Sunday, August 29, 2010


Jena is only fifteen and shouldn’t have a care in the world, but she feels like the weight of the world is pressing on her shoulders. An unfortunate incident this past week left her feeling completely lost and now she is struggling to regain some semblance of herself.

Jena’s first crush rejected her. The two had been friends since forever but boyfriend wasn’t looking to make Jena his girl. So Jena moved on with a boy who gave her attention right up to the moment she gave him some. Her very private moment suddenly became fodder for high school twitterdom, the boy boasting about his conquest to everyone within a mile of a cell phone and keyboard. Surviving that humiliation was bad enough, but Jena did. Twitterdom soon found some other young girl to tear apart.

Last week Jena finally found the courage to come out from under the rock she calls a room to socialize with her peers. Heading to the movie theater, Jena wasn’t at all prepared for the barbs and catcalls her former friends blasted her with. Hearing that boy and his brat pack call her a “ho” and “slut”, chanting it over and over for everyone to poke fun at, brought her to tears. And no one, not even the crush who called her his friend, bothered to come to her defense.

For me, I had to wonder why her first crush didn’t say something, if only to tell that boy who got some that what he was doing wasn’t cool. Being one of the popular kids, he could have made a difference. That difference might have meant the world to Jena.

A former acquaintance was fond of saying that a good run was better than a bad stand any day. It was his opinion that saying nothing was much better than putting one’s self at risk to point out the error of another’s ways. I didn’t whole-heartedly agree. Jena’s crush would seem to.

In sixth grade Beverly was the class bully. Most of the girls and many of the boys were scared to death of her. For whatever reasons I became the object of Bev’s dysfunction, the girl intent on making every day as miserable for me as she possibly could. The final straw came when Beverly ordered me ostracized, no one in our class allowed to talk, walk, or eat with me without her permission. When lunch time rolled around I was left sitting by myself, everyone else gathered around Bev. That first day was devastating. The second day my friend Liz returned to class after being out ill. When lunch time rolled around, Bev barked out her order. My friend Liz told her no and that day she and I sat together and shared our two lunches.

Liz telling Beverly no, that what she was doing was wrong, made a monumental difference, and meant the world to me.

Liz believed in taking a stand to right a wrong when she saw it. Liz didn’t believe in running. I found the magnitude of her convictions empowering. My friend Liz died in a tragic car crash when we were fifteen. I imagine that if she were still with us today, she'd be taking some mighty big stands on some pretty important issues.

I wish Jena had at least one great friend like Liz.

Friday, August 27, 2010


So, it was one of those good days. I had no where to go and nothing I absolutely had to do and so I did absolutely nothing. Then I was motivated to cook. I haven’t really cooked in a good long while. Fast food has been my nemesis to say the least. And so I tossed on a pair of sweat pants and one of my well-worn tee shirts and headed to the grocery store.

I knew what I wanted to cook, yet I struggled for thirty minutes trying to figure out how to make that meal low-calorie and healthy. After thirty minutes I gave up, figuring there was really no good reason to ruin a good thing, then I headed for the kitchen.

The pork chops were pristine. I seasoned those babies up and let them marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours. Then it was on to the gravy for the baked spaghetti. One large chopped onion, a sliced green pepper, two large jars of stewed tomatoes simmered sweetly, while spaghetti cooked al dente. When all that was done, I layered the two in a baking dish with a pound of grated, extra-sharp American cheese. At least another pound of cheese decorated the top. As I slipped that casserole into a low oven I was feeling a pinch of guilt but it only lasted as long as it took me to pan fry those first few pork chops. Adding a leafy green tossed salad did, however, make me feel much, much better about the overall calorie count.

Then, when the meal was all done, plated pretty, and ready to be eaten, I didn’t have any appetite at all. But that was perfectly okay, because it had truly been one of those good days.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It’s become more and more apparent that when it comes to this space there is no happy medium between the personal and the professional. I am so fed up with having to pull up my big girl panties to keep other people pacified that I imagine if I have to do it one more time, the elastic is going to break and then I’ll really be showing my ass.

At best if I compare my personal life to an exotic meal in a five-star restaurant, then my professional posts will simply be reviews of the bread and butter with no mention of the meat, vegetables or the dessert. One would think that if I like the dessert I should be able to say so but I’m suddenly having to bite back my words and hold my tongue and there is simply nothing sweet about that.

So, what do I do? I have agonized over my options and then it came to me.

I need to do what I do best. If that means tossing back an extra bourbon or two or three, then blasting the beef and lambasting the pie, then so be it. I’ll just drink good bourbon and tip the bartender well.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I’ve had two back-to-back, event-filled weekends. One was very different from the other but both were truly great times.

Last week I celebrated a friend’s crystal anniversary. The event started early and ended late. Great food, much booze, tons of fun, and a wealth of laughter filled the time in between. I was able to catch up with old friends and made some new acquaintances and felt like quite the social butterfly when all was said and done.

This weekend was a family event, a reunion of loved ones coming together to celebrate their past, the present and the promises of the future. It was family I didn’t know and had never met before. The entire weekend was whole-heartedly one of the most spiritually uplifting experiences that I have ever had.

Both weekends have left me reflecting on both my personal and professional life. Once again I find myself questioning how best to balance the two, most especially when it comes to my writing and this particular medium.

For some time now I have had to temper my emotions and subsequently censor my writing for all the wrong reasons. For more times than I care to count I have been admonished about some of my writing being better reserved for a private journal that only I can see. It seems that I never know who might be reading my posts, ready to run and tattle about something I put in print. And though I have said many times before that this is my space, to do with as I please and all else be damned, I still want to be respectful of those I love and care most for and how my words might impact them.

But with nine books behind me and many, many more to come, much of me is already in print for all to see and we don’t even want to talk about what might be in the pipeline about to come. I need to write and sometimes I just need to write about the good and the bad of my stuff without feeling like I need to watch what I say and how I say it.

So time with family and friends and some serious self-reflection has me contemplating how best to balance the many sides of me.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


I’m going to make a sex tape. I’m told that’s the in thing to do these days. In fact, most recently Laurence Fishburne’s teenage daughter announced that she has done just that. Like her, I’m hoping to fast track my way to credibility. To hear her tell it, everyone Montana Fishburne admires (Pamela Anderson, Kendra Wilkinson, and Pamela Anderson) has done the deed on film and scored major bucks and notoriety from the experience. According to Montana, it shot Kim Kardashian’s career right to Emmy Award winning-heaven. That’s why Montana stripped and spread ‘em for the cameras. To be like Kim.

If that’s the case then I don’t see why I can’t just jiggle enough cellulite and shake my ta-ta’s for a film crew to guarantee myself a Pulitzer Prize. Lord knows I have plenty to shake! Do you know any other author who’s caught that clue yet? I’d be the first and I bet it wouldn’t be a hot minute before the rest of pack are shaking body parts on film to try and outdo me. To hell with great prose or true talent. Nudity and sexual prowess is the key to success if we believe an ounce of what Montana believes.

It would probably be just my luck that whoever my co-star might be, Dick Dread maybe, or Harry Hung perhaps, they might actually outperform me. I mean, could I really compete by just moaning and groaning while I performed some serious sexual acrobatics across a countertop when junior Dick is dancing to some guy’s knees? I can just see it now, a lengthy erection stealing all my thunder.

But hey, if sex tapes are the way to fame and riches what do I have to lose? Why lay claim to integrity and respectability when debauchery and good old T & A pays better? Montana is 19-years old and we all know how brilliantly intelligent we are at the age of 19. That’s when you know everything the rest of the world doesn’t have a clue about. Montana is brilliantly intelligent.

And if things don’t go like Montana anticipates, the girl falling flat into Jaime Foxworth or Karrine “Superhead” Steffans-like obscurity, then at least she can say she put forth her best effort. At 19 there would still be time for her to turn things around and lay claim to something that really matters.

I, on the other hand, would just have a sex tape floating around the internet, cellulite jiggling through the datasphere. No Pulitzer. No credibility. Nada. So maybe making that sex tape isn’t such a good idea. ‘Cause let’s face reality. I’m no Kim Kardashian. And news flash to Montana. “ Baby girl, neither are you.”

Monday, August 09, 2010


Parenting is a challenge in and of itself, most especially when the cute baby reaches adolescence and that not-so-cute, I-know-everything, you-know-nothing stage. But parenting shouldn’t be an act of devastation where the parent is more of a child than the child is.

Kevin and his mother have a relationship that is riddled with nonsensical drama, most of it caused by mama. Mama’s issues run deep and no amount of rationalizing with her would seem to work.

Mama has spent most of Kevin’s teen years buying his affection. Kevin pouts, throws tantrums and Mama goes on a spending spree rewarding him well for his bad behavior. Then when Kevin opposes her, doing what teens tend to do at his age, the woman turns into Linda Blair, spewing carnage as her head rotates in circles on top of her thick neck. When that happens no one is safe from the fall out, not the baby boy, the daddy, or anyone else unfortunate enough to cross her path. But the only one who truly suffers is her son.

Despite son-shine’s maturity, his mama permits him to do things a boy his age has no business doing. It’s not rocket science to see a disaster-in-the-making, but mama would seem to be deaf, dumb, and blind if it means pissing off the boy’s daddy. And like children will do, their child has mastered the art of playing one parent against the other for his own personal gain.

Mama blew a fuse recently. Since then baby boy has barely cracked a smile. He needs things to change but the change he thinks he needs won’t solve his problems. It might make things easier for the boy because Mama won’t have anything to complain about. But like life will do, I’m sure it won’t be long before they’re all right back in the same cycle the kid would desperately like to run from and Mama’s head starts spinning in circles while she spews.