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Sunday, December 31, 2006
Happy New Year
This has been a big year of growth and transition for me. One year ago yesterday, I made the big move to the DC area and things haven't been the same since. I've made new friends, had some VERY interesting dating experiences, outgrown friendships and ex-boyfriends. I've made some incredible career strides, had another really jacked up car accident, got into my blogging groove, laughed, cried, screamed, yelled, and all of that. While this year has been good to me, I'm looking forward to a new year and the promise of better things, more fun, and more new experiences.

Whatever you do to celebrate tonight, be safe, have fun, and get durty if ya gotta!

Happy 2007 to my Blogfam!

Friday, December 29, 2006
Did You Get the Job?
In my position at the plantation, I do a lot of job interviews. Most people come in there like they have some sense, but some don't. I've pretty much seen the best and the worst, so I've decided to write an open letter to those who don't seem like they know better.:

Dear Potential Employees,

I'm so glad you decided to interview with our company. Myself and the other managers were impressed with your resume, but we do have some concerns. Some of this may come off a bit harsh, but it's really for your own good.

I know that snake-print halter dress was expensive and you want to get as much wear out of it as you can, but it's best left for the club. Our company encourages individual expression, but you shouldn't express everything all the time. It's great that you shaved your chocha for today's meeting with us, and I'm very happy that you feel fresh now. But I shouldn't have been able to see for myself that you had your bikini waxer trim the bush into the shape of the Gucci symbol. Cross your legs next time, it's much more ladylike. Let me break it down another way....FD muthafuckin S or Summer's gotdamned Eve please! Use it, because you and your shorn pucci smell like South Street Seaport. I see now that you do have a PhD. I guess that stands for Pussy(smells like) hot Damn?! There's no need for me to be able to discern this information durning an interview. I'm going to forward your resume to the gentlemen's club as they are looking for new "cocktail waitresses" and that halter dress can be your uniform. Please excuse me while I regurgitate my breakfast. No, you didn't get the job.

My brotha, we like chicken here. We order in quite often. We also enjoy gifts. However, gifts of fried chicken are not going to help you snag this position. I know you recognize that most of the staff and management in this department are black, and you know we like chicken, but wait until you've gotten the job to bring some in. We may have to revoke your ghetto pass and instead issue you a "Dayum that was gangsta" pass for that move. Also for future reference, if you're going to bring in fried foods, make sure it's in a container other than a brown paper bag. You had your bag sitting on your lap for so long that the grease from the chicken seeped through the bag onto your pants. Please address that situation. No, you didn't get the job.

It's an everyday hair struggle for a black woman, trust me I know. Some days, whether you have natural or relaxified hair, no matter what you do it just doesn't look right. For this reason, many women have wigs to cover the mess up so they can look presentable in public. You should have worn one today, because I was embarrassed for you when you showed up wearing a headscarf with your hair still wrapped underneath. You were laughing with the receptionists, but sweetie, they were laughing at you. And so was I. That’s why I was five minutes late coming out to greet you after I was first introduced to you. Girl, I know that scalps get itchy sometimes too, but you didn’t need to take your scarf off, pull a bobby pin out of your wrap and proceed to dig in your scalp during the interview. I would have been fine not seeing that. You could have excused yourself to the bathroom. I’m forwarding your resume to the Wig Warrior Salon. They need your head as a model. No, you didn’t get the job.

We’re a pretty casual set during the summer months, so we like to lay back more than other times. We enjoy pulling out the grill and having fun. But man, not THAT kind of grill. I’m sure that platinum and diamond contraption in your mouth is removable, you should have taken it out. No excuses. Unless it’s orthodontic, take that mess out when you’re trying to get a job. I want to see how you speak and communicate, not how well you can imitate Paul Wall. You sound like you have a speech impediment with that shit in your mouth. Apparently you can’t spell, because your name as engraved in your grill is spelled differently than what’s on your resume. And I know you know it too, because you informed me that the spelling on your grill is the correct spelling of your gov’t name. Do you think you got the job?

Bishop Don Magic Juan wears suits, Jesse Jackson wears suits, lawyers wear suits, and Denzel Washington wears suits. Now you know as well as I do that the types of suits are different. Let’s get “Sesame Street” so we can figure this out. Sing with me now, “One of these suits is not like the other ones, one of these suits just doesn’t belong…” If you don’t get it, pimp suits are not the same as corporate suits. There is no need for a bright blue pimp suit, black cape, furry fedora hat, and a cane when coming for a job interview. The only thing that looks professional about you is the tailoring. Leave the silly swagger in the car. You look like a Supafly I’m Gonna Get You Sucka reject. The jheri curl under your fedora drips offensively. Fix that. No, you did not get the job.

Again, interviewees, I don’t like being so harsh. But I also don’t like watching people embarrass themselves in public. I really hope you know better than this, and were just having fun with this interview although I’m 99% sure that’s not the case. Perhaps this is why you’ve been out of work for so long. Allow me to clear up any misunderstanding, you did not get the job. Do not call me and ask me if I’ll reconsider either, because I’ve already advised you. I wish you the best of luck in your job searches.


Friday Flashback
This week it's Kurtis Blow "If I Ruled the World":

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Thursday, December 28, 2006
Baby baby baby....
Ring ring. Ring ring.


"Oh, my darling Tasha, how are you?!"

"Aunt Deb?"

"Yes honey, how was Christmas? What are you doing for New Years? How is the boyfriend?"

"Fine. Don't know yet. Boyfriend? Nope. Auntie, it's 3 in the morning, is something wrong?"

"Yes! I need to discuss something with you"

"OK, that's fine. But it's 3AM, you know that right?"

"Babygirl, this is real serious."

*Braced myself for some terrible news*

"You're not getting any younger, sweetie. When are you going to have a baby and start giving your mama some grandbabies? You don't want your uterus to go to waste"

*DIALTONE* (Yeah I hung up on her, and what?!)

Record scratch, flag on the play, fifteen yard penalty! What. the. hell? My aunt woke me up this morning, demanding to know why I haven't yet spat out some offspring. That was her dire emergency. I can barely remember my name at that time of the morning, let alone give a coherent answer to that question. In her own eyes, it's disrespectful to my mother that I haven't provided her with any grandchildren. Although my brother is 8 years older than me who has no children, and I have step siblings 10+ years older than me who don't have kids, I'm responsible for doing all the childrearing I guess.

And hold the frigg on. She doesn't want my uterus to go to waste? Oh my damn. It's not like it's a pineapple or a potato, there's no "Use By.." date stamped on it! At least I don't think so, anyway. I guess finishing grad school shouldn't be quite so high on my priority list. Career? Who needs or wants one of those? Husband? Naw, they're overrated. Bring on the chirrens. Goodness knows I need some, right? *Makes nasty sarcasm face*

I'm so fed up with people telling me when I should have kids, asking me why I'm not married with kids, asking why I don't have kids, etc. For the love of everything, I've got quite a few years left in my 20s. No rush. It wouldn't bug me so much if it were just my family who badgered me about this subject though. I suppose it's their job. Aunts and uncles breach the level of appropriateness, but it's all love. Family is crazy like that, I've come to accept it. But from perfect strangers? HELL NO!

More often than I want to think about, some mother who is busy wrangling her kids up says something to me along the lines of "Damn, you want one of these bastards? Go head, I'll give 'em up free". I understand the humor, and once we get past the joke, usually they'll go on with their day, but I've had more than a few women get all up in my face and tell me that I'm getting old and I need to go ahead and have kids NOW and get it over with. They tell me I'm being selfish because I want to wait a bit longer and try to get a few things done in my life. Now I understand shit happens, so you might end up with a youngin at your side at a different time or different circumstances than expected--that's completely different from setting yourself up to be a statistic.

People please, learn your boundaries! If you do not know me, do not make comments like that. You don't know how someone could react. I'm sick to death of being told and chastised for not living up to people's ideals of what life is supposed to look like. Maybe if they hadn't fucked up their own lives they wouldn't be telling me what to do with mine. Ok, that was harsh, but come on now. It's ironic that it seems to be the people with the worst examples of BeBe's Kids are the ones telling me that I need to create some progeny. Maybe they want me to share in their misery? After all, it does love company right?


Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sam's Club is Da Debil!!!
I don't think I can go in Sam's Club alone ever again. Make that Sam's Club, Costco, BJ's, or whatever Gigantic Wholesale Club that happens to be nearby. I was way early for work, so I stopped in Sam's near my job. My intended purpose for going in there was to buy the industrial sized package of paper towels and napkins and leave. That was not my final purpose though. I left the store with a new 42" TV, DVD Player, two bottles of Pinot Noir, and HUGE package of paper towels and napkins that I think is taller than me.

I had no business with any electronics, nevermind enough paper products to last me until the fourteenth coming of the Messiah. But they were soo cheap! Therein lies the problem. They know I'm in there to buy one thing, but they set up these fabulous great deals in the middle of the aisles like booby traps. The unsuspecting shopper stumbles upon said booby trap deal and thinks to his or herself, "Well, I was thinking about getting a new TV. And it's SO CHEAP! I might as well toss it in, since I won't find a good deal like this again". But Ahaaaa, Ahaaaaa (*trying my best to sound like Eddie Murphy playing the old Jewish guy in Coming to America*)that's the everyday price. They sucker us into thinking this shit's on sale when it's the every day cot damn price.

I know I did a whole post about being wise with your finances, but I can't even front. I got caught up in the Sam's tornado of cheaptitude and let it get the best of me. Rare lapse in judgement. But the stuff was sooo cheap! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Where else in the world can you go into a place that looks like it's made for construction guys who fix light fixtures and show plumber's crack all day and buy all kinds of fun stuff. Trampolines! (Don't act like you haven't seen the trampoline that's tethered to the front of the building) Wine! Clothes! (can't bring myself to participate in that sale. I'll stick to the mall for my outfitting) Jewelry! (He bet' not get me no diamond from Costco!) Industrial size groceries! Toys! Gas! (I need to jump on this, cuz the $2.39/gal at Exxon doesn't look as good as the $2.17/gal at BJ's) New kitchen cabinets! Jacuzzis! Ahh, they have everything you can shake a dollar at. If you can buy it, it's there. That's too tempting.

These places are like little megalopolis metropolises. They're so big and have so much random stuff, they could turn into a self-sustaining village. Just add a Fisher-Price hospital and a Little Tykes Firestation and you're all set. Oh wait, they sell those there too...

But the stuff was soooo cheap!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Another Legend Gone

James Brown, better known as the Godfather of Soul, passed away on Monday morning. It was very sad to wake up on Christmas morning to this news. Along with the popular music of the day, my musical diet growing up included lots of James Brown and other soul and funk acts of that era.

This man for some reason seemed invincible to death to me, I thought that he and many others including Barry White and Gerald Levert would live forever. I remember the first time I heard the refrain "Say it Loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud" I asked my mom if they actually allowed that on mainstream radio because I knew that was something revolutionary to be saying. In one of my very first tap competitions I danced to "I Got You" (most of us know the song as "I Feel Good")--and won a trophy.

I'm sad to see another legend gone. The way our current music landscape looks, there are few poised to take the place of these voices, and that truly makes me worry about the future of our music. So much creativity has been taken to the grave, and I can only hope that the new generations can step up and leave a comparable lasting legacy of greatness.

Rest In Peace.

Sunday, December 24, 2006
Merry Christmas
I've escaped the family festivities long enough to say I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, and blessed Christmas. Whether you do it big with your family or quiet at home, enjoy the spirit of this wonderful holiday!

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,

Friday, December 22, 2006
On the Road Again

I'm headed up to see the fam in NY today. I'll probably be posting about the mass dysfunction of the holidays from there. So no Friday Flashback today, just flashing brake lights and traffic. FUN! *Rolls Eyes*

Thursday, December 21, 2006
The Gift That Won't Stop Giving
On my way out of the door this morning, I almost tripped over this thing that was sitting in the doorway:

Actually I kicked it first then I saw it. I thought it was a brick because it was so hard--I think I jacked up my toe on that thing. I looked down and saw all the gummi colors and the red cellophane wrap and simply said to myself, "Fruitcake. No. I. Can't." I picked it up, looked at the tag and saw 'To: Tasha From: Mrs. Upstairs Neighbor' There was a similar looking brick o' fruitcakey goodness in front of everyone's door. I don't know if she baked all of them, or if she got them from the Christmas clearance sale at the food pawn shop. Either way, it's a nice gesture, but I don't know how to return the favor nor do I know how to get rid of this thing.

I hate fruitcake. No ifs ands or buts about it. My grandmother, God rest her soul, used to force me to eat two pieces every Christmas morning, so my hatred is real. Some people say they hate the stuff, yet have never tasted it...but me, nah son. That stuff is just not right.

I know I can't regift this brick. I can't throw it away because it's so heavy that it will tip the dumpster over, and I'm sure my neighbor would feel bad if everyone just tossed their fruitcakes in the trash and she caught one of us. I wouldn't dare give this thing to a food pantry, since I don't consider it to be food. I'm thinking I may hold on to it and in the off chance that someone tries to attack me in my home, I'll have a weapon. Or if I catch my non-existant boyfriend (oh, the story! I'll have to share one day) cheating on me with some ghetto trash, I'll have something handy to throw though his car window.

And what am I supposed to get her in return? She gifted fruitcake en masse, so should I get something equally as wrong, like The Clapper or a Chia Pet, or worse yet a humongous tin of carmel, butter, and kettle corn? The kind with the scene of the horse in snow on the side? Or should I go to Hickory Farms and get the cheese and meat log set with the inedible brown snausage that stays in the wrapper forever? Maybe I'll be classy and get her a cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory or a small Bath and Body Works basket.

Dammit Fruitcake, why must you muck things up?! I had no intention of buying her a gift, but now because of you I have to go and brave the malls again.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Almost Sketchball Edition Update And a Slice of Humble Pie
Well I finally saw the kid who gave me the raunchy Christmas card. I told him I wanted to speak to him and he got all red in the face again, so I figured that he knew what this conversation was going to be about. Not so much. I sat him down in one of the quiet spots in the seating area of the cafeteria and explained to him that what he wrote was extremely inappropriate, but he wasn't trying to hear that at first. I could look in his eyes and see that comprehension wasn't clicking as fast as it does other times.

"But that's how I feel. I want to make you cookies on Valentines and do what I writed at you with you. I want you to be my girlfriend friend. Not friend, but girlfriend"

I had to explain to him why you can't just write or say something like that to someone you don't know and if you really like someone you have to handle things with more tact. I think he thought I was telling him that I hated him or something because he started boo-hoo crying.

"You don't like me ever at all do you?"

"I like you, you are a very nice person. But I can't be your girlfriend. I can be your special friend, but we can't do everything you wrote in your card. I'd be happy if you made me cookies though."

"You promise? Can we go on a date? No one likes me because I'm slow because my brain got sick. People call me retard a lot. You shouldn't do that, it's not good. So we're going on a date!?"

"How about this, instead of a date, you can come bowling one weekend with me and my friends after New Years. That should be fun."

"That's fun. Good. Thank you Natasha! Awesome! You're great! I know you can't be my girlfriend but I still like you."

He left the table beaming and left me there basically in tears. I didn't have it in my heart to further chastise him for writing such crazy X-rated material in a card, I think he got the point. I don't know if he came up with it himself or if he copied it from somewhere, but it doesn't really matter now.

I guess that's the best Christmas present I can give or receive this year--a smile and some understanding.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Well Damn
It seems like every day I get caught up in something I probably would have been better off never hearing about, and today was no different. I went to Einstein to get a bagel on the way to work this morning, and before I could even get out of the car I saw her and I caught that "my-experience-in-here-is-not-going-to-be-pleasant" vibe.

Her = some big behemoth of a woman, just looking like she smelled like 5 week old Newports, Heineken, turnip greens, and corn beef hash or Alpo dog food. Bad attitude scrawled all over her face, improperly sagging maroon sweatpants (I call it assy-saggy...not baggy anywhere else but the ass), dirty flattened out Jordan XIII's, a leather jacket, and a Louis Vuitton knock-off scarf on her hair.

This rhinoceros-looking piece of work shot me the absolute worst mean mug and I knew that it was maybe bout to be on and poppin, and I can't be involved in such buffonery before the sun rises all the way. So I tried to get into the store before she did, but my still-sleepy stilettoed feet were not trying to make that a reality for me. So I walked up to the door just behind her and she looked at me again like she could just eat my kinda dressy, sorta chichi, halfway corporate, pleasantly ghetto ass for snack. I was actually scared for a second, but I had to tell myself to man up (or woman up or whatever--dammit you naamean.) cuz we were only in there for bagels. It shouldn't be that serious.

As she placed her order, she was told that there were no more prepared plain bagels, but some would be coming out of the oven in about 5 minutes. She was obviously not happy with that news, but let it go and waited. I went ahead and ordered my plain bagel and cream cheese and I got it right away. By the time I ordered, the bagels were out of the oven. Ol' Rhino was mad at the fact that I got my bagels before she did and she let everyone in a 10-foot range know about it. Her bagels were being prepared at that time, and were handed to her a few seconds later. No screaming needed. Those people weren't going to let her leave without the fresh bagels she ordered. Then as we were paying she looked at me, looked down at my bagel, looked at me, looked down at my bagel, then snatched the fuggin thing and put it in her bag.

"Like, What the hell Scooby?" I thought to myself. I didn't immediately snatch my food back because I was in all kinds of shock. I finally said to the cashier girl who looked just as stunned as me, "You seent that right?" and busted out laughing out of nervousness and I don't know what else. But the woman, seeing me laughing took my bagel back out of her bag and handed it to me then said, "Just playin, I saw that look you gave me and I wanted to mess with you. I can tell you could take a joke"

UMMM, so this Sesame Street Snufallufagus reject was actually a nice person? Damn, maybe I judged too quickly?? I didn't know what to make of the situation since I was still half-sleep, so I smiled and left. Was this chick tryin to holla or was she just playing a joke or is she crazy as hell? I pick door #3, crazy as hell... I seriously don't know how I end up in dumb mess like that, maybe I should just wear a ski mask everywhere I go so no one can see my face to decide to holla or play with me. If you're going to do stuff like that, at least wait until I'm completely awake.

Monday, December 18, 2006
15 Things I Want to Know
Most things in life I don't have a problem understanding, however there are some things that I really haven't been able to wrap my mind around, so today La Bella Noire Asks...

1)Why is I-495 called the Capital Beltway? Shouldn't it be called the Capital Parking Lot?- I'm on the Beltway every single workday as I commute from Laurel to Vienna. If you're not familiar with those locations, just know it's far as hell, and I'd rather drive because I'd have to be up at 4:30AM in order to catch the train to be at work by 7:30AM and my body doesn't do early morning like that. Anyway, traffic is always thick as sin, and it seems on Fridays there is no such thing as rush hour--it's just rush day.

2)Why are there so many bad drivers from Maryland?- Again, I drive somewhere in this fair state every stankin day, and no matter where I go I run into at least three shitty shittay sheeety drivers. Before I moved here, I knew that the drivers here are the stuff of legend NATIONWIDE (no lie--google it) and I'd done my fair share of roaming around PG county while visting family before the place became my home, but DAYUM! There is no need to keep seven car lengths between you and the car in front of you on the highway, nor is it necessary to slow down to a crawl when you see that a cop has pulled someone over on the side of the road or to gawk at an accident. I love Maryland almost as much as I love NY, but y'all need Jesus when it comes to your driving skills.

3)Why do people assume that I know every celebrity walking just because I'm from New York?- Yeah I lived in NYC, and I would see celebrities now and again going about their business like walking their dogs and eating lunch,but that doesn't mean I know them personally. And NO, I cannot get you the hookup with whatever movie producer, actor, or singer that happens to be based out of New York.

4)Why is there no Whole Foods or Trader Joe's in PG County?- Look y'all, black people eat healthy organic stuff too. I'm tired of having to go into VA, DC, or Montgomery County to get my organic grocery shop on. Some of the yummy things I like can't be found at Giant or Shoppers. Black folk die of heart disease and we appear to be the most obese race of people going, so why not put some damn "health-food" stores in the areas where there are larger concentrations of us. They'd be surprised how many of us really enjoy finding good edamame or Greek yogurt, etc.

5)Why is it that the only time the President is in PG county (or anywhere in Maryland for that matter) is when Air Force One lands at Andrews AFB?- Nuff said.

6)Why in this area are there so many $1.85 and $1.90 Dry Cleaning stores? in the DC area- It seems like every plaza I go to there is at least one of these. Is the Drycleaning business really that competitive? How about some Dryel sheets please?

7)Why is the green line the worst line on the Metro?- Bas ass kids abound, I can't take it. That's another reason I don't hate taking Metro to work.

8)Why is Santa Claus fat?- You'd think that running around making toys and whatnot all year long, he wouldn't have the chance to get fat. And wouldn't Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, and Rudolph get tired of hauling his heavy ass around every year? I'm surprised they don't drop him some hints and get him a membership to the North Pole Gold's Gym?

9)Why do people put green weave tracks in their hair?- That is not natural. I saw this along with some other girls with blue and pink tracks. Stop the madness.

10)What is in egg nog?- I wonder if I can buy nog in other flavors. Maybe raspberry or mango?

11)Why are Marshall's, TJMaxx, and AJWright all owned by the same company?- The stores are like carbon copies of each other, you'd think they'd save money by making it all one brand of store

12)Why do so many black females think being clean involves putting a load of baby powder on their neck?- I can't stand it when I see a black woman with a ring of baby powder around the collar of a black shirt. Do our necks attract dirt so much that we have to repel it with baby powder?

13)Why do men with bald heads wear doo rags?- The point of a doo rag is to create/maintain the wave pattern in your hair. If you don't have any hair at all on your head, do you think the rag will create a wave pattern in your scalp?

14)Why are so many grown people addicted to Crackspace?- Rusty ass people are taking to that site like, well...umm, like crackheads to crack. I'm tired of running into grown ass men (I mean like 40+ years old) who tell me all about the people they have on their pages, and where they got their layouts from. They'll always refer to their friends and say some crap like, "Oh my boy, Ricco--he's on my page too...". I can't stand that! Dammit, you shouldn't be on MySpace more than your teenager!!! Also, I have a crackspace page too and when I have messages I get alerted when I sign in, so there is no need to call me and tell me that you left me a comment.

15)How is it that drive thru service is faster than walk up service at McFastFood places?- They have the pledge of getting your food to you within 90 seconds at lunch time if you're coming thru the drive thru, but not if you walk in. Isn't it the same damn food?

Hmm, I wonder...

Sunday, December 17, 2006
Not a Good Look, Vol. 1
It's been a pretty busy weekend, but I've still managed to notice people practicing life faux pas all over the place and I've decided to call them out. If one of these people is you, I'm so sorry--well actually I'm not because you should know better. If you're not one of these people, take note, because I don't want you to make the same mistakes.

1)The misplaced jogging shorts- I was driving up a busy street and saw some greasy looking man jogging--nothing abnormal about that. But I noticed he was wearing a lime green t-shirt and that's ALL! Well, that's all it looked like he had on. I stopped at the red light and he slowed down to cross the street, when the wind blew and uncovered some lime green jogging shorts that looked more like his 12-year old son's Speedos. I'm not mad at the all lime green (but please note--if you are darker than a locomotive like this man was, you have NO business wearing neon colors), I'm mad at the fact that this man had the gall to step outside of his house with a T-shirt that's longer than his shorts. And the shirt wasn't all that long, not even mid thigh. Please excuse me while I vomit. Uggg, NOT A GOOD LOOK!

2)Mammy bonnets- I was at the shoe store, and there was a woman in there wearing a head full of rollers covered up by a black satin mammy bonnet. You know, the ones with the little lacy ruffled edge around the elastic. I know a sista needs to preserve her hairstyle, but if you go out in public at least take the rollers out. I mean, for the love of Purple Rain, just wrap your hair and put a scarf on if you must. I could give a pass if this was 7-11 or something, but we were at the mall. In the Christmas crowds. I wouldn't have been the least bit surprised if she'd been wearing fuzzy pink house slippers and a to' up 1988 Fresh Prince & Jazzy Jeff concert T-shirt with no bra. NOT A GOOD LOOK!

3)Pregancy pondering- At a christmas party this weekend, there were several big-bondededed girls like me and a few jumbo jet heffas (Lawd forgive me for saying that!) there. Well one of the partygoers actually had the nerve to ask one of the big girls when the baby is due and rub all on her stomach. Ok, so the girl needs to do a few crunches, but come on now! Just because someone has an obvious need for a girdle, there is no need to take it there. By the way, the girl is sooo not pregnant and the offending woman knew this, she just wanted to *ahem* gently tell the girl she needed to get on her Billy Blanks Tae-Bo grind. You just don't do that. Embarrassment is not motivation. NOT A GOOD LOOK!

4)Public pissy- At the same Christmas party, this one chick decided she was going to get loose. When I say loose, I mean LOOOOOOSE! She was tossing back Bacardi like that shit was Kool-Aid. In the span of an hour she had at least five and a shot or two. Needless to say, it caught up with her with a vengeance. She was stumbling worse than a toddler taking her first steps, all unsteady and hanging on people like a coat. I can understand wanting to let your hair down, but to let your piss down is so ungood! This broad actually pissed herself and stood there while she did it. She just stood there with her legs wide open, hiked up her skirt, and let it all out. The party host was beyond heated, and ol' girl was none the wiser. Definitely NOT A GOOD LOOK!

5)Kiddie carnival- I went to that damned Ikea matrix on Saturday to pick up a few Christmas gifts and some cute Swedish décor items for my livingroom, and I saw a woman commit the deadliest of the single black mama sins. She let her kids break shit in the showroom area and didn't do a damn thing. Sure, Ikea isn't the holy grail of sturdy furniture, but it is the mecca of do-it-yourself living spaces and some of that stuff is expensive, contrary to popular belief. These bad asses slammed and broke the glass doors to one of the Haagen-Flaagermaarten entertainment shelves and tried to steal one of the flat screen computer monitor props. All the mother kept saying was "Don't do that" and "Stop it boys". Please, if that was me and my mama, she would have taken off her boot and laid the smack down right there and Christmas would have been cancelled indefinitely. I was ready to put a serious hurtin on her kids on her behalf, but I don't need to be in prison. Orange jumpsuits and handcuffs don't go well with my complexion. Lady, get your kids together! NOT A GOOD LOOK!

Be on the lookout for volume 2 at some point in the near future. I've got my eye on you and don't mind embarassing you in cyberspace!

Friday, December 15, 2006
I Need Your Help!! Oh No He Didn't *Special Almost Sketchball Edition*
Someone PUHLEEZE help me! I'm caught up in some fraganackle bullshit. There's this emotionally challenged/potentially developmentally delayed guy who works in the same building I do who insists upon talking to me every single time I see him. I've always been cordial, but have never really had anything of substance to say to him.

I guess he's had a crush on all things Tasha related, and figured today would be the day that he would let me know what's been on his mind. I was on my way back in the building from lunch, and he shoved a card in my face. He gave me the most embarrassed, red faced look then kind shuffled off with the quickness. I thought it was another Christmas card, so I smiled and got in the elevator. Once I got back to my office and had a chance to open this card I was horrified. Straight up disgusted and confooosed.

He wrote me a love (lust??) note, and I didn't know whether to be flattered or to make an appointment with the Porcelain Toiletbowl Gods to upchuck my lunch. Let me give you a sample...some of this stuff is all kinds of unfit for adult eyes. This is copied verbatim with the yuckstuff taken out

"Natasha, Natasha, Natasha...I found out your name from your badge. You have the most banginest booty in the building. I want to make it mine and *HELL NAW. X-RATED* it all night and day. I'm trying to be dat dude for you. I gots plans for us for VALENTYMES. Take these days off.... Merry Kissmas, Muah! I really like you and don't want you to be offended by this, but I had to let you know all the ways I think about you from the boardroom, to the bed, to everthing elses"

There's a lot more in that letter, it spans three card pages, but you get the idea. The stuff in this letter had my head tilting sideways trying to comprehend it all. And what the fuck is Valentymes, yall? I'm obviously disturbed by this, but I don't know if I should alert his employer, or what. I'm feeling hella violated, but at the same time I don't think he realized the gravity of what he wrote. I know he's developmentally delayed and emotionally challenged, so I'm not sure if he really grasps the fact that I'd feel violated from that letter. Sure he knows enough to be sexual and how to express that (all too well I may add), but I can tell in his eyes that things just don't always click the way they do for the rest of us.

I'm really stuck here. Readers, I need your help. Drop me a comment with some advice for a sista if you want. Thanks.

La Bella Noire Babysits
How I got roped into this, I have no stinkin clue. When I got asked, I figured it would be a piece of cake…play with the kids for a while, do the pizza thing, and call it a night. After all, I teach tap to 4 and 5 year olds and I’ve babysat plenty of times in the past. How hard could this be?

Parents, I give you all the props in the world. You all need to be paid to do this job. I’ve seen my friend’s kids before and they always acted like they had some sense when they were around their mother and I. Well, when the door closed, these bammas (yup, I sure did call children bammas) turned right into the Children of the Corn, on some Omen type mess. Bebe’s Kids wouldn’t have been able to keep up.

As soon as I bid my friend a good night and closed her front door, a hulking load of five year old came flying off the banister and landed dead on the telephone table. I expected the table to break, but instead the boy actually bounced like some human superball and knocked me down. His sister creeps up from somewhere, on the stealth-mode tip, then looks at me and says, “You got laid out, Miss Tasha!” This little short thing didn’t even try to help me up.

Oh Claude Jeebus, I’ve got the debil on my hands for sure!

I picked myself up and asked the kids what they wanted to do for the night, and before I could get the question two syllables out of my mouth, the boy starts spraying me with a super soaker. Where in the name of Purple Rain did he get this thing? The girl got me down on her level and told me that I could use her super soaker to spray him back. Ok, no problem. We’re at war now.

So I went upstairs to get her super soaker and fill it up. I was gone not all of five minutes, but when I got back downstairs I thought I’d walked into The Jungle Book. These little hellions were actually climbing up the drapes and swinging like Tarzan. What!? So I did what any normal person would do, I sprayed both of them with the water gun I had in hand. They got down and acted like they wanted to catch attitude because I spoiled their fun. Look children, I’m not trying to make this fun for you, I’m doing your mama a favor.

Me: “Does your mother let you run around buckwild like this?”

Kids: “Of course Miss Tasha! We do this everyday”

Me: To myself: Bullshit! “Don’t lie, that’s not cool”

Maybe God was feeling sorry for me, because after I said that, they calmed down. I put in a movie and ordered some pizza. They were transfixed on the TV, and when the pizza came they ate like normal people and chilled out for a while. I really thought the mess was over.
Why must I set myself up for these things? Everyone knows there’s always a calm before the storm.

“Raaaaaaaarrrrrr” That’s the last thing I heard before being knocked flat on my face by a five year old and a seven year old. Apparently I didn’t realize that after dinner the living room turned into the set of WWE Superstars. Before I could even get my bearings, one was on one arm of the couch and the other one was on the arm of the loveseat, standing there like they were standing on turnbuckles of the ring. I think my life actually flashed before my eyes. “Lord, I am way too young to die like this”. And here they came. This time they landed right on my chest. Wind knocked out of me something fierce! I got tag teamed by the midget brigade! BOOOOO! The boy proceeded to clothesline the girl, but she fought back and put him in a full nelson. That’s my girl! Get him girl!! Damn I’m not supposed to say stuff like that, *ahem* back to my senses.

The house was shaking because they were landing on the carpet so hard tearing each other to shreds. The boy kept knocking into my knees trying to take me out like a tree. One of the knickknacks on the shelf fell off and broke, so I’d have to explain that one to Maria when she got back. I was really about to find an orange extension cord or a belt and whoop some ass with a vengeance, but it hit me that those are not my kids. I am not trying to get involved in that tangled web.

What would Super Nanny do? Time out was not an option, and neither was that “let’s see who can be silent the longest game”. Naw, these kids were too smart for all of that. So I had to reach into the handbook of ghetto child discipline and get gangsta.

Me: “I’m about to call your father so he can come get you.”

Kids: “Ok Miss Tasha, sorry. Please don’t do that. We’ll be good”

And that’s all it took. Kids started being nice to each other and watched the rest of the movie. They fell asleep, knocked out until their mother came back. I’ve never been so happy to see another adult ever in my life. When she opened the door, she took a look at my bruised up face and my limp and she knew the deal.

“Aww damn Tash, they jacked you up too? I can’t leave them with ANYONE! Now you see why I never go out?”

“Yeah, they almost got the best of me, but I threatened them with Daddy and they straightened up”

“You found the secret. Now you know how to get them to act right. Maybe you could become our permanent babysitter!”

I politely said I’d have to get back to her, but in my head was oh hell no. I can’t mess with that again. I like being alive. Again, parents, you all have the hardest job ever. Do not expect me to join your ranks anytime soon, if ever. I swear if I give birth to some alter-ego Damien child, I will run away from home. Bless your souls, my heart goes out to you!

Friday Flashback!
This week, it's "Teenage Love" by Slick Rick

Happy Friday, Enjoy!

Thursday, December 14, 2006
Carry out Trauma
The cafeteria at my job is nothing more than a glorified carry out. They sell everything from cigarettes to greeting cards to cough drops, and oh yeah you can get your breakfast and lunch there too. All that's missing is the mumbo sauce. Not being a DC native, I still don't understand the concept of that stuff, but it's okay. Some things we're just not meant to understand.

It seems like in every carry out I've been to in this daggone city, none of the employees speak coherent english--and the carryout right downstairs from my plantation (da job) is no exception. This morning, I was in desperate need of breakfast, and a Dunkin Donut was not on my radar screen, so I went to the cafeteria carry out to get a simple egg and cheese omelette. Follow me on this one now...

Me: "Can I get an egg and cheese omelette please?"
Carry Out Lady: "You want a dee om-uh-let wit uh dee cheese-uh?"
Me: "Yes please"
COL: "Ehhh. You want dat with deeee egg-uhs?"
Me: "Pardon me ma'am?"
COL: (with a stank attitude) "You want deee om-uh-let wit deeee egg-uhs?"
Me: "Do I want that with eggs?"
COL: (Rolls eyes) "Yes. You want deee om-uh-let wit eggg-eees?"
Me: "Omelettes are eggs. So yes please"
COL: "Ok, you get dat. Five minutes"

I waited the five minutes, and she handed me my food. I didn't bother to look at it since the place was packed and I figured maybe she didn't understand when I said omelette. Maybe she thought I said barbeque or Amish Pretzels or something. Simple language breakdown I figured.

I brought the food back to my office, and got ready to dig in. When I opened the lid, I saw a Sausage-Biscuit-Grits McMess with NO EGGS OR CHEESE staring in my face just waiting for me to eat it. I was hungry as all get out, but couldn't do it. So I brought it back to the carry out thinking they mixed my order up with someone elses. When I asked the head cook about it, she looked at it and told me that the biscuity grits snausages thing was an omelette special. I asked her where the eggs are and she said...."Ohhh, you wanted an egg and cheese egg pocket. This is omelette here. Egg pocket is what you want. Next time you order that, and don't say omelette"

I was too hungry to raise hell this morning, so I just said fine. Give me an egg pocket with cheese. But really, what the hell? Since when does Omelette mean McMeat Mess? Finally I got my correct food, but it wasn't as yummy as I'd hoped it would be. Shaaaaame.

I forgot my lunch at home today, maybe I should try the carry out. Naww, I think I'll just eat Taco Hell. At least they get your order right, even if they do try to E. coli you to death.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006
I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas
I've been thinking a lot about Christmas gifts over the last few weeks, which would make sense because between my step family and my "real" family (I don't like calling them that as my step family is every bit of real) I have nearly 80 nieces and nephews. If you think I buy gifts for all of them, please have your sanity level checked. The aunts and uncles usually draw 2-3 names out of a hat and focus on those few people.

Anyway, this has nothing to do with them, but I thought I'd share for the fun of it all. A few days ago, I asked one of my good friends who happens to have a 6 year old daughter what I could get the child for Christmas. I was honestly expecting to hear something like "Bratz, Barbie, Disney MP3 player..." but my ears deceived me. Instead she told me that if I wanted to get her any toys, that they had to be afrocentric in nature and that she would only allow black dolls in her house.

This sista is really on her Militant Pro-Black shit this yeear, and that's something I don't know if I can wholeheartedly support. But because she's been my road-dawg for years and her daughter is the most precious little person I know, I'll respect her wishes. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about supporting my people and celebrating my blacktitude. I'm not about to pull a Michael Jackson and dye myself glow-in-the-dark white or anything, but I really can't get behind this mentality.

Hate me if you want to, and I know that I've been sitting on this race thing for a few posts too long, but it's my opinion and my blog so in the words of my good friend Jamaul...TUFF!

It's one thing to want to know and celebrate who you are by honoring your ancestors, your people, and your culture. But to go on some militant-ass "Black or nothing at all" trip is insane to me. I know our people have been through some horrendously jacked-up stuff in this country and we've been opressed, repressed, and had our hair pressed. I also recognize that there is a certain level of white privilege in force in our land, sometimes those benefitiing from it are completely ignorant to it. Yes, white supremacists and all out racism exist in this country, but to respond with an all or nothing militant attitude doesn't really solve anything.

I understand my friend's desire to make her daughter see the beauty in black people by getting her black books and black dolls. Makes all kinds of sense. But to limit her to playing with only those toys that are Black Like Me (that's a reference to the book...you should read it) is on the same plane of thinking as a White Supremacist's. Isn't that self-segregation? Haven't we been fighting for up-teen hundred years to end institutional segregation. To teach your kids to isolate themselves culturally like that (i.e. regard black and nothing else as beautiful or acceptable) is EXACTLY THE SAME CRAP WE'VE BEEN FIGHTING AGAINST. What sense does that make?! Now before you go throwing stones at my head or crucifying me for that last statement, hear me out.

There are countless races and ethnicities of people living in our country and the world. Each and every one of them has a beauty about it, even those who have sketchy pasts. Wouldn't it make sense to teach a child how to appreciate the beauty in all cultures rather than solely the one they represent? Yes please, go ahead and teach your children about the culture you most closely identify with, so they know that their own culture is unique. I chose my word carefully there...unique. I didn't say "better than" or "the only beautiful culture". When a child emerges into life knowing that his or her culture is special, beautiful, and unique then he or she can be a fully engrossed citizen of the world. When we limit our children's cultural experiences to one or two cultures alone, then they are not able to truly appreciate the beauty of all skin colors, ethnicities, religions etc. For example, my nuclear family celebrates Christmas and Kwanzaa. My grandmother (God rest her soul) was Jewish, so she celebrated Hanukkah only. It would have been a disservice to me if my parents had taught me to only appreciate Christmas and Kwanzaa but shun Hanukkah because it's different than what we do at our house.

I get damn sick of people saying, well we have to preserve only our own race because collectively we've been dragged through the mud. Newsflash people, we're not the only ones it has happened to. Ever heard of Native Americans/Indigenous People? Hell, most of their race (I know there are lots of tribes, but I don't know a better word to use...pardon my ignorance, but I'm still doing research) got fucking erradicated. Destroyed and pushed onto small, tiny reservations and left to live in poverty. Do you have any idea how many Native Americans are currently living below the poverty line in conditions that you and I can't even friggin imagine? These people used to roam free in this country, but now the relative few that are left mostly live on Reservations. Yes, for the most part, many still hold on to their traditions and maintain those traditions at the center of their worlds, but they also realize that in order to survive, they need to appreciate the other cultures around them and work with them. Hell, at least more of our people made it through slavery with some dignity intact. And what about the Jews? The Holocaust was not made up. And they manage to keep their traditions and history sacred but not always to the detriment of other cultures.

I'm not ranting so much against Pro-Blackness as I am aganst Pro-Anything-To-The-Exclusion-Of-Everything-Else. Damn, for once can't we just be Pro-People rather than trying to divide ourselves? I'm not so naive as to think that we can all exist on some Kumbaya shit either, but damn can we (the collective universal We, not just black people) for once see the beauty in each other?

Hatred--it's really very passé.

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Broke Down!
My back hurts today, and actually has me in tears which is a rarity for me. So I thought I'd share the story with you why my back sometimes treats me like a wayward step-child.

Almost two years ago, I was hit by a car. I'd just gotten out of my car and was walking across the street when BAM I got hit on the side by a damn Lincoln Continental going about 25 MPH. I got launched 15-20 feet and landed on my back. All I heard was CRRAAAACCCKKK and SNAP. I wasn't in pain then, but was instead trying to stand myself back up and keep walking.

"Well damn, aint this some shit" I thought to myself when I couldn't will myself to stand up

Along came the ambulances and all the EMTs. As much as I wanted to tell them I was fine, they stuck me in one of those neck braces that you see people wearing on The People's Court when they try to juice money out of the offending party. At that point, the adrenaline started to wear off and I knew something was way out of whack.

Once at the hospital, I was immediately sent into x-ray, MRI, and damn near everything else that involved imaging and radiation. It was found that I'd broken two of my vertebrae (L4 and S1--those of you with bad backs know what I'm talking about). So it was decided that I needed surgery. Two days later, I found myself getting 2 hooks, a rod, a cage, and a chunk of my hip bone put into place around my spine. I really thought I was being set up to be a quadriplegic, but to my surprise I was up and walking the next day. Not voluntarily though, the doctors and physical therapists forced me to get up and move to help build up my muscles and such.

After 6 days and a whole LOT of very painful physical therapy, I was allowed to go home. I had to use a walker, cane, or wheelchair for about a month, but with the physical therapy, I was walking freely on my own in about 3 months. My doctors told me that if it hadn't been for the muscles I'd built from dancing forever, I might not have fared so well. I made it back to the dance studio in 5 months. It took me a while to get my legs under me again so to speak, but I was back doing what I loved.

While my back has healed in the best way medical professionals could have hoped for, I'm still left feeling wretched when the weather is going to change. I always used to think it was funny when my grandmothers would say "Oh, it's going to rain/snow/do something" based upon the pain in their joints, but now I understand it all to well.

I'm back to functioning at about 90% of what I was pre-accident, but I still get up and do everything I want...and usually do it pretty much pain free. Some days however find me literally crying because I'm in so much pain. I have to go into a different place in my mind where I'm numb to the feeling of pain on those days to maintain a baseline function, but those days are few and far between, Thank God. Never again in my life will I ever get angry at an elderly person who is moving slowly because they're in pain. This mess is no joke.

Ok ok ok, enough pity party...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I Done Been Taggedededd
Gunfighter has tagged me, so I suppose I'm obligated to do this. And I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to know more about the oddball that is me. So here goes...

Six Weird Things about La Bella Noire:

1)I think in French. English, French, and Patois are my so-called "home languages". Most of the time I think in French and most of my dreams are in French. If you catch me counting something out loud to myself, more than likely it's in French. I'm more articulate in English, but you get the idea.

2)I was supposed to be a twin. Apparently I had a fraternal twin in utero, but I was the superstar so I crowded him/her out and took over. Essentially, I prevented the twin from growing too much past embryo state. Sorry twin!

3)I collect tap shoes. As most of you know, I've been tap dancing for 20 years so of course I have a fairly large collection of my own shoes. However, I collect other dancers' shoes as well. I have pairs from very famous dancers, and some from my competition over the years, as well as some from the students I've taught.

4)I'm hopelessly addicted to Dunkaccino. Most every morning, I go to Dunkin Donuts and get a medium sized one of these coffee-cappuccino-chocolate concoctions. I can go without them, but somehow regular coffee just doesn't have the same special je ne sais quoi.

5)I'm actually ambidextrous. People say that they can switch hit with their penmanship skills, but usually one hand is weaker than the other and it's visible in their writing. Me, I switch up at will, and my writing looks no different whatsoever--and yes it's neat. Usually, I write with my right and eat with my left.

6)I can ride a unicycle and juggle at the same time. When I was 10, I went to clown/acrobats camp and learned how to be a clown. I also revisited my talent in college, when I took a PE class that taught basic clown skills. I'm a "certified" clown and sometimes perform at children's birthday parties and the like.

That's my six. I don't know who to tag, so if you want to play the game and respond, go for it!

Young, Superfly, and Broke
I’m a self-proclaimed financial nerd. I keep serious track of what I spend and I manage my debt very wisely. I keep up with the latest trends in investing and I watch my credit score like a hawk. And no, that doesn’t mean you can borrow a few dollars till next week! With that having been said, I’m a bit of a rarity among my contemporaries.

I read somewhere that last year, more people declared bankruptcy than graduated from college. More and more people age 25 and under are being forced to declare bankruptcy and are starting their post-college lives buried under a mountain of personal debt, not including student loans. Speaking of student loans, Sallie Mae and I are NOT friends! Every time I see a damn student loan bill with the Sallie Mae logo on it, I want to curse my degrees.

Anyway, I completely understand why so many of my peers are suffocating under their bills. When I was in college, almost every time I went to the dining hall or the student center, there was a table staffed by a representative from a major credit card company. The representative would convince unsuspecting students to apply for their credit card in exchange for a T-shirt. Come on, what college student can’t use another T-shirt? When the students would ask about paying the bill, the representative would assure them that the monthly amount would be small…something like $15-20 a month. Thinking that they could afford the monthly payment, and telling themselves that they would only use the card for emergencies, the students would naively apply for whatever card. Multiply this scenario by five, and now Jane Doe Student would be the proud owner of five new shirts and five cards only to be used in emergencies.

Once the cards arrive, a legitimate emergency would come up. A tire would blow out or an emergency trip home for a funeral would come up. But after a while, the emergencies would become less emergent…an impromptu trip to the mall, a new dress for the fraternity formal, a haircut. Everything seemed like a minor emergency, but that piece of plastic would save the day. After all, the payment’s only $15, right? Well somehow Jane’s work-study check didn’t cover this month’s round of bills, but surely she’d be able to catch up next month. To her surprise, the $15 payment jumped up to $45 because of interest and late fees. Again, multiply this by five and most certainly the work-study check won’t cover it.

That’s just one way so many students get caught up, some are just too eager to have plastic in their pockets and go melt the thing at Nordstrom the first day they have it. So many men and women are sitting in these fabulously decorated apartments, financed by a Visa card hanging by a thread to its credit limit, but unable to figure out how they’re going to pay for food. Many of us have great jobs, but might as well be working a volunteer position because all the money gets spread out to pay off big huge debt. At the rate they’re going, their great-grandchildren three times removed will be paying the debt off.

I’m all for stopping the predatory credit giving in colleges. I hate seeing credit card companies preying on naïve college students, knowing that once they get them, they’ve got interest income for life. But more than that, I want to see a shift toward better financial education in this country. I do what I can to teach my friends, and even my family to an extent, how to manage their finances and protect their credit ratings, but I’m only one woman. I don’t want to see my generation remembered for sabotaging the American Dream and having jacked up credit. I want to see us buy our own homes, not live in the ones our parents bought because we can’t afford to do better.

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Renegade Telemarketers
When I moved here, I immediately signed myself up for the National Do Not Call list. I don’t know why I even bothered with that, because the telemarketers keep calling. Everytime another one calls, I politely inform them that I am on the list and they need to not call me again. I can’t even lie, a few times I’ve come at them really sideways and thrown some four letter pleasantries at them. Alright alright, so it’s really the other way around…a few times I’ve been polite, but usually they catch me while I’m eating dinner or when I don’t want to be bothered so I can’t help but be stank.

I worked for a few days as a telemarketer in college, so I know just how hard their jobs are. You notice I said a few days? Yeah, umm…I got tired of people hanging up in my ear. However, I know that the telemarketing firms know which numbers are blacklisted, so there is no excuse for this shit.

These telemarketers have gotten way gangsta for my liking. Last night, my phone rang and instead of seeing the telltale generic 800 number on my caller ID, I saw a 301 area code, so I figured it was one of my friends calling me from a new number. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: “Hello”

Telemarketing Wench: “Hey girl, how you doin!?”

Me: “I’m good girl, who’s this?”

TW: “I’m calling from AB&C Mortgage Company. I’d like to talk to you about setting up your financing for your upcoming home purchase”

Me: “Da Fuck!? Are you serious!?”

TW: “Yes ma’am. Are you planning on purchasing a home in the next six months?”

Me: “Oh my *lots of expletives omitted*! What kind of renegade shit are you trying to pull calling me acting like you know me?”

TW: “Are you planning a home purchase?”

Me: “Oh my fucking Gawd! I’m on the *more nasty expletives omitted* do not call list”

TW: “I’m sorry, we’ll take your name off our list.”

Me: “Thank You. But I gotta give it to you, that’s a good trick”

Wow, this is getting out of control. I’m thisclose to never answering my phone again. I halfway expect to hear telemarketers posing as family members next. Can you imagine having your phone ring and you think you’re talking to your mother, then you hear “You’ve been approved for our credit program…” Living in a suburb of arguably the most powerful city in the country, you’d think this stuff would be in check.

Hold on, my cousin Dialtone wants to speak to you…

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Monday, December 11, 2006
Not Quite Right
I know it's only Monday, but already this week I've been seeing some stuff that's just not quite right.

1)Subway shouldn't sell breakfast-- I work near several Subway Sandwich spots and I've never seen that place as anything more than a place to get lunch or maybe a quick dinner. I was just in there picking up lunch, when I saw a sign advertising that breakfast is now being sold there I caught the nastiest image in my head. Say you want a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich or something, is the clerk going to ask you if you want that six inch or foot long and on what kind of bread?! Imagine, your sandwich being created on six-inch italian herbs and cheese bread. Something doesn't sound quite right about that.

2)My boss has had the munchies all day--I'm not going to touch this one with a ten foot pole. But his eyes look funny. Pleading total ignorance. *Backs away slowly*

3)The nail tech lady--She's been watching too much BET and hasn't been paying enough attention to her ESL classes lately. Before I stopped at Subway, I stopped in the nail place to get my wolfman jack eyebrows waxed and when I said hello, she said "What's crack-a-lackin?". Dayum! That's some old Snoop Dogg/Double Dutch Bus type speak. "Dizzouble Dizzutch, Dizzouble Dizzutch" (Don't look at me like that, you know what song I mean!). But as soon as she sat me down in the waxing chair, she suddenly didn't understand me when I was saying "How are you" "Strange weather lately". Just not quite right

4)The homeless guy--There's a homeless guy near my job, and him and I have had a number of really deep conversations. I don't know why people act like homeless people are some Night of the Living Dead-brand savages with no brains or souls. Sometimes I'll buy him a cup of coffee or a muffin and we talk about politics and such. Well today, he was dressed in a suit and carrying a UPS box. I asked if he'd gotten a job, and he said no that he just wanted to dress up. Just not quite right

Maybe it's me, but I feel like I've entered some alternate dimension today. People look the same, most everything else is the same, but something is just off. Maybe I need to go back to bed and start all over again.

Requiem of a Cellphone

My baby is gone. GOOOOONE! Not even quite a year old, my favorite Christmas present from last year has died. I may as well call the funeral home to arrange a proper homegoing ceremony.

Digression—You ever notice how we black folk tend to act a gotdamned fool at funerals? Always talking about some, “Pookie, take me with you!!” type of mess. I mean, I’ve seen some odd crap go down at funerals that had me crying laughing and at the same time fearing for my life. At my uncle’s funeral, I saw my aunt actually try to climb in the effin casket with the man and when the pall bearers pulled her away she started ripping up the flowers and screaming “Negro, you ain’t dead, stop playing with me!!!”. I was about ready to start running for Jesus and out of the funeral home.

Anyway, she died such a tragic death, ohmygoodness I could cry. I went out bowling with a few friends on Saturday, and left the phone in my bag. Somehow the bag fell on the floor and no one noticed. My friend was coming from selecting a bowling ball and managed to drop the phone squarely on my purse. Just as gravity was having its time with the ball, I noticed the bag on the ground and tried to move it in time. I literally had a Matrix moment, leaning to either catch the ball or move the bag. Neither happened.

CRASH, THUD, roll. The damn ball landed and I heard something smash and crack and I just knew it was over for my poor phone, then the friggin ball had the nerve to roll all innocently to the side like a guilty kid who knew he’d done something wrong. I picked my bag up and tried to fish out my phone, but I pulled out four separate pieces. I sat staring at the pieces in my hand for a good five minutes before I snapped out of it and went back to enjoying my night. Apologies flowed, but I was still hurt. He gave me the money then and there to purchase a new phone, so I didn’t feel quite as bad. I managed to salvage the SIM card, so I didn’t lose all of the numbers and email addresses thank goodness.

I got a new phone yesterday, and it’s all well and good in my world again. Allow me to bow my head a moment and say Rest In Electronic Peace old phone, you went out a soldier.

Sunday, December 10, 2006
Sketchball of the week
I went on a group date (yeah I said date, and what!?) on Saturday and it was all too much fun. Me and an old friend from back home who just moved to the area went duckpin bowling in Baltimore with a few of our friends. Yes yall, old friend trying to be Mr. La Bella Noire, go figure (*swoon* or something like that). For those of you who don't know, duckpin bowling is like regular bowling but the pins are much shorter and the bowling balls are much smaller--about 4lbs.--and don't have holes. So it's easy to launch the ball into oblivion, and it's rare to have a score over 100.

Anyway, we were all having a great time bowling and having a few drinks, catching up on old times and the like. Me being the lush I am went back to the bar behind the lanes to get a round for everyone, when out of nowhere comes this gremlin. Let me just reinforce GREMLIN, and I do NOT mean one of those cute 'Gizmo'-type joints either. Allow me to show you what I mean...

Just straight up nastiness. I think I threw up in my mouth a little bit when I turned my head and saw him standing there. He said, "Hey gal, lemme get dat drank fo' ya". I gave my polite no and kept waiting for the bartender to give me my drinks. Again, "Yo shorty,I got dis". (Allow me one moment here--Men, please stop with the shorty shit. It's not cute, especially to me since I stand a good 5'7 and a half. I aint short. Pardon the ignorant way I said that, ok) I shook my head, paid the bartender, and walked away with my tray of drinks.

This kneegrow stayed right on my left side trying his best to get a look at what was going on with the shape of Tasha. I felt him trying to undress me with his googly-ass eyes. Shudder and cringe. I asked him to step aside because I was returning to my date, and he said "Well ol' boy might be your nigga, but I wanna be your man for the night". Now see, nobody said anything about my date being my nigga and what not, but I wasn't about to let this gargoyle know that lest he try even harder to get the goodies.

I approached my lane with Stonehenge still at my side and gave my date and everyone one else with us "That Look". You know what I mean, the "I do not know him, he'd best to back up off me, someone help me out" look. Thank God my date, you'll hear about him in another post I'm sure, understood this look and took care of the shooing away for me. Let me tell you, it was quite the relief to not have to go this one alone like I normally would.

Date: "Umm, my man, I'm gonna need you to back up off my girlfriend like that"

Thinking to myself: hmm, I'm not your girlfriend, but for right now it works.

Stonehenge Gremlin Gargoyle: "Yo, I'm just tryin to let a sista know she's workin' wit some fire"

Date: "Well apparently you let her know that already, so I'm really gonna need you to step back. She's taken."

SGG: "You don't let her have friends, man?"

Date: "Oh she's got friends, but you're not one of them. Right Sweetpea?"

Me: (Thinking, ohmyholygoodness yay, awwww snot, now I'm sweetpea? Cute and stuff.) "That's right Baby!"

SGG: "Maybe I could get that while you're there, you seem like the freaky jealous type"

Date: (Giving the most serious ice grill I've ever seen)"Back Up. Go. Now."

SGG: "Aight, well mami cuz of your man you missed out"

Me: "Buh Bye Noooow"

Damn, some people really have cajones! Date and I had a good laugh about all of that, then kind of looked at each other like hmmmm, well that felt kind of OK calling you that. Cue the sappy "Sleepless in Baltimore" (yes I know it's Seattle, spare me!) music. We're not quite there, it's all good though. Maybe this sketchball was a blessing. *Sigh* *Swoon* and all that.

Thanks again!
Thanks to the hat tip over at African American Opinion! Go check their site out. Nice roundup of black oriented blogs.

Friday, December 08, 2006
When people shout out my blog, I like to take the time to thank them. I was reading an article at Daily Kos and saw a nice comment, even though the author thinks my social commentary is young. So go here and see for yourself. Thanks for the shout out and considering my thoughts to be interesting.

Friday Flashback!
This week it's Run DMC and Aerosmith, "Walk This Way"

Enjoy, Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Neo Soul Neo Bigot
I hardly ever refer to myself like this, but La Bella Noire is angry.

There is a subset of black people that some refer to as the "Neo-Soul" crowd. For whatever reason, many look to this group for their stereotypical academic prowess. More often than not, these are the people that mainstream society sees as the poets, the ones who are racially conscious, working toward creating a united front for our race. Some people, often very inaccurately, refer to these people as the open-mic set, always talking on a philosophical, in tune to the metaphysical aura of our race; able to tap into the emotional nerve of the people and express a pain and passion not easily articulated by most.

I can't say that I've completely bought into this stereotype, because I realize that everyone who wears the "neo-soul uniform" per se doesn't think the same way. Everybody has his or her own motivation and vision, and I respect that. But what I don't respect is intolerance.

I have quite a few friends and associates who are part of the so-called Soul Renaissance, and according to a few of them, I just don't measure up. I was, perhaps naively, under the impression that most of our soulful brothers and sisters don't spew dislike at other brothers and sisters that have a different view or lifestyle than theirs. I consider myself to be a well-rounded individual, but I guess for some people that's not good enough.

I'm not sure what exactly I'm "supposed" to be as a black woman according to these people. In their eyes, I'm not black enough because I participate in activities typically considered to be reserved for white people. So what I ski, so what I played lacrosse, so what I listen to rock music and hip-hop, so what I can sing some Broadway show tunes. All of that doesn't mean I don't know who I am and where I come from. According to them, I don't dress black enough and because I don't always wear my hair natural I'm somehow less than. Just because I decide to relax my hair doesn't make me a slave to European culture, nor does it mean that I'm ashamed of being brown and am trying to assimilate. I wear whatever I want to wear, and don't require anybody's permission to do so. I don't limit my friends or my dating pool based on their race, because honestly I have more important things to worry about. But I guess all of that means I'm not black enough, right?

As you can tell, this week my thoughts have been swirling around this subject. I suppose in the wake of Michael Richards' verbal assault and the NYPD incident with Sean Bell, I'm left wondering about the racial constructs and attitudes of our society. I'm patently disgusted with how so many of our people can actually stand up and say that they want to put up a united front for our race but continually berate their own. How can they expect anyone to take their fight for equality, etc seriously when they don't even like their own people. Telling me I'm not black enough to be in your presence doesn't make me want to unite with you, it makes me want to fracture with you.

Seriously, what good does it do to sit there and tell me that I don't meet your narrow-minded definition of blackness? I'm acutely aware of where I came from, what and who I am. It's a sign of insecurity when you have to tear down those who fight the same fight you fight everyday.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Karate Kid Part 912
After the kickboxing class debacle at the gym a while back, I haven't had it in me to go back. I've been back to the gym, but to that class—absolutely not. I wasn't about to subject myself to another random butt whoopin', sucker punchin' sparring session at the hands of an over-zealous instructor. I don't enjoy being in pain.

I saw that the insane instructor had been replaced, so I decided to give it another shot. I figured the worst it could be would be to have Richard Simmons show up in some red and white spandex and some crisp Reebok Classics telling us to "Sweat! Sweat and kick with the oldies!" I really like the concept of cardio-kickboxing class, so I figured I'd tough it out no matter what.

Maybe I should have waited until the evening class, because 5AM was definitely not the right time to be laughing so hard. I got in the classroom, and standing before me was none other than Bruce Lee Jenkins himself! I swear I caught a sniff of Hai Karate cologne and could hear "Everybody was Kung-Fu Fighting, those cats were fast as lightning…" somewhere in the distance. I had officially entered the Tae KwoNeg-ro dojo of kickblackboxing. Sho Nuff and Right On.

I could barely hold my laughter in looking at this s-curl afro having dude wearing some type of gi-dashiki hybrid and a Daniel-san headband. "Wekkome sstudenss to my kickboxing class. Dis mornin' we gon get the mind and body connection togevah so we can do da kickboxing thang da right way. Dis in't juss an a-roe-bick undertaking. We gon get our souls skraight and we gon be kick to the boxing."

I heard that and couldn't help but sing to myself the commercial from the movie Coming to America, "Just let your SOUL glooooow, feeling oh so silky smooth, just let it shine throooouuuuggghhh". I guess I was laughing out loud because Sensei Jenkins (I don't know his real name) said to me, "Miss ladeeeee, it be a time for quieting yo' soul right now, not for laughing". So I shut up and listened.

Surprisingly, he led us through a pretty good mind-quieting pseudo meditation session and then through a great cardio kickbox workout. Although, while we were getting our workout on, he did say "Dats right soul mama" and "My brotha, you working it out!" a few times to me and a few of the other class participants. Everyone in the class seemed to enjoy it and all of us said we'd be back. I'll definitely have to make this a regular part of my gym schedule.

If I don't get a good workout from his class, at least I'll work my abs from laughing so much. Maybe I'll buy him a bottle of S-curl activator spray for Christmas because his 'fro is so special. This is going to be a fun 8 weeks!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Hereditary Racism
I've been paying attention to a startling phenomenon that's got me questioning what we're teaching our young people. I was in the library and I heard some young black females talking about a white girl and how they dislike her based solely on her whiteness. They got to talking about white people and went on a racist tirade of their own. They were saying that white people have no soul and they're essentially horrible people and we need to be segregated once again. These girls couldn't have been much older than 13, so the hatred being spewed from their mouths sent me reeling.

Seeing an opportunity for dialogue and education, I asked them to sit down. I honestly didn't expect them to, given the attitude present in so many kids lately. I asked them why they hate white people so much and why they let the word HATE come out of their mouths so freely in regards to an entire subset of people. I don't know what kind of response I expected, but what I got definitely wasn't it. Basically what they told me was that their parents and the adults around them always talk about all non-black races that way. I asked them for an elementary exegesis of slavery and the civil rights movement and all I got was, "Well Martin Luther King made it so we can vote and the slaves got screwed over by the white man" and a look of satisfaction with the response. The lack of clear understanding of the plight of black people made me want to sit down and lecture them. Rather than doing that, however, I excused myself so I could walk and think for a while and come to a few conclusions.

It bothers me to know that we can teach hate but we can't teach the history of that hate. To a point, the effects of slavery have affected the psyche of collective black society, but to walk around saying that you hate someone and you don't really know why doesn't do anything to push a race foward. I say the same thing of non-white people who are bred with hate, but don't know enough about their own history to be able to substantiate or properly justify their feelings.

And it goes farther than just spewing hate. Just after Michael Richards' race-fueled tirade, lots of black people were up in arms about the usage of the N-word. I saw a lot of people making a big stink about a word that they themselves didn't understand. It's hard to understand the power of a word when you don't know the history of it. When you think you know something because "that's what I heard" or "someone told me that" but you don't bother to attempt to breach your shallow understanding level by picking up a book, you're selling yourself short.

So many of our people walk around with jacked up inferiority complexes and burdoned souls due to a racism they know nothing about. They've been told all their lives that white people try to make us feel bad about ourselves and that they're trying to erradicate us, and they actually believe it. Rather than sit down and ask questions, read something, or try to better understand they base their judgements and opinions on what someone else has said. I can understand if you've been the victim of direct racism why your attitudes may be different than those of someone who hasn't. That's not second hand racism. But if you're sitting there lamenting about how "The Man" has prevented you from going to school, getting a better job, etc because you're a black man I may have some bones to pick. Yes, institutionalized racism exists today, and is practiced in varying degrees the world over. To claim that you've been a victim of it, without understanding what it truly means in my eyes doesn't make sense.

It pains me to see parents saying things like "Oh it's them white people's fault we can't have Christmas cuz they fired me from my job, or them Asians are some shady mofos. Look at em in the nail shop lookin at us like we had stole something" to their children. As I've said many times before, children mimic their parents, and will mimic their racist attitudes as well. If you're going to raise your child to be militant, that's your choice, but at least educate them about what they're fighting. If you don't know what to aim at, then you swing at shadows.

I'm writing this because I have a feeling in my gut that there's about to be some type of race revolt. Maybe it won't be that serious, but with the wave of racist remarks, police killing unarmed people, etc., I feel the turbulence brewing in the race waters so to speak. I wonder now if our racist attitudes are really our own, or something that's just been passed down to us like a hand-me-down coat. Honestly, if while we were growing up, no one was allowed to tell us anything about race, and the only way we could learn about racism was to read about it or get information from another reliable source, would we still harbor the same prejudices that we do? Would little children still be drawn toward the white dolls because they think they're prettier? Would parents tell their kids to stay away from the scary black kids?

These are the things that make me go hmmmm.

Monday, December 04, 2006
The Great Christmas Tree Caper
I love Christmas, so I decided this year to put up two Christmas trees. I figured I could do a nice faux tree in the dining room and a real one in the living room. Having two trees would be great for the holiday party I'm hosting in just over a week.

Two of my girlfriends came over to help with all things tree related. The faux tree went up without any major issues, it's one of those pre-lit plug-it-in type of things, so there's no way to easily jack that up. We put on some red bows and left it alone...very classic looking. It actually almost looks real, shedding faux pine needles and all. Nice job, drink some eggnog. Mission #1 accomplished.

We then decided it was time to go purchase the real tree, so we piled in my friend's pickup truck and headed to the tree farm/lot/golf course (whatever you want to call it). Walking around looking for the perfect tree felt like something out of the Black Brady Bunch, minus the boys, the parents, and Alice. We were singing all of the corny Christmas songs we could think of and playing with the little kids that were there. Awww, you got it, prime Kodak moments--I'll upload and share those pics with you all as soon as I get my camera back. We found the perfect tree, although it seemed a bit on the large size, and had the tree salespeople strap it to the back of the pickup truck.

Once we got back to my house, we realized that we couldn't life the behemoth evergreen. We didn't realize how heavy it was. Now normally there's no shortage of men walking past my domicile, and we should have been able to cajole one of them into helping us get the tree into my living room. But on this day, all we saw were pregnant women, dogs, and a family with about 5 young children with them, so no help for us. At that point we realized that we were on our own with this tree. Cue wild west showdown music. "It's just you and me, tree...high noon"

Rather than go back inside to devise a logical plan for getting the tree inside, we got back in the truck and turn on the radio but we didn't go anywhere. We just sat there in the driveway trying to figure out how to beat a tree at its own game. Zarielle, one of my partners in crime on this expedition, pulls out a flask of egg nog. A flask, people! What self-respecting 26 year old walks around with a flask in her parka?! *sigh and chuckle*. However, none of us were adverse to a touch of eggnog...maybe that would help us in our conundrum.

Perhaps egg nog turns your brain to mush, because the ridiculous ideas began flowing. If Santa Claus can fit down a chimney, then my tree should be able to do the same. So I got a ladder out of the shed and put it to the side of the building. It didn't go high enough, so I was thinking...well we were all cheerleaders and/or dance team members, so we know how to make a pyramid and can balance on someone's shoulders. I figured that may not work because we couldn't actually lift the tree high enough to push it up the ladder once we were in our modified pyramid. Ok, so that wasn't going to work. Next idea...

**Light bulb moment!** I have a sliding patio door, we should be able to fit it through there. Only problem, the patio is down a steep hill. Zarielle to the rescue! "The tree is like a big cone right? Cones roll since they're round. Tree on ground, roll to the patio"

"I'm not sure about that, won't it go in the wrong direction since the top is not as wide?"

"Nah, I studied physics and geometry in school"

"Both of us did too, and that doesn't sound right"

"Don't worry about this, I got it. My dad's a civil engineer, he's taught me well. A cone will roll"

So we put the tree on the ground, and slid it over toward the hill. We were at least smart enough to "team lift" the tree out of the back of the truck. But Samia, the other co-conspirator in all of this, was in the middle. She's shorter than everyone so while we could put the tree at shoulder height, her head was all in the branches as she was trying to hold on to the center part of the treetrunk. As we put the tree down on the ground to slide it, her hair got stuck. We didn't know this, but as the tree got closer to the ground, we heard a sickening scream and saw Samia and the ground unite. With her hair still stuck in the middle of an evergreen tree. It took about 3 minutes to get her un-stuck, and once we did, she was wearing a crown of needles. It almost looked kind of regal. Kind of. Well...maybe not.

"One. Two. Three. PUSH!" We gave the tree a good heave-ho and sent it rolling down the hill. Surprisingly Zarielle was right, the tree rolled properly. I wasn't thinkging that the top of the tree wasn't heavy enough to make it roll in a different direction. So we opened the patio doors and did one more "team lift" to get the thing in the house. Mission accomplished, kind of.

Now I need to get the tree upright and into the stand so it can get an adequate supply of water and be decorated by next week. I don't think the water soaked paper towel covered in aluminum foil at the base of the trunk works as well with trees as it does flowers. Zarielle and Samia have retired from the tree hauling business and all of my guy friends are tired of putting their girlfriends trees and refuse to make an exception for me, so I'm left to my own devices this time. Maybe I can get a small crane? Make a see-saw to tip the tree upright?

Dammit, where's rent a boyfriend/husband when you need it?

Sunday, December 03, 2006
Sketchy Crazy Man of the Week!
This week's sketchball is brought to you by the letter E for Exxon-Mobil.

I was getting gas after work, minding my business. Just after I'd started the pump, I hear SCREEEEEEEECH and see a car fly like a bat out of hell up to the front of my vehicle. I got into "ready mode" because I thought this fool was about to run up on me and do some damage. I kind of wish that had been the case.

Instead he goes "Psst. Babygirl. Psssssssst". I ignored him because I don't respond to PSSST. That's just disrespectful. People should know better than to try and approach a woman like that. He did it again, so I answered with a rude "What? What do you want?". I expected some pseudo-slick pimp type of response, but I got much more than that.

"Girl, you's a healthy muthaf***a. I know how you thick girls do. I wanna get all in that ass and I'll tear it up. I just got out the pen too, so I'm ready to do some xxx-rated shit"

I really thought I'd heard him wrong so I pointedly asked him to repeat himself, and he repeated himself but started licking his lips like a hungry hippopotamus at feeding time. Oh Claude Jeebus, why me!? I really wasn't in the mood to deal with some undersexed ex-convict, but I couldn't go anywhere because the gas pump was still on and if I ran he might try to steal my car. So I started acting like I only spoke French. "Je ne comprends pas. Je parle français seulement". Normally when I do that, people back up because I'm fluent in the language so they know they can't keep up. But no. Not this time.

He responded in perfect French telling me all the nasty stuff he wanted to do to me. I'm not easily surprised by people's nastiness, but the stuff he was talking--yall, let me just tell you. BARF is what comes to mind. Now I was in a bad place, somewhere between a rock and a concrete wall so to speak. I was thinking of every possible way to get rid of this man. Maybe I could get back in my car and run him over. Nahh, I hear prison's not good...and I don't think an orange jumpsuit would be too flattering on me. Maybe I could spray him with gasoline and light a match. Nahh, I didn't have a match; and that prison thing again. I just can't hang out there for 15 years to life.

So I let him keep talking until the gas pump clicked off. I put the nozzle back, and got in the car. He started walking closer to me and motioned for me to roll down the window. I cracked it, and just as he opened his mouth to start on another Gross McNasty tirade, I said to him, "You said you just got out the pen right?"

"Yeah, why mami? You like a gangsta nigga don't you?"

"No booboo, I don't like I gangsta. I asked because you're walking funny. Did you drop the soap while you were in there? Maybe I'm not the one you want. Bubba misses you, I'm sure he wouldn't approve of his bitch trying to get ass from a woman"

He gave me some crooked look, walked back to his car and drove away. Crisis averted.

I'm soo thankful that I inherited a quick wit from the women in my family. This really had the potential to go very wrong. Men, I beg you to please stop the madness.

Friday, December 01, 2006
World AIDS Day Today

Today is World AIDS Day. Visit The World AIDS Day Site to learn more about what can be done to fight this insidious disease. We all know how to protect ourselves in the sexual realm and know to stay away from IV drug use and the like, so rather than give some preachy sounding lecture or put all kinds of statistics out there, I'm going to be quiet and allow for some reflection time. Just reflect on the disease and how it affects every single one of us, whether you're infected or know someone who is or are just saddened by the images of and pathos surrounding it.

And to the people close to me who've died at the hands of the HIV and AIDS--my godfather, one of my uncles, a childhood friend, and most recently one of my tap teachers--may you all rest in peace. And my prayers are going out to the souls of those who have died, the people left dealing with the aftermath, the survivors, the family members, and people like me--supporters of a cure. With time, patience, prayer, and science we may just be able to beat this disease.

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Holy Hair, Batman!
I got my hair cut over the past weekend, nothing extreme, just a few inches cut off. I added some highlights, and that was that. The people that I've run into have simply passed along a compliment or acknowlege the haircut and keep it moving. This is what sane people do. But of course, there always has to be someone who oversteps their boundaries. A co-worker of mine whom I haven't seen since before Thanksgiving came up to me a little while ago and said, "Ohmygoodness, you look so great. Let me touch your hair". She said this with arms outstretched toward my noggin and before she could finish her first sentence her fingers were all up on my scalp feeling the texture of my hair. I actually had to swat her away like I would a mosquito.

I absolutely hate when people do this. It could be after a haircut, or after I do something different to my hair like get braids or *gasp* a weave, but the end result is still the same. Someone always feels the need to touch my head to inspect the work. And the offending party is never ever, neva evah evah a black person. I guess we're born knowing the rules of hair touching, or we've had the same thing happen to us so many times that we wouldn't dare do something like that. Sometimes, the end result is a bit different--there's still the inevitable hair touch question, but also the "is that your real hair" "how do they add that to your real hair" interrogation. My friends who have suffered with these questions forever, it's time we put this to a stop. The madness has got to end. I've decided to finally address this subject. So those of you who ask these questions, read closesly.

My inquisitive friends,

Black people have hair. Surprise, I know, but I say this because many of you act like what grows out of our heads is playdoh spaghetti or something. For the most part, the texture is a bit different than yours, but it is still hair nonetheless. Do not ask to touch someone's hair unless you are very close with that person. Period. Yes, I know the braids look like so much fun, but do.not.touch.our.hair. We don't go around messing in your dandruff-laden crown when you get your hair done, so please have the same respect for us. Yes, we get dye jobs and cuts just like you.

No matter what style our hair is in, it is ours. We may have purchased some of it, sure, but there is always natural hair involved. You may not be able to get to the natural hair because it is braided up under a sewn in track, but trust me, it is there. Our hair can grow to the same lengths yours does, and a lot of the people you assume have weave in their hair are actually flinging around what God allowed them to grow--no weave, no nothing. If you want to know how extension braids are put in, there are a number of websites you can check out or videos you can watch. It gets really tiring when we have to explain the process 50-11 times and you still look like a deer in headlights. Some of us, myself included, change up our hairstyles quite a few times a year and braids are part of our repetoire. If we've been known each other for a few years or we've been working together that long, you will see braids more than once. Please do not ask each and every time you see them.

I've heard some of you giggle and tiddle about how black people put crisco oil in their hair to moisturize it. Where did you get this? We don't put vegetable shortening, or lard, or crisco, or butter, or anything of that nature in our hair. Well some people might, but not the majority of us. We use hair moisturizers, not food products, and if you want to know why we need these things according to the chemistry of the keratinous protein makeup of our hair, please ask a cosmetologist. They'd be glad to answer.

We're glad you're interested in our hair, and genuinely want to know more about it. But please understand that we get asked questions about our hair and everything involved with it more often than you realize. It gets annoying. But we still love y'all. Don't be afraid to ask a cosmetologist to explain some things to you or do some of your own research online. Doing so and actually coming to us with a little bit of knowledge before hand really helps and warms our hearts.

Thanks ever so much.

Friday Flashback!
This week it's "Poison" by Bel Biv Devoe

Happy Friday!