Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Real Life - Marriage

Welcome one and all to the Holiday Season!! This is supposed to be a time filled with joy and quality time with the ones you love. This is the time for giving and forgiving. This is the time to fill up on empty calories since you know one of your resolutions will be to get back to the gym. Oh, just me? Ok. Well, I just read an article about how, for some, the holiday season is the worst part of their year. During this time some folks experience more frequent bouts of depression... some of which is brought on my unrealistic expectations. I think today's heavy social media usage contributes to those unrealistic expectations. Example: Instagram and ALL her filters are the devil. Sis, ain't no way every room in your house is clean and your bowl of kale looks THAT good while you are a size zero with flawless skin... every day. Ain't NO way! 

So, in the interest of being transparent (and because everyone should know that NO one's life is picture perfect all the time), I am going to give you the low down on portions of my life. Here we go with the marriage edition.

First, let me say, I married my best friend. Hubs is just the right person for me to live out my life with. I am happy every day that I wake up and still have him as my partner. If you know us then you know, we balance each other out. Yin and Yang, as it were. He gives me this look when I am being a little ridiculous (and I also have a look for when he is going bonkers). I am not (as) bothered by the things that drive him up the wall. We (generally) hash out things in a constructive manner. We do not fight over money. Ever. He is more reserved, I am not. We take cute selfies and our baby is adorable.

Even with everything in the above paragraph being true-- and it is, there are still days that I want to punch him in the forehead. And, trust me, I KNOW that the feeling is mutual. If I am being completely honest, I am shocked that hubs hasn't thrown up his hands in despair at least once. Listen, marriage is hard-- even the best ones. When I see the divorce rate for the United States I am NOT shocked. Marriage is not like a Hallmark movie. Everything is not cut and dry and fundamental differences cannot be solved in two hours. 

While we are similar, we are definitely not the exact same. There are things that I cannot stand that do not bother my husband. There are things that I can deal with, like the current (and everlasting) messiness of my car, that drive him crazy. Want to know what drives ME crazy? An unorganized linen closet. Whose husband is haunted by an unorganized closet of towels? Oh, no ones? Exactly. It sure as hell drives me up the wall though. You get over it or you marry the one person in the world who can tell you to get over it. 

I know we are all enamored with the beautiful pictures of wedding ceremonies in far off, exotic places. We all cry tears of joy when our friends have their one special day, but marriage is more than that. Marriage is picking up after another grown up; and having someone to tell all your troubles to-- expecting that your secrets will always be safe. It is listening to the same story over and over because THIS set of friends haven't heard it yet. It is more than a huge diamond and a great engagement story. Marriage is day in and day out, giving up your "you" time but being happy about it. 

Don't trust those pictures on the internet. In fact, if you are following someone who pretends that everything is perfect, all the time, unfollow those assholes. That ain't real life. No one needs that negativity in their lives. Marriage is hard work that not everybody is built for. The only advice everyone should subscribe to, whether you have made it 30 years or 30 days, is be grateful for the love you have found and always let them know that you appreciate what they do. Be present in your marriage, whatever that looks like, and don't worry about Suzie Q down the lane... you aren't married to her.  Happy Holidays! 

Monday, December 04, 2017

Family Drama and Social Media

Social media is both a blessing and a curse. It is a blessing because it has the ability to bring folks with common interests together... and a curse for the exact same reason. I mean, I can be planted in my warm house in Columbus, Ohio and participate in a "not so crafty" group with members in Europe, Australia, California or any other part of the world with a strong WiFi signal. Amazing, huh? I could also friend some crazy racists in a penal colony on some island somewhere. Not so amazing.

The main example of when social media is a curse is the ability to air out personal laundry for all to see. I FIRMLY believe that family drama should not ever be dealt with online. You take your hurt feelings to whoever you are pissed at and work it out. Everyone should not have the ability to to see you fall out with folks who know your deepest, darkest secrets. Now listen, do I fall out with my family? Hell yeah- there are about a million of us running around this city, we all live VERY close to one another and personalities differ greatly. With ten kids, that will always be the case. But, even in the midst of our own brand of craziness I have never felt the need to let everyone in the world know when one of my siblings is acting like an asshole-- with one exception, and I don't hardly regret it.

Not only do I NOT want my friends (and enemies) to know the weaknesses of my family members, I also do not want to let some duplicitous asshole know how to get to ME. I want folks to have to WORK to figure me out, I don't want to give these bastards a roadmap. So yeah, my clan is drama filled. If you are a close family friend, you MIGHT know a good 15% of what we are arguing about this week, but we handle our shit in house; like all families should. Now, y'all's president? He is a whole different story.

This weekend Tangerine Dream went on a Twitter rant against the FBI. Sir, no. Uh, that shit is not kosher. Not anywhere. Now, as a Black, American woman, do I have qualms about how the FBI (and other government agencies) deal with my community? Absolutely. I routinely call the police and other law enforcement agencies out on their bullshit, but I am a private citizen. It is not like I am the Police Commissioner yelling at the top of my lungs that my police officers are corrupt... because Police Commissioners don't do that. They handle shit quietly, face to face... privately. 

Now here we are with a president that people ALREADY think is not working in the interests of Americans, screaming about how fucked up our intelligence community is on a platform that everyone can see. Our enemies. Our allies. Just... everyone. The Commander-In-Chief laying out the government in-fighting for all to see. Why would he do that? Things that make you go hmm (or however they say 'hmm' in Russia). 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Manic Monday - Insomnia Strikes

Dammit, I cannot sleep. In fact, if there were an Olympic competition in NON-sleep, I could win. I mean, never in my life have I had such a shitty relationship with sleep-- not even the three years of hell known as law school. 

Generally, when I suffer from bouts of insomnia there is a reason. Watching too much news coverage is usually it... but I have been off back to back coverage of tragedies for a while. Seriously, I stopped that nonsense like three tragedies ago... my mind just couldn't take it. So, too much news isn't it... this time. 

For the last 18 months I have had a little human to watch, which messed with my shut eye. Ok, to be fair I didn't sleep well when I was heavily pregnant, so let's say for the last 20/21 months. But here I am, watching her little crazy ass sleep, so she isn't the reason that I am awake tonight. ALTHOUGH, her sleep schedule leaves a bit to be desired, if I am honest. But tonight, tonight is on me.

So, while I am sitting here calculating how much sleep I could realistically get before I have to take Baby K to her doctor appointment, my mind is all over the place. I just had an hour long argument with myself about what team I would cheer for if I wasn't an Ohio State fan. Just in case you are wondering: I would still be a huge Big 10 fan, because hello I am as Midwest as Midwest gets; AND there would be a tie as far as teams go. If I was NOT a Buckeye for Life I would either cheer for Northwestern (because their team colors are my favorite, also Academics are phenomenal) or Michigan State (spent extended time in East Lansing plus any team that beats that team in Ann Arbor is worthy of my praise). Penn State would come in a close third. If I were a traitor to the conference all together I would cheer for my alma mater, Miami University. If you only knew how much thought went into those decisions you would be shaking you head at me. I know it. 

Maybe it is because the holidays are coming up? We will see tons of family which is nice and also stressful as hell. Maybe it is because we have a family trip coming up? Maybe it is because it is November 6 and only half of my fall decorations are up? Thank you cards not mailed? Pictures not sent to family? Trying to get a business off the ground? Or it could be because your girl turned 40 a week and a half ago. Whatever it is, I need to get over it because I cannot sustain this wondrous personality with coffee and 4 hours of sleep a night. Get it together, girl! Sweet baby Jesus be a sleeping pill. 

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I Have a Serious Problem

My book addiction has gotten out of control. Honestly, it is a problem. I have books that I purchased the first week they came out and I have yet to pick up. At last count I have 150 books around the house that I have been meaning to get to. Add to that the 148 on my e-books wish list on the Columbus Library website and the 200 on my "want to read" list on Goodreads and you can see that this is completely out of control. I even have 30 books that I have started to read and have not finished. They are just on my Goodreads list... staring at me, shaking their heads in disappointment.

Now that it is officially autumn (AKA the season of cuddle up with a hot drink and a book) I have decided to read these books and clear off some shelves. Really what that means is that I am not going to buy anymore books until I read the ones I have. I can read the books I have on my shelves and sell them to our favorite used bookstore, or give them to the library and then I can ramp up my supply again. 

I am going to use this opportunity to clear out some clutter AND make better use of Goodreads. At the beginning of every new year I sign up for a book challenge on Goodreads and every year, I fail. For 2017 I pledged 60 books. I'm holding strong at 7 (just finished one!) Seven. Y'all. And Ok, those seven books don't include the books that I read to my daughter, but really, I have got to be better about carving out some time for doing the things that I love and I love to read. There are series that I have not ever wanted to read (Twilight, Harry Potter), there are genres that I have left largely unexplored (Young Adult and Sci Fi); and there are genres that I will probably continue to avoid (romance). No matter. I need to continue to expand my mind and serve as an example to my kid, so I have to make time for (my) reading. 

I have just figured out how to create a book club on Goodreads, so I think that I am going to reach out to a few of my girlfriends and see if they would be interested in having a few discussions as I wade through this ever growing list of books. If we decide to make a book club, I will definitely let you all know, until then feel free to friend me on Goodreads and hold me accountable for getting my reading life together. You can also see what I am reading on Instagram (@hotblackbitterreads). I will post a pic of the book cover so you know what I am reading. Nerd on, loves. Nerd on. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Why Heathens Will Save the World

As a long-suffering social media addict, I am often bombarded with opinions from every side. Talking points I agree with strongly or disagree with completely. I mute stupid people; block the ultra ridiculous. Not a bad gig. As I was scrolling through my Twitter timeline, reading about the horrors of Hurricane Harvey, I came across several tweets by different folks that questioned why Joel Osteen's mega church wasn't open to shelter those that Harvey hit the hardest. After 3 days of being rightfully questioned about his motives and Christianity, Joel opened his dry stadium, er church to Houstonians. The whole concept of mega churches opening themselves up to the public brought up a couple things: 1. a conversation that hubs and I had a couple of weeks ago, 2. the thought that modern day churches don't follow the Jesus they are supposed to serve and 3. the idea that it will be heathens that save the world... c'mon and follow this logic. 

A couple of weeks ago hubs and I were gathered in our bedroom, watching the coverage of the tragedy in Charlottesville. I never tell him sappy shit like this, but my most favorite thing about our ever changing relationship is that we watch and comment on the news together. It is refreshing to have a partner that has sympathy and empathy for folks. Anyway. After Orange Julius' press conference there were many people, on both sides (ha ha) who commented "I'm a Christian and this outrages me." Business leaders and artists removed themselves from presidential councils, yet no evangelicals recused themselves. None of them were running for the door. None of them were calling the Tangerine Tyrant out on his shit. BUT guess who did call him out? That is right, heathens AKA those of us who are generally concerned about the welfare of others. 

And isn't caring about the welfare of others the job of the church? I mean, religion, at its very core, is trusting your Lord and loving your neighbor, right? I haven't reviewed ALL religions, but I have read up on a few and that tenet seems to be universal. So, I guess the real question is: when you look at the leaders of your church, do they serve as good examples? I've seen Joel Osteen in person-- at a Night of Hope in Chicago. I have purchased several of his books, but if I'm honest, I unfollowed him on Twitter when he said that the Tangerine Tyrant was a good man (because, eww, hell no). Joel is a "feel good" preacher. He smiles a lot and tells his legions of followers that our merciful God will bring them through their trials and tribulations. He says that... but is he a vehicle for those victories? Does he attempt to make it easier for his followers to turn their trials into triumph? If we use the current flooding in Houston as an example the answer is a resounding no. Once he was badgered, Osteen tweeted out his prayers for the city where he collects millions of tax free dollars every week then he put up a fundraising page on his church's website. It wasn't until us heathens shamed his ass on Twitter that he opened up his almost 17,000 seat church to those in need... TODAY. Uh, it has been raining since Friday. How very Christian of him. Oh Joel... if you know better, you are supposed to do better.

That is exactly what hubs and I talked a couple weeks ago: what is the role that the church should play in the lives of every day folks. Background: we don't live in the hood... but we are (technically) hood adjacent. So I ask hubs: "if you go to the next neighborhood over (like seriously, 1 mile away) what will you see on every other corner?" He had no idea, so I helped him out. You see a liquor store and a church. (Y'all, the truth). Presumably we know the role of the liquor store, but what role should the church play? Why are there so many? Why do there seem to be so many in failing neighborhoods? Most importantly: why do those neighborhoods continue to fail-- even if the churches are doing well? If the churches are doing well... and doing what they are supposed to do, like, I don't know, following the example of Jesus... would there still be folks in need? 

Even this heathen knows some scripture. Christians are supposed to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, take care of widows and orphans. (Matthew 25: 35-46; James 1:27) We are supposed to be examples-- the light of the world (Matt 5:14). We are supposed to follow the greatest commandment... (Matthew 22:36-40) But if we do that, why are there so many people suffering? Not just in Texas, but in the neighborhood down the street. If you give every Sunday in church... where does that money go? Who does it help? Is your church working in its neighborhood? Does your mens group serve as mentors to the young men in your neighborhood... or do they just shake their heads at the dudes on the corner? Does the ladies group at your church gossip about the pregnant girl in the back pew? Do they have weekly soup kitchen parties to feed the neighborhood's homeless? Since one of our political parties claims to be exceptionally "Christian" why do they not hold strong to the teachings of Jesus? Why does it seem like your resident heathens are the ones lighting the world with love and kindness? Food for thought.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Manic Monday - Change is Coming

I am on the cusp of being an adult. Ok, I know I'm married and have a kid, but honestly, in two months and four days I will be a for real grown up. I'm turning 40. With this new age bracket sprinting toward me, I am trying to do a few things differently. TRYING. 

My baby is starting to become a little walking bullhorn, so I am attempting to limit the time I call people out of their names in front of her. That's right, no more calling y'all's grandmas "rude bitches" when they cut me off in the grocery store aisle. I will also stop mumbling about ripping all those bobby pins out of their ice blue wigs if one more of them ask if I am my child's nanny. Yep, you're welcome. 

I'm trying to be a better person so I keep trying to let shit go. Like, when our basement flooded last month, I took a few deep breaths and built a bridge over all those shitty feelings I was having. Why? Because life is too short to sweat the small stuff... or some other cliche shit like that. Listen, I'm trying to be better because I am about to be old, my baby repeats all the inappropriate shit I say at a very high volume, I don't want to raise an asshole, I would NOT do well in jail AND I want to save all my real venom for when I am super old and no one can attempt to correct my bad behavior. 

All three of us were lounging on Sunday morning. Hubs and I were discussing politics, Baby K was running from room to room with nothing but a diaper and a smile on. The animals were hiding from her. Fun times. All of a sudden, this video popped up on my timeline. I immediately started to show my age by 1. knowing all the words, 2. naming all the people singing and 3. knowing who in the video was still alive. What can I say? This is a house full of delightfully corny people, led by yours truly. This song can be applied to SO many things going on in the world and the US right now. By the end of the song I was taking the words to heart (and seriously considering stealing Cyndi Lauper's hair color). Turning over a new leaf starts at home. With you and me. And 1980s icons. 

Happy Monday, y'all. Change is coming. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wordless Wednesday - MAGA

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

If You Know Like I Know

Yesterday a young lady named Quantasia Sharpton, along with her attorney Lisa Bloom, held a press conference. In said press conference, Sharpton detailed her alleged sexual contact with the R&B singer Usher Raymond. Now, I don't know whether or not the sexual contact happened-- though I am leaning towards yes, because why else would she expose herself to the wrath of the prepubescent fans of an entertainer? Honestly, I don't care if they had sex or not. They were both adults at the time and Sharpton has said that she has tested negative for the sexually transmitted disease that Usher supposedly has. If that were the end of the situation... well, I wouldn't be writing about it. 

Nah. The situation couldn't be that tidy. Listen, I didn't watch the press conference, but while it was ongoing, I did log into Twitter and I saw all that I needed to. As soon as Sharpton hit the stage a good 85% of folks watching said that the interaction could not have happened. Not because they had the time to vet her story; not because she had a history of lying, or because Usher is such a choir boy. Nope, folks couldn't believe that Usher fucked this chick... because she is overweight. Um... 

So, are we all out here thinking that big folks don't get second looks? They don't get dicked down? Because of the size of their panties? That idea is laughable. Let me shed some light on those fat shaming eyes... 

If you know like I know: we all have a "fat" friend who has more sex than your "fit" friends; being thick is in style-- know that. Plus, what is that saying? You can be the ripest, juiciest peach on a tree and you will still run into someone who doesn't like peaches. Uh, 100% correct. Only extremely young and/or dumb folks think that smaller built folks are more lovable. 

If you know like I know: when asked, most men will tell you the size of a partner is not a concern. 100 pounds or 250 pounds, when it is about to go down, IT'S ABOUT TO GO DOWN. They don't care. And how many times do we have to see that scenario play out in real life? Uh, some men have a skinny wife and a larger sized mistress. It is what it is. 

If you know like I know, most of us are living in denial of our overweight status (ahem).

Finally, if you know like I know... most of y'all missed the entire point of that press conference. Yep, Lisa Bloom could have dressed her better (because personally, I don't think the color she was wearing flatters ANYone) but I digress. Who gives a fuck if that chick is big? We have an entertainer running through folks in our community and not sharing their STD status. That shit is dangerous, right? I mean, there are incurable diseases out there... right? And you and your little clique are upset because Usher may have had sexual contact with a larger girl-- but NOT upset that he is (possibly) fucking multiple folks with a dirty dick?? I need y'all to come on and get right. 

We have ALL done some questionable shit. I'm not judging that girl for sexual contact with Usher. Because if I was approached by my favorite entertainer on my 19th birthday, there is no telling what I would have done. I'm not even mad at Usher for having sex with as many people as he wants-- I mean, I think that is a perk of stardom. HOWEVER, that shit should be done responsibly. If you KNOW that you have a STD, you should be truthful. And if you don't know your STD status, you should get tested. Immediately. Folks need to realize that a baby is not the worst thing that can come from a sexual interaction. If you have the possibility of giving people a disease, man up and tell them that. There is a reason why it is against the law (in some states) to keep that info to yourself. It is about CONSENT. Consent to take on a possible lifetime of fighting a disease. And really... if you can't tell the person that you are about to be intimate with that you are harboring a disease... uh, your punk ass shouldn't be having sex.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Soulful Saturday - 1992

1992. The year I started high school. Jesus. Making these flashback posts really makes me feel old. That is fine because if I feel old then the fact that I say shit like "we had the best music back then" fits the conversation. There are so many songs that were released in 1992 that speak to me-- way more than the ones that I have posted below. Luckily, most of the ones that I want to post have made it on previous Soulful Saturday lists (like Mary J. Blige singing One with U2, or the EnVogue ladies slaying us with Giving Him Something He Can Feel or Boyz II Men, you get the idea). What an amazing time for music. What an amazing time to be growing up and experiencing this art. What a privilege to be able to look back and say that, in one year, you experienced both Eric Clapton and Blind Melon. Arrested Development and Red Hot Chili Peppers. Pearl Jam. Lenny Kravitz. Shit, even Billy Ray Cyrus. These songs stick with you, like a great meal... they automatically transport you back to those happy, carefree times. The sad times. Teenage angst. Love. Loss. Life.

Under the Bridge - Red Hot Chili Peppers

Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton

Damn, I wish I was your lover - Sophie B. Hawkins

Rhythm is a Dancer - Snap

Tennessee - Arrested Developement

No Rain - Blind Melon

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sexism In The City

The Tangerine Tyrant has struck again. At this point, I have to tell you, I'm not shocked at what comes out of his sick mouth. He is an asshole, and just like all assholes, he deals in shit. I expect absolute garbage to come out of his mouth. Every day. Yesterday he took to Twitter to pick a fight with Mika Brzezinski of the Morning Joe show. 

Now look, I don't really deal with the Morning Joe show. To me, they were WAY too chummy with the mango colored minstrel show during the election cycle, so I don't watch them. Supposedly the show has taken a turn now that Tangerine Tyrant is in the White House--clearly they said something that got under that clementine colored skin. Whatever was said on their show didn't warrant the response, but here we are. Again. 

Millions of people, myself included, ride 45's ass day in and day out-- because he is a political moron and has no business running our country. So why did he choose to talk shit about Mika? Because bullies know exactly who to go after. First, let's just get this out of the way: 45 does not have, nor as he ever had, respect for women. That's why he cheated on his first two wives; it is why he talks about his daughter in a sexualized manner (and allows others to do so); it is why he tells women what it would take for them to be a 10 in his eyes. He is a pig. He is emboldened by a Congress that also does not think highly of women-- that is the reason that pregnancy is a pre existing condition in the drafts of these health care bills and why men only panels are determining the care of American women. The Tangerine Tyrant picks on women because he knows that his base will back him up. And the women that voted for him? They all thought he was going to be their savior with a blond squirrel on his head, but he shows them EVERY day that he doesn't care about them, their daughters, their sisters, their mamas.

So, he knows that his base won't go against him--even the women. He knows that the useless Congress might pitch a fit the first day... and then they will go alone with whatever nonsense he puts in an Executive Order the next. They are spineless... yep Jason Chaffetz, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, we are looking at you. They won't do shit. Hell, 45 talked shit about Ted Cruz's wife TO TED'S FACE and that turd still kisses his ass. Jason said that he didn't know how he was going to tell his daughters that he supported a man like 45 after the Access Hollywood tape came out. How is that going, Jason. You comfortable supporting him now? How did that conversation go with your kids? Uh huh. They will ask him to stop (for optics) but they aren't going to do anything else. They certainly won't stand up to his demented ass. 

Mika hasn't been the only journalist that has something to say against the Clementine Colored Catastrophe... so WHY was she cherry picked for abuse? Jim Acosta has been giving his press secretary the business, nothing about his looks made it to a tweet. Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper and Don Lemon have all taken swipes-- nothing about their faces or bodies have made it to Twitter. Why is that? You know why.

I'm from the Midwest. We are salt of the Earth people here. I learned a while ago what is right and what is wrong. Folks are on social media trying to make what y'all's president did ok. That shit is not ok. What would you do if Mika was your daughter? Would you be ok with the leader of your country objectifying your kid while a whole nation watches? Of course not. You want to know the kicker? That fucker was dead wrong, but will not ever apologize. He is not sorry and he will work tirelessly to make YOU think that an apology is owed to HIM. 

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Soulful Saturday - High School Edition

I have been confronted with my high school experience a lot lately. I am on the Alumnae Board at my alma mater, had dinner with some high school buddies and been over to the school a ton in the last few months. I still haven't really gotten over the fact that, as one of my classmates pointed out a couple of weeks ago, my diploma is old enough to drink. PS- If that is true, why is my mind convinced that the 1990s were only ten years ago?

At any rate, I have been thinking about all the mid 90s radio goodness and after a Facebook post by another buddy, I have decided that we all need a little 90s music in our lives. I am sure that the "high school edition" of soulful saturday will have multiple volumes, because let's be real... the 1990s was the last decade of truly good music. And I'm not looking to debate this... because you can't debate facts, folks. So, let's take a trip down memory lane to the year 1994. I was a sophomore in high school, planning a life that doesn't come close to mirroring the life I have now. These are the songs I blasted on my Walkman on the bus to track practice... or on the way to a basketball game. They were on many a mix tape, youngins!! So, put in some headphones and sing at the top of your lungs... you know all the words. :)

Wild Night - John Mellencamp f. Meshell Ndegeocello

Return to Innocence - Enigma

Because the Night - 10,000 Maniacs (and yes, I do realize this is a cover... shut up and enjoy this music)

Never Keeping Secrets - Babyface

Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Bonus Track:

Here Comes The Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze

Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Way My Sympathy Is Set Up...

In all my (almost) 40 years I have spent a lot of quality time working on my emotional responses. I had to work on my responses in emotionally charged situations, not because I'm a sociopath, but because I am a fixer. If one of my friends is hurting, I am (generally) the person that puts a solution in motion. I mean, there has to be ONE person that doesn't cry, right? Bottom line: when there is a sad situation, I recognize the sad and try to work on making sure everyone and most things are taken care of. I'm not one to cry (much)... I just move into action. 

So, I am proud of my responses in most emotional situations. I am not as bad as Sheldon on Big Bang Theory, but I can recognize that some may be put off by my "can do" attitude when a hug and some comforting words would do just fine instead. I'm working on it-- especially now that I am a mom. Any time it is possible I am totally committed to being the empathetic person in the crowd. I try to put myself in other people's shoes when they have been served a bad blow. What would I need? How did I feel when I was in that situation? What would be better for me? If I were grading my emotional responses, I would be passing... like a low B. Yeah, B for sure. However, there are situations when I feel like putting in less effort.

I am sure that everyone has heard about the Otto Warmbier case. He was the young Ohioan who was convicted of a petty crime in North Korea, jailed and sent back to his parents in an almost vegetative state. He died three days ago. As an Ohioan, a parent and a human being I hated to read about his demise. It was sad. No one wants to read about a parent losing a child. No one wants to read about their fellow statesman coming to a brutal end for some nonsense. Nobody. And I don't want to say that my sympathy for the Warmbier family stops there. I don't WANT to say that...

Let me put it like this: when I read about (and saw the video of) Otto Warmbier getting in trouble for taking a poster off a hotel wall, my thoughts didn't jump to his family. You know who I thought about? Sandra Bland's mom. Tamir Rice's mom. Eric Garner's family. Philando Castile's family. John Crawford's relatives. Walter Scott's family. And see, this is why I gave myself a low B when it comes to emotional responses. Because, see, how my sympathy is set up... makes it hard for me to see things in a vacuum. I see all this social media outrage about the death of Otto Warmbier-- people completely incensed about him dying at the hand of this "rogue" dictator... when people of color die for trivial crimes every day, so much so that the outrage seems to only come from minority communities. And no one pays for it. No one is found responsible. No one pays the price for these lives taken... except for families that are forever altered; and communities that are deeply scarred; and a nation that become accustomed to seeing Black and Brown men and women die on the evening news. The American public, in general, can stomach our police killing Ray Ray in the street... and blaming Ray Ray's family for raising a thug. But let them see a college student- a white college student- receive that same kind of treatment in a different nation. 

Injustice to one SHOULD be felt as injustice to all, but every day we see evidence that shows that ain't the American way. 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Soulful Saturday - Rene and Angela

Ah, it has been so long. I have no issue in saying that since April 21, 2016 I haven't really been feeling like posting music. It is hard to see your idols pass away. Y'all remember that song "American Pie" by Don McLean? Truly, that cold day in April was the day the music died a bit for me. I was not even a week out of the hospital after having my daughter and the news of Prince's passing was soul crushing. Soul.Crushing. You know why? Because I often use music to get through shit. Rough times, happy times, death, birth, school... life. We all have a life soundtrack... and Prince is in heavy rotation in my soundtrack. So after thinking about it and taking a considerable amount of time off from my Soulful Saturday gig, I am back... because somebody might need a few songs for their life soundtrack.

So for today: Rene and Angela. Dynamic Duo of 80s greatness! Big hair, a Jheri Curl and soulful lyrics-- what's not to love? Their videos are everything that the 80s represent-- shoulder pads, glitter electronic sound, makeup applied with a heavy hand. Their songs have been sampled... so you have heard parts of these songs before. Some songs have been remade by a couple of R&B singers-- y'all already know that I love originals. Rene and Angela definitely had some bangers... here are some songs for your life soundtrack. Let's get after it! 

My First Love

**A tarnished ring, on a tarnished chain** That high note... Get it, Angela!!

You Don't Have To Cry

Also known as the original Ride or Die Anthem. This love song is serious, y'all hear me-- and the rain in the background? Killing it.


I'll Be Good

This song was heavily sampled in the 90s. The original is an 80s classic.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Respect Is Earned

There is an old saying: "Respect isn't given, it is earned." Nothing quite illustrates this point like modern day politics in America. I have made no secret of the fact that I don't like the current president. I don't generally use his name when I write. I don't agree with his platform and I think he thinks that making America a bully will advance his agenda (it won't). Essentially, he is a jackass. I don't repeat that puppet. He was elected by a minority of folks who believe that America used to be great when everyone "knew their place" and being different wasn't tolerated. That is not the America that I want to raise my daughter in. It is, in fact, the type of America that I rebel against daily. 

On Tuesday comedienne Kathy Griffin posted a picture of herself holding a bloodied trump-like head. Now, listen, I don't really care for Kathy Griffin's style of humor... mostly because she seems obsessed with making out with my pretend boyfriend, Anderson Cooper... but there are tons of comedians that I don't like, Now what she did on Tuesday was completely unacceptable. She said as much in her public apology. It was tacky. As much as I dislike MANY people, I don't picture them beheaded or physically harmed, nor do I want others to picture them that way. That being said... cry me a fucking river. It was tacky and ill conceived but now the Tangerine Tyrant has pulled the sympathy card tweeting that his children are having a hard time with this? Boy Bye.

As much as I talk about politics, I firmly believe that children should be off limits. Once children start throwing jabs (ex. Bristol Palin, Tangerine Dream's older sons) then they can and will be checked, but little kids? Off limits. So, I don't generally talk about the Tyrant's youngest kid. No one should-- to do so would be in bad taste. But... Tangerine Dream says that the imagery of a comedienne holding a mannequin head and fake blood has essentially traumatized his child. Hmm. Ok. I don't give two fucks... and let me tell you when I will start to care about it: not never. 

I will start to care about the Mocker-In-Chief, his feelings and the feelings of his spawn when the following happens: he realizes that he and his ilk did WORSE to President Obama for 9 years-- without apology; he shows that he has an ounce of empathy for minority groups; he goes one whole week without showing a map of the electoral college win; he goes three whole days without bashing Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or the United States of America; he stops tweeting; he ends his love affair with Putin; he reads/speaks at a level above the 8th grade; he stops making money off this presidency; he stops trying to make life unlivable for the poor and the elderly; he actually realizes and denounces the fact that the folks following him are out here killing Brown and Black folks without fear of repercussion; he brings himself to actually mutter the name of Richard Collins III or ANY other citizen that has been murdered by the ilk that follow him; he stops stealing my daughter's future and the future of all of our children; he stops LYING. 

Considering that as I type he is telling the American public that he is pulling us out of the Paris Accord, I seriously doubt that he is going to start caring about Main Street Americans. He cares about continuing to line his pockets and the pockets of his little friends. Do I care that Kathy Griffin hurt his feelings? Nah. His butt buddy Ted Nugent said that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama should be killed and his ass got a White House invite, so clearly Tangerine Tyrant only has an issue when this type of attention is directed at him. Get over yourself. You sell Americans short every day. You pump up deplorables with the idea that you are going to get rid of all of us "others" so that they can live on top of the hog in a Leave It To Beaver fantasy world. You devalue my life and the lives of others who look like me. You are trying to assure that my daughter won't have the same opportunities that your children had... that you had. You gladly took part in attempting to destroy this country's first Black President. You are actively trying to destroy women in leadership (Hilary Clinton and Angela Merkel spring to mind)... and you want me to feel bad for you and your devil spawn. Yeah... I'm good. 

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Country Over Party

Wow, wow, wowzers. The daily life of an American citizen these days, am I right? Our news cycle is in overdrive. The idea that democracy itself is under attack is actually a viable talking point. The country is being led by a stooge... and there are legitimate questions about just whose team the stooge plays for-- the United States or Russia. As a citizen watching the quite frequent misses of this administration, I have to say that it is ALL disturbing. The attack on our fundamental values. This dismissive attitude towards the elderly, the poor, minorities and women are alarming (to say the very least). The inability to admit the current administrations faults is mind numbing. For me, the worst sin is the adamant defense of EVERYTHING that Tangerine Dream does. It is irritating and insulting. 

I have no issue in stating (every day, all day) that I am no fan of Tangerine Dream. I have never been. I knew that there were problems with Hillary and wrote that. I have and will continue to dislike Bernie Sanders, but even I would take his fake ass over the Orange Occupant of the White House. Because I am a thinking person, I know that no matter WHO is in the White House they will not satisfy MY agenda 100% of the time. It is impossible. Example: I love Barack Obama. I voted for him twice; if possible I would have voted for him again. I love his family, his demeanor, his deliberate walk and speech patterns. However, Barack and I didn't see eye to eye on some things. Not just White House things... I lived in Illinois when he was a U.S. Senator. I know now and I knew then that sometimes he would have to do some things that I didn't like... for the greater good. That is the life of ANY politician. So the idea that everyone in the White House agrees with EVERY move that the Orange Oligarch says and does insults my intelligence. That shit is impossible. Seriously. 

As the weeks go on and the news keeps coming, I have but one hope for politicians that represent U.S. citizens: I hope (and pray, if that helps) that they choose Country over Party. Listen, I am not a bitter liberal, ok? I get that both the House and Senate are overrun with Republicans. I get that a small number of folks wanted Tangerine Dream in the White House. I get that we lost in November-- and I don't dispute it. I get that there are differences between the parties-- always have been, always will be. What I DON'T get is how those differences have led us HERE. We all want the same thing: we want to be able to live a free life, make money and take care of our families. It is true that there is more than one way to get to those goals, but is possible collusion with a foreign government one of those ways? Is being demeaning to our elderly, our poor one of those ways? Is giving a tax cut (or several) to the ultra rich one of those ways.... even though history has shown us that it doesn't work?? 

What we need right now is some level-headedness. Some common sense. The question is: where the hell are we going to get that? This administration certainly does not supply level-headedness. Hell no on the common sense also. I mean, Pence seems to be right in the mix of all this lawlessness. Paul Ryan just shucks, jives and agrees (even though Tangerine Dream has thrown his ass under the bus SEVERAL times). Orrin Hatch = hot mess. Jeff Sessions = hotter mess. All the appointees thus far have been absolutely ridiculous and unqualified (ok, maybe 2 were qualified). So where does that leave us? Hoping and wishing that these fools choose US over loyalty to a party that seems to be out to get us. Hoping that our Representatives represent our needs. Wishing that we had pushed for Congressional term limits?? Sweet Jesus, take the wheel. 

Monday, May 01, 2017

An Officer, Certainly No Gentleman

Almost one month ago an incident took place on the north side of my fair city and video evidence of a police officer kicking a handcuffed suspect in the face was released. Scratch that-- the video clearly shows said suspect, Demarko Anderson, lying on his stomach, hands cuffed behind his back, submitting to a different police officer when he was kicked in the face. I think that I reposted the original news story on my Facebook page, but then I just sat back and waited for it all to be revealed. And what was revealed was predictable and disappointing. 

The same officer that was in the news last summer for the murder of Henry Green was confirmed as the officer attempting to stomp out Mr. Anderson on this video. That's right... Zachary Rosen, one of the two cops involved in the Henry Green shooting last summer, was caught, on camera, involved in yet another indictable offense. Let's talk about this... 

I have always maintained that this blog was not a place to dog the police-- and it still is not. Being a police officer (or any kind of first responder, actually) is an incredibly tough job, no doubt. Plus, I don't want to be judged by the actions of all Black people, so I really do try my best not to slap a label on a whole group of people. In my opinion, it is lazy to do so. With that said-- I understand why folks are painting the police with a broad brush. I totally get it-- because if a Black person does something trifling or questionable, I am QUICK to call them out on it... to their face, on social media, in letters to the editor of our local paper, etc. I cut them NO slack. But when officers partake in questionable, trifling actions the only thing you get is a little statement that says "Officer so and so is under investigation" and then after a few months of desk duty officer so and so is back on the streets, tormenting our neighborhoods. Need proof? Exhibit A should be last summer's Henry Green murder. The two officers involved were "investigated" and brought before a Grand Jury and what happened? Not one thing. Officer Rosen was released yet again on our neighborhoods to torment the same taxpayers who pay his salary.

Again, no way am I saying all cops are bad. That simply cannot be true-- in any large city, under any circumstance. There will ALWAYS be cops that choose that job for all the right reasons. In fact, some of the best folks I know serve our city. BUT, Zachary Rosen should not be allowed to police our streets ever again. At what point do we all, as a community (both civilians and police), hold officers like Rosen accountable? When is an "investigation" going to swing in the favor of the community? After he kills another mother's child? After he stomps on someone else's face? What else does he get to do to us? Who gets to be his next victim? Me? My husband? My baby??

Police, in every city, need the respect of their communities in order to do their jobs well. In order for them to GET respect, they need to earn it. How is supporting/hiding/aiding an officer like Zachary Rosen earning the respect of your citizenry? How is anything short of an independent investigation and criminal charges for Rosen earning the respect of those you are charged to protect and serve? How does the Columbus Police Department have the gall to leave these questions unanswered? We pay you. We help you. You are in our community-- At least that is how it is supposed to be. Bottom line: the police want us to trust them... I want the police to earn it.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Heartbreak In Cleveland

I can't be the only one who hates to see their home state in the news. Truth be told, Ohio has made nationwide news a lot lately-- and I am not a fan. The news stories are always THE WORST and totally not representative of this great state. I imagine that when asked, most people think that Ohio is a sleepy state, filled to the brim with fields of cows, corn and wheat. Oh, and somewhere in those fields there is a football stadium where Ohio State plays (and wins). Clearly, that isn't representative of our state either... but I would take that imagery versus what has been in the news (several heroin overdoses, kidnappings, child abuse and murders).

Easter Sunday was really relaxed at the Hot, Black and Bitter Palace. We didn't go to church (heathens) so we were hanging out, waiting for Baby K to get a good nap in before going shopping (holiday= less people out, thank you sweet baby Jesus). She was napping when we heard the news. Some random goofy dude shot an elderly man on the streets of Cleveland. Now listen, I am wary of "trending news" because sometimes it isn't true and if you post it on social media, you look dumb as hell... then all your smart friends tell you that you are dumb as hell... so I try not to participate in passing shit around until I know it is true. I waited for confirmation from the Cleveland Police Department. We all got it. A douchebag (who has a name, but you won't see it here because fuck him) pulled his car over and shot an elderly man who was minding his own business. Why? Because his girlfriend ended their relationship and he just could NOT handle himself.

A few things: that break up did not make him "snap" He was looking for an excuse to do some destructive shit. He was calm when he walked up to Mr. Godwin, has small talk and recorded himself shooting that man... FOR ABSOLUTELY NO REASON. The loss of a woman didn't do that. Nah. I have had bad break ups and never once have I thought, "you know what? I should go shoot someone." Not once. Because people don't do shit like that. Life is not all glitter and rainbows. Sometimes Life fucks you up. Sometimes Life grabs you and throws you down a couple times. GET YOUR ASS BACK UP. It happens to everyone. Break ups happen. Bills happen. Life happens.

Point Two: I have to admit that the fact that some of y'all keyboard ninjas "investigated" the ex girlfriend irked the hell out of me. She was investigated so tough that she issued a statement/apology. She had nothing to apologize for. Clearly, she did exactly what she needed to do: she got away from that asshole.

Point Three: Mr. Godwin's family issued a statement (before that animal took his own life) asking for him to turn himself in and stating that they forgive him. AIN'T NO WAY. Nope. And I don't give a shiny shit in a leprechaun's pot of gold if that makes me the pettiest person on the face of God's green Earth. Listen to me when I tell you, if you commit a crime against one of my family members forgiveness is going to be the LAST possible thing on my mind. Call me a bitch... whatever, I may not ever get to forgiveness. I'm ok with that.

Last point: After being confronted by Pennsylvania law enforcement officers this fuckbag killed himself yesterday. Hardest eyeroll EVER. I mean, if his death was his endgame all along why did he... you know what, nevermind.

I am absolutely heartbroken for the Godwin family. In all sincerity, they are in my daily prayers. I could not imagine what they are facing. I know I say it a lot, y'all, but hug your babies... your family... your spouse. It is getting rough out here.

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Aggressive Behavior

Let's have a little discussion about misplaced aggressive behavior. My feathers are all sort of ruffled because two days ago, in my fair city, there was a shooting at a mall. Now, truthfully, this is disturbing for several reasons. 1. These are grown ass women-- not teenagers (not that teens would get a pass either, but you get what I'm saying) 2. The mall is not far from where I live, 3. Shooting people... at any mall? Awful and 3. it has been reported that the ongoing fight that started this whole clusterfuck was about some dude. Y'all. Ladies... please know that I am typing this while giving the deepest, most slanderous side eye that I can muster. Let me summarize the story: Both ladies (using that term lightly) had a child with the same douche. Douche is now incarcerated. Lady A was interviewing for a job at the mall. Lady B saw her, argued and shot her. Lady A is in the hospital. Lady B was arrested and has bonded out of jail. AND, the families of these two "ladies" had a scuffle at the shooter's arraignment. Ma'am, what?!

Now let's be real-- I have raised my voice over a guy, absolutely. I have cussed some folks O-U-T for their behavior while we were dating. They deserved it and I still don't feel bad. But what I have never done is SHOOT someone or done anything that would have me facing jail time over some guy. Not me. I am not the one. I have said several times that I am too pretty for prison (still true) but I have to point out that I am also allergic to looking stupid. And there is no doubt that if you get carted off to jail for fighting over a guy... you look stupid.

When my sister and I were growing up, our parents used to constantly tell us "don't you leave this house and embarrass this family." I think people, women especially, need to hold this rule in high regard. You are fighting over some dude and your family and friends have to watch the replay of your stupidity on the 5, 6 and 11 o'clock news? Come on, don't do that. There is not a man shortage out here. There isn't. And even if there were, you going to jail for shooting someone is not going to help your situation, now is it? 

I firmly believe that if more women had attentive and loving parents in their lives during their formative years, shit like this would not happen. Clearly, the shooter needed someone to make her feel good about herself; needed some extra love and hugs or something.  Shit, not for nothing, she really shouldn't even be upset with that chick she shot. She should be mad at the douche she procreated with... and herself. She needs to focus her anger on the correct person. Truthfully, as soon as I found out that he was expecting a child with someone else I would have been done with him... nothing more to say. Lesson of the day is that misplaced aggression with get you a felony count and some jail time. Keep it classy.

April Showers

Welcome to April, folks!! There is so much on deck for this month. We will be celebrating one whole year of parenthood-- and it seems like this year has flown by. In an effort to continue to write down all the feels/frustrations/celebrations/milestones that we will see or have seen, I have joined the A to Z challenge for the month of April. The rules are simple: Every day of the month (except the first 4 Sundays) is a letter in the alphabet, April 1st = A, April 3rd = B, etc. Because April starts on a Saturday, the last Sunday will be the Z entry. Twenty six letters, twenty six entries. Both blogs. Should be a lot of work... but also fun and exciting. I am going to HAVE to schedule most of these posts in advance because toddler life is unpredictable, but I am excited to write more-- even if that means missing out on some nap time. Hopefully all these posts will be up before 8 pm, but no promises on that because, again, toddler life is traumatic for the mama! So, stay tuned... I think we are going to get to know each other well. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Common Sense Politics - Medical Insurance

I know, I know. You looked at the title of this entry and you immediately were like common sense and politics don't even go together... especially now-a-days, right? I disagree. While our current administration is full of clowns putting on a daily show, common sense and politics CAN go together.  Every issue has a common sense solution, something that may not be what everyone wants, but what will benefit the most people. With that in mind, let's talk health insurance.

Supposedly a big vote is going to take place on Thursday. Congress wants to try to pass that piss poor AHCA (aka American Health Care Act aka Trumpcare). Now listen, I have never made it any secret that I am not a Republican, right? That is not the reason I vehemently oppose this health care act. Simply put, I oppose the ACHA because it will hurt a lot of my fellow Americans. Almost every report that has reviewed the ACHA has said that the number of uninsured Americans will go up,  premiums will be unaffordable and insurance companies will be able to deny coverage. Before we get into this, I realize that if you are one of those people that bitch about how the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is the worst thing to ever happen to America since us commie liberals made y'all take down the Ten Commandments from your small town courthouses... uh, you might not get what I am about to type. It is ok. I'll make it plain enough for you to get it. Yep, even you. So, let's get into it.

For the record, I have insurance through Lefty's employer. We are not covered under the ACA, nor would we be covered under ACHA. I do not see the Affordable Care Act as the end all, be all. It certainly should NOT be the end of America searching for a cure to our outlandishly high health care costs. Not even close. There ARE problems with the ACA. I appreciate it for what it is-- a beginning point. With that said, it is absolutely my belief that the ACA is beneficial to more people-- right now. I searched Twitter to see WHY people are so opposed to ACA and the top three reasons are: 1. they didn't know that the ACA and "Obamacare" are the same thing; 2. they hate that the government is "making" them get insurance and 3. they are pissed because premiums have gone up for their family. Common sense can be used to address all three of these concerns. Some of y'all are not going to like my delivery, but that won't negate the validity of the answers (so suck it up, buttercup and get ready for this truth).

To address number 1: if you are/were enrolled in and served by the ACA but didn't know that it was also called "Obamacare" you need to get your life together. I mean, you are just stupid. If you went to rallies to scream about how "Obamacare" is terrible/ruining our country/needs to be repealed and replaced, not realizing that you are covered under THAT very program you should be made to go home and only be allowed to watch CSPAN until you are able to pull your head out of your ass. You should not be allowed to mingle with the public. You're dumb and the ACA is the least of your problems. Honestly.

Number 2: if you are a true conservative, seeking smaller government, I guess I could see that you would be miffed that the big bad government is making you get medical insurance. I guess. But even if I let that slide, there are so many instances where Americans are mandated to do something. Since I own a car, I have to have insurance, right? You know why? Because if I get in a wreck someone will have to pay for property damage and physical injury. Have to have it, and if I roll the dice and choose not to get car insurance, I will have to pay the price for that. Why are people expecting health insurance to be held to a different standard? Common sense would dictate that you should have health insurance, especially since you and your family could be bankrupted by a visit to the emergency room.

Number 3: Premiums have gone up. Yep. Especially if you are young and healthy. That is how this works. The young(er) and healthier generally pay more. And from what I have read about ACHA, your premiums are going to skyrocket if that act is passed. I know that some people are convinced that their premium went up ONLY because of the ACA. You poor souls. I know. But, your premium going up has more to do with the bottom line of your insurance company, rising health care costs and rising numbers of extremely sick Americans.

Here is the deal: everyone should have health insurance. A major illness could be catastrophic for a family without insurance. I saw the bills after I gave birth to my daughter last year. Without insurance my stay in the hospital would have been $50K+ and hers would have been $20K. Seventy thousand dollars for the birth of a child. Health care costs are out of control. What SHOULD happen is: Congress (all of whom have health insurance that the American public pays for) should build upon the ACA. They should make sure that everyone can be covered-- even if they have had pre-existing conditions, the insurance should be affordable and there should be a reward for medical professionals who work efficiently while caring for patients. Is this possible? Yep. Will it be easy? Nope. But we should not allow them to skate on this. After all, I am sure that the insurance we provide them with is A+.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Valentine's Day Recap

Why has it taken me so long to post this? My house has an infant crawling around... and I have been under-caffeinated, but never fear... I am back!! 

Here is a shocker: I don't really DO Valentine's Day. SURPRISE!! I mean, I get the "day of love" idea and I don't want to minimize whatever it means to other folks, but it has never really been my thing. I have always had a Valentine. And I realize how ridiculously pompous THAT sounds, but stick with me here. I have always had a Valentine because my DAD has always been my Valentine. He is so cute and has always made sure to wish my sister and I a Happy Valentine's Day for as long as I can remember-- didn't matter if we were dating someone or single. Not for nothing, but there is something to be said a father's involvement in the life of his daughter. I grew up expecting certain things from the men I dated... but that is for another blog entry. 

Now I have three built in Valentines-- my dad, Lefty and Baby K. Lefty is super sweet and complete "gets" that I am not really a Valentine's Day kind girl. He gave me exactly what I wanted this year-- an extended nap, candy and lunch. Yep, I am totally that girl. He did also get me some flowers, and Cat Knapp spent the week thinking of how he could eat said blooms without getting caught (which is the reason I don't really do flowers). The nap? BEST.PRESENT.EVER. I felt like a new woman. Between that and the present that my dad dropped off, I might be able to be human again... on a semi-regular basis. 

Baby K and I have been in deep conversations about her sleep schedule, or lack thereof. This conversation has been going on for 3 months. During these 3 months, mama has been... testy, to say the very least. The week before Valentine's Day I went into my kitchen to start my second carafe of coffee and the noise that came out of my coffeemaker was something out of a horror film. Needless to say, I was none too pleased and posted a Facebook status saying exactly that. Note: that coffeemaker died the week after Valentine's Day, so that makes the next paragraph even MORE beautiful.

Welp, on Valentine's Day Papa Hot, Black and Bitter sent me a text in the wee hours of the morning (like 7:45 or so) and of course Baby K and I were awake. He said that he had my Valentine Cup O' Joe and he would be over shortly. I thought that he got me a cup of coffee (and a donut because... uh, I'm phat like that- LOL). Baby K and I went into our library and waited for Pops to pull up. Y'all... look what my first and forever Valentine got me. 

Between Papa Hot, Black and Bitter and Lefty I am the luckiest girl in the world. Be jealous.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Fed Up Friday - Political Apathy

I can't lie, since the election I have been very hit or miss on social media. Ok, that is not exactly true. I'm ON social media, but I don't always comment. I SEE what is going on, but I kind of just operate in silence. For example, I have seen some online acquaintances say some really stupid shit and I have quietly deleted them. Seriously, my friend list has decreased by a good 10% so far... and I am working on getting my number down even further. A few years ago, I would have unfriended people AFTER they felt my Hot, Black and Bitter wrath, but I have to confess: that is no longer my M.O. because, fuck it, I just don't care to have the needed conversation. 

As a stay at home (new) mom, I spend way too much time on social media- especially while my chubby bunny dozes 30 minutes at a time. For the last week, my timelines have been filled to the brim with coverage of politics, protests and analysis. In the last two days I have seen an uptick in the "why does everyone keep posting about politics?" posts. Uh... Listen, I get it, politics isn't everyone's game, but let me tell you something: APATHY IS WHAT GOT YOU (US) HERE.

Politics can be troubling, especially during times like these. Politics can be uncomfortable, especially during times like these. Politics WILL BE DIVISIVE-- and they should be. Do you know why folks don't discuss politics on a regular basis? Because politics show the INNER you. Not the fake you that you post about on Facebook. Not the "you" that you aspire to on Pinterest. Not that fake life you advertise on Instagram. The REAL you. Politics show what is important to you; what, ultimately, you say that you can deal with. What means can justify the end result. Who you are willing to sacrifice so that your lifestyle can continue. So two months ago, when Tangerine Dream won the electoral college, it showed where people were in life. And listen, you have to be ready to defend that. You have to ready to go toe to toe for what you believe. You don't get to vote for a mini hand, orange colored dictator and not be questioned. You don't get to put a (self admitted) serial pussy grabber in office and not have to answer for that. You don't get to vote for someone who has absolutely NO regard for the lives of minority Americans... or immigrants... or the working population... or, fuck it, the truth... Someone who seems hell bent on making enemies of every ally The United States of America has-- and then get mad when someone shines a light in your face. 

As long as you are MY acquaintance on social media, you are going to get these political memes. You will get these blog entries. If I am feeling particularly randy one day, you will see what I tweet about y'all's president. You gave us this "gift" so now you need to live in your truth and soak this shit up. If you DIDN'T vote, you are responsible. If you voted for a third party candidate, you gave us this child ruler. If you voted for Tangerine Dream, you can catch these memes for the next 4 years, every day, and your punk ass will like it. This is what y'all wanted, right? So, deal. Apathy can't live here anymore. You not giving a shit is what got us in this mess.

Thursday, January 12, 2017


I said a prayer for you last night. It was a selfish prayer. I asked God to give you more time; to not take you from me, from your wife, from your friends. I wanted some extra time to hear you laugh while telling me a story. I wanted another hug. I wanted you to see my big baby one more time. It was selfish. I wanted to make sure you got to stay here... because I don't want you leave us.

I recognize that I said the wrong prayer. I asked God to keep you here (for all of us), when I should have been asking him to spare you any more pain. I should have asked God to open up his arms and take you into Heaven on maize and blue colored clouds (just for you). I should have thanked him for all the years we have had with you so far-- those years when I saw you working with mom and dad. All those times that you told me that I could be anything I wanted-- even if I wanted to be bossy (thank you, ma'am). All the times you told your friends that they should read this blog. All the times you told me that I should quit whatever job I had and be a full time writer. I should have thanked God for our reconnection last year... and you meeting my baby (honey, WHO thought that would have ever happened!?) and my husband. I should have thanked God for allowing you to see mom and dad again; for our group prayer; for picking up RIGHT where we left off. 

My dearest Fran: you are the epitome of family. Let me tell you: blood couldn't make us any closer. You always met folks with a smile, a pat on the back, a hilarious story about some mishap. You showed me what it meant to be comfortable living your truth-- and you did just that. When necessary you never hesitated to call people by their correct name (like asshole... and I PROUDLY carry on that tradition). You are a building block in the life of this Hot, Black and Bitter woman. We go together like permed hair, acid washed jeans and the 1980s (you remember THOSE pictures?! Yikes). THANK YOU FOR LOVING US. I love you and I will forever be grateful that God put you in my life. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

New Year Resolutions

Here we are, eleven days into the new year and here I am, finally sharing my resolutions with y'all. My bad. Generally, I do try to stay on top of posts and stuff, but 1. I don't really DO resolutions and 2. I have been a little busy with this fast growing, spunky infant. So as I sit here, in the dark, trying not to type too hard (so I don't wake the aforementioned spunky infant) telling y'all what I hope will happen in 2017... ok, what I will work toward in 2017. 

I have five outstanding goals for 2017. They aren't in any particular order because by December 31, I want all of them to be done! I know that these will be challenging and I can do challenging. Challenging is not impossible-- and I am sure that I will remind myself of that every freaking day of the year... while drinking tons of coffee and daydreaming about getting a massage. So without further adieu-- here are my five "resolutions" for the next 354 days.

1. Write More. Ok, let me tell you that goal number one, two and three could be one, but I am separating them. This year I want to write more. Last week was my 11 year anniversary for this blog and last year (understandably) blogging was not necessarily a priority. I do want to make writing a priority though, because it is definitely a stress reliever for me... and I have been told that I am ok at it! I have this blog, a "mommy" blog and will be restarting a doggie blog-- and I want all three of them to thrive. I want to stick to a posting schedule (Wednesday and Friday) and get back into the groove. 

2. Carve Out A Little More Me Time. It is hard to take me time when you have a small human crawling around, but I know that I need it. These last 9 months (9 months ALREADY) have flown by... flown by with limited sleep, limited showers and a very steep learning curve. Y'all, I wouldn't change it, but BABY there are some days that I would trade one of the dogs for a 45 minute nap. I know that I can't give Baby K or Lefty 100% if I am not 100%, so I need to set aside some time to replenish myself. A woman cannot live on coffee alone... or some shit like that, right?! That includes getting back into exercise. No secret that I turn the big 4-0 this year (or maybe it WAS a secret); bottom line, your girl needs to work out a schedule that includes her as a priority.

3. Read More. For Christmas Mama and Papa Hot, Black and Bitter got me a book by my favorite author and I tried to remember the last time I finished a good book. It had been months. Months. For me months cannot go by without reading a good book ever again. Reading has always been an escape and somehow I think that is EXACTLY what I will need during the first year of this new political regime (cue the eye roll). In 2016 I did a GoodReads challenge, which I did not even come close to finishing. Last week I started a new challenge on GoodReads-- 60 books for the 2017. Years ago 60 books would have been a drop in the bucket... I hope to be able to finish and document these 60 books, whatever they may be.

4. Document Daily Life More. This is actually for Baby K. I don't really do pictures (of myself). I remember lots of funny stuff that has happened... but I want to make sure that I have life documented in some other way. Something a little more tangible... because this memory ain't what it used to be! So, I will probably be doing some instagram challenges or something like that-- something to guarantee that I will post every day. Combine that with number 1 and that is a whole lotta me in 2017. Let me add, with more documentation of daily life I will be forced to clean up my social media contacts-- friends, family and acquaintances will be re-evaluated.

5. Redo Three Rooms in the Hot, Black and Bitter Palace. This will make Lefty happy. I would like to finish (from curtain rods to flooring) three rooms in our house. I think that now is the time to redo some shit, since Baby K is making baby proofing necessary. Ok, really I am just looking for a reason to tear up and fix some shit. I spend a lot of time here-- time for me to hang a picture or two. 

So, how are y'all doing with your resolutions? Almost two weeks in... is there anything that you have already given up on?

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