Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Boondocks and The Santa Stalker

In the spirit of all the new traditions that are now synonymous with Christmas I present one of my favorite Christmas clips and a new classic (for me anyway). I was not a fan of the Boondocks comic strip, but must admit the cartoon version was witty, well-written and at times make-your-side-hurt funny.

When I originally saw this clip, just the mention of Santa "paying what he owe" would make me laugh (it still does). So, I present to you Riley Freeman who is upset with Santa for not coming to the 'hood when he was poor. When all he wanted was a set of rims....not the whole car, just some rims!


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hibernating During the Holidays

Christmas is my favorite time of the year. The Christmas songs on the radio, decorating the tree, wrapping presents and cooking tons of food. It took me a while to get into the spirit this year, but I think it has finally hit me. This time of year brings great memories of my Grandmother. We would spend days baking cakes and pies in her old kitchen over my winter break.

The stove was so old, you had to light a piece of paper and stick it to the eye once you turned on the gas. It was extremely dangerous, but I don't remember my Grandmother financing anything. What I do remember is the amount of time we spent together just the two of us, talking, sharing stories and cooking up a small storm.

Maybe that is why I grew up loving the Christmas season. I will spend the next week and a half hibernating and enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas. To the handful of you who actually read this blog....

Enjoy your holidays!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Preparing for the Stage

My performance group is preparing for a number of upcoming shows. Next week we are performing at an elementary school diversity program, which should be a lot of fun. We are performing our signature piece the "bele dance" which the children should love because of the drummers and colorful costumes and a few kid-friendly age appropriate poetry pieces.

I have mentioned dancing with the performance group a lot in previous posts, so here is an unedited piece from the drummers practice. More to follow...

Monday, December 3, 2007

Another Year, Another Decade and Still So Much To Learn

I am now 30 years old. I thought when I turned 30 life would be a lot different than it is now. Oh the best laid plans of mice and men!

I think I will enjoy my 30s. For my birthday I went to my favorite Caribbean restaurant and the Chef whipped up a delightful seven course meal that not only exercised my taste buds and sense of smell, but my eyes as well. I also enjoyed the concert of an artist who sounds a lot better on his CD, so I guess I'll spare you his name. He was so over the top with his show, that I practically laughed my way through it. I hope his keyboard has recovered from being molested by now. Oh yeah, hello again to my Sorors (Natalie and Tiffany) who happened to be sitting behind me. It really is a small world, if only we could figure out if the singer in the end of the show was really throwing the sign ;)

The only downfall of my entire two week vacation was trying to visit my father. Even though it was the first time I had returned to my hometown in over two years, he did not find it necessary to invite me over for his 50th birthday. For some reason he is so busy comparing me to my younger sisters that he has missed the woman I have become.

As the man who gave me life, he can only see the negative. Others around me see the positive and try to help me see it when people like him send me a TKO of zingers that hit like body blows. I guess he is incapable of showing love any other way.

Anyway...Happy Birthday Pop!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My "Furbaby"

I belong to a Shiba Inu. I call him my furbaby and he is a riot. If anyone knows anything about Shibas they know they are really big dogs in a medium sized body. They are the smallest of the Japanese breeds and very catlike in behavior. He was a rescue and is coming around quite nicely to be a family pet.

I was passing by a pet bakery recently in a historic downtown area and I could not resist the urge to browse. They had samples of home baked dog treats and I grabbed one to bring home. My Shiba is very picky about his treats and I was not wasting money on something that would end up in the trash. I broke it in half (almost) and gave him the smaller of the two pieces. He ran off with it and I placed the leftover on the coffee table and went about my business expecting to pick up his half later off the floor. Several minutes later I came back in the living room to this:

He knows he is NOT allowed to take things off the table so I assumed he liked the treat made of honey and peanut butter and I asked him why was he staring at the table. (Yes, I talk to my dog in complete sentences. It freaks some people out. Especially when he responds like he understands me.) He gave me this funny look and did this:

As if to say "Give me my treat, woman! I know the other piece is there." By this time I am laughing out loud and he gives me this face:

As if to say "What the heck is so funny?" So I gave him the other piece of the treat. I think we will go back to the bakery this weekend ;-)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Praying Up a Storm

For years conservationists have been preaching that we need to conserve. Now the southeast is in one of the worst droughts in history. We have been bombarded with pictures of docks and boats laying on dry land and video footage of the trash that use to be buried under water. But the sight the other day was by far the most shocking thing I could have seen.

Governor Purdue and members of his legislature gathered on the steps of the state capitol, joined hands and literally tried to pray up a storm. Some of the same people who voted to remove the ten commandments from the courthouses throughout Georgia, could be seen praying for rain.

How ironic is that? I guess it is true what they say, when you hit rock bottom and don't know what else to do, you turn to prayer. I hope the divine power that watches over us has a sense of humor, because that sure was amusing.

Since they are in the praying mood, I think the preacher who resided over the prayer session could have thrown in some other important issues like:
- Praying for the safety of our neighborhoods, school and playgrounds
- Praying that empathy and consideration returns to civilization
- Praying that common sense prevails when stupidity seems to be the norm
- Praying for a more peaceful and happy existence for the people you represent

Add of all of these things to your list, dear Georgia legislative, the next time you want to pray up a storm.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Timing is Everything

Religious conversations and debates are slippery slopes that almost always end in heated arguments. I avoid them at all costs, unless I know you well enough to know you can handle a serious debate and discussion without overheating. That being said, I attended church last week and the topic was "What to do when you reach the end of your rope?"

If you read my previous entry you know what a timely sermon that was for me. Sometimes, timing is everything. Timing can be a great thing or it can be one of the most frustrating things you can encounter.

So, what do you do when you reach the end of your rope? In a nutshell....tie a knot and hang on!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Slipping, Falling and I Can't Get Up

How things can change in such a short time. Dance is the only thing in my life right now going wonderfully. I have a new respect for dancers, especially ballroom dancers. Lifts are no joke! But thanks J for being a great partner.

I have two more baby showers to attend and almost all of my friends will be new moms by spring.


No, I'll enjoy the ones around me and maybe one day I can blessed enough to have my own.

Life is changing and it seems like the more I fight and try to stay positive, the more negativity and uncertaintity comes my way. It's almost like trying to climb a muddy hill in the rain. The more you claw and walk up that hill, the more you slip and slide down the slope.

I have a milestone birthday coming up in the next few weeks and with my life changes, it doesn't seem like I will be celebrating as planned. I will be taking time off work to remember, reflect, write and relax.

It's well overdue.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Appreciating the Little Things (and being Serenaded)

I promised myself when I started this blog that I would post at least once a week. As life has taken interesting twists and turns, sometimes that is not possible. These past few weeks have been filled with tough situations and decisions. At times I find myself falling into the "what if" syndrome. But just when I got really down a couple of things happened.

- I was serenaded. Yes, a perfect stranger sung his rendition of Jesus Loves Me in the parking lot of one my favorite places, the library. There was no hidden agenda as he simply bowed slightly, smiled and said "Have a great day, sister." And you know what? I did.

- I have a great appreciation for nature. I've been known to disappear to a beautiful park or beach to get away. A friend sent these pictures of a rare white peacock who looks like snowflake.

I thought he (because only males display feathers this way, right?) was gorgeous.

So, thank you to my friend for the pictures and if by a slim chance the singing gentleman is reading my blog, thank you for the heartfelt song.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

What's in a Name?

I found out that my new niece or nephew is officially a girl. I can not wait to meet her sometime in February. The next hurdle is to pick out a name.

Names can tell you a lot about a person's family since we have no control over the name that is given to us. I've often toyed with the fact that a name can tell you a lot about a person, but that goes into the ageless chicken and egg theory. Does a name tell you a lot about the person or does the person tell you a lot about the name?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

TuPac and Walking Through the Rain

It is hard to believe eleven years has passed since one of my favorite poets/rappers died. Mainly because they release his music like he is still belting them out in the studio. But I digress, I was listening to a mainstream radio station and they were in the middle of a TuPac tribute. Radio (and it's choice of music) is disappointing to me so I rarely listen, but today I was enjoying the playlist.

I have so many favorite TuPac songs and collaborations, it would read like a album collection, so I will not go into my list.

Why do I like TuPac?

Above all else he was a great poet, he could come off hard one on song and almost melancholy on the next. Who else could make you truly believe to Keep Ya' Head Up while in the next breath say I Get Around? You could enjoy his good looks and wish to the heavens that he would shut his big mouth.

Eleven years ago I also gained an unlikely friend who helps to bring out the poet/writer in me. So, as I enjoy walking through the rain, I find myself smiling and humming one of my favorite songs by Pac...and it is not hard at all to keep my head up.

Monday, September 10, 2007

A Conversation with Ms. Gwynne Forster

Recently I attended a book signing for a literary group because I heard that one of my favorite authors might be in attendance. I was a bit saddened to find out that she was not one of the authors in the signing, but another author "beckoned me over" and sparked a conversation.

Ms. Gwynne Forster told me to stop at her table and go buy a book so she could sign it for me. She said it in a way that reminded me of my Grandmother's "stern, but loving" manner, and I had no choice but to drop my head slightly and "do as I was told". (With a slight smile, of course!)

As she asked my name and I instinctively spelled it for her (because I have only met three or four others in my life) she smiled and told me that is the name of her next book's character.

Of course I was elated as she told me about her character's story. We spoke of her writing process and how her characters come about their names. We chatted so long that when we looked up she had a line behind me. Out of disappointment, came a great conversation that I will cherish.

Oh yeah....I almost forgot to mention the book ;-)

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Storytelling with Carmen Deedy

I had the good fortune today to attend a storytelling session featuring Children’s Book Author Carmen Deedy. To add icing to the cake, I was also getting paid for it since I was there in my “official capacity of photographer” for my job’s Web site. There are a few times when I love my job and today was definitely one of those times.

This was my first experience with Ms. Deedy and what a treat! I have to admit I surrendered to my urge to table my camera and enjoy the story as she held about 100 or so fourth graders (and about 10 adults) captive as she told the story of her first library experience. Using delightful voices, faces and hand jesters, she told the story of being a seven-year-old who found her love of the library through her first book. I could not stay the rest of the day to find out if the second, third and fifth graders got a different story, but if you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend a Deedy storytelling.

Ms. Deedy is absolutely wonderful and even the adults were entranced as she finished her forty-five minute story in what seemed like ten.

It was a wonderful way to spend an hour of my day.

Monday, August 27, 2007

New Tricks

"You can't teach an old dog new tricks"

I like that quote. I always have. It motivates me to start and learn new things as I get older. I am starting a number of new things this year. The most important thing is that I will enter into a new decade (the 30's) and with that comes a new outlook. The others include:

1. I stepped out of retirement with a team I originally stepped with in my teens. (I am now retired again from stepping)

2. I had my first ballet class Saturday with my performance group. As a child I always wanted to take lessons, but we did not have the money.

3. I reconnected with old friends I have not spoken with in almost a decade.

Clearing the air with my friends and people I have dated has been a major breakthrough this year. My friends and I have mended wounds and tied loose ends that I thought would haunt me forever. I'm not sure what some of them thought when they received my emails, phone calls or letters, but I am glad that we were able to admit we were young and foolish and be able to move on. One of my friends is even helping me to write again. I only wish I was at the same level as they are. But I thank them for their help and support.

There is only one other friend I have not been able to contact to clear the air. Fear is a powerful motivator and I am not sure I am ready to cross that bridge as of yet. I am ready to admit I was wrong, but not sure that my friend is ready for the apology. It has been ten years and I am hoping that they remember me, but I am dreading the initial contact.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

It's Official

I will finally get a chance to be "Cool Auntie K" and I can hardly contain myself. Come February, my sister (we will call her "the lovely Ms. A") will officially make me an Aunt. We have known for a couple of weeks, but she went to her first doctor's appointment at the end of July. She found out she is only about 10 weeks along, and I got my first picture of my new niece or nephew.

Which also means I have my first picture to share with the world.

I have vowed to spoil him or her and rack up some frequent flyer miles traveling to Florida to visit. Since the death of my Grandmother I have not traveled back home to Florida very often (about 3 times in 7 years). But now, with my sister and my-brother-in-law (I call him Double D) purchasing their first house and the new baby, I have a reason to go whenever the notion hits me. And I can also get to know my younger brother and sister a little better.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

So Sick of Vick

I changed this post for a number of reasons, but mainly to change the tone. Vick has never put a meal on my table or money in my pocket. So I asked myself, "Why should I care?"

My answer? It makes every African-American look bad. We have all heard be careful who you associate with because it is a direct reflection of you. Be careful of your choices because they have the ability to come back and bite you in the rear. Always read the entire document before you sign on the dotted line because ignorance is not an excuse to get you out of a contract.

I could care less about Vick but he should teach people to be more careful. Be more mindful of your friends and associates, be more mindful of your choices and words. And last but certainly not least, read the ENTIRE contract before you sign on the dotted line. Contracts can dictate your actions, words, and future. That's why they are legally binding.

If people could understand that, we wouldn't sound as ignorant as we do now.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I Love My Blue and White

I volunteered to help with a Community Service project that has me dusting off my stepping shoes. "When Zeta calls..." (my sorors know the rest).

I was going through some old step show tapes and my DP (Solitaire) showed me this from Youtube. There will always be a special love for Georgia State University. My first blue and white home was with the "Lovely" Lambda Nu and "Phonky" Pi Alpha Chapters. I hope they don't mind this posting. It's all about Blue Love.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching this video of Pi Alpha and I know you will as well.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Performing Again After 10 Years

I graced the stage for the first time in 10 years yesterday. A co-worker who is quickly becoming a friend re-visited her love for the stage and revived her performance group. She asked a group of people would we like to participate and we agreed not knowing what the show was about and what we were getting into. I guess we all trusted her judgment and I am glad we did.

The show is a cultural experience of poetry, singing, dancing.(Calypso, African, Jazz) I could never give justice to the group, so I will post snippets of performances when they are available.

I have never liked my voice on tape or over the phone, so having a wireless microphone stuck in front of me was an experience. It was wonderful to have people come up to me after both shows and tell me how smooth and powerful my voice is to them. I was even asked how long I had been doing spoken word. My answer, "All of ten minutes!" (It was about ten minutes after my first piece of the matinée show)

Confirmation is always a good thing. And I simply can not put into words how good it felt to be backstage preparing for a show and being part of a production again.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Missing You

Seven years ago today I received a voice mail that my Grandmother was dead. I was barely in my twenties and felt cheated that she left so early in my life. Getting that message by voice mail made the news even harder to digest.

My grandmother was like my mother and my mother is more like a sister. I’m not taking anything away from my mother, she was a mere teenager when she gave birth to me and we have grown up together over the years. “Granny” as I called her, was the woman who taught me to cook, put me on the bus in the morning, had dinner waiting when I got home in the afternoons and she made cakes with me during the holidays. You get the idea.

Every year around this time I drown in a sadness of missing my grandmother while everyone speaks of visiting their grandparents for the summer. I get mad at the world for the unfair hand I feel I was dealt and would give anything to “have one more conversation” when life seems to get the best of me.

After seven years I can finally make a cake alone without chocking myself with tears, and wrap up in the hand-made quilts she made me without crying myself to sleep.

Why the sad entry? To get someone to realize you must enjoy what you have while you still have it. If I had known I only had twenty-two short years I would have visited more, called more, just been around her more. The truly sad part is that I am the only grandchild that knew her well. I find myself using her quotes without thinking about it and referring to the talks we had to get my point across.

I’ll miss her until we meet again. Until then I hope to make her proud.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Happy Birthday Prince

49 has never looked this good...

Monday, June 4, 2007

Moving On...

On May 26, 2007 my first baby graduated from high school. Actually, I do not have children, but my cousin's son marched the stage to move on to another phase of his life. Why do I consider him my first baby?

He was my guinea pig baby, with him I learned how to change a diaper, feed and burp him, rock him to sleep, dress him, took him for walks in his stroller...he was my first baby. His mother was twelve when I was born and I was her first baby. I was twelve when he was born. Ironic isn't it?

Seeing him walk across that stage was emotional for me and it made me long for a real son of my own. His mother and I are cousins (our mothers are sisters) and people say we have a strong resemblance.

I'll enjoy this image until I have a son of my own.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Locks of Love

I work for a school system (no, I am not a teacher) but I attended a hair cutting ceremony for Locks of Love. One of my elementary schools adopted Locks of Love as their yearly service project.

Well, actually there are two cycles of girls that cut their hair once a year. One group in the fall and another in the spring. About 30 elementary aged girls grow their hair out to cut and donate their ponytails to make wigs for women who are battling cancer.

Sounds heart wrenching, doesn't it? As someone who has taken pictures of the event, it is. But it is also wonderful to witness. These little girls are proud of their ponytails and sashay in the mirror with their short hair. A salon volunteers the stylists and the girls get a brand new short and sassy hairdo for free.

It has me wondering...all of the little girls are white. Would black women donate their hair to Locks of Love? Or are we so attached to it that once we did reach the "donation length" we would physically fight you to keep it? Why is it such a big deal? It's only hair. It grows, right?


Why start a blog? Why does anyone blog? For me, it's an experience. Something new, something I would like to try. I'll see were it leads me...come along and enjoy the ride.