Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just in case you're wondering...

...I'm still here! My week in a nutshell: basketball mom, project assistant (for my kid), encounters with menopausal women (and hormonal men), infecting my laptop and having to use my kid's, working in a sardine can (I was moved to another office and I feel like I'm in Oprah's audience - estrogenoverload.com), and was threatened yesterday by an old lady who told me I better root for the Giants in the Superbowl! #diehardfan?
All of this in addition to my regularly scheduled life!

Download IMG01057-20120129-0903.jpg (547.6 KB)

This is what my life has come to - a Sonic screen with lego stickers.

I'll do my best to touch base until I get my new laptop.
Enjoy the rest of your week!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

#DateChat at Beyond Perfection

Last Thursday we spent our afternoon chatting it up with The Massage Mogul, Robert Ballatt, on another series of his #DateChat tour. As we sipped on some after-work "libations" (I love this word Kayrene lol) and inhaled appetizers (courtesy Dmomita's Kitchen -- the spicy chicken salad is made with love!), we tackled the topic of men being from Mars and women being from Venus.
It was interesting to hear different point of views, especially from the men. The room comprised of men and women of all statuses (and ages): singles, dating couples, married people, divorcees, even a widow who recently decided to step back on to the dating scene. #DateChat speaks to everyone just trying to get a better understanding of the opposite sex and relationships.

What did #DateChat mean to me?
Men are not THAT different from women: They have insecurites (as "macho" as they pretend to be sometimes). They also have that inner dialogue that we women tend to have. Sometimes this hampers us. Stop the conversation in your head and have that convo with the person you're interested in. You might  meet someone fantastic! Chances are they were having a similar conversation in THEIR head. How will you know if both of you only talk to yourself?
Men PMS too! lol - Men would like us to think that WE are the over-sentimental, irrational, cry babies but ladies if you didn't already know, I am telling you: they can be just as moody! It is then our turn to blame hormones or the moon!

Men are still VERY different from women: They are completely clueless at times. Women are naturally more vocal, built on feelings and emotion (although I know some women who beg to differ). Men operate in a more literal way! Football, Sex, and Beer matter; our nagging doesn't. lol
Men need to be men. In as much as they do things to annoy us, (I hear the men screaming "y'all annoy us too!" lol) we have to be mindful that they still need to "feel themselves" (literally and figuratively). As women become increasingly independent, our maternal instinct meets powerhouse and we seem to not need men for anything more than just sex or a handyman around the house. Then when we're having an off-day and feel vulnerable, we flip the roles and want the men to take charge. WE ARE CONFUSING THEM! LOL This does not excuse all the audacious things that men do sometimes, but relationships are 50/50.

At the end of the day it's like Rob said, "Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus, and we are both just trying to meet on the Moon".

Here are some pics from the event (courtesy Cynthia of Dmomita's Kitchen):

Rasheena Brooks - owner of Beyond Perfection Unisex Hair Salon where the event was hosted.

The Massage Mogul, Robert Ballatt, and a guest.

Rob and I

Cynthia Davies - owner of Dmomita's Kitchen

Some of the guests

#DateChat in session

When you have hands like Rob, this is the effect you have on women!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Men That Make Us Go "UGH!"

I was reading "Are You Socially Awkward?" on The Massage Mogul's blog and while I was commenting, I realized this warrants it's own blogpost.
"Are You Socially Awkward?" touches on the topic of how difficult it can be sometimes for men to approach women (especially "pretty" women). One of the tips for the men is "Don’t create an alter ego! Be yourself!!!" and this is what I want to address.

Men: I'm sure it's not always easy to approach us women. We are fickle, hormonal, we reek of attitude (sometimes lol), you never know if PMS or a full moon is to blame, but at the end of the day you want our "Good Goods"
Well, in one of The Massage Mogul's blogposts, he addressed the ladies briefly by saying that when we DO get approached by a man, don't roll our eyes and "act up" because it took a lot of courage for that man to approach us in the first place. As a woman, let me help you fellas out a bit.
There are a few types of men, who I'm almost SURE some woman out there has encountered at some point in her life, and THESE are the types who cause us women to act a fool! (DMX voice) 
Cool Guy a.k.a. Rico Suave - This guy is TOO COOL FOR HIMSELF! He's usually well dressed, "casket-sharp!", You could TELL Steve Harvey is his hero! A French whore has no competition with the cologne on this guy. He's the guy who practices all his lines and facial expressions in the mirror. He has to because there is no way someone could be THAT corny! You ever hear a line and feel the bile buildup at the back of your throat? YUP! Courtesy Cool Guy! He will have some fake Teddy Pendergrass voice, raise one eyebrow and say "hey baby, you must be tired cause you've been running through my mind all day!" or something of that nature. We don't try to be mean, but "Mother Earth PLEASE open and swallow me whole!!!" comes to our mind at that moment and automatically our eyes roll.
Word to Cool Guy: We don't need the generic lines to figure out if we like you or not. We see right through all that and chances are we already have assessed you to some degree in our minds. Just be yourself. 

The Hype Man - This guy is a spin-off of Cool Guy. He doesn't have a "pot-to-piss-in" as my grandmother used to say (who pees in a pot is beyond me but I didn't question grandma ok?!). He rides "on the passenger side of his best friend's ride" and the world has to know about it. He is loud/obnoxious, and everyone in the room HAS to know he's there. He's the guy that will boast about everything his friend has. "Yeah my boy is the friend of the security guard of (insert hot club here) and we were in there last night". He has pics of himself in front of some cool car (the friend's rental in Miami) or whatever. He is ALL OVER THE PLACE! Automatically we think "scrub" if we're not too drunk to entertain you and your foolishness at that moment, and "UGH!" comes to mind. Sometimes we suppress the Rick Ross grunt, sometimes we don't.
Word to Hype Man: If you meet a woman worth something, none of this is impressive. Get your own. If you meet a gold-digger, all this will be fun until she realizes it ain't your gold to be got, and she will move on. Let us like you for you.

The Show-off - THIS guy actually owns stuff. He is accomplished or has established himself in some way and he has us until... "I own". Your foot is in the coffin: jump in. The intriguing conversation turned into his portfolio. The cars, the house, the money, the membership to the private gym/ elite club...sigh. We will get to know you if we want to get to know you. I understand that you want to make that first impression count but we don't want all the statistics upfront. Don't get me wrong, I am yet to hear a woman say "I'll take the bum for $200 please Alex!". Yes, we like a man who has his s**t together, especially after we've worked so hard to establish ourselves, but this is not Speed Dating 101.
Word to The Show-off: Breathe! Besides, do you really want a woman who likes you for what you have, or likes you for you? (And this only makes us wonder: Is he over-compensating for Mr Wee Wee?)

The Drama Queen - This title is aptly used by my friend, Mich. Wanna take a lucky guess why? YES DRAMA usually precedes this man. Before we get to know YOU, we have to hear about your trifling baby mamas, your bad ass kids, your warrants for unpaid tickets (crickets). In a way, that usually helps us weed you out from the start, BUT you are short-changing yourself. We appreciate the honesty, but we are not invested enough to care. We are not asking you to be phony, we are asking about you. What are some qualities about yourself that we might like? A woman who cares about you will support you through it all...but we don't want all that shoved down our throats from "hello!" Chances are we have our OWN drama to deal with: our own baby daddies, bills, PMS, the moon, whatever. When we say we want someone "to bring to the table" we mean partnership, not baggage!
Word to the Drama Queen: Less is more. Gradually she will get to know you. This is a date/first time meeting, not a therapy session.

My FAVE! The Bad Boy - Most women I know like a man with a "bad-boy" streak! We know he is Mr. Wrong but our hearts race and our "pannies" drop! He's undeniably sexy. We kick Gabrielle Union off the bed in "Daddy's Little Girls" and we envision ourselves in the arms of Idris and...oh wait, wrong blog!
This guy has a little thug in him; women want to be protected and nurtured and he has that "I've got your back" swag, he's the t-shirt and jeans with timbs kinda guy, he's not trying to have that it-factor...he just does. Bad Boy, you have me until...I'm sorry what did you say? "Get me a drink!" "Fix me a sammich!" "Gimme a kiss!" "Listen B**ch!" "U betta...!".............UHMMMM you see these trigger words?? Unless we're role-playing in the bedroom, YOU HAVE LOST YOUR MIND AND YOU NEED TO CALL JESUS BEFORE I LOSE MINE! Bad boys have issues! We love them but why do you think they call them BAD!?
Word to The Bad Boy: Call me boo (bats eyelids...oh wait no) I mean, call 1-800-HELP or team up with The Drama Queen and go to group therapy! We as women want care, not black eyes or names our mommas didn't give us!
Sidenote: There is also the FAKE Bad Boy. Yes, the "tough guy" who looks the part, or talks a good game (usually referencing all the ways in which he is tough) but deep down inside is as aggressive as a petunia. Please don't pretend. It is completely unattractive. 

Bottom line: BE YOURSELF!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I am thankful!

My morning view

I love the wee hours of the morning. The world is quiet. There is time to reflect, to meditate, to listen. The rush of the day and the busyness of our lives cloud our thoughts, can be overwhelming at times, make us forget that we are a speck in the grand scheme of things.
Mornings like this give me an inexplicable peace, joy, happiness, gratitude. It's a beautiful gift from God; everything else pales in comparison.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King Day !

We visited the Memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and his wife, Coretta Scott King, in Atlanta, GA.

As we celebrate Martin Luther King Day, most people are happy to be off from work (I wasn't so booooo!). We acknowledge the significance of the day, but sometimes only for that day. Maybe it lingers long enough to see us through "Black History Month"  but after that, we carry on with our daily lives and we don't really appreciate Dr. King's legacy.
We live in a time when our President is blatantly disrespected, black children go missing everyday and are not afforded the same attention as those of another race, the "yes massa" mentality remains in a society sometimes I think determined to perpetuate it, and every once in a while someone will feel comfortable enough to use the word "Nigga/ Nigger". (And I'll state here, for all those of you who think this is cool or okay to say: black to black, white to black, any other race, ANYBODY using the word... IT IS NOT OKAY TO SAY IT. When you know the history of that word and the pain behind it, you'll realize that NOTHING about that is cool).
I'll admit we've come a looooooooooooooong way. When I read/ hear about the tragedies that occurred "back in the day"; the lynchings, the way Black people were demoralized, the abuse, the unfairness, the injustice; I am saddened. Yet I am grateful that someone had the courage to stand in the face of ADVERSITY and move a nation of people.
Ann Ruckert always says - and this is not verbatim but - be mindful of the shoulders on which you stand.
I am thankful for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his vision, his determination, all the work he did and his insurmountable faith. I am thankful for his wife, Coretta Scott King, for being the strong woman, wife and mother that she was. I am thankful for all those who have paved the way for us.
There are countless books on Dr. King but my fave is "My Life with Martin Luther King Jr" by Coretta Scott King. I read it a few years ago and kept the book for my son to read himself. It is profound ! I hope you read it, I think it will alter your perspective and enhance your gratitude.

At Martin Luther National Historical Site in Atlanta, GA

High (School) and Mighty!

(Google Image)

"Power". Most people yearn for it...some people have it...few can handle it. They are everywhere: Bullies! They don't just exist on the playground. They are in homes, schools, colleges, in the workplace; everywhere! People who push their weight around; who lack control somewhere; who simply have no regard!
Studies have shown that children who were given "authority" over their peers suddenly developed a "bossy" attitude. When the roles were reversed, the same happened: the children in the authoritative position became demanding, whereas the others - who were once in the position of authority - became submissive.
So is it an innate quality? Do our egos automatically inflate when we are in the "driver's seat" (so to speak)? Is it a personality trait? Are we trained to be like that?
There is a huge difference between a leader and someone in a position of authority. A good leader is there to guide, to BE the example, and to have standards/ goals enforced without constant reference to their title. Although they have different roles and responsibilities, they are seen as part of a team - the level of hierarchy exists - but they are not up on a high horse surveying the land and announcing it every 5 mins while they are there.
A good leader keeps the task at hand as the objective, and all personal feelings are checked at the door. Ego has no place in the mix!
But as human we are prone to error and judgment.

Even David and a pebble brought down the mighty Goliath!
We all have a "Goliath" in our lives. An abusive spouse/ parent, a boss, Corporate America, the government, our own egos or our extremely loud negative thoughts, whatever. Something or someone who SEEMS bigger than us.
I'll address the Goliaths for now: You may not always agree with or even like someone, but to be demeaning, disrespectful or abusive in any manner is not an attractive quality at all. That is someone's mother/father/brother/sister/son/daughter...would you like someone to treat you or someone you love with utter disrespect?

I once read "How Starbucks Saved My Life" by Michael Gates Gill, where the author explains how his life transitioned from a life of privilege to working at Starbucks. It's a great read and I urge you to get it because it reminds us that no matter where we come from or how successful we are in life, ALL people are to be treated with respect.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"Cocktails With Belle"

"Cocktails With Belle" was a fun way of meeting the author/blogger herself, Demetria L. Lucas. I thought it was going to be more about her book "A Belle In Brooklyn: The Go-To Girl For Advice", but rather it was "a way to meet my readers".
The beautiful Belle is a charming hostess, and it felt more like a hangout with friends than an "event".

Demetria Lucas a.k.a. @abelleinbk rocking this cute pink number
(reminiscent of a modern day "Saaaaaandra Clark" from "227")
and the shoes were chic too!

I MUST have missed the memo because the majority of the attendees were fabulously dressed, and the shoe game???? CRAY!
I, on the other hand, jetted outta work like a fat kid at a weigh-in, and ended up looking like I was auditioning for "Who Wants To Be a Hobo?"
Ok so I know the invite said "Cocktails With Belle"; I dropped the ball on this one OKAY?!

Here I am with Belle...she didn't hesitate to take a photo with me,
as a matter of fact she was super-gracious
but I KNOW she is thinking "who invited this hobo to my party?"

My hair looked a hot mess and plopping this hat on my head didn't help as you can see. People probably thought I was a "bongo dread" (Trini slang for huge matted dread locks) or something.
Mental note to self: comb hair and look human next time. 

We indulged in red velvet cupcakes from @cakemanraven
They were so good!
Hey if you're gonna break one of your New Year's Resolutions,
it best be worth it!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Happy New Year!

Ok so it's the middle of the week...half of you are still trying to get glitter out of your hair or salvage your dignity after wild drunken sex with random stranger...hey if your New Year started with a bang (literally!) kudos!
I'm still adjusting to being back to work after a REALLY GOOD staycation (that's a vaycay where you stay yo' ass home!).
I am terribly missing sleeping-in late and noshing on all the yummy holiday food around the house, catching up on Harry Potter (don't judge me) and doing WHATEVER, WHENEVER!

Holiday Recap:
Christmas concerts - (1) My son's - usually I'd rather watch paint dry because it's typically boring class after class with "adorable" kids singing followed by some long drawn-out play where I start to feel sympathy for even the donkey that Mary rode in on. It's so dreadful! However this year it was well organized, they merged some of the classes so the performances were quick, the play was more of a skit...and we were outta there in record time! I personally thanked the Principal for that!
(2) Mine - I performed at Ann Ruckert's Holiday concert in the city. All was well until my aunt (who's very punctual and usually in attendance every year) came late and asked Ann if I could sing again, since she'd missed my performance -- this is after we're almost finished with the program. EMBARRASSED! I sing again, meanwhile making a mental note to not invite family to the Grammys!
Here is said aunt who is NOT in the choir, on right, dancing with Lisa Rosenberg, who IS in the choir.
Sidenote: No other attendees were dancing.

Holiday Parties - I attended as many as I could and had a blast! My wine tolerance has definitely increased and I'm becoming slowly (but surely) addicted to Moscato/insert other wine/liquor here.

Christmas Shopping - I usually make daily trips after work to the mall etc to work on my overqualified Christmas list (Yes overqualified because the list usually exceeds my $$$$) and I begrudgingly convince myself that the hustle and bustle is SUPPOSED to be associated with "the feeling" of Christmas. LIES!! Every year I get aggravated and every year I still do it. So THIS time I decided I would NOT stress over it AT ALL. I made a conscious decision to enjoy time with family and friends (novel idea huh?) and it was fab! One weekday, EARLY in the morning when I know beasts and their offspring are still hibernating, I went to the mall. It was so peaceful. It was as though the whole mall was open just for me (and the other handful of people who wanted to shop in peace too). A little boy (I'm guessing around 2 years old started running through the mall like an airplane. I took off in one sprint and while running said "I KNOW HOW YOU FEEEEEEEEEEL"...little boy slows down and looks at me like "what da..."

Ok I should be in bed (still in vaycay mode I tell you) so sharing some pics below.
I hope you have a wonderful prosperous New Year, enjoy life, count your blessings if you can and get your tuckus off the couch long enough to accomplish a goal or two!

Everyone is paying attention except the camera-whore (me)

fam love

The overzealous musical director at son's Christmas concert
No kidding there must've been a French Horn or some instrument that played one note for EVERY song, yet he smiled like a proud papa.
He also plays several instruments - you could not tell him he wasn't at Carnegie Hall!

Another sexy aunt

My aunt - the dancing queen - with Grandma

Grandma and Grandpa dancing at Christmas dinner...beautiful!

Yes they are wearing Saris smh lol

Chillin with my cousin J

"What? You never saw a dog in an animal hat before?"

Yes, this is how my mother-in-law actually wrapped my present...this is a big deal because she doesn't wrap presents...hey she's half-way there 0_o

The good life lol

Fun times!