Friday, November 30, 2007

harlem, meet barack obama

my man barack, at the apollo last night. chris rock and cornel west introducing. crazy.

also, what is this tidbit about him having dinner with mr. sharpton at sylvia's beforehand? why can't people figure out that sylvia's just isn't that hot? come by my grandma's house, opa locka, fl. 33055 if you want good soul food. sylvia is just trying to make a buck off your ass.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

i don't know how they do it

teaching little kids seems reeeaaaalllly difficult. i'm in charge of writing a curriculum/workbook for K-4, and i'm feeling at a loss. I have no memory of my elementary school years, and I didn't even GO to second grade. I have no sense of what kids (can) learn at that age, and as the biggest critic of the curriculum that we're scratching, i need this to actually be good.

oh, career challenges.

not so good

so i'm considering ending my consumption of red meat for awhile. yesterday/today represent the third or fourth time in the last few months that my stomach has revolted against red meat i've eaten, and i'm starting to think that it's a bit of a pattern. funnily enough, the only thing that is holding me back from crossing it off of my list of foods is the thought of my favorite ethiopian dish at the neighborhood spot, zoma. :( i like my tibs wett. i want to have a last hurrah with it, but i'm in too much pain to want to chance it.

maybe swearing meat off will help with my dieting/weight loss goals. i sure hope so.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


12.13, baby! it's on its way. and i'm excited, goshdarnit. third birthday spent in new york (crazy!), and i still don't have it down, but i'm getting there. on the menu this year- mexican, karaoke, margaritas.

*raise it (the roof)! *

Monday, November 26, 2007

also, thanks to sonja for this

link, but what i want to know is, where is my (white) dude? i know that's a controversial statement. granted. but this whole black men thing is getting real difficult when we're outnumbering them 7-to-1 on college campuses in this nation. i think i need to branch out. anybody have suggestions?

the only redeeming thing vh1 has ever done

the salt and pepa show featured S+P going to the Jena 6 protest this week. Salt gives her kids the most beautiful explanation of what happened and why they're in a bus driving to LA.

it was great!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

JT+Seann William Scott+The Rock+Buffy+John Larroquette+Cheri Oteri+Mandy Moore+Bai Ling+the dude with the lisp from Princess Bride= ?

Southland Tales

weird movie. a vision of an apocalyptic near-future, with a revolution run by porn stars and drug dealers. again, i'm going to note that it was a weird movie.

not without its merits, though. the storyline was interesting, if not quite coherent, and the rock actually approached actor status for me, this time. like i almost believed he wasn't dwayne "the rock" johnson for a minute, and that he was really boxer santaros/jericho kane. that there was really a rift in the time-space continuum that opened up the fourth dimension, and through which he traveled to arrive here on earth again, with the same human soul but a different, identical human body. that he and sarah michelle gellar actually make a plausible loving couple (gag).

sunday night at the movies. heave-ho.

new musica

fell in love with nola darling tonight.
funny, sassy, loud, feminist, sexy, smart, stylin'. good. part of the all female hip hop show put on at the knitting factory tonight, c/o network edutainment group. the show was a lot of performer, prettyhoneydark, even had terry shaking that ass.

not a bad way to spend a saturday night.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

professional know-how

how does one become one of those beautiful, put-together, educated black women whose blogs one reads out there in the blogosphere? well-dressed, well-read, with a ph.d., a beautifully appointed apartment, a loving partner, great cooking skills and a bag of important contacts all over the country/world, and under 30?

that's what i'm trying to figure out. i'm almost 25, which means if i plan on getting a ph.d. i need to get to it, quick. i also need to get in shape, NOW, so i'm looking into gym membership and personal training for the winter. maybe i should have applied to grad school this winter. maybe not getting my recs together was a big mistake. i don't know. i don't know where i would want to go, or what i would want to study, but i feel like time is passing me by!

boo. all i currently do is confuse myself, to be honest. i run in circles in my head, weighing my decisions. i'm happy to say i think i'm moving forward on the professional connections piece, but i still haven't quite figured out where they're taking me.

i think it's kinda sad that i use my days off to worry about work. :(

anyway, it's saturday. party on!

Friday, November 23, 2007

lessons learned over turkey

1) nothing is more humbling and appropriate on thanksgiving than to serve those who are without family as well as your own. i spent time with my great-aunt didi and my great-uncle george at their church yesterday, feeding those in the community who were alone. it is how they have spent every thanksgiving for the last 40 years. i have much to learn from them.
the moment, though, when i felt most thankful was when i escorted my aunt didi, who has trouble walking now, to the bathroom. one of my favorite childhood memories is of spending the night at my uncle george's house in miami, and aunt didi teaching me how to dry off in the bathtub (crazy, i know). later that day i wrote her a letter asking her to be my second grandma because my father's mother passed away right after i was born. she doesn't remember a whole lot these days, but she does remember that letter. spending time with and being thankful for her and my uncle's enduring presence on earth reminded me of the family i have lost over the last few years, and how many people i have to mourn.

2)on a completely different, completely shallow note- the beyonce experience: live gave me a whole new appreciation for ms. knowles. she works it out on stage!

3) lastly, and back to the serious, if there is any proof that being from the streets is not glamorous, it is my new york family members who, after a lifetime running game and hustling, are just old men before their time. they huff and puff, and have strokes (at 50, mind you), and still try to play the "game." they live their lives through some of their children, mainly the ones that have followed in their footsteps, while espousing pride in those who have taken the lawful road. they're tired, and sick, and still trying to beat the system because it's all they know. they seem to feel my family and i have sold out and i used to feel bad about that; now i see that sometimes "selling out" is the only survival option.

my turkey day was long and full of good food. i hope yours was good, too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

he's married!

oh crush, how you've let me down.

now you better have single man friends, or i'm really just going to have to write you off. :/

Sunday, November 18, 2007

little concerned

my computer is making me sad. off to the genius bar i go...

Thursday, November 15, 2007


even though i just got an email from my old roommate about rent that i don't owe.

happy even though thanksgiving is next week and i have to call my cousins who are going to make me feel completely uncomfortable.

happy even though i don't have any potential sex partners on the horizon, and i need some.

happy, even though arriving at the 125th street ACBD station means thinking about him, and how that used to be our station, and how he's probably always in it with someone else now.

happy, because i deserve to be.

more audre-- hangs
in the door of my house
a sheet of brick-caught silk
rent in the sun.
~audre lorde, "echo"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

not sure why i do it

sometimes i catch myself wondering where the balance lies in our information-rich tech world between knowing to know, knowing to remind yourself of a purpose, and knowing to demoralize.

i find myself reading blogs, books, and news articles that remind me constantly of the negativity that surrounds me and people with whom i try my best to be in solidarity on a regular basis. i read blog posts that "reveal" the negative acts, then i often subject myself to reading the nasty comments that accompany them. and sometimes, all i can feel is down. like, seeing all the negativity of people manifested in ignorant comments or pantomimes or articles is just more than i need. because i already know it's there. i have the facts in front of me. much of my college education showed me where it all lies. and, being of color, i see it myself all the time.

on monday i wore a necklace-- black and white beads, from gap, could be construed as "ethnic-looking," i guess, if you were so inclined. someone commented on how beautiful it is, and i said, "oh, it's only from the gap." the someone replied, somehow, with "oh, i guess i'll have to go to africa, then!"

short example. but definitely shows me that i don't need to go looking for proof of my status in this society. so why do i do it?

i know that one reason is that i don't want to be my parents-- so focused on staying positive in the face of the negativity that surrounds me that i cocoon myself into a world where none of it exists (or so i tell myself). that is the world i grew up in, and while ignorance is bliss, in this world leaving the cocoon then becomes a dangerous mental act. when someone finally jolts you into reality with a comment, or a glance, or by spitting in your face, you don't have any way to understand what's happening.

i also know that in order to keep myself going in the various jobs i take i must remind myself of my purpose. why do i put up with working very hard for very little money? because of all of the horrible things i see around me. i want to be a part of a movement for change. i want to do what i can to make this world better for my children. i want to know that i can go to sleep at night knowing that i am helping others beyond myself. i want to know that i'm helping me. it's almost therapy. my way to fight back on all of the ugly things i see. is it terribly effective? no. but as long as i know the "evil" is out there, i continue to want to do what i can.

finally, i know that there's some premium in our day and age placed on knowing...everything...because you can. if you don't know the latest youtube video, political snafoo made by a presidential hopeful, the latest hot song on itunes, and where the protest was at last week, you're behind. woefully so.

so what to do? i try to get away by writing at this "personal reflection" blog every once in awhile, but i'm not sure where else to take it. what to do. maybe take a break from the information overload for awhile, and then find a blog that will do a full recap of the daily show, the project runway premiere, ANTM, racialicious, the ny times, the post's education series (SO GOOD by the way-check it out), keeping up with the kardashians, i <3 new york, and everything else that makes it onto my radar every week.

ha, that rundown of obsessions didn't make you feel very good about me, did it?

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

me? quirkyalone?

maybe this is the answer to all of my recent angst.

i think, maybe, that the reason this whole simon thing is so hard for me to get over because i am a quirkyalone-- i don't enter relationships just for the sake of being with someone. i so very rarely find people of the opposite sex palatable (i have troubled relationships with men in general-- starting with my father. i just don't often find them tolerable. they can be funny, or attractive, or smart, but rarely do those things come together to create someone i can't get enough of. those people are almost always women.) that finding simon seemed almost too good to be true.

healing is difficult because beyond all of the societal forces working against my ability to find a partner, so is my personality! how do i move on after i found someone i thought couldn't be found to begin with?

the thing about simon is that he's probably as far away from a quirkyalone as is humanly possible-- the man is always with someone. it's probably (scratch that, definitely) not as personal as i feel it to be, but to me, the quirkyalone, moving on immediately means the person before had no significance. that's the only way i can move on quickly, and i don't understand any other way of being.

stumbling across the site today was like a huge revelation for me, crazily enough. i think i'd even seen it before, but today it resonated, like oh yeah.

i've been thinking a lot about forgiveness lately. i met with a chaplain at an episcopal school uptown yesterday and she told me about a curriculum she teaches to eighth graders that is focused on the concept of "gardens of forgiveness." she talked about the reality of forgiveness, and the idea that forgiving someone isn't for the transgessor, but rather for the transgressed. that the pain of being hurt only holds the victim back.

these are things i knew. and i know. but to hear it from someone again brought it back to me. that i have to find a way to forgive him for hurting me if i ever want to stop hurting myself. not sure how to do it yet, because i feel so wronged, but i know it has to happen. i can't help but think that some force out there is trying to get my attention, trying to show me a way out of my sadness. showing me through a random meeting with a chaplain, of all things, who was supposed to be talking to me about a conference proposal, mind you, not forgiveness, that there is a way out. there is a way to let go. a way to be quirkyalone, maybe, or to at least accept my status.

one thing i know doesn't work-- going out with weird, funny-looking people from nerve because they say nice things about me. not it, joy, not it. :)

Monday, November 12, 2007

had a good weekend

lots of terry, lots of sonja, lots of laughs. a little weird boy-drama, but mostly all in good fun. had a little party at my spot, and got reeaaallly drunk. :) don't remember a whole lot of it, but i do know that i was in good company.
things are good. i wish i were able to truly say that i've moved on, that my heart is healed, but i can't, and while this weekend proved that, i am definitely surviving/sobreviviendo. (i like the spanish version of the word survive, "sobrevivir," because it sounds like over-living. like you're not just making it, but doing more than you have to.)
work is good...making chocolate pumpkin pie for a party on thursday, and i'm excited about that. it seems strange sometimes-- i'm not always sure that i have a set direction for what i'm doing-- but i do enjoy my coworkers. i enjoy the feeling of learning, and stretching. it's like my brain is getting a long-needed workout. being surrounded by smart, funny, thoughtful, challenging young women is never a bad thing, either.
not sure where/how to end this post. so i'll just say good night.

p.s. how did this season of "curb your enthusiasm" end with larry david and vivica a. fox hooking up? and does john legend have braces? cuz for a minute during his cameo it seemed like maybe that was the case. and really, why, vivica? why?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

i could accept any blame i understood

Reaching for you with my sad words
between sleeping and waking
what is asked for is often destroyed
by the very words that seek it
like dew in an early morning
dissolving the tongue of salt
as well as its thirst
and I call you secret names
of praise and fire
that sound like your birthright
but are not the names of friend
while you hid from me under 100 excuses
lying like tombstones
between your house and mine

I could accept any blame I understood.
Picking over the fresh loneliness
of this too-early morning
I find relics of my history
fossilized into a prison
where I learn how to make love forever
better than how to make friends
where you are encased like a half-stoned peach
in the rigid art of your healing
and in case you have ever tried to reach me
and I could not hear you
these words are in place
of the dead air
still between us.
is more cruel
than waiting......and hoping
an answer will come.
~audre lorde, "sister, morning is a time for miracles"

Friday, November 9, 2007

the chosen

so there's this personal phenomenon i'm experiencing, and i'm wondering if it's a broader experience than just my own. i think someone, somewhere should do a dissertation on it.

first, let me explain the title of the post. "the chosen" refers, in my mind, to the handful of "gifted" people of color in this country that are given passes, through a variety of avenues, into the white supremacist capitalist patriarchal system. they/we are the trespassers, the ones that slip through the gate in invisibility cloaks of test scores and "correct" speech. we are the ones that dominant culture seeks to blot out by cleaning us up. if intellect like ours was left to itself, we might actually think up a way to take over the whole damn show. so they co-opt us. it works pretty well. it's a very clever way to keep us confused and wondering about who we are and what we deserve.

it's also the realm in which i exist. the definition of the group, while interesting, is only tangentially related to the question i have. the question i am asking is, does being part of "the chosen" mean that love can only be found within the group? as i move through the world, seeking to build a life, i find my love options being limited. i wonder, though, if i am limiting myself, or if one of the unwarranted side effects of my elite membership card is this difficulty in relating. or is the level of difficulty relative to how early the system found, tagged, and co-opted you?

i was taken over pretty early. at the age of four i was marked as gifted, and i haven't seen a neighborhood school since. the "good" and "bad" parts of me were tagged for the world to see, and i memorized their locations, their meanings. i have spent the better part of my life navigating my way through different settings, and the results are shoddy. not a surprise, considering i started my journey as a toddler. i had very little time to put together a cohesive sense of myself before the tags arrived, and now, 21 years later, i am on a search to find people of the opposite sex that can fill my myriad needs and i constantly come up short. hard to find someone with as confused a journey as mine.

everyone i have ever spoken to about my taste in men has the same reaction: "joy, you really have a type, don't you?" or, "little bit snobby, eh?" i have questioned my taste in men, but at the end of the exploration all i've ever found is a long, plain corridor pointing me back to "the chosen." i'm afraid there is no escape.

so, what's the dissertation topic, you ask? here goes:
are members of "the chosen" really served by their chosen status? does gaining membership in this group really afford more options in terms of the personal/emotional as opposed to the professional/economic/social? are we happier than those that are "left behind"? and what about love? what does being chosen do to our ability to find matches? are "the chosen" most likely to find love within the group? or do we find love outside of it, with people that define the dominant culture? or is love found in all sorts of different places, with no definite trends?

quantitative research. that's what i want.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

mani-pedis, scarves, and stanford law boys

this week has been interesting. good, busy, tiring, overwhelming, and...not over...

it's only thursday, and i'm already reflecting, which shows you how crazy a week it's been (being).

i'm back in the big apple, and winter seems to have arrived all of a sudden. i went from being warm last week to having to pull out all of the layers this week and start to try to remind myself of how to pull a warm-weather outfit together. my preliminary attempts are always unvariably preppy-- today i'm wearing a gray wool sweater over an oxford. i look like i'm back in high school, fulfilling dress code. :/ the boy that i met on monday didn't help-- a bit of a stuffy lawyer type, i almost felt self-conscious for being so "casual." then, last night, did a meetup with other young black professional women from the five boroughs, and out of 6, 4 were singers/songwriters/actors/filmmakers, and one was a moneyed accountant at morgan stanley. joy-- poor, non-profit-working, trying-to-make-the-world-a-better-place young black woman that she is-- stuck out a little like a sore thumb at first. things got better, but it has definitely been a week of remembering the breadth of this big, wide world.

it's amazing, in a place like new york, how many different "yous" you can be. i can be grungy me, i can be southern/caribbean me, i can be intellectual me, i can be sexy me, i can be political me, i can be apolitical me, i can be recovering baptist me-- not all in the same place or at the same time, necessarily, but there are places for all of those parts.

the rest of this week brings more mind-expansion: a play tonight at the public (apparently my favorite theater), seeing an old coworker tomorrow, and then cooking and baking and sangria-ing up a storm for a little housewarming on saturday. then maybe kara walker @ the whitney on sunday, if i can swing it.

ha. you wouldn't know i was at work right now, would ya?

Saturday, November 3, 2007

back. finally.

i feel like i've been gone for months. returned from baltimore this afternoon, tired and challenged by the presentations i made at the NAME (National Association for Multicultural Education) conference. incredible conference-- GREAT information being shared, and much appreciation for my organization's work, but i couldn't help but feel that the wrong people were there. my new york teacher friends working in schools with kids that are facing incredible odds weren't there, high-powered teacher educators from universities were. people that haven't seen the inside of a k-12 classroom from the teacher perspective in decades...or, sometimes, ever. A little disappointing, but I still enjoyed myself, and bought these two beautiful framed prints-

i love beautiful things.