Thursday, December 29, 2005

Smart kid, complete lack of judgement!


Ended up spending yesterday at a funeral. Hubby and I had to videotape the service for the family. We got there at 10 cause that's when we were told it would start. Didn't find out til 11:15(!) that it wasn't starting til noon. So, I could have slept in. I could have eaten breakfast. And to top it off, it didn't end til 3:00 pm. By the time we got home we were ready for a nap. That was it. My day was shot. I didn't wake up til 7 something. Anyway, today was better. Went to the mall not looking for anything in particular. Heard from B da B. He's getting used to the idea of not having to show up for work anymore. (Of course, the only down side is not being able to spend 6 hrs a day with me.)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I gotta learn the tricks of Effective Guilting

I don't know how parents do it. How do they manage to manipulate your time?? I made the mistake and let it slip that I'm taking off work this week. This was supposed to be my time, time for me to whatever I want to do. Not so, says mother dearest. She conned me into driving her all over Miami looking at bedroom furniture. We left the house just after 11 am and didn't get back until 6 pm. AND, she's talking about us all driving to Jacksonville...this week. Tomorrow is Wednesday already. I don't know if we're going to go. I don't think I want to. I want to sleep in and cruise the malls, hang with hubby, work on our website. I don't know how she got me today. Oh yeah, she offered to buy us lunch.

Monday, December 26, 2005

The Day After

No post-Christmas shopping for me. I would have loved to take advantage of the markdowns (me being the frugal person that I am), but alas, I only left the house to pick up some food. Ben and SP came over. We took lots of pix, especially of the kids. Oh, how they played and fought and screamed and made a mess. It was cool. They are all such cool kids. I'll post pix if I'm permitted.

What did YOU do on Dec 25th?

Well, first of all I slept in until after 11 pm. I'm not the night owl I used to be. Not much happened during the day. We only had one kid at home. He unwrapped a gift I thought was his that one of his aunts bought him. Poor thing. When he opened it I found two size 6 dresses in a box. I told him sorry bud, but the dresses weren't for him. He started to cry and said his Auntie Audrey gave him the dresses. lol.

In the evening we drove to Hollywood (FL, of course) for dinner. We got there right at the tail end. (Ben, don't say anything. We didn't know about the dinner in advance.) At least there was still some ackee & saltfish, jerk chicken, and curry goat left. After I ate an eleventh-grader taught me how to play chess. (Yes! I finally learned!)

We were back home by 8 pm. The two neighbors to the east of us decided to get together to cook and have people over and they invited us. My immediate neighbor, J, is a professional chef. The next neighbor over, D, is a lawyer. So, the chef was grilling and the lawyer hired a DJ. That's when I realized it wasn't just going to be a cul-de-sac party. Sid was out there hanging like a champ with the big boys. Hubby and I spent most of the time shooting the breeze with our immediate neighbor's fiance in her garage. The weather was cool, the company was nice. Cars started to show up. By midnight, Sid was ready for sleep but he fought us to the end. He didn't want to leave. Hubby wasn't looking too good either. We walked home and sent them both to bed. I went back to the party. I love to watch people so that's exactly what I did. The only problem with a big open space (backyard) and not enough people, is that the people just hang around the outskirts of the area. I found it quite amusing as I looked around. Every once in a while, from behind the piece of fence left standing after the hurricane, I saw an arm shoot into the air with a lighter. Behind me, in a dark corner were a few guys doing some sort of dancing. In the house some people were talking. There was only one guy who was really there to dance. As my conversation partners drank you can imagine we didn't have much to talk about anymore. I thought to myself, "What am I doing here?" and I laughed to myself. As I told everyone goodnight one girl said I was a partypooper. My intention was to go home, open a window and dance with my husband, so as I left I told her, "My party ain't over."

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Food & Fun

B da B and his wife took me and hubby and SP out for dinner. It was a nice treat. We deliberated over where to go but on Christmas Eve the options were limited. So, as I suspected, we ended up at Longhorn Steakhouse. The food was alright. I wasn't as hungry as I would have liked but the outting wasn't about the food anyway, it was about the company. We agreed to meet at 7:00 pm (I skidded in at 6:59 pm). We got a corner table where our server, Blake, tended to us. A few tables over Miami Dolphins star Chris Chambers was chowing down (I am such a wannabe). Anyway, we ordered virgin drinks and appetizers. We talked and laughed as usual. We really enjoy each others' company. SP was unusually quiet. I chalked it up to her long day at the Dolphins game. Hubby and B da B's wife got to talking about the good old days back in Jamaica. They reminisced for hours. Their stories were hilarious. Lack of electricity, beatings at school, sharing cramped quarters were some of the topics. Longhorn closed early (9:00 pm) but we stood outside for two more hours just talking and laughing. I would have stayed there longer but by 11 my calves were really starting to ache. I was the only one wearing heels (hubby and I had come straight from church). When we left I called my mother and found that Sid was still awake and he wanted to go home. So we went and got him. He was asleep before we reached our house.

I can't wait for Monday when Ben brings his kids over. I'll have my camera ready to capture as many moments as I can. I won't cry. We're not being separated by death but merely distance. I can drive to Jax and make myself at home anytime. Plus, I KNOW they'll be getting a webcam.

Friday, December 23, 2005

If feels SO good to not have to go to work! (Am I a broken record on this topic?) Ok, let's 'talk' about something else. It's been pretty cold here lately, like in the 50s (Sunny knows what I'm talking about) but today looks nice. I know my mother will be calling me soon to go bedroom-set shopping with her. I really love the hustle and bustle at the malls during the holiday season. (Granted, I could do without that exceedingly long checkout lines.) I'm a nosey people-watcher so this is the perfect time for me to get out get to watching. Btw, Macy's has THE BEST sales at this time of year. Even the designer labels (like Movado and Coach which never go on sale throughout the year) are on sale now. One year I tried to convince my husband that a $2100 Movado watch on sale for $1300 was a good deal. He didn't buy it (figuratively or literally).

Anyway, enjoy the season in every way you can. I'll be stuffing my face starting tomorrow!

PS Sunny, if you're out there cooking, I sure I'm not too far from you! :) SP, you know the same goes for you. Stunner, I'm sorry you have to work. Take some conoslation in the fact that at least you're in JA where the real food is.

PS2 Happy Belated Birthday, Princess!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Secret Santa or White Elephant?

I've never heard of White Elephant. We call our gag gift exchange Secret Santa. I don't remember who started it or when, we just accepted it. This year's exchange was quite tame. Nine times out of ten my co-workers don't know what to get me. I've gotten chocolate, a vase, and this year some tea light lanterns. I, on the other hand, never give a 'nice' gift (I'm responsible for the phonics cards that BenTheBald got one year, for example). This year I pulled BenTheBald's name again but since he's leaving us (waa!) most of decided to get him something. He's always talked about being a househusband while his wife works. Well, when he moves he's going in to real estate and his wife will be using her nursing skills. Soo, with collaboration with SP I bought him some flip flops, some sleeveless undershirts, and a pair of Darth Vader Sith boxers. All for him to lounge in while sitting at home watching soap operas and his wife is out working. :) It was a long day - I was exhausted way before it was time to leave. I left early and spent the next few hours talking to Ben. What a guy. What a bud.

I practiced my own version of catharsis as Pro suggested - I left my sister alone for a while. Needless to say, she called me today with some more drama. I do declare that she should be the one with the blog. I felt sorry for her when she told me about she has to pay a lawyer to plead her case in court against an ex of hers. Long story short: she was a sucker for a mack who did what he does best which is use women to take care of his business. He refuses to pay her back for the credit she took out to cover $1800 of dental expenses. If this was the first instance of lack of good judgment then I could wink at her naivete, but it isn't. I hope she's learned this time.

I'm taking next week off plus we get this thursday and friday off. I'm so glad it's Wed night! I don't have to think about work til Jan! Yay!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Secret Santa

I've been having such a hard time finding a gift for my work gift-exchange person. A couple of them read my blog so I can't tell you my ideas, BUT I can tell you about some of the past gifts:

  • a blow up sheep for a Canadian contractor

  • one busty co-worker got a too small shirt that read "Got Milk?"

  • last year I was complaining about the company not recognizing my 5 year anniversary so the "CEO" of the company gave me a gold-plated leather band Disney watch

  • Ben gave his kids unusual names at birth so one year he got some Phonics cards to help them learn how to pronounce them

  • whip cream in various flavors

  • a leapord print thong

Sunday, December 18, 2005

It's My Blog and I'll Cry If I Want To

What were you saying, Ben, about having the last word? All I want to know is, what about me? As I lay in bed feeling sorry for myself, even my selfish tears pitied me. Who will I have to smile at when I walk in in the mornings? Who will tell me I look cute? Who will interpret the boss-speak after meetings? What will I do during lunch? I can't swing at the park with just anyone. I won't have anyone to relate to with repsect to being a Christian in a totally non-Christian environment, or being of Caribbean descent, or being black and up-and-coming.

I could write a tribute to black men based on you, your love for your family, your faith, your courage. Your son has a great role-model in you. Your daughter will see in you how she deserves to be treated.

  • Remember that time I got on your nerves?

  • Remember the many times you got on mine?

  • Remember the funny meat at the Black Orchid?

  • Remember DS before he had kids?

  • Remember Eduardo de San Angel and Cafe Martorano's?

  • Remember when people couldn't understand why we always had lunch together?

  • Remember when K called and asked you for your pediatrician?

  • Slugging.

  • Remember the pep talks and the cooling down walks.

I'm happy and excited for you, you know that. At the same time how can anyone understand? I feel like I'm losing my best friend.

I can't smush our friendship into one post, or even two, but I can put my feelings into three words: I love you.

Friday, December 16, 2005

My Friend Is Leaving Me

BenTheBald has done it - he resigned. Today. I'm going to miss him. A lot. I know our friendship won't end with his family moving five hours north. Still. I spend as much time with him as with my husband. We talk every workday. He sits right across from me. We've had our trials. We've had our laughs. I'm glad there were many more of the latter. I've learned a lot about life from him. I've learned a lot about myself from him. I've learned to be patient. I've learned to argue. I've learned that (supposedly) I have to have the last word. Ahh, Ben, what fond memories I'll have of you and of us. I'll be lonely without ya. But hey, at least you got your five year pin! :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

My (younger) sister graduated from college this past Saturday. I believe she now has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology. Good for her. She worked hard for it. My sister and I have never been that close. We are almost eight years apart so you can imagine what it's like when you're a teenager and you're forced to drag along your kid sister. Anyway, we got through that part of our lives fairly well. Things were fine until my mother moved to Florida and allowed me to finish my last year of high school in Toronto. My sister was 8 years old and I was 16. I think that year of us being apart and her being basically thrown into a totally new environment has a lot to do with her present "issues." All she had was my strict mother and no buffer or big sisterly influence. She left her French Immersion elementary school and ended up at a not-so-good elementary school down here where she couldn't even understand her teacher's english (my mother couldn't understand the teacher either). Well, when I finally did move down here whatever we had before was pretty much gone. We certainly grew apart and it hasn't stopped since then. That's not to say we don't make any effort but I've come to the realization that we will probably never be close like good friends. To be good friends you have to understand each other and get along, have things in common, etc. We have none of that so we settle for civil communication. If you want to know extremes, we are they. I'm the introvert, she's the extrovert. I don't need but one friend, she needs every friend including all of mine. I love mathematics and science, she's more creative. We both have our good points and our bad points. I understand and accept and expect that. But yesterday, yesterday I gave her a piece of my mind - and you know it's serious when I use my daytime cell minutes to do it! We didn't see eye to eye on a subject and she felt the need to call me and try to make me feel guilty. I know the real reason she's hurting and I've been trying for years to help her understand those reasons, but she can't seem to get it. Instead she lets it affect her, she allows herself to get into unsafe situations, and to top it off she wrongly directs her aggravation towards me. She made a few statements a couple of weeks ago that I took personally. So yesterday when she called with some foolishness as a continuation of the previous weeks conversation, let's just say I had more than a few words for her to let her know how I felt about the situation.

I worry about her. I worry about when she's going to grow up. She's ambitious and beautiful but sometimes she ain't got no sense. I hate airing laundry which is why I've been purposely vague, but this latest drama has bothered me to no end. I don't expect her to be like me. Of course not. I do expect people to figure out that 1+1=2 when they're taught how to add. Some people pay attention in class while others don't want to be in class, and others still are in class but are mentally out to lunch. Why can't we all just pay attention?


I'll try to make my next post less depressing than the last couple have been.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

I was scammed awhile back, about two years ago, and I've been paying for it ever since. My husband and I were finally on our feet financially and we were ready to start preparing for the future. We looked towards investing. It's really a long story that still hasn't ended. Just when we think we may have gotten out from under our burdens we realize that we're still just as stuck as before. We bought a few fixer-upper rental properties in a city a few hundred miles away from where we live. A friend of mine did the same as did a close family member. We all ended up losing thousands of dollars. Up until today (well, tomorrow when we officially close), we had these properties that were sucking the life out of us (me and my husband, that is). We had renters from hell every single time. We ended up spending over a thousand dollars to get the various renters out. The eviction process took longer than I would have liked. These people were living in MY house for free for months and months and they acted like we should feel sorry for them while they jepordize MY family's food. They made me so angry. And I was just as angry at the con artist who sold us the properties "under value" when really he had the appraisers and title company in pocket. (The title company has since been shut down.) Anyway, the past six months have been the hardest financially. We were forced to either borrow more money or foreclose on the properties and lose everything we had put into them. Timing so had it that my mother was able to help us. Great. Now I owe HER thousands of dollars for all the months the properties were vacant but the mortgages had to be paid. Today should be a joyous day since we're finally getting rid of the last property but it's not because I have to contemplate selling MY OWN house to get out of the quagmire I've found myself in. There are too many dynamics for me to explain here, but I'm sure you can understand that this is not an easy decision to make. I'm frustrated, I'm angry, and to top it off I'm broke. God is still good because my family is healthy, and we still have it better than lots of other people who don't even have a house to sell in the first place. Still, while I feel sorry for them I'm just as sorry for myself. We have learned a lot in the process, so if you're considering investing in rental property go ahead and ask me. I'll tell you everything we did wrong so you don't do the same. There really are people out there who don't care about using you to boost themselves up. Case in point, said con artist now lives in an exclusive gated community at the expense of me, my family, and my friends. CAVEAT EMPTOR - BUYER BEWARE!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

It's Over...for now

Edit: About being Janet - unfortunately, she was not one of the possible results. But funny thing that Brotha Buck mentioned here because when I was a lot younger, people used to tell me that I looked like her when she was younger. Definitely a woman I wouldn't mind being like in so many ways: talented, gorgeous, rich, 6-pack (at least, she used to have one)....

Yeah, you know I was at the dentist this evening. It wasn't pretty but she numbed me up pretty good, so good in fact that my nose was tingling. She said the cavity was pretty deep. Unfortunately this cavity re-fill is only delaying the inevitable, dreaded ROOT CANAL. Mmm, great. What could be more fun and painless than that? Did I mention that I hate going to the dentist?


Don’t be fooled by this innocent-looking girly, ‘cause inside, there’s a tough woman who knows what she wants.  You are a sweet girl who is down for her friends, but will also s
MYA: Dont be fooled by this innocent-looking
girly, cause inside, there's a tough woman who
knows what she wants. You are a sweet girl who
is down for her friends and will also stand up
for them when needed. Your unique sense of
style shows how much you value your
individuality, only comin' out with clothes
that make you, not define you. Who can't resist
a spicy, yet sweet chica like you? Girl, you've
definitely got it goin on.

Which female R&B artist are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Monday, December 05, 2005

I had an interesting morning

This morning I was scheduled to show up at the courthouse and await jury assignment to a trial. I was supposed to be there by 8 am (that's what the summons said, the first notice said 7:45 am). So I had to wake up early, early, early. I'm talking 6:20 am early. Normally I roll out of bed between 7:15 and 7:30. To get up an hour earlier after going to bed at my normal time of midnight is not an easy feat. Well, somehow I managed. Sidney didn't so well. He barely had his eyes open while I brushed his teeth. When I brought him downstairs to make his porridge he just laid himself out on the couch and went back to sleep. I got him to school by 7:30. On the way to the courthouse (a 15 min drive) I watched a man get off his bicycle and start a fight with another man who had walked past him. Further down the road I passed a man doing what I thought was talking to pigeon but turned out he was talking to himself; he was even gesturing. As I neared courthouse I called my husband to talk me through the rest of the way. I didn't want to get lost so he lovingly obliged. Having served on two juries he knew the area well. However things could never be that simple. They switched things up a bit at the garage since he had been there and I all but freaked out trying to figure out what entrance I was supposed to use and how I was expected to get there. LOL. I made it to a parking spot on the fourth floor and as I reached the walkway on the third floor there was the end of juror line. People were lined up the distance of four lanes of traffic waiting to go through security. So, I wasn't late after all. The young lady in line in front of me was "Paris Hilton." She was tall, slim, and had long blond hair. Her accessories were top notch - Dior sunglasses, Dolce & Gabana bag, tennis bracelet, expensive clothing. I noticed that she even had marked off "don't wanna be compensated for my jury time" on her check-in slip (not that I was being nosey or anything). She wasn't talkative though so I found myself merely looking her over from behind and watching employees walk past. I thought to myself that she really is a rich girl, not just a wanna-be. She even walked differently so for laughs I tried to emulate her. I thought it was hilarious. Hopefully noone else noticed! Ok, so I pass through security with a "Zone 6" and I have my ankles(?!) swiped by some guy in a uniform who of course finds nothing. By the time I sat down in the orientation room it was 8:30 am and things were just getting started. The lady told us how things would go and what to expect. After our first break she came back and told us that they had an overage of jurors which meant that some of us would have the option to leave and still be considered as having served. The only catch is that if you opt to leave you have to go to work (if you had a job) cause the court wouldn't back you up if you got fired for skipping. Anyway, a computer supposedly randomly picked juror IDs and mine was the about the fifth ID to be called. I had been talking with the gentleman who sat next to me but when they called my number I jumped up so fast and said "leaving" (we were allowed to say "staying" or "leaving") and everyone nearby laughed. Before I even made it out of the building I was calling hubby to tell him the news. That's it. End of my non-story.

It would have been interesting to actually sit in a courtroom.

Friday, December 02, 2005

When I started out in college I had just moved to South Florida from Toronto. I was 17. Young and naive, I had led a sheltered life. I was always a good girl. Didn't get into trouble, didn't skip classes, never had a boyfriend (not including Gregory the summer before I left). When I moved here I was optimistic, forgiving, tolerant, nice to everyone. My first year was pretty good academically. Socially I had a lot to learn. Since I didn't know anyone, basically whoever was around became my friend. My definition of friend was quite loose back then. If we could have ongoing conversations about nothing I considered the person a friend. My circle of "friends" was huge. I felt good. I was always on my way from one friend to another, from one friend's class to another's dorm or to watch another play basketball. I was busy, I knew a lot of people, everyone was cool with me. Of course, as one would expect, over time my circle began to shrink. I got along better with certain people than with others, and as it turned out, most of the people I drifted to were in the same circle. That's not to say I ignored everyone I used to talk to, we just didn't talk as often. There was no way I could maintain all of the original "friendships." How could I and expect to foster any deep relationships? I learned what true friends are. I learned that there is less value in quantity than in quality.


DROP just launched last Friday. It's a community for aspiring writers. Yeah, I know I barely wrote two paragraphs for NaNoWriMo but still. lol. Anyway, DROP is trying to increase its membership and actually become a useful site. You can check them out here.

They will be accepting manuscript submissions until Dec 16. One of the submissions will be selected for publication (based on votes and "jury" selection from the top-ranked submissions).

Of course, you can always self-publish at a site like

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"Shelly needs" Take II

I decided to play Pro's game for the heck of it. What I found was pretty interesting. Apparently the world of Google says:
* Shelly needs a vacation too!
* Shelly NEEDS to find you
* Shelly needs to hear it and get her washboard goin
* Shelly needs name help too
* Shelly needs a date for her upcoming session
* Shelly needs you
* Shelly needs an avatar
* Shelly needs to get a job
* Shelly needs to try to be interested in someone her own age