martin. Initially, since he was from Long Island (thus, no kind of real swagger as the kids say these days), I ignored him. Until finally one day, I couldn’t take it anymore and told him, “You’re a herb from Long Island. We ain’t friends. Don’t talk to me or about me because you no longer exist in my world.” After his banishment from the real world (aka my world), he would attempt to speak to me on campus and I would look through him like the wind. Eventually he got the hint. Until one night at the Union.

After an organization’s meeting I waited for some a few of my dorm-mates to walk back to our dorm together. I could have gone it alone but it was dark, it was late (for VA so that means sometime around, and I was not trying to be a statistic. As they chatted up LI, I stood a few feet away, entertaining myself by reading page for page of the Hampton Script (SIDEBAR: that should have been an indication that I love this writing ish…I couldn’t wait to read the school paper. Lol). Somehow my name came up in the conversation (wasn’t paying attention), and guess who was yucking it up at my expense? Yeah, LI. Initially, I ignored him and kept reading the school paper. But I guess my lack of enthused attention to his shenanigans was ammunition for him to GO IN. When I finished reading the paper, I calmly folded it and walked over to him with the “didn’t I tell you to keep my name out of your mouth?!” Looking back maybe I should have continued to take the high road and ignored his corny ass. But I was tired of his antics. So my question laced with all kinds of attitude started an argument. The last thing I remember saying was something like “Corny motherfuckas from Long Island always sucking New York City d*ck! Now get off of mine!” (not the most lady like thing to say I know...oh and for the record, I don’t have a male appendage) The next thing I know he grabbed me by my shirt and pushed me into a wall. I was stunned. However, I refused to let any sense of fear show. I’m screaming “Let go of me!” and he’s saying God knows what with one finger in my face while I’m hemmed up against the wall.

A big football player dude came to my rescue and pulled him off of me. Standing between us and holding me back, he tells LI “Man, come on. You don’t do that to no female” to which LI replied, “F*ck that. She ain’t no female. She a bitch!” And spit in my face. You read that correctly. His saliva mixed with a peppermint was sliding down the side of my face. At that moment, I blacked out.

The next thing I remember was being dragged across the floor with pieces of his yellow fleece jacket clenched in my fist and thinking my cream calvins will never be clean again. From what I was told later, I pushed the football dude out of the way and lunged at LI, causing us both to fall to the floor. I proceeded to choke, scratch, punch, kick, choke dude. At that point in my life, I’d never been so enraged. All I remember is the feeling - the rage at being disrespted in such a disgusting manner. And it really is like everything was saturated in the color red.

I’m assuming as quickly as the fight started, it was broken up. Hampton has a zero tolerance for foolishness policy and if caught by university police, I would have definitely been kicked out of school THAT NIGHT (Out by 5 or you’re arrested for trespassing) – no questions asked. When that realization hit me, I cried and cried and cried. Granted, I probably would have been granted a hearing and upon hearing what he did I may have been allowed back into school. But who knows how long that would have taken. In that moment, I could have lost everything. And the most ironical (*yes ironical) thing is, like MJ said, I’m a lover not a fighter. I can count on one hand how many fights I've ever had in my life. And yes the bubblegum incident is one of them.

For the remainder of my time at Hampton, anytime I saw him on campus I would seethe on the inside but was reminded of 2 things: 1) Fighting him (again) now would most definitely sign my expulsion papers and 2) I was comforted by the creative way I got him back. And no I can’t share. But violence was not involved. I swear.

October 24, 2009. Homecoming. Armstrong Stadium.

I arrived to the game later than I wanted to. I approached the ticket booth (Sidebar: $25 for a general admission ticket to an HBCU football game. Damn, I used to pay $2. Talk about a markup…hahahaha). A guy walks up to me; arms open with a “Heyyyyyy!!!! Long time no see.” I looked over to see LI walking right up to me. In my mind, I know he must have me confused with someone else. Before I could react, he had me in a Hampton hug (errybody hugs errybody at Hampton), with a “Janelle, it’s soooo good to see you!!” Huh?? What?? My friend I was with had no knowledge of this history I had with this guy in front of me so she also greeted him with a Hampton hug. He then in turned introduced me to his wife and family. I’m rendered damn near speechless as he tries to make small talk. Just as I was about to walk away, he asks “Did you already get your tickets to the game?” I respond “Ummm, no.” like damn does he want to sit with us too?? Actually, he had extra tickets and offered them to us for farrrrrrrr lesss than the $25 my beloved Home By the Sea wanted to charge me. So far less, it almost felt like old times reaching into my wallet to pay for the tickets.

As I walked away, a few things ran through my mind.
1. Being pleasant, even if I have to fake it, works in my favor. I could have easily cursed this fool out and walked off to pay full price for my ticket. But instead I had extra wiggle room in my budget to buy cute tees at the game and afterward.
2. I wonder if he remembers our altercation in the Union or chooses not to remember it. I mean its not like he can introduce me to his wife like “Hey honey, this is Janelle. I spit in her face freshman year.”
3. Maybe its time to let this go. Yeah, he did one of the most vile things a person can do to another human being but I have to forgive him at some point, right???!! Isn't that what my faith has taught me??
4. He is not aging well. (hey, I may be a Christian but I am not Jesus Christ – no turning the other cheek over here today) The man looked like he has been living a harrrrrrd life. No judgements, I’m just sayin….

Hampton’s motto is “Education for life”. That creed finally clicked all these years later. And I still have some learning to do in this life.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Commercial Break.

Blogger did it to me again. Erased a blog. So pissed.

Be back. shortly.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

The Return of Real Talk (Maybe)

I know I haven’t done one of these in a while but the mood hit me. For those that may not remember or haven't been reading that long, the real talkisms are mini rants -straight no chaser. Enjoy.

Real Talk……I don’t care if you raped the girl in 1970-something or yesterday, if you plead guilty, you should do the time. And all of those people who are saying you shouldn’t go to prison because of the wonderful genious you are must be drinking the Kool-Aid too. There are plenty of people who were good at their careers sitting in a prison cell. Join ‘em.

Real Talk….What the fuck happened to Summer???!! Seriously, this was one of the fakest summers on record. I still have sundresses with tags on them!!!! And to top it all off, its chilly. Like winter is tomorrow chilly. WHYYYYY Mother Nature whyyyyyyyy?????!! I just need Mother Nature and Father Time to work out their differences so I can wear my cute clothes.

Real Talk….This is for my melanin challenged compadres of the human species; DON’T TOUCH MY FUCKING HAIR. EVER. Well unless I’ve given you permission which is not going to happen. I am not a dog to pet. I am not a touchy feel exhibit in a museum. Touching me will make me slap you. And then you’ll try to have me charged with a hate crime. And in turn I will be forced to call Big Perm, ahem Mr. Sharpton, to march on my behalf. I know he will understand.

Real Talk……Speaking of Mr. Sharpton, ummmmm he and Lisa Raye are a couple??? Diamond and Big Perm???? This just sounds like a bad blaxplotation movie coming to theaters near you.

Real Talk…….All these people who believe that there isn’t a problem with guns in this country need to live in the hood and see innocent kids killed. Guns need to be regulated. PERIOD. Not everyone is mentally fit to carry a gun, and filling out a piece of paper doesn’t make you mentally fit. Any idiot can write their name and vital information. And for the record, I hate that saying “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” I have never seen on the news a story about someone loading a person to kill another person.

Real Talk………Enough about the Gosselins. Sure I used to watch the show. But damn, I want Jon and Kate to shut the hell up and sit down. They both need a time out.

Real Talk…..When you’re sick, why do people feel the need to tell you that you either look or sound like shit?!! Do they think that’s helping the sitchiation??

Real Talk.....If your kid is 1/3 of your age or less but twice your size in girth, you might want to keep walking past Popeyes, McDonald's, Burger King, etc., etc. Matter of fact, how about you walk your child to a playground.

Real Talk.... Chik Fil A sammiches last for a week in the fridge. I wonder how they hold up in the freezer. You know, just in case somebody wants to send me some. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Lessons from a Messenger

Today is my father’s birthday. And I came to Tennessee to celebrate with him.

This year, it hit me that in my entire life on Earth I’ve never spent a birthday with my dad – his or mine. And when that realization went from passing random fact to a constant note in my brain, the fact alone annoyed me. As you may recall I was thissss close to spending my birthday this year in Tennessee due to a blizzard that blanketed all of Memphis and its surrounding areas. I remember how happy my dad was at the fact that there was a slight possibility that he would be with me on my life anniversary. And when the lady at the ticket counter worked some miracle to get me on a non-stop flight (first class no less), I saw the flicker of light diminish a little in his eyes. While I was happy to get the hell out (3 cancelled flights in 2 days makes you almost want to strap your ass to the wings of the plane and ride it out), his expression was something that haunted me whenever I thought about it.

So knowing that his birthday was coming up, I decided to board yet another plane this year, and spend some time with my dad to celebrate his life anniversary with him. The timing was perfect. My headaches hadn’t come back (thank goodness). But doctor’s (and friends’) order were that I needed to relax. And spending some time in the South is the slower pace that my body was telling me I needed.

My dad and I lovvvvvvvvve to talk. I can’t count how many times one of us has had the batteries die on our respective phones due to one of our marathon gabfests. I think he’s trying to make up for all of those years where we were so distant. It’s something I marvel at. To hear us on the phone, you would never think I went years without uttering one word to him.
So when he picked me up from the airport, it’s no surprise we easily fell into our rhythm of conversation. Somehow, we brushed on the topic of my dating life – something he NAYVER likes to talk about. He never wants to know who I’m dating, what’s his name, nothing, unless it’s someone who is serious enough about me to get on a plane to Tennessee and have a chat with ‘dear ol’ dad”. So far, no brave takers. But during this particular conversation, my dad said something to me that made me pause.

“Janelle, there is no man, NOT ONE MAN, walking God’s green Earth, who I will ever think is good enough for you. NOT ONE.”

Once the words filled the space of his Mustang (a Shelby to be exact), I silently inhaled these words. Breathed them in and let them nourish me, taking hold within. It wasn’t so much the message. It was the messenger. Don’t get me wrong, I know my dad loves me – he tells me every time we speak. But our relationship has been filled with peaks and valleys. And truth be told, he has never ever said something as powerful to me as the statement above.

This is the day I realized how important fathers are. It's not about my father putting me up on some ridiculously unrealistic pedestal. This is about the standard by which he holds my heart, a higher standard than I have held it at times.

I couldn't help but wonder: How many of the losers I've dated in the past would have gotten past "Hello" if I'd heard this sooner in life??

Happy Birthday to my Mustang loving, joke cracking, Mork & Mindy quoting,horn playing, country twang talking Dad!! You've created my life and have changed my life.

*I started this blog on my dad's birthday and wanted to post it on his day. Sorry for the delay. Back to blogging full speed ahead next week. Smoochies :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Harpo, Who dis woman??

That's the question I posed to myself the other day. (Sidebar: if you have no idea what movie this is from, FIX IT!!! hahahahah).

On Sunday, I went to my first NFL game. A friend of mine who recently has been feeding her adventurous spirit as well, sent me an email asking if I were interested in going to a football game. Like me, she'd never been and decided now was as good of a time to go. My only caveat was that we attend sooner rather than later because I'm not sitting outside in the winter for NOBODY. Have YOU seen butterflies chilling outside in winter??? Yeah, no.

In full disclosure, I must admit, I've never been much of a football fan. Don't get me wrong, I like the game but with all the rules and somehow making five seconds stretch out to five minutes (with commercial breaks of course), it could never hold my attention for long. Sure, I've always been that girlfriend who would watch with her man if he wanted me to but it wouldn't be long before watching the game on TV would bring out the inner ADD in me and I'm off baking, reading a book, taking a nap, ANYTHING to not just sit there. Sure I'd come back and watch a couple of minutes, long enough for the ADD to kick in once again. Such a comical sight.

But once I knew we had the tickets, I was like a kid who just finished writing their letter to Santa - not sure what they were going to get, but knew something good was on the way. Then I told my Guy Guru and Baskin Robbins that I would be at the Jets vs. Patriots game, and they both were hyped. In fact, every male I told that I was going to the Jets-Patriots game gave me the same reaction - awe. "Oh man, you're going to that game? Damn, that's a hot ticket!" (well, maybe not those exact words but that was the general consensus) And they weren't even Jets or Patriots fans. Something about a longstanding rivalry. Yeah, New York/Boston blah blah blah. I get it. The fact that they were so hyped about me going to this game got me hyped, like that same kid who wrote her Christmas letter a month ago and its now December 23 - good things are right around the corner.

In prepping for the game, I had no idea what to wear to the game. What does one wear to a football game I asked. "Sneakers (or tennis shoes for all those that wear sneakers and don't play tennis but call them tennis shoes anyway...hahahahah)" was the overwhelming crowd favorite. Now here's the problem - I don't do sneakers. I own a pair that I wear at the gym and a pair I bought earlier this year when I was stranded in Memphis is a snow blizzard with pumps and ballet flats. I knew I would only be comfortable in heels. So I decided on these shoes.

Hot right? And yes the heel is about 4 inches on them. While these sexy steppers are comfy (they really are), a pair of flips were on standby in my purse in their "Break out in case of emergencies" shoe bag.

So how was the game?? To sum it up the game was BANANAS. The fans, the actual game, everything. We had so much fun. J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS JETS. And then for the Jets to break the their losing streak against the Patriots for lil ol' me???!! PRICELESS. Oh my goodness, I love FOOTBALL. When the 4th quarter was over and all the players ran on to the field, I was sad it was over. I wanted more. SO much so, I came home and watched the Giants-Cowboys game. Granted, I did change the channel a few times. However, it seems live football games have quieted my football ADD and I clocked more football minutes in front of the TV than I ever had.

Tuesday night, Hustle and I went to a Mets game. Neither of us are baseball fans but the choral group from my high school sang the National Anthem and the school had discounted tickets for alumnae. When the email, came around, I thought "Why not?!" Also, more than anything I wanted to see the inside of this new stadium, Citifield. Everyone has been raving about it since the beginning of the season. I asked Hustle if he wanted to go, and he too said "Why not?!"

Citifield is beautiful. We entered through the main gate into the Jackie Robinson Rotunda and we instantly had that head tilted upward tourist stance that I normally despise. We even joked about feeling like tourists. We took the long way to our seats to bask in our touristy awe. By the time we arrived to our designated area, we were impressed.

Unfortunately, the Mets were not as engaging as the Jets. In fact, the game was a snooze fest. It didn't hold our attention. We had absolutely no interest in what was going on on the perfectly manicured field below us. Conversation flowed just as easily as the beer (none for me of course. Can a butterfly get a martini bar at a ball field?? I'm just saying. hahahaha). By the time the 7th inning mosied on, we decided to go back into tourist mode. We said our goodbyes to my fellow alumnae and high school folks and walked off, hand in hand, in tourist glee.

I dubbed this week, my sports week. But I feel like its more than that. So much that I almost don't recognize this woman. Football and Baseball?? That's not me. I'm the shoe loving girly girl. Right? Well, whoever, this new woman is, I'm enjoying getting to know her and seeing what other new adventures I have in store. Stay tuned

Friday, September 18, 2009

Flashback Friday: Date Night, the Hampton Edition

I met BX my freshwoman year at a party in Virginia Beach. He didn't go to Hampton but went to a school about 45 minutes away. He was from the Bronx (hence the blog name) and made it quite clear that night that I was "that chick". We exchanged numbers and spoke at most once a week for a few minutes. (To the youngins reading this here blog, this was before cell phones and free nights and weekends. We had campus issued calling cards with a $75 limit which seem to run out in 7.5 minutes but I digress. )

BX called to say he was coming down to the Hampton Roads area to go to another school's Spring Fling weekend of events. Since he was going to be in the area, he asked if we could go out on a date. I tried to play coy but who was I fooling. A boy wanted to take me off campus and pay for me to eat something other than Gourmet Services. Hell yeah I was down!! We made plans for the following Thursday (sidebar: clearly he missed a day of class to attend a weekend celebration at another school; that should have been a clue..hahahahaa).

I spoke to him about 2 times before our actually date. Something about finally seeing each other (hadn't seen him since we met a few months before) must have peaked his interest. He actually admitted he was excited to see me and bragged how he was going to get his car detailed before heading my way.

Thursday. After class I came back to my room to change clothes. It was a beautiful sunny spring day. The kind of day where the sun seemed to be on FULL BEAM from the second it rose until the second it set. While I was changing my clothes, Roomie checked out the Menu Line. Now for those of you not fortunate enough to experience all that is Hampton University (insert snobbery here), in every dorm room, there was a phone. And on every phone, there was a button you could press to hear one of the elderly ladies read to you what the menu was for lunch and then later in the day for dinner. Oh how I wish I had an audio clip of the Lunch Ladies because it was hilarious. But anyone who went to Hampton, can quote the menu line better than a rap lyric. But I digress. So Roomie called the menu line and through the phone we heard:

Thank you for callin' the Virginia Hall Cleveland Hall Dinin' Room Menu Liiine. Our menu fo' Fried Chicken....."


Okay, real talk. That was all we needed to hear. And I know how stereotypical this is going to sound but whenever the lil old lady said "fried chicken" on the menu line, it was a stampede to the Caf. It wasn't because that was all us black folks wanted to eat. No, it was because that was the best damn thing they could cook. The line would be lonnnnnng as hell - like out the door long. Looking back, I realize how stereotypical that must look, but one of the beauties of going to a black school is that for a couple of years of your life, you're not completely conscious of every single stereotype and how it plays a role in your everyday life.

Roomie asked if I wanted her to try to sneak me back some chicken from the cafeteria. "Of course not! I'm going on a date. I don't have to wait on line for fried chicken tonight." said with all the indignation I could muster while thoughts of my pending date swirled through my head.

The phone rang.

"Janelle you have a visitor downstairs".

I stood at the top of my dorm steps and there he was, leaning against his black Acura Legend, gleaming in the sun. I smile and walk down the steps. He greets me and opens my door. Wow a gentleman. I was impressed (remember I was 18...hahahaha). He got in, made a U-turn, and we were on our way. Now, even though I was a freshwoman, my dorm was outside of campus gates. My dorm was right off of THE main street off of campus - the street that leads to you to the highway and other local streets. We're sitting at the light making small talk. Light turns green and Bx makes a right.

"Umm, didn't you mean to make a left?" I asked as we turned towards the back gate of campus.

"Chill, ma. I got this." he stated as he rolled down the windows and opened the sun roof. So I did as I was instructed and chilled. I sat back in my seat as he cruised at like 2 miles an hour through campus. It was dinner time and the weather was nice, so there were a lot of folks out on that end of the yard. I waved to a few people I knew, sat back, enjoyed the music he was bumpin', and chilled.

Yes, I realized he was profiling but damnit I was 18 and was on my way to a restaurant where I hoped no one would ask me "you want some mo' rice, babay?" As we circled through campus, I realized he was going out the back way down the road that separates Hampton U. from the VA Hospital. Hmmmm, I wonder why he's going this way when he can get to Mercury Blvd (and all the restaurants, movie theaters) by going a different way. But I didn't question it.

Finally, we're at the light. He's turning left. And then he makes another quick left. Into the parking lot of McDonald's. Initially, inside I was like "WTF?" before there was the acronym. But Hampton girls have a reputation for being these ultra prissy, stuckup chicks, and I didn't want to wag my manicured finger in his face like "How dare you bring me to McDonald's?". I push that thought to the side and thought "Janelle, he's a college student just like you, i.e broke. Get a grip".

We walk into McDonald's. I'm all filled with mixed emotions but my 18 year old self didn't quite know how to eloquently express how I felt, so I stare up at the brightly lit menu like I'd never seen it before. Damn, I gave up fried chicken night in the Caf' for McDonald's???

"Welcome to McDonald's. May I take your order?"
Me: "Ummmmm....."
Bx: "Oh, lemme get a #2 Meal.....Supersized."
Cashier: "What kind of drink?
Bx: "Lemme get a orange drink. "
Cashier: "What else?"
Bx: "Oh, nah. That's it."
Me & Cashier: "That's it???!!"
Bx (laughing): "Oh my bad. Lemme get a extra cup for the drink."

Wait a minute. Did he just ask for an extra cup for orange drink?? Wait what's a number 2 value meal anyway (because I already had my chicken sandwich with cheese and a sprite all picked out in my mind)?? Do you know what a number 2 value meal is??? Do you?? It's the 2 cheeseburger value meal. This mofo expected me to split the 2 cheeseburger meal and his supersized fries and orange drink. I DON'T EVEN LIKE ORANGE DRINK. And that my friends, is when I went off.

"You mean to tell me that you got your car all shinin' like new, drove an hour to see me, to not only take me to McDonald's but to expect ME to split a cheeseburger meal with you?? Are you fucking crazy? How do you know if I even eat beef, huh?? You didn't even ask what I wanted??Do you know it was fried chicken night in the Caf and I gave that up for this?"

"What? I'm saying I can give you a coupla dollars towards your meal if you can't eat a burger?"

And that is when I turned on my heels, walked out of McDonald's and walked back to campus. Now I was terrified of the VA Hospital (too many urban legends and scary movies about the kind of people in there...don't judge me, I was 18. hahahahaha). However, my anger far outweighed my fear that day.

As I stomped back on the yard, I couldn't believe the vast difference between his definition of a date and my definition. Sure, I was a lil put off that he chose McDonald's for our dining pleasure but I sucked it up. At the end of the day, it was a meal and he wanted to break bread...errr, fries,......with me. But to offer to either split this paltry meal or even better "a coupla dollars" towards me reaching in my purse and paying for my own meal???!!! HAYELLL NAW.

I looked at my watch. I still had time to catch the Caf'. But then I thought about my roommate, sitting at dinner with our Big Brothers. She's probably already told them I had a date. What the hell do I look like walking up to the Caf' less than 30 minutes later??? I would have to tell them the story. Oh the humiliation. Luckily, my dorm is outside of campus gates so I can avoid the Caf' and everyone over there as I go back to my dorm.

I return back to my dorm, quiet as church mouse. I went up the back stairs to my room. I slipped in and just laid across my bed. Dwayne Wayne would have never done this to Whitley, not gas up a "date" and then expect her to fend for herself.

I wanted to call somebody. But the whole story was so embarrassing. So I called my mother. And told her the entire melodrama - fried chicken and all. She laughed but at least her laugh wasn't "HA! HA! You got played." It was more one of those motherly I'm going to send you a care package tomorrow laughs to make you forget all about this fool. (which she did by the way...hahahaha). She even offered to put an extra $10 in my account if I wanted to order pizza since she knew there was no way in HELLLL I was showing my face in the cafeteria that night. I think that was the moment I realized, "Mommy is pretty cool".

PS I ran into Bx, a couple of months later here in NY. He tried to act like he didn't know me. That was the best thing he could have done.

PPS In that care package my mother included a McDonald's coupon and a Tupperware container to bring food back from the cafeteria on nights when I have a date. Yes moms got jokes. hahahahahahaa

This my friends, has gone down in my history as one of THEEE worst dates of my life. And I've shared it with you. Well isn't that special?!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The update on Pain....

Shortly after writing yesterday's post, I left work early - something I NAYVER do. I may take a day off or come in late but I never leave work early. The pain was just too great to continue looking at spreadsheets, contracts and press releases. I'd decided to go to the emergency room. I couldn't take another day of mind numbing pain or the mind numbing madness of trying to find a doctor who was willing to see me AND take my insurance.

Now since I was dressed for work (dress, heels), I decided to go home first and change clothes. I knew I would be sitting in the ER for about 3 million hours freezing my ass off. So I left my office and hailed a cab in midtown. Luckily at that time of the afternoon, catching a cab was a breeze. Unfortunately, that's the only easy part. First he wants to turn on the radio to an urban radio station (sidebar: why assume that's what I want to listen to?? For all he knows I could be a Reba McIntire/Carrie Underwood fan - even though I love that Think Before He Cheats song....ssshh, don't tell nobody). So I asked him to turn it down. Clearly turn it down translates to turn to another station in another language because next my head was assaulted with the theme music from 1010 Wins. If I had to listen to 22 minutes of that, I was going to bash his head with the world. "Please mister. I need SILENCE." That's all I could say. He looked at me like I had 2 heads (shit at that point I felt like I had 2 heads on my head) and dutifully turned the radio off. And that's when I heard something rattling around in his trunk . GOOD GRIEF, CHARLIE BROWN!!!! I tried to calm myself and remind myself that every noise was going to annoy the crap out of me but I was on my way to doing something about it. Something about knowing that a solution was imminent seemed to stop the bowling ball from knocking down all the pins in my brain.

Having been in one too many emergency waiting rooms, waiting for my mother, I packed a little bag to take with me. Honestly, it was the "just in case they keep me bag." But I really didn't want to think that. I hadn't been an overnight guest of honor at a hospital since some man slapped me on my butt and pronounced to my cut open momma "You have a girl!!!" I slipped off my career wear and looked at my closet like "Hmmm what does one wear to a Emergency Room??" Sweats and a tee-shirt with flip flops for easy removal.

Before I jumped back in yet another taxi, I went to vote. In my painful brain, I had rationalized that people before me dealt with more than a headache to vote. And while some may rationalize that it was "only" a primary, the civil rights activist in me was not giving up. Do you see how bad my head hurts??? I've missed a primary for happy hour before. But nah uh not today.

Once I made my way back downtown to the hospital, I began to get nervous. (yes I went back downtown to the hospital - my fave hospital actually. Look, they have valet parking and a taxi stand. Any place that cares that much about a person's convenience is the place I need to be...hahahaa). Nervousness led to terror. What if this is life threatening. What if there is a tumor on my brain. I began to feel around my head to see if I could feel a lump under my skull. Luckily, I didn't have time to weigh these options as I was given a bed, a hospital gown, and a "specimen" cup, and an IV within 30 minutes of arriving. Oh and let's not forget about the industrial strength drugs at the hospital. Within hours I felt normal again. The pain left in layers, like a peeled orange. Weird, right??

After numerous tests, all irrational thoughts of tumors and brain distortions were thrown out the window. My CatSCAN was only a picture of my pretty brain (the doc showed me...there was nothing in the pic that shouldn't be there). Apparently, my headaches seem to be caused by dehydration (no more Starbucks for me for a while) and S-T-R-E-S-S. But I have to go for more tests to rule out migraines. Good grief, Charlie Brown, this growing up (and old) shit sucks!!! Yeah, where was THAT episode of Charlie Brown and the gang, huh???

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

I haven't got time for the pain...

Pain. Yet another four letter word to contend with. And quite frankly, its worse than any shit, fuck, or damn you could utter.

I have been in some pain for the past couple of days. For some unexplained reason, I have been getting headaches. At first I thought it was the severely tight but so cute updo bun I wore for my godmother's wedding labor day weekend (I started a blog on this last week...guess I should publish it..Lol). SO I painstakingly took down this intricate updo, hoping that would relieve the tension. Initially, it did. But by weeks ends, the headache came back. I thought it was interesting that the headache seemed to hit me when I got home. While I have a faboulous weekend with friends, the headaches seem to disappear while I was out and about. But as soon as I began my journey home, the left side of my head would feel like I just got decked with a brick. Pop 2 tylenol and sleep for 45 minutes and I was golden - like brand new. Weird, right?? Well that has been my night ritual for the past couple of nights and that's just not who I am. Normally, I will have to throw out a bottle of tylenol because its expired before I finish. And yesterday, I woke up with a headache. Wait, that's not the routine. Something is not right. So yesterday, I called my doctor's office to see if I could get an urgent appointment. And this, my friends, is why I hate the healthcare system.
I called my doctors office to find out she's on maternity leave.....again and won't be back until December or January. Hell no, I'm not waiting that long to see somebody. I will have spent a gucci bag's worth on tylenol by then. So I ask the "lovely" (insert sarcasm here) woman who answered the call about who was covering for my doctor. She informs me the doctor covering for my doctor is not seeing new patients. So how is this doctor covering my doctors patients if they aren't seeing new patients??? Does that even make sense?? She then explains to me that I am new to the practice (only saw doctor once at her old office..she moved shortly thereafter)therefore considered a new patient and therefore not eligible to see the covering doc. "Lady, you just gave my headache a headache" I explained before I gently hung up the phone.

Now truth be told, I wasn't a fan of my overly fertile doc. Only because she wasn't my old doc who is great. However, while my old doc takes my insurance, she doesn't take my specific plan and my employer only offers this plan so no more Dr. Great for me. So yesterday, I start the dauntingly annoying task of trying to find a new doc. Now, I must admit I am picky about doctors. I want someone board certified, speaks english, and is affiliated with the same major hospital that I actually like here in New York (yes, I have a fave hospital even though I haven't been an overnight patient in a hospital since I was born..knock on wood). However, well over 2 hours later, still no new doctor. My insurances website is a joke. Damn near every doctor I called is either not accepting new patients; doesn't have an appointment until November; or they work in the hospital and only see admitted patients. I swear on everything, the whole process made my head hurt. And I gave up. Until I woke up in the middle of the night. I laid in bed half watching mostly listening to The Actors Studio with James Lipton featuring the cast of Family Guy. As much as I love that show, their comedic relief provided no relief for the pain. However, Seth McFarlane, the creator and the voice of Peter and Stewie, is officially on my Fantasy Island Get It List. He's cute, funny and smart.

Why is this process so fucking....painful??? It seems like the only way I'm going to see a doctor anytime soon is if I go and sit for 3 million hours in an emergency room and pay my ER copay which is more than triple my office copay. Does this make any sense to anyone??? If it does, please explain it to me. But please do so in hush tones and simple sentences. My head hurts.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Indelible Etchings

The sky was tropical island blue, not a hint of a cloud in the sky. I remember.

It was a Tuesday. There was a Primary Election that day and I decided that morning to vote after work. Jay-Z had an album hit stores that day. I remember.

My mom wore a pretty orange dress to work that day. She figured it would probably be the last time she could wear it before Fall hit. I remember.

I sent an email to my friends, bragging how I wasn't speaking to the dude I was dating at the time who worked at Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center. We'd had a disagreement and I was holding my ground. I remember.

A guy came in the office and said he heard a plane hit one of the buildings at the World Trade Center. We laughed, thinking someone made it up because how could a pilot not see that tall ass building in front of them. I remember.

I called my mom since she could see the towers from her office window. She confirmed that there was a fire of some sort coming out the side of one of the buildings. As we talked about what could have possibly happened and prayed it wasn't that serious, she screamed. Another plane hit another building. She saw. I remember.

Some of my friends worked nearby. While our cellphones weren't working, our 2 way pagers were. We met up on 42nd St and began the solemn walk uptown. A reporter stopped me on the street. I told her "I just want to get home to hug my family and pray that this somehow isn't real." I remember.

My friend's cousin spotted a guy driving a red Camry. He was alone. She flagged him down and asked "How far up are you going?" He said "The Bronx". She asked if we could ride with him and the five of us piled into this stranger's car. I kept looking back alll the way down the avenue to see smoke snake its way upward into the crystal blue sky. I remember.

For a city that never sleeps, the streets were eerily quiet - no horns honking, no music blaring, no heated arguments on street corners, nothing. Just people walking in silence, shell shocked. I remember.

I saw a store owner passing out bottle of water to those walking down the street. People covered in soot were ushered into clothing stores and given clothes and sneakers to change into right off the racks, no questions asked. I felt proud to be a New Yorker, that we could take care of each other in the face of tragedy, no matter what. I remember.

When I arrived home, my mom was sitting on the sofa in tears on the phone. I was relieved that she didn't have to trek alll the way from her office to Harlem on foot(for the non-New Yorkers, that's approximately 135 city blocks from her job to home, about 6 miles give or take). She'd caught the last train leaving from downtown. As I entered the living room, she informed me that it was my dad on the phone. We spoke. For the first time in a few years. He said all the things he wished he'd said five years ago. And so did I. We wept and promised to do better. I remember.

I tried calling his home. No answer. I tried calling his cell. No answer. I tried calling his mother's phone. No answer. When my phone rang, it was my bestie, Twin. I told her I was convinced he was dead, and hated being in such a silly argument. She tried to get me to keep the faith. Somewhere buried in that pile of steel, concrete, and things I'd rather not think about was where you'd find my faith. I began to mourn. I remember.

About 5:30 in the morning, my phone rang. I answered. It was him. I thought I was dreaming. Then he said something sarcastic and I knew it was him. I smiled and thanked the Lord for answering the prayer I was too chicken to speak. He survived. I remember.

I felt lucky, blessed that no one I knew directly perished that day. Until a month later, when I got the notice of a memorial service for a guy I knew(he was my New Year's Eve date, 2 years running..LOL). I flashed back to the last time I saw him. May 2001. I ran into him at a bar. We exchanged pleasantries and in passing, he mentioned a new job. I congratulated him without asking specifics. It was then, October 2001, that I found out that new job was on a very high flower in the towers with a company that lost a great deal of people that day. The Sunday after the memorial, I openly wept in church. On my knees bent down in prayer, I looked up to God and asked "Why?" out loud. I never got the answer. I remember.

All of these memories are indelibly etched in my mind and in my heart. Like my tattoos, they are a part of me and a remembrance of a time in my life. On the 8th year since the travesty, I'm reminded of all these memories. Life has marched on but that day is an indelible stain on my life's tapestry. I remember. And I always will.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Hey Mr. DJ......

It was Freshman Year. Ogden Hall. The Alphas were having their Ms. A-Phi pageant for Homecoming. Since some of my big brothers* were Alphas I had to show my face in the place. Roomie and I sat on the lower level of Ogden - she interested in the pageant, me interested in the pageantry of it all. Was this gonna be like School Daze, complete with a Supreme-esque performance?

Eh, not so much. But there was a DJ. In between performances and any other break, he was jammin', playing all the songs I longed to hear from home. It was like a Kid Capri mixtape, all the way down in Virginia. I hadn't heard current "home" music in almost 6 weeks (Virginia was like 2 months behind in music at the time and I had just sent a letter to my best friend asking her to please make a tape from the radio and send it to me...hahahahaha). Hearing this DJ spin made me miss home just a lil bit. And like a fiend I wanted more. So during one of the countless intermissions, I walked down the aisle and up to the DJ booth - which was really just a table set up in front of the stage.

"So you selling mix tapes in the back?" I asked with a hand on hip. Real talk, I wasn't this "sassy" in NY (and least not at the time...hahaha). However, there was this expectation of who I was supposed to be because everyone knew I was from New York City. So sometimes, when addressing strangers I became this "New York Chick".

"Uh, in the back of what?" he chuckled.

"Oh, umm in the back of Ogden or something like that?" Okay so the chuckle made me lose a bit of that bravado.

"No, not today. "

"Well, you need to make me a tape because you are playing allll the songs I miss from home."

"Hold that thought."

He returned to spinning and I stood there to the side like a dumb ass. If I walked away, I wasn't going to walk all the way back down to the front to resume the conversation, thus never getting my damn tape. And so I waited. But promised myself, I wasn't going to stand up there more than 5 minutes or else I'll look like a groupie.

"Where are you from?"

"New York. Harlem." with hand back on hip like "Duh, you can't tell?"

Okay, here's the deal. I'll make you a tape if you make me a birthday cake."

"Ummm, I stay in Winona [freshwomen honor's dorm and yes I had to throw in the honor's part....hahahaha]. How about I buy you an apple pie from Burger King and stick a candle in it??"

"Ha! Give me your number, I'll call you this week to drop off the tape."

He dropped of the tape that Friday. It was his birthday and we went to see Jason's Lyric, and had dinner at Applebee's. Okay, I fell for the okie doke. Don't judge me, I was 18. hahahahahaa
But this is how I started dating a DJ. I was 18, a freshman. He was in his 20s, a Hampton grad.

It was cool dating a DJ. I would get into parties for free. I wouldn't have to ride the cheese bus to the parties or I at least didn't have to ride the cheese bus back to campus. ;) I had mix tapes galore, and Roomie basically had a single on weekends. It was cool dating someone older. He had a car (something that NAYVER was a factor in New York. A dude with 4 tokens in his pocket - 2 for you, 2 for him- was alright with me..hahahaa). He also had a been there done that perspective on my inexperienced life that I was fascinated by. I just couldn't get enough.

I remember when I finally had to tell my mother about DJ. It was around Christmas time and he kept asking me what did I want for Christmas. Wow, really?? Well crap, that meant I needed to buy him a gift, and it needed to go on my credit card since I was a college student (aka "broke as a joke"). So I called my mom one day at work (it was toll-free to call her at work and she wouldn't flip out about her daughter dating a grown ass man at work in front of her secretary). I told her I needed to buy a Christmas gift for a "boy" (lie) and that I needed to use the credit card so she could just deduct whatever I spent on him from whatever she was going to spend on me (lie). She was cool about it. Wow, really?? To say I was shocked was an understatement. Okay, so I did fib a lil and shaved about 3 years off his age enough to make him a recent graduate. For the life of me I can't remember what I gave him for Christmas. But I remember I got a pair of Timberlands (because I refused to purchase or wear snow boots), a few pairs of jeans from the Gap, and a teddy from Victoria's Secret. (damn, I'm blushing now as I typed that...just like I did when I opened the box all those years ago).

Ah, but everyone loves the DJ. He is in fact the life of the party. The same charm and humor I fell for, and the opportunity to not eat the goobety goo served in the Cafeteria was intriguing to many other fellow female Pirates. After a chick tried to run me over as I crossed the main street on campus, I was done. (never confirmed but damn if I didn't see her smirk as I ran out of her way). Honestly, it was never meant to last. I was 19, and had no clue what I wanted in life or in love. Shit, I'm just figuring that out now. He and I remained friendly for years to come. Thanks to social networking, we reconnected a few years ago - caught up on each other's lives. Those hand delivered mixtapes turned into mix cds shipped to my mailbox. I haven't spoken to him in a while but every time I hear Mary Jane by Rick James I think of him. It was the nickname he gave me. Don't judge me. I was 18. hahahahahahaa

*big brothers/sisters - not actually siblings related to you. a Hampton tradition where upperclassmen adopt freshman, take you under their wing and take you to the mall and Wal-mart when you needed to go. I had one big sister (wish I could find her now) and a ton of big brothers....hahahahaa

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Rock the Blue and White....

I was reading this blog this afternoon and the memories of my experience raced to my fingertips. I guess that meant there's a blog in here somewhere. LOL

I went to a black college to meet my Dwayne Wayne - flip glasses and all. There I said it. LOL

Actually, that's only a smidgen of the story but I laugh because damn it all, if I didn't somehow think of Hampton as Hillman on some occasions. Come on, between School Daze and A Different World, how could you NOT want to attend an HBCU in the early 90's?

Despite no air conditioner in my freshman dorm (that should be illegal in the South, even the projects get central air...LOL), the horrible food in the Cafeteria (Gourmet Services is an oxymoron, right?), having a curfew for the first time in my life (only for the first 6 weeks), I wouldn't change a thing about those 5 or so years I spent there. Well, maybe changing my major earlier and maybe the outcomes of some friendships but overall, attending an HBCU was the best decision I've ever made in my life.

With all of these memories flooding back, I've decided to do a Walk Down Memory Lane Series - the Pirate Edition. I have soooooo many stories from college, and right now I'd rather write about that time in my life as opposed to what's going on now (UPDATE: still employed - the person who is making the decision about my office is having open heart surgery tomorrow. Yes, I'm serious. I couldn't make this up if I tried - well actually I could because it does have a dramatic flair to it but it's true nonetheless.) For those of you who read this blog and were there during those times, hopefully this will be a walk on the yard for you too. And don't worry, I will still change names to protect the innocent and the foolish.

Let the games begin.......

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Who's gonna clean up this mess??

How do you spell stress? J-O-B.

For the last couple of weeks, my job aka plantation assignment has pulled some low-brow, are you serious shit. I found out just last Wednesday, there is a chance this office will close, and allegedly I will find out “maybe” this week. But the information was passed on in such a cavalier manner, they might as well have asked me “Could you please pass the jelly?” That night, after I unchained myself from my desk, I walked the streets on Manhattan and I felt I couldn’t breathe. Well, I wasn’t taking full breaths, just quick sips of breath to keep me moving. And thinking. Then I asked myself Is this what a panic attack/anxiety attack feels like?? And without any medical degree behind my name, I replied back YES. I had to let this go.

And quite honestly, I’m okay with it. Either way, I’m fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, fine…WOOOOOO. If you believe that then you must believe this woman is 29 (sidebar: why doesn't Lou Dobbs and his crew ask her to produce her birth certificate??). There are moments when I do feel this way. That I'm gonna make it after all (cue throwing beret in the air). But other times, I get so overwhelmed by the maddening uncertainty of it all and give in to darker doubts in my mind. But even in those times, something tells me I'm going to be okay. I'm holding on to that belief. I hope its not a delusion of grandeur (or as I like to say sometimes "a delusion of grand marnier")

The worst part of it all is the waiting to find out. I've come to terms with either option for the most part. Its the sitting and waiting part that feels like someone is peeling me apart, layer by layer, piece by piece. I just want to know - one way or another. Dragging this out is like a prison sentence. Not that I know what prison feels like because like I always say "I'm too pretty for prison and too fine to do time." And then to know that there is a 50/50 chance of not even finding out this week?!!!! Ugh! That makes me want to pull somebody's wig (which will also happen this week to the above referenced chick on the "reality" show she is on - my ultimate reality show guilty pleasure by the way). Don't get me wrong. I'm grateful for the heads up. It could have come completely out of left field (sidebar: why does left field get the bad rap??). I could have been unceremoniously dumped and left to scramble for Option B, C, and/or D. SO yes, in some ways I'm grateful. But its been almost 2 weeks since the proverbial shit got acquainted with the fan and someone has a clean up on aisle "me". I'm ready to move forward. I'm just waiting on the light to change so I can turn right or turn left.

If I'm going to be honest, I might as well go into full disclosure. Truth be told, this isn't for me. The perks are nice, my boss is nice, Pinky is entertaining, the money is decent, but the work? There are days when I feel like I am getting dumber by the minute. Worse than when I had to "dumb down" my vocabulary when I taught elementary school. And the isolation kills me. I can go hours (HOURS) without uttering a word. Just me and my projects alone in my office. I'm the only woman, the only person of color, and the only one under the age of 50 in my office. This is the most anti-social job I've ever had in my life. From 9:30 (ish) to 5:30 (yeah right), I live an isolated corporate world existence. You do realize that this totally goes against my grain, right? Hello?? Social butterfly forced to be unsocial for pay. Sounds like a dark indy film with grainy shots and subtitles.

So for now, I’ve had to put a few plans on immediate HALT status but others I’m moving forward with, with or without this plantation. Nothing I’m ready to talk about…yet. But you guys know me. Eventually, I share (that’s what she said…hahahaha).

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Flattery will get you pregnant...

On my previous post, a commenter said "Please remember that imitation is the best form of flattery as i send this to him [HER man]."

I was indeed very flattered by this, but damn if I haven’t been thinking about it ever since. Maybe it’s the writer buried in me but I want to know the story. What’s the background story? How was my post sent? Directed to the blog with a sexy note “Hmmm. How did she know about last night?”?? Via text with a naughty photo attachment?? On voicemail, in your sexiest late night radio disc jockey voice??

And ummmmm so what happened afterwards? Did he respond? How did he respond? Did he give you that grin like “Wait until I get my hands you!”?? Was he nonchalant? Did he blush (yes men blush)? Did he put an extra dip in it, something to inspire another search for intimate prose? Did he just give the head nod like “cool” and turn back to ESPN?? Did he squeal with delight? (Hey, I make no judgments. Hahahaha). Did you get laid- REPEATEDLY (inside joke) – because of something I said. Sheeeeeeit, just the thought of that is mind blowing (pun/innuendo intended).

As you can see my need for details is overwhelming, insatiable even. I am not exaggerating when I say I have thought about this long and hard (that’s what he said…hahaha). I have an entire scenario playing in my mind. Actually there are a few scenarios running around in this dome of mine. I may need to make a phone call. :)

And lastly, did I get credit??? As I said in my response to her comment, like Ms. Badu “I’m sensitive about my shit” (see how I gave Erykah Badu credit for five words that she strung together that someone before her may have said but now since she sang those 8 syllables, we now attribute them to her?? That’s what I’m talking about). While my friends give birth to babies, I give birth to strings of words and thoughts. You can’t just run up and steal somebody’s baby. I mean well you could but ummm you know you run the risk of being your cellmate’s bitch for the next 10-15 years of confinement. But you get what I mean.

Anonymous, I really do appreciate the love but your 2 sentences got my notebook pregnant.

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Artist's Wish

I wish I were a painter. If I were, I would paint long ebony strokes on the canvas to mirror his long limbs, making sure to capture the silkiness of his chocolate skin.

I wish I were a sculptor. If I were, I would mold and sculpt until the clay resembled the hard lines of his muscles while capturing the softness of his pose.

I wish I were a photographer. From my position, I would take multiple frames of his fingers. Intertwined and dangling between his knees as he rested his elbows on his knees as a perch. I would switch up and take pictures of his mouth, just to freeze that half smirk in time.

I wish I were a cinematographer. The scene would open as that one bead of sweat trickled down from his forehead to join the million others on his chest. Then I would focus entirely on the contradiction of his face - the relaxed slumber of his sleeping eyes playing against the smile reaching all the up to his cheekbones. The soundtrack on my movie short would be a combination of his breath slowing down and returning to normal mixed with the early morning not even dawn yet chirp of a lone bird outside.

Since I'm none of these, I just laid there and studied him instead. Committing every muscle, every movement to memory for days like today when I need a smile.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I have something to say.....

Like many, I watched Black in America 2 Part 1 last night on CNN. While watching, I logged on to Facebook to see if anyone had anything to say about it. During the BET awards debacle, Facebook provided more entertainment that anything Debra Lee and her henchmen could ever produce, so I thought there might be some interesting dialogue occurring during this documentary style program.

I was wrong.

For the most part, from what I saw from many of my “friends”, either they hated it, weren’t impressed or weren’t watching. I was kind of taken aback by some of the negative comments I saw posted. Are we watching the same channel??

Now, I will admit, I had reservations about watching the program, especially since I didn’t like the first installment which aired last summer. Not necessarily because of the topics presented (which were slightly skewed to the more depressing aspects of our lives), but mostly because it seemed thrown together shoddily in response to the groundswell of interest in Blacks in America because of the growing support and acceptance of a particular Illinois Senator who shocked the hell out of everyone in politics who thought he had a snowball’s chance in hell of becoming POTUS.

So last night after taking my mom to purchase her new TV (I’m soooo jealous by the way…ahahahaha), I begrudgingly sat down to watch CNN’s portrayal of Blacks in this country, hoping this wouldn’t be some thrown together foolishness. I never turned the channel. I was proud and inspired. The portrayal of Malaak Compton Rock’s foundation reminded me of everything I loved about teaching and everything I miss about it. It would be really easy for her to sit back and be a Hollywood wife, who writes checks and sits on boards while others do the labor intensive work and she’s hailed on the cover of some magazine as the “savior”. Later on in the program, the sub-story of the high school senior who got into college despite everything she had going against her made me shed a tear (or 10). I was so proud of her. Her accomplishments should be hailed as triumphant and not lumped as “unimpressive”.

One of the latter segments of the program was about the affluent sector of the black population. One comment on Facebook read “Yay! Uppity black folks”. I was disgusted. Primarily, because I loathe the word “uppity”. Its connotation is reflective of someone who has stepped out of line and needs to be brought back to reality. But in this case living the affluent “American Dream” is their reality. I don’t know if the commenter was actually celebrating this segment because they identified with this population or if they were being sarcastic and marginalizing a segment of “us”. I turned off the computer after that. I was done. By the way, what I loved most about this segment was the opposing views on the seemingly exclusionary tactics used by many affluent people of color. That topic could be a 2 hour documentary on its own.

While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I think many missed the mark on this program. Yes, in general, the ideas presented may be ideas, situations and circumstances that we, as black folks, are familiar with so in general, it may be “nothing new.” What's old to some may be "new" to others - who I really believe is the target for this series. I believe what is “new” is the fact that a major respected news station is making attempts to highlight the many facets of what it means to be Black in this country – something many of us are still holding our breaths for BET to do. What’s “new” is there is a program in which we are not shucking and jiving for the entire world to see – something we are waiting for BET to stop doing. What’s “new” is learning about these specific solution oriented programs, which win or lose are out there making a difference. What's new is being inspired by the images of ourselves we see on television instead of shaking our heads like "damn, they just had to be black." What's "new" is 2 hours of not completely positive or completely negative but realistic coverage of the lives of some black people in this country. Isn't that impressive??

We are not a monolithic people. Never have been, never will be. We cannot be easily shuffled into categories like a library filing system. Contrary to the images blasted on the station dedicated to “black entertainment” daily, we are just as diverse as every race in America with opposing views, various upbringings, and a sundry of value systems. Every story and every angle can’t be told but this time around, the effort is impressive. Well, at least to me it is.

I'll be watching Part 2 tonight. Without my computer companion.