Friday, June 30, 2006

The Librarian Mix Tapes

I was sitting at my desk, minding my own business, actually doing some work for a change, when I heard the voice of Regina, my friendly workplace librarian, happily greeting co-workers as she walked down the hall...

"Hey everybody!"

"How's everybody doing?"

"Hey ya'll!"

I froze at my desk, closed my eyes tight... she was getting closer and closer.

"I just came up here to see Ladylee," she yelled to someone.

I wanted to wiggle my nose like that Samantha chick on Bewitched, and disappear. It was too late to crawl under my cluttered desk. There was no easy escape from my cubicle.

Then she appears...

"Hey girl, what's going on?"

I pretend to be checking my emails. "Nothing."

"I need a favor," she chimes, as she is rummaging through the close to empty candy bucket on my desk. She sits down at my cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre's desk.

"What, man?!"

"I'm traveling this holiday weekend and I need some music. Burn me a few good CDs."

"Dang, man!" I proceed to have a straight up conniption fit. She ignores my rants, as usual.

There's something about my friendly librarian. She is a big wig on every doggone charity committee in the building, and is able to get me to do various things, everything from donating money, attending programs...

Even making salmon for the African American month celebration every year (see post).

This time she wanted some music.

I bitched badly about her bringing me some blank CDs. She was acting like she didn't know what I was talking about when I made such a simple request. I have about 75 hours worth of music in my laptop and we went through the arduous task of looking through some of it.

"Girl, I want some of that old stuff... you know, like that Clarence Carter, or some of that Johnny Taylor! You got any of that?!"

I looked at her like she had been smoking crack. She is in her late 40's, so I expected her to say some craziness like that. "Hell nawl, I don't listen to any of that!"

Well how about some of that Mary J. Blige, you know, the one about "What's the 411?"


I was completely taken aback by that... How did she jump from talking about some old juke joint Clarence Carter to some hip-hoppy old school Mary J. Blige?

"Um... no Regina, I ain't got old Mary. I got her new stuff, but her old CDs are still packed up somewhere," was my simple answer.

"Oh that's fine," she said, as she proceeded to rummage through papers on my desk. (She is a nosy gal!)

I scrolled through some of the music, playing some of the songs. Others had gathered around by this time. Sometimes we just happen to play music and break out singing, hoping shady management don't come strolling around the corner....

That day, my friendly librarian was having flashbacks of her times some 20 or 30 years ago back in some old hole-in-the-wall juke joint, because she started doing some crazy dances, high stepping, arms flailing, eyes closed tight, lips poked out, face all frowned up...

... you know, them dances...

Like the ones your drunk Auntie with the lopsided wig use to do at family get togethers. Sort of like them dances your crazy uncle, the one with the tight shorts, nylon socks, and dress shoes, use to do at family reunions.

Those dances.

We all made sure to back up a foot or two from her to keep from getting injured.

Well anyway, I made her CDs.

*LadyLee sitting at her desk, quietly burning CDs on her personal laptop, periodically gazing over shoulder, watching out for shady management.*

I even took the time to list out her songs for her. She was quite pleased.

Anyway, here they are...

I think she will have a nice drive with these:

Regina’s Fast 80’s Mix Tape

Juicy Fruit (Extended Version) – Mtume
Been Around the World – Lisa Stansfield
No One’s Gonna Love You – SOS band
Save the Overtime - Gladys Knight and the Pips
Diamonds – Herb Alpert w/Janet Jackson
Hangin’ on a String – Loose Ends
Ghetto Heaven (Hidden Track) – Family Stand
Just the Way You Like It – SOS band
The Glamorous Life – Sheila E.
The Men All Pause – Klymaxx
Saturday Love – Cherelle and Alexander O’Neal
The Finest – SOS Band
Don’t Look Any Further – Dennis Edwards
Sugar Free – Juicy
Slow Down- Loose Ends.

>Regina Oldschool Mix 1

Would You Mind – Earth, Wind, and Fire
I Want to be Free – Ohio Players
Backstabbers – The O’Jays
Love’s Train – ConFunkshun
When Love Calls – Atlantic Starr
Wildflower – New Birth
Flowers – Emotions
Hurry up this way Again – Stylistics
Lady Marmalade – LaBelle
Give Me Your Love – Curtis Mayfield
Inside Out – Odyssey
Annie Mae – Natalie Cole
Eddie you should know better- Curtis Mayfield
Boogie Oogie Oogie – Taste of Honey
Don’t Call My Neighbor – Emotions
Our Love – Natalie Cole

Regina’s Slow Mix

Free – Denise Williams
Making Love in the Rain – Herb Alpert/Janet Jackson/ Lisa Keith
You Can’t Stop the Rain – Loose Ends
Giving my All to you – Johnny Gill
I Wanna Get next to You – Rolls Royce
Ooh La La La – Teena Marie
Tell Me If you still Care – SOS band
Everything I miss at Home – Cherelle
The Morning After – Alexander O’Neal
Go Outside in the Rain – Milara
Nite and Day – Al B. Sure
Whatever you want – Tony, Toni, Tone
Been Such a long Time – New Birth
Whatever It takes – Anita Baker
I Want to Be Free – Ohio Players.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Ja... King of UNO!

The Day... Saturday.

The time? Nine o'clock in the evening.

The house was quiet as a mouse, save for the low hum of my laptop and the soft whir of the bedroom ceiling fan. Everybody else in the house was knocked out sleep... My brother, "Milk and Cookies", my sister "Kentucky".... even my cat Oscar Tyrone was stretched out at the foot of my bed, lost in la-la land...

All of a sudden my phone rings, startling me something crazy. Even Oscar-Tyrone sat up straight, his ears in perking up, eyes wide, ready to attack... or run and hide.

I looked at the caller ID. It was the my neighbor and coworker, the Infamous Hen-Dog (who lives a few houses down the street from me)...

"Yeah, man," I answered.

"Lee, what chu doin'?"

"Looking at blogs, playing on my laptop. Why?"

Now anytime Hen calls that late on a weekend night, he is on his way over. It's always "So-n-so wanna see your house" or "I need to burn some CDs on your laptop" or "What you cook tonight, gal?". Some craziness like that.

"Ja wanna come over and play some UNO," he said.

"Dude," I said quickly. "Dude, give me about 30 minutes to get up and put on some clothes, just hold on. Come on, dude."

I had to tell him that because his convos are usually ended with "I'm about to ring your doorbell right now."

Well, I mentioned Ja. Ja is in town for the summer. Ja is Hen's thirteen-year-old son...

This has to be the happiest kid in the world. Always smiling, always polite... skipping along like a doggone smurf...

So I laughed real hard when lil Hen-Dog, Jr. strutted through my door shuffling a well worn deck of UNO cards.

Now I hadn't played UNO in years. It was the card game of choice for me and my crew back in the 80's, but Ja came through the door with his cards (which were red instead of black. When did that happen??) pretty confident about his UNO expertise.

I immediately went upstairs and woke up a snoring "Milk and Cookies". He'd had army reserve drills all that day and was pretty much exhausted. I drug his dazed behind out of bed and shoved him into the bathroom. I told him to take a leak and come on downstairs. (Okay, I still treat him like he's 3.)

I needed some help beating Mr. Ja at UNO, you see.

First of all, there were some bootleg rules. Some craziness like if you have 2 or more Draw Fours in your hand, then you can throw them all down, thereby having to draw Eight to sixteen cards. If you have a bunch of any cards in your hand, you can throw them all down at the same time.

Like I said, completely bootleg.

I agreed to these stupid rules...

I went and got my laptop computer and loaded up some old school jams. Ja knew every doggone song, and sang his lil' heart out. I thought the music would be enough to distract Ja, but it only served to get him going.

Ja started winning games, which completely unnerved me.

And whenever he was on a winning streak, or if he would win a game (which he did consistently), he would jump up and dance for a few minutes.

We played for three hours straight... Let's just say Ja got his dance on quite often.

Now, I wanted to yell, "Hey Shorty! Why don't you spin around in the middle of that dance move and close that kitchen cabinet for me" or "Hey lil' man, why don't you moonwalk over there to the counter, pick up the thing of carpet freshner and Febreze spray and throw them under the sink for me!"

That would've given me a chance to slide my brother Milk and Cookies some Draw Fours, some Draw twos... something to get that lil' joker with, but as you can see, Milk and Cookies was concentrating hard, like he was taking a test or something...

I finally surrendered at one in the morning... Poor Milk and Cookies had to get up at five in the morning to get ready for his military drills. I had to go ahead on and admit that Ja was the man... I had to give him his props...

He was indeed the UNO king of the world!

But that's alright, though. I'm gonna get my practice on...

And I'm going to give the lil' Hen-Dog Jr. a run for his title!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Relating to LadyTee's Relatives, Part II

I had a chance to hang out and talk with LadyTee's 25 year old "lil' cousin" Lil' Corey. Now we started calling him "Lil' Corey" a few years ago to distinguish him from "Big Corey", one of LadyTee's ex-boyfriends.

Now, when Lil' Corey (pictured here with LadyTee) was a little boy we use to pick on him, something terrible.

His mother would constantly yell, "Alright now, ya'll leave him along. He's gonna get big one day, and get back at ya'll."

We didn't care. Just continue to pick on him.

These days, Lil' Corey ain't that little anymore. He's 6'2, 280 pounds.

These days, when he yells...

"Move out of my way, Lee!"

Shoot, I move out of the way REAL fast. He has been known to grip one by the shoulders, and abruptly set one to the side, out of his path.

He has always been our local expert on what music will be hot in the next few years. He was listening to the Wu Tang Clan, Outkast, Ludicrous, and many others long before they became big, always screaming...

"Ya'll hear this group right here? In a couple of years, they gonna come up. They gonna be hot!!!"

Anyway, over the past 10 years, Lil' Corey has had a hard time. Both of his parents died. He dropped out of high school. He moved around a lot.

But over the past few years, he has come to me at times and said...

"Lee, don't tell nobody, but I've been thinking about going back to school and getting my GED."

I've always tried to be encouraging.
"You do that, man. That'll be real good. Do it when you ready to do it, alright?"

I think he was upset by people constantly badgering him about going back to school. I think he knew he needed to go back, but he was just going through things, trying to figure things out.

I've always told him to go back when he is ready. That way, it will mean more to him. He would appreciate it more, because it was his decision to go back to school.

So I'm proud to say, that he has obtained his GED, and is in college now, in some type of program where he is learning how to make dentures and bridgework. I saw through a lot of this immediately. Being the ultimate hip-hop expert that he is, I think that he is ultimately going to start making them grills ya'll! But he said that he is actually interested in that area of work, in making dentures, etc.

He lives near me, and I gave him a ride home one evening from LadyTee's house. I asked him about school, and if he was going to hook me up with some teeth (you know how we ALWAYS looking for the hookup, no matter what it is). All I know, it was great to hear him describe in detail how he was learning the art of making bridges, partials, and dentures. He said that his professor thought he had a real knack for it, and he had been doing well on his tests and in his classes in general. I learned a lot from him in a mere twenty minute drive.

So all I have to say is, I am proud of Lil' Corey. He's doing something he wants to do, and is enjoying it immensely. And I will be right there, along with LadyTee, when he gets his degree.

So do your thang, Lil Corey. I am sooooo proud of you! I wish you all the success in the world!

Keep repping the Westside!!!

And don't forget to hook your girl up with a gold grill, or at least some dentures!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

**Happy Birthday, LadyBug**

Yo DJ Diva, put the record on the turntable and kick me an oldschool beat...

Serenity 23, bring out a pair of your vintage heels... (no not the clear heels, honey... Put those back in your closet)

I gots something to say to our homegirl:

I'd like to wish a Very Happy, Happy 28th Birthday to one of my blog mentors...

The LB...

The LBigga...

The LBeezy....

The LBiggity...

The Ladybug!

She's one who I call the ultimate blogger guru...

I don't have a picture of the guru, who is incognito, as she is a member of the undercover SBS of America...

But she has had a really powerful influence on me all year...

She's the one who I learned the art of carefully placing *Crickets* throughout my blog posts, you see. And those descriptions of Ladylee actions lovingly placed between two asterisks? I learned that from the Ladybug, too. She is teacher, and I am a mere grasshopper. And she has always been helpful when I run up to her on bended knees and ask technical questions.

She is a PHENOMENAL writer, even though she doesn't think so. She can intertwine wit and drama so tightly, it'll make you want to slap yo' Mama!

Why, she even took time to read my manuscript... and she actually enjoyed it!

*A lone tear drops from the LadyLee's eye*

*LadyLee bowed low to the ground at the Ladybug's feet*

I'm not worthy!
I'm not worthy!

I talk to her on the phone a couple hours a week, just shooting the breeze or dropping knowledge.
I always come away from a conversations a little bit smarter, a little more wiser.

But she let us know yesterday that she is retiring from blogging... I desperately clasped for my imaginary pearls when she announced it in an email.

Someone... Please hand me a punchbowl.

*Ladylee smashing punchbowl to the floor and making tight fists*

Damn, Damn, DAMN!

(Alright, girl, I don't do that as well as Florida Evans, but psst... hey Ladybug, can you throw me your mantle, so I can do what you do?!!!)

Girl, do your thizzle... YOU do YOU...

Just stop by and visit the Oldgirl's spot from time to time, would you please...

And again, LadyBug, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Hope your 28th year is the best year EVER!!

And we BOTH know it will be...

Really though!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Older They Get...

**dedicated to Ladybug and Serenity23... I tell you both, enjoy the little cute things your young sons are doing now, because the older they get... let's just say, that stuff they do ain't all that cute... Read on...

Well, I think my brother has moved in with me... We haven't discussed it much. I told him that whenever he feels like he can leave Ma's house without too much backlash, or without fear of being dogged out, then come on over...

All I gotta say, I forgot how different it is to have a boy around the house... Geez.

He seems to be really fond of the Laundry room, mainly because I have a laundry sink in there. Now we didn't grow up with laundry sinks, but I have found good uses for it... perming my hair. cleaning out the mop after I finish mopping the kitchen.

Stuff like that.

Now my brother, Kari a.k.a. Milk and Cookies, has found other uses...

He shuffled into the house the other day loaded down with a lot of military looking stuff... guns, flak jackets, big black helmets, gas canisters. I thought we were in for World War III...

Turns out he'd been out in some field somewhere playing paintball all day.

He spent a good hour in the laundry room cleaning up all of his gear in the laundry sink. (He spread everything out to dry on one of my GOOD towels! I was quite vocal in announcing my disdain for such actions...)

But I came home last night greeted by his big smile.

"Lee, I got a present for you!!!"

I sat my bag in a chair by the dining room table. "Well, that's nice, Kari."

"It's in the laundry room. Go have a look!" he yelled.

I found him to be a bit too enthusiastic. I threw my keys on the kitchen counter and walked into the laundry room.

I jumped.

Not sky high, but I jumped. Enough for my brother to know that I was spooked.

He laughed at me so hard. I didn't see a doggone thang funny at all.

In my laundry sink, I saw this:

I jumped because I thought it was a doggone snake.

Then I thought it was a catfish. Then I saw that fin on it's back.

"D, what is that?"

"It's a shark, Lisa!!"

I looked at him. He was looking at me like I was suppose to be jumping for joy or something.

You've got to be kidding me...

"You said you liked shark, Lee!" he hollered.

Okay. He was trippin'. I had a taste of shark when I went to my high school senior prom 20 years ago. I tasted a little of my date's shark dinner, and it tasted alright. And now, he assumed that I liked shark. Geez.

"Um, Negro, where you get that thang from?" I calmly asked.

"My boss went deep sea fishing and caught it." he yelled. "Shawty, they brought back a bunch of them."

You've got to be kidding me.

"Well, boy, are you going to clean it?"

He gave me that look. That look that says that he didn't feel like cleaning it, and maybe I would clean it instead.

"Negro, I KNOW you don't think I'm gonna clean it. Man, you betta go head on somewhere with that."

"Nawl, well," he said slowly. "We'll just freeze it, and clean it later."

"Yeah, well you wrap it in Cling wrap, heavy duty foil, then throw it in a garbage bag, you hear me?"

He quietly followed my directions.

"Oh, and uh... thanks man for the gift. That was really nice of you."

Humph. I miss the days when he would run up to me smiling, saying "Look Lee, I found a worm!"

So Serenity and LB, enjoy the times when they are 4 or 5 years old. That little stuff they do... like picking up bugs and worms, that lil' boy stuff they do, it's real cute...

But the older they get?

Watch out now! No telling WHAT they will bring home!!

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Relating to LadyTee's Relatives

LadyTee, my best friend, is like a sister to me, and I deal with her relatives from time to time...

First of all, I am crazy about her mother. She has been one person that I could go to and get advice from or just to talk, without fear of backlash or it being used against me (a constant issha with my own mother). She always tells it like it is. So that's always been helpful. For some reason, she has always called me "Lisa-Anne". Not sure why, but she likes that nickname something terrible, and has been calling me that for years. She calls my brother "Dock-tari" and he has known since he was little to not correct her on it, just to answer to that name...

The funniest thing she has ever said to me... back in the early 80's/late 90's my Mama was mad at LadyTee and I was forbidden to associate with her. (We had gotten in trouble together. LadyTee is still leary of her, even some 20 years later.) I had a car and I would go over to her house and hang out anyway. They lived on 5 acres of land, and I would park my car out front in the long driveway...

LadyTee's Mama would throw open the front screen door and yell at me...

"Lisa-Anne, get your a** back in that car and park it around back. I don't want your mama driving past here and seeing your car. I hate for her to come up to this here door. I'd hate to have to throw some hot piss on her!!!"

*Ladylee walking backwards to the car,getting in, and parking out in the backyard somewhere behind some trees.*

Yeah, LadyTee's Mama is a bit... crazy like that. Just like her daughter: quick to threaten you, and quick to talk a bunch of ish! Haven't seen her throw hot piss on anyone, but I wouldn't put it pass her!

Now, I've never been formal with LadyTee's Ma... She calls me "Lisa-Anne", and I call her "Bobbie-Jean"...

...and LadyTee's sixteen-year-old son Dedric cracks up everytime I call her that...
Like it's the first time he has heard me calling her "Bobbie Jean." It annoys me when he falls out laughing about it.

He is a strange dude...

Every since he was around 1 or 2 years old, the boy would stand at the window, and yell...

"My friend, it's my friend, LadyLee coming to see me! My friend!"

This use to piss his mama off something terrible. "That ain't your friend, boy, that's my friend!"

Poor boy use to look so confused.

But these days, he likes to call me up for whatever reason... talking to me like I'm his best buddy...

And I had a strange convo with Dedric the other day...

It was a Saturday, and I was in the middle of a serious nap. (This is strange, since I rarely take naps.) I mean I was sleeping HARD! Wrapped up in my Ralph Lauren Down Comforter, head sunk deep in my down pillows, getting that GOOD sleep, straight up knocked out, snoring down!
My phone rang. I thought it was a part of my dreams. That's how hard I was snoozing.

It kept ringing. I finally got up and found the phone. It was on the kitchen counter. LadyTee's cellphone number was in the caller ID.

I sat on the barstool at the island in my kitchen.

"Sup, girl?" (I never say the customary hello to her.)

"Uh, this ain't your girl. This Dedric," her son announced in his deep baritone voice, something that I have still not gotten use to.

Now I was mad. Dude had woke me up. He was my Playstation NBA 2K5 playing partner of late, and I knew he was calling to set up some type of tournament with me. He was a video game guru, and basketball was the only game I could whoop him good in. We have been highly competitive as of late, and he is always adamant about me coming back over to his house after he'd had a chance to think about his strategies and practice his game... especially if I whooped him good in a few games in prior head-to-head play.

Anyway, I wasn't in the mood for that. I wanted to go back to bed.

"What chu want, man?" I yelled a bit too loud.

"Lee, you ever seen the Thriller Video?"

I sat there silently. Yes I'd seen the thriller video. I stopped counting at 34 times, but I'd seen it many more times than that. LadyTee and I use to stand in front of the television whenever it came on and kick out all the dance moves with ease.

"Yeah, I've seen it."

He hesitated for a moment. "I got a question for you."

"Yeah, Dedric," I exhaled as I tried to rub the sleep out of my eyes...

"Was that Nia Long who played the female part in that video?"

"Hunh?" I asked, not sure I had heard him right.

"Was that Nia Long in the video?"

I sat there, half pissed because I'd been awaken out of some GOOD sleep, and half-pissed that I'd been asked one of the most STUPIDEST question ever.

I remained calm. "Dedric, that video came out in the year 1984, I think. That's 22 years ago. That wasn't Nia Long, man. That was Ola Ray."

Then he said something that almost threw me into a complete rage.

"Are you sure, Lee? Because I think it is Nia Long."

I bit my lip to keep from cussing up a storm.

"Dedric," I said calmly. "Where is your mama at?"

"She right here."

I heard LadyTee mumbling in the background. I knew she was just as irate as I was.

"Dedric, since the video came out in 1984, that means that Nia Long couldn't have been no older than 10 years old. She was still a child."

"But Lee," Dedric countered. "I think that was Nia Long. If you look at the video-"

I didn't hear another word he said. I hung up in his face and threw the cordless back on the counter. I went and laid back down to try to go back to sleep.

But I couldn't.


I talked to LadyTee later that day. I went off on her about her son calling me up with some nonsense like that.

She was just as angry as I was. "Lee, that boy tried to argue me down. I told him,'Call Lee, she know! Call her up!!' ".

You gotta understand. Me and LadyTee LOVE old 80's music. Don't come against us when it comes to 80's music info. That is a definite no-no.

"I swear, Lee," she continued. These young n*****, you can't tell them nothing!! They got all this internet, and they can get all their info at the touch of button, and our a**** had to go to the library and flip through a f***** card catalog, read a bunch a books and STILL couldn't get all the info we needed. These young folk... I swear."

You gotta excuse LadyTee... she opens up her Book of Cuss when she get mad.

"Yeah, man," I agreed. "You just make sure your son don't call me with some old b.s. like that no more, you hear me?"

"Whatever, broad!" she yelled.

We went on to talk about something else...

Dedric called me again.


"What, man?"

"When you coming back over? I'm ready now. I've been practicing. I am ready to beat you down in basketball."

Now THOSE are the kind of questions I like.

Now that's more like it!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

'Que it up! 'Que it up! Paint it Up, Now!

Dedicated to Sharon, Ms. Just Write Now, since I missed the party of the year at her house...

*LadyLee still wailing and crying because she couldn't go*

This Memorial day weekend, I did the darn thing... I pulled the grill out of the garage and into the driveway (I don't have a deck, ya'll), and I did a little grilling.

Now I know you all know about this...

I have taken to grilling some andouille sausage (can't shake old New Orleans habits) and italian sausage. I rarely throw ribs on the grill, but I figure I can freeze some of it and eat it on fourth of July.

But for some reason in the past couple of years, I have been grilling a lot of shrimp. (And if I find a good shrimp sale? Watch out now!!)

Now those shrimp were marinated in a chipotle pepper marinade, and they came out very nice and spicy.

But I got the bright idea to make up a thick basil marinade for some "green" shrimp. Yeah, they were good, but um... I need to work on that marinade a little bit more, maybe sweeten it up a little. They didn't have much of a kick or distinctive taste, but they looked pretty good!

But I bet ya'll don't know about THIS~

Barbequed crab legs, baby!!

Nope, I didn't cook all this food for myself. I packed the majority up and took it over to my Auntie J's house. I also snapped some green beans the night before and cooked those up with some small red potatoes very early on Memorial Day morning (gotta have my veggies, mayne!).

So needless to say, we had a good time. My relatives especially loved the 'qued up seafood.

I talked with my Auntie for awhile. She is an artist, a real artsy type, occasionally doing a little oil painting and drawing. She brought out a nice oil painting of a flower that she did in only a day.

She has been itching to do a nice oil painting to go over my fireplace, and has been talking about various ideas. I, of course, am of no help in this process...

"Auntie, you can paint the Tide detergent box Logo or the Arm and Hammer logo if you want! I will still hang it on the wall!"

This makes her cringe... She, like my sister, is such a Diva...

But that is the gist of my Memorial Day. I didn't go to work the next day because of a hellacious sore throat (probably aggravated by all that barbeque smoke. Ugggh!), so that was a downside.

But just thought you may have wanted to see what I got into... Enjoy!