is this what my life has become? i don't have any kind of fabulous whatever to do w/ myself, so i kick it in the laundromat until they close?? i used to be miss out thursday-through-saturday, sleep it off sunday, happy hour tuesday & wednesday. wtf happened to me, y'all? *sigh* whatever. i'll figure it all out. in the meantime, i stole a meme from sanderson who stole it from none other than peanut.
Where did you begin 2007?
hanging out w/ la familia lamb.
What was your status by Valentine’s Day?
coming off my mommy's 48th birthday
Were you in school (anytime this year)?
Did you have any encounters with the police?
yeah. trace & i called the cops on some dude who was slappin his woman around at 13th & carpenter.
Where did you go on vacation?
in my mind. that's changing soon, though
What did you purchase that was over $500?
Did you know anybody who got married?
do i? hmmm. no.
Did you know anybody who passed away?
Did you move anywhere?
What sporting events did you attend?
none. i missed relays this year. womp.
Describe your birthday:
What’s something you thought you would not do but did in 2007?
see patti labelle have straight up CHURCH on national televis
What has been your favorite moment(s)?
my first official dgf customer, meeting lily, hanging out w/ emerson, watching femi kuti live at the shrine, realizing the glory that is shayne, hearing owusu & hannibal's "a million babies" for the first time ever, karas' dinner party . . . i'm sure there's more that i can't recall.
Any new additions to your family?
yes! my cousin cynthia gave birth in late november to a little girl named selenia carolina.
What was your best month?
i have no idea.
Who has been your best drinking buddy?
i have a lot of those.
Overall, how would you rate this year?
it gets a 100 for danceability.
Change your hairstyle?
a bit, but not as much as i think i'm about to
Do you have a New Year’s resolution?
to continue on this path. that's not a resolution so much as it is a given. but my new years tend to be birthday related.
Do anything embarrassing?
um, yesterday i walked out of the laundromat without actually turning on a washer.
Buy anything new from eBay?
yes! books. yay!
Get married or divorced?
Be honest - did you watch American Idol?
when they got rid of melinda, i stopped writing myself notes to watch.
Did you get sick this year?
a lil bit
Are you happy to see 2007 go?
i'm always happy to live through another calendar year. i won't miss 2007.
Been naughty or nice?
nicety. like michel'le.
is this what my life has become? i don't have any kind of fabulous whatever to do w/ myself, so i kick it in the laundromat until they close?? i used to be miss out thursday-through-saturday, sleep it off sunday, happy hour tuesday & wednesday. wtf happened to me, y'all? *sigh* whatever. i'll figure it all out. in the meantime, i stole a meme from sanderson who stole it from none other than peanut.
so i suppose it'd be best for me to just let it out:
struggle is relative. pain is relative. you can't ever discredit someone else's sentiments based on your world view. it's inaccurate, it's unfair, & essentially the same thing as telling them that they don't matter. you never know what's brought another person (or a group of ppl) to a certain point, nor can you ever fully know what's gonna happen as they press forward.
"just cuz i'm doin' better now/ don't mean i never lost shit" -- black thought, "clock with no hands"
i'll probably come back to this post later. but i've touched on this before, this hungry, hateful way in which humans destroy (or attempt to) one another. it's almost like we get so wrapped up in our pain/ drama/ bullshit that other folks' tiniest advances are like an affront to us. at least, it seems that way. maybe i'm being more sensitive than i usually am, but it's true. *shrug*
i know you said you were tired of rapping.
but, you have lain to waste every single song you've appeared on between the release of idlewild in 2006 & all your guest spots & class of 3000, vol. 1 album. do you think that maybe, just maybe i could get to see you on tour sometime up close & personal before i die? you don't have to do any big outkast tour. it could be you just showing up at a big boi / purple ribbon show. somethin. maybe the next time i catch an esthero show, you'll pop up. or something like that. i'm not asking for a whole lot, man. i swear. i just need to witness your gloriousness in person. i won't try to snatch you off the stage. i won't try to get backstage and get pregnant by you. i really won't. i just need you on stage while i'm screaming/ singing my head off. really. it won't hurt. i promise it won't. please.
(originally titled: "i'm not about to play mammy to anyone")
the other day, i got my membership packet from DONA international in the mail. i thumbed through the two newsletters & introductory info packet. i just sighed & thought, "i paid XX dollars to join an organization that won't recommend you unless you get w/ their program, & these fuckers don't even give me a membership card? blah."
then i looked at the newsletters more closely. i saw maybe one photo of a black woman & baby. i sighed, swallowed hard & heard that lovely little voice inside my head going all crazy: "wtf? you know there are black doulas, & there are black women who utilize the services of doulas . . . this shit's gotta change. get your training ASAP. read those books, find out if jackie from family birth mark is gonna be doing any classes in late spring to early summer. read some books. get comcast to come install cable, so you can research your ass off. & get ready to deal w/ those white folks, especially those who don't think of you as 'really' black; & don't forget the skeptical black folks who think you're on some new age erykah badu earth mother bullshit . . ."
i've since calmed down. i thought about some things, had some talks (thx karas & mommy & trace), & came to the conclusion that i must simply place one foot before the other. i will be certified as a birth & postpartum doula. i will seek clients who are under or unrepresented within the realm of home birth & anything labeled "alternative" child birth. i will pick the brains of everyone who works across the hall from me so we can get the data that confirms my suspicions about why doulas didn't work in the public health centers (um, hello gov't mistrust & mistrust of white folks). i'm flipping through doula blogs to view the profession from women who're not writing newsletters, but chronicling their lives & work. i'm gonna explore the connections that i can make w/ black midwives & doulas between philadelphia, nyc & the dc area. i will not allow myself to use my clients as platforms for my agenda, but i will not hesitate to remind myself why i am doing what i do. i will commit myself to providing the best possible service, & remember that it's about what the client wants/ needs. (that's gonna be hard cuz i'm one bossy motherfucker. maybe i ought to become a midwife instead? lol)
i'm gonna be dealing w/ the privileged. i know that. whether i connect with clients on a deeply personal level or not (i don't know how i wouldn't when i'm intending to be present at the birth of their child, for crying out loud), i have to remember i'm there to do a job. i can't present everyone with my ideas on how to really have a birthing revolution. i should also refrain from anticipating that when i have a black client, i'll automatically have some magical "yay i'm glad you're black; let's have a revolution" sort of thing going on. it would be cute if that could happen, but i'm not about to presume that it will.
i'm just trying to be as realistic w/ myself as possible. it won't be all drama, of course. i want to lend strength, bolster confidence, & create comforts for my clients. i want to use my knowledge of aromatherapy & such to help them. i want to become a licensed massage therapist & combine all of my skills & training to assist my clients in having the most blissful pregnancies & births possible. & i mean that.
there's so much i want to do. i'm praying that i can get it all done without compromising my integrity.
like i have to shake my ass a lil harder for those tips
smile bigger when they ask how i'm doing, so massa & them don't know i'm planning to leave
i'm growing impatient &
full of myself, certain that i'll strike when the iron is hot
my hands itch to pull at that other shoe, instead of letting it drop on its own
trying to slow this mess down just enough to savor the last days
i'm more aware now than ever of how this is gonna go down,
where my support comes from
what i need to leave alone
& ultimately, i'm fully able to see where i ought to be
what steps to take, where to plant my feet.
i just have to breathe & take care of this stuff first.
the babies will come
the money will come
the new home will come.
i just have to make it so.
& an apology
& that new pair of punky brewster sneakers
someone who'll listen the first time she says someone's house is on fire across the street
& someone to explain why she has to be nice to or give two shits about daddy & his folk
someone to tell mommy to stop putting relaxers in her hair, no matter how much "easier" it is to style
& a friend who won't steal her cabbage patch dolls
a real talk about boys, sex, sexuality, & why her uncles keep nudie mags
to know that difference between mommy's cigarettes & that funny smelling stuff ricky & his friends smoke in the living room
to get to know all of the bisabuelos before they die or have strokes
to learn to jump double dutch
to learn to play chess, cuz checkers is for suckas
& to know how beautiful she is
to know it's more than, better than okay to be black
to be unashamed of her roundness
to understand that saying no is a tool, & she should do it often
she needs more quality time with momzie
more dance classes
no more wave nouveau
better access to health care
more smart black girlfriends
a savings account
more time to play w/ the records in the basement
a trip to every cultural event and street fair philadelphia ever had to offer
to see her own reflection and smile
to know that she's loved, a child of god no less than the stars
& most importantly
that she's gonna grow up to be just fine.
i am happiest when crafting with abandon. when i can just do whatever i want with whichever medium, i feel most peaceful. i feel alive.
reason #275 why i'm leaving that job.
i've been having incredibly vivid dreams. last night, i dreamt that my baby sister got picked up by customs when she went ashore during a family cruise to the caribbean. granted, i can almost guarantee that my mother, sisters & i will never go on a cruise together if at all -- but that's what the dream was. baby sis was distraught, upset that they roped her into whatever group of accused ppl based pretty much on color. black grad students. that's what she is right now. smart, black, woman, unafraid, proud. people always wanna take that from you -- that fearlessness. they always wanna snatch it & cloak themselves in it. the sense i got from the dream was that these black officers of the law on whichever island we'd visited were cross at the level of privilege held by my baby sis & these other folks. to me, she's not terribly privileged; she makes her lil money, she works in the library in my old neighborhood full time while doing her counseling psych classes all at once. she is black, working hard, but also subject to various oppressions. however, that wasn't enough for these power-abusing uniformed men to leave her be.
i don't remember the rest of the dream, really. i ran to try to help her much to the protest of my mother. but i'm a springing-into-action kinda broad. i suppose that if the dream finished the way i wanted it to, i would have been able to convince them to let her go & the loved ones of the other students would have been present to achieve the same goal. i don't know. i guess i'd best tell her not to go on any long trips without family? i'm still sorting it all out.
the night before last, i had a dream that upset me because of who was in it. i felt panic wash over me as soon as i realized what i was looking at, where i was, what i was doing. & i couldn't get away quite fast enough. he & i conversed. i don't remember what was said. i know it was really brief, bullshit small-talk. i woke up feeling incredibly panicked; when i dream about this person or anything that has to do with him, he shows up. every time since the very beginning of our knowing one another. & i consciously resist that; it's like my ori is calling him to me. as a matter of fact, i'm almost so shook that i don't even want to press the 'publish post' button when i'm done writing this particular entry, just on the strength that i don't want to talk to him ever again in my life. yet & still, i'm gonna do it. i need to be fearless as much as possible. if i talk to him, so be it. i feel that perhaps these dreams come unexpectedly when he's thought about or discussed me, & i really do hope that he's troubled in his sleep too. on the flip side, if someone mentions him to me i usually forget all about his ass until/ unless a dream comes. i'm still not sure if it's my ori or the ancestors working on me/ us. i just know i'm okay, insulated as much as i can be from that whole mess. working on my shit, making sure i don't bring myself into a situation like that ever again.
maybe one day, the dreams won't bother me.
tryna gather myself unto myself for this giftsmas (that's xmas or christmas to the rest of y'all) foolishness
i wanna redecorate
i need to redecorate
i need to pray more
i'm eating less bullshit
drinking more water
getting less sleep
this is . . . a lot.
& in the middle of all this i wanna return to volunteering, become an activist w/ the emphasis on activity, mentor a grown woman who's officially tryna enter this place we call the workforce, decide whether it's the netherlands or mexico city next spring/ summer, try to plan a move for spring, get better at styling my own hair, film a documentary, learn some portugues . . .
& still manage to give myself orgasms on the regular.
there's a lot to do. & it's going on 2 in the morning. i gotta get some sleep from somewhere.
i don't feel like it.
this year, i want a turkey sammich in one hand & some sort of intoxicant in the other, while watching some kind of ridiculous film or television program on dvd (see: get a life, in living color, pootie tang, or napoleon dynamite) with some friends.
i will have that kind of thanksgiving. dammit.
even if my entire family converges on my itty bitty apartment & decides to eat candy off exu's shrine space . . .
even if my perpetually chilly apartment lets the hawk in . . .
even if my janky ass oven puts an unnecessary coating of crispness on everything i bake inside of it . . .
i will enjoy this day off.
megan meier didn't deserve this. i don't care what happened between two kids -- if a parent gets involved, it should be to end the drama. not turn it into some torturefest that ends in suicide.
i applaud the (anonymous) mother who told the truth.
outside of that, i've nothing to say, really, except this:
rest in peace, megan.
the time he likened us working our problems out to the way we'd coach each other at free cell.
i wanted to smack him in the face w/ the keyboard at that exact moment, pack my shit, & walk the fuck out. but all i had to my name were some nickels (probably not enough for the bus) & whatever food i'd bought for the week. i couldn't go back to my mom's like that. but i felt it in my gut -- i felt someone telling me to leave.
lesson #1: always listen to your first mind, no matter how crazy you might look to everyone else.
i have a cold. fuck. no date for me this weekend. not much more than changing the bed linen, taking lots of baths, & being pissed that i can't go out & play with the other kids. meh.
i need the time to crochet, though...
when it comes to dating, i'm the fault-findingest motherfucker ever.
i'm gonna relax that shit & go dig for records with this cat, maybe over this here long weekend. it cannot possibly hurt me to go crate digging with someone. it can't, unless that person is an axe murderer, suicide bomber, or otherwise out-of-control crazy kind of individual.
it can't hurt.
hitting people upside the head with bottles of rum? really?
the most organized thoughts i could immediately muster about such a report are best reflected by miss jalylah burrell in this post on she real cool (i still wish i'd been clever enough to conceive of such a blog title, even after 2 years of reading). a quote:
Simplemindeness leads too many to believe that certain bodies are immune from perpetuating isms. People of Color, Women and/or LGBTQ's identities do not endow them with progressiveness and sometime they can be as vigilant as the mainstream in instilling perpetuating and maintaining the strictures that incongruously tightly circumscribe their lives.by virtue of that same simplemindedness (as it belongs to others, not so much this writer), i think she makes black lesbians look bad. if you're the only reference point that some folks have for an entire group of people, you are an ambassador, whether your ass wishes to be or not. people are stupid. just like being the only black person around will get you some bullshit in all-white "liberal" or "inquisitive"circles, being the only lesbian (particularly around some strongly heterosexist, queerphobic black folks) will get you some bullshit. there's a culture of exclusion among black folk as is, incidents like this (whether largely publicized or not) seem to be the carte blanche that these closed-minded folks need in order to justify hate. the same way black men in hoodies, timbs, the "wrong" sneakers/ jeans combo, etc. aren't allowed into certain night spots because of what someone "dressed similarly" may or may not have fucking done in that same night spot or a different one. i'm not justifying acts of exclusion, but i definitely see that side of those behaviors. if you're an inside-the-box thinker, what else are you gonna think? "she's a lesbian, she's black, she's kinda butchy so i guess i can expect that from kinda butchy black lesbians." thinking in a line is dangerous. even when the linear thinking is based on lies & exaggerations. call me crazy, but that's just what i think. people are that dumb, unfortunately. sometimes, we give others ammunition through our convoluted, negative behaviors. i don't feel like it's okay to assume that one person should represent all folks who can be classified in that group (at the same time, i'm not terribly keen on identity politics & classifying folks in the first place) . . . but i guess my disturbance is that behavior like this certainly doesn't help anyone who struggles for the rights of a group -- black folks, women, the LBGTQ community, poor folks, etc.
doesn't she have any kind of fucking home training? you just hit motherfuckers in the head with bottles of booze (that i presume she paid for, cuz who the fuck is giving her irrelevant-to-current-music ass any freebies?) when you have a problem with them? from what i read in jalylah's blog, & other random bits of celebrity gossip/ news i've heard she's got some stunted social growth/ anger management/ alcohol consumption issues. to paraphrase katt williams, if folks say the same exact shit about you for 20 years, it's true. that is, her behavior from what i've observed/ heard is congruent w/ someone who has some issues they need to work out. homegirl needs to put the bottle down for more reason than one, i'm willing to bet. no matter what someone says or does to you (short of threatening your life with action or words), you as a grown ass person probably need to learn to walk away. & you definitely don't come at them after the fact to assault them. fuck that. unfortunately, it's not even really about home training. she might not have ever adhered to anything her caregiver(s) ever taught her. sad, but true.
maybe i hold women to a higher standard. maybe i hold black folks to a higher standard, & therefore lean on black women extra hard. but ultimately, this incident is so telling! it says so much about the way we internalize the colonization of ourselves & our ancestors. if she makes you mad, hit her. if she rebuffs your advances, she's a worthless/ good-for-nothing/ funny looking/ tacky whore/ bitch/ skag/ heifer/ ho . . . & if she dare speak back, show her who's boss. this is something i've seen from butch lesbians as much as i've seen it from hetero-identifying men. i don't give a fuck, anyone who feeds into the gender constructs (regardless of biological sex) is susceptible to the comfort of what being a man or woman will get you in this society. maybe that doesn't make sense . . . what i'm speaking on is what i've observed with my own eyes, what i've felt in my heart of hearts. there are women running around here thinking they can play the part better than a bio male can within the same social constructs, & that is dangerous. not because i believe gender roles are static, but because in this place we call america those gender roles are rife with oppression. because they are misleading & create a space wherein domestic abuse is okay, wherein it's okay to dominate your partner simply because it's what's "supposed to happen." carrying around & perpetuating the fucked up attitudes/ behaviors that you've been exposed to isn't suddenly made okay if you're not in a heterosexual romantic relationship. sorry. essentially, mistreatment of another human being is supposed to be wrong all of the time.
i lost my train of thought. but i think that's enough for now.
i'm expecting someone who doesn't respect my stance to come attack me in the comments box . . . because i'm supposed to forgive her class status (before becoming a wealthy/ famous rapper), blame hip hop for her acting like that, & give her a pass because i'm a queer black woman myself.
i'm kinda, like... flabbergasted.
please feel free to engage me in discourse in the comments, okay?
there is so much wrong here. so much.
i don't have a lot of 'work clothes.'
1) the office gig shit is, as i've said thousands of times, for the birds. i'm no turkey.
2) i don't ever want to put on a suit or anything similar ever again in my life for the sake of being someone else's minion
3) i don't care about how i look when i'm in a place where i don't wanna be
4) the clothes i would wear to work are not friendly to my income
5) fuck them, who cares what i have on?
6) i know better than to wear some fly shit when i'm in the trenches, filing
7) the file room is disgusting, & i can't wear good clothes when battling paper mites
8) i don't plan on being there long enough to get good wear out of anything "work-appropriate"
9) i know deep down this is to be my last full time permanent office gig
10) fuck them, who cares what i have on?
i have an interview w/ the division mgr tomorrow... so let me get some damn sleep.
© amy winehouse, "help yourself"
just cuz i look like i have it together, it doesn't mean i actually do have shit together. & if i do in fact have shit together, it doesn't mean i wanna help you get yours together. sorry.
** the clarity edit:
. . . if i do in fact have shit together, it doesn't mean i'm obligated to help you get yours together. it's this simple: if i see where i'm needed, i'll pitch in. but if you're chillin hard without my input & don't seem to have enough good sense to work at improvement of your situation, i'm staying right where i am. sorry.
i'm not sharing with too many folks. that is, i'm not talking to anyone whom i know to be negative or whom i know for a fact doesn't really know me. i can stare into a person's blank face every day for nearly 4 years (like i do at work with some ppl) & know that they've no clue about how to treat me. & i am, for all intents & purposes, my dreams. whatever i conceptualize, whatever i decide to become, that's me. that's where i'm headed if i'm not there already. & if that person should treat my developing self poorly then how can i ever expect her or him to be good to me once i arrive at my destination? that's got to be im-fucking-possible. i'm not buying that jack-nicholson-as-the-joker smile & hands open only to make mincemeat from my most tender parts.
my dreams are not meant to be picked apart or turned into a frankenstein monster by anyone except me. there will be no opportunities for detractors to take from me or lessen my potency. there is not any good reason for me to take my brand new dreams out of my pockets to show to/ share with any person who isn't also nurturing a dream. & i don't mean simply thinking of something to do with the rest of her or his life -- i mean someone who is actively putting together the pieces of that one thing they're meant (or are trying) to do w/ the rest of her or his life. i'm tired of being exposed to folks whose uncertainty about their own places in the world serves as a platform (or a castle tower) from where they pass judgment on everyone else's situation. that mess is sickening, anti-productive, & a huge waste of my time.
in short, i'm not having this bullshit for much longer. it seems that there's a grillion ways to take the piss out of the good thing someone else has got going, but not as many ways to push that good thing along. anyone who's well versed in the pushing along & forward movement is welcome.
all others may fall by the wayside. period. i am speaking power to my situation, regardless of what anyone has to do or say about it.
mel, post this on your mirror or something. happy birthday. stay motivated, beautiful, & strong. i love you to pieces.
thank you, baba, for sending my brother my way. i love love love LOVE that boy to pieces. thank you. we are each other's cheer leader, each other's comic relief, & most importantly we have a taciturn understanding that can be expressed simply by the raising of an eyebrow. my brother is so sharp, too. thank you for bringing a sharply dressed black man around me, one who actually compliments me and means it. he is not trying to sleep with me (not that i know of). he is socially conscious, and gives a damn about his folks. he will entertain my conversations about all things sociopolitical, & never once calls me 'too smart.' we crack nerd jokes & he never, ever, EVER tells me i think too much/ too hard.
i'm blessed to have a friend like vsf. i love that crazy child. i do.
big earrings & shawls are a given.
but now i'm realizing what kind of denim i like, what fits best, etc.
& we aren't gonna talk about my footwear situation. i don't like buying expensive ass shoes, but my feet/ posture require them. ergonomically sound shoes for work aren't cheap. the heels i do like? not cheap. sneakers that don't make my feet cry out in cramping? not cheap at all.
so i guess i'd better hustle this money up, right? lol. i was doing some figuring. there's not one single pair of shoes or sneakers i've been checking out that cost less than seventy dollars. i remember back in the days of parade of shoes (remember them?), i was racking up on stuff i could wear to work. now, it's like earth or dansko... or nothing. i hate that, kinda. naturalizer isn't cheap. new balance? not cheap. & let's not discuss my love of nikes, which has resurfaced just as i'm too busy paying bills to cop a new pair every paycheck. this is annoying, at best.
i went to lane bryant the other day, tryna find some jeans. first of all, these motherfuckers are charging $50++ for polyester tunics. since when is that okay? second, what's the deal w/ everything having a stupid permanent cuff or crease? can i just get some regular straight leg average-length dark fucking denim? something that isn't uber super show-the-crack-of-my-ass low rise? & maybe, just maybe, are there wide-legged dress pants that don't have a full-on natural waist? i've got a short torso. that shit doesn't look right on me. gah.
if i had a sewing machine & enough time, i swear . . .
sometimes it seems that my style is being guided by the companies that make the clothes. i love old navy's more grownup looking clothing; they stopped selling it in stores so i'm forced to do my shopping inside. whomever decided to remove the plus sizes from the stores is pretty much an idiot. there are plenty women who've not been able to try on the plus sized clothes simply because there was a 2 year (or more) test period where only certain stores carried these items. if you aren't generally certain how the clothes fit you, how on earth are you gonna feel comfortable/ confident buying the shit online? i'm hoping to turn to more indie designers, or smaller apparel companies in the future. right now, though, i feel bound by my amount of disposable income in addition to the dress code at my job. it isn't terribly strict, but some things aren't okay.
but, as my personal style evolves, i'm better able to make smart choices. i know where to find the $10 jeans at ross and the cleverly hidden perry ellis trench coats at burlington. ;)
bargain fashionistas, stand up! i know it's not right -- someone probably lost their finger trying to make the anorak i just bought -- but until i find better quality plus clothes in the thrift stores i frequent, & until i start making my own clothes, this is how it's gonna be.
when i was in the shower. something about how i'm realizing that people give academics & whomever else deemed as 'experts' all the power when it comes to discussing situations that they live every day.
on some, "how dare you question your doctor/ boss/ landlord/ the police/ anyone who's got a higher degree than you (or a degree period)?"
granted, i know absolutely nothing about being a dentist so i follow my dentist's instructions, but not without asking why or what certain procedures do.
i guess i'll go back to bed & pray that these thoughts come back asap.
just hating one's job. sometimes, the job manifests its destructive nature in how employees are treated. this post from yearning mice on fire more than explains the indoctrination that large companies (& even government entities, like the one where i work) drill into the heads of their employees. there's a comply-or-die attitude that lots of employers seem to have. i've seen it everywhere from retail/ food service to non-profit environs.
this reflects exactly how i feel about the job i have now. really.
thanks to tenacious one for posting the link on her blog. (i'm digesting that transpolitics post. good GODDESS, it made my brain tingle!)
my new favorite post on one tenacious baby mama, which can be found right here.
birthday presents!!! (i never got a lot of presents as a kid, so when ppl give me stuff i am not only bowled over but i feel very magical & sparkly, in addition to overall special)
an internet connection that works long enough for me to cop a new anorak
odara healthy hair food & various other items from chic afrique
the series of contradictions that make up my blog reading & life overall
my crazy ass, sweet, thoughtful, creative, unique, forever-looking-out-for-me friends
angela bofill's 1st album ON VINYL (thank you, brian, SO very much!)
* i always love sex. this is nothing new. lol.
there's so, so, so much.
the baby thing (again!), which probably just requires that i get crafty more often
the sense of urgency i feel every time someone asks me how old i am now
isiah thomas' dumb ass
the mercury retrograde and the mars retrograde
my proclivity toward spending money instead of stacking it, & its direct relationship to stress
how much i'd rather be having sex than blogging (or anything else for that matter)
. . . yeah.
there's a lot.
but i just paid my 'lectric bill -- the full amount!!!
about to look into that good gas bill, see if i can't work out an auto debit thing
it's all okay
i'ma be aight
i might even come to bklyn for the day on saturday . . .
some fuck me pumps.
i'm not joking. considering the fact that at age 27 i really don't have the whole walking-in-high-heels thing down, it'll be interesting when i find a pair of such shoes. cuz i'll have to practice in them. a lot. sober. & never walk anywhere in them when i'm not 100%. it'll take goo gobs of concentration. this will be interesting.
once i find a pair, of course, there will be photos. ;)
one of those "oh this year i'm gonna ____________" posts, only to be disappointed in myself next year when i read it over. i know how that mess goes and i refuse to do that to my psyche. instead, i'm gonna lay it all out thusly:
if you called/ sent a text/ emailed/ sang/ clapped/ danced/ gifted or did anything else in honor of my birthday, i:
3) am thankful for
4) am glad to know
5) owe my most sincere thanks to
6) am reminded why i continually fux with
7) hope to always be friends with
8) need to buy a drink for
9) probably need to spend more time with
10) just plain fucking HEART
thank you. you rock. you are a superstar & SO wonderful for blessing me on my special day. i will return the favor, provided that i don't actually forget your birthday. & even if i do, i'ma return the favor. because you're an absolute pumpkin & deserve all that positivity returned to you ten thousand fold.
this was a day when i could look around & really feel the myriad ways in which i am blessed. i hope to continue to feel that until this particular revolution around the sun has completed & i begin the next. ecstasy, abundance & bliss. those are the things i want.
i was tagged by miss dark daughta. & dammit, i like these survey thingies so why not?
the rules, though i kinda love to bend or break rules:
Post the rules before you give the facts. Post eight random facts about yourself. At the end of your blog post, you need to tag eight people and list their names. Leave the people you tagged a comment on their blog, letting them know that they've been tagged.
these are things i have grown up about in the past 26.999999998 years. they're not birthday-specific necessarily, but still the kind of thing you want to throw confetti at yourself about, non? definitely little (and big) reasons to be glad to be myself.
one: my love of language is a great source of my pride.
i was the only child in a house of pretty much grown ppl for the first 2 years of my life, & i most certainly took full advantage of that. i groomed myself to know what people were talking about, how to express myself, & never be at a loss for words. i was a rather articulate 3 year old, & one day i declared to my mother that i was gonna start reading. she didn't believe me until i got stuck on a word & asked her how to pronounce it. as an adult, i am kind of a language whore. words are sooooo important to me! i like being able to express one idea in several ways. spanish is pretty much under my belt, so next come portuguese, yoruba, & probably akan or maybe dutch. i love words.
two: i used to hate my name.
i thought my life would be simpler, were i to have a 'regular' name like simone or allison. hell, i had a best friend named adina & i was jealous of her because at least she wasn't lenée. now i know better. who else would i be, except lenée? i mean, really. as i got older, i was okay w/ my first name, since i felt that "nay nay" wasn't an acceptable nickname name. but a big point of contention was my middle name. i was named after my father in that respect, & having grown up essentially without him contributing positively or consistently to my life made me bitter. we're not gonna get into the last name. i don't hate it anymore. i've made my peace with it, it's . . . mine just as much as it is my father's or anyone else's who has it. i'm okay w/ being myself on paper . . . & the racial ambiguity gets me some laughable reactions. definitely. lol.
three: i don't genuinely know what it is to sense guilt about or be ashamed of myself.
that is, i've felt uneasy or embarrassed, but actual shame is something i've never felt. actual guilt? like, i shouldn't have done that & didn't enjoy it & don't ever want to partake in it again because i never should have bothered guilt? you've got to be fucking kidding me. to coerce me into something has always been to frighten me into it, or to rationalize me into it. i've been apologetic if my actions have caused a result i didn't intend, or if i've been completely misunderstood . . . but guilt & shame i don't do. i'm thankful, really. that shit can be crippling.
four: i will give until it hurts.
i used to be mad about that & considered myself weak for it. but i've managed to discover something very important about being a giving person: giving until it hurts is only something to lament when you know you oughtn't to begin with. that is, i know who deserves the best i have to offer -- & those folks often give me the same. i am glad to say that i give when it's okay to give. i've been blessed, fortunately, with reciprocity in that area of my life.
five: i was a virgin until age 19.
i knew about sex from reading informational books (not romance novels or anything), so my knowledge of STDs & other foolishness was pretty good for someone who thought you were supposed to make noises while fucking . . . even if your partner's stroke was weak. even if you were too busy thinking about finding a job somewhere. lol! i was mature enough to realize that pleasure was supposed to be a bonus to the biological function of sex; as i've grown older / more mature, i use that as my guide. there are some things that simply won't fly w/ me. waiting until i'd been on this planet almost two decades was good. had i really given myself the space to, i would have waited longer, most likely. but it's okay. it's all good. now look at me. i'm quite the pleasure-driven individual overall & it's been really good for my sex life. yay me! i wish more folks would adopt a similar idea about sex. if it isn't gonna be fully enjoyable, i don't do it.
six: i love being single.
as much as i might say i want a man and/ or some babies, single womanhood (not living with anyone who came out of my womb or regularly copulates with me, any of that sort of breeding/ coupled up/ cohabitation stuff) has been exceptionally good to me. i think my creativity has been bolstered by not having to worry about anyone but myself. my deep desire for space & time to do my thing the way i do it has been really helpful. i feel like living with people (roommates especially, sometimes kids or an SO) puts me on stage. i have to rock the strongblackwoman veneer, be super proactive, etc. i hate that shit, & until i'm fully comfortable being my full self at least 20 of 24 hours per day i don't really think i need a man or babies. hell, i don't even want a pet. one of my houseplants is barely making it right now, cuz sometimes the high maintenance nurturing shit just isn't fly to me all the time. lol.
seven: my love of clothing & footwear might put me in debt one day.
but that's OKAY. cuz i'm a fan of the bargain shopping. or, the initially inexpensive items i find don't get a 2nd thought. lol. i like pretty colors, nice fabrics (i can't wear wool or any of the sweater stuff. *pout*), & find that seasonally i change my mind about what i want to look like. that's neat. reinvention is key. renewal is natural. so, why not do it on all fronts? besides, i kinda love the compliments i get when i throw some fly shit together.
eight: the family i've chosen for myself is every bit as important as the one i was born into.
anyone who knows me is aware of my continual growth as a person with the help/ love/ support of the people who're fortunate enough to be saved to the SIM card in my cell phone. my family, especially over the past year or so, has been a pillar when i really thought i was gonna lose my mind. i love my mom & sisters, my grandfather, my uncles & cousins (there are a LOT of cousins) . . . but none of them will ever make me feel like i'm unloved/ lost without their presence. i used to feel kind of weird about loving my non-family ppl as much as i do my blood relations, but i've gotten over it. actually, in a lot of instances the family i've chosen has done more for me (in an emotional support/ mental stimulation sense) than my mama & them. i have some of the best, most wonderful, kind, giving, fantastic, just plain fly ass people as friends. i am so fortunate. i love them all so much. i love knowing that i can unflinchingly call a few women my sisters, & that the feeling is never gonna be one-sided. i'm blessed. i could sit here & name their names, but . . . honestly, the most high knows who they are. men & women alike who have really, truly, for real been good to me. thank god for every last one of them.
i tag tia, aj, atlanta, melissa, riley (does he even read this blog?), & um... kenya. i would also tag omi & dark daughta, but they've already done it. lol. i guess i'll have to carry it over to myspace or facebook to grab more victims?
whatever. if you don't do this, you're just depriving me the opportunity to get deeper into your business. ;)
people really think that you're spoiled if you ask for specifically what you want, & anticipate at least coming close to getting it. that worries me. why am i spoiled just because i'm trying to make some things happen for myself, things that i want/ need/ desire? that makes zero sense to me. i don't care if i want thigh-high socks from american apparel or a damn mosaic made from recycled glass . . . if i want it, & i can make it so, i'm going to make sure i have it. peace of mind, a happy family, new sneakers, a meal at brasserie perrier . . . whatever the fuck i want. i'm not saying that just because i want something it should be so. i'm saying that if i'm working toward something, or creating the conditions for something to happen/ come into my possession, why on earth shouldn't i expect it to be so?
i just don't get it. maybe gratification is something i'm only supposed to believe in if it's delayed (ie the idea of heaven being far away as presented by the big three). i don't feel that way. i think that's a dumb idea. there is pleasure here. there is bliss here. there are blessings here. there is satisfaction right here. of course, we suffer. but some of the pain we experience can be alleviated or removed altogether by the same hands we use to create it. the widespread misery of humankind, to me, cannot be defined simply as god's will. i mean, do human beings not have their own will? do people not possess the ability to recognize wrongdoing/ suffering & then do something about it? however small, you can make an effort.
maybe the easiest thing to do is to lie down & take it. that is, pray for whatever & fail to put forth any effort. but in that book some of y'all rely on exclusively, the bible? i'm pretty sure that somewhere in there it says that faith without works is dead. so . . . like i said to R the other night, being religious is easy. it's being a person of faith that's hard.
so, i said all that to say this: have what you want. be balanced enough to see what work you've got to do to achieve it. it's that much sweeter when you get your blessings here, now.
you probably know my birthday is coming up this sunday, october 7.
if you are able to or interested in gifting me, i'm into the following items/ concepts:
loose leaf & other fancypants teas (i.e. tazo, yogi, revolution, mighty leaf, stash)
inexpensive, yet tasty wine. i'm partial to petals, gerwurztraminer, riesling, & pinot noir. & don't forget that fu-ki plum! good god.
music!!! i still don't have the new talib kweli. & i *heart* vinyl. i need angela bofill, as much stevie as possible (i have hotter than july & songs in the key of life already)... old soul records are a plus. anything by the police on vinyl is also a major plus. i might mess around & marry you behind that. ;)
gift certificates to whole foods or trader joe's
socks in interesting or bizarre color combinations
PENS!!! nice fancy ballpoints.
anything from duross & langel
supplies from coastalscents.com
quirky, unique pieces of art that i can keep in my home (see: joshua mays)
houseplants -- preferably succulents, like jade or aloe (they're hard to kill. lmao.)
daffy's or old navy gift cards
jewelry. god, do i love earrings. you can make or buy those, it matters not.
acrylic or cotton yarn in pretty colors
INCENSE. nag champa, honey, cinnamon, the moon, triple amber (i can't find it anywhere), red rose... i love incense
7 day candles. preferably orisa candles. ;)
i won't go on any more about what would be good gifts. these are just ideas if you wanna give me something & don't know what to give.
um... otherwise, get the glitter & construction paper out
prepare your vocal chords for singing
get the thumbs ready for texting
draft your emails now
generally, just get ready to help me celebrate myself. this is the one day a year when i'm "supposed to" be fully self-indulgent & into my own desire to the point of distraction. but a big part of that involves YOU, dear friend. kick it w/ me. come act silly.
email: sechita(at)gmail(dot)com (you can find my paypal that way, as well as my amazon wishlist)
she was like, "maybe there's something he would like to say to you, since it seems you've got nothing to say to him."
maybe. i mean, okay, i don't think about or see you for months. then you pop up. like, through zero invitation/ effort of mine, i see you out in the street. i don't waste my time speaking, because i don't want to. i don't wanna shoot you an email like "aaaaayooooooooo! i saw you. can we maybe try again to talk . . . this time w/ zero attitude or posturing?"
i might be she of the fucked up 'tude for this, but i believe that once i give you a chance to converse w/ me & you turn it down you don't deserve another chance. not unless i want to be bothered. when this happens, i don't effin want to. & even months after that, i don't wanna. i feel like it's pointless & that it will rectify absolutely nothing for me. again, why consider you? that may be hella childish, but it's my protection mechanism. it's all i've got when i feel like someone's kicked me in the shins one time too many. & at this point i don't know if i wanna be a grownup about it. of course, it's okay to say i do. & conversely, it's fine to say that i don't. but come the fuck on, dude; in the back of my mind the scenario plays out w/ you feeling like you're the HNIC because i got at you first. i have issues that way; if we're talking, we're talking. it shouldn't be about upper hands or one party standing in a position to control the other. i always felt like that was a big thing w/ you. maybe i was always wrong? this is what needs to be discussed. the mixed signals, the misunderstandings. let's deconstruct these myths once & for all.
because i'll be damned if i carry all this shit with me, on my shoulders, for the rest of my life.
this is a call to prayer, a call to action, a request for presence. i want to know that if i walk past you in the street, there's no funky energy between us. hell, i wanna wish you peace & mean it. so let's do that.
retold by my dear sister/friend myra louise jenkins the fifth who knows everything.
from the odu Ose
was the favorite wife of the king
and AAAAAAAALLLLLLLLL of the other wives were jealous of her
the other wives decided to paint Parrot's stool with a poison
so that when she sat on it
her back side became red
Parrot was HORRIFIED!!!!
and to top it all off
there was a huge festival coming up
all of the king's wives were supposed to dance
and they'd all decided that they were going to dance in the nude
Parrot went to the king
sayin' "baby i can't dance in the nude like THIS!!!!"
so he told the wives not to dance in the nude this time
they all agreed
and chose another dance to do
the day of the festival arrived
and the time came for the dance of the king's wives to begin
the drummers started to play the rhythm called
"in the nude"
"in the nude"
and the other wives began to take their clothing off
Parrot stripped down as well
and they all began to dance in the nude
the rulers of the neighboring kingdoms saw parrot's red bottom and said
"what is this wondrous thing???"
"we have never seen its like!"
"our destinies are not in order!"
"if you will not give it to us, will you sell it to us?"
and Parrot and the king
began to sell red tail feathers
and Parrot became very wealthy
and the king became very wealthy
what was once Parrot's blemish
became her blessing
"Spoilers are not as rare as Improvers
Improvers are not as numerous as Spoilers
but those who seek to spoil me actually improve me."
human beings transition constantly. we cannot stop folks from being born or dying. we cannot do anything about the loss of connections between ppl. this means that when that marriage unravels, whether it's yours or not, it has to be allowed to do so. when your dearest, oldest friend on earth becomes someone you no longer recognize, leave it at that. your hands have to be open so you can receive the something new/ better / different. dissolution is natural. it happens.
& sometimes, through this dissolution, we find things we may have forgotten. there's a way in which we strip down. we lose the attitude, the posturing, the girdles & whale bone corsets; we go back to ourselves at age 3, peeing the bed & wondering why the fuck there's nobody who'll stop the night from swallowing us up. it's hard. it can be ugly, unpleasant, unkind, & all these other crazy things. not because there's anything wrong w/ us, but because that's what it takes sometimes. go back to the point at which you started to crack a little bit. see what the unraveling is really all about. what were the million straws under the one that broke your back? or was the first one the most impactful?
i don't know. it's taken me three days to write this. i started off writing inspired by jill scott's new album (which, for the record, i find nearly impossible to listen to) & some things that friends have been sharing w/ me about their lives. everyone seems to be going through some exceptionally rough shit at the moment. i feel bad, but at the same time i feel unmoved on some level. not unsympathetic, but . . . unmoved. i don't believe that any one of us is gonna be stuck in our current situations. i may be idealistic, maybe naive or whatever. but i know i'm not going through this bullshit for nothing. i feel like it's easier to assume that i'll be stuck in this fucked up job for the rest of my adult life, because hopefulness takes effort. it takes energy to make sure i see the whole picture, to ensure that i'm aware of the finiteness (i can't believe that's actually a word lmao) of my situation. i have options to way, moves to make. i am not stuck. i am not gonna be here, this way, forever.
change is inevitable. transition is the norm.
i just have to be a part of it. for real.
that meant i had to play around w/ the camera phone. y'all know me.
^ wasting my life force, waiting for the a train after brunch w/ atlanta
my hair was on its own that morning. lmao. but the glasses are fly to me. forever 21 is really the spot. ;)
my cheap apartment, my 'pretty damn good for someone with no college degree' salary, regular paycheck, almost-middle-class privilege, second-hand laptop, clearance-purchased & sweatshop-manufactured clothes, hand-made jewelry, 'nice black lady' appearance... i am comfortable. i have the advantage of being perceived as heterosexual, as christian (is it just me or are black folks really into assuming that you're a worshiper of jesus?), as all those things that the dominant society is/ reflects/ seems to value.
it's starting to make me really annoyed, though. because i'm not really, like, all the way straight. because i'm nowhere near christian, muslim or jewish . . . because my mom was on public assistance when i was a kid so i know all sides of that fucked up 'welfare' system, because i don't think my vote counts but i do it anyway & hope to change shit from the inside out . . .
it's so hard biting my tongue sometimes when ppl assume that my silence is the same as agreement. i mean, in a lot of ways it can be -- but the fact that i don't say anything could mean that i don't wanna waste my time digging into your ass & laying all your shit bare. it might mean that i don't believe you'll understand me if i tell you precisely what's wrong w/ making declarations that all white ppl are inherently corrupt, that all men are terrible human beings, that your moontime is a bad thing . . . man, i don't motherfuckin know. i'm just . . . not okay w/ a lot of this shit but i'm having this problem. the problem is knowing when opening my mouth is worth it, & furthermore knowing that the person to whom i'm speaking is gonna really get it. example: i think i ranted myself into the beginnings of an asthma attack at work some weeks ago when i told the clerical assistant that making racist jokes isn't the way to get me to laugh -- just b/c you're black doesn't mean you get a pass to say nasty shit about other groups of colonized ppl. he didn't understand shit i was saying until i told him to stop talking to me for the rest of the day. that's a bit extra, probably very unprofessional, but so is cracking jokes about puerto ricans & then saying it's okay cuz you're 'part rican' w/ your not-really-kinky hair as validation of such information. fuckwad.
anyway, yeah, so... i'm less comfortable. i don't believe in letting my position of comfort be a reason not to get involved, or at the very least to give a damn. i'm trying to return to the idea of being an activist. someone once told me that he makes signs for protesters because he doesn't have the energy or time to attend these events. i nodded & thought to myself, "is that really the same as direct involvement in making shit happen?" of course there's a lot of noise made at protests, not necessarily a lot of change . . . & these shits are definitely like activist cotillions sometimes. i mean, yay signs. is it even that serious? to feel like part of the bigger 'movement' you have to make brown bag lunches for the attendees? i don't know. but to me, activism isn't about switching your vigilance on or off. in my head, i'm standing up for folks (myself included) at given opportunities, when i know i'm gonna make the biggest impact. maybe being super opportunistic isn't 'correct' activism but i'll be damned if i interrupt someone running his mouth in the supermarket about some evil jew empire or whatever the fuck. i don't care what he thinks while i'm tryna buy some toilet tissue. i'm not yet on my constant watch for bullshit. i may never be. sometimes, a sista just wants to get her tazo tea from starfucks or whole foods & just go the hell home (or to old navy).
this is a complicated thing, this being socially responsible. this being an active activist. but when you're uncomfortable, you do things to make yourself comfortable. being used to something is not the same as being comfortable. also, it's impossibly fuckin easy to be an angry blogger, a pissed off ACLU member who doesn't think they have to help send out all that fucking campaign mail* & it's impossibly simple to say you don't want ludacris showing up at your university because he said something fucked up about quote-unquote hoes/ hates on oprah/ hasn't spoken against darfur enough or at all or whatever the hell y'all are mad at this month. like . . . some of this shit is so small potatoes. or, let's pick our battles wisely enough that we can create change across the board. so many of the bullshit situations we suffer through are related to one another. maybe that's what it is. maybe the bigger picture isn't seen. saving the whales is important because nobody's looking at what's behind the danger to them -- it's the same danger that oppressed/ hunted ppl suffer. don't you think? i guess that the balance must be found before we can really put things into motion. at least, i think so.
it's 3 in the morning, i shouldn't even be messin w/ this blog right now.
i'll write something coherent at another time. not having steady internet is probably gonna cause me to write the most insanely lengthy diatribes & then posting them here. so get ready. i might have a book in me yet.
* i used to work for the ACLU. i had ppl call our offices and demand to know why we ask them to volunteer. "aren't my donations enough to, like, hire someone?" armchair philanthropist wannabe activist assholes. ugh.
from parts of my life is kinda a big joke to me.
this is a placeholder until i can fully articulate my disappointment/ annoyance at ppl
cuz basically, if i don't invite you somewhere it's because you either don't know how to act or i forgot to say something to you
the other night, i had something resembling a panic attack. i saw someone who reminded me of some things that i'd spent the better part of a year trying to shake loose/ bury/ empty my mind of. i felt like i was losing my grip on the little shell i'd built for myself to live inside of. sure, i'm social & sweet & all that other shit . . . but can we be for real? i was so shook that i was trying to avoid talking to a woman whom i know from the neighborhood . . . & all she wanted to do was say hello. it was really crazy. i felt like she didn't deserve to be treated like that. of course, i threw on the warrior face & put those feelings aside long enough to carry on a little bit of walking-up-the-block chitchat. i felt a little normalized, but mostly still fucked up. i was definitely in the beginning of a disconnect from my immediate surroundings. interacting with her was actually a really good thing. i was gaining some perspective on my situation. that's totally invaluable. i was beginning to feel a bit better.
i decided that i had to feel all of it, though. trying to avoid those feelings had me jacked up to begin with, you know? emotional presence is one of those things that can be nearly impossible to practice if you've never known you were conditioned to keep your feelings to yourself. the more i remind myself of the conditioning that has essentially made me feel like i was wrong for even having feelings, the more i'm able to see where it's stopped me. of course, there's such thing as balance. i don't necessarily need to tell the lady in whole foods that i feel victimized by those damn dialoguedirect employees down the block, but i also needn't bite holes in my tongue when i'm at a family dinner & someone's praying against gay marriage. (they did it at my cousin's wedding, so why not over turkey, collards & cranberry-orange relish?)
i'm being tangential again. i had to work these feelings out on my own, like a grownup. so, i did what any wise conjure woman does: i took a nice, relaxing bath & prayed/ meditated myself into a better mindset. i couldn't possibly waste my time crying or fretting, wondering what to do next. i knew what to do.
i did it.
sometimes, exhaling is all you need to do.
i refuse to traverse afar just so i can use someone else's internet, & it seems that the ppl i can mooch off of around here have worse connections than i do. so, what i'll end up doing, yet again, is writing bits & pieces of blog entries in hopes that i can come back to actually post them later. that seems to be an impossibility at the moment but i do plan to post up w/ good ol' gertrude (my laptop) at the cafe down the block. yay. they don't even get mad when ppl mooch their electricity. good.
so that means i'll be back later, maybe this evening, to write a few things. i feel like my creative juices don't flow very well when i'm not at home, though. maybe i can remedy that, too.
courtesy of a correspondence between a coworker and myself, regarding complaint calls that we've gotten:
There is a crazy lady who calls every so often, sometimes even on weekends. When we are here she tells us of her "AIDS infested," immigrant, disgusting, drug dealing, child molesting, rodent throwing (?!) neighbors who live at 5XXX Malcolm street. Other times she'll leave 2 or 3 messages on the voicemail on a Saturday night. She always has a new and more interesting story that she wishes to report to the "board of health." She apparently has very malicious neighbors who wish to destroy the community by injecting people with the AIDS virus, throwing fecal matter on people, or throwing rodents on people. It's always something interesting. Then she hangs up after she vents.
Today, the self-proclaimed "Dr. Reverend" Mary Jones called to report that her immigrant, non-English speaking neighbors were randomly throwing mice and rats on people and that the people were being attacked. I guess they are not molesting their animals and children today, but instead have taken up the Yankee pasttime of rat tossing. Ah, yes.
Unfortunately, there is no reason/ means to 302 her.
I love this place.
** note: 302 is the code for involuntary committal to a mental institution. please believe i changed the lady's name. cuz i don't want any of y'all looking for <insert real name here> on malcolm street in philadelphia. coworker says the lady once called & left him 3 messages about her neighbors putting AIDS in the feces and throwing them at her, thereby forcing her to need immediate medical attention & an inoculation shot. i'm still laughing, a day later, at the sheer ridiculousness. sometimes, crazy can be funny. y'all watch "flavor of love," don't you?
my girl lauren about life, love, ifa, damaged ppl & some other random stuff.
& i realized: i am sooooo blessed to have clear-thinking folks in my circle. to have friends who're really about being good, whole ppl . . . man, that's wonderful. not everyone is interested in being a whole person. not everyone does what they need to do to right themselves first & worry about everything else later.
*this is a placeholder, until i get my internet right &/ or come back home to finish writing.
1) i'm paying earthlink for internet service. earthlink is cheap. earthlink is trying to make this city wireless. you get what you pay for. i am beyond annoyed. i can't even blog from home! gah.
2) there is a major scandal brewing at my job. i work in human resources, & that basically means that the inspector general is gonna be down our throats sooner as opposed to later. not just the HR manager. like, the whole office might get called before whomever wants to know about us. lordy be. i'm keeping a low ass profile at the gig. i'm crazy but not stupid. i need to pay close attn & keep my ear to the ground, f'real.
3) i would rather be fucking. seeeeeriously. you have no idea.
4) i discovered that there's been a four legged creature visiting my apartment. i will kill it, like i did the other one. sorry. if you don't pay rent & aren't a welcomed domesticated creature you have to go.
5) i found out that someone i don't fuck with like that is not only friends w/ someone else i don't fuck with like that, but that they both seem to think the world of me & want me to kick it wiht them, despite my apparent demonstration of not-wanting-to-fuck-with-them-ness. (yeah, i know.) i want them to be clear on my unwillingness to be bothered, without my having to scream or gnash my teeth. wish me luck.
6) i'm gonna start giving ppl 3 days to pay for bath products. i am not about to waste my life force making salts/ bombs (especially damn bombs) for ppl who don't seem to understand that they need to pay for what they order when they say they will. this especially applies to the girl in my office who waited 3 weeks to tell me she didn't have $6 for some bath salts. wtf? boo, i know you don't have it. that's why i didn't bring them shits to your desk... & don't think i'm giving you a sample or freebie cuz i feel bad. it's your prerogative to spend bath salts money on mcdonald's, the same way it's mine to take these joints home to take a bath with. holler.
7) amy winehouse's first album is so drastically different (sonically) from her first that she almost sounds like a different person. it's kinda sad, like on some carmen mcrae shit.
8) that being said, keyshia cole needn't be on the cover of the new essence. that's vomitous. falcor the luck dragon made the cover before they found a "down" white woman? i'm not buying that shit, kid. (if you don't know i'm joking please let this be your warning. but something about keyshia cole makes me itch incessantly. i don't know what it is.)
9) riesling is something that i never should have discovered. i love it so much that i wanna name all my babies riesling. really.
10) tomorrow (really today) i go for allergy tests. oh, lord. if i find out that i've got celiac disease i'm gonna cry a LOT. then i'm gonna find out how to make bread out of not-wheat. yeah. that's a word i just made up.
11) knowing that a girlfriend of mine is pregnant, two friends are going through divorces, & that most of my attached friends are either having drama or dating complete loons has made me feel much better about rolling solo. it sucks when i wanna cuddle on the sofa, but screw all that emo crap. i'm bad all by myself.
12) i just got cayenne pepper up my nose. damn.
13) my crush probably doesn't know he's my crush, & that's okay.
14) season 4 of the wire on dvd soon. YES! more cutty. thanks, netflix!
15) i'm one day going to be a homeowner. that's neat.
my intern said:
"i was so offended, well, kinda offended, when i saw knocked up. because, you know, they didn't have to show the baby comin' out and all that."
smartly, i asked him what the rating of the film was. he responded that it had an 'r' rating. i coyly giggled, "that's just what you get for seeing a film that you technically shouldn't have without an adult guardian present, instead of your only friend who's 18 already."
inspired by miss dark daughta's post on what society at large wishes to quote-unquote protect children from seeing.
i'm not gonna waste my time picking apart his logic. i don't have the energy to. his internship is over, so now i have to tackle the recurring problem of my supervisor's apparent unwillingness to make sure that the temporary office assistant actually knows how to do and executes his job. fuck the both of them, for the record. i have much anxiety about this job.
that's another post for another time.
i don't know. basically, yesterday, my intern (he's 16) asked me if i understood what mos def was talking about in his songs. that is, asked, "you hear the messages in his music, talking about the third eye and all that?" i blinked. i replied, "yes, i hear him. & i don't think what he's saying is wrong, necessarily." intern then says, "it's a shame that he thinks that way," or something like that. i had to take a deep breath, then politely inform youngin that no matter how much you listen to someone's music, you're only gonna begin to align your personal beliefs with what's expressed in their music if you feel you should. i give my brain more credit than that. i also had to let intern know that it's not ever okay to assume that (a) someone is a particular religion, (b) that they wanna have religion-based conversations with you, or (c) that anyone withn hearing range wants to be party to such a discussion. we work in city government. that's a really bad idea. i also had to let him know, that whatever a person believes (or doesn't believe) about god, it's not any other human being's business. period. he got kinda quiet. then said "i didn't wanna get up in your business, i was just sayin . . . he shouldn't think that way." i didn't waste time asking why. because i choose not to have that kind of talk with ppl at my job -- i barely talk to ppl outside of work about my faith tradition or anything religion-related. i just reminded him that assumptions aren't okay. i left it at that.
i know this child to be very much into church, into being a 'warrior for christ,' as i've heard him say. (that shit makes me cringe, just for the record) i know that he reminds me of myself when i was about 12. i thought i had to be extra preachy gospelly . . . that i had to tell the world about jesus & tell ppl they're wrong for being non-christians. of course, as i got older, i realized that i love secular music. i also realized that i didn't necessarily think jesus was my savior. i had questions that were not being answered by anything i read in the bible, nor did i have questions that were being answered by my elders. i also found that i disliked the idea that i had to maintain some standard of purity in my life, lest my humanity allow me to fall prey to the tools / whims of satan . . . who really was just a disgruntled former angel in the first place. there were too many holes. too many things that made no sense to me. so i kinda sat back & watched. i let everyone who identified as a christian show me how they were far from emulators of jesus christ himself. i shrugged, shook it off, & kept moving.
i dunno, my whoooooooole entire family (save my grandfather, one uncle & maybe one or two relatives by marriage) lean on jesus extra hard. that's cool, if it works for them. i think my baby sister might be one of us witchy yoruba santeria lucumi vodou candomblé goddess worshiper types. but i dunno for sure. my overwhelming feeling is that black folks allow whether or not someone is a christian be their deciding factor in regard to whether or not that person is acceptable.
there's a fatal flaw in that: there are folks who you may attend church with, who still don't have the same values you do, for whatever reason(s). i come from a family that values dialog but is still at times very authoritarian. my mother taught my two sisters & me to be as critically-thinking as possible. that didn't go terribly well with my grandmother, grandfather & two uncles. but they all managed to get the hell over it at some point -- they created little encyclopedia-reading monsters who never stopped wondering/ creating/ thinking. & it became okay. nerdiness is woven into the fabric of my family, & along with that comes talking & introduction of new ideas. my extended family identifies as christian, but what about the nurturing of growth/ encouragement of education that i experienced at home? if it doesn't apply to them does that automatically make them bad/ wrong?
but i'm getting off topic. my basic idea about exclusively using your religion as a measuring stick for others -- especially & including those who identify within the same religion -- is that your measuring stick is the result of your interpretation almost exclusively. that's not accurate. furthermore, variables are unavoidable. people vary. period. that's a dangerous thing. it's like fitting a square peg into a very round hole.
i hope intern learns as he gets older that that kinda shit isn't okay. he may not -- he comes from a position of privilege within the social circles where he exists. patriarchy rules supreme in his world (the worst thing i've ever heard come out of this child's mouth is that no woman should ever break up w/ her high school sweetheart just because she doesn't wanna have a long distance relationship), & it guarantees his comfort. so, i don't know. he has no idea what this wide world holds for him as a black male in america.
i hope he he learns, though. gently, easily, gradually. because the next person may not even entertain the idea of being sweet or diplomatic. i know what it is to have everything you believe in snatched out from under you. but then again, he may need that . . .
i don't know who all on earth might find themselves browsing this blog. & i know the language or the random rants about r. kelly might throw you off. you may even feel inclined to stop reading because i talk about sex freely & don't have any trouble discussing my occasional toke. but if there's any one thing you need to know about me, it's that i do not think domestic abuse is acceptable or okay in any situation. it just isn't. i'm not hearing that "he's a good person" shit, i don't care if "all she did was" hit you once. i don't give a rat's ass. it's not okay. the idea that your abuser has any redeeming qualities, to me, is a damn joke. they nullify all of those things once they choose to put their hands on you, once they put forth any effort to control you by using violence. i do not believe that there's any dialog to be had, there's no reason to try to work it out. the first thing you need to do is get away. the second thing you need to do is stay away. if there's a need to return to a home you share w/ the abuser, have someone escort you (preferably the police or other neutral party) & get your shit. don't negotiate. don't let the begging & pleading & all that other hot bullshit be part of the equation, if you can help it. get out, get away, stay gone. if there are children involved, of course it's not that easy. but there are ways out. please don't ever think there aren't. please.
this post was inspired by juanita bynum's interview with fox 5 atlanta regarding her having been attacked by her now-estranged husband, thomas weeks. she had a press conference the other day. i'm really kind of ecstatic that sis chose to announce that domestic violence in the church isn't just about the church, but something that crosses boundaries. i'm thankful that she can say that unflinchingly. i hope that she's genuine in her stance. i hope that she is really, fully okay with taking on the mantle of being an anti-domestic violence advocate. i really hope she's sincere. she has so many ppl who buy her books and watch her on tv, etc. she is in a position to demonstrate positive things to so many folks.
i hope she does turn this around.
List 10 musical artists that you like:
2. the roots
3. jill scott
5. mos def
6. nina simone
7. eric roberson
10. lizz wright
What was the first song you ever heard by 6?
i think it was "my baby just cares for me," maybe "see-line woman"
What is your favourite album of 8?
What is your favorite lyric of 5?
that's a tough one. probably something from "climb"
What are your three of your favorite songs by 7?
errrmmm... "rock wit u," "for you," & "a dream"
What are your favorite three songs by 2?
"star," "the next movement,"& "adrenaline"
What are your three favorite songs by 10?
"soon as i get home," "salt," & "fire"
What is your favorite album by 1?
breath from another. of course.
How did you get into 4?
i was listening to lettuce's last.fm radio station & then i heard "inside and out." it was a wrap after that.
What are your three favorite songs by 3?
"sweet justice," "my love" & um... um... "not like crazy"
What is a good memory concerning 2?
every concert of theirs i've ever ever ever ever been to
Is there a song by 8 that makes you emotional?
not especially. but an ex boyfriend put 'jazzybelle' on a mix tape...
What are your three favorite songs of 1?
"i love you," "country livin' (the world i know)" & "we r in need of a musical revolution"
What is your favorite song of the 9 artist?
after all this time it's probably a toss up btwn 'fast lane' & 'something to hold onto'
1. Of all the bands & artists in your collection, which one do you have the most of?
either the roots or outkast, i really am not certain
2. What was the last song you listened to?
"skyy, can you feel me" by raphael saadiq
3. What's in your CD player right now?
on the laptop: the evolution of robin thicke
4. What is your favorite instrument?
drums, maybe the tambourine
5. Who's your favorite local band?
6. What was the last concert you attended?
7. What was the greatest concert you've ever been to?
that's a toss up btwn the roots new year's eve show in 2004 and the roots & special guests radio city show
8. What's the worst band you've ever seen in concert?
van hunt's band was great but i didn't like him. & when i saw donnie earlier this summer he was TACKY...
9. What band do you love musically but hate the members of?
lol, what an odd question. i dislike dice raw but nouveau riche is kinda tight.
10. What is the most musically involved you have ever been?
i was in chorus in high school & definitely plan to go back to voice lessons & maybe get a side gig singing backup for somoene
11. What show are you looking forward to?
none right now. i'm being a jackass when i say this, but i want angela bofill to recover from her stroke so she can start performing again. i'm kinda holding my breath for that one, though it seems really improbable
12. What is your favourite band shirt?
police 'ghost in the machine' replica shirt courtesy of my beloved billster
13. What musician would you like to hang out with for a day?
hmmmm... probably muhsinah, mj zilla, or amy winehouse BEFORE the drug addiction
14. What musician would you like to be in love with you for a day?
mos told me he loved me back when i howled "I LOVE YOU" to him ... so i think i already got that one handled. as a backup? black thought
15. What was your last musical "phase" before you wizened up?
i used to buy shit at the suggestion of someone who thought ludacris was a musical genius.
16. Sabbath or solo Ozzy?
does it matter?
17. Did you know that filling out this survey makes you a music geek?
it makes me later for work.
18. What was the greatest decade for music?
19. What is your favorite movie soundtrack?
NOT LOVE JONES. lol. probably dead presidents or wattstax
20. What would you be without music?
bored & angry
someone once told me i'm too attached to material things. this someone is male, black, american-born and raised, & claimed that it was absurd of me to care so much about things that were/ are mine. this person grew up w/ several siblings in a single-parent household & though i could identify w/ certain aspects of his stance, i found myself largely feeling like he never got what i was talking about when i expressed a need for what i call my creature comforts. for me to feel comfortable in an environment that i haven't designed to my liking, i tend to do what i can to create familiarity around myself. isn't this what most humans do? at a new job, don't you look around to see how or if your contemporaries have their workspaces decorated? when you come into a new apartment or house, don't you make it into what you want it to be & aim toward your ideals? creating comfort -- especially in my home -- makes it easier to cope w/ the many things that i feel daily (or otherwise regularly) assault me outside these walls. but maybe that doesn't matter to anyone else. not that it necessarily has to.
in this entry, dark daughta explores what codes of conduct for oneself do in the way of creating/ maintaining sanity & safety. she says: "I'm...slowly...raising...my hands...over...my head... I don't have a gun...a chainsaw...a hacksaw...or a knife...I've got words, thoughts, questions, a keyboard and a Code."
** i know this isn't finished. it may never be.
the circle of new friends into which i've been absorbed
ppl who appreciate simple shit
folks who're not wise enough to password-secure their wireless networks
the nail salon up the block from me
knowing when i shouldn't do something, & sticking to that
gentle winds of change
the fire it takes to speak up
honest yet tactful critics
the eyes to see what's really going on
finding new blogs
yummy smelling bath stuff
knowing that what i really want is well on its way
my crafty leanings
my sunday boo (we need to really plan these dinners)
i sit at the seat of bliss... no matter what. i am carving out for myself the place i want to be most.
& refrain from speaking on terrence howard's declaration that women who don't clean themselves w/ baby wipes are 'just unclean.' i wanted really badly to refrain from giving his low-talent ass any more shine than he's already gotten for playing such brilliant characters as the around-the-way barfly named cowboy (dead presidents), chu chu (biker boyz) & the 'struggling pimp' djay (hustle & flow). i didn't say he couldn't act, but outside of his light skinnedness & wearing church clothes to virtually every event he attends, what's the draw?
but anyway. i was tryna bite my tongue, then i remembered that this here blog is mine to do what i wanna do with it. so, here goes:
first off, this motherfucker is not important enough to go around telling anybody how to wipe their asses, short of an infirmed or infantile family member of his. he's not a doctor. he is an actor. he gets paid to dress up and make believe that he's someone else & he isn't even good at that! let's not allow him to have that much influence over our bathrooms, our anuses or our purchase of baby wipes. i have a girlfriend who's a doctor & she expressed some annoyance that grown ppl (who come to her & end up getting rectal exams) don't fully wipe their asses. i'd listen to dr. homegirl before i listen to that guy. because it's what she's spent 3 years in school for. because she's begun a residency. it's her job to be concerned with health/ hygiene.
secondly, i have to point out the overall tone of the interview. he seems to fall into the category of a misogynistic woman hater. i say he seems to, because i don't know him & have only ever read this one interview w/ him. but the idea that he's a woman-hater is backed up by this article on jezebel.com. there as also a fashion shoot in an old issue of vibe magazine with the theme of a couple going through their daily routine or whatever, where one photo depicted him grabbing or shaking the female with whom he did the shoot. i don't like that. not one fucking bit. my eyebrow is at least raised in that man's general direction.
thirdly, as pointed out by (my new favorite blogger) dark daughta in this post, he's sans vulva. he is not an authority on vaginae, vulvae, clitorises, or anything else that biologically belongs to women. sorry. nope. to quote my beloved grandfather, "what's wrong with that rabbit brain?" honest to goddess, unless you study vulvae from a medical standpoint (being a porn hound does not a coochie expert make) i kinda don't wanna hear it. really.
so, in short: terrence dashon howard needs to shut the fuck up.
jill, jill, jill. i feel this song fully.
i've been there. with more than one paramour, quite honestly. it seems like they all end up the same way, too.
we split up for whatever reason(s), you get somebody new, i get somebody new . . . we both live our lives, & may even still be really good friends. but i know deep down inside that i feel like i'm not finished, that you're not finished. not so much a regret that we split -- when something isn't working, it's just plain not working -- but something like a deep want to try again. i'll ignore it, because you've got someone else you're kicking it with (you're not wasting any kind of time, since you don't want the chance to miss me) & i'm doing whatever i'm doing . . . i won't let myself regret you. i won't convince myself that i should apologize profusely & call you up trying to see if there might be a way back in. this is primarily because i can't handle the idea of being rebuffed when i want to be desired & refuse to try too hard at anything i'm prone to suck at. i'm prideful that way. i'm trouble that way. & she isn't. that's why you like her so much -- she doesn't challenge you to be a better person, quite honestly. she'd never encourage you to reach for everything you've ever wanted -- because you're all she's ever wanted. a daddy, financier & lover all in one. you have the bankroll for her to hit target without flinching -- note, i said her, because she's never considerate of your money situation. it only matters when she has to pay. you don't think i know she sees you as an open wallet/ bank account/ whatever, even though you essentially make the same amount of money she does? you don't think i've noticed all these things when you talk about her to me the way you would one of your homeboys?
but you'll allow it, because it's easier than being alone. because it's easier than trying to get back to what you know was harder to keep, but more worth your time.
& maybe that's why i let go, too. because i'm too comfortable running shit & it's not even about control issues -- the only issue i have is that i wanna be in control. period. when i'm not at the helm, it's only because i let you be. i think that you enjoyed that as much as i am accustomed to it.
so now here i am, after the fact, wondering why the fuck i even care.
because i love you. & in the back of my head, i imagine where we'd be had we stuck it out or reloaded the whole thing. if we'd said "let's try one more time," & said yes to a do-over. i wonder if you would have taken my hand, had i extended it.
i don't live w/ regrets or guilt, but the what-ifs surely can be a beast.