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Today, my favorite over priced coffee emporium had scribbled a sign and posted it on the door stating that they only offered one type of brewed coffee. The near empty parking lot should have been my first clue. The barista who wrote the sign spelled inconvenience incorrectly, yet another example of the text crazed-”who needs to know how to spell when you have spellcheck?” culture. Unfortunately, the brew that was posted does not agree with my mid life intermission and has me up at two am practicing yoga while doing laundry, reorganizing the attic and listening to Sting’s “Dream of the Blue Turtles” on constant repeat. So I clicked my heels and shuffled back to my vehicle to head to my second favorite watering hole.

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For the most part, I’ve always managed to avoid the pull of peer pressure and not follow the herd. Remember an earlier blog where I shared that in college I wore a fashion challenged white acrylic hat with a purple ball attached to it because it fit my head, while my more stylish co-eds donned more fashionable head gear? I learned early on to “do JC” and not really care what others thought about what that meant. I like entering by the narrow gate, swimming against the current and singing off key in church. The off key singing part isn’t really by choice. But in December, I usually fall prey to the pull of peer pressure. Against my will, I find myself casually wandering department stores and boutiques to stimulate the economy and buy stuff for privileged people who really don’t need any more stuff. But because I too have bought into the sad consumer driven notion that it’s necessary to gift others with presents during this time of year, I trudge along trying to come up with a clever and creative gift idea so that I’m not viewed as the family scrooge, the wet blanket who ruins everyone’s Christmas. 

 

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If I could eat crunchy Cheetos every day and still remain slim, my fingers would constantly be stained orange. Because of this, my downward dog “almost” barked in yoga. I’d eaten one small 100 calorie pack of Cheetos, and my rump was threatening to betray me in a room full of Ashtanga yogis, so I clinched my cheeks like a muzzle on a pit bull. I’m a neophyte Ashtanga yogi, who recently introduced a quivering head stand into my yoga practice while many of my classmates are working on one arm hand stands. They are an intimidating bunch. Not deterred, I stay in my lane and remain grateful that my body is as flexible as it is. I’ve told myself that true yoga purists are vegans or at least vegetarians who would be offended to know that I occasionally sample the processed snacks purchased for my children’s lunches. A new yoga nut, I’ve committed to eating healthier during intermission.

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Last week, while reorganizing the car console, (or clearing the contents from a seasonal purse, I can’t remember which) I stumbled upon a Border’s gift card. I recognized it as one that had been gifted to one of my heirs a few years ago. I flipped it over to see if a name had been written on the back. It was blank. I did a happy dance! Why? Because the laws of the universe that govern my “finders keepers” moral code meant that it now belonged to me as an anonymous token of appreciation for the hours of thankless service that I provide to my tribe, just like cash that I find in the dryer belongs to me, and cash that I find in the sofa cushions or floor of the car belongs to me.

Clearly, the privileged heir who’d received the gift card hadn’t mentioned it, asked for it or given it any thought, which confirmed that they didn’t need it. I always require my heirs to send a proper thank you for all gifts received, so I knew that the gift had been acknowledged albeit not fully appreciated.

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He was born in 1993, with blonde hair and blue eyes. When he walked in for his arraignment, he wore a bright pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt as though he’d just played a round of golf at his family’s country club. The shirt looked freshly ironed. It was a bold color choice for such an occasion.

In 1993, with two years of marriage under my belt, I was still struggling to figure everything out. I’d just celebrated my five year anniversary at a gig where I’d interned since college. I remember being underwhelmed at the five year service anniversary gift that I’d received from my company. As I type this blog, I honestly don’t even remember what the service anniversary gift was, it was that underwhelming.

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It was a simple question, with a simple answer, or so I thought. Surprisingly, my friend chose not to answer the question, pretending that she didn’t know. Later she shared that she wasn’t in the mood to have “that” discussion. I was disappointed. I wasn’t there, because had I been there, I would have answered the woman’s question.

I’m writing this blog at the Inkwell, with the ocean just ten yards from my feet. The forecast predicted a seventy percent chance of rain today, a perfect day to pause and resuscitate my unintentional forty day sabbatical from blogging, brought on by the helter skelter pace of my life including the excitement of final review edits of the last four novels in my series. I’ve had an action packed summer. This years family camp excursion has been a working vacation for all in our brood of framily (friends who are like family.) My husband has spent hours on conference calls and others have had to pause from our beach parties to nurture the passion (or the beast) that pays for this time in the sun.

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Think what you will about her antics, Lady Gaga is unarguably a multi-talented artist. She writes most (if not all) of her own music and lyrics, plays multiple instruments, sings and dances; often expertly keeping pace with her background dancers while wearing outrageously high platform shoes. A super star with international appeal, she is the total package. She has also managed to brand herself with the finesse of a summa cum laude marketing graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Godmother to Sir Elton and David’s newly adopted baby, Lady Gaga showed a softer, gentler spiritual side in a recent interview. In the piece, she shared that she and her band members pray before every performance. I know, I was shocked too. Displaying a small charm dangling from her neck, she explained that the charm is a replica of her late Aunt JoAnn’s birth certificate, her dad’s sister, who died of lupus at the age of nineteen. Lady Gaga dedicates all of her performances to this aunt that she never knew and believes that her aunt is living her life through Lady Gaga. It was a touching moment for the over the top, flamboyant mega star.

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There's a song by Glenn Frey called "The Heat is On." The lyrics in the chorus repeat as follows: "The heat is on. The heat is on-on. The heat is (drum, drum, drum, drum) - on." The four drum beats create an exaggerated pause for effect. You can thank me later when you find yourself humming "The Heat is On" throughout the day. It's an often played song at sporting events when a team is trampling an opponent. Heat being a metaphor for pressure.

As the temperature near my front door climbs into the mid-nineties for the remainder of the week, the heat is definitely on in my neighborhood and probably yours too as the heatwave sweeps across most of the mid-south, the Great Plains and Basin Region. That's me playing meteorologist.

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There is an inverse relationship between privacy and fame. The more famous you are, the less privacy you have. Kate Gosselin, made famous for inviting cameras into her life to chronicle the raising of eight children, is a prime example. Because she’s “famous,” her privacy is invaded every time she leaves the house with or without her brood. Even though Kate makes an obscene amount of money exploiting her life and that of her children, she still must work to earn money, so I would argue that she’s famous, but she’s not rich. The wealthy do not work for money, their money works for them.

If your fame is partnered with wealth, you can afford to guard your privacy. Take Prince William and Princess Catherine for instance. The newlyweds have rented a secluded island to enjoy their honeymoon. Wealthy business moguls and entertainers such as Jay Z, Beyonce, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Michael Jordan, Madonna, Bono and a host of others also have the means to do the same. It's often the only way that these world celebrities can be guaranteed a respite from the glare of the media spotlight that feeds the public's insatiable appetite for all things rich and famous.

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Last night, at my request, my family jump started my mother's day weekend by seeing "Jumping the Broom." Earlier this week, on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Rev. T.D. Jakes (one of the film's producers) suggested that the film was "family friendly" so I decided that my family of five would help support the Akil Production Company's efforts to show strong box office numbers on opening night. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I hold a very, very casual, gossamer like almost invisible acquaintance with the wife of the film's director.

Mara Brock Akil and I were undergraduate students at Northwestern University, and we pledged the same sorority, although she pledged a few years after I did. I vaguely remember her on campus as she was a freshman my senior year, so my appearances at college parties had waned as my focus shifted to landing a job and preparing to take my graduate school entrance exams. I was not a regular viewer of her sitcom "Girlfriends" although I am a huge fan of "The Game" both created by Akil Productions. I celebrate my fellow Wildcat and the film for helping to create an image of romance, love and values that is often lacking in entertainment targeted for African American audiences.

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Today, my favorite over priced coffee emporium had scribbled a sign and posted it on the door stating that they only offered one type of brewed coffee. The near empty parking lot should have been my first clue. The barista who wrote the sign spelled inconvenience incorrectly, yet another example of the text crazed-”who needs to know how to spell when you have spellcheck?” culture. Unfortunately, the brew that was posted does not agree with my mid life intermission and has me up at two am practicing yoga while doing laundry, reorganizing the attic and listening to Sting’s “Dream of the Blue Turtles” on constant repeat. So I clicked my heels and shuffled back to my vehicle to head to my second favorite watering hole.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

For the most part, I’ve always managed to avoid the pull of peer pressure and not follow the herd. Remember an earlier blog where I shared that in college I wore a fashion challenged white acrylic hat with a purple ball attached to it because it fit my head, while my more stylish co-eds donned more fashionable head gear? I learned early on to “do JC” and not really care what others thought about what that meant. I like entering by the narrow gate, swimming against the current and singing off key in church. The off key singing part isn’t really by choice. But in December, I usually fall prey to the pull of peer pressure. Against my will, I find myself casually wandering department stores and boutiques to stimulate the economy and buy stuff for privileged people who really don’t need any more stuff. But because I too have bought into the sad consumer driven notion that it’s necessary to gift others with presents during this time of year, I trudge along trying to come up with a clever and creative gift idea so that I’m not viewed as the family scrooge, the wet blanket who ruins everyone’s Christmas. 

 

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

If I could eat crunchy Cheetos every day and still remain slim, my fingers would constantly be stained orange. Because of this, my downward dog “almost” barked in yoga. I’d eaten one small 100 calorie pack of Cheetos, and my rump was threatening to betray me in a room full of Ashtanga yogis, so I clinched my cheeks like a muzzle on a pit bull. I’m a neophyte Ashtanga yogi, who recently introduced a quivering head stand into my yoga practice while many of my classmates are working on one arm hand stands. They are an intimidating bunch. Not deterred, I stay in my lane and remain grateful that my body is as flexible as it is. I’ve told myself that true yoga purists are vegans or at least vegetarians who would be offended to know that I occasionally sample the processed snacks purchased for my children’s lunches. A new yoga nut, I’ve committed to eating healthier during intermission.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Last week, while reorganizing the car console, (or clearing the contents from a seasonal purse, I can’t remember which) I stumbled upon a Border’s gift card. I recognized it as one that had been gifted to one of my heirs a few years ago. I flipped it over to see if a name had been written on the back. It was blank. I did a happy dance! Why? Because the laws of the universe that govern my “finders keepers” moral code meant that it now belonged to me as an anonymous token of appreciation for the hours of thankless service that I provide to my tribe, just like cash that I find in the dryer belongs to me, and cash that I find in the sofa cushions or floor of the car belongs to me.

Clearly, the privileged heir who’d received the gift card hadn’t mentioned it, asked for it or given it any thought, which confirmed that they didn’t need it. I always require my heirs to send a proper thank you for all gifts received, so I knew that the gift had been acknowledged albeit not fully appreciated.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

He was born in 1993, with blonde hair and blue eyes. When he walked in for his arraignment, he wore a bright pink Ralph Lauren polo shirt as though he’d just played a round of golf at his family’s country club. The shirt looked freshly ironed. It was a bold color choice for such an occasion.

In 1993, with two years of marriage under my belt, I was still struggling to figure everything out. I’d just celebrated my five year anniversary at a gig where I’d interned since college. I remember being underwhelmed at the five year service anniversary gift that I’d received from my company. As I type this blog, I honestly don’t even remember what the service anniversary gift was, it was that underwhelming.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

It was a simple question, with a simple answer, or so I thought. Surprisingly, my friend chose not to answer the question, pretending that she didn’t know. Later she shared that she wasn’t in the mood to have “that” discussion. I was disappointed. I wasn’t there, because had I been there, I would have answered the woman’s question.

I’m writing this blog at the Inkwell, with the ocean just ten yards from my feet. The forecast predicted a seventy percent chance of rain today, a perfect day to pause and resuscitate my unintentional forty day sabbatical from blogging, brought on by the helter skelter pace of my life including the excitement of final review edits of the last four novels in my series. I’ve had an action packed summer. This years family camp excursion has been a working vacation for all in our brood of framily (friends who are like family.) My husband has spent hours on conference calls and others have had to pause from our beach parties to nurture the passion (or the beast) that pays for this time in the sun.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Think what you will about her antics, Lady Gaga is unarguably a multi-talented artist. She writes most (if not all) of her own music and lyrics, plays multiple instruments, sings and dances; often expertly keeping pace with her background dancers while wearing outrageously high platform shoes. A super star with international appeal, she is the total package. She has also managed to brand herself with the finesse of a summa cum laude marketing graduate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management.

Godmother to Sir Elton and David’s newly adopted baby, Lady Gaga showed a softer, gentler spiritual side in a recent interview. In the piece, she shared that she and her band members pray before every performance. I know, I was shocked too. Displaying a small charm dangling from her neck, she explained that the charm is a replica of her late Aunt JoAnn’s birth certificate, her dad’s sister, who died of lupus at the age of nineteen. Lady Gaga dedicates all of her performances to this aunt that she never knew and believes that her aunt is living her life through Lady Gaga. It was a touching moment for the over the top, flamboyant mega star.

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Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

There's a song by Glenn Frey called "The Heat is On." The lyrics in the chorus repeat as follows: "The heat is on. The heat is on-on. The heat is (drum, drum, drum, drum) - on." The four drum beats create an exaggerated pause for effect. You can thank me later when you find yourself humming "The Heat is On" throughout the day. It's an often played song at sporting events when a team is trampling an opponent. Heat being a metaphor for pressure.

As the temperature near my front door climbs into the mid-nineties for the remainder of the week, the heat is definitely on in my neighborhood and probably yours too as the heatwave sweeps across most of the mid-south, the Great Plains and Basin Region. That's me playing meteorologist.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

There is an inverse relationship between privacy and fame. The more famous you are, the less privacy you have. Kate Gosselin, made famous for inviting cameras into her life to chronicle the raising of eight children, is a prime example. Because she’s “famous,” her privacy is invaded every time she leaves the house with or without her brood. Even though Kate makes an obscene amount of money exploiting her life and that of her children, she still must work to earn money, so I would argue that she’s famous, but she’s not rich. The wealthy do not work for money, their money works for them.

If your fame is partnered with wealth, you can afford to guard your privacy. Take Prince William and Princess Catherine for instance. The newlyweds have rented a secluded island to enjoy their honeymoon. Wealthy business moguls and entertainers such as Jay Z, Beyonce, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Michael Jordan, Madonna, Bono and a host of others also have the means to do the same. It's often the only way that these world celebrities can be guaranteed a respite from the glare of the media spotlight that feeds the public's insatiable appetite for all things rich and famous.

User Rating: 0 / 5

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Last night, at my request, my family jump started my mother's day weekend by seeing "Jumping the Broom." Earlier this week, on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Rev. T.D. Jakes (one of the film's producers) suggested that the film was "family friendly" so I decided that my family of five would help support the Akil Production Company's efforts to show strong box office numbers on opening night. In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess that I hold a very, very casual, gossamer like almost invisible acquaintance with the wife of the film's director.

Mara Brock Akil and I were undergraduate students at Northwestern University, and we pledged the same sorority, although she pledged a few years after I did. I vaguely remember her on campus as she was a freshman my senior year, so my appearances at college parties had waned as my focus shifted to landing a job and preparing to take my graduate school entrance exams. I was not a regular viewer of her sitcom "Girlfriends" although I am a huge fan of "The Game" both created by Akil Productions. I celebrate my fellow Wildcat and the film for helping to create an image of romance, love and values that is often lacking in entertainment targeted for African American audiences.