Friday, September 28, 2007

Food for Thought? Maybe.

Ok... this is Friday.

I am ready to go home... But I think I will spend most of today cleaning off my junky desk...

My boss, the Darth Sista T, has been yelling:

"LadyLee, I can't find that paperwork!!!!"
"LadyLee, blah, blah, BLAAAAAH!"
"What do you want me to do Darth Sista, snap my fingers and make it appear out of thin air?"

So, I have to clean off my desk, and search for the paperwork FOR THE THIRD TIME.

(Update: She found the paperwork. I gave her the gas face.)


So, here's a pic of what's going on with my cabinet above my desk:

Yeah, there is a lot going on, LOL. There are lots of stuffed animals and porcelain knick-knacks. Those were birthday gifts over the years.

There's a sticker from when I was called to jury duty. I don't know why I've kept that. I think I brought it to work to show my boss that I wasn't lying about jury duty. I didn't want acting all ignorant, saying I was AWOL. You gotta watch these management types, man.

I was reading a book a couple of years ago, and it had a gazillion words that I didn't understand. So I made a wordlist, and I add words to it sometimes. That list has been taped up there for a couple of years.

I have a VERY strange habit of saving the stickers from my fruit, and pasting them on a post-it note. VERY strange indeed. There are even some fruit stickers on the cabinet. Strange. I may need psychological treatment for that.

There's a small bottle of tea tree oil, just in case an Oldgirl is a bit ashy, as is often the case.

There are also several jars of organic babyfood. I am a food chemist, and I use these as "blanks" for little things I have to do in the lab. I know they are pretty much chemical-free and all. Thought I should explain that, because **crickets** fly whenever people see those.

We got some jacked up magnets from our supervisors a few years ago that read "You are appreciated... THIS MUCH." There's a girl with pigtails and she has her arms stretched a bit to wide. We thought this was the funniest thing in the world. I remember someone taking a marker, going around to each one, and coloring the little girls so they would be black.

We were all thinking... Oh gee, thanks for the magnet.

I was thinking... Can I get a raise or a promotion?

Guess not. The magnet will have to do.

But my favorite, my very favorite item on top of the cabinet, is a can of "Dr. LadyLee".

No, it doesn't say "Dr. LadyLee". But it does contain my real last name and my title.

I first saw these canned drinks at a Whole Foods store in New Orleans. I was down there doing a Postdoctoral Fellowship for a couple of years. I thought they were cute. (Dang, there's something with my name on it!) I bought a couple of six packs and took them to work.

A small frenzy occured.

"Sign one for me, LadyLee!!"

So I started signing cans with various slogans, like "Keep your Head Up" and"Keep Hope Alive!"

All of a sudden, I'd come to work, and there would be a sack of "Dr. LadyLees" on my desk. I was CONSTANTLY autographing cans. I remember an Asian dude looking for me, someone I'd NEVER seen before, knocking on my office door, creeping in and asking... with a can he bought himself in his hand...

"Uh, Excuse me... Yes, I've seen people with these cans. They say you sign them. Can you sign one for me?"

*Ladylee looking at dude suspiciously, wondering if he should even be in the building*

Everyone just HAD to have their can of "Dr. LadyLee".

One chick, a fellow Doc, had me sign some with the phrase "To hell with them ALL!!!"

That's a bit, uh, harsh... Really though. But, it was warranted. It was our battle cry.

There were only three of us black Ph.D.'s there at that particular workplace at the time, and we were HATING life. I mean, we were being treated like crap and all of us were looking for a FAST way out of there. Me, I just started out with a few words, just speaking some faith out there.

"I'ma find me a job ya'll, and I'ma get outta here. I am not staying down here with ya'll. There's a job out there for ME!!"

"Yeah right Doc, you ain't going Nowhere!!" was the common response, along with cracks on my thick southern drawl.

I didn't care what they said. I just kept yelling about how I was getting the heck out of there.

Well, I eventually got a job. The other 2 Post-docs got jobs and got the heck out of there also.

Whenever I look at that can of "Dr. LadyLee", I remember one thing:

Nothing's permanent. Everything's like a hairdo... temporary. Heck, life is temporary. You were born. One day, you're gonna die. TEMPORARY.

Even those cans of "Dr. LadyLee" were temporary, as they were discontinued a few months later.

I must've signed quite a few cases of those cans. But now, I only have one can. I've kept it on top of my cabinet for the past 6 years.

That can reminds me not to panic. Everything's temporary.

If you are in a slow place in life, or in a place you just don't want to be?

Remember... It's only temporary.

Sometimes you gotta say, like my fella Doc... To hell with them ALL!

Or be like I was at that time... Get your mind set on where you WANT to be.

...and know that your present situation is only temporary.

Have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Non-Blog Meme Tag

Guess what, Party people...

I've been tagged.

Ick. Don't like tags. Don't like tags. Don't like tags.

But, if I get tagged, I usually do them. And you know how longwinded I tend to be.

I was tagged by Rosemarie, Ms. Miscellaneous Matters herself. This tag confused me a bit for a moment, but I think I understand what is required of me...

The Rules:

1. After your intro, copy/paste this line and the rules below it: The originator wants to see how far it goes so please keep his link intact:

2. Encourage people to post with the incentive of a link by including those who have passed it along here:(Your link here and so on . . .)

3. Visit at least 3 on the list that’ve written and passed this meme. Leave them a comment..

Damien at Riley Central says, "Today I hereby unblog my mind with this post. One reason MANY of us writers get writer’s block is because we don’t nurture the things that give us joy. We spend too much time on the computer trying to write when we haven’t done anything worthy of writing about! To illustrate what makes me tick, and what gives me pure joy I am choosing 3 things I enjoy more than blogging and writing about them! Pick three things that enrapture, consume, fascinate, or otherwise enliven you more than blogging. Then write a few lines about each to explainwhat the nonblog activity does for you, why and how."

Well, now... I really like to blog, but there are a few things that I enjoy more than blogging:

1.Writing- Now, ya'll know I like to write A LOT. A whole lot. I am a member of the world's best Inspirational Journal Writing group. I am also currently taking writing classes. I have completed the first draft of my manuscript back in March, the infamous Sweet Heat, and I have several short stories/novellas (Leaving Jersey, Fancy That, My Special Auntie, Daddy Matters, etc.) at various stages in the works...

I think my teacher has an issha with me... She looks at me with hooded eyes and pursed lips when I turn in one story, and she expects continuation on another. She wants me to concentrate on ONE piece, and make it the best it can be. I like to jump around a lot from story to story.

Teacher: "What about Leaving Jersey, LadyLee? I miss Danielle! I worry about her, and what happens to her!"
LadyLee: "Uh, I ain't feeling that right now. I want to work on my Fancy That story."
Teacher: hand to chest followed by... **silence**

She's gonna jump up and punch me in the face one day.

I had the NERVE to turn in the revised first chapter of my beloved 1000 page, 273,000 word Sweet Heat.

Teacher: "It's chick-lit, it's romance, LadyLee!!"
LadyLee: **LadyLee grins hard like Celie**
Teacher: "Place Leaving Jersey on the front end of this Sweet Heat chapter. That would be interesting!"
LadyLee: ** LadyLee's Celie grin melts into a Gas face**

Yeah, she's gonna pick up something and knock me upside my head someday...

I think she has a point though. I accept that she knows better than me, because Lord knows, I have learned A LOT from her. I'm just an impatient broad. If I hit a tough spot in a story, I will set it aside and let it marinate for a minute, and work on something else, until I am ready to come back to it. Don't know if that's a good or bad thing, but it seems to be my funky way of doing things... Hmm.

Let's just say... the Oldgirl likes to write! Perhaps a bit too much...

I have my first all day workshop coming up in a couple of weeks, so I am nervous, but at the same time happy about that. I am beginning to see a little improvement, and I am doing better at seeing and fixing problems in my writing.

And that's a good thang!!

2. Reading - I love to read... I try to read a good 40-50 books a year. Haven't read as much as I should this year, because I have waaaaay too many other activities going on. It looks like I'll probably read 30 books this year. Two of my favorites have been Khalid Hosseni's A Thousand Splendid Suns and Martha Southgate's Third Girl from the Left. Hopefully I will come across more that'll knock my socks off like those two did.

It is difficult for me to read books these days because I start looking at the style of the writing. I may find something that will help me with my own writing, stuff like that. So I tend to get bogged down and read slow... That keeps me from reading like I want to read.

My writing teacher stresses that our writing class is a "hard fiction" class... (**Ms. C looks and squints at directly at LadyLee when she says that**). I am suppose to read "hard fiction" and leave my usual fare alone. So she knows I like black writers, and wants me to read some Toni Morrison. I looked at her, **crickets** all up in my eyes. Toni is a bit too hard for me, and I ain't ashamed to admit that. But I read one of her books last year (because Tayari suggested it, and ya'll know I do whatsoever the Queen says), and it was, um, interesting, but required toooo much concentration to read. I read for ENTERTAINMENT, ya'll...

But maybe I will try to read a little more "hard fiction"....

3. Music - I love music. Good music. I am slightly narrowed-minded when it comes to the music I like... I like a LOT of Old School music. I outright REFUSE to listen to today's urban radio, and can't tell you a current popular song or catchy lyric to save my life.

No, I favor old school music. I can usually remember the state of my life at the time each song was popular, so I must say my love for old school is more from a nostalgic perspective. I also create a music list according to what I am writing at the time, something that relates to the mood of the story. My stories usually have a character that loves certain songs or music in general.

And ya'll know that I am always quick to break out with some Mixtapes. LOL!! Really though.

Alrighty then... that's that... I have completed my tag!! Hooooraaaay!!!

And who shalt I taggeth?

I tag the apples of my eye- my three wonderful, fabulous, successful, smart, intriguing, wry, lovely, incredible Blog Sistas:

My #1 Whoadie, The LBeezy.
Super-duper shoe queen blogger and wine mistress Serenity23.
That unbeweavable Chick on the wheels of steel, THE DJ DIVA.

Ya'll broads go head on and get that done, ya heard me???

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Librarian, the Chocolates, and Mary J. Blige

I like my workplace librarian, Regina, who we affectionately call "Aunt Reggie"...

She's always happy and full of glee. She works in the adjoining building, but comes over to visit us a few times a week. We can hear her as she walks our halls, the click of her heels fast and steady...

"Hey ya'll!"

"Hey Everybody!"

Yes, we can hear her coming from a mile away.

The click of her heels and her joyful greetings are our "signals", though. It is a cue to yell over to my cubicle mate, The Cowgirl Cre...

"Cre, here come Regina. Put up the chocolate!!"

I keep a "candy bucket" on my desk.

I am a sucker for the minature Dove chocolates. I bring them in and put them in the candy bucket because if I don't, I will eat them all, and I get sick if I eat too many sweets. So I save a few for myself, and put the rest in the candy bucket. The problem becomes that the chocolate disappears VERY fast.

One of the culprits is our friendly librarian Aunt Reggie. We struggle hard and fast to put away the chocolate Dove candies. I only sprinkle in 4 or 5 at a time amongst the peppermints, but that disappears fast, especially if Regina is around.

It is kind of like how, in the movie Friday, Chris Tucker and Ice Cube would put up their gold chains every time Devo rode up on his bike.

"Cre, here she come. Get the chocolate!!!"

We commence to digging out the 4 or 5 Dove chocolates buried amongst the peppermint candies. By the time she gets into our cubicle area, Cowgirl Cre and I have both turned back to whatever we're doing.

"Hey Cre, Hey LadyLee... How ya'll doing?"

"Fine," we reply in unison.

She proceeds to dig into the candy bowl. "You got any chocolate?"

"N'awl," I reply.

"Oh, okay."

Sometimes she catches us off guard, and gets all the chocolate. This is why we started the 4 or 5 chocolate limit in the first place.

One day she said something insane. . .

"LadyLee, I'ma bring in some chocolate."

Cowgirl Cre and I looked at each other and broke out laughing.

"No, for real... I'll bring in some."

We laughed harder. She walked away.

We didn't see her for a few days, but when I was working back in the lab one day, I heard her come in.

"Hi everybody, I'm looking for LadyLee? Has anybody seen her?"

I was sitting at a lab bench, making up some samples. I ducked down, and squinted hard, trying to hide from her. She is the fundraising queen, and I just knew she was about to come harp on me about making something for some special event, or at least coax me into attending some special presentation.

Some crazy coworker yelled "She's over there, Regina."

(Note to self: Make sure to go off on co-worker.)

I got up and walked over to her.

"I got something for you, LadyLee."

SHOCKING. All I could say was "Oooooooh! Ooooooooh!"

"Girl, I told you I was going to bring in some candy!"

And she surely did. She brought in the good stuff. I walked down the hall with the candy. I think 2 or 3 people hit me up for a few pieces while I was on the way to my desk.

So I put the good stuff in the candy bucket. And it was all gone in a matter of 2 or 3 days. I think I only had one piece myself. Regina came over looking for it, and was disappointed to see it all gone...


But anyway, my Happy Librarian is taking a trip to New York this week, and whenever she goes on trips, she requests music (click here for the "the Librarian Mixtapes" ). She came over to my cubicle area a couple of weeks ago and requested some Mary J. Blige music. She has requested it before, but I never got around to it. It's always funny when she wants music, because she never simply asks for it...

She has to act it out.

"LadyLee, give me some of that 'What's the 411, hon?'"

She backs up and sings erratically, stomps her feet and flails her arms all about. It's a sight to see. Cowgirl Cre and I watch all of it unfold, then always give each other the *cricket* stare.

Well, I'm a huge Mary J. Blige fan, and I have most of her music on my laptop. So putting together a little sumthin' sumthin' was not a problem.

So... your wish has been granted, Aunt Reggine... Here's a triple CD playlist of Regina's MJB favorites.

Mary Mix #1

Leave a Message
Real Love
Love is all we Need
No One Else
Changes I've been going through
I'm the Only Woman
Mary Jane (All Night Long)
You Don't Have to Worry (Remix)
What's the 411?
Reminisce (Remix)
You Bring Me Joy
Be Happy
Let No Man Put Asunder

Mary Mix #2

A Dream
My Life
Your Child
Slow Down
Sweet Thing
Not Gonna Cry
I'm in Love
I don't want to do Anything Else
I never Wanna Live without You
Be with You
Our Love
Seven Days
Don't Go
Wake Up

Mary Mix #3

Be Happy
Share My World
Be Without You
You Remind Me
Take Me as I Am
Beautiful Ones
My Love
Love No Limit
I can Love You
I'm In Love
I'm Just Mary
Keep Your Head

Now, while she's in New York, she'll be picking up her 95 year old aunt, and they will be doing a bit of traveling together. I told her, her aunt is gonna be like "What the...?", if she play too much Mary...

So I also threw in a gospel CD for dear ol' Auntie... .

So, that should keep you straight, Aunt Reggie!!!

Be safe... and have a nice Trip:)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Laundry Room Lectures

Whenever I wash clothes (usually twice a week), I always think of Dakari (our favorite snack who we affectionately call here on my blog "Milk and Cookies").

I know I miss him much, that's for sure... He's in the Army, stationed at Fort Ben.ning in Columbus Georgia, close to a couple of hours from Atlanta. I hear that he is going to Texas soon, and going through "Jump School" for paratrooper training. (Of course he doesn't tell me these things directly, because I get overly upset about this whole army thing...)

Yeah, I miss him, but that ain't the reason I think of him when I do laundry.

He lived with me during the summer of 2006... and all kinds of craziness took place in the laundry room...

For one... I came home one day and there was a freakin' shark in my laundry sink. Scared the hell out of me. (Click here for "The Older they Get...")

If that wasn't enough, he had this thing for paintball.

He liked to lay out all of his stuff on the ironing board and the washer... on top of MY towels.

He'd bring all that mess home and spend much time in the laundry room scrubbing and washing out paint stains. Then he would put his nasty paint ball clothes in the washing machine. They would leave dirty residue all in the basin of the washer. Goodness. He'd look at me like I was crazy when I would get on him about it...

But one day, he pissed me off...

I went to wash clothes, and their was only enough detergent for a couple of loads.

It was time to have a talk with Milk and Cookies.

He was lounging on the couch with the remote control, flipping through channels, just enjoying life.

"Hey, Shawty."
"'Sup, Lee."

"Check it out," I said. "I wash clothes around here."
"Okay," he responds.
"Your sister wash clothes around here, too."
He nods.
"Shawty, don't you wash clothes up in this house?"
"Yeah, Lee."

I waited to see if he got the point. He went back to watching television. I wanted to snatch that remote from his hand and go upside his head with it.

But I was cool.

"We got a system going on around here. Now, when I go to the store, I get a thing of detergent. When Kentucky goes to the store, she gets detergent if we are low."
"Okay," he said.

Then he goes back to watching television. I wanted to jack him up, but shoot, dude is tall and solid. He's not 5 years old anymore.

"Look here man, do you wash clothes in this house?"
"So that means you need to do your part and pick up some laundry detergent."

He gets this look on his face, like I just told him to fly to the moon or something.

"Don't look at me like I'm crazy, Kari. You need to go get some detergent. There's a little left in there, enough for me to wash, but you need to do your part."
He sat up straight. "Uh, where do I buy it, Lee?"


He almost got tackled. But I held my cool.

This boy is so spoiled. Our mama has always washed and folded his clothes for him and cooked all of his meals, even now. I taught him how to sort, wash, and fold his own clothes when he was 14. (Wow, Lee, it ain't as hard as I thought it would be!") I even taught him how to do a little cooking. But our mama still babies him. I know it was a shock when he stayed with me, because I didn't do none of that for him!

"Kari, I don't care where you go. You can go to Wal-mart, or you can go to that bootleg Grandmas Kitchen store down the street on the corner across from where the dealers sell their dope. I suggest you don't go there, 'cuz the detergent is going to be real expensive, and you don't want to get caught up in the usual dope boy shoot-outs."

He looks at me like I'm crazy again. My nostrils flare. But I still maintain my cool.

"Lee, what kind do I buy?"
"Dude, I don't care what kind you buy. The easiest thing to do is go in the laundry room, look up in the cabinet where we keep the detergent and see what kind it is."
"Okay," he said.

Later that evening, while I was washing dishes, I saw him go in the laundry room and grab the yellow container of Arm and Hammer detergent from the cabinet. He read the front, shook it up, and even opened it up and smelled it. I thought he was studying it a bit too hard, but oh well.

As long as he got the point of our little "discussion".

Anyway, the next day, he ran up on me while I was laying across the bed watching television.

"Lee," he yelled. He held up a Wal-mart bag and yanked the container of Arm and Hammer detergent out. "I bought the detergent!"

"Good," was my simple answer.

He looked disappointed.

What was I suppose to do, give him a doggone pat on the back?

"This stuff is expensive, BLAH BLAH BLAAAAAH!" he whined.

I pretty much ignored him. Arm and Hammer is one of the cheapest brands. He would've had a stroke if I would've told him to get some Tide or All temperature Cheer.

He didn't buy any more detergent after that.

It wasn't that he didn't care or anything...

It's just that he went on active duty with the military a month later.

So when I wash clothes, I think of the boy, and our little "discussion" about him doing his part in the household...

I surely wish he was here now so I could yell at him!

Miss you, little boy:)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Babysitting Blues

I came home one day from work, with all my stuff in tow, struggling with my keys to open the front door. I opened it, and I saw this child.

I look to the left and then to the right, then back at her.

"Hi," she says.

"Uh, yeah," I reply. I look up to see my sister Kentucky standing in the kitchen. She immediately responds to the... inquisitive yet strained look on my face.

"This is my boss' daughter."

"Uh, when she going home?"

"Oh, they went out to dinner for their wedding anniversary, and they'll pick her up tonight."

I didn't say anything. I just went on into my room.

One thing about my sister Kentucky...

She loves the children, and the children love her. Heck, I am suprised she don't have 4 or 5 of her own, LOL. She likes to keep them... but she usually keeps them somewhere else besides my house. This was the first time that a kid was roaming around.

When I come home, I like PURE QUIET. The problem is that Kentucky and I work the same time shifts now, and that ain't possible. So I had to deal with this child running in and out of my room asking many questions of me as I lay across the bed.

"Where's the cat?"

"Why did you take your shirt off?"

"What you looking at on TV?"

"Where's the cat?"

(Oscar-Tyrone was hiding way under the bed... He wanted NO parts of the kid.)

My response to such questions was "Kentucky, can you get her?!!"

They hung out in the house for awhile. I was aghast when I saw them both sitting on my white sofa.

I don't even want to talk about that...

We all went outside. Kentucky wanted to take her to the park, but shoot, it was 100 degrees outside. I told them to stay on the front porch, in the shade.

Then I saw this:

I think she had 2 pairs of these shoes laying around, because I almost tripped up on a pair laying in the middle of the living room floor (sigh). I went outside because Mr. Thomas, a local, was cutting my grass, and I needed to pay him. He tried to talk to the little girl, but she responded with

"Don't you talk to me, you Old man!"


Yeah, she said a lot of crazy stuff that evening. And worse yet, she was noisy, which drove me nuts...

By the time her folks came to pick her up, I was fast asleep. Part of me wanted to stay up just to see the parents, and let them know how off the chain their kid was.

But I didn't do that.

I asked Kentucky... "You gonna keep her again?"

She responded with a hard "NO!"

Wow. Kentucky meets a kid she don't care too much for... that's a first!

Yeah, Kentucky... test the kids out on their own turf.Let's not test out the babysitting gig at my crib no more!!


Friday, September 14, 2007


So, I have completed my personal goal of posting all week long. Good for me! And this is the last post of my week long journey!

Will I do it again? Would love to if I wasn't so doggone longwinded!


Ya'll remember awhile back that I mentioned that I'm in a street gang...

THE TRIPLE F POSSE, a.k.a. "The Financial Freedom Fighters"

Financial Freedom Fighters... ACTIVATE!

We even have gang signs, as lovingly demonstrated below by my brother Milk and Cookies.

Yeah, they're some strange gang signs, but uh... whatever. FFF Possee in full effect, ya'll!!

I am a member of a book club that has several offshoot groups. I LOVE this, as there are lots of things going on that fulfill needs in my life. One of the best is the finances group. We get together and talk about our finances, etc. Mind you, this group started off with over 20 women, but now, it's down to 7. As you can see we are sticking in there. I myself have paid off 30.5% of my debt, and have a goal of 40% by the end of the year. So it is helping, ya know?

But our leader, Erica, became debt free (minus the mortgage), on August 4th. No credit card bills, no car payments... all that ish PAID OFF.

Get down Erica!!!

She is a great listener, is nonjudgmental, and tried to hip me back in January on what I need to do to pay things off. Of course, I was hardheaded as hell about some radical things. I whined alot. I know she wanted to pimp slap me, but she didn't. She just smiled, and kept it moving. I admitted to her in June that if I would've did what she said, well, I would've been debt-free my ownself! HUMPH.

That's alright. She is a shining example of where I want to be financially. And that right there is enough to make this Oldgirl get her butt in gear.

Really though.

Man, I was so happy for her that I sat down and wrote a short story. I wrote it in 10 minutes, and have spent about that much time editing it, so uh... 'tis a bit rough, but lovely nonetheless!

So here's the story I gave Erica for her Freedom day!!

"My Name is FREE"

LadyLee was standing outside one sunny Saturday afternoon, arguing with one of the locals over the price for cutting her front lawn. He’d just finished and she was counting out a bunch of one dollar bills into his hand, when she noticed flashing blue and red lights.

Policemen on motorcycles were lining the street.

“What’s this all about?” LadyLee asked. She couldn’t have this right now. She was hosting the Financial Freedom Fighters meeting, and the ladies would be arriving at any moment. She lived in the hood, and cops were the norm, but this was a bit over the top.

The local shrugged. “They must be lookin’ for somebody. And don’t pay them no mind. You just keep counting out my money.”

LadyLee finished counting out the money. They stood there and watched as one of the policemen hopped out of his car and sat out bright orange cones at the end of the street to block it off.

A long white limo slowly slinked up the street. It came to a slow stop in front of LadyLee’s house.

“Who that is?” the local asked.

LadyLee squinted. “I don’t know, man.”

The limo driver jumped out of the car and ran and opened the back door.

A stocking clad leg emerged from the car. A white stiletto shoe hit the ground hard.

“Oooh, who is that?” the local asked again.

“Shut up,” LadyLee hissed.

The limo driver held out his hand, and grabbed the hand of whoever was in the car. Must’ve been somebody rich, because there were diamond rings on every finger. LadyLee shielded her eyes from the bright sparkle produced by the sun’s reflection off the rings.

Music began to play. LadyLee couldn't quite name the song, but it was so Ol' school Diana Ross, possiblyWho’s the Boss or I’m Coming Out.

“Dang, whoever that is got their own theme music,” LadyLee whispered.

The local began popping his fingers to the beat and dancing. LadyLee just stood there and watched.

The woman, dressed head to toe in a white jumpsuit, slid out of the car and the limo driver stepped out of the way. She held her hand in the air, obviously waiting for something. The limo driver removed a single cigarette from his breast pocket, and placed it in a slim cigarette holder. The woman took it from him, raised it to her bright red lips and took a long puff. She exhaled, expelling perfect smoke rings into the air.

“That chick right there sho nuff bad,” the local yelled.

LadyLee elbowed him in the side.“Shut the hell up, man."

The woman moved out of the way so that the limo driver could close the door. But instead, he reached inside the limo and retrieved a long white mink coat. She stood tall as he draped it over her shoulders. He placed a matching fur hat on her head.

“Who in they right mind would put on a hot ass fur coat and hat in hundred degree weather?”

“Shut up!” Lee said again, not taking her eyes off of what had to be royalty.

The woman slowly walked down the driveway towards Ladylee and the local. Even though it was hot, the woman was calm, cool, and collected. Not one drop of sweat was on her perfectly made up face.

LadyLee swallowed hard. Didn’t know what to say. This lady looked familiar, but LadyLee couldn’t place her. It looked like Erica, the leader of the Financial Freedom Posse, but she wasn’t sure.

“What your name is?” the local blurted. LadyLee didn’t scold him this time. She wanted to know who this rich woman was, too.

The lady took her time answering. She took another long puff from the cigarette. She exhaled gray smoke into their faces.

“My name is,” she began. She took another long draw from her cigarette.

"My name is FREE," she exhaled.

“Hunh?” LadyLee aksed.

She took another drag of the cigarette and blew smoke into LadyLee’s face. Wind blew through the tall pine trees. It was as if the trees were applauding this woman.

“My name is FREE,” she repeated. “As in FINANCIALLY FREE. DEBT FREE.”

The local smiled hard. "Go on, gal! You know you bad!"

LadyLee didn't say a word. LadyLee bowed so hard that her lips kissed the ground.

The END.

Congratulations Erica! I hope to wear my fur coat in the hot sun and be just as FREE as you have become!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

LadyLee, Kentucky, and Milk and Cookies.

They say a picture is worth a thousands words...

Well this one here is worth far more than that...

This is the only professional picture of myself, my baby bro Milk and Cookies, and my sister Kentucky that was ever taken. It was taken back in 1989, when I was 19, Kentucky was 6 or 7, and Dakari was somewhere between 15 and 20 months old, I believe.

I was supposed to take the picture with my boyfriend Eli, but we had a big argument the day before. So I got up, put on my favorite lavender shirt, my favorite silver herringbone and silver hoops (ya'll know ya'll kicked the silver back in the day!. I got Kentucky and Kari together and we went down to Zayres on Ol' National Highway for the free picture.

The photographer got us all set up. Then he made a comment that rubbed me the wrong way.

"You got started pretty early, didn't you?"

I had to keep myself from kicking the hard eyeroll. It has always disturbed me that people always thought that my brother and sister were my children.

"No, this is my brother and sister."

Kentucky smiled. The photographer looked at me like I was telling a lie. I wasn't going to argue with him.

Then my brother told his first joke ever.

"Yes I is, Lee!!!"

... The photographer took that to mean that he was my child.

Apparently, my brother had picked up on this "irritation" that I would get when people asked me if he was my son. And I guess he decided to make light of it.

As a result, the photographer gave me a look that said
"You should be ashamed of yourself for lying like that."

Milk and Cookies burst into a fit of giggles and bounced up and down on my lap, arms flailing and yelline...

"Yes I is, Lee! Yes I is, Lee!"

Took all I had to smile for the picture. When it was over, I snatched them up and got the hell out of the photo area with the quickness.

Milk and Cookies soon forgot about this when I put him down on the floor. You see, he hadn't been walking for long, and had just figured out how to run, so I spent some time trying to catch up with him while he took off down wide open aisles.

Later, when the picture came back, Kentucky was running around talking about she put a curse on me. When you put your arm on someone's shoulder like that, it apparently meant that you were putting a curse on that person.


(Where the heck did she get THAT from? We never figured it out. I was looking at her sideways for a long time after that.)

And that's the only professionally taken pic we have together. It is hanging on our mother's bedroom wall. I have one other picture of us together, our arms around each other at our grandfather's funeral. I have no idea what I did with it. I just remember that my brother was just a bit taller than us there, nothing like the baby he was in the pic above.

Maybe we will go take a family picture together again... someday soon.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


This post is dedicated to my beloved blog sistas Serenity23, The DJ DIVA, and LB (aka LBoogie, LBeezy, the LadyBug Mocha). Ya’ll are CONSTANTLY picking on me about some of my more private tales, stuff we discuss over on the email thread. It amazes me how much you chickens REMEMBER and laugh about… and here’s more ammunition for your guns…

(Don’t worry girls… I keep it clean. DJ DIVA and S23—I am warning you. (You too, LB) I will tolerate NO rough comments from you. Get on the thread and talk ish instead, like you ALWAYS do. LOL!)

I like it when LadyTee and I attend church together...

The biggest reason is because I get a chance to see her. We rarely go to the same services. She likes the late service, and I like the early service. So most times we miss each other. However, we do talk about church later on in the day, trade up notes, etc…

Second, she knows my ways. If we go to church together, she can look up the Bible verses and I can concentrate on my notes. She don’t care about this arrangement, because she’s going to copy off my paper anyway. LOL.

One Sunday, me, LadyTee, and her Baby Daddy Big Corey were sitting in church listening to the sermon. My pastor said turn to James 3:6.

I nudged LadyTee.

She didn't move. She just sat there, hands resting on her Bible.

And then she whispered something.

I was wondering if she was praying or something. I gave her a moment (all of five seconds) to wrap up that little prayer, then nudged her again. I nudged her again.

“Tee, turn to the book of James, chapter 3,” I whispered. I leaned over and tried to help her out by quickly flipping the thin pages of her big bible. My head was a little closer to her as I leaned over

She whispered something inaudible into my ear.

I didn’t know what she said. All I heard were the words “usher” and “hot”.

I glanced her way. She had a sly smile on her face.

"Turn to the book of James, man!" I whispered.

She bit her bottom lip. “Lee, the usher is hot.”

I frowned. She nodded in direction of the aisle, a full grin threatening to spread across her face.

There, in the aisle, approximately 10 feet away, stood the most beautifullest black man on the planet. He wasn’t tall, but tall enough, about 5’10”. He was chock full of muscles, so many that he looked like he would bust out of that suit at any minute. He looked liked he may have been an all star running back back in the day. If someone would have happened to hand off a football to him, he would know exactly what to do.

But he was just standing there in the aisle… gripping a box of tissues in one hand and offerring envelopes in the other…

…and he had the one characteristic that LadyTee knows that I love…

He was Hershey-Bar dark. As a matter of fact, he was several shades past Hershey bar dark.

Made me want to jump up and yell “GLORY!”

It was one of those moments-- Me and LadyTee sitting shoulder-to-shoulder, eyes squinted, staring at this beautiful black man.

“The Usher is hot,” LadyTee whispered once again. I heard each and every word she said THAT time.

She knows how much I love jet black men. I always have my digital camera on hand, but left it at home... I surely needed my camera THAT day.

We both glanced over at Big Corey, hoping he wouldn’t be looking at us. He was paying close attention to the sermon.


Maybe he could fill me and LadyTee in on the important points we missed…

Yeah, we stared at the brother, as he walked slowly back and forth up the aisle, for all of five minutes. It briefly crossed my mind to raise one finger in the air so that he would walk our way. But I think both LadyTee and I would have passed out on the spot.

Then we got our heads and minds back straight, realizing we were in church. I began taking notes again. LadyTee went back to finding bible verses.

On the way out of the church, the Hot Usher was standing in the back. LadyTee nudged me again ("He is hot, Lee.") We both stared him down on the sly.

We couldn’t talk about him with Big Corey there. No need for LadyTee getting cussed out in the church lobby.

But we laughed about it later.

“Lee, I can’t believe you didn’t notice dude. I saw him before you did. And you know I can’t stand dark men.”

(Yeah, LadyTee likes her men who linger around the “high yella” to redbone stages.)

“That dude been hanging with 50 Cent!!” she said later on the phone. “You know he hot if I’m looking at him, because I don’t like no charcoal black men like you do, Lee. But his body was like 'WHOA'".

So, now we see the usher all the time. I actually ran up on him and asked a question. (Don’t worry, it was a legitimate question).

And his voice… made me pause.

Low, deep, and smoky. Dark, just like him.

And of course LadyTee and I discussed this later, LOL.

"Tee, the dude voice is like "WHOA""!

"Sure is," she said. "I ran up on him and asked a question already."

Naw… I ain’t trying to run up on the brother. And LadyTee wasn't either (She continuously reiterates that she can't stand no dark man, LOL). He can’t be a day over 30, and I, at age 37, don’t want no parts of a younger man. Besides, LadyLee don’t be jocking negroes at church. That’s not my reason for attending worship services...

It’s just that sometimes…

It is nice, you know…

To see a hot Usher.


Just a nice little story… something funny for you on this Wednesday morn.

Have a nice day!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I Remember...

In Memory of "9-11"

Everyone remembers exactly where they were on that tragic day...

I was on travel at the time, and stuck in Denver (click here for post).

I think what stuns me about tragedy is this...

A horrible tragedy occurs... and that is bad enough.

What gets me, and what runs much deeper, is the residual effects resulting from such a tragedy.

This thing here that happened on 9-11 some six years ago? It's still affecting those directly and indirectly connected to the tragedy. Husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends and neighbors were lost in the blink of an eye....

Fear was instilled in the hearts of people. Now that's a serious residual effect right there, the residue of which will be with us for years to come...

So I remember... and I say a prayer of those who were affected in any way by the events of 9-11.

In other words...

I say a prayer for us ALL.

Monday, September 10, 2007


I'm going to do something unprecedented this week:

I am going to post something every single day.

Yeah, that is weird for me.

Which means, uh... you gonna see some SUPER SHORT posts!

Ya'll know how long winded I am, so that is a super crazy stretch...

And no pics... just ish on my mind... Can I do that?

I don't know!

We'll see...

Anyway... things heavy on my mind and have me tripping out lately:

So you know, my personal DJ, THE DJ DIVA, lives in the same city as me now. I am ecstatic about this. I mean, she lives less than 20 minutes away! I would love to be allllll up in her face, but I am busy as hell these days. We seem to talk on the phone twice a week, and usually she calls me up - which makes me feel like ROYALTY. (I am very strange in that I don't like calling people AT ALL). I've only seen her twice, and man, I tell you, this is one person that feels like family, i.e., I ain't all super quiet and nervous around her. I am free to be me. And it is a good thang when you meet people who you click with like that, you know??

We were on our usual email thread a couple of weeks ago, and someone asked the DJ DIVA what was the most fun thing that she's done since being in Atlanta.

She said, "The funnest thing we've done so far is see LEE!!!!! And that was fun!"


That left me speechless.

I sat there thinking... you have GOT to be kidding me.

I sent out quite a few emails saying simply "dayum".

It was quickly followed up with "Nucca pluease~ U know you funny as hell!!!!"

I didn't know what to say.


Because I am about as much fun as a root canal.

And for someone to say that about me?

Leaves me speechless.

I don't do things that are considered fun. I don't drink, I don't smoke, I don't hit the clubs. That stuff is soooo twenty-something to me... Been there and have done MUCH of all that.

I am extremely solitary. I like quiet VERY quiet activities. Noise and crowds unnerves me something terrible. I like to read a book. I like to sit down and write. I like to crochet and work word puzzles. Anything that is quiet and therapeutic at the same time gets the thumbs up from me.

(I am such a nerd.)

It's always a shocking yet pleasant surprise when someone says something nice like that.

LadyTee said something one day, a few weeks before Memorial day, that left me speechless. I'd had a long day at worked (working on a Saturday! UGGH!), and was bone tired and I must say, just a little depressed. I picked her up after work, because we were going to do some running around for meat for our Memorial day barbecue. She wanted to hang out at my house with me, which I didn't understand really, because I just wanted to sit my ass down somewhere and be quiet.

Well, I pretty much left her to herself that evening. I believe she was over for about 6 hours or so. I think I kind of shuffled around the house that day, sitting in my favorite chair and working on a story for a few hours... and getting lost back in my bedroom looking at my own TV while leaving her out in the living room. I fried up some fish for dinner, and did a little housecleaning. I may have spent an hour with her at the most, but I was just pretty much wiped out that day and wanted to be alone... I mean, I think I even took a 2 hour nap or something.

I apologized to her the next day.

"I'm sorry, Shorty... I was just tired and a bit to myself yesterday. Sorry I wasn't that much fun."

She said "Lee, you know I don't care. I enjoyed myself so much. Just to be in the same house with my best friend. Nothing like it, girl. I was just so happy to see you and to be with you."

Shoot, man... That ish had me all teared up.

Left me... speechless.

I think about intangible things like that when I am not feeling all up to par or a little out of it...

Things that leave me speechless always lift my spirits.

Friday, September 07, 2007

A LadyLee Holiday, Part II: "The Country"

For part I, see A LadyLee Labor Day.

So I went down to the country with my homegirl Cowgirl Cre...

Now, Cowgirl Cre got a BUNCH of kin folk. I've known her for well over a decade, and have hung around her Mama and dem house a lot, especially since Daddy Cre has been my auto mechanic for years and years.

When I attended her wedding several years ago, one of her uncles swore that I was related to them.

"You sure you ain't some kin to us? You look like us."

I couldn't convince Uncle Cre that I wasn't. I still don't think he believes me when I say "No" to this very day.

So they know who I am.

But I had a plan, just in case I was asked who I was or was told to leave... This get-together in "the country" was Cowgirl's Cre's Daddy side of the family. I thought about telling them that I am Mama Cre's niece. If that didn't work, I was gonna say that Daddy Cre was my auto mechanic and that makes me family.

But I had a better idea... Cowgirl Cre's husband is Timmy-Tim, and he's a white boy.

I'll just tell these folks that I am Timmy-Tim's cousin.

LOL!!! That would surely raise a few eyebrows.

I told Timmy-Tim to go along with it. We've been buddies since I was a teenager and he in his very early 20's, so it might as well be true.

The drive to "the country" wasn't that long. I wanted to memorize the way there, but as with every trip to "the country", once you get off the interstate and go down a gazillion roads, well... no need to keep track of where we are.
I took a crochet project with me, and before I knew it, we were there. (Who would have known that "the country" could be an hour and a half away from Atlanta?) When we got there, we were accosted by several of her relatives. Cowgirl Cre has a BUNCH of uncles, and I was somewhat able to remember most of their nicknames. They all found that amusing.

There were a load of kids down there. One asked me who I was.

"I'm Timmy-Tim's cousin."

One of them gave me the "whatchutalkinboutWillis" look.

"Are you Timmy-Tim's 4th or 5th cousin?" one inquisitive child asked.

"I'm his first cousin."

**Inquisitive child gives LadyLee the hard eye squint**

She went on to point out to me that Timmy-Tim and I aren't the same color. She had a good point, so I told her it was a joke. I didn't want to scar the poor child for life!

Enough of me trying to trick people... Didn't want to get escorted from the premises.

One thing I know for sure... There was a load of food. A LOAD!!
I didn't take many pics of the food. I knew that people would think I was crazy as hell for snapping pics. (Cowgirl Cre, don't bring that gal back down here with you no more!!)

One of the Uncles was in charge of all the food. I didn't get a pic of the load of ribs he grilled because they had finished grilling for the day by the time we got there. But he was kind enough to allow me to snap a photo of him standing next to his prized grill...

I only had a couple of ribs... but damn, they were GOOD!!

Let's just say the Oldgirl had a serious case of the "itis" after eating a couple of ribs and all the fixings. I was in serious need of a cot and a pillow, that's for sure.

A bunch of people yelled that they were going to Wal-Mart. Even though I had the "itis", I really wanted to go. Wal-marts in "the country" have the best selection of yarn. But Cowgirl Cre and her cousin Chris shook their heads vigorously.

"Don't go with them, LadyLee!!!"

I was saddened by that. I needed more yarn. However I was glad I didn't go. Those negroes didn't come back until four hours later. (Is it actually possible to stay in a Wal-Mart that long!?)

After we had sat around and talked for awhile, and everyone was good and full, someone broke out a deck of cards...

You know... I really like cards. But I prefer poker, thump, gin, Uno, and Old Maid. I so much wanted to play with them. I even expressed such sentiments to Cowgirl Cre.

*Cowgirl Cre stares at LadyLee. Cowgirl Cre frowns hard and gives LadyLee the gas face*

"Uh, na'll Ladylee... You don't want to fool with them."

I didn't understand why Cowgirl Cre would say such a thing. It was a lovely family gathering... Her peoples were so nice.

Surely they could teach an Oldgirl how to play some Bidwhist, right?
*Cowgirl Cre gives LadyLee another HARD frown*

Let's just say... I understood what she meant after uh, watching the game unfold for awhile. I ain't NEVER heard so much trash-talking in my entire life. Negroes were cussing HARD over that game. I understood VERY quickly that I would've caught a MAJOR beatdown if I'd tried to walk into one of their Bidwhist games without FULLY understanding the fundamental concepts...

They were smoking cigarettes, and Cowgirl Cre's Cousin V broke out the vodka and champagne.

Heck I don't drink, but I even had a little of the champagne. I had to have some... The bottle was so very pretty. (Never fear... the Oldgirl only had a tablespoon.)

Cousin V told us not to fret over the champagne, because she had a whole case in her car. She even sent Cowgirl Cre to retrieve a fresh new bottle, which was placed in ice cooler with the sodas.
Cowgirl Cre! You cheesing a bit too hard while holding that bottle of champagne! Wassup with that!!?

Yeah, between the vodka and champagne, they were most definitely getting their drink on! LOL!

Now, they did something I have never seen done before:

They barbequed during the day... Then they had a fish fry that night.

How the hell do you have a barbeque and a fish fry in the same day???

I don't know... But this is something Cowgirl Cre's fam does. She has told me they do this in the past, but I thought she was just playing. While the card game was still in high gear, Uncle Cre came over to our tent and said...

"Look here now, I need ya'll to go inside and bring out more ribs and get that fish ready to be fried."

The guys got up and brought out a whole truckload of frozen ribs to be defrosted (Yeah, they were going to barbeque AGAIN the next day).

After a bit more cussing at the card table (The card game abruptly ended when Cousin V shouted VERY LOUDLY to another cousin "Get your narrow ass up so we can go get the fish together." Uh, this scared me. I backed up from the table after that altercation), they actually broke out a witch's kettle of grease and about 40 pounds of Tilapia and commenced to frying...

Of course, Uncle Cre was in charge of the fish fry.

Uncle Cre was frying up the fish, ya'll...

And he just kept on frying and frying and frying....

There was fish everywhere... I didn't know that there was that much doggone fish in the ocean...
(Don't ask me where that Turkey leg came from... It appeared out of nowhere. And I didn't ask any questions.)

We ate fish, sat around and talked a bit longer and left. (It took a good hour just to say goodbye to everybody!). We arrived back in the city around one in the morning.

All in all, I had a nice time. There were tents set up outside. I can't stand the heat, but luckily, it was an overcast day and very cool. Someone even set up a tent that they use for the graveside services at funerals (*crickets*). It was enough to protect us from the drizzle, so that's cool.

And what's even more amazing is that they do this for FOUR days straight. So Uncle Cre went to sleep that night and got up and barbequed chicken and ribs and fried up much an ocean full of tilapia allllll over again...


So hanging with one of my best friend's family was most definitely the highlight of my Labor Day weekend...

And you KNOW...

I gotta get back down to "country" real soon!!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A LadyLee Labor Day...

I don't know what's going on with me...

But, back in the day, I use to like to cook for the holidays.

Or at least go over to Grandma's house and do the darn thing. For the past few years, I've been going over to Auntie Joyce's house and chilling out with her. But lately, I have gone into hermit mode on holidays, especially this year. I sure miss the days when I was younger, and our family was close-knit. I've spent the past few holidays alone or with friends who bumrush me, LOL!

Plus, since the Opressor is working me like a Hebrew Slave, ANY little time that I DO get off, I like to sit on my tail alllllll day and relax. These days, that means putting a dent in some serious writing, sitting on the sofa working on various crochet projects, catching up on some reading and of course...

Taking in a LAW AND ORDER marathon...

*LadyLee cheesing real hard like Celie*

Yeaaaaah, baby. Law and Order is like crack, man. Can't get enough of it. It got so bad around my house on Monday that both me and my sister were looking at it and discussing some of the episodes in depth.

We are such nerds.

But alas... that is my idea of fun. At least I ain't out smoking, stealing, or shooting up folks...

Really though.

Anyway, I laid up on the couch and watched that most of the day. Took a quick trip to the Farmer's market for my fruits and veggies for the week, came back home and WATCHED MORE LAW AND ORDER!!

I didn't cook. Had some leftovers.

Yeah, I had stir fry... and it was leftover from last week. A little shrimp stir-fry goes a very long way.

I was almost tempted to cook, though. But the temptation left very fast. That blur of thought occurred when my personal DJ, THE DJ DIVA, who lives in the ATL now, called me up last week.

"Hey girl, why don't you cook for the holiday?"
**Lee laying back on the bed staring at the ceiling fan, contemplating cooking with the DJ.** "No."
"Come on Leezie... cook for me and the twins!"
"Cook, Lee! We can cook and play cards and-"
"DJ, do you realize that I hardly get any time off? I'm gonna sit in my house and stare at the wall."

She didn't bug me about it after that. Yo chick, we gonna get up soon...

Just not on my day off.

But never fear, we will do the darn thing... someday...

Believe that.

But while at work that Friday morning before Labor day, my friend and cubicle mate, the Cowgirl Cre, asked me if I wanted to go down to "the country" with her and her hubby Timmy-Tim.

Now, those of you who are NOT from the south may not know what "the country" is. This is what we city folks refer to as traveling far out of the city, usually to a relative's house. One will usually see open fields and cows and ish like that as one travels. One must also take some insanely long backroad to whereever one is going. One will eat a lot of food down in"the country".
And when gets dark out, it's pitch black dark because there are no street lights.

That is my best explanation of "the country".

"Come on Lee. Come to the country with us"
LadyLee looks at her suspiciously. Don't she know LadyLee needs her day off to herself??
"I'll think about it."

She almost got the "my only day off" spiel. We discussed this in depth for a good hour or so.

Well, I decided to go because they were leaving around 1 in the afternoon on Saturday, and coming back around midnight. That was cool with me. That still gave me some time off.

Because ya'll know how I feel about my time off.

So I went to "the country" with the Cowgirl Cre...

To be continued...