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.

SO LONG, FAREWELL...

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

Friday, October 1, 2010

A Fantastic Journey

In Andre 3000’s low whisper, “ok here we go…”

I’m gonna try to do this without crying all over my keyboard. But honestly that’s quite a tall order cause this whole thing called The View From Here aka 5andapossible, aka The 5 Spot, is like whispering to your lover, “let’s make a baby,” then after surviving the labor pains of birthing said baby, raising it, chiding it, getting tired of it for being so damned needy and wanting your time and attention, going back to loving it again, and then finally having to let it go.

I have already written about the hows and the whys of the start of 5andapossible, so we shan’t go there today. But I can honestly say that three years ago when I stood in the bathroom doorway and mentioned the idea to my mother, only to be met with a confused look, followed by, “umm…ok,” when I then began asking my friends, “hey do you want to maybe write, like, this thing called a blog with me,” and then when us ladies finally gathered on that Labor Day Monday on my parents’ porch and debated blog names, pseudonyms, topics, and everything in between – I could have never, ever imagined all of this.

All the LOLs. And the chuckles. And the tee hees. The endless loops of laughter. The, “I really liked your post today” from one another. The comments left from strangers and friends. The readers. The debates. The arguments. The early morning conference calls and the rules we laid down at the very beginning. HA! The fact that we would pitifully re-enact our own version of The Five Heartbeats.

That we would fall in love and out of like. That we would lose jobs and gain homes. That we would have to get over that nygga and open our hearts again. That we would travel and party it up. That we would move on and learn how to keep going. That we would accept our callings and find our passions. That we would witness our first Black President and be a part of history. That our bond would be strengthened and tested. That we would dream for each other when someone was too damn tired of dreaming for herself. That we would encourage, congratulate and support. That we would share.

Share our stories. Our changes. Our thoughts. Our opinions. Our flaws. Our contradictions. Our mistakes. Our tears. Our joys. Our struggles with weight, men, love, jobs, co-workers, black folk, Obama, our mamas, each other, life itself. Ourselves. We shared ourselves.

And we found ourselves. We changed. Transformed. Blossomed. Grew up. Got grown. Became wiser. Rooted for each other. Got knocked on our asses. Prayed [and cried] through life’s blows. Praised God for life’s blessings. Learned lessons. Told stories. And as we prepare to enter another decade of life, we have made sure to leave room for improvement. For development. For whatever life brings next.

I called my very first post, A Fantastic Journey, just guessing, but not truly knowing what this blog thing was going to bring. And now, three years later I can honestly say that it was the best thing for me. This pushed me towards my purpose. And I can look back over these last three years and literally chronicle my growth. My stupidity. My a-ha moments. When I felt loved. And when I was hurt. My worry. My loneliness. My struggle and determination to find my place. What brought me joy. How I got over. And moved from mama n’em’s to my own house. How you can plan, but life has other plans. And what you do next makes all the difference. And damn, how three years can really fly by if you're not paying attention.

So, thanks to all the readers, the followers and the fans who have been with us during some or all of these three years – especially in the beginning when we were like, “is anybody out there?” Lol. But most importantly thanks ladies of The 5 Spot for taking the plunge, for writing [almost ;-)] every.single.week just because one day I asked you if you would, for opening up your lives and coming along for the ride. It’s been, truly, fantastic.

That’s my our time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

better late than never

for the past few months it's been damn near impossible for me to post here.  not for a lack of thoughts and feelings swirling through my head.  not because there hasn't been plenty work dramer to editorialize.  but mostly because i didn't have time.  or i didn't make the time.  seemed like most thursdays of late i had something better to do or somewhere better to be.  and now that we've come to the last post, i regret not having posted on those thursdays past.  because now there won't be anymore thursdays here.

as i looked over the 200 pages or so of what i've written here, i'm amazed at the things that i've shared.  at the secrets i've let slip.  at the raw emotions that i've expressed.  and i am forever grateful for the opportunity to have written here.  to have opened myself up to you, our anonymous 10 to 20 regular readers.  shouts out to mrs. meany for always reading and commenting and to that other girl from jersey for never commenting but always reading!

when we started out, i thought i'd write about legal things since that's what i do for a living.  but actually law related topics took up only a small portion of what i've contributed here.  it wasn't until amaretto shouted me out on wednesday  "for always defending love in all it’s forms!" that i thought ahhh yes, love is the thing!

it's the thing i struggle with expressing some times with friends and family.  it's the thing i hold on to so tight for fear that if i let it show, i will lose it, lose myself.  it's the thing i so often wish i'd said in that moment when i felt most angry or sad or overjoyed.  but that i held inside and thought about over and over again after i walked away.


the beauty of the 5spot is that it has allowed me to show it. even on my perpetually delayed timing.  whatever i have been through, if it stuck with me, kept me up at nights, made me want to tell somebody about it, i could do it here.  i could sit down, think it over, read it back to myself and realize what my true feelings were about it.  and then hit post.

so thank you 5spot.  thank you dark&stormy, couvoisier, amaretto, bellini and rum punch.   thank you for putting up with my quirky inability to capitalize properly.  thank you for reading even when i wasn't quite on schedule, but always on time.

i love ya'll!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Is It!

This has to be one of the hardest posts I have ever written. Three years ago I sat at a similar work computer trying to come up with the words that would introduce Amaretto Jenkins to the blog world and this is what I came up with. Egads! It’s like looking at my 7th grade school picture, complete with lopsided ponytail, acne and braces! Sure it’s cute-ish but thank goodness for time changing things!

But I have certain fondness for my Cups Can Save Relationships post because it was the first one I had ever done. And not saying that this will be my last post ever-it will be my last one here *sniffle* and I feel like I should leave our loyal lone reader with something they can ponder in their mind and heart long after we shut the 5 Spot down. But boo hiss, nothing profound is coming to me! Today’s highlights have been getting cupcakes from
the cupcake truck that rolls around DC. And, my coworker telling me that if the man she is dating had to go to the hospital today she wouldn’t know about it because his wife would be called instead of her. Ha ha ha! It’s not as random as it sounds ya’ll, she said he was sick last night. But is any of this blog worthy?

And yet that is the most wonderfulest thing about blogging! I could write whatever I wanted, whether folks agreed or even understood my view from here. This place has been where I have been able to sign on to talk foolishness, share my concerns, report some of
my wonderful world of working missteps, find racism in the most basic of conversations and put some of my friends on blast by telling their business-only after I finessed some things Amaretto J. style to protect the innocent and guilty alike. And it’s been fun ya’ll!

Well sometimes it was more like Dang is it Tuesday already?! And I’d give evil virtual glances at Mint and Rum because they chose the latter days of the week when we were in the planning phase of this project…not that it matters because 7 days is 7 days-but it just seemed like they had more time. Dark & Stormy and Courvoisier know what I mean! But I’ve truly enjoyed reporting how I’m navigating my twenties with all it’s challenges (men folks), hopes (mo money please), fears (will I be the cat lady?) and debt (student loans suck)! And because I was accountable to 4 other people, blogging didn’t fall by the wayside (often), like when I attempted to keep my own diary. But with 30, Lord willingly, looming within next calendar year I think I need to write down my thoughts somewhere so I can reflect on the younger Amaretto, or at least have something to do and read when I’m bored at work.

It’s funny, in the ironic way, because I stayed having writer’s block-like every week! Yet it seems like there are so many things that I could and should write about. Like that cute baby I saw at church. Or laughing at season one of the Boondocks cause my friend got it on bootleg. Or how I contemplated stealing my neighbor’s cute little doggie yesterday. And what is going to happen to Bracky in 2012? What will I watch at 4pm after Oprah is gone? And I know you just want to know what I would do if the government ever gave me 40 acres and a mule! Oh, this life is filled with the mundane and the insane alike, but there just isn’t enough time to share it all.

And with that said I leave showcasing just a few of my favorites from my co-laborers…

To Dark & Stormy, for getting my week started with a laugh! Thank you!
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2007/12/ready-to-rumble.html
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2008/04/brother-do-right.html


To Bellini, for being my Wednesday morning Meet the Press! Thank you!
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2008/07/state-of-affairs-volii-education.html
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2008/11/he-ran-boston.html


To Mint Julep, for always defending love in all it’s forms! Thank you!
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2009/03/just-in-case-you-were-wondering-i-love.html
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2009/04/one-mogin.html


To Courvoisier, I know it wasn’t easy, but I loved your honest insights! Thank you!
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2009/11/everybody-is-healing.html
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2010/08/frowned-upon-but-exhilarating.html


And To Rum Punch, this was such a great idea girlfriend! To a lifetime of brilliance!
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2007/11/im-not-your-superwoman.html
http://5andapossible.blogspot.com/2008/04/five-dope-girls-in-cadillac.html


So with that I say thank you to all! And a special thanks to our lone loyal reader for enduring when I stepped up on this soapbox and shared. Maybe in our forties we’ll all come back as Starbuck’s coffee drinks to share our views from there.

Until then,
See You In…
Well, until we meet again!

Monday, September 27, 2010

This Whole Experience...

And now it is time to say good bye to all our company, M-I-C... see you real soon, K-E-Y, why? because we like you. (chuckle)

For four weeks, I have been dreading this post because what I am suppose to say... for minute I thought it would probably be best to just post as normal about some arbitrary topic. It wasn't until I was driving home from DC that I realized... I can't do that! That would diminish the importance of this experience. Because when I really started to think about this whole experience, I thought "WOW! Since I have been spitting my thoughts every Monday, I have managed to become friends with some amazing gals!" I went from only knowing only 2 of the 5 and the possible to getting to know 3 other great women, who were going through some of the same craziness that I was going through. It is funny how you find comfort in numbers.

Something that started off as just a way get some feelings out, say a few things, talk some ish on a Monday... almost became like sunday brunch with your gal pals. It was like going out for drinks Sex in the City style, well you know without the drinks, the heels, you get my drift? Like late night sleep overs that we don't really do anymore because we grown a$$ women unless we sharing a hotel room, that we wish we still did. I never was one for sororities but was always a fan of the sisterhood once all the hazing was done. And that is exactly how I feel about my chicas at 5 and a possible. We may not all live in the same city or even chit chat with each other on the phone, but when we are in the each other's area... we always say whatsup!

What's up?

I can't speak for the other days of the week but I know that some how from just writing my thoughts and feeling out every week, reading and commenting your thoughts every week has some how drawn us together as friends. Which I have to admit is pretty awesome considering, I was reminded the other day that once you are past a certain age, you don't really make a lot of friends that will eventually become close friends. And I am going to have to agree.

This whole experience has been a GREAT one! Love you guys.... MUCH LUV and PEACE!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Meeting in the Ladies Room

Did y’all know that Questlove and Black Thought of the incredible Roots crew don’t really like each other? Yes, apparently Things Fall Apart was more than an album title – it describes their relationship. They got into a fistfight whilst overseas in like 1997 or 98 and have never been cool since. But obviously, professionally, they can come together to get the job done. And make that money, honey.

I thought of this when I was watching one of the greatest shows ever – aka Unsung! (On TVone for those of you who don't know). And they were focusing on Klymaxx, the all female band. Basically after years of struggling and putting out albums that went nowhere, they finally caught their big break, had some major hits and then…things fell apart.

There were hurt feelings. And backstabbing. And votes to kick people out the group being taken behind folks back. And people being put out the group. It was a HUGE mess. And it all boils down to the fact that women don’t like confrontation. Don’t want to be honest with each other. Can’t say to someone’s face, “I know you the lead singer, but your swole pregnant ass can’t be up here on stage with us anymore. And we definitely ain’t gon’ be totin no baby round on the road.”

Yes, it sounds harsh. But better to get it out now, instead of having things implode later.

So, admittedly, I have been watching Jersey Shore on MTV (well up until like two weeks ago before life got hectic). Yes, there will be time for you to judge me later. Anyway. One of the roommate’s on again, off again boyfriend who also lives in the house with them was going to the club and kissing other girls. Two other chicks in the house knew this. The chick kept asking them what he was doing at the club. They kept being evasive. And then came up with the brilliant plan to write her a letter detailing his transgressions. As if she wouldn’t know it was her.

But anyone with sense who was watching (but why would you watch if you had sense) was probably like me, screaming at their TV, and being like, “JUST BE A GROWN WOMAN ABOUT YOURS AND TELL HER THE TRUTH!” And then let the chips fall where they may. Let her pick up the pieces. Let her confront him. But be woman enough to have truth as the starting place.

I’m sure there is some research about women’s brains and biological make-up that I could find if it weren't so late that would say that we are “wired” to be more emotional vs. logical. And all that jazz. But I wonder how much farther along we could be as a gender if we put emotions aside, didn't take things so personal, and just got the job done.

As someone who works in an organization that is 99.9% (white) women, I've witnessed up close - the sidesteps, the pleasantries, the frenemies, the smile in your face talk bout you while you walk away, the under non performing co-workers who are kept on because managers are too nice and don't want to do the dirty work and fire anyone. And I've seen black women (myself included) try to take the more direct approach, to call 'em out on their bullish, only to be labeled as angry, threatening, non cooperative. And it's a frustrating existence filled with lots of what the fuss!

So maybe this is women's lot in life. To be too nice. To care too much about what others think. To be unable to dislike and still work beside each other. But I hope not.

I hope we can raise up a generation of girls who become women, who can look each other in the eye, speak their mind, keep it honest, and then either walk away or work it out - from the board room to ladies room.

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



Thursday, September 23, 2010

finding what matters

6 months ago, i hated where i worked.  really hated it.  i loved what i was doing but i hated the environment: a poorly managed frat house masquerading as a non-profit organization.  and so i did what i always do when i start to hate my environment.  i look for the next exit.  the quickest out.  i sent out a few resumes and prayed for a change.  i complained to rum punch and mentally checked out of the office.

and then nothing happened.  there was no quick escape hatch.  no job opportunities forthcoming.  and i realized i was stuck.  at least for the immediate future.  before when i wanted an out, i found one within a few months.  but the economy had other plans.  God had other plans. 

i had to deal with my environment in a totally new way.  putting the people aside, why was i here?  why did i come here?  to try cases and to help people fight off the oppressive weight of the criminal justice system.  and that's what i needed to do.  focus on those 2 things.  do those and nothing else.  become so good at those things that they couldn't tell me nothing.  tune out everything and everyone else.

now this hasn't been easy because my work environment is full of bitchassness and incompetence.  i curse a lot of people out in my mind.  i send sarcastic yet polite emails to all that highlight the ridiculousness that is office (mis)management.  i pretty much do my thing and keep it moving.

and this week i did my thing really well.  i had trial every day of the week and despite a brief moment of doubt (and a few unnecessary tears) i prevailed.  my clients prevailed.  it was the most exciting, exhilarating and mentally exhausting week of my career.   and i loved it.  i love what i do.  and that's the most important thing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Undercovers

yaaaayyy.. it's humpday wednesday... and to get me through the day NBC will debut "Undercovers". Now if you know nothing else Bellini is a renaissance woman - check the bio to the right. And loves the underground. So the series debut of 'Undercovers' has me piqued because the premise is intriguing bump what the NY Times wrote i would link it- but I ain't trying to dignify simple s***. considering I visited the International Spy Museum not too long ago - I am a primed spectator for this event. And it doesn't hurt that Boris is a decent actor evident by 'Soul Food' Showtime series. Sorry don't know much about the British actress, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Please watch, especially if it's good. There is a dearth of good television and this may ameliorate current conditions, until the 'The Game' is back!

back to Undercovers

The series premise led by two black espionage agents, Steven (Boris Kodjoe) and Samantha (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) Bloom own Bloom Catering and rejoin the CIA posing as caterers. OMG, there are so many story plots that can evolve from this situation. JJ Abrams do not screw this up. You know for the most part most television series based on espionage have been pretty good (i.e. 'Alias', '24', 'The Unit' and I slept on the Unit and it was too late!). Anyhoo - you should be in for a treat. Don't forget to tell me what you think.

cheers,

Bellini

P.S. sorry about not providing the post on Chancellor Rhee and DC education, i need a raincheck

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Finishing the Race

It might be because the seasons are changing, or the fact that we will soon be signing off the 5 spot, but I find myself wondering “What’s next?”

You know what I mean?

Think about all the things you have planned for yourself, from the initial formation of an idea to finally accomplishing what you set out to do. It’s quite a consuming and often laborious process. I remember during my senior year so much of my time, money and energy went into preparing for prom. There was finding a dress, finding a date, finding a limo, who’s going to chip in and pay for the limo, where are we eating dinner, who’s going to fix my hair and do my make-up? And then after months of preparation it was over. Just like that. There were so many things that needed to be taken care of! All this for just one night of my life! And what came next? Well graduation, college, and life- with all of it’s bells and whistles, highs and lows, joys and sorrows.

My pastor preached an excellent sermon a few weeks ago about answered prayers and it had me floored. I won’t get all preachy with ya’ll but he talked about a couple who had prayed for a child for years and years, had defined and even labeled their lives as the childless old couple. But when they finally conceived a child, and stood face to face with no longer being barren, but fruitful parents-they didn’t know how to act. I was on the floor because initially I was like how could they react anyway other than with joy?! But then I got to thinking about myself. Much of my twenties have been marked by, and dare I say I let these twenties be defined by my situations. The money I didn’t have, the debt I did have, the degrees I didn’t have, the job I wanted, the spouse I didn’t have and on and on. And now that I am at a point where things have changed, I don’t know how to act! What is one to do when once heavy burdens are lifted, and dreams are realized and promises fulfilled? It’s almost like when the slaves toiled in the South, were abused by their captors, fought for a freedom they had distantly hoped for and when they got that freedom-some wanted to stay on pickin’ master’s cotton! And as foolish as that is, I can understand it because for so long they knew nothing else.

And as people folks we can get use to certain things. The friends that don’t treat us right. The bosses that don’t appreciate what we do. The struggle to make ends meet. The carrot we’ve keep chasing. The plans that we keep making for that one day when… But little thought goes into what to do when the ends are meet, we grab that carrot and that one day arrives. It can be scary when we to come to that place where we get all that we hope for and deserve because it’s the unknown. After struggling for so long… After being abused for so long…After being a slave for so long… now what?

But I believe that change is the one thing we can count on in this here life of ours. And I am accepting the fact that we are (well let me just speak for me-I am) continual works in progress, being and becoming our best. And once a dream is realized, even if it took nearly a decade to get there, there is no need to fear what’s going to happen next! Why? Because you deserve to cross that finish line, grab your trophy, get your photo took…and then start planning how to win the next race.


See You In Seven

Monday, September 20, 2010

From girl to WOMAN

Today I told an old friend "REAL TALK: You have no idea what it is like to like someone who doesn't feel the same. It is a constant battle between the mind and your emotions. Lucky for you, I am a smart woman and not a hopeless romantic. Hopefully you can respect that."

Damn!

After I said it, I had to replay it for a minute in my mind. It's been a minute since I was that up front. Wasn't afraid of loosing anything and was willing to accept the consequences because it was the truth.

Niave is what I try not to be.

Honest with myself first and with others second is what I was striving for most times.

It wasn't easy to say but I had to let a brotha know... so the next time you reach out to me because you realize you haven't heard from me in a minute... remember what it is. There is a reason I probably don't call you anymore. Not because I dislike you but because I don't dislike you enough.

Today, I just didn't feel like being a girl and pretending that your words were genuine even though mind is telling me your actions are truth. Without even thinking about it I called myself a woman and just wasn't interested in purposefully hurting myself.

If you know what I am saying ? (chuckle)

Much luv until next week... peace :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Do You See What I See?

So I told Mint Julep that I didn't want to be one of those people who's like, "so I was listening to NPR the other day..." But ummm...err...so I was listening to NPR the other day and this guy had written a book about growing up with his single mother.

Now, in my ignorance I assumed dude was Black and just you know real articulate. Heh. Although when he said he and his homeboy decided to drive from Texas to Alaska and the car broke down in Oregon and he fell in love with the trees and decided to settle there - that should have clued me in that he was in fact white.

So NPR chick is like, "growing up did you have any male role models?" And he's like, "yes. There was this guy in the neighborhood. And the other one was Bill Cosby on the Cosby show. Back then I thought it was Black people whose families that were intact. I thought that all Black kids grew up with their dads."

I was in the car like, SAY YOU SWEARRRR! That's bananas, man! But it's really not, is it? It's all about perception. This is why I hate, like really hate, when rappers and athletes (and other famous folk) be on that, "I am not a role model" ish. And kids shouldn't do what I do. Or pay attention to what I do. Cause my actions shouldn't have any influence over their lives. Or impact their thoughts. Or their views. When that's totally not the reality.

The reality is that people look for answers, for solace, for understanding of themselves, their life, their corner of the universe, from various outlets: personal relationships with family, friends & others; the lack of relationships with family, friends & others; books; movies; televesion; music, travel; and on.

You can never know what will color someone's context. Their perception. Their idea of the world. But once you find out, it's usually fascinating. And sometimes totally unexpected.

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

Monday, September 13, 2010

Something New...

Sometimes someone new is the most exciting part.
Dialogue these make me chuckle to myself...

After you have already asked me out on a date and accepted, you ask me rather coy "Do you have a boyfriend?"

(chuckle)

"WOW! I think... shouldn't I have mentioned that two conversations ago, if that was the case?" I say.

"Well, you never know. Island women."

(chuckle)

"Oh no you didn't Island man?!?! You must think I just swam up on shore."

Straight answer "NO."

My turn "So do you have any women that would say you are their man?"

Silence.

"That is an interesting way to ask the question... not that I know of. I have friends but NO one I would call my girlfriend."

(chuckle)

Couvoisier coming out and asking negros straight up now! We all have friends but what I want to know is how much of those friends you misleading and got hanging around. To answer this question like "not that you know of" makes me believe that there is one that may getting the most attention and could beg to differ with your stance on the relationship. Just saying.

"Why do you laugh? What about you?" he says.

"Well, first off I am allergic to drama and I have a secret fear of being shot in the face so NO. I am not leading anybody on. And if you catch any dude telling you, I am his woman ask him if he said that to my face."

Laughs all around... you got me. Okay then... so far so Good.

Much luv until next week peace :)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Whip My Burden Down

Even though we had Monday off (well I did – let me not speak for erybody), this feels like the longest week ever. My work woes make me wanna holla, throw up bof my hands, then bring em back down and smack my crazy co-worker. This week has me being like eff this thing called adulthood. Eff bills. Eff continued car problems. Eff these centipede bugs in my house. Eff working out and tryna be fit. Eff my responsibilies. Nope I don't wanna do it. Don't wanna help you. Or you. Or you either. What I really wanna do, what I really wanna do, I wanna go back and lay on the beach RIGHT FREAKIN NOW!

Ahhhhh but that is not life. It goes on and so do we, just how we it is no mystery...* But this week has me thinking about what we put weight on. How the things we dwell on probably will be of little importance in life’s overall timeline. How what we think matters so much at the time will barely register years from now. And if it does, you be like, "I was trippin off that?!? What was wrong with me?"

This week I thought about how I used to work for a crazy woman who lived in DC, but one day claimed she was stranded at Reagan National Airport. Yes, you read that right. No it didn't make sense then and years later it still don't. And it made me realize in the midst of my current crazy how far I had come.

Back then I truly hated my job. Not just the people. The whole job. I was living at home. Waitressing at the skrip club on the weekends. Dating some dude who is now engaged to another chick. Ha! But what did I focus on back then? The crazy. The totally insane. The negative. The stressful situation. The complaints. The I needs. The 'get me the hell outta here', please and thanks pleas.

It’s what we do. Get bogged down in the details of life. Let the daily grind wear us down. Sweat allll the small stuff. Focus on the tears. Forget the things that make us smile. Shoooottt...forget to even smile.

But last night after I cooked myself a tasty meal and enjoyed being a couch potato, I stood in the front of my bedroom mirror with a hairbrush in one hand and channeled my inner 12 year old to Willow Smith’s new song ‘Whip My Hair’. Ok. I know. It’s not the best song ever. But it’s catchy and cute. And I, Rum Punch, whipped my hair back and forth, and did the wop, and almost gave myself whiplash. And in those three minutes I was carefree. Laughing. Unburdened. Shoved adult things aside for a few moments to just breathe. Sing. And whip it. Whip it real good.

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

*I really loved Empty Nest back in the day. NBC had a good Saturday line up back then.

Go 'head and whip yo' hair back and forth at your desk! :-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

it's yours to lose

sometimes in life, the stars are aligned and preparation happens to meet opportunity and cue Nas "the world is yours"...

So given the DC primary is next week - the defacto mayoral election, I have to wonder is hubris Mayor Adrian Fenty's downfall? Mayor Fenty, as a native Washingtonian, how could you not be a pupil of DC mayoral politics? Yes, it is about results, but folks have to feel good about the results. Your constitutents have to feel like THEY HAVE OWNERSHIP of those results even the "good" results. And not just the oligarchy, hermetic elite, and/or the gentrified transplants. Speaking of constituents, did you forget the demographics of your city? Fool, it hasn't tipped over yet!

But the real question is who are your pollsters? Where are your trusted confidants? Some sources claim you wouldn't listen, given your hubris that's plausible. How is it that four years ago you claim every ward in the city, and now can't even stake claim in your home turf? And to think if you fail next week, there is no one else to blame. Fool, don't know your political hustle is about the work you put in. Remember, you beat Linda Cropp beacuse you excelled in pedestrian politics (i.e. knocking on doors, meeting residents on both sides of river, etc.). You appeared operative word that you cared, espoused empathy and in contrast to your formal challenger Ms. Cropp you coerced the narrative framing her as aloof and distant.

Anyone who is contemplating living in DC or currently lives there should know this: DC is on par to be that da$$ city. There is no rewinding of the clock, so rest assured if Fenty does not win there the city is not going backwards. The Mayor's contendor, Vince Gray, will maintain the tempo. He has too - he has no other choice. All Gray can do is facilitate cosmetic changes to his or his constitutent's preference hint-hint.

You can only understand the depth of Fenty's fall from grace, when a DC resident also Fenty supporter expressed his perspective about Fenty's opponent, "How can people vote for a man whose never articulated a policy before, never uttered anything?" That's the way the cookie crumbles my apologies for the colloquial speak.

Bellini, What about Rhee and the state of DC education... folks that's another post. Promise to break it down next week...

cheers,

Bellini

P.S. DC 101: Folks never understood how former Mayor Marion Barry got reelected. 'cuz Barry knew his constituents and was well aware that demographics were still in his favor.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Headline News?

Maybe the solution is that I just shouldn’t watch it anymore, but I am getting sick and tired of the news media opining about these mid term elections! Oh the Democrats are in trouble! President Obama’s approval ratings are down. The Democratic incumbents are becoming the underdogs. Enough already! Who gives a beep?!

Haven’t we heard all this flim flam before when Baby Bush ran things and the Republican majority was ousted? How about under the Clinton Administration and there was this whole movement to return to conservatism? Why is this even news? Well actually I get why its news because it’s all about the Benjamins what! And that’s what they want me to care about-but I don’t, I really really don’t like for real! There ain’t nothing new about this story of whose going to control the government, it isn’t going to be me or my friends anytime soon so, yeah next! Dare I say I’d prefer to hear the standard news fare of a missing white kid, how it’s anti-American to be against illegal immigration, or heck I’d take a nice story about how the South will rise again. But alas, I feel like the media is insulting my intelligence by shoving these pundits and experts in my face, sans crystal balls, to tell me what’s going to happen next. Say whaaat? The best these folks can do is spectulate and I can do that without being in the business of politics and tell you that the Republicans will rise again!

Now for my close up! How do I know? Because that’s what always happens. The economy goes up and down. Sometimes we feel like saving our planet, sometimes our water bottle ends up in a landfill. Sometimes I feel like a nut, and sometimes I don’t. At the end of the day, or at least around 7ish I need news that I can use. Like tell me where the cheapest gas is at! Tell me how I can convince my bosses that I don’t have to come into the office-like ever again! Tell me how to make a dollar out of fifteen cents.

So why don’t I just turn the news off? I guess because I am a stickler for weather reports and their “Do They Really Do That” segments. And I don’t want to be the bumpkin who doesn’t know what’s going on in this here world of ours, or at least not know what everyone else is talking about. But I think this morning whilst getting ready to wheel and deal with my workmates I heard them diss President Obama once again, and blame him for why the Democrats are on shaky ground right now, and that was my tipping point! I just had to audibly say-to no one in particular because I live alone-Really? Because in my humble opinion what’s happening now has no direct cause or effect, it’s just time. Just like always, its time for a change. I am so tired of the sensationalShirleySherrodgateNoonebotheredtochecktherest/

of.the.tape?! type of news they are trying to get me to buy into. I just want to know if the latest George Foreman grill will make my food taste like I studied at Le Cordon Bleu, is that too much to ask?

See You In Seven

Friday, September 3, 2010

Blind Date

Where (and by default how) should a woman meet a man? This is not the start of a riddle. This is a genuine question. There has always been the clucking of tongues when people meet at bars. And I recently heard on NPR that the “stigma” of meeting someone online is “fading away”. Or something.

But as one gets older – what is the proper way to meet a potential mate? I ask because a former co-worker told me that she met this dude at Largo. I’m guessing the mall. But I don’t really know the inner workings of gorgeous Prince George’s (County) like that. So I’m like huh? And then she tells me how their “relationship” was on crack and speed combined and he was talkin some you're my girlfriend in like two days. And then things subsequently crashed and burned. And I’m sitting there like huh? But he could be… A whole lotta things is what Amaretto and I agreed upon. And at the top of that list, he turned out to be crazy.

But this is normal behavior for her. She would always be coming with some story of I met him while we were both driving on the highway and he shouted his number. Or I was standing on the street corner and he drove past saying he liked my style. Or I was in the [insert your favorite fine dining chain restaurant here] parking lot and he pulled up and we ended up talking for hours. Uh. Wheredeydodatat?

Color me confused, but these sound like scenarios from my high school/college days. And even then I was not fina call no nig from the highway. And we won’t even get into my other recently separated, new to the dating world co-worker who is part of some online community mess called Tagged. It’s like Black Planet, MySpace, and Match.com all in a pitiful, hotghettoomess (no BET) place. But when not trolling the nets, she is now smitten with the dude who delivers the meat to the grocery store near our workplace . Ummm… Ok. If you like it, I love it. I guess…

Amaretto and I have been joking about a post on someone being kid tested and mother approved. You know? That there is someone in your life who will say this is a cool person worthy of your time. And also stamp you as cool and worthy. The last few guys I have been out with have had a connection to someone or some parts of my life. Either it was a blind date. Or we went to high school together (but didn’t kick it like that at the time). Or it was a friend of a friend.

Regardless of the situation, I could verify with someone I know and trust who the hell this person is. At least the seemingly important parts. Like, no he doesn't have a wife and two kids back home that he's just no telling you about. Or yes he does work, like actually WORK there. And yes I did see him walk 'cross that stage and get his dimploma. And on. I mean there’s a reason the old folk talk about a time when you looked someone in the face and asked the important question, “who your folk?” Or “who your mama n’em?” Cause they had to know if they were looking crazy/alcoholics/pure dysfunctionism in the face. And if they were gon' let alladat in they family.

So Minty has hipped to this thing that real life matchmaker (and cutie pie) Hitch does on Twitter. Every Wednesday he picks one of his male clients to feature. He might give a few stats. The man’s age, occupation, city. And then women can “ask” real life Hitch questions and he will provide the bachelor’s answers. Now. We know Twitter is limited to 140 characters, right? Riiight. So how deep can these questions be? And should I mention that he doesn’t reveal the bachelor’s photo til the end? And then from all the women who asked questions, real life Hitch picks one – and the two go on a date. Ok.

I’ve checked it the past three weeks. And these women are thirsty as hell. And I’ma go ahead and qualify that with Black. Cause I know these are Black women. Who are thirsty as hell. And I’m like damn! It’s like that? You trust some dude in this game all in the name of profit love to set you up with a stranger?!? And you don’t even know what dude looks like? You just think he's a good catch cause... Cause why?

Cause the game done changed. Cause up is down. And gay is straight. And people get fake offended when you ask the hard questions. And then want to act like you should trust them after a month. And you know you shouldn't. But clocks tick. And people women get desperate. And let their guards down. Or think that maybe meeting him in this dark ass club is not such a bad thing. Especially if he takes you out in the daytime. And you can be the anomaly. That couple that met in a bar and got married! Yayyy! And, and, and...people grope in the dark for some kind of truth. Some kind of connection. Some kind of love.

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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

women are funnny!

so this is a recollection of stories seen, heard, observed, and everything in between.

So, a co-worker shared a story that occured a few months ago... As she and her boyfriend were plannig for their recent vacay to Mexico. Now her boyfriend - Taylor*, likes to shower her with gifts. So, in preparation for the trip, he purchased a dress from Bebe. So, the sales associate embarks on the attack...

"Wow-how sweet that you're shopping for you Mother."
"Uhh-not my mother - my girlfriend."
"Oh, so your girl is a size 6. Well next time when you shop for me, I'm a size 4."
"No, thanks. I like my woman with some meat!"

That's right Taylor shut that b*sh down. Women are funnny!

Now a few weeks ago I attended a wedding. The bride has only one sister. So, after the nuptials, when it was time to take pictures. The bride's sister refused to be in any of the pictures. Her logic was given the fact that she snapped a few pics, she was occupied with that endeavor. I must be Boo-boo the fool as my manicurist would say 'cuz you snapped a FEW pics and commenced to smoked your cigar (outside in the hot a$$ sun). But folks, the sister is just mad and bitter. See bitter sister has been a girlfriend for 17 years and counting and the bride married her boyfriend in 5 years. So sister reckons she can be selfish?
Women are funny!

Now there's a friend, Kai, who has a daughter and she and the child's father, TJ, have since moved on. TJ is married and Kai is in a long-term relationship. But for some reason her TJ's-wife wants them to besties. She invites her to all functions, tries to friend her on Facebook, etc. Now Kai is cool-she prefers relationships of the organic variety. Just let it flow, not some manufactured situation. And TJ's wife, Vanesssa, doesn't realize that Kai has peeped her game. There have been times when Vanessa has been insecure and prompted TJ to "choose" between she and his daughter. what are you talkin' bout Bellini Well, back when Kai and TJ were a couple he showered her with some trinkets from Tiffanys and Co... and Vanessa became inadvertently aware since one of her stepdaughter's trinkets formerly belonged to Kai. So, when Valentine's Day rolled around and the daughter asked TJ to take her to Tiffany's so she could buy her Mom her Valentine's Day gift - Vanessa went ballistic! Vanessa informed her husband "doesn't she have enough from Tiffanys!?" Well, I'll stay in the car while you two do that." Alrighty then.
Women are funnny!

And thank God, Bellini is nothing like that...

cheers,

Bellini

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Just Passing It Along

Heeeeeeeeeey ya'll! Sorry for not posting last week, and sorry for not really posting this week; but it's just been crazy in my personal and work life here lately-and it would take many a blog-that I am too slouthful to write-to get all my feelings and obeservations out in a way that doesn't portray me as a ranting and raving lunatic. And I say all dat to say, Imma do better by ya'll next month!

So, my coworker sent me the following email today and I thought it was pretty interesting in the ha ha ha ho ho ho way-and that's probably because it was a welcomed distraction from work. Not that Mr. Tazz Daddy is wrong, I think women need more insights from non female or gay male friends on the inner workings of masculine mind-but it's like just when I thought all I needed to know was how to cook, save money, find a bargain, balance a checkbook, give back to my community, love the Lord and be a good sistergirl friend and a regular ole girlfriend-I get this. What he mean that I can no longer have Beyonce as my life coach? Say whaaaaaaaaaat?


15 Things All Black Women Should Know

1. We don’t think that every Black woman is a bitch, but we damn sure know the difference between a bitch and a lady. It would behoove you to conduct yourself in a positive manner. We don’t have time for a lot of slick talking, unnecessary debate.

2. Your job doesn’t mean anything to us and neither does your title. When we choose a mate, were more concerned with how they act, and if they’re able to carry on a stimulating intellectual conversation about various subjects. I’m not going to say that we don’t care what you look like physically, because that would be lying. Men definitely care about how you look; we’re just not as obsessed with it as you think we are.

3. We can’t stand your hair weaves! We can’t touch your hair, let alone pull it during sex. So many of you start off with such long beautiful hair, and then the very next week it brand-new hair sewn in. This totally baffles us; it makes us feel like you never satisfied with your image. When it comes to choosing a mate we don’t want an indecisive, self-conscious woman. And we all know you don’t want an indecisive self-conscious man!

4. We don’t want to hear about your ex-boyfriends/husbands and how horrible they were to you. We are not responsible for their mistakes, nor will we sit around and pay for them. If you have not given yourself enough time to get over your ex, do us a favor and seek psychological help before entering into a relationship with us.

5. No Black Man respects Steve Harvey’s opinion on women. This man is a professional comedian who is backed up by Oprah Winfrey. How can you believe advice from a woman who can’t commit to a man she’s been with for over 20 years? That’s as asinine as me giving diet tips!

6. We know the difference between a wife and a jumpoff. We don’t need to hear you tell us how much of a "good woman" you are. That will be evidenced by the way that you carry yourself.

7. Its true: All Men Are Dogs! What you fail to realize is that all dogs have different pedigrees! It’s up to you to determine the difference between the poodles, the mongrels, the German shepherds, and the rabid pit bull’s. Depending on the pedigree some dogs are loyal, and some dogs are wayward much that you should never touch because you could catch something: like rabies!

8. We want a woman who’s going to be willing to submit to us. Where women mess up, is by thinking that we mean that we want a slave, or a maid. A man who is bringing his A-game desires a cheerleader from the sidelines, who can double as an assistant coach. We also want someone who can play wide receiver as well as understand that there is only room for one quarterback. In layman’s terms, we don’t want you behind us, we want you beside us. We need women who are able to support our dreams and our vision without all of the nagging and jaw jacking that tends to come with some sistas.

9. Your girlfriends have absolutely no business in our relationship/marriage! Many of today’s modern women feel like they need someone to cosign every decision they make in their relationship/marriage. This annoys the living daylights out of every Black man I know including myself. And that goes double for your male "best friend". This guy either wants to sleep with you (and you’re unaware of it) or he already has in the past. Either way, he DAMN SURE doesn’t need to know what’s going on in our relationship/marriage!

10. Sex and children are not weapons! If you manipulate a man by using sex and children, you will eventually find yourself by yourself! Or there’s the alternative: you find yourself with a man who truly does not want to be with you but has no choice, because he wants to see his child. When it comes to sex, it can only hold a weak man hostage. Strong men who have their lives together understand that they have many options. Some of which, are better options than you are.

11. Mind games never work! Even if you manage to manipulate a man, sooner or later he’ll become aware of your manipulation and he will resent you for it. Thinking that you are slicker than a can of oil, can only lead you to slip up! Men respect women who can be open and honest with them! After all, isn’t that what you want in a man?

12. don’t go through our phones, our computers or through our cars without our permission. When you choose to become a private detective in your relationship/marriage, you’re telling us that you don’t have any trust in us at all! Once the trust is broken, you have nothing left to stand on in your relationship. You are not Sherlock Holmes, you are not Nancy Drew, and you damn sure are not Joey Greco from the TV show Cheaters. If you have questions and concerns, open your mouth and addressed him like an adult. If you can’t do this, and you feel the need to snoop, you might as well leave the relationship.

13. If you have one or more friends who is a slut, most men will tend to believe that you probably are a slut as well. While that sounds particularly harsh, it’s how man’s brains are wired. Even if you’re not a slut or a whore, why would you condone the behavior of your "friend" who acts like one? That makes as much sense as a man who has a friend who does not take care of his children. Or about as much sense as a man who has a friend who cheats on his wife. If your woman with even the smallest ounce of self-respect, you would question us the same way that we would question you if you had a friend who was as open as a Waffle House in the middle of Georgia.

14. Don’t Listen to the Media! As a broadcast professional of over 20 years, I can assure you that when information is put out of about Black men and Black women, it is done for one purpose and one purpose alone: Ratings! The media is in the business of Ratings, Revenue & Entertainment, not in the business of serving the Black community and Black women in a way that will uplift and empower them. Black men are not all gay or on the "Down Low"! Black men are not all in jail/prison! There are plenty of us who are educated, eligible, hard working and who are willing to love you unconditionally if given the chance. You have to be willing to come to the realization that your "Knight in shining armor" may come in the form of a plumber, mail carrier, or small business owner. If you spend your life waiting on the float with Mr. Universe on it, you’re going to miss the entire parade!

15. Stop using Beyoncé as a life coach! In recent years, Beyoncé, along with several other R&B artists have made these "Women’s Empowerment Anthems" that have led women to believe that they can throw us "to the left". Contrary to public opinion and prior belief, if you "bust the windows out of our cars", we’re going to press charges against you. If you spend your time looking for a "Sponsor", and Honestly Believe That "If We Liked It Then We Should’ve Put a Ring on it", then you truly don’t understand what we’re all about! to us what we hear one and say that she wants a "sponsor", we hear that she’s trying to use her vagina and good looks for money. Believe it or not, most men don’t want a prostitute. Also, when we Love you, we will "put a ring on it", and not a minute before where ready! Finally, Beyoncé may talk a good game on records and in videos, but what most of you are failing to realize is that she is a very Happily Married Woman! Beyoncé is also the woman who wrote the song "Cater to You", but for some strange reason you don’t go around quoting that one!

Ladies, these views are my personal take on things that my friends and I have always had issues with when it came to Black women. I hope you take this letter and the spirit of honesty, and not turn it into an attack on all Black Women.

Your love, honored, and respected, but like some Black men, some of you need to get it together.

Tazz Daddy is an Award Winning Cultural Specialist, Radio Personality, Lecturer and Author. His latest book: "Common Sense Ain’t Common", is available for pre-order at the "books" tab at http://TazzDaddy.com/

So is there anything that you just don't agree with? Do you have a #16 or a list of things all men should know about women? Care and share it here!

See You In Seven

Monday, August 30, 2010

No patience...

Last week, I confirmed something about my personality. I think I already knew this but it is officially written in stone now.

I can only do the pity thing but for so long before I snap into get-it-together mode and do something! It is the only way I feel like I am actually getting over it is by doing something, try, no matter what I predict the outcome will be.

Which brings me to my share-all story today. I have a friend (not me of course) that had a strong feeling that he was going to be laid off about two months ago. At this time I told him, "Well it sounds like it is time for you to update your resume and send it out." His response was that he had been working for this company for 20 years and was going to just hang tight to see where it goes since the last time they did lay-offs they kept him. (DEEP SIGH) I say "Okay, but you are aware that you can do both, right?"

Fast forward 2 months later, he finds out that they are laying him off. Okay before I tell you more details, lay-offs happen I understand, but this, what I am about explain, I don't.

First, your supervisor says I think we might lay you off next week Friday. Keyword = Think. That is rather unprofessional and inappropriate.

Second, on Monday the owner of the company pulls you in the hallway to ask you if you heard about the finances.

[Pause Why do I care? [Play]

He tells you the company isn't doing to well and he is Sorry

[Play]

That he has had to lay-off a few people including his daughter.

[Play]

Because she isn't producing.

[Pause] "Why do I care?" [Play]

And I want you to know that I kind of need you around this week to do some stuff but understand if you are unable to...

[Pause] This situation is getting way too manipulative for me... first you go for the pity card about how YOUR company isn't doing well that you had to let down your own child. (Who we know will be fine because a man who hires his daughter to run one of his office locations doesn't just stop doing for her in a time of need.) Then you try to hit me with the but I need you to stay I just don't know until when... I got get everything from you first. EXCUSE ME?[Play]

At this point I say: So did you ask him when is your official last day?

His response: No I did not but let me tell you the rest of the story.

He then proceeds to tell boss man that he will stay and hang around and he understands.

[Pause] Why would you say you understand? What do you understand? Did you leave out some information when telling me the story so I don't understand.[Play]

He says: Well, I didn't want to burn any bridges. And he said he was going rehire us in a month.

I say: Sigh. This is just too much. How is asking the man when he thinks your official last day is burning a bridge. Sigh. Seriously? Twenty years of dedicated hard work would be flushed down the drain if you asked this question? So I said, did you at least set-up a follow up meeting to discuss your exit?

Response: No

[Pause] Okay at this point, I am like why didn't you ask these questions? I am only 29 and you are 37. [Play]

I say:
These thoughts didn't cross your mind?

His Response: Not really.

[Pause] That is when it all clicked me... this makes sense. This is why you were there for 20 years. (BIG turn off for me!)

We did the pity-me behavior Friday through Sunday... not talking to nobody... staying in the house. When are we going to get moving. So I said what did you spend the day doing then... debriefing?

He says: No. I was at Borders and Fye.

I said: You weren't updating your resume at work? Sense you were too said to do it on Saturday. Or maybe writing up a memo debriefing on your accounts so the exit could be less painful and more professional.

He says: Nah, I am going to wait until we are done debriefing, that could happen whenever they want, and then I am going to talk about paying me my vacation because I know I am not going to get a severance.

[Pause] Did they say you weren't getting severance? [Play]

Him: No.

Okay so why are you waiting until they have gotten all the information they need to continue business without you to negotiate whether they should pay you a severance and vacation pay? The minute they are debrief on your accounts, your position is officially redundant they have all they need and no need to negotiate. This is why homeboy approached you the way that he did on Monday because he knows that your supervisor already told you maybe getting laid off next week. He knew you knew, that is why he asked you about the finances. Your boss and him already talked about it and made that decision sonny. The only thing that is currently being assessed right now is status of your work and the action plan for your role. HELLO?!?!

SILENCE.

Hello?!? Everything you are telling me I already know.

I said, "Oh, I am sorry. The way you were telling me the story and how you planned on handling it doesn't lead me to believe you do. My bad. No offense. Just trying to make sure you don't allow people to take advantage of you."

SILENCE.

Hello?!?!?

He says: I have to just do what they tell me.

My thoughts: Well if that ain't some coon like behavior. WHAT?! You don't have to do a DAMN thing! (sigh) I digress because obviously I expect too much from folks, maybe I hang out with too many entitled folks and it is rubbing off on me or may I am plain ole delusional. (sigh)

He says: The owner says he doesn't know the details of the figures.

My thoughts: I said I digress. You are a fool if you believe that! And if this was true, then he shouldn't tell you he is laying you off and will maybe hire you in a month... it is inappropriate, one. And two, why would you want to work a company that is SO poorly ran?

I say NOT A DAMN THING... but good night I have to be in NYC in the morning.

Peace and much luv until next week.... I am onto the next one :)








Friday, August 27, 2010

Purpose Driven Life

Hey y'all! I am writing this post late Tuesday night, going into Wednesday, to arrive on your computer screens this Friday. The reason? Cause I'm on my way outta town for a much needed vacation! And I like to be responsibleish.

Originally this post was gonna be me just throwing up the deuces mixed in with some 'these are my confessions'. And I was gonna talk about how this is my first vacation alone and I'm ascared, not because I don't enjoy my own company (I loves me!) but because I felt like this was like three toes over the line of SINGLE BLACK WOMAN FO' LIFE! But then...

Amaretto and I witnessed something tragic (and traumatic) on Monday night. And in that moment all the seemingly cliche things people tell you about life: that it's short, and priceless, and not promised, and fleeting - were proven right in that instant. The old folk (and the Bible) say, watch and pray, [for no one knows the day or the hour.] And man, that last pearl of wisdom is all I've been able to think about.

And so I unwrapped myself out of all the worry I felt about going on a vacation alone and forced myself to evaluate the sit'chation. Why am I going on vacation? Cause I need a DAMN vacation! And I'm grown! And I'm tired and just wanna lay on somebody's beach. And if not now, then when? And yet two of my aunties were like, "be honest. Who are you going on vacation with?!" They would not believe that it was just going to be me.

Because people don't like when you go against convention. Or do what they could never fathom. Or be something they didn't decide for you. And I get it. But maaaaannnnn... What happened on Monday got me thinking about who I been, where I'm at, and where I'm tryna be. Got me wanting to truly start living out my purpose. Find joy where I usually complain. Truly enjoy and find the beauty in every.single.day. Practice random acts of kindness. And tell folk on a regular basis that I love 'em. Take risks. Believe in myself. Travel just because. Drop the baggage. And enjoy the freedom. Try new things. And accomplish my goals. Got me just wanting (as corny as this sounds) to be all I can be. To just be me. And love it.

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

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

what went wrong?

in my lifetime - at times - i feel like i've seen it, done it, or know somebody else who seen it, done it all. and when you factor 6 degrees of separation - well cut that in half - becuz 3 seems to be the magic number for Bellini...

as an adult it happens to be quite commonplace to hear about deteriorating marriages not to mention the marriages that just went kaput after 30 + years.

let's zone in on the latter.

When I first heard of a couple going there separate ways after 40 years I ceded a perplex disposition. I reckoned isn't easier to ride it out for another 20 years together. but is life always about being easy, let alone taking it easy? If you've done 40 what's another 20? I asked my friend whose in-laws had divorced what effect that had on her husband and his siblings (given it was his parents that split up). She's not sure, I'm sure it has her shook. Ironically, all the kids of the divorcees (three of 'em) are all married. But I have to wonder what psychological manifestations have they endured.

Do they feel their marriage is doomed?
If a spouse is unhappy does that warrant callin' it quits?

on Saturday, as I ran my errands, I ran into an aunt of a friend from grade school who inadvertently mentioned that my friend's parents had split. I'm a lil' baffled because I can't recall if they were legally married. but then again after 30 years - common law is in effect... she was quick to blame her sister for the disunion "you know she has issues"... are issues enough? auntie then goes on to share "he's doing fine, he bought himself a truck and found him a nice little spot" so matter-of-factly.

whenever I'm at the hairsalon and my stylist expresses her views on worldy matters... she proclaims for her generation it was all about the kids. she has 3 grown kids with kids of their own and she's always heartened by the feelings her kids have on she and their father embracing their union for the umpteenth time... but i can't help but sense a bit of resentment, quasi-bitterness as it appears she's gettin' robbed of the possibilities of going backwards...

things that make you hmmmm...

cheers,

Bellini

Monday, August 23, 2010

Frowned Upon but Exhilarating?!

Real quick, I had a conversation yesterday about adult activities that are frowned upon. Here were the top answers:

1. Sex on the first date.
2. Sleeping with someone your friend also slept with.
3. Daily masturbation.
4. Sex in hidden public places.
5. Skinny dipping over the age of 30.

There seemed to be a general consensus among folks that these circumstances were the most exhilarating frown upon adult activites. And here I was coming up with things like, eating two slices of chocolate cake when on a diet. LOL! (chuckle) Maybe it was the Pomegranate tequila talking. Who knows?

Much luv until next week... peace :)

Dear God, I'm trying hard to reach you
Dear God, I see your face in all I do
Sometimes, it's so hard to believe it...
But God, I know you have your reasons
(Uh huh)

They said he's busy hold the line please
Call me crazy, I thought maybe he could mind read
Who does the blind lead?
Show me a sign please
If everything is made in China, are we Chinese?
And why do haters separate us like we siamese?
Technology turning the planet into zombies
Everybody all in everybody's dirty laundry
Acid rain, earthquakes, hurricane, tsunamis
Terrorist, crime sprees, assaults, and robberies
Cops yellin' stop, freeze
Shoot him before he try to leave
Air quality so foul, I gotta try to breath
Endangered species
And we runnin' out of trees
If I could hold the world in the palm of these
Hands, I would probably do away with these anomalies
Everybody checkin' for the new award nominee
Wars and atrocities
Look at all the poverty
Ignoring the prophecies
More beef than broccoli
Corporate monopoly
Weak world economy
Stock market topplin'
Mad marijuana oxycotton and klonopin
Everybody out of it?
Well I've been thinkin' about
And I've been breakin' it down
Without an answer
I know I'm thinking out loud
But if you're lost and around
Why do we suffer?
Why do we suffer?
(Uh huh)
Yeah... It's still me, one of your biggest fans
I get off work
Right back to work again
I probably need to go ahead and have my head exam
Look at how they got me on the Def Jam payment plan
Well, I'm in the world of entertainment and
Trying to keep a singing man sane for the paying fans
If I don't make it through the night, slight change of plans
Harp strings, angel wings, and praying hands
Lord, forgive me for my shortcomings
For going on tour and ignoring the court summons
All I'm trying to do is live life to the fullest
They sent my daddy to you in a barrage of bullets
Why is the world ugly when you made it in your image?
And why is livin' life such a fight to the finish?
For this high percentage
When the sky's the limit
A second is a minute, every hour's infinite
Dear God, I'm trying hard to reach you
Dear God, I see your face in all I do
Sometimes, it's so hard to believe it..

Friday, August 20, 2010

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

My little younger (because he is over 6 feet tall) brother and I got into an argument the other night. Like a for real, voices raised argument. This is kind of a big deal because we rarely argue and were taught as youngsters not to yell at each other. This, I realized is why when other people argue all loud – I get really uncomfortable and just want to disappear, but that is not the point of this post.

The point is that I just wanted one simple thing – for my brother to take me to the airport next week. And he said no. And I don’t be taking the word ‘no’ so well. (Yes, I'ma take this single, carefree, girl, do you' time and work on that. Maybe. Heh.) Especially not from family who I lean and depend on lots. So then he went into this whole, “you need to ask other people to help you do things because I may not always be here (like in the area here - not, not alive here) and then what you gon’ do?” But what he really meant was: you need to call one of those nigs you tell me be taking you to dinner and such and make them put their money where their mouth is. And other clichés.And then I was like, “well you bet not ask me for nuffin.” And then he said, “what do I ever ask you for?”

Which shut my mouth. Cause ummm…he doesn’t really ask me for anything. And then I got to thinking what do men ask women for? To do for them? I mean beside the obvious. Huzzah!

I mean no man is going to ask me to come put this couch together (which I asked one to do), or help me clean my basement and take this heavy stuff to the trash can (which I have also done), oh and can you go ahead and change these light bulbs that are allll the way up there and maybe wash my car real quick?

Honestly, I have a very hard time asking for help. From anyone. Period. I really don’t like for other people who are not family to go out of their “way” to do things for me. Yes, it is somewhat cray cray when you think about how long I have known the people in my life and I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. And people who I’m only quasi-cool with ask me to do seemingly random things for them and I usually comply if I can – so yeah it’s probably something else I should work on. But…That said, I really try to minimize my asking of men folk to do things, because…

Well because like Courvoisier brought up on Monday, once we get grown, men and women are never really just “friends” - so knowing this, and because I try to be a decent human being, I feel some typa way about inviting a nig over just so he can mow my lawn or spackle my wall or help me paint the living room. Cause I know, I just know that he ain’t coming over just out the goodness of his heart. And here he is probably thinking he’s building up credit, waiting for the right moment to strike and meanwhile I’m just glad someone else is doing the work I don't wanna do. At all.

Cause let's keep it real and funky, I am only an I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T woman by default. In the other life that I live in my head, I strongly believe in the separation of labor. Men do the heavy lifting and take out the trash. When they are around – I mean I do take out my own trash - hence the real life default setting. But no man wants to be used just for his muscles. I’m guessing of course. But I would liken it to the way I wouldn’t want to be used just for what I got ‘tween my legs.

But I think the reason, the real reason I went off on my brother, was because he hit me where it hurts. Made me think about the what ifs? What if there ain’t neva no other nig who loves me enough that I can call on him? And ask him if he could come over and _______? Put together this table. Or take me to the airport. Or kill the spider up above my head. Or pump the gas – all the time. And do most of the driving. Or unclog the toilet. Or shovel this snow. Or rub my feet cause it's Tuesday. What if it’s just me, always depending on my brother, then he gets married and has kids, and they [reluctantly] move me in the house and I’m like the crazy auntie they keep upstairs and slide meals to like in Soul Food?

Yes, the mind is a terrible thing to let run free. But I’m just saying. Right now my younger brother is all I got. And even that gravy train might be pulling away from the station. Especially if keep coming with all these mashed potatoes, smothered chicken, and Thanksgiving sized turkey requests. (Sidenote why did I recently ask my granny why white people's gravy is always white. She was like, "I'ont know. I don't think they use no drippins. Heh.) Sigh. Oh well. Guess if push comes to shove, there's always this place.

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

This song is giving me life right now! I love me some Bilal! I love that this is in black and white! I love that he's singing w/ no mic and his voice fills the room and is so clear and crisp! And I really love that there is absolutely nooo, nothing from the audience. Not a whisper. Not a giggle. Not a 'that boy is sangin' good' moan. Nuffin. It's like everyone is mesmerized. Captivated. In awe. Like literally holding they breath, taking it in, enjoying the beauty, and thinking it over.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

no game zone

earlier this week the very smart brothas (more specifically the champ) got me to thinking as their posts are apt to do: 5 things men say (and do) when we're just running game. while reading this, i had many a palm-to-forehead moment in between spurts of audible laughter and shit, damn, mutherfucker.

i got got. many a time. by some ain't shit negros dressed in degrees and self-righteousness who i really shoulda known better than to get got by. and then while discussing men and games generally and men aint shit but hoes and tricks in particular with rum punch i thought to myself, why men gotta play games? and rum punch replied so lovely, why can't he just say i like you and you like me, can we be?

exactly! truth and beauty, rum punch, truth and beauty.

i know there are men (or at least one man) out there who don't run game. or who didn't run game with me. or did they? they didn't? no they didn't. and as i think about what's most important in a mate, i find myself wading past all the superficial requirements i thought (and the pressures of my own black bougie socioeconomedumacationalized achievements and standards dictated) i MUST have in the person i marry. cause let's be honest, we aint getting no younger and who am i gonna do this with? the guys who seemed so good on paper are the ones who had the most game that at the time i thought was [fill in the blank].

but alas i remain single. and they've moved on to bigger and better deer (or doe). the one who they didn't wanna game. who they just wanted to be with. forever. so now i'm thinking i'd rather have a man who isn't flashy, balling outta control, the most sought after dude, or even the most swaggerific so long as he doesn't try to game me. that's it. number one on the list.

don't
game
me

just be you. no bullshit smokescreens or defense mechanisms.

ready for a relationship. right. now.
don't fuck my head up by saying i intimidate you.
know you're more than worthy of a woman like me.
wanna be all up under me on a rainy saturday afternoon.
leave me at the house to go watch games with your friends, not to find some cut friends.
simply
love me.
like me.
co-write me.
take care of me.
protect me.
be regular.

that's all i want. really. ahhhh, that it were so easy.

to start the weekend off right, a somewhat related musical selection. chuckin' up the dueces to all those who gamed me...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Yielded Rage

Greetings and Salutations Everybody! How you? When was the last time I posted? Shameful, I know. But I am finally back in the office and I have something to write about so let’s begin shall we?

My question is what is the deal with old people who happen to be white and males? You don’t have to brace yourself for a classic Amaretto rant-well maybe you do…

So picture this, Washington National Airport Security check line. My flight leaves for the A in 40 minutes and the line resembles those of bread lines during the Great Depression. At this point I am confident I am gonna make my flight. So I stand in line entertaining myself by people watching and wondering what destinations others are heading to. I’ve shown my boarding pass and ID and waiting for the fun exciting part of throwing my stuff in a tub and taking off my shoes. Can I just say that I find the shoe removal absolutely absurd, unsanitary and not a good look for a girl who does not have the cutest toes! But alas, they can scan down to our under roos these days, so a proper pedi should be the least of my worries. But anyway, the shoes have been removed and the tub has been filled and I am waiting for the dude in front of me to push his crap onto the conveyer belt when…

This old white man saunters in front of me and proceeds to take off his shoes. Notice there is no exclamation point, because I’m down with the elderly and not having them stand in line, I know elderly people. My grandmother is elderly and should be afforded some perks. But I’m mad because as I stand and wait for dude to fill his tub, remove his belt, his shoes, and the 50 eleven things from his pockets (I swear he was taking out lint with his loose change-seriously!) not one time did this old white man say thank you, excuse me or give me a head nod of acknowledgement! And as he continued to do his thing I could feel the fire burn in my belly as he took his dear sweet time with me, ever waiting for the moment where he said Thanks. And so began the war within between me getting my spork out and then remembering that he’s old so there should be a level of yielding and respect. But I’m sorry just because you are old doesn’t mean can just do what you want and think the world owes you something cause you’re still here! And it made me think about my college friend who felt that White people had this ability to just totally ignore you when you are right in front of them. At the time I thought she was a little paranoid, but now I don’t know because my mind keeps thinking this scenario would have been different if he cut in front of the blonde white girl standing behind me.

This could just be my issue I know-but oh the joys of blogging I get to care and share with you all!

I just can’t tell ya’ll how much I wanted to tell his hearing aid wearing, liver spots having, Medicaid collecting, alive during World War II self that he was just as wrong as he is rude, peppered with some choice words guaranteed to shed some tears! But alas, I’m a Christian trying to be and do better and I didn’t want some TSA dude to think that my barefoot self could be a threat to anyone. So I just kept my tact and shaming commentary to myself. Made my flight and remembered that every old white man isn’t like this dude. Right? Right!

See You In Seven

Monday, August 16, 2010

Men and Women as Friends

Can single men and women be friends?

Usually I answer that question with "Yes" but as of late, I feel like there is something about single men and women that can be misunderstood. For example...

I am chilling texting with a guy friend about how I am too lazy to get up and get something to eat. I say, you want to bring me some of that food you threw down a half hour ago. He says, not a problem. I am thinking "sweet, free grub!"

Here comes the details:
1. It is after 10:30 pm and I am in my jammies.
2. He has never been to my house before but I have been to his for a one or two parties.

Is this appropriate?
In my mind, it is all good if we're just friends... but I ain't slow, so I know food and liquor on a late Saturday night at someone's house could quickly go in the opposite direction.

So my response was "Hmm... I am just going to tough it out and eat some water ice."
His response, was "I am on my way!"
Again, I am saying "Sure and bring the food."

But, I am not trying to lead nobody on... so I have to fall back because unlike when we were kids, words and actions aren't as innocent as they use to be. I know a lot of guys who would interpret my "Sure and bring the food" as a night filled with a whole lot of potential.

Am I wrong for this conclusion?

I am not so sure... especially since Amaretto has told me before I have a lot of male friends that she thinks if the situation was slightly different, they would try and holla.

Much love until next week peace :)






Friday, August 13, 2010

In Yo' Face

Do y’all know what makes me laugh/sticks in my craw/grinds my gears the mostest? No of course y’all don’t, so let me tell y’all. People who are dumb. No, scratch that. People who like to play dumb. Or maybe it’s people who have no self awareness about themselves. Or people who don’t want to face facts and subsequently reality. Or people who wanna act like their ish don’t stink. And you wanna be like, "well lean a lil' bit closer cause roses really smell like..." What? Everybody sing!

Here’s where I’m at. My co-“worker”, y’all remember her – well she’s still not doing any work. Whatev. I’ve made peace with that fact. Well yesterday she met with our boss to discuss next steps for the year and apparently our boss told her that our big manager and Deputy Director have observed that her work “bestie” is frequently over in our area chatting with her. “Can you believe that,” she said to me in what I’m hoping was a fake tizzy. (And then she continued to gripe about it this morning!!) “That’s crazy,” I responded. But really.

C’MON SON!


You don’t do noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo work! And everybody knows this. So, don’t you think that this is these white women’s path of least bytch ass resistance? They scared, so they won’t call YOU out on not working. So they’ll blame it on your homegirl. Maybe if she weren’t in your area soo much… then you would do some work. Yeah whatever. That ain't happening. But her actin' ignorant and oblivious has me lookin at her sideways. Literally. I have to tilt my neck when I'm talkin' to her cause she's not making sense.

So, yeah this is the same woman who talks so loud on the phone that I know that the main reason she decided to sell her house is because they closed down the KFC in her neighborhood, but she stay making sounds of annoyance if someone raises their voice above a whisper. The same woman who has practically no hair who still makes the conscious decision to wear a weave and let the tracks show, but is quick to talk about someone’s outfit, cheap shoes, or bad hair day. The same woman who just this morning asked about this portly guy who has a baby on the way – “who gave him some?” While I been sitting at my desk wondering this whole time who gave YOU some thus causing you to be somebody’s mommy!!

And it makes me wonder about people who can see everyone else so clearly, but not themselves. Who have an opinion about what everyone else is doing, ain’t doing, need to do to get they life right – meanwhile you looking at them like homie, do you need a mirror? I mean I have a small one in my purse, just to get us started. Yes, I think that unless our names are Jesus Christ, there is a part of us (some small, some HUGE) that judges people. I know so many of us fix our lips, crack our knuckles, and get into a fighting stance, when we got something good bad to say bout somebody. And while I know that I am nowhere near perfect, here’s what I also know about myself:

I am a true a Leo who can be terribly selfish on Monday. And yet totally selfless on Thursday. I can’t whisper. And I have a loud laugh. I lurve, lurve, lurve to wear cute skirts and dresses paired with unique shoes and handbags. And I know when I look fierce! And when my hair looks a mess. I can make all kinds of people laugh. I like pina coladas and laughter in the rain. Neither of those things is true. I have done some ho ish in my lifetime. I have held grudges. And I have played dirty. I know when I don’t be working hard. And when I don’t be working at all. Like right now as I type this post… I can be a know-it-all. And I can be shy. I am nice. But when I'm mean, you don't want it with me. I empathize. And I judge. And I am full of opinions and contradictions.

But one of the crucial things I think I've realized as I get grown is the importance of seeing where you fit, your part, your responsibility, your role in the equation of life. It can't always be somebody else's fault. Pointing fingers, being catty, playing the blame game - those are all easy - that inner work - that's hard. And maybe people don't do it because they know what they'll find, they know it won't be pretty, and they don't like it.

But it's always gonna be easier and seemingly make you feel better, when you make someone else lower. Bring them down a peg or two. Smile in their face and talk about them as they walk away. Recently after I sent a friendly email to a co-worker who is not known for being friendly, crazy co-worker told me that I am just too nice. Heh. Mkay. If only she knew what I be keepin inside. But I just smiled and nodded. Cause you know what they say, if you ain't got nuffin' nice to say. Say nuffin.

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

Thursday, August 12, 2010

keep it on the down low?


i've been having these debates about relationships that lead to the questions, the questions cause that's what it's all about. (plus i can't muster a "real" post to save my life.)  this week's question:

would you say something to your homegirl if the man she was dating seemed gay to you?

and now for the twists:

would it matter if he was flaming or just suspect?
would it matter if she introduced him to you before the first date or after she had made him her boo?
would it matter how close you were to her?
would it matter if you just suspected he was gay or would you have to have "proof" of his sexuality?

would you want our friends to tell you if they thought the man you were dating was gay?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Enroute to Broadway

Hey folks, unfortunately I can't chat. I'm enroute to see the Broadway production "Fela". I'm sure I'll have a story for you next week. Stay cool in the meantime. Cheers, Bellini P.S. I apologize if the text appears ill-formatted, I'm communicating with the crackBerry.

Friday, August 6, 2010

29 and Thankful

I have been watching MTV’s Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant pretty regularly. I should be ashamed of this, but I am not. Lol. For those of you who have no clue what I’m talking about – these shows are chronicling teens’ experiences with being pregnant and/or raising babies.

Anyway. Every time I watch I find myself yelling at the TV. And here’s why. Cause it’s just too much for my senses and has me wondering where the heck the parents are.

Let me tell y’all something about Mama Rum Punch. She crazy! At least that’s what my 16 year old self thought. And for real, for real, that’s what my 29 (whew first time writin it out!) thinks too! My mama had these vague “rules” that at the time seemed sooo unfair to me – but when I look back over my life – Mama knew what was up.

Rule #1 - The Power of the “Random” No – Let’s say someone was gonna have a party on Friday night. And something else fun and exciting was going on Saturday night. Score, I would think to myself. It’s gonna be a great weekend. Run the plans by mama. She would say point blank, “you can go to one of those events, but not both.” What the fuss?!?! I would storm off in a huff. She ain’t care. I would come back to the dining room table, there she would be working on her crossword puzzle or drinking her coffee all cool and calm. “So for real though, I can’t do both?” “No, Rummy.” Well damn. This taught me a few lessons. 1. You don’t get everything you want out of life. But more importantly 2. that you don’t have to do it all. Sometimes you need quiet time. Rest time. You time. Family time. Read a book and enjoy your own company time. One thing that just sticks in my craw is that my 17 year old cousin stays havin’ the following status updates on The Book – “in da house. Chillin. Bored. Need sumthin to do.” ARGGGG!!!! I soo want to be like, READ A BOOK! So yeah. Big ups mama.

Rule #2: - Boyfriend? What you talkin’ bout Willis? – Sometimes on the shows the girls will say they have been dating their baby daddy for 3 years. I do the math. So you mean to tell me y’all been dating since you were 13?! And your parents approved of such?! And these girls be serious too. All in “love”. Get mad cause he “cheated” two years ago. How can you cheat on someone at 14?!?! I wish I could have told my mom this was my boyfriend and we were going to the movies! Or we're gonna sit up in my room with the door closed. Heeeee! My mama woulda beat the yellow off me.
My mom had a rule that I couldn’t date anyone two years older than me. Same grade or a year older. (Which funny I tuned into the Bmore morning show this morning and the therapist they had on there talking about teen dating said the same) I was pissed! But now I understand.

Now did I always follow my mom’s rules? Looks at camera and says, “No! Of course not!” But I think what they helped keep me grounded, look at things from a practical manner and not get in too deep. Looking back she seemed to be trying to just get me to enjoy being a teen. All that grown up lovey dovey stuff, ‘nig you ain’t ish’ would come soon enough. I distinctly remember being in 9th grade and “dating” this guy in 11th (yeah I know, I know) – and some chick thought she was dating him too. This girl’s friend accosted me in the hallway. My friends were then tryna fight said girl at the end of the school day. I was like, “uhhhh… I’m fina go home. But y’all can fight her if you wanna.” Even then I knew nigs weren’t worth fighting for. Lmao!

Grown up me now understands that my mom was aware of dangers and pitfalls that my 16 year old self couldn’t even conceive. Knew the hidden curves, dark alleys, dead end streets up ahead, while all I saw was easy street. Was just tryna ground me, so I could eventually fly.

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