Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

You’re Gonna Kill Somebody!


It never fails. I lock my baby girl into her car seat, get into my car and then say a prayer because I just know I’m going to encounter an idiot on the road. An idiot who is going 50 miles an hour in a 25 mile an hour zone. An idiot who wants to ride my tail even though he can see that I have a baby in the back seat. An idiot who wants to zoom in and out of lanes like he’s a Nascar driver.

I’m sick and tired of these road demons out here putting people’s lives in jeopardy. In Maryland, I see it too many times to count. People are driving around like they are insane…like they don’t care about their lives or the lives of anyone else.

Nowhere is my fear more acute then when I drive on the highway. I remember one night when it was pouring down raining and I was on a two-lane interstate. There was an accident straight ahead and my heart did a dance because people were getting over into my lane, but they weren’t slowing down to make the switch. The only thing I could think was, “Please don’t hit my car. I have a baby that I love to death.” I could see images of something bad happening to me and my little girl. I won’t go into detail about the images I imagined because I don’t want to give those thoughts life, but, that night, a person changing lanes almost hit me. I screamed in the silent automobile and gestured madly so the driver could see how upset I was.

What was that dude thinking? It was raining cats and dogs and he saw a bad accident ahead and yet he didn’t slow down!?! That has got to be the ultimate sign of disrespect for human life that I have ever seen. Shouldn’t seeing that accident make the road demon in him pause and say, “Wow, that could have been me.” No. Instead he and others act like it can’t happen to them and continue to play around with 2,000-pound toys (a.k.a. automobiles).

Another thing that gets to me is when I see “monkey-see…monkey-do” situations. It happens all the time. One idiot is going 90 miles an hour and then you see other cars behind him follow the lead and do the same thing. Stupid.

And it’s not just men either. Women are engaging in this stupid behavior just as much. I have seen women on social media networks boast that they drive like a maniac. Only they don’t call themselves maniacs. “Get out of my way, slow drivers!” they would say with pride telling everybody that they like to speed. Stupid.

I just don’t get it, people. Why are you in such a hurry? Where are you going? What if you hit someone and kill them? That place that you’re in such a rush to get to is still going to be there, but, yet, you just snuffed the life out of an innocent mother. An innocent baby. An elderly lady.

Slow down, people! Me and my baby girl would appreciate it.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Rent-A-Man

Strong man
Wouldn’t it be nice if women could rent a man for free? Let me explain. I have spent too many winters shoveling my car out of blizzards and small snowstorms to count. And today, I was a victim of the wrath of Irene. Our basement flooded and I was left holding the bag to perform cleanup duty after a family member “disappeared.” I found myself complaining like a baby as I poured bucket upon bucket of water out the door into the grass in the backyard. “I wish I had a man!” I whined.

Now get this…I consider myself to be an independent woman. I have shoveled snow like a dude and felt proud to do so because I am “a strong woman.” Men would come up to me and ask if I needed help and I would decline because I didn’t want them to expect “something” in return.

As a woman, I think there is always that underlying question about a man’s motive whenever he helps you out. And there’s a reason for that. Most of the time men do have ulterior motives when they do something for you. So, that’s why I say wouldn’t it be nice if there was a Rent-A-Man business where you can get help for free and not have to worry about whether or not the man is helping you out so he can sleep with you?

The business would consist of a group of men who volunteer to help women who need “manly things” done and it would be in their contract that they can’t hit the woman up for nothing—no money, no goodies (i.e., sex)—nothing. Just come and do the job and be gone. God, wouldn’t that be great!

I suppose some women would say just get a boyfriend and he can do all that stuff for you. Well, I don’t want a boyfriend. I have been “manned out” and I’m not looking for a partner of any kind (thanks, babydaddy, for ruining me for life!). I know I’m not the only one who doesn’t want a boyfriend but wants to have “manpower” to help her out of those physical binds that she detests.

So, ladies, think about it. Somebody out there should start that business up. Hey, make it a non-profit if you have to. I’m sure a lot of women would be willing to send in a contribution. Until then, I’ll keep shoveling and wishing that I could rent a man.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Leave Our Pu-Pu Alone


Vay-jay-jay. Bearded Clam. Poonanie. No matter what you call it, it’s all the same…code names for our “lady region.” I call it the “pu-pu,” and what I want to tell the beauty industry and men is this: Leave our pu-pu alone!

The beauty industry is always trying to sell women on some bullshit that we need to douche and use their feminine sprays to make our pu-pu smell like a field of flowers. This is absolutely wrong. Cavewomen didn’t douche and they turned out fine. Mother Nature knows best, and inserting objects that aren’t naturally supposed to go in there should be a sin. Your vagina is supposed to have a smell and “Field of Flowers” scent ain’t it.

Back during cavemen times, men chose their mates based on smell. The “Scent Industrial Age” caused all of that to change and blow up in our faces. Men bought into the myth and began to gossip about women whose pu-pu went awry. Or perhaps it was men who started this douching bullshit by talking about a woman whose pu-pu didn’t smell quite “right.” I don’t know which came first…it’s the never-ending chicken or egg debate. No matter how the “Scent-Shaming Industry” came about, it needs to stop!

Yes, sometimes the pu-pu does go rogue and when that happens, you must fix it. By going rogue, I mean there’s an infection down there that causes an odor that is just…well…wrong. That is different from the normal everyday smell that soap and water can take care of. If that happens, get thee to the doctor real quick. LOL (By the way, I’m a huge fan of eating yogurt. It really helps keep the bacteria down there in balance and fixes a multitude of sins. Ladies, douching is not the answer. It washes away the good bacteria along with the bad.)

Global Grind recently did an interview with funnyman Affion Crockett. Back when I had cable, I loved him on “Wild ‘N Out” and now he has his own show on Fox: “In the Flow with Affion Crockett.” Unfortunately, I missed it last Sunday when he and Chris Brown spoofed Michael Jackson.

Anyway, last year, Affion did a parody of Chris Brown’s hit song “Deuces.” For some reason, I didn’t see it even though over five million people in America did. After reading Global Grind’s interview, I YouTubed the video and it was uber-hilarious! I couldn’t stop laughing. Yes, it talks about a woman whose pu-pu has gone awry and I know that by highlighting the spoof, I may be further perpetuating those things that I rally against. However, I would hope my audience is smart enough to be able to get a good laugh out of something without subscribing to the beauty industry’s hype to douche away.

*A couple of hours later* Well, guys, at first I was going to place the video on my blog, but after watching it again, I decided not to. It's kind of raunchy. LOL So, if you're so inclined, just hit it up on YouTube. In closing, I just want to say this: Ladies, put that douche down!!

P.S. One of the characters in my forthcoming novel Zaire's Place has a pu-pu that has gone rogue. Find out who when it comes out. :-)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Open Relationships Suck

I have never believed in marriage, not even when I was a kid. The idea of Prince Charming coming to rescue me and make my life complete all while I’m dressed in a gorgeous white gown never ran through my mind endlessly.

I don’t know why I wasn’t like the other girls who dreamed of getting married and having kids. Perhaps it was because of all the damaged relationships that I witnessed first-hand with the grown-ups in my life as a child. That was enough to make me never sign up for the marriage fantasy. Seeing those relationships taught me what real relationships looked like, and they didn’t resemble the ones in fairy tales.

Which brings me to this week…the Internet was abuzz with rumors of Jada and Will Smith splitting. The rumor turned out to be false, once again, but I still believe their announcement in support of their marriage was a cover-up. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the collective “whew” that went through the computer lines because so many people were glad the rumor wasn’t true. The collective “whew” that said, “Thank God they aren’t breaking up because they are the perfect couple.” Scratch. That was the sound of a needle going across a record. Since when did the epitome of a perfect couple become one with an open relationship?

I just don’t get it. Open relationships suck. No matter how much I don’t believe in marriage, I could never see myself being part of an open relationship. To me, it dishonors the meaning of commitment, whether you are married or not. To me, once you decide to be in a relationship, you should decide to be there one-hundred percent. Make a decision and stick with it. Open relationships don’t allow for that. An open relationship allows you to have one foot in and one foot out, and relationships shouldn’t be a game of hokey pokey.  

There are those open relationship activists who say that open relationships have made their marriages better and that women want them just as much as men. They’re saying that women weren’t hard-wired to be monogamous and that millions of years of socialization have made us believe that we want monogamy. And to that I say this: There is some truth to that.

Socialization has taught women to deny our urges, which is why I say relationships aren’t made to last forever. But I still don’t want an open relationship. I would rather have a series of committed closed relationships that last for years at a time rather than an open relationship that lasts for decades. There is just something about the idea of my man being with another woman (and me knowing about it) that just doesn’t sit well with me. Call me old-fashioned, but some things aren’t meant to be changed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Domestic Violence Project

domestic violence
One in four women will be a victim of domestic violence in her lifetime.

I am the “one in four.” When I was nineteen, a boyfriend violently attacked me one night and it changed my psyche forever. Yes, I did leave him after the incident, but it was only because someone intervened and told me, “If they do it to you once, they will do it again.” As time went on, I managed to put the incident behind me, but I still bore the scars. When a future beau and I would get into an argument and his voice got loud, I immediately would think, “Is he going to hit me?” That fear stayed with me for years as I traveled from one boyfriend to the next. Thank God it hasn’t happened again, but those scars never heal.

In 2009, I wrote Zaire’s Place about three women whose lives converge at a domestic violence shelter in Baltimore, Maryland. Zaire’s Place will be published very soon and I’m counting down the days. To find out more about my novel, click here.

I am a staunch advocate in the fight against domestic violence. I just started the Domestic Violence Project in which I am collecting six-word responses on what people think about domestic violence.

I got the idea for the Domestic Violence Project from Michele Norris, the creator of the Race Card Project. She collected six-word “essays” about race in America from people all over the country. It is my hope that I will build upon the Domestic Violence Project to start a conversation about this pervasive subject all across the country.

So far, I have collected five responses (in addition to mine). Hey, you have to start somewhere. I’m thankful to those who have contributed to my project thus far. May we keep the conversation going to combat this disease.

Of course, I’ll be providing you with updates on the Domestic Violence Project as time goes on. To submit your response, please send an e-mail to tcgalltin@hotmail.com or leave it in the comment section.


The Domestic Violence Project
Your Thoughts in Six Words

Hitting women is a damn shame. ~Jonnelle Galltin-Otero

It’s easy to fight the vulnerable. ~Monay Gunn

WRONG – regardless of the victim’s gender! ~ZoĆ« Davis

Emotional scars last longer than physical. ~Kenneth Weene

Relationships don’t give right to abuse. ~Trish Brown

The scars will always be there. ~TC Galltin

Sunday, August 21, 2011

You Are Not the Father

Image Detail
Unfortunately, I’m a huge fan of Maury Povich’s paternity test segments. I haven’t watched lately because I’ve been trying to wean myself off my guilty pleasure and do more author-related stuff during the day. However, that show never ceases to amaze me. Many people think the women who come on the show are actors. To be honest with you, I hope they are because if those guests are real…well…

Anyway, I think everybody can learn from Maury’s “You Are Not the Father” segments. Here are five things his show has taught me:

1)    Always make sure you know who your baby daddy is. Ladies, if you are sleeping with multiple men, please, please use protection! If you don’t, you could wind up on Maury saying that you are 110% sure that “he is the baby daddy.” Which brings me to Lesson #2…
2)   Never give in to hyperbole. What does that mean? Never exclaim, “I am 1 million and 100 thousand percent sure he is the baby daddy” because you always end up being wrong. Whenever a liar wants a person to believe them, they over-exaggerate. So, never ever ever do that because you will almost always look like a lying idiot and end up having to run off the stage—the stage of life.
3)   Don’t be a side-chic. It’s one thing to be with a man and not know that you are a side-chic (hopefully, if you find out you are one, you will dump his a$$). But if you are a side-chic and know you are…look out! If you get pregnant, the dude you are cheating with will more than likely stay with his main squeeze and leave you holding that bundle of joy by your lonesome (just like those losers on Maury).
4)   Never jump up so you can give someone a beat down. You will look like a fool. I repeat…you will look like a fool. Ladies, fighting is not classy. You just look like ghetto trash. The only time fighting is necessary is when someone hits you. That is called self-defense. But hopefully you will never find yourself in a situation like that.
5)   Be careful who you pick. There is a lot of trash out here perpetrating as “good men.” Ladies, be careful who you pick. If there are signs that you should run the other way, RUN THE OTHER WAY! Don’t try to delude yourself and think your instincts are wrong. Your instincts always speak to you, and most of the time they are right. You see it on Maury all the time…the women who say, “I knew I never should have slept with him.” Trust that judgment and keep it moving.

So, guys, there you have it. You can learn something from anything in life…even trash TV. Thank you, Maury, for showing us the women we do not want to be!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Black Country Music Fans Do Exist

I remember when Terry McMillan tweeted about the lack of black people who like country music. I wanted to wave my hands in the air, stomp my feet and shout, “I’m black and I love country music!” But then I settled into the truth…there are not a whole lot of black people rocking to Sugarland or Taylor Swift. And that’s the truth.

Like Terry, I don’t understand why more black people haven’t crossed the music lines to give country music a big fat hug. Well…yeah…actually I do. I think a lot of black people think it’s “redneck” music steeped in a tradition of racist hate. Many of us think it’s too slow, too hokey and got too much twang. You know how I know we think this? Because I used to think the exact same thing. But then I saw Alan Jackson on the “American Music Awards” years ago and all that changed.

Normally, when a country song would come on during an award show, I would flip the channel, go get something to eat…anything just so I wouldn’t have to listen to it. For some reason, that day I decided to listen up. The song was called “Remember When” and it was about this couple growing old together and looking back on their lives. Here’s a verse:

Remember when thirty seemed so old
Now lookin' back it's just a steppin' stone
To where we are,
Where we've been
Said we'd do it all again
Remember when

Well, gosh darnit! I sat in my living room and cried…cried like a baby at that Alan Jackson song. And that’s when my love for country music began. Country music tells a story. It’s not just about bumpin’and grindin’ or bling or how many hoes you got. Don’t get me wrong. I love bumpin’ and grindin’ music and I love to get down to the latest tune about bling. But sometimes you want a little more, and country music gives me that.

There has been some talk about the roots of country music…that black folk started it all with blues. I’m not going to go into all that history stuff because I’m not a history buff and this blog post is not an essay. But I mentioned that to say this: I’m proud of Darius Rucker (yup, the dude from Hootie and the Blowfish). He is now a bona fide country music sensation…one of the few black country singers in HISTORY. I love his music and I’m happy that he is bulldozing barriers.

Well, let me wrap this post up. I always said I don’t want to go on and on because we have short attention spans these days. Anyway, it’s hard to believe that I used to be one of those people who said, “I love all kinds of music except country and heavy metal.” I still don’t like heavy metal, but I sure do like a good ole country song! Let me leave you with two of my favs. The first is Alan Jackson’s “Remember When” (of course) and the second is Darius Rucker’s “Alright.” Enjoy.

P.S. Isn’t it ironic that this post started off with “I remember when…” and the song that introduced me to country music was called “Remember When”? Believe it or not, I didn’t do that on purpose. Have a stupendously super Saturday, ya’ll!

Alan Jackson
"Remember When"


Darius Rucker
"Alright"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Favorite Chris Rock Routine

I love to laugh and a lot of things that make me crack a smile are on the politically incorrect side of the line. I’m not the serious type who sits around all day talking about literature and how similes and metaphors can be applied to our daily life. Instead, you’ll find me laughing at a trend on Twitter that borders on being…well…just wrong. LOL 

As a matter of fact, I’m a huge Chris Rock fan. No matter how hit and miss you think his movies are (or his stint on Broadway), most people would agree that his stand-up routines make you crack up. The man is gifted. He’s always politically incorrect, but the jokes that flow from his mouth are so on point that they make you say, ”Damn…he’s right.”

So, here’s his take on stopping the violence in our community with bullet control. I loved it the first time I heard it and wanted to share. Of course the clip has foul language. It IS Chris Rock, after all.  Enjoy.

Chris Rock on Bullet Control

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Stepping into a New Set of Shoes

Tennis Match Sneakers
If you follow me on Twitter, you already know I will not be going to see the movie “The Help” for a shitload of reasons, but I will not go into them here because that’s not what this blog post is about. What is the subject of this post? Well, Kathryn Stockett (the author of the book) did some race-jumping with the creation of her characters, and so did I.

In my forthcoming novel Zaire’s Place, one of my characters is a prejudiced white woman who enters a predominately African American domestic violence shelter after she leaves her abusive husband. Rebecca Reich is in her late twenties and moved to Baltimore from Utah. Her working-class parents hate black people, and naturally their views rubbed off on her because children often become what their parents teach. In a flashback from Rebecca’s past, she remembers a conversation between her parents after their family business is robbed and it goes like this:

I heard my mother move over to where he was. His cursing and rambling went on for several minutes as she listened patiently.    
“Did you file a report?” she asked.
“Of course I did. I hope they catch his sorry little ass. That’s the problem with niggers—they’re like cockroaches. After one moves into an area, they send out beacons telling the others to come along. I just don’t want no trouble, Sheila. The shop is so young and getting robbed doesn’t help us one bit. We’ll be a target.”
“Like I said before, money can be replaced, but you can’t.  We’ll work it out, Jonathan.” 

I decided to step into a white woman’s shoes because we live in a diverse society, and I wanted to reflect that in my book. Most people come in contact with different races on a daily basis. It’s unavoidable. So why should books, sitcoms, etc. be any different? I have several white friends that I’ve been friends with for over a decade and conversations about race inevitably came up. I discovered what their parents thought of me…of the black race. My friends would tell me in hushed tones that their parents weren’t “fond of” black people. I listened intently, taking it all in and commenting. I realized what I always knew: that racism is still alive and it doesn't just live in old white people.

My thirst for finding out what white America thought came long before the idea for my novel visited me. As a matter of fact, I HAD to know what white America thought because we live in a society where a black person’s every move is measured by white America. Knowing the way “they” think has been the black race’s survival skill. So when I sat down to write Zaire’s Place, it just made sense to me that a white character would be one of my protagonists.

When I attempted to write from Rebecca’s perspective, I almost gave up because it was so hard. I even considered eliminating her character all together and sticking with my two black protagonists and alternating between their viewpoints. But something told me to keep going…to keep pushing and once I did, it got easier and easier to think like Rebecca.

Another reason why I tackled Zaire’s Place from the voice of a white woman is because I wanted to try something different. As a writer, I think you grow from stretching yourself and doing something you’ve never done before. At the same time, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t also looking for a way for my book to stand out among the millions of books out there, and race-hopping is unique.

From what I understand, Stockett’s book was rejected by dozens of agents and so was mine. I could tell many of them didn’t like my take on Rebecca. I finally found a publisher (All Things That Matter Press) that was willing to take a chance on my risky concept.

In the end, Stockett’s race-jumping paid off…she has a best-selling book. I’m hoping I can achieve a fraction of the success she is currently receiving. But as a black woman who takes on a white persona, why do I doubt it?

*To see the blurb for the back cover of Zaire’s Place, click here.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Incredible Shrinking Women

image: Jennifer Hudson
Can you please tell me why the media is celebrating the news that Jennifer Hudson is now a size zero? First of all, she doesn’t look like a size zero. Second of all, what kind of message is this sickly beast (a.k.a. the media) sending to women and young girls?

Some people would say the media is simply reporting the news, but, dahling, I disagree. If they were just reporting the news, these media outlets could have focused on the fact that Jennifer lost weight, not blast her size out to the world as if a size zero is a good thing. The same thing with little Raven Symone (she will always be the cute little girl from The Cosby Show to me). Her weight loss became a big deal and people focused on how attractive she is now. Um, hello…she was gorgeous before her weight loss. Another one: the divine Ms. Jill Scott. And yet another one...Kelly Price (talk about blast from the past). All these women caved in to the pressures of Hollywood to turn into the incredible shrinking woman.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying overweight people do not need to lose weight in order to be healthy. Our community, the African American community, is eating itself to death with the toxic things we put in our body. Hell, AMERICA is eating itself to death. It’s an epidemic. So, I understand why these women want to lose weight…to get healthy, to live longer lives. But are they really healthy? Did they lose that weight in a healthy way? I would bet my money (sorry, I don’t have much) that they didn’t. I would also bet my money that these women did it for vanity purposes to achieve a boost in their career.

Another thing: it’s okay to lose weight, but why is a size zero held up as some sort of ideal? Who wants to look thin, anorexic and sickly? Real women have curves. Let me say that again. Real women have curves. Beyonce. Alicia Keys. I didn’t have to say anything about them…just the mention of their names alone evoked pictures of curvaceous cuteness in your brain.

I don’t want my daughter to grow up thinking she has to puke her guts out in order to be beautiful. I want her to be happy, healthy, whole, and to me, that doesn’t equate to being a size zero. Like Monique once said, skinny bitches are evil because they don’t eat. Have a cupcake, sista. Have a cupcake.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Those Backstabbers

“Women are like pennies, two-faced and worthless.”

Ouch!

I read that statement on a former coworker’s Facebook status and responded by saying “well dayum!”, but, unfortunately, part of me agreed with this observation.

Obviously, my friend had just been stabbed in the back by a fellow sista for her to post something like this, and she was venting. I found myself wondering what that sista did to make my friend so angry; however, I didn’t bother asking because I didn’t want to be nosy, especially not while she was ranting. Lord knows I didn’t want to be on the receiving end of her wrath. LOL

I have often said that we women can be our own worst enemies. We hate on one another, are jealous of each other, call each other names, etc. All those things roll off the tongue easily, but when it comes to complimenting each other, we keep our mouths shut.

In no case is this more obvious than the Fantasia fiasco. Women were quick to call her “hoodrat”, “ghetto trash”…the list goes on. I cringed when I heard the name-calling because it violates my definition of how real women are supposed to act. Real women stand up for one another, teach each other when we go wrong, motivate each other to do better. Instead, like crabs in a pot, we love to bring one another down and blast each other. Each woman is reduced to what she looks like, how she wears her hair, how she’s dressed, who she slept with, yadda yadda, and it’s the most pathetic way of acting out that I have seen.

Another example: I tweeted that Rihanna has an amazing body and was curious to see what some of the women on my TL would say. My cousin responded and said she thought the same thing and that you must give props where props are due. She didn’t think anything was wrong with my tweet or that I must be gay because I complimented Rihanna’s body. Well, maybe most women would publically agree with the Rihanna thing because we tend to compliment a famous person quicker than we would the hot girl next door. Many of ya’ll would give that sista a dirty look. Why is that?

Why can’t more women be like my cousin and me? Why can’t more women compliment each other, rather than shred each other up like a lion jumping on a piece of meat? Bad analogy, but you get the point.

I’m not going to go on and on because this subject has been visited time and time again and most of us have been on the receiving end of a devious, spiteful sista, so we know how it feels. To those of ya’ll perpetuating this hateful virus, I say this: Straighten up, ladies, because I’m so tired of this shat!

Friday, August 5, 2011

The Ten Commandments of Twitter and Facebook

 ten commandments

Earlier today, I was playing around on Twitter and said there should be a list of commandments for Tweeple to abide by. I did a search, and there are already different versions out there; however, I thought I would come up with my own take. I included a variation for Facebook as well.

The Ten Commandments of Twitter
  1. Thou shalt not tweet while drunk.
  2. Thou shalt not tweet any pictures of thoust reproductive parts.
  3. Honor and respect thou fellow tweeters.
  4. Thou shalt not subtweet and act innocent when thou art confronted about it.
  5. Thou shalt not be afraid to unfollow someone. Thou art not a hostage.
  6. Thou shalt not be envious of tweeters who have more followers than thou.
  7. Thou shalt not steal another tweeter’s ideas or quotes without giving them credit for it.
  8. Remember to enrich the tweeting environment.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness about a fellow tweeter.
  10. Thou shalt loosen up, have fun and enjoy Twittland.
The Ten Commandments of Facebook
  1. Thou shalt not post a status update while drunk.
  2. Thou shalt not post any pictures of thoust reproductive parts.
  3. Honor and respect thou fellow Friend.
  4. Thou shalt not indirectly post a status update about someone and act innocent when thou art confronted about it.
  5. Thou shalt not be afraid to de-friend someone. Thou art not a hostage.
  6. Thou shalt not be envious of Friends who have more Friends than thou.
  7. Thou shalt not steal another Friend’s ideas or quotes without giving them credit for it.
  8. Remember to enrich the Facebook environment.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness about a fellow Friend.
  10. Thou shalt loosen up, have fun and enjoy Facebook land.
So…there you have it. My take on the Ten Commandments of social media. Did I miss anything?

P.S. Please remember to tweet and Facebook responsibly. :-)

Corporate America is Evil

Award-winning actress Monique once said “skinny bitches are evil.” I would like to take that one step further and say corporate America is evil. Well, at least it is to me. I spent the last thirteen years of my life pen-pushing and I abhorred it with a passion.

In 2007, I quit my full-time job because I got tired of the incessant office politics. I did temporary work to make ends meet and got more schooling in the hard-knock life of corporate America. Every time you turned around, someone was waiting to stab you in the back or use you to achieve their ambitious aims. I know...you find that in every area of life, but no where is it more acceptable than the business world, which is why it’s called “business.” (By the way, my definition of corporate America also includes the non-profit industry because, in many cases, it is just as bad as big business. Because of the scarcity of funds, non-profits have adopted the same M.O. that the for-profit industry operates by.) 

In corporate America, people who do the most and work the hardest are often treated unfairly. It’s a political game based on how much your boss, your co-workers, and others you come in contact with like you, and it is downright unfair. But I have learned the hard way that life is not fair.

In corporate America, you are simply a seat-filler. If you died today or tomorrow they would replace you and go on with their lives as if you never existed. Sure, they may do the necessary rites and say a few words, but that’s done out of propriety. Then it’s back to business as usual.

In corporate America, you are a product, and the only thing that matters is how much product you can push out. Everyone in corporate America acts like this statement is otherwise by doing the necessary “social” thing (office picnics, birthday celebrations, etc.), but when it comes down to it, those things are done out of necessity. The bottom line is that they are only interested in what you can do to break your back for the company.

Don’t get me wrong, I have found people in corporate America that I like and I'm friends with them today. But those people are of like mind…the sensitive, kind type who want to be part of a world where people are treated fairly and recognized for the hard work they do, rather than how well they fit in with the corporate crowd.

To be honest with you, I hope I never have to go back to the corporate ranks again. However, I am realistic and know that most writers aren’t able to eke out a living as a writer. I would be lying if I said I'm not keeping my fingers crossed though.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I Got a Crush on You

With the explosion of social media (Twitter, Facebook), it’s easier than ever to be connected to a person’s inner thoughts, feelings and advice. Next thing you know, you may find yourself crushin’ on that guy or gal who tweets the most clever, funniest things. And some of ya’ll are poly-crushin’ (got a crush on two or more people on your TL or Friends list). Play on playa! 

I’ll be the first to admit I got a Twitcrush, and most of you already know who the object of my affection is. I have a femcrush (derived from “mancrush”) on Terry McMillan. She rocks, man! She’s one of the wisest, coolest chics in social media land. That’s why I blabber on and on about her. (There I go...getting sidetracked yet again.)

Anyway, without further ado, here are five signs that you are indeed crushin’ on someone in social media land:

1)   When their picture pops up, you lose your mind. In other words, your pulse starts racing, your heart skips a beat as you anticipate reading their nuggets of words, which leads to #2…
2)   You. Hang. On. To. Every. Single. Word. of a status update/a tweet. And sometimes you read it over and over again just to make sure you didn’t miss anything.
3)   The “retweet button” or “share” button is your best friend. Everything your crush says is absolutely priceless…a gem, and you want the world to know. Retweet on, my friend. Retweet on!
4)   The urgent need to respond kicks in and you begin to compose your message. Then you find yourself rewriting and critiquing your response like it’s an English final.
5)   You go creepin’ to check out their profile. As soon as you log into Twitter or Facebook, you’re on a mission that leads you straight to your crush’s page to see what they had to say.

So there you have it…the five signs that you are crushin’ on someone. I’ll be the first to say I enjoy my crushes (oops, did I just say “crushes”? LOL). They bring excitement to my day. 

So here’s a little throwback jam from the Jets. Most of ya’ll remember this song “Crush On You”. Enjoy!

The Jets
"Crush on You"

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Trap

IMAGE: Fantasia Barrino
The Internet is buzzing with news of Fantasia’s pregnancy and naturally it got me to thinking. (Warning! My thoughts can be hazardous to your health LOL.). I began to wonder about Fantasia’s bundle of joy in the making. Was it planned? Was it unplanned? Notice I didn’t use the word “mistake” because no baby is ever a mistake, and word choice is everything. To tell you the truth, I hope her pregnancy was unplanned because if she got pregnant to trap her boyfriend (who is about to become “babydaddy”), I feel sorry for her. It rarely works.

I come from a long line of women who have been left to carry the motherhood load alone. My mother had six children by four different men and she was honest enough to admit that she thought she could keep a man by having his baby. Needless to say, it didn’t work. And why would it? If a man has no intention of staying with you in the first place, why would he stay because of the child?  “Oh, he’s an honorable man who wants to do right by us,” some of ya’ll would say. Yeah, that may last a year. Two. Perhaps even five. But he’s going to eventually leave if he didn’t want you for the long haul.

I’m a mother…a single mother. When I found out I was pregnant, I cried for days…weeks. My little miracle did not come about so I could trap the dude. I just got lost in the moment and failed to protect myself. I didn’t have an inkling of a notion that “babydaddy” was going to stick around. As a matter of fact, I knew he wasn’t because we were just having “fun” and it wasn’t a relationship. However, I must admit, I didn’t think he would disappear when I told him I was expecting. I thought he would at least take care of his responsibility by doing the minimal, i.e. child support checks. Lord knows I wasn’t trying to trap his a$$…he wasn’t worthy of being trapped! It was a physical thing and I was attracted to him. Bottom line. But that’s another topic for another day. (I do have a tendency to get sidetracked.)

Women have to get over this notion that having a baby will keep a man. Besides, why would you want a man if he doesn’t want you…a man who is only staying because of baby?

No matter how it went down, I wish Fantasia the best of luck. After all, she is part of the sistahood and I love my sistas. To those women out there who think having a baby will keep a man, let me leave you with some wise words from Terry McMillan:

“I know quite a few young women who thought having the baby would help them get or keep the man. Rarely does it work. Babies don’t make you more desirable. They make you a mother. And in too many cases, a single one.”

Word!