Keeping Up with the Jonzee still at the right spot.

Monday, July 31, 2006

See what had happened was

I can't stand being pissy. So, I decided to recount some of the most memorable b-days. Here goes:

Year 5: I got a new hair-do and outfit and I got to help make and design a b-day cake for me. It was most memorable, because I was very particular about who I wanted to come to my party. I still had to invite little Iesha even though I couldn't stand her. 25 years later homegirl is like the little sister I never had.

Year 16: No I didn't get a fly whip. But my favorite cousins came up and cooked the fly spread for me and my 18 closest friends. We had a pool party and I fell in love with my High School Sweetheart. It turned into an intergenerational party complete with neighbors coming over to join in on the electric slide.

Year 21: 4 24oz glasses of Alligator tea(LIT with Midori and Grand Ma.)2 shots of tequila, and 3 rasberry kamikazis + 4 lap dances, 6 PDA's, 1 weave pull of a strangers hair (to see if it was real)and an argument with the boyfriend to let me lay down on the dance floor while proclaiming that I should be allowed to rest because I needed to rest my "rapping"voice = Worst Hang Over ever...but totally worth it.

Year 22: An innocent backyard BBQ in Staten Island turns into a 15 hour party complete with adult sleep over.

Year 25: My 1st ADULT b-day. I acted like a grown-ass women on the day i joined the quarter century club. I was given a cacophony of gifts, taken to a small french bistro where my grown-ass boyfriend (a first!) knew the chef. The chef prepared a special meal for us. The night ended with a massage and a little Anita Baker for further inspiration.

Year 30: ?????????? Lets just say...I'm sure I'll do it big, ya' heard?

Another year

Another b-day. Today is the first day of last year of my 20's and the first year of the 30's for my parents marriage--to the hour.

I love b-day's, not just my own, but my friends as well. I always think of it as a way to celebrate the life you have been given and the fact that you made it to another year. Many just think of it as another day, but I think of it as a way to honor the wonders of your God-given life.

But today, I wish I could just go hide under the bed. I am in a funky funk of a funk. Nothing I was hoping to do today is going to occur. I was hoping to take my parents to a great dinner and buy them tickets to see EF&W tomorrow. Shnope. Money is funny. Ma's got an exam of some sort and won't leave the house till its over, and honestly, I'm pretty sure my pop forgot it.

And on the first day of 29, I feel bitter girl (she and are at war) trying to make her debut. I've been struggling over the last couple of years to keep that chick in check, but she's somthing else.

Maybe its because I am tired of moving, of being in transition, of being the new kid all the damn time. Yet, I am over folk telling me to slow down. Maybe, I know it is time to plant a tree and watch it grow...but who knows how soon or where.

Maybe, I making a mountain out of a hill of beans and I just need a friggin vacation and a margarita(or two).

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Guess who loves you more...

My girl just told me that she finally finalized the divorce with her soon to be ex-husband after nearly two years.

Last year, my best friend informed that she was seeking a divorce from her husband.

They have a lot in common. So much so that it is eerie. Long story. I will make it short. High school sweethearts. The girls went away to school. The dudes followed. While the girls were in school, the dudes were sort of working (and sort of selling weed). The girls both leave the first schools (shout out to FAM and the real HU) and move to other cities. The dudes follow. Before the girls can get it together to re-enroll in school--they get summertime pregnant. The boys stay and they get married. The boys get jobs and keep on the hunt for better and better jobs. They get married and struggle. The girls manage to finish school with straight A's.(one has another baby while in school and still finishes in 5 years with straight a's in Science of all things) The boys start going to school, continue to struggle with the job thing. The girls keep pursuing the dreams they had when in high school--one doctor other lawyer. The boys slack...they start and stop school. They start hanging out. They become verbally abusive. They start hanging out with folks around the neighborhood. The girls keep the goal train moving.

Now, they end in divorce.

Both girls are Catholic. Try until it is more than impossible or you die ( I also have this particular view of marriage) And that is what both women did. They tried. They sought counseling. They started a date night thing. They created alternate work schedules so folks could study or rest and the children would still get the attention they needed (both sets have fantastic supersmart children) Yet, it would be great for a few months and then it would get worse than it had ever been before.

Both walked away after more than two years of trying to fix it. It became apparent that only one person was working at it. The girls continue to do their thing, and the boys have become dead beat dads (and they were great dads too--I dont get that.) My best friend is starting her PhD in viral immunology and buying a house. My other friend just finished law school. And both are in relationships with men who celebrate their success, love their children, and are supportive.

But there is a third scenario, that is more disheartening then the divorces of two women I truly admire. The woman who won't leave though it is clear, that dude is a dick, to put it nicely.

Same initial scenario--insert three kids and minus a grad degree. Nevertheless, the girl has a fantastic job, her kids are well adjusted, behaved, and smart. The brother has a job (this week, cause the man is always trying to keep him down.), is more than likely cheating on her, and does next to nothing for the children. Yet, she won't tell the nigga to get to stepping.

I've never been married, and I have watched alot of people be miserably married for 15 years or greater. But someone long married recently told me that some marriages that are on the rocks are sort of like being in a relationship with a person with an addiction problem--the other person is not ready to admit there is an issue and when you know your spouse as intimately as you do in marriage--you are the best judge of if and when it can improve. I don't know if I buy that. But then again, I have never been married.

Marriage is a conundrum to me. For instance, is a two year attempt to fix something that is supposed to last forever, sufficient? Or is it better to stick around? Is sticking around working at something when the other person is not doing their part ever going to work--is that what is meant by "better or worse"?

What say you?

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The ole' notebook

I have a prayer notebook. I started it after having a heart-to-heart with one of my line sisters. She said write it down, be specific. Ask for it. Believe it will happen. And keep moving. ( I think she got this from Dennis that guy) It will give you focus and reaffirm your faithfulness. It made sense so I did. So many things God has blessed me with since I started to focus these thoughts.

I need to keep up with what I started. Its time to get real detailed about what I hope to happen in the upcoming school year and after graduation.Lord, knows that I won't get it out properly unless I write it down.

See usually I just talk to Him like he is sitting in the passenger seat of my car with me. Yes, some times out load. And I usually have a great deal to say. I used to wonder if He was waiting for me to shut up, but I doubt it.

I may not make it to church every Sunday, but these conversations I am pretty diligent about.

I have a difficult time with formal prayer. And sometimes I think you have to be formal and organized to make sure you are really specific about what you need and what you hope. Otherwise...we know He's got jokes. But when it comes to formal prayer, I get distracted pretty easily. I went to Catholic School so i can say the Hail Mary and even the Stations of the Cross without a problem (okay maybe a little help with the stations), but when it comes to getting down on my knees at the end of the day...unless I am at Church...its going to be a long and distracting journey. My mind starts wandering and I don't finish my prayer thought. I move on to the next one and then i say 'oh yeah, what was I talking about.

Its really no different than who I am during the day. So much to say. Maybe thats why I talk so fast. I don't want folks minds to wander off as I formulate what might be a lengthy thought. Hence the *blank stare*, I sometimes get from people who don't know me well.

Lately, I've been trying to do it the good ole' fashion way. It worked for maybe two weeks. But I caught myself getting distracted again. I seriously think I have ADD--but I digress.

Yeah, Lucy's got some praying to do. And me and the notebook need to get reacquainted.

A Little Something to Ensure my Permanent Place on the CIA List

I'm of the popular opinion of an unpopular group. I feel the way some folk in an Oped in the NYTIMES feel. I do not agree with Israel's choice in dealing with Hezbollah and its strategy to get rid of the strong hold Hezbollah Lebanon and its sovriegnty.

Though it has been on my mind, it was not until yesterday that it started to get under my skin. So much so, that I lost some sleep thinking about this post. Yesteday it hit home--literally. Cleveland has a very large Jewish population and a small, but well connected and active Lebanese community. Yesterday, 6 of the 7 Lebanese business in the area were closed. All of them, with signs in the window asking for prayer and indicating they did not know when they would be reopening. There was a small protest of about 700 people downtown denouncing the actions of Israel and a much larger rally of local jewish congregations in support of Israel's campaign.

This campaign neither sits well with me morally nor logistically. Three quite influential and much larger Countries sit back and encourage the continued violence of a small nation against another small nation--with much less to lose.

America will be sending guided missiles immediately to further aid the Israeli campaign. On the promise of anonymity, the Department of State told the NYT about the missiles. The White House did not plan to make it known publicly. To me it says, that the US is standing on the side of Israel they way the Syria and Iran are standing on the side of Hezbollah (not Lebanon) The US is sitting safely at home just like Syria and Iran. So it seems, Goliaths are working on both sides of David.

To me this says, that not only will the United States never say to Israel that they me be wrong. It will support Israel unconditionally whether right or wrong. As Syria and Iran will continue to support Hezbollah.

If Israel publicly blames Syria and Iran for the situation in Lebanon and the their supply of weapons to Hezbollah, why isn't Israel (now aided by the US) attacking Syria and Iran, like America chose to attack Iraq under the guise that they not only had the WMD but where supplying Taliban. ( Isn't Taliban mostly Afgani, by the way? We occupy the country but we are not at war there.) Is it because our military is spread so thin, that we are chosing to do business this way. Or is it more because we will never tell Israel that maybe they should rethink their use of miltary force? (not just in this instance)

I don't buy the argument that this was the only option. Through out history, soldiers and civilians have been taken prisoner by nations with which bad blood exists. You cross into that neighbors territory--and imprisonment it is. Where their no other options, truly? Seems Israel had this planned for awhile. It might be arguable that so did the US. What about a covert operation to retrieve the soldiers? What about negotiation?

Is it logical to insist that Lebanon exercise its sovereignty, while Hezbollah controls 23 seats in the parliament? Hezbollah, like the good ole' political machines of the 20-30's here in the US, have provided goods and services and security, to instill both cooperation and fear through out the country. Is blowing them out of the water in the middle of residential neighborhoods the most concise and strategic means of accomplishing the goal of eliminating them? Is this logical if neither Israel nor the US has offered military or diplomatic aid to help Lebanon exercise the sovereignty that Israel keeps requesting? Is it logical to believe that as you blow up everything people own, that the dissimination propaganda about the dangers of Hezbollah, will garner support from residents rendered homeless, injured, and in the process of burying a family member? The Lebanese government has absolutely no ability to exercise its sovereignty on its own and that is well known. To demand that they do so, without aid is preposterous.

This is going to be a bloody massacre of which the Lebanese have no control. Hezbollah will have to decide to stand down---and so will Israel. Otherwise, the Lebanese people will continue to be caught in the middle. The UN peacekeeping force and the UN security council will have to stand up and tell the US, Syria, and Iran to sit down.

I welcome your commentary.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Nah, Bruh

In keeping with the theme and title of the posts about the saga with "bruh", I write this post to say, I think this one is dead in the water.

I think I knew it when I got here on June 19.

I need a brother with a plan, a purpose, and a vision. Seems to me, he is going through the motions. Yeah, he's a gentleman, he's got a good job, takes care of himself, and can afford to do many of the things he would like to. Yes, he is respectful and charming and generally an all around nice guy. But I know him well enough to say, right now he is just going through the motions. Its going to take him awhile to really get his "shit" together and that is if he doesn't decide its easier to just continue to settle. He has done so in the past--though he eventually made changes.

Maybe, we have not been clear enough with each other. But it seems to me, he's not sure what he wants do with this. I know where I would have liked to go. Clearly, a disconnect.

I'm on a mission. I have a vision, a purpose, and a plan. I am not waiting.

Next time I talk to him, I'll have to tell him what I just told you.

Workin' Day and Night

I am an intern...but I feel like a full-time employee and that is fabulous. Over the years, I have had a number of internships. More often times than not I have felt like the hired nag- asking can I do this, or that, or is there something I can help you with? Here, that is not the case.

My boss is very thoughtful. He asked me to write an expectations list, and is making sure I get to do everything I asked for.

I wanted to know more about the transactional side of lending, I got it.

I wanted to be involved in the customer schmoozing and, in some cases, getting some borrowers off the ledge. I get to do it.

I wanted to spend time in the field looking at the projects the bank's money is building. I'm getting that too.

And on top of all that...

He never lets me pay for lunch.

I think I might have to buy the man a gift. I don't think I could have asked for much more. I guess this makes up for all the bosses who were (to put it mildly) far less engaging.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Get your *ish together

...before you buy a house. I was inspired to write this post today because so many folk I know are in the process of buying something or are thinking about it. A lot of them did the research and made long hard choices and decisions. A lot of others did not.

And I have had enough of the ones who did not.

If I meet one more fool who is in pre-foreclosure because he/she bought the newest, biggest thing the bank would let them be foolish enough to buy, I'ma start slapping fools. ( And of course the number of black folks on there is disproportionate to everybody else--by a ridiculous amount) Can't fix nothing, can't furnish it, can't pay for it..but can brag about a decent address while living worse off than before the house. They become official member of the "House Poor" club.

Everyday, I run across the application of some fool who thinks he/she is Carlton Sheets (that's the "make a ga-zillion dollars a month in real estate" dude)or thinks that in a snap they will have the capacity to make real estate development deals like Jay-Z. They run after these crazy unconventional mortgage products like 110% loan/value, interest only, or go off and buy something at auction, etc. without really knowing the deal--just for the sake of homeownership (a.k.a, the greatest tax write off ever)

Why? I got my theories about why this is happening, but more specifically why it is happening to folk of color. First, a number of us grew up renters. The other is that many of us don't seem to like to ask for advice--distrustful of 'erbody. When I meet with people about making a loan, out of the folks who are not prepared a great majority of them are folks of color who have not done the required research and think you buy a house like you pick out some shoes. We gotta start being more strategic than that.

I mean isn't it funny (sadly) that more times than not, you can drive past a house and know the type of folk who live there? It's like someone failed to find out what a big responsibility having a home is.

Not everybody, unlike dubyah purports, needs to, wants to, or should be a homeowner. BeBe and 'dem with the porch roof getting ready to fall off and the dirt garden in the front is a prime example. If you are not prepared to deal with being responsible for physical upkeep (even in a condo) maybe you should keep renting--if it breaks, it's somebody else's bill. You can pick up and roll out when you are good and damn ready with relatively no muss or fuss and most of the time there is no yard work.

Yes, homeownership is a stepping stone to creating personal wealth. And black folks need to continue to get in the game. But, damn, can we know the rules and how it is played first!

Now, I don't own shit, but a car. However, since I sit around and deal with real estate all day, I thought I would share what I do know. To that end, for all of y'all who haven't bought yet or are mulling it over, a few words of advice:

1) If you have never owned a home, take a first-time homebuyers class. Usually its free. They go over budgets, financing, upkeep, finding a house,etc. Most municipalities have contracted this out to various non-profits who have no tie to somen mortgage broker or real estate person who might be skeevy for the sake of a kickback. So they advice, in my opinion, is usually pretty sound. Plus you get a pretty little binder and other free crap. Personally, I love free crap.

3) Check to see if your City, County, or State has a first-time homebuyers downpayment assistance program or grant. Its low-cost money or free if you qualify. Why use all of yours, when you can use some of theirs? (By the way if you live in a high-cost area as defined by HUD--people who make up to in some cases $80,000 might qualify)

3) If you don't have jacked-up credit, there is no reason to go to a mortgage broker first. Go to your credit union first, then a bank, then a mortgage broker. Brokers get to tack on extra points to the mortgage for their commission. However,if you are interested in, or need more creative or unconventional financing vehicles, then they can identify all kinds of unconventional mortgage products.

4)While you are doing this other stuff, develop a list of must-haves and negotiables about the type of place you want and start cruising the neighborhoods you want to live in. Look at what things are selling for and develop a budget based on what you can afford (with sufficient reserve for things getting jacked up) and then...

5) Get a realtor. I meet a lot of realtors. Some are excellent and very professional--it's their full-time job. Then you have the part-time house wife or other part-time types who take or leave it when they want and you can barely get them when you need them. Then their are the sharks, and in my opinion there are more of them than not--they will either not listen to you, not be honest with you about your options, or take you for whatever they can get. If you know exactly what you want, what you want to spend, what is a realistic budget--they will have a much more difficult time trying to take you on the "higher commission" ride

Okay. I am exiting my soapbox now. May the force shine brightly on you in your real estate purchasing process.

Monday, July 17, 2006

See, thats why they don't like your a$$

Our man Bush won't stand for being outdone. Today, bruh man really showed folks the American way.

Is it 2008, yet? Damn.

We don't need no water...

Since I don't know anyone here other than fam, I have taken the bull by the horns and have been doing some cool stuff solo. This weekend I went to a true street festival/party/shindig.

The Cleveland Ingenuity festival is where art and technology meet. Check out what went down at the fest

For all my Pittsburgh readers, y'all should come check out how your neighbor gets down--fo' sho'.

A Billion(aire) to Hold Us Back

It is clearly a long stretch to say that Bob Johnson is the reason black folks are taking 1 step forward and three steps back (bad Paula Abdul reference), but that brother sure is giving it a run for its money.

Saturday, while I was sweating my tail off on the treadmill at the temple of doom (AKA the gym), I had the unfortunate pleasure of watching Mr. Johnson in an interview on 60 Minutes.

Now, his story of course, is a great one. He got into Princeton in the 60's because of his excellent grades and the enforcement of affirmative action policies. He has only worked for others twice in his entire life. He says he got the idea for BET while watching race riots on TV in the 1960's. He felt black folks needed a media outlet that was relevant to their concerns and interests. The man clearly did big things. No doubt about it. I am not, by any means, knocking the brother's clear success.

BET was the *ish when it first came out. I'd say for most of its existance it was the ish. It played black artists when no one else would play them. When others started giving air time to these musicians, it played the musicians who would not get air time MTV, black radio, or otherwise. It had decent news and opinion coverage. Then I'd say 2000 hit and that good stuff went the way of the do do bird.

Whats funny is how he went on for 5 minutes about the importance of providing relevant media outlets for black folk, and then went on to say almost exact opposite thing when Mory asked him about BET's content today (the interview was held prior to the end of him being CEO). Mory was especially interested in why BET rid itself of any of the news and opinion shows that used to be on the network (paraphrase..."If you were so interested in providing African Americans with a relevant media outlet, why you got all them asses shaking on the screen from sun up to sun down?")

You know what the brother said don't you??? Basically,(again, I paraphrase, liberally) "If it don't make money it don't make sense. I give the people what they want...Shake that money maker", in Princeton's best English of course.


But then he goes back to talking about the importance of providing relevant media outlets and his latest venture--a movie studio. I was so incensed. I did hear him talk about access for African American film directors and some other crap.

Now, I feel folk who say that why is it that black folk who are climbing the ladder should be anymore concerned about the plight of their community then others. White folks aren't. And I will say...we ain't white. And I will further argue, because we are behind the 8 ball and getting further behind 'eeerbody else.

Remember OJ? He(and many others) thought he was the great black exception. At the end of the day, even though he won, he was not. Successful immigrant communities have been successful because of the support structures they have created. Look at the Jewish community. Look at immigrants from the Middle East and other nations. Look at black folk prior to intergration (whole 'nother debate) Immigrants come here and through the support of their community make things happen. They take advantage of capitalism--but through the help of their people. Yeah, we been here for a minute, but we still get treated like immigrants, so maybe we should be looking at how they do it and really take hold of how we used to do it and not simply pay lip service to it. Ain't nobody gone help us but us--and that is the way it is.

Wheew! Now that I am finished with my rant. Lets play a game. What do you think the first movie out of the studio will be? I'm thinking Madea, Players Ball, and Crunk...together on the big screen at last. I'm working on the name for it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

"Our House, is a very, very, very fine house"

I have had 18 roommates in 10 years. I According to the NY Times, I am one of many urban professionals living in ridiculously expensive cities without any prospect of being able to afford to live alone and have instead extended college living indefinetly.

I've lived with:

The Sociopath

The "Actress"

The Queen

The Stoner

The "I have never met a black person" girl

The Lesbian Lovers

The "Ambiguosly Gay" guy

An Obsessive Compulsive

The Dirty Whore (literally)

I even had a roommate who was more like my lover, but neither of us would ever admit it--even though it was obvious.

Dorm life does not get easier as you get older. I thought it might. Older roommates, in some ways, are more concientious, but they are also more set in their ways. I know as I get older, I just want to be left alone. I also want stuff done my way (then again, I have some boss lady tendencies) I don't want to entertain or be the house mom to people who need to be mommied. I don't want to have to track a fool down because instead of putting a new trash bag in the can, the fool puts the trash on the floor next to the can instead. I don't want to have to come in the house to a spontaneous get-together on a Tuesday night after I have been in school all day. I just want to be left alone.

My story is probably not that different from most folks who have had to live with roommates to live in city. I have had the chance to live alone and it was great. I stopped living alone in DC and moved in with a roommate thinking I could save cash for school. I regret not remaining on my own. Then, I moved back to Manhattan this past year, and lived with 2 Becky's in the village for like five minutes. Lets just say that wasn't a match. So, I then moved to a house in Jersey City 15 minutes from school. I thought it would be better because the lease holder and I had lived together before. We were younger and life was footloose and fancy free. "Which club tonight" was saying nothing but a word. Its actually harder to deal with now than it was then, even though we don't kick it like we used to when we were younger.

One day, I think people get to old for that shit.

I know I'm not a roommate for lifer. For many people like me, that means we will either need to make bigger bucks or move away from the city. Some city folk accept having roommates for 10-20 years, or living with their parents until they hopefully get married or shack. I have met so many people in NY who are 40 something with roommates, and are still dreaming of the day they will have their own spot!

After awhile the "excitement" of the City is just stress with a high price tag.

Maybe that is why there is a small upsurge in the number of young professionals looking at non-traditional cities to live in at a young age, like Louisville and Savannah. There is something to be said for being a big fish in a little pond. There is probably definetly something to be said for having larger pools of disposable income. I wouldn't know--I don't have any.

If so, it might be the saving grace for many places, especially here in the land of cleves. Many of these places have a number of hidden cultural gems and reasonable cost of living. The possibility of traveling more frequently or buying a nicer home is much greater. As the costs continue to rise exponentially on both coasts, perhaps the rest of the county will get some more love.

The North and South

I have one sibling. My brother is 23, and we, in many ways, are more different than any two siblings could be, although we look just alike. Lately, I have been very worried about him and the road he is traveling. Its not like he's a drug addict or something. But in some ways he's wasting his potential just as much.

For most of our lives, we have had a love/hate relationship. He has a horrendous temper because he is very sensitive. While I,too, have a red-hot temper, I know how out of control it can get, so I am instead very non-chalant, sometimes to the point of pissing people off. He's a pices. I'm a leo. He's the water that tries to put out my fire.

As children, I often tried to torture him mentally. I loved to make him cry when he was a wee tike. Yeah, it was horribly cruel, but I admit I took a great deal of joy from it. It seemed to me that we were at war. I felt like he was Ma's favorite. Whenever she was mad at me, he became even more her running buddy. I was left to be Daddy's girl (pop and I bump head's as I am "Dean's Daughter") and that made me resent him.

Then I grew up, and though he still catches an attitude out of nowhere, and can get snippy over nothing, he and I are much closer than we used to be. He calls me to chat. We hang out. But he is hell bent on doing stupid shit. It pisses me off. Smetimes he calls and all I give him is five minutes.

Clearly, moving back to Cleveland from New York, where we had finally settled and had established roots, affected us both in very different ways. I hated it and left as soon as they said "Congratulations Class of 1995". My brother had to endure the strange looks and comments about his accent and musical taste alot longer than me. He had to deal with the "he's not black enough" because of the rainbow hue of his various friends. I only had to deal for a year. He had to endure for 8. I guess when he got to Sophmore year, he just gave in. More of his friends became "the do-nothings". He barely got out of high school, and even though he got into school out of town he decided to stay here. The neat dressing, always ironed (see opposites...if it has to be ironed, its the last thing I wear) boy who listened to the same hip-hop artists his sister liked, has turned into a white tee and baggie jean boy, who bumps P and Lil' Wayne and them.

Clearly, we have chosen quite different ways of moving through life. I have dated some brothers who deserved a lot less of my time. although I bitch about being single sometimes, I still won't settle. My brother is the prototype for growing old in Cleveland--shack up'cause its better than being single.

This relationship he is in now, is by far the most idiotic thing he has ever done. She's 22 with three kids, one of whom she is not sure who the baby's daddy is. She is mean as hell--the epitome of the angry black woman stereotype. She screams on each of the boys--the oldest the most, and is only somewhat nurturing to the baby. She aint got no job, and because she has not found one yet, the state took away her daycare bene's. My brother, bless is poor dumb-ass heart, is now supporting them all.

The other day she was hospitalized for an ectopic pregnancy(yes, my brother was almost a daddy--surprise surprise!) and had to have a fallopian tube removed. After telling me he was thinking about leaving her, Monday he says that he feels bad for her and is going to stay.

I am heart-broken.

I am at a total loss.

And there is nothing I can do about it.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Maybe I should get pregnant?

Cleveland is not a singles town. It certainly does not seem like a town for a girl who is not ready to loc and "rocks rough and stuff..." I swear, 'e-erbody and they mama is married or shacked up--with chir'ren. And it seems, not neccessarily happily so. I am about to be 29 and within the last week I have gotten more "oh, po' chile" looks from folk in my life around here. Why? Because I am single and don't have children yet.

I would expect it from married folk my age. But not 23 and 24 year old wives and baby mama's.

Let me give you an example of the state of what seems to be ther norm around these parts.

First, there are the "married the moment I left college" bunch. They are 22-24 with big rings, new houses, and one (but usually more than one)child--the whole nine. I'm not knocking marrying the one you love-especially if you know they are the one. I am knocking not fully figuring out who you are before you do it, because lots of them are divorced by 30. You can't tell me that out of 1.75 million people in the metro area--most of the young folk are way ahead of the love and marriage learning curve.

Lots of these women that I have met have been married two years or less. They are already complaining about the strain of child rearing, how their husband wants to go hang out with the boys, how they would go back to school for a higher degree, but "they husband (not child mind you)need them". These ladies, many of whom only experienced independence in college, (and more than likely were attached to someone the whole time) look at me like--"poor thing--when are you going to grow up and get married." Like, having a kid and getting married equate grown up status.

Then there is the other set. They say, screw getting married...they just get pregnant--more than once. They got drama with baby-daddy and drama with they mama 'cause she won't baby sit all the time. And some of them cuss at their children like the children are grown-ass men. They, too, look at me like I ain't a woman 'cause I am childless.

I guess I am in the middle, with a lot of other folk. Not married, no children But we are a nation of extremists and the extremes are much more interesting--if only because they are a lot more vocal. Married early pregnant early--Maury and them eat that shit up.

Saturday night, both groups were live and in effect at this bar I went to. Yes. It was a neighborhood bar--but it is in uppity buppity Shaker Heights, where some black folks to bougie to a whole new level...

So imagine my surprise! Almost every single chick in there was a baby mama or the wife of some dude that they were pissed at, or out with hubby but he had clearly drag her there. Most of them were drunk and cussing like a sailor (yeah, I have never heard such constant foul language as I have heard here. YOU DON"T EVER WANT TO GET CUSSED OUT BY A WOMAN FROM CLEVELAND!) They made me, who likes the use of good cuss word, blush and shit. Every single one screaming about "they kids and they no good baby dady". And the dudes were eating 'em up like pigs to slop--getting and giving numbers left and right. I heard men here were thirsty, but DAMN! What?? Is this why my brother lives with an evil-ass 22 year old girl with three kids? Is that what you do here? Get knocked up and hope for marriage. Or get married and hope to get knocked up ASAP?

And this is not some culturally specific thing either. But the mid-west can be pretty isolating. However, I think it might also be a thing that happens whereever folk are isolated from larger groups of people. Wherever folks just stay in the neighborhood, in their city, in their state. I mean their are girls in NY who don't go to let alone date anyone from another borough.

But I still feel like the Rust Belt got the marriage/shack up thing on lock.

The single people seem to go into hiding. And the ones who are out seem to have more than one kid and some drama with babymama happening.

Its just the next logical thing to do, I guess. Have kids, get married or get married, have kids. Should have took that brother up on the marriage offer at 22. Perhaps I am now cursed? Not...well maybe by some Cleveland standard I am.

Even in my own family, I am the super anomoly. My aunt--married at 23 to her high school sweet heart (after being first married at 19) 3 kids (trying to find herself now) My mom and dad-married at 23-2 kids (i was born to the day one year later. Mom-trying to get her independence back after ending her career to IBM with PoP), My grandparents-married at 23. Shall I go on? Yeah, now I got my aunt asking me if I ever plan on having kids and don't I want a husband.

All I gotta say is, GTFOHWTB. But a sista would like a couple more dates, though.

The Unmitigated Gaul

What did you learn about the history of North America when you were in school? "Columbus sailed the ocean blue back in 1492" on the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria? Ah, they taught you well Luke.

Well, as the debate about whether or not the new immigrants (in a nation full of immigrants) should stay or go marches on, more accurate historical truths continue to refuse to die. Check out this NY Times article regarding America back in the day.

Surprised? Nah, not really, right?

Sunday, July 09, 2006


"Grown and Sexy" retired from the "Official Black Folks Guide to the Proper Use of Slang". But the term "grown-ass____, dog" should stay. Although, it too, is often over-used, some grown fool is always going to try to talk to another grown fool like they are an idiot or a baby.

I was the lucky one today.

This morning, at 7:45 AM, while the birds were chirpping and I was having sweet dreams about this guy I like, I was subject to situation that required roll -out of this particular phrase--right here in beautiful downtown Shaker Heights.

What happened to make me use it, was a brawl waiting to happen.

This morning my parents had an argument, like they have been doing for 30 years come my birthday. And in the same fashion as it has always been, a little disagreement turns into my father's "I do...and you don't do...shit" speech.

So you know, I'm grown. If I don't want to sit around (excuse me, lay around--cause a sista had a good hour left before she had to get ready for "chetch.")and listen to other "grown people's" bullshit. Then by definition of the word, I damn well don't have to.

I got up and I went outside. Had a cup of coffee and tried to rid myself of the rude awakening that occured. As I am not a morning person, you can expect as I was trying to find my Zen space, a whole lot of cussing was going on in my head.

But see-that is when "folks just can't leave other folks alone" happened. As I went inside to get my keys, Pop almighty tried to pull me in. If I were my brother, I would have told him where to go and how to get there, with no remorse.

Alas. I am not. I'm the good one. Never curse around them. I do what they tell me--even if I dont want to.

However, when this man said to me " You're a grown ass woman. What the hell are you outside for. Bring your ass in the house--people argue." in his "outside voice"...

Boy--it took all I had not to say "listen here muufucca, I'm a grown ass women dog."

My voice got a little louder, and as I held back all the "muuffuccas" in my head, I had flashbacks of standing in the same spot trying to prove my "growness" at 19, thinking to myself "I can't believe this! I am damn near 30 and feel like I gotta stand here and defend my adulthood"

Though I didn't curse--that does not mean that I did not scream on him. What I did tell him was that I wasn't about to be brought into his "bullcrap" and that since I'm grown--I'm gonna do what I "darn well" want to which is be outside.

So take that !!

and then I had to turn and walk away. 'Cause Pop Almighty (to know him is to love him--if you don't belong to him) kept going.

After this morning--I fully understand the need to tell a muufucca that you are a "grown--ass _____" , cause some folks want to play you like you are a child. So, though overused--I vote to keep it in the game.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I.(ve) B.(een) M.(oved)

I went to the District this weekend- and it caused me to reflect on all the places I have been. I have lived in 8 states and two countries. I have visted nearly 80% of the states in the US.

As the child of a lifetime IBM'er, I moved a great deal and had to say goodbye a lot. When I got grown--the need to move became a little irrational for awhile. It has gotten to the point to where people just say "where are you now---do you plan to sit still?" Yeah...I think that is next. I'm going to go sit my butt down somewhere for a good while...

Yet, what I learned from moving is invaluable, and the rules can be applied to personal crap to a much greater degree than many of us "frequent movers" may acknowledge. So as a reminder, here are the rules to remember:

create your own visited states map

The Rules to Getting out of Dodge Quickly
1) Start when you first know it is time to go. That way no need to be overwhelmed.
2) Make sure you have plenty of boxes and seperate the good stuff and bad stuff by labeling them clearly.
3) Some stuff you don't want but somebody else might--dont be an indian giver because you don't want to give it away. Let it go. Move on.
4) Get rid of the stuff you dont need. As it becomes crunch time you will be surprised at how much you realize you dont need.
5) Be prepared to complete the task by yourself.
6) Don't sit around pining about how much you will miss the place. Say goodbye and roll out. It just drags it out longer when you start boo-hooing and shit.

I mean, it seems quite apparent that the rules could apply to anything as you move and grow in life.

It is the application of these rules that can be a bitch.

For example--rule # 1, is probably the most important. Start early. When we know that something just isn't right with someone in our lives or with a situation we are in, often, we dont fix it. We cry about it, or we leave it be and wallow in it. Start early and time wasted is avoided. In moving my growth ahead I had to get my "captain save-a____" in check. Some folks cant be saved from their neurosis and I knew that it was time to at least distance myself but I went ahead and dragged it on. I mean there was time in my life where every woman I got to know had Daddy and anger issues and all the brothers "had unrealized potential" Though I learned alot--some wasted time could have been nixed.

Why not make the load lighter? When you get to where you are going, unpacking is going to be a bitch if you have no space to store it?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

This Mo-Fo tagged me...

I'm a newby, and I freaking got tagged. Thanks homie . Love you like the 31st of the month, before my check comes.

I was trying real hard not to...but alas it all ended last night.

Yes. In the back of cab...I let you all come up with your own scenarios

Yeah, someone tried to tickle me to death on a trip to Kings Dominion. That just turned into something else.



Yes...the first time I og'd

Word. All about the spoon and the reverse spoon. Unless your body temp is too high or you are a damn snorer. Roll away...just roll away.

Yeah...learned alot about myself from it though.

What woman hasn't. I dont know what makes men folk think they are hitting it on the money everytime. Nah, Bro'.

Oh, yeah. It takes the intensity up a great deal. Love to give and recieve the talk.

Foolishly, yes.


Yes. That is where the regret lies. Only once and it was THE WORST experience ever.


Yeah. at first look it was interesting. Tried it again and the flickering of the TV is just annoying.


Yes. I went into panic almost immediately.

The one-night stand




If the stars and moons align and we are telling the truth in an inebriated state...most def

Yeah. Last night was a doozy.

not sure