Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Credit Denied!

This 2004 article from the Onion is hilarious!

The Onion

Secretary Of Defense Humiliated As U.S. Credit Card Rejected

ST. LOUIS-An attempt to build international goodwill backfired horribly for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Monday, when he was unable to pick up the tab for Australian Defense Minister Sen. Robert Hill's order of 11 Apache AH-64 helicopters using the U.S.'s credit card.

What's the government's credit score anyway? I think instead of our score being compared to other citizens. I think all credit scores should be compared to that of the department of defense. As long as your score is better than theirs, you'd have good credit.

"You are twenty times more creditworthy than the government. Would you like to buy a new house at $0 down and $0/month for 2 years? And for such a great score, we'd like to throw in a subsidy of $5k a year?"

...and on the flip side...

"In the news today, the Secretary of State was banned from panhandling on the Pennsylvania Avenue off ramp in the District. The Secretary claimed that this effort was just part of the normal fundraising campaign this year."

Oh what a world it would be.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Oh No She Didn't!

So, for the past 3 months I've been working in a new role on my project. I'm supposed to be the lead on several processes, however, I have been micro-managed to the nth degree since I started.

The signs were there from the first week. My manager asked me to develop a way to manage and monitor factors that may adversely affect the project. Fine. I did some research, checked out the company's best practices and methodology archives and came up with a draft. I submitted the draft before I went on vacation with specific instructions for my analyst to follow up on in my absence.

When I returned from vacation, the analyst under the other manager's guidance had created a completely different process. I was livid. She basically undermined my authority and if this was a job for an analyst to do, why was I - a manager - tasked with it in the first place??

I spoke with the manager and let her know my concerns. I advised her to speak directly to me regarding changes to the process and that the analyst has no right to make updates to my work. Ok fine - she said.

Cut to a few weeks ago. She tasked me with developing yet another process. This one for reporting status in a weekly meeting. I solicited requirements from both her and her manager to make sure that all of the bases were covered this time. This request came in on a Thursday afternoon at 4pm and the expected due date was Monday at 9am. Basically, she and her boss expected me and the team to work on this over the weekend. I completed a draft by Friday at noon.

Do you know that she called me Friday afternoon wanting to discuss the changes she'd made?? Basically, she revamped the entire deck. It seemed as if she had an idea in her mind already of how it should look, so I felt my time was wasted. On the call that Friday, I told her that I'd make her updates and re-submit in time for the deadline.

So, why on Sunday when I logged in did she IM me asking if I was done yet? WHO DOES THAT??

I wanted to tell her to go micro-manage her husband's man parts and stop bothering me. Instead, I told her that I'd be done in time to meet the deadline, then I logged off. Because I was soo pissed I ended up putting it off for another few hours. LOL

So, today, ole girl decides to have a 'confrontation' with me. She wanted to review a draft I was preparing before I sent it out to the team. I was flat out against it but, I conceded when I realized that I had no choice. During her 'review' she kept making comments about changes that I'd made. I explained the rationale and expected to move on. But, she seemed to think that my changes were negotiable and that she had the final say. I was so over it...and I'm sure my face showed it.

Finally she grabbed her head in frustration and said, "I'm sensing so much opposition on this." To which I replied, "There's no opposition unless you count, every time I tell you how I'm going to manage my process, you tell me 'no - do it this way instead.'"

So then she went on this little rant about how she isn't negating everything I say and that she is just thinking aloud. Meanwhile, I'm focusing on my computer screen. I'm afraid to look at her face because my hand is already itching to make contact with her cheek. The eye contact would've been misinterpreted by my hand as the 'Go!' signal. So, I'm staring at my screen. How about Little Mrs. Blanca-Curry decides to lean over, basically in my face, to make sure that I'm hearing what she's saying.

That sent a signal to my feet to jump up, push her to the
floor, grab her by the neck and start squeezing.
Then the cops had to
come and pull me off of her. So, I'm in jail now. Does anyone have bail

Ok, that's what happened in my mind, what really happened is that I gave her
'the look'. The one black girls give people when they want to say, "Bitch

My heart was racing, my hands were shaking. I don't know
how I
managed to stay seated, but I did. So, now, I'm about to email HR
request to
be taken off of this project immediately.


Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Luddite Rapper

So, on Hollywood Boulevard there are all kinds of people out there getting their hustle on. Well, we ran into this guy who professed to be the next Jay Z. This balding guy, in his mid 30s, was allowing people to hear his demo on a CD walkman. Ok, aside from the fact that this guy was a little long in the tooth to be looking for his first record deal. He was also behind the times technology wise which is unacceptable in an industry that prides itself on being on the bleeding edge of technology.

So, our interaction went something like this...

'You gonna support a brother? Buy my CD.'
He blurted out with CD player and headphones in hand as my mom and I passed him on the sidewalk.
'Well, I download my music, I don't buy CDs, do you have a website? What's your name?'
For the sake of this story we'll call him O.A.R. O stands for Old, R stands for Rapper. You get the picture?
'I go by O.A.R! Nah, I don't have no website set up yet. But, you need to get this CD. I have over 40 songs on here.'
So, I take a listen. I'm feeling generous. As my friends call it, I'm wearing my vacation personality.
'That sounds like Biggie to me.'
'Oh yeah, that is Biggie, I'm on the next track. '
He takes the CD player and skips to the next song.
'Well, what about myspace. Most artists have a myspace page. Do you have one?'
So, he looks up at me. Even in my Uggs, I'm taller than him.
'Nah, I ain't on myspace. Just listen to this song real quick. This is some hard isht. I'm the next Jay Z. '
I listen for a second then I say,
'Well, if you had them online, I could maybe download the ones I like.'
'Download? I don't want nobody gettin my music for free.'
'No. By download, I mean purchase the songs online.'
Irritated, he takes the unmarked CD away from me and says,
'You gonna buy it or not?'
'I'm sorry, I don't have a CD player anymore. '
I am dismissed. He walks on to the next potential customer.
'Good luck!' I yell after him.

In an age where Soulja Boy gets a record deal based off of his youtube video and Tila Tequila gets her own show based on her myspace traffic, there's just no denying the importance of having an internet presence to get you 'put on'. I don't like to think its an age thing. Although the stats prove that younger people have more easily adapted to this new culture. Then, what about the fact that becoming the next Jay Z is like a 1 in a million lottery ticket. For most people it's just not going to happen. Should someone in their mid 30s know that already?

I don't know, I'm just sayin...


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Penni Hits the West Coast

This year for my birthday, instead of getting a present from my mom, I decided to give her one. I treated her to a weekend in LA to help me celebrate. The original plan was to surprise her. I was going to tell her to pack a bag and then take her to the airport. That plan was nixed when she started making excuses for not being able to go. The thought of not knowing what to expect was stressing her out. So, about a month ago, I told her my idea and she was still stressed, but at least she had a month to prep herself.

I've been soo stressed out with work and family stuff for the past 2 months that I was craving this time away like an addict craves a fix. As soon as I got to the airport I began to feel the muscles in my body relax.

When we got to the hotel, the very attentive hotel manager welcomed us with a bottle of champagne and some chocolate covered strawberries. What a great way to welcome us to LA! Of course we were soo tired from the journey that it only took 1 glass of champagne to send me sinking into the thick down comforter and off to sleep. The next morning, we were still on east coast time. We were up before sunrise ordering breakfast. We spent our short stay visiting Hollywood and Highland (including Mann's Chinese Theater), The Grove and The Beverly Center. It was an exhausting weekend but oh so much fun.

The fact that I had my mom on the metro and the bus travelling around LA was so funny to me. She was super nervous and commented several times that she didn't want to end up in the middle of some crossfire on Crenshaw (yes - she watches too much TV). I assured her that we were in no danger.

All in all, this had to be the best birthday so far. Every year I'm amazed at how I think I just can't top the previous year and somehow I manage to do just that.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Black Girls Really Do Rock!

So, a few weeks ago I read about an awards event sponsored by an organization called Black Girls Rock. Immediately, I was intrigued. After doing some basic internet research I found out that the organization is run by a phenomenal celeb DJ named Beverly Bond. I'd heard her name before in hip hop circles and apparently she's known for rocking some pretty swank parties. Well, BB became compelled to start an organization that would provide an alternative role for young black girls in the hip hop alternative to the booty shaking mainstay to which we've become accustomed. So, y'all know I was all for that.

To show my support, I decided to purchase a Black Girls Rock (BGR) t-shirt. The shirt wasn't cheap, but, I figured, if I could spend a grip on an Ed Hardy shirt or a Lacoste polo, this was nothing. Besides, I'm a sucker for any organization that tries to empower black girls while still engaging hip hop.

This is where it started to get sticky. The site that I had to purchase my shirt from was RopeADope (RAD). They are the spot to get most of the black 'message' shirts. They have a good range of stuff to choose from. I ordered my shirt on the 9th. By the 13th, it had not arrived, so I emailed RAD. By the 17th, I had not received a reply, so I emailed them again. This time I also sent an email to BGR to let them know the situation. Now, I'm starting to get pissed. What are they doing with my money if they aren't mailing my shirt?? Finally, yesterday, I looked on my credit card statement to find info on RAD. There I found an 877 number.

I called them to get the status of my order. I was informed that the shirt was on backorder and would not arrive for another 3 weeks. In addition, they said that their email system had been down for 4 days. RAD offered to give me a 20% discount on my next order if I decided to cancel this one. I politely declined and let them know that not only would I never order from them again, but, I would advise my friends to do the same.

I followed up that phone call with an email to RAD and BGR reiterating my desire to cancel the order and my disappointment with the customer service. The email was firm, but polite.

Long story short. BB - the founder of BGR responded to my email with a big apology. Apparently I was not the first to be unhappy with the RAD services. She'd missed my previous emails because she was participating in Fashion Week in Brooklyn. Now the story picks up.

She was soo pissed with the way I was treated she wanted me to call her and recount the details. Ok, did I mention that she's this totally famous celeb DJ? So, I called her, gave her the 411 and as an apology, she agreed to send me the shirt I ordered and a couple of others from her new line. What a nice gesture. I was already going to support her organization but, her hands on treatment and responsiveness have sealed the deal. Black girls really do rock!


P.S. I'll take a picture in each of my shirts and post them.

Monday, October 22, 2007

I Won't Love You to Death

Did anyone watch that MTV special about Mario's struggle with his mom's heroine addiction?

I'm slightly embarrassed to admit that I have had unsavory thoughts about young Mario. But, to watch him deal with his mom made him even more endearing. If you didn't catch it, it'll be on again on Wednesday, so Tivo or DVR it.


The Final Chapter

So, last week ended with a flurry of emails back and forth between my sister and I and our newly aquainted family members. It was all so overwhelming for me, so I fell back and let my sister get a head start. I'll jump in eventually, but, I'm still warming up...

I'll keep you guys posted on how it goes from here on out. Thanks for reading.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Funeral Frenzy

So, this whole thing with my father's death has been a scavenger hunt for information. I found out that he passed from one of my best friends. Her husband is friends with my father's oldest daughter's husband. Does that make sense? Long story short, if my friend hadn't married the man she chose, I would not have found out about my father's death. Then, the details were sketchy.

First he died on Wednesday, then his body had not been released from the hospital until almost a week later. Then, we didn't know where the funeral was going to be. My grandma called around to all of the funeral homes in Baltimore. We got a hit on March's East. Then, a few days later we found out that the arrangements had been moved somewhere else. So, cut to yesterday morning. I woke up and found a text from my best friend saying that the funeral was that day. We still didn't know when and where. I called her back, got her to call the other daughter's husband and finally got the info.

So, me, my mom, my sister and my grandma set out to the funeral home. We were the first one's there. The man in the casket looked alot like me. I've got this thing about funerals and was not comfortable getting closer than 2 feet. Eventually, 'the family' arrived in a limousine. For those of you that know my grandma, you already know how anxious my mom and I were to set Senior Penni loose. She was going up to people asking them if they were 'family' and let them know that my mom was the 'first wife'. LOL Ok, my father only had one wife, my mom. His eldest daughter and her brother were the product of a relationship before he met and married my mom. Most of the attendees had no idea that my sister and I even existed. We have an aunt (who did know about us) and first cousins that never knew about us.

While my sister and I didn't know the extent of our family ties, we knew that there was somebody out there related to us. We nurtured the void for all of our lives.

It was bittersweet to hear so many people stand up and say nice things about this man that I have few fond memories of. My mom said it best when she said, 'Maybe he turned his life around.' I believe in redemption, so, that notion suits me just fine.

As we were sitting there listening to all of these kind words, my sister was writing fast and furious on a piece of paper from her purse. I turned to her and whispered, 'You're not going up there to say something are you?' She replied, 'I don't know, I might.' I was worried, what was she going to say. Was this about to turn into a univision telenovella? You see, my sister has a gift of bluntness, she doesn't hold back, she's not phoney and she doesn't care about being polite or PC. With her thoughts jotted down, she proceeded to the front of the room, prepared to speak. Senior Penni said to her, 'Just don't break down up there.' That to my grandma is akin to humiliating our family. Well, my sister got up there and spoke the singular most profound, heartfelt and poignant words I've ever heard from her lips...

Lost I tried to find you.
Two years or was it all 33 that I searched for you
and all along you were here.
Right here at arms reach.
Now that you
have slipped into heaven, I finally get to know you.
I am blessed you have
been found...
and so have I.

Unconditional love is where you'll find
Meet you when I get there.
This chapter in my life has been
I am glad that the life you led was a good book
and that each
person in this room got to write a chapter in your book of life.
And most
importantly, that I got to know you today through all of those that shared your
No matter what I love you unconditionally.

I am your daughter.
I am Mini Penni.
I am 33.
To the family, the friends in this room...
I love you,
I need you,
You're my family.

There was not a dry eye in the house. Then everyone started whispering,
That's Penni and Mini Penni, they're his other daughters.
I didn't know he had other daughters.
Look that's them sitting right there.

Unbeknownst to us, we were sitting right next to our first cousins. Upon hearing my sisters words, one of them jumped up to speak. With tears in his eyes, he expressed sorrow about just finding out about us. He said, I'm your cousin. I love y'all.

To be continued...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

How Am I Supposed to Feel?

"My father passed away on Wednesday and I don't know how to feel about it."
"Penni, what did you say?"
"My father passed away and I don't know how to feel about it Mom."
So went the conversation on Friday. I found out that my father died two days prior and I was feeling very confused.

Should I mourn? Well, I did feel sad. I remember my father from when I was a kid, like 5 years old. I was afraid of him because he wasn't around much and even then, it took me a while to warm up to new people. Or maybe now it takes me a long time to warm up to new people BECAUSE of his overused in and out pass. I also felt sad because now I'll never get to know him. I'm even conflicted about the desire to get to know him.

If being available, contributing money to our sustenance and being a role model are characteristics of being a father, then he was not. In fact, I lossed him over 20 years ago. I mourned his absence every time I needed a trusted male's advice. I felt the loss when my friends retold stories of their fathers.

I had been cultivating this fantasy for many many years. I always imagined growing up, becoming this big shot corporate exec and being the key note speaker at some charity event. Then, just like Diana Ross did in the movie Mahogony, I would hear this man speak out from standing room only crowd. This Billy Dee Williams version of my father would yell out that he's proud of me and that he's sorry for leaving me and that he's my 'old man'. Then, he'd walk toward me in slow motion, I'd start crying and while my family looked on, we'd embrace and then all the years of being strong would ooze out of me as I collapsed in his arms.

But, that'll never happen now...and I don't know how I'm supposed to feel about it.


Monday, September 17, 2007

Through the Wire

On Thursday, my mom reminded me that my Grandma's 60 year high school reunion events would start on Sunday and I'd agreed to attend that day's activities with her. First, 60 years? Can you imagine going to your 60 year reunion. I've gotta give props to my Grandma because she still looks incredible.

On with the story...I HATE doing stuff on Sundays. I usually go to my church's early service because I like spending Sunday afternoons vegging out on the couch catching up on tv shows that I missed during the week. I like being able to mentally prepare myself for the coming work week. So, needless to say, when my mom reminded me that I was Grandma's escort, I complained and whined about it, just like a spoiled brat.

The class decided to kick off the week's events with a worship service at one of the members' church in Baltimore. So, we picked up my Grandma and let her direct us to the church, since we didn't have the details. As we proceeded to drive through the city, her directions brought us through several neighborhoods that could easily be site locations for The Wire. We drove around looking for the church, meanwhile, I'm praying that the drug dealers still have that law where they don't shoot people on Sundays. As we get closer, I realize that the church we're going to is the same church that I worked in when I was about 14 or 15. I was a summer camp counselor there. So, in the midst of being concerned about getting hit by a stray bullet, I was a little excited about visiting the site of one of my first jobs.

I've been working since I was 13. Baltimore had (and may still have) this program that gave jobs to needy inner city kids. My first job was cleaning up debris (no - a better word would be trash) along the Chesapeake Bay. Every day I went out there in the hot summer sun in a hard hat and construction boots to pick up the garbage that other people left. While my current position is a long way from that first job, I think back to those times often.

So, here I am sitting in the pew (yes - I take my notepad everywhere), listening to the youth choir sing the song 'Grateful'

"I'm grateful, grateful, grateful grateful"

and I can't help but think about how blessed my life has been. Then, my eyes get a little misted. Even when I was out there doing a job that nobody else wanted to do, I never stopped dreaming about how I wanted my life to turn out. Over the years, I've worked very hard to achieve those dreams. I became the first in my family to go to college (with honors), the first to get a graduate degree and the first to start climbing the corporate ladder. And, I had incredible setbacks. Events that nearly crippled me. But, in the same way that I didn't climb the ladder without HIS help, when life kicked me in the neck with steel toe boots, HE was there to break my fall.

So, when I hear that 'Grateful' song. I can't help but be overcome. HE literally brought me through The Wire and I'm soo grateful! I'm glad I got over myself and attended the service with my Grandma.



Thursday, September 06, 2007

Prepping for Marriage

A while ago my pastor did a sermon on preparing our kids for marriage. He said that when children express an interest in music, parents help them get prepared for being a musician, by getting them lessons, making them practice and supporting their recitals. The same goes for sports, parents buy the proper equipment, shuttle them to games and become involved in the activity with them. He said that when a young person expresses romantic interest in another person, the parents usually become flustered. Instead of preparing the kid with the tools necessary to have a healthy relationship, the parents often discourage the child from even pursuing a relationship either by using scare or guilt tactics.

He said that our sexuality is normal, kids are going to start catching feelings and it is a parent's responsibility to teach the kid how to process them. He said to tell a child to ignore the feelings or to convince them that they don't exist will do nothing for your credibility later. What if healthy relationship classes were taught in school? Why is it that you can teach sex ed, but, they don't teach you how to compromise with someone you love or how to disagree without being disagreeable? And since it's not taught in school, why aren't parents doing the job?

Many parents have had bad relationship experiences themselves and the simple truth is that they want better for their kids. But, they're missing the point entirely. If we all aborted the mission after encountering a failure or obstacle, how would we accomplish anything? I also think that there is not alot of pressure to stay married these days. I remember reading a study somewhere where they wanted to see if providing more options helps or hinders your ability to choose. It seemed pretty obvious to me. Given 2 choices or 20, you'll make a decision quicker with less options. We've been given the perception that there are a zillion love choices out there for us. The grass is greener, to the max.

In reality, each of us probably encounters a relatively few number of potentially successful life partners in our lifetime. The bottom line is, you have to choose smartly and then, like Tim Gunn (Project Runway) says, 'Make it work.' All too often, at the early signs of trouble, we're ready to run. But, what if you couldn't run? I read an article once that said people often leave a window open or door ajar in their marriage...some kind of escape clause. But, how different would we perceive marriage if we sealed the exits? Most of us only consider two options when we face trouble in our relationship, leave and be happy or stay and be miserable. But the third, most important option - stay and find happiness again, falls by the wayside. That's what we need to teach kids.

Sure, nobody wants their 16 year old to get pregnant, with a baby daddy and drop out of school. But, has anyone noticed that situation happens alot more now that society is a whole lot more 'aware' than when such things were taboo?? My point is, kids are going to be kids. It's our responsibility to be adults.

We have to teach our sons that women are to be respected...even those women/girls that don't realize it. As women, we also have to remember that we're the first example of a woman that our sons see, so we need to check ourselves first. I know it's hard for single moms, but you need to stop making your son your main man. You're crippling him.

Men need to teach their daughters that they are ladies and should carry themselves as such. Sit with her when she watches music videos and talk to her about how you perceive the images. While a young girl might think it's empowering to walk around with the dark meat peeping out from her shorty-short-shorts, she needs to know what you think when you see women on the street that look like that. Having a man say what men think is waay more relevant to some women than hearing a woman say it. She's going to choose a mate that treats her just like you do. So, if you're abusive, she may look for an abusive man as her mate, if you're absent, she may choose a man that never gives all of himself to her. In the same way that a woman can't teach a boy how to be a man, a woman can't teach a girl how a man should love her.

If we want the next generation to have healthy families, it starts with us.


Not Losing a Friend

The thing about good girlfriends is that we often share the most intimate thoughts and feelings with one another. We allow one another to vent. We give advice to one another. And then we stick around for the fall-out when the advice is ignored. Good girlfriends support each other and help boost each other's self esteem. We are often so close that we think of ourselves as siblings. Some siblings aren't as close as good girlfriends are.

What happens then, when a good girlfriend gets married? I've had two of my 3 good girlfriends get married. I'm not ashamed to say that the first time was rough. I had just had a breakup and all of a sudden, I didn't have her either. You know how people say, 'Dang, you look like you lost your best friend.' Well that's how I felt. It's important to note that I was super happy for my friend. I love her and her hubby.

But, I think sometimes people are afraid to acknowledge the change that happens in the friendship dynamic when such an important life event happens. It took a while (years) for us to reconnect in a way that was similar to how we used to be and during that time I grew up alot. I became alot more compassionate for other people and more sensitive to what they are going through.

In the very beginning, I thought her absence was about me...either I had done something to insult her, I had been a bad friend, or I wasn't good enough anymore. After some time, I realized that she was adjusting too. This person that enjoyed her space just as much as I do, all of a sudden had to share that with somebody else. This neat freak suddenly had wet towels on her bathroom floor. LOL And she was learning how and what it meant to be a 'wife'.

So, I put myself in her shoes and imagined how I'd feel. That opened me up tremendously. Throughout this whole time though, I never stopped calling her, or emailing her, even when she'd go months and months without replying. Truth be told, I probably stalked her. hhhahaha If she didn't live so far from me, I would've probably done drive-bys. I also spent alot of time with my other friends. Even though I missed her, I wasn't sitting at home miserable. I was always doing something fun.

Now that my second friend is married, I don't think I'll be as affected by her newly wedded transformation. I'm prepared.

So, if your friend is getting married, just know that things will probably change between you. But, change isn't always bad. And, if you feel sad sometimes, that doesn't mean that you're 'hating' on your friend. It's normal. Just keep your head up. Besides, I think it gets worse when they have kids.


Longest Day

This has been the longest day ever! It's 20 to 4pm and I've still got 2 more hours to go.

I hope you all had a fun Labor Day. The second of my 3 good friends got married on Sunday. The wedding was incredible. She looked so beautiful. You know how you can look at a person for years and know that they are pretty or cute but when you see them all done up, they just look outstanding? That was her on that day. At both the rehearsal dinner and the Big Day, she was flawless. Now, this friend is Nigerian and both events were based on traditional Nigerian rituals and customs. I felt like I was in Coming to America. I told my friend that I was so excited and I was. This day had been in the planning stages since January 2006, basically.

The outfits and head-ties were stunning. I also got to eat (ok - taste) alot of standard African dishes including Fu-Fu, Moyin-Moyin (I think), Chin Chin and some other things I can't remember. Oh and I know I butchered the spellings of these foods. So, don't stone me!

At the reception, after my friend changed into a beautiful traditional outfit, her elders performed a few really touching rituals. Oh first, let me say that if you ever go to a Nigerian wedding, make sure you carry a bunch of singles. During almost every dance, guests came up to the dancing bride and groom and 'pasted' money on their bodies. You guys that frequent strip clubs would be familiar with this practice. But for those of you that are unfamiliar, you just take the dollar and stick it on the persons sweaty forehead or tuck it into the sleeve or collar of their outfit. For those of you with Skylark frequent shopper cards, do not try to stick the money in their g-string, brastrap or garter belts. This would not only be frowned upon but might just get you kicked out of the party.

It got to a point where there were soo many dollars, you could barely see the dance floor. I would advise parents to have a talk with your children before experiencing this ritual because it is not cute to have your little one on the floor trying to steal the couple's money. I saw one little girl on the floor with a wad of cash in her hands. I told her to put it back, that it belonged to the couple. She looked at me with big doe eyes and said, 'This is for my momma.' What could I do? Even though I'm old school, her momma might not be and I was not trying to get in a fight over some dollars. And maybe they needed the money more than the couple.

Another interesting ritual was the handing over of the bride to the groom's mom. We all know that back in the day, when a woman got married, she then 'belonged' to the groom's family. Seeing my friend's female elder's perform this ritual and then the subsequent dance with the mother in law was really touching. We all know modern brides that never cleave to the husband's family. How many grooms seriously think about what it really means to take care of another person? In the speech to the mother in law, my friend's oldest sister said something to the effect of, 'You're now responsible for nurturing, loving and supporting our daughter.' Now, I know her family will always be there for her, but, what I took from that ritual is that you really have to choose your partner carefully because THEY have to be your support system from I Do to infinity. That seemed pretty deep to me, especially since I've only ever liked, no loved, one set of ex's parents. I realized that I can't get by with just loving my person, I've gotta love his main people too. No couple is an island.

I felt so honored to have been a part of her special day. I don't take it lightly. If I don't believe in the couple, I have been known to refuse to be a bridesmaid. Just like my other friend's wedding, I know that I'll never forget this experience.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is This Justice?

I've found yet another example of how fair our legal system is.

Michael Vick is getting the book thrown at him for hosting dog fights. While they are talking about letting Lindsay Lohan slide for those silly little cocaine possessions. WTF?? See, I told you all, the white female is valued above all else in our country.

Now, I get it. Dog fighting is bad. I have a dog and I would hate for something to happen to her. But, I also think she's a dog. She's not my child, we don't kiss on the lips, and if it came down to my family or her, the dog would have to go.

I also know that cocaine is a terrible drug. I know that girls that have boyfriends that sell crack can end up in jail for most of their lives (How many Kembas haven't gotten pardoned?). So, I just don't understand how when one person does a crime, he gets criminalized and loses his job and the powers that be seek to destroy his potential for future earnings. When another does something illegal she gets a ton of support from her colleagues emploring her to seek help and endorsement deals to get her back on track.

Oh wait, I do understand, when you're white, you're allowed to make mistakes. "No worries, just try not to let it happen again, ok?"

Read all about it in the link below. If this chick gets a measly 4 days in jail for getting caught with cocaine TWICE, I'm going to add her to my list of boycotted celebs. (Not that I was ever a huge fan anyway.)


Monday, August 20, 2007

Fran and Omar Get Married

If you're a fan of HBO's Mini Series The Corner and the critically acclaimed show The Wire, then you might be glad to know that Fran and the man who inspired the Omar character got married. Fran was the troubled heroine addict played by the black woman on CSI Miami and Omar is the ruthless gangster/stick up king from the Wire.

Read all about it...

I'm glad they seem to have changed their lives around.


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Beyonce Experience

A young white British girl opened for Robin Thicke who opened for Beyonce. The girl, Katie, has a really soulful voice and great energy. She did about 3 or 4 songs. Robin Thicke has been touring for over a year now and it shows. His performance was soo much better than when he first started out. His voice was strong and clear. He performed most of the hits from his album and the crowd sang along with him for most of them.

Now here's the thing about the Beyonce Experience. Most of us have been exposed to it already. If you've seen her perform on an awards show, if you've watched the videos, you've experienced all that Beyonce has to offer. The great thing about her is that she never holds back. But, maybe that's also the curse. Live, you don't get anything that you haven't already gotten from her. There are no new dances, no unusual outfits, you've seen it all. I wish that wasn't the case.

If you're a fan, like me, this isn't a big deal. I was sitting close enough to the stage to see the little beads of sweat that formed on her face as she pranced on stage. For the frequently asked questions, here goes...Yes, she's as beautiful in person as she is on tv. Yes, her body is sick! I would say she's a very toned 6 or 8 at the most, which is still slim on her taller-than-the-average-woman frame.

We all know the girl can sing. There were no surprises there. One touch that I appreciated was how she segued from Dangerously In Love to Lyzell in e-flat. It was a nice touch and I'm sure she made Jill Scott proud. She toggled between her two solo albums and the Destiny's Child hits. We stood on our feet and sang along with everyone of them.

Beyonce's appeal was also evidenced by her audience, which included fans of every ethnic group. There were the cute black girls in the Freakum Dresses, the big girls, the abercrombie kids, the tatted up white rockers and the 'kids'. In our section, the Freakum Dresses got into a rumble with the big girls. I knew it was going to be a problem when this pretty petite girl in a dress barely long enough to cover her butt, decided to dance in the aisle. She obviously was feeling good and wanted to be seen. Well, the big girls did see her and they got tired of seeing her shaky her little booty in the aisle. Apparently she was told a few times to take her seat and get out of the aisle. One thing led to another and before I knew it, a crowd had formed around two women grabbing hair and slapping each other. It was crazy. The sad thing is that it took a while for security to come and break it up. It was really foul to see one of the big girl's friends run over to the brawl, land a punch on the cute girl and run back to her seat. That's just hate right there. The offending parties were escorted out of the section and we directed our focus back to the stage. I swear, you just can't take some people anywhere.

As for the concert, I had a great time. I feel like seeing her live was something I just had to do. I don't think I'll have to do it again though. Especially if she remains ever present on my tv.


Monday, August 13, 2007


The new Jill Scott song Hate on Me is FIRE!!!

This song has made it onto my workout playlist right next to Stronger. If you haven't heard it, check out her myspace. she has other songs from her upcoming album on there.

The beat on this song is just grimy. I have to pump my fist when I hear it.

Updated: Check out the live performance on the VSPOT

Thump Thump Thump




That's the only sound I hear and it's LOVELY. I'm floating on my back in the Atlantic Ocean. The water is calm and warm. I could just float like this for hours.




Water does it for me. Find what does it for you and free your mind.


Where Are My Bags?

"No...I haven't seen any bags come out yet."

"indistinguishable phone chatter"

"I'm waiting right here on the lower level. I guess they should be coming out soon."

"indistinguishable phone chatter"

Is this lady expecting her bags to come directly off the plane after her? Should I let her know what's up? What the heck..."Excuse me Ms. I couldn't help but overhear your conversation. Baggage Claim is downstairs."

"indistinguishable phone chatter"

"Hold on, honey."

"Huh?" She said while turning to me.

"Baggage claim is down one level." I said to the woman.

She turned to speak into the phone again, "I'll just wait right here for you to come."

"My bags are downstairs?" She asked me with a confused look on her face.

"Yes, ma'am. And your family can not meet you here. They will need a boarding pass to get beyond security. "

"Honey, let me call you back." She ended her call.

With a worried look on her face, "Now where do I go for my bags?"

"Just follow the signs that read 'Baggage Claim'. You must go down one level. Your family can meet you there."

Rushes off. "Oh thank you so much."

"You're welcome."

Poor lady. This senior citizen travelling alone was waiting for her bags at the departure gate. She would've been waiting there all day.

Good deed for today? Check!


It's Time to Go!

So, I'm standing at my gate waiting for my plane to depart. This flight terminates in Turks & Caicos. I wish I were going there, but I guess Miami and the Keys will have to do. And so begins Part Deux of my Trip to Miami Joural.

This sequel begins with Method Man. Yep, Meth! As I'm watching the passengers de-plane, I see one guy that looks familiar. Then, I realize that he looks just like Method Man. My mind's jukebox instantly pulls out that Meth/Mary collaboration that we all love. As the guy files by me, I realize that he's not Meth...but, he's absolutely talking to Meth! The first guy had to be his brother. Swathed in 80s gold chains, beard well groomed, really tall and surprisingly clean cut, is the man himself. Then, I see, Raekwon - shorter and bucktoothed and definately round, Rza, Gza, then my favorite Pretty Tony comes out behind them.

Tommy Mattola,
lives on the road,
He lost his lady,
two months ago
Maybe he'll find her,
maybe he won't
Oh wonder that love
The Wu was definately in the building! I have no idea why they were in town, but, it was cool seeing them up close like that. They look just like they do on TV, only better groomed. The facial hair was on point and they are tall dudes...except of course for Raekwon. What an auspicious beginning to my vacation.

What Have I Been Up To?

Last week I took part two of my vacation, part one was soo brief I felt like I really needed to go back...especially after the very stressful time leading up to my friends bridal shower. On Friday I went to the Beyonce concert. And on Sunday I chilled. My goal was to avoid having a conversation with anyone for the whole day. I don't know about you, but, I have been on the recieving end of a lot of really heavy ponderings and conversations recently and I was exhausted. I succeeded for the most part and it was glorious! The next few posts will take you through my last week.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Obama Watch

He's on the cover of VIBE magazine. I might actually buy it this month just to read the article. They say this is the first time VIBE has had a politician on its cover. What do you guys think? Where are the print media outlets that cater to our political needs? I'm sure there has to be some mag out there with this purpose. Unfortunately they don't carry it at my Borders or CVS. Let me know if you know of other print sources for this kind of info. The scans from the mag are in the link below...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Girbaud Doesn't Like You

In an article in the New York Observer the denim designer Francois Girbaud bemoaned his brands descent into hip hop culture. Check it out...

I especially love when he says that you can go to Puffy, Russell Simmons and Dame Dash for hip hop wear.


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hot Ghetto Mess

What do you think of this show? If it's come on already, have you watched it? Have you checked out the website that started it all? There has been so much rumbling surrounding this show and I don't have to tell you that I was a little turned off by the title. So, before I could form an opinion about it, I had to check out the website. There are no words. Y'all check it out and tell me what you think?


Monday, July 23, 2007

If I Were a Superhero... power would be telekinesis and my theme song would be STRONGER by Kanye. Is anybody else in love with that song?? I love Daft Punk and when I heard that sample in Kanye's song, I went crazy. I HAVE to dance when I hear it.

So, last weekend I went white water rafting down the Potomac. It was quite a workout, the place we went this time was in Harpers Ferry. The first time I went to a spot out in PA. The water was a little rougher out there. I would suggest you try it.

I'm going to watch the Stronger video now.


Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Sometimes We're Our Own Worst Enemy

I was reading an article in Newsweek about Barak Obama's presidential campaign and how easily he traverses the racial divide. He's been criticized by many black leaders for not being 'black enough'. They say, 'How could a man with a Kenyan father and raised by a white middle american mother be really black?' As a people we are quick to call out someone that we think is not holding it down for 'the people'. But, do we even know what it means to be black?

If a white person were to attribute certain stereotypes to our ethnicity, we'd be up in arms and ready to get the NAACP on their asses. For example, 'they' can't say anything about our hair, nappy, conked, fried dyed and laid to the side and destined to always be short without us getting up in arms. But, we've got 'leaders' like Al Sharpton walking around with a press and curl because James Brown told him to do so and we embrace him without question. (If you've never heard the story, James Brown was a mentor/father figure of Sharptons. Early on in their acquaintance James suggested that Al keep the hairstyle until the event of James' death.) THEY can't attribute promiscuity or adultery to us but, when President Clinton was caught with his hands in the cookie jar and LIED about it, WE were quick to assign him the title, 'First Black President'. What does that say about us? When Clinton was campaigning he was known to hit jazz spots and pull out his saxaphone for 'jam sessions' whenever, wherever. Not once do I remember anyone in our community saying this man wasn't 'Black enough'. He is white and he got more of a black pass than Obama is getting by some of our Black 'Leaders'.

I know that Obama's mixed heritage is part of his appeal to white america. But, we are quick to claim mixed people in our community. In fact, we are OFFENDED when a person who even seems like they could be part black doesn't acknowledge us. Unlike the Colin Powells, and the Condoleezas this man has never diminished or denied his heritage. Condi would have us believe that her childhood growing up in the 50s deep south was nothing but empowering and magical. How can that be? Clearly she's from the old school. Before 'I'm Black and I'm proud', before anybody had any 'Dreams'. She hails from a time where the black middle class wanted to distance themselves from the common black folk and assimilate to the best of their ability into the white mainstream. Obama is no Condi.

Our forefathers fought specifically for us to be able to attend the best schools so that the best opportunities would become available to us. Obama has benefited from that fight. Yet, we have trouble identifying with him. Why is that? However, when Jesse Jackson ran for President, I don't remember people saying that he shouldn't run because he's 'inexperienced'. One of my friends used that red herring to justify her reasoning for why Obama couldn’t win. I don't think experience comes into play unless you're black. On the flip side, Bush is super 'experienced' (especially if nepotism counts as experience) and look how well that's working for us. I think just because Obama can traverse easily between mainstream America and our world, he's infinitely more experienced than a Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton.

Why isn't anyone offended that Jesse assumes that we won't be able to follow his speeches unless they have rhymes in them. What the hell is that? I listen to rap music so all of my information must come in via 8 bar and 16 bar chunks? Why do we let people pander to our worst stereotypes instead of choosing someone that will elevate us?? I'm not saying Obama will make the best President. I don't have enough information yet to decide. But, I'm NOT going to discount him because he happens to be the only candidate that looks a little like me.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Miami 07 - Pt. 3

June 29th -

So where can you get a good pedicure around here? We figured there should be some good options on Lincoln Road. After some random shopping we ended up at Aveda. That's where I go for my brows, so, I figured this was a good bet. My person was awesome, I warned her that I was super ticklish. She was able to buff my feet without one wince from me. I was grateful. By the time we'd gotten to the salon, we'd been walking for hours. This in addition to the morning run. My legs were like rubber, so this was an especially good treat. Nu's lady was not nearly as accomodating when it came to the buffing. I was just waiting for Nu to accidently kick her person in the face when she was getting her feet buffed. I could just imagine the woman's painted on eyebrows smeared all over her forehead. That would not have been pretty.

So, as we're walking back, we run into this very neatly dressed, non-ghettorazzi young man. He was promoting a party at one of the popular clubs. We're all about getting our dance on, so we were listening. Then, he showed us the flyer. On the front were pictures of 4 scantily clad, bodacious black women. So, I look at the flyer, then look at the guy.
'Are these women going to be at the party?'
'I don't have ANYTHING in my luggage that would make me look like these women.' I tried to hand the flyer back to him.
'I don't think I'll fit in at this party.'
'Nah, you'll fit in. You should come out.'
Now, just to end the conversation, I say, 'Ok'

Nu and I look at each other, thinking 'You think? Maybe.'

Eventually, we dragged our way back to the hotel and found a spot at the pool. I'm all for chillin in the sun, but, at that hour, it was like a spotlight beaming down on me. I tried to make it work, but, eventually I had to head for my room.

...more later

Miami 07 - Pt. 2

June 29th

This morning I woke up to the sound of thunder and heavy rain. I guess my outdoor workout will have to wait. So, I went back to sleep for a few more hours. When I got back up again, it was nearly 10am. The sun was shining through an overcast sky and the beach was calling my name. In no time flat, I donned my workout gear, hooked up my HR monitor and went for it. We jog/walked for about 3 miles, almost to the most southern end of the beach. It wasn't that hot out but that didn't stop the sun from coloring my skin, leaving an outline around my clothes. I'm amped, y'all know I LOVE the sun.

On my agenda for the rest of the day is a pedicure, maybe a massage or body polish and some more buffalo shrimp from Grillfish. It's funny that I had to come all the way to Miami to become addicted to food from a restaurant back home.

However, the first stop was breakfast at Jerry's Deli. My spinach, turkey sausage and egg white omelette was the bomb! Nap anyone?


Miami 07 - Pt. 1

June 28th

Right now I'm sitting in the airport in Raleigh waiting for my flight to MIA to board. This waiting room is getting super loud. Too noisy to concentrate on my James Patterson book. In fact, I've read and re-read the same passage four times already. So, I've pulled out my iPod to give myself a diversion. Have you ever played that music quiz game that comes standard? It's fun, I may have to hook this up to my home stereo and use this as a party game. It's like a modern version of 'Name that Tune'.

I'm soo looking forward to some quality R&R this weekend and I'm geeked that we're going the weekend before the the ghettorazzi invade the town for the holiday. The only thing that has me down is my bloat. Could this be stress related? I hope so because bloat will NOT look cute in my bikini.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Aunt Jackie

If you spend a little bit of time surfing the net or flipping channels you are bound to run into Aunt Jackie. I found her when I stumbled across MTV's Dances From the Hood. This ridiculous show teaches the masses how to do all those little regional dances that the sistas and brothas make up in their free time. On the day I watched the show, they were featuring a dance called the Aunt Jackie. Apparently, this dance accompanies a song of the same name. Or maybe the song accompanies the dance, I'm not really clear on that. I'm only sharing this with you so that you will be in the know when you hit your family reunions this year. I know how frustrating it is to see the kids gyrating about without any idea what they're doing. I'm NOT sharing this with you so that you too can go out and start doing the Aunt Jackie at the club. Just don't do it! I'm sure I read somewhere that you have to be under 25 to do these dances. :-)

Anyway, read all about it on Slate....


Monday, June 25, 2007


Have you heard that new song by Jill Scott? I can't think of the name of it, 'Hate on Me' or something about haters. The beat is funky. Did you hear that her Lyzel are divorcing? I'm sure she's going to talk about the demise of her marriage, it would be hard for a poet to avoid that topic. I wish her the best, He Loves Me (Lyzel in E Flat) is still one of my favorite songs.

This weekend I caught a rerun of the Rap Sessions at U of Chicago back in April. is a travelling panel of urban and hip hop intellengencia that discusses issues affecting us and our community. This was my first time watching the discussion, I found myself talking back to the tv, applauding and jotting down things I want to follow up on. At the very least, it was quite interesting. The only unfortunate thing is that very often, I felt like the panelists were preaching to the choir. Most of the people that need to hear positive messages about and from the hip hop community were not in that U of Chicago auditorium and were probably unaware that the rebroadcast was on C-Span. (I stumbled upon the discussion by accident while channel surfing.) At any rate, check out the website. Most of the panelists have written books, you might want to check them out too.

Lastly, me and my bff walked/ran in a 5K race yesterday. Most of the other 5K's I've done were for fun only. They didn't keep track of our race times. This was a real race. I felt like I was back in high school when I was at that starting line. Then, when I started running, I remembered that high school was a very long time ago. Now, I'm motivated to increase my speed and endurance. I NEED to come in under a 9 minute mile. Yesterday I came in at 13:31. That average included my walking, so, I need to be able to not only run the whole 3.1 miles, but, shave 4:31 minutes off of my time. I'll check back in over the next few months to let you know my progress. The winner of yesterday's race averaged under 6 minutes. I'm not even going to kill myself to make that pace. I have limits ya know!


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Concession Stand

It all started with me asking a simple question. A question that I didn't really expect an answer for. Just me thinking out loud really. Now that I think about it, it wasn't even a question, more of a statement really.

"I wonder if that star right there is brighter because it's closer to earth."

He answered, "No, it's brighter because that's the North Star."

Now, right here it's important to note that we were facing due west. So, I point due north and say..."I don't think so, because that's north over there."

He replied, "No, that's the North Star, are you prepared to tell Joseph and Mary that they were going west not north." Don't ask me why he felt the need to bring the sweet baby Jesus's birth into this silly discussion.

I didn't want to go back and forth so, I said, "Ok, whatever." Why debate something that can easily be proven?

But, he wasn't quite ready to let it go. "If you think that's north, then we should be able to see the North Star, we just need to be up higher."

"Look, I know that's north, we don't have to go hiking to prove it do we? Especially, in this parking lot."

"What? Are you getting scared now?"

Why did he have to say that? So, we found the nearest hill, climbed to the top of it and looked for the North Star. The trees were in the way, we couldn't see any bright stars in the cloudy night sky.

"Oh I know", he said, "We can use the GPS in my car. That will tell us which way is north. Then THAT will be the be all end all. We'll go with whatever the GPS says."
"Sure, that's fine."

See, he was banking on the fact that this machine was going to prove me wrong. I can't describe to you how fast he ran to the car, he was soo excited. 'Penni doesn't know every dayum thing', he thought, 'I've got this one.' (And he was partially correct. I DON'T know everything and would never claim to. It's funny how people try to put that on me.) I stroll back to the car. I'm thinking this fool has lost his ever loving mind and why is it soo important for him to prove me wrong anyway. What's that about?

So, he powers up the car. The little N with the triangle above it is pointing towards 'my north'. I meekly point that out. His reply is, "Well, let's move the car in the other direction just to see what happens." I sit back in the front seat, amazed at how far he's taking this. He backed the car up and turned it left (west). The triangle above that little N didn't budge.

"Hey wait, that triangle didn't move."
"That's because it's facing north."
"How can it be facing north when you make a left but, incorrect when you
were parked. You can't have it both ways."

He thought about that for a moment. Meanwhile, I looked at the icon that represents his car in the middle of the onscreen map. Then I notice that it is sitting perpendicular to I-95. I said, very calmly...
"95 runs north to south right?"
"Well, why is your car perpendicular and not parallel to 95 right

Then, I tried to wrap it up so that we could move on.
"You know how I know which way is north?"

I pointed in the direction of the interstate.
"Because that's 95 over there. It runs parallel to where we are right now.
So, I figured that the North Star couldn't be 'beside' 95. It would have to be
in front or in back of us."

At this point, I was beyond annoyed. We'd just spent a good 20 minutes 'proving' me wrong...and why? I thought it was over but, my luck isn't that good. He was not going to end the night on a low note.

"So, that star must be another galaxy."
"You can't see another galaxy with the naked eye. You'll need a
telescope for that."

"No, people see other galaxies all of the

At this point I'm thinking surely he's seen Men in Black. I think they covered this concept in that movie. Sci-fi channel anyone???
"I don't think so."
A white couple minding their own business have the misfortune of walking in our direction. He says,
"I'm going to ask that man."
"Why do you think he knows. You think all white people know more about astronomy than I do?"
"He just looks like he might know."
I'm so embarrassed, I hang back while he approaches the man. I overheard the man corroborating my story. He's still not satisfied.
Did I mention that I'm beyond annoyed.
"Why are you so hell bent on proving me wrong?"
"It's not about proving you wrong, I just don't think you are right."
"Ok, well, you can always go home and google this stuff. I'm not making it
up. All the stars we see with our unaided eyes are in the Milky
Way. That's our galaxy."
"Ok, I just think we should be able to see other galaxies."
"Alright, well, I'm going in now. Have a good night."

I didn't know what to make of the whole exchange. It was very strange and competitive and weird.

I titled this post Concession Stand because this afternoon after googling all morning trying to find some kind of evidence...some kind of 'ah ha!' to prove me wrong, he sent me an email which read simply...

"okay you win. i conceed victory to you : )"

How telling is that? Nowhere during the exchange was I trying to 'win'. In fact, I kept trying to back down and let it go. But, I 'won'...and I didn't even want to 'play'.


Friday, June 15, 2007

U-N-I-T-Y Moment

I just had a black woman unity moment at work today. I was walking behind this attractive well-put together woman in my office and I noticed that the zipper on the back of her skirt was bursting and I could see her slip underneath. Just as I noticed this, I heard this bitter catty black woman in my office remark to another woman about the impending hole while making no effort to inform the affected woman. Ms. Bitter said, 'Yeah, she's been walking around like that all day. It's only gonna get worse.'

I was incensed. I tapped the woman with the wardrobe malfunction on the shoulder and discreetly informed her of the situation. Then I proceeded to help her fix it. I've only seen this woman in passing and I don't even know her name. But, all I could think was, if it were me, I'd want someone to help me out.

I swear black women are our own worst enemies sometimes. I can't count the many times I've heard women make disparaging remarks about other women. Remarks such as,

'I can't stand to hang around women.'
'I'd rather be friends with guys, they are less drama.'
and my personal favorite...
'Well of course she looks good, she's like a food nazi. I
can't be worried about watching what I eat all the time. Plus only a dog wants a

Why don't we realize that when we make a nasty comment about someone or attempt to lessen another woman's accomplishment, we are really disparaging ourselves? When you're happy with yourself, you're going to see the good in other people. You won't feel the need to disparage someone else. When you're a good girlfriend, you'll want to be friends with other girls.

Y'all know I'm a girl's girl. I like hanging out with guys, but, there is a reason that God made us different. A guy isn't going to obsess with you for hours about why 'he' didn't call or if those shoes go with that dress. They just aren't wired that way. My girlfriends have had my back for most of my life, but, my guy friends roll out when they get married or a new love. Even when I'm involved, I'm still tight with my girls. That's just the way it's got to be...for me.

So, I'll close this post with a suggestion...the next time you see a pretty woman walking down the street with a jacked up outfit or some other 'flaw' and you notice that it makes you feel a little bit better. Look inside yourself and figure out why her fabulousness makes you feel threatened. Then, acknowledge that there is room on this earth for more than one hottie. Her steam doesn't cool yours.


Monday, June 11, 2007

47 is the new 27

I went to see Damon Wayons on Saturday. He was doing his stand up comedy at the Warner Theater. My face kept transitioning from a shocked 'I can't believe he said that.' to 'Oh my goodness, I can't stop face hurts.' That, all combined with the fact that as a 47 year old man his physique is flawless. It was a great show.

Now for the haters, you could blame his fitness on the money. Sure, he's a celeb, he's rich, he's got the money to stay in shape. But sitting in an audience with a ton of men in his age group and younger and seeing very few that could look down and see their feet, I was impressed.

He covered many topics, including Barack in the White House. 'You know once he gets in office, they're going to blame him for everything that's gone wrong in this country since slavery.' 'Obama's the one that put the hole in the ozone layer.' He also talked about his divorce and how men cope or don't cope with heartbreak. 'So, I tried to commit suicide, I just put that pillow over my head and tried to smother myself.'

It was a very full show and I'm glad I went. If you ever get the opportunity to see him live, go for it.


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Man & Wife About to Blow Up

I tried to put y'all onto Fat Man Scoop and his wife Shanda's podcast called Man & Wife a little while ago. Well it seems that MTV loves the show as much as I do and is offering a deal to the couple. Read about it...

Fatman Scoop and Wife Shanda Sign TV Development and First-Look DVD and
Publishing Deal with MTV for 'Man and Wife'

Wednesday June 6, 11:39 am ET
NEW YORK, June 6--

Fatman Scoop, made famous by his booming baritone DJ voice, and
his instantly likable wife, Shanda, have closed a television development deal,
and first-look book and DVD deal with MTV: Music Television based on the
internationally popular online "Man And Wife" show, available at
The television development and first- look deals are designed to take advantage
of the full power of MTV's multiplatform brand reach.

Decadent, colorfully raw and born completely out of their marriage, Scoop and wife,
Shanda, created "Man And Wife" to give the audience an interactive and
insightful role into a steamy, wild and naughty relationship.
"Fatman Scoop and Shanda are not only made for each other but are made for television," said
Tony DiSanto, Executive Vice President, MTV Series Development & Animation.
"Their hilarious and frank discussions could help usher in a new era of public
discourse on everything from sex and sexuality to romance in a committed
relationship and bring Scoop and Shanda to an even wider audience."

"Fatman Scoop and Shanda have created a rabid fan base as a result of their hilarious, fresh, and truthful take on relationships," said Jeff Yapp, Executive Vice
President of Program Enterprises for MTV Networks Music Group. "We think their
irreverence will translate incredibly well to the book and DVD world."

"Man and Wife" breaks new ground as the first of their kind married couple in the
hip-hop genre discussing Sex, money, Sex, relationships, Sex, jobs, Sex,
politics, Sex, marriage ... and yes, Sex! The show, launched earlier this year
as a weekly pod cast, recently reached the 3 million viewer mark.

"One night, when I was in bed talking to Shanda, I realized my own wife was witty,
funny and sharp," said Fatman Scoop. "My manager Charlie Stettler loved the
concept and brought producer/director and web entrepreneur Alex Lasky on board
and 'Man And Wife' was born! Now we want to bring our expertise to an even wider
audience and we think MTV offers the perfect way to connect with today's

The episode where Scoop gets his blood drawn had me in tears. It was hysterical. I can't imagine how they will be able to sanitize the show for a regular cable audience and still maintain the funny. Part of the reason the show works is because they are so off the cuff.

So, check out the show now before it goes downhill. New episodes are available every Friday.


Get You Bodied - Bmore is #2!

B-more Careful is not only a clever play on the popular Baltimore nickname and the name of an urban lit book, it is also a warning now. Baltimore was ranked as the second deadliest city in the nation. The nations's deadliest city is Detroit. Now, what do these two cities have in common?

A generation or two ago, both cities relied heavily on the manufacturing industry for opportunities to boost the middle class. Once those manufacturing jobs were gone, both cities became full of have's and have-nots. Bmore has been struggling with low literacy, high teen pregnancy rates, high HIV/AIDS rates, high unemployment for years. It's enough to make a person think things are pretty hopeless.

When people highlight statistics like this, some of us get defensive and want to point the finger back at 'the man' or some other force that keeps us down. I'm not interested in doing that. I'm bummed out about the stats, but, they just make me more determined than ever to help at least one person. We can point fingers all day, but ultimately we are the only ones that can change ourselves, right?

What's your take, how can we turn Baltimore around?


P.S. Here's the article...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Solo Date Night (SDN)

So, I took myself on a date on Friday. The muse tried to come along but, I think it's important for me to keep a few things to myself. And I went all out too. My hair was cute, hot ensemble, date heels and I was out.

The important thing to remember about the SDN is to make sure you pick a place where you are comfortable. Since you will be solo, you will draw a bit of attention, there's no need to up the anxiety factor by choosing a place where you don't even know where the restroom is. I usually go to the same place for my SDNs, in my mind, it's like my personal Cheers experience. So, I sat at the bar and had a bite to eat, with a really good wine. Then, I went to the movies. I finally got to see Disturbia. I've been trying to see that forever and I couldn't even get my dog to go with me. The beauty of going to see a movie on your SDN is that you can see whatever you choose, sit where you want and you don't have to share the popcorn.

One of my girlfriends has been able to maintain a standing SDN throughout her courtship and now engagement. She doesn't always do something spectacular on her SDN but, the one rule applies. Her SO is NOT allowed to participate. He always calls. She always says that she's still on her SDN. It's quite funny. She always calls him back later and they usually see each other after she's done. And the thing is, he LOVES that she does this. He respects the fact that her entire life does not revolve around him. I think he's a pretty evolved guy. I'm sure she'll post a comment raving about him and their situation, so I'll stop now. :-)

One of the things I admire about men is that when they become coupled, they don't lose their friends and favorite activities. Women on the other hand tend to give up alot of things that used to be important to them prior to coupledom. An SDN every now and then is a great way to keep in touch with who you are, what you think and what makes you happy.


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Don't Call This a Comeback

Today is just one of those days. You know the kind where you're not really that productive at work for no good reason. I call this my in between time, one major phase finished and the next yet to begin. So, here I sit at my desk catching up on tv shows online.

I've also been looking online for things to do this weekend. Last weekend was so much fun. I went to this new restaurant in G'town called Red Ginger. It's a caribbean spot. Definately a great date spot. Kind of out of the way, small and intimate dining room and good food. The muse and I also went to the aquarium in B'more. He'd never been and I knew he'd love it. I was right. He's still talking about what a nice time he had. I think I racked up some major points with that one. It's fun in the beginning when your excited about racking up points, versus years in when you start losing them. But, it doesn't have to be that way, right?

Anyway, I'm into dresses now. I've been a dress girl for years, but, over the past few weeks, I've upgraded my dress game. I've decided to wear them for everything. I bought some new casual ones, some dressy ones and every situation in between. I consider myself a girly girl but, something about throwing on a little sundress just takes that up a notch.

Let me see what else is new? I've got the new Maroon 5, I'm going back to the DR, I've been running and this new girl in my office is trying to be my friend

I'll tell you about all of this in a minute...


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I'm Back

I figured I'd start the new month with a new post. I've been away for far too long. There have been many times when I've logged in to post something but, became distracted and logged out. All of you have been my muses over the months, I've written about stuff that we talk about or things we're going through. But, lately, we've been going through stuff that I just can't write about.

Besides that, I've found a new muse. LOL Don't be jelly, you guys are irreplaceable. But, I've gotta tell you that he's been getting my best jokes lately. For a while I could write to you all and him, but after a while the scale tilted in the other direction. Then, I realized that I'm not this infinite well of creativity and wit. Once he and I complete an exchange, in most cases, I feel like I've gotten my 'fix' and I'm done writing.

The other thing is that he doesn't read this blog. I don't know if I mentioned this before but, I keep my blog seperate from my real life now. So, I can't date someone that reads what I write here. This stuff is too honest and personal and I like to dole myself out in little chunks over the course of getting to know someone. Too much too soon, addiction, overdose, y'all know how it is. LOL

I've got a few new experiences to tell you about so, I'll post them this week. I just wanted you to know that I haven't forgotten you.

Be back soon...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just Get on the Bus!

What you do if you met someone that embodies 90% of your list? You know the list, the one where you keep track of qualities you'd like to have in a mate. So, this new person, is a dead ringer for someone very close to your ideal. Conventional wisdom would suggest that you'd be ecstatic...especially if that person thought you were just as great.

So, why is it that when we meet that person, the first thing we do is second guess it? You know, analyze everything they say for inconsistencies, push them away. Maybe your ideal didn't come at the right time, so you're just not prepared. Is it hubris to let this person get away, when the likes of which you haven't seen before and in your gut, know you won't see again? But, that's it isn't it?

It's just like catching a bus. Even if you've been standing at the bus stop everyday for hours waiting on one particular bus, when it comes, if you're not ready, something in you considers that, if this one came, then surely another one will. How many people have been standing out there, rain, snow, sleet and shine still waiting? Why is it so scary just to get on the bus and dig in your bag for bus fare once you're seated? What's the worst that could happen? The bus driver could kick you off the bus. But, he may just let you slide. Or, you borrow the change from someone and pay them back later.

Back in the day people would always say, if you miss the bus, don't worry another one will come along. I don't think that's true anymore. Quantity has never equalled quality. So, while you may see a dozen Z11's pass by, you don't know that 11 of them may not be clean, may not have available seats, and may have air and heat that doesn't work.

I contend that when you find the bus that has room for you, jump on it. Don't hesitate...and enjoy the ride.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Lip Gloss is Poppin'


Ok, I just saw the video, or should I say, KLS Lipgloss commercial - Can't knock Kimora's hustle! Anyway, this little girl called, Lil Mama rap/sings a song about how her lip gloss brings all the little boys to the yard. I can appreciate the fact that she's dressed like a teenager and all the kids actually look like high schoolers. I think it's funny though how she names all of these grown up lipgloss brands, MAC, L'Oreal etc. What happened to Bonne Bell, are LipSmackers just not cool enough anymore? Can Rosebud salve get an honorable mention? Sheesh!

Kids these days are waaay more sophisticated than I was even after college.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

This Ain't a Scene's a G-D Arms Race.

That's my song for today. I know I was late to the Fall Out Boy bandwagon. They did get me with Dance Dance last year but for some reason, I just took it as one of those main stream songs that I like. I didn't know I'd like alot of the songs on the CD.

The songs are upbeat and easy to sing along and y'all know how I like to sing aloud in my car. LOL

I can't wait until the new Maroon 5 CD comes out. That's my group right there.

Well, I'm off to watch FOB videos...


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

It's NOT me!

So, I was talking to my best friends about my latest dating exploits. Long story short. I think I'm living in the Twilight Zone. Nothing is what it seems to be.

So, I go on the date, we laugh, we joke, we have effortless conversation. He tells me about a cool sushi place that he'd like to take me (2nd date?). Then the next day, he fades into the ether. But, before he completely disappears, he calls. "Hey, how's your day going? Holla back when you get this message."

I holla...and it echoes off the walls of an infinite abyss.

When I convey my stories like this to my coupled friends, they say things like,
"Well, maybe you weren't open." or
"Maybe you only thought he was having a good time." or
"Maybe your guy won't be this ambitious, socially aware, super bright guy that you think is ideal. Maybe your guy is going to be blue collar."

The unspoken message behind all of these warm and compassionate rejoinders is that it's me. I'm the problem.
I wasn't myself on the date or
I'm delusional or
My standards are too high and I should settle for something less than my ideal.
(and for the record, blue collar guys have no problem rejecting people too)
That's all bogus!

I know that they mean well. But, it's insulting. I'm not the problem. I'm not even going to say that the guy is always the problem. Sometimes it just is what it is. They're not that into you. I've been not that into people before. That's life. But, this dating thing is very different than it used to be. The only rule is that there are no rules. Every guy that doesn't call isn't a jerk. Every one that does isn't a good catch. Sometimes, we're supposed to call them. But, sometimes we're not. Ask questions up front...but don't ask too many. It's all very confusing.

The bottom line is there are people who basically break all the rules and still end up with somebody that would drink their bathwater. And then there are those of us who are trying to put our best foot forward and keep striking out. It's not fair, but, hey that's the way it goes, right? It's annoying but I can live with it. I try not to take it personally, but, when you start implying that there are things I should be doing differently, that sends the message that maybe I should be taking it personally. I know you don't mean to make me feel bad, so, I have a tip for all you coupled people with single friends...

When they come to you with another jacked up dating story. Just listen. Then acknowledge the F'd-upness of it all and make plans to take them out to dinner or hang out to get their mind off of it.


April Fools

This weekend I went to the Cherry Blossom Festival on Sunday. It was beautiful. If you've never been down to the Tidal Basin to take in the blossoms, you're missing out. Plus, it's a romantic cheap date.

...gotta go to a meeting


Thursday, March 29, 2007

What is it about spring...

...that makes you just sit at your desk all day and just daydream. In school, we'd call it senior-itis. What do you call it when you've been OUT of school almost as long as you were IN school???

Yesterday I was supposed to go to the Jamie Foxx concert but, it was postponed. Kinda disappointing. I hope they reschedule it for a time when I can make it.

Remember when we took that long lunch and went to Ben's Chili Bowl? Nothing Even Matters came on the radio and we couldn't leave until we'd sung the entire song, very loud while sitting on those swirly stools? Remember when we wouldn't even have conversations with people that didn't 'get' L-Boogie?

What about a few years later when we thought that there were two kinds of people in the world...those that 'get' Jill Scott and those that don't. LOL

Remember when we'd dress up to go to happy hours because we didn't want people to know that we didn't have jobs? And how about everyone getting on our case about napping? Don't people know that stress is EXHAUSTING?! How about when we saw Boris and I had to call my mama...LOL

What about when we went to King's Dominion and you were upset because we wouldn't have time to stand in line to get on that kiddie ride...because we'd stood in line 3 times to get on Outer Limits.

How about when we went to that spot with sweater vest guy, then the next night we were at the party with Pharrell? Are you ever too old to dance on tables? Remember the way I flipped the script on Mr.NYC? Yeah, hanging with a male model is nice, but, uh, what can you do for me?

How about when any Get Rich or Die Tryin' track would instantly get our butts shakin? And how about when they stopped all of a sudden...

I can't forget about our crazy parties. How is it that we can get all these people to keep on doing all the crazy stuff that we tell them? And how crazy are we for coming up with some of those schemes?

We have definately had some good times. I've got a feeling that this is going to be another one of those years y'all. Are you ready? Oh and no faking...yep, I'm talkin to you. :-)


Monday, March 26, 2007

Life Without TV

You probably already know that I'm a TV Junkie. I wake up and turn on the TV. I get home at night and turn on the TV. The last thing I see before falling asleep is the TV. I LOVE TV and I'm not ashamed of it. (Ok, maybe I'm a wee bit ashamed at the sheer volume of TV trivia that has infiltrated my gray matter. ) So, imagine my astonishment when I met someone that NEVER watches TV.

This guy has an extra large plasma wall mounted TV and NO CABLE. WTH?? I couldn't believe it. So, of course I had questions. He said that he just doesn't want to spend the $ to get cable. Now, clearly he's not cheap. His TV was not on discount and his other accoutrements could easily garner a pretty penny on eBay. So, then, I asked, was TV banned in your house when you were a kid? Not at all.

Then, over the course of our conversations, I realized how much of what I say is peppered with pop culture references. He has no idea who Tyler Perry is, Gabriel Union who? I just got the Musiq CD. What kind of music? Nah, that's his've never heard of Musiq?

Ok, I should also mention that if this guy had ANY 'urban' radio station pre-set on his dial or black focused website favorites, he'd know some of these things. But, isn't it crazy how you can be absolutely oblivious to black pop culture if you choose it? Now, I don't think this guy is anti black. I just think his blackness might be 'inactive'. Then, I started wondering, how can this be? Or more to the point, WHY would this be?

His mom and sister are members of my sorority. Not that that would make him 'hyper black', but, I'd expect that would make him at least aware of black stuff. He said that his family regularly teases him about his obliviousness. I wanted to say to him, 'You do know that I'm black right?' LOL Lest he not realize it.

My tastes are very diverse, which is why I think we can still have stuff in common. I have all kinds of music on my iPod and I watch lots of different types of shows and I listen to a few 'non-urban' radio stations. But, my compass always swings back to black.

Wait, how did not having a TV turn into a discussion on blackness? Surely, you can be aware of things happening in our community via means other than the TV. I was just surprised that someone would not seek it out. Why do I seek it out and fight for it's integrity? I think it's because everyday I'm the only or one of less than a handful. So, in my downtime, I find comfort in the people that are like me.

The upside is that he's been unscathed by the degrading images that are rampant on my beloved TV. Maybe I need to watch less. Like any addiction, this is going to take some time because right now, I can't imagine life without TV.


Weekend Recap 3/26

This was a pretty busy weekend. When I got off on Friday, I braided my hair. It took about 8 hours. Stayed up late, got up early to finish. Now, I can look cute without thinking about my hair for a few weeks. What a relief.

Saturday was my sister's bday. We went to Kobe in White Marsh. Why am I the only one in my family that knows how to tell time?? They know how cranky I can get when I'm hungry. The reservations were at 4, everyone arrived by 6. All that aside, the dinner was excellent. I think lil sis had fun. Afterwards we went to the movies to see Shooter. I really wanted to see Pride or Reign Over Me. But, it wasn't my birthday. Shooter was really good...and looooong. At one point, I had to look at my phone to see how much time had passed. It was never boring, just long. If you like the Bourne series, you'll like this movie. In this pic, Marky Mark has a little bit of McGyver in him, which adds a little bit of interest. Overall, I'd recommend it.

Yesterday, I went to the Smithsonian, specifically, the Asian Museum and the Museum of Industrial Stuff :-) It was a beautiful day, why not take in some art? The next time I'll work my way through the rest of the museums. This has been on my list of things to do for a very long time.

I made a pact with myself that I'd get out and do something on my list each weekend, even if I have to do it solo. Luckily, I have had company recently. But, I know I'd still do it if I didn't.

Can you believe March is over this week? I have to start planning my Memorial Day activity. I'll check back in later this week. Enjoy the sun.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Quote for Today

this is resonating with me today...

In every relationship, the person least interested in maintaining it, will control it.
Because they won’t compromise.

Spoken by Rooster in Idlewyld


Monday, March 19, 2007

I Think I Love My Wife

So, I went to see this movie on Saturday. For the most part I liked it. In case you haven't seen the previews, this movie is about a man in his early to mid 30s, Chris Rock, that is very bored with his life. He's married to a beautiful, smart woman, Gina Torres, but he want's excitement.

Surely we can all relate to the grass being greener on the other side. Chris Rock's 'grass' is in the form of Kerry Washington. Her character, Nikki, is sexy, exciting and full of drama. Men always say they don't want drama, but, when the Nikki's of the world call, they inevitably go running. While hanging out with Nikki he gets careless at his job, gets his @ss kicked and causes trouble at home. The premise to this movie is a good one. The music isn't bad either.

My main complaint is that Chris decides to use the N-Word many times in the movie and it's spoken by a few different characters. I'll never understand the argument to use the word. But, putting that aside, his use of the word in this movie seemed really out of place. I expect to hear it in The Wire. I don't expect to hear it in the remake of a French movie called Chloe in the Afternoon.

My date felt that Chris's character's actions were unrealistic in the chase of Nikki. He really goes out of his way and jeopardizes many important things in his life. I, on the other hand, didn't think it was that unrealistic. I've seen men do some pretty stupid things while chasing 'the pussetta'. (Of course, women do stupid things too to get with a man. But, this movie wasn't about that. So chill out!)

I won't tell the ending because I don't want to ruin it for anyone. I'll just say that it was very 'different'. When you see it, let me know what you think.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I still listen to Aijuswanaseing, Juslisen and Soulstar regularly. In case you've been living under a rock, those are the titles of Musiq Soulchild's first 3 CD's. He always debuts a CD with a shiny happy song about a girl that he's just met and is trying to get to know. I like his music because he has a good mix of tender she's-the-one-and-i-love-her songs and we-just-met-lets-have-fun songs. Even though in some songs he's been a little bit of a player....Remember the video where the two girls confront him at the club. LOL I never feel like he's disrespecting women. He has a kind of charisma that makes you say, 'Oh he's so crazy' instead of 'I'mma cut his @ss.'

Well, the new CD Luvanmusiq came out yesterday. If you listened to the Steve Harvey show this morning then you probably heard several of the tracks. Musiq was a guest on the show and Steve featured the CD throughout the program. I downloaded it yesterday. I can say that it's typical Musiq. If I were doing his performance review, I'd say he definately Meets Expectations. He doesn't really push it though. But, I'm not complaining. Consistency is good.

So, check out the CD for yourself and let me know what you think...


ETA: My favorite song on the CD is Track 4 - Betterman. I just love this song. It's catchy, upbeat and what woman doesn't want to hear a man say that she's made him want to be a better man. Gotta love that!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Daylight Savings 07

They should rename Daylight Savings Time to Lose Sleep Time. As much as I love the longer hours of daylight, I absolutely hate losing any kind of sleep. But, this morning, my quick-fire snooze trigger could be attributed to the action packed weekend I had.

I spent the weekend in New York. We went up there to catch The Color Purple (TCP) but, managed to get in some sightseeing and a wee bit of shopping. (Oh, that New Year's resolution about no more shopping was broken a while ago. :-)) We made our plans just a few weeks ago so, finding a hotel in the city was next to impossible. Actually, finding a suitable hotel (I'm acknowledging my bougie-ness) at a suitable price (and my cheapness) was the challenge. So, we stayed in NJ this time. My exposure to the NY Transit system has been limited at best, but, after this weekend, you may as well call me J-Lo b/c I'm all about the 6. I was even giving other people directions. LOL 'Oh you need to get uptown, to 51st? You can take the 4 or 5, the 6 will put you at Grand Central.' Y'all know all I need is a little bit of knowledge about a thing and I'm all geeked to share it.

So, what did I buy? I got these really cute shoes (surely you're not surprised). They're really understated. No obvious logo and a pretty caramel color and I haven't seen them at the Lacoste store here or anyplace else for that matter. You know I got a great deal b/c I was at Century 21. I also got one of those big purses and some tank/undies combos. A girl can't have enough of those. I really wanted to hit Bloomies b/c they just started this new Brow Bar. You can go and get your eyebrows done on the spot. And it's only $21. Lawd knows these caterpillars crawling on my face need some taming. But, we didn't have time to make it up there. We did eat at the Brooklyn Diner. That was the best food I've had in a very long time, but the dessert was not stellar at all.

TCP was very good. We had great seats. I guess I must be the only person that didn't know it was a musical. I mean, I knew there would be singing. But, for the first 30 minutes, I was like, 'is anybody going to talk in this thing?' And what's with making everyone line up outside? It's not like it's a general admission event. Why couldn't we just file in and take our seats as we arrived? I didn't get that.

By the time I got back last night, it was already 11pm. I was too tired for words, I could barely drag myself into the bed. So, you can imagine how disgruntled I was to have to wake up an hour earlier this morning.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Rough Week

I've been dealing with these crazy, self absorbed, ineffectual, dim-witted fools all week and it's darn near driving me nuts!

But today is Friday, so, I can finally relax.

My mantra for the week has been...

Mediocrity is threatened by excellence.

All week, I've been getting push back from my client on this project. She is absurdly change resistant and creates processes that make her life easy, versus getting the job done right. When I ask her to review something it takes her a week to do it. But, when she gives me her feedback she expects 1 hour turn around.


My bad, that was the sound of me giving her an open handed slap in the mouth for making such a stupid request.

Remember in the show Ally McBeal when Ally would have these little imaginary moments where she'd react to a situation? Well, I've been having those little moments all week.

Doesn't this woman know, that like my favorite NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby, "I wake up in the morning and piss excellence" ? LOL

I can't apologize for challenging her, it's hard being mediocre when you know better.

Oh well, that's my rant...thanks for listening.

In closing I'll just say a little prayer...

I would like to thank you sweet innocent precious little baby Jesus for getting me through the week.

Shake & Bake!