Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Mm..."

Word of advice for all you non-parents out there; "Mm" is your friend.

It is ill-advised, if you don't have children, to weigh in on a parent's dilemma unsolicited. Even when your opinion is asked, you should say as little as possible outside of maybe an anecdotal tale of having gone through a similar situation as a child, what action was taken and how it played out. You should say as little as possible outside of this anecdotal tale because childless folk have an amazing proficiency for inadvertently saying some low key offensive shit. In honesty, childless folk are not the only violators - all kinds of people fall victim to the clean curse out, including other parents. People are uber sensitive when it comes to their children; KNOW this.

So Ima make it real simple for you. Did you see how Will Smith instructed Kevin James to keep his dancing to a simple two-step in Hitch, saying, "You live here?" Well, "Mm" <--- YOU live HERE. Trust me when I tell you that 9 times out of 10 when a parent is talking to you about something concerning their child, they are venting, not soliciting advice. And this is CLEARLY true if you don't even have children - you don't ask a banker how to bake bread.

Now even if you have children, you're still gonna wanna refer to the above rule of thumb and keep it anecdotal or resort to a simple empathetic "Mm" because more likely than not, your well-intended suggestion will be poorly worded and ill-received. Why? Because even though you're trying to help, your "suggestions" often contain buzz words that sound like judgment and an attack on their parenting skills. How dare you, childless wonder, be the judge! LOL NO parent takes kindly to an insinuation that they are not doing their job, which is what you imply by suggesting maybe the kid needs a push. Seems pretty benign on the surface right? Trick bag: suggesting basic shit parents ought to do insinuates that they aren't already doing it. The words "push" and "support" should never leave your lips without the words "keep" or "continue" in front of them, but since you're not likely to remember these instructions when you get all out your lane, just remember an "mm" a day, keeps the reading away LOL.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

No More Purpose

Last night my daughter comes into my room with tears in her eyes. The closer she gets to me, the harder she starts to cry. Naturally, I'm worried as fuck, like what the hell happened? She collapses into my arms and is just bawling her little eyes out. I must have asked her six or seven times what was wrong but she couldn't even tell me. She just unlocked her phone and started tapping through apps until it got to Instagram. That made me nervous too because I thought maybe she was being cyber bullied or something, but nope. It was even worse.

Justin Bieber has canceled the remainder of his Purpose stadium tour.

I wasn't ready. I ain't know what to say. There's really nothing I could have said that was going to make her feel better, but I gave it my best shot. First I let her cry though. It's important to get it out. I know how much she was looking forward to going and I chunked up for the good seats too! I promised that whenever he did go back on tour, I would take her. She knows it's true, but it didn't take away the hurt.

I held her and rubbed her back for a while before sending her to wash her face and I thought back to when I was her age. The only person I'd have been that affected by - probably EVER - was Michael Jackson. I never had the opportunity to see MJ in concert but if I had ever gotten tickets and that show got canceled.......... shit, I might STILL be crying LOL.

No word as of yet regarding the reason for the cancellation but I'm thinking rehab. John Mayer made some comments about the cancellation that seemed to kinda support that line of thinking. He said when people cancel like this, its because they know they'll do real damage to themselves by continuing on. He then made reference to all the singers and entertainers we've been losing so young and all I could think was Lord, please don't let this boy die cause I don't know WHAT we gon do with these lil girls.

And I mean he bet not die like EVER LOL.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Caribbean Pimp

I'm a strong, black woman. I don't rely on anybody to make the magic happen, I AM the magic. I do what I want, when I want, and don't nobody tell me how to move. So imagine this old dude in my office building telling ME to shut up and go back to work. You know what I did?

I shut the hell up and took my ass back to work LMAO!

Girl!

First of all, this "old dude" ain't no regular old dude. He's probably the smoothest glass of rum to ever come outta Barbados - I call him Caribbean Pimp. CP's probably in his 60's but he's good-looking and still has that swagger in his walk; you know the one that says I got a big dick - that one LOL. Don't even get me started on that accent - OOOOMG. Secondly, he didn't SAY for me to shut up and go back to work, but that was the message.

See CP and I are cool. We chop it up every day, either when I first come in or around lunch time. Thing is, the evening guard, also older, has a crush on me too and we're cool as well. Enter Hater George.

So Hater George was introduced to me by the evening guard. He works maintenance in the building so I had seen him around, but since the formal introduction, I'd made it a point to actually speak to him by name. But Hater George got a little comfortable. Hater George sees I rock with the evening guard and now he sees I rock with CP too. Hater George decides to get cute.

I don't normally stop and talk to either guard when there are other folks around so when I see George and another maintenance guy at the desk with CP, I just throw a nod and keep it moving. George says hello to me in an oh you gon act like you aint see me? kind of way, to which I respond with spirit fingers and the dry "Hey George," I give to people "doing it for the Gram," if you will. CP calls me back, asking if I had heard what George called me. I hadn't, but apparently he called me "sweetie" and CP wasn't pleased. He told George I was his girlfriend and that he was not allowed to call me nothing but my name. Don't Hater George drop dime about the evening guard? LOL This nigga runs it all the way down about how the evening guard is always making passes at me and I'm just standing there like Denzel in Training Day ... "Yooooouuuuu muthafucka."

Now don't get it twisted, I ain't feel no way about WHAT he said - I talk to whoever the fuck I want - but I did feel a way about what he was doing, and moreover, how he was doing it. He was trying play CP, like the evening guard was fucking his bitch and shit. I can't stand jealous muthafuckas, I swear. And this is some shit that ain't even real, harmless flirting that makes the day more interesting. Can you imagine if it was real though? That's how niggas get dead. I was disgusted so I just walked off.

Today I'm at the desk with CP and in saunters George. I say hello and CP glares at him over his glasses, waiting for his response. George says hello back and CP goes, "And stop right there. That's all you get" LOL Of course, George has to be the asshole, so he then says something else and calls me "sweetheart," which is immediately followed by some more smack talking that CP was not here for. CP ignores George's yapping and turns to look at me. I don't know if he saw how uncomfortable I was or if he just felt it wasn't something I needed to be in the middle of, but in a very calm voice he says, "We will finish our conversation later on. You can go now."

Lord, Jesus..... What I was feeling, I haven't felt in a loooooooong time. I mighta been a little wet when I left that desk, that shit was like fucken magic, I was AMAZED LOL. It was the calm but "understand me" way he told me to get the hell on, but it was also the feeling of being protected - him shielding me from the brewing shit storm and also the subjection of this salty nigga who was trying to use me to forward whatever agenda it is that he had. It's the way I just did what he said, without hesitation or thought. ME, LOL. I don't know if it's the age or the "rum" but I need one of those in my life.

Aw shit...... do I have daddy issues? LMAOOOOOO! SMH



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Dana Gilmore; Wife, Woman, Friend

Part I and II of my favorite piece from one of my favorite spoken word artists. Shout out to the most recent dodged bullet to catch the vapors. #YouTriedIt #BoyBye





Thursday, June 1, 2017

Searching For Neverland

Ok so everyone knows I live and breathe Michael Jackson, and when it comes to “the commentary” you can usually expect me to be the biggest critic. Talk of another movie being made almost literally made my blood boil, like….. leave this man the fuck alone! Why is another movie necessary? WTF else need be said? How much more blood do you need from this stone???

Sigh.

But I watched.

About a half hour into "Searching for Neverland," I jumped onto Facebook to gauge people’s initial reactions and the few people who were commenting were not at all happy with what they were seeing. A couple of people said they couldn’t deal and turned the channel. But see, the rub with this stuff is that you kinda have to give it a chance. The mature fan understands nobody is ever going to BE Michael. That being said, in my opinion, Navi was about as close as anyone can expect to get. There were quite a few moments when I heard Michael, despite the Trini-British accent, and even more moments when I SAW Michael. I admit I was reluctant at first too, picking out every single thing I could come up with to discredit his portrayal, but once I got outta my feelings, it was fucken scary how much this dude gave me MJ. SCARY.

I had heard the movie was based on the book MJ’s bodyguards had written about the last 3 years of his life, but color me surprised when it was actually about the last 3 years of his life LOL. I mean, who didn’t think it was gonna be about the circumstances surrounding how he died and inside knowledge of some kinda of cover-up or conspiracy? In fact, they introduced Dr. Conrad Murray just once and his name was never even mentioned again until the end when detectives asked whether they believe he had killed Michael Jackson. The story really focused on what was going on in MJ’s life at the time; his financial situation, his being without a home, friends and family’s abandonment of him, and his struggle to strip away the “King of Pop” and just be a normal family man. It was sad to see some of these situations and how he eventually all but lost complete control of his life.

If you believe the bodyguards, you also thank God for them; that Michael had them during the time that he did when everyone else has turned their backs on him. You feel their pain and loss with his death. You feel the regret resulting from wishing they could have been there…. Done more. You also feel their relief in Mike finally being free of the prison his life had become. I appreciate that the movie detracted from his death and focused on his life – or at least the life he was trying so desperately to live, with his children. It was a little convenient that Bill got one of, if not the last phone call from Mike the night leading into his death – I wasn’t sure if that’s actually been documented or if it was done for effect – but that’s the stuff movies are made of. It worked.

So contrary to what even I would have thought my reaction to be, I liked the movie. I respect the casting, I appreciate the perspective and it left me feeling something other than any other MJ commentary I’ve seen. Can’t quite put my finger on a word for that feeling, but I think I might still be processing……

Saturday, May 13, 2017

When Breath Becomes Air


#1 New York Times Bestseller When Breath Becomes Air is the true story of Dr. Paul Kalanithi, a neurosurgeon on a quest to find the meaning of life through literature and experiences with his patients. That search accelerates when he is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at age 36. This book really pulls you into that situation, and more importantly, will make you ask yourself if I had only a year left to live, would I spend it doing the things I'm doing today? What would be important to me then?

This is the first book in YEARS that I've underscored passages from; literally took my pen and underlined shit, y'all, because one, y'all know I love all things existential. But two, there were things I need to remember for myself; things I want to relay to others in those crucial moments when you need more from me than just to listen. He simplified so many things - literally to the cellular level - that I stopped several times to just think about what he said. I mean, I gained so much perspective and honestly, it made me think a LOT about my mom.

Thankfully, my mother is not battling anything terminal - or at least to my knowledge - but she has been very sick over the years and for the last 2, it's just been like... non-stop. Thing after thing, and I've felt like she has been real preoccupied with her own mortality. Just shit she'll say, like how she is preparing to go on to glory and always positioning herself as being in her last years and I'm like DUDE. You about to be 64 this year, and yes, some people do leave us that young but it's not like you 92 on a ventilator. And maybe that's youngest child denial speaking - her health condition does complicate things - but whatever, I don't wanna hear that.

Now we on this whole retirement situation. She went from retiring January 2018 to retiring June 29, 2017 and out of the blue on Thursday, she like fuck it and put her two weeks in. WTF??? She's had enough of struggling through the pain to go to work and be at work all day and fighting to be paid properly when she has to be out and all kinda shit - I totally get that. But accelerating these timelines with no warning like that got me like WHOA! Like wait a minute, let's talk about this LOL.

I want my mom to do whatever it is she feels she needs to do in order to take care of herself, but honestly, she has me a little scared right now, like.... I feel rushed. You know what I mean? Is that crazy? She might be ready but yo, I am not trying to deal with any of that shit before I absolutely have to. The reality of the situation is with most of her close friends already being gone and me being who I am in this family, I am the one she talks to about these things and being there means steeling up to it but in my mind, the whole time, I'm plugging my ears and "la la la la la la" out the room LOL. Reading this book helped me in so, so many ways though and I think it could help her too, IF she was in the mindset to really receive it. I just don't know if she is. Religion, I think, might interfere with her ability to really get from it what I did because, you know, religion doesn't really allow for cellular-level simplicity. I also don't want it to backfire and have her thinking even more about dying. So I don't know, I'm torn. Maybe I will just mention the book in passing and see if she shows any interest.

Moving book though, brought me to tears. I definitely recommend it but I will caution you non-intellectual types - I read it in a day but it's a hard read. A lot of $50 vocabulary and hardcore literary references but even if you don't get them, it won't take away from the experience. Even if it doesn't motivate you to get up and do anything different, if it gets you to stop for just a moment to examine your life, it was worth the recommendation.

Monday, May 8, 2017

If I Could Turn Back Time

Sitting here watching the New Edition Story for the 50-11th time and having spent the whole weekend - AGAIN - watching all associated videos on Youtube, my mind has drifted back through time, taking inventory of ... all the years. I fantasized about being able to go back 20 years, knowing everything I know now. But oddly enough, i didn't have a long list of things I would do differently. I mean there was a list, but it definitely wasn't long.

20 years ago today, I would be about a week away from the breakup that would forever change me. It was the ending of my first real grown-up relationship; the first one that made me think about forever. I'd also be just a couple of weeks away from reuniting with the person who would turn out to be the love of my life and father of my children. It's so crazy to think about now. I wouldn't change either of those situations. I might do some things differently, but I wouldn't change them. I would not want to have children with anyone other than the man I had them with - he is a great father and co-parent - and I needed the experience before that to help me appreciate that.

20 years ago, I was also still hooping hard and one thing I do regret is stopping. There were several reasons for it but none that justified giving up the one thing that, even before writing, had always been there for me. But doing so put me in need of another outlet, which brought me back to this.

Actually, there are only 2 things I would change in 20 years and they both fall under the same umbrella. I would be a little more selfish with how much of myself I shared. Not so much in telling people stuff, but in trying to include them in some things that may have lasted longer if I had kept them for myself. Not all worlds should be merged. Lesson learned.

All things considered, I think I have done pretty well for myself. Yes, there are things and people that I COULD have done without but they are not such big factors as to call them regrets. Of those, I don't have many and I plan to live the rest of my life in a similar manner. But it's good to sit back sometimes and just think over your experiences in preparation for the next phase of your life.

I am so ready.