December 6, 2011

that's what friends are for...

I had my whole evening planned.

After scurrying in from the cold, I would unwind with a bit of reading from my God's Calling book and Woman Thou Art Loosed Bible, then listen to something to empower my spirit further and calm my mind (it's a Pastor Winston night)....actually cook a nice complete meal....protein,  fresh veggies, colored starch (something I haven't done on the regular lately)....meanwhile fold the laundry in the dryer (oops still a little damp)...ok, dry the laundry still in the dryer then wash a load of whites while folding the first.  Enjoy my Christmas tree (FABULOUS! :-)) while eating and catching up on some re-runs of Criminal Minds (Shemar...yum!)  The rest of the night would be devoted to completing Episode Two of my web series (more on this later, which I started last week and have yet to return to.  Sooo stoked about finally getting some writing done when.....

The phone rings.

It rings in mid-chew of crunchy lettuce, peppers, tomato...and a close-up of Shemar.  Darn.  I left it charging in the kitchen.  After ring two and a lingering glance at the screen, I decided to run for it.  One of my best friends....since 6th grade best deep secrets best friend....quality not quantity best friend.....her name popped up on the caller id.  Split second decision.  If I pick up, the rest of my evening will be thrown off.  Toast.  Busted.  I NEED TO WRITE!  Sigh.

As quickly as those thoughts came, I also remembered this day is not about me.  My FRIEND is calling.  It may be important.  Then again it may not.  So I picked up.  It wasn't important. But after 15 minutes of trying to finish eating, lock eyes with Shemar AND listen to her, something dawned on me.  For over a year, she has listened to me, counselled me, empathized with me, prayed for me me for over a year consistently.  And tonight, she just wanted to TALK.  So I turned off the television, put my plate away and gave my best friend since 6th grade my attention.  And when we hung up an hour and a half later with our I love yous and see you soon, I was glad I hadn't wasted my TIME.  Selah.

bite of the day ~ Give yourself away.


December 5, 2011

just one of them days....

I'm taking an online empowerment class from an up and coming motivational speaker/life coach/author (Shanel Cooper Sykes)....Igniting Your G-Spot: 21 Days of Personal Fulfillment.  Um...get your mind right.  It's not quite how-to sessions on THAT KIND of personal fulfillment!  I'm sure the whole G-Spot thing....anyway!  It's really about giving and receiving all that God and life has to offer....and actively focusing on that through actions in the next 21 days.  Great concept, but I have to admit...I registered and logged on last night and tonight with lackluster enthusiasm.  It's not that I think the class is not going to be empowering and inspiring and all that it's designed to be. I've experienced her classes before, and it's all that and the pickle....or I wouldn't be wasting my TIME.  Trust.  I guess I feel a little...funky inside right now.  Which is why I'm forcing myself to take the class...regardless.

For the last couple of weeks, I've been in a bipolar-esque rollercoaster that only I can seem to least I think so.  I can be completely content and grateful and positive one moment...and then the next, that nagging, haunting, dark feeling tries to ooze over me as I force a smile through it.  "Ride it out", I think to myself.  (I know I'm not the only one, right???)  Negative.  Irritated.  Frustrated.  FEELINGS.  Yes, of course I fight it.  I fight it by praying, talking to myself...out loud while walking down the street sometimes (yep, I'm sure they think I'm crazy)....I put on Winston, Dollar, Jakes, Copeland.....Franklin, Hammond, Haddon, Houghton.  This quiets the raging thoughts playing racketball in my head....for awhile.  Then the fight starts all over again.

And there's the others....thoughts and questions that wake me up in the night sometimes....


Pressure.  And it's not that I don't know my purpose, my gifts. I resolved that much with God in my twenties.  And it's not necessarily that I don't know WHAT to do (I guess..sigh.).  But HOW?  Time is moving so fast. Living for the weekend? No.  I don't want the weekends to come this quickly.  Slide your leg out the bed on Monday the time your foot hits the floor, it's Friday.

I need time!  I need time to do all the things that I want to do.  Time to be who I want to be.  I need time to create....time to clean...time to organize...time to connect...time to read...time to pray...time to study...time to just BE.  time Time TIME! sigh. 

Yet, the time I have, I find myself just trying to gather the strength to stay sane...and saved.  Some days it's easier than others.  I guess today is just one of those days when it's not.  Tomorrow is another chance...another chance to get it right.  God help me.  

bite of the day ~ make TIME your friend, then master it...conquer it.  cause while we're trotting, it's travelling at the speed of LIFE. Selah.


November 7, 2011

remembering Michael Jackson....

I remember it like yesterday.  I was on the train....on my way home.  Cell rang.  It was Tee.  She said "Did you hear Michael Jackson had a heart attack?"  I had not...and frankly, I didn't believe her.  It was just too.....unbelievable. Unfathomable.  Unreal.  Could not be real.  By the time I got home and turned on the news to confirm it was all just a bad joke....he was dead.  Confirmed dead.  I screamed at the television.  "Noooooo!!!!" It was all I could say.  Michael Jackson and DEAD? No place in my consciousness for that. 

Yes, of course...I know that eventually everyone dies...but some people are so "larger than life",  you almost expect them to be around forever.  And I'm not talking in the philosophical "he'll live on through his music" sense.  I mean a lot of us can't imagine some people i.e. stars, dying.  More evidence of deifying humans...putting regular folks (even SUPER talented ones) on pedestals...that they can't help but fall headlong off of simply because they are HUMAN.  They will disappoint eventually....either by being crackheads, cheaters who have babies outside of their marriages, liars, closet this & that or overall bad decision makers that put their very charmed lives in danger.

When Michael Jackson died, we mourned in our house for at least 6 months.  This included blastin' the History Album over and over, scouring the internet for rare interviews of MJ....spending hours on Saturdays watching said rare interviews, his music videos, and anything JACKSON (including his brothers' reality show)...and of course "schooling" our nieces and nephews that came to visit on MJ.  This meant they had to watch Thriller, whether they wanted to or not.

Our mourning was not because Michael Jackson THE KING OF POP died.  It was because Michael Jackson, our buddy who we had so many memories with...who was like family...had died.  And he left way too early.  The fact that they found his doctor guilty of causing his death today doesn't really do much for me.  MJ is still gone.  sigh. I guess this is how my parents felt when Marvin Gaye died....

bite of the day ~ He wasn't perfect, but he was ours.


November 1, 2011

do good

There are times that you just know that you are in the right place...doing the right thing.  It's not about you or anything else except being PRESENT.  This past weekend was one of those times.  The 1st Englewood Film Festival.  Closing night film...The Interrupters.  If you know, enough said.

 I first heard about it via Facebook, since I am "friends" with the founder, independent filmmaker Mark Harris.  If there was ever a little Giant on stilts, it's him.  When he has something going on, he will BLAST messages out to anyone who will listen (or read)...over and over...and over again, in search of a response.  After seeing several of these messages, I finally went to the official website...admittedly with a sigh... "Like, dude..really??? (sigh again) Let me check this out before he blows up my computer pubbing this thing!".  Persistence.  Gotta love it. lol

Now, Englewood has a pretty rough rep....even my no news watching self has heard about all the crime and violence jumping off in this neighborhood.  Most folks that don't live there, ain't trying to go there....for nothing.  Fortunately, I'm the same girl that moved to a town called Berwyn, clueless about the history of racism (and yes, the white folks emptied them apartments with the quickness after two little black ladies moved in...claiming they couldn't afford the rent anymore.  Hmmm.  Suspect!)....and even if I had known, I wouldn't have cared.  I'm crazy enough to believe I'll be SAFE anytime, anywhere by God's grace.  Therefore, I go where I please without a second thought, that includes Englewood.

The arts changes lives....and Mark bringing his own personal "Stop the Violence and Do Something Productive" campaign to the hood hopefully will do just that.  Instead of just complaining, he took action.  So, I knew I not only had to get our arts nonprofit, The Anointed Harvesters, involved in some (last minute) way....but I had to personally BE THERE to support.  At the end of the day, I got much more out of it than I gave or anticipated.

The closing night film "The Interrupters" is a documentary about a Chicago-based nonprofit called Ceasefire and three of their "Interrupters".  The film followed this group as they literally stepped into violent situations and mentored folks caught up in the cycle of gangs, crime, miseducation and overall hard living.  All of the interrupters come from the same background as the folks they are now trying to help.  Turning back, not to go back...but to pull others forward.  My heart was especially touched by Ameena, infamous gangsta Jeff Fort's daughter.  She is the eagle that spite of the broken wing.  Selah.  They all made me want to do....better.

bite of the day ~ If you're not DOING, at least support those who are. 
Support positive independents:
DO GOOD, every chance you get.

October 24, 2011

woman thou art loosed

I'm not a screamer...nor a shouter.  You know, the organ going a mile a minute....serious footwork, head boppin', hair flyin', face sweatin' - shoutin'.  The old church used to call it "catching the Holy Ghost".  The new church has some sterile version of it, which still includes yelling out "Hallelujah!  Praise da Lord!  Thank ya Jesus!  Say it Pastor!"  Don't get me wrong....I get my praise on.  I'm just not usually very vocal.  It's a personal relationship between me and I tend to speak in a regular tone of voice or even a whisper, as if He's actually as close as inside of me...or at the very least, standing right next to me with His arm draped over my shoulders with pinkies locked...Boyfriend-style. :-)

But when I went to TD Jakes' women's conference, Woman Thou Art Loosed, in Houston last week, I felt the power of 16,000 women (with a few men sprinkled in...) singing, yelling, praising, shouting, laughing...many at the top of their lungs.  It was humbling to say the least. Standing in the heart of this...."movement of loosing", I took the opportunity to survey the room, breathing in the essence of the moment.  And it was a moment.  A turning point.  I know it was Divine strategy that I was there.  God knew I needed to be.

I went alone seeking guidance, direction, peace, inspiration, encouragement and a Word from God for my life. There is something absolutely freeing about being a stranger amongst thousands of soul-thirsty women. Who I was (or wasn't) didn't matter in that place.  Nor where I had come from or what I looked like. The only thing that mattered was I was there with the same agenda as the sister-strangers I was surrounded by. Every woman had come for a specific and special reason.  Had been drawn there through tribulation and pain and heartbreak and brokenness.  Each of us had pressed our way to a Divine appointment with The Healer, and we were not left disappointed. 

I held my breath during each session, with pen in hand, intently listening for MY Word....MY reason for missing two days of work and flying all the way to Houston.  Although the teaching was good and anointed on the first night....I didn't come away with anything that hit me hard enough in the heart.  The second night, I connected with Pastor Paula White, whose personal trials and tribulations made her that much more relatable to me.  I thought her teaching on discovering my authentic self...and her breakdown of transformation and life changes was the word I had come to hear.  Not quite. And although Sheryl Brady was awesome and moving and demonstrative on Saturday morning with her teaching about what to do when you find yourself in a whirlwind created by a tornadic person in your life...I still hadn't gotten IT. 

It wasn't until Cindy Trimm took the stage that I recognized my breakthrough.  I have to admit, I didn't think she would be very good ( was obviously my first time hearing her speak). She was using her laptop and seemed to be reading her notes a bit much for my taste.  I like organic teaching...that seems to come unrehearsed and straight from the heart. Dr. Trimm admitted to preparing for 6 months for the conference, but at 2am the night before, God had changed her whole message (...which is why she was sticking to her notes...glad I didn't judge too quickly and shut it down).  She dissected the cycles of life (spiritual & physical), how the mind is the womb of the spirit,  the importance of the number ten, and how many of us are OVERDUE....said the enemy has been fighting us because God is about to BIRTH something important through us.  By the time she finished breaking down revelation after revelation...each of which I took very personally, I was ready for IT.  When she instructed us to put our left hand (which symbolizes judgment) on our stomachs and the right hand (which symbolizes blessing) on top of the left....I felt something run up through my gut and burst out of my eyes and mouth.  It was like a delivery (...or perhaps deliverance...).

 I yelled to God at the top of my lungs with tears streaming down the sides of my face..Maybelline and all.  In that moment, I could care less how I looked, how I sounded, who was watching or not.  It was a moment....a Divine moment.  God was breaking through, bringing me to a climax after a 368 day journey. Selah.

So now that the 16,000 sister-strangers have dispersed, returning to the four corners of the world to fight another day....I am left changed.....and facing forward. 

bite of the day ~ Free yourself and birth your new life into existence.  PUSH!!!


October 11, 2011

lessons from the golden pair

I was but a girl of 7 or 8 when it happened....a shiny brown girl walking down 51st street with a grin as big as the moon.  Hand in hand with my sweet cocoa mother I walked. Excited because we were on our way to find a brand new pair of shoes!  It wasn't everyday that a girl could go shopping for a shiny new pair....especially since Daddy was no longer there.  In the house, I mean.  Sure, Easter was coming up which was cause for the occasion...but her intention was to grab a pair to wear way beyond that day.  Functional, they call it.  

Well, all of that went out the window when I spotted THEMA perfect little pair of golden slippers...with no less than a string bow near the toe.  It was as if they were made just for me....destined to hug MY toes & soles and no Cinderella....or even Dorothy (think The Wiz....not The Wizard of  So after trying to convince me to go with a more "sensible" color like black, my mother finally conceded and allowed me to have my golden shoes which I put on right away.

My first love affair.  Beautiful.  I was gorgeous and dainty and cute and lovely....when me and my golden pair were together. That's how they made me feel. I wore them everyday (that she would let me!)  And when I wasn't wearing them, I was playing with them, looking at them...always had them near.  And everything felt right in my world...for awhile.  Then I began to notice the fit was becoming a little snug.  Uncomfortable.  Nevertheless, I continued to slip them on day after day....after day.  Through the growing discomfort and then downright pain, I would not stop wearing my beloved shoes! J'adore!  One day, I could no longer hide from my mother that I was outgrowing the golden pair, as she inquired whether they were tight.  I lied.  "Oh no!  They're fine.  They feel good!" I wasn't ready to end it just yet. 

And I never would be.  I was finally forced  to face that the affair was OVER.  I had grown and where I was going...the golden slippers could not. And not because I did not love them anymore (J'adore!)...but because our affair had turned sour long before into something hurtful...painful.  They were no longer good for me and I had not wanted to face it....but eventually, I had to let go.  Had to find gorgeous and dainty and cute and lovely without them.  When I finally did, the scars left behind were evidence that I had held on way too long.  And some scars never go away...(no matter how much Dr. Scholl's you use).

Thinking back to me and those golden slippers, it was a foreshadowing of things to come....a peek into my personality that was there from the start.  A trait that would bring me joy & pain, pleasure & sorrow.  Immense sorrow.

bite of the day ~  IT'S SO HARD TO SAY GOOD-BYE TO YESTERDAY....but sometimes, you have to.  Selah.


September 28, 2011

am I my Brother's keeper?

Yes, I am!

Allow me to introduce Shouty Mack T-Bone big brother. :-)

On this your 39th birthday, I take a moment to express my deepest gratitude for sharing life with someone like you:

1.  Thank you for being the cause of EVERY major beat-down (whoopin') I've endured in my life...due to following you into some doomed from the start scheme.  Thank you for being fearless enough to do dumb stuff to get US in trouble.
2. Thank you for never really beating me up, but instead shaking me til the room was spinning and my brains were scrambled.  You taught me to never give up...cause as soon as I could focus, I was coming after you swinging a broom, chair...something! 
3.  Thank you for being such a great dancer that I had to learn some moves myself  just to keep up with you.  Yo MTV raps BABY!!!  Remember our Kid n Play routine at the house parties?
4.  Thank you for coming to pick me up in your raggedy Subaru from cheerleading practice so I wouldn't have to take the bus.
5.  Thank you for letting me spend the night at your new apartment whenever I wanted after you moved out.  I missed you so much....and I was spoiled.  Pizza!  Donuts!  Nachos! lol
6.  Thank you for being so in tune with me that you knew something was wrong when the pervert (you know who...) was "teaching" me how to drive.  You stayed in the window the whole time we were in the parking lot, watching and ready.
7.  Thank you for breaking me off a few dollars from your fat stack of tips from the Fairmont every time you saw me....and for making a few deposits in my account during my broke college days.
8.  Thank you for finding my silver Barretta, making me buy it BEFORE I even knew how to drive it.  It was a stick.  You always made me feel like I could do anything, even if I didn't believe it.
9.  Thank you for dreaming out loud with me (...."what you gone eat for breakfast on the Amtrak train?").  Remember the full body umbrella that would fly us to school on rainy days...complete with a breakfast of bacon & eggs?
10.  Thank you for staying as long as you could during some tough summers...just so I wouldn't feel too alone.

In all, thank you for being the best big brother a girl could ever wish to have.  To have you as a best friend growing up and now...words cannot express. I'm glad you were born.  Without you, there would be no "manimaisha" word. lol! I love you deeper than the Atlantic, man.....happy birthday, Shouty Mack.  There BETTER be many more! :-)


September 26, 2011

proper planning prevents poor performance!..or something like that.

At one time, I was signed with 3 different talent agencies that had me running like a chicken in heat on my lunch breaks from my 9-5 to auditions.  I did that for about 2 years.  One day, I realized I hated when my cell phone rang, because it was usually an agent...not with a BOOKING, but with yet another audition!  I never felt quite comfortable with the whole audition process...and after a bunch of soul searching I realized it was because I knew I was supposed to be the one BEHIND the desk in the power position.  Someone else telling me I'm "right" or "good enough" or "great" or "perfect" or NOT for a particular role or commercial never sat well with me. So I slowly but surely stopped.  I decided to focus on creating for myself and others instead of chasing behind someone to give me an opportunity.  I'm going the way of Spike Lee & Tyler Perry & Robert Townsend...Ice Cube & Queen Latifah...The Wayans Brothers! Make your own stuff, put yourself in it and let the chips fall where they may.

So when a friend and comrade in the entertainment hustle game called me and said a director that had seen my work (and loved it) asked for my contact info because she wanted me to audition for a Boost Mobile commercial she's working on, my heart went piter pat for more than one reason.  First of all, I've already stated I HATE auditions...but I love to act.  Secondly, once I received the breakdown for the 3 ads, to my dismay, one of them had SWIMSUIT as the wardrobe.  This particular ad will be shot on a beach...2 lovers running toward each other style.  Ok.  Nervous excitement instantly turned to disappointment and even...dare I say, DREAD. 

I have never been a go-to-the-gym type girl.  I've stayed relatively the same size most of my life by being NATURALLY active (i.e. taking the stairs between floors @ work instead of the elevator, speed walking to and from the train...the speed part mainly because I'm usually running real close to late).  Besides a dance class here and there, the closest I've come to a disciplined workout is getting my behind on my living room floor and doing the same crunch/leg lift/straddle stretch routine I've been doing since my cheerleading days in high school.  But for the last few months, I've been slacking on even that.  And the large pepperoni pizza  that I devoured over the prior few days didn't help.  Hey....what can I say, I had a coupon. (BTW - Delish! Plug for Geppetto's Pizzeria!)

So the day before I get this call about the Boost commercial, I start getting real antsy about my laziness and my cheese and dough stuffed belly.  I got back to it...the crunch/leg lift/straddle stretch routine.  Even pulled out my trusty 5 lb weights.  But one day of working out would not be sufficient for me to switch myself into an audition wearing a two piece!  A friend of mine said I should still go...that I have a nice body etc.  But I know I'm not in the best shape that I could be.  My confidence would be shot.  Couple that with the natural actor's nerves....recipe for disaster!  I'd rather leave the positive image the director currently has of me firmly cemented....til the next opportunity.

One thing's for sure, I now know the meaning of  "Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance".  Oh well, lesson learned.  Sigh.

bite of the day ~  You never know when opportunity will come knocking. Stay ready.



September 8, 2011

note to self

If I haven't mentioned it before, I am IN LOVE with books.  The real things...filled with pages that actually have to be turned with your fingers, not scrolled through.  Needless to say, I am going through serious withdrawal with the closing of most of the major brick & mortar bookstores.  So last week, I hit yet another Border's that was plastered with big yellow and black discounted signs.  Problem is prices are still not rock bottom but the pickings are already getting slim.  So when I came across Note to Self by Andrea Buchanan, it didn't take long for me to snap it up as the title screamed at me, especially in my present state.  Plus it was 40% off. :-)

The stories are inspirational, as should be expected, but they also reiterated something I've known for a while now.  A good majority of the pain that we as women endure is due to our love of a man...or more than one...perhaps even at the same time .  Many of us pour ourselves all into a man or our relationships for the love of that man....and the need of that love in return.  And my God, if we actually do or at least believe that we are loved deeply, there is almost nothing that we would not endure for that man.  Problem is, there are men out there that do not know what to do with that level of love and commitment.  And if given to this "unready" and, dare I say, "undeserving" man...hardship, humiliation and heartbreak is sure to follow.  One story in particular really made me think about my choices for my life and relationships. 

A woman, who is now 70 years old, married the love of her life at the age of 50, after being in what turned out to be a dead-end marriage for over a decade.  This new love that she found opened up her world to so many positive things, places and people.  Experiences she had only dreamed of.  I mean, she was simply brimming over with the MUTUAL love of this man.  Neither of them was perfect....but IT was perfect.  One day, she received a letter from an insurance company, as her husband was in the process of purchasing additional life insurance.  She opened it to find out that he had been denied because he was HIV positive.  Sigh.

Shock on all ends followed, with an explanation from him that he must have contracted it from a prostitute that he regularly had sex with on his frequent business trips to the West Coast.  She decided not to address the infidelity as it was futile at that moment...apparently.  Long story short, she was found to be infected too... but instead of becoming angry and bitter towards her man, she showered him with unconditional love, and while battling the disease herself, took care of him AND kept his secret, per his request.  Shortly after he died, she discovered he had been in a long term HOMOSEXUAL relationship with a man who had died in 1986.  So her precious love, who she had thought would never PURPOSELY put her at risk...who she never blamed for her infection, had in fact lied and deceived her in the worst way.  Gay sex.  Unprotected gay sex.  Then home to the waiting loving wife for more....unprotected sex.  There wasn't even a deathbed confession. Sigh again.

bite of the day ~ LOVE HARD, with all the passion and openness your dear heart can muster.  But please love and protect yourself just as hard...and with eyes wide open.  God help us.


September 7, 2011

dear GOD.

the days are getting darker and cloudier....and rainy.  the storms are coming.  the wind is blowing.  i feel chilly already.  please help me keep the sun shining in my heart.  let the inner light keep me bright and hopeful...even as my outer world changes. joy. happiness.  peace.


dear YOU.

as i get older, i understand why "the old folks" used to say "just keep on living".  this was usually in response to trying to share some wisdom or calm a young & dumb moment down.  i understand the preciousness of that

 i came across the raw footage of my wedding last night, and for some reason, decided to watch a bit of it.  i wanted to see if i was really as calm as i sure of my decision as i remember.  i was.  but i also saw so many out of order things that was a foreshadowing of the storms ahead.  my father-in-law (r.i.p.) who, when asked to say something to us on camera, was really the only one who seriously alluded to darker days ahead.  in the midst of the laughter, joy (for some) and light....he looked into the camera with gleaming eyes and said "I just hope they have a good life....".  he paused for a thoughtful moment and then went into how we will have to fight through the storms that were sure to come.  little did i know, the tsunami, tornado & hurricane were already at the door...knocking steadily and hard.  SELAH.

bite of the day ~ sometimes looking back can take you forward.  move forward.


August 26, 2011

these eyes...

It was 7th grade....12 years old.  That was the first time I realized I couldn't see.  Squinting.  Straining.  Blurry vision.  Trying to see the teacher's notes projecting on the wall via transparency and the Sharpie black marker.  That was actually how I met one of my best friends for life...copying notes off the nice freckle-faced yellow girl who sat near me in every class we had together, since we happened to share the same last name. That's what brought me and Aneatra together.  Those notes of hers were a huge reason I was able to maintain my solid A-B average....that's my girl to this day.  Hope she still has 20-20.

I avoided telling my parents for years.  Instead I went through junior high and most of high school without being able to see.  I survived somehow by speaking to anyone who waved in my direction (didn't want to be deemed rude and get jumped after school...or worse, talked about real bad)...and sharing notes.  But that wouldn't fly in college.  I had to break down and wear glasses, which I only did in class.  I took my chances everywhere else, until I got contact lenses.

Vanity.  Pure vanity...along with insecurity caused me to neglect my eyes for years.  Maybe if I had sounded the alarm early on, my vision would have been corrected long ago.   Or maybe they should have MANDATORY eye exams in schools.  Just a thought.  Sigh. 

Yesterday, I went in for my annual eye exam...late since I should have gone in May.  I ABHOR going to any type of doctor.  I don't like to be poked at and prodded.  And it always feels so cold.  The eye doctor experience isn't that bad in itself (at least you keep your clothes on...and legs or mouth are not spread eagle!)....but I dread it for another reason.  Glasses.  Contacts.  These are band-aids.  Illusions of good vision.  But as soon as I take one off, the other MUST be put on, unless I'm going to sleep.  I ABHOR being dependent...on anything.  And I am.  At 37, I am completely dependent on something outside of myself just to see properly.  And my annual eye exam continues to highlight that fact. 

"We have a slight change of vision...," she pleasantly said.  For years, I've had the same prescription in both eyes.  Now she says one eye is slightly weaker than the other.  Is that what the twitching is about?  (No, that's lack of sleep and stress she confirms.)  When I asked what I can do to improve my vision, something I've asked previously....there is no definitive answer.  No hope.  No attempt at hope.  Not even "eat your carrots" hope! 

I stare at her through blurred eyes, not because I'm not wearing my tinted black square glasses this day, but because she's dropped some disgusting yellow goop into them to check for disease.  She murmurs something about enjoying them while we can..."that's the best we can do".  SERIOUSLY!?!  No.  I'm only 37 and you say enjoy my eyes while I can???  That's the best hope you can offer?  Wow.  I "see", I have to take matters into my own hands.  Where's the herbs??  Eye exercises??? I'm not going "lights out" without a fight! sigh.

bite of the day ~ Your overall health, ultimately, is your responsibility.  Take action...while you can.


August 22, 2011

a new leaf....

I am NOT a morning person.  Not that I sleep all day when I'm not working....but I like to wake up naturally. (Who doesn't???) I don't bound out of bed at 4:30am to workout or pray do anything.  As a matter of fact, I don't bound out of bed unless I've overslept (which rarely happens).  There was a time I didn't even talk in the morning.  Not because anything was wrong.  I'm just NOT a morning person.

However, I've finally accepted something that I've subconsciously been avoiding.  MOST HIGHLY PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE ARE MORNING PEOPLE.  Most successful people are morning people.  Most people that accomplish great things get up EARLY in order to "attack the day". 

I received some of the best advice of my life on my birthday when I had dinner with my "bonus" father...he said "You have to write EVERY day.  I don't care if it's 5 minutes.  Write something every day.  Get up early and start your day off writing.  Trust me, you will feel so good about the rest of your day knowing that you've already accomplished something for yourself."  I needed that.

And so I've decided to turn over a new leaf.  I am now a morning person.  I set a new alarm time and have committed to only hitting snooze opposed to 3 times.  I MUST write.  And I must do it early...because these days, I have little energy to do it later.  Perhaps my creative juices will begin flowing so much that what I begin in the morning will call to me the rest of the day until I can't wait to get back to it...the script, the short story, the novel, the article....the blog post.  I now realize that in order to see the greatness in me come out on a greater level, I must CHANGE.  I have to do something different if what I am doing is not working.  I must take action instead of simply talking and dreaming.  Actually, I stopped a lot of the dream talking awhile ago.  It was getting irritating.  I can't even stand other people doing it these days...just talking.  Do something about manifesting your dreams instead of just talking about them all the time!  Or else SHUT UP!  Because it gets old.  Seriously. Sigh.

The alarm went off at 6am this morning.  And yes, that is early for me.  I hit snooze only once but made sure not to fall back to sleep.  This is my baby step to the next level of my life.  I'm investing in MYSELF.  And it's all good for me....and you too.  You'll see.  (BIG SMILE)

bite of the day ~ The early bird really does get the worm.  Become the early bird.


August 18, 2011

my own personal New Year's Day (resolutions included)...

Dear Big Daddy in my heart....

Thank You.

Today I am a young, vibrant 37 year old girl-n-woman.  I alone hold the key to my personal happiness...because You gave it to me.  I choose to love, even when it hurts....but I also choose not to LET love hurt.  (That was last year's story....and the year before that...and the year before that....and the....well...)  This year, I stretch my arms and my heart to receive all the good life has to give.  Good food. (smile)  Good experiences.  Good people.  Good LOVE. (BIG smile)

I embrace all that I am...all that I desire to be...all that I will be.  This year, I will be truly ME.  And now, We begin.  C'mon God.

bite of the day ~ Grow old-er...and wiser.  Cheers. :-)


August 16, 2011

Pastor Zach Tims Death

I received a call from my best friend yesterday to tell me that Zachery Tims was dead.  She thought of me, for reasons she knows, when she heard the news and the circumstances surrounding it.  I was not an avid follower of Pastor Tims.  I had come across his broadcast a few years back and was immediately intrigued by this young pastor who reminded me of Will Smith.  So very cute.  And his wife too.  Well, up until yesterday, I didn't know she was no longer his wife.  Fifteen years of marriage gone up in smoke after chasing...or tasting...some stank Parisian t-ass.  Booty.  Whateva.  Sigh.  I apologize.  That fact pissed me off.  But more so, it saddened me.  Because I believe, with the little bit of information I have, that God's grace was in full effect when that particular scandal broke in Pastor Tim's life.  Another crossroads.  It was a chance to turn around and make better decisions.  Right choices.  I feel in my gut that he would still be alive today if he had still been married to Riva Tims and more importantly, truly repentant in turning away from whatever double life he was apparently leading.   I mean, "men's club" !?!  No business there in the first place.  sigh. 

Don't get me wrong.  I am not condemning Pastor Zach....nor am I angry with him.  I am saddened that this bright light has been, not only extinguished, too soon and in this manner....but that his very legacy is being tarnished.  A white powder substance found in his pocket!?!   Isn't the MEMORY (i.e. how the world remembers) the righteous supposed to be blessed?  I don't believe that verse is just talking about being able to recall things with our minds.    

I pray to God that there IS some foul play.  I really do.  Some set-up...some deranged person from his past or present that caused his death and covered it up to look like he was a preacher gone BACK to bad....or perhaps never truly left it.  I pray to God this is not as it appears.

At the end of the day, we all have to WAKE UP.  The world is getting darker and even the very elite of the "righteous" crew can be snuffed out if one ventures too close to the line.  The line being playing with fire....teaching or saying one thing and living another...not being honest about where we are in our walk and our struggles.  Cause we ALL have them.  The problem is when we act like we don't.  With God's help, we CAN overcome it all.  But we have to start with being open and honest...and not wait til we get "busted" to get help. At that point, it may be too late. sigh.  

R.I.P.  Zachery Tims.  Only God truly can judge you...cause we all jacked up without Him. Selah.

bite of the day ~ let's take the masks off, people...cause what's done in the dark WILL come to the light, one way or the other. 


August 4, 2011

death & life

Two days ago, as I walked down the serene tree-lined street that is my block, I saw a dead rabbit.  A dead BUNNY RABBIT.  I was appalled and sad all at once.  I wanted to turn away....regretting that I was that observant on that particular day. But I had to take just one good look.  Maybe to confirm it was actually dead...or maybe I am just curious about what "death" looks like.  I've seen dead bodies before.  In hospital beds, in caskets...too many funerals to count...but to see a fresh kill.  Before the cleaning up, the fixing up...the pretty-ing up.  Before the blood has turned cold and black. 

This cute little bunny had been crushed...almost split in two by...something.  It's little back paws dangled lifelessly in the street while his head lay on the curb.  In a flash, my analytical mind went to work.  Did he know today would be the day?  The day his speedy dash across a semi-busy street would be the "death" of him?  Did he go instantly...before he knew what hit him?  Or did he feel the last of life leave his little body?

I continued home with a million thoughts running through my mind.  It's amazing how when you pay attention how many lessons you can many emotions you can have....reactions to what seems like the simplest things.  Roadkill.  The Circle of Life.  An unending cycle.  I've never taken death too well.  It me.  To be separated from those you love, even if you know they have made their way into heaven.  The weirdest thing is when someone is killed suddenly.  Upon hearing the news, a common reaction is "But I just saw him!?!  "I just saw her yesterday!"  As if that fact should make a difference.  Shock and disbelief causes all of us to bask in the nonsensical....all the while trying to make sense of the tragedy.  And it is.  Even if the person is in their nineties, like my great-grandmother.  The tragedy of "getting sick" and dying.  That is abnormal....yet normal for us in this society.

Mr. Dead Bunny made me once again acknowledge how much each day is a blessing.  Not to be taken for granted.  Bask in the moment.  In the embrace of a loved one.  In the laugh of a good friend...or enemy.  I am determined to take everything in.  I want to feel life in truth...simply because I can.  Amy Winehouse canNOT any longer. Neither can Bubba.  But I CAN.  And I will one moment at a time.

Yesterday, as I made my way up the same block and onto another....I threw my head back and ate as much air as my lungs would allow.  When I exhaled and concentrated my gaze into my future....across a manicured lawn and into the greenery went a rabbit.  A BUNNY RABBIT!  A living and breathing bunny rabbit!  I smiled...holding back an all out belly laugh and said to the stranger walking by me "Did you see that rabbit!?!"  She didn't respond.  Probably couldn't hear me beyond the blasting earphones plugged in.  Or maybe she just thought I was a crazy.  "You missed it...", I thought. An  unending cycle.  Wow.  I guess life really does go on.  Selah.

bite of the day ~  Live.


May 2, 2011


She said, "He's a punk...I mean he has other people out doing his dirty work and he's holed up in a mansion somewhere..."

The Other She said, "well he grew up rich...THEY don't spend THEIR money on clothes...that's for sure..."

Then She said, "...or razors....or deodorant...."

As nice as both of them seem to be....they are obviously clueless that their conversation crossed a very fine my humble opinion.  Subtle "Justified" prejudice. 

I cringed....trying to recall my earlier comments about Osama Bin Laden's capture, killing & apparent burial in a watery grave.  Had I said (or thought) anything...cringy!?!  I quickly did a self-check...evaluating my words.  My comments reflected the need for proof that the government wasn't lying...that Bin Laden actually is dead...because the "buried at sea" thing is a bit suspect to me.  However, the conversation of my co-workers (who happen to be caucasian and will remain unnamed) went beyond talking about Public Enemy #1 i.e. ONE man who did horrible things...into revealing some prejudice toward a GROUP of people...most of whom are NOT terrorists.  Talking about facial hair and body odor?  C'mon!  That was NOT just addressing Bin Laden.  Mind you, there are three new consultants on the other side of the wall from me, who happen to be of Middle Eastern descent based on their olive skin, dark shiny hair...of course, the most telling clues are the name plates perched on the edge of each of their desks.  They surely heard the conversation.  Sigh. 

Americans have a deep history of arrogance hatred and brutality...especially when WE and/or our way of life is being threatened.  Little things like The Civil War...and slavery...and Jim Crow...and lynching come to mind.... 

The killing of osama bin laden has once again brought to the surface renewed venom for not only him, but the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001...and by default, prejudice toward people unlike ourselves.  When we go beyond being "satisfied" that justice apparently has been served into making blanket statements about a group of people....we see just what is in our hearts.  It's NOT ok.

I'm still debating a sidebar confrontation....sigh.

bite of the day ~ Prejudice is UGLY.  Check yourself.


April 16, 2011

making happy

The tree tops are swaying....tiny leaves starting to burst forth.  I stare out of one of the many windows in this place....looking to God's nature for solace...a sign?  Of what?  I don't know. It's a cloudy rainy windy Spring day and I've been posted up in the apartment for all of it.  Reading, praying, soaking in a hot bubbly African oily bath....listening to my Ipod. Some old Brian McKnight is playing now.  I can't describe how I feel at this moment except to say I'm "making happy".  I'm choosing to.  I make happy when I don't actually FEEL happy.... 

These days I find myself looking at the date, whether on the large electronic sign on the train platform, on my ride's digital dashboard...or on my tiny cell phone screen.....I see the date and it always feels like there's some significance.  Always feels like I'm waiting for something to happen....for some realization to hit.  For some memory to surface that will satisfy that feeling.  It never really comes.  But somewhere deep inside, I feel like I'm on the verge of....something.  And the days keep going by with that lingering feeling chained to my neck.

What I am coming to understand is I have to "make happy"....cause it won't happen by osmosis.  A happy excellent wonderful fulfilling life will NOT happen automatically for anyone.  I have to leave fear behind, take courage and embrace change....embrace, not the future, but the moments I'm living right now.  I have to decide what makes me happy, which sounds simple.  Maybe for some it is.  For me, it's been a challenge to organically decide, not only what makes me happy, but WHAT I WANT.  Not what others want.  Not what I THINK others want from me.  Not what's expected.  But what is in my heart.

I no longer want to be swayed by others (including society) and their actions when it comes to my value, my life.  I will be what I want to be.  My prayer is that my wants line up with what God wants.   No.  Correction: I will be what I AM.  And I will embrace those who are supposed to be in my world....the one that I've made happy.  All others, I have to let go.....

bite of the day ~ Choose to make your life happy, regardless of persons, places (where you find yourself) or things (haves or have nots).


April 13, 2011

seasons change

J'adore Spring!  And this one, although not in full bloom, I am especially looking forward to.  I NEED this Spring.  I need the flowers to burst with color, the trees filled with leaves...I even need the misty showers...warm and wet.  I need the sun to beam down on me....thaw out my icy broken heart.  I am the sun.  I need to learn to shine my light in all seasons of my life. 

Because this winter almost took all of my strength, my faith.  It almost strangled the hope and love out of me.  It almost choked any possibility of dreams fulfilled and destinies reached.  It clawed and jabbed and stabbed and....marked me.  But then.....

I walked a brisk, determined walk to my apartment after work today.  Pulling myself into each step....rushing as usual.  Then I's SPRING.  A dawning came over me as I slowed my pace....observing the now familiar buildings, trees...bushes.  One that looked barren was starting to bud...little baby buds.  I almost missed it for the rush.  I exhaled.  Spring.  I need this.  I want this.  I smile, finally, in this.  My heart is on the mend and I sing inside. GLORY HALLELUJAH!

The winter of my life is over.  What's next?


March 19, 2011

conversations with GOD

dear God:

it was 5 months ago today that i started ...officially started this part of my journey. alone but with courage and strength. ok, maybe the strength wasn't completely my own, nevertheless i drew from it...allowed it to cushion me from the blows of this life.  but it only lasted a short season. maybe that was Your plan.  i had not a clue.  all i know is when the helmet was removed...the body pads...the goggles....the all -weather timberland boots....the thick protective gloves...when all of that was removed, there i stood.  naked, with bloodied hands and feet....legs and arms black & blue...back open....eyes filled with glass tears. and i questioned YOU. screamed "WHERE ARE YOU GOD???"  You quietly answered "I AM".  but i could not hear You for the noise in my head, in my heart. never had i imagined that i would feel so low....uncertain. life, my life was NOT supposed to go like this.  i was the good girl that tried to do everything right.  always wanting to please, to not make mistakes, to be in favor.  i was the one confident in my future because i had done the "right" things.  yet, there i stood...bloodied...bruised & glassy-eyed.  i was hurt and angry and pissed. at You?  i'm still not sure, but i questioned if i wanted You anymore...if i wanted to be the good girl anymore.  what's the point if i end up here anyway?  that was until i finally quieted the screams enough to hear. i heard You.  i felt You again. "I AM".  the glass that had cut and clouded my eyes began to  fall out piece by PEACE.  the black and blue is beginning to give way to my caramel again.  the slices in my back are scabbing over.  HEALING.  yet i still won't exhale.  the journey  is really just beginning.  i am told i haven't  gotten to the hard part yet.  perhaps.  the difference will be i will  cushion myself with YOU.  YOU ARE MY STRENGTH.  selah.

bite of the day ~  Jesus carry me...cause i canNOT walk.


March 11, 2011


It's amazing how quickly everything changes.  Feelings.  Thoughts.  Knowing.  Life.
This time last year, where was I?  Not here. Not. Here.  The walls echo with one voice these days.  Doesn't seem like that will change anytime soon.  Oh.  I remember...last year this time.  I was looking into Hump Year.  Year 7.  Wow.  How quickly things change.  No.  The real.  Things SEEM to change overnight.  Things SEEM to "just happen".  The sucker punches SEEM to come out of nowhere.  But ThE REAL?  The real is nothing happens overnight.  It bubbles under the surface for minutes and moments and days and weeks and...years.  Even 7 Years.  Nothing "just happens".  Happenings happen when choices are made.  Conscious.  Subconscious.  Smart.  Dumb. Quick. Thought-Out....CHOICES.  And those infamous sucker punches.  The kind that catch you off guard.  Maybe with your head turned....back exposed....ready for the end of an invisible yet piercingly sharp knife.  Exposed to the one you thought you could trust.  The one you chose to trust.  The one you loved.  The one you still love.  Yeah....those are the worst kind of sucker punches because they are strong enough to get through the wall that was built brick by brick with each word, look, choice.  Bad choice. sigh.

Bite of the Day ~ The only constant is they say.  Pull your head out of the sand, so at least you can see it coming.