I'm Here


Just a post saying I'm not dead. This whole going home for the holidays thing has kept me way busier than I expected (and not to mention tired) so I've got a post coming, I just have to find the time to do it justice.

Meanwhile, I'll leave you with this (the song that's stuck in my head):

I do HIGHLY recommend Brandy's new album, Human. It's really worth it.


The Boy Is Mine

I had a GREAT post in mind, but so much stuff runs through my mind on a regular basis that it's temporarily lost. Until I recall what that post was, enjoy this little gem.

Brandy and Monica recently performed a bit of their 1998 hit "The Boy is Mine"

And the original video (for all of those of you like me who now need to hear the whole thing)


Random (Invasive) Questions

Today, I got this text message:

"Hey just curious... And not to be offensive but, Do you like women? Ppl ask me do i all the time"

I'm not an easily offended person. And it's hard to be mad at this question because at least she had the (proverbial) balls to ask me instead of asking someone else. Few people these days do stuff like that. I guess I'm not upset (and really, I'm not upset) so much at the question as I am in a)the way it was asked and b)who asked it.

This girl and I went to high school together. We were friends in the way that when you go to a small private school, everyone is friends, especially the outnumbered black folks. She and I never would've been friends in the "real world" at best we might've been good aquaintances. I think we both know this. At this point, high school was 4 years ago. I've since graduated from college. And though we have kept in touch, it's been very random. It wasn't at first, but as we all grew up and realized we didn't actually have to talk to people we didn't like, anymore, people started to fall to the side.

I suppose the straw was when she (N) called me upset that two mutual friends of ours (A and W) were going to Atlanta to celebrate A's birthday. A and N are not really friends, more like frenemies and A has decided that she doesn't have to be around N, so she doesn't want to. It was her b-day, and I understand N was upset, but she took it out on me when I didn't have any say-so in the guest list. I wasn't even mad then (I'm hard to piss off) but I felt like that was a sign that I needed to cut ties.

She's tried to repair that, a little, I think. I'm a nice person -- and there's no reason for me to be a bitch, but I haven't reached out to her as I have in the past.

Anyway, I set all that up to explain how we don't communicate regularly enough for that question to be appropriate. I mean, I'm not gay, but if I were -- how's that any of her business. I try to hit on you, you ask me that. We're good friends, ask me that. You think one of my relationships is "odd" ask me... but you don't just wake up one day when we haven't spoken in at least 9 months and ask me that -- that's random and inappropriate.

I'm not upset with the question, I'm upset with the fact that she asked a personal question and she isn't... well... a personal friend.

I did answer her question because the girl is also a big-mouth. And while I really don't care what people think, I don't want to deal with all that madness.

On another note, I know for a fact she's not the first person to wonder that about me. I used to be really insecure about that. Not so much because of how homosexuality/bisexuality is perceived in our society, but more because if I am heterosexual but people still wonder, what's that say about me (I used to think). I've since grown the hell up and decided it doesn't matter. However, I think one big reason some people in my life wonder this is because I don't put my business in the street. Very few people know anything about my romantic life -- and that's on purpose. I don't need a whole lot of people in my business, I'm a private person, really. But it's interesting that people expect to know all about your relationships and who you're interested in and so forth, otherwise, they figure you're "hiding" something...

Yeah, I'm hiding my own damn business...

When Being Likeable Is Bad

I think I'm a pretty awesome person. One of my friends says that's a sign of narcissim -- but I think it's a fair assessment. I'm pretty darn cool. I find that when I try, I make friends pretty easily -- often more easily than I'd like. I'm not exactly looking to amass a large number of friends and so I try to keep boundaries clear.

Anyway, it has come to my attention that, most likely because of said infectious personality, I've been getting preferential treatment in our office. Now this has been on mundane things like, when work I do comes up for edit (my job is not easy to explain, but one thing I do is write letters that are later edited by a senior member of the office) the "top" guy will come talk or e-mail me about it directly. Even going so far as to re-write what he thinks is best and sending it to me in an e-mail. I thought he did this for everyone but I just learned that most everyone else only has contact with our direct supervisor in this matter and that he'll usually write edits on the paper and send it back through our supervisor. I raise one eyebrow at that.

I realize that example sounds lame -- but when you couple that with the fact that he also will often come to my area of the office and joke around with me... I leave my eyebrow raised.

It never hurts to have people who can help you in your career paying attention (except when you're effin' up) but I don't want my treatment to be seen as anything other than that I work hard. He's not the only senior member in our office who pays specific attention to me and it has come to my attention that people are noticing... and we all know the tale of the haters... I'm just waiting. I mean, I don't want to make this into something if it's not, BUT I also don't like ignoring what's right in front of my face....

We'll see where this goes...



I have a twitter account:

If you have a twitter account, I always follow people who are following me, and even some who aren't, so let's get to twitting.

Unrelatedly, I wanted to post some TLC videos because I love TLC and... really, that's all. So here we go:

Hat 2 Da Back -- 'nuff said

Somethin' Wicked This Way Comes -- no video, but THIS song made me LOVE music... when I was 9. :)

No Scrubs -- by far NOT my favorite TLC song, but it made them relevant in 1999 AND started a new trend of music topics for girl groups.


Don't You Have a Man

First off, I don't do too many plugs, but if you aren't up on Drake, PLEASE get up on him. I don't do hip-hop these days... unless it's 1:30am and I'm drunk in a club somewhere (which RARELY happens... the club part I mean) and I don't know any better. Anyway, I love this dude because he's reminding me that popular hip-hop is not real hip-hop and real hip-hop still exists. Check out the end of the post for a random factoid about him.

Anyway, the idea for this post came up because me and a friend were talking about how one of her close friends got mad at her last night because she (the friend) thinks that my friend is neglecting her for other friends. My friend said to me, "these chicks in my life be wanting me to be their man and I can't be that, by any means..." and I really had to agree with her. The girl who was upset with her felt that my friend was sharing intimate details with someone else that she used to share directly with her. It's like she felt my friend was cheating. So many people create a void when they're not in a relationship and then fill that void with another person, unbeknownst to that person. I said before:
While I think that there really is something pretty deep that separates a
romantic relationship from a deep friendship, I think that line is being blurred
more and more in our society. We have the types of relationships with friends
that was once saved for only romantic and committed relationships. We use
friends to support us in ways that was once something done only by a significant

So when we blur those lines of what is a friend and what's a romantic relationship (and, my boy JT did a GREAT job on discussing how those two things are very much related, even interrelated) we start to create problems.

I can reflect on quite a few friendships where, in hindsight, I was a surrogate significant other. It's not sexual (clearly) but all that other stuff -- constant companionship, expectations, etc... were there. And because I'm the comethrough kid, I get caught up and don't realize. When my friend said that to me, I immediately thought of another friend who, since she got in a relationship, has not been on my jock like normal. Let it be known, I haven't been upset because being "that" person is rough when 5 people want you to be "that person" so I guess I was far too relieved to really notice how her sudden relationship meant she wasn't calling me as much.

I do want to point out that I say people who do this are filling a void that they created. In my opinion, being single does not mean there is a void in your life. The person with whom you are in a relationship is not making you whole. He or she should simply be complementing you and making you better. Without him or her, you should be fine. If this isn't the case, you have a whole new set of problems you need to deal with and believe you me, no relationship created in such a way will work. I mean think about it, if you're having to be in a relationship and carry your share of the weight AND make someone a complete person, you're doing a lot of work compared to the other person who is just... well... lying there.

Like my friend said, I'm all about being a good friend to you, through the ups and downs and good times and bad times -- but I'm not your man. I'm not trying to be your man (for many reasons) and I can't fill whatever void you've created. the only thing I can do is just be a good friend. And just because my attention is sometimes focused elsewhere (whether it be on myself, another friend or nothing at all) that doesn't make me a bad friend and doesn't mean I care any less.

It is YOUR #1 priority to take care of yourself. Not mine. I'm just here, as a friend, to help you with that -- and even if I were your man, that's really still all I'd be responsible for.

Drake factoid:

Don't know how many of you ever heard of Degrassi: The Next Generation, but Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) was a key character (Jimmy Brooks) on the show for its first 6 seasons (it's now on it's 8th season). Here's a clip:

I promise, he raps much better as Drake. :)

Is You Gay or Is You Ain't

Siditty over at Siditty: Angry & Black Since 1976 posted the video below and has a dialogue going on about whether or not sleeping with members of the same sex makes you gay.

First the video:

He might have a point about not knowing whether or not the person performing oral sex on you is male or female, but that doesn't support his argument. If you knowingly have sexual interaction with people of the same sex you're not heterosexual.

But, as I've discussed before, are we boiling sexual orientation down to who's in your bed at night? In other words, is it as simple as who you have sex with? On that youtube video, someone asks "what about the people who've never had sex with someone of the same sex, but consider themselves gay?" and I ask the sister question: "How did the 40-yr old virgin know he was straight?" If it's only about who you have sex with, then how does anyone know their orientation until their first sexual experience?

So the answer/counter argument is, it's about who you're sexually attracted to. And I buy that on most levels, but I know plenty of people (I'm not one of them, since I think sex is kinda a big deal) who will "stick [their] thing in any thing" (click the link if you don't know where that quote comes from) regardless of attraction and that's fine -- to each his own, but if that's the case, doesn't it poke a hole in the idea that it's only about who you're attracted to? Maybe one could argue that those people are factions and don't represent the whole, but in our day and age, I don't know if we can be sure about that.

These aren't easy questions. Ultimately, your sexuality is your business (less'n you're sleeping with everybody and telling nobody because DISEASE IS REAL) and if you want to claim to be straight while sleeping with people of the same sex, as long as you also cop to your extracurricular sex activities, that's fine with me. I won't be sleeping with you, but I think honesty is important and it's fair to do what you want with whom you please. At the end of the day, these are just labels meant to put everyone in a box, because people like boxes.


Take Care and Next

I hate when people say "take care..." it sounds so insincere; but maybe that's because the people in my life who say it are insincere with most stuff anyway...

I've been playing this song over and over. Not sure why, but Next was underrated.


STFU and have a coke and a smile

In an e-mail, a guy I know, laid out the following scenario:
He and his family were invited to a friend's party where, it turns out, the husband had invited most of the males and his wife most, if not all, of the females. Many of the men there (but not my friend, not that it matters, just a point of clarification) were black men who brought their non-black girlfriends. Many of the black women there made their disapproval very much known and made many of the interracial couples uncomfortable -- this became very obvious when one couple left early. My friend pulled the host to the side and asked him about it, at which point the host revealed that the women were his wife's friends and that he was upset with their attitude as well.

Three things get me heated about this story.

1) Check your friends at the door. We all know our friends temperaments (and if you don't, reconsider that friend status). I know which of my friends would be like these women and if I invited them to my place (which, let me say, their invitation would not be guaranteed) where I knew interracial couples would be there, they would most definitely get that little kid in the car conversation. We all know it, the one where your mom shuts the car off and turns around very slowly and says "If you embarrass me when we get inside this house/store/church, etc... I will wear your behind out when we get home..." and my friends know how I am about stuff like that so they would know to check all that madness quickly. And if they didn't, best believe I would embarrass the SHIT out of them for being so ignorant. There is a place and time for ignorance and best believe I expect folks to know it.

2) Where was the husband? If my boyfriend and I threw a party together and his guests were disrespecting my guests, if I didn't feel it was my place to call them out, I would go straight to him and PLEASE believe that if he didn't do anything, I surely would call them out myself.

3) If I go to an event with my boyfriend that he was invited to, and he is the only person I know, and other guests start making rude comments about the two of us together, I do expect him to say something to somebody and if he doesn't, understand the type of REAL issue we'll have as soon as I get him in the car. I'm really not one to make a scene, because there is a way to say everything to everybody -- but I would make my opinions known to somebody.

I don't want to be disrespected, I don't want my friends disrespected, I don't want folks I've welcomed into my house disrespected -- whatever I have to do to keep that level, that's what needs to be done, in my opinion...

Now, the fact that these women were upset about a black man with a non-black woman in 2008, damn near 2009 is a WHOLE other issue, that I'm not sure I even want to address because I think that's dumb. Why can't people just say "it's your thing, it's not my thing, and that's fine..." I think it's fine if as an individual you don't approve of interracial dating, but last I checked, that was nobody's issue but your own and your issues need to stay with you in your world. The end on that.


Returns on Investments

Return on investment or ROI is a figure of merit used to help make capital investment decisions.

Or, in my case, ROI is used to help make relationship decisions. In fact, ROI being used as such has come up a few times for me, recently. When asked what my issue with being in a relationship is (and, let it be known that it has yet to be proven that I have an "issue", but that's another post) I said, among other things, ROI. That is, I'm not putting in 100% only to get -100% back. Been there, done that, not feeling it.

Then today, a friend said to me, "you know I recently got called out, for lack of a better term, for being all about ROI in every aspect of life... from social, to family, to work..." and I got to thinking... ROI is important in every aspect of life. What is the point of giving yourself to something that doesn't give back? You wouldn't do it with your money, so why do it with yourself? Further, how could anyone call you out on that? If you don't go into something at least somewhat cognizant of what you might get back, then what are you doing?

And just like with your money, the ROI from a relationship is a risk you take. You might give a lot and get a lot, but you might give a lot and get nothing -- it just depends and you won't know until it's over. This doesn't mean you don't take the risk, it means you do your homework, you know what the signs of a good potential for ROI (aka deal breakers) and you base your decision on that. Doesn't mean you'll get all you were hoping for, but it surely puts you in a better place.

On a lot of levels, if we treated our emotional well-being and relationships like we treat our money, we might come out a little better. I guess that's hard to do because emotions are involved and emotions make EVERYTHING harder to do.


Deal Breakers

In the last post I mentioned having deal breakers. In the last year I realized the important part they play in adding the right kind of people to your life.

Deal Breakers are the things that either with or without, you have to leave a relationship. Be that a romantic one or friendship or even business relationship. When you know what your deal breakers are and can effectively communicate them, it helps people know what you want but most importantly, they help you know what you want. I'm not sure my personal deal breaker list is exhaustive, but it's a far cry from where I was. My deal breakers apply (except where obvious) to any kind of relationship.

  1. I don't deal with liars. That's pretty self explanatory
  2. You must have ambition, be going somewhere, have an and goal, and you MUST be doing things every day to get you to that place. We all know people with master plans but they've had the same master plan for 7 years.
  3. Must be able to handle my sarcasm. I just am sarcastic and whether that's a fatal character flaw or not, I am and you have to be able to handle that.
It's not a lot, but those are some of the important things to me. The deal breakers...

If you have some of your own deal breakers, post 'em!


Cheating in Long Distance Relationships

I've discussed cheating before. But on a long road trip, the following two-part question was posed:
If you're in a long distance relationship that looks like it's going the
distance, is it really wrong to cheat as long as you do it purely for physical
reasons and not because your relationship is difficult? And is cheating only
wrong when you get caught?
Ok. First up: as I've said before, cheating is wrong and there's just no two-ways about it. If you're in a relationship with someone who believes it to be monogamous and you take advantage of that (cheating) you're wrong and a bad person. If you feel like it should be ok for the two of you to see and/or sleep with other people then that's a conversation to be had with your significant other. If they agree, great. If not, then you need to decide if that's a deal breaker (and we should all know what our deal breakers are in a relationship...). If it is, end the relationship, if not, keep your pants zipped up until you're with your boo. No. That's not simple, ideal or easy. It's complicated, but that's the nature of LDRs and why I caution anyone on being in one. Some people make it look easy, but believe me -- they have problems. So I don't care why you step outside your relationship, if the other person doesn't know and doesn't approve then you're wrong for abusing their trust.

As for cheating being wrong... yes... it's wrong before you get caught and definitely wrong when you get caught. But here's where I bring up an interesting point: I have a friend who has cheated on her boyfriend and has decided to keep it to herself. Why? Well what's the point in telling him? She didn't do it because she's upset with him, or even with their relationship. She found herself in a situation where she could have some needs met and she took that opportunity. Per my last paragraph, she was in the wrong every which way but Sunday, BUT telling him would only hurt him and what's that do?

I had another friend who wanted to reveal to her boyfriend of 1.5 yrs that she'd cheated on him with over 10 different guys. Why? Because she wanted to break up and he didn't. Also because she wanted to purge her soul. "I feel like God isn't going to bless me in my next relationship," she said. "Well, whatever punishment God has for you or karma is coming your way, is on it's way because you did the deed and 'purging your soul' won't change that," I responded. There are MANY things my ex- did behind my back that he later revealed that I so strongly wish he hadn't. It tarnished many of memories that didn't need to be tarnished and did NOTHING in the way of helping me get over what happened.

Cheating is one of those things I think should only be revealed in the most dire of situations. Should you tell your friend you slept with her boyfriend? Depends on the intention. If you're trying to hurt her and steal her man, that's messed up. If you just want to purge your soul, that's messed up... but if you feel bad, have no intentions of getting with him and want your friend to know what a low-down dude she's dealing with, well then... that's different. But RARELY is that the case. Ultimately when we tell on ourselves, it's for our own gain. People don't just decide the right thing to do is to tell the truth and do that. Even those of us who will let the cashier know she gave us $5 too much back do it because we'd feel guilty otherwise. Not because we think it's important that her register be balanced at the end of the day. We're selfish by nature. Always looking out for that *star* player.

So there's no good answer to any of this, except be careful or have a damn good case to present for why you and your significant other should explore the land of "doing our own thing" :)

Family, Friends and Enemies

We know the old adage. Keep your friends closer and your enemies closer. And at different times in my life, I've supported that and disagreed with it. I guess it depends on what kind of enemies and friends you got and whether or not you can tell 'em apart. In any case, what do you do with family? I firmly believe that your choice of friends is a reflection on yourself. I've said:
some of us, based on the friends we choose, don't like ourselves...
I think it's very important that the type of people we surround ourselves with are only on the up and up. Like Katt Williams said "we keep it pushin' 'round here..." But, you don't get to pick your family. It's the luck of the draw. Some of us are blessed to have loving, caring families and others of us have been slapped with the worst of the worst. Most of us, though, fall somewhere in the middle... functionally dysfunctional and in my case, that has turned out to be the best thing. I love my family and feel blessed. It's because of that, that I have such a hard time really understanding families that are horrid.

I have a friend in an interracial relationship. Her grandfather isn't speaking to her. Not because of her boyfriend but because her roommate is a gay black male. She's scared to death to tell her grandmother about her boyfriend for fear that she'll cut her off as well. My cousins and I and other family members have made not great decisions in our lives, but never has anyone been cut off. Even when they've tried to desert us, when they decided they needed family, we were still there. Functionally dysfunctional and all.

Then there's another friend whose brother has been screwing her over for a long time. Most recently, she paid to bring him to where she is after his girlfriend put him out and to help him get back on his feet. To repay her for all she's done for him, he first stole a credit card and now he's stolen hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars worth of stuff from her and pawned it. And then when busted, refused to help her get it out of the pawn shop (just for future reference, if someone steals your crap and pawns it, be prepared to take the legal route to get it back). So clearly she's put him out, but still... I don't care how criminal you are, when your family tries to help you out when no one else will the least you can do is STFU and leave them out of your illegal crap. And aside from her anger at the fact that her stuff was stolen from her, I'm sure there's some sadness. Because even when your family is effin up, you think they won't do it to you.

On a different, yet equally as depressing, note, I found out a co-worker of mine was let go today. She will continue to work through the end of the year, but it was a shock for her and for us as well. I know nothing of the details, but I know she didn't see it coming. I work for the government, so you can't chalk this up to the economy... which kinda makes it worse... so far, my Holiday season is NOT getting off to the best start, but I know it'll get better...



I'm walking irony. There are plenty of things that are true about me that directly conflict with other things that are also true about me.

Case in point: I don't take a whole lot of shit off people, but for those I care about, I'm a MAJOR sucker. I referenced this in a previous post.
I just don't know any other way. I don't know how to not be consistent. Being
there for the people I care about is important to me

What I've discovered and am slowly coming to accept is that this attitude towards friendship, for whatever reason, consistently lends itself to opening up to "users"

And by user, I simply mean someone whose sole intent in pursuing a relationship (of whatever sort) is to gain what they can and immediately walk away when they have gotten all they can. OR (and this type is harder to spot) one who maintains a relationship, doing the least amount of work, for the greatest gain.

Now, people will only do what you require them to do. That's just the rule, per human nature. Also, I've discussed and pondered what role I play in how it is I find myself in these frustrating situations and I admit that by not demanding that people treat me better, they will continue to treat me in whatever way is "easiest for them." But I'm slowly reaching my breaking point.

I don't have many friends in my life that I speak to everyday. The reason is, I'd get frustrated and bored with them. So when I say "so-and-so never calls" I don't mean they do call, just not as often as I'd like, I mean they never call, don't text, can't be bothered to send an e-mail won't return my attempts at contact, etc... and honestly, that in and of itself doesn't bother me. We all need breaks, relationships go through ebbs and flows and you have to be prepared for that (as I've mentioned before). But you don't get to do all of that, and then only have time to contact me when you need something.

You know, I can even deal with the types who right before or right after will feign interest in your life so as not to reveal what this is really about. Though, I do hate when people treat me like I'm stupid, at least the attempt to cover their tracks should be noted. It's when they don't care enough to pretend to care, that it gets me.

I hate a lot of things about how people act, one of them is people treating me like I'm stupid, more than that though is when people take others for granted and that's what I'm watching happen to me, right now. I'm seeing the very act of someone taking me for granted and not being concerned.

I suppose the question is really to me. What am I going to do about it? I have a lot of options, including cutting them off -- but I can't do that. I should do that, but I can't. Right now, it seems like I'll just be venting here on the ol' blog and stewing while I come up with a proper response...

Meanwhile, I'm also wondering, WHY do people do that? What life lesson did I learn that makes me not use people that others didn't get? Or maybe what life lesson did they learn that I didn't that makes using others ok? Is this some larger commentary on our society? If I have kids, I want to instill in them that they will do many important things in their lifetime, and one of the most important will be to make quality, lasting friendships with people. And that those friendships will be a testament to them as a person, long after they're gone. It will be like the air that follows you when you walk. The relationships they form will contribute to their lasting legacy and so they should treat them like the important things they are. Taking the time to choose people who are worthy of their effort and then putting forth the greatest effort they can. Unlike their mother who seems to understand this, but not well enough to put it into action...