She wants to lead the glamorous life!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Respondez S'il Vous Plait!

I hosted a GNO (Girl's Night Out) this past Saturday.  This is only the second time I have done something on this scale (i.e. Evite, e-mail updates, etc.).  I decided to do a burlesque class and dinner afterwards in celebration of my birthday, but due to the fact that my birthday falls on a holiday weekend, it was hard to get all the girls to commit.  So at first I canceled then reconsidered.  After changing the date and the restaurant, we were back in business.  I sent the evite via Facebook and e-mail to about 15 friends.

There were 3 individuals who did not RSVP period; they were all co-workers.  With the exception of my girl, Ang, I was apprehensive about inviting any co-workers at all because I did not want to feel obligated (which you know I would not have anyway) to invite people I really did not want to hang out with outside of work like that.  It was strictly supposed to be a girlfriend's night.  The 3 co-workers I speak of, I told them directly, verbally asking if it was something they might be interested in and stressing they keep it on the low.  Two gave a solid 'yes', but never inquired further.  The 3rd was emphatic that she wanted to do it.  In fact, when I told her, she excitedly said, 'this is my verbal RSVP!'  So I sent her the evite as well...

That is the last I heard her mention the event.  Until yesterday, when she heard me speaking to my other co-worker Ang about the weekend.  She had seen the uploaded photos and playfully, yet seriously stated how I was 'bogus' for not reminding her.  Which made me, first, proclaim that I would be blogging about the topic.  Secondly, I politely chided her about not RSVPing.

I think there is a direct link between society's constant and ever-increasing dependence on time saving technology and the rapidly decrease in overall manners.  As a host or party-planner it is so nerve wrecking trying to assume who may or may not show up the day of the event.  Many times, depending on what you plan on doing, a deposit is needed.  The price may fluctuate depending on the size of your party.  In the case of my burlesque class, the price was cheaper  as the number of students increased.  So teetering between 9-12 people may make a $1-2 difference for everyone.  I advised my co-worker that if she had RSVPd, Evite would have sent updated reminders.  You cannot ask for a more helpful system.  There is even an option to have the event added to your calendar.  Plus, if you really were interested, you would have saved the date and made a note to participate.  Furthermore, quiet as kept, I want to give people an 'out' if they are truly uninterested.  Manners or not, I want the invited to have the ability to bow out gracefully without feeling pressure to attend because I keep asking them.  On the flip side, it is just as bad when you RSVP 'yes', but do not show, or do not send an updated 'no', if you cannot attend.  I myself was guilty of this one, just a few weeks ago.  I had every intention of attending an event, but when the day came, I did not make it.  I felt guiltiest for saying I would do something and then later flaking out.

The same people that do not RSVP properly (bringing additional people, or babies even, when the invitation specifically said 1 guest and no children) also do not believe in sending 'Thank You' notes or even picking up the phone to express gratitude.  My cousin recently graduated from college and sent the traditional notices, which should just read, 'money please'.  My father received one and promptly sent a check.  Several weeks later, the check was cashed, but no word of 'thanks' was received.  I know it irked him, because he mentioned it on at least 3 separate occasions.  He is 'old school', manners mean everything.

What people need to understand is, it can be a lot of work to plan something special, especially for a large group (anything over 4, can be considered large in my book).  There is a reason, details are included in the invite.  It is to reduce the amount of same day calls and texts asking 'where is the address?', 'what do I wear?', 'what time do we have to be there?'.  You hope people are prompt, so that you can all get your money's worth of the venue space rented or reserved.  You hope everyone has a great time, including yourself!  You want as little stress as possible, because truth be told, you want to do it again.  You want everything to be perfect, but at the same time, you would also like to enjoy yourself.

So for goodness sake, RSVP!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Drop and give me 20!

I read this article on my favorite gossip blog, The YBF.  I already heard Raven-Symone discuss her weight loss of the Wendy Williams Show, I was annoyed then.  But she is still keeping up with this untruth/partial truth ridiculousness.  Click the link below to read excerpts from a Rolling Out article.


Okay Raven, please STOP THE MADNESS!!  You did not gain AND keep the weight because of stress.  Stop acting like the hamburgers and hot dogs didn't help!  If stress caused you to eat, fine.  If it made you keep it on, okay.  But you didn't drop weight because you changed jobs and wasn't stressing anymore.  Why is it, when people lose weight they want to act like something special and miraculous took place.  You bust your ass in the gym, and/or you diet.  There is no way of getting around it.  You didn't stop stressing and drop 20lbs (or however much she lost); you dropped the ice cream cone.  Many women could benefit from her story, but she is not keeping it real!  That's like when Star Jones said she lost all that weight from doing pilots.  Ain't enough stretching in the world...I even had a landlord, who knowingly let her family think she had CANCER, instead of just telling them that she was getting the lapband surgery.  I do not feel you owe anyone an explanation of your health, or life in general, but come on.  I would rather you not say anything, than to just flat out lie.  Puh-leeze!

'Enjoy the rest of ur life'

Today I received an inbox message and friend request from an old 'friend' who asked me if I had deleted him from FB.  I responded, 'yes, awhile ago'.  He then asked, 'why would you do that'.  'I don't have the time or energy to explain.'  Hours later he replied, and I quote:  'Don't worry about it, no love lost!!! Enjoy the rest of ur life'.  I was contemplating responding in detail when he asked why I had deleted him, but really did not feel like dealing with an exchange.  Plus, I do not think he would have understood anyway.  I mean, how do you tell someone that you do not like being stood up and disregarded.  Or how annoying it is that you are always trying to kiss me, as long as it is in private.  Or how you call when the shit has hit the fan on whatever, tired-ass relationship you are involved in, acting like you have broken up.  Then later count all the time you two have been together, including the times you are all up in my face asking what's up with my dating life.  Or how you never seemed to make it work with me, but I have sat on the sidelines for years watching you give your all (as much as a whorish man can give) to other women.  In all fairness, if you asked him, he would say the same thing about me.  What is a non-bratty way of saying, you have never so much as bought me breakfast, let alone lunch or dinner, EVER.  The last date we were on was in 1999.  And furthermore, to show how important I am, you just realized that you have been deleted!  I did that months ago!

I love him.  But not in the 'I can't live without him' sort of way.  More like, I love the fact that you are the only person I still know, outside of my family, who can say they knew me when I was a child.  I mean, we have known each other so long, I could not tell you how long, or how we met even.  That in itself is special.  But not that special.  For it is now the year 2011, and I MJ, know myself better now.  I know what I will not put up with.  I know that there is no reason to hang on to a distant memory, that I cannot even remember.  I know that although life is not always going to be sweet, it sure as hell does not need to be bitter.  I know that I do not like me when he is around, whether on the phone or in person.  I become this giddy, silly little girl.  Yes, I revert back to who I was when we first met, whenever that was.  I feel unsure and self-conscious of everything.  I yearn for his approval and wish, hope and pray that he will finally see me as the woman that I am.  He claims he does, but he could not possibly see.  If so, he would know how to treat me.  So yes I love him, but I believe our friendship is better at a distance.  It just feels better.

When I got home today, I saw that he had reneged on his friend request.  That is fine with me.  I decided that there was no reason to respond to his pouting.  Antoine confirmed this.  I let bygones be bygones.  I am sorry he feels upset, but I am not sorry that I do not.  I thought his final message was kind of funny.  'Enjoy the rest of ur life'.  If I had to say anything in response, it would be:  But of course, I've been doing it all along.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I Do...Not Care!

So here is my first 'public' rant/opinion about gay marriage.  It has come up in the news  again and irking me ever since.  My question is, why is this such a hot topic?  Maybe it's because I come from a 'liberal' and open-minded family that I cannot understand the big fuss.  Why are people not picketing and rallying up against poverty in one of the richest nations in the world?  Why does homelessness not urge people to march on Washington?  How come sex abuse and sexual assault are not worth debating?  These are real issues to me.  Not 2 adults deciding to live together, marry and live as a family.  Today, there is a child somewhere in America who went to school with no breakfast on their stomach, ate the free lunch provided by the state, knowing that that would be their last meal until tomorrow at lunchtime.  This does not bother people?

It makes me think of the brother and sister-in-law of an old friend of my mom's.  After the Katrina disaster, these two individuals left their home in Chicago, to go down to New Orleans to help out.  At first, your initial thought is probably like mine, wow how wonderful of them.  Well, hold that thought.  They were not down their to help the people of New Orleans, rather they booked several motel rooms to rescue dogs and house them there.  Now on the bright side, maybe they decided that they would try to locate the owners and reunite them with their beloved pets.  Regardless, all I keep thinking about are the 1800+ people who lost their lives as a result of the hurricane and subsequent flooding.  With all the people displaced from their homes, these two individuals thought to save dogs.  Now I love animals, especially dogs, but come on!  Like the gay marriage argument, people have their priorities out of order.

The major argument against gay marriage is how it goes against Christian religion.  But so is so many other things we do each day.  People point to how the Bible says it is a sin.  However, does not the good book also discuss loving each other:  Matthew 22:39, Leviticus 19:18, Romans 13:8 & 10, Proverbs 19:17, 1 John 3:17-19.  Few people want to discuss the issues of the poor, the un- and under-educated, the disenfranchised and the oppressed.  That population of the country/world are not as interesting.  The titillation factor is lowered when you start talking about basic human rights, like healthcare.

I have said to numerous brothers (I don't know why they are so angry about gay men, I have a clue though *side eye*) that the only reason homosexuality is so 'disgusting' to them is because their heads are in the gutter.  If a man meets a heterosexual couple, the things that might go through his mind are, 'his girl is fine', 'I wonder how long they've been married?' yadda, yadda, yadda.  But when they see a same sex couple, their minds, as do so many other's drift off to:  'how do they have sex?', 'who is the boy and who is the girl?', etc.  If people took the sex equation out of the mix, would this be as big of a deal?  If folks were not trying to figure out the gender details of the situation, would you really be as concerned?  Face it, for the most part, gay couples make people feel uncomfortable because of the sexual aspect.  Hetero couples do all kinds of sick, twisted, demeaning and sometimes sadistic sex everyday, but when they meet outsiders, people rarely, if ever think, 'I wonder how they have sex?'.

When it's all said and done, does it even matter?  I believe God will take care of his children.  I believe God loves us all.  I believe that some of us will face a rude awakening when we get to the afterlife and realize that some of the major topics that consumed us here on Earth were not God's priority after all.  Maybe I am biased because of my personal relationships with gay men and women.  Whatever the case may be, all I know is my God can handle his own business.  He does not need help from us mere mortals.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Adventures in Acupuncture

On Sunday I left my dad's house (I dropped off some Father's Day carrot cake) with my GPS in hand to take my second visit in a week to Roselle, IL.  Why was I visiting this little suburb/town on a Sunday morning at 11am when gas is averaging $4.50 a gallon?  Acupuncture.  Your follow-up question may be, what for?  Well I will tell you.  I visited Dr. Li in his office, which also doubles as his home to get help with weight management and food cravings.  You heard me right.  I have allowed a 70-80yr old man stick needles in my body instead of just stepping away from my favorite rockslide brownie.

I have always been curious about acupuncture.  So when my co-worker referred me to an 'amazing' doctor, I thought, this is my chance.  I have a trip coming up soon.  Antoine teases that every time we have a trip, I wait until 3 weeks prior to start getting my body in tip top shape.  He is right, it's kind of ridiculous.  Dr. Li who has a heavy accent, operates the business with a little assistance from his wife.  A major stroke has left her unable to speak.  So instead, she just makes a sound and gestures to communicate.  She is so sweet, Sunday she gave me a hug upon my arrival.  On my first visit, she held my hand and walked me back to the patient room.  Their business is quiet and does not seem to be especially successful, except for the fact that they are still in business.  The office is out dated, it feels like the house of relatives in Mississippi.  Which makes it feel comfortable.

The first visit, I was on my cycle so Dr. Li opted to insert the needles on my back and legs instead of the most effective way, on my stomach, hands, arms and legs.  Sunday, back to normal, I got the most common version of the 'procedure'.  This means four needles around my naval, one on the crease of each elbow, a couple on each hand and some random needles on my legs.  Then Dr. Li hooked what looked like miniature jumper cables to each needle and turned up the 'juice' so to speak.  He cut the lights out and left me for about 25 minutes.  By the time he returned, my hands were numb and I was drifting into sleep.

This week I even got something extra special. Dr. Li stuck two little pieces of tape with very small blue balls (no snickering please) in each ear.  I am to rub each ball about 60 times or for roughly a minute before eating each meal.  He also prescribed weight management vitamins that I purchased for $5, that I am to take three times a day.  My verdict?  I really think it works.  I feel a difference.  I never intended on this making me skinny, as that's not a fantasy of my necessarily anyway.  I just wanted to curb my cravings and subdue my appetite.  I notice now, I still crave chocolate, but I do not have the same urge to walk through fire to get it.  I still get hungry, I just do not have the overall energy to actually get up and find something to eat.  I am not overpowered by my hunger.   I would recommend acupuncture.

My next visit is in about 2 weeks.  As always, I will keep you posted to any new developments.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Rihanna Loud Tour 2011-Chicago (My Review)

On Wednesday, my girl K-Hubb and I went to the Rihanna concert.  I was not nearly as excited to see her as I am to see Sade in August, but what the hey?  I like some of her songs and I love live (good) music.  Her opening acts were J-Cole (who does the rap for my favorite Miguel song, 'All I Want is You'.  He was pretty good.) and BoB, who was excellent.  Okay, first of all, I am getting to the age where I am starting not to know any of the top 40 artists.  So I had no idea he did the 'Dougie' song.  I also had no idea he was so talented, cut and energetic.  What is even more crazy is, my dad was like 'oh yeah, he's talented.  He writes well too.'  Daddy saw him on Carson Daley's show and was impressed.  he told me about him awhile back, but you know I don't listen.

Moving forward, after running all the way to my company's executive suite to get the Rockslide Brownie from the dessert cart (you don't get those special selections at the regular concession stands), I got back just in time for the arena to cut the lights and Rihanna to hit the stage.  There she was 'Rih Rih', bright red hair and all.  She opened the show with 'Only Girl In the World'.  I was excited, that's my jam!  After all the songs, those I recognized and the one's I didn't.  The costume changes, I counted about seven.  The thing that stuck with me the most was, how absolutely sexy she is!!  I mean she exudes sex!

Rihanna does not do the whole highly choreographed dance routine thing.  Instead, she winds and grinds it up, skips and does her own thing.  But it is so natural.  There is no forced effort to be 'hot', she just is.  Her Caribbean roots are most definitely prominent.  And you can tell, she was born to be a star.  There is no pretend with her.  It never seems contrived.  Yes, the lap-dance she gave on stage to a female fan was planned (I saw the Youtube clip of her doing to a fan in Baltimore), it did not come across like she was trying too hard to be sexy.

Overall, I would give the concert a B+.  It was very entertaining and I have a new found respect for her as an artist.  Great show!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SMMH (Shakin' My Muthaphukin' Head)!!!

Yesterday, I got in a tiny 'tiff' with a co-worker who had annoyed me.  We reconciled afterwards, both geminis, we are too sensitive not to speak our minds.  This morning, he passed by my desk slowly, stopped and said, 'are we better today?  Because you were going through a thing yesterday.'  I replied that I was better and gave him a hug.  He is old enough to be my father and can rub me the wrong way when I am being sensitive, but I clammer to his advise.  It is not only on point, but his wisdom speaks volumes.  That is if I can get him to sit still long enough.  He said, 'I know what's wrong with you.  You need an esteem adjustment.'  He said that the problem is, I look good, I feel good and I got it going on, but I have no one to share this with everyday.  I responded, having a eureka moment, 'yeah, you're right!'

I have been trying to pinpoint this haze and funk mood I have been in for about a month now.  It is stronger sometimes and lighter other times.  But either way, there is this underlying mist of loneliness and irritability.  Confusion and awkwardness stalk me and this 'what the fuck is wrong with me' attitude consumes my thoughts all the time.  I role play in my head what I should have done in past situations, or what I want for the future.  My daily prayers have recently included asking God for forgiveness for doubting myself and Him, and internalizing negative feelings about myself.  Forgetting sometimes, who I am and WHOSE I am.  Now do not get me wrong.  As you might have read in my last post, I am surrounded by love and enjoy life to the fullest.  That is not a gimmick or act, that is the known truth.  But there are times in a woman's (or man's for that matter) life where there is a different kind of companionship she craves.  The girls fill me up, and I feel fulfilled and loved.  But there is this nagging desire that creeps up in the midnight hours or on my way to the market or to the gym or hell, anywhere!

As Jill Scott sang in 'Wanna Be Loved', Don't feel no pity for me 'cause I'm goin' through a couple things life means change, that's the way it goes.  All my life a had a constant burning, a strong deep desire an aching ambiguous yearning, yearning, yearning for something better, for something bigger, for something wider, for something higher.'  This song so eloquently puts into perspective what it is I feel.  I do not feel sorry for myself, or at least I do not let myself feel sorry for myself.  I am far too blessed to have pity on me.  So I do not expect anyone else to, but what gives me this deep-gut, slow rumbling chuckle/nearly ugly-faced cry is how much of a joke my dating life feels.  I mean, it really feels like I am paying a penance for some shit that happened centuries ago to my great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother.  I would love to sit and have a cold beer or smooth glass of wine with God and chat about this situation.  It is comical.  It is as if I walked on stage of an improv comedy set by accident on my way back to my seat from the bathroom.  You see the other actors do not know I am not supposed to be there, so they just keep added me into the mix.  Begrudgingly, I play along.  Only to find out I do not have the skill-set to participate.  Either way, ninjas is laughing and happy, and I am trying my best to get back to my rightful seat, over there in the VIP section.

Here is my latest comedy installment.  We will refer to the brotha as Mr. Panties.  In a previous post, I discussed how I rolled over after spending the night with him (there was no sex at ALL) only to find some dirty-ass, scummy draws on the floor beside his floor mattress.  Anyway, although I decided to take his word that they belonged to his brother's jump-off, he was never really looked at the same.  I first met him when I was about 19.  I was away at college, but met him through my sister and her best friend, who was dating his co-worker, on one of my home visits. My sister decided to hook us up, because he was too young (a year older than me) and she was married. The 4 of us would go on double dates and whatever.  I was smitten, as usual.  Around this exact same time of the year, I was out of school and the Blues Fest was taking place.  We made plans to meet there later in the afternoon.  I would get my hair done and call him to discuss the details.  I had not spoken to or seen that brotha since, until just this past February.  He absolutely vanished.  I remember blowin' his mama's phone up calling him (before people had personal cell phones, and before I had any ounce of sense and/or dignity).  His family, if they answered would say he was not home, but the calls were never returned.  Nineteen year-old MJ was crushed.  I mean totally devastated.  But as time went on, other boyfriend's sprung up and took my attention.

Fast forward to the present year, his old co-worker still communicates with my sister's best friend.  I guess the co-worker saw my picture one day and told Mr. Panties that I looked good, yadda, yadda, yadda.  The next thing I know, I receive a friend request from him on Facebook.  I did not recognize or really remember him initially.  He confirmed who he was and we talked on the phone that night.  He was excited to be talking to me.  Although still a bit salty and cynical, I decided not to hold a grudge.  He kept reiterating how he could not remember why we stopped talking in the first place.  Well I did.  I held my cool and said nothing.  I kept it easy, breezy.  Then finally one day, while texting me at work, he asked what was up with me and could we 'explore' something more.  I casually, but plainly went in on him.  Letting him know, that despite my silence, I did indeed remember why we stopped talking and that I cannot assume that just because he is older, he won't do that again.  He explained that he was young and immature.  In response to me stating that with me, I am more than a notion, you have to come hard or stay home, he said he would not even 'come at me' if he did not intend on being serious...'well, ok...'

Here is the punchline.  After the panties incident and slight shadiness here and there (maybe from both parties), he started to show himself.  See here is why I hate the brothas from the past.  Do not dig me up.  Because you cannot handle this.  All this nerdy, country, random, horny, moody-as-hell, free-spirited hotness, is not for everyone.  In fact, stay where you are.  We will both be better people for it.  I learned in grad school while studying Gerontology (the study of aging) that there is this major myth about older adults being grumpy.  In contrast, studies show you are most likely going to keep the same personality you have always had.  You do not get older and meaner, you were probably mean when you were young.  Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule.  But let's face it, you dropped off the face of the planet then and you still have that tendency to deal with issues by running away.  The latest on this dude?  Well my sister's BF sent me an inbox asking if I wished him a Happy Birthday.  It was out of left field, but I told her I had actually sent him birthday wishes via text.  She never responded (whatever that was about).  It got me curious.  What was it she wanted me to see?  Tonight I pulled him up (I have him hidden from my daily feeds as he was starting to irritate me for another violation, but I digress).  I noticed his profile picture has been updated and has him posed next to a woman.  Okay.  I move around and she is now posting things on his page that 'friends' would not.  Okay.  Further back, I discover his personal information status has been changed to include her as the person he is in a relationship with.  Are you kidding me!!???

Is this why you never responded with even a 'thank you' when I sent you a birthday text?  Is this why, while trying to throw you some business, I asked you to come up with a punch for my upcoming Girl's Night Out event, you initially agreed, but later cancelled the tasting that YOU set up, and have not mentioned it or contacted me since?  Is this why, you have slowly slipped from the gravitational hold of planet Earth, never to be heard from again???  Well not only had he changed his relationship status, he also had previously made a full on confession about how 'home is where the heart is' and she's where he needs to be.  Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE Black love.  I am not really upset, just letting that slow chuckle simmer.  I TOLD him in so many words on that faithful day, that he could not handle me and was not ready.  I in so many text characters expressed that if he could not deal with me at 19, when I did not know SHIT, he sure as hell would not be able to hold me down now that wisdom creeps into my brain even whilst I sleep!  How do you even express to someone, that they 'ain't ready for this'?

He had not changed.  And to some degree, neither had I.  I am still not for everybody.  Again, I am not angry, just snickering.  For now, yeah, the jokes on me.  But one of these days, (I can feel it in my bones) I WILL flip the script.  God is writing my story and so far, I am still only given the rough drafts the day of the performance.  But sometimes in between having those growing pangs in the midnight hour, and waking up to a new day.  My mind's 3rd eye sees that script, tucked away under His cloak.  The one that was written before I was born.  The one written before my Mama was born.  It has a happy ending.  Viewers and audiences alike will be happy to know that all is well, when it's all said and done.  My comedy is just that, a comedy.  Something to laugh at, and right now I'm laughing.  The ultimate goal is to keep laughing, and get the last laugh.

P.S. Here are the entire lyrics of Jill's insightful song:  Wanna Be Loved