love notes

Imagine that I'm sitting here, shuffling the money that massah gave me to pay some bills online when I get an email alert. I got a couple of email addresses and I very rarely check THAT one. I am experiencing a serious backlog on the home-related newsletters that I have sent there and a blogger or 2 from my past may drop me a line there only once every mango season.

Anyways, I click on the alert and, lo and behold, its an email from this guy that I went to elementary and junior high school with. We were probably the 2 nerdiest people in our 8-person gifted class, with huge plastic glasses that competed for the limited space on our cheeks. Somehow...and I don't recall how...he was labeled my boyfriend. I don't remember when or if he formally asked me in the 6th grade, but it was just known. I used to like him b/c he used to draw all of these cool things and he got me into creating my own superheroes and drawing my own comic books. I think that is how we spent time together...drawing together b/c I remember trying to emulate his skills. We'd top it off by going to the snoball stand. Yes, it was THAT hot and heavy. I don't even remember why we broke up. Then, the handful of us that shared that gifted class ended up going to the same junior high school so we kinda stuck least for a little while. But in the 7th grade, he hit me with the news that he was moving away. We weren't "together" but I don't think that I took it very well.

So a while back, he found me on myspace. I had to practically stare at his picture b/c this dude is FAR from being a nerd now. He lives in ATL and if I read correctly, he is a recording artist of some sort. I'm sure ATL has a bunch of underground recording artists. I know, b/c I dated someone else who should STILL be down there doing the same thing. Nowadays, you are hard-pressed to NOT find someone who supposedly has a record contract or who isn't striving to work for Di.ddy.

Back to the email...

The email is just a regular one-of-the-mill, whatchu' been up to emails, right? Why did this dude attach a scanned copy of a poem that I wrote to him 18 years ago? In fact, if he hadn't attached it, I would have denied EVER writing a dude a poem...but unfortunately I did. And I would attach it here if I didn't think that it was the lamest, wackest stuff that I've ever read in my life. How in the world did I ever keep a "boyfriend" with my subpar romantic skills? And to top it off, half of it did not make any sense whatsoever. I'm hoping that the words that I can't really decipher are part of some secret language that a group of us nerds shared...wait a minute...then again, I hope not b/c the resurfacing of this proof of my lame-ness is enough.

I had my fair share of "love" and "like" notes that I used to keep in a hot pink Kaboo.dles box. I'm not sure of how far they dated back since I lost those notes and that box to the storm. But I remember looking back at them while in college and getting a kick out of what was said. Ya know, I never thought that guys were as sentimental as females can be.

So here are the questions:

Do you keep old love letters? Why? Do they still have the power to change your mood? How often do you peek at them? And as far as keeping them, how long is TOO long?

glamorous life

I think that I may have briefly mentioned that I like to wear flowers in my least, when I'm sober b/c I don't always make it back home with it still there. Anyways, it is usually something that draws people to me to either ask me if its real, say that it looks really pretty/summer-y or to remind me that I have a flower growing out of my head (as was said by the Prez of my company today). Point is, it brings about much attention, which is cool. I can take it or leave it.

When I went to see Boyz II Me.n a couple of weeks ago with a girlfriend (toting said flower in my hair), she didn't comment on the flower. She looked at me and said, "Do you actually do your hair everyday?" I looked at her kinda strange...gave her a pass since I hadn't seen her in a while, but what kind of question is that? I, at first, thought that she was asking if I go to a hairdresser, to which I always let out a hearty "NO!" But she wanted to know if I actually curl, comb and I guess "pretty up" my hair everyday. Now, if I'm not going anywhere...well, I may not worry about impressing my four walls. But aside from that, my question is..."when is it ok to NOT put any effort towards looking presentable?"

For me, it's not so much about impressing anybody as it is about my taking care of myself and impressing myself when I look in the mirror in the morning. Although the compliments are nice, my looking my best is a reflection of how I'm feeling and my feeling my best is a reflection of how I'm looking. Now at my job, the dress code is business casual...but it's still business. I may wear a cute dress every once in a while, but its not about over-dressing for the part. How can one explain a nice button-down or polo, khakis or dress slacks, heels or cute flats with a messed up head? Everyone has bad hair days, but not EVERYDAY. And I can understand if a person's job has special work conditions...i.e. a lab or something similar. But when you encounter both clients and colleagues, how do you think that they perceive you if you look as if you just rolled out of bed and whichever way your hair laid when you went to sleep was the style of the day? Doesn't look very professional at all.

But I don't think that this is where she was going with this...

My girl from back home (who lives in Va) was in town for my birthday. She came to my party and then we hung out the next day. As I was curling my hair and getting ready, she walked in the bathroom and said, "You're high maintenance." I looked at her as if she cussed my momma out. I never cared to be labeled "high maintenance" b/c of the negative connotation associated with it but since when is caring about your appearance considered "high maintenance"...shouldn't it be routine maintenance? Heck, I do not go to a salon...and I have nothing against it outside of my never being able to find someone that will do or cut my hair exactly like I like it for the money that I'm paying. All I'm doing is putting some effort into looking nice. And I think that both her and my Boy.z II Men partnah have that "no fuss" mentality...not caring very much at all about how they look. And that's fine...but don't find fault with me for thinking otherwise.

Now, I can think back to a time when I had that "whateva" mentality. In fact, I can think back to more than a few times not too long ago when I was hardcore about that "whateva" mentality. But certainly, during those times, I wasn't loving "me" too much. There was either something or someone making me feel as if I was undeserving of anything positive...and I would dress down to match how I felt. But thank God, I am loving the hell outta my 30-something y/o self nowadays. And it shows. I do the make-up thing more often...I step up my shoe game from time to time, but its not about being a glamour girl or Amer.ica's Next Top Mo.del. I'm into sneakers and T-shirts, doo rags, wife beaters and sweatpants but there is a time and place for everything. But when God made me, He made me beautiful and its high-time that I recognize and preserve that.

I tend to find that when my car is clean, it almost seems as if it runs a little better. When my house is clean, it looks bigger, better and puts me in a positive mood. The same goes for my appearance. When I look nice, I feel nice. And if I must be labeled "high maintenance", then I'll own that, b/c I am about "maintaining my positive high."


So I spent this evening watching my cuz's hubby deliver his first word and you know what? I am so glad that I went. It was a very emotional service and family reunion. I hadn't seen my church family from our first church in so long that I had forgotten all the love that they showed me and JJ when we moved up here. My cuz and her hubby are at this new church, Choir Boy had gone on to his new church, and I had gone on to mine but it was nice to have our core group and everyone else that I either sang in the choir with or counselled under all meet up in one common place and be together again. I learned that I should let go of some of the things that are hindering my relationships with people and that if I'm going to judge someone, I need to first take a hard look at myself. This was not the message that was given by my now Elder Cuz-In-Law, but one that was dropped in my spirit as I listened to some things on my mind be confirmed. This was also the first time IN A WHILE that I have prayed in the spirit. So I need to stop going through the motions and reignite the fire that I once had and get back to studying the word like I used to.

notes to self

I'm sitting here sipping some ginger ale from a wine glass again, so ya'll know that my nerves are bad. How does one ask you to babysit 2 children and show up with 3? I stood there literally counting heads before I asked, "Where da hell HER mama at?" I was prepared for Baby E and Lil Woman but that third lil broad wasn't part of the agreement. I was bam.boozled, hood.winked, and led ast.ray. And someone asked me to accompany them to a cookout at the last minute, but there was no way in hizell that I was gon' stroll anywhere with 3 kids.

Lil Woman walked up in there and said (oozing w/country twang), "Oooooo momma, we ought to move here with cousin LB. She got a nice house. Cousin LB, I'm gon' stay here a week before I go back home to Chatt.a.nooga since you got enough beds, ok? Can we get a tour?" I looked at her as if I didn't speak english.

And Baby E always reminds me that it is not my time for another baby. I'm so far removed from that baby stage that I don't recognize the different cries anymore, but this kid was just taking advantage of my ignorance and just wailed HARD for no daggone reason at all. Note to self: Pick up birth control prescription tomorrow. It wasn't that bad, but people need to understand that just b/c I miss MY kid, doesn't mean that I wish to take in all the neighborhood kids during my "mommy downtime."

My aunt called while they were all here and told me that she was going to be in town next week for Baby E's birthday. Then she said that she might be moving to Rich.mond b/c she was having a hard time in Chat-town. I promptly asked her who she was planning to stay with so that SHE is not confused. It sounded as if she hadn't talked it all over with my cuz, so I could take a breath. My aunt is one of those people that will call you and if you don't answer the phone, she thinks that you're looking at the caller id and decides to call you 4-5 more times in a row and THEN leaves some stalkerish message. Hence the reason why she doesn't have my cell number. I'm gonna pray that everything turns around for her b/c there's just not enough ginger ale in the world to soothe me after that turn of events. Note to self: Call Suzie B on Monday and schedule an appointment.

This has been an interesting day. I got up and did my early Saturday morning cleaning to some jazz before I met up with Goth Girl for brunch. I have been wanting to try out this diner that was voted Rich.mond's restaurant of the year in Sty.le Wee.kly. When I got there, she was chatting it up with this cute guy at the bar. He was there alone, so I asked her if she thought that he would want to join us. So we're all sitting there having a good time listening to his stories of when he worked at the Jeff.erson Hot.el. He was telling us of all these celebs that used code names like "Fil.thy Mc.Nasty" and "Harry Balls" Lee and Cha.pelle, respectively...when ordering room service. It didn't matter if he was lying or not, b/c the stories were so funny that I could barely eat. We bonded when he mentioned that he'd been to Dra.go's in New Or.leans and had the char.broiled oys.ters and thought that, hands down, that was some of the best food that he had ever had. Now this morning, I had ordered a dish that had scrambled eggs mixed with andouille sausage and crawfish meat which was hella good but that was still NO comparison. Note to self: Go to Dra.go's next month, as soon as I get off the plane.

Anyways, at that moment, I just wanted to put him in my pocket but he looked young. It was funny that Goth Girl gave him her myspace page and let him know that he could find both her and me there. I just laughed b/c maybe I have been out of the game too long but I thought that people exchanged numbers and whatnot. Didn't matter, he knew that she was married, he knew that I had a kid, and he probably knew that that was going to be the last time that he ever talked to BOTH of us.

And then we had a run-in with the owner, who seemed to be SERIOUSLY annoyed that we wanted to split the check and was VERY rude about it. He insisted that one of us pay for the whole table. In the end, he split the check but I have decided that I wasn't going back. The event sobered me up real quick and he will not get my money again for ruining my high. But after skimming the restaurant reviews once I got home, I noticed that the owner was a repeat offender of that mess and had told one group "f*** you" as they were walking out of the door. So yep, that's a done deal.

After that, I followed Goth Girl home and then we went letterboxing, a treasure hunt of sorts. I love hanging with Goth Girl b/c she always opens my eyes to new experiences. So I was enjoying the architecture and cute little boutiques as we were walking around her neighborhood. We made it to this quaint little park, so small that if you blinked you'd miss it. We had to be inconspicous as we proceeded to dig around for this little notebook and stamp, hidden in an electrical box near a tree. Now, maybe I'm a little nutty (and I do love to wear flowers in my hair and Spiderman or bright smiley pinkey rings that JJ gives me when I go to work), but I thought that this was one of the coolest pasttimes. I can't wait until JJ comes back, so that we can make a stamp together and go letterboxing around Rich.mond. Goth Girl said that she'd love to do it with us and help J make his stamp, so it sounds like a plan.

I was a little late, but I made it to the baby shower anyway. Just in time for me to eat and leave b/c I had to hurry up and make it back to my side of town to babysit. So, it was definitely a full day. Note to self: develop a taste for wine quickly b/c this Ginger Ale just isn't cutting it. If I had known that it was going to turn out the way that it did, I would've ordered something stronger than a mimosa at brunch.

enough already!

I have been so stressed lately. I have my ways of decompressing and have been trying to employ them at every chance that I get. I love to hole myself up in my house and read or get started on a new project to take my mind off of the guy at work whose coffee mug I want to slap out of his hand just to see the startled look on his face, for example. Or I watch HGTV to stop thinking about the guy who loves to jingle his change as he walks down the hallway, the same change that I want to put in a bag and beat him with. I sip ginger ale in a wine glass to keep from wanting to flip over a couple of people's tables or give someone special the finger every time he asks me about my kid. So yes, I know that I'm stressed b/c 90% of the time I spend at work, I'm smiling. Violent thoughts, not so much. It's this 10% that reminds me that I was never easily angered, but I've always been easily annoyed.

What's weird is that when I had obligations at my old church, a standing appointment with my Bishop, and when I was running J to both karate practice and t-ball games, I didn't feel as burnt out as I do now. I was supposed to go to Nags.Head this week, but decided that it would be in my best interest to not go. So with that weight lifted, I was free to commence decompression...until my cuz asked me to babsit her baby and her stepchild this Saturday. I don't have a problem with my baby girl but that 'tween and I have had words before and laying the smack down was not on my list of things to do. I planned to have brunch and hang out with Goth Girl. I had a baby shower to attend that afternoon, but that's as good as nixed, which is fine b/c I already passed off my gift. And my cuz's husband's initial sermon and ordination is on Sunday...which I wasn't that excited about going to for reasons that I don't care to examine in depth but felt that I should support. So basically, they have my weekend. But then she reminds me that my baby cuz is getting christened next Sunday, on her 1st birthday. To which I said ok. Yet she says, well I was thinking about having something for Baby E on NEXT Saturday too. And then I'm thinking, DAYUM WOMAN, my life does not revolve around ya'lls family! They WILL NOT get 2 weekends. And just when I thought I broke free, I checked my schedule to see that I had already committed to a pool party and had items to bring. And now I'm sitting and wondering how in the hell did I get here? Especially when my main obligation is in the N.O. until the end of August.

And what's sad is that both mine and Promance's schedules are so packed that we have to sit next to each other, clicking through our Outlook calendars trying to find common available days just to breathe, let alone, check out this list of hole-in-the-walls that I wanted to go to. We both have pressing projects and I feel as if someone at work has always got their foot on my neck.

I think that a great deal of my frustration has to do with my choosing to listen to a bunch of my friends' crazy situations this week and I just can't take it anymore. I'm gonna have to schedule another pottery painting or go get a massage quickly b/c I'm feeling like someone's unknowingly about to catch a foot in their throat.

This Ginger Ale just isn't strong enough.


Here's my plate! I'm somewhat happy with how it came out, but I could have done better with the sunflowers.

Unfortunately, it doesn't fit in my cabinet, but it plays nicely with my Target dishes and pitcher-turned-flower vase. But if anyone would like to fill my dusty glass-front cabinets with something...ANYTHING colorful, then holla at ya girl.

Ok, on to the story...

I think that I might have a crush...and this needs to cease expeditiously, lol.

This past week has been a busy one both professionally and personally. I have been in need of some serious "me" time. Maybe b/c I'm an only child, I value my "me" time more than anything...and I can get kinda weird about not calling or talking to people for a few days. I was so excited to find a cheap bistro set at Home De.pot, that I sat outside on my porch today and had some ice cream as I thought some things over.

Honestly, I can't wait until my baby comes back, so we can sit out there and have our Cheerios on a sunny Saturday morning. Did I mention that I miss him?

Anyway, so I was having lunch with Tee on Thursday as we debated on whether or not I was dating Promance vs. just hanging out. I figured that since he didn't touch me, then it didn't constitute as a date. But when she asked, "If he DID kiss you, would you resist?", I just hit her with the dazed and confused look. And I am so mad that I didn't have an answer...or at least, mad that I lacked the ingenuity to properly insert the gas face at this moment regardless of what I was really thinking.

I CANNOT have a crush on this dude for so many reasons and I probably wouldn't even be giving 2 thoughts to it, had Promance not blurted out to Tee and Bruh-coworker (as we were in mid-argument, mind you), "Hey, did you tell them about the movie that we saw last night?" If looks could kill, we would either be spreading his ashes across the Ja.mes River or he would still be in ICU right about now. He can certainly silence a room b/c we were all giving each other the hard 5-second stare down until Tee says, "Oh, so ya'll went on a date?" I was already in pi$$ed mode, so I cut her off and said, "No, we were just hanging out." Then Promance laughs, shows off his dimples, and says, "Oh no, it was a date. We had dinner and a movie. I mean, we've gone out before" if that was the right thing to say. I couldn't look at Bruh-coworker's jaw grace the ground any longer, so I excused myself and went to the bathroom. All I heard as I was walking away is "she's embarrassed now."

When I first met Promance, I.could.not.stand.him. He just seemed like one of those frat boys that thinks that the world revolves around him. He's the KING of first dates, but very rarely do I hear tale of a second, as he blames that on his being picky. I always thought that he was kinda cute, as I am a sucker for dimples. But for the first few months, he was so daggone annoying that it wouldn't even matter if he looked like Com.mon. His mic was getting turned off on the daily. But somewhere between then and now, he grew on me. He has shared many personal things with me. Then I started having a couple of naughty dreams about him that I quickly pushed towards the back of my mind. So, I guess we've gotten closer without my even realizing it. We like a lot of the same things, have similar goals and are in agreement on a lot of subjects. The problem is that not only do we work together, the only thing that separates Promance and I is 1/2 of a partition. When no one's looking, we'll whisper things back and forth (like a broke a$$ Tim "the Toolman" Taylor and Wilson on Home Improve.ment) but when everyone is tuned in, we put on a show. I don't think that a day goes by without my telling him to "shut up" or "kick rocks." Yet and still, he was a topic of discussion when I was dating b/c Promance is actually my age. If only he were black...

And so, we've hung out a few times. But each time seemed so awkward. Most certainly the attraction is there as he has made it known, but he has never given me the impression that he actually liked me in the romantic sense. When we've hung out, he barely touches me. When we went to see "Wan.ted" (which was a very fun and exciting movie, btw), I kept covering my eyes during certain parts and squirming in my seat. And once I finally rested on the shared armrest, I noticed that he started biting his nails. I swatted at him, as I usually do, and he says, "I can't help it, you're making me nervous."

And the thought of my actually having a crush makes me nervous.

But this would never work. I have already filled my quota of dating men at the office. One too many of those and you become the J.Ho of the cubicles. Plus, I'm sure that he has never dated a black woman and I'm also sure that he would have a problem with dating women with children...2 things that I obviously cannot hide and would happily let someone go on their merry way if they had a problem with it. But would I dodge him, if he kissed me? I would go with the flow out of curiosity. But then again, curiosity has bitten me in my hindparts before...a little too recently, if I may add.

So, I'm thinking that he just enjoys my I do his from time to time. If this is a crush, it can't hurt, right? I'm sure that he'll say something rather asinine and I'll be over it by next week.

age ain't nuthin', but...

...I make 30 look good! Just felt like saying that. But anyway, since I turned 30 y/o, I feel as if it makes a big difference in the "perceived" age gap between me and the women that I love hanging around. Oftentimes, Tee gives me a hard time about stuff that I remember from childhood. Usually, the conversation begins with me saying something about what I used to do when I was young, say 5 years old for example. She'd always laugh and say something like, "guhl, I was rollerskating to Sum.mer with my hot pants on at THAT time." We always laugh about it, but sometimes she thinks too hard on the age difference. She may be 12 years older than me but we're into the same things, so there's no problem on this end. Hell, we ain't dating, so what of it?

At least, that's what I thought until I went out with these 2 25 and the other 24, I think. Let me tell ya, I FELT that age difference! We went to this sushi restaurant and then hit the club. Now that my JJ's gone, I have all the time in the world to get out there and do me. But anybody that knows ME, knows that ME and crowds are not bedfellows. So by the transitive property of "uncomfortable-ness", me and clubs aren't good matches either. I did that in college and after seeing the same people at the same places, it got old really quickly. But I hung out with these women and had a blast. Well, up until my body clock said that it was past my bedtime. But I tip my rag to these 2 energizer bunnies, b/c I started thinking that the next man that decides to dance up on me was getting decked! If I wanted my thighs rubbed, I was going to do it my-dayum-self!

Today, I wanted to paint some pottery. I knew that if I called the 25 y/o, she would probably appease me with the pottery painting but we'd somehow end up somewhere more crunk until the place closed down. Instead, I called Tray, who's 11 or 12 years older than me as well.

We both had painting projects at home that we were trying to tackle this morning, so we didn't hook up until lunch. We ended up eating at this hole-in-the-wall where I had THE BEST shr.imp fra diav.olo and tiramisu. In fact, I think that there was some liquor in my dessert b/c a sista was feeling rather lovely...and full. That place was one of the 5 recommendations from this intern at work who knows the city's best kept secrets. And you KNOW its secretive when the restaurant's menu is written in black marker on this huge pad near a window. Regardless of how unconventional THAT was to me, those were some good eats and I will go back again soon. Especially when my bank account gets off "holla" status.

We finally made it to the studio a couple of hours later. Tray decided to paint a vase but I wanted a plate to display in my glass-front cabinet. We were sitting there and it was so funny to see her get frustrated over something that was supposed to be so relaxing. I knew what colors I wanted in my plate but I had no idea what kind of design I was going to do. I started sketching some flowers and singing to the music that was being piped in the store. She says, "How in the heck do you know THAT song? That was before your time." I was thinking, "here we go." I just laughed it off and got back in my element. I felt so relaxed that I lost track of time and we ended up closing the place down b/c of me, lol. And you know what, I didn't even finish! But I must say that if I had to choose a place to close down, this would be the one! This is how I do me!

So, I have to go back tomorrow and put the finishing touches to my "busy-looking" plate. And although I loved the company and the convo, tomorrow I plan to enjoy myself...without being reminded of my age just how good I make 30 look.

i hate men

There's this nasty rumor going around that I hate men. Yep, I might as well just get right to it. It may or may not be a rumor b/c I have a tendency to say anything and oftentimes I have a tendency to say the wrong thing. Whether I said it or thought it was a funny thing to say, or just cosigned to it, I have to retract it. Hate is such a strong word that I can't even seriously use it against one person, let alone, allow it to blanket a whole group. That was engrained in me since childhood as the word "hate" was just as bad as any other curse word when directed at someone. I may be disenchanted with, maybe even frustrated with, but by no means do I hate men. And even the "men" part of that statement comes with some qualifiers b/c I am only disenchanted with...maybe even frustrated with...SOME of the men that I have either encountered and/or dated. So no, I do not hate men and I hereby break ties with that statement.

In fact, as I sit here, I can think of 2 men that I'd love to absolute pieces, if we ever stepped our romantic game up. I can't really acknowledge them as crushes, b/c there is no one in my life giving me butterflies right now. But when I think of these 2 gentlemen (having met their families), I can picture being welcomed to the fold and treated as one of their own. And since both have at one point interacted with J, I can see them helping me to raise him to be an honorable and respectable young man. I can envision vacations, house parties, rainy Sundays, strawberry milkshake runs (lol), and family portraits at Mills. My mind doesn't even get to ponder on the sex involved. I've only been with one of them in "that" way and **throwing up the field goal sign with both arms** it was good. Yes, I can see them meeting my needs and even the needs I have yet to need...but perhaps the reason that I'm not with either one is b/c I don't meet theirs.

It's all good though. These men are less about a chance as they are about a hope. I may never (and doubt that I will) get the chance to live out my fantasies with them, in particular. But as long as I keep their energy somewhere (even if they only reside in the deep and dark crevices) in my mind, then I have hope that I can meet someone else like them. Certainly, neither of them are perfect and both have annoyed me a time or 2 but I admire them for their spirituality, their character, their vision, their priniciples, their humility...heck, their overall "swagger".

And with that said, let me tell you what I DO hate.

**Tying soulja rag so tightly around my head that you can see the pulse of my temples and now involuntary "surprised" look on my face**

Lack of accountability - Does anybody remember that singing group "Pre.tty" There were about 5 Rickies and not ONE of them bammas was "pretty"...I mean, downright rough and roughed up looking, right? Well, it just used to boggle my mind that they would come up with such rubbish. That's how I feel when a man starts spitting that nonsense that all his exes were crazy. So what you saying got 5 exes and none of them bamas were sane? Not one, yo? And you don't think that this has ANY reflection on you? I can respect an "I messed up" but when you act as if you learned not one daggone thing from your previous relationships, I have a problem with that. Not that I care enough to assign any emotion to this now, but I remember when I found out that ole dude was sleeping with his ex. When I called him on it, he got angry and cussed at me for asking...yet he WAS sleeping with his ex. And I'm sure that I was labeled as "crazy" or a "b*tch" to the next one after that was all over.

Celebration of a$$hole-ishness - I couldn't think of a better way to phrase it, but I remember when this jack said (and I'm paraphrasing), "Well, I used to be the good guy but good guys get played for punks. Women seem to go for a$$holes. So now I'm that a$$hole." This whole mentality just makes my head hurt and blood boil. The day you lay your character to the side for a "piece" is the same day that you should realize that you have much bigger, deep-rooted issues. And what's worse is that you lack the courage or conviction to confront those issues. If that's not the quality of a punk, I don't know what is.

Cookie Monster Syndrome - this has been a debate in the past, but oh well, I still stand behind this. I know how to appreciate a GOOD man. But I get tired of dudes wanting cookies for the things that they are SUPPOSED to do. I was watching "Peo.ple's Court" yesterday. This fool got up there with an itemized list of things that he bought for his OWN kid and wanted to be reimbursed for them. He figured that since he had JUST started paying child support that this was reasonable for a certain time period that he had drummed up. As he reads off Pam.pers, milk, clothes, shoes, etc., I immediately thought that this was dumba$$ery at its finest. I think that it pi$$es me off b/c I count it an honor to be a mother and a privilege to be J's mother specifically. I CANNOT fathom a bigger turnoff than a guy that looks upon fatherhood as a burden. How crazy would it look if I decided on the day of my son's high school graduation that I would slap him with a detailed bill of expenses accumulated from newborn to now, asking to be reimbursed? If you answered, "it would look as if you're a grill short of a cookout", then YOU get a cookie.

OK, I have gotten all fired up, so I'll close...especially while I'm merely just disenchanted with...maybe even frustated with...SOME men that I have encountered and/or dated. All is not lost though. I've been frustrated by the Saints but I still support them. I've been frustrated with school, but will raise up my alma maters. Sometimes the things or people that we care the most about DO frustrate us. And when I see the positive potential in a situation or person that I care deeply for, I expect and want more. That's all it is. I want more than what I've been offered...more than what I've settled for in the past. So no, I do not hate men. Its just that b/c I love men, but more importanly, myself that I want more.

all over the place today..., bear with me. I've been home long enough to realize that Ty.ra Ba.nks annoys me. I had the TV on downstairs for a little background noise while I read and due to the dreariness of the outdoors and the warmth of my blanket, I wasn't abandoning my curled up position on the daybed in my loft for anything short of a fire. Besides, I loved taking breaks and looking on as the light rain obscured the view through my skylights. I had a dental appointment this morning and I decided to miss my company's summer weekly ice cream truck runs since I was numb up to my right fact, this eye is still feeling as lazy as the rest of my body feels right about now. I'm sure that I'll hear about it tomorrow as I have gained a reputation for being the smallest person in the office but with the biggest sweet tooth. I'm sure that's precisiely why my a$$ got tagged HARD in the dentist office this morning. I've always been and forever will be a salt lover and can't take large doses of chocolate, but I somehow worked around all those petty details and managed to get cavities. Anyways...

In the midst of reading my book, Dan.ce Des.tiny, my answering machine picks up and I hear Suzie B on the line, telling me when her next available appointment is. I had cancelled for today b/c I just didn't feel as if I had a co-pay's worth of stories to share...that is, until she says, "I hope that you're doing ok with your son gone." I immediately became pi$$ed that she even brought that up, thinking that that was a low blow and that the mental health business must be slow this time of year...I'm kidding, of course. I've been seeing her about 6-7 months now and much like my visits with my Bishop at my old church when I first moved up here, I've run out of pressing subjects to work through. I guess that's a good thing. I still like to go in there and just talk and joke around freely since in the short amount of time that I've been seeing her, she has managed to find out more about me than my best friend...maybe even more than Bishop. But again, since that appointment was short of a fire, I wasn't moving from my cozy position.

Of course, I miss my JJ but lately, I have been feeling homesick. I had a great fourth of July. I went to a cookout, won a dance off, and drank enough wine to see fireworks before the real show! Did I mention that I won a dance off? I mean, I believe that Mich.ael Jack.son came out with that little known song "Bl.ood On the Dance.floor" and THAT day, I felt his gift. But I humbly digress, lol. So, I totally forgot about Ess.ence weekend with all the hoopla up here. Ess.ence is not a big deal to me anymore, but I miss the post-Esse.nce rendezvous. Between the calls from my closest friends telling me of all the C-list celebs they saw and took pictures with, I'd receive calls from my not-as-close friends asking if I had snuck into town and not told them. So, I started missing some of my running buddies. Plus, my old boss from back home called to tell me that her youngest son had been accepted into my high school. You woulda thought that he was MY kid, b/c I was too excited. It had been a while since I had talked to her b/c I thought that she was going to drop the phone when I told her that I had just turned 30 y/o. I guess that its hard to believe that "Lil Bit" is grown...that was the same thing that I was thinking about her son...and I'm missing it all.

I think that I mentioned in a previous blog that I am an "emotional decorator," right? Well, I thought that I'd turn this homesickness around and start on projects that make me feel as if I'm back in the N.O., pinching tails and sucking heads. (THAT'S A CRAWFISH REFERENCE, PEOPLE!) So if you remember, #6 (I think) of my summer projects was to create a bistro-style awning for my kitchen bay window. I want to establish the feeling of being in a Caf.e Du, minus the green and white stripes. After browsing a fabric store and feeling totally lost, I sent off for 2 different, yet colorful fabric samples at an online store. I printed off some instructions from the hgtv website, but b/c I have to modify them, I feel a little intimidated by the whole project. But I drew out a mock up, so we'll see how this comes out...especially with my lack of skills in the sewing department. If there's anyone out there that knows a little sumthin' sumthin', throw a sista your email addy, lol. Once I'm done, I'll invite S30 back over to cook up some burnt biscuits and try to suagr 'em and pass them bamas off as beignets, lol.

I also got the idea to paint "Laiss.ez Les Bon Rou.ler" in some fancy black letters on the wall opposite my kitchen bay window. I just want to have fun with my kitchen. Nowadays, everyone is so fixated on granite countertops and stainless steel appliances that creativity and personality is lost. Granted, I would love some stainless steel appliances...not so sure if I would put granite in THIS house or not...but I like little quirky things too. New Or.leans is filled with both crazy and creative people so I guess that I got that honest. Heck, "I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my sh*t." - Ery.kah Ba.du. I'm gonna get like Pam and do that backsplash one day, perhaps in mosaic tile. My friend Tray and I agreed to tackle our backsplashes together, so we'll see.

I'm feeling especially motivated b/c my boy from back home, G, sent me the first draft of his book and I knew that it was a long time coming. I haven't finished it yet, but I had to call him last night b/c what I read so far TOTALLY went over my head. I underestimated it, thinking that it was going to be some regular, run-of-the-mill fictional story but that mess read like some book-club-discussing, cliff-note-deserving, piece on spirituality and his POV on the state of the world. MAYNE!!! To hear him explaining it for hours over the phone, with such passion and purpose, made me feel a 5-second crush. I heart creative people b/c that stuff just hypes me up. But don't worry about that crush, I'm back to normal.

Well, normal for the most part. I got this overwhelming urge to paint some pottery this weekend. LOL, I probably SHOULD have gone to see Suzie B. today.

keepin' busy

My baby has been back in the N.O. for 2 weeks now. I thought that since my social calendar has been on steroids recently, I’d hardly notice but that is so far from the case. I’ve called home everyday only to find that he was busy either teaching something to or running from his cousin, beating his PawPaw in bowling on his new Wii, or pretending as if he were asleep in the car after swimming practice. And now that his camp has started up, he’s even tougher to catch up with than I am. No matter the situation, he’s so preoccupied that he abruptly ends our telephone conversation with an “I love you too, bye” whether I tell him that I love him or not.

So initially, I thought that I’d make a list of home improvement projects that I wanted to tackle while he was gone. Such as…

1. Tile a backsplash
2. Create a little garden around my mailbox
3. Clean out J’s bedroom (dispose of old workbooks, recycling projects, and toys)
4. Paint both bathrooms
5. Have the debris from the cut down trees removed and mulch around my single tree in my front yard
6. Figure out how to create an indoor awning for my kitchen bay window (admittedly, THIS project intimidates the heck outta me!)

When my dad was here, we got A LOT accomplished.

We stained my front porch…

Seriously, I am doing work on the other side.

And the finished product is...

Unfortunately, the wrought iron bistro set that I wanted from Target has been discontinued. The price was right but it cost $70 to ship and I wasn't having that! So instead, I let it slip through my fingers and now I'm kinda bummed. My porch shall go naked another summer. Anyways...

I painted my bedroom and I love, Love, LOVE this color.

At first, I was looking for a more soothing blue but when I saw this I had to have it. Sometimes I find myself lying awake and staring at it…or that could possibly be b/c it has been hot as Hades in my bedroom lately. So installing a ceiling fan may be #7, but who knows.

And the sight of my chocolate wall from my bedside turns me on even when I don't have a man in there. In fact, I'm getting tingly right now...moving right along.

I compromised with J and painted an accent wall in his room. He wanted all of the walls to be navy blue, but I just wasn’t having it. The rest was done in this "Pita Bread" color.

I am SO NOT looking forward to cleaning this organized chaos that is J's room.

So I was off to a good start and thought that completing these other projects would be a breeze. That is until I get a text or a call and head out of the door. I realized that 30 looks GREAT on me but I can’t hang with young people too much…they about killed me on Friday. I danced with this youngun, who would not let me sit down. I was literally laying over the speaker trying to catch my breath...and this dude JUST had his appendix taken out. GEEZ!!! That's when I realized that I should probably go home and do another project, lol.

I was looking around my country cottage and I thought DAYUM, I got a lot of colors in this piece! My floor plan is a little funny, so you're able to see 10 different rooms when you walk through the door and it's hard to decorate around that unless you do the same safe monotone decorating.

Obviously, I had an overactive imagination as a child!

And I can prove it! Here are a few pics of the dilapidated popsickle stick house that I built when I was 11 or 12 y/o. I am so shocked that THESE pictures were not destroyed by the storm.

I forgot that I made a garage...and the door actually went up by a string, lol. My God, I had too much time on my hands!

This was well before I discovered the wonder that is balsa wood...oh, and the wonder of some architectural training in college, lol.

I even went so far as to go in the garage at my house and try to build the tools that I saw. There is my wheelbarrow, edger, and lawnmower. Geez!

And once again, every room is a different color...and those trash cans by the garage are coffee creamer cups that I "borrowed" from Sho.ney's. Thank God that I work with structural eng.ineers as well!

The red thing in the front is a vacuum cleaner, I believe. And I think that I cut the name brand detergent logos from coupons that I saw in the paper and put them on small plastic bottles that I jacked from one of my Bar.bie houses.

And here is one of the 3 toilets that wreaked much havoc on my clothes and the carpet as I cut up the popsickle sticks.

And this would be the inside of the poolhouse.

So I guess that my son got his desire to make projects out of household trash honestly. Hmmm...I wonder what his house will look like one day. I'm sure that his future wife would be elated to have his decor expertise, lol. Hell, I wonder how I'm going to have to change my style once I get married...perish the thought!