Monday, August 25, 2008

Two Weeks

"Hey, it's me."
"Hey you! How are ya these days? You still steady keepin' on?"
"Fair to middlin'."
"That sounds not good."
"You know how that goes."
"Oh my yes. I been around for enough verses to know that chorus by heart. I hear ya over there. What are you drinking?"

He makes a sound of displeasure as I open the door to my freezer, grab a bottle and some juice. As ice cubes hit my glass, I hear the same sound echoing from the Right Coast through my speaker phone. I am silent as we pour, appreciating the subtle changes in the color in the glass once the prefect verse is poured over a dope beat, or in this instance, vodka meeting cranberry.

"So tell me what's goin' on kiddo and don't spare me any details."

So we talk a little. And we laugh a lot. I cry a little. He fusses, somehow managing to not judge me. I listen. It's the way we have always been and probably will always be.

"That's a lot to shoulder little one."
"No shit."
"Watch it. So why don't you drop some of it?"
"I feel like I can't."
"You carryin' it by yourself?"
"Don't want anyone else weighed down with my foolishness and mayhem."
"But we love you. We take it on because we love you. It's not weighing us down. It's compensating for times when you are maybe not strong enough to carry it alone. It's nothing that you don't do for everyone in your life and yet, never seem ok with demanding in return."
"It is my way."
"It's gonna kill you."

We sigh. Or rather, I sigh and he sips. I reach for my glass but it's empty. We continue as I re-up.

"I feel like I am going through too much to be able to, in good conscience, give it over to anyone. And I am afraid that if I do, I will just leave it and never pick it up again. Never deal with it."
"But we are not taught to not give things over. And the way you're dealing with it now is killing you."
"It's not killing me."
"You smoking?"
"Drinking to fall asleep?"
"You sound like you're forty."
"I'm sick."
"Oh, hush."

I hate when he's right because that generally means that my shit is all kinds of wrong.

"I know you know better."
"I know."
"But you won't do better."


"Think back over the 2 years kiddo. It's been a roller coaster. You've loved, you've lost, you're in love again. You're trapped in Texas. Your mom has been ailing. You're estranged from your father and your entire family. Your friends are on an entirely different coast. You lost more than a few family members. You been through more trials and tribulations on the job than anyone should ever have to deal with. You been sick and stressed. Run down and tired all the time. Tryin' to handle all this on your own. This would be a lot for anyone to bear, but its especially hard when you're young, when you're still growing, and when you're trying to do it alone."
"I'm not that young."
"Compared to me, you're an infant."

I am curled up in a ball on my bed, twisting my hair and biting my lip. I am thinking back to a year ago when we had a conversation very similar to this one and I seemed to be making a turn for the better.

Where did 365 days go?

"La listen. You know what you have to do. You know those people you need to get out of your life. You know the moves you need and want to make. You are more well versed in your issues than any other mere human I know. You know that."
"I know."
"From what I gather, you have the makings of a good support system in place. You just have to stop being prideful and use it."
"I know that too."
"Here's the problem with what you know. You ready?"
"The problem with what you know is the things you haven't dealt with. It's those things that keep sneaking up on you when you're still. It has nothing to do with any of those immediate concerns you just spent a half hour venting about. Those things are not the things that are keeping you from doing the things you know you need to do. The changes you wanna make will all fall into place because they are meant for you. But you gotta give everything room to fall into place. You gotta clear some stuff outta the way."
"I know."
"You ready to deal?"
"I don't know."
"There is no 'I don't know'. Either you ready or you not. There is no shame in not being ready. But you must recognize that if you are not, that means staying in the same place you are now."
"I don't wanna stay in the same place."
"You have someone you can lean on while you transition?"
"I don't know any more."

He waits patiently while I cry. I hear more ice cubes clinking on his end, more crackles as liquid meets solid.

"You are already everything you need. You are strong enough to do it alone. It's harder, but you can. And if you don't have to, then you shouldn't."
"So do it. You know I don't believe in baby steps. Just do it. Dive in as deep as you can and work hard to get back to the surface."
"Stop crying. Everthing is already taken care of. Your path been set for you kiddo, you just have to have enough faith to walk it."
"Ok. I'm trying."
"I know the largest thing you deal with. And it is a hard beast to struggle with. But you were created far stronger than any adversary. Now all you have to do is believe it."
"You hate me?"
"Good. You ready?"

I hear more ice sliding around in his glass.

"You still drinking that nasty green tea stuff?"
"Oh no. Mrs. B. got off that kick. Now she only lets us drink water. Can't even have juice in the house. She says it has too much sugar or some nonsense. You know she's always on some new age kick. Back in my day, we ate what we grew and it was fine."
"Well she looks my age so you better listen to what she says."
"Oh you know I do. You don't stay married for 43 years disagreeing on unimportant things. I can drink water for my wife, if it makes her worry less about my health."
"Did I interrupt something important when I called? It was rude of me not to ask."
"Oh no. Just working on something for next Sunday. Besides, you only call me once a year. I can give you a few minutes once a year. Just don't make a habit of it."

He chuckles, low and warm, and the sharp pangs of anxiety I have been feeling for months subside just a little. I almost remember what it was like before I felt like I was spending my days on the verge of tears or vomiting.

"Thank you."
"There is no need to thank me. I made you a promise and I intend to keep it. You just remember you have made promises too. You must keep your faith. All things happen not in your time, but in due time." I am instantly alert.
"What did you just say?"
"I said all things happen not in your time, but in due time."
"You ok?"
"Yeah. Just hearing loud and clear."
"Good. Now I am gonna go make dinner for my wife but I want you to do something for me. Let's make an appointment to talk two weeks from today. I want you to take the next two weeks to be as silent and still as you can possibly be and reflect. I want you to write. I want you to cry. I want you to really take a hard look at some things that are hurting you that you need to change. And I want you to write down a list, however long, of the things you need to change. Every night before you go to bed I want you to get down on your knees and pray over that list. And then you call me in two weeks. Ok? Can you commit to that?"
"Yes Pastor B."
"That's my girl. Now, go wipe your face and get yourself together. You are way too yella to be doing all that cryin' and I know you look 'bout like a fish right now."
"That's not the point."

We laugh, and it is like a melody I thought I had forgotten completely.

"I will talk to you in two weeks time ya hear?"
"And I guarantee you, if you believe in my God like I believe in my God, by the time we talk, many of those things will not be ailing you the same way."

Be back in two weeks...

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This is me juggling...

And this is what happens when I juggle many things, as I am trying to do right now...


My first instinct of course is to shut out everything and everyone, handle up and get things done. The issue is of course, this often takes a bit of time and by the time I have resurfaced from everything... it's a couple months later. Bah.

So instead... I sleep. I recognize that this is not a healthy nor proactive way of dealing with ones problems. But it helps that's a lie. And I enjoy it that's another lie. I am well aware that I need to get my life in order and blah blah blah all manner of other quarter life crisis mantra, et all. But can't I hire a life coach or some shit? Here's the areas that I need improvement in:

1. finances
2. family
3. friendships
4. love life
5. career goals

... and by "improvement" I mean I want someone to come fix it while I sleep.


I like sleep.

And the Will and Grace DVDs currently occupying the dvd player.

Can someone send a pizza to the crib?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Does that Make me Crazy?... Possibly

So a few readers (Jam, Stace, X) have been reading for quite some time through all the foolishness and mayhem that has been these almost 400 posts. You've been here through this which led to this and then that. (And no kiddies your eyes are not deceiving you, those are in fact two distinctly different dates. Messy is what I am.) You've stuck around for rebounds, for this painful shit (read all 7 parts if you want to shake your head at me), then this facade of happy which inevitably led to this. (really this whole month of crazy) You've read all about this foray into foolishness and all the issues therein.

So what you should conclude, if you haven't already concluded, or you are a moron that doesn't see the forest for the trees after reading the links, is that I am notsomuch with the relationships. I'm not particularly good at them. (And by 'not particularly good' I mean BWAHAHAHAHAHA!) I am not one of those people for whom relationships come easy. I have to work sincerely hard at them. Like, HARD. Not like just regular hard. I'm talking straight up boot camp style work. I certainly wish that wasn't the case, but apparently you can't have nice tits AND be Relationship Girl.

So whatever.

Talking to my co-worker today she said something that struck me. She was talking about the issues that she has been having with her boyfriend and she said to me, "I am not sure that I am the relationship type. I don't know if I am all that comfortable with the idea of being had."

I thought it was interesting. I don't think I have a particular problem with "being had" but I am not all that certain that I am a "relationship type". Is there a "type" that fits best in a relationship?

Let's review...

I hate checking in. I'm not big on being emotionally available or "talking". I'm not particularly fond of being responsible for other people because I usually fuck it up nor am I all that gung ho about the growing pains that come along with people getting to the point where they "get me" because they usually fuck it up. I am fairly free spirited and slave to my whims which, while they don't ever include cheating, sometimes don't sit to well with the significant others. (Getting fucked up in VIP anyone?) I like being alone. I like my space. I desire a career that quite possibly won't leave me very little time to invest in someone other than my goals. I am particular. I resent feeling like I am being controlled or reprimanded or talked down to. I like keeping my own schedule. Do all these things sounds like the makings of a happy relationship? Probably notsomuch.

So I pose these questions. Is there a "type" of person who fits in a relationship? And we aren't considering cheaters or liars or people who are commitment-phobic. We're talking straight up personality traits that lend themselves to serial monogamy. And furthermore, are you one of those types? What have you had to change for love?

And why isn't there a class or something that serves Grey Goose and figures out this shit for me?

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Hey everybody!



That's more like it.

Hi kiddies! Sorry I just disappeared, no posting or commenting or notice or NOTHIN'. I know I said I would be better with that but... sometimes I be lyin'.

I was outta town, trying to simultaneously do some grown woman things and not get alcohol poisoning because that is for pussies and many other things. You'll get a great post about the strip club so soon!

In the meantime, go visit these two blogs.

Mo Betta Jewels

X Factor hand makes fabulous jewelry that you will absolutely love. She has some pieces pre-made or she can make some to your specifications. I have 2 bracelets that I try to wear every chance I get that I have had NO LESS than 5 people try to literally buy off my wrist. The blog is a work in progress and she is putting more pics up daily so check her out!!!


Joy crochets (is it wrong that it took me 3 tries and a quick trip to her blog to not make that spell 'crotch'? **childish snicker**) and makes really great stuff. She made me a blanket (the red and black one towards the bottom of the page) because I wanted some kinda family heirloom that means and I love that thing and sleep with it every night because despite the fact that it's been over a year and Honey somehow got a hold of it and chewed a hole in the center, I swear it still smells like Joy. She really is quite talented as is evident from her blog, and her turn around is insane, so please go look at her creations too.

Monday, August 11, 2008


I spent a year in the mouth of a whale
With a flame and a book of signs
You'll never know how hard I've failed
Tryin' to make up for lost time

By all accounts, I have always been a daddy's girl, though I'm sorry to say I maintain a safe difference from both people whom comprise my genetic code.

My history is but a mystery to me, carefully cloaked from sight and prying eyes and prodding questions by years of stoicism and evasion. I know only bits and pieces of my father's life predating me. I don't even know how my grandfather died. I know nothing of his marriage to my grandmother. I can't even recall my paternal great grandparents names.

My mother's side of the family is much of the same, the gaps left by absentee fathers and the silent nature of my grandmother's generation and their steadfast belief that not repeating history will keep us from repeating history. But still, I know my maternal family. I know my cousin was adopted by my aunt, though she's not her birth mother. I've heard the stories about my grandmother's twin sister. There's the shotgun story. A million adages my grandmother uttered from lips shaped like mine, that I repeat like the gospel Peter spoke himself.

But my father, and much of his family, my family, remain a dense fog, a gray expanse of silence that I have settled down with in my own life.

I am in a place where I've moved from childhood, fully flung into being an adult whether I was ready or not. It hasn't been easy. But I made it. Certainly not unscathed. But at least partially whole.

But still, there are gaps. There are pieces I'd like filled in. There are parts of me I wish to know. I'd like to know my father.

I know that his eyes crinkle around his green eyes when he smiles. And I know when he hugs me, he squeezes me tight, like he did when I was a child. I know he is the only person walking creation that can call me by my whole name without it sounding like nails on a chalkboard. I know he makes the best fried chicken east of California and south of Maine. I know that the first time he fell in love, it was with a 300Z.

But I don't know his favorite color. Or anything about him as a child. I've never even seen a picture. I have only one photograph of us together. I don't know if he takes after his father or my grandmother. I don't know what he wanted to be when he grew up or if he was ever in love before he met my mom. I don't know where he'd go if he got to take his dream trip or even one thing he's always wanted his whole life. If I had to buy something for my daddy tomorrow, I'd stand in the store without a clue.

The sad part is, that my daddy was around. More peripheral than I'd like at times, but I don't resent him for it anymore. I know now, as I didn't then, that it wasn't all his fault. My daddy was in the picture, but noticeably absent. He's still a stranger to me.

Even though I'm no longer a child, I'm still his child. And sometimes I wanna ask him questions. And I wanna know him. And I wanna be able to call him and have a real conversation about more than our respective dogs and the weather. I wanna be able to talk to my daddy. I wanna ask his advice. And I want him to know me. I don't want to be a stranger that shares his DNA.
But there's a distance. And no matter how we try, it seems so insurmountable. Sometimes, when I'm brave, I try to reach. But my fingertips never touch anything on the other side.

I always wonder, does he feel it too? Does it sometimes make him lie awake at night like it does me?

Having been away from home for as long as I have, the changes become more pronounced. My brother gets taller. The house more worn and dreary. And my father gets older. More salt than pepper crowds the hair at his temples. Smile creases become deep wrinkles. His voice gets more raspy from the cigarettes he thinks we don't know he smokes. His eyes are less sharp. Every time I go home I'm reminded that time isn't missing either of us.

But time washes everyone clean
Don't bail on me

I'd like to think that we have all the time in the world. I'd like to believe that one day I'll look up and all the distance of all these years will be a memory too dull to even recall. And yet that isn't the reality. It never is, is it?

The reality is that there is far more questions than answers. The truth of it is that it's not getting easier to reach; we're both just getting older and more distant and set in our ways. My father isn't far from the age where he can start weighing his retirement options. And if he keeps eating like he does, and smoking like he does, there's a good chance he'll be gone even before that. And gone with him will be all the things he never said to me.

Sometimes I think I could live with that. Sometimes I think it would be easier to live with things the way they are; I have my father's temperament and his stoicism. I often folly in the things left unsaid..

But there is another part of me, a deeper part, a buried part, that thinks, that hopes, that maybe if I keep reaching, just maybe I'll make some contact on the other side. Maybe just once. Maybe only fleeting. But wouldn't that be enough after a lifetime of silence?

I wonder if I'll stand graveside and have to be a stranger mourning a man I never knew.

Everyday is another day is another day I've missed being a daughter to my father. Every awkward and stuttering conversation is another mile we move further away. Every night like this one that I spend trying to cry silently instead of being able to talk to him is another execution of familiarity.

I know better. And I hope, at his age, he does too. Time is not in the business of infinite chances. And we have so much to make up for. There's so much distance to cover. And it seems so impossible.

Some days I just wanna curl up in my daddy's lap like I used to back when I was his daughter. But even that was fleeting, wasn't it? It's just a moment, a Polaroid I keep in the back of a mental drawer, buried under a small lifetime of debris. But it's there.

And sometimes I think, in the end, that will be all I have.

Tell mama I loved the man
Even though he turned and ran
Lovely and fine I could have been
Laying down in the palm of his hand

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things Being Affected by Inflation that I WILL NOT Stand For

Continuing in this week's tradition... find list #1 here and list #2 here.

And today's offering...

Things Being Affected by Inflation that I WILL NOT Stand For

Forget gas prices. These are the important things severely compromising my way of life.

1. Chipotle Burrito Bowls
Anyone that knows me knows I love me some Chipotle. I could literally eat it everyday if it weren't pretty much guaranteed that I would be on Maury getting cut out of my house right after it was determined that the twins WERE in fact TayQwan's. (I'm just playin'. Yall know I ain't having no babies.) But real talk, I recognize gas prices are high and everything, but be not deceived Saint Guadalupe of the Chipotle*, you WILL NOT play me on the black beans and meat and give me a bowl of white rice that's going to stick right to my ass despite regular Pilates. Now serve my shit right before I jump over the salsas and hurt yo

2. Orange Juice
Can anyone explain to me my OJ is $15 a gallon? PLEASE?!?! Wtf? This ain't even like gas that we have to import. The oranges are right here in the good ol' US of Asses. I am even right smack in the middle of the two biggest states that produce OJ (Florida and Cali). Why on EARTH is juice more than a fill in?!

3. Weave.
Granted, it's been a minute since I actually wore some weave in my head since most days it does good to be clean, let alone styled, but I'm saying. A pack of wet and wavy SHOULD NOT cost my girl $80.

4. Organic Food
Granted, buying organic always was alot more expensive but it has never been this bad. Why is Whole Foods charging a cover just to get in that hoe? And why did I get some organic okra the other day that was like $10? It's OKRA, yo. Do anybody even eat that shit but me? lol

5. Cable.
I haven't had cable in quite some time and it has been the bane of my existence. How on earth do you expect me to live without Kimora and Niecey universe?! But alas, I have had some solace in the fact that I have an extensive collection of dvds as well as I can get my tv to still pick up ABC on Thursdays so I can see Grey's. But now you mean to tell me that unless I get cable essentially once you convert to a digital signal that's it for me? I am stuck trying to huddle over my computer at work and watch my Grey's Anatomy on the clock? No sir. I will not stand for it. The revolution better be televised goddammit!

That is all. I am simply too sad to go on. I know you have a few though. What are the other ways that inflation is fucking up the floacism of your life?

And tomorrow's list...

More Ways I Know You're Gay

the sequel to this list.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Shameless Plug

Aww someone nominated me for a Black Weblog Award! I am so flattered. I dunno who Gables is, cuz it doesn't link to a blog profile or anything, but thank you so much!

And now that all that humble foolishness is outta the way...

I wanna win!

So vote for me, k? lol

Go here...

And nominate me for Best Writing. And make other people nominate me. And then make all those people nominate me. And so on and so forth.

In the meantime, I'm gonna have a little mini nervous breakdown over here in the corner about whether or not I am good enough to actually win, k? lol

Thanks everybody!!!!

~ Management

p.s. There's a post down there, by the way, lol

Things you Should get Fired...but Don't if you Work at The Company

In keeping with this week's theme I present to you...

Things that Should get you Fired... but Don't if you Work for The Company

Because I come from a long line of they-can-do-that-but-you-can't-cux-you're-black-and-different-rules-apply rhetoric, there are certain things I won't do with my co-workers, let alone at work. But there are many things that my co-workers will do... and therefore provide me limitless entertainment.

1. Sleeping with your boss.
Who's married.

And who's your boss.
The Company has no fraternazation rules of any kind. I realized it at my orientation when we were going over corporate policies and practices and there was absolutely NOTHING in black and white concerning it. Especially in an operation like mine, where it is somewhat small and every department is essentially interdependent with another, it is bound to happen that someone meets someone they are attracted to. It happens everywhere. The foolishness comes in when there are no rules governing this attraction; i.e. it's ok to sleep with anyone who works here. Even if they're your boss. Even if they're married and your relationship is endless fodder for lunch time chats (because this is high school). Anywhere else this kinda behavior would get you fired or transfered to a different division or at least a stern talking to from your superior. But nope. Here you are just laughed at because you two are the worst at hiding a relationship we've ever seen.


2. Discussing with your co-workers how fucked up you were/are/gonna get.
This is a very common and often lively discussion that I hear around the building. Maybe cuz it's Texas and the Texans do love their beer, but I was taught you keep your drunken antics out of the office and off youtube. But here, getting drunk (wasted more accurately) is not only talked about in open, but it is celebrated. Exhibit A:

Co-Worker 1: What are you doing tonight?
Co-Worker 2: Tonight... I'm getting FUCKED UP.
CW 1: Hell yeah!
*high fives all around*


3. Calling out sick...

...because you're hungover.
This is a common occurrence around these parts. It's almost understood that the day after your birthday/holiday/court date, you are supposed to call out sick. WTF?!?! Just because a nigga found out Neek Neek wasn't his, he gotta go get fucked up with his friends and co-workers and not come to work the next day? Veto.

4. Calling out sick...

...on the same day of the week, every week.
I can't be the only person that noticed this. As a matter of fact, I know I'm not. But yet and still, despite this practice being common knowledge, there are plenty of people who "get sick" on the exact same day of every week. Come ON! At least don't insult my intelligence.

5. Making gratuitous personal calls.
When your desk phone becomes an unwitting assistant in your pimps up, hoes down lifestyle, you gotta go. Unless you work for The Company, in which case no one cares because they have to discuss and plan how they're going to accomplish #3.

I love my job :-)

Tomorrow's list...

Things Being Affected by Inflation that I WILL NOT Stand For

Monday, August 4, 2008

Don't Make me put you on my List

I am in the middle of trying to get my life in order so I have been all about getting organized lately. To that end, my life has been an ever growing accumulation of lists:

Things for the Apartment
Things to Do
Things to Buy
Stuff to get From Mama
Grad School Stuff
Things to be Done before Moving
Grocery List
Car Repairs

In honor of these lists, I figured this week we could have a series of lists that are a hell of alot more fun than those up there. Today's offering...

Reunions and/or Comebacks that I Cannot Wait For (or Just Acts that Deserve far More Popularity than they Got)

1. En Vogue
Was anyone else obsessed with En Vogue like me? And real extra pissed at Dawn for being ridiculous and leaving the group? And coming back? And leaving again? And squealed when they came out to sing with Alicia Keys at the Busted Errored Trifling Awards? When I was younger, I remember studying En Vogue tapes (cuz CDs wasn't poppin' yet) to learn how to sing complex harmonies (not to be confused with singing in unison in an octave lower or higher which is what you hear from most "singers" today). They are so incredibly talented. I sincerely love these girls. And considering how hard pressed I am for any kind of real talent in the industry right now, I would pay top dollar for a reunion show.

2. Heavy D (and the Boyz)
Yes, I recognize that it was a whole group, but my love was centered completely and totally around one Dwight Errington Myers. Didn't his music just make you happy? lol "Now that we Found Love"? THAT.WAS.MY.SHIT!!!! I remember a couple of years ago I went to a 30 and up party at H2O (which I LOVE going to. Please somebody take me on the Fantastic Voyage this year) and they played this and I LOST MY MIND. I heart him. AND he's got the nerve to be a decent actor. Heart!

3. Jodeci
I recognize whole heartedly that this is never gonna happen. They are all far too ridiculous and cracked out for this to be an option. But could you IMAGINE a Jodeci comeback album? Like, if they got Timbaland and Michael Cox to do the whole thing? And they somehow reversed the years of drug abuse and was looking presentable? And they stopped acting like coons in public? It could be a MASTERPIECE. If only. But you can't tell me that at least one, if not more, Jodeci song is not a major part of the soundtrack of your life, especially if you're 35 or under. (I'd tell you what the important Jodeci songs in my history are, but it might share a lil too much with you about my history.) But them boys could SING. Sure they were ridiculous and were collecting cases like baseball cards, but I STILL get goosebumps listening to the harmony at the end of "Love you for Life" once the music goes out.

4. Mint Condition
Ok so Mint Condition ain't broken up or coming back but they don't get the credit they deserve. I LOVE them. They are sooooooo dope. The talent in this group is ridiculous. I'm supposed to co-sign foolishness and coonery like Pretty Ricky when there are acts like Mint still touring and thriving? I think not. (P.S. If someone buys me tickets to a Mint Condition show, I swear I'll have your babies. And yall KNOW I don't fuck wit babies like that.)

5. Goodie Mob
We have already discussed my strong propensity for all things Cee-Lo and there's a strong possibility that the only people who will be feeling me on this is Joy and Rashan and anyone else born south of South Carolina and east of Alabama. But I still listen to Soul Food and pick up messages that I have somehow missed despite playing it to death (I believe I am in need of replacing CD #3) and it being over 10 years old. They lost me after Still Standing (quite possibly the closest to genius album ever put out of the south, second to Aquemeni) but I literally screamed out loud when I heard a sound bite talking about them being in the studio recording a new album. Their talent has never been a question for me, but so long as they stick to their style of raw social commentary and clever and different delivery, I will be one of the first to buy it.

6. ATQC/De La Soul
I'm gonna link the two together because of their ties to the Native Tongues Posse. I'd gush about how fantastic they are, but I'm guessing Adei and Rashan will do that for me in the comments, lol. (However, is the Quest website not the dopest thing you've ever seen?)

7. MC Lyte
So I will admit that this is partially due to my long standing and quite obvious crush on her, but no one can deny her talent. I can't front like I was on it from jump (her first album was release when I was about 2, lol) but after Ain't no Other she officially had a fan in me. (Don't you dare judge me for being 10 and sneaking and listening to "Ruffneck" when I was supposed to be doing homework, lol) I think I just miss the days when female MCs were dumb talented and stood for something rather than bending over for anything. To that end...

8. Queen Latifah
Yes Queen, I know, there's far more money in acting and makeup endorsements and producing and truth be told, I was dangerously in love with both The Dana Owens Album and Trav'lin' Light. But don't yall miss Black Reign Latifah like me? Man. "Just Another Day"? "I Can't Understand"? "Coochie Bang"? MAN. Granted, it could just be because I am sorely missing female MCs, but you can't knock her talent.

9. Lil Kim
Aiight, so I'm a hypocrite, lol. As long as I can keep my shoes, I can live with that. But I love me some Lil Kim. I don't always agree with her choices (Really? That spread ass cover on Hardcore Kim? Really.) But you have to love something about a 4 foot woman that's big enough to boast on wax about how she can make a Sprite can disappear in her mouth. I need her to get as far away as possible from every needle and scalpel this side of The Promised Land, but despite all that, I can't deny being a Kim fan and hoping she can get her career back on track. Yeah, yeah, yeah, everybody says Big wrote her rhymes, but shit, does anyone write their own shit nowadays? Besides, I don't care, so long as it ain't GARBAGE (Khia). So yeah. Maybe it's just cuz I feel a dearth of realness and rawness in music considering that every 7 minutes in this country another act becomes infected with the Beyonce-No-Personality-Robot-Talking-Out-of-Their-Ass-Disease. But I miss Kim. Despite of anyone's disagreement with her choices, you can't deny that Hardcore was a classic and a game changer, whether we like it or not.

11. Whitney Houston
Am I the only one really rooting for Whit? I love underdog stories more than anything, and this is a fantastic one. I am certainly not pretending that she has not in fact "smoked her kneecaps off" (fast forward to about 5:25) but she has had a beautiful voice. The bad part is that I bet after 15 years of blow for breakfast, lunch and a sensible dinner, she can still out sing every last dusty hoe in this industry. So I'm rooting for her. If she comes back decent enough, I might even let this Ray J foolishness slide. (but for real though Whit Whit you know you like chicks, stop playin')
It's just a given that La would be a fan of a group who has a song called "Don't Call me a Nigger, Whitey". But aside from that, the music is sick. My personal favorite is "If you Want me to Stay". All the music is amazing, but the bass in that song is one of the baddest I've ever heard. I like the idea of a mix of age, sex and, most unheard of, race that is represented in the Family, but moreso than that, I like the idea of a group being independently functional; they wrote, sang, composed and scored all their own songs. I'm a pretty huge fan of any and all things funk, and Sly is one of the most talented artists that have recorded and generally just an all around bad ass muthafucka (drug convictions aside, of course).

13. Lauryn Hill
*sigh* This hurts me. I, like I think just about all of the 10 million plus who bought Miseducation..., take her talent very seriously. Who can touch her? Who was (is) more relevant? Who else so perfectly balanced singing star diva and brunch best friend? I still listen to The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill and I love it just as much as I ever did. Her voice is transcendent. Her rhymes are catchy, funny, and meaningful. Her writing is profound and real. And I miss her. I first fell hard for Lauryn on "Ready or Not"...

I play my enemies like a game of chess, where I rest
No stress
If you don't smoke sess, lest
I must confess, my destiny's manifest
In some Goretex and sweats I make tracks like I'm homeless
Rap orgies with Porgy and Bess
Capture your bounty like Elliot Ness
YES bless you if you represent the Fu
But I'll hex you with some witch's brew if you're Doo Doo
Voo Doo, I can do what you do, easy
Frontin' niggas give me hee-bee-gee-bees
So while you're imitating Al Capone
I'll be Nina Simone
And defecating on your microphone

I remember being so floored that this was coming from a chick... and she was singing?! I was immediately enamoured. And continued to be every time she stepped to a mic. When she released Miseducation..., it was like finally, someone had appropriately captured in colorful multidimension what it was like to be a black woman. I craved that, and needed it so much at that time in my life. I could literally gush about this album for many posts to come. Every time I hear her name mentioned anywhere, I hold my breath hoping that it is in relation to her recording some new material. I was even one of very few who loved her Unplugged album (possibly because it seemed as though we were in the same messy headspace at the time.) We need her out here. To have anyone with talent in the game right now would be a breath of fresh air, but to have the abundant amount of talent that she possesses and for her not to be creating is a serious disservice to music. If and when L-Boogie ever decides to do anything else, even if it's a hot 16 on someone else's shit, you had BEST believe I am on it.

And yes, just in case you were wondering, this list does prove that I am in fact about 45 no matter what my license says.

Tomorrow's List...

Things that Should get you Fired... but Don't if you Work for The Company

Friday, August 1, 2008

In Due Time

A few years back, less than a touchdown but more than a conversion, when I threw my hands up at all manner of church services and stopped attending all together, a particularly judgemental zealot with whom I have since lost touch asked me rather matter of factly, "You can't seriously expect God to continue to communicate with you if you refuse to come to His house, can you?"

At the time, woefully in the throes of what the objectivity of hindsight has afforded me the ability to recognize as a full-on emotional breakdown, I didn't have the wherewithal to have any kinda real answer other than...


Now, safely out of that emotional breakdown and right smack dab in the middle of an even greater one, I can clearly articulate the answer that I should have given then...

God communicates with me through my ipod... and the Reverend Cee-lo Green.


Today, like most days, it is amazing to me that Texas can manage to be overcast and still hot, like roasting over an open pit fire in a plastic box. I'm in my truck and sweating, moisture pouring down my back, my skin sticky and damp to the touch. I jerk and snatch the controls on the air conditioning, the air hitting me full blast but only slightly calming my nerves. If I were to try to name what I am feeling right now, I guess it could be considered irritable. But it's more than that. I am tetchy. I am almost volatile.

But whatever.

None of the Cd's in the changer are what I wanna listen to so I struggle to steer with my knee and maneuver the hook up to my ipod. I fight with it for a few moments before realizing that it isn't coming on because I am a dumb ass I still have the hold button on. I click shuffle and try to find a clear channel through all the static.

Struggling just a part of my day many obstacles have been placed in my way

It's been years since I've heard this song, but it's still one I know by heart.

I know the only reason that I make it through
Is because I never stop believing in You
Some people wonder why we're here in the first place
They can't believe because they ain't never seen Your face
But even when you pray, the next day you gotta try
Can't wait for nobody to come down out the sky
You've got to realize that the world's a test
You can only do your best and let Him do the rest
You've got your life, you've got your health
So quit procrastinating and push it yourself
You've got to realize that the world's a test
You can only do your best and let Him do the rest
You've got your life, you've got your health
So quit procrastinating

And just like that I'm not hot anymore. The heat in my belly is replaced with sudden cool. I stop tapping. Stop jerking and twitching. Calm so surreal and so sweet envelops me like I am diving face first underwater.

Just keep your faith in Me
Don't act impatiently
You'll get where you need to be
In due time
Even when things are slow
Hold on and don't let go
I'll give you what I owe
In due time...

Without my even realizing it, tears start to roll down my face. A voice not my own in my head tells me that this is the relief I've been craving, desperately needing, despite all the other places I've gone looking for it. I pull over to the side of the road and sob on my steering wheel.

We sit for awhile and talk. Sometimes out loud, sometimes through the ever appropriate songs still shuffling on my ipod. I cry. Cry harder than I have in awhile, cry my contacts right out of my eyes. But I keep talking. Sometimes it is barely discernible. But I know He hears everything I say.

What is even better is that I know He already knows everything I'm saying.

But still, sometimes the best friend you have is the one who let's you talk even when you're saying all the things you've said before.

I tell Him what has been on my heart. The things I know I need to deal with in my life but don't know how. The choices I need to make. The things that are hurting me, that are unhealthy. The things I am thankful for. What I need. We talk about my faith. In Him and in myself, the former stronger than ever but the latter severely lacking. He tells me the things that He is preparing for me, reassures me that I will be coming out of the myriad of obstacles I have been dealing with for so long because He already knows. We talk about the tests I have been given, the ones I passed and the ones I failed, reminding me of my due time. And more importantly, He replaces the anxiety that had been gnawing at my gut with calm and reassurance.

I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I believe it's coming. Because I believe.

the first one, that feel Me jump up and make a joyful noise
You'se OutKasted, meaning, you now have a choice...