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Wednesday, January 31, 2007
This is in dedication to all of the women out there who do the every day balance between "superhero" and "around the way girl". Everyday we get up and deal with the ugliness in this world, but we manage to do it with grace and style. We manage to hold our own in a man's world without compromising our womanhood or femininity. Whether we're being a student, being a CEO, being a mommy, being a lover, just being, or all of these we're all phenomenal women.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

-Maya Angelou

Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Stop The Madness Now!
When will shit like this stop?!

I refuse to believe that a bunch of COLLEGE students don't see how throwing a party and dressing like this could be remotely considered unoffensive:

Two separate incidents at separate colleges, this time at Clemson University. Some kind of fraternity, Delta Iota Kappa (more like Dumbass Ignant Kids) threw this party as a Martin Luther King, Jr. day party/celebration. So when does dressing in blackface equate honoring a great man? Right, that's exactly what I thought...it doesn't!

There have been more parties like this being trickled throughout the media, so I guess maybe I shouldn't be as shocked as I am. But I'm having a hard time getting past the statement that gets echoed each and everytime a party like this gets leaked or posted on Facebook, etc : "We really didn't mean it to be offensive". Riiiiiight, and your great great granddaddy didn't see it as offensive either when he was buyin and selling negroes for sport. Riiiiight. Save that damn arguement for someone stupid enough to believe it.

I don't know why the universities aren't imposing harsher discipline on the people who participate in these parties. Seriously, how can I trust a University's commitment to harmonious diversity and multiculturalism when they brush stuff like this under the rug. I dunno, maybe they thought that since they weren't saying the N-word like Michael Richards, then no one would be mad. *Rolls Eyes*

Double Dutch Bus
That was my JAM! "Dizzouble Dizzutch! Dizzouble Dizzutch!"

A few weekends ago when the weather was still resembling Miami, a bunch of my friends and I were feeling nostalgic (well actually someone started singing "Back in the days when I was young, I'm not a kid anymore, but some days I sit and wish I was a kid again..."), so we went to the church parking lot next door to where I live and played some of our favorite playground games. We played a mini-me version of dodgeball for about 20 minutes, then got down with the ropes. It took a minute for us to get our legs back under us, but it seems like double dutch is like riding a bike…once you learn, you never forget.

While we were playing, a group of about 4 or 5 girls walked by and asked us what we were doing. We told them that we were playing double dutch and invited them to join in. They didn’t even know what they game was, which was almost surprising to me, because many little girls seem to have an instinct of what to do with two jump ropes when the see them. I don’t even remember learning how to jump double dutch, I just remember always being outside perfecting my in-the-rope wannabe stunts from the time I was about six or so.

We showed the girls how to turn the ropes, then how to jump in the moving ropes, and then how to actually jump with the right rhythm. We tried to show them how to do some tricks in the ropes, but they weren’t getting it. After about 10 minutes, the girls had enough. They said that jumping rope was too much work and essentially too physical. They got tired very easily and were out of breath after only a minute or two in the rope, not even at a breakneck speed. One of them even asked if there was a double dutch game on xbox or playstation, because it would be easier that way and she wouldn’t have to sweat.

Well. Damn. And that’s all I’m gonna say about that.

Once those girls went about their business, we decided to dust off our four-square skills. As simple as this game is, I have never been good at it, so of course I got my ass handed to me with the obligatory “you can’t handle dis!” line of BS. Of course I have to redeem myself, so we’re going to go to Dave and Buster’s this weekend so I can whoop somebody up on those games!

Anyway, we had too much fun, but we all made a bee-line for the IcyHot the next morning. I couldn’t help but laugh when ol’ girl who was talking mess during the four-square game called me tombout (yeah I said it, leave my eblackabonics alone!), “Tash, I’m tryin to tell you you can’t handle….*silence*….*grunt*…Gotdamn I’m sore, I think I pulled something”.

Mmm hmm, yeah, see…that’s what you get for talking mess. But wait, can one of yall send me some more IcyHot please? *Immediately inserts foot in mouth*

Soooo, what were some of your favorite playground games?

Monday, January 29, 2007
In Pursuit of Trashyness
My apartment complex is a pretty nice little place, many of us are single or are young couples, some with little children. We tend to be very tidy people and mostly keep to ourselves. However, there is always that exception to the norm. These people have me wondering if it’s time to move or if I should get grimey and do something to teach them a lesson.

My next-building-over neighbors are some mullet-having, tight-jeans wearing, cheap beer drinking, trashy-ass people. I mean, these people are the type to toss trash out to the dumpster from their windows—their apartment is situated about 15-20 feet from the dumpster outside. Now I’ve seen nasty people before, but these trailer-trash rejects absolutely take the cake.

A girlfriend of mine lives in the apartment directly under them, so I’ve had a few too many run ins. These people will walk around in public with fly unzipped, gut hanging out, gray grizzly mountain man beard (YES the woman too), suspenders over a grody looking plaid flannel shirt looking like they haven’t showered since the Vietnam War. And the worst part is they’re passing this horrendous trash trait to their kids. I’m not immune to juvenile “bathroom” humor, but they’re teaching their seven and nine year olds that it’s perfectly cute to walk around belching and passing gas and laughing about it. Every time I see one of them, I can’t help but think of the movie, “Deliverance” and I hear the dueling banjos song. They honestly look like they were dropped in Maryland from the Ozarks and used to be neighbors to the “Green Acres” or the “Beverly Hillbillies” casts.

Yesterday though, I got my fill. I stopped by my girlfriend’s place after I got done with my errands, and of course who do I see but the dirty lady. I nodded my head hello and she nodded back then seriously stuck her hand in her pants, scratched her pandora’s box then sniffed her muthafuggin hand. Why she did this in front of me, I have no clue. But as I’m standing there waiting for my friend to come to the door she proceeded to scratch her ass then hocked the biggest, nastiest sounding loogie and spat it in front of the laundry room door. What in the name of holy purple rain?! Right. In. Front. Of. Me.

Of course, me having the mouth I have just said, “That’s fuckin disgusting. Take that shit outside you dirty ass ingrate”. And this woman had the nerve to say, “It ain’t my damn house, so I don’t give a good damn”. Yo, I was seriously about to lose my dignity and spit on her, but thank goodness my friend opened the door so I didn’t get the chance, because I know some mess would have popped off from there.

I truly don’t understand how people can be so disrespectful to the places that they live and carry themselves in such a manner. I don’t care that you don’t own it, you still live there and should take care of it in a respectful way. I know people have reported them to the leasing office, but nothing has been done. I don’t know how to effectively get them to change or get them to want to move or be evicted. I’m at my wits end though. I really don’t know how the people who actually live in that building deal with their constant cigarette smells, the beer spills everywhere, and the bottles they leave strewn around. What can I do?

Friday, January 26, 2007
Five Things
Aulelia and JaySpice both tagged me, so here you go...

Five Things Yall Didn't Know About Me

1. When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to be a rodeo clown
My mom took us to Texas for the first time to visit family when I was about 5 or 6. We went to see a rodeo, and I was enamored with the rodeo clowns. For a period of about a year, all I wanted was western wear and lasso lessons.

2. I'm a Michael Jackson semi-stan
I ADORED MJ with every fiber of my being as a small child, and the first time I saw the Thriller video (well actually The Making Of..), I knew I wanted to take dance lessons so I could be like him and his backup dancers, and maybe be in his next big video spectacle. I used to run around with the red leather jacket and one white glove, with one of my gramma's jheri curl wigs on--this was the 80s, so she was allowed to have a wig like that :-). To this day, I still love old school Mike,can still do the dances blindfolded, and will get real defensive if people start talking sideways about the old music. I think he's out of his mind now though and needs Jesus, Madea, another hit CD, and someone to tell him the truth about his noses.

3. I have playdoh and legos at my desk at all times.
I keep a secret stash of playdoh and a little box of legos at my desk at work. When I get all stressed out, I take a half-hour time out and take it back to my childhood and make some tangle-eyed lego creation or get my playdoh design skills on.

4. I'm inked
Not a big deal, but I've got two tattoos. One is one my back of an ankh and my middle name, and has a double meaning depending on what language you are interpreting my middle name from. The tattoo can either mean "Life Warrior" or "Life With a Pure Heart", and in my case both apply. I've also got one on my right leg in memory of my grandmother.

5. I can solve a Rubix cube
If you give me 5 minutes, I can usually solve most rubix cubes. I don't compete in the timed competitions, but the fastest I've solved one is 1 minute 30 seconds.

Who's next? I pick Golden Silence and Tndrhrt

Friday Flashback
This week it's Ice Cube, "Today Was a Good Day"

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007
To Whom It May Concern
Normally I'm not a shy person. I can usually say what's on my mind with relative ease to anyone,regardless of how much "power" they hold. That being said, there are some things that i just haven't been able to say to various people in my life, so I'm taking this time to write them short letters to say the things I need to say.

"...You make me feel like a little bitty girl in the best way possible. I can't help but be happy when I see your name in my inbox or whatever and when you say the things that you know make me smile. You're so different from the rest and in a short time have taught me a lot about the relativity of happiness and how to be happy and confident in every situation I'm in..."

"...Thank you for everything that you do for me. I don't know what I would do without you. You're everything I want and hope to be when I grow up. I love you more than life itself..."

"...You stepped in when you didn't have to. Most people just ignore the "problem" and don't make it their responsibility. I can't thank you enough. I've never really said thank you other than in cards, but you don't take to that sentimental thing well. So just know that I wouldn't trade you for the world, and I'm glad you came around when you did..."

"...It's not me, it's you. My patience has grown incredibly thin, and I'm truly ready to throw sharp objects at you. I smile at you and go trhough the motions of faux friendship (if that's what you want to call it), but deep inside I'm starting to detest you. When you call, I want to cry because I already know. I already know. You drain my soul, really you do. Honestly, you could be such a good contributing member of society if you just learned to grow the fuck up and not be so goddamned juvenile about things..."

"...Starting over is so hard. Seems like everywhere I would go I would think of you. I would be alright for a little while, but the minute I saw your name on my email or I saw a picture of you, I couldn't take it. I'm sorry for being terrible to you and pushing you away when all I wanted was for you to stay. I wish I hadn't done those things and that we could have been what everyone thought we were. I miss you, but I'm truly happy for you now. And I'm glad we happened. You taught me a lot just being you. I love you with my whole entire heart and soul, just not in that way anymore and that's the way it should be. I still cry sometimes though. I don't know why. But I'm happy now too..."

"...It was a long road that had so many nasty bumps along the way, but I thank you for those times. You are the reason I'm not afraid to fall in love again, you made things easy but at the time I didn't realize what you sacrificed to do that, because it was hard for me. I'll ALWAYS love you and you'll ALWAYS have a ride or die friend in me. I would take a bullet for you..."

"...So many years later, it's not the same as it was when we were little girls. But it will never change from that first day we met so so long ago. Thanks for having my back even when you know I fucked up and didn't deserve it. No matter what you do, where you go, how little we talk, you'll always be by bestest..."

Some of these people I see and speak to every day, but I've just never been able to get myself to give voice to those words. I don't care if they never read all of this, I just needed to know that the words are out there.

Beltway Buggin'
Everyday I'm on that asphalt go-kart track also known as I-495, The Capital Beltway, The Capital Parking Lot, Hell, or whatever you want to call it. Without fail, I see some crap-tastic demonstrations of driving skills and other mess that sends me into unflattering bouts of road rage. This morning, I think I forgot my calmness at home, because it was all cussin, fussin, and middle fanger flailin from Laurel to Vienna. So even though the people I'm talking about will probably never read this, I'm gonna put them out there anyway.

Silver Benz Truck w/Delaware Tags- Get your gotdamned finger out your nose. You are a grown ass man, if you're going to "pick and roll" like that in your car, at least do it in the dark

Black Yukon w/the basketball clingy stickers on the back- Two words bytch: turn signal. Those are the little arrows pointing to the right and left on your dasboard near the speedometer. When you want to change lanes, use those so you can tell the people behind you that you're gonna be making a move.

Red Honda CR-V w/unreadable MD Tags- Blind Spot. Check it before you change lanes. And don't get indignant when I honk at you when you almost knock me into oblivion while you try to change lanes. Yeah, I was in your bind spot, not purposefully though. This is why you HAVE to check this.

Black BMW 325i- Bruh, this is NOT the time to pull out your fuggin Norelco and shave your beard. Get up 20 minutes earlier so you can do that shat. We can see you!

Green Minivan- Hit the MFin gas! You need to keep up with the flow of traffic. If you want to drive slower, go to the right! The Beltway is slow enough as it is, don't contribute to this problem

White Honda Civic- Have you never seen someone get a ticket before? It's usually the same thing each time: cops flash lights, cops pull person over, cop stands at person's window and writes ticket, both parties leave. It happens every day, so there's no need to sit and stare at it, slowing down traffic.

Green Jeep- Don't look over at me then make googly eyes. It's too early to flirt. Go take a cold shower

Yellow Ford Escape- Put your novel down, NOW. You do NOT read while operating a vehicle, EVER. I don't care if traffic is moving slowly.

White Mazda Protege- Take the Krispy Kremes out of your mouth. You're driving fine, but you can barely fit in your car, so you shouldn't be eating donuts.

Silver Car, Couldn't tell the model- You don't need to have your cat in your car walking around the back windshield. That's what cat carriers are made for. If you don't have one, you can borrow mine if you need--cuz that mess scared me. I didn't know if the cat was alive or stuffed until it got up and stretched.

Yeah, we need to look at other commuting options. I take Metro to work sometimes, but it's just as bad. I think it's about time I find a new job not so daggone far away, preferrably in the city and not a damn suburb.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Little Girl, Interrupted
After I left the dance studio yesterday morning, I went to work but couldn’t really think straight. I was pretty much operating on autopilot thinking about all of the things I wanted to say to my lost dance student. So when I got home, I called her and offered to take her to dinner to talk. I really wanted to get into her head to see what she’s been thinking about and let her know that she can come to me if she needs. I didn't tell her that I heard her conversation, but instead told her that I'm talking to each of the girls this way because I know it's a hard age for them. So I let her tell me what's going on in her own words.

Me: "If you ever have anything at all you need to talk about and you feel like you can't go to anyone else, I'm here to listen, ok. I just want you to know that"

Keisha: "Thank you. Miss Tasha, can I tell you something?"

Me: "Of course."

Keisha: "My boyfriend wants to do it but I'm scared because I know that's how you get babies and I know you can get sick"

Me: "Well that's something you shouldn't do until you feel right and ideally when you're really in love. How old is your boyfriend?"

Keisha: "In love? I don't know. But he's really cute though and I don't want him to dump me. (nervous laugh) He's 16"

I am in mourning for this poor girl's spirit after hearing what she told me, and I also understand why she has the attitude toward sex and men that she does. Not unlike many girls, she's being raised by a single mother. When I heard that, I wasn't satisfied with the answer--many people before and after her were raised by single parents and don't have those attittudes toward sex and physical love, so I knew there was something deeper. It turns out that her mother is teaching her the wrong way how to be a woman.

Keisha: "Well, my mother stays talking about how a man never loves a woman because she's a woman. He loves her because she has a pussy cat"

Me: "Let me get this straight. Your mother tells you that the only thing a man loves is a woman's genitals?"

Keisha: "Yeah. What's wrong with that? All my aunts and cousins say it's true too. And my mom says that once I do it, it'll hurt but then after that it won't anymore. But if I wait till I'm married it will hurt even more. She doesn't know that my boyfriend wants to do it now though. I think she might be mad if she knew because she would say that like I'm too young and not mature. But she's wrong. I'm mature."

I pretty much flatlined after she said that. The rest of the conversation went similarly, basically her mama is teaching her to be a hoe. Her situation is rough and she doesn't know it. I've got her in a delicate position now, and I know I have to be very careful how I deal with her. I've got her trust, and I don't want to betray that by getting all preachy on her and telling her she's wrong for carrying on with her way-too-old boyfriend the way she is. Nor do I want to tell her that her aunts, cousin, and mom are wrong right now. I'm going to wait until our trust is a little more solid. I did my best and managed to succeed in convincing her that she at least needs to think more about the decision to have sex, and she promised me that she would and told me that she won't do it this weekend. I don't know how well I can hold on to an 11 year old's promise, but if she breaks the promise, I'll still be there to hold her hand if she needs it.

This morning at around 3, she called me crying to tell me thank you, then hung up. I didn't bother calling back, because I know what she meant. I never thought being a dance teacher a few days a week would lead me to be in this position, but if I can help put this girl on a different path in her life then that's more satisfying then watching their group bring home all the first place trophies in the world.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Sex, Lies, and Tap Shoes
If you weren’t already aware, I’ve been tap dancing for most of my life, and have been teaching for about seven years. This past September, I started teaching a competition class for 5-8 year olds and a regular performance class for 9-11 year olds. I teach my older girls two mornings a week.

Now I know that girls this age can be a handful. That whole pre-teen, ‘tween phase is really awkward for most as they try to figure out who they are and what they want to be, but I’m really worried about these girls. This morning, just as we were getting ready to stretch, I caught a bit of a conversation that really disturbed me.

Keisha*: “I think I’ma get up with him on Saturday”

Meija*: “You mean do it with him?”

Keisha: “Yeah” (whispered something very low—couldn’t hear it) “I know Carmen and Da’Ron did it, and she said it didn’t hurt too bad”

Meija: “Oh my God. Well I don’t know. That’s such like a crazy thing to decide. And where will you do it? And what if he tells everyone? You're gonna get called a hoe.”

Keisha: “Well you know he’s having a party or whatever on Saturday night so we’re gonna tell his mom that he’s going to my house after it and tell my pops that I’mma stay there like a sleepover. So could you act like you gonna stay there too?”

Meija: “ I dunno K. That’s real extra. I don’t like lying like that”

Keisha: “I know. But do it for me. And I know I need to get condoms. You think your brother will buy some for me if I give him the money?”

Meija: “We can talk later, ok?”

(*using their middle names*)

I managed to catch most of that exchange using the record feature on my phone, and I'm glad because I really didn't want to believe what I was hearing. I know the girls didn’t think I was listening to them so they were really candid. Normally, I would have said something or sat them down and talked to them about the decisions that they're making, but out of respect for their privacy (you know, since I was eavesdropping and all) I didn't.

I guess unlike most people, I'm not shocked by what they were talking about. Both girls are 11, so yes I'm saddened that kids that young are being faced with decisions like that and their parents either don't know or don't really give too much of a damn. If they're lucky, they might have a cool parent to help them navigate the waters of the physical manifestation of internal emotion and everything surrounding it. I'll be talking about that in another post soon.

I could sit here and blame BET, MTV, rappers, or really most any other media outlet for turning our young people into mini reflections of our larger society and its afflictions--oversexualized, undersexed, grossly misinformed, and scared. But it goes a whole lot deeper than that. What they see on TV are two-dimensional images of what goes on in reality, but when they see their parents and the other adults in their lives shamelessly participating in questionable activities, the line between media fiction and flesh-and-blood reality becomes blurred. When a parent explains away all of their own deviant behavior but is insistent about telling their child not to do the same thing, the child ends up confused and more often than not will emulate the actions of that person.

Me lamenting the fact that these girls are still babies making grown-up decisions won't change their situations. Even when they make the 'right' decisions, everyday they are still being made to choose. They're growing up entirely too fast, and I'm worried that by the time they get to be adults, they're going to be burned out. They will have had all kinds of "adult" experiences, so some may be feeling like there's nothing left for them at age 30. And I worry that these issues will have to be dealt with at younger and younger ages, almost to the point where once you leave Kindergarten, you have to make grown-folks decisions. I doubt (well, I hope anyway) it doesn't get that serious. But truth be told, in terms of what people are doing and the choices they have to make, it appears that 11 is the new 21. This is part of the why I'm afraid to have kids--too much for them to deal with too young.

Monday, January 22, 2007
You Got Served
I know that waitressing is probably one of the hardest jobs there is—dealing with all kinds of people and their attitudes and bad tipping. I respect that, but while I empathize, I at least expect to be treated with some sort of respect while I'm in a restaurant. I'm a good tipper, so I would at least hope to get treated better than a dog.

Me and the girls ate at Uno's on Saturday before going to see that really disturbing "Alpha Dogs" movie. We've been there plenty of times before on Saturday nights, so we weren't put off at all by the number of scandalous looking teenagers in clumps that were cloying for each other's attention and the attention of a few members of the waitstaff.

About five minutes after we were seated, our server came up to us and said, "Yall gon' have to wait 'bout five minutes then I'mma come and get ya order for dranks and appetizers"

We made the collective "What in the damn hell?" face, but let it slide. Once this chick came back she was like, "Whatchall want?".

Me: "Water and a Corona please"

Friend 1: "Mango Iced Tea and a Corona as well"

Friend 2: "Just a Sierra Mist for me"

Waitress: "Wait. How many of yall is it gonna be ordering right now? Cuz I gotta go to other tables too"

Friend 2: "Well how many of us are sitting here, Sherlock?"

Waitress: "Five"

Friend 1: "Exactly, so you need to take all five drink orders."

Friends 3 and 4 went ahead and ordered their drinks, and she sucked her teeth then went to do whatever it is she needed to do. She came back with our drinks and proceeded to take our food orders.

Waitress: "Soooo?" (taps notepad)

Me: "Soooo?"

Waitress: "Well, whatchall eatin?"

Me: "Nothing until you take our order"

Waitress: "Well, what are you going to order?"

All of us proceeded to give our food and appetizer orders, and she went on her way again. When she came back with our appetizers, she pretty much threw the food at our table and said she'd be right back with our napkins. One of my girls had to call her on her stank attitude.

Friend 4: "Excuse me, hold on sweetie. What is your issue? You have been nothing but rude all evening"

Waitress: "Well I'm 8 months pregnant and I'm tired. My feet hurt and I haven't sat down in a while I'm miserable" She started to shed a few silent tears

Friend 4: "Well congratulations on the baby, but honey you need to talk to your boss about that, not get mad at us. I have two kids and with my second one, I worked all the way until the day before she was born, so you can't use being pregnant as an excuse for being nasty"

Waitress: "Well I'm only working cuz my man won't get a job at all. He says the idea of him being a father has stressed him too much to work, so he quit his job when he found out I was pregnant. So I have two jobs. I work here part time and I'm a manager at an office during the day and I'm in grad school online part time too. My bills have to get paid and we gotta eat, you know. I don't want my baby to be not having decent clothes and food"

Friend 2: "Damn that's rough, you need to get rid of him or have him take a class in manhood"

Friend 3: "Well honey, I work at a women's empowerment center. We have support groups and help to find affordable daycare and help with becoming self-sufficient and have financial education classes--a little of everything. You don't need a man to lay around on your dime while bust your butt with a kid. Naw. Here's my card, call me on Monday"

Waitress: "Thank you. I'mma call you on Monday. And your drinks are on the house today. Ladies thanks for letting me talk and callin me on my attitude. Your entrees should be up now."

I'm glad we got some free drinks, but even more glad that she might be able to take some steps to get her stuff together. I really thought when she first came with the attitude that we were going to be in for an all-out bitch fest, so I was really ready to not leave a tip and report her behind to her manager. More than anything though, I'm mad that her pseudo-man thinks it's okay for him to sit on his behind while she works two jobs and goes to school while carrying HIS baby. How did our society get to the point where that situation is acceptable? People, we HAVE to do better than this.

*Shaking my head*

Sunday, January 21, 2007
Let it Snow and Weekend Roundup
I went up to Baltimore this afternoon to visit my brother, and when I left my place at around 1, it was lightly snowing and blowing around I-95. Already the drivers were acting a mess, but things were generally smooth sailing. By the time I left my brother's and was making my way back home, the snow had gotten much heavier and drivers were acting like they were on a collision course with guardrails and trees. I swear in the 20 or so miles between here and my brother's house, I must have seen at least 6 different roll-over or my-vehicle-is-totaled-to-hell accidents. I'm not sure why it seems like a lot of Maryland-brand drivers didn't get the memo that explained that when it rains or snows that is not the time to drive 85 mph down the left side of the highway. (although I wish more people would drive that fast when the roads are clear and get out of my way).

Once I got back toward the DC Urrea I decided to go grocery shopping and within the 40 minutes I was in there, it turned into a full fledged snowstorm requiring the use of snowbrushes and ice scrapers. I made it back to my apartment safely, but allow me to give a piece of advice to the City (or burb/town/whatever this place is) of Laurel and to the rest of PG County: When it snows, you need to plow the streets so people aren't spinning their tires on an inch of snow and then salt the streets so they remain relatively clear. I know this place has to have snowplows, winter actually happens here. I'm so excited to see snow though, I've missed having a real winter. If you can't tell, I really enjoy winter and love snow when dealt with properly.

The rest of my weekend was pretty low-key. On Saturday, I picked up my two new kittens from the Washington Humane Society on Georgia Ave. I'd spotted them at he Health and Fitness Expo last weekend at the Convention Center and put in an application, and yay I was approved. So once we got home, they did a lot of sniffing around trying to learn about their new digs, but now they're right at home trying to sleep on my head at night.

Went to dinner with a few of my girls that night, then headed to see "Alpha Dogs" at the theater at Columbia Mall. We'd intended to see "Stomp The Yard" but it was all sold out. Anyhoo, when we got in the theater, we noticed that it had not been cleaned from the last movie. There were used nacho trays, half eaten bags of popcorn and drink cups all over the place. The other people who were there didn't seem to care. But we reported it to the theater staff and when they came in, it took them about 5 minutes to congregate and decide if they should clean the theater up. Well they only cleaned the very front rows, leaving the rest of us to sit in nastiness for the rest of the movie. One of the girls I was there with had her camera with her, so she took pictures and a quick video of how nasty the theater was. Needless to say, we got our money back, but we're still going to submit the pictures to the cinema's corporate offices. That's just nasty and triflin, especially after we asked them to come clean and they couldn't even come clean up by our seats. We should get a few free movies or something for that.

Anyway, hope yall had a good weekend!

Friday, January 19, 2007
Conversations with La Bella Mama
My mom has got to be the coolest, craziest, most direct person I know. Of course I mean that in a good way, though (well most of the time). I talk to her at least once a day, and she never fails to cheer me up when I'm having the shittiest of days, not so much because she's my mama, but more because she's like the *female* version of madea (but a lot better looking and more stylish).

Anyhoo, I got off the phone with my mom not all that long ago, and she had me almost in tears laughing at the advice she was dispensing.

Me: "Mom, I don't know if it's a smart thing to do me talking to him. You know, the daughter thing and all..."

Mom: "Ok, and how many good, decent, non-crazy men have you met in the last year?"

Me: "..."

Mom: "Alright then, soooo what's the problem? He fits the bill and has no drama with his daughter's mother. Why are you trying to act like you don't wanna make that move with him? You've been looking forever for someone who has all his qualifications"

Me: "I dunno"

Mom: "Child. Take a chance"

Me: "Hmmm. But what about *Linebacker*? He's pretty cool."

Mom: "Is *Linebacker's* dick made of platinum and encrusted with diamonds?"

Me: "What the?? Mom!!"

Mom: "You heard me!"

Me: "No."

Mom: "Alright then, unless *Linebacker*'s dick is made of something you can pawn for money or he shits $100 bills, you need to leave his ass alone. And his friend that you told me was trying to get with you sounds like he's not worth the paper his birth certificate is printed on. Give this new one a chance"

Me: "Daaamn mama, you didn't have to talk about him like that. But I get your point"

Mom: "And you need to tell that window licker boy who tried to steal your eggs that the only eggs he needs to be concerned with are the ones on his plate. Matter of fact, he shouldn't be allowed within 100 feet of a hen-house because he might try and rob them blind and sell the eggs on the restaurant black market. If he acts a fool, then you have my permission to whoop his ass with your egg-colored baseball bat. I'll bail you out if you get arrested for that baby. I'm done. I'm about to go smoke a cigarette"

Me: "Wow. Ok, talk to you later"

My mom is the type of lady you can talk to about anything and everything. Damn near anything might come out of her mouth when she's joking around, but don't get it twisted, she's a class act and is the definition of real woman.

Friday Flashback
This week it's Big Daddy Kane, "Smooth Operator"

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 18, 2007
Negress Natasha
I think I'm going to write to Mattel and ask them to create a Barbie-type doll in my likeness with that name. Yes, I can see the slogan now... "Negress Natasha, cuz she's black like me!" Let's go all out and give her a wide nose and big-ass Wanda lips, too!

I think a few of my co-workers are on that stuff, or they've got a case of justdontgiveafuckism. Another of my co-workers came to my office to ask some questions about a project. She's one of those females that just looks like she eats small rodents for dinner, chain smokes Black&Milds, and enjoys the smell of her own gas. She looked at the pictures on my desk, and took a keen interest in a picture of my brother and I from New Years Eve and one of me and my girls (you know the obligatory studio pic where yall have on variations of the same damn outfit). She looked at the picture, then looked at me and said... "You're pretty for a black girl. I wish my daughter could have a doll that looked like you"

Ohmyfuggingoodness, what in dee hail?! What kind of statment is that? I don't know whether to take it as a compliment or as an insinuation that most black people look like refried porch monkey. Yeah, she's black, but I'm not sure she takes that into consideration when she opens her mouth. She makes random strange statements often having to do with race, like "some black people turn the color of charcoal during the sunny summer days", so her saying something off the wall doesn't surprise me. But this just left me scratching my head.

Thank goodness I go home in a half hour, these people are working my nerves!

*HR has been notified about the egg problem, so I'll be posting their response soon*

Egg Foo Young
Some stuff you just don’t do, and you should just know better. My male co-worker has been asking all of the females at work if he can be our “egg-agent”. Basically, he’s trying to get us to sell our eggs to a fertility clinic for profit, which he’d take 30% of for recruiting you into the program. He’s been trying to hype up the fact that when you go through one cycle of egg donation, you make $5000, but he never mentioned all of the hormones you’d have to be put on nor did he mention the painful procedure of egg harvesting, the psychological evaluations, the genetic evaluations,the body fat restrictions, and the other inconveniences and unpleasantries involved.

He was really having trouble understanding why a bunch of us were offended by this. In his eyes, donating eggs would be no different than donating sperm or something, but he doesn’t remotely comprehend the personal sacrifice involved. All he sees is the potential for dollar signs. I can’t get up with his program. Now don’t get me wrong, I support infertility miracle workers, but I’m not ready to give my own eggs to this cause especially since I don’t have any children of my own.

I tried to explain to him how offensive and violating his recruitment efforts were, and all he did was get up in my face and tell me that I’m being unreasonable. $5000 is more important than anything else apparently. For crying out loud, why don't I just give him my soul for $5 while we're at it.

So this morning, I walk into my office only to see a voicemail left from yesterday afternoon. I listen and it's the lady from the fertility center calling to confirm my appointment for my initial consultation for egg donation. I called the woman back and asked her about this appointment and who made it because I knew I sure as hell didn't. She told me that she'd received my demographic information, etc from my co-worker and was trying to set up a time for us to meet and discuss everything.

I had to choke back the fury as I told her that I'm already familiar with the process and that I'm not interested. I had to explain that the person giving her the information is simply being greedy and money hungry. Thank God she understood, and she said she wouldn't contact me again, but if ever I wanted to take that step to contact her. Fine.

Him on the other hand, I can't wait for him to get to work. I'm so extra UNappreciative of him trying to sell MY stuff like that. How can you just give someone's personal information out like that? I'm mad, violated, all that. Really, I'm at a loss for words.

**Update** As I was writing this, one of my female co-workers who has also been being "recruited" but has no interest told me that she got the same phone call from the woman at the fertility place and is just as angry. We're going to have to get completely gangsta to deal with this. I hope it doesn't get ugly.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Ghetto Fabulous for $200 Alex
**Warning: There is some cooning going on in this post**

My melanin-deficient friends and sheltered black fam, I’m really going to need you to stop the use of the word “ghetto” as a backhanded insult immediately. See, the problem with you using the word so freely is that you don’t really know the first thing about real ghetto. You wouldn’t know the projects if you were magically dropped there. I can hear it now, “Hmm, this is an interesting looking skyscraper condo complex…The residents must be into that shabby chic look.” That statement alone disqualifies you from using this word. I know you’re probably looking at me funny asking why I’m allowed to use the word, so allow me to explain. I’m an alumnae of The Illustrious School of Ghetto Hoods and Crackhead Survival. I earned my stripes, along with most of my people who grew up knowing at least one person named June Bug or Pookie.

Let’s get some things straight about what ghetto is and isn’t, and here to help me out is the Peanut Gallery, also known as Lauren, Will, and Malik—the undercover hoodrat patrol. Welcome to our game! Unghetto girl, you make one statement of what you think is ghetto and the peanut gallery will decide if the statement is true, then I will do the same thing. (ok yall, a real live whitechick, lol —the coolest one we know—stepped in and played the unghetto girl and we actually played this “game” in my living room. We were bored and inebriated ok, so cut us some slack)

Unghetto Girl: “Ugggh, shopping at Abercrombie instead of Hollister is sooo ghetto…”

Peanut Gallery: “Not so much”

Me: “Shopping at K-Mart and putting erythang on layaway. That’s ghetto”

Peanut Gallery: *All nod head in agreement* “Damn Tash, that’s deep. That's how our parents bought the Roots Miniseries on tape”

Unghetto Girl: “Taking gymnastics, not ballet. Now that’s ghetto”

Peanut Gallery: *All just look confused and shake heads ‘no’*

Me: “Finding a dirty old mattress outside, then pulling it over to the playground. And then you and your crew use it as a cushion when practicing your flips and ninja kicks. Ghetto to the core”

Peanut Gallery: *Put up black power fists in agreement*

Unghetto Girl: “Drinking chardonnay out of a martini glass”

Peanut Gallery: *Look up chardonnay on Wikipedia* “Boooooo”

Me: “Drinking RED Kool-Aid out of an old yogurt cup”

Peanut Gallery: *Hold a toast with their yogurt cups and mason jars*

Unghetto Girl: “Making French crèpes with Bisquick mix. That’s gotta be ghetto”

Peanut Gallery: *After much debate, agree* “Yeah, that’s ghetto français-style”

Me: “Making grilled gubment cheese sammiches using an iron and a paper bag”

Peanut Gallery: *All shed a tear*

You get the idea. The game went on until we were practically ready for an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. But either way, very few so-called “ghetto” things make it through the gates of WhiteBread Estates, Vermont. Please leave the ghetto nomenclature to the professionals.

Game Over, now back to our regularly scheduled non-coon, non-buffonery, doesn’t-set-us-back-50-years business.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Calling Miss Cleo...
I've always wondered why the first people to offer up some advice are the people who need advice themselves. Somehow it's the people who are apparently not very good at life telling other people how to go about living theirs. Come on now, what does it look like me taking advice on preparing myself for a promotion at work from someone who can't even spell JOB, let alone have one?

Anyway, my bestfriend Lauren and I were at a smallish coffee/bookstore the other day talking about some stuff that her and I both went through with our exes and this crazy little woman came sat down at the head of our table and started dishing out her brand of advice. No doubt that this was rude, but we were so stunned at first by this woman's oblivious eccentricity that we just let her talk. My thought to myself: "This lady looks like the only people she ever speaks to are her cats, so what kind of advice is she going to give? How to select the proper blend of Meow Mix?"

Crazy Lady: "Ladies, you need to find your man based on what the Shamans say. You can't just talk to a man because he's nice looking or because he's got a nice personality. Let the spirit forces guide you together"

Lauren: "Ok, so where do I find these spirit forces?"

CL: "Let me read your palm and I'll guide you to the spirits and to ultimate happiness"

Me: "Ummmmmmm. Say what now?"

Lauren: "I just washed my hands and I don't touch strangers. I'm fine with my mediocre happiness"

CL: "Ahh yes. I will guide your spirits to the spirits of your love. And you will also find out your lucky numbers for life"

Lauren: "Did you do the same for yourself? Are you committed?"

CL: "Hmmm....There is a void in my love aura. Fuck dat ni**a"

Me: "So what you do only works on other people, but not yourself? And that comment didn't sound like someone in search of the spirit force"

CL: "Open your mind to something new. I'm tryin to get there"

Lauren: "No thank you. I'm fine with my mediocre spirits and love I suppose. But do you think you can give me today's DC Lotto Numbers or at least the Rollin' Cash 5 numbers?"

CL: "Obviously you're not ready to experience happiness"

Me: "I suppose not, and apparently neither are you. Thanks and have a lovely day"

Miss Cleo, one of your psychic friends got loose and apparently doesn't know that you're not in business anymore. Come get your friend. Anyway, the advice giving has got to stop. If you're not successful in the area that you're trying to give advice on, then obviously you don't need to be telling someone else what to do. Nor do you need to be telling people you don't know how to live their lives. When you have a ghetto bird telling another ghetto hood rat bird not to act so coonish, how do you expect to be taken seriously?

Please people, take a look at your own life before you start looking at other people with the side eye and criticizing them and telling them what to do. Maybe it's about time you follow your own advice? Things would be so different in our society if more people practiced everything that they preach.

Monday, January 15, 2007
Thank You

Thank You Dr. King for helping to ensure that my future includes doors being opened rather than doors being shut. Thank you for fighting so hard for our people, thank you for standing your ground when others would have crumbled, and thank you for the ultimate sacrifice you made.

Most of us are lucky enough to have today off, but rather than sit on your behind and watch TV, go out and do something to honor this great man. Volunteer or even just read to a bunch of kids, just be sure to do something to help someone else realize their dream.

Again, thank you Dr. King for helping to make my dream a reality.

Sunday, January 14, 2007
But I Live Here
This weekend, per usual I hung out with a bunch of my friends and we travelled around DC and Sunday, I decided to amble around the city alone and go to a few places I've been meaning to get to but haven't had the time. Of course, during my travels we ran across none other than the omnipresent tourists. They're everywhere...Metro trains, buses, in the streets, in restaurants...I can't escape them. So like many bloggers before me, and like many that will come after me, I've decided to pen an open letter to the tourists of my city (yeah, I live in a burb, but dammit it's my city too and I hang out and spend a lot of my time here, so I get to voice my unhappines...hmmph)

Dear DC Tourists,

Welcome to our city. I'm glad you're here to visit, really I am. I know for many of you, this is your first time in a big city and the first time taking public transportation, so let me help you out in a few areas.

Please understand that mornings and evenings are rush hour here, just like in your city, so that means the train will be crowded. These are not good times for you to "take the big city subway" so you can add that to your list of life's accomplishments. Also, when you get on the train, go to the center of the car...the recording says so for a reason. When you count stops or make googly eyes at all the station names, or talk about "the first time I rode a subway in 1907..." we know you're a tourist. So there is no need to say, "Harriet, stop acting like a tourist, try to look more like one of the locals". See, I know you didn't think I heard you say that because I had my ipod on, but no matter how loud I blasted the thing, your screechy voice carried louder. Oh, and subways make that squealing noise sometimes, that's just what they do. Please don't look in my direction for guidance or to see how I react. "Psst, the local doesn't seem fazed by that, so I guess it must be normal", is never a good thing to be saying.

Metro has created these cute little phrases and put them in in their advertising. "Doorker" and "Escalump" refer directly to you. So rather than laugh at how to pronounce these words, pay attention to their meaning. Please also understand that if you're pushing a stroller the size of a Buick, move to the CENTER of the vehicle and hold on tight. I don't want you or your baby to fly in my lap when the train lurches as they tend to do. Nor do I want to fight with your behemoth stroller when I'm trying to exit the train. Oh, and one last thing...PLEASE...stand on the right, walk on the left!

The Locals and Life Here
We live and work here. We're not really all that concerned with your tour group from Duluth. Just please don't get in our way. When you're blocking the entrance to the Capitol taking tacky pictures or holding us hostage in metro stations, you are keeping us from getting to work and going about our lives.

We are very well aware of how expensive it is to live here. I don't like paying out of my nose for everything here, but I like living here so I pay up. When you compare the prices of things here to the prices in your hometown, you look silly and cheap. I know you weren't prepared for this kind of wallet shock, but that doesn't mean you can come up to me and say something like "How do you do it?! It's soo expensive". As a matter of fact, there's no need to speak to me at all on the street, since I'm still wearing my ipod headphones. That's the universal signal of "Lalalala...I'm not listening...".

We local people like to go to the Smithsonian Museums and The National Zoo, etc every now and again also. So don't be surprised when you see us walking past you and we don't have a camera or a ginormous fanny-pack handing out animal crackers to a bunch of kids.

I really hope you don't take what I'm saying as an insult. Again, we like having you here. Just understand that other people actually live here (you can tell who we are because we're not wearing the silly FBI or CIA T-shirts) and you need to allow us the space to go about our daily lives. Thanks so much!

"Step Back, Doors Closing",

Friday, January 12, 2007
Friday Flashback!
This week it's The Fat Boys "Louie Louie"

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 11, 2007
Got a Date?
I've tried online dating a few times and figured it might be a fairly easy way to weed out the foolishness and get right down to the decent men. I don't know where my head was at, because anyone who's tried it will tell you that it's just as bad, in some cases worse than doing the in-person "how you dooin.." type stuff. But the in-person is too much fun and I participate like a champ!

This is how it's supposed to happen (according to the websites):
After digging around the thesaurus for the best words to use in your 2,000 word profile and finding your very best pic, it's on. Educated, articulate, classy, ready-for-relationship (or raw monkey sex depending on the slant of the website) men come out of the woodwork and become great dating prospects. Their profiles are on point, they have great pictures, great email and phone conversation, etc. You go out with a few of them and finally decide to settle down with "The One!". Yall get married, then have your pictures plastered all over the dating site you met at to show what a success their site is.

This is how it really happens:
You create a masterpiece of a personal profile with the best pictures of yourself, serious yet humorous explanations of what you're looking for in a mate, etc. Your profile is on point! So you wait. The next day you get a bunch of emails from men. You open one, and see that he has no profile text or picture with his profile. His screenname is something like bigmandingo_69 and he sends a message that says nothing but "Call Me. 555-555-5555, Mike." You don't call this fool because you don't know anything about him or have an idea what he looks like. Repeat this a whole bunch more times--men with no profiles, etc. Then *Eureka*, a normal one--a man who actually knows to write something about himself in the profile and include a picture--sends a message. You know something is off about this one though. He says he's an executive for a fine dining establishment, but after the first few times you talk, you find out that he's an Assistant Manager at Chik-Fil-A. Yes the chicken they use at Chik-Fil-A is real and their sweet tea may as well be liquid crack, but the establishment is hardly fine dining. But you give him a chance anyway. You decide to meet, and once you see him, you're immediately inclined to end the date because instead of looking like the clean cut man in the pic, he resembles Chewbacca without a recent shower. But you remember that you're a classy lady and try to be nice. Once you leave, he hints not so subtly that he wants to get in it and tear it to pieces. You try to find every excuse in the book to get him away from you as he reaches his hand out toward you to touch. Finally you tell him that you've got some rare form of "can'tgiveitup-itis" and he leaves you alone. The next day he calls you 95 times and you have a whole bunch more emails from generic playas with phone numbers. Now "the one" is the stalker that you had to have arrested because he's determined now to become your permanent dick dealer. Or worse yet, you get a bunch of wack, lame emails from generic yuckballs in Montana. See, it never works the way the website says it does.

So what I've decided to do is start a type of Human Resources department for myself, where I take in resumes of interested men and I can choose based on their qualifications. I know online dating was supposed to solve that, but I don't get enough information about their relationship qualifications, and filling out a written profile is optional. At the Corporate Headquarters of Tasha, you don't get a call unless your resume is together. Here's the ideal candidate's resume:

Future Mr. La Bella Noire

My own house, USA

Two-parent involvment during childhood
Grandparents married 50+ years
Loves kids but has none
Good cook
Good conversationalist
Excellent Listening Skills
Financially Stable
Great Sense of Humor
No Trifling Friends
Can serve up a mean dick-in-a-box

2004-2006, I Tried to Make it Work
New York, NY
Reason for Termination: Mutual decision that we'd grown apart after working to try and maintain relationship. No bitter feelings.

2002-2003, I Wasn't Ready
Washington, DC
Reason for Termination: First relationship out of college. Still needed time to be a bachelor, so I realized that I wasn't ready for that kind of commitment. Didn't cheat, left relationship before it got to that point.

2002-2002, Dayum
Philadelphia, PA
Reason for Termination: I admit I messed that one up. I hadn't grown out of old college habits and didn't treat her the way she needed to be treated.

1998-2002, College
Somewhere, USA
Dated a few women, had a few moments of indiscretion. Had fun, didn't want responsibilities of relationship.

1995-1998, High School Sweetheart
New York, NY
Reason for Termination: First Love, didn't want to end the relationship. But we grew apart and we recognized that college may tear us apart, so we ended things to make things fair.

References Available Upon Request

If it only worked that way, I think most women would be better off. Maybe I should post an ad for "Executive Partner" on careerbuilder.com or something. I'm sure I could learn more about the person from their real resume than I do from most online dating places. Although, I can't lie; I'm currently enjoying an unexpected level of success from one site, and it provides me with all kinds of comic relief the lengths some people will go to to get a date.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Called Out!

Lately myself and a few friends have had some run ins with people and they need to be called out! I'm putting their foolishness in the Bullshit Bag:

Don't hate the player, hate the game
My friend Anyiah called me the other day bitching about this dude she was dealing with and how completely ignorant he started acting. They met about a month ago and have been building a nice little dating relationship. You know--talking on the phone every day, chillin at each other's cribs, movies, dinner, and of course uglies bumpin. I just knew they was about to win the "bun and bunnette" award of the year. But all of a sudden he just stopped calling. No returned phonecalls, no nothing for three days. She knows the deal, she's not so silly as to think that he's just really tied up at work or some foolishness, but she's mad at his attempt to pull the BS. Real playas know how to tell someone point blank that they aren't trying to be exclusive anything, and all you can do is respect that and get yours while you can. But these wanna be shady type dudes think that pulling some "I forgot who the hell you are" tactic cements their playa status, but all it does is cement their *ahem* punk status. Fake azz playa, get in the BS bag!

Lines like an Etch a Sketch
Again, the wanna be be playas with the corny lines. I wonder where they get the idea that these lines actually work. It's like that cellphone commercial where the kid trying to impress a few girls takes advice from the not-so-Rico-Suave guy and ends up getting cussed out. "Yo, you must be related to a hand grenade cuz yo' body is bangin'" "Oooh damn girl, you da thickness, I want you to keep me warm tonight" "I wanna drink some of yo' pussynog for Christmas" "I'll be your dick-in-a-box" Now I know some females actually fall for that corny mess, but a man should be smart enough to stay FAR FAR AWAY from the ones that do. Either they've got self-esteem issues that can't be fixed or they're going to burn you with the worst case of Gonorrhea this side of the Atlantic. And don't even start with that "Psst, shawtie" shit. Get in the BS bag!

Some of my best friends are colored...
WTF? What did you just say Becky? You've had how many black people in your home? The fact that you can tell me just how many have crossed your threshold is not a good sign. Do you give background checks before they come to make sure they're asexual and non-threatning? Do you count the pizza boy? And colored? Hmmm....lemme get back to you on that one. That's like me saying my best friend from 4th grade was the color of a dusty apricot. I bet you, going from that statement alone that the "best friends" you speak of are your daughter's school lunch lady and the older-than-Moses woman who's your best friend from up the street's Nanny. Oh, and if the colored people are your friends, why do you cross the street faster than flying bacon grease when you see one walking toward you?
Oh, and you know a gay dude from the bagel shop, so now some of your "best friends" are gay? Reeeeally? Cuz I thought I saw you throw a Bible at the last rainbow you passed. Get in the damn BS bag with all that!

We're winning the war in Iraq
No comment. Get in the BS bag. Immediately.

I'm gonna quit tomorrow, next week, on the 24th
Moms, I hate to call you out like this, but umm you've been saying that every New Year's since 1977. Newports are da debil and you're a nurse, you should know better. *but shhh, I can't blame you, I know your job is stressful as sin* I love you more than life itself, but you earned this...Get in the BS bag Mama!

I found your number...
You paranoid woman! If you're so damn suspect of your man that you're checkin up on him and following him around, stalkin his phone bills, and cell phone records, then more than likely he's cheating and you already know that. And what makes you think stalking his triflin cheating behind is going to make him stop and suddenly realize how much he looovvveeess you? You can't force a man-hoe to be a house-husband. Sorry to burst your bubble. Get in the BS bag!

This is my real hair
Umm, then why is your track showing? Awww shit, I didn't know that Miracle Gro worked on hair too, cuz I saw you last week and your hair was shorter than a lil bit. Now it's down to your asscrack? And half blonde, half black like Remy Ma? Wow, impressive...*side eye*. It's real you say? "You betta quit ya lyin heffa...watch yaself" Oh, lacefront wig? That still doesn't qualify as real hair that grew out of your scalp. And why did you tell your man it was real? See, he's traumatized now because last night yall was gettin down wit it and he pulled your hair too hard and it landed on the floor across from the bed. Get in the BS bag!

I know there is so much more that needs to be called out...be on the lookout cuz this bag will be back, bwahahahaha

Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Learning About La Bella Part 2
I know it's unusual for me to post such personal stuff, but it's been on my mind and since you all read my stuff, you may as well know a little more about me. So don't worry, I haven't fallen off the emotional deep end, lol.

At some point in a woman's life she learns what a real man is, but some learn that by seeing what a real man isn't.

I could and probably should be angry at him, but my heart won't let me. Many days, I'm caught between feeling sorry for him and thanking him for contributing half of my DNA. Twenty-one years ago he divorced not only my mom, but all of us, and walked away leaving my mom to raise a four year old and a twelve year old.

My life with this man has been a continuous lesson in forgiveness. At four years old, I shouldn't have been learning how to vacillate between feigning giddiness, happiness, and confusion. My first trip to a gynecologist shouldn't have been for at least ten more years, but I was there getting poked and prodded and violated because I opened my mouth and told my mom what he did. You don't expect a child to know the phrase 'Baby he violated you', but I did. And I still do. But I'm not bitter, I'm a survivor now. I saw him locked up for a while (just about a year), but after a lot of long converstations with my mom, the police, and my therapist he was released and I was happy. Forgiveness in the eyes of a five year old looks a little bit different than forgiveness from an adult's eyes, but it means much more. At a point, I didn't care about him being in trouble anymore, I just wanted my daddy back. My family sometimes questions why I forgave him and why I continue to maintain a relationship with him and all I can say is that it's not my place to judge him. He has demons, not me, and his demons can't define me or the relationship we have.

Going to grade school shouldn't be uncertain, especially when you go to a school that costs more per year than most colleges, but for me it was. Ever heard of "no child left behind"?. Well, I was. It wasn't the money, it wasn't my brainpower--all that was covered. It was actually getting there. He told me that he'd pick me up and take me to school every day, but 5 times over the course of two weeks, he called my house 20 minutes after the scheduled pick up time to tell me that he'd forgotten about me and was already at work so he couldn't come to get me and to get to school the best way I could. The first time it happened, I called my mom, she left work and took me to school. After that, I figured things out on my own and managed to get to school on time. Quite a feat for a fifth grader. I didn't tell my mom that happened until I'd graduated from high school, because she didn't need to know. He forgot about me, but I'm not bitter. It made me resourceful.

I listened to him call my mother a "dope feenin' bitch", "project mentality hoe" and all kinds of untrue unpleasantries to my face. But I'm not bitter, I'm resilient.

I cried when I saw that he and some of his family stole my identity and FUCKED my credit up. But I'm not bitter, I'm financially savvy now and know how to clear my name.

I was mortified when I found out that a story was made up about me that I died in a train accident so someone could collect life insurance money (not sure exactly who did this, but I know they wanted my dad's cut). But I'm not bitter, I'm protected even better.

He begged me for money when I was working part time in high school even though he had a high paying job. But I'm not bitter, I'm happy I have enough to spare.

On my graduation from high school he came in as we were organizing our processional to tell me how proud he was that I'd done so much work under his watch. I cried, but I'm not bitter, I just pay close attention to who paid my tuition by herself the whole time I was in private school. (My mom is my hero)

He told me that I have a half brother older than my older full-blood brother at the same time he told me that him and his wife were going to be having a baby and I'd be a big sister. But I'm not bitter, I have more brothers to protect me.

He lied the first five times I asked if he ever cheated on my mother until I presented him with hard evidence. But I'm not bitter, I now can smell bullshit five miles away.

When I got my second undergrad degree, he called it "his degree" because his daughter earned it. But I'm not bitter, I'm more educated.

He beams with pride when he hears about my successes in school, business, and life even though he was absent for most of it. But I'm not bitter, I'm happy that he can find some peace knowing that his daughter made it on her own.

I have a propensity to read, be hungry for knowledge, be spiritually liberal, be open to all cultures, and don't feel sorry for myself. I'm not bitter, because that's me, and he contributed to that. I like those things about me, about him.

He's my father and I can't change that. Sure I was raised by my mom and later by her and my stepdad, so another man has taken the name of "Daddy" in my life. But I refuse to hide his iniquities, his shortcomings, his sins, and his good traits. I wouldn't be here without him, and I wouldn't bae at the place in my life that I am currently if it hadn't been for the experiences that he's created. There's no need for me to be angry because it's not my fault that he wasn't ready to be the man he needed to be. He did things to my person, but not to ME. At the end of the day, ME is better because of everything that went down. His actions don't define me, nor do they define him. His actions are just that, his actions. And at some point, I had to separate him from his actions. I'll always love my father, but not what he did/does.

Every day I open my eyes, I'm grateful that this man is my father. I went through all of that to learn to forgive and to learn about the woman that is La Bella Noire--La Bella ME. Regardless of what anyone says, I forgive, still love, and welcome not only him, but ME.

Foolywang Du Jour

Ok, I like most every damn body watched "I Love New York" on VH1 last night. It's a hot ass mess in the making, and I have no problem admitting that it's a not-so-guilty-pleasure watching grown people make fun of themselves. I'm not even going to comment on the show, since the rest of the blogosphere can handle that for me.

I'm talking about the other hot ass mess in the making that was on right after New York's debauchery went off. Ego Trip's The White Rapper Show is in search of the next great white rapper. They bring a whole bunch of white kids to the South Bronx (that's my HOME! *sniff, I miss the days on 143rd & Willis*)and challenge their rhyme skills, hip-hop knowledge, and their ideas about race. The premise of the show seems ok enough, but just watching this made me wanna throw up. Foolywang done completely wrong.

For VH1, the channel that didn't allow hip hop until just a few years ago is commercializing what made my hood famous and turning it into a joke. I could get all into the cultural implications of such a move, but I'll spare you--ask your favorite Hip Hop head to explain it for you. But on this one, I side with the hip hop heads. It's not a white/black thing, but you don't need to turn hip hop into something like this. There is no need for people to be sending in tapes of themselves begging to be on this show like it's The Real World or something, showing off their paltry rhymes and trying their damndest to look black. I'll go so far as to say, some of the people on that show act like all hip hop is is Adidas track suits, shelltoes, dookie rope gold chains, or AF1's and camo shorts like one chick seems to think. Hip Hop doesn't need an American Idol type of competition or to have a reality show to pick it's newest stars. Save it.

Monday, January 08, 2007
Love and Pain
"But Tash, I know he loves me. He just gets a lil crazy sometimes"

When I heard her say that to me, as much as I wanted to shake some sense into her, I completely understood what she was saying and why she was saying it.

You never truly know how you will handle a situation until you are forced into it. And once you've been on that side of the fence, things make sense that previously were nonsensical. The advice you'd give before you were ever in that situation yourself now seems trival and cold.

Seeing the world through a black eye inflicted by your manfriend/husband is already hard enough, but when you have everyone and their mother telling you what a jerk he is, life gets infitely more difficult. My friend came to me in tears looking for a different kind of solace when it was her black eyes, dislocated joints, and bruised ego. She came to lean on me because she knows I've been there and luckily made it through without losing myself.

I know some of you are probably thinking that I'm too young to have gone through some foolishness llike that, but my life has been filled with lots of stuff that no one, regardless of their age should ever go through. When I was about 15 I got involved with a guy much older than me, and while I thought I was slick telling him I was older (when I was 15 I looked older than I do now, go figure)he knew the deal, so shame on him already for being with a teenager. I was in "love" with this man, and damn near everything he said to me was the gospel. More often than not, I would listen to him over my mom and stepdad, and now I sometimes wonder how I manage to have such a good relationship with them now--the stuff I was doing was SOOO unsavory.

The first time he hit me, my face got all swollen and I cried, but I didn't get mad at him. I was old enough then to have seen a few battered women, but I never understood why they didn't just get mad at the man and walk when he raised his hand. Somehow or another, I found myself mad at ME for making him mad. He apologized profusely and kissed, etc away the anger so I thought it was an isolated incident. But it kept happening. Every time louder and more harsh than the last. I would show up at school with black eyes and bruises and explain to my teachers that volleyball or dance practice from the night before was exceptionally hardcore. I know they all knew the deal, because they'd hear me arguing with him on my cell phone at random hours during the school day. I got cornered by a guidance counselor and my favorite teacher and they told me to spill it, but I stuck to my story. I "loved" him, so I'd protect him at all costs. My mom knew the deal too, but she could never get the whole story out of me, so she couldn't press charges.

I developed some type of dependency on this toxic relationship. At one point, I had a dream or out of body experience. I remember looking at myself and saying that I needed to get out of that relationship, but I couldn't get the strength to just leave. After that dream, I broke down and told a few close people what was going on and how he would hit me if I didn't suck,fuck,or cook it up enough or properly. Rather than hear what I needed to hear, I heard..."He's a jerk, you need to leave". I already knew it was in my best interest to leave, but what I needed to hear was that I had a support to lean on when I was ready to leave that I had someone to help me get ready to leave. No one seemed to understand that, and I figured out that these were people who were saying "I've never been in your shoes, but if I were you, I would..." What I needed was the support of someone who'd gotten out.

Things for me finally came to a horrific ending when on New Years Day 1999 we got into a stupid arguement, and he hit me so hard I felt a sickening crack. My jaw immediately fell out of line and I could no longer close my mouth properly. I don't know what it was about him cracking my jaw that sent me into renegade "I need to get out of this shit" mode, but I finally mustered up the courage to call 911. By the time they got to my house, he was gone, but I gave a good enough description that they caught up with him and had him arrested. I had the opportunity to drop the charges, but something inside of me couldn't do that. So I pressed charges and he ended up doing time. He's since been released and beat up his pregnant girlfriend, ironically named Tasha as well. Although he got out, that event was the impetus for me to get it together and LEAVE.

So when my friend came to me and told me what was going on, sure my first impulse was to get her out. But I also knew that forcing her out would make her resent the people who actually love her and make her run to the man who is destroying her because she'd feel like her family and friends don't trust her judgement. In this situation, you want to maintain the level of trust, and let that person know you've got their back when they're ready to go. Of course I'm not going to let her husband beat her into oblivion either--if he lands her in the hospital, he's going to have hell to pay. But she's got my hand to hold. I'm not going to let her fall further into this vortex of abuse, but I recognize her need for autonomy in this situation.

Don't judge the broken until you've walked a mile in their shoes. "I love him" usually means I want to leave, but I'm scared and I need an ear. Give that ear, give a shoulder to cry on, and a hand to hold and you might be someone's hero. Save the judgement and the "If I were you..." for the one being that's allowed to do that--God.

Friday, January 05, 2007
A Fawked Up Friday
Damn, I think I need to go home. Ever since I left my place this morning, shit just hasn't been going right. This morning I overslept all kinds of bad. Normally I wake up a few minutes before my alarm at 5AM, then hit the snooze button until I decide to throw myself in the shower. That didn't happen this morning. I guess last night in my sleepiness, I set the alarm for PM rather than AM. I remember getting a feeling..."I'm sleeping too long" and finally woke myself up only to see that it was almost 7AM. Mind you, I have to be at the plantation at 7:30 and have a 30 mile one way trip to work. Soo not a good way to start my morning.

Once I got to work, I somehow closed my shoelace in the car door as I was stepping out of the vehicle. So as I got ready to take a step forward, I got all caught up and laded smack on my face. In. A. Puddle. Lemme tell you, getting a face full of puddle water just made me want to slather all the hand santitizer in the world all over my face. Maybe I'll use some Purell as a facial mask tomorrow.

So once I peeled myself off the ground, I walked in the building and tried to catch the elevator, I didn't make it, but some of my hair did. The fugging outer elevator door closed on a lock of my hair and I couldn't pull it out. Another elevator came down, and I tried to unstick my hair so I could take that one, but I really was stuck. No one else was in the lobby to help me, so I had to wait until the elevator whose door I was stuck in returned to the first floor.

My co-worker who's been on maternity leave for seemingly forever showed up today with her baby, and of course everyone wanted to hold the child. Ooohs and ahhs and all sorts of fun "talk to the baby" was going on, and the lil one was being passed around like a football. Well, get to me and we decide to erupt in EVERY damn direction. Baby puke, baby shit ALL over me! Thank God I was wearing another co-worker's hoodie since I was still freezing from the puddle debacle. The mother offered to have the hoodie dry cleaned, so that was nice I guess.

I'd almost had it by this point. I was tired, wet, puked on...what else now?! "Oh that's right, it's payday, lemme make sure my direct deposit went thru". Like normal people, I went to the banks website, and my direct deposit went thru fine, but umm...wait now, some $$ is missing from my savings. It was some oddball dollar and cents amount, not a round dollar figure like I would expect if it were an accounting error on my part.

Me: "Hello, Bank? Yeah, it appears that my balance doesn't match my records...can we go through them one at a time"

Lady: "Fine"

(So we go through everything, then there's a charge for a men's jock itch type stuff ordered from the internet)

Me: " What the fuck? Who orders that shit online? That's not my charge, I been thefted!!!!"

Lady: "But wait, it appears this was posted to the wrong account.....(typing, etc)....your balance has been adjusted to the correct amount"

Me: "So you're telling me that if I hadn't caught this mistake, yall wouldn't have noticed?"

Lady: "Err, umm, uhh..."

Me: "Lemme get off this phone before I say something I don't mean"

Yay, my accounting wasn't off, but I shouldn't have to put the bank in check like that. Day just keeps getting more wrong. But a co-worker brought in muffins, so maybe that will perk up my mood. They looked like Chocolate Chip and everyone around me said that they were, and I'm more than fine with chocolate, so I took a bite. Come to find out after I swallowed, that the muffins are Blueberry, not Chocolate. I made a bee-line to ask the chick who made them if she made them with blueberries or huckleberries which look very similar. See, I'm crazy allergic to huckleberries.

Me: "Girlie, what kind of berries did you use? Huckleberries or Blueberries?"

Girl: "HUH? The ones they sell at Safeway"

Me: "Did the package say Huckleberries or Blueberries? They taste similar, but the package would have said which they were"

Girl: "I dunno, it shouldn't matter"

Me: "I'm allergic to Hucklberries."

Within 10 minutes, I had hives all over my face. I'm so happy I'm not deathly allergic to these things, just a few itchy hives for about 3 hours and it's over. But I'd rather not go through all of this.

Girl: "What happened to your face Tasha?"

Me: "Huckleberries"

Girl: "Who gave you those Huckleberries?"

Me: "They were in your muffins"

Girl: "OOOOOHHHH, that's what you meant. Yeah, those were huckleberries. Yup, sure were. (nods head)"

Me: "You know what, I'm gonna go back to my office mmmmkay"

I don't understand why my day is shaping up this way. Maybe this is Karma coming to whoop my ass for staying awake too late the last few nights or for unashamedly flirting with that cop at Starbucks? Whatever it is, it's got me ready for an immediate happy hour.

Friday Flashback
This week it's U.N.I.T.Y. by Queen Latifah. It's also my 100th post on this blog!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 04, 2007
More Isht I Wanna Know
As usual, my mind's been working overtime trying to figure out some of the not-so-pressing mysteries of life, so here's some more of the isht I wanna know:

1)Call the check-cashing place baby, cuz we got a big one. We done won da Sweepstakes!!-Why do the winners of the Publisher's Clearinghouse thing that comes on during the Superbowl always live in Tennessee or Arkansas or some podunk-ass town in Nebraska? And the people never live in a house or apartment, it's always a gotdamned double wide trailer. Note to Publisher's Clearinghouse: I have no problem being on camera, so yall can feel free to bring that giant check to my place. I know I live in Murrland, but I'll fake a country accent if I have to.

2)Got a new pistol with a trigger like a hairpin-The twelve year old and his dad who live above from me stopped me the other day talking about they were going to the shooting range. Some shit is wrong here. Why does this child know how to shoot a semi-automatic weapon but has NO idea who Shakespeare is? I mentioned Romeo and Juliet and he was like...HUH? And this is going to be running my country one day? I'm very afraid.

3)Blonde Ambition-Why the hell do I keep having dumb blonde moments? My hair has been a verifiably flattering shade of blonde for the last 2 years (NO it's not yellow. I read the rules of how black girls are supposed to do blonde)with periods of dark brown thrown in for fun, and every once in a while I catch myself saying some "Becky-ism". Like, "OMG, where are my keys dude?".

4)Beyaki Deity-Why do so many black gay men act like Beyonce is God? Stan is not quite the word. If I hear another one of my super-extra-fabulous male friends discussing the cultural relevance of "Listen" or "Upgrade U" I will be upgrading to the back of a police car listening to the jude tell me I'm guilty of verbal assault.

5)Money Hungry, Feed Me!-Why is it perfectly acceptable for a woman to ask a dude how much money he makes the first time she meets him, but he can't ask her? I thought we were liberated. Golddigging on the part of a female is waaaay to accepted and commonplace. Ladies, go to work and buy your own shit, don't worry bout what he can buy you right off the bat. Plentiful pockets often hold pitiful personalities.

6)Jesus Christ Superstar-Why do people get mad at Oprah (or Pope-rah, whatever you want to call her) when she does with her money what she chooses? So she built a school for girls in South Africa. Ok, and she's sent countless people to college here. Damn, she can't make everybody happy. The woman is NOT Jesus! People need to back down from telling others what to do with their resources, especially when they don't do jack with their own. Time is free, but I don't see many of the people who are telling Oprah that she's wrong for supporting her causes out voluteering. Where were yall when Katrina and Rita hit, and people needed clothing, shelter, and people to talk to? Hmmm, that's what I thought.

7)Club Coonin-Why do people think that da club (go shawty, it's ya burfday...sorry yall, I couldn't help it) is the best place not only to find someone to wife, but also to show off the 25-cent bling they bought from the vending machine at Giant or Shoppers? That's all I have to say about that.

8)Rims Renegade-Why do people think that putting $3000 rims and slapping a VTEC or Si sticker (my fellow racers understand this) or worse yet a stereo store window graphic on their rusted out 1987 IROC-Z makes it nice? The damn thing won't start, but at least it looks fast right? Looks more like hot garbahj (that's the fake-me-out French way to say Garbage) if you ask me!

9)Conjunction Junction, What's Your Function?-Why do people use extra adverbs and adjectives when they're trying to sound smart? Either that, or they'll try to make every word an adverb. What the hell does Pontificatively or Juxtapositionally mean? Yes, some man tried to holla at me like this during undergrad. And for the love of God, the proper word is converse, not conversate. Also, for the very final time, irregardless needs to be stricken from your vocabulary. The word is regardless--I promise.

10)Grown and Sexy-Why at the "Grown and Sexy" parties are very few people actually sexy? Do they think that Hypnotiq and Corona goggles will fix that? And why does "sexy" for the big girl have to involve looking like:
Just No. Ok, No.

11)Language Lockdown-Why is it that so many black people, especially the ghetto birds, can barely speak English or even Ebonics but when it comes to alcohol they get that pronunciation straight? They know how to properly accent and say Patrón, Moët et Chandon, and Cristal but can't say "subsequent". Problems.

12)I be seein Da King!-I know this has been asked many ways, but how come people have sightings of dead white people like Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra, and Buddy Holly yet no one ever sees Marvin Gaye or Tammi Terrell or Minnie Riperton or Luther Vandross or Barry White? You never see the Marvin Gaye impersonator's convention in Las Vegas.

13)Tracks for Days!-How come when a black woman gets tracks or other purchased hair sewn or glued in her hair it's called weave, but when white women do it it's called "Perfect Hair"? I'm not mad at Britney and nem, but how come no one says anything when they go from a short bob cut to Rapunzel in two days? When Halle does it, people got stuff to say callin her triflin all up and down.

14)Sneaker Keeper-I understand sneaker lovers, really I do. But why will a man have an apartment full of roaches, mice, and have trash everywhere but his sneakers are kept spotless and meticulously organized in their boxes? I mean damn, you have to have a sword fight with pizza boxes to clear off a seat on the couch, but you don't want your kicks to get dirty? You are not pimpin.

15)The Debil is a Lyah!-Why when really "churchy" people do something really extra or horribly mean, they say "The Devil Made Me Do It" and act like it's okay. But let poor Leroy, who's actually trying to free his soul from the grips of the devil, do something even slightly wrong, the same "churchy" people essentially damn him to hell?

Makes me go hmmmm...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Back Down $%^&*, You shouldn't have gotten the job
Well, I hope everyone had a safe and happy New Years. I got all kinds of lit up, acted a damn fool, and got back all in one piece--yay for the train system and a bunch of crazy ass, great friends!

Anyway, enough of that.I'm back on the plantation, and you'd think that with a new year, people would act like they had a shred of human decency, at least for the first week of the year. But no. Heeeell no.

As you can tell from a recent post, we interviewed a bunch of potential new hires and hired a new person. Well you would think that on your very first day of work you wouldn't be on the offensive and try to run shit, especially if you're a regular staff member. No management duties. None of that.

Nope, just coming up in to a new job tombout (yup, I said tombout) "Yall aint gotta train me on that computer program and how to do this job. I already know that stuff. You aint gotta teach me nuffin'. You can't teach me what I already know".

Shit changes after the interview and the job offer I see. She was all nice and professional during the interview, but today she was on some "Exorcist" mess.

Me: "You need to learn our systems and how we run our processes and how we enter data and all that, so you will be going to orientation and training for your first week."

New Hire Biyotch: "I told you I know how to do all that already. I used this system at my old job"

Me: "Ok, that's all well and good, but we have different data handling requirements, and processes. Basically you need to learn all the duties of your job"

NHB: "Well BASICALLY this job is going to get done the way I want to do it anyway, so why not just give the instructions on paper and leave me to do my work."

(Thinking to myself: Back down bitch, you don't know me. I'm REALLY not in love with your tone right now)

Me: "You'll get those instructions. But you need to go to orientation...wait you know what, sit right here I'll be right back"

See, I'm not her direct manager, so I was in a sense powerless right then. But as I was telling ol' girl that she needs to take her lil triflin wanna-be manager ass to orientation, I saw her manager and motioned for him to come closer to me. I told her to wait a second and went over to him and let him know all about this fool. I told him to listen to the rest of our conversation since I just knew she was going to show her ass, and he could make a decision about her from there.

Me: "Sorry about that, but your orientation will begin at 2:30, so until then you can go get lunch or take a break"

NHB: "I already told you I don't need orientation. Just give me my papers"

Her manager: "Miss Hoodrat. (name changed obviously) I need to speak with you a moment in my office"

I went back to my office, and not all of 10 minutes later, heffa walks past while screaming on her cellphone about how fucked up it is that she got fired on the first day and how we don't know talent when we see it. "Dey need to Reca'nize my skills! Dis dat bullshit, they fired ME!! Baby, come pick me up and get a Dutch"

4 hours! That's gotta be a new record from start-to-fired. Damn, it's only the second day of the year and I'm ready for a vacation.