Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Word of the Week: "Breastfeeding" Part III

click here for Word of the WeeK: "Breastfeeding" Part II.

So, I was being FORCED into training 'Tom'.

I must admit that this depressed me. For the past 6 years, I've had very minimal contact with 'Tom'. And it was the type of contact where you hold the door open for someone... that type of contact. Let's just say, I don't talk with the dude AT ALL. And that's easy since he worked the weird hours.

I sat down with Tom and explained my method of training and what we would be doing. I'm not sure how he felt about that (correction: I didn't give a dayum how he felt about that) since he always has this pained expression on his face. I just wanted to get out that these are the rules, and this is the way I've done it for 6 YEARS. If the methods work, they work, and no need to change it up.

I am a good teacher. I create exercises, give out DETAILED instructions... everything. I will sit with you and teach you until you understand.

So I showed Tom "step one" of the process. When I show someone "Step one", then they stick on step one until I think he or she is ready to move on to step two, etc...

This fool here wanted to learn more.

"No," I said flatly.

"Okay," he said.

10 minutes later, he asks, "Ladylee could you show me how to do blah, blah, blah?"

I stare at him. "No."

"Okay," he said again. He nodded, his expression still pained.

This occurs 3 more times. That last time, I just walked off.

I went and talked to my boss.

"Look here, I got your boy started. Dude don't seem to understand the meaning of the word 'No', but I got him started."

She gave me a pained look, because she knew I was gearing up to talk MUCH trash. But I was calm. I went on about my business...

... and talked to some fellow coworkers about him, who have more experience with him.

"Man, this fool wanted me to show him how to do blah, blah, blah," I yelled. "I had to tell him 'no' five times."

All of the coworkers I talked to said basically the same thing.

"That's the way he do, Ladylee. He's real passive agressive. He thinks he can wear you down."

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Kidding. Me.


That was an interesting bit of information to have. Very interesting. Mind games. That ain't good. That ain't good at all.

So, the next day, when it came time for Tom to deal with the instrument, he did some things wrong. I am the type that works close with you. I told him to come get me when he was ready. Nope. Tom decided to do his own thing.

He didn't mess up anything serious. It's just that we have a pretty stringent data naming process. It has worked for all of us for 6 YEARS, so uh... why not stick with the process?? This guy did some intricate naming. Very intricate. Ugh.

I ran up on Tom. "Tom, go change the data names. It shouldn't take long, but you have to change it."

He wanted to debate me.

"Man, change the names like I said. I showed you what to do, do it."

He was still trying to debate.

I AGGRESSIVELY told him again what to do. He said he would. Then I walked off.

The next day, when I checked his stuff, he did not do it. I stormed into my boss Darth Sister's office and WENT OFF!

The gist of it was... "What's wrong with that dude? Is he retarded or something?"

There was a Loooong drawn out rant on my part. I can't STAND when people don't follow directions! Shoot man, you don't have to like me. At least respect your fellow coworkers. And his not following of directions was gonna throw everything off.

My boss paged him and he called her back. She told him the situation. Tom tried to act like he didn't know what she was talking about.

And what was a trip... when I talked with Tom, there was a witness standing there that heard the whole thing. Wow.

I REALLY got pissed then. I started yelling while she was on the phone with him. I ended up walking out.

What's worse, I was told to go correct Tom's work. I had to take time to go fix what he didn't feel like fixing. Hmmm. That is NOT good.

Somehow, the next day, I ended up talking to my boss' boss. I showed this woman my instructions, and told her that they need to talk to him or something. She looked at everything and basically came up with some excuses for Tom.

"So, you telling me that he don't have to follow instructions? So that means none of us have to follow instructions, right?"

"No, no, LadyLee, blah, blah, blah."

Pissed me off, once again, and I started getting loud.

"Okay, LadyLee, don't let this get all up in your head and all."

Not sure what that was suppose to mean.

I had an acting supervisor that day, since my boss was out. She was in the meeting, and uh, I think I scared her. Oh my!!

But, uh... the major point I wanted to get across to them.. and I KNOW they tired of hearing this!

"Ya'll a bunch of breastfeeders! And I ain't breastfeeding that dude!"

Thank goodness I didn't see Tom in the hall that day, because he would have gotten throttled.

It turns out now that I have to document everything when it comes to him now. It has to be on official paperwork and everything. That really bothers me, because we are all intelligent people, and it shouldn't take all that. We didn't even know that there WAS any official training paperwork to fill out. Why? Because none of us is stupid, and can follow intstructions.

But some people aren't all that intelligent. Some people are breastfed, and it looks as if they can do whatever they want to do.

I made a mini-threat the other day. I told my boss if Tom messes up again, he is banned from my equipment, and he needs to come talk to them, and someone needs to then come talk to me. They can write me up, whatever. Someone needs to come up in here and let me know the reason for all the special treatment or something.

Yeah, that is harsh. But management has railroaded me and thrown me under the bus WAAY too many times, and uh... let's just say... the Oldgirl won't be breastfeeding Tom. And I'm like this... you gotta catch the craziness at the root, at the beginning when it first starts. If I have to go head to head with Tom, then hey... bring it on. He WILL be following instructions, or he can go jump in the lake.

Now, it's been said that Tom files a lot of grievances and lawsuits. (I'm not sure why... it ain't like he work as hard as the rest of us). I HOPE that is the reason for the special treatment. And it look real suspect that he's not the same uh, "complexion" as the rest of us. Hmmm. I'm not sure. My boss seems to think he walks on water or something. I told her they need to just stick him back off in the cubby hole he's been in since I've been here.

My cubicle mate Cowgirl Cre and I make jokes about the breastfeeding issue. We close our jackets to protect our breast... We run up on each other saying "Here's a tissue, girl... wipe your mouth! You got a little breast milk on your mouth!"

I've been threatening to make sucking noises at Tom if I ever see him roaming around. That wouldn't be good. Dude might think I'm blowing kisses at him. LOL!!

But, there is nothing worse than brownnosers or breastfed people.Nothing.

I know you know some breastfed people.

I hope you are not one.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Word of the Week: "Breastfeeding" Part II

Click here for previous post "Word of the Week Breastfeeding Part I."

Like I said, the word of the week is "breastfeeding."

And it doesn't have much to do with the previous post.

Well, come to think of it, it has everything to do with it.

I told my boss, The Darth Sista T, that I was going to do a blog post on her and her breastfeeding isshas.

She peered at me curiously for a moment and then it registered with her.

She rolled her eyes so hard that I thought they would roll out her head. There was a HARD sigh of exasperation. She squinted at me, and waved her fingers in my direction.

"Drama, LadyLee... drama, drama, drama!" she whispered.

I gave her the Celie crooked two fanger point while slowly backing out of he office.

I've been trying to come up with a way to describe "breastfeeding".

Let me first give MY definition of a term we are all familiar with: Brownnosing.

Brownnosing (I have no idea how to spell it, especially since I am NOT one), is when an employee kisses up to an employer for whatever reason (favoritism, promotion, etc., etc.). To me, it goes a bit deeper than that. One kisses a$$ when they know they HAVE to do it, because they are sorry as hell, lazy, or their own abilities are lacking so they GOTTA do something to stand out. And it can go as deep as having a self esteem issha.

I have no respect for brown nosers. I have pure and utter disdain for them. You'd do good to stay away from me if you are one.

Let's just say "Breastfeeding" is the direct opposite, i.e...

...When a boss brownnoses an employee.

Got that?

My best friend LadyTee says "Girl, that happens all the time."

I guess it does. But I just don't notice it much, I suppose.

Is that actually possible? For a boss to do EVERYTHING to make an employee comfortable and happy, almost to the point where the boss appears to be delusional? Even to the detriment of the group itself?

A little story for you... and you know how longwinded I can get. LOL!!

I am a chemist and I work in a lab. We have this dude (We'll call him "Tom") on our team at work who pretty much gets to do his own thing. I mean, I've been here on my job for 6 years, and I'm still not totally clear on what his purpose is. He works weird vampire like hours, and I think he does research. Sometimes we never see him. (When people ask "Where's Tom?" we all burst into a uncontrollable FIT of laughter.)

This dude even likes to go on the side of the building and smoke. We pontificate about what he is smoking. Who knows? If I, the Oldgirl, was sneaking off on the side of the building smoking, I would probably be face down on the ground in handcuffs. Hmm. That don't have much to do with this post. Just thought that I would throw that in there.

I'm like this: I don't really care what you do. As long as you stay out of my way, and it doesn't interfere with my paycheck? Handle your business. Get over as much as you can.

But I have noticed for YEARS, that dude is exempt from group meetings, and just doesn't have the same requirements as the rest of the team. Now, if I'm one second late to a group meeting, my boss is paging me. But I was telling someone years ago, I didn't understand why I gotta go to group meetings, and this dude does not.

I've been known to yell "Yeah, I'll get there when 'Tom' gets there."

Well, lately he has been required to come to meetings. And we all peer at him curiously, because he has been exempt from everything. Hmmm...

I remember a couple of years ago (and we still joke about this), he was whining hard about the way people dealt with labels and wanted it done a different way. He wanted them placed on tubes a certain way, so he could remove them the way he liked.

My thoughts later, when discussing with various colleagues, were "Ya'll crazy as hell if ya'll do things the way he wants. I would make it even harder for him!!"

Well, we've been shorthanded in the lab. And my boss threw dude in the mix. YIKES.

I walked in the lab one day, and almost stumbled when I saw him. It is a bizarre enough sight to see dude in the lab working. I have never seen this dude do regular lab work. And on top of that, there are NOTORIOUS stories of him destroying equipment. Ugh.

Like I said, as long as you stay out of my way? Do YOUR thang.

Anyway, the "stay out of LadyLee's way" mantra only lasted for so long.

My boss called me into her office one day.

"LadyLee, I need you to train 'Tom' on the instruments."


It took a minute to register with me... But the hard frown set in after a moment.

"Okay, don't trip LadyLee!"

"Man, I don't want to fool with that dude! Darth Sista, you always breasfeeding him!"

**Boss Darth Sista T kicks the extra hard eyeroll.**

She hates when I say that!! But shoot, it's the truth.

So after much of my yelling, talking of MUCH trash, and scratching of walls (I would've flipped a desk over if I thought I could get away with it) etc...

I was FORCED into training 'Tom'...

To be continued...

Monday, October 29, 2007

Word of the week: "Breastfeeding"

I had my boss in tears the other day over some of my breastfeeding stories.

No, I don't have a child, and never had the "breastfeeding" experiences.

But my mother breastfed both my brother and sister. I'm old enough to remember helping her sterilize the bottles on the stovetop. I also watched her do the breast pump thing, so that her babies would have milk when they were at the sitter and she was at work. It always amazed me that whatever Ma ate, that was what the milk would look like. So if she got down on some collard greens the night before, then the breast milk would have a green tinge to it.

Funny- she ate a bunch of prunes one day, and the milk was a bit dark, almost like someone had spooned a little Nestle Quick over in it.

And let's just say my sister Kentucky had a bit of diarrhea over the next couple of days!

Mama frowning up. "Oh Lord, what's wrong with the baby? She sure is running off today."
**Lee standing to the side next to Mama, frowning up as Mama changed the diaper for the umpteenth time.**
Mama face twists in shock. "Oh no Lee, I ate those prunes yesterday!"

LOL!! At least Kentucky's little system was squeaky clean!!

But there are two interesting incidents I will never forget...

Every Sunday morning, my Mama would cook a huge breakfast: grits, eggs, sausage, pancakes, bacon, biscuits, and the like. I just LOVED Sunday morning breakfasts, especially after fooling with cereal most of the week.

Anyway, one morning the biscuits were particularly good. I myself preferred toast with breakfast, but I remember my stepfather saying "Lisa, these biscuits know they good!"

So I tried one.

As a matter of fact, I think I had two.

I remember later that day, running up on my Mama...

"Mommy, those were some good biscuits!"
"Glad ya'll liked them," she said. "I didn't have any milk, and I wasn't gonna make biscuits. "
"I'm glad you did," I said.
"Yeah, I used breast milk for the biscuits."


I don't even remember what I said. I just stared at her. I wasn't even in the kitchen when she made breakfast that morning. I only remember her rolling out the biscuit dough and cutting them with the biscuit cutter, but I didn't see her mix up that ish.

I stood there staring at her, hoping she would laugh, say she was joking, something... but she didn't. She went back to watching television. My stepfather and I just looked at each other...

It was a LONG time before I ate any of my Mama's biscuits again. A very long time.

Believe that.

And let's just say we made sure that there was store bought milk in the house from then on.

I must've thought about that for the next 20 years or so everytime I ate one of her biscuits.

Another time... There was a time when I thought we had a leaky roof. I would be sitting on the floor, playing with my poodle chihuahua mixed dog, and I would feel liquid hit my ear, to the point where I would swipe at my ear with my hand. I remember staring up at the ceiling. There were no wet marks on the ceiling. I also noticed that the dog would slowly creep out of the room during this time. I think this went on for weeks. I was 11 or 12 years old at the time.

Then one day, I was sitting on the floor of my Mama's bedroom, playing with the dog, and happen to look over at my Mama.

Oldgirl was squirting breastmilk across the room at me FROM HER BREAST. She caught me straight in the face that time.

There was no leak in the ceiling. She was messing with me. She fell out laughing when I feverishly wiped at my face with my hands.

Now, I was no more than six feet from her...

Who woulda known that breast milk could be squirted that far away...

Man... that right there is running right up against abuse!

But like I said: "Breastfeeding" is the word of the week.

And it really doesn't have anything to do with this post.

Stay tuned for part II, tomorrow.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Foto Fridays, Part I

I've been wanting to do a day of photos, as I have waaaay too many pictures laying around. So as a result, we will try out something new: "Foto Fridays"

I was clearing out my digital camera this morning, and came across a bunch of interesting photos...

Cake! My sister Kentucky loves my double chocolate coffee infused cake. I think I've made this cake about 5 times since last Memorial Day, always at her request.

I was about to leave to go somewhere one day (as always), and she ran up on me, saying "Lisa, if I give you my debit card, could you make that cake?" She got the hard eye squint, but I made it for her nevertheless, after a quick trip to the grocery store with HER debit card. (I got a few items for myself too. I bet she won't give me her card again, LOL.).

I forgot to purchase pecans, though. So I had to do the bootleg and grind up some Planter's party nuts for decoration instead.

My only stipulation is that she gets the up out of the house, like take it to work and share with her coworkers or something. For some reason, she don't like to do that. I thought I taught her to SHARE, but I guess that lesson didn't take hold.

Kay's been doing that lately... wanting me to make something for her right then. I wish she would tell me, like, a week in advance or something. I try to tell her how to do it herself, but she looks at me like I'm crazy, i.e., "I ain't making it, Lee! YOU do it!"

Hmm... I guess I'll just keep doing little things like that for her.

Grandma's Kitchen. Here's a pic of the bootleg store in our neighborhood, Mc.Gru.der's, i.e. "Grandma's Kitchen".

I've been in the neighborhood for 2 years, but have only gone down there once. I needed some flour or something, and was too lazy to drive to the White people's Kroger on Moreland, so I went there. For some reason, I thought I would have to walk up in there with a few weapons, but it is actually a nice place... That dayum SMALL bag of flour cost me over 2 bucks, but it is a convenient little place.

I had a shindig at my house a month ago, and I told my sister Kentucky to go there and get some ketchup and mustard, as I thought I didn't have enough.

"I think I'll walk, Lisa."
"Uh, Kentucky? You should drive."
"No, it's nice out. I think I will walk."

That store is down there where the dope boys sell there wares, and where people just stand around for no reason. Poor Kay got harrassed the whole walk there. Let's just say she's not walking down to Grandma's Kitchen anymore.

Burnt! I like my chicken with a little burn on it... but this right here is ridiculous!!!

This right here is more like it!! (That right there is for YOU, Ms. Hope you find that Texas style barbeque you searching for up there in Charlotte!)Tub! I love my bathtub... It's got the bootleg jets and all. I'm down for that. I took this pic a few days after me and Tiny finished painting the bathroom.
Nothing like a warm jetted bath, a good book, and my fantasy football paperwork. Heaven indeed!

Oscar-Tyrone. One thing I like about my cat Oscar Tyrone: that boy know he know how to relax.
We can all learn a lesson from him. I got a busy weekend coming up (as usual), but I DO plan to find a few minutes of time to lounge around.

That's it for now... see you next week, and have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Fiya$tone Blues Part II

In the previous post, I talked about my car being stuck at a Fiya$tone TWO states away.

And Fiya$tone is NOT my friend.

It is as if they like to say... "Let's mess with LadyLee today!!"

Anyway, I got home on Saturday night, took my meds, and went straight to bed. Hopefully, they would kick in while I was asleep, and I would wake up feeling better. So I got up the next morning, and called the Charlotte Fiya$tone around 10:00 a.m. I told them that I wasn't leaving until they got the part. It would take me 3-4 hours to get back up there, and my car better be ready. I called a few more times, and they said they had the part, and to come on up... My sister Kentucky was supposed to ride with me, but I told her to just stay home. It was her day off, and it would be silly for her to be on the road with me for damn 8 hours.

So I left at 11:30 a.m. and get there around 3:30 in the afternoon. I was gonna return the car at the airport, catch a cab, and get my car... I thought I could at least be back by eight that night.
So I called beloved Fiya$tone.

"Is my car ready?"
"Uh, no."

I went off on them. They explained the situation. The part didn't fit, and they ordered another, blah, blah, blah.

I hung out in some cell phone parking lot at the airport. I don't remember what I did (that's just how pissed off I was). It's weird when you lose track of time and space like that. I think I fooled around with my checkbook a little more, trying to move some money around, etc... I called them back again. They said they had the wrong part AGAIN.

I said a few choice words that I won't repeat here.

I thought that this was some mean joke, and that they just HAD to be messing with me. So I decided to go up there and have another stare down with them.

By the time I got up there, they had the new part on the way.

One wise guy mechanic said, "So you drove back to Georgia last night, and you drove BACK up here."

"Uh, yeah," I said. "I need my car."

"You're CRAZY!" he yelled.

It took every bit of restraint I had not to just haul off and smack him. I thought about it though, because being arrested would not be a good look.

I stared at duded, and thought about how I probably make 3-4 times more money than he did. That calmed me down.

"I need my car," I said, real slow like.

"Another part is on the way," dude said. He pointed to some boxes on the floor. "There are the other 2 parts that didn't fit, right over there."

I didn't even look to where he was pointing. I just walked out. I went and sat in the rental car, and listened to a football game on the radio. They called me on my cell phone some 30 minutes later, letting me know my car was ready. They even gave me a discount, which was a good thing, at least.

I got my key, paid for everything, and left in the rental car. I returned the rental car, and caught a cab back to Fiya$tone.

The cab ride... That was a trip.

Ya know... 9/11 sure did a number on my brain. I have to work REAL hard not to stereotype folks. But there is always that initial "Uh-oh" moment. I gotta work on that!

But I was riding with a dude name Abdullah, and he was on his cell phone the whole time talking to someone in Arabic, or whatever language it was. And he sounded all angry, too. I didn't know WHAT was going on. He and I were having a HARD stare down in the rear view mirror.

I wanted to ask him SO bad "Just who are you talking to??! What the heck are ya'll talking about??!"

I wiped my fingerprints from the door handle with my t-shirt, just to make myself feel better.

I gave him a credit card for payment of the cab fare. He had the nerve to go off. "They charge me 10% for credit card transactions, blah, blah BLAAAAAH!"

Man... I didn't have any more fight in me.

"Well, they said you take credit cards. That's all I got."

He keeps snapping. I'd been fighting and arguing for the past couple of days, and I was SPENT. I just let him trip out. He was gonna have to take that credit card, or let me go free of charge.

"They said you take credit cards, man," I repeated.

He charged my card and threw it back at me. I took it and got the heck on.

I got my car and left. I think I got back to Atlanta in less than 3 hours. I am REAL suprised that I didn't get several speeding tickets.

Not sure what I learned from my ordeal. I can't say that I won't drive my car out of town anymore. I've had 2 other road trips within the past year, and there was no problem whatsoever. I do know that I need to keep large sums of emergency cash on hand. It is a very rare thing for me to use credit cards, and they came in handy for covering some of the stuff, but I have to keep the emergency fund fully funded if I plan on doing any traveling.

But LadyTee talked to me that morning, before I left for Charlotte. She was worried because she hadn't heard from me. She called and noticed that I sounded a bit sickly, which I was. She listened as I coughed and whined and whined... and whined some more.

She let me know that overall, just be thankful, because things could always be worse. I'd been thinking about that before she called, when I had first awaken, and everything was quiet and calm.

I am glad she reiterated such a thing.

All in all, my Fiya$tone ordeal is over, over, over. I am SURE if I hadn't given them such a hard time, my car would STILL be sitting there. It is going to take a minute to get back squared away financially from it, because the Oldgirl took a HIT! But that's cool.

And hopefully... I can avoid fooling with Fiya$tone again in 6 years!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fiya$tone Blues Part I

So like I said, in the previous post... I spent a lot of money up in Charlotte. Nope, I didn't go out on the town and party and drink and all that. Like I said, I was just going up there to support Super shoe queen blogger S23 and Ms.Blackliterature. com's book club meeting. Got up there on 3/4 of a tank of gas and er'thang...


When we first got up there, maybe about 10 miles away from S23's house, I noticed a slight shake in my steering wheel. Then it got worse, where I noticed a shake/knocking... something concerning my right front tire.

No big deal, I thought. Sounds like a busted belt in the tire. Afterall, I did hit two potholes going 80 miles an hour in South Carolina. (Note to self: write a lettter to South Carolina DOT and let them know their highways SUCK, SUCK SUCK!! Fix the dayum streets!!).
I'd just ask S23 if there was a tire place around.

LadyLee: "S, is there a tire place around here somewhere."
S23: "Yes, there's a Fiya$tone up the street."

I felt like someone had kicked me in the gut. I immediately got sick to my stomach.

Man, Fiya$stone is NOT my friend. I've had major problems with Fiya$tone.

Now, some background. My Mama likes Fiya$tone, and has always gone there. So, I started going there when I got a car, and quickly figured out that I needed to leave them alone because I was being ripped off left and right.

And like clockwork... I have to deal with these fools every 6 years. It is eerie, but it is the truth.

12 years ago, I had a one person sit-in at the Fiya$tone in Union city. It was like they were holding my car hostage or something. I don't remember what was wrong with my car, but I would call and ask if it would be ready. They's say yes, and then I'd catch a bus there and it wasn't ready. After 3 days of this, I jumped up on the counter and sat there, and wasn't gonna move until I got my car. They thought I was joking, but after an hour of sitting there... uh, they got my car together. And as expected, they charged me some outrageous price for fixing my car.

6 years ago, when I moved back to ATL from N.O., I needed a new radiator. They kept my car for a dayum week. I ended up going off on them, especially since my ish was squeaking like crazy afterwards. Cost me 500 bucks. Shoulda been half that, but we talking about Fiya$tone here.

I vowed to never deal with them again. EVER.

Well, here I was, in Charlotte, 2 STATES away from my mechanic. And I had no choice but to fool with Fiya$tone. So I went on up there.

I had no choice. And I got angry about that, before I even walked up in the place.

I got there at about 4 p.m., and told them what I thought the problem was, and they said that they would look at it. But they told me that they would look at it by six, so that meant I had to sit in there for 2 dang hours. I know Fiya$tone. If you don't sit there and stare them down, they sort of forget about your car. So I sat there and worked on a crochet project that I'd brought with me.

Around 4:45 p.m., they said that I did have a busted belt in my tire, but I also had a messed up CV joint.

"I had the CV done 6 months ago. Some cone shaped thingy was replaced," I said.
"That's the CV boot, ma'am," the mechanic replied. "Your joint is busted."

**LadyLee squinting hard, eyeing him suspiciously.**

He proceeded to draw diagrams to convince me of the problem.

"Okay, well fix it," I ordered. "I gotta get back to Atlanta tonight.""We can't do that. It's too late. We can order the part and have it fixed tomorrow.""No, you don't understand," I replied. "Fix my car now."
**LadyLee nostrils flaring. LadyLee contemplating another sit-in.**

That's when I started straight tripping. Let's just say they started calling auto parts places. Everything was closed. I kept tripping. They got a little nervous then.

"Well, I need a rental car. I will just come back tomorrow. Ya'll better have my car fixed when I get back."


They laughed about that, because they thought I was joking. Another hard stare down ensued. The guy made a few calls. The rental car place was closed. (He called Ente.rprise. "You know, they'll pick you up, Ms. LadyLee!")

"Ent.erprise is closed, but there's an across the way." He pointed to the place, located in the shopping plaza.
"Well, call them."
"I wouldn't use them. Their cars break down."
"Well, I'm just telling you." He proceeds to tell me some long drawn out story about the place.
"So call somewhere else."
"Those are the only two."

I got quiet then, because I had to think. We had a long stare down. Hmm... Charlotte has only 2 car rental places in the WHOLE city.

"So," I said, as calmly as possible. "You mean to tell me there are no more car rental places in the city of Charlotte?"
"No," dude said.

My ears immediately got hot. He had to be joking. I went ahead and just assumed he was stupid. That way, I could refrain myself from lunging across the counter and strangling him.

"Dude, I have to go home, TONIGHT."

He got on the phone and started calling people. He got off the phone and smiled. I thought he had me a car. But he didn't.

He handed me a card. "I got you a free hotel room."

**LadyLee's nostrils flaring.**

I quickly racked my brain. Uh, I don't remember asking for no damn hotel room.

"You do have an airport here, don't you?" I asked, again trying to remain calm.
"And, they do have car rental places, don't they?"
He looked like a deer in the headlights after that.
"You got a phone book?"
He nodded.
"Give it to me."

By this time, I'd been fussing for an hour. I was mentally drained and HIGHLY pissed. They brought in other people to talk with me, because I guess there is nothing worse than an angry black woman talking crazy. One mechanic told me I could drive my car home, but the knocking around of the joint would annoy me. Another said that he wouldn't do that because I could mess up the axel and be stranded. There was ALOT of going back and forth. I even shed a few angry tears at one point.

I was so mad that I couldn't even stay in the place. I took the phone book outside, sat on a bench, and started making calls. Lo and behold, there WERE car rental places at the airport. (Gee, can you believe that?). S23 had driven up by then to come get me. Good thing she did, because I had a vision of myself picking up a chair and busting out a few windows.

I told them that I was leaving, and going back to ATL. I would drive back tomorrow and get my car.

Now, I'd said this a couple of times during our hour long bantering. They'd laughed hard at me about that ("That's CRAZY, Ms. LadyLee!"), which made me want to pick up a tire and throttle them all. But by that time, I was just done. I'd explained that if I was by myself, I would've taken the free hotel room, stayed overnight, and been cool with that. But I had other people with me that needed to go home, and that was that.

So, I went back to S23's place. Book club meeting was still going on... I sat on the couch and started crunching figures on little scrap receipts I had in my purse. To the casual observer it may have looked like I was scribbling down football plays, LOL. I went outside to decompress and to check my bank accounts over my cell phone, and move money around. The Ladybug Mocha , my blog mentor, came outside to make sure I hadn't thrown myself off a cliff, and she did a lot to calm my nerves. (Thanks, gal!).

So we headed for the rental car place at the airport later on. My goal was to rent a car, drop it off in the ATL, and get my sister to bring me back to Charlotte. No can do. If I returned the car in ATL, it would've been 200 dollars a day.

Okay, I haven't rented a car in about 6 years... I don't get this "200 dollars a day" bizness. Looked like I would have to rent a car and run it back up to Charlotte. Whatever. Just wanted to go home right about then.

So I rented the car, drove back to ATL, got home around midnight, and went to bed. I actually slept well that night, which was suprising.

Woke up the next morning, and started calling Fiya$tone as soon as they opened. Reiterated to them over and over that I needed my car fixed THAT day, and it better be ready when I got there. They told me that they would call me as soon as they got the part they needed. The plan was for me to leave ATL as soon as they got the part. It would take me 4 hours to get back up there... and they should have my car ready.




In the words of Atlien Nikki... "Those Bastids!!!!"

To be continued.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wine, Words, and The Darkest Child

It's been a looong time since I've done a book review. And what's funny, I have several of them in blogger draft, but haven't posted them...

But this one, The Darkest Child, is extra special, since it was the first book for Serenity23 and's (Sherri's) inaugural Wine and Words book club meeting.

The meeting was held in Charlotte, NC. Since it's only 3.5-4 hours from Atlanta, DJ Diva and I decided to drive up.

But back to The Darkest Child.

I first heard about this book from one of my Elite Original Oldgirl Critique team members, a fellow chemist "Yo-Yo". I'm always sending her scraps of things that I write and she is good about critiquing them and asking interesting questions. She's always telling me about books she reads and she was so enamored with this one that she brought in her copy for me to read.

I have a whole lot going on right now, so it is increasingly difficult for me to sit down and read. Serenity asked me what I was reading and I told her The Darkest Child. She went out and got it and read it in a day and really enjoyed it, and decided to choose it as the first book for her bookclub meeting.

Now The Darkest Child centers on the life of the Quinn family, a family of 10 children headed up by a single mother, Rozelle Quinn. The story takes place during the sixties in rural Georgia, and is narrated by 13 year old Tangy Mae Quinn, who happens to be the darkest of all of Rozelle's children (Rozelle, who is biracial, has her "white children, indian children, and black children. Rozelle keeps her children in line by all types of abuse, all of it heartless in nature. The children are conflicted, as they do love their mother, but at the same time, desire to have their own lives,and not be under their mother's control. Tangy Mae herself loves school and dreams of furthering her education. To make things worse, much of the story takes place during times of racial discrimation and racial change.

That's the gist of it. It would take me several posts just to run through the plot, because this book had A LOT going on. I counted at least 30 characters in this story, and my biggest problem was keeping everybody straight (ages of characters, who was who, etc.). This is a big issue for me because I read books now for entertainment and stylistic purposes (I take a lot of style notes for use in my own writing an tend to learn something useful for my own writing).

The author does an excellent job with visualization and description, but I and some of the other Wine and Words book club members wished she would have concentrated on one or two situations, as it would have made for a much tighter story. (I counted one at least eight subplots in this novel. There were at least two plotlines that I could tell she could've explored, but it would have stretched the novel out further.)

On a personal level, this book disturbed me because the matriarch was like an extreme version of my own mother. That bothered me, almost to the point of putting the book down. But I had to focus on the fact that it is a story... not MY story. An overall, it was a good story.

As I said earlier, this was the inaugural book for the Wine and Words book club meeting. I drove up for it. I enjoyed myself, and the discussion was top notch, all of what a book club meeting should be. I liked it because it was a small group of people. I am a member of a large book club, and someone as reserved as myself doesn't do well in such settings. (I jut my hand high in the air when I want to say something... not something I care to do). But this was nice. Serenity23 made the BOMB gumbo. And she is a bootleg wine connieseur, i.e., there was MUCH wine flowing!

I disturbed S23 something terrible when I wanted my water served in a wine glass. I did that just to mess with you, chile. (Every once in awhile the LadyLee side of my personality sneaks out, you know).

The food was excellent. Serenity made the BOMB gumbo (gal, you needed some CRABS in THAT!). I made a batch each of my world famous oatmeal walnut raisin cookies and chocolate chip pecan cookies.

I also brought a loaf of french bread...


I didn't realize how much bread I had to have when I visited Charlotte.

Something that I wasn't totally prepared for...

To be continued...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My first Writing Workshop

POST #300!!!!!

(LadyLee does a high Rockette kick!!)


As you know, if you've been perusing my blog regularly... I've been taking writing classes. I haven't written about the classes much here, because I owe the Queen a guest blogging piece concerning my experience in the writing classes. I have been taring my hair trying to write it, because it has to be PERFECT for the Queen, ya know? So I plan to give her a serious piece on that, and I will write my usual funny take on the classes here at LadyLee...

But, the Queen and I were talking about workshops awhile back. I, being a slow Oldgirl, didn't really understand the process. I'd looked into one that she mentioned, and it was some 4 day craziness. It looked good and most definitely something I want to do, but uh, before I get off somewhere for 4 days, I wanted to take something small, my major purpose being knowing what is expected out of me.

Because you know me... I'll get somewhere and they expect us to write a 50 page something in 10 minutes... I'm liable to go off on somebody, LOL.

I took a one day Writing workshop sponsored by the Atlanta Writer's Club last Saturday taught by mystery writer David Fulmer. It was held at a little place called The Cabin Path, down on Atlanta's southside.

And let's just say... there was no "CP time" thing going on. I got there five minutes before it started, and everybody was there already. I went to something similar the night before (see last post), and got there late... and was the second one there... Hmmm...

Well, I won't go into too many details, because this post would be 100 pages long. The workshop was from nine to six in the evening, and Mr. Fulmer spent time (about an hour or so per topic) talking about creating good settings and characters, writing good dialogue, plotting and editing. There was even a very interesting segment on sex, violence and language.

I learned a lot. He is good at what he does, and he cleared up some isshas I was having in my writing.

Now what really threw me off was lunchtime. Lunch was to be provided by the program. Okay, I was expecting a sandwich and some chips. I'd been sipping on Vitamin water all morning, so that would've been cool with me.

They provided something a little different... and I took a picture of the aftermath, i.e., after we had ransacked the table.

There wasa grilled chicken breasts, pasta salad, some type of broccoli salad, sweet potatoe souffle, squash casserole, barbeque pulled pork, green beans, black eye peas, biscuits, cornbread, apple crisp, and pumpkin cake and sweet tea.

All we needed was a turkey, and it would have been an early Thanksgiving! LOL!

That food was so good that I wanted to wrap a plate up to take home with me. But I didn't go out like that...

I had the "itis" afterwards. I wanted to ask the woman who cooked all of that food for a cot, a blanket, and a soft pillow.

So when I was taking pictures of the food, I saw this...

Freaked me out something terrible, because I thought it was my cat Oscar-Tyrone! I thought he'd jumped in the Mazda and hitched a ride there. But it wasn't him. This cat had all the same markings, and looked just like him, but he had no collar...

That was a funny sight to see indeed.

The pre-workshop info stated that we could tour the Cabin Path Grounds. I was thinking to myself that there was NO WAY I was going to be walking through the woods. But I ended up going anyway, and I am glad that I did. Here are some pics of the log cabin deep in the woods...

And there was also a labyrinth there. It is a Native American spiritual symbol of some sort.

All in all, it was a good day, and a fine experience.

Additionally, we had one-on-one ten minute sessions with Mr. Fulmer. I really didn't want to turn anything in, because most of the pieces I write are geared towards black folks, but I threw caution to the wind, and turned in the first 10 pages of a Sweet Heat rewrite I'd been dabbling with.

The first thing he said is "I'm not familiar with this genre."


Then he said, "But I let a black female friend of mine read it."

That was REALLY funny. But I am glad he thought enough to go get someone else to read it.

Of course it needs a lot of work. And I have written waaaaay better stuff since then. He pointed out some isshas that I've been working feverishly on (repetition issues, etc.). I think most of that craziness comes from the free flow style of blogging. But the most important thing he told me is that it needs to be rewritten from a third person point of view. This made me happy, as I had written that very same thought in a journal I use for ideas of how to make my story better. And I have been writing some of my later stuff in third person, which I like A LOT better than first person.

He thought I had good writing skills. And that's a good thing!

So, all in all, I am glad I went. My biggest purpose was to figure out what is expected of me, and what to expect, just in case I want to participate in larger workshops.

Cowgirl Cre and I were kidding around. I need a more "universal" writing sample... sort of like a story of Becky and Sue looking for their stolen horses, if you know what I mean.


This workshop was good for me overcoming some of my hesitancy of taking workshops. I am always the chick who is more than happy to sit off in a corner to myself, but I met a lot of good people, and had a lot of good convos while there.

I am learning, the more and more I do this type of thing, it helps me to grow as a writer...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

In this one...

In this one, you are confused, not knowing what to do or where to turn.

You were just running downstairs to the laundry room to get fresh towels from the dryer. You passed by the answering machine sitting askew under the large oval mirror on the mahogany table in the foyer and noticed the red light blinking. You don’t remember hearing the phone ring or you would have quickly answered it.

You press play to see who it is.

It’s your husband. He’s on his way home, he says. He has a bad cough, feels like he’s getting sick, like he's coming down with something. He thinks its best that he gets home early while there’s no traffic, because traffic will make whatever he has much, much worse.

You look down at the answering machine. You think you are dreaming, but you're not. The hardwood floor is cold beneath your feet and the breeze dancing through the open windows is giving you goosebumps.

You squint hard at the clock on the wall, and see that it’s one-thirty in the afternoon. The machine says the message was left at one. Around that time, you were sleeping in the arms of your lover. You were very sure you had the day to just lay away, because your husband never walked through the door until seven at night, sometimes as late as eight if the workload's heavy. You knew it was enough time to make love and fall asleep in your lovers arms several times over. You were sure that you could get your lover out of there and even have dinner on the table for your husband when he got in.

In this one, you are scared after you listen to the message for the third time. You hear your lover’s voice float over the sound of the water of the shower. He sings along with Peabo Bryson, crooning his undying love and desire for you. He yells for you to hurry up with that towel.

In this one, you stand stark still as you hear the jiggle of the key in the front door, the clicking of the turning doorknob, and the scrub of the door against the doorjamb…

The end?

Yeah, that's the end. I have NO idea what happens after that.

I'd been joking around, saying "In this one... LadyLee jumps out the closet and tells the chick 'In this one, you 'bout to get your ass whooped!' "

LOL LOL!!!!!!

I had a workshop on Friday night, and the writing prompt was "In this one..." We were to write for five minutes. Sort of freaked me out, writing for five minutes on the spot like that, but oh well. It is what it is.

Anyhow, I posted that because I thought it was some craziness. It is a bit rough, and a funky attempt to write in 2nd person and all. I probably won't do anything with it, but I thought that it was fodder for the blog. (I have a few more I may post.)

What was more crazy is that we were at work reading this, and some of my friends and coworkers had some interesting suggestions about where that story should go. Let's just say that uh, it made me wonder if some of the ladies had been through this particular scenario in their lives..


Like I said, I had a workshop Friday night. This particular one had a bunch of writing prompts, with 5 to 10 minutes to write. I found it interesting, but I am a little ho-hum about it. I think this particular group will meet once per month or so. I think I will give it a chance...

Someone asked me if I've ever been caught cheating before. No. I have been a notorious cheater though. And I have this issha where I have to "confess" and let all parties involved know that "You're not the only one." I guess it is a conscience clearing act. No, I ain't gonna stop cheating, but I just thought you should know...

What broke me up from that is that I had my "side man" over one day, and my "main man" was off from work that night. My usual scenario was to see the "spare man" when the "main man" was at work. ( My reasoning: Why should I be alone at night???) This worked out pretty well.

I told the "main man" about what was going on. He said he understood, since he worked so much.


Conscience cleared.

*LadyLee HAPPILY keeps making it do what it do.*

Well this one night, I had NO idea where the "main man" was. The "spare man" was over, and I was a nervous wreck every time a car passed my duplex.

The "spare man" had been eyeing me suspiciously that night. He noticed how jumpy I was. So much so that I would jump up and run to the screen door from time to time.

He eventually said, "LadyLee, I know you on the lookout for your man and all. Don't worry about that."

He patted his duffle bag. "I got something for him if he comes up in here."

Hmmm... The "spare man" had a gun.

At the same time, my "main man" was making snide comments every time we were together...

"LadyLee, you better never point him out if we're together. If you do, I'm gonna shoot him."

This irritated me to no end.

Now, I mentioned this to my friend Carter Anne... I didn't find it funny or anything, but it all left me a tad bit concerned.

She said something to the effect of: "LadyLee, that isn't healthy. You're gonna die."

That scared me straight. She always said what she had to say to me, and it would straigthen me out.

And my cheating days were over soon after.

I don't get all judgmental when I see people cheating. It is wrong because it is a selfish act, and people are hurt in the process... There are consequences to such acts. You sow bad seed, you reap bad results.

My thing is this:

Let the first one who hasn't done anything wrong, cast the first stone.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Congratulations Heather!!

I would like to congratulate one of my beloved bookclub sisters, Heather, on the arrival of her bundle of joy... She delivered a 6 pound 1 oz baby girl, A.dia Joy!!! late Friday night.

I told Heather that I was gonna put her on **BLAST** on my blog... She was like, whatever, and was nice enough to pose for pictures. Here she is with her daughter Mariah.

Yeah, Heather did what my Mommy did: Have a baby when your kids are close to grown. That's the way to do it, Heather! Mariah, your Ma is about to wear you out!! "Mariah, run to the store for me!"LOL!!!

I attended her babyshower weekend before last. Just looking at her? Man, I knew Heather wasn't gonna make it to the following weekend...

The babyshower was held at Mama Nem's restaurant.

I didn't really know how to get there. I mean, I knew the place was on Memorial Drive, but Memorial Drive is LONG, so I called 411 information to get the phone number to the restaurant.
I worried about this. . . and rightfully so.

411 operator: Ma'am what was the name of that listing?
LadyLee: Mama and dem.
411 operator: WHAT?
LadyLee: Mama and dem. Something like that. It's on Memorial drive, out near Stone Mountain, I think,.
411 operator: **silence**
LadyLee: Uh, it's really an actual place.
411 operator: I have a "Mama Nem's".
LadyLee: Okay, that will do.

Geeeeez. So I got the name wrong. Whatever. Give me the number, lady, and keep it moving.

Now, with a name like that, I thought the place would be some craziness, i.e., I thought I would have to go in there strapped with a pistol or something. But the place was very nice, very classy. It's a soul food place, and the food was VERY good. It did taste like somebody's Mama was back in the hot kitchen throwing down.

I really enjoyed the babyshower, which was put together by two other book club sistas, Kita and Aunt Ray-Ray. There were all kinds of games and what-not, ALL of which I had no chance of winning, since I haven't dealt with a baby (my brother Milk and Cookies) in 20 years. So, uh, I can't win baby item pricing games, etc... ~sigh~

I also don't buy gifts for babyshowers. I MAKE them. Yes, I am extremely strange in that I like to give homemade, handmade gifts. Also, I can't pick out cute little baby clothes worth a damn. I made a baby blanket for Heather.

Heather already knew about it. We were at a babyshower for another book club sista, and Heather was sitting next to me when that sista unwrapped her lovely baby blue blanket. I grabbed Heather by the shoulder, squinted real hard and told her that she was getting the same thing. I know she got tired of me grabbing her and asking...

"You sure you having a girl? You are having a girl, right?"
"That's what the ultrasound said, LadyLee!"
*Lee squinting at Heather REAL hard*

"Alright, gal... if it's a boy, you still getting a pink and white blanket."


As you can see, Heather liked the blanket.

Yes, it is white. Cowgirl Cre was tripping on that! (Lee, something's gonna leak on that!") LOL!! Well, yeah. But Heather? You can WASH it man. And wash it on the hard hot water cycle. It WILL NOT shrink, bleed, or fade!! But uh, you may just want to use that blanket for decoration, babes!! LOL!!

Like I said, I enjoyed the babyshower, and I enjoyed my dinner at Mama Nem's. I had the pork chop, mac-n-cheese, collard greens, and cornbread. It was very good! So good that I was cruising down Memorial Drive afterwards, heading back towards my crib downtown, a toothpick in my mouth, my windows down, full of the "itis", singing some Isley brothers tune booming loudly through my speakers...

*I wanna be liiiiving for the love of yoooooouuu! YOWWWWW! Aww, Yes I am!*

Note: I don't know where that "YOWWWW!" came from, because it's not in the lyrics of the song... That just let's you know that the Oldgirl was feeling GOOOOOOOD!!!

Yeah! Thank goodness that restaurant is a good 30 minutes from me... and thank goodness I'm on a budget! Or I would be in some SERIOUS trouble!!!

So, again... Congratulations Heather!

You finally got that baby girl on in here:)

Friday, October 12, 2007

LadyLee's Random Ramblings...

Alright, in an effort to post consistently... Here are a few things going on in my world today:

Dinner with the Iniquitous One. I had dinner last night with one of my faaaavorite
bloggers, the Supastar, the Iniquitous one, Indigo Nikki (pictured to the left- yeah girl, snatched your photo!), who I refer to around these parts as "ATLien Nikki". I've been trying to holler for a minute, since she moved one neighborhood over from me (Yo, Nikki, we live a mile apart, let's hang out, man!) She thought I was playing, but we FINALLY got together...

Now, if you haven't read Nikki's blog, uh, it is a bit explicit, an uuuuhhh... not for the faint at heart. (yeah, that's a nice politically correct way of putting it.) Let's just say, she writes quite a bit of erotic stuff way out there to the tenth degree. Uh, I thought, when I walked into the restaurant, that I would see her swanging butt-naked upside down from one of the chandaliers. Really.

I'm not an erotica reader... but her writing is so good that she writes the ONLY pieces of erotica that I will read, and I don't feel deeply disturbed, confused, or annoyed. (Yes, that means she is good). Plus, many of her posts are deeply honest and self-assessing in nature. She has even written some amazing spiritual pieces. Now THAT right there is why I am DOWN for ya, gal!!

We've been avid readers of each other's blog for a couple of years. So it was nice to meet her in person. We hit Agave Cafe, a Southwestern eatery near our hood. Dinner was great. We both had this very good insanely hot Diablo Crawfish Pasta.

Yeah, mon... dinner was great! The convo was GREATER!

The conversation was unmitigated, beautous, prodigious, formidable, thaumaturgic, quixotic, phantasmagoric, unfeigned, mollifying...

Propitiative, even...

(Yeah, I am trying to impress the ATLien Nikki. She is a lover of words and has an astounding way with them. Yeah gal, I know I messed some of that up! I am trying, with my ol' ebonic self! LOL!!! )

I tell ya... I know one thing. I am learning to REALLY appreciate it when I meet really cool, down to earth, smart people.

And ATLien Nikki? Glad I got a chance to hang out with YOU!!!

Let's hook up again in the future, mayne!!

Coffee Blues. This form is posted on the wall of our breakroom at work.

I stare at it everyday. It is self-explanatory. And as you can see, all bases have been covered- the quick sniff, the big swallow... even the delicate sip. There is a small tin sitting on top of the microwave, where you drop in your 50 cents. There is a list of people on the wall too who have prepaid a 5 dollar fee for coffee.

I find it hilarious. And you know me. I get a kick out of messing with folks. For the past couple of days, I have been telling the CEO ("Coffee Executive Officer"), that I've been getting coffee without paying.

I've learned that I need to stop playing around with the "CEO" like that. Man, the look in her eye when I say that I've taken coffee without paying? Let's just say it's good that she don't pack a pistol, because I am sure she would've taken me down and asked questions later.

Workshop bound. Guess what? I have my first all day writers workshop tomorrow. I also have a Women of Color Creative writing group workshop tonight. Not sure how I feel about all this...It's all like stepping into the unknown, you know? All I know- I have A LOT of material-several stories, a couple of novellas, and a novel manuscript, that I need to work on, and I need a couple of outlets for such. I gotta move forward, and keep growing...

I will let you know how it goes.
Just plain WEIRD. Finally... a funny picture. I was rambling around the kitchen looking for something, and opened a cabinet and saw this.

That dayum picture is worth a thousand words. I am still tripping on the fact that Oscar Tyrone's tail was in the picture. I remember screaming at him (Boy, get your behind out the way!!)My juicer and coffee grinder are both in there. And I'd been looking for the contact shelf paper, and lo and behold-- there it is!!

There are three bottles of B*tch wine there. I have since given one to DJ Diva, and I am holding another for Racer X, the Queen, Miss Celie aka Tayari Jones. I can't seem to find any more bottles of B*tch, and I owe a bottle to one of my book club sistas. I am keeping a bottle for myself... as a souvenir. Next time, I will buy a case of it.

I also like pure cranberry juice. It cost 9 bucks a quart at times... sigh. Let's just say, I know how to stretch it!

I have this thing for pure Aloe Vera gel or juice, every since I found out you can drink it. The ish has some amazing properties. But who woulda thought such a thang. But it costs around 7 bucka a quart. YIKES.

A few years ago, I made my sister Kentucky drink some of it STRAIGHT. ("Here, Kentucky, try it, it's good!"). The look on her face was CLASSIC.

She trembled hard. "It's aesthetic," she mumbled.

Hmm. I didn't have a clue as to what the word "aesthetic" meant... so I looked it up.

Aesthetic: having a sense of the beautiful; characterized by a love of beauty. pertaining to, involving, or concerned with pure emotion and sensation as opposed to pure intellectuality.

I think Kentucky was trying to say it tasted sterile, and she came up with a word that sounded like such. Kentucky, you need to go take an English class, gal. For real, you do.


Alright party people... enough of my shenanigans...

Ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

A Mechanical Food for Thought

Long post... so SUE ME! LOL!

Shame on me...

Shame, shame, shame.

Haven't posted an entry in over a week! THE HORROR.

That's because I've been off since last Friday. Yep, the Oldgirl took a much needed vacation. I'ma let you know... Ain't nothing like laying out all day, dozing in and dozing out...

But, I did have a lot going on. And I got a lot of things done...


a small adventure for you... It involves my favorite mechanic: DADDY CRE!!!

Yep... an Oldgirl's Zoom-Zoom (Mazda) broke down. Well, not necessarily broke down.

I had my final writing class last Thursday. It was approximately 5:30 pm, and I had been sitting at the dining room table, tapping away furiously on my laptop, finishing up a story I was to read to the class that night. I walked outside my house on Thursday, with my car keys, notes and story in hand, and noticed a HUGE puddle running down the driveway.

I stopped and looked skyward.

Had the silly thought: "It musta rained in one spot today! Imagine that."

Walked a little closer, and noticed that the puddle was green.

First thing I thought: Busted Radiator!!!!

I lifted my eyes skyward again... started feeling faint and all... Was screaming inside:


Screamed kind of like Michael Jackson does in the "Black and White" video. (Minus the ripping open of the shirt. Can't be outside baring the breasts, you know. )

I walked back into the house, and yelled up the steps to my sister Kentucky:

"Kentucky, can I borrow your car!?"

She looked over the upstairs stair rail. "I don't care. I'm not going anywhere."

Good. I didn't want to miss my last class. Wasn't the happiest chick about going to class, since I was expected to read something LONG that night. I am not the best reader.

Anyway, I got in Kentucky's nice late model car (which is ALWAYS a JOY), and drove to class.

I looked for my mechanic Daddy Cre's # in my cell phone, and didn't have it. I dialed up his number from memory. The voice on the answering machine didn't sound right. So I called up Daddy Cre's daughter, my friend and coworker, The Cowgirl Cre.

Cowgirl Cre: "Hey girl!"
LadyLee: *Lee on the verge of tears* "Where's my Daddy!!!???"
Cowgirl Cre: "I don't know."
LadyLee: "My car is messed up. Where's my Daddy!?"
Cowgirl Cre: "I don't know, Lee."
LadyLee: "Well who is that on the answering machine?"
Cowgirl Cre: "I don't know."
LadyLee: Blah, blah, blah, BLAH, BLAH, BLAAAAAAAH!!!"

I whined and whined for my Cowgirl Cre's Daddy. I needed him to come see about my car.

Cowgirl Cre: "Lee, just call back and leave a message."

Which I did.

And I didn't hear back from him.

So I went to bed.

My phone rings at 12:45 a.m. I was sleeping good. One of those good kinds of sleep. You know, the kind where you think the phone is ringing in your dreams, and you running around in your dream trying to answer that ish.

By the time I answered it for real, it had stopped ringing. No one calls that late except LadyTee, and she was gonna get BUSTED.

I turned back over, threw the covers of my warm down comforter back over my head, sunk my head deep into the down pillows, and went back to sleep. The phone rang again. I looked at the caller ID...

It was my Cowgirl Cre's DADDY!!!!

"Helloooo Felicia [He calls me Felicia, which rhymes with my real name. I don't really give a damn what he calls me at this point].
"Hey Daddy Cre."
"I'm sorry I'm getting back to you so late. Been out there fooling with Shunta's [his granddaughter] car. What seems to be the problem?"
*Lee on the verge of wailing*"I walked outside, and there was a whole lot of antifreeze on the ground, draining down the driveway. I don't think it's the radiator or the water pump. I think a hose is busted or something. [Look at me, trying to diagnose a problem. LOL.]
He paused for a moment. "Well Felicia, I'ma get Mama Cre, and we coming right over."


I sat straight up in bed.

"No, no. I'm taking off tomorrow. You can look at it tomorrow morning if you like."

Another pause. And this time, I mean a looooong pause. It got so quiet that I just knew he had fallen asleep.

"Nawl, nawl, Felicia. We will be on over there."


"I wanted to yell "Mama Cre, Man up!! Man up, Old girl! Tell him NO!! It ain't that important!!"

I was expecting to hear Mama Cre in the background yelling a low guttural "Hell nawl, we ain't going nowhere this time of night."

But all I heard was the phone click instead.

Okay. I just knew I was dreaming. Just knew it. But just in case I wasn't, I, who was laid out butt-naked in the bed, got up and threw on some clothes. I still wasn't for sure if I was dreaming. So I went and opened the living room window, laid on the couch and turned on the TV. The movie True Lies was on. I watched that for a minute.

Lo and behold, I see bright headlights streaming through the window at 1:15 a.m.

So it wasn't a dream.

I grabbed my keys and walked outside. Daddy Cre is out there, bright eyed and bushy tailed...

"Felicia? Let's have a look at the car, so we can figure out what's going on."

So I stood out there with him while he jacked up my car, plugged in a few of his lights, and looked around. I wanted to lay down on the grass next to the fence so bad... just for a short nap.
He was laid out on the ground. His Bobby Brown "every little step I take" high curly fade-you remember the fade that was high on one side- was falling to the side.

I noticed some dudes running up the street with trashbags full of stuff and rolling luggage and all... They were smiling real hard. I could only see the whites of their eyes and their pretty white teeth.

Wondered to myself... who got robbed tonight?

Oh well... I turned my attention back to Daddy Cre.

"Daddy Cre, do you need me to let up my garage and turn on some lights so you can see?" I asked.
"No, Felicia. This light is just fine."

I didn't know what to say. Just stood back in the driveway, with my crosseyed self, trying to stay awake...

And watched.. and waited...

He stood back, placed a hand on his hip.

"Felicia, we gonna fill this radiator up with water, and we gonna take it on home."

I nodded... then watched as he drove the Zoom-Zoom up the street.

That was at 2:30 in the morning or so.

He called at 6:30 a.m. "Felicia... your car is ready."

He was standing at my door handing me the key to my car at 7:15 a.m.

...So that I could make it to work, I suppose.

I didn't go to work that next day.

But I spent the day relaxing...

and reflecting.

On how we live in a world where it seems like everybody is out to get what they can out of people. And somehow, it's considered normal to be that way.

And here is someone, who was willing to stay up the rest of the night and fix my ride. He charged a small fee, but I would have given him a chunk of change for what he did. (It wasn't a busted radiator. The plug that drains the radiator was stripped out, and needed replacing. Thing is, my radiator is a beast, and has to be totally pulled out and all the tubing removed just to see what's going on.)

I went and gave him his money the next day. *Lee standing at ATM trying to mentally calculate how much cash she got til payday, LOL* He was upset about that. "You coulda brought that money by whenever, Felicia!!"

Nawl, couldn't do that.

I usually get the same ol' speech from Daddy Cre: "Felicia, ya see, you Cowgirl Cre's friend. When I see you, my mind goes back...waaaaay back. You told her about a job opening, and she got the job. You got her car towed on your tow card one time, and you didn't have to do that... blah, blah, blah."

He knows he know how to tick off a list of stuff... stuff I hardly remember myself. He don't seem to understand that me and Cre have been homies for over 10 years, and are constantly doing for each other. She's done just as much for me as I for her. And that's the way it should be.

Ain't that big a deal, Daddy Cre!!

But like I said... I've learned one thing here:

It reminds me to be kind to people, to be generous to people, to sow into their lives... and because of him, and his many speeches, I must always work on doing good, and being kind-hearted. I have to always evaluate myself, and make sure my heart is right towards people, in everything that I do. It has taken a long time for me to learn not to do for people with some funky ulterior motive in mind, expecting something in return.

You gotta do for folks... out of your HEART, with no worries of them getting over on you. I miss the mark sometimes. I am learning. I am growing. I am a work in progress.

Now peeps who know me, who are around me on a consistent basis... know I am working on being a generous person. Not in a monetary fashion because the Oldgirl is not balling by a long shot (but I do what I can), but from a standpoint where it matters most: being kind, being a good listener, being a good friend, etc... all straight from a good heart.

It is always good when you got good examples around you, to show you how it's done.

I am so glad that Daddy Cre is a good example, and took the time to do for me that day:)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Snack Time... A Milk and Cookies Picture show

(Warning: this is a long pictorial of my baby bro... with just a few words thrown in, of cours. LOL. )

Our favorite snack, Milk and Cookies, was in town a couple of weeks ago, on military leave.

He ran in the house and grabbed me up in a big hug. I pushed him back and looked him over. All I saw was his white teeth, the whites of his eyes, and the "bling-bling" in his ears.

I said in my best Shug Avery voice...

Kari... You sho' is BLACK!!!

He laughed. "They've had us marching out in the sun, Lee," he said.

"I see that," I replied. "Because you are at least two to three shades darker than usual!"

As always, I was happy to see the boy... but I had to look at this shirt for a few days.

I am not sure what the large pic of a white man's face glowing orange, and the words "Machine" wedged in his open mouth mean AT ALL. I was also quite confused by the words on the back of the shirt.


I asked him what was up with the shirt. He just shrugged and walked away. Typical Milk and Cookies.

What REALLY pissed me off was when I woke up on Sunday morning and walked into the kitchen for my usual early morning quart of water, I saw a dark shadowy figure stretched out across my chair and ottoman.

And yes, his smashed wide-legged ant tribal tattoo is still on his arm. I've always wished that that dayum tattoo was a joke and he'd wash it off, but it is still there. Permanently. ~sigh~

I wanted to kick him. I've told this boy a gazillion times...

"Go grab a sheet out the closet and spread it across the chair before you decide to lay your rusty tail on it."

"Alright, Lee," he always says.

As you can see, he is laying there, with his MOUTH all up against the arm of the chair. I wanted to kick him. But he's been doing his army thing. If I'd kicked him, he might've mistaken me for the enemy, and then he might've jumped up and tried to choke me out or something.

And we can't have that, can we?

Now, I painted the bathroom a couple of month ago, and Milk and Cookies thought it looked nice. But he whined and whined about the touch-up work it needed.

"Lee, I still see some white spots, BLAH, BLAH, BLAAAAH!"

My response: "Well, get your butt up there and fix it, man, if it bothers you THAT much."

Well, much to my suprise, he got up there and fixed it. He did a few nice things with a little paint and an artist brush.

Now, when I saw how low his pants were slung, I had a terrifying vision of him falling and busting his ass in my jacuzzi tub. I think he realized this at the same time, and yelled

"Get the dang towel from under my foot, Lee!"

The touch-up work kept the boy occupied for about an hour or so, while I did other things around the house. He was waiting for a few friends of his to pick him up for a rock concert down at Lakewood amphitheatre. I saw the dudes when they pulled up. They looked like some crazy skinheads or something. I shoved ol' Milk and Cookies out the door, because there was NO WAY those dudes were coming up in my house.

But alas, he returned the next day, with Kay... I think they hung out together, and ran errands, etc...

And do you remember my Mama's cute lil' Pit Bull?

He was so cute...

Well, my sister Kentucky and Milk and Cookies came barreling in the house with him. (I knew something was wrong when Oscar-Tyrone scrambled into my bedroom and dove under the bed.)
Skeeter is not all that cute anymore...

Kay brought the leashed "Skeeter" into my room. I picked him up and stared into his eyes. He wagged his tail hard. I said aloud, "Hmmmm... he don't act all vicious."

(For some reason, I keep expecting to come in the house attacking everybody and everything in sight.)

But he's a nice dog, nevertheless. Milk and Cookies has SOMEHOW taken possession of the dog, and keeps it down in Columbus, even though no animals are allowed on base. I think he Skeeter is staying with a friend off base or something. Hmmm...

But anyway, Milk and Cookies... you look like your dog. You surely do.

Same lips, eyes, nose... face. All the same...


I hope you enjoyed the pictorial of our favorite Snack!

I was glad to see you, Kari!!

And I'ma kick your ass the next time I catch you laid up on my furniture without a sheet over it.

You buster!