It's That Time

It’s that most wonderful time of the year my little goobers. It’s that time when the writers of this quirky blog get to flake off completely and hibernate for the winter. That’s right, we are going underground away from the holiday madness to count our grinchy nuts and check them twice. I believe we’ve reached all of our quotas for the year, we’ve been nice to x amount of strangers, been nice to x amount of friends and family, saved a few hoes, and stopped the apocalypse bout three times. We are tired now.

But do not fret, a new year comes with new adventures and even more demented perspectives about this world that somebody who had nothing better to do with their time called “the real world”, yeah.

So to all I say kick rocks! And to those who laughed I say Happy Holidays!

Open Anonymous Letters: Family

Its that time of the year people, when we get to gather close to our families and bask in the uniqueness that is them. I'm going to get right to it, I hate this time of year. Give me the Turkey and stuffing, you can keep the familiar social crap. I moved many many miles away from them for a reason. I'm conjuring up all of this vile because of a vile thing that has been happening to me over the past month or so. Here is my letter to the family.

Dear sucka family members, you know who you are, I no longer return your calls or messages on fb or my phone,

You suck. For some reason, my happy little existence has bleeped across your radar and you have decided to direct all of your anger and frustration over your self made pitiful existence onto me. I don't like it. I've spent the last 30 plus years avoiding you and your momma and your father and yo sister. I just so happen to be best friends with your brother and I'd like to keep it that way. But was I surprised when he jumped in his car and drove across 2 states to get away from ya'll when ya'll moved into the same state he lived? No I was not surprised. I offered to let him stay with me.

Now for some reason you feel like you can just harass me, my brother, and my momma. Negative. I may not be close to them folks, but they are still mine and I refuse to allow you to dog them out as you try to dog me out. Not happening. I realize that all of the fire and brimstone I am capable of dishing out is about 50 times stronger in you. I know you can cuss me out good and proper. You've done it already. I clearly cannot compete on your level because I'm just not that miserable.
You asked me once if my friends were more important to me than my family. I didn't respond, I didn't think I needed to. My friends are my family. And they are the ones I choose to spend the holidays with year after year, no matter the distance. So lets just say, there are certain family members I prefer to spend special occasions with, blood related and non blood related. And as you continue to be hateful towards me, on public forums and such, you are insuring to get deleted, blocked, erased, and completely fazed out of my life. Just like the rest of the family has done you. Perhaps I'm the only one left who you haven't burned. I shrug, I don't care, this quasi relationship is over.
signing off
your neighborhood grinchmeister....

We Read and Sh*t: We write too

To wrap this puppy up I want to stick my head in and interject. November has been National Novel Writing Month, and I have been participating in writing a novel for the month of November. Yes people I'm writing a novel in one month. 50,000 words in 31 days. My fingers are cramped and tired. But playing off of Toni Morrison's quote, and a quote Lorraine Hansberry made that is similar, I'm writing my own story to be read by millions! Or at least by my s.o. and a few friends. The first week was great, the second week I totally slipped up, so this is the third week and I'm playing catch up, but I'm determined. I like my story and I like how I feel when I'm writing the story. So I'm going to finish this novel, danngit. I encourage you all to write, it doesn't matter if you think it has all been written before, we haven't heard your story and your story needs to be told.

We read and sh*t: What Irks Me...

I have read some great books and definitely some bad books.  Some I half expected to be bad, and some were huge let downs that made me extremely upset that I wasted the tine and/or money.  I realized in these bad books there was a common vein in them that lent to their lameness.  Here's a short list:

  • Nonsensical story lines and characters permeate the world of bad "literature."  I have read books where none of the characters are realistic; they just kind of do whatever was in the authors head after a cocaine bender.  I like twists and turns in books, but make it believable and make it have a point.

  • Underdeveloped characters are just as bad as the contrived ones.  I have read books where I couldn't tell you more than one or two things about the main characters.  What part of the game is that?  Isn't a big part of the point of a story about the characters themselves?  I want to build an emotional bond with character(s) in a book, it helps me get lost in the story or sometimes feel like I am part of a story.  I read to get that emotional experience, it's what makes it fun or meaningful.  

  • Overuse of slang/patois/foreign language irks me to no end.  I understand that some stories require slang in the dialogue, but I am not talking about in the dialogue.  I am talking authors who write the entire narrative in that way.  It is distracting, bad writing, and will make me put a book down tout de suite (immediately/quickly).

  • Overly simplistic writing..... I feel my side-eye flaring up.  I have read books, particularly "urban literature," that read like a remedial English class project.  Now keep in mind, I don't feel an author has to use overly colorful language and complicated indecipherable metaphors, but please give me something that makes me think past a 2nd grade level. 

  • BAD F*CKING GRAMMAR and misspellings. Here comes my pesky side-eye again....  Have you heard of an editor?  Was your editor taking shots while reading your book?  There is nothing worse than reading a book and finding excessive amounts of errors.  I should be thinking about a character's unrequited love and not the proper use of there, their, they're , noun/verb agreement, or how you say irregardless 4 times in the first chapter.  Not a good look.  Not a good look at all.

This is just a short list, what are some things that irk you and make a book unreadable?

We read and sh*t: Childhood Faves

My book fascination is far from recent development. I have been reading (and loving it) since the ripe ol' age of 3. I was reading on an 8th grade level in the 1st grade *brushes shoulder off* ... My favorite books as a kid are all over the place, some kid/teeny bopper targeted and also actual "literature".... Follow me real quick:

 My mom bought me this book when I was in about the 5th grade, it changed everything for me as far as how I looked at the world.  I had begun to see the aspects of cruelty in the world.  I finally understood why I never quite all the way fit in with my predominantly white schoolmates and friends.  This is when I learned what racism was and its roots... Quite a rude awakening for a 10/11 year old, ya think?  I remember I kept reading it over and over, it touched me that deep....

On a lighter note, I loved the Babysitter's Club Book Series, BUT my mama would only buy me the ones with the black girl as the main character, Fight the Power!, so I got a scattered view of it, but loved it nonetheless, censorship and er'thing...I loved reading about the camaraderie of girls who were entrepreneurs, how ya love that!?!

I read every single Agatha Christie book through middle school.  I used to get so wrapped up in the drama and intrigue of it all.  It was actually better than TV, I was such a nerd, but being a nerd was celebrated in my house so I didn't care about that.  Funny thing about that is now I don't particularly care for mystery books. 

I know y'all remember my favoritest (I know it's not a word, don't judge me) book in the whole wide world ever, ever, ever...  I even dedicated a whole blog to my beloved "The Monster At the End of This Book"...  go check it out, it is very entertaining!  And anyway Grover rocks!

 absolutely loved the Anastasia series of books by Lois Lowry. Anastasia was a smart, awkward, sweet, clumsy, misunderstood 4-eyed preteen.  Take a wild guess as to what I was as a preteen:  smart, awkward, sweet, clumsy, misunderstood, 4-eyed, lol...  I instantly connected with Anastasia,  she was one of the first characters in a book that I thought about as a real person, that is where my living and breathing  a book began. 

Any-hoo, this is just a handful of some of my faves, what were some of you guys favorite childhood books and/or stories?

We read and sh*t: Book-Love

This week we shall talk about books... about the books we love, the books we hate, and all things in between.  Today's post is also up at my personal blog: Black Woman Lost & Found...  Enjoy!

I find television to be very educating.  Every time somebody turns on the set, I go in the other room and read a book.  ~Groucho Marx

I have been reading a lot lately.  When I say a lot I mean I have read a new book every couple days, sometimes more on the weekends.  My appetite has been voracious.    It is amazing what no television can do for your should really try it by getting rid of your TV or detoxing for an extended period of time, real talk...)

A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end.  You live several lives while reading it.  ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

I have become so emotionally invested in the books I have been reading lately.  Even dreamed about some of them, and act like a crack fiend needing to get back to them. (i.e. the 1000+ page book I read in 2 nights).  I get sad when I am get to the last 100 pages of a book.  I am not being figurative, I really do get to feeling some kinda way.  4 of the books I read this month made me actually cry.

If there's a book you really want to read but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it.  ~Toni Morrison

 A few of the books I read have disappointed me with their endings.  Either the endings were far fetched, or the author left no sort of conclusion that satisfied me.  This realization has kick started me to wanting to improve my writing, and be the author that writes books the way that I want to read them.  

A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.  ~Franz Kafka

Reading so many books has also made me want to write more.  I have been pumping out poems left and right, usually inspired from a  line or a scene in what I am reading.  I haven't posted a lot of stuff because for the first time in my poetry career I have been writing performance pieces (that don't necessarily translate well to the page) with ease.  My new focus on literature and art has made me a better performer, a better listener,just better...

A house without books is like a room without windows.  ~Heinrich Mann
Here are some of the books I have read over the last month or so... if you are my friend on facebook, check out my Visual Bookshelf:

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books, Azar Nafisi (a must-read for book and history lovers!)
The Hour I First Believed: A Novel, Wally Lamb(read this thick monster of a book in 2 days, such a page turner... this is one of the books that made me cry...)
Eyes to My Soul: The Rise or Decline of a Black FBI Agent, Tyrone Powers (this book made me want to fight the power!)
The Book of Sarahs: A Family in Parts,Catherine E. McKinley
The Unthinkable Thoughts of Jacob Green : A Novel, Joshua Braff
Trading Dreams at Midnight: A Novel, Diane McKinney-Whetstone
Nina: Adolescence, Amy Hassinger
Currently Reading: Apprentice to the Flower Poet Z.: A Novel, Debra Weinstein
Currently Re-reading: Racism 101, Nikki Giovanni

I am also open to any suggestions you might have of some good reads, leave them in the comments if you do!

Peace y'all....

Quick Tip: Thrift Stores are my best friend, you can't beat $0.25-0.50 for books (I don't like library books, I like to own my books, because I am also a re-reader)

Open Anonymous Letters: Physics Lesson

Me and the Tiha have been mad busy, but I really needed to write some things this week to get some things off my chest.  Like I have said in previous blogs and even poems, I have a hard time expresing my true feelings to people.  This goes for negative things and positive actually.  So this week I am writing letters to folks, I will keep them anonymous on the blog, but I think I will actually send the letters to the people they are intended for.   So here goes nothing:

Dear Y'all,

Have you ever heard the law in physics that: "Tangible, Material Entities Cannot Occupy the Same Space at the Same Time?"  Well, guess what?  That does not apply to friends/colleagues being able to do positive, innovative things in the same city/area at the same time.  Just because you have an event, company, or project going on does not mean that I can not do the same.  In fact, through my venture I will shout yours out and help out.  Why can't we come together since we have very similar goals?  Ego is a dangerous thing my friends, and people pick up on it and will not want to support you in the future.  Believe me, I have stopped attending events, stopped supporting businesses, and ended longtime friendships with people because of over-inflated egos and unearned pride.  Don't be like those people, you are so much better than that.

Exhaustedly Yours,

Naturally Alise

Open Anonymous Letters: Effing Friendships

Me and the Tiha have been mad busy, but I really needed to write some things this week to get some things off my chest.  Like I have said in previous blogs and even poems, I have a hard time expresing my true feelings to people.  This goes for negative things and positive actually.  So this week I am writing letters to folks, I will keep them anonymous on the blog, but I think I will actually send the letters to the people they are intended for.   So here goes nothing:

Dear You,

I find you to be as horrible a friend to me as I am to you.  We have got to do better.  I am not content with a friendship that has been around for so long that has dwindled down to mere  drinking buddies.  Do you realize that you know and understand more about me than sometimes I am with myself?  (I know that's a bit cliche, but who cares, this is my letter, lol)  You have been there through a number of rough patches (and vice versa), but yet this current superficial "friendship" exists.  I am at a loss.  I miss you.  I hope you feel the same.  People always work so hard on their romantic relationships, but forget that true friendships require the same amount of effort, sometimes more.  I believe friend bonds can sometimes be more binding/lasting than marital ones, so lets work on being real friends again....

Love ya,

Peace y'all.....

Having a Latte with Lorraine Hansberry

If I could sit down and have a latte with anyone in the world that has ever lived, I would love to sit down with Lorraine Hansberry. I have admired and respected and aspired to walk the walk of Lorraine Hansberry. I choose her because you don’t hear much about her anymore, if we ever did. I choose her because, like Angela Davis, she had some really good things to say, had a beautiful mind, but unlike Angela, was taken from us too soon, at the age of 34 to cancer. This is why, if I could I would set up shop right next to her and close my mouth and open my ears.
Her book, To Be Young, Gifted and Black, really spoke to me as a teenager. Before I even knew what it meant to be “black”, that I was truly gifted, and had the energy and fearless perseverance of youth, I still was able to grasp what was to be learned from her writings. She understood me, before I understood me, and still understands me in ways that I don’t have her eloquence to articulate. Peep this quote:

“I think , then, that Negroes must concern themselves with every single means of struggle: legal, illegal, passive, active, violent and non-violent. That they must harass, debate, petition, give money to court struggles, sit-in, lie-down, strike, boycott, sing hymns, pray on step and shoot from their windows when the racists come cruising through their communities. The acceptance of our present condition is the only form of extremism which discredits us before our children.” Taken from The Work of Democracy: Ralph Bunche, Kenneth B. Clark, Lorraine Hansberry, and the Cultural Politics of Race

This quote was in response to someone asking her how she felt about MLK and his non-violent protests. I picked it because a lot of what she says is still relevant and it points out how we’ve gotten away from the passion of dealing with the struggle. I mean, when we see Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson and hear about the things we do, we kind of brush it off as if what they continue doesn’t matter. I am guilty of this. But then I take a step back, I look at where they came from, and I see what is going on now and I feel the frustration of never being able to do anything for my people and it makes me pause. I blog much, I complain much, I trip over my own soapbox, and still actions are absent from all of my meanings.

Lorraine Hansberry lived the life she wrote in her words. As in she believed in her opinions and wrote a thousand times over, not complaints, but solutions and encouragements. Not every one of us can go out and do the things Al Sharpton does, nor do we really desire to, but there is an entire subsect of people, out there everyday contributing to OUR struggle, and we never hear about them. We never hear d about what Jonnie Cochran did for civil rights. We never hear about what S. Epatha Merkerson does to support initiatives to help our kids. But that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. And it doesn’t mean that we can get away with doing nothing.
Lorraine Hansberry wrote in TBYGB that we must write, write about our people, about our struggle, because all of the stories haven’t been told, and they need to be heard. So here I am writing my little heart out…

Arrested Development

Tennesse?  Naw, not that arrested development....

I had a recent revelation: "You can not receive anything until you deem yourself worthy of it." 

What does that mean?  Good question. 

It means you can never truly appreciate the accomplishments, the love, or gifts your receive/acheive until you know you are special. 

Why can I speak on that?  Funny you should ask.

I have travelled my life wondering why I could never appreciate the good times. (You know, thinking the bottom will always fall out?) I discovered that that there was a flaw in my self esteem.  I have been battling for some time with feeling like I deserve success. 

Now, to start off, don't be alarmed; I am not being down on myself.  When I look in the mirror I love all I see, the flaws and all.  I think I am intelligent, kind, and funny.  Yet, I was having problems convincing myself that I was wonderful on the next level.  I couldn't see past all of the bad and traumatic events I have been subjected to in my life that taught me that I was a lesser person.  All those scenes kept replaying in my head and became a huge roadblock in my progression in life and love.

 However, I have ushered in a new pattern of thought.  A lot of this was spawned by a conversation I had recently, to where I was told, "You deserve more, you are worthy."  That person made me repeat that statement.  I replayed it over and over in my head until I started to actually believe it.  It has become my mantra.  Now, I know the possibilities are endless and I deserve every single reward that comes with it.  Now my development has been released, and not on any technicality, but because I served my time in regression and it is fine time to move forward.

Peace y'all...

Enjoy the video from Amel Larrieux, "Infinite Possibilities":

To Be Continued

We apologize for being mia. Every once in awhile, during the year, life gets real hectic for us. All of the dreams we dream tend to come true and when they do we have to adjust to keep up with them. Currently we are living through the next phases of our dreams and frankly it has us RUNNING!!!!!!!!

My blog partner has gone back to school, which means right about now is midterrrrrrrmmmmmmmssssss.......yeah please have patience. I have traded my gubment cube for a corporate cube, yeah I've had to kick my game up to fifth gear.

So know that while we're gone we are most definitely living it up and will be back with plenty to tell you...

Quirky Dreams not yet Deferred: Superhero

This week in the Latte Mug we are going to discuss quirky dreams that many of you may not know we have.

I have a quirky dream. It is actually maybe a slightly dark or evil dream, but those are allowed too, right? Yes, right, for intents and purposes of this blog we are going to say it is perfectly acceptable. Stay with me. I have a dream that one day I will gain a backbone of superhero proportions. One thing about myself that I absolutely despise is my constant mild mannered and "other people's feelings" over-concern. I tend to care about folks emotions that could care less about the great fabulous poet named Alise. How could anyone not care about how I feel? I'm cute, sweet, and keep everyone laughing. Yet, the imbeciles exist. Because of their existence is the reason I wish to possess, even if for only a day, the strength to deflect and mentally destroy these bad people. I desire to be able to open my mouth and say exactly how I feel, without regard of someone's pout, look of disgust, or intense pain from me stepping on their unrighteous feet. I want to have the death ray of a laser strong side-eye and words and tone to back it up. Really, I just want to stop being verbally stepped on and avenge my fellow soft-spoken, shy, sweet, beautiful souled comrades who never quite can say the right thing when faced with assholes. Can we have just one day to be heard and be respected? I'll see y'all later, I have a fitting for my cape and interviews for my sidekick....

Quirky Dreams not yet Deferred: Roam Free

This week in the Latte Mug we are going to discuss quirky dreams that many of you may not know we have.

I’m going to start off with a dream or longing that I’ve been having for years now. I want to buy a Jeep Wrangler, cast off most of my worldly possessions, and road trip across the country visiting all of the places I deem cool and artsy.

On this trip I’d take my MacbookPro (an artist never leaves home without it), ipod touch, all of the paintings and drawings I’ve done, including my materials, my comic book collection, and enough clothes to not look like a bum. This urge comes up quite often, I just want to cut ties and be free to roam and go and do whatever I want, whenever, without having to fill out a leave slip, leave a forwarding address or leave an away message, or hope my health insurance covers me in all 50 states...

Screw all that, just me and my jeep, and maybe a German Shepherd or Doberman. I must’ve been something great in a former life.
Every time I see a jeep I give it the evil eye…that could be me….

Didn't See That Coming: PERSERVERANCE

Perseverance is that stuff they put in your Wheaties that helps you make it through your school day. Why do you think MJ stayed on the cover? It helped him win playoffs! This stuff is real. Its that invisible kick in the pants that keeps you from giving up, it picks you up when you’ve fallen, it keeps you going when all you want to do is cry and give up like a punk. Perseverance, yum!

I’m going to take this time to get on my soapbox and ride around the rim hole of politics. There is something going around called the “silent majority”, a group of people who don’t need to carry guns to town hall meetings, people who don’t need to steal and misuse movement names to get a pass to cry in front of government buildings. The silent majority, although they did borrow (well I cant say they borrowed that term, I don’t know if they even call themselves that) it from the Repubs, are a group of people who are strategically rallying for public option healthcare. You don’t hear about them, they are silent, you may not know when you are around one of them, however they are in a majority, so they could be anywhere. These are the people who are actually doing something about healthcare reform. They are hitting the streets, talking to the people, making phone calls, using the system to get what they want. They are congress peoples worst nightmares. They are the persistent many that wont let congress sleep until this bill is passed. They are the silent majority. They don’t need to make big noise, and offend and disrespect people to get what they want. They just do what they have to, no fuss. They are awesome.

If you want to be a part of something big, if you want to do something about healthcare, contact your local OFA (Organizing for America) office and volunteer, it wont cost you a cent and you will actually feel like you are helping yourself and everyone else. After all isn’t that what its all about? We sometimes wonder how we can achieve something when it comes to politics, how can we get our point across, they never listen to us. Well I say the only person who can control how helpless you feel is you. You may not be able to control everything, but danngit when you can do something, do it! We cant sit around and wait for people to hand us the answer, we have to find the answer ourselves. We don’t have to sit back and wait for this bill to be passed, we can actually help! If we don’t get this bill passed, if I hear one more person complaining and doing nothing, I’m going ape sh** on EVERYONE, then I’m moving to Canada where I can get some healthcare to treat the major butt whooping I’ll probably receive.

I truly didn’t see this coming. Want to know more of what the OFA has been silently doing while the ignorant folks have been screaming? Check out this link.

Didn't See That Coming: HAPPINESS

When we think of things that make us happy, we may think of bunnies frolicking in a field of dandelions, a child’s laugh (if your into children like that), the Krispy Kreme HOT NOW sign lit up, pay day. Well I want to share something I saw that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The other day I took MARTA (public train) to the Maxwell concert. Now anyone who has taken MARTA or any public rail line to and from work, you already know how obnoxious the teenagers can be*. I mean they act like straight up animals, I wish I was lying. If you ride MARTA for a week, you WILL see a fight, plain and simple. I take MARTA everyday, I see a lot. I see many youth just acting a fool, swinging from the bars, using profanity loudly, blasting music, just crying out for attention in the worst way. I feel a soapbox trying to slide up under my feet, so let me get to the point.

When I was on MARTA going to the concert, it had to be around 7pm. I saw about 4 or 5 young black men get on the train. These teenagers were so well behaved, I hate to say it like that, but they were. They were quiet, they sat in their seats like they had some home training, and they were minding their business trying to go home from football practice. Yes I heard one of them mention the practice they just left. One of them kept stuffing handfuls of McDonalds French fries in his mouth like it was some roti and jerk chicken. Seeing those young men behave like that, hearing that they had some after school extra curricular activity that kept them occupied made me feel all warm and fuzzy. Especially in light of what happened to Derrion Albert. I just wanted to whip out some money and give it to them just because they were doing right. I wanted to dap them up, pat them on the back, tell them to hang in there, something, anything to reinforce their behavior. After all of the crap I see on the train on a daily basis, it was so nice, it made me happy to see this.

Another quick story, I saw a young man with the saggy pants, bright colors and baseball cap help an older white woman take her suitcase down a flight of stairs. He just saw her struggling, and asked if he could help. She trued to tell him that she was ok, as she started to tip over. He took the suitcase, which was heavy for him too, and carried it down for her. Another instance of happiness for me. No one ever wants to talk about the good things these kids are doing, so I wanted to take the time to recognize some Atlanta youth being positive. I’m not saying this stuff never happens, I’m just giving some well needed recognition.

Feeling warm and fuzzy yet?
*I just want to note that the young lady in this video is mentally ill, many of the folks that act out arent!

Didn't See That Coming: EXPECTATIONS

When you think of expectations you think of ones you have for other people or things. You expect for your friends to be there when you're down. You expect for this computer you are logging on to read this blog to work and bring you to our lovely space on these here internets. You expect for your paycheck every other Friday. You expect every song on the radio to be an embarrassmaent. You even expect for fools to disappoint you. Of course, yes I expect these same things, but I missed something huge. I forgot about the expectations I have for myself. In fact, I allowed this oversight to hurt me in a major way. Don't be nosy, the particulars are not important. I allowed myself to ignore my own standards for a wrinkle in time. I overlooked that I need to hold myself to those same super-high standards I hold for others. I don't want to sound cliche, but you shouldn't expect from others what you don't expect from yourself. Maybe it is a cliche for a reason, they tend to work that way. I just want to give a word that you need to start holding yourself strictly to what you deem to be your morals or decisions. Take it from someone who is feeling the sting of being a lackluster human being, it is worth the time to examine. I wouldn't lead you wrong... I know you expect more.

Peace y'all...

Didn't See that Coming: ABUSE

This week we are going to take a topic and connect it to an area in our lives that we wouldn’t expect to see it.

If I have my way, I may gain full access to the blog and you’ll have a week’s worth of my opinions. For good reasons, this has never happened….


to use wrongly or improperly; misuse: to abuse one's authority.
to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way: to abuse a horse; to abuse one's eyesight.
to speak insultingly, harshly, and unjustly to or about; revile; malign.
to commit sexual assault upon.
to deceive or mislead.

We are all quite familiar with abuse and abusive relationships. When we think of abusive relationships, our minds might jump directly to Ike and Tina. This is the definition I’m running with for today’s blog.

Recently I’ve come to the realization that I’ve been in an abusive relationship. Now I’ve touched on this before in this blog, I kinda joked about, did some metaphorical things with this theme, but now I know its for real, its not a joke and I’m kinda astonished. My abusive relationship was with my job. Through a serious of events that I wont go into detail about, I have come out to be a shattered shell of an employee. They had me convinced that I needed them, that I was nothing without them. I was convinced that I didn’t deserve better and that no one else would want me. I thought I should’ve been grateful for what I had and should feel ashamed for not counting that sub par situation as a blessing. I almost talked myself out of getting out. I almost stood in my own way of getting something better. It took a whole lot of internal coaching to get me through the whole ordeal. And I can say I’m almost out! I’m still shook though. My self confidence is still shot. I still doubt myself. But I suppose I can doubt my self and have low self confidence as long as I’m making moves to something better right?

Movies that make you go "oh yeah": 9

I saw the movie 9 when it came out. The animated film about how machines wiped out humanity because humanity thought it was a good idea to create super intelligent machines to be their servants. When in human history has anything we’ve tried to enslave ever NOT bitten us back? Will we learn? Well there is a slew of sci-fi movies predicting what would happen should such and such take place. And I must say, sci-fi is dang near never wrong.

SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t seen this movie, and want to, don’t read this…

This movie has significance for me because it was a study on character. The movie had 9 basic characters that moved the plot along. They were brought together to try to save themselves and eventually what was left of humanity. They were of varying character types, and as a movie fan, I rooted for the hero, I booed the antagonist of the group, and I was awed at the perseverance of all the little rag dolls. One of the morals of the story was that all 9 of the rag doll characters were a part of a whole. They made up the soul of their creator. Ah ha moment! There were some of them I liked, some I didn’t, and some I thought were useless. However they all were needed to get the job done. Just like in me…there are parts of me I would marry, parts I want to punch in the mouth, and parts I want to go on a diet and stop being such a dead weight. But I need all those parts if I’m going to make it through this crazy world. I may not be saving humanity, but I have to live and work with humanity, and that’s a battle all unto itself.

There were also some religious undertones as well, but I’m not talking about that. You’ll have to see the movie to capture all of the morals. I’ve already said too much. This movie was awesome. It was well written, well animated and was just awesome! Go see it! Believe it! Live it! We all have to get along, we may not have to agree with one another, but we all are here together. We may as well be useful to one another, help fulfill our purpose (here goes the religious undertones) be good to our fellow man (free healthcare!).

Be blessed people!

This week we will be looking at movies that remind us of what the heck we are supposed to be doing with our lives, or remind us of some goal or ideal we believed in a long time ago that we’ve forgotten. The movie doesn’t have to be new, just something we’ve seen recently that made us go “oh yeah that’s right…”.

I’ll start this week off with Fight Club.

I saw this movie about 2 weeks ago at The Plaza in Atlanta (they show old movies in a vintage theater). I haven’t seen this movie completely since it came out in 1999, while I was in college. It was great then, its great now. As you know, in the beginning, Ed Norton’s character muses depressingly over his furniture purchases from Ikea and flits around his grandly purchased box in the sky, also known as a condo. Ok ladies and gents, as I was watching this 2 weeks ago, I began to choke on my reeses pieces. My mind instantly flashed to the new Ikea catalog on my kitchen table, pages neatly folded in the corner notifying which pieces I wanted to see in person as I scheduled some time early on Saturday morning to brave the crowds and get my Ikea shopping on, complete with a jumbo hotdog and a 50¢ Pepsi. Then my mind pinged to the listings of condos I had bookmarked on my computer, and flashed to the appointment I had with my realtor. I slowly slid down in my seat. Then they blew the condo up, I slid further in my seat. Then fight club was established and the systematic f u to the establishment committed by the fight club members once indoctrinated by Tyler made my heart both burst and shrivel. I’d remembered how much I couldn’t stand the establishment and conformity. How much I did NOT want to be a buppie, a young money hungry capitalistic neck stomping corporate drone. How I rebelled against all things I was “supposed” to do. Where had I gone wrong? What happened to my inner rebel? Had I chocked her into submission? Had turning 30 erased any memory of the rebellious devil-may-care wild child I’d vowed to always be? Had I grown up and was this the result of it? Well the flaws in Tyler and Ed Norton’s plan were clearly evident by the end of the movie, but it still had me shook as I walked out of the theater, still clutching my reeses pieces. Had I sold out? and when did it happen? Am I the conformist drone I once hated? This movie had me lost. I threw out my Ikea catalogue. I’m only half heartedly looking for a condo. I’m so confused.

Thanks Fight Club!

Tiha’s Conspiracy: Education is a craps game.

Let me preface this post by saying that I am a huge supporter of education, I am one of those multi-M.A. having mofos and one of em is in education.

But I also know that there is more than one way to be educated and “book learning” isn’t the only kind of learning out there.

Which brings me to my conspiracy theory: “They” use education as another means to separate the haves and have nots. The ultimate plan is to have some with the power and wealth, and many many many constantly dependent on those few. Why do you think small business owners always get the short end of the stick? Why do you think they make it so hard for independent thinkers to achieve IF the independent thought goes against the majority’s consensus of what is right in the world?

Ok back to the point. They say get your education, get a college degree, you’ll make more money faster when you get out. But guess what knuckleheads? All that education costs MONEY. and if you come from no money and are still able to get the education, guess what you’ll have once you receive that degree? Still NO money, and a whole lotta debt, which will keep you tied to the man for the next 30 yrs of your highly educated life. Yes, it may be true that you’ll make more money than your degree less counterpart, but you’ll also have direct loan on your payroll, which cuts a sweet amount of the percentage that you take home, which means you and degreeless counterpart are bringing home basically the same amount of cheddar. Now this doesn’t apply to doctors and lawyers, because who really wants to be either of those things? If you don’t find this funny, you must be either a lawyer (or bout to take the bar, I’m sorry you had to sacrifice your social life for a career that allows you no social graces and people will still not like you) or a doctor (I really have nothing negative to say about doctors because they have their own share of crap to deal with, money doesn’t make everything alright).

Another point is that just because you have a degree, and are highly educated, don’t mean you are cut out to run a business or be in charge of people. Everyone raise your hands if you’ve ever had to work for an idiot…an educated idiot…I have a lot of respect for people who worked their way up through a company, that’s the kind of person who could run a business. That is being educated by life experience.

LIFE EXPERIENCE: you can’t take a class on that. COMMON SENSE: that’s not a cfas(go Eagles!) class either.

So just because you get a degree, doesn’t necessarily mean you will be better off. If you are poor, come from no money, a degree may not change that. Don’t let them fool you. I say do what you love! Do what you have a passion for. You’re still going to be poor in the end, you may as well be happy. If you go to school, go for something you like, this is coming from the girl with a BA in Art. Word life. When you go to school, be smart about it, get people to pay YOU to go to school. Work the system. That all!

I have a theory that record companies are the devil. Not figuratively. I think that the devil and the government agencies have teamed up to brainwash the young Black youth. Think about it, what do they play on Urban radio? : Plies, Souljah Boy,Jim Jones, Gucci Mane, etc.. They play the same 10-15 song rotation ALL. DAY. LONG. Who listens to the radio? teenagers and young adults. What do young people have in common? they soak up information/messages like sponges. The result? Kids think it is cool to be ignorant. So of course the devil wants to further that kind of thinking. BUT, here's where the devil messed up, the white kids started liking the ignorant catchy tunes... so the plan was a little bit flawed, but still effective enough to justify the white youth falling to the side.

If you notice, the record companies do not readily stand behind any positive and/or creative rapper's musical projects. They will support just enough to give the semblance of good will, but that is about it. Have you ever heard of Blu, Tanya Morgan, or Kooley High? Don;t worry, I'll wait... Didn't think so.

So I implore my readers who have kids, please don't let them listen to the radio... I don't want them robbing me in 3 years and falling into the prison warehouse (I have a prison conspiracy theory too, might address that this week as well) just like "the man" wants to happen... Don't let the record companies/devil win.

These is where this post stemmed from:

[11:38] alisenikkole: it aint conspiracy to me, lol
[11:38] alisenikkole: everybody else is crazy, not me, lol
[11:39] alisenikkole: (spoken like a true crazy person)
[11:44] T 2U: lol! [11:44] T 2U: yes we have a shared psychosis
[11:45] alisenikkole: pterodactyls of a feather... lol
[11:47] alisenikkole: oh but my rap theory is that the record companies/FBI/gubment are all in cahoots
[11:48] T 2U: to keep conscous rap out of maintstream?
[11:48] alisenikkole: that's why the same 10 ignorant songs are played on the radio to engrain the simple melodies (ie Souljah Boy) into the minds of the youth...
[11:48] T 2U: to perpatuate propaganda that keeps the people stupid?
[11:48] alisenikkole: bc how do we learn?
[11:48] alisenikkole: repetition
[11:48] alisenikkole: Those songs are pneumonic devices for self hatred and promotion of ignorance
[11:49] alisenikkole: mnemonic*
[11:49] alisenikkole: but pneumonia works too bc it is a disease
[11:49] alisenikkole: that steals our breath and voice
[11:49] alisenikkole: Freudian slip much?

This post is dedicated to all of the newly natural sistas out there. Listen carefully. Folks of African descent have been doing there hair with juices and berries for more years than your 2nd grader can count. Meaning, it is not necessary for you to spend a grip on hair care products. Yeah I said it, CD, MCJW, and the like are probably hurling daggers at the screen as they read this. I don’t care; I’m busting wide open the myth that you need special ingredients to maintain your naturally maintaining hair follicle system. Ask Jewish people, what do you guys use in your hair? Luster’s Pink oil moisturizer? Yeah I thought so.

All jokes aside. It is easy to get caught up in the hype of hair care after it being ingrained in our lil black psyches that we had to do a lot to maintain our varyingly curly dos. Although it WAS true that we needed a special blend of moisturizers to keep our hair lubed and tamed when we had perms, but that was because we were killing our hair by way of fire every 4-8 weeks for the sake of looking like…something we weren’t meant to look like. After your hair has had the time to go back to its natural state, all chemical torture having grown out, follicles being healed, I will assure you that some basic moisturizer, pomade, grease, whatever you want to call it is all you need. I say if you feel like you need to spend all that money, send it to me! I’ll hook you up with a jar of the goodness and send it to ya!

Another note, all things won’t work for all people, especially if you are mixed. This is understood, and I’m all about finding what works best for your hair texture. What I am NOT about is buying into the hype that you need to make a huge investment in stuff that is going to slide off of your hair and glaze your forehead and stain your collar.

My theory is that “society” has a huge investment in making black women/people believe that they need to spend a lot on hair care, that their hair isn’t as good without all this “help”. Continuously making us feel inferior to those who are ok just the way they are, no prep time needed. Natural isn’t natural if you have to have a specially concocted, manufactured potion to make it look right. Home made mixes are not included in this description. We are alright just the way we are, our hair is alright just the way it is, oh yeah, btw, some of us have hair that wasn’t never meant to shine with a sheen. It naturally has a matte finish, sorry kids that is the way it goes. The only texture you are brining out is the one you were born with, no enhancements, it wont make it more wavy curly or whatever. If your hair only does a half wave, that’s all your getting. Deal with it.

Don’t be a sucka played out by the man. Keep that money for a new outfit or a gym membership.
This weeks theme is personal theories and/or conspiracy theories. We will kick the week off with a guest post by my very good friend Amy. Make sure to check out her blogs: random and pressing details and The Attic of My Mind because she is pretty awesome!

"My theory on that is.... "

I say that a lot. Just ask Alise if you don't believe me. I have a theory on almost everything human nature-ish. I think I get it from my mom. She was an observer of people... dare I say, she was an EXPERT observer of people. She almost coulda been an anthropologist or a sociologist or some such thing. (She wasn't though, she was a hairdresser... which is a kissing cousin to bartender in terms of hearing people's life stories and whatnot... but I digress). I also tend to be a bit on the analytical side. I like to peel away until I get to the core of how something works... I must understand the form and the function, if you will. And I tend to worry at things until I feel I do have a grasp on them.

Anyway, add my Theory OCD to my self-diagnosed ADD, and you get an endless train of thought that jumps the track on average every 5 minutes. Which is probably why I love Twitter so much. In terms of blogging, I'm probably lucky to get through a paragraph before my entire topic runs in a diametrically opposed direction!! See what I mean?

Today, I have a theory (or two) to share on racism/bigotry. Now, before I start, let me first establish that 1.) with me, "theory" and "opinion" are pretty close to synonymous, and 2.) I'm a common garden variety white girl. The closest I have ever come to personally experiencing racism or bigotry has been on behalf of my biracial son and in his defense. I do not pretend to understand the feelings and repercussions that follow being on the receiving end. I'm just spoutin' off about what I've observed and my theories about the jackasses on the giving end. I've given the topic a lot of thought due to the fact that my son is biracial. As his mother, I must at least attempt to understand, so I can help him navigate the world around him. (At least until he turns 18 and is outta my house... but that's a blog for another day).

In the scheme of things there is a continuum of bigotry (this is my beginning premise). I think to one extent or another, every one has a smidgen of it in us. It's about knowing where people fall on that scale. I'm gonna go out on a limb here and make a sweeping blanket statement: If someone (especially a melanin-deficient someone) says they "aren't racist" they are lying to themselves and/or you.

With that said, keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle... this train makes erratic stops and changes in direction. The management is not responsible for any damage to property, limb or mental health that may result from the following trip through my brain. Thank you and enjoy the ride.

First up is Mr. Blatant. He's the guy who calls you out of your name, to your face. He's the one who revels in stirring shit up and causing outrage. However, in a sense, he's the safest. HUH?? (Give me a minute, I'm going somewhere with this). He's a KNOWN COMMODITY. No shame in his game, he's a bigot and proud of it. His whole lifespace is filled with "I'm a racist, and what??" rhetoric and behavior. The point is, you can see him coming a mile away. And forewarned is forearmed. Clearly, he's on one extreme of the spectrum.

Next, we have Mr. Blatant's first cousin, Mr. Covert. His sentiments are identical to his cousin's, but he's a little more world savvy. This also makes him a lot more dangerous... he's the one who's gonna smile in your face and stab you in the back. He knows that his opinions and beliefs will be censured. He knows that he has to "make it look good." Unfortunately, this jackass likes to run for public office and shit. He usually gives himself away somehow, though. Be it through a slip of the tongue, or because he has a membership at some "exclusive" country club, or because he's just a little too willing to make excuses for Mr. Blatant. This guy is the first one to yell "reverse racism." He has spent much of the last 20 years or so hollering about how the real oppressed group is "white middle aged men." He gets nan from me but the side-eye.

Now, down the street and over a block we will wander into the neighborhood of Mr. and Mrs. Don'tGetOutMuch. I qualify the next statement by saying this: there is no such thing as harmless racism. The harm done may be unintentional, but that doesn't excuse the behavior, and they must be taught. These are the people that due to upbringing and circumstance haven't had their cultural horizons broadened. In other words, wasn't nan but white folks where they were raised. These are the ones who stupidly put their feet in their mouths, then jam those bad boys in far as they'll go trynna talk their way out of it. In their defense, a good number of these folks will at least try to change their evil ways once they realize they have evil ways that need changing. And not to rag on BET, but it doesn't help when the only exposure to a culture is less than stellar. And the Don'tGetOutMuch family usually gets their ideas about other cultures through media exposure.

On the other side of town is the Enlightened family. They are educated. They took Cultural Diversity, African American Studies, Women's Studies AND Comparative Religions in college, by gummy!! You can't tell them not a gatdamn thing. They will argue to the death that they have not a prejudiced, racist nor bigoted bone in their bodies. But they lie. Primarily to themselves. Just let's wait and see what happens when their little Enlightened progeny (who might actually be a little more enlightened than Mom n Pop) bring home a boy or girl friend who happens to be from a different culture. I'll tell you what will happen.... sphincter tone. The Enlightened's will suddenly turn into the tight-asses... at least until they have time to adjust. (Guess what house AmyMay grew up in....)

Next is my personal pet peeve.... the Wannabes. This is pretty self explanatory. Usually younger white people trying to jack culture to fill the void.... because, really, white folks,,, not a lot going on with ours. (Except for our penchant for doing dangerous and life threatening crap for no good reason... who swims with sharks?? I mean really...)
The thing with this group is that they convince themselves that they are sooooo damn "down" (word to Tanya Morgan) that they can do and say certain things with impunity. I'm sorry, but I don't care how long you've been best friends with Michelle Obama, if you are white, it is NOT cool for you to drop the N-Bomb. I don't care if your Black best friend introduces you as his/her n____, it is NOT ok for you to do the same when introducing him to your people. (And here's where my train of thought temporarily derails...white folks, ummmm, NO DREDLOCS, ever!! It ain't a good look for us...c'mon, now... y'all know I'm right).

Bringing us to the far end of the continuum.... the Reconciled To It clan. These are the people who honestly face the fact that racism, prejudice and bigotry are born of the fear of the unknown. They understand that despite their very best attempts and most sincere intentions, they will never be able to completely eradicate every last particle of racism from their beings. That does not mean that they won't attempt to continue to become better people. In fact, that's what marks them as different. They recognize the room for growth. They welcome encounters which broaden their horizons. And they feel like shit every time they catch the random racist bullshit that their human nature sometimes trips over.

I've tortured Alise with this theory before. And I'm pretty sure I didn't cover every "type" in this post, but dang, it's already long as hell! So I better quit before I get further behind. I hope reading this tome hasn't been too painful for anyone. I'm sure I'm bound to get a lot of disagreement on it, but hey, like I said... it's just a theory!

Snark Week: Recycling is akin to insanity

Recycling-stingy aunt rita’s way of not buying new stuff. Can’t stand her a**. Recycling is the devil. Recycling the same shit and trying to get something new out of it(I totally stole this line from the SO). Like that tired ass weave, that tired ass attitude, that tired ass boyfriend, good grief just throw it away already.

Land fills are ok, they hold what we cant recycle. They keep the shit we need to throw out safe. Landfills help us to designate where to build the next projects (housing developments). Like a big ole stinky arrow, put poor folks here! Landfills give water filtration system employees fat bonuses. It all goes hand in hand.

[I must admit, thinking this demented for the past week is starting to tweek me out a little bit. I hope I can come back to the sane side once this is all done. I’ve been contemplating the perfect death for puppies and panda bears…this is bad]

Snark Week: Don't Give Peace a Chance

This week , we will be writing negatively about inherently good things (i.e. puppies, love, forgiveness, peace, wine) and positively about inherently bad things (racism, hate, murder, mayonnaise)... I know it is weird, but my blog partner is insane so let's just humor her...

*I don't wanna*

Life should be filled with lots of drama, it makes things more interesting. How about a world where MOP's "Ante Up" is played on continuous loop on loud speakers everywhere? How about DMX's first album? Metallica?

*Even Bert and Ernie have had enough*

That is my Utopia. I want people fighting in the streets. Pandemonium is all the rage. Your essential Fall wardrobe must consist of one shoulder dresses, leather pants, and pure unadulterated chaos. You want to be hip, right? It's very edgy. I recommend that you react from your gut anytime a stupid person crosses your path. Don't talk it out or turn the other cheek, that's so 2008. Just punch folks in the throat, it's the American way.

*New for Fall '09... cute!*

Take those brass knuckles out of retirement and just misdirect your anger whenever you get a chance. I PROMISE you will feel better, it's all about you anyway. Right? Wrong. It is all about ME, so let's just fight to the death to figure out who's right. I think that will work out well. What say you?

*This is all in jest... well mostly*

Snark Week: Kind People will Kill You

This week , we will be writing negatively about inherently good things (i.e. puppies, love, forgiveness, peace, wine) and positively about inherently bad things (racism, hate, murder, mayonnaise)... I know it is weird, but my blog partner is insane so let's just humor her...

Kindness- a submissive, passive aggressive way to get close and eventually stab you in the back or eye. Be ware of those with a smile, they will kill you.

Where do you think the saying “kill them with kindness” comes from?

That is not a coincidence, it is not wit, it is TRUTH! Kind people will kill you in your sleep because that is the kind way to kill someone. The next time someone is kind to you, grab your purse, put your chain under your shirt, grip your handle, and back away from them…

Which brings me to my friend Judgment.

Judgment is a good thing! It helps me to separate them from Me. When I’m being judgmental, I no longer have to explain myself, I don’t have to accept or tolerate someone else’s opinion. You no longer matter because I have judged you to be beneath me. In fact I cant even hear you "la la la". I have taken my scepter and knocked you upside the head with it. I have marked you as judged! You will spend eternity being beneath me. I also don’t have to be accountable for how I treat you once I’ve passed judgment on you. I don’t have to take the time to get to know you, to hear you or even consider your feelings. Judgment makes socializing with people a little more simple. I can cancel out entire populations if I wanted to. Ahh yes judgment, the social filter.

*This is all in jest... well mostly*

Snark Week: Forgiveness is for Suckas!

This week in response to Tiha's psychotic urging, we will be writing negatively about inherently good things (i.e. puppies, love, forgiveness, peace, wine) and positively about inherently bad things (racism, hate, murder, mayonnaise)... I know it is weird, but my blog partner is insane so let's just humor her...

<< !-- more -->

First topic I would like to victimize is forgiveness. Booooo! Forgiveness is for suckas! I also advocate two wrongs making a right just in case you wondered. I have seen many quotes about forgiveness such as:

Forgiveness is the sweetest revenge. ~Isaac Friedmann

There is no revenge so complete as forgiveness. ~Josh Billings

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much. ~Oscar Wilde

Yeah, just like I thought, all the quotes are wack. I say get revenge. Some folks say wait around for karma to deal with unruly folks. I don't like Karma, she is never on time, I'm not patient. Patience is overrated too.

I like this quote:

It's far easier to forgive an enemy after you've got even with him.
~Olin Miller
That quote is more awesome than me, and that is pretty awesome. (Stop your side-eyes) I want to let out the negative energy and make the situation better by putting more negative energy into the atmosphere, that makes sense right? Don't cross Alise, she won't get over it, she'll get even. I even wrote a poem a while ago, wanna hear it , here it go:


They say revenge is a dish best served cold,

but mine was blazing hot.....

Yeah I was hot!

Hot with:




And I felt bad,

But not how you think:

I felt bad that I didn't feel bad about it!

This time 2 wrongs made it right..... to my ego anyway.

My feelings were impatient

I had no time to wait for karma...... I got places to go.....

I am tired of good people getting hurt,

So I took the law into my own hands.

Just call me an emotional vigilante....

So be a vigilante, take your forgiveness and shove it and you can forget about forgetting... un-Peace Y'all!

*This is all in jest... well mostly*

Check out some of our other Blog Series:

Under the Influence: Incredible Hulk

An Incredible Hulk, Green Eyed Monster, or Hip and Hen is a green-colored cocktail made by equal parts (2 fl oz each) of the fruit liqueur Hpnotiq and Hennessy brand cognac poured over ice. It is named for the famously green comic book superhero, the Hulk.

I am speaking of this drink, not because I would admit to liking it, but because I have beef with people who remind me of it.

This hip hop urban concoction was created by a bartender at one of Puffy’s spots. Kudos for job security, shame for making Hennessy, which was already on its way to being a hood star, even more hood.

Just because you cut a ghetto liquor with a good liquor does not make the combination any better than its lowest liquor. Kinda like the 1 drop rule, you still black, its still wack ( I know that reference will have me tarred and hung, but I’m black so you know I don’t really mean it ;) )

Which brings me to my next point, Incredible Hulk Pseudo Intellectual Poser Poets. All of these things have the same thing in common. Pseudo Intellectuals pass as intellectuals because they may have had some college, they may have seen the Malcolm X movie, they may know some big words. Just enough to sound dangerous. BUT they aren’t. Check their SATs, check their GREs, check their tax returns, check that cheat sheet they have taped to their arm, just listen to a sentence…tastes like a syrupy sweet neon blue drink…

Poser poets…ahh yes…as I type these black letters on this white screen I think about how black folks always have to make their mark on the face of white folks just to be seen-I’m trying to give an example of a fake a** poet. Poser Poets can rhyme, sometimes, can string a bunch of words together incoherently and swear its poetry. Poser Poets think highly of themselves, but all they are really doing is tarnishing the art of expression through poetic story telling. They are cutting the Hennessey with imitation sweetness. And it makes me MAD!

In the bar of life, are you diluting something great with something that’ll rot your teeth, and calling it platinum?

*Alise chimes in... I just want to tell Miss Tiha that this post is FIRE*

Under the Influence: Red Wine

*Wine is an alcoholic beverage typically made of fermented grape juice... (Shiraz is my favorite)*

Red wine
How do I love thee?
Let me sip the ways...

I lust love red wine, and it loves me back... (Don't judge me) I lust poetry, and it loves me back... I think poetry is a lot like red wine. Let's explore:

  • Red wine is reported to be good for the heart. I think my poetry (or anyone's genuine expression of poetry for that matter) is beneficial literally and figuratively. In the literal sense I think anything that relieves stress or brings pleasure to your soul is quite positive for the health of your heart. It surely can't hurt. Also, anything evoking emotion, even sadness or anger, is a good exercise for you heart (soul), things like sympathy, empathy, caring, love must be practiced and poetry is a pretty good calisthenic plan.

  • Red wine stains. Trust me, I know. (Don't judge me). I think any great expression leaves an indelible mark on you. For example, I will share one of my favorite poems written by one of my favorite poets. In the poem I will share, Nikki Giovanni speaks of how the lacking of a freedom of choice affects the human spirit. This piece left me with the mark on me to analyze and make use of the things I DO have the choice over. In her short poem I changed an entire piece of my thinking. This is an example of a large stain that OxyClean is not getting out, but other pieces may only leave a drop, but they touch you nonetheless... this is the piece I was referring to:
CHOICES, by Nikki Giovanni

if i can't do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don't want
to do

it's not the same thing
but it's the best i can

if i can't have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i've got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

since i can't go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn't lateral

when i can't express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal
i know
but that's why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry

  • Red wine tends to be an acquired taste. I have found that poetry is the same way. The way I approached a glass of red wine for the first time is the same way I approached reading poetry. It was a foreign expression, a little bitter at times, and was only thought of as a broad topic. Now when I sip red wine I enjoy it, the full body, the richness. Also I now recognize the subtle nuances, be it a Shiraz, Merlot, or Cabernet. I can identify the notes and quality. Just like I now have haiku, sonnets, odes, love poems, etc.
  • Wine gets better with time. As you live, learn, and grow, so does my (and hopefully yours) appreciation of poetry.

What in your life is like red wine?

Under the Influence: Cosmopolitan

Alise loves cocktails and wine, so this week we will explore the theme of alcoholic beverages. We will relate them to life in some sort of way. Some funny, some serious, some completely abstract... you know how we do...

Having just come back from a heck of a holiday weekend, this topic is quite fresh in my head. So I bring to you one of my most favorite and signature drinks! The drink you will always catch me holding at the chill spot, pinky up, attitude melting, give it up for:

The Cosmopolitan

2 ounces vodka
1 ounce Cointreau
1 ounce cranberry juice
1 ounce Rose's lime juice

One of the more recently famous martinis, famous for being famous, the Sex and the City staple, my little cosmo has been my companion for some time now. Truth be told, and I am telling the truth, I’ve been slurping cosmos since before Carrie and Samantha made them sexy. I’ve been a martini lady since I’ve been legal and able to make them myself, something about a martini made me feel so grown and sophisticated, especially since they are so strong that many an alcoholic newbie didn’t have the sophistication to either a) appreciate it or b) stomach it, which meant c) I never had to share. Let em drink beer!

The cosmo, when done right is a smooth, yet stiff drink. Don’t let the pink color fool you, it’s a sweet tart. Do you know why it’s pink? Because there is so much vodka in it that the once burgundy colored cranberry juice used to take the edge off, has been diluted to a pretty light pink hue. Hello world, is your response once you let the power of the cosmo wash over you. Don’t try to fight it, you will lose…

Now what the heck does all this descriptive narrative have to do with me? I am that diluted pink hue, seemingly approachable and sweet, but keep in mind, I’m pink because I’ve been cut and diluted with vodka, not water, not sugar, but pure distilled disinfecting madness. I bite, but I wait until I’ve slid down your throat, I’ve gotten inside ya, inside ya head, then…WHAM…you’ve just got got. I am not ashamed, I just caution you, don’t sleep on this martini drink…

In the bar of life, are you sophisticated enough to go toe to toe with a cosmo?

Under the Influence: Vodka & Tonic

Alise loves cocktails and wine, so this week we will explore the theme of alcoholic beverages. We will relate them to life in some sort of way. Some funny, some serious, some completely abstract... you know how we do... first round on me:

2 oz vodka
3 - 5 oz tonic water

Pour vodka into a highball glass over ice cubes, and fill with tonic water. Stir, and serve.

A vodka tonic is an alcoholic drink made with varying proportions of vodka and tonic water. Vodka tonics are frequently garnished with a slice of lime. Anyone who knows me well knows this is my favorite alcoholic drink. I think I resemble this drink. I know, I am not transparent. Not literally or figuratively, so that is not where the resemblance lies. I am like this lovely vodka tonic that is calling me from the page (don't judge me) in the following ways:

  • I am wonderful when mixed with high quality ingredients, it is then that I am a fabulous drink. In fact you don;t even recognize the taste, good quality vodka is flavorless. I make everyone feel all nice and tipsy and warm even if they don't know I'm there.
i.e. Ketel One & Tonic
  • I am horrid when mixed with cheap ingredients. Throw some negative energy, wack people, or some hardship and I am a terrible drink. I'll get the job done, but I will leave a wake of headaches and a bad taste in your mouth. It is not pretty, just ask Tiha...
i.e. Aristocrat & Tonic
  • I go down smooth. If you know me, you will see that I am a peacemaker. I am seldom argumentative (unless pushed to the limit, see "Aristocrat & Tonic"), never yell, and a lot nicer than Tiha. (She is going to kill me... literally, HELP, she might kill me) I treat people fairly and stay calm, cool, and collective.
  • I am a classic yet overlooked drink. You may ignore me, but I am not any less fabulous because of... and it's your loss.

In the bar of life would you order me a Vodka & Tonic?

Life Lessons Learned: Mean Older Kids

I know this is about childhood games and how they relate to my adulthood, well this is a little twist because right now I am extremely angsty this week, and hurting. So excuse my bitterness tone. W ell, I remember a cruel "game" that was played with/on me when I was growing up. A little back story: I grew up an only child in a single parent household, but every summer I visited my grandparents in Savannah, GA. All my big cousins lived in Savannah, they were all pretty much the same age, and I was the baby, 5 years younger. It was actually good most of the time, EXCEPT when they would do something that has me kinda f*cked up to this day. When I would excessively get on their nerves they constructed some sort of game together to where they would pretend that they did not see me. They would walk around the house looking under beds and closets calling my name and saying, "Where is Alise?" Me, in sheer terror would yell out, "Look you guys, I'm right here!!!" This would go on for 20-30 minutes until I would be in real full out tears. I think about this often.

The tragedy of this story is now I really can't find her. And who is going to help?

*if my cousins happen to read this, sorry I had to put y'all on blast, some things a child's mind never forgets*