Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Newsflash Houston - It's Winter!

As I glided in on my way to work this morning, it dawned on me that people here don't really own winter clothes. Folks may say that it's only cold 2 weeks out of the year in Houston, but for the past 6 years I've been here, we've had an actual winter. Personally, I own 3 winter coats, 1 suede jacket, 2 leather jackets, 1 down-filled ski jacket and a slew of thick sweaters. Contrary to popular belief, jackets are different from coats. A jacket is lightweight and meant for those breezy, not so warm days. A coat is made of wool and used on the nipple chiller days - you know, those "colder than a witche's tit" days.

So today on the land crab, I noticed folks in all manners of dress - mostly scrubs since I was heading to the medical center. People wear fleece and shiver, leather and shiver and nothing at all and shiver. Hello people, it's winter - it was probably 48 degrees by the time I got on the train. I only have on a long sleeve shirt and pants and frankly I needed a jacket! But these other folk - I don't know their excuses...wearing jackets and pulling on the sleeves because their hands are cold, women wearing men's hats - good lawd. Someone should take them all on a field trip to Burlington Coat Factory and show these yokels what winter clothes look like.

It's global warming - our temperatures have been changing for the past 10 years. Hello, it snowed here twice within 4 years - something's going on.

A piece of advice I offer to you...buy a COAT, a pair of gloves, a nice scarf, and if you must don a chapeau - make it stylish for your head - not mannish!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

A girl can dream!!! Mele Kalikimaka!

Thursday, December 4, 2008


College students are not as intelligent as we think they should be (use your own adjective) - that's a given...or maybe I'm just old...that's probably more the truth.

But today's vent is directed at, yet again, my Minorities Professor. Granted this course was to implore us to overcome our own prejudices held against minorities by gleaming a small, but informative, piece of their history and culture. In my opinion, that's a fair goal for the course. However, yesterday was it! Thank goodness it was the last official day of class.

The ignorance that comes out of this man's mouth just floors me. As a "professor", he is supposed to be full of knowledge based on his learning experience. But yet, he, himself, can not get past his own prejudices. To say that Tookie Williams was undeserving of the noble prize (yes, we are entitled to our opinions) is LUDICROUS!!!! A man who, unfortunately was the founder of the most heinous gang in LA, attempted to right the wrong from jail. He worked on decreasing jail violence and counseled gang members as they entered/existed the system.

To further imply that the genocide in Darfur did not get the "airplay" it deserved in the US news is another moronic statement. Even today, the NY Times has a section dedicated to each continent. If we want news from Sri Lanka, there are places on the web to get the news. I have been abreast of the events happening on the African continent as well as events happening right here in my town. Granted, our news is slanted, but it is still news.

It is pointless to argue with him since he his belief that women shouldn't be as educated as men. I know I intimidate him and that's ok with me. The semester is over. I only have to return to take the exam. Give me my "A" and we can move on peacefully - he in his ignorance, I in my satisifaction in knowing that I am not as ignorant as he.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


With the passing of Thanksgiving, it affords us time to reflect on what we are thankful for. In these harsh times of a devastating economy, an unjust war, increase in poverty and crime, being thankful is almost criminal in itself.

If so, then I will gladly commit the crime. I am thankful for my family - my natural and my absorbed. I call parts of my family absorbed since, technically, we are closer than friends but not family. They are sisters I can call on when I need to vent, cry, yell, laugh or when they need me to do the same.

I am thankful that even after Ike, I still have a solid roof over my head (no blue tarps) and that I can pay my mortgage on time.

I am thankful that this semester is almost over and that I will finally, after ______ years will have completed my undergrad degree.

I am thankful that it has taken me ______ years to complete my degree because this has allowed me to FINALLY realize what I want to do with the rest of my life and how I can make an impact upon the world.

I am thankful that it has taken me ____ years to complete my degree because the time has allowed me to experience events that I will take with me for a lifetime (almost all of them good experiences).

I am thankful that I have a wonderful man in my life. He brightens my days and warms my nights (except when it's 80 degrees at midnight, then there's no need for warmth). He talks with me and to me. He keeps me grounded, but allows me to dream.

I am thankful that I have the opportunity to voice my disgust, my joys, my aspirations, my fears without repercussions or detention.

I am simply thankful for this year, the year of the Rat, my year! I have tried to live within its full potential and experience all that I can.

I am hopeful that next year will be just as great, if not better, than this year.

Image courtesy of: http://sarahheidt.mennonite.net/.cWcustom/shop/products_new.php?page=3

Sunday, November 23, 2008

New York South

I love this time of year, yet it is also a depressing time of year for me. It's the time, beginning in late August and running through the New Year, that I reflect on the time I lived in New York (City that is). Although the weather in Houston can be more temperate between August and October as opposed to Fall settling in across the Tri-State area, New York offers a wide range of events, colors, and smells to bring you through to the New Year.

Yesterday, however, I found a little piece of New York right here in Houston. From eying the food and fashion at the Midtown Farmers' Market to watching the colors jump off the street during Via Colori, it may not be strolling through Central Park and getting lost at the MoMA, it is my slice of pie.

I told The Fella recently that in order to fight the impeding depression, I need to recreate my own New York right here. So what does that mean? To me, NYC is Central Park, jazz, Alvin Ailey, art and street fairs. It's ethnic food, good wine, and time spent with good friends. So essentially, I can have my version of New York, right here in Houston. We have Hermann Park, decent jazz music, The Contemporary Arts Museum, farmers markets are as close to a street fair as I will get, ethnic food does not consist of Mexican, great wines and best of friends. And if I can see the silver lining, Alvin Ailey will be here in March!!!

I may not have snow on the ground and the sights, sounds and smell of the subway everyday, but with the help of my friends and a little imagination I can pretend until I can back to where I left my heart.

Image from: Diva Dog Extraordinaire on Myspace.com

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Ok, I am now convinced that my classmates (and I use that term lightly) believe that I am Muslim. Not that that is a bad thing since I don't associate myself with any religion. However, I am still in shock and awe over the lack of knowledge, tolerance, and just general understanding of the people in this class, including the instructor.

Growing up, I was normally the token in the class. That didn't bother me because that was what I was used to. But growing up where I did, I was introduced to art and culture at a young age. Gotta love the Huntington Library and the La Brea Tar Pits.

Its not until moving to the South, not even the deep South, is when a person comes to realize there are differences among people. Luckily I moved from here to NYC and was immersed in a melting pot of scents, sights, sounds almost to the point of being overwhelmed. So I was able to expand my sense of multiculutralism.

But for those who never leave their neighborhood, can't navigate the city streets beyond a few blocks, who can't find their way to the Contemporary Arts Museum - there is a whole wide world out there and if you need directions, I can certainly provide them!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Expand Your Consciousness

The more I dwell on this, the more irked I become. This fall, I re-enrolled in college (I am on the 20-year plan) and registered for 18 hours of sheer fun, right? Well, most of my courses fall hand-in-hand. From Philosophy of World Religions and Philosophy of Race to Minorities in America and Race and Crime. There are two other courses (Medical Writing and African American Issues in Psych) but they aren't as thought-provoking as the titles make them seem. That sentiment actually bodes for all my classes with the exception of the religion and the race courses.

Yesterday was a particularly annoying day. My Minorities instructor is male and Nigerian. Some would ask, what in the world does that have to do with anything. Well, I'll get there in a minute. He is married to an American Black female who has already earned her PhD. The other trait is that he's Christian.

So here's my issue: The chapter we are studying is Arabs and Muslims (contrary to popular belief, they are not one in the same). I firmly feel that if you, as a professor, are planning to lecture on a topic that is not necessarily your forte, then you should research the topic further beyond the text. I'm not so concerned that he brings in his own viewpoints, although at times they are narrow-minded, but I am irked that as a "worldly" person who is supposed to teach so others can learn yet he can not see both sides of the coin. To add insult to injury, he as well as the rest of the class hates the fact that I am knowledgeable on some subjects. Mmm, I did mention that I am taking a WORLD RELIGIONS course!

This is precisely what is wrong with the current election, education, and even the criminal justice system. To continue to foster ethnocentric values (and this professor does it unknowingly) only continues the vicious cycle that Americans are rude, abrasive, obnoxious and ethnocentric.

Folks, there's a world of shyt going on outside of the crap that is happening on our shores and the crash on Wall Street with its ripple effects and the worldwide shyt affects us each and every day. Learn about your neighbors, their religion(s), their food, their culture, etc. Learn tolerance of others who may be "different" than your norm because to them, you too are different.

I've prattled on enough but will leave you with this one thought: if our government did not possess the idea that their way is the only way and that America is the liberator of the world, we would not have our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, dying overseas in a war based on lies.

Expand your consciousness!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Whew - the scale is back where it has been for the past few months, a number I can get with. Again, this does not mean I am giving up those AM workouts, I believe those are helping me with those digits on the scale.

This morning's DVD: TurboJam Fat Blaster - dropped 1 lb of water in 30 min!!!!

Granted water weight is not the goal. The goal is fat loss, but it was still exhilerating seeing the scale numbers back in range this morning.

Tomorrow's workout: TubroJam 3-T - time for some strength training.

Image courtesy of www.fitsugar.com

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Can't possibly be 5 lbs of H2O

Ok, ok...my co-worker claimed that my weight gain woes were simply based on some water weight. That just can't be possible. I know what I put in my mouth over the past two weeks and I know I haven't been as dedicated to my workouts as I should be...so is it possible, that I retained almost 5 lbs (not the 1st reported 3.5 - hey, I had to come to grips with the gain) in water?

Regardless if the water gods saw fit to strike me down with the extra poundage, I know that it's gone. I am back to what I am used to the scale revealing. Granted it's still 10 lbs more than my goal which was set almost 6 months ago - but this is a work in progress.

This return to "normalacy" does not mean that I am dropping my 5 am workouts and skipping my off evening committments. In the short two days, I have found them slightly exhilarating and I am hoping that by next week, I wont be dragging my arse around by 4:30pm. Plus, I just ordered a new DVD and I can't wait to put this one into rotation.

Granted, it's only been 4 days (I'm counting Saturday's workout) and I know for me it takes 2 weeks to form a new habit, but I am optimistic that this will work. Yes, I need to keep my food journal - I still have issues writing that down - but I am mindful about what I pack for lunch during the work-week.

Here's the rest of the week's line-up:
Tonight is a 3-mile walk with The Fella, if the rain stops.
Friday - dancing
Saturday - Turbo Jam 3-T workout or actually making it to the gym for a kickboxing class
Sunday - hopefully I can find a yoga class at the gym

Woo hoo - accountability!!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Diet coke does not cancel calories

Contrary to popular belief, a diet coke or pepsi doesn't cancel out any calories. Granted there is some theory behind the exothermic qualities of diet coke, but it's not enough to burn all the calories consumed in one day. So what's a girl to do? Why exercise, of course.

I am posting early as a way to keep myself accountable since today is my evening workout day.

Yesterday's meal, on a scale of "right-on" vs. "whatchutalkingbout willis", I would have to say it was in the middle with Mrs. Garret screaming Tootie!. Because I know better. I did slack and tried to curb my sweet craving with bread pudding at lunch and a skinny chai latte during my 7pm class. I honestly think it has been these Starbucks drinks, skinny or not, that have added these extra pounds. So yesterday was the final day for anything delicious. Just kidding. I can't say that my eating plan is back on track since I had a whole wheat blueberry pancake for breakfast this morning - not over the calorie count and I know I have to watch the rest of the day. Thank goodness for packing my lunch.

So the saga continues...the woes and joys of eating and working out. But I know Chalene has something in store for me this evening and I am actually looking forward to slipping in the Turbo Jam Cardio Party DVD this evening.

Thanks for letting me stay accountable to me and for the mindless ramble!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Where the hell did those extra pounds come from?

Ok…it’s confession time yet again. No, I did not buy another pair of shoes. I simply picked up the pair I committed to buying and paid for prior to the shopping hiatus.

I have, however, gained 3.5 lbs in the last few days. I can only attribute this weight gain to the evils that is Starbucks. Damn those venti green tea lattes and pumpkin loaf! Or it could be possibly due to the staple of pasta I’ve had as leftovers this past week (mmmm, sautéed shrimp and asparagus in pesto over bow tie). Ok, I better stop before my apple/cinnamon oatmeal never sees the pit of my stomach.

Since I returned to school, my evening workouts have suffered tremendously. The kickboxing classes I looked forward to in the evening fall on the days of my current course schedule and I find other things to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

So on top of the self-imposed shopping ban, I am now instituting 5 am workouts on Mondays/Wednesdays and evening workouts on Tuesdays and Thursdays. All I have to say is that 5:00am came super early this morning but I am thankful to The Fella for sending me two text messages urging me to get my arse out of bed. And I am also grateful to the TurboJam DVDs I ordered two years ago – Chalene Johnson is a complete nut and her personality keeps your coming back to those DVDs for more punishment.

And in an effort to save some money, I am freezing my gym membership for the next 3 months (reminder to log on to www.24hourfitness.com). I know some of ya’ll are saying with the DVDs (note profile, complete exercise DVD junkie) why have a gym membership? I can add even more lighter fluid to the fire. I also have a treadmill, free weights, and a weight bench. The gym membership is a way to get my butt out of the house and not go to the mall. But it is all coming to an end for the next 3 months.

I will also add to your sheer boredom in an effort to keep myself accountable, I will return to keeping my online food diary as well as workout diary, probably through the blog since I am terrible about logging in to www.calorie-count.com.

Today is kick-off day:

5:00am workout: TurboJam – Lower Body Jam

8:00am breakfast: apple/cinnamon oatmeal (130 cal)

Photo courtesy of Associated Content

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hello, I too am a Shopaholic

‘Tis true, times are ominous. Everyday is becoming scarier by the minute. Watching the stock market plunger deeper into the nether regions as my pension accounts shrinks is a nightmare.

Even with this looming over our heads, I still cannot bring myself to stop shopping. I have a confession to make…My name is TexNYQueen and I am a fashion-a-holic. Over the past 6 months to a year, I have become obsessed with the latest trends and how can I incorporate them into my closet. I have bought countless pairs of shoes, the unique handbag, or obscure piece of jewelry to add to my horde. Last night, while yacking with The Fella, I had an epiphany…I spend too much money on BS.

Obviously, I am not the only feeling the pain. Sal at Already Pretty and Budget Chic are saying the same thing. It is time to slow or even stop our spending. Sal has developed a good plan, one I think I can TRY to incorporate into my lifestyle. I love to thrift shop too so at least I’m not quitting cold turkey. The one other thing I will add to her list is no more ebay buying.

Do you have the shopping disease too? Are you planning to curb your spending as the economy continues to tank?

Image courtesy of cartoonsbyray.com

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Fashion Wasteland

Ok yes, I am supposed to be working, but I can't help it. I am obsessed with fashion blogs, fashion magazines, anything that deals with what I put on my feet or on my back. There are several blogs through the world wide web that catch my fancy, such as the Budget Babe, Fab Finds and Budget Chic along with several shopping sites that just scream - buy, buy, buy.

I work in a world full of women, some stylish; some who seem to dress in the dark. But not one of my co-workers expresses an interest in anything fashionable. It just seems like I spending my morning conversing with brick walls. So, I sit at my computer screen, clicking away for the latest item(s) that may possibly find a home in my closet.

If you find yourself in a fashion wasteland with no one to share your joys, oohs, ahhs or squeals over the latest pics from Fashion Week NYC, London or Milan, or the newest bargain, know that you are not alone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


I am finally out of the dark!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Urban Camping

Ok, it's now Day 12 sans power at Casa Ingomar... I did want to go camping over Labor Day weekend, which we nixed because something else came up. So now, I guess I am getting my just desserts. Cooking outside is ok when I have the time and discovering the serenity of my backyard is a plus. Showering by candlelight isn't bad either; however, shaving your legs in the dark is a bit dangerous. According to CenterPoint, power should be restored by who-knows-when, possibly Halloween. So for now, I will continue to dress in the dark.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Don't Beat Me, Ike

Call me whatever you like, but I am soooooo over Ike. I am truly over people who still have their homes bitching and griping about the lack of power. I am truly done with folks who even before the storm could not master the art of the 4-way stop. If one more person asks me if I have lights, need ice or water, or know where they can get gas I think I will implode.

Folks, we had ample warning even if the all-knowing magicians we call weathermen did not know exactly where the eye would hit. You had plenty of time to stock up on batteries, booze, water, food. You should know to fill your bathtub and every other available vessel that would hold water. Hell, even the emergency signage along the highway reminded you to keep your gas tanks full. It’s HURRICANE SEASON and we live on the Gulf Coast – what do you expect?!?!?!

We bad-mouthed “those” people from New Orleans 4 years ago, but we have yet to bad-mouth each other. We are quick to blame the government because the PODS with the MREs were slow to be set-up. Nevermind the street flooding, the downed power lines or the downed trees – folks need their free ice/water/MREs. I swear if the Mayor came on the radio/tv or however you are receiving your news at this point and said the government was handing out free bags of dogshit, ya’ll would line up for that too – just because it’s FREE.

I am over my survivor’s guilt. I don’t have power, but my roof is in tact. I have a downed fence, but it was old and needed to be repaired. I don’t have gas cooking, but I do have hot water. So unlike my best friend who has a hole in her ceiling and a co-worker who’s home flooded AND the roof caved in, I’m in a pretty good situation.

Folks need to stop bemoaning the lack of power and think of helping your neighbors who can’t afford to pay $400 - $800 to have those trees cut that feel in their yards. Thank the grocery workers, hospital workers, first responders, bus drivers, hell even the mall workers that are able to provide you with some semblance of normalcy. Yeah, you’re lights will be back on and you’ll be back to bitching about that high-ass light bill when Reliant sends you your part of the clean-up.

So, I’m done.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Which SATC Character are You?

Lately, it hasn’t been much SATC action going on, but recent convos with gfs lead to me to me seek out some quizzes… Which SATC Character are You? The iVillage quiz breaks me down to 40% Carrie, 30% Samantha, 20% Charlotte, and 10% Miranda.

I found that odd because, yes like Carrie, I have a love for fashion but I don’t spend my entire paycheck on $500 Jimmy Choos or $1100 D & G dresses (although, I do have my eye on a pair of D & G boots for the winter). I tend to think of myself as a cross between Samantha for her liberated mentality and Miranda for her pragmatism, bluntness and her convictions. Rarely, would I consider myself the ever so optimistic, romantic, fairy-tale loving Charlotte.

Now, on to Quiz Farm for their version… I like the results much better (plus their questions are spicy). I am definitely a bitchy queen with an acute sense of fashion and penchant for cute boys, like Stanford Blatch, by 92% and 75% Miranda, for my blunt reality checks. Now that’s more like it.

But what started the ball rolling is the ongoing convo with Chica…she’s having trouble with a new boy, go figure. She tries so hard to be Carrie, but she told me she was having a “Charlotte” moment. But guess what Chica, Charlotte chose the short, hairy, Jew! Carrie always jacked up every relationship she had because she always thought there was something better. Guess what honey? The martinis aren’t always better at the next bar.

We are all visually stimulated. However, women are the more cerebral of the species, so there comes a point in time when we move past the physical to the mental. Physically, he doesn’t fit your preconceived notion of an ideal mate. He may be short in stature, but is still manly when you don your four inch heels. He may be paunchy around the middle, but will make every effort to workout with you. However, if he needs to purchase extendz or the penis pump – then all bets are off.

Enter your inner Charlotte. Does he make you laugh? Can you talk to him endlessly about anything? Do you share common interests? Are there things he has learned from you and vice versa? Does he make an effort to touch, kiss, or just be near you? Does he man-up? I think we ladies have been conditioned to strive for excellence and we have learned to do everything without the aide of a man. We seem to forget the small, romantic things that make our hearts burn. We also tend to over-analyze situations and make mountains out of mole hills.

You told me, yes you Chica, to enjoy the ride. So I’m throwing your advice back at you. It may not always be “The City” but you’re an inventive woman – so make the best of the situation and create your own city (strobe lights, cocktails, dance music, exotic foods, and lively convos about any and everything). Look past the small physical imperfections and see what else there is to offer. Enjoy the time and space you are being provided and take the enjoyment into your next phase of Charlottedom.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lame Rules

Since the rise of gas prices, commuting in this city isn’t the easiest depending on your proximity to alternative means of transportation. I’ve been a faithful proponent of public transportation ever since moving back from NYC where u can travel around town, upstate, downstate, etc via mass transit. However, since I have low tolerance for stoopid drivers and tend to get white-knuckled and start having raving conversations with the invisible passenger (or road-rage as some may call it), I religiously make it the park-n-ride by 7am so I can plug in and tune out on my way to work.

Well, you can tell gas prices are hitting everyone in the back pockets, but the increase in non-black people riding my park-n-ride has increased, as exhibited by the Chinese couple on the bus today. The ‘regulars’ made a comment today that this couple must be new since when the bus came to a stop, they were the 2nd or 3rd to get up and exit the bus – they didn’t follow the unspoken ‘get-in-line’ rule. Of course I spoke up.

I don’t blame the Chinese couple for jumping up and getting off the bus. Everyone else takes their damn time and some of us have to transfer to another bus before hitting our final destination. I’m not sure why the sub-urban counterculture makes up these lame rules of standing in line for the bus, standing in line to get off the bus, and how they develop the mentality that public transportation is their personal limo service. If I didn’t have fat boy sitting on my hip today (I generally sit on the inside next to the window so I don’t have women and their ‘luggage’ banging into my shoulder) I would have jumped up and gotten off the bus quick, fast, and in a hurry.

So to the suburban-nites, it’s ok to buck your lame rules every now and again – not everyone conforms to the cookie-cutter homes, cookie-cutter cars, and cookie-cutter rules you attempt to impose and sometimes, we need to be first.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Following My Inner Ra

I make no bones about it - I am a true sun worshiper, quite possibly a follower of Ra. So any chance available for me to don my swimsuit, lavishly apply coconut oil and bake until a crispy brown – I am all for it.

Recently, a friend asked me why I tan since I’m already a brown girl? And frankly, I was taken off guard with that one. Why do I tan? Why do I look forward to days of lying in the sun and the smell of SPF and coconut? Why does a black girl like to be in the sun so much? Honestly – I just do!

But that lead me to Google “reasons to tan”. I found three articles published in scientific journals, two based on a study conducted at University of South Florida (all participants were female, and only 0.7% of the study participants were African American – go figure)[1],[2]. The study didn’t tell me anything new. People tan because the media tells them a tan body is better than a pasty pale one. People are forced by their peers to tan. The “Euro Assumption” – a tanned body shows that you spent money on a vacation (because there was the thinking way back when travel was expensive, that only the wealthy vacationed).

The third article was a bit more interesting. This study looked at people who have Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). BDD is a serious illness when a person is preoccupied with minor or imaginary physical flaws, usually of the skin, hair, and nose[3]. The study results show that people with this disorder tan to camouflage perceived imperfections and that those who pick at their skin are more likely to tan (since picking can be done not just with your fingers, but with sharp instruments which can cause more damage)[4].

The University of Florida study started my thinking wheels turning… When I lived in Tacoma (that’s Washington State), I can remember sitting in English class in the Spring comparing skin coloring to one of my classmates, Connie. She used to leave campus at lunch to go tanning at a salon not far from school. So, do I tan because my white friends tan? And why is it some of my friends whisper that they goes to the tanning salon as if it’s a dirty little secret?

Needless to say neither of the scientific articles gave me much insight into why I tan. I am not trying to hide any imperfections, make my stomach look smaller, or because the media sends conflicting messages about peaches and cream skin or nice tan bodies covered in coconut oil.

I tan because I just love being in the sun and I love seeing my skin turn that cooper color. So pass me the coconut oil and let the sun shine in!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Counter Culture

We tend to get attached to material items in our lives, e.g. home, car, shoes, etc. for whatever reason. I get attached to my cars. I've had 4 in my driving lifetime, my first being my grandfather's 75 Chevy Malibu with the vinyl bench seats and 8-track stereo. I loved that car even when I had to use a towel on the seats in the summer or suffer 3rd degree burns on the backs of my legs.

My most favorite car was my 94 Nissan Sentra. I never named her, but we went through thick and thin together. Bought her in 96 with 91K miles on it (yes, it was only 2 years old and the previous owner drove the heck out of that car). I took her to NYC and she was a trooper through the brutal winters and mild summers. Brought her back to Houston in 2001 and we made it almost 10 years. Until 2006, some jerk backed into her. So I passed her on to a friend, I thought would take care of her. I cried when she left. I didn't even clean it out - I just let her go in tact. Well sadly enough, I received a call 2 months ago that my friend sold her for scrap. 270K miles later, she's gone - for good. I said my peace and she will never be replaced.

However, I now have Beanie, my big 1981 reddish brown 240 Volvo, with all his/her quirks. I think Beanie is a tranny - some days she acts like a girl and some days the man side comes out. The sunroof works for a while, then gets stuck. The windshield leaks. The glove compartment flies open unannounced. But all in all, Beanie's a great Volvo.

Have given all this background info, it's dawned on me that I have now entered into a counterculture of folks who drive the big box on wheels, those Balbo owners. We take so much flack because it's not the sexiest car on the road, but I tell you what - Beanie can handle a turn at 60-65 mph better than a mustang. We are laughed at because, yes it's essentially a box, but it is the safest car without airbags on the road. When you own a real Volvo (before Ford purchased them), other Volvo drivers look out for you, they honk, they flash their lights, all in greeting other Volvo drivers. It's an equivalent to a secret handshake.

So laugh all you want at my old car. But Beanie is mine, mine, mine - I wont trade her for anything in the world (not even that 2008 Nissan Altmia Coupe in Ruby Red). And even though I can't race you at 80 mph on the straight-a-way, I can still get you on the curve when you have to brake and downshift.

I love my Beanie!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mother Know's Best

Ya'll tell me to take my own advice, which I rarely do. "We" always seem to know what's best for others but not for ourselves. Well, let me tell you - I am taking my own advice - deleting "can't", "fat", "dirty house" from my vocabulary. I will try to not make comparisons between what was the past and the present. I am on the slow and steady pace for several goals (school will be back on track in two weeks; weight loss is stalled, but is manageable; love life is materializing). Although, I have a difficult time forgetting, I have forgiven and have moved on the past irritants.

Thank you to T-Love for your kind words in my inbox this morning.

Thank you P-Diddy for being the encourager, the warrior, the fearless one.

Thank you KJC for showing me that little things do mean a lot to those around us and for being a survivor.

Thank you Big M for being the voice of wisdom and reason.

Thank you JCF for the passion, love and flowers.

And lastly, thanks to the Boston Celtics who overcame a deep deficit to beat those LA Beetchez!!!!! Yeah, baby.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Black is Too Black?

Recent NY Times article on “How Black is too black” started my wheels turning (plus, I am still reeling from the Defending Democracy exhibit at the Station Museum). We (most of my Black friends) are excited about the current trend of promised change and with the hopes that we will set a World’s record and vote a Black man into the White House. However, the NY Times has done another bang up job of saying, “Yes, he’s good but…”

Is Barack too Black to be our next President of this screwed up nation? Or has he learned, in his short tenure, how to play the political game and turn off and on his “blackness”? Is this just a milder form of racism? Is he appeasing da Man, playing the step and fetch? Is Barack staying true to himself? Or do we have to constantly read more articles on why he and Michele do the knuckle bump?

We all know the he is not staying true to himself (say what you want). Take a look at the Rev. Wright situation. He back pedaled away from a lifelong friend because it wasn’t White friendly. I am not going to beat that dead situation; however, Rev. Wright is from the same generation as Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson. So the message is the same.

Why is it that in this day and age, we still have issues with color? Take a look around folks, there are increasing numbers of mixed couples that we are becoming a nation of colorless lines.

So can we move past sounding White, acting Black/acting White, not claiming the Black members of your families or dissecting your ethic background and get on with the issues at hand – the senseless war overseas with over 4000 soldiers (not counting civilians) dead, the poor and hungry in our own backyard, the poorly educated youth who are supposed to be our future leaders, etc.?

Things that tend to irk me

I know I wont be able to get out my other thoughts until I get this list out of my head...

Things that irk me about commuting in Houston:

1. People who go overboard with the perfume, cologne, or lotion. In an enclosed space (ie the bus), the smells are heightened and trapped and make me want to hurl.

2. The wheels on the bus go round and round...why do you need to speak to the woman 2 seats up so early in the morning. Why not do 1 of 2 things, sit next to her so ya'll can chit chat like hens or pass her notes like you did in HS English.

3. If you technically should be in two seats, don't sit on my hip. Slide that girth two inches to the left so I'm not squished up next to the window.

4. If you plan to listen to your MP3 player, use noise canceling , not noise-enabling headphones. No one else wants to know that you still rock out to the Bee Gees at 6:50am.

5. If the train is crowded because our Metro service isn't bright enough to add double trains during peak hours, drop your packs so others can ride without being stabbed in the chest by your oversize luggage.

I know there are other irksome issues I possess, but this is a good start. Probably not the best way to start off this new journal, but hey - it's my journal just the same.