Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Tayari Jones is Coming to Town!

Yo, I'd like to dedicate this post to that hater my book club sista/book club president Shunda, 'cause she thinks I jock Tayari so hard!

Yeah Shorty, I do... so get over it!!

*LadyLee brandishing a homemade shank in one hand and with the other hand throws up the hard Celie crooked 2 fanger point at Shunda*

Watch out now, Shunda. Don't make me have to cut you.



I would be remiss...

If I don't jump up and scream and shout that...

Miss Celie is coming to town!!!



Miss CelieTayari Jones is coming to town!




Tayari Jones is coming to town!



*LadyLee doing the happy dance so hard that she slips and falls down on the hard concrete*


Yes, I am a happy black child today!

Yeah, ya'll should know that Tayari Jones is my favorite author in the entire universe.

If you didn't know, go read my first post on Ms. Jones.

Now you know!

And here are the essential details...

Wednesday, February 28, 7pm-- Atlanta, Georgia
Margaret Mitchell House
Crossing The Line: A Conversation with Tayari Jones and Lee Smith
Reception at 6pm, Conversation at 7pm, Booksigning at 8pm

Saturday, March 3, 8:30 pm-- Atlanta, Georgia
AWP Conference
Reading and Signing (with Kaye Gibbons)

Now, the Margaret Mitchell crew likes to charge money for entrance into their events. I try to keep tabs on who is there, since it is only one block from my job. I saw Ernest J. Gaines, the author of A Lesson Before Dying there, last year. My coworkers have gone to see Alice Walker, Blair Underwood, and Tavis Smiley when they were there.

Yeah, they charge a fee, and the talks are always good. But's what's up with this conversation set-up? What the heck are they going to talk about? Listen, for my ten bucks, I want to see a show. Tayari and Ms. Smith better get an electric slide or a Soul Train line going. They better be passing out some tequila shots, hot wings and french fries up in that camp.

Ten bucks, man... come on, now. That's night club prices. That's half a tank of gas for my zoom-zoom. (Well almost half a tank.)

But I have been BEGGING Tayari over email to waive that fee and allow me to be a part of her entourage. I would gladly carry her purse, fetch a little water if she is parched, or even turn pages as she reads. Just waive the 10 dollar fee, man. Sneak me in the back door or something (She says I am on a list. We'll see about that... Don't be joshing me, man... because I will front on you, and you don't want that!! LOL!)

Now what's highly important is that AWP conference reading. She is suppose to read from her novel-in-progress. I have been lobbying HARD for the first 100 pages of it, and she is turning her nose up at me. (Humph. You Diva!) I have seen a very small snippet of it which was EXTREMELY thought-provoking, as to be expected. My praises of it DID NOT get me the requested 100 pages.

HUMPH!!

Oh well. I am just happy that she will be here. I will just have to buy the book the minute it comes out.

Now my brother, Milk and Cookies, Tayari's #1 Groupie, was suppose to drive up from his military base to attend the Saturday reading. He was going to do some old wild craziness, like act like Eva at the Apollo, or cry and scream uncontrollably as she walked by. Enough so people would say...

"Look at that poor hysterical child... He almost passed out when she walked by! What book has that boy been reading? I want that book!"

But the boy couldn't get away. He has to work his second job, and I hate for him to lose his job. ("Tell Tayari I need to make my money, Lee!!" he screeched over the phone.) Yes, he wailed VERY hard to me about this over the phone yesterday, as he'd been planning to drive up.


(Dude calm down! It's gonna be alright in the by-and-by! Geez.)

So I may or may not post about the readings. We'll see!

I'm just happy she is coming to town. She ALWAYS gives a good talk, and it's always like being in a quick writing workshop:

I always learn something new!!

Monday, February 26, 2007

And the Winner is...

Jennifer Hudson!!

Go girl!! Go girl!!



Man... All I gotta say is that she did an excellent job with her acceptance speech. Thank goodness it wasn't me getting the award... I would've had to have a little fun with my acceptance speech...

Yo, I'd like to dedicate this award to BEYONCE!!! Hey girl, keep working! You'll get yours someday! Just keep working on it!! Go take few more acting classes or something! You'll be standing here someday!

LOL!!! Come on... now ya'll know that something similar to that ran across your minds.

Or am I just that cynical?

Maybe I am. But I am very happy about the way she carried herself. She did a good job with her Barbara Walter's interview, also. She is definitely a class act.

Way to go, Jennifer... Can hardly wait for the album... and can't wait to see what new roles she'll take on in the future!!

SnAKe BiTes: "Achieving Your Destiny"

These years represent all your years on earth.
It's up to YOU to realize what you're worth.
The House.
The Cash.
The Cars.
Don't mean nothing once you're over the heavenly stars.
So think about how you are
Living life yourself.
Because none of us know the time on earth
That we have left.

If you really do think
That life is a game
And try to play it like it is?

What's gonna matter the most, overall
Is how you lived
In between your years.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hen's... special hair cut.

I was at work briefly last Saturday, when The Infamous Hen-Dog ran up on me. I turned around and saw this:



I grabbed his face and rubbed it hard! I was shocked and confused... HOPING he didn't do a Mike Tyson on me, i.e., tattooed his face.

No, he got a special beard cut for the Bronner brothers Hair show that was in town that weekend.

I told him, "Boy, you look like you about to transform into a Superhero or something."

No, I wasn't thinking about the Superfriends.



I wasn't even thinking about the head Superfriend, Superman himself.

I was thinking about this Superhero!!!

I get my thing in action!!!

VERB!!! That's what's happening!!!!

Yeah, you remember THAT Superhero!! You remember that song!

I get my thing in action!!!!

HEN-DOG!!! That's what's happening!!!!



Yeah, I thought he was gonna sprout a cape and fly out of that window!

Unfortunately, by Monday morning, he'd shaved it off. But I am glad I got a few pics.

I am trying my best to get him to do his eye-candy pictures... The only eye candy pic I have of him is this one I took on his front porch a year ago:

And he is twice as muscular now. He had a six-pack in that picture, but someone stole two cans off of that six pack. He's much better now...

So stay tuned for those pics later this spring! (For some reason, he is being all shy!)

Hen, don't be a chicken and back out on me!

LOL!!!




Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The GOOD NURSE and the 'Shed (Part II)

Click here for The GOOD NURSE and the 'Shed (Part I)

So, my brother and I met the Good Nurse at the Watershed.

And like I said, that had to be THE best southern cooked comfort food I've ever had.

And when I say "Comfort food", I'm talking comfort food to the tenth degree!

Maybe I was just hungry.

Nah, that ain't it. That food was GOOD.

Now, the Watershed is a restaurant located in downtown Decatur, a city on the East side of Atlanta, about 10 minutes from downtown Atlanta. It is located in a converted gas station.

Yeah, that's right, a gas station. You can tell it was an old gas station by the windows and the garage doors and the painted cement floor. Interesting concept. I would have never thought of it, but interesting indeed.

We went in, had a seat, and chit-chatted for awhile. Even got a chance to meet the executive chef, Scott Peacock.

Okay, the Good Nurse knew chef. And she knew the menu VERY well. Obviously she'd been there MANY many times. She described each and every dish with GREAT enthusiasm.

Heck, I joked with her that if The Watershed ever started running commercials, she would be a prime candidate for spokesperson
I could see her standing there grinning down and doing the running man, yelling "Come to the 'shed! Come to the 'shed!"

Yeah, she knew the place all too well. When the chef comes out to talk to you and give you a hug? Yeah, you are a regular!

He even sent us a complimentary appetizer of stone ground shrimp grits and toast.

Damn, those grits were GOOD. Wish I could make grits like THAT. I think there was some cheese in them, too. Goodness gracious.

Well, we perused the menu for awhile. There was much southern fare. The Good Nurse was very vocal about what she liked. VERY vocal! She liked everything. And that's always a good thing. She said something quite interesting, that truly caught my attention:

The Macaroni-n-Cheese was made by God. It is straight from the throne room.

I was thinking to myself, don't no macaroni and cheese taste THAT good.

My brother was wide-eyed and staring. I think he believed her, because he sure did order it!

We placed our orders. I ordered a fried oyster appetizer. I ordered the fresh fish of the day (sea bass, grilled), mashed sweet potatoes, collard greens, and cornbread for my entree. My brother and the Good Nurse ordered the fried catfish with collard greens and macaroni-n-cheese.

First of all, all I gotta say is that they need to remove those "foo-foo" pretty pics from their website and put up some REAL pictures. They give you A LOT of food. A whole lot of food. The pictures on the website would not steer me towards the place. Not at all!

I'm not sure what's up with the pretty pictures, but they need to kill that noise!!!!

I watched as my brother took a bite of his macaroni and cheese, which supposedly came, as the Good Nurse said, straight from the throne room. My brother melted in his chair, in reverence to the macaroni and cheese. I could have knocked him over with a feather. I stabbed my fork into his bowl and grabbed a fork full.

"I told you," the Good Nurse whispered. "I told you it was straight from the throne room."

All I gotta say is that the Good Nurse was right... the macaroni and cheese was GOOD, straight from the throne room, made by God.

We sat there for an hour, eating and savoring our dinner. I gotta say, I've never had food so good. For dessert we ordered chocolate cake (named "Very Good chocolate cake" on the menu, and it was "very good" indeed) and a pecan tart. The pecan tart did not have a regular pastry crust, but had some type of shortbread cookie crust. Now that was different, something I would have never thought of. The chocolate cake was very dark, very rich, and had a strong coffee-like taste...

Ooooooh... they were both sooooo doggone good.

Needless to say, after all of that food, we all had the "Itis" something terrible. Just couldn't move. My poor brother didn't even finish his food. He needed a take-home box.

Now we got there at around 5 pm. We were still sitting there at 8 pm.

We were kicked out asked to leave around that time.

The manager, or whoever the dude was, came by our table and removed our extra trash. Then he came back, knelt down, and said, with a wonderful colgate smile...

"Could you please move your conversations to the lobby, because we have reservations to fill."

In other words... "Ya'll need to raise up outta here!"

Humph.

We left. It would have been funny if we would have just sat there a little while longer. That would have been oh so ghetto. And, we probably would've been locked up by now, LOL!

I talked to LadyTee about it later that night.

"Crazy girl, that's what you get. You are not suppose to sit there that long. Ya'll were in the wrong."

(Shut up, LadyTee.)

But um... that food was good. The website didn't do it justice. They could have beat us down, and thrown us out on our heads, and I would STILL go back. That's just how good it was.

Now the executive chef of The Watershed, Scott Peacock, co-authored a book with another chef, the late Edna Lewis, a few years ago, entitled The gift of Southern Cooking: Recipes and Revelations from Two Great American Chefs. I made sure to go pick up the cookbook because I just HAD to know how he made that doggone macaroni and cheese. The recipe is long, with more ingredients than I would have ever thought to put in macaroni and cheese, but it looks doable. I may make it for my next family gathering. But for now, if I want some, I'll just stop by there and pick up some. It is VERY very rich. No need in having too much of it around, LOL.

Now, I spent a couple of hours reading the cookbook, as it was full of wonderful stories behind all the food. That's what I like in a cookbook. And the recipes were simple, made with ingredients readily available at any grocery store. I definitely don't regret buying it, and I hope to use it to prepare something for a family gathering or one of my book club meetings...

Now, back to The Good Nurse. She has to be one of the funniest, wittiest, smartest people I've ever met. She had me in stitches. I think that's the real reason we were asked to leave. We were sitting there watching people and talking about them and cracking on them. I think management was watching us. That's probably what really happened, LOL!!!

But Nurse Cook, it was good to meet you and to share a meal with someone who reads my blog!

Now after meeting you, I'm looking sideways at Tayari.... Yeah Tayari, I bet you got CRAZY side to you! To be hanging with the Good Nurse? I know you do, LOL!!!

You know we gotta hook up again!!

And next time...

Let's not get thrown up out the place.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The GOOD NURSE and the 'Shed (Part I)

You know, I always wonder about folks who pull up my blog on a regular basis and read my random thoughts. Yeah, yeah, my friends and coworkers and my Auntie Joyce (Hey AuntieJ) read because they know me…

My book club sistas, who know me to be notoriously quiet, read it. Let's just say that they aren't fooled by my quiet facade anymore, LOL.

But what about people who don’t blog, but happen upon my blog by chance or by way of another blog?

I always wanted to meet someone who took time to read my ramblings…

So when I got a blurb in my comment section a few weeks ago…

"Hey LL, I am a good friend of Tayari aka celie..anyhoo, i absolutely love your blog...by the way..i live here in Atl, we must meet over coffee and a good slice of poundcake... Nurse Cook."

I was like… Hmmmmmm.

Lo and Behold, a resident of LURK CITY speaketh!!
...I didn’t respond to the comment. Thought about it, but didn’t respond.

Plus, I don't really drink coffee.

So Tayari and I happened to be emailing back and forth one morning and I told her that her girl Nurse Cook wanted to meet up for coffee. I made one particular statement to Tayari in particular:

"I needed to talk to you and make sure she ain't special..."

Meaning... she ain’t crazy or anything, is she?

I wanted to know if The Good Nurse was psychotic, or an axe-murderer or something like that. I needed to know if I needed to bring my glock or have my shank ready for a bit of... Shanktification.

And I don't like dealing with stuck-up or overly literary folks... You know, Tayari fools with that literary crowd. I'm not on that level. I mean, I just ain't there yet, and probably won't get there. I ain't smart enough to be around literary types. And I would probably have to put the smack down on a stuck-up broad.

Tayari responded: "She's actually a friend of mine from "real life". She's really really cool. You will be happy to know her."

Okay. Cool. That was good enough for me. And Tayari knows that if she was lying, there would be some payback...

...I would heckle her at her next book signing and reading.

So I tell Tayari to tell her homie to hit me up on my Oldgirl email account. We could hook up.

Well, The Good Nurse and I played tag on email, and tried to get together for a couple of weeks, but it didn’t pan out. You see, we are some Divas (although I am 1% Diva), with some Diva-like schedules, and it was sort of like double-dutch jumproping.

...We had to jump in where we could get in.

Well, I told her that we would get up by the end of the year, LOL.

I even spoke with her briefly on the phone once. The GOOD NURSE is a bit off the chain... I couldn't really picture her and Tayari hanging out. The Good Nurse seem like the type that will have you 'bout locked up somewhere, LOL!!

But after emailing back and forth for a couple of weeks, we decided to hook up last Friday…

Now, my plan was to drive in to work and work the 6:00 am-2:30 pm schedule. Jet at 2:30 pm, go home, change out of the head scarf, sneakers, and sweats, and then meet up with The Good Nurse.

But it didn’t go down like that.

Problem: I am as spoiled as milk left out in the summer heat for a few days. Hen-Dog chauffeurs me to work each and everyday. I balked at driving in to work, especially since I went to sleep at 2 a.m. the night before. So I laid in bed until Hen called with my daily wake up call (Wake up, Little Girl!), and I decided to ride with him. I would have to figure out how to get home and change later on. My decent clothes were laid out at home, and I could just get dropped back off and change and it’s all good.

Of course it didn’t work out like that.

First of all, it looks like everybody and their mama took off from work due to the long 3 day weekend, Mardi Gras, etc. I think there were only three people from my group at work on Friday. The work load had kicked up (as it usually does on Fridays. Talk about ass backwards!) So we worked like some Hebrew slaves back in the labs that day. It didn’t help that I’d drank some caffeine laced steamed milk drink that morning, and I wasn’t feeling all that great.

And then, my baby brother Milk and Cookies was in town on military leave for the weekend, and he wanted to see me. He drove down to my job, so I had to babysit him and do my work at the same time... So I was a bit perplexed and exhausted, to say the least (My bro can be as clingy as a two year old at times). I was not in the mood to be going home and changing. If I went home, I was gonna crawl in the bed and take a PHAT nap. I was going to have to go as I was.

(Note to self: Simply bring a change of clothes to work.)

Milk and Cookies asked what I was doing later on.

“I’m hanging out with someone who reads my blog, one of Tayari’s homegirls.”
“Okay,” he said. "Where ya'll going?"

"Some place called The Watershed."
"Where is that at?" he asked.
"Down off of Ponce somewhere," I responded. “You can go with me if you like. We are having dinner, and it’s on me.”


Milk and Cookies smiled. His 32 teeth sparkled. His diamond earrings twinkled in the afternoon sunlight. There was even a twinkle in his eye.

Yeah, Milk and Cookies is always hungry. He wanted something to eat. And he gets especially giddy if it is free food, you know. I had 3 debit cards and 7 credit cards on me. I think I had enough money to feed the hungry boy, myself, and the Good Nurse.

I think...

And he was my bootleg ride home. Ya'll know how much I LOVE being chauffeured around!

Really though.

Anyway, I am PISSED at The Good Nurse right about now. Now, I asked her a couple of weeks ago where she would like to eat. (I ditched that whole sitting down for a cup of coffee idea. I ain't a big fan of coffee!) Anything was fine with me, as long as I didn’t have to fool with no craziness like some chittlins and pig feets, etc.

She suggested The Watershed. But you know, she was acting like she wasn’t all that sure about it. Like she didn’t know a lot of restaurants in town, but she was thinking about the Watershed. And the way she was saying it was with a low level of enthusiasm, like ...

“Oh, let’s go to McDonalds.”

So I went and looked up The Watershed on the net, and found the website. I perused the food and the menus. Thought to myself after seeing the food so lovingly arranged on the plates:

“What the hell?? This is some ‘foo-foo’ sh**!”

She and Tayari were running partners back up in Illinois somewhere, and had been running around in the cornfields up there, and I assumed that they didn’t know what good food was.

Whatever. This was a fan of my blog. Hey, wherever she wanted to go, we could go… even if it was on the "foo-foo" tip!

What she SHOULD have been saying was…

“Check it out, LadyLee... Listen up: We going to the %$#@%@ 'SHED, and that's that!!!!! You hear me?"

Uh, why do I say that?

Because... it was the BEST southern comfort food I’ve EVER had. EVER.

To be continued…



Friday, February 16, 2007

Friday Funnies!

**So much stuff happens to me and so many thoughts go through my mind that I find FUNNY... I thought I would start a little something called Friday Funnies: little funny stuff that went on that week.

Dedicated to the GOOD NURSE, NurSE CooK. Shorty, we gots to hook up soon, now!! I know we some Divas, with some Diva-like schedules, but come on now... holla at me!

Buzzzzzed... I had some type of Caramel drink from Starbucks this morning. Usually I get a steamed milk with a shot of coffee and a shot of vanilla or caramel syrup, without the whipped cream. This morning, they threw some expresso in my steamed milk... I was trying to tell that broad ringing up my order "NO!!" but she ignored me. I was too tired to protest. I was NOT down for the early morning arguments. I mean, I come in a couple of times a month and get the same thing. Why I gotta EXPLAIN it each and every time?

I am NOT a coffee drinker! I just want my steamed milk with a quick shot of coffee... THAT'S ALL!

So right now, at one in the afternoon, I am feeling like this:


I'm all buzzed up, and I haven't had a thing to eat today. I probably won't eat until dinner. I'm hurting right about now, babes! Uggh!! Really though!

The Milk and Cookies! My sister Kentucky told me that our brother Milk and Cookies was in town.

We're still in awe of the wide legged ant/bug with its head smashed off tribal tattoo. Grandma is the most perplexed of all.



[Note to self: Buy Milk and Cookies a BIG bottle of expensive lotion. I swear, he's got to be the ashiest negro on the planet!]

Now, you'll notice that I said that my sis Kentucky said he was in town. He don't like to call me when he's in town... He likes to "sneak up" on me, which means he likes to use his key to come in late at night and suprise me. There is NOTHING worse than hearing the 3 note chime of the door alarm, signaling that a door is open, and knowing that it is not myself or my sister coming in. I'm sitting there yelling out my sister's name... and it isn't her.

Yeah, he gets a kick out of that.

I called him today to catch him before he pulled this little stunt.

"Be careful boy, or you'll be staring at my glock!"

*Silence*

"You got a glock, Lee?"

*More Silence*

I'll let him sit and ponder that for awhile.

Work. I don't know what is with my job. As you know, I am a chemist. Now on Monday through Wednesday, the workload is light, but things pick up a bit on Thursday. Then on Friday, it's like "BAM!!!". We're hustling to get everything done. What makes things worse is that since this is a long holiday weekend (President's day on Monday), many negroes took today off, so um... my boss has me doing extra work. I usually get samples at the end of the process, but I had to take them through the WHOLE process which is RARE for me. I bitch and I moan... Darth Sista ignores me.

Anyway, this means I have to spend a bit of time back deep in the labs. Which means I'm going to have my music BLASTING (MUCH to the Darth Sista T's dismay). I usually hook my laptop up to some bootleg speakers, throw on some unusally long 8 hour mix, and keep it moving. But my laptop chord is fried (Uggh! I ordered another one express, and should get it today!) And I left my bootleg CDs at home (I was too lazy to go down in the garage and get them out of the car. ~sigh).

So I was about to be looking real crazy... working in the lab in silence. Ick!

But I happen to find a random bootleg CD in the lab under some paperwork.

And here's the song list:

1. Everlasting Love- Chaka Khan
2. Do You Know? (Theme from Mahoghany)- Diana Ross
3. Disco Nights- GQ
4. Devotion (Live)-Earth, Wind, and Fire
5. Push Push in the Bush - Musique
6. You Make Me Feel Mighty Real - Sylvester
7. Young Hearts Run Free - Candi Staten
8. Sign Your name across my Heart - Terrence Trent D'Arby
9. Wishing Well - Terrence Trent D'Arby
10. Beautiful Ones - Prince
11. Don't Leave Me this Way - Thelma Houston
12. Owner of a Lonely Heart - Yes
13. There You Go - Johnny Gill
14. Make It Last Forever - Keith Sweat
15. Your Child - Mary J. Blige
16. These Boots Were Made for Walking - Nancy Sinatra
17. Fly Robin Fly
18. He's the Greatest Dancer - Sister Sledge

*Crickets*

I call this my "Lee must have been smoking dope and getting blunted when she made this" mixtape.

The mix is a bit, um... weird.

For the life of me, I have no idea WHY I put these songs on a CD together. No idea. The CD is dated "8/21/06", and that's it. Heck, I don't even remember making this CD. But I burn a lot of CDs. I usually throw them away when I get tired of them. Fortunately (or unfortunately) this one was still around. I think I will keep it for emergencies like today, when I really need some music back in the labs.

Anyway, I put this CD on in the lab, and got some strange looks from the Infamous Hen-Dog.

Especially when I started playing song #6:

Over...
and over...
and over and over...
and over and over and over...

*LadyLee screeching REAL HARD: "Yoooou make me feel, Miiiiiigggggghty Real!*

LOL!!

Hen screamed "Gurl, I'ma need you to turn that off!!"

Hen is useful in the lab, because he will sing and dance, do splits, all kinds of stuff. And he is an excellent hype man!

"Sang it, gal! You sang that song!! You sangin' that song right there! Sho nuff, now!! Sang it like you mean it, gal!!"

Yeah. I like that! He make me feel like I'm the next Amer.ican I.dol!!!

But we are finally finished and out of the lab. (My boss wants me to work overtime tomorrow, to which I yelled "Shawty, stop playing!" It ain't going down, babes!)

Just a few more things to do, then we can break camp!!!

I'm all sung out!!

You all have a great weekend!!

~LL






Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Love Long Gone

Post #200...

I didn't quite have a Valentine's day post. So let me be the first to wish you Happy Valentine's Day this fine afternoon. (I am oh so late). Here, have a rose, from me to you!!




Anyway, for my IJWG meeting this month, we had an assignment where many of the questions focused on love- what we thought about love, things and people that we love, things we love about ourself, things we've done in the name of love, etc.

One question in particular struck me:

Do you recall your first love? (Share something about this love experience.)

What I wrote garnered many giggles from my book club sistas. I think they see me as a bit straight-laced, and they find out little things about me in these meetings... Things that make them say... The Oldgirl has had a past!! LOL!!

But I thought I would share what I wrote about my first love experience with the blog fam.

I know it will make you laugh.

And I hope it will make you think.

The Oldgirl's First Love Experience

I fell in love for the first time at the age of 17 with a boy named Eli. He was 19 at the time. We went to highschool together, and he was in my homeroom. But there was never any interest there at the time.

When we saw each other again, I was 17, and in my sophmore year of college. I ran into him at the Burger King in Union City. He was working the drive-thru and I vaguely remembered him when he said "Hello, remember me?" Anyway, we exchanged numbers and we started talking on the phone. We then started going out.

I don't remember the point that I knew that I was in love with Eli. We spent a lot of time together. He was the first man that I ever spent an entire night with. He was the best lover I would have for years to come. He was very attentive. He would pick me up from the Lakewood train station everyday after I got out of school in his maroon Ford Escort. He always had my favorite song playing on the cassette player- Salt-N-Pepa's I Desire. And he would always have an ice cold bottle of Pineapple Coconut Champale Cooler ready for me. Those were the good ol' days.

We were together for 3 years. I had a few infidelity issues, where I would run around on him.

I do remember when I knew that we would have to break-up, though. He had a problem with me spending so much time at school. He had a bad problem with my aspirations for graduate school. There was no way that I was going to stay with a man who couldn't really "see" beyond his working at Burger King or who couldn't supprot my careet goals.

We broke up in December 1990, when I was 20 years old. It took me two long years to get over him. It was one of the most painful times of my life.

Some years later, when I was 26 years old and living in Grant Park, he showed up on my doorstep, and had the nerve to tell me that he still loved me. This freaked me out something terrible, because I lived alone, and had just gotten home from the store. I'd noticed a white van following me, and it was him. All I know, it felt good to stand on my front porch and look at him and have absolutely no feelings whatsoever for him.

I only had memories, and that was good enough for me.

Man oh man... that brought back some memories.

Now, what is interesting, in those 6 years that we'd been apart, Eli had been married three times and had four children. I was struggling through graduate school and was dating someone, who would turn out to be my future husband "OldBoy" (now ex-husband).

I called my mother because I knew that she and Eli were friends. (Man, I don't EVEN want to get over into what was up with that! Ya'll think I be getting upset about the situations between me and my mama now? Geez! Auntie J, I KNOW you are reading this and giggling right now, LOL).

I remember the convo my Mama and I had that day all too well!

"Hello?"
"Ma, I can't believe you told Eli where I stay!"
"Hunh?"
"Eli was following me around today, and he came to my place, and told me that he loved me," I huffed. "I can't believe that you told him where I stay. You know I live alone. I can't believe you did that!"
Ma sighed. "Lisa, I didn't tell him anything. You know I wouldn't do that. You know he is in collections. He knows how to find people."
"Well what am I suppose to do?"
"Don't worry about it. He don't like rejection. He probably won't be back around. I'll talk to him."
"Alright then, bye."

I then called my man "OldBoy", and cried on the phone to him. You gotta understand, I lived alone, and I just knew that I would be stalked. I didn't know what to do.

By the end of the day, "OldBoy" had Eli's name, place of employment, and address. I asked him how he got all of that and he told me not to worry about it. He and a friend discussed with me what I wanted to do about it. Let's just say "OldBoy" was very fond of guns and knives and was discussing with his equally eclectic friend just how they were going to run up on Eli. This freaked me out, as I had visions of myself being locked up for being an accessory to some... craziness. I told "OldBoy" to just forget about it. If I had anymore problems, I would let him know.

I was a nervous wreck, watching my back like crazy, for like, a good month. I think I even stayed with "OldBoy" for a week, just to calm my nerves.

I never heard from Eli again.

Anyway, what really bothered me was that this was my first experience with a man who had issues with my dreams and goals (and it wouldn't be my last), and it thoroughly confused me. And looking back, I was MUCH to young to be dealing with all that emotional ish. Much too young. And I must admit, that he almost convinced me not to go to grad school. ~sigh~

No, this wasn't a Valentine's day story or anything.

It was just something that made me think of love...

And the choices we must make regarding and/or in spite of that love.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Birthday Adventures 2007

dedicated to my homegirl LadyTee, who RIPPED me over my birthday post! (That chick NEVER reads, and then she decides to read THAT post, LOL)...Oh what a "lovely" discussion we had this morning!! I stood my ground though. Love you anyway, LadyTee (you busta!! LOL)

I was reminded that I didn't do a post about what I did for my birthday, so I thought I would go ahead and get into it...

Nothing spectacular happened... like, if I won the lottery or something like that, then um...

I wouldn't even be sitting here typing right now. I would be basking in the tropical sun!




LOL!!

Anyway, my birthday was nice. Why? Because I took a vacation day, that's why. I promised myself that I would do this every year...

So I woke up naturally. No wake-up call from my diligent chaffeur my carpool partner the Infamous Hen-Dog. I did a little journal writing, and a little reading, and then got up and washed clothes, etc. Around nine o'clock people started calling to wish me a happy birthday. One call in particular was funny, a call from my book club sista, CatEyes.

CatEyes: "Happy Birthday, girl!"
Lee: Thank you!"
CatEyes: "What are you doing?"
Lee: "Sweeping the bathroom floor!"

Uh, she didn't like that answer, LOL. She scolded me about that. I like to sweep... It relaxes me!

Anyway, LadyTee called. We were suppose to spend the day together. By that time, I'd laid back down and was watching TV and reading a book (I'm weird. I always do two things at a time!). She calls with her usual "Lee, I'm 'bout to get in this tub, so get your butt up and be ready when I get there!"

Now with LadyTee, this could mean anything. It could mean that she will be at my house in a couple of hours, or it could mean she will be over in 15 mintues. Any which way, I best have myself together or I'm going to have to hear her mouth. (NOT a good thing).

She comes over about an hour later. I was ready.

We went to the Tag office and got our car tags. (Yes, we are lame like that. It was my day off and I would have to pay a late fee if I didn't get it by my birthday. Alas, head to the Tag Office!). Her birthday is coming up, so she got hers, too. Nothing like killing 2 birds with one stone, man!

Then we went to lunch. We went to Up the Creek on the Bougeious side of SWATS.

I heard through the grapevine that you eat free for your birthday. So we decided to check it out.

Let's just say we paid 8 dollars for 25 dollars worth of food. Nothing like free food, babes.

I have a little something I do every birthday: I cash in my spare change. Now, I collect change in a large quart sized cup from the day after my birthday to the day of my birthday. I use this as my birthday money, and I buy myself a gift with it. So LadyTee and I went to the SWATS Kroger and cashed in my cup of change. I cashed in 90 dollars worth of change. I used that 90 bucks to buy a fine case for my laptop!!

By the way, I got my laptop back. The freakin' Ge.ek Squad wanted to charge an Oldgirl some 750 bucks for repairs.

*crickets*

I had a short in my LCD screen, causing it to freeze, and there was MUCH haggling over why it cost that much to fix a screen, especially when I paid 300 bucks for the special plan that gave me free repairs. We fussed about this over a three day period. I had visions of myself going down to Be.st Buy and hurling a brick through the window.

But when I went to pick it up, there was no charge. They rebuilt the whole laptop, giving me a new CD rom drive, a whole new screen, and a rebuilt case. (Come to think about it, my laptop did look like I'd been running through the jungle and using it to clear the way. Yes, I have been VERY hard on it, to the point where I may have to have 2 laptops at my disposal). It looked brand new save for the rubbed off E, N, and D. I guess I use those letters the most.

I thought about going off because they didn't give me new letters. But I decided against it. I took my laptop and receipt and ran for the door before they changed their minds!

But I got the laptop back the night before my birthday. I bought a beautiful new case for it, a case with enough room for my notes, folders, writing information... just wonderful.

LadyTee and I then went to the local herb store in Little Five Points and bought a few herbs for tea. We then went back to my house to chill and look at television.

Who shows up?

That doggone Snake... with his nephew J in tow.


As you can see, J was not happy to be there, LOL.

LadyTee and I both looked at Snake sideways. First of all, he stepped foot in my house. Second of all, we were confused and bewildered about the fact that somebody let Snake keep their kid.

"Ya'll shut up!" he yelled. "I know how to babysit a kid, ain't that right J?"

J nodded. He still wasn't happy to be there.

Anyway, Snake is totally in love with LadyTee. Snake and I have the following convo MUCH too often:

"Lee, where that girl at?"
"Who?"
"That girl. That girl with the blue Buick."
"Who, Tee?"
He nods and grins hard, baring all 8 of his teeth. "Yeah, where Tee at?"
"I don't know. I talk to her everyday, but we don't get together."
"Tell her I said hey."
I look at him sideways. "Alright, Snake."

So when Snake sees her Buick in the driveway... let's just say he leans on the doorbell REAL hard.

Now the issha is that LadyTee hypes him up something terrible.

"Lee, is that my boyfriend? Is that my boyfriend Snake!!?"

I tell ya... the way she act around him? Let's just say that Snake feel like he's the King of the world. If nobody else is happy to see him, LadyTee is.

We all talk for a minute, and I go outside to move LadyTee's car from the street to the yard so that Snake can wash it. Snake and I are in the driveway talking, while LadyTee is up on my front porch, peering down at us. Then she says the craziest thing in the world.

"Snake, I need two tires."
"What?" Snake asks. Both he and I are looking at her like she is crazy.
LadyTee holds up two fingers. "Two, Snake. I need two tires for my car."
Snake gets a twinkle in his eye. He grins hard, showing all 8 of his teeth.

*LadyLee kicks the hard eyeroll*

"Snake, come on man," she whispers loudly. "I need two tires for my car."

Snake is standing there thinking, which means he is trying to come up with poetic verse to impress her.

He yells "LadyTee, somebody musta told you to come to the neighborhood where it's all good and you can get all you need to proceed..."

He yells some more stuff. That's all I can remember. All I know is that I all of a sudden had visions of my Mazda sitting up on bricks. All because Snake is trying to fulfill LadyTee's request.

"Man, you BETTER not snatch my tires!" I yelled.
LadyTee waves me off and then smiles back at Snake. "Shut up, Lee. We don't have the same size tires."

I didn't want to hear anymore. I went into the house. I have to watch LadyTee. I can get locked up fooling with that chick.

She hangs around outside with Snake a little longer. He ends up washing both my car and LadyTee's car (and you best believe he came back at ten o'clock that night whining and singing negro spirituals about all the work he did, and how we didn't pay him. I gave him 10 bucks.)

She came back in the house when Snake finished washing the cars.

"Lee, Snake gonna put a couple of tires in your garage. Just let me know when he brings them by."
"Man, don't get me involved in ya'll's mess," I yelled.
"It's legit. He said he got a cousin that own a tire shop."


Yeah, and I bet it's the same cousin that he told me about who gave him some cat food to sell to me. I bought the cat food.



Turns out it wasn't legit. Poor Oscar-Tyrone will be eating hot catfood until Christmas!!


Yeah Oscar-Tyrone... Shocking ain't it???... I feel ya, baby. What's done is done, son. You better eat!!

LOL!

So that's my birthday... I think I chilled out that evening, and talked on the phone to a few peeps. Cleaned up the house a little more, and got ready for the next day.

Can't wait for my next birthday, man!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

SnAkE BiTEs: "The Thin Line: In Search of Respect"

It’s a thin line between wrong and right
I’m trapped in a trance of morning light.
Ghetto ain’t left me no choices

I have to fight!
Although I’ve been made a man from the mistakes I’ve made.


Niggas dead…
Some have gone…
But I’m still not afraid.
Ain’t too grown to get back on these ghetto games I played
My life would have been cut off if my dues wasn’t paid.

The material mind is enticed by that dollar bill,
It makes some brothers fight, and some even kill.
Some will do anything for a bill
‘Cause they think they’ll get respect.

But there minds are weak.
They’re obsolete.
Their future’s bleak.
Their minds a beak, big like the bird.
They’re selling crack and living cheap.
Got a used ass car to go beep beep.
Play music up loud in a stolen jeep.


So what you want you will not get.
What you need, you won’t admit.
Like Hercules, your mind is strong
But your mind is like the devil
Your ideas are wrong.

It really don’t matter how hard you try.
Money don’t buy RESPECT.

Friday, February 09, 2007

One of my Favorite Authors, Kimberla Lawson Roby, comes to Town!!

*Dedicated to my book club sister SHUNDA!!

So I catch a little bit of flack sometime...

And I saw some of that come out at my "Women of Character" meeting last Sunday.

My book club sister Shunda yells out "LadyLee, you coming to the book club signing on Friday night?"

Now, I had gotten the email. But hell, I'm taking my behind home on a Friday night. I am tired. I'm trying to lay down somewhere and take a PHAT nap!

But if you talk to me long enough, you can talk me into anything.

So Shunda yells out, "LadyLee only goes see Tayari!"

I walk over to her. Yes, if I hear Tayari's name, I must walk in that direction. Because Tayari may be in the room, you know. I would like to say hi, and ask some writing questions. Nothing like a bootleg thirty second impromptu writing workshop, babes.

Nope. Only Shunda is there. And she yells "LadyLee, you only go to Tayari's booksignings!"

I look at her. "Yeah," I yell defiantly!!

I had a vision of myself pushing her. I probably would have if I she didn't have a backache at the time. Plus, I think she can easily kick my ass without breaking a sweat, even with her bad back.

"Yeah," I yell again, as if daring her to make an issue out of it. The words "Yeah, N****!!!" almost comes out after that. It was on the tip of my tongue. But um, 3-D visions of a severe beatdown (my own) clouded my mind.

Yes!! I only go to Tayari's readings and signings! YEAH!!!

*LadyLee kicking the fist pump so hard that she throws her shoulder out of joint*

No. That ain't true. I like A LOT of authors. I am a prolific reader. It's just that a lot of authors are stealth, and they are not accessible. And daggonit, if they come to town, you have to be some type of magician to figure out where they are and when they are coming. Some of them don't even update their websites, let along ATTEMPT to have a blog!!

Yeah, I am a fan of many, but let's just say that I will not be chasing an author around trying to get a book signed. And if the author is all aloof and stuck up, well, they REALLY don't have to worry about me wasting my time showing up for a book signing. Yes, I will buy the books, but uh rah, I'm not wasting gas driving out to see you!!

HUMPH.

*Lee calming down and getting back to the point of this post*


So I fought traffic on Thursday night to get out to the Camp Creek Barnes and Nobles to see one of my ALL TIME favorite authors: Kimberla Lawson Roby.

I have attended several of her signings in the past. I like her because she puts out a book every January. She is an excellent writer. she is an easy intelligent read, and will tackle meaty matters such as abuse, sibling isshas, workplace isshas, etc... and do it WELL! I read her books in a matter of two days. I go ahead on and buy the hardback as soon as it comes out. As far as I'm concerned, she's one of the most consistent contemporary black writers out there right now.

She just released her eigth book, Love and Lies.

Let me tell you what she did:

Back in 2005, at the NBCC conference, she got everybody's email address as they came through to take pics with her, get their books signed, etc. Then she sent out mass emails from time to time. I like this, because, hint, it LET'S ME KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING! Then, when Love and Lies was a couple months from being released...

... she sent out the first chapter, and asked for feedback. I sent feedback (of course the first chapter was off the chain), and she sent back a personal email.

As a result... A gazillion readers were at her booksigning. Yep, we were all in there, butt to butt, breast to breast, like we were in a damn club or something, all of us trying to get our books signed. I even ran into one of my book club sistas there. (Wassup CatEyes!!:)

Many of us had stacks of Kimberla's old books. I think I got 4 books signed. I got a couple of books signed back in 2004.

So Shunda, I DO go to author signings!

Believe dat!!

Shunda managed to talk me into going to one this Friday night (it is easy to talk me into stuff), but I happen to be going out of town. And I do have a book by that particular author, an erotic thriller mystery thingy. (And ya'll know that I can't STAND erotica! We all done hung from chandaliers and have gotten busy on the kitchen floor. That don't mean I want to read about it!!!!!)

I was gonna go, but alas, I am headed out of town... Going with my bootleg "work-for-free" editor Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia to her country ass hometown to research the setting for my next book, a humorous black sci-fi diddy. I need to hit a couple of juke joints (Cynthia is frowning HARD at me for this... I think I will grab her grandmama and hit a club or two), and take some pics, and talk to some of the locals. And the wild chickens running the streets down there are supposedly more numerous than flies at a picnic. Gotta take some pics...

And you know I'm gonna post about those chickens, LOL!

So Shunda? I do go to booksignings, girlie!!

You better get to finishing up YOUR book Shunda, because I can't wait to go to yours!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

For my birthday: THE GREAT INTROSPECTION... Feb. 7, 2006 - Feb 7, 2007

February 7, 1970 was the day I was born.

11:19 p.m. at SWATS Hospital. (I am pure ATLien, babes!)

Sigh... I am 37 years old today. Oh My!!!!

I thought I would do something a little different for my birthday this year post-wise. This birthday has me getting a little introspective. It has me thinking about things that I have realized about myself in the 36th year of my wonderful life. Things that made me laugh. Things that made me cry. Things that changed me.

...Things that shook my ass up a bit.

Warning: This is a long post. And for my longwinded self to say that... It must be truly long. There are no links here. It's just toooo long to go through putting in all the appropriate links to elsewhere.

'Tis a bit more expletive laden than usual. I guess that is just an indication of my state of mind right now. Be forewarned that it starts out light and lovely, but grows darker and darker... and angrier... and sadder.

Now, I don't pride myself on being a wordsmith or anything, but I kept thinking about "introspection", not knowing what the doggone word means.

Introspection is defined as the observation or examination of one's own mental and emotional state, mental processes, sensations, etc; the act of looking within oneself; self examination; soul searching (via Dicationary.com).

Now, my favorite author Tayari Jones (yes I will always and forever jock her... get freakin' use to it), has us reading a strange book over on her blog, where one of the requirements is to write/journal three full pages of free flow every morning... whether we feel like doing it or not.

Let's just say, it is amazing what one learns about oneself when one does such a thang...

*Ladylee frowning hard and shaking fist hard at Tayari.*

(We will have words when I see you again, Celie!!)




So, uh... for my 37th birthday, I would like to post about what I've learned about me this past year. Some of it is funny, most is not. There will be no funny pics, none of that.

But it's just me... the Oldgirl. And I am fine with being me.

if you make it to the end of this post without hurling yourself off the nearest roof, a lot was going I went through a lot of changes this year. I lot was going on in my head this year. I probably need quite a bit of therapy.

Music. Ya'll know that I am a music fiend. This is the first year ever that I have not listened to Urban radio, or urban music in general. I think it sucks. Everyone sounds the same, and they ain't talking about nothing important. I guess that just means that I am getting old.

On the flip side of that, I love Oldschool Music. Nothing new about that, as I have loved it for years. But I have a weird quirk that for some reason was magnified this past year: I will play one song over and over. I have a tendency to do this in our QUIET cubicle area at work... And you know, that causes a few problems.

The songs on my list:

Hurry Up this Way Again - The Stylistics
Inside Out - Odyssey
Deja Vu - Dionne Warrick
License to Kill - Gladys Knight
Anyone Who has a Heart - Luther Vandross
Apache -Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five


Now they are all good songs, but the problem is that I would pick ONE of them, and play it over... and over... and over... and over again. I know it pisses people off, but only 2 people would protest-- Cowgirl Cre and the Infamous Hen-Dog. Once one of them start whining, I would, um, switch to another song...

Not sure why I like those songs above, especially the Luther song. That songs always reminds me of the demise of my marriage and the divorce. Hmm. Yet I like to play it over... and over... and over. That is something I will will have to sit down and think about.

All things important. When I think of some of the most important things that have happened during my 36th year, that have given me joy, there are a few things that come to mind immediately. I am sure that there are more things, but certain things just stick out last year. Of course, my fam is important. But this is new stuff that comes to mind. New stuff that has totally changed me.

My Inspirational Journal Writing Group (IJWG) has been one of the most important things that I've been a part of in my 36th year. I get together with these phenomenal women once a month and we express whatever feelings and thoughts we have been journalling about, in accordance with whatever assignment we were working on for that month. (I'm not a big fan of the assignments, but I try to work it out.) Normally I am extremely quiet during these meetings. I am not the talkative type, and it takes me a LONG time to warm up to people, but I just like being there, soaking up all that wisdom. I rarely say anything, and I know they had to be looking at me strange when I broke out and expressed some thoughts at a meeting once. I have heard some stuff there that has shaken me to my very core. I witnessed a lot of crying going on in our meetings, but I am a tough Oldgirl... I will hold back the tears and save my crying for when I get in the car or when I get home. Anyway, this is something that I look forward to every single month. I feel like I've grown a little after each and every meeting.

The whole blogosphere action has changed my life... Most notably, the SBS crew: Serenity23, The DJ Diva, the Ladybug Mocha amongst others. Me and these chicks would kick out upwards of 500 emails a day at times. We have laughed together, cried together, cussed each other out, yacked on the phone, IM conferenced, prayed for each other, sent stuff in the mail to each other... just some of everything. It's weird how I could reveal myself all out there to them and get some amazing advice about whatever I am going through. It's been times that these ladies have kept me from going off the deep end. It's funny how folks come through my life at just the right time. That's how I have felt about them.

Another thing that has been totally priceless is meeting some of my favorite authors and getting a damn TON of advice from some of them. Some of this has been over email, and some of it has been in person. I love Cherlyn Michael's books, and I learned from her to write by word count and not by time, which has helped me immensely. I spend a lot of time reading and re-reading Chele's Raymond's Daughters, because of it's beautiful styling. Chele's Confessions of a Beautiful Woman was one of the most important books I read last year. I got stuck off in a car with author Dwan Abrams for four hours travelling to and from my book club retreat, and the advice that I got from her... let's just say I wanted to slip that sista a check or something. (I gave her 4 CDs containing 60 oldschool rap songs instead, LOL). And let's not even talk about my favorite chick, ol' Tayari Jones. She does not only give me a piece of the puzzle, but she gives me a whole side of a puzzle, throwing me in the right direction. I am oh so grateful for that. Shoot, she might just get her Original Oldgirl Platinum plus status for her encouragement. She's a damn mentor to me and she don't even know it, LOL!

That brings it all home to what's most important to me right now: writing. Do I care if I make money or a living off of it? No. Do I write to be writing what others want to read? No. I write because I love to write. LadyTee mentioned something this past year that I never realized. She refuses to read much of what I write these days, because she said that I've been writing since I was nine years old, and she has been reading much of what I have written for the past 25 years and she has always known me to be a good writer. It has always been my passion, and I didn't even really realize it. Hmm... But she always has.

Romance. Not much has gone on in the romance department for me, and that is largely my fault. I am a seriously flawed chick, "emotionally distant", and I don't really care to be caught up with anyone. I must admit that I am hard to deal with, as I do have a selfishness streak out of this world, meaning I don't care to invest that much time into a dude. I've hooked my life up with someone once before and um... I don't even want to go there.

I had some strange semi-romantic ish go on last year, and they were the type of situations where a couple of shorties had me feeling a bit "foggy". Now foggy is a funky word, but it is the only word that I can come up with, when looking back on my feelings, that describe how I was feeling. This means that I was in "la-la" land for a few days here and there. Let's just say that the Oldgirl did not care for that at all. That is a feeling that I simply don't chase men around, for fear of getting off into something silly. A lot of my behavior comes from growing up with a mother who was a bit, how shall I say it nicely... off the chain when it came to dealing with her men. Let's just say that I am my mother's child, and I really have to be cognizant of what my actions, feelings, habits, and thoughts are at all times.

One thing about me that was very much intensified this past year: I don't run around screaming about how I met somebody. Afterall, I'm not even sure I like a dude. I will be damn if I'm going to run around screaming "ooh wee, look at me, I met a man." I told Milk and Cookies that I meet men all the time, which he thought was hilarious. He should know by now that I am very stealth and secretive about that type of stuff. (Tiny caught me going out one night and found it a bit hilarious, LOL). That way it is very easy for me to cut loose if I have to. My golden rule: a dude don't meet nobody- no friends, no fam, NOBODY- unless we been hanging out for a year... Yeah, that is rough, but um, I gotta watch you live your life before I call myself hooked up with you, ya know?

Bottom line: LadyLee don't like feeling "foggy", and I felt a bit too "foggy" this year.

Moving on to other things.

The biggest question. There is something, that may or may not fit into the romance category, that bothers me. If I do something for my female friends, people are like, "oh that's cool." But if I do something for my male friends, peopel are like "Oh, she wants him." This pisses me off to the highest of pisstivity.

Okay, why is it assumed that I'm trying to twerk a dude if I show him some appreciation by doing something for him? This has been a severe problem at times. Hen-Dog is my friend. If I do something for him, somehow that means I want him or something, which is not the case. (I know that negro all too well. Goodness.) I write about Tiny alot. He's my friend. I do things for him to show appreciation. He's around a lot. So what? Does that mean that I am after him? No. (As a matter of fact, I've always told the two of them that I consider them my sister-gurls, some big hairy butchy girls, LOL!!)

Now I do more- MUCH MORE- for my female friends than I do for my male friends, but you would never know, because folks don't pay attention to that. Now why does that NOT mean that I am am trying to twerk my women friends? Hmm.

Nawl, I ain't gay or nothing like that. But damn, it would be easy to be that way. Folks would never know when I would be trying to get with some female, would they? Makes me wonder who around me is pulling off some ish like that? You never know.

My goodness, assumption is a mutha, ain't it?


LadyTee. There have been some things said to make me just bust out crying this year. And I think it was just that I was a little down at the time or something. But to hear someone say something admirable about me, when I am down, or just in general... well, I am sometime taken aback, and I get all emotional. I really don't know how to take that.

LadyTee and I were talking on the phone one night. Now she is someone who knows me better than myself. If you can think back to the movie the Color Purple, when Celie told Mista, in reference to her sister Nettie "You took away the only somebody that love me", well that's how I feel about LadyTee.

I know if no one else in the whole wide world loves me, LadyTee loves me.

Well, she and I are TOTAL opposites. She is a diva, always going out the way for people, very caring, compassionate, etc. I am totally opposite: a tomboy, dodging folks, and I have to work on the caring and compassionate thing, you know. Well she said something one night on the phone that made me break out in tears (of course, with me being as hardcore as I am, I didn't let her know I was crying):

"Lee, you don't give a n**** a break at all. It's one strike and you're out. But you are a wonderful person. Just wonderful. You are a truly wonderful person."

That shocked me when she said that. I thought about it for days. Still think about it whenever we talked. I think I cried because she thinks so highly of me. And I have never considered myself or thought of myself in that light. I have always thought of myself as being totally opposite, I guess. I guess it just really did something for my heart to hear someone say that I was "a wonderful person."

A couple of weeks ago, LadyTee said something else that shocked the hell out of me. She is taking some classes right now, and one of the assignments was for her to write about the most intelligent person she ever met. She told me that she wrote about me. And she told me all the reasons why she wrote about me. Of course, it made me cry. (I made sure she didn't know that, though). I think I was a bit depressed and feeling down about some things at the time (which I think she knew, because we were constantly on the phone, and were hanging out more often). Again, I wasn't expecting to hear her say some of those things. It took me a moment to compose myself.

My Sister Kentucky (Kay) and My brother Milk and Cookies (DaKari). This year, I hated to do it, but I distanced myself from them a little bit. They are grown now, so they needed to do their own thing, you know? I mean, I try to give them advice because, hint, I have been through what they are going through. Ain't nobody trying to run their life and or anything like that, it's just that damn, they think they know everything. So my thing has been basically to let them go ahead and fall on their asses. I'll talk to you when you bust your ass. I have their FULL attention when they are looking crazy.

I had a problem with my sister earlier this year. Let's face it, I ain't too fond of her man, and I didn't appreciate him appearing to be laying up in my house. I don't allow a man to lay up in my house, even though I pay the mortgage and bills, and out of respect for her, since she lives with me. Plus, she knew how we grew up. I wasn't down for that ish. I was uncomfortable in my own house, but didn't say anything. I said something to Milk and Cookies and he, with his big ass mouth, said something to her, and it caused a problem. (This is how we communicate, which is jacked up: we don't really talk... one sibling hears through another sibling, i.e. JACKED UP!) I've already got this reputation for being a hard ass, so we weren't on the best terms for a minute. I was wondering, and even asked her, why was she up in my house if she got isshas with me, etc... But all is okay now (I guess). I still sort of keep to myself as much as possible, and that ain't good. But she knows I love her. They both do, even though I rarely express it.

Not sure what I learned from my dealings with Kay and M&C this year. I think I learned that I will live my life, and stop worrying about them. If they need me, I am here. Period. Otherwise, do your thizzle. I'm not going to be running around after them. They'll be alright.

Health. I have an autoimmune disease, and have had it for years. I struggle with monthly doctors visits, meds, blood tests, bone density tests, urine tests, wild side effects, the whole nine. As a matter of fact, I ditched my doctors visits during the early part of my 36th year, and got sick. That was NOT a good look. During the latter part of my 36th year, I made a conscience effort to take better care of myself.

My sister did the nicest thing for me a couple of months ago. I am extremely anemic and I won't take my iron medication. Why? Because I hate struggling with the foil wrapper of my pills. I am too busy taking all them other damn pills and don't like spending a few seconds removing foil wrap. (Yes, I am hard headed.) Kay and I were talking about it in the kitchen one afternoon. She took the plates containing the pills, took them to work, and removed them all for me while she was at work, and placed them in a bottle. ("It'll give me something to do, Lisa," she said, when I looked at her like she had gone nuts.) Now I take the pills. I know, I know... that sounds like some simple stuff, but I thought that was nice of her. I take my pills now, but I am still struggling to get my iron levels right.

Job. Not gonna write about the job much. I am in "la-la" land when it comes to the job. I told my boss today that I have gone as far as I can go at this place. She wants me to start doing research (she has been trying to motivate me in this direction for the past 3 years). I told her she might see me go and apply for some assistant professorship somewhere and get my own lil' research program together or something. But here at my current job.,I have gone as far as I can go. Let's face it: I ain't political and I'm not an ass-kisser, so they can basically kiss my ass go sit on a tack... and give me my paycheck.

My Mother. If you notice here on my blog, I don't talk about my mother. I think I should say something about that, because I think about this often. As far as I'm concerned, my Aunt is my mother. I feel like my Aunt actually gives a damn about me. I can talk to her and about her all day, without fear of her (my Aunt) using shit against me. She cares about me, you see. As far as I'm concerned, my mother doesn't. This is the first year of my life that I have purposefully stayed out from around my mother. I stay in constant trouble when it comes to her. And I finally got to the point where I deemed it unacceptable, the way she treats me. A few weeks ago, I remember thinking... "Gee, I actually feel free. Like I can be me."

Last summer, me and my sis and bro were standing in my kitchen talking about some crap my mother was saying about me, etc. (It simply amazes me that she dogs me out in front of my sister and brother. They are just now in the last few years getting to the point that they don't believe every word she says about me. Geez.) I think my relationship with my mother thoroughly confuses them, and they are uncomfortable being caught up in the whole mess (as they should be). I remember our discussion getting a bit heated, and me saying something that threw Milk and Cookies into a small fit that night.

"My mother does not love me!!"

He lost his mind (Milk and Cookies can get pretty dramatic at times: "Lee, that ain't true! Don't say that!"). Kay kind of stood there all quiet, thinking God knows what about what I just said. But it is something that I feel, and I pretty much have accepted. She doesn't love me, doesn't give a damn about me... nothing. And I guess that I have internalized that, and for years, I've thought I was this awful bad person. I think that is why I get all emotional if someone who knows me well has anything good to say about me.

What has been really hurtful and has really blindsided me something terrible this year is when my mother puts my bro and sis through some craziness. And then I have to pick up the pieces behind all of it, and talk to them. Let them know that they are alright, that they are good people. It has taken EVERTHING within me, and I mean EVERTHING, not to just call her up and scream "Cut this shit out... What the f*** is your problem? These are the children that you actually love!! They are sticking it out with you! Treat them better than you have treated me!! " But I don't do that. Why? Because my brother and sister will have to pay dearly for coming back and telling me what she said. So as a result, I just keep things to myself.

Nevertheless, there is a hole in my heart over all of this. I feel awful sometimes about my decisions, because I have friends who have lost their mothers, and their mothere was someone who they had a good relationshipswith. I yearn for that. Here I am, dodging mine. And I must say, that bothers me. But this has been the first year that I haven't been all stressed out, trying to watch my back, what I say, and what I do, stroking egos, kissing her ass... There hasn't been much fear of her retaliations or anything. And I must say, I do feel free.

But am I?

I don't know.

As you can see, The Oldgirl has A LOT of issues.

Humph. Don't we all?

So their goes my "Great Introspection". It was a bit on the dark side. There are many sides to LadyLee. But I guess that's why I like my usual "funny-funny"... I like things that make me happy, make me laugh, you know?

Hope I didn't depress you. This was introspection to some degree. I could have taken it a bit deeper, but I didn't. It's just that I have been free-flow journaling for the past 3 to 4 weeks, 3 frickin' pages a day, and um... it brings a lot of stuff bubbling to the surface. It seems as if that is suppose to happen, according to that book Tayari got us reading. *Lee STILL shaking fist at Tayari*

Let's just say there's A LOT of stuff I gotta come to terms with. A LOT. And the first step is realizing that.

So what will I do on my birthday? I have no idea. I ain't going to work, that's for sure. I will wake up naturally. This means no wake-up call from my chaffeur my carpool partner, the Infamous Hen-Dog. (He cracks me up with the "Wake up, Little girl!" call every morning). I am going to get my car tag, and then me and LadyTee are going to go do our Thelma and Louise thing (minus driving the car off the cliff.). Don't know what that chick has planned, but it is always something good.

Until next time... I'll Holla!!!

~That Oldgirl LadyLee...

Monday, February 05, 2007

SnAkE BiTes: "So Blue" and "She Hurt My Feelings"

So I was out in the garage, hanging out with Tiny while he explained some weird upgrade he was doing to his car. Snake runs up on us with his trusty composition notebook in hand. He gets a little happy when he writes his poetry, and decides to read some of his newer stuff to us. (This is like, mandatory or something. He is extremely adamant about reading to us. We won't say no out of fear of receiving SEVERE chastisement!)

So he reads some of his what I term "Love lost" poetry.

He dons his glasses and reads very slowly, like he is reading a great masterpiece or something. We quiet down and we listen to him. Afterwards, we just stare. There are many *crickets* permeating our space.

Tiny was standing there a wrench in his hand. Me, I was munching on a paper plate of salad.

Tiny is the first to utter words. "Snake... Man, Snake who hurt you?"

"Really though," I add.

Snake just waved us off. He didn't have much to say about his lost loves. He only left me with the poems.

Somebody had Snake all sad and blue...

Don't know what was up with that...

I will ponder, and continue to wonder.

While I do that, here's your "Snake Bites" for the day.



So Blue

I had everything I need
But now my life is so blue.
You meant the world to me
But now you're gone
And I'm so blue.
Everyday the sun is shining
I spend it crying
Thinking 'bout you.
I spend my life all alone
Talking to myself
And just crying over you!
Because now my life is so blue.



She Hurt my Feelings

I was dealing with this girl one time in my life
And I felt as if I was on top of the world.
She made me feel as if I was GOD's gift to women.
Until one day, things weren't the same.
When all of a sudden
She said that I appreciate you,
You showed me how to love someone unconditionally.
Not realizing that she used me
Just as a reherasal
For when someone who she really like comes along.


She hurt my feelings.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Writing Progress... I AM FINISHED!!!!!!!!!

February 1, 2007.


1002 pages.

273,072 words.

some 22 months later...

I am happy to say . . . I AM FINISHED.



Yes... I have finished my romantic suspense SWEET HEAT manuscript. I am DONE.



I have finished the first draft, that is... I have to do a lot of cutting, revising, editing etc... I ain't smart enough to figure all that out, man.

But I ain't worried about all that.

I am just happy to be DONE. I can honestly say that I am able to put togther a bunch of words and make a story out of it. Even chocked it full of twists and turns and turns and twists.

This was MUCH harder than writing my dissertation. Humph.



I finished it all up sans my laptop. I was feeling a bit shell shocked without it (especially since ALL my music and photos are on it, too), but I came up with some bootleg tactics to get my writing done. It is being repaired right now (It has been gone for over two weeks!! UGGH!!!) I may have to buy a smaller second laptop eventually. I have used the busted one so much that some of the letters have rubbed off.

Goodness graciuos.

I have a few readers that have hung in there for close to two years... reading, whining, acting silly, getting all pissed off at me. (That ish was funny! Remember peeps, these were imaginary characters!) My bootleg "work-for-free" editor Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia was thoroughly pleased with the ending. My other bootleg "work-for-free" editor Sunshine wasn't all that happy because the ending turned out to something she didn't expect. She didn't have much to say to me yesterday.

I was sad about that. (Yeah right!)

She can go sit on a TACK, she can.

I like the ending, and that is all that matters. I HATE happy predictable endings. Give me a happy UNPREDICTABLE ending any day... Or a sad ending... I like that!

Interestingly, one of my coworkers, a light-eyed chick who my brother Milk and Cookies feens over (yeah, I'm talking about YOU, Melissa) enjoyed it so much that she wants me to just keep it going.

My answer to that was #&*$@&@*# !!!!!

Yeah... you figure out what that means. But there are about 10 lil' offshoot stories that can jump off of this manuscript. I will most definitely be thinking about that.

But right now? I just want to enjoy the fact that the first draft is DONE. I am doing a lot of re-reading and printing these days. I won a manuscript edit late last year, and I need to send it off.

When she gets it, I know she gonna be like... WTF?????

Oh well... I need the help something terrible. I am interested in what is said about it. Hope to have it all printed up and thrown in a manuscript box by the 15th...

And that's the immediate plan for now.

So I want to give a shout out to my critiquers - Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia, Sunshine, Regina, Que, The Darth Sista T, the Good Sista, Hen-Dog, Gigi, Cowgirl Cre, Tisha, Alex, LadyBug Mocha, Melissa, my book club sista Kim- We have all been in heavy discussion from the get go, almost two years ago. A bunch of ya'll have bitched me out, made helpful suggestions, asked A LOT of questions that made me think HARD, and just overall helped me trudge through it all...

You didn't have to do it... but you did. And for that I am thankful.

What's next for me? Sending this thing off to have it edited. I will work it out from there.

Right now, I am writing one short story a month, and I have a little Science-fiction idea that I am working on. (It is set in a rural area, so I am doing a little traveling next weekend to Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia's country ass hometown to do a little research.) A couple of the offshoot stories from the Sweet Heat manuscript are on my mind, so I am working on those, too.

There was a manuscript that I was working on before Sweet Heat. I got a 100 pages into it and decided that it was just too complicated and I needed to write something simpler and shorter (What a laugh!). I will post parts of that old manuscript on my blog, since I don't plan on doing anything with it, because it is quite, um interesting...

All I gotta say is that I feel like a HUUUUUGGGGE weight has been lifted off OFF MY SHOULDERS!!!!

***LadyLee exhaling hard***