Wednesday, January 4, 2012

a change gon' come

It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

yeah, i know that it's already 4 days into the new year so my proclamation seems late but it's never too late to make a change.  a change is coming for this blog.  a new name and theme with corresponding tumblr page are in the works so stay tuned.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

the boys all pause

what i wrote back then (june 2010):  the twittersphere was all...a-twitter after this week's episode of the boondocks aired.  aaron mcgruder's satirization of tyler perry was hilarious and blatant.  but some people were turned off by what was perceived as homophobia.  if all you heard was riley punctuating sentences with "no homo" or if you felt queasy because grand-dad didn't want to kiss winston jerome, i can kind of see where you're coming from but then that means that you missed the point.  i'm not going to proclaim that i know what aaron mcgruder was thinking but here is what i had to say in response to a question posed about tyler being "publicly outed" over at parlour magazine.

tyler perry outs himself every time he dons the madea get-up. i had refrained from joining the debate on twitter because let’s face it, debating within 140 characters is limiting & frustrating and it’s so easy to be misconstrued. anyway, i loved that episode. contrary to some people’s belief that it was homophobic, i think that the denial of any homosexual tendencies is self-hating and in a way, homophobic.
but that’s not even why i don’t like tyler perry. aside from the same story line that seems to run through everything he does (can you grow/expand some?), i’m offended by his caricature of black women. yes, the most obvious caricature is madea (i don’t know why people still think men dressing up as women is still funny. and why couldn’t he get a black woman to play the matriarch?!) but all of the 1.5 dimensional women fall into the 3 stereotypes of black women – the mammy (sheila/jill scott), sapphire (angela/tasha smith) and the jezebel (trina/denise boutte). these characters are from “why did i get married?” but they are reoccurring in almost all of perry’s works.
rants aside, i am still optimistic about “for colored girls…” because he is just producing it. the story is already written and he would be hard pressed to twist shange’s vision.
 now:  umm.  what can i say that hasn't already been said?  i plead the 5th.

the writing's on the wall continued

i haven't posted in over a year and a half.  so much has happened during that time.  so much - i changed jobs like 3 times all within the same company. i had to close a program down and lay off staff in this terrible economy again, all while my family was experiencing economic troubles.  i was diagnosed with hypertension (like really dangerous hypertension - 192/115) and i found out that i was pregnant.  pregnant and almost 40.

i've wanted to blog but either i was torn about how much to share with the internets or i just didn't have enough energy. of course i've been reading blogs (mostly about fashion) and leaving comments but that was easy.  it wasn't an emotional task for me.  each day that i would click on blogger to catch up on the latest trends and who's wearing what, i would feel a little twinge of guilt that i wasn't not putting any energy into what i claimed to love.  i wished that i could express my passion like my favorite bloggers.

a few days ago, one of the fashion bloggers that i just started following left a comment on one of my posts, the first "writing's on the wall" post.  her willingness to share such intimate parts of her life on my blog touched me.  it forced me to respond and so here i am.

@ Style4Curves, i am so sorry for your losses.  i know that this sounds cliche, but maybe it wasn't your time.  as a fellow chronic planner, i  had to learn the hard way several times.  i had planned almost every step of my life with at least three contingency plans for each step.  so of course, i stressed over every detail and even more when things didn't go as planned.  this high level of stress eventually contributed to hypertension, which unfortunately i ignored because i had too many other things to worry about. (it's funny how we pick and choose which signs we pay attention to.)  that diagnosis was one of the wall writings that i chose to ignore.  (isn't is also funny how the writing doesn't disappear simply because we ignore it?  we keep going through the same trial, remixed but the same, until we learn the lesson we're supposed to learn.) one of the most recent times found me on a hospital bed for the third time during my last pregnancy, being told that my hypertension might kill my unborn baby or me or both of us. that is actually a legitimate reason to worry but it was a catch 22.  worry and jeopardize my life and pregnancy or let go and let whatever was going to happen happen.  "let go and let God."  "whatever will be, will be."  pick a cliche but know that it wasn't easy either way.  i had to be reminded that everything has it's own time and order and that sometimes, the order of things is not going to be clear to me.  i had to learn to trust - trust myself to know that i am resourceful and resilient enough to be ok no matter what happened and trust that the powers that be/my higher power/God had a plan for me.  that plan is still unfolding for me and it hasn't been all happily ever after but i am happy.  
now back to you,  maybe it wasn't your time.  maybe planning everything is affecting your health and in turn your reproductive health.  i don't know.  i don't even know enough to say that if you stop wanting it so much that it will happen.  what i do know is that you have to learn to be ok regardless.  look at other ways to utilize your maternal energy.  motherhood is not simply giving birth to a child.  there are thousands of children that need a mother.  look into being a foster or an adoptive parent.  explore being a mentor.  use this time to write more (yes, i am THE black pot talking to the kettle) and research ways to make money so that you don't have to be a starving artist.  take this time to step back and look at the writing on your wall from every angle.  what themes have been reoccurring in your life?  as i type this advice to you, i am asking myself the same questions.  but your comment, the literal writing on the wall, has told me that i need to get back to writing.  it's also encouraging me to start studying for my licensing exam so i can charge for my counseling services (see, a way to make money with my dreams).  thank you for sharing with me and thank you for getting me to look up again at the writing on my wall.

Monday, May 10, 2010

the writing's on the wall...

i see patterns clearly.  those random occurrences that some consider coincidences, i see as everyday miracles, works of fate.  i look forward to seeing them. in fact, i look for them.  it's like i'm looking for reassurance that i'm on the right path, that i'm doing what i'm supposed to be doing.  some pray for signs.  i don't.  honestly, i haven't prayed for much lately, other than strength.  i just look around and smile when i see the pattern.  the random occurrences. the everyday miracles.  the writing on the wall.  or in this case, the writing on the screen.  

i had been putting off resetting my password for one of the several systems i use at work for almost two weeks now.  i like my current password.  it's cute and easy for me to remember and that's very important since i have at least 8 passwords to remember for work.  so today when i tried to log in and couldn't after several tries, i knew that i had to finally get a new one.  boo.  anyway, i called the helpdesk and was given my new password.  AUTHOR.  the writing on the screen, the random password selection had chosen AUTHOR as my new password.  is it a sign that i should write more and realize my dream to become an author?  that's how i'm taking it.  what's the writing on the wall telling you?

Monday, May 3, 2010

getting out and taking a chance...

last night, the air was thick and heavy with possibilities. it felt like anything could happen and i wanted to be off my block when it did. it started with a trip to barnes & nobles and then a stroll across atlantic ave. on court street. i had never been on court st. on that side of the avenue, over there by trader joe's. before that trader joe's opened, it always seemed like there was an invisible wall or some kind of spell that made you not even interested enough to look down that way. i don't know what made us look over there last night but we did. maybe it was how the lights were twinkling. i do recall how movie set clean the block looked. anyway, it took forever to cross atlantic but when we did, it was if the veil had been lifted. there was a steady flow of traffic in and out of trader joe's but it thinned out as we went down the block. after wading through all of the hemp totebags and scooters, we encountered the standard fare - trendy boutiques and restaurants, world of bennetton crews, baby strollers and hyperactive mini dogs. ahh, park slope. nothing new but it was a welcomed break from our block. weeksville, that historical slice of brooklyn on the border of bed-stuy and crown heights that no-one seems to know or remember anymore, is rough. in fact, we walked by 2 curb barbecues, the beginnings of a drunken serenade, and two soused old men scheming on how they were gonna get their next king cobra (that's malt liquor, y'all) on our way to the train station. anyway, we just missed a wine tasting at the brooklyn wine exchange but we picked up a garnacha bielsa (red for him) and a quattro mani toh-kai (white for me). how bourgie of us, lol.

court street was nice but we turned down bergen to get to smith street. after walking down several blocks and checking out several menus, we decided on this cute asian restaurant on the corner with outdoor seating. chance asian bistro on smith and butler is now officially my new favorite restaurant. my boyfriend buddha had a prix fixe dinner with wasabi lobster tempura as an appetizer, filet mignon for the entree and coconut mille crepes for dessert with a sangria. i also had a prix fixe dinner but i had the jalapeno calamari, crispy tropical chicken in a warm pickled ginger sauce and the yamamomo (japanese plum) creme brulee with a nigori sake berry martini. we also each had an extra appetizer. i had the spicy thai mussels and he had the steamed chicken shu mai dim sum and the deep-fried shrimp wontons. sounds like a lot of food, right? it wasn't. the portions were just right. the food was well-seasoned. the flavors were distinct and not muddled. i could identify the ginger, scallions, coconut milk and the red curry paste in the broth for my mussels. that broth was so good that we both spooned some over our jasmine rice. everything was delicious. everything! i had no complaints. at. all. the food was orgasmic and the restaurant itself was modern and sexy. we had already started planning our next visit before we had even finished our appetizers. sigh.

the night continued with us watching our DVRd sunday line-up. FOX aired one of the most uncomfortable hour long family guy specials ever. i still love them but last night's episode was just crazily inappropriate. talk about pregnant pauses and awkward laughs. i guess it prepared us for the season premiere of the boondocks. that shit right, listen. i'll have to dedicate a separate post for that later. i'm still processing everything i saw and heard. i will say, like i said on twitter (follow me @ashaknows), that someone needs to write their thesis on uncle ruckus in "post-racial" america and entitle it "a splish-splash of irish". ha! anyway, the night ended with a lightening show and a relatively quick steady rain. i thought the rain would break the humidity but the air was just as charged when i woke up this morning. hmmm, i wonder what else this week will bring. i don't know but i'm willing to take a chance and find out.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

hey. i wish i could come up with a witty greeting to welcome you back or to reintroduce myself but all i can seem to manage is a simple "hey". it's been too long, people. almost a year. and what has been keeping me away? well, everything and nothing. so much has happened over the past several months that i should have written at least two books but it has been hell trying to process the experience in a way that i could get it down on paper (or in this case, ready to post). while sometimes the words don't fit in my mouth, lately it seems as if words were too weak to define...wait, i'm getting caught up in jessica care moore and the purple one's lyrics. you get the point though.

at times, there was so much going on that the most natural way to cope would have been to write but i couldn't seem to focus the swarm of emotion into coherent words. wordplay turned to a battle of words that wore on my nervous system, causing tension headaches verging on migraines. i know my blood pressure is elevated and what that could mean and so, that becomes yet another thing to worry about. calm on the surface but throbbing, pulsating, crashing waves beneath. i know i needed a release and soon or else i was liable to implode or explode and God help the innocent bystanders.

so here i am, a bubbling cauldron of ___________waiting to be stirred lest i boil over and scauld someone. if you're reading this, i assume that you're ready for the journey and wherever it may lead so lift the lid and let's get this going.

p.s. please leave comments so i know that you're there.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

to all the men that i've ever loved...

if i've ever made you feel like you had to make up for the sins of my father, i apologize.

Can I talk to you, baby

When I was a little girl
I didn't have a father
And that's why I'm leaning on you..
When I was a baby
I didn't get a hug from daddy
That's why I need a hug from you..

Ohh, It's not easy and
I thank you for putting up with me
When you don't have a daddy's love

To say that you...
To say that I'm your little girl
(Are his little girl, Oh why didn't you love me)
And give you the love..(I need love yeah yeah yeah)
you really deserve (And i believe I deserve it And that's why

That's why I need, The father in you
(I need the father in you, baby)
That's why I need, (Please don't hurt me please)
The father in you
That's why I need (Oh that's why)
The father in you (Really need you)
That's why I need (Please be true)
The father in you

Oh, things got bad, to the point
Where mommy couldn't hold us down
And that's when it hurt me so much
To see her, To see her cry
(Oh don't cry, momma don't cry momma)
Each and every night
(We're gonna be alright that's what I used to say)
I said that some day
That I would try to take his place
But it was too hard;
It was so hard trying to be a man and a woman
And that's why I need the father in you

That's why I need, (oh I needed)
The father in you, (I put my trust on you)
That's why I need, (Please don't let me domn)
The father in you.
That's why I need,
The father in you (I need the father in you)
That's why I need (Hold my hand)
The father in you


Because we never had one at home
(No No No) As a little girl...
So I understand, why daddy couldn't be there
Cause it's so obvious nobody taught him, how to be father to me
Oh and I'm not sayin this
to reminisce on the past
I'm just saying this to make you understand, That I needed a father
And this is my problem
This is why I couldn't keep no one
This is why I couldn't stay alone
I was so scared alone
Every woman needs a man
And I don't think she understands
That she really needs a father
The father in you, my brother
She really needed the father
The father in you.
When your wife is speaking fellas
Pay attention,Yeah,don't ignore her
No,no,no I really need the father in you.
- MJB "Father in You"

i love mary, god knows i do. she's the truth and she usually tells the truth. but i don't want my lover to be my daddy. i want joe, the man that my mother used to love, to be my daddy. fortunately, he's still alive so i have an opportunity to build some kind of relationship with him. i've started and stopped but i need to be more consistent. i called him today (i usually call him on his birthday too). i stumbled over how to greet him and how to identify myself but settled on calling him daddy and referring to myself as "norma's kim". [sidenote: i have several half siblings and share the same first name (and middle initial i believe) as one of my older sisters and one of her daughters. maybe that's one of the reasons why i don't like to be called kim. hmmm...]

i have no poetic prose or jokes today. simply, be a father to your children. women, don't get in the way. children, know that someone loves you. their title does not matter.