Thursday, February 23, 2006

Queen B@$#H

I'm feeling selfish today, so don't expect this to be heartwarming. It's a rant, pure and simple and to avoid unleashing it somewhere inappropriate, say at work or at a sorority meeting. I'm doing it here.

We're at war. Not in a struggling within ourselves or an "it's us against da white man" sort of way. In a tanks and M-16's type of way. Or in a "keep your head down" type of way. And for some of us, that reality is way closer than what you might see on CNN or in the newspaper. Some of us read the identification deaths, because we really might know someone in there. And I don't mean somebody like my cousin's baby mama's auntie on her daddy's side. Somebody who lives in your house: Your mother, father, brother, sister, husband or wife.

And it's not just going to war. It's training for war. They don't just go out there all willy nilly (Ok, I just wanted to use that phrase. You gotta problem with that?) They train. For months. And they don't get to come home for dinner. Sometimes, they don't get to come home at all - for months. And after training, they have to put it all to use right? So there's another year gone.

So forgive us if we seem a little on edge at times while you're telling us about that new pair of pantyhose you just bought (Brown sugar, on sale at Wal-mart!) or if we seem to have a problem that seems to you easily solved.

We got ish on our minds. And even if we never talk about it, it's there. So show some consideration - we just want our child, parents, spouse to come home.

Friday, February 17, 2006

99 Problems

K - one of my closest friends - is getting married, and I don’t know if I can be there. I want to, but right now, the situation is looking pretty dim. The wedding is in the Bahamas. From Germany, the plane ticket alone is $1,400. And that’s the cheapest. And of course that doesn’t include the transportation that will get me to the airport, which is another 90 Euro, or about $110. What a dilemma. This is someone who stood by as a bridesmaid at my own wedding. Someone who helped in the last minute details on my wedding day, and who packed into a car at 5 a.m. alongside the other female members of the wedding party to get their dresses out of a towed car. And someone who has put up with my incessant bitching – about everything - for the last 9 or 10 years. Not to mention all the times she made me change my outfit or accessories before going out because I “looked a mess.” For this friend, money is no object, right?

Except it is.

And I don’t think I’ll have it. I will do the best I can. Take 2 weeks off work to catch a hop maybe, because even though the wedding revelry will last only 3 days, it might take me another week to get another flight back. But if I have to go to the airport for 11 days straight, hoping I can find a way out of the country, I will. For a friend I could call in the middle of the night to complain to? For a friend who would tell me the honest-to-God truth about something because she knew it was best for me?

It’s worth it.

This Can't be Life

Yesterday, while taking a work break (read: being bored out of my mind), I did something no non-working journalist should do. I Googled another journalist. Of course, as expected, the result is that I am now wallowing in self-pity about my inability to work as a journalist right now. I have become obsessed with Tia Williams (author and beauty writer) and Lola Ogunnaike (New York Times culture reporter). They’re young, they’re black and dammit, they’re living my dream. In the pics section of Tia’s blog ( , she’s chatting it up with Imani. Like a black Carrie Bradshaw.

And Lola interviews celebrities like the rest of us brush our teeth. She even “consults” for TV. (You may have seen her commenting on Lil’ Kim, among others, on one of those VH1 shows.)


I know that at this point, I have no choice in my profession. Jobs in journalism here are few and far between. But I still think back to September when I did have the opportunity to have a reporting position. When the opportunity came up, it was as a part-timer in the community’s semi-monthly newspaper. It was a contract position, which means I had to bid for the job. The person who agreed to take the least amount for the job “won.” The highest I could get was $18K a year. The other position was temporary, with no hopes of extending it. And it was 30-45 minutes away. As a newlywed, I wanted to have a little cash cushion to do the things Jamil and I never got a chance to in college. And with him being gone so often, the commute was 45 minutes more that I could spend with my husband. So I took a government job. A good job, but nothing in writing (unless you count policy letters and memorandums – which I don’t).

I feel like a sellout sometimes; like I sacrificed my lifelong dream for money. I’ve got to start writing again. I will start writing again, and please hold me to that. I may not ever become the black Carrie Bradshaw or give commentary on VH1, but maybe I can find myself again.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Well, I have finally passed my final initiation rite into the the elite sisterhood of military wives: I spent both my first anniversary and Valentine's Day with my husband away. And odds are I will spend the next two of those with him away as well. Of course, it wasn't all bad. Christine (my friend and soror) got me a box of chocolates for the anniversary. And family and friends sent me cards - although I'm surprised that Angela, who remembers everything from President's Day to my little sister's birthday, didn't say something. But no worries :) I like being around people who understand my situation, although some of us get a bit too hardened (i.e. You missed your anniversary? Please! I missed my first 10 anniversaries. Or, your husband's in the field? Please! My husband was in the field 2 months, went to Kosovo for 2 years, came home for the weekend and went to Iraq and I had all 3 kids while he was in drill sgt. school/cpt. career course - that changes depending on the talker). Don't worry, this won't be a "military wife" thing (and don't call me a military wife!) I just had to get that out. And next time I'll try to make it more interesting.


It has been months since I first started this blog, but after a series of hits and misses with a "concept" as well as pure laziness, I've just now posted. I hope that this can be a way for my friends in the States to keep up with my life as well as updating me about yours. I hope also to use it as a way to vent the best way I know how, through writing. So enjoy - or not - but let me know what you think. Holla!