shaba dabba tweet tweet tweet…

I spent Saturday with my BFFL (henceforth referred to as The Biffles). I rarely get to see her because of [personal reasons redacted], but when I do it’s just like we were back in 7th grade. Entirely too much giggling happening betwixt us, okay? HA! The Biffles is quite possibly one of my favorite people because she GETS me. I love spending time with her because I don’t have to explain my actions, thoughts, feelings, etc. She just knows where I’m coming from and (whether or not she agrees) supports me (and vice versa). That’s MAJOR. I don’t have a lot of people in my life who just let me be with no question.

So I’m at The Biffles’ house (looking up something on my phone) when I suddenly find out some VERY stressful information. My mood changes instantly and I damn near RUN out of her house. She texts me later on and says “I know something was wrong though you said you were okay. I understand why you felt you had to lie, but do it again & that’s your behind!” I had to laugh because she’s six months pregnant and threatening to whoop my butt. I was going somewhere with this & here I go digressing…

So without going into the reason I got so ruffled and had to flee from The Biffles, I’ll just say this. It was completely my fault that this bad thing happened. I played Russian Roulette with the hands of fate and ended up with the short end of the stick once again. (Could I be more cliched with that last sentence, btw?! Yeesh!) I do stupid ish like this all of the time. I go into a situation knowing good & well that I shouldn’t be there. Nevertheless, I stay there, teetering as close to the edge as possible. I manage (usually for a short period of time) to not fall off the cliff. I get comfortable and somewhat cocky, then WHAM! My silly behind gets knocked off the cliff. Then it’s face broken, epiphany/healing time. “I’ll never do that again,” says J. Only to repeat the mistake after x amount of time. ::le sigh:: This is all very vague and probably somewhat confusing, but the moral of the story is…

Insanity is defined as repeating the same behavior and expecting a different result.

I think I’m nuts. 😉

"Stop chasin’ them hos, Jesse.."

$5 & a shot of your choice to whomever can correctly identify that quote up there. 😉

Today’s the observance of MLK’s birthday and in honor of it one of my newest twitter peeps posed a very interesting question. I answered and the exchange went as follows:

@LiteraryNobody: MLK spoke of racial equality. Do you work towards that goal by not making distinctions between yourself and other races?

@booksonthetrain (my secondary twitter account for the book blog): I would like to say yes to this question, but unfortunately I cannot. I’m in many scenarios where I am the only one of my race far more frequently than I’d like & tend to be painfully aware & sometimes uncomfortable.

@LiteraryNobody: Thank you for your honesty. Have you found that people treat you differently or because of discomfort you may stand off?

@booksonthetrain: Thankfully, it’s more of the latter. Most others that I associate with do not even bring my race into the equation. I find myself kind of waiting for the shoe to drop, so to speak. Waiting for someone to bring up the difference…in a bad way. To kind of “justify” my discomfort. It’s weird, I know, haha.
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I’ve spoken about race on this blog before and may have mentioned that my group of friends & associates is rather diverse. I jokingly refer to the contacts in my phonebook as the UN. Growing up, my neighborhood was not very diverse at all. It was an all Black enclave with the occasional person of Hispanic origin or European descent. My first time interacting with a large group of people who did not look/talk/act like me was when I entered high school. Even then, I didn’t really associate with people who weren’t like me. I was cool with people of other ethnicities, but as far as my main crew? All more like me than not.

Going off to college literally changed my life. I cast off what was to be culturally expected and broadened my horizons. I made friends with “the others”. I listened to “their” music, ate “their” food, and assimilated. However I was of the mind that with assimilation comes a capitulation of sorts. I toned down my “Blackness”. Often referred to as code switching, I became more aware of the language I used when I was with “the others” as opposed to my Black friends. I tried to ignore the stares I’d get when I was the only person of color out in a group with my friends.

The more I tried to avoid or ignore the differences though, the more they were highlighted. I had an experience a few weeks back that a friend and I laughed about initially, but in the back of my mind irritated the hell outta me. I went to the movies w/ a large group of girlfriends. Seven White gals and one Black one (me, obvs). Before the movie started most of us wanted refreshments, but didn’t want to leave our items unattended. Myself and one of my friends decided to hang back while everyone else went out. As I sat down, my friend motioned for me to come closer so she could tell me something. The woman behind her (also White) saw me sitting down in the area that we’d saved seats in and says to her (my friend) “I thought you all needed those seats. Are you just gonna let her sit there?” My friend explained that I was with them and I dunno what the reaction of the lady was. We joked that my friend should have pretended like I wasn’t with them and caused a scene, haha!

I was irritated because ok, here’s the thing. Nearly everyone in the theatre saw my friends counting out these seats, right? Then we placed coats/purses/other miscellaneous items in the seats to make sure all were covered. Did she NOT see me talking to people in our group? Did she NOT see me WALK IN with my group? Did she really think that the Black girl would just move their stuff and sit down? Then I had to think of things from the flip side. Maybe she didn’t see me talking to them. Maybe I was blocked by someone else while we were counting and the lady didn’t see me standing with them. Maybe it wasn’t racially motivated and if I were white she still would have said something to my friend.

It’s a constant questioning of motives when I’m in those type of situations. While I would love to say that I don’t think about my Blackness when I’m the only Black around but, that’d be a false statement. When I feel comfortable enough to not place my Blackness as a barrier, things like this happen. It’s a catch-22, really.

One is NOT the loneliest number, damnit!

Lately I’ve been real cool on hanging out with a bunch of people. I rang in the New Year with friends, but since then I’ve kinda been just chillin’ on my lonesome. Not for lack of anything to do, but because I WANT TO. A lot of people I know have been taking this as me being anti-social or trying to sever ties. So not the case (in most instances…except you over there. No, not you. *points* YOU! I really don’t want to be involved with you. Anymore. At all.). I relish alone time. Scratch that…

I actually REALLY enjoy being alone.

I grew up as an only child, so it’s nothing for me to hangout by myself. When I need human interaction, I seek it. But to be perfectly honest, I could probably go two weeks with no human interaction and be okay. I’m my best friend (& worst enemy, but that’s for another day). I love me, flaws & all (see: Beyonce) and have no problem with keeping time with me.

I worry about people who can’t spend one waking minute alone. Much like women who claim not to have any female friends because they’re “too catty”, I don’t trust these scared of lonelies (see: Bey…again). Whether it’s always keeping up with people at work or incessantly planning activities with others, they never seem to find time to be alone. What are they hiding from? Why can’t they have some solo time?

consider my world rocked.

warning: stream of consciousness

one of my good friends is haitian. she has a great deal of family and friends on the island still. although her family isn’t in port au price, that leave no relief for all of the [last name redacted] that are here. worrying. waiting. praying. another friend of mine married into a haitian family who has family on the island still as well. worrying. waiting. praying.

i just went on a rant via email to my friend about how spoiled we americans are. she was detailing the phone system in the parts of haiti in which her family lives. they are barely able to make a phone call during *good* times, so just imagine how hard it is to get through during this crisis.

i sit here feeling impotent and a bit ashamed.

impotent because there is nothing that i can do. i will donate to relief efforts, but i somehow don’t feel like that is enough. i want to be able to do more, but there is nothing more i can do.

ashamed because while i am complaining about not being able to buy a new tv/pair od shoes/ dvd box set/ item of clothing/etc., there are tons of people in third world countries who have don’t even have food to eat, a secure roof over their heads, and a steady stream of income. all of which i have.

it’s a damn shame that a natural disaster has to happen for me to appreciate the things i do have and learn to live without the things i don’t.

I have a crush on Dr. Ian.

Think of today as confession Friday and that subject line is my confession, haha! He comes off as kinda corny on Celebrity Fit Club, but I like corny dudes. At any rate, a few days ago my friend Veep sent me an email about one of our local news affiliates starting a Fit Club. It broke down the basic rules of the Fit Club & offered an invitation to join. I was kinda iffy about it, but then I saw that Dr. Ian was running it (and I’d eventually get to meet him [!!!]). I hopped on board IMMEDIATELY! Haha! I recognize it’s a ploy for him to get more exposure (and money from us buying his book), but I don’t even care.

I’ve been talking a good game about wanting to lose weight, but I had no definitive plan. I also had no one but myself to be held accountable to, so I could slip and fall as much as I want. Granted I’ve done pretty good thus far. Since my weekend in Milwaukee, I’ve not eaten ANY fast food. Which is a great feat for me because I’m typically a lazy bum when I get home from work in the evenings. I’d usually stop @ Qdoba/Wendy’s/Culver’s/etc and grab something to eat instead of cooking. This week I’ve managed to cook every evening.

The snow has hindered my progress as far as getting back into the gym though. I’ve figured out that I can get 30-45 minutes in before I have to catch my morning train, which is exciting. Will I be able to actually accomplish this though? Only time will tell. I want to keep a positive mental attitude and say “YES I CAN!”, but I know myself. So for now I will say, once the snow disappears from my life, “YES I’LL TRY!”, haha! I do, however, walk (a total of) 1.2 miles every day from the train station downtown to my work building instead of taking the bus. Juxtaposed against my 30ft walk from my car to the front door at my old job, I’d say this is a major accomplishment. Baby steps, y’all, but I’m getting there.

Barren.

My friend Lisa and I began a writing project that kicked off on 01/04/10. Both us of are pretty lapsed in our creative writing ventures, so we decided to do something about that. The plan is this:

-Each of us made 3 lists (52 people, 52 places, & 52 events)
-Each week (on Sunday evening) we email one another 3 numbers between 1-52
-Then we reply to that email w/ one selection from each of the aforementioned lists (e.g. I email her 4-12-32; she emails me back a compulsive liar-BBQ-termination from a job)
-From there we take those items and craft some sort of creative work around it
-At the end of the week (well, Friday evening…) we send each other the creative work for critique.
-Critique & next three numbers emailed back to respective parties on the following Sunday
-Rinse & repeat

Sounds good, right? Sounds excellent if you’re one that actually can adhere to a schedule and produce something that is worthwhile in approximately 4 days. Sounds excellent if you were an everflowing well of creativity and could write at the drop of a hat. Sounds excellent if you were someone who actually didn’t lose her writing jones and considered scrapping the whole ‘I’m a writer’ schtick anyway.

As you may have guessed, that whole little paragraph up there describes me to a T. I’m having a sort of crisis of sorts as I sit here trying to just begin. I want to believe that getting through those first few sentences will get my mojo going. Granted I don’t expect the first shot out of the gate to be FANtastic, but I just need to get going. I’ve scrapped four possible ideas already. They seemed contrived and lame. I don’t know what I’m going to do quite frankly. I was the one who initiated this writing challenge. I can’t be the first to renege. Maybe I’ll pray for a spark of creativity. So far He hasn’t let me down when I really needed him…

Bubbly…

First of all, HAPPY NEW YEARRRRRR! I trust that those of you who read this have come through it all blessed and unscathed! 🙂 I was lucky to be able to spend the time w/ some new friends gettin’ DUMB BLASTED. Note to you all: Jager is the devil’s spit. I thought it was Patron, but nope…definitely Jager. Anyway…

A few of my friends have a slogan for 2010 that’s not atypical of most every year. It works out that it rhymes this year, so I guess that holds them more responsible for results? Meh, I dunno. The slogan is “MEN in 2010”. It’s pretty self-explanatory, but the objective is to be dating or in a relationship throughout the course of this year. I’m going to let them have all the fun with that. Not knocking them, but I have a lot more things on my mind that are more pressing than men.

I need to be THIN in 2010. Last year I started off strong on my weightloss journey. I was going to the gym daily. I was eating healthy. Then at some point I said, “Why am I doing this?” and it fell by the wayside. I picked up all the weight I lost as well as more lbs that were chillin’ in the atmosphere. I cannot end another year tipping the scales at nearly more than 200 lbs. I am disgusted by myself right now. My dad’s recent scare was a wake up call for me too. I don’t want to be all resolution-y, but this is something with which I struggle and hope to conquer this year. PLUS: My 10 year reunion is this year. I can’t be looking like a beached whale.

I need to be GETTIN MY EDUCATION in 2010. At DeVry it was much easier to do this. I could have gotten a free degree through them. I was not interested in ANY of their courses of study. I tried (and failed) several times to make myself get the degree because it was free, but my heart was not in it. What I need to do this year is figure out what I want to be doing and take strides to pursue that course of study. A part of me wants to get my master’s in education, but a bigger part of me wants to do something related more to English…like linguistics or something similar. I have a strong interest in how words come to be and the different cycles of words, etc. Yup, a certified word nerd. 🙂

I need to be CLEARING MY DEBTS (and not making new ones) in 2010. My money management skills are sorely lacking. Granted I am making just enough to survive, but I have this bad habit of impulse buying. That coupled with my self-prescribed retail therapy can lead to some pretty detrimental results. I want to clear up all credit card debt by the end of this year. I’m nearly done with my biggest one, now I have to move onto the next ones. My credit score is all shot to hell and I can’t live life like this for much longer. Especially not if I want to look toward ownership before 30.

I need to be MAINTAININ’ MY SANITY in 2010. Full disclosure: I’ve had several mini-breakdowns this year. Some while I was alone, others while I was with friends. It’s very hard to maintain the facade that everything is okay in my brain. It’s not and I need to talk to someone about it. Someone who can actually help me sort this stuff out. So I’m seeking professional help sometime this year. As soon as I can get over the fact that I can’t believe that I’m actually doing it. I figure though, it’s better for me to see a therapist on a regular basis & figure this stuff out instead of growing closer and closer to putting myself in an emergency 72 hour hold.

Like I said, there’s a lot more going on with me that I need to focus on instead of tryna snag a dude. Do I miss sex? OH GOD YES. Would I like to have a guy right now? Sure. Would I like to be in a committed, monogamous relationship right now? Meh…I could take or leave it. Those things listed above, however? They’re definitely getting accomplished this year; come hell or high water!