Saturday, May 24, 2008

They Done Had Me Stretch Out

I am so glad today is Saturday. That's because most of the stuff that has had me so busy at work is now over. This past week we had two days of stuff for the graduating seniors. As senior class advisor I am responsible for making sure things run smoothly. **Disclaimer**This may bore you to tears, so feel free to skip this post. Since this stuff is over now though, I'm back in full effect in the blog world effective today.**
Thursday: The first event that morning was the senior breakfast/yearbook signing. I wanted to do a plated meal (eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, biscuits, fruit), but I felt that the quotes that I received were too pricey. The catering companies that I spoke with basically told me I was out of touch. I wanted to do a breakfast for 250 people for $800. One guy even laughed at me on the phone. Before looking for catering companies I tried to get Biscuitville to sponsor the breakfast. In true JayBee form, I waited until the eleventh hour and it was too late for them to sponsor the event. You have to contact them 60 days prior to the event. I called them the week before. I started to cancel the breakfast altogether. Since the administrator had already announced to the kids that we were having a breakfast, I had to get something together to save face. So, I ordered 280 sandwiches (McMuffins® and biscuits) from Micky D's. I topped that off with some juice, water, fruit and danishes. From there we routed them to the auditorium to hear a speaker. The speaker didn't show until much later. At our school the students wear SMOD (Standard Mode of Dress). We do khakis and royal blue/goldenrod/white polo style shirts. Because today was senior day some of them decided to show up in jeans or in the case of some of the females, booty shorts. Not on my watch. I wouldn't let them in the cafeteria to eat breakfast because they were in noncompliance with the rules. A group of girls did slip in with the booty shorts on, but when one of my coworkers alerted me that they had infiltrated the ranks I quickly found and removed them. The assistant principal made all the boys in jeans get on the risers on the stage in the auditorium to lead us in the school song. Straight Lean On Me style. It was so funny. The guys were up there strategizing for real and rearranging each other and warming up and stuff. They asked another guy in the audience to play for them and they sang Lean On Me. This did not embarrass them because a lot of these dudes are the popular guys anyway (athletes, band members, step team, etc.). It was sooo funny. Next we did senior superlatives. Some of the categories were not your standard "Best Dressed" and "Most Likely to Succeed." We had stuff like:

  • Most Likely to Use Their Medicaid Card As Cash
  • Most Likely to be Confused at Graduation
  • Biggest Gossip
  • Most Likely to be Married More Than Once

As you can imagine the kids had a ball with this. We had some business to attend to in the auditorium and then we dismissed for lunch on their own. They were told to reconvene in the auditorium at 2:30 p.m. The speaker was able to make it for this portion. I arranged for them to hear a presentation about money management. I wanted them to learn something about managing their credit. At 3:30 we had capping ceremony practice. This lasted until about 5:15 and then the kids came out for the picnic. In the background while the stuff was going on in the auditorium, I had to leave the school to go to SAMS to pick up the food for the picnic. I enlisted the help on my third block class to help with the picnic and had two of them on call to go pick up last minute items as they crossed my mind. When I got to the exit that I needed to get off the highway to get to SAMS I realized I didn't have the check to pay for the food so I had to turn around and go back to the school to get the check. Blow action. Earlier that morning when I was taking the food out of the car for breakfast I twisted my knee. Blow action. The menu for the picnic was simple:

  • hamburgers
  • hot dogs (I don't eat them but other people do)
  • assorted chips
  • frozen fruit
  • pickles
  • cole slaw
  • chili
  • drinks
  • cake
  • ice cream sandwiches

The hamburgers were banging. The teacher I got to get on the grill did a great job. I actually rotated four people on the grill. I had the grill started at 3:00 because I wanted enough food for 200 people ready when the kids came down. We were only expecting about 250 or so, so I figured if I had at least enough for 200, by the time they got through the line we'd have the next batch off the grill. I had the hamburgers and hot dogs already put in buns and put in roasting pans so that they would just be able to request what they wanted, put on the condiments and keep it moving. I'm so glad my friend Tolana told me to do that. That was a great idea. We moved them through that line faster than the cafeteria does. Besides good eats, the kids could do volleyball, tug-of-war or play touch football. I had a dj because you know how we like to do. African Americans (blacks or whatever moniker you like--my preference is black) like to dance. I got this guy to donate a funeral tent so that we'd have some shade, but fortunately it was very nice out. The lady in the black is the ninth grade assistant principal.

In addition, the kids could play on the joust or the super obstacle course. Oh I almost forgot about the water ballon fight. When the balloons ran out the kids started filling up water bottles and throwing those at each other. They had a ball.
Friday: Today was the actual capping ceremony. I had to arrange some more last minute stuff. I needed to have the class president and vice president present tokens of appreciation to the senior administrator (the assistant principal for the senior class), principal, senior counselor, graduation coach and college advisor. I had a coworker pick up some flowers on her way to work and spoke with the pres and vice and let them know what was up. It went over well and looked like this had been the plan all along. My principal was under the impression that the class president didn't know that she had to speak at the program. I assured her that she knew and let her know that I saw and approved the final draft of her speech on May 21, 2008 at 5:34 p.m. My principal was like oh I didn't think she knew. I looked at her like who are you dealing with? My ma phucking name is JayBee and I ain't no bullsh@t. If it's gonna have my name anywhere on it, it's gotta be right. She should have known better. I'm not sure who told her that the girl didn't know. Probably somebody hating on me trying to find a way to make me seem inept. How terribly unsuccessful they were. Thankfully that's all over. That's pretty much what I've been doing for the last couple of weeks. Trying to plan these two events and make sure that everything was covered and in order. The last two major things I am going to do is take the seniors to a theme park and purchase a gift for the school. Any ideas on what we should leave as a class gift?

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mini Hiatus

I'm gonna post something soon. I have been incredibly busy and tired. This is "peak season" at work. I'm senior class advisor so I've been busy planning a breakfast/yearbook signing, a picnic/carnival and a trip to CaroWinds. As I mentioned early on, I'm such a procrastinator so you can just imagine how everthing is on me at one time. Lord, give me strength. Check out what I cooked last Friday. Yeah, a brotha can burn when he wants to. And this meal ain't even nothing.

Friday, May 9, 2008


I ran across a post at Torrance's site that made me decide to post this. I had been talking about it with other people, but wasn't gonna speak on it in this forum. It was weird when I read the post because this incident took place just three days prior to me reading his post. Talk about coincidence.

I was on the phone with my mother discussing my plans to move. I was debating whether I'd buy something when I move or move into an apartment for six months and then buy. I think I've decided to rent for the short while and use that time to find where I want to buy. I'm leaning toward purchasing a condo. I'm a county boy but I don't necessarily need a yard. I do not like yard work--never have. That's one of the ways they used to punish me when I was a child. Pulling weeds, cutting grass, raking--ugghhh. I hate yard work. Since I don't really want to maintain a yard, it would just be an added expense for me to have a yard because I'd have to pay someone to keep it up.

Rather than have to fool with that I'd just rather do a condo where I can have fulltime security, valet parking and a concierge on the premises. I'd much rather have those services than a yard any day of the week. To each his own. I shared this with my mother and mentioned that living in a condo would also prevent me from having to host a bunch of family events. That's what did it. She was like, why don't you want your family to come over. Blah blah blah and then she said it. She said, "You're so selfish."

I can't describe how taken aback I was by this erroneous statement. Never mind I've loaned my younger brother of $600 to help him out. I just gave my niece $50 to put toward her eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C. because my sister didn't have the rest of the money to cover the full cost of the trip. In addition, I just gave my mom $348.56 to pay her car note this month. She's actually a month ahead, but that was my Mother's Day gift to her. Selfish? I don't think a selfish person would do the things that I've done.

The only reason I mentioned the thing about not having to host family events is because I do not like people encumbering my time, family included. People in my family have a tendency to volunteer you to do stuff without your knowledge or consent. I ain't down wit' that. I remember in 1998 when him* volunteered us to host the family reunion at our sprawling mansion house. I was pissed because I knew that we'd be doing most of the work while him* took all the credit like him* had done something. And that's exactly what happened. Of course because more people were around him* was even more annoying than usual.

My mother must not understand fully how I feel about having grown up in that house. I'm going to have to have a sit down conversation with her about the damage that was done. That's why I don't go home. That's why I don't want to be bothered. No I ain't hosting sh@t. Just as sure as my name is JayBee, if I had a house with a yard, they would be volunteering my spot to be the designated meet up place/host site for family events. I've known these people for 26 years so I know how they get down. Rather than have an issue later about why I don't want to hold events, I thought I'd head any trouble off at the outset by making it known now that I'm not even feeling having a bunch of people running up and through my sh@t. If ya'll like to have people up and through your stuff, that's fine. Don't try to impose that on me and then get mad when I decide that I don't want to do it. That's that damned script again.

So anyway, after talking to my roommate, she told me that my mom probably just used the wrong word. Some might argue that's it's a question of semantics. I'd disagree. The realism is the two terms have completely different denotations. What she really meant to say was that she felt I was being self-centered. Now, I wouldn't argue with that. I do have a tendency to be self-centered/self-absorbed at times. I'm fully aware of that character issue and don't make apologies for it. Who else is gonna look out for me? I gotta take care of numero uno. That's not to say that I don't care about other people. I just really care a lot about what's important to me. Why do people use the two terms interchangeably? They do not mean the same thing. Honestly, I wouldn't have been offended at all if she had used the term self-centered as opposed to selfish. Clearly, I have demonstrated that I am not a selfish person. If I'm in a position to help you and I don't mind extended you a hand, I will.


So what's the difference between the two? You ask the hard questions. Being selfish has a completely negative connotation. I liken it to having a disdain for sharing. Seeking only self-satisfaction. To hell with everybody else. Being self-centered also has a negative connotation, but to me it’s no where near as egregious as being selfish. Self-centeredness is just what it sounds like. For a person who is like this, they consider self first. That doesn’t mean that they don’t consider others. They just have a natural inclination to make satisfying their needs a primacy before addressing the needs of others. The difference between the two is that a selfish person doesn’t give a phuck about other peoples’ needs. A self-centered person will meet the needs of others. Most of the time though, it can only happen after their own needs have been met.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Strangers in the Night

I swear to you what you are about to read is the absolute realism.

One summer when we still lived in Little Town, USA, my cousin Tiffiany came to stay with us for about a week. She was closer to my older sister's age, but all of us including my brothers and I hung out and played together. She and my sister would play with Barbies a lot of the time and when all five of us would get together we'd watch movies, play cards or checkers or something like that. I can even remember us playing with jax. (Save all your comments/jokes).

We so enjoyed being around each other that we even all slept together. No, silly, not in the same bed. We'd be hard pressed to fit five people in one bed comfortably. Instead we would make a pallet on the floor with blankets and sheets and all fall asleep watching t.v. late into the night. The pallet would go in the den. The den opened to the other bedrooms and the dining room and kitchen area. The front door was in the den, but we mainly used the side door in the kitchen. At some point, presumably, my mom or him* would get up and turn the television off. I can't remember seeing them do that, but when we'd awake the next morning, it would always be off. You can imagine the five of us up talking, laughing, joking and watching t.v. I'm sure my mom or him* just waited until they heard the murmuring die down and then just came and shut the t.v. off.

This particular night we actually weren't really asleep. None of us were talking, but none of us were yet asleep. We saw two small figures--almost elf-like walk behind us from down the hallway, lift the covers off our feet, pause for a moment (that seemed like an eternity to us because we were frozen in fear), release the covers and then walk out the kitchen door. Before you think I was imagining things, let me hasten to say this event definitely took place. If I was imagining things, then so was my cousin and three siblings. Each of us can attest to what we saw. When we told mom and him* they were dismissive. That experience prepared me for the decision that was rendered in the Rodney King trial. It doesn't matter how many witnesses there are or if there is undeniable proof, sometimes the evidence will still be dismissed.

I know about the power of suggestion. It would be different if I claimed to have seen something and no one else was awake and then they attested to seeing it as well, after I had placed the thought in their heads. After hearing it constantly, they might subconsciously wish that they had the same experience so as to belong and then feel strongly that they had participated in the same sequence of events.

That moment after the creatures exited the door, there was an eerie silence for a little while and then one of us broke the silence with a question like, "Did ya'll see that." Almost in concert each of us indicated that we in fact saw the small creatures. What was so unreal is that if we were imagining things, I don't think we would have felt the sensation of the covers being lifted and the cold air that seeped under the covers as a result of them having been lifted clean off our feet.

Here are my questions to you. Do you have a weird experience with the unexplained? Do you have another explanation for what my cousin, siblings and I will swear to in court under penalty of perjury to have witnessed?

I mentioned before that I have a mild case of e.s.p. I'm only half serious but I definitely have deja vu experiences frequently and have dreamed things that took place subsequent to the dream.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Yes You Did

How come when you call back numbers on your cell phone that you don't recognize sometimes the person on the other end swears that no one called? How in the world do you suppose I got this number on my cell phone if no one called? Somebody DID call. Even if it wasn't you, it was somebody. Today I called someone back and he told me that he hadn't made any calls in the last few hours and so it couldn't have been anyone. He asked me if I knew "Maya". I didn't know a Maya. My assumption is that Maya had his phone. He still didn't think anyone had called. What are the chances that I just randomly dialed some numbers just to mess with you about having called me? I'd rather people just say they don't know who called.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

So That Makes Sense To You?

Picture it. Sicily 1924. Oh wait, I'm getting my story confused with the way the grandma used to tell stories on the Golden Girls. Don't hate on the Golden Girls. That show was so damned funny. Actually, it was eighth grade year and we were getting ready to go on our class trip to Washington, D.C. I remember the trip cost $319 per person and of course you had to bring some spending money. We were gonna be in the city for five days four nights. The plan was to do all the touristy stuff the city had to offer.

I don't remember a whole lot of details about the trip. I do know that we had a helluva good time. We had coach transportation so the ride was comfortable. We watched movies, told jokes and reminisced about days gone by. Good times were had by all.

Anyway I had my lil $200 spending money. I decided that I was going to eat very cheaply all week and spend my money on me some name brand clothes. Growing up in my house at the time there were four children and two adults. My parents really, honestly couldn't afford to have four children. I'll never forget one day when we were in the car him* asked me if we (my siblings and I) wanted a little sister. I have two brothers and a sister so there were three boys and one girl. I was quick with my absolutely not reply. I told him* that he couldn't afford the children he already had. How was he gonna pay for another one? Although I was telling nothing but the sho nuff truth, this of course caused a small argument. Stop being so grown, blah blah blah. Disrespectful blah blah blah. I was thinking to myself, why ask a question if you don't want the answer? Even now when my friends and associates probe me for information I'll first ask them if they really want my opinion or if they want me to say what I perceive that they want to hear.

I almost forgot the point of that whole side story. The point is my peeps didn't really have it like that to be popping out any more babies. Plus, what's the guarantee that the next child would be a female. So far 3/4 kids have been male. Nikes and any other things with a recognizable label were not always things that we had the luxury of having. When we did get something we'd have to take excellent care of it because who knew when the next time was that you'd be able to have something else.

Like I said I ate cheap that week. There were even a couple meals built into the price of the trip so we weren't responsible for every single meal anyway. Everyone else was ordering some costly stuff for each meal but I fell back, because I knew I wanted to get myself a Tommy Hilfiger outfit. When it came time for the mall trip on the itinerary I did just that. I was so proud of my conquest. I couldn't wait to show my mom what I had purchased since they valued sacrifice. It seemed like that word was a constant theme in our house.

When I got back and showed her my outfit him* was present as well because it went down in their bedroom. Him* asked me how much I had spent. I don't remember the exact amount but it was somewhere around $130. Him*'s eyes got huge. He was like why would you be so selfish and spend $130 on one outfit. What about your brothers and sister? You could have stretched (another common word heard resonating in our house) that and got something for everybody. I was thinking to myself and I didn't say it that I thought the spending money was my spending money. I didn't realize that I was expected to shop for the neighborhood while I was away. If I had understood that I would have, but of course I would have needed more money because prior to leaving I had already decided what I was spending my money on. I rarely got to get name brand stuff so when I saw the chance to get me something I was definitely going to take advantage of it. Cancel those plans.

Him* decided that the following day, a Saturday, we would drive to the nearest Macy's and take back my purchase to get a refund. Then we'd drive back to Savannah and go to KidsWear and get outfits for me and my three brothers. I had a learner's permit so I did the driving. Mind you the nearest Macy's was 2.5 hours away. Back then gas was nowhere near what it is today, but I still didn't see how driving 2.5 hours to take back a $100 outfit was all that cost effective, not to mention the intangible cost of my time. That's about 7 hours of my life that I can't get back. Of course the stuff at KidsWear wasn't a recognizable name brand, but it was clean and I didn't look homeless. I think each of use got two outfits on that money.

When I told my best friend she laughed like no tomorrow. It became a running joke. "Shut up before I tell [him*] to take you to KidsWear." Even to this day we'll mention this incident in casual conversation from time to time and trip.