Friday, February 27, 2009

TGIF!!!

First things first - Happy Birthday Rene! (the Harlemite) :-)

I'm so tired today, and I have a fun night ahead! I need to drink a Red Bull or something. I've been going through the motions this morning, waiting for the work day to be over so I can get to the Knicks v. Sixers game tonight at the Garden. Just like I root for the Eagles against the Giants, I will be rooting for the Sixers tonight against the Knicks. I haven't been to a basketball game in a while, so I hope it's a good, competitive game. And then afterwards we'll head out to Rene's birthday party at Sidebar in Union Square. If anyone is free tonight and looking to have some fun, meet us there to celebrate Rene's birthday. It's a continuation of my birthday week, so trying to have as much fun as possible...even though I can barely stay awake :)

So while I'm sitting here trying to think of something to blog about, I'm watching The View. They have The Bachelor on - Jason Mesnick. I don't watch The Bachelor regularly, but I do know this guy's story. He is a single father who was rejected in a past season of The Bachelorette, so they tagged him as the new Bachelor for this season.

Joy Behar is grilling him, asking him if he has slept with the two women in the finale. He's being a gentleman, so he doesn't answer, even though they're showing clips of him butt naked in a hot tub with one of them. But then Whoopi asks him if the show was the right place to find the woman who would be helping to raise his son.

Good question.

Dating is tricky all by itself. Add children to the mix and the dynamic changes, and it could get even trickier. I don't have any children, but I've dated men who do. In this day and age, it's hard to meet someone who DOESN'T have kids. Nowadays, it's not "do you have kids?"...it's "how many?" Hey, it is what it is.

I would imagine that if I did have children, I would be VERY careful about who I introduced my children to and had around them. I was always leery of a man who wanted me to meet his child(ren) after our first date. As great as I think I am, there's no way a man could know that much about me after one meeting that he'd want me to meet his child. One guy I went on a date with brought his daughter to my JOB to meet me unannounced, and I had only known him three days. Yikes!

I've had some great experiences dating men who had children. They were very thoughtful, considerate and respectful of their children's' feelings and comfort levels, as well as mine. It was a delicate balancing act, but when done with care and maturity, it can be a wonderful experience.

I've also dated men who have children and drama. Not cool. One of the main reasons men and women don't want to date the opposite sex with children is because they fear the drama that may be associated with a crazy "baby mama" or "baby daddy." Trust me, I've been there, and it just doesn't seem worth it. Either the ex wants them back and uses the child as a weapon or as leverage to win them back, or they use them to sabotage any future relationships they may have...just to make their lives miserable.

A lot of women I know refuse to date men with children because they think the man is still sleeping with his child's mother, since they have to see each other from time to time, spend time together at family functions for the sake of the child, or because there's a familiarity there. Some women don't date men with children because they don't want to come second or third behind the child or the child's mother. And some women don't want to date men with children because the man may not have the resources available to care for his child AND create or build a life with her - i.e. no money...and that's assuming he's actually taking care of the child.

Most men I know won't date a woman with a child because he doesn't want some crazy ex creeping up in the picture. A lot of men have a problem taking care of another man's child. Most men don't want an "instant" family, as parenthood is something both sexes usually want to ease into, not have forced upon them. And if a man or woman has more than one child by different people, usually that man or woman doesn't want to be one among many, and that issue alone raises BIG red flags.

There are several reasons we can come up with that would seem to make dating people with children unattractive. But it can be rewarding as well. Children are a blessing, and once they're here, we love them. I have friends with blended, extended families who love each others' children as if they were their own. It all depends on the comfort level of both parties involved, the consideration that is given, whether BOTH parties are willing to put in the work and commitment and if all adults involved are mature and respectful of one another.

That being said, here are some questions for all of you:

If you're a single man or woman with no children, would you date someone of the opposite sex who has a child? Several children?

If you have a child and you are a single parent, how have your dating experiences been?

Do you find that a man or a woman who does NOT have children shows you more attention than a man or woman who does? Or do you feel that because a man or woman has a child, they try harder to show you that they are including you in their lives?

I know some of you on the blog have gone through or are experiencing this right now, so chime in and let us know your thoughts or give us your insight - I'm hoping for a good discussion today to help me stay awake ;) Let's go!

-b

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Happy Random Thoughts Thursday!

I just wanted to thank you all again for every phone call, every text message, every email, instant message, Facebook comment, Myspace comment and blog comment I received wishing me a happy birthday. I had a great day and a wonderful birthday dinner with my girls. All of you made my day extra special and I truly appreciate you all. Thank you!

Now...let's go!

- I had a great birthday week, starting with the concert!




- Barack is a ROCK STAR! I think I love him :-)

- I wanna have Barack's babies...okay...maybe just one... :-)

- my cat is greedy...he eats his furry tail off!

- Why were tears welling up in my eyes when Kyce counted to 100 on Monday? I am so proud of him, I love that boy!

- I am SO over the "Octomom"

- People were criticizing Michelle Obama for going sleeveless the other night for Barack's speech. Why are they always trying to find something wrong with her? She must just really be THAT fly :-)

- I love my new hat Amanda, I can't wait to wear it! Love the scarf too!

- The cupcakes last night were delicious! Thank you Duane!



- I'm sleepy today.

- Things I love:

my family and friends




The sound of my nephews laughing uncontrollably
The smell of the ocean
Spontaneous acts of affection – a hug, a kiss, a love tap,
When Kyce and Brahim hug me around my neck
The taste of good, home-cooked food made with love
Tulips
My sister asking me when I'm coming home with a hint of “I miss you” in her voice
My mom’s enthusiasm when she answers the phone knowing it’s me on the other end - “HI BROOKES DEAN!” and yes, she says “BROOKES” with an “s”

Seeing people smile from ear to ear showing all of their teeth, true joy
Witnessing a random act of kindness
An old couple holding hands
A great dentist visit
Wiggling sand between my toes with the sun on my back
That “falling in love” feeling
Barack Obama

Thanks for a wonderful week!



Go!

-b

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My Born Day!

On February 25th, 1973 at 9:51am, Brooke Danielle Dean was born.

Baby Brookeybaby -)

On February 25th, 2009 at 6:52am, God saw fit to open my eyes as the sun came up this morning. My born day - a day of reflection, self-evaluation, gratitude and celebration! I didn't have to be here...but here I am. Thank you God! :-)

Birthdays to me are not just another day. God breathed us into creation, and that was no accident. How can we NOT celebrate the day God made us? We ARE God manifest in an infinite variety of His oneness, held in his Divine embrace. We are in the eternal now of God's being. And today, right here...right now, there is beauty to be enjoyed and life to take delight in.

Those who view birthdays as "just another day" don't live in the gift of life that God has given them. They view everyday, every moment, every experience as the same. But every moment - whether it be silence, sorrow, excitement or joy - every one has its purpose and is perfect in its time and place in our lives. Sure, the problems I had yesterday may still be here today. The world goes on oblivious to my existence. We can choose to celebrate life, or we can choose to view life as an existence filled with ups and downs, hurdles and problems. Life surely brings us all of that. But without challenges, difficulties, problems and obstacles, life would have no purpose. All of those thing are simply God's invitation to grow.

We can always look back and see how we've grown and review the lessons we've learned. That we can't always look ahead and see how our challenges will be met and our crises solved is a blessing. While knowing what the future holds might relieve us of some anxiety, it would also rob us of the excitement of anticipation, the incentive to be creative, the will to do or be better and the joy of living. We should welcome challenges, allow ourselves to be surprised or anxious and be hopeful that nothing is too tragic, too scary or too sad that we can't overcome it. Knowing that God will always comfort me and catch me when I fall makes each day a blessing, and each birthday brings me to a more peaceful place.

Instead of looking at each day as just another day, we should live life in a relentless pursuit of happiness. We should strive to live with passion, coherence, meaning and integrity - satisfied that God has given us the tools we need to achieve anything. Happiness is about REALLY being alive, not just existing from birthday to birthday. It's about savoring every moment, every breath.

Sometimes we don't feel differently from one birthday to the next. Thirty six may still feel like 33, 45 may still feel like 37. But guess what? We go through changes. We may have lost or gained friends or loved ones. We may have changed our views a little bit - become more compassionate or cynical, patient or impatient, enthusiastic or complacent, invigorated or lazy. We may be in the best shape of our lives or experience a few more aches and pains - which we don't ever think is a reason to celebrate!

But we mistakenly identify our true self with our physical self, with our opinions, memories, associations and the illusions we hold about ourselves that are not who we TRULY are. The truth is, we let go of pieces of ourselves everyday, and new experiences always give birth to a new consciousness and identity - a new me. So is the flow of life - and where there is life, there's change. Without it, there would be no growth, no movement - simply existence.

I am not who I was at 17, 21, 28, 33...or 35. With every birthday, I am mastering myself, becoming the woman I was meant to be. I strive to live outwardly the best of what I feel inwardly - and I feel joy. I feel loved. I feel BLESSED!

I am planted in the faith that every year, my spirit will be raised to new beginnings, to new challenges, to new love and to new life. Thirty-six is my Divine inheritance. Day by day, year by glorious year, God is perfecting me.

-b

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Fantabulous Tuesday everyone!

So I don't leave work til 9p last night. Just call me Kizzy.

I got home a little before 10p, took two packages of strawberries out the fridge so I could cut them up and make them nice and juicy for today, and settled in to watch a little tv. I watched the season finale of True Beauty (I have no idea why) while I ate an Edy's Lemon Popsicle because it was too late to eat any real food. I'm mentally exhausted, so the thought of writing a blog post for today was daunting to me. I barely wanted to get up off the couch.

But I manage to drag my wagon into my bedroom, slip into a my favorite comfy night shirt and slide into bed, laptop buzzing. My yahoo and AIM automatically sign in when I log on. Let me see who's on Facebook.

That was the beginning of the end for me. Let's just say I didn't write my blog last night and I didn't go to bed til after 1am.

This morning when I woke up, Que Deezy (Big Boy's sidekick...is it "Boy" or "Boi"?... anyway) is asking the question, "Does Facebook make you fat?" I think about this while I'm brushing my teeth. Hmmm....?

I don't know about fat, but if you've been having a hard time taking your ass to bed on time like I have the past few weeks, Facebook can be your drug of choice and won't help your insomnia. It'll only feed it. Can't sleep? Go on Facebook. Someone is ALWAYS up writing about some nonsense and you'll be up all night reading it.

Let me give you an example. I was intrigued by a comment thread going on between Dre and Rameer and some folks I didn't know. They weren't discussing politics or the hottest music out (by the way, thank you Rameer for the free Abstract download!) No, they were discussing someone named "Chicago Larry" from For The Love of Ray J. Yeah, I said Ray J. Now, I don't watch such shows unless I'm at Su's house. No interest. But can I just say, I was almost intrigued enough to drag my ass out of bed into the living room JUST to see what the hell was so damn funny.

ALMOST.

But I was too tired, and my IM chat with Latinegro kept me in the bed.

Hmmm...maybe Facebook IS making me fat...or at least LAZY :-)

I don't read nearly as much as I used to since Facebook. Well, a BOOK I mean. I read articles posted on Facebook or magazines that I can get through in 15 minutes in between IM chats. Myspace never had this effect on me - I could go days without checking Myspace. But Facebook? I don't know what it is. I had been on Facebook for a while and never really understood it's appeal....until I was off for 2 weeks over the Christmas holiday. It was then that I said to myself, "let me see what this fascination is with Facebook." Well, clearly I had too much time on my hands, because now it's interwoven into the fabric of my day.

Now that I blog everyday, I feel like my laptop is always on. It's the best gift my sister and brother-in-law ever gave me. My journals have been neglected now that I prefer the hum of the computer. I still always have a pen and journal on me so I can jot down something on the train or wherever. I stop working in the middle of the day if I'm inspired to write a poem, and I still prefer to write it by hand before committing it to my hard drive.

But as soon as I get home, the laptop comes on - after I take off my shoes, before I change my clothes, after I go pee, before I turn on the tv, as I check my voicemail before I eat. That's my routine lately. Sad isn't it?

There are ads running on the subway that say, "Log Off, Make Face Time." "The Original Instant Message" - (A man and woman laying in the grass kissing I think) "Friend Request Accepted" - (two people hugging). I like those ads, I think it's for Dentyne Gum or something. I can't remember.

I don't think my friendships or time spent with loved ones has suffered because of Facebook or any other online social network. As a matter of fact, I think it's brought me closer to some folks and helped me to establish NEW friendships.

I feel like Rameer is my boy now...and I can barely remember if I ever had a conversation with him in school. I consider Serena a sister-friend who is the head of my spiritual team...yet I've never given her a hug in my life. If it wasn't for Myspace, I may have never known or met Amanda. And I recently became reconnected with two of my cousins that I grew up with - David in Vegas and Tony, now living in Orlando with his family. Through Facebook, I got to see videos of Elizabeth (Tony's wife) dancing in the living room with their daughter Alexa, a video of them singing Happy Birthday to him on his 40th birthday, and David was able to shout me out telling me he gets 67% off at Jimmy Choo and I better hurry up and get in touch with him. Message on my wall: "I gotta look out for my cuz!"

David is 35 years old, but in that moment reading his comment, I felt like we were back in Bensalem as teenagers seeing each other in the hallway at school between classes. "You staying after school coming to my game?" David would ask me. "You know I'll be there big head!" I would say back. I saw David almost everyday of my life from kindergarten to when I graduated from high school. He lived on the other side of the neighborhood we grew up in...a few streets over...a 10 minute walk.

We went away to school and lost touch. Started working, having lives, moving all around and time just got away from us. Now we're back in touch like nothing happened. Same thing with Tony. He joined the Navy, got stationed all around the country moving his family with him and we lost contact. But Saturday night, Tony and I exchanged posts on each other's wall while I waited up with him - a nervous father expecting his 15 year old son home at midnight from his first house party. Post on my wall: "2 hours and 14 minutes and counting." Damien got home safely and we logged off and went to bed :-)

I say all this to say, social sites like Facebook and Myspace may make you lazy, may keep you up late at night, may make you less interactive in real life, and it may even make you fat. But you may find out things about the people in your life that you never knew before. You may make new friendships that last a lifetime. Through photo albums, tags and videos, you may find that you can check in with all the important (and not as important) people in your circle without skipping a beat. You just may discover that you can remain connected in ways you never thought possible.

-b

Monday, February 23, 2009

So...last night...Sunday - what a GREAT way to kick off my birthday week!

I attended the Ne-Yo concert with Liz, Gleana and Monica. I know there are rumors, and hell, they may even be true - but I just want to go on record and say....Ne-Yo could get it! I mean, I never really looked at him like that before - but for real...he would get GOT.

...okay, back to that in a minute.

I scoop up Liz in Queens. We get to Radio City a little before 7p. We look for Gleana but she’s not there. Turns out Gleana is running snacks back from Duane Reade cuz Liz hadn't eaten all day...so sweet of you Glee! :-) We stand on the line waiting for Gleana while texting Monica letting her know we’re there. Monica is running a tad late because she thinks the concert starts at 8p. Gleana pops up on line and offers to wait for Monica in the lobby since she has the tickets. She hands Liz and I our tickets so we can grab our seats. I really wanted to make my way in because there was NO way I was missing Jazmine Sullivan!

We walk in and our seats are ALL the way down front. Awesome seats! Shout out to Gleana for the hook-up! Some wannabe Danity Kane group is performing...if you wanna call it that. The first thing we notice is that they were lip syncing. Cute girls though, a group called Electric Red. We barely paid them any attention as we watched the celebrities pouring in. I wasn’t sure it was Mary J. Blige until I saw Kendu roll up behind her. We sat a few rows behind MJB...and Anthony Anderson, and Kevin Liles, and The Dream. They all came out to show their support.

So Electric Red is finally finished. Gleana shows up saying that she just told Monica to text us when she got there since she was still about 15-20 minutes away. Gleana LOVES Jazmine Sullivan and wasn't trying to miss her, so she sits down next to me ready for our girl to come on.

Jazmine Sullivan
killed it. I mean, gut wrenching, pouring out her soul KILLED IT. This young lady can SANG! She opened with “I Bust The Windows Out Your Car” and Mary gave her some fist pumps. The crowd was loving her, and so were we. This girl is the truth. A wonderful voice, a cute smile...her performance was amazing.

Monica got there just as Jazmine finished and we all felt bad that she missed her :-(

Next up - Musiq Soulchild. He has a cute mohawk, with his tiny self :-) He also gave a great performance - much better than the last time I saw him and better than I expected he’d be. He didn’t do much “talk-singing” as Amanda calls it, which was refreshing. I felt like he changed the melodies of a couple of his songs, so it was kinda hard to sing along even though I knew the words to every last song he sang. What can I say...being from Philly, I’m a fan. I like his style of music and his voice was great. He gave Mary a shout out and let his back-up singers sing her part in their duet. By the end of his set, Mary was up on her feet as he rocked out “B.U.D.D.Y.” Even Kendu was doing the wop :-) Musiq was wonderful!

So now we’re all waiting. Ne-Yo.

Laser lights, disco ball...his band was all dressed like it was the year of the gentlemen. He has a real horn section...aww sookie sookie now! He emerges and the crowd goes crazy! “We love you Ne-Yo!” Bunch of young girls behind us. How cute :-)

The first song...”My Addiction”...and we’re already standing up jamming. His voice sounds exactly the same as it does on his cds. And even though he’s dancing all around the stage sweatin' like a runaway slave, he doesn’t skip a beat or break a note. He’s smooth...and can dance his ass off!

What I loved about Ne-Yo is that he gave us a SHOW! He danced, ran around the stage, threw out roses, kissed women on the hand, told some funny little jokes and sang his heart out as he serenaded us. From “Sexy Love” to “Make it Work” to “Go On Girl” (I’m to fly to be depressed), slowly but surely I could see why all the young girls lost they damn mind...cuz I was now one of them. I turned to Gleana like, “let me find out Ne-Yo could get it!?”

His band was hot. They busted out into a funky jam session while Ne-Yo caught his breath and murdered it. Something about those horns did something to me, and you could feel the bass in your chest. Killed it!

So Ne-Yo asks the audience if we’re true Ne-Yo fans. I’m thinking, hell yeah...I know all his songs. But oh no no!...he doesn’t want us to sing the songs he’s singing. He wants us to sing the songs he’s written!

First one – “to the left, to the left...” We all know he wrote that for Beyonce.

"You look so dumb right now...."

wait...is that...?

"But it’s over now...go on and take a bow...” Oh snap! I didn’t know he wrote that song for Rihanna. Where have I been?! He gave her a shout out, “I love you babygirl!” No doubt showing his support after the Chris Brown incident.

But then he proceeds to sing Mario’s "Let Me Love You" and then Jennifer Hudson’s "Spotlight," both of which I had no idea he'd written. Ne-Yo betta go ahead and make that money! Every song he writes is a hit, and I was falling deeper.

After “Miss Independent,” all the women were on their feet. MJB was dancing all over the place - she wasn’t tryna be cute, she was getting her Ne-Yo on! He ended with “Come Closer” and he and his dancers tore it up! Standing ovation, clapping like a school girl screaming his name, I was hoping for an encore. But I guess he figured he'd given us what we came for after 75 minutes of pure Ne-Yo. I felt like he left it all out on the stage, and I was filled up by his performance. Great show!

I drove Gleana and Liz home to Brooklyn - can’t have my girls on the train late at night. Monica drove herself in, so she was straight. After I dropped Liz off, I found my Ne-Yo cd and blasted “My Addiction” like it was the very beginning of his concert. I thought I was a fan before, but now, I’m probably his BIGGEST fan. He can’t just write a mean song or make us swoon with his satiny voice. He can PERFORM. He’s an ENTERTAINER. And I’m hooked. I’m gonna be crushin' on him for AT LEAST another couple weeks.

Did I mention Ne-Yo could get it? ;-)

-b

Friday, February 20, 2009

TGIF!!

He's been in hiding...or dissing us, who knows :-) But he's baaaack! FINALLY!!!


REFINANCING OUR LIVES...by Craig Verde.

Hello Beautiful people...and ugly people...you know who you are, don't deny...I missed all you guys! ;-)

For those of you who can give a rat's ass, I was on a Green Peace Excursion the past few weeks. Now I have returned with a sharper cloud nine mind...and darker lips…

So here's what's on my mind...

There's a RAPIST on the loose! Covering ground across this country faster than a friend request and pounding away at that ass at a jack hammer pace! What's that you say? Who is this beast targeting? Well, I'll tell you...EVERYONE! This rapist has the taste of a liquor-lovin', drug-filled fantasy – craving a back-road retard in its sexual prime. Any and everyone can GET IT. Ladies and Gentlemen...meet THE ECONOMY...;-/

It was the morning of February 12th. This particular morning, I turned off my alarm after the third snooze tapping. This isn't like me. I'm usually up at the first sound of Steve Harvey's country ass voice spilling out the radio. Steve Harvey: "Oh, hell naw!" That's all I gotta' hear to wake me up and shut the fucking radio off, but not today. My girl and I sat up in bed. As I stretched, I yawned out a "FUCK" as I felt this lightning bolt shoot up my ass. Not proud to admit this but...I shrieked. My girl immediately turns to me with this "Renee Zellwegger" look on her face warning me never to make that feminine ass sound again and then goes into this rant out about my morning breath. Still half-sleep, I only catch sound bites of what she's saying...something about heat, shit, gargling, death, paste and a baboon's dick. She lost me. I replied with a quick teeth suck and a, "Shut the fuck up." She laughed, feeling the love in my tone. As I wiped the cold out my eyes, I tried to comprehend what I'd just experienced. Not my breath, my ass. The lightning bolt. My girl begins rubbing my back as she asks, "Babe, so how do you feel?" I felt another bolt. The pain! Her words hit me like broomstick. That's right. Monday, February 12th. It was my first official day of unemployment. I am a victim of the ECONOMY. I just got fucked.

In the Verde household, we are all refinancing our lives in this economic ASS BEAT DOWN. My girl is back in school getting her Bachelors Degree and Baby Fried Egg goes to a private school, so we are finding ways to cut the fat from our spending habits. We went from Soy to regular milk. From movie nights to Netflix. Car Pool. Cut down on the cable package. Baby girl gotta' cut down her breakfast regimen. Porridge is her new best friend. My girl has to cut down on her shoe fetish. She's like Carrie on crack. Well, not like Carrie on crack cuz if that was the case, Carrie wouldn't have any shoes. She would sell that shit for her next hit. Manolos for crack. You get what I'm saying. She loves shoes, dammit.

I say all this to get to my point. I had an epiphany the other night. My girl was "studying" (also known as perusing Facebook ), Baby Fried Egg was sleeping, and I was looking for a job (also known as watching "Harold and Kumar 2"...smoking). So I'm at the scene where Harold and Kumar are smoking a joint with George Bush...funny, right? No...you would think I was watching "Shindlers List." I love Harold and Kumar, but there was no smile on my face. No talking to the TV. With a dead panned look on my face, I turned my attention to my joint. I didn't feel the same. I was bored. Smoking wasn't the same anymore. I had become very depressed lately and I didn't know why. It's when I started looking introspectively to find what was making me feel this way. I came to the conclusion that smoking was making me feel uneasy and I needed to improve my standards of living. And this was the place to start. I decided to stop smoking. I needed to refinance my life. I thought...I'm smoking too much lately, I'm feeling sick and I'm wasting money. What's the point? I'm done! Starting a new chapter in my life! Then I looked closer at the TV screen. I noticed the stash that Harold and Kumar had. Damn that's green. Fluffy looking...like a green pillow...(sigh). I then looked down at my stash. Mine had sticks and seeds...doo doo brown color...(sigh). I got it!. This is when I had my EPIPHANY! What a fool I was. There's no need to STOP smoking weed. I need to smoke BETTER weed. What the fuck was I thinking?!

See, in these hard economic times, most people who smoke have a decision to make. Quantity over Quality. Very serious issue. No laughing matter. Due to the economic ass beat down, I had chosen "Quantity" from B.K. Andre instead of "Quality" from Cali Carl. I figured it would last me longer. But the thing is, with cheap weed, you smoke more. Smoked out...burnt lips...with good weed. You can take a couple pulls and sit that shit down. Less smoke, last longer and feel better. Now, THAT is better standard of living.

So my point is...in this Economic Ass Beat Down, sacrifices must be made. But there are some things that cannot be compromised. Weed is one of them.

People...I'm on my way to see Cali Carl. Refinance your life...;-)

-Craig

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I wish I had a theme song for Random Thoughts Thursday :-)

(maybe Craig can write one) Ha!

Where is Craig? I miss him :-(

Okay, so here we go...

- NY Post cartoon yesterday - the WACKNESS. Focusing on the positive instead of giving this type of "satire" anymore shine - The DOPENESS.

- I love the picture that Kyce drew for me. He asked me to hang it up at work, and now when I see it first thing in the morning it makes me smile :-)

- I got a lot of Valentine's Day texts this past Saturday....no one calls anyone anymore.

- I really need to get my knees operated on.

- I'm really looking forward to my birthday dinner and festivities - I think 36 will look really good on me :-)

- Kyce is still selling Yankee Candles :-)

- If you haven't signed up on Honey Mag's site yet, you still can...jus sayin ;-)

- I've been trying to drink seltzer water flavored with lemon or lime, and all I wanna do is put sugar in it. It'll take some time :-)

- I was told that "f*ckery" is a word a lot of Jamaicans use...thanks Ms. Patra-son (as Princess likes to call her) I find that I say that a lot lately :-)

- I'm still looking for a reason to call someone "Uncle Crook Nuff" LOL!

- Facebook has reconnected me with so many old friends and family that I grew up with...amazing.

- I miss Left Eye.



...and TLC in general....remember the '90's? :-)



I used to LOVE this video!



Last one....this was my SHIZNIT!!



Ah, I feel good now....I think if I would have posted "No Scrubs" or "Waterfalls" you might have thought I was crazy and left the blog :-)

GO!

-b

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

So, it's fashion week here in New York City. My sister would kill to go to the big shows under the big tents. Me...not so much. As a tomboy growing up, playing "dress up" never really appealed to me. Nicole, on the other hand, would waltz around in my mother's heels wearing her jewelry with lipstick smeared on her mouth. I'd watch her thinking, "what a silly girl." (smile)

If I was dressed up, I must have been in church or going to a dance or a prom or something. Otherwise, it was jeans and sweats and sneakers. I played three sports growing up, so I would just wear my uniform to school under sweats or jeans. This was at least twice a week. No fancy hair, no nail polish (we had to keep our nails cut short for basketball) and no makeup.

And shoes? Heels? Never. At 5'10, I never felt the need to be taller. But even today, if I'm wearing a heel, it's on a boot. Let me give you an idea of what would happen to me if I decided to wear stilettos:



Yeah, I'd bust my ass.

So, needless to say I am NOT a fashionista. But that doesn't mean I don't appreciate good fashion when I see it. Living in the NYC, I'm amazed at some of the outfits that folks put together. I'm even more amazed at the amount of money people will pay to be FABULOUS. I can't...not on clothes anyway. But we all have our thing right? For me, accessories are what I focus on. A nice pair of earrings. A fancy watch. And a nice, big ole chunky Coach bag. Those are things I don't mind spending money on.

But fashion? On a GOOD day I'm Gap chic :-) A nice pair of VERY long, wide leg trouser jeans will make me feel dressier than normal. I know, I know...I have work to do. My style is simple - a lot of dark wash jeans, grey or black slacks, a nice pair of boots, and a funky hat usually round out my look. In the summer, I may give my wardrobe some pop with fun, bright sun dresses....and flip flops. Gotta have flip flops...just very comfy. Make sure you carry some extra lotion though because NYC can be a BEAST on the toes and feet if you wear flip flops everyday.

I wish I had a better fashion sense, and I'm working on it slowly. I surprise my sister every now and again with an outfit that I put together all by myself :-) It's not like I don't know who Michael Kors is, who I would say aligns more with my idea of fashion. I can appreciate a nice wrap dress by Diane von Furstenberg. Tracy Reese works it out. I watch Project Runway every now and again. I even love looking in magazines to see who wore what to the Oscars. I get all that. But dressing myself is a whole different ball game. If I had to choose a celebrity whose look I appreciate, it would be Jennifer Aniston - just simple and classic...timeless. So I guess I have to do some yoga and pilates to get her body and then make her look my own. Yeah right...with the hips I have? puh-leeze. My look is more casual, like Kimora, Tyra and Beyonce pictured here at a game...and my hips are more in line with theirs :-) Well, maybe not...but anyway.



Whose look do you admire? or do you have a style that's all your own? What staples can't you live without in your wardrobe? This question is for the men AND the women, so I expect Keefe and Big Dee to chime with - with their sexy, stylish selves! Oh, and Dre with the sneakers :-)

What is YOUR look?

-b

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Tuesday my peoples!

I hope everyone had a very nice, and hopefully LONG weekend. I had a great time with my mini Valentine's this weekend. My nephews light up my world - it's always so hard to leave them! The baby was crying as he held his sneakers in his hand saying "I wanna go with Auntie!" It breaks my heart, but I love that they love me so much!

Kyce is getting used to me going back and forth, even though he still doesn't like it. He asked me why I had to work. I told him I needed to work to make money. His reply? "Well, I don't work and I have money." Must be nice, right? :-)

Kyce is usually joined at my hip while I'm there. He likes to tell me about his schoolwork, his little friends and his newest toys. He tells me how bad Brahim was. He practices counting to 100 (I promised him I'd give him $100 if he could perfect counting to 100 by his birthday - March 30th). But yesterday, out of nowhere, he said to me, "people who are not Muslims pray to God, but people who ARE Muslims pray to Allah." We were watching Stomp the Yard for the millionth time (he likes watching them step), so his comment came out of nowhere. I said, "you're right Kyce." He then proceeds to pick up the Quran and translate some of what was written in Arabic and recite it to me in English. "Do you know what this means Auntie?" After I said no, he gave me a lesson...and I was dumbfounded by how much he knew.

Kyce attends a school for Islamic studies. Needless to say that is where he learned to read in Arabic. Although I knew they practiced counting and writing their alphabet - both English and Arabic - I never really had a full grasp of just how much he knew until then. After all, Kyce HATES doing homework. He feels that work is for school and playing is for home. So for him to give me an impromptu lesson caught my attention. Never was I so proud of him.

But I wasn't just proud because he could read Arabic or translate the Quran. I was proud of him because he said he realizes that I am not a Muslim but that it was okay for me to pray to a different God than he does. At almost 5 years old, he has a firm grasp of tolerance and acceptance. He understands that God is One, and we are all loved under Him.

In a world with diverse religions and spiritual beliefs, he knows there are many paths to God. Some people make their own religion. Some believe in something higher than themselves, even if they don't give It a name. For some it's a matter of salvation, while for others it's simply a matter of comfort. At his early age, he is aware of God and His power, and he knows that each of us is an expression of all that God is - no matter what you call Him. He learned that from his parents - but it is reinforced in his schooling, where his religion is incorporated into his studies, not drowned out by academics that don't contribute to his values or morality.

The reason why I tell you all of this is because his school is in danger of being shut down. My sister told me that state funding and tuition may not be enough to keep his school open. My sister is a recent convert to Islam, so she's still learning herself. She learns through Kyce sometimes. Her husband has been a Muslim all of his life, but working 12-14 hour days doesn't allow him to reinforce the teachings of Islam to his children as he would like to. This is why they chose Villanova Academy for Honor Students (VAHS). Kyce has excelled there, so we're saddened at the idea that his school may be closing down. They have no money to pay teachers, and one teacher even offered to claim layoff status so that her salary could go to another teacher who needs it. His teachers are dedicated and selfless - it's no wonder they help foster and nourish Kyce's kind heart.

VAHS is holding a fundraiser, and I would love if you all could take a look at their brochure and see if there is anything you'd like to purchase to help raise money for the school. You can view their spring catalog and place an order through me if you'd like. It would mean a great deal to me, my family and to VAHS. Although I'm a proud Christian, schools like VAHS need to exist. They need resources to grow. And they need a chance to help our children excel. Schools like this one encourage students to ask questions, to seek enlightenment, to thirst for knowledge and to grow spiritually. What the students give in return is immeasurable.

Kyce is selling Yankee Candles (my absolute favorite things in the world!) and flower seeds. The orders must be received by March 6th, 2009. Delivery is 4-6 weeks from receipt of orders. Checks can be made out to Villanova Academy Honor Students. Take a look and if you're interested, please reply to me personally at brookeybaby73@yahoo.com. Thank you all for your support!

-b

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm an incurable romantic. Maybe it's the Pisces in me. Even after a heartbreak has brought me to my emotional knees, to the point where the pain makes it hard for me to stand up straight, I inevitably love and continue to love again.

I'm in love with love. The all consuming, "can't breathe without you kinda love." The "my heart bursts through my chest when I think of your touch" kinda love. The "this, right here, right now...is all I care about" kinda love. The "urgent like a muthaf*cka" kinda love.



Yes, that's me...that's the kind of love I'm in love with. I got a Love Jones for love.

Romance for me is made up of intense physical and emotional manifestations that have been the energy behind the relationships I cherish, the poetry I write and the songs I download on my iPod. Romance is the human side of lust. Lust is fleeting, whereas romantic love - the notion of it - is lasting. When we fall in love, we yearn to capture and hold tight that intoxicating, crazy kind of feeling.

We designated a holiday, Valentine's Day, to celebrate the magnificent power and splendor of romantic love. How many poems have been written and offered in the name of love? How many flowers have been delivered, and then pressed into books - as the presser prayed the love behind those flowers would last? We save cards, special notes that were hidden for us to find, keepsake boxes stuffed with letters filled with words wrapped in ribbons - all to satisfy our romantic heart.

Unhappily, love can die or - perhaps worse, never ignite in our hearts at all. How many hearts have been broken into little itty bitty pieces at the hands of love - never to be put back together again? There is no cream we can apply or pill we can take for a broken heart. We simply say a little prayer - every night when we're alone, and our heart is aching - that it will never happen to us again...even as we sadly accept the reality that it may. When a broken heart strikes, it can suffocate us. Each beat of our heart can bring pain so intense we can't breathe. We have no pulse. I've been there.

Yet, romantics like me continue to fall in love anyway and expect a fairly-tale ending. As much sh*t as I talk and no matter how much I believe my love life will NEVER be revived, I subconsciously have hope. And I have that hope for everyone. I pray that love finds everyone I care for. I feel you all deserve it!

So yes, I'll admit I feel all warm and pink and fuzzy inside around Valentine's Day. I love love...every single day...every sugary, sappy bit of it. It's the sweetest thing I've ever known.



Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow! Kiss and hug everyone you love and let them know how much they mean to you - EVERY day. Have a love-filled weekend!

-b

These Random Thoughts Thursdays seem to be coming up so fast lately!

First I'd like to thank those of you who have signed up to follow me on HoneyMag.com. I truly, truly appreciate that. If you haven't, you still can! LOL! They want us to reach 100 members/followers minimum, so tell a friend to check me out - and if they like what they read, then hopefully they will join me :-) Thanks everyone!

okay, now...onto the meandering of the mindless :-)

- I can't wait to get my taxes done
- I love Aaron's comment about the "Anti-Man"...had me DYING this morning
- Fury has me intrigued with the whole bathtub-legs-up-against-the-wall thing, couldn't try it this morning, woke up late.
- One day I'll make it to Foley's to watch a game - March Madness?
- What the hell was Usher's wife doing getting plastic surgery in Brazil?? Didn't she learn anything from the tragic death of Donda West?
- A-Rod...steroids...??? Not really surprised though.
- Still gotta make it to CVS to get my lil thingymajingy :)
- Where's Craig?
- My baby nephew Ibrahim told my sister to "go sit down"...hilarious!
- Wasn't the weather beautiful yesterday? I needed that
- How come no one from New York knows where Middle Village is?
- Who wants to go with me to see NeYo, Musiq Soulchild and Jazmine Sullivan on Feb. 22nd to kick off my birthday week? Liz is already on board...anyone else?
- I'm still looking for suggestions for a good, fun place to have my birthday dinner, good food of course!
- B, are you working on my Ole Skool party?
- BTW y'all missed a good party if you didn't go to B's Ole Skool Jammy Jam last week..."Pretty Ricky" and -V- were wopping it out!
- Rameer, now I want cake :-)
- It gets to be 50 degrees outside and my building turns the AC on...buffoonery.
- I really need to start working out at lunch instead of just the morning or after work, but I'd miss Liz and Monica too much :-(
- I'm going to see Friday the 13th tonight, even though Rameer told me not to.
- Does anyone else miss Martin?



"Wha's happenin chief!?" LOL!!



"Look at the white shoes, look at the white shoes!"



LMAO! I needed that today! Okay...go!

-b

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Hump Day!

Okay, now that I'm done with my lil plug from yesterday, can we talk about Chris Brown's simple ass for a minute? I mean...really? Is he beating on women now? This is the first thing I thought about when I heard about the incident:



I guess Chris Brown didn't get the memo about shaking the sh*t out of a woman.

Brooke's View:

Now, I know we don't know what happened - none of us were there. But he turned himself in and was charged with making a criminal threat. The apparent victim is his "friend" Rihanna. But regardless of whomever the victim is....da hell?

I know couples argue. I know things can get heated. But how did this 19 year old super star get to THIS point? I was shocked actually. I didn't think Chris Brown was the most innocent man on the planet, but I didn't think he was violent either. I pray the allegations aren't true...but it seems likely that they are.

True or not, his image is tarnished. He's in danger of losing endorsement deals (his deal with Wrigley's is suspended) and alienating some fans. I stress SOME because as I was listening to the radio Monday morning, I heard more comments from listeners SUPPORTING Brown rather than condemning him. I can understand fans saying "he should be considered innocent until proven guilty." I get that. But what disturbed me were the listeners who called in to say that "maybe Rihanna deserved it" and that she should be "choked out" for allegedly giving him herpes. Huh? Really?

All sorts of rumors are surfacing everyday. But I don't care if she called him a lil d*ck muthaf*%#er tossing salads with his boys, NO ONE deserves to get hit or beat. No, not even in the case of giving someone a sexually transmitted disease.

Well, if it's HIV/AIDS...you might have to cut somebody...but I digress.

Still, nothing gives you the right to put your hands on another person in a violent way. Self defense is one thing, and I understand an involuntary reflex or reaction. But supposedly Rihanna caught a beat down. I'm sure the photos will be leaked in some way. We'll see. I think Chris Brown should have been a little smarter than this and exercised more self control - especially since he's in the public eye. Chris Brown could stand to lose a lot more than his fans and his endorsements. He could lose his freedom. If found guilty, that could mean jail time.

If Kobe can bounce back from his scandalous past, so can Chris Brown. I'm sure his people are spinning this as we speak, and some media have already started painting Rihanna as the aggressor who provoked the fight. They want to preserve his squeaky clean image. Good luck with that one.

Like I said, no one knows what really happened yet and it'll be interesting to see how this one plays out. The news reports that the photos of the victim are pretty devastating. It's sad. I liked them as a couple. I pray for peace for both of them, and if the allegations are true, I pray he gets the help he needs...that they BOTH will need.

-b

Rameer's View:



I've got a story to tell, piggybacking on this whole Chris Brown thing. See, I think most of us decent people are absolutely disgusted with it, myself included. But I'm reading comments where some people are saying there is never any reason, NO MATTER WHAT, for a guy to put his hands on a female.

I completely disagree.

I wasn't raised that way - that no matter what a woman does, you can't hit her. My perspective is this - a woman can SAY anything to me she wants, and I won't touch her no matter what. I may be pissed, I may curse her out, but no touchy-touchy. Men don't get that leeway. However, once you attempt to physically harm me or someone I love - you are entitled to the most magnanimous ass-whooping seen this side of Frazier-Ali. You don't touch me. You don't even ATTEMPT to touch me. And this was told to me - not by a man or by some warped sense of "manliness" or too much testosterone - this was told to me by MY MOTHER.

Honestly, though I've said that, the exception to that is if I love you. You could probably knock out half my teeth if I love you, and I won't hurt you. I'll just stop you from hurting me.

Why do I bring this up? This actually got me a very bad wrap freshman year in college. A girl struck me unprovoked, and I struck back. It went as far as the university board, who threw her case out due to every witness confirming she struck me first unprovoked and I struck back. But the damage was done - to some women, I was a woman-beater. And, being who I am, those who weren't close to me or had the balls to actually ask me about it directly got the middle finger and bad attitude.

It took about 2 full months (with the help of X-mas break) for those who labeled me as such to get over it. I was still hearing girls late in the Spring semester saying, "I found it very hard to like you after you hit that girl."

I think it'd be an interesting point to make, in terms of my belief on the situation and the story itself. I even got threatened by some upperclassmen (who backed off me, even though they outnumbered me 5-1. Them boys KNEW how us Buffalo heads get down - they DID NOT want 3 trucks full of wild Buffalo cats coming up to school with shotguns ready to do work - I was still VERY hood-attached freshman year).

I even raised my sister telling her to never put her hands on any man unprovoked, cuz a human is allowed to defend themselves and strike back against an aggressor. My rule is simple - don't even ATTEMPT to harm me. It doesn't matter if you miss. It's the attempt at harm that will get anyone f'd up. And I don't believe in equal damage - if you scratch me, I'm not just going to try scratch you. You may lose a limb - and I will literally have no remorse.

I have a saying: don't get mad at my reaction, cuz it's just that - a reaction. If you don't do "A," "B" can never occur. So don't do "A"...cuz I'm liable to go from "B" to "W" on that ass.

The exception is women I love, like I said. I once had a cousin who popped me really hard in the face. I just walked away, wanting to kill her - but couldn't bring myself to touch her. She still jokingly tells that story of how she "popped" me when we were teenagers, and I always think "Lord, if I didn't love her lil' ass."

-Ram

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Hello again!

For those of you who have not checked out B's Honey Pot on Honey's site yet, here is my blog for today. We can discuss here first if you're not too comfortable navigating their site yet...but please leave a comment there too if you feel so inclined! You can just cut and paste it from this site! LOL!! Thanks! Now...the blog:

Okay, I know it's not TMI Tuesdays, but I want one of these:



Yeah, I said it!

But I must say, I was shocked to see this commercial on tv! Not because I'm a prude, but because you rarely see or hear of women talking about masturbation. I know only a few of my girls and I have discussed this – mostly because some were shocked I didn’t own a toy. But they quickly rectified that situation! I need another one though…that sucker is burned out. Did I just say that out loud?

Ahem...anyway...the rest of my girls all deny having ever done it…not even a little bit. And some of these sistas have been single for hot a minute now…so I sense some of them are telling stories :-) With men, it’s an assumption, a guarantee…all men do it right? Of course they do. But women? Nooooo! Never! Well, at least not the ones I know anyway…so they say. Whatever.

It seems pop culture is making it okay to love yourself…literally :-) Growing up, I always looked at female masturbation as taboo, weird or nasty. Good girls don’t do that. Now, it’s like “you don’t do that? Why not?!” So I’m glad to see self-love, self-pleasuring, “flying solo” (as Alex from Greys Anatomy calls it) portrayed as a normal, healthy sexual act. Now I just have to see if I can get this thing discreetly at my local CVS without anyone all up in my business! Ladies, who’s cumming…I mean, coming with me? LOL!

-b

Monday, February 9, 2009

B's Honey Pot!

Hey peoples!

HONEY IS LIVE!

First, I just want to say thank you so much to all of you who read my blog - whether it's on a daily basis or if you just stop by every once in a while. Your support is SO appreciated and I can't thank you enough.

Now, I will be blogging for Honey Magazine Online! The magazine has relaunched online, and having a blog on their site is an amazing opportunity for me. Although the Honey Magazine site is now live at www.honeymag.com and I am very excited about all that it has to offer, they are still working out some kinks and would really love to hear what you have to say about it. If you have a moment, take a look at the site and give constructive feedback - I will pass it along to the Honey Mag editors.

Next, I would like to invite those of you who follow me already at Brookey's Blogspot (Brookey's Cafe Blog for those of you who noticed I changed the title of my blog) to join me at the "Hivespot" - the interactive space at Honey Mag where you can read my blog and comment - as well as check out articles, other blogs, etc. My blog on HoneyMag.com is called B's Honey Pot and will basically follow the same format as my Blogspot site. I will still be writing my daily Blogspot blog, and some of the blogs/topics will overlap on most days. But B's Honey Pot will serve as my "professional" blog where I can hone my writing skills and hopefully take myself to the next level. I would like to incorporate MY voice with the voice of Honey and I can't do that without you and your voice being heard. So please become a member of B's Honey Pot and spread the word! They will be checking to see who's bringing on the most friends and keeping up with writing and posting, and they will be looking to hook up those of us bloggers who are true Honey Ambassadors both online and in the real world. Your continued support would mean the world to me, so if you can pass this along to everyone you know and get them to become a member, I'd truly appreciate it! Thank you all again so much for encouraging and supporting me....there are no words....Thanks!

Now...onto my next post! Shall we...? See you there...

-b

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tia's Way

Happy Monday!

I feel a bit rested. I had a BLAST at B's party (I really needed that!) and now I'm ready to face the week.

My guest today is Priscilla Wiggins. She asked me if she could write a blog to spotlight a cause dear to her heart, and I think this is a worthy read - we all could educate ourselves on this topic. Show her some love and send this to all the women you know :-)


Tia's Way
by Priscilla Wiggins


So now she’s dead.

Yep dead.

All the drugs, all the surgeries – still dead.

All our tears, all our memories – still dead.



One of my dearest friends of 15 years died of cervical cancer on September 25, 2008 at 2:30am. It was senseless, it was stupid, it was hurtful - it is hope. It is hope because I’m determined to make it that way. So like many others who’ve lost a loved one, I’ve worked with her mother to create a foundation, Tia’s Way (www.tiasway.com). Tia's Way is dedicated to promoting awareness and education about cervical cancer. Another important part of our efforts will be providing assistance for women who are uninsured and under-insured. One trip to CVS to fill prescriptions for Tia was $700 with insurance!

For YEARS Tia was told she had fibroids, when all along cancer was raging inside her body. By the time the cancer was discovered, it had metastasized to her lungs and left hip. So what now... Cancer doesn’t strike 28 year old's right? At least not Stage IV, inoperable, incurable, "you have 6 months to live" cancer. I mean we hear stories all the time about people passing from this horrible disease, but it’s always in Utah or Wisconsin - not in my inner circle. Except this time, it was in my circle and it came hard. Radiation, Chemo, CyberKnife Surgery, Hypercalcemia, Pleural Effusions, DNR. A whole new language we had to learn. Some days she felt like fighting; some days she felt like enough was enough.

For so long we just accepted, “she had fibroids” - all the "what if's." What if we’d pushed for more testing? What if we didn’t just blindly listen to the doctors? What if we’d gotten a second opinion? I can't tell you how many times they sent Tia home just thinking she wanted pain meds when all along she was dying of cancer!



But thinking about the end makes me think about the beginning. Tia was FIERCE! You hear me? Put a pair of heels on that girl and she could walk Naomi Campbell off the runway. She loved clothes and fashion. I could send her to the mall for me, and she would come back with the perfect outfit with matching "this and that" and a way to switch it up for next time! lol. You know that person who is everyone’s best friend? That was Tia. You know that person who is everyone’s big sister? That was Tia.

With all that being said, she was taken to soon. We wanted to be the old chicks at the club together! So the only way to get over the pain has been to pour ourselves into making her fight mean something. I have my own marketing company and totally donated all the design, domain name and server space to make this project work. It's a drop in the bucket compared to what I would like to do.

Did you know that caught early, cervical cancer is completely curable?

This means not another friend, daughter, sister or mother has to die.

Did you know that African American women die of cervical cancer at double that of other races?

These stats are the same for almost every other cancer, shame on us. We are uninsured, under-insured and uneducated on our rights. We have got to get it right and soon.

Did you know that 95% of all cervical cancers start with HPV/genital warts?

This means it’s preventable.

Did you know you can still get genital warts even if you use a condom?

HPV/genital warts is a skin disease, so to put it plainly: when his balls smack your cat trap – that could be some good ole HPV right thur.

So check out the website, learn about cervical cancer, see if the HPV Vaccine is right for you and tell a friend! If any of you are so inclined to purchase something from the Cafepress store, 100% of every penny goes to helping the cause – things like flyers, permit costs for events, helping needy women pay medical bills, etc.

When I first reached out to Brooke, I was gonna do a whole thing on marketing and small business dreams. Then I started writing and this came out. So I hope you all learned something today! If any of you would like more information or are interested in helping, (something as small as putting a post on your blog about it helps us) please contact me at pwiggins@whbconsultants.com

-Priscilla

Friday, February 6, 2009

TGIF like a mug! This week has been brutal for me. I'm SO glad to see the weekend!

B's Ol' Skool Jammy Jam is tonight! You have no idea how much I'ma let loose at this joint! I NEED this party! Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about:



Gonna be ig'nant off da hook!

Okay...now. Monica and I went to see the new movie He's Just Not That Into You last night. Now most of you may think this is strictly a chick flick, but I think everyone would enjoy it. It was funny and cute, I was definitely entertained. Here's a clip:



The movie touched upon all the lies we tell ourselves, the friends who co-sign our dysfunctional way of thinking and basically how we get in our own way when it comes to finding love or dealing with relationships. It was also about recognizing that a good thing could be right under your nose and you not even see it - You may miss it because you're chasing after someone who isn't really good for you. I enjoyed the movie because there were so many things in it I could relate to: Why didn't he call? I thought we vibed? What does he want now? ;) or Stop calling me! LOL!

Telling yourself, or allowing yourself to believe, that he or she just may NOT be that into you can be a hard pill to swallow. Our ego is bruised. We wonder what's wrong with us. Instead, we should just realize that we're not always going to be everyone's cup of tea and get over ourselves. We move on faster and we don't waste precious time. Knowing what you want means being honest with yourself. Try not to see what you WANT to see, but instead trust your instincts, slow down and pay attention.

I know...easier said than done right? especially when someone may not be upfront or honest about their feelings or intentions. It also isn't easy to do when we're really feeling someone. We want them to like us back so bad that we sometimes catch a vibe that isn't really there. In the movie, one of the female characters had a male friend who would break down a man's cryptic language for her.

HIM: "When he says it was nice meeting you, that means he's not gonna call you."

HER: "What if it really means it really WAS nice meeting me?"

HIM: "..it means he has no interest in seeing you again."

HER: "or...it could mea...."

HIM: "Stop, he's not gonna call you, get over it!"

OUCH!

But you know what? I wish more men were that forthcoming. I have a few male friends who are straight up and blunt, but most of them don't wanna share anything from the MAN Secret Handbook so we don't get hip to their tricks! :) But all you really need is ONE good, male friend (who isn't gay) to break this language down for you so it can forever and consistently be broke!

So...which one of my male bloggers wants to be that man today? Are any of you willing to share with us a couple clues, hints or anecdotes on how to tell if a man just really isn't into you? I know it's different for all men, so I'd love to get all your opinions on this. Ladies, do you have any words of wisdom that you'd like to share that were given to you by your trusty homeboy?

As Princess would say, SPREAD LOVE - or in this case...some KNOWLEDGE! Don't worry, we'll return the favor in a future blog :-)

Have an AWESOME weekend everyone!

-b

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wow, is it Random Thoughts Thursday already? I feel like it's been Random Thoughts Week! I thought TMI Tuesday would be bad, but yesterday was on some ole other mess!

Okay, let me reclaim my blog and keep it light and fun. Y'all still love me right? :)

I feel like we should do a chant first - "nam yo ho rengya kyo" - "woooo-saaaaa!"

Okay, here we go:

- Yesterday was one of the most interesting blog days I've ever had. I don't think I laughed that hard in a LONG TIME! Craig...you're a mess.

- I LOVE talking to my nephews on the phone. Kyce was telling me about the car show he went to yesterday and I could hear the excitement in his voice. Those are the things that matter most in life...those moments.

- He said he brought me back a book from the car show. He's always thinking about me and making sure to include "auntie" in everything they do. It doesn't get any better than that. I love that he loves me simply because I'm "Auntie." I can do no wrong in his eyes, even if I discipline him. Unconditional love never felt so good... especially coming from a 4 and a 2 year old. I hope they always love me that way.

- I've been eating popsicles every night this week - grape and lemon - Edy's Fruit Bars. I love those things.

- I had the best hair experience on Tuesday, my hair is bouncing and behaving!

- I can't wait for B's Ol' Skool Jam on Friday. Denise, her sister Renee and Vince are going to be there - gonna be FUN!

- I'm looking forward to the movie tonight with Amanda - "He's Just Not That Into You." I'm sure a blog topic will come out of that :-)

- Today is not a good day at work...that's all I gotta say.

Since I'm hectic at work today, I'll keep mine short and sweet. I'm sure I'll chime in with more random thoughts later, but for now I gotta bounce!

Take it away!

-b

okay..I'm back...but I'm putting this video up in the spirit of B's Ol' Skool Jam tomorrow - I jacked this from his Facebook page :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Hump Day! and Happy Birthday to B-Love aka "Pretty Ricky What Dey Call 'em!"

Okay, I know the title of today's blog sounds like "TMI Tuesday" but keep reading :)

I'm so excited because one of my girls is my Guest today. If any of you know Su Su, you know she pulls no punches and tells it like it 'tis! This blog may seem long, but it's a FAST, FUNNY read - so hop on board this ride that is her mind and get ready to laugh! She's my good friend, my girl, my ace! Introducing Suzanne "I take no Sh*t" de Montagnac!

Jazz Hands!

Hey Brooke! I know we talked about this a few weeks ago, but the subject honestly had me scratching my head. But today I've been inspired to write. It's long, but it amused me. Enjoy!

“SHE’S Got a...DICK!!!”

Huh? I know that doesn’t even sound right, but to tell you the truth, that is how I feel sometimes. Now before you form your own ideas as to what the heck I am talking about, come with me on a little journey into my world.

One night, Brooke and I were sitting in her living room doing what we do best - cracking up at random things we find funny - when the subject of He-She’s came up. Ever so mature we are, eventually we found the humor in transgender people. Not that they are funny or should be made fun of - we are not bigots, prejudice, hateful, or ignorant - we just found humor in the fact that a “She” could and sometimes does have a dick.

Little goes unsaid between Brooke and me. No subject is off limits. No topic is too taboo. She graciously finds humor in my crassness, and I find humor in her classy wit. As we continued to crack each other up over the random thoughts of how one would discover a “she” with a dick, Brooke suggested that it would be a great blog and that I should write it. I quickly agreed, but I was stumped (no pun intended) on even where to begin or which direction to take this one.

She’s got a dick! I can relate to that. Not because I can relate to having gender identity issues, but because sometimes I feel I am the man in relationships. Now of course I think most women wouldn’t mind having a handy tool such as a dick in her side pocket (wait, let me clean this up before you all start thinking about Rabbitzzz - that’s a whole different ball game!) - Who wouldn’t want to have the power and strength of a man in her pocket to do with as she pleases? Not to take anything away from the other things that make men strong, powerful and wonderful, but when you really think about it, our genitals and some other genetics are what makes us different.

The more I thought about a "she" having a dick, the more it made sense to me. I have a dick. No, my plumbing is all female - but figuratively speaking, I have a dick. I feel this way because all of my life I’ve had be strong, independent, reliable, resilient, resourceful, and able to rise to any occasion (lol). I admit that I’m not a good girlfriend because I sometimes think and act a little too much like a man. Don’t get me wrong though - I’m a girly girl - but my mind is all testies! I swear, I can be just as big of a pig as some of my best boyfriends. Far too many times I’ve had to be the one to "man-up" in relationships and drive the bus. I’ve had to be the one to come up with the great ideas. I’ve had to be the one to create the romance. I’ve had to be the one to set the agenda. I’ve had to be the one to take control in the relationship - and to tell you the truth, its annoying.

I don’t mind having a theoretical dick because it has kept me safe from myself and from letting others abuse me or take advantage of my girly softness. My dick has kept my fists up, my mouth open (and shut when needed), my pride and ego intact, and my eyes on the prize. But why do I have to keep whipping it out all of the time? Why do I have to show my strength every day? Why can’t I just be a girly girl? Does it make me weak to want to just be the girl? You Tarzan, me Jane? Does it make me weak to want to be with a man that can take control and hold me down just like I hold him down? Does it make me weak to want him to have a bigger dick than mine?

I’ve had some very strong men in my life, but those relationships became about a power struggle and eventually my dick was the last one standing - alone, but still standing. The weak men in my life — oh bless their poor little souls - they stood no chance. I may sound mean and obnoxious, but hey it’s my truth. I didn’t set out to have this big dick on my shoulder, but it grew as I grew as a woman and I’ve grown to love it. I just want to learn how to use it better - or better yet, have it work better for me.

Anyway, what really inspired me to write this blog was a conversation I had yesterday with a man that I had a casual encounter of sorts with a couple of years ago. Let me give you the quick rundown on that relationship: Met him in a club. He had all the markings of someone who could roll with me at first sight. He was tall, dark and handsome. He dressed well. He looked like he was about something. He and his two friends were sitting at the bottle service only table next to my crew's in the VIP section. His crew knew some of my crew so I figured they were no slouches since birds of a feather...hmph..keep reading.

He was nice enough yes, but financially we were not in the same league, as I quickly learned he was a broke-ass. I’m not saying that you have to be making millions to be with me, but you will have to be able to afford the basics... and I mean basic things.. like being able to feed yourself !! I quickly got hip to his inviting himself over to my house to watch a movie and have me cook for him. The very first time he came over he brought some MGD! No wine or champagne and flowers. Miller fucking Genuine Draft! And when he showed up he was actually expecting a cooked meal. This was our very first date and my first mistake. I broke the rules off the bat and set the tone by agreeing to let him come over as our first outing. Determined to be the bigger man and good hostess, I offered to order food for us to eat, and he let me...and he let me pay for it. I knew I would never see his broke ass again after that. I did, however, entertain his conversation on the phone from time to time, but whenever he would ask me when I was going to cook for him, it turned me off with the quickness. In one conversation while he was on his lunch break from work, he mentioned that he had no money to buy lunch for himself. The brokeness wasn't working for me. It was so lame to me, and eventually I stopped answering my phone and let it fade to black. Black History as Brooke would say. ;-)

And as history often does...it repeated itself when he recently hit me up. Trying to be the bigger man with my big dick, I figured I’d let bygones be bygones. NOT! One of the first things out of this fools mouth was him asking me when I was going to cook for him and when could he come over?! WTF! I finally had to break it down to him that his idea of courting me was whack. I said it nicely, but I made it clear that if he had any intentions on seeing me again, he would have to take me out on a real date. He hemmed and hawed and slowly I put his joke-ass back in the joke-pile. So months flew by with back and forth texts, each of them initiated by him, each of them consisting of him trying to invite himself over to my house and have me cook for him. Never once did he even invite me to his home. When we first met he claimed to live with a roommate. Now he claims to have bought a new condo and lives alone - but still, no invite. I thought to myself: C’mon playboy! Can’t you see how big my dick is?? And your dick is looking really little and lame right about now. But I let it slide because, although I have a dick, I didn’t want to be one.

But yesterday I had had enough. Again he invited himself over. Again I tried politely to let him know that I required more effort than that. I know my worth. I’m too old to put out for free. What! You know what I mean ;-)

I questioned his intentions and asked for a reason as to why he had never asked me out properly on a proper date. His response: “I’m just not the going out type.” Huh? Are you shittin’ me son?! I met that motherfucker in the club! I had enough of this fool and decided it was time to end the fuckery and told him, “Well then we are mismatched because I am the going out type!” I planned never to speak to him again, but he quickly tried to bait me by saying “WE CAN GO OUT!!! What do you like to do?” So I decided to volley a little more and see where that went, even though I was totally turned off by the fact that he wouldn’t even take the initiative to plan out a date after how direct I had been with him. He was about to be put into the dead-beat-lose-my-number-son pile for real!

Reluctantly, I offered a few suggestions that should have been a no-brainer: dinner, movies, bowling, shooting pool, etc. That still wasn’t enough - so again, I had to whip out my dick on him when he pushed further, so I said, “fine, dinner and a movie would be lovely.” This fool said, “how bout dinner out and a movie at my place?” That was it. My politeness was over. I told him to “stop being a cheap-ass.” Then he said, “I just don’t have it like that.” ....What?!

What the hell was I supposed to say to that? I’ll tell you! I should have told him that he couldn’t afford me, but I didn’t. Instead I said, “Wow, ouchy” because my ego was hurt for him. It probably wasn’t easy for him to say that to me, and I felt bad for him for a second or two - but then I just thought he was plain pathetic. I know we are in a recession, times are hard, money is tight, blah blah blah...come the fuck on. I’m a grown ass woman who has it going on. Not to toot my own horn, but I know what I bring to the table. Money isn’t everything for me - nor does it drive me or impress me - but if you aren’t holding your own, I’m sorry, you will never be my man man.

I’m attracted to winners. And by winners I mean men who know how to survive. Men who are able to manage their own finances. Men who should be able to afford a simple dinner and movie date. Now these rules of course are not written in stone, and there are exceptions to the rule. This economy has millions of us holding on by a thread. Millions without a job. But he has a job!! And a fairly decent one too! With benefits! WTF!!

I know its not easy, trust me! I too have my own financial challenges and burdens, but I’m at least resourceful enough to take care of myself and have enough funds to play with and the creativity to entertain myself for free when my funds are low or nonexistent! I guess this situation gave me a hard on! I was on rock ladies and gents! He had nothing creative to offer. He never did. He was a two-trick pony: I come over and you cook for me. NOT!! I felt like the bigger man - AGAIN! And it sucked. I’m so tired of having to have to pull it out! I pull my own weight, why the hell can’t the men that I come across?

I admit that I have what some would call shallow views of what to expect from men, but my truth is that I want a man who I cannot out-man. I expect more. I need more of a challenge. I want a man I can be proud to call my man. I play my position as the woman, but then with these weak men I end up having to play their roles too - and it’s getting so old.

Some of you say I might want my cake and eat it too...I do! What’s wrong with that? We as women have had to take control and play more roles then we should have to, and I for one just want to put it out there that I’m not having it in 2009. So drop your shorts men and let me see what you’ve got. If my dick is bigger than yours, let’s just say our goodbyes upfront. Hello, goodbye. I’m not playing around anymore and I’m not going to hold my tongue anymore. Some of you men are not living up to your potential. Grab your dicks and stand tall. No one will be more proud of you than us. We know you are just as vulnerable as we are and that is ok. But what isn’t okay is that you have dropped the ball and some of us are tired of picking up your slack. No, women are not perfect and I could spend all day writing about my imperfections - but that’s not the point of this blog. The point was just to let you all know that I have a big dick and I’m swinging it in ’09! Who’s with me?!!

Jane Out! ;-)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TMI Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!

Okay, so last week we talked about having TMI Tuesdays. I Googled it just to see if another site out there had TMI Tuesdays, and guess what? There's ANOTHER blogsite with that name already! How crazy is that?! But we can still try it if you all want to. I'm a little afraid of doing this actually, based on some of the things you all were talking about in last Thursday and Friday's comments. I guess I have Amanda, Craig and "anonymous" to thank for that :-) But it was definitely interesting!

So, true to my word, I figured we could see how this will work out. I think I will do TMI Tuesday once a month, the first Tuesday of each month. We already have the insanity of Random Thoughts Thursday, so one day a month devoted to all things "TMI" is more than enough. If you need me to break it down for you, "TMI" stands for "too much information." So basically, it's "over-sharing" disturbing, gross, awkward, "you could have kept that to yo'self" information that none of us needs to really know - but you-felt-compelled-to-share- anyway type stuff.

I feel like I should set up some rules, even though I'm not sure exactly what those rules are yet. Last week, a few people emailed or IM'd me personally saying that they thought Random Thoughts Thursday got a bit out of hand and turned them off, so I guess my only request would be that we keep it tactful - nothing too vulgar or graphic. I know, I know...you may be thinking that defeats the purpose; but I think we can share things about ourselves that may be TMI, embarrassing or odd without outright offending anyone. Deal? okay....

When I tried to think of a funny clip for TMI Tuesday, this one came to mind:



Yeah...I don't think I would have told that either ;-)

Truth be told, it was hard for me to come up with something that I thought was TMI to share. I mean, I have to start us off right? What would I share that would be deemed too much information? Random thoughts are one thing, but I couldn't think of anything that I wouldn't want you all to know and would be embarrassed to tell - that wouldn't be too risque anyway. So, rather than trying to think of some arbitrary anecdote, I figured I would ask a few questions instead that people can choose from to answer. Feel free to add your own TMI tidbits :-) Here we go:

1. Where is the most unusual place you've had sex?
2. Have your parents ever walked in on you having sex? or you walked in on them?
3. What's the most embarrassing thing you've ever been caught doing?

I'll start off with something tame.

One of the most embarrassing things I ever got caught doing was "dressing up" like I was older than I really was to attract a grown ass man. I was 16, but wore "sexy" clothes to make myself appear older so that this 25 year old would want to talk to me. He fell for it, unless he really just didn't care. Anyway, he invited me to his place for a cook-out. I flirted with him relentlessly in my tight clothes while everyone was having fun at the barbecue; but as people started leaving, I was feeling less and less "grown." Finally it was just us. He started to make a move and I froze. While he was trying to figure out how to get me out of my clothes, out of nowhere, I asked him if I could use his phone to call my mom. He looked at me like, "huh?" I then proceeded to ask her if she could come get me. Still, he was like "huh?" He finally asked me how old I was, and when I said 16, he took me outside to wait with me for my mom to come get me. I sat on the steps like the little kid that I was, and he looked sick. My mom showed up and read me the riot act, and he never talked to me again after that. Just stupid :-)

Okay, that was easy. We'll see what else I come up with based on your comments. Let's start out slow people :-)

-b

Monday, February 2, 2009

Happy Monday and Happy Black History Month! Great Super Bowl! I know "Pretty Ricky" was doing the "Runnin' Man" after his Steelers beat the Cardinals :-) I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend.

As you can see, I changed my page a lil bit. It's my birthday month, so why not? Actually, my sister said my page was dry and she didn't like it...so we'll see how she feels about this one :-)

I plan to write my blog only two days this week - TMI Tuesday and Random Thoughts Thursday. And let's face it, those two days don't really require me to dig too deep. But that's okay, because you will definitely have some food for thought today and get your fill.

My Guest Blogger today is another S.U. alum. You know him as "Ox" from our "Comments Family," and he's a deep dude that will get you thinking, and his blog will spark some interesting discussion. So with that said, show him some love! Introducing "The Ox" - Maalik Abdul Rasheed.



Hello world, what's poppin? I first want to thank Brooke for getting me up on this illustrious blog. If you've visited my blog, Why I Hate The Joneses, you know that my topics tend to lean on a more somber/philosophical, almost mechanical angle. What can I say, I'm a friggin' programmer. Shoot me.

What this blog post isn't:

- A post asking woolly haired women and men to stop putting a temporary in their hair (although I would give my entire net worth away and start working from scratch if we could stop doing this)
- A post making excuses for our behavior while discounting the long lasting effects of how our actions reinforce our own self hatred.

What this is:

- A post including a couple of stories that have to do with self hate and skin color envy.
- A post that wants to get behind the cognitive dissonance that exists with our often repressed self hatred.

In November of 2008 Brooke wrote a great blog on good hair and bad hair.

I would like to delve a little bit deeper on the following topic of self and the identity of people of African descent, conveniently titled, "Can people hate themselves, but not know it?"

Awww issh..I dun dunnit now..Let me start with a bit of background about my wife and I. Before you proceed, please read this blog post from my wife:

I Am My Hair

I know what you are sayin.."Damn, all these prerequisite blog in a blog reading - just get to it!" Well people, unfortunately this issue is complex and you need a bit of background info before you proceed.

So as you can see, my wife's features and skin color locks her into a lot of races, depending on the situation. It's the gift and the curse. As you can see from her post, the reality of how we are treated from time to time is quite sobering. Keep in mind that we are in NYC. The queen of the so-called "melting pots."

Here is another short story. A good friend of mine decided to get rid of her "temporary" (what it really should be called because it's far from a perm [short for permanent) and something dramatic happened. The quality and level of respect from black and non-black men went through the roof. Obviously you are always going to have the "Yo Ma" and "Wassup baby" ignorant fools out there, but the response changed. Not to say that we should hedge this one lil ole story on what I'm saying, but I'm sure you get the point. For now I don't necessarily want to get into the superficiality of the response, but I want to get into the psychology of the response. What was it about this woman rocking a cropped natural that changed their tone so dramatically? In my mind, the behavior exuded a natural level of confidence and a lot of men picked up on that. I've heard this same story from many women after they, as we like to say, "go natural." It plays out like a broken record. As a matter of fact, I heard terms like “liberating” and “free” from many women. How on earth could something so insignificant create emotions like this?

Simply, if I told you I bought an original Picasso or the Mona Lisa, most people would be impressed. "Oh word, you got the original?” Then I told you 1 minute after, "Yo, guess what, it's not real." I actually bought it for about $5 dollars from this company called "Accurate Knock Offs, Inc." that are exceptional at duplicating originals. (If you are not into European inspired art just plug in your favorite African art of choice in this fictional scenario.) Would you still have the same reverence and awe as you did after I told you the truth? Would you have the same respect for me? Would you have the same awe towards the painting? Probably not, because it's quite clear that the painting is a fraud. You can just about plug in anything in this scenario and the response is the same. Whether it's a Coach bag, Louie Vuitton bag or some fake Tims.

If something like an inanimate object could create such an emotional response, why not human beings that spend billions of dollars trying to smother their cognitive dissonance by wrapping up their doubt about their beauty with standards that have been indoctrinated on them by another culture? Are we so naive not to see the obvious damage and danger in this behavior?

If you check this article about Chris Rock's documentary that tackles race and perceptions of beauty, we can see the psychological impact of his child asking him "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?” Even the privileged child of a multi-million dollar comedic genius with the wit of Einstein could not escape the trappings of self hate. Unfortunately we discount the damage we do to ourselves and our community.

Some interesting facts:

The majority of all images of African descent are Europeanized in entertainment, news, music, mass media, magazines, etc. Doesn't that bother you? It friggin' bothers me.

http://www.diversityinc.com/public/1301.cfm

After 60 years, the doll test where a white and black doll are given to young black kids, the perceptions of seeing their black skin as a ugly and dirty is the same. They love the white doll and hate the black doll. Now keep in mind that all these kids grew up in predominately black neighborhoods and their mind got screwed just as if they were taught to hate themselves. Doesn't that bother you? It friggin' bothers me.

Watch this when you have time - Modern Racist Paradigm



Doesn't this video bother you? It friggin' bothers me.

Conclusion:

I'm tired of people discounting the psychological damage of how we and many other cultures Europeanize themselves. My wife is pregnant and we have a boy on the way. If we had a girl, there is no way in hell that any chemical would be touching the scalp of my child. Why on earth are we shocked that our children feel disgraced when they see us scorching, manipulating, and augmenting our facial features, skin color, and hair texture for our whole entire life? I just want to be clear. I'm just concerned about acts and behavior that reinforce self-hate among young children. These young children grow up to be adults and then have to wrestle with something that should be apparent. Many of us spend our whole life figuring out and pondering how we succumbed to that which put us in a self hatred disposition.

-Maalik

PS:

I can't front though, I had the early '90s Baby Face Duke/S-curl in high school and the way I rocked it, people though it was natural. However, I was given the good hair stamp of approval. I think Puffy still rocks an S-curl. LOL

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