it's a wrap

I wish that I could say that I'm still wearing yesterday's funk, but for some reason I keep bathing...I guess that that's one of those ingrained behaviors. My bones are a little achy from sleeping on the couch last night. The one thing that I should've asked for was an electric blanket, b/c the physics behind hot air and tall ceilings conspired against me. But anyway...before passing out, J and I WERE watching The Polar Express and then Madasgascar. When I woke up, he apparently had gotten tired of being cold and ran for cover...on his top bunk. I figured that I might as well remain in my station since this boy naturally wakes up before 6am EVERY MORNING. That way, when he was ready to open presents, all I would have to do is sit up, observe, and feed off the excitement of a 6 y/o. I would have an edge over his PawPaw and his bad knees...well, I wouldn't be required to do the Fred shuffle to the tree.

5:50am: There was a nudge vigorous shake...a whisper loud voice...bright eyes and emerging dimples...and so it began...

Things that made noise...things that need batteries...

Things that require a computer, things with flashing lights...

But as entrancing as these gadgets might be, his most prized possession...

2 cardboard wrapping paper, used to shoot marbles and random action figures across the room. The moral of THIS holiday story doesn't take much technology to merry a child's Christmas.

daddy's home

It's no secret that I had been dreading my dad's visit, but so far, it has been a blessing. So much so, that I don't know what to do besides anchoring myself in my Hang Suite (my loft and bedroom upstairs). I hadn't even formerly made my list of projects for him to tackle but everyday that I've gone to work, I've come home to some new surprise. I almost hate to admit this, but I purposely did not get groceries b/c money has been tight all month. I knew that if I kept, at least, one slice of bread and a half-gallon of milk that it'd inspire a couple of trips to Kro.ger without the incessant nagging. Now, the goodies in my fridge are pressed down, shaken together, and running over! He has raked and bagged (as JJ puts it) the 200-quad-billion leaves in my yard and driveway...that were gonna remain there indefinitely if left to my care and attention. I now have a TP and face towel holder in my downstairs bathroom, fresh vacuum tracks throughout the house, and a new deep fryer for the turkey that pops is going to go to town on come Christ.mas eve. Yes,

What am I going to do when this man leaves? Forget Mr. Belv.edere...Mr. Belvedad is what's hot on the streets!

It looks like it's going to be a pretty good Christ.mas for JJ. My dad went overboard, my g/f and her hubby went overboard and J's dad actually shipped him some things. HLS (Habitual Line Stepper) probably said that he would do so on some voicemail, but since the sound of his voice makes the peach fuzz on my arms stand on end, I usually delete his messages before listening to their weepy, woe-is-me entirety. I can just picture him sitting somewhere, looking stupid as usual right about now, but that's neither here nor there. Until he straightens out the financial biz as I asked him to, he need not say "boo" to me.

My thoughts are towards the future. Despite the challenges of the last couple of months, 2007 WAS/IS my year! Too many great things happened for me to sell it short by a couple of life is full of beautiful disasters and everything is ok. I look forward to 2008, but I'm not running from 2007. I still have a week and a half to celebrate the old year in all my glorious funk and comfy PJs...starting now, lazy days are-a-coming. Maybe while I'm off, I'll have the time and inclination to blog daily...or maybe I'll just think really hard and say I did.

return of the mack

----------------- Original Message -----------------

From: LB
Date: Dec 5, 2007 4:15 PM

Thanks, buddy. I'm imagining you patting me on my head like you're my daddy or something. But OK, I'm so're moving back to New Orleans, but you'll be back in NY after the New Year? I've never been to New York so that would be a cool trip to take. But would you get mad if I didn't want to go anywhere if its cold and snowing? I'll understand if that's improper and everything b/c you New Yorkers might like to romp around in the snow, but me and cold do not mix well. VA has been enough to deal with, LOL. So anyway, when will you return to NY?

From: Mack
Date: Dec 18, 2007 3:23 PM

i get back to NY Jan 5th. Im heading down to N.O. sometime after that. I plan to live between the 2 city's... we can stay indoors and watch movies and stuff like that. Its just hard because i dont know if u remember, but i do, what happens when we get locked behind close doors together. :-) LoL... Which im sure would keep you warm enough to forget the snow it safe to say that dude is flirting with me? Did I start it? Seriously, I have read and re-read my message and I didn't see anything twisted about suggesting that we stay in. I really didn't know what would happen if I went up to NY to visit. Call me naive, but I thought...ESPECIALLY since he asked that me AND J come to NY...that it would be a nice, wholesome trip...somewhat. Yes, we have obviously been together in THAT WAY a LONG time ago but this whole message made me nervous.

We always do this...start something but then his schedule and the distance prevents us from finishing it. And then I have to work to get him out of my system. I just don't know...

no hook for this hit

So...last night was THE night...and I was a HIT! I spent the morning cleaning, doing some prep for the event and babysitting my little other words, I spent the morning being frazzled. Baby cuz was pretty easy-going this time around, plus JJ went into big brother mode to ease my load. But when it came time to pack the two up and drop them off by lady cuz, I developed a new respect for single moms with more than one kid...just don't know if I'm man enough, lol. I just can't think of a better ad for birth control.

Anyway, I met up with my coworker, Goth Girl (GG), for a mani-pedi clear across town. I must say that it was TOTALLY worth the extra mileage b/c I needed that pampering. I can't remember the last time that I treated myself like that...but they were having a special, so I somehow reasoned that I could afford a paraffin wax with the money that I was saving. Hell, it's Christmas time and I'm giving and not getting, so I might as well gift myself. After we were done, GG and I headed to the MAC counter at Nord.strom's...hoping for last-minute makeovers, but luck doesn't strike twice in a day. Here we are, 2 engineers...yet we fail to calculate that yesterday was a Saturday during party season. One consultant, looking as frazzled as I was feeling some hours before, was really precious and nice but basically told us to wait until the crowd dies down around 7 or 8 pm or kick rocks. I opted for rock kickage and foundation. Time was of the essence...and Ebony...and Jet at this point. I had 30 minutes to get home and only one hour after that to give Navy the house tour, finish doing my hair and makeup, press my dress, and spray the holy crap out of my undergarment with static guard.

When I was done with my magic, I could tell by the look on Navy's face that a $75 "shut it down" dress, recycled jewelry, and borrowed shoes NEVER looked so good. It is not in dude's nature to throw out compliments to anyone, so when he does, I have to grab hold of it and stuff it somewhere private for safe-keeping. We arrived at the Gala about an hour and a half after it started. I am all for being fashionably late...but feeling like we were early for next year's party is another story. However, it turned out that we were right on time to NOT listen to the announcements and to NOT win any of the door prizes. But I did win something...

This post is not really about how good I is about how good I felt last night. My emotions have been running rampant lately, but I figured that it was time to make some decisions. I'm going through some stuff, but I decided to not give any more power to it by obsessing over it. And no, the "stuff" I'm talking about is not Jesse (who didn't even show up). I've only shared what's been REALLY bothering me lately with 2 people...but honestly, they can say every right thing in the world to make me feel better, but if I don't believe it then I'm just wasting their time. There are a few things under attack right now and I haven't been feeling too good about myself. Couple that with Jesse's indifferent attitude towards our dissolution and you got me sitting over here waiting to ex.hale. But to command the attention of the Prez, who held my hand for 1 minute too long while slinging words like "stunning", "gorgeous", and "breathtaking" have prinicipals and vice presidents giving me the full-body once over and their wives glaring at my have my girls bug out over my turn a corner and feel as if I just collided with the feel as if I had to creatively end convos with people or else they'd be in my face all night b/c they were THAT drawn to me...that was ALL restoration. My mind needed this to quiet the negative voices in my head.

Yes, I shut it down...but these voices got shut down too.

I would say that the most interesting part of the night was when Tee's man, Jesse's best friend, practically chased me and Navy when we exited the ballroom. As soon as he asked how we knew each other, brother's game was blown. I figured that he was doing some research...perhaps to ensure that Navy and I were not an item. I told Navy from jump street that we weren't going to fake the funk...and although I wanted to at that point there was no sense in it. After a while, I wandered off and let them talk for a minute. But not before this dude invited me over during the Christmas holiday. Tee and I have gotten pretty cool through all of this, but I'm not too sure of what ole boy's aim is...but I'm also not so sure that I don't want to find out.

'tis the season... break the bank! An unprecedented 2 blogs in one weekend...I might just stomp with the big blog dawgs in 2008. So after being down in the dumps and dumpy-looking on Saturday, I was angry at my orange-level alert of procrastination on Sunday. 'Tis the season to break the bank and I headed to Target for the next episode. I had a To.ys for To.ts luncheon and a small group Secret San.ta to shop for. Considering that my SS group chased down mexican food with a quick trip to the next door porno shop during lunchtime last week, I'm HOPING...seriously HOPING...that whoever pulled my name didn't wake up stupid and buy me a vibrator for Christmas. There were a lot of jokes being passed around the table that day, which led to my own private showing of this dude in accounting "dropping it like it's hot" at my cube. Since he had no shame on company property during company time, I shudder to think of the things that we all will unwrap during our break THIS week. I am somewhat making my gift, so we'll see how it comes out.

'Tis the season to ATTEMPT frugality. So I was in luck, my cuz's shoes will go well with the dress that I bought for the Gala. They're her wedding shoes though...I had to make sure that they weren't so sacred that I couldn't even breathe on the heel but she willingly through them my way...along with the red shoes that I had let her borrow about a year ago.

But I didn't just drop by for shoes...I went on ahead and invested in some real estate. Money, for me, has been tight this month...key words being "for me." I don't necessarily HAVE to live check to check, but I choose to forego transferring funds out of my savings accounts to compensate for everytime I overspend. So whereas my checking and savings account balances at my main bank are probably quite laughable by whoever views my statements, my other balances are far less as embarrassing b/c I refuse to pull from them. I am trying to train myself to live within my means and if that MEANS I'm down to $5.00 on the 20th and don't expect to see a check until the 1st, then it's time to get creative. That other money is only intended for emergency purposes.

'Tis also the season to hustle and flow. I had been debating making this new investment for a couple of months now and so I finally bit the bullet and entered into a contract with my cuz. We'll see how this plays out. For a second, my 401K was giving me heartburn after I decided to make 3 major trades. I got slapped with some market timing warning...I'm not sure what that means besides "chill." My mutual funds are pretty steady since they are far less aggressive. Real estate is another attempt at diversification and higher returns, I guess. I'm no shrewd business woman but I got to learn something, somehow. For now, my goal is to keep reinvesting for a whole year, so that by this time next year, I can pay off my student loans. Again, we'll see.

So maybe I need this break from a man in order for me to focus on streams of income. Lord knows that when my attention is divided, I'm less calculating and more cuddly but cuddling ain't never paid no bills.

consider it watered...

This week's excuse for non-blogging is brought to you by the letter N, for Neglect. When I think of that word, I am reminded of the time when some girlfriends of mine from my old job came over for dinner and wine a month after I moved into my new home for an intimate housewarming. One gave me a corkscrew and some wine glasses (2 of which I have since broken) and another gave me an odd-looking plant that I loved and named Bella. Wine glasses...well, not my most prized possession since I'm not much of a wine drinker. But I was drawn to that plant...she wasn't all frilly and girly, a perfect match for me. I put her in a place that you'd see her at every entrance to my house. Well, soon that new-ness wore off...I forgot to water her as often as I should. I soon noticed that she was slimming a bit...stressed even...and I thought if I changed her position that the differing amounts of sunlight and temperature would save her. However, she has been withering away because of my inconsistency...kinda like this blog. So, here's my attempt at watering.

My baby lost one of his 2 front teeth during lunch today. I am relieved b/c I was so tired of looking at that thing struggling to hold on for the past week. His teacher was kind enough to send it home in a little baggy. Is it weird to save your kid's teeth? I probably should've polled some mothers, but I remember sorting through some of my momma's things a long time ago and finding these baby teeth all wrapped up in a tissue inside a ceramic music box. Since then, I thought that it was something that you were supposed to do, so I planned to add this tooth to the other one that I have stowed away in my top chest drawer. (He lost another one while in the N.O. with my dad, but that regional tooth fairy gives 5 bucks so I need to erase that from his memory...there's a tooth recession up here in VA.) However, when he showed me his now naked gums, I realized that I had absolutely no change on me and it was too late to go to a bank and ask for specific bills. So I ran to Walgr.eens to pick up some light bulbs just so that I could use my debit card and get money back in the bills that I need to help the regional tooth fairy out. We get back home and go through the business of tucking this tooth under his pillow, talking about what he expects and how strong he thinks that tooth fairy must be to lift his big head up off the pillow in order to slide the money under it. So I go on about my business and then J starts talking about something else that he wants for Christ.mas. I slipped and said something about checking with San.ta and then we both paused. I couldn't even believe that I mentioned San.ta when I never play into the whole San.ta thing and J looked at me as if I had flipped my wig, b/c he knows PawPaw is the MAYNE this time of year. So as the 5-second stare down progressed, I broke the silence and laughed at how we both can't get with San.ta but I'm jumping through hoops over the daggone regional tooth fairy. Go figure.

The J.O.B. is still great. My one year anniversary is this month. I was also blessed with a nice bonus that came RIGHT ON TIME. So as my supervisor is going through the spiel of how the principals think that I deserve "this much" of the profits, blah, blah, blah, he mentions to me that he is pleased with my work and that I should come up with a percentage that I'd be happy with come raise time and notify him ASAP. I wanted to say, "hey, go on and double that bamma" but I guess that professionalism...and key.

And so there is Jesse. If people still use the term "kicking it", then that would be what we're still doing. A lot is going on with us, at the moment, so I can't really predict anything. All I can say is that I've relaxed a lot since the last blog. If our secret isn't already out at the office, it will be come our Ho.liday during the middle of next month. Unless something happens between now and then, we'll be going together and will probably make it a little obvious that we're more than just a little sweet on each other. Discretion escaped us a long time ago, in all honesty. There have been a few sightings of us leaving work together. Unless we have lunch meetings, we eat together...and in large groups, sit next to each other and share food. One time he asked for some of my soup and after his lips met the spoon that I held out for him, I realized 3 seconds too late that there were other people around. To play it off, I offered to spoon-feed the other young guy at the table...not a good look but it got a hearty laugh. It's also official...we will be having Thanksgiving with his friends and all of our kids. "His friends" includes a coworker of ours, who happens to be dating his best friend. I won't even detail the excuse that J's dad gave me for not being able to trek it up here for the holiday. I'm just grateful that I don't have to look at him or try to work him into our plans. All in all, it should be pretty fun AND MOSTLY I just want the time off.

Oh, I forgot...a sista found a Po.peye's in. this. piece. And once again, it's on...

monday came...and went

As I recall, I was all-too-concerned about how I was going to react to Unc.le this past Monday...when less than 24 hours after I wrote the last post, I was back over at Jesse's, partaking of the free cat scratches. Nothing SERIOUS happened...and I was smart this time. When it looked like the sun was merely THINKING about settling in for the night, I got the heck out of dodge. BUT SINCE..he has been over to help J (aka Harry give out Hall.oween candy...he has re-introduced me to his best friend (who I had already met at the theme park a few weeks back AND who is currently dating another co-worker of ours)...and some way, some how Thanksgiving plans were made when I decided that I wasn't about to drop $500 for plane tickets to go back home (his best friend wants us all to get together for the holiday).

NOW, dude is talking about going to church with me (a church that I attend with ANOTHER coworker) and joining my Tuesday lunch Bi.ble Study group when I didn't even think that he was THAT religious/spiritual/whatever of a person. NOW, dude is saying things like "You could be pregnant" when I even mention that my stomach hurts but yet, he's the only one smiling after a statement like that and saying how it would be ok, b/c we'd have pretty babies. NOW, dude is taking measures to stop smoking at the mere mention of me saying that it bothers me b/c we both have family histories of cancer. His son has even gotten in on the act...trying to keep J and I over at his crib last night when they KNEW that I had no plans to stay b/c I needed to come back home so that I can get ready for church today.

We had THE talk...I said that I was getting used to the age difference...I said that I still had an issue with the work situation...I said that he was not the first white man that I dated, but certainly the first that found out all of Vict.oria's secrets...I said that I feel weird...and he stood there unphased. Ya know, a certain chick, who will remain nameless **cough** S23 **cough**, LAUGHED when I said that I didn't want to wake up and be in a relationship...but this sure as heck feels like we have LEAPED over into something serious and I'm on the verge of freaking.the.heck.out! I was trying to hold off on making any decisions until January 1st, but at this rate, I feel like I'm about to be married and knocked up by Christmas.

a night out with Je.sse

**Sigh** I thought that I would be eligible for a Platinum Oldgirl card in about a year or 2, but after last night, my application would be fact, I don't even think that the Oldgirl Board of Directors would even deliberate as long as Tyra and 'em on ANTM. So my blog sistas that can read in between the lines and know what I'm saying, good! I would rather blog this out here than have the situation show up in my inbox come Monday morning...and you know why.

So last night, I went out with Unc.le That tag is actually quite fitting b/c dude is rather fussy about his hair....but let me just call him before people think that I have some inappropriate relationship with my uncle. Quick rundown...he's white, 43 y/o, works with me, AND he DOES have great hair. He was a part of the group that took me out to lunch, almost a year ago, to welcome me to the new gig. I remember being somewhat attracted to him then, but I was still digging Choir Boy at the time so anyone else was left standing in his shadow. Anyway, we would talk for a few when we ran into each other in the hall, or eat lunch together from time to time, but it wasn't until our company picnic at a local theme park that I first noticed that he was giving me a little rhythm. I was SUPPOSED to be running with Pro-mance, but since I had JJ, I was rather limited as to what rides I could get on. Considering that has a 14 y/o kid, I guess that I won both his sympathy and his escort service for the remainder of the day. What I liked about him THEN was the fact that he kept trying to come up with activities that J could participate in...and he would get pretty excited in the process. He kept complimenting ME on how cute and well-mannered JJ was. I always feel those that walk in the truth, lol.

After that, I would find random treats on my desk. And then when my hard drive crashed this week, he lent me his cube for the whole day, since he had class. I left him a couple of notes thanking him, b/c I had a project due yesterday and every bit of computer time that I could steal counted. When I visited his cube after that, I noticed that those notes were moved to a highly visible spot...I guess that he appreciated them.

Well last night,, JJ, and I grabbed some Mex.ican food. His son was going to be at a Hallo.ween party until 7:00 pm, so the plan was to get MY son from afterschool care and for all of us to have dinner and perhaps watch a movie. It was almost weird b/c he wanted to ride with me to pick JJ up...and then asked if he could go in with me to get him. I don't know why, but I quickly let him know that he can stay in the car and I would be right out. When JJ got in the car, dude was almost playing 20 questions with him. JJ remembered him from the park, but he still gets in shy mode and takes time to warm up to people. It was cute, nonetheless.

We had dinner. We picked up his son afterwards. And then, I dropped him back off at the office to pick up his truck and followed him to their crib....waaaayyyyy across the dark and the pouring rain. Now, b/c of the matching speeding tickets that I got last weekend on my way to and from, a homie is a bit cautious about driving on unfamiliar territory...especially in the dark and the pouring rain. By the grace of God and CERTAINLY NOT my contacts, we made it to his country place that happens to be tucked off and near a pond.

JJ and his son immediately hit it off and were playing computer games while and I took to the couch and a couple of movies. Dude has about 5 or 6 cats and all of them seemed to love me...I think one may have even made love to my thigh, b/c all I know is he rubbed himself to sleep in my lap. I WISH that I could say that that was the most action that I had gotten all night. then put in a movie that he thought JJ would enjoy, but that boy didn't last 20 minutes before he was all curled up on the recliner, slobbering on the fabric. By this time, I knew that I should've been long gone, but I was kinda scared to drive down those dark roads at night. Plus, insisted that I just wait until the morning...not a surprise at all. So he put JJ to bed in his spare bedroom...and and I got to know each other a bit better.

He's a great kisser, I LOVE running my fingers through his hair, but er...uh...HOW IN THE HECK AM I GOING TO FACE THIS DUDE ON MONDAY??? I got caught up in the moment. There are other things about him that concern me...that I MAY disclose at a later date. But I can't lie, it felt good to have his arms around me...squeezing and carressing me. I melted everytime that he kissed my forehead...yearned for the next moment of sensual spontaneity, but we work together. I brought it up in the midst and all he could say was, "Well, it sux when you give almost all of your time to a job...and then come across someone that you like and feel as if you're not supposed to see them." Yes, there are good reasons why you're NOT...too bad all 500 of them didn't force my hand sooner. I don't really even know what to think, how to feel...something other than fear, or what to do.

Thankfully, I'm in a dodgeball tourney today, so I have an opportunity to sharpen my ducking and dodging skills in the meantime.

what's your net worth?

So, I've been suffering from ADD and narcilepsy lately b/c everytime I sat down to blog, over the past 2 weeks, one or the other would take over. In fact, if I weren't currently sitting under the dryer after freshly relaxing my hair (yes, at 4 in the morning), I would be watching the back of my eyelids, tucked in comfortably on my sofa with my son's feet in my chest. (I have yet to understand why it is that my son chooses to snuggle under me sometimes when he has 2 beds in his room to choose from...I'm STILL trying to understand why I've preferred to limit my night movements to my sofa for the past month).


I've noticed that normal people actually take lunches during their lunch break. Come 11:55AM, people are scrambling in either the halls or on email threads to see who is lunching with who and where. When I first started working at the J.O.B., I was heavily involved in the lunch rotation, b/c I thought that it would help me to get to know my coworkers better (i.e. promote assimilation with the male engi.neers)...and plus, A LOT gets said at the lunch table that doesn't get said at the office. Lately, I have been slacking...perhaps that's a good thing b/c I am neither Sam.antha, Car.rie, Mir.anda, or, so all of these $ex In The Ci.ty dining out episodes are not-so-fabulous for my budget (I believe that that is the second time that I used the word "fabulous" on this hea blog...5 is my limit). But in my break away from the previous lunch norm, I noticed that I was 29 y/o, lol. Not the "young and hip 30 is the new 20 so 29 makes me 19" 29, but the "I just read the consumer reports reviews for a vacuum cleaner and I'm heavily concerned about the quality of the product that I'm getting for the money" 29...that "disputing with the local Low.e's paint guy over the correct paint chip that matches the blue stripe in my shower curtain" 29...that "I think that I'll invest in a good drill in case of emergencies" 29...that "I will continue to buy these $7.99 perms and b/c of my 9 'o clock narcileptic episodes I'll relax my hair at 4 in the morning" 29 (...all of these debates and purchases occuring during my lunch break...29).

Doesn't sound terribly exciting to many, but suits me just fine.

Age Wisdom has made me increasingly aware of a great many being my financial outlook. After I wrote THIS post, I kept tripping up on two words, net worth. For a couple of weeks now, I have been setting up an Excel spreadsheet in my mind that would subtract my liabilities from my assets and force me to come to grips with how non-rich I am. I actually did a quick calculation and was somewhat pleased with the outcome, but I wanted to track it on a month to month basis and THEN do a thorough check-up from year end to year end. I kept procrastinating with this spreadsheet, b/c I started to get too engrossed in particulars...should I REALLY count my car as an asset (even though its paid off) when I have no intention on selling it and would prefer to ride it until I HAVE to get my Fred Flint.stone "yabadabadoo" on and start running with it. How many days after I get paid should I input my current checking account balance when it fluctuates worse than the sine curve? I start thinking about my student loans and how much of a dent I would like to put in them during tax time, but I sure could use another sidewalk which would improve the curb appeal and value of my home.

But somewhere during one of my ADD episodes, I started thinking of my "well-being" net worth, taking into account my standings emotionally, spiritually, physically, and mentally. I'm sure that financial stability plays a part in every aspect of my "well-being" net worth, but if I don't devote the same time and attention as I do to financial matters, I won't be worth anything to anybody...more importantly, myself.

Forget being the "young and hip 30 is the new 20, so 29 makes me 19" 29 when you don't take control over what enters your eyegate or eargate and what exits your mouthgate. "You are what you eat" is the cliche that holds true across the board. If I constantly take in negativity, I will spit back negativity. There's certain music that I can't vibe to like I used to...certain lyrics that I can't even meditate on, let alone recite aloud. There are Psalms that will feed me more than anything Tu.pac or cleverly penned...may they rest in peace as I am still a fan of both, but I'm wiser now. I COULD get my rocks off reading (although I respect her hustle), but I find that Miche.lle Single.tary speaks to the woman that I want to be. "Who do you surround yourself with?" is a constant echo. I was once told that if you want to be a lawyer, you surround yourself with lawyers....if you want to be a doctor, you surround yourself with doctors...well, I want to be a strong and successful woman that relies on God but understands that her first ministry is home, so who do I surround myself with? Who do I look up to? Those that have overcome adversity and have a positive outlook on life despite day-to-day challenges...those that encourage and uplift others...those with a mission...those that stay hungry...those that reject immediate gratification for long-term security. If I'm not of value to someone else then I emplore them to part ways with me b/c if someone is a hindrance to my progress, I will have to do the same. I'm trying to make the's list for "well-being" net worth and I can't get there with marshmallow pies in my pantry, a lazy man, jealous friends, smut mags, a subscription to a highly controversial blog, and Sol.dier Boy's latest CD, while sweating the small stuff. Without self-control, I'd soon fall victim to an emotional rollercoaster that dictates my mood and alters my esteem. I'm worth A LOT more than that...and my actions as a "young and hip 30 is the new 20, so 29 makes me 19" 29 should reflect that.

Hmmmmm....I'm thinking that I will spend this wealth with a lunch crew tomorrow. After all, a new drill can wait...a couple of days, at least, lol.

fighting to be silent

Lawdhavmercyjesusandmaryandem, someone almost got DROPPED at the office today. Admittedly, this has been one TRYING week...and I think that I was on edge LAST week b/c I had an impending deadline THIS week. I woke up ALREADY frustrated b/c I seem to be having some sort of relapse from a cold that I had 2 weeks ago. And when I know that my attitude is on the borderline between pi$$y and "I-wish-a-negro-would...", I normally stay to myself. The plan was to hole myself up in the cube and nobody gets hurt. Well, for the most part, that wasn't a problem today. Since Bruh-friend at the J.O.B. has been slinging his responsibilities on me lately, I haven't had a problem with keeping busy. However, I wasn't fully able to hole myself up b/c some matters require me to leave my base for lengthy periods of time.

I did see Bruh-friend this morning, but I kept it short and sweet...the only real interaction that I had today was with my "Pro-mance (Professional Romance...flirting ONLY allowable b/w 8 AM - 6 PM Mon-Fri)" with Dimple-Man across my cube wall and with this other older gentleman who felt the need to close the conversation with "You look bad, I mean...REALLY, you should probably go home." Aside from that, I was left to my congestion and my projects.

And THEN it happened.

"Is there ANYTHING that I can help you with, b/c I see that you KEEP going to JM when I have already HAD this conversation with you before..."

If only I can convey his tone through blog...all I can say is that dude had his eyebrows all furrowed and was shaking his head to stress his words. Initially, I TRIED to remain silent but when it started sounding like he was reprimanding me like some dayum child, I am BIG on "approach." And seeing as how Bruh-friend goes to my church, I THOUGHT that he knew how to properly talk to somebody. Especially after I had kept quiet about other things that were pi$$ing me off this week, I started feeling froggy and ready to leap! I threw him one of those Rick looks...obviously partnah DIDN'T know who I was. My dad lost a good job for choking a supervisor out back in the day and I felt his blood coursing through my veins REAL HOT-LIKE today!

I never look for an argument...I HATE arguing with folks. I can have a discussion with someone until the cows come home, but once someone crosses the line and starts talking to me like I'm dumb or crazy, that's all she wrote.

So he and I got into it...for a good 8 minutes....and the cubes surrounding us were on a mad hush.

Even AFTER I explained to Bruh-friend that I only asked JM a practical question....nothing that would impact his position as LEAD engi.neer...he STILL had his neck hairs on the rise. THAT'S what it's REALLY about...somebody feels threatened and is trying to hold on to what little authority he has. And heaven forbid that I ask someone with, at least, 10 years more experience than he has a question...heaven forbid I learn more than him when my credentials ALREADY speak for themselves. THEN, he went into how I did stuff wrong on previous projects b/c I went to somebody else and when he was questioned about it, he didn't have the answer. It's funny how my work has never come into question until NOW! But again, it was all in the "approach"...we could have probably worked this out without being the only 2 black eng.ineers in the office, who stereotypically cannot seem to get along, had he NOT rolled up on my cube with an attitude without knowing the full story. Now it seems that I have to consult HIM before I even sneeze. Forget that!

"Fine! I won't ask JM a dayum thing else! You got it! I don't want to have this conversation anymore so you can walk away now."

Once he shuffled off, I started thinking about how the overall theme of this week has been for me to know when to be silent. That just wasn't happening today. I had allowed my temper to get the best of me, so I left work a little early. I was too upset to concentrate during the little time that I had left.

The enemy used the BOTH of us. Prayerfully, tomorrow will be different.


...I thought it would've been me, standing there with you. Congratulations, I hope you're happy. Well, not really.

So, I recently reconnected with a long lost friend of mine, M-Rod. I hadn't spoken to him in over a year...and even THEN, it was very brief. I hadn't seen him in prolly close to 10 years and I was hoping for a chance to verify that he hadn't gotten any cuter than the last time. It turns out that he lives a little over 3 hours away and I had the bright idea that I could swing through while on my way to, the end of this month. Unfortunately, he's been stationed in Ha.waii for the next 4 years...fortunately for him, I guess, but foiled my doggone plans. So, we're catching up and I ask, "Are you married off yet?" I figured that I already knew the answer to this...the question was more of an ice-breaker than a jaw-dropper. His response, "NO, I'M NOT MARRIED!" And right when I begin to exhale, I get..."Well, not yet anyways. The wedding is next year." Tricky ba$tard...ok, that was ugly, I know. But why did my heart drop down into my uterus?! Seriously, its all tangled up in my fallopian tubes right about now. I cannot even understand why I am reacting this way b/c my mind has certainly been occupied with other men since we last spoke. Yet, I'm sitting here quoting Ves.ta in her good days and drowning my sorrows in Can.ada Dry, when the situation OBVIOUSLY calls for a cherry slush from So.nic!

I met him during the summer after I graduated high school...through my g/f, Tam. They attended the same summer medical program. Apparently, he stole some pictures that she had developed from our trip to Disney World and he saw me all hugged up with some stuffed bear and thought it was hot, lol. We chatted on the phone for a few...he had that Spa.nish accent (if you call it that)...and in an effort to surprise me, Tam decided to drop by my house one night with him in tow. I think that I made THE WORST first impression known to man. I believe what he liked MOST about me was my sense of humor, but when I saw him, I couldn't find a joke with a map and a compass. He was so first crack at exotic men (S23, 2007). I liked him, but the timing was off. He was about to go away to school...and I was staying home to attend TU. It just wasn't happening, but we still talked. But then, once we got into that school swing, those talks were few and far between.

I didn't see M-Rod until the following school year. He came to visit me in my dorm room one night, while he was in town. He and I...and my roommate...were all chillin' together, but then this broad leaves for no good reason and locks the door behind her. We were sitting on my bed, at the time, and I remember my first thought being, "Sh*t!" Up until this point, we hadn't so much as kissed...heck, up until this point all I DID was make-out with dudes, nothing serious. But I just KNEW something was about to go down that night. And it did. We didn't...well, hmmm, we did some things but my virgi.nity was still in tact (that's prolly the cleanest way that I can put it). And my roommate, being the thoughtful broad that she is, jingled her keys for a good 5 minutes before she walked into the room some hours later. Mayne, I ripped into her after M-Rod left...blamed her for every button that came undone, lol.

I made it clear afterwards, that he and I were not about to travel down that road. I was still clinging HARD to my vir.ginity. M-Rod was cool with all of that...I think that he admired the fact that I was still a vir.gin, but that didn't mean that he wasn't gonna try and get away with as much as he could. Shortly after the dorm incident, I went home to stay with my momma for a few days. He came over and she absolutely fell in love with him...she called him every Spanish name that she could think of...everything besides his real name.

Manuel, you want something to drink?

So, where are you taking my daughter, Jesus?

Julio, you hear me talkin' to you?

We were dying laughing at her...long after we left her to her Lifet.ime channel, while we grubbed at's. When we came back, my momma was still awake. But she decided to give us some privacy and then went in her room and closed the door. I recognized that same mischievious look in his eye that he had at my dorm. My first thought was, "Sh*t!" I told him to not think that my momma didn't have her TV low enough to hear things going on...we'd better sound like we were talking and quick! Well, we lived VERY DANGEROUSLY that night.

The next morning, I jumped on my momma's bed to tell her about the fun time that me and Antonio had, lol. She stopped me mid-sentence:

"Who's been grabbing you around your neck?"


"Did Jose try to choke you?"


"Go look in the mirror."

She started laughing as I was on that slow stroll. Lo and behold, I saw five dayum hickies that looked like he pulled an Tur.ner on me...the five finger silencer, lol. I know that I didn't drink that night but I didn't even remember him sucking on my neck, lol. Why he didn't have the decency...the common make-out not leave any marks is beyond me. But what was more aggravating was my mom's growing laughter.

"This isn't funny. Why are you so tickled by this?!"

"Baby, if boyfriend spending that much time around your neck, I know that he wasn't EXPLORING too much else!"

Moms even decided that certain family members and co-workers needed to know what Enrique was about, lol. I have an aunt that STILL likes to throw that story on the table. Yes, M-Rod and I had a few "physical encounters" throughout the years after that, but this one was prolly the funniest. After we first met, we never lived in the same place at the same time, but when we did meet up, we always enjoyed ourselves....not always in THAT way.

And now this dude is getting married....and I can't figure out why my eyes watered a bit. We were never a makes no sense. All I CAN say is "Congratulations", right? I DO hope that he's happy. But right now...JUST RIGHT NOW...I want him to be happy with me.



Cash Rulez Every.thing Aro.und Me, C.R.E.A.M. get the money, dolla dolla bill ya'll...

**LB raising fists to the sky**


Sorry, I guess that I got a bit crunk and carried away...I loved me some Wu Tang...well Meth, actually. And how could you not? After all, he came to bring the pain, hard.core to the brain...and we went inside his as.tral plane. Aiight, I think that I got that out of my system.

I'm really trying NOT to write only once a week, but I had some thangs going on and well, I hadn't been bitten with the blogging bug like before. But I was sitting here...about to complete this tag by the infamous Leezarus and as I was thinking about 3 things that I like to do aside from blogging, in my peripheral vision, I saw this paper tacked up on the board above my desk. I know, I know...attention deficit and whatnot. Funny thing is...on this board, I have pictures of my baby, random business cards, a blue school calendar, a yellow class schedule for JJ, and a green school booklet. But what stuck out was this stark white paper that I had printed out over a year ago...the day after my bday in 2006, to be exact. It's a "Declar.ation of Fin.ancial Empower.ment" that I retrieved from the Black Enterprise website. Honestly, I look up at it probably once a month and examine it only once a quarter. But I decided to take it down and review my year-old pledge and track my progress. Thought I'd to hear it, here it go:

I, LB, from this day forward, declare my vigilant and life-long commitment to financial empowerment. I pledge the following:

1. To use homeownership to build wealth.
Well, I'm proud to say that I bought my house and moved in 2 weeks before my bday this year. Certainly a challenging process, but one of the more rewarding ones. While visiting for the first time the other day, Choir Boy said, "Mayne, do you ever just look at your skylights and feel accomplished?!" I never thought of it that way, but I guess so. Shortly after he left, I started digging through my huge plastic container full of photo albums and stacks of memories. I came across the pictures that me and Old Dude took of my house in the N.O. after the storm. I remember standing in the midst of all of that and wondering, "Where in the hell do I go from here?" My answer NOW: With the grace and favor of God, I can go anywhere.

2. To save and invest 10% to 15% of my after-tax income.
THIS.IS.HARD!!! I created a budget sheet in Excel that accounts for this, but my level of comfort hasn't reached that yet. I've heard several times from financial professionals and preachers alike that the key to financial prosperity is to tithe 10% and save 10%, at minimum. Strangely, I find it easier to tithe (which is at the absolute TOP of my budget sheet). I HAVE to have my savings debited from my checking account or else it'll be burned up at Son.ic or a Pop.eye's (if I can ever find one of these gold mines 'round these parts, I might have to be hospitalized...I swear the last time that I saw a spicy white breast was on a Gi.rls Wi.ld commercial), lol. But I as of today, I invest:

$50/month to my Mon.ey Mar.ket Acc.ount (my money NOW fund)
$50/month to a Mutual Fund (JJ's education fund...on a slow build)
$50/month to a Mutual Fund (have no idea fund...on a slow build)

3. To commit to a program of retirement planning and investing.
Recently, I became eligible to invest in my 401K at my not-so-new-anymore J.O.B. So, as soon as open enrollment was announced, a sista was on the phone with a financial advisor trying to get some hot tips, right? LOL. The hottest tip I got...max out your percentage, if you can. Well, that ain't happenin' b/c you can transfer your whole daggone check to your retirement plan. Once I found out that the company will match half of your investment up to 4%, I decided to fold at a cool 8%. It's been a little rough, but I figure that if I adjust my living to it now, then once I get my annual increases, I'll be an old pro and won't even feel my tummy tickled.

4. To engage in sound budget, credit, and tax managment practices.
So, I DO have this nifty Excel spreadsheet, but I can't lie...I deviate from it...especially when it comes to eating. I NEED to brown bag it and put my acquired Rach.ael Ray knowledge to use but I gets lazy, lol. I have everything in this spreadsheet including JJ's monthly haircut expense, his kar.ate classes, and even my tolls...but that dayum food budget gets busted everytime.

On a grander note, my credit is looking much better. When I think of where it was 2 years ago...heck, LAST YEAR, I shudder. But I patiently watch it climb and have decided that when I enter into my desired range, I might have to have a backyard BBQ.

As far as tax management is concerned...I can't wait to manage my tax returns next year, b/c I KNOW that they will be a beast, lol.

5. To measure my personal wealth by net worth, not income.
Assets and liabilities...

I think that this ia a part of the reason why I don't save as much as I should...I'm so busy trying to pay down debt. As it stands, I have no credit card balances but I have some student loans that threaten to NOT disappear until 2018. I JUST worked out a 4-year plan to make those monsters vanish. After that, I can increase my investments and become the neighborhood 50-Ce.nt. Net worth = a helluva lot more than 50 cents!

6. To be proactive and knowledgeable about investing, money management, and consumer issues.
I have about 5-6 finance books, including a thick hardback about the stock market. The latter may collect more dust than my blinds, but the others have certainly planted some seeds. I think that the most helpful book that I own is prolly Bach's, "Sma.rt Women Fin.ish Rich."

7. To provide access to programs that will educate my children about business and finance.
I eventually want to get into the allowance stage, but J AND I are not there yet. As it stands, he always does odd jobs around my father's church when he goes back home...and he seems to make good ends there! Plus, my dad's friends just peel off 10-dollar bills just b/c J is in the room! So, he needs to learn good, solid money management practices NOW! Especially since the "regional tooth fairy" in the N.O. likes to drop off $5 per tooth. I remember when I gave this boy one dollar for a tooth, he said, "Here you go, mommy. You can have it." Mayne, I was ready to tear up...until he said, "...keep it with your money b/c I have some games that I want to get." He's been on a tight money program ever since!

8. To support the creation and growth of profitable, competitive black-owned enterprises.
My church is actually starting this magazine that offers free advertisements (temporarily, of course) for members that are business owners. If I'm ever in need, I may do some more research on those companies. Until then, I'll keep giving Brutha Master G, J's karate teacher, my monthly payments, lol.

9. To use a portion of my wealth to strengthen my community.
I'm in the planning stages on this one. There are things that I would like to become involved with back home, but I'm trying to develop a solid foundation while up here. I keep bouncing this idea around with regard to hooking up young women with successful sista mentors of various professional backgrounds, but then I draw a blank. One day...

10. To ensure that my wealth is passed on to future generations.
Slacker, I am. I keep visiting Legal Zoom from time to time and I even invested in computer software that creates thousands of legal documents, but I just haven't taken the leap towards a will. I don't know what's up with my lead foot on this matter, b/c after the legal mumbo jumbo that I had to go through with my dad after my mom passed, I should be eager to set matters right. I have my insurance policies in place, but there's nothing like a directive that can ensure that my JJ benefits, if something happens. I DO have specific instructions on some matters, so I may just bite the bullet and consult an attorney, in the flesh...prayerfully, before this time next year.

And there it financial assessment, folks...

**LB throws arms in the air in a hard and swift knife-like motion**


I encourage anyone that may happen upon this blog to print this (yep, it's a link), sign and date it. MAKE IT VISIBLE and take control of your financial destiny.

wanna hug it out?

Today's perplexity is brought to you by the letter H. Hugging. In general, I have no issue with showing affection towards fam and close friends. I ALWAYS hugged my mom. Video games and wrestling moves used to be the way that my daddy and I expressed our love as a little girl. He might've even preferred a warm embrace, as opposed to, a swift kick to the groin during our Saturday morning matches. My mom thought that ballet would put an end to all that boyish rough-housing...I just began to kick my dad with a more pointed toe, lol. My mom always kissed me in public and took to dancing with me in grocery store aisles. My dad said "I love you" with "Aiight nah." Polar opposites, they were. Perhaps I needed that balance, but as a result, I would always go to my mom's women friends if they called me towards them. My dad's male friends got the hard 5-second stare down (LadyLee, 2007) and dismissal.

I find now that I have turned into my mother. I hug all on my fact, if we make it to his before school care, he doesn't walk off to join his friends until he hugs my waist and puckers his lips. I randomly tell him that I love him several times a day and the last time that I was at the local Wal.greens, I found myself slinging my moves to "Need You To.night" (IN.XS), blasting from the store's speakers. And since I'm all that J's got, for the most part, I probably overthink and attempt to exhibit the qualities that I'd like him to have as a young man. I do my best, but I also make sure that even if he doesn't have his dad around, he has enough positive male role models that can show him how to be a man better than I can...which is one reason why I send him back home to stay with his PawPaw for the summers. I want him to be affectionate. My biggest concern is that he'll grow up to be effeminate. And in the short term, get his butt pummeled or teased on the playground for extending his arms towards another boy.

Where did that come from? Well, his friend J2 asked J for a hug one day. Silence ensued. We BOTH gave the boy a hard 5-second stare down...and then J caved and walked towards J2 and stood there while J2 embraced him and rocked him side to side. I can't lie...I had a problem with that. When J was 3 or 4 years old, those toddler boys at his daycare did that sort of thing. It didn't really bother me then b/c they were all still babies in my eyes. But 2 6 y/o's? These are big boys and apparently J2 is the only friend of J's that likes to hug and dance with J...often. My friend thinks I'm looney. My dad, of course, is on the same page with me. I'm worried that I'm making it a bigger deal than it really is, or even worse, if I'm pushing my issues on J. So, I sat J down last night for a talk. Apparently, he doesn't seem to mind hugging J2...I'm the only one feeling uncomfortable. And my level of discomfort was not eased when I overheard J2 asking his mom for some make.over thingee...and he doesn't have sisters. But anyway, I hipped J to the Big Boys Code.

Mommy: J, how old are you?
J: 6, I'm a Big Boy.
Mommy: Yes, you sure are. And do you know what Big Boys do?
J: What?
Mommy: Well, one thing...when Big Boys and other Big Boys say goodbye, they usually wave, high-five or shake hands. Do you know how to shake hands?
J: Yep.
Mommy: Show me.
**I extend my hand and he shakes it.**
Mommy: Good. You have a nice, firm grip. Now, give me a high-five.
**I hold my hand up and he slaps it...hard.**
Mommy: Cool. So when J2 asks you for a hug, you ought to hip him too. Tell him that you'd rather give him a high-five or shake his hand.
J: OK.
Mommy: Aaight, I'm J2. J, can I have a hug?
J: I don't wanna give you a hug. How about a high-five?
Mommy: OK. Aaight, I'm J, can I have a hug?
J: How about I shake your hand?
Mommy: OK. Good! Aaight, I'm Kayla. J, can I have a hug?
J: OoooooKaaayyyyy.
**J thrusts his body forward and falls in my arms and I bust out laughing**
Mommy: So wait, J, you hug on Kayla?
J: No, but you asked.

Where is an instruction booklet when you need one?

extra hands

It's THAT time of year again. The time when your kids start school...i.e. bring home every germ their little hands can gather. As soon as I realized that J had gotten a hold of something that had him hacking like a 73 year old with a smoking habit just as old, my throat started feeling like I had juggled a handful of thorns and did the neck tilt, throw back, and swallow hard. So, our Saturday picnic with friends was cancelled. We both had to be nursed and QUICK b/c I can't afford to take anymore time off during the next 2 months. I grabbed my black bandana and hit up the local Wal.greens for every sort of relief that they offered in the Ny.quil form. I just KNEW that we'd spend Saturday in our respective corners, drifting in and out of drug-induced comas. I should have known that much like the picnic, things don't always go as planned.

We've been here for almost 4 months now and my Ur.ban Su.ite (my loft and bedroom on the second floor) was still boxed up creating a maze to my computer. Since I had recently gotten the correct pieces to this new computer desk that I had ordered 6 WEEKS AGO, I decided that I should organize my office. Once I broke out my tools, a bell went off and J immediately followed me to see what the hap was.

"Mommy, can I help?"


I was trying to think of what this child could do that wouldn't create double work for me. Bless his heart for wanting to jump in the game, but his little extra hands could only do so much. But I also understand that if I can get him to love chores at this age, I'm golden for the rest of my life. I had become pretty consumed with the glass pieces to my desk...counting rods, screws, washers, and bolts. I sized up each tool as if it were the first time that I'd use them. I've always liked building things as a little girl and, to this day, I still do even if it is not of my design.

"Mommy, can I open this box for you?" broke my concentration as I was giving a screw da bidness.

I look up to see him standing next to a box, almost as tall as he is, with the word "PERISHABLE" written in big red letters on its side. I smiled b/c my dad shipped this box from the N.O. almost a year ago. He had packed up the salvageable items from my house before he had it gutted. These were items that I had missed during my search...well, at the time that old dude and I broke into my former home, we could hardly endure any more of the stench that lingered from the mold and sludge, compliments of Ka.trina. We got what I thought were my most valuable treasures and bounced. I figured that whatever my dad retrieved was probably junk b/c he couldn't have known what I considered important enough to clean and keep. This was my house...and at a time, my mom and I's house...his family and concerns were located down the main street. But anyway, this box has been sitting untampered for almost a year. Even when J and I moved to our new house, I told the bruhs to just put it would be a while before its contents would see the light of day.

"Mommy, can I?"

"OK, but if it has styrofoam in it, please do not get it everywhere."

This was a worthy chore indeed. He'd not only become intrigued by the styrofoam but the bubble wrap was going to send him into a child's euphoria, lol.

"Mommy, look!"

That break didn't last long. I was more interested in my new desk than some old whatchamacallit that he had discovered. J had gotten the scissors and was anxiously slicing away at tape, bubble wrap, and anything that stood between him and his newfound treasures.

He held up a picture of my mom.

Somehow she had managed to stuff her huge breasts into this black and gold sequined gown, ready to show stop at the ball that night. She looked so pretty...and proud of her mile-long cleavage. I didn't particularly care for the man that was going to escort her to the ball, but I wanted her to have a good time nonetheless. I don't think that she really cared that much about the man either, b/c she just wanted to be seen. After 3 tummy suck-ins, I was finally able to zip up her gown. Which was right on time, b/c my next trick involved heavy-duty tape, lol. She floated out of the house and I was left to vacuum the trail of sequins that she had left behind. Before I knew it, this smile had crept up on me.

"See, mommy?"

While lost in my thoughts, J had managed to free another picture of me the night of my prom. I wore white...and it was appropriate. I looked so happy back then...senior year was coming to an end and I had a promising future to look forward to. My mom had me pose all around that house, back when we lacked the convenience of digital cameras.

Not very many minutes passed before I fought my ability to resist and started digging, spilling styrofoam onto the floor from both sides. Swimming through the material were my ballet, tap, and gymnastics trophies...all individually wrapped. These activities were my momma's way of counteracting my dad's attempt at turning me into his son. I pulled the plastic just enough to touch my name, etched in black letters, on a plaque that I had long forgotten about. I soon spotted my diploma and my green high school graduation cap. How did I miss these things? I probably didn't. Most likely, I saw them and thought nothing of them. But for some reason, 2 years later, they were my world.

I palmed a deflated football, signed by the entire TU team the year that they went to the Li.berty Bowl. I remember my mom calling me and telling me that she was on campus for some football-related function with a football in hand for her favorite players to sign. She always went with me to the home games...laughing, jumping, and cat calling the fine-r players on the team. Yeah, she created a scene but she only knew how to be the center of attention...anything else was uncivilized, lol.

"What's this, mommy?"

J held up a sealed, paper money pouch from the local N.O. bank. It jingled like change, but there was NO WAY that my dad would take the time to pack up something that doesn't fold like some hidden crisp bills. I grabbed the scissors, cut off the seal, and dumped the contents onto the carpet. Jackpot! Monogrammed rings and gold nameplates, diamond clusters and her precious peridots, tennis bracelets and chains...although not considered the "bling" of today, the mass glistened just as bright. My mom couldn't stand to have naked fingers. Me? I could do without. Some of the rings were still disfigured from when she was in a severe car accident during my sophomore year in high school. She always claimed that she never got around to fixing them...I started to believe that they served to remind her of God's grace. Everyone said that there was no way that she should've been able to walk out of that alive...let alone, walk.

I remember telling her, shortly after, that if she had died, I had no reason to live.

"If I die, YOU have EVERY reason to live," she corrected.

I found myself getting a little teared up as I stared at these items...FAR from being "PERISHABLE." So much has happened since she's been gone. I remember her looking forward to grandkids one day, but she never got a chance to meet my J. I sometimes wonder what she thinks of the woman that I have become, but wonder if I'd made too many mistakes that kept me from being the woman that she wanted me to be.

"Mommy, I saw a picture of you and your mom when you were grad-ju-way-teen. See? That's you and this is her."

"It sure is, J."

"Yeah...I KNOW that she's very proud of you too, mommy."

Whoa. I was officially choked up. I looked towards the heavens...more like my ceiling if I could find where he pulled that statement from. Nothing. Be that as it may, this was certainly a nice detour from what I thought would be a boring sick day. Bless his heart for wanting to jump in the game, b/c his little extra hands did so much.

my JJ on first grade...


ME: J, did you like your new school?
J: Yeah.
ME: So what did you do today?
J: I had school.
ME: I probably should've guessed that.


ME: J, did you make any new friends?
J: Um, I forgot to make new friends.
ME: How do you forget to make friends?
J: I have my own friends.
J: Wait I DID make a new friend...I think.
ME: Cool...what was his name?
J: Um, I forgot.


ME: Well, are you the only black boy in class?
J: There's another black girl in class...
**secretly cheering since he now understands that we are black**
J: ...but I was the only brown boy.
J: Everyone else had white skin.


J: Mommy, someone taught me that 100 plus 100 equals 200.
ME: Your teacher?
J: No, a girl.
**oh lawd, here we go...**
ME: What girl?
J: Kayla. I saw her at lunch but she sat far, far away. She came over and said "hi" and I said "hi" back.
ME: And that's when she started teaching you math?
J: Noooooooooooooooo
ME: OK, is she in your class?
J: No, but she goes to my daycare too.
ME: Is that when she taught you some math?
J: Yeah.
ME: How old is Kayla?
J: Oh, I think she's about 7.
ME: 7? She's a little old.
J: Yeah, and she's a brown girl.
ME: Do you like her?
J: Yeah.
ME: Knowing math never pulled a man for me back in my day.
J: What?
ME: Nuthin.'

the intro

I'm not new to this...and not entirely true to this.

Does that exempt me from having to make some grand introduction? Prolly not.


Well, I have had several blog identities and pages, but for the sake of starting this one on the good foot, I'll stick to LB.

Personally, I think that Diggs was funnier, but if I were to dredge up some of those old posts, I'd cringe at how often I cussed. I still slip, but I guess that my spirit can only take so much nowadays...which is a great thing.

The problem with Diggs was...she never realized her worth. Diggs was limited. Diggs pi$$ed people off both intentionally and unintentionally. Diggs was hurting, but masked it with a smile...and a swift verbal smackdown if beckoned. Diggs attracted the wrong people. Diggs invited drama but wondered why it kept following her. Don't get me wrong, she was mad cool and fun-loving...but not at all free.

LB? LB went hard on the spiritual tip in the beginning. She was one of those people that you didn't want to cross with some nonsense, b/c she had this spiritual awakening and felt it her responsibility to smack you so hard with "The Good Book" that the mirror-image of the word "Bible" would be permanently imprinted on your forehead. LB was about healing. LB was about redemption. LB had had enough and although she embarked on this intense spiritual journey, she was the queen of some bitter, angry, " to Ex.hale" blogs. Be that as it may, LB is one bad broad, flaws and all! She made no apologies and better yet, no excuses for the ones that wronged her. She made it through the dissolution of her romantic fantasy, a hurricane, and strained familial relationships...all at the price of her soul.

When she had no one or nothing else...she had God. And although she struggled through forgiveness and acceptance of reality, she's prolly 90% there, 100% at peace. Overall, both ladies exhibit qualities that tickle me and annoy me at present, but I respect LB's gangsta. I'm continuing on as LB b/c she made lifelong blog sista-friends and is the most pleasant to be around...but I guess that that depends on who you're talking to. Some would say that LB lacked swagger. I say...I could give a dayum of what those "some" would say. People change. LB knew when to make an exit and bowed out of the blog world gracefully to handle her personal bidness.


In the voice of Bruh-man from the fif flo', "Nuthin'....just chillin'."

OK, really...I'm still in VA (Veeayyy, Veeayyy, Woooo) and recently, I bought a house. That's prolly my biggest accomplishment this year. Come on in...

Take off your shoes or scrub the floor, lol. Just, somewhat. Have a seat. This IS a house with some cranberry juice. I livingroom looks kinda naked without a coffee table, but I just can't seem to find one fabulous enough to grace my carpet. That doesn't even bother me as much as my armoire being as off-centered as it is. And since my last attempt at moving it involved my Ti Val and me almost tipping my television onto the floor, I decided to leave it as is. LB is also a little helpless and is waiting for her daddy's holiday visit before she corrects the situation.

**Takes breath** And...

I just got my son back after spending the summer in New Or.leans.

I couldn't be peach-ier. When I am without him, I am lost...a borderline basketcase. My baby J will be a first-grader starting tomorrow and 6 y/o on Friday. It will be interesting to see his adjustment at the new school. I'm pretty pleased with the Afr.ican Am.erican percentage at this school, especially since I felt that he was often singled out last year (as the only black boy in class). It was unfortunate how "black" became synonymous with "atten.tion defi.cit dis.order" in kindergarten. Hmph. I'm hoping that I don't have to turn into Diggs with his teacher...again...but I believe that there should be no problems.

**Takes breath** And...

I changed jobs. Still designing thangs, but on a different tip.

**Takes breath** And...

I'M NOT DATING! **Whew** For some reason, I felt the need to state that in all caps. With that said, this is a good time to start a blog up again b/c there is no reason for ANYBODY to be checking for me and vice versa. And to my knowledge, I'm not interested in anyone, but I have had 2 "inappropriate" dreams about a coworker that is making me believe that I have an affinity for yt frat boys that say lines like, "I'm of.f like a pair of pants." Please, let that not be so but I find myself gazing at his deep dimples in mid-eye roll. I wonder if he has dimples anywhere else??? Any-who...

It is what it life, that is. My major concern? Lack of commitment. Hopefully, this blog will not die a slow and painful death from neglect. Until then...

It's Whateva, Mayne.