Just my thoughts...

Just my thoughts...
The randomness that is I

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Holiday Greetings

I just want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

See you after the holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

'Tis Never The Season

If you've been reading my posts, you know I usually have a hard time during the holidays. Depression has accompanied each season for a number of years.

Well, I was bound and determined that I wouldn't be in that funk this year and it seems the more I try to fight it, the more it tries to pull me in.

Someone close to me attempted to take their life a little more than a month ago and someone I knew was successful in ending his life a few days ago. That's kind of an oxymoron, a successful death.

I've worked indirectly for this person for the last few years and though we weren't close friends, he knew and spoke to me away from the office and I was fortunate to have shared a table with him at a luncheon.

At any rate, as much as I've tried to be non-emotional, my emotions have taken over.

I want to take off some time and stay in bed all day. If I do that though, it will get worse, not better.

I'm angry. Angry that people are left to put together the pieces. Angry that some questions may never be answered.

Sad that these people felt that ending their lives could possibly be an answer. Sad that these people have mothers who are questioning themselves about their children's decisions.

Hurt for the children who don't understand what has happened. Even more hurt for the children that do.

I'm tired of being weepy. It just sneaks up on me at the most inopportune times and dammit, I'm tired of this headache!

I think one of the hardest moments in all of this, was watching the person who "offically" broke the news to us, trying to keep his composure in explaining things.

I remember a guy in college swallowing a whole bottle of pills and after they pumped his stomach, not even a day later, when I went to visit him in the hospital, he was glad someone found him in time.

NOTHING is that serious. I've had some pretty low times in my adult life and I've wanted to just get in my car and go away to a place where no one knew me, but I'm an influence in too many lives to just take myself out like that.

That's a punk move.

At the very least, think of your parents and your kids. Peace and blessings to those left to pick up the pieces.

*slams mic down and walks off*

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

*%@#$?*#!!!! I Have Road Rage

Yes, I admit it. I have road rage.

No, I'm not going to wave a gun at you or chase you down, but you WILL get a good cussing out, if you do something stupid that causes me to have a near accident. Yes, I have envisioned myself issuing a beatdown if someone does something that results in one of my kids getting hurt. I'm just telling you now, so you know...

I wasn't always this way. I'm not a bad driver either. I don't weave in and out of traffic or ride right up on someone's ass...well, unless they've cut me off *looking around*

I think this road rage thing started after I had kids. Just the thought of someone causing me to have an accident and/or hurt one of them just burns my ass.

Actually, I think it started after I was in an accident in which I was on a busy main parkway and this idiot pulled out from a side road and just slowed down in front of me. I swerved to avoid hitting him and guess what he did? Pulled forward more, I guess in an attempt to cross the parkway anyway.

Oh, I was HOT! I was in the car with my mom, sister and son. We pulled over, so as not to cause another accident and someone called the police.

While my mom and I were in front assessing the damage, el stupido was toward the back of the van, calling his lawyer dad, telling him he just hit someone and didn't have insurance. How do I know that? Oh, he was talking near the open window where my sister was sitting.

When the police officer got there and requested license and registration and everyone produced them, my sister piped up and told the officer the whole conversation dude had (that's why I could never trust her when I was in sneak mode, LOL).

Ends up that he was a licensed doctor that had been suspended from AMA (American Medical Association) for who knows what. His insurance had expired and my mom's insurance company ended up taking him to court.

Ever since then, when people do STUPID shit, I start screaming at them or mean mugging (glaring) them down. Like the woman who pulled out in front of me(again) from a parking lot yesterday, when there was fresh snow on the ground.

In my head, she got the beatdown of her life.

Yeah, I've got road rage.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remembering Billy

Billy Brents wasn't my age, nor was he anyone I hung out with. I think he was my brother's age and our families go way back.

I first really paid attention to him when he played basketball at the high school I used to go to. He was probably about 8-9 years behind me.

I remember he was a light-skinned, freckle faced cutie and his sister was the female version of him.

He was a friend of a friend's younger brother. Cool people.

I wasn't surprised to hear that after graduation, he moved (all who can, do, even for a little while) to Florida.

A couple of years passed before the next time I saw Billy. I was in the grocery store and he introduced me to his boyfriend. I was a bit surprised, but no biggie. I was more surprised to hear that he'd moved back home.

I was saddened to learn days later, that he had moved back home because he had full blown AIDS.

Did I go and sanitize the clothes I'd worn the day I hugged him? Or wash my skin with bleach? No. What he had, couldn't be "caught" by touching, hugging or even breathing the same air he breathed. I felt for him though, because he was so young.

The next time I saw Billy, it was clear that his health was getting the best of him, but still he smiled when he saw me and still, I hugged him because he was still the same old Billy.

Although we were never best buddies, I'd like to think I made some type of impact on him just by treating him the same way I always had and not judging his choices, after all,they were HIS, not mine.

I would hope that if someone you know and/or love, is gay or has contracted HIV or AIDS, that you would remember the person they were and the person they are is still one and the same and that you wouldn't look down on them.

I see ya freckle face...

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Eve

In the beginning, I was only making a roast and a key lime cake.

Then my kids complained that there are never any leftovers from grandma's except sides and they talked me into roasting a turkey breast, garlic mashed potatoes, corn pudding (again) , stringbeans (I got my youngest to snap em for me), macaroni and cheese and a key lime cake (because everyone always gets greedy at grandma's and there's none of that left over either).

And so I cook...

The beans smell wonderful. I tossed a smoked pork shank in them this time instead of turkey.

The roast is in the crock pot (shhhh, let em think I slaved).

The potatoes are peeled (WHY'D I get Yukon Gold instead of Russets? Daggone Paula Deen!)

I think I'll do the corn pudding tomorrow. Either I'll be in it or the oldest will and then I'd have to cut him.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving and take time to reflect the everyday people in your lives. Even the ones who test you.

I'm thankful that I'm getting through this with no alcohol!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Silently Screaming

I don't know if you can identify with what I'm about to say, but here goes...

Oftentimes growing up and even sometimes now, I experience people speaking over me. I can be in mid-conversation and I guess the person to whom I'm speaking, feels their conversation is more important.

I used to try and speak over them, but I'd always end up just clamming up and screaming all I had to say, silently, in my head. Now, I figure if they feel the need to talk over me, then they don't deserve my conversation at all.

It really used make me feel like a nobody. Like what I had to say had no merit, so if I wanted to be heard, I either had to make it funny or extra loud. That's why I find it so funny that people tell me all the time, that they enjoy my blog and that I'm so inspiring to them.

So if we're ever talking and I seem to be getting louder, shut up, because I've got something to say!

LOL! For real, just listen.

I wrote a poem about it. Wanna read it? Here it go! (Only fans of In Living Color will get that)

Silently Screaming

My voice is weak
Can't you hear me speak?

Do my words come out as a whisper?
Anything but a "come hither" seems to be ignored.

Are you bored?
Is my conversation not good enough?

Are my words not the stuff your time is worth of?

Sometimes I feel I have nothing to say.
Well, nothing of value, that's how you portray.

Sometimes I ramble. Sometimes I complain.
My words don't come down as falling rain.

I mostly keep my words to myself
but sometimes the words I speak are a wealth
of information

Intelligent even. Wise.
Even if not in your eyes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It Takes All Kinds: An Observance of Couples

People love differently, most realize that. I'm just putting down in writing, some things that have been in my head. Probably boring to most, but guess what? This is my spot! LOL

I've observed several couples that I'm friends with.

One couple is ridiculous with it. I wanna be them when I grow up. No matter what it is they're going through, they are there for each other, even when one of them is the issue. They are like the poster children for great couples. If she tells him something bothers her, he might not have the solution, but he asks if there's anything he can do to make it better and vice versa. When there's nothing the other can do, they give each other space, without being too far away. Some may call them whipped, I call them balanced and I (for lack of a better word) envy them because they've found what works for them.

Another couple, rarely does anything together on a daily basis, but they "date" on the weekends, go to church together and they travel together and though I've known them over 30 years, I've never heard them disagree. I'm sure they do, but you know the old school couples don't let their business be known.

Then you have the lovey dovey couple with the pet names, who sit right on each other and they are so flowery, you find yourself wishing you had allergies so you don't have to be around them. Then one day, they don't want to be around themselves and they are no longer together. My guess is that they were so busy being in love that they never really got to know each other. Again, just MY observances and theories.

There is a couple I know where the husband is HENPECKED!! I mean, I'd be surprised if dude didn't wait for her to pick out his drawls in the morning (that's underwear, for those who don't know). She's cocky with it too. Everyone knows that he clears every step he takes, with her first.

On the other side of that, is a couple where the husband doesn't let the wife do anything. She can't hang out with girlfriends because they're a bad influence. She can't join a gym, there will be too many men gawking at her, stuff like that. Basically, she can go to the grocery store and to church. These last two are no way to live, but if they like it, I love it (I personally don't see any way possible that they can be happy, but it's not my call).

Another couple I've observed for years, and it's really sad. They basically tiptoe around each other at home and each of them has a significant other outside the home. It's unfortunate, because I think that this type of household has ruined their children. The daughter is bitter about every damn thing and the son has been an alcoholic for YEARS. I wish people would care just a bit more about what they do and how they do them affects others.

The last two are sad to me...the husband is very loving, would do anything for his wife and children and she appreciates him not one iota. You always see him toting the kids, doing the grocery shopping, doing the school events, etc. She does her own thing, whatever that may be.

The last woman, I wish I could fix up with the last husband. She's not without issues, but she is very loving and devoted and does what she can to really show her man that he's always on her mind and he goes back and forth between loving on her and ignoring her. It causes her to have serious highs on her good days and sometimes dangerous lows on others. I sometimes think he's not worth the ground he walks on when it comes to relationships, he's a good man otherwise.

Again, just my observations. No criticisms. No solutions.

I guess when it's all said and done, it's about finding someone who loves you the way YOU need to be loved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I Love My Family, LOL

We have fun if we don't get together too much, LOL.

We managed to share some laughter in the midst of a trying time and I wanted to share it with you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Happy Holidays?

I copied a status I saw on Facebook yesterday. It said

DEPRESSION is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign that you have been trying to be too strong for too long.

I SO idenify with that statement! For so long, I thought of my depression as weakness. That's what we as black women, are taught. I don't know, maybe it's just something that women are taught, period.

Be the keeper of your household. Everything rests on you. Be strong! Just pray and keep going. <----that might get me in trouble with some folks.

I say that there comes a time when every person needs help coping, be it by talking to someone about their problems or even getting medication for it.

This year has been really hard for me and I've had plenty of ups and downs, but traditionally, the holiday season SUCKS for me. It usually starts about a week before Thanksgiving and lasts until about the week after New Years.

I'm not sure when this all started. I know when my grandmother was living, it became stressful and tense for me to do Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm don't know why though. Maybe I was picking up on someone else's tension. *shrug*

I do know it stopped being a fun time for me awhile back. I think I was pretty happy the year my youngest was born. That was back in 97. I did Thanksgiving with my family then I did Thanksgiving with my babydaddy’s family. Don’t get offended, that’s what we called each other in a mocking fashion. Neither of us cared much for that term, but we made it funny to each other.

My son’s father comes from a family that I have considered my own since about 1987, when they moved to this city and I’ve always had a close relationship with them, so holidays with them were cool. Still are.

I don’t remember a lot about that Thanksgiving, just that it was a good one and Christmas was pretty good too. My babydaddy was a Star Wars junkie, so when I bought him the complete Star Wars collection, he wanted to watch them all, from beginning to end. I slept quite well through them.

That would be the only actual holiday time we’d spend as a complete family. He died the following February.

My holidays went back to sucking. Within the next couple of seasons, my grandmother passed and they just got harder for me.

I think it was 2005 or so that I started drinking pretty heavily on the holiday eves. It didn’t make me feel any better. It did ensure I didn’t feel anything, til I was sober again.

That was the year I found out there were issues with my kidneys. I drank so much the night before, that I was hungover all Thanksgiving day.

I didn’t drink at all that Christmas, I wanted to though. I just wanted to be anywhere but where I was. I was excited to go to Richmond that year for my birthday. I’m in love with the east coast, you know…

The following year, I was determined to make things different. The sadness was too much to take another year, so I talked to my Dr about getting a prescription. I ended up on Celexa and it made me so sleepy, all the time.

I decided that if I was going to kick these holiday blues, I’d have to call on that Superwoman I hate being.

So last year, that’s what I did. I’m still not sure how though. I was dealing with all the regular blues and either was about to go through a breakup or was going through one. Who remembers?

Antywhoo I think that by typing all this out, I’ve answered some of my own questions in my mind, while boring you.

If you go through the same thing, you’re not alone. You can beat it too. Oh, that Celexa? I only used it one month, to get me through that season. Medicines these days have too many side effects, but sometimes you do need help. Don't be afraid to ask.

I started making myself get out and socialize. I travel quite a bit. I’m with someone who encourages me to talk about things and not hold them in. I’m striving for a better holiday season. I might even send out some baked goodies to those I wish were near.

We’ll see. I’ll let ya know, mkay?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sometimes it Seems the Distance is Too Much

More I Miss You Comments

I am in a long distance relationship.

It's nothing new to me. My last 3 have been long distance. Seems like whenever I'm single, the availability of a new relationship at home is not feasible.

LDR's aren't easy, no matter how badly you both want it to be. There are times when you think you can't deal with it anymore and you just want to quit. Then you remember the good times and you realize you aren't willing to give those up.

I'm having a not so good day today. I just saw him Halloween weekend.

It wasn't long enough.

I spent my time with other people. Don't get me wrong, I had a ball. Really enjoyed myself and got to see him a couple of times, but it wasn't the amount of time I was used to seeing him and because it was a full weekend, neither of us were very well rested.

Today that hit me hard. I woke up not wanting to really talk to anyone. See, most of my friends live in the area he lives and talking to any of them, reminds me of him. I just wasn't up for it. I turned my phone off and really haven't turned it on much since.

I needed to make a couple of phone calls, so I turned it on, called, finished and turned it off again.

I spent some alone time. Just me and my camera. I'd been wanting to go take pictures of the fall foilage and it wasn't too cold, so today was the day.

I didn't even watch football today.

I hear my Bears won. I'll brag about it tomorrow.

I found a song about LDR's. It's a pretty song and I agree with many of the lyrics, but I don't want to give up my LDR. We have our challenges, but we handle them very well. For that, I'm thankful.

In case you read this, I love you babe.

I'm out. A bubble bath is calling my name.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Sunny Day

It's been a crazy two weeks...

I had strep throat last week on top of what happened.

I know I still haven't really given any details and I won't. I will say that my cousin is progressing. Still keep him in his prayers as he recovers.

Thank you to those who are genuinely concerned and have been praying for him and supporting our family.

Everyone else? Kick rocks. With open toed sandals. LOL

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Don't Call Me, I'll Call You

Today's post is a rather angry one.

The past few days have been hard.

My 13 year old and I had a loooong travel day on Monday and I was starting to feel bad. I woke up Tuesday to a sore throat that I knew would turn into Strep and news that there had been an unfortunate incident, involving a close cousin.

I won't go into details because I'm still trying to put things together in my head.

Those who are closest to me know what happened.

What has irritated the hell out of me though and helped me to understand the rich and famous, when they release the statement "the family wishes to deal with things and want the public to respect their privacy" was nosey ass people.

I KNOW. Trust me, I know.

Before I even had the whole story, I had people (not just people, but people who I haven't heard from in months or years for some) calling me NOT asking if my cousin was ok, but starting off with "Is it true?". How fucking rude!

Well I refused to talk about it, mostly because it was just swirling in my head, not even making sense to me, but also because I know that if these people had the opportunity to talk to my cousin about things, he would tell them to mind their own business.

I understand that people are concerned and all, but to bombard family with calls and being nosey is NOT the biz and I'm not giving up any details, just say a prayer.

I actually stopped answering my phone and I was screening calls and got tricked when someone used another friend's phone. Not only did that person try to talk over me when I said I wasn't talking about it, but they called back twice after I hung up on them. Once from the friend's phone and again from their work phone.

C'mon Son! Respect the frickin' family. Give us space.

What you'll get out of me? He is doing as well as expected and is expected to recover. Anything else you want to know? Take your nosey ass to him when he's able.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

October 31, 2010

Today is the last day of the blog challenge. I'm wrting from my phone because I'm away from a computer. I've enjoyed blogging again and plan to keep writing, just perhaps not every day.

Thank you so much for being with me through this and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where the Mean Girls Are

On Facebook.

I get a chuckle at some of the people who request my friendship connection of Facebook.

Some of them, mostly women, I have not one positive memory of any interaction with them.

Either they were too good to talk or hang out with the poor girl who didn't ever have anything name brand (except for that one pair of Lee jeans).

I remember being teased for wearing highwaters. The dumbass didn't even call them right. She called them hee haws. I still knew what she meant.

I remember two girls that used to sit behind me at choir practice. They would pull my hair and call me horse hair. I think it's funny that they're both avid weave wearers now.

A couple others who when they addressed me, would always precede it with fat. Fat this, fat that, she's so fat that...

All have sent invites. A couple of them I accepted, just to see what these loser chicks grew up to be.

Very basically, with the exception of two, I have noticed were grandmothers before 40.

One has found the Lord. One has made a lifestyle of working for fast food places. I thought it interesting that at one time she worked at Burger King, a daughter was at Hardee's (Carl Jr's) and another daughter was at McDonald's.

Of course these women have skewered reflections of who we were to each other. They sound like we were always best friends. I haven't compelled to say anything to them about the past or what I make of the present. It's not important to me.

Some time between the times they made fun of me and now, I developed an "I don't care" attitude and I really don't.

That's big for me. I used to carry it all around with me and it would come out at the most inopportune times.


I don't know. I guess it does bother me at times, but not because of what they said. It bothers me because of how I let it affect me.

I wonder if any of them will read this and recognize herself?

Anywho. I'm on vacation and this is all you get today. Sorry.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Don't Believe In Miracles?

I was thumbing through an old photo album not too long ago and I came across some pictures that reminded me that if I should thank the Lord every day for no other reason, it should be for allowing me to walk away from this van...yes an ASTRO VAN!

I remember a few years ago someone in my Sunday School class said that Jesus didn't
perform miracles in modern days, only in the days of the bible. Let me tell you what I told him.......

It was a cold November Sunday morning in 1995, and I'd decided to ride with my mother to her newly appointed church in Godfrey, IL. We were having dinner after church so we had a crock pot, some pyrex dishes and a few canned items in the

I'd decided we had gotten up waaaay too early, so I looked at my son in the back seat and he looked uncomfortable, so I took him out of his seat belt and let him lay on the seat. I don't know why he wasn't in a car seat, maybe they weren't enforcing them back then. Anyway, I remember seeing snow starting to blow across the highway (we were traveling I-55 South) and we were coming up on Litchfield, which meant I
had enough time to catch a cat nap.

The last thing I saw before I reclined my seat was another Springfield pastor
whose church was in nearby Alton, go flying past. I remember thinking that his tires couldn't even be really touching the ground.

I lay my seat back and closed my eyes and almost immediately I heard my mom say “Oh Lord!” The next thing I remember was thinking “We’re rolling. When will it stop?”

It seemed like we rolled 4 or 5 times. I don’t really know how many, but I know that when we stopped I was upside down.

I mean as soon as I opened my eyes, there was a woman poking her head in the window saying “I’m a nurse, can I take your vitals?” “Is anyone hurt?” Then it hit me
that my son was in the van somewhere and I didn’t hear him. So I started screaming his name and his little head popped down from under me, which was now on top of me.

I pulled him down and the woman took him out the window and wrapped him in a blanket as she checked him out.

I called my mom, I don’t remember why I couldn’t see her because she was next to me, but she didn’t say anything and I started freaking out. To this day I don’t know how I got out of the van, but the next thing I remember is sitting in a man’s car with my son while the fire department used the “Jaws of Life” to cut my mom out of
the van.

When the ambulances got on the scene, they put me on a stretcher and put my son and I in one and took us to the hospital. I’d always heard Litchfield referred to and
Lynchville, so I wasn’t comfortable at all going to their hospital. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I was examined, x-rayed, poked and prodded for hours. I didn’t know where my son was and a state trooper was kind enough to come and let me know that my mother had been
extracted from the van and also being examined. Then he handed me a can of peaches. Yes, peaches! He’d found it in the grass near the accident and at that time he told
me something I’ll never forget. Be mindful of the things you carry in your car because in an accident, something as innocent as a can of peaches can become a weapon.

I kept telling the people examining me that my vision was blurry in my right eye. They checked it, gave me eye drops and checked again and it still didn’t clear up. They concentrated on picking shards of glass out of my leg. My leg was crossed when I laid back. When they finished, I was asked how I felt. I told them I felt ok, but that my vision was still blurry.

They dilated my right eye and put some special fluorescent drops in it and turned out the lights. They shined some special light on it and discovered a shard of glass right in my iris. I don’t remember what happened next, I just know they removed it.

By this time a nurse brought my son in to see me. Lo and behold, in this so-called all white prejudiced town, here comes my son on the hip of a black nurse and bragging about all the jello and green beans he’d eaten.

The nurse assured me that they’d found nothing wrong with him in his exam and that he was entertaining the nurse’s station. (What a surprise.)

About that time my dad and uncle came in to my room and said they’d been to the place where the car was towed and got all the information my mom would need for the insurance.

They’d gotten our purses out and took pictures for insurance purposes (my uncle was a former state trooper and knew all these things would be needed).

We waited and waited and when it was over and done with, my mom had several stitches, a bunch of cuts and a funky new set of bangs.

Turns out that when I was calling her, she was passed out. When she came to, we were already out of the van. Skeptic about seatbelts? If she hadn’t had her seatbelt on, she’d have likely been under the van because her fingertips were pinned under and so was the front of her hair, hence the new hairstyle.

It also turns out that my son NOT being in a belt is probably what saved him (well I know it was the LORD who saved him) but logistically, he fell under my reclined seat
and when we were rolling, he was safely kept between the seat and the floor.

Turns out when we finally stopped, we were upside down on a median just yards away from the northbound traffic.

We were given some real good painkillers and released.

Anyone who’s been in an accident knows that when you wake up the next day, you don’t recognize yourself. You are one big walking bruise. By the way, when you buy a used vehicle, make sure the air bags work. These didn’t, so when we flipped it was the seatbelts that held us in place and every place the belt touched was a bruise. We looked like Big Sal had taken us out back to rough us up. Mom had 2 black eyes,
just looked beat down (shaking my head).

All this to say, that even when I wasn’t actively seeking the Lord, He had his angels of mercy all around me.

FYI-angels are NOT the cutesy lil naked babies or beautiful golden hair, white winged beings society says they are. Read any story in the bible about angels speaking or showing themselves to someone, they always say "Do Not Fear" or
"Don’t Be Afraid". Don't believe in angels? That’s a whole ‘nother blog post.

Just wanted to share how I’ve been blessed.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Don't Be So Shady

I have two sons, who have 2 fathers. My first son was born with blondish hair and bluish grey eyes. His father is black, we've just got that kind of mix in our heritage.

My friends used to tease me and say that his father wasn't his father, but some blonde hottie somewhere under wraps.

My second son was brown-skinned, no question there. Didn't matter to me, they were both mine.

I knew they were very different shades of brown, but it never mattered to me.

Now with my grandmother, things were different.

I'm not saying which one, but between biologicals, steps, adoptives, I have had 5 grandmothers.

Don't get me wrong. I loved my grandmother. She was good to all of us. There were things we might not have otherwise had or done, was it not for her and my grandfather, but she made differences.

At first, I didn't notice. When my oldest was born, she was "normal". When my nephew was born two weeks before my youngest, she was still just a great-grandma (my nephew has one parent of mixed heritage, so he's also light).

When my youngest son was born, she fawned over him constantly. "Ohhhh, he's such a pretty brown!"

Then I would notice things she said...Little Richie on Family Matters, was a cute little, obviously a black and white mixed child, but every time the show came on, she'd say she didn't like that little boy. He wasn't even cute and things like that, but I thought nothing of it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, right?

Then though, I started noticing that my youngest would get held more than my nephew. My youngest would get more attention than all the rest of the great-grands.

It was VERY noticeable to me, but it hadn't clicked why yet. And then one day it did...

My youngest got preferential treatment because he was darker. Then a lot of things made sense.

Of my grandmother's children, one was a different shade than the others and that child was treated differently growing up. Got away with much less. Given more work than the rest. Treated similarly to the lighter great-grands.

I was the only grandchild for a long time and I thought that I got to do so much because of that, I'm thinking now it might have been because I was the brownest too.

Anyway, once I figured out the children were treated differently, I'd get an attitude and usually getting in trouble for saying something smart aleck.

My thing though, as a parent, was don't make differences between my kids. Treat them the same or don't treat them at all. I feel like that in every way. Don't let one child have carte blanche and then military rules for the others.

Of course, now that they're teenagers, I can't treat them exactly the same because of their very different personalities. The base treatment though is the same.

My grandmother must've gone crazy in the 70's and 80's when "light skin was in".

I have real issue with skin color still being a source of discrimination, hatred and different treatment in the year 2010.

Just last night at work, I had a parent change his whole dialect when he was speaking to me. Reminded me of the jive talking nun on Airplane.

My boss, who is white, noticed it from across the room. It was funny to me because anyone who calls me at work, confuses me with a white woman. It's not a "white" voice per se, it's a professional voice. When she talked to him later and away from me, the jive talk was gone. Whatever.

I always thought it funny that professional voice and white seemed go hand in hand, as if *enter slave dialect here* massa don have no negras tha cn ansa phones 'feshunaly! *deep eyeroll*

I have encountered as many unprofessional white, hispanic and other nationalities as I have professional black folks.

The economy is a mess. Education is a mess. Government is a hot ass mess. Quite a few of our children (all shades of em) are being failed by their parents. Do we really STILL have to make color an issue?

Get over it. The DNA might be different, but peel the skin, we're all muscle and bone. Sheesh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sista, It Ain't Always The Brothas: Sometimes It's You

*stepping up on my soapbox and adjusting the mic*

It is still largely a secret to most, exactly what all I've experienced in the way of relationships. Some of it pretty, a lot of it not.

One thing I pride myself on, is not being the bitter sista who takes it out on every other man she crosses.

I know women who have dogged their sons out, just because they reminded them of their Daddy. That's BS.

If your Daddy did something to you, don't take it out on your date. If your babydaddy did something, don't take it out on your son. If your brother did something, don't take it out on your neighbor.

Let that shit lie right where it was created. In that person. Taking it out on everyone else just makes you a bitter, miserable woman that no one wants to deal with.

Another thing, own up to your place in things. It isn't often that a bad situation is created by one person alone. If you've participated in no other way other than settling, share the blame.

I know this sista who could find blame in the brothas anywhere. I mean just dog em any and every chance she got.

I bet she could find a way to (illogically) blame brothas for a blue sky. Well I got reeeeal tired of it one day.

We were at church and she was on a rant, blaming everything on the black (I'm not typing african american 50-11 times) man, when I stopped her mid-sentence.

*sidebar* See, the older I get, the worse I get with this thing of saying exactly what I'm thinking. I can't even control it sometimes. I'll think something and only until the person I'm facing, registers shock, do I realize that I've said it out loud. I've told folks to shut it. To stop lying. Stuff like that.

Anyway in mid rant, I told her that if I were any of the men of the church (who she'd call on for help, quite often), I wouldn't even speak to her and in fact, I'd be offended, so she either needed to apologize and shut up or stop asking them for help. Of course an argument ensued.

Yes, I argued at church. I might have even cussed. You know what else I did though? I shut her up. Yeah. She got to blaming black men for the shortage of married black women and was going on and on with some mess. Mid-sentence, I reminded her that since I'd known her, she'd only dated one african american man. Her history was primarily with Nigerian men, a totally different culture. She needed to recognize that her problem was in the type of man she was choosing. She needed to step back, shut up and re-evaluate the things she said and did.

Recognize that if you keep having the same type of relationships, that you're doing the same kinds of things and if you want different, YOU make a change.

Now that I think about it, I haven't heard her dog the brothas out for a long time.

Heffa's still bitter though.

*steps down, stomps foot, yells "Sexual Chocolate", drops the mic and walks off*

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

All That Glitters Ain't Gold...

Some of you might remember this post from 360 and again from Multiply. It's a lesson that never gets old. One that I'll continue to re-post from time to time, in hopes of helping someone else.

I was kind of discouraged that I only get one or two comments on a post, but this weekend was evidence that people read what I write :) Thanks.

If we're close, you might not want to read this. This is a heavy subject and a true story.

I am finally ready to tackle the most hurtful of my relationships. It started one night with the son of a flirty neighbor, some alcohol and a poor excuse of a Halloween costume.

Anyway, I caught the attention of my neighbor’s son who was going to a club with his then wife (I didn’t know it and neither of them said anything). He must have talked to me for at least 30 minutes with her standing right there (I guess the epitome of trust was there).

Anyway, a few weeks later he came to my house and we sat up talking until about 2 in the morning and he ended up sleeping on my couch.

We would talk for awhile every day and I got sucked in by his charisma. One day he came over to the house clearly upset and crying because his little brother had gotten killed during a drug deal gone bad. I listened to him, let him cry ended up attending the funeral with him.

We got pretty close in the couple of months after that and he’d spent the night a few times, so when I moved, it was no big deal that it happened more frequently. After a few more months I told him he might as well just move in, so he did. He’d gained my complete trust.

Everything was cool the first 6 months, no arguing, he was working, contributing half his check to the household expenses, real cool…Then I found out he was still married….His ex called and wanted him to keep the kids over the weekend. They got into it and she called me back a little later and informed me that he wasn’t divorced, simply separated. That should have made me run then, but I didn’t. Didn’t see it as a problem, he was where he wanted to be, right?

Anyway, long story short, in the next few months his true colors came out only I was already sucked in by him and didn’t see what was right before me. He was an insecure, lying, cheating, abusive, alcoholic.

Nearly a year passed and I was invited to Chi-town for a new year’s party with some friends from college and I invited him too. He didn’t want to go and when I got there my guy friends who are more like brothers to me and my special friend, the only one from school that I had somewhat of a relationship with, treated me so much better than I’d been treated at home that I didn’t want to go back.

I came back home and the following weekend caught him in a few lies and found proof or I should say I heard proof that he was cheating **Note** Fellas, READ the directions when you get your cell phones so your girl doesn’t have to set up your voicemail….DUH!

I told him he had 2 weeks to get out. Well those 2 weeks became two weeks from hell and in the meantime, online I’d met the sweetest person who constantly told me I deserved better, not necessarily him, but better.

G.G. turned into one of the most evil demons on earth. He’d threaten me, dog me out verbally, play mental games (actually he’d done that all along, but it was starting to become clear that’s what he’d been doing). I realized that I was scared to death of him and when he became physically and sexually abusive (no better way to show your love to your girl than raping her in the comfort of your home) I put him out period. That’s when he told me he’d put boric acid in one of my drinks hoping to make me miscarry just in case I was pregnant. I told him he had until the end of the day to get someone to come get his stuff or it would be in the yard. Ain’t pride something else? I really didn’t want my neighbors or anyone else to know…

A few weeks later, he called me at around 11 pm and said he’d gotten a ride from a club and wanted to talk to me. I told him I was sleep and didn’t want to talk. He said he’d gotten dropped off at my house and he was calling from the porch and it was raining. I told him he’d better get off the phone and call back the person who’d dropped him off. I hung up on him and took the phone off the hook.

I woke up and this negro was standing over me watching me sleep! I have no idea how he got in the house to this day. Nothing was broken into and everything was locked up. All I could think of was whether this idiot had done something to my kids in the next room. I had 9-1-1 on speed dial, but I’d had the phone off the hook, so there was no dial tone. I can honestly say I didn’t think I’d make it through the night. To make things worse, the guy I’d been talking to as friends, had a picture I really liked and I’d printed it out and it was on my headboard. That didn’t sit real well either.

I eventually talked him into leaving by telling him I’d hit the speed dial and the police were coming and he left. I called 9-1-1 as I checked on my kids. They were fine and I called my friend and got hysterical when it really hit me how things could have ended. He stayed on the phone with me until the police arrived.

They sent several cars out looking for him and they couldn’t find him. I ended up getting an order of protection from him and got rid of everything in the house that reminded me of him. I had no bed, no table, no living room furniture, nothing. I’d rather start over again.

He had to be watching me for awhile because he’d "coincidentally" be at the store the same time I was there and little things like that, but he eventually left me alone. I found out later that my father had seen him at a bus stop and snuck up on him and very quietly whispered a few words to him. A few years went by and I didn’t hear from him.

Unfortunately, at the time, I had a very easy to remember work number and it “popped” into his head one day and he decided to invite me and the kids out to dinner because he missed us. Yeah, right.

I let him speak his piece because I figured that if I didn’t, it was possible that he might show up and I definitely didn’t want that. He wanted me to think about getting back together. Sure, hold your breathe and I’ll be right there.

I said all that to say this, God protects children and fools. Know He’s got your back when you don’t even have your own…..He gave me a wonderful and caring friend who I love very much, in the process and has given me the realization that some of the things I go through and think are monumental are nothing at all compared to what He’s brought me through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Letting Go

In my opinion, I think that so many relationships don’t last because people fail to really let go of the previous relationship before getting into the next.

I liken that baggage some of us carry to barnacles on the bottom of a boat. It looks pretty up top where everyone can see, but under the surface, it’s just nasty. Barnacles cling, they multiply and eventually take over if they aren’t cleaned off. They can clog the motor and your boat won’t be able to even move forward, just like a relationship.

You can pretend everything is all good, but eventually the issues you never dealt with will resurface and often ruin things.

Yeah, I know I said letting go…I’m going to get there.

Some people don’t know how to let go…

He/She still has my clothes

He/She still has my pictures

He/She still owes me money

He/She still has my….

It may be hard, but those are all THINGS. Things that you acquired and most that you can acquire again. If he/she doesn’t have a child in common? Leave that shit at the door and start your healing!

Sometimes all it takes is saying or hearing those two words out loud

Let go.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

10 Things About Me

Some days it's really easy to sit and tap out something informative and entertaining and then there are days like today.

Well, browsing through Bag Lady's blog, I ran across her 10 things list and thought I'd do my own today.

Most of you won't care what I write because you don't know me. Some of you already know most of what I share.

1. I'm 41. People tell me all the time that I don't look it at all. I don't know...I look 41 to me. Some of those 41 years were LOOOOOONG. I have one silver hair to show for it. And one white hair *insert mortified smiley here* For personal reasons though, that one is removed often.

2. I am a dialysis patient. My doctor discovered my decreased kidney function when I was 36. I had a short pity party til my friend Fay told me to get over it. I then rationalized that at least I didn't have HIV or cancer. I've had my down days, don't get me wrong, but I've been good ever since.

3. After said pity party, I became an open book about my personal experience. Any question anyone had or has, was/will be answered to the best of my ability. I don't embarass easily either, so if there's ever anything you want to ask...

4. My family and I have had personal conversations and shaken hands with Barack Obama. He wasn't yet president. He wasn't even a senator yet at that point. I was the night before he won his seat as senator and he spoke at a local union hall. After his speech, I thought he was suitable to run for president (think he took my advice?). He was very personable and charismatic in person. Not really any different a person than he appears to be now. He took the time to speak to my children individually and question them each about school, their homework they brought to the rally and about their future plans.

5. I have met many famous people, but have never been starstruck. I think the only people who could make me would be Prince and maybe Janet Jackson. Michael probably would have too. I've met members of UTFO, Grandmaster Flash and most of the Furious 5, Herbie Lovebug, Steve Harvey, Ossie Smith, Twista, Vanessa Fraction, Andre Iguodala, Chico Benymon, Morris Chestnut, James Brown, Ben Vereen...those are who can remember off the top of my head. They were all very down to earth people. The only person I was close enough to speak to but they weren't really doing "general public" (though it was the same place I met Chico and Morris) was LisaRaye. She had security (none of the others did) and they would barely let you speak.

6. I met my best friends, the ones I call my SiStars, all online. I had issues with having women as friends for a long time, due to my very best friend at one time, messing around with my then love interest. My SiStars know some ugly truths about me and love me any way. *I see you Nyx, Kween, Vixen and Silky! I have another who I feel will be in that inner circle soon, I see you K.C.!*

7. My youngest son's father died in the midst of his children, his first wife, me, his then girlfriend and had shortly before losing consciousness, had spoken to his second wife.

I performed CPR on him until the paramedics got to him. I've asked myself a thousand times if I did things right. If his death might have been the result of me getting my chest compressions and breaths mixed up. I know in my heart that I did the best I could and it was probably inevitable, but I still question myself.

I just got to the point that I could talk about it without crying, in the last couple years. I quit a job that required CPR recertification because the first time I went through the class, after it happened, I barely could get through it because I kept freaking out.

8. I've experienced a lot of life lessons that I'll probably never share with my family. Some of it I think, would hurt them too much to hear. Those experiences are largely why I teach my boys the way I do. I will teach my nieces so they don't go into certain situations without a clue.

9. I have an associate degree from a business college. I wanted to go back to get my bachelor's but was discouraged when I found out that only 3/4 of all the credits I'd earned would transfer and I'd have to start over like a freshman. I then took some criminal justice classes that were so interesting! I got A's and high B's in them. Right now I have no desire to take any of my core classes again. Maybe someday.

10. I have a brother, two aunts, an uncle and a grandmother who did/do hair for a living. I am so uncoordinated that I can't even cut bangs straight across. I am hair care challenged. I never learned how to roller set my hair properly and would have 12 rollers on one side of my head and 6 on the other because my arms got tired. After I started dialysis, I decided to stop putting harsh chemicals in my hair and stopped getting relaxers (they are NOT perms!) and I've been natural for a little over a year and my hair is more versatile than it's ever been. I put very few chemicals in my hair and am finding more and more natural procedures and I love it!

So that wasn't too hard. I hope I didn't bore you to tears. Wonder what I'll write about tomorrow?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Do I Know?

The other day, my 18 year old asked me if he was gay, would I still love him.

I asked him what one had to do with the other?

He assured me that he wasn't and went on about his business.

I know what was on his mind though, because it's been on mine too. All these gay teens committing suicide hurts my heart.

I know most parents would die inside if their child came to them with that. Some would disown them. If either of my sons came out to me, we'd deal with it together. I'd tell them that I still loved them and God did too, despite what most "church folk" said. Nowhere have I ever seen that God doesn't like homosexuals. I've read that he despises the act, but never the person. I recognize there is a time and place for religious teaching and the time to be a parent sometimes supercedes that. I know some won't agree with me. Do I care?

I feel for those teens. I don't know how they were raised. If they were taught not to care what someone else's opinion of them is or if their parents were always there for them, no matter what.

I don't know if they had someone telling them that they still matter as a person, despite their sexual preference.

I don't know if they had someone praying for them. Note I said praying FOR them, not forcing them to pray it out of them.

I don't know why those other kids who bullied them had such a low self esteem about themselves that they picked on the ones who were confused or maybe sure about who they were.

I don't know if they had parents who taught them that no one is better than any other person and they decided to give in to peer pressure and berate the gay teens.

I don't know what those same teens will do, if one day, one of their children comes out to them.

I just don't know.

What I do know? I've created a relationship with MY children, that they feel comfortable coming to me, no matter what. That even some of their friends feel the same way.

What I do know? No child in my life should ever feel that there are no adults that they can confide in.

What I do know? That adult is me...

Friday, October 22, 2010

For The Parents -Serious Subject matter

Did you happen to catch Tyler Perry on Oprah the other day?

I didn't. I don't make it a habit to watch Oprah. I wish I had that day though, just to hear his story.

I've heard several people who are not TP fans, say that they have some clarity now about why women are portrayed the way they are in his movies.

From what I understand, he was molested by both men and women (or a woman) at a young age.

You may or may not be surprised to hear how many men that has happened to.

I have many male friends and the majority of them feel very comfortable sharing things with me and I will say that at least 97% of who I've discussed this with, were sexually abused by a babysitter or neighbor.

Only they didn't call it that. They called it their first piece or losing their virginity. As a mother of two sons, I call it rape and if I'd ever found that it had happened to mine, well, Nancy Grace would be talking about the angry mother who...well, who knows what I would do? I know it wouldn't be pretty.

I remember I used to get mad because I could rarely spend the night at any of my friend's houses. Shoot, for all that, I could rarely go ANYWHERE.

I remember asking if I could go to the skating rink either my Jr. or Sr. year and my mom said yes, I could go, but my curfew was at 10. Man, skating started at like 8. I just didn't go. There was no point. I'm convinced though that if I'd had that kind of freedom, I'd be a grandmother now, like many of my friends.

Anyway, back to the point. I rarely went anywhere that my children couldn't go and as a result of that, my kids often had issues feeling comfortable with other children. I knew where they were though.

Now that I think about it, other than my family and day care, the only two babysitters they ever had was my younger cousin and one of my sister's best friends and I didn't leave my kids with anyone (except day care) until they could talk and tell me when something was wrong.

My son and his best friend have been best friends since 1st grade. It's just been in the last 3-4 years that he's been allowed to sleep over and he's 13. He sleeps over so much now, that my place is his 2nd home, LOL.

Nothing against his friend's parents, but I had to get to a place where I was comfortable with them and comfortable about him going there. We got to really know each other when the boys played basketball. That's when I learned just how alike our parenting styles were.

My oldest never really had friends like that, so he stuck with me. Only in the last year has he really started staying overnight at a friend's house. He's 18.

Maybe I made them miss out on some things. I don't really care. My concern was more for their safety and I still think I made good choices.

I tell you what, I always remember saying that when I grew up, I wasn't going to be anything like my mother. Well, I am a lot different, but I'm glad she instilled some things in me.

I wrote the poem below, a few months ago. It was heavy on my heart that day.

Precious cargo
Entrusted to few
Are you aware of what's gotten by you?

You paid her to care
for your little one
unknowing she's where
the abuse had begun.

He was under 15
and she knew he was clean

untouched by any "hers"
even though he was unsure
of what she was doing, really meant.

His friend (that he told)
said it was heaven-sent
to have a woman's touch
to experience such things as a grown man does.

She touched him "there"
made him aware of what a hard d**k gets.
At first he was scared, thought she would bite
when she took him into her mouth that night

he didn't get that his mama would kill her
if she knew her baby was used as a "thriller".

She told him it was all right
and used him as her toy
beginning that night, he was no longer a boy.

Fast forward several years
the conquests he's had, instead of tears.

He brags about getting started so early
but if he really looked inside himself, then surely
he would realize what she took from him
was more than virginity.

Fucked his mind up on thoughts of unity
with the right one, a breach of his trust.

In order to be happy with one woman,
he must face his demon
and grow past the hurt
and bury those memories under the dirt.

These things happen much more than you think
to hear these stories, your heart will sink.

Have second thoughts about who you choose
to have around your babies...

Someone's experiment
someone's toy
is not what you want for your baby boy

Unpublished work © 2010 D. Newman

Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Random Thoughts

As I sit and look at the format, I'm not at all sure what I want to say today.

I'm just going to wing it.

Motherhood--Everyone who can reproduce probably shouldn't. Giving birth doesn't make a good mom.

In traffic this morning, I could see a little afro puff, unbuckled in the back seat, blowing (huge) snot bubbles, while her mother blew cigarette smoke in the enclosed vehicle, and the bass was shaking my car.

That baby couldn't have been more than 4. She'll probably be deaf at an early age and die of lung cancer from the second hand smoke. Woman, can you TRY and give your baby half a chance?

Exes--They may be an ex for a reason, but that doesn't make them a bad person. It just means they served their purpose in your life for that time. Instead of condemning them because they're an ex, try and see what they brought. Did you learn something through the relationship? Did the experience make you a better or stronger person? All exes aren't horrible. It's ok to maintain a friendship, really.

Friends--Where would I be without mine? My best friends came to me late in life, but I couldn't be more blessed! I love you SiStars and Brothers!

Weed--Legalize it or not? Don't they say that most things are good in moderation? I don't know...if they ok it for medicinal purposes...*shrug*

Kids--You always love em, you just don't always like em. What? Don't get mad because I'm telling the truth! Kids feel the same way about parents! Oh stop lying! You never got mad at your mom and then stepped on the crack? Oh, that was just me? Proceed...

Twitter--I thought it was reaaaally stupid at first and I deleted my account. I came back one day, when FB got extra boring to me. I refused to add my kids and with the freedom to say what I want, I love it! I've never met some really cool ass people there!

31 day blog post challenge--Some days it seems like it's not going to happen, but then something happens and there you have it! I think I'm going to keep going as long as I can.

Christians--Somewhere along the lines, people keep adding their own rules to the religion and it's really disheartening to see some christians act uglier than athiests.

Eddie Long--I can't say he did it. I can't say he didn't. I can say, just like I said when MJ was on trial. I wasn't there and I don't know. If it's true, it's sad that a person would abuse their power that way, but the bottom line is still this: PARENTS why da fugg would you let your children around a grown man (or woman) with no supervision? It's YOUR fault!

Lunch--The chili was good, but I probably should'nt have had that pineapple juice to wash it down. *holding my stomach*

Dating--Why won't I date anyone in my city? Because it seems like no one wants a real relationship around here anymore. Over 25 is too old to have relationships based on booty calls. Get a life...

Family--Sometimes loving them from a distance is what's best. Sometimes you have to shorten that distance because someone needs you. Never cut them off completely.

Funerals--I don't go. It's nothing against you or your loved one, I just prefer to remember them how I remember them. I will make exceptions for family or someone who was a constant in my life, but not often.

Seinfeld--Be pissed if you want, but even though Michael Richards had that rant and said the "N" word, he's still HILARIOUS as Kramer, in my opinion. You gonna revoke my black card?

Fact--When I post, I imagine I'm talking to my SiStars because even though the stats show that people are reading my posts (from far away lands even), I know that they are the only ones that will post a comment here and not make me feel like I'm talking to myself. Did I tell ya'll I love ya'll? I did? Oh, well here it is again. I love ya'll!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Fatty Girl Speaks

Today is my anniversary.

It was one year ago today that I had lap band surgery.

As I remember it, by this point of the day, I was in recovery.

Now I'm no stranger to surgeries, but for whatever reason, I was scared to death going in for this one. I've had my gallbladder removed, tubes tied, another female surgery, biopsies, vascular surgery for dialysis and I've had a catheter in my jugular vein, so I'm thinking that my anxiety was with the fact that after trying all my adult life, I was finally doing something to rid myself of the fat that I thought I was destined to carry.

I was never really fat growing up, the extra skinny girls just made me think I was. I was always fat cow, fat bitch, fatty, whatever. Looking back at high school pictures, I was BUILT. Which would explain the attention I'd get from older guys.

I'd already bought into the persona that I was a fat girl, so soon, I was a fat girl.

Actually first I was a chunky girl. I could still buy clothes at any store. Then after college, I was a fat girl. Exchanging clothes with my other size 20-22 friends, so it wasn't a big deal. I just looked like some of my peers, right?

Then I came home and got a job and lived.

Three years later, I had a baby, grew another dress size. Five years later, had another baby and grew another dress size.

Six months later, his father died and I stopped eating. I went down 2 dress sizes in almost a month.

A couple of years after that, I entered into what would be the most abusive relationship of my life. Without too many details, it was mostly emotional, but it did get to a point where it got physical.

At any rate, this is where the downward spiral of eating for comfort began. We'd argue, make up and eat. We'd get up in the middle of the night to play dominoes and fix hamburgers and fries and then go back to sleep. Or eggs and bacon. I started putting weight on at an alarming rate and when I finally got to a point that I knew I had to do something, I was weighing 353. More than any NBA player I'd seen and most of the NFL players.

As it happened, my boss decided that we, as an office, could use a little weight loss motivation and proposed that we have our own Biggest Loser. It ran from late October to Christmas and we weighed in each week.

I was working out regularly. I was doing Weight Watchers and if I cheated and went to McDonald's, I'd only order off the kid's menu.

I ended up winning, with a total loss of 23 lbs.

After the contest, I hit a plateau. After awhile, I stopped trying. I did manage to maintain that weight though.

I'd begun preparing to start dialysis, I was depressed, I was scared and I ate.

Fast forward to last year, my son graduated from an alternative military school and I don't know who had the camera, but I always felt safe behind the camera because I knew I wouldn't have to see any pics of myself if I didn't want them (says the camera whore) the majority of my pictures though are head shots.

Well someone caught me off guard and when I got the pictures developed and saw the pic below, I knew I had to do something. FAST. I was disgusted by what I saw and still am.

Don't get me wrong, I was still a commodity because I have a cute face *eyeroll*, but I was NOT healthy in the least.

Half my ass fit on the chair. HALF.

This was in June. In July I had my first consultation. The surgeon was excited because I was her first kidney patient and this surgery for me, would mean that I could not only get to a healthy weight in general, but get down to the accepted weight for the transplant surgery. Because I have to have a certain amount of protein for dialysis, we opted for the lapband, not the gastric bypass. Had I had gastric, I'd have probably lost about 140 lbs by now, but healthwise, I'd be in pretty bad shape because there just would'nt be enough room for my food and meds.

A couple of months prior to surgery, I decided to go natural with my hair and stop using relaxers. I figured if there were going to be major changes, I would do it 100%. My beautiful hair, something that took away from the attention of the weight, I got chopped.

It was SO liberating!

Anyway fast forward to today. I weigh in at 260 and I'm not shamed to say it because I feel good! I'm not where I want to be (between 170 and 190), but thank God, I'm not where I was!!

I had someone take some pictures of me last night, wearing the same shirt I wore to the graduation party. It still fits, but I've got LOTS of room.

These days I wear either an XL or 1X top (if I want some wiggle room) from 3x-4x back then. And my jeans back then were 34 womens, today I'm in 26 womens. I wore 24w just before I had my last child, so this is monumental for me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Attitude Schmattitude

I have an attitude.

Folks that know me, are cracking up right now and saying ok, and? It's common knowledge. That's just me. I take a lot of things to heart. I'm trying to do better. People just piss me off.

Why do I have an attitude, you say?

I'm looking at a form for the Employee Giving Program this year.

I have given every year except one, since I started working here in 1989.

I have an attitude because they have the utmost nerve to ask me to donate, or "gift", rather to charity, when weeks ago I WAS charity!

Why was I charity? Because the same employer that wants me to give, "tooketh away" in the form of furlough days.

Military . a vacation or leave of absence granted to an enlisted person.
a usually temporary layoff from work: Many plant workers have been forced to go on furlough.
a temporary leave of absence authorized for a prisoner from a penitentiary.
–verb (used with object)
to grant a furlough to.
to lay (an employee or worker) off from work, usually temporarily.

Very basically, they told me to take x amount of days off and though I have plenty of vacation time, with no pay.

I'm not going to rehash the issue (much) because I've already talked about it late last week, but yeah. Attitude. For real...

I'll hold on to my money and donate as I'm moved.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Scrambled Eggs and Bacon Bits

Before I say anything, I need to get something off my chest...

When people die, they have passed away, not past! When someone dies, you are sorry for their loss, not lost! The gotdang game is bid whist, not bid wizz or bid wiss. ARRRGHH! It really doesn't hurt to sometimes look things up!

Ok, LOL. Now, today I want to talk about smells and how a smell can take you back to another time.

I walked out of my office this morning and for whatever reason, downtown smelled like scrambled eggs with Bacos in them. THAT took me right back to Union Baptist Day Care. The year had to be 1971-72. We often had that, toast and grits for breakfast.

I don't know about other day care centers, but thinking back, Union really served some good food.

Other smells that remind me of daycare is split pea and ham soup and salmon patties and peas.

I used to have the best time. I remember my mom would take me down the street to Mrs. Shoultz's in the morning and I'd ride to day care with her. While I waited, I'd watch Tony and Michelle leave for school. It seemed like they were already grown, but they couldn't have been.

I remember after getting to day care, watching Romper Room and Captain Kangaroo, Sesame Street and Electric Company on this huge floor model television.
Miss Ruth, Miss Cat and Mrs. Foster were some of my favorite teachers.

We used to go across the street to their playground (it's a parking lot now). My earliest friends and still friends now, are Bruce, Gwen, Terrence, Tina and Teah, all siblings. Two sets of friends with the same last name, but I don't think any relation, Karen, Kelly and Kendra and then Vette, Ed and Devon.
Ed is a former NBA player and so is Kevin.

I remember nap time was on these little green cots and that Devon always cried because he didn't want to take a nap and Ed would run around sticking people with safety pins (I remind his ol 6'8 self of that often).

I remember taking a field trip to a farm once. We rode a school bus and the bus driver was playing Kool and the Gang's Jungle Boogie. I was fascinated by the milk machine. I also remember that we were let loose in a field, I guess to get rid of extra energy before getting back on the bus and the twins found a big rock, which ended up being a cow pie.

The pastor of Union, Rev. Shoultz, would have all of us day care children calling him Daddy, which was cool, until we saw him someplace else with our real Mama and/or Daddy.

I almost forgot, back then I'd eat tomato soup and grilled cheese too. I don't even know who was cooking back then, but Union has always been a part of my life and holds good memories.

Very happy memories. I only hope my kids have happy memories like this to look back on...

All this, because I thought I smelled scrambled eggs and bacon bits.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Keep That Spit To Yourself

I was chilling with a friend, not too long ago, at her house. We were just talking about money, kids, life...

We hadn't talked for a long time and I was really enjoying myself, until....

Her husband came through the kitchen (we were at the kitchen table) and he hocked up from the tip of his toenails and spit in the kitchen sink.


Double take


My friend was unfazed (I know the word is phase, I like the "z"). I was floored.

At that moment, I was happy I hadn't ever eaten over there.

I'm sorry, bathroom sink, yeah. Kitchen sink? Hell no! You wash dishes in the sink. I was outdone.

I can talk about shit all day long. I can watch lions eat wildebeasts and zebras during dinner. I can watch live childbirth and not be fazed.

You want to make me lurch? Let me see spit on the sidewalk or a booger on the wall. I think spitting is one of the nastiest things known to man. I'd rather help stop a severed arm from bleeding.

I'm not sure why it affects me that way, but it does.

My kids will tell you. If they spit on the grass, cool. There's no good reason why someone should spit on the sidewalk where people walk or in the parking lot where there is a lot of foot traffic.

One of the kids once saw one of their friends spit in the trash can and decided to come home and do it. Well, when I went to retrieve something I accidentally tossed, guess what it had landed it?

"Beyoooooooootchwhodafuggspitinthetrashnastymofo!!!" No one owned up to that for months...

Funny thing is, my sister is the exact same way. Her and my brother were a year apart in high school and we lived about a block and a half away from the school (this is before Dad let them drive to school- Yeah, I said drive O_O).

My brother would do nasty stuff to make her throw up. Pretend to find candy on the ground and eat it and whatnot.

One day he discovered that he could string spit almost all the way to the ground and suck it back up and my sister would throw up instantly. I don't know how many times he got away with that one before my mom made him stop.

Well then he would do what we call "gleek" in her direction. Somehow he'd finagle his tongue to spray, like when you bite into corn on the cob.

Once during an argument, I saw a guy hock and spit in his girlfriend's face. I was floored. She didn't even look shocked. It obviously had happened before.

Tell you what...the person that spits in my face, best not go to sleep any time thereafter, in my presence. Not sure what I'd do, but there's an uncontrollable rage that would come.

Miss me with all that.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

You Get So Emotional Baby

I love the men in my life.

My father, my brothers, my sons...

My Daddy, my best male friends, my cyber-brothers. I love you all. I've chosen to let you inside a layer the others aren't allowed to cross.

I have noticed something, however, about nearly all of you.

You have complained at one time or another about how emotional women are, but you fail to see that men are also emotional creatures, you just don't show it as much.

I understand. It's that pride thing. I have it. Read my previous post. I get it.

Guess what? Just because you don't show it, doesn't me I (and others) don't know you feel it and if you were not meant to feel it, God would have left all that out of you. Stop trying to fight it. The majority of you don't fight it as well as you think anyway.

You get hyper when you worry.

You snap when you're scared.

You get angry when you love someone so much and you don't want them to know it.

And because you also have low esteem days, you secretly like that hoes throw themselves at you, though you pretend not to notice.

Because you work so hard at covering your emotions and making them look different than you feel, is the reason so many of you have heart attacks later in life (well that and your diet).
Real women recognize that showing the emotion for what you feel isn't a sign of weakness, it's a sign of humanity and a sign of being strong enough to not give a fuck what anyone thinks. *note: there's a difference in being emotional and being overemotional and the latter is not pretty in anyone*

If you worry about someone, tell them. Maybe it will make them change the very thing you're worrying about.

Same thing if you're afraid (well unless it's an ant or something you're afraid of, LOL). Seriously, I get that you might be afraid of commitment or parenting or something like that. That's healthy. Especially if you aren't familiar with it and don't know exactly how to handle it. Guess what? WE ALL LEARN BY EXPERIENCE.

I get loving someone so much and being afraid they'll hurt you. That's a time that you should hold back, but don't hold back so much that you don't show any emotion. You fuck with the other person's emotions then...find a happy medium, damn.

That last one? Especially if you are in a relationship? Don't pretend that you don't know someone's throwing ass your way. Especially if they're blatent about it. Sure, it feeds your ego, but the woman in your life ain't hardly going for it and she sees it for exactly what it is and it's insulting to her to pretend you don't. It's going to create problems sooner or later. Handle that.

Women are also flattered to find that they could still pull a guy if they wanted to, but to disrespect the relationship by accepting flat out or sometimes cryptic "ass offers" is a no go.

The last thing I have on my mind and I'm not real sure how to tie it in, but I'm going to say it anyway...

Male or female, if you find yourself constantly moving from person to person, you need to stop for a minute. Sit down and have a deep conversation with yourself. What is it that you're looking for? What aren't you finding? Yeah, it's fun to fuck person after person after person, but fucking is a surface thing that many use to cover something up that's missing. You won't find happiness in fucking. You might be happy while you're doing it, but eventually you'll crash (maybe burn). <---a lil humor there.

I am floored at the convos I see every day. Sometimes it seems like sex is the only thing some people think about. If it is, there's a problem. An addiction. Something.

*The above are all MY personal observations and opinions*

That poster? Those are the same emotions a lot of men show. I'm just sayin...

Hard Times

First of all, I'm so upset that there will be no post on my blog dated October 15, 2010. I got taken out by a shower. I had this post mapped out in my brain and as a result of them taking a tad too much fluid off me at dialysis yesterday morning, I started getting leg cramps last night.

I used to be able to take quinine for them, but they aren't allowed to prescribe it in the U.S. anymore, unless you have malaria. So for me, a hot shower is the only thing that will relax my muscles.

Yesterday was a monumental day for me. It was the first time in MONTHS that I had a full paycheck.

2010 has been hard for me financially. I've never been real disciplined at paying my bills on time, it's a lesson I'm learning at my late age. (BTW it floors me that my sister got this lesson growing up, but I didn't. What's that about?) This was the year though that my son turned 18 and I chose to release his biological from financial support because I just don't want to deal with him in any capacity anymore. He's never chosen to be a part of his life (though his much of his family has)and good riddance.

I didn't forsee my employer forcing us to take furlough days. What is a furlough day? It's a day that they force you to take off work, without pay, so they can save money. It balanced out to roughly about $150 a paycheck. OUCH, right?

Well it also happens that I have a shitload of medical bills that I can't keep up with, though I have insurance (did you know it costs roughly $35,000 per dialysis treatment and most patients dialyze 3 times a week? For me, each of those treatments comes with a $50 co-pay) and right around the time I was hit with furloughs, I was also garnished for those medical bills.

So we're talking between the three, a loss of about $1160 a month on a single mom and things got tighter than a small t-shirt on Wendy Williams.

Oh, did I mention that the week before all this hit, my transmission went out and I had to take a loan out just for the $1700 repair?

Well, ya'll couldn't tell, because that's what I do, but I hit rock fucking bottom this past week.

I finally had to make the mama sacrifices that I thought I'd never have to make. I put my kidney diet aside and ate a lot of oatmeal, so my kids could eat meat. I skipped lunch, so there would be something for dinner. I ate one hamburger and used one piece of bread, so there would be enough to last til Thursday night.

I dug through my dresser drawers for loose change, so I could put $5.50 in my gas tank.

I stole a roll of toilet paper from work, so we had enough to last til payday.

I lived for one week, how people lived through The Great Depression, except it's the year 2010 and I have a "good gubment job".

I was in hallelujah mode all day, but I realized that if I'm going through this with a "good gubment job", there are people out there who don't even have a chance.

These are the kinds of things we need to think about when we go to the polls. Voting is the single free thing that we can do to make a difference. We need more than Obama being president, to turn this economy around.

One thing for sure, we need to learn how to pray again, because that right there is the ONLY way many of us are going to survive.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Racist Cartoons

I was on YouTube today, looking up cartoons that I used to love. Tom and Jerry is one of my favorite toons, racist as it could be, yet I love them to this day.

Merry Melodies are very racist too and I didn't realize how much, until today.

Because they have a lot of singing and dancing, I'd turn the volume down and let the cartoons dance to some modern music and then marvel at how oddly they stay on beat.

As I browsed, I came across a cartoon with an odd name, so I clicked it. I couldn't believe the straight and continuous racism. It saddened me to tears when I realized that it was very similar to the mess that was going on (and publicized) when Obama first got into office.

I noticed how they portrayed ALL black men and boys. How they portrayed ALL FAT black women and how they portrayed the sexy singing women. They even cheapened their "better" portrayal by making their skirts see through.

I'm glad their doing better, but I'm sad that this kind of thinking is not yet in the past.

I'm posting the cartoon because I'm interested in your thoughts. I would love some of you who silently read, to give me your thoughts on this, especially from different cultures.

WARNING: This cartoon contains extreme racial stereotyping. Shown here for historical and educational purposes and to promote discussion.