WE ARE: 5 women navigating our twenties in search of peace, happiness and love (or not). WE WRITE: about everything and nothing. From the insane to the mundane- you will find different paths taken, lessons learned and lives lived. WE THINK: you’ll enjoy it...Warning: Consumption of these views may leave you enlightened while intoxicated.


The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Morris Brown

I am not a graduate of an HBCU. My parents are. And one of my siblings is. Dozens of my friends are products of HBCUs. Sometimes I get the shoulda, woulda, coulda moments of regret about not matriculating from an HBCU. So, it saddens my heart to read about the woes still facing one.
Morris Brown.

Given the severity of financial distress in this nation, I’m worried Morris Brown may not make it through. The unpaid water bill is raising a specter of doom over the institution. Times are rough. Out of curiousity, did any body seek Johnetta B. Cole’s (current president of Bennett College and former president of Spelman College) savvy administration skills—she brought Bennett into the black? Currently, enrollment is 240, but I guess that is a step up from 56. There was a point in time enrollment nearly peaked at 3,000. And I wonder, how many applicants are applying for the fall of 2009? After the institution’s previous loss of accreditation back in 2002, I'm sure there image hasn’t quite been the same. I’m sure in the school’s restructuring loan, funding most have been contingent on enrolling a specific number of students. I wonder if a viable option is the demise of Morris Brown as we know it, yet the consortium of HBCUs in Atlanta could absorb the campus, thereby allowing the legacy of the HBCU to be sustained. Should the city of Atlanta have mercy over its soul?

I do believe alumnus Louise Hollowell has it right, “We want people to help us, we must get up and help ourselves first.” A Yes We-Care fundraiser is in full effect and alumni and students are banding together in hopes of resolving the imminent problems plaguing the institution. There is so much irony in this story.

Well folks when you poppin’ champagne tonight or praying at church, be thankful and be safe. Happy New Year!



Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Senior Moment

Last night I had one of those Am I old? moments. And while I can't say that these moments happen all the time, but there was a time in my recent memory when they didn't happen at all. The first time I pondered this was a few years ago when my cousin and I were on our way back from New Jersey. We were chatting, laughing and singing along to the radio when the DJ played Snoop Doggy Dog's Gin and Juice as the old school jam of the day. Saaaaaaaaaay What? Old school jams belonged to Grand Master Flash and Run DMC. NOT Snoop Dogg-the artist whose Doggystyle album had everyone saying "bow wow wow yippie yo yippie yay"! I mean we are talking about Snoop-you don't love me you just love my doggy style-Dogg is suddenly old school?

So last night, I'm wandering around Wally World when I overhear the following conversation between two young ladies.
Youngin' Number 1: I got the Legally Blonde DVD. I love that movie!
Youngin' Number 2: Oh yeah! I like it too. It's funny.
YN1: You know what movie I watched for the first time the other night? Cruel Intentions.
YN2: What? Cruel Intentions? I've never heard of it.
YN1: Yeah, it's this old movie with Reese Witherspoon in it...
Amaretto: (Nearly faints at YN1 usage of the world old for a movie that came out in the late 90's. Has to concentrate on not hitting wide bodied mothers and their brood of children while lost in her shock. Cruel Intentions is now old and should be on the Turner Classic Movie Channel like Casablanca or something!)
YN1:...it was good though. You should watch it sometime.
YN2: Cool.

After the shock of it all wears off of me, these type of moments become funny. No one tells us how to respond to aging. Or what we should do when we realize we are no longer the youngest person in a room. Within my circle of friends we often talk of our aching muscles, first strand of gray hair and all the things we just can't do no mo! I know my mom was amused as I lamented that I could now round my age up to 30 after I passed the 25 year old mark a few years ago. She had to calmly but repeatedly tell me that you don't round up ages. So while age ain't nothing but a number, I shouldn't round it up. Okay, I'm trying to remember that. And I shouldn't freak out that I'm now lumped into the same demographic box as 35 year olds.

But as another year approaches, and everyone I know is getting older, I know more of these Am I old? moments are sure to occur. And while I know that I am still young and fly, I have to remind myself that my childhood isn't as recent as I tend to remember it. I can group some of my friendships in decades now, which is amazing to me! But it's all good, and it's all a blessing, though sometimes its disguised and I have to look for it. Yet, as 2008 closes, I can truly say that I'm excited about what's going to happen next in the life and times of Amaretto Jenkins!

I hope you all have a save and Happy New Year! And just know, that somewhere tomorrow, I'm going to be partying like it's 1999...again!

See You In Seven

Monday, December 29, 2008

Saying goodbye is always hard...

Leaving the islands and returning to the city of brotherly love.
Hope your holidays were GREAT!!

Much luv until next week…peace and happy new year!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Cooking With Tradition

I hope that if you celebrate Christmas, you had a great Christmas! If you don’t, I hope you at least had a great day off! So I was going to write this post the day after Thanksgiving. And then this happened. So I will try to tackle it today after another holiday where major meals were prepared. What is up with women who can’t and don’t learn how to cook?

Example: Y’all know I have a love/hate relationship with Sex and the City. Well you know none of them heffas cooked. Wait that's not true. Charlotte knew what was up. She cooked. She even learned how to make a traditional Jewish meal to reel her huzband in. Anyway. Aidan, Carrie’s man at the time was off the Pennsylvania to deliver a chair. And Carrie who was cheating on him with Mr. Big and doesn’t trust herself to be alone says, “don’t leave. I’ll bake you a cake.” Or something like that. And Aidan says, “you don’t cook.” Hmmm and you’re ok with this? Do you know that I knew this chick who proudly said, "I can't even boil water." What? Please don't tell people this. That is not cute, not cute at all.

Look I’m not saying that all women have to be able to throw down in the kitchen. Admittedly I’m no gourmet chef. But I can make a meal for myself and others. I have signature dishes. Of course I’m not saying that you need to know how to cook to get a man. But I always thought that it could help during the vetting process. I mean we've all heard that the way to a man's heart is through is stomach. Right? I was watching a Bridezillas show and the guy was saying talking about how he and his fiance got together. He said, one day she spent the night, cooked a meal the next day, and he never told her to leave. I mean what man (or woman for that matter) wants to eat out all the time? And what happens if he spends the night at your spot and you can’t at least make some bacon and eggs in the morning? Do y'all have to always shower, get dressed, and head out into the world for brunch? My mother was not a cook before she got married, but she learned through trial and error. And while we were growing up, she cooked most of the meals.

Now I’m not saying the woman should be the sole cook. I was watching a Wife Swap the other day where there was family that was neat, organized, always on a schedule. And the other family was not. So when disorganized wife joins organized family, of course she couldn’t handle the pressure. She was very late cooking the husband dinner one night. Here this man was opening and longingly staring into a cold stove, walking around the kitchen looking completely clueless. Say what? You better make yourself a grilled cheese sandwich or something. Please don’t act like a complete idiot because you didn’t get your dinner on “time.” Even though my father didn’t cook the “big” meals, if we kids were alone with him, and it started getting close to dinnertime, he could put something together, so us kids were fed and satisfied. And you know it’s always fun when daddy cooks!

I would think that if anything, you would want to know how to cook for...yourself. There's nothing like the satisfaction of eating a tasty meal that your own hands have prepared. And think of all the money that you save when you cook your own meals! And then should a man come along, you can show him what you're working with. I know that we women are supposed to be all liberated and whatnot, but I think there are some traditions that we women can't completely shake off. We can redefine them of course, i.e., believing that a man should also do the cooking, sharing the role, taking turns, making sure there is balance in the relationship.
Men, what do you think about a woman who can’t and doesn’t want to learn how to cook? Women, do you think that cooking should be part of your 'trying to get a man/be somebody's wife resume?

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

home for the holidays

merry christmas! [insert niceties here].

up until a few days ago, I was planning to spend this Christmas at my new home away from home with my landlady and my chef neighbor. but grandmama was not havin' that and she persuaded [read: commanded] me to come home for Christmas. and I'm glad I did. nothing like mama's collard greens, playing monopoly with my sisters and and watching my niece open her presents to remind me why it's always good to be home for the holidays.

but next year i'd like to have an "unconventional" Christmas in a place I've never been where the weather is around 80 degrees or so. somewhere I have to take a flight to and pack a bikini for. obama-style although Christmas in hawaii has been on my list way before barack came on the scene. rum punch be my witness. but since hawaii will probably now be to christmas what miami is to memorial day for the ybf crowd maybe i'll switch to grenada or st. martin.

where would you go on your unconventional Christmas?

happy holidays!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

still w/ age somethings don’t change?...

Over the weekend, I attended a birthday shindig for some women in their 30’s (let’s just say north of 35). There was a Dj spinnin’ but it didn’t matter, ‘cuz folks weren’t dancing. Now granted the space was a lil’ tight, so I reckon folks weren’t trying to do to much. Except you always have folks breakin’ out into a line dance—why must we do that all the damn time? And women why are you so cliquish – it was ridiculous. Women say hi/hello. It goes a long way! I had seen some of these women over the summer, perhaps the weather makes folks a lil’ more friendlier, these heffas were icy bitches. The shindig was a week before the Christmas holiday--you can be jolly for a minute. Now I could understand if the fellas didn’t want to fool with their asses.

So, after we popped champagne, I thought folks would get down… I was utterly wrong. Now the ratio of women to men was surprise 1:1. As far as I could see, everybody was single, yet no one was willin’ to mingle? I had invited my waxologist, who is hella fun! She was on the prowl—identifyin’ the brothas she liked to get to know better. Get him girl! As, I retrieve my phone to check for Rum Punch and company, a guy finds hisself all in my bizness. “Why you textin’ him, leave him at home.” Really! First of all men, if you’re gonna talk to a women – introduce yourself. For one, tell me your name. I was instantly turned off—that shit was so lame. Finally, when Rum Punch and company arrive, I share that the party is wack – time to venture to the next spot…

The party was moved 2 buildings over, different atmosphere, more open space, etc. The change in scenery, didn’t change a damn thing. You would have thought folks would have have been merry and jolly – the lounge was decorated in festive holiday colors-- but nope-- folks were oblivious to the subtelties of change! Women were sittin’ on the couches chattin’ with their girlfriends as if she hadn’t talked to her all week. And the fellas, they were just standin’ holdin’ a cup of whateva. Maybe I’m off on the one to one ratio, some brothas were gay or maybe even on the DL...

I’ve never been to a party where men were so disengaged and the women were content not minglin’? It was weird. Did Bellini really come out to this? It had rained all day, and I convinced myself to attend. Since the champagne gave me an instant buzz, I reckoned that I needed to eat ‘cuz the last time I ate was in the afternoon. Thank goodness the food was tasty. Then the Dj plays “Milkshake” courtesy of Kelis – I’m eating and groovin’ all the same. A sista girl had to come give me a hi-five for givin’ it up while I was eatin’. I’m assumin’ this guy had been observin’ me from afar… So he motions for me to come his way like he’s a puppeteer while I was eating. Really?!? So, when I tell him to come and have a seat, he was a bit perplexed. Come conversate with Bellini, let me see what you’re about while I eat. He wanted to dance, but lil’ did he know, Bellini made her mind up to go home. Now that you witnessed that I could do more than a 2 step, it was too late—I was ready to go home. I was willing to conversate, but that was about it. And I’d be remissed if I didn’t mention his hands were rough! The night was over for me. Dammit, I know it’s the winter, but you should take extra precautions with your skin. Lawd, a grown ass man and he didn’t have a clue. So has it come to this... with age-- men and women are just that damn boring and don't have a clue? I wish I snapped some photos to share with folks—the scene was pitiful. I betta bring in the New Year right and go to a real party, be’cuz 2009 can’t start like 2008!




Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fret Not

Turn on the television. Talk to almost any person. And they will surely tell you about all the things that aren’t going well right now. The American auto industry on the brink of collapse. The wars being fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. And the snow in New Orleans tells us all that something is up with the environment. And while these are the stories that feed the main stream-there is so much more going on beneath the current in the lives of everyday folks; particularly in the lives of people that I know.

I have friends who fear losing their jobs. I know folks who hate their jobs. I know folks who haven’t worked in months. I got family fighting illnesses, even when their doctor has told them to throw in the towel. I have friends who are enduring painful martial separations. I see people whose broken hearts have yet to heal. I know people who have dreaded Christmas because they can’t afford to eat let alone purchase presents

Often times I find that I am at a loss for the right words to say. I want to provide some sort of understanding or comfort to ease their worry, but I’ve got nothing! And somehow offering a “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas!” just doesn’t cut it!

And as a new year approaches, it just seems no one I know is where they once planned to be. Some certainties became less secure this year. On the train ride to see my family for Christmas, I thought about the things going on in these lives. I was saddened because while this is the time of year when folks are both joyous and inspired…there are many folks living among us who are fearful, lonely and depressed.

As the train sped closer to the place I call home, a familiar refain pulled me from my thoughts. It was a song I grew to love years ago on a trip to Jamaica-that again, on this night gave me some perspective. Upon hearing it I knew that everything was going to be alright. Maybe not perfect. Maybe not what we wanted or how we wanted. But alright just the same. There are so many things that we let worry us that we, in all honesty, have little control over…so what’s the point in worrying? What does worry change?

To the folks swimming in the undercurrent, barely hanging on, not knowing if you are going to make it… trust me, you will. Don’t worry about a thing!

Have a Blessed and Merry Christmas Ya’ll!

See You In Seven

Monday, December 22, 2008

Who Are The People In My Neighborhood?

As I was walking to work last week, I realized I say Good Morning to the same people every day. In fact one morning, a person (we are not on first name basis) said “Didn’t see you yesterday”

I thought, “there’s something nice about being familiar with your neighborhood.”

Now, hold that thought because at that moment I was taken right back to my childhood days. Remember, the Sesame Street song “Who are the people in your neighborhood?

Well from that point onwards I was singing until I got to work. Check out the people in my neighborhood. Sing along, my lyrics below.

Oh, who are the people in my neighborhood?
In my neighborhood?

In my neighborhood?

Say, who are the people in my neighborhood?

The people that I meet each day.

Oh, da sandwich lady cooks on wheels,

Quick, cheap and greasy first meals.

Selling egg and cheese for two bucks,

She’s only there for breakfast, which sucks.

'Cause da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,
Da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood,
A person that I meet each day.

Oh, da hus’le man always has good deals,

On items you’re not sure he steals,

But he can get me the latest DVD,

At a price none of da stores can beat.

'Cause da hus’le man is a person in my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

In my neighborhood,

And da sandwich lady is a person in my neighborhood.

They’re the people that I meet,

When I am walking down the street,

They’re the people that I meet each day.

Crazy? I know. If only I had more time I would make a video for you guys.

Much luv until next week…peace and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Raging Road Scholar

Have you ever been driving and wondered what the hell the person in front of you did to get their drivers license?? (no one in the earthly realm would have been so foolish to approve them for road travel…right?...RIGHT?!) The person in front of you doesn’t seem to know the rules of the road. They drive too slow, don’t signal or have had their signal on for the last 10 miles, and are driving with their headlights off at 8:45 in the evening. You finally get a chance to pass them and when you look over, you notice they are texting on their Crackberry, reading the Washington Post, putting on make-up, smoking a Newport, and eating an extra long chili cheese coney from Sonic, all while noddin their head to the treble of Common’s Punch Drunk Love blasting from their crappy system.

I think I’m a pretty good driver. Matter of fact, I know I am. I give the courtesy wave when someone lets me over, I’ve gotten one speeding ticket in my whole driving career and I never have been in an accident. (intentionally hitting jaywalking pedestrians doesn’t count does it? But hey, they stepped out there all willy nilly like, they saw me coming and looked at me like I was supposed to stop…so I asked myself WWJD…and before I came to a conclusion…BAM…over the hood they went and then under my back tires as I backed up to see what was the damage) I know everyone is not as cautious in their driving as I am, but there are some things people are just supposed to know and do!

To further prove my point that there are idiots on the road a study shows that out of the 50 states and the nation’s capital, DC, MD, and VA ranked in the bottom 11 for the country’s worst drivers. With DC being ranked 50 out of 51, MD at 42 and VA at 40. Well the test was not based on actual driving, but rather on the knowledge of common sense traffic rules and regulations. I understand knowledge of the rules doesn’t necessarily directly collate to how people really drive, but I’ll bet my left lugnut that the bottom 10 states on the list have a higher rate of accidents per capita than any other state.

So here is my proposal. Everyone must take the written exam and the pass the little driving obstacle course (VA drivers got it too easy) every 2-3 years or at least at the period when your license expires. When your license expires, you should take the exams again to make sure you're up to date on traffic rules and regs and so someone else (not your nearly blind mama) can evaluate your driving.

Can’t pass the exams? - You can’t get your license! Period.

There shouldn’t be much of a problem since everyone is suppose to get better with experience. Afterall, Isn't it the “experienced” drivers that are masters of steering with their knees while eating their Taco Bell Chalupas? And yet it's these same “experienced” drivers who are also involved in the most accidents. It just seems like anyone can get a license if they know how to open the car door or have played Grand Theft Auto on their PS3. Sorry, I just aint cool being on the same road with you! Forgive me for wanting to get to where I'm going without incident. And many of you people are making that hard for me! Maybe my proposal will educate folks, and have them take driving seriously. And since knowledge is the key, maybe this enlightenment will positively reflect on the road-You know, with people staying alive and such.

What does the rest of the class think?

See how you'd do. Take the same exam that was used in the study. http://www.gmacinsurance.com/SafeDriving/

And if you didn't do well...then please just stay out my way!

A Man

Friday, December 19, 2008

When Love Calls...

So I got home from a hard day’s work from a job that I hate. Well, I don't really hate it, but it's just not my passion. What is my passion? I'm not sure yet. I’m still trying to figure it out. So I got home from a hard day of work, from a job that I'm not in love with and gather the mail from the mailbox. And while I shuffled through the mail with one hand and tried to maneuver the huge screen door with the other, I see it, the dreaded Save the Date card.
“I gotta go mom,” I said cutting her off mid sentence.
“Ok, what are you going to do tomorrow?”
“I don’t know, sticking my head in an oven,” I said while staring hard at the two brown faces smiling up at me.
“Now don’t be so grim. Getting older is a part of life. Lord, don’t I know it.”
“Yeah mom, I know. Look I gotta go,” I said again as I held onto the card and searched through my huge, cluttered leather purse for my house keys. As I balanced mail, purse, and a brown paper bag that I made sure to hold on tight because I didn’t want to drop my rum, I listened to my mom drone on some more about the circle of life. Where the hell were my keys? I finally found them deep in the left hand corner of the purse and said, “Uh huh mom. Well I’m home now, so let me call you back.”
“Ok, honey. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.”
“Alright bye,” I said as I turned the key and dropped everything onto the couch. Everything except the Save the Date card. That I took with me as I made my way to the kitchen to make dinner.

Sure I knew that my best friend Cara who had vowed that she was never getting married, because the only good men out here were our daddies and our brothers, had gotten engaged to a wonderful man she met on some Black Ski Trip weekend. Funny every time I went on those ski trips there was always like a ten women to one man ratio. And the men were obvious losers. So, I would just post myself up at the all you can drink during this hellish weekend open bar and laugh at all the women looking for a love connection.

But the one time Cara goes on a ski trip, it's sponsored by the Alphas, so they were definitely rolling deep. Apparently the male to female ratio was practically even. And one afternoon Cara just happened to be falling down the slope (although knowing her it was probably all graceful and dainty and shit) when this fine brotha named Desmond came to her rescue. Apparently they laughed their way on down the hill and he asked her to join him for dinner. Then they spent the rest of the evening chatting in front of the roaring fire. Well that's the story she told me. For all I know she could have thrown it on him that first night after they got liquored up on free long island iced teas. No she's too classy for that. It was probably cosmopolitans.

Anyway. Check this man's stats: banker (notice I said banker, not teller), homeowner, no kids (so there's no baby mama drama), has a 401k, is HIV free, church going, parents have been married for 30+ years (so there are no stories about how he would spend weekends waiting on the curb for his daddy to roll by and pick him up in a Lincoln), and to top it all off he was smitten with Cara. They had an eight month courtship of fine dining, fancy gifts and trips overseas.

Three months into their courtship, all of us girlfriends were certain that Cara was the one for Desmond. Our hunches were confirmed a month later when Desmond's line brother revealed that Desmond used to be a dog, the love em and leave em type. Apparently he and everyone close to Desmond claimed that they had never seen him throw this much time and energy into a woman.

"That man is in love," line brother #25, because you know they never let anything from their pledging experience go, told me at a house party Desmond threw one night.
We were watching the two of them on the dance floor. The DJ had decided to play a set of slow jams, a rarity for our generation, and Desmond and Cara were grinding all up on each other as they gazed into each other's eyes. Desmond with his six feet plus self bent down and whispered something in Cara's ear and she giggled and then kissed him on the lips. I looked back at line #25 wondering if and when he was going to ask me to dance. I mean how crazy was it that two attractive people were standing next to each other watching other people dance? What a punk I thought. But I said instead, "Is he now?”
"Yup. He's going to ask her to marry him."
"Do you know this for a fact or are you just guessing," I questioned with furrowed eyebrows.
"A little bit of both."
"Shit," I muttered under my breath while pushing my cleavage even closer together, and smiling a little wider at line brother #25. It didn't make a difference. It turned out he had a girlfriend, not engaged yet, but clearly going that route. So there was definitely no need to remember his name. Or keep the business card he handed me at the end of the night. Black people just love to give their card to any and everybody. And the only reason I remember the twenty five is because he had a huge keloiding tattoo of the number on his nicely muscled left arm.

The day that Desmond finally popped the question (which was so elaborate I don't even have the energy to go into detail) Cara called me squealing and crying, saying, "Can you believe that I'm getting married?"
"Hell no," I said. Yes, I said it. Yes, just like that.
"Hell no," I said again. But this time I threw in a little chuckle so she would think I was joking. I wasn't joking. She started laughing and I could sense her relief.
"He's just so wonderful. I never thought that I would be the type of person who would get married."
"I know."
"Well you know that if this means I can get married, you're def -" I cut her off before she could say, definitely next, definitely getting married, definitely gonna get hit by a bus and fall in love with the doctor who operates on you and brings you back from the brink of death.
"Yeah girl with God all things are possible. I'm so happy for you."

And I was happy. And I'm still happy. I mean I'm not a love hater. And she is my best friend. But dammit, she wasn't even looking. Although that seems to be the cliché constantly shouted from the rooftops to single women everywhere. That and 'just work on you and love will come.' But I'll deal with that another day. All I know is that if I hear: Girl, you gotta stop looking. Love will come when you least expect it, I swear I will let out a scream. Right now when I hear it I just smile and nod. Instead of saying what I really want to say:
"Stop looking huh? Well I have stopped looking. And yet I haven't been asked on a date in six months. I haven't been fucked in four months (yeah I know those numbers don't match up, but that's how it is sometimes for a single gal). So where is my man oh great one? Where is my man?"

But you can't say those kinds of things to people. You just have to smile and nod and tell them that you have given it to God and that you know that He will provide in His time. Someday. Someday soon I hope.

Out of my circle of friends, one is married, one is engaged, and four of us are single. Granted we are in different stages and acceptance of singleness, but we are single nonetheless. And it seems like we are always scoping and fighting for the same man. Black. Professional. Although nowadays we'll take a blue collar man who can read. No kids. OK, one child is alright, maybe even two, but they better have the same mamas. Sane. Ready to settle down or at least put away the games. Church going. OK, at least be willing to come with me to church so I can pray that you get saved. Disease free. And did I mention sane? But somehow Cara clawed her way past those stupid numbers and found a good man. She found love. Something my friends and I have looked for, not looked for, put prayer requests in for, dressed up in the tightest outfits and shook our asses in the wrong clubs for, hit up different churches trying to find a single deacon or pastor for, waited for, and wanted. And waited some more for.

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

links of the day (in the life of a stressed pd)

i was all set to write something fabulous today...something about tall women and short men. but alas, wack ass district attorney slapped an expedited appeals brief on me this am. despite my efforts to get more time to reply, i am now rushing to put something together before 3 cst. thus nothing cute and witty from these parts.

i will link you to this interesting post over at on being a black lawyer. hard times for folks like myself and such.

but in the wow-we-actually-won-that-case column, courthouse killer brian nichols will spend the rest of his days in jail, instead of as georgia's next execution victim. the life without parole, thanks to the 3, verdict from the jury highlights the evilness of prosecutors, who refused to take a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence and almost bankrupt the criminal justice system in georgia in the process.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

political potpourri, vol. i

How can the end of 2008 come and Americans not go out with a bang or rather bust. The bust of the economy just sucks, but what comes up must come down… which now leads me to your girl Sarah Palin.

Why did Senator John McCain throw her under the bus on This Week with George Stephanopoulous? That shit ain’t cool and yet it was all so funny. And to add insult to injury, I doubt - Sarah saw it coming. Ouch! And I wonder why Senator McCain couldn’t have been this honest on the campaign trail? In all honesty, I kind of feel bad for Sarah only a tad bit. Being a Washington novice in politics, when you’re trying to come to Washington is a huge disadvantage. The RNC and McCain’s folks just used her as a prop, but Sarah –Bellini doesn’t pity the fool too much—the lipstick wearing pitbull of self was aggressive enough to compete. Some people actually think you’re dumb—I don’t. You’re pretty wonkish when it comes to energy policy. I do think you were naïve, but now, not as much. I heard you got a book deal—smart move. Your dreams of coming to Washington to reside on Observatory Lane aren’t realistic. Although, you do have charisma- but that’s not enough right now in politics—we need a lil’ more heft. Have you looked at Obama’s female cabinet positions? Their qualifications should make you want to hide under a rock. And unfortunately for you, I think America’s anti-elite crusade is over, we want the best & brightest...

Speaking of the best and brightest, Jesse Jackson, Jr. –—may be smarter than I thought. Ok, I have to give him some credit, he’s not necessarily the ilk of his Daddy, but he may have been the one who gave the FBI the ammo that they needed in this Blagojevich case. I must admit, I was pretty impressed by the way he handled his press conference, although he could have done without recounting his sister’s support especially if you was going to get emotional and stuff – that’s a lil’ too much. But hey, your emotions are just that, so I can’t knock you. And you still had the bravado to remind folks you still want that Senate seat—I can’t be mad at you one bit… Unfortunately Jesse Jr., you’re not the only who wants that seat. It appears any politician with a brain in Illinois wants that seat… so we must wait and see.

You gotta love this stuff!



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Excuse Me Miss...

So the other night I was standing outside waiting for the bus when this dude approached me. Let me set the stage. I’m about 5’8 in flats 5’11 in heels-and I’m almost always in heels, so anyone who approaches me must at least come up to my shoulder for basic consideration of their game spitting. But this dude, this old man rather-who later revealed that he had a daughter two years younger than myself, was eyeball to eyeball with my bobsey twins. A good look for him…but definitely not for me. Not to mention that he had a jelly belly that was the by product of too many chicken wings and Colt 45. And really I just wanted the bus to come so I could continue on with my life. But noooooooooooooo! This man proceeds to speak to me like I owe him my number just because he asked for it.

Saaaaaaaaaay what?

Creepy Old Dude: (walking past…breaks neck to speak) Hello.
Unsuspecting Amaretto: Hello.
COD: I think I’ve seen you around here before.
UA: Probably, I live around here.
COD: Yeah I saw you on Thursday night. You had on all black.
UA: Probably. (I think to myself that I always wears black)
COD: Well I’m 90 percent sure I saw you. You had on black boots and you walked from that direction. I’m not 100 percent sure, but I’m 90 percent sure that was you.
UA: (getting increasing uncomfortable by the admission of stalker-like tendencies) Cool.
COD: Yeah I know I saw you. I was stilling right here and I saw you walk by. So you stay with your man or something?
UA: Uh. No. (kicking myself at my decision to be honest)
COD: So what do you think about us hanging out sometime. Can I get your number?
UA: (deciding to let old playa down easy and not be the typical DC metro chick with attitude) Um maybe next time. (wondering where the fcuk the bus is)
COD: Next time? (raises voice) Why don’t you give me your number now? Next time means you ain’t trying to give it to me. That’s so fcuked up man.
UA: (Thinks Duh genius) Well, I don’t feel comfortable giving it out.
COD: Well you know there are some crazy people around here. And let’s say I see you in trouble with one of these people around here, they trying to rape you and I see you and I’m like you know what, maybe next time I’ll help her. She said she’d give me her number next time. (Stares Amaretto down with increasingly crazy eyes)
UA: Okay. (wants to run screaming into the night until the bus finally arrives. Throws up deuces from secure window bus seat but wonders when the world got like this, and folks stop being polite)

So the incident got me to thinking about perception. I had already decided that COD did not meet my height nor age requirements so I wasn’t going to give him a chance. And therefore I was mildly annoyed by our continued conversation until COD was able to tell me what I ate for breakfast and I got scared. But let’s just say that COD was a Sexy Tall Dude. Ohhhh yea, if an STD said that he saw me from his bushes would I have been as weirded out? I might have even called my BFF and told her how romantic STD was (I know chicks are crazy like this). Told her how amazing I thought it was that STD laid in wait in foliage for me, risking barb and briar, and baiting his breath for the opportunity just to see me. Little ole me! But what’s the difference really? I mean for all I know a COD would be the best thing for me while an STD could have the internal thoughts of a sociopath.

I know that it’s hard out there for us adults to make friends with new folks. Gone are the days where you could pass a “Do you like me” note in class. Or stare at that cutie at the school dance. And while I appreciate those bold and brazen folks out there like COD who decide to put it all out there and take that risk…as a single female living in the city I have to reserve the right to tell you no and at times hell no! But you shouldn’t call me outside my name or wish me ill will because my momma told me never to talk to strangers. I don’t know you, nor want to know you. And that’s just the way of the world...don't take it personally.

See You In Seven

Monday, December 15, 2008

Back to Basics?!?!

If there is one thing, I don’t have is first-hand experience of handling is a recession. Sure our parents can give us advice and our grandparents can tell us how it really was…but what do we really know? We, as in us 80s babies.

A couple of months ago I was telling Amaretto, I don’t know my gut tells me to put a lock-down on the amount of spending I am doing and save even more. And she says to me “Stop acting like you are one step away from being homeless.” (chuckle) That is true I am nowhere near that step or am I, really? So to ease my anxiety, I paid off my undergrad student loan and paid my car insurance in full for the year. Phew…I love it when there are only a few bills to be paid monthly.

Now fast forward, to two weeks before Christmas, my company decides to clean house a bit. URGH!! There goes one of my closet friends, who just bought a house last year and is a single parent with a teenager daughter off to college next year and pre-teen son. WOW! I felt the ground below me shake. But let’s get this straight, the ground wasn’t shaking because I thought that I would be throwing my Gucci purse over my shoulder and walking out the door before lunchtime never to return. I’ve got that covered…I will be fine for a year if things go sour. The ground was shaking because if I had children this would be a different story. A year saved up, plus six months of unemployment wouldn’t be enough for them not to have to wheel me out on a stretcher.

O-kay...get a grip Courvoisier, crazy chic is rearing her head. Either way I am just saying that in today’s economy where next to nobody is hiring and the number of people applying for unemployment is increasing…I am a little uneasy. That is right, I wasn’t uneasy with the mortgage crisis, and I have two of those. And I wasn’t uneasy with job security until last week. I always knew that advertising was the first budget cut but when you work with pharma, an industry that supposedly thrives during recession, I figure, I would be sitting pretty. Oh no, that ideal was shattered last week. Our CEO told us, that even though our sector of the business is growing we needed to show our commitment to our parent company’s need to cut back due to the lost their two biggest clients, one of big 3 and Amex, which to him meant going back to the basics…simple accounting, spend less than we bring in.

I hear you CEO! I think I might do some going back to basics myself…one, cut out cable time and increase the reading. Two, cut out personal internet – I spend more than half my life online at work and lastly three, as basic as it gets, I am officially bartering services!

Extreme?!? I don’t think so…but apparently some 70’s babies tell me it is. And you know what? They might have a point because although this is NOT my first job, it is my first time of potentially being on the chopping block. So paranoid I may be but broke I cannot. Sorry, I know a lot of people were depending on us single, childless well-paid gen-Ys to try and hold it down for the economy but I have to slow my roll on the spending.

(deep sigh) Much luv until next week…and some change? :/


Friday, December 12, 2008

Inauguration or Bust!

It’s Friday! So why don’t we have a little fun today? So I was reading the City Paper the other day and I came across this funny little article. It’s about a man named G. Keith Harris, CEO of Harris Consulting Group, an information technology government consulting firm who apparently and allegedly has “two tickets to the inauguration and an all-access pass to the night’s balls and off-shoot parties.”

He posted a man-seeking-woman ad on Craigslist and in one week after posting the ad, received messages from 720 willing women. Let’s have a look at some of his criteria with Rum Punch’s added commentary of course:

COVER THE BASICS. Interested inauguration dates must include a method of contact, be between the ages of 25 and 39, and be comfortable in ball gowns. Great Rum Punch meets the criteria so far! Race is unimportant, But of course... but applicants must have “weight in proportion to height.” I love it! Love it! What a great way to say – No fat chicks allowed please...Rum Punch may no longer meet the criteria. It all depends on his definition of a thick chick...

INCLUDE A PHOTO. Forty-five percent of respondents to Harris’ ad haven’t included a photo. “That’s the first criteria,” says Harris, who adds that the requirement is more than simple vanity. With all the high profile parties to attend on Inauguration Day, Harris’ date “needs to be someone who doesn’t mind being photographed,” he says—”or being in the company of celebrities.” Oh my goodness. Please stop it. An additional 40 percent of respondents committed a similar gaffe: stating they didn’t even know how to attach a photograph to an e-mail. Really?!? Are these women living under a rock? “Given the high volume of responses, I do not have time to teach someone how to do that, in this day and age,” says Harris. Agreed, Mr. Harris. Agreed. If you can’t attach a photo, then clearly you are not on Mr. Harris’s level. I however can, so another check for me!

BE MORE THAN THAT PHOTO. “Naturally, we’re all looking for someone that looks nice,” admits Harris. “But I was raised in a manner where beauty is only skin deep.” So while some with tickets to the Jan. 20 festivities are looking only for inaugural arm candy, Harris says he wants a date who will stay interesting “beyond the inauguration.” Do you really Mr. Harris? So what are these tickets supposed to be? Foreplay? Hoping that with these tickets a woman will just ignore whatever's wrong with you. Like your breath stinks? Or you're too clingy? Be on the phone with her girlfriends, saying, "Something ain't right with him." Friend: "But he took you the inauguration girl!" That means presenting yourself as “honest, caring, respectful, intelligent, fashionable, and a good conversationalist.” Ok I'm back on top! I am definitely all these things and more. But what about you Mr. Harris? I have yet to learn if you are worthy of being on my arm...Harris also needs a woman who will be comfortable slipping out of that ball gown and donning “sweat socks and sweatshirt and jeans so we can just relax and cuddle around the fire.” Excellent! I been rocking sweat socks, sweatshirts and sweatpants all week. And I'm donning my ballgown this evening while I watch TV. Having nice legs doesn’t hurt, either. “Every man has one weakness,” says Harris. “Legs are my Achilles heel.” Alright! I got the gams…

PICK A TEAM NAME. ANY TEAM NAME. If you make it to the post-e-mail selection round—a cup of coffee—that's all I get is some coffee? Can I get a croissant or a scone with that? here are some tips to get the conversation rolling. Harris enjoys international travel, Check! I have traveled internationally. current events, I reads the newspaper. and sports. I watch sports. All of them. Some of them. “When it comes down to sitting down and watching them, I love all sports,” says Harris. “I can’t say I really have a favorite team,” he says—though an old allegiance to the Giants may still hold some weight. Hmmm...We may be fightin'...

DON’T ASK FOR TOO MUCH. Of the 15 percent of respondents who passed the photo hurdle, Harris says he’s heard from many suitable dates that meet his criteria. So far, those women don’t live in the area—and are expecting Harris to pay for transport. He won’t. So that’s where he draws his line in the sand, eh? Putting an ad on craigslist, totally cool, paying for that date, happen not gonna…Because that would look like what? Desperation? Solicitation?

NO HATERS. Obama’s will be the first inauguration to which Harris will have the chance to invite a date, but he says the tickets came to him by “being in the right place at the right time,” not politics. Uh huh. Harris keeps his own views “close to the vest”—accordingly, potential dates need not have voted for the president-elect to get on Harris’ ticket. “But naturally, I would not want to be with a person who is a ‘hater’ of the person we’re celebrating,” he adds. “That would prove to be very uncomfortable.” Whaaaat? So I can’t pin my McCain/Palin button on my ballgown? I can't hold up my Obama's not an American sign? What about my Hillz woulda done it better t-shirt?

DROP SOME PORTUGUESE. Harris is currently studying the language to help maximize his annual trips to Brazil’s Carnival. Excellent! I have taken Portuguese! I was horrible at it. But whatev I'm sure Harris won't mind. Harris says he holds a penthouse apartment on Copacabana beach, Oh my goodness! Hold up, wait a minute! Do we really need to know this tid bit of information? Does this tell us anything about what kind of man he is? I know what typa man you are Mr. Harris, and after reading that Essence article about why Black men love to go to Brazil, I’m giving you the side eye. But I’ll still take a ticket! which he makes use of during the festivities each February. Harris says that willing inaugural dates may soon become Brazilian penthouse guests. Oh Lord. “I’m going alone to Brazil,” he says. “I would love to have this date, if the friendship matures to that level, accompany me on my travels.” Wait. Is he saying he's not trying to take his woman to Brazil? But he'll take them other places? More side eye! More side eye!

BE SENSITIVE. Harris is mending a broken heart—his ex-girlfriend recently broke up with him, three weeks before Thanksgiving and two months before the inauguration. Say what? She couldn’t hold out til the inauguration? Something ain't right Mr. Harris, something ain't right... “I wish I could take a pill to make the pain go away,” says Harris, who says the new flood of interested women is a big shift from his last missive with his ex. “She broke up with me via e-mail,” he says. Well now that's just cold. And a little funny. Again Rum Punch says something in this milk ain't clean. But uh let me go send this email real quick...
So what do y'all think about this Mr. Harris looking for a date through the internets? Anyone gonna put themselves out there? LOL!
That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

to the women who be supporting the men and nem

dear (baby) mama,

excuse me miss. yes you miss sitting there in the third row of the audience. can I talk to you for a minute? you been psssting at me for the last 5 minutes trying to get my attention. waving me over for a while now so you can tell me about your son/baby daddy. about how you want to know when he's getting out. how much his bond gon be. whether his probation gon be revoked today. so now that I've got a minute there are a few things that I want to say to you.

I see you in here every day. you and your homegirls or your auntie and nem. ya'll come in like the prison paparazzi looking expectantly over at the men in the box. locked up. ya'll come with crumpled up papers in yo hand explaining to me bout how he was doing time upstate when he got that subpoena and that's why he didn't appear for his court date. ya'll show me pictures of the 3 year old he got at home as you rub your belly with another one on the way, telling me that you need him out now. you want me to ask the judge to lift the protective order so he can come back home to stay by you cause what he did last week, he didn't mean it, ya'll was just playin.

but ma'am, I'm getting real tired of running back and forth between you and him. truth is, he's my client, not you. but more than that, ma'am did you ever stop to think what your running to and fro, picking up this and that is doing to your son/baby daddy?

you were here just last week when the judge questioned lil Johnny's girl gang in front of the whole court. as the two older Black women approached the bench to plead their nephew's case, the judge asked where were ya'll when lil Johnny was getting into trouble? where were ya'll when he was running the street and smoking weed all day and night? every week, I get mothers and girlfriends and aunties in here crying to me to please let little Johnny go. if ya'll let lil Johnny be a man and made him take responsibility for his own life, ya'll wouldn't be here begging me to show him some mercy now. I know the real reason ya'll want lil Johnny out, It's cause lil Johnny runnin up your phone bill with them collect calls from the jail now, huh?

now miss, I saw you chuckle when the judge said that but maybe you need to take his words to heart. next time your man/child comes to court for a status hearing, how bout you not trail behind him and let him handle his business on his own? and if you do decide to tag along, when the judge finds out that your man/child's drug test is dirty, why don't you let the judge figure out what to do with your man/child on his own, instead of approaching the bench and telling the judge all the shit he's done and in the next breath asking the judge to let him go.

or when I call man/child on the phone to find out if he's done what he needed to do to help investigate his case or get into an alternative sentencing program, how bout you not pick up the phone in the other room and yell that he did what he was supposed to do. those people didn't call him back.

and when he does get out, let him find his own job, instead of scouring the want ads for him and putting in job applications at the places that you think he might like to work. instead of letting him come spend the night every night at the place where you the only one paying rent, make him go home to his mama house. or better yet, you and mama join forces and make him get his own spot.

I know it's not my place, but miss, I see way too many young Black men each and every day sitting back there in orange and way too many Black women like you looking longingly over at those men. and it clicked for me. I've been thinking of a way to say this so here goes...

damn (baby) mama! can your man/child be a man and do shit for himself?

please and thank you!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Threes a crowd!

If you’re a student of American history, then you know market operations in this country can fit in one of two categories: an era of regulation a la financial banking or deregulation a la telecommunication. The automobile industry in the 21st century will have to say bu-bye to days of yester year. In the 21st century, the auto industry will have to enter a period of gross regulation. While Detroit Slept, the US is competing against a global economy, and competition is fierce!

I just don’t see how the US economy could justify retaining 3 automakers—hold your horsepower I am not pushing for the demise of the autoindustry—but the math doesn’t add up to keep 3. And some Republicans have it right, when they believe bankruptcy is a viable option. If the BIG 3 were smart, they would huddle together and envisage the future of the US 21st auto industry where all 3 are not left standing and present it to Congress. I won’t say who should go (there’s politics in that), but that is the reality and to forestall that reality would be a dire, costly mistake. Think about the brands and it will help you determine who has merit to stay or go… Cadillac, Saturn, Buick, HUMMER????

Uncle Sam has already appropriated at least $15,000,000,000 to aid this debilitating industry. He should not think within insular terms and falsely assume that those funds would not go directly to support the hard working laborers of that industry vis-à-vis severance, retirement, housing assistance, training/education, etc. There should not be corporate bailout without the ready admission that civic bailout is contingent upon agreement, not an afterthought.

I really don’t understand why the BIG 3 don’t get it. You can’t just schmooze down to Capitol Hill in your LearJet and think you were going to receive a homecoming in Washington. I chuckled watching C-SPAN and seeing BIG 3 make a fool of themselves and when the laborers crashed the party – genius!

In all fairness, I can’t give it to the corporate bigwigs without admonishing the role of the United Auto Workers (UAW labor union). UAW must meet with the laborers and give it to workers straight. The reality is many won’t be working on assembly lines anymore. This industry is on life support, and taxpayers are ready to pull the tube.

Shouts out to the folks in the Chi, who demonstrated that good ol' fashioned civil disobedience sitll works! The irony...
BIG 3 betta not even play games when the funds are doled out.



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Last Angry Black Woman?

Back in the day I worked as a teller. Two years of my life were spent counting out cash and depositing checks sometimes three or four times more than my monthly salary! Needless to say, after while I become dissatisfied with my existence as a bank employee…and the longer I endured the more I noticed the division within the branch. The teller line was made up of five minority women, one from the Philippines, one from Mexico, and the rest were sista girls from the good ole United States of America. But the branch manager and the client services associates who opened the new accounts and certificates of deposit were white…

So when an Asian lady called one of my sista girl co-workers a nigger and drove off because she wouldn’t deposit a 3rd party check for her…the branch management had a difficult time understanding why we were calling Al and trying to hold a march without hearing the customer’s side of the story first. And of course the customer’s story had undergone a few edits when threaten to have her accounts closed… as the customer recalled it she said that my co-worker could have been nicer. Say whaaaaaaaat? Black folks know the difference between nigger and nicer. The woman could barely speak English but she knew how to spew the hate…and she wasn’t on some rapper-drop the “er” nigga tip…it was nigger in all of it’s ignorant glory!

Oh and the moral of the story ya’ll was that after this conversation…the customer’s accounts remained opened. Because really, we all know money talks and bullsh*t walks, and minority folks just have to deal with it when it hits the fan.

Bellini’s post last week got me to thinking about this incident at the bank again and how allegedly we now live in a post-racial society. An era of good feelings-where people see each other as people and by the conduct that comprises their character. Um. But, I still live in America. I know with Obama elected I should be getting over some stuff, but I still think that the prejudices that have patterned the American fabric have become deeper more intricate threads in our societial makeup since the night of November 4th.

Now I don’t know how many of ya’ll have experienced clear and apparent racism, the bank fiasco was the first time that I was aware of it going on so blatantly. But in these days and times I feel like I am the last of the skeptical Black folks left. I Stand on a soapbox in a vacant lot. I feel like I alone still think the man has it out for my fragile community. I guess because I haven’t forgotten
Miss Evers’ Boys and I still wonder how crack could devastate generations of families in a decade.

But I wonder if I am just being overly sensitive. In this post racial world, I wonder if I let my angry Black woman unnecessarily ooze out when a white co-worker assumes that my black coworker lives in an apartment when I know she’s a homeowner who drives a Porsche. And the debating continues when an Asian girl at Lee Kim Nail says a college in Richmond, VA has a lot of Black people there. Not that there is a problem with that, but she prefers a school in the country not the city. Hmmm, well if that is your preference, then why not just say that? Why did you have to bring up how many black students attended…if it weren’t a problem? And though I wanted to punch her in her mouth, I wasn’t trying to mess up my $15 manicure. And since she saw me sitting there surely she didn’t mean anything by what she said-I mean no one is that ignorant anymore. Maybe I am just being too emotional, maybe there are a lot of Black people at that school and she was just saying…

Even with Obama-elected and believing in the saving power of Jesus, this girl’s words made me angry. I was offended. And hurt. And I haven’t let it go yet. And in the post-racial world where we all sing Kumbaya, I am confused about what I should do with these feelings of anger I sometimes have as a Black woman living in America and how should I reconcile them with being an American.

See You In Seven

Monday, December 8, 2008

Did 808 & Heartbreak…break your heart?

Ahh, I have been letting this album simmer for a minute and I like it! But I can’t say the same for others that I shared it with…here is a little bit from one of my convos.

“I hate it, I absolutely hate it…I played it 3 to 4 times and I can’t stand it…too much auto-tone.” says confused ears.

Those were fighting words for KW #1 fan, my sis…"You need to revisit Graduation homie, the breadcrumbs are there!" (chuckle)

“But I expected you two to like it…” injects confused ears.

“Why? Because our ears are blessed with filtering out junk?!? This album is the most genuine and honest album KW has ever dropped! He opens up to us in a new way and spills his guts on this one.”

This album is what I, just me now, call true growth! “It’s amazing - so amazing - so amazing!” (chuckle) KW has challenged the box they put him in artistically. I LOVE that he is pushing his fans’ expectations. Nope it is not what we expected nor is it an all-time classic album but it is pretty good. I can’t help but wonder what my friends at 5 and a possible think...what say you?

Here is one of my favorite tracks…Street Lights.

Much luv until next week…peace :)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Can We Sing For A Minute?

So allegedly and apparently once you reach a certain age you have to be a grown-up and be grown about yours. Sigh. Paying bills. Buying homes. OK, at least one home, maybe not multiple. Getting into relationships. Let's pause right here, shall we?

So let's say you've been kickin' it with a nice fella, y'all talk via a variety of mediums, go on dates, have great conversations, mayhap you've gotten phyiscal, physical (if not you've at least exchanged a kiss or two), and most importantly y'all genuinely enjoy each other's company. You're feelin' him and it's clear that he's feelin' you. And you could just float on, float on through life like this forever. Or maybe not. Because there comes a time when you have to have the TALK.

The where is this going, what do you want from me, am I "wasting" my time with you cause I want a relationship and you ain't ready for that next step, talk? Because as much as people proclaim to wanna 'go with the flow', 'live and let live' and other cliches, it's just human nature to want to put "labels" on things or get clarification so you can maintain sanity and a criminal free record.* I mean you don't wanna be bustin' nobody's windows out, flattening tires, hiding in bushes, telling yo' momma's prayer circle to keep on prayin cause you made a mistake and it turns out that last man isn't gonna be yo' huzband, cause you thought y'all were together or building towards something until you saw him out on a date with somebody else. Awkward.

Now in the best of all possible worlds, you should have this talk before (as Steve Harvey would say), you give him the cookies. But you know what happens to good intentions. They come tumbling down like panties. Anywho. So just the thought of having the talk can cause panic, upset stomachs, lightheadedness, night sweats, a burning sensation, because what if you want one thing and the person wants another? And what if you're not even sure what you want? And what if you just want to convey that you're a great chick and he needs to get up on this?

And then on top of the fact that you have to have the talk, you also gotta pick the right time to do it. I mean men are always saying they don't like it when a woman is all quick with the 'where is this going' question. Not to mention that some men don't even like for women to bring up the topic, but we shan't go there today. And so you if you're gonna get your grown woman on and find out the deal, then you gotta do some algebra type equations that factor: how long have y'all been going out, how much do you like him, what do you want from him. Divide that by the year you were born. And then add the number of people you've slept with. Subtract the men who weren't shit. And then you have your answer of when to pounce talk.

But wouldn't it be sooo great if instead of the talk, you could just play songs that have already been written and express everything you already feel about possible relationships?! Oh yes! You could momentarily take off your grown-up hat and coat, make a mix CD, hand it to him, and watch his reaction as each song plays. Maybe you could take it old school and start off with a lil' Chaka to find out what he's feeling

And then after he confesses that he really does actually like you, then you could hit him with a little Jaguar Wright

and try to decide if you really wanna tell him how you feel. And then once you get up the nerve to tell him exactly how you feel, you can do like Teedra Moses

and let him know that you don't usually fall hard this way, and all you wanna do is him. And then you could hit him with a little Alice Smith

and let him know what exactly you like about him and what you want to be to him. And if that isn't enough, if he still needs more, then you leave the ultimate song by Ms. E. Badu herself for last, the song that puts it all out there, yet says just what you've been trying to say so effortlessly, so beautifully, so simply, with three little words: I Want You. And then throws the ball in his court with: So What We Gon' Do?

That's my time y'all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

*Speaking of criminal records, the person who allegedly (that's for you Mint Julep) broke into my car last week has been apprehended. Sadly, he's a juvenile. Thanks for all the nice comments y'all left last week!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

michelle, ma belle

Since November 4th folks (read: Black folks) have been talking bout, "Well, now that Obama is president...[fill in your random request here]." Most of these requests are a little far fetched but I came across one that may actually have some merit. The other day while chatting with one of my co-workers, she hoped that with the O-man in office, Black men would follow in his footsteps and get themselves a Michelle! And being the perceptive Black educated woman that I am, I immediately knew exactly what she meant.

See Barack could have done the Harold Ford and came off less threatening. Or he could have gotten himself a lady who lunches. Someone who looked good on his arm but served no real purpose beyond political eye candy. But it seems, as with all things in his life, he was thinking ahead, like I-wanna-be-president-of-this-motha ahead. Barack is a man of great strategery, if you will. He wrote books about himself and his thoughts on America when no one really knew who the hell he was. He picked a city that he had absolutely no ties to, moved to one of its poorest neighborhoods, joined one of the most influential churches in that area and became a community organizer when he coulda been Chief Lottsadough. This was no accident. He wanted authenticity. He wanted to become a Chicagoan coming from the south, the south, the south side of the Chi!

But he didn't stop there. He chose Michelle. Slave stock from South Cakalak Michelle. South-side born and bred Michelle. There is no denying it. Michelle is all the way Black, with thick shiny Black hair, long elegant limbs, piercing eyes, strong cheekbones and much junk in her trunk. Michelle is strikingly Black. She might not be the most beautiful woman (to some) but I guarantee that when she walks into a room, all eyes on her!

To be sure, Barack loves him some Michelle and the weeMichelles. Cause he loves whatever he commits himself to, whether it be a woman, a job, this country. But the beauty of the thing is that she (and any Black woman of her kind) is the perfect compliment to him (or any ambitious Black man). She upgrades him. She's an equal who will play her part but still let him take the lead role, believe me. Michelle challenges him (see: Barbara Walters) when she thinks that he’s wrong, but hits him with the terrorist fist jab when homeboy is doin' the damn thang. And she’s super smart and can provide him with some strategery of her own during their late night pillow talk. She is a co-mate and co-pilot. Down for the cause, but the cause better be a well-thought-out, exquisitely-executed, I'm-only-doin'-this-on-time-negro cause. Reliable, dependable, sweet and sassy. Ok, I'll stop for I could go on and on because I heart Michelle.

So that’s why Black men need to get them some Michelle in they life. Most striving Black men go for the easy or should I say a fair amount, approaching many but don't want to generalize, ambitious men go for a woman who they are not threatened or intimidated by (read: young and slightly dumb). They want the woman who will sit back and shut the fuck up. Who they can tell what to do and she will say baby I already did it without and independent thought as to whether it should have been done. Who won’t challenge them or make them think outside the box. To each his own I guess but from a productivity prospective, this is not a good look.

It's like when a woman decides to stay home and watch the kids. Aint nothing wrong with that but the family unit then loses 50% of its potential income. Or mayhap everybody doesn't want an equal. Maybe men are scared or threatened by a Michelle. I would not begin to presume to know what men think or want. I'ma just over here being me. But maybe the real life Michelle, as she glows as first lady before our eyes will teach these brothas a thing or two. Cause you know every Black man in America loves them some Barack. Tap on any Black man's iphone and see what wallpaper he has sitting there. Ask a random Black man on the street where he’ll be on January 20th. Exactly!

For wanna-be Michelle's like me, let's hope they are dissecting his choice of a mate as well. And let's hope that they see that for all of Michelle’s strength, for all that she challenges and equals Barack, look at the way she supports him. How ride or die she is. How she pushes him to excellence and always brings her A game to the table. How she may not be light skin with long hair but homegirl is fierce! And maybe they’ll think outside the box as well.

Yes you can, my brotha, yes you can!

Photo by Courtesy Photo