I had to share this beautiful picture of the blooming roses and filtered sunlight taken yesterday afternoon in my city oasis. I’m never going to want to move from here but I need more space, will cross that bridge when I get to it:-(

Grown & Sexy Happy Meal Toy?

Quick Rant: I had myself a cheeseburger happy meal tonight from Mickey-Ds (I so wish In-N-Out would head East), since I’m a girl I decided to go for the girl toy and boy was I disgusted. I thought these toys were for kids and yeah maybe some tweens get a happy meal or even a grown azz woman like myself, but the toy pictured above threw me for a loop. It might look harmless at first glance-not really to me, what child should wear a choker, doesn’t the word ‘choker’ seem a little much for a young child?-but the song that blasts out of that big ugly star piece pendant is even worse: ’ Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah! My best friend’s brother is the one for me!’ Yep let that waft over you like a cool breeze in the shade of a big gorgeous palm tree overlooking the ocean…yeahhh that’s right…then let it settle in as you start to drift into a comfortable post-homemade pina colada fuzz, your vision going softly blurry as you begin to relax then imagine one of your nieces dropping their plastic cup of icewater on your feet and maybe you get the idea of how startled I was by the lyrics of the song. Clearly from the off-center sticker on the pendant, the show Victoriousunder the Nickelodeon umbrella inspired this happy meal toy. My problem? The main character on this show is in high school so her singing about crushing on her best friend’s brother is not disturbing; what is disturbing is giving this toy to my seven and three year old nieces and hearing them sing it. Thumbs down McDonald’s! I so wish I could easily record sound right from here so I could plug in the toys audio and you could share in my horror.

To Freeze or Not to Freeze, That is the Question!

Picture: Still fromEmpire Strikes Back, courtesy Google Images

Lately I’ve started to really listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth and along with way too much self-doubt is a lot of ‘back in the day’ type shit. I think self-doubt is part of the human condition and can be combatted by simply recognizing it’s happening and nipping it in the bud straight-away (easier said than done of course), same with constantly looking backwards at life rather than forwards. I love going down ‘memory lane’: listening to music that transports you to a specific time period in your life (hello Nirvana and Pearl Jam of my highschool years), tv shows that remind you of sitting as a family in front of the tube (Cosby show and Masterpiece theater anyone), and food that reminds you of coming home from school on a rainy dreary day, finishing up all of your homework before dinner then enjoying homemade spaghetti and bread…I just salivated a little with that one. None of this is bad, but you just don’t want to freeze in time like Han Solo inEmpire Strikes Back(my favorite Star Wars movie!) Enter the late Dick Clark who said the following in an interivew:The moment you mentally atrophy and freeze in time you are old.This simple phrase is so monumental, which is why I take great pains to celebrate the past but also get over any issues I might have with the forward motion of the universe. I mean I used to be anti-Facebook, anti-blog, basically anything anti-internet because I didn’t want potential employers or just random folk to have access to my information but now I’m no longer standing on the outskirts of the playground acting superior I’m in the thick of it and guess what, I like it! I was pseudo-fearful of the lack of control anyone has in an online environment where things can be submerged but never erased, thank God I have no plans for a political career! The turning point for me as a beginning writer was realizing the opportunities to publish are more if I choose to widen the net of options. I will take that Dick Clark quote with me for the rest of my life and adopt it as my own. As I age, my body will begin to change (shoot, it already has!) and yes I’ll look like myself but different but if I’m blessed my mind will stay sharp and I’ll engage in the world around me to keep it so…that to me is the key to growing old OR rather growing ‘up’ gracefully.

It was the summer of 1989…

…I was getting ready to head off to high school and had to get my student id and the above picture was the result. Check me out! I had an anti-climatic tilt (meaning not up to Salt-N-Pepa standards) , one of the popular hair-dos of the 80s but I thought I was fly especially since I planned to kick in the door of my college-prep Catholic  high school and let errrbody know what time it was! Look how hard I was smiling! I was soooo excited to be out of 8th grade and on to the next phase of my life…I even had my grown-up black Hammer pants, short electric blue bolero-like jacket with black accents and pointy black patent leather tie-ups avec wide ribbon shoe laces…sigh…I thought I was sooooo fly! I am so glad no picture of that exists anywhere;  I’m also forever grateful that although I now get to really experience the internet in all its glory that it did not exist on a universal level back in my middle school/high school years or else I would be chopped and screwed

Hoooolllllaaaaa Citttttyyy of Squaaaaallla…or Groupon Fail

So my title, or the first half of my title has nothing to do with what I’m writing about today, however Chang’s little ditty that he shouted on the elevator inThe Hangover 2was priceless and I’ve been known to yell this randomly throughout any given day. Now moving on to my big Groupon fail…

How many peeps out there have done the unthinkable? Spent your hard earned bucks on a ‘discounted’ item on Groupon only to not use by the stated deadline and go from saving a buck to donating money to ‘for-profit’ entities? Well folks that has become me. So what had happened was months ago, probably 6 months ago, I was a Groupon virgin and decided to pop my proverbial Groupon cherry and ‘get in the game’. It seemed as if everyone around me was sharing their Groupon stories, talking about how great it was that they bought a dinner for two for $30 at Ruth Chris (I totally made that price up) and how they had no trouble whatsoever redeeming said dinner. I’ve had folks talk about buying 2 for 1 movie tickets, discounted snowboarding lessons, a nice weekend getaway for half the normal price…I don’t have to list it all here, you already know, so I decided to get in on the game. I spied a local Baltimore Groupon for the Fashion Attic a lovely little consignment shop in Fells Point. Being the extra-planny person that I am I read all of the small print, I pride myself on that, and even went so far as to think about plugging the deadline into my phone…except I forgot. Not to worry, over the months I dipped into said Fashion Attic several times and took my time searching for that one-of-a-kind item that would make me feel like a fashion maven except the clothes just looked boring and not so interesting…minus the size 7 Marc Jacobs pumps that were awwwwweeeesooomee but a friggin size 7, my hooves are size 10 dammit! I digress though, so after several run-throughs during the winter months I decided perhaps I needed to step-away, stop acting all needy, and allow some time and space before I approached the scene again. Well I guess that was a good plan had I plugged the Groupon expiration date into my phone, but since I didn’t. So I was randomly sifting through my purse when I stumbled across….drum roll…you guessed it, the Groupon or wait to be more precise the expired Groupon. The worst part about this is that the Groupon had literally expired a couple of days before my discovery. Sigh. Unfortunately my working with students who are constantly requesting me to bend the rules to their will has made me follow rules/guidelines a bit slavishly. There are a school of people who believe it is your God-given right as an American to waive personal responsibility and ask others to adjust to the fact that you did not choose to follow directions which I don’t agree with (of course unless some emergency has occurred), therefore I make sure to not be that person. So what the haile does that mean? It means NO I didn’t bother to try to guilt them into allowing me to get my $40 worth of clothes/accessories for the $19 I actually spent. Anyone else have a failed Groupon moment to share or am I out here by myself? (insert side eye)

Je ne play myself pas: Vacay or no vacay, that is the question!

I’d like to open today’s post with the Go-Gos song ‘Vacation’ (link to video below if, heaven forbid, you are too young to know who they are)

With adulthood comes responsibility-at least that’s what other adults like to say, but up until now I’ve chosen to buck against that notion. Let me explain. Over the past few years I’ve blithely run up some credit card debt, roughly about 3800 worth, and recently, in a nod toward adulthood have stopped spending on this credit card (mercifully my only one, store cards are the devil!) and instead been steadily paying over the minimum monthly amount. My slow but steady ‘rabbit and the hare’ approach to payment has finally started to yield results and now temptation in the form of vacation has reared its ugly head flashing a mirage of me summer-skin glowing, strapless flowy white cotton cover-up swirling around my calves, crisp cold Mexican beer bottle covered in tiny little melting ice chips sliding over my fingers and bright blue waves cresting in a white peak collapsing on the shore and ringing in my ears. Ahhhhhh, I can feel my spine extend just thinking about it, so what is the problem? Well ladies and gents, the fact is, adulthood decided to kick in randomly; I wasn’t even searching for it! How dare it crash my ‘que sera sera’ party…seriously I just want to throw caution to the wind, charge this plane ticket and be done, but for some reason my gut keeps telling me, ‘don’t charge the ticket, don’t buy until you have the cash in your bank account’. Sigh…although I’m glad there’s a trigger inside of me that prevents me from impulsive behavior, I’m a little sad to see my immaturity fade, I mean dayum I woke up this morning and still didn’t have the urge to just buy the ticket. Right about now I’m hearing the opening of LL Cool J’s classic ‘Going Back to Cali’: the squawking horns and deep scratchs underscoring my ongoing indecision…I can see the air bubbles above my head, ‘should I, shouldn’t I?’ Yes, decisions, decisions, good thing in the grand scheme of life this decision is not that deep, but I’m happy to see I’ve matured and don’t plan on financially playing myself anytime soon.

Treat yourself to some early MTV music video throwbacks:

Going Back to Cali: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdizL4on-Rc

Vacation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLXlwKbLjDM

I just registered…

For my first 2 MFA courses…it’s getting real ya’ll! I’m now registered for Creativity: Ways of Seeing and Memoir -since my specialization is Non-Fiction. I still can’t believe this is happening but I’m so excited to meet new people, be pushed to my creative limits, network, and learn about type & design (although this particular aspect scares the shit out of me!). Aiiight, time to chill so I can re-up for work tomorrow.