Monday, March 31, 2008

Just a thought

You cannot choose your parents. Here's a question for parents everywhere.

  • If you had to prepare a "resume" of your accomplishments, everything you have to offer a child, would your child/children choose you to be their parent?

If the answer is no, then you need to do something differently.

I think I want to tell the story of a seance that my parents had for me when I was 15. It wasn't really a seance, rather it was more like an intervention. I just like to say the word seance. I might post it tomorrow. Gotta get some zzs.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Drop 'Em

I believe that there is value in being honest and transparent. I came to terms with something this weekend that I have never admitted before. My
best friend told me that I carried myself like this, but I was always dismissive of the assertion.

I was on the telephone with a friend talking about this whole job search thing. He was telling me not to worry, it'll work out, you know, the standard stuff. Somewhere in the middle of the conversation I just blurted out that when I walk in the room I expect draws to drop. I was driving at the time, but immediately after saying it in the atmosphere I was stunned and motionless. That's the first time I ever admitted to anyone that I might have a slight complex. I'm still not 100% sure what to call it, but it is something.

That's why this job thing has been bothering me so much. Heretofore I have not had to do very much to get stuff. God's favor has been with me. Now, I don't believe that I've somehow lost His favor, I just think that I'm realizing that everything is not going to just fall into my lap on the strength of favor. Just a little background so that you'll understand where this unwarranted sense of entitlement came from. I went to college on a full academic scholarship for which I did not apply. A recruiter came to my school and asked me if I was interested. I told him yes and the rest was history. I did fill out some paper work later, but he came to me. When I got my job I went to the Human Resources office and filled out an application and asked to speak to a hiring representative. We spoke briefly and she began to fawn over me (I thought she was going to orgasm) and immediately set up an interview for me with a principal who she thought I'd be perfect for. I went to the interview, got my references checked while I sat and was offered the job on the spot. That's what I expect. When I go places it doesn't matter what the policies are, sometimes, I'm able to fanagle my way around them and "sweet talk" people into bending the rules. Don't ask me why I do this or even why I'm able to. It's a gift I guess.

All that has put me where I am now. For the first time in my life things are not really moving at a pace that I like and I have absolutely NO control over that. This is definitely a different look for me, but it's for my growth and development. A part of my introspection and reflection has been to adopt and ascribe to the wisdom contained in the serenity prayer. I think this will be the last post that seems like I'm complaining about this whole job thing. The realism is I think I'm growing as a person inasmuch as I was able to admit the aforementioned to myself. Words really have power; it wasn't until I spoke those words in the atmpsphere, however crude as they were, that I accepted the fact that I like people to swoon over me. Maybe I'm just ego tripping.

I'll edit this later. I just needed to get it on paper--well you know what I mean.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Real Life

Don'tcha just love it when people gas you up and then don't come through? When I went to the job fair a couple of weekends ago, everything seemed positive and a go. I had three schools who seemed genuinely interested, but not a one has phoned me to set up an interview. Two told me that they would schedule the interviews during my spring break which is going on now, although I feel like it's already over. I guess I should phone them, but I don't wanna seem beat. I know I need the job and not them, but I'm not accustomed to having to run somebody down.

I know there are a lot of candidates and some might even be more qualified than me. I typed that, but I find it hard to believe given the extra curricular and leadership experiences that I have had at my current school. The realism is that I don't think many people my age have been trusted to do what I have.

A friend of mine told me that she had a prophetic word for me. I thought to myself, oh brother. Here we go. She assured me that someone would contact me by Tuesday to set something up. Believe you me, I didn't believe her and that in no way contributed to me feeling some type of way about them. She must have studied prophecy the same place as Juanita Bynum.(I know I was wrong for that).

Alas, I'ma put in some calls today to try to secure some interviews. This is so different from me. I am accustomed to being pursued after the initial contact rather than having to be the one in hot pursuit. That translates to other facets of my life as well, but that's another post.

I did something nice last night. I went to dinner with some friends. On the way out of the restaurant I saw the hostess looking over some PowerPoint slides. I asked her what she was studying. What do you know? She was studying accounting and one in our party is an accountant at a bank. I introduced them and had them exchange contact information. The friend who is an accountant asked if I even knew that girl. I told her no, but I'm Captain Save-A-Hoe it doesn't matter. She's graduating soon and you already have a job. If there's an opening you all have enough time to get to know each other between now and then so that if she's okay, you can let her use your name as a reference (assuming her name is worth something to the company). I need every one's help. I cannot single handedly uplift my race by myself. Every time you are in a position to refer someone for employment or a good deal or whatever, I implore you to do so.

I almost forgot about my brother. Question: Why did he get my mother* to get him a loan for school and then quit school as soon as the loan came through? Answer: He's a trifling negro, that's why. Meanwhile my mother has to pay for the loan. She asked him what he was planning to do as far as payment and his reply was he hadn't thought about it. He's also planning to move to Jacksonville in May with his wife who is supposed to be going to law school. When I met her at the wedding she didn't seem that smart to me and I'm usually a good read when it comes to stuff like that. I smell smarts like a bee smells honey. (Like my 4th grade analogy?) Anyway, she graduates from college May 10th and they plan to be in Jacksonville to move in on May 12th. Notice I haven't mentioned where he'll work or live because he doesn't know and neither do I. When my sister called me (really to ask me to borrow $$$ - which I gave her the brush off) to ask me how I felt about it I told her that I have hot water and thoroughly enjoy the advantages that electricity provides. If he's willing to move not knowing where he's going to lay his head then let him do him cause umma do me. I could go on and on about this situation but when I think too much about it I just wanna slap a ni-. See, he done almost made me resurrect the word we buried. I'ma let that go.

*You clicked the link didn't you? Get of my momma jock stalker!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Traveler's Anonymous

My name is James and I have a problem. I'm a chronic traveler. I don't know what it is but nothing gives me more pleasure than to just pick a spot, even if I don't know anyone there and take off in search of adventure. Right now I'm at a spa in south Florida. Crazy thing is none of my friends roll like me. It doesn't bother me to just up and go somewhere. We're only going to live once. They are such lames.

Monday, March 17, 2008

These High School Students...

I was inspired to write this post by another blogger.

Start story here:
Let's call her Jessica. That's actually her real name, but hey, what are the chances that you know her? This was a student who I had about two years ago. She was a very friendly person. A little too friendly. I don't exactly remember when it happened, but somehow she started calling me "Boo" all the time instead of Mr. LastName. I would always tell her to stop, but most of the time I'd be smirking so my telling her to stop wasn't exactly getting her to stop because it seemed to her that because I would be laughing that I wasn't serious. I can't really say why I would sometimes laugh other than I thought she was being silly and I found it amusing. Somewhere down the line she got comfortable enough to walk up to me during the hallway during the change of classes and hug/touch on me. I'd tell her to stop but she persisted. Sometimes when she'd see me walking in the hallway she'd holler out, "Hey boo," all the way down the freakin' hall. I'd keep walking like I didn't know to whom she was referring, but she'd usually call me out. Other times she'd see me in the hallway and do the father-giving-away-the-bride-arm-lock thing down the hallway. I'd push her away and she'd be more persistent. Sometimes she would just burst into my classroom and say, "Hey boo" and give me a hug. Again, at these times I would tell her to chill.

I tried having a conversation with her about the inappropriateness of her behavior but it didn't go over well because I'm just not good at that kinda stuff. For one I know it's just her being young, but I'm concerned that anyone who doesn't know me might get suspicious and try to start some stuff. (I can hear them dudes who did A-town stomp in the background).

It didn't stop there. She even touched my butt* on occasion. That's when I really got serious and told her that she had to chill for real. Notice though I said "on occasion" so clearly what I was communicating to her was not viewed as being serious. One day while I was busy in my classroom and my students were working,she took out some red thongs from a gift bag and held them up to the window in the door, but not before pressing her breasts up against the window and fogging up the window with her breath. I was completely outdone. Of course, the boys were asking me a million questions and my reply, which didn't address a single one of their inquiries was to get to work. They settled quickly, but the air in the room was different for the rest of that period.

It was at this point that I sought the advice of a male colleague who had dealt with a similar situation. He advised me to write a letter and report it. I didn't want to do that because I didn't really want her to get in trouble, plus I didn't want to have to discuss anything with anyone. Eventually she graduated. I heard she has a baby now.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Job Search

I'm in my hotel bed waiting until the sleep dragon overtakes me so that I can count sheep. I came to the A yesterday in preparation for a job fair that I attended today. When I got to the site the line was the longest line I had ever seen. I got there about 8:35 a.m., but originally planned to go around 10:00ish. I'm glad I didn't stick to that. It took me about an hour to actually get in the door.

It was held in the gym of The New Schools at Carver, herein after referred to as simply Carver. I spoke with a rep from Carver. After exchanging pleasantries she asked me some canned teacher-type interview questions about classroom management and differentiated instruction. I fielded her questions with ease and confidence. What got me was what all they expect you to do at this school. First of all there's a mandatory staff meeting each week for about an hour and a half. In addition, there's a requirement that you tutor at least once a week for an hour after school. Further, they want to see me do a 45 minute lesson before they will hire me.

Mind you she had a copy of my resume. I felt like on the strength of that alone the 45 minute sample lesson was insulting. Without boring you to tears, suffice it to say that I have on there all the stuff that a good instructor would put on there to demonstrate their competence and propensity to consistently deliver results. (Explicit language advisory. Reader discretion is advised.)Fuck the dumb shit. I'm not doing all that. When I thought about it later I felt like she tried to chump me. She seemed very positive, but I'm not feeling having to stay after so much or having to jump through any hoops.

I got to speak to someone at Grady, which is the top public high school in Atlanta. That went well and they seem very interested as well as Crim Open Campus. I'm really feeling Crim because of the way their schedule is set up. Every 45 days you get a new set of kids. Teach three classes a day and call it. With 45 days, you don't even have time to get sick of them before you're getting a new set. At Grady they have a modified block schedule. That means they might have 1st, 3rd and 5th period one day and 2nd, 4th and 6th the next and keep alternating back and forth. That's okay, but I"m not feeling having to grade 6*30 kids' papers for the whole school year.

I have to apply to professional standards to get my teaching certificate switched over to Georgia. Will jump on that on Monday. I'm tired now. I went out last night knowing I had to be at the fair early this (technically yesterday) morning. I had a good time last night. I learned how to do this line dance about stomping with the right and left and cha-chaing and backin' it up and stomping. Not sure what it's called. Going to bed now.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Random Ish

*Oh, so when you called me you just acted like nothing even happened.

*If I don't go to the faculty meetings and the principal is in charge of that, how you gonna get mad if I won't come to the department meetings?

*You the one who brought that damned laptop to my apartment. Why the eff do you think I'm gonna bring it back to you? You can come and get it.

*So I left you a message and you haven't called me back yet. I'm not gonna run behind you even if we are blood.

*How come when peeps owe you money, the celluar phone satellites suddenly stop working? You know they say stuff like, "I didn't get your message" or "Something's wrong with my phone."

*I'm getting tired of you. Please stay out of my room. I know I shouldn't act like that, but I'm territorial.

*So I watch for five years for you all to wrap everthing up in fifteen minutes?

*And the person who I wanted to see fall doesn't even go down. Damn.

*Why was I convinced, to the extent that I had already made plans, that our Spring Break was March 17-21? It actually doesn't start until March 24th. Glad I didn't buy that ticket yet.

*I need to call my aunt and get her the CD of the Christmas pictures. I've been meaning to do it

*Moving is such a job. I need to sit down and write out everthing that I need to do.

*I told my supervisor I was leaving early from work. Why did he tell me that I do what I wanna do anyway, so there was no need for me to inform him about my moves. I'm not the person to tell that. Whereas you think that reverse psychology would make me less transient, you just gave me a license to do whatever.

*Some things just seem forced. You know how when you know people are jealous of your success and they really don't like you and you can feel it but everybody keeps going like nothing's wrong?

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Day 3 - So now it's Saturday. My first session started at 8:15 a.m. I woke up around 7:48 (kinda weird how I remember times so exactly) and got dressed. I walked out my room at 8:15 headed to the session. Nothing to report from the sessions. I started getting antsy around 5ish and called Michelle to see where she was. I called twice and got no answer. If I call you twice and don't get an answer, you're as good as left. I hopped on the train to run a few errands around town. I needed some shampoo and stuff like that. At some point she called to see where I was and was disappointed that I "left her." I told her that I called twice, but she said she didn't get the calls. While I was out I saw this older black guy on the street passing out campaign flyers in support of Hillary Clinton. The other people on the street to whom he offered the flyers were quite disrepectful to this man. Some even went so far as to curse him out because he was supporting the candidate of his choice. The people were making derogatory remarks about him and insisted that he was supporting the wrong candidate. I need to mention that the people acting up like this all looked like me, just so that you can paint that mental picture of the scene.

I was still tired from the night before but agreed to an area called the West End to grab a bite to eat. I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Prior to arriving at the restaurant there were a whole lot of people trying to hustle stuff on the streets--flowers, horse rides, candy and food. It was unreal. I can't recall how many times I said no that night. Since I was already beat when we got back to the hotel I just crashed for the night.

Day 4 -Michelle left this morning. It's Sunday. What does any good Baptist boy do on Sunday mornings? You guessed it. I went to church. I looked up a couple of churches on a black church directory website but then I remembered about the Potter's House under the effacious leadership of the renowned Bishop T.D. Jakes. I called a cab to take me. It was almost $30 one way. I went ahead and did it since I don't know when the next time is that I'll ever return to Dallas. The cab driver was wildin'. He was going off because he said the bellmen downstairs wouldn't give him the "good" trips like to the airport or the Galleria Mall where he would make $30-40 one way. The bellman approached the window once I was inside the cab and asked the cab driver if he had a number. I wasn't clear on what they were talking about, but I did know that he wasn't really asking him for a number. Those cabs are out there every single day. Why would he not already know the numbers to all the cab services who frequent the hotel? The cab driver later explained to me that it was code to ask if he intended on bribing the bellman to get one of the good jobs. The cab driver shared with me that he was Muslim and participating in any form of bribery is against his religion. I told him it wasn't necessarily bribery so much as it is the way business is transacted in a capitalistic society. If you want preferrential treament, you pay a premium. People who fly first class are not bribing Delta for the good seats; they are paying the cost.

Once I arrived at the church there was a seemingly never ending flow of people from teh church to the parking lot. It looked like a number that no man could number*. I got there in between services. I had to wait about 30 minutes before the next service began. The service was pretty good although Bishop Jakes didn't preach. He hurt his back in the earlier service so they just showed the DVD of him preacing from the earlier service. The guy who was MCing the service was pretty funny.

Day 5 - I woke up Monday knowing that this was my last day in town and realized that I hadn't done any of the tourist stuff. I went to the infamous grassy knoll and the book depository from where the shot that killed JFK allegedly came. The grassy knoll area is so small. I thought it was going to be the expansive space, but it's really not. I went downtown to another mall and this guy who was selling on the street directed me to some other touristy (I made that up) stuff that in which I might be interested. When I made it in that night a friend of mine who I had called earlier in the day called me back to let me know he actually was coming into Dallas for a few days. I wish he would have arrived sooner, but alas. We kept missing each other, but we met up later that night for drinks. The time got away from us and I drug my tired azz back to my hotel knowing that when I awoke I'd have to pack and start the process of getting back to the boro.

My luggage didn't arrive with me and I just got it this morning around 12:48 a.m. from the delivery service. I had to bum a ride to work yesterday. On top of that the friend who was supposed to take me home didn't come through. To say I was pissed would be the understatement of the decade. I know in friendship and relationships we don't do things to keep score, but the one time I actually need you you don't come through. That does not a happy James make. Although she knew in advance that I needed her to pick me up she texted me on the day I was to return to town to tell me that she had a meeting. Not even a phone call--a text. I can forgive her, but it's gonna cause me to pull back. Not that I'm out for vengance, but she better not need anything anytime soon.

*There's a prize for the first person who can tell me who made that statement.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I made it back last night and like I said in the previous post I was too tired to write. I just got out of a meeting a school and now I can share.

Day 1 - I left work and went home to get my bags. I decided to carpool with a female colleague. She drove. Mistake #1. She was late getting to my house to get me. We had to drive about an hour to the airport because the tickets were $140 cheaper to fly out of Raleigh as opposed to Greensboro. I like to save money when I can. If the tickets had only be $50-60 cheaper, then I would have paid the extra $$ to fly from Greensboro. Anywho, like I said she was late getting me. Once we got on the highway I was nervously watching the speedometer noticing that she was hovering around 60 miles per hour. In a fit of desperation I finally blurted out that we were not going to make it to the airport in time to catch the flight (foreshadowing - remember that from ninth grade English?) if we kept up this pace. She sped to about 70. I was thinking wow you're really going fast now. It was at this point that she shared with me that there was something wrong with her transmission and she couldn't go very fast. I'm thinking the transmission. That's major. If you had said that before we left, I would have gladly driven. Please understand that I don't like to ride with people because I trust myself and my automobile more than other people's stuff because I maintain my vehicle. No shade tree mechanics. I take my ride to the dealership.

When we made it to the airport we went to the self check in kiosks and we couldn't check in without assistance. I knew what that meant. We were too late. Of course that's the message that the people behind the desk communicated to us. The flight we were scheduled to be on was the last flight leaving out that day on Northwest. We checked other airports and other hubs to see if we could fly to another hub and catch a connection to Dallas. No such luck. They wouldn't put us on another airline either. The best they could do is offer us the first flight the next day. Meanwhile I had a hotel reservation in Dallas for Thursday night because the conference was starting early Friday morning. Before I finally accepted that I wasn't going to Dallas on Thursday without coming out my pocket to just buy another ticket I pulled out all the stops. Usually I can convince people to be sympathetic to my plight--especially if the person is a woman. If I do say so myself, I can be very charming and persuasive. Imagine my surprise when exhausting every ploy and tool in my bag of tricks she still had not agreed to put me on another airline so that I could get to Dallas Thursday night. She gave us the "distress passenger" coupon for a nearby hotel so we just crashed in Raleigh waiting on the flight for the next day. We got something to eat. My colleague was so apologetic; she didn't want me to talk shit about her. She was like please don't be mad at me. I told her if I were mad you would know. I'm not usually really good at hiding my emotions--a flaw that I sometime manipulate to be advantageous for me.

Both of us were hungry so we caught the hotel shuttle to get a bite. On the ride the dude was taking us on all these back roads with no streetlights. I'm thinking to myself and then I asked her--let's call her Michelle--why are there no streetlights? What is he doing? My mind started thinking about how he could be taking us to a secluded area to slaughter us or something terrible like that. It was at the point that I decided if I didn't soon see some civilization that I was going to open the door and jump out. I was not comfortable because I just had an erie feeling. And the dude wasn't talking to us. I mean, he could have been tired or whatnot, but there's nothing wrong with being pleasant and making small talk if to do nothing more but put people at ease. Eventually we made it back home and crashed.

Day 2 - We woke up around 5 a.m. to be at the airport by 6:15 because our flight was scheduled to depart at 7:10 a.m. I checked my bag and had a carry on. I thought they had relaxed the liquid rules at the airport but apparently I was mistaken. They told me I could go back downstairs and check my carry on if I didn't want them to throw away all my stuff. I tried to do that but it was too late to check any more bags by the time I got down there so I ended up having to go back through security and still got all my stuff thrown away. The flight was uneventful. We had a connection in Memphis so I got to try the infamous Corky's since they had a little place in the airport. I had a pulled pork barbecue sandwich that was decent. When we finally landed in Dallas we caught the train to the hotel. There's a tunnel that leads from the train station to the hotel. Absolutely ingenious and so ultra convenient. If you clicked the link you see the tall structure with the ball up top? I'll pause while you look if you didn't already. Okay, now that you have the visual, I wanted to go in there but it was closed for renovations. It's one of those revolving restaurant deals where you can get a panoramic view of the skyline. I chose the hotel in part because of this. I feel like they need to make an announcement on the hotel web page to say that the tower is closed so that people will at least be aware and possibly make another choice of hotel.

When I got to the hotel I was waiting in the line for Gold Passport members. The front desk clerk made the asinine move mistake of taking the next customer in line before calling me. I wasn't having it. I let her know that I wasn't confused about where I was standing and that I am in fact a GPM and would like to be treated as such. She apologized profusely and got me straight with my room. I appreciated that. You should have seen the indignant looks on the Caucasian people's faces who I was taken in front of. For a night at a hotel you can use MasterCard. For the look on their faces when I was shown preferential treatment--priceless.

Before I checked in we jumped right into the conference sessions. The stuff that people were presenting was so substandard. I was encouraged because I know that I can do a presentation if that's all that is required. Of course I wouldn't be half azz when I do a presentation because it has my name on it, but for what I saw it appears that anyone who signed up to present was afforded the opportunity.

That night we went to a club called Purgatory. I didn't know the name of the club until we had been inside for probably an hour. I ordered a long island from the bar but didn't like it. I don't waste liquor because it's expensive in the club, but I threw it away. Had a good time. Kinda felt like college days. I stumbled home good and sweaty around 4:40 a.m. Of course we had sessions on Saturday morning beginning at 8:15 a.m. When I got back to the hotel Michelle had already left the club and was asleep. We shared a room, but not a bed. I slept on the roll away and let her have the bed, even though I'm the GPM among us.

So I'm actually leaving out a part of the story. I started not to write this part, but I may as well be truthful. I left the club about 2:00 with this girl I met inside. We walked to another club in the area but left after a few minutes. We were both feeling fresh and feeling each other. Yeah so you see where this is going. When it was over I called a cab from her spot and that's when I stumbled in the room at 4:40 a.m. subsequent to me getting my rocks off. By the way, ole girl has an oral ability that should be studied. I would rank her in my top three seriously.

This is turning into a lot....I'll do days three through five tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I'm gonna write about the events of my trip to Dallas probably tomorrow after work. I just got back and I'm just too tired to sit down and put anything together.