Archive | November, 2008

But they had tv’s man…..

29 Nov

I gotta be honest, I am still trying to wrap my brain around how humans stomp another human to death all in the name of buying an inanimate object. Seriously, if we were talking food for survival or you were about to hurt me or mine, well it would be easy to understand. Look, I may have pacifist leanings but you fuck with me or mine and all bets are off. I am going to do you before you do me. Heck, only time in my life I ever considered owning a gun was when my ex-spousal unit was eating his daily dose of stupid pills and caught up in that if I can’t have you, no one else will. I swear he almost met his end but I digress.

No, last night I caught a clip of one of these silly savage motherfuckers who was in that Wal-Mart line (why the fuck was most of the folks in line Black or Brown?) and this fool was caught saying something to the effect of “Mayne, but they had the TVs on sale”. I nearly lost it when I heard that but to further show that Americans are in some collective trance of stupidity, I was reading today in the NY Times about a valet parking guy who was stating he doesn’t have much money (um…not to be a classist bitch, but I suspect if you are parking cars you are not what the young folks call a baller aka person with money) who was saying if the large flat screens get to $450 he was going to have to get one.

Well riddle me a silly broad but in these rough economic times where job stability is hard to fine, I cannot fathom scraping my shekels to buy a large TV, then again up until 3 years ago we had a 13 inch TV in the living room. The only reason its gone is that my father in law came for a visit and bought us a larger TV, see me personally TVs rank up there as non-critical items. Shit, I only got cable 11 years ago when I married the spousal unit and he feels that cable is an essential item, of course he is slowly coming over to my side. Last summer we canceled the movie channels and now we are down to basic digital cable which comes with more channels that are never watched. Point of this rant is that tv in general is not something I care about, shit I only just learned a couple weeks ago about TIVO. Needless to say that is not something we will ever have in this house.

No, I am concerned about the state of folks minds that they consider a large tv with bells and whistles to be so essential that you would tear the doors off a joint to catch a deal on one…. shit, that sounds like some crackhead behavior. Then again maybe tv is the average man’s crack, you come home and latch onto all sorts of shit being beamed into your mind to the point that common sense goes out the window, you become desensitized to real emotions. Hence you can have folks still walking into a store when there is a very dead man on the floor.

Perhaps Black Friday should be renamed lack of common sense day, since when you think about it, the idea that folks would be in a line on Thanksgiving Day at 5-6 pm, when it would seem folks would be home relaxing and getting ready for a second helping of good food, yet choosing to be in a line for hours to buy non-essential items really does speak volumes about us as a people.

Stomped to death

28 Nov

Today is Black Friday, a day where folks seem to lose their collective minds all in the name of a bargain. I must confess I have never in almost 36 years on this planet ever went out to shop on Black Friday. I came from humble folks aka po folks so the day after Thanksgiving was spent watching tv and eating…nice simple shit. Even when I got grown and came into a few shekels of my own I have never felt compelled to go out and experience the madness, shit I hate crowds so today is just not my day.

Now I admit every few years I see something advertised that almost makes me wanna get up at midnight, but no I like to sleep too much to deal with crazed folks trying to catch bargains. That said, in recent years it seems Black Friday has disintegrated into madness which is the point of my post. It seems this morning a Wal-Mart clerk on Long Island was trampled to death by a pack of folks who were described as almost taking the hinges off the door. Now if this shit wasn’t real, I would be laughing.

What kind of society are we when the spirit of the holidays is summed up by how much useless shit we can buy? Seriously, I was reading about a woman today whose idea of scaled down living was buying a 33 inch telly on sale at Best Buy…damn, that says a lot about us and why we are collectively fucked financially as a nation.

Seems no one remembers living within their means, we are on a quest to consume even when it can kill us. On this Black Friday, my heart goes out to the family of the Wal-Mart worker whose life was lost because we as a society seem to have lost our common sense.

As for me, I am going out to the tree lighting my town will hold tonight, take in the lights and sounds, maybe slip by Starbucks for a delicious hot chocolate and then come home and finish getting my eat on.

Giving thanks

26 Nov

To say this has been a rough week would be an understatement. I have been going crazy with the new job and then yesterday a client decided to tell me that they can’t pay their most recent invoice which is roughly equal to my monthly mortgage plus my estimated expenses for the holiday this year. I’m going to keep it real here and say that it took everything to not go into stereotypical Black woman mode and start snapping and losing it when my client told me but thankfully I kept it together.

That said, I came home and was in a real funk about my finances, and life in general. However as I was baking pies today and getting ready for the holidays, it hit me that I have much to give thanks for. Yeah, it sucks to lose a chunk of money, on the other hand my boy is home, this chile is at least 6’3 maybe even 6’4. He is really towering over his lil Mama. Mini-me is doing great despite the fact she is driving us crazy asking about John McCain, she wants to know what happened to him. Gotta love kids.

No, my kids are all good, my marriage is sound, truthfully we are having some issues but nothing that we can’t work out. Everyone is healthy and we have our needs met, so all in all what more can I ask for?  Yeah, a new car would be nice as well as a shopping trip and spa visit but those are not necessities.

So on this Thanksgiving Eve when so many don’t even have their basic needs met, I feel blessed and feel the need to reflect on my bounty because I know really it could always be worse. My current line of work combined with years of working with the homeless in Chicago reminds me of how bad things can be.

 So I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and ask what are you most thankful for this holiday?

Kids and buffets

24 Nov

My kids are almost 14 years apart and personality wise are 180 degrees from each other, where my son aka elder boy has always been a laid back kid even as a toddler, my girl was scrappy and mischievous even in the womb. Seriously, when I would go to my prenatal visits with the midwife, she would position herself in ways where picking up her heartbeat proved difficult and scaring the shit out of us in the process.

 

That said, as mini-me morphs into being a preschooler and less of a toddler there is one interesting trait she shares with her brother, that is ever so slightly annoying for me but at the same time cute as hell.

 

She loves to eat at buffets, elder boy at 3 and even now at almost 17 has a fondness for buffets as well. When elder boy was 3, the only buffet near us was Old Country Buffet, taking him there created the same feeling I get whenever I eat at a gourmet restaurant. Seems baby girl fancies the buffets as well, in our little town while we don’t have an Old Country Buffet we do have a Chinese buffet. Now coming from Chicago where we had decent Chinese food, we didn’t have a Chinese buffet; instead you went to the Chinese joints and simply ordered a meal of your choosing.

 

However since moving out here, I have landed in the land of less than authentic Chinese food, where things like Chicken Fingers are staples on every Chinese menu I have seen in my 6 years out here. So as you can imagine the Chinese Buffet lacks any truly authentic Chinese food, instead you can get Panda Express style fried rice and some roast beef and mashed potatoes all at the same time. I swear kids love this shit, the buffet is the one place that seems to keep both kids happy which is no small feat considering the almost 14 years that separates them and with elder boy 6’2 and growing, well you know it takes a lot to feed this child.

 

Only problem is I hate buffets, hate them with a passion. For starters, rarely is there anything I want to eat available….how come there are no all natural organic buffets with healthy food? I swear, I would gobble that up with the quickness. Then there is also the pesky issue, that I rarely eat enough at these places to get my money’s worth, seriously one plate of fried greasy goo is more than enough, I really don’t need two or three plates of this shit.

 

Lastly though there is the fact that while I am not a certified germaphobe, the fact is everyone and is Mama is touching the damn tongs and serving spoons. Problem is, I don’t know where folks hands have been, really….how do I know that man carving the beef to put on his plate didn’t just finishing scratching his hairy nuts or ass before he got to the buffet? I don’t. Nope, every time we go to the buffet, I leave with a queasy stomach but this weekend which was cold and ugly the little one asked to go to the buffet so I said yes…talk about the shit we endure to keep the kids happy.

 

Anyway just a quick post, life is still crazy though it looks like I may have a reprieve from cooking a whole meal since some friends invited us to dinner and they cook really well, so while I will still roast the organic free range turkey I ordered, I won’t need to prepare a whole feast which has lowered my stress levels greatly.

 

However work is crazy so I will catch ya’ll when I can, though regular readers know I am an internet junkie and since I finally fixed my laptop, I can now get online a lot easier than when I had to rely on my cranky old backup desktop.

On the grind

20 Nov

Just a heads up to my regular readers, I may be MIA for a second, just when I am still learning the ropes at my new job, all hell has broken loose. For reasons of confidentiality and the fact that several folks I know in real life read me, I won’t post the details (small town living is a funny thing that way) but I will say the new gig is taxing a sista.

I am also reminded of why I only have two kids who are almost 14 years apart since if I had kids closer together, I would be a candidate for the nut farm and that’s a fact.

Anyway I have to put out fires plus there is holiday preparations since elder boy will be home from his Papi’s house in a few days. So a sista will be getting her cook on, turkey and all the fixings. Yummy.

I hope to post in a few days but if not don’t worry I will be back soon.

Gone Fishing

19 Nov

That’s what the sign says on the Oak Hill General Store in Standish Maine, after it became national news that the owner of this fine establishment was found to be hosting a betting pool on when President Elect Barack Obama would be assassinated.

However as a Black chick in Maine while I am disturbed as hell that this incident even happened, I am happy that Mainers are coming together to say we don’t play this shit in our state. The local government is meeting today in Standish to address this issue, by the way Standish went for Obama in the elections and the local media is reporting that the actual owner of the property that houses this lil store is a known Obama supporter.

The local papers and discussion boards around here are abuzz with folks saying we don’t appreciate this shit, seems even folks who didn’t support Obama feel this was a bonehead move. Maine is a funny little place, its a live and let live place.

I have been here almost 7 years and in that time, I have traveled to many parts of the state and overall I have always been met with a warm or at least decent reception. Even up north where seeing a speck of color doesn’t happen too much. Once I was in a town of about five thousand not far from the Canadian border and stumbled across a snack place that had a lot of bikers there, had I not been hungry, I would not have left the car for anything. However there weren’t too many eating options, so a sista had to get out of the car. I stood in line scared as hell thinking my Black ass was toast, instead I ended up talking with a few bikers and they were decent folks. By the time I got my food, I felt considerably more comfortable. That’s the type of place Maine is, folks might look at you but for the most part they look at anyone who is from away, that’s just a Maine thing.

So rest assured that while more old time racists will be coming out the closet, at least here in Maine, folks will do their part to keep these bastards hidden away like the crazy uncle you only invite over for Christmas because he is too crazy to see any other time of year.

Stay tuned for tomorrow where I will wax poetically about what happens when a sista leaves this state and journeys back home to the Chi-town.

Letting yourself go aka getting sloppy

18 Nov

Over the weekend I was browsing at some of my weekend blog haunts and came upon a discussion on the matter of letting yourself go as a Black woman. It was one of those discussions where I didn’t feel like adding anything but it did stick in the back of my mind as I sat and simmered on it.

I have a confession, for a few years in my marriage, I did indeed let myself go. Now it wasn’t intentional, I didn’t just wake up one day ok, gotta man, fuck it I can start looking grimy. No, it was a slow process, at one point I was grinding away in grad school and working, my Moms got sick and died which threw a sista into a deep funk. My Mom was my best friend, and when she died it like a hole in the middle of my soul. Just a few months after her untimely death, we bought our house, and next thing you know a sista got pregnant. Mind you as all this life shit was going on, I was still in grad school working on the thesis from hell and seriously debating dropping out.

Well, I didn’t drop out but I became committed to finishing before baby girl arrived which didn’t happen instead I finished grad school and my thesis when she was about 3-4 months old. Oh, while juggling a newborn, my Granny decided to also join my Moms in heaven when baby girl was six weeks old.

I won’t lie, a sista just focused on baby and school work, I took that eating for 2 shit seriously and it was only when baby girl hit 8 months and I realized I weighed more at that point then when I gave birth, that it hit me, I had let my ass go. I should have known when my wardrobe started to consist entirely of velour track suits and suede Pumas, that I was heading the wrong way. Look, an occasional track suit is alright, but when you start wearing them 5-6 days a week because that elastic waistband doesn’t hurt the waist, well its time to reevaluate the situation.

Rest is history, regular readers know the details, I joined Weight Watchers, changed my eating habits and in warm weather months started some walking and in winter, I shovel the snow. Its not easy but I am glad to say I haven’t worn a track suit in well over a year and the Pumas are in the bag for Goodwill.

However while some women will swear that you should never let yourself go for any variety of reasons, it hit me this weekend that sometimes letting yourself go is not always a bad thing. In my case, I was working on my mind, raising a baby and young teen at the time. My resources were limited so doing any niceties especially at that point when we were just a one income family was simply not in the budget.

Sometimes you have to let go of the superficial shit in order to get to your core, in a weird way I am convinced that in letting myself go, I found myself. That said, now that I found myself, I am working on reconstructing myself, the new and improved version of me.

As far as my marriage and letting myself go, the spousal unit loved me through it all, admittedly he seems to like me when I am thinner since when we met I was thin yet his love was just as strong when I was sloppy. The key was and is that I still paid him some attention, I don’t believe a man will creep because you stop getting your hair done, or nails done but you stop handling your business and meeting his needs then yeah he might get his pole waxed some place else.

While I think its important to pay attention to our external appearance, way too many of us forget the internal self and that is more important than how you look. Personally I think new Mamas should get a pass to look any which way they want for at least the first 18 months after their baby arrives. Shit,when you have a new baby as long as you shower and brush your teeth every 24 hours you are golden in my book.

So if you know a sista who you think had let herself go, give that sista a break, maybe she is doing some internal growing.

Its starting

17 Nov

I must admit in the weeks leading up to the election, as a Black woman living in Maine, I was wondering what would be the impact on average Black folks like myself in places like Maine if Obama won. Well the time has come, I no longer have to wonder because he won and reality is starting to settle in. http://www.wmtw.com/politics/17991950/detail.html

Seems in a town not far from me, an hour or so away from where I reside, at a local store they were setting up an assassination pool for when Obama would be assassinated. The local media is downplaying this since as a whole Mainers are fairly decent and tolerant folks, that said, the owner of the general store in Standish, Maine didn’t exactly take a stand against this seemingly bad idea. Of course he can now explain to the local government and the feds why he allowed such a bad idea to happen on his premises.

There have been a few other incidents reported through out the state, effigies of what appeared to be Obama up in a town well known as a getaway for the rich. In my day to day life, I will admit some of the neighbors seems a tad salty but they still make nice and wave. I won’t lie, I am on point and ready for the first motherfucker who decides to say the wrong thing to me.

Its a sad thing that I even have to be ready but I am old enough to know that just because many Americans caught the Hope and Change Express, there are still a fair amount of bitter ass white folks clinging to their guns and ready to start some shit.

I will be honest with all the personal storms I am weathering the idea that I have to be on alert for crazy white folks with a grudge doesn’t exactly make me happy, thankfully most of the folks I encounter are decent folks who welcome change. However I woke up election day thinking that if the Obamas could do what they are doing to create change in this country, then the least I could do is get ready to deal with a few pesky white folks looking for trouble.

Its taken too long to get to this point in this country and I refuse to let anyone steal my joy, shit if my Pops could endure the segregated south, then anything I am dealing with or may deal with is minor in comparison. So while we are all still celebrating, the somber reality is I think we can fully expect to see increased incidents of madness from folks stuck in a time warp.

Anyway off to the office, gotta work on saving the world.

Very very sneaky

14 Nov

The past couple weeks have just been crazy for me, between being caught up in the election, I have been swamped with work at the same time I am preparing to start the new job. Needless to say I have been a little lax in one area of my life…..watching my weight.

Now I made lifetime on Weight Watchers back in the spring and while it was great to no longer have to pay to weigh in and know that I met a goal, the real work was only just starting. Turns out its a lot harder to maintain one’s weight than it is to lose weight, initially I kept losing, so I had to increase my intake, but then finding a comfy place to be weight wise, its been a interesting process to say the least.

I made it through the summer, not gaining, realizing that I couldn’t do my usual summer fest of ice cream. Don’t get me wrong, I had some ice cream but instead of my usual hot fudge sundae with 3 scoops of homemade ice cream, I instead opted for a single scoop. For the most part it felt good and I didn’t feel deprived. One thing I have learned is that the moment you feel deprived, all bets are off, you will start eating any and everything.

Which leads me to my current dilemma, the past few weeks I have been enjoying a daily Signature Hot Chocolate from Starbucks, these drinks are lethal. SO very fucking good, like sex in a cup. However a couple days ago I got on the scale and was like whoa….I am up about 2 pounds, now 2 pounds is not a huge deal but at the same time, I haven’t been doing anything different other than drinking these drinks.

So today, I went over to the Starbucks web site and looked up the calorie content, seems my little drink is 540 calories compared to my usual Misto which is only 110 calories and even with the shots of mocha I have added it doesn’t top 200 calories. Yeah, guess them drinks is a little too good, since unlike sex I am not burning off anything but only adding to the waistline.

See, Starbucks is a sneaky bastard, their drip coffee sucks balls, shit is too burnt tasting, yet their other drinks are the ones that hook you in, frappacino’s in the summer, hot chocolates and speciality lattes in the cold weather months. Next thing you know, you are asking yourself why are your pants getting tight when you haven’t been eating anything extra. Its the drinks, laden with calories and addictive as hell.

So, I kick off the weekend with a goalto only drink one hot chocolate a week from Starbucks, the rest of the week I will drink hot tea at home or stick to the Misto when I am out. I am reminded that when I lost my gig last year it was the best thing for my weight goals as I stopped eating out most of the time and when you cook at home, you control your caloric intake. However we all still need the occasional splurge.

Have a good weekend!

Screw politically correct, lets get real

13 Nov

I remember when the whole political correctness thing came into vogue, at the time it seemed cool almost revolutionary. We would all be considerate of our fellow man/woman/human, however truth be told I am just a tad tired of being politically correct. I no longer know how to refer to someones love unit, some folks I know are hard core into using the term partner. I don’t know…truth be told partner sounds like someone I work with but in trying to be more inclusive I do use it though sometimes I slip up. Its one of the reasons I call my ole man the spousal unit, its my version of being PC.

Recently on a discussion board for some local Mamas in my area, many of whom know each other in real life, a discussion got out of hand as the conversation veered towards the recent election. Long story short someone threw out a N-bomb also known as nigger, now before anyone gets upset the gal who used it, was not referring to anyone specifically but rather responding to someone who was rather irate and my friend basically was telling off the irate woman.

Well folks got upset because my girl used the n-word, problem was as a Black woman, I wholeheartedly backed her use of the word at that time, she was making a point to someone who needed a dose of reality and while my girl’s words were crass, it made a statement.

Problem is everyone is so damn politically correct that folks were just offended that the word was used in the first place, now as the only Black person in this group, I feel like if I wasn’t mad why the hell are others mad?

See, we are so busy creating a groovy inclusive society that we shy away from being impolite or hurtful, when at times you need to just be real and tell a bitch to shut the fuck up, you sound like a ignoramus. No, I am reminded of why at times I find redneck leaning white folks more real than educated liberal ones. See, rednecks will tell you how they feel, don’t like Black folks, no problem, I can respect that, long as you don’t disrespect me or mine, you can say whatever you like. Funny thing is these same types often get to know folks on their individual merit and are alright. Now I didn’t say they would be my bosom buddy but we can get along.

On the other hand the more educated, liberal types who are so considerate and kind are often the white folks that make me feel the most uncomfortable. Its almost like they are trying to damn hard, trying to let me know they aren’t racist when in reality I start thinking maybe they are and they don’t know it yet.

No, I believe we should be an inclusive society and mindful but at the same time, lets get real. Its only when we have real discussions and get raggedy and say the shit that lurks in the back of our minds that we can truly create a real respectful space. Yeah, feelings may get hurt at least initially but if that process brings about greater understanding then I am all for a little pain.

So like Bill Maher, guess its safe to say I am politically incorrect.