Little Known Fact About J Vol. 1

I am highly superstitious. I believe in signs, gut feelings, jinxes, & things of that nature.

Yesterday was a good day. A snowballing of positivity, love, & general feelings of fuzziness. πŸ™‚ I found out that I will be receiving my overdue promotion soon thanks to a spy being in the right place at the right time. Waiting for it to be formally announced is killing me. I’ve been seeing Big Boss Boss coming over to Medium Boss Boss’ office more often lately, so I know it’s on the way. I am impatient though, so I’m like “ARGH JUST ANNOUNCE IT ALREADY!”

I’ve been getting more of an opportunity to do things that I enjoy at work lately. Lil Boss Boss is on a taskforce that is helping mold one of our newly acquired school underneath the corporation’s umbrella. One of her assignments as a part of this task force was to do an edit of the first draft of the school’s academic catalog. She admits that she is not really a wordsmith, so she allowed myself & another fellow English major on our team to chop it up. Those two days we spent a combined total of about 8 hours going through this 38 page document and cleaning it up. The first day I almost forgot to take lunch because we got so caught up in it. I was on a high. It was the first time in a long time where I left work completely satisfied with the work I had done throughout the course of the day.

Medium Boss Boss has been attuned to my wordsmithery as well. She calls me from time to time to run something she has written by me to see if I like how it sounds or how I would say it. We spent 20 minutes on the phone Friday crafting a more specific job description to be posted on our careers website. She read some bullet points she had, I wasn’t really feeling them. Made a suggestion to make them action driven, spouted off a quick example, and BOOYAH! Next thing I know, I’d completely crafted the whole damn thing.

Again, exciting. I get a rush from things like that. I don’t think anyone really understands how much I love words and sculpting them to form thoughts. I’ve been neglecting writing for a number of years now (this blog does not count). I used to actively write every day up until I hit a roadblock. Instead of trying to get around it, I just chucked writing aside. I’ve got to get my mojo back & get some things in motion. If I want to make a career change and get more into a literary field, it starts with fine tuning my skills. I’m thinking of picking up some community college writing courses, just to get things back on track. Maybe for the fall, dependant upon how finances look.

I volunteered to help my mother move some of her stuff from storage to her new place. On the way, we made a stop & the events that unfolded during the course of that stop were nothing short of amazing. I am being incredibly vague right now because if all goes well, things in my life may be changing for the better sooner than I anticipated. I do not want to jinx this. I will just say that everything felt so right, organic. . .I’ve never felt more at peace with a situation as I did yesterday.

I ended the night by spending time with my cousin Dani, her new bb CJ, Jersey, & NR (gotta get her a blog nick). This was the first time we’d all hung out since Dani had the baby. We were getting her caught up on work stuff, feeding our faces (whycome no one told me how good sushi is?!?!?!) & imbibing a lil vino. I didn’t do much talking, chiming in at necessary junctures, but for the most part observing. I am so freaking blessed to have women like this in my life. Women whom I can call friend & mean it. I’ve only known Jersey & NR for a short amount of time, but I know they’re the real deal. Genuine sistas who’ll have my back as much as I have theirs.

The older I get the more I’m finding more genuine people to invite into my life. I dig that. In the earlier part of my 20s, I did so much weeding out of toxic individuals that I felt like a gardener. I’m so over that now.

All in all, I’m feeling good. Genuinely, not just saying it to put up a facade. I still have my moments when I’m feeling down, but I just step back and think about the people in my life, the luxuries that I am afforded, etc & know that I am living a life of the highly favored. Though storms may arise, I know that He cares for me & will never give me more than I can bear. I tend to forget that too much for my (and prolly His, as well) liking. I’m trying to fix it, after all I am a work in progress. . .

OH! I forgot one last part. So this morning I wake up craving sweets. I had these two fortune cookies from when I got my China Rice earlier this week. I killed them in like 5 seconds flat, then go to read the fortunes.

Everything will now come your way.

Someone is speaking well of you.

I will admit, I like the way both of those sound. Hopefully my sekrit squirrel news will be able to be made public knowledge soon. I’m dying to share, but you know. . .jinx & all. πŸ™‚ Ok, now I’m off to eventually catch a movie with The Veep. Ta!

What’s in a name?

A conversation that I have on a regular basis with my girlfriends is how to classify the men in our lives when speaking with others. Por ejemplo:

J says: Justin & I love sledding in winter.
Other person who doesn’t know Justin says: Who’s Justin?
J says: My boyfriend. . .*cringes on inside*

I feel at the ripe old age of 27 (in 5 months), I’m too old to be calling any male with whom I am involved my boyfriend. The term just seems juvenile to me, in ways. Boyfriend calls to mind multi-hour long conversations ending with “you hang up! no, you hang up!”, getting dropped off at the mall to on movie double dates with your BFF & his BFF, doodling Mrs. Jeanette [insert current boyfriend’s last name here] in homeroom, etc. I feel like I should be working toward something more substantial.

One friend suggested manfriend, but that just sounds awkward and cumbersome. She shortened it to man, but for some reason saying that makes me feel like Kim Parker. I also have issues with the word boo making me feel like Nicki Parker, lol. I’ve toyed with the thought of using the pet name that I may or may not call him (my honey, my love, etc), but that sounds too dorky, lol. Significant other sounds too stodgy. Partner makes people think I’m on the Ellen Degeneres/Rosie O/ Suze Orman train. The guy I’m seeing sounds too casual for a relationship descriptor.

What do you think?

Irritatingly ignorant.

I strongly dislike Oreo cookies. I don’t know when this began because when I was a shorty, I would fade them jawns like whoa. Now, however? The only way I can take them are in various ice cream creations. [/random. . .or is it?]

“You’re the Whitest Black girl I’ve ever known!” exclaimed Michelle. Michelle was a roommate of mine in undergrad. She made this statement after learning that I listened to (& also stan for) Kelly Clarkson. Really? Just how many Black girls have you known, Michelle? I’m not counting those whom you’ve seen in passing while attending SIU Carbondale nor the ones you’ve seen on the televsion. Furthermore, what makes you an authority on authentic Blackness and how to gauge it? Please enlighten me so that I may too be able to perform this task.

My younger cousins are growing up in a majority white suburb of Chicago. They speak VERY proper English (Thanks to my coaching! English majors say hoooooooo!) and love Hannah Montana/High School Musical/ et. al. Their cousins who are growing up in the “hood” often tease them for “talking/acting white”. I hate that phrase and all incarnations of it. Acting/speaking White means what exactly? Because I am a Black female I must only like R&B/Rap/Hip-Hop, never shop @ AE/Abercrombie/Hollister/et. al., and not speak the King’s English? If I do any of these things then I am not really Black. Fuckouttahere with that noise.

I hate stereotyping in any way, shape, or form. Just because someone does not conform to your ideal of what you think a person of his/her gender/race/ethnicity/sexual orientation does not make that person any less authentic. Perhaps you should rethink your narrow view of what you want them to be & accept the person as they are.

Rockin’ the Red Pump!

Today is National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness day. Luvvie (of Awesomely Luvvie) & Karyn (of The Fabulous Giver) came up with the idea of The Red Pump Project.

I lost someone who was like family to me from AIDS, so I’m VERY excited to be taking a part in an initiative to educate the masses about HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS is very prevalent among young African American women and we need to educate our girls (& ourselves) on how to be proactive in regards to our sexual health. Talking about HIV/AIDS (hell any STD really) is so taboo in our community. We need to stop clinging to stereotypes about HIV/AIDS and face facts. Too many young sistas are out there struggling with this disease daily. It is the number one leading cause of death in my OUR age group. Know your status, sistas!

HIV/AIDS Statistics (from CDC website via The Red Pump Project website)
Statistics used are from the Center for Disease Control’s website. Although these stats are only taking the United States into account, globally, HIV/AIDS is no less of a problem, especially for women.

Key Snapshot of the U.S. Epidemic Today

Number of new HIV infections, 2006: 56,300
Number of people living with HIV/AIDS: 1.1 million, including more than 468,000 with AIDS
Number of AIDS deaths since beginning of epidemic: 583,298, including 14,561 in 2007
Percent of people infected with HIV who don’t know it: 21%

HIV/AIDS & Women in the United States
*There are approximately 1.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS in the U.S. & almost 280,000 are women

*In 2006, there were 15,000 new HIV infections and 9,801 AIDS cases diagnosed among women

*There were 3,784 deaths among women with AIDS in 2006

*Among those who are HIV positive, 35% of women were tested for HIV late in their illness (diagnosed with AIDS within one year of testing positive)

*HIV is the 5th leading cause of death in women in the United States, ages 25-44

*High-risk heterosexual contact is the source of 80% of these newly diagnosed infections in women

*According to a CDC study of more than 19,500 patients with HIV in 10 US cities, women were slightly less likely than men to receive prescriptions for the most effective treatments for HIV infection

*Women with AIDS made up an increasing part of the epidemic. In 1992, women accounted for an estimated 14% of adults and adolescents living with AIDS in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. By the end of 2005, this proportion had grown to 23%

*From the beginning of the epidemic through 2005, almost 86,000 women have died of AIDS and AIDS-related complications.

*The largest number of HIV/AIDS diagnoses during recent years was for women aged 15–39

HIV/AIDS & Minority Women
HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects minority women in the United States. According to the 2005 census, Black and Latina women represent 24% of all US women combined, but account for 82% of the estimated total of AIDS diagnoses for women in 2005.

HIV is:

*the leading cause of death for black women (including African American women) aged 25–34 years.

*the 3rd leading cause of death for black women aged 35–44 years.

*the 4th leading cause of death for black women aged 45–54 years.

*the 4th leading cause of death for Latina women aged 35–44 years.

*The only diseases causing more deaths of women were cancer and heart disease

*The rate of AIDS diagnosis for black women was approximately 23 times the rate for white women and 4 times the rate for Latina women

*In 2006, teen girls represented 39% of AIDS cases reported among 13–19 year-olds. Black teens represented 69% of cases reported among 13–19 year-olds; Latino teens represented 19%
Also, for my homies in the Chi-Illa, Karyn & Luvvie are hosting a Happy Hour Event @
Plush Restaurant & Lounge
1104 W. Madison
6:30 – 9pm

I’ma try and run through after I go visit Dani in Forest Park & take care of some bitnezz in Oak Park tonight. πŸ™‚

Lasterday. . .

Yesterday I yelled at God.

Through no fault of anyone but my dumb self I was on the side of I-88 (East Bound, directly underneath Highland Ave.) for over to 4 hours yesterday. I was driving along, on my way to a market research survey ($$$) before a concert later that night (Tony Lucca/Sara Bareilles) with friends. The plan was to leave work, do survey, try to arrange coffee date, and then head to show venue. I got another flat tire. Seriously, I don’t get it. I pay attention to these damn things, filling ’em with air when they’re low. Then I hit Chicago potholes and all goes to pot. πŸ™ I call my ma because she’s off work & she comes to get me so I can get another tire. She gets lost on her way. I love my mother so much, but she is ridiculously directionally challenged. She managed to turn a 15 minute trip into about 40.

Yesterday I yelled at God very loudly.

She finally gets there and we go to the [Nationally Recognized Tire Place] to get a new tire. The NRTP guy tells me that the rim on my wheel is also bent, so I may need a new rim. EFF MY LIFE! He puts the new tire on the old rim & everything is copacetic (sp?). Now it’s back to the side of I-88 to put the tire on. When I first got the flat, a highway worker pulled over and gave me the emergency line to call to get someone to help me put the tire on. I was all over this because I was in my “good work” clothes & still planned on at least trying to make it to the show. There is no way in Hell I am letting my mother get out there and change a tire, so I called the number. I was assured that someone would be there shortly.

An hour passes and nothing. I call the number back and get another worker. Apparently the first heffa did not put in my call at all. No one was coming. We were sitting there for naught! Seriously?! I was steamed. I managed to be very nice to the new lady and gave her the information. I kept repeating how I did not understand how in the hell I talked to someone and nothing got entered. I wanted expedited service and the new lady was not trying to help me at all. New heights of pisstivity were definitely reached. She’d better be lucky that I try not to cuss in front of my momma because I had a few select 4 letter words for her.

Here’s where I gotta give my momma a shout out. We don’t always see eye to eye, but when I need her she’s there. More than I can say for some others, but that’s another story for another day. . . The man finally showed up 2 hours after my original call. He takes his sweet time fixing the tire, but all I have for him is thanks! I’m slowly but surely realizing that all plans I had for today are kaput. I’m spent. I’ve been texting with Lisa & J.Rae during the whole ordeal & ended up just not even going. Would have taken too much for me to get there on time. Hugged my momma, got in my car and drove home.

Yesterday I yelled at God very loudly and felt like the most ungrateful douche to ever walk the Earth immediately afterward.

I was irritated, frustrated, and all other kinds of -ated after the whole ordeal. I was about halfway home when I just started wildin’. I mean, I got straight ignant on the Lord. I’m driving, screaming, crying, & just being generally insane. I’m pretty sure some of the people driving along side me were clutching their pearls. I know if I saw someone carrying on the way I was, I most certainly would have been.

I said some harsh things. I said somethings that I regret putting into the universe. I said some things that I just wish I could take back, but I can’t. I apologized to God, asked Him for forgiveness for speaking out of the side of my mouth. As He is a God of forgiveness, I’m sure He’ll overlook my transgressions, but I’m still feeling a bit down in the mouth. How can I continue to blame Him for these crappy situations I am constantly getting myself into? Quite simple, really. I can’t. . .