She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ex-Blues Me

Today I have the blues. It is most likely the result of the hormonal changes that take place in my body once a month. Need I say more? Anyway, today is one of those days. I was up early, but decided not to rush off to 7:30 service. Instead I told myself I would go to the 6pm service. It is 5:14 and I have no desire to move. I have been in this position all day. I hate days like this. My mind wants to go out and get some sun and fresh air, but my heart is not in it. Everybody is annoying with the exception of a few. I want human contact, but I feel guilty for subjecting someone to my blah-type mood. I want to be held, kissed and hugged. But at the same time not touched too much.

Today I am a bum. I do not have energy for anything, but I feel compelled to do something. LV asked me what I wanted to do and I responded, 'I don't know.' I just sent a follow-up text, stating if he wanted to take a nap over here he could. I'm just grabbing for anything. Poor baby, not him, me. Oh well, we will see how this day ends. My mom says that sometimes you need rest. That may explain why I have been in the bed all day, sleeping off and on. I cannot stand people who do that, so I feel like a real loser when I do.

Maybe I'm being too hard on myself. Everyone should have a day when they are not responsible for anything, when they take it easy and just lounge. I mean there is someone right now, who is at his or her 3rd job. They would love to do absolutely nothing. There is a mother of a toddler who wants desperately to zone out and nap for a few hours. I guess I need to count my blessings. At least I have the luxury to do such a thing. The problem is, it is an overwhelming feeling of blue. I do not feel I need to take a rest, but my body is responding otherwise. Prayerfully I will feel better tomorrow.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Saturday, Saturday

Today is the last no bootcamp Saturday I will be able to enjoy before winter. We are starting up again the first Saturday of April. So today is a little special. I started with my salsa class, then I visited Daddy and from there went to get my first 'no chip' manicure. I got the Shellac brand because the spa was running a sale. It was not want I thought it would be, but it looks good and I may try it again in the near future. After my nails, I met up with LC for dinner at one of my fave restaurants. We ate and talked and drank. From there we went to Chant in Hyde Park for another cocktail. I had a great time. I love good conversation with a good girlfriend.

Highlight of today: I got my salsa class crush's phone number! We discussed practicing our steps and going to some of the after class activities. I suggested he could call me if he ever wanted to go with a partner. We exchanged numbers. Woohoo! He is so cute to me!

I Got This

Years ago, maybe 3-5, I went to a fundraiser event at the Hot House. There was an auction and raffle. I won an artist numbered (95/250) 1978 Nii-Oti signed print. I believe the name to be 'The Sisters" or "3 Sisters" (cannot not seem to find any information on the web). I was so excited because I never win anything! After having it rolled up at my dad's house for all this time, I finally had the pictured framed.

It's a large and clumsy picture to try and balance by yourself, so although I knew exactly where it would be hung, I wanted help doing so. I asked my friend, LV to help. He agreed, but was out and about and would not be able to make it over until late. I had work in the morning, so I postponed the visit. The next day, after getting home from work, I hung my coat up and did not even bother putting my bags away before deciding to hang the picture myself. I mean, I have done it before. It would have been nice for someone to hold the picture up so I could see the perfect height. But I used my 'third eye' and worked it out. Yes the hooks are crooked, but with a little balancing, I straightened the picture where you cannot even tell. Now it looks perfect hung over my settee.

As I sat back and admired my work, I could not help thinking 'I'm a bad mamma-jamma!'. I was giddy and excited, in my head singing Aretha Franklin's song, 'Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves!'. When Antoine called, I could not even hide my feelings. I explained how much I hate waiting. You may call it impatience, but I absolutely hate to wait. Especially waiting on a man. You know those things that you should have a man help you with, or so you think. I can name countless projects I, my mom and I or my aunt and I have tackled on our own. Whether a man was around or not. I think back to when my hand-me-down dining room table was unassembled on my floor for days. My ex was going to come over and help within 30 minutes, which turned into a couple of hours. Finally my mother, in her 'bump him' attitude said, we can do this ourselves. And you know what? We did. That mutha did not even show up that day, if I am recalling correctly.

Life with him taught me to work it out, wait for no one. Every time I walk in the living room and see that picture I am so happy. Not only because the three painted sistas look regal, but the beautiful painting represents how far I have come. My days of waiting on men are officially dead and gone. When LV came by the next day, he said it looked really nice. Of the men in my life now, I know he of all people would have helped and I would not have had to wait so long. But it just felt good not to have to depend on him. Our visit was a visit and not an assignment. Yeah...I got this.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ain't This About Some Bull!

Every year around the beginning of March, I totally give up on the winter. I just do not claim it anymore. I stop wearing my winter gear and start prepping myself for the springtime. Well this year was no different, except the weather is not breaking the way it should. When it does, it won't stay 'broke'. Today we can expect a high of 35, as opposed to the 50 degrees that is the average. In fact, we should expect some snow flurries. What the hell?!! I am so over the winter.

I am not one of these people that complains in December or January about it being cold, or even February for that matter. I understand we live in Chicago and the weather sucks during the winter. This is my home. I have been around this weather for so long, it does not phase me. However, come March, that's my breaking point. That is when I draw the line with Mother Nature!

Anyway, Happy Friday and bundle up!!! Damn!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hey Lil' Mama!

I had a very urban public transportation experience today. I decided to take the bus all the way home, instead of the train and bus. The X28 gets a bit jiggy after 60th street. When we got to the Y on 63rd, this woman got on, with a mouth full of sunflower seeds. She cracked one in her mouth and spit the shell on the floor as she walked back to her seat. Both the lady facing me across the aisle and I looked at the spot, looked at each other, then went on about business. I thought to myself, in my Adele Givens voice, 'She's such a phuckin' LADY!'.

Then, when I got off the bus to go to the Walgreens, I cut across the parking lot. In front of the Currency Exchange (what's an urban story without a Currency Exchange??) were a group of miscellaneous losers who were standing there, loitering. As I walk with my usual quick pace, I hear, 'Hey lil' mama! Hey, lil' mama!'. The voice was loud, raspy and ignorant. After hearing this about 5 times, I turned around and yelled, 'Why are you calling me that??!!!'. I was so pissed. I usually can ignore stuff like that, but it was so demeaning. Here I am in a purple sweater dress (that I felt like kept rising), my lime green Pumas, short red cross-over wool coat and all my bags. My face must have read, 'do I LOOK like I go by the name Lil' Mama!!' Because this, dark-skinned Grady (from Sandford & Son) look-a-like, looked stuck on stupid. He replied some kind of 'no disrespect' style apology, or maybe he didn' then I had turned back around, and pumped to the Walgreens. A man in a SUV asked if they were harassing me. I said no and that I was alright. Hey lil' mama...humph!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Random Ramblings...

I was saddened to hear about the passing of Dame Elizabeth Taylor. Here are a few things you probably did not know about her:

1. The New York Times' writer for Elizabeth Taylor's obituary actually died six years ago.
2. Her first marriage (of eight!) was to Conrad "Nicky" Hilton, Paris' granddad.
3. She had purple irises and a double set of eyelashes.
*Source: Refinery 29

My new favorite blog/website is: Refinery 29 ( I cannot even remember how I found this site, but I am in love with it's cheeky and poignant since of style. The articles and posts are always engaging and it makes me long for New York, which is so bittersweet, I'm sad I'm not there, but happy I've been. It's hip, but not too cool where everything is over your head. It inspires me.

Earlier this week, I saw an older lady trying to flag down a Ria Pizza delivery car yesterday on Jackson, east of Wells. She thought it was a taxi. She was serious! The poor woman either needs new glasses or does not get to the city much.

Finally, I have 10 followers now! I am too excited. Welcome! If you enjoy the blog, spread the word.

Shut the Hell Up!

Here is my confession for the day, I have a hard time keeping secrets. Not other people's secrets, just my own. In more ways than one. I think it has something to do with my natural aversion to lying. I am really poor at it. One of my hardest secrets to keep, is good or exciting news. I try to hold my cards, but I just cannot seem to do it. For instance, Antoine and I found the perfect vacation for our annual BFT (Best Friends' Trip). I ended up telling my co-worker and then my favorite work FedEx guy. Now, I do not mind them going, but sometimes I want to keep good things to myself. You know, like a restaurant that you like, but do not want er'body and their mamas there. My other secret is my salsa class and ballet class. I want people to know, but I do not want them to go, especially with me. Why is that?

Well what I'm learning is, I like doing things by myself. If not, there are certain people with whom I want to share certain experiences. I used to be the girl who would not do anything without a partner, whether it be lunch, shopping, errands, etc. If I wanted to sign up for a class or go see a movie or play, I would wait and try to go with someone. However, I do not know when it happened, but I have hardly the slightest desire to do things with more than two other people. I would even go far as to say no more than one other person. But overall, I am comfortable doing things by myself. So when I tell someone about my workout class and their initial reaction is, 'you should have told me', my thought is, 'why?'. So you can drop out prematurely and make me look like the woman who has flaky, sometime-y friends? Leaving me to answer the inevitable question, 'whatever happened to your friend?'. To carpool, and somehow we start missing classes because you have convinced me to grab a bite to eat instead?

I want to be one of those women who 'works well with others'. But I am not. Instead, I am the woman who can be exhaustingly independent and tirelessly and unashamedly on her own agenda. I like being with my friends, but when I look back on all the things I have missed out on, trying to wait for someone else, it nearly pisses me off. Trying to coordinate multiple pay periods and schedules can be annoying. Especially when the only one you are really concerned with is your own. This single life has taught me many things, but mainly, I can honestly say, I enjoy making my own rules. I like waking up on an off day and taking my time getting ready, not being regulated to a specific clock. I relish the times when I can walk aimlessly around shopping or window browsing.

It is such a hard position, trying to keep good news secrets. On the one hand, I want people to stop, in my words, 'slumming it' and upgrade their lives, but at the same time, that philosophy is the reason why every once in awhile, I have a somewhat awkward encounter with a small group of girls I know longer socialize with at my hair salon. I just had to let them know, while we were friends of course, about the wonders of my stylist. Now, when I am there enjoying the salon-wide conversation and flipping through the latest Hype/Black Hair magazine, I have to put my anxiety in check and give hugs and air kisses and ask superficial questions like, 'so how have you been?'. I don't care how they've been. I mean it's not like I'm mad at them or anything, but it would be nice to have my sacred salon space back again.

My new goal: stop sharing everything! No matter how good it is. I will try my best to keep some things to myself. What people don't know, won't (I hope) hurt them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Glorious Adventures of MJ

In keeping with my life's motto, 'Just Do It', I have enrolled in some new classes to further stimulate my mind and keep these glutes tight! First I enrolled in 'A Taste of Salsa' class. I have always wanted to salsa dance. Like steppin' it looks so easy, until you try it. So I thought an official class would give me more confidence, allow me to meet new people and pick up some new dance moves at the same time. I love it! The class, instructor and of course the music are all on point. Although I have only taken one class, I am already thinking I might sign up for the next level.

My other new class is a 'Core Barre Ballet' class. Do not be fooled as I was. This is not a ballet class. Instead, it's an intense pilots class that uses ballet techniques...umm...I thought I would be the real Black Swan, not struggling, as usual, in the 'plank position'! It is the kind of workout class where you know you will be sore in the morning, because you can already feel tenderness directly after class. I was 'point'-ing and 'flex'-ing so hard, I think I pulled an ankle muscle. Who knew there was an ankle muscle!? I wanted to leave and go home and never come back again, but I will stick it out at least until my 30 days of unlimited classes for a deeply discounted price has expired.

You may be wondering where I found such classes and deals. Let me introduce you to my new addiction: Living Social and sometimes Groupon. I received the salsa deal for about $35. There was some discrepancy in the advertising, but you know I took care of that. My ballet class facility offered unlimited classes for $35 as well, typically this would have cost me $155. I will keep exploring and providing you the 'real deal' details on all of my adventures. In the meantime, get out and do something different!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"I'm Just Absent-minded"

I work at the front desk of my office. From a button located under my desk, I have the power to 'buzz' my co-workers, visitors and delivery people in, allowing them access. As employees, we are all given key cards for self-entry. There is one co-worker, a young sista who forgets and/or loses her key card about 1-2 times a month, if not, more. Last week I finally asked her what was going on, to which she replied 'nothing'. That she does not know why she loses it, but it just happens. I told her I believed that there might be some dissatisfaction with her job. Why would you continuously lose something that allows you entry. I suggested it may be evidence of something deeper.

She got a little defensive and said, 'why does it have to be [like that] why can't it just mean that I'm just really absent-minded?'. To which I replied, 'well, girl, check-in! Join us!'. She smirked and walked away. Okay, I know what you are thinking, 'why don't you leave that girl alone?'. I feel you. But my observation came from love; I was not trying to chastise her. In fact, it got me to thinking about Corporate America and double standards for women of color.

In my opinion, young Black women cannot afford to be and do not possess the worldy-given permission to be lackadaisical. It is not ours. Young Black women have to be determined, critical thinkers, problem solvers and focused, all while staying fly. The whole, walk around the work place looking cute and playing/being ditzy, only works for White girls. That's what I call WGPs (White Girl Problems). You will lose your way following in their footsteps. You cannot do the whole pajama-wearing, I'm so tired thing, it does not fly with us. Why? Here is the reason: the man-made structures and systems of the world, were not made with us in mind.

This world was not set up to place us on pedestals. We do not have the luxury of being extra sweet to everyone 'just because'. It will and can back-fire in your face. Corporate America does not applaud us being 'hot' with little brains. In fact, how many sistas do you know who really slept their way to the 'top'? Laying on your back, will usually get you nothing but a wet ass and a bad reputation.

I know this first hand, armed with an M.A. in Gerontology (a field I have yet to enter some eight years later) at the ripe age of 23 years, I had no solid plan. I figured I was would just figure it out. In fact my undergrad was in African American Studies. Both, were topics I found 'interesting'. With my parents fitting the bill, I was even more careless about my future. I was never a 'school' type of person, but knew it was critical to my 'success'. Don't get me wrong, I consider myself successful, if only for the sheer fact I am gainfully employed and independent. But I sometimes wonder where I would be today, if I had not been so whimsical about my career goals and future. Where did the whole, 'let the chips fall as they may' get me? My opening line says it all, I work at the front desk, buzzing people in all day. Now when I say I love my job, I LOVE my job. I am a well-paid 'buzzer girl'! This is hands down thee best one yet, but I still wonder. If I had pushed myself more, been more focused or goal oriented, where would I be?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Movie Review!

I am so tired; I should be sleep right now. But if I do not write this now, it ain't happening. I saw The Farrelly Brothers' film Hall Pass tonight. It was my choice. I had heard some decent/good movie reviews and thought a funny movie would be a good choice. So my friend LV and I headed to the Icon Theater on Roosevelt after I got off of work.

The movie is what you would expect from the Farrelly Brothers, nudity, sex, masturbation jokes, 'poop' jokes and drugs. There were three scenes in the film, that LV and I never would have suspected would be included in this or any movie. If you have seen the film, we can discuss it. If not, I don't want to spoil anything. The acting in the film is downright bad, from everyone. Joy Behar, whom I love from The View is so stiff and uncomfortable, at one point she clearly looked off set. The spray tans used in the film were so overused, that it was hard to look at the actors without squinting.

One of the unexpected scenes contains my new favorite actor, Thaddeus Rahming. 'Who is Thaddeus Rahming?', you ask. He played the very weighty and important character:
Naked Guy #1. Now, if you do not go to see this film for any other reason, let Mr. Rahming be your guide. Now maybe it is because I have been abstinent since September, but liked me some Thaddeus. I was with a guy and did not want to become all old-lady-in-the-front-row-at-the-Apollo-with-the-jheri-curl (remember her?). I just kept repeating, 'Oh my God, oh my God'. If ever there was a time to bootleg a movie, this was it. Except my customers would be mad because that would be the only footage available.

Overall, the film had a good message: the grass is always greener...with all of it's over the top junior high bathroom humor, it was a crazy and fun movie. It is silly, but kept us entertained. LV says he will definitely get it on dvd. He enjoyed it. My recommendation is to rent it or get the film on dvd. This will make a great dvd film. I give this 'Hall Pass': 3 out of 5 purse-smuggled snacks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today Was a Good Day

As I sit bottomless watching SNL tonight, I am recounting what a good day I had today. I started slowly, which no matter how fast I want to get things started, my free days become Me days. I pulled Mary J. Blige's Mary album from Grooveshark and remembered why I used to love it so. The lyrics, message and songs are impeccable. When I was finally able to pull myself together, I headed over to my very first real salsa dance lesson. We learned the basic steps and some partner movement. I really love the studio, Latin Street Dance and my teacher (the owner, Lisa 'La Bariqua). Plus, your girl wasn't half bad. After class I headed over to get my hair done. Sidebar: why does everyone think if your hair is natural, you don't go to the salon. As my hairdresser says, 'natural doesn't mean neglected'. I love my hair salon. I was in there for 4 hours, but wasn't even mad, I enjoyed myself. From there I picked up sushi from Shinju Sushi in Hyde Park. I came home, ate my sushi and washed it down with Izze sparkling blackberry juice...yes, it was a good day.

Friday, March 11, 2011

She Hate Me

There is a girl I know. We are cool. In fact, today someone referred to us as 'girls'. I would not go that far, but a shallow friendship has blossomed. When I first met and started talking to the girl, she was nice enough, fun and easy to talk to. She is a major chatterbox, and that was okay with me, for awhile at least. Here is the 'problem'. She is quite 'urban', as my South African friend used to say. Although I am not against that per se, there are times when I have to draw a line in the sand.

For instance, playfully calling me bitch a little sooner than what would be naturally, if at all tolerable. Or saying, 'shut up', a little to often. Or, 'I hate you'. You know, little things ghetto boys and girls say to each other. I am not sure what part of the hood experience and environment makes everything hateful and annoying. Maybe it's the lack of adequate shelter, healthy food choices or well-equipped and proper schools. Whatever the case and I am sure there are many psychological and sociological causes and effects; but I am no expert, nor do I wish to delve into those issues now. All I will say is, I swear this girl hates me!

Now, you might say, 'hate' is such a strong word. Yes, I know. But it is also on a parallel street with love. Hate is not the opposite of love, in contrast, to some degree it rides right along side of love. The ex-boyfriends that I cannot stand the most, are the ones with whom I allowed myself to lose all self control. The ones I thought I could never live without. The friends that stir up the most negative emotions with me are the ones I feel betrayed me or left me behind for no 'good reason'. You sometimes have to be close enough to a person, admire them deeply to be able to hate them. The girl I speak of, hates me.

It is in the way she looks at me when I speak. That, 'shut up bitch!' expression. Or how defensive she gets when I disagree with her ridiculous logic. When I have an opinion, she goes out of her way to dispute my argument. Furthermore, that superficial smile! Yet, she still wants me around. She is a total frenemy!

I finally today verbalized my feelings about her to another friend. It was the first time I was able to say it aloud, I do not 'think she likes me'. Now that I have said it, I am okay. Because, I do not like, or trust for that matter, her either. But in my quest to start accepting people for who they are and not letting that deter me from being or trying to be good, I am not going to 'drop' her in my old MJ fashion. Instead, I will accept her for who she is and keep her at a comfortable distance for us both.

Yeah, she might hate me, but I don't.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Ring My Bell

I have a doctor's appointment today. The reason for my visit is to figure out what is going on with my finger. I noticed some pain in it about 3-4 weeks ago. I felt soreness whenever I tried to clinch a full fist or flatten out all of my fingers or even clap. I thought the pain would go away, but although it feels better, it is still not 100% healed. I did not want some minor injury to turn into a major one, so I made an appointment. Here is where the story gets interesting. When I made my appointment, the woman asked what was wrong. I described to her my issue, but had the hardest time explaining which finger. I had a similar scenario with my mother, which went something like this: 'it's the finger on my left hand, in between my pinky and middle finger. You know, my second finger.' My mother replied: 'you mean your ring finger?' To which I answered, 'uuh, yes, yeah, my ring finger.'

I was thinking about that today. How crazy is it that the finger which I used to envision my glorious wedding ring, the one that my wonderful husband and father of my 3-5 beautiful children would give me, is now, just that finger between my pinky and middle finger? How is it that the term 'ring finger', no longer seems to apply to my everyday life. Maybe it is because, no ring of any kind has been on this finger in years. At some point this magical finger, turned into, just another digit. I used to have such promise for this finger. Now it's most major purpose is to hit my W, S and X keys while typing. Life will change in a blink of an eye. Slowly, but surely, even the best ideas and dreams lose a bit of their luster.

Fast forward...

So it's now the next day (Saturday) and I have had my doctor's visit. She did not see anything wrong. Instead she said that maybe my tendons had become swollen. As long as I did not see swelling in the neighboring fingers or a bruise or there was not any 'locking' of this particular finger, I was okay. In fact, it took her all of about 3 minutes to tell me to take 2 Advil a couple of times a day and the problem should be resolved. According to the doctor, this is nothing to worry about. Now that I know my finger is fine, maybe I will again allow myself to start thinking of it as more than a keystroke agent. Maybe I will be brave enough and even hopeful enough to call it by it's proper title. Maybe.