A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Manic Monday #3-Silence

I was only a few months old when this picture was taken, but my mother, when I was old enough to comprehend, told me how she and other Negroes went into Woolworth's to watch President Kennedy's funeral. As they stood around and listened to speech after speech, my mother remembered that when Mrs. Kennedy and the family came out of the church and "John-John" saluted his father's coffin, a hushed SILENCE covered the whole crowd. Soon, the SILENCE was broken by the sounds of my mother's muffled weeping into her hankie, as slowly, some of the other ladies also began weeping.

Friday, April 27, 2007

I'm Just Rambling Here

The end of a very long week.

My company announced they will no longer pay into our retirement fund. We now have to save/contribute 5% into a savings plan. The money we've already saved in the now defunct retirement plan will remain untouched until we leave the company. We are not allowed to take that money and invest it as we see fit. The company will now match our savings contributions at 5%-up from 3%. This means that if we're not saving at least 5% per check, we're losing money. I already save more than 5% in my company-sponsored 401k but now that the retirement's on me, my take home amount will decrease.

Gas is now more than $3.00 per gallon in AZ, my benefits are shrinking and becoming more expensive. My brother has moved in and rapidly depleting excess resources (read: extra money for food, tp, etc). So it's official-where I used to be two paychecks from Welfare, I'm now just one and a half away. Economists always talk about the middle-class being squeezed more and more while the rich get richer. I haven't even made it to the first rung of middle-classdom so if they're feeling squeezed, I'm feeling crushed!

I was over at Bob's last week. He published his manifesto on why we blog. Some blog for entertainment, some blog to highlight their real jobs-being professional writers and still others blog to get paid. I blog because I'm a bit of an exhibitionist, and what's safer than displaying all on Blogger? Besides, I know none of you will ever turn me in (unless I am suddenly thrust in to the spotlight. Then you can say you knew me when).

My family knows nothing about this blog, they've never even seen their pictures on this page. I don't want my family knowing anything about this because I don't need the attitudes, accusations of betraying them or the daily snooping of this part of my life. I read blogs for entertainment and to get a glimpse into the lives of some funny, weird, nice, cruel people I'd never have the chance to interact with in my regular life.

Last week I told y'all about my little brother and the pains of life that have betide him. Many of you left wonderful, encouraging comments. Thank you Empress, Dragon, Blu, Sarala & Jeni for the long distance comfort and for reminding me that my faith is built on nothing less than Jesus' Blood and righteousness. I know He can do so much for us that we're unable to comprehend it. And just as He's brought us this far, He'll surely take us even further!

Finally, as you can tell, my posts have become less frequent. I used to wonder how people could only post every other day or once a week. Now that things have become busier for me, I wonder how people can continue posting sometimes twice a day:-) No, I've not lost the zeal for maintaining this blog. I still love visiting your sites and discovering others. I love telling you how crowded I'm feeling, how heartbreaking it is losing loved ones, running for VP of a fake country. I hope to get back at a daily schedule soon but we'll see.

In the meantime, thanks for continuing to come by and check up on me.

Saturday, April 21, 2007


How could I forget to show my Easter pictures? Here's a few....

Godfrey-my brother

Y'all already know Mooka


A Very Rough Week

*Man kills 32 then himself at Virginia Tech
*Man kills hostage then himself at NASA
*Tainted beef recalled in five States
*Sanjaya is booted from American Idol

It just keeps getting crazier and crazier!

I woke to a perfectly beautiful morning today. It's raining and cloudy, very rare in this desert oasis. The birds are chirping, out there eating the bread we left last night that the neighbourhood cats must deem completely unworthy of their tastes.

I hate to go into work on days like this because this type of weather soothes me, brings out my creativity. Today I would have felt that same creativity but I made the mistake of making my first stop on the Cyberspace Express MSNBC.com with all its reports of everything dismal, depressing and horrible. And of course I had to read it, I'm an info-junkie. My not reading the news is as difficult as my declining an offer of fried chicken and red Kool-aid. As a matter of fact-and my hips can attest to this-I don't ever remember ever declining an offer for chicken.

Well, maybe when I was three or four, but that's the only time.

My 32-year old brother had a rough week. Earlier this year he and his wife divorced and she received custody of the children. They put their house on the market but is still waiting for it to be sold. They were the proud recipients of one of those sub-prime loans that amass great interest and cause rising mortgage payments so even though they're not living in the home, they are still under its burgeoning debt.

Then, my brother lost his construction job.

Three weeks after that he was admitted to hospital for chest pains. They had to give his heart shock treatments and catherize a bleeding vessel. We have a family history of heart problems but are still surprised that it's hit him so quickly. This week he went to a follow-up and the doctors didn't give him good news. They don't want him to work construction due to the heavy lifting and stuff, he hasn't found a job in two months, he has no benefits to pay for this newly-required healthcare, make car payments, feed his children or pay rent.

He's moved in w/us. On our couch.

This means my morning routine of heating the tea kettle and reading my papers while sipping said tea is temporarily interrupted because he's a late riser and is always asleep when I get up. So I'll have to figure something else out. Besides, it's getting warmer now anyways so I won't need the tea as much.

Well, I have a few more sites to visit this morning. We're at the end of a rough week, let's hope next Monday morning brings brighter days.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #3

This Time Next Year

I know, I know. The time to make resolutions is January 1st but this past week I've had time to reflect on my life and some of things I'd like to change. So just for thought, here are some resolutions I'm gonna try to keep for next April. Don't judge me.

This time next year:
*I will have lost 300 pounds because my sister who came to stay "just a few months" will have finally moved out!

*I will have saved approx $2k because all of my nieces will have received their MBA and seminary degrees and I will no longer have to support their nasty habits (books, materials, rent etc).

*I will have organized my closet to actually able to see the closet floor. No more will I just throw everything in and close the door. I will also have found a home for all the families of rodents and critters who continue to make their home in my closet.

*I will have finally understood why my best friend can't go to a seafood restaurant because of her allergies to seafood but can eat spicy eel sushi.

*I will have saved enough for a good bed. Although I'm gonna miss "Ole Lumpy", I know that my back, neck, knees, hips and arms will thank me for not having to climb up and over to get out of bed every morning.

*I will have broken the spell my 1-year old niece has placed me under since her birth. This might very well be the only one I'll have trouble maintaining.

I know one thing, I will never understand the escalating violence that surrounds each of us everyday. People talk about how different we are, but more and more the one commonality between all of us-Canadian, American, English, Asian, Hispanic, European, Italian, African-is the violence that continues to permeate our society. So, I'll just wish each of you a great year ahead, full of love, peace and joy! Happy New Year!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Feeling Better

Well, I'm finally coming around and feeling more like my old self. Thanks to support from readers like Melon and Lizza and their starkly different approaches of support and everyone else who shared. The despair over Batista losing his championship belt is subsiding. And even though there's still the bit of sorrow knowing The Undertaker is Smackdown's current reigning champ, I know in my heart that Batista will win back his coveted possession and once again make my world light and cheery again.

In other pressing news, I'm currently trying to be chosen as Vice-President under Bob Johnson and it's starting to become very political and VERY nasty. I now have political opponents trying to find dirt on me and even questioning my character-all because of the current political events unfolding in Karmulastan and our country's involvement there. You can read more of the goings on at Bob's site. I have learned that I now have to be very careful of what I post because my comments can quickly be taken out of context or used against me. Wish me luck that Bob will choose me. I've tried to convince him the many ways I can help his campaign. I'm gonna soon sweeten the pot-fundraising by selling chicken dinners at the church! Once he sees all the money I can bring in, he's sure to choose me.

Okay, getting back to reality. Easter Sunday was everything I knew it would be! The weather was beautiful during the day but later that night a dust storm surprised us and choked us all back inside.

My mom's dinner was excellent, plentious and tasty. We were all in good moods, no fighting, fussing or playa-hating. My niece Butterfly was the toast of the day as most babies are in family celebrations. She had everyone's attention and she loved it. I think she's on her way to being a ham like her Aunt Debo.

Well, time to get up and get ready for work. Thanks again for everyone wishing me well and sending positive thoughts my way. Although I'm feeling better, I think it's too early to put up my Batista poster though. You know, recovery can be a very long process...snicker, snicker.

Wordless Wednesday #2

Sunday, April 08, 2007

There Is No Joy Here

I am in a bad place and I don't know how to get out. I've never felt this alone, helpless, full of despair. I'm sharing this because it's in my heart and I've secretly carried this pain for some time now.

I know some of you will want to respond w/comments like, "Chin up, soldier on!" or "There will be other opportunities" but please dear readers, please don't leave the obligatory comments because the words will change nothing.

For now, let me cope w/the pain and loss on my own until I am strong enough to go on. But how can I go on with the grief of seeing David Batista lose his WWE championship belt to The Undertaker? Will there never be an end to this river of pain? How can I watch "Smackdown" week after week knowing Batista's a loser? Oh the black wretchedness that is my soul!

I must go now. If you need me I'll be in my bed, lovingly stroking my life-sized poster of Batista, the Champion.


Friday, April 06, 2007

The Joy of Having a Toddler Around

My niece has been staying with us a few days and it's been a joy. Most of the time. She turned the big 1 last week and having her here as well as watching her increasing development is sweet, amazing and so awesome!

She's learning to walk, making 7 to 10 steps at a time before hitting the ground. I sorta wish she had the Pampers they had 30 years ago. You know the ones, they were so thick and fluffy they were almost bulletproof! Now she has these slim things that are mysteriously absorbent and leak proof.

One day last week as I was rushing trying to get ready for work she awoke and started fussing. I took her up and held her for about thirty minutes, rocking her back to sleep. And guess what? For those thirty minutes I didn't worry about interview questions, what topics to bring up in the meetings, how to keep my presentations short, memorable and intelligent. Instead, I concentrated on her long eyelashes, her stubbornness, how she laughs at all my jokes (smart girl), and thinks I'm one of the most interesting persons she knows. By the time I was on my way to work I had a whole new relaxed attitude.

She's also discovered television. While her older brother is watching PBS she watches, but only the commercials. She already knows the non-added value of t.v. I don't know about her music tastes. Because all of us are music lovers, she's being exposed to lots of different music. Her dad's a hip-hop follower, her grandmother and I are gospel and worship fans, her aunt's a jazz officionado. She'll probably become a rock-head or worse, a Country & Western fan.

She has the ability to make complete strangers smile, and can be used to flirt w/men. Gotta keep her around.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Getting My Groove Back

I'm back and boy am I glad to be back! Talk about a busy couple of days. I've been busier than a produce manager at Easter time!

During the last few weeks I've:
  • been on a few interviews
  • planned uptraining for a group of about 90 folk
  • attended uptraining classes that I need to make my work life easier
  • received a ONEderful year-end review
  • started ANOTHER weight-loss plan
  • watched helplessly as my 32-year old brother moved back home
  • began reviewing year-end reviews for my direct reports
  • meetings
  • meetings
  • some other meetings to talk about those meetings!

So I'm glad to be here, alone with Pandora playing Michael Franks, checking out my favourite bloggers and sipping a watermelon slush.

Remember last week I told you about an Arizona Spring, how hot it is? Well, today it's expected to top out at 92 degrees. My family wants to have an Easter picnic on Saturday. Really? You expect me to leave the confines of an air conditioned home to sit outside in near boiling temperatures to watch children find brightly coloured eggs that start to rot the moment they're removed from the fridge? I don't think so.

Now, I don't mind hanging out if we get out there early, say 7:30a and leave before the heat's too oppressive, like say 1oa. Maybe if there was a pool, I could tolerate hanging around longer, but the only comfort I am assured of is throwing water all over myself like a big elephant while swatting annoying flies and mosquitoes.

No, Saturday morning I'm gonna complete my preparations for the church-attending-getting-all-dressed up-eating-like-there's-no-tomorrow marathon that is Easter in my house.

Easter morning we generally attend Sunrise Service (6:00am), find something to eat, then get all dressed up and attend Easter service (now formally called Resurrection Sunday) at 9:00a followed by the Easter Children's program. All in all we're in church from 6a-12 or 1p on Easter Sunday. Then home to eat, eat, eat!

I couldn't have planned today any better. The house is empty and I'm calm. The phone's not ringing, the dog's not barking. Just me and the Lord relaxing and getting my groove back.

I don't know what you're doing this weekend. Whatever it is I hope it's filled w/family, love, lots of food and nice weather.