Thursday, April 02, 2020

As For Me and My House...

It has been a while! Last year I was telling y'all how fucked up my high school was and how I was permanently putting them on the "pay them no mind" list and now... we have a worldwide pandemic on our hands. 2020 has been a ride of clusterfuckery (is that a word? Did I just make up a new word? Y'all check Urban Dictionary and add my shit... and give me credit! Ha!) All that to say, a lot has changed in the last four months. Today marks my family's 21st day of lockdown. Twenty one long ass days, yo! Last day of school for Little Lady K was March 12, hubs has been going to his doctor appointments and we have been getting groceries about once a week. That's it. Your girl is taking lots of deep breaths and drinking more, if I'm being honest. Central Ohio weather hasn't really been cooperating, either. Having a three year old in the house ALL day is... challenging. I'll save those stories for the mommy blog but y'all will NOT guilt me over extended screen time, ok. Don't try me, bitches. But, as for me and MY house... we will remain on lockdown until further notice.

It is getting close to 2PM. In a few minutes my Governor, Mike DeWine is going to have his daily news conference about Ohio's pandemic numbers. He is also going to talk about (and probably prohibit) Church gatherings for the foreseeable future. Now listen, I am always the first to laugh and joke and call myself a heathen on these internet streets. I call myself a heathen in front of my parents (mostly because they know, like nobody else, that it is true), but the truth of the matter is: me and Jesus have a relationship. We go together. He knows my heart. We talk. I grew up in the Church; was a Deacon's kid; got baptized and led our Bible trivia team to victory several years (in a row). I know the Word. I just cuss a little bit. Ok... a lot. I cuss a lot.

Back to DeWine (this lockdown makes my mind wander). So, it is my understanding that churches have seen what is going on during this worldwide pandemic and have been like... "Jesus saves; God will protect; y'all better be in these pews on Sunday." Sir. Ma'am. WHAT?!? Now listen: as noted above, I have been to church. A LOT. Fellowship is important. It helps you navigate this thing called life, BUT... ain't no way y'all should be gathering together on Sundays and breathing on one another. What is wrong with y'all? The state of Ohio isn't letting us have funerals or gatherings of more than 10 people and y'all trying to come together for full services on Sundays? You know what is more important than being around people you not so secretly talk about every day EXCEPT Sunday? Breathing.

Jesus gave us all discernment. He gave some of us wisdom. He gave most of us this thing called the internet. The only way churches should be getting together for services is over a lifestream. Stop endangering your parishioners. Stop being stupid and blaming it on God. Use some common sense and stay at home.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Pinky Promise

As Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end, I figured I should tell y’all what I did this week.  This past week most have taken to social media to state what they are thankful for. Some answers are pragmatic, right? Folks are grateful for their jobs, a place to live, the ability to provide for their family. Some answers are based in religion. People are glad that their higher power has given them another day to strike a mark and leave an impression on this Earth, their country, their community. What am I grateful for? Family Over Everything.

This year, our family was hit with some health challenges, very unexpectedly. Many of you know that the youngest sibling is 9 and I am the oldest (and it is totally none of your business how old I am... just know that I am NOT 9!) Currently our 10 year old sister is being treated for bone marrow failure. Now if you are like me, you have no idea what that is or how to fix it! So, a few things: the major function of bone marrow is to produce blood cells. Red blood cells (oxygen giving), white blood cells (infection fighting) and platelets (helps blood clot so you don’t bleed to death from a simple cut). So, simply (because I went to law school not medical school... for a reason) bone marrow functionality is necessary for life, and bone marrow failure is all bad. It isn’t cancer but my sister is being treated on the oncology floor and some of her treatment includes chemotherapy.

When we found out that she was going to go through chemo, one of her concerns was losing her hair. I gave her the speech I have given all of my friends going through chemo. “If you lose your hair, I’ll cut mine too! We will be twins!” Because truly, no one should be bald alone. It is a small sacrifice so that a 10 year old (or a 40 year old) doesn’t feel so alone while going through life sustaining treatment. Well, she hasn’t lost her hair! What to do, what to do!!

Sooo- we had another discussion and I told her that since chemo didn’t take her hair, I would dye my hair her favorite color. What is my 10 year old sister’s favorite color, you ask? Pink. Last Tuesday I went into a salon with regular, smegular dark brown hair... oh, but now... I’m the Black version of Frenchie from Grease. Baby, this hair is PINK. Like, the color of Peppa Pig. Like, that Bubbalicious gum from my youth. Pink, like... pink. And I’d do it again. Family over EVERYTHING.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

She Will Know Her Power

"Red And Yellow Dance" found here

It has been five days. I am assuming that the leadership of my former school, having been silent so far, is circling the wagons and coming up with some talking points about my last blog entry. While they make plans, let me clarify a few things:

1. Before the argument makes the rounds, my beef with the school is NOT personal and I am not an angry Black woman/former Board member. If that were the case, I would have a. Reported the misdeeds in June when they happened; b. I would have named names; and c. I would have mentioned the actual “personal” story that happened when my husband and I were attempting to enroll our daughter at the school. I did none of those things. The Alumnae Board has (or had) bylaws. These bylaws were available to everyone, in fact, last I looked they are on the school’s main website. One of the new co-presidents of the Alumnae Board disregarded the bylaws and stole a leadership position. And she was allowed to do that by school leadership. That is what happened. Those are the facts. In June, when this was happening, I strongly opposed this and my opinion was dismissed. I sent my resignation letter, including alternative proposals, to the entire Board and school leadership-- so they have KNOWN exactly where I stood. For four months. And they have said and done nothing.

As for the “angry Black woman” situation- I have been a part of this small society since eighth grade. I know that when I disagree with the status quo, someone is going to say that I am just angry and somehow my actions are making people feel uncomfortable or anxious. Or my reaction is detrimental to our "community." To that I say: if my sitting at the table and calling you out on your noted racial and/or socioeconomic inequality makes you anxious or hurts your feelings… enjoy that anxiety, because I am not going anywhere.

2. The fallout from my blog post is that a lot of ladies now feel comfortable sharing their stories and their experiences- good and bad. And I am happy about that. There is no way that the school will pretend to, I mean, embark on fixing its strained relationship with some of their alumnae if we don’t band together and MAKE THEM SEE US. I spent five years highlighting the good experiences of our classmates while I was on the Board. Just like the good, our bad experiences should be dealt with swiftly and in public. If the school has wronged you as an alumnae, they should be brought to task about that. I will gladly be the face of a movement towards the school making amends. They need to and we need to demand that they do so, immediately.

3. I will remain transparent in what I want from the school. I want an apology from them, specifically from the woman who stole her position on the Board and the two women in charge who allowed her to do it. I want some guarantees that set in stone rules will not be broken again. I want to see more diversity (racial and socioeconomic) in charge of alumnae relations and (eventually) I want to speak with the school about the situation that took place concerning my daughter. Essentially, I want the school to show some of that “good behavior” that they supposedly instilled in us when we were students there. I have said and will continue to say- they need to work better with alumnae. And the school cannot work well with us if they continue to treat us like shit AND we allow them to get away with it.

4. As a reread my first post, I know that it seemed as if I was out on a limb by myself, like EVERY Board member left me in the wind. That is not true. I had four ladies who vocally opposed the coup that the school allowed. I appreciate them more than they know. There are ladies who stood up against this. There are ladies who know that this is wrong and said so. I am not the only person who left the Board. There ARE women who have enough backbone to stand up against this bullshit being shoveled in our direction. Some of those ladies are speaking their truth now. Listen: as a feminist I really believe that ALL women bring something to the table. We gain nothing by being bitchy or excluding people. You cannot feed the needs of your people (in this case alumnae of a private school) if only a portion of your people are represented. If that portion is almost solely rich, White women, you stand to alienate an ever growing number of people in your community. If you allow your representatives to come in and do whatever they want, rules be damned, because they can write you a big check, you will alienate (and infuriate) your base. If you teach young women to speak up when they see some wrongs… be ready to be brought to task about the wrong shit you do. I will not go away. I will not let this bad behavior continue. I will not be silenced.

Friday, October 18, 2019

I've Packed Up My Unicorns

More than a couple Unicorns have asked me why I have stepped away from the place that connects us. It is true that my involvement with our common institution came to an abrupt halt at the end of June. After five years of active participation and one year as the face/email signature of our alumnae association, ladies have hit me up to see why they don’t hear from me anymore and why they don’t see me at events. Woo- there is SO much. I have come to the point where I am rational enough to properly convey what happened without using my signature “colorful” language. I wasn’t sure that I would ever post this or publicly say anything about what happened because, generally, people are taught to move on from bad situations and say nothing. However, yesterday, one of my attorney buddies on Twitter pointed out that folks are “used to getting away with rude stuff because people are taught to be polite and not call things out. Bullshit to that.” Bullshit, indeed.

This establishment that we share, this Columbus institution, was built on the idea that empowering girls will help them find their way as learners and leaders. I discovered my potential as a leader well before I was in the safe confines of our small college preparatory society. Being a leader has never been an issue for me. My leadership style is simple: I, transparently, do what is best for the greater good. I do it without bullshit. I’ll tell you if we can swing something, or if it needs to wait. If I disagree with a proposal, I will let you know; and if you tell me something in confidence, that is where it will stay. I am a vault.

So, that is what you get from me, transparent, no nonsense leadership AND I am, and always will be, fiercely loyal. If I rock with you, and you need me, there is no doubt that I will do whatever I can. I mean, if we make it to be friends, you damn near have to spit in my face for me not to fuck with you anymore. But once you cross the line, our level of trust will never go back to 100%. I said all that to say: four months ago, the place where we spent our formative years, where we grew up together… spit in my face. Now listen: more than one thing happened, please know that, but the absolute end of my patience? I was unceremoniously and unjustly left out of a huge decision that I most certainly should have been involved in. The person that would eventually take my place purposely worked around me, created an environment where she could be in charge and never, not once, apologized or took responsibility (and I am sure that she will never). Then she had the audacity to “thank me for my service” in a newsletter. Y’all. And the administration at our shared institution… did nothing. Ladies who told me their issues with the woman in question kept quiet because they didn’t want to rock the boat and folks just moved on like it was just another day.

Now listen: While I may deliver my words in a very straightforward way, I don’t do mean girl shit. I do not believe that women have to be pit against one another for one to rise to the top. I think that women who have to do sneaky shit to meet their personal goals are pathetic. I firmly believe that there is enough shine for everyone to have some, and it may just be the law school in me, but I also think that folks should be able to talk shit out. Not completely out of line thinking for an all girls school, right? A place that is supposed to foster the spirit of young women should be a safe place, right?

So that is why you haven’t seen me around, or sharing their events on Facebook. You will not see me at any events in the near future either. What happened to me was… unprofessional, inexcusable, unkind and, perhaps most importantly, undeserved. So, I have packed up my collection of unicorns (along with some wonderful memories AND the thought of my daughter following in my footsteps in those halls) and put them in the back of the closet. The WAY BACK. No telling if or when they will ever make another appearance.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The Long Way Home

I took the long way home on Sunday. It was a beautiful day in central Ohio, hot but not not hell-like. Eighty-seven degrees with a wonderful breeze; the sun helping my skin to darken to a deep cappuccino color. After weeks of being part of a duo (with Baby K) twenty-four/seven, I finally escaped the house... ALONE. By myself. I barely knew what to do! Even though I was by myself, I still had shit to do... so I clipped some digital coupons and went to the grocery store. (I'm fancy like that).

I jumped in hubs' car, backed out of the garage and drove away from the brick and buttercup colored fortress that I had been holed up in for the last few weeks. Our house is comfortable, very comfortable, but I was happy to see it in the rear view mirror! After weeks of being in a chilly air conditioned house, I rolled down the windows and let the breeze blow through my hair. Best thing about hubs' car? Satellite radio with a 90s channel. A 90s music channel, y'all.

Now, I don't really know what happened on my ride. Now-a-days getting alone time is a high. I remember that my hand was out the window, making peaks and valleys as the wind blew it up and down; my music was loud and during my singalong I did NOT use my inside voice. At one point 3AM by Matchbox 20 was on and there is NO WAY y'all could convince me that I was not matching Rob Thomas in vocals and intensity. Listen... that crosswalk has never seen anyone like me before. Hold on- I just started humming that song again.

When I tell you that I am the QUEEN of 90s music, I mean it. My high school and college years were filled to the brim with fantastically angsty tunes, now categorized as "classics." I too am a classic. I know all their words, all the beats, all the ad libs. I will school folks who ride shotgun. I feel no shame. Ever. My car concerts can only be described as... EPIC, one of a kind, showstopping, (sometimes) better than the original (not to toot my own horn or anything). I'm quite good, especially with the music of my teenaged years). Cue that Tonic song "If you could only see the way she loves me, then maybe you would understand." YES!! I needed that time away-- and I needed those tunes. I needed to be reminded of yesterdays.

If I am being honest, this year has been trying. I have been so busy volunteering, mom-ing and wife-ing that I have been dragged away from being me. I have been lax with the things that relax me- reading, writing and acting a fool. I have just been all over the place, pulled in a million different directions and you know what? Sometimes life is just like that. Little Lady K is growing, prospering and being kind, hubs has new work shit to talk about, but me? I have been experiencing Groundhog Day in different outfits. My days look the same, my nights are long because someone is rejecting a sleep schedule (in the name of Jesus). But this has to stop. I need to get back to being well rounded. I need books. I need this blog as an outlet. So, I have decided to get back on my shit. Less Facebook... more writing. I took the long way, but here I am. Home.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Absence Makes the Ass Grow... Fatter?

Ok. It has been a couple months... I think I can finally talk about this. I think Spring is going to be my season, so I can talk about what happened to me during Winter. I only have one request... please be gentle with me. After what happened, I am in a very vulnerable place. Ok-- here we go:

Y'all, I have been traumatized. I should have known better than to leave the house. It was as if there was a shit filled cloud floating over me at the beginning of 2019. First, Baby K got sick- and that is a WHOLE thing. She isn't very sickly, so when she does actually catch a cold, the clingy level in this house goes to 100. And now that she can talk, she is like expert level guilt tripper-- but that is another story for another day. Baby K got sick the first week of January. I had been stuck in the house for so long that I was forgetting what outside looked like, so I talked to Lefty and while Baby K was asleep I took my happy hips to the grocery store. Some time away, just what I needed, right? uh... y'all know better than that. Let the shit show begin.

First, I took Lefty's car-- just in case there was a need to run to the doctor or the house caught on fire. Plus, who wants to move a toddler seat over and over again? It was weird, because I have a small SUV and Lefty drives a smaller sedan, so it felt like I was riding on the ground in this car. Made it to the store without incident, did some damage at Meijer-- they take ALL my money. I didn't even have to hit anyone with my cart (on this particular trip). Magical, right? So I head outside to pack my newly purchased groceries in the car and go back home to a sick kid.

Two things need to be mentioned here: 1. I halfway forgot that I drove Lefty's car. Here I was out in the parking lot looking for my tall Honda Element, when I suddenly remembered that I should be looking for a Nissan Sentra. Sigh. 2. If you are not familiar with central Ohio winter weather, let me give you some insight- it is fucking cold. There may not be snow, but trust me, you WILL freeze your tits off. So even a short search in a parking lot will lead the nicest person to scream profanities-- and I am not nice-- so now you know what my state of mind was when I finally reached Lefty's car.

I unlock the trunk, put in the heavy bags and head to the unlock the door (so I can turn on the car and the heat) before loading the rest of my shit. Put the key in the lock and... nothing. NOT A DAMN THING. Door did not unlock. So I head over to the passenger side... nope, there is not a lock on the passenger side and I (stable genius that I can be) left the little clicker at home. Piece of shit. So I am outside, freezing my fat ass off, unable to get in the car. So, what do I do? Call my partner in crime to a. complain about his shitty car (that used to be MY car, so you think I would know better) and b. to cry (without tears because... cold).

What did Lefty do? Laugh. And I am not talking a small chuckle. I am telling you, my situation tickled his WHOLE soul. As I am complaining about this unfortunate turn of events I remember that the trunk is open and I can get into the cabin of the car... through the trunk. Oh shit, y'all. I pull the little levers that unlock the back seat, move the heavy groceries to the side... and prepare to get in the trunk like some super agent spy. Let's keep in mind-- I am multitasking like a fucking BOSS because I am still on the phone with Lefty. I do a quick look around, to make sure that 1. no one will steal my groceries that are still in the cart next to the car and 2. no one is recording my ass getting into the trunk of this car. I am not ready for that YouTube fame just yet. I don't see anyone, so I do what can only be described as a mermaid dive into Lefty's trunk and proceeded to slither my fat ass from the trunk into the back seat. Breathing heavily, I was able to press the door (un)lock button, climb out the back seat, load the rest of the groceries AND THEN... I could not find the car key. Y'all.

The key was on the floor in the backseat. It had fallen out of my pocket after I unlocked all the doors. I loaded the groceries in the trunk, put my cart away, beat it home and didn't leave the house for another week because fuck that, I don't need that kind of life changing negativity in my life. I am still traumatized... I don't even want to ride in Lefty's car. That bitch is like Christine. I am convinced she is trying to kill me. May Spring bring me some good mojo because I need it after that. Good mojo and an updated cardio regime because I was out of breath until I was almost halfway home. Wooooo, mercy.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Part III

Happy (almost) Christmas. Here is the continuation of the "41 Golden Rules..." 

Lesson 21: Do something scary. Listen: I have moved (three times) to different cities where I had no family. And let me tell you something: I *made* that work. Nashville, Chicago and Lansing, Michigan. I made friends, I got jobs and I made a life. And I do not regret it for a moment. 

Lesson 22: Don't let fraternity boys take you out for your 21st birthday. Baby, just know that I am looking out for your best interests with this. And extra advice: if someone offers you a "three wisemen" shot, just say no and walk out that bitch. Your stomach lining will thank you... You are welcome. 

Lesson 23: Listen. Really listen. Do not offer advice. Do not respond. Just be there and listen. Somebody needs it. Trust me. 

Lesson 24: YOUR dreams should come first. Never doubt that-- you were given an idea FOR A REASON. Make those dreams a reality. 

Lesson 25: Send handwritten, sincere notes. Etiquette 101 never fails you. 

Lesson 26: People CAN change, but you can't MAKE them. Your best bet is to walk away before things get REALLY bad... and meet back up when that person regains their senses. 

Lesson 27: Be kind. Self explanatory.

Lesson 28: Don't overstay your welcome. On stage, at a sleepover or at a job.

Lesson 29: Your friends are not EXACTLY like you... and that is ok. 

Lesson 30: Do what you love... or (honestly) what you can stand at the moment. Life is not always going to be rosy. Sometimes you are going to hate your job. Sometimes you will want to punch your relatives. Don't do it. Maintain some positive energy because the one thing about them tables... they always turn. 

Last 11 coming up right before the New Year!  

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Black Girl Magic, Part II

More lessons learned during this roller coaster ride called life. For the first 10, check out last week's article.

Lesson 11: For everything, there is a season. Listen: you are going to lose some folks along the way. Everybody's finish line is different. Some of your "Day 1" friends won't make it to year 41. 

Lesson 12: Learn how to PROPERLY apply makeup. Y'all. Stop being in these streets looking like you are always on your way to a Halloween party. When folks tell you that "less is more" they mean it. I mean it. Instagram filters can't hide a heavy hand. 

Lesson 13: Eat your veggies. Find (at least) five different vegetables that you like. Eat them, thank me later.

Lesson 14: Shout/Argue. Listen, I know that it is frowned upon, but really it is about presentation. I argue ALL the time. Now, every argument isn't a shouting match... but I never leave folks with any question about where we stand. I am VERY capable of getting my point across, and there *may* be yelling/curse words or there *may* be an even scarier tactic taken (that smooth, calm voice right before the volcano erupts). In any case, say that you mean and mean what you say.

Lesson 15: Have a signature drink. More important than you think. This is what your college years are for! Experiment with all sorts of alcohol on your 21st birthday and the couple of months following it. Learn where your breaking point is... and stay away from it when you are out and about- like on a first date... or networking. No one likes a drunk in public. Or a puker. Know those limits!

Lesson 16: Don't hang out with dicks. Momma Hot, Black and Bitter told me a million years ago: you are known by the company that you keep. You are. Choose accordingly. 

Lesson 17: Plans made at 16 might not be life at 41. Woooo- MESSAGE. At 41 I am not doing what I thought I would be doing. At the age of 16 I would have never thought that I would be back in my hometown, that I would be married, that I would have a kid. None of this was on my radar, but that is the best thing about life-- it is full of unknowns, twists and turns, punches to the face... and fantastic surprises.

Lesson 18: Drink Water. Do it, especially after a long night of trying to figure out your alcohol tolerance levels. You're welcome. 

Lesson 19: Believe the bad behavior. We all have seen some signs of bad behavior from people in our lives. We have "friends" who throw chi in our face when shit gets tough; folks who don't cheer when we are winning; assholes who allow other people to talk shit about us, etc. There had been plenty of times where I have heard "you know, I don't usually do X,Y,Z, but..." Yes you do. When you see the warning signs, start to pan your exit from toxic ass people. 

Lesson 20: Take a Social Media timeout. Seriously, once a month. It can be 4 hours, a day, a week, whatever. Do it to prove to yourself that you can. Take a nap, read a book, get a massage, watch reality tv... just don't check Facebook/Twitter/Snapchat or (the ultimate time suck) Pinterest. 

Damn, I am old as shit... I still have 21 more lesson to go! LOL 

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Black Girl, Overjoyed: Part One

Just over one month ago I had a birthday. (Truthfully these fucking birthdays seem to be getting closer and closer together-- I'm not ready.) So, for over a month I have been bringing crass and sass to 41 like no one's business. I mean, I have been rocking it, but some things that have happened in the last couple of weeks has made me want to count my blessings, so to speak. I started thinking about life lessons that I have learned over these 41 years of eating, breathing and living on this planet. Some lessons have been learned the hard way-- several times over-- because I am a hard headed asshole (eh, know thy self, right?). Some lessons are just common sense (but the vast majority of folks have dismissed common sense, so... they still might be helpful.) All of these lessons have shaped me as a person, and I am excited to share them over the next few weeks.  

So 41 years on this Earth, (at least) 41 lessons learned, right? Let's get into it. 

Lesson 1: Coffee is the best drug. No, really. Before law school I never touched the stuff. During pregnancy I couldn't drink it... but now every day needs that hot concoction to be great. Don't leave home un-caffeinated. 

Lesson 2: Be the friend that YOU once needed. I pride myself on being a good friend. Like, I am ride or die. If we are cool, you are family and I will do anything I can to help you out. I think one reason I am like that is because, at a couple times in my life, I have needed some ride or die friends. Folks who didn't ask any questions but just came to my aid. I carry that with me every day and I am determined to be that for someone else. 

Lesson 3: Travel. Extensively and as often as possible. Pretty self explanatory. 

Lesson 4: Have a signature fragrance. Do it.

Lesson 5: There is no such thing as peer pressure. Doesn't exist. If I don't want to do something, I am not going to do it. Period. 

Lesson 6: Tip well. Don't be a cheap bastard. I firmly believe that EVERYONE should have to wait tables once in their life. That shit is humbling... and it is legit HARD WORK. So if your bill is $75 and you leave five bucks on the table, we can not be seen together in public ever again. Don't be an asshole. 

Lesson 7: Find a quality esthetician and follow her to the ends of the Earth. Seriously, if she moves to a salon all the way across town FOLLOW HER. She will help you get your life (and those eyebrows) together. Ok?

Lesson 8: Not everything belongs on social media. Back in my day (in my old lady voice) we didn't have social media. When I was a teenager there was no Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and we certainly didn't pose for the 'Gram. So the idea that my private issues would not make the rounds on social media. I love social media... but it does not run all facets of my life. And all facets of my life do NOT make it onto social media. 

Lesson 9: Don't slurp. Seriously, it is fucking gross and low rent. Eat with your mouth closed. No one wants to experience your food like that.

Lesson 10: Read. Continuously. Everything. 

More to come, 

Monday, October 15, 2018

I Survived... Barely.

Y'all. Do you need more excitement in your life? Do you daydream about doing crazy shit where the probability of lost limbs is high? Do you want a real life version of the Hunger Games? Yeah? Cool, I'm going to tell you how to get that excitement. Ready? 


Holy shit, y'all. As a bad ass, stay-at-home mama, I don't get much time alone. I mean, I do get to take trips to the grocery store by myself... and that place is like a freaking lion's den. Listen, if there is only one can of green beans left and those bad boys are on sale, you better watch the grandmas-- they can be brutal. But you know who is worse than grandmas getting a good deal on canned goods? Nerds. Nerds at a book sale. 

Here in Columbus, we have a fantastic library system.  Twice a year they have a Friends of the Library book sale. The first day of the sale the prices are reasonable (think $2 for a hard cover book, $1 for paperback). But that last day... the last day is something from the book gods. The last day they have $5 a bag sale. You can buy a small tote or you can bring your own bags and however many books you can fit in that bag will cost you $5. OH MY GOOD GOD. 

Now listen, I have been a nerd since birth. I consider my library card one of my most prized possessions. Give me a sleeping toddler, cold weather, a heavy blanket and a great book any day. E-books have been a God send since Baby K arrived-- I can read without turning on a light!   Reading is a form of therapy for me, I suppose. The words transport me to far away lands, and someone else's problems. (I mean, c'mon, who couldn't use a getaway now-a-days with all the craziness going on in our country right now?) Even with all my reading experience, I could read ONE MILLION books about martial arts and I STILL would not be ready for the chaos that is a book sale in its final hours. Baby. These people were not playing. 

Y'all, I tried to swoop in and peace out but I got caught up in a sea of humanity. There were crying babies, screaming toddlers, angsty teens, non-attentive parents and some overly aggressive elderly folks. {Lady, I swear I was not trying to reach in and get that last book on crocheting for the holidays, you could have kept the look.} Honestly. Yo, it was bat shit crazy in that auditorium. I didn't think I was going to make it out of there with all my fingers. These folks were serious about their reading material. I snaked my way through the nuthouse in a little less than an hour. I think I earned some credits towards my ninja degree. Your girl was quick on her feet! {Move out of the way, Dakota... that book is MINE!} Now listen: I have never been good at math, but when I tell you that I took FORTY books of various sizes and slipped and tucked those bitches in TWO bags. Y'all... two bags, 40 books, $10.75. TEN DOLLARS and 75 cents. I am a fucking genius. Decision made: I'll see all those assholes on the last day of the Spring sale too!   

Happy reading! 

Thursday, August 02, 2018

The Whole Duty Of Man

Ah, the life and times of a college football fan. We anxiously await the end of summer to see how our team has improved since last year. We cheer on young men, hoping that they are able to excel in the classroom and beating their rivals. Here in Central Ohio, college football is a huge deal. We don't have a NFL team (unlike the "C" cities to our north and south), we don't have a MLB team (again unlike Cincy and Cleveland)... we have our Buckeyes. While we do have the Blue Jackets and the Crew, The Ohio State University football team is that thang around here. And they have been. The real fans have stuck by the Buckeyes when they continually lost to that team up north (hello, Jon Cooper years) and when they were busted by the NCAA (Jim Tressel years). Now here we are with another scandal.

So, if you don't know what is going on, here is a short recap: Urban Meyer is the head coach of our football team-- there are several different coaches (just like every other college football team). One of those other coaches was Zach Smith, grandson of the late, great Earle Bruce. Last month Zach Smith was fired by the university for (allegedly) abusing his ex-wife. Yesterday Urban Meyer was placed on paid administrative leave while the university investigates whether he knew about this (alleged) abuse and did nothing. Courtney Smith (Zach's ex-wife) is appearing everywhere stating that she told Shelley Meyer (Urban's wife) about the abuse and she thinks that Urban was aware of what was going on. Urban denies that he knew.

Consider yourself all caught up. Now: what is the Hot, Black and Bitter take? I'm glad you asked!

Before I get into this let me just say: while I am super excited about Urban Meyer's record while coaching at OSU, I am not an Urban fan. I am certainly no fan of Shelley Meyer (all you have to do is look at that chick's Twitter feed to know why I could do without her). Urban has a winning record, he can coach, BUT he has shown that he has... questionable character traits. OK- my takes on this new clusterfuck of crazy: Zach Smith is a piece of shit. No question. Anytime you abuse your spouse (or anyone, actually) you are a douchebag. I don't care who you are or who you are related to. He got fired and I, for one, hope he never gets a job in college football again. Keep your hands to yourself. Piece.Of.Shit.

Courtney Smith. This girl is going through it. She is certainly NOT being well received in Columbus-- because her all media tour is fucking up folks' football season. But you know what? She has a story and she should tell it. Everyone is quick to say that this happened three years ago, Urban has no obligation to help her out of a messy marriage/divorce and she is just doing this for her 15 minutes of fame. My take is a little different. 1. I don't care that the abuse happened three years ago-- Zach could have abused her 10 years ago and guess what? He would still be a piece of shit and she would still be a victim of abuse. 2. Urban and Shelley have daughters. I have a daughter. If, god forbid, someone abused MY daughter I would want ANYONE who knew of the abuse before me to help her. Period. Urban is also leading a group of young men here in Columbus. They have team rules and I believe the second rule is "Respect women." So he should be held to his own rules. I'm not saying that he should fight Zach but IF he knew what was going on, he should have (AT THE VERY LEAST) reported it to the school. I mean, it takes so little to be a stand up human being. 3. Stories of abuse should never be met with a counter argument that people are doing it for fame. That is absurd and lazy. I would not come out with a story about being abused, have my whole life turned upside down for something as fleeting as fame-- and I choose to believe that is true for everyone. I believe that Courtney was abused AND I believe that NO one wants to be famous for being a victim of abuse. That being said, if Courtney wanted Urban to know what was going on in her marriage, she should have told him directly.

Bottom line: do I think Urban should lose his job? No. But do I think that he should suffer some consequences IF he knew that Zach was beating his wife in 2015? Hell yeah. Folks around the country are busy sticking their noses in shit that absolutely has nothing to do with them. "Offenses" that aren't hurting anyone (like going to your neighborhood pool, selling water on a hot day, walking home, entering your own home, having a picnic in a park, leaving an Air B&B, etc.) People are so quick to jump into trivial situations with their two cents that no one asked for. If Urban knew that something as serious as spousal abuse was going on with one of his staff members then he should have done something about it. Damn the football season-- we should be teaching our kids (including football players) that they have to do the right thing... even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Fed Up Friday - Everyday Life

Oh, it has been a LONG time, but here it is Friday and I have a long list of grievances waiting to be typed out. This blog has turned into a political forum because we are living in a clusterfuck of craziness, led by the orange clown and his cronies but, surprisingly, this Fed Up Friday is not about them. It is shocking... I know. On top of the dumpster fire that we see on the news every day, I have even MORE nut-tastic behavior to highlight, so here we go.

My kid is a night owl and has attempted to stop napping during the day. Oh, I am not ready for that bullshit, so the (not nice) sign (which clearly says NOT to ring my doorbell) I put on our front door before she was born is still up there (and will remain there for the foreseeable future). So imagine my surprise when someone rang my doorbell - TWICE - and knocked on the door like the police... after Kensie FINALLY laid her little ass down for a nap. I have a crying baby, barking dogs and some moron banging on my door. I opened the door with what could only described as the "I am totally going to fuck up whoever is on the other side of this door" face. Let me just say- I live in my childhood home. I know my neighbors (and their kids). This shit BETTER be an emergency... because I have a toddler screaming in my ear. But guess what? It wasn't. This muthafucka said "do you have a lawnmower I can borrow?" Now I should have prefaced this with... I DO NOT KNOW THIS MAN. And he wasn't coming with a "hey, I'm your new neighbor from down the street" or "what's up, my name is____ and I live down the street." Nah, he just asked to use my mower. Bitch, what? When I tell you that I cut my eyes at him so hard... I have been trying to not say curse words (out loud) because my miniature person running around here is an impeccable mimic, so I kept the "fuck you" look all over my face, yelled "no" and slammed the door. Then I spent 15 minutes bribing the kid with pasta and red sauce so she would stop crying.

This week I read a story about a clerk at CVS in Chicago calling the cops on a Black lady trying to use a coupon. That dude needs his ass beat. I mean, honestly. If you employ the police for non-emergency, nonsensical matters on purpose you deserve a fine at the very least... and your ass served to you on a platter at the very most. Get your whole life together. I do know that all the managers involved were fired from CVS - rightfully so. If you are that scared of People of Color, you need to keep your ass in the house, at all times. What makes the situation worse? The dude that called the police is running for an Alderman position (city council). You want to represent a constituency that scares you? Pathetic asshole.

The last story I have for y'all is supposed to be a feel good story. Supposed to be. There is a media blitz circulating a story that a woman was able to take a proper maternity leave because her co-workers banded together and donated their vacation time to her. First of all: good for that new mama. Her co-workers are stellar. I don't know what I would have done if I HAD to get back to work two weeks after Kensie was born. I mean... I would HAVE to go back to work, but I really feel like it would have been detrimental to both me AND her. So, I have nothing but love for her co-workers. What they did was extraordinary. My issue is: what if her co-workers were not so generous? They should not HAVE to donate their vacation time so a co-worker can have time off to bond with their new baby. The United States is an amazing country (most of time) but the fact that extended maternity/paternity leave is almost non-existent amazes me. The reasons for paid leave have been spelled out several times: cost of child care is astronomical; kids get sick easily; postpartum depression is real; your body isn't the only thing that needs to bounce back after you birth a kid. We want our new mama's to breastfeed-- and low key shame them if they don't-- but we also want their asses to return to work ASAP. We want new parents to raise productive, good citizens but we don't make it easy for families to spend time together during very crucial times (like right after the child is born). There have been several articles written about the slowing birth rate in America-- uh, yeah. Students graduate with extremely high debt. Folks, on average, are buying houses later in life, if at all. And even if they have kids, companies are not making it easy to bond with those children. Does that make sense? Of course it doesn't.

This is it for this week's Fed Up Friday. I am sure I will find something else to bitch about next weekend! LOL Happy Weekend, y'all.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This IS Our Country

Just two short days after celebrating our dads and the great jobs that they do, I was surfing the inter webs, getting bombarded with images and audio of the family separation monstrosity that is taking place in border cities. I have come across several SHOUTS of: 
"WTF, this is NOT our country." 
"How can ANYONE think that this is ok?" 
"OMG, these babies."
"What kind of monsters would do something like this?"

Uh, the United States would. Duh. Last month I was watching Anderson Cooper on CNN. Anderson Cooper- yum AND he is super QUICK to call out the outright lies the citizens are being told. And I am thankful. Anyway- I was watching Anderson Cooper and the New York Times columnist Charles Blow was on a panel. What he said that night has stayed with me. When asked about whatever stupid scandal was going on, Mr. Blow simply said "Stop being astonished." Man, if that ain't a message. 

I have wanted to post about the family separation policy of the current administration for a week or so, but I waited until TODAY to post this. Why, you ask? Today is Juneteenth. On this date in 1865, a full 30 months after the effective date of the Emancipation Proclamation, the abolition of slavery was announced in the state of Texas. Two and a half years late. Stop being astonished. 

Since the inception of this country people have been brought to this land against their will. The founders of this country came here with NOTHING and stole land and resources from the indigenous people. Stop being astonished. 

Slave owners routinely raped their slaves, spawning offspring that were light enough to work in the house, but not white enough to be allowed to play with their half siblings. Stop being astonished. 

Families were ROUTINELY obliterated at slave auctions, with babies being ripped from the caring arms of their mothers; husbands being taken away from their wives; siblings left crying while they head to plantations in opposite directions. Stop being astonished. 

Slavery. The Trail of Tears. The Internment Camps for Japanese American citizens. The Muslim Ban. The poor response for Hurricane Katrina. The absolutely useless response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Stop.Being.Astonished.

What we are seeing right now has happened before. This administration is participating in tried and true tactics. This approach has been proven effective. The scheme is: once the family dynamic is broken, taking what you want is easy. We all know the ploy. So now, what are you going to do? The time of being astonished is over. The highest levels of our government are committing human rights atrocities... while we sit back in our air conditioned homes talking about "OMG, I cannot believe that they are putting babies in cages." But they are. This IS who we are-- this is who we have been from the very start of our country. Now we have to decide if this is who we will remain.


Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Graduation Advice

So, while I was in the midst of my Own Private Idaho (see previous post) the world continued to turn, right. Y'all, shit was happening! I know that I don't really spotlight my family-- but I have one. LOL Contrary to popular belief I was not found under a rock somewhere. Not only do I come from a pretty stellar family, it is also a LARGE family. Like, there are a LOT of us running around. A lot of kiddos means there is ALWAYS something going on and a month ago was a super huge day for the fam. 

Our family started to expand when I was in college. It is a long story, which I may get into at a later date or maybe over on the mommy blog. In 1997 I met a super cute, rolly poly oly kid when I was home from college on the weekend. He was just really starting to get around on his own, so I picked him up and was in the midst of introducing myself and he puked some red juice cocktail ALL over my white shirt. Quite a first day was had. I did not want to hold any more kids after that because... eww. I can laugh about it now-- kinda! 

The little kid that ruined my shirt has grown into a fantastic man, y'all. One month ago today, that young man graduated from college. Now, I am not a really emotional person, not that there is anything wrong with being emotional... it just isn't me. When something bad happens, my mind goes directly to "what can I do to fix this," not tears. When people pass away I am more overcome with a silent grief than with tears. On May 13th I was overcome with pride. There were no tears (shocker) but the feelings I had are almost indescribable. I was not really around when he was super little (college, grad school, law school... that long stint in Chicago) but I was around for holidays and high school. And college. And the person that he has grown into is amazing! He is kind, generous with his time, uses manners on a regular basis AND he loves his family. 

Maybe it is because I am actually old enough to be his mother. Maybe it is because we are a very close knit family. More than likely it is the fact that we have very similar personalities (because the world needs more Hot and Black bitterness)... whatever the reason when he walked across that stage I felt like WE made it. I felt the pride that I felt 18 years ago when I got my college degree. In a time where kids seem lost I am proud to have a brother who has direction. The world is his oyster and he is inspiring us all by chasing his dreams. 

Ah, to be 21 and at the top of the world again. Dear brother: take this advice from your middle aged, married sister-- go after whatever it is that you want. What YOU want. Don't be held back by friendships, societal norms or even our family. If you are in the middle of what everyone thinks you should do, and you hate it, do not be afraid to change directions. Ultimately, nobody can live this life for you. So do whatever makes you happy, so at the end of your time, you can look back with no regrets. Remind yourself on a regular basis that it is ok to go against the grain. Buddy, folks will ALWAYS try to make you go where they think you belong. Fuck those assholes. Blaze your own path. Love the folks who feed your dreams. Dismiss the folks that try to rain on your parade. This is your time. You represent the culmination of our wildest dreams. Make this shit count, Superman. Love you. 
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