Wednesday, November 24, 2010

You May Not Drive A Great Big Cadillac....

It should go without saying that we should be thankful every moment. This is true, but I just wanted to churn out a little blog about the more underrated things I'm thankful for. Up, up, and away.

1. I'm thankful that I don't have a big crazy family. They may be crazy but I couldn't imagine having to be cooped up with them trying to break bread. Growing up, it was usually my immediate family and a few others. I liked it like that.

2. I'm thankful that I'm not in a bad relationship. I can only imagine being all kissy face on Thanksgiving only to have it all come crashing down before the Black Friday sales are over with.

3. I'm thankful for being a skeptic. My cynicism has probably kept me from buying dreams that a lot of folk were selling. A good scowl and an eyebrow raise keeps foolery away.

4. I'm thankful for my eccentricity. This trait has allowed me to beat my own drum and march when I feel like it. I enjoy being that person with the out of the box thought. I like wearing plaid pants with striped shirts. I love the feeling of being an individual.

5. I'm thankful for being a hater (in society's definition of the word). I can live without 98% of that stuff most folk rant and rave about. That gets me labeled as a hater. In the immortal words of Reggie Noble......"I'll bee dat".

6. I'm thankful that after having my heartbroken I haven't given up on love. It's very easy to be like "screw it", but I refuse. I've witnessed true love and I liked what I saw. Finding true love isn't what gets me out of bed in the morning, but it's not sitting at the bottom of my hamper either.

7. I'm thankful for every rejection that I have received. There are so many things that we want, but we don't need. Rejections are just God's way of saying it's not time yet or I got something better for you.

8. I'm thankful for the courage to be myself. I'd rather be hated for who I am than to be loved for who I am not. If you don't like what I away. I don't like how I away. If you don't like the fact I know what I want out of away. I'm me 24/265 and I'm lovin' it.

I want all ya'll to have a blessed, safe, wonderful, *insert any good adjective* holiday weekend. Be careful out there, wanna see all ya'll next week. Peace.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

First The Fat Boys Break Up....Now This?

I've noticed a lot of my fellow bloggers are doing entries about beliefs. I think it's a pretty dope topic, so I'm gonna hop on the bus and churn one out. Up, up, and away. Sans #1, this non-definitive list is in no particular order.

1. I believe in God. I don't care what anyone else says or does, I know God is real. He believe and trust in Him fully.

2. I believe that I'm awesome. I know that may sound arrogant, but it's true. Extraordinarily ordinary, perfectly imperfected, flaws and all......I'm awesome. Couldn't think of anyone else I'd want to be.

3. I believe in love, but it's not the sickness and the cure that folks make it out to be. Love does not conquer foolishness. You can keep telling yourself that if you want to. Love is not this illness that you catch and it gnaws away at your brain. Love ain't make you do all this stupid stuff.

4. I believe in personal accountability. Don't blame your screwedupness on others. We all have things that happened to us in the past. It comes a point in a time where you are responsible for how your life is going.

5. I believe that one day stupidity will overtake the Earth and all smart folk will be left hiding in caves underground. I'm not talking book stupid folk, I'm talking life stupid folk. Better hunker down or learn how to hide being smart.

6. I believe in 2 parent households. Not knocking those who were raised in a single parent household or the ones who are raising children on their own. I just believe that it's a 2 person job and the odds are more in the kids favor. Not saying folk should get married or stay married if they can't stand each other for the sake of the kids. I'm just saying that optimally a 2 parent household is best.

7. I believe in being hella discerning in relationships. I've been on 2 dates with a chicks and knew that it wasn't gonna work out. Wasn't a matter of her being attracted me or vice versa. I just knew in my gut that me and that person wouldn't mesh down the road. Better to throw up the deuce early than try to make a relationship out of red flags.

8. I believe in great financial health. You don't have to be filthy stinking rich to have great financial health. Save as much as you can, check your credit score twice a year, and most importantly LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS. I can't stress that last one enough.

9. I believe there is a lesson in every experience in life. When we learn the lesson, God graduates us to the next one. When we miss the lesson, God puts us on that figure 8 until we learn it. Insanity - doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

10. I believe that most have no clue of who they are; therefore, they will never know what they want out of life. Self discovery (no hairy palms) can be a scary thing. In order to fully know and understand yourself, you have to spend some real time with yourself. People are too afraid of what they may find out if they spent some alone time. I guess it's just easier for them to blow in the breeze and blame others.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Check Yoself Before You Wreck Yoself

I am very fortunate to have such a small circle of friends. My friends are more than just friends. They are pretty trusted advisers. I really take what they say to heart because 10 times out of 9, they're giving me good advice. I also appreciate the fact they are not yes (wo)men.

Everyone should have friends who can tell them "no, don't do that" or "you're trippin' with no luggage". In life we need checks and balances. The right friends can be that for you. I just think back on all the stupid things (in retrospect) that a friend or friends checked me on.

For the most part, I'm not talking about simple stuff like them telling me that polka dots and plaid really don't match. I'm talking about decisions that could affect my life to this day. I don't ever recall any of them telling me what to do. That's not checks and balances, that's control. They have given me that smack to the face to bring me back to reality. They have placed that coffee right below my nostrils to get me to wake up.

I think back on some of the things people have told me and I wonder am I the lone voice of reason in your life. If my girlfriend socked me in my nose and I called 3 friends, all three would say the same thing "why are you still there?". They may would ask me what happened later but the recurring theme would be snap out of it, get your bag and go.

I'm not saying that I'm a mindless drone. Friends have the luxury of not being in the frame so they are able to see the picture. Meaning they can see above the haze I was in. My heart probably thought they were being unreasonable but my head knew they were looking out for me. I liken it to drowning. If I'm drowning, I would like for my friends to throw me a life line, not just sit there and say "Girl hang in there, I was in a similar situation once. I just kept flailing and eventually I got comfortable with the fact I was drowning. Still drowning to this day but I'm hanging in there".

Please don't take it as me saying get yourself a bunch of Debbie Downers. Not at all. Surround yourself with people who hold you up to same high standards that you hopefully hold yourself to. If you have high standards and good friends, even if you slip every once and a while, they'll help get you back on the level you're supposed to be. Peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

For Black Women Who Have Considered Blogging When FCG Was Too Much

No witty preface, let's get straight to it. For Colored Girls was a trainwreck. One hundred twenty minutes of facepalming. Even though it was Tyler Perry, I went into the movie with an open mind. I left the movie completely and utterly disappointed and flabbergasted.

It was so terrible that I am having a hard time finding where to start. I have yet to read the choreopoem that the screenplay was adapted from. However, I have heard great things about it. Frankly, Tyler Perry doesn't have enough stamps in his passport to even do this. He has a hard time turning a script into a cohesive film. What in hades made him think he could take such a heavy choreopoem and turn it into anything that wasn't a debacle? #really

The constant transitioning from script to poem was cringe-worthy at times. The poetry was powerful but awkward and forced. It was like night and day going from Perry's awful dialogue to Ntozake Shange's powerful prose. Written in 1975 I believe, some of the poetry just didn't translate well to modern times. Perhaps Perry should have set the movie in the 70s. Couldn't have hurt.

What would a Tyler Perry movie be without over the top negative stereotypes of black men? The downlow man? C'mon Tyler! I thought we were better than that. That kind of character wasn't even needed in this film. The seemingly nice guy who goes from salsa dancing in the street to whippin' out his peaknus and raping one of the women? I know date rape happens and it happens often, but the way Perry handled it really took away from the seriousness of the situation. Even the most "realistic" storyline still had the WTF element. Throw in your obligatory two-timing boyfriend and your set of Triflin' Ass Ninjas is complete. The closest thing to a decent brotha in the film was a somewhat insensitive detective.

Without giving too much away, I will say that the women who did the best job were Loretta Devine and Thandie Newton. I was pleasantly blown away with how great of a job Thandie did. Loretta Devine has always been a favorite actress of mine even though she's been in some films that are questionable at best. Her strong dialogue and human element gave her character some pop. Thandie's complete transformation from prim and proper British woman to emotionally damaged, just wanting to find some kind of love, downtrodden but tries not to show it New Yorker went over much better than one would anticipate (holy run-on sentence Batman!).

There are not enough words to describe how putrid Janet was in this film. Once we get past her looking like Cruella D'eville, lies a dull half-assed performance. Again I say, I have not read the choreopoem so I'm not quite sure how this character was supposed to go. Watching her be this mean cold-hearted biatch was painful. Not because there aren't any cold hearted biatches in the world, hers was just ramped up a few notches and wandered dangerously close to being caricature-ish.

The other actresses did a so-so job considering the material and director they had to work with. Kimberly Elise was good for "weepin' Wanda what is we gon' do now" schtick that she has seemed to have mastered. Phylicia Rashad (my childhood cougar crush) provided stability in moments where the film had clearly jumped the shark. Kerry Washington's character could have been played by a celery stick and the audience wouldn't have noticed. Anika Noni Rose's character really didn't have too much going on which almost made me forget she was in the movie until her character provided the biggest unintentional laugh of the film. Whoopi Goldberg....really? Her character did way too much and not nearly enough.

To wrap this bad boy up.......the movie was horrible. In the hands of just about any other director, I think this film has a fighting chance. Tyler Perry basically Tyler Perry'd up the movie. All that was missing was Madea some light skinnedededed man to come in and rescue one of these damsels in distress. Watching this movie reminded me a lot of Precious. Seems like the whole theme was "how bad can I make these women's lives". Anytime you thought the sun was gonna shine, Perry brought in some storm clouds and let it rain. My only regret is that I do not have another set of thumbs so that I could give this picture 4 thumbs down. Peace.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Don't Want to Be a Soldier Anymore

When C stopped talking to me last year, I was hurt. Things ended so badly between us that time. By the third month, I was using anger as a tool to get over her. If someone asked me how did I feel about her, it was nothing to say "man forget her, so I'm so past her, I've lapped her twice". I let my butthurtness guide me through that time.

By the year mark, I was fully entrenched in my anger and had convinced myself that I felt nothing. Even when we started communicating again, I still kept believing I was over it. I tried to be hard and put on a front. My hardness got shattered and my front has come home to roost. Saturday set off a domino effect that came to a head last night.

C's parents were in town over the weekend. Naturally, since I love them and they love me, they wanted to see me. C didn't want me to go to the movies on Friday because her girlfriend was gonna be there. I got kinda tight about that, but that's just C being C. Saturday, her moms asks me to come meet them for shopping and lunch. I get out to the shopping center and link up with them. C's gf works out at the shopping center so you know she was gonna show up sooner or later.

C, her mom, and I are at this shoe store and in walks C's gf. Mind you, this chick ain't the manager, assistant manager, manager trainee or nothing. She left work to come over to see what was going on. After the fiasco which was the last time I saw that gal, wasn't no way in hades I was gonna stick my hand out and speak. In retrospect, that's hella petty but sometimes we lose sight that we're the bigger person. Of course she has to be all extra on C, which I thought was kinda disrespectful considering how C's mom feels about teh ghey. I'm certain that little show as just for me.

After the chick leaves, I ask C "why your little friend didn't speak to me". I didn't know that C's mom could hear. She turns around and goes "yeah, why didn't she speak". C tells her mom that the girl and I (me) have bumped heads before. I don't recall ever bumping heads but whatevy. C's mom walks off saying she's heading to another store. I start off after her and is kinda yanked back by C. Here she goes trying to charge me up about my question. Talking about now she's gotta answer all kinds of questions from her mom and stuff. Telling me how I should know that her gf wasn't gonna speak to me because the gal doesn't like me. This is my perfect opportunity to say what's been on my mind.

"If you would treat me like a friend and not a side piece, your gf may wouldn't feel some kinda way about me". I tell C that if she would stop creepin' and sneakin' around with me, it wouldn't look so bad. Exhale. C is always good for a play dumb so I continued. I let her know that it's not "too much" when she's benefiting. It's not too much when I'm meeting her at midnight for a drink. It's not too much for her to wake me up crying wanting me to console her. It's not too much when I'm putting her back together. She asks me do I care about her comfort level. I don't. I let her know that she made this situation by lying back and forth in the beginning. You make your bed now lay it.

I tell her that I hope one day, she'll put her feelings over the girl's feelings because the girl doesn't care about her. I attempt to walk off again. She stops me and tells me to come back and explain. I simply tell her how she puts that girl's feelings over anyone else's. She's so busy trying to make that girl comfortable that she doesn't give a damn who she stomps on. "Baby, I just want you to be happy" I say. She tells me that she is happy. Me: "yeah today" and I walk out.

I knew that after that exchange, C was gonna ignore me for a while. I really needed to finish that conversation, so I came up with a sure fire way to get her attention. It worked. She called me yesterday evening. After she fussed for a minute, I asked her to shush for a second while I let her know what's on my mind. "I can't be just your friend. I love having you in my life, but if this is your idea of being friends, I can't. My feelings are way too strong for this." I took a deep breath and watched the monkey run out the back door.

She's taken aback but lets me know that if this is the case then it's best that we don't talk. I'm perfectly fine with that. If this is my swan song, I better belt out the best tune I got. I went all the way back to when she and I were whatever we were. I told her how I blew it the first time. Instead of sacking up and making a commitment, I strung her along. Then when she finally moved on, I was selfish again. I thought I could waltz into her life, tell her I love you, and we would ride off into the sunset together. Another monkey runs out the door.

I finish up with letting her now how much I like her and care for her. She had mentioned recently that she wanted someone who would love her, respect her, and build a future with her. I told her that I wanted all those things with her. It hurts me so much to see you being hurt. Hell, I hate to see you stub your toe because it hurts you. I don't know what it is in you that makes someone like me such a nonviable potential mate. I love you. After that, there was complete silence. I told her peace out and she said goodbye.

Maybe because it's only day one, I don't feel the gut wrenching pain I felt the last time we stopped talking. Maybe because I initiated it, I'm in a better position to handle this. Maybe it's because now I know that I have took a major step towards my future by being honest about my past. Maybe it's because now I believe that I can finally see myself giving someone else a chance. The possibilities are endless.

Do I think this is the last I'll ever hear from C? Not hardly. Next time, she can't come around and pretend like she's not doing anything. I spelled it out for her. She's already gotten left. Perhaps she should try getting right. Peace.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How About I Drop My Cross On Your Head?

By reading my blog posts, I hope you get the idea that I love God. I know there are some things I say that may lead you think that I'm not a Christian. However, even with all of that, I know I give God mad propers throughout my writing. It was a long strange trip to get to where I am with God now. Glad I had the strength to do take it.

Growing up, I never liked church. Church back home never appealed to my intellect. I never felt like the pastor ever taught anything about Scripture. Seemed like a bunch of po' folk wailin' and whoopin'. Yeah I know we are supposed to be his flock, but does that I mean I have to be a sheep? I grew up Apostolic. If you're not really up on your denominations, Apostolic falls under the Pentecostal covering. Just about anything you can think of is a sin to Pentecostal folk. Movies....sin. TV.....sin. Bowling.....sin. Skating...sin. Playing jacks....sin. Playing cards....sin. Secular music....sin. Woman dressing like a man.....sin. And not only was everything a sin but you were going to hell first class.

The funny thing is that I learned all my best sinning from church. I learned to lie at church. I learned how to cuss at church. I learned what a whore/dyke/faggot was at church. I learned how to backstab and doublecross at church. Heck the first gay person I encountered was a choir director (not ours) at church. If all that would send me to hell, well then I bought my ticket during Sunday service. We had some great travel agents at the church.

Back then, God to me was this guy who sat up and just waited for us to mess up so that he could punish us. God didn't seem too loving back then. I would often wonder why would I want to worship such a meanie. I disliked just about everyone at church. I saw the hypocrisy of it all at a young age and it left such a bad taste in my mouth. Pastor driving a new whip but Sister Jenkins' lights are off and all they can tell her is pray about it.

It made me so sick to even go to church. I would try to get out of it every time I could. I got so tired of hearing how "young folks" are so awful when I knew it was the adults who set such a bad example for the children. I hated being in plays. I hated spending almost all my Sundays, Tuesday and Friday nights, at church. I didn't clap. I didn't sing. I would just zone out until church was over.

The best day of my young life occurred when I turned 16. My mother told me that I didn't have to go to church if I didn't want to. I wanted to turn a backflip. I'm sure she was hurt when I stopped going but church was killing my spirit. Had I stayed in church any longer, I don't think I'd be going now. Funny as it sounds, leaving church started my journey to finding God.

After leaving the church, I became Agnostic and perilously close to being an Atheist. My bad experiences with church coupled with my coming to terms with my sexuality was the perfect storm. I would challenge any and everyone about how God didn't care about us. He was all about the punishment. No love. Just putting that rod on our backside every chance He got.

Fast forward to my senior year of college, I was watching tv and I saw an ad for this church. The pastor seemed so warm through the tv. I got up and went to their evening service. Everyone was so receptive and kind. They sang songs and worshiped. The pastor got up and spoke a message about love. That was the first time I felt like God was actually a loving God. While He corrects us, he restores us gently. It was a great message, but my heart was so hardened.

It would be another 2 years before I stepped into another church. I tried out a few churches. I encountered some of the same stuff from my past. However, I was undeterred. I was gonna find a new church home and give God another try. After a few failed attempts, I stumbled across this website for a church. I got up one Sunday morning and went. I was apprehensive and skeptical. I liked the cerebral approach the Bishop took. Next Sunday, I got up and went again. I went again and again. I've been going ever since.

While I'm far from a perfect Christian, I know that God has brought me a long way. Even when I gave up on God, He never gave up on me. He allowed me to take that journey away from Him. I returned and He welcomed me with open arms. He truly indeed awesome. Peace.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Protect Your (Mental) Neck

We exercise, we wear our seatbelts, we don't stick metal objects into electrical outlets. We take all kinds of cautions and precautions for our safety. However, there is one aspect of our well-being that we (read: minorities/women) often neglect. That aspect is our mental health.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I was right beside my mother when she died. I watched her take her last breath. I stayed there with her. She died and felt like my soul died along with her. That night I remember just being in a haze. My body was up and moving but I have no clue of where my mind was. I felt empty and disoriented. I managed to get through the funeral and back to Houston.

I figured I'd just throw myself into work. I landed a new gig and I thought that would keep me occupied. I couldn't focus, I was crying in the restroom almost every chance I got. I would catch myself completely zoned out. I would come home and just lay in the bed. I was so tired but I eventually stopped sleeping because of the nightmares. Every time I closed my eyes, the replay of my mom's death would start. I didn't get to lush status, but I found myself looking for answers at the bottom of a bottle.

No one could fully help me. If I had a nickel for every time I heard "she's in a better place" or "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord" or "time heals all wounds" or "just pray about it", I'd be sitting on a beach in Martinique right now. Even though C had dumped me around that time, I will say that she was very understanding and somewhat helpful during that time. But for the most part, I was a zombie.

After C moved in, the zombieness was replaced by sheer and utter anger. I stayed mad. Looking back, I feel sorry for C because I put her through pure hell. I could tell she didn't want to leave me like that but she didn't want to be around me when I was like that. I'd kirk out on her for no apparent reason. I was straight up lunchin' on any and everybody. I just didn't give any kind of damn. I recall one day I was driving and C was in the car. I remember just picking up speed and darting in and out of traffic. I'm sure I was doing at least 90.....I just didn't care. If I died, I died. If my mother isn't here, why should I be? I have since apologized for endangering D's life. I would never have been able to forgive myself if I had hurt her.

All that shiz ended up with me leaving that new gig. The last thing I needed was to be alone with my thoughts. By that time, C was dating someone else. That's all I needed to top off an already awful time in my life. One night, I completely jumped the shark with her. Honestly, I have no idea what started it but it ended with C telling me that she was afraid of me and that I should go get help. #GTFOHWTB I was thinking to myself but looking at her face I could tell she was scared of me. The next day I called the therapist.

The first thing they tell you in therapy is that if you won't be honest, it's not gonna work. It wasn't hard to open to the shrink. She made me feel safe and that my secrets wouldn't go further than ears. After a few sessions, she told me that I was diagnosed with depression and variant of post traumatic stress disorder. Oh great was my first thought because I was certain that she was gonna put me on the "happy pills". Not at all. She told me that she believes that all my "issues" were acute in nature. She could give me happy pills but I wasn't at that stage in the game where I needed them.

I stayed in therapy for around 2 years. I got a chance to talk about all kinds of things that were in my mind. Really helped me piece things together in my life. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, do so. If don't think you can afford it, there are a lot of therapists who work on sliding scales. There are also various counseling centers that are low to no cost. Also, if you're into religion, a lot of clergy offer counseling as well. Don't be so quick to chalk it up to a bad day. Peace.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Don't Be Ashamed.....Let It Hang

As I was driving into work this morning, I decided to listen to the radio for a minute. For the most part, my radio gets no play because the music is wack. I digress. Bruno Mars' song, I reckon it's called Just the Way You Are was on.

The song reeks of corniness, don't get me wrong. However, it goes right in line with a convo I was having with a homie of mine the other day. She was telling me how self conscious she is about her body. Even more so since she had a child a few years back. Personally, I think she looks great now and looked great back in college. I've noticed this is a recurring theme with a lot of women I know. Whilst I think they look amazing, they're seeing something completely different in their mirrors.

Every chick that I've whatevered with has made a comment at some point in time about their body. It's such a hard situation to be in when your chick says to you "ughh I hate my stomach/thighs/legs/etc". If you feel some kinda way about your body, then by all means make that change for yourself. Don't do it for me, your fam, the next person, etc. I think you're awesome just the way you are.

If I'm dealing with you, it's obvious that I don't give a crap about that you have a pooch, dimples on your other cheeks, or stretchmark on your thighs. I enjoy those imperfections just as much as I enjoy your perfections. I like seeing you nakey. I like caressing and touching every inch of you. That scar you got from falling off your bike when you were 11? I find it tres sexy. With me, I don't want you to feel embarrassed or self conscious. So come out........dougie in your draws, breakdance in your birthday suit....tis all good. Peace.

Monday, November 1, 2010

What Do Cynics Dream Of When They Take a Little Cynic Booze?

Over the past few days, I've had a lot of time to think about relationships. Usually this topic gets little airtime in my head because I'm just not feeling chicks around here. I wanted to do a blog post on one topic but since my thoughts have been so jumbled, I figured the blog should be no different.

I believe last Tuesday whilst talking to C, she hits me with "I just want to find someone who loves me, respects me, and wants to build a future with me". I wish she could have seen the epic side eye I gave her. All I could respond with was "good luck". You couldn't possibly want that because if you did, you wouldn't be where you are. The more accurate statement is "I want someone like that but I lack the self-capital to obtain and maintain such a person".

If that wasn't bad enough, I had a dream about her the next night. I dreamed that we got married. Wasn't a shotgun wedding, it was like she wanted to be there/I wanted to be there wedding. Back in the day, that woulda been a kee-kee dream. That night, I woke up in a cold sweat. Not because the bridesmaids dresses were turrrrible, but because I don't think that's the kinda dream I should be having.

Friday night, I responded to a tweet about how much of a cesspool the dating pool is. A follower of mine out in NC was talking about the quality of women there. I told her to change NC to the world and she has the current state of dating affairs. There are a myriad of reasons to why there aren't that many quality potential mates out there. The main reason why it's difficult to find someone decent is these women don't know want they want. And that stems from a lack of knowledge of self. How can you know what you want if you don't know who you are? The dating pool is so bad that I don't even want to sit by it and catch some rays. At least not without a hazmat suit.

Saturday night I made the tragic mistake of replacing the water in my fishbowl with alcohol. I was watching Chris Rock's Never Scared. He has this joke about not being someone's first choice. I got to thinking. The thought was I believe no matter who I end up with, no matter how much I love her (or him....fence jumping has crossed my mind #blankface...whole nother story), they won't be my first choice. Is that fair to this person? I'm sure it won't be a recurring theme, but I know it will be a thought in my mind. Then I thought, how often does a person land their 1st choice? I'm thinking maybe around 31% of the time.

Shoot, since I brought up fence jumping, I'm gonna keep it funky, b. I have honestly thought about it. Not sure how many dudes would be content in a sexless relationship though. Perhaps an open relationship would work. I'm certain that straight chicks are having just a hard of a time as the gay ones. However, I think if I were straight, I'd be married by now. Peace.