Thursday, August 30, 2007

pissed the fuck off

Courtesy of my roommate, my checking account is now $-250.

When I left town, I told her that I was leaving the rent check with her because I wouldn't be back until after the 1st. And at that point, my rent would be late. I left the damn check on the counter, postdated for September 1st, with the intention of it being cashed no earlier than the 1st.

After having my debit card denied several times, I checked in with my bank to see that my rent check has been processed on August 27th. August 27th for a check dated on September 1st! My meager savings account has been wiped out and as a result I've got checks bouncing all over the damn place and I'm incurring fees on top of that.

You know, pissed ain't even the word. I don't have funds for fuckups like this. I call my banking institution and they tell me there's really no such thing as a postdated check and it's illegal to write checks for an amount that isn't in your account... so there's nothing they can do for me.

I get paid TOMORROW which is why I wrote the damn check for September 1st. I don't get paid again until the end of September. Getting through the month of September was going to be a stretch in the first place and now I am $250 in the hole over this bullshit. This shit really pisses me the fuck off.

I call this bitch to mention what had happened. I have checks bouncing and shit, for a check in which I told her I intended to have cashed after the 1st, hoping that maybe she would offer to do something to help. Nothing.

So pissed off.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

building bridges

Just a little while ago, Chicago asked if he could speak with my father. I talk about my family pretty frequently, he's visited the house and whatnot, and he's in search of some personal and professional guidance. As he told me, taking one year off of going to college damn near turned into ten, with not much headway. While at the time, he was making pretty good money from the perspective of an 18-year-old out the gate - since then he's been working a string of customer service-type jobs and currently looking for a more stable situation. He's told me before that he wants to get where my father is in life - a nice house, family, and job - and bypass the model that his own father gave him, which was floating in and out of jail for his entire life.

I can definitely respect the dream here. The truth is... I see a lot of similarities between Chicago and my father. At 26, my daddy was living with grandma, car-less, and working a dead-end job. At the time my parents got married, my daddy was working at a plumbing supply warehouse stocking shelves. From someone who's been somewhere similar, I feel like he can learn a lot from my old man. And I'm entirely humbled that he would even reach out and ask.

The trouble with me is my lower-level anxiety about broaching the subject. The words haven't been spoken aloud, but I know my daddy had aspirations of me getting with one of the doctors or lawyers or Ph.D.s of tomorrow. Well, that hasn't happened. He has met Chicago on a few occasions, but they don't really know know each other. To introduce him to the fam like this just seems, well, huge. Will my dad respect the fact that I deeply care for this man, even if he's not exactly whom he'd always envisioned for me? Will be willing to open up that door? Will Chicago be able to stomach my dad's blunt, to-the-point-ness and really be willing to face some of those not-so-great decisions he's made over the years? How will I feel about opening the door on this type of relationship between the two of them?

Basically, all these questions to myself to say: Are you really ready for this, for real, for real? I feel like it might be time.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


After five excruciating days, the microbraids are ALL officially removed! *doing the cabbage patch* Never again, I tell you. I don't have this kind of time nor patience on my hands again.

Monday, August 27, 2007

so sick of vick

I am so amped up right now... All I've heard all day was folks complaining about this-and-that and how Michael Vick is being treated unfairly, blah, blah, blah. When we gonna stop making excuses for people? This is not some conspiracy to "get the Black man" - this dude was just wrong on every level. Should he go to jail? Should they take ALL of his money? If he were white, would they treat him the same way? This is beside the point to me. America has a history of screwing US over and throwing the book at Black folks who commit crimes. Why - pray tell - should this be any different? Why are ya'll surprised?

I'm going to quote the Boondocks here when they said: "Every nigga that commit a crime ain't Nelson Mandela." Here is my final word on this debacle. I finally HAD ENOUGH and had to voice my opinion on a public forum full of folks talking about how "bad" they feel for Vick. This about sums up my whole opinion on the matter.

Sorry this is extremely off-topic, but I just gotta say it - and I might draw fire for this, but I'm going to say it anyway. Yes, it is maddening, but what is even more troubling to me is why we rally over this particular issue when there are numerous examples from the war on drugs to inequities in public education to housing in which the same thing happens everyday and all over the country (blacks facing stiffer penalties than whites or being treated unfairly) to which there is no widespread public outcry or outrage.

It seriously bothers me that we're more concerned about a football star losing earnings and serving a stint in jail over something which he should have known better in the first place, than rallying together over something that's much bigger than one man who thought he was above the law, in which folks are being systematically treated unfairly and unequally all over this country.

To take Vick's case on as an example (or anyone else... there will be someone else next year, trust me) to which folks wanna get all riled up and outraged - when the man had a choice and chose to do wrong - is just a bit ridiculous to me. Injustice has to be fought on all fronts and it's not just important when a Black celeb commits a crime. Yes, we gotta start somewhere, but does this really merit the attention it's getting? Why aren't we talking about Jena 6 with this much passion and conviction - rather than celebs who are probably just feeling themselves a little too much and thought they could get a slap on the wrist for committing a crime?

Sunday, August 26, 2007

what i've been up to

I just submitted some work for yet another conference. It's coming up in March in Chicago. I'm mildly excited about this one. After all, it is Chicago, and sure beats Neverneverland - even though the weather will be at least just as crappy.

I've been taking out braids for the past 4 days. Yes, you read that right. I was sick and tired of my hair so I got microbraids. They're cute but a micro-pain-in-the-ass to take out. Today I worked no less than 6 hours today. And I still have a good chunk to go. On the bright side, they'll be done tomorrow then I just have to fight with my new growth before I get another relaxer.

Speaking of Chicago, he and I have been talking. I suppose in the grand scheme of it all I've been imaging my life outside of Neverneverland and I've been trying to figure out if he fits in it. I have no conclusion other than that I'm afraid because it's totally unpredictable - as I guess that relationships tend to be. Reminiscing on past relationships, I can't say that I gave my all, but what I did give in the end I was left holding the ball. Alone. I'm just afraid to go there with anyone. *sigh* Wounds of love long gone...

And this is new... I've met Chicago's entire family at some point or another. I'm supposed to have dinner with his aunt at some point this week. How will that go? We'll just have to see. Nervous? Well, truthfully, kinda.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

trying to not be judgmental

A very close friend of mine just announced that she is pregnant. Again. By this same dude who fathered her first child with whom she swore she wasn't ever getting back together with. And why? For good reason, including the fact that he ain't taking care of business. When I say ain't taking care of business, I'm talking about the fact that dude is in his 30's, chronically unemployed, still living with Mom, and a weedhead. Not to mention some anger management issues and needs to back up off of flying off the handle and calling her all kinds of "fat bitches" etc. when he doesn't like something she does. This whole description probably just came off as judgmental, but these are the facts, as have been told to me. So I was floored to hear that she was pregnant by this dude again - when truth be told - she ain't got a pot to piss in herself.

So here's where I'm struggling.... I know people make different life choices than myself, but I seriously don't get it (and I suppose it's not for me to get either). Maybe this is just my Black middle class upbringing talking again, but I don't understand going off and having kids all willy-nilly. Once, I'll give you a pass. Three "ooops" pregnancies within the past 4 years? I don't get it at all. You don't have a home of your own. You have a very shaky relationships with these guys to begin with. You just became steadily employed within the past 6 months. Dude ain't in the position to help financially 'cept babysit when he ain't out trying to "live the dream" of being a rapper. [INSERT *ROLLING EYES* SMILEY HERE] And the list goes on and on.

Am I being bourgie? Am I being judgmental? I just can't connect this to being anyone's choice of an optimal life for oneself or one's child(ren). I really want to tell her to get it together. For real.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

yet another top ten list

This is probably old news, but whatever. Black Enterprise's list of the top ten cities for African Americans - for work and play (May 2007). I've heard anecdotally about Texas. And Houston and Dallas are on the list. So is my hometown. #10 on the list. Ya know, after 3+ years in the Midwest, I'm actually not adverse to moving back home.

Off-topic: If you click on the links for each individual city, you can read folks' comments. Some of the comments for Jacksonville is straight up-comedy. Still, my family is here, the city is expanding, the weather rocks, and I have roots here. I'd definitely come back.

1. Washington, DC
2. Atlanta, GA
3. Raleigh-Durham, NC
4. Houston, TX
5. Nashville, TN
6. Dallas, TX
7. Charlotte, NC
8. Indianapolis, IN
9. Columbus, OH
10. Jacksonville,FL

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007


While visiting another blog, I stumbled across a site called Postsecret. Folks send in their deepest secrets on postcards and they're published on this blog. There are several volumes that have been published in actual books as well. I'm late to the game, but some of these secrets really speak to me.

This one was most definitely calling my name -- I call it "Ode to Neverneverland." It sums up my basic feelings about this weird place in which I live. And then they wanna charge an arm and leg for the pretentious bullshit. This is just one part of why I wanna get away.

dance like everyone's watching

You know, I've been fighting an internal life-long struggle with wallflower-ism, feeling self-conscious, and developing confidence. I am so struck and awed in the presence of others who seem to have that "it" factor.

I made a new friend recently. Well, it's a friend of a friend. Another Ph.D. student in another field at another university. I really like her energy, her personality. And she has that "it." We went out last night... And how many Ph.D. students you know go out and get loose on the dance floor in red hot pants? lol. I don't wanna accuse folks around here of having a stick up their ass, but yeah, kinda...

This girl was out there getting it all by her herself - dancing like everyone was watching - and not giving a damn what other people thought. It was all about her in that very moment. It was so refreshing. I wish I knew how to cultivate the "it." I don't have it. I can mimic it for short periods of time, but it isn't part of me. And I want it.

quench my thirst

There I was, in the thick of the crowd, grooving by myself to the melody.

And then there was he. Some nameless, faceless person who planted his hands firmly around my waist. He wanted to dance.

Where he touched me felt almost electric. Strong hands on my waist, on my thighs. It felt very masculine, yet gentle. It was like conduction of energy through my clothes and all over my body. It felt reminiscent, healing, and whole. Like a huge part of what I've been missing.

This very last time I was touched was this past December. And now I don't just crave it. I hunger for it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

if it ain't one thing...'s definitely another. I had the pleasure of attending the Keyshia Cole concert extravaganza. It was a great show. We had awesome seats right there in the ninth row. One of her opening acts threw some t-shirts into the crowd and I caught it in mid-air. Dude who hooked me up with the tickets also hooked it up with my very own bottle of Malibu coconut rum before the show.

It was good times... until the concert was over. We were also sitting near speakers. As expected, my hearing was a little off after the show was over. I really didn't think anything of it until I woke up this morning. It's better, but my hearing is still muffled out of my left ear. I wasn't concerned until I went in to work today and my friend urged me to set a doctor's appointment. Well, long story short, there is some definite type of hearing loss going on. Whether its temporary or permanent, I won't know. I have an appointment with an audiologist tomorrow to assess just how bad it is.

I never thought some free concert tickets would turn into this mess. I feel even worse because I took a friend along with me - and she's experiencing the same symptoms, only worse. Not to mention that this was her first concert ever. I'm hoping for some good news tomorrow. Well, as good as can be expected. What would be stellar is if I woke up tomorrow morning with my hearing intact.

i'm about to explode

How's this for a confession? I haven't had sex since April 2006. Yep, that is 1 year + 4 months ago. What in the hell? Now I'm officially about to lose it. Everywhere I look you know what I see? Dick. Something needs to be done about this situation with a quickness. The sad part? In the 3+ years I have been in Neverneverland, there has only been one guy to even try to a sincere effort to get in my pants. One. And this was 2 years ago. What in the hell? This might be really wrong, but I'm on the verge of propositioning someone of the male persuasion. This is ridiculous. I repeat, ridiculous.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

homegirl keeps it real

A lot of folks wanna say that Alexyss K. Tylor is crazy and off-her-rocker because she uses some, um, flavorful language, but you know what? She ain't telling nuthin' but the truth. And she keeps it... REALLY real, 'specially with Mama Tylor sitting right there. I can't stop watching. Check it out, "Dick Will Make You Slap Somebody," lol. Obviously NSFW.

Monday, August 13, 2007

take your "deal" and SHOVE IT!

Boy, let me tell you... Credit cards can be useful, if you know how to use them -- and I don't mean "just swipe it" -- but in most cases, I would wager, their "deals" are straight up bullshit.

I did a dumb thing. While I was out partying the other night, I opened a tab at the bar. I was rushed so I didn't think my choice of card through thoroughly. I chose the first piece of plastic my fingers touched. Hey, I have 0% APR on this card. I can just pay it back at the end of the month.

Well, guess what? 0% for the balance transfer offer I took out, not purchases. I think the interest rate might be something crazy like 19.99% for purchases. Those $35 in drinks could easily turn into ten times that amount, especially since the fine print states that all monies paid are applied to the balance transfer amount before purchases. This means while I'm paying off my BT the drinks are accruing interest and then the amount is recalculated to owe on the principle + interest.

Month 1: $42; Month 2: $50.40; Month 3: $60.47; and so on and so forth, so if it takes me a year to pay off the money I already owe, those drinks for one August night out will cost me $311.76! By the time I get to paying, if I pay it off in full at month 12, that amount is equivalent to buying all of my friends a couple of rounds of drinks. That's absolutely fucking ridiculous. Thank God I have enough money in my savings to pay off my balance in full. I hate to see the money go, but I'll be damned if I end up paying that much for something consumed an entire year ago and forgotten!

This incident caused me to check up on my other credit card balances. Another card I owed $56 dollars. Do you know the interest rate on that bad boy was 24.99%? For one month worth of interest, I owed an extra $12 in finance charges. For one month! I paid off the $56 + finance charges right then and there THEN called to lower my interest rate. I was transferred to an account manager who told me they could only lower interest rates by 3% -- but he was gonna cut me a deal and lower mine by 5%! Woooooohoooo. This still makes my interest rate damn near 20%. What a deal! And at the close of the call, I was asked to complete a balance transfer offer. To get myself into further debt? You've got to be joking. No thanks.

Mark my words. I know you're supposed to never say never, but I will NEVER carry another balance on a credit card again. God so help me.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

zebra print dress

I never thought I was bold enough to wear animal print, but nevertheless I found myself out on the town in a similar zebra-print dress (mine was like 20 times cuter). I was on some liquid courage, courtesy of an open tab at the bar + more than a couple of flutes of champagne, and you know that opens the doors for all kinds of craziness.

But I was a good girl. I only flirted and freaked down this guy in my program, who I believe has a teensy crush on me. I blame it on my raging hormones + the freakem dress. lol. He's one of those types that will flirt and makes jokes with you -- but then underneath it all, he's like, um, but for real though... I almost gave him a call after the club -- not necessarily for sex, but I'm long overdue for a serious makeout session -- but I talked myself out of it. Before the night was over, I told another guy in my program that I had a crush on him. Why, I don't know? It just sorta came out when I saw him by the bar looking all kinds of delicious. I felt up yet another guy I had just met. He had some amazing biceps, let me tell you. And off-topic: Why are all the Nigerian dudes I've met like super duper amazingly sexy? Never mind me, I'm just a horny, sexually deprived grad student.

On the upside, I ran into dude who secured free tickets to the Musiq Soulchild/Raheem Devaughn concert about a month ago. I'm supposed to give him a call because he might have some free Keyshia Cole tickets. I freaking LOVE Keyshia Cole!!! Let's cross our fingers.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

call me crazy

I'm thinking about taking a leave of absence from school starting in January. I'm about 85% sure I'm going to do this. I feel TRAPPED in my own life. I'm so sick of this place that I don't want to be here one second longer. Seriously, I had to fight off the urge to get in my car and drive to parts unknown a few hours ago. Actually, this still sounds like a good idea, if I had any friends that lived any closer than FL! What will I do with myself? I don't know.... probably something completely and absolutely insane. Travel. Join some study abroad program. Something, anything besides this freaking monotony of my life. All of a sudden "it's going to pay off in the end" doesn't seem good enough...


I signed up for a Creative Writing class. Hopefully this will be enough to keep me in school for the semester. If you have any belief in fate, maybe this is it. 'Twas past midnight and I was chatting with an online buddy. She was one of the ones who had courage to jump ship and follow her heart to a career in the arts, even though her parents pushed her toward academia. We have a whole lot in common. She left and never looked back - and she is happy.

After chatting for awhile, I was convinced to "pimp my degree" for all that it's worth. Not to make a decision to leave at the moment, but to at least try and channel some creative energy into something constructive.

I checked out the online course catalog. There was a Creative Writing class with 4 vacancies and 3 people on the wait list. I added myself to the wait list - and as of this morning, I am in. I've been wanting to explore this side since that high school creative writing class that never fit into my schedule.

And this is the ONLY thing I find myself looking forward to about this upcoming semester at all.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

developing an exit strategy

I've come to the conclusion that I'm not feeling where I'm at in life right now... If I could figure out what do to with my life, I think I might tell academia to kiss my black ass. It's not that I don't have the ability to do this, I'm just starting to think that I don't want to. If I never have to write another paper in life, I wouldn't be the least bit upset. *shrugs*

I think I'm a natural-born free spirit and this lifestyle just feels confining. I hate Michigan, the actual state itself. I'm not in like with my roommate. I'm competent in my work, but I don't exactly love it. Matter fact, the thought of academics taking over my life again in a few weeks makes me wanna break out into hives. The problem with this lifestyle is that I have no time or space to do any living. It's all about the next paper to write, class to teach, or conference to attend. I'm sick of it.

All I wanna do is figure out an exit strategy to this madness, buy myself a nice house of my own, dabble in creative pursuits, and float around for awhile -- as long as my bills are paid in full every month. How to go about this? I have no fucking idea... Entrepreneurship? Real estate? I'm currently clueless, but I can't live like this any longer, just waiting for things to get better.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

back to basics

Or the art of doing nothing. My teaching gig ended on Friday, so I have no physical location to be on any given day anymore. While I'm supposed to be writing papers and getting a submission together for a conference, I've been sitting up on the couch, watching DVDs. My drug of choice: "The L Word." Season 2. Volumes 1-3. Who knew female-on-female relationships were so darn interesting?


I don't believe I spoke about it here, but my financial metamorphosis is still well-underway with the yard sale that I sponsored this past weekend. Six of my friends (and myself) got together to purge our closets of unnecessary clutter. We had lots of good shit to contribute to the sale too. We didn't get as great of a turnout as we would have liked, but all in all, we managed to make $300 (after deducting the cost of supplies and early morning mimosas!). Ya girl managed to make the most sales of all - a whopping $115. Hey, it's more money than I had a few days ago.

Speaking of something else... The illusion of money. Up until very recently, I didn't pay all that much attention to where my money was going... Certainly didn't do any calculations to determine how much I was paying in the long haul for some of these low-monthly payments on bills that never seemed to go away. Well, I finally got real with myself, and got disgusted with being uninformed and screwed over (For more info, please see the documentary "Maxed Out" or "The Secret History of Credit Cards" on, and started paying down what I owed.

Well, it feels like I don't have any money now, lol. No more shopping. Every decision to fork over even a little bit of money has become super conscious. I won't see the proceeds from the yard sale. It's going straight to Washington Mutual. I won't see any pay increase from my teaching gig this summer. Those funds went to Bank of America. And once those bills are gone... I will still owe.

The point of this is bigger than feeling broke today. It's about setting some new habits in motion. Although it sucks now, one day I will be out from under this and able to start a-new. This feels better than a brand-new Coach bag.

more bad news

How come every time I turn around there is someone else going through a medical crisis? My faculty advisor, who has been an absolute Godsend to me and a huge part of the reason why I had the forebearance to stay in grad school, just found out that she was uterine cancer. She's only 42 years old. This all happened really quickly, but she underwent surgery for a full hysterectomy on Friday, in hopes that she will not need radiation treatment. The "good news," I suppose, is that the cancer is still in stage 1 and the doctors believe that the hysterectomy should take care of everything. I hope so. As a main element of my support system here, I seriously don't know what I would do without her.