Friday, May 27, 2016

Friday Freestyles... The Underground Edition


And it's a 3 day weekend coming up.

Man listen... if it was a payday, this would be a perfect holiday. Perfect.

Yet it is not. And I'm thankful for a Friday.

We get to leave an hour early today. Um... seems like some folk have a liberal interpretation of leave an hour early, where one hour is more like one hour and 53 minutes.

I myself am busting up out of here early anyway. I made sure of that, as I have an haircut appointment at 5:00 pm.

Yes I do! So peace out to this place.

I initially thought of just heading out with the throngs of people who got out of dodge early, as it is like a herd of cattle heading for the hills. I would have just been one more cattle in the herd. That would have been easy enough. And my boss has been out since Wednesday. That gives me freedom to get all caught up in all amounts of tomfoolery.

Now, I never put down the full amount of hours worked. That way, if I need to leave early or just leave and run a few errands in the middle of the day, I can do that. This seems to happen once every couple of months. And that's all good.

Any, enough ponderings and freestyles about leaving the workplace...

Have you watched the series Underground?

Oh my goodness. I will say right now that this series is HANDS DOWN the BEST thing I have EVER seen on TV. Ever.

Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever.

It is the story, a fictional recounting of course, of the forming and the meaning of the Underground railroad. Specifically, it's about abolitionists, slave trappers, masters and their issues...

And Slaves trying to get the HELL on. Period.

"We tryna raise up outta here right NOW!!"

This drama series had me on the edge of my seat. Literally. It had me crying, screaming, cheering. I do believe I experienced every emotion, some that I didn't even know of.

Now, I'd heard about The Underground Railroad all while I was in school. Most notably, I heard about Harriet Tubman. And honestly, I wasn't going to even watch it, as I didn't care to see the Harriet Tubman story (yes, this is wrong of me, I know). But one of my favorite radio talk show hosts, Karen Hunter, was going on and on and on about it, so I went looking for it. It was on an obscure station that I don't get. So I bought the series off of Amazon Prime. Best $15 I have ever spent hands down.

I watched one episode while eating dinner one night after work. I figured I would just check it out.

I was up until 2:00 am watching the other episodes (knowing good and well I had to go to work the next day. Sigh). It was only 6 or 7 episodes in at the time, so I watched ALL of it.

It is NOT the Harriet Tubman story, but it made it easy to see how all of that jumped off. Really.

What I like about this story is what I usually like about my favorite stories: there are a ton of characters with a ton of storylines. All of them were nicely woven together. The Underground Railroad issues were woven well together with everyone's personal issues.

I think these two promotional posters do a good job of expressing the emotional tones of the characters.
I think there were twice as many characters as shown above. And I either hated them, wondered about them, or cared about them all in some way or another. It really yanked at my emotions.

With all the characters, it was fast paced and much to keep up with. That was the only drawback. This was a 10 episode series, but it could have EASILY been the standard 22 episode series. But they covered much ground and set the show up nicely for the second season.


I won't go on and on. Just trust me, this was GREAT. I know some don't like anything to do with slavery. I don't care much either. But this was on some other level.

My coworker loves the Color Purple. I told her to watch this because it was Color Purple on speed.

She is caucasian, and she said she could see why a lot of black folk don't like white folk.

Yes, watching that make you go O_o.

And some of that hate was going on in  the movie. Even when the abolitionists were trying to help slaves, there was some conflict involved in that from the slaves point of view. 

I know black folk who get all shook up when they drive pass a cotton field. I understand why now. (Plus I have read a lot about behavioral epigenetics. Someone in your background has picked a lot of cotton, and this is imprinted somewhere in your genetic material, and it effects you emotionally. I thought much about that while watching this. I understand that now.)

Anyway, this was GREAT. I have watched it 3 times. Gonna watch it again.

Oh... Here is the trailer...

Yeah... the music was interesting. Done by Kanye. Very hip-hoppish. Threw me off for a minute, but it added to the urgency of the show.

Underground was produced by John Legend. Great job, sir. Superb!!

It comes out on Netflix next month. I have netflix on my smartphone. This is good, because I can watch it on my phone... 

Yes, I will be watching it again. Maybe this holiday weekend? I don't know. We will see.

But I know one thing.

I will have a great weekend on purpose.

You do the same! 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Quote of the Week

I tell you something I don't quite understand.

What is the uproar over which bathroom the transgender use all about?

I don't know if I've ever been in the bathroom with a transgender person. Why don't I know? Because I really was concentrating on getting into a stall and peeing. Point blank.

So I don't understand what the hoopla is all about...

I mean, is it THAT much of a problem.

I know we have a transgender person near my workplace. Several, really. What is interesting about this particular one is that she is a dead ringer for Gabrielle Union. Dead ringer.

With that said, how do we know who is a man or who is a woman? Are they sending people to check? What kind of chaos will that cause?

Just questions about something that I think is much ado about nothing...

I really don't care. Just get out of my way, because I just gotta pee, man.  

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Free Stuff (Blessing)

I get free stuff from time to time.

The Cowgirl Cre has become quite the Coupon Queen lately. She called me yesterday wanting to know if I liked Zatarins rice.

I said yes, but only the Dirty rice. Haven't tried the others.

"They don't have that one. They have the jambalaya and red beans and rice." She went on to name other types.

"I like the Dirty rice, man," I said, a hint of disappointment clouding my voice.

Honestly, I would've taken any type of rice she offered.

After all, you know how I feel about free stuff.

*"Blessing," Ladylee whispers softly to self.*

She looked around behind other boxes of rice and found some dirty rice.

"I'll bring it to you tomorrow," she said.

And when I arrived at work, there was a bag on my desk. I looked inside. She left not one box of rice, but three boxes of rice.


I  whispered to myself as I held up a box  of  rice...


A blessing indeed.  Free blessing.

"This will last me the rest of the year," I told her later.

Her eyebrows raised high at my words.

LOL. I use a box in the summer, one in the fall, and one for Christmas. 

Stretch it out, man! Stretch the blessing out!!!  

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday Freestyles...The Hot Sauce Edition


And it is PAY DAY.

And lo and behold, I haven't gotten much done today. This big project I have been working on is pretty much over. I have been doing a load of paperwork for the past month sparsely sprinkled with church jogs back into the lab to redo experiments that didn't come out right. Glad it is all over. I think it's suppose to crank back up again. I will lay quietly in a corner, balled up tightly in a fetal position hoping that no one will assign me to the project.

Enough of that! Today is Friday!

And UberEats has been giving away free hot sauce for our bags all week long.

It was a take-off on a line from Beyonce's "Formation" song.

"I got hot sauce in my bag swag..."

The advertisement gives that away...

The thing is that I didn't pay much attention to this, as hot sauce is one of the cheapest condiments you can buy. BUT today I looked it up and this hot sauce is $8 a bottle.

If I would've known that, I would've ordered it all week long.

"Peri-Peri" is a type of west african seasoning. It's a mix of over 8 seasonings, and I tend to buy the $20-a-pound powdered version at my local natural foods store. I only buy a tablespoons worth,  which comes out to about 40 cents or so.

So you know I had to get up for this free hot sauce!

And it's good stuff too. I tasted a drop of it. Still feeling it an hour later. But  it is a great feeling.

Anyway, this has been a decent week. I attended an off-site instrument seminar yesterday, and they let us go pretty much after half a day. They even provided us a free lunch.

Now I just have to get up the nerve to ask my boss if I have to use my leave hours because we were let out of the seminar early.

Ain't my fault that we were let out early. Humph.

But this has been a great week... Hot sauce and all.

Song of the Week. So I like to listen to music when I'm cleaning up the house. I had my 80s playlist going, and this song came on. "Special Kind of Fool".

Bet you haven't heard that one in a long time.

Oldie but goodie... indeed.

That's it for me!

Have a great weekend... on purpose!

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tales of the Market

One of my favorite places as of late has been my local Municipal Market.

It's not really a farmer's market, per se. Well I don't consider it such. But maybe it is. I can get fresh fruits, vegetables, meat and seafood, and such there. And they have some great restaurants, including an afro-Caribbean and soul food restaurant. I believe they even have a place serving Venezuelan street food.

Now, I go because there's a great juice place there called Rawesome Juicery. I would get one of their juices through Uber Eats and I was thinking that this place is down in the Sweet Aurburn avenue district and it's the halfway point between my house and my job (I live 4.5 miles from work).  Ain't nothing to just stop by and get some juice and save the delivery charges.

And I am particularly interested in some of their cut-up vegetables.

I've had some of the cut-up greens and they were great.  There's a place that sells fresh cut fruits and that's always convenient.

But what's interesting is that this place was called "The Curb Market" when I was a child. It's the Municipal Market now. But I did find a sign showing it as "The Curb Market".
Anyway, I have some funny memories of this place. It was my Great-grandmother's favorite place.

You read that right. Great-grandmother. So this goes back some 40 years at least.

I remember her saying many a summer morning, "Lisa, get up and get your bath, because we are going down to the curb market today."

My 4-year-old little self did not care for this. It meant getting out and walking a mile to the bus stop and catching TWO Marta buses downtown to the market. And once we got there,  I was a bit horrified by the sight of whole pigs hanging upside down from clothesline.

It was a bustling place with people hurrying to and fro. And at times, there were flies everywhere. This was overwhelming to my little 4-year-old self. There was nothing worse than seeing a dead pig covered in flies.

I don't remember what we bought. I was just ready to go. I just didn't like the long bus rides and the walking to the bus stop. I think about it every time I see the railroad over near my grandmother's house.

We use to take the path and walk way up the street and down a hill and wait for our bus. The bus was only 15 cents back then, and I remember gripping my nickel dime tight in my hand so I wouldn't lose it.

But I just couldn't stand the place. I remember wanting to just be back in house near the house fan. I would rather be playing with my dolls and not on the long journey to and from the farmers market.

I promised myself that when I grew up I would NEVER go back to this place. EVER.

And some 42 years later, I changed my mind. I decided  to go, and I am glad I did.

It's a nice place. No pigs hanging on clothesline. Not a fly in sight. Thank goodness for that.

I am so happy that it is near my house, some 2 miles away. They even have a small vintage book store. I take a bagful of books whenever I go for donation.

So that's my tale of the market. It took me 42 years to get back there. I guess it's okay for us to change our minds, even so many decades later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Tales of the Beams

My cats love the beams that criss-cross my living room.

Not much time goes by (usually every few days) that I'm trying to leave for work and I'm trying to locate cats that one or both of them are laying up on the beams looking down at me.

They don't care if I'm about to be late to work. There is more of the attitude of...

We gonna lay here and be quiet and watch this fool run back and forth downstairs looking for us.


I just be trying to make sure neither one of them is all shut up in my bedroom all day without food, water, or the litter box. 

But something interesting happened the other day: there was a stand off on the beams. And it lasted some 15  minutes, both of them standing erect as statues, chests out and at attention.

I let this go on. It's usually them just trying to get around each other. But this time, Callie Jo was intentionally blocking Mitch's exit from the beams. And he wasn't happy about it. As a matter of fact, Mitch would reach out and take a swipe at Callie.

And she would block his paw with some awesome Karate kid wax-on-wax-off ninja moves.

I was laying on the sofa watching television... and watching them. This was interesting to watch for awhile, but I didn't want either of them to fall the 10 feet to the ground below. I was not interested in spending any amount of money getting any broken bones mended.

So I yelled at them.

"What the hell wrong with ya'll?  Ya'll better stop all that mess!"

They didn't scramble or jump in fear of my booming voice, but the look they gave me was CLASSIC.

That look says... What in the world are you yelling for?


Soon after my shouts, Callie left the beams, and Mitch followed close behind.

I'm not sure what they got into after that.

I was just glad any potential high-beam fights were thwarted.

Thank goodness for that.

This all makes me wonder what they get into when I'm not home...


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Ten Thursdeay Thoughts

Here we go with thoughts on a Thursday!

1.  I have a bad habit of leaving my car in drive when I park my car. The only reason I know this is because when I go to crank up the car, nothing happens. Thank goodness for the emergency parking brake is on. Car won't move with that on.

2.  This weather is disturbing me deeply. I am a little lost with this hot one week, cold the next week.

3.  I need a better AC system for my house. Mine feels like it's about to go out. I am NOT trying to deal with a hot house.

4.  I cut grass this weekend. I have a yard full of dandelion weeds.

Here's a picture I stopped to take in the midst of cutting the yard. 

How 'bout I cut that on Saturday, and the little flowers are already growing back. SIGH.

5.  My boss said use some Week and Feed on the lawn. I am afraid it may be too late for that, as it is getting hot outside and it can burn up the yard.. I will try it out in  the backyard, though. Lot's of shade back there.

6. I was feeling so good that I even cut back some tree limbs in the backyard. I don't have a picture of it, but the limbs would have covered the handle of the lawn mower above.

But look how green the grass is, though. Beautiful!! 

7. Back to the  limbs.  Like I said, the limbs were so long that they covered the lawn mower handles in the above picture. I had to duck to to try to cut the grass. And Lord help me if a snake would have fallen on my head.

There were a lot of berries on that tree.

I thought about chewing on one and seeing how it tastes. But I thought better of it all, since those berries might be poisonous like the nightlock berries in The Hunger Games. I don't want any parts of that.

I entertained thoughts of taking one in the house and feeding it to Sister Callie Jo. Those were fleeting thoughts, though.

8. The "bricking up" of the streets continues:

Hmm...  They need to sweep or shine this street. It looks like they are still working on it.  It's a long street, and they are bricking it up as far as the eye can see.  In the distance, there's a UPS truck, and he was struggling over some of the unfinished parts. Bro, I know you have to deliver the packages, but don't tare up the truck in the process. Wow.

9.  I am almost done with all my paperwork. Boy oh boy, it has been such a doozie for the past 3 months. I am pretty much exhausted. Crunching data is NO joke. I have even been crunching data in my dreams. Sigh.

10. When I'm done, I WILL be taking a week off. Maybe two weeks.

Not sure much time I'm taking off, but I told my boss...

"I'ma get ya'll back for this..."

I sure am.  I am taking OFF. When I break,  I'm  BREAK  hard.

Really though.

That's it for my Ten Thursday thoughts!

Friday, May 06, 2016

Friday Freestyles... The Birthday Edition

It is FRIDAY!!


And it is Pay Day. AND I get to leave 2 hours early today.

Man... how awesome and perfect is that??

I just had a meeting with my boss and he was seemingly acting like he didn't understand the whole two-hour-off deal. Whatever, sir. Not really going to explain it. You can watch the door close as I head out to my car. I'll holler!

I am looking forward to the weekend. Gotta do some paperwork, but I will get through that. 

So.. someone, no... something had a birthday last month.

Sister Callie Jo!!

(How should one refer to animals? Are they a something?)

Anyway, Happy Belated Birthday, Sister Callie!

There Callie Jo is, standing atop her new birthday gift.

That's a scratching post. They have pretty much shredded the one I had for 10 years. This one's a bit shoddy as I have already broken the bottom board. She wasn't all that interested in it anyway.

But she has her own brand of pole dancing going on.

Go Callie!  Get busy!

I bought some strange dual slanted scratching post too.
She seems  to like that. And Mitch does too.

Well, that's all they get from me. I feed and water them everyday, so don't expect any extra special treats.They already chew on my plastic plants so they will be alright.

Song of the Week One of my favorite Destiny Child's song (as I am more of a fan of the group than I am of  Beyonce  herself).

I love that song! And Destiny's child need to get back together, doggonit.

That's it for my week. Looking forward to the weekend. And this paperwork. Sigh.

I don't care what I have to do... This will be a good weekend. On purpose.

You have a good weekend... on purpose, too.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Two Thursday (Food For) Thoughts

It is Thursday...

I am happy for that, as tomorrow is Friday, and it's Pay Day. And this is public health service appreciation week or something like that. And it's "Get Moving" week. So I get an hour off this week for each.


So I'm leaving 2 hours early tomorrow. On Payday. GLORY!

Heck man, I might just take myself on in to work at 6 a.m. and leave at noon.

I don't know if I can do that. I have a meeting with my boss tomorrow, and I would hate for dude to want to meet with me at 3 'o clock in the afternoon. That would NOT be a good meeting.


And there's a special birthday tomorrow. I won't talk about that today. You will see tomorrow. But I just wanted to post some food for thoughts.

1. I have been feeling under the weather for the better part of the year, but I feel a bit better now. Much of it came from working too much and fighting to balance the rest of my life, and all the anxiety that comes with that. But there is a point where I am usually feeling better, and I always look out for that point, and I make sure to write it down somewhere.

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to walk to the bank to cash some checks (escrow refund, over payment on credit cards, etc.). I have had these checks in my possession since January or so, and I didn't want them to go void on me or anything because I had waited around to cash them.

Now, the bank is a couple of short blocks walk from my job. I can stand on the loading dock and see the bank from my job. But I was so afraid, or apprehensive about walking down there. I thought I would just wear myself out. Or get confused and walk out into the street. Heck, I don't know. I just know I've felt worn out down to my bone marrow, and I didn't want to cause myself any trouble.

But I actually geared myself up to walk down to the bank last week. I didn't go to that particular one, but I have an account at the credit union a couple of blocks away, and I walked down there, and I did just fine.

It is such a little thing, but it meant much to me. I was thinking today that... gee, I didn't think to ask anyone to just walk with me. That would have been easy enough. But I guess I just wanted to feel some sense of independence or something.

I walked to the bank, cashed my checks, and went and sat down for a bite to eat nearby. I walked back to work and I felt just fine. That's how I knew I was on the upswing. And thank goodness for that.

2. Something remarkable happened to me in this time of racial tension, upheaval and unrest during this turbulent time in our country.

On Sunday, I went to the farmer's market over on the east side. This place is super crowded on the weekend, butt-to-butt and shoulder-to-shoulder like ladies night at the night club. Well, I'd dealt with the crowds and got my nice organic fruits and veggies and proceeded to the cashier.

When I finished up and left the market, it was raining cats and dogs and frogs. Just pouring down. And it was that type of rain where we ALL gonna just stand around and wait for the rain to stop, or at least calm down.

Well, the rain had calmed down some, and I decide to make a run for it. A few steps out into the light showers I heard someone say "I have you covered."

Well, I didn't too much turn around, as I knew they weren't talking to me. I was alone. But I looked over my shoulder when I heard the sound of footsteps in pace with my own, and there was this white lady trying to catch up with me, her arm stretched out, gripping the handle of her umbrella hard and trying her best to keep it over my head so I wouldn't get wet.

"Thank you," I said. "But I'm good."

"No, no," she said. "I have an umbrella, and I knew I could help someone."

She held her umbrella over my head while I put my groceries in the car. She told me to take my time, she was there to make sure I didn't get wet.

"Thank you," I said. "I will always remember this."

She made sure I got in the car and even took my cart and placed it in the cart return area.

All that without getting wet.

(I know what you're thinking: I had my purse on me at all times. And my RFID cards are protected in a bootleg foil slip. LOL).

That really meant much to me. My eyes were wet as I sat in the car getting ready to head home. Why? Because like I said, we are living in a volatile time. White folks hate black folks and vice versa. And here was someone who saw me braving the rain, and they were just doing a good deed for the day.

My pastor always says look out for little expressions of God's love and thoughts toward you. They are happening all the time. And that is one of the little expressions of God's love towards me. I always make sure to be still and ponder on it for a moment. And just earlier that moment, I groaned in sadness after watching some black/white conflict issues on the news that morning. And that which happened that afternoon was God saying There is still some good in the world.

Yes there is.

It was good that I could walk to the bank by myself. I take that type of thing for granted, but that day I didn't.

It was good that I was shielded from the rain.  I won't take that for granted either.

Those are my Two Thursday (Food For) Thoughts. I have more, but those two will do on this cold ATLien night.

They are simple thoughts, but sometimes the simple can be complex.

And sometimes such simple thoughts can afford an abundance of hope.

And these days, I need all the hope I can get.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Ten Tuesday Thoughts

Ten Tuesday Thoughts... the after dark edition. 

No. That doesn't mean nothing dirty. It's just 10:30 pm and I'm about to go to bed.

1. So I was washing dishes this evening, with the TV playing in the background. Lo and behold, Cruz suspended his campaign.

2. I yelled "NOOOOOOOO" right along with everyone in his audience. Not because I was sad (Cruz is a weasel), but I was hoping him and Kasich siphoning off some delegates will keep Trump from getting that nomination. It's apparently not going down like that.

3. I have been listening to Beyonce's new CD, which is a stretch for me. It is actually one of the few CDs I can listen to top to bottom. That's a rarity.

4. I woke up late this morning. Instead of rushing, I went into work a little late. I am getting older, and this is the way I will be handling things from now on. Unless I just happen to get my 20-year-old self back, that it.

5. I slept 7.5 hours last night. I rarely sleep that long. My average is 5-6 hours per night.

6. It's been so hot outside that I must turn on my air conditioner. Too bad, because I was enjoying low utility bills.

7.  My grass is growing too fast. If it keeps growing at this rate, it will have to be cut once a week. And that's not good, because the dude that cuts my grass now charge to doggone much. I may just have to get out here and cut it myself.

8. I play scratch off lotto tickets every once in awhile. But not the cheap ones. There's a $5 ticket that I like, and I only buy it from a certain gas station. I like it because I always make money off of them. I bought $45 worth this time (9 tickets), and walked away with $85. Can't beat that. Can't wait until next time (most likely sometime late summer).

9. Playing on my Spotify at this moment:  "Inside Out" by Clppng.

10. Saying the words "President Trump" makes me squeamish. Really.

That's it for my 10 Tuesday night thoughts. I'm going to bed now.