courtnation:

[Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl Season 2 Trailer featuring Pharrell Williams]

“I’m awkward and black… Doubt it… Get slapped”

Season 2 premieres on June 14th!

If you don’t know now you know! If you haven’t seen Awkward Black Girl Google immediately and watch season one so you’re ready for season 2. Each episode is 10 minutes or less so you can get it in quickly. Don’t be thrown off by ‘black’ there’s funny shit that we all can relate to…ok off the soapbox, G’nite!

Avoiding Grey Gardens

Let’s be clear, Grey Gardens is not the life I want to live but I can see how, if you let the neuroses of the mind lead your life, one could slip into a life that becomes a soft haze of unhappiness where the edges of reality lick around your brain like the tiny flame edging a newly lit piece of paper, except unlike the paper consumed by the flame you never let reality in. I pride myself on the ability to ‘face reality’ but it makes me hard. Today I inhaled 4 pieces of pizza in an effort to feel like my day was not spent alone even though I didn’t have to be but I guess the person I most wanted to see is my best friend whose bday it happens to be and who lives clear across the country. I hate myself for feeling so damn weak and secretly wonder if shark week is approaching since my mood is foul and zits are forming.

MESSAGE! …say it like the Wayans Bros.*

*For those who may not catch the reference, ‘Message!’ was something the Wayans Bros. said throughout their movie, ‘Don’t be a Menace While Drinking Your Juice in the Hood’.

Anyone who knows me knows how much I love the Muppets. Miss Poogy (pictured above), a Moopet aka the knock-off version of a Muppet, has only the face a mother could love. Looking at her ill-tempered visage made me laugh and lighten the mood of my post. In a nutshell, it’s been brought to my attention that I have a tendency to be negative and after taking inventory and realizing it’s true I thought Miss Poogy’s face is a fantastic representation of how I feel on the inside much of the time…hmmmm maybe that explains things! In all seriousness though I’ve been introspective of late and it’s reflected in the stream of consciousness flow below:

I struggle with being thankful. Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful for so much in my life, particularly when I open my eyes another morning, but where I fall short is sustained gratefulness. As embarrassing as it is to admit, my boyfriend (b.f.) recently told me I was really negative which was like a small arrow to my heart; while hot tears jumped into my eyes and spilled down my cheeks my mind cast about for whether there was any truth to his statement. Granted I had made what I thought was an innocuous statement but I guess I was wrong. He apologized, I accepted and we  moved on but his comment gives me pause because it’s the exact same comment a close friend of mine said to me way back in 1994. I remember feeling the same way, hurt that someone could misconstrue me and (in my mind) subsequently where I come from.

So where do I come from? I come from a family that has struggled mightily under the weight of the depression my father carried with him beginning around when I was 15, which continued until his death in 2008. You see, he had lofty goals for himself and his family, he went to law school and received his juris doctorate but could never get over not passing the bar exam after his 3rd try. He looked at himself as a failure, not only did his plan to uplift our lives disintegrate, his plans to make his parents proud of him also went up in smoke, even as a grown man with seven children his parents were quick to judge him and what they also perceived to be his failures. My Mom spent a lot of time, as many women I know frequently do, trying to help build his self-esteem. She suggested he count his riches through the image of his children for she believed they had been blessed in abundance by our birth. Unfortunately there was nothing anyone could do to boost his self-esteem so my father never recovered from feeling like he failed mightily in his life. To be honest his ‘giving up’ on life caused a serious deficit in all of us including my mother because we have gone through life attempting to  circumvent life’s land mines rather than embracing it with wonder and awe…in fact as I write this I believe this has contributed to my attitude of looking at the world defensively. This past March when my Mom was asked what she was giving up for Lent, her response was “My life has been Lent, I’m giving up nothing”. That comment sums up all of us, we Jefferson siblings all struggle with looking at the world with bright hopeful eyes; we wonder at the poverty of our youth, the many deaths we’ve had to endure, and lifelong illnesses that threaten some of us.

While having a conversation with my friend the other day about my being negative, she reminded me that my experiences and the environment I was raised in would definitely contribute to my cautious and pessimistic nature. This was one of those ‘things that make you go hmmm’ moments for me, so now I have to determine how to move forward. How do I recalibrate my mind to not default to negativity all of the time? Another friend whom I spoke with today made a suggestion: wake up every morning saying thank you for everything even those things I find frustrating like some aspects of my job. Her advice was to use the things I struggle with as “…an empowerment tool.” She further went on to say that with something like my job, to not view it as my job using me but as I’m using it to get what I want and should cherish it like a gift that of course allows me pay bills and have a little fun, but most importantly inspires me to create so I’m nurturing and nourishing my artistic self. Between the catalyst comment from the b.f. several days back, conversations I’ve had with two different friends and an acquaintance over the past three days, and my quarterly prayer schedule (turns out I remember to pray quarterly) asking God to please please please help me to approach each day with an open heart and thankful spirit, I’m seeing a personal growth spurt in the works. Clearly I’m being challenged to fight this negativity that pervades my being. My instinct is to grasp for it, my familiar friend, my defense mechanism, after all aren’t I being ‘realistic’? Apparently the answer is no, my negativity has stealthily created a dark fog that follows me like the funk around Pig Pen, but I’m determined to take a damn bath and clear the air. There is no happy ending tied up in a bow, rather there is the constant working on self, the use of knowledge newly gleaned and the restoring of faith in God; like the writer Albert Camus said, “I’d rather live my life as if there is a God and die to find out there isn’t, than live my life as if there isn’t and die to find out there is.”

Living for the Citay: Window Detritus 2

This pic is a follow-up to yesterday’s blog posting which profiled all of the lovely garbage under this very grate that you see in the above picture. For a quick run-through for those who may not have seen yesterday’s post, under that grate is the following: a styrofoam cup and small (also styrofoam) take-out container, an empty Gevalia coffee box, and a presumed empty purple box of LifeStyles condoms. All of the above are blown into a leaf drift pile under the grate which is not visible from the exterior street level view but is all too-apparent from within my apartment since about a foot of the window is under that grate and visible to me in my dining area.

Living for the Citay: Window Detritus

Ahhhhh once again I’m reminded why living in a city is sooooo worth it- random garbage thrown under the grate of my window. Here we have an empty Gevalia box, a presumably empty LifeStyles condom box, and several empty styrofoam takeout items all blown into a leaf drift. On the same grate I’ve seen someone  allow their dog to get positioned to take a shit, until I banged the window mid-poo and scared the poor dog into sucking it back up the chute. As cruel as it may sound, to me it’s cruel to even imagine looking at my window as some dog poo fossilizes and clings to the grate.

On another occassion the b.f. witnessed an older ‘gentleman’ get out of his car and throw some papers into the grate; deciding this was a battle he felt strongly about, he decided to run outside and confront stranger. He asked if he would want somebody to drive to the suburbs and throw trash on his lawn. I guess dude was too scared or shocked to answer, in fact he might still be high-tailing it, like a cartoon character running over a distant hill, to this very day. 

I just had to share since I was absentmindedly pulling the shades when I noticed this mess and it pissed me off. The worst part is that it’s easier for that crap to get in the grate then it is to get it out! Anyhoo, such is city life and still, despite all my various rants about living in the city, there are enough raves to keep me here.

Ya’ll have a fantastic night and hey, celebrate Biggie, today would be his 40th birthday. My favorite song is ‘I Got a Story to Tell’, find that joint in your collection or head over to Spotify and have a listen.

The Pharcyde: The Group and My Job Today

So my work day ended in a burst of proverbial flame when one of my students decided to end a phone call with the comment, ‘you talk too much’, are you effing kidding me??? Did you just call my dayum phone and ask me a thousand and one questions which all led to a dead-end forcing me to gather together your tidbits put on my Nancy Drew cap and try to figure out the best way to ‘assist’ you? YO! Needless to say she needs to speak to a manager because my response, ‘are you talking to me like that when I’m trying to help you’ or something like that offended her. Admittedly my favorite part of my job is listening to the words people say, taking their clues, and putting together the puzzle of what the real issue is. This particular individual definitely provided me all of the requisite information. After writing copious notes in her record and wasting about an hour of my life on the issue I bounded out of work into the beautiful day I managed to miss since not once did I go outside…not a practice I recommend. Clearly my earlier plans to hit up the laundry mat were not going to work on such a beautiful evening and after staying late at work to wrap up my research on the aforementioned individual. I decided to swing into Whole Foods where I grabbed some salmon and mangoes deciding to make a green salad with salmon, chopped mango and homemade salad dressing. The whole time I’m in the grocery store I’m debating about what I’m going to watch on the tube tonight and decided it was imperative for me to go to Sound Garden and buy season 2 of Downtown (downton) Abbey, my new addiction. Since the b.f. is at work tonight I can watch in my private little bliss…he might watch but without the same passion I have. After grabbing tonight’s activity I sidled past the used hip-hop section of the store back-pedaling to eye-ball what was on deck, boy was I happy when I stumbled across The Pharcyde’s LABCABINCALIFORNIA cd. If you don’t know about The Pharcyde and are looking for some crazy ass high times antics start with BIZARRERIDE which is probably best known on the radio (back in the early 90s) for the song ‘Passin Me By’. A lot of peeps I knew were disappointed with LABCABINCALIFORNIA but not me, honestly both records were totally different but the first one was so off tha hook that I think folks couldn’t wrap their mind around labcabin. If you like underground Cali hip-hop (like Souls of Mischief, Abstract and Aceyalone) you will also dig The Pharycyde; find em on Spotify and listen to all of their music. Check out these videos to get a taste if you never heard them before or to enjoy a nice little flashback:

Passin’ Me By (BIZZARRERIDE): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uITm2gnHmMM&feature=fvsr

Drop (LABCABINCALIFORNIA): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=co3qMdkucM0

…oh snap just rewatched Drop and saw a posting from one of the dude’s in Pharcyde stating that Beastie Boys popped up in this video in a brief cameo…