Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Lost and Found

One of the blogs that I've stumbled upon in the past few months that I absolutely LOVE is La's La Bella Vita. If you haven't read La, well... you haven't read. Plain and simple. La takes it to the other level. It's like she writes some of her stories, and it seems as if she spent YEARS perfecting them.

La is the Truth.

All day, er' day.

Really though.

Anyway, she wrote a post sometime last August that socked me hard, I mean, left me without air. She wrote of her longings for her father, and her heart concerning such. That particular post, entitled Riverwide, is the most poignant and complicated posts I've ever read, and I will never forget it. I am estranged from my own father, and I can sit here and say that I don't feel as she does about my own father, but that post... MAN. She really delved deep. Reading that post stirred up emotions I'd kept stuffed away, only skirting them deep within ther pages of my personal journals every now and again.

My eyes were full of tears after reading that post.

Anyway, I left the following comment:

"You really know how to put your feelings into words. I think you have said what I've been trying to somehow figure out in my head when it comes to my own father...

Just last week, I sent him a card in the mail requesting to see him. I haven't seen him since I was 22. I am now 38. I made it a goal to see him before I turned 30... Let's just say that I am waaay overdo.

I haven't heard back from him, but I made a big step and sent a card with my information on it. Don't know what I will do if he doesn't respond. The man lives less than 10 minutes away, and I have driven by his home... yet I still wonder what to do. So many questions...

My emotions run the gamut, just like yours. I hope you get some resolution with your father. This post encourages me to find a way with my own.

Thank you for this post... You are such an amazing writer..."


I read that whole post twice. And she has a tendency to be longwinded, like me...

So...

I was cruising down I-20, heading home from work after picking up a prescription at the White people's Kroger, when my cell phone rings.

"Hello?"

"Lesia!"

"Yeah, who is this?" I wait for a reply. Nobody calls me that. My fam calls me "Lee" or "Lisa". Hell, some folks even call me "LadyLee". Most throw an "A" on "lesia" and call me that, since that is my gub'ment name.

"Lesia."

"Yeah, wassup?" I couldn't place the voice. Didn't sound like any of the jokers I'd given my number to in the past.

"This Milton."

I think for what feels like forever, even though it's a few seconds.

Then the name registers. I'm on the highway, but I slow down.

It was my Father.

To be continued....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Got Gas??

For the past couple of weeks, the conversations around my way, in my beloved ATL, have changed dramatically. They have gone from

How you doing today?
How are things going?
How's the family?
Whatchu know good?

to

Whassup with the gas!!?

and

Ya'll know where I can find some gas?!

and various curse-ladened versions thereof. We won't go into all that.

We have a gas shortage in Georgia. I hear it is going on in the Carolinas also. Folks down here are fighting, cussing each other out, pulling guns, all KINDS of craziness all over...

GAS

Or should I say... the FEAR of the probability of not being able to get gas. The fear of straight up running out of gas and NEVER finding gas, every again.

Because that's what it is really about. Right? Right?

I must admit that I buy into it. Let's just say, if I see a gas station open, you best believe I stop and "top off" my ish. And that's coming from someone who MIGHT run through a quarter tank a week or a third of a tank on a crazy week.

Let's just say, I fillup once a month, so it's not affecting me too much. I don't know WHAT would be going through my mind if I had a real commute.

The thing is, one can find gas, but there is a long line. And we live in a fast paced society these days. NOBODY has the patience for that. And I don't want to get caught up in no lines. People are impatient, and that's a recipe for trouble.

My coworker Ol Mean Ass Cynthia was riding on fumes the other day. I told her EXACTLY where to go. There's a particularly scuzzy looking gas station about a mile from my house.

"Girl, go up there on the corner of Pryor and Abernathy. I don't ever go in there! EVER! It looks scary! I know if I'm scared to run up in there, you know the white peoples is. Go there!"

LOL!!

She ended up going to a gas station up the road from there, near the freeway. And she came back all wide-eyed, talking about long lines and arguments and stuff...

(Hard-headed broad. I told that chick where to go. HUMPH).

This worked for a couple of days last week... I could roll up in there and "top off", with no lines, no waiting, nothing.

Why is it that, on Friday, everybody and there Mama was up there? The line was LONG as all get out. And now, that station is out of gas.

Yep, it's become a straight up scavenger hunt for gas. I would've never thought that I would see something like this. I'd heard of the gas lines in the 70's. I remember my Mama and nem talking about it, but of course that wasn't important to me back then. I was more concerned about what time Scooby-Doo and the Flintstones was coming on, you see.

And this craziness is suppose to go on for another month. YIKES.

THIS Oldgirl has developed a strategy. And it seems to be working.

LadyLee's Bootleg "Get Your Dayum Gas" Tips:
(for ATLiens, that is)

1. Best place to find gas: THE HOOD. We figured out that it's harder to find gas way out in the suburbs. It's there, but no one wants to deal with a line. Another coworker, Detroit Meek-Meek, lives way the hell out in a suburb on the west side. She'd somehow got caught up driving through the hood and noticed all the available gas.

"The white people ain't found them yet," I yelled. "That's the place to go!"

2. Don't take the freeway to get where you need to go. Take the street way. I had a finance meeting yesterday out in East Point. I passed 10 gas stations on the drive back home. 3 had gas. There were long lines at two stations, and a short line at one. I am down to 2/3rds of a tank, and I didn't bother to stop. I am only down that far because I ran out to the southside twice (had to, for a funeral, and if it wasn't for that, well...), and I should be straight for a minute since I am doing minimum driving.


3. Start looking for gas when you are a quarter of a tank low, at least. These folks are running out of gas left and right. Start riding around BEFORE your needle hits "E".

4. "Top off" whenever you can. I think THIS is the reason for the long lines. People have gas. We're just topping it off here and there. It's a shame, but you gotta do what you gotta do. We dealing with all this fear of running out of gas.

5. Go out early on a Saturday or Sunday morning to get gas. This is my sister Kentucky's strategy. She's gotten up on Sunday mornings around 7:00 a.m. and has made gas runs to closeby stations with no problem. I just figured out that was what she was doing, because that girl sleep HARD if she don't have anything to do. (I shoulda made her butt take my car to whereever she went to top my ish off).

Anyway, I'm not in a panic. I live about 5 minutes from my job. I don't drive much. I'm cool.

I do feel for folks like my boss, who has a 70 mile round trip to deal with.

(No, on second thoughts, I don't feel sorry for management. HUMPH).

This whole situation reminds me of a book I read many years ago: Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler. The problem wasn't gas, as folks couldn't afford cars anymore and everybody seem to be walking or riding a bike to get to where ever they need to go. The issue was WATER, which, if I'm remembering correctly, was in rare supply and cost some 7 dollars a gallon. It was only available at "Water stations".

If you were able to get water, you'd better hide it. If not, you would get robbed or killed over it. People were standing around waiting for a sucka to slip up.

Now...

Knowing this, this "gas shortage" is not that bad. As a matter of fact, they said it will be over in 2 weeks to a month.

Things could be worse. Much worse.

But they are not.

We will all be alright.

Really, we will...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Oh Darius... Dear Darius

*LadyLee pulls out quill and parchment, and proceeds to write*

Oh Darius. Dear Darius...

So I was sitting here last week, minding my own business, perusing a few blogs.

I came across this over at Everyday Cookin with Darius:



He called this special creation, a Tequila Lime chicken and Fettuccine.

And the Notes.

From the Peanut Gallery.

Began.

*LadyLee glances over shoulder at cubicle mate*

Ladylee: "Cowgirl Cre, look at this."

*Cowgirl Cre slides over to LadyLee's side of the cubicle*

Cowgirl Cre: "That do look good. Look at that chicken, girl!"

*LadyLee looks over her shoulder to see who else is around*

LadyLee: "Detroit! Come here a minute."

*Lieutenant Detroit Meek-Meek walks from two cubicles away and leans close to see what we're staring at*

Detroit Meek-Meek: "Oooh goodness, that sure does look good. Who made that?"
LadyLee: "This dude name Darius. Dude be having the fiya recipes. And they're real easy."
Cowgirl Cre: "Look at that chicken!"
LadyLee: "I'ma make that. I'ma make it this weekend."

Okay, this went on for several days. A few of us stood around and studied it. I talked of how I was going to make it.

. . .Cowgirl Cre kept hollering about how good the chicken looked.

So, I made a trip to the grocery store and purchased all the ingredients.

3 words. De.Lic.Ious.

Man, that Tequila Lime Chicken Pasta:

Oh Darius... Dear Darius.

BOY. IT. WAS. GOOD.

I don't know WHERE my sister Kentucky was. She was upstairs asleep, studying, yacking on the phone, who knows. She'd gotten a rib sandwich somewhere, and that was her dinner. I called her name once. Called it twice. Wanted her to get a taste.

Whatever. She got none. I ate some, then packed up the rest in a container, and brought it to work on Tuesday.

I heated it up for lunch. Me, Cowgirl Cre, and Ol' Mean Ass Cynthia were huddled in my cubicle slurping it down.

It was good. Hands down, the best pasta dish I've EVER had.

Oh Darius... Dear Darius...

I don't believe it when you said you created this in your Chicago kitchen.

As we use to say when I was a child, running barefoot in the streets and kicking rocks...

"Oooh wee, Darius, you telling a story!!"

Here's the real story of how you came up with that dish:

Darius was skipping through a beautiful forest in Italy, collecting fresh ripe berries and wonderful nuts for a scrumptious pie he'd been wanting to prepare. It would be a lovely end to the wonderful feast he was planning for his Italian friends that next day.

He was skipping along, humming a happy happy song, enjoying the sun warm against his face.

All of a sudden, he stopped. He smelled something... delightful.

"Hark," he whispered. "What's that I smell floating on this lovely breeze?"

He turned, looked here and there, looked everywhere seeking the source of the pleasing scent.

"It is chicken," he finally said. "Smells like 2 boneless skinless breasts of chicken, seasoned liberally with a bit of salt and pepper, a quarter tablespoon of each perhaps."

He looked here and there, to and fro, and spotted a small cottage off in the distance.

"That must be from whence the lovely aroma wafts."

He skipped over to the cottage. Perhaps there would be a lovely family there, who would love to share their chicken with a hungry stranger.

He was parched. Maybe they would also offer a mug of ale.

He knocked once, he knocked twice, and was about to knock a third time.

A disheveled woman answered, her face twisted tight as a fist. "What do you want!?"

Darius smiled. "I want to tell you that that chicken smells great, but it will not do."

"Who the hell asked you? I have chicken and porridge every night."

"I am Chef Darius, Master Chef Darius of the Chicago Province. And that chicken needs a bit of help."

"Go away!" she yelled, and tried to slam the door.

Darius stopped the closing door with his foot. He pushed past her and entered the house. There was a copper pot of porridge bubbling on the stove, a cast iron skillet of chicken breasts sizzling to the side.

"Miss, this chicken will not do. It needs cilantro, cumin, pepper flakes, lime, onion, garlic, Serrano pepper, and a bit of pasta."

He pulled all of it from his knapsack, and mixed it in. He tossed the pot of porridge out the window.

He dug around in his knapsack for something more. "And a bit of libations, some tequila, perhaps. That will set it off". He winked his eye and poured more in.

The lady tasted it, and smiled.

"'Tis good. Tis good, I say," she said. "You, oh Master Chef Darius, have made my day!"

Darius smiled, and was on his way.

Hmm, he thought. "I must make that lovely chicken dish, and place it on my blog!"

Yeah, bruh... THAT'S how you came up in THAT. You were NOT sitting on the train ride home from school, thinking about that. You cannot tell me that. That was on a whole nother level. That was created over in the middle of some Italian forest or something!

LOL!!! It was so good that I had to write a bootleg corny story. Because that was off the CHAIN!!!

So Darius... I write a poem for you, also...

Oh Darius. . . Dear Darius.

Could there be a me and you?
Could there be an us?
My dear Darius?

Oh Darius, Oh Darius...
Don't be so precarious.
A you.

A me.
An us.
Oh Darius. Dear Darius.


A sack of groceries in my left hand,
A skillet in my right.
You walk through the door
My smile is so bright.

Oh Darius, Dear Darius...

Could there be a you, a me, an us?
Dear Darius?

Dear Dauius?

LOL!!!! Boy, that's poetry on crack right there, boy! LadyLee style!

But on the real tip... If you were uh, of the heterosexual persuasion, was about 10-15 years older (What are you, 25 or 26 - YOU still a mere CHILD!), and lived in the ATL?

You would get straight up STALKED!! Stalked HARD!! Harassed!!!

(And I would have a sack of groceries and a skillet with me, because you will COOK for ME).

LOL!!!

But seriously, Darius. You are one helluva cook. That dish was good, and I like how you take pictures of each step. You have to be deaf, dumb, blind and stupid not to understand it. You explain it all so well.

This was my way of doing some bootleg PR work, telling my readers about you, because I LOVE that cooking blog of yours. Everything is very simple and quick- it is definitely "Everyday Cookin' just like you said.

That Tequila Lime chicken fettuccine recipe took less that 30 minutes, from start to finish, from scratch, all fresh ingredients... and I like that, Man!

It was so nice, I made it twice.

I made it again night for the second time. Wasnt' gonna do that, but Cowgirl Cre whined about it all day. Before we left to go home, she pulled out a stack of money and shoved in my face, yelling "That's enough for the chicken!"

LOL

And this time, I threw in some turkey feta tomato sausage. OH JOY.

I know you go to work all day, in school after that... and you take the time to come up with nice creations up there in the Chicago Provinces!

Just wanted to do a little something to make you laugh (either that or make you say... What in the world?)

Keep on cooking, Man... because, us chemists are sitting up here... watching.

Discussing.

I can't wait to sit down and dine in your restaurant someday in the future.

Keep up the good work!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blanket Watch!!

Maaaaaaannnn...

Ya'll, I was looking CRAZY last night.

I finished this baby blanket last night at 12:22 a.m.:

It is hard to tell, but it is green and white.

I threw that sucka into the washing machine, thinking "I'ma close my eyes for a minute, and I will listen out for the wash to finish."

Next thing I know, it was 7:00 in the morning. LOL!! That's okay though. I threw it in the dryer for a bit, stuffed it in the gift bag and headed to work (real late at 10:00 a.m.)

I made this one for the upcoming baby of one of the Lieutenant Commanders ("Tonya") that work on my floor (an arm of the military works here with us).

I saw her walking down the hall one day back in May without her uniform on. And I snapped on her.

(I have appointed myself the Punisher of all the military on my floor. If I see anything wrong with their uniforms, I go off on them, lol.)

She whispered "I'm waiting on my maternity military uniform, LadyLee."

It took a moment to register, as there was a long *blank stare* moment between the two of us. I grabbed her hand and led her over to my desk, and let her pick out the blanket she wanted, since I had photos of a few that I was posting.

Fast forward to last week. Now, I was told by Tonya that the baby shower was on September 26th. The organizers were standing in my cubicle area, and they told me September 22nd. I was NOT happy about that. My fellow Doc, "Dr. Hazel Eyes", caught the brunt of my wrath.

*Lee jumps from chair and grabs "Dr. Hazel Eyes*

"Shawty, hold on, hold, hold up now!! Ya'll said the shower was on the 26th."
"LadyLee, no I didn't."
"Tonya said the 26th," I yelled.
"Well it's on the 22nd."
"Change it!"
"No, LadyLee. You're just going to have to speed it up a bit."

I tried to stare "Dr. Hazel Eyes" down. I even started whining REAL hard. It did NOT work. They wouldn't change the shower date. HUMPH.

But I am a MAVERICK.

I got it DONE!

They didn't want to know the sex of the baby (well, we know, but her hubby doesn't know, lol), so it had to be something neutral.

But I tell you: I am getting TOO old to be burning the midnight oil on this type of stuff. TOO OLD.

I must go take a time management class somewhere. Really!!!

~Hard sigh~

Lietennant Commander "Tonya": I stand tall, click my heels, and salute you!

Congrats in advance on the arrival of the little one:)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Guest Blogging Duties over in The Cheap Seats

No real post today, my beloved blog family.

I am guest blogging over at Terry's spot, over in

The Cheap Seats
Just a little "Food for Thought" something to think about as we approach the beautiful fall season, entitled:
"On Life and Resources"
Inspired by none other than
The Official Poet Laureate of the House of LadyLee...

The Mayor of my Hood,



(Yeah, ya'll didn't know we get down like that over in the House of LadyLee, did you? Poet Laureates and ish residing all up in here?)
Snake had a most fascinating run here in 2007 on the blog with his Infamous "Snake Bite" poetry and essays. He deserves that title.
So, slide on over to Terry's spot.
Yes, the seats are cheap.
They are free.
They are in the nosebleed section, and you need to bring a pillow to sit your ass down on so your tailbone won't hurt.
That's okay, though.
Knowledge still drops HARD like nuclear bombs just the same.
It truly does.
Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Good Ol' Tom!

As you all know, I really like to go all out with my birthday cards.

Here is one I sent last month to my book club sista, Meta.


Getting that border on that card was hellacious! They, along with that butterfly and that other bug, were a part of a "rub-on" sticker set. But they didn't want to rub on. Took me a good half hour to transfer them from the slick paper backing. UGH. It's pretty, but uh-rah, we're going to have to leave that there alone.

One thing about Meta: she loves the color purple. Whenever I see her, she's dressed in purple from head to toe. Purple purse, purple hat, purple outfit... Purple, purple, purple.

Prince ain't got NOTHING on her. She might be some kin to him, She probably took him to the side when he was a kid and said "Hon, let me teach you about this here color purple."

LOL!

So i had to get a purple (well, lavender) card for her. Nothing else would do.


Meta makes me smile, in that she always hits me with the "Hey Sista!" whenever I see her. (She told me one day, long ago, that she didn't know my name, lol).

But Meta and I are in a journal writing group together, and since we live close by to each other, I sometimes catch a ride with her when we have meetings waaaaay the hell out in the suburbs.

So, she arrived at my house one beautiful Sunday afternoon, and I jump in her car (ladened down with cookies and my journal and whatever crochet project I'm working on), and she has one of these:


Meta was cheesing down. "That's that Tom-Tom right there!"

I didn't know what she was talking about. On our way to our destination, I learned that it was one of those new GPS gadgets. The small screen displayed our route, and gave us our directions as we drove.

"Turn left 400 yards."
"Turn right 100 yards."


I found this to be rather interesting. Meta REALLY loved hers. Her whole family loved theirs.

"Girl, my aunts love their Tom-Tom. When they get ready to go somewhere, they say 'We got Tom? Don't forget Tom! Go get Tom!'"

LOL.

So, we were going out to "Aunt Ray-Ray's" house, waaaay out in the Sticks, waaaay up in the middle of nowhere.

Meta continued to cheese down over her Tom-Tom. Man, you would think she is their public relations specialist.

We finally get to Aunt Ray-Ray's neighborhood. I was definitely impressed with the GPS gadget, to the point where I was thinking about buying one in the near future. It would be interesting to have, even though I don't go anywhere where I would need one.

Tom made a final announcement:

"You have arrived at your destination."

We look around, and we are at a house.

But it's NOT Aunt Ray Ray's house.

We sat there a moment. All was quiet. There were no cars parked in the driveway. The grass needed to be cut.

We looked at each other, then back at the house. I had a strange thought of someone coming out of that house with a baseball bat. We were not suppose to be there. That was not our "destination".

"This ain't Aunt Ray-Ray's house!" I said.

"No, it isn't," Meta replied, her voice low. She grabbed the steering wheel with both hands and peered out the window.

"Man, back this car up and let's go."

Meta laughed. "Ol' Tom done messed us up!"

"Let's go, Meta! Don't get out the car. Don't open the door! I ain't trying to get shot!"

(I am so scary, lol).

Meta laughs hard.

"I am not getting out of this car, Meta."

Meta backed out of the driveway.

Luckily, I had a hard copy of the directions in my purse. We were in the right neighborhood, but were on the wrong side of the neighborhood. We laughed hard about that at our meeting.

So much for GPS. I guess I will hold off on that.

Meta, I'll let you keep rolling with ol' Tom.

And I hope you had a VERY Happy Birthday (you and ol' Tom)!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Monday Ramblings..

I was OFF today. Nothing to be happy about. I woke up sick as a dog this morning. STILL not sure what that was about. Maybe too much drinking and drugging all weekend! (Yeah right,lol). I haven't been drinking my water like I should, and I get easily dehydrated. I didn't take my medicine before I went to bed, so I guess that was it. (SHAME on ME).

I feel a little better now. Reluctantly, I will go to work tomorrow.

My weekend. My weekend was quiet for the most part. As usual I have A LOT of things planned for the weekend, but uh, it may or may not pan out.

But this weekend, I got together with my BFF LadyTee, who I haven't seen since late June. (We are weird like that. Talk everyday, but too busy to get together). We went to the movies to see Tyler Perry's The Family That Preys.

That was a GOOD movie. Both LadyTee and I enjoyed it. I am a big fan of Alfre Woodard, and I always go see whatever she's in.

There's one thing I like about Tyler Perry: He has the money and resources to make whatever movies and shows he wants to make. In other words, despite all the criticism of his OWN people and everybody else, he keeps pressing on. First, people were upset about him throwing on a dress and a wig. NOW he is being criticizedfor having white people in his movies. Hmmm. Can't do nothing right, can he?

I'm just glad he has the money and resources to do one thing: learn. He has the resources to learn his craft.

I wonder, what is it like to do what you really LOVE and not have to deal with the daily grind of a job, etc.

I'm glad Tyler Perry knows. And by the time he makes that 10th movie (I think this was movie number 6?), well, he will suprise us all...

I'm glad he makes movies that I can take my Grandma to. I may take her to see this one.

Enough of my rantings. The movie was good. Period.

Besides that, I hung out a little while with LadyTee, got a few things done around the house, and got some much needed rest.

A nice enough weekend indeed.

Pet peeves. I have a pet peeve, for which I am terribly ashamed: I can't STAND calling a credit card company or a bank and someone with a very heavy accent tries to help me. Now, I realize that there's a lot of outsourcing to India and other foreign countries, but I just don't care to give my personal information or get help from someone who I just cannot understand.

Oh, and we REALLY have a problem if a telemarketer with a heavy accent calls my house. That's an automatic hang-up. I can't understand what they are saying so there is no need for me to talk.

Ugh. I have no idea how to get rid of that. It is so wrong, I know. But I need someone who can talk to me a bit clearer than the customer service representatives that I get. I end up calling back until I can get some ample help. 'Tis wrong, but oh well.

Things that make me scratch my head. There is a strange case down in Orlando Florida, where a young 3 year old girl Cay.lee Anthony disappeared. Of course there has been a frantic search for her. But, the kicker is that the girl had been gone for a full month before anyone reported her missing. The mother won't talk. The grandparents are tripping. Last week, DNA tests showed that a decomposing body had been in the trunk of the mothers car.

Hmm. This chick was charged on suspicion, let out on bail, and locked back up again on some bad check charges. All in all, she's a bit tight-lipped about what she knows about her daughter.

Thank goodness I'm not in charge down there, because this chick would be thrown UNDER the jail. I've NEVER heard of a mother who isn't concerned about a missing child. Hmm.

And what's up with Sarah Palin's daughter? Is the father of her child a black man, or is that just a rumor? I'm assuming that it's a rumor. We'll know when the baby get's here, won't we? LOL!!

I'm still tripping that the supposed baby's father parents would let him be flown out to the convention and paraded around and shown off the way he was. No way my son would've been pawned out like that. All over somebody's political aspirations. Humph.

And 2 more companies fail today: Lehm.an Brothers and Me.rrill-Lyn.ch. Well, Merr.ill-Ly.nch was snapped up by Bank of Am.erica. One more, AI.G, is on the brink, and asking the feds for a bailout.

Goodness. It's hard for me to concentrate on managing the little budget I have when these big companies can't manage their own. Maybe they need a good finance group like my own, lol. It definitely reminds me to be thankful, and to work harder on managing my finances, that's for sure.

Happy things. A couple of weeks ago, a friend of mine (we'll call her "Trip"), was laid off from her job. Instead of whining and wailing, she took the opposite route: she prayed and she got a game plan together. She called several friends, got them to get agreement with her. We all prayed and kept it moving.

She had an interview, and got a job. Not just any old job, but one that is a bit closer to her house, and pays more money. She hadn't even got her severence check yet from the old job. So, she has a new job, plus a severance check now. Hmm...

It was all good for me to witness this. First, I am just honored that I was one of the people she called to talk to about her plans. It reminded me that in times of adversity, one's true character is revealed. It also reminded me in times of need for help, to sit down and pray about it. I can't forget Who my help comes from. I really can't, and I must remember to act accordingly.

I'm in the midst of setting up some short term goals for myself. All of it is written down, but in different places. Trip's experience has allowed me to understand the attitude I have to have. It really has.

So thanks "Trip". What you went through helped me, more than you will ever know.

Congratulations on that new job, girl. Good for you!

So that's all that's on my mind at the beginning of this week. It trips me out that it's already the middle of September. Before you know it, we'll be celebrating the winter Holidays. Oh joy!

Have a good week:)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Ain't nothing like a Man that can CROCHET!

I posted some time ago about my adoration for men who can cook.

Today, I wanted to post about my adoration for men who can crochet.

You may ask "LadyLee, is there such a thang as a man who can crochet?"

I read a story a few years ago about some maximum security prison out in California that had a waiting list for a knitting class. The inmates made blankets for sick babies at local hospitals.

That is nice!

That jail thing bothers me a bit though. I don't know about all that.

Well, I suppose that there are men out there that like to crochet. But I don't happen to know any.

Well, let me scratch that. I know one: My baby brother, Kari aka Milk and Cookies.

But he don't count. THAT'S MY BROTHER.

And I taught him how to crochet. And I had to trick his little tail into learning.

I think when he was about 14 or 15 I made him start rolling balls of yarn for me. It's best to get this out of the way so I wouldn't run into any problems with tangling and weak spots. He rolled yarn, and he would do a good job. I asked him if he wanted to learn how to crochet. He scrunched up his face and said no.

"It's real easy, boy," I said.
"No, Lee. That's for girls!"

So, my tactics had to change.

"You know, Kari, if you crochet a blanket for a girl, she'll do anything!"
Kari peers at me with a raised eyebrow.
"I mean, if you make something for her that takes time and effort... Us women, we LOVE that. "
"For real?" he yelled.
I nodded real slow.

That boy grabbed a crochet needle FAST. And I taught him to crochet.

Now, the problem with him... he had no sense of style or color matching. He'd hijack a ball of yarn from me, then use it up, and then come get more.

"Shawty, lemme get a ball of yarn."

I'd look at what he was working on.

"You need more blue, and I don't have that."
"Let me hold that pink, Shawty."
"It don't match. And it's a different grade of yarn."
"Stop tripping, girl! Just let me hold that."

So, he managed to make a blanket, but it was a MONSTROSITY. It contained every color known to man. It was the ugliest thing I'd ever seen in my life. I'd cringed everytime he brought it around, and he would not listen to reason. So I let him do what he wanted to do.

He gave it to one of his little lady friends. She was smitten with him after that. I remember him telling me, his eyes wide "Lee, you were right! Women love that type of stuff. That blanket was horrible, but she liked the fact that I made it with my hands. She LOVES that blanket. Talks about it to all her friends."

Someday, he will figure out that I know what I'm talking about. LOL!!

Now that's the only dude I know who can crochet. But like I said, that's my bro, and he don't count. And I haven't seen him pick up a crochet needle since then...

But then, in steps my Eye Candy, my neighbor Tiny...

Dude loves to flex his muscles... And I ain't mad about that! (I, like any other warm-blooded female, loves some muscles, lol!)

But he'd have to hear me talk that trash:

"Boy, if you were Hershey bar dark, was my age, and you made as much money as I make? Boy, I'd have to run up on YOU!!"

LOL!!!!

So... He calls me one day.

It was a sunny Sunday afternoon. I was taking a nice afternoon nap. No, let me rephrase that. I was in the bed, under the down comforter, laid out on the down pillows, sleeping HARD.

My cell phone rings. It is near my head, so by reflex, I answer it.

It is Tiny.

"Lee, what you up to?"

I cringe. He knows I don't open my door. So what he'd do is call, guage if I'm in the house, then let me know that he's on my front porch and that I need to open the front door. HUMPH."I'm snoozing."

"I got a question for you," he said. "Can you make a spread for my bed?"

I frowned. "Uh, how big?" I asked.
"For a king size bed. A California king."

*Silence*

I start calculating things in my head. Something like that would take at LEAST 250 hours.
I snicker.

"Man, that would take a good 250 hours."
"So. You think you can hook that up?"

*DEAFENING silence*

If I would've been fully alert, I would've opened up my Book of Cuss and read him a few verses!

Listen. I'm not making anything THAT big for NOBODY. If ya'll EVER hear me making something that big for a dude, you KNOW that there is some uh, toe-curling activities going on.

No, there's quite a bit of toe-breaking, neck-breaking, bone-crushing activity going on. Somebody better come check on me, because you know that I am SPRUNG and outta control!

I have a King size bed, and uh, I'm not even making a spread for my own bed. HUMPH.

"Lee, you not going to answer me?"

I rubbed my eyes, and tried to come up with an explanation, lie, SOMETHING.

"Look here, playa. That'll take to long, and yarn is hard to fine. I won't be able to find all that in the same lot number..."I gave EVERY excuse in the world. Most of it was true. It is difficult to find large batches of yarn that match up.

He yips on and on trying to convince me. I let him talk. Just to get him off the phone, I said "I'll think about it. I'm going back to sleep."

That was last year. And I haven't thought about doing it, nor WILL I think about doing it. NOPE.

So...

He came over one Saturday evening awhile back. I'd made some crab stuffed shrimp, and he went in the kitchen and fixed himself a plate and sat down and ate (Some folks know how to make themselves at home, don't they? HUMPH). I sat on the couch and crocheted. He soon got a case of the "itis" because he collapsed in my lounge chair.

I was a bit perturbed, because I'd been ripping and running all day, and I wanted some peace and quiet. He was talking about something (Man, dude is TALKATIVE. It's like talking to a woman sometimes. You know how we get to talking. LOL).

Then he busts out with....

"Lee, that don't look too hard. You should show me how to do it."

I frowned. "It ain't hard. I ain't in the mood, though. I will show you how to do it some other time."

I was at crunch time and REALLY needed to work hard on what I was working on to finish it up by that next week.

I notice him eyeing what I was working on. I pulled it close to me. "Uh, don't get no strange ideas, bruh. You not touching this! You're not messing this up!"

"But I learn fast. Just show me."

Whatever!!

He whined like crazy. It was quite irritating, to say the least. I looked around for some spare yarn. There was some on the couch. I made him stand behind me and look at what I was doing. I gave him the yarn, and he was right. He picked up on it REAL quick.


*LadyLee raises eyebrow and smiles REAL hard*

That was a bit too much excitement for the Oldgirl, lol.

But like he said, he caught on quick! And was happy about it, too.

Uh, that was earlier this year. I haven't seen that boy pick up a needle and yarn since then.

HUMPH!

Guess he don't want his bedspread. Because he would have to be the one crocheting that! LOL

So on goes my "dreams" of a man who can crochet. Ya'll know, if I ever come across a brother who can get down with the crochet needle, is hershey-bar dark, has NO kids, has great credit, and makes as much money as I do... well, I'ma have to run up on him.

(That's a hot wish list, aint it. LOL!!)

Really though!!

Have a great weekend:)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Remembrance... September 11, 2001

The part in red is a repost from this blog, September 11, 2005.


The people of my parents generation have always said, "I remember exactly were I was when Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot" or "I remember where I was when John F. Kennedy was shot."

And people of my generation have said "I remember where I was when Marvin Gaye was shot."

And the people of my generation now have an additional "I remember" moment. ...

"I remember where I was the morning the terrorists attacked the World Trade Center."

I clearly remember where I was on that sunny and bright Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001.

My job, which I'd just begun three weeks prior to that day, had sent me to Denver, Colorado to a Regulatory Science training course. I'd arrived from Atlanta that Sunday, September 9th, and was to stay the entire week. Early that Tuesday morning, I'd arrived to class in a conference room in the lobby of the hotel about five minutes late. I'd been upstairs in my hotel room dealing with a nose bleed. I was having trouble adjusting to the high altitude.

One of the instructors was finishing up a special announcement. I caught the tail end of it. He was saying something to the effect of "We'll keep you posted on the situation in New York."

I didn't ask anyone what was going on. I knew there was a hurricane swirling somewhere off the upper east coast, and I remember thinking to myself "Damn, that hurricane has hit New York!"

Class went on for a couple of hours until it was time for a break. The lead instructor got up and made another announcement...

"The World Trade Center Twin Towers have collapsed. They've been destroyed. They're gone."

Again, I remember thinking, "A hurricane destroyed the twin towers?"

During our fifteen minute break time, I went to the hotel bar. I remembered that it had a big screen television. I asked the bartender what was going on. He said that some airplanes had hit the World Trade Center.

I remember wondering how and why would some little crop dusters fly into the World Trade Center? But after watching the footage over and over during my break, I quickly realized that those were no crop dusters. They were huge airplanes. I was shocked and horrified. Just like everyone else in the country probably was.

I returned to class. The lead instructor said that if we had anyone in New York that we needed to check on, we had permission to go and make calls. No one left. We continued with our class.

I remember spending my lunchtime and most of the evening hours after class watching the news, not believing what I was seeing and hearing. Terrorists had brought down the World Trade Center Twin Towers.

That next day in class, the instructor said that if anyone wanted to leave, then they could leave. How could we leave, though? All air traffic was halted. Someone said that rental cars were not available. And two Amtrak trains had collided one state over in Utah, so train service was temporarily halted.

We were all stuck. We decided to continue the class. So I was in Denver the rest of the week, still trying to adjust to the higher altitude, fighting with my nosebleeds and constant dry mouth.

And also trying to adjust to the fact that terrorists had attacked the USA.

I called worried family members to let them know I was alright. I also called my new boss to let her know I was okay. People in class were struck with a fear of flying back to their homes, but I decided to just pray about it and have a little faith.

The class ended one day early because some of the instructors couldn't make it to the class due to flight cancellations. I left Denver that Friday. I wasn't afraid to fly because I'd spent the week praying and thanking God in advance for a safe trip home. So my faith was high. My flight was only two hours delayed, but it went smoothly. I must say, though, I was more than happy to see Atlanta again.

So today, September 11, 2005, I take time to remember one of the most tragic events in our country's history. I say a prayer for the families of the victims of one of the most tragic events in American history. This day has to be terribly hard on them.

And most of all, I hope and pray that terrorists will never strike our country again...
Never, ever again.
I posted that 3 years ago...

You know... It's been 7 years, and it feels like it was only yesterday that it happened.

And Opinionated Diva detailed today over on her blog how she was suppose to be at a training in Tower One that day but didn't make it.

Reading that made me... I don't know, pause.

This was not some small event that someone just gets over.

Not in the least. And I tend to think more spiritually about things and the way I feel about this...

It's one thing to have the pain of the event affecting you, but the REALLY awful feeling is the RESIDUAL EFFECTS of such an event. The residual effects of something so traumatic are unimaginable. There are people who have awaken every morning for the past seven years feeling the residual pain from that lost one gone forever.

I can't imagine that pain. Yes, we have all lost loved ones, but waking up on a day like today and dealing with the televised memorials may make all the pain feel fresh to those who are coping.

So today, I send a prayer up for those people, those who have had to cope every single day of their lives with a loved one being lost like that.

And to all of us, who remember that day, when life stood still.

Here's to the healing of our souls and spirits.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The making of a 'Hood Cat

The one and only Opinionated Diva recently brought home a cat. Congratulations, Girl.

The cat's name is Vanessa. Opinionated Diva thought of changing it to something more "hood", but decided against it.

I had the same problem with my cat Oscar... Hence, the addition of his middle name "Tyrone".

Opinionated Diva, you had me reminiscing about my angst concerning Oscar's name.

So I decided to repost the original post from January '06, where I discussed it! I am following it up with more "angst" of another sort.

Enjoy!

(circa 01/11/06)



Poor Oscar...

Poor Oscar-Tyrone...

My orange tabby Jeremy died back in November, and my eight-year old brown tomcat Oscar Tyrone has been a bit upset... and perplexed, every since. He sometimes walks around at night, wailing terribly.

When I get home from work in the evenings, he's always waiting there at the door expectantly, as if to say...

"Hey Ladylee, hope you had a great day! Do you have a special friend for me in your backpack?"

He requires a lot more attention these days, and I have had to force myself to pick him up and spend at least ten minutes a day petting and talking to him...

As I said earlier, I've had Oscar for eight years. Way back in 1997 the day after Christmas, my ex-husband, who was my boyfriend at the time, came home around two in the morning after just getting off from his night job... He turned on the bedroom light.

"Lee," he whispered.
"Um, can you turn off that light, please?" I answered.
"I just had to do it."
"Had to do what?"
"I had to do it."
"I'm not sure what you had to do, but you need to turn off that light," I said.
"I just had to get that kitten I was telling you about," he said.
I sat straight up in the bed. He'd been talking about a kitten for the past two weeks. I believe it belonged to a friend of his who was about to move out of state. "Old Boy, I told you not to bring that damn cat home. You know Jeremy is crazy, and he's gonna lose his mind." We'd discussed the extra cat issue, and it was out of the question.
"But I couldn't help it."
"Where is the damn cat?"
"Out in the car."
I put on some clothes and went out to his Honda and spent a couple of minutes looking for the kitty. I finally saw him, a little brown furry mass almost swallowed up by a white Hartz Flea and Tick collar, sitting up in the back window, looking at me like I was crazy.
I grabbed him and took him in the house.
"Baby, are you mad?" Oldboy asked.
"Nope, but Jeremy is gonna be, um, quite pissed." Jeremy was off somewhere asleep or brooding.
"What's his name?" I asked.
"Oscar."
"Oh, I know you gonna change that shit."
"Why?" Oldboy asked. "I kind of like that name."
"Sounds too white," I said.
"Well I ain't changing his name."
Erykah Badu's Tyrone had just come out. "Well, his middle name will be Tyrone."
Oldboy reluctantly agreed to the middle name.

When we divorced, Oldboy balked at the idea of taking his cat with him. "We can't break up the cats!" he wailed when I asked him if he wanted his cat. That sounded a bit silly. Shoot, we were breaking up.

So I have custody of Oscar-Tyrone.

I've been looking at kittens here and there, but I think I will wait until spring to get a new one.

Until then, I'll just have to hear poor Oscar Tyrone's late night wailings.

Don't worry, little boy... you'll have a friend soon!

~~fuzzy wavy lines... back to the present~~

LOL!!

Well, Oscar has a friend... a bootleg "permanent house guest" name Kramer.

Here's Kramer with his "Mama" Chayse... She has very liberal visitation rights, lol.


Kramer needs a middle name which will make him sound more hood.

We've been calling him "Kramer Leroy", but that sound half-crazy...

I walked over to the backside of my cubicle area and told Kramers "grandma" ol' Mean Ass Cynthia to come up with a middle name for her grandson.

She gave me the *gas face* and told me to talk to Chayse about it. I refuse to do that. Chayse came up with "Kramer". (Well, his name use to be "Flounder", so that's an improvement, but still...)

Other suggestions: "Kramer Leon", "Kramer Rashun"

Or maybe we will just call that dude plain ol' Kramer.

Hmmm.... we'll see.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Bestest Gift!

When I made my pilgrimage up to That Original Oldgirl Serenity30's Housewarming extravaganza, I was really looking forward to seeing a couple of my favorite folks:

The LBeezy and Ms. Blackliterature.com.

Sherri, aka "Celie 2" aka Ms.Blackliterature.com, one of my favorite readers (and proud member of "Lurk City") and premiere members of the Original Oldgirl Elite Critique Team (lol), resides in Charlotte. But she called me a day earlier and said that she had a prior commitment, and would not be able to make Serenity's party. She would be in Atlanta that day.

I was sorely disappointed. She and I had broken bread at the 'Shed the last time she was in the ATL!

I told her that I would stick my hand out the window and wave at her as I traveled 85-North and she traveled 85-South. I knew we would be passing each other on the highway!

I wanted to see that chick.

*Wail, holler, screech*

Shoot, man. Sherri is one COOL chick. I've even whipped up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies for her before we went to dinner a few weeks ago (after leaping from couch and yelling "I have to do something nice for her!" lol).

After talking to her for 2 hours over dinner, I'd felt like I had had either some really intense therapy or a very nice blunt.

LOL. (Therapy! Good therapy!)

I like smart people!

I like good people!

She is both.

*HARD SIGH*

Anyway, when I arrived at Serenity's house, there was a lovely gift awaiting me! It was from Sherri! It contained the following:



*Lee smiles hard like Miss Celie smiles*


You know, Sherri... I've been looking at this set of journals in the store, wanting one. Lo and behold, here YOU come with one for ME!

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

And uh, girl... why is it that I have started reading this book, Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke, and it's about a family of slaves who are weavers, quilters, knitters, and the like?

OH JOY!!! You know what I like, don't you? OH JOY!!!

HAPPY HAPPY!!! JOY JOY JOY!!!

And to top it off, Sherri left a little note for me in the journal.

Dear "Old Girl",

Because you

-are the 1 woman PR firm of Tayari Jones

-keep it real with the old school jamz
-make a mean chocolate chip cookie
-prove that chemistry is cool
-remember School House Rocks
-are an awesome and gifted writer
-have a spirit of generosity
-can be counted on for a good book recommendation
-have inspired and been a blessing to my life

I saw these and hope one would come in handy :)
Maybe you'll start your next novel as you journal.
Seriously, you are appreciated!

Sherri.

Now, ya'll know how hardcore I am. I'm a tough Oldgirl. Really, I am.

Why in the world did this bring tears to my eyes?

Goodness gracious alive...

Somebody hand me a Martin Luther King church fan so I can fan myself. Hurry up, now.

That was the bestest gift right there!

You alright with me, Sherri. You sho nuff is, Chile....

All, I can say is... Wow.

You really surprised me. Really did. Wasn't expecting this AT ALL.

I know with you in my corner, I will do great things. Thanks for supporting the LadyLee blog since like... forever and a day. Thanks for whipping me all about my head critique-wise (lol). Thanks for all that you do!

And most of all... thanks for being the kind person you are.

You are very much appreciated!!

You really are!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Back To Work :(



11 days off.

It went by SO fast.

I am back at work.

And this is how I feel:



*holler, wail, screech, fall out on floor in front of cubicle, and holler some more*

(Hush Dreamy)

I give myself a minute to cry...

Even allow myself to give the Oppressor the *side-eye*.



I know one thing:

However much time I spend tripping about my job today, well, I will spend double the amount of time being thankful for my job.

Really though.

Now, I roll my sleeves up, and take a moment to make a plan for the day.

I purpose to make it do what it do.

This is gonna be a GREAT day.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

A Letter from Grandma...


Dearest Lisa,

Hi! How are you getting along these days.

Keep up the good work. Press on toward the goal. God will see you through.

It's about 8:25 a.m. I ate some cereal but I am still hungry. I have a lot to do today.

I was selected as Asst. Superentender (can't spell it right now) of Church School for 1996. Pray that the Lord will help me in this new job.

Love you always, Mama.

That letter made me smile.

I found it while looking for my work credentials (my "police badge" of sorts for work; Thank God I found it). While looking for it, I came across the letter.

It is dated 12-6-95. I was a young 25 years old waaaaay back then.

It is on a piece of paper no bigger than an index card. The paper is fragile, and has yellowed over the years. I am doing my best not to tare it.

I was thinking about my grandmother (who I affectionately call "Mama") and the letters she sent for seven years of my graduate school chaos.

Those short letters came once a month, along with a check for $50.00 (That increased to $65.00 a month "due to inflation", she wrote.)

I liked getting that piece of change. And I made sure to use it for something that I needed, not just blow it!

But those letters!

I LOVED her letters. They were simple, a bright spot in my dark life. They didn't speak of much, sometimes what she ate for breakfast or her angst of cleaning up the "Back room". (Man, she been cleaning up that back room for the past 30 years!)

Those letters.

I looked forward to the letters MORE than the cash.

I remember when I'd graduated and got a job, she said "Uh, is it okay to stop sending you money?"

I said yes. I wanted to say "But could you keep sending the letters?"

But I only said "Yes, Mama."

Earlier this year, I was thinking that I wished I would've saved those letters. I always kept one or two in my wallet, but when the wallet went, so did those. Over the years I've thrown them out.

Me and my hard headedness... taking stuff like that and tossing it.

But I happen to find this one.

And I plan on guarding it with my life, treating it like the rare treasure it is...

These days, some 13 years later, I am able to help her. No I don't send her a check. We in the new age now-- I gave her a debit card. My aunt told me that, due to gas prices and food prices, she is really careful about where she goes and what she buys. So, I decided to help her. I gave her that debit card, and helped her understand pin numbers, etc... She was perplexed, but she's a smart lady- I was confident she could figure it out.

"Mama, this is for your gas and grocery. Get whatever you need, and stop picking and choosing."

She said okay, but she's acting a jack. I look at the online banking for that card, and see that she won't fill up her gas tank. I spoke to her about that. She uses my card as supplementary or something weird.

"Little girl [that's what she calls me], Miss Mary give me 10 dollars to take her somewhere, and then I get my money for selling the Avon, and I use some of that, and Blah, blah, blah..."

Somebody open the window so I can throw myself out.

There's no use in arguing with her. (I've tried that, lol). I let her do what she wants to do.

I do want to ask her a question though...

Grandma, can you write me letters like you use to do so long ago?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Food for Thought: "The Dark Side"


My writing class has started back up. I was a bit antsy about it. I've been in the 10 week advanced workshop class, and let's just say, I have a large volume of work that I need to sit down, rewrite and edit. And honestly, it is too much for me to think about.

So, I went back to the 6 week beginners class. My teacher talks alot in that class, and I like the slower pace of it all. There are A LOT of writing prompts (which build on each other) which I absolutely LOVE. I don't have to turn in large volumes of material. I can generate large amounts easily, but my teacher is VERY thorough, and I can't wrap my mind around it all (Uh, I have way too many interests). I like the 6 week class because it is much shorter, and I can concentrate on quality a little better.

My teacher purses her lips and says "You know, it's okay to work on your regular things."

"But I want to work on the prompts. I generate new material."

She stares. I can tell she shudders inside.

She knows, and I know that I have TOO much material laying around.

Let's see, I have 10 short stories and three manuscripts laying around. There are some 25 characters living their lives, pondering things, caught up in some bullsh**, etc. I get bored with one story, I pick up another and move it forward just a smidgen. At that rate, I will NEVER finish anything. So she is working with me on one thing... FOCUS.

I suppose this is a "high class" problem. Let's just say, whatever prompt she gives, I have a story I can work on in conjunction with. For the next 6 weeks, I am working on a story I LOVE, entitled "Jawbreaker". I plan on submitting this before the year is up. Along with another I am finishing up.

Yay for me!

Anyway, she spoke about character last night, how a good character has a bit of shadiness to him. And how a dark character has a tad bit of goodness in him. In fact, every character has 3 sides: the good side, the dark side, and the unexpected side.

I have about 25 characters floating around in my head, speaking whenever they feel to speak. And I find that they are too polar, i.e., the good are TOO goody-good. The bad are bad to the bone. I have issues bringing in subtle flaws, however faint they may be.

And that is what I am searching for... something extremely subtle. Hidden, really. As in when you read, you have to pay attention to pick up on it. It is a hard thing for me to master.

She discussed this for a good fifteen minutes. I, as usual, take notes at a furious pace. I also had a list of characters written on a scratch piece of paper. I list some of their qualities, ideas for them, etc.

I raised my hand and asked a question.

"Does every character have to have a dark side?"

She thought on it for a moment.

"Well, LadyLee," she said. "The reson that I don't believe no one is ALL good or ALL bad is because I myself am not ALL good or ALL bad."

*Lee frowns hard*

Then she said something that left me with the *blank stare*

"Your true friends are true friends because you have unveiled your Dark Side to them, don't you think?"

I thought about it. Scribbled it down. Thought about my friends who have seen my Dark Side and love me no less for it.

"I suppose that is true."

"Does that help you?"

Yes it does.

I've worried much in the past about my "Dark side". Worry isn't the best word to use... I suppose I've been more concerned than usual.

August 2008 was the darkest month of my year. The darkest month of the last 3 years really. It was stuffed tight with alot of anger, confusion, total and utter disappointment in myself. There were a lot of monkey wrenches thrown into my smooth turning wheel, causing me to go off on a hard tangent, causing...

More anger.
More confusion.
More utter disappointment in myself.

I remembering firing off an email to a chick who has grown to become a great friend over the past few years. She sees me often enough, and knows a fair amount of my business, lol.

"Do me a favor. Tell me what you think of me, right here, right now. What I'm most interested in is what you consider my flaws to be."

She said she had a business meeting. And since it would take her some time to write, she would send it later that day.

**Ouch**

That scared me. But I knew she would be honest with me.

Well she sent me a thesis back... on ME.

The Dark side of LadyLee was no joke. Uh, she got it right. I must admit, she left a few things out, though. However, key things that I write in my personal journals about were there, shades of which weave themselves into my blog, were present and accounted for...

But after last nights class... I had an epiphany of sorts.

EVERYBODY has a good side. EVERYBODY has a Dark Side.

This goes for me too. My issue is that I was assuming that there was something wrong with me.

No there is not. I just have my "issues".

Just like the next person.

And for that, I will not apologize.

Man oh man, I've been doing so much of that lately. NO MORE.

However, it is important for me to be cognizant of the Dark Side.

I will work on being a better LadyLee...

And not be so hard on LadyLee.

I think I scratched those revelations down in my spiral notebook, right besides my notes on characters.

"Does anything I've said help you, LadyLee?" my teacher asked. She leaned in closer, awaiting my answer.

"Of course," I said, blinking back tears.

Never knew I would learn such personal truths in a writing class.

Go figure.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Polly Wanna Cracker?

*no pictures. Blogger is acting a jack*

One of my favorite authors, That Original Oldgirl Chele, wrote a post back on August 13th on her Writers Blog entitled "Breathe... just Breathe" that simply stated the following:

"I was just handed an assignment to interview a parrot.**There are no words**"

LOL! Imagine that!

It made me laugh...

Because it made me think of my own interaction with a parrot back in 2001.

My car's odometer had hit the 60,000 mile mark. Well, it was reading around 62,000 miles. And you know what that means: time for that big service- replacement of time belt, water pump, transmission service and the like.

I was living in New Orle.ans at the time. A sista in my group, a wonderful mentor and a fellow Doc, a great microbiologist, Maureen, had a Mazda. She was a New Orleans native, and I went to her for advice on who to go to for this service.

"I take my car to Excellent Auto Service," she said.
I leaned against the doorjamb of her office and crossed my arms across my chest. "Uh, that's the actual name of a shop?"
"Yeah, been going there for years. The guy does a good job."
"Okay," I said.


I trusted her on that. Maureen was the woman. She was a BAD sista. She knew EVERYTHING.

So, I called and made an appointment. A week later, I dropped my car off at the shop.

The mechanic was nice. Looked like Tony Danza, lol. He told me to have a seat in the waiting room and he'd be back to take my information and give me an estimate.

I walked into the huge waiting room, and saw a LARGE cage that basically covered a whole wall. I mean, it was BIG! It had big tree limbs and all kinds of forest type stuff (probably all fake).

And in that cage was a big colorful parrot.

He was sitting on a branch, and looked my way when I'd walked into the room.

I walked over to the the cage and stared back at it. He flew to a branch closer to me and peered at me curiously.

"Polly wanna a cracker?" I asked in a high pitched voice.

The bird blinked. And continued staring.

I whistled at it a couple of times, made a few of the kissy noises one makes at dogs. And I asked the same question over and over again.

"Polly wanna cracker?"

Bird stared.

Then, the parrot threw back it's head and yelled "Ohhhhhhhhh!"

Oh Lord, I thought. I'd upset the bird. I turned to go sit down in one of the chairs, hoping that that the mechanic didn't run in the room and ask me what I did to upset his precious bird.

The bird yelled again. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh beautiful!"

I turned back to the cage. "You calling me beautiful, birdie? Thank you!"

A compliment from a bird! How nice, I thought.

The bird blinked. Stared at me for a moment. Then started yelling REAL Loud.

Or should I say singing real loud:

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful!
For spaaaaaacious skies!
For amber waves of graaaaaaaaaaaaain!
For perfect mountains majesty!
Above the fruited plains!
Amerrrrrica! Amerrrrrrica!
God shed his grace on theeeeeeee!
And crown our good!
With brotherhood!
From sea to shining seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeea!

*LadyLee looking around the room to see if she was on candid camera*

Dang! Tripped me out.

Parrot just stared at me.

I didn't know what to say. After a moment, I said "You're a patriotic parrot."

It flapped its wings and started up again.

Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh Beautiful...

For some reason, I stood erect and placed my hand over my heart, and sang with it.

It gave me the *gas face* when I messed up the words (I still don't know the words), but I caught on...

And we sang America the Beautiful together a good four times. The bird swayed back and forth on his branch. I stood in the at the front of the cage, my hand on my heart, singing along.

I had NO idea where my mechanic was. But I was glad he was taking his time.

I spoke to him later. He'd ran up on me and that bird singing. (Of course, I tried to play it off, lol)

"You like my bird?"
"Yeah. He sure is patriotic."
"I taught him that song a few years ago. That's all he sings."
"Well, that's a good thing. He could be singing something derogatory."

We laughed. I got my estimate, and called a friend to pick me up.

I'm glad I ran into that bird. I was in a funk for the good part of that week. At the same time I was skipping around all happy because I'd just gotten offer for the job I have now, back in my hometown of Atlanta. I'd secured a nice condo to live in. Things were going WELL for ME. I was happy.

But there had been a couple of jacked up arguments with the hubby at home.

He was a manager at one of the local strip clubs, and he called one night to let me know that he was bringing one of his strippers home. She was drunk, was passed out, and he didn't want to leave her on the side of the club.

"Anything could happen to her, Lee. We're locking up, and I don't want to leave her here on the side of the road."
"Take her butt home," I suggested.
"That's all the way over on the West Bank," he said. "And you know that I don't have a car." [His had been repossessed.]

I was quiet. I had a car. And my car was off limits. He caught rides or walked wherever he needed to go. He use to chauffeur those broads around in his own car and would complain to ME about finding crack pipes and syringes in his ride. Can't use my car, bruh!

"I'm bringing her home."
"Where is everybody at?" I asked.
"They are gone. I didn't notice she was here until I did my final check for the night. She was passed out. I can't leave her here," he wailed.

I didn't say a word.

"I'm bringing her home."
"Do what you wanna do, man. I'm leaving Egypt anyway!"
"What's that suppose to mean?"

I didn't reply. Just hung up on him. It was 3 in the morning, and I needed to get some sleep. I looked out the window when he came home in a cab... with his drunk stripper.

My first thought was to grab one of the many shotguns, .38s, or .45s we had laying around the house and shoot negroes. But I would've gotten locked up behind that one.

Which meant I'd be stuck in Egypt, i.e. New Or.leans.

That wasn't going down.

You see, I'd been hollering HARD at work, to everyone's dismay:

"MY NAME IS MOSES, AND I AM LEAVING EGYPT!"

I was LOUD with that ish. I mean, EVERY time I stepped in the breakroom, in the halls, anywhere. The director pulled me to the side one day and asked "Dr. LadyLee, are you alright?"

LOL.

Anyway, I woke up the next morning and saw Tylenol on the counter. My hubby was sitting on the couch. He gave me a hard glare, as if he was daring me to say something.

"So you really brought her home, didn't you?"
"Yeah, I did. That's what I said I was doing, didn't I?"

He looked like he wanted to buck. He'd never hit me, but uh... he looked like he wanted to then.

I left it alone. I needed to get to work. I was packing up my office that day.

This whole thing did upset me. I would be lying if I said it didn't. For those who know me, I tend to hide my feelings (More often than not, I get verbally stomped if I express an opinion of any sort. I am getting better, though, I suppose).

For some strange reason I was REALLY popular among the employees on my job. There was a sign-up list in my office of whoever wanted to take me to lunch or dinner or spend some time with me before we left. (I spent the day with one Creole cutie that I had a slight crush on. Hung out in the Central Business District visiting his favorite places, even hung out at his grandma's house, met his kids...OH MY).

I mean, folks made going away videos, gave me HUGE going away parties.... DANG! It was overwhelming...

But that stripper mess was on my mind. It was like a storm cloud that had moved in over a sunny day at the beach.

During some of these "meetings" with a few lady friends, I discussed it with them. All of them basically said:

"Lee, you shoulda cussed him out."
"I wouldn't have allowed that sh**!"
"Lee, you shoulda bust him in the head!"
"You a much better woman than me, Lee! I woulda got locked up for murder that night."

"N'awl. We got too many weapons in the house," was my simple reply. "Somebody woulda got shot that night. And besides, my name is Moses, and I'm raising up outta Egypt."

I remember one of my homegirls down there pulling me to the side and saying "I've talked to some of my girls and they're prepared to go catch up with your boy over at the Su.gar Shack and beat his ass. You just give the word."

"N'awl. That's okay. Ya'll trying to have me locked up. And besides, My name is Moses, and I'm leaving Egypt."

I was still miffed by it all. Didn't speak to the hubby for a week. That type of thing messes with your "womaness". I mean, it really made me question my worth. And that ain't good.

And then... I took my car in, and met a parrot.
A caged parrot.
A parrot who, though caged, had a song in it's heart.
And I sang a song with a parrot.

Hmmm.

You know how a song can get stuck in your head?

Well, after singing America the Beautiful with a parrot four times in a row, I was humming that song, singing it around the house...

While I packed dishes.
While I got together old clothes to take down to the local teen runaway center.
While I made plans to have my cable and lights turned off down there and turned on up in Atlanta.

The hubby came in one day.

"What's wrong with you? Why you keep singing America?"
"Just singing a song, man. And packing my stuff."

He milled around watching me pack. I paid him no mine.

"Lee, I'm sorry for bringing that stripper home. I just didn't know what to do."
"Don't apologize. You take care of them hos better than you take care of me. That's on you. All I know is that you better pack. This lease is in my name, and once I turn the keys in, you are homeless."

Well that started an argument. His voice was shaky like he was about to cry or something. He was blinking hard. Whatever.

He was staying in New Or.leans a bit longer. I was leaving.


I hummed my song. He stormed out the house.

I thought about the simple lesson I learned from a mere parrot.


Even though I was in a bad situation, I could still sing a song. And choose to be happy anyway.


So Chele...


Interview your parrot, Oldgirl. Yeah, I know, I know, it's silly.

But do it anyway.


No telling what lesson you may learn.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A LadyLee Geeky Moment

We interrupt our regular broadcasting to bring you a

LadyLee GEEKY Moment.

Over the past few months I've done a bit of wine shopping...

This is odd.

I don't drink.

I happen to frequent a few stores that boast enormous wine selections.

I like coming across strange wines, and since many of my friends drink wine, I find that it is a nice gift to give when going to someone's house for a get-together of any sort.

(That and a batch of cookies. People LOVE cookies more than wine, lol).

If you read this blog on a regular basis, you will find that I have a strange fascination with "Bitch" wine.



This is my wine of choice to give to friends. Let's just say, it is memorable. And it is not the typical Merlot. It is an Australian Barossa Grenache. (You won't remember that, but you will remember the name brand "Bitch". LOL)

But something happened last week, when I was walking through my beloved "White People's Kroger" grocery store. This is store they built in the hood when all the white people started moving back to the inner city. It is very nice, very clean, and the check out lines are very short.

Humph.

I buy Bottles of Bitch at this store.

But I was walking down an aisle, and I saw a wine that made me pause.

And scream "OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHHH WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!"

A young man was walking by. I startled him when I yelled. He gave me a strange look, then hurried past me with his cart.

I picked up the bottle, studied the label intensely for a full minute. SMILED real HARD. Got REAL dizzy.

It was almost orgasmic, it was.

At 22 dollars, the wine was more expensive than I care to pay. Bitch cost 11 bucks a bottle.

But uh, I had to get it, this bottle of Educated Guess...

I took it home, placed it on the table and took a picture.



I gasped in horror when Kramer jumped up on the table. I think he saw a bird outside and was trying to look out the window. Kramer got yelled at real hard for jumping up on the table. He was looking at me sideways for the rest of the day, lol.

Look real close... At that label.

Oh. My. Goodness.

The chemical equations for the fermentation of alcohol. Thermodynamic and kinetics graphs and equations. And my area of training, the organic chemistry. And they are CORRECT.

As a chemist, that turns me ON!!

Had an Oldgirl all **Giddy Giddy Giddy**

Yeah, me and my geekiness.

I'm such a nerd.

But I love all things chemistry.

Sigh. Hard sigh. smile.

*Lee hugs bottle of Guess close to her bosom*

We now return to our regular broadcasting...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday Ponderings-"You Suckas!!!"

What's up you SUCKAS!!!

Yeah, I called ya'll some suckas.

Why?

Because ya'll at work today, and I am NOT!!!

You suckas!!!!

In other words, I am still enjoying my vacation.

Yes, I am OFF! This is RARE! It feels GOOD!

I'll return to suckerhood next week! Right now, I'll let you all be some suckas. LOL!!

And anyone trying to reach me, leave my gub'ment email alone. Hit up my oldgirl email address. I check that regularly...

My holiday weekend. Well, the highlight of my holiday weekend was my making a pilgrimadge up to Charlotte NC for that Original Oldgirl's Serenity's Housewarming extravaganza...

You know you a bad sista when negroes are driving in and flying in from other states to attend your party. Goodness.

Well, I showed up with a car full of stuff: her blanket, a vacuum cleaner, a gang of wine, crawfish, shrimps and about 6 dozen cookies. I had a bunch of stuff I needed to give to the LBeezy and her baby boy, stuff that's been collecting on my dining room table for the past 3 months, lol.

Let's just say, there was a huge wrapping party at my house on Friday night, i.e., I laid up on the couch with a cold bottle of beer while I watched my sister Kentucky wrap EVERYTHING in bootleg dollar store Christmas paper. American Gangster played loudly on the DVD player.

"Kentucky, you know you like wrapping gifts. I HATE wrapping gifts. I know you love it!"
"No, I don't Lisa."
I frowned. "Oh you don't?"
"No."
"Oh well, that's too bad!" I point at the tall box with my bottle of beer. "Place a little tape on the back right there. The paper is sticking out."

LOL!!

Kentucky had her chance to say no to wrapping gifts. I'd been yelling all week at her about wrapping gifts because I don't like to. She'll stand up to me someday and yell "Hell no, Lisa!!"

I loaded up the car (not my car. My ish broke down last time I was up there. I drove Kentucky's luxurious ride, lol). I yelled at her for having NO air in her tires, so I had to find some air somewhere. GEEZ!!

My ride was nice. But Kentucky has so many controls in her ride. I was freezing cold the whole drive there. UGH!!

Then she had this CD of break-up songs in her car. That made me want to pull over and slit my throat.

And make a mental note to have a convo with her later. Hmm.

But there was one song on there that I love, that I haven't heard in a long time... And it is my Song of the month.

"Bitter" by Chante Moore

Youtube has disabled embedding for this song so go over there and have a look, if you like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cmh8kb0plz8

'Tis a bitter song. It should've been titled "Nigga", but I suppose that is not a good thing. But that word is a formidable part of the chorus, most important part, really. She even mouths it in the video. Heck, I even found the unedited version, which happens to be over on my playlist. (Got a phone call about that yesterday: "Lee, where did you find that?" LOL).

I've been combing through old journals and similar material lately, looking for "myself" for lack of a better term to use, and I came across an account of an old argument I'd had with my ex-husband. I was SO enraged that morning and words left my mouth that I didn't even know had been trapped DEEP in my heart.

"I f*ckin' HATE you. I f*ckin' HATE your guts!!"

I think during that argument I used the "n" word a gazillion different ways, as a noun, prononun, conjuction, punctuation- every which way possible.

I remember the look of shock on his face. Shoot, I'd shocked my ownself! He didn't know what to do. I am terribly passive agressive by nature, which means I rarely fight or argue. RARELY. (People who know me, ya'll know how quiet I am). I just don't talk to you. I disappear, almost like I've fallen off the face of the earth. I'm still like that, but I am around people who force me to talk without punishing me for it later, so I am getting better (I suppose).

My man was buffed and carried a lot of guns and knives. He could've hurt me bad that day. I think he told me to go to hell after he got over the shock of what I'd said.

We spoke about it a couple of days later, ironically, after his Mama's funeral. We both apologized for our behavior. I remember standing in the yard, thinking of how pretty his brown eyes were in the afternoon sun...

...And how the relationship, and the marriage were indeed over.

Hard sigh. Big tear.

I think every sista has gone "there" before, where you are saying stuff that you didn't even know was in your heart, whether your goal was to hurt your man's feelings, or whether you REALLY hated dude. I am terribly violent, so I've thrown a punch or two in the process. We've all gone "there" in some way or another.

I like Chante's song, because she goes "there" in a very nice and loving manner. I don't remember a song being sung so lovingly about bitterness. Hmm.

Try that with your man, ladies! You'd get laughed out the frickin' door if you do!

Me and ATLien Nikki were wondering what Kadeem Hardison did to ol' Chante. She got a couple of crazy songs out there. Funny how everyone thinks of her "ex" when she sings. I know that trips him out!

Okay, enough of my meanderings...

Let's end this on a smurfy note. Since Chante Moore is one of my favorite singers, here's a couple more of my favorite songs by her.

"Love's Taken Over"



"Love's Taken Over" Quiet Storm REMIX!



"Chante's Got a Man"



You all have a great day... AT WORK!!

LOL LOL!!!

Holla at cha!!