Is This New Slang?

I went on a hiatus for a minute. You can read some about it here -- I may do a post on what it was all about.

Last night was my first evening "plugged back in." I was on the phone, texting, checking facebook, on twitter, etc... Of course I had a lot of texts to return and one was to a male friend of mine. We'll call him Jared.

My background with Jared is... umm... not easy to explain. But we've never dated and never slept together. For all intents and purposes we're just friends. ::blink, blink::

Right before my technological unplug, I learned he'd gotten a new phone and was looking for numbers. I text him my number and he never responded.

When I turned my phone back on, his text was one of the first I got. It was simple "Hey Ash. How are you?"

When I text him back, I pre-empted the obvious question by telling him I'd had my phone off for a few days and I was sorry for missing his text. "Too many dudes calling?" he asked.

We went back and forth for awhile before he sent me a random one that just said "kiss, kiss"


In one of our previous conversations he said something jokingly about coming to visit, so I asked him about it.

Me: So when are you coming up to DC to visit?
Jared: Idk. You got half on a ticket?
Me: ::blink, blink::

My BFF wouldn't ask me to pay for half of his ticket to DC to visit. And though this isn't about chivalry or men/women roles, I'll add that he (my BFF) would offer to pay for my ticket/pay for my ticket if I asked.

But the crickets came from a place of trying to understand why I would even consider paying for half his ticket.

Because I really want you to come?
Because I owe you?
Because -- well, that's all I got.

After playing a couple of rounds on Mario Kart, I decided to respond with "I'm moving back home soon -- gotta save for that..."

"Ok," he said.

And like all our other convos, that was the end of that. Awkward, huh?

But as I've shared that short portion of our exchange with people, I've started to feel more and more "some type of way" about it.

Like why would you ask me that, in the first place. No, really?

One of my friends tells me I over-analyze things. I don't agree -- I just like knowing why people do what they do. It's what get's me in trouble because I press people. I don't want your prepped answer, I want the real and most times the only way to get the real is through subversive tactics.

So, I legitimately entertain foolishness, searching for "the bottom." I'll have to be honest, I rarely find it -- but that doesn't stop my search.

But there's an implication to a question like that that I struggle to put my finger on and I think that's what's got me feeling "some type of way." Maybe, just maybe, I have some ideal of how things should progress with us, if they're going to progress at all (in this moment, I don't care so much about progression as much as process(ion)) and maybe I think the way he seems to be trying to progress is indicative of some unacceptable assumptions.

Assumptions like he can have something that he can't.

Or that I'm a typer of person that I'm not.

Am I being vague and euphemsitic enough for you?

Anyway, as usual, I'm just processing all this, so I'll update you if I come up with something concrete.


Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes

I'm pausing a self-imposed "break" from life for this post... I'll be back, in some form or fashion, sometime later this week...

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, we've not seen anyone like Lisa "Left-Eye" Lopes before or since her death. I say that as a stan, but also because it is very true. It's unfortunate that her genius is often overshadowed in the telling of her life's story by failed relationships and mistakes in personal choices. We forget that she was the creative force behind TLC from the condoms they wore in the early days to the set design on their Fanmail tour, which happened to be the last tour they did as a trio.

Sometimes I wonder if Left-Eye's genius ever would have truly been celebrated and recognized. Shortly before her death, she had signed to Suge Knight's Tha Row records and was recording under the pseudonym "N.I.N.A." which stood for "New Identity Not Applicable." We all know that while Death Row Records at one time ran the music business with regards to gangsta rap, we also all know that Suge Knight had a way of picking artists at their low points and screwing them over in the end.

But, we won't dwell on what wasn't, only what was. Check out a few of my favorite Left-Eye raps below...

You can also go here to read more of my thoughts...


Guest Post: SWPD

I've done another guest post for one of my favorite blogs, Stuff White People Do
I attended undergrad in Nashville, Tennessee. I wouldn't normally disclose that, but Nashville is often called the Athens of the South because of all the colleges and universities there. Nashville has 20 of them, ranging from an auto diesel college to one of the premiere private universities in the nation. Therefore, it would reason that if I tell you I went to school in Nashville, you would ask me which one -- there are so many possibilities, the odds of you guessing correctly are clearly not in your favor.

My current job requires that I frequently meet with people, mostly white, from the great state of Tennessee. They're often a little surprised (I can see it in their faces) when they meet me. Between my race-neutral name, race-neutral pattern of speaking (of course, we know that while I say "race-neutral," both my name and the way I often speak are characterized as "white"), people often show up expecting to see someone of a far lighter hue than me. I also lack a noticeable southern accent, though I was born and raised there, so people will often question me about where I'm from. I always say, "I was born and raised in Chattanooga and went to school in Nashville."

A handful of people will nod and move on, but the vast majority of them follow that question up with, "where did you go to school?" and far too many of those people continue by answering for me, "TSU?"
Read the rest of the post here


Check Yourself...

Subtitled: I'm going all the way in, cause it's all the way live...

Some good friends of mine -- more like family -- ok, their whiteness aside, if you saw us out, you'd SWEAR they were my family (parents, brothers...) have fallen prey to both our ridiculous economy and some subpar individuals and they lost their home. While I was home this weekend, I spent half my day helping them move their stuff to a storage unit (the first half of my day was spent in the E.R. -- kidney stones -- worst pain EVER).

In talking to them, I was reminded of a people-habit I can't stand. I call it the "Hit Dogs Holler" syndrome (license pending). If you throw a lone rock into a pack of unsuspecting dogs, whichever dog got hit will holler...

There's really only one person responsible for Edward (not his real name) losing his job and thus being unable to pay the mortgage on the family home (and it's not Edward). However, there are A TON of other people who know what happened and aren't asking questions...

But what those people ARE doing is calling the family and asking a lot of leading questions and making a lot of out of line statements.

Sarah (not her real name) broke it down for me like this:
They call and they ask how we are. Then they ask how the job hunt's coming. And when I tell them we lost our house because we were promised payments we never received, they get really quiet and suddenly don't want to talk about it.

But there are others who are so determined to "identify" with what we're going through. They talk about how they lost their job once or how they went through a really rough time, but the thing about it is, they didn't lose their homes, they were able to draw unemployment because their boss paid into the system. They were able to stay afloat. They can't identify with what we're going through.

I ask them, "did you lose your home? No. You didn't. So shut up"

My favorite people, though, are the ones who call like they want me to absolve them of their part in what happened. So many people know the truth, but won't step up to the plate and they call me like I'm supposed to understand. I don't.
Why can't people hear you're going through a struggle and just say they're sorry? Or say they understand this is difficult?

But more than that, what's with people who know they did you wrong calling you and wanting you to act like everything's ok?

One more case...

I had a status up once -- maybe facebook, maybe gchat -- that expressed my anger at people who take, take, take and never give. I think I said something like, "before you ask someone to do something for you, try to think of the last time you did something for them, and if they happen to tell you 'hell no' you'll already know why."

I got a LOT of phone calls/texts/emails off that. Some of them had explanations for why they do that (take take take), others all but said, "were you talking about me..."

A friend of mine and I talked about how when people pipe up because of statuses they read, it's usually a good sign they're a guilty party and they know it.

Maybe it's human nature to read something negative, recognize ourselves in it, and feel the need to seek someone to absolve you of your "sins" but... we gotta get that together. If you're sorry, say that. If you're not -- well, that's cool. Keep it pushing, though. I can't proclaim I hate selfish people then tell you that it's ok for you to be selfish. That's ridiculous.

"Hit Dogs Holler" syndrome is rampant and I'm sure all of us have fallen ill with at some point or another (myself included) but can we work on getting our booster shots and quit with the #foolishness?


Control Issues

Belle did a post recently where she talked a little about having control issues. One thing that resonated with me was when she said,
The logic goes: I only trust you not to mess up because I trust me to look out for myself. Unless I'm with my mother, I look both ways before I cross the street. I trust her not to mess up. At least when it comes to my safety. Unless I am with my father, I always carry a credit card or my debit card. I trust him not to mess up. At least when it comes to the finances.
I started up a reply that asserted that I agree with her on that, but still don't really think of myself as having control issues.

I didn't finish the comment, because I couldn't flush it out very well.

In fact, I still can't, but...

I have been doing some recent thinking on controlling things. See, I'm a big believer in focusing on what you CAN control, instead of what you can't.

Recently, I was planning a trip with two friends. My history with individual trip planning with both of these people was pretty non-existant, but I felt like they would be the type to back out on me at the last minute. I've experienced this a lot, actually, and I do my best to avoid the situation.

As I exepcted, things started to get a little spotty with details. I was venting about the situation to a third friend and she told me that she was surprised that I was even entertaining this talk. I explained to her why -- and the point of what I said was, I can control myself.

See, the worst case scenario was, both friends backed out and I was stuck holding a non-refundable plane ticket. Fine by me, I told my friend. I could take my rental car and drive home and spend a weekend with my mother. However the other trip they wanted to plan -- out to LA -- I wasn't in on, because if they backed out on that, I'd be stuck with a non-refundable $300 ticket to a place where I would know no one (well, no one I'd want to see).

I was willing to take that risk because I could control myself and I focused on the things within it that related to me. I didn't spend any time worried (though I did get irritated) about them and what they were or weren't doing.

In the past 2 days, I've had a similar piece of advice for three friends. Focus on what you can control.

One friend feels dissed by a guy she's interested in. She can't control who he likes or what he does about it, but she can control how she allows what he does to effect her.

A second friend recently had yet another fight with someone she cares about. This guy is a real jerk and obviously has no concern about her and how she feels. She can't control his jerk tendencies, but she can control how she allows those tendences to effect her.

The third friend really likes a girl who says she likes him back, but lately -- he's been getting the cold shoulder. He can't control what she does, but he can control how that effects him.

It's not easy, really. If somebody does something to hurt your feelings, it's expected that you will be upset. But how long are you upset? How much of the getting over it part do you leave up to the other person. Do you sit around waiting on them to apologize, or do you forgive them and move on? You can control yourself -- you can't control them. Leaving how you feel and what you do completely up to them gives them all the control and if they were jerkfaces enough to hurt you -- odds are they're too much of a jerkface to apologize (or otherwise try to right the wrong).