the big chill

My company has been in the process of moving for about as long as I have worked there and then some. One of the reasons why I changed jobs (almost 2 years ago) was to be closer to my baby. This company was within my county limits. Now, they have booted ya girl's butt to the city...which hasn't been so bad being close to Broad Street. My tolls and gas have increased, but the commute hasn't been as bad as expected.

A few weeks back, I had deadlines fired at me like missiles and I was operating on a serious sleep deficiency and a need to decompress. But talk about sunshine after the rain! Last Thursday, I packed up my station by noon and joined a group for sweet and sour chicken and zombies, as we celebrated a half day off. Now ever since my birthday, I have taken an oath to not exceed my alcohol limits, so the highest that I will ever get can only be attributed to the sugar in my meal.

The company then gave us Friday off as our crates and boxes were moved to the new location. A normal person would say, "That's cool...I'll take this time to clean up, do some laundry, dust off my books and read." Especially sans kid...I could've danced naked in my living room all day. But instead, me and Tee...well, I already detailed what we did.

So, we were supposed to be all moved in by Monday. We walk in, only to find that we were to be working alongside construction workers. But the new location is hot...truly reps what an architectural firm is s'posed to look like. Yet sometimes, I worked in the dark as they were putting the finishing touches to the building. Other times, I found that my music did not drown out the incessant drilling and gave up on working altogether. I still don't have a phone. And the HVAC people haven't quite mastered the art of air conditioning the space. But again, that's all ok. The company supplied us with a catered meal and free milkshakes. And let me tell ya, those milkshakes brought all the boys and girls to the yard. I thought that the...ahem...gentlemen's club next door would've provided us all with free lap dances, since all the other new neighbors have been so nice. No dice. We were surprised with welcome bags with a binder stocked with nearby restaurant menus, a water jug and a pill bottle full of M&Ms as a prescription for the associated stress. I have been feeling like a little kid for the past few days...riding on my stomach as my boy pushed my crate through the corridors, skipping around from desk to desk, socializing and emailing excessively during work hours.

And as if things could not get any better, they tell us not to come in tomorrow b/c we have to pass some inspections before we're allowed to actually "work". Go figure. Granted, I have another deadline at noon, but I hope to knock that out tonight. Now, a normal person would say, "Hey, I got this extra day off. I might do some laundry, clean up, dust off my books and read...maybe even dance naked in my living room." Nah. Me and some peeps are having a movie marathon and the only dude (who's a young cutie) allowed to come is designated to serve us up some of his buffalo chicken pizza and some spirits. That's what he gets for bragging about how well he can cook. And guess what movie I'm bringing? Coming To America! Yes, life is good. Lol.

Talk about decompression...I may never get back in the work mode!

weekend wrap-up

The last 3 days have been...interesting. So, I slipped up with Newsguy and was ready to leave town. After he left, Tee came over and made me feel better b/c my mind had taken residence in Guilt City, population 1. We grabbed our big purses and filled them with crab rangoons, wine, and soda...then we hit up the show to enjoy our day off. Snuck all of that junk in, again, as if we were 12 y/o. I was probably THE last person to see The That Preys, but I enjoyed the film. Perhaps I overanalyze, but I noticed some gaps. Awww well, Per.ry is alright with me. As I'm sitting there, swiggin' on a travel-size bottle of wine and chewing on my Chi.nese food, I had the nerve to ask, "Who in da hell brought that damn cryin' baby up in here?!" Throwin' stones, throwin' stones. LOL.

I figured that I had one last time to look for a new dress for Navy's black and red bday party. However, I didn't see anything that I liked at the mall. Everything was either too uncute, too slutty, or too expensive. I thought to tuck a tag inside a dress that I liked and return that bamma on Sunday but that would've been too tacky. So once again, I had to recycle a dress and some shoes (that I forgot I owned). My only red contribution was the flower that I put in my hair.

Not being able to find anything new benefitted me b/c honestly, I didn't really budget for a new 'fit. Me and my girl, Kat, carpooled to DC. We stayed at the Gay.lord Hotel at the Har.bor in MD. AND we were able to find a parking spot right in front of the hotel without having to pay. That was hot! Now, I can be a bit of a germ-aphobe. The only floors that I walk on barefoot are my own. And in hotels, I never lay on top of the covers or actually sit my bare a$$ in the tub. But THIS PLACE was hella nice...and free! I broke all of my personal rules...except for walking barefoot. Let's not get crazy.

I was determined to not get to' up over the weekend. After MY bday dinner, I wasn't about to make a repeat performance...that would be documented and later thrown up in my face at whim. I only had a few glasses of wine and took one shot with the group. Everything else, I turned down. But Kat learned her limits this weekend. I knew that she had taken it to another level when she started hanging on me as if me and my shoes could support the extra weight.

Navy's ex flew in from Cali. That was already a shocker that she would come THAT far. But she dropped jaws when the $640-something bill hit the table and she muttered the words that will make me love her for the rest of my life. She said,

"I got it."

Sheeit! Obviously, I have made the wrong choices in life. That buffet was $32 per person and peeps were throwing back alcohol! Even if I did have it, I wouldn't have gotten it. But hell, who am I to stand in her way of doing a good deed. I just did my best impression of T. Pai.n and said,

"Let me buy you a drank."

So, we're at I danced with Navy a lot but then his boy, Sip, started cutting in. I've met him several times before. I slept at his place the last time I hit up DC with Navy. By the end of the night, I guess that he decided that he was going to become glued to my hip. I had met this other guy, who went to LSU, and I started ribbin' him about the high school that he went to in New Or.leans (in the N.O., we rep our high schools first). I noticed that the more me and this guy laughed and talked, the tighter Sip's grip got around my waist. To the point where the guy dismissed himself from the convo. No biggie, 'cuz I'm sure that I'll holla at dude again.

Sip and I started getting closer in the limo. Fast-forward some hours and I wake up next to him in the spooning position. Nothing happened outside of some touching in the middle of the night, but I didn't mind being held. That was just one night of cuddling...there's nothing in the cards for me and Sip.

The final event was brunch on Sunday, but me and Kat (being the frugal cheap a$$es that we are) skipped out early. Sip wasn't too happy about my leaving but I doubted that Navy's ex would foot THIS bill...I mean, 2 orgasms in one weekend is a bit much. Kat's refusal to say "no", hit her on the way home. I had to pull over a few times to protect the cleanliness of my car. It was a good time, but I was ready to be back with my baby.

J spent the weekend with his daddy, HLS, who came up from Fla. HLS (Habitual Line Stepper) took him shopping for new clothes (particularly jeans/pants) b/c I called and told him that I was tired of looking at J's ankles. I think that they might have taken a professional picture together while I was gone. Despite how I feel about HLS, my heart smiles when J gets excited to see his dad. And from his rambling, I could tell that...

...we BOTH had killer weekends.

in the meantime

A few days back, I told Newsguy that I was off on Friday. On Friday morning, he asked to come by. Up until this point, I limited him to the porch. He has been respectful and hasn't made any advances towards person, that is. Plus, I told him that although he didn't work for CNN, he is popular enough 'round these parts that he can be found if something foul goes down. He had already accrued some points for coming over just to give me a hug when I had a rough day and then leaving not too long after. So, I let him come over...and I actually let him cross my threshhold. Again, he respected my space. (More importantly, he took his shoes off w/o my asking...yep, I can be a little anal about my carpet.) He didn't do anything without my prompting. I think that he was so happy to be inside that he just relished the moment. He has made it clear what he wanted from me in the beginning and I respected his honesty. In the meantime, I enjoyed his wit, the game play, and the company. Needless to say, some things happened...NOT EVERYTHING, but enough to satiate me (probably not him) for a minute. He left wanting more...and so did I.

I believe that I can hold out for the right one, but what do I do in the meantime? Its not that I sit and wander incessantly about wanting and needing someone. I engage in enough things to keep my mind occupied. But the truth of the matter is, I do want someone. And sometimes, I just want to have the freedom to express that without being battered by words of encouragement. I know that they all come from a good place, but I have not reached the point of desparation.

How many times can I be told that He'll come when I'm not looking? I don't even understand what that means anymore b/c, to my knowledge, I haven't been looking. I've been living my life. But every now and again, I want a man to wrap his arms around me from behind and secure me with his embrace. Can I just say that? Good. So tell me, what do I do in the meantime? How many times do I have to be told to pray that God will send me someone? Been there, done that, printed the T-shirts. How may times does one have to pray the same prayer before they believe that God is taking care of it? I already know that God has both mine and my intended's backs, b/c I can already see the stages of preparation. So, I can go to church with the best of 'em and spit all kinds of spiritual cliches and verses. But tell me, what do I do in the meantime? What do I do when I want a man to kiss me as if his last breath depended on it? What do I do when I want a man to make love to me slowly and deliberately? Finding a man to f*ck me ain't hard...and hell, I can do that without looking or praying for it. I like sex like the next person. But what I do when I want those butterflies? What do I do when I want a man to massage the day's stresses out of my shoulders and lower back? What do I do when I want a man to play in my hair? I just want to be free to say that's what I want, without my looking weak or man hungry. I already know He's coming and I already know Who's sending him. Glad that we got that established. But in the meantime, I want to be loved.

run, Kizzy, run

"Hey Kizzy*, what are you limpin' for? You usually don't walk like that until you get old like me."

Oh, here we go...

"I'm doing well. Just overdid it on some yardwork. How are you?"

Mayne, it's too late to take that question back, isn't it?

GIRL! Let me tell ya...

How often have we asked someone how they were, only to be given a laundry list of how much their luck has run out. I ran into a g/f that I hadn't talked to have been somewhat avoiding. I've written about her before, the older broad with the 7 y/o kid (who's a little too affectionate). Let's call her Nita. I try not to have too many encounters with Nita b/c Nita is one of those people that likes to talk, likes to hear herself talk, and only cares to hear your cosign of choice ranging from an "unh hunh" to an "I hear ya." That's all you really have time to say in between her pauses, which would be cool if I agreed with the mess that she was saying. She's also the one that's so desparate for a man that it sickens me.

Well, she tells me that her home phone got cut off. In this day and age, I didn't know that that was still in style. And of course, I didn't know b/c I don't call her. She then proceeds to tell me that she's been struggling ever since she loaned her son's father $1600.

At that moment, I felt as if someone had just choked me out in the street. Let me tell you one thing about me...I'm not giving no man, no money. Triple negative my a$$. I wish an able-bodied dude WOULD form his lips to ask me for a portion of my single mother income. He just might get the cussing of his life! The only guys that I would do that for would be my son, my dad, and Navy. And I would do that for Navy b/c he's bailed me out on many an occasion but would probably be too proud to ask me for anything if, AND THAT'S A PRETTY STRONG IF, he were in a bind. My son's father does not get those privileges. He has called me from jail once, needing $400, and let's just say that he should be thanking God that they let him have another phone call.

But back to Nita...her son's father does not do his part. Part of that is b/c he's a shiftless negro, but perhaps the biggest part is that he's married and got married LONG before the conception of his child with Nita. If I had to put money on it, I would guess that her son was a trapping that went wrong, since it doesn't look like he's divorcing anytime soon and will not acknowledge his child in public. He is 48 y/o and on disability. So let's line up the facts, shall we:

1. He does not provide for his kid.
2. He consistently disrespects Nita and his wife.
3. Nita had to take out a loan against her car, in order to get the money.
4. Nita has an 18 y/o and a 7 y/o.

By my calculation (and maybe I forgot to carry the one or something), this dude's request should've been met with a dial tone. But also by my calculations, there MUST be some exchange of a$$ for Nita to have such impaired judgment.

And so now, Nita is struggling to make ends meet. She says that she's been asking for her money back and he keeps giving her an excuse as to why he doesn't have it. I said, "You're not getting it back. You know that, right?"

Looks like Kizzy* gotta keep on running.

* Nita nicknamed me Kizzy, ever since our sons played ball together and I took my flip flops off at a game and my feet got all dusty, looking as if I had been running for freedom.

hoe to housewife

I have a day off this Friday, and will probably dip out at noon on Thursday. With the upcoming move, we are dismissed once we pack up b/c we can't do anything without computers. Well, I thought that I'd rest up but Tee is coming over, so that we can get a little drunk and then sober up before its time to pick up our if we're 12 y/o or something. But our motto is, "'s Friday, it's our day off and we ain't got sh*t to do." So maybe that's the pre-party before I pillage the streets of DC with Navy, celebrating his 30th on Saturday AND Sunday.

With that said, I was SUPPOSED to be in chill mode this past weekend. So I thought. Me and my girls at the J.O.B. took a sewing class on Saturday. It was so fun...but then again, we were drinking wine while operating machinery, so it was possibly No, I didn't learn how to sew a dress yet. We took this class at a cute little fabric store in the city. The lady that owned the shop was all tatted up, which kinda distracted me, as she was going over the different parts of the sewing machine and other technical terms. I've been throwing around the idea of getting another tattoo and I wanted to know who her artist was...but I was there to learn. For our first project, we made little pin cushions. Mine was the best...and that's my UNBIASED opinion. I was so proud of it and I can't wait to learn more b/c I'm gonna do those bistro awnings in my kitchen before I move, dammit! The lady is offering an alterations class, so I may hit that one up too. We'll see how long I keep up this hobby. Sometimes, I can be as unfocused as the pic of me on the bottom right corner of my blog.

I picked J up from my cuz's house, ran a few errands, and then came home to the greatest surprise EVER. Well, THIS MONTH. My yard guy aerated and seeded my lawn! Awww shux nah...ya girl is in bizness! My yard no longer looks like "hot garbage."

I think that I have just entered the "lukewarm debris" bracket.

So, I got the brilliant idea to finally finish one of the projects that I listed in May or June...I decided that since the rest of the yard was creepin' on the comeup, I might as well do that mini-garden around my mailbox.

I was excited. Tee had bought me a sun hat that I was ready to don JUST for this type of project. I THOUGHT that it would only take me a morning. I both underestimated this project and overestimated myself. This mess took me ALL DAY and I had to finish it up after work this evening. When I was done, I was all bit up, scratched up, and my back is jacked up. There was not ONE muscle that DIDN'T ache today. And if I were going to walk around, all hunched over, and bo-legged looking, at least I could answer a "What happened to you?" with a "I was rescuing some kittens from a burning car" or "I showed some runaway slaves the underground railroad" or something!

There HAD TO BE 20 years worth of weeds by that mailbox. Leezie had to blindly identify that I was digging up onions b/c I couldn't figure out what these mysterious radish-looking things were. J said that they looked like radishes and, at that point, I was so weary that I went along with everything that he said. I found a Costa coin and half of a mailbox post that the previous owner was too lazy to pull all the way out of the ground before they installed the new one. I had to demo the semi-circular border b/c it was crooked and halfway covered with weeds...and plus, I just didn't care for it. That took forever and a day b/c I had been banging away at those things with my hammer just to get them to loosen up.

I decided to re-purpose some river rock that I had lined up along my sidewalk at the top of my driveway...which meant that I had to walk those things down my driveway, one by one b/c those bammas were heavy! J helped me dig and clean up when he took a break from throwing the football around. His major concern was the comfort of the worms and other creatures since I kept digging them up. I let him have that gripe since I don't think that he has forgiven me for having those trees cut down, destroying the homes of the birds and squirrels.

Anyways, my neighbors were really helpful. The older couple across the street let me borrow their tools and the wife, who has the same name as my momma, brought me some water. The older guy next door just seemed to be amazed at how I have transformed the front yard over the past 6 months...apparently, the previous owners didn't mind the "hot garbage" curb appeal. This one guy that was walking his dog, just wanted to know what all I had done recently and was pretty impressed with the progress. So although, it's not where I want it to be, it's better than it used to be. And here it is:

I saw these mums and loved the fall colors and the leaves of the plants have orange and red hues to them.

REPRESENT, BABY, BABY!!! I've had this flag for over a year and I have been dying to put it out there!

I plan to update it with different seasonal perennials so that I can have blooms at almost all times of the year. My cuz said, "So you're sewing and gardening...are you alright?" I just laughed. She seems to think that once I get married that I won't be doing all of that. I thought that that was a weird statement. Afterall, I'm hoe-ing, not ho-ing. I guess that I better get it outta my system now, before I'm forced to be a one hobby

blinded me with science

Tonight, I went to a patio party for int.erior des.igners at the Scienc.e Tee invited both me and J. You can't beat free food/alcohol and live music. The word "free" is just so sensuous to me. Anyway, when we got there, J kept pulling on me and pointing to the museum b/c that was all he really cared about. I was busy trying to check in with the ladies at the table...get wrist bands and raffle tickets and whatnot. I told him that we'd take a brief tour, but we had to find our people first. I, literally, take 2 steps past the table when my ticket number was called. It took a minute for it to register but when it did, I started grinning and shouting, "That's me, that's me, that's me..." I had no idea what they had said before they started calling numbers, so I just sauntered to the stage and they said,

"You just won a car-..."



Hunh? Damn! OK.

We were overdue for another family portrait anyway, lol.

equal opportunity

I'm an equal opportunity dater...well, excluding women. I prefer men that look like me, but the majority of the men that holla at me here in VA have been white. They have been white but more "down" than me, if that makes any sense. I keep hearing my friends say that they wouldn't consider dating white men b/c they would wonder if these men are dating them just b/c they are black, or to fulfill some fantasy, or whatever else. Maybe I'm too naive but I don't think about that...seeing as how I have been many a notch on a black man's belt when I was young and dumb. A man with bad intentions is a man with bad he white, black, red, purple, or blue. I'd like to believe that I'm mature enough to detect them and strong enough to ignore them. Again, I do have a preference for black men. In fact, I have a preference for tall, pretty, black men, with a slim build but Santa doesn't always come through. I usually find that I am drawn to men with a comparable sense of humor to mine and don't really notice that they're not too tall (like that matters when I'm 5'3" on a good day), not El De.barge, are melanin challenged, or has a six pack (in their fridge only).

I recently made the decision that I need to be serious about not entertaining yet another white man, News Guy. I think that I have been drawn in by the fact that he's a news reporter and its funny to see the change in his personality without a camera around. He has been exciting, to say the least, but I already know that we're on 2 different pages. It has become a battle of who's going to leap to the other person's page first...and I have been feeling weak. I need to go in hiding just in case he notices the glitch in my Ma.trix.

Tonight, I went out to a bday dinner for a g/f. I sat next to this Asian dude, who reminded me of this guy that I used to go to school with. At first, I was thinking that he was kinda cute...I moreso noticed that he was kinda fine. We had our little side convos and shared some food. I had my baby J with me, so this dude kept checking on him. I mean, he was a real sweetheart. Too bad that I don't remember this guy's name but he kept trying to make sure that he had my last name right. Mayne, I am highly googlable...ain't no mistaking me. The only thing that anyone can probably confirm on the web is where I went to school, but Peeps were going around the table trying to add each other to and I think that I'm supposed to look him up. Maybe I will, b/c methinks that he may be a little too young for me to be attracted to him.

On second thought, I may just need my cot and my blanket, b/c I have apparently grown weary of ever being approached by QUALITY black men. Rufus and 'em don't count.

the ice cube

My company is moving...triples my toll charges and doubles my gas budget. I won't be able to sneak back home for lunch or pick J up from school and bring him to get some free hot wings and soda at our Fri.days. In fact, if the company stressed that I be at work at 8 AM, I would be in trouble b/c I would then have to foot an extra bill for before-school care. Thank God, until they tell me otherwise, I can flex the heck outta my time in the mornings. One of the reasons that I took this job was b/c the location was within the same county as the one that I live in. My previous one was a 45-minute commute that sucked donkey balls. This commute won't be AS bad...maybe only rabbit-ball-suckage. Now, we're going to (BIG GULP) the city. And not only are we moving to (GULP HARD) the city, we're right next door to the Pa.per Mo.on, a fun little ahem Gen.tlemen's Club. We're secretly placing bets to see which one of my sleezy coworkers will try to get a lunchtime lap dance. Yes, the location and commute have a lot to be desired but, in times like these, I am happy to still have a nameplate somewhere.

Promance and I will be separated, but he won't be too far from me at the new building. We'll both be on the west-side of the 2nd floor...West siiiide!!! He's been getting all sentimental about this lately, counting down the days...10 days to be exact. When he's not annoying the crap out of me, we have a lot of great convos. I don't think that will stop. Convenience is just a mutha!

So I thought that I'd take a few pics of...

Drum Roll, Please



This is how it looks when I'm stressing. You can forget order when I have a project going out of the door, but I thought it best to catch it at its worst. My must-haves in this pic are my floor heater and the piece of cake (in the bowl that I appear to be hiding behind my monitor). Technically, I wasn't s'posed to have that cake but peeps keep running to tell ME when there's cake in the I'm greedy or something. Everytime I say that I need to cut down on the sweets, someone goes Betty on my a$$. Dag, I just noticed that I had some cookies in this pic too.

I guess that my other must-haves are CAD, which can act like a PMS'ing girlfriend on some days, and my headphones that I wear to try and keep people moving. In the background, I keep pictures of these ginormous (a word?, lol) homes. I can't really say that that's where I want to live one day (b/c I hate cleaning the 1500+ sq. ft that I have now). They helped me press along through the process of buying my house...and plus, the pool pic is just dead sexy.

All of my many drawings of different schools are in a special filing system. Pics of my baby, old bday/holiday cards, Chick-fil-A coupons all make this place home, lol. I mix some Cref.lo CDs from my email partnah, Leezie, in with my Le.nny Kra.vitz and joints. I also keep Promance's extra nameplate in my basket...don't ask me why. The sad thing is, I keep a lot of random Post-Its too. They all give me that warm and tingly sensation. One says, "Meet me behind the dumpster at 3:00." Another says, "I just stopped by to say HI - Hollywood." And another is a list of all the hole-in-the-wall restaurants that someone recommended and that I wanted to try. I just added one of my fave Post Its to my collection which says, "Suzanne made some very good gumbo this weekend. There's some in the fridge just for you." Wooo child, that was a serious note right there...I could cuddle with that note all night and feel 'bout as good as I do with a man.

My hard hat, which I very rarely use at this job, is in full effect. I like going out in the field...that is until they think that just b/c I'm tiny, I would love to scope out every school's crawl space. Fugg that! I'd rather walk on a roof, and THAT ain't my favorite pasttime either. And there's my "Mr. Ro.gers" sweater. They have the damn thermostat set on meat locker, so my daily routine is to come in and slowly pull my arms into the sleeves while singing, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood..."

I have also nestled another sweatshirt behind some old catalogs, meeting notes and the growing stem of a plant that I brought from my last job. But perhaps I should explain why I keep a picture of a rooster, with a packet of salt taped to it. This is usually the crowd pleaser, as it seems very odd for me to have on display.

One day, I was talking to our former receptionist, who is also a southern gal, and one of our guy friends. It was a very, gloomy day and she didn't want it to rain. I said that I could channel Marie La.veau and make it so that it would not rain...all I needed was a chicken foot and some salt. The guy friend said that he could get the chicken foot, but that salt may be too hard of a task. We laughed but a few minutes after he disappeared, he came running down the steps with a picture of this rooster and a packet of salt he'd gotten from some fast food joint. So I did some dance and chanted "Ma Ma Say Ma Ma Sah Ma Mah Cu Sah" and BAM!

The power went out. Now THAT'S voodoo. We all left about 30-45 minutes early that day and never spoke of it again.

Well, at least, until the next person asked me the story behind the black-and-white rooster pic, lol.

I have since acquired an extra monitor, which is pretty cool...and would possibly be cooler if the daggone job didn't block everything on the web.

This has been my home for the past (almost) 2 years. And now, I'll have to say goodbye. Oh well. I hear that the new office is s'posed to be fly with all of its exposed beams, ductwork, and concrete floors. All that really reads to me is that its still s'posed to be cold as all hell. But the upside...

Maybe I can snag a second job at that there uh...ahem...Gentlemen's Club next door. Go, go gadget butt cheeks...from the printer to the pole!

keep on driving

I have been having a lot of dreams about my momma lately. I wish that I could say that she glided her way down from heaven to hug, love, and kiss on me. Oh no. In every dream, she is nagging me about one thing or another. I sometimes wonder if she is trying to send me some message; yet, it doesn't seem to penetrate the many thick layers of my hard a$$ head. I never remember why she's chiding me once I wake up. But even the cool side of the pillow can't temper how hot I get about it, mentally kicking rocks, 'bout to spit, "that woman sho' gets on my nerves!" That is, until my eyes start to focus and I realize that she isn't here anymore. I think about this heavily during July and August, being the months of her sunset and sunrise respectively. My cuz tries extra hard to encourage me around this time b/c I always seem to disappear from people. Which is even easier to do, b/c J is usually back home with my dad. I guess that I keep re-living certain things and wondering what I could've done differently during her last days and how my life would be different now.

Anyways, I was driving to work this morning and everything was according to program...left turn here....merge right here...look at this a$$hole...I'm gon' give him the HARD gas face for cutting me off...punk won't look over 'cuz he knows that he's wrong...some sick sense of "gas face victory" toll...giggle at Har.vey...quick swab of lip gloss...UNTIL this voice says, "Hey, you remember when that girl on the bike bust yo' window out? Whatever happened to her?" I laughed so hard that I almost missed my last turn.

I believe that I was 16 or 17 y/o. One evening, I backed out of my driveway and headed for a friend's house. Right when I was about to exit my the corner of the exit street and the main street...I inch my car out to see the oncoming traffic to my left before I continue. It was clear. I start to head towards the intersection at the neutral ground, separating the oncoming traffic to my right, and then BAM! I was startled, to say the least. I stopped in the middle of the street. But my car now had a small dent close to the hood, a busted out window, and in front of me was a big broad laying on the ground, parallel to a semi-twisted bike with a dented basket.

I was confused b/c there was no way that I could've picked up that much speed from the time that I stopped to look for traffic. And it seemed that if someone rode their bike in front of my car, I would've seen them.

Again, I was 16 or 17 y/o. I hadn't long had my license but I had long cultured my vivid imagination. Whenever I told that story, it went something like..."this chick crashed into the side of my car, did 3-4 sommersaults in the air, landed on my windshield, paused for 3 seconds, did a Dukes of Haz.zard roll off my hood, tumbled like a bale of hay in the street, and then posed on her elbow." At that time, I was a receptionist at a police department. I remember sitting in a conference room with a couple of the police officers and my chief of police the following morning. I was so distraught that my momma forced me to tell them what happened...and that's what I told them.

After I finished, there was not one straight face in the room. I thought that I was in the twilight zone, b/c the last time that I checked, running over people was a serious offense. One of the sargeants explained to me that that wasn't what I saw, under controlled giggling. There was no police fact, as I was helping this girl up, 2 patrol cars rolled by and never slowed to see what the hap was. My talking to these officers, who had long been family friends, was supposed to be for my benefit. For insurance purposes, they had taken pics of my car to show that the location of the dent was proof that it wasn't my fault. Even the girl's fam, at the hospital, was consoling me and saying that it wasn't my if to say that this broad does this sh*t on the regular. Oh yeah, she just loves to slam into windshields during her spare time. The girl only had minor scratches, but she seemed most concerned about the dented basket on her grandfather's bike.

I was done. I told my momma that I was never driving again. She kept telling me that I had to get back out there and that if I didn't do it soon, I'd be too paralyzed with fear to get behind the wheel again.

My response, "And your point is..."

Then one morning, later that week, I grabbed my purse and strutted out to the car. The passenger side, of course. I still refused to touch the wheel, so my momma would again be forced to drive Ms. Dizzy. She comes out to the car, fumbles with the door and then the next thing that I see is her grabbing and shaking her hand in pain. I'm thinking, "Oh Lawd, here we go...I don't care if she slammed all of her fingers in that door, I ain't driving. Hmph!" Momma was lookin' for some sort of emotion from me that morning and she got nothing. Finally, she said, "I cannot drive this morning...I just can't do you're just gonna have to get over yourself and take us to work." I was PISSED! As many times as I have given people the gas face while in my car, I had never driven with so much attitude as I did that morning. I'm surprised that I didn't get a swift smack in the mouth with her good hand.

I was extra careful. I even let the car rock back when I stopped before I revved up again. I creeped down every street and slowed to a crawl at every turn. Finally, I made it to her office. Momma opened the door, got out of the car, and then bent down and said...

"You are so pitiful. By the way, I didn't really hurt my hand. I love you too, Bye."

And then she blew me a kiss, smiled real hard, and raced up the on-ramp with a quicker pace than normal in her high if she knew that I wanted to run her over. I had all kinds of names for my momma that morning. I WAS MAD!

But I was driving...and then I understood.

So as I was thinking about this, I wondered if my momma has been showing up in my dreams b/c she knew that I was getting weary...or that I had been spending too much time hanging on to the past. I won't try to draw any conclusions. I just know that when I wake up mad again, hopefully I'll remember her mischievious smile on that morning. And that it gives me, even when I feel as if I'm a kiss away from defeat, the fuel to keep on driving.


Anytime I tell someone "don't hate", usually I'm saying it in a joking manner. Honestly, I cannot wrap my mind around the idea of someone actually hatin'/jealous/envious of me. ESPECIALLY when my life ain't been no crystal stair. But then to think that one of these people is "supposed" to be my friend makes me wonder...what value are we really bringing into each other's lives? Interpersonal relationships are investments that should appreciate with time, right?

If a friend wants to emulate a particular quality of mine, then cool. All of my friends have something within their character that I wish were mature in mine...whether it be their compassion, their laissez faire, their spirituality, their financial savvy, or anything of the like. Basically, if we're learning and growing b/c of our relationship, then that's the beauty of it.

However, you have those that would prefer to rise above you than grow with you, or in other words, "1 up" you. These insecure people need to be validated by having or being more. They sell the perception that they're better or more connected than you are in one area or many. Oftentimes, they are very passive aggressive with that sh* if there's some sort of silent competition, one that I haven't been formerly invited to compete. But I MUST be winning, even in my mental absence, b/c truth be told...I'm not really thinking about them.

I'm 30 years old. I do not know everything. I'm only as wise as my experiences and at 30, whose to say that I qualify to be anybody's Op.rah. I just try to do what works for me and mine. Everyone should be true to themselves b/c in the end THAT makes the difference between being happy and being content. I still have a lot to learn, but one thing is certain...I am special b/c MY GOD AND I SAID SO. Everyone else is free to do and believe what they want. Their accomplishments are no barometer for my own ability or value, b/c I do not flourish inside boxes or under glass ceilings.

Frenemy, your salvation or freedom are not in my grasp. As honored as I am that you would exaggerate MY importance, it is a waste of time trying to prove something to me.

rainy day randoms

It's's pouring...and I SHOULD be off somewhere snoring, but I'm not. I knew that Storm Ha.nna was gonna make this weekend a wash. My little "friend" (nobody special yet) is off in VA, in the middle of the storm for his job until Sunday. More power to him b/c I knew yesterday that whether or not I decided to take a shower today was questionable. I went to the grocery store last night, so I was ready to be holed up and vegged out on my couch watching HGTV and G. for the weekend. The only thing that disappointed me was that I wanted to take my baby J to King's Dom.inion for his birthday tomorrow. Since I let go of that idea, I spent my lunch hour on Friday, buying 7 gifts to celebrate his golden birthday, 7 y/o on the 7th.

Its been hard trying to wrap them while he's not looking. I plan to make it a scavenger hunt around the house and write little rhyme clues for him to figure out. It should be really fun to see the look on his only concern being that he'll fall more in love with the boxes than he does the actual gifts. The last shipment that JJ received from PawPaw was in a long box. Initially, he was excited about seeing the toys and games that he couldn't bring back on the plane, but 5 minutes after that, he had cut a hole in the box, drew in a windshield and door handles and made it a car. Those toys and games got thrown to the side somewhere. He is SOOOOO my kid. That's why most of the things that I got him for his birthday are things that he has to build or put together, with the big ticket item being a Wii game that he wanted.

He finished an ice cream treat the other day and looked at the popsickle stick and said, "Mayne, I'm gonna need a whole lot more of these to make the house that I want to build." I almost got teary-eyed. I had never shown him the pics of my popsickle stick house, so this will be a joy to see. For much better results, I'll probably teach him how to draw a floor plan and a few elevations, so that the weight of the sticks doesn't cause a hardcore gangsta lean (like mine did).

I finally got off my a$$ and mounted the fireplace that I ordered for my livingroom. A fireplace wasn't on my "must have" list when I was shopping for a house, but the downstairs stays on chill mode during the winter months. I bought 2 floor heaters last year but they trip my circuit breaker and I've already had an electrician out here enough to last me the rest of the year. So I opted for something more aesthetically pleasing. And that's cool, but since it burns gel fuel, my hope is that its functional.

I love the way that it looks though. I finally bought some frames from Tar.get for the fleur de lis sketches that I picked up in the during my trip back home. I really had no clue where I was going to put them when I bought them but I think that they compliment the adjacent abstract print nicely.

Plus, there are fleur de lis(s) at the tips of my cross.

Hopefully, this will be a nice backdrop for a WARM winter night. I think that I may be one green pillow away from my livingroom being complete. A coworker sent me some info about an inexpensive sewing class, since she knows that I want to do the bistro awnings for my kitchen bay window. Once I knock that out (and the backsplash), I will REALLY be in business.

Well aiight...I'm off to channel Dr. Se.uss.

dear him (the S30 special)

Where in the hell are you? I am tired of waiting on yo' a$$. And as much as I hate lyin', I had to lie about already havin' you just to ward off the riffraff. Make me an honest woman, b/c times are gettin' hard. I don't need you to take care of me, but I need you to desire to do so. Force me to watch thrillers just so that I can dive into your chest during the scary parts. Jog on over to ATL and buss Leezie in the head for my crawfish...and my blanket. Make me a mix tape with some old school R&B. Give me "some" on the regular and then fix me some shrimp and grits. Make sure to crush my cholesterol pills and mix them in there real nice. Call my dad and assure him that you know the Lord. Put on that cologne that makes me tingle in places unseen. Wink at me when no one's looking. Kiss me on my forehead when EVERYONE'S looking. Send flowers to my job on a Tuesday...but wait until about 10 o' clock so that everyone is there to see it. Watch HGTV with me and then get up and build me a table...and a backyard deck. Keep yourself up and represent me well. Help me raise a black man. Hell, BE a black man.

And fix my dayum dishwasher!

Tender Kisses,

lift the n.o. up

My dad stopped being foolish and evacuated with my stepmom and stepsister to Frank.linton, an hour and a half north of New. Or.leans at the toe-end of the LA boot. I have no idea why he left his truck in his driveway, but whatever, he is out of the bowl and can minister to whoever he wants on higher ground. Although I hate that he went to Frank.linton, I'm glad that he left. Aside from my stepsister, I seem to be the only other daughter of his that cares. My half-sisters in Bat.on have probably had (max) 3 convos with him since Ka.trina. My thing is, I know that he was not the greatest father in the world and we've had a rocky to almost non-existant relationship growing up, but sometimes you just have to let that sh*t go and move on. In my case (and I believe in theirs also), he has made a sincere effort to repair the rifts and I am a firm believer in meeting people where they are.

At any rate, I have been calling him like a crackhead since he left, b/c if everything goes as I suspect, I know that it will only be a matter of time before I'm able to reach him by cell at all. 504 numbers are already having issues b/c I think that everyone is trying to account for all of their family and friends. I got busy signals while trying to call 4 people from back home last night. Heck, I called MYSELF from my 804 home phone and got a busy signal. So fair warning, if anyone tries to contact my cell (b/c I plan to be 504 for life, lol) it might act a donkey for the next few days or so. But the numbers are in: I have partnahs in Frank.linton, Alex.andria, Bat.on Rouge, Atlanta and Jackson.

Just when I was contemplating moving back home, Gus.tav reminded me of what I don't miss. Whether or not a hurricane actually hits, the 2 to 3 day evacuations are for the birds. And you're highly pi$$ed if the hurricane didn't roll through as hard as it was claimed b/c you just spent money for nothing. I understand that you're being cautious but tell that to someone who doesn't have the resources or options for caution. I have always been blessed to have somewhere to go and money for gas, but there are MANY who are not as fortunate. Ka.trina was a wake up call, b/c IMO, everyone in the city was sleeping. EVERYONE IN THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT WAS SLEEPING!

Most of the time while growing up and ESPECIALLY as a college student, riding out a storm was the norm. I can remember a time when almost everyone that I knew had evacuated, but I stayed home with my momma. We were in the house, watching Life.time movie heroines and small trees in the backyard getting the breaks beat off 'em simultaneously. Not a drop of water came through the door while we were having our own private hurricane party. Everyone else that left had one issue or another, from loss of power to minor flood. Thinking back, that still wasn't necessarily the smartest decision...maybe we were too silly to panic or maybe God DOES take care of fools and babies. But after I had J, my mindset changed. He was my most precious cargo during Ka.trina and although being in Frank.linton sucked, we were STILL blessed, all things considered.

With that said, everyone in LA and the surrounding areas are in my prayers. I hope that ya'll are somewhere safe and comfortable.

Lift the N.O. up.

- 9th ward native