Sunday, December 1, 2013

Random Stuff

I was just over at Don's spot and in leaving him a comment I thought of something that I needed to let all three of my current readers know: I'm a visionary and I didn't know it. When I was a child I remember asking my sister and other folks who were older about why we don't fry turkey since it's poultry and we fry chicken. They all scoffed at me and said it wouldn't 'fry up right.' So I sorta accepted it as fact, but always maintained in the back of my mind that one day when I had some money and some time where no one was around...kinda hard to do in a 4 bedroom house with 7 people...that i would venture into the kitchen and explore this idea myself. Well, I never got around to it, but I remember encountering some in college. I was people do fry turkeys. Maybe my sister and those around me just weren't experienced enough with other stuff to give me guidance on this subject. They just a bunch of jive turkeys!

It's funny when things transition and the person who initiated the end begins to reach out and admits all of what went wrong /what they did and whatnot. I don't know what to do with that at this point.

I got to do something that I've never done before recently. Always thought about it, but finally did it. Wasn't all that. But least I can cross it off my list.

My dressing was banging that I made for Thanksgiving. My mama said hers didn't turn out as well. Maybe I need to give her my recipe.

The birthday is coming up soon and I've made no plans. Dang....gots to do betta. I think I'm going to the A for a friend's graduation. Maybe I'll spend some time down there. Is Compound still open? (Am I showing my age?)

I enjoy church...primarily just the sermon though. I need a church where they preach first and do all the other stuff after that. I don't need and hour of singing and whatnot. I'm down with singing a song or two that doesn't last for an hour and have a bridge and a vamp and then doesn't get reprised when it's supposed to be over already and then us going home as we place the offering in the baskets.

This season of Real Housewives of Atlanta is heating up. That doggone Phaedra is a trip. She's not Apollo's mama. Dang. Gon tell him he better not do it again. He prolly did get some head from Kenya though....but hey....he still with her so she should be satisfied.

Is this an old school view? As long as dude is taking care of home, if he has a few indiscretions, can't you forgive it and move forward. Like...the bills are paid and you're able to travel and pick up a new pair of shoes if you choose. Can't you work with his other issues. You know how many people would love to have a man who can at least hold down a job and help---not pay---but help with the bills?

Joey is doing fine. Did I mention I have a shih tzu maltease mix named Joey? I'm pretty sure I spelled that wrong, but I'm not inclined to Google or spell check it at this time.

I need to get my stuff together for work. It's almost time to start applying for promotions again.

Another RHOA question.....what the hell is wrong with Mama Joyce? Like gon get some money crazy. Stop hating.

YOu know how you start with a random list thinking you're gonna have all this good stuff to include? And then you start writing and realize there's not a much there as you thought and the stuff that you could really write more about you're still trying to keep close to the as not to be too vulnerable? Well yeah.....that's where I am.

I posted two days in a row and one went under November and the other day went under December. I'm spanning different months son!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

30 Day Recap

Wheh! A lot has transpired since the last post. I had to deal with some drama and some misunderstandings. Communication is so important. Saves people a whole lot of heartache and confusion. Now that I put on my big boy draws and opened the lines of communication things might turn around. It will take a while for things to "go back to normal" but there's definitely potential that things will be okay. It's day by day though.

I recognize I'm not saying a lot, but that's because I don't want to jinx anything. I believe that anything is possible, so I'm trusting and believe that this too shall pass. Those of you who know the words of prayer, pray my strength. (Sounding just like the end of a testimony in any COGIC church anywhere in the deep south.)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Funeral Shenanigans

As you recall, Whitney Elizabeth "Nippy" Houston departed this life on February 11, 2012. That was also the date that we buried my father. The funny thing is everyone called me on that day to see if I was okay about Whitney and exactly zero people asked me if I was okay about my father's funeral. Well, it's because they already knew that it was well with my soul.

So the Tuesday prior to the Saturday of the funeral I get all these calls all night long. I didn't want to answer my phone so late and I already knew why I had 38 missed calls starting from around 3 am til like 6 am. I decided I'd call back on my own time after I got off work and after I went to a meeting that I needed to attend. I made up a story about leaving my phone somewhere and not having access to it so that I wouldn't have to answer a bunch of questions about why I didn't answer the phone or why I didn't call back.

Suffice it to say my suspicions were confirmed. My father had passed early Tuesday morning. My mom wanted me to rush home at once. I had to tell her to pump the brakes cause I had to tie up loose ends where I lived in Maryland before jumping on the road for a 9.5 hour drive home. I stayed from Wednesday through Monday of the next week...or maybe it was Tuesday. It was Valentine's Day--I remember that detail because I pushed for the funeral to be on Saturday so I could spend Valentine's Day with my current love interest. My father might've been dead, but I still wanted some Valentine's Day booty.

When I arrived I learned that the arrangements were pretty much solidified, but to my horror the funeral costs were exorbitant. My father did not have life insurance since the insurance he had was tied to his former job. And you know how it is, the sicker you get, the less likely people are to give you life insurance. Believe you me, I tried to get insurance on that joker many times, but I was denied each time. Yeah...even Colonial Penn is fake...all those lies about we take anybody. Well...actually they say they won't ask you any medical questions....however I suspect they just do some investigative journalism on their own to find out whether they should deny you because of the extremely high risk. So without insurance, of course [black folks we gotta do betta] we had to cover it ourself. The initial cost of the funeral was a little over $10K. I was ain't got no $10K to throw in the ground. Here's a small way I cut costs. The casket was $2400. I was ain't got nothing cheaper? They showed me a picture of one that was $ looked good enough to me. They were like we can go in the vault or somewhere so you can see it in person. I was like...I don't need to see it. It's $500 and I'm already sold. I also wanted to eliminate the limos and let us drive our own vehicles. That would've saved another grand, but my mom was adamant about having the limos. I was like...well...why can't we rent some from the people who do them for prom? We don't need $1000 limos. Anyway....managed to get the cost down to like $8300. We didn't have the entire amount so myself, my mother and my sister put together $5K as a good faith thing so they would go ahead and have the service and we agreed to pay the rest off in installments. Service went okay. I was pretty much comforting everyone else since they were distraught and I was like, "I wonder what food they have in the back." After the service we took an extended ride to the cemetery to bury the body. When that was over we went back for the repast...(i don't know why the food after a funeral gets a special name) where his side of the family came by and offered their fake condolences and admonishments about keeping in touch with each other and all that jazz. Of course I haven't spoken to virtually any of them since that day.

Mom kinda entered a mild funk/mini depression for about a couple months. Eventually she snapped out of it. They hid it from me though because I would've gone back home. If you read the other recent posts, I wasn't working for several months so I was definitely free to be at home for a month if needed be. She's better now and I hope that she'll continue to get better.

In terms of Jay Emm Bee making peace with everything, he did. The night before my father passed I remember vividly being in the movie theater. This urgency to pray came all over me. I prayed about the issues of the past and asked for total release from the bondage of anger and utter despising. God moved and took it away from me. This was roughly 1030-1100 that Monday night. About four hours later (Tuesday morning around 3 am) is when he passed. Look at God. I made me peace and I believe that is when my father was cleared to leave this earth. So it turns out, perhaps it was me who kept him alive for so long.

Monday, October 21, 2013


As I pen this I am awaiting a change in my current situation. I have prayed and made the sincerest appeal that I know how. Only time will tell if all the effort has been worth it. Seconds turn to minutes and minutes to hours, but I'm going to hold fast to what I know is possible. In case you happen to come across this, yeah....this one's for you.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The quitter...but for good reason

After I made up my mind in May 2011 that I was not going to continue at the school I had been at for the past three years I began in earnest to search for new employment. Each day at work my partner and I would sit in our office for about 30 minutes to an hour and look on the net for opportunities. To force myself out of the current position and to ensure that I would have no choice but to look and not accept another year at my current place, I asked to be placed on the excess list. This list is used to help people move ot other locations within the district. The difference between this and a regular transfer is that if a position is not secured the district is obligated to pay your salary for at least a full year.

Somewhere along the way the district decided to offer buyouts if you didn't think you could find a position by the time the school year came around. This is a win for the district because they could buy you out of your contract (and their contractual obligation to pay your full salary for one year) for $25,000. Certainly everyone can see why they'd rather give you 25K as opposed to say your 70K. I thought this was an attractive option and decided to jump through the necessary hoops to take the buyout. There were a few stipulations, like document a certain number of interview/attempts to secure a position, etc. On the day before I was supposed to submit the paperwork to process the buyout...of course I waited til the deadline in typical JayEmmBee fashion, I received a call from Human Resources informing me that they had a position available for me at another school. I still wanted to do the buyout but I felt that wisdom dictated that I take the position with the salary for another year while I continued to search for other employment. The position was supposed to be the same as the one I currently held, just at another location so I was cool with that.

When I arrived at the other location I was greeted warmly and given a tour of the facilities. I met the other instructional coach and she took me around and we discussed a few things briefly. I couldn't figure out why we weren't planning together and discussing more. After all,my other partner and I planned everything together. Turns out I was duped. They principal said that he didn't need another instructional coach...he just wanted someone to teach an elective class. I was'm supposed to be an instructional coach and I have it in writing.

I went downtown to central office to clarify. I explained to them and showed them the letter that they generated informing me of the position assignment and the job title. They were like well we thought that was what the position was supposed to be. However, it turns out that the principal didn't need that position and he wanted something else. So you kinda have to take whatever he has. To say I was livid is an understatement. I thought because it was in writing and I was promised something specific that there was no way that they could back out on that arrangement.

I returned to the assigned place and picked up the supplies I would need to try to return to the classroom (something I hadn't done for over 3 years and something I had never done at the middle school level) to teach an elective class in English and mathematics. I'm not even trained/credentialed in English, but alas.

I hated every moment of it. I don't like middle school children for day to day involvement. It was different when I was a coach and I came in to assist someone with a lesson or taught a model lesson every now and then. I didn't like that every day thing. Managing and dealing with them is soooo different from dealing with high school kids.

The children were unruly. They got on my dang nerves, repeatedly.

One day while classes were in transition in the hallway I was lining up my students along the lockers as was the custom. There was this one young man named Charles who could be obstinate at times who didn't want to comply with my directive. He was messing with others kids. He was approaching them making a shanking motion, but he didn't appear to have anything in his hand. I implored him to cut it out and get in line so that we could file into the classroom and master some material for the day. He came toward me doing the same thing. I was like boy get in line and stop playing. I never anticipated that he would make contact with me. Sadly, he did and that was a career turning point.

He hit me on my right hip. Before I knew it the young man had been punched in the chest and was up against a locker. I'm not saying who did it, but it happened before I knew it. You cannot play with grown folks. To be honest, it happened so fast it scared me! I was like....ok....maybe it's time for me to let this go. I don't have time for my good name to be sullied because some disobedient child provoked me. The young man after the terror left his eyes, because it caught him off guard as well, began to put on a scene that rivaled all scenes. You know the typical 'don't hold me back i'ma f@4k him up' type stuff. I informed all teachers who were participating in restraining the young man that it was okay to let him go because he was only acting. To be clear, if he had approached JayEmmBee to do anything I was gon put something on that azz! I might've been fired on the spot, but he would've never forgotten Mr. JayEmmBee.

I had to call his parent and provide statements to the administrators and bunch of other jazz. The principal said he understood and would help me through this situation, but I took this incident as a sign that I needed to get out. I was not so much concerned for my safety, but I was concerned for the safety of those children. At that point I felt that I was too turned up to be in the classroom because I was ready to take names for anyone of them who tried it. That isn't a healthy place for me and certainly (because they would've been bruised and battered) wasn't a healthy place for them.

I went to human resources after countless nights of not sleeping well and having anxiety about the job and all that and turned in a handwritten letter of resignation. I didn't even bring my own paper. I used a sheet of printer paper so that I could scribble my wish to depart and turned around and never looked back.

I did panic though. Two days after I quit I was like...omg....I'm unemployed...and I quit on my own....what was I thinking?!?! I began applying frantically for jobs online and I got a hit in two days. I started that next job within weeks after we dealt with salary and stuff.

Turned out I had to quit that job too.

Things were so-so....children were better behaved. This was a charter middle school. It satisfied my curiosity about charter schools but there was so much I hated about it. The hours were too 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. It was about a 45 minute commute in the morning and about 1 - 1.5 hour commute in the afternoon.

The incident that made me quit this job was my principal's response to me needing to be off one day. On a previous occasion I needed to be off and I asked the principal what the procedures were for requesting time off. She told me not to worry and to just indicate the absence in the time/accounting/payroll system. Of course I left lesson plans and I was off to handle my business. On the occasion in question, I told the assistant principal that I needed to be off. I sent her lesson plans by email, sent her a text and reminded her at a meeting that I would be away. I didn't tell the principal this time because I figured the assistant would tell her because they shared an office. I told the assistant too, because she was in charge of the middle school in which I worked. The principal handled the elementary school.

I'm at one of my favorite stores the night before I was to be absent from work. I start getting these text messages from the assistant principal. Let me attempt to gist out the textversation:
AP: Did you tell Ms. Gibson you were going to be off?
JMB: Nah...I told you.
AP: Well...she said she didn't know bout it. You're still supposed to always inform her of an absence.
JMB: If we're having this conversation about her not knowing, then she must know.
AP: Well she said to tell you that you won't be paid for the missed time because you have to request time off three weeks in advance.
JMB: k

Obviously I was exasperated. I'm thinking ok...why can't the principal call me/text me herself if there's an issue and how dare you threaten me with money. I have been black for (at the time) 30 years so those kind of threats mean very little to me. I know how to do without. In addition, when I asked you what the procedures were for requesting time off, why didn't you mention to me at that time that requests typically had to be submitted three weeks in advance. And who knows almost a month ahead of time every time they need to be off? Get a life lady.

After my appointment that day I decided to compose an email when I returned home. It went something like this: Effective immediatly I will no longer continue employment with XYZ school. Thank you for the opportunity, but I must follow my passion. I have never before quit a job by email. After I sent the email the AP was bothering other teachers trying to find out if they knew I was going to quit. They didn't know because I made the decision that evening in while looking for deals under the red bull's eye. So that's how I quit two jobs in two months. I quit the second one in November and chilled until March of the next year...I think the seven months came from that 4.5 months plus the summer previous. It was a good time though. I had a blast when I wasn't working.

So I revealed on of my favorite stores, sorta. And I forgot to mention this detail. When the incident happened with the lil boy I was telling my bae the story. It didn't matter that I used the phrase "I redirected him..." instead of saying before I knew it the young man was up against the locker and there was a loud crashing was clear to anyone who heard the story that there had been some physical contact. I guess when people know you....

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Is Anyone Out There? I know we've walked this road before, but this time I'm going to try to actually do better.

Let me see if I can catch everyone up on the last couple years....

1. I quit two jobs in rapid succession because of an incident. I think detailing that incident will be an upcoming post. Wonder if anyone will be around to read it.

2. After I quit the second job I took about 7 months to myself where I didn't work. Had a blast. Traveled and just chilled while I waited to start another job.

3. Started another job. Been there almost 76 weeks. (Don't you hate when parents are still saying the months and you gotta do all that mental math determine that the child is 3.5 years old?)

4. Fell in love. Broke up. Got back together and now after some poor choice I made we are trying to rebuild trust. This can prolly be a couple blog posts right here.

5. My mom came to visit me after like 13 years of not visiting. She stayed for like 11 days. I was extremely apprehensive, but it went okay. I got a chance to introduce her to my bae and for her to meet me. I mean, although she thinks she knows me, she only remembers the boy who lived with her...not the man I ave become.

6. My father passed away in February 2011. We buried him on the same day that Whitney Houston was found dead in the hotel in Los Angeles. When I visited you know I went by there to see the hotel. And I also drove the route from Nicole Brown Simpson's Gretna Green address (they've changed the house number, but they not slicker than me) to where OJ's Rockingham mansion used to be. I don't think he could've done it in the allotted amount of time. Maybe that's a blog post as well...well actually, there's the funeral stuff that happened...that can be a post and maybe, if people aren't too bored with my wild theories about settled legal cases, maybe I'll write about that as well.

7. I like a few new shows: Welcome to Sweetie Pie's and I actually kinda like Game of Thrones. I didn't think I would, but my bae turned me on to it.

8. So...what's wrong with the right? Like....can they get any more absurd?!?!

9.'s my commitment....I'm going to choose either one of the ones I did a teaser about or another something and write an actual story.

10. Your word is only as good as you can hold up to. I'm on a quest to show that word is bond.

11. On that love tip....I know that its real and unconditional.