Monthly archives "March 2016"

all the ways to love

13 Nov 2014, Belgrade, Serbia --- Love spelled with flowers --- Image by © Blend Images/Corbis

 

I found this wonderful brother named Ebrahim Aseem‘s blog called Real News and all I can say is this vanilla wafer complexioned man softens any and all parts of my heart that have been calcified due to heartbreak. While I love his views about relationships, Iyanla Vanzant‘s words ring in my head but none so powerfully than HBCUGRD commentary.

” I want a genuine safe relationship. But I also want complete sovereignty. I don’t want to live in the confines of traditional social expectations”-HBCUGRD. As Zo Williams says, ” I can smoke a bag of that!”

One of the reasons why I created my Disclaimer page is because folks can get real ignorant about other people’s opinions and choices and so I wanted to set the tone and stage for providing a safe place and space for people because often times than not in relationships- be it marriage, family blood ties or friendship these relationships are not soft places to land if we are being honest.

The other thing that sparked my interest is the idea of having to be perfect and deemed successful before being able to provide guidance and or give advice. If you aint been through nothing and or haven’t faced any challenges than how are you going to be able to provide a testimony? One of the things that I find so fascinating about some religious folks is there obstinate and resistance to people who’ve had colorful lives less just say and I love to remind them that the good book was filled with shady characters with checkered past yet somehow Jesus loved to keep company with these outcasts and misfits.

A heart of marigolds --- Image by © Johanna von Aesch/the food passionates/Corbis

Since I am able to honor and hold space for beauty and vulgarity at the same time and am aware that they are not mutually exclusive it brings to mind the idea of black love being a revolutionary act. It takes courage to love!

Never the less, where ever you fall on the spectrum I can only ask that as individuals we learn to create genuine safe spaces in relating to one another. And for those of you who have lost faith in Love ask God by whatever name you call him/her and if you pray to yourself because you have no reason to believe in anything higher than yourself than ask yourself to show you what love looks like so that you will never be confused, that you will be able to identify what it looks like in action, words and deeds and baby-you gon see, learn and know- if you have the courage to ask.

 

 

What percentage of American workers read their employee handbook manual?

 

18 Mar 2015, India --- Onager or Asiatic wild ass (Equus hemionus), endangered species, a jack rolling in the excrements of a jenny, Little Rann of Kutch, Gujarat, India, Asia --- Image by © imageBROKER/Corbis

I have an aversion to bullshit-it simply makes my ass itch. And anyone whose had a serious case of itches, especially after consuming too much sugar should be able to relate. This world is filled with bullshit artist and shenanigans instigators and I strongly believe there should be a manual for those of us who have a hard time being able to comprehend and or deal with BULLSHIT!

For instance, for the life of me, Corporate America does not seem hell-bent on making profits, more like, they are hell-bent on creating and sustaining bullshit. If most so-called shareholders only but knew the bullshit and the amount of time, money, resources, and tools that are wasted during working hours they’d be jumping out of more windows.

The idea that only 20% of employees throughout any organization and or business is doing the majority of the work is mind-boggling. So what is the rest of the 80% doing at work? Bullshitting, playing, harassing and bullying the 20% who are working. Listen I work to pass the time because sitting around jaw jappin with people who are only there with you because they need a check seems like forced marriage.

I used to have to be at work at 7 am for a company that was founded in 1872 and anyone who knows me knows I am not a morning person. Anyway, I used to bust my ass at work, like a new slave off a slave ship. Now I am not one of those people who believe in the politics of how business is supposed to be ran according to all the MBA academics. I know that hard work don’t really mean shit and that in corporate america they do shit and give things to people they want to plain and simple.

The let me work and leave me alone mind-set does not sit well with the average employee and or manager in corporate america. It seems it’s frowned upon to come to work to work. Why else are we here? Now my 7 am start at my 1872 founded corporate job interrupted my regular body rhythm because I was used to not starting work before 10 am. With this in mind, my regular body functions were delayed which meant I had to handle my business at work.

Business woman shouting at colleges --- Image by © Adie Bush/cultura/Corbis

Like clock work I would go to the restroom a little before 10 am. So one morning, as I hit the corner after my morning move, my manager, sees me and looks at me as if I had been caught doing something wrong. She begins her silioque with, ” You disappear at the same time everyday! I do not understand why I cannot find you?…..something, something”…..I stopped listening all together and began to ask myself, ” Is she crazy? Aint it enough I come to work on time and bust my ass and now you stalking me at work, really….

I told her, ” If you must know, I have a bowel movement at the same time everyday and considering I have to be at work at 7 am, my usual 7:30 am bowel movement has been postponed to 9:45 am!” I went to my doctor after work to get a doctor’s note and he was beyond irritated that anyone would be harassed for having to use the restroom. I presented my manager with my doctors’ note and she turned red with embarrassment.  And from that day forward, anytime any of the managers would start stalking me at work and would ask me what I was doing…..I would say, ” Watching you watch me!”

Unlike most employees, I read the employee manual thoroughly, so I am competent in the rules of engagement, policy and procedures from the owners perspective, more often than not its managers and employees that cause corporations to be sued because of inappropriate behavior toward other employees. So as long as the corporate culture allows for 80% of its work force to be unengaged at work the more money they will pay in lawsuits!

And with all the advancements in technology can any tell me why in the year 2016 are we still using resumes to hire and find the best candidates for jobs-more bullshit. It’s like having a man who looks good on paper but can’t fuck!

Businesswoman sticking adhesive note to man's back --- Image by © Image Source/Corbis

 

What is the message you send when you wear “I give up shoes!”

 

Woman in high heels and panties on all fours --- Image by © Scott Schafer/cultura/Corbis

I love a good saying if you hadn’t notice more than likely because my parents had the best sayings that I’m certain would make great sound bites-so when I heard relationship expert Michelle Marchant Johnson tell the story of her shopping experience with her husband it got me to thinking. The relationship expert was shopping at DSW with her husband and as she tried on a pair of shoes he said something I found fascinating.

It went something like this, he’s sitting down pretending to be somewhat interested as she tries on shoes and his heart drops from fear because he sees his wife put on a pair of shoes as he describes as, ” I give up shoes!” I’m paraphrasing but he says, ” Honey, those shoes say that, ” You give up!” Scared his middle age wife will turn into his frumpy first wife I can see him screaming in slow motion….NOOOOOOOOOO!

Sexy Woman Sitting on the Bed --- Image by © Helen King/Corbis

Being a lady of a certain age and not snagging a husband until she hit her 40’s she dropped those shoes as if she were holding a hot potatoe-smart woman she was. I’m not sure if she was his second wife for real but if my memory serves me best she was. It’s one thing if you get married and your husband turns you from  a dime piece into a mud duck and another if you just give up because you got the man and stopped fixing yourself up and or let yourself go.

So for weeks and months each time I put a pair of shoes on, I would ask myself, if I had on I give up shoes and damn it I had to admit yes, although most of the shoes in my closet were sexy or come fuck me shoes. But how often did I wear any of them. I remember going to Charli’s Boutique looking for closed in shoes because it was getting cold in Los Angeles not really but cold to us real warm to the rest of the country on the onset of winter. Who I am I fooling you can wear flip-flops year round. We wear jackets and coats in l.a. with flip-flops, UGG boots and shorts year round yet, I heard my Yeye in my head and felt the need to go buy closed in shoes only to be met with a plethora of toes out six-inch heels that yelled and screamed the opposite of ” I give up!”

Was I old, I thought looking for closed in shoes, the sales lady looked disgusted with me as if I should feel some kind of shame. I wanted to say fuck you I have plantar fascitis code word I needed orthopedic shoes that cost about $300 a pop that went far beyond, ” I give up!” Who the hell is going to buy a dozen pair of ugly ass shoes at that price to look as if you’re wearing a neon says that reads, ” Out of Order!” and I don’t mean for disorderly conduct. It just so happens I received an alternative to ugly $300 shoes but that’s another story.

The sales woman looked at me and tossed her Indian hair weave and I read her mind and she said, shame, shame, I don’t care what kind of foot condition you have no woman seriously looking for a man or desiring the attention of a man would be running around in, ” I give up shoes!” And for a short second I felt humiliated because I had on a pair of tennis shoes that my son talked about so bad and I didn’t even raise my children on name brands so if your generic brand upbringing son says you’re wearing what amounts to be, ” I give up shoes!” you have to acquiesce.

Tix tix, I know better because my father taught me to over dress so I would be ready for any occasion especially when I went on a date with a man.  I don’t know what happens to some women after they start having children and raising families, both marriage and divorce some how puts a significant amount of women in some type of trance that they lose themselves and the desire to be sexy and feminine.

I am amazed that men pay so much attention to women’s shoes but they do and the shoes you are wearing send powerful messages. What messages are you sending out? My friend D was complaining about his wife not exercising and having let herself go over the years and he said,” But if we get a divorce her ass going to be going to the gym and some mo shit to get a man cause she gon have to compete with other women so why not put the effort in trying to keep the man you have?” I thought he made a great point.

 

Why outside validation is the gateway drug for self loathing

17 Feb 1943, Braddock, Pennsylvania, USA --- Original caption: Braddock, Pennsylvania: Targets For Today. This self explanatory signboard outside the U.S. Steel Corporation subsidiary at Braddock, Pa., is the ideal outlet for any seething hate you may feel for the baddies of the Axis. The sign makes a perfect target for some snowball throwing youngsters at the moment. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

I woke up this morning with an attitude-I was trying to sleep in but Shango woke me up to thunder so strong and loud I thought it might be the end of the world. He had been trying to get my attention for sometime seeing as he was feeling neglected. I got issues with some of his children-he promptly told me not to take it out on him. My apologies.

I said, all that to say, that if I hear one more supposed thought leader, business leader whom ever say ” Ashe!” or “Tribe!” I’m going to slap the shit out of somebody! Although, I was born in Los Angeles I was born into the Yoruba culture. I got tribal marks at age 4 years old and I remember that Ogun ceremony like it was yesterday up until the first slice to my face.

I was 4 years old walking to the well to get water to cook and to bathe with, hell even before the age of 4 I was carrying water and baskets of food and clothes on my head. I know what it is to live without electricity or running water and if pushed comes to shove I can hunt for my own food, I don’t want to but I know how and I didn’t learn it from the show Survivor.

I’ve lived the life that so many are trying to make a trend or a fade. He’ll I remember when Negros did not want to be African. I got cussed out as a child by adults disclaiming their heritage to the continent. He’ll I regulated myself to making up a lie just to deal with eg’nent ass niggas. Ask me how many times we were called African Booty Scratcher? Ask me how many children of the founders and pioneers of Oyotunji made up stories because the truth seemed stranger than fiction just to keep a nigga off your ass so you could have Peace and now niggas talkin bout, ” Ase!” Really? That’s why I love my cousin Derrick so much because he used to fuck people up for messing with me, my siblings and my cousins. He was always my protector.

So when the Color Purple came out and Negros acted a dam fool-protesting and shit I was relieved that the movie contained a scene of a girl getting tribal marks and the duality scene of Suge running to stop Celie from slicing Mr’s neck and the girl cringing awaiting her face to be cut is an accurate feeling you get right before the you shed blood.

Hear me clearly, this is not a passive culture, this is an accountability culture, where you gone have to answer to somebody. This ain’t no lady in waiting, see you in the after life business. All I got to say is everybody can git in the back of me cuz I was here first! The problem with humility is it causes you not to give credit or credence to your damn self and every time you wait on someone else to validate you, you run the risk of someone stealing your shit! Ase

22 Oct 2014 --- Woman eating cherries, close-up --- Image by © zerocreatives/Westend61/Corbis

 

Why you need to understand the first rule in business!

 

1944, El Salvador --- Women make sleeping mats, called petate, and floor mats from tule --- Image by © Luis Marden/National Geographic Creative/Corbis

It’s business it aint personal!

 

I finally saw the documentary, “Murder Rap Inside the Biggie and Tupac Murders” and all I got to say is they need to change the word ” Snitchin” to ” Telling” cause them negros in that documentary was telling it all. Just plain diarrhea of the mouth, supposedly loose lips sink ships but not in this case the more they was telling the more so many of them were exonerated of their crimes! And the only thing I could think of is why the hell is my cousin Derrick still in prison?

I remember when the whispers started in the family about my cousin Derrick and what he was doing. I remember the day my grandmother told him to ” leave that nigga alone!” after he got into a fight in her front yard with a dude named after one the Disney’s Seven Dwarf’s who was supposed to be his friend and homie. I might have been young but I knew the nigga was suspect the first day I laid eyes on his ass, he had a perm with rollers in his head. How you gon be hard-gang banging with curlers in your head and I knew from that day forward he would be detrimental to Derrick-he was warned but he didn’t listen.

ca. December 1994, Cerro Verde National Park, El Salvador --- Branch of Coffee Tree in El Salvador --- Image by © Peter Guttman/CORBIS

Back in the day you could snitch on the homies and still catch jail time. Just ask that nigga who snitched on my cousin and the rest of the homies how much time he got- he got life-like everybody else, so how these new negros escape jail time is beyond me, no I stand corrected, they are able to tell on a friend through the RICO Law loop holes.

I was young when my cousin Derrick went to jail, hell he was young. My beautiful handsome cousin with his dipped in honey dark brown glaze complexion was 18 years when he was arrested. He escaped and was later captured at 19 years old. It’s ironic that Ron Newt broke out the same prison I had once visited my cousin in some twenty years ago. But Ron Newt was free and negros were now having viewing parties all of the nation from stolen stories of his life. Again Ron Newt was free and Negros was on a turn up watching ” Empire”, while my cousin was in solitary. It brings to mind how Gabor Mate talks about the very people who were abused as children are the ones who end up in prison and my cousin had experienced unspeakable abuse so there’s no wonder he ended up a wild boy.

10 Jul 2012, El Salvador --- Central America, El Salvador, Quezaltepeque: Kids toys inside the especial cell block that hosuesvmothers and living with their children at the Quezaltepeque which houses only members of the Barrio 18 gang. --- Image by © Juan Carlos/Corbis

I just don’t understand how you lock boys up, teens up for the rest of their lives when you know that the entire crack epidemic was plotted and planned and the young black  boys from Southern California were nothing short of boy soldiers no different from the African boys used all throughout Africa to fight wars. How is it that the children from the continent could get sympathy from people continents away but black boys here are looked as thugs, criminals, and throw aways when their behaviors mimics the leaders of the world.

I often wonder about all the boys from El Salvador who came to the United States fleeing from the civil war there only to have to learn to gang bang to stay alive here in Los Angeles. Later to be deported back to El Salvador years after  they had forgotten their homeland. The system dumped them back in a land that was worse off than what they left as children and you wonder why these same men who were once children take to criminal activities, it’s fucking common sense you can only see so many murders and mayhem for so long before you go completely insane! But remember it aint personal, it’s business!

I think about the boys from El Salvador often because I remember laying on my back looking at the ceiling as my friend Sylvia told the story of how her family had escaped from El Salvador . I could see in her eyes sadness, relief and disappointment. Sadness because she missed her home land and the family she left behind, some relief because her family had managed to settle in a small home in Compton that reminded her of home with all its fruit trees growing in the back yard. Disappointment because she felt only slightly safer because there was a war going on around us and we both knew at any time we or someone we knew could be killed for no apparent reason. How you learn to live, survive and for a tiny few thrive in terrorism God only knows?

I am further reminded of how power, money and influence can affect your life. Had my cousin hired Johnny Cochran or had known some influential people more than likely he would be out of prison but who knew to hire Johnny Cochran- I had only heard of the man once the OJ trial started happening, yet it speaks volumes of how he knew the law. I vaguely remember the attorney my cousin hired to fight his case, I only remember he was a white man. My cousin is almost 50 years old and is still in prison.

The paradoxical thing about using the RICO Law against black gangs is a complete oxymoron considering black gangs in Southern California were not and are not organized. Could these negros think and get along long enough for HSBC to have to pay a fine, absolutely NOT! There are no shot callers, leaders, there is no hierarchy, or structure. Nothing against New York or the East coast but there is no way in hell if these negros were organized that dudes from New York could infiltrate negros in Southern Cali and start a war with most of the casualties being from Cali, I’m just saying. I’m out right embarrassed and saddened because boys who once played together, who knew each other’s families had become enemies as men…..but……why?