Monday’s Blurbs …

I was so hell bent on getting myself some eclipse glasses and now I’m seriously contemplating never leaving my house. Sometimes you expend so much energy on the chase that you lose interest in the prize.

I love television. I often meet people who “don’t own a tv” or make a big deal of being outside with nature. Don’t ask me why these people are drawn to me, but they often are. Anyways, I totally support their dislike of tv and being a couch potato, but I refuse to join them. Television is cool. Writing is cool. I love storylines and disappearing into fantasy lands. If I die on my couch binge watching a show, I won’t have a single regret. Embrace what you like folks, and make no apologies for it!

When Your Pain Doesn’t Spur Action

 
I just read an article about how U.S. cities are ramping up their efforts to remove Confederate statues.
 
I immediately thought of Bree Newsome. Do you remember her? She’s the activist arrested in 2015 for climbing a flag pole to remove the Confederate flag in South Carolina.
 
Do you remember that time? The Charleston Church Massacre had just happened. Nine people were killed in an historically black church during prayer service.

The nine victims in the Charleston shooting. Top row: Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton middle row: Daniel Simmons, Rev. Depayne Middleton Doctor, Tywanza Sanders Bottom row: Myra Thompson, Ethel Lee Lance, Susie Jackson

Tuesday’s Blurbs …

Lil Duval. A grown ass man calls himself that. Have you ever heard him speak? Did you really have higher expectations? And he made his comments on the Breakfast Club. So basically, an ignorant person said something ignorant on an ignorant show. I know why you’re mad … but why you made though?! If you ask me, there IS something scarier than his comments, and that’s getting to a place where there’s no existing forum for people like him to speak. We shouldn’t silence oppressors and pretend we’re safe. We are not. People agree with this fool. They FEEL him. Let us never get comfortable. So no, I’m not interested in a boycott. I don’t believe you should allow machinations to take place in the dark. Keep letting stupid people speak … and start listening to them and believing them!

I’ve Realized My Niece is Paying Attention to My Love Life

I recently saw a show on television. My niece came in on the end. At some point, a gay couple kissed. I didn’t think much of it when my niece turned to me inquiringly. She’s aware I’m gay and I’m always ready if she has questions. I was expecting her to call the kiss “gross” or something. Instead, she stared at me for a moment, appearing quite serious and thoughtful. Then she said, “Titi, I’ve never seen you kiss anybody.”
 
I paused, shocked, and realized she was right.The last time I was in a serious relationship, she was very young and doesn’t remember it. And since then, I’ve been very careful not to introduce anyone as anything other than a friend. If I’m not serious about it, there’s no reason to get her emotionally invested.
 
“Titi isn’t in love with anyone baby,” I said carefully. “But one day, Titi will get married and then I’ll kiss someone.”
 
“Okay,” she said. Moments later, she was ignoring me and playing on her tablet. That was the end of it for her, I’m sure, but days later, I’m still thinking about it. Leave it to the mouths of babes to send you into emotional reflection.
 
I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to how sharp my niece is. She doesn’t miss a thing. I’ve always tried to carry myself with integrity, and given how closely she’s watching, I’m relieved I’ve taken that approach. Lord knows the types of questions she’d hit me with if I wasn’t more careful.
 
Now, I’m not sure what’s on my mind more: That she’s noticing my love life, or the realization that my love life hasn’t been much of a priority to me. Before therapy, I was just dating and running the streets and not really investing in anyone or anything. Now, I’m making sure to work on my emotional health before diving into anything, but I can honestly say it hasn’t been “that serious.” Yes, I want to do better in the future, but I don’t know that I was thinking about the impact it would have on anyone other than myself.
 
I now understand that’s a mistake. When children are in your life, relationships really do matter. She’s watching and learning from me. And when I get someone around, it’ll be imperative that I show her a HEALTHY, LOVING interaction.
 
I need to be careful. Because she’s watching. And now, I’m watching myself.

Sometimes being a super aunt sucks, but I really love my niece.

My niece yelled my name in her sleep this morning. It was just a dream. She’s still sleep. Must be nice.
 
She’s been having behavior problems lately. Two parents in jail will do that to you. I’m trying to understand. I’m trying to fix it … but I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since she got here.
 
But I’m part of the problem. I’m not helping raise her right. If I’m going to sign on to help parent her, I need to do it right. Never mind that her parents don’t. I used a whole therapy session to map out a plan. I just pray it works.
 
She’s so cute in the Instagram pictures and Snapchat stories. I share what’s fun … but this is not always fun. It is emotionally draining. My life is upside down. Her life is worse. It’s not her fault. I know that.
 
But I’m still tired. Being a super aunt is tiresome. Everybody wants to give me a compliment. I just need a babysitter.
 
I hate that I’m awake, but I’m glad I had a moment of peace to write this. If I don’t get back in the room soon, she’ll wake up in a panic. When she wakes up and doesn’t see anyone, she thinks they’re gone. Really gone. Her abandonment issues are worse than mine. I never get a moment of peace.
 
I really love my niece. I know she loves me too. I also know she isn’t acting out because she’s mad at me. I know she’s just hurting. She’s only eight years old. She’s allowed to be mad. I’m 33 years old and in therapy every week because I’m STILL mad.
 
I get it. But that doesn’t mean I know how to fix it. But i’m trying. I really am.
 
She doesn’t live with me full-time. Right now, she bounces between me and her grandma. A little girl without a room of her own. It’s not fair. No wonder she’s so angry.
 
I’ve never been one to lie and keep secrets. That’s how children get raped. That’s how families never heal. That’s how people keep on destroying others. I’ve been there. Fuck there. So I’ll be honest: Being a super aunt is hard. Sometimes, it really sucks and I want to walk away.
 
But I really love my niece.
 
Thank you for reading. If this resonates, maybe you should tell someone your story. Or not. That’s you. But whether you hold it in or not, you’ll still go through it. Take care of yourself. Me venting takes care of me. If you’re not offering to babysit, just pray for me. And stop inviting me to shit. Babysitter. Remember?

Portland’s most “liberal” feature is how liberally white its population is!

Since the white supremacist (terrorist) killed those people on the train, quite a few articles and opinions (find my favorite here) have popped up about the events being surprising given that Portland, Oregon is a “solidly liberal state.”

Let me ask you this: How many black people are in Portland? Or better yet, how many black people are the state of Oregon?

Not many. On the 2015 census, the state of Oregon listed the black population at 2.1%. The total population for the state was 4,093,465. 2.1% of 4,093,465 comes out to slightly less than 86,000 people. For perspective, just think of famous college football stadiums. Some of them can hold Oregon’s entire black population, plus more!

David Banner’s “The God Box is Life!

I’ve finally listened to David Banner’s “The God Box.” One reviewer called it “The best album of his career.” I couldn’t agree more. I almost bumped “Mississippi: The Album” to death. I recall feeling the same awe then, that I felt today. He was right on time in 2003 and he’s right on time in 2017. This album showcases and proves his growth, not only as a man, but as a human being. If you were an early fan, you’ll listen to “The God Box” and hear the evolution of David Banner. When one of your favorite rappers literally transcends their headspace … bruh … that’s good music.

If she can’t use my comb, don’t bring her home!

Denise, played by Lena Waithe, and her mom, played by Angela Bassett on Netflix’s Master of None

Ebony.com has an article up today, titled The reason behind, “Don’t you bring no white girl home!” It was written after the writer viewed Master of None’s season 8 episode “Thanksgiving.” The episode is centered around the character Denise coming out to her mother as a lesbian. Throughout the episode, Denise’s mom drops the little pearls of wisdom (or preaching depending on where you are in life) that you’ve come to expect from every black mother at some point. The one that inspired this article: “Well I just hope she don’t bring home no white girl because I don’t wanna see no Jennifer Aniston’s up in here!”

The President of Bethune-Cookman University is a Jackass!

Whew chile! I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the President of Bethune-Cookman University inviting Betsy DeVos to speak as the keynote speaker for the school’s commencement.

Yes, you read that correctly. President Edison O. Jackson’s coonin’ ass spat on the paying customers … er … graduates … of his school and invited Darth DeVos to speak at graduation.

And yes, this is the same woman that publicly called HBCU’s “Pioneers of School of Choice.”  Because you know, black people were just accepted everywhere once upon a time. I guess she’s forgotten about America’s racist past. But you know who hasn’t forgotten? The students that literally turned their back to DeVos as she spoke:

David Dao is about to be PAID in full!

A ​concussion. Broken nose. Two missing teeth. Will have reconstructive surgery.

No, these are not the injuries of a captured criminal. A terrorist did not sustain these injuries! They belong to a 69 year old doctor that didn’t want to miss his flight.

In case you’re curious, one becomes a senior citizen after age 65. Yes, yes, somebody’s grandpa got their ass kicked for not wanting to give up a seat on a plane … a seat that they paid for.

Companies don’t give a damn that Atlanta is “full”

I’m sure you’ve seen the meme above and laughed as hard as me. Anyone that’s tried to run an errand in the city between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. absolutely feels like Atlanta is full. However, corporations have not gotten the memo. Nor do they want it.

If you know me personally, you’re aware that my day job is in graphic design. My career trajectory has been corporate. I have avoided the mom and pop shops and ad agencies most people associate with my profession. What I can tell you is that, almost every position I’ve applied to in the last five years has had the option of being in Atlanta, Dallas, or Houston. My current company also offered Nashville and Tampa. And sometimes, there’s a Midwest option in say, Kansas or Missouri.

I AM NOT ROOTING FOR YOU

Does the above meme look familiar? This week, I saw it quite a few times in different variations. It reads, “Just because we didn’t work out, doesn’t mean I stopped rooting for you.”

That is so inspiring. Do you feel like that? I don’t. If someone hurt me or broke my heart, FUCK THEM.

And yes, I’ve said those words before. I was lying. When I said them to a person that hurt me, I lied to their face. I was trying to be the bigger person. Bitches.

Tuesday’s Blurbs …

As a child, I experienced some of my best naps when an adult put on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. This past weekend, my niece and I went to see the movie in 3D. Midway through, we were both sound asleep and didn’t awaken until the movie was almost over. After it went off, a few people in the theater clapped. My niece looked as confused as I was that anyone had enjoyed it. Walking to the car, she looked over at me said, “TiTi, we should not have saw that!” I couldn’t have agreed more. I don’t know why I listened to the internet. That cartoon was boring then, and the movie is boring now. Special effects can’t fix the lamest love story ever told.

Thursday’s Blurbs …

A number out of Indiana called me three times this morning before I answered. It turned out to be Sallie Mae (Navient isn’t a real thing). She wanted to know when I’d be paying $200. I explained to her that I’d just paid $400. Then she said “thank you for your payment” and asked me for $200 again. I told her I was now “broke as hell.” She said she understood. Then, after learning I was employed, made a reasonable wage, and wasn’t on government assistance, she informed me she couldn’t help me with any alternative options, but said if I agreed to make another payment within 30 days, she wouldn’t report to my credit. Ask me if I care about her reporting to my credit. I already have a house, car, credit card, and every other soul sucking option you use good credit to attain. I’m sufficiently broke and don’t need anything else. As for the next payment? She gone be waiting!

If you believe, you can achieve! Marissa Mayer has proven you don’t have to excel at your job to be a BAWSE!

By Robert Scoble – “Marissa Mayer, introducing new search features” at Flickr, CC BY 2.0

If the deal goes through without incident, Marissa Mayer will lose her job as CEO of Yahoo!, but receive a 23 million dollar severance package. In July, she’ll have been with the company five years.

In comparison, I was laid off from my job after 4 years and 10 months. I can’t recall the number now, but after taxes paid me a visit without lube, my severance check amounted to a little over $3,000. Most of my friends considered me to be lucky.

Tuesday’s Blurbs …


I am not shocked by Ben Carson’s speech. You shouldn’t be either. He agreed to run the Housing and Urban Development department, but his expertise is medicine. When was the last time you sought out your doctor’s advice to buy a house? And before we all jump on the “Ben Carson is stupid” train, lets remember he’s a famed neurosurgeon. It’s not a hoax. He performed amazing surgery. So, instead of insulting his intelligence, how about we just accept what he’s been telling us from the very beginning: He gives ZERO FUCKS. When somebody tells you who they are, believe them.

My mom had a dream to take us to paradise and make Florida home

An old picture of mom in one of those ridiculous Florida shirts.

Sometimes I dream I’m back in Florida. Nothing really happens. I’m usually just driving over the Gandy Bridge to St. Pete or walking around Ybor or pulling up on Siesta Key or riding my bike in South Tampa. Lately, I’ve started to think those dreams aren’t just about Florida. Maybe they’re my mom’s way of talking to me.