Thursday, November 04, 2010

Absent Letter

Dear You,

The absence of you has been torture. Especially given your abrupt departure from my life. Just when I thought I was ready to be open to the possibilities of it all, you disappear like a thief in the night. Literally. Mr. Hit & Run/Dine & Dash/Love & Leave 'Em formerly known as my friend.

The absence of you has thrown me into frigid ocean waters with a paper cut. Unexpectedly, the waters shock me into a cold reality I never imagined. Then, the salt from the sting of the ironic beauty of your words seeps into the paper cuts on my soul. At that moment, all I can do is scream........and drown. Then, shake it off like nothing ever happened. And occasionally, take ten steps back. (like right now)

The absence of you makes me question every chapter I wrote with you. Fiction? Non-fiction? Romance? Sci-fi? Friend? Foe? Sweet dream? Nightmare? Reward? Retribution?

The absence of you is a glaring reminder of all that I was willing to give up for you. And all I wish I never said. Some secrets aren't meant to see the light of day. I thought you were my safe haven, the place my secrets could rest peacefully. Now, they're out there and this shit feels like hell. Next time, I'll keep my mouth shut. Thanks for the reminder.

The absence of you fills me with regret. I regret even knowing you. There's no way I'd want to be friends with a person who could so capriciously and callously turn their back on someone they claim to love and care about. If this is your version of being my friend, sign me up for the enemy line; it's safer there. I'll never know why you did what you did. The absence of you leaves nothing but my dangling questions and no one to reply with a sensible answer. With so much time between your presence then and your absence now, NOTHING you say would be sensible at this point.

The absence of you makes me hate you. Just when I was open to the possibility of loving you. And I wish I never did it...........


*inspired by this song playing on my iPod...not necessarily real life. not necessarily.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Hello...... it me you're looking for??? (*cue Lionel Richie. No need to start sculpting)

*peeking around and waving from behind the wall I've built*

My last post was not supposed to be a pre-hiatus post but that's what it turned out to be. I thought that I was ready to hit the ground running and write, write, write until my fingertips were numb from banging on this keyboard. But as I've recently uttered, "Writing feels like a pretty dress in my closet that I've gained too much weight to wear without being embarrassed."

Taking a break from writing may not have been the wisest choice I've made lately. I should have worked and worked at it until that dress fit like a glove. But there sooo much taking up my mindspace. I didn't think I should write that shit. Way too personal. Even for my refuge.

My world was turned upside down on August 3 - the day my mother was admitted into the hospital. I thought when she was out of a coma and subsequently off of ICU, my life would miraculously be turned right side up again - writing, job hunt, move, back on track. Oh how wrong was I! Simply put, this has been my earthquake. While my mother has been released from the hospital, she spent a month in a rehabilitation facility/nursing home, which we affectionately call "Shady Pines" (did I really need a reference link for Shady Pines??? lol). Luckily, Shady Pines was in New York, so I no longer had to travel out of state to see her, tend to her. However, it was still emotionally and physically draining - like tremors after a major earthquake. Add to this the emotional and physical abandonment of my so called immediate family, I'm often amazed that I haven't completely and utterly lost it like wandering the streets disheveled and drug hazed like some alleged "celebrity" caught by the paparazzi. But somehow, some way, I've held it together. I know its prayer. And I have to thank you, my readers, my friends, my fans - even the damned stalkers - for those prayers.

After an earthquake, you'd straighten the paintings on the wall, turn the furniture right side up, sweep up whatever broken glass or unpotted plant, and throw out the trash. Afterwards, everything looks normal like nothing catastrophic ever happened. . Until you discover cracks in the foundation. That's how I look at things these days. Everything I thought I knew, I don't. Well that's not entirely true. For one, writing this, as disconnected as it may read, feels really good - as I suspected it would.

However, my foundation is cracked. Thankfully, by the grace of God, the cracks aren't permanent. And with time, I pray they will be healed. In the meantime, I'm going to make more of an effort to write. I need that dress to fit again.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

We, the People....

......are seriously fucked up.

What is this trajectory this country is on?? Seriously, I'm not all Pollyanna and Mary Poppins with my patriotic optimism but I never imagined I would find my country moving in such a divisive manner . Is this what having a Black president brings out of people??

This controversy over the site of the Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan is appalling. Yes, men who professed to be followers of Islam commandeered planes and committed crimes against humanity so egregious it's still a sore wound for me, almost 9 years later. And yes, in the aftermath there were some who cheered because to them the hijackers were David and we were the fallen Goliath. However, that does not give us the license to condemn this project. Every religion has fanatics and extremists (wait....are there Buddhist extremists??? I don't know). The KKK claimed to be Christians. I don't see anyone protesting the building of churches near where people were lynched, brutalized, terrorized. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic. Are we saying that no Catholic Church or anything related to the tenets of Catholicism can be erected any where near the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing because doing so would be "insensitive"?
(Sidebar: I see no one protesting the current existence of strip joints and "massage" parlors in such close proximity to these hallowed grounds in lower Manhattan. Sooooooo, sex is okay but religion is not?? Ohhh, okay. )

This blanket condemnation has to stop. The people behind this project had NOTHING to do with the mass murders that occurred on September 11. Don't you think that if they did, the government and the media would have figured it out by now?? All they want to do is build a center that accommodates their congregation since they have outgrown the space they currently occupy (which, by the way, was already in the neighborhood). The religion itself is not responsible either. The Pope may not be happy with the way I live my life all the time but I'm still a Catholic. It's my interpretation of my faith that plays a role in how I live my life. That doesn't mean that every single Catholic in the world subscribes to my interpretation. Instead of burning the Qur'an - a book held sacred to some just as the Bible and the Torah are sacred to others, how about we read it and understand the beliefs of this religion we clearly know nothing about? In this case, knowledge is definitely power. Power against propaganda and close minded viewpoints. Don't get hoodwinked by the zealots that stirred up your fears. If so, we're doing EXACTLY what they wanted us to do. We no longer need to elect politicians, we're allowing them - the terrorists- to govern our lives. We are becoming no better than them. Why stoop to their level??

Personally, I believe the Islamic Cultural Center would be a great addition to the lower Manhattan neighborhood. It would stand as a symbol of tolerance and acceptance of diversity. A testament to not allowing the actions of a few to define the beliefs of all. If the center is built as planned, it will include a performance arts center, a childcare center, fitness center, culinary school, art studio, September 11 memorial, and a prayer space for Muslims to worship. Someone please explain to me what is so evil and insensitive about such a structure. I've tried to see the opposing points of views but it all just sounds like codes for bigotry and xenophobia. I'm almost expecting a resurgence in white hooded outfits and cross burnings. Will I be considered 3/5 of a person again? Will I be relegated to the fields picking cotton?? Will people be burned at the stake for not going to church?? How far are we taking this??

Some people do cruel unconscionable acts, all in the name of religion. Why can't the rest of us turn our backs on the hate and embrace our differences, all in the name of humanity? Isn't that what this country was founded on? If we, as a country, as a people, continue on this intolerant, insensitive, hate filled road, we will see more attacks, more divisiveness, more hate. We can't afford anymore wars. The United States essentially becomes an oxymoron and the Constitution becomes nothing more than some old piece of paper. Like Spike Lee famously admonished through the voice of Laurence Fishbourne at the end of School Daze, WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKKEEEEEEE UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!!!!

*To those who may stumble across my blog because you've set up an alert for any of the controversial terms mentioned above, respect my space. We can agree to disagree, however I won't tolerate or publish any viscious or negative attacks on me personally. I can't go for that, no can do.

Thursday, September 02, 2010


On Sunday, after dancing my wings off in the hot sun at Spike Lee's birthday party for Michael Jackson in Prospect Park, my friends and I boogied on down to a restaurant near the Brooklyn Pier. As a native New Yorker, I can say I've never been here. As many times as I've been to Brooklyn, I've never actually taken a walk down to the Brooklyn Pier. And it was absolutely beautiful. With the Brooklyn Bridge to my right, and Manhattan directly in front of me across the river, the entire setting was simply........ New York. If life had a movie soundtrack, at that moment you would have heard the instrumental piano version of Empire State of Mind quietly playing in the background. At least that's what I heard in my head while standing there. I couldn't help but smile.

My friends and I were in the area to go to some restaurant/lounge know what?? I still have no idea who or what we were there for. All I know is I was with friends and having an amazing time. LOL We get to the venue and they are playing all the music that I love. I'm dancing through the crowd like its a Sooooooooooooooul TRAIN line. This place was packed. Wall to wall beautiful browns in more colors than Crayola could invent, more flavors than in Baskin Robbins (the real Baskin Robbins ice cream store not the blog person...LOL). After about an hour of cocktails and 2 stepping to everything MJ, we FINALLY finagled a table made for 2 for our party of 4. Yeah it was that packed. Unfortunately, we were informed by a member of staff that food orders were on a moratorium for an hour. Ummmmmm, I have to wait at least 3,600 seconds BEFORE I can even tell you that all I want is an order of sweet potato fries and another cocktail??? *scratch the needle alll the way across that life soundtrack*


My girls and I hit up another popular Brooklyn hotspot for a bite to eat and people watching. We settled into a table outside (it was finally cool enough to appreciate being outside but still warm enough to make you want to linger and enjoy the evening) and were joined by 2 guys who were friends of a friend. Of course, the conversation kicked into high gear at that point. You know how it is, you put a table of men and women of a certain age and maturity, the conversation is ALWAYS going to turn to relationships. Never fails. In between bites of yummy goodness (that food was pretty tasty; never disappoints. ), we laughed, joked, and laughed some more over the nuances of dealing with the opposite sex.

Towards the end of our evening, the question was "What are 3 attributes you look for in a mate (besides aesthetics)?" Usually when questions come up like this I roll my eyes, like here we go with the bullshit. Everybody's gonna say something that sounds good, but they know they don't mean it. But lately, maybe because of my mother's illness, I've been thinking about the make up of my mystery man. As we went counter-clockwise around the table, I listened to everyone's answers and couldn't help but think, regardless of background, gender, educational pedigree, we all pretty much want the same damn thing. Everyone before me (I was last), gave answers that I nodded my affirmations to like "Yep, that's on my list too" or "Yeah, that's a good one too". But since we could only give three, here were my picks:

1. Consistency. Simply put, the tactics you use to woo me in the beginning, need to be present throughout the relationship. I'm not saying that you must take me to 3-star Michellin rated dining establishments everytime we go out to eat if that's what you did in the beginning. I'm talking about not taking me for granted. I observe a lot of relationships, and just like a career, relationships take work. At work, you can't slack off once you get the promotion. If you do, you're demoted or fired and someone else will be doing your job. Same holds true for relationships. Consistency builds trust. This is not to say that you don't or can't evolve while in a relationship. But be consistent in who you are fundamentally as a person.

2. Communicator. I need to be with someone I can have difficult conversations with. Whether it's about money, family, work, etc. it doesn't matter. It is very difficult for me to let down my guard but like consistency, communication takes work. I have to work at not only effectively speaking with my mate, I also have to work at effectively listening to him as well. I also need a mate who is willing to work at effectively communicating with me as well. Years ago, I dated a guy who was the nicest, sweetest guy I'd ever met. He was consistent, loyal, trustworthy, funny...everything you could bring home to momma. However, our ability to communicate with each other was blah. I would ask him "Oh what are you doing this weekend?" and he would respond "Oh, nothing." Eventually, I had to tell him "When you say 'nothing', I hear 'I don't want to see you." He stated that's not what he meant and couldn't understand how I interpreted his message that way. I, on the other hand, knew of no other way to interpret it. Eventually, our relationship ended. It became stagnant. I had to realize that we communicate very differently and it wasn't going to work. I also realized how important I needed communication to be in future relationships (okay, so I didn't always follow my own sage wisdom with some of the mistakes I dated afterwards, but hey you live and learn, right?! lol)

3. Ride or Die. No, I'm not talking in the literal, rap song implication. I'm not committing a crime for anybody, ya heard me?! My friends and I use this term because no matter what, we are there for each other, no questions asked. When my mom became ill and my so called immediately family wasn't there for me, I thought a lot about being with someone who would just be there for me, no questions asked. Of course, people have jobs and obligations but there were many times, I wanted someone to just be there for me, whether it was serving as a buffer between me and the dysfunction I'm related to, or reminding me I have to eat, or just holding my hand when I had to sit in my mother's room and watch a machine breath for her. Like Meth said, I wanted someone that "even when the skies are gray, you would rub me on my back and say baby, it'll be okay/that's real to a nigga like me baby". There are no guarantees in saying it will be okay, but knowing that someone is there to support and protect you is all I need to get by. Ride or Die for me is also synonymous for being adventurous or at the very least, being willing to step somewhat outside your comfort zone for that other person. I could never commit my life to someone who is soooo closed off from the world and its experiences, so boring and dull. Eat something besides chicken every single day, go ziplining through the Costa Rican forest, dance with me in the street because oooh that's our song and we don't care what these strangers walking by may say. That's what I want. No, that's what I need.

That night I left Brooklyn rejuvenated. It was as if another piece of the puzzle I call life had fit perfectly into place, clicked into the groove right before my eyes. *cue up that life soundtrack again, maestro.*

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Mission Delicious

Last week was Baskin Robbin's birthday. In the midst of all that was going on with my mom, I was trying to think of something nice to give him for his birthday. Sometime after March Madness: The Birthday Edition, he took the time to surprise me with a simple yet thoughtful gift so I wanted to do the same for him. Also, during my mom's hospital stay, he'd been so supportive - praying with me, calling to check on me throughout the day, letting me vent- that I wanted to also say thank you for being a friend (cue "Golden Girls" theme song)

I know my relationship with him makes no sense to anyone. Intermittently, I've had friends ask 'Sooooo, what's up with you two?" And my response has been "Ummmmm what do you mean? And ummm [insert relevant topic changer here]". Yes, I know that's avoidance. But basically, there are many hurdles to overcome before the subject of "us" could be broached and I'm not even sure there should be an "us". Don't get me wrong, I care for him as I know he cares for me. However, I've learned that just because you care for someone doesn't mean you MUST be with that person. So I enjoy his company when I see him, and I enjoy speaking to him when face to face time is not a viable option. With him, I live in the moment and let the future worry about itself.

So while watching TV in my hotel room one night, I came up with the idea for Mission Delicious. I made a few phone calls to see if the idea in my head could be played out. Once I got the confirmation I was looking for, I proceeded with my mission.

At the stroke of midnight of his birthday, we were on the phone. Once I sang my version of Happy Birthday (horribly I might add but it makes for a good laugh), I informed him that he had a mission to complete today. Of course he responded with a "What?!" I reiterated, "At a predetermined time today you will receive further instructions for your mission if you choose to accept. Which you better accept. hahahahaha" He laughed and responded "Ohhhhhhkay". Shortly thereafter we ended our convo. But not before he tried to get more info out of me. I'm not that easy and this was way too much fun to see he was already curious.

That morning I got up and traveled down to see my mom. Before I got caught up in the whirlwind of doctors and nurses and therapists and case managers, I sent the following text:

Mission Delicious: You have been selected to complete this mission. Report to [address redacted] in [City, State where he lives] at 1 pm. When in route, please respond to this message via text with the code word [inside joke] for further instructions.

He called me in less that 3 minutes. LOL In between his fits of laughter, he wanted to know if he had to be there at exactly 1 pm. I informed him that 1pm was the starting time but that it was okay for him to show up at said location any time after one but before seven or his mission would expire. He next question kind of threw me for a loop.

"Where the hell is [address redacted]?"
Now I'm familiar with the city he lives in, despite the construction renaissance that's been going on there. I've even seen where I'm sending him the last couple of times that I've been there so I don't understand why he doesn't know where this is. I'm 1000% sure I gave him the correct address because I copied it directly from the website and I confirmed with the location that it was indeed the address. So I responded the only way I know how. With sarcasm.

"Whatchu mean where is [address redacted for stalker purposes]? And ummmmm, don't you have GPS in the car??"
"Hahahaha. You're right. I thought I could get you to tell me where I'm going. hahahahah"
"Silly negro. Tricks are for kids. hahahahaha. Now, remember, text me when en route for further instructions."

A couple of hours later, I received the text I was waiting for. I replied:

Upon arrival (with the help of your GPS..LOL), walk into location and give the following password [nickname we have for each other that happens to be the name of a luxury brand]. Upon verification, you will receive further instructions.

A few minutes later, he called me. Laughing. If a man could laugh hysterically, then yeah that would be the way I would describe his laughter. "I'm here!!" He sounded like a kid on Christmas. Was that a squeal?! He was soooo excited and hadn't even gotten his gift yet. He quickly hung up the phone when the woman behind the counter asked "How can I help you?"

About 2 minutes later, as I'm shopping for new sunglasses at one of the outlets, he calls me back. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!" is all I hear when I answered the phone. He was beaming through the phone and I couldn't help but smile as brightly as the sun shining outside (hence my need for shades). "Awww, you're welcome!!! I'm glad you like it." I respond. YAY!!! Phase 1 of Mission Delicious was a success.

So what exactly did I get him?
I ordered a bouquet of chocolate covered strawberries from Edible Arrangements, complete with his age carved in chocolate dipped pineapple pieces in the center of the bouquet.
Why chocolate covered strawberries??
The man loves them. LOVES THEM. He attempted to make some for me once (the chocolate hardened by the time he got back to the room, so it was more spreadable than dippable but we still ate them. LOL). Also, a coworker got a very similar bouquet delivered to his job about a month ago, and it was so memorable that we talked about it on two separate occasions.
Why the covert operation?
Sure I could have just had them delivered to his house/job but where's the fun in that?! Also, he had me in a state of suspensful crazy shakes and stalking my mailman a couple of months ago so why can't I add a little mystery to his life? And besides, I realize men love the hunt/the chase/whatever the hell you want to call it. So this time, I had him chasing strawberries since I wasn't there. LOL

And for those of you who were paying attention, Mission Delicious is not over yet. This was only phase one of this covert operation. Hmmmmmm, what's in store for Phase 2??? I'm working on it. Hopefully, it will be sweeter than those strawberries.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mental Escapades

In my last post, I said that writing feels real again. While this may be true, time has been a successful runaway slave. By the time I return to the hotel, eat, go to the gym (maybe), shower, and research medical terms and treatment options, I am B-E-A-T. On most nights, Carrie B. is in the bed with me. Not my idea of who I’d like to snuggle close to in a plush hotel bed but hey, what am I gonna do about it?? LOL

What’s so ironic about time running away from me like I beat it until its name was Toby is I’ve had some time for my brain to wander. I guess when things get so overwhelming with my mom, my mind checks out and plays in various mental playgrounds where it can skip and jump and play until the bell rings. Some days these thoughts are life revolutionary but most days they border on the ridiculous and make me giggle. And with so much heaviness, I decided to share one of these mental playgrounds with you.

I’m going to have to be tipsy when I sleep with Idris Elba.

Yes this was a thought I had one day while flipping through a magazine. And notice I didn’t say IF I WERE TO EVER SLEEP WITH him, I said WHEN. Now before you guys start shopping for a white jacket with armholes that wrap around my back in my size, hear me out. Yes, I know that there’s a slim chance of me ever being intimate with THE Idris Elba. But that’s just a minor detail and wasn’t quite relevant in the playground that day. Besides, I met him years ago (around the first season of The Wire when he wasn’t that visible on the radar) and he’s so down to Earth (at least he was that night) that he always seems like an attainable fantasy instead of some never in a million years would this happen kind of guy.

Now why would I have to be tipsy? You would think that for our night I would want to be stone cold sober when our escapade….errr make that plural, escapades occur to remember every miniscule detail. While he seems like a average guy who happens to be superbly above average fine, all that chocolate yumminess is a bit intimidating. And I fear, I’d have performance anxiety if I was uber sober when the time came. So I’ll need a shot or 2. No more than that or I’ll be too silly. And drunk sexy ain’t all that sexy….at least not the first time. There's a time and a place for everything.

I’ve also eliminated what I can’t drink on that fateful first night. It won’t be Hennessy or as I call it “The Bitch” for obvious reasons. I can’t have an attitude when I’m trying to get my swerve on (sidebar: do people still say swerve on?? And where exactly did this phrase come from? Lol). Vodka perhaps? Nah, it makes your breath stink the next day. Rum?? Ummmmm, rum is like water for me. There will be no coitus interuptus for a potty break. Wine?? While wine is sexy, one glass of wine will put me to sleep and I want to be wide awake for the action that will take place. Tequila? Hmmm. Yes, I think I will take a shot of tequila, particularly Patron XO Café (coffee liqueur made with Patron tequila for those uninformed or too lazy to click on the link). A shot of Patron is just enough to loosen my nerves a bit but to keep my sensibilities in check. I’ll be ready for the party.

As I type this I can’t help but wonder if this mental playground was about my Idris fantasy or more about my desire at the time for a drink. Since I didn’t venture into the how it will be territory, I may be inclined to believe that I was thirsty. However, isn’t it more fun to allow the mind to circumvent the desire by way of such a delectable fantasy?? Well, it was fun for me damnit. LOL

PS Mr. Elba, if by some google search chance you come across my blog because I've mentioned your name, please understand it is not my intention to objectify you as a piece of (well endowed I hope) meat. I apologize but ummm can I apologize in person?? It will be sincere and yes, I will have had that shot of Patron XO cafe. :D

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fear Factor

Writing makes it real.

That's what I've been telling myself lately. And lately, reality has been difficult to deal with. Since many of you are friends in my head, you have a right to know as well.

If we're friends on the book of Face or you're my follower in the Twitterverse, then you already know my mom is in the hospital. Again. And this time it was far worse than any previous hospital stay. She was in ICU in a medically induced coma for almost a week. And this time, she wasn't in NY. So I've had to travel back and forth to tend to her. As I type this, I'm in a nice hotel suite, with ocean and outlet stores views, away from home but trying to make it some semblance of home, and barely enjoying any of it....well, except for housekeeping. I always enjoy that.

Going through this, as you can imagine,......there are really no words to express the emotional roller coaster I've been on. On one particular restless night, (as there have been many), my BFF, TootieZilla, recommended that I write. Her exact directive was: "Go write. Then eat something." Neither option was appealing. Nourishment of my body nor my soul felt right. As I tried to navigate a way through my thoughts and fears, that's when I convinced myself:

Writing makes it real.

And that stopped me dead in my tracks. The doctors told me my mother's condition was "fragile". How could I write about my fears of losing my mom if the mere act of writing it somehow makes losing her a reality? Admitting that feels asinine. However ludicrous that sounds, its what I felt. And I couldn't shake it. Not that I tried very hard to shake it. I believed, so writing was put on a time out punishment.

Seeing my mother on a ventilator was hard. Just laying there, sleeping so peacefully, yet seeing this tube machine contraption actually inhaling and exhaling for her was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It is only by God's grace that I didn't go completely stir crazy when I walked into her room and saw her like that. Having to make rational decisions regarding her care while fully emotional is an epic internal battle that left me bruised, broken, and weary.

Its no coincidence that 2 days after she was removed from the ventilator and breathing on her own, and 1 day after she transferred from ICU to a regular floor in the hospital, that I've returned to blogging. I feel a bit more free to wander around in my writing mindspace, explore the things I've put up on a mental shelf for safekeeping, get reacquainted with what means so much to me.

Writing feels real again.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Last weekend, I was assaulted. It left me paranoid and disgusted. And having a greater appreciation for baths.

I boarded a bus to DC very early Saturday morning. One of my Hampton gems is having a baby. So after over a decade since the seven of us were all in the same room (collective head hanging shame), we hopped on planes, buses (well technically just one bus since I'm the only one who arrived that way), trains (who knew Pentagon and Pentagon City were NOT the same stop in the DC Metro system?? lol), and automobiles to be there for her baby shower. I could have left Friday night but I waited until the last minute to make her gift - a personalized frame and gift basket. And early Saturday morning seemed like a less stressful trip than Friday afternoon. Have you seen NY/NJ/MD/DC traffic?? (yes I realize I left out Delaware but seriously, its like 3 seconds long - you blink and its "Welcome to Maryland"). Also, I figured the 7:30 am bus would be empty so I'd be able to stretch out and sleep. WRONNNNNNNNGGGGG!!!

When I first boarded the bus, my dreams of 2 seat slumber seemed to be a reality. Like Ms. Badu, I took the window seat and didn't want nobody next to meeeee. I placed my large gift bag in the seat next to me and everyone kept moving further back on the bus. Just as the bus driver was about to pull away from the midtown street, she surveyed the empty seats, opened the door, and asked if anyone waiting for the next bus to DC wanted to catch the earlier bus. Of course they obliged. And there went my 2 seat slumber dream. I stuffed my gift bag under my seat and almost immediately this young-ish African dude plops down next to me. And he smiles. And I....I roll my eyes. I was in no moody to be friendly. I wanted to sleep damnit!!! Once he settled in, he turned to me and asked "Do you have change of a twenty?" to which I responded with a curt "NO!" which had all the attitude of a "HAYELLLLLL NOOOO!!" And let me tell you why.

First of all, for this particular bus company, all tickets are prepurchased online with a credit or debit card so there is no need for cash for the next 4 hours. Secondly, I'm not reaching into my purse to retrieve money with a damn stranger sitting that close to me when I plan on falling asleep in the next 10 minutes. What kind of BooBoo the fool does this assclown take me for? Lastly, and most importantly, when he exhaled on the word 'twenty', I SWEAH my eyebrows and eyelashes were singed off. Seriously, I was stunned into a state of hot garbage shock. Not knowing what to do, I turned to Twitter:

"Great! This mofo sitting next to me not only wants to chat but his breath smells like garbage. I need to click my heels 3x and be in DC NOW"

Once I vented in 140 characters or less, I did reach in my purse. For my iPod. And let my music be the soundtrack for the scenery rolling by outside my window as I breathed the air straight from the air conditioning vent to clear my nostrils.

Then, it happened. My iPod slipped from my lap and fell between the seat. As he repositioned his body to retrieve it for me without uttering a word, that's when it hit me. It wasn't just his breath. Every pore, every fiber of his being smelled. BAD. Like weapon of mass destruction bad. Remember this scene from Beetlejuice (1:50 mark):

Yeah that bad. I immediately let out an "Oh damn!" and stood up in my seat. I looked around. The bus was packed. No empty seat - even the seat next to the bathroom was taken which would have been a first class upgrade compared to the seat I was currently sitting in. I was stuck next to this smelly mother fucker for the next 3 hours and 45 minutes. I had no choice but to turn my body completely towards the window, put my head down next to the air conditioning vent and go to sleep. Eventually the cold air, and the gentle bounce of the bus rocked my tired ass to sleep. And it was a good sleep too, dreaming of every lovely sweet smell I could imagine. At some point I must have turned my head in the direction of Stench because I was jolted out of my seat like my alarm clock went off.

This fool is sitting in his seat on his phone with his right arm up over his head like he is lounging in his living room, and just like that scene in Beetlejuice my head felt like it was gonna shrink. I let out a very disgruntled "Oh COME ON!!!" and repositioned myself to breath the processed air conditioning air. And couldn't go back to sleep. DAMNIT

I had time to analyze this nasal assault. I theorized that it was 2 parts hot shit, 1 part no soap, and 1/2 part locker room funk, 1/2 part public housing staircase with a background note of sanitation truck. Yeah it was THAT BAD!! Funny thing, if he was perfectly still I couldn't smell a thing. But the minute Stench moved a centimeter, I damn near threw up in my mouth. I don't even want to make the generalization that because he was African, he stank. This stench went waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyy beyond the lack of deodorant. which may or may not be a cultural thing (I'm not even touching that topic). And its not like he looked like he stank, just like most serial killers don't "look" like a serial killer. Seriously, does this look like someone who's funk is off the stink charts??

(Yes I took his picture while he was sleeping. This was one of those still moments when I could inhale without fear of an olfactory attack. Don't judge me! LOL And he woke up not too long after this picture was taken, he woke up and assaulted my nasal cavity yet again! )

With about 45 minutes left in this ride of smell hell, the unthinkable happened. When I didn't think this ride could get any worse, he turned to me, smiled and said:

How can I get to know you better?

To which I replied (louder than I thought):
You can't. Listen, you stink.

And everyone around me gasped. Like I was the bad person. Sure, that may not have been the most polite, ladylike way of handling things but I'd already endured a little over 3 hours of the stench of the belly of the beast. Manners went out the window somewhere along the Jersey Turnpike. By that point, I was angry that I had to endure this abuse, I was paranoid (I swear I kept smelling myself for hours after getting off the bus). It was so bad, I literally had tears in my eyes. And, I was trapped. So fuck common courtesy. I was in survival mode.

Stench was shocked that my response was so blunt. He grinned, looked the other way and didn't say another word to me for the rest of the ride. Thank God for small favors. I also kept my hand over my nose for the duration of the ride. Manners be damned.

Finally, FINALLY, the bus pulled into the lot in downtown DC. It took every pore, every fiber of my being to stop me from flipping that emergency exit switch on the ledge of my window. Doesn't this count as an emergency?? The assault needed to end sooner rather than later.

Once I gathered my bag from underneath the bus, I inhaled deeply. Like if I could have sucked in every ounce of air in a 2 block radius, trust me I would have. There's a Starbucks near the bus drop off site. I ducked in there and didn't buy a thing. I just smelled the bags of coffee on display. I know I probably looked like a mad woman but I read somewhere that some perfume counters keep fresh coffee beans on their counters to clear a customer's nasal memory so the perfume smells don't get muddled when they are smelling multiple fragrances. I needed to clear that smell out of my nose faster than a speeding bullet. And besides the line was too long and I had a baby shower to get to.

Luckily, God granted me a solo seat on the way home. I had a window seat with nobody next to meeeeeeeee. And it smelled like heaven.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Centennial Celebration

My great grandmother was born on July 21, 1910. It doesn't take a math genius to figure out that she would have been 100 years old today. However, she died in her sleep 7 years ago. Cause of death: natural causes. It was just her time to go. It didn't matter that I wasn't quite ready to see her go.

I could dwell on how much I miss her and how I would give anything just to hear her laugh or ask me to pour her "a little nip" or to be able to take one of our lonng slow walks just one more time. But reality tells me that's not going to happen. Instead I choose to celebrate.

I celebrate how lucky I was to have a great-grandmother. No one I grew up with had one.

I celebrate that she was my great- grandmother for 27 years, where to date that's way more than half of my life.

I celebrate her survival through the Depression. Even though I hated that because of said survival, she used to make me eat the ends of the bread loaf as she saw it as wasteful not to. I still hate the bread ends.

I celebrate her sage piece of advice as I left for college: "Keep your dress down and your panties up." Even though I didn't always follow said advice. I think I transposed dress and panties in her advice a few times.

I celebrate her unconditional love. She is the epitome of unconditional love. To me, the patron saint of unconditional love. I never ever felt like she didn't love anyone in my family, even when some of us were doing some idiotic crap (some waaaaaay more often than others but I digress). She was always there, with a kind word, a funny story, a pat on the hand, and a threat to whack you across your heiney with a wooden spoon (Now that I think about it, I never got that wooden spoon whack across my heiney. Well at least not from Granny. lol).One of my tattoos is an homage to her and her unconditional love.

I celebrate her laugh. Granny loved to laugh. As do I. Maybe its in the genes.

I celebrate her intelligence. Granny did the newspaper crossword puzzles. In Pen. And finished. Oh and did I mention this was the New York Times AND the Daily News crossword puzzles. And yes, this was daily. Ummm, yeah one day I'll attempt this feat.

I celebrate her broad spectrum views on life. In the later years, Granny only watched two television programs - Jeopardy in the evening and Maury in the morning. Jeopardy for obvious reasons and Maury because she found it quite entertaining that these fools had no idea who had the label of "my baby daddy".

I celebrate her warmth. She loved everybody. Her doorman, my best friends, her daughter's ex-husband (my grandfather), "the fellas" (her general word for her male senior citizen friends in her building. I think she just couldn't remember their names so her crew became "the fellas").

I celebrate her love of storytelling. She may not have had the delivery of Sophia but she loved to share stories - all funny. Only she could tell a story about the Depression and make it funny.

I celebrate all of this and so much more.If I can exude a tenth of her warmth, charm, humor, and giving heart, then I've succeeded in life.

My Granny. My Great-grandmother. My friend. Now my guardian angel.

Instead of missing her for the rest of my life, I celebrate all that she was to me for the rest of my life. I think she would prefer it that way.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Big Spenda

By the time you read this, I'll be on the road or maybe even at my destination for the weekend. This weekend is my BFF, TootieZilla's birthday and we're taking this celebration on the road. I won't reveal the location just yet(damn stalkers) but please believe the weekend is jam packed with parties, fun, laughter, and celebrating. I've been to this place before but never with my girls. I'm actually pretty excited.

So what's been going on with me lately?? I know someone has probably nominated me for the most absent negligent blogger. Please don't call child protective services on me though. I've been absent for good reason - there's been a lot going on lately that I'm not sure I want to least not yet. I'm still writing, just not hitting publish. But I'm going to try to do better. I see my stats though. I really appreciate MOST of you for checking in to see if I'm writing. It gives me the guilt gut punch I need to sit down to write.

Last Friday, I was out window shopping (okay, I bought a dress..sue me) and was behind a young woman buying a shitload of men's suits from Banana Republic. I noticed her arsenal because I was kinda in a rush and there was only one person ringing up purchases ( which didn't discourage me from putting the dress down though. It was on sale!!!!! ). I had no choice but to eavesdrop on her phone conversation (she was talking louder than the musak). Apparently, her man was starting his new job on Tuesday and she wanted to surprise him with new suits for the week. She beamed on the phone as if she had just landed that dream job. She was sooo proud of her man. Standing there, I had to reflect. I ain't NAYVER done anything like that for a guy before. But I added the idea to my future boo bag of tricks. The man I settle down with is gonna be spoiled. I think. But I digress. As I watched the cashier ring up the abundance of suits, shirts, ties AND socks, I was actually in awe of her grand gesture. AND the grand total. Sheesh. Phone bill, student loan, rent, cable, electricity, grocery bill, and my entertainment budget for the month would have been covered. But I digress. She left with and armload of bags that she could barely carry but somehow managed to not only carry the bags but continue to carry on with her conversation as she exited the store.

About 5 minutes later, I was finally done with my itty bitty purchase and gleefully swung my itty bitty shopping bag out the door. And that's when all hell broke loose.

I emerged on the other side of the revolving door to find Ms. Big Spenda screaming into her phones at the top of her lungs and thrashing white Banana Republic shopping bags against the buildings facade. Apparently, in the time it took for the chatty cashier to recommend some accessories to compliment my find, ring up the dress and not the accessories he tried to push on me, and discover I was entitled to an additional discount on the garment, Ms. Big Spenda found out that her man had cheated on her the night before with one of her friends. Yep, her man smashed a homie.

In the span of 5 minutes, her world was just as disheveled as the suits now thrown on the pavement. And she let the world know exactly how she felt about it. Like everyone else I just stood there. Eyes blinking, astonished. Seriously, what the fuck was I supposed to do?? I mean my heart went out to the girl. While I would never throw just purchased expensive clothes out in the middle of the sidewalk, I too have had the rug pulled right from under my happy feet. So I did what any New Yorker would do - I stepped over the strewn clothes, put my sunglasses on and continued on my way to my mani-pedi appointment. However, I will say by the time I crossed the street, she'd gathered up the clothes and marched right back into Banana Republic with an armload of suits, shirts and ties. I said a silent prayer for her that a)she didn't loose her receipt during her emotional tantrum and b) none of the store's employees saw the clothes on the ground and refuse the return. Since I didn't see any reports that a girl went postal inside a Banana Republic, I'm gonna assume my prayers had been answered.

While I don't know the particular details of the story, I'm still quite intrigued about bits and pieces I discovered while eavesdropping. Her man slept with a friend. Oh. MY. GOD. I love my friends with every fiber, muscle, connective tissue, and nerve endings of my heart. However, I don't know what the hell I would do if I ever found out some shit like that. Would I have the ultimate 2 year old tantrum on a random street in midtown in front of about 8 million strangers? Would I try to beat both of their asses??? Would I get all soap opera-ish and sleep with said friend's boo and carry his love child that she will try to kidnap when the paternity is revealed on a Friday?? (okay, clearly I've been watching the soaps lately....hahahahhaha). Luckily for me, my friends and I may have the same taste in shoes, clothes, jewelry, etc, however, we absolutely do not have the same taste in men. NOT AT ALL. Well unless we're talking about Idris Elba. But he's a universal crush. So he doesn't count. However, if I ever date him (a girl can dream) or seriously date someone who looks like him, I'm getting a restraining order. My friends will not be allowed within 100 yards of Idris and I (or his look-a-like). hahahahahahaha

I could expound on the possibilities of the scenario for hours on end but I have a road trip to prepare for. I really do hope Ms. Big Spenda has found some peace and didn't become Ms. Smashed My Homie and My Man With A Bat.

Enjoy your weekend!!!


Oh and the dress is packed in the suitcase!!! They. Aint. Ready.

Friday, June 25, 2010

We Blamed it On the Boogie Before We Blamed it On the Alcohol: Q 4 a B-fly

Q: What are your top five Michael Jackson songs? - Anonymous

A: How could you ask me to pick my top 5 MJ songs?? That's like asking me to pick my ultimate top 5 pair or shoes. To pick one over the other is betrayal. Similar to a Lays potato chip I can't just pick one (or 5). So in no particular order here are my 5 picks. You want a countdown? Turn to MTV.....oh wait they don't show music anymore. Seriously what the hell does the "M" stand for now? Misled? Mush? Muchoshit??? Okay I'm stalling.

1. Butterflies. Come on! Look at the title of this blog. How could I NOT pick this song. It's a tender sentiment sung over a nice midtempo 2 step beat. I think of dancing with "that guy" at the end of a party. I think of summer drives, windows down, with "that guy". The song just makes me smile. And just listening to it, gives me butterflies.

2. Off the Wall. Seriously I think I listened to this record so much on my baby blue and white record player when I was a kid, MJ ingrained in me to live life off the wall. If you know me, you know I am conventionally unconventional and challenge life to be pretty much off the wall as much as I can. Since I can't claim the entire album (I'm trying to follow the guidelines of this question), I have to claim the title track as the one that does it for me. I could listen to this song ALL DAY ON REPEAT and sing along every single time. While prepping for this challenge, I listened to all the MJ songs on my iPod (Sidebar: I'm thinking about getting a new iPod. Any thoughts on the newer models. Don't ask me what "generation" my iPod is because I have no clue. Its white, has the click wheel and I've had it for about 2 or 3 years. LOL). When I got to this song, I played it back 4 times and chair danced/bopped my entire train ride. And then I had to listen to it one more time as I did my "Strut" down the street to meet a friend.

"There'll be no darkness tonight/lady our love will shine/just put your trust in my heart/and meet me in paradise/Now is the time/Girl, you're ever wonder in this world to me/A treasure time won't slip away"
3. Not only is "The Lady in My Life" one of my favorite MJ songs, its one of my favorite ballads of all time. Its loving, sexual without being vulgar, tender, and whoever he was singing about, he convinced me that he meant forever with this woman and not just until morning. Between me and you, whenever my love life (or lack thereof) has me feeling a lil off, I play this song. It affirms my belief that maybe one day, some guy will play this for me. And mean it.

4. Okay, I'm going to cheat a little and pick a Jackson 5 song next. Hey, you didn't specify strictly MJJ songs and for God's sake he sang on it so it counts right?! Its not like that group that used the voice of one of the Weather Girls in a song BUT used the body of model chick in the video who knew damn well she didn't have the poundage to belt out "COME ON LETS SWEAT! BAAAABAY, LET THE MUSIC TAKE CONTROL LET THE RHYTHM MOVE YOUUUUU". But I digress. Even picking a song from the Jackson 5 era was difficult. I mean Joe had them churning out albums like he churned out babies. But ONE of my favorite Jackson 5 songs is "Can You Feel It". Sure there are a gazillion other songs I could have picked but this song just moves me. Ask my friends, if this song comes on WHEREVER I am - at a club, in a store, in a car, I'm dancing. Hands overhead, eyes closed, body pulsing, all that (well unless I'm driving). Not to mention the message of the song. Its downright spiritual. It's so inspiring with its hope for a better more peaceful world, you almost want to scream out YES, I CAN FEEL IT!!! (*ahem, that's what she said.)

5. Damn one more song to go. Should I pick Liberian Girl? Scream? Blame it on the Boogie? Never Can Say Goodbye?? Dancing, Dancing, DANCING I'ma Dancing Machine??? I'll Be There? Remember the Time ( I mean who DIDN'T try to learn that entire video dance sequence)?? Dirty Diana??? Actually I wouldn't pick this song. It's my least favorite Michael Jackson song but I digress. You Rock My World? Or maybe I Can't Let Her Getaway? Or how about Heaven Can Wait?? You know what, I can't. I can't pick just one more song to add to this definitive list. I love them all, well except Dirty Diana. But one song out of a catalog as extensive as Michael Jackson's is unheard of in this age of "lemme git one hit on my cd" revolving one hit wonders.

So I leave this list unfinished just as Michael left his work unfinished when he left this Earth a year ago today. Damn, I still can't believe he's gone. It's still surreal. To finish this list would be to close a chapter, to end my love affair with his music. And that's not something I wish to do. Ever. I leave the door open to fall in love all over again with any one of his songs.

Yeah, you could say I cheated because I didn't fully answer your question by giving you the 5 songs you requested. Sue me. As the late great Michael Joseph Jackson sang with his brothers, "Don't blame it on the sunshine/Don't blame it on the moonlight/Don't blame it on the good times/BLAME IT ON THE BOOGIE"

Since you asked me, what are your Top 5 Michael Jackson songs? Feel free to list them in the comments below.


PS To the person who sent this question to me, I apologize for the delay. You sent this to me in March but as you can see it took me a minute to answer this. First the list was unbearable to compile and secondly, it just seemed like a fitting tribute to Michael Jackson on the sorrow-versary of his passing.

PPS I know I haven't answered these questions in quite some time, but please feel free to ask away. I want to resurrect this feature on the blog but can't do it without you. Thanks.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Butterflies Don't Wear Tu-Tu' they??

In an effort to put myself on a routine and not be a complete bum during my FUNemployment lady of leisure days, I started going back to the gym. I may have exercise ADHD because despite the workout playlist on my iPod I get bored. So to avoid giving up, I looked up the classes offered by my gym last night. I noticed there was a ballet class offered today and decided to check it out.

As a kid, I took ballet classes and loved them. Sure, I stopped taking ballet about 17 years ago but whats that saying about riding a bike??? (sidebar: for the record, I don't know how to ride a bike so I don't know if the saying is true or not! hahahah)

Ummm yeah, about that ballet class..........

It became pretty evident after about 10 minute in class that this butterfly was never meant to be a ballerina. EVER. Thankfully, I remember some of the stances and positions but ummm that's about it. And to make matters worse there were only 3 students in the class - some Baryshnikov Italian Vogue model hybrid, a soccer mom yoga devotee, and me. Every comment the instructor made about "form" or "don't compare yourself to others in the class, I knew was directed at my ass. And I couldn't help but giggle which made me think of the following list:

The TOP 3 Reasons I'll NAYVER be a Ballerina

1. My bootay. I do not believe that I have the biggest, roundest, most audacious video booty on the planet. However, when the instructor kept reminding me to keeping my backside in line with my shoulders, I was reminded of a similar situation at dance school as a youngster. Back then, my instructor would admonish me to "tuck it in" as she pointed to my behind. Finally, I told her "I can't tuck it in no more" thus dashing my ballerina dreams even back then. My booty is gonna stick out. I can't help it.

2. My boobs. Now, my boobs have NAYVER been in the Pam Anderson league. Until I gained weight, I was a proud member of the itty bitty committee. And even with the weight, I'm still not some busty vixen....well not without the help of my Vicki Secret undergarments but I digress. However, its difficult to be gracefully with your movements with the fun bags in the way. Every arm movement change, I knocked into my breasts. I couldn't help it.

3. I look broken. For those who don't me, let me share a secret with you. I have hyper-extended joints. In hood speak, I'm double-jointed. And yes, Ive heard every joke about this, so spare me (remind me to share my friends' DJ theory one day). Since there were only 4 people in the studio, I got a chance to get a full length snapshot of myself moving through these graceful movements. And Lord please forgive me but I look like a paraplegic. My legs were bent way too far back for anything I did to look as graceful as I pictured it my head. In fact, it looked like I met a bully in a back alley and refused to give up my lunch money. And when I tried to fix it, my knees were too bent to actually move my ass across the dance floor.

So you would think that after this revelation, I would say to hell with this ballet bullshit. Especially since, my ENTIRE body is sore like I just went one round with Mike Tyson. Seriously, I do not recall ballet hurting this much. I KNOW I wouldn't have let my mother spend all that money on ballet lessons and tu-tus for recitals if the shit hurt this bad. Muscles I probably haven't used since my last ballet class are SCREAMING AT ME!!!!

Call me crazy, but I'm sticking with it. As a matter of fact, this butterfly is going to the same place my mom used to buy my leotards and slippers as a kid. But this time, just for the slippers. I'll save the tu-tu for a night out on the town.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Bad Tan

One of the unfortunate things I walked away from hearing President Obama speak at graduation is a tan. A bad tan. I wore this French Connection halter style maxi dress:

with this statement necklace (courtesy of Banana Republic):

While it was a beautifully sunny day it wasn't very warm, initially, so I wore a blazer. When I returned to my hotel room on a full Obama high, I noticed that the area of my cleavage not covered by necklace, dress or blazer was red. But since it is well documented that I take FOREVER to tan, I thought nothing of it. Until I woke up the next day.

Not only were "the girls" about 3 shades darker but I had an outline of the statement necklace etched into my skin!! What the deuce, global warming?? It wasn't even that hot out that day.

Two weeks later and its just as prominent. I've been camouflaging the discoloration with other statement necklaces and/or higher cut tanks and tees. On Saturday at a day party, I commented that I hadn't even started to peel when someone noticed the 2 tone (sidebar: I went to a day party at 4 in the afternoon and got home after 2 in the morning....different spin on day party...hahahaha). Usually, I peel in a week. Now, I feel like I'm permanently stained.

Monday, I was in a good mood. I woke up feeling like that damn Black Eyed Peas song. I had a feeling oooooh ooooh.....Until, I heard from Bubba - the idiot moneyman of my former company. And of course it wasn't good thus smashing my ooooooh ooooh good good feelings into a pile of shit.

To say that I was pissed is the understatement. I understand why people lose it at work. Not saying that I would do that, because I wouldn't. I realize these motherfuckers ain't worth it. BUT.......I understand. Its so easy to make these decisions from hundreds of miles away and not to my face. I often speak of the end of my time with the company as a corporate divorce. For the first time, it felt like a divorce,the underhanded sneaky kind where a spouse is hiding money in an offshore account in his momma's name. I'd been duped to believe I'd be treated with kindness in a fair manner. WRONG!!!

Since I couldn't smack a bitch Wayne Brady style, I cried. I cried out of the sheer frustration of it all. It's like a line from a Lauren Hill song: "It could all be so simple/but you'd rather make it hard." I cried until I thought couldn't cry anymore. And began to cry again. Big raindrop tears sliding down the contour of my face.

In an effort to stop crying about this, I decided to take a shower and wash my hair. There is something infinitely relaxing and calming about having water streaming from my hair to my skin. I slathered conditioner in my hair and just let the water hit me until my skin was pruned and my tears seamlessly blended into the water. I have no idea how long I stood there in the shower.

Eventually, I grabbed my loofah and body wash and began to lather up. Scrubbing across my chest area, something felt odd. I opened my eyes and looked down. There, on my chest,were tiny rolled up somethings. Upon inspection I realized, my skin was peeling!!!! I've never been so happy to see such a disgusting sight. Instantly, my tears turned to laughter. There I was, in my shower, laughing like I was watching an episode of Modern Family { Sidebar: Hands down, this was the funniest show this season. I don't know if we can be friends if you disagree. LOL}

In that moment, it hit me. Nothing lasts forever. No matter how permanent it may seem. My tan. This bullshit with my ex-employer. Eventually, they will all fade to distant memories. I realized that I would be okay.....shit, I'd be more than okay!! Who knew that somewhere in a bad tan, there was a lesson I needed to be reminded of. I stepped out of the shower and proceeded to hum:

I got a feeling..........oooooooh ooooh

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Rant: The Last Hoorah

Over the past couple of months, a few things have occurred that under different circumstances they would have been an instant blog, letting my fingers do the ranting. However, the corporate divorce became a tenant in my mindspace. But every time these lil' things happened I would think "I soooo wanna blog about this." And since the corporate divorce has been officially evicted I think its time to evict these rants from my mindspace as well.

About a year ago, a guy expressed interest in me and I wasn't sure I could date him. He seemed like a nice guy, was quite attractive, and always pleasant when I would run into during the work day. So what was the problem??? Well it wasn't a problem, it was more of an issue. He was younger than me. He's in his twenties and I'm........well I'm not. I've NAYVER dated a guy younger than me. EVER. Not even a year younger. Truth be told, I've always preferred a guy at least 2 years older. So once I knew Youngin's age, I built up a wall faster than the US-Mexican border patrol. But he was persistent. And eventually I agreed to hang out with him (see I won't even call it a I must admit, I had fun that night. But I still couldn't get past the age difference and our schedules never seemed to mesh. I rarely had a weekend free and he never had a weekday free.
So fast forward to March, the birthday month. I invited Youngin' to my birthday party and he accepted the invitation. Trust and believe, I was way to occupied (errrrr....... read: tipsy) to wonder whether he would show up or not. However, the following day I received a text message from him basically stating that he was way too drunk to make it to my party but wanted to make it up to me. Ummm, okay? (Insert *shrug* here). I saw him a few times after and he continued to apologize and wanted a chance to make it up to moi. By the end of March, I relented and said "Okay, you can make it up to me. Better yet, I'll even make myself available on a weekend. Just let me know when. "
A few weeks passed and I didn't hear from him. Again insert *shrug* here. No big deal. No worries. The corporate divorce had become my boo by then.
One late night, I happen to log onto the book of Face. While scrolling through my friends and their silly status updates, I come across a cryptic message from him (full disclosure: he requested me as a friend after I told him he could no longer read the blog if he was trying to date me. He stopped reading and I got a friend request. LOL). I clicked on his page to read the previous status to understand the one I saw and that's when I saw it. Right under his name:

Relationship Status: Married to XXXXXXXX
WHAT. THE. FUCK????????? MARRIED??!!!

As my curiosity caused me to scroll down the page, I noticed this status had changed sometime in March. Soooooooo, let me get this straight. In the same month he vowed to "make it up to me" he was making a vow to someone else to love, honor, and cherish 'til death they part????? Get the fuck outta here, man. Seriously.

I wish I could say this is the only time this has happened to me but sadly/comically it's not. A dude I know from childhood was trying HARD to get at me but I just wasn't interested (and yes he met the age requirement...hahahaha). I could never pin why I didn't want to meet him for drinks, go out for dinner or any other request he sent my way. I just wasn't interested. A couple of months go by and I find out that he is getting married to a girl I know. Granted I haven't seen the girl in years but I know her and he KNOWS that I know her.

These 2 situations have bugged the hell outta me. First of all, I AM NOT YOUR DAMN LAST HOORAH. Seriously, if you've committed to MARRY someone, you should have sown your royal oats PRIOR to asking for her hand in marriage. You will not use my time, energy. mindspace, and damn sure not my body as your bachelor party. Secondly, stop thinking with your dick! Okay, you find me attractive. So fucking what??? You're already committed you and your dick to another chick. And quite frankly, I don't want it. Finding me attractive is a compliment. Thank you. Trying to talk to me when you're en route to the altar is an insult. No thanks. Lastly, how do you know I wouldn't pull something like this:

photo credit: JaxonPhotoGroup (c) 2010*

Seriously, men complain all the time, "chicks are crazy" (and to be fair, vice versa). But with a different chick (damn sure not me), this could be a photo in their wedding albums, complete with the above drama (this is a staged photoshoot, by the way). However, where's his responsibity for her "crazy"? What role does he play in what drove a woman to that point of "crazy"? Just as I didn't know of their altar destinations, they didn't know what I could have been capable of. Is getting with me, really worth that risk???!! I mean I'm aiiiiiight, but damn, really??

I actually saw Youngin' twice after the book of Face notified me of his relationship status change. The first time, I was quite rude, which is typically not me. But it was late, I was tired, and I'd been trying to hail a cab in midtown for over 20 minutes, all of which combined, does not not make for a cheery Butterfly. The second time was my last day at the plantation. He did me a favor. While I was grateful, I did tell him "um that's the least you can do" and that's all I said on the matter. We said goodbye, I wished him well and I ended the convo with "take care" - the quintessential "there's nothing more to say and I doubt you'll hear from me".

I guess the writer in me wants to know the what ifs....what if I rationalized my way out of saying no to these dudes? What if I'd spent time with them? What if I started to care for them? But thankfully, I'll never have to know. Another chapter of drama I can leave to the imagination.

(whew! just one or 2 more rants to go. clearing out my mindspace one toxic tenant at a time. WHOOOOOOOSAH)

*photo by a fellow Hamptonian, Jack Manning III. Check out his amazing work, here. If our schedules mesh (and I lose a few), hopefully we'll shoot soon before he gets too big time! LOL

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Indelible Date

On Saturday, at 2:30 in the morning, I found myself in one of the seediest place in New York City , Penn Station. At this time of hour its usually filled with drunk kids who've missed the last trains to Long Island, homeless people trying to catch a few zzz's, and lets not forget your garden variety weirdos/junkies/drunks who amble throughout the spacious transportation hub. And there are also your travelers. Of course I was part of the later group.

There's a train that leaves New York at 3am. And there was no amount of junkies, weirdos and such to stop me from boarding that train. I had a date. A date with history. A date with Obama.

During the tornado storm of my corporate divorce, I was notified of an opportunity of a lifetime. President Obama was speaking at the commencement ceremony of my alma mater, Hampton University on Mother's Day, and there was a lottery of 1,000 tickets given away online. Prior to the announcement of the lottery, I'd secretly wish there was a way I could go but hid it under the nightmare of it all - traffic, people, stress.. So when the lottery was announced it was as if my secret was laying the smackdown to my doubts. And then I won. I happened to score 2 tickets in the lottery. I was sooooo excited - greater than a kid in a candy store, more than a pig in shit. I was over the moon 10 times over.

When I boarded that train, my fatigue was greater than my excitement. The long work hours, the actual corporate closing, the constant on the go of the past couple of weeks finally caught up to me. I fell asleep way before the rocking of the train had a chance to lull me to la-la land. I have no recollection of dreams. I just slept. For hours, I was comatose. When I woke up, the sun was shining brightly, and the country side greenery had replaced my urban concrete. And just as quickly as the scenery had changed in my consciousness, my fatigue gave way to my excitement. I went to the bathroom to remove my headscarf and uncoil my hair (the ONLY time I have EVER left my house with the headscarf) to give myself something to do, a distraction if you will.

Finally, an hour late, my train pulled into the train station. And there he was. Baskin Robbins. Waiting for me. It felt like a scene from a movie. The warm breeze billowing my maxi dress and sweeping through my hair as I descended the train with my travel bag and walked towards him. He stood by his car, with his hands in his pockets, looking for me in the crowd. Since he's so tall, I spotted him first. I tried to hide my smile, rationalize that it was my excitement of finally getting here and one step closer to seeing Obama. Maybe I was right. Or highly delusional.

My excitement quickly gave way to pissivity. I arrived on campus to pick up my tickets to be told that I was on some waiting list and that I would have to come back. WHAT??!!! Stop the press!!! I came allllllll the way from New York to be told I was on a waiting list and that I needed to come back later in the day to pick up my alleged wait listed tickets on a first come first serve basis. That's not what my email said. It read "Congratulations" for goodness sake. This ladies and gents, is what I like to dub "BCBS" - Black College BullShit. Don't get me wrong. I LOVVVVVE MY SCHOOL. But as any attendee and/or graduate of a historically black college or university can tell you, there are some things that happen that you know is some bullshit that your counterparts at white institutions don't have to deal with, whether its a computer glitch (as in this case), the crappy food (Gourmet Services is an oxymoron), or the quintessential run-around, its all BCBS.

Luckily for me, my girl KP was able to pull some influential strings and secure a ticket for me. I couldn't thank her enough. As a matter of fact, days later and I'm still thanking her. Unfortunately that meant Baskin Robbins was without a ticket. I felt bad because he was my plus one but not so bad that I would give him my ticket. But I must admit, just between me you and the internets, there were times during the ceremony that I wish I had someone sitting there right beside me. Someone to share the moment with. But I digress. And if you repeat this I will deny, Deny, DENY. But I digress.

Earlier than I ever want to get up on a Sunday, my alarm goes off. While I was uber excited to head over to campus to see OUR president, my body was not having it. Especially since I was wrapped in chocolate. Being single doesn't offer many opportunities to cuddle. So when the opportunity arises, its like.....heaven. Seriously, I realize that I'm gonna need a cuddle clause in my pre-nup. But like Chuck D, I had to fight the powers that be. I had a date.

The commencement ceremony was outside on the football field. Since you could feel the excitement blowing in the wind once you arrived on campus, there was no way any building could contain all that positive energy. The graduates began to march in and there was a swell of pride rippling through the stadium. But every couple of seconds everyone kept looking towards the right side of the field.

And then he arrived.

The standing ovation paled in comparison to the standing of our pride. There he was, the President of the United States of America gliding into the football stadium with the same confident stride you've come to expect of the President. I saw grandma's batting their hankies at the corner of their eyes, little kids jumping up and down like Santa Claus arrived or Yo Gabba Gabba took the stage. The graduates??? Mannnn, I'm surprised no one fainted and had to be carried off the field. I could compare it to the hysteria of Michael Jackson fans, but this IS HAMPTON UNIVERSITY so it was way more dignified but the emotion was still the same.

Before I went traveled down to Hampton, I had to essentially ask my mother's permission to miss the holiday dedicated to her for birthing and raising me. After her initial sarcasm ("I don't recall Obama writing a tuition check to Hampton"), she said, "I have a feeling you need to be there and I don't want to stand in your way. This will be good for you." I wasn't so sure about needing to be there as opposed to wanting to be there. My mother is never dramatic (she leaves that to me) but I just nodded and said "Uhhh okay, Ma". But as I listened to President Obama speak, I must admit, she was right. I needed to be there. Not only his speech, but the experience has touched me in such an indelible way. Its hard to describe how I felt. Challenged, inspired, optimistic, renewed all come to mind. Every single step, everything I'd been through up until that moment was worth it because it all let me to this moment.

After the ceremony, I went to meet a friend who was there in a more official capacity, one of the photographers assigned to cover the event. I walked across the football field to find him and giggled because in all the time I've spent at Hampton and all the football games I attended, I'd never ever walked across the football field. As I got closer to the stage and podium where the President has stood just moments before I felt like Armstrong Field was my own personal field of dreams. In that moment, I felt there is nothing that I can't do. As I enter this new chapter of my life, a chapter where uncertainty and doubts will sometimes rear their ugly heads, that moment, that speech, that spot on the field reassured me that I will be just fine.

For those of you that want to see OUR President speak at MY school:

Friday, April 23, 2010


I know my absence on here is more consistent than my presence at times but this week has been one of those weeks. The disolution portion of this corporate divorce has me by the......well balls if I had some but you get my drift. The vice grip hold on my time, my thoughts, my mind is more like a suffocating choke hold. This week has been wake up, dash to work, crisis greets me at the door, put out multiple fires at once, curse, stress, pack, curse some more, leave work drained, drink to ease my nerves, pass out and start all over again. And yes I said drink. I've had a drink every night this week. Wine on Monday. Margaritas on tuesday. Wine & margaritas on Wednesday. Frozen apple martini on Thursday. Some may say I should exercise or meditate or take walk or some healthy life improving shit like that. Those all sound like lovely options but this week I aint got time for all that.

Yesterday was by far the far (Praying as I write this on the subway that today is not a repeat..and yes I'm going in on my day off. See why I drink?!). It started with the furniture guys cancelling my appointment to pick up all this damn office furniture. Apparently they skipped a day in kindergarten when a valuable lesson was learned. They don't want to share the frieght elevator with another tenant. So I'm scrambling to negotiate a new move out date with the landlord that happens to fall after the end of our lease.

In the midst of that I get into a shouting match with someone in the leasing department of the Copy machine company. I know I'm stressed but she started it! The only thing I will quote from that argument is "For $7.50 an hour it's not rocket science. What the fuck is your problem?! What's so hard about scheduling a pick up for this piece of shit" I know that's not nice. But she and allllll this stress took me there. Needless to say, the shit still isn't resolved.

As if that wasn't enough to send me over the edge, I had to call 911. Long story short, our computer consultant got really ill in one of the offices (I'll spare you the gory details). After he cleaned up, I thought he left (he said "Bye. I'll call you tomorrow to reschedule"). About 20 minutes later, someone knocked on my office door and told me that the guy was passed out in the men's room. Good Lord, Baby Jesus, save me and send me on vacation!!!!

And then the ridiculous happened. I waited patiently in the hallway by the men's room for EMS arrived (wanna feel like a perv for no reason? stand by the restroom for the opposite sex. The strange looks are priceless....and a lil dirty feeling). When they finally arrived, one went right to business. The other was cracking jokes and gave me the once over, you know the head to toe assessment. When I noticed it I thought to myself, Did she just give me the 'assessment'? Yes you read that correctly and this is not a typo. SHE!!! She then proceeded to compliment my blouse and the color (I must say the peachy tones of my blouse were quite nice on my skin tone as she noticed in her compliment but still that kinda fish is not on my menu). Before I could thank her she said "Mmm, you're cute!" with a wink! And that ladies and gents was when I, The Resident Butterfly, was officially done! D-O-N-E. I almost did a crazy person wall slide right there in the office corridor (for the record I did thank her - I have manners - and informed her that I was straight. Talk about awkward!!)

This day couldn't get any stranger or any more stressful. I'd reached my limit. Matter of fact, I was maxed out. I'm surprised my mind, body, and soul haven't charged me overdraft fees yet because I have to be wayyyy over my stress limit. I alternate between wanting to cry (I'm still an emotional woman), punch a wall (I think my male friends are rubbing off on me), or just sit in a corner and laugh (but that might land me in the land of loony tunes). I need overdraft protection. I never ever ever ever want to do this again. Well unless the money is reallllly good. (and that does not include getting hit on by a tatted up white EMS woman; there is no amount of money to endure that)

Okay I feel like I'm rambling and the subway is about to pull into my station. If any of you want to gift me a calgon take me away tropical destination vacation because you pity the foolishness I've had to endure, you know how to find me. Hopefully, I won't be in a corner in a straight jacket. I'd rather be in a corner with a cocktail.

-- Sent from my Palm Prē

*as you can see by the time I posted this, I forgot to hit send on my email. And no the day didn't get any better. Pray for my sanity please.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Special Delivery

Saturday morning. 9:15 am. Phone rings.

30 minutes later, I'm having breakfast with a friend from high school (in sweats and sneakers!! and if you really know me, you KNOW this is MAJOR..hahahaha). Afterwards, I decided to stroll the streets of Harlem. I talk about my love of my neighborhood often but with the hustle and bustle of life, I realize I walk the same streets, travel the same way daily. Not only is that not safe (I see you, stalkers) but I'm missing out on the beauty of my hood.

I wandered into stores that I always make a mental note for. I purchased a great cup of peppermint tea from a small bakery. I wandered into a small dress boutique, picked out a dress to order (saving my pennies to afford said dress....plantation layoff is trying to kill my summer wardrobe), and struck up a very inspiring conversation with the owner. As I walked up and down the tree lined streets, I wondered if I was really ready to leave it all behind. Like really ready.

When I arrived home, with bags of all that was purchased on my walk home, I made a beeline for the mailboxes. My mission to stalk the mailman had not be lost. I was FOCUSED, MAN. I peer down into my mailbox and on top of my InStyle magazine, there it was. A key. I started doing the happy dance right there in the mailroom. My neighbor asked me if I was okay. Let me explain. In my mailroom we have lockers. And if you have a package that's too big for the box (that's what he said), the mailman will put the package in a locker and place the key in your box (he said that too).

I dragged all of my bags over to the lockers and looked for the magic locker that corresponded to the number on my key. Voila! There inside this locker laid a cardboard box with a brightly hued label addressed to me. WOOOOOHOOOOOO!!!! Seriously, I was a kid on Christmas. Right there in my lobby. Giggles and glee galore. There is a picture hanging in my apartment of me on Christmas morning holding a blue and white record player. I had to be about 6 years old in the picture. Even years later, the photo barely contains my excitement. If I'd taken a picture on Saturday, I'm pretty sure I'd look like that picture. Well without The Smurf pajamas then and dyed hair now.

I calmed down a bit. Well....enough to drop everything right by my front door. Well....everything except the brown cardboard box tucked securely under my left arm. We had some business to take care of.

I settled into my bedroom (don't know why I felt compelled to open package in my boudoir...but that's where I dashed to when I got home). I called Baskin Robbins. I wanted to be on the phone with him when I unraveled this mystery. UGH!!! He didn't answer, therefore forcing me to begin to open the gift bestowed upon me (and my mailbox). After the battle of epic proportions between myself and the clear packing tape that was stood between myself and the answer to my stalkerific behavior, the box was finally opened. I screamed in sheer delight.

Among some other things, this man sent me a Bell Biv Devoe CD and a notebook. Lemme explain why this had me kicking up my heels and screaming with glee on my queen size bed (without the man even being in the room). Back in March, during March Madness: The Birthday Edition (what I dubbed my 31 days of bday celebrations), I saw Bell Biv Devoe in concert. If there is anything to know about me, I am a New Edition fan. A serious fan. I still have New Edition albums in mint condition. ALBUMS SON!!! I still have the tour book from the NE Heartbreak tour. I skipped school in HS to stand on line to get an autograph from Ralph Tresvant at a record store (safely secured in a photo album to this day). I told a best friend 7 years ago if she went in to labor during a New Edition concert, our friendship was over. I've known her since I was 6 (actually we used to plan our weddings to NE members together at sleepovers). My love for New Edition and most of its derivatives (Johnny, eh not so much) is strong and deep. So my friends got together and treated me to one of the best Sunday nights - a BBD show. And I loved EVERY. SINGLE. NANOSECOND.

Of course after the show, I spoke to Baskin Robbins and damn near gave a play by play of the show, complete with a medley style vocal rendition of their hits. As usual, we laughed at ourselves and each other. And then the conversation moved on to other points of interest.

The notebook in hindsight is kind of a no brainer. I recently read to him something I wrote. He quoted something from it later on in the conversation and I blushed. I don't think before I was brave enough to read to him that he took my writing aspirations as more than a hobby, a fleeting pastime.

Some of you may read about the contents of this box and think, "That's it?" But he listens. He gets me. That's what I saw in that box.. He didn't just walk into a store and plop his credit card down on the counter for some meaningless unimaginative crappy gift like some prepackaged gift basket. He thought about me. Like really thought about something that would make me smile. This may not seem earth shattering to some, but to paraphrase MJ, he rocked my world. I was really touched. I've always proclaimed its the little things that matter most to me. Finally, someone listened.

Now I have 2 cards on my dresser.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Q-4 a B-Fly: Who Let the Rabbits Out?

Q: My upstairs neighbors are very...uuugghh...amorous. They are screwing like rabbits and keeping me up at night. What should I do? ~ About to Make Rabbit Earmuffs

A: Dear Earmuffs:

Damn. This is a tough one. On one hand you don't want to labeled a bitter bitch who aint getting any. However on the other hand, shit you need your rest or you'll be labeled a sleepy bitch who ain't got no job. (and yes I used the ebonic vernacular for dramatic flair, creative license if you will)

First, where is the sound is coming from in all this rabbit fucking going on upstairs? If the sounds and vibrations are coming through a wall, like a thump thump thump, then it is possible they have a headboard and that headboard is fucking the wall which is causing you to lose sleep. If that's the case you may slip them a note under their door asking them to move the headboard far away from the wall so you don't get the sounds of their rabbit rhythm amplified through the walls.

Now if the woman (assuming these are hetero rabbits) is doing her best porntastic impersonation while she is ummmmmm "doing her thang", then you might say something to her when you see her alone (and clothed). Something like "Ummm, I hear you (with a knowing look). Do you mind keeping it down?" should work. If she has any sense, maybe she'll be embarassed and will keep that in mind the next time she's feeling amorous.

Now if the neighborly neighbor thing doesn't work out that's when you reach into your bag of tricks.

Freshman year of college, Roomie and I lived adjacent to 2 girls from Cali. Given the time difference they would be up all hours of the night watching (and singing along with) Sister Act (why that movie? I have no fucking clue). Literally, they were up until 2, 3, 4 o'clock in the morning. Roomie and I would just suck it up and throw our covers over our head like eventually these heffas have to get used to the time difference. Well thanks to the ability to choose all afternoon classes, they never got used to the time difference. So Roomie and I went to plan B. Since both of us had morning classes, we would get up EARLY (you know you have to look cute on the yard) and BLAST Michael Jackson or Mary J. Blige or Total or TLC EARLY IN THE MORNING on my NYC boombox. Its not my fault you just went to bed 2 hours ago. One of them tried to slyly throw shade at our early morning DJ sessions with something like "Wow, I didn't know anybody still loved Michael Jackson like that." To which I responded, "Wow, I didn't know anybody loved Sister Act like that (raised eyebrow)." Point. Set. Match. Not to say they completely stopped their late night movies but they were a lot quieter about it. So what you may want to do is BLAST WHATEVER MOVES YOU IN THE MORNING. Turn that volume ALL THE WAY UP in your bedroom. And if you can, point your speakers upward towards the ceiling. Hey, if you can't get to sleep at night then you need the music to move you to get your day started. If they have the audacity to say something, you can then in turn bring up (again) how their late night music keeps you up as well.

Taking a broom stick and banging on the ceiling works as a definite coitus interuptus. Initially they will stop like "wait did you hear something?", listen for a second and then slowly get back to their old rabbit habits. Once the party gets started again, bang again. They'll get the hint. Or so I've been told.

You could make your own bit of rabbit noise but that would only piss off the people below you, thus causing a chain reaction kind of rift in your apartment building. No bueno.

Last step, and only go this route when you are at your wits' end, notify management. Nothing spells embarrassment like getting a letter from your property manager telling you to keep the late night noises down to a minimum (so I've heard). Depending on the rules and regulations set forth by your property managers, repeat complaints could get their asses evicted and homeless rabbit fucking ain't cute.

Or as a concerned citizen you could call the cops. If you're awaken in the middle of the night by violent thrashing taking place in the apartment upstairs, you very well could be concerned about the safety of your neighbor and yourself for that matter. To be on the safe side, you may want to have law enforcement intervene to make sure that everything is okay upstairs. This by no means endorses any kind of making a false police statement foolishness. Oh no, officer, with crime being up all over the country, you can never be too safe.

And if all else fails, make those rabbit earmuffs headphone equipped and go to sleep listening to the rhythmic thump of your IPod.

I hope this helps.