Monday, June 30, 2008


I like the story about No excuses! so much that I have added it to my text messaging signature.

I've been doing a lot. Some of you may recall I am unemployed. I resigned my job and to date have not secured employment with any school system for the upcoming school term. At this point I should be panicking, but it's like whatever. My lease ends at the end of July and I haven't found a new place to live. I'm still like whatever. I can't figure out why I'm not worried about these things. I mean, this is serious stuff, but I'm being very cool about it. To those on the outside looking in I may seem directionless. It's not that. It's just that the compass I'm using hasn't point me to my North Pole just yet.

Before I was considering a move the to ATL. I have family there and all over Georgia. The folks stay in Savannah. Anyway, I did the whole online application thing for APS and went to a career fair. Still nothing. My roommate swears that I haven't done enough to secure employment. I'm like short of dropping my draws, what else should I do? I've called and sent some e-mails. I don't wanna become a stalker. Besides, I don't feel like I should have to hook for a job. (If I don't have one by August 1st, then all morals will be put on hold. Hookin' for a job won't be so bad after all.) I have some other stuff in the works, but I'll go ahead and reveal a few of the cards.

I've decided to cast a wider net. Interestingly enough '...enlarge my territory...' has been in my spirit pretty hard these last few weeks, although this isn't the appropriate context for that idea. I've been doing a little digging around about the D.C. area. I did an online application for DC Public Schools. We'll see what happens. As soon as I know how I'm gonna maintain the hot water and electricity I'll let you all know.

I got an auto insurance quote from my current company. You know, the one that'll save you a bunch of money by switching. I think I've said before that I would not mind being in one of their commercials. As a matter of fact, while I was trying to get information about a quote for my potential move, I was given a discount here that I have not been receiving. You can't tell me nothing about my insurance company. (double negatives and all) They quoted me $838.80 for comprehensive without collision and $1195.70 for comprehensive with collision. Although my car is 12 years old, I cannot afford to get in an accident and not have a means to fix it. I have some $$$ saved for emergencies, but I still think it would be wise for me to keep my collision coverage. The woman on the phone advised me that people in my position often do not keep collision when the car is as old as mine is. I'm debating. If I go with the $838.80 my monthly payment would be just under $140. Right now I pay almost $125, so that wouldn't be a huge increase. With the other premium I'd be at $199.28. That's way more than I want to pay for insurance, but the realism is that I might have to do it. Help me out blog fam, should I keep the collision coverage or not on my vehicle that was manufactured before I started high school?

Meanwhile I was just talking to a friend on the phone who reminded me that I had to tutor this evening. Dang. I be forgetting stuff all the time now. Maybe I need to take some vitamins. Let me run.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Apparently So

Every other black person who I've told about this past weekend (Thursday through Monday) seem to all ask me the same question. Do black people go camping. Well, since I'm black and I went along with some others, I guess the answer has to be a resounding yes. I was a camping virgin, but I actually had a great time. At first when some friends bought the idea to me, I did Diva's infamous ::sideeye:: because I was not really feeling giving up the Sealy Posturpedic in exchange for ingrown tree roots and gravel.

We went to Wally World to make preparations and purchases. As God would have it, we bumped into a black lady who was a camping expert. She told us everything that we needed to do. Oh I left this part out. Of the three guys, none of us had been camping before. She even took us to her car and gave us three checklists of stuff to bring and directions to a local camping site. The place was only about 1.5 hours away. So, we had no camping experience and didn't even know where we were going to go to camp. I'm so glad we ran into Marcia for two reasons. One, she was able to share her wisdom about camping with us. She absolutely loves it. That totally came across while she was speaking. ::Sidebar::While I was listening to her--the passion with which she spoke about camping, I kept thinking to myself that she should start a business. I told her that. She told me that her father had been trying to get her to do that for a while now. I told her that my being a complete stranger and delivering to her the same message was confirmation of the vision. Habbukah, baby.::end sidebar::The second reason I'm glad we ran into her is that it reassured me about the feasibility of this whole endeavor. Prior to hearing her share her positive experiences and give us tricks-of-the-trade, I was still kinda leery about going. When we parted with her I was kinda hype.

So we arrive on Thursday around three in the afternoon and pitch the tent. The setup with quite simple. I had no idea that the tent was just one piece of material sewn together. For some reason I thought we were going to have to put on multiple pieces, but whatever.

That night we previewed the hiking trails and came back to fix something to eat. During the time there we ate chicken breasts, pork chops, hamburgers, zucchini and yellow squash. One night we took the chicken breasts, zucchini and yellow squash and put it in some foil with some Italian dressing. Banging! Here's a fire from one night with some food on the grill.

The next morning we went on a 4.5 mile hike that took us across the summit of a mountain. Yes, we went all the way up the mountain and back down again. Fortunately, for me and everyone else, while in the woods, I didn't see any bright eyes.

In this picture, notice the sign. Almost a mile high. I know that's nothing for a mountain, but I had to show proof.

I decided to stage a fake rock climbing picture, just in case I wanted to revel friends and acquaintances with tales of danger. Notice the strain on the face.

At some point during the hiking trail we ran up on a waterfall.

Somewhere during the course of the stay we went fishing. I didn't catch anything, but Dre did. Trav caught two fish but threw them both back. No picture for that. Actually we went fishing twice. The second time we went fishing I saw a water moccasin. It came up to the edge of the pond and I assume turned back. I say assume because as soon as I saw it swimming my way I straightway dropped my rod and put Carl Lewis to shame. If he saw me running from the snake, he'd give back his medal.

On a lighter note, I did manage to snap some Bambis who were all up and through them woods.

One night out there we ran into the lady from WalMart. We knew she was going to be at the same camping site because she mentioned it in the store. She invited us to dinner one night. We turned down the dinner invitation but agreed to come back for dessert. She made a strawberry cobbler. She was with two others. We all sat around the campfire laughing and telling tales. Good times indeed. Marcia asked us if we had made smores. I told her no and she absolutely insisted that we have some smores. They were a bit sweet, but at least I can say I've had them.

Somewhere during the camping adventure my phone got messed up. No one knows what happened. I've been in negotiations with Sprint for two days. My new phone should arrive by Friday. The whole Sprint fiasco is another blog post unto itself. After looking at my phone, they said they weren't sure if they'd be able to fix it. I was flabbergasted. Look at that picture. Does it look like I was interested in a repair? I've caught up on a few blogs. I should be making the rest of my rounds today.

I can say that this was fun for me. I'll do it again. Now I want to go ahead and cross some more stuff off my list. I need to skydive, hang glide and ski. Anybody wanna go?

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I usually acquiese, but this time I don't think I will. I just don't have the energy to keep up this charade any longer. Mom calls me about two minutes ago. I already knew how this would end. I've read the script and played the role before. She made about 35 seconds worth of small talk and then went in for the kill. Her purpose was to tell me to call him* to wish him* a happy father's day. In this past I'd do it though I'd be recalcitrant and look for other ways to pacify her without having to engage him*. I think she should understand how I feel. If not, maybe I need to draw her a picture. Remember that game Pictionary that came on t.v.? I don't know if I mentioned this or not, but she even called a few months back when I was out of town to find out whether I am willing to give him* one of my kidneys. I'm not certain why she wasted her time and energy. That's about three minutes of her life that she can't get back. Although she had already anticipated my response, I guess she just asked in the off chance that I'd say yes. A quixotic dream at best.

As I type this I'm trying to weigh in my mind my desire to distance myself from him* and her need to have peace in her home. I mean, I'm sure he'll be talking her head off about why JayBee didn't call on father's day. At this point in my life, I need to look out for me. How long should I consider others' needs above my own? I played that role already. I don't object to anyone else who wants to reuse that same script, but I beseech you to hire a different cast. (When is my girl gonna drop her new album?)

It would be such a farce for me to utter those words to him*, since they could not leave my lips (nice and full as they are) with sincerity. One of him*'s favorite expressions is, "...whole hog or not at all." Since I can't be sincere about it, I may as well not do it. That's just what I plan to do. I'll deal later with mama and her trying to force me to engage someone who I all but detest--like she wasn't living in that house with me. I wouldn't wish the upbringing I had in terms of interacting with him* on Osama bin Laden or George W. Bush. The thing is, even if I were to call and say it, I think in his empty place of empty places, he would know that it wasn't sincere. What's sick about the whole song and dance though, is that him* would welcome the insincere words in lieu of a complete omission. I'm different. If it ain't real, then you can keep it. MESSAGE! (Remember that from Don't Be a Menance to South Central While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood?)

To those who have assumed the mantle of responsibility associated with parenthood, and specifically today, fatherhood, I applaud you. How do you know if you're on the right track? I'll leave you with an idea that I posted back in March. Don't take it 100% literally, but reflect on it.

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? What character traits do you have that would make you an especially good candidate for child rearing?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Runaway Love

Does anyone know what meme means? Is it short for something else or is it a word that means "a tag." Always wondered about it's significance. Anyway, Da Vinci tagged me so I'm going to comply since I fukks with him. Well actually, I'll probably not tag anyone else, but I'll follow the rest of the rules to the letter.

MEME Rules:
1. Put Your itunes/ music player on Shuffle
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
After you’ve answered all of the questions, tag 5 other people and then let them know they’ve been tagged to do the meme themselves!

Ask Myself - Robin Thicke (I often need time to reflect and process if I'm okay with something. I have to ask myself and communicate in my adult voice* (from a book I'm reading) if I do not like something. I might say, "In order for me to be comfortable with xyz, I need ____________ to happen.

Dontchange - Musiq Soulchild (I value consistency. I'm easy to get along with and easy to please. I'm not opposed to change, however, because change is one of those things in life that is certain. What I don't change is how I treat people based on who I'm around. If I like you, I like you.)

Save Room - John Legend (I need you to be available to me. That includes your time and your resources.)

Summertime - Sam Cooke (Everything is okay. My ma is good looking, but my pa ain't rich. I did get up singing.)

Maxine - John Legend (I gotta find her. Taking applications now.)

Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Lauryn Hill (I like to watch what people say and how they say it. The nonverbal cues really tell the story.)

Everything is Everything - Lauryn Hill (Kinda like it is what it is. Although I really don't say that a lot because I think it is now trite and overused, I do say things could be worse or be thankful that things are as well as they are. Kinda along the same line.)

He'll Welcome Me - John P. Kee (If you can't accept me for who I am, flaws and all, then I don't need you. That's not to say that I'm not willing to change some things, but in any relationship, you need to decide if you can deal with a person as they are, so that in case change doesn't happen or is slow in coming, you can still interact with a person without conflict. Don't feel like rereading that sentence so I hope it makes sense.)

Twistin' the Night Away - Sam Cooke (Nothing could be further from the truth. They are both really laid back. I guess I could say him* twists the night away because him* be trying to have people up all night getting stuff.

The Sweetest Thing - Lauryn Hill (Here lately I have been thinking about love and finding a virtuous woman. One who I can depend on and one who I can spoil. I'm not pressed, but I was with some colleagues just yesterday and their eyes were all aglow when they spoke about their children and spouses. I definitely wouldn't stay married for the sake of saying I'm married if I was unhappy, but I would like the experience.)

WHAT IS 2+2?
Dontchange- Musq Soulchild (How fitting. 2+2 is four everyday of the week. It just Dontchange.)

He'll Welcome Me - John P. Kee (See comment about friends earlier.)

Big Things Poppin' - T.I. (I can see big things in our future if things happen the way that I want them to.)

Just Want to Praise You - Maurette Brown Clark (Church has been a constant throughout my existence. With all that I've been through I have no choice but to praise Him. By the way, my story is my story. Don't try to one up someone with the details of your life and try to make them feel that their life isn't as bad. At the same time, when I hear other people's stories, it humbles me and makes me realize that things could have been worse and that I need to be thankful that things are as well as they are. My life exists in contradictions.)

Time - Musiq Soulchild (Not sure yet, but just like time, I want to transcend.)

Twistin' the Night Away - Sam Cooke (I could dance all night or do other things all night.)

Can't Take My Eyes Off You - Lauryn Hill (They are always tryna see what I'm up to.)

Alright - John Legend (If we're at the wedding, hopefully we've already dealt with most of the major issues each of us has and things will be alright for our future.)

Everything is Everything - Lauryn Hill (Let the life that I've lived speak for me.)

Summertime - Sam Cooke (I do like the summer and one of my hobbies, swimming, I do a lot during the summer time.)

Lost Without U - Robin Thicke (It's really no secret that I want you back. I'm not lost without you, but I am a bit disoriented.)

Sweetest Thing - Lauryn Hill (I love my friends.)

Runaway Love - Ludacris (I'll post it as this title, because obedience is better than sacrifice.)

I actually enjoyed this tag. One thing is for sure, I need some more songs on my MP3 player. Look at how many times some of the songs came back up in the shuffle.

Friday, June 6, 2008

No Excuses

We had a pretty good time yesterday, although we left sixteen minutes late. One of the students got off the bus to use the restroom and I didn't know and I instructed the driver to go and so she got left. That says to me that you have to be in place. So many people want to operate outside the covering. If you had to use the restroom, there were some options. One option would be to make use of the facilities on the charter bus. Otherwise it is critical that you inform someone where you are going so that someone would know and could be accountable and awaiting your safe and speedy return.

Not all of the students chose to ride the bus. Some of them drove down on their own and paid the full price admission fee for the park. Again, that's what happens when you operate outside the covering. There's safety in the ark. If you had done what you were asked to do, then you could have saved about thirty dollars. It's not a big deal to me though. If they like it, I love it. I am one who likes to save a dollar whenever possible.

What is disheartening is that so many of these kids have a poverty mentality. They live in substandard housing with under- or uneducated guardians whose idea of a good time is facing a couple of blunts, frying some fish and washing it down with some alcohol.

Don't you just love it when people want to put their mouths on you instead of stepping to you and asking you what you feel about something. If you have a question about something, feel free to ask. I have no problem explaining to someone how I feel about something. That's not to say that I will address all inquiries. Some things are better left unsaid. But, for the most part, I will gladly field any inquiries.

Z didn't get too much darker yesterday at the park. I used SPF 70 with helioplex. I don't even know what helioplex is, (doesn't helio- mean sun?), but I just like to say "...with helioplex." It sounds like it makes all the difference. For those of you who want to get deep, no I do not have a color complex. I simply mean that I did not allow the radiation from the sun to excite the melanin present in my dermis thereby allowing less light to pass through. That is, if you put your color on a prism, the darker it is the less light that will pass through. Now that I've written that a racist could use that and make some really compelling metaphors.

Yeah, so if you've gotten this far you've realized that this is pretty random. No form nor comeliness. I don't know why I've been making so many biblical references lately. Maybe I'm just in one of those phases. That reminds me about this sermon I heard a few weeks ago. Wanna hear about it? Good, cause I was gonna tell ya anyway.

Let me give a little background. This was women's day so the women were ushering, singing in the choir, you know...pretty much doing everything that day. The woman who spoke grew up in this church, but has since moved away and started a life elsewhere complete with a husband and kids and a dog...blah blah blah. She's a minister and an educator and feeds the homeless and rescues stray cats from trees in her spare time.

The sermon title was, "No Excuses." First of all, to me that's more of a secular slogan that an religious theme/idea, but I was willing to listen and see where she was going with this. I'm pretty sure "No Excuses" was a part of an advertising campaign. She used two illustrations from the Bible. The first story was about a woman whose daughter was possessed with a demon and needed to be delivered. The speaker, let's call her Ms. Empty-Air, described how the woman demonstrated her faith when she asked Jesus to heal her child. It didn't appear that Jesus was in the healing mood, if you will, but because of her faith, he did it. Right here is a good time to say Amend. Emphasis on the 'd'. You know everything sounds more holy when you indiscriminately add and subtract letters as (in)appropriate. So basically woman asks for a healing and she receives it. The next story was about Lot's wife. Most people are familiar with this story. This is when Lot and his family were fleeing Sodom and Gomorrah (I wonder which on they actually lived in--or maybe S&G is like Winston-Salem or Raleigh-Durham) and the wife turned back and became a pillar of salt. She and everyone who was in their company fleeing the city had been warned not to look back. Someone should have told her that obedience is better than sacrifice. If I'm preaching you can stand up. Anyway, so she turned into the pillar of salt and everybody else kept going.

If you've forgotten, scroll back up and look at the sermon title in red. Okay, so just like me you're probably wondering what in the world this has to do with anything. What was so egregious is that she just kept peppering the discourse with no excuses like it was so sort of mantra or a theme for which she had laid a solid foundation. As I sat in my pew, I just couldn't make the connection with the illustrations that she chose. All the while she's still walking around hollering No Excuses. Finally she asked the pastor if she could come down on the floor to continue to speak. The pastor obliged. My interested was sparked at this time because I thought she was gonna really make the connection for me and tie up any loose ends in her sermon. so far, I had not gained a single thing. Once she got on the floor she just was talking about women having no excuses. I guess she meant like no excuses about being good wives, good mothers, good Christians, good in the community, faithful in service, etc. If these were her thoughts, she definitely didn't tie it together.

Other people were standing up and encouraging her as she spoke. I was looking around wondering to myself if they were listening to the same oration that I was. She was screaming about no excuses but hadn't said a thing since we had began. Talking loud, but saying nothing. To that I say no excuses. It's almost as if she didn't know she was speaking that morning and didn't have time to prepare. She knew at least a month in advance because I remember hearing it during the church announcements. I get really sensitive about church. I hate it when people speak and don't share anything new with me. Especially with the price of gas! I felt like going up to her and asking for her badge and her keys. I wanted her to turn over her certificate/license to preach because there was no excuse for what she allowed to masquerade as a sermon. I have an explanation for why people were standing up egging her on. Option one: I think that most of the people who were standing were just doing so because she grew up in that church and her mother still attends the church. Maybe they were supporting her and not necessarily supporting what she was saying. Option two: They are absolutely delusional.

Now though I use that phrase as a running joke with some of my friends and associates with whom I've shared this story. At any time one of us might just holler out "no excuses" just for no reason. Pretty much analogous to how she used it. It might have been a little better for her to talk about no excuse for people going to hell because of Jesus' sacrifice. Maybe I'll prepare something and e-mail it to her using that same sermon title. The only difference is what I send her will be coherent (despite the fact that this post isn't) and will be understandable.