Thursday, May 31, 2007

until the end of time

My song of the moment: Justin Timberlake's "Set The Mood Right/Until The End of Time."

I just like embedding videos in my blog posts. *smile* Sorry, this time it's only music. Enjoy.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

fortune cookie

"Love yourself first and everything falls into line." -- Fortune cookie

summer brokeness update pt. II

I hightailed my ass to Financial Aid this morning. They broke down my options for me in terms I could understand. I applied for a loan. I got it. End of financial breakdown crisis. Wooosaaaaa!!!

summer brokeness update

Kaplan sent me a follow-up to my employment inquiry. They want me to come in for an audition. I get to meet with a group of prospective teachers/tutors and run through a five-minute mock-teacking spiel in front of management. It seems low pressure. Some of the ideas for the mock-teaching spiel include (and they purposely ask us to demonstrate something non-academic): "How to find an apartment" and "how to interpret the labels on a bottle of red wine." I can do this, right? What should I demonstrate? Online Dating 101, Discount Shopping for Dummies, How to decipher the right product for you in the hair care aisle?

Oh yeah, and I'm going in for a consultation with the Financial Aid office tomorrow. I want to be an informed consumer. I have been blessed to have made it this far without any kind of student loan. And I'm thinking about getting one. Maybe. One thing's for sure: I'm tired of breaking out in a cold sweat at the idea of picking up a sandwich for $4.99.

101 Uses for Cool Whip (Lite)

And sorry to disappoint, none of them are freaky uses.

Best summer dessert ever: fresh strawberries & blueberries with a dollop of Cool Whip. Mmmmm.

Honorable mention: Chocolate rice cakes with a dollop of Cool Whip.

They're low calorie, taste ice-creamy, and fantastic!

When I get a man and/or some raw, passionate, meaningless sex, I'll brainstorm some freaky uses that will fit into the diet as well.

Monday, May 28, 2007

the problem with C.C.

I'm supposed to be working on being compassionate toward a friend, whom we will reference as C.C. (not her real name). C.C. and I became close friends during my first years here in Neverneverland. This was an important friendship to me because 1. we are so similar, personality wise 2. she is one of my only friends that do not belong to my department. There were things that I could talk to her about that I couldn't necessarily discuss without anyone else so we became quick friends.

Let's fast forward to the past six months or so... My patience is slowly wearing thin with her in two areas: 1. her lack of assertiveness 2. her unwillingness to leave the house, but constant complaints about how she never "does anything fun" or "meets anyone to date." As my therapist is quick to point out, perhaps my frustration has to do with the fact that we are so alike. I'm not exactly the world's most assertive person, and this is putting it mildly. Unlike C.C. I am now completely unwilling to sit up in my house and be miserable and attempt to do nothing about it. I was this way a few years ago when I was deep in the throes of homesickness + lonely + depressed + one step away from quitting grad school. And the fact that she reminds me of this less-than-stellar time period of my life makes me crazy.

My therapist says I should work on having compassion. For whatever reason, she's not willing to deal with the various things in her life that make her unhappy. I am C.C. and have been C.C. To have compassion for her is to have compassion for myself during a dark time in my life (and vice versa) and facillitates my own healing. Now most of this is psychology-speak.... I have no idea of any practical ways to "work on" developing compassion. Or even what that really means. Hence, why I am not a clinical psychologist.

All I know is that today, after she stood me up for the fifty-eleventh time (this time in favor of cleaning her apartment rather than going out and celebrating having a holiday-sanctioned break from grad school), I just felt seriously annoyed.

calla lily

My friend (the subject of the post "Yesterday, I Cried") is set to return to Neverneverland tomorrow night. I received a "Thank You" card from her. It was short, sweet, and touching:

"We share the unfortunate pain of an ill parent, but we also share our strength, love and support. Thank you for sharing your tears with me, your phone call and kind words. I love you."

Before I called, I prayed that whatever words I had to share would be comforting to her. As soon as I got the address, I also sent a flower arrangement to her mother's funeral. A potted White Calla Lily.

Without ever knowing it, without ever having met her mom, I find out today that Calla Lilies were her mother's favorite flower.


First Dates

Me and Mr. Impressive went out last night. We met at a local bar and grill for dinner and drinks. And stayed long enough to watch the Pistons vs. Cavs game.

My first impressions: He is cool. So what he was talking wasn't game... He's actually kinda corny, but it's cool. I can rock with it. I enjoyed talking with him. He seems to have his head on straight... He's had a couple of cool jobs in the past, including working as a DJ! And he seems to dig my convo as well. I would hang out with him again.

I made myself a resolution to give folks a chance I may not have normally gone out with. So he's not physically my "type." He meets the height requirement. He's a bit older (34). He also looks 34, which is not bad, but he definitely looks mature. He has a bald head... and I usually like me man with hair. And really, if I had met him on the street, honestly I might not have given him a second glance. So he's not dead sexy like the last man I dated. But he's cool and seems like an all-around nice guy. And I think he's cute when he laughs... Right around his eyes crinkles up a little bit when he finds something really funny. It's cute.

So I'm open....

Saturday, May 26, 2007

dedicating this one...

This is for jj. I've been on an old-school music kick lately. I recently downloaded this song to my iPod. It reminds me of you. Maybe it's the beautiful Black women with shortcuts almost literally dripping with sensuality. Much like yourself. Remember we were saying the same thing about you back in high school....

"i believe the children are our future...."

I panicked myself into a job-hunting frenzy. I asked myself: "What kinds of marketable skills do I have that folks are willing to pay for?" *crickets chirping* Naw seriously, I'm an academic, so teaching is supposed to be my thing, right? Well, not if the psychology department has its say, but whatever.... I got on my internet grind and applied for several part-time gigs:

1. research assistant with a huge social science institute on campus
I would be working with some "big dawgs" in psychology and other social sciences, so this might actually be a good thing for cultivating connections, as we say.

2. teacher/tutor at Kaplan
I would be teaching high schoolers skills to pass their SATs/ACTs... if I can myself score in the top 90th percentile on the verbal or math since my own scores are now 5+ years old.

3. teacher/tutor at Princeton Review
Same type of gig as #2.

4. academic tutor with the Athletics Department
I would be tutoring failing athletes in statistics (not that I understand stats all that well myself, but surely moreso than an undergrad, I figure). Here's one way to work on getting some dates... Hope I don't run into that young man on the football team that I infamously made out with last summer....

I figure I can con someone into believing that my purpose in life is to teach (aka "I believe the children are our future" spiel). But I'm almost 100% certain that it is not.

Friday, May 25, 2007

spoke too damn soon

Fuck. I am fucking screwed. This is my first summer without funding, so I had to find myself a summer gig. I'm working as a research assistant on what will become my dissertation data. Cool. Well, what's not cool is that I don't have enough money to eat.

We had $6000 set aside from a grant to pay my summer salary. Once the money goes through the appropriate channels, I receive a bi-weekly check for a whopping $517. This does not even pay my rent, people.

My roommate is leaving for the duration of the summer, meaning that I will have to pay all of the household utilities alone till September, which appropriately fucks up my budget. Thank God I had the foresight to apply for another summer job. However, I will not be getting paid until the end of July.

FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!! I'm going to give myself 24 hours to mope before I figure out some kind of action plan. How in the hell am I gonna come up with the money to go to DC for this conference next month? And more importantly, with $1000 at my disposal, how am I gonna eat?

why i can't wait to move out

My roommate has some kind of aversion to air-conditioning. I think it has to do with her ultra-thriftiness (aka "cheap as hell"-ness). We are in the middle of a Michigan heatwave. It is is about 90 damn degrees in this house and I'm about to turn on the A/C full blast. Crazy side-eyed looks be damned. There is a HUGE part of me that says "Hallelujah!" to her being gone for the duration of the summer. Two more weeks to go till the party begins....

Thursday, May 24, 2007


As much as I love me some country boys, I'm thinking that I might have to let this one go.... I've been talking to dude since March when we met during a visit back home. We've been talking to each other via phone in the interim. I announced I was coming back for two weeks in May. He came to visit at my parents' house. He came over, we chopped it up about my research, and watched the Bulls vs. Pistons game together.

We were supposed to go on an actual date: Movie & Cold Stone Creamery. I didn't make it back to town in time for our date so we rescheduled for the weekend. I inquire about our plans and he tells me that "something came up" and he has to go back home to Alabama. I have not heard from him since. Hmmm.....

I wonder if this "something" that came up has anything to do with the other woman he's seeing? Or hell, for all I know, women he's seeing.

Yeah, probably.

I knew this was a bad idea.

Mr. Impressive

Mr. Impressive and I are going out this weekend. We're meeting for drinks here in town. I just have to name the time and place.

As much as I say I want a man, when the potentiality for one comes around, I get all kinds of crazy and nervous. What is that about? OK, so I do know what it's about. I just don't want to deal with it. Although now that I'm thinking, maybe I'm taking this to Level Two, when hell, I'm just meeting the guy. Over drinks. As a friend. No pressure, right?

law of attraction

I'm a skeptic.... but there is something about the "Law of Attraction" speaks the truth to me. Months after all of the Oprah brouhaha, I sat down and watched "The Secret" a few nights ago. It sort of has the ring of spirituality-based beliefs to me.

Ask and you shall receive. The energy you put forth into the world will be received back tenfold. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

Ya'll get the point. I've been putting a lot of thought into exactly what the vision for my life would look like. OK, this is a huge huge huge monumental task, and I'm working on it. Maybe this is an offshoot of all the therapy I've been doing, but I've been consciously erasing negative thoughts from my mind. Well, if not erasing, then consciously correcting negative thoughts and turning them into positives. Some might think I'm crazy, but I definitely give myself peptalks on how wonderful, witty, beautiful and charming I am.

What has the result been? I'm feeling better. I deleted 90% of the garbage (music with too many sexually degrading lyrics/profanity) from my iPod and replaced them with more soul-nurturing music -- and I feel better. Maybe because I'm not feeding my mind with negativity, it's leaving more space for positive energy in my life. I don't know, but it seems like there's definitely something to this.

joy comes in the morning

"Weeping may endure for one night, but joy comes in the morning (Psalms 30:5)."

I've claimed "Joy comes in the morning" as my new motto.

My therapist says that I'm deep in the midst of grieving.... Not grieving like somebody died, but the grieving of a perceived loss. It can be loss of a relationship, job, an aspect of your identity, an important role in your life, anything.

Over a long period of time I have been grieving over numerous things. Lost relationships. Lost friendships. Lost faith in my abilities. Being lost in general (lack of a vision for my life). I know it is impossible to sidestep the emotions, but I am tired of the grief.

I'm ready for the sunshine.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I finally managed to get started on some work -- hours later than when I had intended, but whatever, it's water under the bridge...

My advisor and I submitted a chapter on "Multiculturalism and Music Videos" to appear in an upcoming book. Since she could not take lead on the assignment, I did. I took this opportunity to synthesize the current research and assert my own opinion about representations of people of color in music videos and its effects on youth of various racial/ethnic backgrounds, along with my advisor's help and approval, that is.

Well, guess what? The reviewers got back to us saying that they absolutely LOVED the chapter and this would be just the thing to round off the book itself. With some minor editing, it is all set to be published! This means that I am going to appear as first author! Yippee! Oh, to see my name in print.

lesson learned...

...while visiting back home:

I just so happen to have the best friends ever.

You keep me laughing and give me a must needed kick in the azz when i need a reality check. You listen to me whine and gripe and complain. You are just.... YOU. And it's all I ever needed you to be.

yesterday, i cried

"You cannot give to others what you do not give to yourself." -- Some affirmation

It's been almost two weeks now since hearing the news of a friend's mother's death. She abruptly lost her battle with breast cancer. I had never met her mother, but I cried and cried and cried and cried. Then I called my friend up and cried some more. I guess the impact of the news hit harder than I imagined, given that I had just found out weeks earlier about my own father's cancer. And given how I had just talked to her a few days earlier about how well her mother was recuperating from her latest round of radiation. And now she was gone.

I never know what to say or do in these situations. How do you comfort a friend in grief? What if you say the wrong thing? Ultimately I decided that the best thing to do was to pray that my words might inspire some comfort. And it was OK that I was falling apart right along with her. I could call her anyway to know that she is in my heart and prayers.

I am reminded of the context with which I know her. She is my friend, she is my colleague, but we really know each other in the context of group therapy. I had commented weeks earlier about how unfamiliar I was with the me that was coming unglued and always in need of Kleenex. She remarked how she was unable to even go there to where tears start to fall.

We both sat and cried and talked on the telephone that day. I can't help but think that those tears prepared me for this moment, when I could open myself up to cry with her, and eventually we will both be able to pick up our respective pieces and keep on keeping on.

letting it all out

As crazy as this sounds, I was looking forward to meeting with my therapist. Only to find out that my appointment was actually yesterday at 3, not today. Damn. And now I have to wait until next week for another appointment.

A lot of folks -- well, let me go on 'head and say it -- a lot of Black folks get squeamish at the thought of therapy, telling all yo business, etc., but honestly I don't know where I would be without it. I fell into a deep, dark hole in my life a few years ago, and wasn't sure if I could make it out. I don't believe in any "cure" or magical treatment, but I do believe that I have benefitted immensely from taking 45 minutes out of my schedule each week to decompress, cry, scream, and let it all out, so to speak.

I can now get out of bed every day, I'm not spiraling out of control into crying spells, so I will say that I am better for it. Still with a long way to go....

how weird am i?

I woke up this morning and decided that I just had to get up outta the house. I showered and dressed, grabbed my laptop, and headed over to Noodles & Co. for lunch, to get some "work" done, and to pirate wireless from the Starbuck's two doors down in order to do so.

Starbuck's outwitted me, for they required some kind of password. So I finished my Mac & Cheese with chicken and headed down the street to Panera.

Now I'm sitting in the window of Panera doing the same damn nothing that I could have done at home. Oh, for joy! I really need to work on this life that I'm supposed to have by now.

Monday, May 21, 2007

back to the same ol' same ol'

It has been 24+ hours since I've arrived back in Neverneverland. Here is my activity report:

* I talked myself out of going up to campus because, truth be told, I wasn't ready for folks to know that I'm back and start making inquiries about work that hasn't been getting done.
* Everytime I go downstairs to grab a glass of Kool-Aid, I try not to throw up in my mouth a little at the sight of my roommate and her boyfriend cuddled up on our couch. Love is wonderful, but roommate-PDA is awful.
* I leafed through the many bills that were waiting for my arrival back to town. I spend way too much damn money. But I'm sick and tired of feeling guilty about trying to have a life (when everything costs money) and try not to look homeless and try to pay down my debt and try to save. I seriously want to say fuck it and worry about this shit when I get paid more than $18K/year.
* I caught up with all of the missed celebrity gossip from the blogs that I frequent.
* I updated Facebook and Myspace with new photos and updated profiles accordingly.
* I called my friend in town who lives on her couch.... and she is busy watching "The Bachelor."
* I looked at all of the clutter in my bedroom as if to say "someone needs to do something about this," but the thought just makes me tired. And so I give up.

I am officially back to this Midwestern brand of boredom.

le *sigh*

Another juicy tidbit from my convo with my new friend:

I have to say, in reading your page, I feel "out classed" by your drive and lifestyle. You appear polished, while I am rusty. You appear "together," while I am "a part." In any case, I dare to converse with someone that has caught my fancy and engulfed my curiosity.

Now my first question to myself is what in the hell is on my page that is so together, polished, and classy? OK, so maybe it's my stunningly gorgeous photos that I happen to take once in a millenium, or maybe it's my "Ph.D. in progress" education. I had to break it down that this is part of my online persona. Whose profile doesn't reek of perceived fabulousness? Especially among those of us whom have spent most of our lives feeling anything but. Hell, gotta get my profile on somewhere, cuz folks in real life are definitely not phased, let me tell you.

What was my response? Something about as much as I know about human nature, there is no such thing as being completely together. And if he doesn't believe me, he should see the clutter that lives in my bedroom. I may have pursued lots of education, but for a self-professed nerd whom "learning is my anti-drug," what else do I do with my life?

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I regularly come undone. You can read this blog and get the same sense. A metaphor for my life: I may not go out of the house with my hair looking a-mess, but I'll be damned if my hair don't stand straight up on top of my head while at home. The moral of the story is that I'm untogether just like the rest of the damn world. Sadness and sorrow and devastation have landed at my doorstep more than a time or two. My portrait of untogetherness just looks a little different than most folks.

so there's this guy...

...whom I met on Myspace. He sent me a friend request a few months ago when I was online at some ungodly hour in the morning. Well, dude sends me an email saying:

When I look at all the photos of my friends, yours is one of those that stands out. I thought I would take the time to say HI.


How are you?

Hmmm... Que interesante, I think. I stand out in a crowd of 200+ friends. So of course I had to respond back with something nice, witty, and charming. When I respond back, he says:

I'm curious about the spirit of the lady behind the smile. What makes you happy? What makes you sad?

Wow. This is a first, for someone to engage me beyond the "Eh, shawty, what it is?" level, on Mypsace of all places.

He seems like a decent guy. No foolishness on his profile. He's 34. Living in Detroit. Working in the IT field. A homeowner. I'm still undecided if this guy is my type -- as my type appears to be the manipulative, emotionally-unavailable type -- but either there is something really different about this one (and in a good way).... or dude got some serious game.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

grad school has ruined my life

So what, I'm being melodramatic, but on the real.... It's 3:48 am and I'm still awake with half-a-million thoughts swirling through my brain.

I'm supposed to be enjoying my last few days of vacation, not lying awake thinking about mess that I have no control over.

Insomnia is real, ya'll. This mess didn't start until graduate school, so I'm using it as a scapegoat. Appropriately so, I say.

Let's not even discuss how long it's been since I've had some good ol' fashioned, tension-relieving, toe-curling, cursing-like-a-damn-sailor-it-feels-so-good sex. Or any sex, for that matter.

And now it's 3:56 am.

i just gotta say this

Blasphemous as it may be, especially since the man is fighting cancer, I have to get this off of my chest. I love my daddy, but he can be an arrogant bastard sometimes.

We were sitting in the living room together the other night. And he was waxing philosophical about my professional accomplishments, reminiscing on my childhood, and indirectly patting himself on the back for how "well" I turned out. He talked about how we felt like he was hard on us growing up, especially when it came to grades in school, but see where we are in life and how much it has helped us....

Well, I'm not sure if we remember the same chain of events, but I definitely recall being scared shitless to walk into the house on report card day with anything less than straight A's. I can get with wanting to establish academic excellence and all that jazz, but I literally remember being terrified as if he might physically hurt me or something. I mean, you would think the world had come to an end or that I had killed someone if I made a B in algebra. Instead of providing some understanding that we cannot forever be perfect in every single academic subject, I walked away with the sense that I was doing something wrong, which I would be harshly punished for.

Not in middle school or high school, but after undergrad, I also remember coming to him -- after being eligible to graduate after completing my credit requirements in only 3 years -- about how I was unsure what I wanted to do, what to do next, and felt like I wasn't ready to leave just yet. I also recall how he pushed me to graduate, even when I felt like I wasn't ready. When I look back at those graduation photos, I still see the sadness in my eyes for what should have rightfully been a joyous occasion, if this was decision I had made for myself.

The way he was talking was as if this was part of some grand design he had created and executed for my life -- and look how well I turned out, thereby making him Grade A parent. Well, excuse me if I recall the events somewhat differently. For me these experiences have a lot to do with my paralyzing fear of producing anything less than perfection, and feeling bad about myself when, as what tends to happen, things do not always turn out accordingly. It has everything to do with not being able to trust how I feel, or feel like I can make good decisions for myself.

Yes, I may look good on paper, but this rigid "design" for my life has hurt me in ways that he would fail to ever understand. Maybe not professionally, but certainly emotionally, socially, and psychologically. These are those internal wounds that bleed that he cannot see, but which I know are there.

complete and utter annoyance

Do you have any friends who complain incessantly about how much their life sucks and how they never do anything fun?

Well, when you invite them to get out of the house, they find every excuse underneath the damn sun to stay glued to their couches.... alone.

Hey, I'm still your friend, but I'm just saying.... ya'll some complaint-ful, frustrating, do-nothing but expect-everything bastards. And being really real, no wonder your life sucks.

Yes, I'm feeling really mean tonight.

IDK and starting not to care

The former object of my affections has occupied many of my thoughts these past couple of months. He pulled the "disappearing man" act in January once I had a heart-to-heart with him about how I couldn't continue to be kept in the dark about his whereabouts, thoughts, feelings, and drama-of-the-day. This is a man that comes with a lot of "baggage" but I figured I loved him enough to try and shoulder some of the weight. As rational adults, I figured we could work through some of these difficult moments together.

Well, fast forward five months later when he decides to pick up the phone and speak to me again... What are the first words out of his mouth? Some "Daddy's home," why-don't-we-have-sex-like-we-used-to-since-I-heard-you-coming-home bullshit. I tell him in my own indirect, diplomatic way to call me back when he gets his mind right (and in my mind, I'm cussing him out to the high heavens, but in reality, I usually lack whatever it takes to tell somebody off like that. I call it the curse of "niceness."). This ain't the first time that I've told him that sex was out of the question. Usually, he calls and wants to hang out regardless. This time it's been fourteen days -- and I'm about to board a plane back to Neverneverland in less than 48 hours -- and I haven't heard a peep from him.

I don't know what this means... in his mind, that is. In mine, this is last time he plays games with my emotions and puts my ass on pause till when he feels like talking to me again. You ain't my damn daddy. I ain't your damn toy. And this is not a fucking game.

Friday, May 18, 2007

all about me

my other blog was starting to get crowded with family members, former love interests, colleagues, and other folks i'm not sure i could trust with my most innermost thoughts, so here i am, all anonymous-like and ready to start spilling my guts.

some things you should know about me:

i have lived my entire adult years as a career student, and from me to you, this shit has got to stop. i can research the hell out of damn near any topic under the sun, but i'm not altogether convinced it's worth it, especially upon examining my slowly deteriorating social skills.

i'm a southern girl in spirit trapped for the next few years in my own corner of midwestern hell... for what else?... grad school.

i'm a libra woman. this means that i'm witty, charming, diplomatic, frustratingly indecisive, and slightly bipolar at times. as an ex once told me, "you are the sweetest person, but you can be so mean..." which version of me you meet totally depends on the day. by virtue of being a libra, i'm forever in limbo, and in search of ever-elusive balance in my life.

i've been known to be a fool for love, but eventually i wise up and move on. maybe a few months or years too late, but these are the types of mistakes i blame on being young and dumb. but hey, what else are your 20s for? i'm sure there will be lots of material forthcoming.

i am slightly depressive (clinical), anxiety-ridden, oftentimes insecure, somewhat of a know-it-all, and an insomniac. where i once saw these as fatal character flaws, i realize this just makes me all the more interesting.

oddly enough, i am inspired by struggle to overcome, the push towards self-improvement, the gall to dream, and those who dare to be themselves no matter who likes it or not. in this spirit, i welcome you to my blog.