random holiday update

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Mine was excellent. Surprisingly enough, this homebody went house-hopping. I am thankful to have friends that 1. love to cook and 2. love my company. It was a normal Thanks.giving in 'da wood'...I stuffed my face, clowned with the kid, danced, posed for pictures, and got hit on by a broke a$$ version of Jaz.ze Pha. Like I said, a normal Thanks.giving. And this normal Thanks.giving would not be normal if my dad hadn't called and left a msg, implying that I must not have wanted to talk to him b/c he had been calling me all day. Yep, the holiday guilt-trip in full effect.

I HAVE been feeling homesick lately, but its not something that a quick flight to the N.O. can solve. I miss the feeling and state of "home" from over 10 years ago, when everything was easy. But I didn't have time to wallow in that. My job is to make sure that my son has as many good memories and similar traditions as I had. One of those traditions will NOT be a visit to the barbershop the day before Thanksgiving. It was so doggone packed in there that I thought that Black Fr.day had started early and peeps were getting a free set of clippers and 'ish.

On Black Friday...you guessed it...go, go, gadget doo rag. This is going to be a low budget Christmas...and I say this as if I ever break the bank. So I was enjoying this wonderful day when I got a phone call.

LB: Hey Kat.
Kat: Hey girl, how ya doin'?
LB: Good.
Kat: So, we are going bowlin' tonight and I wanted to see if you and J wanted to come."
LB: Uh...I dunno. I am in MAD chill mode.
Kat: But we haven't seen you in such a LONG time.
LB: Right, right...I mean, its been what? A whole 24 hours..and I've fully digested your food, aged, and ev'rythang.
Kat: Unh hunh, so we're gonna meet up for 7 AND we're gonna bowl out there by you, so you won't have to drive too far.
LB: How kind! So you and Anthony...
Kat: Well, me and Anthony...and his friend...
LB: I smell a trap.
Kat: Naw girl, we just hangin'.
LB: **Laughing** You over there trying to bamboozle and hoodwink a sista and as soon as I get to the alley that's when Plymouth Rock is goin' to land on me.
Kat: **Laughing** Not.at.all. We just missed ya.
LB: **Yawn** You know what...I got that thang that I forgot about. So um...I'm gonna have to take a raincheck. We'll do brunch.
Kat: Now you know you're wrong.
LB: I'll holla left.

Anyway...since I've been blog HARASSED by that girl, I thought that I'd update with something that may tickle her fancy...fashion. So that Holiday Gala is quickly approaching, December 13th to be exact. I had it in my mind that after I went from potentially having two dates to zero I wasn't going. And then I dug around my archives dated around this time, last year and came up with this and this. I remember going through a lot of crap then (a helluva lot more than what I'm going through now), but surprisingly enough, my fashion-challenged self was able to pull off a fabulous night.

I am humble, but uh...I was the #1 stunna THAT NIGHT.

I've been telling everyone that asks that I'm not going this year. Honestly, I just couldn't imagine going to a semi-formal event by myself. But in the words of Kat, "...that's just loser-ish"...and she wasn't talking about going by myself, she meant the actual thought that I couldn't go BECAUSE I'd be going by myself. She didn't rock my world with that but, for some reason, it stuck with me. Now, I'm hinging on a maybe.

So, I did some online shopping, attempting to catch some of the sales this weekend. After browsing every black dress there is, I decided to buy this:

I was not going to wear that red dress again and I have been wearing the hell outta my little black dress this year. I thought to play it safe with another black dress but how many of those bammas does one need? I'm sure there is a fashionista answer for that, but I just don't know it. Plus, judging by the last 2 years, there will already be enough broads playing it safe. I picked this dress b/c I thought that if I walked in the room with that on, maybe I would forget the fact that I have no one on my arm. So then, I had to visit another website to buy these:

Those are some 4-1/2" stilettos. Merely typing that, makes me nervous but that's why I always look for an ankle strap. And that's where I stopped...attempting to accessorize would've made my head hurt. I do not own a flat iron but I was thinking that I would wear my hair straight, so that everyone would forget about that guy. People still call me Prince in the hall and the madness has to stop!

We'll see how this turns out...I'm leaving it up to circumstance. I just ordered the dress and shoes, so if they arrive too late then I'll take that as a sign and I'll send the items right on back. I haven't arranged a babysitter, so if that falls through then go, go, gadget doo rag and a book. At the least, I've made an effort.


Have you ever had someone cancel plans on you and instead of being disappointed, relief washes all over you? That's how I felt towards the end of last week. Relieved. Finally, I had a weekend when I could marinate in the previous day's funk if I wanted to. If you looked up homebody in the dictionary, you'd see a picture of me in my pink robe and a doo rag, cheesing next to a spoonful of yogurt Cheerio.s. Yes sir, I planned to put a serious butt dent in my recliner while watching movies. And that's just what I did...on Saturday. Today, I reworked my budget sheets, helped J with his book report on Ba.rack Oba.ma, and hit up one of my fave stores...Tar.get.

My aunt called and asked, "Whatchu doing?" I answered, "Nottadamnthang!" with a smile in my voice. Her nickname should be Negative Nelly, so I try to keep my convos with her short and sweet. I have been so tense at the job lately that I needed a mental vacation. And the great thing is that now that all the leaves have fallen, I got this new natural light bursting through the windows as if the gates of heaven opened up. And then I cracked the blinds in my livingroom and saw the many sh*tloads of leaves on what I assume to be my now 10 dead blades of grass and thought of hell. My neighbors will just have to be pi$$ed with me b/c I'm leaving that job to my daddy. He called to tell me that he'll be in Richmond for Christ.mas. I swear fo' lawd, that man nags me to death but he is far from lazy, so I'll just swallow my tongue for that week and a half that he's here.

Once I confirmed that I wouldn't spend Thanksgiving in the N.O., Tee happily informed me that I would get full and tipsy at her house. Honestly, if I didn't eat turkey and I wasn't surrounded by people, I would be just fine on Thursday. I have these moments when I seem to detach myself from folk, especially when I'm going through some things b/c I don't want to be a drag. But since I adopted Tee's crazy family, I look forward to seeing them again and doing an electric slide with a plate of food in my hand. But come Black Friday...go, go, gadget doo rag. Me and JJ might put up the Christ.mas tree, sip hot cocoa, and watch "The Grinch..." repeatedly.

Speaking of Tee, her man is/was trying to hook me up with some dude(s) that he knows. I'm unsure as to how I became "that girl" but I really don't need another Hype-man/PR rep and I surely don't need another dude to start trippin' on me over some dumb mess...i.e. Navy. I'm good for the time being. Or I will be once I have a few good books in my hand.

Any recommendations?

to speak or not to speak

Maybe I wasn't inebriated enough and that's why I was easily annoyed. Or maybe b/c I haven't been myself lately, as told to me by 2 different people, but I just have little tolerance for dumb stuff. Tonight, a small group of us celebrated Tee's bday. And as swigs increased, so did the gripes and complaints about certain coworkers. So ok, I can understand that (at some point) someone might've pi$$ed you off and you decided that (besides the common cordialities ?), you weren't going to fool with that person anymore. That's reasonable. But I was sitting there while listening to 2 of my close friends say that they disliked people just b/c said people don't speak to them in the hallway. I don't even know what I was sipping on, but I wished that I had taken a huge gulp just to say, "Who the f*** cares???" Are you kidding? Especially when I know that the one who started the conversation has the propensity to mean mug some folk, so what exactly does a person owe her? I kept interjecting to say that the people that they were bashing were actually nice, but that fell on deaf ears and drunk mouths. And once the cosigning started, I could forget about sharing my opinion anyway and just decided to chill and eventually make my exit from all the negativity.

I can agree that its disrespectful if I initiate the greeting (and I doubt that they do), but I got too many other reasons to want to pi$$ in someone's coffee. So I guess one of my pet peeves is when people get angry over little things. Man up and move on.

What's yours?

we're the dancers

I loves me some JT and I'm a reformed Beyonce hater. I think that somewhere after "Get Me Bo.died", she won me over as a semi-fan. This had me screaming! In between laughing so hard, I couldn't take my eyes off of JT.

state of shock

So here's the skinny...we had our office meeting this afternoon. Up until 3:15PM, I had been keeping busy. But as 3:30 PM approached, "what if"s started swirling around in my head. I sat in the front row for the presentation b/c I didn't want to miss one detail.

I already wrote about how the economy has affected me here. Back then, I was pretty optimistic. Now, I'm not as much.

The Prez made 4 recommendations for the employees to stay in financial control during this time of "crisis".

1. Come up w/a plan to live on less.
2. Save 6 months worth of emergency funds.
3. Lower credit card rates.
4. Pay off mortgage before retirement.

OK, none of that was a shock to my system. Every financial book that I've read says the same thing. It was the next segment that confirmed the rumors and had everyone shook.

Here's how the company plans to remain in control:

1. Freeze staff salaries until further notice.
OK, I can understand that.
2. Freeze $1500 referral bonus.
Fine, I never got that anyway.
3. All hiring will be suspended.
4. The 401K match will be suspended.
I may need to temporarily decrease my retirement fund contributions.
5. Re-evaluate company credit card usage.
Doesn't affect me.
6. Monitor company educational courses.
I'm fine with this also, b/c my classes would sometimes conflict with my deadlines.
7. Reinforce client relationships.
I hope that they do.
8. Negotiate good fees.
I can get with that.
9. Work hard and stay calm.
That's a tall order for me right now, b/c of 10.
10. Reduce staff.
I have a mortgage and a kid.

Now, the Prez said that the company would strategically reduce staff. And I don't know what the timeline is, but I'm thinking that it'll be within the next 2 months. I cannot lie...I'm nervous b/c that word "strategically" can take on different meanings within the corporate world. Some people were moved to tears. I'm not quite there yet. The only thing that I can think to do is pray and ask others to pray for me. I have made it through some hellish situations, but I'm tired of things being taken away from me. It took me 2 years to rebuild my life after Ka.trina. I just can't fathom losing ground now.

good ole gyne

I had my annual gyne appointment this afternoon. I both dread and anticipate these appointments. Reason being that I don't want to be told that something is wrong with me, but I don't want to live in ignorance and allow something to go undetected. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in Feb. and passed away in July of that same year. That has shown me that either she had a pretty aggressive tumor or it was detected late. I have some other thoughts on that, but the point is, I got too much that I want to do and see in life to allow fear and ignorance to be written as the cause of death on my certificate.

Well this past week, I haven't been feeling right. Fair warning, this blog is about to get unsexy right about now. In the past, I have had cysts, been diagnosed with dysplasia and had the LEEP procedure, common infections, etc. I'm weird b/c I will walk around with a cold for weeks and never go to a PCP, but if something isn't feeling right in the "womanly" way, I'll call my gyne like we're old girlfriends.

So I was sitting there on the table...kinda scared. I was trying to brace myself for the needle, b/c I thought that she would need to take a culture to determine what it was. I'm already not a big fan of pap smears, so the thought of that on top of whatever she needed to do extra had a girl frigid. I laid back as she inspected me from the roota to the toota, concentrating on the light so as to keep my cool. And then she says,

"Uh Oh..."

Me: Awww hell...

Gyne: "...that's a hemmorhoid"

Me: "uh what?"

Gyne: "a hemmorhoid."

Me: "A hemmorhoid???"

Gyne: "Yes, a hemmorhoid."

Me: "A hemmorhoid... **silence** Whew! Thank you, Jesus!!! I just got a hemmorhoid! Yes!!! A hemmorhoid...that's what's up, right dere! **sigh of relief** Mayne, I gotta call somebody! We gon' be popping bottles!!!"

**blank stare**

I would have kicked my heels, but I didn't want to risk hitting her in the throat while having a speculum lodged in my nether-regions. I'm going back to get some bloodwork done AND I will be having my first mammogram (b/c of my family history) before this month is up. But I can't be too concerned about those outcomes b/c we're celebrating some minor swollen rectal veins TONIGHT, BABY!

Now I know that some of us just got a little too close for comfort...I'm just happy to be healthy. Let this serve as a humorous reminder to take our "big girl" or "big boy" pills and get ourselves checked.

decisions, decisions

So the J.O.B. has me in a headlock right about now. One of my best friends from high school is coming to visit me this weekend...which has motivated other friends within a 2 hour radius to come and visit HER at my house. I don't mind. I am looking forward to the reunion b/c these are my dawgs for life. However, I REALLY, REALLY should be working this weekend. And since her plane back to Chi-town is not leaving until 5 PM on Sunday, you might as well put a ribbon around my work schedule b/c that's a wrap!

These people at the J.O.B. got me mentally hemmed up. The Prez made a speech at our last Fir.st Fri.day and said that he would be meeting with all offices this week, topic: The Election and the Economy. Rich.mond's meeting is on Thursday afternoon. Rumors have been flying all around the office, from the possibility of lay-offs to small bonuses and non-existant raises. I haven't really given the rumors much energy. I have already come to accept that the numbers that I may be presented with aren't what I had in mind and that my 5-year plan may have to be extended. As we were handed our list of projects at our last studio meeting, I counted how many times I saw my initials next to each project that I was assigned. 6 times. The latest completion date was in June of '09. I'm not worried...yet. But I'm not so comfortable that I can't see the forest for the trees either.

I was picking the brain of a coworker the other day since he has a license that I would like to get soon. Anyway, I was discussing my educational background when I mentioned that I minored in Robot.ics and Auto.mation. His eyes grew big, he paused, and then said,

"Why are you here??? Why aren't you out somewhere doing something cool, instead of designing piping systems for schools?"

Reactively, my eyebrows furrowed. Although he belittled my job, I took it as some backhanded compliment. But with anyone, its the way that people deliver a compliment that can turn you on and off. I can't figure if he was shocked that I was smart or that I wasn't living up to my potential. At that time, all I could think to do was to politely end the convo and head back to my desk. I sat there and wondered about my "supposed" missed opportunities.

I make my decisions much differently now than I did 7 years ago. The reasons that I minored in Robotics had nothing to do with me actually wanting to design a robot. Up until the point that I did, no one else had fulfilled all the credits to achieve that minor. So, I hungered for the challenge but, truth be told, I liked the way that it sounded the most. I used to love to say it aloud...throw it in a convo HARD, like I'm playing bid whist or spades and that was my trump. It sounds cool to say to this day. Could I make a lot more money in the field? Probably. Would I feel all high profile? Maybe. Would I be happy? Hell naw. And that last question is what guides my decisions today.

I struggled through those courses and they were boring as I-dunno-what! I spend too many hours at my J.O.B. to hate going to work...just so that I can feel as if I'm about something. Newsflash: I'm already a big deal and it has nothing to do with my career. Don't get me wrong, I worked hard to get where I am. I recently reordered my diploma (since I lost it to Kat.rina) to remind me of how hard I worked for it.

But that's exactly how people get caught up in nonsense...needing to be validated in some form or another...always having something to prove. Some people are so bound by the opinions of others that they couldn't recognize what it feels like to live for themselves. Yes I get stressed at times, but I happen to like what I do. I don't curse Monday mornings b/c I am doing what's right for me in this season of my life. I COULD be living the high and miserable life all b/c it sounds cool, but at the end of the day, I have to be true to myself. We got a whole generation that do, agree, and buy things b/c its perceived to be cool. I need more. Build me up. Enhance my character. Allow God to lead me. And since I feel that God led me to where I am today, I don't salivate over "supposed" missed opportunities. I may have taken the long road, but I am where I need to be. Which is right here at my J.O.B., doing something cool like designing piping systems for schools.

So I guess that I have to wait and hear what the Prez is going to lay on us on Thursday.

let it rock

J woke up this morning and looked out of the window and said, "Mommy, I believe that its finally fall." Well, Captain Obvious was a little late, but how often do we take time to observe the beauty of the seasons.

Yep, that would be leaves on my grass. YES AGAIN, leaves on my new GRASS! (If you don't know why that excites me, then peep the previous hot garbage that was my yard!) So this is all sexy and everything but uh, who's gonna rake this mess up? Now that I have a few blades of grass, I finally emailed a pic of my house to HGTV so that it can be featured during one of their commercial breaks. We'll see if they choose it...I'm still scouting HGTV shows that will actually come to VA and do a free backyard makeover. So far, none. But I shall put my faith out there for Carter...dayum, he's sexy. I can't wait until I'm able to roll out some money to have the siding painted an inviting yellow, my door red, and my shutters white. THEN, my neighbors will really be on my jock.

So I decided to stay home today to get some much needed rest. I had a major project going out of the door yesterday and once that was over, I was ready to crash! Especially since I have been trying to stay drugged all week. I am still heavily congested and am walking around with vaseline on my nose and upper lip b/c of all the nose-blowing, but I'm feeling a little better. I have 3 other projects on my desk and then checked my lineup and noticed that I was signed on to do 3 MORE projects by my-damn-self! Its a double-edged sword, I guess. I got what I wanted but I'm going to be working my a$$ off, all within kissing distance of Christ.mas. Can't complain...won't complain...I got work.

I think that I'm still in shock today. It is a blue-tiful day in VA. I know that the blog world has been inundated with Bara.ck O-blogs (lol), but I just have to say that I have never been as emotional about a win like this. I know that Newsguy is somewhere crying in a corner. **devious laugh**

I have no clue...and he certainly has his work cut out for him...what Obama is going to do for America in the next 4 years, but Black America has been exponentially impacted in less than 24 hours. My J, at 7 y/o, was able to see someone that looks like him achieve his dream. His smile was so big when I told him that "Rock" Obama (as he once called him) had won. You would've thought that it was his daddy making his election day speech. I'm debating on whether or not I'm going to his inauguration on Jan. 20th. I feel as if I live too close to DC to NOT go, but who knows. I may value my warmth more, so we'll see. At this point, I'm just glad that all the texting and calls have ceased. The "40 acres and a mule" text was funny the first time, but around time 20, it was annoying as all hell.

Navy and I are talking again. He apologized and I'm cool. I still have no interest in going to that Gala with anybody, so that might be some saved money staring me in the face.

Well...I'm about to go take some successive naps until its time for me to pick up "Rock" Jr./Baby J.

workin' the poll

I feel like stir fried crap!!! Both J and I caught something...I don't really have a clue what it is but we're hacking and sniffling in harmony. That didn't stop us from arriving at the polls at 6 AM. We only waited for an hour and 20 minutes...30 minutes of that time was in the rain, so that probably didn't help. We got our joint paper ballot in and our "I voted" stickers and went on with our lives. He to a fun day of skating; me to a completely hellish day at work. It's almost over. No festivities for me. I'm about to get drugged.

day in the life of...

So, its already been established that I ain't wrapped too tight, right? I mean, even before I decided to dress up as Prince, right? Good! Let me just say...Prince is THE man! Not b/c he's a musical genius or anything. Not b/c Pur.ple Rain is considered a classic, all horrible acting considered. I've seen this man perform twice in my life. And while I was so in awe of his talent and his ability to hypnotise his audience with his heavily guy-linered eyes alone, I neglected to take notice that this dude gyrates, humps, splits, slides, kicks...heck, he probably even sex-es...in high heels. After only walking for less than 8 hours in my high heel boots, I was ready to throw in the towel.

Even still, yesterday was one of my top 5 days for 2008. I had a ball being somebody else. I believe that I was in competing range of J's excitement to be Ana.kin Sky.walker. I didn't really do the "Halloween thing" growing up. I never went trick-or-treating and the only costumes that I remember having (around J's age) were Wonder Woman and Strawberry Shortcake. Once I became a teenager, the only haunted house I would go to was the one that I could time exactly when the guy with the chainsaw would jump out ('cuz I don't do scary too well).

When I walked into work, J's guitar in hand, I got a standing ovation. I knew then that I had a good chance for the prize. I was in the company of Sar.ah Pa.lin, the moose she shot (lol), Joe the Plum.ber, the Bride of Fran.kenstein, V for Vend.etta, Ugly Betty, the cast from Alice in Wonder.land, and the guys (including the Wizard) from the All.tel commercial. That's only a few, b/c some of them were characters from movies that I hadn't seen. This being my second Halloween at the firm, I've learned to do it big. Peeps are kinda crazy 'round here, but we work hard. So when the company says that we can play...oh, we PLAYS!

Needless to say, I got very little work done. In the past, we've gone as a group to the nearby mall and paraded around...lookin' like a bunch of cornies. But since the office moved, these jokers suggested a new locale to look stupid and I just wasn't feeling it.

Me and Goth Girl (dressed as the Bride of Frankenstein) decided to grab some lunch at this hole-in-the-wall that I like. Now, the last time that we went, it was not crowded at all. The place only has 9 tables. Yesterday, and of course yesterday, 8 of those 9 tables were filled. This older lady saw us walk in and bust out laughing. So much for having a quiet lunch. 10 minutes later, she walked over to me and said that I had the best costume that she's ever seen and went on and on for about 5 minutes. She couldn't believe that my hair was actually my hair, for some reason. But was morseo drawn to my mustache...which I had to retouch at least twice. She eventually leaves with (who I assume to be) her husband. Can you believe....she came BACK 15 minutes later with a camera and a writing pad, begging to take my picture. So, I grabbed my guitar and threw her a couple of poses. She wanted my email address...she gave me some story why, but I didn't care b/c I just wanted to finish eating. Lol, she emailed me the photos that she took of me and bragged about how fantastic I am. I wondered, "Is THIS what Prince goes through on a regular basis?" Nah, he wouldn't have ever given up the contact info...especially to fanatics like myself!

Finally, it was time for the chili cookoff/costume contest. I had been waiting to taste some chili all week, but I was kinda anxious about the costume contest. Many people said that I had their vote (without so much as a promise of no new taxes, lol), but I didn't know if I was about to be bamboozled b/c of the Bradley Effect, lol. Anyway, I won!!! But these mofos wanted me to bust some celebratory Prince moves. Fugg that...my feet hurt and Prince was having cramps all day AND he JUST started his cycle. They got the deuce and a smile. I won a $30 gift certificate to a Mex.can restaurant...eh, it wasn't a new drill, but still appreciated. I'm not that big on Mex.ican so I guess that I'll just treat my friends to some burritos next week.

I couldn't WAIT to sling those boots off once I walked through my door. I thought about trick-or-treating in full gear but I got hills in my neighborhood...so yep, that wasn't going down. Boots came off, makeup came off...that lacey sh*t 'round my neck, ripped off. I pushed the hair out of my face, put on my fave jogging suit and my sneakers and was ready to go. J and I trick-or-treated for a couple of hours...as my fingers froze to my heavy-duty flashlight. We had fun. I love my wooded 'hood. It's VERY family-oriented but DAYUM, when are we getting some m-n-f-in' streetlights?! I wondered, "What would Prince do?"

Prince would probably trick-or-treat by strobelight.