my lil cub

So um...I'm trying to get this blog out **looking over shoulder** during halftime, lol. Unfortunately, my baby's pack meeting conflicted with THE game...the night that I can actually watch these beasts play on TV, he's getting his first badge.


Best believe, I was rushing the ceremony. Den moms stopped to talk, while J was lollygagging with his buddies. It just wasn't looking too good for the home team. Plus, my dad was ringing my phone, trying to figure out why we weren't camped out in front of the TV during this "national holiday", lol.


Anyway, I am so proud of my baby. But uh, I'm 'bout to get back to these Saints!!!

11 N.O. Geaux, SAINTS!!!

ponderings

Well, this has been another easy-going day. I spent a lot of time...just sitting in silence, reflecting on my life. I thought about how blessed I am to be where I am, but still have a distance to go to truly be where I want. However, I will celebrate the NOW and not live my life in wait mode.

I cannot believe that December is damn-near here and 2009 is almost over. I'm glad that it is, but I still intend on finishing strong. There's no sense in catching bullets with my teeth for the past 11 months and then deciding to crawl under the covers during the 12th. I'm in a good mood, so I just hope to maintain it throughout the month and welcome 2010 with all the hopes that I didn't have for 2009 going in.

My dad is coming up on the 18th or the 19th and even my stepmother is going to make a guest appearance in VA after her 2 year hiatus. She has yet to see my not-so-new house. Somehow J was able to make her feel guilty for not spending Christmas with him and PawPaw. I think that there is still this divide between "his grandchildren" and "her grandchildren". He already let her know, waaaaayyyyyy back when I got my job offer and decided to stay in VA longer, that he was spending Christ.mas with J...whether she was on board for the trip or not. This shall be interesting. My dad has already claimed J's bottom bunk and told me that my stepmother can sleep with me. HA! No bueno. I will happily give up my bed and either sleep in my loft or on my sofa downstairs b/c we ain't doing the "JJ and Mich.ael".

I love my dad but I always have to get mentally prepared for his visits. He likes to think that he can run his house and mine too. I have no problem with reminding him who's name is on ALL of the bills that come here...I just need to practice my delivery. I can be kinda raw when he pushes my buttons and since my stepmother is coming, I can just hear her trying to soothe things and step in and start every sentence with, "Well, you know how your dad is..." Screw that. I don't have eggshells on the floors in my house. We can have it out now and see our respective therapists later, lol.

I'll just make sure that his list of things to do around my house keeps growing so that he won't have time to nag the hell out of me (like he does ALL the time) or rearrange my furniture before I get home from work (like he's done before) or start drilling holes in my wall without asking (again, like he's done before). I got a gang of leaves in my back yard that will take him 3 days to rake, pile, and bag up alone. Plus, he's already been summoned to fry a turkey or 2. I just need to add things that don't require him to take something apart or work with electricity. He somehow blew a fuse and my outlet in my sunroom does not work anymore...and he neglected to tell me that he's the reason why this is until months after he had gone back to the N.O.

With all of that said, I STILL look forward to the smile that he'll put on J's face. J's neighborhood friends are moving away and he's having a hard time dealing with that. I've tried to comfort him and he seems ok now. But when PawPaw comes to town, he loses his mind.

The only wild card left is J's dad. He's texted the same lame promises and I've maintained silence b/c well...his word is dirt to me. Let us all gather together and pray that while I am in the Christmas spirit that this dude does not make me turn into the Grinch.

lazy saturday

I woke up with good intentions this morning. I thought about priming my bathroom today, so that I could paint it tomorrow. But since I spent most of the day before, doing what I felt to be "late fall cleaning", I knew that I would take my time getting up. Now, my version of sleeping late is somewhere around 9 am...if I dare slip into the double digits, the day has gotten away from me. Especially now that the best sunlight pours into my bedroom window around 8-8:30 am.

But that knucklehead son of mine would not let me close my eyes for 10 whole minutes. I swear, if I heard "mommy" one more time, I was going to snap. This lil dude is an early riser on every day that ends in y. And the fact that he was calling me over silly stuff just made me triply-aggravated. Then again, I have been carrying this headache all day long so that has probably done a number on my level of patience. My all.eve didn't help at all.

With the exclusion of treating ourselves to IHOP, we have been couped up in the house. I have gotten reacquainted with my recliner while observing the flickering Christ.mas lights and random bios on TV. I did some online window shopping. I am debating on whether or not to buy a new dress for my company's "holiday" party. I did purchase some vinyl art: something custom made for my kitchen and a quote to go above my bed. I'll post pics of both rooms once I receive it. And finally, I did some reading. I guess that I'm trying to soak up as much relaxation as possible during this 4-day weekend.

I did see something that disturbed me while driving down my street. The house on the corner is up for sale. The older couple that lives there is so sweet...I usually see the white-haired guy walking his dog. He always stops to speak and I can also depend on him for a full report on the "goings on" around my house when he notices that my car has been missing for long periods of time. Well, the last that we spoke, he said that he might be laid off soon but he hadn't heard any final word on the matter. When I saw the "For Sale" sign up, I was wondering if that was any indicator of that final word.

I don't want to go down there and get in his business...I guess that I hope to catch him walking his dog and that the conversation will come naturally. I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, so I'll just pray that everything is alright. I really hate to lose good neighbors...and I appreciate the somewhat nosy ones.

Anyway, I am sitting here...willing this headache to go away just as much as I'm willing some magical glass of egg nog to appear.

it's beginning to...

...look a lot like Christ.mas! I don't do the "Black Eye" Day madness, so I stayed at home. I spent most of the day washing, folding, and ironing clothes, and cleaning. Thank God that I overdid it on the leftovers b/c those sweet potatoes kept me from crawling back in the bed, when I was cussing myself out for allowing those clothes to pile up like that. Then finally, J and I started decorating our humble abode.

I am IN the Christ.mas spirit.



The Pier On.e ornaments made their debut BEFORE Christ.mas this year. I handled my babies with care. We also put up the ornaments that J and I made last week, as well as, every ornament that J has made in school since Kindergarten. The great thing about the tree (which has celebrated it's 3-year anniversary) and my colorful ornaments is that I don't have to be a stickler for a color scheme. It can be eclectic without anything feeling out of place.



I just realized that I have yet to buy those fuel cans to test out my faux fireplace. I got a Home De.pot gift card waiting to get cracked open.







Even the new clock got into the spirit.

J will probably be annoyed for the next month b/c I'm gonna burn a hole in my Harry Con.nick Christ.mas CD. I JUST replaced my "Grinch That Sto.le Chris.tmas" DVD (my favorite cartoon, hands down) and got some hot chocolate, so we're ready.

If only I could figure out what I want for Christ.mas...

turkey day and a mini-curly girl wonder diary

Goodness, I am tired. Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday. I am blessed to have such great extended family. I went by this lady, Ms. Rena, that I used to work with, 2 jobs ago. She took me under her wing on my first day and dubbed herself my "work mom". Well, she put her foot in that food TODAY...every last toe.

Of course, J was thoroughly entertained.



But after 2 helpings, a couple of Cu.pid Shuf.fles and a Cha Cha Sl.ide...he was having a ball!



I was also invited over to have dinner with Tee and her fiance. She was hosting both his and her family but I was so full and so comfortable at my work mom's that I couldn't imagine leaving any sooner than I did.

So, I tried something new for the holiday...with my hair.



Somewhat new, since I still put coils in my hair. Now S23 was clowning me for FINALLY trying something new. Well, I am what one of my favorite you-tubers calls herself...a medium maintenance woman. When I could no longer wash 'n go under 10 minutes, I had to find other options. (1) Coils keep my hair moisturized and (2) I recently stretched the style out to 2 weeks and it still looked cute...2 BIG pluses in my book.

I have fallen back in love with my hair since it stopped shedding so much, but honestly I have been giving my skin more time and attention in trying to nurse it back to health. It's kinda hard for me to focus on too many things. So, my hair is great, but styling is not always at the forefront of my mind. I will watch natural hair styling youtube vids all day, but I'm mainly concerned with keeping it healthy. If I can achieve that with as little maintenance as possible and STILL look cute (b/c that is a MUST), then I'm down. So, if there are any lurkers out there that read my hair blogs...I'm sorry. I might step my styling game up soon but, who knows. But here's something to chew on...

I haven't strayed from HE and Vatika oil.

Yes to Carrots conditioner is part of my Holy Grail of products.

And, my coconut oil spritz is my claim to fame.

For right now, I'm sticking to what works until it doesn't work anymore. And the compliments that I've received makes it worth it.

Hope that ya'll had a great one! I think that I grew a "love handle".

anxiety

When I reviewed my bank statement, I noticed that the Board cashed my registration check last week. And so it begins. They have since sent me a “take-home” exam, on regs and statutes, to be returned to them as part of my application. A passing score on this is required to receive my license. This wasn’t even the last thing that I read before I fell asleep, but last night I had a dream (or nightmare) that I went in to the test site.

I walked in and saw other people that I know. A chick that I was in In.roads with, a dude that I met recently (who is also an engineer), and “ole dude” (another engineer). I didn’t speak to any of them b/c I was focused on my game. I received the test, reviewed it, completed it, with time left to spare. I turned it in and then went bowling with the In.roads chick in the hallway, as I waited for the results. Yeah…the bowling part seems odd. The proctor came to the door with a list. We all froze and waited for him to call our names, confirming that we had passed.

He shook his head, as his finger went down the piece of paper.

He said, “Well, everyone failed, except…”

I stood there, repeating my name to myself, willing him to say it. Finally, he calls me out. I was in mid-Hallelujah when he says,

“But since she misspelled her own name, we’re going to have to throw out her scores.”

WTF???

I.had.a.tantrum.

I started arguing and crying, knocking stuff off the desks…and then I woke up.

Test anxiety, much???

I do not test well. And then it doesn’t help that everyone that I poll (with the exception of 1 or 2) failed the test the first try. I asked the dude that I met recently if he had any tips or materials that I could borrow to prep for the exam. He told me that he had yet to pass the E.I.T. and then asked me for tips on that. I took that test the fall before my graduation. I was absolutely shocked when I passed. The only tip that I COULD give was pray. All of my study materials were washed away in 2005.

To say that I’m scared is an understatement.

I’m not that confident in my experience. After I graduated, I turned down a job offer in TX to be in love, play house, and stay at home with my baby J for a year and a half. And then entered the workforce, only for a natural disaster to take my place of business out after I had been there for 2 years. I move up here. Finally, I find another job after 6 months, only to discover that I hated it after 9. I emailed a contact that I made (my former supervisor) and started working at my last firm. I saw increase, received stellar performance evaluations, and then I was downsized after 2 and a half years. I twiddled my thumbs for 4 months (although I got the opportunity to go back home 3 times), and now I’m on month 3 of my stint at the new place. For someone like me…someone with such a spotty history…to be offered an interview is a blessing. But one thing that I can say, if I get the interview, then I get the job offer. I need to take whatever attitude that I take into those conference rooms into my exam site. Maybe it’s easier for me to convince others of my capabilities than it is to convince myself.

No one in my department is licensed nor is my immediate supervisor. The director of my department has a license, but I only intend on talking to him about reimbursements and other options. Aside from that, I would like to keep all of this under wraps, b/c (1) I don't know if I'm going to pass and (2) I don't want anyone thinking that I'm trying to phase them out. This has become more of a personal goal, than simply a professional one.

At any rate, I completed the “take-home” this morning and mailed it off at lunch. And now, I’m just waiting for the Board to give me the “ok” to sit for the exam.

Prayerfully, all goes well, but I don’t know if I can take 5 months of bad dreams.

one word

For some reason, there is one word that is constantly repeated in my spirit and, unfortunately, I am unable to shake it.

Humility.

I have been struggling with my spirituality for the past couple of years. Now, that's not an open door for someone to just walk through and sling some verses or Christ.ian cliches at me. I own a Bible. I recall verses.

In all honesty, my view of God lately, has been that He's inconsistent. There are certain areas in my life where I feel that He truly has His hand on the situation. There are times when He's carried me through storms, while I was ignorant of its severity. But there are other times when I feel as if I'm fighting alone and waiting on Him to ring the bell...or that I've screwed up so bad that He's just thrown His hands in the air.

I am well aware of His goodness. He has certainly shown Himself to me this year and every year. I'm just trying to organize my thoughts.

So there's a verse in Revelations...3:15, in reference to being neither cold or hot. I have been feeling lukewarm. I used to have a fire. Since it flickered, my faith has been sinusoidal. B/C of this, I sometimes feel as if I don't have the rights to anything. Yet, at the same time, I get mad...as if I believe that God owes me SOMETHING.

Maybe this is where the humility comes in. I can't turn a corner without my blessings in sight, but I focus more on what I haven't gotten an answer to or what has yet to be resolved.

the funny things about face.book

While reading this blog, I was brought back to those negative emotions that I displayed on here towards J's dad. He was actually my friend on FB, b/c it was convenient. I wasn't about to mail a picture of J, so he had access to J's photo album and could puff his chest out and act as if he's been some big help while looking through the pics, I guess. Well after my angry post last week, I clicked my mouse so hard that I almost broke it when I defriended him. I'm laughing about it now b/c I'm tickled with the things that we do on face.book...and how serious it's gotten.

I joined a little over a year ago...under duress, lol. My girlfriend set up my account and then "friend"ed herself. Not too long after, it seems that every person that I may have even glanced at in high school were sending friend requests. And then there were those people that I really had to think long and hard as to how I knew them. Soon my mysp.ace addiction was satiated and I was on to something new. There are a lot of things that I like about the site, but there are also things that I can do without. I'm going in...

1. I can do without the hug requests, smile requests, or any of those other "cutesie" requests. I'm still scratching my head over the point of it all, but to each his own.
2. I do not play Mafi.a Wa.rs, Fa.rmville, Sor.ority Li.fe, etc. If there's any way to control MY not receiving a request, I would greatly appreciate it. I REALLY could do without them. Please and thank you.
3. I can do without the undercover brothers. When I post a pic or update my status, instead of commenting below it like everyone else, they wanna shoo-shoo over email. This would be fine if the emails didn't say, "Girl, you got me thinking some things..." Yeah, I'm thinking some things too...like, "How's the wife and kids?"
4. I can do without the status messages that try to police other people's status messages. Let them do them and you do you. The "Hide" button has been a close friend of mine...but then you have to wonder. If I'm hiding them, why am I friends with them?
5. I said #4 but people DO lack sense these days. I can REALLY do without the status messages that allude to your getting or having just got "some". You sir, are a lame.
6. I can do without the friend requests after I comment on a mutual friend's page. No...you are their friend. We have never met. (This doesn't apply to bloggers that I frequent but have never met...I welcome you all.)
7. I can do without being tagged on EVERY doggone picture that I am in. I have de-tagged myself for a reason. Or worse yet, someone that's not even IN the picture, will tag me b/c...it was such a gross mistake for me to NOT be tagged. Please mind yurn!
8. I like how one friend of mine, who met J's dad through me, was friends with him on FB long before I even knew that he had an account. And then is all up in his photo album, commenting on pics of J, talking 'bout how J looks just like him...blah, blah, blah. Say word? So ya'll cool like that??? Please note that I'm looking at you real crazy right now...and am wondering if I can do without you.
9. I can really do without the jacked-up face.book "upgrades". Do us all a favor and just leave well enough alone.
10. I am currently doing without the "Honesty Box"...but I am open to someone explaining why they like them and if someone ever said something juicy in their box...and did a torrid affair ensue? Just curious.

Any more???

the juices part 2

Continuing my artsy fartsy ramble from here...

I performed the "morning after" test...

I looked to my left...



I looked to my right...



And everything was right with the world.

I spent most of today coaching J on his presentation for his science project.



THE SNACK MACHINE

...able to pour snacks and cereal into a bowl...and leap tall buildings. Exciting, hunh? All of the components were found around the house. I think that we (I mean, he) got this in the bag.

So, those home improvement projects that I mentioned a while back...I think that I'm on the move. I called Tee and asked her where she found her backsplash tile. I really love how colorful it is and wanted to do something similar since my kitchen colors are about the same as hers. She was more than helpful and mentioned that she could probably get me a discount since she's an inter.ior de.signer. Score! So, I just need to take some measurements and see what the total damage will be.

I just have to really motivate myself to paint my bathroom...again. I think that I'm going to make it the same shade of green that's in my hallway.

Believe it or not, those art classes helped. Here I was, thinking that everything that I do revolves around J but those classes made me remember my own interests and how therapeutic they can be.

Although the best part was spending quality time with J, I got to spend some much needed time with me.

the juices

Yes, I got the creative juices flowing! Today, was J and I's last art class for the month. The topic? Painting gourds. I wasn't too thrilled but when the teacher said that we can turn them into Christ.mas ornaments, I was in there like swimwear.

But of course, J, had to show off and do more than was tasked.


He chose to make 2 ornaments. The second one from the left is named Pablo. I have no idea why. Anyway, the green and red may actually be visible on our tree, but that last one may have to be strategically-placed, lol. Bless his little heart, he was having fun. I, on the other hand, was scoping out the competition and then decided to do my own thing.




I only did 2, but the teachers were quite impressed. The director of the program got her camera and took a pic of J and I's gourds. It's safe to say that arts and crafts is my thing.

J: Mommy, is that you when you were a little girl?
Me: No baby, we didn't wear scarves in the N.O., lol.

So, I'm getting my mojo back on the design tip. Home.goods just had a grand opening on the We.st End. Before now, I would constantly see commercials for this store...salivate over the stuff that they would advertise...and then get mad b/c the nearest one was in northern VA. Not anymore. I rolled through there at lunch on Friday and it was complete pandemonium. People were practically dropping down from the ceiling tile and scaling the building. It was THAT serious! They had a lot of Chris.tmas stuff, but it's against my religion to buy Christ.mas decor pre-Christ.mas. Anyway, they had so many shiny, pretty things that I was like a kid in a candy store. I believe that I may have even gotten misty-eyed.

Normal women splurge on clothes, shoes, and purses. I splurge on housewares.

So, I'm looking around and I hear something whisper, "LB!"


It was love at first sight. I threw that joint under my arm as if I were stealing it. It was the only one on the shelf. At least 2 ladies stopped me to gaze at the clock. That's cool, but if they made any fast moves, I would've been on the news...over a clock. This isn't a game, lol.

I've already welcomed it to the family...it seems pretty happy on my chocolate wall.



It's not so clear in this pic, but it blends in lovely. If I had a word to describe my taste, I would say "fun". I would love it if I had more sophisticated tastes but I gravitate towards a lot of bright colors...and there's nothing like walking around your house and seeing something that makes you smile. I've browsed at many a "chic" room and admired it from afar, but I can't change what I like. Speaking of that, I slid on over to Pi.er One, my lover, and copped some hotness!



Truth be told, I hate dressing windows. I had these faux wood blinds installed over every window shortly after I moved in, b/c there were absolutely no window coverings. I was good with that, but I recognize that panels do soften a room and can make a wall pop all at the same time. The issue that I have with window dressing is that some curtains are so heavy or solid or serious-traditional, formal-looking. It's hard for me to carry my "fun" theme on to panels. Anyway, my new bedroom...



Leezie (and some of her readers) gave me the side-eye for throwing an orange pillow on the bed with blue walls. So, I understand that my bedroom is not for sensitive eyes. I'm weird...I do not like patterns on comforters (or big pieces like sofas) b/c I know that my taste can change with the wind. But I have yet to put up a solid panel in the house. Anyway, my new panels bring out Leezie's blanket superbly, IMO...although it's hard to tell in that picture. I fall in love with that shade of blue, more and more everyday.

I'm in the middle of trying to hang another curtain in my loft and well...it's not working out. I'm going to have to stare it down for another day or 2, perhaps, before I make a move.

But the juices are back!

perspective

My childhood "play cuz", C, called me this evening to tell me that his younger brother died in his sleep this morning.

C's mom, Ms. M, and my mom were best friends in Cha.ttanoo.ga. Ms. M has 4 children, this brother, Ev, being the youngest at 26. Me and C are the closest in age and he lives about an hour or so from me. We just had dinner last Saturday, during which he mentioned going to visit and spend time with Ev for the holidays.

Last week, I walked in on a convo amongst moms when I picked up J from drama class. They were discussing just how horrible 2009 has been. I can say that 1999 was probably the worst year of my life. 2005 was a bitch. But 2009 has just been a challenge. I've had my fair share of ups and downs this year...but I'm still here.

I have all these child-like visions of heaven. Since I remember my mom joking around with Ev the most, I hope that she was a part of his welcoming committee...with his favorite, Oreos, in hand.

As for the rest of us...we're still here.

RIP EM

IMO Thursdays - Focus

A huge reason why we fail to achieve certain goals is b/c we neglect to turn the steps required into habits. And the reason they don't become habits is b/c we're too short-sighted and don't focus on the big picture.

I've seen relatives and friends alike go on diets to lose weight, but not to tack on 5 years to their lifetime. Saving is an afterthought b/c we'd rather have a new wardrobe now than to take advantage of compound-interest that can afford a larger wardrobe later. We'll make these New Year's resolutions b/c, well, they sound like a good idea to make...but by February we're onto something new, as opposed to, renewing our spirit.

I will keep this short, so I won't even begin to speak on diets or resolutions.

I am a saver. I am a consistent saver b/c I have made it a habit. While collecting unemployment for those 4 months, I still managed to save. Why? B/C if I didn't, it just wouldn't feel right. I also pay more than the minimum monthly on my student loans. This didn't stop, as well, b/c I had gotten used to paying more. Once I'm debt-free, I'll have more money to save. With more money in my savings accounts, I can afford to do almost anything that I want.

So I am sitting here, reviewing my numbers in my son's educational fund and am feeling pretty pleased with the increase. This is an investment in his future that can chart the course to greatness. Maybe he'll grow up to be some hot shot that will take care of me...handsomely. At any rate, I have learned to live without the money diverted into this account. Anything left after paying bills and saving can THEN go to whatever I desire. Bottom line...

Wealthy people, pay themselves FIRST. Not Ma.cy's, Tar.get, Wal-M.art, etc. This can become a habit, if the focus is on the big picture.

Oftentimes, we gaze through a microscope...trying to make a big deal out of small things. I say, get out your telescope and focus on the stars.

Simply IMO...

a few words on the not-so-new guy

I’m a people-watcher. I don’t sit in coffee shops or bars and watch people. I watch the people that could potentially impact my life. How many times have we heard someone say that actions speak louder than words? But how often do we take time to observe those actions before things become complicated?

I don’t impress easily. Telling me that I'm pretty doesn't move me. Now, if you sweet-talked me in high school…and college, to some extent…you might've been on my radar and your word might've been gospel. But I have since come to learn that a lot of times, people are just talk. They love to talk. They love to hear themselves talk. Or they talk about things that they think you want to hear.

I remember being in Ho.me De.pot. There was this man in there that would find himself in my aisle one-too-many times. Well, I went down another aisle and picked up a floor heater.

He says, “I would love to know if those things will work for my house. You see, I have a really big house with high ceilings.”

**Blank stare** I guess that I was supposed to change my draws after that one. I rolled my eyes when he tried to get my number. As soon as a guy starts talking about what all he has, I assume that he doesn’t feel confident enough in himself to think that who he is will be enough to attract me.

And who is he exactly?

I still wouldn’t know after one or two dates. All I would know is that the guy may be of some interest to me. Ladylee said something to me, years ago, about needing to see how a person lives. That was some meat and potatoes advice b/c I was chewing on that for a minute...still trying to digest all of it.

When Jesse first approached me, he already knew (through Tee) that I was trying to do some yard improvements. So that was his angle. He offered to do all kinds of projects b/c that was his hobby. While we were dating, guess what project got done? Nar’y one. And if that wasn’t enough, I asked him to do something that was VERY important to me…explained why it was important to me from an emotional standpoint. He said that he would. Did he ever do it? Nope. So that was that. I didn’t even feel strongly enough to give him the common courtesy of telling him to his face that we were no longer dating. I just didn't feel as if I owed him a damn thing. But I don’t fault him. I fault myself. If I had taken the time to truly observe who he was and how he lived, I could’ve saved myself the trouble. He was never a man of action.

And that’s what I need.

That’s how I’m getting burned with J’s dad.

So, I’m taking my time with the new man friend or not-so-new man friend. People have assumed that he and I don’t talk anymore. Since I don’t mention him much on blog, we can't possibly be talking. Well we do…very often. I don’t mention him on blog as often b/c I don’t need to share every detail of every conversation that we have…I’d be here all day. But more importantly, some things are best left offline and between us. So I apologize if that makes my blog 10 times more boring.

But the truth of the matter is, I’m still observing. Unfortunately, by his living in the N.O. and my being here, that makes it a little hard. But it does give me more time to get my mind right. His visit wasn’t long enough for me to get a true representation and I’m sure that he can say the same about me. But I don’t know when he’ll visit again and I have no idea when I’m going back home. I can’t really make a fair assessment about the future without truly seeing how he lives. I enjoy talking to him and he has become a confidant. But there are some things that I still need to know. Is he progressing towards his goals? How solid is his word? Is he proactive? He's mentioned a few things that he would like to accomplish. He shouldn't have ever told me that b/c now he's on the clock. If he can't handle his own business, that speaks volumes...even more than he can ever say on the phone. I can sell myself as the most patient person in the world and be very convincing…but observe me at a stoplight or my facial reaction when someone uses the word "chillax", lol.

So our motto is, one day at a time. We have agreed on one thing…if the worst case scenario is that we’re just really good friends, then that’s still a sweet deal.

this woman's work

I spent today doing everything BUT work. Tuesdays are my early days so I get, at least, an hour to myself to think before everyone starts rolling in at 8. But I scheduled my drive-thru gyne appointment (I was in and out of there in 30 minutes) for this afternoon, so I was sitting at my desk dreading that and not concentrating on too much of anything else...work-related.

J has a science project due soon. He has to build a simple machine. What happened to the quarterly 5-min oral presentations? He used to ace those. Simple machines? This SHOULD be an ace-in-the-hole for me but I am in a creative rut.

I re-read the worksheet. It states:

The project is for your child (with the help from you) to create a simple machine using any supplies you can find.

I'm thinking, this woman MUST be talking to ME...trying to REMIND ME on the slick.

When I was 10 y/o, I had to choose a bird and do a huge project for my gifted class. When I say huge, I mean, I had to write a paper, do an oral presentation, write and perform a song, create a board game that quizzed my classmates on facts learned from my presentation, and sculpt a model of the bird. It was nuts!

My mom hijacked that project. Now, this was waaaaaaayyyyyyyy back in the day...when cavemen roamed the earth and people actually went to the library and used ENCYCLOPEDIAS to do research. My mom turned me loose on the paper and didn't so much as coach me for the oral presentation. I guess b/c those were the more boring portions of the project. But the song? There was a popular creole/cajun-sounding rice commercial, at the time. She modified the lyrics, so that I was singing about a mockingbird instead. Yep, it was a stretch but I still have that song in my head to this day. She gave me the idea to base my boardgame off of Ch.utes and Lad.ders and MAY have allowed me to color some inconspicuous part on the board in the far corner. And as for the bird...she had the wise idea to do paper mache. She let me play around with the concoction and even let me place some soaked paper on the model, here and there. But when it came time to paint it after it dried, I don't remember painting anything on it aside from a black dot on his beak. Now, who do you think was more anxious to find out what my grade was?

So, I was sitting at my desk today, laughing to myself. I have this notebook that I keep with me at work. I usually write meeting notes, project ideas, things I need to remember, things I've already done, etc. and, unless I'm on vacay, I have to have an entry for everyday to keep track of my progress or else I feel out of sorts. This morning, in the quiet, I wrote down 5 things that I wanted to ask my supervisor when he got in. But when he got in, I was sketching out J's project at the bottom of that same page, scribbling notes and arrows as if this was a plan to take over the world, lol. I was trying to think of a task that he commonly does at home and a simple machine that would make that job easier.

I googled my ass off, but I couldn't find websites that did the damn project for me. It's a shame. I can find out people's addresses, phone numbers, and whether or not I should "dontdatehimgirl.com" but I can't find a flippin' "how-to" third grade science project.

I ended up settling on a design that will use 2 simple machines to pour cereal in a bowl. I figure that we'll use his Legos, some cardboard, and 'rig the other items.

I hope this mess works and I hope J cooperates...he gets on my nerves, always trying to do his own daggone projects, lol.

good girl gone bad

So, the lady that I was supposed to do contract work for in DC contacted me on Friday night…to talk about nothing. In fact, it was a little weird. I had already turned down a contract job that she offered me (after I signed on with my current employer) b/c it would bog down my schedule and also present a conflict of interest that wasn’t worth the potential consequence. Anyway, I think that we’re “girlfriends” now. I guess that we have enough in common, being both engineers and the single parents of boys. She’s coming down here to Rich.mond in December and wanted to get together. I see no problem with this, b/c whether we form a business relationship or not, I’m all about staying connected. Connections have certainly helped me to transition from one season to another…especially since she is of bi-coastal influence, East Coast and uh…Gulf Coast, lol.

She asked me of my progress towards getting my professional license. Well, I FINALLY submitted all of my application material TODAY. I feel all kinds of butterflies in my stomach. This has been years in the making. This is my golden ticket, my chance to eventually move back home with, prayerfully, more financial stability.

I’m glad that I started gathering my materials early b/c my former employer took about 5 mango seasons to respond to my request. I had to email her to inquire of the status. And guess what? She said that while working on her thesis to complete the requirements for a Masters degree in December, she hadn’t had time! It was 4 questions and one of those questions was “What’s your name?” And after I emailed her, she mailed them to me WITH her signature but WITHOUT answering those questions. But I don’t expect my “little stuff” to be anybody else’s priority but my own…that’s why I had to hound her.

I love this lady. She is still a mentor to me. But I remember when I used to work for her years ago. She was a bull-dog in the boardroom. Nice, but she turned on the ‘tude when she had to. I remember thinking, “Why is this lady so brash, so mean?” And I remember naively thinking that you could get a lot more bees with honey than with vinegar…is that the saying? One day, while on the way back to the office from a meeting in the CBD (Cen.tral Bus.iness Dis.trict), she schooled me on the evolution of the female attitude in male-dominated fields. The scene was akin to “Train.ing Da.y”, lol. She said that you start out sweet, ready to hit the ground running, but after so much b*llsh*t, you start to harden. With time, you develop a thicker skin as men refer to you as a “b*tch on wheels” while you’re just trying to prove yourself and get the job done. I remember thinking that it’s not even in my character to be mean. I certainly don’t like conflict. I’m just going to keep doing me and everything will fall into place.

Well, looking back…I’m not the same. I’ve had men to question my credentials, seconds after a handshake. I’ve had men to be SLOW about doing something b/c on top of me being female, I was black (yes, this was verbalized). I’ve learned that whether I have an attitude or not, people assume that I do. And my latest and greatest, was the guy that was overly-and-inappropriately-complimentary and wanted me to “sit on his lap”. I can say that my mentor’s view may not be the norm but it has been my experience. Now, I don’t go around "Kany.e"-ing at people, but “sweet” does not belong in the workplace. I am respectful, but I will throw the “people’s eyebrow” at somebody, if necessary. As a little girl, I used to practice the “don’t mess with me” look when I was in unsavory places…not sure of what I was going to do if they DID mess with me, lol. At times, I feel as if I have to do the same between 9-5, but without the same fear.

But I sometimes wonder if I can go back. Maybe it’s similar to being in relationships and after you get messed over so many times, you begin to build a wall and become more protective of your heart.

At any rate, despite all of that, I’ve had some great experiences in my career. The good has outweighed the bad. I wouldn’t trade it b/c no matter what you do, you’re bound to tango with people that you don’t like and who don’t like you. Let me know if there is a profession where this is not true. I can handle these men and I look forward to getting some new letters that shout that I’m worthy of the tango. After all, It could be worse.

I have done temporary work in an orthodontics office with 5 other black women. Now THAT was “MTV’s The Rea.l Wor.ld” conflict on steroids!

rage

I am so pissed right now that I'm in tears. It's been a while since I have been THIS mad. I won't even go into the exact reason, so I'll just send out a message.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE WATCH WHO YOU PROCREATE WITH.

I know, for some of us, it is too late. I am so mad at myself. I love my son the way that he is and I know that he wouldn't be who he is without his other half, but if I can just go back 8 years and rethink my stupid ass decisions, I would!

My phone has been ringing, but I cannot even talk to anybody until I calm down.

I don't hate this dude, but my strong dislike doesn't feel as if it can get any stronger. For someone to have such utter disregard for the people affected by their actions, and in this case, inactions is so beyond comprehension for me.

I was going to blog about something totally different but I can't even remember what it was anymore...so I thought that I'd bless anyone that cares to read with some raw emotion. Sorry, I was hoping that this would be therapeutic...so far, it isn't.

And this is a prime example of why I am so afraid of being tied to people at times. I just have to keep reminding myself that not every guy/person is like this...and I know this.

I just really need to talk to God tonight. But not about this dude.

We need to talk about me. I can't change the past. And I can't change people. All I can change is how I react and I need to better manage my emotions.

side by side saturdays

So our art teacher taught us some tricks to make some clay creatures. Dragons were pretty popular...


I guess J had the right idea. This one reminds me of Ki.ng Koo.pa from the Supe.r Mari.o Broth.ers 1 Nin.tendo Game.

And then J just loves to show me that he can work quicker than me. So, he cranked out a knight...

If I turn to the left, close one eye, squint the other, spin around real fast, and turn the lights off...I can see that that's a knight or at least, that this thing is swingin' a sword. But of course, I praised his artistic expertise...as I waited for him to tell me what it was.

But if you want to see some genius...and I mean, some REAL genius...then check out...


This RIGHT HEA is my "Diva Monster", LIVE IN CONCERT, complete with pearls, Patt.i La.belle-esque hairdo, and dress with a sweetheart neckline. She's bringin' home "And I'm Tellin' You..." by Jenni.fer Holli.day.

EVERYBODY loved my monster. Little girls walked up to me and told me so. Which goes to show you...

...there wasn't much talent in the room, lol.

Diva Monster, girl, you betta sang that song...

sweet

Parent-Teacher Conference
Teacher: **Dreamy look** Jalen is so incredibly sweet...

Note from Afterschool Care
"Jalen is really sweet and respectful..."

Message on Answering Machine from Drama Teacher
"Jalen is the sweetest kid..."




Today, J brought home his report card. He made As and Bs.

**wipes brow**

That's a relief. I thought that he was just getting by on his dimples.

IMO Thursdays - Time

Time, urgency, and desire are 3 different things; yet, time always gets the bad rap. As the saying goes, you always make time for the things/activities/people that are of high priority. My problem is that I lack the desire to do a lot of things or I procrastinate b/c I work better with a sense of urgency. I own that. I very rarely say that I don't have time to do something, b/c most likely, I just don't feel like doing it. It kinda annoys me when some people use time as a cop out.

My girlfriend called me the other day to vent about her job. She has been venting about this job since...I don't remember when...but I listened anyway b/c I figured that that is what she really needed. Her job has been a huge source of stress for her since...I don't remember when...but again, I listened as she spoke of the day's events.

This is my married girlfriend. She and her hubby just bought a house not too long, so the next step is to start a family. She's been going to the doctor and making sure that everything is straight before she attempts to get pregnant.

I asked her a question that I've asked before, hoping for a different answer. "Have you started to look for another job?" She actually said yes this time, but that she worries that there will be an issue with maternity leave if she starts a new job. Recognizing that she was paralyzed by fear, I ask, "Had you applied somewhere?" In my mind, you do things in order...apply for a job, interview at a job, be offered a job, negotiate benefits & salary. How can you be worried about something so far down the process, without first taking initiative to start the process? AND, to my knowledge, she's not even "with child" yet. For some people, that takes time as well. But anyway, her response to my verbalized question was, "Well, when am I going to have time to do it???"

Since when DON'T you have time to do it? Just admit that you've become complacent and would rather suffer through that bull than to see what else is out there. Or just admit that you don't like change...it is uncomfortable for a lot of people. And I'm guessing since her paycheck has yet to be threatened, then there's no sense of urgency to find anything new. All of that is cool, but complaining about a problem that you have given no effort to solve baffles me. Even if the solution is on the emotional/spiritual end...pray before you get out of the car, play soothing music (I guess not everyone is able to do this at work), or remind yourself daily how this particular experience is crucial to doing whatever it is you'd rather be doing and it's only a matter of time before you're living your dream.

Bottom line, jobs don't care about your stress.

I explained to her that her stress will certainly cause trauma in the womb and she had better get a handle on that before she even entertains the idea of getting pregnant. I'm hoping that that put something on her mind and will stir up a sense of urgency or desire.

Whenever you find yourself saying that you don't have time to do something, be honest about your priorities and see if they need to be rearranged. And if after that, you still lack the urgency or desire, then hold yourself accountable and own that.

curly girl wonder diaries - month 5

Today marks the beginning of my 5th month as a natural-head...which also means that I haven't relaxed my hair in a little over 8 months. This ride has had it's joys and growing pains, but today, I feel accomplished. Ever since I noticed that my shedding has eased (read here), I have been feeling much better about my decision. I want to thank everyone for their encouragement...including you, faye.

So, I tried a twist-out over the weekend. To sum it up in one word...fail. It looked dry in some areas, frizzy in others. It was a mixture of defined curls and a hot ass mess. There was no way that I was going to leave my house looking like that, so that was a wrap. My new employer is having a holiday party next month and I was trying out some new styles to dress up my look, but methinks that I'll just stick to what I know until my hair grows a bit more.

I can't go wrong with a coil-out. If it don't shine, then it's not mine, lol.


This is either 2nd or 3rd day hair. Me and Vati.ka oil are kinda boo'ed up right about now.

Anyway, my strands don't like to be manhandled too often, so my weekly regimen is working for me...which reminds me of the reason why people thought my hair grew fast when I was relaxed. I would wash my hair on Saturday and wear a roller-wrap all week. I wasn't doing anything crazy to it and I may have touched a curling iron once a week, tops. By wearing my coils for 3 days or so and then picking them out and wearing the coil-out for another 3 days, I am giving my hair a break. I'm thinking that coils will be my winter protective style and hopefully by summer, I can get back into my wash-n-go(s).

This Month's Mythbuster

If nothing is medically wrong, hair should grow...usually at a rate of 1/4" to 1/2" a month. So to read boards where someone posts something crazy like, "My hair grew 1 and 1/2" last month just by using Product A" and then reading these bandwagon-er responses is just bonkers to me. With health, comes length...concentrate on health. It's funny b/c Tee still asks me what my regimen was when I was relaxed b/c she's trying to grow her hair out. If I can give advice, whether relaxed or natural, I'm honored.

Comment of the Month

A former coworker of mine (she was given her walking papers during my round) emailed me to compliment me on my hair and ask when I cut all of my hair off. I explained that I did it right before my bday, but that it wasn't for the sake of it being short...I had given up on relaxing my hair.

Her response:

Oh my goodness, I'm glad you're not using relaxer any more. since I'm home all of the time, I sometimes watch Dr. Oz. I might cut him out though, I think he annoys me. Anyway, so just the other day he showed us how bad relaxer is for your hair. He took a paintbrush and dipped it in and it destroyed the brush. (oh looks like Dr. Oz is talking about Ovarian cancer today, guess I'll be watching.)

She's so sweet...I could hear her voice as I was reading that. She had just permed her hair before her bday, so that she could have curls. Curly seems to be "in", no matter the race.

Anyway...whether permed, relaxed, natural, loc'ed, braided, etc...just keep it healthy.

Back on track...
Curly Girl Wonder aka LB

kids today

J and I are going on a hike with the cub scouts Saturday afternoon. We're supposed to attend our Clay-mation class at the Visu.al Arts Cent.er that morning. I'm looking forward to the art class. The hike? I don't know. I don't have a problem with being outdoors...I have a problem with this group of lil dudes being outdoors. I used to think that if I should be blessed with more children that I wanted them all to be boys. Now? Eh, not so much.

We were preparing for the hike last night at the cub scout meeting.

Group Leader: "OK, I have a bag full of items that we should bring on the hike. Tell me what you think we should bring and I'll see if I have it in my bag."
Kid #1: "A Nintendo DS!"
Group Leader: "Really." **sad flatly**
Kid #1: "Well, I'm going to need something to do when I get lost."

I remember the last time that I was out in the woods. Believe it or not, it was for work. I was touring a site for future development. My coworker and I were out there crossing streams on logs, walking around deer feces, while stepping high to avoid getting tagged by twigs and sticks stuck upright in the ground. It was a gorgeous day, but those real-life animals are not as cute as they are in those Pi.xar movies. Anyway, I thought that I was doing fairly well, that is, until it was time for lunch.

We sat under a tree shortly after I bust my ass, sliding down a hill and I pulled out my sandwich and ate like I had never been fed. All of a sudden, I noticed that there were a whole bunch of bugs crawling on and around me...apparently, dropping from the tree. I didn't know what they were, but I didn't want to seem like a punk so I just dusted them off. I mean, they were small enough. And then I turned to my coworker and asked, "Um, what kind of bugs are these?"

"Oh, they're ticks."
"Ticks?! As in lime-disease carrying ticks???"

Mayne, I jumped up and started dancing like Ge.orge Jeffer.son to get those things off of me. He was all non-chalant and said, "You'll probably have to shake your clothes out when we get back to the office." And I'm looking at his For.est Gu.mp-looking ass, pissed the hell off! May I just say that I live and work around a bunch of hillbillies.

I only saw maybe 2-3 of them at the time, but those bugs were hiding in places that required me to strip...in the bathroom...at work. I found a couple hiding underneath my bra...in my socks...and the waistband of my draws (excuse me, panties...lol). I was mostly concerned about them being on my scalp and kept feeling around my hair. After I thought that I had shook dem haters off, I breathed a sigh of relief.

And then I got home...

I was playing a game with J in his room and I noticed that my back kept itching. I assumed that it was a mosquito bite. And then something said, "go check." Apparently, this was the alpha tick, b/c he wasn't going anywhere. I didn't have tweezers, but I had acetone. So, I soaked a cotton ball with acetone and drowned him in it. The tick was dead, but he was still lodged in my back.

I couldn't contort myself to get the damn thing out and I wasn't about to suffer any more injury at the hands of J. So, I let him stay there. When I went back to work, I asked my bruh-coworker to help me get the tick out of my back. After being hemmed up in a car with him...with my shirt over my head, while he was trying to tweez the tick out of my back but ONLY got half of it (looking mad suspect, I should add)...I was disgusted. I ended up having to go to the doctor and paying over $100 for her to remove it.

So, I'm going to enjoy this hike on Saturday but if I have to choose between a tick and a lost kid...well, I hope that he remembered to pack his games.

...go all the way...

I was 13 y/o. At that time, my parents were separated and my mom and I were living with this couple...that I often refer to as my "other parents". I often tagged along with their son and his skateboarding friends, who were all 4 years older than me. On Sundays; however, I would hang with the dad and whatever drinking buddies that he had over and watch the Sai.nts game. I believe that this was when Bobby He.bert was the quarterback and J.im Mor.a was the coach. Back then, I was a serious fan BUT it felt as if I were having a heart attack EVERY GAME. Games much like the one tonight against Caro.lina, or even the one against Miami, would've gone down entirely different 18 years ago. Somebody would've scored 50 + points by the end of it and chances are, that team was NOT the Sain.ts.

But I would holler with the best of them sans beer back then. That is, until my mom told me that I needed to stop watching b/c I was getting too emotional. That was probably my fault for actually verbalizing that I felt my chest tightening, lol.

So here we are, charging our way to the Superbo.wl undefeated. Unfortunately, I've had to stream the games from my computer, for the most part. But I have the FB homepage up at the same time, so I can make a quick "smack-talking" update. Trust, I enjoy a win. I was sitting over here, spitting all sorts of happy expletives afterwards...to myself b/c J doesn't care about football. But honestly, if we lost, I would've been fine with that too b/c we've come so far. It's not even about being undefeated. These boys have heart. Heart and momentum have been the dangerous combo plaguing their opponents. I am so proud to be a New Or.leanian and I'm proud of those boys.

Now, I have a friend that said that while at an away game, he overheard a fan of the opposing team say, "Now we're going to finish what Ka.trina started." I understand that people get really passionate about sports...afterall, I had the chest tightening incident of '91. But I can't even begin to stress how f'ed up this statement is. Forget what my family and I lost b/c of Katri.na...people actually lost their LIVES. And if anyone is that damn insensitive, their team should get the breaks beat off of 'em and that fan deserves an old-fashioned ass whipping and a few swipes to the head with a bag of nickels.

So, two life lessons come to mind:
(1) DON'T BE STUPID! and
(2) Don't allow something temporary to cause you to suffer permanent effects.

will draw for food

A couple of weeks ago, J brought home a form from school, advertising drawing classes. I looked at the cost of tuition and had to bring down the hammer on that one. As much as I would love to see him grow as an artist, my money is already tied to his other activities. Plus, I figured that drawing is something that he could practice on his own time.

I remember being in awe of my mom's freehand sketches as a little girl. I believe that I even asked her to teach me how to draw like that. I started requesting coloring books that had the best pictures...not necessarily the cartoon characters that I enjoyed. I sat in my room and I stared at those pictures and attempted to sketch them instead of color. My mom saw the drive in me and just encouraged me by making a big deal out of my "talent", lol. Even if I had a stick figure on a white piece of paper, it was a work of Picasso to her. So, I kept at it. Next thing you know, I sold a painting in the Fren.ch Quar.ter for $20 when I was 13 y/o. You would've thought that I sold it for $2000. Anyway...

Earlier this year, I discovered that the local visual arts center was offering free parent-child art classes. I signed J and I up for them b/c you can't beat free with a bat. And, of course, he and I both enjoy stretching our creativity. We took pre-Columbian clay sculpture, batik, cartooning, knitting, and hula-hooping (don't ask, but I got hit in the head with a hula-hoop a few times when we were supposed to be decorating them). Even though J and I had creative differences, it was interesting to see his little mind at work and his ideas come to life. When I saw that they were offering those classes again, I had to sign us up.

Today, we took cartooning again. We had a different teacher. We learned how to draw cartoon characters, their profile, their figures, and their figures in action. At the end of the class, we had to draw a comic strip. The last time that we took this class, I drew a little girl that I named "Pen.elope Pon.ytail", who could shoot fire through her "Pippi Long.stocking-like" ponytails. Today I decided to draw a teacher choking a kid that placed a whoopee cushion on her chair. As a teenager, I won a city-wide contest for creating a cartoon strip that warned against drunk driving. So, I know what I'm doing...lol. However, both art instructors from each session probably walked away thinking that I was a few cards short of a good deck. J, on the other hand, was in awe of my work and once again I was Pica.sso.

I watched as J conversed with the instructor about his idea. He really enjoyed this class and has been motivated to practice sketching since we've been home. Now understand this, he draws like the average 8 y/o but no matter what, I praise his work as if it's the best that I've ever seen. I always hoped that one day, he would grow to surpass my skill and actually take it farther. I've dreamed of seeing his work in a museum or his name in the credits for some cartoon on Dis.ney. I've often thought of how beautiful it will be to see someone in my family FINALLY make use of a gift.

But once I get my head out of the clouds, I realize that it's already bigger than that. The beauty has been in the bond.

curly girl wonder diaries - what gives

So, it's Friday...just got paid...and the party is at the crib. It's SPA night. As time passes, I get incredibly lazy, so I haven't done any ayurvedic treatments in...I don't know when. I've just co-washed and deep-conditioned overnight...only to get up Saturday morning and do the single-strand twists and pray that the style lasts a week.

This is a pic of 3rd day hair...or is it 6th day hair? I washed last Saturday, coiled it up, wore the coils until Tuesday, picked them out on Wednesday and this is tonight's hair before my co-wash.



I've been doing this for weeks. This caters to my laziness, plus, I wanted to minimize as much manipulation as possible, considering the amount of shedding I had been experiencing. Speaking of which, it stopped. Well, not altogether but the shedding that I see now seems more natural. I don't know if it was the change in seasons, hormonal shift, stress, or a combo of the three but it has slowed up. I'm trying to remember if I shed as much during the early fall as a permie, but I don't recall. It could've been normal and my stressing over it probably didn't help things. Anyway...

So, I've been doing the coil-outs so much that I couldn't tell how full my hair has gotten. Unfortunately when I was sick, I didn't feel like doing too much of anything for long periods of time. Add to that, I somehow stabbed myself in the eye. I keep having eye issues, it seems. My right eye was bothering me, so I took my right contact out and just walked around like the one-eyed bandit. Well, I should've put my glasses on to do my weekend coils b/c by the time that I COULD see out of both eyes, it was no bueno. So, I had to improvise that week.


You can almost see that my right eye looks a little lazy. When it was red, my coworkers thought that I had the swine flu of the eye.



An ode to my forehead.



And...the back of my 'fro and those 2 big stars, my gunz!

Just look at how much it's grown since June...



Honestly, I didn't realize that my hair was THAT low cut until I was flipping through my photo albums. So, it looks like I'm back in the saddle again...and may have to have some more "happy accidents" with my 'fro more often.

IMO Thursdays - Silence

Ever see this? Central character and his adversary are in a physical confrontation during the climax of a movie. The adversary pulls out a gun, sets the stage for the quickest way to dead his opponent…clear shot and everything. But INSTEAD of just pulling the trigger, this dude will explain WHY he is going to shoot him, HOW he masterminded whatever scheme that led up to this moment, WHAT he’s going to do AFTER he kills the dude, WHO he’s going to frame for it…hell, on down to how he felt unloved as a child and what he had for breakfast. I have time to get up, go to the bathroom, buy some nachos and a super-piss drink, come back and this mofo is STILL talking! Or worse yet, the antagonist will drop the gun and get all Jet Li/Jackie Chan. Hmmmm…I just can’t imagine myself in a life or death situation and then I decide that I’ll forego my piece for an honorable fight with my fists. Damn that…if I’m gon’ “off” you, I’m not taking any chances of getting boxed in the face or getting my grill kicked out in the process. Now, I’m not a film buff but Ste.vie Won.der can see that this buys time for the impending power shift b/c, of course, the protagonist HAS to save the day. Without scenes like this, some movies will only last for 30-45 minutes…if THAT long. I know this but this scenario annoys the hell out of me EVERY TIME.

Now, this is a movie. And this is obvious b/c it’s a movie. But why do we take so long to figuratively “dead” people, who are of no good to us, in real life? What is the pay off in dragging out a situation, long past its expiration date? We’re so concerned about our physical health…with good reason. We’ll throw out bread that begins to mold. We’ll pour out milk that begins to curdle. And as far as I know, rotting fruit has never been the business. I bet if we’d stop stomaching some of the things that affect our emotional health with half as much conviction, we’d find that a lot of the bellyaching could’ve been avoided.

Here’s what I’ve noticed…some people are unaware of how much power they hold in a situation. They have the gun in the palm of their hand, but will unknowingly relinquish it. I have a girlfriend, who was dating some jerk…nothing uncommon for her. Well, dude disrespected her. The manner in which he did it was a deal breaker. This broad writes him a 4-page letter/email explaining WHY she was upset, WHAT he did to make her upset, and HOW she deserves to be treated. Maybe I give men too much credit, but chances are, she didn’t include anything mind-blowing in that letter b/c he already knew better…and he probably didn’t read it anyway. I’m only guessing that the reasons that she wrote the letter were b/c she wanted some kind of closure or an apology. I’ve learned that apologies do nothing for me, especially when I’m not ready to even entertain the forgiveness process. So, what’s the point? Someone of bad character is more sorry about the revelation than the actual act. Here’s my tip…say nothing. You’ve killed the situation on your end AND the asshole doesn’t even know what’s on your mind or your next move. It’s strategic. If he’s even concerned, then you have the upper hand. And if he’s not, you’ve exited with your dignity intact, which is powerful in and of itself. Silence is a win-win.

Arguments typically consist of two people talking loud. That’s it. I’ve had my fair share of cussing matches and I couldn’t even tell you what the other person even said. And once it’s over, then what? Resolution? Not likely. People are going to believe and think what they want. No amount of loud-talking is going to change that. As I‘ve gotten older, I’ve become a woman of fewer words and a proponent of the disappearing act.

Here’s another favorite…how many times have you said or heard, “He just won’t leave me alone”? Who controls that? 9 times out of 10, dude is a nuisance, not a certifiable nutcase or stalker like we make dude out to be…though the embellishment is good for the ego, I guess, and pure entertainment for your girlfriends in the retelling of the story. If it’s truly an extreme case then, of course, the best thing is to get some authorities involved…if you REALLY feel as if your life is in danger. None of my girlfriends have ever done that, so I always assume that it is not that serious. In that case, the best way to correct not being highly-selective when issuing out your number in the first place is to STOP ANSWERING THE PHONE. I have yet to come across a guy that has not taken the hint after conversing with my voicemail or having his texts unanswered. In the meantime, save the number and set the ringer ID to silent. If you receive calls from unknown numbers, don’t answer them. He may be sitting in his house, turning the lamp light on and off and chanting, “I will not be ignored,” but I’m gonna be sleeping soundly and sipping lemonade in the shade. All of this picking up the phone to tell him to not call anymore is counterproductive. Getting riled up or angry is just what the crazies want. Dead him now, eulogy later.

In closing, be protective of your energy and recognize your power/control. B/C lawd knows, if you hold a gun to my head and then proceed to recite a monologue in the most dramatic of displays, that’s your ass.

Simply IMO.